Additional Research

  1. Christ possesses the Attributes of Deity
    1. Eternity (John 8:58; 15:5; Isa. 9:6; Mic. 5:2)
    2. Omnipresence (Matthew 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13; 1:50)
    3. Omniscience (Matt. 16:21; Luke 6:8; John 2:24, 25; 6:64; 21:17)
    4. Omnipotence (Matt. 28:18; Mark 5:11-15; Phil. 3:21)
    5. Immutability (Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8)
    6. All attributes of deity belong to Christ (Col. 2:9)
  2. Christ Performs the Work of Deity
    1. Creation (John 1:3,10; Col.1:16; Heb. 1:2)Preservation (Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3)
    2. Preservation (Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3)
    3. Forgiveness of Sins (Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:24; Col.3:13)
    4. Power to raise the dead (John 5:21; 11:43)
    5. Judgement of the world (John 5:22,27; 2 Cor. 5:10)
  3. Christ Accepted the Worship Due Deity
    1. John 5:23
    2. Luke 24:52
  4. Christ is Given the Titles of Deity
    1. Son of God (Matt. 26:63-64; Mark 1:1; John 10:36)
    2. Son of man (Dan. 7:13; Mark 2:10)
    3. YHWH (Luke 1:76 [compare Mal. 3:1]; Rom 10:13 [compare Joel 2:32])
    4. God (John 1:1, 18; 20:28; Heb. 1:8)
  5. Jesus Claimed to be God
    1. By claiming to be YHWH (Luke 1:76)
    2. By accepting worship (Matt. 28; John 9)
    3. By identifying himself with God in context of monotheism (John 10:30; 17:5)
    4. By explicit claims (John 8:58)
    5. By claiming to do what only God can do (John 5:19-27; Matthew 12:5-8)
    6. By accepting the titles of deity (John 20:28; Matthew 16:16)
  6. The Apostles Claim the Jesus is God
    1. Apostolic assertions for Christ's deity can be found in John 1:1; Colossians 1:19; 2:9; Hebrews 1:8, and Titus 2:13.
  7. Messianic Proof of Christ's Deity
    1. The Old Testament says "Messiah is God."
    2. Isaiah 7:14: Immanuel
    3. Isaiah 9:6: Mighty God
    4. Isaiah 40:10: LORD God
    5. Daniel 7:13-28: Ancient of Days
    6. Micah 5:2: From Evelasting
    7. Zechariah 12:10: YHWH
    8. Zechariah 14:16: Lord of Hosts (or LORD Almighty)
    9. Psalm 45:6: God (Heb. 1:8)
    10. Psalm 110:1: LORD - (Matt.22)
    11. Psalm 118:22: Stone (Used 4 times in the New Testament)
  8. Jesus is Messiah
    1. Matthew 16:16-17,20
    2. Mark 8:29
    3. Luke 9:20
    4. Jesus alone fulfills all the prophecies
    5. Therefore Jesus is God
  9. Picture people, not horses, harnessed to a heavy wagon, pulling it along, straining with all their might. Isaiah understands the burden that sin is. But we do it to ourselves! Why? Because sin is deceitful. - From location 1133 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners
  10. The prophet says, “Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood.” That’s how it happens. Sin lies to us. It’s not as though sin fulfills its promises to make life better. It’s a drag. So why don’t we throw off the harnesses and run free? Because we are deceived — doubly so, for even as we cling to our favorite sins, so heavy but so dear to us, we also wonder, “I’m so bored. I’m so disappointed. Why isn’t God more real to me?  - From location 1135 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners 
  11. Sin is very clever; it always brings forward its reasons, its arguments. Sin knows us so well; it knows that we like to think of ourselves as highly intelligent people. So it does not just tell us, “Do this”; it gives us reasons for doing it, and they appear to be so wonderful. But the whole point is that in reality they are specious; they are empty and foolish. The reasoning is always false reasoning. The arguments are always wrong. But we start to see through the plausible arguments of compromise as we ask God to save us from our brilliant foolishness.  - From location 1153 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners 
  12. Do you realize that it is God’s will to make this earth into an extension of his throne room in Heaven? Do you realize that it is God’s will for his kingdom of glory to come into your life and for his will to be done in you as it is done in Heaven? Heaven is expanding, spreading in your direction. That is the meaning of your existence, if you will accept it and enter in. Heaven is taking over. Yield. Plodding through our daily routines, we seldom feel God’s glorious presence. We are absorbed in our own petty ambitions. But the truth is, God not only deserves to reign supreme, he does reign supreme. And his reign is glorious.  - From location 1255 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners 
  13.  Sanctification is a process by which the believer becomes increasingly holy.  The Holy Spirit affects this process in conjunction with the individual, who must choose continually to believe the truth.  The Holy Spirit works through the word of truth, and the truth becomes energized by our faith - our willful decision to believe and obey.  When faith and the Spirit work in harmony, the believer develops more like Christ, becoming increasingly useful in the work of God and his kingdom.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:14 Pg 111.
  14. When we agree in that "in the beginning God created," we admit that there is transcendent authority.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2 Pg 116.
    1. Without God there can be no justice.  Without justice there can be no mercy, only bribery and retribution.
    2. Without God there can be no holiness, no morality.  Without morality there can be no order or safety, only acts of convenience adn personal preference.
    3. Without God there can be no goodness.  With no consistent standard, we are abandoned to shifting opinions.  Without goodness there can be no punishment for evil, only violence and chaos.
  15. The Trinity - The word Trinity does not appear in the Bible.  It is a word devised as shorthand for a complex and mysterious theological belief.
  16. God alone deserves worship and has ultimate authority. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2 Deeper Discoveries, The Trinity, Pg 117.           
    1. He alone commands the respect and worship of all the created order. 
    2. God chose you to be saved (2 Thess 2:13).
    3. God acts as a potentate, exercising his will unhindered.
    4. He performs what the human mind cannot conceive.
    5. He selects according to his purpose, yet he does not violate our will by his choice.
    6. "God our Father ... loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope" (2 Thess 2:16)
    7. The Father works on our behalf, loving us regardless of our achievements and in spite of our sin.  For those who trust in his Son, his love breaks like a flood, sweeping us into the Glory of his grace - eternal life and blessing.
  17. God the Son - The Son always existed, thoroughly God and eternal.  Incarnated as Jesus the Christ, the crucified one, and resurrected by the power of God's might, he brings salvation to all people. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2 Deeper Discoveries, The Trinity, Pg 117.           
    1. Those who confess their faith in him and commit to obedience will "share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2:14).
    2. Jesus, completely God and completely human, reaches across the estrangement which sin creates, and lifts us into God's family.
    3. At His return, "we shall be gathered to Him" (2:1).  Our future rests in his claiming us, and in the wonder of his presence which we shall enjoy forever.
    4. In love he makes us heirs together with him, bestowing upon us the endowment which God shall bestow upon Him on that future day in glory.
    5. Paul prayed that "our Lord Jesus Christ himself...[will] encourage your hearts and strengthen you" (2:16).  Christ continues to work for us and in us, penetrating the heart with courage and strength so we can obey him.  On our own, we remain powerless.
  18.  God the Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit  indwells the believer because of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38-39; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:19).  In 2 Thessalonians we learn that the Spirit carries out a "sanctifying work" (2:13) in believers.  Through enlightening the Scriptures, awakening our consciences, convicting us of sin, and enabling us to act righteously, he makes us holy and useful for sacred work.
