From Jim McGuiggan... A comedian or a prophet?

A comedian or a prophet?

What's the difference between a comedian and a prophet? I should have asked you to think of the many differences. Comedians and comedy actors mean to make us laugh but some of them mean to open our eyes to better things or to the deep moral flaws in society and they use humour to get the job done. I think that is a great work! (There are some whose material reeks of injustice and obscenity and moral dumbing-down and can only appeal to or help shape a certain mind-set. God forgive us, there's nothing much to laugh at in their performances. A biblical text comes to mind at this point: "Fools make a mock of sin." Bad enough that we all engage in it; worse that we think it's funny.)

But prophets weren't comedians! Prophetic figures are able to rejoice and when the occasion arises they can "dance like a dervish" (read, for example, some of the psalms or sections of Isaiah and hear the tone of exultation and pleasure) but, even then, when they speak it isn't in the speech patterns of a comedian.

We should hardly bar the sound of laughter or happiness from a pulpit or a Bible class but joy and hope and pleasure and confidence do not rise out of our capacity for pleasure and smiles and we shouldn't act as though they do. These things should rise out of the truth about God and what he is and means to be to us; and the upshot of that is, that whatever else we do in the pulpit or in classrooms, we must lay the foundations on which humour and smiles and happiness are built. Forty minutes of rolling-in-the-aisle-material with some biblical verses thrown in and a few serious-sounding moral exhortations has nothing prophetic about it. After a while hungry and needy people want something more than sweets. Somewhere down the line those hungry and needy people who didn't know any better than to feed constantly on cotton-candy and "empty calories" will wish there had been prophetic type men and women in our classes and pulpits, giving them what they needed rather than what they wanted. There'll come a day when, like C.S Lewis' Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, these people will notice that though they ate prodigious amounts of "Turkish Delight" they were never filled. There was always a hunger that wasn't met. Some years back when he was asked what he thought of the speaker who had just finished I overheard a well-balanced and accomplished man say, "He was funny, wasn't he!" That was it.

What's the difference between a prophet (or a prophetic type) and a sour, belligerent, tedious quoter of texts?  

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com

Jesus’ Hermeneutical Principles by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Jesus’ Hermeneutical Principles

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

We live in a pluralistic society where differing, even conflicting, viewpoints are seen as equally valid. This attitude has become very prevalent in our culture since the 60s. Television and radio talk shows continually stress that no absolutes exist. Many consider truth to be subjective and relative. They insist that there are very few, if any, definites—very little black and white, but a lot of gray. The matter is further muddled by the fact that on any religious or moral question, there are knowledgeable, sincere authorities on both sides of the issue. The general American mindset is that since truth is so elusive, no one should judge anyone else. No one should be so arrogant or dogmatic as to insist that a certain viewpoint is the only correct viewpoint. Truth to one person is not truth to another.
But without even examining God’s Word, we ought to be able to see that such thinking is self-contradictory and unacceptable. Why? Because those who espouse it insist that they are correct. They are dogmatic in their insistence that “no one should be dogmatic.” They hold as absolute and certain truth the fact that there are no absolute truths. Therefore, they have to deny their viewpoint in order to hold it!
Especially in religion, people tend to take the foolish position that truth is elusive and unattainable. Only in the task of interpreting the Bible do people take the position that truth is relative, always changing, and something of which we can never be sure. We reason in religion in a way that differs from the way we reason in every other facet of our lives.
For example, when we visit the doctor, we communicate to him our symptoms and expect him to understand us. We expect him to gather all the relevant evidence (the verbal information we give as well as the signs our bodies manifest) and then properly interpret that evidence to draw the right conclusions concerning our ailment and proper treatment. He then writes down a prescription that we take to the pharmacist and, once again, we expect the pharmacist to interpret properly the doctor’s instructions. We take the prescription home and read the label, fully expecting to understand the directions. The fact that doctors and pharmacists may sometimes make mistakes by drawing unwarranted conclusions from the evidence they gather about our physical condition does not change the fact that if they gather sufficient evidence and reason properly about the information, they can arrive at truth regarding our medical condition.
Everyday we interpret thousands of messages accurately. We read the newspaper, fully expecting to understand what we are reading. We read novels with the same expectation. We watch the news on television, we go to the mailbox and get our mail and browse through it, fully expecting to interpret properly the messages being conveyed to us. The fact that misunderstanding sometimes occurs, does not negate the fact that more information can be examined in order to draw the right conclusions and arrive at correct interpretations.
We go through this process constantly—every waking hour of the day, day in and day out, year after year. We give ourselves credit for having the ability to operate sensibly and communicate with one another intelligibly. Yet we turn right around and imply that the God of heaven, the One Who created our minds and our thinking capacity, the One Who is infinitely wiser and more capable than humans, is incapable of making His will known to humanity in a clear and understandable fashion! When we come to the Bible, we do a sudden about-face and insist that we can’t be sure what God’s will is, we must not be dogmatic on doctrine, and we must allow for differing opinions on what is spiritually right and wrong!
Did God author the Bible through inspired men with the purpose of making known His will for us? Did God have the Bible written in such a way that we can grasp the meanings that He intended to convey? The Bible declares, “yes.” God has given man written revelation with the understanding that it can be comprehended correctly. This means that for every teaching, for every passage, for every verse, for every word in the Bible, there is a meaning that God intended to convey. That’s what Peter meant when he wrote: “No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20). He meant that men did not decide what information to include in inspired material—God did. God has given every responsible human being the task of ascertaining that one correct interpretation. There is only one correct interpretation to any given passage—the right one: God’s view!
Let us return to the New Testament and Jesus Christ Himself. Let us examine the very approach that Jesus took in interpreting Scripture. Let us discover Jesus’ attitude toward truth and revelation. Let us consider how He employed Scripture to face the assaults of those who would deter Him from conformity to the will of God. Then let us “go and do likewise.” Jesus’ own approach to interpretation may be viewed in terms of His attitude toward Scripture and His actual use of Scripture.

