Commentary

Truth Matters

Truth Really Matters

I have a wonderful mother-in-law. I know she’s a genius because she raves about my art and tells me I’m her favorite son-in-law, and mentions that I am her only son-in-law.  I know that she’s a kind person because she loves me.

      “Your truth is your truth and mine is mine” sums up my mother-in-law’s religious views and those of many others.   It certainly is popular in a culture that demands tolerance of people’s moral and religious views.  This notion that truth is defined by our own experience doesn’t really work in the world in which we live.  Let’s say I wanted to visit a friend in San Francisco.   I’m not quite sure how to get there so I ask a stranger.  Which way to San Francisco?  Can you imagine getting directions from somebody who believes that San Francisco is on the east coast of the United States?   No matter how sincere that person believes that San Francisco is on the east coast of the United States, doesn’t make it so.  In everyday circumstances, we understand that truth is not relative and is not defined by a person’s experience. 

Further being tolerant of this stranger’s belief that San Francisco is on the east coast, would only condone ignorance, error or a lie. More importantly, we would not get good directions to San Francisco.  How much better would be a good map!

Now let’s imagine that you believed that the temperature is 90 degrees outside, while I
believed that it was 30 degrees.  Let’s further imagine that we agreed to meet at the front door for a stroll outside.  While neither the truth nor the temperature depends upon our beliefs, yet what we believe does make a difference in the way that we live and act.   You will show up at the door in hot weather apparel, and I’d show up dressed for cold weather. 

To this my mother-in-law points out that she has a thermometer outside her kitchen window.  By reference to the thermometer, she can form a belief much closer to the truth so that when she meets me at the front door, she will actually be prepared and able to walk comfortably in the reality of the day.

So often we walk through life feeling miserable and lost because we have not found, understood or believed truth.  Could there be a reference for life so convenient as the thermometer outside my mother-in-law’s window or a good map?

The one who made us has given to us such a reference, the Bible.[1]
 Okay, so we have an accurate map so everything is fine.  We’ll not exactly.  Have you ever
gone on a road trip with a person that just couldn’t read a map?  With the Bible as well, we may not read or study it closely, we may not fully understand what we read, take it out of context, or even ignore parts we don’t understand or don’t like.  Why should the consequences be much different than the traveler who gets bad directions to San Francisco?  Or what of the driver that refuses to believe the directions, even good directions?
Or what of the driver that doesn’t hear very well or the one whose memory is faulty.

Our perception of the truth is important.  It doesn’t change the truth, but our perception is real and will impact our actions.

Growing up, I heard the truth of the Bible.  I could repeat many of its truths back to you, but deep down, I either did not understand, accept or believe its truths.  The consequences were painful. Let’s examine the Bible. 

There are so many truths to be mined from its pages.  Let’s examine a few of the basics.

  • There is a God.
    The implications are readily abundant.

  • God is holy.
    Each of us as members of the human race, inherited the consequence of our forefathers.   The Scriptures teach that Adam acting both individually and
    as the representative of all his descendents violated God’s laws.  Additionally, we are each guilty of violating God’s law of our own volition.

  • We deserve judgment.
    Once a law breaker, we cannot undue the breach.  This one deserves special attention.  I think that Americans in particular, take a pull yourself up by your own bootstraps approach to God—but it doesn’t work.   Although we know it we believe otherwise when it comes to God.    If you get caught speeding 90 mph, does it really matter in court that ever since that violation you’ve kept the speed limit.  Does it even matter that you kept the speed limit prior to the violation that has landed you in traffic court?   Notwithstanding, many, including those who will recite the
    Gospel, that Jesus Christ died for us, are trying to undo our violations or are trying to earn righteousness.

  • God the Father, in love and mercy, sent Jesus Christ, the Son, to die in our place giving to us his righteousness.
    (This is the “Gospel” or “the good news”).

Okay, so let’s flesh out some of these truths.

Forgiveness

What person did not grow up receiving praise for our accomplishments and reproof of some sort for our failures.  Even today, we love the accolades of our friends and family for
our accomplishments.  This experience has a profound impact upon our perception of God and our relationship to him.  As parents that perception may be tempered by the love that we have for our children.

