From Jim McGuiggan... Salvation: The entire person

Salvation: The entire person

If you time travelled and met a God-loving and righteous psalmist and asked him, "And why are you so happy?" he might say, "Because God saved me." If you came across a lovely Christian today and asked, "What has you so pleased with life?" she might say, "Because God saved me." Same words but almost certainly meaning something different.

An ancient man of God, a psalmist, might easily say God "saved" him and think of rescue from disease or enemies that sought his life (physically or socially). This would be perfectly legitimate speech and the nation would sing that kind of thing in their assemblies.

A modern Christ could easily use the same speech and on occasions he or she would mean something similar. But almost always when a modern Christian says, "God saved me" he or she means that God in and through Jesus Christ took away his/her sins and restored them into full life and fellowship with himself.

It makes good sense that a modern Christian would do that because we tend to think of salvation almost altogether in terms of sins forgiven and hope of heaven. While it is right and proper that we should make forgiveness a central element in our experience, we nevertheless lose something that ancient psalmists possessed. We tend to draw too severe a distinction between what is spiritual and what is material but that wouldn't occur to a devout and an enlightened Israelite.

Still, it's a mistake to think that enlightened lovers and servants of God in ancient Israel thought only of material blessings. They didn't believe their relationship with God was only about the physical and earthy blessings (crops, flocks, health and material prosperity). They believed that these were the token of a relationship they had with God. Behind the gifts was God. Behind the crops was the God who committed himself to them. There was a meeting of hearts and lives! Give Psalm 119 a slow reading when you have the time. "Oh how I love your law!" he breathes. "I think about it all day every day."

Salvation from enemies or disease wasn't the whole story! These people were embraced by God and in turn embraced him in a covenant relationship. Their relationship was one of friendship (their father, Abraham, was God's friend)—holy friendship and the open-eyed and open-hearted in the nation found that astonishing! That God, the sovereign Lord of creation would commit in love to them (and see Psalms 8 and 67, which relate to humanity at large). But there it was. And when he healed their diseases or delivered them from enemies (and maybe even delivered them to enemies) he was being faithful to his commitment to them (and, of course, through them to the all nations).

This use of the word "saved" or "salvation" continues in the Gospels when it is used of healings or deliverances from death in a storm, for example.

But just as surely as the wicked and thankless get rain and sunshine from God and aren't at peace with him, so an ancient Israelite could be "saved" from disease or enemies and not have peace with God at the personal relationship level. Nevertheless, we don't need to be drawing false conclusions because that's true.

Because God's enemy gets many of God's blessings, proving that you can be blessed without being reconciled with God in its fullest sense, it doesn't follow that material blessings are mere material blessings. God keeping his commitment to his enemy is not the same as his keeping his commitment to his elect; but the elect aren't God's pets. As sinful humans they are loved and God takes them to his heart but as "the elect" they have been called to God's task of bearing witness to a world that has in so many ways given up on itself that God hasn't given up on it.

In any case, all of those who will enjoy salvation in and through Jesus will know that "salvation" is about the redemption of the entire person. And when God has completed that salvation in a coming day they will discover that nothing that was an essential part of them as humans will have been jettisoned!

[Is there a text more ignored than Matthew 8:16-17 that links human suffering to the redemptive life and death of Jesus Christ?]

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

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

Two Different Questions: What and When? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Two Different Questions: What and When?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

