From Gary... Cognitive Dissonance

 attitude change cognitive dissonance cartoon

Cute cartoon and an excellent comment!!!  Many years ago, I smoked very heavily- several packs of Camel cigarettes, at least two packs of tiparillo's and several bowls of pipe, each and every day.  Even though I saw the terrible effects in my father (whose smoked five packs of Camels a day and later died of a heart attack) and heard myself cough terribly, I would not change because I enjoyed it.  In retrospect, I realize it was stupid, but I was young and no one could tell me anything. Finally, at 21 years of age, I quit and have never regretted it.  But, why did it take me so long to accept reality?  Enter my newly acquired understanding of  the term, "Cognitive Dissonance".  And this is found in Scriptures...

Acts 17:15-34 NASB
(15)  Now those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.
(16)  Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols.
(17)  So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.
(18)  And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, "What would this idle babbler wish to say?" Others, "He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,"--because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
(19)  And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?
(20)  "For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean."
(21)  (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)
(22)  So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.
(23)  "For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.
(24)  "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
(25)  nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
(26)  and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,
(27)  that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
(28)  for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.'
(29)  "Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.
(30)  "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
(31)  because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

(32)  Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, "We shall hear you again concerning this."

(33)  So Paul went out of their midst.
(34)  But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

The Greek civilization brought us many fine things, including beautiful architecture (as the above picture shows, outstanding literature and an emphasis on reasoning that is perhaps their most important contribution.  But, many still held to the concept of Polytheism and when faced with the fact of the resurrection, rejected it as being nonsense. Yet, was it?  Paul writes to another church (1 Corinthians) and says:

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 NASB
(1)  Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
(2)  by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
(3)  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
(4)  and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
(5)  and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
(6)  After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
(7)  then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
(8)  and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

Just because you have not seen something with your own eyes, does not mean that it did not occur.  Notice verse 6 above- five hundred people at one time, now that is a witness!!!  And yet some people could actually reject Christianity- AMAZING!!! No, that is not right, its Cognitive Dissonance!!!!



     You hear it throughout the entire biblical witness: “Who am I?”
     If the words aren’t used they’re implied. Sometimes the events recorded speak for themselves and if the words aren’t in the text we ourselves ask the question, “Who are they?”
 Abraham with a worn out body and a wife who can’t conceive—how could they father/mother a nation and then a multitude of nations? An Abraham who twice puts his wife in harm’s way to save his own skin—how could he be worthy? A cheating Jacob who can’t trust God’s promises and twice cons his brother—how could he be worthy to become the father of a nation that under God blesses the human family? An impish Joseph who babbles on about his dreams and coming exaltation until even his doting father has had enough of it; Joseph, who ends up in prison—how could he become God’s instrument of blessing to the nations? Moses, a fugitive from Egyptian justice, sulking and refusing to give his firstborn to God, who doesn’t want the job of deliverer—how could he be the one to deliver an enslaved nation and bring it to the promised land? The fearful Joshua who worries about how he can fill the role of “the legend” Moses or Gideon [Judges 6] who in light of the current and ongoing tragedy resents old stories about God’s past deeds in the Exodus and admits he is the least of the least [and then there’s David]—how could these unworthy and unfitted people be the ones through whom deliverance is brought to the enslaved and blind and weak and embittered. How could they bring hope and freedom? In light of the harsh and stubborn facts and in light of the unfitness of the people called by God how could deliverance come? 
  In their own way they all say what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, when he is stunned by the truth that he is a carrier of the gospel that triggers life and death for all who hear and he mutters: “Who is sufficient for these things?” His answer in 3:5, “Our sufficiency is not of ourselves—it’s of God!”
  The recurring phrase in the OT texts alluded to above is this: "I am with you.”
 In Exodus 3:10 Moses’ question, “Who am I?” is answered in 3:11 by God’s, “I am with you.” Moses gets the message and in Exodus 33:12-17 he pursues God for assurance that in one form or another he will be with him and the nation. “How will it be known that we are like no other nation unless you are with us?” Moses asks and God gives assurance. See the text.
   It’s never about our worthiness, fitness or ability—the difference is about who is with us! It's never about our inability or our unfitness; it's always about His being with us!
   Our unworthiness and unfitness is an undoubted reality. It takes God—that God—to work it all out and bring his overarching purpose to a glorious finish! [“It is finished!”] Whatever the case is with us, God is always worthy and able!
  Deliverance isn’t about our well-heeled academics, our preachers or shepherds or worship leaders or educational directors or programs or our other gifts. It’s about who is with us! The engine that drives God’s redeeming purpose is not his gifts but himself! Abraham came to know that and that’s why he lifted the knife to kill the boy—the gift from God and in whom Abraham’s future seemed to hand. He came to know that that his future lay solely in the hands of the God who watched the old man take that three-day ride into hell [Von Rad].
  That constant questioning and God's constant answer comes to its glorious climax at the Incarnation and we hear Jesus called "Immanuel". God is with us! And that is not an event that took place 2,000 years ago and to be left as ancient history. Before he went away saying he would be back [see Acts 1:9-11] he said this:
   “Go disciple the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit…and lo I am with you always even until the world (age) ends.” Matthew 28:19-20.

