A People for His Own Possession

…Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession…
–  Titus 2:13-14

If He’s purifying for Himself “a people for His own possession” why do popes and pastors claim these same people for their own possession?  It’s not right.

Hear the word of the Lord, O pastor:

…”Let My people go…”
–  Exodus 5:1

Why should you let the people go?  Because they are His people, not yours.  And so that…

…”…they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.”
–  Exodus 5:1

How will the people celebrate a feast to Him in the wilderness?  According to Romans 12:1, they will offer their lives a living and holy sacrifice to the Lord in every place they go.

The Lord wants to possess His people – He does not want us to possess them.  He wants us to point the people to Him…that He may possess them.

The Older Shall Serve the Younger

…the older shall serve the younger.
–  Genesis 25:23

Christian leadership operates on a principle at odds with worldly leadership.  In the world, the older has authority over the younger, but in the kingdom of God the older serves the younger.

Notice how God sets the example.  He Himself is older than everyone, yet He serves everyone.  When the world had gone completely astray, He committed Himself to coming to earth as one of us to set an example.  From the ignominious death He suffered in the fulfillment of that commitment, He was raised back to His place of majesty.

Likewise, you and I are to humble ourselves on earth that we might be exalted in heaven.  If therefore you aspire to Christian leadership, know that you are aspiring to be a servant – not a ruler.  It’s not about how many Christians you can be over, it’s about how many you can serve.

As Jesus taught:

“But do not be called Rabbi;
for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.
Do not call anyone on earth your father;
for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.
Do not be called leaders;
for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.”
–  Matthew 23:8-10

If we are all brothers, then those of us who are older (i.e. who have been walking with the Lord longer) should set out to serve our younger brethren – not lord it over them.

Consider also how Jesus responded when His disciples pestered Him about who was “the greatest” (i.e. who would be in charge when He wasn’t around?):

And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.  And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’  But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.  For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.”
–  Luke 22:24-27

Survey the institutional church today and see that leaders do not “become like the youngest” or “like the servant.”  Rather, they have authority over their flocks.  And indeed the flocks are theirs and not the Lord’s.   This is the case whether it’s a mega-church of thousands or a small church of less than a hundred.

It’s not about hoarding the sheep; it’s about feeding the sheep.

The book of Acts describes a process of finding those who were His

God knew those Jews and God-fearing Gentiles who truly loved Him and lived for Him.  When the apostles went from city to city, preaching the good news of Jesus the Messiah and the kingdom of God, those Jews and Gentiles who heard and believed were those who had been sincerely seeking God before the apostles arrived.

The gospel was not so much changing people’s’ minds about God as it was revealing people’s minds about God.  Those who had a heart for God were accepting the gospel, and those whose hearts were hardened toward God were rejecting that same gospel.

Lots of religious people were rejecting the gospel.  That’s because their hearts were hard before they ever heard the gospel.

Thus the book of Acts shows how God picked the ripe fruit and discarded the rotten fruit.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Are We To See a Connection Between the Good Samaritan’s Story and Martha’s?

The story of the Good Samaritan occurs in Luke 10:25-37.  It is immediately followed in Luke 10:38-42 by the story of the sisters Mary and Martha: one of whom sat and listened to Jesus while the other tried to serve Him, being “worried and bothered” in the process.  Can it be that Luke (or, more importantly, the Holy Spirit) wants us to see the similarity between Martha’s “busyness” for the Lord and the hurrying of the priest and Levite right by the wounded traveler?

Might this sort of dynamic also be a reason for James’ admonition in James 4:13-17?  He chides those who do not recognize that even if you believe you are “going to Jericho for the will of God” it can still be the will of God for you to stop along the way to help someone in need.  Even if it makes you a day late and a dollar short.

Read the two passages from Luke 10 mentioned above and see if you see at least a slight similarity between Martha and the priest and the Levite.  Then, be willing to stop anywhere along the way of your life in order to do the will of God.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

God Is Faithful – and Even Zealous – to Keep His Promises

Jeremiah 1:11-12 tells us that God says, “I am watching over my word to perform it.”  It not as though God makes a promise and then forgets about it.  Even if it takes thousands of years – which it did for His promises about Messiah to come true – He remembers and keeps His word.

For this reason, Abraham was right to trust God and be “fully assured that what He had promised He was able also to perform” (Romans 4:21), and Sarah was right to consider Him faithful who had promised” (Hebrews 11:11).

God does not make His promises lightly.  We may be a vapor that appears for a while and vanishes away, but God has a reputation to maintain before the host of heaven.  Thus He is not just faithful to keep His promises, but zealous to do so as well.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

At the Heart of the Miracle of the Fishes and Loaves

At the heart of the miracle of the fishes and loaves – that is, when Jesus fed the multitudes with what little food He and His disciples had – was generosity.  Jesus was living according to this verse from Isaiah:

Isaiah 58:7 …to divide your bread with the hungry…

That is, the basis upon which God dramatically increased the food supply was the generosity of Jesus to share all that He had with others.

Surely we should be as struck by Jesus’ generosity as we are by God’s miracle.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Stop Making Idols Out of Relics

2 Kings 18:4 [Hezekiah] removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan.

It seems God’s people are forever holding on to relics from God’s past activities and making present-day idols of them – thus causing themselves to miss God’s current activities.  This passage from 2 Kings is an example of just such behavior.  The original incident to which it refers can be found in Numbers 21:7-9.

The most common relic that people are worshiping today is church.  Whether it’s the church as a building or as an institution or as a social structure with human leadership, in all cases it is idolatry.  God is just as dishonored by this idolatry as He was by the Israelites’ worship of a bronze serpent that had been preserved beyond its useful life.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Great Transfer

The New Testament documents the great transfer from God the Father to His Son Jesus Christ of His wealth in the saints.  As Jesus said in John’s Gospel:

John 6:45 “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

The true worshippers of God – whether among Jews or among God-fearing Gentiles – were known only to heaven.  On earth, they couldn’t be sorted out that easily.  However, with the resurrection of Christ from the dead and His ascension into heaven, there began a great transfer from Israel of all those true believers to the church of the Lord Jesus.

The true saints had been hidden but the building of the church revealed them.

Another way of saying it is that the building of the church was the purification of Israel.  As it says in Titus:

Titus 2:14 …to purify for Himself a people for His own possession…

The transfer of the saints from Israel to the church was, however, transitional and therefore temporary.  For the the consummation of the transfer was when, at the end of the New Testament age, the saints were transferred from the church to the kingdom of God.  Reading through the New Testament, you can see how the apostles were preparing the saints for that ultimate transfer.

The New Testament tells how all that was the Father’s became the Son’s.  This is why it can be called “the great transfer.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Ancients Hoped for Resurrection

Even a man as ancient as Job hoped for a resurrection:

Job 14:14 “If a man dies, will he live again?
All the days of my struggle I will wait
Until my change comes.

Job 19:25 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

There are such hints of resurrection hope scattered throughout the Old Testament.  They were so strong that there was a widespread hope in a resurrection of the dead in 1st-century Judea – at least among the Pharisees (Acts 23:6-8).  Yet none of these hints were so strong that people knew exactly what form this resurrection would take, or exactly when and how it would take place.

If you haven’t read them already, you might want to read these three chapters of The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven to gain an appreciation of how Jesus clarified the expectation for those who had the hope of resurrection:

Chapter  6 – Coloring Death With Hope

Chapter  7 – The First Resurrection

Chapter  8 – The Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Jesus Lived Off of Inherited Wealth

You have heard that Jesus was born poor.  And this is true…in the flesh.  In the spirit, however, he was quite wealthy.  This is because he was heir not only to all the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but also to all the promises made to David.  Some say that Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17) was through Joseph while Luke’s genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:23-38) was through Mary.  In either case, Jesus was a descendant of David according to the flesh and therefore heir to those “precious and magnificent promises” (2 Peter 1:4).

In a spiritual sense, therefore, Jesus was like a Kennedy or a Rockefeller or a Rothschild.  He lacked for nothing!

How much more then do you and I need to recognize our own wealth in the inheritance He has bequeathed to us (Ephesians 1:18; Colossians 1:12).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Inheritance of God’s Promises Is Greater Than Any Monetary Inheritance

By watching how Jesus took to heart and trusted the promises of God, His disciples came to see just how valuable these promises were that they had inherited from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Esau is the classic example of a worldly-minded person who had no appreciation for the blessings inherent in a promise from God.  Thus the New Testament says:

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
Hebrews 12:16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.

Therefore, be moral and godly…and seek to understand the promises of God that you might benefit from them.

Jesus and his fellow Jews inherited these promises by virtue of their fleshly descent from Abraham.  We, however, receive the full inheritance through our spiritual connection with Jesus Christ our Lord.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Jesus Lived by Faith in the Promises of God

One of the things that was so striking to the Jews who surrounded Jesus of Nazareth was that from their childhoods he had been reading the same Scriptures as they, yet he was getting so much more out of them than they were.

The difference was faith.  Jesus took to heart what Moses and the Prophets had written.  He banked His life on it.   And look what it did for him!

The original disciples were therefore keen to learn from his faith and to imitate it.  They began to take God’s promises to Abraham much more seriously than they ever had before.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Serving the Lord Feels Good…Morally Speaking

As the following Scriptures indicate, those who serve the Lord find great blessedness of soul:

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Romans 2:9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
Romans 2:10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Irrelevance of Orthodoxy v. the Relevance of Truth

Google defines “orthodoxy” as “authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice.”  Thus “Christian orthodoxy” is authorized (as in the case of denominations) or generally accepted (as in the case of non-denominational churches) theory, doctrine, or practice.  By definition, what is “authorized” or “generally accepted” can, and does, change over time.

By contrast, truth never changes.  Truth that was unknown or obscure in the past can be revealed or made clearer in the present, but the truth did not change.  It always was the truth or else it can’t be truth.

Many putative believers in Christ cling to orthodoxy instead of truth.  Orthodoxy is determined by the opinions of men while truth is determined by God.  Orthodoxy is shifting sand while truth is a rock.  Let us build our lives on truth, for it is the only lasting foundation.

Orthodoxy is irrelevant.  By contrast, nothing is more relevant than truth.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Setting Your Mind on the Spirit

Romans 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
Romans 8:7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
Romans 8:8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

When you set your mind on the flesh, you are seeing only the world that science can see.  You are ignoring the world that built the world that science can see (Hebrews 11:3).

When we ignore the spiritual dimension then we – humanity – are the highest authority there is.  We have ignored God as supreme and made ourselves supreme in His place.  This is why “the mind set on the flesh is death.”  It accepts as true something that is plainly false.  It is living a lie.  Human beings are not supreme.  If they were, they wouldn’t die.

We must rather set our minds on the spirit.  In this view, human beings are sub-regents to God in the earth, and accountable to Him.  To set our minds on the spirit is to walk in the fear of God.  This is life.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

How Does the Bible Define Success?

God has no regard for worldly success.  This has been true from the beginning, for we see that the Tower of Babel did not impress Him in the least (Genesis 11:1-9).

In Psalm 1:1-6, God speaks of the righteous man as succeeding (see especially the last line of verse 3).  Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled this psalm.  Of course, Jesus was not considered a success in the world’s eyes.  They publicly executed Him.  Still, He succeeded in God’s eyes because He did God’s will in spite of great resistance.

Here then is what God considers success for a human being:

Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

If, when you finish your life, you can say that you did justice, loved mercy, and walked humbly with God, then you can consider yourself a success.  This is a success with which the world is not familiar.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

What the Law of Moses Was…and What It Is

The Law of Moses was according to the flesh.  That is, it regulated the activities of the nation of Israel which consisted of physical descendants of the man named Abraham.  In the flesh, these regulations were good and beneficial to those people at that time.  However, as such, it could do nothing about the sinful human heart.

For this reason Jesus Christ came, to rise from the dead in order to bring a spiritual cast to that law.  From that time on, the Law of Moses would become the Law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2), which was according to the spirit.  In the spirit, this law would regulate the thoughts of the human heart – bringing it restoration and redemption from the Creator God.

The Law of Christ is therefore a spiritual law with a spiritual purpose.  It deals with sin at the very root – that is, the thoughts that lead to sinful behaviors.  For example, eliminate hateful thoughts and you won’t have to worry about keeping yourself from murdering.

The Law of Moses was a good thing.  The Law of Christ is supremely better.  Therefore, do not read the Law of Moses as it was of Moses; rather, read it as the law of Christ, because that is whose it has become.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Bible Tells of a God Who Governs His Creation, Speaks, and Reveals Himself

The Bible documents that God governs His creation, speaks, and reveals Himself.  Thus God is interacting with us far more than the world realizes.

God governs His creation.  He rules and judges.  He superintends all that takes place – even when He doesn’t agree with what is taking place.  Whatever happens, our God is in control.

God speaks.  Throughout the Bible, God speaks.  Because He speaks, there is a Bible.  If He did not speak, there would be no Bible.  At least there wouldn’t be a Bible that looks anything like the one we have.

God reveals Himself through His speaking.  He does not desire to be a mystery – at least not to those who want to know Him.

If you want to know God, go to the Bible so that He might reveal Himself to you.  There you will learn of Jesus Christ – God’s great and enduring revelation of Himself to the world.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Psalm 105:40 Prophesied Jesus

Psalm 105:40 …He…satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

This verse speaks of Jesus our Lord.  For He Himself said:

John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven…

When the apostles preached Jesus, they would invoke verses like Psalm 105:40.  For what we call the Old Testament was the only assembled Scripture in apostolic times.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

What Was in the Ark of the Covenant?

What was in the ark of the covenant?  The short answer is, “the covenant.”  For the longer answer, keep reading.

In the heart of the tabernacle, and subsequently the temple, was the ark of the covenant.  The nations, among whom Israel assumed a place when they came out of their slavery in Egypt, typically worship idols – graven images.  God commanded the Israelites to do something very different.  They had no image of God to carry around.  On the contrary, they hauled around a box in which was the agreement (covenant) between God and His people – said agreement being encapsulated in the Ten Commandments given to Moses.  Hence the name: the ark of the covenant.

This symbolized that the connection between the true God and His people was not some visible image but rather a covenant relationship adhered to in the hiddenness of the heart.  If God’s people were faithful to the covenant, God would be faithful to bless them in every way.  If God’s people were unfaithful to the covenant, they would be inviting curses upon themselves.  We see this dynamic played out in the history of the Old Testament.

Today our covenant is with Jesus as Lord, and we obey His command to love.  The ark of this covenant is our hearts.  We are the temple of the Lord.  Or at least we hope to be, eh?

Here then are scriptures on what was in the ark of the covenant [emphasis added]:

Deuteronomy 10:1 “At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Cut out for yourself two tablets of stone like the former ones, and come up to Me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood for yourself.
Deuteronomy 10:2 ‘I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered, and you shall put them in the ark.’
Deuteronomy 10:3 “So I made an ark of acacia wood and cut out two tablets of stone like the former ones, and went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hand.
Deuteronomy 10:4 “He wrote on the tablets, like the former writing, the Ten Commandments which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.
Deuteronomy 10:5 “Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, as the LORD commanded me.”

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2 Chronicles 5:6 And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him before the ark, were sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered.
2 Chronicles 5:7 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the holy of holies, under the wings of the cherubim.
2 Chronicles 5:8 For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering over the ark and its poles.
2 Chronicles 5:9 The poles were so long that the ends of the poles of the ark could be seen in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen outside; and they are there to this day.
2 Chronicles 5:10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.

