"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Nipping Adultery In The Bud (5:27-30) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                 Nipping Adultery In The Bud (5:27-30)


1. Though our society takes adultery lightly, it is a serious offense
   in the eyes of God...
   a. He listed it right after murder in the Ten Commandments - Exo 20:13-14
   b. He made it a capital offense in the Old Testament, worthy of the
      death penalty - Lev 20:10
   c. God has promised to judge those who are adulterers - He 13:4; 1Co 6:9-10
   -- It destroys friendships, marriages, and families, contributing to
      the destruction of many children's lives!

2. How can one avoid the sin of adultery?
   a. Is the solution one of just making sure that you don't commit the actual act?
   b. Or is there way that one can "nip it in the bud"?

3. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus challenged His disciples...
   a. To exceed "the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees" - Mt 5:20
   b. He illustrated what He meant through a series on contrasts
      1) Between what they had heard from those of old
      2) And what He was now declaring to them

4. In the second contrast (Mt 5:27-30), Jesus addressed the issue of adultery...
   a. In which we learn where adultery really begins
   b. And what steps can be taken to ward off committing such a serious offense

[On the subject of adultery, let's first note the contrast between...]


      1. The oral traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees certainly
         repeated the written commandment found in the Law - Mt 5:27
      2. But they evidently stressed that as long as one did not commit
         the actual act, one was not guilty
      3. Thereby emphasizing the "letter" of the Law, but not 
         appreciating the "spirit" behind the Law as well

      1. One does not have to commit the "act" to be guilty of adultery
      2. One is just as guilty when one "looks at a woman to lust for her" - Mt 5:28
      3. Note:  Not the "looking" per se, but looking "to lust" for her
         is what is wrong
         a. "to lust" means to have a strong desire for, to possess and
            dominate completely
         b. A person may look at another with admiration for beauty and
            not be guilty of "lust"

      1. Notice that the Tenth Commandment condemned coveting a 
         neighbor's wife - Exo 20:17
      2. Even in the time of Job, to "look at a woman to lust for her"
         was considered wrong - Job 31:1

[So the problem begins in the heart (cf. Mk 7:21-23).  If we can
prevent the lusting in the heart (or the "lustful eye"), the problem of
adultery is "nipped in the bud"!  Jesus goes on to say what we should
do with respect to the lustful eye or any other stumbling blocks...]


      1. That Jesus is not being literal should be obvious, for one
         could still stumble with the left eye or hand
      2. The key to understanding this passage is found in Mt 18:7-9
         a. The "eye" and "hand" represent "offenses"
         b. Offenses are "stumbling blocks" that lead a person to sin
         c. These would be enticements to do wrong, beguiling allurements

      1. "Take drastic action in getting rid of whatever in the natural
         course of events will tempt you to sin" (Hendriksen)
      2. Such should be the case in regards to ALL sin, as well as the sin of adultery

[As we contemplate Jesus' words, there are several...]


      1. The future holds the possibility of "hell" 
(Greek, GEHENNA, the place of everlasting torment) 2. What we do or not do in the present will determine our place in the future B. NOTHING, NO MATTER HOW PRECIOUS, SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DOOM OUR GLORIOUS DESTINY! 1. God's goal for us is the "kingdom of heaven" in all its eternal glory! 2. What on "earth" (such as an adulterous relationship) can be worthy of losing that? C. SIN, BEING A VERY DESTRUCTIVE FORCE, MUST NOT BE PAMPERED! 1. Do we need to be convinced that sin (like adultery) is destructive to those around us? 2. Sin is to the soul what cancer is to the body a. Delay can be deadly! b. Halfway measures, halfhearted efforts, only give sin time to wreak havoc! 2. "Radical surgery" is what's necessary to treat the "cancer" of sin! a. Cut off those things that might lead you to look upon others to lust after them b. How much better to dwell upon such things as mentioned in Php 4:8! c. Remove all stumbling blocks that encourage you to sin! 1) Such as certain books, movies, pictures 2) Or possible companions, associates - cf. 1Co 15:33 -- As Paul exhorted the Corinthians , and Joseph illustrated by example, "flee sexual immorality"! - 1Co 6:18; Gen 39:7-12 CONCLUSION 1. Our families, our friends, our lives, and especially our souls are too precious to allow the sin of adultery to destroy them! 2. But if we desire to "nip it in the bud", we cannot be content with the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees... a. Who may have faithfully quoted the Law to others b. But were unwilling to deal with the real problem, which is one of the heart! 3. In view of the reality of hell, the eternal abode of impenitent adulterers... a. Let us be willing to tackle the "cancer" of sin seriously b. Performing whatever "radical surgery" might be necessary! While one may not be able to rebuild the lives destroyed by the sin of adultery, for the penitent adulterer there is still the hope of salvation in Christ Jesus, as there is for all... - cf. 1Co 6:9-11

If Cornelius Had the Holy Spirit, Doesn’t That Mean He Was Saved? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


If Cornelius Had the Holy Spirit, Doesn’t That Mean He Was Saved?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Acts 10 contains the exciting story of Peter preaching the first Gospel sermon to the Gentiles. Until this time, many of the Jewish converts believed that the Gospel was for the Jews, and they thought that those who obeyed the Gospel were also supposed to keep the Law of Moses. That was not God’s plan, however, and through several miraculous visions and angelic appearances, God orchestrated events so that Cornelius, a devout Gentile, and all the members of his household, were able to hear Peter preach the good news about Jesus Christ.

