Psalm 34:7: "The angel of the LORD [an angel who has been sent from God to protect his people] encampeth round about ["pitches his tent" around] them that fear him [God], and delivereth them [from evil, harm, danger]."
1 Thessalonians 5:22: "Abstain from [avoid] all appearance of evil."
[In other words, if we have to ask ourselves whether something is right or wrong, we shouldn't do it, as "the world" might view it as bad, even though our intentions in doing it are not.]
[Note: Albert Barnes has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, click on the link (www.godvine.com/bible/1-thessalonians/5-22) and scroll down to "Barnes' Notes."]
Luke 15:11-32 - The Prodigal Son
[This is a story that Jesus told about sinners and repentance, with the older son representing the Pharisees, the younger son representing the returning sinner, and the father representing God.]
Verses 11-12: "And he [Jesus] said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me [i.e., my inheritance]. And he divided unto them his living [property].
Verses 13-16: And not many days after [that,] the younger son gathered all [of his things] together, and took his journey into [traveled to] a far country, and there wasted his substance [spent all that he had] with riotous living [an extravagant lifestyle]. And when he had spent all [everything], there arose a mighty famine [extreme shortage of food] in that land; and he began to be in want [need]. And he went and joined himself to [hired himself out to, became employed by] a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine [pigs]. And he would fain [gladly] have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat [because that type of food was better than what his master provided]: and no man gave unto him [nobody gave him any] .
Verses 17-19: And when he came to himself [his senses], he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger [I'm starving to death]! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven [God], and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make [treat] me as one of thy hired servants.
Verses 20-24: And he arose [got up], and came to his father [went home]. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion [had pity on him, or sympathy for his suffering], and ran, and fell on [threw his arms around] his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven [God], and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes [sandals] on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf [bring it here], and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry [cheerful, joyous]: For this my son was dead [to virtue, or good moral behavior], and is alive again; he was lost [to us; i.e., we didn't know where he was], and is found. And they began to be merry.
Verses 25-27: Now his elder [older] son was in the field [working]: and as he came and drew nigh [near] to the house, he heard musick [music] and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come [home]; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
Verses 28-30: And he [the older son] was angry, and would not go in [the house]: therefore came his father out, and intreated [begged] him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed [disobeyed] I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid [young goat], that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured [wasted, used up] thy living [property, money] with harlots [prostitutes], thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
Verses 31-32: And he [the father] said unto him, Son, thou art ever [always] with me, and all that I have is thine [yours]. It was meet [fitting, appropriate, right] that we should make merry [celebrate], and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found."
Leviticus 19:16 [God told Moses to tell the Israelites]: "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer [someone who spreads gossip or rumors] among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour [either as a false witness or false accuser or by failing to help someone when his/her life is in danger]: I am the LORD."
Deuteronomy 4:23-24 [Moses, speaking to the Israelites]: "Take heed unto yourselves [pay attention], lest ye [so you don't] forget the covenant [agreement] of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing [i.e., an idol, such as a statue (carved out of wood, stone, or metal) of someone or something to be worshiped instead of, or in addition to, Almighty God], which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God [and he wants--and deserves--our respect, fear, love, and obedience.]."
Matthew 23:8-10 [Jesus, referring to religious leaders]: "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your [spiritual] father upon the earth: for one is your Father [God], which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ."
1 John 5:11-13 [the apostle John, writing to born-again Christians]: "And this is the record [in the Bible, of the message], that God [the Father] hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in [obtained through] his Son [Jesus]. He that hath [he who has] the Son [of God, Jesus, in his heart] hath [eternal] life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God [i.e., who trust in Jesus alone for salvation]; that ye may know [be assured] that ye have eternal life, and that ye may [continue to] believe on the name of the Son of God [have strong faith]."
James 4:7: "Submit yourselves [be obedient] therefore to God. Resist the devil [for example, say (out loud):
'Go away, Satan, in Jesus' name--leave me alone!'], and he will flee from you."
Romans 13:10: "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour [does not harm others, but tries to do good to them]: therefore love is the fulfilling [meets the requirements] of the law [of Moses; i.e., the Ten Commandments)]."
2 Corinthians 6:14 [Paul and Timothy, writing to members of the church at Corinth]: "Be ye not unequally yoked together [joined, united] with unbelievers [in marriage, friendships, business partnerships, etc.]: for what fellowship [friendly association, companionship] hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion [close personal connection] hath light with darkness?"
Proverbs 30:7-9 [Agur's prayer to God]: "Two things have I required [asked] of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity [falsehood] and lies [i.e., keep me honest in thought, word, and deed]: give me neither poverty nor riches [don't let me be poor or rich]; feed me with food convenient [suitable] for me [i.e., provide for my daily needs]: Lest I [so I won't] be full, and deny thee [forget you, or think that I don't need you], and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I [so I won't] be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain [dishonor God, or treat him without respect]."
Note: Salem Bible Church has excellent commentaries on the above verses. If you want to read them, here are the links:
Verse 7--Remove vanity and lies: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch30_html/Prov.30.7.htm
Verse 8--No poverty or riches: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch30_html/Prov.30.8.htm
Verse 9--Reasons for asking: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch30_html/Prov.30.9.htm
Matthew 15:7-8 [Jesus, speaking to the scribes and Pharisees]: "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias [Isaiah] prophesy of you [in Isaiah 29:13*], saying, This people draweth nigh unto [near to] me [God] with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me."
