Spiritual Language Concepts: Beasts, Animals, Dogs

In the spiritual language of the Bible, references to an animal, beast, or dog might be a reference to a human being who is unreasoning or unreasonable.  After all, God wants to reason with us (Isaiah 1:18).  Therefore, when we’re unwilling to do that, we’re like beasts or animals, who have no ability to reason.

(It is ironic that many of those today who reject God do so taking great pride in their reason.  The fact is that they are not using their reason at all.  There are other motivations that cause them to reject God, though they inaccurately and ironically claim that it’s their reason.)

Consider these scriptural references to animals:

Matthew 7:6  (Jesus here refers to “dogs” and “swine” who don’t appreciate the holy things of God, and attack those who do.)

2 Peter 2:20-22  (Peter talks about “dogs” who revert to their instinctive behaviors to illustrate sinners who won’t become holy.)

Jude 1:10  (Jude likens men who “do not understand” to “unreasoning animals.”

Revelation 22:15  (This passage mentions “dogs” who can be found outside the kingdom along with liars and other immoral types.)

Psalm 49:20  (“Man” in his “pomp” is “without understanding” and thus “like the beasts.”)

Therefore, when you encounter a reference to animals in the Scripture, pause and consider whether it might be an appeal for us to act “more reasonably” than animals do.  Go, for example, to the first three verses of Isaiah and apply this point.

Speaking more broadly, consider that whenever the Bible is talking to us about animals it is probably trying to teach us something about humans.  Quoting Deuteronomy 25:4, Paul said:

1 Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He?
1 Corinthians 9:10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.

Thus references to animals in the Scriptures are generally there to teach us about something other than animals.  “God is not concerned about oxen, is He?”

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.)

Stumbling Over Spiritual Language

It is common in the gospels to read of Jesus’ hearers misunderstanding Him, not comprehending His spiritual speech.  And it was not just His opponents who stumbled over His sayings.  Even His most attentive disciples also struggled at times.  These are lessons to us that we should keep listening to Jesus through His Holy Spirit and not lose heart when we don’t understand Him.  We can learn His language, but we have to keep listening.  And remember always that “listening” to the Lord includes doing what He says.  That is, keeping His commandments will bring us understanding (Psalm 111:10).  Not only that, but keeping His commandments is what it’s all about anyway (1 Corinthians 7:19; Luke 17:10).

Here’s a list of just some of the occasions where people stumbled over the spiritual language Jesus used.  You will also want to read the broader context of the passage cited to better appreciate what it was that wasn’t being understood.

Matthew 15:15-16  (The disciples can’t understand what Jesus is teaching about foods and ask Him to explain.)

Matthew 16:11-12  (Misunderstanding what Jesus meant by “leaven.”)

Mark 4:10  (Jesus’ disciples went to Him privately to find out what His publicly-taught parables actually meant.)

Mark 4:33-34  (Jesus was constantly teaching parables publicly but having to explain them privately.)

John 2:19-22  (The Jews think Jesus is talking about Jerusalem’s temple when He is speaking of His own body.)

John 3:10  (Jesus asks Nicodemus why he can’t understand the spiritual concepts Jesus is explaining.)

John 6:60, 66  (Many of Jesus’ disciples stumble over what He is saying about “eating His flesh and drinking His blood.”)

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.

 

Loving the Things of God

If we would love God, should we not be loving the things of God?

Strong relationships are based on shared interests.  Therefore, let our thoughts, words, and deeds be about the things that matter most to God.

Here are some verses to help you identify those things that God would have us love.  I cite the chapter and verse, and then follow with a brief summary.  I have not tried to eliminate repetition, nor have I tried to identify synonyms (e.g. “law” and “commandments”).

Psalm 33:5  (Let us love righteousness and justice.)

Psalm 45:7  (Let us love righteousness and hate wickedness.)

Psalm 119:47, 48, 127  (Let us love His commandments.)

Psalm 119:97, 165  (Let us love His law.)

Micah 6:8  (Let us love kindness.)

John 3:19-21  (Let us love light and not darkness.)

John 12:43  (Let us love the approval of God and not the approval of men.)

2 Corinthians 9:7  (Let us love to give cheerfully.)

2 Thessalonians 2:19  (Let us love the truth.)

2 Timothy 3:4  (Let us love God instead of loving pleasure.)

2 Timothy 4:8  (Let us love His having appeared.)

Hebrews 1:9  (Let us love righteousness and hate lawlessness.)

Hebrews 6:10  (Let us love His name.)

 

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 Centrality of Christ

The scriptures that follow speak to the central place Christ is to hold in our thinking.  Christ is not peripheral to our faith.  He is not one of its most important facets. He is not part of a trinity with whom He shares importance.  He is nothing less than the utter essence of our faith and life.  He is our all in all.

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;
2 Corinthians 5:15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

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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.

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Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

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Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

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1 John 3:23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

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1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

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2 John 1:9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

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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 the Old Testament Refers to Itself

We are using to see how dependent the New Testament is on the Old Testament.  In fact, without the Old Testament, the New Testament would make no sense.  Thus the Old Testament lays a foundation that the New Testament builds upon.

We should also be aware that the Old Testament itself – being written and compiled over a 1,500-year period – is built in layers, with each successive layer referring to the ones prior.  The first layer was the Law of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).  As books are added, we can see them making reference to things written in the books that were already there.

Because the order in which the Old Testament books appear is not strictly chronological, the linkages from one book to another are not always “from right to left.”  For example, you can see below that the book of Ezra refers to the books of Haggai and Zechariah.  However, in most English Bibles, the book of Ezra precedes the other two rather than following them.  Therefore, the intertextual links don’t always appear to be sequential.  Understanding the Bible’s pervasive intertextuality, however, allows the Bible to become a commentary on itself – reducing reliance upon others to explain its contents.

Below are some examples of an Old Testament book referencing something from a previous Old Testament book.  It only scratches the surface of the Old Testament’s self-referential nature.  Perhaps, though, it will be enough to give you a feel for how interwoven are the Bible’s ideas.

2 Samuel 11:21 ‘Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’–then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.'”

In this verse, Joab is recalling for David an incident from Judges 9:50-54.

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2 Kings 14:6 But the sons of the slayers he did not put to death, according to what is written in the book of the Law of Moses, as the LORD commanded, saying, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the sons, nor the sons be put to death for the fathers; but each shall be put to death for his own sin.”

This verse is speaking specifically of Deuteronomy 24:16, which is, of course, part of “the Law of Moses.”

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2 Kings 17:7 Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods
2 Kings 17:8 and walked in the customs of the nations whom the LORD had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs of the kings of Israel which they had introduced.
2 Kings 17:9 The sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right against the LORD their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city.
2 Kings 17:10 They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree,
2 Kings 17:11 and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the LORD had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the LORD.
2 Kings 17:12 They served idols, concerning which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”
2 Kings 17:13 Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.”
2 Kings 17:14 However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God.
2 Kings 17:15 They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the LORD had commanded them not to do like them.
2 Kings 17:16 They forsook all the commandments of the LORD their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.
2 Kings 17:17 Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him.
2 Kings 17:18 So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.
2 Kings 17:19 Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the customs which Israel had introduced.
2 Kings 17:20 The LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight.
2 Kings 17:21 When He had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the LORD and made them commit a great sin.
2 Kings 17:22 The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them
2 Kings 17:23 until the LORD removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day.

This passage explains why the Northern Kingdom (called “the Kingdom of Israel” in contrast to the Southern Kingdom which was called “the Kingdom of Judah”) was captured by the Assyrians and taken into exile.  The simple reason?  Failure to heed Moses and the Prophets.  This passage characterizes and encapsulates Israel’s history from the time in Egypt to this point in the book of 2 Kings.

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2 Kings 18:4 He 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.

The “He” to which this veres refers is King Hezekiah.  The incident with Moses and the bronze serpent is found in Numbers 21:8,9.  (The incident is also mentioned by Jesus in John 3:14.)

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2 Kings 18:5 He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him.
2 Kings 18:6 For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.

