10/12/20

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Witnesses Of The Resurrection (28:1-10) by Mark Copeland

 

                      
 "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

  The Witnesses Of The Resurrection (28:1-10)

INTRODUCTION

1. If the resurrection of Jesus Christ really took place, it has great significance...
   a. For those who have yet to believe in Christ
   b. For those who are Christians
   -- Which we examined in another lesson

2. Upon what basis should one believe Jesus actually rose from the dead?
   a. The evidence presented in the New Testament involves eyewitness testimony
   b. Ten distinct resurrection appearances of Christ are recorded in the New Testament
   c. One such case is that found in Mt 28:1-10

3. It is clear from the Scriptures that our faith in Jesus is based upon such testimony...
   a. As Jesus intimated in His prayer, and John in his gospel - Jn 17: 20; 20:30-31
   b. Jesus expected His apostles to be His witnesses - Jn 15:27; Ac 1:8
   c. Especially concerning His resurrection - Ac 1:22; 2:32; 3:15;  4:33; 10:39-41; 13:31

4. Since our faith rests upon the testimony of these witnesses...
   a. Were they credible witnesses, that we should take them seriously?
   b. How strong is their testimony?
   c. How do we know they did not make it up, or were simply deluded?

[As with any event alleged to have occurred, there are a number of
factors to consider before we accept the event as a historical fact.
One such factor is...]

I. THE NUMBER OF WITNESSES

   A. WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT...
      1. The strength or weakness of any testimony is affected by the number of witnesses
      2. The Law of Moses required at least two or three witnesses - Deut 17:6
      3. Today, the number of witnesses also plays a crucial role in our justice system
      -- The more witnesses you have, the stronger your evidence!

   B. THERE WERE MANY WITNESSES OF THE RESURRECTION...
      1. Paul lists many of these witnesses in 1Co 15:3-8
         a. Jesus was seen by Cephas (Simon Peter) - Lk 24:34
         b. Jesus was seen by the twelve (apostles) - Lk 24:36-43; Ac 1:2-3
         c. He was seen by five hundred people at one time (probably in
            Galilee) - cf. Mt 28:10,16-17
         d. He was seen by James, the Lord's brother
         e. He was seen by Paul, on the road to Damascus - Ac 22:6-10
      2. Other appearances are recorded in the Scriptures
         a. To Mary Magdalene - Mk 16:9; Jn 20:14
         b. To other women returning from the tomb - Mt 28:9,10
         c. To two disciples on the road to Emmaus - Lk 24:13-33
         d. To the apostles, Thomas absent - Jn 20:19-24
         e. To the apostles, Thomas present - Jn 20:26-29
         f. To seven disciples by the Lake of Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) - Jn 21:1-23
         g. To the apostles at the ascension - Ac 1:3-12

[So for a period of forty days (Ac 1:3), over 500 people had ample
opportunity to see Jesus, and determine for themselves if He was really
raised from the dead.  They were convinced, but are they reliable
witnesses?  How do we know they were not simply gullible, believing
whatever they wanted to believe?  This leads us to consider another
factor important to accepting the testimony of witnesses...]

II. THE CHARACTER OF THE WITNESSES

   A. SOME HAD NOT BELIEVED IN JESUS...
      1. Like His brothers in the flesh - Jn 7:3-5
      2. They even thought Him crazy - Mk 3:21
      -- But seeing Him after His resurrection, they became His disciples! - Ac 1:14

   B. SOME WERE SKEPTICAL AFTER JESUS' DEATH...
      1. Thomas would not accept the words of others - Jn 20:24-25
      2. Not until he had empirical evidence would he believe - Jn 20:26-28
      3. This demonstrates witnesses who were not gullible or easily deceived
         a. Which is why the Lord appeared to select witnesses - Ac 10:40-41
         b. Witnesses qualified to know if it really were Jesus

   C. ONE WAS EVEN A FORMER ENEMY...
      1. Saul of Tarsus, who later became known as Paul the apostle - Ac 9:1-2
      2. Until he saw Jesus raised from the dead, he believed it to be
         God's will to oppose Jesus and His followers - Ac 26:9-11

[These were not gullible witnesses, ready to believe any hint that
Jesus had risen.  They required overwhelming evidence to convince them
that Jesus was truly raised from the dead.  Now let's consider...]

III. THE STRENGTH OF THEIR WITNESS

   A. DEMONSTRATED BY THE NATURE OF THEIR TESTIMONY...
      1. Their testimony appealed to empirical evidence
         a. Evidence derived from experiment and observation rather than theory
         b. For forty days they were given infallible proofs - Ac 1:3
         c. They ate and drank with Jesus - Ac 10:41
         d. They saw, heard, and touched Him - Jn 20:24-28; 1Jn 1:1-2
      2. There is no way they could have been deceived or deluded
         a. If all they had were individual dreams, visions, or hallucinations...perhaps
         b. But they testified that Jesus appeared to them in groups as
            well as to individuals

   B. DEMONSTRATED BY THEIR TRANSFORMATION...
      1. Prior to the resurrection, Jesus' disciples were afraid and without hope
         a. They fled at his arrest - Mk 14:50
         b. Peter cowardly denied Him three times - Mk 14:66-72
         c. The women mourned His crucifixion - Lk 23:27
         d. After His death, the disciples were sad - Lk 24:13-17
         e. After His death, the disciples hid behind closed doors, for
            fear of the Jews - Jn 20:19
      2. But after the resurrection, they fearlessly praised God and proclaimed Jesus!
         a. Praising God in the temple - Lk 24:52-53
         b. Proclaiming Christ, despite persecution - Ac 5:28-32,41-42
      3. This transformation in their lives is strong evidence for the
         resurrection, as admitted by one Orthodox Jewish scholar:
         a. "If the disciples were totally disappointed and on the
            verge of desperate flight because of the very real reason
            of the crucifixion, it took another very real reason in
            order to transform them from a band of disheartened and
            dejected Jews into the most self-confident missionary
            society in world history." - Pinchas Lapide, former
            Chairman of the Applied Linguistics Department at Israel's
            Bar-Iland University (TIME, May 7, 1979)
         b. He concluded that a bodily resurrection could possibly have
            been that reason!