God knew, however, that many of those in the Jewish nation would have difficulty accepting the truth that the Gentiles were just as eligible to obey the Gospel as the Jews. Thus, the Bible tells us that while Peter was preaching to Cornelius and his family, “the Holy Spirit fell upon those who heard the word” (Acts 10:44). The result of this was that the Gentiles could speak in tongues just as the apostles did on the Day of Pentecost. When Peter saw what had happened, he said: “Can anyone forbid water that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” He then “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48).

This episode in the book of Acts has been used by some to teach that Cornelius and his family were saved before they were baptized. Their reasoning is this: If the Gentiles had been given the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, then they must have already been saved, because only those who are saved can be “filled with the Spirit.” Sometimes, those who use this argument will go to Ephesians 1:14 and contend that the Bible says that the Holy Spirit is “the guarantee of our inheritance,” and if anyone has “the Spirit,” that proves he or she is saved. Is this line of argument correct? Is it true that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit prove that a person is saved? When we explore the entirety of the Bible, we see that this reasoning cannot be sustained.

Those Who Had Miraculous Gifts, But Were Not Saved

Throughout the Bible, we see that the miraculous powers bestowed by the Holy Spirit were not used to prove an individual’s salvation. On several occasions, we see people that were not saved being given such powers. For instance, in the book of 1 Samuel, we learn about the first king of Israel—King Saul. When he was chosen, Saul was the ideal candidate to be king. And yet because of a series of poor decisions that resulted in disobedience to God’s commands, he was rejected by God. In 1 Samual 16:14, the text explains that “the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul.” Due to Saul’s hardened, disobedient heart, he began to chase David in an attempt to kill him. Saul’s debased mind even led him to bring about the death of an entire city of the Lord’s priests. On one occasion, as he was chasing David, he heard that David was with Samuel in the city of Ramah. Saul sent messengers to capture David, but when they arrived, “the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they prophesied. And when Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. Then Saul sent messengers a third time, and they prophesied also” (1 Samuel 19:20-21). Notice that the fact that the Holy Spirit came upon the messengers was not an indication of their being saved, but instead was a miraculous intervention on God’s behalf to save David. Finally, Saul himself went to Ramah in an attempt to capture and kill David. When he got there, “the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah” (1 Samuel 19:22-24). The miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were a sign from God, but not one meant to indicate Saul’s salvation. Instead, it was a sign to show that God was with Samuel and was protecting David.

In the New Testament, we see another instance of a person who was not saved being given miraculous power by the Holy Spirit. In John 11:45-57, the Pharisees and chief priests had gathered together to form a plan to eliminate Jesus. Some of their party were distraught because so many people were following Jesus. They opined: “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” Caiaphas, who was the High Priest that year, calmed the group and said: “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish” (John 11:50). Where did Caiaphas get such keen insight? The text explains: “Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation.” If he “prophesied” that Jesus would die, where did he get such accurate information? Only the Holy Spirit could have supplied him with such an accurate prophetic utterance.

The Gifts of the Spirit or the Fruit of the Spirit

Furthermore, the Bible clearly explains that miraculous gifts say nothing about whether a person is saved or lost. In the book of 1 Corinthians, the church in Corinth was having problems with some of their members. Some were bragging about the miraculous powers they had been given. Others were wishing they had different powers. Some in the church were using their miraculous powers in the assembly to draw attention to themselves. In chapters 12-14, Paul gave instructions that would help Christians use the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit in the best way. Chapter 13 is one of the most famous chapters in all the Bible. It is often called the love chapter. In this chapter, Paul explains that miraculous powers given by the Holy Spirit do not prove salvation. In fact, if those powers are being used by a person who does not have love in his or her heart, then that person is lost. Paul said: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-2). Notice that Paul’s statement shows that an amazing display of the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit would indicate nothing about a person’s salvation, since such a display could be done without love.

Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 13 also helps us to understand something else about the Holy Spirit. There is a difference between the miraculous powers bestowed on people by the Holy Spirit, and the fact that the Holy Spirit dwells in saved Christians. Ephesians 1:14 says that if the Holy Spirit dwells in a person, that fact verifies that he or she is saved. We read a similar statement in 1 John 3:24: “And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” In 1 Corinthians we read, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (6:19). Notice, however, that in Galatians 5:22 we read that the fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Thus we can see that Paul stated that a person could have the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit without having love. But from Galatians 5:22 we understand that the true fruit of the Spirit, that indicates that the Spirit lives in a person and that shows that person is saved, begins with love. Therefore, it was possible for a person to have the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit and be able to speak in tongues, and yet not have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside him in the sense that the person was saved (see Miller, 2003).


Throughtout the Bible, we can see that God used the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit to accomplish many things. This miraculous power was not an indication of the spiritual status of the one being empowered by the Holy Spirit. In fact, it was sometimes the case that those who were empowered with such abilities were wicked enemies of God. Thus, we can see that the story of Cornelius and the fact that the Gentiles received the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit does not show that the Gentiles were saved before they repented or were baptized. On the contrary, the apostle Peter understood God’s message perfectly. The miraculous powers were bestowed upon the Gentiles to show that God accepted them as candidates for salvation just as He accepted the Jews. Peter, in accordance with the Gospel message he had preached in Acts 2, instructed the Gentiles to be baptized in water just as he instructed those on the Day of Pentecost to be baptized. The reason in Acts 10 for baptism was the same as that in Acts 2:38—“for the remission of sins.”


