John 15:5 [Jesus, speaking to his disciples during the last supper]: "I am the vine, ye [you] are the branches: He that abideth in me [whoever continues to stay close to me], and I in him [i.e., if the person is a true Christian, meaning that the Holy Spirit lives in his or her heart] , the same [person] bringeth forth [will produce] much fruit [good works]: for without me [i.e., separate or apart from Jesus] ye can do nothing."
What Jesus said in the above verse also applies to all born-again Christians. Jesus is the source of our strength, and he wants us to be fruitful. The praise for any good works that we do belongs to him..
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 - The Importance of Forgiveness
[The apostle Paul wrote this in a letter to the Corinthian church while discussing the discipline of one of its members]
Verse 10: "To whom ye [the church leaders and members] forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it [I forgave it] in the person [as a representative] of [Jesus] Christ;"
Verse 11: "Lest Satan should get an [otherwise, the devil will be able to take] advantage of us: for we are not ignorant [unaware] of his devices [evil plans, schemes] [i.e., to destroy Christians and/or their churches]."
1 Corinthians 15:58 [the apostle Paul, in a letter to the Corinthian church]: "Therefore, my beloved brethren [brothers (and sisters) in Christ; i.e., fellow Christians], be ye stedfast [firm, and fixed in your faith (belief) concerning the truth of the gospel and the resurrection of the dead], unmoveable [in your expectation of having eternal life], always abounding in [doing many things for] the work of the Lord, forasmuch as [since] ye know that your labour is not in vain [without success or results] in the Lord."
In other words, we'll be rewarded in heaven for the things that we do for God on earth.
2 Peter 2:1 [the apostle Peter, in a letter to born-again Christians]: "But there were false prophets also among the [Jewish] people, even as there shall be false teachers among you [Christians], who privily [secretly] shall bring in [to the church] damnable heresies [destructive doctrines (religious beliefs) or opinions], even denying the Lord [Jesus Christ] that bought them [with his blood--see note below*], and [they will] bring upon themselves swift destruction [since it will come suddenly and unexpectedly, and they won't be able to escape] [i.e., false teachers will be sent to hell on judgment day]."
*The phrase even denying the Lord that bought them means that even though Jesus died on the cross to pay for their sins and purchase their salvation, the false teachers will refuse to accept God's gift of eternal life.
-- Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Luke 22:31-32 - Jesus' Warning and Encouragement for Peter
Verse 31: "And the Lord [Jesus Christ] said [to Simon Peter, one of the apostles, during the Lord's supper], Simon, Simon, behold [see, or understand that], Satan hath desired to have you [and the other apostles] [under his control], [so] that he may sift you as wheat [place trials and temptations before you to test your faith]:"
Verse 32: "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not [i.e., that you don't completely lose, or abandon, your faith--see note below*]: and when thou art converted [from the sin of denying that he knew Jesus, which happened three times before Jesus went to the cross], strengthen thy brethren [other Christians] [i.e., warn them about temptation and encourage them in their faith]."
*Some people may think that Peter's denial that he knew Jesus proves that God didn't answer Jesus' prayer, but that's not true. Here's what Albert Barnes said in his commentary about the phrase that thy faith fail not:
-- "The word 'faith,' here, seems to be used in the sense of religion, or attachment to Christ, and the words 'fail not' mean 'utterly fail' or fail altogether - that is, apostatize. It is true that the 'courage' of Peter failed; it is true that he had not that immediate confidence in Jesus and reliance on him which he had before had; but the prayer of Jesus was that he might not altogether apostatize from the faith. God heard Jesus 'always' John 11:42; it follows, therefore, that every prayer which he ever offered was answered; and it follows, as he asked here for a specific thing, that that thing was granted; and as he prayed that Peter's faith might not utterly fail, so it follows that there was no time in which Peter was not really a pious man. Far as he wandered, and grievously as he sinned, yet he well knew that Jesus was the Messiah. He 'did know' the man; and though his fears overcame him and led him to aggravated sin, yet the prayer of Christ was prevalent, and he was brought to true repentance."
(Source: www.godvine.com/bible/luke/22-32, "Barnes' Notes")
Psalm 4:1 [King David's prayer to God for protection from his enemies]: "Hear me when I call [upon you in prayer], O God of my righteousness [my righteous God]: thou hast enlarged me [you have helped me] [in the past] when I was in distress [trouble]; [so please] have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer [today, because I need your help again]."