King Hezekiah is the “he” referenced here.  When the king adhered to the Law of Moses and the warnings of the prophets, the nation fared well.

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2 Kings 18:11 Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and put them in Halah and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes,
2 Kings 18:12 because they did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed His covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded; they would neither listen nor do it.

The “he” referenced here is King Hoshea of the Northern Kingdom.  Because he was a wicked king, like those who had preceded him, the people fared poorly.  The nation rose and fell based on its faithfulness, or lack thereof, to the Scriptures first handed down by Moses.

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2 Kings 21:8 “And I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.”

This verse is making a general reference to the Law of Moses.  There are so many of them in the Scriptures that only a minuscule fraction of them can be shown in this post.

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2 Kings 23:21 Then the king commanded all the people saying, “Celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God as it is written in this book of the covenant.”
2 Kings 23:22 Surely such a Passover had not been celebrated from the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and of the kings of Judah.
2 Kings 23:23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was observed to the LORD in Jerusalem.

Verse 22 makes reference first to the time covered by the books of Judges and Ruth, and then by the time covered by the books of Samuel and Kings.  Of course, the reference to the original Passover is a reference to Exodus 12.

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Ezra 5:1 When the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them,
Ezra 5:2 then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them supporting them.

Haggai and Zechariah are two prophets, responsible for books that bear their names in the Old Testament.  See also Ezra 6:14, where a similar reference is made.

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Malachi 4:4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.

The prophet Malachi is here calling the people of Israel to be faithful to the Law given to them through Moses.  Of course, this was a common appeal by the prophets.

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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.)

Expressions of Devotion Which Are Fitting for the Lord

Here are expressions of devotion found in Scripture which we may adapt for use in expressing our devotion to the Lord.  Let these be impressed deeply in our minds, that we might genuinely think and feel them toward the Lord in the deepest privacy of our hearts.  He will see, and if we express them in sincerity, He will be blessed.

Ruth 1:16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
Ruth 1:17 “Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”

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1 Samuel 20:4 Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.”

Jonathan and David were committed to each other in covenant friendship.

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2 Samuel 15:21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.”

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2 Samuel 19:24 Then Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and he had neither cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace.
2 Samuel 19:25 It was when he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?”
2 Samuel 19:26 So he answered, “O my lord, the king, my servant deceived me; for your servant said, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself that I may ride on it and go with the king,’ because your servant is lame.
2 Samuel 19:27 “Moreover, he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is like the angel of God, therefore do what is good in your sight.
2 Samuel 19:28 “For all my father’s household was nothing but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right do I have yet that I should complain anymore to the king?”

This passage relates how Mephibosheth (son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul) responded to David’s successful return to reign.

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2 Samuel 19:29 So the king said to him, “Why do you still speak of your affairs? I have decided, ‘You and Ziba shall divide the land.'”
2 Samuel 19:30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him even take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house.”

This is the coda to Mephibosheth’s response.

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There is no reason why we cannot feel these kinds of stirrings for the One we love so much.

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 Jesus’ Regard for the Prophets

Jesus thought highly of the prophets.  He trusted them.  He believed that they spoke for His Father.

Jesus modeled His own life after the prophets, and encouraged His disciples to do the same.

Jesus believed everything that His Father had said about Him through the prophets.  Here are some verses which make clear Jesus’ trust in the prophets [emphasis added]:  

Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
Matthew 5:12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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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!
Luke 24:26 “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”
Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

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Luke 24:44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
Luke 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
Luke 24:46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,
Luke 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things.

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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.)

Questions and Exclamations of Jesus of Nazareth

There are times in the ministry of Jesus that He seemed surprised by the kind of thinking He encountered in His fellow Jews.  His attention was arrested and He seemed to be full of wonder at what He was beholding.  It wasn’t that people thought differently from the way He did – it was that He seemed genuinely surprised that this was the case, as if He expected their thinking to be more like His.

It’s at moments like these – the juxtaposition of His mindset with that of His contemporaries – that we can make a choice about how we ourselves want to think.  That is, given this clash of diverging perspectives, do we want to keep on thinking “normally” or do we want to think the way that He considered normal?

The best way to explain further what I mean is to just start noticing some examples.

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?”

Obviously, Jesus’ question is, at least to some degree, rhetorical.  He wants Peter to think.  But that aside, Jesus seemed more focused on helping Peter understood why he sank after a while than he did on the rest of the guys, none of whom even dared venture out of the boat.  If Jesus thought Peter had “little” faith, what would He have said about the other eleven?

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Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.”
Mark 6:5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
Mark 6:6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.

Technically speaking, we don’t have a question or exclamation here from Jesus.  We only have Mark’s description of His bewilderment at their unbelief.  Sure, they knew Him, but should familiarity breed that much contempt?

Luke 24:25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Luke 24:26 “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”

This is actually an exclamation and a question from Jesus.  Read in context, Jesus is surprised that His disciples don’t get that the prophets had long prophesied His death and resurrection.  None of them expected Jesus to be raised from the dead, and He seems genuinely surprised that they are surprised by His resurrection.

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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 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 Eating (Food)

God designed living creatures such that they require regular sustenance in order to survive.  Humanity, being made in God’s image, requires also spiritual sustenance – food for the spirit within.  Even when the Bible talks about physical food, there’s a spiritual lesson to be learned.

A wide variety of words come into play when we consider how the Scriptures speak of this issue:  bread, dine, eat, food, fruit, manna, morsel, nourish, partake, and more.  Let us therefore meditate on such verses (or should I say partake of them) [emphasis added]:

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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Job 12:11 “Does not the ear test words,
As the palate tastes its food?

Job 23:12 “I have not departed from the command of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

Job 34:3 “For the ear tests words
As the palate tastes food.

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Psalms 119:103 How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

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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 24:13 My son, eat honey, for it is good,
Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;
Proverbs 24:14 Know that wisdom is thus for your soul;
If you find it, then there will be a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.

This passage makes it explicit that eating food is a metaphor for ingesting God’s word.

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Proverbs 25:16 Have you found honey? Eat only what you need,
That you not have it in excess and vomit it.

Spiritual language can be graphic, but then so is life.

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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.

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Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found and I ate them,
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O LORD God of hosts.

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Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'”

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John 4:34 Jesus *said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

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John 6:53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.

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Philippians 1:7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.

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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 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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Revelation 2:17 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

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Revelation 3:20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

The King James Version uses “sup” in place of “dine.”

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Since the purpose of eating is to gain strength, consider this related post:  Scriptures on Strength.

Spiritually eating is akin to spiritual listening.  Therefore, see Scriptures on Listening.

The metaphor of eating can also be considered as a part of the broader metaphor of vegetation.  Therefore, see The World of Vegetation Provides Many Comparisons to Spiritual Realities.

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.)

Messianic Expectations in the New Testament

The New Testament, especially the Gospels, reveals that the age in which Jesus lived was one in which there were strong and widespread expectations among Jews that God was finally sending His Messiah.

What follows is a catalog of some of those passages which indicate this palpable messianic expectation.

Bear in mind that the expectations were not uniform.  That is, there were lots of different conceptions of this “coming one.”  People were looking for different things.  Most notably, of those who were expecting God’s messiah (and not everyone was), none of them seemed to be expecting him to be crucified.  Of course, once the resurrection occurred, messianic expectations among the faithful were realigned to the reality that Jesus of Nazareth had demonstrated.  Prior to that event, however, let’s see what sort of expectations existed in early first-century Palestine.

Matthew 2:1-23 (Here we see the magi hoping for the messiah and King Herod fearing for that messiah.)

Matthew 22:42ff  (Jesus takes note of informed messianic expectation that nonetheless cannot fully explain itself; This account is parallel to Mark 12:35ff and Luke 20:41ff.)

Matthew 27:40-44 (Jesus is taunted with messianic titles because He appears so “non-messianic” to His “messiah-expecting” critics.)

Mark 12:35ff  (This account is parallel to Matthew 22:42ff and Luke 20:41ff.)

