Enemies Are Not Flesh We Are Fighting

VERSE OF THE DAY

Ephesians 6:12-13 (Good News Translation)

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For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.

Flesh and blood is just a shell that holds our spirit we are in spiritual fights against rulers and authorities against Works of evil in heavenly places powers of the dark ages raise up the power using the armor Of God Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:12-13

Related Topics: God, Evil, Flesh, Satan, Spiritual Warfare, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

How often do you forget that we are in a spiritual war? Our enemy is deceptively cunning — take away the immediacy of a threat and the danger appears gone. But he’s there, always. But rather than try to guess his plans and counter all of his moves, Paul reminds us to simply take up the tools God has given us and stand up to the evil one.

My Prayer…

Lord of Hosts, my Great Deliverer, protect me from the evil one by your great power. Give me a sense of urgency as I face Satan and his schemes on a daily basis, but also give me confidence that Jesus has already defeated my foe. Help me to stand against this foe and show myself faithful to you. Through Jesus my Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

Lesson 56: Why Christians Must be Fighters (Ephesians 6:12-13)

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In January, 1975, three days after Marla and I moved into our new apartment in Dallas where I was attending seminary, we were walking from our carport to the door of our apartment when I heard a voice and felt a hand from behind come around my forehead. I spun around to see something right in front of my eyes. I instinctively grabbed it and pushed it away from my face. As I did I realized that I was holding the barrel of a revolver.

It’s amazing how many thoughts flash through your mind in a situation like that. I wondered what I would do if the second man standing there grabbed Marla. I thought about where the bullet would ricochet if the gunman pulled the trigger. I wondered if the barrel would be too hot to hold if he fired the gun. After a brief struggle, he yanked the gun from my hand and the two men ran off into the night, leaving me with a wound from the gun-sight that required four stitches to repair.

That incident affected the way that we lived for the next two years that we were there. Not once after that did I drive into that carport without looking around very carefully to make sure that no strange men were standing around. I never stood outside after dark to chat with anyone. There were single women who would stand out by the laundry room after dark, talking. I would not let Marla go down there alone. Those women were oblivious to any potential danger, but we knew what could happen. Even now, over 30 years later, I always look around for suspicious looking characters when I’m out after dark.

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Many Christians go through life like those women by the laundry room, unaware that there is an evil enemy on the prowl, waiting to engage them in hand-to-hand combat. Because they are not thinking about being attacked, they don’t bother to put on God’s armor. They are not ready for combat. They dally with sin as if it were harmless. They’re friendly with the world and its many temptations. As a result, they are caught off guard, fall into serious sin, and their testimony for Jesus Christ is destroyed.

Let’s be honest: most of us don’t like to fight. Our inclination is to run from conflict rather than to fight. We all like peace. But the Bible is very clear that the Christian life, both individually and corporately, is a life of mortal combat with the spiritual forces of wickedness. Because this enemy never quits his attacks, Christians must learn to be fighters. To be unprepared against such an evil enemy or to run from the fight is to insure defeat. In our text, Paul explains why Christians must be fighters:

Christians must be fighters because we struggle against the evil spiritual forces of darkness.

1. Satan and his forces are real, evil, and powerful (6:12).

In military strategy, it is fatal to underestimate the strength of the enemy. To shrug off an enemy as a pushover when he is armed, organized, experienced, and dangerous, is to invite defeat. As I said, I have seen believers that disregard the reality and power of the enemy. We dare not do that!

But I’ve also seen some that give Satan too much credit. They view him as being almost as strong as God is. It’s as if God is desperately trying to get the upper hand, but He hasn’t quite succeeded. And they blame Satan for everything, from car problems to anger problems. So they’re always casting out the demon of this or that. When they yield to their own sinful desires, they blame it on the devil. We need to avoid this error as well.

William Gurnall (The Christian in Complete Armour [Banner of Truth], 1:112) observes that there is a great difference between how God and Satan deal with their followers. God reveals to His followers the strength of the enemy, but Satan does not dare to reveal to his followers the strength of God, or they would mutiny. So we need to look at what God tells us about the strength of the enemy.

A. THESE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS ARE REAL.

Nothing delights Satan more than when people do not believe in him or take him seriously. Years ago the liberal theologian Rudolf Bultmann dogmatically stated, “it is impossible to use electric light and the wireless, and to avail ourselves of modern medical and surgical discoveries, and at the same time believe in the New Testament world of demons and spirits” (cited by John Stott, The Cross of Christ [IVP], p. 23). In 1980, a Christianity Today poll showed that only 52 percent of Baptists, 24 percent of Methodists, and 34 percent of Lutherans believed that the devil is a personal being. Among the clergy, 18 percent of the Methodists denied the existence of the devil altogether, while an additional 36 percent regarded him as an impersonal force. Only 34 percent of the general public believed in a personal devil (Christianity Today, April 18, 1980, p. 31). Such views make Satan’s work easy for him!

But Satan and the demons are not just an impersonal force of evil in the world. The devil is not just a figure of speech or the figment of the primitive, minds of the biblical authors. Rather, he is a real spirit-being. He is a created angelic being who rebelled against God and led a number of angelic hosts in his rebellion. Jesus referred to him as the ruler of this world (John 12:31; 14:30). Paul called him “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air, … the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).

When Paul states (Eph. 6:12) that these evil forces are not “flesh and blood” and that they dwell “in heavenly places,” he means that they are not earthly creatures with physical bodies, but rather spirit-beings that are invisible to us. We do not know whether they can temporarily take on a human form of their own, as the righteous angels do, but it would seem reasonable to assume that they can. Some argue that demons in human form cohabited with women prior to the flood (Gen. 6:1-4), but I find that view to be unconvincing. Demons can take possession of human personalities and bodies, creating disease and bizarre behavior, as many instances in the Gospels and the Book of Acts show. Their normal mode of operation is to work through unbelievers and through human religions, governments, cultures, media, and philosophies to further Satan’s opposition to God. But the main point here is that they are real spirit-beings, not just an impersonal evil influence.

B. THESE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS ARE TERRIBLY EVIL.

The name Satan means adversary. Devil means accuser or slanderer. He is also called Abaddon and Apollyon, which mean “Destroyer” in Hebrew and Greek (Rev. 9:11). The name Beelzebul (Matt. 12:24) may mean “lord of the flies,” or “lord of the idol sacrifice,” where the Hebrew word for “idol sacrifice” is similar to their word for “dung” (H. Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology [Zondervan], ed. by Colin Brown, 3:469). Satan appears as the serpent that tempted Eve and caused the fall of the human race into sin (Gen. 3:1-7). Jesus said that Satan is a murderer, a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). He deceives the whole world, accuses believers before God’s throne, and persecutes them relentlessly (Rev. 12:9-10, 13).

In short, Satan and the fallen angels are evil to the core. Contrary to some TV programs where nice witches have supernatural power to do good, all satanic and demonic activity is wicked. Christians should never dabble in anything satanic or occult, including Ouija boards, seances, fortune telling, or astrology.

C. THESE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS ARE POWERFUL.

Satan and the demons are very powerful, although God limits their power. Contrary to what many think, the devil is neither omnipresent nor omniscient. He can only be in one place at a time and he does not know everything about us. But he has a large force of evil spirits to carry out his strategies worldwide and they are very experienced and intelligent. We should not trifle with Satan or think that in ourselves we are any match for him. Our text reveals at least five ways that Satan and his forces are powerful:

(1). THEY ARE SPIRITUAL FORCES, NOT PHYSICAL BEINGS.

We’ve already seen this in identifying the reality of these forces, but here the point is that we are fighting an enemy that we cannot see with our eyes. There is a sense in which we do wrestle against flesh and blood, in that sinful people can tempt us and oppose us. Even professing Christians can tempt us to sin or lead us into false teaching. And we all struggle against our own flesh, which dwells in this body of sin (Rom. 7:14-25). But our ultimate enemy, the one behind the scenes, is invisible to human sight and therefore all the more dangerous and powerful.

(2). THEY ARE SCHEMING AND DECEPTIVE.

Jesus called the devil a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Paul says that he disguises himself as an angel of light and that his servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14-15). One of the main ways that he works is through false teaching that appeals to the flesh and to human pride (1 Tim. 4:1; 1 John 2:18-27; 4:1-6; cf. 2 Tim. 4:3-4). Pride was probably Satan’s original sin (Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:17). God hates pride, because it takes away from His glory (Prov. 6:16-17; 1 Pet. 5:5).

Every false religion and cult promotes a way of salvation that allows sinful people to take some or all of the credit, thus feeding human pride. A test of sound doctrine is, does it teach salvation by grace alone through Christ alone by faith alone, so that all the glory goes to God? If it adds works to faith or teaches that faith comes from man, not from God, it feeds pride. Satan is the deceiving force behind all of these false ways of salvation.

Satan also uses deception when he tempts us to sin. He always portrays sin as attractive and fulfilling. He convinces us that a particular sin will meet needs that God has not met. Are you single and desiring a mate? Have you prayed, but God has not answered? Satan comes along and says, “Here is an attractive young man [or woman] for you!” You ask, “Is he [she] a committed believer in Jesus Christ?” “No, but look at how nice he is. He treats you well! You know supposedly Christian men that abuse their wives, so being a Christian is no guarantee of getting a loving mate. Besides, you aren’t committing to marry him. Just go out with him and see how it goes.” And so the unsuspecting get lured into premarital sex and marriage to a nice unbeliever!

Satan uses the same deceptive tactics to lure married believers into adultery. You’re having problems in your marriage. Along comes the most understanding, sympathetic, and attractive person! Whereas your husband never listens to you, this man always listens. Whereas your wife never responds to you sexually, this gorgeous woman is ready and willing! Be forewarned! The devil is powerful because he is a deceptive schemer.

(3). THEY ARE STRONG.

Paul emphasizes the spiritual authority of these foes. He calls them “rulers,” “powers,” “world forces of this darkness,” and “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” His repetition of the word “against” in each case underscores the complete incompatibility and the entrenched opposition between these evil powers and God’s people.

The spiritual authority of these demonic powers is indicated in an incident in the life of the prophet Daniel. He had been praying and fasting for three weeks when an angel appeared to him. He describes him (Dan. 10:5-6) as a man “dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult.” When Daniel saw him, all his strength left him and his complexion took on a deathly pallor. He could not stop trembling. The angel went on to explain that he had come in response to Daniel’s prayer. He would have arrived sooner, but “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” had withstood him for three weeks. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, had come to his aid (Dan. 10:7-13).

This story gives us a brief glimpse into the unseen world of the angelic conflict. Apparently certain demons have authority over entire nations or kingdoms. They are so powerful that even this impressive angel could not break through until he received help from Michael, the archangel (Jude 9)! There is no warrant here for praying against territorial spirits, as some charismatic brethren encourage us to do. But it does show us that these demons have impressive power.

The story of Job also shows that Satan has the power to instigate murderous terrorist attacks (Job 1:13-15, 17); to send lightning to hit specific targets (Job 1:16); to send a tornado force wind on a particular house (Job 1:18-19); and, to strike a man with painful boils all over his body (Job 2:7). He could have killed Job if God had so permitted (Job 2:6). You don’t want to mess with this powerful enemy or underestimate his strength!

Why would God give such authority and strength to such a hideous enemy? We cannot know more than Scripture reveals, but we can know that Satan cannot do anything that is outside of God’s eternal purpose in Christ (Eph. 1:11). God will be more glorified in the ultimate overthrow of Satan and the demons than if He had never allowed them to rebel in the first place.

The Bible clearly shows that God uses satanic forces to accomplish His holy and sovereign purposes, and yet He is not tainted by their evil ways and He will ultimately judge both the demons and sinful people for their sinful choices (1 Kings 22:19-23; 2 Sam. 12:11-12; see John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 18 for many more examples). The most evil deed in history, the crucifixion of the sinless Son of God, was carried out through Satan’s influence on evil men, and yet it accomplished the predetermined purpose of God (John 13:27; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28)! God even uses Satan at times to chasten God’s servants (Luke 22:31-32; 2 Cor. 12:7). So, Satan is strong, but God is stronger!

(4). THEY ARE SYSTEMATIZED.

The terms used in verse 12 cannot be arranged in any definite rank or order, but they do seem to indicate an organized spiritual hierarchy of some sort. We know that Satan is the prince of the power of the air and that certain demons have jurisdiction over specific earthly kingdoms (Dan. 10:13). A disorganized army is not a strong army. So Satan and his forces are organized against the Lord and His church. They are a force to be reckoned with!

(5). THEY ARE OFTEN SUCCESSFUL.

True, Satan was defeated once and for all at the cross (Col. 2:15). Satan is no match for God (1 John 4:4). In Christ, we have God’s mighty power at work in us, power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in the heavens, far above all spiritual authorities (Eph. 1:19-23).

And yet, Satan does have temporary successes in the battle. Pastors and missionaries fall into serious sin that disqualifies them from the ministry. Churches split into factions over minor doctrinal or personal controversies. Christian marriages end in divorce. Christian young people get seduced by the world, the flesh, and the devil, leading them astray from the truth. False teachers lure professing Christians into all sorts of errors. The list goes on!

So while Satan is a defeated foe, he is not a weak foe! The application is, Don’t trifle with Satan! Don’t play around with sin and think that you will come away unscathed. Don’t see how much like the world you can be without compromising your testimony. Distance yourself from the adversary. Respect his frightening power. You cannot defeat him if you flirt with evil. The only way you can defeat him is through sustained conflict.

2. Fight by taking up the full armor of God, so that you can resist and stand firm in the evil day (6:13).

Verse 13 repeats much of verses 10 & 11 to drive the point home: “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” As I pointed out last week, it is God’s armor and God’s strength, but we are commanded actively to take it up and put it on. Two observations:

A. EVIL DAYS WILL COME TO US ALL.

By “the evil day,” Paul is not just referring to the fact that we live in an evil world that will go on being evil until Jesus returns. That is true, but Paul is referring to the fact that both corporately and individually we will face times of spiritual attack that are unusually intense. The word “struggle” (6:12) refers to a wrestling match, or a one-on-one contest of strength and endurance. Sometimes the entire church comes into an evil day, such as the current persecution against Christians in India or the attacks on believers in Muslim countries or under Communist regimes.

But also, as individual Christians we face times of unusual attack. Perhaps your marriage is going through a difficult time and suddenly a very attractive and seductive coworker comes on the scene. It’s not a coincidence! It’s an attack of the enemy! Or, your family is in financial need when an opportunity to make some illegal easy money is dropped in your lap. Or, you’re struggling with depression when one of your friends tells you that he has some illegal drugs that will make you forget your troubles. This is “the evil day,” or what John Owen (in his great treatise on “Sin and Temptation”) referred to as “entering into temptation.”

By including himself (“our struggle”), Paul shows that he was not exempt from these battles. True, his struggles may have been different than ours, but the most godly saints face these encounters with the forces of darkness. You must know your own weaknesses and propensity toward sin so that you will be on guard when the enemy engages you in battle. If you think that you’re immune, you are especially vulnerable (1 Cor. 10:12)!

B. ADEQUATE PREPARATION IS A MAJOR PART OF VICTORY.

Proverbs 24:10 states, “If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited.” In Proverbs 1:20-33, wisdom mocks the guy who waited until calamity hit to seek her. Here, Paul tells us to take up God’s full armor so that we will be able to resist when the evil day hits, as surely it will. Then, being prepared, you will be able to stand firm.

You do not need to learn any formulas or complicated steps to victory over the devil (as some books promote). The Bible is quite simple (James 4:7): “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Or (1 Pet. 5:8-9a): “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith….” By the way, we’re commanded to flee from sin, but to resist the devil (1 Cor. 6:18; 10:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22).

As Jesus showed us when He was tempted by Satan, one of the most effective ways to resist is to know and recite Scripture. And so one way to prepare yourself for battle in the evil day is to saturate your mind with God’s Word, reading it over and over and memorizing key verses to equip you for victory.

Conclusion

When the apostle Paul got to the end of his life, in spite of all of his achievements, he summed it up by saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). He fought, he prevailed, and he stood firm to the end.

Fighting in hand-to-hand combat against these hideous forces of darkness may not be your idea of a good time! But it is an inescapable part of the Christian life. Because this powerful, wicked enemy seeks to destroy us, we must fight by taking up God’s full armor so that we can resist and stand firm in the evil day.

Application Questions

1. How can we know whether an attack stems from Satan or from our sinful flesh? Does it make any practical difference?

2. Should Christians fear the devil? How, or how not?

3. How would you counsel a believer who was in “an evil day”? What steps should he take?

4. What practical things (positive and negative) can a believer do to be prepared for the “evil day”?

Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2008, All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation

FROM THE SERIES: EPHESIANS

What does Ephesians 6:12 mean? [ See verse text ]

This famous verse describes the spiritual battle that exists in the lives of believers. It does so perhaps better than any other words in Scripture. First, Paul affirms our battle is indeed spiritual, not physical. The enemies we face, ultimately, are not people or objects. The Devil may use those as part of his attack, but our true opponent is not other people: it is sin.

Second, Paul identifies our spiritual enemies. This list is commonly interpreted as a vague listing of the “ranks” within the demonic armies. “Rulers” seem to indicate a top level of evil spiritual forces. “Authorities” refer to general forces of evil attacking believers. “Cosmic powers” seems to refer to the worldwide nature of this spiritual battle. “Evil in the heavenly places” again emphasizes a battle beyond this world.

Spiritual battles can occur at all levels, anywhere across this world and beyond. The believer must be prepared for all types of attacks through putting on God’s armor, as Paul describes.

Context Summary

Ephesians 6:10–20 concludes Paul’s practical application of Christianity with a famous series of metaphors. Here, he describes the ”armor of God.” In this passage, Paul uses the allegory of a Roman soldier’s basic equipment to show how the components of Christianity work together as we strive to serve God. The soldier’s tools include a belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword. In parallel, the Christian’s implements are truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. Christians are also given prayer. Just as a soldier’s equipment is designed for their earthly battle, a Christian’s equipment is meant for spiritual warfare.

Chapter Summary

Paul gives specific instructions to children and fathers, stressing obedience and patience, respectively. He also directs servants to serve with sincerity and good intentions, as if they were working for Christ. Masters are warned not to be harsh: the same God who judges all will not give them preference over those they supervised. All Christians are called on to use the tools given us by God for surviving the attacks of the devil. These are imagined as pieces of a suit of armor. Paul ends this letter in his typical style, with prayer, blessings, and news about his plans

What Does Ephesians 6:12 Mean? ►

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 6:12(KJV)

Verse Thoughts

Christ gained complete victory over sin, death and Satan through His death, burial and resurrection. And Christ’s victory is ours by faith – for we are His body and are identified with Him and He with us.

The day is coming when Christ will rule and reign on this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.. and Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit for a thousand years, but during this Church dispensation we are engaged in an ongoing, spiritual battle with unseen spiritual forces of evil – for we are members of Christ spiritual body and our spiritual battle is against a spiritual enemy.

The enemy against which we are called to wrestle can never be fought in the natural plain or in the physical sphere, for we do not wrestle against a flesh and blood enemy. We are engaged in a spiritual battle with a wicked fallen angel and many evil principalities and power – who are the authors of evil, deception, lies, fear, sin, evil, unrest and war.

Our battle is against spiritual rulers of darkness that influence the evil that is taking place in this world today – but they can never be defeated in our lives through natural weapons and worldly ways.

Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness – against the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience. It is the Holy Spirit of God, Who works in believers and it is the evil spirit of wickedness that works in the sons of disobedience. We are in Christ and He is in us and we are to fight this enemy with the spiritual weapons that He has provided – through the Word of God and all-prayer.

The spiritual forces of evil will use the unsaved and blinded people to carry out their nefarious plans and there is only one way to defeat the spiritual enemy that seeks to shipwreck our faith in Christ Jesus – and that is by using spiritual weapons against this spiritual enemy.

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen, spiritual world. Our daily battle is against mighty powers in this dark world, and evil spirits in heavenly places.. and the only effective weapons against this evil enemy is found IN-Christ – the-Word-of-God and all prayer – for Christ is our Salvation and Christ is the Truth Christ is our Righteousness and Christ is our Peace.

Christ’s victory at Calvary is ours by faith today. He triumphed over Satan through His death, burial and resurrection and only through HIM.. and the spiritual weapons of war that He provides can we successful wrestle against the evil forces in our world today.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/ephesians-6-12

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/ephesians-6-12

Ephesians 6:12 Meaning of Our Struggle is not Against Flesh and Blood

Oct 28, 2019 by Editor in Chief

Ephesians 6:12
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Explanation and Commentary of Ephesians 6:12

Our struggle will always seem to be against flesh and blood. Isn’t it people who get in our way? Isn’t it even ourselves that are our own worst enemy? Maybe sometimes there is some truth to that, but the ultimate reality is that we are in a spiritual battle that can only be fought with spiritual weapons.

