Most popular Bible Verses
- 1 Samuel
- 2 Samuel
- 1 Kings
- 2 Kings
- 1 Chronicles
- 2 Chronicles
- Song of Solomon
For God loved the world [of sinners] so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that every person who believes in Him would not [have to] be destroyed, but have never ending life.
for everyone has sinned and falls short of God's glory [i.e., His approval, or His perfect character].
All Scripture is inspired by God [Note: Literally, this word means "breathed out by God"] and is useful for teaching [truth], rebuking [wrongdoing], correcting [error] and for providing instruction [i.e., training] on how to live right,
So, I urge you, brothers, because God is so merciful [to us], to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, [fully] dedicated and very pleasing to God. For this is a reasonable [or spiritual] way for you to worship [or serve] Him.
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,
For you have been saved by God's unearned favor, through [your] faith, and that [salvation] was not the result of your own doing; it was the gift from God.
And we know that God works out everything for the good of those who love Him and are called [to serve Him] in harmony with His purpose [for them].
So, as you go, make disciples out of people from all the nations, then immerse believers [See Mark 16:15-16] into the name of [i.e., to enter a relationship with] the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
And you people must not be conformed to [the values and standards of] this age, but you should become transformed [i.e., changed in attitude and action] by having your mind renewed [i.e., to think in a totally different way]. Then you will be able to determine [and practice] God's will, the thing that is good, and acceptable and perfect.
Jesus answered him, "I am the way [to God], and the truth [to believe], and the life [to live]. No one can go to the Father, except through [believing in] me.
But, you apostles will receive power when the Holy Spirit descends on you and [then] you will become My witnesses [i.e., to tell what you know] in Jerusalem, in [the countries of] Judea and Samaria, and [even] to the distant regions of the earth."
And Peter replied, "Every one of you must repent [i.e., change your hearts and lives] and be immersed in the name of Jesus Christ [i.e., by His authority] so that your sins will be forgiven [by God] and then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit [to live in your hearts].
For the wages for sinning is [spiritual] death, but God's free gift is never ending life in [fellowship with] Christ Jesus our Lord.
But He gave all those who did welcome Him the opportunity of becoming children of God by believing in His name [i.e., as the Messiah].
The Word [already] existed in the beginning [of time]. [Note: This is a reference to the preexistence of Jesus. See verse 14]. And the Word was with God and the Word was [what] God [was].
He saved us, not because of any good deeds we ourselves had done, but because of His mercy. [He saved us] through the washing of new birth [Note: This refers to our immersion in water] and the renewing [work] of the Holy Spirit,
So, if you profess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe with your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
[Eventually] this Word became a human being and lived among us [Note: The word "lived" here refers to pitching a temporary tent]. (And we saw His splendor; such splendor as belongs to the Father's only Son), full of God's favor and truth.
But God demonstrates His own love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
And He gave some people [the gift of being] apostles; and some people prophets; and some people evangelists; and some people pastors [i.e., elders] and teachers,
And these [new converts] continued regularly [to listen] to the teaching of the apostles and to share with them; they broke bread [in memory of Jesus] and continued praying.
Come to me, all of you who are overworked and overburdened and I will give you rest [i.e., spiritual refreshment].
[But] if we confess our sins [to God], He is faithful [to His promise] and righteous [in His judgment], and will forgive us of those sins and cleanse us from all of our wrongdoing.
Jesus said to him, "Truly, truly, I tell you, a person cannot see the kingdom of God [i.e., enter it. See verse 5], unless he is born from above [Note: The words "from above" are also used in verse 31, but in this place they could also mean "again," or "anew" and refer to the source of a person's second birth].
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that people could have life to its fullest.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through [the action of] one man [i.e., Adam] and [physical] death through that sin, so [physical] death has spread to all people, because all people have sinned. [Note: This difficult passage (verses 12-21) seems to be saying that the entire human race must experience physical death because of Adam's sin (I Cor. 5:22), which is somehow considered to be everyone's sin. See Murray, pp. 180-187, for a thorough discussion].
Then He said to them, "You [men] go into the entire world and preach the good news to every person.
