What Does It Mean To Live In Harmony?

VERSE OF THE DAY

1 Corinthians 1:10 (New Living Translation)

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I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

Brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg all of you to agree with each other. You should not be divided into different groups. Be completely joined together again with the same kind of thinking and the same purpose. (1cor 1:10)

Who gives endurance and encouragement?

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”Oct 24, 2016

1 Corinthians 10 is the tenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle and Sosthenes in Ephesus. Wikipedia

Book: First Epistle to the Corinthians

Christian Bible part: New Testament

Order in the Christian part: 7

1 Corinthians Chapter 10

1 Corinthians 10 – Idolatry Then and Now

A. Israel’s bad example.

1. (1-5) Israel in the Exodus: blessed with many spiritual experiences, yet they were disqualified.

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

a. Moreover, brethren: 1 Corinthians 10 carries on the subject introduced in 1 Corinthians 8, and continued in chapter 9: what should the Corinthian Christians think and do in regard to meat which has been sacrificed to idols?

i. In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul established two principles. First, an idol really is nothing, and it was fine for Corinthian Christians who understood this to act according to this knowledge, in regard to themselves. Second, for Christians love is more important than knowledge. So even though I may “know” eating meat sacrificed to an idol is all right for myself, if it causes my brother to stumble, I won’t do it, because it isn’t the loving thing to do.

ii. In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul showed how important it is for Christians to give up their “rights.” Just as Paul gave up his “right” to be supported by his own preaching of the gospel, so some of the Corinthian Christians must sometimes give up their “right” to eat meat sacrificed to idols, based on the principle of love towards a weaker brother. In the end of chapter 9, Paul showed how a Christian must be willing to give up some things – even “good” things – for the sake of winning the race God has set before us, otherwise we will become disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27) in the competition of the Christian life.

b. I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers: Paul wrote about the need to finish what God has set before us, and how dangerous it is to refuse to give up something that gets in the way of finishing. Now, he will use Israel’s experience in the Exodus from Egypt to illustrate this principle.

c. All our fathers: Think of all the blessings Israel had in the Exodus from Egypt!

i. Our fathers passed through the cloud: The cloud of Shekinah glory overshadowed Israel throughout their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. During the day, the cloud sheltered them from the brutal desert sun, and during the night, it burned as a pillar of fire. It was a constant, ready reminder of God’s glory and presence (Exodus 13:21-22).

ii. All passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses: All Israel came through the Red Sea and saw God’s incredible power in holding up the walls of the sea so they could cross over on dry ground. Then they saw God send the water back to drown the Egyptian army (Exodus 14:21-31). This was not only an amazing demonstration of God’s love and power, but also a picture of baptism – by “passing through water,” all of Israel was identified with Moses, even as by “passing through water,” a Christian is identified with Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3-4).

iii. All ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink: All of Israel was sustained by God’s miraculous provision of food and drink during their time in the wilderness (Exodus 16:35 and 17:6). This was a remarkable display of God’s love and power for Israel, and a pre-figuring of the spiritual food and drink we receive at the Lord’s table (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

iv. Israel even had ancient versions of the two Christian sacraments we receive to this day: baptism and communion. The word sacrament was used for the oath of allegiance that the soldiers of the Roman legion took to their emperor. The early Christians considered communion and baptism to be an “oath of allegiance” unto Jesus Christ.

v. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ: Israel even had the presence of Jesus Christ with them in the wilderness! Here, in identifying the Rock that followed them, Paul builds on a rabbinical tradition that said Israel was supplied with water by the same rock all through the wilderness, a rock that followed them. Some Bible scholars today debate as to if the rock followed Israel, or if the water followed Israel (as in a stream). The point is the same: Jesus Christ was present with Israel in the wilderness, providing for their needs miraculously. What blessing, what privilege!

d. But with most of them God was not well pleased: Despite all these blessings and spiritual privileges, the Israelites in the wilderness did not please God. In light of all those blessings, gratitude should have made them more pleasing to God, but they were not.

i. Most of them: Thisis a hard-hitting understatement. Only two men from the adult generation that left Egypt came into the Promised Land (Joshua and Caleb). Most indeed!

e. For their bodies were scattered in the wilderness: The displeasure of God with the Israelites was evident because they never entered into the Promised Land, but died in the wilderness instead. For all their blessings and spiritual experiences, they never entered into what God really had for them.

f. With most of them God was not well pleased: Paul’s point hits hard: the Corinthian Christians were probably taking all sorts of liberties (like feasting in pagan temples, stumbling their brothers), thinking that they were “safe” because of past blessings and spiritual experiences (especially baptism and communion). So Paul warns them to beware, because just as Israel was blessed and had spiritual experiences, they still perished – and so some of the Corinthian Christians might also!

i. “It seems as if the Corinthians had supposed that their being made partakers of the ordinances of the Gospel, such as baptism and the Lord’s Supper, would secure their salvation, notwithstanding, they might be found partaking of idolatrous feasts; as long, at least, as they considered an idol to be nothing in the world.” (Clarke)

2. (6-10) Avoiding Israel’s bad example.

Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

a. Now these things became our examples: We can, and should, learn from Israel’s failure in the wilderness. How did Israel fail?

b. That we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted: They failed in that they could not say “no” to their desires, and so we must not lust after evil things as they also lusted. The Corinthian Christians who insisted on eating meat sacrificed to idols, even though they led other Christians into sin, just couldn’t say “no.” They said, “the meat is so good” or “it is such a bargain” but they could not say “no” out of love for God and love for a brother.

c. And do not become idolaters as were some of them: Israel failed to keep their focus on God, and they started giving themselves to idolatry (as in Exodus 32:1-6 and Numbers 25:1-3). Some of the Corinthian Christians not only got too close in their association with idols; they also made an idol out of their own “knowledge” and their own “rights.”

d. Nor let us commit sexual immorality as some of them did: Israel, in their idolatry, surrendered to the temptation of sexual immorality. Rose up to play (quoted from Exodus 32:6) is a tasteful way to refer to gross immorality among the people of Israel. We know the Corinthian Christians were having trouble with sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18-20), and the context here suggests it is connected with their selfish desire to please themselves, expressed in insisting on the “right” to eat meat sacrificed to idols.

i. “The verb translated play suggests sex-play in Hebrew… and therefore we are probably to understand drunken orgies.” (Cole, in his commentary on Exodus)

ii. And in one day twenty-three thousand fell: This number presents some difficulty. The quotation from Exodus 32:6 sets the context there, and in Exodus 32:28 tells us about three thousand men of the people fell that day. Perhaps there were more that died which the Scriptures do not record, or there were 20,000 women who died in the aftermath of the golden-calf incident, or some think Paul has jumped ahead to another time when Israel’s sexual immorality during the Exodus brought God’s judgment upon them (Numbers 25:9). In the Numbers passage, we are told that 24,000 died from the judgment of God, but perhaps it was 23,000 who died in one day.

iii. “What a wonderful book is the Bible, written at intervals during a period of fifteen hundred years, when such apparitions of inaccuracy as this must be seized upon to impeach its infallibility!” (Hodge)

e. Nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain: Numbers 21:4-9 describes the incident where, in response to the complaining of the people, God sent fiery serpents among the people. Again, their complaining hearts show them to be self-focused and more concerned with their own desires than God’s glory – the same issues causing trouble with the Corinthian Christians, who will not yield their right to eat meat sacrificed to idols for the sake of another brother.

f. And were destroyed by the destroyer: Because of the warning in 1 Corinthians 10:1-5, it seems the Corinthian Christians believed they were “safe” from the danger of being destroyed (as the Israelites were destroyed) because of past spiritual experiences or accomplishments. But Paul’s warning stands: “If it happened to Israel, it can happen to you. Be on guard.”

i. The Corinthian Christians seem to have regarded this issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols and thereby stumbling their brother as a “small” issue. Paul wants them and us to know that it reflects a selfish, self-focused heart, which is the kind of heart God destroyed among the Israelites in the wilderness. It may have been a relatively small symptom, but it was a symptom of a great and dangerous disease.

3. (11-13) Summary of the lesson from Israel’s history: standing strong against temptation.

Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

a. All these things happened to them as examples: Since we are those upon whom the ends of the ages have come, we can and should take warning from the bad example of Israel. We have a greater responsibility, because we can learn from Israel’s mistakes.

b. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall: For the Corinthian Christians to resist the temptation to be selfish and self-focused, they must first understand they are vulnerable. The one who thinks he stands will not stay on guard against temptation, so he may easily fall.

i. Temptation works like rocks in a harbor; when the tide is low, everybody sees the danger and avoids it. But Satan’s strategy in temptation is to raise the tide, and to cover over the dangers of temptation. Then he likes to crash you upon the covered rocks.

ii. “The highest saint under heaven can stand no longer than he depends upon God and continues in the obedience of faith. He that ceases to do so will fall into sin, and get a darkened understanding and a hardened heart.” (Clarke)

c. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man: We often want to excuse our particular tempting circumstances as “very unique” and a “special exception,” but God reminds us that our temptation is not unique. Many other men and women of God have faced the same or similar temptation, and have found the strength in God to overcome the temptation.

i. Others before you have found strength in the Lord to overcome your same temptation – and worse. So, you can be victorious – in the strength of Jesus, not in your own strength. We fight temptation with Jesus’ power, like the girl who explained what she did when Satan came with temptation at the door of her heart: “I send Jesus to answer the door. When Satan sees Jesus, he says, ‘OOPS, sorry, I must have the wrong house.’”

d. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able: God has promised to supervise all temptation that comes at us through the world, the flesh or the devil. He promises to limit it according to our capability to endure it – according to our capability as we rely on Him, not our capability as we rely only on ourselves.

i. Satan would destroy us in a minute if God would let him, even as he wanted to destroy Job (Job 1:6-12) and Peter (Luke 22:31), but God will not let him. Like a mom who keeps her child from the candy aisle in a store, knowing the child couldn’t handle that temptation, God keeps us from things we can’t handle. But what we can and can’t handle changes over the years.

e. With the temptation will also make the way of escape: God has promised to not only limit our temptation, but also to provide a way of escape in tempting times. He will never force us to use the way of escape, but he will make the way of escape available. It’s up to us to take God’s way of escape.

i. The way of escape isn’t the same as mere “relief” from the pressure of temptation, which some people find by giving in to the temptation! There is often a wrong way to relieve a temptation, and we will often face the same temptations over and over again until we show Satan and our flesh we are able to bear it.

ii. Barclay says the word for a way of escape is really a mountain pass, with the idea of an army being surrounded by the enemy, and then suddenly seeing an escape route to safety. Like a mountain pass, the way of escape isn’t necessarily an easy way.

f. Make the way of escape: The way of escape does not lead us to a place where we escape all temptation (that is heaven alone). The way of escape leads us to the place where we may be able to bear it.

i. We are reminded that to be tempted is not sin, but to entertain temptation or surrender to temptation is sin. When we bear temptation, Satan often condemns us for being tempted, but that is condemnation from Satan the Christian does not need to accept.

ii. At a market, a little boy standing by some candy looked like he was going to put some in his pocket and walk out the door. A clerk watched the boy for a long time, and finally spoke to him. “Looks like you’re trying to take some candy,” the clerk said. The boy replied, “You’re wrong, mister. I’m trying not to.” For the time being, he was able to bear it.

B. Back to the issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols: what about eating in the restaurant of a pagan temple?

1. (14) The principle stated: flee from idolatry.

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

a. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry: In the original language, there is an article before idolatry, literally saying the idolatry. Paul is specifically referring to the idolatry at the pagan temples.

b. Flee from idolatry: Though the Corinthian Christians may have the liberty to buy meat at the pagan temple butcher shop and prepare it in their own homes, they should flee from idolatry in regards to the restaurant of the pagan temple. Using the example of Israel, and their lapse into idolatry, Paul tells the Corinthian Christians not to participate in the dinners served at the pagan temple.

2. (15-22) The reason why: what goes on at the pagan temple is not as innocent as it may seem.

I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

a. I speak as to wise men: Since the Corinthian Christians tended to pride themselves on their “wisdom,” Paul challenges them – if they are truly wise – to carefully consider what he says here.

b. The cup of blessing… Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? Paul’s point may seem obscure to us, but it was plain to someone in that ancient culture. Just as the Christian practice of communion speaks of unity and fellowship with Jesus, so these pagan banquets, given in the honor of idols, spoke of unity with demons who took advantage of misdirected worship. To eat at a pagan temple banquet was to have fellowship at the altar of idols.

i. The word partakers is the same word (koinonia) for communion in 1 Corinthians 10:16 and fellowship in 1 Corinthians 10:20.

ii. In the thinking of that part of the ancient world, to eat at the same table with someone indicated friendship and fellowship with that person. Since you ate of one bread, that made you one body, because you both shared of the same food at the same table. So to eat at the table of a pagan temple restaurant was not as innocent as it seemed.

iii. The cup of blessing was the last cup presented in the Passover ceremony; this was the cup that Jesus blessed at the Last Supper, and the one interpreted as “the new covenant in my blood.” When early Christians took communion, they were aware of its connection to Passover and with the Last Supper of Jesus with His disciples.

c. What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything?… they sacrifice to demons: Paul has already acknowledged an idol is nothing in the world (1 Corinthians 8:4). Does he now say that idols are actually demons? No. But he does say demonic spirits take advantage of idol worship to deceive and enslave people. Without knowing it, idol worshippers are glorifying demons in their sacrifice.

d. You cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons: When Paul speaks of the Lord’s table, he uses the term to contrast with “tables” used for pagan idol meals. An ancient invitation to such a meal reads “Chairemon invites you to a meal at the table of the lord Serapis in the temple of Serapis, tomorrow the fifteenth from nine o’clock onwards.” If it means something to eat at the Lord’s table, then it means something to eat at the table of demons.

i. Roman Catholics have used this passage to support the idea of the Mass as a sacrifice for sins. But it is reading far too much in the text to say that the Christian meal (communion) must be a sacrifice (as it is claimed to be in the Mass) because it is compared to the meal connected with pagan sacrifices and Jewish sacrifices. The emphasis and the similarity regard the meal, not the sacrifice.

e. There may be two Corinthian ideas Paul wants to answer:

i. The Corinthian Christians thought, “Since an idol is not real, it doesn’t matter what we eat, and it doesn’t matter where we eat it.” Paul answers by agreeing that an idol is in itself nothing (1 Corinthians 8:4), but now explains that demons take advantage of man’s ignorant and self-serving worship.

ii. The Corinthian Christians thought, “As long as we participate in the Lord’s Table, we are safe in Him.” Paul answers that they disgrace the Lord’s table when they fellowship with idols.

f. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy: The unwitting fellowship of some of the Corinthian Christians with demons, by participating in the dinners at the pagan temples, will provoke the Lord to jealousy. He has a right over all our worship, and has a right to be offended if we give our fellowship to demons.

i. It doesn’t matter that the Corinthian Christians didn’t intend to worship demons at these heathen feasts in pagan temples. If a man puts his hand into the fire, it doesn’t matter if he intends to burn himself or not, he is burned just the same.

ii. If a man dates a woman, and they get serious about their relationship, what will happen if he takes up the same kind of relationship with another woman? What will the first woman think? The man cannot simply say, “Well, I still give attention to you!”

g. Are we stronger than He? The Corinthian Christians claimed the right to eat at pagan temples because they were such strong Christians, but are they stronger than God is?

C. Back to the issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols: what about eating the same meat somewhere else?

1. (23-24) A principle to build on: don’t just avoid what is harmful, but pursue what is good.

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

a. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful: The Corinthian Christians focused on their own “rights” and “knowledge,” only asked one question: “What’s the harm to me?” Instead of only asking that question, they needed to also ask, “What good can this be for me?”

i. Just because something is permitted does not mean it is beneficial. The Corinthians did not seek the helpful things, or the things that would edify. Essentially, instead of wanting to go forward with Jesus as much as they could, they wanted to know how much they could get away with and still be Christians. That’s the wrong approach!

b. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being: As the Corinthian Christians asked the question “What’s the harm to me,” they did not consider how their actions harmed others.

i. Just because something is fine for me does not mean I should do it. My own “rights” or what I know to be permitted for myself are not the standards by which I judge my behavior. I must consider what is the loving thing to do towards my brothers and sisters in Jesus.

2. (25-30) Practical guidelines.

Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?

a. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market: How can Paul say this in light of what he said in 1 Corinthians 10:20-21 (the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons… I do not want you to have fellowship with demons… you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons)? Simply because the meat itself isn’t “infected by demons,” and can thus be eaten. Paul’s warnings in 1 Corinthians 10:15-22 have to do with the atmosphere of fellowship with demons at the pagan temple, which is to be avoided, not the food itself.

i. The sacrifices lost their religious character when sold in the meat market, so it was permitted to eat meat that may have been sacrificed to an idol at a private table.

b. Asking no questions: At the butcher shop, some of the meat was sacrificed to idols, and some of it was not. Paul says, “If you aren’t going to partake of the atmosphere of the pagan temple, the meat itself doesn’t matter. Don’t even ask, and it won’t even bother you.”

i. This is directed towards those Corinthian Christians who had consciousness of the idol… and their conscience, being weak, is defiled (1 Corinthians 8:7). Paul says, “Don’t even ask!”

ii. What if one of the brothers with a weak conscience objects saying, “Wait a minute! That meat was sacrificed to an idol”? Paul responds by quoting, The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness (Psalm 24:1). The cow belonged to the Lord when it was on the hoof, and it belongs to the Lord now that it is on the barbecue! The food wasn’t the issue, the idol worshipping atmosphere was the issue.

iii. This quotation from Psalm 24:1 was used as a Jewish blessing at mealtimes. Paul says it applies to this food, also.

c. If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner… eat what is set before you: If an unbeliever invites you to dinner, don’t get into a debate about the meat with them. Don’t ask, and it won’t bother you.

i. Notice that Paul does not prohibit socializing with non-Christians, he only prohibits the meal of fellowship at the pagan temples.

d. But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it: Here, Paul has in mind the setting where a Christian is warned about the food by his unbelieving host, or a Christian host with a sensitive conscience. In that case, it is clear the person thinks it is wrong for Christians to partake of meat sacrificed to idols, so don’t eat it – for the sake of conscience, not your own, but that of the other.

e. But if I partake with thanks – that is, if I can eat with a clear conscience, and offending no one else’s conscience – why am I evil spoken of? Since the food itself is not the problem, no one should judge another Christian who can eat meat sacrificed to idols, as long as they don’t violate their own conscience or someone else’s.

i. It may seem that Paul is being inconsistent, but he is being very consistent according to one principle: liberty within the limits of love.

3. (31-33) Concluding principle: Do all to the glory of God.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

a. Do all to the glory of God: The purpose of our lives isn’t to see how much we can get away with and still be Christians; rather, it is to glorify God. If the Corinthian Christian would have kept this principle in mind from the beginning in this issue, how much easier it would have made everything!

b. Give no offense: An offense is an occasion to stumble, leading someone else into sin. Paul says none of our behavior should encourage another to sin.

i. Paul is not talking about offending the legalism of others, something he was not shy about doing (Galatians 5:11-12).

c. Paul’s desire regarding men was that they may be saved. More often than we think, low conduct in Christian living is connected to little regard for the lost. Paul’s concern was not seeking [his] own profit, but that all may be saved.

©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Categories: New Testament Paul’s Letters

Enduring Word

33).

What does 1 Corinthians chapter 10 mean?

Did the Christians in Corinth believe that God would not respond if they dabbled in idol worship? Paul’s warnings in this chapter suggest some of them might have believed that. These comments continue his teaching from the prior chapter, where he pointed out his own practice of setting aside his “rights” in favor of what was best for others. When it comes to associating with idols, there are no “safe” ways. While the specific topic is idolatry in ancient Corinth, the principles given here are important for all believers as we navigate our Christian liberty.

Paul begins by making a connection between the Corinthians and the generation of Israelites that escaped from Egypt in the Exodus. That same generation died in the wilderness over the next 40 years. The rescued Israelites received significant blessings from the Lord. He led them by a pillar of cloud, and through the parted waters of the Red Sea. In a sense, they were “baptized” into Moses as their head and given spiritual food—manna—and supernaturally-provided water, both symbolic of Christ. Despite all of that, they were unfaithful to God. Paul writes that God was not pleased with most of them and killed many of them (1 Corinthians 10:1–6).

What did they do to earn that level of condemnation? Primarily, they betrayed their relationship with God by worshiping false idols. They indulged in other sins as well. Paul summarizes these corporate sins and God’s extensive judgment of His people in His wrath (1 Corinthians 10:7–10).

These examples should cause the Corinthians to pay attention. Failing to do so would risk them falling, as well, at the hand of God on account of idolatry. Like the Israelites who came out of Egypt, the Corinthians were also raised in a culture that normalized the worship of false gods. Idolatry was an everyday experience in their upbringing. As Christians, they knew to stop worshiping idols. And yet, they may not have recognized how closely their daily practices brought them to participating in it again. Thankfully, God never allows people to face temptation they cannot possibly overcome. There is always a means to avoid sin by some form of “escape” (1 Corinthians 10:11–13).

With that in mind, Paul tells them to run away from idolatry. In more literal terms, they ought to separate themselves completely from anything even close to idol worship. This echoes the reaction of Joseph who literally bolted from a woman attempting to seduce him (Genesis 39:7–12). It’s not that the man-made idols themselves have any power, Paul continues, but demons lurking behind them do. Participating in communion by taking the bread and cup of Christ connects Christians to Him. In the same way, partaking in the altar of idols causes people to participate with demons. Why provoke the Lord to jealousy (1 Corinthians 10:14–22)?

Paul specifically addresses the issue of whether a Christian should eat food that has been offered to an idol. In the context of that era, this might have even included food served in an idol temple itself as part of a civic meeting or family gathering. To completely separate from such things would be difficult. The position of the Corinthians seems to be that, if idols are nothing, then what’s the harm in being seen around them?

Paul’s final words on the matter boil down to Christians avoiding any food they know to have been offered to an idol. This is for the sake of the consciences of those watching, both believers and the unsaved. Paul urges the Corinthian Christians to set aside their freedom to eat this food, even though it is not really “anything.” The main purpose of this, established in chapter 8, is to avoid giving any appearance that they approve of the worship of idols. On the other hand, Paul says clearly that they are free to eat any meat if they do not know whether it has been offered to an idol or not. They don’t need to be paranoid. The meat itself is just meat and, in fact, God’s good creation and a gift from Him for which they can be thankful (1 Corinthians 10:23–30).

In the end, every choice a Christian makes should hinge on whether the activity will bring glory to God. And, it’s necessary to consider whether it will build others up. Paul urges his readers to follow his practice of restricting his own rights and freedoms in order to avoid putting any stumbling block between unbelievers and faith in Christ (1 Corinthians 10:31–33).

Book Summary

First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul’s letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible’s more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.

Chapter Context

The previous chapter concluded with Paul’s commitment to continue to control himself. He exercises discipline so he does not become ineffective in his ministry. He begins chapter 10 by reminding the Corinthians of how the Israelites brought consequences on themselves in the wilderness. Among their many sins was worshiping idols, and God killed many of them for it. The Corinthians must flee idol worship and any appearance of supporting the demonic practice. They are free to eat meat if they don’t know that it is idol food. However, they should be ready to set aside their own freedoms and rights whenever doing so will glorify God and win others to Christ.

May God Help You Love In Harmony

VERSE OF THE DAY

Romans 15:5-6 (New Living Translation)

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May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All patience and encouragement come from God. And I pray that God will help you all agree with each other, as Christ Jesus wants. Then you will all be joined together. And all together you will give glory to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Being our savior (Rom 15:5-6)

Romans 15:5

by Grant | Oct 6, 2014 | Romans | 0 comments

Read Introduction to Romans

5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,

Verses five and six constitute a short prayer by Paul for the Roman church. This prayer is the conclusion of how the strong should treat the weak believer.

5 Now

“Patience” and “comfort” come from God through Scripture (15:4).

may the God of patience [endurance] and comfort [encouragement]

God is the source “of patience and comfort.” Paul attributed consolation to Scripture in 15:4 and to God here. God works through Scripture in establishing steadfastness and consolation among Christians.

grant you

God grants like-mindedness according to His sovereignty.

to be like-minded toward one another [of the same kind],

To be “like-minded” carries the idea of living in harmony. The Greek word for “like-minded” occurs 10 times in Romans (8:5; 12:3; 12:16; 14:6; 15:5). Each usage relates to our attitude. Our attitudes reflect the level of maturity we have in Christ.

Co 3:2, Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

according to Christ Jesus,

Unity among believers, Paul pointed out, happened as the Roman church lived according to the norm of who Christ Jesus is. The goal is not unity in itself, but unity that accords to who and what Jesus is.

1 Co 2:16, For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

PRINCIPLE:

The God who gives patience and comfort will enable Christians to live harmoniously with each other.

APPLICATION:

God wants us to operate under the quality of being “like-minded” toward other believers. The unity here is not organizational unity or conformity to false teaching. It is not necessary that every believer or every church look alike. Our unity is an oneness of attitude, not structure. We do not have to have total agreement in opinion, but just in fundamentals. The pursuit of unity should never be at the cost of truth.

We can never reach true accord until we have the mind of Christ. The “like-minded” attitude does not relate to doctrine but to our relationship to other Christians. It will not degrade us to take a place of equality in Christ among fellow believers. Carnality elevates self above others.

Ro 12:16, Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

True unity does not come by organization or systems but by what we have common in Christ. Unity between Christian organizations is not the point here. When we put Christ first, lesser issues fall by the way.

Romans 15:5-7 – Living in Harmony and Unity

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Rom 15:5-7

We easily feel criticised and rejected. Our natural reaction is to do the same back. That, however, solves nothing and only drives a further wedge between us. When we are hurt or when we think someone is acting wrongly we don’t try to hang on to the other, but we hit out with attack, ridicule or self justification.

The above passage comes at the end of a section that deals with divisions in the church between strong and weak, between Jew and Gentile, between weak and strong in both groups. To show the Romans that each should not try to please them­selves he pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ went to the cross to bear the reproaches made against God. They too had to learn to live in the same way. In looking at Christ’s actions as explained by Scripture they could learn to live in hope through the patience and encourage­ment so gained.

In that context we read this small prayer and exhortation. The prayer is directed to the God of endurance and encouragement. Again the apostle focuses on the same qualities, but now he looks to God to provide those qualities to those who are being criticised. They need to stand firm, to make sacrifices for the good of each other. For that they will need endurance or patience and encour­agement or comfort as these terms can also be translated.

These qualities are not simply for the good of those criticised. They are for the good of the whole. We should not think this is an exercise in self-improvement, but an exercise in unity building. By restricting their freedom they will be able to live in harmony with each other and that is of great value.

That harmony, however, is in accord with Christ Jesus. It is not simply harmony for harmony’s sake, for that could be harmony or unity in evil. This harmony or unity which Paul prays for has a standard – Christ Jesus who did not please Himself, but God. The Lord’s intention was to create one new man from Jew and Gentile. This would create many tensions and misunderstandings and the only way that it could work was by everyone, to say it colloqui­ally, ‘pulling their heads in’. Only if the brothers and sisters would live to please their neighbour would the unity God sought be achieved.

There was a purpose for that unity. It was not an end in itself, but the end was the united praise and glory of God. They had to become one in mind and mouth so that in true unity they could praise and glorify the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul writes it this way, probably to make us recall the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He humbled Himself to take on human nature and to die on the cross. That was God’s gift to mankind. He was given to unite people from every tribe and nation into one people of God to the praise of His glory and grace. Paul wanted the church in Rome to work towards that in one Spirit.

He, therefore, finishes with an exhortation – receive each other for the glory of God and he gives a reason, because Christ also received us for that purpose. We were sinners and unclean, but Christ received us through faith in Him for the glory of God. Therefore we should receive each other as well for we have all been cleansed in Christ’s blood, so that we can do what we were created and united for – the glory of God. That is the purpose of our lives, not only individually, but also as congregations and as churches. The unity we have in Christ must come to expression to the glory of God. Where we bicker and fight often about non-essential things we do not worship God with one mind and one mouth. The praise of God is fragmented and soured. God is glorified by unity which is according to Christ Jesus, that has Him as its standard and measure. Then our praise of God is acceptable to Him. Let us strive to achieve that goal with joy and patience.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:5-6

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Unity comes from God’s Spirit as we follow Jesus. But, unity has a purpose much deeper than our getting along with each other. Jesus prayed we would be one so that the world would know that God sent Jesus into the world as his Son (John 17). We want to be united so that our praise can bring glory to God. Unity is far more than a goal. Unity is a process through which the world learns of Jesus. At the same time, we glorify the Father who sent Jesus to save us. Leading others to Jesus and glorifying God are what living for Jesus is all about! Let’s make unity our passion!

My Prayer…

Great and Almighty God, Eternal Strength for all who call on your name, I apologize and ask your forgiveness for everything I’ve done and every word I’ve spoken that have hurt others in your family and brought a wound to the unity of your Church. Please bless my efforts as I seek less of my will, seek to live for your glory, and seek to encourage others. In the name of Jesus 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.

What does Romans 15:5 mean?

Here, Paul transitions back to the main point he has been teaching since the beginning of chapter 14. In the previous verse, he wrote that the Scriptures written in former days are intended to be a source of encouragement and hope for modern Christians. Now he offers a prayer to the God of endurance and encouragement.

What beautiful names for God! Paul views God as the ultimate source of encouragement and endurance. God is not merely the one to whom we will all give an account of our lives (Romans 14:12), He is also the one who will lift us up and help us to keep going. Paul asks God to give to the Christians in the church in Rome the ability to live in harmony with each other as they all live in accord—or in step—with Jesus Himself.

Paul will go on in the following verses to pray that the church in Rome will be unified, as well. Harmony, though, is something different. It is a metaphor about music, of course. The sense of it is that all Christians are singing the same song, but that we are singing different parts. This requires two things: We must adjust our pitch and tone to coordinate with each other while also performing our individual parts in the song.

Context Summary

Romans 15:1–7 concludes Paul’s teaching on how Christians with strong faith, those who understand their freedom from the law, should live with those of weaker faith. All Christians must please each other and not themselves. After all, Christ didn’t come to please Himself. With God’s help and encouragement, everyone in the church can live together in harmony and glorify God with one, unified voice, as they serve each other ahead of themselves. They must welcome each other as Christ has welcomed them.

Chapter Summary

Romans 15 begins with Paul’s encouragement to those strong in faith: to please other Christians before themselves so the church can be unified. Christ came to fulfill God’s promises to Israel and about the Gentiles. Paul is satisfied with the faith and practice of the Roman Christians. His work of taking the gospel to unreached regions of Gentiles in his part of the world is completed, and he longs to come see them. First, he must deliver financial aid to Jerusalem, a trip about which he asks them to pray along with him

What does Romans 15:6 mean?

This verse concludes a prayer for the church in Rome that Paul began in the previous verse. There he asked the God of endurance and encouragement to grant them the ability to live in harmony with each other in Christ.

Now he asks for something that describes the very purpose of the church. We exist, in part, to glorify God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is what we are here for. One of the ways we accomplish that, according to Paul’s prayer, is by living in unity as if singing with one voice. In other words, Paul prays that the Christians in Rome will be unified in their purpose to glorify God together as if they were all singing the same song.

It’s a beautiful picture of what life in the church should be like. To get there, though, Paul has made it clear that both the strong and weak in faith (Romans 14:1) will have to yield to each other and refuse to judge each other (Romans 14:13). They will have to set themselves aside to be able to harmonize and sing with one voice.

Context Summary

Romans 15:1–7 concludes Paul’s teaching on how Christians with strong faith, those who understand their freedom from the law, should live with those of weaker faith. All Christians must please each other and not themselves. After all, Christ didn’t come to please Himself. With God’s help and encouragement, everyone in the church can live together in harmony and glorify God with one, unified voice, as they serve each other ahead of themselves. They must welcome each other as Christ has welcomed them.

Chapter Summary

Romans 15 begins with Paul’s encouragement to those strong in faith: to please other Christians before themselves so the church can be unified. Christ came to fulfill God’s promises to Israel and about the Gentiles. Paul is satisfied with the faith and practice of the Roman Christians. His work of taking the gospel to unreached regions of Gentiles in his part of the world is completed, and he longs to come see them. First, he must deliver financial aid to Jerusalem, a trip about which he asks them to pray along with him

God Is Not Unjust He Does Not Lack Fairness

VERSE OF THE DAY

Hebrews 6:10 (New Living Translation)

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For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.

For God does not lack fairness. He does not forget what you have and have not done in honor of work for him or have shown your love and honor to him by caring for others as you do for this he blesses you

What Does Hebrews 6:10 Mean? ►

For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.

Hebrews 6:10(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

The book of Hebrews is written to enable growing Christians to mature in the faith. It instructs us how to walk in spirit and truth. It trains us how to live for God and teaches us how to stand fast in the evil day. And although there are many warnings against falling in our Christian walk, and many instructions on how to live godly lives, there are also many passages that are wonderfully uplifting and which offer great encouragement.

The verse in question, which immediately follows an important warning against spiritual immaturity and some elementary instructions on reaching full maturity, gives some great encouragement to believers who are seeking to stand firm in the faith, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

“God is not unjust, so as to forget your work and the love, which you have shown toward His name,” was the heart-warming statement these Hebrews Christians read: “The Lord will not forget all the good work you have already done in ministering to the saints… nor will He overlook the work that you are still engaged in.”

The hallmark of true faith is active, Christian love which is carried out in the power of the Holy Spirit. And the faith of these dear saints was manifested in the ongoing work they performed to the glory of God, together with their selfless labour of Christian love, in ministering to their brothers and sisters in Christ.

The writer to the Hebrews knew that God was not unjust and that those that are trusting Him will never be disappointed by Him. There are occasions when we need correction and times when we need instruction… but God knows that there are also times when His people need encouragement.

What an assurance, therefore, to be told that the eyes of the Lord will never miss any good deed we do for His glory, nor will be unaware of any labour of love that is shown to Him through a tender ministry that is directed towards His people.