For a time, satan has a measure of authority to cause harm. Just as the Nazis were actually defeated on D-Day, but continued killing and causing trouble until V-Day, satan, a defeated enemy (Col 2:15) is not yet fully routed. Jesus has left the Church to continue to plunder his house until the end of the age.

While it is unhealthy to become obsessed with satan and demons, it is fruitless to deny their existence. But the very weakest of Christians have enough of the power of God and the authority over every demon of hell and should not be afraid. The evil one, actually powerless against the church (Mt 16:18) has one main weapon that he uses most effectively: the power of lies to deceive.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Ephesians 6:12

#1 “For…”
Paul has said that we need to, “be strong in the Lord’s mighty power and put on the full armor of God” (Eph 6:10-11), which will be detailed in the verses that come after.

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#2 “…our struggle…”
Certainly Paul is speaking of the persecution of the Church and especially its ministers such as himself. But our struggle includes anything that we would consider a trial: our sin, particularly pride, hatred, greed or lust, or the ungodly ways of the world, misdealings with other people, and physical ailments and death.

#3 “…is not against flesh and flesh and blood,”
Under and behind all physical manifestations of struggle is a spiritual reality. A problem with another person is really a spiritual problem. A problem with the effects of a fallen world, especially when it concerns hostility to the gospel or with God’s way of living, is not truly a struggle against the flesh and blood manifestations of those problems.

#4 “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Rather, all darkness and struggle have one source, Satan and his mysterious hierarchy of demonic principalities who have been given the chance to cause trouble in this present darkness. Even death himself falls into this category. The “dark world” has been violently imposed upon by the birth, and then especially the death and resurrection of Christ. It will finally be snuffed out by the second coming of Christ and the final judgment. Because our battle is a spiritual one, the spiritual weapons of prayer, godliness, and the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are our defense against it.

The exceptional video below gives a full commentary and explanation of Ephesians 6:12.

◄ What Does Ephesians 6:13 Mean? ►

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Ephesians 6:13(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Many of the battles in Old Testament times were fought with spears and swords in the physical realm, but New Testament believers are called upon to fight battles in the spiritual sphere, for we do not wrestle against physical enemies of flesh and blood… our battle is not against human opponents. Our enemy is in the spiritual plane. The opponents with whom we wrestle are spiritual rulers and demonic powers. We fight against the forces of this dark world – the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

We are at war with an evil, spiritual enemy, where the invisible rulers of darkness and wicked spiritual beings who inhabit high places, are hell-bent on ruining the lives of multitudes and shipwrecking the testimony of Christians, in defiance of God Almighty. They are the arch-enemy of the Lord and their intent is to decimate human-kind and rid the world of Adam’s race which was made in the image and likeness of God. And so Paul instructs us, “therefore, take up the full armour of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

Having been given an assurance of our position in Christ and a reminder of the wonderful resurrection power we have in Him by faith, Paul calls upon us to take up the full armour of God so that we are equipped to resist the satanic plans and purposes of the enemy in the evil day and to stand firm in a world that is spiralling out of control. Every one of us is to put on the whole armour of God so that we may be able to take a stand against every evil assault of the enemy – and continue to stand firm in the faith that God supplied through His eternal Son.

There are many components of the Christian’s spiritual armoury… and on closer inspection, we discover that each piece is directly linked with our position in Christ. When the enemy attacks and satanic forces are seeking to undermine our faith, we are to put on Christ – to remain covered in His perfect righteousness – to abide in Him and hope in the Lord.

The Lord Jesus is the Way, and He is Truth. He is our Righteousness, and in Him we have Peace – the perfect peace of God in our heart and everlasting peace with God, for we are His children. He is our salvation and by faith in Him, we have the indwelling Spirit of God giving us access to the throne of grace – through prayer, for mercy to find help in time of need.

He is the living, eternal Word of God made flesh… and by grace we have been given the God-breathed, inerrant, written Word of God – the Scriptures. Every single component of our spiritual armour is vital if we are to stand fast against the wiles of the enemy and hold fast in this evil day. Every piece of armour is required at all times if we are to be triumphant – for it is only as we yield to God, abide in Christ, and He in us, that we are empowered to resist the enemy and are assured a great spiritual victory.

We are called upon to take-up our weapons of warfare and to put-on the full armour of God, which is another way of saying – clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul is calling believers to put on Christ, to abide in Christ and to rest in Him – as He abides in us.

Nowhere are we called upon to stamp on the enemy’s head or rebuke Satan as many like to teach. Even the archangel Michael said, “the LORD rebuke you, Satan.” However, we are called upon in Scripture, to resist and repel the enemy. Peter tells us to, “submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee from you.” And here we are also instructed to, “resist in the evil day and stand firm,” so that having done all, we will remain standing.

We are not to compromise with the ways of the world, nor are we to be deceived by the darkness of our fallen age. We are called to resist in the evil day and to clothe ourselves with Christ, so that we may be able to stand firm on the truth of the Word of God, as we pray in spirit and truth, with all prayer and supplication – and as we patiently intercede for all the saints of God.

May we be faithful to fulfil the privileged position we have as a member of Christ’s spiritual army, and may we never seek to come against the enemy in the power of our own flesh or prideful self… but rather, may we take up our heavenly armour as we pray in the spirit and remain covered in Christ – in Whose name we stand.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/ephesians-6-13

Can You Explain Ephesians 6-12 In The Bible – Spiritual Kingdoms and Rulers?

HOME » CAN YOU EXPLAIN EPHESIANS 6-12 IN THE BIBLE – SPIRITUAL KINGDOMS AND RULERS?

 

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Can You Explain Ephesians 6-12 In The Bible – Spiritual Kingdoms and Rulers?

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“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12

In most of Chapter 6, Paul is reminding the church at Ephesus to be spiritually-strong. He is reminding them that their defensive armor, as well as their offensive weapons, are both spiritual. He is reminding them that their true enemy is a spiritual enemy. Of course, Christians then and now do have enemies (in the world) but here Paul is reminding them of their greater enemy (not of this world). This enemy is Satan and everything within his kingdom. This kingdom uses many forces (including in and through people and organizations) with the intent to steal, kill, and destroy.

Note, I’m a Deliverance minister. I’ve battled spiritual evil. While many of other answers to this question come from academicians who have theory or rhetoric or non-spiritual justifications for what Paul means I will be answering this question as someone who actually believes in the Bible, in Spiritual Reality, in real Spiritual Enemies, and the reality that Christians are called into Spiritual Warfare. This is clearly what the text says and clearly what Paul meant. This part is certain and non-negotiable.

Entire books have been written in detail to describe the Satanic kingdom and the operations of spiritual evil. I’m going to provide a super-short answer just to steer you in the right direction. Keep in mind different deliverance ministries have slightly different theories and understandings of how exactly things should be labeled and organized. However, the general idea has a consensus and they all have 90%+ in common. The exactness of the labeling isn’t that important. It’s our attempt to examine our enemy and know him better so we can war against him more effectively. What is most important is knowing WHO the enemy is, HOW they attack Christians, and HOW to defend yourself. Paul gives you this in Scripture.

On our Recommended Reading page are books on spiritual warfare that I would recommend, including the entire Chapter 3 of my book, The Empowered Christian Road Map, which deals specifically with how Christians can recognize and dump the garbage baggage of demonic influence in their lives. I’d also recommend my 300+ Quora answers dealing with demons and my Spiritual Warfare Bootcamp course.

The general structure works like this:

1. KINGDOMS – Jurisdictions of evil with specific purpose/intent. Within specific kingdoms exist the following:

1. PRINCIPALITIES – Chief of order, time, place or rank (the demonic brains behind evil strategies)

2. POWERS – Those demons who exert the authority or right delegated. High-ranking, evil supernatural powers, as well as the power of sin and evil in operation in the world.

3. MINIONS/ASSIGNMENTS – Lower ranking demons assigned to specific tasks.

2. RULERS OF THE DARKNESS – This might include any of the above high-ranking officials who might be considered a “ruler,” or even things like the various forms of Occultism or Witchcraft or Divination. These practices derive their power from the previous demonic kingdoms and sources, and thus are knowingly or unknowingly victims and slaves to their evil agenda. Nonetheless, the human practitioner still “rules” the darkness in this age by giving these non-physical, spiritual entities access to our physical world in ways that permit them to do more damage in it.

3. SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN HEAVENLY PLACES – Might as well say “…in spiritual places.” It’s the same thing. By “heavenly” Paul is referring to the spiritual dimension of our existence on Earth, not actual Heaven, as in where God and the angels are. None of this evil is in Heaven. It is all on Earth, in the spiritual realm, cast out of Heaven during the fall with Lucifer. Essentially, Paul is wrapping all of this (Satan, other fallen angels, demons, witchcraft powers, etc.) in it’s various forms into one category – spiritual evil that influences life on Earth. All that which opposes the Holy Spirit’s work.

I hope that helps and may God bless, strengthen, and protect YOU who are reading this..

Humble To God

James 4:10 (New Living Translation)

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Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

So let God work his will in you. working for him in humble ways in honor of the Lord for he will honor and reward you in honor say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him make himself scarce. He doesn’t have ownership for you God does you are his child Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. Bow before the king in his honor. Leave the sinfulness alone live a fervent life for Christ

Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious.

◄ What Does James 4:10 Mean? ►

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

James 4:10(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Not only is salvation given to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as a free gift of God’s grace, but His ongoing favour is readily available to every believer, as we journey along the path of life.

Having been born again of the Spirit, we are called to trust in the Lord with all our heart, and we also have a biblical responsibility to walk in His ways and humble ourselves before His face, as outlined in the epistle of James.

James reminds us of an important biblical principle that is found throughout the pages of Scripture, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The Lord withstands self-important, arrogant men, but supplies His sufficient grace to those that are meek and lowly of heart.

John the Baptist demonstrated humility of heart when he cried out, “He must increase and I must decrease,” and in like manner, we should all be ready and willing to carry out this conditional directive from James, “if we humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord, He will lift us up and exalt us.”

In 2 Chronicles, we read that humbling oneself before God is linked with earnest prayer, seeking God’s face, and turning from every wicked way… for humbling oneself before the Lord, enables the grace of God to flow freely into our hearts and breathes spiritual revival into our soul.

James lays out his criteria on living a humble life that honours the Lord in the fourth chapter of his epistle. He lists a series of commands that will not only keep us in close fellowship with God, but encourages us towards humility of heart and gentleness of spirit.

We are instructed to submit to God, with a promise that when we resist the devil, he will flee from us. We are told that if we draw near to the Lord, He will draw near to each one of us, and we are directed to be single-minded men and women and not to be tossed about by every wind of doctrine.

We are exhorted to have clean hands and a pure heart, and we are to be people who hate evil and grieve over sin, so that we can receive His gracious comfort and be a channel of God’s solace to others.

James calls every one of us to live righteously before God. He encourages us to love mercy and presents us in this verse with a beautiful, conditional promise, “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”

Humility is a fruit of the Spirit that should be exhibited in every life that lives godly in Christ Jesus, but there is much misunderstanding about biblical humility and what it means to humble one’s self before the Lord.

Humility is not disliking who you are or demeaning yourself in front of others. It is not a deliberate exhibition of self-humbling in order to get others to applaud your achievements… nor is it a wringing of hands or a constant declaration that you are a very very ‘umble’ person!

Humility is not generated by human effort or manufactured by emotions. It can’t be acquired through a strict training programme, learned from a college course, or acquired by watching a you-tube video. True humility is a fruit of the Spirit that buds and blossoms in the heart of someone who is submitted to God, walking in spirit and truth – someone who is growing in grace and maturing in the Christian faith. 

The one who truly humbles himself in the sight of God is the one who makes himself lowly of heart before the Lord, by admitting the greatness of our God and acknowledging His magnificent majesty. It is confessing that without the Lord we can do nothing. It is trusting Him in all things and relying on Him to carry out the good work that He has prepared for us to do in His power and for His ultimate glory.

May the desire of our heart be to apply all the important biblical principles that James has so carefully laid out in this passage, and may we live in the way that Lord requires of all His children. May we submit to God and single-mindedly draw close to Him and humble ourselves in His presence – for His greater glory. 

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/james-4-10

James 4:10

by Grant Richison | Dec 7, 2000 | James | 3 comments

Read Introduction to James

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

We now come to the 10th divine directive – “humble yourselves.”

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,

James again takes up the subject of humility (4:6).  The word “humble” means to make low, bring low.  We make ourselves low when we see the greatness and majesty of God.  Humility is primarily vertical towards God, not horizontally towards others.

The words “in the sight of” come from a Greek term combined of two words: in and eye.  A humble person lives his life knowing that God watches everything he does.  He lives in the eye of God.  Humility always relates to the Almighty majesty of God.   This is humility in the sight of God, not men.

Is 6:5, “So I said:

‘Woe is me, for I am undone!

Because I am a man of unclean lips,

And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;

For my eyes have seen the King,

The Lord of hosts’.”

Humility is the surefire cure for carnality.

Php 2:3-3, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

and He will lift you up

This phrase promises that God will elevate us to new spiritual heights if we humble ourselves before Him.  We will find ourselves in a new sphere of spirituality through humility.  This is the result, not the cause, of God’s lifting us to new spiritual heights.

Mt 23:12, “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

God will raise us to the summit of spiritual prosperity when we recognize that everything we have, we have because of His grace.

Ro 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

1 Co 4:7, “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”

PRINCIPLE:

The way down is the way up spiritually.

APPLICATION:

Pride is our biggest spiritual problem.  We carry the pride of face, place, and race.  If we do not humble ourselves, God will have to do it for us.

2 Co 12:21, “…lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.”

Revival comes when we humble ourselves before the majesty of God.  Humility allows God to do His work of grace in us.

2 Ch 7:14, “…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

James 4:10 Meaning of Humble Yourself

Nov 13, 2020 by Editor in Chief

James 4:10
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Explanation and Commentary of James 4:10

In the midst of a powerful section of the book of James, who was the biological brother of Jesus and the leader of the church in Jerusalem after Peter left on his missionary journeys, this verse has universal application. In context, James has been dealing with the tendency of Christians to act like the world, fighting and quarreling because of the anger brought about by unfulfilled lusts. He, like Jesus, equated this anger with hatred and murder. The root of these fights is pride, which will be the undoing of anyone, including Christians, who fail to deal with it where it arises.

The remedy is simple, “Humble yourselves.” There is a sweet spot for the believer that to stay in will be joy and contentment. First, as image-bearers of God, we have an enormous privilege of being. And as redeemed, adopted, image-bearers, we have even more privilege. This is what we call our identity in Christ. That said, there is all the reason in the world to be confident in Christ, and in who we are as his children. But at the same time, we have no reason to set ourselves above other image-bearers. In fact, we’ve been rescued from playing the comparison game at all. And we live in constant awareness of the greatness of God. We are confident as image-bearing humans, but we know that God is infinitely greater than we are, and so we humbly submit and worship him, living our lives for his glory—the glory that he deserves for who he is, and what he has done.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of James 4:10

#1 “Humble yourselves before the Lord,”
If you are not feeling humble, a good remedy is to go before the Lord. Consider Isaiah in Isaiah 6:1-8. Consider Peter when he saw the power of Jesus displayed (Lk 5:8). The awe and humility that resulted were the right response.

#2 “and he will lift you up.”
Philippians 2:8 says that Christ humbled himself and came down from heaven to serve even unto his death. As a result, God has exalted him above all others. As Jesus said, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Lk 14:11).

Bible Study on James 4:10

What does James 4:10 mean?

Everybody wants to be exalted. We all want to be glorified. Maybe we wouldn’t say so. Maybe we don’t feel it all of the time. But part of the motivation for living according to the world system is to get exaltation for ourselves. This comes in having the things we want, getting the respect we feel we deserve, or living in the comfort and pleasure we crave. God asks us to quit the world’s way of pursuing those things. Instead, He calls us to trust Him to exalt us when the time is right without trying to get that glory for ourselves.

That requires real humility. We agree not to make our daily lives about ourselves, and our God promises to make it about us when and how He sees fit. That’s how Jesus lived, after all. Paul described Jesus’s life on earth in Philippians 2. Jesus, God Himself, refused to fight for His right to be glorified. He “made himself nothing” (Philippians 2:7, NIV) and became a servant, even to death. Then, when the time was right, the Father exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9).

God calls us to walk that same path: Humility today, God’s glory forever.

Context Summary

James 4:1–12 builds on the end of chapter 3, describing how living according to the world’s wisdom has led to great conflict among James’s Christian readers. They were fighting with each other because they couldn’t get what they wanted. James says that living that way is adultery. It’s ”cheating” on God. He calls them to quit their friendship with the world, humble themselves, repent from their sin, and receive God’s grace. God is the Lawgiver and Judge, not man.

Chapter Summary

What was causing fights and quarrels among the Christians to whom James was writing? They were living by the world’s wisdom. This false perspective says human beings should do whatever it takes to get what they want in this life, even if it hurts other people. James says that to live that way is adultery, but God gives grace. Christians should repent and move close to God again. We should trust Him to provide, to be the Judge, and to lift us up in His time. In humility, we must acknowledge that all of our plans are dependent on Him, and He can change them at any moment

Do Right Within God’s Sight

VERSE OF THE DAY

Philippians 4:8 (New Living Translation)

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And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

And now followers of Christ one last teaching.find value in what is true and honoring to God do what is right and pleasurable pure and loving admiring to Him Think about things that are grace honoring of praise in God’s Glory

Philippians 4:8-9

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Think about good things for personal victory in any situation – Philippians 4:8

June 13, 2021 Melissa Taylor, Faith Chapel

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

– Philippians 4:8, NIV

More About This Verse

MEANING

It’s easy to dwell on the negative when life is hard, disappointing, or painful. That’s why it’s so important to follow this verse of instruction; it’s here to help us through the tough times and appreciate the great moments.

When Satan wants to get to you, he’ll often start with lies and condemnation whispered into your mind until you (maybe not even realizing Satan was doing so) start to believe them and then react with despair, sadness, anger, or any other thing that seeks to separate you from the love of God.

But with this verse, Paul gave a way to combat Satan’s efforts. We are to feed our minds with blessings from God and the good things we can find in our lives or situations. We are to think about what is true rather than the lies Satan would have us believe. We are to dwell on what is noble and right so our actions will follow our thoughts. We are to feed our minds with whatever is pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy—all the things that help us stay focused on God’s love for us and Christ’s sacrifice for us.

This radical way of filling our minds with truth and all good things is a challenge, especially during the most trying times. But as we actively practice this, even in the most difficult moments, we can fight painful situations, trials, and all the difficult things we face. It’s a way to reclaim and live out our lives with love, hope, faith, and gratefulness in the full blessings and love of God.

EXPLORE THIS PASSAGE MORE

We get the most out of each verse when we understand them in context. So, feel free to dig a little deeper into the meaning of this verse with these resources:

• The Message version says this verse this way:

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Philippians 4:8, MSG).

Read this chapter on Bible Gateway

Watch a video summary of this book

See this gallery in the original post

Philippians 4:8 is the preceding verse to Philippians 4:9, which completes a promise from God!

OCTOBER 29, 2014

Drawing Strength from Philippians 4:8

FAITH

The month of October we have focused our thoughts on  Philippians 4:8… ”whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

This verse has really come alive for me through reading the book The 4:8 Principle and through exploring the power of positive thoughts in my own life. I hope it will come alive for you too as we move into the crazy holiday season. Draw strength from it to remember your blessings and triumphs, especially on difficult days.

I wanted to share this excerpt that I read today from the Daniel Plan. It reminds me of how important our thoughts are when are trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

By: Rick Warren

“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”(Proverbs 4:23 TEV)

But there’s a better option: Change your autopilot. The same is true with your health habits. To make a lasting change, you must change how you think. Behind everything you do — even your unhealthy habits — is a thought that keeps you from getting healthy.

So friends, I challenge you to change your mindset today!

Tell yourself TODAY is the day I am going to live a healthy lifestyle!

I challenge you to stop making excuses, and start making progress towards reaching your goals! 

As Rick Warren stated, the first step in this is changing our autopilots. Do you typically reach for a soda during lunch or after a long day at work? For a week, try reaching for water or green tea instead. At first it may be difficult but the more you repeat this action, the more ingrained it will become in your mind until it is a habit.

However, this isn’t enough unless you also change your thoughts to accompany your new habits. Instead of thinking about how much eating healthy stinks or what you are missing out on, think about the positives of your new choices.  Think about all the amazing foods that you CAN eat! Eating healthy, well-balanced meals will give you more energy and focus during the day, and will provide health benefits in the long term. Regular exercise will allow you to explore the beautiful world around you, and may help you meet some new friends that share your passions.

