SEPTEMBER 24

1 Peter 4:15
[The apostle Peter's advice to Christians]: "But let none of you suffer [punishment] as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's [people's] matters."

Don't do the things that are listed in the above verse (i.e., kill, steal, do bad things, interfere in other people's business), and you won't have to worry about being punished for them.

Albert Barnes says, "If you must be called to suffer, see that it be not for crime." He describes busybody as "one who busies himself with what does not concern him; that is, one who pries into the affairs of another; who attempts to control or direct them as if they were his own." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/1-peter/4-15.html, "Albert Barnes" Notes on the Whole Bible")

SEPTEMBER 23

Jeremiah 17:14: "Heal me, O LORD
[God], and I shall be healed [physically and spiritually (i.e., from temptation and sin)]; save me, and I shall be saved [from harm and from hell]: for thou art [you are] [the reason for] my praise."

SEPTEMBER 22

Proverbs 22:13: "The slothful
[lazy] man [person] saith, There is a lion without [outside], I shall be slain [killed] in the streets."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, the subject of this verse is excuses for laziness. In this case, the man says he can't go to work because he might be eaten by a lion.

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany says that laziness is more than a personality trait, cultural issue, or natural disposition--it's a moral failure, a SIN--and he goes on to list (with many examples for each statement) what Solomon said about laziness in the book of Proverbs. Then he talks specifically about excuses that people give for not doing something (like going to work).

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-22-index/proverbs-22_13/.

SEPTEMBER 21

Psalm 9:17: "The wicked
[referring to evil, sinful people who are morally bad in principle and practice] shall be turned into [sent to] hell, and [so will] all the nations [throughout the world, referring to the people in them, both 'bad' and 'good'] that [who] forget [about] God [and consequently don't honor him and obey his word]."

SEPTEMBER 20

1 Corinthians 10:13: "There hath
[has] no temptation [an urge or desire to do something unwise, immoral, or wrong] taken [hold of] you but such as is common to man [mankind, all people]: but God is faithful [trustworthy], who will not suffer [allow] you to be tempted above [beyond] that [which] ye are able [to resist]; but [he] will with the temptation also make a way to escape [the temptation], that ye may be able to bear [endure] it."

SEPTEMBER 19

Luke 6:31
[Jesus said]: "And as ye would [want, desire] that men [other people] should do to you, do ye also to them likewise [the same]."

In other words, treat others as you would like to be treated yourself (for example, with kindness).

The above verse is also known as the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

SEPTEMBER 18

Proverbs 18:13: "He that answereth a matter
[the person who gives his or her opinion about something] before he [or she] heareth it [hears the whole story, or both sides of it], it is folly [foolishness] and shame unto him [or her]."

This verse is about making snap judgments, jumping to conclusions, making up our minds without knowing all of the facts.

In his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church uses an example from the book of Joshua to illustrate the above point. He ends his commentary by saying, "Wars have started; marriages have ended; families destroyed; churches split; friendships broken; lives ruined; reputations damaged… all because of men have answered a matter before they heard it."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-18-index/proverbs-18_13/.

SEPTEMBER 17

Proverbs 17:25: "A foolish son is a grief
[source of anger and/or frustration] to his father, and [is] [a cause of] bitterness [sorrow (sadness), trouble or annoyance, mental strain and stress] to her that bare [gave birth to] him [i.e., his mother]."

Note: Since this verse is mostly self-explanatory, there is no commentary for it on the Salem Bible Church website.

SEPTEMBER 16

Proverbs 16:4: "The LORD
[God] hath made all things for himself [for his own purpose; for his honor, glory, and pleasure]: yea [yes], even the wicked [referring to sinners who end up rebelling against God and refuse to accept his free gift of eternal life] [were created] for the day of [the punishment of] evil [i.e., judgment day, when God will demonstrate his holiness, justice, and righteousness]."

In other words, God created everything for his pleasure and to show his handiwork, demonstrate his power and greatness, serve his purposes, and bring glory (praise and honor) to his name.

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. If  you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_4/.

SEPTEMBER 15

Proverbs 15:27: "He that is greedy of gain
[the person who wants to be rich and tries to get things dishonestly, through cheating or violence] troubleth his [or her] own house [household, family]; but he [or she] that hateth [refuses to take] gifts [in this case, bribes--to do something unjust or wrong, or to obtain money unlawfully] shall live [a long, fulfilling (satisfying, happy), and peaceful life]."

Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including the following examples of how we can be "greedy of gain" and cause trouble for our families: cheating on our tax returns, embellishing our resumes, becoming involved in shady business deals, taking bribes, and gambling.

Especially interesting and eye-opening is how this behavior affects our children. Here's what the commentary says in paragraph 4 under "B. Troubling One's Own House":

"4. There are various WAYS in which a dishonest, greedy man troubles his house.

"a. He may trouble his family with the hardships they experience because of him being arrested… losing his job… being imprisoned… losing their house… etc.

"b. But he may also trouble his house for years to come by TEACHING HIS CHILDREN to follow his behavior.
"→ Our kids pick up on our values by observation.
"→ The dishonest, greedy man demonstrates his character not only when he robs a bank. His kids will pick up on as they are growing up.
"→ Often those values (or lack thereof) are passed on to the next generation.

"c. This may go on for many generations. (Ex. 34:7)
" Alcoholism and drug abuse is often passed on in a family. Partly perhaps to genetics… but mostly through LEARNED and observed behavior!
" You don't have to worry about a genetic predisposition to alcoholism if you don't take your first drink!
" If the parents are involved in lying, cheating, stealing, those poor kids don't stand a chance of growing up honest!
" Domestic violence is also learned and passed on.
" Trouble brought into the home is often kept there… and passed on to future generations to CONTINUE to trouble that household…

"d. Kids are like sponges and they are watching and observing everything their parents do.
" And more often than not, those qualities are repeated in their lives.

"e. A man who is greedy for gain can trouble his own household even if he does nothing illegal!
" If a man is so driven to succeed materially that he works so many hours that he never has any TIME for his family, he too troubles his house.
" Those kids will grow up with many toys and nice clothes, but will RESENT that dad never spent any time with them.
" Kids grow up fast… and if they grow up angry, bitter, and resentful because Dad was more interested in material gain than in them… that exacerbates the trouble in the home…"

Concerning bribes, Pastor Delany says that people (including politicians, judges, police, and CEO's) can sometimes be bought off by money, and justice can also be perverted by money. Many people are willing to lie, cheat, look the other way, and refuse to blow the whistle when offered money or other things to keep quiet.

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-15-index/proverbs-15_27/.

SEPTEMBER 14

Psalm 139:4: "For there is not a word in my tongue
[there is nothing I can say], but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether [you know all about it; in other words, God knows the true meaning of everything we say--see comments below]."

This chapter of Psalms proves that God is omniscient, which means he knows everything about us, including the things that we think, say, and do. The above verse deals with things that we say.

In his commentary, Matthew Henry explains the verse as follows: "'Thou knowest me, and all I say (v. 4): There is not a word in my tongue, not a vain word, nor a good word, but thou knowest it altogether, knowest what it meant, from what thought it came, and with what design it was uttered. There is not a word at my tongue's end, ready to be spoken, yet checked and kept in, but thou knowest it.' When there is not a word in my tongue, O Lord! thou knowest all (so some read it); for thoughts are words to God." (Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/139.html, "Verses 1-6")

Regarding the phrase thou knowest it altogether at the end of the verse, Albert Barnes says: "Merely to 'hear' what is spoken does not imply necessarily a full knowledge of what is said - for it may be false, insincere, hypocritical. God knows exactly what is said and what is 'meant.'" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/139-4.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

SEPTEMBER 13

Proverbs 13:19: "The
[good, proper] desire [when] accomplished is sweet [pleasant, satisfying] to the soul [i.e., to the person who gets what he or she wants--see examples below*]: but it is abomination [a disgusting, repulsive, hateful thing or thought] to fools to depart from evil [stop doing bad things, as in the examples below*]."
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*Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including many examples of people whose "desires were accomplished" when they paid off their mortgages, received college degrees, became missionaries, climbed mountains, saw loved ones get saved, etc.

