2 Corinthians 7:10: "For godly sorrow [sadness because we have sinned, or broken God's laws] worketh [brings about] repentance [a change of mind, which leads] to salvation not to be repented of [regretted]: but the sorrow of the world [sadness due to worldly causes (disappointment, shame or disgrace, loss of friends or loved ones, money, property, etc.) and which does not lead to a relationship with God] worketh death [often results in death itself, as when a person becomes very sick and dies (for example, of a 'broken heart') or feels so distressed that he or she commits suicide]."
The article entitled "What is godly sorrow?" by GotQuestions.org has a detailed explanation of what is meant by the term godly sorrow. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/godly-sorrow.html.
Ecclesiastes 9:10: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device [reasoning], nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither [where] thou goest."
In other words, work hard now because you won't be able to do so when you're dead.
Matthew 18:15-17 - What to Do When Christians Sin Against Other Christians
Verse 15: "Moreover if thy brother [a fellow Christian] shall trespass against thee [hurt you in any way, in word or deed], go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone [i.e., do it in private]: if he shall hear thee [what you say] [and apologizes and tries to make it right], thou hast gained thy brother [restored friendly relations]."
Verse 16: "But if he will not hear thee [listen to you], then [when you go to see him (or her)] take with thee one or two more [Christians, preferably his/her friends or people you know that he/she trusts, so they can help to convince the offender of his/her wrongdoing], [so] that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established [so that, if necessary, they can testify to the truth of what is being said]."
Verse 17: "And if he shall neglect [refuse] to hear them [the people you brought with you], tell it unto the church [explain the problem to the members and/or representatives of the offender's home church]: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican [treat him or her like an unbeliever; i.e., don't have anything to do with him or her]."
Briefly, if you are a Christian, here are the steps to take when another Christian sins again you:
1. Confront the person privately.
If that doesn't work, then:
2. Bring one or two other Christians to talk to him or her.
If that doesn't work, then:
3. Confront the person publicly (in church).
If that doesn't work, then:
4. Don't have anything to do with him or her.
Proverbs 27:1: "Boast not thyself of to morrow [don't brag about future events]; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth [because you don't even know what will happen tomorrow]."
In other words, prepare for the future, but don't expect that everything will turn out the way you thought it would.
Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church has written an excellent commentary on this verse, including many examples of things we tend to boast about and reasons why we shouldn't do that. Near the end of the commentary (in paragraph 7), he summarized the meaning of the verse as follows: "Make the best plans you can," "Be hopeful … But also be realistic …," and "Leave tomorrow in God's hands."
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch27_html/Prov.27.1.htm.
Proverbs 13:10: "Only by pride [in a negative sense, meaning arrogance and conceit] cometh contention [arguments, disagreements] [i.e., it's the main cause]: but with the well advised [person] is wisdom."
As I mentioned previously, on the Salem Bible Church website, most (if not all) of the Bible studies on Proverbs are outlines of sermons that Pastor Delany delivered to his congregation.
In his commentary on the above verse, Pastor Delany includes examples of how pride causes contention almost everywhere we go (at home, school, work, church, etc.). If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch13_html/Prov.13.10.htm.
Psalm 107:8: "Oh that men [and women and children, especially born-again Christians] would praise the LORD for his goodness [kindness], and for his wonderful works [examples: salvation, protection, guidance, answered prayer] to the children of men [all people]!"
Genesis 3:1-7 - The Fall of Man
(This took place in the Garden of Eden, when Satan, disguised as a serpent, appeared to Adam and Eve and tempted them to sin by eating the forbidden fruit)
Verse 1: "Now the serpent [i.e., Satan (the devil), in the form of a large snake that was able to walk and talk] was more subtil [subtle (intelligent, clever, and deceptive)] than any beast of the field [animal] which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea [indeed], hath [has] God said, Ye shall not eat [the fruit] of every tree of the garden?"
Verses 2-3: "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst [middle] of the garden [i.e., the tree of the knowledge of good and evil], God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die [or you will die]."
Verses 4-5: "And the serpent said unto the woman [trying to convince her that God didn't intend to carry out his threat], Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes [i.e., the eyes of your mind, or understanding] shall be opened, and ye shall be as [like] gods, knowing [what is] good and evil."
Verses 6-7: "And when the woman [Eve] saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes [pleasing to look at], and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto [gave some to] her husband [Adam] with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons [to cover themselves]."
