Genesis 24:58

Genesis 24:58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”

What a vulnerable, poignant…and powerful moment!  As Rebekah was willing to “leave and cleave” so we who love Jesus have embraced Him for a whole new way of life.  We are leaving behind the futile way of life inherited from our earthly families (1 Peter 1:18) to embrace the altogether spiritual life that He offers us.

Let us go to him with the hope and the willingness and the vulnerability with which Rebekah went to Isaac.  Jesus will not disappoint us.  On the contrary, He will be “even more than we could ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

From the Branch Come the Branches

One of the well-known references to Messiah in Old Testament prophecy regards “the Branch.”  For example,

Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.

And Jeremiah is not the only prophet to use this term:

Zechariah 6:12 “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.

Isaiah chimes in as well:

Isaiah 4:2 In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.

Nor are these the only occasions where these three prophets used this messianic title.

Therefore, when Jesus comes along in John 15 describing how His disciples are branches, it would have been a mind-stretching moment for that room full of Jews.  All their lives they had heard about the coming of God’s Branch.  And here before them, the one they have been following for three years, the one they had come to believe was, in fact, that Branch, was telling them that through Him they would all be branches!  It surely must have staggered their imaginations – but then there were so many things Christ did and said that staggered their imaginations.  No wonder He said to them that night:

John 16:12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

Should we be surprised that the Branch begets branches?  Not if we know that in this creation, everything reproduces after its own kind – just as it says in Genesis.  And even the apostle Paul said that Christ was “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Exodus 5:1 – Let His People Go!

Exodus 5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.'”

Here’s a call to all pastors, popes, and spiritual overseers of every kind:  Let the people of God go that they may worship Him without your involvement!

These are God’s people – not yours!

These are the people for whom Christ died, and who seek sincerely to serve Him.  Only you have co-opted their service for you and your organizations.  Let Christ’s people go to Him!  In fact, let them go that you might join them in worshiping and serving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Abandon man-made institutions and serve the living and omnipresent 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.)

We Are, Like Isaac, Children of Promise

The apostle Paul wrote:

Galatians 4:28 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.

Isaac was born as the result of God fulfilling His promise of a son to Abraham.  Ishmael did not count in this regard because he was not born of Abraham’s faith but rather of Abraham’s doubt.  Isaac, however, was a true child of faith.

As the child of faith in God’s promise, Isaac inherited the promises God had made to Abraham – for God had said to Abraham, “…and to your descendants…” as part of the promises.

Jesus was due children as a result of being a descendant of Abraham.  He was denied those children in the days of his flesh, but he is receiving them forever through the spirit.

Therefore, let us experience life as Isaac did – heirs to the very promise that created us.  That is, let us teach the faith to those in our sphere of influence, that our children in the faith might pass it on to their children in the faith and so 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. 

The People of God Should Be As Devout As the Man of God

When we are reading the Bible and come across the phrase “the man of God” we generally associate that phrase with someone upright and godly – someone who is tuned to God’s will and does it.  When it comes to the expression “the people of God,” however, we are not so conditioned.  We are prepared for much more variation in behavior, because the people of God are depicted in the Scriptures as wayward more often than they are depicted as walking righteously.

That historical reality aside, God expects His people to be righteous just as He expects a man of God to be righteous.  For what are the people of God except the aggregation of all the men of God.  (I am, obviously, using the term “man” in its non-gender-specific sense.)

Christ came to purify a people for His own possession (Titus 2:14).  Thus in the kingdom of God, the same holy standard applies to qualifying as “the people of God” as applies to qualifying as “a man of God.”  Therefore, if you aspire to be among the true people of God you must aspire to be a true man of God.

For more, see: How to Be in the One True Church

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

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

Psalm 106:47 – Blessed be the Lord Who Has Saved Us and Gathered Us to Himself

Psalm 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God,
And gather us from among the nations,
To give thanks to Your holy name
And glory in Your praise.

Who is “the Lord” who saves us but Jesus Christ our Lord.

We seek Him to “gather us from among the nations.”  That is, we seek Him to manifest Himself to us that we might look to Him, come to Him, imitate Him, and glorify Him.

We “give thanks” to His name, which is above all names.

And we glory not in the praise of men, but in the praise He gives when we do His will (Romans 2:28-29).

Blessed be Your name O Lord!

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

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

Psalm 107:1-3 – The Lord Himself Has Gathered Us to Himself

Psalm 107:1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary
Psalm 107:3 And gathered from the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.

Look at what the Lord has done for us!  He has redeemed us and gathered us to Himself.

We are not gathered to any earthly father.  We are not gathered to each other.  Rather, we are gathered to Him who is Lord.  We are gathered by our faith.

We know that without faith it is impossible to please Him.  We believe in His ministry to us because it is what we ought to do.

This passage is a picture of the one true church in the earth today.

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.)

John 10:16

John 10:16 “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

This scripture was fulfilled when Jesus came again.

It was prophesied by Peter when he wrote:

1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Thus there is only one flock of God today, and Jesus is its shepherd.  You do not know where they are?  Fear not, the Lord does:

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,”…

This flock is sanctified by the eyes of the spirit, not the eyes of the flesh.

Make this your cry:  The Lord Is Our Pastor

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. 

Who Gets Called a Christian?

The term “Christian” appears a grand total of three times in the Bible (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).

