Matthew 12:8

Matthew 12:8 “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

During the biblical age, the sabbath was a certain day of the week. However, in our age – the eternal age – the Sabbath is the age itself.  That is, we live in the eternal age which represents God’s rest from all His creative work accomplished during the biblical age.

This work that was accomplished includes not only the original creation, but also all the work of redemption accomplished through Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Son of Man, the firstborn from the dead, the firstborn of the new creation.  Thus, Jesus Christ is Lord of this eternal age.

When Jesus originally spoke the words of Matthew 12:8, He spoke them in anticipation of His coming resurrection.  That resurrection would take Him to heaven where He would fulfill Daniel 7:13-14.  Thus He is Lord of all, and His dominion is everlasting.

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. 

Critical Body Parts from a Spiritual Point of View

The Bible warns us about the importance of what we say.  Over and over.

A word study worth pursuing is to focus on the body parts involved in speaking, to which the Bible makes frequent reference.  To get you started, here are some words and scriptures in which they are used:

MOUTH  –  Psalm 19:14; 34:1; 89:1; 141:3; James 3:1-12

LIPS  –  Psalm 140:3; 141:3; Proverbs 17:28

TONGUE  –  Psalm 140:3; James 3:5-12

There is no shortage of verses like these (though few as comprehensive, pointed, and forceful as James 3 – it tells us that through the tongue we can control our entire body!).  You can do this word study using a Strong’s Concordance.  Of course, there are also verses which speak to this subject that don’t make reference to a body part – such as, James 1:19.  Include those in your consideration as well, for the subject is critically important to our walk with the 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.

Patience and Kindness as Aspects of Love in the Mind of Paul

The apostle Paul famously linked patience and kindness with love when he wrote [emphasis added throughout]:

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind

He also mentioned patience and kindness in the same breath with love when he wrote these verses:

2 Corinthians 6:6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love,

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness

It’s therefore clear that when Paul thought of love, he considered patience and kindness as two essential elements of it.

It’s also clear that Paul saw patience and kindness as key aspects of God’s character:

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?

And because of this, he obviously thought that patience and kindness should become parts of the believer’s character as well:

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;

It would therefore almost go without saying that anyone speaking in the name of the Lord should not be harsh or impatient:

2 Timothy 2:24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,

Therefore, whenever we think of the love of God, we should always consider patience and kindness to be included in its definition.

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 “Only Begotten” Is Also the “Firstborn”

Today’s post builds on yesterday’s, just as it built upon the one from the day before.

In Acts 13:32-33, Paul makes clear that Psalm 2:7 is prophesying the resurrection of the Messiah when it says, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.”  This “begetting” by God was the resurrection act which brought Jesus forth from the dead below the earth to live forevermore in heaven above the earth.  While earth was home to the “sons of men” (i.e., human beings), heaven was home to the “sons of God” (i.e., angels).  Jesus, however, was unique among these sons of God, not only by being placed at the right hand of God (Psalm 110:1), but also because He was “begotten” from the dead – a characteristic which none of the other sons of God could claim.  This made Jesus the “only begotten” son of God.

Jesus was not only was the “only begotten” of God, He was also he “only begotten” from the dead.  For who else had ever been born from death?  Death was a curse, inherited by humanity because of sin.  But God was making death a blessing through Jesus Christ. For Jesus was not only the “only begotten” from the dead, He was also the “firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5).

The purpose of Jesus’ round trip from heaven to earth and back to heaven again was the redemption of the human race.  Thus Jesus was to be the “firstborn of many brethren” (Romans 8:29).  He was the firstborn who opened “the womb that had been death.”

Thus was it prophesied:

Psalm 89:27 “I also shall make him My firstborn,
The highest of the kings of the earth.

And thus was it fulfilled:

Revelation 1:5 …Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

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. 

All Occurrences of “Only Begotten” in the NASB Along with the Underlying Greek Term

(This post builds on yesterday’s post.)  The literal expression “only begotten” occurs only six times in the NASB, all in the New Testament.  All apply to Jesus, albeit one in typological fashion (Hebrews 11:17).  Here they are  [Emphasis added]:

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

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 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;

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.

In all six cases, the underlying Greek term is “monogenes” (Strong’s 3439; if “Strong’s is an unfamiliar term, see just below for link to an explanation), which is, of course, a combination of “mono” (3441) with “genes” (1085).

Searching the NASB Strong’s Concordance (NASB refers to the New American Standard Bible) reveals that there are three additional occurrences of this Greek word in the NASB New Testament, which are translated differently.  I show them below with the word translated from “monogenes” in bold print.

Luke 7:11 Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd.
Luke 7:12 Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her.

Luke 8:41 And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house;
Luke 8:42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him.

Luke 9:38 And a man from the crowd shouted, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy,
Luke 9:39 and a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth; and only with difficulty does it leave him, mauling him as it leaves.

It seems clear that the NASB translators left off the “begotten” from the Luke references since, given their contexts, it would have been redundant.  However, in the six occurrences having application to Jesus, the full term – indicating the uniqueness (mono) associated with the begetting or birthing (genes) – was translated.

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 Only Begotten of the Sons of God

In biblical times, the expression “sons of God” was often a reference to angels, especially superior angels (Job 1:6; 2:1).  Therefore, when the apostle John called Jesus the “only begotten son of God” (John 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9), it was a way of distinguishing Him from the heavenly host.

This distinction that John made can be traced to Psalm 2 wherein it says:

Psalm 2:7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.

You can see here how “begotten” and “son” are connected in the psalm.  By adding the adjective “only,” John is emphasizing what is unique about this “son of God.”  John uses this phrasing “only begotten” as applied to Jesus elsewhere, albeit in slightly different form (John 1:14, 18).  The point is the same, however: to clearly distinguish Jesus from the rest of the heavenly retinue.  Jesus had made it clear to those who heard Him that He had come from heaven.  John was intent on showing that He wasn’t just one of the gang.

The book of Hebrews focuses on this verse in Psalm 2 for the same reason John did: to distinguish Jesus from the angels.  However, it is more explicit about its intent than John was.  Thus it says:

Hebrews 1:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say,
“YOU ARE MY SON,
TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”?…

(The all capital letters portion is the writer’s quotation of Psalm 2:7.)  The writer’s point is that while the angels have been called “sons of God,” none of them – except Jesus – has ever been referred to as “begotten” by God (as it does in Psalm 2).  Thus Jesus’ sonship has a status which is unique.

The writer to the Hebrews confirms this point in the remainder of 1:5 which reads:

Hebrews 1:5 …And again, “I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME”?

This is a quotation of 2 Samuel 7:14, which was a promise from God through the prophet Nathan to King David.  It could thus apply to no one other than the special son that would one day come through David – that is, the Messiah.  Since this promise applies to Jesus alone, it further distinguishes Him from all other “sons of God” – or angels.  None of them had been the subject of a promise to come to earth through human parentage.

The apostle John and the letter to the Hebrews are both making the point that while angels may have been called “sons of God,” none of them were ever called “begotten” sons of God.

By the way, another sharp contrast that would come to mind for a reader steeped in Scripture is between this uniquely begotten son of God and the sons of God mentioned in Genesis 6:1-4.  Those sons of God came to earth not by way of human birth but to pursue pleasure, while this son of God came to forego pleasure and live life as an offering to God.  Thus we are not surprised to see earlier in Hebrews a reference to Jesus as someone who has been “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (4:15).  It is clear from this and other passages in the Hebrews letter that the author is emphasizing the human experience which Jesus had as another differentiator between Him and all the rest of the heavenly beings.

The book of Hebrews also uses the phrase “only begotten son” in a typological way:

Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;

(By the way, we have now quoted or referenced in this post all the occurrences of “only begotten” in the NASB.  There are six of them.)

The writer of Hebrews knows that his readers will be well aware that Abraham had sired Ishmael before Isaac.  However, that Isaac had come as a result of God’s promise through Sarah rather than through Abraham’s striving through Hagar made Isaac unique.  Thus Isaac is here labeled “only begotten son.”  Using Isaac as a type (Hebrews 11 is a long string of biblical characters who are types of Christ, each revealing a different facet of His glory), Jesus is again being clearly distinguished from all other heavenly beings.  In due time it would be revealed that Christ was God Himself, but in this letter – as in the references made above to the “only begotten” phrases of John – the point was that Christ was not to be seen as just another angel, no matter how glorified.  (God had to bring people along gradually.  First, they experienced Jesus as a man.  Then it they realized that He had come from heaven.  Later they would learn that He was God.  This is God’s way of revealing truth: progressively.  See Psalm 97:11 and Proverbs 4:18.)

To sum up, when John says “only” he is making the same point as Hebrews when it says “to which of the angels did He ever say.”  Both are saying that this “begotten” characteristic of Christ is unique and not to be found applying to an angel anywhere in Scripture.  Therefore, whenever we see the word “begotten” with respect to Jesus, our minds should go back to Psalm 2 and the utterly unique status that it was granting the One of whom it spoke.

For more on “the only begotten” as a reference to Jesus, 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. (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 Time – Part 2 of 2

Do you know what (spiritual) time it is?

If someone is lacking food or clothing, it’s time to give them food and clothes.

If you’re sinning, it’s time for you to repent.

If you’ve been wronged by someone else, it’s time for you to not take into account a wrong suffered.

Spiritual time is therefore determined by the circumstances in which you find yourself, and that might have nothing to do with what the nearest clock or calendar says.

Paul wrote:

Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

You need to have some sense of “the need of the moment” in order to know what words would be good for edification.  When someone  around you is doing right, they need encouragement; when they are doing wrong, they need discouragement.

Spiritual maturity means having a sense of spiritual timing.  This comes with practice.

They say that a sense of timing is very important in comedy.  It’s even more important in spirituality.

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

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Spiritual Time – Part 1 of 2

The book of Ecclesiastes famously tells us that “there is a time for every event under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).  There’s a time to do this and a time to do that, a season for this and a season for that.

Elisha reprimanded his servant Gehazi for being insensitive to the face that it was not the time for accumulating earthly goods (2 Kings 5:26).

In the book of Esther, the contrast was stark between the time when Mordecai instructed Esther to keep her ethnicity a secret (Esther 2:10, 20) and the time when he told her that she must disclose it (Esther 4:13-14).  This was clearly a case of there being “a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

In Habakkuk 2, the prophet describes how God tells him that the vision being given is not for the present but rather for a future time (verses 1-3).  David had similarly noticed a “distant” aspect to the promises God was making to Him (2 Samuel 7:19).  The apostle Peter made reference to this when he wrote that the prophets of old had inquired and learned from God that their prophecies of messianic grace were for the future – what we would call “New Testament times.”

In this regard also, Daniel said that the words he was given were “concealed and sealed up until the end time” (Daniel 12:9), while the apostle John concluded the book of Revelation with the admonition “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near” (22:10).  Thus there was “a time to say the prophecy was not soon and there was a time to say it was soon.”

Spiritual time is not like clock time or calendar time…but it is every bit as practical and important, if not more so.

Little children are too young to be able to tell time.  But the time comes when they should.  Similarly, our spiritual childhood begins without the ability to tell time, but the time comes when we should learn.

There are occasions where clock/calendar time and spiritual time come together in a biblical statement:

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.