   C. DEMONSTRATED BY THEIR HIGH MORAL STANDARD...
      1. They taught others to live holy lives - 1Th 4:1-7; Ep 4:25
      2. They lived their own lives in unimpeachable way - 1Th 2:3-12
      -- Does this sound like people who propagate lies when they know better?

   D. DEMONSTRATED BY THE PRICE THEY PAID...
      1. The apostles endured much suffering because of their testimony - 1Co 4:9-13
      2. All but one died a martyr's death because of their testimony
      3. Even Jesus' brother, James, was thrown off the temple and then
         clubbed to death for his testimony
      -- There was no motive for them to persistently lie about Jesus' resurrection!

CONCLUSION

1. The nature of their witness does not allow for the option that they
   were simply deceived or deluded...
   a. Again, they professed empirical evidence
   b. They claimed to eat and drink with Him, touch Him, see Him

2. If Jesus was not raised from the dead, there is only one alternative...
   a. These witnesses were liars, deceivers
   b. Even Paul admits this is the only alternative - 1Co 15:14-15

3. Is it reasonable to believe they successfully propagated a lie?
   a. Too many people attested to the same fact
   b. They were not the kind of people to fabricate such a falsehood
   c. They lived noble lives, and were ALL willing to suffer and die for their testimony!

When we carefully examine the lives and testimony of "The Witnesses Of
The Resurrection", the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that
they really saw what they claimed:  Jesus is risen!

And His resurrection from the dead is assurance from God that Judgment
is coming and we must repent:

   "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands
   all men everywhere to repent,  because He has appointed a day on
   which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He
   has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising
   Him from the dead." - Ac 17:30-31

Are you ready for that Day? 
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Unity, Division, Doctrine, and Jesus' Prayer by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1189

Unity, Division, Doctrine, and Jesus' Prayer

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Who would question the importance of unity in the body of Christ? God wants every Christian to be united and at peace with every other Christian (Philippians 2:1-4). He wants us to be knit together cohesively in love and fellowship (Ephesians 4:1-3,16; 1 John 1:5-7). He wants us working together harmoniously to accomplish the same objectives (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). Far too many congregations of the Lord’s people have been racked by division and discord due to petty jealousy, immaturity, prideful self-assertiveness, and unjustified disagreement over matters of opinion.

In addition to the division that sometimes exists within individual congregations, churches of Christ currently are experiencing a significant cleavage brotherhoodwide. Such division has occurred in the past over a variety of issues, including instrumental music, multiple communion containers, support of orphan homes, located preachers, and cooperation among congregations in mission work.

Beyond the division that exists within churches of Christ is the widespread division that exists within “Christendom.” Look at the multiplicity of religious groups, churches, and movements that claim affinity and affiliation with Christ and Christianity: the Protestant denominational world, Catholicism, the so-called “cults” (a term historically applied to Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventism, Christian Science, and Jehovah’s Witnesses), and the prolific spawning of “nondenominational” community churches. Beyond the division that exists within “Christendom,” look at the religious smorgasbord that exists among the world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam—involving billions of people.

What is the solution to division? Can division be eliminated? How does God want us to achieve unity? Perhaps the premiere proposal being advanced to solve the matter of division today is—de-emphasize doctrine! This relaxation of doctrinal stance manifests itself in at least two ways. Some reduce the fervency with which they hold to doctrinal positions. Doctrinal viewpoints that previously were unquestioned—and for which compromise would have been considered intolerable—now are being softened and held as mere opinion. Those who continue to affirm the importance of those same doctrinal viewpoints are labeled “legalists” or “radicals.”

Other brethren cope with division by attempting to reduce the number of doctrinal viewpoints that one must firmly hold. This maneuver has given rise to the notion of “unity in diversity,” and a so-called “core doctrine” classification scheme. Those who travel this route insist that many of our past doctrines (like the exclusion of instrumental music, the use of choirs, and female leadership in worship) should not be considered matters of fellowship. They say that, ultimately, the only doctrinal belief that matters is Jesus. If a person acknowledges God as Father and Jesus as Lord, he or she should be considered a saved believer, and in full fellowship with every other Christian (see Miller, 1996, pp. 282-331 for a more complete discussion of this concept).

Several writers and speakers appeal to Jesus’ prayer for unity in John chapter seventeen as evidence of this alleged need to override doctrinal concerns for the sake of unity. One well-known writer and speaker has stressed that, when Jesus got ready to depart the planet, His final remarks—His parting words—did not pertain to instrumental music or doctrinal soundness, but to unity: the need for believers to be one (John 17:21).

Appealing to Jesus’ prayer for unity as justification for replacing unity based on truth with unity based on undiscriminating acceptance, and an emotional sense of togetherness, is both unfortunate and unscriptural. If the reader will take the time to read John 17, one will see that the unity for which Jesus called was unity based on correct doctrine. Notice His repetitious reference to the “truth,” the “word,” and the need for “keeping” and “receiving” that word (John 17:6,8,14,17,19). Clearly, obedience to a body of doctrinal truth must precede unity.

Jesus also identified how unity is to be achieved among believers: “through their word” (John 17:20). In other words, people must hear the word that the apostles preached which, in addition to the Lordship of Christ, includes the gospel plan of salvation (faith, repentance, confession, and baptism for the remission of sins), as well as faithful Christian living. The compliance that occurs as a result of “their word” automatically brings unity and fellowship with Christ and each other (1 John 1:3,6-7).

Further, those of whom Jesus spoke in His prayer were clearly those who would become New Testament Christians. He was speaking with reference to the church of Christ—not the world with its denominationalism (John 17:9,16). Until one obeys the gospel plan of salvation, one is not a genuine believer in Christ. It is possible to be a “believer”—in the sense that one recognizes Who Jesus is, acknowledges that fact, and even offers a measure of commitment—and still not be acceptable to God (John 8:30,31,44; 12:42; Acts 8:13,20-23). The believers for whom Jesus prayed were members of the church of Christ—not members of denominations that profess faith in Christ. Jesus was praying for unity in His church. To identify adherents of denominationalism as “believers” is to redefine the term in an unscriptural sense.