By contrast, the word “Christ” appears in the Bible over 500 times.

Let that be our guide as to which the Bible considers more important.

The reason that the disciples were called Christians in Acts 11:26 was that they were so often talking about Christ.  That is, they were not talking about themselves – they were talking about Him.

Let people call you a Christian because you talk so much about 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.

The Problem Isn’t That There Aren’t Enough Christians in the World; Rather, There Are Too Many

Approximately one out of every three people on the earth today calls himself a Christian.  Is that too many…or too few?

Consider what Mahatma Ghandi said:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

That being the case, it’s doubtful that going from one out of three to two out of three is going to convince the remaining third to join in.

The qualifications for being counted as a Christian have become very watered down from what they were in biblical times.  Today, all one has to do is to say “I’m a Christian” and that ends all debate on the subject.  There may be good Christians, bad Christians, and awful Christians, but a person’s own self-description seems to be the sole and deciding criterion as to whether he is or isn’t a Christian.

The spiritual reality is that the world needs the kind of Christians that could do the reputation of Christianity some good.  Otherwise, we might as well count Christians as being pretty much like everyone else.  As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

What we need instead are Christians who act like Christ:

1 John 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

What we don’t need Christians who act like the devil:

Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

If you think that only Christians go to heaven, then you want the number of Christians to be high.  However, believing that everyone is going to heaven gives you a different perspective.  Specifically, in terms of helping the world, it’s not the number of Christians that matter – it’s their power.  For as Jonathan the son of Saul said:

1 Samuel 14:6 …the LORD is not restrained to save by many or by few.”

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.)

God Has Been Purifying a People for Himself All Along

God chose Abraham for the purpose of creating a people for Himself.

God gave Abraham many descendants so that He might have many people for Himself.  However, not all the descendants would be God’s people.  First of all, it was only the descendants of Isaac; Abraham’s descendants through Ishmael were excluded.  Then it was only the descendants of Jacob; the descendants of Esau were excluded.  This was a winnowing process, not unlike that which involved Gideon:

Judges 7:2 The LORD said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’

Fast forward to New Testament times and we see that God was purifying a people for Himself by choosing from among Jews and Gentiles (Romans 9:24; Acts 15:14) those who would willingly (i.e., voluntarily) submit themselves to God’s rule (Psalm 110:3).

Therefore, looking across both testaments we can see that God was purifying for Himself a people for His own possession:

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.

Therefore, today the people of God are known in their entirety by Him alone (2 Timothy 2:19).  No human shepherd stands over them for they will only follow the voice of the one true Shepherd (John 10:5).  This is the continuation and consummation of a process God began long, long ago.  All along, He has been “purifying a people for His own possession.”

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 God-fearing Gentiles

The apostle Paul is known for having been commissioned by Jesus to reach the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7).  However, we mustn’t think that  this meant Paul indiscriminately sought any and every Gentile he could find.  Rather, the Scripture describes Paul’s efforts as being focused on “God-fearers among the Gentiles” (Acts 17:17).  Even when Paul said to the Jews in Corinth, “From now on I shall go to the Gentiles,” (Acts 18:6), he only went next door (Acts 18:7).  And in the very next city he entered, which was Ephesus, and started at the synagogue once again (Acts 18:19) reasoning with Jews.

Does this mean that Paul was vacillating?  Hardly.  It simply indicates that Paul focused his attention on the Gentiles where he had the greatest chance of success – that is, those Gentiles who were already convinced that there was but one God, that He was righteous, and that the Jews spoke for Him.  This is what made them “God-fearers” in the eye of the Jews.  And they hung around synagogues – not around the red-light district of town.

Among both Jews and Gentiles of that age, there were those who feared God and those who didn’t.  The preaching of the gospel polarized each of these two populations, drawing those whose hearts were tender toward God to Him – hardening and repelling the rest.

The true people of God could not be determined by whether or not they were Jew or Gentile, but by whether or not they loved righteousness (Hebrews 1:9).  This is still true today.

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. 

New Testament Elder Functions Were Limited and Temporary

Church leaders today want to claim biblical authority over you.  However, the Bible gives them none.

The term elder as used in the New Testament is synonymous with “overseer,” “bishop,” “shepherd,” and “pastor.”  (See this post for more explanation.)  These were leaders appointed by the apostles, and by subordinates of the apostles (e.g. Timothy and Titus).

1 Timothy 3:1ff and Titus 1:5ff are the two New Testament passages which give the most extensive lists of qualifications and responsibilities of church elders.  Nowhere in those lists are elders themselves authorized to appoint elders.  That is, these church elders were given no means of providing for their own succession.  This is quite understandable since the return of the Lord was expected in their lifetimes (and return He did: Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again).  Elders were being appointed because there weren’t enough apostles to keep up with the growth of disciples.  (To distinguish apostles from disciples, see this post.)  However, if the church ran low on elders, only the apostles were authorized to appoint more in order to replenish those ranks.

Elders therefore had 1) less authority than the apostles, and 2) like the apostles, had authority that was expected to soon expire (i.e. with the coming of the Lord).  For this reason, Peter included himself with the elders in anticipation of the Lord’s arrival to assume personal responsibility for His flock (1 Peter 5:1-4), and thereby relieve the apostles and elders of their respective authority (1 Corinthians 15:24 – the abolishment of all prior authority).

