12/17/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Baptism and Responding to Grace

Baptism and Responding to Grace


The Christians in the New Testament had all been baptized in water (F.F. Bruce in his commentary on Acts simply says that the NT knows nothing about unbaptized Christians). The church was a baptized community and their baptism said that they not only believed the truth about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ but that they had committed themselves to him by faith in being baptized into union with him.

These people didn't see it as optional. What's more, it never entered their heads to ask if they "had" to do it. They wanted to be saved in and through Christ, they were told to be baptized to that end and they did it and went their way rejoicing. It's a very modern thing indeed to argue about this matter. I can understand questions being raised about the status of those who are genuinely ignorant about all this but I confess it's more than disappointing to hear people, who know what the scriptures plainly say, dither on what they should say about it. Worse, it's more than disappointing to hear people who know what the scriptures plainly teach on this matter encouraging others not to be baptized as the New Testament teaches.

Baptism in the New Testament was part of the response of faith. It was repentance in action; a response to the holy grace God was extending to the world in Jesus Christ. God by the gospel was calling to himself an elect community to be his witness to the world that he had not abandoned it in its sin. Those who heard that electing message responded by taking the name of Christ on themselves by being baptized in his name that they would find remission of sins. But it wasn't just personal forgiveness they were given; it was a place in the Community of the Christ whose death, burial and resurrection they identified as their own. Baptism then was the response of faith to God's grace. But it wasn't a response of faith to God's grace that the Church came up with; it was the wisdom of the Holy Father and expressed in his holy Son through the Holy Spirit. It wasn't for people to debate over but to obey. It wasn't a loveless obedience, which is nothing more than legalism; it was a heartfelt commitment in trust.

Like every other obedient response, baptism was more than a "condition to be met" if people wanted sins forgiven by God's holy grace in Christ. It was a privilege. And it was seen to be a profound privilege in the New Testament. Whatever else is true in the case of the gentile Cornelius (see Acts 10 & 11) the privilege of water baptism is underlined (though that isn't the central thrust of the text). Here was a man who loved God with all his heart and it showed in all the ways that we would like to see in ourselves. The Jewish group come to his house under duress, Peter begins to tell him about the Christ and God interrupts him by sending the Holy Spirit on the man and his gathered family. Stunned at what has happened, what is Peter's question? Before us we have a man of whose righteous character God has personally approved and to whom God has exceptionally given the Holy Spirit (note 11:15) and what is the apostle's question? "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?" (10:47)

Doesn't that strike you as odd? One might have thought that loving God as he did was all that was required. If more, then one would have thought that the coming of the Spirit was enough privilege. Peter's question is in light of those two already existing realities. What does the question imply? That someone might want to keep it from them and that the two realities mentioned make it clear that Cornelius had the right to water baptism. Some are coming to see the privilege of water baptism as well as the obligation of it while some who should know better are belittling the ordinance. And Peter commanded them (Cornelius and family) to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and so take on them that glorious name (see Acts 2:38 and 22:16).

Water baptism is both required of us and is a privilege granted to us by the Holy Father in his own name and in the name of the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).



©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

Inspiration, not Interpretation by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=566