The above story illustrates the consequences of disobeying God's commands.
2 Timothy 3:13: "But [in the last days, before Jesus returns to earth,] evil men and seducers [people who lead others astray, or off the right path)] shall wax [become] worse and worse, deceiving [misleading people], and being deceived [fooled] [themselves]."
Isaiah 64:6: "But we are all as an unclean thing [polluted and defiled (dirty, contaminated, corrupted)], and all our righteousnesses [good works and deeds] are as filthy rags* [in God's sight]; and we all do fade as [like] a leaf [does] [when the green color starts to fade and the leaf falls off the tree in autumn]; and our iniquities [sins], like the wind [does with the falling leaves], have taken us away [from God]."
*According to John Gill's commentary on Isaiah 64:6 (which you can find here: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/isaiah-64-6.html) concerning filthy rags: "The words may be rendered, 'as a menstruous cloth,' ... or as a foul plaster or cloth taken off a sore, with purulent matter [pus] on it, ... or any other impure and nauseous thing."
Psalm 34:19: "Many are the afflictions [troubles; things that cause pain or suffering, such as illness, death of a loved one, misfortune (bad luck), persecution (harassment), etc.] of the righteous [person; i.e., born-again Christian]: but the LORD delivereth [rescues, saves] him [or her] out of them all."
Revelation 20:11-15 - The Apostle John's Vision of Judgment Day
Verse 11: "And I saw a great white throne [in heaven], and him that sat on it [the Lord Jesus Christ], from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away [disappeared from view]; and there was found no place for them."
Verse 12: "And I saw the dead [people--who have been resurrected, or brought back to life], small and great [young and old, rich and poor, good and bad, etc.], stand before God; and the books [containing the record of human deeds and sins] were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life [containing the names of those who have been born again (saved) and are allowed to enter into heaven]: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works [what they thought, said, and did during their lifetime on earth]."
Verse 13: "And the sea [and oceans and other large bodies of water] gave up the dead [bodies] which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them [i.e., bodies that were in graves, and souls that were in hell]: and they [all of those dead people] were judged every man [and woman and child] according to their works."
Verse 14: "And death and hell [personified, or represented as people] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
Verse 15: "And whosoever [everyone whose name] was not found written in the book of life was cast [thrown] into the lake of fire [see note below*]."
*In 2014, I found a very graphic video of a volcano filled with vigorously boiling lava that reminds me of a "lake of fire." I posted the link to that video along with some background information in one of the articles in my Christian forum. It's entitled "WARNING! You must be saved God's way or you'll end up in the lake of fire!" and can be found here: www.mansioninheaven.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=91&t=58.
Please note: You may have to watch the volcano video on your computer, as the link probably won't work on mobile devices. I'm really sorry about that.
Mark 2:14-17 - Jesus Eats With Publicans and Sinners
Verse 14: "And as he [Jesus] passed by [the seaside], he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus [also known as Matthew, the tax collector, who wrote the gospel of Matthew] sitting at the receipt of custom [toll booth], and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose [stood up] and followed him."
Verse 15: "And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat [sat down to eat] in his [Levi's] house, many publicans [tax collectors] and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many [disciples], and they followed him [Jesus]."
Verse 16: "And when the scribes [religious teachers] and Pharisees [members of a Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of traditional and written law] saw him [Jesus] eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?"
Verse 17: "When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole [healthy] have no need of the physician [doctor], but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous [people], but sinners to repentance [to have a change of mind concerning sin and salvation]."
2 Corinthians 5:20 [the apostle Paul and Timothy, writing to the members of the church at Corinth]: "Now then we are ambassadors for [representatives of] [Jesus] Christ, as though God did beseech [make an urgent appeal to] you by us: we pray [ask, beg] you in Christ's stead [place], be ye reconciled to [brought into a state of favor with] God [through his plan of salvation--see note below*]."
*According to the Bible, Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, and when we are "born again," or receive him as Savior, our sins are forgiven and our fellowship with God is restored. This is confirmed by Romans 5:10, which says: "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."
If you want to be born again, and thus be reconciled to God, you must, through prayer, ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die. Why now do it now?