What a great encouragement it is to all the people of God – to know that the Lord is aware of the thoughts of our hearts, the words that we speak, and the actions that we carry out in love – for His praise and glory. How uplifting to know that even a cup of cold water, which is offered from a heart that is right with God, will not go unnoticed nor unrewarded.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/hebrews-6-10

What does Hebrews 6:10 mean?

As in verse 9, the writer of Hebrews seeks to comfort those reading the letter. The early parts of chapter 6 were ominous, with warnings about how spiritual immaturity leads to faithlessness and God’s judgment. In verse 9, it is made clear that the Jewish Christians reading this letter are not necessarily doomed to this fate. Their good deeds, on behalf of God, are obvious.

This verse continues to emphasize this idea. The idea that God is absolutely fair—or “just”—in His attitude towards their good deeds is a preview of the next passage. The people who were criticized for being spiritually immature, and in danger of “falling away,” are at the same time living out a very Christ-like love for others.

This is a useful point to remember when discussing spiritual maturity. According to this passage, a person can serve God, loving others with good works, and yet still suffer from an immature approach to Christian truth. The intent of Scripture here is not to dismiss love and service, of course, but it is also not meant to relax the threat of “falling away.” Service to God is a good thing, and a sign of sincerity. But it’s important to love truth, and grow in wisdom, just as much as it’s important to live out our love for other people.

As in all other New Testament instances, the term “saints” is a general reference to all saved Christians. This is not a special category of religious heroes.

Context Summary

Hebrews 6:9–12 provides a softer tone than the prior passage. The writer has criticized the Hebrew Christians for their lack of spiritual maturity, and warned them of the serious danger presented by such a shallow faith. At the same time, these verses indicate that they were doing well in their service to God and their love for others. This section of Scripture reassures the reader that the intent here is to encourage them to continued growth—not to frighten or intimidate them. The next verses will highlight the reasons all Christians can approach their faith with confidence.

Chapter Summary

Chapter 6 expands on the dangers of a shallow, immature faith. Rather than attempting to re-explain the basics, the author intends to press on. According to this passage, shallow faith opens up the risks of doubt, discouragement, and disobedience. These lead to a situation where one’s only hope for restoration is through judgment, much as Israel experienced for forty years in the wilderness. Since our hope is anchored in the proven, unchanging, perfect, absolute nature of God, we should be confident and patient, rather than fearful

God’s Great Treasures

VERSE OF THE DAY

Romans 11:33 (New Living Translation)

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Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

For how great are God’s treasure and knowledge of wise though yet impossible it is to truly understand his decision and ways in his desires

Yes, God’s riches are very great! His wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain what God decides. No one can understand his ways.

What Does Romans 11:33 Mean? ►

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

Romans 11:33(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

The whole of Paul’s Roman epistle is glorifying the wonderful works of God, while exposing the depravity of man. It details the glorious plan of salvation and the enormous sacrifice of Christ on the cross, whereby fallen man is not only released from slavery to sin; delivered from eternal condemnation and reconciled back to God – but saved by grace through faith in Him; made a new creation in Christ; made a citizen of heaven and a joint-heir with the Son of God; bestowed with the riches of God’s grace; in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit; eternally secure in His gracious love – and so much more.

No surprise that near the end of this letter to the Romans.. Paul breaks into an escalating doxology of praise and worship as he cries out from the core of his being: Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how unfathomable are His ways! They are beyond tracing out.. for they come from sovereign choice of God’s divine righteousness and His everlasting grace.

The Lord is indeed rich in goodness and grace; mercy and love -wisdom and knowledge and power and in Christ we too have been made rich in everything – for He has bestowed on us the riches of His grace in Christ Jesus our Saviour, and by faith, we have a rich reward that is kept for us in heaven.

The riches of His wisdom are unsurpassed and the riches of His judgements are altogether righteous. His ways are incomprehensible; His knowledge is unsearchable; His love is never-ending; His judgements are righteous and His strength is invincible. He carries out great and mighty works, which are marvellous to behold and His glorious deeds are without number. Who can know the mind of God and yet He has made His ways known to the children of men.. through the Person and work of His dearly beloved Son – and by His grace we have the mind of Christ.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. Everything visible and invisible originate with Him and comes from Him. All things live through Him, and all things centre in Him for He is the Alpha and Omega – the Author and Finisher of our faith. To Him be all praise and glory forever and ever! Amen

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/romans-11-33

Romans 11:33 Meaning of Verse and Simple Commentary

Sep 5, 2020 by Editor in Chief

Romans 11:33
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”

Explanation and Commentary of Romans 11:33

This is a worshipful moment in the letter of Paul to the Romans. Paul, who has deftly unraveled the mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with more clarity than any other at any time, after ten and a half chapters, must stop to give glory to God. The depths of the simple message of Jesus Christ, and him crucified (1 Cor 2:2), has left him unable to go further without praising God for his wisdom, knowledge, judgment, and paths.

This should always be the true goal of theology, as it should be the true goal of all of life in God, God’s glory, his worship, and his praise. If God’s glory is the end for which he created the world, as the Westminster Confession rightly states, then certainly it is the end of all theological understanding. Any revelation of God’s nature and plans that don’t lead to doxology must be questioned. If any of God’s ways do not move us to delight and wonder, it may be that our hearts are not yet fully conformed to him, and our minds are not yet transformed by the renewal that comes from knowing him.

This particular declaration of praise follows Paul’s illumination about the temporary blinding and hardening of Israel so that the Gentile branches could be grafted in (Ro 11:1-32), and the future surety of the opening of the eyes, and the softening of the hearts of the Jews when the time is right for them to be saved, having been originally chosen by God as a people of his own. Paul is constantly amazed at the wisdom and power of God, and the way he has fulfilled and will fulfill his promise to Abraham to make him a blessing to all nations (Gen 22:18).

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Romans 11:33

#1 “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”
There is, of course, a sense in which the wisdom and knowledge of God are wide, and cover a wide range, but Paul’s main subject, the Gospel of Christ crucified, is simple, but deeper than we could ever imagine. The more Paul understands this one message, the more amazed he is at the depths of it.

#2 “How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
Clearly Paul doesn’t think that God’s judgments should not be searched or his paths traced out. More than anyone else, he has done for us that very thing. But consider how little the prophets and chroniclers of the Old Testament understood the nature of the first coming of the Messiah. Consider how unable to see were the scribes and teachers of the law when he came. We should expect that there is yet much we do not understand about the God whose “ways are higher than our ways” (Isa 55:8-9). We should surely seek to know what he has revealed, but what he has not, can only cause us to wonder and praise him.

Bible Study on Romans 11:33

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Biblical Translations of Romans 11:33

NIV
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

NLT
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

ESV
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

KJV
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

NKJV
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

What does Romans 11:33 mean?

Paul has just concluded a long and complicated discussion of God’s unique relationship with Israel as a nation and with her people as individuals. He has compared and contrasted God’s actions toward Israel with His actions toward the Gentiles. He wrapped it up in the previous verse by declaring, in essence, that both groups have lived in disobedience and that God will show mercy to people from both groups in response to their faith in Christ.

Now Paul delivers a poem, structured much like a hymn, expressing his profound reaction both to God’s ways and to His mercy to sinful human beings.

Paul starts by marveling at the depth of three of God’s characteristics. He is stunningly rich or wealthy. Earlier in Romans, Paul has written about the riches of God’s kindness and patience (Romans 2:4), the riches of His glory (Romans 9:23), and His riches—of mercy—for the world (Romans 11:12). In each case, God’s riches are described as graciously shared and never-ending.

Next, Paul is awed by the depth of God’s wisdom, likely in the expression of His love and power in making mercy available to all people through faith in Christ. This is followed by God’s deep knowledge, perhaps a reference to His “foreknowledge” of all who will come to Him through faith in Christ (Romans 8:29; 11:2).

Paul’s next two lines begins with “how.” How unsearchable or unfathomable are God’s judgments, Paul wonders. In other words, human beings simply lack the capacity to understand why God decides what He does. God’s ways are said to be inscrutable, like a code we can’t break.

One reason God retains the right to do as He will when it comes to showing mercy or not to human beings is that we do not have the capacity to understand His choices. His thoughts, His ways, His decisions are beyond us. We are left to simply yield to Him and to worship Him.

Context Summary

Romans 11:33–36 is Paul’s poetic, hymn-like praise of God and His amazing wisdom. He quotes Old Testament texts such as Isaiah and Job. The prior passage explained how God’s intent for Israel came with some level of mystery. As limited, created people, we will never be able to fully grasp the mind of God. The proper response, when we realize how beyond our understanding He is, is praise and worship.

Chapter Summary

In Romans 11, Paul concludes his exploration of God’s plan for His chosen people Israel. It’s true that as a nation, Israel has rejected faith in Christ, but a remnant of Israelites has believed in Jesus. God has hardened the rest in unbelief, but will bring Israel back to faith when enough Gentiles have come to Him through Christ. Then many Israelites will trust in Christ, as well, and God will renew His covenant with His people. Paul concludes this section with a powerful poem or hymn about God’s independence and how He is beyond our full comprehension

God Gives Us Grace

James 4:6

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

But God gives us more grace. That is where the Bible verses say in scripture God opposes the proud and shows favor for the humble and god fearing

How did Jesus demonstrate grace?

In the New Testament it talks about the grace that Jesus showed through when he would always perform miracles and have mercy on those who are in need. God showed grace by performing many miracles and also by healing those who are sick and crippled because that was the will of the What does God’s grace do for us?

Grace gives us a new life which is not condemned by God. Through God’s grace we are forgiven, transforming our thinking, resulting in the renewal of our mind and heart. Through grace we live the kind of life that God would like every one of His children to experience.Jan 19, 2019

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Pastor: What the grace of God does in us – The Marion Star

What is grace and how do we receive it?

It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to people – “generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved” – that takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God. It is an attribute of God that is most manifest in the salvation of sinners.

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« James 4:6

James 4:6c »

James 4:6b

by Grant Richison | Nov 24, 2000 | James | 1 comment

Read Introduction to James

“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

            ‘God resists the proud,

            But gives grace to the humble.’”

Therefore

The “therefore” indicates the reason God makes His grace available to us. We engage God’s promises and His grace through humility. That is the one condition for receiving God’s grace.

James quotes Proverbs 3:34 from the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint). Peter also quotes this verse in 1 Peter 5:5.

1 Pet. 5:5, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

‘God resists the proud,

But gives grace to the humble’.”

A “proud” person is someone who shows himself to be above others. The Greek word comes from two words: over and to appear. Thus, a proud person is someone who appears to be over others. He disdains and despises other believers.

The New Testament always uses this term for the sinful ideas of arrogant, disdainful, haughty. This is someone who loves to have the preeminence. He has a pompous estimate of his merit or means and carries an ostentatious pride. He wants to show himself above other people. He carries contempt for others because he is so full of himself.

The word “resist” has the meaning of to set oneself against, to oppose oneself to. It comes from two Greek words: against and to arrange. “Resist” was a military term carrying the idea to arrange in battle against. God sets Himself in full battle dress against proud people. Pride is the foundation of sin from which all sin flows.

PRINCIPLE:

God goes to battle against the proud.

APPLICATION:

The proud believer sets himself above other believers. God then sets Himself above this believer and goes to battle against him.

We must not confuse pride with genuine greatness. Some great believers stand head and shoulders above the rest of us. Pride believes that we are greater than we are. This is a figment of our imagination.

God will set Himself against us to do battle with us if we depend on ourselves. This is not passive resistance but active opposition. He will actively battle against us if we operate on pride. No sin provokes God’s resistance more than pride. This sin will preempt us from engaging God’s grace because no other sin sets itself against God more than the sin of pride. It is a declaration of independence from God.

We can find pride in every sin because pride is independence from God and the foundation of all sin. Pride deems itself sufficient and God’s grace insufficient for our needs.

Pr 16:5, “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;

Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.”

Spiritual pride is deadly because it deceives us into believing that we are spiritually above others. Pride hinders God’s grace offered to those without Christ, and pride hinders “more grace” to those who know Him.

Envy, self-seeking, and ambition have pride as their root. Humility does not seek preeminence. A humble believer is not self-seeking. He does not feel that he has rights but knows that everything he has comes from the Lord. He knows that all that he has is from God. God will give him more grace because he values grace in the first place.

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?”

What is God’s Grace and Mercy Through the Gift of Salvation?

The pandemic that we today find ourselves a part of finds us overwhelmed by an acute awareness of our own susceptibility to this menace. We are sick. We are frightened. We feel anxious. We feel deserted by God and man. You may ask what is God’s grace and mercy and how can I find it? Please watch the video below to find the answer to your

HOW TO

PRAY

How To Pray James 5: 16

James 5:16 – Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Pray continuously and fervently daily. Learn how to pray James 5:16

Father, thank You for revealing Your truth to my heart. I choose to obey Your Word. I choose to pray for others and live in peace and unity, knowing that it will open the door for Your healing in Jesus’ name. Amen. James 5:16

thank you for truth james 5-16

GRACE


Barbara Burton

May 21, 2020

I feel helpless and alone

Perhaps you feel helpless and alone– so very helpless and alone. On the one hand angry, yet, on the other hand guilty for feeling angry – mixed feelings possess you. The hurt is vivid and heavy. You may be searching for help. You need to understand what is God’s grace and mercy. You need to understand the power of forgiveness. You need to understand what forgiveness is not. A relationship with God through His son, Jesus Christ, is the missing piece. Great news! You can have that relationship right now!  

Today we will be discussing:

1. What is God’s grace and mercy?

2. I feel helpless and alone

3. Grace helps us through human suffering

4. Is God’s grace for me?

5. What is mercy?

6. Do you want Justice Mercy or Grace?

7. Some simple definitions of justice, mercy and grace

8. What is Grace?

9. How does God extend His grace and mercy? 

10. How to be saved

11. Bible verse about grace

12. Quotes about grace

13. What is the definition of grace?

14. How to find inner peace

15. Assurance of salvation through God’s grace

16. God loves you even when you mess up

17. How to show God’s grace to others

18. How to have a relationship with God

19. How to have joy and purpose in your life

Grace helps us through human suffering

Even though we seem to be a frailty-denying culture with our youth and strength worth-syndrome, within the walls of these hospitals the truth is grossly apparent. Each one of us is frail and subject to the ravages of our frailty. No one escapes being touched, and often swamped by this fact. Although we may attempt to evade it through denial, or perhaps be in a period of relatively smooth sailing, the fact of human suffering relentlessly moves among us, plaguing us, hurting us.  

We long for grace.

Is God’s grace for me?

In all things, give thanks, the Bible tells us. What is there to be thankful about? Is there a God if he would let this happen to me? Intellectually we accept the fact of a loving God, but in the gut-label of our feeling, there is resentment and doubt.  But what is God’s grace and mercy?

From the maze and the haze of our ambivalence, there is a Biblical message about our Lord

for we do not have a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:14

Is it possible that God understands and is sympathetic with all my feelings at this turbulent season? Could he be touched by them? 

Can it be that I can admit to myself and to him the depression and despair I may feel? Does he relate to the frustrations of all my human feelings? 

Can I begin to struggle with risking my feelings to his grace? Can it be that I can begin to struggle with the Biblical teaching that I am O.K. as a person, even though the emotional pain is excruciating? Does his grace encompass my confusion and stress to make it right in his sight?

For we have a great high priest who has gone Into the very presence of God – Jesus, the Son of God. Our high priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy with our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a high priest who was tempted in every way that we are but did not sin. Let us be brave, then, and come forward to God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.

Hebrews 4:14-16

God offers grace

What is mercy?

Mercy is God withholding the punishment we deserve because of our sinfulness. The consequences of our sin is death, yet Jesus paid this penalty for us and gives us opportunity to repent and receive His gift of salvation. But what is God’s grace and mercy?

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.

(2 Corinthians 4:4)

The power of this life-giving verse hits home today. We were totally dead to God. If we are dead, we can’t save ourselves. We are dead. We can’t help ourselves.

We say “Have mercy” in flippant times as well as in the most devastating times of our lives. It is a plea for help. We do not ask for justice, we plead for mercy.

But then God (beautiful words) looks down and sees us, destitute and deserving death, and chooses mercifullyto bestow grace and raises us up to be seated with Christ. 

Do you want Justice Mercy or Grace?

Some simple definitions of justice, mercy and grace

• Justice – when you get what you deserve. 

• Mercy – when you don’t get what you deserve. 

• Grace – When you get what you don’t deserve.

“Grace is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God to mankind.” Matthew Henry

What is Grace?

Grace is Jesus Christ in redeeming action. Seeking and saving lost and condemned mankind. God’s grace is our only hope for this world and the next. It is God’s gift to us; it is Jesus paying the price for my sins on the cross; it is being raised from the dead even as Christ was raised.  

How does God extend His grace and mercy? 

God demonstrates His love toward us by saving us and giving us a place in heaven. That is grace. Free and undeserved. 

God will accomplish his purposes, beginning with the salvation of individuals. We are indeed blessed by a merciful God and the grace that He offers us. 

How to be saved  

It was through grace that God sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross and pay the price for our sins. It is by grace that we are saved through faith (and that not of ourselves but also a gift of grace) in His death and resurrection.