Please remember that you don’t have to do any of this alone. Make a commitment with your family members to eat healthier and support this goal by not keeping junk food in the house. Try a new class at the gym or join a fitness club related to your passions to meet new friends who will hold you accountable to keep exercising. Encourage other friends to meet up for an activity outside, such as a walk around the park, instead of meeting for coffee.

As always, I am available to help with nutrition and different types of exercise. Meal planning can be so helpful during these busy months ahead. Also, if you are looking to run a race or begin running I have recently become a Certified Newton Running Coach. Email me at transfitathens@gmail.com or click on the appropriate tab on the blog on my website www.transfitathens.com for specifics on services on meal planning, personal training, and running coaching.

Blessings and positive thoughts for this week,

Caroline

TAGGED: PHILIPPIANS 4:8, POSITIVITY, PROVERBS 4:23, THE 4:8 PRINCIPLE, THOUGHTS

Philippians 4:8 Meaning of Whatever Is True Whatever Is Noble

Mar 22, 2020 by Editor in Chief

Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Explanation and Commentary of Philippians 4:8

For the one who is serious about following Jesus, it can sometimes be hard to know what to do. Here is concrete instruction for the transformation that comes from the renewal of the mind (Ro 12:1-3). It could also be called a way to abide in Christ (Jn 15).

The mind is the starting point for behavior. When the evil one wants to entice a person to sin, he starts in the mind. He speaks lies and condemnation until he gets the emotional response that he is looking for. Then he whispers suggestions of ways to calm or alleviate the emotion that would cause the person to disobey God in some way.

• 1.

BIBLE STUDY WORKSHEETS

But Paul gives the Philippians a way to beat Satan at his own game. Instead of waiting for Satan, the world, or your own brokenness, feed your mind with good things, positive things, godly things. Think about Christ himself. Be present with God in this moment. Watch the emotions follow, and the godly behaviors after that.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Philippians 4:8

#1 “Finally, brothers and sisters,”
Paul has written a rich letter with both the indicative and imperatives of the faith. Now he finishes with a powerful imperative for his fellow Christians in Philippi.

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#2 “whatever is true,”
All the other whatever’s hinge on this one. Anything they “think about” must be true. Satan would have us think about his lies. God would have us counter the lies with the only thing that can counter them, the truth, and then think about these things.

#3 “whatever is noble,”
There is nothing noble about satan and the darkness. Let our thoughts fall into the category of the noble, and of high moral principles.

#4 “whatever is right,”
Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. This simply means loving what is right, and doing what is right because is it right. In order to do right, one must think about what is right.

#5 “whatever is pure, lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
The rest of the list is meant to be all-encompassing. This is active work, and the main point is that as we are to think about these things, and we are not thinking about the things of darkness.

Bible Study on Philippians 4:8

What Does Philippians 4:8 Mean? ►

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Philippians 4:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

As Christians we have a been brought into a family relationship with God through our union with Christ – by faith. But we are expected to take responsibility for walking in spirit and truth; living as unto the Lord; trusting in the Word of God; depending on our heavenly Father; submitting to the Holy Spirit; abiding in Christ and appropriating all that is ours in Him – by faith.

But this can only be done as we focus the eyes of our heart on Christ.. and so throughout Scripture we are directed to take control of our thoughts and our imaginations. We are told to take every thought captive to the Lord; to let the mind of Christ dwell in us richly and not to allow the thoughts of our heart to control us. Paul puts it this way: whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Righteous living depends on right thinking and God has promised to keep in perfect peace the one whose MIND is stayed on Him. He promised that He would garrison our heart; our mind; our emotions and our innermost thoughts as we focus our prayers and praises on Him – with thanksgiving!

It is not sufficient to say that I can’t control my thought life, for in Christ we have been given all that we need for life and godliness and He has promised to supply all we need according to His riches in glory.

We are so designed.. that taking every thought captive to Christ and fixing our mind on Him is a conscious choice, which we all have to make when problems and difficulties arise in our mind.. or when life’s circumstances weigh heavily upon our heart.

When anxious thoughts start to flood our mind or when we are tempted to sin – our immediate reaction should be to look to Jesus and to remember who we are in Christ. But too often we allow anxious thoughts to drag us down into deep despair… but controlling our mind is a conscious choice. Controlling our thoughts is a deliberate decision of our self-will.

And Paul reminds us that the best way is to react to anxious thoughts is to cast all our care upon Jesus and to take all our needs, necessities, concerns and cares to the Lord in prayer – but to do so with thanksgiving and praise. We are to set our mind on the things of God and to reflect on whatever is true and honourable – good and praiseworthy.

Let us choose to focus our mind on that which is right and pure, lovely and of good repute.. for all these attributes are the fruit of the Spirit and point us to Christ.. Who alone is good and true; honourable and pure – righteous and virtuous and praiseworthy.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/philippians-4-8

What does Philippians 4:8 mean? [ See verse text ]

Paul seems to indicate he could have written at length about rejoicing in the Lord (Philippians 4:4) and God’s peace (Philippians 4:7). These were certainly topics he would have enjoyed. Instead, he summarizes a list of areas of importance for believers. They include what is true, lovely, just, commendable, pure, excellent, honorable, and praiseworthy.

Believers were to “think about these things.” While God guards our hearts (Philippians 4:7), we are also commanded to focus our lives on things that please God. There is an ongoing back and forth throughout Paul’s writings, which indicates God’s involvement in every aspect of the life of the believer. At the same time, believers are commanded to live according to God’s ways. He does the work, yet gives us work to do. Believers are called to trust in the Lord, yet also to serve the Lord. Paul set an example for how to do both. He was faithful in prayer, yet gave every bit of his life to serve the Lord.

Context Summary

Philippians 4:2–9 is Paul’s appeal to the Philippian Christians regarding how they handle disagreements within the church. Paul is particularly concerned with an argument between two women, Euodia and Syntyche. Paul’s advice is to focus on our ability to rejoice in our fellowship with Christ. The result of that emphasis ought to be an attitude of ”reasonableness,” seen by all people. With a proper focus on positive things, we can experience peace through the power of God.

Chapter Summary

Paul specifically asks two Christian women, Euodia and Syntyche, to settle their personal dispute. Other Christians are encouraged to act as reasonable, Christ-filled people. Paul notes that his experiences have taught him to be content with whatever material blessings he has. This reliance on the power of Christ not only allows believers to be content, it produces peace in our relationships to other Christians. This also requires a deliberate choice to set our attention on positive things. Paul extends sincere thanks to the Philippians for their generous support

Praise With Joy

Isaiah 12:6

New Living Translation

Let all the people of Jerusalem[a] shout his praise with joy!
    For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.”

Let the people of the holy city shout his praise with glee and happiness.

For greater is he the Holy one who lives among us

ISAIAH 12:6

KING JAMES VERSION (KJV)

TRANSLATION, MEANING, CONTEXT

To get what Isaiah 12:6 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context  and relative popularity.

“Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”

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Isaiah 12:6 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse 

Original Hebrew

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“Cry out”

צַהֲלִ֥י

To gleam; by transference to sound clear (of various animal or human expressions)

Cry out

“and shout,”

וָרֹ֖נִּי

Properly, to creak (or emit a stridulous sound), i.e., to shout (usually for joy)

shout

“thou inhabitant”

יוֹשֶׁ֣בֶת

Properly, to sit down (specifically as judge. in ambush, in quiet); by implication, to dwell, to remain; causatively, to settle, to marry

inhabitant

“of Zion:”

צִיּ֑וֹן

Tsijon (as a permanent capital), a mountain of Jerusalem

Zion

“for”

כִּֽי

(by implication) very widely used as a relative conjunction or adverb (as below); often largely modified by other particles annexed

for

“great”

גָד֥וֹל

Great (in any sense); hence, older; also insolent

great

“is”

(No Hebrew definition. English implied.)

“the Holy One”

קְד֥וֹשׁ

Sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary

Holy One

“of Israel”

יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

He will rule as God; Jisraël, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity

Israel

“in the midst”

בְּקִרְבֵּ֖ךְ

Properly, the nearest part, i.e., the center, whether literal, figurative or adverbial (especially with preposition)

midst

“of thee.”

בְּקִרְבֵּ֖ךְ

Properly, the nearest part, i.e., the center, whether literal, figurative or adverbial (especially with preposition)

of thee

Verse Context

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• • 4  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

• 5  Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

• 6  Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

SAFE HAVEN COMMUNITY CHURCH

ISAIAH 12:1–6
“THE GIFT OF JOY”

Isaiah 12:1–6 You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. 2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. 5 “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. 6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,  for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” (ESV)

“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”, is a favorite song of many to sing at this time of year. This hymn is generally considered by hymnologists to be one of the most joyous expressions of hymn lyrics in the English language. It portrays a joyful interplay between God’s created world and the manifestation of this same creative spirit in the life of a believer. Such interesting similes as “hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee …” illustrate this interesting technique. The second verse reminds us that all of God’s creation speaks of His glory and, in doing so, directs our worship to the Creator Himself. The fourth stanza concludes with an invitation for all of God’s children to join the mighty chorus of joy begun at creation’s dawn (Job 38:7) and, in so doing, to find the encouragement needed for any circumstance of life. (Osbeck, K. W. (1982). 101 hymn stories (pp. 144–145). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.)

Isaiah 12 is a message of joyful encouragement. It is a hymn of praise (about the coming of Jesus, the Messiah). (At a time of)  the return of the outcasts of Israel from their long captivity, (it also speaks to one alienated from God, encouraging them to find)  peace and joy in believing;; and to that of the whole company of the redeemed, when they meet before the throne of God in heaven. The promise is sure, and the blessings contained in it are very rich; and the benefits enjoyed through Jesus Christ, call for the most enlarged thanksgivings. (Henry, M., & Scott, T. (1997). Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (Is 12:1). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.)

Isaiah 12 calls us to joyfully worship and delight ourselves in God because of what He has done and promises to do. In sending the Messiah, Jesus Christ, those in Him can have joy even in the midst of difficulties. Isaiah shows us this because of 3 wonderful realities: We see a 1) Joyful Pardon (Isaiah 12:1-3), responding with a 2) Joyful Proclamation (Isaiah 12:4-5) and finally because of the 3) Joyful Presence of the Messiah Himself (Isaiah 12:6).

Let us delight ourselves in God because of a:

1) Joyful Pardon (Isaiah 12:1-3)

Isaiah 12:1-3 You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. 2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation (ESV)

In verse 1, in describing: “You will say in that day”,  we are listening here to our own voices from the future. The “day” in question that Isaiah is describing the revival of the church in the latter days. Focused not so much on giving us details about the end times. He is creating an impression, giving us a foretaste of what it means to live in a spirit of praise.  It refers to the time of deliverance which has been described back in Isaiah 11:1–12:6. When the nation is regathered and the Messiah is reigning (Martin, J. A. (1985). Isaiah. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1058). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)

The “you” in verse 1 is singular. Isaiah is saying, “In that day, each of you individually “will”

“give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me”. What we see Isaiah describing is how God gives individually redeems us. There is no secondhand salvation. Our deepest problem is not whether we will love God, but whether God will love us. Considering how sin is a direct offense against God, the question to wonder is why shouldn’t He hate us forever? The most dangerous assumption that most people have is that either God doesn’t exist,  doesn’t care or is just naturally positively predisposed to people. If we were to poll Christians with the question, “What is the greatest wonder in all of your salvation?” Isaiah’s answer would be, “God is your former enemy. Now He comes to comfort you.” Have you transitioned from being frustrated with a reluctant God who isn’t cooperating with your agenda to being comforted by a God who is lavishing you with grace upon grace? How does anyone turn that corner? By going back to the gospel that makes us Christians in the first place. Through faith in Christ, those were under the curse of the wrath of God, those who God was angry with, now have that anger turned away. That is the joy of God sending His Son that we celebrate at this time and what should be our greatest source of joy and delight. The greatest gift of Joy and the greatest gift of joy to share. Thus, praise and thanks are essential to robust spiritual life, not because God needs them like some neurotic tyrant, but because we need to give them. It is only in this way that we can refocus our attention upon how much we have received from a loving Father and in that appreciation stop attempting to use him as our servant (idolatry). (Oswalt, J. N. (1986). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (p. 292). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

This gift of joy connects the birth of Christ with the death of Christ. The wrath of God at our real guilt is warranted, even required for God to be true to himself. His condemnation does fall, and with full force, but not on us. It falls on our Substitute. In his great love for guilty people, Jesus changed places with us at the cross. His sacrifice is the reason why God’s grace is morally entitled to treat us like royalty, which He does. If Jesus bears our condemnation far away, then all-forgiving grace toward us is not an extravagance; it is the morally beautiful meaning of our new relationship with God. For us to go boldly now into his presence for comfort, as Isaiah describes, to receive mercy and find grace whenever we have a need, brings God’s own purpose to fulfillment. He wants every one of us to be able to say to him, “You comfort me.” If we will discover what that means for us now, we will be saying it forever. Having afflicted the comfortable, Isaiah’s task is to comfort the afflicted. This song in chapter 12 may well have been for the day of deliverance from Assyria, but it is a song that we can sing too. (Believers) know that Christ has turned God’s anger away from us and allowed it to fall upon him instead. We know that ‘God our Father … loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace’ (2 Thes. 2:16). (Thomson, A. (2012). Opening Up Isaiah (p. 54). Leominster: Day One.)

Isaiah spent his life trying to persuade people to trust in God, not be afraid and not give themselves to false saviors as he testifies in verse 2. His book makes the question unavoidable for us today: Will we trust God through our crises? Or will we fearfully surround our trust in God with mechanisms of self-help, just in case God fails? Do we feel secure with God alone? One of the striking things about this testimony, this voice out of the future, is its simplicity. We complicate our trust in God. We mix in other things. We trust in our trust in God. We trust in our theology of God. We trust in our worship of God. We cling to God plus whatever makes us feel comfortable and superior. And the more props we need, the more insecure we become. But when the grace of God overrules our folly, real faith comes alive, and our outlook is simplified so that we say, “Behold, God is my salvation. This expresses the truth that there is no salvation apart from God. It is not merely that he saves; he is salvation. To know him is to know deliverance and not to know him is to be deluded about deliverance. This is why the prophets in general, and Isaiah in particular, heap such scorn upon attempts to find deliverance in the might of this world (30:1–5; 31:1–3; Jer. 42:7–17; Ezek. 29:6–9; Hos. 5:13, 14; 7:8–12; 8:8–10).( Oswalt, J. N. (1986). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (p. 293). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

He is enough. Period.” We then discover that, in Christ, we can trust and not be afraid. When we experience how strong God really is on our behalf, better than we thought he’d be, He becomes not only our strength, but we express the joy of that fact as our song. Remember the old musicals like Singin’ in the Rain? Gene Kelly is walking down the street, happily sloshing in the rain and puddles, wonderfully in love, and he just starts singing. To enjoy that scene, it’s as if we have to suspend belief just enough to play along with the movie. Some how we have to identify with a grown man out in the rain, soaking wet and not caring at all and singing his head off. Why do people make films like that? Why do we watch them? The reason is that it isn’t really crazy. God has put into our hearts that very capacity, the freedom to break out into song as the wonder of his saving love, the gift of His salvation,  fills our hearts. That holy delight is what we were created for. In Christ we are opened up to that wonder and the Holy Spirit enables us to glorify and enjoy God with unrestrained song. The gift of this joy is real, not visionary; suitable, abiding, and inexpressibly precious; it is associated with all good, both in this life and that which is to come; it is the precursor of everlasting joy.( Bertram, R. A., & Tucker, A. (1892). Isaiah 1–39 (Vol. 1, p. 224). New York; London; Toronto: Funk & Wagnalls Company.)

Please turn to Exodus 15

Isaiah here is echoing the Song of Moses in Exodus 15, sung after God rescued Israel through the Red Sea (Exodus 15:2–18). They were weak. But it didn’t matter. Why? Here is the confidence of the Biblical gospel from cover to cover: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). When that assurance enters our hearts, we see that even the frightening experiences of life are leading us more deeply into our salvation. We can stop thinking like victims and start singing even now. For the people of Isaiah’s time, ahead lay such events as captivity in Babylon, but we are to understand something much more universal that lies ahead of us all. What salvation delivers us from in particular is the sting of death (1 Cor. 15:55), and the threat of eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 3:16). (Thomas, D. (1991). God Delivers: Isaiah Simply Explained (p. 118). Darlington, England: Evangelical Press.)

Recounting salvation as deliverance for the people of God, Moses testifies:

Exodus 15:2–18 2 The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3 The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name. 4 “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea. 5The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. 6 Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. 7 In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble. 8 At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’ 10 You blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. 11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? 12 You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them. 13 “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode. 14        The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia. 15 Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. 16 Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O Lord, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased. 17 You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. 18  The Lord will reign forever and ever.” (ESV)

Because of this great deliverance, this great salvation, Isaiah describes God in an unusual way back in Isaiah 12:2. The English Standard Version translates verse 2 “the Lord God.” The New International Version translates this more literally: “the Lord, the Lord.” Isaiah is overusing the Old Testament’s personal name for God, because grace enriches us with a strong sense of personal possession in God himself. The text literally reads, “Yah, Yahweh, is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” In the triumph of grace we stop standing outside the store, looking in wistfully at the treasures in the window; we walk right in and receive more than we could ask or imagine, because this Owner refuses to do business upon the basis of our payment. Everything is free (cf. Isaiah 55:1, 2). And we will share him all together.

Isaiah in verse 3 delights in the enjoyment of God saying that in Him: , “with joy, we will draw water from the wells of salvation”. To enter salvation is an individual experience (2) but to enjoy it is communal (3). You is here plural, and salvation which (2) is indeed an outreaching of God to the individual is also (3) an unfailing resource (wells) to which the saved community resorts with joy. Isaiah is following the community in its journey from Egypt, where individually they took shelter beneath the blood of the lamb, to the provision of water at Marah, and on to the wells at Elim (Exod. 15:25, 27). (Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 123). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.)

There is a collective joyous worship when a people of God celebrate their redemption. David said to God, “My soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). Mistakenly, we can see this world as the satisfaction of our thirst, and sometimes God feels like a dry and weary land. The truth is the opposite. We live in a burning wilderness, and God is all our satisfaction. He opens up to us wells of life-giving fullness, through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit (John 4:13, 14), enough for all of time and eternity. The prospect of thirsty, weary, people pulling up bucket after bucket of fresh, cool water in endless supply–drinking deeply, pouring it over their heads, dunking their faces into it, splashing one another–that is a vision of God’s gifts of salvation widely shared. Joyfully drawing water from the wells of salvation is the very life of God, openly accessible to us all, entering into our actual experience. And the deeper we drink, the greater our delight and praise. Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’ ” (John 7:37, 38). When the believer comes to Christ and drinks, we not only satisfy our thirst but receive such an abundant supply that veritable rivers flow from Christ. This stresses the outgoing nature of the Spirit-filled life.… There is nothing of stagnant experience—God’s salvation flows in endless freshness. Isaiah says, “… wells of salvation.” How many are there? What different kinds are there? The well of love, the well of delight, the well of healing–wells of every grace and favor. The believer will enjoy every one. The gospel says, “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17). This is a God-given certainty of hope which may be possessed only by the redeemed (Young, E. (1965). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–18 (Vol. 1, p. 403). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.).

Illustration;

The joyous pattern of praise has not changed. We sing of God’s forgiveness and His comfort; we sing of trust in Him and the freedom from fear; we sing of Him as our strength, our song, and our salvation. All hymns of praise should be measured by this pattern. If the focus of our singing is upon ourselves and our needs, we miss the value of praise when God is extolled as our strength, our song, and our salvation. Classic hymns, which last for generations, meet this standard. Bill Moyers, the television producer, did a show entitled “Amazing Grace” in an effort to discover why the hymn persists through the generations and across cultures. Isn’t the answer in the pattern of praise given to us by Isaiah? We see this joyous expression when our worship celebrates God: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind but now I see. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Then when we’ve first begun”. (McKenna, D., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1993). Isaiah 1–39 (Vol. 17, p. 159). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.)

Let us delight ourselves in God with a:

2) Joyful Proclamation (Isaiah 12:4-5)

Isaiah 12:4-5 4 And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. 5 “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth (ESV)

In receiving the Gift of Joy, it is a gift to be shared. That is why, Isaiah foresees one message spreading over the world, exalting the truth about God, awakening all peoples to the infinite greatness and majesty of God revealed in His saving deeds. As we embrace this mission now, we exalt His name very profoundly. What Yahweh has accomplished is of universal significance, and there is a worldwide invitation to acknowledge the one true God whose being and power are far superior to all else. (cf. Isa. 40:5; 42:6; 49:6; 66:19–21).( Mackay, J. L. (2008). A Study Commentary on Isaiah: Chapters 1–39 (Vol. 1, p. 312). Darlington, England; Webster, New York: Evangelical Press.)