Mark 15:32  (Same as Matthew 27:40-44.)

Luke 20:41ff  (This account is parallel to Matthew 22:42ff and Mark 12:35ff.)

Luke 23:2  (Same as Matthew 27:40-44.)

John 1:19-25  (These priests and Levites from Jerusalem were obviously expecting messianic figures, and were sent to John the Baptist to find out which one of them he might be.)

John 1:41  (Of course, this statement would make no sense if people didn’t know what a messiah was or weren’t expecting one.)

John 1:45-49  (Philip and Nathanael believe that Jesus matches the messianic expectation they each have.  Philip’s is a statement is about comprehensive resemblance to the scriptural portrait while Nathanael’s seems to speak specifically to Jesus’ fit with Psalm 2.)

John 4:25 (The Samaritans were expecting the messiah, as this Samaritan woman indicates.)

John 6:15 (The desire to make Jesus king likely was driven by messianic hope, inflamed by his feeding of thousands.)

John 7:40-53 (Here you see an example of some of the varied expectations associated with the promised one.)

John 12:34 (The crowd understood that the Scriptures promised an “everlasting” kingdom of the messianic descendant of David.)

There is no parallel in the Scriptures, or in our time, for this sort of sensitivity to Messiah’s coming.

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 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.)

Scriptures on God’s Activities

Do we think God is idle?  Of course not!  His work, however, is done in hiddenness.  Therefore, we need to trust in His workings, knowing that the evidence of His acts will inevitably become manifest.  Therefore, let us remind ourselves of His doings, and the conditions under which they take place [emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

Psalm 126:5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
Psalm 126:6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Whether a farmer sows his seed with sorrow or with joy, God causes the seed to grow.  See also Mark 4:26-27 below.

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Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

He saves us from our sins by leading us, by His Holy Spirit, away from them.  He also saves us from our sins at death by taking us to heaven.

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Mark 4:26 And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil;
Mark 4:27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows–how, he himself does not know.

Man’s work is to sow the seed.  While he rests, God works.  This is consistent with the picture painted above in Psalm 126:5-6.

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John 5:17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”

Jesus is reminding His fellow Jews that God was thinking and acting on behalf of His plan for them.

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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.

Paul outlines the division of labor, familiar to anyone who understood agriculture – and, of course, consistent with Psalm 126:5-6 and Mark 4:26-27 above.

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2 Corinthians 6:1 And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain–

This “working together” that Paul references is of that nature described a little more specifically in his earlier letter to these folks (1 Corinthians 3:6-7, which see above).  God gives the growth – but we have to be sure to plant the seed and water it!

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Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

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Philippians 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

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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;

God reveals things to us; that is, He makes things known to us.

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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.

It is right that we should believe in the working of God, and, for this reason, we believe that Jesus’ resurrection was God’s work.  Let us never lose faith in the working of God, because, even when we sow in sadness, He works (see Psalm 126:5-6 above), and even when we sleep, He works (see Mark 4:26:27 above).  God is faithful; He “watches over His word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12).

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1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

This allusion to the seed of the word of God in the heart is consistent with the imagery of 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (see above).

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

The Lord reveals things to us, He makes us to understand them. See 1 John 2:27 below.

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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.

The Lord has a teaching ministry even today.  He will teach you all things.  Have faith in this work of His.  By this work of His – that is, He teaching ministry – you have received understanding (see 2 Timothy 2:7 above).

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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 Imitating Jesus

These verses speak to our imitation of Christ.  To imitate Jesus Christ is our greatest privilege in life.  Here are some verse to help us ponder this privilege of imitating Christ [emphasis and comments added]:

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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Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

This is one of the 19 times in the four Gospels that Jesus says “Follow Me.”  To see them the rest, go to Bible Gateway.com and search the New American Standard Bible on “follow me”.

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Luke 6:40 “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

If we are disciples of Jesus, then we should become like Jesus.

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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.

Jesus tells us, “Do as I say, and do as I do.”  Jesus does not ask us to do anything that He has not first done Himself.  He has given us the example of Himself…that we might follow it.

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Acts 4:13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.

How wonderful for Peter and John that others “began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”  Let us so live that people might begin to recognize us as having been with Jesus, too.  Let them see a similarity.

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Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

God’s plan is that we be make to think and act like Jesus (“conformed to the image of His Son”).  In one sense, Jesus was a solo act, but in another, He was meant to be copied over and over again.

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1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

Paul was imitating Christ, and he wanted others to follow along.

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Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

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Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
Ephesians 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

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Philippians 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
Philippians 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Philippians 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2:8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

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1 Peter1:14 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 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

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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 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

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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.

As He laid down His life, so we should lay down our lives.

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

That is, if God loved us, we should imitate Him.

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1 John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

That is, we are imitating Him by showing to others the same love He has shown to us.

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Imitating Christ means imitating His virtues.  Therefore, consider also:  Practicing the Virtues of 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.)

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.

Scriptures on Sin

Here are posts listing scriptures about aspects of sin:

Scriptures That Define Sin

Scriptures That Speak of Eradicating Sin

Scriptures on the Slavery of Sin

Scriptures on Condemnation

Scriptures on Conscience

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 That Speak of Eradicating Sin

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

The verses in this post speak of God’s purpose to eradicate sin from our lives.  The reason God forgives us of our sins is so that we can stop committing them.  He doesn’t forgive us so that we can continue committing them!

God empowers us to resist sin, to forsake it, to turn away from it.  The New Testament is full of prescriptions for avoiding sin.  The alternative to sin is righteousness – that is, doing right.  Since the New Testament majors on this issue, you’d think that churches today would, too – but you’d be wrong.  They’re more interested in attendance than righteousness.  Here then are verses which demonstrate the Scripture’s emphasis on stopping sin.

[emphasis  and comments added]:

Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

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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.'”

Obviously, Jesus wants us to do all – not just some of – the things which we are commanded.

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John 1:29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

How then can we honor the Lamb if we keep on sinning?  See also 2 Corinthians 5:21 below.

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John 5:14 Afterward Jesus *found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”

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John 8:11 …Go. From now on sin no more.”

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John 8:46 “Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?

Since we are to imitate Jesus, let us strive to be able to say to any other human being, “Which of you convicts me of sin?”  If we keep short accounts with God Himself, this is possible.

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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 have reproduced here the entire sixth chapter of the book of Romans because it speaks so extensively and emphatically about the subject at hand.

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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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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.

John 1:29 above is consistent with this imagery.  Jesus became the lamb without blemish, offered to God on our behalf.

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1 Timothy 5:22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.

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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 That Define Sin

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

The following verses define sin, or at least help to define it.

Genesis 15:6 Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

This verse does not explicitly define sin, but it does shed additional light on Romans 14:22-23 below.  (This verse is quoted in Romans 4:3, 9, 22, 23; Galatians 3:6; and James 2:23. )

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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.'”

This verse does not explicitly define sin, but it adds light to James 4:17 below.

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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.

This verse defines sin as that which does not proceed from faith.  Therefore, consider this verse in light of Genesis 15:6 above.

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James 4:17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Consider Luke 17:10 (above) in relation to this verse.

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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.

The Things of Christ

The things of God have become the things of Christ.  As Isaiah prophesied, “So they will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house”  (Isaiah 22:24).  And Jesus Himself said, “all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (John 5:23).

