"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER" A "Living" Hope (1:3-5) by Mark Copeland


A "Living" Hope (1:3-5)


1. In our study of Peter's epistle so far, we have noticed...
   a. That as far as the world is concerned, Christians are but
   b. But as far as God is concerned, we are His "elect"

2. As the "elect" (chosen) of God, we are the recipients of many
   blessings that God offers to all who will obey and follow Christ
   a. One of these blessings is described in 1Pe 1:3-5
   b. There we learn that God has caused us to be born again unto "a
      living hope"

3. An understanding of this "living" hope can help Christians who are
   "pilgrims" be more joyful during their sojourn in this life

4. Therefore, in this lesson we shall examine what Peter says about the
   Christian hope that makes it a "living" hope

[Verse 3 begins with Peter praising God, and this leads us to the
first reason our hope is a "living" hope...]


      1. It is a good thing that it does not, for all are sinners in
         God's sight - cf. Ro 3:23
      2. Even as Christians we find ourselves guilty before God - cf.
         1Jn 1:8,10

      1. Mercy bestowed while we were yet sinners - cf. Ro 5:6,8
      2. Mercy bestowed upon the conditions of faith, repentance, and
         baptism - cf. Ac 2:36-38
      3. Mercy bestowed continually upon Christians as they repent of
         and confess their sins - cf. 1Jn 1:9

[Because of God's "abundant mercy", then, we who are sinners can have a
"living" hope!

But according to verse 3 there is another reason to have hope...]


      1. If Christ is not risen, then the apostles were liars, and our
         faith is vain! - 1Co 15:14-15
      2. If Christ is not risen, we are still held guilty for our sins,
         no forgiveness has occurred! - 1Co 15:17
      3. If Christ is not risen, those who have died as Christians have
         perished, they are lost! - 1Co 15:18
      4. If Christ has not risen, then we do not have a "living" hope,
         instead we are to be pitied by others! - 1Co 15:19

      1. Peter may have reference not to the process of conversion
         (though he does in 1Pe 1:23), but to the renewed hope
         produced by the resurrection of Jesus
         a. E.g., after Jesus' death and prior to His resurrection, the
            disciples were despondent
         b. But after the resurrection of Jesus, His disciples were
            "born again" in regards to their hope
         c. As Guy N. Woods says in his commentary:  "The reference here
            is...to the re-establishment of the faith of the disciples
            by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead."
      2. Surely the fact that Jesus did rise gives us reason for a
         "living" hope
         a. God would not raise a liar, so anything Jesus said about our
            hope is true - e.g., Jn 11:25
         b. Since Jesus rose from the dead, we have a firm hope that we
            too will one day rise from the dead - cf. 1Co 15:20-23

[By the abundant mercy of God, and upon the basis of Jesus' own
resurrection, then, we have been "born again" to a living hope!

But there are two more reasons discussed in verses 4-5 as to why our
hope can be described as "living".  One is...]


      WE HAVE...
      1. If our inheritance is a good one, our hope is strong, or
      2. If our inheritance is a poor one, then our hope is weak, or

         a. The Greek word is aphthartos {af'-thar-tos}, meaning "not
            liable to corruption or decay, imperishable"
         b. Unlike this present heavens and earth in which now live, and
            which will one day be destroyed - 2Pe 3:10-13
         a. The Greek word is amiantos {am-ee'-an-tos}, meaning "not
            defiled, unsoiled"
         b. It is unlike the earthly Canaan, which could be and was
            defiled by its inhabitants
         c. Our hope pertains to that where the defiled are not allowed
            to enter - cf. Re 21:27
         a. The Greek word is amarantos {am-ar'-an-tos}, meaning
            "unfading, perennial"
         b. The word is a variation of "amaranth" which was the name of
            a mythical flower whose bloom was perpetual and whose
            loveliness never faded
         c. Such is our heavenly reward:  it will not rust, fade, or
            wither like so many things do here on earth
         a. The word "reserved" comes from tereo {tay-reh'-o}, meaning
            "to watch, to observe, to guard, protect, to reserve, set
         b. Therefore, our inheritance is safely guarded in heaven
         c. No one, not even Satan himself, can steal it from you!

[Since this is the nature of our "inheritance" upon which our hope
rests, we can see why our hope is described as a "living" hope.

There is one more reason to call our hope a "living" hope:  not only is
our inheritance safely guarded in heaven, but also...]


      1. The word "kept" is from phroureo {froo-reh'-o}, and is a
         military term
      2. It means "to guard, protect by a military guard, either to
         prevent hostile invasion, or to keep the inhabitants of a
         besieged city from flight"
      3. "While our inheritance is being kept guarded in heaven under
         the watchful eye of God, we are being garrisoned about by God's
         protecting care for it." (WUEST)

      1. First, THE POWER OF GOD!
         a. We have the help of God Himself, who knows how to help those
            in temptation
         b. He knows how to deliver them out of temptation - cf. 2 Pe
         c. He knows how to enable them to bear with the temptation -
            cf. 1Co 10:13
         d. He supplies the armor necessary to withstand in the evil day
            - cf. Ep 6:10-13
      2. Also, OUR FAITH!
         a. To be safely guarded by God's protective care requires faith
            on our part
         b. The only way we can ever lose our inheritance reserved in
            heaven is to become unfaithful to the Lord! - cf. Re 2:10
         c. While the Bible teaches the security of the "believer"...
            1) It also teaches that a "believer" can become an
               "unbeliever" - cf. He 3:12-13
            2) And it teaches that "unbelievers" have no hope - cf. He
         d. As long as we remain "faithful", then, we have the assurance
            of God's protective care to guide us until we receive that
            inheritance reserved in heaven for us!


1. In this passage (1Pe 1:3-5), then, are four reasons why the hope
   of the Christian is called a "living" hope:
   a. Because God is merciful!
   b. Because Jesus is alive!
   c. Because of the nature of our inheritance!
   d. Because we are safely guarded!

