9/15/17

"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Hearts Wide Open (6:11-13) by Mark Copeland

                "THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS"

                       Hearts Wide Open (6:11-13)

INTRODUCTION

1. The apostle Paul was a man who loved his brethren...
   a. He loved his CO-WORKERS - 2Ti 1:2; Phm 1-2
   b. He loved the CONGREGATIONS he worked with - 2Co 11:28
   -- Because of his love, he was willing to give of himself and become
      close to them - e.g., 1Th 2:7-12; 2Co 12:14-15

2. The passage in 2Co 12:15 indicates that sometimes Paul's affection
   was one-sided; he elaborated on this in 2Co 6:11-13...
   a. Paul's heart was "wide open" towards the Corinthians - 11
   b. But their love for him was "restricted" - 12
   c. His exhortation, therefore, was "be open"! - 13

3. In our study, I would like to...
   a. Offer reasons why we all need to have "Hearts Wide Open"
   b. Explain why some may have "restricted hearts"
   c. Suggest how we can be sure to have our "Hearts Wide Open"

[Let's first examine...]

I. WHY WE NEED "HEARTS WIDE OPEN"

   A. BROTHERLY LOVE IS A MARK OF TRUE DISCIPLESHIP...
      1. Note what Jesus said about brethren loving one another in 
         Jn 13:34-35
      2. Such love would be a visible sign by which the world would
         know Christ's true disciples
      3. People with "restricted hearts" would have a difficult time 
         displaying a visible love!

   B. BROTHERLY LOVE IS AN INDICATION OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH...
      1. Peter lists brotherly kindness (and love) among those graces
         involved in growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ - 2Pe  1:5-8
      2. Whereas having a "restricted heart" is an indication of:
         a. Spiritual immaturity - cf. 2Co 6:13
         b. Or spiritual ailments (short-sighted, even to blindness) 
            - 2Pe 1:9

   C. BROTHERLY LOVE IS AN ASSURANCE OF OUR SALVATION...
      1. It is one way that we know we have passed from death to live 
         - 1Jn 3:16-19
      2. The one who truly loves is one who is born of God - 1Jn 4:7-8
      3. Having "restricted hearts" would not be very reassuring in
         light of such verses!

[Notice 2Pe 1:10-11...If we want assurance, if we want to convince
the world, we need to have "Hearts Wide Open"! Now let's consider some
reasons...]

II. WHY SOME HAVE "RESTRICTED HEARTS"

   A. IT  MIGHT BE DUE TO "IGNORANCE"...
      1. Some Christians may not have been give proper "follow-up"
      2. Their follow-up may have been "unbalanced"
         a. With an emphasis upon the externals 
         b. To the neglect of the internals 
      3. This cannot be our excuse any longer - 1Jn 4:20-21

   B. IT MIGHT BE THE RESULT OF "SPIRITUAL AMNESIA"...
      1. As Peter indicated in 2Pe 1:9
      2. Which occurs when we...
         a. Forget God's love for us in purging us from our sins - 2 Pe  1:9
         b. Do not apply "all diligence" - 2Pe 1:5,10
      3. With the passing of time, we may simply forget how important
         love is in the mind of God - cf. 1Co 13:13

   C. IT MIGHT BE WE HAVE "SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET"...
      1. Some people refuse to get close to others for fear some hidden
         secret may became known
      2. If we have such "skeletons in the closet", we had better get
         rid of them!
         a. For they will eventually become known - cf. Num 32:23
         b. It may be now or later, but it will come out - 1Ti 5:24
      3. With skeletons removed, we won't mind how well people know us
         a. Besides, no one is perfect, and we can use the help
            brethren can give - Ga 6:1-2
         b. Of course, this requires that brethren be trustworthy and
            not gossip!

   D. IT MIGHT BE WE HAVE A "FEAR OF GETTING HURT"...
      1. Loving does involve the "risk of rejection"
      2. Paul experienced rejection, not only at Corinth, but also at
         Rome - 2Ti 4:16
      3. But the joy of true fellowship and love can more than make up
         for the few times some may reject us
         a. The apostle John had experienced both love and rejection 
            - cf. 3Jn 1-4,9-11
         b. But if he had never taken the risk of running into a 
            "Diotrophes", he would have never found a "Gaius"!

   E. IT MIGHT BE THAT "TRUE CONVERSION HAS NOT TAKEN PLACE"...
      1. As indicated before, brotherly love is an assurance of 
         salvation; similarly, it is an indication of true conversion!
         - cf. 1Jn 3:14-15
      2. Unfortunately, some people simply go through the "form" of conversion
         a. Conforming, not converted
         b. Out of convenience, not conviction
         -- When this happens, there is no "life" to begin with!
      3. Those with "restricted hearts" might need to examine themselves
         a. A process that all Christians should undergo periodically 
            - 2Co 13:5
         b. While there are reasons why true Christians may not love as
            they should (see above), we can't discount the possibility
            that the problem may be more serious!

[Whatever the reason, there is really no excuse for having "restricted
hearts". What can be done to "open wide" our hearts?  Here are some...]

III. SUGGESTIONS FOR HAVING "HEARTS WIDE OPEN"

   A. LET GOD'S LOVE TEACH YOU...
      1. This is what enabled the Thessalonians to excel in love 
         - 1Th 4:9
      2. So take to contemplate upon God's love for you!
         a. As manifested through the blessings He has bestowed upon
            you
         b. Especially the blessing of being His child! - 1Jn 3:1
         c. And the blessing of Jesus as our propitiation - 1Jn 4:9-10
      3. This will help motivate us to love as we ought - 1Jn 4:11

   B. NEVER BE CONTENT WITH THE PRESENT STATE OF YOUR LOVE...
      1. Paul did not let the Thessalonians rest on their laurels 
         - 1Th 4:10
      2. The key idea is to "increase more and more"; or as Peter would
         say, "abound" - 2Pe 1:8
      3. So we need to look for more people and more ways to express our love

   C. LOVE TAKES TIME, SO TAKE TIME TO LOVE...
      1. Take advantage of opportunities to be with brethren
         a. I.e., ACCEPT invitations
         b. E.g., to people's homes, potlucks, church services, gospel
            meetings, etc.
      2. Make opportunities to be with brethren
         a. I.e., OFFER invitations
         b. E.g., practice hospitality - 1Pe 4:8-9

CONCLUSION

1. What is the condition of our hearts?
   a. Are they "restricted", suffering from "spiritual hardening of the
      arteries"?
      1) Where the love of God is hindered from freely flowing?
      2) By the "plaques" of ignorance, selfishness, hypocrisy?
   b. Or are they "wide open"?
      1) Where God's love flows freely
      2) Nourishing not only our own lives, but the lives of those 
         around us!
   -- May we all be "taught of God" to have "Hearts Wide Open"!