Jesus’ Attitude Toward Scripture

Concerning His attitude toward Scripture, several elements emerge from His life on Earth.
1. Jesus clearly considered Scripture to be divinely inspired through human instrumentality. He attributed David’s words in Psalm 110:1 to the Holy Spirit (Mark 12:36). He treated Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9:27 as an inspired prediction that most certainly would come true (Matthew 24:15). On the very day He visited the synagogue in Nazareth and read aloud from Isaiah 61, He declared the passage fulfilled in their hearing (Luke 4:21). He maintained that Scripture’s affirmation that Elijah was to precede the Messiah’s appearance (Malachi 4:5) was exactly what transpired (Mark 9:11-13).
At His arrest, He asked Peter two questions, the second of which further confirmed His belief in the inspiration of Scripture: “How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” (Matthew 26:54). He attributed His selection of Judas to the inevitable fulfillment of Psalm 41:9 (John 13:18). Indeed, He was so sure of the inspiration of the Old Testament that even at His death, He quoted Psalm 22:1 (Matthew 27:46). Clearly, Jesus recognized Scripture as originating in the mind of God, thus imparting a controlling unity to the whole of Scripture. To Jesus, the Old Testament from beginning to end is inspired of God.
Jesus consistently approved the idea that Scripture has been preserved from error and is the Word of God in all of its parts. Not only did He receive the predictive elements of Old Testament Scripture, but also He acknowledged the credibility of the didactic and historical portions as well. Daniel’s historicity (Mark 13:14), Jonah’s fish experience (Matthew 12:40), the divine creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4), the reality of Noah and the Flood (Luke 17:26-27), Lot and the destruction of Sodom as well as the fate of Lot’s wife (Luke 17:29,32), the widow, famine, and drought of Elijah’s day (Luke 4:25-26), and the leprous Syrian commander, Naaman (Luke 4:27)—all attest to His conviction that Scripture is inspired fully “in all of its parts.” The credibility of the inspired writers was unquestioned and their literary productions contained no mistakes.
For Jesus, Old Testament inspiration extended to the verbal expression of the thoughts of the sacred writers. Jesus clearly embraced this understanding of the matter. He based His powerful, penetrating defense of the reality of the resurrection of the dead upon the tense of the grammar of Exodus 3:6. If God was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the very moment He was speaking to Moses, though the three had already died, then they must still exist beyond the grave (Matthew 22:32). [NOTE: The claim that Jesus made an argument based upon the “tense” of Old Testament language needs clarification. Actually, Hebrew has no past, present, or future tenses. Rather, action is regarded as being either completed or incomplete, and so verbs occur in the Hebrew Perfect or Imperfect. No verb occurs in God’s statement in Exodus 3:6. Consequently, tense is implied rather than expressed. In this case, the Hebrew grammar would allow any tense of the verb “to be.” Of course, Jesus clarified the ambiguity inherent in the passage by affirming what God had in mind. Matthew preserves Jesus’ use of the Greek present tense: “Ego eimi.”] The argument depends on God having worded His statement to convey contemporaneity.
When Jesus challenged the Pharisees to clarify the identity of the Messiah, He focused upon David’s use of the single term “Lord” in Psalm 110:1—“If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” (Matthew 22:45). His whole point depends upon verbal inspiration. On yet another occasion, Jesus was on the verge of being stoned by angry Jews because He identified Himself with deity. His defense was based upon a single word from Psalm 82:6—“gods” (John 10:34-35). His whole point depends upon verbal inspiration.
Jesus’ allusion to the “jot and tittle” constituted a tacit declaration of belief in verbal inspiration (Matthew 5:18). Not only the thought of Scripture, but also the words themselves and the letters that formed those words, were viewed as inspired. The same may be said of Jesus’ quotation of Genesis 2:24 in His discourse on divorce. Notice the wording: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said...” (Matthew 19:4-5). The verse to which Jesus alludes occurs immediately after a statement made by Adam. No indication is given in the text that the words are a direct quote of God. In fact, the words seem to be more authorial, narratorial comment by Moses, the author of the Pentateuch. Yet Jesus attributed the words to God. In other words, God was the author. The Genesis passage is not a record of what God said; it is what God said.
2. On the basis of this divine origin, Jesus also clearly demonstrated His attitude that Scripture is authoritative and that men are obligated to follow its precepts. When He described Abraham’s chat with the rich man in Hades, He quoted Abraham’s remark, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them” (Luke 16:29). In so doing, He manifested His high regard for the authority of the Old Testament as the ultimate voice and guide for Israel.
To Jesus, Scripture is the foundation of belief. He declared, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” (Luke 24:25). He told the Jews, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life.... [H]ad you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:39,46-47). Jesus asserted that the Old Testament bore authoritative divine witness to Himself and, in so doing, bore witness to the authority of the Old Testament itself.
Many instances demonstrate Jesus’ recognition of the authority of Scripture. In Matthew 12:39-40, Jonah’s experience (Jonah 1:17) foreshadowed Jesus’ own burial: “For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation” (Luke 11:30). In Matthew 4:17ff. Jesus opposed Jewish traditions and scribal commentary for making void the Word of God. In Mark 12:10, to confirm the point of His parable, Jesus introduced an authoritative Scripture with the rhetorical query, “Have you not read this Scripture?” In Luke 4:21, Jesus declared Isaiah 61:1-2 to be applicable to those who were in His presence on that occasion. In Luke 24:27,44, Jesus expounded the Old Testament Scriptures and declared the necessity of their fulfillment—a superfluous, futile exercise unless they were authoritative for His listeners. In John 15:25, words from a Psalm are described as “law.”
Perhaps the most striking proof that Jesus viewed Scripture as authoritative is the occasion when He ascribed legal authority to the entirety of Scripture—a view also held by the Jews (John 12:34). By maintaining that “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), Jesus asserted that its authority could not be annulled, denied, or withstood. Scripture’s authority is final and irrevocable. It governs all of life and will be fulfilled, come what may. Clearly, Jesus’ uniform attitude toward Scripture was one of complete trust and confidence in its authority.
3. Jesus also viewed Scripture as propositional, absolute, and objective. Phrases such as “it is written,” “God said,” “through the prophets,” and “Scripture says” show that Jesus and His apostles esteemed the Old Testament as divine and regarded its precepts as absolute truth. Its objective and absolute quality is seen in His frequent allusion to the Jewish writings as a unit—a well-defined, sacred totality (Matthew 5:17-18; Luke 24:44; cf. Matthew 24:35). The apostles and gospel writers agreed with Jesus’ view that Scripture must be fulfilled (cf. Matthew 26:26; Luke 3:4; 22:37; John 12:38).
Even as a boy of 12, Jesus’ handling of Scripture as an objective body of truth was evident as He dazzled the doctors of the law with “His understanding and answers” (Luke 2:47). This characteristic continued throughout His earthly habitation. He contradicted His antagonists (e.g., the chief priests, scribes, and Sadducees) by pinpointing ignorance of the Scriptures as the cause of their religious error (Matthew 21:16; 22:29). He as much as said: “If you knew Scripture, you would not be in error” (cf. Mark 12:24). He prodded the Pharisees to consult Hosea 6:6—“go and learn what this means” (Matthew 9:13). On the other hand, Jesus knew Scripture (He ought to, He wrote it!), and used it as the basis of objective perception.
The propositional nature of Scripture is particularly apparent in Christ’s frequent use of isolated Old Testament statements (i.e., propositions) to prove various contentions. He used Psalm 110:1 to prove His lordship (Mark 12:36). He proved His Messianic identity and impending resurrection by alluding to an apparent conflation of Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13 (Mark 14:62). He proved His death and resurrection were imminent by referring to Psalm 118:22 (Mark 12:10-22; cf. Acts 4:11).