I grew up relishing the praise.  In my finite world, despite the clear contrary Biblical teaching, I vainly attempted to earn God’s praise.  I wanted to be perfect.  Even today, I
find it difficult to apologize – for that would concede that I am not perfect.  If I am not
perfect, well, I’d like to be close to perfect.  If I’m not perfect, I’d like to blame somebody other than myself.  It was not really my fault, it was somebody else’s fault or the difficult circumstances facing me, etc.  There might even be an element of truth to my justification or rational.  We live among people who are fallen.  How much more are we inclined to justify ourselves when we are lead into sin by one who bears greater responsibility.[2]

Although, I knew the Gospel, it was not until much later in life that I began to understand or to really believe the Gospel. From an early age I was a Christian, having the intellectual understanding that Jesus died for me and a fledgling faith, but I might fairly be described
as a spiritual idiot savant, having a fairly extensive biblical knowledge but ultimately being spiritually retarded or delayed. 

In John 3, Jesus was discussing with Nicodemus, a religious leader, spiritual things.
He said that to enter the Kingdom of God, a person must have a spiritual awakening or birth – “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”  Jesus went on to say that a person is born physically but that a person must have a spiritual birth as well.[3]  All Christians are then by definition “born again” that is having a spiritual faith, whether they are familiar with the term or not.  The Scriptures teach that this faith is a gift from God.[4]

When I came to terms with my own failures, gave up trying to justify myself or even to blame others, (although others were deserving of blame that did not justify my own actions), it was only then that I began to know God’s love in a deep and life-changing way.  Similar to John Bunyon’s[5] fictional character, the burden I carried on my back though my childhood
was removed and I breathed the fresh air of freedom.   Where before, in my own ego centric world, I knew and was weighted down by my own failures and short comings which translated into guilt and low self esteem, I then began to know and experience that real forgiveness removes the guilt and burden and replaces it with a sense of being loved and peace.   As
my focus moved away from my own failures to the one who reached down to do for me what I was unable to do, low self esteem was replaced by a sense of belonging to God who knew me as I was, gave himself for me, and now had a plan for my life.  In Romans, we are told “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”[6]
  

God’s Purpose

Once I understood deep in my fiber the love of God as demonstrated by Jesus Christ, other things fell into place.

Questions like “Why did God permit this to happen?” although unanswered became less important.  The questions were replaced with trust.   We may ask “Why?” but that question will probably not be answered. 

In 1981, a Conservative rabbi, Harold Kushner, facing his son’s awful diagnosis
and disease which caused rapid premature aging and early death, asked if the universe was created and is governed by a God who is of a good and loving nature, why is there so much suffering and pain in it.  His book was entitled, “When bad things happen to good
people.”  He answered that God has arranged the universe in such a way that even he cannot solve all of its dilemmas, but that he also, due to his caring nature, suffers along with his creatures, calling into question God’s omnipotence, or power. The book was challenged by many including rabbi Yitzchok Kirzner in his book “Making Sense of Suffering: A Jewish Approach”.  Kirzner wrote “[Kushner] concluded that to maintain his belief in God he must reject either God’s benevolence or His omnipotence. He chose the latter course. God, in Kushner’s view, created the world and provides the foundation of moral principle. But He cannot quite control the world He created. He hopes for our good and He sympathizes, as it
were, with us in our pain, but He is powerless to do anything about it.”

Many years ago, a man named Job suffered horribly.  The ancient scriptures record a discourse between him and God.  And yet no answer was given.  Instead, God asked Job, “Would you discredit my justice?  Would you condemn me to justify yourself?  Do you have an arm like God’s and can your voice thunder like his?”

In the Scriptures, the apostle Paul does not answer the question either, but in keeping with the Scriptures, calls people to trust God.  He wrote, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  Such a response would seem trite, but Paul writes that you should be able to trust God, because he has done what it takes to earn your trust.  He writes explaining the good news, known as the Gospel, that God loves us so much that he gave his own Son to do what we could not do for ourselves, to earn reconciliation with him–to bring peace between a
holy God and an un-holy people.  He wrote, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”[7]

We may not have all the answers, but we can have peace, just as a little child enjoys in the arms of a good parent.[8] 

In this framework, if it reaches the core of our being and understanding, the world around us takes on a new light.  Our esteem comes not from comparing ourselves to our perception of others, but comes from knowing and experiencing God’s deep love for us.  When we understand God has a unique plan for our lives, we are less inclined to compete for the praise of others and more inclined to search for God’s plan.  We look for glimpses of God’s purpose and press now to live as Christ has called us to live—to be all that God intends for us to be. “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I
do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”[9]
We see others with a similar need to know and experience God’s love.    