2. For those who may not yet be Christians...
   a. Consider God's love for you, which is wide open in Jesus Christ
      - Jn 3:16
   b. Why not open wide your love for God...by keeping His
      commandments? - cf. 1Jn 5:3; Jn 14:15

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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One Little Word by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=855&b=Genesis

One Little Word

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Some verses in the Bible seem to stand in such glaring contradiction to other Bible passages that reconciliation appears virtually impossible. But, after looking into the problem with only a small amount of diligence, the solution generally becomes apparent, and the supposed contradiction vanishes like a plate full of chocolate chip cookies in the midst of a group of hungry teenage boys. Such is the case with Hebrews 11:17: “By faith Abraham, being tried, offered up Isaac: yea, he that had gladly received the promises was offering up his only begotten son.” When this verse is compared to Abraham’s history as recorded in the book of Genesis, we immediately notice that Isaac was not the “only begotten son” of Abraham. In fact, we read that Abraham fathered Ishmael by Hagar (Genesis 16:16) more than a decade before the birth of Isaac. And following the death of Sarah, Abraham took Keturah as a wife, by which he begat at least six more sons (Genesis 25:1-2).

How is this seeming contradiction to be resolved? First, let us remember the general context of Hebrews 11:17. This verse comes near the end of a book whose writer has shown an intimate knowledge of the Old Testament. Even in the very chapter under discussion, we read a rather complete list of Old Testament heroes such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, et al. Furthermore, much more obscure characters like Barak and Jephthah make their way into the discussion. Add to this the numerous allusions to Melchizedek and the priesthood in earlier chapters, and one soon realizes that the writer of Hebrews was a true Old Testament scholar. To assume that he thought, or accidentally wrote, that Abraham had only one son would be to attribute to the writer a grievous, careless mistake of colossal proportions.
In truth, the problem has nothing to do with the writer of the book of Hebrews, but everything to do with the translators of the Greek into English. In the Greek text of Hebrews 11:17, the word translated as “only begotten son” is monogenes. While this word could possibly be used to refer to an only child, that certainly was not its sole use. Josephus used the word monogenes to refer to Izates, who had an older brother and several younger brothers (Antiquities, 20.2.1). The well-respected Greek-English Lexicon by Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker explains that the word can be used to denote something that is “unique (in kind), of something that is the only example of its category” (1979, p.527). This meaning fits perfectly the passage in Hebrews 11, where the writer was explaining that Abraham offered up his “only promised son.” Abraham had no other children that fit in the category of being promised by God. Isaac was the only “example of a category”—that category being a son who was promised to Abraham and Sarah. Although Abraham had many other children by other women, he had no other child “of promise.” Isaac was his unique son, the only one of promise: the “monogenes.”
Sometimes, clearing up a supposed contradiction in the Bible is as easy as looking up the possible meanings of a single word from the original language. Before we allow our faith to be shaken by superficial claims of contradiction, let’s resolve to give the Bible the benefit of the doubt that even an ancient secular document would deserve. It borders on comical to imagine that the Hebrews writer, with his commanding knowledge of the Old Testament, accidentally “slipped” when referring to Isaac as Abraham’s only son. Once again, we find that no contradiction exists; the honest Bible student has his or her question answered, the Bible skeptic has his or her allegation refuted, and the Bible remains the inspired Word of God.
REFERENCES
Arndt, William, F.W. Gingrich, and Frederick Danker (1979), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
Josephus, Flavius (1987 edition), “Antiquities of the Jews,” The Works of Josephus, transl. William Whiston (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).

The Christian and Civil Government by Wayne Jackson

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Jackson/Boyd/Wayne/1937/civilgovernment.html


