"THE BOOK OF PROVERBS" The Prologue To Proverbs (1:1-6) by Mark Copeland


The Prologue To Proverbs (1:1-6)


1. There is a great need for wisdom in our society today...
   a. Lack of wisdom is destroying the lives of many young people, and
      making fools out of some who are older
   b. Marriages are destroyed, friendships lost, souls doomed for lack
      of wisdom

2. The walk of the Christian is to be with wisdom as we go through
   life... - Ep 5:15-17
   a. Because time is fleeting, and the days are evil, we must make the
      best use of our time
   b. Too many today are wasting both their time and their lives by
      failing to exercise wisdom in their daily lives

3. The Word of God equips man unto every good work... - 2Ti 3:16-17
   a. It is only natural to assume that it provides us with sound advice
      concerning daily living
   b. Indeed it does, especially in The Book of Proverbs found in the
      Old Testament

4. The book begins by identifying Solomon, son of David, king of Israel,
   as the author...
   a. Who was granted wisdom by God - 2Ch 1:7-12
   b. Who became famous for his wisdom, and wrote over 3000 proverbs
      - 1Ki 4:29-34

5. The book also contains proverbs and wisdom from other sources...
   a. The words of Agur the son of Jakeh to Ithiel and Ucal - Pr 30:1-33
   b. The words of King Lemuel, taught him by his mother - Pr 31:1-31

[In this lesson, let's introduce ourselves to the book by first
considering the prologue, in which we find...]


      1. "To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of
      2. "To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and
      3. To give to the...
         a. Simple (naive) - "prudence"
         b. Young man - "knowledge and discretion"
         c. Wise man - "increased learning"
         d. Man of understanding - "wise counsel"

      1. To make a person wise!
      2. To learn how to:
         a. Act wisely and righteously
         b. Treat others with fairness
      3. To give...
         a. The ignorant, common sense
         b. The young, sound advice
         c. The wise, even more wisdom

[At this point, it might be appropriate to ask:  "What exactly is
wisdom, and why is it so valuable...?"]


      1. "Wisdom...may be defined as a realistic approach to the
         problems of life..." - 20th Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge
      2. Homer Hailey offered this definition of wisdom:  "Wisdom is
         insight into the underlying causes and significance or
         consequence of things, which insight enables one to apply to
         the best end the knowledge which he has."
      3. To illustrate:
         a. You are yelled at by your boss, wife, or brother in Christ...
            1) You could react in different ways
               a) Strike back physically, or verbally
               b) Do nothing
               c) React with a soft, kind reply - cf. Pr 15:1
            2) Wisdom is that insight which helps you to decide what is
               the best thing to do
         b. Someone makes sexual advances towards you...
            1) Again, you could react in several different ways
            2) But wisdom will enable you to react in the proper way

      1. The first nine chapters of Proverbs are discourses extolling
         the value of wisdom
      2. The virtue of wisdom is seen in the prosperous life it can
         produce - Pr 3:13-18
      3. Its value is also found in guarding us against many pitfalls
         - Pr 3:21-26
      4. Some "pitfalls" frequently warned against in The Book Of Proverbs:
         a. Evil companionship - Pr 1:10-19
         b. The immoral woman - Pr 5:1-14
         c. Laziness - Pr 6:6-11

[Certainly we should be able to see that wisdom is of great value.  But
let's go one step further and notice in particular the value of the book
of Proverbs in regards to having wisdom...]


      1. Trial and error (personal experience)
         a. One's own experiences can certainly be a source of wisdom
         b. But there are disadvantages to gaining wisdom this way:
            1) Much of one's lifetime can be wasted learning through
               trial and error
            2) One must live with the consequences of their errors
         c. Sadly, this is the only way some gain wisdom, and that only
            if they survive their errors!
      2. Counsel from others (proven experience)
         a. This is possible if one is willing to heed the advice of others
         b. There are clear advantages to gaining wisdom this way:
            1) You avoid wasting years through trial and error, thus
               living life to its fullest measure!
            2) You experience life unburdened with the consequences of
               earlier mistakes
         c. Certainly this method of gaining wisdom is far superior!

