I believe that…
1) …Both the Old and New Testaments (in whole) constitute the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God;
2) …Scripture is the sole authority of both faith and practice in the life of the believer in Christ;
3) …The Bible is a collection of books (which tell a unified story) which point to Jesus.
When I read the Bible, my hermeneutical approach or my method of interpretation emphasizes the following five basic principles…
1) …The Lord Jesus Christ is the central focus of God’s plan in redemptive history;
2) …All Scripture either directly refers to Christ, or it prepares the way for Christ by unfolding redemptive history which ultimately points to His person and work;
3) …The Old and New Testaments combine to give us the full revelation of God. In order to develop a well-balanced theology: the clearer and more frequent texts which speak to an issue, the more weight we should give to them as the building blocks of our theology; the more a doctrine can be found in a range of contexts and genres in the Bible, the stronger the biblical evidence; conversely, isolated texts and those falling in more obscure genres should be given less weight as evidence for our theology. In other words… one must be careful to not use later, unclear texts (by default) to circumvent earlier texts which are already clear, just because the later texts came further along in the timeline of the Bible’s drafting;
4) …An accurate analysis of a passage’s context is key and such would include the local, literary, historical, and canonical aspects (scripture interpreting scripture) of the references in view;
5) …The principle of historical-grammatical interpretation (guided by the first four principles), assumes that the Bible was written to common people, meant to be understandable to anyone in history. However, it was written thousands of years ago to different cultures. Therefore, as modern readers, we have to try to recover the general sense of the meaning of words, phrases, concepts, sayings and idioms known by the ancient cultures in view. Such are addressed in scripture primarily to the Hebrew culture from Moses to Malachi (Old Testament), and then later expanded to the Greco-Roman culture of the first century (New Testament), without divorcing itself from a Hebraic perspective. In other words, just because the New Testament was written in Greek, it does not then mean that it ought to be filtered by a Hellenistic, philosophical reading (leaving the Hebraic perspective solely for the Old Testament). Such a change of viewpoint would pit the New Testament against the Old Testament, making the Word of God incoherent. Even though scripture was written in specific historical settings to specific historical people, in this approach the words and expressions in the Bible are seen as having a relatively stable meaning throughout the timeline of history, making it possible for God’s people at all times and locations to be changed by what God has said…
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NASB)
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Since most people usually skip reading through the scripture verse references in confessions and creeds, I wanted to offer something different by just offering only the scriptures which show where I personally stand with respect to the following 22 categories. If you are interested in finding out more about my beliefs, just click CONTACT theidolbabbler.com and email me!
Acts 17:10-11 (NASB)
“The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NASB)
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
Romans 15:4 (NASB)
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Isaiah 45:5-7 (NASB)
“I am the Lord, and there is no other;
Besides Me there is no God.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me;
That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
That there is no one besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the Lord who does all these.”
“…I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and no one is like Me.
I declare the end from the beginning,
and from long ago what is not yet done,
saying: My plan will take place,
and I will do all My will.”
Deuteronomy 4:35b (NASB)
“…the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him.”
Psalms 33 (NASB)
“Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.
The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works.
The king is not saved by a mighty army;
A warrior is not delivered by great strength.
A horse is a false hope for victory;
Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.
Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You.”
John 10:30 (NASB)
“I and the Father are one.”
Acts 5:3-4 (NASB)
“But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.””
1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NASB)
“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.”
Ephesians 2:18-22 (NASB)
“…for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”
Mark 14:61-62 (NASB)
“Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
3) The Fall of Man
Genesis 1:26-31 (NASB)
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”
Genesis 2:7 (NASB)
“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
Genesis 2:15-17 (NASB)
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.””
Genesis 3:6-7 (NASB)
“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.”
1 Corinthians 15:22a (NASB)
“…in Adam all die…”
Romans 5:12 (NASB)
“…through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…”
Psalms 51:5 (NASB)
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.”
4) The Way of Salvation
John 14:6 (NASB)
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
John 3:16-18 (HCSB)
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.”
Hebrews 2:9-10 (NASB)
“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB)
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Romans 3:21-31 (HCSB)
“But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed — attested by the Law and the Prophets — that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. God presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law of faith. For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God for Jews only? Is He not also for Gentiles? Yes, for Gentiles too, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then cancel the law through faith? Absolutely not! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”
Ephesians 1:7-8a (NASB)
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.”
6) Salvation is Free
Romans 6:23 (NASB)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Colossians 2:13-15 (NASB)
“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”
Revelation 14:6-7 (NASB)
“And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.””
John 3:5-7 (NASB)
“Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”
1 Peter 1:3-5 (NASB)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Ephesians 2:1-10 (NASB)
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Titus 3:3-7 (NASB)
“For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
8) Repentance and Faith
Luke 5:31-32 (NASB)
“And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.””
Hebrews 11:1-3 (NASB)
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Luke 7:50 (NASB)
“And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.””
John 15:16 (NASB)
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”
Psalms 87 (NASB)
“His foundation is in the holy mountains.
The Lord loves the gates of Zion
More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,
O city of God.