What is it past time for you to be doing?

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

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted.  

Spiritual Descent

You are a descendant of your parents, and their parents, and so on.  That, however, is speaking from a physical standpoint.  When it comes to spiritual descent, you are descended from those whose spirit you take on.

Thus Peter would write the following [emphasis mine]:

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.

Note carefully “you have become her children if.”  That is, Peter’s readers were Sarah’s spiritual descendants if they they met that condition.  Otherwise, they were not descended from Sarah.

Speaking also of spiritual descent, Jesus said to His opponents:

Luke 11:47 “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them.

Jesus was meaning their “spiritual fathers” of course.  In a different gospel, Jesus said the same sort of thing to the scribes and Pharisees:

Matthew 23:29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,
Matthew 23:30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’
Matthew 23:31 “So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

All these verses are speaking of spiritual, not physical, lineage.  Another, more pedestrian, way of making this point is to say that someone “is like” someone else.  In other words, to say someone is a “son of God” is to say “he’s like God.”  That is, he “has the spirit of God.”  Peter could have just as easily said, “You’ll be like Sarah if…,” or “You’ll be a true daughter of Sarah if…”

This sort of understanding is important because it helps us realize just how important our behavior is when it comes to walking with Christ.  Jesus’ apostles had to learn that simply being apostles did not guarantee that they’d be right in their thinking and behaving.  Jesus rebuked James and John once when they thought they were imitating Elijah (Luke 9:53-56).  Just because a person might be a physical descendant of Abraham, or might have been baptized as a Christian, does not mean that he will always do the right thing and therefore enjoy the blessing of God.  The blessing comes to those who behave in a way that is worthy of blessing.

Thus many of Sarah’s physical descendants were not entitled to inherit the honor of which Peter spoke.  Neither was anyone else who did not act in the same spirit in which Sarah acted.  Therefore, beware of those who go around claiming to be children of God but who do not act like 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.  

Exodus 7:1-2 An Illustrated Definition of a Prophet

Exodus 7:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.
Exodus 7:2 “You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land.

Here God gives us a simple analogy for understanding what a prophet is.  A prophet is someone who speaks on behalf of God to men.  That’s the definition.

The apostle Paul said as much when he wrote:

1 Corinthians 14:3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.

Thus Paul shows that prophets speak to men.  As for their speaking on behalf of God, Paul gets to that a few lines later:

1 Corinthians 14:24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all;
1 Corinthians 14:25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.

Therefore, to repeat: a prophet is one who speaks for God to men.  It’s that simple.  Sometimes it’s for edification.  Sometimes it’s for exhortation (as it was to Egypt’s pharaoh).  And sometimes it’s for consolation.  But it’s always from God to men.  The prophet is just a messenger.

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.  

Greek Words Translated as “Servant” in the NASB New Testament

There are a variety of Greek words that get translated as “servant” in the NASB New Testament.  When I say “servant” I am referring not just to the word”servant” per se, but also to any hyphenated form in which “servant” occurs.  There are two of these forms that we find when we search the NASB New Testament for “servant.”  They are “bond-servant,” and “servant-girl.”

The variety of Greek words that are translated into servant, or hyphenated version of “servant,” are often translated into words other than “servant.”  Other translations of these words (which you will see identified below) include “minister,” boy,” “child,” “slave,” and “bondslave.”

The word “servant” appears 80 times in the NASB New Testament.  These occurrences can be broken down as follows [emphasis added for visual clarity; the Greek words are listed in the order of their prominence in accounting for the English word]:

servant(s)” – 49 times

1249 diakonos; of unc. or.; a servant, minister:–deacons(3), minister(7), servant(10), servants(9).

3816 pais; a prim. word; a child, boy, youth:–boy(4), child(1), children(1), girl’s(1), male children(1), men(1), servant(12), servants(2), slaves*(1), son(1).

3610b oiketês; from 3611; a house servant:–servant(2), servants(2).

1247 diakoneô; from 1249; to serve, minister:–administered(1), administration(1), cared(1), contributing…support(1), do…the serving(1), employ…in serving(1), minister(3), ministered(2), ministering(3), servant(1), serve(4), serve as deacons(1), served(2), served as deacons(1), serves(5), services…rendered(1), serving(4), take care(1), wait(1), waited(3).

2324 therapôn; a prim. word; an attendant:–servant(1).

bond-servant(s)” – 25 times

1401 doulos; of unc. der.; a slave:–bond-servant(11), bond-servants(12), bondslave(3), bondslaves(8), both men and women(8), servants(1), slave(58), slave’s(1), slaves(39).

4889 sundoulos; from 4862 and 1401; a fellow servant:–fellow bond-servant(2), fellow servant(2), fellow servants(1), fellow slave(2), fellow slaves(3).

servant-girl(s)” – 6 times (1 of these is a fill-in of an ellipsis; therefore the Greek word only appears 5 times)

3814 paidiskê; dim. of 3816; a young girl, maidservant:–bondwoman(5), servant-girl(4), servant-girls(1), slave-girl(2), slaves*(1), women(1).

[Note: the occurrences listed above total to 80, while the NASB Strong’s concordance lists 76.  The reason for the difference is that the NASB Strong’s concordance lists number of verses in which the word occurrences (rather than number of occurrences of the word).  Therefore, when you have two occurrences of the word in a single verse – as you do here, on four different occasions – the count does not increase.  I also checked these numbers against the Strongest NASB Exhaustive Concordance, published by Zondervan.]

Regarding the term “bond-servant,” while it shows up frequently in the NASB New Testament (25 times), does not appear at all in the NASB Old Testament.  Note that the underlying Greek word “doulos” (Strong’s 1401, or its cognate 4889) is also translated as “bond-slave,” “slave,” and even once simply as “servant.”  “Doulos” (Strong’s 1401) actually shows up often in the ABP, but is translated there as “slave,” “bondman,” “manservant,” “an ancillary,” or “subject.”

As with “bond-servant,” there is no occurrence of “servant-girl” in the NASB Old Testament.  The ABP shows the underlying Greek word “paidiske” (Strong’s 3814) showing up over three dozen times, with the English translation being “a female child,” “a girl,” or a “maidservant.”

The simple word “servant” shows up many, many times in the NASB Old Testament.  In the ABP English-Greek Index the following relevant entries are shown, the Greek words being followed the Strong’s number (the words to the right of the dash alternative translations to the main one):

servant, a

diakonos (1249) –

paidion (3813) – boy, child, offspring

pais (3816) – boy; child; girl; maidservant; manservant

servant-lad, a

paidarion (3808) – boy; boyhood; young man; youngster (this is the masc. dim. of 3816 as 3814 is the fem. dim. of it, shown above)

bondman

desmotes (1202) – prisoner

doulos (1401) – man-servant; slave; subject

bondwoman

dole (1399)

slave

doulos (1401) – bondman; manservant; subject

Thus the ABP LXX seems more consistent in translating “diakonos” and “pais” (and their cognates) as “servant,” while translating “doulos” (and its cognates) as slave or bondman.

In the NASB Old Testament there are no occurrences of “bond-.” That is, there are no occurrences of any of the terms above that begin with “bond,” whether with or without a dash.  You can find, however, about 30 occurrences of “bondage,” “bond,” “bonds” – most of which have to do with slavery (e.g. “both bond and free in Israel”).

The NASB Old Testament shows over 300 occurrences of “servant,” the vast majority of which are translations of “ebed” (Strong’s Hebrew 5650).

5650 ebed (713d); from 5647; slave, servant:–attendants(1), bondage(2), male(24), male servant(7), male servants(5), male slaves(1), officers(1), official(2), Servant(6), servant(332), servant’s(4), servant*(1), servants(353), servants'(2), servants*(12), slave(25), slave’s(1), slave*(4), slavery(11), slaves(19), slaves*(8).

There are only about 1/10 as many occurrences of “slave” in the NASB Old Testament as there are of “servant.”  Most of these, too, are translations of “ebed” (5650).

Conclusions

Normally, the NASB is more consistent in its translation.  Its failure to consistently render “diakonos” (1249) as servant and “doulos” (1401) as slave in the New Testament creates confusion – especially when it comes to the important task of correlating these respective occurrences with their counterparts in the Old Testament.

The lack of consistency for pais (3816) is more understandable since this word correlates to our own colloquial use of the term “boy” to refer to a child (“my boy Timmy”) or a worker (“my boys will start construction next week”).

While there are obviously nuanced differences in meaning between these various terms (and sometimes perhaps more difference than a nuance), we should be able to generally understand “servant” in the NASB New Testament to mean the same thing as “servant” in the NASB Old Testament.  And we should not make too much of variations like bond-servant, slave, and so on, except as these terms might be differentiated in a specific passage for a specific purpose.

Obviously, this has implications for studying Jesus because He is the “servant” of Isaiah 42:1; 52:13; and 53:11 (even though the first two are “pais” and the third is a verbal noun from “doulos”), as well as the “servant” of Acts 3:13,26; 4:27, 30 (even though all four occurrences are of “pais”).  (By the way, these are the only references to Jesus as “servant” in the book of Acts, for more on the Acts 4 references see here.)

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. 

Meditate on the One Who Removes Sin

Jesus Christ removes not only the stain of sins past, but He guides so as to remove sin as an activity in our lives.

Ponder these verses and deepen your perception of Him as the One – and the only one – who removes sin from our lives.

There are, of course, many more verses than these…but these will start you well.

Numbers 21:9 And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.

John 3:14 “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;
John 3:15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

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

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!

John 13:8 Peter *said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

Acts 3:25 “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.’
Acts 3:26 “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”

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.

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 Old Testament verses are rendered in all capital letters.)

The Bible Is More About Promises Than Predictions

It is certainly not wrong to say that God predicted through the Old Testament prophets that His Messiah would one day come.  However, it better conveys the reality to say that God promised through the Old Testament prophets that His Messiah would one day come .  That is, Messiah’s coming was not a matter of sterile prediction but rather of personal promise.  God invested His integrity into this plan.

Yes, God predicted.  But, more importantly, He promised.  Catch the spirit of the apostle Paul’s characterization of God’s commitment…and His fulfillment of that commitment in these verses:

Acts 13:23 “From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus,

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,

Titus 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,
Titus 1:2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,
Titus 1:3 but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior,

Yes, you can say there was prediction or prophecy in the Old Testament, but God’s personal involvement in the plan is perhaps best conveyed by the word “promise.”

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 Greek “Archegos” (Author, Prince) in the New Testament

There are four occurrences of the Greek word “archegos” (Strong’s 747) in the New Testament.  The NASB’s Strong’s concordance shows the term as meaning “founder,” or “leader.”  It shows the word as coming from 757,” meaning “to rule” or “to begin,” and 2233 “hegeomai” meaning “to lead” or “suppose.”  In the New Testament, this term is translated twice as “prince” and twice as “author.”  Here  are the four occurrences [emphasis added]:

Acts 3:15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

Acts 5:31 “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

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.

Considering these four verses, we could rightly say that Jesus was the Author of life…faith…and salvation.

The ABP’s Lexical Concordance gives the meaning as “leader,” “originator,” “ruler,” “founder,” “chief,” “head,” and “author.”  It lists 24 occurrences in the Septuagint.