The Spirit and Letter of the Law by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The Spirit and Letter of the Law

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

All erroneous systems of belief share in common the fact that several “props” are necessary to support them. The fact that the belief system is false, necessarily implies that one or more of the props are false. But the mere presence of an array of props gives the appearance and the impression that the belief system has much “evidence” to support it. One of the props that is marshaled to support the concept known as “situationism” is the notion that a legitimate distinction may be made between the “letter of the law” and the “spirit of the law.” It is argued that sometimes it is necessary, even mandatory, to violate the “letter of the law” in order to act in harmony with the “spirit of the law.” According to this line of thinking, those who insist that obedience to God’s law always is required—without exception—are “hung up on the letter of the law” instead of being led by the “spirit of the law.”
Of course, this kind of thinking naturally breeds and nurtures a relaxed attitude toward obedience. It militates against a desire to be precise and careful in conformity to Bible teaching. One individual explained how his feelings of devotion to Jesus made him feel that as long as he maintained a close sense of nearness to Him, he did not have to fret over “nitpicky” concerns, like whether he was staying within the speed limit when he drove his car. Another person avowed that she did not “sweat the small stuff,” since she was living her life in recognition of God’s grace, and felt certain that Jesus would “cut her some slack.” The “small stuff ” to which she referred included such things as whether God would approve of unscriptural divorce and remarriage, whether God would accept instrumental music in worship to Him, and whether one church was as good as another.


