"I am a Christian"

I really, really like this because it strikes to the heart; right to the very center of things!!!  Clean living, pride (in Christ), strength, perfection are but an outcropping of the essence of Christianity.  You may succeed in some areas of your discipleship more than others, but it is Christ and only Christ that you look to; in other words, the focus of your life is NOT YOURSELF!!!  For me, its extremely difficult to think of what it means to be a Christian and NOT THINK OF THIS PASSAGE FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS!!!  Read on and see if you agree...

Acts, Chapter 2
 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke out to them, “You men of Judea, and all you who dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words.  15 For these aren’t drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is only the third hour of the day 16 But this is what has been spoken through the prophet Joel:

  17 ‘It will be in the last days, says God,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.

Your sons and your daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions.
Your old men will dream dreams.

  18 Yes, and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days,
I will pour out my Spirit, and they will prophesy.

  19 I will show wonders in the sky above,
and signs on the earth beneath;
blood, and fire, and billows of smoke.

  20 The sun will be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.
  21 It will be, that whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

  22 “Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as you yourselves know,  23 him, being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed;  24 whom God raised up, having freed him from the agony of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it.  25 For David says concerning him,

‘I saw the Lord always before my face,
For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved.

  26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced.
Moreover my flesh also will dwell in hope;

  27 because you will not leave my soul in Hades,
neither will you allow your Holy One to see decay.

  28 You made known to me the ways of life.
You will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

  29 “Brothers, I may tell you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.  30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, he would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,  31 he foreseeing this spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was his soul left in Hades, nor did his flesh see decay.  32 This Jesus God raised up, to which we all are witnesses.  33 Being therefore exalted by the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this, which you now see and hear.  34 For David didn’t ascend into the heavens, but he says himself,

‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit by my right hand,
  35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’

  36 “Let all the house of Israel therefore know certainly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

  37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

  38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.”  40 With many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”

  41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. There were added that day about three thousand souls.  42 They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer.

I know, I know, this was addressed to Jews, but it really does apply to us all.  We need to come to grips with the fact that without a remedy for every single sin we have ever committed (whether big or small), we stand condemned!!! Becoming a Christian makes you want to please God, therefore I can tell you I quickly learned to hate sin.  The truth is that if I do something I know is wrong,(sin) it hurts!!!  Love will do that; enable your conscience to things you never thought about before.  Read, reread and contemplate the little article at the top and then-- be humble and glad at the same time!!!  Humble because you know that you can't please God by your own power and glad because God helps you on a moment to moment basis.  Question:  What shall we do?  Answer: Trust and Obey!!!  Amen!!!!!!

Oct. 24 Song of Solomon 1-4

Oct. 24
Song of Solomon 1-4

Son 1:1 The Song of songs, which is Solomon's. Beloved
Son 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for your love is better than wine.
Son 1:3 Your oils have a pleasing fragrance. Your name is oil poured forth, therefore the virgins love you.
Son 1:4 Take me away with you. Let us hurry. The king has brought me into his chambers. Friends We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will praise your love more than wine! Beloved They are right to love you.
Son 1:5 I am dark, but lovely, you daughters of Jerusalem, like Kedar's tents, like Solomon's curtains.
Son 1:6 Don't stare at me because I am dark, because the sun has scorched me. My mother's sons were angry with me. They made me keeper of the vineyards. I haven't kept my own vineyard.
Son 1:7 Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you graze your flock, where you rest them at noon; For why should I be as one who is veiled beside the flocks of your companions? Lover
Son 1:8 If you don't know, most beautiful among women, follow the tracks of the sheep. Graze your young goats beside the shepherds' tents.
Son 1:9 I have compared you, my love, to a steed in Pharaoh's chariots.
Son 1:10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.
Son 1:11 We will make you earrings of gold, with studs of silver. Beloved
Son 1:12 While the king sat at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.
Son 1:13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh, that lies between my breasts.
Son 1:14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. Lover
Son 1:15 Behold, you are beautiful, my love. Behold, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves. Beloved
Son 1:16 Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, yes, pleasant; and our couch is verdant. Lover
Son 1:17 The beams of our house are cedars. Our rafters are firs. Beloved

Son 2:1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Lover
Son 2:2 As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. Beloved
Son 2:3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, his fruit was sweet to my taste.
Son 2:4 He brought me to the banquet hall. His banner over me is love.
Son 2:5 Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples; For I am faint with love.
Son 2:6 His left hand is under my head. His right hand embraces me.
Son 2:7 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, or by the hinds of the field, that you not stir up, nor awaken love, until it so desires.
Son 2:8 The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping on the mountains, skipping on the hills.
Son 2:9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart. Behold, he stands behind our wall! He looks in at the windows. He glances through the lattice.
Son 2:10 My beloved spoke, and said to me, "Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
Son 2:11 For, behold, the winter is past. The rain is over and gone.
Son 2:12 The flowers appear on the earth. The time of the singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
Son 2:13 The fig tree ripens her green figs. The vines are in blossom. They give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away." Lover
Son 2:14 My dove in the clefts of the rock, In the hiding places of the mountainside, Let me see your face. Let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
Son 2:15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards; for our vineyards are in blossom. Beloved
Son 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his. He browses among the lilies.
Son 2:17 Until the day is cool, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a roe or a young hart on the mountains of Bether.