In considering all this, another English word that comes to mind for this term is “progenitor” – as in Jesus is the progenitor of…

Jesus is indeed the ultimate progenitor.

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. 

Jesus Is King = Messiah = Christ = Anointed = King of Israel = King of the Jews

Was Jesus a king?  Pontius Pilate asked Him this very question…point blank:

John 18:37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

Therefore, if Jesus is the Christ, He is the Anointed, He is the Messiah, He is the King, He is the King of Israel, and He is the King of the Jews.

When we read the Scriptures we need to see their continual focus on Messiah.  These various titles are mutually reinforcing, and, when viewed consistently, make clear to us His role in creation and therefore in our lives.

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. 

Jesus = The Christ = a King

To proclaim Jesus as the Christ was to proclaim Him a king, for the term “Christ” refers to “kingship.”   Just to validate this point, read Acts 17:1-7.  In verses 2 and 3, Paul is explaining to the Jews in Thessalonica’s synagogue that Jesus is the Christ.  This created a division among his hearers.  Subsequently, Paul’s antagonists began dragging some of his supporters before the local authorities on the charge that they were promoting another “king.”  These antagonists knew that calling Jesus by the Jewish synonym for king* was not as likely to inflame the passions as the more commonly understood term “king” itself.  Thus we read at the close of this passage:

Acts 17:7 “…they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”

Paul’s opponents wanted to make sure the authorities viewed the dispute as a political one in which the authorities should take sides.  Thus to say “the christ” in biblical times and lands was just another way of saying “the king.”  Therefore, whenever we hear or think of the term “Christ” we should think of His authority.

* (i.e. the Christ; for an explanation of why these terms are synonymous, see here)

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 Anointed = The Messiah = The Christ = The King of Israel

Those who mock and insult the Lord might be telling the truth – great and important truth – even when they don’t realize it.  This was certainly the case with Jesus at His crucifixion.

Mark 15:32 “Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.

Sometimes the words of mockers are profoundly true.  Jesus was indeed “Christ, the King of 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.  

When the Prophets Speak of “The Anointed” They Are Speaking of “the King”

When Israel demanded that they have a king like all the other nations had, God sent Samuel to anoint Saul as the first king of Israel.  (More about that here.)  From that point on, “the anointed one” became a synonym for Israel’s king.

Given the parallelism that is intrinsic to Hebrew poetry, you can see “the anointed” equated with “the king” in 1 Samuel 2:10, 2 Samuel 22:51, and Psalm 18:50.  And even though it’s prose, 1 Samuel 26:16 also demonstrates “the anointed” and “the king” being used as synonyms for each other.

Further, if you were to search for all Bible verses which contain both the word “anointed” and the word “king,” (the four verses mentioned above will be among them), you will find some 25 verses, most of which are relevant enough to the point so as to give even more reason to appreciate the inextricable link between the terms “king” and “anointed.”  There are also occasions, such as Psalm 2, where the terms “anointed” and “king” are used interchangeably though not within a single verse, but those would take more time to catalog (cf. v. 2 and v. 6).

The best way to think of the expression “the anointed” is as an ellipsis for “the anointed king.”  Thus when someone in Israel spoke of “the anointed,” it was with the word “king” being understood even though it wasn’t uttered.

There are occasions where the Bible will refer to an anointed priest (e.g. Leviticus 4:3) or an anointed prophet (e.g. Isaiah 61:1) or even to a group of these (e.g. Psalm 105:15), but the singular expression seems, practically speaking, to always refer to the king.

These equivalent terms “the king” and “the anointed” arose in usage at the same time in Israel’s history – at the beginning of kingdom.  This was the time of Saul and David.  As for David, God promised him that a distant descendant of his would one day rule on his throne “forever.”  After David died, the glory of Solomon led to the apostasy of Solomon.  Then the kingdom was divided.  Eventually, and inevitably, it fell.  Israel was exiled from its land.  It did ultimately return, but in much humility, during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.  The glories of David and Solomon were long past and David’s promised great descendant remained the ultimate hope of those who wanted to see the “latter glory” of Israel exceed the “former glory” (Haggai 2:9).  Thus more and more hope came to be attached to the promised descendant of David who would one day become “the Anointed” in promised glory.

Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled and outstripped all these hopes.  Whenever we think of “the Anointed,” we should think first and foremost of Him – for He is “the King.”

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.

 

Understanding Bible Mysteries

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

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

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

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

Paul spoke similarly to the Colossians:

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

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

As Jesus said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scriptures on Understanding

God wants us to understand.

God wants us to understand Him.

God wants us to understand life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Understand the Lord

Please read these three verses, especially the parts I’ve italicized:

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

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

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.

Assuming you are looking for understanding, can there be much incompatible about seeking the Lord, listening to His word, and doing it?  No one should be in doubt about how one goes about gaining a better understanding of the 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.

What the Terms “Messiah,” “the Anointed,” “the Christ,” “the Anointing,” and “Christian” All Have in Common

“Messiah” is the English transliteration of the Hebrew word meaning “anointed.”

In 1 Samuel 10:1, the priest Samuel anointed with oil (that is, poured oil over, or smeared oil on, the head of) Saul, the first king of Israel.  Most kings become so through being “crowned” in a “coronation.”  In somewhat similar fashion, inaugurated by Samuel, Israel’s kings were “anointed” in an “anointing.”

When Saul later disappointed God in the exercise of his rule, Samuel was instructed to anoint David king, as replacement for Saul.  Therefore, “the anointed” became a synonym for Israel’s king.

Since God promised David that an everlasting kingdom would be given to one of David’s distant descendants (2 Samuel 7:12-13, 19), and Israel’s kings had become scarce in the wake of its apostasy from God and the judgments it brought, that Davidic descendant became the primary figure people thought of whenever the term “the Anointed” (i.e. Messiah) came up.  Further heightening the importance of the term, other biblical promises (e.g. the ones God made to Abraham) were thought to be invested in this future individual, too.  “The Anointed” (i.e. “the Messiah”) was someone to come in whom a great deal of Jewish hope was being invested as the Common Era was approaching.

“Christ” is simply the English transliteration of the Greek word meaning “anointed.”  Thus Messiah, Christ, and Anointed are all synonyms.

When Jesus of Nazareth came, the Holy Spirit was “poured out from heaven” on Him (Isaiah 61:1) – enabling Him to do miracles (Acts 10:38) – such that His anointing was considered to have been by God with the Holy Spirit rather than by a priest with oil.  Thus through Jesus there came to be a whole new understanding of what it meant for the king to have been “anointed.” Therefore while the reference to “the Anointed” in Psalm 2 was originally understood to speak of the inappropriate antagonism of neighboring rulers to God’s choice for Israel’s king (i.e. the one anointed by a priest with oil), the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth put the psalm in a whole new light, demonstrating that earthly rulers were being antagonistic to the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in an individual (Acts 4:24-28; 7:51) – an individual that three days later would be raised from the dead, proclaimed as God’s own Son (Psalm 2:7; see also Acts 13:32-33 which makes this very point).

When Jesus subsequently ascended into heaven, He Himself poured out the Holy Spirit on His followers beginning on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2.  Thus Jesus’ followers had an “anointing” of the Holy Spirit as well (1 John 2:20, 27), and were called by some observers, though probably derisively, “Christians” (Acts 11:26) – that is, “little Christs.”  The derision of unbelievers, by the way, was a relatively common reaction to the Holy Spirit’s activities in believers (see Acts 2:13; 1 Corinthians 14:23) .  Nonetheless, Peter told the disciples to wear this badge of shame proudly (1 Peter 4:16).

Thus you see the common threads that run through these words:  Messiah, Anointed, Christ, Anointing, and Christian.  Note also that each of these words might be preceded in the biblical text by “the.”  And the terms may or not be capitalized.  (Ancient texts, of course, did not distinguish between upper and lower case as modern texts do; therefore, capitalization is a choice of the translator, not the person who originally wrote the document.)

Your reading of the English Bible will be enriched as you keep what is common to these five words in mind.

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.  

Notes on the Word “Grace” in the NASB

This post is a study of the word “grace” in the New American Standard Bible (NASB), mainly in the New Testament.  As for more focus on the Old Testament, see The Word “Grace” in the Old Testament.

First, I’ll report on what we learn using the search tool at BibleGateway.com.  Then I’ll do the same for the search tool at Lockman.org.  Then I’ll correlate the two.

BibleGateway.com

A BibleGateway.com search of [grace] in the NASB translation yields 125 verses in which the word “grace” occurs.  These break down as follows:

11 in the Old Testament

114 in the New Testament

Of these 125 occurrences, technically speaking, 3 should be removed from consideration.  This is because the BibleGateway.com search engine will pick up any verse which includes [grace] even if the actual word is [graceful].  That is, this search function picks up any word that begins with “grace.”  The BibleGateway.com search function also searches the NASB paragraph headings which are actually not part of the Bible text.  The exclusions are:

Proverbs 1:9     because the occurrence is “graceful” and not “grace”

Proverbs 5:19  because the occurrence is “graceful” and not “grace”

Ezekiel 16:1      because “grace” occurs in the heading and not the verse itself.

Of the remaining verses, the word “grace” appears more than once in 6 of them:

The word “grace” occurs twice in Zechariah 4:7; John 1:16; Romans 5:15; Hebrews 4:16; James 4:6

The word “grace” occurs three times in Romans 11:6 and 1 Corinthians 15:10

Therefore, netting the totals for the subtractions and additions just mentioned, we have left:

9 occurrences of “grace” in 8 verses of the Old Testament

122 occurrences of “grace” in 114 verses of the New Testament

This totals to 131 occurrences of “grace” in 122 verses of the NASB.

Lockman.org

A Lockman.org search of [grace] in the New American Standard Bible translation yields 158 verses in which the word “grace” occurs.  These break down as follows:

37 in the Old Testament

121 in the New Testament

Of these 158 occurrences, technically speaking, 3 should be removed from consideration.  This is because the Lockman.org search engine will pick up any verse which includes [grace] even if the actual word is [disgrace] or [graceful].  That is, this search function picks up any word that contains “grace” whether it is a stand-alone word or whether it is preceded of followed by other letters.  Therefore, the exclusions are:

Verses with “disgrace” but not “grace” – a total of 34 verses (27 in OT and 7 in NT)

The same two verses containing “graceful” (both OT) mentioned as excluded from the BibleGateway.com search (section above).

Of the remaining verses, the word “grace” appears more than once in 6 of them:

These are the same 6 verses mentioned in the BibleGateway.com section above.  In 4 of them, “grace” appears twice and in 2 of them “grace” appears three times.

Therefore, netting the totals for the subtractions and additions just mentioned, we have left:

9 occurrences of “grace” in 8 Old Testament verses

122 occurrences of “grace” in 114 New Testament verses

This totals to 131 occurrences of “grace” in 122 verses of the NASB.

Therefore, netting of all adjustments, the occurrences of “grace” according to Lockman.org match those of BibleGateway.com – which you would expect. Those two sites search in slightly different ways but they are both working with the same underlying NASB text.