    1. In between, God speaks bluntly about the mess that his people are right now (2:6 — 4:1). His confrontation is real, but it stands within a larger context of grace. He will save his people. He will bless the whole world. He is moving us toward the Day of the Lord,2 when he will reveal himself with finality. Isaiah explains how God calculates loss and gain in our experience as he prepares us for that day.   - From location 883 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners 
  19. 1. Loss: The Lord will remove all stability (3:1-15) 
    1. A1 Social upheaval as leadership collapses (3:1-7) 
    2. B1 The root cause: “defying his glorious presence” (3:8-11) 
    3. A2 “My people” stumble in confusion (3:12) 
    4. B2 The root cause: “It is you . . .” (3:13-15) 
  20. 2. Loss: The Lord will remove all arrogant finery (3:16—4:1) 
    1. A1 The haughty women humiliated (3:16, 17) 
    2. B1 Cleaning out the glut (3:18-23) 
    3. C A new wardrobe! (3:24) 
    4. B2 Replacing the glut with emptiness (3:25, 26) 
    5. A2 The humiliated women desperate (4:1)
  21.  3. Gain: The Lord will create true beauty and security (4:2-6) 
    1. A Our only beauty and pride: the Messiah (4:2-4) 
    2. B Our only security and refuge: the Presence (4:5, 6) In 3:1 God says he is “taking away” something from his people. Then again in 3:18 he says he will “take away” something further. But in 4:2-6, the gain section, he doesn’t say what we expect. He doesn’t say that he will give something back. He promises to “create” something new. That is our gain — better than we expect or deserve. God knows how to enrich us through loss. Sometimes he takes away more than we wish he would, but only to give us more of himself forever. Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”3 And we will not gain what we cannot lose without giving up what we cannot keep. Loss for the sake of gain — this is the way of God for us.
  22. Jesus went to the heart of the law, past actions to thoughts and motivation, revealing the true desire of God is that people live in holiness.  It is not a matter of rules, but of spirit.  But the law cannot justify or save or forgive anyone.  The law points out our sin.  It confronts us with a standard too high to attain.  It mirrors a God beyond us, whom we cannot know or please without his help.  The law is meant to drive us to Christ.  One of the clearest statements in the Bible regarding this truth is Romans 320: "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law."  This does not need any explanation.  And yet people continue to rely on effort, good deeds, or keeping of the law (God's or their own) to attain heaven.  But God is rich in mercy and does not give us the law in order to leave us in a state of repair.  He reveals the standard of his character so we may understand our tremendous need.  He then offers a way out of the dilemma.  It is Christ.  Through Christ's death on the cross, he satisfies the demands of the law and the curse of its judgement.  His resurrection proved him victorious.  So the law drives us to Christ, and then Christ drives us back to the law.  Now we can plunge to the depths of its intent, not by chaining ourselves to legalisms, but by loving obedience issuing from a changed heart.  We are no longer left in despair, but we are given hope. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 1 pg. 158.
  23. In common English usage the word “flesh” refers almost exclusively to the fleshy parts of the body and is related to the “skin.” Yet this is not what the word means in the Bible. To be sure, it can at times mean “skin.” But generally it means the entire individual—composed of a body, soul, and spirit—which since the fall is constantly motivated by a sinful nature. We see the first instance of this broader definition in the early chapters of Genesis when Adam says, after God has brought the first woman to him, “‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (2:23–24). This last phrase does not mean that the man and the woman were to be united sexually only, though that was an important part of their union, but rather that they were to be united on each level of their being—body, soul, and spirit—so that they would thereafter be what we might conceivably call one organism. The word “flesh,” therefore, denotes the whole of man’s being. - From commentary on John 17:2 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  24. Godly people must labour and expect reproach; they must do well, and yet expect at the same time to suffer ill: toil and trouble are to be expected by us in this world, not only as men, but as saints.  Those who labour and suffer reproach in the service of God and the work of religion may depend upon the living God that they shall not lose by it. Let this encourage them, We trust in the living God. The consideration of this, that the God who has undertaken to be our pay-master is the living God, who does himself live for ever and is the fountain of life to all who serve him, should encourage us in all our services and in all our sufferings for him, especially considering that he is the Saviour of all men. (1.) By his providences he protects the persons, and prolongs the lives, of the children of men. (2.) He has a general good-will to the eternal salvation of all men thus far that he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. He desires not the death of sinners; he is thus far the Saviour of all men that none are left in the same desperate condition that fallen angels are in. Now, if he be thus the Saviour of all men, we may hence infer that much more he will be the rewarder of those who seek and serve him; if he has such a good-will for all his creatures, much more will he provide well for those who are new creatures, who are born again. He is the Saviour of all men, but especially of those that believe; and the salvation he has in store for those that believe is sufficient to recompense them for all their services and sufferings. Here we see, [1.] The life of a Christian is a life of labour and suffering: We labour and suffer. [2.] The best we can expect to suffer in the present life is reproach for our well-doing, for our work of faith and labour of love. [3.] True Christians trust in the living God; for cursed is the man that trusts in man, or in any but the living God; and those that trust in him shall never be ashamed. Trust in him at all times. [4.] God is the general Saviour of all men, as he has put them into a salvable state; but he is in a particular manner the Saviour of true believers; there is then a general and a special redemption. - The Matthew Henry Commentary from the MacSword Program - 1 Timothy 4:6
  25. To sin is to fall short of God’s holy standards. Sin is what ended Eden’s Paradise. And all of us, like Adam and Eve, are sinners. You are a sinner. That’s the first thing you need to know. Sin deceives us and makes us think that wrong is right and right is wrong (Proverbs 14:12). - From location 821 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  26. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you. -  John 15:9.   When evil men crucified Jesus, killed Him, they had no power to change Him. They could not alter the Person or the personality of the Son of God. Putting Him on the cross did not drain away any of His divine affection for a lost race. The best thing we know about our Lord and Savior is that He loves the sinner. He has always loved the outcast-and for that we should be glad, for we, too, were once outcasts! Prayer:  Lord, help me to remember that I was an outcast. Thank you for reminding me what that means, and for making me one of yours. - From the August 14, 2015 Tozer Devotional at www.cmalliance.org/devotions/tozer
  27. Christ Living in Us
    1. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)"
    2. In these sublime words, we are given profound insight concerning the grace of God at work through our intimate relationship with Christ. This majestic statement begins with our spiritual death, that another might live in and through our lives. Finally, we are told how we are to respond, so this divine arrangement can proceed as intended.
    3. First, our spiritual death is in view. "I have been crucified with Christ." If we are believers in the Lord Jesus, we died with Him upon that cross. The cross of Christ is now our testimony of rejoicing, for by that cross we escaped the dead world of unredeemed humanity. "But God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14). Although the cross is the end of our old life in Adam, that is not the end of our story. "Even when we were dead in trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)" (Ephesians 2:5). By His grace, we were raised with Christ. We died with Him, that we now might live with Him. "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him" (Romans 6:8).
    4. The astounding consequence of these truths is that we are not the ones producing our Christian life. "It is no longer I who live." This reality is radically contrary to man's natural thinking. If we are not to manufacture our life with God, what other option could possibly be available? The wonderful answer is: "Christ lives in me." True Christian living is to be Christ living in and through our lives. How can this be accomplished? We still have an ongoing human experience in flesh and bones bodies: "the life which I now live in the flesh." Yes, but this life is to be lived by faith: "I live by faith in the Son of God." As we put our trust in Jesus day by day, He lives in and through our thoughts, our words, our choices, our priorities, our relationships.
    5. Once again, this is God's grace at work through humility and faith. Humility is expressed by embracing this confession: "it is no longer I who live." Faith is expressed by counting upon this truth: "Christ lives in me."   - From the DBD 4/10 message in the MacSword Program.
  28. At the cross, for only here is the perfection of God’s sovereignty, justice, righteousness, wisdom, and love abundantly and unmistakably displayed. We see God’s sovereignty in the way in which the death of Christ was planned, promised, and then executed, without the slightest deviation from the prophecies of the Old Testament. We see God’s justice in sin actually being punished. Without the cross God could have forgiven our sin gratuitously (to speak from a human perspective), but it would not have been just. Only in Christ is that justice satisfied. We see God’s righteousness in recognition of the fact that only Jesus, the righteous One, could pay sin’s penalty. We see God’s wisdom in the planning and ordering of such a great salvation. We see his love, for it is only at the cross that we know beyond doubt that God loves us even as he loves Jesus. - From commentary on John 17:4 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  29. God does become angry, but he tempers his anger with justice and love. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1213.
  30. In 3:7–11 the work of Christ is interpreted as a new Exodus. This method of interpretation has appeared in other passages of the New Testament. Luke called the death of Christ an “exodus” (Luke 9:31). The word “departure” in the NIV is the Greek term for “exodus.” Paul described the death of Christ as a true passover (1 Cor. 5:7), and Peter pictured the sacrifice of Jesus as “a lamb without blemish or defect”(1 Pet. 1:19). Christ resembled the living rock leading his people through the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:4). Earthly Canaan was the goal of the wandering Israelites. The writer of Hebrews emphasized that his readers were moving toward a heavenly rest which Jesus would provide. This was the argument of Hebrews 3:7–4:11. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1477.