Jesus’ Use of Scripture

Not only does the New Testament enlighten us as to Christ’s attitude toward Scripture, it also gives us many striking samples of Jesus’ pragmatic use of Scripture in day-to-day life. At least three observations emerge from an examination of Jesus’ actual handling of Scripture.
1. He relied very heavily upon Scripture. He quoted from the Old Testament frequently. He constantly reiterated to His disciples how the written Word of God should permeate life (e.g., Luke 24:27). He consistently affirmed the certainty of Scripture’s fulfillment in the world (e.g., Luke 24:44-46). He possessed a sense of the unity of history and a grasp of its wide sweep (e.g., Luke 11:50-51).
Preachers were once distinguished by their “book, chapter, and verse” approach to preaching. This very quality was typical of Jesus’ own approach to life. Yet preachers and members today are far more impressed by the theologians and latest popular authors than with the words of John, Jesus, Peter, Paul, and Moses. We have abandoned the primary sources in exchange for secondary, inferior, and in many cases, erroneous sources. We are now the most academically educated generation the church has ever known—yet we are the most ignorant when it comes to plain Bible knowledge. It is time to abandon the heart-warming anecdotes and reacquaint ourselves with the divine text. It is time to emulate Jesus’ own extensive reliance upon and allusion to Scripture.
2. In addition to a heavy reliance upon scriptural quotation, Jesus repeatedly demonstrated incredible proclivity for rationality in His sharp, potent, penetrating use of logic and sound argumentation. His first recorded responsible activity consisted of logical dialogue between Himself and the Jewish theologians at the age of 12. His logical prowess was evident not only to the doctors of the law, but to His parents as well (Luke 2:45-51). On the occasion of His baptism, He reasoned with John in order to convince John to immerse Him (Matthew 3:13-15). He advanced a logical reason to justify the action.
Immediately after this incident, Jesus faced Satan in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). Satan posed three arguments, urging Christ to act on the basis of erroneous reasoning. The sequence of the disputation between the two demonstrates Christ’s superior (i.e., accurate) use of logic to defeat His opponent. Jesus used direct statement, account of action, and implication. His allusion to the behavior of the Israelites, His use of direct statements from Deuteronomy, and His implied applications to the situation He was facing, all demonstrate a hermeneutic analogous to the traditional one that calls for “command, example, or necessary inference” as authority for belief and practice.
This incident also provides a marvelous demonstration of Christ’s mastery of debate and logical disputation. The example is not an isolated instance. Jesus employed logic and reason throughout His earthly sojourn. He responded to His contemporaries with piercing, devastating logic. He continually was besieged with questions and verbal tests to which He consistently displayed rational, reasoned response (Luke 11:53-54). Consider these few examples:
The exchange with the Pharisees over eating grain (Matthew 12:1-9);
The dialogue with chief priests and elders over authority (Matthew 21:23-27);
The interaction with the Pharisees over taxes (Matthew 22:15-22);
The response to the Sadducees concerning marriage and the resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33);
The argument posed to the Pharisees over the identity of the Messiah (Matthew 22:41-46);
The demonstrations of healing on the Sabbath (Mark 3:1-6; Luke 13:14-16; 14:1-6);
The response to the lawyers concerning the source of His miraculous power (Luke 11:14ff);
The answer to the scribes and Pharisees concerning fasting (Luke 5:33-39);
The handling of Simon’s disgruntled view of the sinful woman (Luke 7:36-50);
The exchange with the Pharisees concerning His triumphal entry (Luke 19:39-40);
The comments upon the occasion of His arrest (Luke 22:47-53).
Jesus was so sensible and rational in His discourse that when hard-hearted Jews declared Him to be mad or demon-possessed, others countered: “These are not the words of one who has a demon” (John 10:21). Indeed, Jesus consistently provided evidence, even empirical evidence, to substantiate His claims (John 10:24-26,36-38). How could anyone possibly question the fact of Jesus’ uniform use of logic and correct reasoning? He was and is the Master Logician who created the human mind to function rationally as well! His inspired followers were no different.
3. Closely related to Jesus’ emphasis upon logic is His virtually constant use of implication. Modern scholars are surely uncomfortable with Jesus’ use of what many have called “necessary inference.” Indeed, cries that call for an abandonment of implication in interpreting the Scriptures have grown louder. Not only is such thinking self-contradictory, it is patently foolish in light of Jesus’ own frequent and accurate use of implication.
Over and over, Jesus used implication. In Matthew 4:1-11, every case of Jesus’ use of Old Testament Scripture to counter Satan’s arguments requires proper reasoning and drawing of correct conclusions implied by the explicit statements. In Matthew 12:1-9, Jesus implied that if the Pharisees accepted David, who clearly violated Old Testament law, they should have no problem accepting the disciples, who did not violate Old Testament law. In Matthew 21:23-27, Jesus implied that if the chief priests and elders believed John’s baptism to be from Heaven, they should have submitted to John’s teaching—and to Jesus’ teaching as well. He further implied that if they believed John’s baptism to be from men, they ought to have been willing to face the peoples’ displeasure. The chief priests and elders had enough sense to infer precisely what Jesus implied and so refused to answer.
In Matthew 22:23-32, Jesus implied that if God declared Himself to be presently the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then they were still in existence. He also implied that if they were still in existence after their physical deaths, then resurrection of the dead is factual. Further, in context, Exodus 3:6, 13-16 are intended to identify the One who sent Moses to Egypt. However, in making this point, God implied that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were still in existence. Jesus, in fact, was basing His point on a minor side point of the Exodus passage, but a point that is nevertheless clearly and divinely implied.
In Matthew 22:41-45, in response to Jesus’ question, the Pharisees identified the Christ as David’s son, no doubt alluding to 2 Samuel 7:11-17. Jesus cited Psalm 110:1 in order to encourage the Pharisees to fit two distinct concepts together by reasoning correctly about them and inferring what they clearly implied. Notice also that in its original context, Psalm 110:1 referred to the supremacy and conquest of the Messiah over the world. But Jesus focused upon an implication of the passage—that the Messiah would be both physically descended from David and yet Lord over David.


The Bible presents itself in terms of principles by which its truth may be ascertained. We can transcend our prejudices and presuppositions sufficiently to arrive at God’s truth—if we genuinely wish to do so. There is simply no such thing as “my interpretation” and “your interpretation.” There is only God’s interpretation. There is only God’s meaning—and with diligent, rational study, we can arrive at the truth on any subject that is vital to our spiritual well-being.
Rather than shrugging off the conflicting views and positions on various subjects (such as baptism, music in worship, miracles, how many churches may exist with God’s approval, etc.), rather than dismissing religious differences as hopeless, irresolvable, and irrelevant—we must study and search God’s book, cautiously refraining from misinterpreting and misusing Scripture. If we give diligent and careful attention to the task with an honest heart that is receptive to the truth, we will know God’s will. We will be prepared, as Jesus said in John 12:48, to stand before God at the Judgment and be judged by His words.
It is evident that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, demonstrated several significant hermeneutical principles in His own attitude toward and use of Scripture. He approached Scripture with the abiding conviction that the Old Testament is the authoritative, absolute, propositional, plenary, verbally inspired Word of God. In His handling of Scripture, He relied heavily upon extensive Scripture quotation, proper logical reasoning, and implication.
As American civilization jettisons the Bible from public life, so many in the church are participating in the culture-wide devaluation of God’s Word. They are accomplices in the sinister dissolution of Christianity in American culture. May God bless us in our efforts to conform ourselves to the hermeneutical principles of Jesus.

From Mark Copeland... The Parable Of The Four Soils (Mark 4:1-20)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                 The Parable Of The Four Soils (4:1-20)


1. As Jesus proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom He did not always find
   a receptive audience...
   a. Some listened only to find reasons to accuse Him - Mk 3:2
   b. Jesus therefore began to teach publicly in parables - Mk 4:1-2
   c. In private, He would explain the parables to His disciples - Mk 4:
   d. The main reason:  many had become "hard of hearing" - Mk 4:11-12;
      cf. Mt 13:10-15

2. One of the most well-known parables illustrates the problem Jesus
   a. Commonly known as "The Parable Of The Sower"
   b. But probably more accurately described as "The Parable Of The Four
   c. Told by Jesus to illustrate different reactions to the gospel

[Mark's account of the parable is given in Mk 4:1-20 (please read).  The
significance of this parable is stated in Mk 4:13.  In this study, we
direct our attention to Jesus' explanation of the four soils...]