The primary passage in the New Testament that is marshaled in an effort to support the “spirit vs. letter” antithesis is Paul’s remarks to the church of Christ in Corinth. The reader is urged to pause and read the third chapter of second Corinthians before reading the analysis that follows. Two phrases typically are excised from the context and used as proof-texts to support a notion contrary to the chapter: “not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (vs. 6), and “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (vs. 17). These phrases are set forth as proof that Christians ought not to be too meticulous in conforming strictly to New Testament directives. Those who take such a position assume that “letter” refers to the commands of God—the written statements of Scripture that specify and regulate human behavior. They also assume that “spirit” refers to one’s attitude or feelings. Hence, if the individual feels devoted, concerned, and sincere, he or she is deemed in line with “the spirit of the law.” On the other hand, the individual who appears inflexible and rigid, or overly concerned with strict obedience, is perceived to lack “compassion” and “sensitivity,” and too concerned with “the letter of the law.”
Incredibly, if one would take the time to study God’s Word and refrain from mishandling its intended meaning (Acts 17:11; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 2:15), one would see that neither Paul nor any other inspired writer agreed with such thinking. In a pericope dealing with his apostolic ministry, Paul crafted a beautiful allegory—what D.R. Dungan called “the most perfect antithesis to be found in the whole Bible” (1888, p. 349). By arranging the contrasting phrases of the antithesis into two columns, one is able more easily to grasp Paul’s intended meaning:
Old Covenant New Covenant
  Ministers of the new covenant (vs. 6)
Of the letter (vs. 6) Of the Spirit (vs. 6)
The letter kills (vs. 6) The Spirit gives life (vs. 6)
Ministry of death (vs. 7) Ministry of the Spirit (vs. 8)
Written/engraved on stones (vs. 7)    
Ministry of condemnation (vs. 9) Ministry of righteousness (vs. 9)
Glorious (vss. 7,9) Much more glorious (vss. 8,9)
Passing away (vs. 7) Remains (vs. 11)
Veil on Moses’ face (vs. 13)   Great boldness of speech (vs. 12)
Veil remains in reading O.T. (vs. 14) Veil taken away in Christ (vs. 14)
Veil lies on their heart (vs. 15) Veil taken away when heart turned
to the Lord (vs. 16)
It should be immediately evident to the unbiased observer “that the two legs of the antithesis are the New Covenant in contrast with the Old Covenant” (Dungan, p. 268). Precisely the same meaning is conveyed by the same terminology in Paul’s letter to the Romans (2:29; 7:6). The Old Testament legal system, though an excellent system for what God had in mind (Romans 7:12), was unable to provide ultimate forgiveness for violations of law and, in that sense, “kills.” It took Jesus dying on the cross to make “life” possible (i.e., actual cleansing from sin).
When one recognizes the contextual meaning, it becomes apparent that these verses have absolutely nothing to do with the alleged “spirit vs. letter” contention! In fact, the Bible nowhere postulates such a thing. Like all liberal thinking, one must refrain from thinking too much about it if one does not wish to see the absurdity and nonsensical nature of it. The “spirit vs. letter” contrast is gobbledygook that is “better felt than told.” It makes no sense. On April 3, 1897, J.W. McGarvey responded to just this type of thinking in an article titled, “The Letter That Killeth”:
Just once in the course of his writings Paul makes the declaration that “the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:7); and no remark that he ever made has been applied in a greater number of unlicensed ways. If a man insists upon preserving some ordinance in the very form of its original appointment, such an ordinance as baptism or the Lord’s Supper, for example, he is accused of contending for the letter that killeth, while the man who makes the charge, and who changes the ordinance, claims that he is following the spirit that giveth life. All of that large class of writers who make free with the Scriptures while claiming to reverence their authority, employ this device to excuse their departures from the word of God, while those who remonstrate with them for their license are denounced as literalists, or sticklers for the letter that killeth. In all these instances it seems to be claimed that if you stick close to the ordinance as Christ gave it, you will kill somebody. The last example that attracted my attention was in connection with the number of elders that should be appointed in a church. The writer says: “It has been thought to be a greater evil to have a congregation without a plurality of elders than to have an eldership without the requisite qualifications;” and he adds: “This is to do violence to the spirit of the New Testament in an effort to be loyal to its letter.” But which, in this case, is the letter, and which is the spirit? To have a plurality of elders is certainly the letter of the New Testament; that is, it is the literal requirement; and the literal requirement also is to have elders of prescribed qualifications. Where, then, is the spirit as distinguished from the letter? Echo answers, Where? The writer was so in the habit of using this favorite expression where he wished to justify a departure from Scripture precedent that he evidently applied it in this instance from pure habit and without thought. The watchful reader will have seen many examples of the kind (1910, pp. 160-161).
Indeed, redefining the biblical expressions “spirit of the law” and “letter of the law” enables the situationist to promote his agenda under the cloak of Bible backing.
If one wishes to use the expression “the spirit of the law” to refer to a proper attitude, and “the letter of the law” to refer to compliance with the explicit dictates of Scripture, it certainly is true that a person can distort or disregard “the spirit of the law” while following carefully “the letter of the law.” A person may engage in external, rote compliance without heartfelt, genuine love for God and His will. But it is impossible to represent faithfully “the spirit of the law” (i.e., to have the right attitude) while acting out of harmony with the specific details of the law. When Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commands” (John 14:15), He pinpointed the fact that “love” for Him includes “obedience.” It is possible to obey and not love; but it is not possible to love and not obey. One may have good intentions in one’s religious pursuits, but if those religious actions are contrary to God’s specified will, the activity is unacceptable to God. The situationist’s claim that sincerity and feelings of “love” legitimize whatever action “love” takes, is in direct contradiction to Bible teaching.
The fact of the matter is that God always has required that people approach him “in truth”—i.e., according to the divine directives that He revealed to man. The only worship that has ever been acceptable to God has been that worship which has been undertaken with (1) a proper attitude, frame of mind, and disposition conducive to spirituality, and (2) faithfulness to the specific items that God pinpointed as the proper external acts to be performed. Jesus made this fact very clear in His encounter with the Samaritan woman (John 4:23-24). God never has accepted one without the other. He always has required both. He always has required two facets of response to His will: the right action with the right attitude. Notice the following chart of scriptures:
John 4:24 spirit truth
Joshua 24:14 sincerity truth
Ecclesiastes 12:13 fear God keep commands
Acts 10:35 fear Him work righteous
James 2:17 faith works
1 John 3:18 word/tongue deed/truth
Deuteronomy 10:12-13   fear/love—heart   walk/ways
Romans 1:9 with my spirit in the gospel
To emphasize one dimension of obedience over the other is to hamper one’s acceptance by God. Bible history is replete with instances of those who possessed one without the other, and thus were unacceptable to God. The Pharisees (Matthew 23:3), Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:2-4), and the people of Amos’ day (Amos 5:21-24) engaged in the external forms, but were unacceptable because of their insincerity. Paul (Acts 22:3; 23:1), Cornelius (Acts 10:1-2), and Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:6) all demonstrated genuine motives, but were unacceptable to God because of their failure to observe the right forms.
Think for a moment of the many people in biblical history who failed to approach God “in truth”—that is, they approached God, but did so without sufficient attention to complying with the details and guidelines that God had articulated. Adam and Eve, regardless of the condition of their attitude, were condemned by God for the external act of eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17; 3:11). Likewise, Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-3), the Sabbath breaker (Numbers 15:32-36), Moses (Numbers 20:11,12), Achan (Joshua 7), Saul (1 Samuel 13:13,14; 15:19-23), Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:1-7; 1 Chronicles 15:12,13), King Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:16-18), and Ezra’s contemporaries (Ezra 10)—all experienced the displeasure of God for their deviation from divine directions.
God has not changed in His insistence upon man’s loving obedience to His instructions (John 14:15; 15:14; 1 John 5:3). The Old Testament was written, among other reasons, in order for Christians to learn from the example of those who departed from God’s way (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11). New Testament faith, the kind of faith that Christians must possess if they wish to be pleasing and acceptable to God, is obedient trust—trust that conforms to God’s will (Hebrews 11; James 2).
The psalmist understood that God’s truth consisted of God’s written words (cf. Psalm 119:30,43,142,151,160). So did Jesus when He said, “Thy word is truth,” and declared that the basis of judgment would be the words that He spoke (John 17:17; 12:47-48). Worshipping God “in truth” is equivalent to “doing truth,” which entails “deeds” or external actions which are prescribed by God (John 3:19-21; cf. loving “in truth” in 1 John 3:18). When Jesus taught the way of God “in truth” (Matthew 22:16), He related information that accurately represented God’s will. When the Colossians heard “the word of the truth of the gospel” (Colossians 1:5), they heard the specific tenets, doctrines, requirements, and teachings to which they had to conform their lives.
Situationism, antinomianism, and liberalism share in common their mutual aversion to law keeping. Christians must not fall prey to these sinister forces that attempt to soften and obscure the clear call from God to render obedience to His directives. All He seeks from people is conformity to His laws out of hearts full of sincerity, earnestness, and love.