With such limited and temporary biblical authority for elders, it is surprising that church leaders today say that their authority over anyone is based on the Bible.

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

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

John 4:21-24

John 4:21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
John 4:22 “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
John 4:23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

How is it that Jesus said almost 2,000 years ago that “an hour is coming and now is” that physical location would cease to be an issue for true worship of God and yet some today say that He wants people to go to a certain place and gather with certain others in order to properly worship?  I’m talking, of course, about those who say that God wants His followers to belong to a local church.

We are not sanctified by our location in a specific place or by our inclusion with a certain group, but rather by the Spirit (Romans 15:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2).  That is, “the Lord knows those who are His” (2 Timothy 2:19) and there’s no need for your name to be on some earthly attendance list.

If you want to belong to the house of the Lord, then belong to the Lord…and you will be of His house.

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. 

Jeremiah 3:16 – The Ark of the Covenant

Jeremiah 3:16 “It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the LORD, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again.

This scripture was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  He Himself became the ark of the covenant.  That is, the covenant was contained in Him.

Let us imitate Him.  That is, let the covenant of the Lord be secured in our hearts.  Let us be vessels for honor, carrying the truth the Lord written upon our hearts.  As Paul put it to the Corinthians:

2 Corinthians 3:2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men;
2 Corinthians 3:3 being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
2 Corinthians 3:4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
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.

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

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

The Bible Is a Love Story

The Bible is a love story about God and His people.

He loves His people.  They reciprocate His love.

Who are the people of God?  [Emphasis added.]

2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His

For more on how the Scripture labels the people whom God loves, see: Scriptural Names for the People 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. 

Zephaniah 3:13 – The Remnant

Zephaniah 3:13 “The remnant of Israel will do no wrong
And tell no lies,
Nor will a deceitful tongue
Be found in their mouths;
For they will feed and lie down
With no one to make them tremble.”

Recall also:

Romans 9:27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED;

Thus, if you would be numbered among the people of God – that is, the “remnant” – then “do no wrong and tell no lies.”  As Zephaniah’s fellow prophet Zechariah put it, “Speak the truth” (Zechariah 8:16).

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.)

Zephaniah 3:11

Zephaniah 3:11 “In that day you will feel no shame
Because of all your deeds
By which you have rebelled against Me;
For then I will remove from your midst
Your proud, exulting ones,
And you will never again be haughty
On My holy mountain.

These words from the prophet Zephaniah spoke of a work God was going to do, whereby He was going to purify the people of God.  Jesus spoke of this same work when He said to the chief priests and elders of Israel:

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.

Thus Jesus also said;

John 10:16 “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

To purify Israel meant to remove those Jews who did not belong and add those Gentiles who did.  That is, the true people of God are those who live His way – be they Jew or Gentile according to the flesh.

2 Timothy 2:19 …”The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

Those among the people of God who harbor wickedness are not harbored themselves.

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. 

Zephaniah 3:10

Zephaniah 3:10 “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
My worshipers, My dispersed ones,
Will bring My offerings.

See how Zephaniah’s words were fulfilled in the New Testament church according to Peter’s first letter regarding God’s “dispersed ones” [emphasis added]:

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…

Note also how Peter said they were “bringing offerings”:

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.

Thus the apostles continually reported how the prophets words were being fulfilled through Jesus Christ.  As Paul said, the apostles were:

Acts 26:22 “…testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place;

The words of Zephaniah 3:10 were thus being fulfilled in New Testament times.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible.

For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom. Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Zephaniah 3:9

Zephaniah 3:9 “For then I will give to the peoples purified lips,
That all of them may call on the name of the LORD,
To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.

Through Jesus Christ, God gave purified lips to those who love Him.  With Christ as the sacrifice, the worshipers of God were cleansed.

As the apostle John wrote:

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Thus the people of God – Jew and Gentile – called upon the name of the Lord – Jesus – with purified lips.

As the prophet Isaiah had written:

Isaiah 6:5 Then I said,
“Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
Isaiah 6:6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.
Isaiah 6:7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”

The Lord wants those who call upon His name to do so with pure lips…and He Himself is willing to do the purifying necessary to allow that.

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. 

Our Salvation Is in the Midst of Their Wrath

Paul wrote:

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

These two destinies of “wrath” and “salvation” take place side by side, for God is able to distinguish between the righteous and the wicked (Malachi 3:18).  For this reason, Paul could write in his second letter to these Thessalonians:

2 Thessalonians 1:6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
2 Thessalonians 1:7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,
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.
2 Thessalonians 1:9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
2 Thessalonians 1:10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed…

Thus while the disobedient suffer, the obedient are delivered.  For this reason, the righteous experience life as a Passover in the midst of the destruction that is taking place all around them.

It becomes easier to see how our salvation can be experienced in the midst of their wrath when we realize that our salvation is of the soul, just as it suggests in Romans 2:9, 10.  This is why Christ could tell Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the fiery furnace.  We do not have to suffer as evildoers.  We only have to be willing to suffer for Christ (2 Timothy 3:12).

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

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Galatians 6:16

Galatians 6:16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

This verse comes at the end of Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia, which is largely a definition of who constitutes “the Israel of God.”