      1. Those who have the seed taken from their hearts by Satan - Mk 4:15
      2. Matthew's account says it is because they do not understand
         - cf. Mt 13:19
      3. Their condition is one of being "blinded" by Satan to the
         gospel - 2Co 4:3-4
      4. While Satan contributes to their blindness, it is precipitated
         by their own hardness of heart! - cf. Mt 13:15
      -- This soil represents those whose hard hearts are manipulated by
         Satan to resist

      1. Many people have hardened their hearts to the gospel for
         various reasons
         a. Some because they love darkness more than light - Jn 3:19-20
         b. Some because they love praise from men more than God - Jn 12:42-43
      2. Satan easily takes advantage of such people to blind them
         a. Through appealing doctrines like hedonism, secularism,
         b. Through popular doctrines like humanism, evolution,
      -- This soil represents many today who have no interest in
         spiritual things

[The next soil in the parable is...]


      1. Those who hear the word and immediately receive it with
         gladness - Mk 4:16
      2. Yet with no root, they do not endure - Mk 4:17a
      3. They stumble when faced with tribulation, persecution,
         temptation - Mk 4:17b; cf. Lk 8:13
      -- This soil represents those who believe and obey, but do not
         last long

      1. Many hear the Word and received it with great joy
         a. They are quick to obey the gospel
         b. They are enthusiastic, "on fire" for the Lord
      2. But their faith is shallow, their joy the result of
         a. They are not grounded in the Word
         b. When troubles arise, there is no endurance and stumbling
      -- This soil represents Christians ruled more by emotion than by
         the Word of God

[The third soil in the parable is ...]


      1. Those who hear the Word - Mk 4:18
      2. Whose ability to bear fruit is choked - Mk 4:19
         a. By the cares of this world
         b. By the deceitfulness of riches
         c. By the desires for other things - cf. Lk 8:14 (pleasures of
      -- This soil represents those who believe and obey, but then

      1. Many become Christians, but never mature
         a. They may attend church, even participate or lead in the
         b. But spiritually they remain "babes" and "carnal" - e.g.,
            1Co 3:1-3; He 5:12-14
      2. Their spiritual growth is inhibited
         a. By cares and anxieties that detract their minds - cf. Lk 12:
         b. By riches that deceive them into self-sufficiency - cf. 1 Ti 6:17-19
         c. By pleasures that divert their minds from the things of the
            Spirit - cf. Ga 5:17; 6:7-9
      -- This soil represents Christians rendered fruitless by

[Finally, the fourth soil in the parable is...]


      1. Those who hear the word, accept it, and bear varying amounts of
         fruit - Mk 4:20
      2. Matthew says they "understand" the Word - Mt 13:23
      3. Luke says they hear the Word "with a noble and good heart, keep
         it and bear fruit with patience." - Lk 8:15
      -- This soil represents those with good hearts who understand and
         obey the Word

      1. Many become Christians who have this "noble and good heart"
         a. They make the effort to understand the Word
         b. They make the effort to keep it, and with patience produce
            fruit in their lives!
      2. They are like the Bereans, commended as "fair-minded",
         manifested by:
         a. How they "received the word will all readiness" - Ac 17:11a
         b. "searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these
            things were so" - Ac 17:11b
      3. Note the importance of understanding in relation to bearing
         a. Jesus made the connection between the two in this parable
            - Mt 13:23
         b. Paul connects the two when he writes of the gospel producing
            fruit among the Colossians "since the day they heard (NASV
            says "understood") the grace of God in truth" - Col 1:5-6
      4. When one "understands", they will more likely "bear fruit"
         a. But the key to understanding is having a "good and noble
         b. One that is willing to listen and learn!
      5. Note that Jesus said not all will bear the same amount...
         a. "some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred" - Mk 4:20
         b. Some may be given more according to their ability - cf. Mt 25:14-15
         c. Whatever our ability, we should exercise it accordingly
            - cf. 1Pe 4:10-11
      -- This soil represents Christians who are faithful and fruitful
         in their service


1. "The Parable Of The Four Soils" is fairly easy to understand (with
   Jesus' help)

2. To truly benefit from the parable, let me ask "What kind of soil are
   a. Are you like the wayside?
      1) If you have heard the gospel of Christ, but have not obeyed
      2) You are in the process of hardening your heart the longer you
      3) You are susceptible to Satan's deception, to blind you to God's
   b. Are you like the stony ground?
      1) If you responded to the gospel, but are not grounded in the
      2) You will likely fall away when persecution or temptation comes
         your way!
   c. Are you like the thorny ground?
      1) If you responded to the gospel, but are preoccupied with the
         cares, riches, and pleasures of this world, you will not be
         able to bear much fruit!
      2) Remember what Jesus said about branches that don't bear fruit!
         - Jn 15:1-6
   d. Are you like the good ground?
      1) If you have responded to the gospel, and are bearing fruit...
      2) Then you have demonstrated several important things:
         a) You have a good and noble heart!
         b) You have come to understand the Word!
         c) You have been keeping it with patience!
      3) And the Word of God produced its intended effect in you!

May this parable and its explanation by Jesus stimulate our thinking and
examine our hearts and lives in relation to the gospel of Christ...!

          "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" - Mk 4:9

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... The True Family Of Jesus (Mark 3:31-35)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   The True Family Of Jesus (3:31-35)


1. A wonderful blessing in life is to have a loving, supportive
   a. Where husband and wife truly love one another
   b. Where parents and children truly support one another

2. Such families are becoming increasingly rare...
   a. Complicated by cohabitation before marriage, divorce after
      marriage, eventually death
   b. Children suffering from parents who don't love each other, who
      don't care for them

3. But there is a Family...
   a. Where love and support is available to everyone
   b. Where the relationships need never end

[We are reminded of this wonderful Family in our text (Mk 3:31-35), in
which Jesus uses the occasion of His earthly family seeking to talk with
Him to make the point about His "true family"...]