2. A "living" hope can be a source of great joy in the lives of
   Christians; it certainly was to the original recipients of Peter's

      "In this (the living hope that pertains to the salvation
      ready to be revealed in the last time) you greatly rejoice,
      though now for a little while, if need be, you have been
      grieved by various trials." - 1Pe 1:6

3. Do you have this "living" hope?
   a. You do if you have received God's mercy offered in Christ, and are
      remaining faithful to the Lord
   b. If you have not received this mercy, or have neglected it through
      unfaithfulness, why not come to the Lord according to His
      conditions found in His Holy Word? - cf. Ac 2:38; 1Jn 1:9

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

eXTReMe Tracker 

In Science We Trust by Jerry Fausz, Ph.D.


In Science We Trust

by Jerry Fausz, Ph.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: A.P. auxillary staff scientist Dr. Fausz holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech.]
Our society places a great deal of faith and trust in Science. The reverence that many in our society grant to Science is clearly illustrated in a 1998 article published in Science magazine. The article is a compilation of essays and poetry submitted by the students of Holmdel High School in New Jersey: writings which were, in fact, solicited by the 150th anniversary committee of Science (Jackel, et al., 1998).
For example, a young lady named Megan McIlroy begins her essay, titled “What Science Means to Society,” with the words, “In a society where all aspects of our lives are dictated by scientific advances in technology, science is the essence of our existence” (Jackel, et al., emp. added). The following is a poem written by Brian Sze in the same article:
“Seesaw of the Spirit”
As science develops, religion declines,
Because religion begins where science ends.
As more and more knowledge fills our minds,
Religious influence lessens.
Religion was based on assumed claims,
Which through time have been proved wrong
But the Church has been too strict to change,
Which has been its downfall all along.
Creation gives us an account
Of man and woman’s first acts,
But evolution seems paramount,
Because it is supported by facts
So now we are presented with a choice.
Scientific knowledge or conviction?
Everybody has a voice
In answering this controversial question
(Jackel, et al., emp. added).
In one additional example, Jenitta Kwong begins her essay, titled “Science as Livesaver,” with “Science is everything to me,” and in her concluding remarks suggests that, without science, “Life would be meaningless” (Jackel, et al.).
How is it that high school children come to the conclusion that Science dictates all aspects of our lives to the extent that life would have no meaning without Science? From what do they deduce that a presumed “seesaw” between science and religion culminates in a controversial question? It is difficult to believe that very many individual scientists or technologists would suggest such a philosophy regarding science and religion. Most likely, these sentiments reflect values that have been passed on to these children by certain educators, their parents, and/or various friends or mentors with whom they may have associated. In short, our society has in some way conveyed to these children that Science has a position of ultimate importance in their lives that is, sadly (and mistakenly), terminally at odds with faith and religion. Perhaps most strikingly, this misconception has also occurred with very little, if any, input from Science itself.
No doubt, science and technology have given us many conveniences that seem, at least in a shallow sense, to have vastly improved the quality of human existence, but is that enough to suggest that Science is everything? Is the importance placed on Science by our society warranted? More important, does Science pose a better explanation for the meaning of life than religion? To add context to these questions, it is useful to examine the statements and writings of those who hold a preeminent position in the scientific arena.
The fact is, Science goes farther than just claiming preeminence over religion and belief in God in many of these statements. In 2006, several scientists at a conference in La Jolla, California advocated militant eradication of God and religion from society to be replaced completely with the precepts of science. At this conference, cosmologist Stephen Weinberg stated: “The world needs to wake up from the long nightmare of religion.... Anything we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done, and may in fact be our greatest contribution to civilization.” And celebrated evolutionist Richard Dawkins said: “There’s a certain sort of negativity you get from people who say ‘I don’t like religion but you can’t do anything about it.’ That’s a real counsel of defeatism. We should roll our sleeves up and get on with it” (as quoted in Lyons and Butt, 2007).
Others have simply approached the debate by claiming that science makes God and religion irrelevant. Famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking recently wrote: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist,” adding, “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.” These statements appear in Hawking’s 2010 book titled, ironically, The Grand Design (Hawking and Mlodinow, p. 181). Hawking goes on to explain:
The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can’t understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second. If you like, you can call the laws of science “God,” but it wouldn’t be a personal God that you could meet, and ask questions (p. xx).
Here Hawking again attempts to de-emphasize God in favor of Science. Even more, there is a subtle attempt in the last statement to replace God with Science in suggesting that the “laws of science” might be called “God.”
Accomplished scientists such as Hawking and Weinberg, high profile evolutionist Dawkins, and a group of high school students from New Jersey seem to be in agreement that Science holds a place of preeminence over everything, even overshadowing religious conviction. They present science as an omniscient benefactor that gives us everything we need and tells us everything we need to know—very much as many relate to God.
Science, though, has a few things to say about its own “omniscience” that have a direct bearing on the question of whether or not it has eliminated the need for God. Furthermore, these observations have much to say regarding the supposed preeminence of science in our society.