  31. Although the Bible sometimes refers to Christ as God's Word (John 1:14), the reference here is not speaking of Jesus Christ. Here we have a general reference to God's message to human beings. In the past God had spoken to human beings through dreams, angelic appearances, and miracles. He still can use those methods today, but our primary contact with God is through his written Word, the Bible. God's Word will include any method God uses to communicate with human beings.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 4,  at location 1798.
  32. Third, God's Word penetrates the soul and spirit.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 4,  at location 1806.
  33. “If the dark things do not become plain then the plain things will become dark” (Thomas Hewitt).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 5,  at location 2370.
  34. The Old Testament made a distinction between a sin committed in ignorance and one done “defiantly” (Num. 15:28,30). When an individual sinned without knowing it, God imputed guilt, but he prescribed an offering through which the sinner could receive forgiveness (Lev. 5:17–19). The Old Testament made no provision for supplying mercy to the willful sinner.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6,  at location 2494.
  35. The oath God offered guaranteed that Jesus would provide a better and more secure covenant for his people. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 22, at location 3360.
  36. The shed blood of Christ affects the conscience (9:14).  It removes moral guilt and gives forgiveness and peace to sinners.  Christ's sacrifice allows believers to enjoy fellowship with God.  Real spiritual cleansing provides forgiveness and an incentive to holy living.  Believers enjoy this privilege through Jesus Christ.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 9, C. Ceremonial Cleansing (v 13.), at location 4284.
  37. Christianity has both a vertical and horizontal dimension.  Vertically we respond to the God of peace.  Horizontally, we love and relate to other believers. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, VII. Teaching Outline at location 5980.
  38. James I:17: Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, 17. Here observe, 1. God is the Father of lights. The visible light of the sun and the heavenly bodies is from him. He said, Let there be light, and there was light. Thus God is at once represented as the Creator of the sun and in some respects compared to it. "As the sun is the same in its nature and influences, though the earth and clouds, oft interposing, make it seem to us as varying, by its rising and setting, and by its different appearances, or entire withdrawment, when the change is not in it; so God is unchangeable, and our changes and shadows are not from any mutability or shadowy alterations in him, but from ourselves."--Baxter. The Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. What the sun is in nature, God is in grace, providence, and glory; aye, and infinitely more. For, 2. Every good gift is from him. As the Father of lights, he gives the light of reason. The inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding, Job xxxii. 8. He gives also the light of learning: Solomon's wisdom in the knowledge of nature, in the arts of government, and in all his improvements, is ascribed to God. The light of divine revelation is more immediately from above. The light of faith, purity, and all manner of consolation is from him. So that we have nothing good but what we receive from God, as there is no evil or sin in us, or done by us, but what is owing to ourselves.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of James, Chapter 1, v. 17.
  39. Asceticism can be an attempt to win favor with God or man. It’s one thing to wish to please God but another to try to earn one’s standing before him through self-denial. The ascetic lifestyle can be a bid to impress God and others with our spirituality. Christ condemned the Pharisees for trying to impress people with their public self-denial of giving, prayer, and fasting (Matthew 6:1-18). Impure motives can drive ascetics as strongly as materialists.
  40. The reference to Christ as Shepherd in Hebrews 13:20 relates to Christ as one who was raised from the dead.  The idea seems to be that Christ experienced resurrection to his own people. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, VI Deeper Discoveries, E. Shepherd of the Sheep (v. 20)  at location 5951. 
  41. Christians must enjoy togetherness.  We must not allow our practice of Christianity to degenerate into self-seeking individual choices.  Believers who move forward for Christ like a mighty army find encouragement from common commitment and enthusiasm.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, B. A Right Response to God (vv.10-16), Supporting Idea, at location 5755.
  42. Christ's death was the climax of the Old Testament age and the beginning of the New Testament era.  Christ's coming made the time of his death a fulfillment.  His death on the cross removed or cancelled the sin of those who respond in faith to him..  The first coming of Christ brought in the final state of affairs.  The new age of the Messiah has started.  Whenever Jesus returns, he will conclude the age.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 9, F. The End of the Ages (v. 26), at location 4301.
  43. The Old and New Covenant.
    A. D. 62.
          Hebrews 6:  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.   7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.   8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:   9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.   10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:   11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.   12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.   13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
    1. In this part of the chapter, the apostle illustrates and confirms the superior excellency of the priesthood of Christ above that of Aaron, from the excellency of that covenant, or that dispensation of the covenant of grace, of which Christ was the Mediator ( 6): his ministry is more excellent, by how much he is the Mediator of a better covenant. The body and soul too of all divinity (as some observe) consist very much in rightly distinguishing between the two covenants--the covenant of works and the covenant of grace; and between the two dispensations of the covenant of grace--that under the Old Testament and that under the New. Now observe,
    2.       I. What is here said of the old covenant, or rather of the old dispensation of the covenant of grace: of this it is said, 1. That it was made with the fathers of the Jewish nation at mount Sinai ( 9), and Moses was the Mediator of that covenant, when God took them by the hand, to lead them out of the land of Egypt, which intimates the great affection, condescension, and tender care of God towards them. 2. That this covenant was not found faultless ( 7, 8); it was a dispensation of darkness and dread, tending to bondage, and only a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ; it was perfect in its kind, and fitted to answer its end, but very imperfect in comparison of the gospel. 3. That it was not sure or stedfast; for the Jews continued not in that covenant, and the Lord regarded them not, 9. They dealt ungratefully with their God, and cruelly with themselves, and fell under God's displeasure. God will regard those who remain in his covenant, but will reject those who cast away his yoke from them. 4. That it is decayed, grown old, and vanisheth away, 13. It is antiquated, canceled, out of date, of no more use in gospel times than candles are when the sun has risen. Some think the covenant of peculiarity did not quite decay till the destruction of Jerusalem, though it was forfeited at the death of Christ, and was made old, and was now to vanish and perish, and the Levitical priesthood vanished with it.
    3.       II. What is here said of the New-Testament dispensation, to prove the superior excellency of Christ's ministry. It is said,
      1.       1. That it is a better covenant ( 6), a more clear and comfortable dispensation and discovery of the grace of God to sinners, bringing in holy light and liberty to the soul. It is without fault, well ordered in all things. It requires nothing but what it promises grace to perform. It accepts of godly sincerity, accounting it gospel perfection. Every transgression does not turn us out of covenant; all is put into a good and safe hand.
      2.       2. That it is established upon better promises, more clear and express, more spiritual, more absolute. The promises of spiritual and eternal blessings are in this covenant positive and absolute; the promises of temporal blessings are with a wise and kind proviso, as far as shall be for God's glory and his people's good. This covenant contains in it promises of assistance and acceptance in duty, promises of progress and perseverance in grace and holiness, of bliss and glory in heaven, which were more obscurely shadowed forth by the promises of the land of Canaan, a type of heaven.
      3.       3. It is a new covenant, even that new covenant that God long ago declared he would make with the house of Israel, that is, all the Israel of God; this was promised in Jer. xxxi. 31, 32, and accomplished in Christ. This will always be a new covenant, in which all who truly take hold of it shall be always found preserved by the power of God. It is God's covenant; his mercy, love, and grace moved for it; his wisdom devised it; his Son purchased it; his wisdom devised it; his Son purchased it; his Spirit brings souls into it, and builds them up in it.
      4.       4. The articles of this covenant are very extraordinary, which are sealed between God and his people by baptism and the Lord's supper; whereby they bind themselves to their part, and God assures them he will do his part; and his is the main and principal part, on which his people depend for grace and strength to do theirs. Here,
        1.       (1.) God articles with his people that he will put his laws into their minds and write them in their hearts, 10. He once wrote his laws to them, now he will write his laws in them; that is, he will give them understanding to know and to believe his law; he will give them memories to retain them; he will give them hearts to love them and consciences to recognize them; he will give them courage to profess them and power to put them in practice; the whole habit and frame of their souls shall be a table and transcript of the law of God. This is the foundation of the covenant; and, when this is laid, duty will be done wisely, sincerely, readily, easily, resolutely, constantly, and comfortably.