The point of Paul’s letter is that whether one is Jewish or Gentile in the flesh is of little consequence.  What matters is being a Jew “in heart.”  As he wrote in his letter to the Roman believers:

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
Romans 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Thus “the Israel of God” that receives peace are those who have set their minds on the spirit:

Romans 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

Or as Paul said earlier in Galatians:

Galatians 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants…

Belonging to Christ makes you true Israel.

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. 

Life Is a Passover for the People of God

Christ is the Passover lamb, and thus He is the nourishment for the people of God as they weather the storms of life.

We who seek to live for God in this world do not seek a life of pleasure:

Hebrews 11:25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

And we know that the judgment of God begins with us:

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?

Therefore, it is not a life of ease we are expecting.  It’s just that our lot will be better than that of those who forsake the Lord:

1 Peter 4:18 AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?  [quoting Proverbs 11:31]

Thus earthly life is to us a Passover.  With difficulty all around us, we take refuge in our Lord who protects us and sustains us.  For this reason the prophet said:

Jeremiah 45:5 ‘But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,’ declares the LORD, ‘but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go.'”

Therefore, let us live life as our Passover, feasting on the lamb provided by God Himself.

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.)

Nehemiah 2:10

Nehemiah 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.

It is always displeasing to the enemies of God when someone comes to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.  And when you consider this truth, be sure to remember that:

Romans 2:28 …he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
Romans 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Thus the sons of Israel are those who live to please God.  As Jesus said when He encountered Nathanael:

John 1:47 KJV …”Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”

These are the ones who qualify for the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-16) that Jesus pronounced at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. These true sons of Israel are the true light of the world.  The spiritual forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12) become rattled whenever someone seeks to strengthen these sons of light.

Have you come to strengthen those who live for God?  I hope so.  They lead the many to righteousness (Daniel 12:3).

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.

2 Samuel 7:13 – Seeing Jesus as the Builder of the House for God’s Name

2 Samuel 7:13 “He shall build a house for My name…”

These words were spoken by God through the prophet Nathan to King David.  These words describe the descendant (or “seed”) God was promising David.  That is, at some time in the distant future (2 Samuel 7:19), a descendant of David would be born.  This descendant would build a house for the name of God.  These words were spoken to David around 1,000 B.C.  That distant future was reached a thousand years later when Jesus of Nazareth arrived in the 1st Century A.D.

This Jesus reiterated the promise above when He Himself said:

Matthew 16:18 “…I will build My church…”

The person to whom He directed these words (i.e. the apostle Peter) would later write to contemporaries who shared his faith in the one who spoke those words:

1 Peter 2:5 you…are being built up as a spiritual house…

Thus the promise of God was fulfilled as the seed of David was building a house for the name of God.

Let everyone who would be a part of that house abstain from wickedness (2 Timothy 2:19; James 1:21).

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. 

Daniel 7:18 – The Saints of the Highest One

Daniel 7:18 ‘But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’

Who are “the saints” of the Highest One?  Those individuals who are set apart to Jesus Christ.

Can you name them all?  No, but the Lord can, for “the Lord knows those who are His” (2 Timothy 2:19).  These are the ones who abstain from wickedness (2 Timothy 2:19).  He has taught them His ways, for they are His disciples (John 8:31).

Do you want to be among their number?  Then “submit yourself for the Lord’s sake to every human institution” and “use your freedom as bondslaves of God” (1 Peter 2:13-16).

Join with the saints of the Highest One who say, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory!”

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.

As It Was for the Prophets, So It Is for the Saints

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

If you follow Christ, your lot in life is persecution – just as it was for the prophets.

Thus the apostle Paul would write:

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

Do not, however, ever stop living godly.  It is the way of God, the way of Christ.  Do not forsake it.

How can He call you one of His if you are not walking holy?

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 Least in the Kingdom of God Is More Than a Prophet

Jesus said that John the Baptist was “a prophet and more than a prophet.”  Jesus went on to say that of all those born of women, John the Baptist was the greatest…yet he who was least in the kingdom of God was greater than John.  (See Matthew 11:7-11.)

For this reason, we can know that he who is least in the kingdom of God is a prophet and more than a prophet.

The blessing of being in the kingdom of God is great, but so also is the responsibility.  This is not something that can be achieved with part-time effort.  A true disciple of Christ must count the cost…and pay it (Luke 14:25-35).

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. 

 

Revelation 19:10 – The Testimony of Jesus Is the Spirit of Prophecy

Revelation 19:10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

The New Testament disciples walked in the path  of the prophets before them.  Jesus had walked that path, and His disciples were following Him.  That put them all on the same path.

The “testimony of Jesus” was “the word of the Lord come to them.”  Thus, the disciples followed Jesus just as the prophets had followed God.

Thus Numbers 11:29 was fulfilled, that “all God’s people were prophets” for “all had His Spirit upon them.”

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.

1 Samuel 19:20 – The New Testament Disciples Were a Company of Prophets

[Emphasis added in the following verse:]

1 Samuel 19:20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David, but when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing and presiding over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul; and they also prophesied.

The disciples about whom we read in the New Testament gathered in assemblies where all of them could prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1, 5, 31).  The “word of the Lord had come to them” (John 1:1, 11-12) and they were all prophesying.

The word “company” in 1 Samuel 19:20 in the Septuagint is the same word translated as “church” in the New Testament.  No wonder.  (In this regard, consider also Numbers 11:29.)

The people of God walk the path of the prophets.