Inspiration, not Interpretation

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21)
From time to time, certain religious leaders in the “Christian” world refer to the above passage in order to defend the idea that man cannot understand the Bible on his own. Because they believe the Bible is not to be interpreted privately, proponents of this idea teach that the Bible cannot be understood properly without the instruction of the “clergy.” Thus, they say, little good will come from private, personal study of the Scriptures.
A casual reading of 2 Peter 1:20—with little concern for the context in which the passage is found—might very well lead one to understand the verse in such a manner. However, a closer examination of this passage reveals that it has no reference at all to those who read the Scriptures, but refers instead to those who wrote the Scriptures. By studying the context of the passage, one learns that the passage is discussing how the Scriptures came into existence, not how they are to be “interpreted.”
Continuing the thought from verse 20 to verse 21, we read: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (emp. added). That little word “for” in verse 21 connects the two thoughts. The English word “for” derives from the Greek conjunction gar. Strong’s Greek-Hebrew Dictionary (1994) indicates that this word is a “primary particle” that assigns “a reason” and is used in argument for “explanation” or “intensification.” The reason that “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” is because “prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (emp. added). The word “for” connects the two thoughts. Peter is saying that the prophets did not invent what they wrote; rather, they were guided by the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). No doubt this is why the NIV reads: “No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20, emp. added)—not the reader’s interpretation.
Furthermore, according to Mounce’s Analytical Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (1993), the Greek word epilusis (translated “interpretation” in 2 Peter 1:20) means primarily “a loosing” or “liberation.” The stem (or “root” as we say in English class) of epilusis is luo, and means literally “to loosen, unbind, or unfasten.” Therefore, “no prophecy of Scripture” ever was released, loosed, or given out by the prophets’ own inventions. They did not put their own construction upon God’s message; instead, the Holy Spirit guided them. Obviously, then, this passage has no reference to present-day interpreters of the text, but rather to those who wrote it—i.e., the prophets or apostles (cf. Ephesians 3:5).
Some religious groups maintain the position that “you can’t understand the Bible on your own” in an attempt to deprive the average person from enjoying the blessings of privately reading, studying, and learning God’s will. For several hundred years, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church kept the Bible out of the “laity’s” hands, because those who composed that hierarchy were concerned that the average person might read and study the Bible on their own and learn that the Catholic Church practices many things that the Bible does not teach. Even as late as 1816, Pope Pius VII (in De Versionibus S. Scriptura, September 3) said:

I declare that the associations formed in the major part of Europe to translate and diffuse the law of God into the common tongues, provoke horror within me and they tend to undercut the Christian faith down to its foundations. It is necessary to destroy this pest and reveal the evil designs of these manipulators.
Such comments reveal that the leaders of the Catholic Church were fearful that the “laity” would “come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4) and throw off the corrupt teachings of the Catholic Church.
Although some will continue to use 2 Peter 1:20-21 to teach that we must have a “priest” or “pastor” to interpret the Scriptures for us, an in-depth and logical examination of these verses reveals otherwise. The fact remains, God has given us a book that we can understand and obey (cf. Ephesians 3:4).

From Mark Copeland... The Cost Of Discipleship (Mark 8:34-35)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   The Cost Of Discipleship (8:34-35)

INTRODUCTION

1. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus called people to become His
   disciples...
   a. Such as Simon and Andrew - Mk 1:16-18
   b. Also James and John - Mk 1:19-20

2. At the conclusion of His ministry, Jesus sent His apostles to make
   more disciples...
   a. To make disciples of all the nations - Mt 28:19
   b. Teaching them to observe all that He commanded - Mt 28:20

3. In the text for this lesson, we find Jesus discussing the issue of
   discipleship...
   a. Having just predicted His own suffering, death, and resurrection
      - Mk 8:31
   b. Telling His disciples and others what is the cost of discipleship
      - Mk 8:34-35

[A disciple is a learner, a follower; to be a disciple of Jesus means
that we follow Jesus.  But as Jesus mentions in our text, such
discipleship requires a cost.  To be a true disciple of Jesus...]

I. ONE MUST DENY SELF

   A. WHAT IT MEANS...
      1. To deny sinful self, ungodliness, and worldly lusts; and part
         with them, and his former sinful companions, which were as a
         part of himself - Gill
      2. To deny righteous self, and renounce all his own works of
         righteousness, in the business of justification and salvation
         - ibid.
      -- To deny self with its self-righteous pride and sinful lust from
         dominating you

   B. HOW IT'S MANIFESTED...
      1. Denying sinful self, expounded by Peter
         a. Abstaining from fleshly lusts - 1Pe 2:11-12
         b. No longer living like the rest of the world - 1Pe 4:1-4
      2. Denying righteous self, exemplified by Paul
         a. Who had much about which he could have boasted - Php 3:4-6
         b. But chose to put all his trust in Christ - Php 3:7-14
      -- In precept and practice, the apostles tell us what it means to
         deny self

[Together with denying self, to be a disciple of Christ...]

II. ONE MUST TAKE UP HIS CROSS

   A. WHAT IT MEANS...
      1. To voluntarily and decisively accept the pain, shame, and
         persecution that is going to be one's particular-note: his, not
         someone else's-lot because of his loyalty to Christ and his
         cause - Hendriksen
      2. To cheerfully receive, and patiently bear, every affliction and
         evil, however shameful and painful it may be, which is
         appointed for him, and he is called unto; which is his peculiar
         cross, as every Christian has his own; to which he should
         quietly submit, and carry, with an entire resignation to the
         will of God, in imitation of his Lord - Gill
      3. The cross is to be born "daily", indicating Jesus was speaking
         metaphorically - cf. Lk 9:23
      -- To gladly endure whatever hardship one may receive in service
         to Christ!