Cover of the printed booklet

The Christian and Civil Government
In order to properly understand the relationship of the Christian to the civil government, it is necessary to briefly consider the function of governments in the overall scheme of divine redemption, as viewed in the context of the Bible as a whole. There are great principles which must be carefully considered by way of introduction to this important theme. It is commonly believed that there are three institutions of divine origin: the home, civil government, and the church. I do not believe that is an accurate concept. Certainly both the home and the church are of divine origin, but did civil government actually commence with divine approval?
The Origin of Civil Government
The first civil government of which one reads in the Bible was founded by Nimrod: “the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar” (Gen. 10:10). Nimrod, whose name according to some signifies, “Let us rebel” (Jacobus, 204), was a mighty hunter before Jehovah (10:9). Of this passage Clarke notes: “The word tsayid, which we render hunter, signifies prey; and is applied in the Scriptures to the hunting of men by persecution, oppression, and tyranny. Hence, it is likely that Nimrod, having acquired power, used it in tyranny and oppression; and by rapine and violence founded that domain which was the first distinguished by the name of a kingdom on the face of the earth” (Clarke, 36). Leupold commented that "the gross violation of men's rights, that this mighty hunter became guilty of, did not elude the watchful eye" of Jehovah (1.367). 
Human civil government was thus founded in rebellion to God. Centuries later, when the Israelites requested a monarch that they might “be like all the nations” (1 Sam. 8:5, 20), though Jehovah gave them a king in his anger (Hos. 13:11), their desire for such a ruler clearly reflected a rejection of the Lord's arrangement for them (1 Sam. 8:7). 
If civil government was originally initiated in rebellion to God, then it is not of divine origin. In starting human governments, men surrendered the control of their affairs to Satan, hence, the devil is said to be the prince of this world (Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). In fact, Christ clearly referred to his impending arrest by the civil authorities when he said: “...the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me” (Jn. 14:30). Moreover, in the wilderness temptation, Satan showed Christ “all the kingdoms of the world” and promised, upon the condition that the Lord would worship him, “To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered (Greek paradedotai, perfect tense - past action with abiding results) unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it” (Lk. 4:6). It need hardly be pointed out that if Jesus had known that Satan merely was lying, there would have been no temptation in the diabolic suggestion! I am fully aware that elsewhere the Bible says that “the higher powers are ordained of God,” and that will be considered presently.
God's Sovereignty in the World
“The term 'sovereignty' connotes a situation in which a person, from his innate dignity, exercises supreme power, with no areas of his province outside his jurisdiction” (Zondervan, 498). God is the sovereign of the universe. He is in control of all things ultimately! Now it is a fact that Jehovah desires that all men serve him by voluntary submission, but when they do not, he can, and does, take charge of earthly affairs to bring about his own redemptive purpose. The Bible is literally filled with examples of this truth. Observe the following. 
God exercises providential control over the nations of the world. Daniel informs us that ultimately it is “the Most High” that “ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the lowest of men” (Dan. 4:17). The Almighty removes kings and sets up kings (Dan. 2:21). Indeed, “he is ruler over the nations” (Psa. 22:28). Of world powers Paul says that God determines their appointed seasons (i.e., the duration of their administrations) and the bounds of their habitations (the extent of their conquests) (Acts 17:26). Christ plainly said that Pilate could have exercised no authority against him except by divine permission (Jn. 19:11). 
God can, consistent with his own holiness, use evil men to providentially bring about ultimate good in his world. Here is a tremendous Bible principle that needs to be recognized: the Lord can take wicked men, who are in absolute rebellion to him, and use them as instruments of vengeance to punish other evil people, or to maintain order in society.
Note:
(a) When Israel became deeply involved in idolatry, Jehovah raised up the Assyrians to be “the rod of mine anger” (Isa. 10:5). He sent the haughty Assyrians against profane Israel, and yet, amazingly, the Assyrians had no idea that they were accomplishing Heaven's will [“Howbeit he meaneth not so.” 10:7].
(b) When Assyria needed to be punished (Isa. 10:12, 24-25), God exalted the Chaldeans [Babylonians] to overthrow them, and to subdue the kingdom of Judah (Hab. 1:5ff). The evil Nebuchadnezzar, whom the Lord called “my servant” (Jer. 25:9), was employed as an instrument to this end.
(c) Then, the Babylonians, by the decree of God, were conquered by the Medes and Persians, whom the Lord denominated his “consecrated ones” (Isa. 13:3). In that endeavor God used a pagan king, Cyrus, as his “shepherd,” his “anointed” (Isa. 44:28; 45:1).
(d) Under Jehovah's direction, the Medes and Persians were subdued by the Greeks, led by the “rough he-goat,” Alexander the Great (Dan. 8:5, 21; cf. 2:39). (e) The Greeks were eventually destroyed by the Roman armies [God's armies (Mt. 22:7)] to punish Jerusalem and the Jews.
The Functions of Civil Government
Romans 13:1-7 sets forth the function of civil government. Let us studiously consider this context.
First, the “higher powers” are identified as the “rulers” of civil government (1, 3). 
Second, they are said to be “ordained of God” (1). Exactly what does that expression mean? The word “ordained” translates the Greek term tetagmenai [a perfect, passive participle form of tasso]. The word simply means, as Arndt & Gingrich observe: to “appoint to or establish in an office.(the authorities) who are now in power are instituted by God - Rom. 13:1” (813). The word itself says nothing whatever about the character or the spiritual nature of the subject involved. The word is not some sort of “sanctified” term which would necessarily suggest that a child of God could function, with the Lord's approval, in that capacity. A form of the word, for instance, is used in Acts 18:2 of Claudius' edict (diatasso) which banished all Jews from Rome. 
Third, those who resist the rulers withstand the ordinance (i.e., that which has been appointed) of God and shall thus receive judgment. 
Fourth, rulers are appointed to be a terror (i.e., to produce fear) to those who would do evil in society. 
Fifth, the civil authority serves as a “minister of God” for good on behalf of the Christian. “Minister” translates the Greek diakonos, meaning “servant;” but, again, with no necessary indication of character suggested. Remember, the evil Nebuchadnezzar was God's “servant” (Jer. 25:9) to chastise Judah; then the Lord punished the king! Moreover, at the time this Roman epistle was penned, Caesar Nero, that wicked, homosexual tyrant, was one of those rulers who is here called a “minister of God.” The point is this: just because a function is in some sense a ministry or service to God, does not necessarily mean that a Christian may serve in that capacity with divine approval! Also, observe that in Romans 13:4 the roles of the ruler and the Christian are clearly distinguished by the use of the third person and second person pronouns. “...he is a minister of God to you.” Nowhere in this context is the Christian commissioned to function in the role of an instrument of God's wrath. 
Sixth, the ruler is said to “bear the sword” as a temporal “avenger of wrath” upon evildoers. Christians are clearly instructed not to avenge themselves (Rom. 12:19); God will render vengeance for them; ultimately - in the judgment (Lk. 18:8).
The use of force is necessary to maintain order in this sinful world. Let the civil agents function as ministers of wrath in society; let Christians use themselves as ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-21), employing the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17). 
The Christian's Duty to Government
The Christian's duty to civil government may be set forth under a threefold heading: pray, pay, and obey.
Pray - Scripture exhorts us to pray “for kings and all that are in high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity” (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Note, though, that the real purpose of the prayer is for the Christians' benefit. 
Pay - Because we do derive benefits from the government for services rendered, it is only right that we: “Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor” (Rom. 13:7). Some have suggested that a Christian may withhold his tax money if the government is involved in immoral enterprises. No, that is not the case. Governments have always promoted wickedness to some extent. The Roman government subsidized idolatry from public funds, yet Paul urged these brethren to pay taxes into that system. Thus, though governments may promote wars, finance abortions, etc., the child of God is not implicated in such evils simply because he pays taxes. 
Obey - Finally, the Lord's people have the obligation to “be in subjection to the higher powers” (Rom. 13:1,5; 1 Pet. 2:13-14). We must be respectful and obedient to the rulers under which we live. The Christian should be the best possible citizen. However, our obligations to the government are not without limitations; governmental powers are not unrestricted. 
The Limitations of Government
In these times in which we live, it is very probable that there will be increasing conflict between the church of the Lord and human government. We must consider, therefore, how far we may, or may not, go in yielding to the pressures of government. Let us reflect upon the following principles. 
No government has the right to prohibit that which is right. When the apostles were charged to refrain from speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus, they informed the authorities that they had a greater obligation to a higher power (Acts 4:19-20; 5:29). Some countries do not allow the importation of Bibles, but a Christian could take God's word to the lost anyhow! In some places it is against the law for a parent to spank his child; could not the child of God, however, lovingly administer discipline according to the principles of the Bible (Prov. 22:15; 23:13-14)? In California one cannot legally obtain a divorce specifically on the ground of fornication, yet the Lord certainly allowed this for the innocent part in an adulterated marriage (Mr. 5:32; 19:9).
No government has the right to authorize what is wrong. A nation may legalize an act, thus making it optional; yet, that act may be immoral and so not permissible. In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand, but that does not make the bloody act moral. Drunkenness is legal, but not right. The law of the land allows divorce for every cause imaginable, but God still permits it only on the basis of fornication (Mt. 19:9).
No government has the right to force the Christian to violate a divine command or a biblical principle. Suppose that a civil power, upon the basis of a law that forbids sexual discrimination in employment, issues an edict requiring the Lord's church to employ women preachers? What shall we do? We will, of course, obey God, not man. Or suppose you are a Christian employer in Berkeley, California, and you have a position open in your business establishment. Two people apply for the job. One is a Christian who is reasonably qualified for the work, but the other is a homosexual who happens to be better qualified. The law says you must hire the homosexual, but what would you do? I would not hesitate to violate such a law. 
Recently I read an interesting article concerning how the Communists of Russia are training young men to infiltrate Western Europe for the purpose of subversively obtaining information that would be valuable in defense of that nation. The plan is for these men to form illicit sexual relationships with lonely secretaries and other female government workers and thereby to extract from them classified information.