How ironic that the very passage, to which agents of change frequently appeal in order to advance their agenda of change, finds its most pertinent application today in them! They are tampering with the foundational principles of Christianity in order to broaden the borders of the kingdom. In so doing, they are guilty of creating division, and are wreaking havoc on the body of Christ! Jesus prayed that such damage might not happen.

To understand Jesus’ prayer in John 17 as a call to make unity top priority—even over truth and doctrine—is to misconstrue the entire book of John. The purpose of John’s gospel account was to prove the deity of Christ in order to elicit an obedient belief. He selected seven signs as evidence to verify Christ’s claim. Belief is based on truth (forms of which are used some 40 times), and knowing (used 87 times). John made it clear that it is not enough to acknowledge the deity of Christ. One must listen to Christ’s words, and then comply with them (e.g., John 6:63,68; 8:31; 12:48; 14:24). Contextually, unity among believers is possible only when the believers commit themselves to the doctrine that Christ imparted.

If one desires to be sensitive to context, and engage in genuine exposition of the Word, the prominent passage in the New Testament that addresses division within the body of Christ is 1 Corinthians. The entire letter constitutes Paul’s plea for Christians to be united. The theme is stated in 1:10: “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (NKJV). The rest of the book delineates one doctrinal item after another in order to correct divisive Corinthian conduct. These items include their sexual behavior (chs. 5-7), their use of food in relation to idolatry (chs. 8-10), disorders in the worship assembly [including female leadership (11:1-16), Lord’s Supper (11:17-34) and the use of miraculous gifts (chs. 12-14)], misconceptions about the resurrection (ch. 15), and the collection (16:1-4).

Their aberrant (i.e., divisive) behavior was directly due to their doctrinal error. Consequently, the solution was not to de-emphasize doctrine! The solution was not to lessen or downplay doctrinal commitment. The solution was not to relegate all but one or two doctrines to an optional status. The solution is clearly stated: speak the same thing! Be joined together in the same mind and judgment! Christians have the divine obligation to study their Bibles, and to arrive at the truth on every matter that God sets forth as essential. God’s doctrine concerning salvation, worship, the church, and Christian living is critical, and every believer must come to knowledge of that doctrine, and submit to it.

Ironically, those who push for unity at the expense of truth and doctrine are now compromising even on the essentiality of water baptism for the remission of sins. Yet in the very context where division within the body of Christ is discussed, Paul advanced an argument that showed the necessity of baptism. In rebuking the factious Corinthians, he asked: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1:13). Notice that Paul gave two prerequisites to salvation. Before an individual can say “I am of ” another person, first, the person would have to have been crucified for that individual, and second, the individual would have to be baptized in the name of the person. Christ was crucified for all of us. But you and I cannot legitimately say we are “of Christ” until we have been baptized in His name! Unity and fellowship cannot be extended to anyone who has not been baptized to be saved!

Countless sermons have been preached in recent years recounting the division that has plagued churches of Christ. The preacher inevitably insists that our factions are due to our over-emphasis upon doctrinal purity, and our insistence upon being doctrinally correct on every point possible. He then affirms that if we will cease our concern for doctrinal accuracy, or focus upon a few commonalities that we share with the denominational world, we can achieve the unity God demands. It never seems to dawn on such agents of change that the denominational world (which they want us to emulate, embrace, and fellowship) are hopelessly divided and are splintered into as many factions as we—maybe more! Frank S. Mead documented many years ago in his Handbook of Denominations that all of the mainline denominations (Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians) are divided into multiple groups, as are virtually all other religious groups—Catholics, Pentecostals, and Mormons, as well as the Moslems, Buddhists, and Hindus. Neither unity nor division proves that a group possesses God’s truth (cf. Mead, 1979).

The pathway to unity is simple. God’s truth can be ascertained and known (John 7:17; 8:32). All who truly submit themselves to the Word of God can and will be united. Those who do not conform to the parameters of truth will automatically be separated from the obedient. But they will be held responsible for the disunity that results. Cain was responsible for the break between himself and his brother—not Abel—because of his own departure from the instructions of God! (cf. Genesis 4:3-8; Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:12). Those who remain faithful to God’s words will continue to enjoy the unity that Jesus said was possible. Doctrine, and compliance with that doctrine, take precedence over unity. No wonder Jesus declared: “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division” (Luke 12:51).

REFERENCES

Mead, Frank S. (1979), Handbook of Denominations (Nashville, TN: Abingdon).

Miller, Dave (1996), Piloting the Strait: A Guidebook for Assessing Change in Churches of Christ (Pulaski, TN: Sain Publications).

Understanding the Bible by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=532

Understanding the Bible

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Take a short drive through any city in the United States and you probably will see more church buildings than you can count on your fingers and toes combined. Let your fingers take a walk through the nearest phone book and the numbers may reach into the hundreds or even thousands. Yet most of these different churches claim to be using the same Bible as the book that guides their teachings and practices. With all these different beliefs supposedly coming from the Bible, one wonders if it is possible for anyone to understand the Bible. Many atheists claim that the Bible is a confusing book filled with lies and/or contradictions that cannot be understood. In fact, one atheist said that the Bible is “a book that is so unintelligible that not only do ‘non-believers’ reject it, but those who believe it to be the true word of God cannot agree upon its interpretation.”

One thing is for sure: many of those who believe the Bible to be the true Word of God do not agree upon its interpretation. But the reason they do not agree is not because the Bible is an “unintelligible” book. There are many reasons why people misunderstand the Bible and disagree about its meaning. Looking at a few of those reasons can help each of us understand the Bible better.

IT CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD?

Some people think that since the Bible is the Word of God, then it is too lofty or too high to understand. They think that no human can understand God’s Word, and therefore it is pointless to attempt such an achievement. The problem with this type of thinking is that it flies in the face of what the Word of God actually says. In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, the prophet wrote:

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people…and when he opened it, all the people stood up, and Ezra blessed Jehovah, the great God. And all the people…bowed their heads and worshipped Jehovah with their faces to the ground. and the Levites caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. And they read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly; and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading (Nehemiah 8:5-8, emp. added).