Dungan, D.R. (1888), Hermeneutics (Delight, AR: Gospel Light).
McGarvey, J.W. (1910), Biblical Criticism (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).

From Mark Copeland... Two Dilemmas (Romans 7:14-25)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS"

                         Two Dilemmas (7:14-25)


1. In Ro 7:14-25 Paul describes a great struggle...
   a. Between one who knows to do good, but cannot do it
   b. Between a desire to keep the law of God, and a war with the law of

2. This is a challenging passage that contains not one, but two
   a. The textual dilemma
   b. The human dilemma

[Dilemma: (informal) any difficult and perplexing situation;
predicament. To appreciate the difficulty of the passage itself, let's
first look at...]


      1. Is it his struggle as a Christian?
         a. The use of first person pronoun ("I", "me", "my") is
            certainly indicative
         b. That Christians so struggle is taught elsewhere - Ga 5:
            16-17; Jm 4:1; 1Pe 2:11
      2. Is it his struggle as a Jew?
         a. While living under the Law of Moses?
         b. Many think so, including myself
      -- So first there is the dilemma of how to understand the text

      1. Consider the overall context of the book of Romans
         a. Justification by faith in Christ, not by keeping the Law of
            Moses - Ro 3:28-30
         b. The promise to Abraham comes through faith, not the Law - Ro 4:13
      2. Consider the immediate context of chapters 7 and 8
         a. Paul's comments are especially to those who know the law
            - Ro 7:1
         b. Those once married to the Law, die to the law through Christ
            - Ro 7:4
         c. Those once held by the Law have been delivered from the law
            - Ro 7:6
         d. The law referenced to clearly includes the Ten Commandments
            - Ro 7:7
         e. The law, though good, brought death not deliverance - Ro 7:
         f. A deliverance appealed to, alluded to, and then explained
            - Ro 7:24-25; Ro 8:1-2,12
      -- The context helps to resolve the textual dilemma