He also gives examples of people (fools) whose "desires are not accomplished" because they refuse to "depart from evil." Here's what he said about them in Section 2, paragraph 2, of his commentary:

"a. They want a happy family… but refuse to stop messing around… and their hopes for a happy family are dashed!

"b. They want to do well at work and get promotions… but they continue to show up late… do sloppy work… because they refuse to get up on time… or put in an honest day's work.

"c. They would love to have a college degree, but will not depart from all their partying and night life to go to college…

"d. They want to have friends too…but refuse to stop their gossip and bad behavior that causes their acquaintances to stay away…

"e. They want good health too… but refuse to depart from their many habits that are hazardous to their health… they drive fast, smoke, drink, take drugs… etc… and good health seems to elude them."

There are more examples of foolish behavior in Section 2, paragraph 3, of the commentary:

"b. A man with lung cancer who continues to smoke…

"c. A man who just wrecked his family because of his drinking who continues to drink…

"d. The homosexual who contracts aids, and refuses to depart from his lifestyle…

"e. The big mouth who gossips and slanders wherever he goes and makes enemies and brings trouble on himself… who continues to blab…"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-13-index/proverbs-13_19/.

SEPTEMBER 12

Matthew 18:19-20 - Prayer
Regarding the subject of prayer, especially in reference to guidance in organizing and running the church, which was mentioned in previous verses, Jesus told his disciples (the apostles):

Verse 19: "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching [regarding] any thing that they shall ask [in prayer], it shall be done for them of my Father [God] which is in heaven."

Verse 20: "For where two or three
[believers, born-again Christians, saved people] are gathered together in my [Jesus'] name [to worship God, as in church, at prayer meetings, etc.], there am I [Jesus, in their hearts, in Spirit form] in the midst [middle] of them."

SEPTEMBER 11

Proverbs 11:30: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life
[in other words, the born-again Christian (likened to a tree) will produce good works (likened to fruit) and be a blessing to others]; and he [or she] that winneth souls [to God; i.e., the person who tells others how to be born again, or saved] is wise."

Charles H. Spurgeon has a good sermon about this verse. It's called "The Soul-Winner's Life and Work." If you want to read it, here's the link: http://archive.spurgeon.org/misc/sw11.php. A second article, containing his lectures on soul winning, is entitled "What Is It to Win a Soul?" and can be found here: www.romans45.org/spurgeon/misc/sw01.htm.

Most Bible commentators agree with Charles Spurgeon that the phrase he that winneth souls in the above verse refers to soul winning. Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church has a slightly different take on its meaning. If you want to read his commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-11-index/proverbs-11_30/.

SEPTEMBER 10

Romans 12:19-20 - The Apostle Paul Teaches About Vengeance
(Retaliation, Revenge)
Writing to the saints (born-again Christians) in Rome about revenge, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 19: "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves [don't harm or punish people who have hurt you and/or someone or something that you care about], but rather [instead] give [the proper] place unto wrath [anger] [in other words, leave the matter in God's hands; allow him (and sometimes the judges in a court of law) to punish the offender rather than doing it yourself]: for [because] it is written [in Deuteronomy 32:35--see Note 1 below], Vengeance is mine; I will repay ["pay him/her back"], saith the Lord [God]."

Verse 20: "Therefore if thine
[your] enemy hunger, feed him [or her]; if he [or she] thirst [is thirsty], give him [or her] [something to] drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire [burning coals] on his head [i.e., you will make the person feel pain in his or her conscience, such as shame, remorse, etc. (see Note 2 below), or (as suggested in Matthew Henry's commentary--see Note 3 below) you will '[m]elt him into repentance and friendship, …']. Be not [don't be] overcome of [by] evil, but overcome evil with good."
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Note 1: Deuteronomy 32:35: "To me [God] belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste."

Note 2: In his commentary on verse 20, Albert Barnes says: "… In regard to this passage we may remark,

"(1) That the way to promote 'peace' is to do good even to enemies.

"(2) the way to bring a man to repentance is to do him good. On this principle God is acting continually. He does good to all, even to the rebellious; and he designs that his goodness should lead people to repentance; Romans 2:4. People will resist wrath, anger, and power; but 'goodness' they cannot resist; it finds its way to the heart; and the conscience does its work, and the sinner is overwhelmed at the remembrance of his crimes.

"(3) if people would act on the principles of the gospel, the world would soon be at peace. No man would suffer himself many times to be overwhelmed in this way with coals of fire. It is not human nature, bad as it is; and if Christians would meet all unkindness with kindness, all malice with benevolence, and all wrong with right, peace would soon pervade the community, and even opposition to the gospel might soon die away."

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/romans/12-20.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

Note 3: Source of quote: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/romans/12.html, "(v. 20)"

SEPTEMBER 9

Romans 12:1 - Christian Service
In the following verse, comparing Christian service in the New Testament (i.e., a willingness on the part of born-again Christians to serve God after salvation, due to a love for him and an appreciation for his gift of eternal life) to the Old Testament practice of presenting offerings to God (animal sacrifices, etc.) to atone for sin, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 1: "I beseech [implore, beg] you therefore, brethren [fellow Christians], by the mercies [because of the compassion and kindness] of God, that ye present your bodies [your entire selves] [to God] [as] a living sacrifice, holy [without blemish or defect], acceptable [well-pleasing] unto God, which is your reasonable service [which is the reasonable, or right, thing to do]."

SEPTEMBER 8

Proverbs 8:13
["Lady Wisdom" (God's wisdom personified) says]: "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil [in other words, those with 'the fear of the LORD' (a fear of displeasing God) will hate all evil things, including evil thoughts, words, actions, company, worship, and doctrines]: pride, and arrogancy [arrogance; i.e., conceit, egotism (believing you are better, smarter, and/or more important than other people)], and the evil way [sinning, doing bad things], and the froward [unmanageable] mouth, do I [Lady Wisdom] hate."

Salem Bible Church has a good explanation of this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-8-index/proverbs-8_13-14/.

SEPTEMBER 7

Deuteronomy 22:5: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man
[is designed specifically for men], neither shall a man put on a woman's garment [item of clothing]: for all that do so are abomination [hateful, detestable, disgusting] unto the LORD thy God."

According to some Bible commentators, there may be one exception to the above rule: "This [cross-dressing] shall not be done ordinarily or unnecessarily, for in some cases it may be lawful, as to make an escape for one's life." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/deuteronomy/22-5.html, "Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible")

SEPTEMBER 6

Proverbs 6:16-19 - Things that God Hates:

"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea
[yes], seven are an abomination [a disgusting thing] unto him:

[1] A proud look,
[2] a lying tongue
[referring to lying in general], and
[3] hands that shed innocent blood
[commit murder],
[4] An heart
[mind] that deviseth wicked imaginations [plans evil deeds],
[5] feet that be swift in running to mischief
[are in a hurry to do bad things],
[6] A false witness that speaketh lies
[gives false testimony (or tells lies) about others, as in court], and
[7] he
[or she] that soweth discord [causes trouble] among brethren [by spreading gossip or rumors]."

As usual, Salem Bible Church has excellent commentaries on all of these verses. They are broken down into six sections as follows:

-- Verses 16-19: "Introduction" and "A Proud Look"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_16-19/
-- Verse 17a: "A Lying Tongue"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_17a/
-- Verse 17b: "Hands that Shed Innocent Blood"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_17b/
-- Verse 18a: "A Heart that Deviseth Wicked Imaginations"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_18a/
-- Verse 18b: "Feet that be Swift in Running to Mischief"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_18b/
-- Verse 19: "Sowing Discord" (and False Witnesses)
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_19/

If you want to read some or all of them, click on the accompanying links.