In other words, when we know that God has answered our prayers in the past, we can expect him to continue to do so in the future.
1 Thessalonians 5:18: "In every thing [for everything that you have and for whatever happens to you, good or bad] give thanks [to God, in prayer]: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you [because that's what God wants you to do]."
Proverbs 16:6: "By mercy [kindness] and truth [of God] [i.e., because God kept his promise and sent his Son to earth to die on the cross for the sins of the world] iniquity [sin, wickedness] is purged [cleansed] [by the blood of Jesus--if and when we receive him as Savior]: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil [stop doing bad things]."
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/ch16_html/Prov.16.6.htm.
Exodus 31:16-17 - God, Telling Moses Why the Jews Should Keep the Sabbath
Verse 16: "Wherefore [for the following reason (see verse 17)] the children of Israel [Jewish people] shall keep the sabbath [a day of rest each week; for Jews, it was Saturday--see note below*], to observe the sabbath throughout their generations [from generation to generation], for a perpetual [everlasting, never-ending] covenant [agreement] [between them and God]."
Verse 17:" It [the sabbath] is a sign between me [God] and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
*For information about the sabbath, see the article entitled "What day is the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday? Do Christians have to observe the Sabbath day?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/Saturday-Sunday.html.
Psalm 138:1-2 - King David's Prayer to God
Verse 1: "I will praise thee [you] with my whole heart: before the gods [of this world] [e.g., other men, idols] will I sing praise unto thee."
Verse 2: "I will worship [bow down] toward thy holy temple [referring to the tabernacle, which contained the Ark of the Covenant--see note below*], and [I will] praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth [truthfulness, and faithfulness in keeping your promises]: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name [you have put greater importance on your written word (what you say and said) than on your reputation]."
In verse 2, when David commented that "thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name," he meant that God has made it possible for us to learn more by reading his words, as found in the Bible, than by observing or studying his works (things he has done or created), through science, philosophy, nature, etc.
Regarding the phrase thou has magnified thy word above all thy name, this is what Matthew Henry said in his commentary on Chapter 138: "God has made himself known to us in many ways in creation and providence, but most clearly by his word. The judgments of his mouth are magnified even above those of his hand, and greater things are done by them. The wonders of grace exceed the wonders of nature; and what is discovered of God by revelation is much greater than what is discovered by reason." (Source: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/138.html, "Verses 1-5")
*To find out more about the Ark, you may want to read the gotquestions.org article entitled "What is the Ark of the Covenant?" Here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/ark-of-the-covenant.html.
James 5:7-8 [in a letter, the apostle James wrote to Jewish Christians]: "Be patient therefore, brethren [fellow Christians], unto [for] the coming of the Lord [Jesus Christ] [see note below*]. Behold, the husbandman [farmer] waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth [crops] [to ripen], and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain [see note below**]. Be ye also patient; stablish [establish, strengthen] your hearts [i.e., don't be discouraged]: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh [near]."
*Most Bible commentators believe that the phrase the coming of the Lord can have two meanings. Here's a good explanation from one of them:
-- "Two different meanings have been attached to the phrase 'coming of the Lord.' Some understand by it the coming of Christ in spirit to destroy Jerusalem, when the Romans were employed as the instruments of His vengeance upon the unbelieving Jews, and to which reference is made in the previous verses. Others, with greater probability, understand by it His coming in person to judge the world, or what is usually termed the second advent. How far the sacred writers distinguished between the destruction of Jerusalem and the future judgment-the type and the antitype-we have no means of ascertaining." (Source: www.studylight.org/commentary/james/5-7.html, "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament")
**According to most commentaries, the early rain occurs in autumn (October/November) in Israel and the surrounding areas, and the latter rain occurs in the spring (March/April), which is when the people normally plant and harvest their crops. Rain is rare during the summer months.
Proverbs 24:8-9 - Thinking About and Doing Bad Things
Verse 8: "He that deviseth [makes plans] to do evil [hurt others in any way (physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally) due to anger, jealousy, revenge, etc.--or just for fun] shall be called a mischievous person [a schemer, troublemaker, terrorist]."
Verse 9: "The thought of foolishness [just thinking about doing something bad or stupid, even if your thoughts are not followed by action] is sin: and the scorner [someone who hates and/or mocks (makes fun of) others] is an abomination [a detestable (hateful) thing] to men [and women and children]."