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. 

Psalm 149:1 – A Prophecy of Christ and the New Testament Church

Psalm 149:1 Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.

When Jesus was raised from the dead, the Psalms became a new book – filled with new songs.

Psalm 2 was no longer a song for Israel’s king – it was now a song for Israel’s resurrected king, reigning supreme in heaven over all creation!

Psalm 16 was no longer a song to celebrate how God keeps death at bay – it was now a song about how God brings about new and greater life through death and in spite of it!

Psalm 22 was no longer a song of praise to a God who helps with difficult -it was now a song about how God had overcome the greatest difficulty of all, which was death.

And on you could go through the book of Psalms.

The New Testament churches were singing these psalms in a way they had never been sung before – it was a new way!  And it was the way through death – the most formidable enemy mankind had ever encountered.  Thus the praise of Christ was sung throughout “the congregation of the godly ones,” which was, of course, the gatherings we call the New Testament church.

The meaning of “congregation” in this verse and of “church” in the New Testament is the same.  Therefore, this verse prophesied the New Testament church.  Our New Testaments bear ample witness to the fulfillment of this prophecy!

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 King of the Spiritual Jews

Spiritual Jews have a king.  His name is Jesus.

This is a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9-10).  It is the kingdom of God (Revelation 1:6; 5:10).  Their monarch is blameless (John 8:46), and He is their example (1 Corinthians 11:1).

When this king was scourged and crucified, he was mocked by the title “King of the Jews.”  And yet, this is a name he wears with honor.  For He is proud of His people who love Him and lay down their lives for Him.

Would you be true to your king?  Then be a true citizen of true Israel.

A true Jew wants to be.  No one should be – or even can be – coerced into being true.

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. 

Zephaniah 3:13 – Describing the People of Jesus Christ

Zephaniah 3:13 “The remnant of Israel will do no wrong
And tell no lies,
Nor will a deceitful tongue
Be found in their mouths;
For they will feed and lie down
With no one to make them tremble.”

These are the people who act like Jesus (1 John 2:6).  They are recognized as having been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).  It can be seen that God is with them (Zechariah 8:23).

This is so because Jesus cleanses them from their sin (Matthew 1:21).  He works in them His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).  He has purified them so that they are zealous for good deeds (Titus 2:14).

They have clean hands and pure hearts (Psalm 24:4; James 4:8).  They follow in the footsteps of their Lord (1 Peter 2:21).  They are being conformed to His image (Romans 8:29).

Their perfected love drives out all fear (1 John 4:18).

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. 

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).

#####

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!

#####

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.

#####

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.

#####

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.

#####

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.

#####

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.

#####

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.

#####     #####

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.)

Purifying a People

God is purifying for Himself a people for His own possession (Titus 2:14).  And He has been doing this for a long time.

Ancient Israel was comprised of the descendants of Abraham, but God purified the nation through Jesus Christ and produced the New Testament church.

Then through the kingdom of God, He continues to purify for Himself a people for His own possession.

Who is doing the purifying?  He who sits as a smelter and purifier of precious stones (Malachie 3:2-3).

This is a “nation” who will truly produce the fruit of God (Matthew 21:43).

This “nation” includes Jews and Gentiles and truly stands for His name (Acts 15:11).

These people of God pray for the welfare of the city wherein that have been sent in exile (2 Chronicle 7:13-14; Jeremiah 29:7; 45:5).

Truly, these people are led by the Spirit of God and they are the sons of God (Romans 8:14).

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 Place of the People of God in This World

There is an antipathy – a hostility – between the world and those who follow Christ.  The world cannot abide us, but we can abide them because we love them as He taught us to love them.  Though we love them, there is a tension between us and them.  Though we are favored in His sight, we are despised in theirs.  Our place in the world is low and not high.  Our place in this world is not with the high and mighty, for they hate the things we treasure and we hate the things they treasure – yet we love them.  We bear the world’s reproach, for as they reproached Christ so they reproach those who walk in His steps and honor His name.

There is another post – Scriptures on the World – that focuses just on the world.  This list of verses, however, does not limit itself to explicit references to the “world.”  Neither is its focus the world per se.  Rather, its focus in the tension between people who love God and the world in which they live.

Here then are verses which speak of this dynamic [emphasis and comments added]:

Jeremiah 45:5 ‘But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,’ declares the LORD, ‘but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go.'”

#####

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

#####

Matthew 8:20 Jesus *said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

The people of God have “no lasting place” in this world (see Hebrews 13:14 below).  For this reason we “hate our lives in this world” (see John 12:25 below), and are “tormented by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men” (see 2 Peter 2:7-8 below).

#####

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!

#####

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.

#####

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

#####

Luke 6:22 “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.

#####

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.

#####

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.

#####

John 12:42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue;

#####

John 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.

#####

John 16:2 “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.

#####

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.”

#####

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.

#####

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 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.

#####

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

#####

Hebrews 11:13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

#####

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 11:35 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.

#####

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.

#####

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.

#####

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen

#####

1 Peter 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 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.

#####

2 Peter 2:7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men
2 Peter 2:8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),

#####

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.

#####

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.

#####     #####

Further to the point of this post, see How Our Place in the World Is Related to His Place in the World.

As mentioned above, see also Scriptures on the World.

See as well 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.)