Miller, Dave (2003), “Modern-Day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=264.

Hyperbole: A Common Biblical Figure of Speech by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Hyperbole: A Common Biblical Figure of Speech

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The Bible is by far the most popular book ever printed. As such, it is also the most read. Those who read the Bible are reading the inspired message of God (see Butt, 2007). Yet, even though the Bible is God’s inspired message, it contains figures of speech that commonly occur in secular writings. E.W. Bullinger wrote more than a thousand pages of material describing these figures of speech in his excellent volume Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (1968). In order to properly understand the Bible, a basic knowledge of commonly used figures of speech is important. Furthermore, such knowledge is often helpful in refuting erroneous claims, made by skeptics, that the Bible contains errors or discrepancies.

A common figure of speech used in the Bible is that of hyperbole. Bullinger defines hyperbole as: “when more is said than is literally meant” (1968, p. 423). He also calls hyperbole “exaggeration.” We who use the English language are quite familiar with the use of hyperbole, even though we may not be as familiar with the term itself. When a teenager explains to her parent that “everybody” is going to be at the party, does she mean that literally the world’s population of 6.6 billion people will be there? Of course she does not. She is intentionally exaggerating to make a point. When a teacher explains to his class that “everybody” knows who the first president of the United States was, does the teacher believe all toddlers can correctly answer the question? No. Once again, the teacher is simply using a well-understood figure of speech to convey a point.

In a similar way, the Bible uses hyperbole on numerous occasions. Take John 4:39 as an example. In this passage, a Samaritan woman spoke of Jesus and said: “He told me all that I ever did” (emp. added). Had Jesus really told that woman everything that she had ever done in her life? No, she was using hyperbole to make her point.

To illustrate further, consider Mark 1:4-5: “John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins” (emp. added). Taken literally, these verses would mean that John baptized every single person (man, woman, and child) in all of Judea and Jerusalem. But these verses are not to be taken literally. They are utilizing hyperbole, in which intentional “exaggeration” is employed to explain that John’s baptism was extremely popular.

The importance of understanding hyperbole can be seen when comparing another passage to Mark 1:4-5. In Luke 7:24-35, Jesus extolled the righteousness of John the Baptizer. Some of His listeners appreciated Jesus’ comments about John and some did not. Verses 29 and 30 explain: “And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.” Are we to conclude that the Pharisees and lawyers did not dwell in Judea and Jerusalem and that is why they had not been baptized—as Mark 1:4-5 would imply if taken literally? That would certainly be a stretch. The best answer in this case is to show that Mark’s use of hyperbole would allow some, such as the Pharisees and lawyers, to have rejected John and not to have received his baptism.

Another example of hyperbole is found in John 3:26. In that context, John’s disciples were telling John about the increasing popularity of Jesus’ ministry. They said to him: “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!” (emp. added). Was it true that literally “all” the people in the world were coming to Jesus? No, it was simply the case that John’s disciples were intentionally exaggerating, using hyperbole, to describe Jesus’ spreading fame. [NOTE: For more examples see Bullinger, 1968, pp. 423-428.]

Honest-hearted Bible readers can benefit greatly from knowing when and how the Bible writers used hyperbole. Many of the challenges of skeptics can also be answered based on such information. After all, everybody knows that great literature always uses figures of speech such as hyperbole to convey its message.


Bullinger, E.W. (1968 reprint), Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

How Were Mary and Elizabeth Related? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


How Were Mary and Elizabeth Related?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.


The New Testament contains two genealogies of Christ. Matthew recorded the genealogy of Christ from Abraham to Jesus (1:1-16), while Luke recorded Christ’s genealogy from Jesus all the way back to Adam (3:23-38). The differences in the genealogies result from the fact that Matthew gives the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph, while Luke presents the genealogy of Jesus through Mary (see Miller, 2003; cf. Luke 1:30-32). [NOTE: Luke followed the strict Hebrew tradition of mentioning only the names of males. Therefore, in Luke 3, Mary is designated by her husband’s name (see Lyons, 2003, pp. 157-159).] Still, some wonder how Mary could be a descendant of David. Skeptic Dennis McKinsey, for example, asked in his journal, Biblical Errancy, “If, using the genealogy in Luke, Jesus’s claim to descent [sic] from David, of the tribe of Judah, is through Mary rather than Joseph, then how can it be that Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, was descended from the house of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi?” (1998, emp. added). Does Luke 1:5,36 imply that Mary could not have been a blood descendant of King David?


First, the King James translation of the term syngenis as “cousin” (Luke 1:36) is unwarranted and somewhat misleading to those who normally interpret the word to mean “first cousin.” The Greek term syngenis simply means “relative” (NKJV, NASB, NIV) or “kinswoman” (ASV, RSV). It is “a general term, meaning ‘of the same family’” (Vincent, 1997). Thus, Mary and Elizabeth may have been first cousins, or they may have been fourth cousins. All we know for sure is that they were kin.

Second, Mary and Elizabeth could have been from different tribes and still have been first cousins. It may be that their mothers were sisters. Their mothers could have been from the tribe of Judah or Levi. As commentator Matthew Henry noted: “Though Elisabeth was, on the father’s side, of the daughters of Aaron (v. 5), yet on the mother’s side she might be of the house of David, for those two families often intermarried, as an earnest of the uniting of the royalty and the priesthood of the Messiah” (1997).