2 Corinthians 6:2: "(For [referring to what was said in Isaiah 49:8--see note below*] he [God the Father] saith [to his Son, Jesus, the Messiah], I have heard thee [i.e., your prayer that the people of the world could someday be saved] in a time accepted [at a time that is acceptable to me], and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee [i.e., God promised to help Jesus in his efforts to make salvation known during the gospel dispensation]: [so the apostle Paul is telling everyone:] behold, now is the accepted time [for people to be saved]; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"
*Isaiah 49:8: "Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;"
Note: In the case the meaning of the above verse is not clear enough, I thought you would like to read a portion of what Albert Barnes says about it in his commentary:
"Behold, now is the accepted time ... - The meaning of this passage is, the 'Messiah is come. The time referred to by Isaiah has arrived. It is now a time when God is ready to show compassion, to hear prayer, and to have mercy on mankind. Only through the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, does he show mercy, and people should therefore now embrace the offers of pardon.' The doctrine taught here, therefore. is, that through the Lord Jesus, and where he is preached, God is willing to pardon and save people; and this is true wherever he is preached, and as long as people live under the sound of the gospel. The world is under a dispensation of mercy, and God is willing to show compassion, and while this exists, that is, while people live, the offers of salvation are to he freely made to them. The time will come when it will not be an acceptable time with God. The day of mercy will be closed; the period of trial will be ended; and people will be removed to a world where no mercy is shown, and where compassion is unknown. This verse, which should be read as a parenthesis, is designed to be connected with the argument which the apostle is urging, and which he presented in the previous chapter. The general doctrine is, that people should seek reconciliation with God. To enforce that, he here says, that it was now the acceptable time, the time when God was willing to be reconciled to human beings. The general sentiment of this passage may be thus expressed:
"(1) Under the gospel it is an acceptable time, a day of mercy, a time when God is willing to show mercy to people.
"(2) there may be special seasons which may be especially called the acceptable, or accepted time:
"(a) When the gospel is pressed on the attention by the faithful preaching of his servants, or by the urgent entreaties of friends;
"(b) When it is brought to our attention by any striking dispensation of Providence;
"(c) When the Spirit of God strives with us, and brings us to deep reflection, or to conviction for sin;
"(d) In a revival of religion, when many are pressing into the kingdom - it is at all such seasons an accepted time, a day of salvation. a day which we should improve. It is 'now' such a season, because:
"(i) The time of mercy will pass by, and God will not be willing to pardon the sinner who goes unprepared to eternity.
"(ii) Because we cannot calculate on the future. We have no assurance, no evidence that we shall live another day, or hour."
(Source: www.godvine.com/bible/2-corinthians/6-2, "Barnes' Notes")
John 16:21 [Jesus said to his disciples]: "A woman when she is in travail [labor] hath sorrow [sadness, grief], because her hour [time for childbirth] is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish [pain], for joy that a man [human being; i.e., baby] is born into the world."
According to John Gill, the above verse was meant to comfort Jesus' disciples concerning his upcoming death and resurrection. Here's what he said in his commentary:
"Now our Lord, by this instance, illustrates the sorrow his disciples should have by his departure, and the joy that they should be possessed of upon his return to them; that as the pains of a woman in travail are very sharp and severe, and the distress of her mind, about the issue of things respecting herself and offspring, is very great, so would be the grief and trouble of the disciples on account of the death of their Lord and master: but as when a woman is safely delivered of a man child, she is so filled with joy, that her sorrow is remembered no more so should it be with them, when Christ should appear to them; all their trouble, concern, anxiety of mind, and fears, that attended them, would all vanish away, and they be distressed with them no more."
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 own house [family]; but he that hateth [refuses to take] gifts [i.e., bribes--to do something unjust, or wrong, or to obtain money unlawfully] shall live [a long life and a good life]."
Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including many examples of how we can be "greedy of gain" and cause trouble for our families. Especially interesting and eye-opening is how this behavior affects our children (paragraph 4 under "Troubling One's Own House"). If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch15_html/Prov.15.27.htm.
Proverbs 30:12: "There is a generation [group of people who are born and living at around the same time] that are pure in their own eyes [who consider themselves righteous (morally right), without fault], and yet is not washed from their filthiness [sins … in the blood of Jesus Christ--see note below*]."
Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse, including many examples of self-righteous hypocrites. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch30_html/Prov.30.12.htm.
*Note: We are 'washed from our filthiness' when we, through faith, accept Jesus' death as full payment for our sins, ask him to come into our hearts, and receive him as our personal Savior.
Psalm 51:5 [King David's prayer to God]: "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me [i.e., he was born a sinner, meaning that--as is true for all mankind (everyone in the world)--David had the sin nature from the time that he was conceived]."