Prior to the 20th century, science and the Universe were believed to be strictly and objectively “deterministic,” meaning that all constituent elements of the Universe could be uniquely characterized and even predicted by fixed natural laws with straightforward (though sometimes complex) closed-form mathematical representations or models. For example, mathematical equations can be formulated for the motion of an object in space using Newton’s Laws of Motion and for the orbits of planets and artificial satellites using Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion. This deterministic way of looking at the cosmos is often referred to as “classical physics” or “classical mechanics.” Interestingly, while many of the results of classical mechanics have been shown to have a limited domain of validity, engineers still successfully use the concepts daily in building bridges, designing automobiles, navigating aircraft, and launching satellites into near Earth orbit.
During the past century, however, the theory of relativity and theorems accompanying the birth and growth of the emerging field of quantum mechanics cast doubt on this view of determinism in the minds of many scientists. Most notably, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of 1927 stipulated that the position and momentum of sub-atomic particles could not both be uniquely determined to an arbitrary degree of accuracy. That is, there will always be uncertainty in the measurement of at least one of these values that severely limits accuracy when one tries to measure both. Heisenberg’s result has since been extended to other pairs of measurements for subatomic particles, such as energy and spin. These momentous results present a fundamental limitation on the ability of Science to uniquely determine the complete state of the Universe at any given time.
Scientists initially believed that the uncertainty phenomenon was simply a consequence of taking measurements. For example, one might bounce a photon of light off of a subatomic particle and measure its position based on the return speed of the photon. In doing so, however, the momentum of the subatomic particle is changed and can no longer be determined accurately. Thus, the observer and his measurements have a profound effect on the resulting observation (Davies, 1984, p. 49). Dean Overman states: “What one observes depends to some extent on how one observes. The observer cannot be removed from the subject of the observation” (Overman, 1997, p. 29).
On the other hand, many scientists have interpreted the results of quantum mechanics to imply that the Universe itself is inherently non-deterministic. Scientific philosopher Paul Davies refers to this interpretation as “the ‘party line’ which maintains that quantum fuzziness is inherent in nature, and irreducible” (1984, p. 42). Thus, these scientists believe that quantum theory is an apt description of the reality of the Universe, rather than simply describing the effect the scientist has on the system when trying to take measurements. Notably, Albert Einstein, who helped formulate quantum theory, militantly disagreed with this interpretation as we see from one of his most well-known quotes, “God does not play dice.” Einstein believed that
behind the quantum world of unpredictable fuzziness and disorder lay a familiar classical world of concrete reality in which objects really possess well-defined properties such as location and speed and move according to deterministic laws of cause and effect (Davies, 1984, p. 42).
While scientists clearly do not agree on the correct interpretation of quantum theory, one thing that both sides agree on is that the uncertainty of the theory is inescapable and “irreducible,” as Davies describes it. The Uncertainty principle has a profound effect on the ability of Science to fully characterize the Universe. The “fuzziness” of quantum mechanics ensures that Science will remain unable to explain the Universe at its most basic level. Perhaps this can most readily be seen in the inability of Science to even determine the underlying meaning of its own quantum theory.


In 1931, an Austrian mathematician named Kurt Gödel formulated and proved a theorem that stipulated “for any consistent mathematical system there exists within the system a well-formed statement that is not provable under the rules of the system” (Overman, p. 27). This result, known as Gödel’s First Incompleteness Theorem, implies that a mathematical system can be shown to be consistent, but will be unable to prove its own consistency within the rules of the system, thus cannot be shown to be “complete.” This fact has serious implications for scientific investigation, since mathematics is almost always utilized as a framework for organizing scientific thought and making application of resulting scientific principles. Scientific laws can be very often recognized more by their mathematical formulation than their narrative text.  For instance, while many recognize the equation E=mc2 as a statement from the Relativity Theory of Albert Einstein, few would recognize the statements of the theory underlying that famous formulation.
Certainly, mathematical research subsequent to the work of Gödel has identified very specific, limited mathematical systems that are “self-consistent,” that is, they are both consistent and complete. However, these limited results are not relevant to consideration of the First Incompleteness Theorem in a context that involves formulating scientific understanding and characterization of the entire Universe as opposed to a limited mathematical system. Thus, Gödel’s theory presents a critical impediment to the idea that Science can ever remove the possibility of God from a full understanding of the Universe. As Overman explains:
Gödel’s theorem demonstrates that mathematics is incomplete because the system leaves unanswered the truth or falsity of certain mathematical propositions which are the logical results of valid mathematical inferences (p. 28).
Since Science relies almost entirely on mathematics for developing and expressing its premises and results, Gödel’s theorem and proof should give great pause to anyone placing their total confidence in Science. Mathematical incompleteness will not pervasively limit scientific endeavor since mathematical constructions of closed systems can be both consistent and complete. However, as Science continues to pursue an explanation and corresponding model of the Universe as a whole, “at any moment a contradiction could arise and shake the system down to its foundations” (Overman, p. 28) due to the inability to show both consistency and completeness of the mathematical framework involved.


Related to the idea of “incompleteness” formulated by Gödel is the concept of “undecidability.” Researchers have conceived many undecidable problems in mathematics and logic. A well-known example from logic is the so called “liar’s paradox,” which is
contained in the statement by Epimenides, a Cretan, who asserts, “all Cretans are liars.” If one assumes that Epimenides is telling the truth, then he is lying. But he cannot be lying because we have assumed he is telling the truth (Overman, p. 26).
Conversely, if we assume Epimenides is lying, then his statement becomes self-contradictory. The liar’s paradox is a logically undecidable proposition.
As for mathematics, mathematician Gregory Chaitin formulated an uncomputable number known as Omega (Ω), which represents the probability that a computer program will halt when its input is a random string of binary numbers. In general, probabilities fall between 0 and 1, where zero represents an event having no chance of occurring (zero probability) and 1 represents certainty. Davies suggests that Ω is “close to 1, because most random inputs will appear as garbage to the computer” and cause it to crash (1992, p. 133). However, Davies goes on to point out that the expansion of Ω beyond the first few digits is totally random, which implies there can be no algorithmic means to generate Ω.
What is most interesting, though, about Chaitin’s result is that Ω is representative of “halting” problems for computer programs, in general, which have been shown to be mathematically undecidable. This prompts Davies to suggest: “So knowing merely the first few thousand digits of omega would give us access to a solution of all outstanding mathematical problems of this type” (1984, p. 134). However, since Ω is completely random beyond the first few digits, it is uncomputable. The implications of this fact are further discussed by Davies:
Unfortunately, being an uncomputable number, omega can never be revealed by constructive means, however long we work at it. Thus, short of a mystical revelation, omega can never be known to us. And even if we were to be given omega by divine transmission, we would not recognize it for what it was, because, being a random number, it would not commend itself to us as special in any respect (1992, p. 134).
This quote is truly remarkable. Of course, we might argue quite reasonably that if such a number were to be given “by divine transmission,” such a transmission might likely include an indication of the meaning and importance of the data. That would certainly be the proper way to view divine revelation.
However, Davies’ statements raise an engaging question regarding that which is unknowable. In some sense, all of nature is a form of divine transmission (“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork”—Psalm 19:1). Yet there is so much we do not understand and, it appears, can never understand. Perhaps it is true that the heavens also declare the boundaries of scientific knowledge. It certainly appears to be true that mathematics and science pose a hard limit on the extent of what Science can ultimately “know.”