However Mary and Elizabeth were related, tribal heritage among the descendants of Jacob was passed down through fathers, not mothers (cf. Ruth 4:18-22); children were always of their father’s tribe, not their mother’s. Thus, Elizabeth and Mary were descendants of Aaron and David, respectively, by way of their fathers’ ancestry, and not necessarily of their mothers’.


Henry, Matthew (1997), Commentary on the Whole Bible (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

Lyons, Eric (2003), The Anvil Rings (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

McKinsey, Dennis (1998), “Tough Questions for the Christian Church,” Biblical Errancy, October, [On-line], URL: http://home.comcast.net/~errancy/issues/iss190.htm.

Miller, Dave (2003), “The Genealogies of Matthew and Luke,” [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/1834.

Vincent, Marvin R. (1997), Word Studies in the New Testament (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

In Praise of Great Authors… by Jim McGuiggan


In Praise of Great Authors…

Smike had never known fair treatment much less kind treatment and in the Dotheboys Hall School run by Mr. and Mrs. Squeers it was worse. There he was enslaved and abused; his earlier lonely life was followed by his being thrown away and sent to this place that one would be tempted to think was God-forsaken.
But God came visiting Dotheboys Hall School run by Mr. & Mrs. Squeers looking like a new teacher called Nicholas Nickleby. In meeting him Smike met someone who treated him like a human to be cared for and nurtured rather than a whipping boy when someone with an ill temper wanted to ease his/her spleen. In the face of the boundless cruelty of the Squeers—shown to the entire body of terrified children under their care—Nickleby resigned from the school in defiance of their wishes.
Smike saw the young teacher as his hope for life and unknown to Nicholas he followed him away from the school, not showing himself, afraid that Nickelby might send him back. The teacher spent a night in a barn and in the morning he suddenly wakened to find the desperate boy there. The teacher had wakened without warning and Smike had no time to hide. Now discovered he begged to be allowed to stay. “To go with you—anywhere—everywhere—to the world’s end—to the churchyard grave.”
The teacher’s life’s situation was not at all an easy one and while he feels a deep compassion for the boy he tells him he has little to offer by way of help but Smike is not put off and desperate for the warmth of friendship, or, even if friendship is too much to ask, he wants to know, “May I—may I go with you? I will be your faithful, hard-working servant, I will indeed. I want no clothes…I only want to be near you.”

“And so you shall,” said the teacher. “And the world shall deal by you as it does by me, till one or both of us shall quit it for a better.”

Both were as good as their words and a wounded child found not only a champion but a friend and faithfully befriended his friend. (Sigh. I wonder, and I’ve no wish at this moment to reflect on it, if there is some child in the world who could one day say I was a friend and champion to him in some real way. I’m not looking for comment here, truly. I just find the story profoundly moving and it makes me jealous (not envious) of the characters, and wishful…..) It pleases me to know and believe that Smikes & Nicklebys are a great host, alive and well, in the world.)

In a world of quick-change passions, of outrageous pre-nuptial agreements, broken contracts, worthless promises, “sweet” marriage vows that vanish like morning mist, friendships that were “treasured” as long as one person ceaselessly pleased the other—in a world awash with so much uncertainty it’s an entrance into heaven to be certain of someone!
To read the commitment Ruth made (Ruth 1:16-18) and stuck with it makes your soul rise to its feet and cheer. Yesssssssss! To read of the mutual commitment of Smike and Nickelby generates the same feeling because it’s the same thing.

Dickens’ writing has remained one of the grandeurs of English life and literature. It isn’t all sweetness and light for his own life wasn’t like that. There’s a lot of pain and loss in his writing and that reminds us that he stayed in touch with life as a whole. He didn’t become the noted author he is by writing perfumed bubble and froth or pouring out simplistic moral platitudes. Nor did he write dark hopeless muck or leave us wringing our hands in abject despair, paralyzed by pervasive and entrenched evil. Nor did he make heroes of villains. He continued to remind us of the possibilities and potential of life; he speaks of happy endings without apology and makes us believe that honest commitments not only can be made but that they can be kept through thick and thin. What’s more, he shows us the glory of such people and makes us want to be like that.
He touches the depths of life and enables us to see that there’s more than evil in the world. And while there is evil in the world that is hard to “explain” if God is good, Dickens and people like him remind us that there is good in the world and that is hard to “explain” if there is no God that is good.

( Holy Father, since we thank you for all that is good in the world and in our lives, we wish to thank you for good and skilled authors and movie-makers and screen-writers who bring us redemptive stories that carry truth to us with realism shot through with hope and assurance. We’re thankful that while not ignoring the ugliness and cruelty in life they rise above it and show us such glory, strength, courage and kindness that makes us long to be a part of it. In Jesus, this prayer.)




Is it possible to be saved without having your sins forgiven? Was  Saul saved by faith alone before his sins were forgiven?

If Saul was saved on the road to Damascus, then he was saved without having his sins forgiven.

Saul believed in Jesus on the road Damascus, but his sins were forgiven three days later in Damascus 
Act 9:1-19......9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank....

Saul sins were forgiven in Damascus, three days later, not on the road to Damascus.
Acts 22:1-16.....10 And I said, 'What shall I do Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed  for you to do.'.......16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins,calling on His name!

Saul was not saved by faith only. Saul was saved by believing and being baptized in water.

Jesus did not establish faith only salvation on the road to Damascus. Jesus confirmed what He already had said "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved"... (Mark 16:16)

You cannot be saved unless your sins have been forgiven. 