Could a Christian, in the “line of duty,” in the interest of national defense, commit fornication with divine approval? The concept is simply unthinkable. While we doubtless have little difficulty with the foregoing examples, for many years there has been considerable controversy in the brotherhood of Christ over whether or not the Christian may, with impunity, deliberately take the life of another human being in interest of society - either national or local. And so, we must briefly address this matter.
The Christian and Carnal Warfare
May a Christian, with God's blessing, take human life in defense of his nation? The great restoration preacher, Moses E. Lard, has expressed my viewpoint exactly: 
“...where a State is engaged in war, and commands a Christian subject to bear arms and fight, what is his duty? My opinion is that he must refuse obedience to the command of the State, even at the expense of his life. For no Christian man can, according to the New Testament, bear arms and take human life” (Lard, 399-400). 
My reasons for this conviction are: 
The Christian is never authorized to function as a punitive agent for the civil powers. While it is true, as we have observed already, that God does providentially use the powers that be to administer the sword of justice in a lawless world, he, nevertheless, has not commissioned his children to bear that sword of wrath. When Peter sought to correct the injustice of Christ's arrest by the use of the sword, Jesus told him to put it away for “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Mt. 26:52). Guy N. Woods has well commented: “When Peter sought to defend the Lord with a sword he was rebuked for his pains; and in bidding him sheathe it, he forevermore made it clear that his followers are not to fight with carnal weapons in his behalf. But if men are forbidden to fight in his defense, in whose defense may they properly fight?” (385).
Carnal warfare is contrary to the New Testament principles of love and peace. Any view of Romans 13:1-7 which contradicts, or negates the force of, dozens of New Testament passages obligating Christians to love and to be at peace with all men, is obviously incorrect [cf. Mt. 5:21-22; 38-47; 26:52; Jn. 13:35; 18:36; Rom. 12:19-21; 14:17, 19; 1 Cor. 7:15; 2 Cor. 13:11; Gal. 5:14; Eph. 4:2-3; 31-32; Col. 3:8; 1 Thes. 5:13, 15; 4:9; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:24; Tit. 3:2; Heb. 12:14; 13:1; 1 Pet. 1:22; 2:17; 3:8-9; 1 Jn. 3:16,18]. Followers of the “Prince of Peace” are to love their brothers (1 Pet. 1:22); their neighbors (Mt. 22:39), and their enemies (Mt. 5:44; Rom. 12:20). Love (i.e., the Greek agape) always seeks nothing but the highest good of others (cf. Barclay, 174ff). 
If it is argued that God loves, yet he will destroy his enemies, it may be replied: God's destruction of his enemies will be a matter of his judgmental justice upon those who have rejected his love! He has not, however, assigned that role to us (cf. Mt. 13:28- 30). If the Christian thus loves his brethren, neighbors, and enemies -  with whom else shall he war? 
If a Christian can engage in carnal warfare, the kingdom of God is subordinate to human governments. Before Pilate, Jesus laid down this logical argument concerning the nature of his kingdom. (a) If my kingdom were of this world, my servants could fight in its defense (cf. Jn. 18:36). (b) But my kingdom is not of this world. (c) Therefore, [implied conclusion] my servants cannot fight in defense of my kingdom.
In connection with this point, we may note the following. There is a type of argument frequently employed in the New Testament known as the a fortiori principle. When there are two similar propositions to be proved, if one establishes the more difficult first, the other automatically stands proved (cf. Broadus, 184). Now this: if a Christian cannot fight for the Lord's kingdom (the greater), how in the name of reason could he war for the kingdoms of men (the lesser), which are coming to naught anyway (cf. 1 Cor. 2:6)?! 
Carnal warfare is specifically forbidden the Christian. Paul writes: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds).” (2 Cor. 10:4). Our battle is “not against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12); rather, it is spiritual. And in it, we employ the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17), not an instrument of blood. 
Opposing Viewpoints Considered
Several arguments are advanced by sincere advocates of the carnal war position. We will consider the most prominent of these.
The centurion (Mt. 8), Cornelius (Acts 10), the jailor (Acts 16), etc., were not told to abandon their military professions; such, thus, must be acceptable to God. This argument is based solely upon silence and those who advance it will not stand with their own logic. The centurion was not instructed to free his slaves (Mt. 8:8-9). Are we to assume that the Lord approves of one human being owning another? Where is it specifically recorded that Rahab was commanded to forsake her harlotry (Josh. 2), or Simon his sorcery (Acts 8)? 
The truth is, the Old Testament prophesied that those who entered the kingdom of Christ would become peacemakers (Isa. 2:4; 11:6-9; 60:18; Hos. 2:8; Zech. 9:10), not war-makers. We must assume, therefore, that sincere converts to the Savior, as they learned the principles of the gospel, forsook all occupations inconsistent with discipleship of Jesus Christ. And, as we shall subsequently point out, history bears this out.
God's children fought wars in the Old Testament era with his approval; thus, it could not be morally wrong today. The nation of Israel was a theocracy (a religious political system), and so the Lord used his people as instruments of wrath upon alien nations, and upon offenders within their own ranks as well [who will argue for the church using the death penalty for wayward members today?!]. The New Testament church is not a theocracy. God's people are not vessels of wrath today.
Besides, many of the wars of the Old Testament period were strictly offensive, not defensive. Yet, most today would allow the Christian to fight only in a defensive encounter. No serious student of church history should fail to read J.W. McGarvey's essay “Jewish Wars As Precedents for Modern Wars,” which appeared in Lard's Quarterly, Vol. 5, April, 1868, pp. 113-126. 
The government is authorized to bear the sword; it cannot be right for the government and yet wrong for the Christian. While it is true that Jehovah does use human rulers to keep order in his world, this does not mean that these individuals are blameless. If those who serve as "instruments of divine wrath" in civil situations are blessed for functioning in that capacity, what is their reward? It is heaven?
Observe this point, please. Christ was delivered up according to the divine plan (Acts 2:23). But, Judas was the instrument of that deliverance(cf. Mt. 10:4, ASVfn). Hence, he was a necessary component in Jehovah's divine program. Yet, though he was used by God in this role(because of his character), his involvement was sinful (Mt. 27:4), and he was held accountable for it (cf. Jn. 17:12).
Look at another matter. The destruction of Jerusalem [A.D. 70] by the Romans was clearly the work of God. In one of his parables, Christ said that the king [God] would send his armies [the Romans] to destroy the Jews and burn their city (Mt. 22:7).
Was it right that God do this? Certainly. One might assume, therefore, on the basis of the argument stated above, that the early Christians could, and should, have joined with the Romans in Jerusalem's slaughter. After all, how could it be “right” for God to do it, and, at the same time, “wrong” for the Christian to participate? But such a conclusion is clearly erroneous, for the disciples of the Lord were specifically warned to avoid that conflict; indeed, they were to flee to the mountains (Mt. 25:15ff). 
Those who advocate the Christian's participation in an armed defense of the nation simply cannot reconcile this New Testament example with their viewpoint.
The Testimony of History - Historically, most Christian leaders have opposed participation in carnal warfare. The non-Christian historian, Edward Gibbon, wrote the following. 
“...nor could their [the Christians'] humane ignorance be convinced that it was lawful on any occasion to shed the blood of our fellow-creatures, either by the sword of justice or by that of war, even though their criminal or hostile attempts should threaten the peace and safety of the whole community. It was acknowledged that, under a less perfect law, the powers of the Jewish constitution had been exercised, with the approbation of Heaven, by inspired prophets and by anointed kings. The Christians felt and confessed that such institutions might be necessary for the present system of the world, and they cheerfully submitted to the authority of their Pagan governors. But while they inculcated the maxims of passive obedience, they refused to take any active part in the civil administration or the military defense of the empire” (416). 
Noted historian Philip Schaff wrote:  
“Then, too, the conscientious refusal of the Christians to pay divine honors to the emperor and his statue, and to take part in any idolatrous ceremonies at public festivities, their aversion to the imperial military services, their disregard for politics and depreciation of all civil and temporal affairs as compared with the spiritual and eternal interests of men, their close brotherly union and frequent meetings, drew upon them the suspicion of hostility to the Caesars and the Roman people, and the unpardonable crime of conspiracy against the state” (430). 
Another careful writer has observed: “Early second-century literature gives no direct evidence in regard to Christian participation in military service. The general statements which do occur imply a negative attitude. They reflect the Christian abhorrence of bloodshed and a general Christian affirmation about peace. Only in the early 170's do we find the first explicit evidence since apostolic times to the presence of Christians in the military service” (Ferguson, 221-222). 
It is sometimes argued that the reason the early saints declined military service was mainly because of the government's involvement with idolatry. That is not the reason given by the ancient opponents of Christian military service. They contended that God's people ought not to be involved in military activity because it is wrong for a Christian to kill (Ferguson, 226-227). 
Later, within our own American restoration movement, the list of names of those who opposed the Christian's participation in carnal warfare reads like a Who's Who of the brotherhood. Men like Alexander Campbell, Tolbert Fanning, P.S. Fall, B.U. Watkins, Moses Lard, J.W. McGarvey, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Milligan, W.K. Pendleton, T.M. Allen, David Lipscomb, Jacob Creath, Jr., and H. Leo Boles spoke out strongly for pacifism. Bill Humble states: “Except for Walter Scott, all the early restoration leaders had been pacifists” (44). A little later, Earl West comments, “On the side of those who felt Christian participation permissible, there were a few leading brethren” (338).
Conclusion
Christians are engaged in the greatest possible conflict - a war against Satan for the souls of men. Let us not, therefore, degrade ourselves by becoming entangled in the carnal conflicts of this world (cf. 2 Tim. 2:4) - which frequently result, in fact, in the wholesale destruction of souls.
Wayne Jackson
Sources
Barclay, William. 1974. New Testament Words. Philadelphia. Westminster.
Broadus, John. 1944. On the Preparation And Delivery of Sermons. New York. Harper Bros.
Clarke, Adam. Commentary on the Bible, Nashville, TN: Abingdon. Vol. I.
Ferguson, Everett. 1971. Early Christians Speak. Austin, TX: Sweet Pub. Co.
Gibbon, Edward. n.d. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, New York. Modern Library. Vol. I.
Arndt, W. & Gingrich, F.W. 1967. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Chicago: University of Chicago.
Humble, Bill J. 1969. The Story of the Restoration. Austin, TX: Firm Foundation.
Jacobus, Melancthon, 1864. Notes on the Book of Genesis. Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board. Vol. I.
Lard, Moses. n.d. Commentary on Romans. Cincinnati. Standard.
Leupuold, H. C. 1942. Exposition of Genesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker. Vol. 1.
Schaff, Philip. 1980. History of the Christian Church, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. Vol. II.
West, Earl I. 1953. The Search for the Ancient Order. Nashville, TN. Vol. I.
Woods, Guy N. 1959. Commentary on Peter, John, and Jude. Nashville, TN. Gospel Advocate.
Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Vol. 5. PAGE 7