The Word “Grace” in the New Testament

Let’s re-visit the Lockman.org search and focus on the NASB New Testament.  It revealed 121 verses in which the word occurred.  Of these, 7 can be excluded because the word found was some form of “disgrace.”  They break down as follows:

“disgrace” – Matthew 1:19; Lue 1:25; 14:9

“disgraces” – 1 Corinthians 11:4, 5

“disgraceful” – 1 Corinthians 11:6; Ephesians 5:12

This nets to 114 verses in which the word “grace” occurs at least once.

To be added to the number of word occurrences, as shown in the sections above, are four verses which have the word “grace” twice (John 1:16; Romans 5:15; Hebrews 4:16; and James 4:6) along with two verses which have the word “grace” three times (Romans 11:6 and 1 Corinthians 15:10).

This nets to 122 occurrences of the word “grace” in 114 verses.  These 122 occurrences are noted by the Strong’s Concordance found in the Lockman.org site.  Note the following paragraph,taken from The Word “Grace” in the Old Testament.  The reference to 122 occurrences of “grace” can be found in it.

The Strong’s Concordance number for “grace” is 5485– charis.  That word is translated in the NASB NT in the following ways (the number of occurrences of each is shown parenthetically):  blessing(1), concession(1), credit(3), favor(11), gift(1), grace(122), gracious(2), gracious work(3), gratitude(1), thank(3), thankfulness(2), thanks(6).  You can see that while the 156 occurrences of 5485 are translated in a variety of ways, the most common way, by far, is as “grace”  (i.e. 78% of the time).

Occurrences of “grace” by New Testament Author

For this section, I will revert to verse count, since that’s what both search functions (BibleGateway.com and Lockman.org) use.  Word counts, as you can tell, require some extra work to achieve, and that level of precision isn’t necessary for what we’re trying to accomplish in this section.

Luke

in Luke – 1

in Acts – 11

Total for Luke – 12

John

in John – 3

in 2 John – 1

in Revelation – 2

Total for John – 6

Paul

in Romans – 18

in 1 Corinthians – 5

in 2 Corinthians – 10

in Galatians – 7

in Ephesians – 12

in Philippians – 3

in Colossians – 4

in 1 Thessalonians – 2

in 2 Thessalonians – 4

in 1 Timothy – 3

in 2 Timothy – 4

in Titus – 4

in Philemon – 2

in Hebrews – 6

Total for Paul – 84

James – 1

Peter

in 1 Peter – 8

in 2 Peter – 2

Total for Peter – 10

Jude – 1

The total of all these verses is, of course, 114.

Observations

Of the 114 NT verses containing the word “grace,” only 4 of them appear in the Gospels – and then only in the introductory material (Luke 2:40 and John 1:14, 16, 17).  Thus, this word which is found so frequently in the epistles is seldom found in the gospels.

Further, of the 4 verses found in the Gospels with this word, none of them are from the lips of Jesus.  Therefore, we have no record of Jesus using the word “grace” – a word that has come to be so often – and rightly – associated with Him.

There were only two sources for the teaching of the apostles: Jesus and the Prophets.  Therefore, if the apostles did not get their emphasis on the word from Jesus, it must have been from the Scriptures.  At this point, it’s helpful to remember that, as stated in summary of  The Word “Grace” in the Old Testament:

The primary conclusion to be drawn is that when the Old Testament speaks of “favor” (or of “grace”) and the New Testament speaks of “grace” they are often, if not usually, talking about the same thing.

Thus, we should look to the Old Testament to find the roots of the apostles’ understanding of grace.  I am not saying that Jesus did not teach grace.  Obviously, He taught the Old Testament and held to it tenaciously.  I am merely saying that the Gospels do not reveal how He might have expounded on the word “grace” from the Old Testament.  Therefore, if we are to enrich ourselves with the apostles’ understanding of the word “grace,” we will need to acknowledge that the Old Testament is their documentary source.

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 Greek “Soter” (Savior) in the New Testament and the Septuagint

The term “Savior” appears 24 times in the NASB New Testament.  In every case, the underlying Greek word is “soter.”  “In Strong’s Concordance it is number 4990, with the meaning “savior” or “deliverer” – and stemming from the verb “to save.” Here are all 24 of those New Testament occurrences of “soter” (Strong’s 4990) [emphasis added]:

  • Luke 1:47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
  • Luke 2:11 …born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
  • John 4:42 …this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”
  • Acts 5:31 …God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior
  • Acts 13:23 …God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus,
  • Ephesians 5:23 …He Himself being the Savior of the body.
  • Philippians 3:20 we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
  • 1 Timothy 1:1 …according to the commandment of God our Savior
  • 1 Timothy 2:3 …acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
  • 1 Timothy 4:10 …the living God, who is the Savior of all men…
  • 2 Timothy 1:10 …by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus…
  • Titus 1:3 …according to the commandment of God our Savior,
  • Titus 1:4 …from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
  • Titus 2:10 …adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.
  • Titus 2:13 …the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
  • Titus 3:4 …the kindness of God our Savior and His love…
  • Titus 3:6 …upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
  • 2 Peter 1:1 …the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
  • 2 Peter 1:11 …the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…
  • 2 Peter 2:20 …by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…
  • 2 Peter 3:2 …of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
  • 2 Peter 3:18 …knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…
  • 1 John 4:14 …sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
  • Jude 1:25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord…

Of these 24 occurrences, 8 seem to apply to God and 16 seem to apply to Jesus.  Therefore, the term may be used for God or for God’s agent, intermediary, or mediator.  This will hold true as we look to the Old Testament, too.

As for the Old Testament, the NASB has 13 occurrences of the word “Savior.”  The underlying Hebrew word in all 13 cases is Strong’s Hebrew 3467 “yasha,” meaning “to deliver.”  We won’t be studying this Hebrew word in this post since the focus is the Greek word “soter” (Strong’s 4990), though I have included an appendix on this point to satisfy any lingering curiosity.

The Apostolic Bible Polyglot (ABP) states that 4990 means “savior,” “preserver,” “deliverer,” “rescuer” and shows it as occurring in 24 verses in the New Testament (the exact same verses as the NASB shows for the New Testament, listed above).  As for the Old Testament, the ABP shows 4990 occurring 22 times in the Old Testament.

The 13 occurrences of “savior” in the NASB Old Testament and the 22 occurrences of 4990 in the ABP Old Testament only have two verses in common (Isaiah 45:15, 21).  We won’t be exploring this issue in this post either.

Here are the 22 verses where 4990 occurs in the ABP Old Testament, showing, as it were, how each renders 4990 “soter” (remember the NASB is actually translating from Hebrew, not Greek, so only the ABP is actually translating from Greek because it is translating from the Septuagint and not the Masoretic text of Hebrew).  After the chapter-verse citation comes the indication of whom the verse refers to (re: indicates “referring to”), then the ABP rendering, then the NASB rendering.  [Italicized words are separate words in the text; they’re added here to give the expression a little context.]

  • Deuteronomy 32:15  re: God, ABP – “God his deliverer”; NASB – “the Rock of his salvation”
  • Judges 3:9  re: Othniel, ABP – “deliverer”; NASB – “deliverer”
  • Judges 3:15  re: Ehud, ABP -“deliverer”; NASB – “deliverer”
  • 1 Samuel 10:19  re: God, ABP -“deliverer”; NASB – “who delivers you”
  • 2 Samuel 22:47  re: God, ABP – “deliverer”; NASB – “the rock of my salvation”
  • Nehemiah 9:27  re: various unnamed figures, ABP -“deliverers”; NASB – “deliverers”
  • Psalm 24:5  re: God, ABP – “God his deliverer”; NASB – “God of his salvation”
  • Psalm 25:5  re: God, ABP – “my deliverer”; NASB – “the God of my salvation”
  • Psalm 27:1  re: God, ABP – “my deliverer”; NASB – “my salvation”
  • Psalm 27:9  re: God, ABP – “my deliverer”; NASB – “my salvation”
  • Psalm 62:2  re:  God, ABP – “my deliverer”; NASB – “my salvation”
  • Psalm 62:6  re:  God, ABP – “my deliverer”; NASB – “my salvation”
  • Psalm 65:5  re: God, ABP – “our deliverer”; NASB – “our salvation”
  • Psalm 79:9  re: God, ABP – “our deliverer”; NASB – “our salvation”
  • Psalm 95:1  re: God, ABP – “God our deliverer”; NASB – “the God of our salvation”
  • Isaiah 12:2  re: God, ABP – “my deliverer”; NASB – “my salvation”
  • Isaiah 17:10  re: God, ABP – “your deliverer”; NASB – “your salvation”
  • Isaiah 45:15  re: God, ABP – “deliverer”; NASB – “savior”
  • Isaiah 45:21  re: God, ABP – “deliverer”; NASB – “savior”
  • Isaiah 62:11  re: God?, ABP – “deliverer”; NASB – “salvation”
  • Micah 7:7  re: God, ABP – “my deliverer”; NASB – “my salvation”
  • Habakkuk 3:18  re: God, ABP – “my deliverer”;  NASB – “my salvation”

Of these 22 occurrences, 18 seem to refer to God, 3 refer to intermediaries sent by God, and one is uncertain (that’s why the question mark on Isaiah 62:11).

What can we learn from all this?  Several things.  First, we should regard “savior” and “deliverer” as synonyms and consider one as valid a translation as the other.  Second, we should remember that “preserver” and “rescuer” are some synonyms that add color to our understanding.  Third, we should see that the term can be applied to God or to those whom He sends to do His work.  Fourth, and the one I’d emphasize, two early uses of the terms were for those we call “judges” of Israel (Othniel and Ehud) – God’s agents or intermediaries for deliverance or salvation.  “Savior” has been heard so often as a “religious” and even “sterilized” term in modern times that we don’t immediately associate it with the likes of Israel’s judges, who lived in rough and tumble times.

I don’t suggest that these are the only things to learn from a word study of “soter” (Strong’s 4990), or even the most important things to learn.  This exercise should, nonetheless, show the value of studying words that are found at multiple places it the Scripture.  It helps us to “let Scripture interpret Scripture.”  Study them in a prayerful attitude (seeking the good of others), and the Holy Spirit will reveal truth about Jesus that you can follow.

(By the way, if you’re not familiar with the NASB, I invite you to read why I love it.  Know that I also love Strong’s.)

Appendix

As promised above, here is an accounting of the 13 occurrences of Savior in the NASB Old Testament.  Because they do not contain 4990 in the Septuagint version of these verses, they do not show up in the ABP list of Old Testament occurrences of 4990 above.  The two exceptions to this are Isaiah 45:15, 21 which are noted below as containing 4990.  For each of the remaining 11 verses I have shown in parentheses the Strong’s number for the Greek word that is present in the LXX and therefore explains why the word “savior” shows up in the NASB.  Both 4991 and 4982 are cognates of 4990 (the first two being the verb and noun forms respectively, and the third referring to a personalized noun), so the translation to “savior” in these cases is not surprising.  I’ve also chosen to show the ABP version in italics just to make the list easier to comprehend; otherwise, you’d feel like you were seeing double.  The only unusual item in this list is that 4506, which shows up in Isaiah 49:26.  It is not a cognate of 4990 but it is a synonym, and is usually translated to some form of “deliver” or “rescue” when it occurs elsewhere.