“Do you believe that baptism is essential for salvation?” “Yes.” “So you believe in water regeneration?” “No.” “But you believe that you must be immersed in water before your sins are washed away?” “Yes.” “So you believe that the power to wash away your sins is in the water?” “No.” “How can you say you do not believe in water baptismal regeneration if you think that a sinner is not saved until after he is baptized?” “Because when one is saved and what saves a person are two different questions.”
The Bible makes clear that Jesus saves. “[A]ccording to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5). It is by His grace that we have hope of eternal life (Ephesians 2:5,8-9). We are “justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:9). We are “redeemed...with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). “Jesus Christ...loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Revelation 1:5). As Jesus ate with His disciples the night before His crucifixion, He said, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). What is it that saves a sinner from eternal separation from God? What is the remedy for sin? Without any doubt, “the blood of Christ” is what saves us (Hebrews 9:14). The idea of water having some kind of spiritual regenerative power is never taught in Scripture, nor have I ever met a member of the Lord’s church who believed such.
Another question altogether is when something happens. Naaman was healed of his leprosy (by the power of God!) when he washed in the Jordan River seven times (2 Kings 5:1-19). The blind man of John chapter nine was healed of his blindness (by Jesus!) when he washed in the pool of Siloam. And what about a sinner? When does the blood of Christ save one who is separated from God spiritually? The answer to that question is found in such passages as Acts 22:16 and Acts 2:38 (among others), which discuss water baptism. Once Saul (later called Paul) came to believe and confess that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, and expressed sorrow for his sins (cf. Acts 9:5-11), Ananias, whom God had sent to Saul, instructed him to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). A sinner has his sins washed away when he is “baptized.” [NOTE: The participial phrase, “calling on the name of the Lord,” describes what Paul was doing when he was baptized and had his sins washed away (cf. Acts 2:21,38)—see Miller, 2003; Lyons, 2004.] Sadly, many have read Acts 22:16 and rejected the necessity of baptism because they approach their study of this verse with the wrong question in mind. This verse does not tell us what saves, but rather when a person is saved, i.e., has his sins washed away. Passages of Scripture such as those previously noted (e.g., Matthew 26:28, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Revelation 1:5) answer what saves, but in order to find out when a person is saved, one must consult passages like Acts 22:16 and Acts 2:38.
In short, the blood of Christ is what saves a sinner. But the blood of Christ washes away sins when a sinner confesses faith in Christ, repents, and is baptized “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16). May God help us to understand the difference between what and when, especially in regard to salvation.


Lyons, Eric (2004), “Calling on the Name of the Lord,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/597.
Miller, Dave (2003), “The Bible is its Own Best Interpreter,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2293.

From Mark Copeland... Called To Be Saints (Romans 1:7)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS"

                       Called To Be Saints (1:7)


1. In his epistle to the Romans, Paul said he was "called to be an
   apostle" - Ro 1:1
   a. I.e., he was summoned to be an apostle, one sent by Jesus for a
      special purpose
   b. That purpose involved the gospel, which Paul was sent to proclaim
      to the nations - Ro 1:1,5

2. All Christians likewise have their "calling"...
   a. We are the "called of Jesus Christ" - Ro 1:6
   b. We are "called to be saints" - Ro 1:7

3. The term "saint" is frequently misunderstood and misapplied...
   a. One might get the wrong impression of what Paul is saying
   b. A proper understanding is important, serving as motivation for
      proper conduct

[So let us ask our first question:  What is a "saint"...?]


      1. "The word mean set apart, consecrated, sacred...In the NT the
         word hagios, when used as a noun, usually refers to members of
         the...church.  All believers are called 'saints,' even when
         their character is dubiously holy." - Zondervan Pictorial
      2. "A NT believer, belonging exclusively to God.  The saints are
         the church, people called out of the world to be God's own
         people." - Zondervan Topical Bible
      3. "Set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively His...this
         appellation is very often in the NT transferred to Christians,
         as those whom God has selected out of the world" - Thayer
      4. "It is used of men and things in so far as they are devoted to
         God.  These are called hagoi, saints, i.e., 'sanctified' or
         'holy ones.'  This sainthood is not an attainment, it is a
         state into which God in grace calls men" - Vine

      1. Summarizing what these sources say, a "saint" is:
         a. A Christian, a member of the body of Christ
         b. As such, Christians are considered by God to be...
            1) Set apart, holy
            2) Consecrated for His purpose
      2. A quick survey of the NT confirms this definition and use of
         the term "saint"
         a. Addressing those in various congregations - Ro 1:7; 1Co1:2; 2Co 1:1; Ep 1:1; Php 1:1; Col 1:2
         b. Describing the subjects of brotherly love - Ep 1:15; Col 1:4;
            Phm 4-7
      3. A "saint" is not some super-spiritual Christian...
         a. Now dead and having lived a long time ago
         b. Who is canonized and venerated as an object of worship
      -- Indeed, every Christian is a saint!

[However, we find both now and then that not all Christians behave like
saints.  This raises the question: How should saints live...?]