Colossians 3:12-13 - The Apostle Paul's Advice to Born-Again Christians
"Put on therefore, as the elect of [chosen or favored by] God, holy and beloved, [the following characteristics:]
bowels of mercies [compassion],
humbleness of mind [humility],
meekness [gentleness, mildness],
Forbearing one another [controlling your temper when annoyed or provoked by someone],
and forgiving one another, if any man [person] have a quarrel [complaint] against any[one]:
even as Christ forgave you [for your sins against God], so also do ye [i.e., you should forgive others when they sin against you]."
Romans 12:17: "Recompense [repay, return] to no man [person] evil [words or deeds] for evil [words or deeds]. Provide things honest [always act in a kind, patient, and mild manner and do what is right] in the sight of all men [people]."
Isaiah 5:11: "Woe unto [great sorrow or distress or many troubles will come to] them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink [intoxicating liquor] [i.e., so they can get drunk]; that [and who] continue [drinking strong drinks] until night, till [until] wine [or beer or other alcoholic beverages] inflame [excite or stimulate] them [or produce in them anger and/or violent behavior]!"
Proverbs 3:9-10: "Honour the LORD with thy substance [your money and possessions; i.e., honor God by giving to his work], and with the firstfruits [first, or best, part] of all thine increase [of whatever else you get in the future]: So [then] shall thy barns be filled with plenty [of food (corn, grain, etc.)], and thy presses shall burst out [overflow] with new wine [i.e., God will provide for your needs]."
According to Pastor Delany, in his commentary on the above verses: "The passage in Prov.3:10 does NOT give us the MOTIVE to give (so that we will get). Rather, it gives us a PROMISE in giving … that when we give sacrificially, God will provide for our needs!" Then he gives the reasons for why he said that.
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch3_html/Prov.3.9.htm.
Acts 23:1-5 - The Apostle Paul Appears Before Ananias and the Sanhedrin
Verse 1: "And Paul, earnestly beholding [looking intently at the members of] the council [i.e., Sanhedrin--see note below*], said, Men and brethren [brothers--in this case, fellow Jews], I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day."
Verse 2: "And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him [those who stood near Paul] to smite [slap or punch] him on the mouth."
Verse 3: "Then said Paul unto him [Ananias], God shall smite thee [punish you], thou whited wall [you hypocrite]: for sittest thou to [because you're supposed to] judge me after [according to] the law, and [instead you] commandest me to be smitten contrary to [in violation of] the law [of Moses]?"
Verse 4: "And they that stood by [nearby] said [to Paul], Revilest thou [why are you verbally attacking] God's high priest?"
Verse 5: "Then said Paul, I wist not [didn't know], brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written [in Exodus 22:28--see below**], Thou shalt not speak evil of [say bad things about] the ruler of thy people."
In other words, we need to respect our leaders.
*For background information on the Sanhedrin, see the article entitled "What was the Sanhedrin?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/Sanhedrin.html.
**Exodus 22:28: "Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people."
Romans 14:20-23 - Offending Others, Conscience, Faith, Doubt, Sin:
Verse 20: "For meat [food] destroy not [don't destroy] the work of God [i.e., what the Holy Spirit is doing in the heart of the believer]. All things indeed are pure [lawful (permitted) to be eaten]; but it is evil [wrong] for that man who eateth with offence [who eats something that another Christian considers to be sinful and that will cause problems for him or her, as explained in the following verse]."
Verse 21: "It is good neither to eat flesh [of sacrificed animals (in Bible times); i.e., meat], nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby [by which] thy [Christian] brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak [in the faith … or physically, mentally, spiritually]."
Verse 22: "Hast thou [do you have] faith [concerning the subject being discussed (i.e., meats, drinks, etc.)? have it to thyself before [keep it private between you and] God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in [does not condemn or disapprove of] that thing which he alloweth."
Verse 23: "And he that doubteth [does not do something with a clear conscience] is damned [full of guilt and blame] if he eat [if he eats something he's not sure he should eat (or does something he's not sure he should do)], because he eateth not of faith [he doubts that what he's doing is right]: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
In the above verses, the apostle Paul is teaching us that:
-- We should always try to be a good influence on others. One way is by not doing things that will offend people or cause them to sin.
-- If our conscience tells us that something is wrong, we shouldn't do it.