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2 Chronicles 6:10 “Now the LORD has fulfilled His word which He spoke; for I have risen in the place of my father David and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
2 Chronicles 6:11 “There I have set the ark in which is the covenant of the LORD, which He made with the sons of Israel.”

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Hebrews 9:1 Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary.
Hebrews 9:2 For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place.
Hebrews 9:3 Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies,
Hebrews 9:4 having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant;
Hebrews 9:5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Spiritual Time

The scripture makes reference to spiritual time, which operates differently than the time on a clock or calendar.  Spiritual time, or season, hsa to do with the appropriateness of an activity – especially from the standpoint of righteousness.

We ourselves use “time” in this sense when we say to someone, “It’s time you learned how to do this yourself” or “There’s a time and place for everything.”  Likewise, think of spiritual time in this way:  What time is it when you see a starving man?  It’s time to feed him.

Perhaps the best known biblical reference to time in this sense comes from the book of Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven–
Ecclesiastes 3:2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
Ecclesiastes 3:3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes  3:5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
Ecclesiastes 3:6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
Ecclesiastes 3:7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes  3:9 What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?
Ecclesiastes  3:10 I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

References to “seasons” or “signs” can also be allusions to this sort of time.

Here then are some verses that speak of time when used in this sense.  You may have to read some of them in context to properly appreciate the time refeence.  [Emphasis, and occasional comments, added]

2 Kings 5:26 Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you, when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money and to receive clothes and olive groves and vineyards and sheep and oxen and male and female servants?

The obvious implication here is that it was not “time” for these things.

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2 Kings 7:9 Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”

What made waiting until morning light was the circumstances in which these people found themselves.

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1 Chronicles 12:32 Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.

This verse is perhaps one of the most illuminating regarding “spiritual time.”  See that it’s connected with what ought to be done – that is, with righteousness.

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Esther 1:13 Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times–for it was the custom of the king so to speak before all who knew law and justice

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Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

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Ecclesiastes 8:5 He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure.
Ecclesiastes 8:6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man’s trouble is heavy upon him.

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Haggai  1:4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?”

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Matthew 16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.
Matthew 16:2 But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’
Matthew 16:3 “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?
Matthew 16:4 “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.

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John 7:8 “Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.”

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John 8:20 These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.

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John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

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Philippians 1:27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Philippians 1:28 in no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.

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Other posts on various aspects of time in the Scriptures:

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Fear of Man

God does not want us to be afraid, and therefore “Do not fear” is a common refrain in the Bible.  Perhaps the consummate verse on this subject is 1 John 4:18 (see below).

The fears that plague us go by many names: anxiety, intimidation, worries, and so on.  Here then are some verses through which God seeks to calm us [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Deuteronomy 1:21 ‘See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’

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2 Samuel 17:2 “I will come upon him while he is weary and exhausted and terrify him, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king alone,

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Ezra 4:4 Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah, and frightened them from building,

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Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

There’ the solution in a nutshell:  fear the Lord of goodness so that you might not fear any evil.

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Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
Psalm 27:2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Psalm 27:3 Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.

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Psalm 94:19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.

Anxious thoughts do seem to multiply, but they can be counteracted by the consolations of God.

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Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

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Isaiah 54:4 “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame;
And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced;
But you will forget the shame of your youth,
And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

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Mark 4:18 “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word,
Mark 4:19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

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John 9:22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.

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John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

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Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

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1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED,
1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

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1 Peter 3:6 … do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

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1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

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1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

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Contrast this post with Scriptures on Fear of God.  The word “fear” is covered in both posts, but oh, what a difference in the meaning depending on where the fear is focused.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Fear of God

The Bible speaks of “the fear of the Lord” in a variety of ways.  The purpose of this post is to demonstrate some of them.

The fear of God is not an idea about which pop culture has much to say, unless to mock those who subscribe to it.  The biblical idea, though, is quite healthy and, if practiced sufficiently, will lead to a strong faith.

The great irony of the fear of the Lord is, of course, that if we truly fear Him we needn’t fear anyone or anything else.  This is why Jesus was so utterly courageous.  His only fear was His Father in heaven.

Here then are some verses showing the variety of terms used to refer to godly fear [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Deuteronomy 5:29 ‘Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!

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Nehemiah 7:2 then I put Hanani my brother, and Hananiah the commander of the fortress, in charge of Jerusalem, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many.

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Psalm 2:11 Worship the LORD with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.

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Psalm 25:14 The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.

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Psalm 34:9 O fear the LORD, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.
Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

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Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.

Godly wisdom doesn’t come from educational degrees but rather is rooted in the fear of God.

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Psalm 119:38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
As that which produces reverence for You.

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Psalm 130:4 But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

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Psalm 135:20 O house of Levi, bless the LORD;
You who revere the LORD, bless the LORD.

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Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

There is a direct correlation between fearing the Lord and turning away from evil.  That is, the more you fear the Lord, the more you turn away from evil.  Conversely, the less we fear the Lord the more we turn to evil.

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Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

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Isaiah 57:11 “Of whom were you worried and fearful
When you lied, and did not remember Me
Nor give Me a thought?
Was I not silent even for a long time
So you do not fear Me?

The less we hear the word of the Lord, the less we fear the Lord and the more we fear people (“Of whom were you worried and fearful?)

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Isaiah 66:2 “For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD.
“But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

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Jeremiah 2:19 “Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the LORD your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

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2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

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Ephesians 5:21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

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Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
Hebrews 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.

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Contrast this post with Scriptures on Fear of Man.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Giving Thanks

We teach our children to say “thank you” when someone gives them something.  How then shall we fail to thank God for all He has given us?

Here are some verses to help us think about the importance of thanksgiving [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

1 Samuel 25:21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have guarded all that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; and he has returned me evil for good.

Whether to God or to man, we should always return thanks even if we cannot return the favor.  1 Samuel 25 tell the story of Nabal, who neither thanked David nor returned the favor.  His wife Abigail was a much better person than he was, interceding with David on Nabal’s behalf.

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2 Chronicles 32:25 But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud; therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.

Sometimes a failure to give thanks can be particularly egregious.

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Psalm 50:23 “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”

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Luke 17:11 While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee.
Luke 17:12 As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him;
Luke 17:13 and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
Luke 17:14 When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed.
Luke 17:15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice,
Luke 17:16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan.
Luke 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine–where are they?
Luke 17:18 “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”
Luke 17:19 And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”

Thanklessness is rampant, but God recognizes those who thank Him.

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Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Romans 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

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1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;
1 Corinthians 15:57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Ephesians 5:3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
Ephesians 5:4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

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Ephesians 5:17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
Ephesians 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
Ephesians 5:21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

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Philippians 4:5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always;
1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing;
1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

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Hebrews 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

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Related post:  Scriptures on Glorifying God

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Glorifying God

We have the privilege of glorifying our Creator.  Let meditate these verses that we might be more mindful to do so [emphasis added]:

Luke 17:11 While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee.
Luke 17:12 As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him;
Luke 17:13 and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
Luke 17:14 When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed.
Luke 17:15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice,
Luke 17:16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan.
Luke 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine–where are they?
Luke 17:18 “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”
Luke 17:19 And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”

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John 7:18 “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

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Romans 4:20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,

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1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

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1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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1 Peter4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1 Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

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Related post:  Scriptures on Giving Thanks

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Judgment

The concept of judgment is prominent in the Scriptures.  However, people recognize it more readily in the Old Testament than they do in the New Testament teaching.  Yet judgment is portrayed just as prominent in the kingdom of God as in all the administrations of God prior to it.  For example, consider this admonition of Peter:

1 Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Consider also that Jesus coming to judge the living and the dead was a prominent theme of apostolic preaching.  Therefore, need to see a continuity between the judgments of God in the Old Testament and those that would come with the kingdom of God.  The list of verses that follow should help you do that [emphasis added]:

Genesis 18:25 “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”

This is Abraham speaking to God at the time of Sodom and Gomorrah’s judgment.

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Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.

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Matthew 10:28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The Greek word translated as “hell” in this verse is “Gehenna” which was a valley outside of Jerusalem which symbolized judgment.  Therefore, it is not talking about afterlife but rather the judgment upon those outside the kingdom of God.  For more on this see Chapter 10 of The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven, titled “But What About Hell?”

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Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.

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Acts 10:40 “God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible,
Acts 10:41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
Acts 10:42 “And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.

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Acts 17:30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
Acts 17:31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

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Romans 2:14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
Romans 2:15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
Romans 2:16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

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1 Corinthians 5:13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

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Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

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James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

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1 Peter 4:15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;
1 Peter 4:16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.
1 Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:18 AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?
1 Peter 4:19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

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For more on God’s judgments, see Scriptures on Examples and Pronouncements of Judgment.

God’s kindness leads us to repentance that we might avoid His severity.  (See Scriptures on Kindness and Severity.)

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Kindness and Severity

God is all-powerful.  He sends His judgments in the earth, as is His responsibility as its rightful judge.  Yet we may repent so that our behavior calls forth His blessings rather than His curses.

God is good, but that does not mean we should not be fearful when we sin.  Therefore let us take heed to both His kindness and His severity.  Consider this verse [emphasis added here and throughout; bold for the kindness, and bold italics for the severity]:

Romans 11:22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.

Let us therefore consider this list of verses which speak to the full spectrum of God’s power that we might fear His judgments and turn from our wicked ways.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

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Exodus 4:11 The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?

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Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,
Deuteronomy 30:20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

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Deuteronomy 32:39 ‘See now that I, I am He,
And there is no god besides Me;
It is I who put to death and give life.
I have wounded and it is I who heal,
And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.

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Joshua 23:15 “It shall come about that just as all the good words which the LORD your God spoke to you have come upon you, so the LORD will bring upon you all the threats, until He has destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you.

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Joshua 24:20 “If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you.”

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1 Samuel 2:3 “Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the LORD is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.
1 Samuel 2:4 “The bows of the mighty are shattered,
But the feeble gird on strength.
1 Samuel 2:5 “Those who were full hire themselves out for bread,
But those who were hungry cease to hunger.
Even the barren gives birth to seven,
But she who has many children languishes.
1 Samuel 2:6 “The LORD kills and makes alive;
He brings down to Sheol and raises up.
1 Samuel 2:7 “The LORD makes poor and rich;
He brings low, He also exalts.
1 Samuel 2:8 “He raises the poor from the dust,
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with nobles,
And inherit a seat of honor;
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S,
And He set the world on them.
1 Samuel 2:9 “He keeps the feet of His godly ones,
But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness;
For not by might shall a man prevail.
1 Samuel 2:10 “Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered;
Against them He will thunder in the heavens,
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth;
And He will give strength to His king,
And will exalt the horn of His anointed.”

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1 Samuel 12:24 “Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.
1 Samuel 12:25 “But if you still do wickedly, both you and your king will be swept away.”

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2 Kings 5:7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man is sending word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? But consider now, and see how he is seeking a quarrel against me.”

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2 Chronicles 7:13 “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,
2 Chronicles 7:14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

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Job 1:20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.
Job 1:21 He said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Job 1:22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

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Job 2:10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

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Job 5:17 “Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves,
So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
Job 5:18 “For He inflicts pain, and gives relief;
He wounds, and His hands also heal.
Job 5:19 “From six troubles He will deliver you,
Even in seven evil will not touch you.

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Psalm 37:22 For those blessed by Him will inherit the land,
But those cursed by Him will be cut off.

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Proverbs 3:33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.

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Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be happy,
But in the day of adversity consider–
God has made the one as well as the other
So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.

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Isaiah 45:7 The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the LORD who does all these.

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Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,

For the righteous, God’s day of judgment is “favorable” but for the unrighteous, it means “vengeance.”

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Isaiah 63:4 “For the day of vengeance was in My heart,
And My year of redemption has come.

See note on Isaiah 61:2 above.

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Jeremiah 32:21 ‘You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and with wonders, and with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terror;
Jeremiah 32:22 and gave them this land, which You swore to their forefathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Jeremiah 32:23 ‘They came in and took possession of it, but they did not obey Your voice or walk in Your law; they have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do; therefore You have made all this calamity come upon them.

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Lamentations 3:38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?

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Amos 3:6 If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble?
If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?

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Zechariah 8:14 “For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Just as I purposed to do harm to you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I have not relented,
Zechariah 8:15 so I have again purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear!

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Malachi 2:2 “If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name,” says the LORD of hosts, “then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart.

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Matthew 10:28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

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John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

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Rom 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
Rom 2:2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.
Rom 2:3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?
Rom 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Rom 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
Rom 2:6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:
Rom 2:7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
Rom 2:8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
Rom 2:9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
Rom 2:10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Rom 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.

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Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

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1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,
1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

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1 Thessalonians 2:14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews,
1 Thessalonians 2:15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men,
1 Thessalonians 2:16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.

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1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 5:10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.

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James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

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Related posts:

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Ought

The word “ought” is a wonderful word.  For when we know what we ought to do, we are strengthened to do it.  Though we be tempted not to do it, we can persevere and do what we ought.

Let us meditate on this idea of ought [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Matthew 25:24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.
Matthew 25:25 ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
Matthew 25:26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.
Matthew 25:27 ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.
Matthew 25:28 ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

This is a portion of  parable and you may need to read the fuller context to appreciate the “ought” here.  The point is that the servant had no good excuse for his failure to follow instructions – even though he thought he had an airtight one.

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Luke 17:10 “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'”

We never have a basis for bragging before the Lord.

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Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,

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Romans 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

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1 Corinthians 15:34 Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

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Ephesians 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
Ephesians 6:19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,
Ephesians 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Let the one who speaks in His name do so boldly.

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2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;

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2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you,
2 Thessalonians 3:8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you;
2 Thessalonians 3:9 not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

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1 Timothy 3:14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long;
1 Timothy 3:15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

There was a way that a good Jew ought to act in the time of Moses.  There was also a way that a good disciple ought to act in the time of Paul.  And there is also a way that we ought to act in the day of the Lord.

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1 John 2:4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
1 John 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
1 John 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

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1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

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1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Listening

God made us to listen to Him, for in hearing Him we have life.  We should also be quicker to listen to our fellow man than we are to speak to him.

Consider these verses [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Psalm 81:13 “Oh that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!

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Ecclesiastes 5:1 Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.

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Isaiah 30:30 And the LORD will cause His voice of authority to be heard,
And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger,
And in the flame of a consuming fire
In cloudburst, downpour and hailstones.

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Jeremiah 32:33 “They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.

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Jeremiah 35:13 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Will you not receive instruction by listening to My words?” declares the LORD.

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Matthew 10:27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.

We are listening in our hearts for the whispers of the Lord.

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Luke 10:38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.
Luke 10:39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.
Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”
Luke 10:41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
Luke 10:42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Note that Jesus says listening is “the good part.”

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John 8:43 “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:45 “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
John 8:46 “Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?
John 8:47 “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

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John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

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Hebrews 5:11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

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James 1:19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
James 1:20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

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1 John 2:24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

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We can listen best when we are quiet.  Therefore, consider this related post:  Scriptures on Quietness.

A metaphor for listening to the Lord is “eating” or “partaking” of His words.  Therefore, see the post Scriptures on Eating.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Quietness

Quietness is important to the believer – quietness of life and quietness of heart.  It is in quietness that we are best able to hear the voice of our Lord, for He is gentle and profound.

Therefore, let us think about these verses that speak of quietness that we might practice it [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it
Than a house full of feasting with strife.

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Proverbs 21:9 It is better to live in a corner of a roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

We who seek to be as the bride of Christ should keep quiet, not contentious, hearts before the Man of the house.  See also the reference to Luke 10:38-42 below.

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Ecclesiastes 5:1 Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.