Please turn to Psalm 145

Verse 4 of Isaiah 12 has many parallels in the Psalms. Ps. 105:1 and 148:13 are almost identical, but the thought is also expressed in such places as 145:4–7. The emphasis upon the name of the Lord here is not to say that some magical power is to be associated with the particular letters or sounds of the divine name. Rather, it refers to God’s reputation and character (cf. Matt. 6:9). So, to “call upon his name” is to worship him on the basis of the faithful, delivering character revealed in his behavior (1 K. 18:24). (Oswalt, J. N. (1986). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (pp. 294–295). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

The Psalmist expresses this in Psalm 145

Psalm 145:1-7 1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2  Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. 7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. (ESV)

• Psalm 145 is tying together joy and celebration. Each member of the congregation here pledges themselves to this (“I will”). This can occur as God is “my king”, where each of us possesses faith in Him.  We share this joy in our testimony to each generation.

In Isaiah 12:5, just as their personal gratitude and worship must, if (it is) genuine, become public in testimony (as Isaiah said in v. 4), so must their songs of joy. To “Sing praises to the LORD” is called for not primarily as an expression of inner elation but as a response to the works of the Lord. It arises not from a stirring up of emotion but from bending the mind to recall, ponder and understand what God “has done gloriously “ (Luke 24:32). If this is true joy in what the Lord has done, it will be “be made known in all the earth”, it overflows to the world in sharing this good news.( Motyer, J. A. (1999). Isaiah: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, p. 124). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.)

Illustration:

In 1993 three New Tribes Mission missionaries were kidnapped in Colombia by terrorists. For eight years their families and friends wondered, prayed and worried. Eventually they were informed that the men were dead. Dan Germann was the NTM director in Colombia at that time. In an interview he said that their prayers changed through those long years of uncertainty. They started out praying that God would bring the men home safely. They ended up praying, “God, even if we never know what has become of them, you will still be God.” Dan said, “There is a very special sense of awe at who God is and how sufficient He is when the miracle doesn’t happen, but the wonder of His sufficiency is still present.” This too is the triumph of grace. We come to realize that God is God. Our living and our dying take on a very special sense of awe, no matter what price we pay to spread his song. His cause is the one cause on the face of the earth that will finally succeed.

Finally, let us delight ourselves in God because of His:

2) Joyful Presence (Isaiah 12:6)

Isaiah 12:6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” (ESV)

Believers receive the Gift of Joy as we receive the One who is that Gift of joy. This is the story of Christ’s first coming. The Inhabitant of Zion originally referred to the people who returned from captivity in Babylon. (As this is sung now, it refers to) the people in the kingdom of the Messiah; to celebrate the Holy One of Israel” and His salvation. John Trapp, the Puritan scholar, wrote, “No duty is more pressed in both Testaments than this, of rejoicing in the Lord. It is no less a sin not to rejoice than not to repent.” In his great prayer, Jesus asked his Father on our behalf “that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13). Paul defined the essence of Christianity as “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Isaiah at his time foresees “a day yet to be when a restored people will in hilarious celebration delight in their only asset–the Holy One.” (Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 822). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

Please turn to Zechariah 2

The reason why Christian missions will write the last, happy chapter of history is the great presence of God with his people: “Great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” He is not content to stand off at a distance. From the beginning, God wanted to dwell among his people (Exodus 25:8). He dwelt among us in Jesus (John 1:14). He comes to us through the Holy Spirit (John 14:21, 23). And in the messianic kingdom, His presence will be great among us, uniting the world in holy delight (Zechariah 2:10, 11). In contrast to our changeability, “the Holy One of Israel”  is true to himself and will work out his purposes, which are consummated in his presence “in your midst”, foreshadowed in the temple on Zion, partly realized by the Holy Spirit indwelling the temple that is the church (1 Cor. 3:16) and ultimately fulfilled in the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:3, 22). This is the final and abiding reality that structures and gives substance to the present hopes of the people of God and is the content of their eternal bliss (Ps. 17:15).( Mackay, J. L. (2008). A Study Commentary on Isaiah: Chapters 1–39 (Vol. 1, p. 313). Darlington, England; Webster, New York: Evangelical Press.)

Notice how Zechariah expresses this unity of holy delight:

Zechariah 2:10-13 10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. 11 And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 12 And the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.” 13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling. (ESV) (cf. Zeph. 3:16–18)

The gift of joy at this time of year is the joy of receiving Christ. As Christ came to earth that first Christmas, as Immanuel (“God with Us”), there is a message of hope. … Isaiah, brings a song of rejoicing as the people discover that Jehovah is indeed their salvation. The Lord will never forsake His people. No matter how difficult the days may be, or how long the nights, for the people of God, the best is yet to come.( Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Comforted (p. 42). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)

(Format Note: Some base commentary from Ortlund, R. C., Jr., & Hughes, R. K. (2005). Isaiah: God saves sinners (pp. 118–124). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Isaiah Chapter 12

Isaiah 12 – Words from a Worshipper

A. The worshipper speaks to the LORD.

1. (1) Praise to the LORD after His anger has passed.

And in that day you will say:
“O LORD, I will praise You;
Though You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.

a. And in that day you will say: Isaiah chapter 11 spoke powerfully of the reign of the Messiah as king over all the earth. This brief chapter of praise comes from the heart of the one that has surrendered to the Messiah as king and enjoys the benefits of His reign.

b. O LORD, I will praise You; though You were angry with me: The worshipper decides to praise the LORD, even though he has felt the LORD’s anger against him.

i. Under the New Covenant, does God get angry with us? There is a sense in which all the anger and wrath of God against us was poured out upon the Son of God on the cross. In this sense, there is no more anger from God towards us because His anger has been “exhausted.” But there is also a sense in which we receive chastening or discipline from the LORD, which certainly feels like His anger. This chastening feels unpleasant (Hebrews 12:11), but it really shows the fatherly love of God instead of His hatred.

c. Your anger is turned away: It is wonderful when the anger of God is turned away. In the larger sense, His anger is turned away because of what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus put Himself in between us and the anger of the LORD and receiving that anger in Himself, He turned away God’s anger.

i. In the sense of God’s chastening or discipline in our lives, how wonderful it is when His anger is turned away, and “spanking” stops.

d. And You comfort me: When God disciplines us, He does so as a perfect parent, knowing perfectly how to comfort us after we have been chastened. Sometimes, like rebellious children, we refuse the comfort of God after discipline, but that is always our fault, not His.

i. “Satan also tempts us by all methods, and employs every expedient to compel us to despair. We ought, therefore, to be fortified by this doctrine, that, though we feel the anger of the Lord, we may know that it is of short duration, and that we shall be comforted as soon as he has chastened us.” (Calvin)

2. (2) A declaration of thanks and confidence in the LORD.

Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song;
He also has become my salvation.’”

a. Behold: The worshipper wants others to see what he says is true. He is excited about what God has done in his life and invites all to behold the work of the LORD.

b. God is my salvation: This is salvation. To say God is my salvation is also to say, “I am not my salvation. My good works, my good intentions, my good thoughts do not save me. God is my salvation.”

i. Many don’t ever feel the need for salvation. Instead, they think their lives are fine, and come to God for a little help when they feel they need it. But they never see themselves as drowning men in need of rescue or see themselves as hell-destined sinners in need of salvation.

ii. The worshipper is so immersed in this idea that he repeats it in the same verse: God is my salvation…He also has become my salvation.

c. I will trust and not be afraid: This peace and security comes from knowing that God is my salvation. When we are our own salvation, it is hard to trust and not be afraid in ourselves. But when God is our salvation, we can trust and not be afraid.

i. Paul repeated the same idea in Romans 5:1: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The place of peace and trust and “no fear” comes only from seeing our salvation in God, and not in ourselves.

d. I will trust and not be afraid: This is a confident statement reflecting the will of the worshipper. He is deciding to trust and not be afraid. There are feelings of trust, but that is different than the decision to trust. We can say to our will, “I will trust and not be afraid.”

i. “Hearken, O unbeliever, you have said, ‘I cannot believe,’ but it would be more honest if you had said, ‘I will not believe.’ The mischief lies there. Your unbelief is your fault, not your misfortune. It is a disease, but it is also a crime: it is a terrible source of misery to you, but it is justly so, for it is an atrocious offense against the God of truth. (Spurgeon)

ii. “The talk about trying to believe is a mere pretence. But whether pretence or no, let me remind you that there is no text in the Bible which says, ‘Try and believe,’ but it says ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.’ He is the Son of God, he has proved it by his miracles, he died to save sinners, therefore trust him; he deserves implicit trust and child-like confidence. Will you refuse him these? Then you have maligned his character and given him the lie.” (Spurgeon)

e. For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song: The LORD is not only the worshipper’s salvation, He is also his strength and song. Some find it easier to consider the LORD their salvation in a distant “bye-and-bye” sense than to take Him today as their strength and song.

i. When the LORD is our strength, it means that He is our resource, He is our refuge. We look to Him for our needs and are never unsatisfied. “Nor is he here called a part or an aid of our strength, but our complete strength; for we are strong, so far as he supplies us with strength.” (Calvin)

ii. When the LORD is our song, it means that He is our joy, He is our happiness. We find our purpose and life in Him, and He never disappoints.

iii. “The word Yah read here is probably a mistake; and arose originally from the custom of the Jewish scribes, who, when they found a line too short for the word, wrote as many letters as filled it, and then began the next line with the whole word.” (Clarke)

3. (3) The result of the salvation of the LORD.

Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation.

a. You will draw water from the wells of salvation: Jesus promised us whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14) We can come to Jesus and draw water from the wells of salvation.

i. When we remember the semi-arid climate of Israel, we see what a beautiful picture the wells of salvation paint. When water is rare, a well is life. A reliable source of something that is absolutely necessary (like water) is a precious gift. God’s gift of salvationis just that precious.

ii. The LORD’s resource is not limited. There is not one well of salvation. There are many wells of salvation. This doesn’t mean that there are many ways to be saved. All of the wells draw from the same reservoir of salvation, Jesus Christ. But many wells can bring water from the same water table.

b. You will draw water: This means there is something for us to do. God doesn’t meet our needs as we sit in passive inactivity. We must reach out and draw what He has provided. At the same time, it is His water, His well, His rope, and His bucket that we draw with.

c. Therefore with joy: Because it is all of the LORD, we draw from the wells of salvation with joy. There should be no somber faces at the LORD’s well of salvation. We draw water with joy.

i. “Joy is the just man’s portion, and Christ is the never-failing fountain whence by a lively faith he may infallibly fetch it.” (Trapp)

ii. “Be of good courage, you very, very timid ones, and alter your tone. Try to put a ‘Selah’ into your life, as David often did in his Psalms. Frequently, he put in a ‘Selah,’ and then he changed the key directly. In like manner, change the key of your singing; you are a great deal too low. Let the harp-strings be screwed up a bit, and let us have no more of these flat, mournful notes. Give us some other key, please, and begin to say, with the prophet Isaiah, ‘O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust, and not be afraid.’” (Spurgeon)

B. The worshipper declares the greatness of God to everyone.

1. (4) Exalting God among the peoples.

And in that day you will say:
“Praise the LORD, call upon His name;
Declare His deeds among the peoples,
Make mention that His name is exalted.”

a. Praise the LORD, call upon His name: This is an exhortation to praise, and an encouragement to worship the LORD and trust in Him. The worshipper has received from the wells of salvation, and now that living water is flowing out of him, encouraging others to worship and trust in the LORD.

i. It is as if the job of praising God is too big for this worshipper, and he needs to call in others to help him. “The saints are unsatisfiable in praising God for the great work of their redemption, and do therefore call in help, all that may be.” (Trapp)

b. Declare His deeds…Make mention that His name is exalted: The worshipper can’t stop talking about God’s greatness and the great things He has done.

2. (5-6) Singing praise to the LORD.

“Sing to the LORD,
For He has done excellent things;
This is known in all the earth.
Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”

a. Sing to the LORD: First, the LORD was the song of the worshipper (Isaiah 12:2). Now, he sings this song of the LORD to whoever will listen! If the LORD has become your song, then sing it.

b. Cry out and shout: This is excited praise. It is wrong to manipulate or push God’s people into an artificial sense of enthusiasm in their worship. Yet there may often be a sincere and appropriate joy and energy as we worship God. If our worship will nevercry out and shout, there is something missing in it.

i. “We ought not to worship God in a half-hearted sort of way; as if it were now our duty to bless God, but we felt it to be a weary business, and we would get it through as quickly as we could, and have done with it; and the sooner the better. No, no; ‘All that is within me, bless his holy name.’ Come, my heart, wake up, and summon all the powers which wait upon thee! Mechanical worship is easy, but worthless. Come rouse yourself, my brother! Rouse thyself, O my own soul!” (Spurgeon)

c. For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst: This gives two reasons for great praise. First, because of who God is – the Holy One of Israel. Second, because of where God is – in your midst. Each of these gives everyone reason to praise God.

(c) 2021 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – ewm@enduringword.com

Categories: Isaiah Old Testament

Enduring Word

Just Ask

VERSE OF THE DAY

James 1:5 (New Living Translation)

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If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

If you need encouragement and wisdom our generous gracious God will give it to us we just have to ask and he will give you it he will not rebuke you for asking

If you want wisdom, ask God and He’ll give it to you – James 1:5

October 17, 2021 Melissa Taylor, Faith Chapel

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

– James 1:5, NIV

More About This Verse

MEANING

Are you trying to make a difficult decision? When you don’t know what to do, ask God for wisdom. When you ask God for help, it is evidence that you trust Him. This helps you to cultivate a deeper trust in God.

God gives generously to us when we ask for things that are good, right, and in His will. Even if we have failed or sinned, and are now coming to God asking for repentance and guidance, He is thrilled to help us. He offers His wisdom without finding fault—it doesn’t matter where we’ve been as much as where we’re going with God. He doesn’t hold us hostage to our past mistakes; He gives abundantly, happily, willingly, and without a judgement of fault or worthiness.

Is fear holding you back? You can rely on God to keep His promises even in seemingly impossible and messy circumstances (excerpt from “Life is a Journey, part 2”). It’s not the place you find yourself in that is important so much as the one who is with you.

EXPLORE THIS PASSAGE MORE

We get the most out of each verse when we understand them in context. So, feel free to dig a little deeper into the meaning of this verse with these resources:

• The Message version says this verse this way:

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.” (James 1:5, MSG).

What Does James 1:5 Mean? ►

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

James 1:5(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

It has been said that a knowledge of one’s own ignorance is the beginning of wisdom and that recognising our lack of wisdom is a prudent step towards understanding. Scripture qualifies this by reminding us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that a knowledge of the holy brings understanding.

Life is full of pitfalls and snares, and we often make wrong choices, but it is comforting to know that no matter what trials we may be called upon to face, or what foolish choices we have made in the past, we can go to the Lord and ask Him for godly insight and spiritual understanding, and He has promised to give us all that is needed for the task.

In this passage, James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus, is particularly referencing the wisdom we need when compassed about by the various difficulties we encounter in our everyday lives and the tough choices we are all required to make. Until Christ’s resurrection, James was at enmity with God and scornful towards his older sibling. It must have been shocking for this young man to discover that the brother whom he had treated with such contempt, during his life, was his Lord and his Saviour.

This bondservant of Christ may have lacked wisdom in his earlier days but was ready to admit his folly and willing to share with us how easy it is to gain godly wisdom and spiritual understanding. James began his lesson on wisdom by pointing out that the suffering of this life produces patient endurance, which will furnish us with spiritual maturity. “However,” he continues, “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

There are times when we do not know what to do or which way to turn, and I am sure that James was shocked and mortified when the resurrected Christ visited his petulant, younger brother. But James was a young man with a teachable spirit, who was quick to embrace the wisdom of faith he lacked, and encourages those of us who are deficient in spiritual insight to ask the Lord for the necessary wisdom we need – and not to doubt that He will provide for us liberally.

James also knows that trusting the Lord for godly wisdom as we travel through life.. is a tool the Lord uses to test and strengthen our faith in Him, and which helps to produce in us the patient endurance that is so needful for our spiritual growth – but we are reminded to stand fast in the faith unwaveringly – if we are to honour the Lord Who bought us with His precious blood, and to come forth as gold.

How much we all need God’s heavenly wisdom in the tests and trials of life’s disappointments and difficulties, which are so much a part of our everyday lives. How much we need His guidance in the choices we have to make, a willingness to admit our faults, a readiness to learn the lessons God desires to teach us, and an eagerness to put into practice the truth we have learned.

We all want to finish the work that God has given us to do and to learn the lessons He desires to teach us along the way. We all desire to grow in grace and in a knowledge of Jesus and we all long to cultivate an undivided heart, that is unruffled by life, as we submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and walk in spirit and in truth.

Awareness of our lack in any of these areas of our Christian walk or recognising that life’s problems are swamping our fainting hearts is wisdom indeed – and a prudent step towards solving such problems is to ask the Lord for wisdom. Truly, a knowledge of our spiritual ignorance is a step towards godly wisdom, and recognising our lack of godly wisdom is a prudent step towards growing in grace, maturing in the faith, and gaining an understanding of our privileged position in Christ and all that He has done for us.

God knows that we are weak and frail and He knows that the testing our faith can cause us to complain or murmur or to become unsteady in our Christian walk.. but God provides all the wisdom we need to maintain a steady heart, patient endurance, and an unwavering, uncompromised faith in Him. God delights to give generously to all who ask – but we must be prepared to ask Him, to listen to His voice, and to obey His Word.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/james-1-5

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/james-1-5

Perseverance, Wisdom, and Spiritual Growth (James 1:1–5)

Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project

James begins by emphasizing the deep connection between daily life and spiritual growth. Specifically, God uses the difficulties and chal­lenges of daily life and work to increase our faith. “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2–4). “Any kind” of trial can be an impetus for growth—including troubles at work—but James is particularly interested in challenges so intense that they result in “the testing of [our] faith.”

What kinds of challenges do we face at work that might test our faith in—or faithfulness to—Christ? One kind might be religious hostility. Depending on our situation, faith in Christ could expose us to anything from minor prejudice to limited job opportunities to dismissal or even bodily harm or death in the workplace. Even if others don’t put pressure on us, we may tempt ourselves to abandon our faith if we think that being identified as a Christian is holding back our careers.

Another kind of trial could be ethical. We can be tempted to abandon faith—or faithfulness—by committing theft, fraud, dishonesty, unfair dealings, or taking advantage of others in order to enrich ourselves or advance our careers. Another kind of trial arises from failure at work. Some failures can be so traumatic that they shake our faith. For example, getting laid off (made redundant) or dismissed from a job may be so devastating that we question everything we previously relied on, includ­ing faith in Christ. Or we may believe that God called us to our work, promised us greatness, or owes us success because we have been faithful to him. Failure at work then seems to mean that God cannot be trusted or does not even exist. Or we may be so gripped by fear that we doubt God will continue to provide for our needs. All of these work-related challenges can test our faith.

What should we do if our faith is tested at work? Endure (James 1:3–4). James tells us that if we can find a way not to give into the temp­tation to abandon the faith, to act unethically, or to despair, then we will find God with us the whole time. If we don’t know how to resist these temptations, James invites us to ask for the wisdom we need to do so (James 1:5). As the crisis passes, we find that our maturity has grown. Instead feeling the lack of whatever we were afraid of losing, we feel the joy of finding God’s help.

How to Apply the Book of James Into Your Daily Life

by Kristi Schwegman, LCSW | Apr 22, 2021

Part 1: Who is James, anyway?

James 1:1-8, 1:12-18

“This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” James 1:1

James refers to himself as a servant of God and Jesus. Would you believe it if I told you he was Jesus’ half-brother!? Yes! He grew up in the same house as Jesus; his mom and dad were Mary and Joseph. Would you believe it if your brother or sister claimed to be the son of God? No? Well, James didn’t either. Not until Jesus was crucified and then resurrected, did James believe that his brother was the son of God. Wow. Rest in that for a moment. Keep that fact in your mind as we work through this together!

Troubles

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2

We’re all going to have problems in life. We need to accept that. We will have great joys and great sorrows on this earth. In my opinion, James wanted us to focus on how we handle those problems that come our way instead of if or when we do. James goes on to point out that when we have these trials, that is when we have the chance to grow (1:3).

What is your general first reaction to trouble? What do you usually do? How do you usually feel?

Dive Deeper Into Scripture:

Check out these verses about times of trouble and what to do when troubles appear.

Romans 12:12, 2 Corinthians 1:4, 2 Corinthians 4:8 & 17-18, Proverbs 13:20 & 21-23

Which verse stuck out to you and how can you apply it to your life today?

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, Let us turn to you in times of trouble. Lord, we know they will come. Let us prepare for them and use them to grow us. With you, we can withstand any test that comes our way. Help us to take comfort in that assurance. In Your name, Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Write your own personal prayer to God.