SEPTEMBER 5

Matthew 5:38-41 - Jesus Teaches About Vengeance (Retaliation, Revenge)
Preaching to the multitude (crowd) during his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

Verse 38: "Ye have heard that it hath been said [referring to the Old Testament law of retaliation], An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [meaning you should punish bad behavior by doing to others what they have done to you]:

Verse 39: "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil
[people, when they intend to do (or have already done) you harm]: but whosoever shall smite thee [strike or hit hard with a hand, stick, or other weapon] on thy right cheek, turn to him [or her] the other [cheek] also."

Verses 40-41: "And if any man
[person] will sue thee at the law [i.e., in court], and take away thy coat, let him [or her] have thy cloke [cloak: a loose outer garment, such as a cape] also. And whosoever shall compel [force] thee to go a mile [in Rome, a mile was 1,000 paces], go with him [or her] twain [two] [miles]."

The expressions an eye for an eye and turn the other cheek come from this passage.

Albert Barnes' has a detailed commentary on the above verses. In it, he explains:

"An eye for an eye … - This command is found in Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20, and Deuteronomy 19:21. In these places it was given as a rule to regulate the decisions of judges. They were to take eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, and to inflict burning for burning. As a judicial rule it is not unjust. Christ finds no fault with the rule as applied to magistrates, and does not take upon himself to repeal it. But instead of confining it to magistrates, the Jews had extended it to private conduct, and made it the rule by which to take revenge. They considered themselves justified by this rule to inflict the same injury on others that they had received. Our Saviour remonstrates against this. He declares that the law had no reference to private revenge, that it was given only to regulate the magistrate, and that their private conduct was to be governed by different principles.

"The general principle which he laid down was, that we are not to resist evil; that is, as it is in the Greek, nor to set ourselves against an evil person who is injuring us. But even this general direction is not to be pressed too strictly. Christ did not intend to teach that we are to see our families murdered, or be murdered ourselves; rather than to make resistance. The law of nature, and all laws, human and divine, justify self-defense when life is in danger. It cannot surely be the intention to teach that a father should sit by coolly and see his family butchered by savages, and not be allowed to defend them. Neither natural nor revealed religion ever did, or ever can, inculcate this doctrine. Our Saviour immediately explains what he means by it. Had he intended to refer it to a case where life is in danger, he would most surely have mentioned it. Such a case was far more worthy of statement than those which he did mention.

"A doctrine so unusual, so unlike all that the world had believed. and that the best people had acted on, deserved to be formally stated. Instead of doing this, however, he confines himself to smaller matters, to things of comparatively trivial interest, and says that in these we had better take wrong than to enter into strife and lawsuits. The first case is where we are smitten on the cheek. Rather than contend and fight, we should take it patiently, and turn the other cheek. This does not, however, prevent our remonstrating firmly yet mildly on the injustice of the thing, and insisting that justice should be done us, as is evident from the example of the Saviour himself. See John 18:23. The second evil mentioned is where a man is litigious and determined to take all the advantage the law can give him, following us with vexatious and expensive lawsuits. Our Saviour directs us, rather than to imitate him rather than to contend with a revengeful spirit in courts of justice to take a trifling injury, and yield to him. This is merely a question about property, and not about conscience and life.

"Coat - The Jews wore two principal garments, an interior and an exterior. The interior, here called the 'coat,' or the tunic, was made commonly of linen, and encircled the whole body, extending down to the knees. Sometimes beneath this garment, as in the case of the priests, there was another garment corresponding to pantaloons. The coat, or tunic, was extended to the neck. and had long or short sleeves. Over this was commonly worn an upper garment, here called 'cloak,' or mantle. It was made commonly nearly square, of different sizes, 5 or 6 cubits long and as many broad, and was wrapped around the body, and was thrown off when labor was performed. If, said Christ, an adversary wished to obtain, at law, one of these garments, rather than contend with him let him have the other also. …

"Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile - The word translated 'shall compel' is of Persian origin. Post-offices were then unknown. In order that the royal commands might be delivered with safety and despatch in different parts of the empire, Cyrus stationed horsemen at proper intervals on all the great public highways. One of those delivered the message to another, and intelligence was thus rapidly and safely communicated. These heralds were permitted to compel any person, or to press any horse, boat, ship, or other vehicle that they might need for the quick transmission of the king's commandments. It was to this custom that our Saviour refers. Rather, says he, than resist a public authority requiring your attendance and aid for a certain distance, go peaceably twice the distance."

(Source of quoted material: www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-5.html, "Verses 38-41")

In addition to the above, GotQuestions.org has an article that answers the question, "What does the Bible mean by 'an eye for an eye'?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/eye-for-an-eye.html.

SEPTEMBER 4

Matthew 11:28-30 - Salvation and Obedience Lead to Comfort and Peace
Jesus said this to the Jews who were still trying to make themselves acceptable to God by obeying ceremonial (Mosaic) laws and rites, but it also applies to everyone else in the world:

Verse 28: "Come unto me [for salvation and comfort], all ye that labour [especially those who worked hard to keep the traditions of the elders and the law of Moses, which required strict obedience] and are heavy laden [overwhelmed, oppressed, burdened--by sin, sorrow, trouble, etc.], and I will give you rest [relief from worldly cares]."

Verse 29: "Take my yoke
[bond or connection with Jesus, using oxen as an illustration--see note below*] upon you, and learn of me [Jesus]; for I am meek [kind, gentle] and lowly in heart [humble]: and ye shall find rest unto your souls [i.e., spiritual rest]."

Verse 30: "
[We should take Jesus' yoke (do what he says; i.e., follow his rule, doctrine, and leadership)] For [because] my yoke is easy [to handle; i.e., manageable], and my burden [load] is light [in weight]."
________________________

*Dictionary.com's definition of yoke: a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull. In his commentary on verse 29, Peter Pett describes it like this:"In general a yoke is a wooden instrument that joins two animals so that it makes it easier for them, acting together, to pull a heavy load." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/11-29.html, "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible")

SEPTEMBER 3

Proverbs 3:11-12
[King Solomon's advice to his son concerning afflictions]: "My son, despise not [don't resist, ignore, or consider unworthy of your attention] the chastening of [being disciplined or punished by] the LORD [God]; neither [and don't] be weary [sick and tired] of his correction: For [because] whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father [corrects, disciplines] the son in whom he delighteth [is well pleased]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on these verses, and as usual, Pastor Delany provides many examples to illustrate each point. Here's a sample from paragraph 5c in the top section of his commentary: "One way or another, God knows how to MAKE us respond to Him. If we refuse to respond to the lesser forms of chastisement, He knows how to heat up the oven."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-3-index/proverbs-3_11-12/.

SEPTEMBER 2

Hebrews 13:4: "Marriage
[between a man and woman--see note below*] is honourable in all [things], and the [marriage] bed [is] undefiled [meaning that sexual activity between a husband and wife is considered pure and wholesome, not immoral or unclean]: but whoremongers [customers of prostitutes--see note below**] and adulterers [those who commit adultery, which is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband] God will judge [punish]."
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*1 Corinthians 7:2-4 "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."

**For the biblical definition of whoremonger, read the following article: "What is a whoremonger in the Bible?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/whoremonger.html.

SEPTEMBER 1

Galatians 1:6-9 - Don't Believe False Teachers!
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the churches in Galatia, wrote:

Verses 6-7: "I marvel [I'm amazed] that ye are so soon removed from him [probably referring to God] that called you into the grace of Christ [referring to salvation by faith--trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ to pay for our sins] unto another gospel [salvation through works, as in religious rites and ceremonies]: Which is not another [gospel--because there is only one true gospel]; but there be some that trouble you [referring to false teachers], and [who] would pervert [corrupt, distort, misinterpret] the gospel of Christ [i.e., simple reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation]."

