Favorite passages

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Sound doctrine - 2 Tim 4:3-4

"For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths" (2 Tim 4:3-4).

Jesus, the Same

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb 13:8).

Maranatha - Rev 22: 17, 20

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." Let the hearer say, "Come." Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water. ...

The one who gives this testimony says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

Rev 22.

Test everything: 1 Thess 5:21

"Test everything; retain what is good" (1 Thess 5:21).

"Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 Jn 4:1).

"Charm is deceptive, beauty fleeting"

"Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward of her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates" (Prov 31:30-31).

Faith comes from hearing: Rom 10:17

"Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ."

  • The apostles and eyewitnesses told others what they had seen with their own eyes, heard with their own ears, and touched with their own hands: Jesus rose from the dead!
  • We only know about Jesus through their testimony. We don't have the means to test what they have said by seeing Jesus' resurrection for ourselves.
    • No time machine to go back to the actual event.
    • No resurrection laboratory where we can kill Jesus at our leisure.
    • No ESP to gaze on the glorified humanity of Jesus in Heaven.

Oral tradition in Paul: "the Word of God"

"And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that,in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe" (1 Th 2:13).

Hebrews 13:7-9

7 Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching. It is good to have our hearts strengthened by grace and not by foods, which do not benefit those who live by them.

From, through, for God: Rom 11:36

"For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen" (Rom 11:36).


Rom 5:5 Love poured into our hearts

  • "We even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance,and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us" (Rom 5:3-5).
    • affliction --> endurance --> proven character --> hope --> ?????
    • Paul does not say exactly what hope produces. "It does not disappoint." So hope produces: fulfillment? triumph? victory? satisfaction? happiness? joy?

Rom 1:7 Grace and peace to you

  • "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 1:7 == Gal 1:3).

1 Cor 12:12 One body, many gifts

12As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.
13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
14Now the body is not a single part, but many.
15If a foot should say, "Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.
16Or if an ear should say, "Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.
17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
18But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended.
19If they were all one part, where would the body be?
20But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I do not need you," nor again the head to the feet, "I do not need you."
22Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary,
23and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety,
24whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it,
25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another.
26If (one) part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.
27Now you are Christ's body, and individually parts of it.

Restless night--when time changed on Sunday. Can't say, "I don't need the theologians, the pope, the bishop, the priests." Nor can the Magisterium say, "We don't need the gifts of the laity." One body, many gifts.

1 Cor 13:11 Letting go of childish things

"When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things" (1 Cor 13:11).

God loves a cheerful giver 2 Cor 9:7-15

"God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. ... Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Cor 9:7-8, 15).

  • God Himself is a cheerful giver! We break out that aspect of divine love in our myths and fairy tales about Santa Claus. "Greater love than this hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends"--no greater love and no greater JOY!

All is gift: 1 Cor 4:7

  • "What do you possess that you have not received?" (1 Cor 4:7). Nothing. Everything we have is an unmerited gift from God: existence, salvation, intelligence, freedom, personality, identity, talent, virtue, faith, hope, love, good works, accomplishments.

If Jesus is not risen ...: 1 Cor 15:16-17

For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.

Nothing but Jesus, and Him crucified: 1 Cor 2:2

"For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (1 Cor 2:2).

1 Cor 13:11 -- "When I was a child ..."

"When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things."

The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness -- Rom 8:26-27

"In the same way, the Spirit, too, comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because [the Spirit] intercedes for the holy ones according to God's will."

"You are a priest forever ...": year of St. Paul

Ps 110:4: ""Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever."

"Afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, struck down" -- 2 Cor 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters: We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.

Love of self is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:9-10)

"Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains."

"Ask the master of the harvest"

"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves" (Luke 10:2-3; these two verses are unique to Luke).

Luke: Jesus sends out 70 or 72 disciples to preach the gospel. Similar to Mark 6:6 and Matthew 10:5, where Jesus sends out the Twelve two-by-two.

Speculation about the reason for the discrepancy in the manuscript tradition:

  • 70 elders chosen to receive a portion of the spirit that is upon Moses: Numbers 11:16-17.
  • 72 = 6 * 12 = (wild guess) six days of labor in creation times twelve tribes of Israel.

Moses and Paul as archetypes of Jesus: Moses the Law-giver (legislator) and Paul the Lawyer. What is God's law? What does it take to get cleared of the charges against us? Paul almost certainly saw himself as a rabbi (teacher). I don't think he ever called himself or the other apostles "priests." The application of that part of the Jewish tradition to Jesus and the apostles is a later or independent development.

Paul: "Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more" (Rom 5:20).

"What I desire is mercy, not sacrifice."

“Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” - Matt 9: 9-13.

"I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath" (Mt 12:7-80).

"For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6:6)

"For the sake of ... joy ..."

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God" (Heb 12:1-2).

"Come, share your master's joy"

Matthew 25:21&23.

Joy in the morning

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Ps 30:6).

Fruits of the Spirit: Gal 5:22-23

"In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."

"A merry heart is a continual feast."

"Every day is miserable for the depressed, but a lighthearted man has a continual feast" (Proverbs 15:15).

"A cheerful glance brings joy to the heart; good news invigorates the bones" (Proverbs 15:30).

Guardian Angels

Psalm 91:11-16
For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.
With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon.
Whoever clings to me I will deliver; whoever knows my name I will set on high.
All who call upon me I will answer; I will be with them in distress; I will deliver them and give them honor.
With length of days I will satisfy them and show them my saving power.

Praying with lifted hands

"As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. Moses' hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset" (Exodus 17:11-12).

Moral of the story

So few words, so much meaning!