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading September 15-17 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading September 15-17
(World English Bible)
Sept. 15
Psalms 71-73

Psa 71:1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge. Never let me be disappointed.
Psa 71:2 Deliver me in your righteousness, and rescue me. Turn your ear to me, and save me.
Psa 71:3 Be to me a rock of refuge to which I may always go. Give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Psa 71:4 Rescue me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
Psa 71:5 For you are my hope, Lord Yahweh; my confidence from my youth.
Psa 71:6 I have relied on you from the womb. You are he who took me out of my mother's womb. I will always praise you.
Psa 71:7 I am a marvel to many, but you are my strong refuge.
Psa 71:8 My mouth shall be filled with your praise, with your honor all the day.
Psa 71:9 Don't reject me in my old age. Don't forsake me when my strength fails.
Psa 71:10 For my enemies talk about me. Those who watch for my soul conspire together,
Psa 71:11 saying, "God has forsaken him. Pursue and take him, for no one will rescue him."
Psa 71:12 God, don't be far from me. My God, hurry to help me.
Psa 71:13 Let my accusers be disappointed and consumed. Let them be covered with disgrace and scorn who want to harm me.
Psa 71:14 But I will always hope, and will add to all of your praise.
Psa 71:15 My mouth will tell about your righteousness, and of your salvation all day, though I don't know its full measure.
Psa 71:16 I will come with the mighty acts of the Lord Yahweh. I will make mention of your righteousness, even of yours alone.
Psa 71:17 God, you have taught me from my youth. Until now, I have declared your wondrous works.
Psa 71:18 Yes, even when I am old and gray-haired, God, don't forsake me, until I have declared your strength to the next generation, your might to everyone who is to come.
Psa 71:19 Your righteousness also, God, reaches to the heavens; you have done great things. God, who is like you?
Psa 71:20 You, who have shown us many and bitter troubles, you will let me live. You will bring us up again from the depths of the earth.
Psa 71:21 Increase my honor, and comfort me again.
Psa 71:22 I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God. I sing praises to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel.
Psa 71:23 My lips shall shout for joy! My soul, which you have redeemed, sings praises to you!
Psa 71:24 My tongue will also talk about your righteousness all day long, for they are disappointed, and they are confounded, who want to harm me.