   B. HOW IT'S MANIFESTED...
      1. In the case of the apostles
         a. What they all endured - 1Co 4:9-13
         b. What Paul in particular endured - 2Co 11:23-29
      2. In our case, it may involve being:
         a. Ridiculed - 1Pe 4:4
         b. Reviled (spoken evil of, excluded) - 1Pe 4:4; Mt 5:11; Lk 6:22
         c. Reproached - 1Pe 4:14
      -- All the while, rejoicing that one is honored to suffer for
         Christ - 1Pe 4:16; Ac 5:40-42

[With a willingness to deny self and bear one's own cross on a daily
basis...]

III. ONE MUST FOLLOW JESUS

   A. WHAT IT MEANS...
      1. To become His disciple, seeking to become like Him - Lk 6:40;
         cf. Ro 8:29; 13:14
      2. To accept Him as Lord, doing what He says - Lk 6:46; cf. Col 3:17
      3. To walk in His footsteps, even at great cost - 1Pe 2:21-25
      -- To become a Christian, to let Jesus be your Lord and mentor


   B. HOW IT'S MANIFESTED...
      1. Obeying the gospel of Christ - Mt 28:19; Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38;
         22:16
      2. Observing all He and His apostles commanded - Mt 28:20; Ac 2:42; 1Co 14:37
      3. Ever growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ - 2Pe 3:18
      -- Putting Jesus on in baptism, and then living with Him - Ga 3:27; 2:20

CONCLUSION

1. The cost of discipleship may seem rather high...
   a. One must deny self
   b. One must take up one's cross
   c. One must follow Jesus

2. But as Jesus explains, there are only two choices... - Mk 8:35
   a. One can try to save his life himself, but will end up losing it
      - cf. Jn 8:24
   b. One can lose his life for Jesus' sake and the gospel's, and wind
      up saving it! - cf. Re 2:10

   For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses
   his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. - Mk 8:35

In view of eternity, there is only one viable choice:  endure the high
cost of discipleship, and receive the blessings of eternal life...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading December 17