      1. Saints should live in a manner worthy of their calling - Ep 4:1
         a. Walking in unity - cf. Ep 4:1-16
         b. Walking in truth - cf. Ep 4:17-32
         c. Walking in love - cf. Ep 5:1-7
         d. Walking in light - cf. Ep 5:8-14
         e. Walking in wisdom - cf. Ep 5:15-17
      2. Saints should avoid things not befitting their calling - Ep 5:
         a. Fornication, uncleanness, covetousness
         b. Filthiness, foolish talking, coarse jesting
      -- Saints strive to live this way; they do not always live up to
         their calling

      1. Saints should be filled with the knowledge of God's will - Co 1:9
         a. Involves a good knowledge of the Bible
         b. Accompanied by wisdom and understanding (via prayer - Ja
      2. Saints are to walk worthy of the Lord - Col 1:10
         a. We are called to be Christians as well as saints - cf. Ac 11:26
         b. Our behavior should properly reflect the One whose name we
      3. Saints are to fully please Him - Col 1:10
         a. By being fruitful in every good work
         b. By increasing in the knowledge of God
      4. Saints are to be strengthened with all might - Col 1:11
         a. According to God's glorious power - cf. Ep 3:16,20; 6:10,13
         b. For all patience and longsuffering with joy
      5. Saints are to give thanks to the Father - Col 1:12-14
         a. He has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of
         b. He has delivered us from the power of darkness
         c. He has conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love
         d. He has provided redemption and forgiveness of sins, through
            His Son's blood
      -- The epistles were written to saints; from them we learn how
         saints ought to live!

[We noted that one reason saints are to be thankful is because God has
qualified us to partakers of "the inheritance of the saints".  This
raises a third question:  What is the hope of saints...?]


      1. Which Paul wanted the saints at Ephesus to know - Ep 1:18
      2. Which involves the exceeding riches of God's grace - Ep 2:7
      3. Which is presently reserved in heaven for us - 1Pe 1:4
      -- Paul and Peter describe our inheritance in general terms

      1. Promised by God, anticipated by Peter - 2Pe 3:13-14
         a. A future realm in which righteousness dwells
         b. Motivating us to live now in peace, without spot and
      2. Revealed by Jesus, described by John - Re 21:1-7
         a. Replacing the present earth and universe
         b. Involving the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of
         c. In which God will dwell with men, providing wonderful
      -- Peter and John describe our inheritance in figurative terms

[Questions may remain as to the ultimate nature of the saints'
inheritance, but enough is revealed to motivate us to become saints and
live in a manner worthy of our calling.  This leads to our fourth and
final question:  How do we become saints...?]


      1. We become saints by being "called" - cf. Ro 1:7
         a. The idea of being "called" is one of being "summoned"
         b. But we are not called or summoned by a small still voice, or
            bolt of lightning
      2. We are "called" by the gospel - 2Th 2:14
         a. God calls people by the gospel
         b. For the obtaining of the glory of our Lord

      1. The gospel reveals God's plan for saving man from his sins
         a. With facts to believe - e.g., 1Co 15:1-3
         b. With commands to obey - e.g., Mk 16:16; Ro 10:9,10
         c. With promises to receive - e.g., Ac 2:38-39; Ro 6:23
      2. When people respond, they become saints
         a. Saved and called by the grace of God - 1Ti 1:9
         b. Even though sinners, as were the saints in Corinth - 1Co 1:2; 6:9-11
      3. Every time the gospel is preached, God is calling people to
         become saints
         a. Those who hear are exhorted to obey
         b. Those who obey are washed, sanctified, justified
         c. Those who are sanctified are set apart, consecrated for
            God's purpose; i.e., saints


1. By the wonderful grace of God...
   a. We can be His saints, His holy ones, set apart for His purpose!
   b. We can look forward to the wonderful inheritance reserved in
      heaven for us!