        2.       (2.) He articles with them to take them into a near and very honourable relation to himself. [1.] He will be to them a God; that is, he will be all that to them, and do all that for them, that God can be and do. Nothing more can be said in a thousand volumes than is comprehended in these few words: I will be a God to them. [2.] They shall be to him a people, to love, honour, observe, and obey him in all things; complying with his cautions, conforming to his commands, comporting with his providences, copying out his example, taking complacency in his favour. This those must do and will do who have God for their God; this they are bound to do as their part of the contract; this they shall do, for God will enable them to do it, as an evidence that he is their God and that they are his people; for it is God himself who first founds the relation, and then fills it up with grace suitable and sufficient, and helps them in their measure to fill it up with love and duty; so that God engages both for himself and them.
        3.       (3.) He articles with them that they shall grow more and more acquainted with their God ( 11): They shall all know me from the least to the greatest, insomuch that there shall not be so much need of one neighbour teaching another the knowledge of God. Here observe, [1.] In the want of better instruction, one neighbour should be teaching another to know the Lord, as they have ability and opportunity for it. [2.] This private instruction shall not be so necessary under the New Testament as it was under the Old. The old dispensation was shadowy, dark, ritual, and less understood; their priests preached but seldom, and but a few at a time, and the Spirit of God was more sparingly given out. But under the new dispensation there shall be such abundance of public qualified preachers of the gospel, and dispensers of ordinances statedly in the solemn assemblies, and so great a flocking to them, as doves to their windows, and such a plentiful effusion of the Spirit of God to make the ministration of the gospel effectual, that there shall be a mighty increase and spreading of Christian knowledge in persons of all sorts, of each sex, and of all ages. O that this promise might be fulfilled in our days, that the hand of God may be with his ministers, that a great number may believe and be turned to the Lord!
        4.       (4.) God articles with them about the pardon of their sins, as what always accompanies the true knowledge of God ( 12): For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, &c. Observe, [1.] The freeness of this pardon. It does not result from merit in man, but from mercy in God; he pardons for his own name's sake. [2.] The fullness of this pardon; it extends to their unrighteousness, sins, and iniquities; to all kinds of sin, to sins highly aggravated. [3.] The fixedness of this pardon. It is so final and so fixed that God will remember their sins no more; he will not recall his pardon; he will not only forgive their sins, but forget them, treat them as if he had forgotten them. This pardoning mercy is connected with all other spiritual mercies. Unpardoned sin prevents mercy, and pulls down judgments; but the pardon of sin prevents judgment, and opens a wide door to all spiritual blessings; it is the effect of that mercy that is from everlasting, and the earnest of that mercy that shall be to everlasting. This is the excellency of the new dispensation, and these are the articles of it; and therefore we have no reason to repine, but great reason to rejoice that the former dispensation is antiquated and has vanished away.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 8, vv. 6-13.
  44. To say Jesus is our mediator means more than that he was our middleman. His service as our mediator guaranteed our salvation. Since his priesthood endures forever (Hebrews 7:22–25), the covenant he established will last eternally. Christ both stands with and between God and lost human beings, guaranteeing that lost sinners can find God.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, Deeper Discoveries, B. Mediator (v.6), at location 3946.
  45. Mediator (v. 6) This is the first appearance of a word (mesites) which appears also in Hebrews 9:15 and  Hebrews 12:24 (see also Gal. 3:19–20; 1 Tim. 2:5). The mediator was an arbitrator or a go-between for two parties. As the mediator of a covenant between God and human beings, Jesus showed a concern to preserve the honor of God from all stain. He also looked with unrelenting zeal for sinners whom he could rescue and reclaim.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, Deeper Discoveries, B. Mediator (v.6), at location 3941.
  46. The apostle sets before the Hebrews the necessary parts of Christ's priesthood, or what it was that belonged to that office, in conformity to what every high priest is ordained to, 3, 4. 1. Every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices. Whatever was brought by the people to be presented to God, whether expiatory sacrifices, or peace-offerings, or thank-offerings, must be offered by the priest, who was to expiate their guilt by the blood of the sacrifice, and perfume their gifts and services by his holy incense, to render their persons and performances typically acceptable; so then it necessarily belongs to the priesthood of Christ that he should have somewhat to offer; and he, as the antitype, had himself to offer, his human nature upon the altar of his divine nature, as the great atoning sacrifice that finished transgression, and made an end of sin once for all; and he has the incense of his own righteousness and merits too to offer with all that his people offer up to God by him, to render them acceptable. We must not dare to approach to God, or to present any thing to him, but in and through Christ, depending upon his merits and mediation; for if we are accepted, it is in the Beloved. 2. Christ must now execute his priesthood in heaven, in the holy of holies, the true tabernacle which the Lord hath fixed. Thus the type must be fully answered; having finished the work of sacrificing here, he must go into heaven, to present his righteousness and to make intercession there. For, (1.) If Christ were on earth, he would not be a priest ( 4), that is, not according to the Levitical law, as not being of the line of that priesthood; and so long as that priesthood continued there must be a strict regard paid to the divine institution in everything. (2.) All the services of the priest, under the law, as well as every thing in that tabernacle which was framed according to the pattern in the mount, were only exemplars and shadows of heavenly things, 5. Christ is the substance and end of the law for righteousness. Something therefore there must be in Christ's priesthood that answers to the high priest's entering within the veil to make intercession, without which he could not have been a perfect priest; and what is this but the ascension of Christ into heaven, and his appearance there in the sight of God for his people, to present their prayers, and plead their cause? So that, if he had still continued on earth, he could not have been a perfect priest; and an imperfect one he could not be.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 8, vv. 1-5.
  47. At the end of The Invaded Church Donald Bloesch talks about what evangelicals must do to change the world, and he says that what is needed is not simply an improved social environment but “a new kind of man.” That is entirely right. That is what is needed. Then he goes on to give examples, and he gets into the area of racism and analyzes it like this: “For modern secular humanism, including Marxism, the poison of racism can be removed through social reform and education. Biblical Christianity sees this problem in a different light. The real enemy is racial and cultural pride, not ignorance. And behind this pride is unbelief, hardness of heart, what the Bible calls original sin. … Laws are necessary to protect the defenseless, but they can only hold the dike against sin. It is the gospel alone that takes away sin, and this means that the final solution to racism and other social ills is biblical evangelism.” - From commentary on John 17:17 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  48. The earthly ministry of Jesus served only as a shadow and copy of his real priestly ministry in heaven. The work of the Levitical priests only served as a preview of the atoning work of Christ.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v.5, at location 3783.
  49. The ministry he exercised on earth was a preparation for his ministry in heaven. Jesus' heavenly high priesthood depended on the offering of a perfect earthly sacrifice followed by his ascension to be seated before God in heaven. In heaven Jesus carried on a far greater priestly ministry than any earthly priest enjoyed.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v.4, at location 3777.
  50. The true tabernacle in which Christ carries on his service for sinners is located in heaven. Verse 1 assumes that Christ is at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven. The same point appears in 1:3. The heavenly location means God is the source of strength to support and enable Christ's work. This certifies that Christ will be successful and effective in his heavenly labors.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v.2, at location 3759.
  51. Jesus holds his priesthood without change. Although Jesus has died, his priesthood has continued to function. Jesus' death was not his cessation of being. His resurrection allowed him to live forever. His permanence stands in contrast with the transience of other priests. With Jesus nothing has changed. He still holds his office of priesthood. For eternity he knows and helps his people. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, vv. 23-24, at location 3380.
  52. Because Jesus was a better High Priest, this new covenant introduced a better hope. Jesus' life provided strength for turning weak people into spiritual champions (see chapter 11). His death provided a basis for the acceptance by God of sinners into his family.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v. 22, at location 3371.
  53. Verse 21b refers to the first half of Psalm 110:4 to show that God's unchanging plan lay behind the priesthood of Melchizedek. Whenever God made a divine oath, he did not change his mind. Anyone who questioned the reality of this priesthood would have to contend with the mighty authority of God who had established the order.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 21, at location 3356.