In 2 Corinthians 1:13, the apostle Paul wrote: “For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end.” His point could not have been clearer—the words of the apostle’s letter (and of the entire Bible, for that matter) were and still are understandable. The book of Ephesians makes a similar statement, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (5:17). Make no mistake about it; God inspired the Bible in a way that humans can understand it.

THE BIBLE IS RESPECTED, BUT NOT READ

One reason people do not understand the Bible is because so many actually spend very little time reading it. George Gallup (the man behind the famous Gallup Polls) surveyed many U.S. inhabitants and asked them some basic Bible questions. The results of the survey showed the degree of biblical ignorance that is so prevalent amidst the citizenry at large. Six out of ten Americans could not say for sure who gave the Sermon on the Mount (some even suggested Billy Graham!). At least 50% of those polled could not name the four books that compose the gospels in the New Testament. Fewer than half could name Genesis as the first book in the Bible. Eight out of ten Americans believed the Bible says, “God helps those who help themselves.” And 12% of those polled thought that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife!

Is it any wonder that disagreement about the Bible exists in our society today? Very few people are reading The Book, but they still are claiming to know and believe what it says. It is like a huge board game where people sit around and argue about the rules but never bother to look at the actual rulebook. Should we expect anything but confusion and misunderstanding from such a situation?

As simple as the following statement may appear, it nevertheless is true: reading the Bible is the only way to understand it. The apostle Paul told the Ephesians: “When you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (3:4). He also encouraged the young preacher Timothy to “give attention to reading” (1 Timothy 4:13). Nothing clears up misunderstanding about the Bible better than actually reading the Bible.

LET’S BE HONEST

Many people “misunderstand” the Bible because it teaches things that they do not want to hear and obey. Instead of changing their sinful lives, they decide to twist the Bible to say what they want it to say. The apostle Peter described this situation by saying that some untaught and unstable people take the Scriptures and twist them “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). Being honest with the Bible, instead of trying to force it to agree with our lives, will help us to understand it better.

CONCLUSION

In this brief article we have examined just a few of the reason why people misunderstand God’s Word. Sometimes they think it cannot be understood, other times they do not read it; and on occasion they try to twist it to fit their lives. How can we understand the Bible and avoid these pitfalls? By obeying the words of Paul to the young preacher Timothy when he said: “Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).


Unbelief and a Divided Christendom by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1263

Unbelief and a Divided Christendom

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Pluralism (the idea that all belief systems and philosophies are of equal validity) has unquestionably encroached upon the national psyche. One manifestation of this infiltration is the fact that the average American has been bullied into unconditional acceptance of any and almost every belief, philosophy, and practice imaginable. Within Christendom itself, this blind, even irrational, celebration of toleration has translated itself into widespread relegation of “doctrine” to a secondary, if not completely irrelevant, status.

The thought is that if Christians would just accept each other, fellowship each other, spend more time getting to know each other, cease condemning one another over doctrinal disagreements or calling attention to the doctrinal diversity that exists, they would realize that what they have in common in their acceptance of Christ far outweighs and overshadows any doctrinal differences that might exist between them, and the world would be more receptive to the Christian religion. It is felt that disunity promotes unbelief, and that if Christendom were unified (defined as accepting one another despite doctrinal disagreement), then faith would result—i.e., the unbelieving world would be more likely to give Christianity a second look and believe in Jesus. This thinking is thought to be in harmony with the prayer for unity Jesus prayed near the end of His life on Earth (John 17). It is argued that unity was more important to Jesus than anything else. Thus, being united—achieving togetherness—takes precedence over doctrine. “Unity in diversity” refers to the view that diversity in doctrine must not be allowed to prevent unity and fellowship with all “believers.” The word “believers” is commonly defined as those who verbally profess acceptance of the lordship of Christ.

The interpretation being given to this passage in effect assigns to it a place of preeminence above all other passages, setting it in contradiction to the rest of the Bible. Jesus could not have been enjoining unity at all costs, since He elsewhere emphasized that such unity never would occur (Matthew 10:34-36; Luke 12:49-53; Matthew 7:13-14). Jesus Himself was unable to quell division and bring about the unity that some say is possible (John 7:12,43; 9:16; 10:19; 12:42; et al.). Any interpretation of a passage that contradicts many other plain passages is a false interpretation, and thus a distortion of the Scriptures (Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13; 2 Peter 3:16). The Bible teaches that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Unity is not the ultimate source or stimulus of faith. God’s Word is. Disunity and division will always exist—since most people simply refuse to bring their lives into conformity with God’s Word.

As a matter of fact, John 17 contains at least three contextual indicators that eliminate the slant now being placed upon it. In the first place, Jesus placed strong emphasis on the essentiality of obedience as a prerequisite to unity. Six times in His prayer, He stressed that He had imparted God’s words or truth to them. He noted that the disciples “have kept Your word” (vs. 6); “For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them” (vs. 8); “I have given them Your word” (vs. 14); “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (vs. 17); “that they also may be sanctified by the truth” (vs. 19). In these phrases, Jesus made clear that unity is nestled in the hollow of compliance. Before Jesus talked about unity, He talked about obedience. He repeatedly referred to the importance of God’s Word—God’s truth—that must be “received” (i.e., obeyed) if sanctification is to be achieved. Contextually, therefore, the unity and oneness that Jesus enjoined in verses 20-21 is unity that comes when people conform themselves to God’s doctrine.

Second, in the very verses where Jesus prayed for the oneness of believers, He identified how to achieve that oneness. Many within Christendom insist that oneness is secured by refraining from basing unity on doctrine. They say that our common affirmation of the Lordship of Jesus transcends our doctrinal diversity. Therefore, differing doctrinal viewpoints must not be permitted to disrupt fellowship or acceptance of anyone who affirms Jesus as Lord. In stark contrast, Jesus revealed that oneness is accomplished the same way belief is created: “through their word” (vs. 20).

When people hear the Word of God (which includes much more than just the lordship of Christ), they will either believe or disbelieve. If they truly believe, they will obey the Gospel plan of salvation and bring their lives into harmony with biblical teaching (Romans 10:14-17; Mark 16:16; Matthew 24:13; James 1:12; 2:18; Hebrews 11:6; 2 Peter 1:5-11; Galatians 5:6). Those who mutually embrace the doctrinal tenets of the Christian religion in faith will automatically be one, unified in Christ, and in full fellowship with each other and with God and Christ (1 John 1:3,6-7).