2. Yet as saints, we must walk in a manner worthy of our calling...
   a. We must make our "calling and election sure" - 2Pe 1:10-11
   b. Even Paul, called both as an "apostle" and a "saint", realized the
      risk of his being rejected after preaching to others - 1Co 9:27

Are you a saint?  You are if you have responded to the call of God
through obedience to the gospel!  Are you living as a saint should?  May
the hope of saints motivate you to walk worthy of your calling!
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Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading August 11

Bible Reading  

August 11

The World English Bible

Aug. 10
Nehemiah 7-9

Neh 7:1 Now it happened, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,
Neh 7:2 that I put my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the governor of the castle, in charge of Jerusalem; for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.
Neh 7:3 I said to them, Don't let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand on guard, let them shut the doors, and you bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, everyone in his watch, and everyone to be over against his house.
Neh 7:4 Now the city was wide and large; but the people were few therein, and the houses were not built.
Neh 7:5 My God put into my heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written therein:
Neh 7:6 These are the children of the province, who went up out of the captivity of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and to Judah, everyone to his city;
Neh 7:7 who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:
Neh 7:8 The children of Parosh, two thousand one hundred seventy-two.
Neh 7:9 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy-two.
Neh 7:10 The children of Arah, six hundred fifty-two.
Neh 7:11 The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand eight hundred and eighteen.
Neh 7:12 The children of Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four.
Neh 7:13 The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty-five.
Neh 7:14 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred sixty.
Neh 7:15 The children of Binnui, six hundred forty-eight.
Neh 7:16 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty-eight.
Neh 7:17 The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty-two.
Neh 7:18 The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty-seven.
Neh 7:19 The children of Bigvai, two thousand sixty-seven.
Neh 7:20 The children of Adin, six hundred fifty-five.
Neh 7:21 The children of Ater, of Hezekiah, ninety-eight.
Neh 7:22 The children of Hashum, three hundred Twenty-eight.
Neh 7:23 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty-four.
Neh 7:24 The children of Hariph, one hundred twelve.
Neh 7:25 The children of Gibeon, ninety-five.
Neh 7:26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, one hundred eighty-eight.
Neh 7:27 The men of Anathoth, one hundred twenty-eight.
Neh 7:28 The men of Beth Azmaveth, forty-two.
Neh 7:29 The men of Kiriath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty-three.
Neh 7:30 The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty-one.
Neh 7:31 The men of Michmas, one hundred and twenty-two.
Neh 7:32 The men of Bethel and Ai, a hundred twenty-three.
Neh 7:33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty-two.
Neh 7:34 The children of the other Elam, one thousand two hundred fifty-four.
Neh 7:35 The children of Harim, three hundred twenty.
Neh 7:36 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty-five.
Neh 7:37 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty-one.
Neh 7:38 The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred thirty.
Neh 7:39 The priests: The children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy-three.
Neh 7:40 The children of Immer, one thousand fifty-two.
Neh 7:41 The children of Pashhur, one thousand two hundred forty-seven.
Neh 7:42 The children of Harim, one thousand and seventeen.
Neh 7:43 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, of the children of Hodevah, seventy-four.
Neh 7:44 The singers: the children of Asaph, one hundred forty-eight.
Neh 7:45 The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, one hundred thirty-eight.
Neh 7:46 The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
Neh 7:47 the children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon,
Neh 7:48 the children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Salmai,
Neh 7:49 the children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar,
Neh 7:50 the children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,
Neh 7:51 the children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Paseah.
Neh 7:52 The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephushesim,
Neh 7:53 the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
Neh 7:54 the children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
Neh 7:55 the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Temah,
Neh 7:56 the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
Neh 7:57 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida,
Neh 7:58 the children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
Neh 7:59 the children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth Hazzebaim, the children of Amon.
Neh 7:60 All the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety-two.
Neh 7:61 These were those who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not show their fathers' houses, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel:
Neh 7:62 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty-two.
Neh 7:63 Of the priests: the children of Hobaiah, the children of Hakkoz, the children of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name.
Neh 7:64 These sought their register among those who were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they deemed polluted and put from the priesthood.
Neh 7:65 The governor said to them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, until there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.
Neh 7:66 The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred sixty,
Neh 7:67 besides their male servants and their female servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty-seven: and they had two hundred forty-five singing men and singing women.
Neh 7:68 Their horses were seven hundred thirty-six; their mules, two hundred forty-five;
Neh 7:69 their camels, four hundred thirty-five; their donkeys, six thousand seven hundred twenty.
Neh 7:70 Some from among the heads of fathers' houses gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury one thousand darics of gold, fifty basins, and five hundred thirty priests' garments.
Neh 7:71 Some of the heads of fathers' houses gave into the treasury of the work twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand two hundred minas of silver.
Neh 7:72 That which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand minas of silver, and sixty-seven priests' garments.
Neh 7:73 So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinim, and all Israel, lived in their cities. When the seventh month was come, the children of Israel were in their cities.
Neh 8:1 All the people gathered themselves together as one man into the broad place that was before the water gate; and they spoke to Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Yahweh had commanded to Israel.
Neh 8:2 Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women, and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month.
Neh 8:3 He read therein before the broad place that was before the water gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women, and of those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.
Neh 8:4 Ezra the scribe stood on a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Uriah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchijah, and Hashum, and Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
Neh 8:5 Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
Neh 8:6 and Ezra blessed Yahweh, the great God. All the people answered, Amen, Amen, with the lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshiped Yahweh with their faces to the ground.