See also Matthew 6:7-8 below.

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Ecclesiastes 9:17 The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.

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Isaiah 30:15 For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,

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Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
Lamentations 3:26 It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the LORD.

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Matthew 6:7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
Matthew 6:8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

The idea here is quite similar to the word picture in Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 above.  Go to Christ in quietness, not in wordiness.

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Matthew 10:27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.

How are we going to hear a whisper if we are not quiet?

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Luke 10:38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.
Luke 10:39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.
Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”
Luke 10:41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
Luke 10:42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Although this passage contains no explicit mention of silence or quietness, it is easy to infer from Mary’s behavior…and noticeably absent from Martha’s.  Consider also the similarity between Martha and the “contentious woman” of Proverbs 21:9 above.

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1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

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Although quietness is itself a virtue, it also supports our ability to do something that pleases the Lord:  Scriptures on Listening.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Strength

These verses have to do with spiritual strength, being spiritual strong.  This is God’s will for us, so the more we know about it, the better.  This not only means meditating on verses that speak to strength and being strong, but also those which reference weakness.

Here then are some verses on the subject [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”

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Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.

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1 Samuel 30:6 Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

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1 Kings 19:8 So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.

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Psalm 29:11 The LORD will give strength to His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace.

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Psalm 119:28 My soul weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word.

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Ecclesiastes 7:19 Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.

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Ecclesiastes 10:17 Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time–for strength and not for drunkenness.

We partake of the word (grace) of God so that we might have strength to do His will.  To consume His word for the blessing it brings without returning to God the blessing of acting on that word is akin to drunkenness.

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Isaiah 30:15 For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,

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Jeremiah 23:14 “Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing:
The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood;
And they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
So that no one has turned back from his wickedness.
All of them have become to Me like Sodom,
And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

This is a misuse of the power to strengthen.  It is strengthening the wrong people for the wrong purpose.

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Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;
Luke 22:32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

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Luke 22:43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.

This is what happened to Jesus when He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was crucified.

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Acts 14:21 After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,
Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

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Acts 15:32 Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message.

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Acts 18:23 And having spent some time there, he left and passed successively through the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

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Acts 20:35 “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “

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Romans 8:26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

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Romans 15:1 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.

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1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

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Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

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Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

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1 Thessalonians 3:1 Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone,
1 Thessalonians 3:2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith,
1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.

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1 Thessalonians 5:14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

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2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

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2 Timothy 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

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Hebrews 12:12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble,

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Hebrews 13:9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.
Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.

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1 Peter 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

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A related post is Scriptures on Strengthening and Encouraging Faith and Hope, which has a slightly more specific focus.

Spiritual strength arises from spiritual sustenance.  Therefore, see Scriptures on Eating (Food) as well as Scriptures on Listening.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Understanding Bible Mysteries

When the Bible speaks  of a mystery, it is speaking of something not understood until God explains it.

For example, consider the closing passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans:

Romans 16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,
Romans 16:26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;
Romans 16:27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.

We can see that Paul is characterizing the Messiah as God’s mystery – something that was written about throughout the Old Testament, but not clearly understood until Jesus came along and demonstrated how all the prophecies were being fulfilled through His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation.

Paul spoke similarly to the Colossians:

Colossians 1:25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God,
Colossians 1:26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,
Colossians 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Again, the prophecies for Messiah were mysteries, hidden until the time for their fulfillment.  With the resurrection of that Messiah, the revelation of those mysteries had begun.  Thus Paul spoke of the apostles as “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1).

As Jesus said:

Luke 12:2 “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

Thus what is hidden by God will be revealed by God.  For every mystery, there awaits a revelation.  And because Christ is the central work of God, that’s why the apostles place so much emphasis on revelations of Him.  See these scriptures:

  • 1 Corinthians 1:7
  • Galatians 1:12
  • Ephesians 1:17
  • Colossians 3:4
  • 2 Timothy 1:8-11
  • 1 Peter 1:7, 13; 4:13; 5:1
  • Revelation 1:1

As Moses had promised at the very beginning of the Scriptures:

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever…

The Bible’s mysteries are all revealed in Christ.  Therefore, if anyone starts talking to you about a Bible mystery that is weird, strange, creepy, etc. – know that he is off track.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Understanding

God wants us to understand.

God wants us to understand Him.

God wants us to understand life.

God wants us to understand what’s important and what’s not.

Here are some verses that speak of understanding [Emphasis added]:

1 Chronicles 12:32 Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.

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2 Chronicles 2:12 Then Huram continued, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has made heaven and earth, who has given King David a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, who will build a house for the LORD and a royal palace for himself.

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Psalm 49:20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding,
Is like the beasts that perish.

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Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.

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Proverbs 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the LORD understand all things.

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Isaiah 1:3 “An ox knows its owner,
And a donkey its master’s manger,
But Israel does not know,
My people do not understand.”

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John 12:16 These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.

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Ephesians 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles–
Ephesians 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you;
Ephesians 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
Ephesians 3:4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

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Ephesians 4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,
Ephesians 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

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Colossians 1:3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Colossians 1:4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;
Colossians 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel
Colossians 1:6 which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth;

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2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

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Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

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James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

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2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

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1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

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Jude 1:10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Worldliness

This post is part of a Series of Posts on Aspects of the World in Which We Find Ourselves.

Here are some verses which speak of that which is of, or like, the world [emphasis added]:

1 Timothy 4:7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

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1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”–

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2 Timothy 2:16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,

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 Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

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Jude 1:19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

How Our Place in the World Is Related to His Place in the World

This post is related to the previous post Scriptures on the Place of the People of God in This World.

The place we have in the world is a function of His place in the world.  As He is despised, so we are despised.  We must love those who hate us, and pray for those who persecute us.

Psalm 69:9 For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

This verse is quoted in Romans 15:3 (see below).

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Matthew 10:25 “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!

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John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

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Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
Romans 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

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Romans 15:3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.”

This verse quotes Psalm 9:9 (see above).  When we side with God, His enemies turn against us.

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Hebrews 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
Hebrews 13:13 So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Hebrews 13:14 For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

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1 John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

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1 John 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

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Series of Posts on Aspects of the World in Which We Find Ourselves

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Christ’s Victory over the World

Previous post related to this subject are:

This post is, specifically, on the victory of Christ over the world.  His love has overcome the world and brought it into subjection.  Therefore, we are in a position to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21), because He has done so in a cosmic and eternal way.  That is, we imitate on a micro basis what He has accomplished on a macro basis.

Here then are some verses which speak of how Christ – and we in His name and through His power – overcome the world [emphasis and comments added]:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Christ overcame the world through love.  His way is the way we should follow.

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John 4:42 and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”

That Christ saves the world through His love (see John 3:16-17 above) earns Him the title of “the Savior of the world.”  See 1 John 4:14 below where this title is also used.

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John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

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2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,
2 Corinthians 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

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1 John 4:4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.
1 John 4:6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

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1 John 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

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1 John 4:14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

See comment on John 4:42 above.

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1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.
1 John 5:5 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

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Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

Could there be a more definitive word on the subject?  And be aware also that this prophecy has long since been fulfilled – see Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again.

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Series of Posts on Aspects of the World in Which We Find Ourselves

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on the World

What people today would call “modernity,” “pop culture,” or some other term, the Bible calls “the world.”  It represents the way of the world that is apart from, and actually against, God.  That is the subject of this post.

A related post – Scriptures on the Place of the People of God in This World – speaks of the polarization between those in the world, and those who resist its influence in order to follow Christ.

Here then are some verses which make explicit reference to the world [emhasis added]:

Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;
Matthew 4:9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'”

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Mark 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

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John 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

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John 8:23 And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.

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John 12:25 “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

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John 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
John 14:17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

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John 14:30 “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;
John 14:31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.

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John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

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John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

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John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

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1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written,
“I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”
1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
1 Corinthians 1:22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
1 Corinthians 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
1 Corinthians 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
1 Corinthians 1:29 so that no man may boast before God.
1 Corinthians 1:30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
1 Corinthians 1:31 so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

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1 Corinthians 4:9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
1 Corinthians 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
1 Corinthians 4:11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;
1 Corinthians 4:12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;
1 Corinthians 4:13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.

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2 Corinthians 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
2 Corinthians 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

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Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

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Hebrews 11:35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection;
Hebrews 11:36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment.
Hebrews 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated
Hebrews 11:38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
Hebrews 11:39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,
Hebrews 11:40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

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James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

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2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.

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1 John 2:15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
1 John 2:17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

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1 John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

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1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.
1 John 5:5 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

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1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

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Jude 1:19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.

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Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

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As mentioned at the beginning of this post, see also Scriptures on the Place of the People of God in This World.

And be sure to know how the tension between us and world is resolved: Scriptures on Christ’s Victory over the World.

Series of Posts on Aspects of the World in Which We Find Ourselves

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Conscience

This post is part of a series of posts on the subject of sin.

In this post are some verses which reference the human conscience, so important in a right relationship with God [emphasis and comments added]:

Romans 2:14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
Romans 2:15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
Romans 2:16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

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1 Corinthians 4:4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.

Technically speaking, of course, the word in bold is not “conscience” – but the idea is the same.

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Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.
Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

That is, both their thinking and their sense of right and wrong are impure – and therefore unreliable.  Therefore, “blessed are the pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8), and cursed are impure in heart.  See James 4:8 for an exhortation to the impure of heart.

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Hebrews 5:11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Hebrews 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Conscience is our “sense of good and evil.”

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Hebrews 10:2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?

The Greek word translated as “consciousness” in this verse (Strong’s Greek 4893 suneidêsis), is elsewhere in the NASB New Testament translated 24 times as “conscience,” 4 times as “conscience’,” 1 time as “consciences,” and this 1 time as “consciousness.”

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Scriptures on Condemnation

This post is part of a series of posts on the subject of sin.

In this post are some verses about condemnation and related topics [emphasis and comments added]:

Romans 2:14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
Romans 2:15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
Romans 2:16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

The word in this verse is “accusing” but conveys the same idea as “condemning.”  When we act according to the dictates of conscience, it defends us.  When we act contrary to what it is saying to us, it accuses – or condemns – us.  With regard to this, see 1 John 3:18-22 for the right way to deal with accusations from conscience.

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Romans 14:22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

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1 Timothy 5:11 But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married,
1 Timothy 5:12 thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge.

Paul is not saying that these widows are incuring condemnation because they are wanting to re-marry.  Rather, they are incurring condemnation because they are violating a pledge they made not to re-marry.  The passage offers no more information than this.  What we can take away is the principle that if we make a promise, we become obligated to keep it.  The making of  promise is no small thing, which is why Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that we should be careful about anything we promise (Matthew 5:33-37).

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1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
1 John 3:19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him
1 John 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
1 John 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

Sometimes we think it’s God condemning us when it’s really our own conscience that is doing so.  This is why it’s so important to confess our sins to God and believe that He forgives us – that is, our faith in His promise to forgive is what cleanses our conscience of the condemnation.  See 1 John 1:9.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Scriptures on the Slavery of Sin

This post is part of a series of posts on the subject of sin.

This post includes verses which speak of the enslavement that sin brings [emphasis and comments added]:

Proverbs 5:21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD,
And He watches all his paths.
Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
And he will be held with the cords of his sin.
Proverbs 5:23 He will die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

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Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
Romans 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
Romans 6:7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
Romans 6:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
Romans 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.
Romans 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Romans 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
Romans 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
Romans 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Romans 6:19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
Romans 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
Romans 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
Romans 6:22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I’ve reproduced the entire sixth chapter of Romans in order to provide the context for these numerous references to the slavery of sin.

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Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

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2 Timothy 2:24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,
2 Timothy 2:25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
2 Timothy 2:26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

Spiritual Senses in the Book of Hebrews

Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

This verse is obviously not talking about the five physical senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling).  Rather, it refers to spiritual senses.  At various places in this epistle we can see references to spiritual senses which correspond to our physical senses.  Here are some of them [emphasis added, along with occasional comments]:

SIGHT

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

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Hebrews 11:27 …he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.

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Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…

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SOUND

Hebrews 3:7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,
“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,

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Hebrews 3:15 while it is said,
“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME.”

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Hebrews 4:7 He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.”

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Hebrews 5:11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

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TASTE

Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

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Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Hebrews 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

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Hebrews 6:4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
Hebrews 6:5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,

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Hebrews 13:9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.
Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.

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TOUCH

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

“Coming to,” “receiving,” and “finding” all imply a “touching” or “coming in contact with.”

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Hebrews 12:18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,
Hebrews 12:19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.
Hebrews 12:20 For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.”
Hebrews 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.”
Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
Hebrews 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
Hebrews 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

Under the Old Covenant the “touching” had to do with a physical mountain; under the New Covenant it would have to do with spiritual mountain.

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SMELL

Although I can point to no specific verse in Hebrews which explicitly refers to “smelling” in a spiritual sense, it is a concept alluded to throughout the book.  I say this because of the frequent reference to sacrifice – both the prior Mosaic form and the new spiritual form through Jesus Christ.  The Old Testament made frequent references to the “aroma” or “fragrance” of a sacrifice which was well-pleasing to God.  Thus the references to sacrifice – especially ones to the great and perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ – allude to spiritual smell.  Such a reference to the smell of spiritual sacrifice is made in explicit terms by the apostles Paul (2 Corinthians 2:14, 16; Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 4:18) – the man deemed either the author of Hebrews, an associate of the author of Hebrews, or the inspiration for the author of Hebrews by a significant number of scholars over the centuries.

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Perhaps you can find other mentions of or allusions to spiritual senses in Hebrews…or elsewhere in the Bible.

I’m not suggesting that we seek a rigid parallelism between a physical sense and its corresponding spiritual sense.  I am suggesting that we should recognize that as our bodies have the ability to sense, so also do our spirits.  Growing in our understanding and use of our spiritual sensory abilities is part and parcel of our maturation as disciples of Christ and sons of God.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Significant Statements About Spirit

This post is part of a series of posts On Becoming Spiritual.  

Here are some other phrasings involving the word “spirit” that are worth studying (in addition to the ones already identified in the list found at the end of On Becoming Spiritual).  They can be searched at BibleGateway.com.  After each, I have listed the number of occurrences of that phrase according to that site’s search engine.

Luke 24:39 “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

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John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

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John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

God is spirit.

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John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

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1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels has He ever said,
“SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES
A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET”?
Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

Angels are spirits.

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Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

It’s not easy to separate or distinguish soul from spirit.

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James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

We are spirit and we shall one day be separated from this body (that is, we shall die).

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For more on spirituality, see On Becoming Spiritual.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Other Phrasings Involving the Word “Spirit”

This post is part of a series of posts On Becoming Spiritual.  

Here are some other phrasings involving the word “spirit” that are worth studying (in addition to the ones already identified in the list found at the end of On Becoming Spiritual).  They can be searched at BibleGateway.com.  After each, I have listed the number of occurrences of that phrase according to that site’s search engine.

according to the spirit”  (4)

in the spirit”  (20)  –  will include “how does David in the spirit call Him” and “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day”

of the spirit”  (36)

on the spirit”  (1)

spirits of”  (11)  –  will include “spirits of the righteous” and “spirits of the prophets”

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For more on spirituality, see On Becoming Spiritual.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Word “Spirit” in a List

This post is part of a series of posts On Becoming Spiritual.  

Sometimes the word “spirit” shows up in a context where it is described as part of a set or list (that is, two or more items).  This helps draw out its meaning.  Here are some examples.  Note only have I made bold the word “spirit” where it appears, but also the other item or items that are considered along with it.