      1. Instead of wasting our short time here on earth trying to
         discover wisdom through the process of trial and error, we can
         go straight to The Book Of Proverbs
      2. There we can find wisdom that is:
         a. Divinely inspired by God!
         b. Proven true by generations of righteous people who lived out
            their lives by it
         c. Expressed concisely in ways easy to remember (Proverb: "a
            short sentence based on long experience"
              - Cervantes in Don Quixote)
      3. Yes, the value of The Book Of Proverbs is that it provides the
         wisdom of God Himself!
         a. This is not to say that it takes little effort to glean from
            this wisdom - cf. Pr 2:1-6
         b. But for those who will look to God through His Word and
            prayer, the promise of God is that wisdom will be granted
            them - cf. Jm 1:5-8
         c. And this is a far better way to find wisdom than the way
            most people do it!


1. I hope this introductory lesson has made you want to study The Book
   Of Proverbs in order to glean its treasury of wisdom

2. In succeeding lessons, we will examine The Book Of Proverbs more
   closely by...
   a. Making our way through the discourses on wisdom in the first nine
   b. Considering the wisdom it offers pertaining to various themes
      (family, work, God, etc.)

Our next study will focus on the theme of the book of Proverbs...

   "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools
   despise wisdom and instruction." - Pr 1:7

Of course, no discussion concerning wisdom can be complete without
mentioning Jesus Christ...

   "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
                                                         - Col 2:3

Without Jesus Christ in our lives, there is no way to be truly wise.
Have you come to Christ through obedience to His gospel...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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God’s Ceramics Are More Than Pottery by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

God’s Ceramics Are More Than Pottery

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Scientists all over the world are constantly looking for better materials with which to build things. Companies need stronger metals, more flexible nylon, and tougher fabrics. This intense demand for better “building blocks” often makes it difficult for scientists to originate new ideas fast enough to keep pace. One approach that has greatly enhanced scientists’ ability to supply fresh, practical ideas has been to turn to nature and copy the structures found there. Copying design in nature has become so prevalent that the scientific community has named the field of study “biomimicry.” From the research done in this field, it has become obvious that nature’s Designer is possessed of far more creative ability than anything humanity has been able to produce.
Specific examples of excellent design in nature abound. In an article for Technology Review, Katherine Bourzac recently detailed one such example. In her article, titled “Ceramics That Won’t Shatter,” she mentioned the challenge that materials scientists face when working with ceramics. Ceramics can be an excellent construction material since they are hard and lightweight. One major drawback of using ceramics, however, is the fact that they fracture and break, much like a flower pot or dinner plate. Bourzac summarized this difficulty by saying that scientists are trying to find ceramics “that combine strength (a measure of resistance to deformation) with toughness (a measure of resistance to fracture)” (2008). Interestingly, researchers have discovered exactly what they are looking for in “the porous but resilient material called nacre that lines abalone shells.”
Bourzac explained the marvelous design of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl. It is a combination of calcium carbonate, which breaks very easily, and special natural glue. Combined, these two substances are “3,000 times tougher than either constituent.” The efficiency of this composite material is amazing. Robert Ritchie, a scientist from the University of California who co-led the research and development of the new biomimetic ceramic, said: “When nature makes composites, the properties are better” (as quoted in Bourzac). The list of possible applications for the new ceramic is virtually endless. The new material could be used to make lightweight automobile frames, airplane hulls, bulletproof vests, and military vehicle armor.
Ritchie and his team are still working to perfect the new ceramic that is based on the natural mother-of-pearl structure. He noted that in nature, the ceramic has structures that are “smaller and closer together,” qualities that the team hopes to mimic in newer versions of their ceramic. The researchers are optimistically hopeful that they can come even closer to designing a ceramic that can be mass-produced, and that combines the strength and toughness of the natural material.
While the discovery of a new, efficient ceramic is interesting, it pales to insignificance in light of the necessary implication that should be drawn from such a discovery. If brilliant scientists have only recently discovered this technological wonder of the natural world, and they cannot mimic the structure as effectively as nature constructs it, then it must be admitted by the honest observer that nature’s Designer possesses superior mental abilities to those of the scientists. And yet, as clear and straightforward as this implication is, millions of people will utilize technology based on God’s original designs, but claim that random, chance processes of evolution should be given the credit.
In the Old Testament book of Job, the Bible records one of the most interesting verbal exchanges in all of human history (chapters 38-42). Job wanted an answer from God about why he was suffering. God spoke to Job with a series of questions that Job could not possibly answer. God asked where was Job when God hung the foundation of the world on nothing (38:4)? Could Job command the morning to occur or cause the dawn to break (38:12)? Could Job count the clouds (38:37) or cause the hawk to fly (39:26)? After God’s intense questioning, Job realized that he could not begin to answer God’s questions, much less possess the power to accomplish the things that are necessary for the Universe to continue to exist. Job responded to God by saying: “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.... Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me which I did not know” (42:2-3, emp. added). We in the 21st century would do well to learn from Job’s wise response. The fact that we are just now scratching the surface of the technology found in a “simple” abalone shell should force us to humble ourselves and worship nature’s divine Designer.