      1. Including His mother Mary, and step-father Joseph
      2. Including His brothers James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and His
         sisters - Mk 6:3
      3. Even at age 12 Jesus knew His true Father - cf. Lk 2:48-49
      -- Not that Jesus did not value His physical family (cf. Jn 19:

      1. His disciples, as identified on the occasion of our text - Mk 3:34-35
      2. Whoever does the will of His Father are those recognized by
         Him- cf. Mt 7:21-23
      3. They are the ones who are truly blessed - cf. Lk 11:27-28
      -- The true family of Jesus is His spiritual family!

[Having identified the "true family" of Jesus, let's review some of the
many blessings of this family...]


   A. DIVINE...
      1. God as our Father
         a. Who hears our prayers - Mt 6:6
         b. Who provides our basic needs - Mt 6:11,30-33; 7:11
         c. Who forgives our sins - Mt 6:12
         d. Who delivers us from the evil one - Mt 6:13
      2. Jesus as our Brother
         a. Who is proud to call us "brethren" - He 2:11-12
         b. Who made like His brethren, is our perfect High Priest - He 2:17-18; 4:14-16
         c. Who ever lives to make intercession for us - He 7:25; Ro 8:
      3. The Holy Spirit as our Helper and Strength
         a. Who also makes intercession for us - Ro 8:26-27
         b. Who enables us to put to live the Christian life - Ro 8:
         c. Who engenders a child-like love in our hearts for God - Ro 8:15; Ga 4:6
      -- Just a few blessings made possible by the Divine members of
         Jesus' family!

   B. IMMENSE...
      1. A hundredfold family members in this time - Mk 10:28-30
      2. The members of every congregation - 1Ti 5:1-2
      3. Indeed, the whole family in heaven and earth - Ep 3:14-15
      -- Every Christian, living and dead, is a member of Jesus' family!

   C. ETERNAL...
      1. Physical family ties are severed at death - cf. Ro 7:2; 1Co 7:39; Mk 12:24-25
      2. Jesus' spiritual family looks forward to an eternal inheritance
         - Ro 8:16-17; Re 21:1-7
      -- Jesus' family is the only one that will endure through


1. "The True Family Of Jesus" is great indeed...
   a. A spiritual Family involving Deity and countless souls!
   b. An everlasting Family untainted by divorce and death!

2. Becoming an accepted member of this Family...
   a. Is made possible by the wonderful love of God - 1Jn 3:1
   b. Is the result of God's wonderful plan of redemption in Jesus
      Christ - Ep 1:3-14

3. "The True Family Of Jesus" is available to all...
   a. Who are willing to receive Him through faith and baptism - Jn 1:12; Ga 3:26-27
   b. Who are thus born again of water and the Spirit - Jn 3:3-5
   c. Who become the family of Jesus through obedience to the will of
      God - Mk 3:35

Don't you want to be a member of "The True Family Of Jesus"...?

    Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

                                             - Jn 3:7

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... The Unforgiveable Sin (Mark 3:22-30)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                    The Unforgiveable Sin (3:22-30)


1. During His earthly ministry, Jesus faced great opposition from
   religious leaders...
   a. By Pharisees and Herodians who plotted to destroy Him - Mk 3:6
   b. By scribes from Jerusalem, who accused Him of using demonic power
      - Mk 3:22

2. In our text for this lesson, Jesus easily answered the scribes'
   a. For Satan to cast out demons defeated his (Satan's) own purpose
      - Mk 3:23-26
   b. On the contrary, casting out demons was integral to defeating
      Satan - Mk 3:27

3. On this occasion Jesus mentioned an "unforgiveable sin"...
   a. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit - Mk 3:28-29
   b. For which there is no forgiveness - cf. Mt 12:31-32

[These words of Jesus have troubled many, who wonder if they have
committed this "eternal sin" (ESV) that "never has forgiveness".  Let's
first seek to identify exactly what was...]


      1. Jesus described it as blaspheming the Holy Spirit - Mk 3:29
         a. Blaspheme - "to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile,
            calumniate, blaspheme" - Thayer
         b. Thus to speak evil of the Holy Spirit in some way
      2. Mark reveals exactly how they spoke evil of the Spirit - Mk 3:30
         a. "because they said, 'He has an unclean spirit.'"
         b. By attributing Jesus' power to cast out demons to Beelzebub
            (Satan), they spoke evil of the Holy Spirit by whom Jesus
            cast out demons - cf. Mt 12:28
      3. In effect, they were calling the Holy Spirit a demon; in so
         a. They denied the evidence that Jesus was truly from God
         b. They deprived themselves of evidence to believe in Jesus
         c. They divested all hope of forgiveness that comes only
            through Jesus
      -- The unforgiveable sin was to believe that the Holy Spirit was
         in fact Satan!