Acts 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.
Acts 23:9 And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”

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1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
1 Corinthians 14:15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also.

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1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
2 Thessalonians 2:2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

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Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

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For more on spirituality, see On Becoming Spiritual.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Spiritual Wisdom v. Worldly Wisdom

In this  post are portions of Scripture which speak of two different kinds of wisdom: that which is from God and that which is from the world.  I made references to the wisdom of the world bold, and references to the wisdom of God italicized bold.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written,
“I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”
1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
1 Corinthians 1:22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
1 Corinthians 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
1 Corinthians 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
1 Corinthians 1:29 so that no man may boast before God.
1 Corinthians 1:30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
1 Corinthians 1:31 so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

1 Corinthians 2:1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,
1 Corinthians 2:4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1 Corinthians 2:5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
1 Corinthians  2:7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;
1 Corinthians 2:8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
1 Corinthians  2:9 but just as it is written,
“THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
1 Corinthians 2:10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians  2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
1 Corinthians 2:13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
1 Corinthians  2:15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.
1 Corinthians 2:16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,
1 Corinthians 3:3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
1 Corinthians 3:4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?
1 Corinthians  3:5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
1 Corinthians 3:11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
1 Corinthians 3:13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
1 Corinthians  3:14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
1 Corinthians 3:15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Corinthians  3:17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS“;
1 Corinthians  3:20 and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.”
1 Corinthians 3:21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you,
1 Corinthians 3:22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you,
1 Corinthians 3:23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.

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2 Corinthians 1:12 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

Neither the word “spiritual” nor any of its cognates appear in this verse, but it is undeniable that its meaning is there.

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James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
James 3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.
James 3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.
James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
James 3:18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

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For more on spirituality, see On Becoming Spiritual.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Synonyms for the Human Spirit

The Bible refers to the human spirit in a variety of ways.  Of coure, foremost among these is “spirit” itself.  Here are some of the others [emphasis added]:

Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

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Psalm 77:6 I will remember my song in the night;
I will meditate with my heart,
And my spirit ponders:

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Isaiah 57:16 “For I will not contend forever,
Nor will I always be angry;
For the spirit would grow faint before Me,
And the breath of those whom I have made.

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2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

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1 Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

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For more on spirituality, see On Becoming Spiritual.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Contrasting Spirit, Spiritual, and Spiritually

This post is part of a series of posts On Becoming Spiritual.  

The words spirit, spiritual, and spiritually are often presented in contrast with other terms in the Bible.  These contrasts help us better understand these three cognates.

Keep in mind that while a contrast does not always imply opposites, it always implies some sort of distinguishing.

Here are some of the contrasts:

absent in body v. present in spirit  –  1 Corinthians 5:3 (see also Colossians 2:5)

according to the flesh v. according to the spirit  –  Roman 8:4-5

by human wisdom v. by the Spirit  –  1 Corinthans 2:13

body v. spirit  –  Romans 8:10; 1 Corinthians 7:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; James 2:26

flesh v. spirit  –  2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 3:18

in person v. in spirit  –  1 Thessalonians 2:17

in the flesh v. in the spirit  –  Romans 8:9; Philippians 3:3

natural(ly) v. spiritually  –  1 Corinthians 2:14

natural body v. spiritual body  –  1 Corinthians 15:44

on the flesh v. on the spirit  –  Romans 86

soul v. spirit  –  1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12

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For more on the general idea of contrasts, see Clarity Through Contrast.

For more on spirituality, see On Becoming Spiritual.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Understanding [Blank] in Spirit

The phrasing “[blank] in spirit” occurs 20 times in the Bible according to the search function in BibleGateway.com.  Practically all of them are listed below.

crushed in spirit  –  Psalm 34:18

fervent in spirit  –  Acts 18:25; Romans 12:11

grieved in spirit  –  Isaiah 54:6

humble in spirit  –  Proverbs 16:19; 1 Peter 3:8

moved in spirit  –  John 11:33

oppressed in spirit  –  1 Samuel 1:15

poor in spirit  –  Matthew 5:3

present in spirit  –  1 Corinthians 5:3

stagnant in spirit  –  Zephaniah 1:12

strong in spirit  –  Luke 1:80

troubled in spirit  –  John 13:21

united in spirit  –  Philippians 2:2

worship in spirit  –  John 4:24

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This post is part of a series of posts On Becoming Spiritual.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Understanding [Blank] Spirit

In the Scriptures, a modifier may be placed before the word “spirit” to further delineate which, or what kind of, spirit is in view.  Here are some examples, followed by the number of times such a phrase occurs, and some specific places in Scripture where such phrasing may be found:

broken spirit  –  (4)  Psalm 51:17; Proverbs 17:22; 18:14; Isaiah 65:14

cool spirit  –  (1)  Proverbs 17:27

deaf spirit  –  Mark 9:25*

deceitful spirits  –  (1)  1 Timothy 4:1

deceiving spirit  –  (4)  1 Kings 22:22, 23; 2 Chronicles 18:21

departed spirits  –  (4)  Job 26:5; Psalm 88:10; Isaiah 26:14, 19

different spirit  –  (2)  Numbers 14:24; 2 Corinthians 11:4

divine spirit  –  (1)  Genesis 41:38

eternal Spirit  –  (1)  Hebrews9:14

every spirit  –  (5)  Ezekiel 21:7; 1 John 4:1, 2, 3

evil spirit(s) –  (13) 1 Samel 16:14; Acts 19:12-16

extraordinary spirit  –  (2)  Daniel 5:12; 6:3

four spirits  –  (1)  Zechariah 6:5

gentle spirit  –  1 Peter 3:4*

good Spirit –  (2)  Nehemiah 9:20; Psalm 143:10

haughty spirit  –  (1)  Proverbs 16:18

high spirits  –  (1)  Judges 16:25

Holy Spirit  –  (93)  Psalm 51:11; Luke 11:13

humble spirit  –  (1)  Proverbs 29:23

kindred spirit  –  (1)  Philippians 2:20

life-giving spirit  –  (1)  1 Corinthians 15:45

ministering spirits  –  (1)  Hebrews 1:14

mute spirit  –  (1)  Mark 9:25

new spirit  –  (3)  Ezekiel 11:19; 18:31; 36:26

no spirit  –  (1)  Joshua 5:1

no more spirit  –  (1)  1 Kings 10:5

one spirit  –  (6)  1 Corinthians 6:17; 1 Corinthians 12:9; Philippians 1:27

other spirits  –  (2)  Matthew 12:45; 11:26

quiet spirit  –  (1) 1 Peter 3:4

same spirit  –  (8)  2 Corinthians 4:13; 12:18

seven Spirits  – (4)  Revelation 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6

steadfast spirit  –  (1)  Psalm 51:10

unclean spirit(s)  –  (23)  Zechariah 13:2; Matthew 12:43

willing spirit  –  (1)  Psalm 51:12

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* The actual expression is “xxxxx and yyyyy spirit” where this occurrence falls into the first place (xxxxx).

This post is part of a series of posts On Becoming Spiritual.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Scriptures on Strengthening and Encouraging Faith and Hope

The verses in this list speak of either strengthening, encouraging, or otherwise helping someone’s faith or hope.  Think of the subject as being the care and feeding of faith, or the care and feeding of hope.  Here then is the list [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Romans 1:11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established;
Romans 1:12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Paul expected not only to encourage the faith of others, but to be encouraged himself by their faith.  He spoke of this dynamic in 1 Thessalonians 3:1-10 (see below) also.

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Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

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1 Thessalonians  3:1 Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone,
1 Thessalonians  3:2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith,
1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.
1 Thessalonians  3:4 For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.
1 Thessalonians  3:5 For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
1 Thessalonians 3:6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you,
1 Thessalonians 3:7 for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith;
1 Thessalonians 3:8 for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 3:9 For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account,
1 Thessalonians  3:10 as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith?

Note that Paul sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage the Thessalonians regarding their faith, and also that Paul himself was “comforted” (similar in meaning to encouraged and strengthened) by their faith.  Paul also spoke of this two-way dynamic in Romans 1:11-12 (see above).

In verse 10, Paul is speaking of helping the Thessalonians faith in some unspecified way.

The most important idea to grasp is that if faith can be strengthened and encouraged, then it is obviously subject to weakening and discouragement.  Therefore, nurture your faith, and nurture the faith of others.

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A related post is Scriptures on Strength.

Other related posts are Scriptures on Faith and xScriptures on Hope in God.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures that Distinguish Faith and Hope

Faith and hope are related concepts,but they are not the same thing.  Faith has to do with what is; hope has to do with what is to come.  That is, faith has to do with the present, while hope has to do with the future.

The following verses distinguish faith and hope:

Psalm 39:7 “And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in You.

Hope and waiting go hand in hand.

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Psalm 62:5 My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.

As with Psalm 39:7, “hoping in” the Lord and “waiting on” the Lord can be considered synonymous phrases – specifically, when the waiting is done expectantly, eagerly.

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Psalm 130:1 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD.
Psalm 130:2 Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
Psalm 130:3 If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
Psalm 130:4 But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
Psalm 130:6 My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
Psalm 130:7 O Israel, hope in the LORD;
For with the LORD there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
Psalm 130:8 And He will redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.

This is the entire psalm.  Note the orientation of hope in verses 5-8, which is to the future.  By comparision, faith is basis upon which such thoughts are directed to the Lord.  That is, the psalmist’s hope in God rests upon his faith in God.

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Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

In this verse, hope is clearly associated with the future – whether immediate or distant.

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Romans 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

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Romans 15:22 For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you;
Romans 15:23 but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you
Romans 15:24 whenever I go to Spain–for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while–

In this passage, Paul is using the word “hope” with reference to something other than direct reference to God.  In it, we can see hope’s future orientation.  As Paul wrote in Romans 8:24-25, we hope for that which do not yet see.  At the time of his writing to the Romans, Paul was not seeing the Romans – he was hoping to see them.  In the future.

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1 Corinthians 13:7 [Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

If believing and hoping can be written about in this way, they are obviously not identical.

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1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Faith can no more be the same as hope as it can be the same as love.  Therefore, faith, hope, and love are related – but distinguishable.

Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.

As with Romans 8:24-25, because hope is future-oriented, it is something for which we wait.

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Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

This sentence demonstrates that faith and hope cannot be the same concept.  Otherwise, it would be synonymous with “faith is the assurance of things one has faith in” – which would be a circular, confusing, and meaningless statement.

“Now” and “is” indicate the present-tense nature of faith.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Faith and Love

Here are some verses where the concepts of faith ahd love both appear:

1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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1 Thessalonians 1:3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,

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1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Totality of God’s Redemption

God’s plan through Jesus Christ was to redeem every single aspect of life.  There is no human activity that is not covered.  The scope of His salvation is the scope of our existence.  Therefore, His interest in our lives is complete, comprehensive, all-encompassing – in a word, total.

Here are some verses indicating just that point [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

The reason that “there will be no end to the increase of His government” is that there is no sphere over life to which His dominion does not apply, no aspect of life which is off limits to His authority.

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1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.

Does this leave anything for us to do that is not to be done in love?  Does not “all” cover everything we do?

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2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Which thoughts then are not to be taken captive to the obedience of Christ?

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Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Does this leave anything for us to do that is not in the name of Jesus?  Therefore, His name sanctifies the entirety of our lives.

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Colossians 3:22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

In Paul’s mind, every duty of a slave could be done ultimately for the Lord rather than merely for the human master.  If a slave’s salvation was this full, can ours be any less so?

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1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
1 Peter 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
1 Peter 1:16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

Such an instruction – “in all your behavior” – leaves no room, of course, for behavior that is not to be holy.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Biblical Words and Expressions Having to Do with Knowledge

Knowledge is an important idea in the Bible.  It is referenced in the Bible by a number of different words and expressions, including their negation.  That is, “ignorance” is the opposite of knowledge – and thus speaks to the subject of knowledge.  Of course, the most important knowledge of all is the knowledge between God and us – that is, God’s knowledge of us and our knowledge of Him.

Here then are some of the words that the Bible uses to convey the idea of knowledge, the number of times the word or phrase occurs, and some examples of their occurrence.

Acknowledge

acknowledge  –  (19)  Romans 1:28

not acknowledge  –  (2)  Deuteronomy 33:9; 2 John 1:7

Aware

aware  –  (21)  Luke 9:11

not aware  –  (3)  1 Samuel 20:39

unaware  –  (10)  Luke 11:44

Conscious

conscious  (4)  Job 10:15; John 6:61; 1 Corinthians 4:4

consciousness  (1)  –  Hebrews 10:22

Ignorant

ignorance  –  (7)  Ephesians 4:18

ignorant  –  (6)  Hebrews 5:2

ignore  –  (3) Proverbs 10:17

Informed

inform  –  (26)

information  –  (2)  Ezekiel 24:26; Colossians 4:6

informed  –  (13)  1 Corinthians 1:11; 10:28; Colossians 1:18

uninformed  –  (2)  Romans 11:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:13

Know**

knew  –  (70)  Romans 1:21

know  –  (1,324)  Daniel 11:32; Romans 7:7; Hebrews 8:11; James 4:17

not know  –  (257)  Genesis 28:16; Judges 16:20; Jeremiah 2:8

known  –  (207)  Matthew 10:26; 12:33; 24:43; 2 Peter 2:21

not known  –  (30)  John 17:25

knowing  –  (51)  2 Timothy 2:23; 3:14

not knowing  –  (5)  Acts 5:7; Hebrews 11:8

without knowing  –  (1)  Hebrews 13:2

knowledge  –  (153)  1 Chronicles 12:32; 2 Peter 2:20; 3:18

no knowledge  –  (6)  2 Peter 2:12

without knowledge  –  (6)  Job 38:2; 42:3; Proverbs 19:2

Perceive***

perceive  –  (23)  2 Samuel 12:19

not perceive  –  (8)

Recognize

recognize  –  (46)  James 2:20

not recognize  –  (14)  Matthew 17:12; Luke 19:44

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* These numbers come from the search function at BibleGateway.com.  Be aware that a search of, for example, “know” will include all occurrences of “not know.”  That is, the “not know” count is a subset of the “know” count.  Likewise, occurrences of “knowledge” will show up under the search for “know.” Therefore, there is redundancy in the numbers, and they cannot be totaled as if they were mutually exclusive.  Be aware also that BibleGateway counts the occurrences in the headings even though they are not part of biblical text.  For this reason, the counts will not match exactly to the Lockman Foundation search function (which does not allow quote marks).  Lastly, keep in mind that the NASB – like any English Bible – is a translation.  In light of these points, all numbers in this post should be considered approximations of the actual text.

** Neither this section nor the others include longer phrases such as “not to have known” in 2 Peter 2:21 where the negative modifier is not immediately adjacent to the word in focus.

*** “perceive” is sometimes used in the sense of “know” and sometimes used in the sense of “understand.”

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Being Known by God

God, because He is God, knows everything.  There is, however, a sense in which the word “know” is used that implies intimacy and particular knowledge.  In the verses listed below, that special knowledge of God is referenced.  In the verses below, I’ve used bold print to emphasize the key phrase, and italicized bold when the phrase is negative or contrary to the idea of God knowing the person involved.

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
Psalm 139:24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

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Matthew 7:23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

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John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

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1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

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Galatians 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

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2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Giving Money to the Poor and to the Gospel

Throughout the New Testament, we see evidence that those who followed Christ gave materially to the poor and to those who preached the gospel.  We today in the kingdom of God should do the same.

That we should give to the poor is the more obvious biblical truth.  And there are many scriptures from both the apostles and the prophets to confirm this.  That we should give to those who preach the gospel is slightly less obvious, but confirmed in Scripture as well.