Bourzac, Katherine (2008), “Ceramics That Won’t Shatter,” Technology Review, [On-line], URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21767/?nlid=1561&a=f.

God, Prophecy, and Miraculous Knowledge by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

God, Prophecy, and Miraculous Knowledge

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The honest-hearted person who comes to recognize God’s existence and contemplates His marvelous nature cannot help but stand in awe of His omniscience. As the psalmist professed,
O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether…. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell [sheol], behold, You are there (139:1-4,6-8).
The Bible declares that God “knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21), that His eyes “are in every place” (Proverbs 15:3), and that “His understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5). Simply put, God “knows all things” (1 John 3:20). He has perfect knowledge of the past, the present, and even the future. Job was right to ask the rhetorical question, “Can anyone teach God knowledge?” (21:22).


God’s omniscience and proof that the Bible is the Word of God is inextricably woven together. The main, overarching reason that the Bible can be demonstrated to be of divine origin is because the writers were correct in everything they wrote—about the past, the present, and the future. Such a feat is humanly impossible. “With God,” however, “all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). An omniscient, omnipotent God could produce written revelation for His human creation that was flawless in its original production. He could guide uneducated men to write about events that occurred thousands of years before their time with complete accuracy. He could “move” (otherwise) ordinary men (2 Peter 1:20-21) to write flawlessly about any number of contemporary people, places, and things. He could even guide men to write about future events with perfect accuracy. He could—and He did.
Mankind can reasonably come to the conclusion that mere human beings did not pen Scripture because human beings are not omniscient. An uninspired person cannot, for example, foretell the future. Yet the inspired Bible writers did just that—time and again (e.g., Ezekiel 26:1-14,19-21; see www.apologeticspress.org for more information). Is it not logical, then, to conclude that the omniscient Ruler of the Universe gave us the Bible? Interestingly, though the atheist does not accept the Bible as “God-breathed,” even he understands that if the Bible writers predicted the future accurately, then a supernatural agent must be responsible for the production of Scripture (see Butt and Barker, 2009, pp. 50-51).


Some might surmise that a Bible writer practicing pagan divination could also have accurately recorded what would happen in the distant future (in Tyre, Babylon, Jerusalem, etc.) because Satan or some wicked spirit-being revealed the information to him. Such a conclusion, however, is unjustifiable for a number of reasons:
  • First, the prophets condemned all sorts of witchcraft, including divination and soothsaying (Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Jeremiah 27:9-29:9). Thus, they would be condemning themselves if they were actually diviners and soothsayers.
  • Second, since God, by His very definition, is the only omniscient, omnipotent Being (cf. 1 John 4:4), neither the created and fallen devil nor any other non-eternal spirit-being (Colossians 1:16; 2 Peter 2:4) can choose to know whatever he wants. He may be able to acquire knowledge quickly from other beings or from personal experience, but ultimately, wicked spirit-beings can only have knowledge of what the Creator allows them to know (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:11). If, for example, a wicked spirit-being knew of future events, it would be due to the omniscient Ruler of the heaven and Earth granting him such knowledge for His own purposes. “Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it?” (Lamentations 3:37). Simply put, no one accurately foretells the future unless God informs him of it. [NOTE: Diviners may occasionally and vaguely predict something that comes to pass, but such guesswork or weathermen-like predictions are far from the revealed, supernatural foreknowledge of God, which was revealed during Bible times to His true spokesmen.]
  • Third, God revealed throughout Scripture that those who accurately foretell the future are genuine prophets of God. Jeremiah wrote: “When the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has truly sent” (28:9). On the other hand, those who prophesy things that do not come to pass, “the Lord has not sent;” “they prophesy falsely” (Jeremiah 28:15; 29:8-9). “‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22). If non-God-inspired diviners could actually have foretold the future by the power of some wicked spirit-being, then how could the honest-hearted person ever know for sure what and who to believe and obey? Concluding that pagan diviners have been given power by wicked spirit-beings to flawlessly foretell the future contradicts what the true, inspired prophets of God taught, and prevents truth-seekers from being able to know truth.