In the movie classic The Wizard of Oz, there is the familiar, seminal moment when the true “Wizard of Oz” is about to be discovered by Dorothy and her companions. At that moment, the “Wizard” desperately and frantically states: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” (Fleming, 1939). Certainly, scientists are aware of the limitations implied by results such as the Incompleteness Theorems, the Uncertainty Principle, and the incomputable problems of mathematics. But this awareness does not stop Science, or at least certain of its most prominent representatives, from continuing to present Science as the omniscient benefactor that so many believe it to be. When scientific beliefs and theories, like manmade global warming and Darwinian evolution, are challenged, often the scientific community will attack the challenger, instead of addressing the merits of the challenge itself, almost as if to say, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
But scientific achievement is replete with modern examples of its own limitations. Overman comments:
The limits of our reasoning powers raise the question whether scientific explanations for the origin of the laws of physics, the Big Bang, or the origin of life are issues which fall into…the indeterminate category represented by Gödel’s Incompleteness theorem (p. 28).

Origin of Universe

Scientists continue to be conflicted regarding how the entire Universe came into existence in the first place. The longest prevailing theory (besides divine Creation), of course, is the so-called Big Bang theory—still the front-runner according to many scientists. However, researchers like Stephen Hawking have exerted significant effort to replace the Big Bang Theory due to their inability to explain the Big Bang singularity and how it came into existence. In fact, Hawking once observed that, at the Big Bang singularity, “the laws of science and our ability to predict the future would break down” (1988, p. 117).
The difficulties with the Big Bang theory are, at least in part, a consequence of quantum theory and the Uncertainty Principle. As noted, the Uncertainty Principle limits accuracy in making measurements at a sub-atomic level. This limit, however, has an exact numerical characterization known as Planck’s constant, a physical constant associated with quantum mechanics that was first derived as the proportionality constant between the energy of a photon and the frequency of the photon’s wave form. In short, light can be treated as a particle (photon) or a wave, and Planck’s constant helps define the relationship between the two. As it turns out, Planck’s constant also happens to be the minimum amount of uncertainty that exists between the product of the momentum and position of a subatomic particle. It thus sets the boundary on the accuracy of those measurements in the formulation of the Uncertainty Principle.
This factor is related to uncertainty at the beginning of the Universe (according to the Big Bang model) due to another constant known as Planck time (Williams, 2010). Planck time is the time required for light to travel the distance of one Planck length. Both Planck time and Planck length are derived from Planck’s constant, the gravitational constant, and the speed of light. Remember that Planck’s constant provides a numerical limit on how accurately Science can characterize sub-atomic behavior. Thus, it might come as no surprise that Planck time imposes a hard limit on theoretical, naturalistic models of the beginning of the Universe. These models are unable to “predict” in any way what may have been occurring in the first 5.39x10-44 seconds (Planck time) of the Big Bang model. If you are not familiar with scientific notation, this number can be written as a decimal point followed by 43 zeros followed by 539. This is an extremely small amount of time, but large enough to befuddle scientists concerned with promoting the Big Bang theory. [NOTE: We are not claiming that scientists actually know what happened from Planck time onward, but merely noting that they cannot know what happened before.]
One of the most prominent theories on the beginning of the Universe in recent years suggests that our Universe is just one of a large number of possible universes brought about by quantum fluctuation. Hawking describes the theory this way:
One picture of the spontaneous quantum creation of the universe is then a bit like the formation of bubbles of steam in boiling water. Many tiny bubbles appear, and then disappear again. These represent mini-universes that expand but collapse again while still of microscopic size…. A few of the little bubbles, however, will grow large enough so that they will be safe from recollapse. They will continue to expand at an ever increasing rate…. These correspond to universes…in a state of inflation (Hawking and Mlodinow, 2010, pp. 136-137).
Note here that our own Universe is considered to be “in a state of inflation.” It is theorized that with such a large number of universes to “select” from, it is possible that a universe such as ours would exist. Specifically, Hawking says:
There seems to be a vast landscape of possible universes. However…universes in which life like us can exist are rare. We live in one which life is possible, but if the universe were only slightly different, beings like us could not exist (2010, p. 144).
This idea has mathematical tractability, subject of course to mathematical incompleteness and the potential of undecidability. With the inherent limitations of mathematics and logic, as well as the self-admitted impotence of Science with respect to predicting anything inside of Planck time, one might wonder how Professor Hawking can state with such certainty that universes like ours would be “rare.” In truth, we would have no way to know if every universe emerging from this hypothetical fluctuation wasn’t exactly like ours. Generally speaking, given the scientifically determined inability of Science to fully characterize our own Universe, verifying the existence and characterizing the nature of other possible universes seems quite a chore—pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Medical Science