I want to make clear my support of giving financially to those who preach the gospel.  I take pains to do this because otherwise some people might believe I do not support this idea.  There would be two reason someone might think that I don’t support making financial contributions to gospel ministers.

First, I do not support churchgoing.  That I do not is abundantly clear from A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom, and posts such as Seeking the Kingdom of God Instead of Church and Church Is Not the Answer; Christ Is.  Because I don’t support church, some might think I don’t support the idea of preachers of Christ receiving financial aid.  I do.  Very strongly.  I hope you will support those who preach Christ, for Christ is the light of the world.  The more He is preached, the better off will be the inhabitants of the world.  Those who preach Him and don’t siphon off your devotion to church or themselves deserve financial support.  Therefore, while I don’t believe in supporting church, I strongly believe in supporting those who preach Christ faithfully and preach Him alone.

Second, I do not receive offerings for myself.  I make that clear in the About section of this blog.  However, just because I don’t receive financial contributions does not mean I do not want you to give to others.  On the contrary, I hope you will materially support those who preach Christ.  Those ministers who choose to preach Christ instead of church will lose their financial support from the church.  Therefore, you can help them continue to preach Christ even if that happens.  Do not worry about a tax deduction.    Giving to a charity for the poor often means giving to a tax-exempt organization.  However, giving to someone who preaches Christ without the encumbrance of church will often mean giving to an individual and foregoing the charitable deduction on your taxes.  (I’m speaking, of course, primarily to Americans.)  Churches will not contine to pay ministers who do not preach the necessity of church involvement.  Therefore, do not give to me, but do be generous with others who preach Christ alone.

To sum up, do not give money to church and do not give money to me.  However, do give money to those who are faithfully preaching our Lord Jesus Christ that they may do so from the best of their labor rather than from what is leftover after their labor.

Here are some scripture verses to help you better appreciate the importance and value of ministering financially to those who minister the true gospel:

Romans 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
Romans 15:27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.

In this passage we see the motive for giving being twofold:  because of poverty and because of preaching the gospel.  That is, the saints in Jerusalem were deserving of help from other churches because 1) the saints in Jerusalem were poor, and 2) the saints in Jerusalem had preached the gospel such that other churches were formed.

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1 Corinthians 9:14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

Those who preach the gospel of Christ are worthy to receive support.

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Galatians 6:6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
Galatians 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Galatians 6:10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Note especially the first verse.

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1 Timothy 5:18 For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Fearlessness

The true disciples of Jesus Christ, when they are fully trained, become fearless because He was fearless (Luke 6:40).  Here are some verses which help us to meditate on the fearlessness that Christ practiced and that He commands [emphasis, and occasionally comments, added]:

Matthew 25:24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.
Matthew 25:25 ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
Matthew 25:26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.
Matthew 25:27 ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.
Matthew 25:28 ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

Note that the master in this parable does not see the servant’s fear as a reasonable excuse but rather as part and parcel of the failure.

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John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

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Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Note that Paul is making no allowance for fear whatsoever: “Be anxious FOR NOTHING…”  That doesn’t leave any room for any fear.  That’s being fearless.

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1 Peter 3:5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;
1 Peter 3:6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

Peter makes no allowance for fear.  He wants to see it all driven away, as you will see again in 1 Peter 5:7 (that is, later in this same letter).  Peter was one who ought to know the negative effects of fear as it caused him to sink when he was walking on water (Matthew 14:28-30) and to deny Jesus the night before He was crucified (Matthew 26:33-35, 69-75).  Knowing the debilitating effects of fear, Peter wanted those he taught to learn from his mistakes and avoid it.

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1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Notice that it’s not some of our anxiety that we can and should cast upon Him, but rather all of it.

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1 John 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

The presence of fear anywhere in our hearts is a sign that love has not yet taken dominion.  Let us let His love displace all fear within us.

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Revelation 21:8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Cowardice and unbelief go hand in hand.  A believer, by contrast, should be courageous.

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Other virtues of Christ, such as courage and zeal, are listed in this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Courage

The true disciples of Jesus Christ, when they are fully trained, become courageous because He was courageous (Luke 6:40).  As part of this study, we are including references to “encourage” and its cognates since they mean to “give courage.”

Here then are some verses which help us to meditate on the courage that Christ demonstrated for us and that He wants to see us demonstrate [emphasis, and occasionally comments, added]:

Joshua 1:5 “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.
Joshua 1:6 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.
Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

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Acts 23:11 But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.”

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Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

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2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord–
2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight–
2 Corinthians 5:8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

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Philippians 1:12 Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,
Philippians 1:13 so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else,
Philippians 1:14 and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.

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1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

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1 Thessalonians 5:14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

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Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

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Hebrews 6:17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath,
Hebrews 6:18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

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Other virtues of Christ, such as fearlessness and zeal, are listed in this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Believing-Unbelieving Continuum

Let us draw a continuum to help us understand faith.

On the right end of this continuum we can place faith.

On the left end of this continuum we can place unbelief.

The middle of the continuum would therefore be occupied by doubt.  Doubt is uncertainty.  It a wavering between faith and unbelief.  It is therefore double-mindedness.  It refuses to make a choice…and therefore never arrives at faith.

Here’s some more detail:

Left side:  Unbelief  

Related words include belligerence, hardness of heart, hostility, rebellion, and rejection.

Middle:  Doubt

Related words include hesitating, uncertain, and wavering.

Right side:  Faith

Related words include acceptance and trust.

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See also:

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

What Is of Faith, and What Is Not of Faith

Faith (including its cognates and synonyms, such as belief and trust) is accompanied by certain characteristics and not others.  What follows are examples of each.

Words That Fit with Faith

Assurance, Assured  –  Romans 4:21; Hebrews 10:22; 11:1

Boldness  –  Ephesians 3:12

Certain, Certainly  –  Acts 24:14-15; 1 Corinthians 14:24-25; 2 Peter 1:10-11

Composed, Composure  –  2 Thessalonians 2:2

Confidence, Confident  –  Acts, 4:13, 29; Ephesians 3:12; 1 Timothy 3:13; Hebrews 4:16

Convicted, Conviction  –  Romans 14:22-23; 1 Corinthians 14:24-25; Hebrews 11:1

Convinced  –  Romans 14:5; 2 Timothy 1:12

Established  –  Colossians 1:23

Firm, Firmly  –  1 Corinthians 16:13; Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 3:6; 1 Peter 5:9

Immovable  –  Colossians 1:23

Not Moved  –  Colossians 1:23

Not Shaken  –  2 Thessalonians 2:2

Overcoming  –  1 John 5:4-5

Persuaded  –  Luke 16:31; Acts 17:4; 19:26; 28:24

Stability, Stable  –  Colossians 2:5

Steadfast  –  Hebrews 6:19

Sure  –  Hebrews 6:19

Unwavering  –  James 1:5-8; 3:17

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Words That Do Not Fit with Faith

Afraid  –  Mark 4:40

Cowardly  –  Revelation 21:8

Double-minded  –  James 1:5-8

Doubt, Doubting  –  James 1:5-8

Fearful  –  Luke 8:25

Hesitate  –  1 Kings 18:21

Overcome  –  2 Peter 2:20

Shaken  –  2 Thessalonians 2:2

Timid  –  Mark 4:40 (NASB 1973)

Uncertain  –  1 Corinthians 9:26 (KJV); 14:8 (KJV)

Unstable  –  James 1:5-8

Unsure  –  inferred from Hebrews 6:19

Waver, Wavering  –  Romans 4:20; James 1:5-8 (KJV)

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For more on faith, see Scriptures on Faith.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Scriptures on Righteousness

Jesus Christ is righteous.  And He power, as it works within us, makes us righteous.  Here are some verses of Scripture to ponder with regard to righteousness [emphasis added]:

Matthew 3:14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”
Matthew 3:15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him.

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Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

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Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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Matthew 5:20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

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Matthew 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

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Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

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John 7:18 “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

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Romans 7:12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

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2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

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Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Hebrews 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

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Other virtues of Christ, such as godliness and righteousness, are listed in this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Holiness

Jesus Christ is holy.  And through Him, we can be holy.

Be aware that holy, holiness, saint, sanctify, and sanctification are all cognates in the orginal language.

Here are some scriptures to help you think about that [emphasis added]:

Romans 7:12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

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Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

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1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
1 Peter 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
1 Peter 1:16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

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1 Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 2:10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

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Other virtues of Christ, such as godliness and righteousness, are listed in this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Obedience

Here are verses which speak of obedience.  Included are references to disobedience, for the clarity of contrast.  As you read and ponder this list of verses, think about how Jesus set an example of obedience for us [emphasis, and occasionally comments, added]:

Genesis 49:10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Of course, this verse prophesies Jesus.

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Luke 1:17 “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

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Luke 6:46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

While this verse does not contain the word “obedience” or any of its cognates, it nonetheless defines the essence of obedience.

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John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

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Romans 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Romans 1:2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
Romans 1:3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,
Romans 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
Romans 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake,

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Romans 2:7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
Romans 2:8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

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Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
Romans 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
Romans 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Everyone is obeying.  We’re either obeying God or we’re obeying our lusts.

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Romans 10:21 But as for Israel He says, “ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.”

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Romans 16:19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.

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Romans 16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,
Romans 16:26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;
Romans 16:27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.

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2 Corinthians 9:13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,

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2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
2 Corinthians 10:6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

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Galatians 5:7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?

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2 Thessalonians 1:8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

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Hebrews 5:9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
Hebrews 5:10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

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1 Peter 1:2 …to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood…

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1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
1 Peter 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
1 Peter 1:16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

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1 Peter 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
1 Peter 1:23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

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1 Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

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1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
1 Peter 3:2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
1 Peter 3:3 Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
1 Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
1 Peter 3:5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;
1 Peter 3:6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

When I read this passage I most focused on what it can teach us about being submissive to Christ and obeying Him.

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Other virtues of Christ, such as diligence and discipline, are listed in this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Steadfastness

[Emphasis added]:

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

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Colossians 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Colossians 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

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2 Thessalonians 3:5 May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

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Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,
Hebrews 6:20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

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2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,
2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

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Steadfastness is but one of the virtues of Jesus Christ.  Here are others.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Endurance

[Emphasis, and occasionally comments, added]:

1 Corinthians 4:12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;

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1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
1 Corinthians 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
1 Corinthians 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
1 Corinthians 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

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Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

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Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
Hebrews 11:25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
Hebrews 11:26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
Hebrews 11:27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.

Of course, Moses was not just a great man of God.  He was a type of Christ.  He therefore foreshadows the great endurance we see practiced by Jesus our Lord.

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Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
James 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
James 1:8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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James 5:10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
James 5:11 We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

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Endurance is but one of the virtues of Jesus Christ.  Here are others.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Truth v. Lies

“Truth” (including its cognates and synonyms) is shown in bold, while “lie” (including its cognates and synonyms) is shown in italicized bold.

Proverbs 11:18 The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.

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Proverbs 12:17 He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.

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Proverbs 12:19 Truthful lips will be established forever,
But a lying tongue is only for a moment.

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Proverbs 14:25 A truthful witness saves lives,
But he who utters lies is treacherous.

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Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

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Jeremiah 9:3 “They bend their tongue like their bow;
Lies and not truth prevail in the land;
For they proceed from evil to evil,
And they do not know Me,” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 9:4 “Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor,
And do not trust any brother;
Because every brother deals craftily,
And every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
Jeremiah 9:5 “Everyone deceives his neighbor
And does not speak the truth,
They have taught their tongue to speak lies;
They weary themselves committing iniquity.

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Jeremiah 28:15 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie.

To trust in a lie is tragic; to trust in the truth is salvation.

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John 8:43 “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:45 “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
John 8:46 “Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?
John 8:47 “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

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Romans 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

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Romans 3:4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,
“THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS,
AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.”
Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)
Romans 3:6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?
Romans 3:7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?

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Romans 9:1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,

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2 Corinthians 6:8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true;

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Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

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2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
2 Thessalonians 2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

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1 Timothy 2:7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

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1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
1 Timothy 4:2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
1 Timothy 4:3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

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James 3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

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1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

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1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

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1 John 2:4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

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1 John 2:21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.

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1 John 2:27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

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See also:

And for other contrasts in the Scripture, see:  Clarity Through Contrast

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Human Will

The following scripture verses mention, or allude to, the human will [emphasis added]:

Genesis 24:5 The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman is not willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land from where you came?”
Genesis 24:6 Then Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there!
Genesis 24:7 “The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there.
Genesis 24:8 “But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this my oath; only do not take my son back there.”

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Exodus 2:21 Moses was willing to dwell with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses.

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Exodus 10:27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go.

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Exodus 35:5 ‘Take from among you a contribution to the LORD; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the LORD’S contribution: gold, silver, and bronze,

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Leviticus 26:21 ‘If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins.

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Deuteronomy 1:26 “Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God;

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2 Samuel 6:10 And David was unwilling to move the ark of the LORD into the city of David with him; but David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.

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2 Samuel 12:4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man,
And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd,
To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him;
Rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

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2 Kings 6:3 Then one said, “Please be willing to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I shall go.”

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1 Chronicles 28:9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.

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1 Chronicles 28:21 “Now behold, there are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God, and every willing man of any skill will be with you in all the work for all kinds of service. The officials also and all the people will be entirely at your command.”

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1 Chronicles 29:17 “Since I know, O my God, that You try the heart and delight in uprightness, I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to You.

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Ezra 7:13 I have issued a decree that any of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my kingdom who are willing to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.

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Psalm 54:6 Willingly I will sacrifice to You;
I will give thanks to Your name, O LORD, for it is good.

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Isaiah 1:19 “If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;

The King James Version of this verse renders the phrase for “consent and obey” as “willing and obedient.”

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Isaiah 30:15 For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,

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Isaiah 42:24 Who gave Jacob up for spoil, and Israel to plunderers?
Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned,
And in whose ways they were not willing to walk,
And whose law they did not obey?

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Ezekiel 3:5 “For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel,
Ezekiel 3:6 nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you;
Ezekiel 3:7 yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate.

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Ezekiel 20:8 “But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.

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Matthew 8:2 And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
Matthew 8:3 Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

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Matthew 11:14 “And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.

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Matthew 18:30 “But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.

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Matthew 21:28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’
Matthew 21:29 “And he answered, ‘I will not‘; but afterward he regretted it and went.
Matthew 21:30 “The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go.
Matthew 21:31 “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They *said, “The first.” Jesus *said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.
Matthew 21:32 “For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.

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Matthew 22:3 “And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.

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Matthew 23:4 “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

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Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

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Matthew 26:15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.

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Matthew 26:41 “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

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Matthew 27:34 they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.

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Mark 6:26 And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her.

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Luke 15:28 “But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.

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Luke 18:4 “For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man,
Luke 18:5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'”

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Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

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John 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
John 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

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John 5:35 “He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

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John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;
John 5:40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

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John 7:1 After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.

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John 7:17 “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.

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Acts 7:39 “Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt,

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Acts 18:15 but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling to be a judge of these matters.”

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Acts 25:9 But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me on these charges?”

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Acts 26:5 since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.

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Acts 28:18 “And when they had examined me, they were willing to release me because there was no ground for putting me to death.

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Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

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2 Corinthians 9:7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

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Ephesians 6:7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,

This and Philippians 1:15 (below) are the only two occurrences of “good will” in the 1995 NASB New Testament.

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Philippians 1:15 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will;
Philippians 1:16 the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;
Philippians 1:17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.

This and Ephesians 6:7 (above) are the only two occurrences of “good will” in the 1995 NASB New Testament.