And there is salvation in no other One [than Jesus] for there is no other Name in the whole world, proclaimed by men, by which [a person] can be saved."
Therefore, if any person is in [fellowship with] Christ, he is a new person. His old ways have passed away; now his ways have become new.
[Jesus continued], "Do not allow your hearts to be upset. You should believe in God, and believe in me also.
[Now] the true Light, who enlightens all mankind, was [indeed] coming into the world [i.e., to earth].
Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
So, since we are made right with God by [our] faith, we have peace with Him through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I can do everything through Christ, who gives me the strength.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and [special] petition, along with thanksgivings, you should make your requests known to God.
Therefore, none of those who are in [fellowship with] Christ Jesus will be condemned.
Then on the third day [i.e., since Jesus' conversation with Nathaniel. See 1:47], a wedding took place in Cana in Galilee. [Note: This was a small town near Nazareth]. Jesus' mother was there
And when the day of Pentecost came [Note: This was a Jewish festival held fifty days following the Passover Festival. Lev. 23:15-21], they [i.e., the twelve apostles] were all gathered together in one place [i.e., their second story living quarters, 1:13 ?].
I have been crucified [i.e., died] with Christ, and so I am not the one who lives [anymore] but rather, it is Christ who lives in my heart. And [now] my entire life is being lived by trusting in the Son of God [to save and keep me], because He loved me and gave Himself up for me.
I am not ashamed of the good news [i.e., the Gospel], because it is God's power for [bringing] salvation to every person who believes [in Jesus]; first to Jews and then to Greeks [i.e., unconverted Gentiles].
I am giving you a new commandment: love one another. Also you should love one another in the same way that I have loved you.
Now there was a Pharisee, a leader of the Jews, named Nicodemus.
Do your best to present yourself as a worker who is approved by God [and] does not have to be ashamed, [because you are] accurately handling [i.e., explaining] the message of truth.
So, you should put the kingdom of God and what He says is right first [in your lives], then all these things [i.e., food, drink and clothing] will be provided for you.
"And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper [i.e., besides me], who will be with you forever.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a large crowd of spectators [Note: Christians are pictured here as being in a crowded arena, performing in the games], we should lay aside every [excessive] weight and sin that so easily entangle us, and with perseverance, we should run the race [of life] that lies before us.
God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
You should think about things the way Christ Jesus did.
So, pay close attention to your [own] lives, and to all [members] of the flock [i.e., the congregation] of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers [i.e., elders, shepherds or pastors]. Provide [spiritual] food for the church of the Lord which He purchased by [shedding] His own blood.
For [Joel 2:32 says], "Every person who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." [i.e., whoever appeals to God through obedient faith in Christ]
If you love me, you will obey my commandments.
For God's extreme anger is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people who restrain the truth [from being known and obeyed] by their wickedness.
"The Holy Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me [i.e., specially chose me] to preach good news to poor people. He has sent me to proclaim freedom to those who are captives [i.e., to sin]; recovery of sight to the [spiritually as well as physically] blind; to set free those who are oppressed [i.e., by Satan] and
Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I tell you, a person cannot enter the kingdom of God unless he is born out of water and the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, when the Lord [Jesus] knew that the Pharisees were aware of Him making and immersing more disciples than John,
PM, if Jewish time were meant].
Now, [having] faith is being sure of [receiving] what is hoped for, and certain [of the existence] of what is not visible.
And you will know what the truth is and the truth will set you free [i.e. from bondage to sin]."
For God's word is alive and active and sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates [deep enough] even to divide [a person's] soul [from his] spirit, and his joints [from his] bone marrow [Note: This is figurative language describing the penetrating effect of God's word into a person's spiritual, inner being] and is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of a person's heart.
So, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another to be healed [from sin sickness]. The special request of a righteous person is empowered with [great] effectiveness.
On the next day John [the Immerser] saw Jesus approaching him and said, "Look, [there is] the Lamb of God; He [will] take away the sin of the people of the world.
And you [Gentiles] were once [spiritually] dead because of your shortcomings and sins.