Counterfeits

In life and particularly in my practice of law, I see so many people who have followed or accepted counterfeits rather than the real deal.  Many years ago, a brilliant scientist made the same observation but with understanding and eloquence I shall never attain.  In what he considered to be his greatest discovery, scientist and renown mathematician Blaise Pascal, researching the nature of the vacuum, wrote in Pensées,[10] “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever means they employ, they all tend to this end…. This is the motive of every action of every man…. And yet after such a great number of years, no
one without faith has reached the point to which all continually look.” Although Pascal is better known for his theory of probabilities, the invention of the first calculating machine and the
binomial theorem, his insight into the human condition has a further reach than his breakthrough physical scientific discoveries.  People spend their whole lives attempting to fill this God-shaped void.[11]  Only heartache, tragedy and emptiness results from attempts to
fill it with substitutes for God and his gifts.  Similarly, when we try fill voids intended for God’s blessings, like peace, love or even marriage with counterfeits, we come up short.

Psalm 32, one of my favorite passages in Scriptures, was quoted in the New Testament by Paul in Romans 4.  King David, described forgiveness as a weight lifted, a covering, a clearing of one’s guilt.   One forgiven is truly blessed.

 

Psa
32:1
  

PSALM
32

A
Psalm of David. A Contemplation.[fn1]

BLESSED
is he whose transgression is forgiven,

Whose
sin is covered.

Psa
32:2
  

Blessed
is the man to whom the LORD
does not impute iniquity,

And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

Psa
32:3
  

When
I kept silent, my bones grew old

Through my groaning all the day long.

Psa
32:4

 

For
day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.

Selah

 

Psa
32:5

 

I
acknowledged my sin to You,

And my iniquity I have not hidden.

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”

And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Selah

Psa
32:6

 

For
this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You

In a time when You may be found;

Surely in a flood of great waters

They shall not come near him.

 

Psa
32:7

 

You
are my hiding place;

You shall preserve me from trouble;

You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.

Selah

 

Psa
32:8

 

I
will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will guide you with My eye.

 

Psa
32:9

 

Do
not be like the horse or like the mule,

Which
have no understanding,

Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,

Else they will not come near you.

 

Psa
32:10

 

Many
sorrows shall be to the wicked;

But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy
shall surround him.

 

Psa
32:11

 

Be
glad in the LORD and rejoice, you
righteous;

And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

 

Many might respond, “You Arrogant Bastard!”

 

Yet, I don’t claim the corner on truth. I recognize that many have different perspectives on the truth. Through conversation with others, reflection, observation and life’s experiences, the flaws in my own perception become apparent and a fuller picture of truth becomes visible. I do claim that I am in search of truth and that I and you have the privilege of making judgments that a particular perspective is inconsistent with truth. See Discussion-Islam

 

So What Now?

 

So where do I go from here?  I press forward to become what God wants me to be.
When I stumble, I get up and press on.  “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Messiah Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Messiah Jesus.”  Philippians 3. 

It is a humbling thing to realize that God has planned for us to do his will.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2.

 

 


[1]

2Ti
3:13

 

But
evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving
and being deceived.

 

2Ti
3:14

 

But
you must continue in the things which you have learned and
been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

 

2Ti
3:15

 

and
that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which
are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is
in Christ Jesus.

 

2Ti
3:16

 

All
Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness,

 

2Ti
3:17

 

that
the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every
good work.

 

[2]

Luk
17:1

 

THEN
He said to the disciples, “It is
impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him
through whom they do come!

 

Luk
17:2

 

“It would be better for him if a
millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into
the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

 

Luk
17:3

 

“Take heed to yourselves. If your
brother sins against you,[fn1]
rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

 

Luk
17:4

 

“And if he sins against you seven
times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you,[fn2]
saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

 

[3]

Jhn
3:1

 

THERE
was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the
Jews.

 

Jhn
3:2

 

This
man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we
know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do
these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

 

Jhn
3:3

 

Jesus
answered and said to him, “Most
assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot
see the

kingdom
of
God

.”

 

Jhn
3:4

 

Nicodemus
said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can
he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be
born?”

 

Jhn
3:5

 

Jesus
answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter
the

kingdom
of
God

.

 

Jhn
3:6

 

“That which is born of the flesh is
flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

 

Jhn
3:7

 

“Do not marvel that I said to you,
‘You must be born again.’

 

Jhn
3:8

 

“The wind blows where it wishes, and
you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from
and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the
Spirit.”

 

Jhn
3:9

 

Nicodemus
answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

 

Jhn
3:10

 

Jesus
answered and said to him, “Are you the
teacher of

Israel

, and do not know these things?

 

Jhn
3:11

 

“Most assuredly, I say to you, We
speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do
not receive Our witness.

 

Jhn
3:12

 

“If I have told you earthly things
and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you
heavenly things?

 

Jhn
3:13

 

“No one has ascended to heaven but
He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man
who is in heaven.[fn1]

 

Jhn
3:14

 

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent
in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

 

Jhn
3:15

 

“that whoever believes in Him should
not perish but[fn2]
have eternal life.