Quotes about grace

“Grace is a glorious commodity of heaven that can only be received and experienced in surrender to the will and love of our heavenly Father. Our world is unable to offer grace because it is in a constant state of need, and grace can only be offered from a place of true wholeness and love. In utter completeness, our God is able to offer us grace because he needs nothing from us in return. He requires nothing of us, so he offers us everything apart from any ability or inherent value we possess.” – Craig Denison

What is the definition of grace?

•  Grace is the unearned gifts God pours out on His children. 

• His grace provides salvation when we deserve destruction. 

• His grace blesses us with the riches of heaven. 

• His grace brings us peace in troublesome and worrisome situations. 

• His grace brings us daily blessings. 

• What God has provided through His grace is sufficient to save me because it is all what Jesus did and not what I did to earn it.  

• Grace is God’s gift to all believers.  

Grace would not be grace if it were a response to resources in us.

John Piper

Grace is free because God would not be the infinite, self-sufficient God He is if He were constrained byanything outside Himself.

John Piper


What is mercy and forgiveness?

Mercy is forgiving the sinner and withholding the punishment that is justly deserved. Grace is heaping undeserved blessings upon the sinner. In salvation, God does not show one without the other. In Christ, the believer experiences both mercy and grace. But what is God’s grace and mercy?

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.

(2 Corinthians 4:4).

In His mercy He took the punishment for our sin, by His grace He extended it to undeserving us, and the blessings of His grace continue to flow through all eternity.  

How to find inner peace

Because of God’s great mercy, God’s grace redeems us and gives us peace. Peace is the state of mind and heart we experience when we are confident of God’s grace and mercy toward us. 

That assurance gives us peace.  And it gives us joy – having a relationship with Jesus here on earth and looking forward to spending eternity with Him in heaven.

All because of Grace through faith in Him.  And He graces us with the faith to believe.  What a wonderful Savior.

Assurance of salvation through God’s grace

Through God’s grace, we can have the assurance of our salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God lives within us and guides us and comforts us and assures us that we now belong to Christ because He has forgiven us.  

God wants a daily walk with us. He wants to carry our load of worries.  He wants to be our encouraging friend. He wants to give us all good things. He wants to make life richer and more rewarding.

Confess your sins to God and to one another

Every day as we confess our sins, He continually forgives us. The channel of a God-connection is kept clear when we confess our sins.  

Confessed sins are gone forever. 

We can know the love of God in our lives, the joy of His presence and the freedom from sin. 

God wants us to live in calm assurance of His presence. 

These are some of the verses that have given me the assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who has promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23.

And He promises to be with us forever and ever 


For as many as received Him (Jesus Christ), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.

John 1:12. (Yay!!!!!!!) 

 And if children, then heirs.”(Wow!)

God willed to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery……which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 2:27.


Grace, Grace, Grace – Amazing Grace!!! All the way – The Grace of God.  

God loves you even when you mess up because of His grace and mercy

God forgives us our sin and promises to raise us from the dead and to provide for us an eternal home with Him.  We need to just rest in those promises from the Almighty Creator God.  But what is God’s grace and mercy?

Because of His great love for us, we are drawn to love Him more each day. We still live in a world full of sin and unbelief. We are still tempted by Satan to drift away from God, to be involved in less than noble endeavors; we are tempted to fall back into sin, to lie and cheat. We are weak. We are fearful. We cry out for help – and He is near and ready to help us, to forgive the sin, and to strengthen us.

How to show God’s grace and mercy to others

We have a desire to live a life reflecting Christ who lives in us. 

We want others to know Jesus as Lord and Savior in their life. 

We need Jesus to be in control – to “take the wheel.”

We still live in the flesh and fool ourselves into thinking we are ok.  We need daily committal of our lives to Him. Without daily submission and walking with Him, we miss out on so many wonderful blessings that God wants us to have. 

How to have a relationship with God through His grace and mercy

Daily time reading the Bible and praying – praying is just talking with Jesus – will give us the strength to say no to temptations that are present everywhere. 

The following quote sums up how we can be deceived:

“People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord.
We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.” D. A. Carson

Putting Feet to Grace

Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21). 

God’s mission is to the entire world. Salvation is for all who believe. The admonition to tell others the good news is for all believers. 

How to have joy and purpose in your life

Living this life to its full and relying on what Christ Jesus has done for us, enriches our earthly life and gives us purpose for each day. 

The abundant life that Jesus promised us is available when we walk in tandem with our Savior. Then each day we will recognize opportunities as well as blessings, thus enriching our lives and the lives of those we meet.

Have a grace-blessed day!

What Does James 4:6 Mean? ►

But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

James 4:6(HCSB)

Verse Thoughts

James desires to get some important truths across to his fellow-Christians. He seeks to warn us against favouritism; to remind us of the dangers of an unruly tongue; to encourage us to seek wisdom from the Lord; to avoid the devastating danger of pride, which manifest itself in covetous cravings and evil desires and to remember that Scripture teaches that the indwelling Spirit of God yearns over each of us with a godly jealousy – that desires that we walk in spirit and truth and live humbly before our God.

From the beginning of Genesis to the final Revelation of Jesus Christ we discover that God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble – He resists the arrogant but gives grace to those that are lowly of heart. Since all the evils of the world are conceived and birthed through the corruption of our own hearts and the lusts of our own flesh, James reminds us that God gives us grace and even greater grace – but also urges us not to abuse His mercies by imitating the ways of the world, which is at enmity with God – but rather to walk in spirit and truth. We are to exhibit genuine mercy and deep humility of heart, knowing that the Lord bestows His grace generously – to those that are humble of heart.

Knowing that grace is given to the humble we should earnestly seek after the precious fruit of the Spirit, which will only develop and grow in the one that recognises that every manifestation of sin is rooted in a proud and arrogant heart – But He gives greater grace. Therefore, He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to those that are poor in spirit and humble of heart.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/james-4-6

What does James 4:6 mean?

So far in chapter 4, James has delivered a devastating diagnosis and a dire warning to his Christian readers. He has scolded them for living according to the wisdom of the world. They have been driven by envy, and the ambition to succeed at any cost. They have even been fighting with each other to get what they want.

To some extent, it feels normal to us to live that way. This is the world system we are born into, after all. But James warned believers that they are committing adultery against God by living this way! God takes this unfaithfulness personally. In fact, according to the most common translation of the previous verse, God was jealous for the Holy Spirit He had placed in them. To cheat on God by living according to the world’s system of self-reliance, refusing to let go of getting what we want, puts us in the category of God’s enemies.

Now James offers reassurance. Even if we have been living this way, we have not outrun the grace of God. This grace is given to all who trust in Christ. Our sin is serious, devastating, and wicked, but God gives more grace. He forgives our sinfulness in Christ and continues to give us the good we have not earned.

James quotes Proverbs 3:34. This relates a simple, but powerful idea: God opposes the proud. Our refusal to trust God to provide what we need, what He wants for us, and our insistence on getting what we want for ourselves is an act of pride. We are attempting to be the God of our own lives. God will lovingly, jealously oppose us when we do so—but He will not reject us in Christ.

Instead, He calls us to humble ourselves and receive more grace from Him. He calls us to repent of the sin of self-reliance and demanding what we want and yield to Him, receiving with gratitude all the good He chooses to gives us and all the seeming good He chooses to withhold.

God is calling us back to the peaceful, faithful path of trusting Him.

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

I Am Formed In Your Image

VERSE OF THE DAY

Psalm 139:13-14 (New Living Translation)

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You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

VERSE OF THE DAY

Psalm 139:13-14 (New International Version)

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For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

You created me in the image you saw for me even before i was fully formed within my mother’s womb. I honor and praise for I am fully made in your image your works are wonderful for I am full aware and know that for sure

What is the meaning of Psalm 139 13 14?

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) So what David is saying is, “Lord, I praise you because of how amazing you made me!”. David is praising God, because of how amazing God made David to be. Every single person is a masterpiece of God.

https://lavendervines.com › fearfully…

“Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” – What Does Psalm 139:14 Mean?

What Does Psalm 139:13 Mean? ►

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.

Psalm 139:13(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

The wonder, glory, and sovereignty of the Lord, weaves its way like a golden thread of wonderment, through so many of David’s psalms, but none so beautifully than Psalm 139.

The shepherd king of Israel is deeply affected by the overarching supremacy of God, over the conception and formation of a new little human being. He is awe-stuck by the intricate form of each tiny baby, as it is knitted together in secret – within the womb of its mother.

The psalmist considers the miraculous development of the unborn child, from conception and birth, right on into manhood and old age, and David recognises that God deserves both praise and worship, for the miracle of his own conception and development. He considers the wonderful way he was knitted together, within the hidden recess of his mother’s body… and so he writes, “for You formed my inward parts. You wove me together in my mother’s womb.”

The exquisite description of the development of a tiny human form from conception to birth, is a message that speaks of the omniscience and omnipresence of the Lord, during the development of every child in the womb of their mother.

The growth of the unborn baby, is one beautiful example of the manifestation of the Lord’s magnificent wisdom in His unfolding plan of redemption. Indeed, the language and content of this special song of praise, dictates that every unborn child should be treated with great respect – and that God should be glorified in the formation of each little embryo, and every unborn baby.

For the first 12 verses of this well-loved Psalm, the writer lays out the doctrine of God’s omniscience and omnipresence. He outlines the master-plan of our Creator, Who determined at the beginning, that man should be fruitful and multiply, and that he should fill the earth with his seed. God determined from the beginning that a man would leave his father and mother and be united with his wife… and together, they would become one flesh – not only spiritually but physically.

God is the Creator of the human embryo, and speaking of the moment of conception, the psalmist writes, “For thou hast possessed my reins. You formed my innermost parts. You have covered me in my mother’s womb.” This beautifully explains that the Lord is the Originator and Owner of the little life within the womb. God’s supreme sovereignty over every newly formed life, is the meaning behind this verse, “for the Lord formed my inward parts. The Lord wove me together in my mother’s womb.”

God has the ownership rights over every human life, which should be treated with reverence and respect, but too often the Lord is held in contempt by those He knitted together at their conception – and too frequently the value of the unborn is considered inconsequential, or a matter of unfortunate inconvenience.

The womb of the mother should be a place of safety, where the unborn is nurtured. The secret place in the bowels of the mother should be a place of peace and protection, but too often the rights of the unborn are not valued, nor are they treated with awe-struck wonderment.

God in His grace, takes an interest in the life of every conception, for each one is specially created. The Lord forms and fashions every single one, and the psalmist rejoices that God lays out the life-plan of each – and schedules every day of our lives.

Psalm 139 is a most beautiful sacred song, which brings our rapt attention to the hallowed essence of the child in utero, and of God’s sovereign role in each little life. While this Psalm can excite our wonder and praise, it can also stir up much regret and deep-seated grief, in those that may have wittingly or unwittingly participated in an abortion, or been instrumental in the termination of an unborn child.

Though abortion is a sin, and the loss of life through terminating a pregnancy is a travesty, Jesus died to pay the price for the sin of every man and woman, including this one. The Lord offers cleansing and forgiveness for the unsaved sinner, who in recognising their need of salvation, trusts that Christ is the acceptable sacrifice for their sin – including the sin of abortion.

There is no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus, for He even gives forgiveness and healing to those who commit this sin, both in their pre-salvation and post-salvation life – for if we, who have been justified by faith, confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness – including this one.

Let us read through this beautiful Psalm of David, and recognise that the life of the unborn is given as a sacred trust, and that God is sovereign over all living things – and let us give Him all the praise and glory for the wonder of life.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-139-13

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/psalm-139-13

What does Psalm 139:13 mean?

Scripture credits God with creating children long before they are physically born. David addresses God as having formed his inner being before birth. Job says something similar: “You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews” (Job 10:11).

We know from Genesis 1:27 that we were created in the image of God. This passage also reveals that God wove us together in the womb. We are, therefore, not a product of randomness or nature, but of God’s omnipotent handiwork. God crafted each person in his or her mother’s womb to be a distinct individual. We owe our existence to Him and not to happenstance.

Because of this, human life both before and after birth is sacred. The unborn child is not simply tissue to be discarded at the mother’s discretion. Since every human being is created in the image of God, it is a heinous sin to commit murder, whether by aborting the unborn, killing oneself, or taking someone else’s life in an act of rage. Every person, whether male or female, no matter the ethnicity, age, or political persuasion, is someone made in the image of God and known completely by Him. Believers are called upon to love even our enemies (Matthew 5:44); often that begins by first acknowledging their inherent worth as a human knit together by God.

Context Summary

Psalm 139:13–16 describes God’s omnipotence: His attribute of being all-powerful. The psalmist, David, described God’s omniscience in verses 1–6 and His omnipresence in verses 7–12. In this section, he links omnipotence to the way God created the writer in his mother’s womb.

Chapter Summary

In this psalm David marvels at God’s amazing characteristics. God knows everything about him: where he goes, all David’s thoughts and everything about his conduct. The Lord knows what David will say even before David says it. There is no place David can go that God isn’t already present. David marvels at God’s creative work in the womb. He is thankful for God’s innumerable thoughts for him and for God’s presence day and night. Finally, David’s thoughts turn to the wicked. He considers them God’s enemies and his, and longs for God to slay them. David is disgusted by evil people because they rail against God and take His name in vain. He asks God to search his heart to see if any sin is there, and he asks God to lead him in the way everlasting

How Hard Is It To Find The Perfect Wife

VERSE OF THE DAY

Proverbs 31:10, 27-28 (New Living Translation)

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Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.

How hard it is to find the perfect wife.She is worth far more than jewels.

We know the perfect wife by her beauty inside for she will be more beautiful than and jewels or diamonds

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies… She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.

Proverbs 31:10 27-28

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Give honor to whom honor is due! This biblical principle is most certainly true of women, and especially those who are godly mothers. Let’s make sure we praise the key women in our lives today!

My Prayer…

Father, I want to thank you for the women of character and grace, tenderness and fire, love and tenacity, who have helped shape my life in a way which helped me find, follow, and faithfully serve you. Please bless them this day. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Today’s Verse Illustrated

What Does Proverbs 31:10 Mean? ►

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.

Proverbs 31:10(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Following the godly advice from his mother of the dangers of wayward women and strong drink and reminding her son of his responsibilities to champion the cause of justice and commit his ways to the Lord, we discover king Lemuel, which means “devoted to God,’ offering grateful praise for the wisdom and virtue his mother, in a passage of scripture that all women of God would be pleased to emulate.

He starts his praise of godly womanhood with the much-quoted verse of scripture: Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. and then he proceeds to list the noble attributes and worthy characteristics of the ideal woman of God.

She is capable and intelligent; she gives comforts and encouragement and she is applauded by her husband and children for her wisdom and honesty – her gentleness and mercy. She is thrifty and industrious; prudent and self-controlled, generous and creative.. and she is clothed with dignity and strength, integrity and kindness – goodness and grace.

Although the question is still on the lips of many today: Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. the answer is found at the end of the book of Proverbs: a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom we are told at the beginning of Proverbs, while at the end we discover that the attributes and characteristics of the wise woman are summed up in a few short verses which climaxes with the short statement: a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

The godly attributes of this virtuous lady are unattainable in our own strength, for the works of the flesh, whether good or bad are rooted in the fruit of the old sin nature and are unacceptable to the Lord. But she who desires to be holy and virtuous, gracious and good can only achieve this spiritual fruit through the power of the indwelling life of Christ.

The fear of the Lord is rooted in dependency upon Christ to work His work through us. The fruit of the Spirit can only be produced in the one who trusts in the Lord with all her heart, does not lean on her own understanding. The beginning of wisdom and the fruit of virtue and can be discovered in the one who presents her body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto the Lord.

Who can find a virtuous woman? Well, she can only be found in the one where Christ is all in all.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/proverbs-31-10

Becoming A Proverbs 31 Woman In Today’s World

What’s all the hype about becoming a Proverbs 31 woman? How do you become a virtuous woman? This guide walks you through the journey of being a Proverbs woman.

June Cleaver was no more the Proverbs 31 woman than Pocahontas was.

That’s because it doesn’t matter if you’re a stay at home wife and mom with a well kept home or woman with big dreams who is willing to chase them across an ocean…or if you’re a woman in a village in the jungle.

A Proverbs woman is so much (and thankfully so much less!) than we think.

Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman has very little to do with the life you choose and everything to do with the heart attitude with which you make that choice.

The secret lies in the end of the chapter, but let’s go through Proverbs 31 verse by verse to understand better.

What Is A Proverbs 31 Woman?

What is a Proverbs 31 woman, anyhow?

In recent years, she’s been touted as the woman who does it all: runs a thriving business from home, parents her kids, keeps up with their schooling, and has a very satisfied husband to boot.

A decade or so ago, she was often described as the woman who baked bread (very possibly with her freshly milled flour!), had a clean home, raised kids familiar with chore charts, and her husband was blessed by a hot meal each night.

Go back another generation or two and you’ll find women who describe her as growing and canning food for lean times, patching up clothes so as not to be wasteful, and hanging clothes on the line while she sang.

But here’s the thing: Scripture doesn’t change just because the times do. And while this iconic passage of Scripture does dive into the activities of the virtuous woman, its focus isn’t so much on what the Proverbs woman did, but who she was.

Lisa Yvonne, Graceful Abandon

Those virtues are timeless and will manifest differently, not just based on the current culture of the day, but on the individual through whom they come to life. And that’s okay.