  • 2 Samuel 22:3 NASB – My savior, You save me from violence.
  • 2 Samuel 22:3 ABP – my deliverance (4991) from the unjust
  • Psalm 17:7 NASB – O Savior of those who take refuge 
  • Psalm 17:7 ABP – O one delivering (4982) the ones hoping upon you
  • Psalm 106:21 NASB – They forgot God their Savior
  • Psalm 106:21 ABP – they forgot the God, the one delivering (4982) them
  • Isaiah 19:20 NASB – He will send them a Savior
  • Isaiah 19:20 ABP – he shall send to them a man who will deliver (4982) them
  • Isaiah 43:3 NASB – your Savior
  • Isaiah 43:3 ABP – the one delivering (4982) you
  • Isaiah 43:11 NASB – there is no Savior besides Me
  • Isaiah 43:11 ABP – besides me there is no one delivering (4982)
  • Isaiah 45:15 NASB – Savior!
  • Isaiah 45:15 ABP – deliverer (4990)
  • Isaiah 45:21 NASB – A righteous God and a Savior
  • Isaiah 45:21 ABP – just and a deliverer (4990)
  • Isaiah 49:26 NASB – I, the Lord, am your Savior
  • Isaiah 49:26 ABP – I am the Lord, the one rescuing you (4506)
  • Isaiah 60:16 NASB – I, the Lord, am your Savior
  • Isaiah 60:16 ABP – I am the Lord, the one delivering (4982) you
  • Isaiah 63:8 NASB – So He became their Savior
  • Isaiah 63:8 ABP – And he became to them for deliverance (4991)
  • Jeremiah 14:8 NASB – Its Savior in time of distress
  • Jeremiah 14:8 ABP  – delivering (4982) in time of evils
  • Hosea 13:4 NASB – For there is no savior besides Me
  • Hosea 13:4 ABP – there is not one delivering (4982) besides Me

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 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.)

Significant Statements About Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

God is spirit.

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

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

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

Angels are spirits.

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

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

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

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

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For more on spirituality, see On Becoming Spiritual.

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

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

Other Phrasings Involving the Word “Spirit”

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

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

according to the spirit”  (4)

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

of the spirit”  (36)

on the spirit”  (1)

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

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For more on spirituality, see On Becoming Spiritual.

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

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

The Word “Spirit” in a List

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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For more on spirituality, see On Becoming Spiritual.

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

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

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.)

Biblical Words and Expressions Having to Do with Knowledge

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

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

Acknowledge

acknowledge  –  (19)  Romans 1:28

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

Aware

aware  –  (21)  Luke 9:11

not aware  –  (3)  1 Samuel 20:39

unaware  –  (10)  Luke 11:44

Conscious

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

consciousness  (1)  –  Hebrews 10:22

Ignorant

ignorance  –  (7)  Ephesians 4:18

ignorant  –  (6)  Hebrews 5:2

ignore  –  (3) Proverbs 10:17

Informed

inform  –  (26)

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

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

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

Know**

knew  –  (70)  Romans 1:21

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

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

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

not known  –  (30)  John 17:25

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

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

without knowing  –  (1)  Hebrews 13:2

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

no knowledge  –  (6)  2 Peter 2:12

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

Perceive***

perceive  –  (23)  2 Samuel 12:19

not perceive  –  (8)

Recognize

recognize  –  (46)  James 2:20

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scriptures on 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.)

Verbal Triplets That Heighten and Reinforce Understanding

When the Bible speaks “in three’s” (i.e. trios or triplets of terms) it strengthens our understanding just as it does when it speaks in pairs or duos of words, or even in longer lists.

EXAMPLES INVOLVING POSITIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

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

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Isaiah 33:6 And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

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Isaiah 66:2 …But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

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Hosea 4:1 Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.

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

The King James Version of this triplet reads “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”  Note also the similarity between the three virtues described in Micah 6:8 and the three decribed in Matthew 23:23.

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Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

Note the similarity of this trio with the one found in Micah 6:8. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to conclude that Jesus was here alluding to Micah’s admonition.

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Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

The 1973 NASB renders this trio of words as “kindness and forbearance and patience.”

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

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Romans 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
Romans 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

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

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Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

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Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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

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1 Corinthians 14:3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.

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2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

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Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

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

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1 Thessalonians 2:10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;
1 Thessalonians 2:11 just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children,
1 Thessalonians 2:12 so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

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1 Thessalonians 4:11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,

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

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

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1 Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

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2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

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Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

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1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen
1 Peter 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

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2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

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Revelation 17:14 “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

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Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

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EXAMPLES INVOLVING NEGATIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

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Hosea 4:1 Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.

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Mark 4:19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

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Luke 8:14 “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

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Luke 21:34 “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;

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

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1 Thessalonians 2:3 For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit;

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Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

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James 3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

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James 4:9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.

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1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

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For more posts of this kind, see the sub-category of “Patterns of Speech” under the category of “The Bible.”

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

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

The Greek “Pais” (Servant) in the LXX Psalms

The Septuagint (Apostolic Bible Polyglot) shows five occurrences of “pais” in the book of Psalms.

Psalm 18:title

Psalm 36:title

Psalm 69:17

Psalm 86:16

Psalm 113:1

The first two occurrences label David as “the servant of the Lord.”  Psalm 69 is ascribed to David and is considered messianic.  Verse 17 gives voice to the Messiah, speaking as God’s servant.  Psalm 86:16 follows this same pattern.  The last of the five, Psalm 113:1, refers to “servants” of the Lord – that is, it’s a plural reference which would refer to those who follow the example of Messiah and who are conformed to His image.

The Greek term “pais” can be translated servant, child, boy, youth, or even some similar term.  For other posts on “pais” see here.

Jesus was the quintessential “pais.”  We who seek to follow Him are to be similarly humble in obedience.

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.

Christ and the Language of Covenant and Marriage

The Scriptures are replete with references to covenant and marriage.  Of course, marriage is a covenant; therefore the vocabulary ften overlaps.  Many of these references are literal references to marriage or covenant, but many others are figuratively applications to man’s relationship with God – more specifically, Israel’s relationship with God.  Subsequently, and briefly, they would refer to the church’s relationship with God until the coming of the kingdom.  Of course, Israel and the church according to the flesh have become obsolete in the administration of God.  What matters is the kingdom of God, and that’s where these analogies apply.

These terms have great meaning for our relationship with Christ.  Therefore, when you see them, recognize them for that value.  Especially recognize that when you see a word from this lexicon in isolation, there is the unspoken allusion to the broader subject.  For example, the terms “virgin” or “adulterous” are implying the broader subject of marriage.  Specifically, they are implying the respective subjects of marital purity and marital faithfulness.  The application for our relationship with Christ is that we should be pure for Him and faithful to Him.  This is the practical way to consider these biblical words so that your understanding of them can enhance your relationship w

Here’s an alphabetized list of some of these covenant and marriage expressions found in Scripture, with an example following:

adultery, adulterer, adulteress  –  James 4:4

betrothed, betrothal  –  2 Corinthians 11:2-4

bride  –  Revelation 21:9

bridegroom  –  Matthew 9:15  (see also groom)

covenant  –  Hebrews 8:8-12

divorce  –  Jeremiah 3:8

engage, engaged  –  Luke 2:5

faithful, faithfulness  –  2 Timothy 2:13  (see also unfaithful)

faithless, faithlessness  –  2 Timothy 2:13

family  –  Ephesians 3:14-15

fornication, fornicator  –  Hebrews 13:4

groom  –  Jeremiah 16:9  (see also bridegroom)

harlot, harlotry  –  Jeremiah 3:8  (see also prostitute)

husband  –  Isaiah 54:5-6; 2 Corinthians 11:2-4

jealous, jealousy  –  (2 Corinthians 11:2-4)

join, joined  –  1 Corinthians 6:15-19

leave and cleave  –  Genesis 2:24

lord  –  1 Peter 3:6

love – Revelation 2:4

lover  –  Jeremiah 3:1, 20

marriage, marry, married  –  Revelation 19:9

one flesh” or “two become one”  –  1 Corinthians 6:15-19; Ephesians 5:31-32

promise  –  1 John 2:25

prostitute, prostitution  –  1 Corinthians 6:15-19  (see also harlot)

unfaithful, unfaithfulness  –  Psalm 73:27  (see also faithful)

virgin, virginity  –  2 Corinthians 11:2-

vow  –  Ecclesiastes 5:4-5

wife  –  Isaiah 54:5-6; Revelation 21:9

yoke, yoked  –  Matthew 11:28-30

Also, keep in mind that there are other words – such as name, law, house, and so on – which are not restricted in meaning to the subjects of covenant and marriage but which provide special meaning to covenant and marriage.  For example, “name” is affected when one enters marriage (and even Abram’s name was changed to Abraham because of the covenant with God).  Also, “house” can be thought of as the “house” of Israel, as in all those descended from Jacob (whose name became Israel) – that is, the house of the covenant or marriage.  And “law” can refer to the guiding principles of the covenant, marriage, or family.  There are many, many words that fall into this category.  Other examples would include:  bed, children, descendants, secret, seed.

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 Greek “Pais” (Servant) in Acts 4

The Greek word “pais” (rendered as “servant” in English, but could also be translated as “child,” “boy,” or “youth” according to the online NASB – Strong’s 3816) shows up three times in the fourth chapter of Acts (Acts 4:25, 27, 30).  All occur in a  prayer offered by Peter, John, and other disciples.

In the first instance, it refers to David as the servant of the Lord.  In the next two occurrences it refers to Jesus.  As such both occurrences precede “servant” with the adjective “holy.”  Thus David is called the “servant” of the Lord but Jesus is the “holy servant” of the Lord.

This distinction was made earlier in Acts 2 when Peter quoted from Psalm 16, which was attributed to David.  After quoting a portion of the psalm in Acts 2:25-28, Peter went on in verses 29-31 to make it clear that the passage was fulfilled not in David but in Jesus.  Specifically, Jesus was “the Holy One” spoken of in Psalm 16:10 who did not “undergo decay” (a point reinforced by Paul in Acts 13:35-37; the “holy” aspect also reinforced by Acts 13:34).

The term “holy servant” is the effective equivalent of “Messiah.”  This was made clear in the aftermath of Israel’s Messiah being crucified and resurrected – a turn of events no first-century Jew appeared to be anticipating.  “Servant” would show up as “pais” in the Septuagint version of Isaiah 52:13 (see Apostolic Bible Polyglot), which would account for Peter’s and Paul’s use of it to refer to Jesus as raised from the dead.  (Among some 20 other occurrences in Isaiah, and quite a number of other occurrences in the LXX, “pais” also shows up in the messianic verses Isaiah 42:1, 19; Isaiah 42:19 has “pais” occurring first and then “doulos” toward the end of the verse.)

Jesus is the “pais” of God.  It is our privilege to know Him and to imitate 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.

Verbal Pairs That Heighten and Reinforce Understanding

When Scripture uses two adjectives of a noun, it makes understanding of both modifiers better.  For example, if it described Jesus’ heart as humble, we would have understood.  Or if it had described His heart as gentle, we would likewise have understood.  But when it says that His heart was gentle and humble, we understand even better.  (By the way, to learn more about how often gentleness and humility show up together in a scriptural passage, see this post.)