Verses 8-9: "But though we
[referring to himself (Paul) and the other apostles], or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you [i.e., salvation by faith, not works], let him [or her] be accursed [under a curse from God, doomed to destruction]. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man [person] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him [or her] be accursed."

AUGUST 31

2 Timothy 2:3-4 - The Apostle Paul's Advice to Timothy
This advice is not only for ministers of the gospel (like Timothy) but also for all Christians.

Verse 2: "Thou therefore endure hardness [hardship, trouble], as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

Verse 3: "No man
[person] that warreth [who goes to war] entangleth himself [or herself] [i.e., becomes entangled, involved, ensnared] with the affairs of this life; [a minister and/or Christian should follow this example--see note below*] [so] that he [or she] may please him [referring to Jesus] who hath chosen him [or her] to be a soldier."
________________________

*In his commentary on verse 4, Albert Barnes says:

"Neither the minister nor the soldier is to be encumbered with the affairs of this life, and the one should not be more than the other. This is always a condition in becoming a soldier. He gives up his own business during the time for which he is enlisted, and devotes himself to the service of his country. The farmer leaves his plow, and the mechanic his shop, and the merchant his store, and the student his books, and the lawyer his brief; and neither of them expect to pursue these things while engaged in the service of their country."

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/2-timothy/2-4.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

You may be wondering if it's okay for a pastor to have an outside job to help support his family and pay the bills. That question is answered in the following article: "Should pastors be paid a salary?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/pastors-paid-salary.html.

AUGUST 30

Psalm 113:9: "He
[God] maketh the barren [sterile, infertile (unable to conceive)] woman to keep house [to have a family], and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD."

I found an article on the Internet that answers the following question: "Who are the women in the Bible who initially could not give birth (childless) but were healed by God?" It says that:

-- Sarah (wife of Abraham and formerly named Sarai)  was the mother of Isaac.
-- Rebekah (wife of Isaac) was the mother of twins, Jacob and Esau.
-- Rachel (wife of Jacob) was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. She died giving birth to Benjamin.
-- Samson's mother (wife of Mahoah) gave birth to Samson, the strongest man who ever lived.
-- Hannah (second wife of Elkanah the Ephraimite) was the mother of the prophet Samuel.
-- Elizabeth (wife of Zacharias) was the mother of John the Baptist.

(Above information: Courtesy of The Bible Study Site, www.biblestudy.org/question/how-does-god-use-barren-childless-women.html)

AUGUST 29

Deuteronomy 27:15
[Moses told the Levites what they should say to the men of Israel]: "Cursed be the man [person] that maketh any graven or molten image [statue or idol, an object of worship--see note below*], [which is] an abomination unto the LORD [something that God hates], [and] the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it [the idol] in a secret place [where it can't be seen by others]. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen."
________________________

*According to an article entitled "What is a graven image?" by GotQuestions.org: "A graven image is an image carved out of stone, wood, or metal. It could be a statue of a person or animal, or a relief carving in a wall or pole. It is differentiated from a molten image, which is melted metal poured into a cast." The article then goes into a detailed explanation of idolatry.

If you want to read the article, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/graven-image.html.

AUGUST 28

Romans 12:10-13 - The Apostle Paul's Advice to Christians

Verse 10: "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love
[be kind to your fellow Christians; treat them like family]; in honour preferring [having mutual love and respect for] one another;"

Verse 11: "Not slothful
[lazy] in business [employment, jobs, whatever we do]; fervent in spirit [having an enthusiastic attitude]; serving the Lord [doing things that please God and help to spread the gospel];"

Verse 12: "Rejoicing in hope
[having a joyful and confident hope of eternal life]; patient in tribulation [remaining calm during trouble, suffering, and/or hard times]; continuing instant [persevering] in prayer [i.e., praying often];"

Verse 13: "Distributing to the necessity of saints
[helping those in need, especially Christians]; given to hospitality [being friendly, generous, and kind to strangers and guests]."

AUGUST 27

Psalm 19:1: "The heavens
[sun, moon, and stars] declare [announce, proclaim, make known] the glory [greatness, majesty, excellence] of God; and the firmament [things that God has placed in the space between heaven and earth, meaning the atmosphere or sky] sheweth [shows] his handywork [what he (God) has made]."

AUGUST 26

Revelation 4:10-11 - Part of what the apostle John saw
when he was transported "in the spirit" to heaven

Verse 10: "The four and twenty
[24] elders [representatives of the church of God, which is made up of all born-again Christians] [reverently (very respectfully)] fall down [on their knees … or lay flat on the ground] before him that sat on the throne [i.e., Almighty God], and worship him that liveth for ever and ever [referring to God], and cast [throw, toss] their [gold] crowns before the throne [at God's feet], saying,"

Verse 11: "Thou art
[you are] worthy, O Lord [God], to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast [because you have] created all things [made them from nothing], and for thy pleasure they are and were created [brought into existence]."

AUGUST 25

Proverbs 25:28: "He
[or she] that hath [has] no rule [restraint, control] over his [or her] own spirit [temper, or state of mind, referring to that person's thoughts, desires, inclinations, resentments, etc.] is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."

Matthew Henry has a good commentary on this verse. It says:

"Here is, 1. The good character of a wise and virtuous man implied. He is one that has rule over his own spirit; he maintains the government of himself, and of his own appetites and passions, and does not suffer them to rebel against reason and conscience. He has the rule of his own thoughts, his desires, his inclinations, his resentments, and keeps them all in good order. 2. The bad case of a vicious man, who has not this rule over his own spirit, who, when temptations to excess in eating or drinking are before him, has no government of himself, when he is provoked breaks out into exorbitant passions, such a one is like a city that is broken down and without walls. All that is good goes out, and forsakes him; all that is evil breaks in upon him. He lies exposed to all the temptations of Satan and becomes an easy prey to that enemy; he is also liable to many troubles and vexations; it is likewise as much a reproach to him as it is to a city to have its walls ruined, Nehemiah 1:3."

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/25-28.html, "Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible")


Note: Salem Bible Church's website is currently being updated, and all of the links to Pastor Delany's Bible studies on the book of Proverbs have not yet been inserted. Consequently, I was unable to include his commentary on today's verse. I'm really sorry, as I always like to see what he has to say.

AUGUST 24

1 Samuel 15:23
[Samuel, an Old Testament prophet, said to King Saul]: "For rebellion is as [bad as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as [bad as] iniquity [wickedness, sin] and idolatry [worshiping false gods]. Because thou hast [you have] rejected [refused to accept--or, in this case, obey] the word of the LORD [God's commands], he [God] hath also rejected thee from being king [and, as a result, God eventually brought his reign to an end]."

AUGUST 23

Matthew 19:13-15 - Jesus Loves Children

Verse 13: "Then were there brought unto him
[Jesus, probably by their parents, guardians, etc.] little children [very young children and babies], [so] that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them [told those who brought the children that it was an improper thing to do]."

Verse 14: "But Jesus said, Suffer
[allow] little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. [In other words, heaven's inhabitants include little children, plus older children and adults who come to Christ (Jesus) with humility and child-like faith.]"

Verse 15: "And he laid his hands on them
[Jesus blessed the children], and departed thence [went away from there]."

AUGUST 22

Psalm 19:14
[King David's prayer to God]: "Let the words of my mouth [everything that I say], and the meditation of my heart [all of my thoughts], be acceptable in thy sight [be pleasing to you], O LORD, [because you are] my strength, and my redeemer [the one who has redeemed (rescued, delivered, saved) me from my sins]."

AUGUST 21

Genesis 1:14-19 - God Creates the Sun, Moon, and Stars
In Genesis 1:1, the Bible tells us that "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." The process of creation, including a day of rest, took seven days. This is what happened on Day 4:

Verses 14-15: "And God said, Let there be lights [referring to the sun and moon] in the firmament of the heaven [outer space] to divide [separate] the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so."