  54. An important difference between the Aaronic priests and the priestly order of Melchizedek was God's oath that established the priesthood of Melchizedek. The Levitical order which Aaronic priests followed was based on the Law, but it did not include an oath.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 20-21, at location 3351.
  55. In these seven verses are listed four evidences of the greatness of the priesthood of Melchizedek: Abraham gave him tithes. Melchizedek blessed Abraham. Melchizedek had an eternal priesthood. Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v. 7:9-10 at location 3253.
  56. 7:6b–7. Melchizedek not only received tithes from Abraham, but he also blessed the patriarch. The act of blessing showed the acceptance of the implied superiority. Anyone who read the account in the Old Testament would see this principle without additional explanation. Abraham acknowledged the greatness of Melchizedek by accepting the blessing from him. Jewish readers would perceive that the lesser person is blessed by the greater.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v. 7:6b-7 at location 3228.
  57. Melchizedek, however, was different. He did not receive tithes from any special commandment in the Law but from his inherent superiority. Abraham's spontaneous action implied Melchizedek's superiority. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v. 7:5-6a at location 3223.
  58. The greatness of Melchizedek provided a symbol of our great access to God.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v. 7:3 at location 3213.
  59. The record about Melchizedek was arranged so that it demonstrated some truths which applied more fully to Jesus than to Melchizedek. Melchizedek was a figure of Christ, but Christ was the reality.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v. 7:3 at location 3200. 
  60. If we take the statements literally, we might conclude that Melchizedek was a heavenly being. The entire argument of Hebrews concerning Melchizedek assumed that he was a human being who resembled Christ in several ways. To the writer of Hebrews, the silences of Scripture were inspired as well as its direct statements. This verse does not claim that the priest-king Melchizedek appeared on earth without parents or a family. Melchizedek was a mortal human being. The silence of Scripture about his birth, death, and genealogy was a type which resembled the eternal priesthood of Christ. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v. 7:3 at location 3188.
  61. Some Jewish opponents of Christianity may have suggested that Christian teaching was a departure from the promises that Israel anticipated. The Christian hope was a fulfillment of the promises God had earlier offered to Israel. What God had done through Christ was a necessary step for both Jews and Gentiles to make. The work of Christ was not a change from God's previously announced plans for Israel. It was the confirmation of the hope of blessing the nations which he had earlier given to Abraham (Gen. 22:17–18). The heirs of that promise were the writer and his readers, who experienced in the gospel the reality of the oath God swore to Abraham.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, v. 6:17 at location 2867.
  62. The New Testament does not distinguish clearly between sins of ignorance and sins committed willfully. Hesitant, fearful sinners as well as stubborn, hard-headed sinners can find forgiveness in Jesus by repentance and faith. The promise that God “will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) is available for all who confess their sins.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6,  at location 2499.
  63. The mercy seat was the location in the tabernacle before which God offered grace through the high priest to his people during the Old Testament era.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 4,  at location 2051.
  64. What is the throne of grace? Some see it as a reference to Jesus, who is our high priest. Those who follow this interpretation emphasize that God has exalted him to his right hand, and those who come to Jesus receive his help in time of need. It is probably best to take the throne of grace as God's heavenly throne. Christ sits upon this throne at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 1:3). Christians who come before this throne enter into the very presence of God. Here God offers them all the mercy and strength which they need for making a timely response to life's crises and trials.  All three of the preceding interpretations emphasize the availability of God's grace for struggling Christians. The most straightforward interpretation is to see this as God's throne where he freely gives grace to wavering believers. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 4,  at location 2046, 2051, 2052, 2056.
  65. Early Christians saw a typological relationship between Joshua, who tried to lead his people into earthly Canaan, and Jesus, who led his people into a heavenly inheritance. Typology finds a divinely intended relationship between the events of the Old Testament and those of the New Testament.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 4,  at location 1997.
  66. We should not think of dividing the soul from the spirit. God's message is capable of penetrating the impenetrable. It can divide what is indivisible. Fourth, God's message is discerning. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. It passes judgment on our feelings and our thoughts. What we regard as secret and hidden, God brought out for inspection by the discerning power of his Word. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 4,  at location 1807.
  67. This verse contains four statements about God's Word. First, it is living. God is a living God (Heb. 3:12). His message is dynamic and productive. It causes things to happen. It drives home warnings to the disobedient and promises to the believer. Second, God's Word is active, an emphasis virtually identical in meaning with the term living. God's Word is not something you passively hear and then ignore. It actively works in our lives, changes us, and sends us into action for God. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 4,  at location 1802.
  68. Third, God's people enjoy a present rest. This rest provided the strength of Christ for believers as they faced a variety of hardships and persecution (4:10). Christ himself promises this rest for those who follow him (Matt. 11:28–30). We may call this “present rest.” Even though this rest is available in the present, believers will enter into a more complete enjoyment of this rest in the future after our resurrection with Christ. This fact leads some interpreters to suggest that a fourth meaning of rest is that of an eternal rest for God's people. Believers can enjoy present benefits from their relationship to Christ, but these benefits will be intensified after the return of Christ and the resurrection of believers (1 Cor. 15:52–58). This would be called “eternal rest.”  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1514.
  69. This method of interpretation in which a writer finds a divinely intended correspondence between events in the Old Testament and those in the New Testament is called typology. Typology finds a similarity in some area between a person, event, or thing in the Old Testament and a person, event, or thing in the New Testament. The use of typology helps us to see the New Testament person, event, or institution as a fulfillment of that mentioned in the Old Testament.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1485.
  70. He is alive. He stays in constant communication with his people through Scripture and the Holy Spirit.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1260.
  71. The God of Israel, the God of the Old Testament, the Father of Jesus Christ was a living God. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1258.
  72. Two actions of the Jews in the wilderness contributed to divine anger. First, the Jews habitually strayed from God. Second, they did not know God's ways. One sin reinforced the other. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1213.
  73. 3:10–11. Does God really become angry? We can answer “yes” to that question, but God's anger does not resemble human anger. We become angry when a sales clerk takes too long or when a slow car forces us to wait at a red light. God's anger always has a just cause, and it does not show a peevish nature in God but a consistent opposition to sin.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1207.
  74. From God the Father, the fountain of all good. Every blessing, every comfort, comes to us from God as a Father; he is the Father of all by creation, but of the good by adoption and regeneration. And the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour, as the way and means of procurement and conveyance. All is from the Father by the Son, who is Lord by nature, heir of all things, and our Lord, Redeemer, and head, ordering and ruling his members. All are put under him; we hold of him, as in capite, and owe subjection and obedience to him, who is also Jesus and Christ, the anointed Saviour, and especially our Saviour, who believe in him, delivering us from sin and hell, and bringing us to heaven and happiness.  - The Matthew Henry Commentary (MHCC) from the MacSword Program - Titus 1-1, III.
  75. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; and whoso is appointed and called, must preach the word. Grace is the free favour of God, and acceptance with him. Mercy, the fruits of the favour, in the pardon of sin, and freedom from all miseries both here and hereafter. And peace is the effect and fruit of mercy. Peace with God through Christ who is our Peace, and with the creatures and ourselves. Grace is the fountain of all blessings. Mercy, and peace, and all good, spring out of this.  - The Matthew Henry Concise Commentary (MHCC) from the MacSword Program - Titus 1-4
  76. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong...Let him who boasts boast in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:27, 31)  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 3 Timothy 4:17 pg. 326. 
  77. God placed mankind on Earth to fill it, rule it, and develop it to God’s glory. But that plan has never been fulfilled. Should we therefore conclude that God’s plan was ill-conceived, thwarted, or abandoned? No. These conclusions do not fit the character of an all-knowing, all-wise, sovereign God. God determined from the beginning that he will redeem mankind and restore the earth. Why? So his original plan will be fulfilled. - From location 1735 of the Kindle Book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn 
  78. We must pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.  Christianity does not consist merely of prohibitions, but of positive and powerful actions.  Righteousness, faith, love and peace  - these are common words, easily tossed around in Christian conversation, but they are the essence of the gospel.     Righteousness means to live uprightly, doing good as empowered by God.  Faith rests on trust in God's revelation and character; it consists of a genuine relationship with God.  Love consists of self-sacrifice, living for the good of others with caring actions.  Peace demonstrates itself through harmonious relations with God and others. - The Matthew Henry Commentary from the MacSword Program - 2 Timothy 2:22, pg. 288-289.