The above verses refer to troublemakers.
Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church has excellent commentaries on these verses, including many examples to back up his statements. If you want to read the commentaries, here's are the links:
-- Verse 8: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch24_html/Prov.24.8.htm
-- Verse 9: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch24_html/Prov.24.9.htm
1 Peter 2:17 [the apostle Peter's advice to Christians]: "Honour [respect] all men. Love the brotherhood [all true Christians; i.e., show them brotherly love]. Fear God [regard him with fear (of doing wrong), mixed with respect and love]. Honour the king [show respect for those who hold positions of authority--see note below*]."
*Here's what Adam Clarke says about the phrase Honour the king in his commentary on the above verse: "Pay that respect to the emperor which his high authority requires, … and that if the man be even bad, and as a man be worthy of no reverence, yet he should be respected on account of his office. If respect be banished, subordination will flee with it, and anarchy and ruin will rise up in their place. Truly religious persons are never found in seditions. …" (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/1-peter/2-17,"Clarke's Commentary")
Revelation 21:27 [what the apostle John saw in a vision concerning future events]: "And there shall in no wise [by no means] enter into it [God's holy city, new Jerusalem, in heaven] any thing that defileth [is unholy or sinful], neither whatsoever worketh abomination [or anyone whose conduct is offensive to God], or maketh a lie [or those who tell lies]: but [only] they which are written in the Lamb's [Jesus'] book of life [i.e., those who are saved, or born again]."
Note: If you want to go to heaven someday, your name must be written in the Lamb's book of life. Just follow the instructions in my "Mansion" tract, which uses Bible verses from the book of Romans (i.e., the "Romans Road") to explain the plan of salvation. You can find it in either of two places:
-- www.mansioninheaven.com/Index2.html (read only)
-- www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html, "Mansion Tract" (read and/or print)
Genesis 3:14-19 - The Results of Adam and Eve's Disobedience to God
[This took place in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil]
Verse 14: "And the LORD God said unto the serpent [who was controlled by Satan], Because thou hast done this [i.e., tempted Eve], thou art cursed above [more than] all cattle, and above every beast of the field [all wild animals]; upon thy belly shalt thou go [to slither (slide the entire body back and forth on the ground) as a snake], and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:"
Verse 15: "And I will put enmity [hatred] between thee [you, Satan] and the woman [Eve], and between thy seed [your children, or followers; i.e., wicked people] and her seed [her offspring or descendants, through Jesus; i.e., the people of God (Christians)]; it ['he,' referring to Jesus] shall bruise thy head [i.e., Jesus will overthrow Satan and his kingdom], and thou shalt bruise his heel [i.e., Satan will bring about the crucifixion of Christ]."
Verse 16: "Unto the woman [Eve] he [God] said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception [your worries following conception; i.e., during pregnancy (when you may experience nausea, fear of miscarriage, etc.) and afterwards, while you are raising your children]; in sorrow [pain] thou shalt bring forth [give birth to] children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
Verses 17-18: "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto [listened to] the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of [fruit from] the tree [of the knowledge of good and evil], of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow [pain, labor, hardship] shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb [green plants] of the field;"
Verse 19: "In the sweat of thy face [after much hard work in cultivating the crops and getting rid of the weeds] shalt thou eat bread [food], till [until] thou return unto the ground [die]; for out of it [i.e., the ground] wast thou [were you] taken: for dust thou art [you are made from dust], and unto dust shalt thou return."
Proverbs 20:4: "The sluggard [habitually inactive or lazy person] will not plow by reason of the cold [weather]; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing [to eat]."
In paragraph 2, Sections d-e, in the second half of his commentary on the above verse, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church said: "… Men who are willing to work but for some reason beyond their control they are unable to do so should not go hungry. … That's where Christian charity comes in. … But it is not right to feed the sluggard. That will only encourage his laziness. It is rewarding bad behavior."
To read the rest of the commentary, click here: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch20_html/Prov.20.4.htm.
Psalm 139:23-24 [King David's prayer to God]: "Search me, O God, and know [what is in] my heart: try [test] me, and know my thoughts [everything that I think about]: And see if there be any wicked way in me [i.e., anything that would alienate him from (cause him to be unfaithful to) God, such as idolatry], and lead me in the way [that heads towards] everlasting [life]."