Let’s agree, going in, that we’re not going to get hung on the behavior, but focus on the heart. After all, Christ came to give you an easy burden and rest, not leave you striving until you pass out exhausted.

What Is Becoming A Proverbs 31 Woman Today All About?

It’s important to realize that becoming a Proverbs 31 woman isn’t the lie that has been sold for so long that you need to strive to be excellent at all things homemaking.

The truth is that it’s about embracing God’s grace, bearing God’s image, and fulfilling God’s call on your life. The Proverbs 31 woman shines Jesus brightly.

Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman is not a matter of checking off a list of accomplishments to attain the perfection of the virtuous woman in the Bible. Rather, it is studying the virtues described and living a life where they are evident. The real Proverbs woman is one of virtue and character.

It’s not at all about doing and it’s everything about becoming. And this becoming is through God’s grace, not exhausting yourself through striving. That’s why it’s important to do a Bible study on Proverbs 31 and sink into God’s Word on the subject.

Proverbs 31:10 (ESV) says: “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.”

The immense value placed on a virtuous woman is unmistakable; those who read the Bible and take away that woman aren’t appreciated have clearly missed this verse. The Proverbs woman was treasured.

Related: Proverbs 31 Woman Bible Study

The Proverbs 31 Passage

10 An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:10-31, ESV

The Virtuous Woman Explained (With A Healthy Dose Of Grace!): Becoming A Proverbs 31 Woman

As you can see, King Lemuel’s mother was very detailed in describing the ideal wife for her son…and in teaching him how to appreciate what a blessing she is!

As we examine the virtues Lemuel’s mother prizes and encourages her son to seek in his helpmeet, let’s remember one thing: this isn’t a to-do list.

These virtues are the fruit of a virtuous heart that loves her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, not actions that determine worth.

None of these virtues is something to chase after in and of themselves, dear one; the Proverbs woman pursues God and these virtues naturally blossom in her life as a result of that.

This woman is not one who strives to please her husband (or her virtue-listing-mother-in-law come to that!), but please God. And that is what makes her such a blessing to her marriage and her family!

It is her passionate pursuit of Jesus and the intimate relationship she enjoys with Him that makes turns an average lady into a modern-day virtuous woman whose worth is far above rubies.

1. The Proverbs 31 Woman is Trustworthy

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain. ~Proverbs 31:11

What does it mean for your husband’s heart to find you trustworthy?

It means he can put faith in your judgment. He can trust you to make wise choices and to behave with wisdom. And the result is that “he will have no lack of gain.”

Peace at home gives a man the security to be his best at work, as well. It also strengthens his heart to know he isn’t fighting battles alone, but that his wife is praying for him and encouraging him. You are his biggest cheerleader, and your opinion means more than anyone else’s!

The fact that he trusts you with his heart means you are prudent and worthy of his trust as a partner, as his helpmeet, as a mother, and as manager of your home.

His confidence in you extends to his emotions, too, since his heart and not just his mind trusts you. He knows you support him and will build him up.

Do you do that? Do you strive to bless him and encourage him and hold his heart gently and safely?

Let’s take it one step further. Let me encourage you to be aware of your interactions with other men and to guard your marriage by keeping those communications and relationships at arm’s length.

This will also help your husband to be secure in your marriage and it will knit your heart closer to his by removing temptation. This is the beauty of cleaving to your spouse and the two becoming one.

2. The Proverbs 31 Woman is a Blessing to her Husband

She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land. 
~Proverbs 31:12, 23

The godly woman described to the wise king by his mother is an asset to her husband. She enhances his life and does good things for him.

Can he trust you not to complain about him or expose his weaknesses to others, but rather build him up?

Are you, like the Proverbs woman, doing good things for him?

It’s also worth noting that she does them all the days of her life.

That means that she does this day in and day out; she doesn’t just do something nice for him on his birthday or for a special occasion. Rather, her life is spent as his helpmeet.

Not only that, the things that she does bless him and contribute to his reputation.

Other men admire a man who has a wife that supports him and manages his household well; don’t you want to add to your husband’s esteem in the eyes of others? I know I do!

Today’s Proverbs woman is one who speaks well of her man, who increases his influence and helps him. She doesn’t compete with him or tear him down over coffee with her girlfriends.

3. The Proverbs 31 Woman is an Eager Worker

…[she] works with willing hands. ~Proverbs 31:13

The entire passage describes the hard-working ethic of the ideal woman, but it is particularly detailed in verses 13, 19, and 27.

Above and beyond her hard-work, however, is her eagerness to work; theProverbs 31 woman isn’t lazy.

Are you eager to work? Do you wake up ready, with a happy heart, to do the things your husband and children need from you? If you have a job or are self-employed, do you do that work with the joy that you ought?

Willing hands bring to mind a woman preparing dinner with a smile while talking to her children or cleaning her home while she sings along with the radio.

She is doing what needs to be done with a heart for her family instead of complaining.

This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a day at home in your yoga pants with a giant cup of coffee and a good book, but it does mean you get what needs done accomplished first.

4. The Proverbs 31 Woman is Resourceful

She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar. ~Proverbs 31:14

This is not a woman who grew all of her food in her yard or made it all from scratch, contrary to what some people believe. Rather, the Proverbs woman is resourceful and knows how to get what she needs and bring it into her home.

Are you resourceful? Sometimes that simply means going to different grocery stores. Other times it means knowing where to look for what your family needs.

That can be the thrift store, a certain food market, trading with a neighbor, making it from scratch, or using Amazon Prime to have it mailed to you in two days.

Knowing how to be a Proverbs 31 woman today doesn’t mean you have to homestead or be a minimalist or any other trend; it means you love Jesus and you walk out the life He has called you to.

Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.

5. The Proverbs 31 Woman is Motivated

She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens. ~Proverbs 31:15

When describing the ideal woman to her son, Wise Mama wanted him to know that a self-motivated woman was a blessing.

You see clearly that she has servants (her maidens), and yet she is still motivated to wake in the wee hours and get up before them.

That means waking up before them, ready to bless them so that you aren’t instead waking up to the chaos of a busy household and getting frustrated.

And when you wake up, it’s not just for quiet time but also for your family.

It’s time to wake up, ready  for your children instead of to their chaos. What a beautiful distinction, isn’t it?

Some women are night owls and their families sleep in; I believe this speaks less of a time on the clock and more to a principle, so don’t lose sight of the grace God is giving you to be virtuous if you’re a night owl.

Just ask Him to show you how that looks in your life and home.

As an aside, if you don’t know how to fit in Quiet Time when you have a not-so-quiet life, read about How To Have Quiet Time When You Have Kids for some beautiful and simple suggestions to make it happen.

6. The Proverbs 31 Woman is a Good Steward

She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. ~Proverbs 31:16

A lot of folks harp on the fact that this woman considers a field and buys it. Some deduce that she even buys it with her own coins that she’s earned from other ventures.

However, there’s another gem in here for you: she uses the fruit of her hands to plant a vineyard.

This woman doesn’t just acquire things; she utilizes them.

Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman today means becoming a good steward of what you have. It means doing the hard work to reap a harvest (Galatians 6:9 talks about this, too, and it applies to parenting as well as practical issues).

It also means investing your time into work that bears fruit.

This is practical work as well as the intangible work of motherhood and building a strong marriage. She lived a fruitful life!

7. The Proverbs 31 Woman is Industrious

She dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
~Proverbs 31:17-18, 27

Aren’t you beginning to admire the way this woman operates? If we are careful not to get lost in the comparison game, it’s easy to appreciate her virtues.

Even more so, to realize that they are all ones we can both aspire to and attain with prayer, grace, and a little bit of intentional purpose.

This Proverbs 31 woman so admired by Wise Mama is strong and healthy from hard work.

She knows the value that she brings to her household. She works until the job is done. Even at night, her home is a safe haven.

No matter what you do, you can do it well with the diligence of this ideal woman. You can work hard, take care of yourself, and add to your family’s well being through your efforts.

You can keep the home fires burning, as it were, by creating a home your family enjoys being in.

Let’s take note that while she wasn’t lazy, we can also deduce that she would have been expected to rest.

The king’s Wise Mama would only be describing a devout woman of faith, and Jewish law demanded that she honor the Sabbath each week.

God’s plan is never for His children to strive themselves into exhaustion or to work for their salvation.

Related: Sabbath Rest Truths

8. The Proverbs 31 Woman is Generous

She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy. ~Proverbs 31:20

Do you take the time to reach out to those around you in need?

That is another desirable trait in a virtuous woman and one that can most definitely be a part of your life with some purposeful action.

The Proverbs 31 woman is aware of those around her and what they need, and she doesn’t distance herself from them. Instead, she reaches out to them.

Perhaps that means having someone over for dinner with your family or dropping off groceries for someone you know that is having a rough month. Maybe it’s driving someone without a car to work or the doctor’s office. Perhaps it means volunteering somewhere.

No matter what you do, you’re doing it for God’s glory and He will bless those efforts.

9. The Proverbs 31 Woman is Well Prepared

She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
~Proverbs 31:21, 25

Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman means thinking ahead and having plans. This is one of the many reasons her husband can trust her (see #1).

This means that you know what you’re feeding your family, clothing them with, and have a course of action for times of stress. When it’s cold, you’ve got coats on hand as the proverb says.

Consider that you know what to do when a child gets sick and has to miss school or what to make for dinner if you have unexpected company.

Being prepared allows you not to fear the future, and your inner peace contributes to the overall peace of your husband and children. How blessed they are when their mother has made them feel secure and they have no need to worry.

You are prepared, my sweet friend, and your family is blessed because of it!

10. The Proverbs 31 Woman is Business Savvy

She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant. ~Proverbs 31:24

The Proverbs 31 businesswoman is certainly diligent as a homemaker, but she also has industries beyond the four walls of her home.

She adds to the family’s wealth by using her talents.

If you have a marketable skill, don’t be afraid to use it! God Himself gifted you with your talents and abilities and using them for His glory and to bless your husband and children is not a sin.

Yes, we are to be keepers of our homes, but there is also a season where we expand beyond that. It is obvious that this woman of virtue prioritized her marriage, her children, and her household. However, she was also a businesswoman.

Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman means both honoring your priorities and utilizing your abilities.

11. The Proverbs 31 Woman is Strong & Dignified

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
~Proverbs 31:25

A strong woman is one that doesn’t buckle under stress and isn’t ruled by her emotions. She isn’t always fearless, but she has courage.

She isn’t afraid of the future because (a) she knows she has done all she can to prepare for it and (b) she is godly and knows who her God is and that He is trustworthy.

She is dignified, which means she carries herself well and receives respect from those around her because she has earned it.

I imagine this to mean that she isn’t prone to gossip or unwise venting of her emotions, as that is undignified. She understands the value of self-control and could also be described as meek.

The best definition I ever heard of meekness is “restrained power;” it is when a strong person chooses restraint because it is the wiser course of action, not the easiest course of action. Strength and dignity.

Also…Wise Mama isn’t harping on her future daughter-in-law’s clothing, just her virtues. She knows what matters!

Related: 6 Things Wise Women Know About Modesty

12. The Proverbs 31 Woman Watches Her Words

She opens her mouth with wisdom
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
~Proverbs 31:26

Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman means learning when to speak and when to remain silent. The choice is made with wisdom, not emotions.

Proverbs 17:27 says that restraining your words is a mark of wisdom.

In Psalm 141:3, the psalmist prays for God to put a guard over his mouth.

James 3 talks about the danger of the tongue that runs unbridled. And there are so many more verses.

When you use your words, you are either building someone up or tearing them down. Are the things leaving your mouth encouraging your husband? Building up the hearts of your children? Spurring your friends toward Jesus?

If so, then you are speaking with wisdom, my sweet friend!

Likewise, recognizing when the emotions in you are threatening to erupt out through your words and holding it back is just as wise. You can do this, my friend!

Are you teaching those around you with kindness? This is part of becoming a Proverbs 31 woman.

In my experience, this gets easier the closer you get to God. After all, the more you love God the more you’ll love people because His heart is for people.

And it starts at home.

When you speak to your husband about something that bothers you, are your words ruled by wisdom and restrained by kindness? When you correct your children, are you encouraging them toward godliness or guilting them toward shame?

Words can mold hearts or destroy them; the Proverbs woman uses this power carefully. A wise woman also knows when to be silent.

Why Be A Proverbs 31 Woman?

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.
~Proverbs 31:28-31

The virtuous woman is an ideal that the king’s Wise Mama told him about; in fact she wrote him a Proverbs 31 woman poem so he wouldn’t forget her teachings.

But guess what? It wasn’t ever meant to be one woman all at once.

While it’s not a wholly impossible checklist of virtues for you to aspire to, it also wasn’t intended to become one (so don’t turn it into a report card, okay?).

It is a summary of virtues that a woman who loves God will bear as fruit in her life as she matures in Him. 

Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman is a journey that you walk every day.

The Proverbs 31 Wife

The king’s mother knew how important the role of a wife is in a man’s life.

She wanted him to marry a woman whose children would be happy that she is their mama. Her desire was for her son to be able to show off his wife and be proud of her.

Wise Mama was also reminding her son not to be distracted by charm or fleeting beauty, but rather to seek a woman who fears God.

She longed for him to marry a woman he could admire, trust, and praise.

When you exhibit these Proverbs 31 virtues in your life, it is very likely that your husband and children will have hearts that are thankful for you and adore you.

Becoming A Proverbs 31 Woman is a Journey

Don’t feel overwhelmed when you read all about how to be a Proverbs 31 woman. After all, becoming a Proverbs 31 woman is a journey.

As you grow in the Lord you will become more and more of an image bearer for Him.

Don’t let this passage make you feel inadequate, but rather recognize the principles set forth in it and know that there is grace from God to help you live them.

Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman is about knowing God more and living in His grace. Isn’t it a relief to know that being a virtuous woman isn’t about trying to be someone you’re not and instead about loving Jesus with your whole heart and life?

How To Apply Proverbs 31 To Your Life

1. Pray and ask God to help you

2. Focus on His grace equipping you and not trying earn God’s favor

3. Dig deeper into these virtues and study them

4. (Optional) Jump into the Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman 4-week Scripture Writing Study devotional

5. For further study, check out these 9 Myths Surrounding The Proverbs 31 Woman

Commentary on Proverbs 31:10-31

<img src=”https://www.workingpreacher.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/strawn_brent_2022_500px.jpg&#8221; alt=”Brent A. Strawn”/>

Brent A. Strawn

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Proverbs 31:10-31 is the famous poem celebrating the “capable wife.”

It is often cited in praise of wives and mothers, and is among the most popular and familiar texts from Proverbs. Of course, “popular” and “familiar” does not necessarily mean “clear” and “without interpretive difficulties”” One of these difficulties, to be sure, is that Proverbs is a patriarchal text and chapter 31 is certainly no exception. Preachers might appropriately worry that 31:10-31 is a masculine commendation of women and “woman’s work.” Such a concern is not unfounded.

Verse 10, for instance, seems to begin oddly and ambiguously, if only because it apparently suggests that a capable wife is hard to find and yet the poem immediately proceeds to praise one. This one (woman), that is, may be the “ideal” that one (man) cannot find. But even if she is difficult to find, it’s no wonder why: she’s working hard! And working hard everywhere (verses 14, 16), on everything (verses 15a, 16, 18a, 19, 24a), for everybody (verses 12, 15b, 20, 21b, 24b, 27a) — from dawn (verse 15a) to dusk (verse 18b) no less! Again, preachers might well worry that 31:10-31 depicts an idealized woman only from a patriarchal perspective.

These concerns are real, but there is more to say about the passage. And yet, while there is more to say, that should not undercut the preceding concerns. Some churchgoers will also worry about 31:10-31; others will not. Some will know they should worry; others will refuse to worry. Part of the preaching task, at least according to Emerson, is “to convert life into truth… life passed through the fire of thought.”1  Part of the truth about life is the patriarchy of the ancient world — including the biblical world. Part of passing that life through the fire of thought is to think critically and theologically about such patriarchy, including such patriarchy in the biblical world. Such a task is not restricted to the clergy in seminary classrooms, but is one for the priesthood of all believers, whether male or female, if they are to be thoughtful and faithful Christians in the contemporary world.

Passing the life of the biblical world through the fire of homiletical thought reveals more, however, than just worries about patriarchy in Proverbs 31:10-31. In fact, close attention to the biblical world and the specific wor(l)d of Proverbs reveals two important things about the “ode to the capable wife.”

1. Not all of the hard work of this hardworking woman is adequately or accurately described as “woman’s work” — not now and certainly not in the patriarchal world of antiquity. The wife in Proverbs 31 is not in the kitchen scrubbing dishes and biting her tongue! While she clearly takes care of her husband (verses 11-12) and household (verses 15, 21, 27) and excels at domestic activities (verses 13, 15, 19, 22) she is quite active outside the home as well. She is a successful businesswoman, considering a field and buying it (verse 16a), and is a viticulturist to boot (verse 16b). She is an entrepreneur who works late into the evening (verse 18), who plans ahead (verse 21), and who is not idle (verse 27). She knows how to dress for success (verse 22) and how to sell goods for a profit (verse 24). Her work compares favorably to merchant marines (verse14), and one suspects that the reason her husband is well known (verse 23) is because of her, not vice versa!