However, when the Holy Spirit of truth comes, He will lead you [apostles] into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own authority, but will speak [only] what He hears [from the Father]. And He will tell you about the things that are to come.
Every person must be submissive to the ruling authorities, for all authorities come from God. And the existence of authorities has been established by God.
And I also tell you, [although] you are Peter [i.e., a stone], it is on this rock [i.e., the truth you have just confessed] that I will build my church and [not even] the gates of the unseen place of departed spirits will win out over it [i.e., all efforts to stamp out the church by killing Christians will fail].
"But when the Son of man comes [back] in [all] His splendor, accompanied by all the angels, then He will sit on His throne of splendor.
Everything came into being through this Word, and apart from Him not a single thing came into being.
Now these people [in Berea] had more character than those in Thessalonica because they [not only] received the message with an open mind but [also] examined the [Old Testament] Scriptures every day to see if what they had heard was really true.
But the Helper, that is, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name [i.e., by my authority] will teach you everything. And He will remind you of everything that I [have] said to you.
You belong to your father the devil, and you are [always] wanting to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the [very] beginning [Note: This is probably a reference to Satan's influence on Adam, Eve and Cain in the Garden of Eden] and does not stand for the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he only speaks what is part of his nature, because he is a liar and the father of [all] liars.
He came to be a witness, so that he might testify concerning that Light, so that all people would believe [in Jesus] through him [i.e., through his testimony. See Acts 19:4].
For God's unearned favor has appeared, bringing salvation to all people [i.e., in the coming of Christ].
"Do not think that I came to do away with the law of Moses or the prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to fulfill them [i.e., their requirements and predictions].
Finally, be [spiritually] strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
Jesus replied, [Deut. 6:5] "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.'
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn One [i.e., who takes preeminence] over all that is created.
"I am the vine; you people are the branches. The person who remains united to me, and I to him, will bear much fruit. For you cannot do anything if [you are] separated from me.
"Truly, truly, I tell you, the person who listens to my message and believes [in] the One who sent me [i.e., God] has never ending life [i.e., as a hope. See Titus 1:2; 3:7]. He will not be judged [and condemned], but has [already] passed from being [spiritually] dead to being [spiritually] alive.
Finally, brothers, give [careful] thought to these things: Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovable, whatever is commendable. If it is excellent; if it is praiseworthy; [think about it].
And unless one has faith, it is impossible for him to be pleasing to God, for the person who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.
while looking forward to the blessed hope [i.e., the hope that produces blessings] and the coming splendor of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
So, faith results from [people] hearing, and [their] hearing results from [the preaching of] the message about Christ.
Then Jesus made a whip out of strands of rope and drove all of the sheep and oxen out of the Temple [area], dumped out the cashiers' money and overturned their tables.
Consider it [an occasion for] much joy, my brothers, when you experience various trials,
And they [i.e., the apostles] were all filled with [the power of] the Holy Spirit and began to speak ["the mighty accomplishments of God," See verse 11] in different languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them the ability.
The person who believes [i.e., the Gospel] and is immersed will be saved [i.e., from condemnation], but whoever does not believe it will be condemned.
as it is written [Psa. 14:1ff; 53:1ff], "No one [always] does what is right; not even one person.
Set them apart [i.e., for your service] through the truth; your word is truth.
Paul and Silas said, "You and your family can be saved if you [all] believe in the Lord Jesus."
But if any one of you lacks wisdom, he should pray to God, who gives to everyone generously and does not begrudge [the person who asks], and it will be given to him.
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; the person who believes in me will live on, even though he dies [physically].
Then those who responded [by faith] to the words [spoken by Peter and the apostles] were immersed, and about three thousand persons were added to them [i.e., the apostles] on that day.
And when Jesus had said these things, just as the apostles were watching [Him], He was taken up by a cloud [and disappeared] out of their sight.
And on the first day of the week [i.e., Sunday], when we [disciples] had gathered together to break bread [i.e., the Lord's Supper. See I Cor. 11:20-24], Paul delivered a message that lasted until midnight, [since] he was planning to leave [Troas] the next day.