“I shall mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know Me;
Behold, Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia:
‘This one was born there.’”
But of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”;
And the Most High Himself will establish her.
The Lord will count when He registers the peoples,
“This one was born there.”
Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say,
“All my springs of joy are in you.””
Ephesians 1:3-12 (NASB)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.”
Ephesians 4:17-24 (NASB)
“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (NASB)
“Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”
1 Peter 1:10-16 (NASB)
“As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.””
Ephesians 4:10-15 (HCSB)
“The One who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head — Christ.”
Colossians 1:28 (HCSB)
“We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”
Romans 5:1-5 (NASB)
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Romans 15:5-6 (NASB)
“Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
12) Law of God
Romans 2:12-16 (NASB)
“For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.”
Matthew 22:37-40 (NASB)
“And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.””
James 2:8 (NASB)
“If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.”
Galatians 5:14 (NASB)
“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.””
Romans 13:10 (NASB)
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Galatians 6:2 (NASB)
“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
13) The Church
1 Peter 2:9-10 (NASB)
“But you are A chosen race, A royal priesthood, A holy nation, A people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Galatians 6:15-16 (NASB)
“For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”
14) Baptism and Communion
Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB)
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.””
1 Peter 3:21 a & c (HCSB)
Baptism… now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Luke 22:14-20 (NASB)
“When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.””
Acts 2:38-47 (NASB)
“Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
15) Civil Government
Romans 13:1-7 (NASB)
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
1 Peter 2:13-17 (NASB)
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”
Matthew 22:15-22 (NASB)
“Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.”
1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NASB)
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
16) Belief and Unbelief
Hebrews 3:12 – 4:11 (NASB)
“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”
For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
“As I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,”
although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.”
17) The End of this World
Romans 2:9-11 (NASB)
“There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”
“For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.”
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (NASB)
“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”
Matthew 16:24-27 (NASB)
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.”
1 Peter 4:7 (NASB)
“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.”
Revelation 22:12-16 (HCSB)
“Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star.”
18) Judgement and The Gospel
2 Corinthians 5:10-11 (NASB)
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.”
1 Peter 4:5-6 (NASB)
“…but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.”
Acts 17:30-31 (NASB)
“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
Romans 1:16-17 (ESV)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.””
Romans 10:9-17 (HCSB)
“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame, for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things! But all did not obey the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.”
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (HCSB)
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. For it is written:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and I will set aside the understanding of the experts. Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached. For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom, because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”
19) Creedal Basics
1 Corinthians 8:6 (HCSB)
“…yet for us there is one God, the Father.
All things are from Him,
and we exist for Him.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ.
All things are through Him,
and we exist through Him.”
Luke 1:26-38 (NASB)
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (HCSB)
“Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you — unless you believed for no purpose. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures,
that He was buried,
that He was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures,
and that He appeared to Cephas,
then to the Twelve.
Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time;
most of them are still alive,
but some have fallen asleep.
Then He appeared to James,
then to all the apostles.
Last of all, as to one abnormally born,
He also appeared to me.”
Philippians 2:5-11 (HCSB)
“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,
who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be used for His own advantage.
Instead He emptied Himself
by assuming the form of a slave,
taking on the likeness of men.
And when He had come as a man
in His external form,
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death —
even to death on a cross.
For this reason God highly exalted Him
and gave Him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow —
of those who are in heaven and on earth
and under the earth —
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
1 Timothy 3:16 (HCSB)
“…And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the Spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.”
Colossians 1:11-20 (HCSB)
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.
He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
For everything was created by Him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities —
all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things,
and by Him all things hold together.
He is also the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead,
so that He might come to have
first place in everything.
For God was pleased to have
all His fullness dwell in Him,
and through Him to reconcile
everything to Himself
by making peace
through the blood of His cross —
whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
Hebrews 1:1-4 (HCSB)
“Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.”
Revelation 21:1-8 (HCSB)
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:
Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,
and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.
Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give water as a gift to the thirsty from the spring of life. The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars — their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.””
21) Considering the Cost
Luke 14:25-35 (HCSB)
“Now great crowds were traveling with Him. So He turned and said to them: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, and even his own life — he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to make fun of him, saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with 10,000 to oppose the one who comes against him with 20,000? If not, while the other is still far off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple. Now, salt is good, but if salt should lose its taste, how will it be made salty? It isn’t fit for the soil or for the manure pile; they throw it out. Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!””
Psalm 110 (HCSB)
“This is the declaration of the Lord
to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
The Lord will extend Your mighty scepter from Zion.
Rule over Your surrounding enemies.
Your people will volunteer
on Your day of battle.
In holy splendor, from the womb of the dawn,
the dew of Your youth belongs to You.
The Lord has sworn an oath and will not take it back:
“Forever, You are a priest
The Lord is at Your right hand;
He will crush kings on the day of His anger.
He will judge the nations, heaping up corpses;
He will crush leaders over the entire world.
He will drink from the brook by the road;
therefore, He will lift up His head.”
Revelation 22:20-21 (HCSB)
“He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.”
Godspeed, to the brethren!