Third, Jesus’ prayer was spoken in behalf of the church—not the world or counterfeit Christianity (vss. 9,16). The unity of which Jesus spoke was unity among New Testament Christians—those who obey the Gospel through faith, repentance, confession of the deity of Christ, and water baptism (John 3:5; Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 10:9-10). But much of Christendom has strayed from New Testament moorings into denominationalism, and thus does not teach the New Testament plan of salvation. Those who enter into a denomination, and thereby have complied with that denomination’s peculiar plan of salvation, have not become Christians in the New Testament sense. They have assigned an unbiblical meaning to the term “believer” (e.g., James 2:19-26). They have not come to believe in Christ through the Word of His bona fide spokesmen (John 17:20). Rather, they have embraced the words of mere men. They have been misled into entering counterfeit churches and turning to “a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6-9).

Indeed, disunity confuses and discourages honest searchers of truth. But disunity in itself is not the source of unbelief. If such were the case, God and Christ would be guilty of generating unbelief, since their actions often brought division (cf. John 7:12,43; 10:19). Scriptural unity may be achieved only by conformity to biblical doctrine. All other “unity” is merely union, togetherness, and agreeing to disagree—a far cry from the unity for which Jesus prayed. The disunity that exists within Christendom is the result of people “going ahead and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ” (2 John 9), and “going beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6). When people introduce personal creeds, human interpretations, and religious additions to God’s doctrine, disunity inevitably results. Jesus did not come to place His stamp of approval on such doctrinal diversity. Those who think so are in hopeless conflict with Jesus Himself, Who certainly did not “go along, to get along.” In fact, He declared: “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division” (Luke 12:51, emp. added).

Is Morality Evolving? by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2012/05/08/is-morality-evolving/#more-1541

Is Morality Evolving?

(During the Christmas break, we are rebloging the top 5 posts of 2012 based on the number of “hits” by our readers.  This one was tied for #5.  Thanks for reading ThePreachersWord and sharing with others)
 
  
 
“I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties,” said Vice President, Joe Biden, on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He  went on to say the situation is “evolving” and that the “social culture” is changing.

On Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, when asked if he thinks gay couples should be able to legally marry, said, “Yes, I do.”

And our President has been on record for some time saying that his views of same-sex marriage are “evolving.”

Well, Mr. Vice-President, I’m not comfortable with men marrying men and women marrying women.  I don’t care if “social culture is changing.  And Mr. Secretary, I don’t support the legalization of homosexual marriage.  And for you, Mr. President, my views are not “evolving.”  They remain constant.  Unchanged.  Enduring.

The Bible, God’s eternal Word, says that fornication, adultery, and  homosexuality are sins. Although society has changed in the past 50 years God’s Word has not.  The Bible in Romans 1:18-32 severely condemns lesbian and homosexual acts.  The depravity of this sin is emphasized by the words that God uses to describe it: “unclean” “dishonor,” “vile passions,” “shameful,” “debased,” and “not fitting.”

In November of 1997 President Bill Clinton, spoke at the “Human Rights Campaign dinner” for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people, and said moral law is evolving.

Conservative columnist Cal Thomas was right when he responded with a column entitled “Repealing Morality?”

God designed norms for behavior that are in our best interests. When we act outside those norms-such as for premarital sex, adultery, or homosexual sex-we cause physical, emotional, and spiritual damage to ourselves and to our wider culture. The unpleasant consequences of divorce and sexually transmitted diseases are not the result of intolerant bigots seeking to denigrate others. They are the result of violating God’s standards, which were made for our benefit. 

So what can Bible believers do?  There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”  Instead of wringing our hands and saying how awful the world is, here some things we can do.

1. Remain faithful to the moral standard of God’s Word.  Live “soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.”

2. Unashamedly stand firm for truth.  Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel.  Of Jesus.  Of old-fashioned Bible-based morality.

3. Preach the truth, preachers!  Shepherd the souls of the flock, pastors!  Let the leaders of our church family speak up and speak out.

4. Teach your children the truth.  More than ever parents must be moral guides in their homes.  Don’t assume your kids know what is right.  Talk about it.  Teach them.

5. Use whatever platform you have to speak the truth on moral issues.  In government.  Schools. The workplace. Social media.  The voting booth.

6. Be loving and kind to those with whom you disagree.  Jesus loved sinners.  He cared for them.   Be kind. Compassionate. Caring.

7. Seek the conversion of the lost.  And that includes homosexuals.  The Bible says to the Corinthian Christians, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”  (1 Cor 6:9-10)

Paul’s words serve as both a warning and a comforting promise.  God will judge the sinner. But thanks be to Jesus for his cleansing blood.  And they remind us, we are not here to conform to culture, but to change culture through the Gospel of Christ.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE A CALVINIST by steve finnell

 

http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/02/how-to-know-if-you-are-calvinist-by.html

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE A CALVINIST by steve finnell


How to know if you are a Calvinist, if you believe once you are saved you can never be lost, then you are a Calvinist. If you claim to be a Calvinist and do not believe in eternal security, then you need to reassess your position.

It is impossible to believe in "once saved always saved," unless you believe God selected you personally to be saved because of grace alone.

If it was true that God selects certain people for salvation and all others to be lost. Then some would be once saved always saved and all others would be once lost always lost, however, we all should thank God it is not true. 

Even though "once in grace always in grace," is a false doctrine, if you believe it to be true you are a Calvinist.

 Once saved? Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.(NASBB

These Galatians were saved. If they were once saved always saved, then the apostle Paul would not have had to tell them to keep standing firm.

Galatians 5:4. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.(NASB)

They could not be severed from Christ if they were not part of the body of Christ. Christians can fall from grace.

Why do men trust John Calvin more than they trust the Bible? John Calvin will not be their judge on Judgment Day.

Why Not Just Be a Member of the Church? by J.C. Bailey

 

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Bailey/John/Carlos/1903/Articles/whynot.html

Why Not Just Be a Member of the Church?