But instead, set aside a place in your hearts where Christ is [in full control as] Lord, and be prepared always to give a suitable reply to every person who asks you for a reason why you have an inner hope. But [be sure you do it] in a meek and respectful way, however.
And this is never ending life; that people may know you [as] the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the One whom you have sent.
Or, do you not know that evil people will not possess God's kingdom? Do not be misled: neither will sexually immoral people, nor idolaters, nor those who are sexually unfaithful to their mates, nor homosexual perverts. [Note: The Greek uses two words here, denoting both the passive and active partners in male homosexual acts].
[About then] a Samaritan woman came [to the well] to draw water. Jesus said to her, "[Please] give me a drink."
Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am." [Note: The words "I am" were probably construed as a reference to being Deity. See Ex. 3:14].
For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities of eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, [capable of] being perceived through the things that He has made. So, these people have no excuse [i.e., for not believing in Him].
But you people are especially chosen [by God]; you are a royal body of priests; you are a nation especially set apart for God's use; you are a people who belong exclusively to God, that you may express the virtues of the One who called you out of darkness [i.e., of sin and error], and into His marvelous light [i.e., righteousness and truth].
In times past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets in many parts and in various ways,
"Now there was a certain rich man who was dressed in purple [clothing] and soft linen [garments] and who lived every day in pleasure and luxury.
Look, I am standing at [your] door and knocking; if anyone hears my voice [i.e., the sound of my knocking], and opens the door, I will [surely] come in to him and eat with him and he [will eat] with me.
"Not every person who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but [only] that person who does what my Father in heaven requires.
The wind blows wherever it wants to, and you can hear the sound of it, without knowing where it came from or where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born from the Holy Spirit."
The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I do not have anyone to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but [just] when I am about to enter [it] someone else goes down [into the water] before me."
Then Jesus said to those Jews who had believed [in Him], "If you people continue [obeying] my message, then you are truly my disciples.
The person who believes in Him will not be condemned, but the one who does not believe in Him has already been condemned, because he did not believe in the name of God's one and only Son.
Keep your lives free from the love of money [and be] content with what you have, because God [Himself] has said [Deut. 31:6], "By no means will I [ever] desert you or give up on you."
So, Jesus spoke to them again [i.e., to the Jewish authorities. See 7:45], saying, "I am the light of the world. The person who becomes my follower will never live in [spiritual] darkness, but have the light of [i.e., for his] life [i.e., followers of Jesus will not live in error and sin but in truth and righteousness]."
"Do not store your valuables [here] on earth, where moths can eat them and where rust can corrode them, and where burglars can break in and steal [them].
I and the Father are one."
For our struggle is not [actually] against human beings, but against rulers and authorities and leaders of this world's darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. [Note: "Heavenly realms" here refers to the struggle against Satanic powers which permeates life around us].
Then you could know how reliable the information is that you have been told.
[Jesus continued], "I am the real vine, and my Father is the owner of the vineyard.
And just as it is destined for people to die one time, and [then] after that to be judged,
since you have experienced the goodness of the Lord [i.e., that the Lord is good].
[We all love you] because of the truth which continues to live in our hearts and will be with us forever.
"Ask [God for something] and it will be given to you; look [to God for something] and you will find it; knock [on the door of opportunity] and it will be opened up to you.
Now in the sixth month [of Elizabeth's pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to the Galilean town of Nazareth,
This man went to Jesus one night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we [i.e., speaking of himself and other Jewish leaders] know that you are a Teacher sent from God, for no one could perform these [miraculous] signs that you are doing unless God were with Him."
May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be praised, for He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in [fellowship with] Christ. [Note: The term "heavenly realms" is used somewhat differently throughout this book. Here it refers to Christians as part of the church on earth].
And when they heard [what He had said], they [all] left, one at a time, beginning with the oldest men. So, Jesus was left alone with the woman [still standing] there where she was.
You people are [like] light in the world. A city built on a hill will not go unnoticed.
Now the birth of Christ happened this way: When His mother Mary was engaged to marry Joseph, [but] before they had a sexual relationship, she was discovered to be pregnant by [the power of] the Holy Spirit.