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2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

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Philemon 1:14 but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will.

This is the only occurrence of “free will” in the 1995 NASB.

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Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Hebrews 10:27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.

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James 2:20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

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3 John 1:13 I had many things to write to you, but I am not willing to write them to you with pen and ink;
3 John 1:14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face.

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Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

The last portion of this verse in the King James Version reads “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Learning Christ Means Discipline

This post is part of a series about learning as a key aspect of life with God.

Here are scripture verses which mention discipline [emphasis added]:

2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.

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Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
Hebrews 12:5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD,
NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
Hebrews 12:6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
Hebrews 12:7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Hebrews 12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
Hebrews 12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
Hebrews 12:11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

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Revelation 3:19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Learning Christ Means Training

This post is part of a series about learning as a key aspect of life with God.

Here are scripture verses which mention training [emphasis added]:

Luke 6:40 “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

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2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
2 Timothy 3:17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Perfection Requires Practice

This post is part of a series about learning as a key aspect of life with God.

This post is also part of a series on Practicing the Virtues of Christ.

We’ve all heard that “practice makes perfect.”  We can also know that there can be no true learning of the ways of the Lord without practice.  The practice of what is learned is essential to the true disciples of Jesus Christ.  Here are some scriptural references to that practice [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Matthew 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

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John 3:19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
John 3:20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
John 3:21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

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Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;
Philippians 3:16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
Philippians 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.

This passage implies continual practice for the sake of maintaining or achieving perfection.

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Philippians 4:9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

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1 Timothy 5:4 but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.

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Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

The sufferings provides the practice.

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Hebrews 5:11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Hebrews 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

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2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
2 Peter 1:11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Faith: Strong or Weak, Small or Great

Faith is living force.  It grows.  It can be strong or weak, great or small present or absent, planted or unplanted, employed or not employed.  The following verses demonstrate this [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Matthew 6:30 “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

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Matthew 8:10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.

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Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

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Matthew 17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”
Matthew 17:20 And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

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Luke 8:22 Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out.
Luke 8:23 But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger.
Luke 8:24 They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.
Luke 8:25 And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

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Luke 17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.

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Acts 6:5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.

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Romans 4:19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;
Romans 4:20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
Romans 4:21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

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Romans 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

God gives each of us a measure of faith.  What we do with it determines whether or not that measure will increase.

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Romans 12:6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;

“Proportion,” of course, speaks of size.

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2 Corinthians 10:15 not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you,

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2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;

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Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

This is faith that is so little that it is not present at all.

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James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
James 1:8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

To be double-minded is the equivalent of being without faith (see Hebrews 11:6 above).

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For more on the general subject of faith, see Scriptures on Faith.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Falling Away from Faith

Alas, some who grasp faith do not cling to it.  Consider these verses [emphasis, and occasional comment, added]:

Matthew 13:20 “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
Matthew 13:21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

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Matthew 14:26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.
Matthew 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Matthew 14:28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
Matthew 14:29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Matthew 14:30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Matthew 14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?

It’s obvious Peter had sufficient faith to walk on the water, but lost it to doubt when fear took hold along the way.

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Matthew 24:10 “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.

Jesus is here referring to the time described in 1 John 2:18-19 below.

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Mark 4:16 “In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;
Mark 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

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Luke 8:13 “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.

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John 6:66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.
John 6:67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”

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2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
2 Thessalonians 2:2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

Paul is reiterating the prophecy of apostasy (“falling away”) that Jesus made in Matthew 24:30 (see above), and that John lived long enough to witness in 1 John 2:18-19 (see below).  For more on this great apostasy, see The Apostasy.

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1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
1 Timothy 4:2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
1 Timothy 4:3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

See 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 above.

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1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

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1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”–
1 Timothy 6:21 which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.  Grace be with you.

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1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

This is the time prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24:10, and Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (see above for both).

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The lesson is: Don’t let go of faith!

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Truth and Faith

Faith” and “truth” are key biblical concepts.  How do we correlate them?  That’s simple.  Faith is the appropriate response to truth.

Here are some scripture passages which demonstrate this connection [emphasis added]:

John 8:45 “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.
John 8:46 “Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?

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John 19:35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.

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Ephesians 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

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2 Thessalonians 2:11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
2 Thessalonians 2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

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1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
1 Timothy 4:2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
1 Timothy 4:3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

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Correlating other key biblical concepts with truth:

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible.

For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom. Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Faith: Its Allies and Enemies

There are things that with faith…and things that go against it.  This includes more than just synonyms and antonyms.  We must cultivate the environment in which faith can flourish.  That means cultivating those things consistent with faith and avoiding those things which work against it.

Here are some sample verses which show conditions supportive of faith as well as synonyms of faith, and sometimes both in the same verse [emphasis added]:

Things Consistent with Faith

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

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Isaiah 30:15 For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,

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Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD.

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Romans 14:22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

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1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

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Things Inconsistent with Faith

1 Kings 18:21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.

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Romans 14:22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

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James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
James 1:8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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See also this post of Scriptures on Faith.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Doubt

We study doubt only to better understand its opposite: faith.

Here are some verses that help us see what faith is not [emphasis added]:

Matthew 14:26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.
Matthew 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Matthew 14:28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
Matthew 14:29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Matthew 14:30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Matthew 14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

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Matthew 21:21 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.
Matthew 21:22 “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

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Mark 11:22 And Jesus *answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.
Mark 11:23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
Mark 11:25 “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.
Mark 11:26 [“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]

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Romans 14:22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

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James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
James 1:8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Faith

In English, “faith” and “belief” do not appear to be cognates.  However, in Greek they are.  Therefore, whenever we see the following words, we should recognize them all as cognates from one root word:  belief, believe, believing, faith.

It is clear from the New Testament that faith is a necessary virtue for those who would please their Creator.  Therefore, it behooves us to study and understand it, that we might practice it.  Here are some scripture verses to help us do that:

Mark 11:22 And Jesus *answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.
Mark 11:23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
Mark 11:25 “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.
Mark 11:26 [“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]

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Luke 8:13 “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.

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Luke 8:23 But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger.
Luke 8:24 They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.
Luke 8:25 And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

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Romans 4:16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
Romans 4:17 (as it is written, “A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
Romans 4:18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.”
Romans 4:19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;
Romans 4:20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
Romans 4:21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
Romans 4:22 Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Romans 4:23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him,
Romans 4:24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
Romans 4:25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

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Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

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Romans 14:22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

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1 Corinthians 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

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1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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Colossians 2:5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.
Colossians 2:6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
Colossians 2:7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

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Colossians 2:12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

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1 Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

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1 Thessalonians 1:3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,

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1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

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1 Timothy 1:18 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight,
1 Timothy 1:19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

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1 Timothy 4:6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.

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Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

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Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

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Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

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Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
James 1:8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
1 Peter 1:7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 1:8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
1 Peter 1:9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

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2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:

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1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.

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Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
Jude 1:4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

Related posts:

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

On Becoming Spiritual

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

Perhaps the chief benefit of understanding the distinction that the Bible makes between that which is flesh and that which is spirit is that it helps us become more spiritual.  After all, we are to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, and this means growing up spiritually – becoming spiritual people.

Jesus came to live in the flesh and then was raised from the dead that He might take our attention which was already on the flesh and redirect it to the spiritual.  That is, His transition from flesh to spirit enabled the transition of our attention from flesh to spirit.

Here are some passages which help us understand this maturation process wherein we start out fleshly and end up spiritual [emphasis added].

1 Corinthians 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
1 Corinthians 2:13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.
1 Corinthians 2:16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

Note the growth trajectory from “natural” man to “spiritual” man.

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1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,
1 Corinthians 3:3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

Note the vocabulary of the growth process: in the beginning we are “men of flesh” or “infants in Christ” or “mere men” or “fleshly.”  If our growth process is successful, we will become “spiritual men.”

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1 Corinthians 14:36 Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only?
1 Corinthians 14:37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.
1 Corinthians 14:38 But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.

Note that spiritual can recognize things that less mature people cannot.

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Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

Becoming spiritual means becoming able to help others who are caught in sin.  Until we become spiritual, it’s all we can do to keep ourselves out of sin.

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Hebrews 5:11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Hebrews 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Although the word “spiritual” does not explicitly appear in this passage, we can infer it as the modifier of senses since it is surely not the physical senses to which the author is referring.

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For more on becoming spiritual, see these posts:

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

References to Flesh or Spirit Where One Is Explicit and the Other Is Implied

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

What follows are explicit references to “flesh” where a contrast with “spirit” is implied,or explicit references to “spirit” where a contrast with “flesh” is implied.

John 4:21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
John 4:22 “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
John 4:23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Jesus is implying that worship before Him had been “in the flesh.”  That is, there had been a physical temple in an earthly city where animal sacrifices were offered.

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John 8:15 “You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone.

The implication here is that only God is able to judge according to the spirit, because only God can see the heart.  Human beings (that is, those who are “in the flesh”) cannot see into the soul of another).

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Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

The implication here is that whereas in times past Israel worshiped according to the flesh (that is, by burning animal sacrifices in a physical temple) now the time had come to worship God spiritually.  (See John 4: above.)

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2 Corinthians 1:17 Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time?

The implication here is that Paul is being spiritual, even though it may appear he’s thinking in a fleshly way.

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2 Corinthians 11:18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also.

Paul is implying that only spiritual accomplishments really matter.

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Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

The implication here is that the one caught in sin has been fleshly, and that help from folks who are not fleshly is required for his restoration.

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Ephesians 6:5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
Ephesians 6:6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

Paul is wanting slaves to serve their Master “in the spirit,” who is, of course, the Lord Christ.  (And he says so explicitly in Colossians 3:22-25.)

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Colossians 2:18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,
Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.

Of course, Paul is wanting his disciples to adopt spiritual minds instead.

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Colossians 2:23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

Fleshly indulgence can only be overcome by spiritual power – not by focusing on the flesh.

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1 Peter 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

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1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.

Fleshly lusts can be contrasted with spiritual or holy desires.

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2 Peter 2:18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,
2 Peter 2:19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.

Same as 1 Peter 2:11.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

References to “Flesh” That Mean Human Existence

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

The “flesh” sometimes is simply the Bible’s way of referring to human existence, as in the following cases:

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Romans 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?

Romans 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
Romans 9:4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
Romans 9:5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 5:16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.

Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
Philippians 1:23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;
Philippians 1:24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.

Colossians 1:21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
Colossians 1:22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach–

Hebrews 2:14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Hebrews 2:15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Hebrews 5:7 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.

1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
1 John 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.

Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit)

To read and understand the Bible in our age it is essential to understand how the Bible uses the terms “flesh” and “spirit,” and how it distinguishes these terms.

The Bible speaks of “flesh” as that dimension of life that we can see.  It speaks of “spirit” as that dimension that we cannot see.  For our modern purposes, “flesh” refers to physical creation (that which science can detect and measure), while “spirit” refers to the invisible realm (which science has no way to detect or measure).  Of course the spirit and the flesh are closely connected for you are a spirit dwelling in flesh.  Who can tell where the flesh stops and the spirit starts?  They highly integrated and only God can tell the parting (Hebrews 4:12).

Here are some posts on this very important subject:

Walking in the Spirit and Not in the Flesh

The Flesh-Spirit Distinction

References to Flesh or Spirit Where One Is Explicit and the Other Is Implied

Alternative Expressions for the Flesh-Spirit Distinction

Allusions to the Flesh-Spirit Distinction

“The Flesh” Is Not Always Bad, and “The Spirit” Is Not Always Good

References to “Flesh” That Mean Human Existence

Examples of Reading the Bible in a New Light

The Flesh-Spirit Distinction Was Always Known, but Became Pivotal Through Jesus Christ

The Change

On Becoming Spiritual

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

“The Flesh” Is Not Always Bad, and “The Spirit” Is Not Always Good

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

In distinguishing flesh from spirit, it is important not to get the idea that “flesh is automatically bad” and “spirit is automatically good.”  Rather, flesh refers to the world we can see; and spirit refers to the world we cannot see.  When the Bible says that Jesus was born “according to the flesh” it is not saying that He did something bad.  Neither is Paul being critical of Abraham when he calls the patriarch his “forefather according to the flesh” (Romans 4:1).  (See References to “Flesh” That Mean Human Existence, where this and similar passages are listed.  And, conversely, everyone knows that there are evil spirits as well as good ones.

To live according to the flesh only becomes bad when it ignores the spiritual dimension.  Therefore, when you read references to flesh or fleshly, check the context to see whether the author is simply describing the visible dimension, or if he’s suggesting that the spiritual dimension (where God resides) is being ignored.  For example, in Colossians 1:22 Paul uses “fleshly” to describe Jesus’ earthly (and obviously sinless) body, but then in the next chapter (Colossians 2:18) he writes pejoratively of people who rely on their “fleshly” minds. In the first case, Paul is using “flesh” simply as a description of reality, whereas the second case implies a focus on the physical world to the exclusion of the spiritual one.  Therefore, let context be your guide.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Allusions to the Flesh-Spirit Distinction

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

The Bible often alludes to the distinction between flesh and spirit without using either of those terms explicitly.  Here are some examples:

Matthew 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 6:2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Matthew 6:3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
Matthew 6:4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

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Matthew 6:16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Matthew 6:17 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face
Matthew 6:18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Matthew 6:20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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Matthew 23:5 “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men…

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John 5:44 “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?

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John 12:42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue;
John 12:43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

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Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

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Ephesians 6:7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,

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Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Flesh-Spirit Distinction Was Always Known, but Became Pivotal Through Jesus Christ

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

The distinction between flesh and spirit was not introduced by Jesus Christ.  Through Him, however, it became all important in relating to God.   Therefore, we need to recognize this distinction in the various ways that Scripture describes it.  And we particularly need to understand how it enables us to understand the transition from the kingdom of man to the kingdom of God which was brought about through Jesus Christ.

Let us therefore first remind ourselves that the flesh-spirit distinction was know throughout Old Testament times, as is evidenced by the following Scripture verses:

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

2 Kings 6:15 Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
2 Kings 6:16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
2 Kings 6:17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

Psalm 139:2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:10 “I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Examples of Reading the Bible in a New Light

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

Jesus Christ taught us and enabled us to read the Scriptures in a new light.  What follows are some examples of how we would read the Scriptures in the light brought to us by and through Jesus Christ.

Consider this Old Testament verse:

Psalm 119:97 O how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

A Jew, say, in Daniel’s time, would have read this verse with a view to the law that had been given through Moses to the physical descendants of Abraham.  With Jesus, however, the law ceased to be the words on the page and became the life He lived which embodied those words (for He was “the word made flesh” – John 1:14).  For this reason Jesus said:

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Therefore, the “law” for us is the life that Jesus lived.  This does not abrogate the words Moses wrote with ink; rather, it fulfills them.  Thus Jesus said:

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

Therefore, “the law of the Lord” is understood most fully in the life of sacrifice to God and His fellow man that Jesus of Nazareth lived.

Another example of reading the Bible in the new light brought by Jesus Christ has to do with a essential component of the Law of Moses: circumcision.  Listen to how Paul reinterprets the idea of circumcision through the gospel of Christ:

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
Romans  2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Paul is emphasizing what the readers already knew: that through Jesus Christ, circumcision in the flesh had been rendered meaningless in the light of circumcision as a spiritual operation.  Paul’s letter to the Galatians is a full-scale exposition of this point, ending emphatically with:

Galatians 5:12 I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.