Indeed, the sentiments of verse 17 and verse 25 go far beyond both home and market: they are worthy of the mightiest of warriors (cf. Psalm 77:15; 83:8; Ezekiel 30:22; Nahum 2:1). It should come as no surprise, then, that the word “capable” (ayil) in verse 10 is the same word translated “strength” in 31:10 and “excellently” in 31:29. All three translations are apropos for this most amazing woman.

But this woman does more than simply succeed in business or at domestic duties. She is no uncaring tycoon: instead, she “opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy” (verse 20; in Hebrew, the last phrase is the same used in verse 19a, thereby linking her provision for the poor to her other skills). This woman is also far from silent. She speaks with wisdom and the “teaching of kindness” (literally, the torah of hesed) is on her tongue (verse 26). Her strength, that is, appears to be as much moral as it is physical (cf. 8:14).

2. The last observation leads directly to the second important item. Within the world of Proverbs, the capable wife looks quite a bit like Woman Wisdom. She, too, is strong (compare 8:14 with 31:17, 25) and opens her mouth with wisdom (1:20-21, 24; cf. 31:26). She, too, “laughs at the time to come” (31:25; cf. 1:26). Indeed, the opening nine chapters of Proverbs present the student of wisdom as a son, listening to the instructions of his father (1:8; 2:1; etc.). Peppered throughout are speeches by Woman Wisdom (e.g., 1:20-33) who is to be desired rather than the temptations presented by the Strange Woman/Dame Folly (see 2:16-19; 7:10-20; 9:13-18).

Although it is not a narrative, one can “read” the rest of Proverbs as a story about this child who has been instructed at home by his parents about the ways of wisdom and folly. Proverbs 31:10-31 see this child out into the “real world,” far from home, and into all kinds of areas and subjects, without giving up on the quest for wisdom. In such a “story,” 31:10-31 can be seen as a picture of the child of chapters 1-9 back home, all grown up and “done good.” Most (!) important among the good and wise things he has done is “marry up.” His wife bears striking resemblance to the earlier depictions of Woman Wisdom; she incarnates, as it were, Wisdom. The son of Proverbs 1-9 has learned well and has chosen wisely.

The connections between the capable wife and Woman Wisdom might suggest another explanation for the picture in 31:10-31: that portrait may be a sapiential and mythological ideal as much as a patriarchal one. That is, this is no “real” woman, but Woman Wisdom. Only she could possibly work that hard!

1Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Divinity School Address (1838)” www.emersoncentral.com/divaddr.htm; accessed May 27, 2009).

About the Author

<img src=”https://www.workingpreacher.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/strawn_brent_2022_500px.jpg&#8221; alt=”Brent A. Strawn”/>

Brent A. Strawn

Professor of Old Testament; Professor of Law

Duke University Divinity School

Durham, North Carolina

Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Proverbs 31

Chapter 31

This chapter is added to Solomon’s proverbs, some think because it is of the same author, supposing king Lemuel to be king Solomon; others only because it is of the same nature, though left in writing by another author, called Lemuel; however it be, it is a prophecy, and therefore given by inspiration and direction of God, which Lemuel was under in the writing of it, and putting it into this form, as his mother was in dictating to him the matter of it. Here is,

• I. An exhortation to Lemuel, a young prince, to take heed of the sins he would be tempted to and to do the duties of the place he was called to (v. 1-9).

• II. The description of a virtuous woman, especially in the relation of a wife and the mistress of a family, which Lemuel’s mother drew up, not as an encomium of herself, though, no doubt, it was her own true picture, but either as an instruction to her daughters, as the foregoing verses were to her son, or as a direction to her son in the choice of a wife; she must be chaste and modest, diligent and frugal, dutiful to her husband, careful of her family, discreet in her discourse, and in the education of her children, and, above all, conscientious in her duty to God: such a one as this, if he can find her, will make him happy (v. 10-31).

Pro 31:1-9

Most interpreters are of opinion that Lemuel is Solomon; the name signifies one that is for God, or devoted to God; and so it agrees well enough with that honourable name which, by divine appointment, was given to Solomon (2 Sa. 12:25), Jedediah-beloved of the Lord. Lemuel is supposed to be a pretty, fond, endearing name, by which his mother used to call him; and so much did he value himself upon the interest he had in his mother’s affections that he was not ashamed to call himself by it. One would the rather incline to think it is Solomon that here tells us what his mother taught him because he tells us (ch. 4:4) what his father taught him. But some think (and the conjecture is not improbable) that Lemuel was a prince of some neighbouring country, whose mother was a daughter of Israel, perhaps of the house of David, and taught him these good lessons. Note,

• 1. It is the duty of mothers, as well as fathers, to teach their children what is good, that they may do it, and what is evil, that they may avoid it; when they are young and tender they are most under the mother’s eye, and she has then an opportunity of moulding and fashioning their minds well, which she ought not to let slip.

• 2. Even kings must be catechised; the greatest of men is less than the least of the ordinances of God.

• 3. Those that have grown up to maturity should often call to mind, and make mention of, the good instructions they received when they were children, for their own admonition, the edification of others, and the honour of those who were the guides of their youth.

Now, in this mother’s (this queen mother’s) catechism, observe,

• I. Her expostulation with the young prince, by which she lays hold of him, claims an interest in him, and awakens his attention to what she is about to say (v. 2): “What! my son? What shall I say to thee?” She speaks as one considering what advice to give him, and choosing out words to reason with him; so full of concern is she for his welfare! Or, What is it that thou doest? It seems to be a chiding question. She observed, when he was young, that he was too much inclined to women and wine, and therefore she found it necessary to take him to task and deal roundly with him. “What! my son? Is this the course of life thou intendest to lead? Have I taught thee no better than thus? I must reprove thee, and reprove thee sharply, and thou must take it well, for,”

• 1. “Thou art descended from me; thou art the son of my womb, and therefore what I say comes from the authority and affection of a parent and cannot be suspected to come from any ill-will. Thou art a piece of myself. I bore thee with sorrow, and I expect no other return for all the pains I have taken with thee, and undergone for thee, than this, Be wise and good, and then I am well paid.”

• 2. “Thou art devoted to my God; thou art the son of my vows, the son I prayed to God to give me and promised to give back to God, and did so” (thus Samuel was the son of Hannah’s vows); “Thou art the son I have often prayed to God to give his grace to (Ps. 72:1), and shall a child of so many prayers miscarry? And shall all my hopes concerning thee be disappointed?” Our children that by baptism are dedicated to God, for whom and in whose name we covenanted with God, may well be called the children of our vows; and, as this may be made a good plea with God in our prayers for them, so it may be made a good plea with them in the instructions we give them; we may tell them they are baptized, are the children of our vows, and it is at their peril if they break those bonds in sunder which in their infancy they were solemnly brought under.

• II. The caution she gives him against those two destroying sins of uncleanness and drunkenness, which, if he allowed himself in them, would certainly be his ruin.

• 1. Against uncleanness (v. 3): Give not thy strength unto women, unto strange women. He must not be soft and effeminate, nor spend that time in a vain conversation with the ladies which should be spent in getting knowledge and despatching business, nor employ that wit (which is the strength of the soul) in courting and complimenting them which he should employ about the affairs of his government. “Especially shun all adultery, fornication, and lasciviousness, which waste the strength of the body, and bring into it dangerous diseases. Give not thy ways, thy affections, thy conversation, to that which destroys kings, which has destroyed many, which gave such a shock to the kingdom even of David himself, in the matter of Uriah. Let the sufferings of others be thy warnings.” It lessens the honour of kings and makes them mean. Are those fit to govern others that are themselves slaves to their own lusts? It makes them unfit for business, and fills their court with the basest and worst of animals. Kings lie exposed to temptations of this kind, having wherewith both to please the humours and to bear the charges of the sin, and therefore they ought to double their guard; and, if they would preserve their people from the unclean spirit, they must themselves be patterns of purity. Meaner people may also apply it to themselves. Let none give their strength to that which destroys souls.

• 2. Against drunkenness, v. 4, 5. He must not drink wine or strong drink to excess; he must never sit to drink, as they used to do in the day of their king, when the princes made him sick with bottles of wine, Hos. 7:7. Whatever temptation he might be in from the excellency of the wine, or the charms of the company, he must deny himself, and be strictly sober, considering,

• (1.) The indecency of drunkenness in a king. However some may call it a fashionable accomplishment and entertainment, it is not for kings, O Lemuel! it is not for kings, to allow themselves that liberty; it is a disparagement to their dignity, and profanes their crown, by confusing the head that wears it; that which for the time unmans them does for the time unking them. Shall we say, They are gods? No, they are worse than the beasts that perish. All Christians are made to our God kings and priests, and must apply this to themselves. It is not for Christians, it is not for Christians, to drink to excess; they debase themselves if they do; it ill becomes the heirs of the kingdom and the spiritual priests, Lev. 10:9.

• (2.) The ill consequences of it (v. 5): Lest they drink away their understandings and memories, drink and forget the law by which they are to govern; and so, instead of doing good with their power, do hurt with it, and pervert or alter the judgment of all the sons of affliction, and, when they should right them, wrong them, and add to their affliction. It is a sad complaint which is made of the priests and prophets (Isa. 28:7), that they have erred through wine, and through strong drink they are out of the way; and the effect is as bad in kings, who when they are drunk, or intoxicated with the love of wine, cannot but stumble in judgment. Judges must have clear heads, which those cannot have who so often make themselves giddy, and incapacitate themselves to judge of the most common things.

• III. The counsel she gives him to do good.

• 1. He must do good with his wealth. Great men must not think that they have their abundance only that out of it they may made provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts of it, and may the more freely indulge their own genius; no, but that with it they may relieve such as are in distress, v. 6, 7. “Thou hast wine or strong drink at command; instead of doing thyself hurt with it, do others good with it; let those have it that need it.” Those that have wherewithal must not only give bread to the hungry and water to the thirsty, but they must give strong drink to him that is ready to perish through sickness or pain and wine to those that are melancholy and of heavy heart; for it was appointed to cheer and revive the spirits, and make glad the heart (as it does where there is need of it), not to burden and oppress the spirits, as it does where there is no need of it. We must deny ourselves in the gratifications of sense, that we may have to spare for the relief of the miseries of others, and be glad to see our superfluities and dainties better bestowed upon those whom they will be a real kindness to than upon ourselves whom they will be a real injury to. Let those that are ready to perish drink soberly, and it will be a means so to revive their drooping spirits that they will forget their poverty for the time and remember their misery no more, and so they will be the better able to bear it. The Jews say that upon this was grounded the practice of giving a stupifying drink to condemned prisoners when they were going to execution, as they did to our Saviour. But the scope of the place is to show that wine is a cordial, and therefore to be used for want and not for wantonness, by those only that need cordials, as Timothy, who is advised to drink a little wine, only for his stomach’s sake and his often infirmities, 1 Tim. 5:23.

• 2. He must do good with his power, his knowledge, and interest, must administer justice with care, courage, and compassion, v. 8, 9.

• (1.) He must himself take cognizance of the causes his subjects have depending in his courts, and inspect what his judges and officers do, that he may support those that do their duty, and lay those aside that neglect it or are partial.

• (2.) He must, in all matters that come before him, judge righteously, and, without fear of the face of man, boldly pass sentence according to equity: Open thy mouth, which denotes the liberty of speech that princes and judges ought to use in passing sentence. Some observe that only wise men open their mouths, for fools have their mouths always open, are full of words.

• (3.) He must especially look upon himself as obliged to be the patron of oppressed innocency. The inferior magistrates perhaps had not zeal and tenderness enough to plead the cause of the poor and needy; therefore the king himself must interpose, and appear as an advocate,

• [1.] For those that were unjustly charged with capital crimes, as Naboth was, that were appointed to destruction, to gratify the malice either of a particular person or of a party. It is a case which it well befits a king to appear in, for the preserving of innocent blood.

• [2.] For those that had actions unjustly brought against them, to defraud them of their right, because they were poor and needy, and unable to defend it, not having wherewithal to fee counsel; in such a case also kings must be advocates for the poor. Especially,

• [3.] For those that were dumb, and knew not how to speak for themselves, either through weakness or fear, or being over-talked by the prosecutor or over-awed by the court. It is generous to speak for those that cannot speak for themselves, that are absent, or have not words at command, or are timorous. Our law appoints the judge to be of counsel for the prisoner.

Pro 31:10-31

This description of the virtuous woman is designed to show what wives the women should make and what wives the men should choose; it consists of twenty-two verses, each beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order, as some of the Psalms, which makes some think it was no part of the lesson which Lemuel’s mother taught him, but a poem by itself, written by some other hand, and perhaps had been commonly repeated among the pious Jews, for the ease of which it was made alphabetical. We have the abridgment of it in the New Testament (1 Tim. 2:9-10, 1 Pt. 3:1-6), where the duty prescribed to wives agrees with this description of a good wife; and with good reason is so much stress laid upon it, since it contributes as much as any one thing to the keeping up of religion in families, and the entail of it upon posterity, that the mothers be wise and good; and of what consequence it is to the wealth and outward prosperity of a house every one is sensible. He that will thrive must ask his wife leave. Here is,

• I. A general enquiry after such a one (v. 10), where observe,

• 1. The person enquired after, and that is a virtuous woman-a woman of strength (so the word is), though the weaker vessel, yet made strong by wisdom and grace, and the fear of God: it is the same word that is used in the character of good judges (Ex. 18:21), that they are able men, men qualified for the business to which they are called, men of truth, fearing God. So it follows, A virtuous woman is a woman of spirit, who has the command of her own spirit and knows how to manage other people’s, one that is pious and industrious, and a help meet for a man. In opposition to this strength, we read of the weakness of the heart of an imperious whorish woman, Eze. 16:30. A virtuous woman is a woman of resolution, who, having espoused good principles, is firm and steady to them, and will not be frightened with winds and clouds from any part of her duty.

• 2. The difficulty of meeting with such a one: Who can find her? This intimates that good women are very scarce, and many that seem to be so do not prove so; he that thought he had found a virtuous woman was deceived; Behold, it was Leah, and not the Rachel he expected. But he that designs to marry ought to seek diligently for such a one, to have this principally in his eye, in all his enquiries, and to take heed that he be not biassed by beauty or gaiety, wealth or parentage, dressing well or dancing well; for all these may be and yet the woman not be virtuous, and there is many a woman truly virtuous who yet is not recommended by these advantages.

• 3. The unspeakable worth of such a one, and the value which he that has such a wife ought to put upon her, showing it by his thankfulness to God and his kindness and respect to her, whom he must never think he can do too much for. Her price is far above rubies, and all the rich ornaments with which vain women adorn themselves. The more rare such good wives are the more they are to be valued.

• II. A particular description of her and of her excellent qualifications.

• 1. She is very industrious to recommend herself to her husband’s esteem and affection. Those that are good really will be good relatively. A good woman, if she be brought into the marriage state, will be a good wife, and make it her business to please her husband, 1 Co. 7:34. Though she is a woman of spirit herself, yet her desire is to her husband, to know his mind, that she may accommodate herself to it, and she is willing that he should rule over her.

• (1.) She conducts herself so that he may repose an entire confidence in her. He trusts in her chastity, which she never gave him the least occasion to suspect or to entertain any jealousy of; she is not morose and reserved, but modest and grave, and has all the marks of virtue in her countenance and behaviour; her husband knows it, and therefore his heart doth safely trust in her; he is easy, and makes her so. He trusts in her conduct, that she will speak in all companies, and act in all affairs, with prudence and discretion, so as not to occasion him either damage or reproach. He trusts in her fidelity to his interests, and that she will never betray his counsels nor have any interest separate from that of his family. When he goes abroad, to attend the concerns of the public, he can confide in her to order all his affairs at home, as well as if he himself were there. She is a good wife that is fit to be trusted, and he is a good husband that will leave it to such a wife to manage for him.

• (2.) She contributes so much to his content and satisfaction that he shall have no need of spoil; he needs not be griping and scraping abroad, as those must be whose wives are proud and wasteful at home. She manages his affairs so that he is always before-hand, has such plenty of his own that he is in no temptation to prey upon his neighbours. He thinks himself so happy in her that he envies not those who have most of the wealth of this world; he needs it not, he has enough, having such a wife. Happy the couple that have such a satisfaction as this in each other!

• (3.) She makes it her constant business to do him good, and is afraid of doing any thing, even through inadvertency, that may turn to his prejudice, v. 12. She shows her love to him, not by a foolish fondness, but by prudent endearments, accommodating herself to his temper, and not crossing him, giving him good words, and not bad ones, no, not when he is out of humour, studying to make him easy, to provide what is fit for him both in health and sickness, and attending him with diligence and tenderness when any thing ails him; nor would she, no, not for the world, wilfully do any thing that might be a damage to his person, family, estate, or reputation. And this is her care all the days of her life; not at first only, or now and then, when she is in a good humour, but perpetually; and she is not weary of the good offices she does him: She does him good, not only all the days of his life, but of her own too; if she survive him, still she is doing him good in her care of his children, his estate, and good name, and all the concerns he left behind him. We read of kindness shown, not only to the living, but to the dead, Ruth 2:20.