Here is an alphabetized list of some occurrences of “of Christ” in the NASB, which can be related the something previously applied to God:

“a bond-servant of Christ”  –  Galatians 1:10  (“a bond-servant of God”  –  Titus 1:1)

“the day of Christ”  –  Philippians 1:10  (“the day of God”  –  2 Peter 3:12)

“the face of Christ”  –  2 Corinthians 4:6 (“the face of God”  –  Genesis 33:10)

“the fear of Christ”  –  Ephesians 5:21  (“the fear of God”  –  Genesis 20:11)

“the fullness of Christ”  –  Ephesians 4:13  (“the fullness of God”  –  Ephesians 3:19)

“the glory of Christ”  –  2 Corinthians 4:4  (“the glory of God”  –  Psalm 19:1

“the gospel of Christ”  –  Romans 15:19  (“the gospel of God”  –  Mark 1:14)

“the grace of Christ”  –  Galatians 1:6  (“the grace of God”  –  Luke 2:40)

“the judgment seat of Christ”  –  2 Corinthians 5:10  (“the judgment seat of God”  –  Romans 14:10)

“the kingdom of Christ”  –  Ephesians 5:5  (“the kingdom of God”  –  Mark 1:15)

“the knowledge of the Son of God”  –  Ephesians 4:13  (“the knowledge of God”  –  Colossians 1:10)

“the law of Christ” –  1 Corinthians 9:21  (“the law of God”  –  Joshua 24:26)

“the life of Jesus”  – 2 Corinthians 4:10, 11  (“the life of God”  –  Ephesians 4:18)

“the love of Christ”  –  Romans 8:35  (“the love of God”  –  Luke 11:42)

“the mystery of Christ”  –  Ephesians 3:4  (“the mystery of God”  – Revelation 10:7)

“the name of Christ”  –  1 Peter 4:14  (“the name of God”  –  Psalm 69:30)

“the peace of Christ”  –  Colossians 3:15  (“the peace of God”  –  Philippians 4:7)

“the power of Christ”  –  2 Corinthians 12:9  (“the power of God”  –  Romans 1:16)

“the presence of Christ”  –  2 Corinthians 2:10  (“the presence of God”  –  Ecclesiastes 5:1-2)

servants of Christ”  –  1 Corinthians 4:1  (“servants of God”  –  2 Corinthians 6:4)

“the Spirit of Christ”  –  Romans 8:9  (“the Spirit of God”  –  Genesis 1:2)

“the testimony of Jesus”  –  Revelation 1:9  (“the testimony of God”  –  1 Corinthians 2:1)

“the truth of Christ”  –  2 Corinthians 11:10  (“the truth of God”  –  Romans 1:25)

“the witnesses of Jesus”  –  Revelation 17:6  (“the witnesses of God” –  1 Corinthians 15:15)

“the word of Christ”  –  Colossians 3:16  (“the word of God”  –  1 Samuel 9:27)

“the work of Christ”  –  Philippians 2:30  (“the work of God”  –  Psalm 64:9)

“the works of Christ”  –  Matthew 11:2  (“the works of God”  – Psalm 66:5)

The things of God have become the things of Christ.  A list like this helps us to see examples of what this means.

Let us give Christ all the glory 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.)

Scriptures on Hope Without Direct Reference to God

Sometimes we get dulled to the meaning of a word like “hope.”  This can happen when it is used solely in a religious context and its practical meaning gets lost as people talk about it without practicing it.  It can therefore help to examine how the word is used when not applied directly to God.  That can bring us back to its true meaning, which we can then turn around and apply to God afresh.

Here then are some references to “hope” from the Bible where hope is either in someone other than God or being held by someone other than a believer or as having to do with some expectation not explicitly tied to God [emphasis added to draw focus to the point; some comments are added as well]:

Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

We see from this verse that hope is a desire.

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Luke 23:8 Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him.

Herod was not a godly man.  He was, however, desiring or expecting to see Jesus perform some sign.

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Luke 24:21 “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.

The disciples were speaking of a hope that they thought had been dashed – dashed by death.  Jesus would soon not just revive that hope, but fulfill it as well.

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Acts 24:26 At the same time too, he was hoping that money would be given him by Paul; therefore he also used to send for him quite often and converse with him.

This hope has nothing to do with God, but does show us the nature of hope.

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Acts 27:20 Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned.

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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.

While this passage begins with a reference to hope in God, it then references the fundamental nature or definition of hope by reminding us that hope has to do what cannot yet be seen.  Thus hope is not necessary for anything we see in the present.  Stated another way, what we see in the present arouses no hope because it is here.  We hope for what is not yet before us.

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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–
Romans 15:25 but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints.

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1 Corinthians 16:7 For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits.

Here Paul is holding to a hope that he has not yet cleared with God.

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Philippians 2:23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me;
Philippians 2:24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly.

Paul’s hope to send Timothy is being governed by how Paul’s circumstances turn out in the short term.

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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.

Paul was desiring, expecting, wishing to come to Timothy before long.  This is the nature of hope.  It looks to the future.

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1 Timothy 6:17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.

This verse actually talks about hope in something other than God as well as hope in God.

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2 John 1:12 Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full.

This is the kind of expression we can see making to a friend whom we’d rather speak face to face than write a note.

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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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Here are some scriptures on hope which do have to do with 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 Entering the Kingdom of God

What could be more important in our time than seeking and finding the kingdom of God?  Nothing.

The most important thing to know about entrance into the kingdom of God is that it requires morality on our part – godliness.  And we can achieve that only through our Lord Jesus Christ, who promises to conform us to His image if we will but follow Him.

Here then are some scripture passages that will help you plan your approach to the kingdom of God [emphasis added]:

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 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

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Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Matthew 18:2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them,
Matthew 18:3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:4 “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

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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.
2 Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
2 Peter 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
2 Peter1:10 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. (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.)

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. 

The Word “Spiritually” (an Adverb)

The word “spiritually” – which, of course, is an adverb – appears only once in the NASB.  Here it is [emphasis added]:

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.

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This post is one of the posts indexed at 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 Word “Spiritual” as a Noun

The word “spiritual” appears in the NASB 26 times, all of them in the New Testament, according to the search function at BibleGateway.com.

Most occurrences of “spiritual” are as an adjective.  Here are the verses in which “spiritual” acts as a noun, along with at least one citation of its occurrence [emphasis added]:

Romans 7:14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.

1 Corinthians 2:15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

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 15:46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.

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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This post is one of the posts indexed at 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 Word “Spiritual” as an Adjective

The word “spiritual” appears in the NASB 26 times, all of them in the New Testament, according to the search function at BibleGateway.com.

Here are the nouns which “spiritual” modifies as an adjective, along with at least one citation of its occurrence:

…blessing  –  Ephesians 1:3

…body  –  1 Corinthians 15:44

…drink  –  1 Corinthians 10:4

…food  –  1 Corinthians 10:3

…gift  –  Romans 1:11; 1 Timothy 4:14

…house  –  1 Peter 2:5

…men  –  1 Corinthians 3:1

…rock  –  1 Corinthians 10:4

…sacrifices  –  1 Peter 2:5

…service  –  Romans 12:1  (in full, this occurrence reads “your spiritual service of worship”)

…songs  –  Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16

…things  –  Romans 15:27

…understanding  –  Colossians 1:9*

…wisdom  –  Colossians 1:9

What follows now are occurrences of “spiritual” as an adjective but where the noun is absent in the original text and has to be supplied by the translator, along with the supplied words:

1 Corinthians 2:13  –  …thoughts and …words

1 Corinthians 12:1  –  …gifts

1 Corinthians 14:1  –  …gifts

1 Corinthians 14:12  –  …gifts

Ephesians 6:12  –  …forces  (the full expression being “the spiritual forces of wickedness”)

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

This post is one of the posts indexed at 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] of Spirit

The phrasing “[blank] of spirit” occurs only 8 times in the NASB according to the search function of BibleGateway.com.

Be aware that even if the syntax ([blank] of spirit} is the same in all these phrases, it does not necessarily follow that all are to be understood in the same way.  You have to look at each phrase in context.  That said, it is fair to conclude from what we see below that a spirit can vary, for example, from humble to proud – and that such spirits are therefore distinguishable from each other.

contrite of spirit  –  Isaiah 57:15*; 66:22

distinguishing of spirits  –  1 Corinthians 12:10

Father of spirits  –  Hebrews 12:9

haughtiness of spirit  –  Ecclesiastes 7:8

humble of spirit  –  Isaiah 66:22*

kind of spirit  –  Luke 9:55

lowly of spirit  –  Isaiah 57:15

patience of spirit  –  Ecclesiastes 7:8*

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

This study on the word “spirit” can also be pursued on 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. (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 [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. 