2 John 1:10-11: "If there come any [person claiming to be a teacher of religion] unto you, and bring not this doctrine [of Christ; i.e., the teaching that Jesus is the Son of God, Messiah, and Savior of mankind], receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed [and don't wish him (or her) a prosperous, or successful, journey]: For he that biddeth him [the false teacher] God speed is partaker of [someone who shares in] his evil deeds."
Psalm 127:1: "Except the LORD build the house [see note below*], they labour [work hard] in vain [without success] that build it [i.e., those who try to build it themselves]: except the LORD keep [guards, protects] the city, the watchman waketh [awakens, wakes up, stays alert] but in vain."
*According to various Bible commentaries, the word house in the above verse can apply to the temple of the Lord, an ordinary house, or a family, but it can also be applied to everything that we do. With this meaning in mind, we are being told that our success and safety depend upon the presence and blessing of God.
In his commentary, Albert Barnes gives specific examples of why we are dependent upon God. Here's what he says:
-- About the builders of the house: "No matter what their skill, their strength, their industry may be -- all will be in vain unless God shall assist them. They are dependent on Him for life, for health, for strength, for practical wisdom, for a disposition to continue their work, and for success in it. Their work might be destroyed by fire, by a tempest, by an earthquake, or by an irruption of enemies; and for the result, therefore, they are entirely dependent on God."
-- About the watchman guarding the city: "… the idea is, that, whatever may be the diligence, the care, the fidelity of one thus appointed to guard a city, its safe-keeping must depend on God alone. Fires may break out in spite of the watchmen; a tempest may sweep over it; bands of armed people may assail it; or the pestilence may suddenly come into it, and spread desolation through its dwellings."
(Source: www.godvine.com/bible/psalms/127-1, "Barnes' Notes")
Psalm 92:1: "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name ['Jehovah'--see note below*], O most High:"
According to the Bible, this was a psalm or song for the sabbath day.
*Throughout the Bible, God is referred to by many names. Some of the better known ones are explained in the article entitled "What are the different names of God and what do they mean?" Here is an excerpt from that article:
"ADONAI: 'Lord' … -- used in place of YHWH, which was thought by the Jews to be too sacred to be uttered by sinful men. In the Old Testament, YHWH is more often used in God's dealings with His people, while Adonai is used more when He deals with the Gentiles.
"YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH: 'LORD' … -- strictly speaking, the only proper name for God. Translated in English Bibles 'LORD' (all capitals) to distinguish it from Adonai, 'Lord.' The revelation of the name is first given to Moses 'I Am who I Am' …. This name specifies an immediacy, a presence. Yahweh is present, accessible, near to those who call on Him for deliverance …, forgiveness … and guidance …."
If you want to read the entire article, including many Bible references (which have been omitted in the quoted material above), here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/names-of-God.html.
Psalm 38:22 [King David's prayer to God]: "Make haste to [please hurry and] help me, O Lord my salvation [whom I can count on to save me and rescue me from my troubles]."
Matthew 18:1-4 - The Kingdom of Heaven
Verse 1: "At the same time [after Jesus paid tribute (a tax for support of the temple) for himself and Peter with the money that was found in a fish's mouth] came the disciples unto Jesus [the Messiah], saying, Who is the greatest [who will hold the highest office or most powerful position] in the kingdom of heaven?"
Verses 2-3: "And Jesus called a little [young] child unto him, and set him in the midst [middle] of them [Jesus and his disciples], And said, Verily [truly] I say unto you, Except ye be converted [unless you stop thinking that my kingdom is temporal, or worldly, and not eternal], and become as little children [humble and teachable], ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Verse 4: "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as [like] this little child, the same [that person] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by [God's] grace are ye saved [born again] through faith [in Jesus--see note below*]; and that [i.e., salvation] [is] not of [earned by] yourselves: it is the gift of God: [it is] Not of [due to] [good] works, lest any man should boast."
In other words, salvation is based on faith, not works, so that nobody will be ever able to say, "I got to heaven because of my own righteousness (how good a person I was, how many good deeds I did during my life on earth, etc.)."
*For an explanation of what it means to have faith in Jesus and believe in Jesus, I recommend the following articles:
-- "What does it mean to have faith in Jesus?" (www.gotquestions.org/faith-in-Jesus.html)
-- "What does it mean to believe in Jesus?" (www.gotquestions.org/believe-in-Jesus.html)