Neh 8:7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.
Neh 8:8 They read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly; and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading.
Neh 8:9 Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites who taught the people, said to all the people, This day is holy to Yahweh your God; don't mourn, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
Neh 8:10 Then he said to them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Don't be grieved; for the joy of Yahweh is your strength.
Neh 8:11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be grieved.
Neh 8:12 All the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
Neh 8:13 On the second day were gathered together the heads of fathers' houses of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, to Ezra the scribe, even to give attention to the words of the law.
Neh 8:14 They found written in the law, how that Yahweh had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month;
Neh 8:15 and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth to the mountain, and get olive branches, and branches of wild olive, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.
Neh 8:16 So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, everyone on the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the broad place of the water gate, and in the broad place of the gate of Ephraim.
Neh 8:17 All the assembly of those who were come again out of the captivity made booths, and lived in the booths; for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day the children of Israel had not done so. There was very great gladness.
Neh 8:18 Also day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. They kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.
Neh 9:1 Now in the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloth, and earth on them.
Neh 9:2 The seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
Neh 9:3 They stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of Yahweh their God a fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshiped Yahweh their God.
Neh 9:4 Then stood up on the stairs of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice to Yahweh their God.
Neh 9:5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless Yahweh your God from everlasting to everlasting; and blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
Neh 9:6 You are Yahweh, even you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their army, the earth and all things that are thereon, the seas and all that is in them, and you preserve them all; and the army of heaven worships you.
Neh 9:7 You are Yahweh the God, who did choose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham,
Neh 9:8 and found his heart faithful before you, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite, and the Girgashite, to give it to his seed, and have performed your words; for you are righteous.
Neh 9:9 You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red Sea,
Neh 9:10 and showed signs and wonders on Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land; for you knew that they dealt proudly against them, and made a name for you, as it is this day.
Neh 9:11 You divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their pursuers you did cast into the depths, as a stone into the mighty waters.
Neh 9:12 Moreover in a pillar of cloud you led them by day; and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light in the way in which they should go.
Neh 9:13 You came down also on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments,
Neh 9:14 and made known to them your holy Sabbath, and commanded them commandments, and statutes, and a law, by Moses your servant,
Neh 9:15 and gave them bread from the sky for their hunger, and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and commanded those who they should go in to possess the land which you had sworn to give them.
Neh 9:16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly and hardened their neck, and didn't listen to your commandments,
Neh 9:17 and refused to obey, neither were mindful of your wonders that you did among them, but hardened their neck, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage. But you are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and didn't forsake them.
Neh 9:18 Yes, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt, and had committed awful blasphemies;
Neh 9:19 yet you in your manifold mercies didn't forsake them in the wilderness: the pillar of cloud didn't depart from over them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way in which they should go.
Neh 9:20 You gave also your good Spirit to instruct them, and didn't withhold your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst.
Neh 9:21 Yes, forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing; their clothes didn't grow old, and their feet didn't swell.
Neh 9:22 Moreover you gave them kingdoms and peoples, which you allotted after their portions: so they possessed the land of Sihon, even the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.
Neh 9:23 Their children also multiplied you as the stars of the sky, and brought them into the land concerning which you did say to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
Neh 9:24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings, and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would.
Neh 9:25 They took fortified cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all good things, cisterns dug out, vineyards, and olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance: so they ate, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness.
Neh 9:26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against you, and cast your law behind their back, and killed your prophets that testified against them to turn them again to you, and they committed awful blasphemies.
Neh 9:27 Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who distressed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried to you, you heard from heaven; and according to your manifold mercies you gave them saviors who saved them out of the hand of their adversaries.
Neh 9:28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before you; therefore left you them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried to you, you heard from heaven; and many times you delivered them according to your mercies,
Neh 9:29 and testified against them, that you might bring them again to your law. Yet they dealt proudly, and didn't listen to your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, (which if a man do, he shall live in them), and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.
Neh 9:30 Yet many years you put up with them, and testified against them by your Spirit through your prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.
Neh 9:31 Nevertheless in your manifold mercies you did not make a full end of them, nor forsake them; for you are a gracious and merciful God.
Neh 9:32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keep covenant and loving kindness, don't let all the travail seem little before you, that has come on us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day.
Neh 9:33 However you are just in all that is come on us; for you have dealt truly, but we have done wickedly;
Neh 9:34 neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept your law, nor listened to your commandments and your testimonies with which you testified against them.
Neh 9:35 For they have not served you in their kingdom, and in your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and fat land which you gave before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.
Neh 9:36 Behold, we are servants this day, and as for the land that you gave to our fathers to eat its fruit and its good, behold, we are servants in it.
Neh 9:37 It yields much increase to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins: also they have power over our bodies, and over our livestock, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.
Neh 9:38 Yet for all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, our Levites, and our priests, seal to it.