*Isaiah 29:13: "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept [general rule regarding behavior or thought] of men:"
Romans 10:13-15: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved [from hell]. How then shall they call on him [Jesus Christ] in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him [Jesus] of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher [someone who proclaims the gospel in a public manner]? And how shall they preach, except they be sent [by God]? as it is written [in Isaiah 52:7*], How beautiful are the feet of them that [i.e., how welcome are those who] preach the gospel [i.e., bring the message] of peace, and bring glad tidings [news] of good things!"
*Isaiah 52:7: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
Romans 10:17: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
[In other words, the preaching of God's word increases our faith.]
Matthew 10:28: "And fear not [don't be afraid of] them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him [God] which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
James 3:8-10: "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil [almost impossible to control], full of deadly poison [capable of saying malicious, slanderous, hurtful things]. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude [likeness, image] of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be [should not happen]."
Proverbs 18:19: "A brother [relative, friend, associate] offended is harder to be won [won over, won back, reached] than a strong city: and their contentions [arguments, quarrels, disputes] are like the bars of a castle [thick, strong, impenetrable]."
[Note: Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch18_html/Prov.18.19.htm.]
Romans 12:17: "Recompense [repay, return] to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest [always act in a kind, patient, and mild manner and do what is right] in the sight of all men."
1 John 5:14-15: "And this is the confidence that we have in him [God], that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him [our prayers will be answered]."
Hebrews 13:5-6 [in a letter to Jewish Christians]: "Let your conversation [conduct] be without covetousness [a craving for wealth or possessions, or for someone else's possessions]; and be content [satisfied] with such things as ye have: for he [God] hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake [abandon, desert] thee. So that we may boldly [confidently] say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto [don't depend upon] thine [your] own understanding. In all thy ways [everything you do] acknowledge him [pray for wisdom, etc.], and he shall direct thy paths [guide you]."
1 John 5:7: "For there are three [Persons] that bear record [witness] in heaven [to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God], the Father [God the Father], the Word [Jesus Christ--the Son], and the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit]: and these three are one [i.e., one God (Godhead), consisting of three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)--also known as the Trinity]."
Mark 1:14-15: "Now after that John [the Baptist] was put in prison [by King Herod], Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God [heaven], And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye [change your mind], and believe the gospel [the good news that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day*]."
*1 Corinthians 15:1-4: "Moreover, brethren, I [the apostle Paul] declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"
John 14:15-17 [Jesus, speaking to his disciples at the Last Supper]: "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray [to] the Father [God], and he shall give you another Comforter [the Holy Spirit], that he may abide [remain] with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth [the Holy Spirit]; whom the world [the unsaved people in it] cannot receive, because it [they] seeth him not, neither knoweth him [personally]: but ye [born-again Christians] know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you [in your heart]."
Matthew 5:14-16 [Jesus, speaking to his disciples during his Sermon on the Mount]: "Ye [born-again Christians] are the [spiritual] light of the world [i.e., by spreading the gospel, we enlighten people's minds, just as the sun illuminates the earth by shining on it]. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid [hidden]. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light [Christian conduct] so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify [honor, praise, worship, and obey] your Father which is in heaven [God]."
Titus 3:5-7: "Not by works of righteousness [good works] which we have done, but according to his mercy he [God] saved us, by the washing of regeneration [i.e., spiritual rebirth, or process of being "born again"], and renewing [influences] of the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit]; Which he shed [poured out] on us abundantly [plentifully, in great quantity] through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified [freed from sin] by his grace, we should be made heirs [be adopted into the family of God] according to the hope of [spending] eternal life [in heaven]."
Mark 11:25-26 [Jesus, speaking to his twelve disciples]: "And when ye stand praying [whenever you pray--standing, sitting, kneeling, etc.], forgive [others], if ye have ought [anything, like hatred or grudges] against any [anyone]: that your Father also which is in heaven [God] may forgive you your trespasses [offenses, sins]. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."
Titus 3:9-11: "But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies [ancestry, family history, family tree], and contentions [disagreements, arguments], and strivings [heated discussions, informal debates] about the law [religious rites and ceremonies]; for they are unprofitable and vain [useless]. A man that is an heretick [who tries to cause divisions within the church] after the first and second admonition [warning] reject [avoid]; Knowing that he that is such is subverted [changed for the worse, corrupted, perverted], and sinneth, being condemned of himself [by his conscience]."
Ephesians 6:2-3: "Honour thy father and mother [obey your parents and treat them with kindness and respect]; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."
James 2:19: "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils [evil spirits, demons] also believe [that there is one God], and tremble [in fear of God's wrath (extreme anger) and being tormented forever in the lake of fire]."
[In other words, believing in God is not enough to get you to heaven; you must be born again.]
Mark 10:2-9: "And the Pharisees came to him [Jesus], and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put [send] away his wife? tempting him [trying to "trip him up" in his answers]. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered [allowed us] to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For [due to] the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept [rule of behavior]. But from the beginning of the creation God made them [Adam and Eve] male and female. For this cause [reason (marriage)] shall a man leave his father and mother [no longer live with them], and cleave to [join together and live with] his wife; And they twain [two] shall be one flesh [be closely united with one another--under the law, physically, and in interests, love, etc.]: so then they are no more twain [two separate souls], but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together [in marriage], let not man put asunder [apart]."