Part 2: Patience

James 5:7-11

“You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” James 5:8

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with patience. When I want it, I want it now (ahem, Amazon Prime). When I want someone to do something, I want them to do it right then. And when I want something to happen in my life or I pray and ask God for something, I get irritated when it doesn’t happen right away. Can you relate?

All throughout the Bible, in the Old and the New Testament, patience is discussed. I can only assume God finds it very important and helpful to practice the art of patience. Not just patience, but patience without complaining (whining, fussing, being dramatic, and the like) when we are trying to be patient and instead being hopeful in the waiting.

In what areas of your life are you patient and impatient? Why?

Do you complain, fuss, get grouchy or frustrated, take it out on others, or whine when you are in the waiting? Do you think this is what God wants of us during these periods? Why or why not?

Do you ever feel helpless or lack a sense of hope or purpose during these trials? Do you know what scripture says about hope and purpose?

Dive Deeper Into Scripture:

Let’s explore the Bible for verses on patience, hope, and complaining to get some perspective, wisdom, and encouragement.

Exodus 15:24, Exodus 16:2, Job 7:11, Proverbs 16:32, Romans 2:4, Ephesians 4:2

What did you find? Is there a verse that stuck out to you? Is there a verse you can recite the next time you are feeling impatient? Write out your favorite passage and post it somewhere or memorize it.

Prayer:

Dear Father, Thank you for the wisdom found in these scriptures. Help us to grow our patience to be more like your son, Jesus. Let the people of the Bible inspire us to be more patient. In Your Holy name we pray, Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Write your own personal prayer to God.

Part 3: The Power of Words

James 1:26-27, 3:1-12, & 5:12-18

“Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” James 3:2

When you feel that someone has wronged you, do you want to yell? React right away based on how you feel? Do you feel that it’s your right to let them know how you feel? Do you rarely pause before responding? If you feel a feeling, do you feel that someone should hear about it?

James has a lot to say about the power of our words and the weight that they carry. He carefully illustrates the danger in the words we choose to say.

You’re fooling yourself if you don’t control your tongue. 1:27

And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. 3:6

but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 3:8

But luckily, James doesn’t leave us hanging with his warning. He also helps us with what we should say. He instructs us to confess our sins, pray to God, praise Him with our words, and pray for each other.

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 5:13

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. 5:16

Give thanks to God for teaching you wisdom in the pause. To breathe, pray, and reflect before responding. Thank Him for giving ample opportunities to learn that there are relational and personal consequences with the words you choose to say and how to say them.

Has your mouth ever gotten you into trouble? Have you ever lashed out, yelled, manipulated, bragged, gossiped, or criticized someone? Do you realize the power of your words?

Do you pray and confess your wrongs out loud? Do you outwardly praise God for all your blessings? Do you feel that there’s more power in saying words out loud rather than keeping them in your head?

Dive Deeper Into Scripture:

Use your Bible to look up these helpful verses on carefully choosing our words and the reasons for doing so. Trust the warnings that are mentioned and learn how dangerous our mouths can be. Practice guarding your mouth every day for the words you choose to say.

1 Kings 17-18 & 22 (about Elijah), Proverbs 10:11 & 12:19, Ephesians 4:29

Prayer:

Dear God, Thank you for our many blessings- big and small. Thank you for so clearly communicating to us the dangers and importance of our words. Thank you for giving us the ability to communicate and help us use it for good, not harm. In Your name, Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Write your own personal prayer.

Part 4: Relationships

James 1:9-11, 2:1-13, 3:13-18, 4:1-12, 5:1-6

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” James 4:1

Can’t we all just get along? How many times have you thought this to yourself? Whether at home, at work, on the road, or at Target, you will witness and experience conflict. It just seems to be a part of life, right? This wasn’t God’s intention in the beginning. And he offers us a solution. We can start by asking ourselves, “where in me is this coming from?” That’s right. James instructs us to look at ourselves, rather than point the finger outward. Let’s try that together.

What are your current relationships like? Close or distant? Surface-level or deep? Long-lasting or fleeting? Smooth or bumpy?

When you have a conflict with someone, what does that typically look like? Is there yelling? Blaming? Criticizing? Judgment? Problem-solving? Compromise? Openness? Forgiveness and grace?

James talks about our inner feelings and relational motivations. Are you a jealous person? Do you struggle with greed, pride, selfishness, or stubbornness?

James also talks about loving everyone and not favoring one person over another (2:9). What does that look like to you and how can you practice this in your life?

Dive Deeper Into Scripture:

Use your bible to look up these verses on developing and maintaining healthy relationships, with other people, yourself, and with God. Memorize and practice these verses and keep a journal of how your relationships transform.

Luke 12:21, Proverbs 13:10, John 15:13, Ephesians 4:2, Colossians 3:14

Prayer:

Dear God, Thank you for the gift of connection and relationship. Help me to foster healthy, meaningful relationships with the people in my life. Please help me to be a person who is quick to forgive, have compassion, and show mercy. Help me to resist the urge to be judgmental, unkind, envious, or selfish. I trust You and your ability to help me and I give my relationships to You. In Your name, Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Write your own personal prayer to God.

Part 5: Taking Action

James 1:19-25, 2:14-26, 4:13-17, 5:19-20

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” James 2:14

Can you analyze and talk something to death? Do you know something backward and forwards, but when it comes to taking action, well, that’s a little harder for you? What good is knowing something if you don’t take action and put it to good use? It’s not enough to know or believe something, you have to live it.

I encourage you to follow James’ instructions and take action. Know what motivates you, spend time with God asking Him to lead you and to help you surrender control, and open your eyes to how you can serve.

Read James 2:16 again. Is this convicting for you? How can you apply this to your life today? What is the difference in intentions and doing something? What do you think James was getting at? Do you see his correlation between faith and good deeds?

Do you make your own plans or do you pray about them and ask God to lead you in how and when you take action? When you have success in life, do you take credit for your actions or do you give the glory to God for the talents and abilities to be able to have done what you succeeded at? Have you ever known what God wanted you to do, but then didn’t do it? We know what to do, ask God for the courage to do it.

We are called to take action and bring people back from wandering. The Message version of James 5:19-20 literally says to “go after them and get them back.” If that’s not action, I don’t know what is! What are some examples of wandering and what are some actions we can take to help those we find wandering?

Dive Deeper Into Scripture:

Let’s explore how and why we should take action in our lives.

1 John 3:18, 2 Peter 1:5-8, Philippians 4:13, Luke 11:9, Matthew 7:24

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, Encourage us to take action for the good of serving Your will. Open our eyes to see what we need to do for You today and every day. Open our hearts to serve, give, and be ready to help those who wander from Your light. We surrender control to You and we let You lead, God. Help us to not be content with just believing. Give us the conviction to live out our faith. In Your name we pray, Amen.

Now it’s your turn. Write your own personal prayer to God.

Favorite Verses in James

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

James 1:2-5

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

James 3:17

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

James 5: 16

ABOUT KRISTI | VIEW PROFILE

Kristi Schwegman is a psychotherapist specializing in helping couples develop healthy relationships, whether dating, engaged, or married. She also draws from her Christian-based approach to lead individuals in becoming aware of the limiting beliefs that can get them stuck.

What does James 1:5 mean? [ See verse text ]

In verses 2 through 4, James laid the foundation for the rest of his letter. He revealed that the Christian life is about cultivating a deeper trust in God as trials come our way. In fact, those trials are exactly what we need in order to learn to trust God more. Here, James begins to describe what it looks like to trust God in a wide variety of circumstances.

In this context, James is speaking of wisdom for a particular moment. This is a reference to those times when we just don’t know what to do. What’s the best choice? Which way should we go? How do we decide between two different paths? Those who truly trust God will ask Him for wisdom. Asking God for wisdom is evidence that we trust Him.

James states that God gives wisdom generously. He’s not stingy in providing insight to those who ask how to make the best choices. In fact, God gives wisdom away without “reproach” or finding fault. In other words, He doesn’t look at all of our previous foolish choices and decide we are not worthy of receiving wisdom from Him. What an amazing promise! The God of the universe stands by ready and willing to give abundant wisdom to those who ask based only on their trust and confidence in Him, not on their track record.

One way God reveals His wisdom to us is in His Word, the Bible. But the written Word is not the only way God supplies us with wisdom. Other Scripture encourages us to seek God’s wisdom in wise and godly counselors (Proverbs 11:14) and through observing His creation (Psalm 19:1), for example. But the ultimate source of all wisdom is God Himself.

Of course, this is not a simplistic promise, as the next two verses will show. Whether or not we get the wisdom we are seeking hinges on whether or not we truly trust God as the best source of wisdom.

Context Summary

James 1:2–18 begins with a challenging command for Christians. We are to classify hard things in their lives as ”joyful,” because those ordeals help us develop a deeper trust in God. Christians who trust God also seek wisdom from Him—and not from ungodly sources. We continue to trust Him through difficult experiences, in part, to receive the crown of life promised to those who don’t stop. We don’t blame Him for our desire to sin, but we do credit Him for every good thing in our lives.

Chapter Summary

How important is it for Christians to trust God? It’s so important, James writes, that we should call our worst moments joyful things, because trials help us trust God more. People who trust God ask Him for wisdom—and then take what He gives. People who trust God make a bigger deal about their rewards in the next life than their wealth in this one. People who trust God don’t blame Him for their desire to sin; they give Him credit for all that is good in their lives. They look into His Word, and they act on what they see there

Ask You Shall Receive

VERSE OF THE DAY.Matthew 7:7-8 (New Living Translation).Share Audio.“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.I know it seems like you’re not being heard or listened to but I say keep Asking and you shall receive what it is you asked. Open your eyes and seek what you are seeking and you will find Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will shall be opened for all though you aren’t being heard you are always being listened to and answered in God’s time as you are in his best interest.7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye. shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh. findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.Matthew 7:7–8 are the seventh and eighth verses of the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount. These verses begin an important metaphor generally believed to be about prayer. Wikipedia.What Jesus Did! ‘Keep Praying!’ — Matthew 7:7-8.Wednesday, March 24, 2021.[Jesus continued:] “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”.— Matthew 7:7-8 NLT.◄ What Does Matthew 7:7 Mean? ►.”Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.Matthew 7:7(NASB).Verse Thoughts.Christ’s Sermon on the Mount is an extended teaching that covers numerous distinct yet interconnected topics of Christian life and godly living. Not only are we to explore the inner motive of our heart with regard to our personal words and actions, but we are to consider our conduct towards others and appraise our attitude towards our neighbour.One important topic that threads its way throughout Christ’s life and teaching is the matter of prayer. Early in His sermon, Jesus called His followers to love their enemies and pray for those who mistreat or persecute them. This was a revolutionary teaching to the Jews of Christ’s day. The Jewish leaders taught them to love their fellow man and hate their enemy – but Christ taught them to love their enemies as well as their neighbours, and to lift them up to their Heavenly Father in prayer.Jesus also warned against sanctimonious and self-righteous praying that was practised by the religious leaders of the day. They turned their prayers into a prideful exhibition of self-proclaimed righteousness, instead of humbly seeking the Lord with all their heart. He warned His followers that such ostentatious behaviour was not only hypocritical and dishonouring to the Lord, but that such prayers would not be heard by God.Jesus wanted His followers to understand that prayer is a cry to the Father-heart of God from His dependent children, and told us, “When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father Who is in secret, and your Father Who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” He even gave His disciples a model prayer – often called ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ or ‘The Disciple’s Prayer’ as an aid in establishing the sound principles and practice of prayer.And in this verse, Jesus expands His lessons on prayer and how to pray aright. He tells us, “Ask (and keep on asking) and it will be given to you; seek (and keep searching with the promise that) you will find; knock, (and keep on knocking) and the door will be opened to you.”.We are to ask our Heavenly Father for the things we need and we are to keep on asking. We are to present our simple petitions to the One that has promised to provide for all our needs and comfort all our heartaches.We are to ask and keep on asking, with full assurance that He hears our cries and answers the prayer that is offered in faith and in line with His will. We have been given access into the throne room of grace for mercy to find help in time of need. We are to keep in close communication with our Lord – and enjoy sweet fellowship with our Heavenly Father.We are to seek the Lord and to keep on seeking Him, for by Him and through Him we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. We are to apply ourselves to diligently and earnestly seek the truth of the glorious gospel of God, as we search out all the jewels concealed in the Scripture and discover the little surprises that are hidden in the Word of God. The more we seek the Lord, the more our faith will be established in Him.Our seeking is designed by God to enable us to grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus. We are to seek and we are to keep on seeking, for the one who searches out the deep truths of God will not be disappointed, but greatly rewarded. In Proverbs 25, we are told that it is the glory of God to conceal a thing, BUT the glory of kings is to search out a matter – and we are called by His name to be kings and priests, and to be His ministers of reconciliation to display His glory to a lost world.We are to knock and keep on knocking. We are to knock with patient endurance and steadfast perseverance. We are to knock with confidence and humility even when life’s circumstances seem to test our faith and sap our strength. We are to knock and keep on knocking even when the prowling enemy of our soul tries to cause our hearts to faint. And even when God’s presence seems very far removed from us, we are to knock and knock and keep on knocking, for the testing of our faith develops perseverance, and such endurance must finish its work within so that we become mature and complete, lacking nothing as we tightly cling to His all-sufficient grace.God has promised to answer all the prayers of those who diligently seek Him, but too often our prayers are selfish or soulless. Too often our calls and half-hearted, lack passion, or simply become a formula to be followed. Prayer, however, is the greatest weapon that God has given to His children, and we have been instructed to pray without ceasing – and having done all to PRAY.Let us be persistent in our prayer life and impassioned in our praying. Let us ask in faith, seek diligently, and knock frequently, knowing that He is a God that hears and answers prayer. And let us use the privilege of prayer wisely, reverently, discreetly, and for His greater praise and glory.Let us ASK and keep asking for He has promised to give us all we need for life and godliness. Let us SEEK and keep searching, for He has promised all who seek Him, will find Him when we shall search for Him with all our heart. And let us KNOCK and keep on knocking, for He has promised that the door will be opened. Praise His holy name.My Prayer.Loving Father, thank You for breaking down the barrier between God and man and permitting me to come into Your holy presence in prayer, for mercy to find help in time of need. Help me to pray and keep on praying in spirit and in truth. Help me to pray purposefully and persistently, and in accordance with Your will… and may I learn to ask in faith, to seek You with all my heart, and to knock with patient endurance so that I may live according to Your will. This I ask in Jesus’ name, AMEN.Source: https://dailyverse. knowing-jesus. com/matthew-7-7.Key Thought.Ask, seek, knock. These actions sound so harmless and so easy. But behind these words is the intent of Jesus: Be persistent! Keep asking! Continue seeking! Don’t quit knocking! This is not a cookbook recipe, but the target attitude we should have in our prayers and our lives. We must be persistent and faithful. But rather than making that persistence our key to acquiring and achieving for ourselves, let’s remember Jesus’ example in the model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13: The focus is on God’s will — his Kingdom and his glory, and our most basic needs — daily bread, and on overcoming sin through forgiveness and deliverance. Jesus was reminding us that if we pursued these things, we will receive them. In addition, we will also be changed for good in the process!Today’s Prayer.Holy and righteous Father, thank you so much for the many prayers you have answered. Thank you, dear Father, for answering my prayers to be more like Jesus. I confess I am still so very far from his perfection, but when I look at the distance you have brought me in the past, I can view the future only with excitement knowing that you will lead me on to become more like him in the future. In Jesus’ name, I thank you and ask for your continued grace. Amen.Related Scripture Readings.* James 1:5-8.* John 14:12-13.* Luke 18:1-8.What Does Matthew 7:8 Mean? ►.”For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.Matthew 7:8(NASB).Verse Thoughts.The Sermon on the Mount outlines the character and conduct that Christ expects from all subjects in His kingdom. It covers two long chapters and needs to be understood as an integrated whole, rather than a series of disconnected teachings – and this detailed dialogue should NOT be taken out of context.Christ’s Sermon is not a presentation of the gospel, nor does it explain the plan of salvation to unbelievers. It is a series of principles and practices given to His disciples which are designed to govern the behaviour of every subject in His kingdom. The conduct He calls for can only be achievable by drawing on the supernatural power of the indwelling Spirit of God in a life that is saved by grace through faith… a consecrated heart that is dedicated to serving our blessed Redeemer in spirit and in truth.Two verses that are frequently taken out of context are in chapter 7, where we read “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you – for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”.It is often taught by compromised Christians, false teachers, and prosperity preachers, that if we shout loud enough, pray long enough, and demand forcefully enough, God has to give us whatever we demand or He is being dishonest! This is an unscriptural practice called ‘positive confession’.The simple beauty of the truth in these verses has been twisted by unscrupulous people to imply that God is at our beck and call and must give us everything we want. Prosperity teachings have sprung up and unscriptural denominations have been formed to push this ‘new age’ practice of ‘positive declaration’ in ‘The Word of Faith movement’.However, prosperity teachers detach their teachings from every other biblical instruction on the normal Christian life in general, and the conditions for answered prayer in particular. The Bible teaches that a man must pray in faith, and without any doubt, unforgiveness, or sin in his heart. We are reminded in Psalms, if God regards iniquity in a heart, He will neither heed nor hear a man’s prayer.Other conditions for answered prayer is that requests should not be selfishly motivated, but must be in line with the will of God. Hebrews outlines another principle of answered prayer, which is a far cry from the ‘name-it-and-claim-it’ teaching of the Word-of-Faith movement and prosperity teachings, “let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”.When all the biblical criteria for prayer are met, God will most certainly answer prayer and in these precious verses, the Lord lays out the principles in His model prayer. We are to address our Father in heaven and honour His holy name. We are to pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be carried out on earth as it is in heaven. We are to pray for our daily food and to ask forgiveness for any sin… and we are also to be prepared to forgive others, knowing how much our Saviour has forgiven us.When we carry out His will and seek first His kingdom and righteousness, He will hear our prayer, because we will be praying into His will. When we honour our heavenly Father and proclaim His sovereign authority, His power, and His glory, we have an assurance that He is a God Who hears and answers prayer.Although the entire Sermon on the Mount is distinctly Jewish and was originally given to a remnant of Jews who trusted Christ for their salvation, the principles apply to all people who already are… or will become part of His kingdom on earth. Christ’s code of behaviour in His Sermon on the Mount was relevant to His earthly followers, both before and after the Cross. It has relevance to those of us who have already crowned Him as king of our heart in this age of grace. It contains standards to which Tribulation saints will need to adhere and it will also be relevant for those in the coming Millennial kingdom.The impossibly high standards of the Sermon on the Mount and the call to prayer, are designed to teach us that the principles and practice in Christ’s teaching can never be achieved in our own strength and power. They can only be realised supernaturally, as we allow the Holy Spirit of God to work His work in our lives.The more earnestly we ask, seek, and knock on heaven’s door, the more we will be given the supernatural strength to fulfil His Word and remain in the centre of His will.My Prayer.Heavenly Father, thank You for laying out so clearly the principles and practices that should govern our lives as we die to self and live for God. Thank You that my salvation does not rely on what I have done but on what Christ has done on my account. Lord, at times I have tried to do things in my own strength, only to fail. Help me to live aright and pray according to Your Word and will. Give me an understanding heart and the desire to live and work and pray in a manner that honours Your holy name. I praise and thank You that You are my sole Provider.Source: https://dailyverse. knowing-jesus. com/matthew-7-8.What does Matthew 7:8 mean?In the previous verse, Jesus commanded His listeners to ask, seek, and to knock, with the promise that each action would be rewarded (Matthew 7:7). In the following verses, He makes it clear that He is talking about prayer: asking from the Father, seeking from the Father, symbolically knocking on the Father’s door. Some commentators suggest these words imply a progression. It’s possible that “asking” means making a request, “seeking” implies persistence or fervor, and “knocking” represents continued and ongoing persistence.In this verse, Jesus doubles down on the promise. Everyone who asks of God receives an answer. Everyone who seeks Him finds Him. The door is opened to everyone who knocks. By including everyone, Jesus shows that God’s responsiveness to prayer is not based on the goodness of the one who prays, but on the goodness of God. We all know that among everyone, some are unworthy. God knows that among everyone, everyone is unworthy. Jesus shows that His Father does not only respond to the prayers of the super-religious, like the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20). He is ready to respond to the sincere asking, seeking, and knocking of each of His people.That universal sense of God’s response is especially important when looking at the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). Elsewhere, the Bible explains that there’s enough evidence of God in each person’s life that they should be seeking God (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1). Those who want God will react to that evidence by searching for Him, and they will find Him.That also means the context of God responding to the prayers of “everyone” is ultimately grounded in the context of Jesus Himself. He is quoted by John as saying, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Some requests are reasonable only from those who can legitimately call God Father. They also presume the person is approaching the “ask, seek, and knock” concept in a truly godly way (Matthew 6:9–13).Context Summary.Matthew 7:7–14 describes God as a generous Father eager to give good gifts to His praying children. Jesus commands His followers to continually ask and seek, with confidence that they will receive and find. Christ summarizes the intent of God’s commands in the Old Testament: doing for others what we want done for us. This is commonly referred to as “the Golden Rule.” The way of Jesus begins by entering a narrow gate and continues down a hard path that leads to life. He commands His followers to take that path instead of the easy road that leads to destruction.Chapter Summary.Matthew 7 is the last of three chapters that record what is now known as the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus commands His hearers not to pronounce shallow or hypocritical judgment. He describes God as a generous Father eager to give good things to His children when they ask. He commands His followers to enter the narrow gate and walk the hard road to life. False prophets can be recognized by their fruit, meaning their actions and choices. At the same time, good deeds are not absolute proof that someone has true faith. To live by Jesus’ teaching is like building the house of your life on a solid foundation instead of shifting sand.QUESTION.What did Jesus mean when He said, “Ask and you shall receive”?ANSWER.Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” in John 16:24. Similar statements are found in Matthew 7:7; 21:22; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9; and John 15:7. Is this a blanket promise with no conditions? If we ask for three hundred pounds of chocolate delivered to our door, is God obligated to give it to us? Or are Jesus’ words to be understood in light of other revelation?If we assume that “ask and you will receive” means “ask for anything you want and I’ll give it to you,” then we have turned the Lord into a cosmic genie who serves our every whim. This is the problem of prosperity gospel and word of faith teachings.In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that whoever asks receives, whoever seeks finds, and whoever knocks will find an open door (Matthew 7:7–8). But with this and all other verses we must examine the context. Jesus goes on to say that God will not fail to give His children good things (verse 11). So, this is one condition to the promise of “ask and receive”: what we ask for must be good in God’s estimation. God will give advantageous gifts to His children; He will not give us bad or injurious things, no matter how much we clamor for them. The best example of a good gift is the Holy Spirit, according to Luke 11:13. We begin to see a two-fold purpose of prayer—to increase our understanding of what God calls “good” and to cultivate a desire in us for what is good.Our prayers to God are not unlike our requests of men. Our prayers are based in a relationship, as Jesus points out in Matthew 7:8. If a child asks his father for something the father knows to be hurtful, the request is denied. The child may be frustrated and unhappy when he doesn’t get what he asked for, but he should trust his father. Conversely, when the child asks for something that the father knows is beneficial, the father will provide it eagerly because he loves his child.We have another condition to the promise of “ask and receive” in John 14:14, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Here, Jesus does not promise His disciples anything and everything they want; rather, He instructs them to ask “in my name.” To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray on the basis of Jesus’ authority, but it also involves praying according to the will of God, for the will of God is what Jesus always did (John 6:38). This truth is stated explicitly in 1 John 5:14, “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” Our requests must be congruent with the will of God.The promise of “ask and receive,” even with its conditions, can never disappoint. There is no chance of things we need not being in God’s will. He promises to supply what we need when we “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Of course, what we want is not always what we need. If what we want is not in God’s will, then we really don’t want to receive it. God knows what is good for us and is faithful and loving to say “no” to selfish and foolish prayers, no matter how much we want what we’re asking for.God will always give us good things. Our job is to understand what is good, so that we know what to ask for. The natural mind cannot understand this. But, when we offer ourselves as “a living sacrifice” and are transformed by the renewing of our minds, then we “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1–2). Then, asking for what we need in faith, we will have all we need for life, godliness, and fullness of joy (John 16:24).The biblical instruction concerning prayer is that we pray for the good things that we truly need, according to the will of God, in the authority of Jesus Christ, persistently (see Luke 18:1), unselfishly (see James 4:3), and in faith (see James 1:6). In Matthew 21:22 Jesus again emphasizes faith: “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Those who truly believe God will witness the amazing, infinite power of God. However, comparing Scripture with Scripture, we know that the asking must be done within the will of God. Part of having faith is acceding to God’s plan as best. If we ask for healing, and that is the best thing for us, we should not doubt that God will heal us. If He does not heal, then not being healed is a necessary part of a larger plan—one that is ultimately for our good.Consider Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This verse does not give us a way to manipulate God; nor does it mean that, if we obey, He will reward us with whatever treat we crave. Rather, it means that, when we delight ourselves in God, then we will find everything we want and need in Him. The key here is that the heart of the seeker is changed—when we delight in the Lord, God’s desires begin to become our own. When our desires match God’s, then our prayers are automatically aligned with His will.Among the most important prayers in the life of a Christian are “Teach me to love you above all else” and “Cause me to want what you want.” When we truly desire God, when we are passionate to see His will accomplished in this world, and when we ask for what brings Him glory, He is eager to give us anything we ask. Sometimes the things that glorify God are pleasant—a marriage or a child. Sometimes they are difficult for us—a failure that humbles us or a physical weakness that makes us more dependent upon God (see 2 Corinthians 12:7). But, when we pray within His will, in the authority of Jesus, persistently, unselfishly, and in faith, we will receive what we need.FOR FURTHER STUDY.The Quest Study Bible.More insights from your Bible study – Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!RELATED ARTICLES.What did Jesus mean when He said the first will be last and the last will be first?What does it mean when Jesus says “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30)?What did Jesus mean when He said He would give us “whatever you ask in my name”?What did Jesus mean when He told us to ask, seek, and knock?What does the Bible say about a Christian serving in the military?Return to:.Questions about Matthew.What did Jesus mean when He said, “Ask and you shall receive”?