The history of the Old Testament reveals that idolatry was a very prevalent sin, not only among the heathen but also among the people of God. God made it very plain that He did not intend for it to be that way. In giving the Ten Commandments God said: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, nor that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing loving kindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments" (Exodus 20:3-6).

Despite this plain command of God, the history of the Old Testament reveals how the people of God wandered off into idolatry time after time. They were severely punished and would return to God, only to wander into idolatry again.

Finally, God, as punishment for their idolatry, sent them into slavery. The two tribes returned and small remnants of the other tribes. They learned their lesson. They were cured of their idol worship, and though they still have errors, the Jewish people do not worship idols.

They had learned that the best defense is an offense. After their return from captivity the Old Testament Scriptures were translated from the Hebrew into Greek. What English is today in the literary world, Greek was in that day. Through reading of the Bible there were many people in the world who were no longer idolaters when Jesus came. They had not embraced the Jewish faith but they did believe in the God whom the Old Testament reveals. Cornelius, in Acts 10, is an example. In the world of today wherever faith in the Bible goes, idolatry ceases.

The Old Testament reveals there is one God. The New Testament makes that truth even plainer.

Just as the Bible reveals one God, it reveals that there is one church. In fact it is explicit in teaching that sobering fact. There is no place in the plan of God for more than one God and there is no place for more than one church. The church was in the mind of God from eternity: "to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Ephesians 3:10,11).

Two truths are evident from this passage: that the manifold wisdom of God was to be made known through the church and that the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is to be made known through the church. The work of the church was not an afterthought in the mind of God but it was His eternal purpose.

In the plan of God, the church was not to belong to one nation but to all the nations. This is how the Holy Spirit through Isaiah described the coming church: "And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it" (Isaiah 2:2). The Holy Spirit informs us that the house of God is the church of the living God (I Timothy 3:15). In plain language God said He would establish one church for all nations and Paul told us in Ephesians 3:10,11 that it was established for all time. He says further: "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever" (Ephesians 3:20,21).

So as God is from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90:2) so the church is to exist for all time and for all eternity. We shall establish it more clearly but just as idolatry has no place in the plan of God, so denominations have no place in the plan of God. Jesus built His church (Matthew 16:18). He said the gates of Hades would not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18). Denominations are made by men and Jesus said they would all be rooted up: "Every plant which my heavenly Father planted not shall be rooted up" (Matthew 15:13). God by Christ planted one church and He says that it will last for all time and for all eternity but those plants which He did not plant shall be rooted up. The teaching is plain, isn't it?

Denominations try to justify their existence by saying they are different branches of the church. Any student of church history knows that the various denominations were formed by men. Some are very ancient; some are new, but they were formed by men. But Christ built His church (Matthew 16:18). There is one body (Ephesians 4:4). That body is the church: "And he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:22,23).

Just as surely as there is only one God, there is only one church. The work of Jesus Christ is to be done in that church.

We find a very sad thing in the church of the New Testament. They belonged to the church. They had obeyed the Lord Jesus Christ, but then they began to follow men. In the church at Corinth there were those who said --- "I am of Paul --- I of Apollos --- I of Cephas; I of Christ" (I Corinthians 1:12). This was wrong. Paul asks the question, "Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you or were you baptized into the name of Paul?" Though they were members of the church yet they became divided into contending factions. How bad is that? "For ye are yet carnal, for whereas there is among you jealousy and strife, are ye not carnal and do ye not walk after the manner of men? For when one says, I am of Paul, and another I of Apollos, are ye not men? What then is Apollos? and what is Paul? Ministers through whom ye believed" (I Corinthians 3:3-5). So when we follow men instead of Christ (or think we follow both), the Holy Spirit says we are carnal.

What does it mean to be carnally minded? The Holy Spirit says that to be carnally minded is death: "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be" (Romans 8:6,7).

It took hundreds of years for men to learn that there was only one God. That did not alter the fact that it was true, even though they did not believe. Men are better now. Wherever the Bible goes, men believe in one God. And if men believe there is only one God because the Bible says so, then they can only believe in one church and should serve God in that church. Let us quote again: "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20, 21).

The power that works in us is our faith in the gospel (Romans 1:16). I tell my Indian brethren that I am afraid that they sometimes have more faith in me than they do in Christ. If they do, then the time will come when that faith will be of no use. Some brethren put their trust in the philosophies or methods of certain men. Thus the church is divided. "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' Name."

J.C. Bailey (1987, Bengough, Saskatchewan)

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

Bible Reading for October 12 and 13 by Gary Rose

 

Bible Reading for October 12 and 13

World  English Bible


Oct. 12

Proverbs 9-11

Pro 9:1 Wisdom has built her house. She has carved out her seven pillars.

Pro 9:2 She has prepared her meat. She has mixed her wine. She has also set her table.

Pro 9:3 She has sent out her maidens. She cries from the highest places of the city:

Pro 9:4 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!" As for him who is void of understanding, she says to him,

Pro 9:5 "Come, eat some of my bread, Drink some of the wine which I have mixed!

Pro 9:6 Leave your simple ways, and live. Walk in the way of understanding."

Pro 9:7 He who corrects a mocker invites insult. He who reproves a wicked man invites abuse.

Pro 9:8 Don't reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you. Reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

Pro 9:9 Instruct a wise man, and he will be still wiser. Teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

Pro 9:10 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Pro 9:11 For by me your days will be multiplied. The years of your life will be increased.

Pro 9:12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself. If you mock, you alone will bear it.

Pro 9:13 The foolish woman is loud, Undisciplined, and knows nothing.

Pro 9:14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

Pro 9:15 To call to those who pass by, who go straight on their ways,

Pro 9:16 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here." as for him who is void of understanding, she says to him,

Pro 9:17 "Stolen water is sweet. Food eaten in secret is pleasant."

Pro 9:18 But he doesn't know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.


Pro 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father; but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

Pro 10:2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.

Pro 10:3 Yahweh will not allow the soul of the righteous to go hungry, but he thrusts away the desire of the wicked.

Pro 10:4 He becomes poor who works with a lazy hand, but the hand of the diligent brings wealth.