 

Jhn
3:16

 

“For God so loved the world that He
gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life.

 

Jhn
3:17

 

“For God did not send His Son into
the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him
might be saved.

 

Jhn
3:18

 

“He who believes in Him is not
condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already,
because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten
Son of God.

 

Jhn
3:19

 

“And this is the condemnation, that
the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness
rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

 

Jhn
3:20

 

“For everyone practicing evil hates
the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds
should be exposed.

 

Jhn
3:21

 

“But he who does the truth comes to
the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have
been done in God.”

 

Jhn
3:22

 

After
these things Jesus and His disciples came into the

land
of
Judea

, and there He remained with them and baptized.

 

Jhn
3:23

 

Now
John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was
much water there. And they came and were baptized.

 

Jhn
3:24

 

For
John had not yet been thrown into prison.

 

Jhn
3:25

 

Then
there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples
and the Jews about purification.

 

Jhn
3:26

 

And
they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was
with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have
testified–behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to
Him!”

 

Jhn
3:27

 

John
answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it
has been given to him from heaven.

 

Jhn
3:28

 

“You
yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the
Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’

 

Jhn
3:29

 

“He
who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the
bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because
of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is
fulfilled.

 

Jhn
3:30

 

“He
must increase, but I must decrease.

 

Jhn
3:31

 

“He
who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is
earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is
above all.

 

Jhn
3:32

 

“And
what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one
receives His testimony.

 

Jhn
3:33

 

“He
who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.

 

Jhn
3:34

 

“For
He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not
give the Spirit by measure.

 

Jhn
3:35

 

“The
Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.

 

Jhn
3:36

 

“He
who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does
not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God
abides on him.”

 

[4]

Eph
2:8

 

For
by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of
yourselves; it is the gift of God,

 

Eph
2:9

 

not
of works, lest anyone should boast.

 

Eph
2:10

 

For
we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good
works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in
them.

 

[5]
In 1678, John Bunyon’s classic Pilgrim’s Progress, was
published.  He
wrote
“Christian ran thus till he came at a place somewhat
ascending, and upon that place stood a cross … So I saw in my
dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden
loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back.”

 

[6]

Rom
5:1

 

THEREFORE,
having been justified by faith, we have[fn1]
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Rom
5:2

 

through
whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we
stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

 

Rom
5:3

 

And
not only that, but we also glory in tribulations,
knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

 

Rom
5:4

 

and
perseverance, character; and character, hope.

 

Rom
5:5

 

Now
hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been
poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to
us.

 

Rom
5:6

 

For
when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died
for the ungodly.

 

Rom
5:7

 

For
scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a
good man someone would even dare to die.

 

Rom
5:8

 

But
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were
still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

Rom
5:9

 

Much
more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be
saved from wrath through Him.

 

Rom
5:10

 

For
if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the
death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall
be saved by His life.

 

Rom
5:11

 

And
not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our
Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the
reconciliation.

 

Rom
5:12

 

Therefore,
just as through one man sin entered the world, and death
through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all
sinned–

 

Rom
5:13

 

(For
until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed
when there is no law.

 

Rom
5:14

 

Nevertheless
death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not
sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam,
who is a type of Him who was to come.

 

Rom
5:15

 

But
the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the
one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and
the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded
to many.

 

Rom
5:16

 

And
the gift is not like that which came through the
one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense
resulted
in condemnation, but the free gift which came
from many offenses resulted in justification.

 

Rom
5:17

 

For
if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one,
much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift
of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus
Christ.)

 

Rom
5:18

 

Therefore,
as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men,
resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous
act the free gift came to all men, resulting in
justification of life.

 

Rom
5:19

 

For
as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also
by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

 

Rom
5:20

 

Moreover
the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin
abounded, grace abounded much more,

 

Rom
5:21

 

so
that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign
through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our
Lord.

 

[7]

Rom
8:1

 

THERE
is

therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ
Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according
to the Spirit.

 

Rom
8:2

 

For
the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free
from the law of sin and death.

 

Rom
8:3

 

For
what the law could not do in that it was weak through the
flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness
of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the
flesh,

 

Rom
8:4

 

that
the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us
who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the
Spirit.

 

Rom
8:5

 

For
those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the
things of the flesh, but those who live according to
the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

 

Rom
8:6

 

For
to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually
minded is life and peace.