Son 3:1 By night on my bed, I sought him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but I didn't find him.
Son 3:2 I will get up now, and go about the city; in the streets and in the squares I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but I didn't find him.
Son 3:3 The watchmen who go about the city found me; "Have you seen him whom my soul loves?"
Son 3:4 I had scarcely passed from them, when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, into the chamber of her who conceived me.
Son 3:5 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, or by the hinds of the field, that you not stir up, nor awaken love, until it so desires.
Son 3:6 Who is this who comes up from the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all spices of the merchant?
Son 3:7 Behold, it is Solomon's carriage! Sixty mighty men are around it, of the mighty men of Israel.
Son 3:8 They all handle the sword, and are expert in war. Every man has his sword on his thigh, because of fear in the night.
Son 3:9 King Solomon made himself a carriage of the wood of Lebanon.
Son 3:10 He made its pillars of silver, its bottom of gold, its seat of purple, its midst being paved with love, from the daughters of Jerusalem.
Son 3:11 Go forth, you daughters of Zion, and see king Solomon, with the crown with which his mother has crowned him, in the day of his weddings, in the day of the gladness of his heart. Lover

Son 4:1 Behold, you are beautiful, my love. Behold, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is as a flock of goats, that descend from Mount Gilead.
Son 4:2 Your teeth are like a newly shorn flock, which have come up from the washing, where every one of them has twins. None is bereaved among them.
Son 4:3 Your lips are like scarlet thread. Your mouth is lovely. Your temples are like a piece of a pomegranate behind your veil.
Son 4:4 Your neck is like David's tower built for an armory, whereon a thousand shields hang, all the shields of the mighty men.
Son 4:5 Your two breasts are like two fawns that are twins of a roe, which feed among the lilies.
Son 4:6 Until the day is cool, and the shadows flee away, I will go to the mountain of myrrh, to the hill of frankincense.
Son 4:7 You are all beautiful, my love. There is no spot in you.
Son 4:8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, with me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.
Son 4:9 You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride. You have ravished my heart with one of your eyes, with one chain of your neck.
Son 4:10 How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine! The fragrance of your perfumes than all manner of spices!
Son 4:11 Your lips, my bride, drip like the honeycomb. Honey and milk are under your tongue. The smell of your garments is like the smell of Lebanon.
Son 4:12 A locked up garden is my sister, my bride; a locked up spring, a sealed fountain.
Son 4:13 Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates, with precious fruits: henna with spikenard plants,
Son 4:14 spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree; myrrh and aloes, with all the best spices,
Son 4:15 a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, flowing streams from Lebanon. Beloved
Son 4:16 Awake, north wind; and come, you south! Blow on my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and taste his precious fruits. Lover

Oct. 24 1 Thessalonians 1

Oct. 24
1 Thessalonians 1

1Th 1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the assembly of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th 1:2 We always give thanks to God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers,
1Th 1:3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father.
1Th 1:4 We know, brothers loved by God, that you are chosen,
1Th 1:5 and that our Good News came to you not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance. You know what kind of men we showed ourselves to be among you for your sake.
1Th 1:6 You became imitators of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,
1Th 1:7 so that you became an example to all who believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.
1Th 1:8 For from you the word of the Lord has been declared, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone out; so that we need not to say anything.
1Th 1:9 For they themselves report concerning us what kind of a reception we had from you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God,
1Th 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 John, Introduction, Mark Copeland

                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN"


When Jesus to earth, He came not only to live a life, but to give life:

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more
abundantly." - Jn 10:10

The Gospel of John was designed to produce faith so that we might have
life (Jn 20:30-31). However, it is The First Epistle of John which
describes the nature of that life in greater detail (e.g., 1Jn 3:14).
That we might be sure to live the sort of life God offers through His
Son Jesus Christ, a careful study of The First Epistle Of John is in


It is assumed in this study that the author is John, the beloved
disciple of Jesus (Jn 13:23; 19:26-27; 20:2; 21:7,20).  Similarities in
style, vocabulary, and themes in both this epistle and the Gospel of
John certainly offer internal evidence for this conclusion.

There is also external evidence that John is the author.  Polycarp, a
close associate of John, appears to make reference to this epistle in a
letter to the Philippians at the beginning of the second century.
Irenaeus, a student of Polycarp, quoted from the epistle and attributed
it to John.


No one is specifically mentioned by name.  John may have been in Ephesus
at the time, and some think this was a general epistle to Christians
throughout Asia Minor (modern day Turkey).  Comments in 1Jn 2:20,27
could imply that John was addressing a specific  group of Christians
that possessed certain spiritual (miraculous) gifts.