Strangers, Exiles, and Aliens

The following verses of Scripture give identity in this world to those who love Christ and want to follow Him:

Hebrews 11:13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

####

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen

#####

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.

#####     #####

Thus we who serve Christ in His kingdom are in this world strangers, exiles, aliens.

Making No Distinction Between Those Who Are the People of God and Those Who Are Not When It Comes to Our Love

Here are some recent posts about the people of God:

Scriptural Names for the People of God

Becoming a Candidate for the People of God

Implied Names for the People of God

Scriptural Names That Do Not Apply to the People of God

Contrasting the People of God with Those Who Are Not

(I should also mention an older post about the one true church as well.)

Such thinking and study is for making ourselves more pleasing to God.  We still have to live in the world and that requires that we exclude no one from our love – because our Savior excluded no one from His.  Therefore, consider these scriptures concerning the standard of behavior that is owed to all, whether it be instruction to us or example from our Lord  [emphasis added with bold print]:

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.

Romans 12:17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Romans 13:7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

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.
1 Timothy 2:3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
1 Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,

Titus 3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,
Titus 3:2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
Titus 3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
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.

1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

Remember also that in Luke 10:25-37 a lawyer, having agreed with Jesus that God wants to love our neighbors, tried to make an issue of who qualified to be a neighbor.  Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan, the moral of which was that our neighbor is whoever is near to us and in need.

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.)

Contrasting the People of God with Those Who Are Not

The following verses contrast the people of God with the people who are not.  (See first Scriptural Names for the People of God.)  Our purpose here is not to label others, but to turn our own lives away from sin and toward God.  That is, I as an individual read this verses and seek to please the Lord by turning from what I was to what He wants me to be.  For example, with respect to Malachi 3:18, I want to be sure that I am serving God today and living by faith, leaving behind my shortcomings from yesterday.

If we seek the kingdom of God, we must seek to compare ourselves constantly to the standard of behavior our Lord set for us.  Comparing ourselves to others is vain.  You can always find someone more evil than yourself – what good is that?  You must seek to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, and you must not stop your quest until He says, “Well done”  (Matthew 5:48; Luke 19:17).  In the meantime, the most we can say is, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done that which we ought to have done” (Luke 17:10).

I repeat:  Do not look to others; look to yourselves!  (2 John 1:8)

I made bold the “people of God” phrases, and used bold italics for the alternatives, in order to draw out the point.

Malachi 3:18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

Matthew 13:38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;

Matthew 25:32 “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
Matt 25:33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

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.”

Luke 16:8 “And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

Perhaps you can add other verses to this list.

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

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

Scriptural Names That Do Not Apply to the People of God

Perhaps you are aware of the many various names that the Lord gives to the people who draw near to Him in this life.   If that is the case, you will also be aware that the Scriptures give various names to those who seek to live apart from the Lord.  Here are some of them, along with the scriptural warrant (whether explicit or implied):

the accursed  –  Matthew 25:34, 41; 1 Corinthians 16:22

children of wrath  –  Ephesians 2:3

the cursed  –  Matthew 25:34, 41; 1 Corinthians 16:22

the dead  –  Luke 9:60; Ephesians 2:1

enemies of God  –  James 4:4

a crooked and perverse generation  –  Philippians 2:15

outsiders  –  1 Corinthians 5:12; Colossians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:12 (see also “those who are outside” below)

the sons of disobedience  –  Ephesians 2:2

the sons of this age  –  Luke 16:8

the uncircumcision  –  Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:13

the unrighteous  –  1 Corinthians 6:9

those who are in opposition  –  2 Timothy 2:25

those who are outside  –  Mark 4:11; 1 Corinthians 5:13 (see also “outsiders” above)

unbelievers  –  Luke 12:46; 2 Corinthians 6:14

You can find many more such names in the Scripture.  And here is a list giving verses which contrast the people of God with those who are not.  Be careful, however, not to use these names to label others.  Be sure to see Luke 18:9-14).  For even among those who do not name the name of the Lord Jesus, there are those who seek to do right…and they are always welcome to our Lord:

Acts 10:34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,
Acts 10:35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.

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.)

Implied Names for the People of God

The Bible is full of explicit names for those people God calls His own.  However, the Bible also implies a number of names for the people of God as well.  Here are some of them, along with reference to at least one verse that inspires each:

the blessed  –  Ephesians 1:3; Matthew 25:34

the gentle  –  Matthew 5:5

the house of His name  –  1 Samuel 7:13

the humble  –  Psalm 25:9; 34:2

the living  –  Luke 9:60

the meek  –  Matthew 5:5 King James Version

the merciful  – Matthew 5:7

the peacemakers  –  Matthew 5:9

the persecuted (for the sake of righteousness, godliness)  –  2 Timothy 3:12; Matthew 5:10)

the poor (in spirit)  –  Matthew 5:3; Luke 6:20

the pure in heart  – Matthew 5:8

those of whom the world was not worthy  –  Hebrews 11:38

those who are humble and contrite of spirit, and who tremble at His word  –  Isaiah 66:2

those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness  –  Matthew 5:10 English Standard Version

those who are pure in heart  –  Psalm 73:1

those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus  –  2 Timothy 3:12

those who do not seek their own good, but that of their neighbors  –  1 Corinthians 10:24