Loved ones, do not believe [the message of] every spirit [i.e., every person claiming to be a teacher], but test the spirits [i.e., require proof that they and their message are genuine] to see whether they represent God [or not], because many false prophets have begun circulating throughout the world.
[In this relationship] there is to be no [distinction between] Jews or Greeks [i.e., Gentiles], slaves or free persons, men or women; for all of you are united into one [body] because of your relationship with Christ Jesus.
Is anyone among you sick? [Then] he should call for the elders of the church and they should pray for him, after pouring [olive] oil on him in the name [i.e., by the authority] of the Lord.
Just then a certain teacher of the law of Moses stood up and [attempted to] test Jesus, saying, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit [never ending] life?"
But we want you to be informed, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep [in death] so that you do not grieve, as other people do [i.e., the unsaved], who have no hope.
Every good thing that is given and every perfect gift [received] is from above, coming down from the Father of [heavenly] lights, with whom there can be no change or shifting shadow [i.e., God always remains the same].
God considered Christ to be sinful on our behalf, even though He never sinned, so that we could be considered right with God through Him.
I have said these things to you so that you can have peace in [fellowship with] me. You will have trouble in the world, but cheer up, for I have conquered the world."
You [Gentiles] also, who are in Christ, after having heard the message of truth, the good news about your salvation, and [after] believing in Him, were sealed [i.e., as evidence of ownership] with the promised Holy Spirit. [or, "the Holy Spirit who brings promises"].
Husbands, you should love your wives just as Christ also loved the church, and gave up His life for her,
And [His] light continued to shine, [even] in the darkness [of the world], and that darkness did not overcome Him [or, did not fully understand Him].
The Lord is not slow about keeping His promise, like some people are, but is [simply] being patient with you, since He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but He wants everyone to repent [i.e., change their hearts and lives].
He himself was not that Light, but came [only] to testify concerning that Light.
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest [i.e., God] will overshadow you. Therefore, the child you carry will be called the holy Son of God.
Religion that is pure and uncorrupted in the eyes of [our] God and Father involves taking care of orphans and widows in their distress and keeping oneself unstained by the world.
The person who believes in the Son has never ending life, but the person who disobeys the Son will not see life [i.e., will not experience never ending life], but [instead], God's wrath remains on him.
Wives, you should submit to your own husbands, as you would to the Lord.
"And if your brother sins against you, go and show him where he wronged you, [but] keep it between just the two of you. If he listens to you [i.e., accepts your reasoning and repents], you have won your brother [back].
and said, "You men from Galilee, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus who was received up from your presence into the sky will return in the same way you saw Him go there."
Therefore, you people [must] repent [i.e., change your hearts and lives] and turn [back] again [to God] so that your sins will be blotted out and so that you may enjoy times of [spiritual] refreshment from the presence of the Lord [i.e., through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit].
For we [Christians] are the product of God's workmanship, [re-] created in [fellowship with] Christ Jesus for [the purpose of] doing good deeds. God had previously determined that this should be our practice.
What good is it, my brothers [and sisters], if a person says he has faith but does not have [good] deeds? Can such faith save him?
For God did not send His Son into the world to be its judge [i.e., to condemn it], but [rather] so that the people of the world could be saved [from condemnation] though Him.
Or, do you not know that all of us who were immersed into Christ Jesus were immersed into His death?
Therefore, you should pray this way: 'Our Father in heaven, may your name be highly honored.
Older women, likewise, should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine, teachers of what is good.
What shall we say, then? Should we continue sinning so that more of God's unearned favor will [have to] be shown?
And do not get drunk on wine, which results in ruined lives, but be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, because the first heaven and the first earth [had] passed away, and there was no longer any ocean.
But the time will come, and is now [actually] here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [i.e., from the heart] and truth [i.e., according to God's revealed will], for these are the people whom the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
Now it happened in those days that a decree was sent out from Caesar Augustus [the Emperor of the Roman Empire] requiring [people from] the whole empire to be registered [i.e., for taxation purposes].
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and mankind --- the man Christ Jesus,
Then Jesus was led up to the desert by the Holy Spirit in order to be put to the test by the devil.