Aug. 11
Nehemiah 10, 11
Neh 10:1 Now those who sealed were: Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah,
Neh 10:2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,
Neh 10:3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah,
Neh 10:4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,
Neh 10:5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
Neh 10:6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
Neh 10:7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
Neh 10:8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah; these were the priests.
Neh 10:9 The Levites: namely, Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel;
Neh 10:10 and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,
Neh 10:11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,
Neh 10:12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,
Neh 10:13 Hodiah, Bani, Beninu.
Neh 10:14 The chiefs of the people: Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,
Neh 10:15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,
Neh 10:16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,
Neh 10:17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,
Neh 10:18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,
Neh 10:19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nobai,
Neh 10:20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,
Neh 10:21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,
Neh 10:22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,
Neh 10:23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,
Neh 10:24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,
Neh 10:25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,
Neh 10:26 and Ahiah, Hanan, Anan,
Neh 10:27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.
Neh 10:28 The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge, and understanding;
Neh 10:29 They joined with their brothers, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of Yahweh our Lord, and his ordinances and his statutes;
Neh 10:30 and that we would not give our daughters to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons;
Neh 10:31 and if the peoples of the land bring wares or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy of them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and that we would forego the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
Neh 10:32 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God;
Neh 10:33 for the show bread, and for the continual meal offering, and for the continual burnt offering, for the Sabbaths, for the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.
Neh 10:34 We cast lots, the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, according to our fathers' houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn on the altar of Yahweh our God, as it is written in the law;
Neh 10:35 and to bring the first fruits of our ground, and the first fruits of all fruit of all manner of trees, year by year, to the house of Yahweh;
Neh 10:36 also the firstborn of our sons, and of our livestock, as it is written in the law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God;
Neh 10:37 and that we should bring the first fruits of our dough, and our wave offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, the new wine and the oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground to the Levites; for they, the Levites, take the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.
Neh 10:38 The priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.
Neh 10:39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the wave offering of the grain, of the new wine, and of the oil, to the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests who minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.
Neh 11:1 The princes of the people lived in Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts in the other cities.
Neh 11:2 The people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell in Jerusalem.
Neh 11:3 Now these are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah lived everyone in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants.
Neh 11:4 In Jerusalem lived certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, of the children of Perez;
Neh 11:5 and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of the Shilonite.
Neh 11:6 All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were four hundred sixty-eight valiant men.
Neh 11:7 These are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah.
Neh 11:8 After him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty-eight.
Neh 11:9 Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Hassenuah was second over the city.
Neh 11:10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin,
Neh 11:11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God,
Neh 11:12 and their brothers who did the work of the house, eight hundred twenty-two; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah,
Neh 11:13 and his brothers, chiefs of fathers' houses, two hundred forty-two; and Amashsai the son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,
Neh 11:14 and their brothers, mighty men of valor, one hundred twenty-eight; and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of Haggedolim.
Neh 11:15 Of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;
Neh 11:16 and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God;
Neh 11:17 and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who was the chief to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbukiah, the second among his brothers; and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.
Neh 11:18 All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred eighty-four.
Neh 11:19 Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brothers, who kept watch at the gates, were one hundred seventy-two.
Neh 11:20 The residue of Israel, of the priests, the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, everyone in his inheritance.
Neh 11:21 But the Nethinim lived in Ophel: and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim.
Neh 11:22 The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica, of the sons of Asaph, the singers, over the business of the house of God.
Neh 11:23 For there was a commandment from the king concerning them, and a settled provision for the singers, as every day required.
Neh 11:24 Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king's hand in all matters concerning the people.
Neh 11:25 As for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah lived in Kiriath Arba and its towns, and in Dibon and its towns, and in Jekabzeel and its villages,
Neh 11:26 and in Jeshua, and in Moladah, and Beth Pelet,
Neh 11:27 and in Hazar Shual, and in Beersheba and its towns,
Neh 11:28 and in Ziklag, and in Meconah and in its towns,
Neh 11:29 and in En Rimmon, and in Zorah, and in Jarmuth,
Neh 11:30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, Azekah and its towns. So they encamped from Beersheba to the valley of Hinnom.
Neh 11:31 The children of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash and Aija, and at Bethel and its towns,
Neh 11:32 at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,
Neh 11:33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,
Neh 11:34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat,
Neh 11:35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.
Neh 11:36 Of the Levites, certain divisions in Judah were joined to Benjamin.