• (4.) She adds to his reputation in the world (v. 23): Her husband is known in the gates, known to have a good wife. By his wise counsels, and prudent management of affairs, it appears that he has a discreet companion in his bosom, by conversation with whom he improves himself. By his cheerful countenance and pleasant humour it appears that he has an agreeable wife at home; for many that have not have their tempers strangely soured by it. Nay, by his appearing clean and neat in his dress, every thing about him decent and handsome, yet not gaudy, one may know he has a good wife at home, that takes care of his clothes.

• 2. She is one that takes pains in the duty of her place and takes pleasure in it. This part of her character is much enlarged upon here.

• (1.) She hates to sit still and do nothing: She eats not the bread of idleness, v. 27. Though she needs not work for her bread (she has an estate to live upon), yet she will not eat it in idleness, because she knows that we were none of us sent into this world to be idle, that when we have nothing to do the devil will soon find us something to do, and that it is not fit that those who will not labour should eat. Some eat and drink because they can find themselves nothing else to do, and needless visits must be received with fashionable entertainments; these are eating the bread of idleness, which she has no relish for, for she neither gives nor receives idle visits nor idle talk.

• (2.) She is careful to fill up time, that none of that be lost. When day-light is done, she does not then think it time to lay by her work, as those are forced to do whose business lies abroad in the fields (Ps. 104:23), but her business lying within-doors, and her work worth candle-light, with that she lengthens out the day; and her candle goes not out by night, v. 18. It is a mercy to have candle-light to supply the want of day-light, and a duty, having that advantage, to improve it. We say of an elaborate piece, It smells of the lamp.

• (3.) She rises early, while it is yet night (v. 15), to give her servants their breakfast, that they may be ready to go cheerfully about their work as soon as the day breaks. She is none of those who sit up playing at cards, or dancing, till midnight, till morning, and then lie in bed till noon. No; the virtuous woman loves her business better than her ease or her pleasure, is in care to be found in the way of her duty every hour of the day, and has more true satisfaction in having given meat to her household betimes in the morning than those can have in the money they have won, much more in what they have lost, who sat up all night at play. Those that have a family to take care of should not love their bed too well in a morning.

• (4.) She applies herself to the business that is proper for her. It is not in a scholar’s business, or statesman’s business, or husbandman’s business, that she employs herself, but in women’s business: She seeks wool and flax, where she may have the best of each at the best hand, and cheapest; she has a stock of both by her, and every thing that is necessary to the carrying on both of the woollen and the linen manufacture (v. 13), and with this she does not only set the poor on work, which is a very good office, but does herself work, and work willingly, with her hands; she works with the counsel or delight of her hands (so the word is); she goes about it cheerfully and dexterously, lays not only her hand, but her mind to it, and goes on in it without weariness in well-doing. She lays her own hands to the spindle, or spinning-wheel, and her hands hold the distaff (v. 19), and she does not reckon it either an abridgment of her liberty or a disparagement to her dignity, or at all inconsistent with her repose. The spindle and the distaff are here mentioned as her honour, while the ornaments of the daughters of Zion are reckoned up to their reproach, Isa. 3:18, etc.

• (5.) She does what she does with all her might, and does not trifle in it (v. 17); She girds her loins with strength and strengthens her arms; she does not employ herself in sitting work only, or in that which is only the nice performance of the fingers (there are works that are scarcely one remove from doing nothing); but, if there be occasion, she will go through with work that requires all the strength she has, which she will use as one that knows it is the way to have more.

• 3. She is one that makes what she does to turn to a good account, by her prudent management of it. She does not toil all night and catch nothing; no, she herself perceives that her merchandise is good (v. 18); she is sensible that in all her labour there is profit, and that encourages her to go on in it. She perceives that she can make things herself better and cheaper than she can buy them; she finds by observation what branch of her employment brings in the best returns, and to that she applies herself most closely.

• (1.) She brings in provisions of all things necessary and convenient for her family, v. 14. No merchants’ ships, no, not Solomon’s navy, ever made a more advantageous return than her employments do. Do they bring in foreign commodities with the effects they export? So does she with the fruit of her labours. What her own ground does not produce she can furnish herself with, if she have occasion for it, by exchanging her own goods for it; and so she brings her food from afar. Not that she values things the more for their being far-fetched, but, if they be ever so far off, if she must have them she knows how to come by them.

• (2.) She purchases lands, and enlarges the demesne of the family (v. 16): She considers a field, and buys it. She considers what an advantage it will be to the family and what a good account it will turn to, and therefore she buys it; or, rather, though she have ever so much mind to it she will not buy it till she has first considered it, whether it be worth her money, whether she can afford to take so much money out of her stock as must go to purchase it, whether the title be good, whether the ground will answer the character given of it, and whether she has money at command to pay for it. Many have undone themselves by buying without considering; but those who would make advantageous purchases must consider, and then buy. She also plants a vineyard, but it is with the fruit of her hands; she does not take up money, or run into debt, to do it, but she does it with what she can spare out of the gains of her own housewifery. Men should not lay out any thing upon superfluities, till, by the blessing of God upon their industry, they have got before-hand, and can afford it; and then the fruit of the vineyard is likely to be doubly sweet, when it is the fruit of honest industry.

• (3.) She furnishes her house well and has good clothing for herself and her family (v. 22): She makes herself coverings of tapestry to hang her rooms, and she may be allowed to use them when they are of her own making. Her own clothing is rich and fine: it is silk and purple, according to her place and rank. Though she is not so vain as to spend much time in dressing herself, nor makes the putting on of apparel her adorning, nor values herself upon it, yet she has rich clothes and puts them on well. The senator’s robes which her husband wears are of her own spinning, and they look better and wear better than any that are bought. She also gets good warm clothing for her children, and her servants’ liveries. She needs not fear the cold of the most pinching winter, for she and her family are well provided with clothes, sufficient to keep out cold, which is the end chiefly to be aimed at in clothing: All her household are clothed in scarlet, strong cloth and fit for winter, and yet rich and making a good appearance. They are all double clothed (so some read it), have change of raiment, a winter suit and a summer suit.

• (4.) She trades abroad. She makes more than she and her household have occasion for; and therefore, when she has sufficiently stocked her family, she sells fine linen and girdles to the merchants (v. 24), who carry them to Tyre, the mart of the nations, or some other trading city. Those families are likely to thrive that sell more than they buy; as it is well with the kingdom when abundance of its home manufactures are exported. It is no disgrace to those of the best quality to sell what they can spare, nor to deal in trade and send ventures by sea.

• (5.) She lays up for hereafter: She shall rejoice in time to come, having laid in a good stock for her family, and having good portions for her children. Those that take pains when they are in their prime will have the pleasure and joy of it when they are old, both in reflecting upon it and in reaping the benefit of it.

• 4. She takes care of her family and all the affairs of it, gives meat to her household (v. 15), to every one his portion of meat in due season, so that none of her servants have reason to complain of being kept short or faring hard. She gives also a portion (an allotment of work, as well as meat) to her maidens; they shall all of them know their business and have their task. She looks well to the ways of her household (v. 27); she inspects the manners of all her servants, that she may check what is amiss among them, and oblige them all to behave properly and do their duty to God and one another, as well as to her; as Job, who put away iniquity far from his tabernacle, and David, who would suffer no wicked thing in his house. She does not intermeddle in the concerns of other people’s houses; she thinks it enough for her to look well to her own.

• 5. She is charitable to the poor, v. 20. She is as intent upon giving as she is upon getting; she often serves the poor with her own hand, and she does if freely, cheerfully, and very liberally, with an out-stretched hand. Nor does she relieve her poor neighbours only, and those that are nigh at hand, but she reaches forth her hands to the needy that are at a distance, seeking opportunities to do good and to communicate, which is as good housewifery as any thing she does.

• 6. She is discreet and obliging in all her discourse, not talkative, censorious, nor peevish, as some are, that know how to take pains; no, she opens her mouth with wisdom; when she does speak, it is with a great deal of prudence and very much to the purpose; you may perceive by every word she says how much she governs herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takes prudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others; and this not as assuming the authority of a dictator, but with the affection of a friend and an obliging air: In her tongue is the law of kindness; all she says is under the government of that law. The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, but it shows itself in the tongue; if we are kindly affectioned one to another, it will appear by affectionate expression. It is called a law of kindness, because it gives law to others, to all she converses with. Her wisdom and kindness together put a commanding power into all she says; they command respect, they command compliance. How forcible are right words! In her tongue is the law of grace, or mercy (so some read it), understanding it of the word and law of God, which she delights to talk of among her children and servants. She is full of pious religious discourse, and manages it prudently, which shows how full her heart is of another world even when her hands are most busy about this world.

• 7. That which completes and crowns her character is that she fears the Lord, v. 30. With all those good qualities she lacks not that one thing needful; she is truly pious, and, in all she does, is guided and governed by principles of conscience and a regard to God; this is that which is here preferred far before beauty; that is vain and deceitful; all that are wise and good account it so, and value neither themselves nor others on it. Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any certain indication of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who has made his choice of a wife by it. There may be an impure deformed soul lodged in a comely and beautiful body; nay, many have been exposed by their beauty to such temptations as have been the ruin of their virtue, their honour, and their precious souls. It is a fading thing at the best, and therefore vain and deceitful. A fit of sickness will stain and sully it in a little time; a thousand accidents may blast this flower in its prime; old age will certainly wither it and death and the grave consume it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart is the beauty of the soul; it recommends those that have it to the favour of God, and is, in his sight, of great price; it will last for ever, and bid defiance to death itself, which consumes the beauty of the body, but consummates the beauty of the soul.

• III. The happiness of this virtuous woman.

• 1. She has the comfort and satisfaction of her virtue in her own mind (v. 25): Strength and honour are her clothing, in which she wraps herself, that is, enjoys herself, and in which she appears to the world, and so recommends herself. She enjoys a firmness and constancy of mind, has spirit to bear up under the many crosses and disappointments which even the wise and virtuous must expect to meet with in this world; and this is her clothing, for defence as well as decency. She deals honourably with all, and she has the pleasure of doing so, and shall rejoice in time to come; she shall reflect upon it with comfort, when she comes to be old, that she was not idle or useless when she was young. In the day of death it will be a pleasure to her to think that she has lived to some good purpose. Nay, she shall rejoice in an eternity to come; she shall be recompensed for her goodness with fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore.

• 2. She is a great blessing to her relations, v. 28.

• (1.) Her children grow up in her place, and they call her blessed. They give her their good word, they are themselves a commendation to her, and they are ready to give great commendations of her; they pray for her, and bless God that they had such a good mother. It is a debt which they owe her, a part of that honour which the fifth commandment requires to be paid to father and mother; and it is a double honour that is due to a good father and a good mother.

• (2.) Her husband thinks himself so happy in her that he takes all occasions to speak well of her, as one of the best of women. It is no indecency at all, but a laudable instance of conjugal love, for husbands and wives to give one another their due praises.

• 3. She gets the good word of all her neighbours, as Ruth did, whom all the city of her people knew to be a virtuous woman, Ruth 3:11. Virtue will have its praise, Phil. 4:8. A woman that fears the Lord, shall have praise of God (Rom. 2:29) and of men too. It is here shown,

• (1.) That she shall be highly praised (v. 29): Many have done virtuously. Virtuous women, it seems, are precious jewels, but not such rare jewels as was represented v. 10. There have been many, but such a one as this cannot be paralleled. Who can find her equal? She excels them all. Note, Those that are good should aim and covet to excel in virtue. Many daughters, in their father’s house, and in the single state, have done virtuously, but a good wife, if she be virtuous, excels them all, and does more good in her place than they can do in theirs. Or, as some explain it, A man cannot have his house so well kept by good daughters, as by a good wife.

• (2.) That she shall be incontestably praised, without contradiction, v. 31. Some are praised above what is their due, but those that praise her do but give her of the fruit of her hands; they give her that which she has dearly earned and which is justly due to her; she is wronged if she have it not. Note, Those ought to be praised the fruit of whose hands is praise-worthy. The tree is known by its fruits, and therefore, if the fruit be good, the tree must have our good word. If her children be dutiful and respectful to her, and conduct themselves as they ought, they then give her the fruit of her hands; she reaps the benefit of all the care she has taken of them, and thinks herself well paid. Children must thus study to requite their parents, and this is showing piety at home, 1 Tim. 5:4. But, if men be unjust, the thing will speak itself, her own works will praise her in the gates, openly before all the people.

• [1.] She leaves it to her own works to praise her, and does not court the applause of men. Those are none of the truly virtuous women that love to hear themselves commended.

• [2.] Her own works will praise her; if her relations and neighbours altogether hold their peace, her good works will proclaim her praise. The widows gave the best encomium of Dorcas when they showed the coats and garments she had made for the poor, Acts 9:39.

• [3.] The least that can be expected from her neighbours is that they should let her own works praise her, and do nothing to hinder them. Those that do that which is good, let them have praise of the same (Rom. 13:3) and let us not enviously say, or do, any thing to the diminishing of it, but be provoked by it to a holy emulation. Let none have an ill report from us, that have a good report even of the truth itself. Thus is shut up this looking-glass for ladies, which they are desired to open and dress themselves by; and, if they do so, their adorning will be found to praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

Twenty chapters of the book of Proverbs (beginning with ch. 10 and ending with ch. 29), consisting mostly of entire sentences in each verse, could not well be reduced to proper heads, and the contents of them gathered; I have therefore here put the contents of all these chapters together, which perhaps may be of some use to those who desire to see at once all that is said of any one head in these chapters. Some of the verses, perhaps, I have not put under the same heads that another would have put them under, but the most of them fall (I hope) naturally enough to the places I have assigned them.

• 1. Of the comfort, or grief, parents have in their children, according as they are wise or foolish, godly or ungodly, ch. 10:1; 15:20; 17:21, 25; 19:13, 26; 23:15, 16, 24, 25; 27:11; 29:3

• 2. Of the world’s insufficiency, and religion’s sufficiency, to make us happy (ch. 10:2, 3; 11:4) and the preference to be therefore given to the gains of virtue above those of this world, ch. 15:16, 17; 16:8, 16; 17:1; 19:1; 28:6, 11

• 3. Of slothfulness and diligence, ch. 10:4, 26; 12:11, 24, 27; 13:4, 23; 15:19; 16:26; 18:9; 19:15, 24; 20:4, 13; 21:5, 25, 26; 22:13, 29; 24:30-34; 26:13-16; 27:18, 23, 27; 28:19. Particularly the improving or neglecting opportunities, ch. 6:6; 10:5

• 4. The happiness of the righteous, and the misery of the wicked, ch. 10:6, 9, 16, 24, 25, 27-30; 11:3, 5-8, 18-21, 31; 12:2, 3, 7, 13, 14, 21, 26, 28; 13:6, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22, 25; 14:11, 14, 19, 32; 15:6, 8, 9, 24, 26, 29; 20:7; 21:12, 15, 16, 18, 21; 22:12; 28:10, 18; 29:6

• 5. Of honour and dishonour, ch. 10:7; 12:8, 9; 18:3; 26:1; 27:21. And of vain-glory, ch. 25:14, 27; 27:2

• 6. The wisdom of obedience, and folly of disobedience, ch. 10:8, 17; 12:1, 15; 13:1, 13, 18; 15:5, 10, 12, 31, 32;19:16; 28:4, 7, 9

• 7. Of mischievousness and usefulness, ch. 10:10, 23; 11:9-11, 23, 27; 12:5, 6, 12, 18, 20; 13:2; 14:22; 16:29, 30; 17:11; 21:10; 24:8; 26:23, 27

• 8. The praise of wise and good discourse, and the hurt and shame of an ungoverned tongue, ch. 10:11, 13, 14, 20, 21, 31, 32; 11:30; 14:3; 15:2, 4, 7, 23, 28; 16:20, 23, 24;17:7; 18:4, 7, 20, 21; 20:15; 21:23; 23:9; 24:26; 25:11

• 9. Of love and hatred, peaceableness and contention, ch. 10:12; 15:17; 17:1, 9, 14, 19; 18:6, 17-19; 20:3; 25:8; 26:17, 21; 29:9

• 10. Of the rich and poor, ch. 10:15, 22; 11:28; 13:7, 8; 14:20, 24; 18:11, 23; 19:1, 4, 7, 22; 22:2, 7; 28:6, 11; 29:13

• 11. Of lying, fraud, and dissimulation, and of truth and sincerity, ch. 10:18; 12:17, 19, 22; 13:5; 17:4; 20:14, 17; 26:18, 19, 24-26, 28

• 12. Of slandering, ch. 10:18; 16:27; 25:23

• 13. Of talkativeness and silence, ch. 10:19; 11:12; 12:23; 13:3; 17:27, 28; 29:11, 20

• 14. Of justice and injustice, ch. 11:1; 13:16; 16:8, 11; 17:15, 26; 18:5; 20:10, 23; 22:28; 23:10, 11; 29:24

• 15. Of pride and humility, ch. 11:2; 13:10; 15:25, 33; 16:5, 18, 19; 18:12; 21:4; 25:6, 7; 28:25; 29:23

• 16. Of despising and respecting others, ch. 11:12; 14:21

• 17. Of tale-bearing, ch. 11:13; 16:28; 18:8; 20:19; 26:20, 22

• 18. Of rashness and deliberation, ch. 11:14; 15:22; 18:13; 19:2; 20:5, 18; 21:29; 22:3; 25:8-10