Advances in medicine are often held up as some of the most impressive accomplishments of Science. Many of the essays in the Science article (mentioned at the beginning of this article—Jackel, et al., 1998) included references to advancements in the field of medicine. Eradicating Small Pox and treatment advances brought on by the Germ Theory of medicine are certainly some of the most impressive accomplishments of mankind. Even in the field of medicine, however, serious limitations in the ability to achieve desired results can be seen.
For example, the U.S. government claims that in 2013 it will spend $29.7 billion on AIDS research, and that at least $25 billion has been spent on AIDS research per year starting in 2009 (Kaiser…, 2013). That amounts to over $100 billion spent on AIDS research in the last five years without finding a cure. Certainly, new life-extending treatments have been developed as a result of this research. But the primary objective of scientific endeavors in AIDS research, that is, a final cure for the viral infection, remains unrealized with no indication that it is likely to come anytime soon.
Similarly, cancer research has been carried on throughout most of our lifetimes with enormous levels of government and private funding. Furthermore, it cannot be said that the money is simply spent by bureaucrats with Science having little say. A 1999 report on sources of cancer research funding indicates that one of the top funding agencies for cancer research publishes its results in the “open scientific literature” and “reviews its strategic research plan with the research community each year and publishes it” (McGeary and Burstein, 1999, p. 4) Again, many new treatments continue to be discovered, but a basic understanding of cancer, allowing for a cure instead of physically grueling treatments, still eludes researchers.
The science of medicine may one day cure AIDS, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and maybe even the common cold. However, when Science is unable to design a camera that can remotely compare to the human eye, or a microphone that performs as well as the human ear, it is no surprise that Science doesn’t have sufficient understanding of the human body to cure a disease, even with incredible amounts of funding being poured into research. Until those goals of modern medicine are achieved, Science as a whole might prefer for us to pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.


Science is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, the Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Mechanics, and the undecidable and uncomputable problems of mathematics and logic show us that scientific omniscience is impossible—which further implies that scientific omnipotence is unachievable.
Mathematical incompleteness tells us that facts from outside of the system are required to prove the system to be both consistent and complete. Science relies implicitly on mathematics for the useful formulation of scientific or natural laws. Furthermore, anything outside of the system (i.e., the physical Universe) is irrelevant to science since it cannot be observed and therefore cannot be measured and/or modeled. Perhaps even more fundamental, the uncertainty principle limits the ability of Science to characterize or measure that which is observable. Thus, in actuality, Science is impotent in the ability to understand even that which is in its purview.
Quantum theory is fundamental to one model of the beginning of our Universe, which suggests that many universes bubbled out of a quantum fluctuation and one of those bubbles grew into everything we can observe. This is ironic because it is the uncertainty principle of quantum theory and the concept of Planck time that places impassable limitations on the ability of Science to understand such a phenomenon. Thus, in order to formulate its model, Science is using the very tools that place some of the elements of the model outside of its bounds.
Hopefully, the answers to the questions at the beginning of this article are clear. Science as an omniscient benefactor is a non sequitur. Science is certainly not omniscient and has no hope of ever being so. It also follows that, while Science has shown much success in meeting some apparent needs of society, it is ultimately incapable of providing everything we need—such as cures for some of our most prevalent infirmities.
The true contributions of Science to our society should never be discounted. Society, though, should take much greater care in where it decides to place its trust. Conversely, Science would only make itself that much more of a boon to society by embracing its limitations and operating more fully within them, instead of hiding behind the wizard’s curtain and pretending to be the omniscient benefactor that society wants to make it.
In the biblical Old Testament, God challenged Job, saying, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth? Tell me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:4). The origin of our Universe represents one of the pursuits of Science that is, in fact, outside the normal bounds of scientific endeavor. It cannot be empirically modeled, no physical measurements can be made and, as God points out to Job, no man was there to make direct observation.
More to the point, God inspired Solomon, king of the Jews, to write: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Here we see that God not only wants us to understand that we were not there at the beginning of the Universe and have no basis of understanding that event, but also that He has created the Universe with built-in limitations on the extent of man’s ability to characterize it. He has made us fundamentally a part of the system. As Overman states: “[T]he observer cannot be removed from the subject of the observation” (p. 29). Paul Davies also discusses the profound impact that the observer has on the system being observed, as a consequence of quantum effects (1984, p. 49). Being part of the system, we have no hope of characterizing what we observe to its most fundamental level and, as Solomon relates to us, that is a direct consequence of God’s design.
So as we discuss the limitations of Science illustrated by scientific laws like the Uncertainty Principle and the Incompleteness Theorem, we see that we are merely discovering manifestations of design constraints that God Himself placed on the Universe when He created it. These principles were put in place by God’s design as sure as Newton’s Laws, Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion, or Einstein’s Relativity Theories were, providing further evidence for the existence of design in the Universe and the God Who developed that design. Furthermore, we see this all the more clearly through a realization of our own inherent limitations to understand His work “from beginning to end.”
[NOTE: Although neither God nor His creative activity can be directly observed, indirect evidence for His existence can be gathered through scientific observation (e.g., evidence of design that leads to the conclusion that He exists).]


Davies, Paul (1984), Superforce: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature (New York: Simon & Schuster).
Davies, Paul (1992), The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World (New York: Simon & Schuster).
Fleming, Victor, Dir. (1939), The Wizard of Oz (Hollywood, CA: Warner Brothers Pictures).
Hawking, Stephen (1988), A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (New York: Bantam Books).
Hawking, Stephen and Leonard Mlodinow (2010), The Grand Design (New York: Bantam Books).
Jackel, Robert, et. al. (1998), “Science—Far More Than Required High School Coursework,” Science, 20:1858-1860, March.
Kaiser Family Foundation (2013), “U.S. Federal Funding for HIV/AIDS: The President’s FY 2014 Budget Request,” http://kff.org/hivaids/fact-sheet/u-s-federal-funding-for-hivaids-the-presidents-fy-2014-budget-request/.
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2007), “Militant Atheism,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2051&topic=24.
McGeary, Michael and Michael Burstein (1999), “Sources of Cancer Research Funding in the United States,” National Cancer Policy Board, Institute of Medicine, http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Disease/NCPF/Fund.pdf.
Overman, Dean (1997), A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield).
Williams, Matthew (2010), “Planck Time,” Universe Todayhttp://www.universetoday.com/79418/planck-time/.