Understanding Spirit of [Blank]

In the Bible we find various occurrences of the phrase “spirit of” – the study of which can help us to understanding more about spirit and the spiritual dimension.

In Luke 9:55 Jesus says to two of His disciples, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of.”  Perhaps a catalog of the kinds of spirit there are would help us toward being able to step up to a challenge like that.

Be aware that even if the syntax (spirit of [blank]) is the same in all these phrases, it does not necessarily follow that all are to be understood in the same way.  You have to look at each phrase in context.  That said, it is fair to conclude from what we see below that a spirit can vary, for example, from good to evil – and that such spirits are therefore distinguishable from each other.

Here therefore is a catalog of words that complete the phrase which begins “spirit of.”  The list is not exhaustive, but is of sufficient length to convey the variety of “spirit” that the Bible explicitly recognizes.  Each entry is followed by one or more examples of where it can be found in the NASB.  (For purposes of alphabetization,  articles are ignored.)

…adoption  –  Romans 8:15

…burning  –  Isaiah 4:4

…Christ  –  Romans 8:9; 1 Peter 1:11

…counsel  –  Isaiah 11:2

…deep sleep  –  Isaiah 29:10

…demon  –  see “unclean demon” below

…a destroyer  –  Jeremiah 51:1

…discipline  –  2 Timothy 1:7

…distortion  –  Isaiah 19:14

…divination  –  Acts 16:16

…Elijah  –  2 Kings 2:15  (see also “…in the spirit and power of…”)

…error  –  1 John 4:6

…fainting  –  Isaiah 61:3

…faith  –  2 Corinthians 4:13

…fear  –  2 Timothy 1:7 King James Version  (NASB renders as “timidity” – see below)

…the fear of the Lord  –  Isaiah 11:2

…gentleness  –  1 Corinthians 4:21; Galatians 6:1

…glory  –  1 Peter 4:14

…the gods  –  Daniel 5:14

…God  –  Genesis 1:2; Romans 8:9

…grace  –  Zechariah 12:10; Hebrews 10:29

…harlotry  –  Hosea 4:12; 5:4

…heaviness  –  Isaiah 61:3 King James Version (NASB renders as “fainting” – see above)

…holiness  –  Romans 1:4

…jealousy  –  Numbers 5:14

…Jesus  –  Acts 16:7

…Jesus Christ  –  Philippians 1:19

…judgment –  Isaiah 4:4

…justice  –  Isaiah 28:6

…knowledge  –  Isaiah 11:2

…life  –  Genesis 7:22; Romans 8:2

…the Lord  –  Judges 3:10

…the Lord God  –  Isaiah 61:1

…love  –  2 Timothy 1:7

…the lowly  –  Isaiah 57:15

…man  –  Proverbs 20:27

…mind  –  see “sound mind” below

…power  –  1 Corinthians 2:4*; 2 Timothy 1:7

…prophecy  –  Revelation 19:10

…slavery  –  Romans 8:15

…revelation  –  Ephesians 1:17

…sleep  –  see “deep sleep” above

…sound mind  –  2 Timothy 1:7 King James Version  (NASB renders as “discipline” – see above)

…strength  –  Isaiah 11:2

…stupor  –  Romans 11:8

…supplication  –  Zechariah 12:10

…timidity  –  2 Timothy 1:7

…truth  –  John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13

…an unclean demon  –  Luke 4:33

…understanding  –  Isaiah 11:2

…wisdom  –  Isaiah 11:2; Ephesians 1:17

…the world  –  1 Corinthians 2:12

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* The actual expression is “spirit of xxxxx and of yyyyy” where these occurrence fall into the second place (yyyyy).

To continue a study of the word “spirit,” 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. 

Scriptures on Hope in God

Keep in mind that since Christ is God, hope in God means hope in Christ.

Here are scriptures that tell us about hope in Christ (i.e. God) [Emphasis, and occasional comments, added]:

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.

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Psalm 146:5 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,

This is certainly “the Lord Christ.”

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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.

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Acts 26:6 “And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers;
Acts 26:7 the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews.
Acts 26:8 “Why is it considered incredible among you people if God does raise the dead?

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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.

The Scriptures themselves bring us hope.

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Romans 15:12 Again Isaiah says,
“THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE,
AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES,
IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE.”
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.

Contrast “abound in hope” here with “no hope” in Ephesians 2:12 below.

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1 Corinthians 15:19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

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Ephesians 2:12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Contrast “no hope” here with “abound in hope” in Romans 15:13 above.

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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 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

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1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope,

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1 Timothy 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

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1 Timothy 5:5 Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day.

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1 Timothy 6:17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.

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Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,

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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,

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1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

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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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1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
1 John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

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To better understand the concept of hope, it can be help to think about verses which mention hope without any direct reference to God.

See also 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 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.)

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Faith and Hope

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

Romans 5:2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

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

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Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

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

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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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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.)

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.)

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.)

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.)

Scriptures on Purity

Jesus was pure in heart.  And thus He demonstrates to us that we should be pure in heart.

Here are some scriptures to help us think about what it means to purify ourselves [emphasis added]:

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

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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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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.

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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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James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

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James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

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Other virtues of Christ, such as godliness and faithfulness, 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. 

Scriptures on Ambition

We might not normally associate the virtue of ambition with Jesus of Nazareth, but would you consider Him lazy?  Would you consider Him lacking in direction or motivation?  Certainly He was ambitious – but not for His own sake.  That is, He was not “selfishly ambitious,” as you see we are warned against below.  His was a holy ambition.  As Jesus  was ambitious to please His Father, so we should be ambitious to please Him.  Related to ambition are His qualities of discipline, diligence, zeal, perseverance, and excellence.

Here are some scriptures to help us think about summoning our ambition for the sake of serving His cause [emphasis added]:

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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2 Corinthians 5:9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

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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.

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1 Thessalonians 4:9 Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
1 Thessalonians 4:10 for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more,
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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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.

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Other virtues of Christ, such as love and self-control, 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. 

Scriptures on Excellence

Jesus lived in pursuit of excellence.  Note carefully that it’s moral excellence He sought – not worldly excellence.  Worldly excellence is as close as well-produced television show, but it is likely to be providing content that is morally contaminated.  Moral excellence is possible on any budget.  Jesus achieved it with hardly any worldly wealth at all.  His diligence, zeal, and discipline led Him to it.  Should we not follow in His steps?

Here are some scriptures to help us ponder the excellence we have been inspired by Christ to pursue  [emphasis added]:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

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1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.

The phrase “excel still more” occurs twice in the NASB: here and 1 Thessalonians 4:10.

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1 Thessalonians 4:9 Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
1 Thessalonians 4:10 for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more,
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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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.
2 Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

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Other virtues of Christ, such as godliness and generosity, 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. 

Scriptures on Perseverance

Perseverance is found in Jesus Christ.  It is found in abundance.  Therefore, if we are to be conformed to His image, we must become persevering.  Here are some scripture verses to help think about that virtue [emphasis added]:

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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Romans 2:7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;

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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;

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Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,

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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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1 Timothy 4:16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

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James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

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2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

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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 Zeal

Zeal is undoubtedly a virtue of Christ.  His disciples noticed how zealous He was for the interests of God (see the context of John 2:17).  Those who want to be like Christ ponder virtues like this so that they might become more like Him.  Here are some scriptures to help with that process [emphasis added]:

1 Kings 19:10 [Eijah] said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

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Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.

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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.

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Isaiah 37:32 “For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”‘

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Psalm 69:9 For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.  [quoted in John 2:17]

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Psalm 119:139 My zeal has consumed me,
Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words.

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John 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.”  [quoting Psalm 69:9]

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Titus 2:14 [Christ Jesus] gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

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1 Peter 3:13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?

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Revelation 3:15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
Revelation 3:16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

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Revelation 3:19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

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Other virtues of Christ, such as gratitude and joy, 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 Diligence

Jesus was diligent; therefore, diligence is undoubtedly a virtue of Christ.  Therefore, we ought to think about it so that we might practice it.