  79. The law produces accountability to God. And this accountability is universal. "All the world (is) guilty before God." There are no exceptions. Everyone in all the world is included. The law of God reveals to all humanity what sin really is.  Sin is not a cultural phenomenon. It is a divine revelation of what is absolutely unacceptable before God in light of His holy character. "By the law is the knowledge of sin." Man would have no insight into this matter were it not for the law of God. "I would not have known sin except through the law" (Romans 7:7a). Murder, adultery, stealing, lying, coveting, etc. are all revealed to mankind by God's law. "For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, 'You shall not covet'" (Romans 7:7b). Through God's law we are all accountable to Him for our sins.   - From the DBD 1/13 message in the MacSword Program.
  80. Legalism - Rules are good when used to maintain proper boundaries in life and to create a harmonious and orderly existence.  But when adherence to rules becomes an attempt to placate God or to earn righteousness or salvation, they become deadly.  Rules elevate human achievement and devalue the goodness of God.  There is only one way to restore and maintain relationship with the holy God - trust in his Son, Jesus Christ.  Legalism enslaves people to joyless toil.  Such systems misrepresent the God of grace and belittle the work of Christ on the cross.  They lead people down a path of grinding effort, at the end of which there is no God - only insecurities, mental anguish, and more labor. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 4:3 pg. 204.
  81. There is a wide variety of ways in which Satan peddles his twisted inventions.  All deceptions come from Satan's realm, but he uses many genteel ways to fashion these lies, spreading idea which are anti-God.  Evil frequently begins in decent places - in philosophical discussions at the university, in debates at seminary, in sermons at church.  Falsehood often comes dressed up and attractive. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 4:1-2 pg. 203.
  82. Asceticism can be an attempt to win favor with God or man. It’s one thing to wish to please God but another to try to earn one’s standing before him through self-denial. The ascetic lifestyle can be a bid to impress God and others with our spirituality. Christ condemned the Pharisees for trying to impress people with their public self-denial of giving, prayer, and fasting (Matthew 6:1-18). Impure motives can drive ascetics as strongly as materialists. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn at page 19, at page 24, at location 714.
  83. God is glorified when our suffering is brought about by our faithfulness to Christ (1 Peter 2:20), not when we bring it upon ourselves by attempting to appear faithful. He is glorified by outwardly focused self-denial for the good of others, not by inwardly focused self-deprivation for our own benefit (including attempts to remove our guilt feelings). God is looking for those who are willing to become martyrs for his purposes, not those eager to be martyrs for their own purposes. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn at page 19, at page 25, at location 719.
  84. Asceticism can lead to unfair condemnation of others who choose a different lifestyle.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn at page 19, at page 25, at location 730.
  85. An ascetic’s attempts to deny the flesh often become just another way of feeding and indulging it. We are called to pursue God, not sainthood—or the appearance of sainthood.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn at page 19, at page 25, at location 735.
  86. Modern conveniences can free up time to pursue spiritual aims as well as enhance ministry. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn at page 19, at page 25, at location 736.
  87. It would be disastrous if every believer dropped out of society’s mainstream and stopped making money.  If everyone took a vow of poverty, who would support the Missionaries of Charity? Who would provide the medical advances that their ministries utilize, or make the glasses they wear, or build the trucks and repair the planes used to deliver their supplies? St. Francis and his band refused to touch money and often begged for food, but someone had to earn the money required to care for them. Generating income is a necessary part of life, not something unspiritual. It would be inconsistent to describe those who produce material goods as “worldly” or “secular,” while spiritualizing those who don’t produce anything but depend on those who do. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn at page 19, at page 26, at location 743.
  88. Crowns As Rewards Crowns are a common symbol of ruling power, though they may symbolize other rewards as well. Five crowns are mentioned in the New Testament: 1. The Crown of Life—given for faithfulness to Christ in persecution or martyrdom (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). 2. The Incorruptible Crown—given for determination, discipline, and victory in the Christian life (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). 3. The Crown of Rejoicing—given for pouring oneself into others in evangelism and discipleship (1 Thessalonians 2:19; Philippians 4:1). 4. The Crown of Glory—given for faithfully representing Christ in a position of spiritual leadership (1 Peter 5:1-4). (Note that a prerequisite is being “not greedy for money, but eager to serve.” A Christian leader’s preoccupation with money can forfeit this reward.) 5. The Crown of Righteousness—given for joyfully purifying and readying oneself to meet Christ at his return (2 Timothy 4:6-8). There’s nothing in this list that suggests it is exhaustive. There may be innumerable crowns and types of crowns and rewards unrelated to crowns. But all are graciously given by the Lord Jesus in response to the faithful efforts of the believer.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 2792.
  89. Instead he was a Savior about to endure divine wrath. Listen to his words: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” The “cup” is not a reference to a wooden cross; it is a reference to divine judgment. It is the cup of God’s wrath.7 This is what Jesus is recoiling from in the garden. All God’s holy wrath and hatred toward sin and sinners, stored up since the beginning of the world, is about to be poured out on him, and he is sweating blood at the thought of it.  - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 532.
  90. What happened at the Cross was not primarily about nails being thrust into Jesus’ hands and feet but about the wrath due your sin and my sin being thrust upon his soul. In that holy moment, all the righteous wrath and justice of God due us came rushing down like a torrent on Christ himself. Some say, “God looked down and could not bear to see the suffering that the soldiers were inflicting on Jesus, so he turned away.” But this is not true. God turned away because he could not bear to see your sin and my sin on his Son.  - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 537.
  91. Baptism is the clear, public, symbolic picture of the new life we have in Christ. As illustrated in baptism, we have died with Christ—died to our sin and died to ourselves—and we have been raised to life with him.  - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1354.
  92. Principals from Matthew 2:  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 23, 24.
    1. God protects his own
    2. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of all God's promises to Israel and to us.
    3. God will use anyone for his purposes, no matter how unlikely.
    4. God often uses the humble and willing (Joseph and Mary) rather than the high and mighty (King Herod) to accomplish his greatest missions on earth.
    5. No one can thwart God's plans (not even the politically powerful Herod).
    6. Sometimes the brightest light grows in the darkest places (Nazareth).
    7. People with head knowledge (the scribes) may not have heart knowledge.
    8. Knowing God's Son in the right way brings unspeakable joy.
    9. The gospel is a message for people of all nations.
  93. Applications from Matthew 2:  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 24.
    1. Respond to the king as the Magi did, with great joy and devotion.
    2. Humbly make yourself available and ready to be used by God, allowing him to accomplish his purposes through you.
    3. Seize opportunities to share your faith in Christ with others, exercising wisdom in reaching out towards those who are not believers.
    4. Serve the Lord with Joy, even during the dark adn difficult hours.
    5. Learn to place your trust in God's protective care adn timing.
    6. Study Matthew's approach to communicating Jesus as Messiah to his audience.
  94. Mark 2 - Sin (hamartia) is a break in our relationship with God.  It is alienation form the One who created us.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Mark" by Max Anders and Rodney L. Cooper,  VI. Deeper Discoveries, A. Sin (2:10), page 39.
  95. Prophet - The word prophet comes from the Greek prophetes, meaning "to speak." The prophet is one who speaks for God.  God spoke to the prophet, and the prophet spoke exactly what God had told him or her to say. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Mark" by Max Anders and Rodney L. Cooper, Mark 6, VI. Deeper Discoveries, A. Prophet (6:15), page 109.
  96. Baptism - Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16) - This phrase seems to indicate that a person must be baptized in order to be saved.  This is where context is so important.  The very next phrase is the key: "But whoever does not believe will be condemned."  The emphasis is on belief and unbelief.  The only basis for condemnation is the refusal to believe.  There is no condemnation for the failure to be baptised.  The conclusion is clear - that the only basis for salvation si the belief in Christ, not belief and baptism.  Please do not give the impression that baptism is not important.  Believers are baptized to show their identification with Jesus Christ and his church (Acts 8:36-38; 16:31-33).  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Mark" by Max Anders and Rodney L. Cooper, Mark 16, VI. Deeper Discoveries, B. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved (16:16), page 281.