[That Paul is describing the struggle he experienced as a Jew under the
Law becomes more apparent as we now examine the text itself


      1. Who is carnal, sold under sin - Ro 7:14-15
         a. Desires to good, finds himself unable
         b. Desires to abstain from evil, finds himself unable
      2. Who agrees the law is good, but finds that sins dwells in him
         - Ro 7:16-20
         a. In his flesh nothing good dwells
         b. The desire to do good is present, the ability to perform is
         c. The good he desires he does not, the evil he desires not he
         d. Thus sin dwells in him
      3. Who is enslaved to a "law" (of sin and death, cf. Ro 8:2) - Ro 7:21-23
         a. Where evil is present in one who desires to do good
         b. Where a law in his members (flesh) wages war against the law
            of his mind
         c. Where the law in his members brings him into captivity to
            the law of sin
      4. Who finds himself wretched - Ro 7:24
         a. "O wretched man that I am!"
         b. "Who shall deliver me from this body of death?"
      -- A wretched dilemma: sold under sin, indwelt by sin, enslaved to
         a law of sin!

      1. Expressed in chapter seven - Ro 7:25
         a. By way of anticipation, interrupting his train of thought
         b. "I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
         c. But again, the dilemma:  willing to serve the law of God
            with the mind, but with his flesh he serves the law of sin!
      2. Explained in chapter eight - Ro 8:1-6,11-14
         a. There is no condemnation for those in Christ, provided they
            walk according to the Spirit
         b. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ frees one from
            the law of sin and death!
            1) Christ's death fulfills the righteous requirement (death
               for sin)
            2) Becoming spiritually minded is life and peace, for
               submission to God is now possible
            3) Indwelt by the Spirit, He imparts life to our mortal
               bodies - cf. Ro 6:12-13; Ep 3:16
            4) We are no longer debtors (enslaved) to the flesh, to live
               according to the flesh
            5) By the Spirit we can put to death the deeds of the flesh,
               and live as sons of God!
      -- A blessed condition:  no longer enslaved to sin, but empowered
         by the Spirit!


1. In Romans 7, Paul vividly illustrates the weakness of the Law of
   a. The Law was holy, just, and good, but it did not offer true
   b. It did not offer deliverance from the guilt and power of sin - cf.
      Jn 8:34
   c. One can will to do good, but the ability to truly do as one should
      is not there

2. In Romans 8, Paul provides deliverance from this dilemma...
   a. First, no condemnation to those in Christ
   b. Second, empowerment over the flesh by aid of the Holy Spirit
   c. The struggle is still present, but the ability to perform is now
      possible - cf. Ro 7:18 with Ga 5:16

Have you experienced freedom from the guilt of sin through the blood of
Christ (Ep 1:7)?  Are you experiencing freedom from the power of sin
through the indwelling Spirit (Ro 8:12-13)?

Both blessings begin when one receives Christ (and the Spirit) in
baptism... - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16; Tit 3:5; Ga 4:6; 1Co 12:13