God Almighty is the only omniscient, omnipotent Being. Only He knows everything. Ultimately, He alone knows the future—the revelation of such Divine thoughts being one of the chief ways man has logically concluded that a particular message was actually God-inspired. It seems quite dangerous to conclude that fallen spirit-beings know the future and have revealed such miraculous information to wicked diviners. Yes, uninspired fortunetellers have doubtlessly been tempted and influenced throughout the ages by powerful forces of darkness, but such beings are non-omniscient “deceiving spirits” (1 Timothy 4:1), who take after their “father, the devil,” “a liar” in whom “there is no truth” (John 8:44).
*Originally published in Gospel Advocate, March 2015, 157[3]:27-28.


Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

God Cannot be Tempted...But Jesus Was? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

God Cannot be Tempted...But Jesus Was?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

According to Scripture, Jesus was Deity in the flesh (John 1:1-5,14; 20:28). He was not sired by man; He was not conceived naturally by woman (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). Rather, Jesus came from heaven (John 3:13; 6:38), proved His “mighty God” Messiahship (Isaiah 9:6) through a variety of verified miracles (John 20:30-31; cf. Lyons and Butt, 2006), accepted worship (Matthew 14:33; John 9:38), and claimed a unity with God the Father that even His enemies understood was a profession of Deity (John 10:30,33). Some, however, question the Bible’s consistency of Jesus being God. The argument goes something like this (cf. Wells, 2010): The Bible declares that Satan tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:1), and that Jesus was “in all points tempted as we are” (Hebrews 4:15). Yet, the Bible also declares that “God cannot be tempted by evil” (James 1:13). Therefore, the Bible (allegedly) contradicts itself regarding the nature of Jesus. How could He be God, if God cannot be tempted?

First, Christians freely admit that contemplation of the nature of God is by no means a simple mental exercise. We were created; He has always been (Psalm 90:2). We have flesh and bones; God is Spirit (John 4:24). We are limited in power; He is omnipotent (Genesis 17:1). We can become knowledgeable about some things; God’s knowledge has always been infinite—“too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:6). The apostle Paul expressed his amazement of God to the Christians in Rome, saying, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (11:33). It is always a humbling mental struggle for mere man to contemplate the wondrous attributes of God.

Still, however, the legitimate question remains: How could Jesus be God, if He was tempted while on Earth? The answer to this question is basically the same for a variety of questions that one may ask about the nature of Jesus. How could Jesus not know something if He was God (e.g., the time of His Second Coming; Mark 13:32)? How could God the Father be greater than Jesus if Jesus was “equal with God” (John 14:28; John 5:18; Philippians 2:6)? The answer to these and similar questions must be understood in light of what the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi concerning Jesus’ self-limitation during His time on Earth. According to Paul, Christ
being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation [He “emptied Himself”NASB], taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:6-8, emp. added).
While on Earth in the flesh, Jesus was voluntarily in a subordinate position to the Father. Christ “emptied Himself” (Philippians 2:7; He “made Himself nothing”—NIV). Unlike Adam and Eve, who made an attempt to seize equality with God (Genesis 3:5), Jesus, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:47), humbled Himself, and obediently accepted the role of a servant. But, as Wayne Jackson observed, Jesus’ earthly limitations “were not the consequence of a less-than-God nature; rather, they were the result of a self-imposed submission reflecting the exercise of His sovereign will” (1995, emp. added). In the form of man, Jesus assumed a position of complete subjection to the Father, and exercised His divine attributes only at the Father’s bidding (cf. John 8:26,28-29) [Wycliffe, 1985]. As A.H. Strong similarly commented, Jesus “resigned not the possession, nor yet entirely the use, but rather the independent exercise, of the divine attributes” (1907, p. 703).

Admittedly, as with Deity’s very nature, understanding Jesus as being fully human in addition to His divine nature is not a simple concept to grasp. When Jesus came to Earth, He added humanity to His divinity—He was made “in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). He moved from the spiritual realm to put on flesh (John 1:14) and became subject to such things as hunger, thirst, weariness, and pain. Our holy God chose to come into this world as a helpless babe, Who, for the first time in His eternal existence, “increased in wisdom” as a child (Luke 2:52). In order to become the perfect sacrifice and Great High Priest, Jesus willingly submitted Himself to temptation and death. As the writer of Hebrews noted: “[I]n all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (2:17-18).

In short, the Bible’s depiction of Jesus as God incarnated is not contradictory. As the immortal, invisible, pre-incarnate Word (1 Timothy 1:17), He was God (John 1:1). When the Word put on flesh, He was still by nature God (John 10:30,33; 20:28), though He willingly “humbled Himself” and “made Himself of no reputation” (2:6-8) in order to become the tempted, but perfect Man. Indeed, He “who knew no sin” became “sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).