Here then are cases where words are used in tandem, heightening and reinforcing the meanings of each.  This listing represents but a few examples of many such instances in the Scriptures.  First, the positive examples; then the negative [Emphasis, and occasionally comments, added]:

EXAMPLES INVOLVING POSITIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

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Psalm 131:2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.

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

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Isaiah 1:19 “If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;

The King James Version of this verse renders the phrase for “consent and obey” as “willing and obedient.”

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

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Isaiah 66:2 “…But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

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Zephaniah 3:12 “But I will leave among you
A humble and lowly people,
And they will take refuge in the name of the LORD.

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Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Note the similarity of “gentle and humble” here with “meekness and gentleness” in 2 Corinthians 10:1 below, both being references to Christ.

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Matthew 24:45 “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?

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Matthew 25:21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

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

Compare this verse with Hebrews 12:3 below.

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Luke 8:15 “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

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Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?

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Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,

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Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

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1 Corinthians 14:40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.

The KJV and ESV read “decently and in order.”  The NIV reads “in a fitting and orderly way.”  (See here for these versions.)

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2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent!

Note the similarity of  “meekness and gentleness” here with “gentle and humble” in Matthew 11:29 above, both being references to Christ.

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2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

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Ephesians 5:27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
Ephesians 5:29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,

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Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

The King James Version translates this phrase as “nurture and admonition.”

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Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
Philippians 2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

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Colossians 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Colossians 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

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2 Thessalonians 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

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2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,

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1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

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

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Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

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Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
Hebrews 6:12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

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Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,
Hebrews 6:20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

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Hebrews 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

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

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

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James 5:10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

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1 Peter 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
1 Peter 1:21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

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1 Peter 3:2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

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

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1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

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2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
2 Peter 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

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2 Peter 3:11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

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2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,

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

The King James Version says “faithful and just.”

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2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

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Revelation 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

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Revelation 13:10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

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EXAMPLES INVOLVING NEGATIVE DESCRIPTIONS

Psalm 131:1 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.

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Proverbs 11:31 If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth,
How much more the wicked and the sinner!

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

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Ezekiel 3:5 “For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel,
Ezekiel 3:6 nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you;
Ezekiel 3:7 yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate.

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Matthew 9:36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

The NASB 1973 reads “distressed and downcast.”  The ESV and NIV read “harrassed and helpless.”  The KJV reads “they fainted and were scattered abroad.”  (See here for these other translations.)

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Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

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Matthew 13:21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
Matthew 13:22 “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

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Matthew 16:4 “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.

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Matthew 17:17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”

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Matthew 25:26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.

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Mark 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

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Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

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Luke 10:41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
Luke 10:42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

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Luke 11:39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness.

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Luke 24:25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

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Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

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Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

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

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Romans 10:21 But as for Israel He says, “ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.”

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Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

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Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
Philippians 2:15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

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2 Thessalonians 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

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Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

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Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

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Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

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Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;
Hebrews 5:2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness;
Hebrews 5:3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself.

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Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Compare this verse with Luke 18:1 above.

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

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

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James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

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

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

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In addition to pairs, the Bible also speaks in three’s to strengthen our understanding.  And there are, of course, lists longer than two or three items.  And on the broader subject of biblical patterns of speech, see that category to the right (or click here).

By the way, for more on positive descriptions see this post about how we can practice the positive traits of Jesus Christ.  Indeed, all positive character traits proceed from the character of God.

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

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

Twofold Descriptions of the Heart

Here are scriptures where two adjectives are applied to the noun “heart.”  This strengthens our understanding of the point being made, for “out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every fact be established” (Matthew 18:16).  [Emphasis added.]

Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

Luke 8:15 “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

What kind of heart do you have?

(Here’s a post on “verbals pairs,” including those above.)

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

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

Scriptures on 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.)

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Knowledge and Salvation

Knowledge is a key biblical concept.  So also is salvation.  The follow scripture demonstrates how these two concepts can relate to each other [emphasis added; knowledge in bold, and salvation in bold italics]:

Psalm 98:2 The LORD has made known His salvation;
He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.

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Isaiah 33:6 And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

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Luke 1:77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,

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

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You can find more key biblical concepts, and how they relate to each other, at this post.

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

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

Correlating Virtues of Christ: Forbearance and Patience

Both forbearance and patience are virtues of Jesus Christ.  Since these character traits are closely associated with each other, it’s not surprising that we would find scripture passages where the two terms appear in proximity to each other.  Here are some of them [Emphasis added; forbearance in bold, and patience in bold italics:]:

Romans 2:4 ESV Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

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Ephesians 4:2 ESV with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

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Colossians 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Colossians 3:14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

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2 Thessalonians 1:4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

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To study more of the virtues of our Lord, see this post.

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

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

Scriptures on Forbearance

The Greek word translated as “forbearance” in the NASB is Strong’s # 463.  It shows up only twice in the New Testament, both listed below [Emphasis added]:

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

This verse from the 1995 NASB shows “tolerance” but the 1973 version shows “forbearance.”

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Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Romans 3:25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

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1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
1 Corinthians 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
1 Corinthians 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
1 Corinthians 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Certainly, this conveys the idea of forbearance, even though the Greek word (Strong’s 4722) is not etymologically related to Strong’s 463.

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Forbearance is but one of the virtues of Jesus Christ.  Here are others.

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

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

The Fruit of the Spirit Are the Root of Christ

The fruit of the Spirit could always be picked from Christ’s tree – for He was, and is, the tree of life.  That is, the fruit of the Spirit are the character traits of Jesus Christ.  Consider the nine fruit of the Spirit now, and consider them in comparison with the deeds of the flesh, which are far more characteristic of humanity.

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.

Let us therefore follow Christ so that this fruit of the Spirit might be brought forth in us.

For more study of specific virtues of Jesus 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.)

The Path Christ Paved to the Kingdom of God

In the following passage, the apostle Peter explains how one prepares for, and gains access to, the kingdom of God.  Of course, he was writing in the days just before the kingdom came.  It has since come, and is in our midst.  But entrance to the kingdom of God is still gained only by those willing to let the Lord’s grace make them worthy of it.  Peter observed Jesus’ life and ministry firsthand for three years.  He describes here the path Christ paved that we might walk it.

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 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.

Note especially the “qualities” (to use Peter’s word from verse 8) listed in verses 5 through 7.  The practice of these virtues, according to verses 10 and 11 make entrance to the kingdom available…to whoever is practicing them!  This is the path Christ paved with His own behavior.  Let us walk it!

For more on some of the specific 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. 

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.)

Correlating Virtues of Christ: Kindness and Patience

Jesus practiced both kindness and patience.  These virtues are spoken of together in the following scriptures [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?

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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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2 Corinthians 6:6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love,

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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, patiencekindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

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Colossians 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Colossians 3:14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

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2 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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For more on the virtues of Christ which we can practice in His presence and with His help, 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.)

Correlating Virtues of Christ: Gentleness and Humility

Jesus practiced both humility and gentleness.  These virtues can be seen in tandem here [emphasis added]:

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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Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,
Ephesians 4:3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

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Colossians 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Colossians 3:14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

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Christ’s virtues of gentleness and humility can also be seen as related to each other in that Matthew 21:5 quotes Zech 9:9, yet the former uses “gentle” while the latter uses “humble.”  Obviously, their meanings cannot be unrelated.

Matthew 21:4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
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.'”

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

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For more on the virtues of Christ which we can practice in His presence and with His help, 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 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.)

Practicing the Virtues of Christ

I hope you know about practicing the presence of Christ.  If you do, you probably realize that maintaining a sense of Christ’s presence requires the practice of His virtues.

The virtues – or character traits, if you prefer – of Christ can be seen in passages of Scripture where such virtues are grouped.  For example, consider these:

The Path Christ Paved to the Kingdom of God  (focused on the list of virtues found in 2 Peter 1:5-7)

The Fruit of the Spirit Are the Root of Christ (focused on the list of virtues found in Galatians 5:22-23)

We can also consider Christ’s spiritual attributes (which is just another way of saying “virtues”) by looking at them one by one.  Let us therefore think more about His virtues in just that way, that we might practice each one more wisely and effectively.

We are able to practice morality as we see it first and foremost expressed through His life.  Thus as “a child can do nothing except what he sees his father doing,” so we will grow morally and spiritually by imitating Him.  (See Scriptures on Imitating Jesus.)  Jesus practiced these virtues as a human being, and He also practices them as God.  Let us give regard to both ways in which He has lived these qualities.

Here then are some meditations on those virtues of Jesus Christ…in order to better practice them (parenthetical reference is made to Jesus’ practice of this trait – first as a human being, and then as God):

Ambition  (Jesus had holy ambition…and is still ambitious to save us)

Courage  (He was courageous…and we should be, too)

Diligence  (Jesus was diligent…and still is.)

Discipline  (Jesus kept Himself under discipline.)

Endurance  (Jesus endured…that we might endure for Him)

Excellence  (Jesus pursued moral excellence…and attained it forevermore)

Faithfulness  (As a man, He was faithful to God; as God, He is faithful to us.)

Fearlessness  (Jesus was fearless…that we might be fearless, too)

Forbearance  (He put up with a lot from us; He still does.)

Generosity  (He was…and is…generous.)

Gentleness  (He was…and is…gentle.)

Godliness  (He was godly; He is God.)

Goodness  (He was…and is…good.)

Gratitude  (He was grateful to God; and we are grateful to Him.)

Holiness  (He was holy…and through Him we are holy.)

Humility  (He was…and is…humble.)

Joy  (He was…and is…joyful.)

Kindness  (He was…and is…kind.)

Love  (This is the virtue of His that encompasses all the others.)

Mature  (Jesus became mature…that we might mature.)

Obedience  (Jesus was obedient…and He now calls us to obey Him)

Patience  (He was…and is…patient.)

Perfect  (He was perfected…that we might be perfected.)

Peace  (He was…and is…peaceful)

Perseverance  (Jesus perseveres…and still does)

Purity  (Jesus was pure of heart…and stil is.)

Righteousness  (Jesus is righteous…and He makes us righteous.)

Self-Control  (He exercised self-control; as God, He is in control.)

Steadfastness  (He was steadfast as a man…and He is steadfast as our God)

Zeal  (Jesus was zealous about the things of God.)

These are the characteristics, qualities, attributes which, especially when taken together, distinguish Jesus so clearly from the typical human being.  Through His human life, we can better perceive how He is as God.  We can practice these attributes in His presence and with His help.

(Note about the scriptures you will read under each topic:  Some of these scriptures describe how Jesus exhibited the given quality in the days of His flesh; that is, when He lived as a human being.  Other verses will describe how He exhibits that characteristic as God.  And yet other verses will reference the quality as part of instruction to us; that is, how we should be imitating Christ.  Viewing the quality from these various perspectives helps us better understand it.  And therefore makes us better able to practice it…in His presence.)

We can also correlate certain of these virtues.  That is, certain ones fit together particularly well together and therefore can be practiced with that affinity in mind:

Correlating Virtues of Christ:  Gentleness and Humility

Correlating Virtues of Christ:  Forbearance and Patience

Correlating Virtues of Christ:  Kindness and Patience

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 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 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.)