      1. "Probably not. It was a sin committed when Jesus was on earth
         performing miracles. Since He is not physically on earth today,
         casting out demons, the same possibility of blaspheming the
         Holy Spirit does not exist." - Believer's Bible Commentary
      2. "People who worry that they have committed the unpardonable sin
         have not done so. The very fact that they are concerned
         indicates that they are not guilty of blasphemy against the
         Holy Spirit." - ibid.
      3. From the NET Bible:  "Three things must be kept in mind..."
         a. "The nature of the sin is to ascribe what is the obvious
            work of the Holy Spirit (e.g., releasing people from Satan's
            power) to Satan himself"
         b. "It is not simply a momentary doubt or sinful attitude, but
            is indeed a settled condition which opposes the Spirit's
            work, as typified by the religious leaders who opposed
         c. "A person who is concerned about it has probably never
            committed this sin, for those who commit it here (i.e., the
            religious leaders) are not in the least concerned about
            Jesus' warning"
      -- Even if it can be committed today, if you worry that you have,
         you haven't!

[Speaking of "unforgiveable sins", we do well to review how we can still
fall into a condition where forgiveness is not possible as long as we
remain in it...]


      1. There is a sin by which we "crucify again" the Son of God - He 6:4-6
      2. There is a sin for which there "no longer remains a sacrifice
         for sin" - He 10:26-31
      -- This sin is one in which there is no hope for forgiveness!

      1. Note carefully that it is an ongoing sin, a condition of
         rebellion against God
         a. Committed openly - cf. He 6:6
         b. Committed continually - cf. He 10:26 ("go on sinning", ESV,
         c. Committed willfully - cf. He 10:26 ("deliberately", ESV,
         d. Committed knowingly - cf. He 6:4; He 10:26
      2. A spiritual condition in which one is doing grave things - He 10:29
         a. Trampling the Son of God underfoot
         b. Treating the blood of the covenant (Jesus' blood) a common
         c. Insulting the Spirit of grace
      3. A spiritual condition that left unchecked has grave
         a. Fearful expectation of judgment - He 10:27
         b. Fiery indignation - He 10:27
         c. Worse punishment than death - He 10:28-29
         d. Vengeance and judgment by the Lord upon His people - He 10:
      -- It is any sin that we knowingly refuse to repent of, despite
         many opportunities!


1. Many today worry about blaspheming the Holy Spirit...
   a. A serious sin indeed, but likely cannot be replicated today
   b. If one worries about it, they are certainly not guilty of it!

2. People should be more concerned about any sin...
   a. They knowingly commit
   b. They refuse to give up

Whether one is obeying the gospel of Christ for the first time, or has
already "tasted the heavenly gift" (He 6:4) and "received the knowledge
of the truth" (He 10:26), all sins are "unforgiveable" unless we repent.

Are we willing to let the goodness of God lead us to repentance...? -
cf. Ro 2:4-5 