Jackson, Wayne (1995), “Did Jesus Exist in the Form of God While on Earth?” Reason & Revelation, 15[3]:21-22, March,  /apcontent.aspx?category=10&article=354.

Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2006), “The Very Works that I Do Bear Witness of Me,” Reason & Revelation, 26[3]:17-23, March, http://www.apolo geticspress.org/articles/2857.

Strong, A.H. (1907), Systematic Theology (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell).

Wells, Steve (2010), Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/tempt_god.html.

Wycliffe Bible Commentary (1985), Electronic Database: Biblesoft.



The book of Acts gives the thirty year account of the church of Jesus Christ after the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus said, after His resurrection. (Luke 24:47 "and repentance and remission of sins  should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.NKJV)

The apostle Peter preached the first sermon on the Day of Pentecost; at Jerusalem.  About three thousand were obedient to God's terms for pardon on that day.


1. Peter preached Jesus a miracle worker.(Acts 2:22) Not one person denied that fact.

2. Peter preached that Jesus was crucified and that God raised Him from the dead.(Acts 2:23-34)

3. Peter proclaimed Jesus as both Lord and Christ, whom they had crucified. (Acts 2:36) Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do do"?NKJV

Not one infant or toddler was cut to the heart, and asked what shall we do.[NOTE: Infants and toddlers are not guilty of sin]

4. Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(NKJV)

Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. )NASB)

Acts 2:38 Peter replied: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NIV 1973)

Peter said "So your sins may be forgiven." He did not say, so you can be forgiven for Adam's sin.

Peter did not say repent and be baptized for the guilt of Adam's sin. 

Peter did not tell unbelieving infants to repent and be baptized.

Not one convert said, "We do not have to be immersed in water, because the thief on the cross was not baptized and he was saved."

Peter did not say, "You were saved the minute you believed, however, you need to be baptized as a testimony of your faith."

Peter did not say, "If you are one of those whom God chose for salvation, then repent and be baptized."

Peter did not say, "All of you who reject Jesus, have been individually chosen by God to burn in hell."

Peter did not say, "Be baptized because your sins have already been forgiven."

Not a single person said, "Moses did not believe Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and he was saved, therefore, we and our non believing infant children can have our sins forgiven without believing that God raised Jesus from the dead."

Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.(NKJV)

Who was added to the church on the Day of Pentecost? Those who believed Peter's preaching and were baptized.

No infants nor toddlers believed Peter's preaching, nor were they baptized.

If there were those who did not believe Peter's preaching about about baptism for the forgiveness of sins, then they were not added to the church. Only those who received Peter's word were added to the church.( Acts 2:41,47)  

“Love your neighbor as yourself” Leviticus 19:18 by Roy Davison

“Love your neighbor as yourself”
Leviticus 19:18

Jesus says this is the second greatest commandment in the law (Matthew 22:39).
Neighborly love includes foreigners: “And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself” (Leviticus 19:33, 34).
James calls this the royal law! “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well” (James 2:8).
Why is this command great? Because all of God’s commandments are based on love.
We owe a debt of love to all. Paul writes: “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:8-10). “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:14).
Neighborly love is based on fairness. Jesus says: “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:31); “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
Loving our neighbor as ourselves means that we treat him as we want to be treated. This form of love is based on our mutual humanity. Eve “was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). God “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself” (Romans 14:7).
We are all members of one family, the human race. We are part of a greater whole; we share a common humanity. Thus we ought to love others as we love ourselves and treat others as we want to be treated.
“He who despises his neighbor sins” (Proverbs 14:21). The evil slave who demanded full payment from his fellow, after he himself had been forgiven a huge debt he could never repay, was asked by his master: “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” (Matthew 18:33). We owe love to others because of God’s love for us.
We are commanded to empathize with our fellow man, to participate in the feelings of others. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother’” (Zechariah 7:9).
The law of love is an essential component of ethics, not a substitute for ethics, as is claimed by some. Something built on love may not be torn down in the name of love. Since Gods commands are based on love, they may not be pushed aside in the name of love.
God is the sovereign interpreter of the law of love. He created man. He knows what is good for man and for society. His applications of the law of love are found in the Scriptures.
We need guidance from God to know how to love our fellow man. As John says: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2, 3).
We are able to love others as we should, only when we love God and keep His commandments. Loving God and obeying His commands is an essential ingredient of love for others.
Someone who claims that love allows him to disregard moral principles and commandments of God, does not really love others, but is trying to excuse selfish, unloving or unscriptural behavior.
How did Jesus answer a lawyer who knew God’s requirement but was looking for a loophole?
“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?’ So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’ But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’” (Luke 10:25-29).
This lawyer knew he should love his neighbor, but he wanted a limited circle of neighbors!
Jesus, the Master teacher, responded to his question, “Who is my neighbor?” with one of the most powerful stories ever told.
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
The lawyer replied: “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:30- 37).
Did you notice that Jesus did not answer the lawyer’s question, but asked him a more important question? “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” (verse 36).
The question is not, “Who is my neighbor?” but “What kind of neighbor am I?”
If we want to inherit eternal life, we must be compassionate, merciful and helpful, like the good Samaritan. We must love our neighbor.