King David wanted to live a life that was pleasing to God, so he asked for God's help in keeping him on the right track.
Psalm 141:4 [King David's prayer to God]: "Incline not my heart to [don't let me be willing to do] any evil thing, [or] to practise [practice] wicked works [evil deeds] with men [people] that work iniquity [do bad things, such as commit crimes]: and let me not eat of their dainties [don't let me desire to live a lifestyle that is similar to theirs or to enjoy the same sinful pleasures]."
Good advice for people who are tempted to join gangs, participate in illegal activities, become involved in riots, etc.: Don't do it!
Hebrews 2:3: "How shall we escape [the wrath (anger) and judgment of God, with punishment in hell], if we neglect [ignore, pay no attention to--see note below*] so great salvation [the plan of salvation--see note below**] [i.e., if we don't get saved, or become born again]; which [i.e., salvation] at the first [at the beginning of his ministry] began to be spoken by the Lord [Jesus Christ], and [this fact] was confirmed unto us [as being true] by them that heard him [preach];"
Here's what Albert Barnes, in his commentary, said about neglecting salvation:
"If we neglect - It is not merely if we commit great sins. Not, if we are murderers, adulterers, thieves, infidels, atheists, scoffers. It is, if we merely 'neglect' this salvation - if we do not embrace it - if we suffer it to pass unimproved. 'Neglect' is enough to ruin a man. A man who is in business need not commit forgery or robbery to ruin himself; he has only to 'neglect' his business, and his ruin is certain. A man who is lying on a bed of sickness, need not cut his throat to destroy himself; he has only to 'neglect' the means of restoration, and he will be ruined. A man floating in a skiff above Niagara, need not move an oar or make an effort to destroy himself; he has only to 'neglect' using the oar at the proper time, and he will certainly be carried over the cataract. Most of the calamities of life are caused by simple 'neglect.' By neglect of education children grow up in ignorance; by neglect a farm grows up to weeds and briars; by neglect a house goes to decay; by neglect of sowing, a man will have no harvest; by neglect of reaping, the harvest would rot in the fields. No worldly interest can prosper where there is neglect; and why may it not be so in religion? There is nothing in earthly affairs that is valuable that will not be ruined if it is not attended to - and why may it not be so with the concerns of the soul? Let no one infer, therefore, that because he is not a drunkard, or an adulterer, or a murderer, that, therefore, he will be saved. Such an inference would be as irrational as it would be for a man to infer that because he is not a murderer his farm will produce a harvest, or that because he is not an adulterer therefore his merchandise will take care of itself. Salvation would be worth nothing if it cost no effort - and there will be no salvation where no effort is put forth."
(Source: www.godvine.com/bible/hebrews/2-3, "Barnes' Notes")
**If you want to go to heaven someday but don't know what to do, please read my "Mansion" tract, which uses Bible verses from the book of Romans (i.e., the "Romans Road") to explain the plan of salvation. You can find it in either of these two places:
-- www.mansioninheaven.com/Index2.html (read only)
-- www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html, "Mansion Tract" (read and/or print)
1 John 3:16: "Hereby [by this (for the following reason)] perceive we [we know or understand] the love of God [the Son], because he [Jesus] laid down his life [gave his life, died] for us: and we ought to [should] [be willing to] lay down our lives for the brethren [fellow Christians]."
Matthew 7:7-11 - God Answers Prayer
[During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged his disciples to pray because God wants to answer their prayers]
Verses 7-8: "Ask [God (in prayer)] [for something that you need], and it shall be given [to] you; seek [search for something (for example, that is lost)], and ye shall find [it]; knock [on the door], and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him [or her] that knocketh it shall be opened."
Verses 9-11: "Or what man is there of you [people in the crowd], whom if his son ask[s] [for] bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask[s] [for] a fish, will he give him a serpent [snake]? If ye then, being evil [i.e., in this case: sinners], know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven [i.e., God] give good things to them that ask him?"
1 Kings 3:5-14 - King Solomon Asks God for Wisdom
[This happened after Solomon had offered a thousand burnt offerings to God]
Verse 5: "In Gibeon [a city north of Jerusalem] the LORD appeared to [King] Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee."
Verse 6: "And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed [you have shown] unto thy servant David my father [King David was Solomon's father] great mercy [kindness], according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son [i.e., Solomon] to sit on his throne, as it is this day."