In Defense of the Golden Rule by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


In Defense of the Golden Rule

by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

Christ’s summary ethical principle, stated in Matthew 7:12, is often called the “golden rule”: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” We have demonstrated that Christ’s principle is unique—distinct in principle and fruit from the ethics of utilitarianism and other human systems of conduct—and also that it is superior to any other moral principle (Jackson, 1996). Consider the following account of an attack upon the rule, and a response, by Wayne Jackson:
Some, like Dan Barker (a former Pentecostal preacher who converted to atheism), have suggested that the golden rule should be characterized as “bronze”.... Barker argued that if one were a masochist, the golden rule would justify his beating up on someone else (1992, pp. 347-348). His argument assumes that it is rational to be a masochist! Others, not quite so much of the fringe element, have suggested that the golden rule might at least be improved: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” Such a view, however, is fatally flawed, and even someone who is as ethically confused as Joseph Fletcher (the famed situation ethicist) has acknowledged such (1966, p. 117). The weak may want you to supply them with drugs, or indulge them with illicit sex, etc., but such a response would not be the right thing to do. If I am thinking sensibly, I do not want others to accommodate my ignorance and weakness (1996, emp. and parenthetical items in orig.).
This response to Barker and other critics rightly suggests that the golden rule cannot be manipulated to encourage an action that one perceives as evil prior to applying the rule. On this point, we have defended the golden rule previously.
However, others have suggested that Immanuel Kant’s ethical principle, summarized in his “categorical imperative” does a better job of tracking our moral intuitions than Christ’s rule. The categorical imperative has three formulations, which Kant thinks are equivalent to one another:
  1. “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”
  2. “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means.”
  3. “[One’s acts—CC] ought to harmonize with a possible kingdom of ends as a kingdom of nature” (1994, pp. 30,42).
Each formulation, according to Kant, is equivalent to the others (p. 41). It is not necessary to develop a full understanding of the categorical imperative here (for more information, see Copleston, 1994, 6:308-348). Of concern here is the alleged superiority of the categorical imperative to the golden rule. The argument goes like this (adapted from Pecorino, 2000):
  1. Kant’s rule, as traditionally interpreted, tells us to act as we would want all other people to act toward all other people, and atrocities would be disallowed.
  2. The golden rule tells us to act toward others as we would have them act toward us.
  3. The golden rule would allow us to do terrible things to others, as long as it is what we wish they would do to us (e.g., masochistic desires could be fulfilled in accordance with the rule).
  4. Therefore, Kant’s principle is superior to the golden rule.
In order to dispute the conclusion (4), we must show that either (1) or (3) is false. I will dispute both, in order to demonstrate that the golden rule is superior to the categorical imperative.


There is doubt concerning whether the categorical imperative is equipped to forbid terrible actions. John Stuart Mill, for example, writes:
But when [Kant—CC] begins to deduce from this precept any of the actual duties of morality, he fails, almost grotesquely, to show that there would be any contradiction, any logical (not to say physical) impossibility, in the adoption by all rational beings of the most outrageously immoral rules of conduct. All he shows is that the consequences of their universal adoption would be such as no one would choose to incur (2001, p. 4; parenthetical item in orig.).
Mill thinks that, even though Kant would have wished to prevent atrocities, his categorical imperative does not do the job.
To assess Mill’s claim, consider an application of the universal-law formulation to an act like masochism or suicide. In this case, Kant uses the universal-law formulation to assert that a person has a duty to avoid harming oneself because the maxim of self-love that is necessary for suicide “cannot possibly hold as a universal law of nature and is, consequently, wholly opposed to the supreme principle of all duty” (1994, p. 31). Let us suppose that Mill views license to commit suicide as one of those “outrageously immoral rules of conduct” (he does think suicide is at least wrong; see Mill, 2003, p. 163). Mill’s objection (above) does indeed contradict Kant’s position here. Kant eschews a world in which everyone feels free to commit suicide, but there is no evident contradiction in such a world, as there is in the world where everyone makes promises they do not intend to keep. The universal-law formulation of the imperative clearly forbids the lying promise, because if everyone lied, it would no longer be effective to lie, and so there is a contradiction in the very conception of such a scenario.
However, it would seem just as easy to harm oneself in a “perturbed social world” where everyone commits suicide as in the world we actually inhabit (the Kantian “perturbed social world is the imagined world wherein the proposed principle of action is universalized according to the categorical imperative; see Rawls, 1999, p. 501). Humanity might destroy itself in such a circumstance, but that result is not equivalent to a contradiction in conception. Mill is correct, based on the first interpretation of his argument, that Kant’s rule allows for atrocities (Kantians would disagree, maintaining that Kant is consistent at least on some interpretation, and I will briefly address this objection before concluding).
Since Mill’s objection is justified in the case of the first formulation (but not in the second or third), then it is not the case that the other formulations are merely new statements of the first formulation, as Kant asserts (p. 41). Robert Johnson observes about the supposed unity of the formulations: “Perhaps Kant thought this, but it is not very plausible: That I should always treat Humanity as an end in itself, for instance, does not seem to mean the same thing as that I should act only on maxims that are consistent with themselves as universal laws of nature” (2008).
One Kantian response to my position would be that I am unfairly manipulating the definition of Mill’s “outrageously immoral” tag. However, if this objection is valid, then suicide is not outrageously immoral, and Kant clearly thinks that it is (pp. 82-85). Johnson mentions another possible Kantian solution: “if the formulas are not equivalent in meaning, they are nevertheless logically interderivable and hence equivalent in sense” (2008). However, it is much more difficult to establish that three separate ethical claims are “equivalent in sense” when they do not yield the same practical results, than it is to agree with Mill that something is wrong with Kant’s model. It is not at all clear that the categorical imperative disallows the kind of actions the permission for which are, allegedly, the downfall of the golden rule. If the golden rule disallows such atrocities, then its superiority to the imperative will have been maintained.