What have we learned?

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” is the royal law, the foundation of all of God’s commandments on how to treat others. Love is a debt we owe to all because of God’s love for us.
Neighborly love is based on fairness and our mutual humanity. As members of one human family we ought to love others as we love ourselves and treat others as we want to be treated. Love does no harm to a neighbor.
We can love others as we should, only when we love God and keep His commandments. We need God’s guidance to know how to love others.
“What kind of neighbor am I?” is the question.
To inherit eternal life, we must be compassionate, merciful and helpful.
“The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31). Amen.
Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading October 9 & 10 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading October 9 & 10

World  English  Bible

Oct. 9
Psalms 148-150

Psa 148:1 Praise Yah! Praise Yahweh from the heavens! Praise him in the heights!
Psa 148:2 Praise him, all his angels! Praise him, all his army!
Psa 148:3 Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you shining stars!
Psa 148:4 Praise him, you heavens of heavens, You waters that are above the heavens.
Psa 148:5 Let them praise the name of Yahweh, For he commanded, and they were created.
Psa 148:6 He has also established them forever and ever. He has made a decree which will not pass away.
Psa 148:7 Praise Yahweh from the earth, you great sea creatures, and all depths!
Psa 148:8 Lightning and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling his word;
Psa 148:9 mountains and all hills; fruit trees and all cedars;
Psa 148:10 wild animals and all livestock; small creatures and flying birds;
Psa 148:11 kings of the earth and all peoples; princes and all judges of the earth;
Psa 148:12 both young men and maidens; old men and children:
Psa 148:13 let them praise the name of Yahweh, for his name alone is exalted. His glory is above the earth and the heavens.
Psa 148:14 He has lifted up the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near to him. Praise Yah!

Psa 149:1 Praise Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints.
Psa 149:2 Let Israel rejoice in him who made them. Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Psa 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance! Let them sing praises to him with tambourine and harp!
Psa 149:4 For Yahweh takes pleasure in his people. He crowns the humble with salvation.
Psa 149:5 Let the saints rejoice in honor. Let them sing for joy on their beds.
Psa 149:6 May the high praises of God be in their mouths, and a two-edged sword in their hand;
Psa 149:7 To execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples;
Psa 149:8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
Psa 149:9 to execute on them the written judgment. All his saints have this honor. Praise Yah!

Psa 150:1 Praise Yah! Praise God in his sanctuary! Praise him in his heavens for his acts of power!
Psa 150:2 Praise him for his mighty acts! Praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Psa 150:3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet! Praise him with harp and lyre!
Psa 150:4 Praise him with tambourine and dancing! Praise him with stringed instruments and flute!
Psa 150:5 Praise him with loud cymbals! Praise him with resounding cymbals!
Psa 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise Yah! Praise Yah!