Verses 7-9: "And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant [Solomon] king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child [in understanding (because he was a young man)]: I know not how to go out or come in [I am inexperienced in the administration of government]. And thy servant is in the midst [middle] of thy people which thou hast chosen [i.e., the Jewish nation], a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude [their large number]. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern [tell the difference] between good and bad [and right and wrong, and truth and falsehood, etc.]: for who is able to judge this thy so great [many] a people?"
Verse 10: "And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing [for wisdom]."
Verses 11-12: "And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked [for] riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies [i.e., for their removal]; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment [judge correctly]; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee [there was no one like you (in wisdom) before you], neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee [and no one like you (in wisdom) will come after you] [except Jesus--see note below*]."
Verses 13-14: "And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any[one] among the kings like unto thee all thy days [as long as you live]. And if thou wilt [you will] walk in my ways, to keep [obey] my statutes [laws] and my commandments, as thy father [King] David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days [give you a long life]."
*The only person with more wisdom than King Solomon was Jesus, as is confirmed by Jesus' statement in Matthew 12:42: "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."
Proverbs 21:1: "The king's [mind and] heart [i.e., everything that a ruler or leader thinks and does, both good and evil] is in the hand of [guided by, under the control or direction of] the LORD, as the rivers of water [can be forced to flow in a different direction (through irrigation, for example)]: he [God] turneth it [the king's heart] whithersoever [wherever] he will [wants it to go]."
In paragraph 7d of his excellent commentary on Proverbs 21:1, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church summarized the meaning of the verse as follows: "We don't have to worry that world events are swirling out of control. They are in perfect control… all being orchestrated to fulfill God's will…"
To read the rest of the commentary, click here: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch21_html/Prov.21.1.htm.
Revelation 20:4 - The Apostle John's Vision of Future Events
[Note: To make it a little easier to read, I split the one verse into three paragraphs]
"And [in heaven] I saw thrones, and they [probably apostles or saints (Christians)--see note below*] sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:
"and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded [had their heads cut off] for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God [these are the souls (without bodies) of martyrs; i.e., people who were killed during the tribulation because of their Christian faith--see note below**], and which had not worshipped the beast [Antichrist], neither [or] his image, neither had [and they had not] received his mark [the number 666] [imprinted, or applied (like a tattoo] upon their foreheads, or in their hands [see note below***];
"and they lived and reigned [ruled] with [Jesus] Christ [for a period of] a thousand [1,000] years."
*Regarding the thrones, Albert Barnes said that the people sitting on them could be either apostles or saints. Here's part of what he said in paragraph 2 of his commentary: "In 1 Corinthians 6:2, Paul asks the question, 'Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?' The meaning as thus explained is, that Christians will, in some way, be employed in judging the world; that is, that they will be exalted to the right hand of the Judge, and be elevated to a station of honor, as if they were associated with the Son of God in the judgment. Something of that kind is, doubtless, referred to here; and John probably means to say that he saw the thrones placed on which those will sit who will be employed in judging the world." (Source: www.godvine.com/bible/revelation/20-4, "Barnes' Notes")
**For a good explanation of Christian faith, see the following article: "What are the essentials of the Christian faith?" (Link: www.gotquestions.org/essentials-Christian-faith.html)
***In the above verse, the phrase the souls of them that were beheaded refers to people who will be saved (become born-again Christians) during the coming Tribulation and will refuse to take the "mark of the beast." For further information, please read the GotQuestions.org articles entitled "What is the mark of the beast?" (www.gotquestions.org/mark-beast.html) and "What is the Tribulation? How do we know the Tribulation will last seven years?" (www.gotquestions.org/tribulation.html).
Acts 17:22-31 - Worshiping "The Unknown God"
[When Paul noticed that the Greeks had an altar dedicated to "The Unknown God," he told them who they were really worshiping]
Verse 22: "Then [the apostle] Paul stood in the midst [middle] of Mars' hill [in Greece] [i.e., he appeared before the court that was held there--see note below*], and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive [understand, have come to realize] that in all things ye are too superstitious [very pious or devout (i.e., more religious than most people)]."
Verse 23: "For as I passed by [through] [your city], and beheld [saw, observed] your devotions [the places and things that are involved in your worship activities (temples, altars, statues, etc.)], I found an altar with this inscription [containing these words], TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly [unknowingly (without knowledge, instruction, or information)] worship [i.e., whom you worship without knowing his name], him [the true God] declare I unto you [I reveal (make known) to you]."