I encourage you to read the entire letter as a treatise on the superiority of spiritual interpretation of the Bible through Jesus Christ.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Change

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

Jesus Christ changed the way that the Bible should be read.  Prior to Him, the Bible spoke to the physical dimension; since Him, however, the focus has become entire spiritual.  (To understand this better, see Walking in the Spirit and Not in the Flesh and Alternative Expressions for the Flesh-Spirit Distinction.)

The Scriptures speak of this change in a variety of ways, but most explicitly in Hebrews 7:12 where it takes heed to the “change of law” that came through Jesus Christ.  This “change” was not one of departure from the original meaning, but rather intensification and expansion of that original meaning.  That is, the descendants of Abraham had been commanded in the Old Testament to love, but the spiritual interpretation of Jesus Christ took that love to the limit (laying down one’s life for the sake of others) and expanded it to all humanity.  This change took the Bible from being a book for Jews about preserving the Jewish way of life to being a book for everyone about preserving the godly way of life.

Here then are some of the scripture verses that refer to this change.  No attempt is made to include them all.  For example, every reference to “the kingdom of God” or “the kingdom of heaven” can be considered a reference to this change since it is implying the transition from a human rule over the people of God (through leaders like Moses and David) to a divine rule over the people of God – that is, direct rule by God Himself through Jesus Christ.

Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached…

Jesus is here speaking of the change that came with the ministry of John the Baptist.  This is the beginning of the eternal change of which we are speaking.  (See also Matthew 11:12-13 and compare it with John 18:36.)

Here are more scriptures which speak of the change wrought by God through Christ [emphasis, and occasionally comments, added]:

Matthew 11:27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father…”

All that was the Father’s was being given – bequethed as an inheritance – to the Son.  In this regard, see also Hebrews 1:1-2 below which speaks of the Son being made the “heir of all things.”  All that the Father had became the Son’s.  (See also John 3:35.)

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John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

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John 3:35 “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand.

See also Matthew 11:27 above and Hebrews 1:1-2 below.  While this “hand-off” caused no change in the physical world, it caused enormous change in the spiritual world – so much so that it was appropriate to describe the change as “a new heavens and new earth”  Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).

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John 4:21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
John 4:22 “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
John 4:23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Jesus is here saying that the time had come for men to cease worshiping according to physical things and begin to worship  in an entirely spiritual way.

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Romans 3:21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

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Romans 4:16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
Rom 4:17 (as it is written, “A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

Paul is here contrasting the way of the Law, which would refer to the descendants of Abraham according to the flesh, with the way of grace (the new way), which refers to the descendants of Abraham according to the spirit – that is, those have faith in the way that Abraham did.  This is “the change” of which we are speaking.

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Romans 7:6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

Paul is saying that the Bible is no longer to be read according to a physical understanding (“oldness of the letter”). but rather according to a spiritual understanding (“newness of the Spirit”).

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Romans 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
Romans 8:4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

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Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

The Bible has ceased to be a manual of instruction for Jewish living, and instead become a record of Jesus Christ – the greatest Jew who ever lived.

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2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,
2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was,
2 Corinthians 3:8 how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?
2 Corinthians 3:9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.
2 Corinthians 3:10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it.
2 Corinthians 3:11 For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.

Paul is saying that the old covenant is the literal interpretation of the Scriptures – that is, application to the physical.  By contrast, the new covenant is a spiritual understanding of the Scriptures – that is, application to the unseen dimension.

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2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
2 Corinthians 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Paul is saying that in times past, Jews would have looked to the flesh – that is, how are things with the physical temple in physical Jerusalem?  Through Christ, however, focus is now on inward and heavenly things – the root and foundation of all physical reality.

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2 Corinthians 5:12 We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.

In times past, Israel might have taken pride in its armies or the glory of its king before the nations ( as the Queen of Sheba admired Solomon in his day), but in Christ all earthly glory fade away in the presence of the spiritual glory that has come in the kingdom of Christ.

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Galatians 2:21 “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

There had to be a change, for the Law alone could never make us righteous.  The Law prepared the way for Christ, and it is Christ who makes us righteous.  At that point, the Law ceased to be an instruction manual for Jews according to the flesh and instead became a witness to Christ (Romans 3:21).

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Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

From the time of Moses until Christ, the descendants of Abraham were under the Law.  The change that came with Christ was that of “being led by the Spirit.”

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Hebrews 1:1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
Hebrews 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

In times past, God spoke through the prophets.  However, once His Son came, all speaking was through that Son.  This was another way of describing the great change that occurred through Jesus Christ.

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Hebrews 7:12 For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.

Be sure to read this verse in the context of the verses that come before and after this.  This will result in a greater appreciation of how Jesus Himself effects this great change we are describing.

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Hebrews 12:18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,
Hebrews 12:19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.
Hebrews 12:20 For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.”
Hebrews 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.”
Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
Hebrews 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
Hebrews 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
Hebrews 12:25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.
Hebrews 12:26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.”
Hebrews 12:27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
Hebrews 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Note both the similarities and contrasts between the Exodus led by Moses and the one led by the Messiah.

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Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.
Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.
Hebrews 13:11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.
Hebrews 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
Hebrews 13:13 So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Hebrews 13:14 For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
Hebrews 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Hebrews 13:16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

This passage paints a picture of contrast between the old way of the fleshly worship and the new way of spiritual worship brought by Jesus Christ.

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1 Peter 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:6 For this is contained in Scripture:
“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,
AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
1 Peter 2:7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,
“THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,”
1 Peter 2:8 and,
“A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 2:10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

This passage is painting the same picture of contrast that we see in painted in Hebrews 13:8-16.

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The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Alternative Expressions for the Flesh-Spirit Distinction

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

We find variations on these phrases in Scripture, and there are also synonymous expressions used to point to this all critical distinction.  Here is a catalog of most those phrases so that you might pay particular attention to the Bible’s references to this all-important point.  [References to the physical dimension are shown in bold, and references the spiritual dimension are shown in italicized bold.  Sometimes the reference to one is implied by the other.]

1 Samuel 16:7 …”Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Matthew 23:28 “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.  But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Romans 7:6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

Romans 9:8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

Romans 15:27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,
2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians  3:7 But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was,
2 Corinthians 3:8 how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?
2 Corinthians 3:9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.
2 Corinthians 3:10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it.
2 Corinthians 3:11 For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
2 Corinthians 4:18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight

2 Corinthians 5:12 We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.

2 Corinthians 10:7 You are looking at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.

Galatians 4:23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.

Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Colossians 3:22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

Philemon 1:15-16 For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

Hebrews 11:27 By faith [Moses] left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of [pharaoh]; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.

1 Peter 3:3-4 Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

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Related to this distinction between flesh and spirit is the Bible’s change from a focus on the physical dimension during the time leading up to Christ, and on the spiritual dimension ever since then.  This change is addressed in the post The Change.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

The Flesh-Spirit Distinction

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

The biblical expressions “according to the flesh” refers to that dimension of creation which we can discern with our five physical senses, while “according to the spirit” refers to the spiritual dimension – that is, what is not physical and therefore cannot be physically discerned.  The flesh-spirit distinction, therefore, is a distinction between the physical and spiritual dimensions of creation.  For more on this critical distinction, see Walking in the Spirit and Not in the Flesh.

The phrase “according to the flesh” occurs 18 times in the Bible (all in the New Testament), and “according to the spirit” occurs 4 times (again, all in the New Testament).  Samples of these and similar expressions can be found below [References to the physical dimension are shown in bold, and references the spiritual dimension are shown in italicized bold.  Sometimes the reference to one is implied by the other.]:

Matthew 26:41 “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Mark 14:38 “Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Romans 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Romans 1:2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
Romans 1:3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,
Romans 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Rom 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
Rom 8:4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Rom 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
Rom 8:7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
Rom 8:8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

Romans 8:12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh
Romans 8:13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 

1 Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
1 Corinthians 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
1 Corinthians 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
1 Corinthians 1:29 so that no man may boast before God.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,
1 Corinthians 3:3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

2 Corinthians 10:2 I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,
2 Corinthians 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

Galatians 4:29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.

See also Alternative Expressions for the Flesh-Spirit Distinction and Allusions to the Flesh-Spirit Distinction.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Walking in the Spirit and Not in the Flesh

Science is overrated as a method for studying creation.  This is because science can, at best, explain half of creation: the half that is seen.  It cannot explain the unseen part of creation, and that part is just as vast as the seen part – and far more lasting.  In fact, that which is seen of creation is temporal, but that which is unseen is eternal.  For example, the body without the spirit is dead.  That’s how we know a person is dead: the unseen part is no longer there to animate the seen part.  The body decays but the spirit lives on.  Science is valid and important – just not adequate to explain all of creation.

Creation exists in two dimensions: seen and unseen, physical and spiritual, visible and invisible, flesh and spirit.  An over-reliance on science causes us to ignore the spiritual dimension which is even more important to our well-being.  Society today shows little evidence that its individuals walk in the spirit.  On the contrary, walking in the flesh seems the dominant mindset.  Why?

Most sin is committed in secret.  That is, when we humans do wrong we generally try to do it when no one is looking.    However, God sees what humanity does not see, for humanity can see only the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.  Therefore, while the sin might be secret from other people it is not secret from God and therefore it is not secret in the realm that really matters.  That our sin was kept secret from everyone else in the world does not mean that God will not judge it. This is all deemed to be of little importance to the mind set on walking in the flesh.  By disallowing God and the spiritual dimension in which He dwells, such a fleshly mind is free to indulge in whatever pleasures it wants.  But the mind that wants to please God can overcome temptation by walking in the spirit, thinking every thought in the watchful eye of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – Jesus Christ.

The thief has no problem resisting the urge to shoplift when he’s in full view of an armed guard.  If that thief were to walk in the spirit he would see Jesus Christ as the armed guard everywhere he went – and he would become an honest man in the process.

If we believe there is a world of the spirit, why do we still walk in the flesh?  Probably because it’s easier to conform to the way everyone else is thinking.  But this is your fork in the road: walking in the flesh like the mass of humanity will keep you in bondage while walking in the spirit gives you freedom from sin because you never want to disappoint the One who gave His life for you.  Which road will you take?  Which road leads to the better life?  Which road was paved with the blood of Jesus Christ?

(This was originally posted here.)

This post is part of a series on Flesh v. Spirit (Understanding How the Bible Distinguishes Flesh from Spirit).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Antidote to Spiritual Slumber Is Keeping Alert

Some fall asleep…spiritually speaking.  Of course, “sleep” is a metaphor for death – whether physical or spiritual.

The solution to the spiritual condition of sleep in staying alert.  Thus we have these sorts of exhortations and admonitions in the Scripture:

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;

Revelation 3:2 ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Clarity Through Contrast

To make a point clear, the Bible will often speak in contrasts.  While the contrasts are not always between something good and something bad, they often are.  Here are some examples:

Psalm 45:7  –  “righteousness” v. “wickedness”

Proverbs 29:25  –  “fear of man” v. “trust in the Lord”

Ecclesiastes 7:2  –  “house of mourning” v. “house of feasting”

Ecclesiastes 7:4  –  “the house of mourning” v. “the house of pleasure”

Ecclesiastes 7:8  –  “patience of spirit” v. “haughtiness of spirit”

Ecclesiastes 7:26  –  “one who is pleasing to God” v. “sinner”

Matthew 16:23  –  “God’s interests” v. “man’s [interests]” 

Matthew 26:41  –  “the spirit is willing” v. “the flesh is weak”

Mark 8:33  –  “God’s interests” v. “man’s [interests]”

Mark 14:38  –  “the spirit is willing” v. “the flesh is weak”

Luke 12:21  –  “stores up treasure for himself” v. becomes “rich toward God”

Luke 16:10  –  “faithfulness” v. “unrighteousness”

Luke 18:1  –  “to pray” v. “to lose heart”

John 1:17  –  “the Law was given through Moses” v. “grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ”

John 3:6  –  “flesh” and “born of flesh” v. “spirit” and “born of spirit”

John 5:44  –  seeking “glory from one another” v. “glory that is from the one and only God”

John 12:43  –  they loved “the approval of men” v. “the approval of God”

John 20:27  –  “unbelieving” v. “believing”

Acts 26:18  –  “darkness” v. “light”

Acts 26:18  –  “the dominion of Satan” v. “[the dominion of] God”

Romans 2:28-29  –  “outward Jew” v. “inward Jew”

Romans 2:28-29 –  “circumcision of the flesh” v. “circumcision of the heart”

Romans 2:28-29  –  “by the Spirit” v. “by the letter”

Romans 2:28-29  –  “praise from men” v. “praise from God”

Romans 6:23  –  “the wages of sin is death” v. “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

Romans 7:6  –  “oldness of the letter” v. “newness of the Spirit”

Romans 8:4  –  “according to the flesh” v. “according to the Spirit”

Romans 8:5  –  “the things of the flesh” v. “the things of the Spirit”

Romans 12:2  –  “be conformed to this world” v. “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

Romans 15:27  –  “spiritual things” v. “material things”

1 Corinthians 2:14-15  –  “a natural man” v. “he who is spiritual”

1 Corinthians 3:1  –  “spiritual men” v. men of flesh” (“infants in Christ”)

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 – “fleshly” v. “spiritual”

1 Corinthians 9:11  –  “spiritual things” v. “material things”

1 Corinthians 9:25 –  “perishable wreath” v. “imperishable [wreath]

1 Corinthias 10:24  –  seeking “his own good” v. “that of his neighbor”

1 Corinthians 14:33  –  “confusion” v. “peace”

2 Corinthians 1:12  –  “fleshly wisdom” v. “the grace of God”

2 Corinthians 4:16  –  “our outer man is decaying” v. “our inner man is being renewed day by day”

2 Corinthians 4:18  –  “the things which are seen” v. “the things which are not seen”

1 Corinthians 4:18  –  “temporal” v. “eternal”

2 Corinthians 5:7  –  walk “by faith” v. “by sight”

2 Corinthians 6:14  –  “righteousness” v. “lawlessness”

2 Corinthians 6:14  –  “light” v. “darkness”

2 Corinthians 6:15  –  “Christ” v. “Belial”

2 Corinthians 6:15  –  “believer” v. “unbeliever”

Galatians 4:29  –  “born according to the flesh” v. “born according to the Spirit”

Galatians 5:13  –  “an opportunity for the flesh” v. “through love serve one another”

Galatians 5:19-23  –  “the deeds of the flesh” v. “the fruit of the Spirit”

Ephesians 6:7  –  render service as ” to the Lord” v. “to men”

Philippians 1:15  – “from envy and strife” v. “from good will”

Philippians 2:21  –  For they all seek after “their own interests” v. “those of Christ Jesus”

Colossians 1:16  –  “visible” v. “invisible”

Colossians 3:2  –  Set your minds on “things above” v. “the things that are on earth”

2 Timothy 1:7  –  a spirit “of timidity” v. “of power and love and discipline”

2 Timothy 3:4  –  “lovers of pleasure” v. “lovers of God”

Titus 2:12  –  “ungodliness and worldly desires” v. “sensibly, righteously, and godly”

Philemon  –  “by compulsion” v. “of your own free will”

Philemon 1:16  –  “in the flesh” v. “in the Lord”

Hebrews 1:9  –  “righteousness” v. “lawlessness”

Hebrews 11:25  –   “endure ill-treatment with the people of God” v. “enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” 

Hebrews 11:26  –  “the reproach of Christ” v. “the treasures of Egypt” 

James 3:15-17  –  Wisdom “from above” v. that which is “earthly, natural, demonic”

1 Peter 1:14-15  –  “be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in ignorance” v. “be holy in all your behavior [as Christ was]

1 Peter 4:2  –  “the lusts of men” v. “the will of God”

1 Peter 4:6  –  “in the flesh” v. “in the spirit”

For more posts of this kind, see the sub-category of “Patterns of Speech” under the category of “The Bible.”