Verses 16-18: "And God made two great lights; the greater light
[the sun, which produces its own light and is bigger, brighter, and greater in intensity than the moon] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon, which reflects the light of the sun] to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set [placed, put] them [all] in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good."

Verse 19: "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day
[of creation]."

AUGUST 20

1 Peter 5:7
[The apostle Peter's advice to Christians]: "Casting [throwing, placing] all your care [cares, burdens, problems--anxiety, fears, worries, troubles, etc.] upon him [God]; for [because] he careth for [cares for, is concerned about, wants to help] you."

AUGUST 19

Judges 2:18-19:

Verse 18: "And when the LORD
[God] raised them up judges [appointed godly men to govern the children of Israel (Jewish people)], then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies [rescued the Jews from their enemies] all the days of the judge [for as long as the judge lived]: for it repented the LORD [i.e., he felt sorry for them] because of their groanings [because they complained so much] by reason of them that [about those who] oppressed [overpowered] them and vexed [tormented] them."

Verse 19: "And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they
[the Jews] returned [to their evil ways], and corrupted themselves more than their fathers [were worse than previous generations], in following other gods [i.e., idols] to serve them [the idols], and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings [didn't stop 'doing their own thing'], nor from their stubborn way [meaning that they ignored, forgot about, or refused to obey God]."

AUGUST 18

Proverbs 18:7: "A fool's
[big] mouth is [the reason for] his [or her] destruction [ruined life], and his [or her] lips are the snare of [trap for] his [or her] soul."

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that a person's "foolish, thoughtless, arrogant, insensitive, careless, mean-spirited speech" can result in his or her ruin, and he gives examples of  how the bad things that we do with our lips (lie, deceive, brag and boast, curse, threaten, blaspheme, gossip, etc.) have consequences--from something as minor as embarrassment to something serious, like being kicked out of school or having to spend time in prison.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-18-index/proverbs-18_7/.

AUGUST 17

Proverbs 17:13: "Whoso
[whoever] rewardeth [returns, repays] evil [bad actions] for good [deeds (kindnesses)], evil [things, such as illness, accidents, money problems, etc.] shall not depart [go away] from his [or her] house [household, or family]."

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church tells how people may reward evil for good, using King David as his prime example. He also explains the difference between karma and the judgment of God.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-17-index/proverbs-17_13/.

AUGUST 16

Proverbs 16:29: "A violent man
[a cruel person; someone who uses physical force to hurt, kill, damage, or destroy people, animals, or things] enticeth [tempts, lures, deceives, persuades] his [or her] neighbour [or friend, relative, companion, etc.], and leadeth him [or her] into the way that is not good."

AUGUST 15

Psalm 34:14: "Depart from evil
[i.e., stop sinning], and do good [things]; seek [try to achieve (obtain) and preserve (keep)] peace, and pursue it [i.e., try to restore the peace if necessary (get it back if lost)]."

JULY 31-AUGUST 14

2 Samuel 11:1-12:24 - David and Bathsheba

Chapter 11

Verses 1-5: "And it came to pass, after the year was expired
[had ended], at the time when kings go forth to battle, that [King] David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children [descendants] of Ammon [i.e., the Ammonites], and besieged Rabbah [surrounded the city with armed forces]. But David tarried still [remained longer than intended] at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide [one afternoon], that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the [flat] roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and inquired after [asked about] the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers [to invite her to his apartment], and took her [there]; and she came in unto him, and he lay [down and had sex] with her; for she was purified [cleansed] from her uncleanness [her monthly period]: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived [got pregnant], and sent [a messenger] and told David, and said, I am with child."

Verses 6-11: "And David sent
[a message] to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him [asked him] how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered [was going]. And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of [left] the king's house, and there followed him a mess of meat [some food, a meal] from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants [bodyguards] of his lord [the king], and went not down [did not go] to his house. And when they [the servants] had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not [why didn't you] go down unto thine [your] house? And Uriah said unto David, The ark [of the covenant, which was a chest with the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments], and Israel, and Judah, abide [stay] in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord [Joab], are encamped [living in camps] in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie [in bed and have sex] with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing."

Verses 12-13: "And David said to Uriah, Tarry
[stay] here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart [leave]. So Uriah abode [remained] in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow [next day]. And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even [in the evening] he went out to lie on his bed with the servants [bodyguards] of his lord [the king], but went not [did not go] down to his house."

Verses 14-17: "And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah
[who acted as a messenger]. And he [David] wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle [i.e., put him on the front lines], and retire ye from him [leave him by himself], [so] that he may be smitten [hit or struck by a sword, arrow, stone, etc.], and die. And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant [brave, courageous] men were. And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell [were killed] some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also."

Verses 18-25: "Then Joab sent
[a messenger] and told David all the things concerning the war; And charged [instructed] the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, And if so be that the king's wrath arise [if the king gets angry], and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh [near] unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot [arrows and stones] from the wall? Who smote [killed] Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone [a stone used to grind grain] upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh [near] the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. So the messenger went, and came and shewed [showed] David all that Joab had sent him for. And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed [were victorious] against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate. And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king's servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him."

Verses 26-27: "And when the wife of Uriah
[i.e., Bathsheba] heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned [grieved] for her husband. And when the mourning [period--seven days] was past, David sent and fetched her [had her brought] to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him [gave birth to] a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD."

Chapter 12

Verses 1-6: "And the LORD
[God] sent Nathan [a prophet] unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him [told him the following story:], There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many [a large number of] flocks [of sheep] and herds [of cattle]: But the poor man had nothing, save [except] one little ewe [female] lamb, which he had bought and nourished up [fed]: and it grew up together with him, and with his children [as a pet]; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom [i.e., he held it in his arms], and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to [decided not to] take [any of the animals] of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress [prepare for cooking] for the wayfaring man [the traveler] that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it [prepared it for cooking] for the man that was come to him. And David's anger was greatly kindled [stirred up] against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold [give back to the owner four times as much], because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."

Verses 7-12: "And Nathan said to David, Thou art
[you are] the man [that the story was about]. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master's [King Saul's] house, and thy master's [King Saul's] wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine [your] house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it [committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband] secretly: but I will do this thing [give David's wives to his neighbor] before all Israel, and before the sun."

Verses 13-14: "And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin
[forgiven you]; thou shalt not die. Howbeit [nevertheless], because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme [speak irreverently or disrespectfully about God], the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die."

Verses 15-19: "And Nathan departed unto
[left and went to] his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife [i.e., Bathsheba] bare [gave birth to] unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought [begged] God [in prayer] for the child; and David fasted [stopped eating], and went in, and lay all night upon the earth [on the floor]. And the elders [older people] of his house arose [stood up], and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not [get up], neither did he eat bread [food] with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day [after its birth], that the child died. And the servants of David feared [were afraid] to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto [spoke to] him, and he would not hearken unto [listen to] our voice: how will he then vex himself [what will he do to himself], if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived [guessed or sensed] that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead."

Verses 20-23: "Then David arose from the earth
[got up], and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel [clothes], and came into the house of the LORD [i.e., the temple], and worshipped [God]: then he came to his own house; and when he required [asked for it], they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept [cried]: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore [why] should I fast? can I bring him back [to life] again? I shall go to him [in heaven, when I die], but he shall not return to me."

Verse 24: "And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay
[down and had sex] with her: and she bare [gave birth to] a [second] son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him."


Previous Verses
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September 2017
SEPTEMBER 24

1 Peter 4:15
[The apostle Peter's advice to Christians]: "But let none of you suffer [punishment] as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's [people's] matters."

Don't do the things that are listed in the above verse (i.e., kill, steal, do bad things, interfere in other people's business), and you won't have to worry about being punished for them.