 

Rom
8:7

 

Because
the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not
subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

 

Rom
8:8

 

So
then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

Rom
8:9

 

But
you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the
Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the
Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

 

Rom
8:10

 

And
if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of
sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

 

Rom
8:11

 

But
if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in
you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to
your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

 

Rom
8:12

 

Therefore,
brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according
to the flesh.

 

Rom
8:13

 

For
if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the
Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

 

Rom
8:14

 

For
as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of
God.

 

Rom
8:15

 

For
you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but
you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,
“Abba, Father.”

 

Rom
8:16

 

The
Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are
children of God,

 

Rom
8:17

 

and
if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with
Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also
be glorified together.

 

Rom
8:18

 

For
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not
worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be
revealed in us.

 

Rom
8:19

 

For
the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the
revealing of the sons of God.

 

Rom
8:20

 

For
the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but
because of Him who subjected it in hope;

 

Rom
8:21

 

because
the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of
corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

 

Rom
8:22

 

For
we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth
pangs together until now.

 

Rom
8:23

 

Not
only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the
Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly
waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

 

Rom
8:24

 

For
we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope;
for why does one still hope for what he sees?

 

Rom
8:25

 

But
if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it
with perseverance.

 

Rom
8:26

 

Likewise
the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know
what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself
makes intercession for us[fn1]
with groanings which cannot be uttered.

 

Rom
8:27

 

Now
He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is,
because He makes intercession for the saints according to the
will of
God.

 

Rom
8:28

 

And
we know that all things work together for good to those who
love God, to those who are the called according to His
purpose.

 

Rom
8:29

 

For
whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed
to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among
many brethren.

 

Rom
8:30

 

Moreover
whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called,
these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also
glorified.

 

Rom
8:31

 

What
then shall we say to these things? If God is for us,
who can be against us?

 

Rom
8:32

 

He
who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us
all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

 

Rom
8:33

 

Who
shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who
justifies.

 

Rom
8:34

 

Who
is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and
furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of
God, who also makes intercession for us.

 

Rom
8:35

 

Who
shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

Rom
8:36

 

As
it is written:

 

 

For
Your sake we are killed all day long;

 

We
are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
[fn2]

 

 

Rom
8:37

 

Yet
in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him
who loved us.

 

Rom
8:38

 

For
I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor
principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to
come,

 

Rom
8:39

 

nor
height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able
to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus
our Lord.

 

[8]

Phl
4:6

 

Be
anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and
supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made
known to God;

 

Phl
4:7

 

and
the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will
guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

Phl
4:8

 

Finally,
brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are
noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are
pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are
of good report, if there is any virtue and if there
is
anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.

 

Phl
4:9

 

The
things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me,
these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

 

[9]

Phl
3:1

 

FINALLY,
my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same
things to you is not tedious, but for you it is
safe.

 

Phl
3:2

 

Beware
of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!

 

Phl
3:3

 

For
we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,[fn1]
rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,

 

Phl
3:4

 

though
I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else
thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:

 

Phl
3:5

 

circumcised
the eighth day, of the stock of

Israel

, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews;
concerning the law, a Pharisee;

 

Phl
3:6

 

concerning
zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness
which is in the law, blameless.

 

Phl
3:7

 

But
what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for
Christ.

 

Phl
3:8

 

Yet
indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the
knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered
the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may
gain Christ

 

Phl
3:9

 

and
be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is
from the law, but that which is through faith in
Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

 

Phl
3:10

 

that
I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the
fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

 

Phl
3:11

 

if,
by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

 

Phl
3:12

 

Not
that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I
press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus
has also laid hold of me.

 

Phl
3:13

 

Brethren,
I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I
do,
forgetting those things which are behind and reaching
forward to those things which are ahead,

 

Phl
3:14

 

I
press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
in Christ Jesus.

 

Phl
3:15

 

Therefore
let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in
anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to
you.

 

Phl
3:16

 

Nevertheless,
to the degree that we have already attained, let us
walk by the same rule,[fn2]
let us be of the same mind.

 

Phl
3:17

 

Brethren,
join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as
you have us for a pattern.

 

Phl
3:18

 

For
many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you
even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of
Christ:

 

Phl
3:19

 

whose
end is destruction, whose god is their belly,
and whose glory is in their shame–who set their
mind on earthly things.

 

Phl
3:20

 

For
our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait
for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Phl
3:21

 

who
will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His
glorious body, according to the working by which He is able
even to subdue all things to Himself.

 

[10]
1660, published posthumously

 

[11]
Augustine also described this

 

 

 

Contact:

Thomas H. Roberts, Esq.
Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C.
Virginia Civil Rights Attorneys
105 S. 1st Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
804) 783-2000
804) 783-2105