• 19. Of suretiship, ch. 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26, 27; 27:13

• 20. Of good and bad women, or wives, ch. 11:16, 22; 12:4; 14:1; 18:22; 19:13, 14; 21:9, 19; 25:24; 27:15, 16

• 21. Of mercifulness and unmercifulness, ch. 11:17; 12:10; 14:21; 19:17; 21:13

• 22. Of charity to the poor, and uncharitableness, ch. 11:24-26; 14:31; 17:5; 22:9, 16, 22, 23; 28:27; 29:7

• 23. Of covetousness and contentment, ch. 11:29; 15:16, 17, 27; 23:4, 5

• 24. Of anger and meekness, ch. 12:16; 14:17, 29; 15:1, 18; 16:32; 17:12, 26; 19:11, 19; 22:24, 25; 25:15, 28; 26:21; 29:22

• 25. Of melancholy and cheerfulness, ch. 12:25; 14:10, 13; 15:13, 15; 17:22; 18:14; 25:20, 25

• 26. Of hope and expectation, ch. 13:12, 19;

• 27. Of prudence and foolishness, ch. 13:16; 14:8, 18, 33; 15:14, 21; 16:21, 22; 17:24; 18:2, 15; 24:3-7; 7:27; 26:6-11; 28:5

• 28. Of treachery and fidelity, ch. 13:17; 25:13, 19

• 29. Of good and bad company, ch. 13:20; 14:7; 28:7; 29:3

• 30. Of the education of children, ch. 13:24; 19:18; 20:11; 22:6, 15; 23:12; 14:14; 29:15, 17

• 31. Of the fear of the Lord, ch. 14:2, 26, 27; 15:16, 33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17, 18

• 32. Of true and false witness-bearing, ch. 14:5, 25; 19:5, 9, 28; 21:28; 24:28; 25:18

• 33. Of scorners, ch. 14:6, 9; 21:24; 22:10; 24:9; 29:8

• 34. Of credulity and caution, ch. 14:15, 16; 27:12

• 35. Of kings and their subjects, ch. 14:28, 34, 35; 16:10, 12-15; 19:6, 12; 20:2, 8, 26, 28; 22:11; 24:23-25; 30:2-5; 28:2, 3, 15, 16; 29:4, 12, 14, 26

• 36. Of envy, especially envying sinners, ch. 14:30; 23:17, 18; 24:1, 2, 19, 20; 27:4

• 37. Of God’s omniscience, and his universal providence, ch. 15:3, 11; 16:1, 4, 9, 33; 17:3; 19:21; 20:12, 24; 21:1, 30, 31; 29:26

• 38. Of a good and ill name, ch. 15:30; 22:1

• 39. Of men’s good opinion of themselves, ch. 14:12; 16:2, 25; 20:6; 21:2; 26:12; 28:26

• 40. Of devotion towards God, and dependence on him, ch. 16:3; 18:10; 23:26; 27:1; 28:25; 29:25

• 41. Of the happiness of God’s favour, ch. 16:7; 29:26

• 42. Excitements to get wisdom, ch. 16:16; 18:1; 19:8, 20; 22:17-21; 23:15, 16, 22-25; 24:13, 14; 27:11

• 43. Cautions against temptations, ch. 16:17; 29:27

• 44. Of old age and youth, ch. 16:31; 17:6; 20:29

• 45. Of servants, ch. 17:2; 19:10; 29:19, 21

• 46. Of bribery, ch. 17:8, 23; 18:16; 21:14; 28:21

• 47. Of reproof and correction, ch. 17:10; 19:25, 29; 20:30; 21:11; 25:12; 26:3; 27:5, 6, 22; 28:23; 29:1

• 48. Of ingratitude, ch. 17:13

• 49. Of friendship, ch. 17:17; 18:24; 27:9, 10, 14, 17

• 50. Of sensual pleasures, ch. 21:17; 23:1-3, 6-8, 19-21; 27:7

• 51. Of drunkenness, ch. 20:1; 23:23, 29-35

• 52. Of the universal corruption of nature, ch. 20:9

• 53. Of flattery, ch. 20:19; 26:28; 28:23; 29:5

• 54. Of undutiful children, ch. 20:20; 28:24

• 55. Of the short continuance of what is ill-gotten, ch. 20:21; 21:6, 7; 22:8; 28:8

• 56. Of revenge, ch. 20:22; 24:17, 18, 29

• 57. Of sacrilege, ch. 20:25

• 58. Of conscience, ch. 20:27; 27:19

• 59. Of the preference of moral duties before ceremonial, ch. 15:8; 21:3, 27

• 60. Of prodigality and wastefulness, ch. 21:20

• 61. The triumphs of wisdom and godliness, ch. 21:22; 24:15, 16

• 62. Of frowardness and tractableness, ch. 22:5

• 63. Of uncleanness, ch. 22:14; 23:27, 28

• 64. Of fainting in affliction, ch. 24:10

• 65. Of helping the distressed, ch. 14:11, 12;

• 66. Of loyalty to the government, ch. 24:21, 22;

• 67. Of forgiving enemies, ch. 25:21, 22

• 68. Of causeless curse, ch. 26:2

• 69. Of answering fools, ch. 26:4, 5;

• 70. Of unsettledness and unsatisfiedness, ch. 27:8, 20;

• 71. Of cowardliness and courage, ch. 28:1

• 72. The people’s interest in the character of their rulers, ch. 28:12, 28; 29:2, 16; 11:10, 11

• 73. The benefit of repentance and holy fear, ch. 28:13, 14;

• 74. The punishment of murder, ch. 28:17

• 75. Of hastening to be rich, ch. 28:20, 22;

• 76. The enmity of the wicked against the godly, ch. 29:10, 27;

• 77. The necessity of the means of grace, ch. 29:18

Be Kind To One Another Not Quarrelsome

VERSE OF THE DAY

Ephesians 4:32 (New Living Translation)

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Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Instead be gentle loving and kind to one another not quarrelsome forgive of each other just as God through Christ alone has forgiven you being tender hearted in the image of Jesus

One example comes from Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God has forgiven you.”Oct 15, 2021

What Does Ephesians 4:32 Mean? ►

And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

Ephesians 4:32(HCSB)

Verse Thoughts

Forgiveness was a matter that was dear to the heart of our compassionate God – and forgiveness paid a tremendous part in the redemption of mankind. Forgiveness of sin is what fallen man yearns for and yet is incapable of receiving, unless he comes to the foot of the cross and is washed clean by the blood of the Lamb, for there is no forgiveness of sins – except through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Forgiveness was also a theme that was close to the heart of our kind and gracious Lord Jesus and much of His teaching and training surrounds the principle of forgiveness – gracious, beautiful, unconditional forgiveness. Forgiveness was one of the final thoughts on the heart of our Messiah as He hung on the cross – and uttered those universe-shattering words, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

Forgiveness should be a subject to which we should also play close attention for forgiveness is one of the godly garments with which we have been covered and clothed – and our call to kindness, compassion and forgiveness rests on the immeasurable forgiveness and mercy that each of us have received in Christ Jesus.

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It seems to be the case that those who are not able to forgive have never come to an understanding how much they have been forgiven – for the more understanding we have of the grace that we have received the deeper our gratitude and the greater our capacity to forgive other people.

My Prayer

Loving heavenly Father, Thank You for Your grace, Your mercy, Your love and Your immeasurable forgiveness towards me. May I reflect You in my thoughts, words and deeds and I pray that I will be kind, compassionate and forgiving towards others just as You forgave me, in Christ, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/ephesians-4-32

Ephesians 4:32 Meaning of Be Kind and Compassionate

Aug 26, 2020 by Editor in Chief

Ephesians 4:32
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Explanation and Commentary of Ephesians 4:32

If only all people would follow these commands, it would be a heavenly world. Paul’s imperative here encompasses the whole of the Christian life towards one another. Though he does not say in this verse to love one another, he does show key component parts of Christian love by this statement. The previous verse dealt with anger and malice, showing that there is no place for them in the heart of a Christian. Kindness, compassion, and forgiveness are what will take the place of those things in the heart of a believer

The grounds for this behavior is that this is the way our Master, our teacher, Jesus Christ behaved towards us. His death on the cross atoned for our sin, bringing us peace with God, redemption, justification, and adoption as his sons and daughters in Christ. But the other thing Christ accomplished on the cross was a perfect example of how we should be toward others. Our kindness is grounded in God’s kindness for us in sending his Son. Our compassion is modeled on Jesus’ compassion in his earthly ministry, and on the cross. And most importantly, our forgiveness is made possible by his forgiveness of us and is a model for us to imitate toward others. Thanks to Christ’s sacrifice, we are wholly unable to see a person’s sin against us as unpardonable. If we are unable to forgive, then we have not yet been forgiven (Mt 6:15).

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Ephesians 4:32

#1 “Be kind…”
Our being is rooted in God’s creation of us. We exist because he exists and spoke us into being. As we are being, we should live in kindness. Kindness should be a state of our being.

#2 “…and compassionate to one another,”
Compassion comes from being willing to feel along with others what they might be feeling. It is to understand the state and the pain someone is in and to show that we understand.

#3 “forgiving each other,”
Forgiveness is a superpower for the Christian who wants to live in perfect peace. We forgive others because God is the ultimate rememberer of wrongs on our behalf. He wants to be the one to exact vengeance when it is necessary (Ro 12:19). Forgiveness removes anger and wrath from our shoulders and leaves us in peace.

#4 “just as in Christ God forgave you.”
We forgive because we have been forgiven. God forgave us “in Christ.” His amazing plan to save the world was to send his Son to live on the earth, to never sin, but then die for the sin of the world. Whoever believes in him has been forgiven and will be able to forgive others.

Bible Study on Ephesians 4:32

3 Reasons Ephesians 4:32 Encourages Us to ‘Be Kind to One Another’

Hope Bolinger

Author

• 2020
15 Sep

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32

This year certainly has revealed the worst sides of people. From social media to in public, people have been unkind, unloving, and uncompassionate to one another. 

In a world that promotes revenge over reconciliation, personal gain over kindness, and apathy over compassion, we may wonder how in the world we can emulate Ephesians 4:32 “be kind to one another” in an ever-growing hostile environment. 

In this article, we’ll explore the context behind this passage Paul wrote in Ephesians, what the Bible says about kindness and forgiveness (as opposed to what our world appears to promote), and how to practically exemplify being kind to one another in our own lives.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/shironosov

Get Back to What You Love

The Context of Ephesians 4:32

The Ephesian church, in the middle of a metropolis in Asia Minor that was bursting full of pagan worship, seemed to start out well. In fact, they were known as “Christ’s church.” Nevertheless, divisions appeared to infiltrate the church later. They’d forgotten the purpose behind their mission and worst of all, had forgotten to carry out all their actions in love (Revelation 2:5).

In other words, they were going through the motions. They did everything else right. They refused to succumb to the cultural norms which worshipped pagan gods such as Artemis. They persevered under heavy

But they had not the love in which they’d started (1 Corinthians 13).

Under these circumstances, Paul writes this Gospel and extols the Ephesians to in humility consider others, and to love one another.

As mentioned in this commentary, Paul uses the first three chapters of Ephesians to give this church a few doctrinal reminders. But for this chapter, he chooses to go the practical route and also to remind them why they carry out certain duties.

After all, we can do all the right things and still get it wrong if we forget our true purpose and forget to love our neighbor in the process.

Although we do live in a different cultural and historical world than that of the Ephesians, the encouragement to seek revenge has permeated the history of mankind. The idea that perpetuates our media to “clap back,” to say the last word, to argue with friends and complete strangers in Facebook comments to prove you’re right, the principle behind all of these—to be rooted in anger—has existed throughout the history of sin.

Instead of taking the prideful, wrathful route, Paul reminds believers about kindness and forgiveness. After all, Jesus has shown both to us, so why shouldn’t we, in turn, do the same for other’s

What Does the Bible Say about Kindness?

Our culture sees kindness as a weakness. The Bible says the opposite. Let’s explore some verses below about kindness and its defining factors.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. – Luke 6:35

Kindness involves loving everyone, not just those who treat us well. And not just those who are easy to love. After all, God shows kindness to everyone, even those whom we believe don’t deserve it. See the entire story of Jonah for confirmation of this.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:10

We should especially exercise kindness to brothers and sisters of Christ. No matter if our personalities clash or we don’t always agree with one another, if we have a Christian in need, we should always find an opportunity to show them kindness. 

And of course, we can point to Galatians 5:22 and show that one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is kindness. Therefore, if we walk in step with the Spirit, if we hope to further in our spiritual journey, we need to bear the fruit of kindness. 

For more verses on kindness, check out this article here.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/coffeekai

What does Ephesians 4:32 mean?

Paul’s final verse of this section offers three brief commands. First, he explicitly tells his readers to exhibit kindness. The focus is not merely on generic helpfulness. Paul is specifically thinking of compassion for other believers in the congregation.

Second, Paul uses the Greek word eusplanchnoi, which means to be “tenderhearted,” or “compassionate.” It is sometimes taken to mean “strong-hearted,” as well. Paul’s use of it here focuses on the idea of showing sympathy. Believers are not to be known for a harsh attitude, but rather for compassion. The account of the Good Samaritan offers Christ’s picture of living with compassion toward others (Luke 10:25–37).

Third, Paul commands readers to forgive one another. This instruction comes with an explanation, referring to the forgiveness believers have received from Christ (Matthew 18:21–35). Forgiveness is a unique characteristic of the Christian faith. Scripture often includes reminders of God’s forgiveness toward us. For example, Matthew 6:12, part of the “Lord’s Prayer,” asks God to “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 26:28 reminds us that the blood of Jesus was specifically “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Context Summary

Ephesians 4:17–32 is a valuable, highly practical explanation of how to live out a Christian life. Paul notes the difference between a life wallowing under the power of sin, as opposed to a life thriving in the power of Christ. Christians are called on to ”put away” the things which entangle unbelievers. This includes sins such as malice, slander, commotion, and bitterness. Instead, we should demonstrate a Christ-like attitude of love and forgiveness.

Chapter Summary

Truly understanding saving grace, as Paul explained in prior chapters, is the Christian’s first motivation for living a godly life. Here, Paul encourages believers to live in way which honors that gift. All saved Christians are part of a single, unified family, part of the ”body” of Christ. At the same time, different believers are given different talents. Some are called to positions of leadership and authority. All Christians should turn away from the ”old self” we were prior to being saved. Paul’s explanation of the ”new self” includes some basic, practical steps.

QUESTION

What does it mean to be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32)?

ANSWER

In this day of entitlement, self-promotion, and impersonal, virtual relationships, many people have forgotten what it means to be kind to one another. To Christians, who are called to become like Jesus Christ, the Bible teaches, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31–32, ESV).

The apostle Paul told the Ephesians to put away six sinful attitudes and behaviors: bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice. Bitterness is an inward frame of mind that refuses to forgive. Wrath and anger are combined here to refer to violent outbreaks of uncontrolled human rage. Clamor speaks of shouting and loud quarreling. Slander means evil speaking, and the Greek word translated “malice” implies wickedness, which is at the root of all the other sins listed here. All these practices to be rejected center on our relationships with others.

In place of these things, believers are to put on kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness. These three virtues also deal with interpersonal relationships. In the original Greek, the phrase rendered “be kind to one another” literally means “keep on becoming kind toward one another.” The graciousness of God, which is also found in Jesus Christ, shows us what it means to be kind to one another. Because God acts kindly toward us, we are to behave the same way toward others. Because Christ offered grace as the basis for our forgiveness, so too should we.

Being kind to one another is not optional for the people of God (Micah 6:8; Zechariah 7:9; 1 Peter 3:8). In the very next verses, Paul instructed the Ephesians to “imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God” (Ephesians 5:1–2, NLT). Walking in love means following the example of Jesus Christ.

Paul reiterated the teaching on kindness to the Colossians: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12–14). Paul mentioned several virtues that believers were to clothe themselves with or “put on”: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love. Again, these all have to do with personal relationships.

Compassion and kindness are closely linked. Compassion can be defined as “heartfelt sympathy or empathy toward those who are suffering or in need.” Kindness is the helpful spirit that sees someone else in need and is motivated to respond through good deeds. Kindness is the tangible action that results from compassion. Kindness goes beyond mere words; it translates into helping and serving one another (Acts 28:2).

Kindness is one of the attributes of God (Titus 3:4), one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), and one of the proofs of a faithful minister of the gospel (2 Corinthians 6:6). Being kind to one another is how we show love: “Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4).

Being kind to one another involves caring for others, bearing their burdens, and valuing them above ourselves (Romans 12:10; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:3). Kindness motivates us to speak life and encouragement to others instead of death and discouragement (Proverbs 16:24; Ephesians 4:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:11). Expressing support and affirmation instead of condemnation is characteristic of kindness (Proverbs 15:4).

Being kind to one another means finding a way to forgive rather than blame (Matthew 5:7; Luke 6:36; 10:37; James 2:13). Perhaps the most stunning example of this is found in God’s supreme act of kindness that provided for our forgiveness and salvation when He sent His Son to die for us on a cross: “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (Romans 2:4, NLT; see also Romans 11:22; Titus 3:4–7).

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Colossians and Philemon, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament by G.K. Beale

More insights from your Bible study – Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!

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