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Covenant and Promises

Previous posts on “covenant” and “promises” have spoken to how these two biblical concepts relate to each other.  Here are some verses that demonstrate the two words in the same context, which should verify that understanding for you [emphasis added].

Romans 9:4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,

Galatians 3:17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.

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.

Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

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.  Thus these two words can hardly be understand apart from each other.

Thus we see that a covenant with God includes promises from God.  Conversely, we can see that God’s promises to us are not made in an isolated manner.  They are part and parcel of His covenant with us – the relationship He offers us.

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

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

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Knowledge and Truth

Knowledge” and “truth” are both important biblical concepts.  How do they relate to each other?  Consider the following verses which demonstrate the connection:

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.”

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 4:1 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.

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.

2 Timothy 3:6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,
2 Timothy 3:7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Titus 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,

Heb 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.

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.

2 John 1:1 The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth,

As you can easily see, there is a consistent theme throughout these verses.  That is, we are to know the truth.  This is the catalyzing action.  Truth abounds, but until we come into contact with it – through knowledge (i.e. awareness) – we remain bound to the lies which also abound in the world.

We also see that knowing the truth leads to godly living.

And we see that merely knowing the truth is not enough.  We must act on that truth that we know.  Otherwise, we remain under judgment.

Therefore, let us seek not just to know about the truth, but to know it – and to know it well, from repeated experience.

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: Gospel and Grace and Truth

How do the biblical terms “gospel” and “grace” and “truth” relate to each other?  Consider this passage from Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae [emphasis added]:

Colossians 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel
Colossians 1:6 which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth;

Other key biblical words are listed here.

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. 

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Gospel and Truth

What do the biblical concepts of “gospel” and “truth” have to do with each other?  Consider the following verses [emphasis added]:

Galatians 2:5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.

Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?

To see how these two concepts together correlate with the concept of “salvation,” see here.

To see how these two concepts together correlate with the concept of “grace” see here.

For a consideration of other key biblical concepts, see here.

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. 

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Gospel and Salvation and Truth

Consider how the meanings of “truth,” “salvation,” and “gospel” are intertwined by contemplating this verse from Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus [emphasis added]:

Ephesians 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Here are some other biblical concepts to consider.

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: Gospel and Salvation

What does the gospel have to do with salvation?  Consider this scripture [emphasis added]:

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

To correlate these two concepts with truth, see here.

Here are some other biblical concepts to consider.

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

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. 

Scriptures on Righteousness

Righteousness defines the way God thinks and behaves, and thus defines the way He would have His children think and behave. Jesus and His apostles were constantly encouraging the disciples to practice righteousness – and not just righteousness in the sight of others, but righteousness in God’s sight.  After all, only God can truly and fully see the attitude of the heart.

Righteousness is a concept given short shrift by today’s man-made churches.  Faithful study and practice of Holy Scripture will bring back its importance.

Here then are some scriptures on righteousness.  In your study of this word in the Bible, you will find many more.

Psalm 23:3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

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

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

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.

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

Perhaps needless to say, righteousness is a key biblical concept.  There 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.)

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Gospel and Grace

What do the key biblical concepts of gospel and grace have to do with each other?  Consider this verse [emphasis added]:

Acts 20:24 “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

The gospel is the gospel of the grace of God.  In other words, the good news for us is that God can be understood in terms of grace.

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. 

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Truth and Salvation

What does truth have to do with salvation?  Consider these verses:

Psalm 25:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.

Psalm 40:10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; 
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.

Psalm 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time;
O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness,
Answer me with Your saving truth.  [“Saving” is, of course, a cognate of “salvation.”]

Ephesians 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

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.

[Emphasis added.]

To correlate both of these concepts with gospel, see here.

Consider also other key 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. 

Some Promises from God by Which We May Live

Here are some promises that God has made to us through Jesus Christ our Lord.  They are the grace of God to us, and we can live by them.

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

Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Proverbs 1:23 “Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

John 6:37 “…the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”

John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Ephesians 6:2 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise),
Ephesians 6:3 SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.

These are but a few of the many promises God has made to us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For more explanation of God’s promises, 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.)

The Word “Gospel” in the Old Testament

“Gospel” is one of those words found in the New Testament that people sometimes don’t realize is actually an Old Testament word.  The term “gospel” means “good news,” and that’s how it’s usually translated in the Old Testament…and sometimes in the New Testament.

That the concept of gospel or good news is found in the Old Testament can be quickly recognized by these two New Testament passages:

Galatians 3:8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”  [quoting Genesis 12:3]

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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.  [alluding to the deliverance from Egypt and inheritance of the promised land]

Therefore, recognize that when New Testament writers use the term “gospel” or “good news” they are using a term first used by the prophets, and normally translated as “good news,” “glad tidings,” or “good tidings” in the NASB Old Testament.

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 Gospel

“Gospel” is a scriptural word well worth studying.  It’s meaning is “good news.”

The following verses are in scriptural order.

Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

The grace of Jesus Christ replaced the Law of Moses as the theme of the Scriptures in the first century A.D.

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Romans 1:9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son…

The gospel of God is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

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Galatians 3:8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”

The good news of the Son of God was prophesied a long time before the Son of God was revealed.  Thus Abraham got an early dose of the gospel.

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You’d do well to pursue your own study of the word “gospel” in the Scriptures.  As you do, keep in mind that it is one of those New Testament words which originally an Old Testament word.

(Consider also how the concept of “gospel” correlates with the concept of “grace.”)

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 Grace

The word “grace” is an important one when it comes to understanding the Lord’s message to us through the Bible.  Here are some scriptures with comments to help you get started.  They are listed in scriptural order [emphasis added].

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.

The word for “grace” can be found often in the Old Testament, though it is sometimes translated into a different English word such as “favor.”  For more, see The Word “Grace” in the Old Testament.

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Luke 2:40 The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

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John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:15 John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'”
John 1:16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

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Acts 20:24 “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

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Acts 20:32 “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

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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 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
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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Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Romans 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
Romans 5:16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
Romans 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Romans 5:19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
Romans 5:20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
Romans 5:21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

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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–

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2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

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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;

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2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

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Galatians 2:9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

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Galatians 2:21 “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

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Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Ephesians 2:9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

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Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Just as God speaks grace to us, so we should speak grace to one another.

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Philippians 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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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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Philippians 4:23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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

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

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Hebrews 10:29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Disdaining God’s grace is not wise.

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

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Hebrews 13:9 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.

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Hebrews 13:25 Grace be with you all.

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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.
James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?
James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

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1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

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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.

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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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1 Peter 5:12 Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!

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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;

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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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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.

Some people think that grace means it’s okay for us to do anything we want.  That’s not grace at all; that’s licentiousness.

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Even though most of the scriptures above are from the New Testament, be aware, as I wrote above with reference to Psalm 84:11, that grace is a word that is found in the Old Testament as well.

(Consider also how the word “grace” correlates with the word “gospel.”)

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 Knowledge

If you study the word “knowledge” in the Scripture you will find the exercise to be very fruitful.  Here are some scriptures on the subject to get you started [emphasis added]:

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

God is able to make us know things.  He can do this through our study, but He can also do it independent of our study.  He is able to impart knowledge directly to our hearts (see Psalm 51:6 below).  Though He use people to teach us, He is not restricted to that means.

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Psalm 46:10 “Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The King James Version of this verse reads, “Be still and know that I am God.”  When we quiet our hearts we can become aware of the assurance deep within that God…is.

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

Wisdom and knowledge can arise from deep within our hearts.  (See the promise of John 7:37-39.)

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Proverbs 1:23 “Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

God is able to impart knowledge to us independent of human agency (see 1 Corinthians 12:8 and 1 John 2:20, 27).  See also Psalm 25:14 and Psalm 51:6 above.

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Proverbs 2:1 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Proverbs 2:2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
Proverbs 2:3 For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
Proverbs 2:4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Proverbs 2:5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.

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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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Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

God makes things known to us (see the Romans 1 passage below).  When He does, should accept that knowledge and act in accordance with it – not reject it!

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Hosea 6:6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

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John 4:22 “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

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Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Romans 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
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,

Learn from this passage that we do not have to be “super spiritual” to receive knowledge (or “knowing”) from God.  On the contrary, every human being is granted a measure of this knowing (or “awareness”).  Our spirituality is determined by what we do with this knowledge.  That is, do we act upon it…or do we ignore it.  This awareness of God (or “consciousness of God”) will lead to our honoring and thanking God for our existence; the rejection of it leads to a darkened heart and all kinds of evil.

The lesson is that we should have regard for the things that God makes known to us.

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Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
Romans 10:2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

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1 Corinthians 8:2 If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know;

The knowledge of God is sure and certain.  It is a deep inner conviction.  It is not speculation or merely what we suppose to be true.

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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,

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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;

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Colossians 2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face,
Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,
Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

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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.

Just as there is more than one kind of wisdom, there is more than one kind of knowledge.  There is the knowledge of men, and then there is the knowledge of God which we have been discussing in this post.

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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.

If you don’t know what God wants you to do in a given situation, do not fret.  He’s not holding it against you. Don’t worry about what you don’t know (see Psalm 131).  Instead, be sure to do what you do know.

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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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2 Peter 2:21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.

Alas, it’s better not to know the way of God than to know it but not do it.  (See James 4:17 above.)

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I hope you are inspired to study and reflect on what the Scripture says about knowledge.  It is a precious treasure from God.

(Consider also how the concept of truth correlates with the concept of knowledge.)

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.

It’s Better to Have a Unified Heart Than a Divided Heart

Here are scriptures that speak of whole-hearted devotion as well as divided loyalties and half-hearted service [bold added to focus the point]:

Deuteronomy 6:5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

1 Chronicles 12:33 Of Zebulun, there were 50,000 who went out in the army, who could draw up in battle formation with all kinds of weapons of war and helped David with an undivided heart.

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

2 Chronicles 25:2 He did right in the sight of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart.

Psalm 12:2 They speak falsehood to one another;
With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.

Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Ps 119:113 I hate those who are double-minded,
But I love Your law.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Matthew 12:25 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.

1 Corinthians 7:34 and his interests are divided

James 1:8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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.

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.

Give your whole heart – not just some portion of it – to serving the 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.)

Scriptures on Truth

“Truth” is a key word in the Bible.  Studying this word will yield great benefit to the human soul.  Perhaps you could learn to use Strong’s concordance, even the one that is embedded in the NASB online.

Here are some scriptures (in scriptural order, with emphasis added) which speak of the truth, some followed with comments.  This might inspire you to start your own study of the precious word.

Psalm 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth

Look below for John 17:17 and see that Jesus took this Old Testament verse (as He did all the Old Testament verses) quite seriously.

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Proverbs 23:23 Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

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John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:15 John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'”
John 1:16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

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John 3:19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
John 3:20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
John 3:21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

It’s not just knowing the truth that’s important – it’s practicing the truth, too.

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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 14:6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

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John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

God’s word is truth.  Jesus is here echoing Psalm 119:160.

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John 18:37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
John 18:38 Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, “I find no guilt in Him.

Notice the stark contrast between Jesus Christ and Pontius Pilate.  One came to testify to the truth while the other is not even sure that such a thing as truth even exists.

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John 19:35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.

The apostle John who wrote this gospel is testifying in the sight of God that his gospel is the truth that himself has witnessed.