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

Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the slack hand will be put to forced labor.

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Proverbs 12:27 A lazy man does not roast his prey,
But the precious possession of a man is diligence.

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Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
But the soul of the diligent is made fat.

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Proverbs 13:24 He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

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Romans 12:11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;

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2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

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2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

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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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2 Peter 1:15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.

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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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Other virtues of Christ, such as godliness and generosity, 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 Discipline

Jesus Christ was disciplined.  Otherwise, He could never have gone through the last week of His life as He did.  (His patience, perseverance, and forbearance were part of that discipline.)  Jesus both accepted the discipline of His Father and, as part of that process, disciplined Himself.  We must see discipline as an essential element of Jesus’ character if we are to successfully imitate His life.

Here are some scriptures to help us embrace the discipline that Jesus embraced so that we might eventually be as disciplined as He was…and is  [emphasis added]:

Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Proverbs 13:1 A wise son accepts his father’s discipline,
But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

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Proverbs 13:18 Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline,
But he who regards reproof will be honored.

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Proverbs 13:24 He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

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1 Corinthians 9:27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

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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,

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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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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;
1 Timothy 4:8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

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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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Other virtues of Christ, such as patience and kindness, 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.)

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.)

Catalog of New Testament Teachings Traceable to the Old Testament

This catalog flows from the post Tracing the Old Testament Roots of New Testament Teaching.

What follows is a list of New Testament verses whose ideas can first be found in the Old Testament.  The New Testament writers were, of course, not trying to be original.  Rather, they believed that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all the requirements and promises of the Old Testament.  This catalog helps to show just how intertwined and mutually dependent the Old Testamnt and New Testament actually are.  The list is given in two forms: first, in New Testament order; then, all the same verses are listed in Old Testament order.

IN NEW TESTAMENT ORDER

Matthew 6:13  –  Psalm 145:11

Matthew 19:17  –  Psalm 119:68

Matthew 19:26  –  (see also Mark 10:27 and Luke 18:27) Genesis 18:14; Job 42:1-2; Jeremiah 32:17; Zechariah 8:6

Matthew 26:11  –  Deuteronomy 15:11

Mark 10:18  –  Psalm 119:68

Mark 10:27  –  (see also Matthew 19:26 and Luke 18:27) Genesis 18:14; Job 42:1-2; Jeremiah 32:17; Zechariah 8:6

Mark 12:29  –  Deuteronomy 6:4

Mark 12:30  –  Deuteronomy 6:5

Mark 12:31  –  Leviticus 19:18

Luke 11:13  –  Psalm 84:11

Luke 18:19  –  Psalm 119:68

Luke 18:27  –  (see also Matthew 19:26 and Mark 1027) Genesis 18:14; Job 42:1-2; Jeremiah 32:17; Zechariah 8:6

John 17:17  –  Psalm 119:160

IN OLD TESTAMENT ORDER

Genesis 18:14  –  (see also Job 42:1-2; Jeremiah 32:17; Zechariah 8:6)  Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27

Leviticus 19:18  –  Mark 12:31

Deuteronomy 6:4  –  Mark 12:29

Deuteronomy 6:5  –  Mark 12:30

Deuteronomy 15:11 –  Matthew 26:11

Job 42:1-2  –  (see also Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17; Zechariah 8:6)  Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27

Psalm 84:11  –  Luke 11:13

Psalm 119:68  –  Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19

Psalm 119:160  –  John 17:17

Psalm 145:11  –  Matthew 6:13

Jeremiah 32:17  –  (see also Genesis 18:14; Job 42:1-2; Zechariah 8:6)  Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27

Zechariah 8:6  –  (see also Genesis 18:14; Job 42:1-2; Jeremiah 32:17)  Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27

This “catalog” does not even scratch the surface, for indeed the seeds of all New Testament teaching can be found in the Old Testament.  What you see here represents some of the more obvious connections (such as Mark 12:28-34 quoting Deuteronomy 6 and Leviticus 19), but also some of the less obvious ones (such as Psalm 119:160 and John 17:17).  This short list is provided just to orient you to this fact and to launch you on your own study of such connections.

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 Abolition of Physical Warfare Conducted in the Name of God

The New Testament makes clear that the coming of the kingdom of God meant the end of physical warfare in the name of God.  In the kingdom of God, spiritual warfare is the only sort of warfare God authorizes to be waged on His behalf.

First and foremost,the Scriptures demonstrate this by the life of Jesus Himself.  That is, unlike prior kings of Israel, Jesus make no use of the force of arms.  He did not use so much as a slingshot to advance His cause.

What is true of Jesus is true also of the other great proclaimer of the kingdom of God from the 1st Century, John the Baptist.  Throughout the Old Testament, ancient Israel commonly took up arms to advance the cause of God.  However, the kingdom of God would require no physical violence.

Consequently, one might wonder how Jesus and the apostles could rely as heavily on the Old Testament as they did, given that it was full of references to battling this foe or that one.  The answer is that Jesus and His apostles understood such references spiritually.  That is, they saw how God wanted them to battle spritual forces, not earthly ones.  Spiritual warfare means using such weapons as love and kindness (as in “kill ’em with kindness”).  For a list of how the New Testament writers employed martial language metaphorically, see this post.

Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’
Matthew 5:39 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
Matthew 5:40 “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
Matthew 5:41 “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
Matthew 5:42 “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’
Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Matthew 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Matthew 5:46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Matthew 5:47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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Matthew 26:47 While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
Matthew 26:48 Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.”
Matthew 26:49 Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.
Matthew 26:50 And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.
Matthew 26:51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear.
Matthew 26:52 Then Jesus *said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.
Matthew 26:53 “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
Matthew 26:54 “How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”
Matthew 26:55 At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.
Matthew 26:56 “But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled.

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Luke tells of John the Baptist preaching the kingdom of God and the repentance required for admission and includes some of the questions John’s listeners had:

Luke 3:10 And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do?”
Luke 3:11 And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”
Luke 3:12 And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”
Luke 3:13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.”
Luke 3:14 Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”

Note that John did not say that God would condemn anyone who was a soldier anymore than He would condemn someone who was a tax collector.  It’s just that God did not want tax collectors and soldiers to take advantage of their positions of power.  Thus a disciple of Jesus who has consented to bear arms for his country has not betrayed the cause of Christ.  He would only betray the cause of Christ if he took up arms to advance the cause of Christ.

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Luke 6:27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
Luke 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
Luke 6:29 “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.
Luke 6:30 “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.
Luke 6:31 “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
Luke 6:33 “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
Luke 6:34 “If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.
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.
Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.
Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

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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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Romans 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 8:36 Just as it is written,
“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

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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.
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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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 Peace

Jesus Christ was a man of peace, and He is a God of peace.  Consider these scriptures, that we, too, might have peace [emphasis added]:

Num 6:24 The LORD bless you, and keep you;
Num 6:25 The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
Num 6:26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’

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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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Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

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Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,
Ephesians 2:15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,
Ephesians 2:16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
Ephesians 2:17 AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR;
Eph 2:18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

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Peace is but one of the virtues of Jesus Christ; to consider others, 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 Joy

Joy is a virtue, or you could say character trait, of Jesus Christ.  Though He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3), He knew that the sorrow was fleeting and that enduring joy would ultimately come from obedience to God.  Here then are some scriptures on joy which nourish our minds so that we might partake of Christ’s joy [emphasis added]:

Psalm 30:5 For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

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Psalm 97:11 Light is sown like seed for the righteous
And gladness for the upright in heart.

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Psalm 126:5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
Psalm 126:6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

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Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

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John 16:19 Jesus knew that they wished to question Him, and He said to them, “Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me’?
John 16:20 “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.
John 16:21 “Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.
John 16:22 “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.

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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.

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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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To consider other virtues of Christ, 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 Love

It is almost needless to say that love is a character trait of Jesus Christ.  It is, in fact, the one trait that embodies all the others.  Everything Jesus taught, said, and did was rooted in the motive of love.  Therefore, He asks the same of us.  Here are some scriptures to help us meditate on love [emphasis added]:

Mark 12:28 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”
Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;
Mark 12:30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’
Mark 12:31 “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:32 The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM;
Mark 12:33 AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Mark 12:34 When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.