Psa 72:1 God, give the king your justice; your righteousness to the royal son.
Psa 72:2 He will judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
Psa 72:3 The mountains shall bring prosperity to the people. The hills bring the fruit of righteousness.
Psa 72:4 He will judge the poor of the people. He will save the children of the needy, and will break the oppressor in pieces.
Psa 72:5 They shall fear you while the sun endures; and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
Psa 72:6 He will come down like rain on the mown grass, as showers that water the earth.
Psa 72:7 In his days, the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more.
Psa 72:8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, from the River to the ends of the earth.
Psa 72:9 Those who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him. His enemies shall lick the dust.
Psa 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the islands will bring tribute. The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Psa 72:11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before him. All nations shall serve him.
Psa 72:12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries; the poor, who has no helper.
Psa 72:13 He will have pity on the poor and needy. He will save the souls of the needy.
Psa 72:14 He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence. Their blood will be precious in his sight.
Psa 72:15 They shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba. Men shall pray for him continually. They shall bless him all day long.
Psa 72:16 There shall be abundance of grain throughout the land. Its fruit sways like Lebanon. Let it flourish, thriving like the grass of the field.
Psa 72:17 His name endures forever. His name continues as long as the sun. Men shall be blessed by him. All nations will call him blessed.
Psa 72:18 Praise be to Yahweh God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds.
Psa 72:19 Blessed be his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and amen.
Psa 72:20 This ends the prayers by David, the son of Jesse.

Psa 73:1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
Psa 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone. My steps had nearly slipped.
Psa 73:3 For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Psa 73:4 For there are no struggles in their death, but their strength is firm.
Psa 73:5 They are free from burdens of men, neither are they plagued like other men.
Psa 73:6 Therefore pride is like a chain around their neck. Violence covers them like a garment.
Psa 73:7 Their eyes bulge with fat. Their minds pass the limits of conceit.
Psa 73:8 They scoff and speak with malice. In arrogance, they threaten oppression.
Psa 73:9 They have set their mouth in the heavens. Their tongue walks through the earth.
Psa 73:10 Therefore their people return to them, and they drink up waters of abundance.
Psa 73:11 They say, "How does God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?"
Psa 73:12 Behold, these are the wicked. Being always at ease, they increase in riches.
Psa 73:13 Surely in vain I have cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocence,
Psa 73:14 For all day long have I been plagued, and punished every morning.
Psa 73:15 If I had said, "I will speak thus;" behold, I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
Psa 73:16 When I tried to understand this, it was too painful for me;
Psa 73:17 Until I entered God's sanctuary, and considered their latter end.
Psa 73:18 Surely you set them in slippery places. You throw them down to destruction.
Psa 73:19 How they are suddenly destroyed! They are completely swept away with terrors.
Psa 73:20 As a dream when one wakes up, so, Lord, when you awake, you will despise their fantasies.
Psa 73:21 For my soul was grieved. I was embittered in my heart.
Psa 73:22 I was so senseless and ignorant. I was a brute beast before you.
Psa 73:23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you. You have held my right hand.
Psa 73:24 You will guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Psa 73:25 Who do I have in heaven? There is no one on earth who I desire besides you.
Psa 73:26 My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psa 73:27 For, behold, those who are far from you shall perish. You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to you.
Psa 73:28 But it is good for me to come close to God. I have made the Lord Yahweh my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.


Sept. 16
Psalms 74-76

Psa 74:1 God, why have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Psa 74:2 Remember your congregation, which you purchased of old, which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your inheritance; Mount Zion, in which you have lived.
Psa 74:3 Lift up your feet to the perpetual ruins, all the evil that the enemy has done in the sanctuary.
Psa 74:4 Your adversaries have roared in the midst of your assembly. They have set up their standards as signs.
Psa 74:5 They behaved like men wielding axes, cutting through a thicket of trees.
Psa 74:6 Now they break all its carved work down with hatchet and hammers.
Psa 74:7 They have burned your sanctuary to the ground. They have profaned the dwelling place of your Name.
Psa 74:8 They said in their heart, "We will crush them completely." They have burned up all the places in the land where God was worshiped.
Psa 74:9 We see no miraculous signs. There is no longer any prophet, neither is there among us anyone who knows how long.
Psa 74:10 How long, God, shall the adversary reproach? Shall the enemy blaspheme your name forever?
Psa 74:11 Why do you draw back your hand, even your right hand? Take it out of your pocket and consume them!
Psa 74:12 Yet God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.
Psa 74:13 You divided the sea by your strength. You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.
Psa 74:14 You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces. You gave him as food to people and desert creatures.
Psa 74:15 You opened up spring and stream. You dried up mighty rivers.
Psa 74:16 The day is yours, the night is also yours. You have prepared the light and the sun.
Psa 74:17 You have set all the boundaries of the earth. You have made summer and winter.
Psa 74:18 Remember this, that the enemy has mocked you, Yahweh. Foolish people have blasphemed your name.
Psa 74:19 Don't deliver the soul of your dove to wild beasts. Don't forget the life of your poor forever.
Psa 74:20 Honor your covenant, for haunts of violence fill the dark places of the earth.
Psa 74:21 Don't let the oppressed return ashamed. Let the poor and needy praise your name.
Psa 74:22 Arise, God! Plead your own cause. Remember how the foolish man mocks you all day.
Psa 74:23 Don't forget the voice of your adversaries. The tumult of those who rise up against you ascends continually.

Psa 75:1 We give thanks to you, God. We give thanks, for your Name is near. Men tell about your wondrous works.
Psa 75:2 When I choose the appointed time, I will judge blamelessly.
Psa 75:3 The earth and all its inhabitants quake. I firmly hold its pillars. Selah.
Psa 75:4 I said to the arrogant, "Don't boast!" I said to the wicked, "Don't lift up the horn.
Psa 75:5 Don't lift up your horn on high. Don't speak with a stiff neck."
Psa 75:6 For neither from the east, nor from the west, nor yet from the south, comes exaltation.
Psa 75:7 But God is the judge. He puts down one, and lifts up another.
Psa 75:8 For in the hand of Yahweh there is a cup, full of foaming wine mixed with spices. He pours it out. Indeed the wicked of the earth drink and drink it to its very dregs.
Psa 75:9 But I will declare this forever: I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
Psa 75:10 I will cut off all the horns of the wicked, but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.