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Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Romans 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

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Ephesians 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

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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,

Speaking the truth is one thing, but speaking it without love is another.  Let us be sure to speak the truth, and let us be sure we are doing so with genuine love as our motive.

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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.  [quoting Zechariah 8:16]

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Ephesians 4:20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,
Ephesians 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,

This verse reminds us of John 14:6 (see above).  Certainly the Lord Jesus is the embodiment of truth.

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Colossians 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel

What a glorious fact it is that the good news of Jesus Christ is…the truth!

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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.

Paul is stressing the importance of loving and believing the truth – and also the alternative position, which is to believe what is false. Let us always be sure we are making the right choice.

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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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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.
2 Timothy 2:16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,
2 Timothy 2:17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
2 Timothy 2:18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.

Dispensing the truth of Scripture is a sobering responsibility.  Let’s be sure we handle the truth with care.  Otherwise, we might go astray from it.

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2 Timothy 3:6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,
2 Timothy 3:7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.

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2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
2 Timothy 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

It is hard to believe that once having heard the truth, we could be enticed away from it – but it’s true!  Therefore, we must seek all the harder to hold fast to the truth which we have received.  This is not only that we might keep it, but that we might gain more “for to him who has, shall more be given” (Matthew 13:12).

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Titus 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,

Note that the knowledge of the truth is not an intellectual matter, but rather a matter of character – specifically, godly character.  Do not think that truth is a matter for academic, it is a matter for those who want to know our Creator…who has been most succinctly defined as love (1 John 4:8, 16).

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The Scriptures have much more to say about truth…and they are truth.

See also the post Scriptures on Truth v. Lies.

(As for how truth correlates with salvation, see this post.  And for how it correlates with knowledge, 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.)

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. 

What the Bible Calls Itself

The Bible is an ancient collection of even more ancient writings.  These writings can be traced to Jews who spoke in the name of the Lord (called prophets in the Old Testament and apostles in the New Testament).  This collection never uses the word Bible.  Instead, the collection is referred by a variety of different terms.

Since the collection began with the writings of Moses, his name figures prominently in the titles given the collection.  The collection became so well known among the Jewish people that it could be referred to by simply saying, “It is written…”

Just as the Bible does not refer to itself as the Bible, neither does it divide itself into “Old Testament” and “New Testament.”  Like the term “Bible,” these two terms (and the division they represent) were added by subsequent generations of readers and were not used by the writers.  Therefore, do not let these terms confuse you.  The important thing is what the writings say, not what we call them.  And all the writings (beginning with the Old Testament writings) testify of Jesus Christ.

Here then is a list which demonstrates the variety of terms the Bible uses to refer to itself.  They are alphabetized, but ignore “the.”  I have followed each with one or two references where the term can be found.  There are even minor variations on these variations, but I have not attempted to capture them here.

the holy Scriptures  –  Romans 1:2

the Law  –  1 Corinthians 15:21

the Law and the Prophets  –  Matthew 7:12

the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms  –  Luke 24:44

living oracles  –  Acts 7:38

Moses  –  Acts 15:21; 2 Corinthians 3:15

the oracles of God  –  Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12

the Prophets  –  Acts 26:27

the Prophets and Moses  –  Acts 26:22

the sacred writings  –  2 Timothy 3:15

the Scripture  –  John 10:35; 1 Timothy 5:18

the Scriptures  –  Luke 24: 27; John 5:39

the Scriptures of the Prophets  –  Matthew 26:56; Romans 16:26

the word of God  –  John 10:35

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. (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 Salvation

In this age, God has given us a complete salvation.  It is a salvation not of our circumstances, but rather of our souls.  Through this salvation, our hearts are blessed beyond measure – no matter what is going on around us.

The Scriptures speak of this salvation in many ways.  Here are some of those ways, with commentary following each:

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

The Second Coming of Christ in the late 1st Century marked the moment at which the eternal age of Christ began.  Even today, those who look to Him can receive His fullness in their hearts (Ephesians 3:16-17), just as it came to 1st-century hearts.

Psalm 50:23 “…to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”

The salvation of God is for those who are worthy of it (Ephesians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:12).  That is, we must walk the straight and narrow path to the kingdom of God if we are to find it at all (Matthew 7:13-14).  God promises to make the entrance clear to us if we indeed walk that path (see also 2 Peter 1:5-11).

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation…

If we sin, we must stop and cry out for God to restore our sick souls.  We should not try to live without the salvation of God, which is the blessing of God on our hearts.

James 1:21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

“Save” is a cognate of “salvation.”  Thus, it is the word of God in our hearts that is the agent of restoration in our souls.  Never stop listening for God.  When you cease to hear him, stop…and ask Him to restore your soul., which means that He will be on speaking terms with you once again.  Your soul cannot live without His voice.  Always seek it.  And speaking of having our souls restored…

Psalm 23:3 He restores my soul…

There is, however, something even better than God restoring our souls.

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

By holding fast our faith, we preserve our souls – which is even better than restoration.  That is, the goal is to always possess our souls, not lose them so that they can be restored.  It’s wonderful that God will restore our souls when we’ve lost them, but even better not to lose them.  Here are some scriptures on possessing, losing, and reclaiming our souls:

Luke 21:19 “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  (King James Version)

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

1 Peter 2:25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

Let us strive to possess our souls at all time.  When and if we do lose them, let us seek God immediately for restoration.  And even then let us have our hearts set on maturing.

Because this salvation is independent of circumstances, Paul could write:

Philippians 4:12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.

Paul had learned this lesson, at least in part, through this circumstance:

2 Corinthians 12:7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me–to keep me from exalting myself!
2 Corinthians 12:8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Thus there is to be a flow of grace to us…and through us…in any and every circmstance:

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;

Here then is a promise of salvation to everyone who truly loves the Lord:

Psalm 91:14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
Psalm 91:15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
Psalm 91:16 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”

As for how salvation correlates with truth, 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.)

God Is Able

I have made bold some of the things God is able to do:

Daniel 4:37 “…He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”

Matthew 3:9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

Romans 4:21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

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,

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;

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

2 Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

Hebrews 2:18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 11:19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead

Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,

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.)

Covenant

In biblical terms, a covenant is an agreement that establishes a relationship.  The covenant relationship takes shape based on the exchanged promises that constitute it.  Thus God did not make an isolated promise or two to Abraham, but rather made various promises (e.g. numerous descendants and abundant blessings) in the context of the relationship He would have with Abraham and his descendants.

God expanded the covenant with Abraham’s descendants through Moses.  He gave the Law (the Jewish word was “Torah”) which entailed commandments which Israel was to follow as a sovereign nation under God’s personal dominion.  While God’s covenant with Abraham was oriented to family interests, His covenant through Moses was oriented to national interests.  This expansion was fitting, given how God’s promise to multiply Abraham’s descendants had been abundantly fulfilled.  The covenant governed God’s interactions with His people.  The ninth chapter of the book of Nehemiah outlines the history of that covenant relationship – its ups and downs.  It was a rocky relationship, but God was always faithful to hold up His end of the bargain.

Jesus came to establish a new covenant:

Luke 22:20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

This is the covenant that had been explicitly promised by the prophets Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

This new covenant would last forever, never needing to be replaced.  Thus is was called a “better covenant” in Hebrews 7:22 and 8:6, and an “eternal covenant” in Hebrews 13:20.

“Covenant” is an important biblical concept because it demonstrates, and helps us better understand, God’s desire to live in relationship with us.  That is, His fondest desire is not to live at a distance from us, but rather in close and defined relationship with us.  This concept of covenant relationship is present throughout the Bible.  Both God’s promises and commandments are best understood as components of it.

Here are some more posts referencing “covenant.”

For more on how the word “covenant” relates to the word “promise,” see here.

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 Will of God

When you hear modern Christians discuss “the will of God,” it sounds like something unknown, waiting to be discovered.  When you read the Bible, however, “the will of God” sounds more like something revealed, waiting to be followed.  For this reason, “the will of God” is all the more an important biblical concept worth understanding well.

Here are some examples of how the Bible typically speaks of the will of God [emphasis added]:

Ezra 10:11 “Now therefore, make confession to the LORD God of your fathers and do His will

Psalm 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”

Matthew 6:10 …Your will be done

Mark 3:35 “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

John 9:31 “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.

Acts 13:22 “After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.’

Romans 2:17 But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God,
Romans 2:18 and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law,

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 5:17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 6:5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
Ephesians 6:6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;

1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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.

1 Peter 2:15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

1 Peter 4:2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

1 John 2:17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

None of this is meant to say that any of us has full and complete understanding of God’s will.  Surely we discover its finer points as we pray daily for His direction.  However, such praying can only be effective if we begin it with the understanding that God has already revealed His will to a signficant degree in the Scriptures and that to ignore this is counterproductive.  As the proverb says:

Proverbs 28:9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

We should also remember what Jesus said:

Matthew 13:12 “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

That is, if you think and act according to the will of God as you understand it, you will receive yet more understanding.  But if you ignore the understanding you already have, you not only will not receive more understanding, you will eventually lose the understanding you have.

Thus we should seek to understand the will of God and do it, then pray to understand it better…day by day by day.

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.)

Truth

“Truth” is a key biblical concept.

The Scriptures presume the concept of objective truth, even though there have always been those who question it:

John 18:37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
John 18:38 Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?”…

As to truth, both testaments claim that God’s words are expressions of it:

Psalm 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth…

John 17:17 “…Your word is truth.

And, specifically, that Scripture, as a record of God’s words, is utterly reliable:

John 10:35 “…the Scripture cannot be broken),

The apostle Paul even makes explicit the point that if the New Testament’s central historical claim – that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures – was false, then the entirety of the apostolic message about Christ fell with it in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.

The Bible even personifies truth in Jesus Christ:

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth…

Many voices in our modern age proclaim that truth is relative and subjective, but the Bible sees truth as something sure, certain, and independent of what any individual may think about it.  Truth is not determined by majority vote.  In fact, truth is truth even if no one votes for it.

Here’s another post with various scriptures on truth.  And here’s another on truth versus lies (true versus false).

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.)

Key Biblical Concepts

The Bible is an imposing set of ancient documents, written in various centuries by various authors.  It is easier to make sense of these documents if you realize that there are important concepts which run from one end of the collection to the other.  Without an appreciation for these concepts, reading and studying the Bible is far less rewarding.  With a proper appreciation of them, the Bible can be more quickly apprehended as a cohesive, consistent, and compelling message from God to the human race.

Here begins a catalog of those key biblical concepts, in alphabetical order.

Covenant

Faith,  Faith in Christ,  “The Faith,”  Faithfulness

Flesh v. Spirit

Gospel

Grace

Knowledge

Obedience to Christ

Promises

Righteousness

Salvation

Truth

The Will of God

The Will of Man

Some of these important biblical concepts correlate closely with each other.  For example:

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Covenant and Promises

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Faith and Obedience

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Gospel and Grace

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Gospel and Grace and Truth

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Gospel and Salvation

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Gospel and Salvation and Truth

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Gospel and Truth

Correlating Biblical Concepts:  Knowledge and Salvation

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Knowledge and Truth

Correlating Biblical Concepts: Truth and Salvation

Correlating Biblical Concepts:  The Will of God and the Will 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.)