Estimates range from 60 A.D. to 100 A.D.  Most modern scholarship places
it around 95 A.D., but there are also good reasons for believing it was
written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (Re-dating The
New Testament, John A. T. Robinson).


In his epistle John frequently states why he was writing:

   *  "these things we write to you that your joy may be full" - 1Jn 1:4

   *  "these things I write to you, that you may not sin" - 1Jn 2:1

   *  "these things I have written to you...that you may know that you
      have eternal life" - 1Jn 5:13

   *  "these things I have written to you...that you may continue to
      believe in the name of the Son of God" - 1Jn 5:13

While these reasons may state the positive purpose for John's letter, it
appears he was also responding to errors prevalent at the time ("these
things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you" -
1Jn 2:26).  If not fully developed in John’s day, there was at least a
precursor to Gnosticism.

Those who later came to be called Gnostics claimed to have a superior
knowledge (the Greek word for knowledge is gnosis).  A fundamental
presupposition was that all matter was evil. Therefore they believed
that God did not create or have anything to do with the material
universe (rather, it was created by a demi-god).  Also, that Christ
could not have come in the flesh (cf. 1Jn 4:1-3).

One branch of Gnosticism, Docetism (dokein, "to seem"), taught that
Jesus only seemed to be physical (contrast that with John’s statement in
1Jn 1:1).  Cerinthus, a contemporary of John, taught that "Jesus" was
physical, but that the "Christ" came upon Him at his baptism, and then
left before His death, so that the "Christ-spirit" never suffered (cf.
1Jn 5:6).

The Gnostics’ application to everyday living took two different
directions.  Since all matter was considered evil, some taught one
should abstain altogether from anything that would satisfy the flesh.
Others claimed it did not matter what one did in the flesh (it was evil
anyway), and to have "full knowledge" it was proper to explore

John’s purpose therefore appears to be two-fold:

   *  Assure Christians that they have eternal life (1Jn 5:13)

   *  Counter those who denied that Jesus had come in the flesh (1Jn

As the theme of this epistle, may I suggest:

       Eternal life is in Jesus Christ, who has come in the flesh


Here is an outline of the book, from the Holman Illustrated Bible

Prologue: The Word of Life (1:1-4)

1. God Is Light (1:5-3:10)
   a. Walk in the Light (1:5-2:2)
      1) God is Light (1:5-7)
      2) Resist sin (1:8-2:2)
   b. Obey the command to love (2:3-11)
      1) Know God and keep His commands (2:3-6)
      2) Learn the new command and love others (2:7-11)
   c. Know your spiritual status (2:12-14)
   d. Be warned of enemies of the faith (2:15-27)
      1) Beware of the world (2:15-17)
      2) Beware of the antichrists (2:18-27)
   e. Live like children of God (2:28-3:10)
      1) Be confident and ready for His coming (2:28-3:3)
      2) Be righteous and do not sin (3:4-10)

2. God Is Love (3:11-5:12)
   a. Love one another: part one (3:11-24)
      1) Love in action (3:11-18)
      2) Live in confidence (3:19-24)
   b. Test the spirits (4:1-6)
   c. Love one another: part two (4:7-21)
      1) Love others because God loves you (4:7-10)
      2) Love others because God lives in you (4:11-21)
   d. Obey God and experience the victory of faith (5:1-5)
   e. Believe in the Son and enjoy eternal life (5:6-12)

Conclusion: Confidence and Characteristics of the Child of God (5:13-21)
   a. Know you have eternal life (5:13)
   b. Be confident in prayer (5:14-17)
   c. Do not continue in sin (5:18-20)
   d. Keep yourself from idols (5:21)


1) Who is author of The First Epistle Of John?
   - John the apostle, the beloved disciple who also wrote The Gospel Of

2) Who were the original recipients of this epistle?
   - Christians in general, likely in Ephesus or scattered throughout
     Asia Minor (Turkey)

3) When was it written?
   - Most date it in 90s A.D.

4) List four reasons John stated for writing this epistle. (1:4; 2:1;
   - "that your joy may be full"
   - "that you may not sin"
   - "that you may know that you have eternal life"
   - "that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God"

5) List another reason John wrote this epistle. (2:26)
   - "Concerning those who try to deceive you"

6) What doctrine later found in Gnosticism is addressed in this epistle?
   - Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh

7) What has been suggested as its two-fold purpose?
   - Assure Christians that they have eternal life
   - Counter those who denied that Jesus had come in the flesh

8) What has been suggested as its theme?
   - Eternal life is in Jesus Christ, who has come in the flesh

9) What are the main divisions of this epistle as outlined above?
   - Prologue: The Word of Life (1:1-4)
   - God Is Light (1:5-3:10)
   - God Is Love (3:11-5:12)
   - Conclusion: Confidence and Characteristics of the Child of God