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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.

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Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:9 For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

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Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

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Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Ephesians 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 2:7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

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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 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

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1 John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
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.
1 John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.
1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
1 John 4:21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

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To consider more of the virtue that comprise this overarching virtue of love, 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 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.)

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.)

Scriptures on Goodness

Goodness is a characteristic of Jesus Christ.  Study of scriptures like these help us better understand what is entailed in that simple word [Emphasis added]:

Psalm 27:13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.

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Psalm 31:19 How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!

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Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

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Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

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Psalm 119:68 You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.

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Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
Prov 3:28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you.

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Ecclesiastes 2:26 For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.

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Hosea 3:5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.

The “last days” were, of course, the days of the New Testament, during which the goodness of God was found in Jesus Christ His Son.  It still is.

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Matthew 7:11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Luke’s version of this statement reads “…give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”  Thus we see how goodness is associated with the Holy Spirit, and vice versa.

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Mark 10:18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.

Jesus saw all His goodness as being derived from God.  In the same way, we should see all our goodness as being derived from Jesus.

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Luke 6:27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
Luke 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
Luke 6:29 “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.
Luke 6:30 “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.
Luke 6:31 “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
Luke 6:33 “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
Luke 6:34 “If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.
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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Acts 10:38 “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with 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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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.

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Ephesians 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
Ephesians 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
Ephesians 5:10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

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1 Timothy 6:17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
1 Timothy 6:18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
1 Timothy 6:19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

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Titus 2:14 [Christ Jesus] gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

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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.

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1 Peter 3:10 For,
“THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS,
MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.
1 Peter 3:11 “HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD;
HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT.
1 Peter 3:12 “FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS,
AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER,
BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.”
1 Peter 3:13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?

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Other characteristics of Christ for us to practice can be found 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 Gratitude

Jesus was a grateful man.  In fact, His grateful attitude accounted for much of His success – spiritual success, that is.  Here are some scriptures on gratitude, including ones that showed how giving thanks was important to Jesus [emphasis added]”

Matthew 15:35 And He directed the people to sit down on the ground;
Matthew 15:36 and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.

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Matthew 26:27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you;
Matthew 26:28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

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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.

Thus ingratitude to God is evil.  (Or did we think ingratitude was evil only when shown toward us?)

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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.”

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John 6:23 There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.

We might have expected the apostle John to end this sentence with “after the Lord had multiplied the fishes and loaves,” or “after the Lord had performed the miracle.”  That John described it the way he did conveys just how much John was impressed by the way Jesus gave thanks.  You get the sense that there was something quite special about it.  Perhaps if we gave thanks more like Jesus did, we would see more of the power Jesus saw.

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John 11:41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
John 11:42 “I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.”

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Rom 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.

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2 Corinthians 9:6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
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.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
2 Corinthians  9:9 as it is written,
“HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR,
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.”
2 Corinthians 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
2 Corinthians 9:11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.

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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 5:18 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 4:6 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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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 3:14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
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.

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Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;

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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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1 Timothy 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;
1 Timothy 4:5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

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2 Timothy 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2 Timothy 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,
2 Timothy 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2 Timothy 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

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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 13:15 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.

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Other characteristics of Christ for us to practice can be found 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 Generosity

Jesus of Nazareth was a generous man.  He gave His life in service to God and His fellow Jews.  (And more than a few Gentiles have been helped along the way, too!)  Here are some scriptures on generosity upon which we can meditate that we might imitate the generosity of Christ [emphasis added]:

Deuteronomy 15:7 “If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother;
Deuteronomy  15:8 but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.
Deuteronomy 15:9 “Beware that there is no base thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,’ and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to the LORD against you, and it will be a sin in you.
Deuteronomy 15:10 “You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.
Deuteronomy  15:11 “For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’

This statute from the Law of Moses would have been part of Jesus training as a young Jew in Nazareth.  His saying that “the poor you always have with you” (Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7; John 12:8) makes us mindful of this passage.

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Proverbs 11:25 The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.

The book of Proverbs reflected the wisdom given through the Law of Moses and would also have been a part of Jesus upbringing.

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Proverbs 19:6 Many will seek the favor of a generous man,
And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.

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Proverbs 22:9 He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.

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Matthew 10:8 “>>>Freely you received, freely give.”

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Matthew 20:15 ‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’

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Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

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1 Cor 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,

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2 Cor 9:6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
2 Cor 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.
2 Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
2 Cor 9:9 as it is written,
“HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR,
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.”
2 Cor 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
2 Cor 9:11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
2 Cor 9:12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
2 Cor 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,
2 Cor 9:14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.

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Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
Ephesians 1:8 which He lavished on us…

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1 Timothy 6:17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
1 Timothy 6:18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
1 Timothy 6:19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

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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.

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Philemon 1:21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, since I know that you will do even more than what I say.

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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.
Hebrews 13:16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

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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.

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Other attributes of Christ for us to practice can be found 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 Self-Control

Jesus kept Himself under control.  Never was this more apparent than in the hours leading up to His death.  Yet it was only because He had developed self-control long before that time that He was able to exercise it in His suffering and crucifixion.  Those who want to be like Him but develop this quality as well.  To help in doing that, here are some scriptures which speak of it [emphasis added]:

Proverbs 25:28 Like a city that is broken into and without walls
Is a man who has no control over his spirit.

Though the word “self-control” does not appear,the idea is obviously implied in this verse.

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1 Corinthians 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

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Galatians 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Galatians 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
Galatians 5:21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

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2 Timothy 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2 Timothy 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,
2 Timothy 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2 Timothy 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Note what unsavory characteristics are associated with the lack of self-control!

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Titus 1:7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,
Titus 1:8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,
Titus 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

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2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
2 Peter 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Other qualities of Christ for us to practice, such as gratitude and humility, can be found 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 Godliness

Godliness is undoubtedly a virtue of Christ.  Those who want to be like Him study this attribute of His, and seek to make it their own.  Here are some scriptures to help you do that [emphasis added]:

Psalm 4:3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The LORD hears when I call to Him.

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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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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;
1 Timothy 4:8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

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1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness,
1 Timothy 6:4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,
1 Timothy  6:5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
1 Timothy  6:6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.
1 Timothy 6:7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.
1 Timothy 6:8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
1 Timothy  6:9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
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.
1 Timothy 6:11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

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2 Tim 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

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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,
Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

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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.
2 Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
2 Peter 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Other virtues of Christ, such as patience and kindness, 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 Patience

Because the Lord is patient, we should be as well.  Consider these verses which speak of patience [Emphasis added]:

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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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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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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1 Timothy 1:16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

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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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2 Timothy 3:10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance,
2 Timothy 3:11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!

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2 Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

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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.
Hebrews 6:13 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,
Hebrews 6:14 saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.”
Hebrews 6:15 And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.

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James 5:7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
James 5:8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
James 5:9 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.
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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1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

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1 Peter 3:20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.

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2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

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2 Peter 3:15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,

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See how patience is often found where we find kindness in this post.

Patience is a virtue of Christ.  We ought to study it and practice it.  Other virtues of Christ to practice can be found 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 Kindness

Jesus is kind, and wants us to be kind.  Here are scriptures to help us think about how [Emphasis added]:

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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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?

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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.

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Ephesians 2:7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

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Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

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Titus 3:4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,
Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
Titus 3:6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Titus 3:7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

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1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,
1 Peter 2:2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
1 Peter 2:3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

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2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
2 Peter 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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See scriptures where kindness and patience are found together here.

Kindness is a virtue of Christ.  We ought to study it and practice it.  Other virtues of Christ to practice can be found 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 Humility

Jesus was humble.  Therefore, we should be, too.  Let’s meditate on these scriptures about humilty (there are others that you can find on your own, perhaps as you study using a Strong’s concordance) that we might find help in becoming more like our Lord [emphasis added]:

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
Proverbs 16:19 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

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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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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?