Pro 10:5 He who gathers in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during the harvest is a son who causes shame.

Pro 10:6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.

Pro 10:7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.

Pro 10:8 The wise in heart accept commandments, but a chattering fool will fall.

Pro 10:9 He who walks blamelessly walks surely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.

Pro 10:10 One winking with the eye causes sorrow, but a chattering fool will fall.

Pro 10:11 The mouth of the righteous is a spring of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.

Pro 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all wrongs.

Pro 10:13 Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has discernment, but a rod is for the back of him who is void of understanding.

Pro 10:14 Wise men lay up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near ruin.

Pro 10:15 The rich man's wealth is his strong city. The destruction of the poor is their poverty.

Pro 10:16 The labor of the righteous leads to life. The increase of the wicked leads to sin.

Pro 10:17 He is in the way of life who heeds correction, but he who forsakes reproof leads others astray.

Pro 10:18 He who hides hatred has lying lips. He who utters a slander is a fool.

Pro 10:19 In the multitude of words there is no lack of disobedience, but he who restrains his lips does wisely.

Pro 10:20 The tongue of the righteous is like choice silver. The heart of the wicked is of little worth.

Pro 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many, but the foolish die for lack of understanding.

Pro 10:22 Yahweh's blessing brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.

Pro 10:23 It is a fool's pleasure to do wickedness, but wisdom is a man of understanding's pleasure.

Pro 10:24 What the wicked fear, will overtake them, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.

Pro 10:25 When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more; but the righteous stand firm forever.

Pro 10:26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.

Pro 10:27 The fear of Yahweh prolongs days, but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

Pro 10:28 The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hope of the wicked will perish.

Pro 10:29 The way of Yahweh is a stronghold to the upright, but it is a destruction to the workers of iniquity.

Pro 10:30 The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not dwell in the land.

Pro 10:31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off.

Pro 10:32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked is perverse.


Pro 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to Yahweh, but accurate weights are his delight.

Pro 11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame, but with humility comes wisdom.

Pro 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them.

Pro 11:4 Riches don't profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

Pro 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way, but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

Pro 11:6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them, but the unfaithful will be trapped by evil desires.

Pro 11:7 When a wicked man dies, hope perishes, and expectation of power comes to nothing.

Pro 11:8 A righteous person is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked takes his place.

Pro 11:9 With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, but the righteous will be delivered through knowledge.

Pro 11:10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices. When the wicked perish, there is shouting.

Pro 11:11 By the blessing of the upright, the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

Pro 11:12 One who despises his neighbor is void of wisdom, but a man of understanding holds his peace.

Pro 11:13 One who brings gossip betrays a confidence, but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret.

Pro 11:14 Where there is no wise guidance, the nation falls, but in the multitude of counselors there is victory.

Pro 11:15 He who is collateral for a stranger will suffer for it, but he who refuses pledges of collateral is secure.

Pro 11:16 A gracious woman obtains honor, but violent men obtain riches.

Pro 11:17 The merciful man does good to his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.

Pro 11:18 Wicked people earn deceitful wages, but one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

Pro 11:19 He who is truly righteous gets life. He who pursues evil gets death.

Pro 11:20 Those who are perverse in heart are an abomination to Yahweh, but those whose ways are blameless are his delight.

Pro 11:21 Most certainly, the evil man will not be unpunished, but the seed of the righteous will be delivered.

Pro 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig's snout, is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.

Pro 11:23 The desire of the righteous is only good. The expectation of the wicked is wrath.

Pro 11:24 There is one who scatters, and increases yet more. There is one who withholds more than is appropriate, but gains poverty.

Pro 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat. He who waters shall be watered also himself.

Pro 11:26 People curse someone who withholds grain, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.

Pro 11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, but he who searches after evil, it shall come to him.

Pro 11:28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf.

Pro 11:29 He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart.

Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. He who is wise wins souls.

Pro 11:31 Behold, the righteous shall be repaid in the earth; how much more the wicked and the sinner! 

 

Oct. 13

Proverbs 12-14

Pro 12:1 Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

Pro 12:2 A good man shall obtain favor from Yahweh, but he will condemn a man of wicked devices.

Pro 12:3 A man shall not be established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

Pro 12:4 A worthy woman is the crown of her husband, but a disgraceful wife is as rottenness in his bones.

Pro 12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.

Pro 12:6 The words of the wicked are about lying in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.

Pro 12:7 The wicked are overthrown, and are no more, but the house of the righteous shall stand.

Pro 12:8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom, but he who has a warped mind shall be despised.

Pro 12:9 Better is he who is lightly esteemed, and has a servant, than he who honors himself, and lacks bread.

Pro 12:10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Pro 12:11 He who tills his land shall have plenty of bread, but he who chases fantasies is void of understanding.

Pro 12:12 The wicked desires the plunder of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.

Pro 12:13 An evil man is trapped by sinfulness of lips, but the righteous shall come out of trouble.

Pro 12:14 A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth. The work of a man's hands shall be rewarded to him.

Pro 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who is wise listens to counsel.

Pro 12:16 A fool shows his annoyance the same day, but one who overlooks an insult is prudent.

Pro 12:17 He who is truthful testifies honestly, but a false witness lies.

Pro 12:18 There is one who speaks rashly like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise heals.

Pro 12:19 Truth's lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only momentary.

Pro 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but joy comes to the promoters of peace.

Pro 12:21 No mischief shall happen to the righteous, but the wicked shall be filled with evil.

Pro 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh, but those who do the truth are his delight.

Pro 12:23 A prudent man keeps his knowledge, but the hearts of fools proclaim foolishness.

Pro 12:24 The hands of the diligent ones shall rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.

Pro 12:25 Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but a kind word makes it glad.

Pro 12:26 A righteous person is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Pro 12:27 The slothful man doesn't roast his game, but the possessions of diligent men are prized.

Pro 12:28 In the way of righteousness is life; in its path there is no death.


Pro 13:1 A wise son listens to his father's instruction, but a scoffer doesn't listen to rebuke.

Pro 13:2 By the fruit of his lips, a man enjoys good things; but the unfaithful crave violence.