Living In Spirit

VERSE OF THE DAY

Galatians 5:16 (New Living Translation)

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So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

Galatians 5:16

New Living Translation

Living by the Spirit’s Power

16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

Jesus told us that the truth will guide us through the Holy Spirit

That the spirit would be sent in his place till he returned. The spirit can not be seen but can be felt and is truth the spirit is the truth we know it keeps us in line from our sinful nature to live a godly fearing life.

at does it mean to walk by the Spirit?

Walking by the Spirit means looking to Jesus for our direction. It is a daily journey of asking ourselves, “What does the Lord want me to do today? What will honor and please him?” It involves examining our lives and if we recognize the works of the flesh within us, we repent and ask for the Spirit’s help.May 3, 2021

What Does It Mean to Walk by the Spirit?

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

I’m sure you’ve heard the idea of living and walking by the Spirit before. But, what does it really mean? Why should Christians even care about walking by the Spirit? How can we live and walk by the Spirit in our everyday lives? How does walking by the Spirit transform us? I’ll give you a hint: it is one of the most important aspects of our Christianity. If we’re not living and walking by the Spirit, our Christian journey will be a lot more difficult than it needs to be. 

Galatians 5:25 says, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” It’s one of my favorite verses of scripture. Walking with the Spirit, or keeping in step with the Spirit, is the simple antidote to many of the struggles with sin and temptation we experience as Christians. Walking by the Spirit does not mean we won’t be tempted but the Spirit gives us the power to choose Christ rather than submitting to our temptations. If your Christian walk feels impossible, take a moment to read this article and be reminded of how submitting to the Spirit can bring so much freedom and peace into your life. 

<img loading=”lazy” width=”1000″ height=”1500″ data-pin-title=”What does it mean to walk by the Spirit? – Daily She Pursues” data-pin-description=”I’m sure you’ve heard the idea of living and walking by the Spirit before. But, what does it really mean? Why should Christians even care about walking by the Spirit? How can we live and walk by the Spirit in our everyday lives? How does walking by the Spirit transform us? I’ll give you a hint: it is one of the most important aspects of our Christianity. If we’re not living and walking by the Spirit, our Christian journey will be a lot more difficult than it needs to be. #christianblog #christianwomen #christiangirls”

Who is the Holy Spirit? Why do we need him in our lives?

Before I get into what it means to live and walk by the Spirit, I want to remind you of the significance of the Holy Spirit in our world and in our lives. We know that the Spirit was poured out to believers on the day of Pentecost. The early believers began to speak in other tongues and observers nearby heard them praising God and proclaiming the gospel in their own languages. But how did we get to Pentecost? What came before? 

God gave his people the law through Moses. The law was meant to instruct them and teach them about the character of God. However, their hearts were not in the place to obey the law and they consistently failed. The thing is though, trusting and obeying God is a huge part of one’s relationship with the Lord. 1 John 2:3 tells us that we can have certainty that we know the Lord when we keep his commandments. So, how can people who do not have hearts to love and obey the Lord change? Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Related: How to Develop a Personal Relationship with God

A New Heart and New Spirit

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV

God promised to give his people a new heart and a new spirit and put his own Spirit within them. The Spirit of God would empower them to obey the Lord. They would no longer struggle to keep the law and fail miserably all the time. Instead, the Spirit would direct their lives and their choices and empower them to obey God as they should. 

The event that took place on the day of Pentecost was the fulfillment of this prophecy spoken through Ezekiel and many others. God poured out his Spirit and began to dwell within his people. 

The Situation of Galatians

There was a very specific issue in the Roman province of Galatia that prompted Paul to write about keeping in step with the Spirit. Certain people from Jerusalem came to Galatia and told the Gentile believers that in order to be right with God, they needed to be circumcised according to the Jewish law. This was literally anthetical to the gospel. Becoming in right standing with God comes through Christ and then the Spirit enables us to live righteously. 

This is perhaps why Paul emphasizes freedom in Galatians 5. Christ set his people free from the curse of the law. The law does not bring justification, only Jesus does. Now, the question that must have risen in their minds is, “How do we make sure that we’re living righteously?” Paul’s answer is simply by the Spirit. 

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:16-17 ESV

If the Israelites couldn’t obey God without the Spirit, why do we think we can? Every aspect of our lives should be led and directed by the Spirit. It isn’t easy, I know, but there’s no other way to live. If we try to do life without the Spirit, it might appear to go well for a while but our endeavors will eventually fail. 

Related: Why “Good” People Need the Gospel

What does it even mean to walk by the Spirit?

Walking by the Spirit means following the Spirit’s lead. Stoichōmen is the Greek word translated as “let us walk in step.” It refers to marching in rank or conforming to virtue and piety. In ancient Judaism, the term “walk” referred to the way in which one conducts their life. Walking was often associated with the law. So Paul flips this around and instead of calling believers to conduct their lives according to the law, he tells them to conduct their lives according to the Spirit.

Think about being on a tour or marching in line with someone else. When you’re on a tour, you go exactly where the tour guide goes. They have experience in the area they are taking you through while you do not. The best way to avoid getting lost is to follow them closely. 

Likewise, since the Holy Spirit is God, he knows God’s ways pretty well. Sure, you can try to navigate your relationship with God without the Spirit but you would only get lost. Instead, if you follow the Spirit closely, you’ll stay on the right track. 

Related: How to Actively Pursue God

The works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit

Paul goes on to tell us about the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. The works of the flesh include sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, division, envy, drunkenness, and orgies. (Galatians 5:19-21) However, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

When we walk by the Spirit, we do not end up living out the works of the flesh. Instead, the fruit of the Spirit becomes evident in our lives. Walking by the Spirit means looking to Jesus for our direction. It is a daily journey of asking ourselves, “What does the Lord want me to do today? What will honor and please him?” It involves examining our lives and if we recognize the works of the flesh within us, we repent and ask for the Spirit’s help. 

Fighting against sin and temptation is futile without the Spirit. Attempting to live a godly life without God is legalism. The Mosaic law was good but it wasn’t enough to keep people from succumbing to the works of the flesh. Likewise, you might have many methods that you’re using to help you live a godly life. Some of those methods can be good. But without the Spirit, they are worthless. Only the Spirit of God can lead us into godliness. 

Living Lives Controlled by the Holy Spirit 

I want to end with this: our lives should be ordered and controlled by the Holy Spirit. We should be wholly submitted to him. All of our decisions and choices should be led by the Spirit. The Spirit of the Lord lives inside you. He teaches you how to live. But it’s important to take time to listen. Sit in prayer and spend time in the word. Listen for his still, small voice. 

Walking by the Spirit makes us more like Christ. Isn’t this our goal? We want to become like the One we behold. We cannot become more like Christ through the law, our own morality, or rules that we set up for ourselves. It has to be through the Holy Spirit, always. 

May we earnestly pray, “Spirit lead me” and commit to going wherever he leads.

◄ What Does Galatians 5:16 Mean? ►

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

As believers, we are called to live in the Spirit, to pray in the Spirit, and to walk in spirit and truth. As Christians, we are called to live a spiritual life and not to be carnal, to bear the fruit of the Spirit and not to produce our own works of the flesh, to live under grace and not under law. As disciples, we are to walk by the Spirit for in so doing, we will not carry out the desires of the flesh.

Scripture reminds us, in many places, that we can only walk by means of the Spirit when we place our lives under His full control. We can only walk in spirit and truth when we are led by the Holy Spirit of truth and guided by His Word of truth.

To live the spiritual life that God requires of all His children, means that we should be willing to submit to His will and authority in every situation we meet… that in all our day-by-day dealings, we remain submissive to His leadings and obedient to His corrections – that we trust His Word, listen to His voice, and depend on Him alone – not relying on our own human abilities, actions, intuition, and strength, but doing only those things that we heart

The spirit and the flesh work in opposition to each other. They lust against one another and are totally incompatible one with the other. Our regenerated human spirit and our old sinful fleshly nature will remain bitter enemies and in conflict with each other, throughout our earthly life. But through the resurrected life of Christ, we have been given the means to walk by the Spirit so that we will not carry out the desires of our old, sinful, fleshly nature.

Paul himself recognised this inner conflict that we all face, when he cried, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this dying body.” He recognised the inner turmoil that he faced in the inner core of his being – but Paul knew that the answer to overcoming the lust of the flesh was found in Jesus Christ. He alone has given us the power to overcome the desires of the flesh and it is achieved as we walk in spirit and truth – in submission to the Holy Spirit of Christ.

The flesh refers to the old sin nature, ‘the old man’ that was crucified with Christ when we trusted Him as Saviour – and we are to keep our fallen nature, that ‘old man’ nailed to the Cross and permanently disabled as we walk in spirit and truth. Only as we submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit and depend on Him by grace through faith in Christ, are we able to walk by the Spirit and be enabled to live as God as intended us to live.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/galatians-5-16

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/galatians-5-16

Galatians 6

By Faith, or by Works of the Law?

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? zIt was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly aportrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: bDid you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by chearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? dHaving begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by1 the flesh? 4 eDid you suffer2 so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and fworks miracles among you do so gby works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as hAbraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

7 Know then that it is ithose of faith who are jthe sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that kGod would justify3 the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, l“In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

10 For all who rely on works of the law are munder a curse; for it is written, n“Cursed be everyone who does not oabide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that pno one is justified before God by the law, for q“The righteous shall live by faith.”4 12 But the law is not of faith, rather r“The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ sredeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, t“Cursed is everyone who is hanged uon a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might vcome to the Gentiles, so that wwe might receive xthe promised Spirit5 through faith.

The Law and the Promise

15 yTo give a human example, brothers:6 zeven with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now athe promises were made bto Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, c“And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came d430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as eto make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but fGod gave it to Abraham by a promise.

19 Why then the law? gIt was added because of transgressions, huntil the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was iput in place through angels jby an intermediary. 20 Now kan intermediary implies more than one, but lGod is one.

21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For mif a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture nimprisoned everything under sin, so that othe promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given pto those who believe.

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, qimprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, rthe law was our sguardian until Christ came, tin order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus uyou are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as vwere baptized winto Christ have xput on Christ. 28 yThere is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave7 nor free, zthere is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And aif you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, bheirs according to promise.

Sons and Heirs

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,1 though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, cwere enslaved to the elementary principles2 of the world. 4 But dwhen the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, eborn fof woman, born gunder the law, 5 hto redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive iadoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent jthe Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then kan heir through God.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

8 Formerly, when you ldid not know God, you mwere enslaved to those that by nature nare not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather oto be known by God, phow can you turn back again to qthe weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 rYou observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid sI may have labored over you in vain.

12 Brothers,3 tI entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. uYou did me no wrong. 13 You know it was vbecause of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you wat first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me xas an angel of God, yas Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by ztelling you the truth?4 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and anot only when I am present with you, 19 bmy little children, cfor whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ dis formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Example of Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, eone by a slave woman and fone by a free woman. 23 But gthe son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while hthe son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two icovenants. jOne is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;5 she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But kthe Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

l“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;

break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!

For the children of the desolate one will be more

than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you,6 brothers, mlike Isaac, nare children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh opersecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, pso also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? q“Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but rof the free woman.

Christ Has Set Us Free

For sfreedom Christ has tset us free; ustand firm therefore, and do not submit again to va yoke of wslavery.

2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that xif you accept circumcision, yChrist will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that zhe is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are asevered from Christ, byou who would be justified1 by the law; cyou have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly dwait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus eneither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but fonly faith working through love.

gYou were running well. Who hindered you from obeying hthe truth? 8 This persuasion is not from ihim who calls you. 9 jA little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 kI have confidence in the Lord that you will ltake no other view, and mthe one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers,2 still preach3 circumcision, nwhy am I still being persecuted? In that case othe offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish pthose who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. qOnly do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love rserve one another. 14 For sthe whole law is fulfilled in one word: t“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you ubite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Keep in Step with the Spirit

16 But I say, vwalk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify wthe desires of the flesh. 17 For xthe desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, yto keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are zled by the Spirit, ayou are not under the law. 19 Now bthe works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, cdivisions, 21 envy,4 drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that dthose who do5 such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But ethe fruit of the Spirit is flove, joy, peace, patience, gkindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 hgentleness, iself-control; jagainst such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus khave crucified the flesh with its lpassions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, mlet us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 nLet us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

What does Galatians 5:16 mean? [ See verse text ]

In the previous passage, Paul has spoken truth to the Galatian Christians. That truth applies to all Christians, even today. His plea is for believers not to waste their freedom in Christ on serving their own flesh, and their own selfish desires. Instead, he has told those free in Christ to serve each other in love. He is describing a life of self-sacrifice lived out in response to God’s love for us (Galatians 5:13–15).

Now Paul begins to describe how to live in this way. After all, this kind of love does not come naturally. Not only do we resist giving up our own way, we often simply do not know how to love. Without the rules of the law to guide our every decision, how will we use our freedom in Christ to love each other?

Paul points to the only source of power and wisdom beyond ourselves: the Holy Spirit of God. He revealed earlier in this letter that the Spirit comes to live in the hearts of every one of God’s sons and daughters (Galatians 4:6). Now Paul tells us to use this freedom in Christ to access the power of God’s Spirit in our hearts in our everyday lives. He tells us, literally, to walk, and keep on walking, by the Spirit’s power and guidance.

Again, the picture Paul will paint is about setting aside our own power and relying on God’s. In the same way we could not fulfill the law by our own effort, Paul tells us to quit trying to serve each other in love on our own. The Spirit of God in us is available and willing to help.

Yes, this is a mysterious idea, but it’s also how free people in Christ avoid giving in to the desires of our flesh. It’s how we overcome our strong appetites to do what feels good even if that thing is sinful. In the Spirit’s power, we can say no to ourselves.

Context Summary

Galatians 5:16–26 focuses on how God’s Spirit gives those in Christ the power to serve others in love. We must allow the Holy Spirit to lead, however. When we don’t, our selfishness will lead us into all kinds of sinful lifestyles. When we live by the Spirit, on the other hand, we gain more than just being able not to live in sin. What comes out of us are a collection of powerful, positive characteristics.

Chapter Summary

Those who trust in Christ have been set free. Paul’s readers were in danger of wasting that freedom, by veering off in one of two directions. On the one hand, false teachers were pressuring them into circumcision in order to be sure of being right with God. On the other hand, freedom can also be squandered on serving only our sinful desires instead of investing it through serving others in love. God’s Spirit gives us the power to do that when we let Him lead us. Life in the Spirit bears powerful and positive fruit in a Christian’s life

We Are All Children Of God

Galatians 3:26-27

New Living Translation

26 For you are all children[a] of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.[b]

For you are all accepted as children of God by faith because of Christ jesus. you were all baptized into christ so you were all clothed with christ this shows that you are all children of god through faith in christ united by baptism

What Does Galatians 3:26 Mean? ►

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:26(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

There is a false teaching that all members of the human race are children of God and that all men are universal sons of the Almighty. This is not only dangerous but unscriptural, for only the regenerate are made children of God – only those that are saved by grace through faith in Christ are given the right to become sons of God: “Even to those who believe in His name – who were born not of human parentage but of the Spirit of God,” by grace, through faith.

Paul taught the Galatian believers: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,” but Jesus also told us that those who do not believe in Him are “of your father.. the devil.” There are only two camps in this dispensation of grace. Saint or sinner – the former being saved by grace and eternally freed from condemnation – the latter being lost and under God’s righteous condemnation. The former made alive in Christ, citizens of heaven and at peace with God, and the latter remaining dead in their sins, prisoners of Satan and at enmity with their Creator.