Albert Barnes says, "If you must be called to suffer, see that it be not for crime." He describes busybody as "one who busies himself with what does not concern him; that is, one who pries into the affairs of another; who attempts to control or direct them as if they were his own." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/1-peter/4-15.html, "Albert Barnes" Notes on the Whole Bible")

SEPTEMBER 23

Jeremiah 17:14: "Heal me, O LORD
[God], and I shall be healed [physically and spiritually (i.e., from temptation and sin)]; save me, and I shall be saved [from harm and from hell]: for thou art [you are] [the reason for] my praise."

SEPTEMBER 22

Proverbs 22:13: "The slothful
[lazy] man [person] saith, There is a lion without [outside], I shall be slain [killed] in the streets."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, the subject of this verse is excuses for laziness. In this case, the man says he can't go to work because he might be eaten by a lion.

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany says that laziness is more than a personality trait, cultural issue, or natural disposition--it's a moral failure, a SIN--and he goes on to list (with many examples for each statement) what Solomon said about laziness in the book of Proverbs. Then he talks specifically about excuses that people give for not doing something (like going to work).

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-22-index/proverbs-22_13/.

SEPTEMBER 21

Psalm 9:17: "The wicked
[referring to evil, sinful people who are morally bad in principle and practice] shall be turned into [sent to] hell, and [so will] all the nations [throughout the world, referring to the people in them, both 'bad' and 'good'] that [who] forget [about] God [and consequently don't honor him and obey his word]."

SEPTEMBER 20

1 Corinthians 10:13: "There hath
[has] no temptation [an urge or desire to do something unwise, immoral, or wrong] taken [hold of] you but such as is common to man [mankind, all people]: but God is faithful [trustworthy], who will not suffer [allow] you to be tempted above [beyond] that [which] ye are able [to resist]; but [he] will with the temptation also make a way to escape [the temptation], that ye may be able to bear [endure] it."

SEPTEMBER 19

Luke 6:31
[Jesus said]: "And as ye would [want, desire] that men [other people] should do to you, do ye also to them likewise [the same]."

In other words, treat others as you would like to be treated yourself (for example, with kindness).

The above verse is also known as the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

SEPTEMBER 18

Proverbs 18:13: "He that answereth a matter
[the person who gives his or her opinion about something] before he [or she] heareth it [hears the whole story, or both sides of it], it is folly [foolishness] and shame unto him [or her]."

This verse is about making snap judgments, jumping to conclusions, making up our minds without knowing all of the facts.

In his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church uses an example from the book of Joshua to illustrate the above point. He ends his commentary by saying, "Wars have started; marriages have ended; families destroyed; churches split; friendships broken; lives ruined; reputations damaged… all because of men have answered a matter before they heard it."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-18-index/proverbs-18_13/.

SEPTEMBER 17

Proverbs 17:25: "A foolish son is a grief
[source of anger and/or frustration] to his father, and [is] [a cause of] bitterness [sorrow (sadness), trouble or annoyance, mental strain and stress] to her that bare [gave birth to] him [i.e., his mother]."

Note: Since this verse is mostly self-explanatory, there is no commentary for it on the Salem Bible Church website.

SEPTEMBER 16

Proverbs 16:4: "The LORD
[God] hath made all things for himself [for his own purpose; for his honor, glory, and pleasure]: yea [yes], even the wicked [referring to sinners who end up rebelling against God and refuse to accept his free gift of eternal life] [were created] for the day of [the punishment of] evil [i.e., judgment day, when God will demonstrate his holiness, justice, and righteousness]."

In other words, God created everything for his pleasure and to show his handiwork, demonstrate his power and greatness, serve his purposes, and bring glory (praise and honor) to his name.

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. If  you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_4/.

SEPTEMBER 15

Proverbs 15:27: "He that is greedy of gain
[the person who wants to be rich and tries to get things dishonestly, through cheating or violence] troubleth his [or her] own house [household, family]; but he [or she] that hateth [refuses to take] gifts [in this case, bribes--to do something unjust or wrong, or to obtain money unlawfully] shall live [a long, fulfilling (satisfying, happy), and peaceful life]."

Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including the following examples of how we can be "greedy of gain" and cause trouble for our families: cheating on our tax returns, embellishing our resumes, becoming involved in shady business deals, taking bribes, and gambling.

Especially interesting and eye-opening is how this behavior affects our children. Here's what the commentary says in paragraph 4 under "B. Troubling One's Own House":

"4. There are various WAYS in which a dishonest, greedy man troubles his house.

"a. He may trouble his family with the hardships they experience because of him being arrested… losing his job… being imprisoned… losing their house… etc.

"b. But he may also trouble his house for years to come by TEACHING HIS CHILDREN to follow his behavior.
"→ Our kids pick up on our values by observation.
"→ The dishonest, greedy man demonstrates his character not only when he robs a bank. His kids will pick up on as they are growing up.
"→ Often those values (or lack thereof) are passed on to the next generation.

"c. This may go on for many generations. (Ex. 34:7)
" Alcoholism and drug abuse is often passed on in a family. Partly perhaps to genetics… but mostly through LEARNED and observed behavior!
" You don't have to worry about a genetic predisposition to alcoholism if you don't take your first drink!
" If the parents are involved in lying, cheating, stealing, those poor kids don't stand a chance of growing up honest!
" Domestic violence is also learned and passed on.
" Trouble brought into the home is often kept there… and passed on to future generations to CONTINUE to trouble that household…

"d. Kids are like sponges and they are watching and observing everything their parents do.
" And more often than not, those qualities are repeated in their lives.

"e. A man who is greedy for gain can trouble his own household even if he does nothing illegal!
" If a man is so driven to succeed materially that he works so many hours that he never has any TIME for his family, he too troubles his house.
" Those kids will grow up with many toys and nice clothes, but will RESENT that dad never spent any time with them.
" Kids grow up fast… and if they grow up angry, bitter, and resentful because Dad was more interested in material gain than in them… that exacerbates the trouble in the home…"

Concerning bribes, Pastor Delany says that people (including politicians, judges, police, and CEO's) can sometimes be bought off by money, and justice can also be perverted by money. Many people are willing to lie, cheat, look the other way, and refuse to blow the whistle when offered money or other things to keep quiet.

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-15-index/proverbs-15_27/.

SEPTEMBER 14

Psalm 139:4: "For there is not a word in my tongue
[there is nothing I can say], but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether [you know all about it; in other words, God knows the true meaning of everything we say--see comments below]."

This chapter of Psalms proves that God is omniscient, which means he knows everything about us, including the things that we think, say, and do. The above verse deals with things that we say.

In his commentary, Matthew Henry explains the verse as follows: "'Thou knowest me, and all I say (v. 4): There is not a word in my tongue, not a vain word, nor a good word, but thou knowest it altogether, knowest what it meant, from what thought it came, and with what design it was uttered. There is not a word at my tongue's end, ready to be spoken, yet checked and kept in, but thou knowest it.' When there is not a word in my tongue, O Lord! thou knowest all (so some read it); for thoughts are words to God." (Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/139.html, "Verses 1-6")

Regarding the phrase thou knowest it altogether at the end of the verse, Albert Barnes says: "Merely to 'hear' what is spoken does not imply necessarily a full knowledge of what is said - for it may be false, insincere, hypocritical. God knows exactly what is said and what is 'meant.'" (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/psalms/139-4.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

SEPTEMBER 13

Proverbs 13:19: "The
[good, proper] desire [when] accomplished is sweet [pleasant, satisfying] to the soul [i.e., to the person who gets what he or she wants--see examples below*]: but it is abomination [a disgusting, repulsive, hateful thing or thought] to fools to depart from evil [stop doing bad things, as in the examples below*]."
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*Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including many examples of people whose "desires were accomplished" when they paid off their mortgages, received college degrees, became missionaries, climbed mountains, saw loved ones get saved, etc.