From Gary... Bible Reading November 28

Bible Reading   

November 28

The World English Bible

Nov. 28
Ezekiel 5-8

Eze 5:1 You, son of man, take a sharp sword; You shall take it as a barber's razor to you, and shall cause it to pass on your head and on your beard: then take balances to weigh, and divide the hair.
Eze 5:2 A third part you shall burn in the fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled; and you shall take a third part, and strike with the sword around it; and a third part you shall scatter to the wind, and I will draw out a sword after them.
Eze 5:3 You shall take of it a few in number, and bind them in your skirts.
Eze 5:4 Of these again you shall take, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; from it shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.
Eze 5:5 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are around her.
Eze 5:6 She has rebelled against my ordinances in doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries that are around her; for they have rejected my ordinances, and as for my statutes, they have not walked in them.
Eze 5:7 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you are turbulent more than the nations that are around you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my ordinances, neither have done after the ordinances of the nations that are around you;
Eze 5:8 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I, even I, am against you; and I will execute judgments in the midst of you in the sight of the nations.
Eze 5:9 I will do in you that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all your abominations.
Eze 5:10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of you, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments on you; and the whole remnant of you will I scatter to all the winds.
Eze 5:11 Therefore, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things, and with all your abominations, therefore will I also diminish you; neither shall my eye spare, and I also will have no pity.
Eze 5:12 A third part of you shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of you; and a third part shall fall by the sword around you; and a third part I will scatter to all the winds, and will draw out a sword after them.
Eze 5:13 Thus shall my anger be accomplished, and I will cause my wrath toward them to rest, and I shall be comforted; and they shall know that I, Yahweh, have spoken in my zeal, when I have accomplished my wrath on them.
Eze 5:14 Moreover I will make you a desolation and a reproach among the nations that are around you, in the sight of all that pass by.
Eze 5:15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment, to the nations that are around you, when I shall execute judgments on you in anger and in wrath, and in wrathful rebukes; (I, Yahweh, have spoken it;)
Eze 5:16 when I shall send on them the evil arrows of famine, that are for destruction, which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine on you, and will break your staff of bread;
Eze 5:17 and I will send on you famine and evil animals, and they shall bereave you; and pestilence and blood shall pass through you; and I will bring the sword on you: I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
Eze 6:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 6:2 Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy to them,
Eze 6:3 and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Yahweh: Thus says the Lord Yahweh to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places.
Eze 6:4 Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense altars shall be broken; and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.
Eze 6:5 I will lay the dead bodies of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars.
Eze 6:6 In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
Eze 6:7 The slain shall fall in the midst of you, and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 6:8 Yet will I leave a remnant, in that you shall have some that escape the sword among the nations, when you shall be scattered through the countries.
Eze 6:9 Those of you that escape shall remember me among the nations where they shall be carried captive, how that I have been broken with their lewd heart, which has departed from me, and with their eyes, which play the prostitute after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.
Eze 6:10 They shall know that I am Yahweh: I have not said in vain that I would do this evil to them.
Eze 6:11 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Smite with your hand, and stamp with your foot, and say, Alas! because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel; for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.
Eze 6:12 He who is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he who is near shall fall by the sword; and he who remains and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my wrath on them.
Eze 6:13 You shall know that I am Yahweh, when their slain men shall be among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the places where they offered pleasant aroma to all their idols.
Eze 6:14 I will stretch out my hand on them, and make the land desolate and waste, from the wilderness toward Diblah, throughout all their habitations: and they shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 7:1 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 7:2 You, son of man, thus says the Lord Yahweh to the land of Israel, An end: the end is come on the four corners of the land.
Eze 7:3 Now is the end on you, and I will send my anger on you, and will judge you according to your ways; and I will bring on you all your abominations.
Eze 7:4 My eye shall not spare you, neither will I have pity; but I will bring your ways on you, and your abominations shall be in the midst of you: and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 7:5 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: An evil, an only evil; behold, it comes.
Eze 7:6 An end is come, the end is come; it awakes against you; behold, it comes.
Eze 7:7 Your doom is come to you, inhabitant of the land: the time is come, the day is near, a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting, on the mountains.
Eze 7:8 Now will I shortly pour out my wrath on you, and accomplish my anger against you, and will judge you according to your ways; and I will bring on you all your abominations.
Eze 7:9 My eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will bring on you according to your ways; and your abominations shall be in the midst of you; and you shall know that I, Yahweh, do strike.
Eze 7:10 Behold, the day, behold, it comes: your doom is gone forth; the rod has blossomed, pride has budded.
Eze 7:11 Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness; none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of their wealth: neither shall there be eminency among them.
Eze 7:12 The time is come, the day draws near: don't let the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for wrath is on all its multitude.