In order to support the doctrine of faith only men have offered many reasons why the Scriptures cannot be trusted.
1. The Bible is not the inerrant word of God, it has many errors and contradictions.
2. You have to be a Greek scholar to understand the Bible. If you understand the original Greek language, then you would know water baptism is not essential for forgiveness of sins.
3. You need to use extra-Biblical writings to understand the plan of salvation.
4. The Bible has been mistranslated, therefore men are saved by faith only and not the way it is presented in the Bible. 

If God is not smart enough to give men an accurate translation of His plan for salvation and Christian living, then why would anyone trust in Him for salvation or for anything else.

God has given us His plan of salvation in many translations, in different languages. You do not have to know Greek.You do not have to have a Greek dictionary. You do have to be Greek. If men had to be able to read and understand original Greek to understand the Bible, then all Bibles would be in Greek.


Men are not saved by faith only and there is no verse of Scripture that states men are saved by faith only. Men are saved by faith, but not by faith only. 

How can we maintain the unity of the Spirit? by Roy Davison


How can we maintain the unity of the Spirit?

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul describes unity in Christ: "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:1-6).

Christians are called to peace in the one body of Christ.

Paul beseeches us to walk worthy of our calling. We are called to peace in the one body of Christ: "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body" (Colossians 3:12-15).

Unity is not optional. We must endeavor " to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). Our walk, our way of life, must be worthy of this call to peace in Christ.

Unity is based on love.

Love is the "bond of perfection," the "the bond of peace," the glue that binds the members of the body together in Christ. We love one another as Jesus has loved us. A bucket full of chicken feathers may appear united, but try throwing them in the air.

Love bears fruit: tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, as Christ forgives us. These are ingredients in the recipe for unity.

Unity must be maintained.

We must "keep the unity of the Spirit." Christian unity is not man's invention. It is not created by the formation of central authorities or by the publication of human creeds. These are actually departures from unity in Christ.

Christian unity is a gift from God that must be preserved, kept, maintained. We must be careful that we do not lose the unity of the Spirit.

There is one Lord; there is one God and Father of all.

"For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live" (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6).

"For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all" (1 Timothy 2:5, 6).

There is one body.

Since there is one God, there is also only one true religion.

And the one true religion cannot be subdivided. There is one body, not two or two-thousand, one and only one. A body is indivisible.

It does not say there should be one body. There is one body. Paul asks: "Is Christ divided?" (1 Corinthians 1:13).

The body is the church of Christ. The Father has placed all things under His authority "and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body" (Ephesians 1:22, 23). Paul wrote to the Colossians: "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church" (Colossians 1:24).

Thus the one body in which the unity of the Spirit must be preserved is the church of Christ.

"For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another" (Romans 12:4, 5; see also 1 Corinthians 12:20).

"For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread" (1 Corinthians 10:17). This one body is the church, which partakes of the one loaf in the Lord's supper each first day of the week (Acts 20:7).

The unity of the Spirit can exist only in the church of Christ because only He can make all people one. He joins Jews and Gentiles together as one body: "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father" (Ephesians 2:14-18).

There are many different churches in the world, established and maintained by men who are not satisfied with the body of Christ. There is great division among those who are outside the body of Christ. If you are a member of some church or religious organization other than the church that Jesus founded, you are not serving God in the one body of Christ. The unity of the Spirit exists only in His body, the church of Christ.

There is one Spirit.

By one Spirit we are united into one body. "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink of one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).

There is one baptism.

"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13). Only by the one baptism can we be one in Christ: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:27, 28). Baptism must be a burial (Romans 6:4). We must be "buried with Him in baptism" (Colossians 2:12). We must be born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5). "For there are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one" (1 John 5:7, 8).We must be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). There is one baptism.

In the world there are many kinds of baptism because people are not satisfied with the one baptism into the body of Christ. Because of unbiblical forms of baptism, people are excluded from unity in Christ. If you have not been baptized with the one baptism of the New Testament, you are not yet in the body of Christ, His church. The unity of the Spirit exists only among those who by one Spirit have been baptized into the one body, the church of Christ.

There is one faith.

The one faith is the original faith. Jude wrote: "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

Our salvation depends on that original faith. Titus was to rebuke the Cretans, "that they might be sound in the faith" (Titus 1:13). Paul warned the Corinthians: "Watch, stand fast in the faith" (1 Corinthians 16:13). Paul told the Colossians that they must "continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast" (Colossians 1:23). Shortly before his death, Paul could write: "I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:6).

In Ephesians 4:11-16 Paul explains how Jesus has given His church leaders to promote the 'unity of the faith'.

First, apostles and prophets are mentioned. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets" (Ephesians 4:11). These are the apostles and prophets of the first century, who together with Christ form the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20). This refers to the twelve original apostles. Of Zion we read: "Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Revelation 21:14).

To preserve the unity of the faith, we must follow the teachings of the apostles and prophets of the New Testament.

Evangelists, elders and teachers have also been given to the church to preach and teach the one faith.

"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-13).

The 'unity of the faith' is also the unity of the 'knowledge of Christ'. This knowledge comes through the holy Scriptures: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

This "unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God" protects us from the division that is sown by false teachers, "that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" (Ephesians 4:14).

There is one faith. To maintain the unity of the faith we must know the Scriptures well enough that winds of false doctrine will not blow us away like chicken feathers. An elder must hold "fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict" (Titus 1:9). "Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned" (Titus 3:10, 11).