Oct. 10
Proverbs 1-4

Pro 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel:
Pro 1:2 to know wisdom and instruction; to discern the words of understanding;
Pro 1:3 to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;
Pro 1:4 to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young man:
Pro 1:5 that the wise man may hear, and increase in learning; that the man of understanding may attain to sound counsel:
Pro 1:6 to understand a proverb, and parables, the words and riddles of the wise.
Pro 1:7 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.
Pro 1:8 My son, listen to your father's instruction, and don't forsake your mother's teaching:
Pro 1:9 for they will be a garland to grace your head, and chains around your neck.
Pro 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, don't consent.
Pro 1:11 If they say, "Come with us, Let's lay in wait for blood; let's lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
Pro 1:12 let's swallow them up alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down into the pit.
Pro 1:13 We'll find all valuable wealth. We'll fill our houses with spoil.
Pro 1:14 You shall cast your lot among us. We'll all have one purse."
Pro 1:15 My son, don't walk in the way with them. Keep your foot from their path,
Pro 1:16 for their feet run to evil. They hurry to shed blood.
Pro 1:17 For in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird:
Pro 1:18 but these lay wait for their own blood. They lurk secretly for their own lives.
Pro 1:19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain. It takes away the life of its owners.
Pro 1:20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street. She utters her voice in the public squares.
Pro 1:21 She calls at the head of noisy places. At the entrance of the city gates, she utters her words:
Pro 1:22 "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? How long will mockers delight themselves in mockery, and fools hate knowledge?
Pro 1:23 Turn at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you. I will make known my words to you.
Pro 1:24 Because I have called, and you have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no one has paid attention;
Pro 1:25 but you have ignored all my counsel, and wanted none of my reproof;
Pro 1:26 I also will laugh at your disaster. I will mock when calamity overtakes you;
Pro 1:27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when your disaster comes on like a whirlwind; when distress and anguish come on you.
Pro 1:28 Then will they call on me, but I will not answer. They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me;
Pro 1:29 because they hated knowledge, and didn't choose the fear of Yahweh.
Pro 1:30 They wanted none of my counsel. They despised all my reproof.
Pro 1:31 Therefore they will eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own schemes.
Pro 1:32 For the backsliding of the simple will kill them. The careless ease of fools will destroy them.
Pro 1:33 But whoever listens to me will dwell securely, and will be at ease, without fear of harm."

Pro 2:1 My son, if you will receive my words, and store up my commandments within you;
Pro 2:2 So as to turn your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;
Pro 2:3 Yes, if you call out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding;
Pro 2:4 If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures:
Pro 2:5 then you will understand the fear of Yahweh, and find the knowledge of God.
Pro 2:6 For Yahweh gives wisdom. Out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.
Pro 2:7 He lays up sound wisdom for the upright. He is a shield to those who walk in integrity;
Pro 2:8 that he may guard the paths of justice, and preserve the way of his saints.
Pro 2:9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.
Pro 2:10 For wisdom will enter into your heart. Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Pro 2:11 Discretion will watch over you. Understanding will keep you,
Pro 2:12 to deliver you from the way of evil, from the men who speak perverse things;
Pro 2:13 who forsake the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
Pro 2:14 who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the perverseness of evil;
Pro 2:15 who are crooked in their ways, and wayward in their paths:
Pro 2:16 To deliver you from the strange woman, even from the foreigner who flatters with her words;
Pro 2:17 who forsakes the friend of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God:
Pro 2:18 for her house leads down to death, her paths to the dead.
Pro 2:19 None who go to her return again, neither do they attain to the paths of life:
Pro 2:20 that you may walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
Pro 2:21 For the upright will dwell in the land. The perfect will remain in it.
Pro 2:22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land. The treacherous will be rooted out of it.

Pro 3:1 My son, don't forget my teaching; but let your heart keep my commandments:
Pro 3:2 for length of days, and years of life, and peace, will they add to you.
Pro 3:3 Don't let kindness and truth forsake you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Pro 3:4 So you will find favor, and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Pro 3:5 Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and don't lean on your own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Pro 3:7 Don't be wise in your own eyes. Fear Yahweh, and depart from evil.
Pro 3:8 It will be health to your body, and nourishment to your bones.
Pro 3:9 Honor Yahweh with your substance, with the first fruits of all your increase:
Pro 3:10 so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.
Pro 3:11 My son, don't despise Yahweh's discipline, neither be weary of his reproof:
Pro 3:12 for whom Yahweh loves, he reproves; even as a father reproves the son in whom he delights.
Pro 3:13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gets understanding.
Pro 3:14 For her good profit is better than getting silver, and her return is better than fine gold.
Pro 3:15 She is more precious than rubies. None of the things you can desire are to be compared to her.
Pro 3:16 Length of days is in her right hand. In her left hand are riches and honor.
Pro 3:17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness. All her paths are peace.
Pro 3:18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her. Happy is everyone who retains her.
Pro 3:19 By wisdom Yahweh founded the earth. By understanding, he established the heavens.
Pro 3:20 By his knowledge, the depths were broken up, and the skies drop down the dew.
Pro 3:21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes. Keep sound wisdom and discretion:
Pro 3:22 so they will be life to your soul, and grace for your neck.
Pro 3:23 Then you shall walk in your way securely. Your foot won't stumble.
Pro 3:24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid. Yes, you will lie down, and your sleep will be sweet.
Pro 3:25 Don't be afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes:
Pro 3:26 for Yahweh will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being taken.
Pro 3:27 Don't withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.
Pro 3:28 Don't say to your neighbor, "Go, and come again; tomorrow I will give it to you," when you have it by you.
Pro 3:29 Don't devise evil against your neighbor, seeing he dwells securely by you.
Pro 3:30 Don't strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm.
Pro 3:31 Don't envy the man of violence. Choose none of his ways.
Pro 3:32 For the perverse is an abomination to Yahweh, but his friendship is with the upright.
Pro 3:33 Yahweh's curse is in the house of the wicked, but he blesses the habitation of the righteous.
Pro 3:34 Surely he mocks the mockers, but he gives grace to the humble.
Pro 3:35 The wise will inherit glory, but shame will be the promotion of fools.