To those that are born of the Spirit and washed in the blood of Christ, God is a gracious Heavenly Father, but to a Christ-rejecting sinful world, God is a righteous Judge. And when Scripture is twisted so that the love of God is divorced from the justice of God, we are left with a benevolent old man in the sky or an evil despot who dispenses fire and brimstone at His whimsical will. When a distorted gospel is preached and only certain of God’s characteristics are accentuated at the expense of the truth – the Church of God is destroyed for lack of knowledge.

When the whole counsel of God is not taught in our churches and a false gospel is the stimulus in doctrinally deficient, liberal seminaries, we feed on unwholesome manna and drink from dirty, dried-up cisterns, leaving our minds controlled by doctrines of demons and the unscriptural pronouncements of false prophets.

It is purely the mercy of God that has pronounced us children of God, through faith in Christ. And it is a miracle of mercy that has rendered us sons of God through believing on His name for salvation. Our privileged position in Christ has nothing to do with our worth or merit but is only and exclusively is founded on God’s grace that He extended towards us… in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us so that all who believe on His name may be given the right to become sons of God: “Even to those who believe in His name – who were born not of human parentage but of the Spirit of God – by grace, through faith in Him.”

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/galatians-3-26

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/galatians-3-26

What does Galatians 3:26 mean? [ See verse text ]

Paul concludes a thought begun in the previous verses. He has been showing that the law of Moses served a vital role in the life of Israel, but only for a temporary season. It was similar to a kind of tutor, or guardian, to the nation of Israel, steering them through the minefield of sin and its consequences without ever being able to free them from their imprisonment to sin (Galatians 3:19–25).

When Christ came, however, the guardian of the law was no longer needed. No matter what the Judaizers said to the Galatian Christians, it was not necessary for any of them to continue to follow the works of the law. True freedom from sin is now available to those who “by faith” receive the gift of Christ’s death for their sin on the cross. In fact, being “in Christ” by faith causes believers to become children of God. Paul is making a huge statement here. He is writing to non-Jewish Christians and calling them children of God, another step up from his previous description of them as Abraham’s children “by faith.”

Paul’s teaching was the Gentiles no longer needed to think of themselves as lesser members in the family of God. All who trust in Christ for salvation are full sons and daughters of God Almighty with all the rights and privileges that come with that.

Context Summary

Galatians 3:23–29 summarizes the idea that God never intended the law to be the final solution for the problem of sin. Instead, it was meant to ”guard” mankind, until the arrival of Christ. This freedom from the captivity of the law also transcends all other barriers: race, gender, wealth, health, and culture are all irrelevant to our relationship with the Savior. Anyone who belongs to Christ, by faith, is promised to be an heir.

Chapter Summary

Paul indicates the Galatian Christians are foolish for believing they need to follow the law of Moses to be right with God. He offers three specific arguments to support this. First, they received God’s Spirit in a powerful way after believing in Jesus, but before doing any works of the law. Second, Scripture itself shows God’s blessing coming by faith, and His curse coming by the law. Christ paid the price of that curse on the cross. Third, God’s covenant with Abraham is like a legal document, and it cannot be revoked

Galatians 3:26 NKJV

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

How is verse 26 connected to what was said previously? It shows the transition between law and faith. So we have the law as our tutor, right? But when faith in Jesus has come, we are no longer under a tutor. We are under faith. And this faith makes us into sons of God, not slaves of sin.

What’s interesting is this guys… last week we understand that a tutor (verses 24-25) is basically a child guardian, right? But when verse 26 talks about sons of God, this is actually talking about adult sons. So it’s like a graduation in a way from law to faith. From childhood to being adults. So if a Christian in Galatia was wanting to get back to the law, it’s like someone who wants to be a child again.

One commentary says:

As I have told you last week, it’s silly if any Christian in Galatia wanted to be justified by the law after being saved through faith in the Lord Jesus. It’s like someone wanting to return to prison after being set free.

now that Christ had come, the Galatian believers were adult sons through faith and were no longer under a Jewish slave-guardian. Why should they seek to revert to their inferior status?

One commentary says

Campbell, D. K. (1985). Galatians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 600). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

As I have told you last week, it’s silly if any Christian in Galatia wanted to be justified by the law after being saved through faith in the Lord Jesus. It’s like someone wanting to return to prison after being set free.

Imagine if you’re a Christian in Galatia. The Judaizers told you that you needed the law as well as faith in Jesus in order to be justified. But Paul has been clear in this passage hasn’t he? You are a child of God because of your faith in Jesus. It has nothing to do with the law.

Galatians 3:

Galatians 3:27 NKJV

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

As Christians, the Galatians have been baptized into Christ. They were immersed into Christ. Their old selves were crucified with Christ. And because of this, they have put on Christ. To help you understand better what it is to put on Christ, I want to illustrate it by a sports example.

Before I got into the basketball team at college, I already played basketball. It’s an enjoyable sport and I got into it. But after I entered the basketball team at Howick College, I was given a uniform. When I put on that uniform, things changed. All of a sudden I’m not just a youth who likes to play basketball during my break times. I represent Howick College now with basketball. I get to go outside the school to play against other school teams. I have put on a uniform that changed me as a student.

One commentary states:

The Bible Knowledge Commentary 3:26–27

In the Roman society when a youth came of age he was given a special toga which admitted him to the full rights of the family and state and indicated he was a grown-up son.

So what does it mean to put on Christ? It means that you have a new identity as a Christian (derived from Kalisher). When you first have faith in the Lord Jesus, you have put Him on, like you have put on a brand new uniform. Things are not the same after you do. About putting Christ on, one commentary says:

When you first have faith in the Lord Jesus, you have put Him on. Things are not the same after you do. About putting Christ on, one commentary says:

“This is not a temporary condition for the sake of a certain occasion – it is a transfer of ownership, a new identity. Whatever was before I was saved has ceased to be… The same new identity is given to both Jew and Gentile who believe. That is why all believers in Jesus are called Christians – people who belong to Christ and resemble Him…” (Meno Kalisher)

Does Galatians 3:27 Teach Salvation By Water Baptism?

GEORGE IPPOLITO AUGUST 14, 2018

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

As you might have already gathered by the question presented in the title there are many who use Galatians 3:27 as a proof text to support their belief that water baptism is a necessary instrument of the salvation process, without which a person cannot be saved. While we want to hold up the importance of baptism as an ordinance instituted by the Lord Himself, we do not want to confuse its importance with saving faith. Not just because “we don’t want to” or because it doesn’t fit with a certain system of theology but because the Scripture does not teach such a doctrine. Galatians 3:27 is a great example of how people can do great injustice to the meaning of a text by avoiding a number of incredibly important hermeneutical principles.

Besides the response that will be set forth in the proceeding points, the methodology of the argument will also be very helpful. It can serve as a great framework to ensure that you do not make the serious mistake that people make when they take a text out of its context and teach false doctrine.

I. Let’s look at the immediate context.  In the verse immediately preceding Galatians 3:27, we are told, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus ” (vs. 26). So the verse in dispute (vs. 27) is immediately preceded by a verse that teaches that “faith in Christ Jesus” is the means through which people become sons and daughters of God. That’s important. That will help understand what Paul was (and was not) speaking about in verse 27; but first we ought to notice how verse twenty-six flows out from the extensive argument that he had been making in the latter portion of chapter two and just about the entirety of chapter three. Which brings us to our second point…

II. Let’s look at the context of Galatians. We will focus our examination to considering the verses leading up to Galatians 3:26-27, beginning at Galatians 2:16. Don’t forget what Paul has been arguing for – that a person is justified by faith and not by works. Watch the way in which Paul extensively argues this point leading up to the verse in question.

In Galatians 2:16 Paul wrote, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” In this one verse we see how the apostle Paul accented the importance of faith three times!

Then, if we continue reading on into chapter three we see him argue the importance of faith over and over again. Here’s a sampling:

• Galatians 3:2 – “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”

• Galatians 3:5-6 – “Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” just as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

• Galatians 3:7 – “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.”

• Galatians 3:8 – “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’”

• Galatians 3:9 – “So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.”

• Galatians 3:11 – “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for the just shall live by faith.”

• Galatians 3:14 – “that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

• Galatians 3:22 – “But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”

• Galatians 3:24 – “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

So within the context of Galatians, and particularly the verses leading up to Galatians 3:27, Paul had been laboring extensively to show that a person was justified by faith. It would be strange (and incorrect) to think that after he made this point over and over and over again, he suddenly ‘threw in’, as a mere aside, an additional doctrine of salvation importance saying, ‘Oh yeah, and don’t forget, you’re actually saved by water baptism too.’ That doesn’t work. Both the immediate context and larger book context argue against it.

III. Larger Scriptural Context. With this step we are simply seeing if the larger context of Scripture argues for justification by faith or justification by baptism. The evidence overwhelmingly and indisputably supports the former – justification by faith. Rather than citing all the verses in their entirety here is a large sampling of the ‘addresses’ where those verses can be found: Jn. 3:16, 36; 5:24; 6:47; Rom. 3:21-26, 28-30; 4:3, 5, 11, 16; 5:1; 9:30, 33; 10:4, 9-10; Eph. 1:13; 2:8-9; Phil. 3:9; etc.

IV. What kind of baptism is in view here? Perhaps the biggest mistake made by those who teach that a verse like Galatians 3:27 teaches salvation-by-baptism is that they assume when the word “baptism” is used the text can only be speaking of water baptism. Remember the Scripture does not only speak about water baptism, it speaks about “baptisms” (Gr. baptisimon), one of which is the baptism of the Holy Spirit whereby He (the Holy Spirit) immerses a believer into union with Christ. John the Baptist, for example, said that while he baptized with water one was coming after him who would baptize with the Holy Spirit (Lk. 3:16b). The apostle Paul wrote of this baptism in 1 Corinthians 12:12,13 saying:

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 into one Spirit.

That’s the baptism that is in view in Galatians 3:27. So besides the fact that there is no mention of water in Galatians 3:27 (an important fact to note), it’s the baptism of the Holy Spirit that works coterminously with justification by faith – that’s the connection between verse 26 and 27! To be a son of God through faith in Christ Jesus (vs. 26) is to have been baptized by the Spirit into Christ – spiritually speaking (vs. 27).

QUESTION

Does Galatians 3:27 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?

ANSWER

Groups that believe that baptism is necessary for salvation often turn to Galatians 3:27 as one of their “proof texts” for the view that baptism is necessary for salvation. In doing so they are ignoring the context of the passage as well as the overall context of Scripture to try to force their pre-conceived theological view on this passage.

In order to determine if this passage really supports baptismal regeneration, one simply needs to read the immediate context to know that it does not. The overall context of Galatians is centered on Paul’s rebuke that some of the Galatians were turning from the one true gospel to another false gospel that could not save them (Galatians 1:6-10). The false gospel they were embracing was one that mixed God’s grace with works of the law, including circumcision, as a requirement for being saved, much like those who add baptism as a requirement for salvation. Paul’s message in Galatians is very, very clear—we are justified not “by the works of the law but by faith in Christ” (Galatians 2:16). This context of justification by faith alone in Christ alone is seen throughout the first three chapters of Galatians and is reinforced in Galatians 3:26, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” This verse, along with all other passages of Scripture dealing with salvation, makes it clear that salvation is “through faith in Christ Jesus,” and since, for baptism to have any meaning at all, it must always be preceded by faith, we can know that it is faith in Christ that saves us not the baptism that follows faith. While baptism is important as a way of identifying us with Christ, it only has meaning if it comes from saving faith which always comes first.

Galatians 3:27 says, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Is there any reason from the context of this passage to assume that this is speaking of water baptism? The obvious answer is no. There is no contextual evidence on which to draw that conclusion. We know from Scripture that there is more than one type of baptism taught in the New Testament (Hebrews 6:2), so why should it be assumed this is speaking of water baptism? The question we need to answer from Scripture is, “How do we get baptized into Christ?” Or another way of asking it is “what makes a person a Christian?” Or maybe, “What is the single most important difference between a Christian and a non-Christian?” The answer to these questions is found in Romans 8:9, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.”

Scripture is very clear that the determining factor for whether or not one is a Christian is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. With that truth in mind let’s look at another passage that speaks of being “baptized” into Christ. “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 be made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). What is it that makes one a Christian? It is being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. What baptism is it that puts us into Christ or makes us a part of Christ’s body? It is the baptism “by one Spirit.” Clearly, the baptism that 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 and Galatians 3:27 are speaking of is not water baptism at all. It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit whereby we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13-14) and are made part of Christ’s body as we are indwelt by His Holy Spirit. Jesus promised His disciples before He left them that He would send them “another helper,” the Holy Spirit who “dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-18).

The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is what baptizes us into the body of Christ, as seen clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13. John the Baptist prophesied that, while he was sent to “baptize with water,” Jesus was the One who would “baptize with the Holy Spirit” (John 1:33-34). It is that baptism, the point that we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that “baptizes” us into the body of Christ. Galatians 3:27 is not referring to water baptism at all. Water baptism is symbolic of what is accomplished when we are baptized into one body by one Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is what matters. When we receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit as promised by Christ is when we become part of the body of Christ or are “baptized into Christ.” Those who try to force baptismal regeneration into Galatians 3:27 have no scriptural grounds for doing so.

Galatians 3:26-29 – WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO BE CALLED A CHILD OF GOD?

What a wonderful privilege it is to be a child of the living God! Thank God for His great love by which He allows us to be in His family. In the closing section of Galatians 3, we read about which people have the right to be called God’s children. Let’s call it “sonship in the Christ.” Note the text:

 (26) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (27) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (28) 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. (29) And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Let us start by pointing out some matters that are not the basis of sonship. The words of our text come immediately after Paul explained the role of the Law of Moses. For the Jews, it had served as a tutor to bring them to the Christ. Paul makes it clear that now, though, that old law is no longer in force (3:24,25). Thus, the sonship about which Paul writes is not brought about by following the old law.

Sonship is not through physical birth. The Christ is mentioned in each of the four sentences that make up the last four verses of Galatians 3. One becomes a child of God through Jesus, and that involves a spiritual birth, not a physical one (John 3:3,5). When it comes to physical matters, the context of the entire epistle to the Galatians makes it plain that receiving physical circumcision is not a factor in whether or not one is a child of God (cf. “circumcised nor uncircumcised” in Colossians 3:11).

Sonship is not based on one’s ancestry. As our text shows, in the Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek” (3:28). That, of course, does not mean that no Jew or Greek can be a child of God; it simply means that in God’s Son, there is no distinction based on one’s biological background.

Sonship is not based on one’s social status. Both slave and free could be, and were, admitted into God’s family (3:28).

Sonship is not based on one’s gender. Again, in God’s Son “there is neither male nor female” (3:28). We obviously can detect the difference between females and males, but the point here is that sonship is neither denied nor granted due to one’s gender. Do not confuse the issue in this context. Paul is not discussing the roles that males and females play in the Christ. He is not declaring that they are equal in having the right to take leadership roles in the work and worship of God’s people. No, Paul is addressing the question of “Who has the right to be called a child of God?” In that matter, brothers and sisters are equal, having come into the Christ in the same manner and being entitled to equal spiritual blessings in Him (Ephesians 1:3).

Well, if being God’s child is not predicated on any of those matters listed above, then upon what is it based? Sonship is based on location and relationship. Those who are in God’s family “are all one in Christ Jesus” (3:28). Thus, all of God’s children are in the Christ (which is the same as being in His church, 1 Timothy 3:15). The in-the-Christ people are the same as those who are identified as “Christ’s” (3:29). Again, sonship and faithful service is about location and relationship. Now let us go back a bit in our text.

Sonship comes about through Jesus: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (3:26). There is no way to bypass Him and be a child of God. As we consider “faith” in this verse, there are two aspects to it. First, in the Greek text, “faith” is preceded by an article, making it “the faith” – that is the system of faith, or gospel (1:23). So, sonship comes about via the gospel (and not the old law; 3:24,25). Second, there is the personal element of faith – a person must respond to the message of “the faith” with his own personal faith in Jesus as the Christ (Acts 16:31).

When does one’s personal faith get him into the Christ, that is, make him a child of God? “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (3:27). Scriptural immersion is the transition – it takes one from being in the darkness that is outside of the Christ and puts him into God’s Son. Since all spiritual blessings, including redemption, are in the Christ (Ephesians 1:3,7), then no one outside of Him is in God’s spiritual family. Again, the only way door into Him is via baptism.

Those who “are Christ’s” (3:29) were bought with a price – the blood of the Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:18,19). Being in the Christ, they are Abraham’s spiritual seed and heirs to the promise, the promise that all families of the earth would be blessed through Abraham’s seed (3:16; Genesis 12:3; 22:18).

Let us never take for granted the privilege of being God’s children. God help us to appreciate all of the efforts made by the Godhead and humans, too, to bring about our redemption. And may we conduct ourselves in God’s family in such a way that others can see just how much that family means to us.

— Roger D. Campbell

Galatians 3:26-27: Water Baptism or Spirit Baptism

April 24, 2015 by Brian

The majority of commentators throughout history understand 3:27 to refer to water baptism. But this results in some serious difficulties. Calvin states the difficulty well: “”But the argument, that, because they have been baptized, they have put on Christ, appears weak; for how far is baptism from being efficacious in all? Is it reasonable that the grace of the Holy Spirit should be so closely linked to an external symbol? Does not the uniform doctrine of Scripture, as well as experience, appear to confute this statement?”[1] In other words, it is obvious under anyone’s theology, that not all who are water baptized are united to Christ. But this verse says, ”For as many of you as were,” or “All who were . . . .”

There are a number of ways of handling this difficulty. Peter Lombard notes a view ascribed to Augustine indicated that those who were baptized under a false confession had their sins forgiven “at the very moment of baptism.” But those sins “return immediately after baptism.” Lombard rejects this view, and he says that Augustine only reported the view. He did not hold it.[2] Lombard himself suggested two resolutions. First, it may be that only “those who are baptized in Christ” have their sins forgiven. Or, Lombard suggested, it may be that the passage refers not to those who receive the sacrament alone but also the thing which it symbolizes.[3]

This latter explanation has remained popular. It was the explanation Calvin offered: “It is customary with Paul to treat of the sacrament in two points of view. When he is dealing with hypocrites . . . he then proclaims loudly the emptiness and worthlessness of the outward symbol. . . . When, on the other hand, he addresses beleviers, who make a proper use of the symbols, he then views them in connexion with the truth—which they represent.”[4]

Another approach is to argue that baptism is one part of “the complex of initiation events describing conversion.”[5] Some make baptism an essential part of receiving the benefit. Beasley-Murray claims, “If Paul were pressed to define the relationship of the two statements in v. 26-27, I cannot see how he could preserve the force of both sentences apart from affirming that baptism is the moment of faith in which the adoption is realized . . . which is the same as saying that in baptism faith receives Christ in whom the adoption is effected.”[6] Everett Ferguson similarly states, “If a distinction is to be made between the relation of faith and baptism to the blessings described, one might say that baptism is the time at which and faith is the reason why.”[7] F. F. Bruce notes the problem with this approach: “The question arises here: if Paul makes baptism the gateway to ‘being-in-Christ’, is he not attaching soteriological efficacy to a rite which in itself is as external or ‘material’ as circumcision?”[8] For this reason commentators often make qualifying comments such as these by Moo:

It was not, in and of itself, a means of salvation or incorporation into Christ (contra, e.g., Schlier 1989: 172; cf. Betz 1979: 187-88). Faith, which Paul repeatedly highlights in this passage and in his other letters, is the only means of coming into relationship with Jesus Christ. However, baptism is more than simply a symbol of that new relationship; it is the capstone of the process by which one is converted and initiated into the church. As such, Paul can appeal to baptism as ‘shorthand’ for the entire conversion experience.[9]

The difficulty with all of these qualifications is that they seem to evade what the words of the verse actually say. The verse says, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Moo says, “[Baptism] was not, in and of itself, a means of . . . incorporation into Christ (contra, e.g., Schlier . . .).” The verse says “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” But Lombard and Calvin say that is only true for those who receive the sacrament and the thing and not the sacrament alone. The qualifications are seeking to guard orthodox doctrine, but they seem to do so at the text’s expense.

But what if Paul is not referring to water baptism here? Bruce says, “It is difficult to suppose that readers would not have understood it as a statement about their initiatory baptism in water.” But is it so difficult? Both the Gospels and Acts anticipate and describe Spirit baptism.[10] The distinction between these two kinds of baptism is present in apostolic teaching. Distinction between the sacrament and the thing or the symbol and the reality, however, are later theological developments. It seems more likely for Paul’s original readers to have distinguished between water baptism and Spirit baptism than between the sacrament and the thing.