In the world there are many faiths because people want to believe something different from the one faith that was delivered to the saints once and for all (Jude 3). Outside the one faith, division prevails. "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith" (2 Corinthians 13:5).

The unity of the Spirit exists only among those who have the one faith of the one Lord, those who have been baptized by the one Spirit into the one body, the church of Christ.

Let us strive to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:3-6). Amen.

Roy Davison

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

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for May 20 and 21 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading for May 20 and 21

World  English  Bible

May 20

Joshua 21, 22

Jos 21:1 Then the heads of fathers' houses of the Levites came near to Eleazar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the heads of fathers' houses of the tribes of the children of Israel.

Jos 21:2 They spoke to them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, "Yahweh commanded Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with their suburbs for our livestock."

Jos 21:3 The children of Israel gave to the Levites out of their inheritance, according to the commandment of Yahweh, these cities with their suburbs.

Jos 21:4 The lot came out for the families of the Kohathites. The children of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, had thirteen cities by lot out of the tribe of Judah, out of the tribe of the Simeonites, and out of the tribe of Benjamin.

Jos 21:5 The rest of the children of Kohath had ten cities by lot out of the families of the tribe of Ephraim, out of the tribe of Dan, and out of the half-tribe of Manasseh.

Jos 21:6 The children of Gershon had thirteen cities by lot out of the families of the tribe of Issachar, out of the tribe of Asher, out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.

Jos 21:7 The children of Merari according to their families had twelve cities out of the tribe of Reuben, out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun.

Jos 21:8 The children of Israel gave these cities with their suburbs by lot to the Levites, as Yahweh commanded by Moses.

Jos 21:9 They gave out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, these cities which are mentioned by name:

Jos 21:10 and they were for the children of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites, who were of the children of Levi; for theirs was the first lot.

Jos 21:11 They gave them Kiriath Arba, named after the father of Anak (the same is Hebron), in the hill country of Judah, with its suburbs around it.

Jos 21:12 But they gave the fields of the city and its villages to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for his possession.

Jos 21:13 To the children of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron with its suburbs, the city of refuge for the manslayer, Libnah with its suburbs,

Jos 21:14 Jattir with its suburbs, Eshtemoa with its suburbs,

Jos 21:15 Holon with its suburbs, Debir with its suburbs,

Jos 21:16 Ain with its suburbs, Juttah with its suburbs, and Beth Shemesh with its suburbs; nine cities out of those two tribes.

Jos 21:17 Out of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with its suburbs, Geba with its suburbs,

Jos 21:18 Anathoth with its suburbs, and Almon with its suburbs; four cities.

Jos 21:19 All the cities of the children of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities with their suburbs.

Jos 21:20 The families of the children of Kohath, the Levites, even the rest of the children of Kohath, had the cities of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim.

Jos 21:21 They gave them Shechem with its suburbs in the hill country of Ephraim, the city of refuge for the manslayer, and Gezer with its suburbs,

Jos 21:22 Kibzaim with its suburbs, and Beth Horon with its suburbs; four cities.

Jos 21:23 Out of the tribe of Dan, Elteke with its suburbs, Gibbethon with its suburbs,

Jos 21:24 Aijalon with its suburbs, Gath Rimmon with its suburbs; four cities.

Jos 21:25 Out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Taanach with its suburbs, and Gath Rimmon with its suburbs; two cities.

Jos 21:26 All the cities of the families of the rest of the children of Kohath were ten with their suburbs.

Jos 21:27 They gave to the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the half-tribe of Manasseh Golan in Bashan with its suburbs, the city of refuge for the manslayer, and Be Eshterah with its suburbs; two cities.

Jos 21:28 Out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishion with its suburbs, Daberath with its suburbs,

Jos 21:29 Jarmuth with its suburbs, En Gannim with its suburbs; four cities.

Jos 21:30 Out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with its suburbs, Abdon with its suburbs,

Jos 21:31 Helkath with its suburbs, and Rehob with its suburbs; four cities.

Jos 21:32 Out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with its suburbs, the city of refuge for the manslayer, Hammothdor with its suburbs, and Kartan with its suburbs; three cities.

Jos 21:33 All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their suburbs.

Jos 21:34 To the families of the children of Merari, the rest of the Levites, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with its suburbs, Kartah with its suburbs,

Jos 21:35 Dimnah with its suburbs, and Nahalal with its suburbs; four cities.

Jos 21:36 Out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with its suburbs, Jahaz with its suburbs,

Jos 21:37 Kedemoth with its suburbs, and Mephaath with its suburbs; four cities.

Jos 21:38 Out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with its suburbs, the city of refuge for the manslayer, and Mahanaim with its suburbs,

Jos 21:39 Heshbon with its suburbs, Jazer with its suburbs; four cities in all.

Jos 21:40 All these were the cities of the children of Merari according to their families, even the rest of the families of the Levites. Their lot was twelve cities.

Jos 21:41 All the cities of the Levites in the midst of the possession of the children of Israel were forty-eight cities with their suburbs.

Jos 21:42 Each of these cities included their suburbs around them. It was this way with all these cities.

Jos 21:43 So Yahweh gave to Israel all the land which he swore to give to their fathers. They possessed it, and lived in it.

Jos 21:44 Yahweh gave them rest all around, according to all that he swore to their fathers. Not a man of all their enemies stood before them. Yahweh delivered all their enemies into their hand.

Jos 21:45 Nothing failed of any good thing which Yahweh had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

Jos 22:1 Then Joshua called the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh,

Jos 22:2 and said to them, "You have kept all that Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, and have listened to my voice in all that I commanded you.