Eze 7:13 For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they be yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude of it, none shall return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life.
Eze 7:14 They have blown the trumpet, and have made all ready; but none goes to the battle; for my wrath is on all its multitude.
Eze 7:15 The sword is outside, and the pestilence and the famine within: he who is in the field shall die with the sword: and he who is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.
Eze 7:16 But those of those who escape shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, every one in his iniquity.
Eze 7:17 All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water.
Eze 7:18 They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be on all faces, and baldness on all their heads.
Eze 7:19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be as an unclean thing; their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of Yahweh: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels; because it has been the stumbling block of their iniquity.
Eze 7:20 As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty; but they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things therein: therefore have I made it to them as an unclean thing.
Eze 7:21 I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall profane it.
Eze 7:22 My face will I turn also from them, and they shall profane my secret place; and robbers shall enter into it, and profane it.
Eze 7:23 Make the chain; for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.
Eze 7:24 Therefore I will bring the worst of the nations, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pride of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be profaned.
Eze 7:25 Destruction comes; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.
Eze 7:26 Mischief shall come on mischief, and rumor shall be on rumor; and they shall seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the elders.
Eze 7:27 The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do to them after their way, and according to their own judgments will I judge them; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 8:1 It happened in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord Yahweh fell there on me.
Eze 8:2 Then I saw, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of fire; from the appearance of his waist and downward, fire; and from his waist and upward, as the appearance of brightness, as it were glowing metal.
Eze 8:3 He put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and the sky, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the gate of the inner court that looks toward the north; where there was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy.
Eze 8:4 Behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the appearance that I saw in the plain.
Eze 8:5 Then said he to me, Son of man, lift up your eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up my eyes the way toward the north, and see, northward of the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
Eze 8:6 He said to me, Son of man, see you what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel do commit here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but you shall again see yet other great abominations.
Eze 8:7 He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall.
Eze 8:8 Then said he to me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had dug in the wall, behold, a door.
Eze 8:9 He said to me, Go in, and see the wicked abominations that they do here.
Eze 8:10 So I went in and saw; and see, every form of creeping things, and abominable animals, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed around on the wall.
Eze 8:11 There stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel; and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, every man with his censer in his hand; and the odor of the cloud of incense went up.
Eze 8:12 Then said he to me, Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in his chambers of imagery? for they say, Yahweh doesn't see us; Yahweh has forsaken the land.
Eze 8:13 He said also to me, You shall again see yet other great abominations which they do.
Eze 8:14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of Yahweh's house which was toward the north; and see, there sat the women weeping for Tammuz.
Eze 8:15 Then said he to me, Have you seen this, son of man? you shall again see yet greater abominations than these.
Eze 8:16 He brought me into the inner court of Yahweh's house; and see, at the door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs toward the temple of Yahweh, and their faces toward the east; and they were worshipping the sun toward the east.
Eze 8:17 Then he said to me, Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have turned again to provoke me to anger: and behold, they put the branch to their nose.
Eze 8:18 Therefore will I also deal in wrath; my eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

Nov. 28
James 1

Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are in the Dispersion: Greetings.
Jas 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations,
Jas 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
Jas 1:4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Jas 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed.
Jas 1:7 For let that man not think that he will receive anything from the Lord.
Jas 1:8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Jas 1:9 But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position;
Jas 1:10 and the rich, in that he is made humble, because like the flower in the grass, he will pass away.
Jas 1:11 For the sun arises with the scorching wind, and withers the grass, and the flower in it falls, and the beauty of its appearance perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in his pursuits.
Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him.
Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God," for God can't be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.
Jas 1:14 But each one is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.
Jas 1:15 Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death.
Jas 1:16 Don't be deceived, my beloved brothers.
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow.
Jas 1:18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
Jas 1:19 So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger;
Jas 1:20 for the anger of man doesn't produce the righteousness of God.
Jas 1:21 Therefore, putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves.
Jas 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror;
Jas 1:24 for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
Jas 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.
Jas 1:26 If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn't bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man's religion is worthless.
Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.