What is more, Spirit baptism makes good sense in this context. In this context baptism is the proof that “Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female” are one in Christ through faith. Water baptism cannot serve as such a proof because, as Hunn notes, “it proves only that the baptizer found [these distinctions] irrelevant.”[11] It does not provide a window into the mind of God. Spirit baptism, on the other hand, does provide such a proof. Indeed, this is Peter’s argument for accepting the Gentiles into the church. The Spirit baptized them just as he had baptized the Jews (Acts 11:15-17

). Hunn also observes that Galatians 3:23-29

and 4:3-7

follow parallel lines of argumentation. In 3:27-28 the proof of sonship is baptism into Christ. In 4:6 the proof of sonship is the reception of the Spirit. This parallel indicates that Spirit baptism is in view in 3:27.[12] Finally, 1 Corinthians 12:13

forms a close parallel to Galatians 3:27

. In both passages there is baptism into Christ. In both there is the indication that this the case whether the person is Jew or Gentile, slave or free. In 1 Corinthians 12:13

the baptism is clearly Spirit baptism: “For [in] one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” This confirms that the baptism in view in Galatians 3:27

is Spirit baptism.

To this position Schreiner objects, “Robert H. Stein shows that the attempt to separate water baptism from Spirit baptism fails to understand that water baptism is part of the complex of initiation events describing conversion.”[13] But in taking this view there is no denial that water baptism was part of “the complex of initiation events.” Nor does this view dispute that water baptism is the symbol of Spirit baptism.[14] This view simply recognizes that as many as are baptized in the Spirit are united to Christ but that not all who are baptized in water are so united.

[1] John Calvin, Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians, trans. Willaim Pringle (1854; repr., Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999), 111.

[2] Peter Lombard, The Sentences, trans. Giulio Silano (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2010), 19-20 (bk. 4, dist. 4, ch. 2, n. 4-5).

[3] Ibid., 21 (bk. 4, dist. 4, ch. 3).

[4] Calvin, 111.

[5] Thomas Schreiner, Galatians, ZECNT, 257, n. 8; cf. Douglas Moo, Galatians, BECNT, 251.

[6] G. R. Beasley-Murray, Baptism in the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962), 151.

[7] Everett Ferguson, Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013), 147.

[8] F. F. Bruce, Galatians, NIGTC, 185.

[9] Moo,  251.

[10] Debbie Hunn, “The Baptism of Galatians 3:27

: A Contextual Approach,” ExpTim 115 (2005): 373-74.

[11] Ibid, 373.

[12] Ibid., 374-75.

[13] Schreiner, 257, n. 8.

[14] I would dispute, however, that Spirit baptism happens at the time of water baptism. I would argue the reality precedes the symbol.

Run From Evil

Amos 5:14-15

New Living Translation

14 

Do what is good and run from evil
    so that you may live!
Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper,
    just as you have claimed.

15 

Hate evil and love what is good;
    turn your courts into true halls of justice.

Do what is good and run from wrong doings evil and sin
    so that you may live!
Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be there to help you
    just as you have claimed. 

Hate evil and love what is good; honor in his wills
    turn your courts into true halls of justice.

Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.

Amos 5:14-15

Related Topics: God, Seek, Lord, Love, Evil, Justice, Hate, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

A whole bunch of folks claim that God is on their side. In reality, the important question is whether we are on God’s side! That’s determined more by what we seek and do rather than what we think and say. God longs to be with us, but he will not sacrifice his character to extend us cheap grace, a grace that does not call us to be like him. He’s looking for believers who put their character where their mouths are.

My Prayer…

Most Holy God. Your righteousness and holiness are beyond me. I know that my best efforts are only vain attempts to attain them. Yet I long, dear Father, to be more like you in every way that it is humanly possible. Let me know of your presence with me as I seek after you and your character in my life. In the name of Jesus the Righteous One I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

Spiritual Warfare: ‘God Helps Those Who Turn from Evil’

God’s Power for Our Battles — Sunday, August 21, 2022

Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

Amos 5:14-15 NLT

Today’s Prayer

Lord, many things in this world are so tempting; so very enticing. I confess that I need Your help to resist and remain pure and holy in Your sight. Many things the world calls good are actually evil. Sometimes it seems like no matter how hard I try to stay faithful and true, Lord, temptation rears its ugly head and tries to get me to fall. Give me strength and endurance to finish the race and win the crown of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Seek Good, and Not Evil. A Commentary on Amos 5:14–15

Today’s Verse

Seek good, and not evil, that you may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as you have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

– Amos 5:14-15

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Those who hear God’s words, fear God and shun evil are blessed and loved by God, while those who follow Satan to do evil are detested by God. However, when facing all kinds of Satan’s temptations in real life, how can we cease following Satan and walk the path of fearing God and shunning evil? I read God’s words: “After God created mankind and gave them spirits, He enjoined them that if they didn’t call out to God, then they would not be able to connect with His Spirit and thus the ‘satellite television’ from heaven would not be received on earth. When God is no longer in people’s spirits there is an empty seat left open for other things, and that’s how Satan seizes the opportunity to get in. When people contact God with their hearts, Satan immediately goes into a panic and rushes to escape. Through mankind’s cries God gives them what they need, but He does not ‘reside’ within them at first. He just constantly gives them aid because of their cries and people gain hardiness from that internal strength so that Satan dare not come here to ‘play’ at its will. This way, if people constantly connect with God’s Spirit, Satan dare not come to disrupt.” God’s words show us that no matter what happens at any time, we should come before God, pray more, seek His will in everything, and take action strictly according to His words. Only thus can we be protected by Him, and not fall for Satan’s trickery or temptations.

A Final Call to Repentance – Amos 5:14-15

Kerry Lee

5 years ago

(14) Seek good and not evil
So that you may live.
And it will be so that Yahweh God of hosts will be with you
Just as you claim.
(15) Hate evil and love good
And put justice firmly in place in the gate.
Perhaps Yahweh God of hosts will be merciful,
Remnant of Joseph. ס

Just as you claim

Again we hear an explicit call to repentance in the middle of all the threats of destruction, and again we hear an echo of Deuteronomy’s “choose life.” The patriarchal traditions, the sojourn and Exodus from Egypt, and the Sinai and wilderness traditions are all pretty clearly in the background of Amos’ thoughts and language, even if he isn’t explicitly quoting anything or citing texts.

For God to be “with” one is a standard biblical way of talking about God’s good pleasure in blessing and protecting you. If God is with you, your endeavor will succeed. If he is not with you, whatever you are doing will not succeed, or else whatever success you appear to have won’t have the value that you think it will. The Israelites, especially the wealthy elite, were under the impression that God was with them. They were possibly under this impression because of their recent prosperity and relative peace, experienced during a time when the major military power in the world, Assyria, was engaged in infighting and civil war. They were mistaking material prosperity with God’s pleasure.

What Amos has been pointing out throughout this book is that their perception of prosperity is selective. They aren’t too concerned that the poor are suffering, or that their prosperity really comes from their dishonesty in rigging the system in their favor at the expense of others who cannot afford to bribe judges. In our modern world, even the cost of litigation can be prohibitive, making it difficult to get justice against a well funded opponent. Even if this isn’t bribing, the effect is the same. The wealthy have special protections in the legal system simply because they have the money to afford those protections.

This is part of the reason, I think, why Jesus spoke about how difficult it is for a wealthy person to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Material prosperity gives us a rose colored view of the world, making it difficult to see our need for forgiveness or our culpability. We are continually tempted, like the Israelites, to conflate material prosperity with God’s favor and endorsement.

But there is a critical difference between one’s claim to have the support of God and actually having the support of God. The partial blinding of wealth may be just another way that God has given you over to your own sinful desires. In other words, material prosperity can sometimes be the wrath of God, while keeping you from wealth might sometimes be the mercy of God.

So how do we make sure that whatever prosperity we have isn’t blinding us? By intentionally and continually seeking the face of God and trying to cultivate a contrite heart. The troubles of life are, in some ways, a blessing. They make you more sensitive to your need for God and to the troubles of others. When life’s troubles aren’t making you sensitive to your sinfulness, it is then that it is most critical that you be proactive in being self-critical and God-seeking. Material prosperity is one of the ways that God rewards faithfulness, but when he does it is because he considers you ready to handle the burden and obligation of wealth. He considers you faithful enough to manage his resources with wisdom and generosity, the way he would were he physically present among us.

If he has not yet blessed you with great wealth, then now is the time to practice the proactive contrition that wealth would require. Cultivate a continually penitent and self-critical heart. And I mean self-critical, not self-hating. There is a difference. Self-critical doesn’t make up things to be sorry about or feel the need to exaggerate. Self-hatred actually fails to be really self-critical because it is still looking at self through a distorting lens, but this one is colored by the hyperbolic condemnation of the enemy. Self-criticism on the other hand is ruthlessly realistic, and it is engaged in in dialogue with God in Bible study and in prayer, not alone in the dark with a box of tissues and only the whisper of the enemy as your conversation partner.

A ruthlessly realistic and proactive penitent heart is also a heart that makes real changes. It does not simply utter pious platitudes but actually changing the values by which one lives one’s life and makes decisions. Amos leads us to such a heart: seek good and not evil. Hate evil and love good. Don’t simply say “God is with me” or “God must hate me” and then do nothing. Change your mind. Change your values. Let your changed values change your behavior. How do we change our mind and heart? You cannot on your own. Only the Spirit of God can do that. But you can give the Spirit of God the opportunity to change you by approaching him with an open mind and heart in prayer and Bible study.

What can we expect from God?

Notice in verse 15 that there is no technical guarantee of mercy following the call to repentance. It says, “Perhaps Yahweh will be merciful.” Just because you try to make things right, there is no technical guarantee that God will be merciful. Once you have broken the agreement (which we all have – we all start in the place of the lawbreaker), God is not legally obligated to show you any mercy at all. This is vitally important to realize. I’ve said this before, and I fear that I may be beating a dead horse here, but you must realize that we never have God backed into a corner. He is never obligated to save you or to bless you. His salvation is always only an act of pure mercy.

Now the wonderful thing about this is that God is more perfectly merciful, more faithfully forgiving, more desirous of reconciliation with you than you can possibly imagine. While he is under no technical obligation to be merciful to you when you repent, his own unfathomably merciful character makes him absolutely reliable to forgive anything. He so desperately loves us that he gave his one and only son to make a way for our salvation, not because of anything we have done or any irreplaceable value innate within us but solely because he is perfectly merciful.

I am not attempting to correct Amos here, because I think this is exactly what Amos thought and was saying here. Seek good and not evil so that you will live! Only an incomprehensibly loving and merciful God would even utter this invitation after hundreds of years of the covenant unfaithfulness on the part of the Israelites and after generations of unreasonable hard-heartedness ignoring the series of calamities mentioned in Amos chapter 4. It wouldn’t make any sense for God to issue this call to repent through the prophet Amos only to say in the eventuality that Israel did, in fact, repent, “Well, I know I suggested that I might be merciful, but honestly now I just don’t feel like it.” This kind of God would have been inconceivable to Amos.

So what can we expect from God? We cannot expect him ever to be in our debt or to save us because we deserve to be saved, but we can expect that he will always be merciful when no one else would be, even when we would not show mercy on ourselves.

January 8, 2020

Amos 5:14-15

Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. – Amos 5:14-15

Dear Heavenly Father,

You have created and saved me by your unconditional grace.  It’s the foundation of my life.  I am safe in your love and therefore I have faith in you and your goodness.  But I see in your word here and I believe it in my heart that your righteous expectation for me is that I would honor you and your grace by championing morality, goodness, loyalty, friendship, generosity ad justice.  You want me to be all those things in my family, my work, my church, my community and my world.  When I respond to your grace with a grace influenced living, you are free to bless without embarrassing your justice.  What a wonderful thought your word puts forth!  You bless me so I will bless others and that frees you to bless me more as a testimony to your goodness. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God is gracious and just and he blesses us with both.

Be Strong And Be Rewarded

2 Chronicles 15:7

New Living Translation

7 But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”

But for you be strong and full of confidence and courage for what you do will be honored and rewarded

Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your awork shall be rewarded.

Breaking Into A Fresh Season With God (2 Chronicles 15:7)

January 16, 2019 Nate Holdridge

Breaking Into A Fresh Season With God (2 Chronicles 15:7) Nate Holdridge

Breaking Into A Fresh Season With God (2 Chronicles 15:7)

“But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7 ESV).

King Asa was a good and godly king. He sought the Lord when trouble came upon the land, and he experienced firsthand the power of God in battle. After a trademark victory over the massive Ethiopian army, Asa was confronted by a prophet named Azariah. He told Asa to seek the Lord. “The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you,” Azariah said. He went on to describe past seasons in Israel’s history when they and their leadership wandered from God. Always, dark days followed, for “in those times there was no peace.” So, the prophet said, “Take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

Asa knew what Azariah meant. Quickly, he acted as the spiritual leader of Israel, bringing them into a fresh season of dependence upon the living God. He forged a path for Judah to seek the Lord. Perhaps, as we observe his story, our modern minds can glean a thing or two about how to seek God today.

1. Took Courage

“As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage…” (2 Chronicles 15:8 ESV).

The prophet had told him to take courage, for boldness and conviction and power were all there for the taking, but Asa had to reach out and grab them. Take courage, the prophet said. Asa did. He became bold for the task. If we desire to seek the Lord we must also take courage. Set the alarm clock to give yourself some time for prayer. Set down the remote control to give yourself time for reading. Confront the lie that you will start next week, especially if you’ve said it a thousand times before. Take courage. Grab it and let the Spirit put it in the marrow of your soul. Tackle the project. Become bold for the task of seeking your God.

2. Put Away Idols

“…and put away the detestable idols…” (2 Chronicles 15:8 ESV).

Before approaching the altar of God for worship, Asa knew there were idols in the land he had to destroy. He recognized Israel’s worship was convoluted, intermingled with the gods of the nations around them. What a picture of our modern day! When a believer sets the priorities and convictions and status symbols of the world right next to God and his word, they have introduced modern idolatry. “Little children,” John wrote, “keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). Cast out that which must be destroyed.

3. Repaired The Altar

“…and he repaired the altar of the LORD…” (2 Chronicles 15:8 ESV).

With haste, Asa then repaired the altar. For them, the altar was the place they would daily interact with God. The worshipper would come and there, at the altar, offer sacrifice and praise unto God. For the altar to be in a state of disrepair meant they couldn’t even take the first step in seeking the Lord. The thousands of beautiful gifts God had for them would remain undiscovered as long as the altar lay in a state of disuse. To me, the sacrificial altar of Israel is representative of the relationship with God the cross of Christ has enabled. Cursed for us on his tree, Jesus made the way for us to enter into countless avenues of blessing from God. When I sit to engage with God, I feel enabled to do so by the blood of Jesus.

4. Gathered People

“And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin…They were gathered at Jerusalem…They sacrificed to the LORD on that day…And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD…” (2 Chronicles 15:9–12 ESV).

Asa then rounded up the people of God for worship. They came and sacrificed and vowed to seek the LORD. They decided to be a generation which loved and pursued God. Sometimes the spiritual leader must gather. The church is to spread but is also to gather. We are to go into the highways and byways, as Jesus taught, and invite people to his great feast. We are to go into all the world with the aim of making disciples. We are to meet from house to house, spread throughout our community. But we are also to gather. We are to come together for times of praise and prayer, study and Scripture, service and generosity.

5. Removed the Queen Mother

“Even Maacah, his mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her image, crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron.” (2 Chronicles 15:16 ESV).

One final, and challenging, task remained. Asa’s own mother had introduced the worship of Asherah into Judah. It was, as chronicled, a detestable image. Asa cut down that idol and removed her from her position as queen-mother. Her authority was rescinded. Sometimes, in seeking the Lord, there is a major obstacle which, though tough to deal with, must eventually be touched. It might be a sin to breakthrough or a relationship to break off, but it must go.

Asa would not always do the right thing as Israel’s king, but this was a great start to a good king’s reign. Let us emulate him and take up the boldness the Spirit has for us and allow him to revive our bodies and souls for the glory of God.

2 CHRONICLES 15:7

December 20, 2021

But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.

Devotional Thoughts

By David Wilkerson

With all the talk in the church about spiritual warfare, too many Christians have not learned how to resist the enemy. In fact, few believers know how to stand up and fight, and they become real pushovers for the devil.

The book of Judges tells us, “The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years” (Judges 6:1-2). Every year at harvest time, the Midianites moved over Israel’s land with thousands of camels, sheep and cattle that ate everything in sight, leaving Israel completely impoverished. They were driven to living in dark caves and damp dens, starving, scared and helpless. Then something happened! After seven years of this, the Israelites cried out to the Lord (Judges 6:6-7).

A man named Gideon had grown weary and exasperated at the situation. The Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12). Gideon questioned this Angel: “Well, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? How long should we just put up with it? We’ve been told we have a God who moved for our fathers, but look at us — helpless, living in constant fear.” The Angel said, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the [enemy]” (Judges 6:16).

Gideon gathered his army but then God made a strange request: “Send home every soldier who is afraid” (Judges 7:3). In other words, God said to Gideon, “I must have men of faith and courage! All others must pray until they develop a backbone.” That thinned out the army considerably. Still, before it was all over, Gideon had an army of strong, focused, determined fighters.

Scripture commands us to stand up, be strong, and do battle: “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13, NAS). Jesus has promised us, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). God is looking for believers today who will fight their own battles with faith and courage. He says to you, “Why do you fear? You can trust me to bring victory to your life. You are stronger than you think and, remember, I’m always with you.”

What Does John 15:7 Mean? ►

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 15:7(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

In a few short verse the believer is called and challenged to abide in Christ.. to abide in the Vine.. to abide in His love – to abide in ME. The vine was an important symbol, which ran through Old Testament scripture.. and Israel was the one whom Isaiah described as ‘the choicest vine.’ Israel was chosen by God to be a fruitful vine, and they were expected to bring forth good fruit for His glory.. but Israel brought forth wild grapes and had to be trampled down and laid waste.

Centuries later we are introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the exact radiance of God’s glory and identified as God’s true Vine. Christ’s life becomes the perfect fulfilment of these Old Testament shadows where God the Father continues to be the heavenly Vinedresser.. tending to the true Vine, in order to bring forth the fruit of righteousness through Him. Indeed the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.. against which there is no law – fruit which is only produced in us as we abide in Christ and He in us.

As members of Christ’s Body we are one with Him.. and our mission is to do His work on earth and bring forth the fruit of righteousness. And as branches on the true Vine we are likewise one with Christ, and are reminded many times that producing the fruit of righteousness it is not through our own efforts but only we remain in HIM and as His Word abide in us. Christ spoke only those things that He heard from the Father. Christ only did those things that he heard from the Father and in everything Christ’s prayer was translated into the desire of the Father – for He prayed: Thy will not Mine be done.

We were also told that.. on condition that we abide in Christ, and His words abide in us to, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Not only will we produce fruit of righteousness but abiding is closely linked with the prayer of the righteous man.. and maintaining close fellowship with the Lord. But the words of our lips, the thoughts of our mind, the meditation of our heart and the prayers that we offer up to the Lord are to focus on Him and to be a reflection of His will and His greater purposes.

It is not by personal performance, might or merit that we are ‘fruitful.’ It is not by our own effort or strength that we produce the good works that glorify God.. for God is the one that not only plans our fruitfulness but He is also the One that causes us to be fruitful – as we abide in Him, and He in us.. which in time will be translated into rewards for those that are faithful.. at the judgement seat of Christ. We are to live and work and have our being in Christ.. as the old, egotistical self remains nailed to the cross.. and the beautiful mind of Christ is increasingly formed in us.

The Lord Himself enables us to be fruitful as we carry out the good works that He Himself has prepared for us to do. It is God Who works in us, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.. and He enables us to produce good fruit to the glory of God. But the way to be fruitful in our Christian life is to abide in Christ.. to abide in the Vine.. to abide in His love – to abide in ME and I in you. 

To abide in the true Vine and to have Him abide in us is two sides of the same coin. Only as we submit to God and allow Him to work His good work through us, are we enabled to live as He lived.. doing the will of the Father and bearing much fruit to His glory.. Indeed we know that we are God’s handiwork, and are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God Himself prepared in advance for us to do.

Christ’s abiding in us is dependent on our abiding in Him. This mutual fellowship and intimate communion is conditional upon each one of us dying to self and living for Him alone.. And when we are enabled to abide in Him and He in us we will ask whatever we wish and it will be done – because our heart will reflect the heart of Christ.. our choices will reflect the will of God and our prayers will pray into the very issues that are closest to the heart of the Lord Himself.. as in His power and might we abide in Him and He in us – to His praise and glory.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that I have been saved by grace through faith in Christ.. but I realise that my thoughts need to be aligned to Your thoughts… my heart needs to be reflecting Your heart.. my mind needs to become the very mind of Christ.. so that my prayers can say with honesty and faith.. Thy will not mine be done, as I pray into Your will.. so that whatsoever I ask may be done to honour You Thank You in Jesus name, AMEN.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/john-15-7

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/john-15-7

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