Aug. 11, 12
Acts 24

Act 24:1 After five days, the high priest, Ananias, came down with certain elders and an orator, one Tertullus. They informed the governor against Paul.
Act 24:2 When he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, "Seeing that by you we enjoy much peace, and that excellent measures are coming to this nation,
Act 24:3 we accept it in all ways and in all places, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness.
Act 24:4 But, that I don't delay you, I entreat you to bear with us and hear a few words.
Act 24:5 For we have found this man to be a plague, an instigator of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
Act 24:6 He even tried to profane the temple, and we arrested him.
Act 24:7 but the commanding officer, Lysias, came by and with great violence took him out of our hands,
Act 24:8 commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him."
Act 24:9 The Jews also joined in the attack, affirming that these things were so.
Act 24:10 When the governor had beckoned to him to speak, Paul answered, "Because I know that you have been a judge of this nation for many years, I cheerfully make my defense,
Act 24:11 seeing that you can recognize that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship at Jerusalem.
Act 24:12 In the temple they didn't find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the synagogues, or in the city.
Act 24:13 Nor can they prove to you the things of which they now accuse me.
Act 24:14 But this I confess to you, that after the Way, which they call a sect, so I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets;
Act 24:15 having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Act 24:16 Herein I also practice always having a conscience void of offense toward God and men.
Act 24:17 Now after some years, I came to bring gifts for the needy to my nation, and offerings;
Act 24:18 amid which certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, not with a mob, nor with turmoil.
Act 24:19 They ought to have been here before you, and to make accusation, if they had anything against me.
Act 24:20 Or else let these men themselves say what injustice they found in me when I stood before the council,
Act 24:21 unless it is for this one thing that I cried standing among them, 'Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged before you today!' "
Act 24:22 But Felix, having more exact knowledge concerning the Way, deferred them, saying, "When Lysias, the commanding officer, comes down, I will decide your case."
Act 24:23 He ordered the centurion that Paul should be kept in custody, and should have some privileges, and not to forbid any of his friends to serve him or to visit him.
Act 24:24 But after some days, Felix came with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ Jesus.
Act 24:25 As he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was terrified, and answered, "Go your way for this time, and when it is convenient for me, I will summon you."
Act 24:26 Meanwhile, he also hoped that money would be given to him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore also he sent for him more often, and talked with him.
Act 24:27 But when two years were fulfilled, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and desiring to gain favor with the Jews, Felix left Paul in bonds.