those who esteem His name  –  Malachi 3:16

those who fear the Lord  –  Psalm 128:1; Malachi 3:16

those who have insight  –  Daniel 12:3

those who hunger and thirst for righteousness  –  Matthew 5:6

those who hunger now  –  Luke 6:21

those who lead the many to righteousness  –  Daniel 12:3

those who love the law of the Lord  –  Psalm 119:165

those who mourn  –  Matthew 5:4

those who no longer live for the lusts of men, but for the will of God  –  1 Peter 4:2

those who no longer live for themselves, but for Him  –  2 Corinthians 5:15

those who serve God  –  Malachi 3:18

those who take refuge in Him  – Psalm 34:22

those who take refuge in the name of the Lord  –  Zephaniah 3:12

those who tremble at His word  –  Isaiah 66:5

those who walk in His ways  –  Psalm 128:1

those who walk in the law of the Lord  –  Psalm 119:1

those who weep now  –  Luke 6:21

those whose way is blameless  –  Psalm 119:1

those whom the Lord loves  –  Hebrews 12:6

You will be able to infer other names for the people the Lord calls His own as you read the Scriptures and seek to conform your life to the word 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.

Becoming a Candidate for the People of God

To be a candidate for the kingdom of God is to be a candidate for the people of God.  The good news is that humanity is the raw material from which God makes His covenant people.  Therefore, if you’re breathing and willing, you qualify for this candidacy.

Candidacy for the people of God is no easy quest.  Consider the many attributes you must acquire.  (Each name speaks of a different attribute.)  Not a few, but rather all attributes must become characteristic of you.  The Lord Himself will grant you these qualities as you look to Him, imitating the life He lived for us.  These qualities all originate in Him and are planted and grown in us according to our willingness and due process.

The believers gathering in churches described in the New Testament were candidates for the kingdom of God.  They sought to live up to the hope that the Lord had for them.  We know that some achieved it and some did not.

The question for us today is not which of them achieved it, but which of us will achieve it.  For the very kingdom that was coming in the first century came and is present still today.  That is, the kingdom of God is in our midst, open to all those who will seek the Lord with all their hearts.

May you find your way to the kingdom of God and experience the fullness of its blessings.

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

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

Scriptural Names for the People of God

Here are some of the terms used in the Bible to describe those whom God calls, among other things, His people.  The variety of terms is great.  In alphabetizing them, I’ve ignored the articles and pronouns; and I’ve used parentheses around them to indicate that they’re not always included with the term.

Though I”ve tried to be precise in my notations, the variation in Scripture works against precision.  And that variation has made the alphabetizing more problematic.  Nor do I think I’ve even captured all the base terms.  One can only conclude that God thinks much about these ones who love, trust, and obey Him.

After each term, I’ve given at least one citation of where the term may be found, but any given term may be found once – or hundreds of times – in the Scriptures.  Most of these are found multiple times.  Even when a term is only found once, it is often simply a variation on one that is used more frequently.  Most of them had an initial meaning according to the flesh, but all of them have meaning according to the spirit.

anointed ones  –  Psalm 105:15  (etymologically connected with “Christians”)

the apple of His eye  –  Zechariah 2:8

the assembly  –  Psalm 22:22; 111:1

the assembly of the congregation of the sons of Israel  –  Numbers 14:5

the assembly of the exiles  –  Ezra 10:8 (see also “those who reside as aliens” below)

the assembly of God  –  Nehemiah 13:1

the assembly of the holy ones  –  Psalm 89:5

the assembly of Israel  –  Leviticus 16:17

the assembly of Jacob  –  Deuteronomy 33:4

the assembly of the Lord  –  Micah 2:5

the assembly of the people of God  –  Judges 20:2

the assembly of the righteous  –  Psalm 1:5

believers  –  1 Timothy 6:2

believers in God  –  1 Peter 1:21

believers in the Lord  –  Acts 5:14

(the) beloved  –  1 Timothy 6:2

beloved in God the Father  –  Jude 1:1

the body of Christ  –  Ephesians 4:12

(the) brethren  –  1 Timothy 6:2

the bride  –  Revelation 21:2  (see also “the wife of the Lamb” below)

the brotherhood  –  1 Peter 2:17

the called  –  Revelation 17:14

the called of Jesus Christ  –  Romans 1:6

little children  –  John 13:33

children of God  –  John 1:12; 11;52; Philippians 2:15; 1 John 3:1

children of Light  –  Ephesians 5:8

children of (the) promise  –  Romans 9:8; Galatians 4:28

children of the free woman  –  Galatians 4:31

Christians  –  Acts 11:26 (etymologically connected with “anointed ones”)

the chosen  –  Revelation 17:14  (see also “those who are chosen” below)

a chosen generation   1 Peter 2:9 King James Version (see also “the generation of…” below)

a chosen people  –  1 Peter 2:9 New International Version

a chosen race  –  1 Peter 2:9

the church  –  Ephesians 3:21

the church of God  –  Acts 20:28

the church of the living God  –  1 Timothy 3:15

church of the saints  –  1 Corinthians 14:33

the (true) circumcision  –  Philippians 3:3

the company of the upright  –  Psalm 111:1

the congregation  –  Hebrews 2:12 (this word is elsewhere translated “church”)

the congregation of the disciples  –  Acts 6:2

the congregation of the godly ones  –  Psalm 149:1

the congregation of Israel  –  Exodus 12:3

the congregation of the Lord  –  Numbers 27:17

the congregation of the sons of Israel  –  Exodus 16:1

the congregation of those who believed  –  Acts 4:32

the disciples  –  Acts 11:26

a dwelling of God in the Spirit  –  Ephesians 2:22

the faithful –  Revelation 17:14

fellow citizens with the saints  –  Ephesians 2:19

the flock  –  Acts 20:28, 29; 1 Peter 5:3

little flock  –  Luke 12:32

the flock of God  –  1 Peter 5:2

the generation of the upright  – Psalm 112:2 (see also “chosen generation” above)

the generation of those who seek Him  –  Psalm 24:6 (see also “chosen generation” above)