Jos 22:3 You have not left your brothers these many days to this day, but have performed the duty of the commandment of Yahweh your God.

Jos 22:4 Now Yahweh your God has given rest to your brothers, as he spoke to them. Therefore now return and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of Yahweh gave you beyond the Jordan.

Jos 22:5 Only take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, to love Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, to keep his commandments, to hold fast to him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul."

Jos 22:6 So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away; and they went to their tents.

Jos 22:7 Now to the one half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given inheritance in Bashan; but to the other half gave Joshua among their brothers beyond the Jordan westward. Moreover when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them,

Jos 22:8 and spoke to them, saying, "Return with much wealth to your tents, with very much livestock, with silver, with gold, with brass, with iron, and with very much clothing. Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brothers."

Jos 22:9 The children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession, which they owned, according to the commandment of Yahweh by Moses.

Jos 22:10 When they came to the region about the Jordan, that is in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, a great altar to look at.

Jos 22:11 The children of Israel heard this, "Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar in the forefront of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that pertains to the children of Israel."

Jos 22:12 When the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up against them to war.

Jos 22:13 The children of Israel sent to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest,

Jos 22:14 and with him ten princes, one prince of a fathers' house for each of the tribes of Israel; and they were everyone of them head of their fathers' houses among the thousands of Israel.

Jos 22:15 They came to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them, saying,

Jos 22:16 "Thus says the whole congregation of Yahweh, 'What trespass is this that you have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following Yahweh, in that you have built you an altar, to rebel this day against Yahweh?

Jos 22:17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to this day, although there came a plague on the congregation of Yahweh,

Jos 22:18 that you must turn away this day from following Yahweh? It will be, seeing that you rebel today against Yahweh, that tomorrow he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel.

Jos 22:19 However, if the land of your possession is unclean, then pass over to the land of the possession of Yahweh, in which Yahweh's tabernacle dwells, and take possession among us; but don't rebel against Yahweh, nor rebel against us, in building an altar other than the altar of Yahweh our God.

Jos 22:20 Didn't Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the devoted thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? That man didn't perish alone in his iniquity.' "

Jos 22:21 Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered, and spoke to the heads of the thousands of Israel,

Jos 22:22 "The Mighty One, God, Yahweh, the Mighty One, God, Yahweh, he knows; and Israel shall know: if it was in rebellion, or if in trespass against Yahweh (don't save us this day),

Jos 22:23 that we have built us an altar to turn away from following Yahweh; or if to offer burnt offering or meal offering, or if to offer sacrifices of peace offerings, let Yahweh himself require it.

Jos 22:24 If we have not out of concern done this, and for a reason, saying, 'In time to come your children might speak to our children, saying, "What have you to do with Yahweh, the God of Israel?

Jos 22:25 For Yahweh has made the Jordan a border between us and you, you children of Reuben and children of Gad. You have no portion in Yahweh." ' So your children might make our children cease from fearing Yahweh.

Jos 22:26 Therefore we said, 'Let's now prepare to build ourselves an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice;

Jos 22:27 but it will be a witness between us and you, and between our generations after us, that we may perform the service of Yahweh before him with our burnt offerings, with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings;' that your children may not tell our children in time to come, 'You have no portion in Yahweh.'

Jos 22:28 Therefore we said, 'It shall be, when they tell us or our generations this in time to come, that we shall say, "Behold the pattern of the altar of Yahweh, which our fathers made, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice; but it is a witness between us and you." '

Jos 22:29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against Yahweh, and turn away this day from following Yahweh, to build an altar for burnt offering, for meal offering, or for sacrifice, besides the altar of Yahweh our God that is before his tabernacle!"

Jos 22:30 When Phinehas the priest, and the princes of the congregation, even the heads of the thousands of Israel that were with him, heard the words that the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them well.

Jos 22:31 Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the children of Reuben, to the children of Gad, and to the children of Manasseh, "Today we know that Yahweh is in the midst of us, because you have not committed this trespass against Yahweh. Now you have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of Yahweh."

Jos 22:32 Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the princes, returned from the children of Reuben, and from the children of Gad, out of the land of Gilead, to the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and brought them word again.

Jos 22:33 The thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God, and spoke no more of going up against them to war, to destroy the land in which the children of Reuben and the children of Gad lived.

Jos 22:34 The children of Reuben and the children of Gad named the altar "A Witness Between Us that Yahweh is God."

May 21

Joshua 23, 24

Jos 23:1 It happened after many days, when Yahweh had given rest to Israel from their enemies all around, and Joshua was old and well advanced in years,

Jos 23:2 that Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders and for their heads, and for their judges and for their officers, and said to them, "I am old and well advanced in years.

Jos 23:3 You have seen all that Yahweh your God has done to all these nations because of you; for it is Yahweh your God who has fought for you.

Jos 23:4 Behold, I have allotted to you these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even to the great sea toward the going down of the sun.

Jos 23:5 Yahweh your God will thrust them out from before you, and drive them from out of your sight. You shall possess their land, as Yahweh your God spoke to you.

Jos 23:6 Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that you not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left;

Jos 23:7 that you not come among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow down yourselves to them;

Jos 23:8 but hold fast to Yahweh your God, as you have done to this day.

Jos 23:9 For Yahweh has driven great and strong nations out from before you. But as for you, no man has stood before you to this day.

Jos 23:10 One man of you shall chase a thousand; for it is Yahweh your God who fights for you, as he spoke to you.