Pro 13:3 He who guards his mouth guards his soul. One who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Pro 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing, but the desire of the diligent shall be fully satisfied.

Pro 13:5 A righteous man hates lies, but a wicked man brings shame and disgrace.

Pro 13:6 Righteousness guards the way of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

Pro 13:7 There are some who pretend to be rich, yet have nothing. There are some who pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.

Pro 13:8 The ransom of a man's life is his riches, but the poor hear no threats.

Pro 13:9 The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

Pro 13:10 Pride only breeds quarrels, but with ones who take advice is wisdom.

Pro 13:11 Wealth gained dishonestly dwindles away, but he who gathers by hand makes it grow.

Pro 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.

Pro 13:13 Whoever despises instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command will be rewarded.

Pro 13:14 The teaching of the wise is a spring of life, to turn from the snares of death.

Pro 13:15 Good understanding wins favor; but the way of the unfaithful is hard.

Pro 13:16 Every prudent man acts from knowledge, but a fool exposes folly.

Pro 13:17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy gains healing.

Pro 13:18 Poverty and shame come to him who refuses discipline, but he who heeds correction shall be honored.

Pro 13:19 Longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil.

Pro 13:20 One who walks with wise men grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

Pro 13:21 Misfortune pursues sinners, but prosperity rewards the righteous.

Pro 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored for the righteous.

Pro 13:23 An abundance of food is in poor people's fields, but injustice sweeps it away.

Pro 13:24 One who spares the rod hates his son, but one who loves him is careful to discipline him.

Pro 13:25 The righteous one eats to the satisfying of his soul, but the belly of the wicked goes hungry.


Pro 14:1 Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.

Pro 14:2 He who walks in his uprightness fears Yahweh, but he who is perverse in his ways despises him.

Pro 14:3 The fool's talk brings a rod to his back, but the lips of the wise protect them.

Pro 14:4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

Pro 14:5 A truthful witness will not lie, but a false witness pours out lies.

Pro 14:6 A scoffer seeks wisdom, and doesn't find it, but knowledge comes easily to a discerning person.

Pro 14:7 Stay away from a foolish man, for you won't find knowledge on his lips.

Pro 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to think about his way, but the folly of fools is deceit.

Pro 14:9 Fools mock at making atonement for sins, but among the upright there is good will.

Pro 14:10 The heart knows its own bitterness and joy; he will not share these with a stranger.

Pro 14:11 The house of the wicked will be overthrown, but the tent of the upright will flourish.

Pro 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Pro 14:13 Even in laughter the heart may be sorrowful, and mirth may end in heaviness.

Pro 14:14 The unfaithful will be repaid for his own ways; likewise a good man will be rewarded for his ways.

Pro 14:15 A simple man believes everything, but the prudent man carefully considers his ways.

Pro 14:16 A wise man fears, and shuns evil, but the fool is hotheaded and reckless.

Pro 14:17 He who is quick to become angry will commit folly, and a crafty man is hated.

Pro 14:18 The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

Pro 14:19 The evil bow down before the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

Pro 14:20 The poor person is shunned even by his own neighbor, but the rich person has many friends.

Pro 14:21 He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who has pity on the poor.

Pro 14:22 Don't they go astray who plot evil? But love and faithfulness belong to those who plan good.

Pro 14:23 In all hard work there is profit, but the talk of the lips leads only to poverty.

Pro 14:24 The crown of the wise is their riches, but the folly of fools crowns them with folly.

Pro 14:25 A truthful witness saves souls, but a false witness is deceitful.

Pro 14:26 In the fear of Yahweh is a secure fortress, and he will be a refuge for his children.

Pro 14:27 The fear of Yahweh is a fountain of life, turning people from the snares of death.

Pro 14:28 In the multitude of people is the king's glory, but in the lack of people is the destruction of the prince.

Pro 14:29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a quick temper displays folly.

Pro 14:30 The life of the body is a heart at peace, but envy rots the bones.

Pro 14:31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for his Maker, but he who is kind to the needy honors him.

Pro 14:32 The wicked is brought down in his calamity, but in death, the righteous has a refuge.

Pro 14:33 Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, and is even made known in the inward part of fools.

Pro 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

Pro 14:35 The king's favor is toward a servant who deals wisely, but his wrath is toward one who causes shame. 

 

Oct. 12

Ephesians 3

Eph 3:1 For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles,

Eph 3:2 if it is so that you have heard of the administration of that grace of God which was given me toward you;

Eph 3:3 how that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before in few words,

Eph 3:4 by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ;

Eph 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

Eph 3:6 that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News,

Eph 3:7 of which I was made a servant, according to the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of his power.

Eph 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

Eph 3:9 and to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ;

Eph 3:10 to the intent that now through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places,

Eph 3:11 according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord;

Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him.

Eph 3:13 Therefore I ask that you may not lose heart at my troubles for you, which are your glory.

Eph 3:14 For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Eph 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

Eph 3:16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man;

Eph 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

Eph 3:18 may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

Eph 3:19 and to know Christ's love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

Eph 3:21 to him be the glory in the assembly and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.


Oct. 13

Ephesians 4

Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,

Eph 4:2 with all lowliness and humility, with patience, bearing with one another in love;

Eph 4:3 being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling;

Eph 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Eph 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all.

Eph 4:7 But to each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Eph 4:8 Therefore he says, "When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men."

Eph 4:9 Now this, "He ascended," what is it but that he also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

Eph 4:10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.

Eph 4:11 He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers;

Eph 4:12 for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Christ;

Eph 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Eph 4:14 that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;

Eph 4:15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ;

Eph 4:16 from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love.

Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

Eph 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts;

Eph 4:19 who having become callous gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Eph 4:20 But you did not learn Christ that way;

Eph 4:21 if indeed you heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus:

Eph 4:22 that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit;

Eph 4:23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

Eph 4:24 and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.

Eph 4:25 Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor. For we are members of one another.

Eph 4:26 "Be angry, and don't sin." Don't let the sun go down on your wrath,

Eph 4:27 neither give place to the devil.

Eph 4:28 Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need.

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for building up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Eph 4:30 Don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice.

Eph 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.