Bible Reading   

December 17

The World English Bible


Dec. 17
Amos 1-4

Amo 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
Amo 1:2 He said: "Yahweh will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the pastures of the shepherds will mourn, and the top of Carmel will wither."
Amo 1:3 Thus says Yahweh: "For three transgressions of Damascus, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron;
Amo 1:4 but I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, and it will devour the palaces of Ben Hadad.
Amo 1:5 I will break the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the valley of Aven, and him who holds the scepter from the house of Eden; and the people of Syria shall go into captivity to Kir," says Yahweh.
Amo 1:6 Thus says Yahweh: "For three transgressions of Gaza, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they carried away captive the whole community, to deliver them up to Edom;
Amo 1:7 but I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, and it will devour its palaces.
Amo 1:8 I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him who holds the scepter from Ashkelon; and I will turn my hand against Ekron; and the remnant of the Philistines will perish," says the Lord Yahweh.
Amo 1:9 Thus says Yahweh: "For three transgressions of Tyre, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they delivered up the whole community to Edom, and didn't remember the brotherly covenant;
Amo 1:10 but I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre, and it will devour its palaces."
Amo 1:11 Thus says Yahweh: "For three transgressions of Edom, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because he pursued his brother with the sword, and cast off all pity, and his anger raged continually, and he kept his wrath forever;
Amo 1:12 but I will send a fire on Teman, and it will devour the palaces of Bozrah."
Amo 1:13 Thus says Yahweh: "For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they have ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead, that they may enlarge their border.
Amo 1:14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it will devour its palaces, with shouting in the day of battle, with a storm in the day of the whirlwind;
Amo 1:15 and their king will go into captivity, he and his princes together," says Yahweh.
Amo 2:1 Thus says Yahweh: "For three transgressions of Moab, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime;
Amo 2:2 but I will send a fire on Moab, and it will devour the palaces of Kerioth; and Moab will die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet;
Amo 2:3 and I will cut off the judge from their midst, and will kill all its princes with him," says Yahweh.
Amo 2:4 Thus says Yahweh: "For three transgressions of Judah, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they have rejected Yahweh's law, and have not kept his statutes, and their lies have led them astray, after which their fathers walked;
Amo 2:5 But I will send a fire on Judah, and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem."
Amo 2:6 Thus says Yahweh: "For three transgressions of Israel, yes, for four, I will not turn away its punishment; because they have sold the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes;
Amo 2:7 They trample on the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and deny justice to the oppressed; and a man and his father use the same maiden, to profane my holy name;
Amo 2:8 and they lay themselves down beside every altar on clothes taken in pledge; and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.
Amo 2:9 Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.
Amo 2:10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
Amo 2:11 I raised up some of your sons for prophets, and some of your young men for Nazirites. Isn't this true, you children of Israel?" says Yahweh.
Amo 2:12 "But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets, saying, 'Don't prophesy!'
Amo 2:13 Behold, I will crush you in your place, as a cart crushes that is full of grain.
Amo 2:14 Flight will perish from the swift; and the strong won't strengthen his force; neither shall the mighty deliver himself;
Amo 2:15 neither shall he stand who handles the bow; and he who is swift of foot won't escape; neither shall he who rides the horse deliver himself;
Amo 2:16 and he who is courageous among the mighty will flee away naked on that day," says Yahweh.
Amo 3:1 Hear this word that Yahweh has spoken against you, children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying:
Amo 3:2 "You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth. Therefore I will punish you for all of your sins."
Amo 3:3 Do two walk together, unless they have agreed?
Amo 3:4 Will a lion roar in the thicket, when he has no prey? Does a young lion cry out of his den, if he has caught nothing?
Amo 3:5 Can a bird fall in a trap on the earth, where no snare is set for him? Does a snare spring up from the ground, when there is nothing to catch?
Amo 3:6 Does the trumpet alarm sound in a city, without the people being afraid? Does evil happen to a city, and Yahweh hasn't done it?
Amo 3:7 Surely the Lord Yahweh will do nothing, unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets.
Amo 3:8 The lion has roared. Who will not fear? The Lord Yahweh has spoken. Who can but prophesy?
Amo 3:9 Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, "Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria, and see what unrest is in her, and what oppression is among them."
Amo 3:10 "Indeed they don't know to do right," says Yahweh, "Who hoard plunder and loot in their palaces."
Amo 3:11 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: "An adversary will overrun the land; and he will pull down your strongholds, and your fortresses will be plundered."
Amo 3:12 Thus says Yahweh: "As the shepherd rescues out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be rescued who sit in Samaria on the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed."
Amo 3:13 "Listen, and testify against the house of Jacob," says the Lord Yahweh, the God of Armies.
Amo 3:14 "For in the day that I visit the transgressions of Israel on him, I will also visit the altars of Bethel; and the horns of the altar will be cut off, and fall to the ground.
Amo 3:15 I will strike the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory will perish, and the great houses will have an end," says Yahweh.
Amo 4:1 Listen to this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who tell their husbands, "Bring us drinks!"
Amo 4:2 The Lord Yahweh has sworn by his holiness that behold, "The days shall come on you that they will take you away with hooks, and the last of you with fish hooks.
Amo 4:3 You will go out at the breaks in the wall, everyone straight before her; and you will cast yourselves into Harmon," says Yahweh.
Amo 4:4 "Go to Bethel, and sin; to Gilgal, and sin more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days,
Amo 4:5 offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim free will offerings and brag about them: for this pleases you, you children of Israel," says the Lord Yahweh.
Amo 4:6 "I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in every town; yet you haven't returned to me," says Yahweh.
Amo 4:7 "I also have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest; and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city. One place was rained on, and the piece where it didn't rain withered.
Amo 4:8 So two or three cities staggered to one city to drink water, and were not satisfied: yet you haven't returned to me," says Yahweh.
Amo 4:9 "I struck you with blight and mildew many times in your gardens and your vineyards; and your fig trees and your olive trees have the swarming locust devoured: yet you haven't returned to me," says Yahweh.
Amo 4:10 "I sent plagues among you like I did Egypt. I have slain your young men with the sword, and have carried away your horses; and I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camp, yet you haven't returned to me," says Yahweh.
Amo 4:11 "I have overthrown some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a burning stick plucked out of the fire; yet you haven't returned to me," says Yahweh.
Amo 4:12 "Therefore thus will I do to you, Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, Israel.
Amo 4:13 For, behold, he who forms the mountains, and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought; who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the high places of the Earth: Yahweh, the God of Armies, is his name."