Verses 24-25: "[Almighty] God that made [who created] the world and all things therein [in it], seeing that he is Lord [ruler] of heaven and earth, dwelleth not [does not live] in temples made with hands; Neither is [he] worshipped with [served by] men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all [everyone] life, and breath, and all things [everything that is needed to sustain (support, maintain) life];"
Verses 26-27: "And [God] hath made of one blood [from one bloodline (Adam's)] all nations of men [the whole human race] for to dwell [live] on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds [limits and boundaries] of their habitation [where they should live] [i.e., God decided when and where each country would be settled]; [so] That they [the people] should seek the Lord, if haply [perhaps] they might feel after him [search for him diligently or earnestly (with purpose)], and find him [i.e., proof of his existence], though he be not far from every one of us:"
Verses 28-29: "For in [by] him we live, and move, and have our being [i.e., God is the source of our existence]; as certain also [i.e., some] of your own [Greek] poets have said, For we are also his offspring [we were made in his image]. Forasmuch then [assuming this to be true] as [since] we are the offspring [children] of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead [the one true God, consisting of three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] is like unto [represented by] [idols (images or statues of gods) made of] gold, or silver, or stone, graven [carved (formed or shaped by cutting with a chisel)] by art and man's device [mind]."
Verses 30-31: "And the times of this ignorance God winked at [overlooked, did not punish]; but now [he] commandeth [commands] all men [and women and children] every where to repent [change their minds and believe the gospel]: Because he hath appointed [determined, decided on] a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness [according to the strict rules of justice] by that man [Jesus] whom he hath ordained [appointed as Judge]; whereof he hath given assurance [provided evidence or proof] unto all men [to all people] [that Jesus is, and is qualified to be, the Judge], in that [because] he [God] hath raised him [Jesus] from the dead."
*For more information about Mars Hill and what happened there, I recommend the GotQuestions.org article entitled "What happened at Mars Hill in the Bible?" If you want to read it, here's the link: www.gotquestions.org/Mars-Hill.html.
1 John 4:7-8 - "God Is Love"
[What the apostle John wrote in a letter to born-again Christians]
Verse 7: "Beloved [dearly loved ones], let us love one another: for [because] [true brotherly (Christian)] love is of [comes from] God; and every one that loveth [his or her fellow Christians] is born of God [has been regenerated, or born again], and knoweth God [personally--by receiving (trusting) his Son, Jesus, as personal Savior]."
Verse 8: "He that loveth not [he or she who does not love other Christians] knoweth not [does not know] God; for God is love."
In his commentary on verse 7, concerning the phrase and every one that loveth is born of God , Albert Barnes said:
-- "And everyone that loveth, is born of God - Is a regenerated man. That is, everyone who has true love to Christians as such, or true brotherly love, is a true Christian. This cannot mean that everyone that loves his wife and children, his classmate, his partner in business, or his friend - his house, or his farms, or his horses, or his hounds, is a child of God; it must be understood as referring to the point under discussion. A man may have a great deal of natural affection toward his kindred; a great deal of benevolence in his character toward the poor and needy, and still he may have none of the love to which John refers. He may have no real love to God, to the Saviour, or to the children of God as such; and it would be absurd for such a one to argue because he loves his wife and children that therefore he loves God, or is born again."
(Source: www.godvine.com/bible/1-john/4-7, "Barnes' Notes")
Genesis 6:11-13 - Why God Decided to Send the Flood
Verse 11: "The earth also was corrupt [spoiled, ruined] before God [because almost everyone who was alive at that time was dishonest, evil, and immoral], and the earth was filled with violence."
Verse 12: "And God looked [took special notice of what was happening] upon the earth, and, behold, it [the earth] was corrupt; for all flesh [every living person except Noah] had corrupted his way upon the earth."
Verse 13: "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh [everything that lives on the earth, with a few exceptions--see note below*] is come before me [to my attention]; for the earth is filled with violence through them [i.e., the people]; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
*Regarding exceptions to the phrase the end of all flesh, immediately after stating his intentions to destroy them with the earth, God told Noah to build an ark to prevent himself and his family, plus two (a male and female) of every kind of animal, insect, etc., that lived on the land and flew in the sky, from being destroyed in the flood that he promised to send.