He also gives examples of people (fools) whose "desires are not accomplished" because they refuse to "depart from evil." Here's what he said about them in Section 2, paragraph 2, of his commentary:

"a. They want a happy family… but refuse to stop messing around… and their hopes for a happy family are dashed!

"b. They want to do well at work and get promotions… but they continue to show up late… do sloppy work… because they refuse to get up on time… or put in an honest day's work.

"c. They would love to have a college degree, but will not depart from all their partying and night life to go to college…

"d. They want to have friends too…but refuse to stop their gossip and bad behavior that causes their acquaintances to stay away…

"e. They want good health too… but refuse to depart from their many habits that are hazardous to their health… they drive fast, smoke, drink, take drugs… etc… and good health seems to elude them."

There are more examples of foolish behavior in Section 2, paragraph 3, of the commentary:

"b. A man with lung cancer who continues to smoke…

"c. A man who just wrecked his family because of his drinking who continues to drink…

"d. The homosexual who contracts aids, and refuses to depart from his lifestyle…

"e. The big mouth who gossips and slanders wherever he goes and makes enemies and brings trouble on himself… who continues to blab…"

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-13-index/proverbs-13_19/.

SEPTEMBER 12

Matthew 18:19-20 - Prayer
Regarding the subject of prayer, especially in reference to guidance in organizing and running the church, which was mentioned in previous verses, Jesus told his disciples (the apostles):

Verse 19: "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching [regarding] any thing that they shall ask [in prayer], it shall be done for them of my Father [God] which is in heaven."

Verse 20: "For where two or three
[believers, born-again Christians, saved people] are gathered together in my [Jesus'] name [to worship God, as in church, at prayer meetings, etc.], there am I [Jesus, in their hearts, in Spirit form] in the midst [middle] of them."

SEPTEMBER 11

Proverbs 11:30: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life
[in other words, the born-again Christian (likened to a tree) will produce good works (likened to fruit) and be a blessing to others]; and he [or she] that winneth souls [to God; i.e., the person who tells others how to be born again, or saved] is wise."

Charles H. Spurgeon has a good sermon about this verse. It's called "The Soul-Winner's Life and Work." If you want to read it, here's the link: http://archive.spurgeon.org/misc/sw11.php. A second article, containing his lectures on soul winning, is entitled "What Is It to Win a Soul?" and can be found here: www.romans45.org/spurgeon/misc/sw01.htm.

Most Bible commentators agree with Charles Spurgeon that the phrase he that winneth souls in the above verse refers to soul winning. Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church has a slightly different take on its meaning. If you want to read his commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-11-index/proverbs-11_30/.

SEPTEMBER 10

Romans 12:19-20 - The Apostle Paul Teaches About Vengeance (Retaliation, Revenge)
Writing to the saints (born-again Christians) in Rome about revenge, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 19: "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves [don't harm or punish people who have hurt you and/or someone or something that you care about], but rather [instead] give [the proper] place unto wrath [anger] [in other words, leave the matter in God's hands; allow him (and sometimes the judges in a court of law) to punish the offender rather than doing it yourself]: for [because] it is written [in Deuteronomy 32:35--see Note 1 below], Vengeance is mine; I will repay ["pay him/her back"], saith the Lord [God]."

Verse 20: "Therefore if thine
[your] enemy hunger, feed him [or her]; if he [or she] thirst [is thirsty], give him [or her] [something to] drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire [burning coals] on his head [i.e., you will make the person feel pain in his or her conscience, such as shame, remorse, etc. (see Note 2 below), or (as suggested in Matthew Henry's commentary--see Note 3 below) you will '[m]elt him into repentance and friendship, …']. Be not [don't be] overcome of [by] evil, but overcome evil with good."
________________________

Note 1: Deuteronomy 32:35: "To me [God] belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste."

Note 2: In his commentary on verse 20, Albert Barnes says: "… In regard to this passage we may remark,

"(1) That the way to promote 'peace' is to do good even to enemies.

"(2) the way to bring a man to repentance is to do him good. On this principle God is acting continually. He does good to all, even to the rebellious; and he designs that his goodness should lead people to repentance; Romans 2:4. People will resist wrath, anger, and power; but 'goodness' they cannot resist; it finds its way to the heart; and the conscience does its work, and the sinner is overwhelmed at the remembrance of his crimes.

"(3) if people would act on the principles of the gospel, the world would soon be at peace. No man would suffer himself many times to be overwhelmed in this way with coals of fire. It is not human nature, bad as it is; and if Christians would meet all unkindness with kindness, all malice with benevolence, and all wrong with right, peace would soon pervade the community, and even opposition to the gospel might soon die away."

(Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/romans/12-20.html, "Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible")

Note 3: Source of quote: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/romans/12.html, "(v. 20)"

SEPTEMBER 9

Romans 12:1 - Christian Service
In the following verse, comparing Christian service in the New Testament (i.e., a willingness on the part of born-again Christians to serve God after salvation, due to a love for him and an appreciation for his gift of eternal life) to the Old Testament practice of presenting offerings to God (animal sacrifices, etc.) to atone for sin, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 1: "I beseech [implore, beg] you therefore, brethren [fellow Christians], by the mercies [because of the compassion and kindness] of God, that ye present your bodies [your entire selves] [to God] [as] a living sacrifice, holy [without blemish or defect], acceptable [well-pleasing] unto God, which is your reasonable service [which is the reasonable, or right, thing to do]."

SEPTEMBER 8

Proverbs 8:13
["Lady Wisdom" (God's wisdom personified) says]: "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil [in other words, those with 'the fear of the LORD' (a fear of displeasing God) will hate all evil things, including evil thoughts, words, actions, company, worship, and doctrines]: pride, and arrogancy [arrogance; i.e., conceit, egotism (believing you are better, smarter, and/or more important than other people)], and the evil way [sinning, doing bad things], and the froward [unmanageable] mouth, do I [Lady Wisdom] hate."

Salem Bible Church has a good explanation of this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-8-index/proverbs-8_13-14/.

SEPTEMBER 7

Deuteronomy 22:5: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man
[is designed specifically for men], neither shall a man put on a woman's garment [item of clothing]: for all that do so are abomination [hateful, detestable, disgusting] unto the LORD thy God."

According to some Bible commentators, there may be one exception to the above rule: "This [cross-dressing] shall not be done ordinarily or unnecessarily, for in some cases it may be lawful, as to make an escape for one's life." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/deuteronomy/22-5.html, "Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible")

SEPTEMBER 6

Proverbs 6:16-19 - Things that God Hates:

"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea
[yes], seven are an abomination [a disgusting thing] unto him:

[1] A proud look,
[2] a lying tongue
[referring to lying in general], and
[3] hands that shed innocent blood
[commit murder],
[4] An heart
[mind] that deviseth wicked imaginations [plans evil deeds],
[5] feet that be swift in running to mischief
[are in a hurry to do bad things],
[6] A false witness that speaketh lies
[gives false testimony (or tells lies) about others, as in court], and
[7] he
[or she] that soweth discord [causes trouble] among brethren [by spreading gossip or rumors]."

As usual, Salem Bible Church has excellent commentaries on all of these verses. They are broken down into six sections as follows:

-- Verses 16-19: "Introduction" and "A Proud Look"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_16-19/
-- Verse 17a: "A Lying Tongue"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_17a/
-- Verse 17b: "Hands that Shed Innocent Blood"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_17b/
-- Verse 18a: "A Heart that Deviseth Wicked Imaginations"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_18a/
-- Verse 18b: "Feet that be Swift in Running to Mischief"
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_18b/
-- Verse 19: "Sowing Discord" (and False Witnesses)
    http://www.salembible.org/proverbs-6-index/proverbs-6_19/

If you want to read some or all of them, click on the accompanying links.