For a contrast to contrasts, see Grammatical Equivalencies.

Here also are posts on specific contrasts:

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Verbal Triplets That Heighten and Reinforce Understanding

When the Bible speaks “in three’s” (i.e. trios or triplets of terms) it strengthens our understanding just as it does when it speaks in pairs or duos of words, or even in longer lists.

EXAMPLES INVOLVING POSITIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

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Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

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Isaiah 33:6 And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

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Isaiah 66:2 …But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

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Hosea 4:1 Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.

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Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

The King James Version of this triplet reads “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”  Note also the similarity between the three virtues described in Micah 6:8 and the three decribed in Matthew 23:23.

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Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

Note the similarity of this trio with the one found in Micah 6:8. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to conclude that Jesus was here alluding to Micah’s admonition.

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Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

The 1973 NASB renders this trio of words as “kindness and forbearance and patience.”

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Romans 2:9-10  –  There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

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Romans 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
Romans 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

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Romans 7:12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

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Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

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Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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1 Corinthians 14:3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.

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2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

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Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

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1 Thessalonians 1:3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,

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1 Thessalonians 2:10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;
1 Thessalonians 2:11 just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children,
1 Thessalonians 2:12 so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

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1 Thessalonians 4:11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,

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1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

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1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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1 Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

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2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

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Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

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1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen
1 Peter 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

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2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

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Revelation 17:14 “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

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Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

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EXAMPLES INVOLVING NEGATIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

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Hosea 4:1 Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.

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Mark 4:19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

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Luke 8:14 “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

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Luke 21:34 “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;

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Ephesians 5:3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
Ephesians 5:4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

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1 Thessalonians 2:3 For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit;

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Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

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James 3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

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James 4:9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.

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1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

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For more posts of this kind, see the sub-category of “Patterns of Speech” under the category of “The Bible.”

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptural References to the Fall

The first sin of mankind is described in Genesis 3.  After that, it is referred to elsewhere in Scripture.  Here are some of those places [emphasis added to draw out the point].

Hosea 6:6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Hosea 6:7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant;
There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

Luke 23:43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned–
Romans 5:13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Romans 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
Romans 5:16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
Romans 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Romans 5:19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

2 Corinthians 12:3 And I know how such a man–whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows–
2 Corinthians 12:4 was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

1 Timothy 2:13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
1 Timothy 2:14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

Revelation 2:7 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;

Rev 22:1 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,
Rev 22:2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.

Rev 22:18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;
Rev 22:19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

Notes:

“paradise” can mean “garden” or “park” and correlates with “garden” as in “the garden of Eden” referenced in Genesis 3 – the place where the Fall occurred.  Thus while the Fall amounted to a paradise being lost, the New Testament verses are speaking of it being restored through Jesus Christ.

“the serpent of old” refers, of course, to the serpent, so identified in Genesis 3:1ff.

“tree of life” is mentioned in Genesis 2:9; 3:22, 24.

Related to these references to the Fall would be, of course, Scriptural References to Creation.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptural References to Creation

Creation is described in Genesis 1-2.  After that, it is referred to many times and in many ways in the Scriptures.  It is an important point and we have much to learn from it.

Here’s a partial list of Scriptures after Genesis 1-2 that refer to creation.  They are organized by whether they refer to the Creator, the original creation of the world, the ongoing goverance of creation, the destruction of creation, miraculous interventions in nature, or the redemption of (i.e. the new) creation.  Some verses, of course, fall into more than one of these categories:

THE CREATOR

This category consists of isolated verses that briefly refer to God as “Creator” or “Maker,” and other verses that make the same cryptic point – that creation has a personal Creator – while saying little else about the creation in the respective passage.  If more is said, the passage is likely found in one of the other categories below.

Job 4:17; 32:22; 36:3

Psalm 95:6; 100:3; 149:2

Proverbs 14:31; 17:5; 22:2

Ecclesiastes 12:1

Isaiah 17:7; 27:11; 54:5

Jeremiah 51:19

Hosea 8:14

Romans 1:25

THE ORIGINAL CREATION OF THE WORLD

This category includes verses that refer to the acts of creation as first recorded in Genesis 1-2.  Therefore, the creation of Adam and Eve (that is, the human race) are included here.  However, creation of all subsequent creatures is covered in the next category, “The Ongoing Governance of Creation.”

Exodus 20:11; 31:17

2 Kings 19:15

Nehemiah 9:6

Job 38:4 – 39:30

Psalm 24:1-2; 33:6-9; 89:11-12; 95:3-6; 96:5; 100:3; 102:24-27; 104:1-35; 115:15; 121:1-2; 124:8; 134:3; 136:1-9; 146:5-7; 148:1-6

Isaiah 40:21-31; 42:5; 44:24; 45:7-13; 48:13; 51:13

Jeremiah 10:11-16

Amos 9:5-6

Jonah 1:9

Malachi 2:10

Matthew 19:4-6

Mark 10:6-9

John 1:1-3, 10; 9:32

Acts 4:24; 14;15; 17:24-29

Romans 9:19-21

1 Corinthians 6:16; 8:4-6; 11:8-12

Ephesians 5:31

Colossians 1:15-18

1 Timothy 2:13

Hebrews 1:2, 10-12; 11:3

2 Peter 3:4-5

Revelation 3:14; 14:7

THE ONGOING GOVERNANCE OF CREATION

Governance would include the maintenance of all physical and spiritual phenomenon, provision for the procreation and sustenance of all creatures, and oversight and regulation of all human activity.  This last category includes God’s role as judge of heaven and earth, which involves  destruction (a separate category below).

Genesis 8:20-22; 9:11; 18:16-33

Deuteronomy 32:8, 15, 18

1 Chronicles 29:11-12

Nehemiah 9:6

Job 10:3, 8; 12:23-25; 26:5-14; 31:15; 35:9-16; 38:4 – 39:30

Psalm 24:1-2; 50:10-12; 68:7-10; 74:12-17; 89:11-12; 96:10-13; 100:3; 104:1-35; 107:1-43; 119:73; 135:5-6; 136:23-26; 138:8; 139:13-16; 145:15-16; 146:5-7; 147:4, 8-9, 16-18; 148:7-14

Isaiah 29:16; 40:21-31; 42:5; 43:1, 7, 15; 44:2, 21, 24; 45:7-13; 50:2-3; 51:12-15; 64:8

Jeremiah 5:22; 10:11-16; 18:1-6; 33:20, 25

Amos 9:5-6

Matthew 5:45; 6:26, 28-30; 10:29-31

Acts 1:7; 14:16-17; 17:24-29

1 Corinthians 10:26

Ephesians 3:15

Colossians 1:15-18

1 Timothy 4:1-5

Hebrews 1:3, 7

1 Peter 4:19

THE DESTRUCTION OF CREATION

The destruction of creation flows from God’s role as judge (the governor) of creation.  This destruction may be partial (as in Sodom and Gomorah), or total (as in “the end of the age”).  Regarding the latter, it can be termed “passing away.”

Genesis 6:5-8; 8:20-22; 9:11

Psalm 102:26-27  (quoted in Hebrews 1:11-12)

Isaiah 34:4; 51:6

Jeremiah 45:5

Joel 1:15

Matthew 5:18; 24:35

Mark 13:31

Luke 16:17; 21:33

Hebrews 1:11-12  (quoting Psalms 102:26-27)

2 Peter 3:4-12

Revelation 20:11; 21:1

SPECIAL INTERVENTIONS IN NATURE (i.e. MIRACLES)

Genesis 6:5-8; 21:1-7

Exodus 3:1 – 4:17; 5:1 – 12:36; 14:15-31; 15:1-18

Joshua 3:14-17; 10:1-14

2 Kings 2:11; 6:17; 20:8-11

Psalm 74:12-17; 78:1-72; 106:7-12; 136:10-22

Isaiah 38:7-8

Jonah 1:4, 11-12, 15, 17; 2:10; 3:10; 4:6-8

Matthew 8:23-27

Mark 4:35-41

Luke 8:22-25

THE REDEMPTION OF CREATION (i.e. THE NEW CREATION)

Isaiah 65:17; 66:22

2 Corinthians 5:17

Galatians 5:17

Ephesians 2:10-22; 4:20-24

Colossians 1:15-18

2 Peter 3:13

Revelation 1:4-5; 3:12, 14; 21:1-2

Of course, these lists are by no means exhaustive.  Perhaps you will want to complete them for yourself.

Related to this list of verses is Scriptural References to the Fall

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Verbal Pairs That Heighten and Reinforce Understanding

When Scripture uses two adjectives of a noun, it makes understanding of both modifiers better.  For example, if it described Jesus’ heart as humble, we would have understood.  Or if it had described His heart as gentle, we would likewise have understood.  But when it says that His heart was gentle and humble, we understand even better.  (By the way, to learn more about how often gentleness and humility show up together in a scriptural passage, see this post.)

Here then are cases where words are used in tandem, heightening and reinforcing the meanings of each.  This listing represents but a few examples of many such instances in the Scriptures.  First, the positive examples; then the negative [Emphasis, and occasionally comments, added]:

EXAMPLES INVOLVING POSITIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

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Psalm 131:2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.

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Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

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Isaiah 1:19 “If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;

The King James Version of this verse renders the phrase for “consent and obey” as “willing and obedient.”

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Isaiah 30:15 For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,

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Isaiah 66:2 “…But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

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Zephaniah 3:12 “But I will leave among you
A humble and lowly people,
And they will take refuge in the name of the LORD.

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Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Note the similarity of “gentle and humble” here with “meekness and gentleness” in 2 Corinthians 10:1 below, both being references to Christ.

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Matthew 24:45 “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?

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Matthew 25:21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

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Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,

Compare this verse with Hebrews 12:3 below.

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Luke 8:15 “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

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Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?

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Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,

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Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

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1 Corinthians 14:40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.

The KJV and ESV read “decently and in order.”  The NIV reads “in a fitting and orderly way.”  (See here for these versions.)

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2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent!

Note the similarity of  “meekness and gentleness” here with “gentle and humble” in Matthew 11:29 above, both being references to Christ.

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2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

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Ephesians 5:27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
Ephesians 5:29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,

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Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

The King James Version translates this phrase as “nurture and admonition.”

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Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
Philippians 2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

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Colossians 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Colossians 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

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2 Thessalonians 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

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2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,

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1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

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Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

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Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

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Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
Hebrews 6:12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

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Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,
Hebrews 6:20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

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Hebrews 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

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Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

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Hebrews 13:16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

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James 5:10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

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1 Peter 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
1 Peter 1:21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

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1 Peter 3:2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

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1 Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

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1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

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2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
2 Peter 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

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2 Peter 3:11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

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2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,

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1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The King James Version says “faithful and just.”

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2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

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Revelation 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

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Revelation 13:10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

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EXAMPLES INVOLVING NEGATIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Psalm 131:1 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.

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Proverbs 11:31 If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth,
How much more the wicked and the sinner!

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Isaiah 57:11 “Of whom were you worried and fearful
When you lied, and did not remember Me
Nor give Me a thought?
Was I not silent even for a long time
So you do not fear Me?

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Ezekiel 3:5 “For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel,
Ezekiel 3:6 nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you;
Ezekiel 3:7 yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate.

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Matthew 9:36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

The NASB 1973 reads “distressed and downcast.”  The ESV and NIV read “harrassed and helpless.”  The KJV reads “they fainted and were scattered abroad.”  (See here for these other translations.)

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Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

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Matthew 13:21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
Matthew 13:22 “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

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Matthew 16:4 “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.

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Matthew 17:17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”

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Matthew 25:26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.

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Mark 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

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Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

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Luke 10:41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
Luke 10:42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

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Luke 11:39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness.

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Luke 24:25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

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Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

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Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

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Romans 2:9-10  –  There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

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Romans 10:21 But as for Israel He says, “ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.”

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Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

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Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
Philippians 2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

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2 Thessalonians 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

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Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

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Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

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Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

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Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;
Hebrews 5:2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness;
Hebrews 5:3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself.

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Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Compare this verse with Luke 18:1 above.

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Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
Hebrews 12:16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.

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Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

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James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

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1 Peter 4:18 AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?  [quoting Proverbs 11:31, which you can see above]

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2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

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In addition to pairs, the Bible also speaks in three’s to strengthen our understanding.  And there are, of course, lists longer than two or three items.  And on the broader subject of biblical patterns of speech, see that category to the right (or click here).

By the way, for more on positive descriptions see this post about how we can practice the positive traits of Jesus Christ.  Indeed, all positive character traits proceed from the character of God.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Twofold Descriptions of the Heart

Here are scriptures where two adjectives are applied to the noun “heart.”  This strengthens our understanding of the point being made, for “out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every fact be established” (Matthew 18:16).  [Emphasis added.]

Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

Luke 8:15 “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

What kind of heart do you have?

(Here’s a post on “verbals pairs,” including those above.)

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Faithfulness

Faithfulness was an attribute of Jesus when He was a man, and it is an attribute of Christ our God.  It is therefore an attribute He expects us to practice so that we might be bearers of His image and bring honor to His name.  Here are some scriptures to help us focus on the quality of faithfulness that we might be more mindful in our exercise of it [Emphasis added]:

God’s Faithfulness to Us

Lamentations 3:22 The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
Lamentations 3:23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

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2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

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Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

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Hebrews 11:11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.

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Our Faithfulness to God

Nehemiah 9:8 “You found [Abraham’s] heart faithful before You,
And made a covenant with him
To give him the land of the Canaanite,
Of the Hittite and the Amorite,
Of the Perizzite, the Jebusite and the Girgashite–
To give it to his descendants.
And You have fulfilled Your promise,
For You are righteous.

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Hosea 4:1 Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.

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Luke 16:10 “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.

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2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

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Revelation 2:10 ‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

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Faithfulness is a character trait of Jesus Christ.  Here is a post listing more of His character traits, that you might practice them in His presence and with His help.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Knowledge and Salvation

Knowledge is a key biblical concept.  So also is salvation.  The follow scripture demonstrates how these two concepts can relate to each other [emphasis added; knowledge in bold, and salvation in bold italics]:

Psalm 98:2 The LORD has made known His salvation;
He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.

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Isaiah 33:6 And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

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Luke 1:77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,

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1 Timothy 2:3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
1 Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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You can find more key biblical concepts, and how they relate to each other, at this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Correlating Virtues of Christ: Forbearance and Patience

Both forbearance and patience are virtues of Jesus Christ.  Since these character traits are closely associated with each other, it’s not surprising that we would find scripture passages where the two terms appear in proximity to each other.  Here are some of them [Emphasis added; forbearance in bold, and patience in bold italics:]:

Romans 2:4 ESV Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

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Ephesians 4:2 ESV with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

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Colossians 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Colossians 3:14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

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2 Thessalonians 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

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To study more of the virtues of our Lord, see this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)

Scriptures on Forbearance

The Greek word translated as “forbearance” in the NASB is Strong’s # 463.  It shows up only twice in the New Testament, both listed below [Emphasis added]:

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

This verse from the 1995 NASB shows “tolerance” but the 1973 version shows “forbearance.”

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Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Romans 3:25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

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1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
1 Corinthians 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
1 Corinthians 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
1 Corinthians 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Certainly, this conveys the idea of forbearance, even though the Greek word (Strong’s 4722) is not etymologically related to Strong’s 463.

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Forbearance is but one of the virtues of Jesus Christ.  Here are others.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. (In the NASB New Testament, quotations of the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters in order to make them easier to identify.)