The golden rule certainly does not allow for what are generally considered moral atrocities. Consider two essential principles.
1. The golden rule presupposes natural care for one’s own person. Objections such as Pecorino’s presuppose that the golden rule liberates a person to decide how to treat oneself. The golden rule simply is not designed to determine how one should treat oneself. However, when describing or promoting general ethical guidelines that are based squarely upon the very principle that people act out of self-interest, it is necessary to assume a typical level of self-interest; otherwise the point is unintelligible.
Paul made precisely this assumption in his epistle to the Ephesians: “So husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church” (5:28-29). Paul’s implication is that no rational person is interested in destroying his own body (this is not to say that a person must be unwilling to suffer physically or emotionally for a good cause, or to promote longer life to the neglect of all other considerations; cf. Acts 4:1-20; Revelation 2:10). Jesus obviously was speaking from this perspective when He announced the golden rule.
Yet, someone might wonder whether Jesus took into account the possibility that someone might apply the golden rule to promote atrocities (or, for that matter, whether Paul accounted for cases such as spouse battery or self-mutilation). To answer this question, consider the following.
2. The golden rule must not be separated from the overall context of biblical ethics. We, along with scores of ethicists, have allowed Kant to contextualize his principle in order to explain and defend its implications. Why should we not allow biblical ethics the same privilege? Christ Himself made it clear that the golden rule reflected a large body of doctrine (i.e., “the Law and the Prophets”; see Jackson, 1996; Lyons, 2009).
Moreover, as we interpret Christ’s statement, we must remember that it is part of a larger, verbal presentation to people who presumably did not have self-destruction on their minds. After all, in the very same presentation that includes the golden rule, the Lord made the following statements, all of which promote respectful, loving treatment of self and others:
  1. “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?” (Matthew 7:9-10).
  2. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.... Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (5:7,9).
  3. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake” (5:11).
  4. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned.... You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
  5. “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” (5:21-22).
  6. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (5:27-28).
  7. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (5:43-45).
These passages from Christ’s sermon do not include many other scriptures that corroborate and enlarge upon His teaching in this sermon. Such texts include Pauline injunctions that coincide with the golden rule and disallow sins such as battery (e.g., 1 Corinthians 7:3-4; Galatians 5:13, 22; 6:10; Ephesians 4:3, etc.).


It is utterly impossible that, at the announcement of the golden rule, Christ’s audience took the golden rule as an endorsement of moral atrocities. Rather, members of the audience would have understood the golden rule as a practical tool to help a person with common-sense intuitions to decide how to treat others, in light of what Jesus previously said in the sermon. There is no reason we should interpret the rule differently.
On the other hand, Kant’s categorical imperative may reasonably be shown to allow moral atrocities. Therefore, the golden rule is better than Kant’s rule. May we strive to implement Christian moral principles in our lives, no matter what may be fashionable in the field of modern or contemporary ethics.


Copleston, Frederick (1994), A History of Philosophy (New York: Doubleday).
Jackson, Wayne (1996), “Three Rules of Human Conduct,” [On-line], URL:http://apologeticspress.org/articles/231.
Johnson, Robert (2008), “Kant’s Moral Philosophy,” Stanford University, [On-line], URL:http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/.
Kant, Immanuel (1994 reprint), Ethical Philosophy (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett), second edition.
Lyons, Eric (2009), “‘This Is the Law and the Prophets’,” [On-line], URL:http://apologeticspress.org/articles/1655.
Mill, John Stuart (2001 reprint), Utilitarianism (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett).
Mill, John Stuart (2003 reprint), On Liberty (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press).
Pecorino, Philip A. (2000), “Categorical Imperative,” [On-line], URL:http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/pecorip/scccweb/INTRO_TEXT/Chapter%208%20Ethics/ Categorical_Imperative.htm.
Rawls, John (1999), Collected Papers (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).

Jonah (Part 5) by Ben Fronczek


Jonah (Part 5)