SEPTEMBER 5

Matthew 5:38-41 - Jesus Teaches About Vengeance (Retaliation, Revenge)
Preaching to the multitude (crowd) during his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

Verse 38: "Ye have heard that it hath been said [referring to the Old Testament law of retaliation], An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [meaning you should punish bad behavior by doing to others what they have done to you]:

Verse 39: "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil
[people, when they intend to do (or have already done) you harm]: but whosoever shall smite thee [strike or hit hard with a hand, stick, or other weapon] on thy right cheek, turn to him [or her] the other [cheek] also."

Verses 40-41: "And if any man
[person] will sue thee at the law [i.e., in court], and take away thy coat, let him [or her] have thy cloke [cloak: a loose outer garment, such as a cape] also. And whosoever shall compel [force] thee to go a mile [in Rome, a mile was 1,000 paces], go with him [or her] twain [two] [miles]."

The expressions an eye for an eye and turn the other cheek come from this passage.

Albert Barnes' has a detailed commentary on the above verses. In it, he explains:

"An eye for an eye … - This command is found in Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20, and Deuteronomy 19:21. In these places it was given as a rule to regulate the decisions of judges. They were to take eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, and to inflict burning for burning. As a judicial rule it is not unjust. Christ finds no fault with the rule as applied to magistrates, and does not take upon himself to repeal it. But instead of confining it to magistrates, the Jews had extended it to private conduct, and made it the rule by which to take revenge. They considered themselves justified by this rule to inflict the same injury on others that they had received. Our Saviour remonstrates against this. He declares that the law had no reference to private revenge, that it was given only to regulate the magistrate, and that their private conduct was to be governed by different principles.

"The general principle which he laid down was, that we are not to resist evil; that is, as it is in the Greek, nor to set ourselves against an evil person who is injuring us. But even this general direction is not to be pressed too strictly. Christ did not intend to teach that we are to see our families murdered, or be murdered ourselves; rather than to make resistance. The law of nature, and all laws, human and divine, justify self-defense when life is in danger. It cannot surely be the intention to teach that a father should sit by coolly and see his family butchered by savages, and not be allowed to defend them. Neither natural nor revealed religion ever did, or ever can, inculcate this doctrine. Our Saviour immediately explains what he means by it. Had he intended to refer it to a case where life is in danger, he would most surely have mentioned it. Such a case was far more worthy of statement than those which he did mention.

"A doctrine so unusual, so unlike all that the world had believed. and that the best people had acted on, deserved to be formally stated. Instead of doing this, however, he confines himself to smaller matters, to things of comparatively trivial interest, and says that in these we had better take wrong than to enter into strife and lawsuits. The first case is where we are smitten on the cheek. Rather than contend and fight, we should take it patiently, and turn the other cheek. This does not, however, prevent our remonstrating firmly yet mildly on the injustice of the thing, and insisting that justice should be done us, as is evident from the example of the Saviour himself. See John 18:23. The second evil mentioned is where a man is litigious and determined to take all the advantage the law can give him, following us with vexatious and expensive lawsuits. Our Saviour directs us, rather than to imitate him rather than to contend with a revengeful spirit in courts of justice to take a trifling injury, and yield to him. This is merely a question about property, and not about conscience and life.

"Coat - The Jews wore two principal garments, an interior and an exterior. The interior, here called the 'coat,' or the tunic, was made commonly of linen, and encircled the whole body, extending down to the knees. Sometimes beneath this garment, as in the case of the priests, there was another garment corresponding to pantaloons. The coat, or tunic, was extended to the neck. and had long or short sleeves. Over this was commonly worn an upper garment, here called 'cloak,' or mantle. It was made commonly nearly square, of different sizes, 5 or 6 cubits long and as many broad, and was wrapped around the body, and was thrown off when labor was performed. If, said Christ, an adversary wished to obtain, at law, one of these garments, rather than contend with him let him have the other also. …

"Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile - The word translated 'shall compel' is of Persian origin. Post-offices were then unknown. In order that the royal commands might be delivered with safety and despatch in different parts of the empire, Cyrus stationed horsemen at proper intervals on all the great public highways. One of those delivered the message to another, and intelligence was thus rapidly and safely communicated. These heralds were permitted to compel any person, or to press any horse, boat, ship, or other vehicle that they might need for the quick transmission of the king's commandments. It was to this custom that our Saviour refers. Rather, says he, than resist a public authority requiring your attendance and aid for a certain distance, go peaceably twice the distance."

(Source of quoted material: www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-5.html, "Verses 38-41")

In addition to the above, GotQuestions.org has an article that answers the question, "What does the Bible mean by 'an eye for an eye'?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/eye-for-an-eye.html.

SEPTEMBER 4

Matthew 11:28-30 - Salvation and Obedience Lead to Comfort and Peace
Jesus said this to the Jews who were still trying to make themselves acceptable to God by obeying ceremonial (Mosaic) laws and rites, but it also applies to everyone else in the world:

Verse 28: "Come unto me [for salvation and comfort], all ye that labour [especially those who worked hard to keep the traditions of the elders and the law of Moses, which required strict obedience] and are heavy laden [overwhelmed, oppressed, burdened--by sin, sorrow, trouble, etc.], and I will give you rest [relief from worldly cares]."

Verse 29: "Take my yoke
[bond or connection with Jesus, using oxen as an illustration--see note below*] upon you, and learn of me [Jesus]; for I am meek [kind, gentle] and lowly in heart [humble]: and ye shall find rest unto your souls [i.e., spiritual rest]."

Verse 30: "
[We should take Jesus' yoke (do what he says; i.e., follow his rule, doctrine, and leadership)] For [because] my yoke is easy [to handle; i.e., manageable], and my burden [load] is light [in weight]."
________________________

*Dictionary.com's definition of yoke: a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull. In his commentary on verse 29, Peter Pett describes it like this:"In general a yoke is a wooden instrument that joins two animals so that it makes it easier for them, acting together, to pull a heavy load." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/11-29.html, "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible")

SEPTEMBER 3

Proverbs 3:11-12
[King Solomon's advice to his son concerning afflictions]: "My son, despise not [don't resist, ignore, or consider unworthy of your attention] the chastening of [being disciplined or punished by] the LORD [God]; neither [and don't] be weary [sick and tired] of his correction: For [because] whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father [corrects, disciplines] the son in whom he delighteth [is well pleased]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on these verses, and as usual, Pastor Delany provides many examples to illustrate each point. Here's a sample from paragraph 5c in the top section of his commentary: "One way or another, God knows how to MAKE us respond to Him. If we refuse to respond to the lesser forms of chastisement, He knows how to heat up the oven."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/proverbs-3-index/proverbs-3_11-12/.

SEPTEMBER 2

Hebrews 13:4: "Marriage
[between a man and woman--see note below*] is honourable in all [things], and the [marriage] bed [is] undefiled [meaning that sexual activity between a husband and wife is considered pure and wholesome, not immoral or unclean]: but whoremongers [customers of prostitutes--see note below**] and adulterers [those who commit adultery, which is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband] God will judge [punish]."
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*1 Corinthians 7:2-4 "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."

**For the biblical definition of whoremonger, read the following article: "What is a whoremonger in the Bible?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/whoremonger.html.

SEPTEMBER 1

Galatians 1:6-9 - Don't Believe False Teachers!
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the churches in Galatia, wrote:

Verses 6-7: "I marvel [I'm amazed] that ye are so soon removed from him [probably referring to God] that called you into the grace of Christ [referring to salvation by faith--trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ to pay for our sins] unto another gospel [salvation through works, as in religious rites and ceremonies]: Which is not another [gospel--because there is only one true gospel]; but there be some that trouble you [referring to false teachers], and [who] would pervert [corrupt, distort, misinterpret] the gospel of Christ [i.e., simple reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation]."

Verses 8-9: "But though we
[referring to himself (Paul) and the other apostles], or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you [i.e., salvation by faith, not works], let him [or her] be accursed [under a curse from God, doomed to destruction]. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man [person] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him [or her] be accursed."


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