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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.”

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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,

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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.

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James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”
James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

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1 Peter 5:5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
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.

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See scriptures where humility is found together with gentleness in this post.

Humility is a virtue of Christ.  We ought to study it and practice it.  Other virtues of Christ to practice can be found 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 Gentleness

Gentleness is important because it is a characteristic of Christ our Lord.  To help us imitate Him, here are some scriptures which shed light on that quality [emphasis added]:

Isaiah 40:11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

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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 21:5 “SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION,
‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU,
GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY,
EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.'”

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Galatians 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Galatians 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
Galatians 5:21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

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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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Philippians 4:5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

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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.

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1 Timothy 6:11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

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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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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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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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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 3:14 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;
1 Peter 3:16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

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See scriptures where gentleness is spoken together in the same breath with humility in this post.

Gentleness is a character trait of Christ.  We ought to study it and practice it.  Other virtues of Christ to practice can be found 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 “The Faith”

There is a previous post of scriptures on faith in Christ.  That faith is sometimes called “the faith.”

This expression can also refer to the call for us to imitate the faith of Jesus of Nazareth.  As he imitated the faith of his forefather Abraham, so we should imitate the faith that he exercised.  In this regard, of course, Jesus would be the foremost example of someone “who led us and spoke the word of God to us” (Hebrews 13:7).

Here are some of those scriptures where this term is used [emphasis added]:

Acts 3:16 “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.

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Acts 6:7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

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Acts 13:8 But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

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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 16:5 So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.

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Romans 4:9 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Romans 4:10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
Romans 4:11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
Romans 4:12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
Romans 4:13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Romans 4:14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
Romans 4:15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
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.

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

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Galatians 1:23 but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.”

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Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.

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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.

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Ephesians 1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,

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Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

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Philippians 1:25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,
Philippians 1:26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.
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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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–
Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

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1 Timothy 3:9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

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1 Tim 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,

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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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1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

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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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2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;

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Titus 1:13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith,
Titus 1:14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.

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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.

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Here is a post cataloging other important biblical concepts.

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 “Able to Teach”

Three times in the New American Standard Bible, the phrase “able to teach” occurs [emphasis added]:

1 Timothy 3:2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

As for “overseers,” see this post on the meaning of the term.

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2 Timothy 2:2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

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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,

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The ability to teach is important because the underlying idea is that truth needs to be passed on.

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 with the phrase “in you”

It’s staggering and wonderful to think of the God of the entire universe working inside of us.  That’s just what the following verses (all containing the phrase “in you,” applied to the believer) communicate [emphasis added]:

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

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.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

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.

In this regard, you should also consider meditating verses which contain the phrases “in your heart(s)” (e.g. Ephesians 3:17 and Romans 10:8), “in the inner man” (e.g. Ephesians 3:16), “innermost being” (e.g. John 7:38 and Psalm 51:6), and similar phrasings.

Consider also choruses like Into My Heart (Come Into My Heart, Lord Jesus) and hymns such as I Serve a Risen Savior.

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 Heirs and Inheritance

The Bible speaks frequently of heirs and inheritance.  Of course, both are the result of death, for it’s when someone dies that his wealth is left behind.  There is much to be gleaned, and from a variety of angles, when studying this subject.

[Emphasis added in the list of verses that follow]:

Jeremiah 17:4 And you will, even of yourself, let go of your inheritance
That I gave you;
And I will make you serve your enemies
In the land which you do not know;
For you have kindled a fire in My anger
Which will burn forever.

Acts 26:15 “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
Acts 26:16 ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;
Acts 26:17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,
Acts 26:18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

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.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
Colossians 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance…

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

Hebrews 9:15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.

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 a Hardened Heart

A hardened heart is one that does not receive communications from God.  Note in the scriptures that follow that it is is not just believers who are plagued by hardening, but it can happen to believers, too.  Therefore, be on guard.

[Emphasis added to the scriptures that follow, for the sake of drawing attention to the main point of the list]:

Exodus 7:13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them…

Mark 3:5 After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

Mark 6:51 Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished,
Mark 6:52 for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.

Mark 8:17 And Jesus, aware of this, *said to them, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart?
Mark 8:18 “HAVING EYES, DO YOU NOT SEE? AND HAVING EARS, DO YOU NOT HEAR? And do you not remember,
Mark 8:19 when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?” They *said to Him, “Twelve.”
Mark 8:20 “When I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they *said to Him, “Seven.”
Mark 8:21 And He was saying to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

Romans 11:7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;

2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;
2 Cor 3:16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

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;
Ephesians 4:19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

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.”

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 Kingdom of God Being Given and Received

Here are scriptures indicating that the kingdom of God is given – by God, of course [emphasis added]:

Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.

Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

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Now here are scriptures indicating that the kingdom of God is received – by us, of course, and by faith at that [emphasis added]:

Mark 10:15 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

Luke 18:17 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

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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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 Sacrifice, Offering, and Altar

The practice of animal sacrifice, so prevalent in ancient times and in Mosaic Law, was rendered obsolete by the spirituality brought by Jesus Christ.  Thus the New Testament speaks of spiritual sacrifices (whether explicitly or implicitly).  However, the Old Testament itself had anticipated this transition to spirituality, which can be seen in the Old Testament verses listed below [emphasis added]:

Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Psalm 40:7 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
Psalm 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”

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.”

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.

Isaiah 53:10 But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

Isaiah 56:7 Even those I will bring to My holy mountain
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar;
For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”

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.

Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
Ephesians 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Philippians 2:17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

Philippians 4:18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

Hebrews 9:26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.

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.

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.

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 Reward

The Bible speaks of God as a rewarder.  How then can anyone think that living for God leads to an unrewarding life?

Here are some scriptures which speak to God rewarding us [emphasis 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.
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.

Note how so many seek rewards for their spirituality from their fellow human beings rather than from the source of spirituality: God Himself.  Such people are wasting effort.  Don’t seek rewards from people; seek rewards from God (which sometimes come through people, but most often come directly to our hearts through His Holy Spirit).

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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.

Note that faith requires not merely that we believe God is around, but that He’s paying attention to us and wants to make our efforts toward Him to pay off.  Of course, I’m speaking of a spiritual payoff, which is vastly superior to any sort of financial payoff.

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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 Honor

The following verses speak of honor, and particularly the honor that we give God [emphasis added, and comments follow]:

1 Samuel 2:30 “…those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.”

God is promising to honor those of us who honor Him.  What a privilege and what a promise!

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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.”

To thank God honors Him for what He has done.  Isn’t it amazing to think that we have the ability to honor God Almighty?

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John 5:22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,
John 5:23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

To “honor the Son as we honor to the Father” is to honor Christ as God.

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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 Christ

Here are some Scriptures on faith in Christ [emphasis added].  Note how the Bible directs our faith to Christ.  That is, faith in God is faith in Christ.  Be aware also that while “faith” and “believe” or “believing” may not look like cognates in English, they certainly are in Greek.

Matthew 18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

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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,

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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.

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John 8:30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.
John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
John 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

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John 14:1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.

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John 17:20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;

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John 20:29 Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.
John 20:30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;
John 20:31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

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Acts 3:16 “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.

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Acts 16:31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

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Acts 19:4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

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Acts 20:21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Acts 24:24 But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.

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Acts 26:18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

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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,
Romans 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
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;
Romans 3:26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

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Galatians 2:16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

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Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

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Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.
Galatians 3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

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Ephesians 1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,

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Ephesians 3:11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Ephesians 3:12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

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Philippians 3:9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

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Colossians 1:4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;

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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.

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1 Timothy 1:16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

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1 Timothy 3:13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

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2 Timothy 3:14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

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Philemon 1:4 I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,
Philemon 1:5 because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints;
Philemon 1:6 and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.

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James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

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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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1 John 3:23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

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1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

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Revelation 14:12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

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The apostles sometimes spoke of faith in Christ as “the faith” – you can find some scriptures with this phrasing listed here.

Here are some other important biblical concepts.

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.)