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading August 21


Bible Reading  

August 21

The World English Bible

Aug. 21
Job 20-23

Job 20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered,
Job 20:2 "Therefore do my thoughts give answer to me, even by reason of my haste that is in me.
Job 20:3 I have heard the reproof which puts me to shame. The spirit of my understanding answers me.
Job 20:4 Don't you know this from old time, since man was placed on earth,
Job 20:5 that the triumphing of the wicked is short, the joy of the godless but for a moment?
Job 20:6 Though his height mount up to the heavens, and his head reach to the clouds,
Job 20:7 yet he shall perish forever like his own dung. Those who have seen him shall say, 'Where is he?'
Job 20:8 He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found. Yes, he shall be chased away like a vision of the night.
Job 20:9 The eye which saw him shall see him no more, neither shall his place any more see him.
Job 20:10 His children shall seek the favor of the poor. His hands shall give back his wealth.
Job 20:11 His bones are full of his youth, but youth shall lie down with him in the dust.
Job 20:12 "Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue,
Job 20:13 though he spare it, and will not let it go, but keep it still within his mouth;
Job 20:14 yet his food in his bowels is turned. It is cobra venom within him.
Job 20:15 He has swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again. God will cast them out of his belly.
Job 20:16 He shall suck cobra venom. The viper's tongue shall kill him.
Job 20:17 He shall not look at the rivers, the flowing streams of honey and butter.
Job 20:18 That for which he labored he shall restore, and shall not swallow it down. According to the substance that he has gotten, he shall not rejoice.
Job 20:19 For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor. He has violently taken away a house, and he shall not build it up.
Job 20:20 "Because he knew no quietness within him, he shall not save anything of that in which he delights.
Job 20:21 There was nothing left that he didn't devour, therefore his prosperity shall not endure.
Job 20:22 In the fullness of his sufficiency, distress shall overtake him. The hand of everyone who is in misery shall come on him.
Job 20:23 When he is about to fill his belly, God will cast the fierceness of his wrath on him. It will rain on him while he is eating.
Job 20:24 He shall flee from the iron weapon. The bronze arrow shall strike him through.
Job 20:25 He draws it forth, and it comes out of his body. Yes, the glittering point comes out of his liver. Terrors are on him.
Job 20:26 All darkness is laid up for his treasures. An unfanned fire shall devour him. It shall consume that which is left in his tent.
Job 20:27 The heavens shall reveal his iniquity. The earth shall rise up against him.
Job 20:28 The increase of his house shall depart. They shall rush away in the day of his wrath.
Job 20:29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, the heritage appointed to him by God."
Job 21:1 Then Job answered,
Job 21:2 "Listen diligently to my speech. Let this be your consolation.
Job 21:3 Allow me, and I also will speak; After I have spoken, mock on.
Job 21:4 As for me, is my complaint to man? Why shouldn't I be impatient?
Job 21:5 Look at me, and be astonished. Lay your hand on your mouth.
Job 21:6 When I remember, I am troubled. Horror takes hold of my flesh.
Job 21:7 "Why do the wicked live, become old, yes, and grow mighty in power?
Job 21:8 Their child is established with them in their sight, their offspring before their eyes.
Job 21:9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.
Job 21:10 Their bulls breed without fail. Their cows calve, and don't miscarry.
Job 21:11 They send forth their little ones like a flock. Their children dance.
Job 21:12 They sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the pipe.
Job 21:13 They spend their days in prosperity. In an instant they go down to Sheol.
Job 21:14 They tell God, 'Depart from us, for we don't want to know about your ways.
Job 21:15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What profit should we have, if we pray to him?'
Job 21:16 Behold, their prosperity is not in their hand. The counsel of the wicked is far from me.
Job 21:17 "How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out, that their calamity comes on them, that God distributes sorrows in his anger?
Job 21:18 How often is it that they are as stubble before the wind, as chaff that the storm carries away?
Job 21:19 You say, 'God lays up his iniquity for his children.' Let him recompense it to himself, that he may know it.
Job 21:20 Let his own eyes see his destruction. Let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
Job 21:21 For what does he care for his house after him, when the number of his months is cut off?
Job 21:22 "Shall any teach God knowledge, seeing he judges those who are high?
Job 21:23 One dies in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet.
Job 21:24 His pails are full of milk. The marrow of his bones is moistened.
Job 21:25 Another dies in bitterness of soul, and never tastes of good.
Job 21:26 They lie down alike in the dust. The worm covers them.
Job 21:27 "Behold, I know your thoughts, the devices with which you would wrong me.
Job 21:28 For you say, 'Where is the house of the prince? Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?'
Job 21:29 Haven't you asked wayfaring men? Don't you know their evidences,
Job 21:30 that the evil man is reserved to the day of calamity, That they are led forth to the day of wrath?
Job 21:31 Who shall declare his way to his face? Who shall repay him what he has done?
Job 21:32 Yet he will be borne to the grave. Men shall keep watch over the tomb.
Job 21:33 The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him. All men shall draw after him, as there were innumerable before him.
Job 21:34 So how can you comfort me with nonsense, seeing that in your answers there remains only falsehood?"
Job 22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered,
Job 22:2 "Can a man be profitable to God? Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
Job 22:3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that you are righteous? Or does it benefit him, that you make your ways perfect?
Job 22:4 Is it for your piety that he reproves you, that he enters with you into judgment?
Job 22:5 Isn't your wickedness great? Neither is there any end to your iniquities.
Job 22:6 For you have taken pledges from your brother for nothing, and stripped the naked of their clothing.
Job 22:7 You haven't given water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
Job 22:8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth. The honorable man, he lived in it.
Job 22:9 You have sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.
Job 22:10 Therefore snares are around you. Sudden fear troubles you,
Job 22:11 or darkness, so that you can not see, and floods of waters cover you.
Job 22:12 "Isn't God in the heights of heaven? See the height of the stars, how high they are!
Job 22:13 You say, 'What does God know? Can he judge through the thick darkness?
Job 22:14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, so that he doesn't see. He walks on the vault of the sky.'
Job 22:15 Will you keep the old way, which wicked men have trodden,
Job 22:16 who were snatched away before their time, whose foundation was poured out as a stream,
Job 22:17 who said to God, 'Depart from us;' and, 'What can the Almighty do for us?'
Job 22:18 Yet he filled their houses with good things, but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
Job 22:19 The righteous see it, and are glad. The innocent ridicule them,
Job 22:20 saying, 'Surely those who rose up against us are cut off. The fire has consumed the remnant of them.'
Job 22:21 "Acquaint yourself with him, now, and be at peace. Thereby good shall come to you.
Job 22:22 Please receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart.
Job 22:23 If you return to the Almighty, you shall be built up, if you put away unrighteousness far from your tents.
Job 22:24 Lay your treasure in the dust, the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks.
Job 22:25 The Almighty will be your treasure, and precious silver to you.
Job 22:26 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty, and shall lift up your face to God.
Job 22:27 You shall make your prayer to him, and he will hear you. You shall pay your vows.
Job 22:28 You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established to you. Light shall shine on your ways.
Job 22:29 When they cast down, you shall say, 'be lifted up.' He will save the humble person.
Job 22:30 He will even deliver him who is not innocent. Yes, he shall be delivered through the cleanness of your hands."
Job 23:1 Then Job answered,
Job 23:2 "Even today my complaint is rebellious. His hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
Job 23:3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! That I might come even to his seat!
Job 23:4 I would set my cause in order before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
Job 23:5 I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would tell me.
Job 23:6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No, but he would listen to me.
Job 23:7 There the upright might reason with him, so I should be delivered forever from my judge.
Job 23:8 "If I go east, he is not there; if west, I can't find him;
Job 23:9 He works to the north, but I can't see him. He turns south, but I can't catch a glimpse of him.
Job 23:10 But he knows the way that I take. When he has tried me, I shall come forth like gold.
Job 23:11 My foot has held fast to his steps. I have kept his way, and not turned aside.
Job 23:12 I haven't gone back from the commandment of his lips. I have treasured up the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Job 23:13 But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? What his soul desires, even that he does.
Job 23:14 For he performs that which is appointed for me. Many such things are with him.
Job 23:15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence. When I consider, I am afraid of him.
Job 23:16 For God has made my heart faint. The Almighty has terrified me.
Job 23:17 Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither did he cover the thick darkness from my face.