Psa 76:1 In Judah, God is known. His name is great in Israel.
Psa 76:2 His tabernacle is also in Salem; His dwelling place in Zion.
Psa 76:3 There he broke the flaming arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah.
Psa 76:4 Glorious are you, and excellent, more than mountains of game.
Psa 76:5 Valiant men lie plundered, they have slept their last sleep. None of the men of war can lift their hands.
Psa 76:6 At your rebuke, God of Jacob, both chariot and horse are cast into a deep sleep.
Psa 76:7 You, even you, are to be feared. Who can stand in your sight when you are angry?
Psa 76:8 You pronounced judgment from heaven. The earth feared, and was silent,
Psa 76:9 when God arose to judgment, to save all the afflicted ones of the earth. Selah.
Psa 76:10 Surely the wrath of man praises you. The survivors of your wrath are restrained.
Psa 76:11 Make vows to Yahweh your God, and fulfill them! Let all of his neighbors bring presents to him who is to be feared.
Psa 76:12 He will cut off the spirit of princes. He is feared by the kings of the earth.



Sept. 17
Psalms 77-79

Psa 77:1 My cry goes to God! Indeed, I cry to God for help, and for him to listen to me.
Psa 77:2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord. My hand was stretched out in the night, and didn't get tired. My soul refused to be comforted.
Psa 77:3 I remember God, and I groan. I complain, and my spirit is overwhelmed. Selah.
Psa 77:4 You hold my eyelids open. I am so troubled that I can't speak.
Psa 77:5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.
Psa 77:6 I remember my song in the night. I consider in my own heart; my spirit diligently inquires:
Psa 77:7 "Will the Lord reject us forever? Will he be favorable no more?
Psa 77:8 Has his loving kindness vanished forever? Does his promise fail for generations?
Psa 77:9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he, in anger, withheld his compassion?" Selah.
Psa 77:10 Then I thought, "I will appeal to this: the years of the right hand of the Most High."
Psa 77:11 I will remember Yah's deeds; for I will remember your wonders of old.
Psa 77:12 I will also meditate on all your work, and consider your doings.
Psa 77:13 Your way, God, is in the sanctuary. What god is great like God?
Psa 77:14 You are the God who does wonders. You have made your strength known among the peoples.
Psa 77:15 You have redeemed your people with your arm, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
Psa 77:16 The waters saw you, God. The waters saw you, and they writhed. The depths also convulsed.
Psa 77:17 The clouds poured out water. The skies resounded with thunder. Your arrows also flashed around.
Psa 77:18 The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind. The lightnings lit up the world. The earth trembled and shook.
Psa 77:19 Your way was through the sea; your paths through the great waters. Your footsteps were not known.
Psa 77:20 You led your people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Psa 78:1 Hear my teaching, my people. Turn your ears to the words of my mouth.
Psa 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable. I will utter dark sayings of old,
Psa 78:3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
Psa 78:4 We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of Yahweh, his strength, and his wondrous works that he has done.
Psa 78:5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a teaching in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children;
Psa 78:6 that the generation to come might know, even the children who should be born; who should arise and tell their children,
Psa 78:7 that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments,
Psa 78:8 and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that didn't make their hearts loyal, whose spirit was not steadfast with God.
Psa 78:9 The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.
Psa 78:10 They didn't keep God's covenant, and refused to walk in his law.
Psa 78:11 They forgot his doings, his wondrous works that he had shown them.
Psa 78:12 He did marvelous things in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
Psa 78:13 He split the sea, and caused them to pass through. He made the waters stand as a heap.
Psa 78:14 In the daytime he also led them with a cloud, and all night with a light of fire.
Psa 78:15 He split rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths.
Psa 78:16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.
Psa 78:17 Yet they still went on to sin against him, to rebel against the Most High in the desert.
Psa 78:18 They tempted God in their heart by asking food according to their desire.
Psa 78:19 Yes, they spoke against God. They said, "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
Psa 78:20 Behold, he struck the rock, so that waters gushed out, and streams overflowed. Can he give bread also? Will he provide flesh for his people?"
Psa 78:21 Therefore Yahweh heard, and was angry. A fire was kindled against Jacob, anger also went up against Israel,
Psa 78:22 because they didn't believe in God, and didn't trust in his salvation.
Psa 78:23 Yet he commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven.
Psa 78:24 He rained down manna on them to eat, and gave them food from the sky.
Psa 78:25 Man ate the bread of angels. He sent them food to the full.
Psa 78:26 He caused the east wind to blow in the sky. By his power he guided the south wind.
Psa 78:27 He rained also flesh on them as the dust; winged birds as the sand of the seas.
Psa 78:28 He let them fall in the midst of their camp, around their habitations.
Psa 78:29 So they ate, and were well filled. He gave them their own desire.
Psa 78:30 They didn't turn from their cravings. Their food was yet in their mouths,
Psa 78:31 when the anger of God went up against them, killed some of the fattest of them, and struck down the young men of Israel.
Psa 78:32 For all this they still sinned, and didn't believe in his wondrous works.
Psa 78:33 Therefore he consumed their days in vanity, and their years in terror.
Psa 78:34 When he killed them, then they inquired after him. They returned and sought God earnestly.
Psa 78:35 They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God, their redeemer.
Psa 78:36 But they flattered him with their mouth, and lied to him with their tongue.
Psa 78:37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they faithful in his covenant.
Psa 78:38 But he, being merciful, forgave iniquity, and didn't destroy them. Yes, many times he turned his anger away, and didn't stir up all his wrath.
Psa 78:39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes away, and doesn't come again.
Psa 78:40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness, and grieved him in the desert!
Psa 78:41 They turned again and tempted God, and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
Psa 78:42 They didn't remember his hand, nor the day when he redeemed them from the adversary;
Psa 78:43 how he set his signs in Egypt, his wonders in the field of Zoan,
Psa 78:44 he turned their rivers into blood, and their streams, so that they could not drink.
Psa 78:45 He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them.
Psa 78:46 He gave also their increase to the caterpillar, and their labor to the locust.
Psa 78:47 He destroyed their vines with hail, their sycamore fig trees with frost.
Psa 78:48 He gave over their livestock also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.
Psa 78:49 He threw on them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, indignation, and trouble, and a band of angels of evil.
Psa 78:50 He made a path for his anger. He didn't spare their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence,
Psa 78:51 and struck all the firstborn in Egypt, the chief of their strength in the tents of Ham.
Psa 78:52 But he led forth his own people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
Psa 78:53 He led them safely, so that they weren't afraid, but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
Psa 78:54 He brought them to the border of his sanctuary, to this mountain, which his right hand had taken.
Psa 78:55 He also drove out the nations before them, allotted them for an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
Psa 78:56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God, and didn't keep his testimonies;
Psa 78:57 but turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers. They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
Psa 78:58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their engraved images.
Psa 78:59 When God heard this, he was angry, and greatly abhorred Israel;
Psa 78:60 So that he forsook the tent of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
Psa 78:61 and delivered his strength into captivity, his glory into the adversary's hand.
Psa 78:62 He also gave his people over to the sword, and was angry with his inheritance.
Psa 78:63 Fire devoured their young men. Their virgins had no wedding song.
Psa 78:64 Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows couldn't weep.
Psa 78:65 Then the Lord awakened as one out of sleep, like a mighty man who shouts by reason of wine.
Psa 78:66 He struck his adversaries backward. He put them to a perpetual reproach.
Psa 78:67 Moreover he rejected the tent of Joseph, and didn't choose the tribe of Ephraim,
Psa 78:68 But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which he loved.
Psa 78:69 He built his sanctuary like the heights, like the earth which he has established forever.
Psa 78:70 He also chose David his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds;
Psa 78:71 from following the ewes that have their young, he brought him to be the shepherd of Jacob, his people, and Israel, his inheritance.
Psa 78:72 So he was their shepherd according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