 
Dec. 17
3 John

3Jn 1:1 The elder to Gaius the beloved, whom I love in truth.
3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be healthy, even as your soul prospers.
3Jn 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when brothers came and testified about your truth, even as you walk in truth.
3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear about my children walking in truth.
3Jn 1:5 Beloved, you do a faithful work in whatever you accomplish for those who are brothers and strangers.
3Jn 1:6 They have testified about your love before the assembly. You will do well to send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God,
3Jn 1:7 because for the sake of the Name they went out, taking nothing from the Gentiles.
3Jn 1:8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
3Jn 1:9 I wrote to the assembly, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, doesn't accept what we say.
3Jn 1:10 Therefore, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words. Not content with this, neither does he himself receive the brothers, and those who would, he forbids and throws out of the assembly.
3Jn 1:11 Beloved, don't imitate that which is evil, but that which is good. He who does good is of God. He who does evil hasn't seen God.
3Jn 1:12 Demetrius has the testimony of all, and of the truth itself; yes, we also testify, and you know that our testimony is true.
3Jn 1:13 I had many things to write to you, but I am unwilling to write to you with ink and pen;
3Jn 1:14 but I hope to see you soon, and we will speak face to face. Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.

From Gary... kindness is...

I have made literally thousands upon thousands of sandwiches over the years, but never one like this. This is quite an improvement, but there still remains an overlap. But, again- this IS AN IMPROVEMENT!!!   I wonder, what would a guest think if you gave them something like this? One word comes to mind- HOSPITABLE!!! 

Hebrews, Chapter 13 (WEB)
 2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Which is referencing the following...

Genesis, Chapter 18 (WEB)
1 Yahweh appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.  2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that three men stood opposite him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth,  3 and said, “My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please don’t go away from your servant.  4 Now let a little water be fetched, wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.  5 I will get a morsel of bread so you can refresh your heart. After that you may go your way, now that you have come to your servant.” 

They said, “Very well, do as you have said.” 

  6  Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly prepare three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.”  7 Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to dress it.  8 He took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree, and they ate. 

  9  They asked him, “Where is Sarah, your wife?” 

He said, “See, in the tent.” 

  10  He said, “I will certainly return to you when the season comes round. Behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” 

Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him.  11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.  12 Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” 

  13  Yahweh said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Will I really bear a child, yet I am old?’  14 Is anything too hard for Yahweh? At the set time I will return to you, when the season comes round, and Sarah will have a son.” 

  15  Then Sarah denied, saying, “I didn’t laugh,” for she was afraid. 

He said, “No, but you did laugh.” 

  16  The men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. Abraham went with them to see them on their way.  17 Yahweh said, “Will I hide from Abraham what I do,  18 since Abraham has surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him?  19 For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Yahweh may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.”  20 Yahweh said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous,  21 I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know.” 

  22  The men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before Yahweh.  23 Abraham drew near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked?  24 What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it?  25 Be it far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn’t the Judge of all the earth do right?” 

  26  Yahweh said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sake.”  27 Abraham answered, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord, who am but dust and ashes.  28 What if there will lack five of the fifty righteous? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?” 

He said, “I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there.” 

 
  29  He spoke to him yet again, and said, “What if there are forty found there?” 

He said, “I will not do it for the forty’s sake.” 

  30  He said, “Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?” 

He said, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 

  31  He said, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord. What if there are twenty found there?” 

He said, “I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake.” 

  32  He said, “Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” 

He said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.”

He said, “I will not do it for the forty’s sake.” 

  30  He said, “Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?” 

He said, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 

  31  He said, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord. What if there are twenty found there?” 

He said, “I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake.” 

  32  He said, “Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” 

He said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.” 

Just goes to show you- a little bit of hospitality can result in goodness. So, go ahead- make those fancy sandwiches and show some kindness (AKA hospitality). Anything is possible!!!