READ: “Because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world. This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith” 1 Jn 5.4.
THINK: By faith David won over Goliath. The world (=everything and everyone against God) appears to be immense, but God is greater. We already know the ending. Victory depends only on our faithfulness. Faith has content: Jesus as the Son of God, 1 Jn 5.5. Victory through Christ is a motive for gratitude and praise, 1 Cor 15.57. In him, we are more than conquerors, Rom 8.37. Continue reading
READ: “But our citizenship is in heaven—and we also eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” Phil 3.20.
THINK: Our heavenly citizenship follows a pattern, 3.17, which everyone ought to recognize, 3.15, in contrast with the life of the enemies of Christ, 3.18, whose destination is destruction, 3.19. But we act differently, and wait for salvation at the coming of Christ, for our hope is in him and involves the transformation of our bodies, 3.21. Such a hope recognizes the purpose of his second coming, Heb 9.28. Continue reading
READ: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” 1 Cor 10.31.
THINK: Freedom in Christ, 10.23-30, expresses itself by seeking the glory of God, especially so that many might be saved, 32-33. His glory is his person. Every act is measured by this rule, for it follows the example of Christ, 11.1. This way, pleasing others, 10.33, avoids running the risk of abandoning the truth. We glorify God using our gifts, 1 Pet 4.11; in body and spirit, 1 Cor 6.20; in evangelization, 2 Thes 3.1. Continue reading
READ: “The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked” 1 Jn 2.6.
THINK: Walking is a figure of life with God, Acts 9.31; Rom 4.12, beginning in the Garden of Eden, Gen 3.8. It’s a sign of being his people, Lev 26.12, and of participating in his holiness, Deut 30.16; Isa 2.5; Lk 1.6. It is a condition of divine blessing, Jn 8.12; 1 Jn 1.7. We ought to walk in love, Eph 5.2, decently, Rom 13.13; by the Spirit, Gal 5.16, 25; in good works, Eph 2.10, as wise, Eph 5.15, in a way worthy of God, 1 Thes 2.12. (NET Bible does not always retain the figure of walking.) Continue reading
READ: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions that we taught you, whether by speech or by letter” 2 Thes 2.15.
THINK: Without the live teaching of the apostles, we have their holy writings in the NT. The traditions are the teachings that Christ gave to the apostles and prophets in the first century. One must not go beyond what is written, 1 Cor 4.6, add to the word of God nor take away from it, Deut 4.6; Prov 30.11; Rev 22.18-19. What was transmitted by the apostles must be practiced exactly, 1 Cor 11.2. Continue reading
READ: “For it has been granted to you not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him” Phil 1.29.
THINK: Suffering for Christ is an experience as basic to the disciple as believing in him. Granted translates the verb to give grace, a positive act on God’s part. (“God has given you a special gift” WE.) He who flees to avoid suffering for the kingdom flees from discipleship, 1 Pet 2.21ff. Suffering as a Christian is our glory, 1 Pet 4.12-19. He who fails to confess/preach Christ for fear of persecution will not be confessed/claimed by him in the judgment, Mt 10.21-39. Continue reading
READ: “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news’” Rom 10.15.
THINK: God is a sending God; so is his people. The church exists to announce the gospel. To do this, it sends people, Acts 8.14; 11.22; 13.3; 15.3; Col 4.8, and offerings, Phil 4.16-18 (see Lk 8.3). The church practices hospitality as a missionary function, Rom 15.24; 16.2, 23; 1 Cor 16.6, 11; 3 Jn 8, as well as communication, Acts 15.33; Col 4.10-14; 1 Thes 3.5; Rev 1.11. It also sends help to needy brethren, Acts 11.29-30; 1 Cor 16.1-3. Continue reading
READ: “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature'” Mk 16.15.
THINK: God took the initiative to come to this world. Now, Jesus sends us to go into the whole world with the gospel, Mt 28.19. He did not send us to build buildings and invite people to come to us. He commands us to speak the truth of the gospel, which some will hear and obey, Mt 28.20; Mk 16.16. Going also applies to the initiative of making peace with a brother and correcting him, Mt 18.15, as well as going beyond what is necessary, Mt 5.41. Continue reading
READ: ““Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” Lk 6.21b.
THINK: We ought to cry for our own sin, Lk 22.62, and for the condemnation of the rebellious world, Lk 19.41. Jesus cried in the presence of death, Jn 11.35, an act of solidarity, Rm 12.15. He who refuses to cry now, will later lament, Lk 6.25; Jn 16.20. Let us change worldly laughter into crying, Jas 4.9. Because the time is short, “those with tears” should live “like those not weeping” 1 Cor 7.29ff. In heaven no one cries, Rev 21.4.