Jos 23:11 Take good heed therefore to yourselves, that you love Yahweh your God.

Jos 23:12 Else if you do at all go back, and hold fast to the remnant of these nations, even these who remain among you, and make marriages with them, and go in to them, and they to you;

Jos 23:13 know for a certainty that Yahweh your God will no longer drive these nations from out of your sight; but they shall be a snare and a trap to you, a scourge in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which Yahweh your God has given you.

Jos 23:14 Behold, today I am going the way of all the earth. You know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which Yahweh your God spoke concerning you. All have happened to you. Not one thing has failed of it.

Jos 23:15 It shall happen that as all the good things have come on you of which Yahweh your God spoke to you, so Yahweh will bring on you all the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land which Yahweh your God has given you,

Jos 23:16 when you disobey the covenant of Yahweh your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods, and bow down yourselves to them. Then the anger of Yahweh will be kindled against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which he has given to you."

Jos 24:1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

Jos 24:2 Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, 'Your fathers lived of old time beyond the River, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor: and they served other gods.

Jos 24:3 I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.

Jos 24:4 I gave to Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave to Esau Mount Seir, to possess it. Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

Jos 24:5 I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did in its midst: and afterward I brought you out.

Jos 24:6 I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and you came to the sea. The Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and with horsemen to the Red Sea.

Jos 24:7 When they cried out to Yahweh, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea on them, and covered them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt: and you lived in the wilderness many days.

Jos 24:8 I brought you into the land of the Amorites, that lived beyond the Jordan: and they fought with you; and I gave them into your hand. You possessed their land; and I destroyed them from before you.

Jos 24:9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. He sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you;

Jos 24:10 but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you still. So I delivered you out of his hand.

Jos 24:11 You went over the Jordan, and came to Jericho. The men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; and I delivered them into your hand.

Jos 24:12 I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; not with your sword, nor with your bow.

Jos 24:13 I gave you a land whereon you had not labored, and cities which you didn't build, and you live in them. You eat of vineyards and olive groves which you didn't plant.'

Jos 24:14 Now therefore fear Yahweh, and serve him in sincerity and in truth. Put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, in Egypt; and serve Yahweh.

Jos 24:15 If it seems evil to you to serve Yahweh, choose this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh."

Jos 24:16 The people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake Yahweh, to serve other gods;

Jos 24:17 for it is Yahweh our God who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way in which we went, and among all the peoples through the midst of whom we passed.

Jos 24:18 Yahweh drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve Yahweh; for he is our God."

Jos 24:19 Joshua said to the people, "You can't serve Yahweh; for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your disobedience nor your sins.

Jos 24:20 If you forsake Yahweh, and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you evil, and consume you, after he has done you good."

Jos 24:21 The people said to Joshua, "No; but we will serve Yahweh."

Jos 24:22 Joshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen Yahweh yourselves, to serve him." They said, "We are witnesses."

Jos 24:23 "Now therefore put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to Yahweh, the God of Israel."

Jos 24:24 The people said to Joshua, "We will serve Yahweh our God, and we will listen to his voice."

Jos 24:25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

Jos 24:26 Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of Yahweh.

Jos 24:27 Joshua said to all the people, "Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words of Yahweh which he spoke to us. It shall be therefore a witness against you, lest you deny your God."

Jos 24:28 So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.

Jos 24:29 It happened after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Yahweh, died, being one hundred and ten years old.

Jos 24:30 They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash.

Jos 24:31 Israel served Yahweh all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, and had known all the work of Yahweh, that he had worked for Israel.

Jos 24:32 They buried the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. They became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

Jos 24:33 Eleazar the son of Aaron died. They buried him in the hill of Phinehas his son, which was given him in the hill country of Ephraim.

May 20, 21

John 3

Joh 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

Joh 3:2 The same came to him by night, and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him."

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered him, "Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can't see the Kingdom of God."

Joh 3:4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can't enter into the Kingdom of God!

Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Joh 3:7 Don't marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born anew.'

Joh 3:8 The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don't know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered him, "How can these things be?"

Joh 3:10 Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and don't understand these things?

Joh 3:11 Most certainly I tell you, we speak that which we know, and testify of that which we have seen, and you don't receive our witness.

Joh 3:12 If I told you earthly things and you don't believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

Joh 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.

Joh 3:14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

Joh 3:15 that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Joh 3:17 For God didn't send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

Joh 3:18 He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn't believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

Joh 3:19 This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil.

Joh 3:20 For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn't come to the light, lest his works would be exposed.

Joh 3:21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God."

Joh 3:22 After these things, Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them, and baptized.

Joh 3:23 John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there. They came, and were baptized.

Joh 3:24 For John was not yet thrown into prison.

Joh 3:25 There arose therefore a questioning on the part of John's disciples with some Jews about purification.

Joh 3:26 They came to John, and said to him, "Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, the same baptizes, and everyone is coming to him."

Joh 3:27 John answered, "A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven.

Joh 3:28 You yourselves testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before him.'

Joh 3:29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. This, my joy, therefore is made full.

Joh 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

Joh 3:31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the Earth belongs to the Earth, and speaks of the Earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

Joh 3:32 What he has seen and heard, of that he testifies; and no one receives his witness.

Joh 3:33 He who has received his witness has set his seal to this, that God is true.

Joh 3:34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives the Spirit without measure.

Joh 3:35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.

Joh 3:36 One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys the Son won't see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."