 This past week I looked up the definition of what an illusion is… and this is how it is defined:
– An erroneous perception of reality. (E.g. Mirrors give the illusion of a room being more spaciousness.)
– It also can be defined as an erroneous concept or belief.   (E.g. The notion that money can buy happiness is an illusion.) 
– Or it can be the condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief.  (E.g. Magic trick)
We can also have erroneous or false perceptions about certain people (e.g. Well you know those people are all like that). We see a number of erroneous or false perceptions in the book of Jonah as we study it. Some could assume that just because Jonah was a servant of God; supposedly a religious and holy man he’d be a man that would want to serve God, save souls, and be prompted by love. But that’s not the case as we read the book. Jonah assumed that the Ninevites did not deserve God’s forgiveness and grace. And many back then would have probably assumed that those hard Ninevites would never listen to a Jew and humble and prostrate themselves before God, but they did.
Things are hardly ever what they seem.
In our last lesson we began to look at Jonah chapter 3 and I talked about how despite the fact that we often fail Him, God is not so quick to give up on us. Even though Jonah outright refuse to do what God wanted him to do, and that was to go to Nineveh and preach repentance to them, we see how God chose to humble Jonah.
In chapter 3 we’ll see Jonah do the very thing he did not want to do, and that was go to the city of Nineveh to preach a message God gave him to preach.
Just as a side note, sometimes it’s just plain easier and less troublesome if we do what God wants or prompts us to do from the first place. Think of the time and grief Jonah could have saved himself if he just did what God wanted him to do right away.
Isn’t that always the way? Even if it’s not something we feel like doing, we’re better off doing it right away if it’s the right thing to do. You are better of telling the truth right from the start because if you don’t your life can become a mess. Or if God prompts you do such and such you are better off just doing it right away, or you just don’t feel right.
So God ‘gave the prophet a second commission. So off he goes. Nineveh was about 550 miles northeast of Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. For all he knew, he could have ended up impaled on a pole or skinned alive, which is how the Assyrians often dealt with their enemies. Nevertheless, such a fate seemed preferable to suffering divine discipline again.
The text says that Nineveh was a “great” city, and it was in a number of ways. It was a leading city of one of the most powerful nations in the world at that time (the Assyrian Empire). It was also a big city which I talked about in the first lesson.
Now it was customary in the ancient Near East for an emissary from another city-state to take three days for an official visit. Some commentators suggest that He would spend the first day meeting and enjoying the hospitality of his host, the second day they would discuss the primary purpose of his visit, and the third would be given to saying his farewell.
The traditional view holds that after Jonah arrived at the edge of the city, he proceeded into it and began announcing his message during his first day there, but many commentators suggest something different.
If Jonah was an emissary, he probably first went as a divine representative to Nineveh’s king and other government officials. This explanation suggests that Jonah’s preaching may have started with the king, and then proceeded to the people, rather than the other way around. This view may better explain the king’s repentance, and his decree to all the people to repent compared to the traditional view.
Or he just may have done his first day’s preaching to the king and perhaps also to some of the people. The essence of his proclamation was that Nineveh would be overthrown in only “40 days.” Read Chapter 3 
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”
Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
“By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.”
Whatever way Jonah carried out this mission you can see that as hard and as cruel as some of them were reported to be, his message moved the Ninevites to humble themselves and seek divine mercy. People aren’t always what they seem.
By them believing and repenting so quick it not only shows us the power of God’s word and the heart of these people, but also the what true repentance looks like. Fasting and wearing “sackcloth” was an act of self-affliction, which demonstrated an attitude of humility in the ancient Near East. Sackcloth was what the poor and the slaves wore. Wearing it was viewed as being needy. In this case, they were in need of God’s mercy and slaves of God.
I also read where commentators said that there were two plagues, a severe flood and a famine, which had ravaged Nineveh in 765 and 759 B.C.. There was also a total eclipse of the sun on June 15, 763, and they believed that these phenomena may have prepared the Ninevites for Jonah’s message.
As I thought about this I found it interesting how God send us signs that are warnings met to let us know that we need to look at what we are doing. How many warning signs did God give Pharaoh through thru Moses? Think of all the warnings God sent Israel and Judah by way of the prophets and famines. Maybe He does the same for us? I believe what happened on 9/11 and then the economic crisis we had a couple of years ago were warning signs, that maybe we need to look more carefully at what we are doing in our country.
The Ninevites may have viewed those events as a sign of divine displeasure, which was a common reaction in the ancient Near East. But the text here attributes the Ninevites’ repentance to Jonah’s preaching.
Even “the king” responded by repenting. The “king of Nineveh” was probably the king of Assyria itself since Nineveh was a leading city of that empire.
Based on what the text says the king assumed the impending judgment was coming because of their own evil conduct. He felt that by humbling themselves and abandoning their wickedness they possible could obtain some mercy from God; and he was right.
When you sin, how serious do you take repentance? Do you just feel bad for a little bit and maybe say a quick pray and assume you are OK?
I believe what we have here is a good model of the kind of repentance that the Lord is pleased with and accepts.
  1. When you realize you’ve sinned you need to take it serious, as an offense against God.
  2. We need to believe that there will be consequences.
  3. With great humility we then need to bring it before our Lord, and actually feel sorry for the offense. The Ninevite King told them to urgently bring it before God.
  4. And then he tells them to give up the evil practice. In other words stop doing what you are doing!
It is amazing that God brought the whole city to faith and repentance through the preaching of a man who did not particularly care about or love the people to whom he preached to. Ultimately salvation is from the Lord. It doesn’t dependent on the attitudes and actions of His servants, though our attitudes and actions affect our own condition as we carry out the will of God.
In this case we probably should not assume that their repentance was a conversion to Judaism. But God still noted the genuineness of their repentance by their actions.
The fruits of their repentance moved God to withhold the judgment that He would have sent on them had they persisted in their wicked ways. And later we even see God using the Assyrians to bring down sinful Israel because they did not heed His warnings.
I would dare to say that we may never know exactly what was said, or know everything that took place during those three days, but one thing we do know; those evil people humbles themselves before the Lord and repented.
Was Jonah going to be happy about this? No. But that didn’t really matter.
Maybe the lesson for us is the fact that no one is beyond repair. No matter what one has done, no matter how evil, how immoral, no matter how disgusting they may seem to us, or what we have been told. If given the right opportunity anyone can change. What you see with your eyes, or hear with your ears can’t always be trusted. Only God knows what’s in a man’s heart.
There are countless stories of those who turned to the Lord after living an evil life. Murderers, prostitutes, thieves, slave traders, criminals of the worst kind have turned from their ways after accepting Jesus as their Lord.
There will always be those who would rather see those evil ones destroyed rather than saved and redeemed, but we can’t see what God sees. We cannot see the future noro the things God has planned out for such a person.
I am sure there were some good Christian people that hated Saul… the one that became Paul in the New Testament because he was guilty of persecuting the early church. Family and friends may have been put in prison, beat or even killed because of him. Some may have wanted to see him dead rather than saved. But like so many others, God had a plan for Paul.
So my plea today is to be careful not to be so quick to condemn another for the evil that they have committed, rather pray for them, put them in God’s hand.
In Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus said,  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com