  97. "The Christian church is the only society in the world in which membership is based upon the qualification that the candidate shall be unworthy of membership." - Charles C. Morrison  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Luke" by Max Anders and Trent C. Butler, page 102.
  98. A God unbound by our rules of time has the ability to invest in every person on earth. God has, quite literally, all the time in the world for each one of us. - From location 945 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  99. The question that obsesses modern thinkers, “Why do bad things happen?” gets little systematic treatment in the Bible because Bible writers believed they knew why bad things happen: we live on a planet ruled by powers intent on blocking and perverting the will of God. The New Testament openly describes Satan as “the god of this age” and “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” Of course bad things happen! On a planet ruled by the Evil One we should expect to see violence, deception, disease, and all manner of opposition to the reign of God. - From location 2335 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  100. Jesus is reminiscing about life before planet Earth, eternity before time. In this lengthy, luminous prayer he gives the ultimate answer to the “Why?” questions. Why creation? Why free will? Why human history and the onslaught of time? From the beginning, before the beginning, God willed to share with other creatures the love and fellowship — the life — enjoyed in the godhead before creation, now, and forever. Despite all that has happened and is about to happen, God is committed to restoring creation to its original design, to regaining perfect intimacy and love with human beings. Jesus’ prayer renews the vision, for himself and for us.  - From location 2858 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  101. In a few other places the New Testament gives hints of God choosing us “before the creation of the world.” God’s grace, claims Paul, “was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,” with Jesus “chosen before the creation of the world but revealed in these last times for your sake.” Our eternal life was promised “before the beginning of time.” Thus the essentials of hope — God’s love, heaven, grace, resurrection — the Bible specifically grounds outside of time and creation. - From location 2868 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  102. “A theist believes in a God in heaven whereas a Christian believes in a God in heaven who is also physically present on this earth inside of human beings…. God is still present, as physical and as real today as God was in the historical Jesus. God still has skin, human skin, and physically walks on this earth just as Jesus did.” - From location 4984 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  103. To pray “God, please help my neighbor cope with her financial problems,” or “God, do something about the homeless downtown” is the approach of a theist, not a Christian. God has chosen to express love and grace in the world through those of us who embody Christ. - From location 4987 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  104. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. - From location 5030 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  105. The righteous man is positively identified by his association with "the law of the LORD." The "law" is not to be limited to the Five Books of Moses or even to the OT as a whole. The Hebrew word torah ("law") signifies primarily instruction that comes from God (see the appendix to Ps 19: The Word of God). This is the distinctive difference between revelation and religion (J. Ellul, A Living Faith tr. Peter Heinegg [San Francisco: Harper &Row, 1983], pp. 111- 25). Revelation comes from God for the purpose of helping man to live in harmony with God's will, whereas religion is man's attempt to order his path and to explain the world around him. The godly in every age live in accordance with revelation. The contents of the revelation may vary, and Christians may dispute how the OT laws relate to the church today; but there should be an earnest search for and delight in doing the will of God as set forth in Jesus 'teaching (Matt 6: 10; 12: 50; 1 John 3: 11- 24; 5: 2- 3; see T. E. McComiskey, The Covenants of Promise. A Theology of the Old Testament Covenants [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985], pp. 66- 80). - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App.
  106. Moses himself wrote additional words to be deposited beside the ark of the covenant (Deut. 31: 24- 26). The immediate reference is apparently to the book of Deuteronomy, but other references to writing by Moses indicate that the first four books of the Old Testament were written by him as well (see Ex. 17: 14; 24: 4; 34: 27; Num. 33: 2; Deut. 31: 22). After the death of Moses, Joshua also added to the collection of written words of God: "Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God" (Josh. 24: 26).- From Chapter 3 of the Olive Tree Bible Reader app of the book "Systematic Theology" by Wayne Grudem,
  107. Many Will Seek to Enter Heaven, But Few Will Enter - By David J. Stewart
    1. Luke 13:23-24 and 28, “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able ... There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”
    2.  Jesus was asked if few people are going to Heaven. Jesus replied that MANY will seek to enter into Heaven, but only a few will be allowed. This Scripture passage should frighten MANY people.
    3. Many people will seek to enter into Heaven in eternity, even blaming the Lord Jesus when they are turned away. We read in Matthew 7:22-23...
    4. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
    5. These religious people were lost and on their way to Hell. They were shocked and dumbfounded when the Lord rejected them. They had spent their lives teaching in Jesus' name and doing many charitable deeds in Jesus' name. How could this happen? What went wrong? They were so sincere and now they're are being told they cannot enter into Heaven. Despite trying to blame the Lord, they will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever.
    6. Perhaps you ask, what groups of religious people today are doing wonderful things in Jesus' name, and are speaking in Jesus' name; but are lost and on their way to Hell? Namely: Lutherans, Catholics, Church of Christ, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Scientology, Muslims, Judaism, Christian Science, Greek Orthodox, United Church of Christ, Russian Orthodox, Unitarian Universalist, Moonies, New Agers, Episcopal, the Lordship Salvation crowd and many more.
    7. Perhaps the most deadliest of all these groups are those who propagate the lie of Lordship Salvation, who go around saying, “Lord, Lord,” but have never rested completely in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Jesus plainly tells us why they were not allowed into Heaven, and if you have ears to hear and eyes to see, then please listen to the holy Scriptures...
    8. Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
    9. Every one of the religious groups I just mentioned have not done GOD'S WILL concerning salvation. What is God's will to enter into Heaven? Jesus gave us the plain and simple answer in the Scriptures...
    10. John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
    11. The will of God the Father is to BELIEVE on Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
    12. There is only one way to Heaven and that is through trusting Jesus Christ. Anyone who acknowledges their guilt of sin and comes to God the Father through God the Son for forgiveness will be saved...
    13. Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
    14. All of the religions that I mentioned to you earlier ADD something to corrupt the gospel. Demonic cults are very deceptive. For example: Seventh Day Adventists [SDA] profess to believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. However, what they don't tell you is that they have a very different understanding of what the term “faith” means. To the Adventist, faith encompasses everything that the Christian life includes.
    15. "To have faith means to find and accept the gospel treasure, with all the obligations which it imposes" (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 112).
    16. SOURCE: SALVATION BY FAITH, Jan Paulsen;
    17. http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/Salvation%20by%20Faith.htm
    18. Thus, faith to an Adventist means that a person must be water baptized, go to church, faithfully live a righteous life, tithe, keep the SDA Sabbath, et cetera, to be saved in their religion. Of course, that is a damnable doctrine not taught in the Word of God. Seventh Day Adventism is a false religion based upon self-righteousness and a corrupt view of the gospel.
    19. Biblical faith is simply resting in Jesus Christ for salvation (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3-5; Romans 10:3-4; Ephesians 2:8-9). Biblical faith imposes no obligation upon the sinner in order to be saved. Faith in the Lord is all that is necessary. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15;6:23), freely offered (Romans 10:13) and freely received (Revelation 22:17). Salvation is receiving, not giving. The sinner who believes on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, apart from all self-righteousness, will be saved and go to Heaven.
    20. Church of Christ deny many doctrines of the Christian faith, including: A literal Hell, a literal Heaven, the Rapture, the Millennial reign of Christ, et cetera. Church of Christ teaches a works based type of salvation, requiring water baptism and amending one's ways for salvation.
    21. Lutherans have corrupted the gospel by teaching that the act of water baptism is the means by which a person is saved. Martin Luther clearly taught Baptismal Regeneration as being mandatory for salvation. The Bible disagrees with Mr. Luther. There are many solid Biblical arguments against the teaching that water baptism is required for salvation. Here are a few:
    22. First, no one in the Old Testament was ever recorded as being water baptized to be saved. To claim that water baptism is mandatory today for salvation is to errantly teach that there are multiple gospels. Genesis 15:6 plainly tells us that Abraham's faith in the Lord was counted for righteousness. According to Acts 10:43, people in the Old Testament were saved the same way we are today, by faith in the Messiah. 