(His) godly ones  –  Psalm 85:8

God’s household  –  Ephesians 2:19

holy ones  –  Romans 1:7 marginal note (see also “saints” and “those who are sanctified” below, which are synonymous)

holy nation  –  1 Peter 2:9

a holy temple in the Lord –  Ephesians 2:21

(the) house (of God)  –  1 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 3:6

the household of God  –  1 Timothy 3:15

a humble and lowly people  –  Zephaniah 3:12  (see also other references to “people” below)

Israel  –  Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Chronicles 12:32; Psalm 73:1; 81:13; Romans 9:6

the Israel of God  –  Galatians 6:16

Israelites  –  Exodus 35;29

(true) Israelites  –  John 1:47

the remnant of Israel  –  Zephaniah 3:13  (see also “the remnant” below)

Jacob  –  Romans 11:26

the remnant of Jacob  –  Isaiah 10:21

(the Jews)  –  Ezra 4:12; John 4:22; Romans 2:28-29; Revelation 2:9; 3:9

a kingdom  –  Revelation 1:6

the kingdom of His beloved Son  –  Colossians 3:13

a kingdom of priests  –  Exodus 19:6

(His) lambs  –  John 21:15-17

the light of the world  –  Matthew 5:14

living stones  –  1 Peter 2:5

nation  –  Matthew 21:43 (see marginal note)

a people  –  Matthew 21:43; 1 Peter 2:10

His people  –  Psalm 85:8  (see also “a humble and lowly people” above)  Psalm 85:8; 100:3; Matthew 1:21

the people of God  –  Hebrews 11:25; 1 Peter 2:10

a people for God’s own possession  –  Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9

a people for His name  –  Acts 15:14

a people near to Him  –  Psalm 148:14

the people of His pasture  –  Psalm 95:7

a people prepared for the Lord  –  Luke 1:17

pillar and support of the truth  –  1 Timothy 3:15

pillars (in the temple of God)  – Revelation 3:12

priests –  Revelation 1:6

prophets  –  Numbers 11:29 coupled with Acts 2:17

the remnant  –  Romans 9:27; 11:5; Isaiah 10:22  (see also “the remnant of Israel” and “…Jacob” above)

the righteous (ones)  –  Psalm 33:1; 1 Peter 3:12

royal priesthood  –  1 Peter 2:9

(the) saints  –  Romans 1:7  (see also “holy ones” above and “those who are sanctified below,” which are synonymous)

the salt of the earth  –  Matthew 5:13

Sarah’s children  –  1 Peter 3:6

(His) servants  –  John 18:36

(His) sheep  –  Psalm 100:3; John 10:27

the sheep of His hand  –  Psalm 95:7

the sheep of His pasture  –  Psalm 100:3

sheep to be slaughtered  –  Romans 8:36

sons and daughters of God  –  2 Corinthians 6:18

sons of Abraham  –  Galatians 3:7

sons of day  –  1 Thessalonians 5:5

(the) sons of God  –  Luke 20:36; Romans 8:14, 19; Galatians 3:26

sons of the living God  –  Romans 9:26

(the) sons of Israel  –  Psalm 148:14; Isaiah 31:6

sons of the kingdom  –  Matthew 13:38

sons of light  –  John 12:36; 1 Thessalonians 5:5

sons of the Most High  –  Luke 6:35

sons of the resurrection  –  Luke 20:36

stones  –  (see “living stones” above)

(the) tabernacle of God  –  Revelation 21:3

temple of God  –  1 Corinthians 3:16; Revelation 3:12

temple of the Holy Spirit  –  1 Corinthians 6:19

those who are chosen  –  2 Timothy 2:10 (see also “chosen” above”)

those who believe  –  1 Timothy 4:12

those who love Him  –  James 1:12; 2:5

those who reside as aliens  –  1 Peter 1:1 (see also “the assembly of the exiles” above)

those who are sanctified  –  Acts 26:18  (see also “holy ones” and “saints” above, which are synonymous)

those whose heart is completely His  –  (2 Chronicles 16:9)

the upright (in heart) –  Psalm 33:1;  64:10

the wife of the Lamb  –  Revelation 21:9 (see also “the bride” above)

the wise (of heart)  –  Proverbs 3:35; 10:8

witnesses  –  Acts 1:8; Revelation 17:6

(the true) worshipers (of God)  –  John 4:21-24

Of course, everyone is going to heaven…but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a people He calls His own in the world today.  If you want Him to count you among them, these names are what you have to live up to.

In addition to the list above, see also names for the people of God which can be inferred from the Scriptures.

Consider also those scriptural names which could not be applied to the people of God, and even this list contrasting the two.

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.