Pro 4:1 Listen, sons, to a father's instruction. Pay attention and know understanding;
Pro 4:2 for I give you sound learning. Don't forsake my law.
Pro 4:3 For I was a son to my father, tender and an only child in the sight of my mother.
Pro 4:4 He taught me, and said to me: "Let your heart retain my words. Keep my commandments, and live.
Pro 4:5 Get wisdom. Get understanding. Don't forget, neither swerve from the words of my mouth.
Pro 4:6 Don't forsake her, and she will preserve you. Love her, and she will keep you.
Pro 4:7 Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding.
Pro 4:8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you. She will bring you to honor, when you embrace her.
Pro 4:9 She will give to your head a garland of grace. She will deliver a crown of splendor to you."
Pro 4:10 Listen, my son, and receive my sayings. The years of your life will be many.
Pro 4:11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom. I have led you in straight paths.
Pro 4:12 When you go, your steps will not be hampered. When you run, you will not stumble.
Pro 4:13 Take firm hold of instruction. Don't let her go. Keep her, for she is your life.
Pro 4:14 Don't enter into the path of the wicked. Don't walk in the way of evil men.
Pro 4:15 Avoid it, and don't pass by it. Turn from it, and pass on.
Pro 4:16 For they don't sleep, unless they do evil. Their sleep is taken away, unless they make someone fall.
Pro 4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
Pro 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the dawning light, that shines more and more until the perfect day.
Pro 4:19 The way of the wicked is like darkness. They don't know what they stumble over.
Pro 4:20 My son, attend to my words. Turn your ear to my sayings.
Pro 4:21 Let them not depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart.
Pro 4:22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to their whole body.
Pro 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life.
Pro 4:24 Put away from yourself a perverse mouth. Put corrupt lips far from you.
Pro 4:25 Let your eyes look straight ahead. Fix your gaze directly before you.
Pro 4:26 Make the path of your feet level. Let all of your ways be established.
Pro 4:27 Don't turn to the right hand nor to the left. Remove your foot from evil.

Oct. 9
Galatians 6

Gal 6:1 Brothers, even if a man is caught in some fault, you who are spiritual must restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourself so that you also aren't tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3 For if a man thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Gal 6:4 But let each man test his own work, and then he will take pride in himself and not in his neighbor.
Gal 6:5 For each man will bear his own burden.
Gal 6:6 But let him who is taught in the word share all good things with him who teaches.
Gal 6:7 Don't be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Gal 6:9 Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don't give up.
Gal 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let's do what is good toward all men, and especially toward those who are of the household of the faith.
Gal 6:11 See with what large letters I write to you with my own hand.
Gal 6:12 As many as desire to look good in the flesh, they compel you to be circumcised; only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.
Gal 6:13 For even they who receive circumcision don't keep the law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised, that they may boast in your flesh.
Gal 6:14 But far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
Gal 6:16 As many as walk by this rule, peace and mercy be on them, and on God's Israel.
Gal 6:17 From now on, let no one cause me any trouble, for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus branded on my body.
Gal 6:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

Oct. 10
Ephesians 1

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Eph 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ;
Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love;
Eph 1:5 having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire,
Eph 1:6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely bestowed favor on us in the Beloved,
Eph 1:7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Eph 1:8 which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
Eph 1:9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him
Eph 1:10 to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him;
Eph 1:11 in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will;
Eph 1:12 to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ:
Eph 1:13 in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your salvation,--in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 who is a pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of his glory.
Eph 1:15 For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which you have toward all the saints,
Eph 1:16 don't cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,
Eph 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him;
Eph 1:18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19 and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might
Eph 1:20 which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.
Eph 1:22 He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly,
Eph 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.