    23. Second, the thief on the cross was never baptized.
    24. Third, the Epistle of 1st John was written to assure believers of their salvation (1st John 5:13); yet water baptism is not mentioned even once.
    25. Fourth, Paul plainly stated that Jesus did not send him to water baptize. 1st Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” If water baptism were required for salvation, then the Apostle Paul never would have made such a statement.
    26. Water baptism is the believer's public profession of faith, identifying him with a rejected Savior. Jesus was water baptized to identify Himself with a rejected people, the Jews. Water baptism is an act of Christian obedience to the Lord, and not a part of saving-faith.
    27. So few people are going to enter into Heaven, because most religious people today have never been born-again by the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9). We read in John 3:1-7 that Nicodemus, a religious leader of the Jews, was lost in his sins without Christ. Thankfully, Nicodemus became a believer and was one of the disciples who later prepared the body of Jesus and buried him in the tomb.
    28. Oh listen friend, salvation is very simple: you and I are SINNERS, and Jesus is the SAVIOR! Don't follow some false prophet who is going to rob you of eternal happiness. I don't enjoy exposing men like Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameroon, Paul Washer and others; but they are all followers of John MacArthur's damnable Lordship Salvation heresy, which requires that a sinner amend his ways to be saved. That is not the Biblical meaning of repentance.
    29. Pastor Lester Roloff said, “Real repentance is putting your trust in Jesus Christ so you will not live like that anymore.” In other words, we give up our sins because we ARE SAVED; not to GET SAVED. Brother Roloff didn't mean that you have to stop committing sin to be saved; he meant that genuine repentance brings forth a changed life. Although a person doesn't have to stop committing sin to be saved, God does expect each believer to obey the Bible because they are believers... “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1st Peter 1:16). A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; and not a part of the ROOT of saving faith (Romans 3:31).
    30. Jesus plainly taught that many people will try to enter into Heaven, but only a few will be allowed to enter. Keep that in mind. Why would MANY people seek to enter Heaven, but not be granted entrance? Clearly, most people think WRONGLY concerning the way to get to Heaven. Most people have been deceived. Satan has succeeded in blinding most people, especially religious people (2nd Corinthians 4:4). What irony that most people think they're going to Heaven, but they are blinded fools. They are going about to establish their own righteousness, instead of resting in the righteousness of Christ Jesus (Romans 10:3-4; Genesis 15:6). Note that all Scriptures are quoted only from the trustworthy inspired King James Bible.
    31. Matthew 7:21 clearly tells us why few will enter Heaven—it's because most people fail to do God's will concerning salvation, which is to BELIEVE on Jesus Christ (John 6:40). I tell you, churchianity is not the way to Heaven. Religion is not the way to Heaven. Charity is not the way to Heaven. Doing wonderful works in Jesus' name is not the way to Heaven. Brotherly love is not the way to Heaven. Committing one's life to God is not the way to Heaven.
    32. Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven! Please don't let your religion go to your head. Most people have baptism on the brain, but that is not the way to Heaven. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and is the ONLY way to Heaven! Jesus DIED, was BURIED and ROSE again three days later from the dead for our justification. This is the gospel according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. Jesus sacrificed His literal blood to pay for our sins (1st Peter 1:18-19). If you come as a helpless sinner to the precious Savior to be forgiven, you will be saved (Romans 10:13).
    33. Sadly, most people have churchianity without Christianity. False religion is everywhere these days. 1st John 4:1 teaches for believers to try (test) the spirits, to see whether they are of God or not. Salvation is NOT found in any religion; but rather, in a Person—The Lord Jesus Christ!
    34. False Religions
    35. Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!
  108. Crowns God Sets Aside for His Servants, Part 1 - by Charles R. Swindoll - 1 Corinthians 9:24–27Philippians 4:11 Thessalonians 2:19–202 Timothy 4:7–8
    1. As those who serve the living God, we occasionally need to consider the eternal "crowns" being set aside for God's servants. What an intriguing study!
    2. There are at least five crowns promised in the Bible. For our purpose here, I will simply list the eternal crowns mentioned in the New Testament and offer a brief explanation of each. We'll cover three today and two tomorrow.
    3. 1.  The Imperishable Crown (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)
    4. This reward is promised to those who victoriously run the race of life. Taking into consideration verses 26 and 27, that is, the "buffeting" of the body, it is clear that this reward will be awarded those believers who consistently bring the flesh under the Holy Spirit's control, refusing to be enslaved by their sinful nature. In other words, those who carry out the truths of Romans 6:6–14.
    5. 2.  The Crown of Exultation (Philippians 4:11 Thessalonians 2:19–20)
    6. This crown will be one over which its recipients will glory and rejoice! This is the "soul-winners crown." It is claimed by Paul regarding two bodies of believers whom he had led to and discipled in Christ Jesus . . . the Philippians and the Thessalonians. Our Lord will distribute this crown to those servants who are faithful to declare the gospel, lead souls to Christ, and build them up in Him. And remember: the rewards at this judgment will be based on the quality not quantity of our earthly works (1 Corinthians 3:13).
    7. 3.  The Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:7–8)
    8. The crown of righteousness will be awarded those who live each day, loving and anticipating Christ's imminent return . . . those who conduct their earthly lives with eternity's value in view. Kenneth Wuest captures the complete meaning of verse 8 with these words:
    9. To those who have considered precious His appearing and therefore have loved it, and as a result at the present time are still holding that attitude in their hearts, to those the Lord Jesus will also give the victor's garland of righteousness.1
    10. Those who qualify for this crown anxiously look for His return daily. - Adapted from Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
  109. Crowns God Sets Aside for His Servants, Part 2 - by Charles R. Swindoll -  James 1:121 Peter 5:1–4
    1. Yesterday, we began our look at five eternal "crowns" set aside for God's servants. After listing the first three crowns again, I'll add the final two and offer a brief explanation of each.
    2. 1.  The Imperishable Crown (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)
    3. 2.  The Crown of Exultation (Philippians 4:11 Thessalonians 2:19–20)
    4. 3.  The Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:7–8)
    5. 4.  The Crown of Life (James 1:12)
    6. This wonderful reward awaits those saints who suffered in a noble manner during their earthly life. The significance of this reward is not only related to the words perseveres under trial but also the words those who love Him. This crown is not promised simply to those who endure suffering and trials . . . but to those who endure their trials, loving the Savior all the way! Therefore, loving the Lord and having the desire that He be glorified in and through the trials become the dual motives for the believer's endurance. Those saints who qualify (and the Lord is the Judge!) will receive the crown of life.
    7. 5.  The Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:1–4)
      1. This reward is promised to those who faithfully "shepherd the flock" in keeping with the requirements spelled out in verses 2 and 3. Those under-shepherds who fulfill these qualifications (willingness, sacrificial dedication, humility, an exemplary life) will receive this crown of glory.
      2. After receiving these crowns, what then? Look at Revelation 4:9–11:
      3. And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."
      4. What a scene! All God's servants are before His throne. What are they doing?
      5. Strutting around heaven displaying their crowns? No.
      6. Separated from one another, like peacocks, proudly displaying their tangible trophies? No.
      7. The servants are bowing in worship, having cast all crowns before their Lord in adoration and praise, ascribing worth and honor to the only One deserving of praise—the Lord God!
      8. Adapted from Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
  110.  Contrasting Events - The Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane
    1. In the Garden of Eden, man’s relationship with the Father was broken because of rebellion. In the Garden of Gethsemane, man’s relationship with the Father was restored through submission.
    2.  In the Garden of Eden, the first Adam tried to hide from God. In the Garden of Gethsemane, the last Adam bared His soul to God.
    3.  In the Garden of Eden, a sword was unsheathed and man was driven out.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, a sword was put away and a man was healed. - From Courson’s Application Commentary on Matthew 26:36 by Jon Courson
  111. Reformation is God renewing in our hearts a passionate clarity about his purpose for us. It is God reawakening in us a love for his truth and his standards. It is God preparing us for the display of his glorious salvation as we reshape every aspect of our lives and our churches to that end. - from the reading of Isaiah 48 in Preaching the Word Commentary by R. Kent Hughes et al.