Psa 79:1 God, the nations have come into your inheritance. They have defiled your holy temple. They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.
Psa 79:2 They have given the dead bodies of your servants to be food for the birds of the sky, the flesh of your saints to the animals of the earth.
Psa 79:3 Their blood they have shed like water around Jerusalem. There was no one to bury them.
Psa 79:4 We have become a reproach to our neighbors, a scoffing and derision to those who are around us.
Psa 79:5 How long, Yahweh? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn like fire?
Psa 79:6 Pour out your wrath on the nations that don't know you; on the kingdoms that don't call on your name;
Psa 79:7 For they have devoured Jacob, and destroyed his homeland.
Psa 79:8 Don't hold the iniquities of our forefathers against us. Let your tender mercies speedily meet us, for we are in desperate need.
Psa 79:9 Help us, God of our salvation, for the glory of your name. Deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name's sake.
Psa 79:10 Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?" Let it be known among the nations, before our eyes, that vengeance for your servants' blood is being poured out.
Psa 79:11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before you. According to the greatness of your power, preserve those who are sentenced to death.
Psa 79:12 Pay back to our neighbors seven times into their bosom their reproach with which they have reproached you, Lord.

Psa 79:13 So we, your people and sheep of your pasture, will give you thanks forever. We will praise you forever, to all generations. 

Sept. 15
1 Corinthians 11

1Co 11:1 Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1Co 11:2 Now I praise you, brothers, that you remember me in all things, and hold firm the traditions, even as I delivered them to you.
1Co 11:3 But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.
1Co 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.
1Co 11:5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled dishonors her head. For it is one and the same thing as if she were shaved.
1Co 11:6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.
1Co 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to have his head covered, because he is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man.
1Co 11:8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man;
1Co 11:9 for neither was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.
1Co 11:10 For this cause the woman ought to have authority on her head, because of the angels.
1Co 11:11 Nevertheless, neither is the woman independent of the man, nor the man independent of the woman, in the Lord.
1Co 11:12 For as woman came from man, so a man also comes through a woman; but all things are from God.
1Co 11:13 Judge for yourselves. Is it appropriate that a woman pray to God unveiled?
1Co 11:14 Doesn't even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?
1Co 11:15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given to her for a covering.
1Co 11:16 But if any man seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither do God's assemblies.
1Co 11:17 But in giving you this command, I don't praise you, that you come together not for the better but for the worse.
1Co 11:18 For first of all, when you come together in the assembly, I hear that divisions exist among you, and I partly believe it.
1Co 11:19 For there also must be factions among you, that those who are approved may be revealed among you.
1Co 11:20 When therefore you assemble yourselves together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat.
1Co 11:21 For in your eating each one takes his own supper first. One is hungry, and another is drunken.
1Co 11:22 What, don't you have houses to eat and to drink in? Or do you despise God's assembly, and put them to shame who don't have? What shall I tell you? Shall I praise you? In this I don't praise you.
1Co 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which also I delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread.
1Co 11:24 When he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in memory of me."
1Co 11:25 In the same way he also took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me."
1Co 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
1Co 11:27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord's cup in a manner unworthy of the Lord will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup.
1Co 11:29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he doesn't discern the Lord's body.
1Co 11:30 For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep.
1Co 11:31 For if we discerned ourselves, we wouldn't be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are punished by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
1Co 11:33 Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait one for another.
1Co 11:34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest your coming together be for judgment. The rest I will set in order whenever I come.



Sept. 16
1 Corinthians 12

1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual things, brothers, I don't want you to be ignorant.
1Co 12:2 You know that when you were heathen, you were led away to those mute idols, however you might be led.
1Co 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no man speaking by God's Spirit says, "Jesus is accursed." No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," but by the Holy Spirit.
1Co 12:4 Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Co 12:5 There are various kinds of service, and the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 There are various kinds of workings, but the same God, who works all things in all.
1Co 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all.
1Co 12:8 For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 to another faith, by the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; and to another the interpretation of languages.
1Co 12:11 But the one and the same Spirit works all of these, distributing to each one separately as he desires.
1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.
1Co 12:15 If the foot would say, "Because I'm not the hand, I'm not part of the body," it is not therefore not part of the body.
1Co 12:16 If the ear would say, "Because I'm not the eye, I'm not part of the body," it's not therefore not part of the body.
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the smelling be?
1Co 12:18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body, just as he desired.
1Co 12:19 If they were all one member, where would the body be?
1Co 12:20 But now they are many members, but one body.
1Co 12:21 The eye can't tell the hand, "I have no need for you," or again the head to the feet, "I have no need for you."
1Co 12:22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.
1Co 12:23 Those parts of the body which we think to be less honorable, on those we bestow more abundant honor; and our unpresentable parts have more abundant propriety;
1Co 12:24 whereas our presentable parts have no such need. But God composed the body together, giving more abundant honor to the inferior part,
1Co 12:25 that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.
1Co 12:26 When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. Or when one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
1Co 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
1Co 12:28 God has set some in the assembly: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various kinds of languages.
1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all miracle workers?
1Co 12:30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with various languages? Do all interpret?
1Co 12:31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. Moreover, I show a most excellent way to you.



Sept. 17
1 Corinthians 13

1Co 13:1 If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don't have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
1Co 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don't have love, I am nothing.
1Co 13:3 If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don't have love, it profits me nothing.
1Co 13:4 Love is patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. Love doesn't brag, is not proud,
1Co 13:5 doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil;
1Co 13:6 doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
1Co 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1Co 13:8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.
1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;
1Co 13:10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.
1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.
1Co 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.
1Co 13:13 But now faith, hope, and love remain--these three. The greatest of these is love.