Aug. 21
Romans 2

Rom 2:1 Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things.
Rom 2:2 We know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
Rom 2:3 Do you think this, O man who judges those who practice such things, and do the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
Rom 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of his goodness, forbearance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Rom 2:5 But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God;
Rom 2:6 who "will pay back to everyone according to their works:"
Rom 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory, honor, and incorruptibility, eternal life;
Rom 2:8 but to those who are self-seeking, and don't obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath and indignation,
Rom 2:9 oppression and anguish, on every soul of man who works evil, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 2:10 But glory, honor, and peace go to every man who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.
Rom 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
Rom 2:13 For it isn't the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified
Rom 2:14 (for when Gentiles who don't have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves,
Rom 2:15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them)
Rom 2:16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men, according to my Good News, by Jesus Christ.
Rom 2:17 Indeed you bear the name of a Jew, and rest on the law, and glory in God,
Rom 2:18 and know his will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law,
Rom 2:19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
Rom 2:20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of babies, having in the law the form of knowledge and of the truth.
Rom 2:21 You therefore who teach another, don't you teach yourself? You who preach that a man shouldn't steal, do you steal?
Rom 2:22 You who say a man shouldn't commit adultery. Do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
Rom 2:23 You who glory in the law, through your disobedience of the law do you dishonor God?
Rom 2:24 For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," just as it is written.
Rom 2:25 For circumcision indeed profits, if you are a doer of the law, but if you are a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
Rom 2:26 If therefore the uncircumcised keep the ordinances of the law, won't his uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision?
Rom 2:27 Won't the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfills the law, judge you, who with the letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the law?
Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh;
Rom 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.