You search through the Scriptures [i.e., the Old Testament], because you think that you will [learn how to] have never ending life by [reading] them. And these Scriptures are what testify concerning me.
In [fellowship with] Christ we have redemption [i.e., we have been bought back from Satan] through His blood, and have forgiveness of sins according to the abundance of God's unearned favor,
"Do not be surprised at this: The time is coming when all those who are in their graves will hear His voice
But, if we live in the light [of righteousness] just like God [constantly] lives in the light [of righteousness], we can truly share a relationship with one another and [can know that] the blood of Jesus, God's Son, continues to cleanse [our spirits] from all of our sins.
No one has ever seen God [i.e., His full splendor], but God, the only conceived [and eventually born Son], who is at the Father's side, has shown us who He is.
I urge you, therefore, as a prisoner of the Lord, to live in a way that measures up to [the standard required by] God when He called you.
"Do not pass [condemning] judgment [on other people] so that you do not receive such judgment [on yourselves].
For I passed on to you the [following] main principles that I received [i.e., by revelation]: Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures;
No one has [any] greater love than to give up his life for his friends.
These [false teachers] are part of the world, so [naturally] they speak [a message endorsed] by the world and the world listens to them.
But, I am saying to you, live in harmony with the Holy Spirit's [desire for you] and [then] you will not [always] be giving in to the wrong desires of your body.
But if the Spirit of God [truly] lives in your heart, you are not [being controlled] by the flesh, but by the Holy Spirit. But if any person does not have the Spirit of Christ [living in him], he does not belong to Christ.
So, when it was evening on that day, [which was] the first day of the week [i.e., Sunday] and the doors [of someone's house], where the disciples were gathered, were closed [i.e., probably locked] for fear of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. [Note: Probably Jesus passed through the closed door miraculously]. He said to them, "May there be peace in your hearts."
"Why has the promise of a coming Messiah [not been fulfilled yet]? After all, since the time our ancestors died, everything has continued the same, even since the beginning of creation!"
No one can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, attracts him to me. [See verse 65]. And I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day.
After these things Jesus went up to Jerusalem to [attend] a Jewish festival.
For all things were created by Him; things in heaven and on earth; things visible and invisible, whether they are thrones [i.e., reigning beings], or lords, or rulers or authorities. [Note: "Authorities" here may refer to angelic beings]. All things were created by Him and for Him.
And [just] like Moses lifted up the snake [on the pole] in the wilderness [Num. 21:9], so the Son of man must be lifted up [on the cross]
"You should enter [God's kingdom] by means of the narrow door, for the wide door and the broad road are the ones that lead to [spiritual and physical] destruction. And many people will enter [that wide door].
Now God made allowance for the times when people were still uninformed [about His complete will], but now [in the Gospel age] He requires all people everywhere to repent [i.e., change their hearts and lives].
Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born [again] after he is [already] old? He cannot enter his mother's womb a second time and be born, can he?"
If then you people have been raised up together with Christ [i.e., from your burial in immersion, See 2:12-13 with Rom. 6:4], pay attention to the things that are above [i.e., heavenly things], where Christ is seated at the right side of God.
For [that class of] persons whom God knew beforehand He also predetermined to become conformed to the [spiritual] likeness of His Son, so that He could be the firstborn One among [His] many brothers [i.e., so He could be the preeminent example to all His followers. See Heb. 2:11].
But you should not deceive yourselves by just listening [to God's word] instead of doing what the word teaches.
So, as God's elect [i.e., His people], holy and dearly loved [by Him], clothe yourselves with a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
We should not neglect our assembling together [as a church], as some people are in the habit of doing, but we should encourage one another [spiritually], and [do it] all the more [diligently] as you see the day [of judgment] coming closer.
For Christ suffered once for people's sins [to be forgiven]. [It was the case of] a righteous Man suffering for unrighteous people, so that He could bring you [or, "us"] to God [for salvation]. [Though] He [i.e., Jesus] was put to death physically, He was brought back to life by the Holy Spirit [Note: Some translations say "in spirit"].
Now during the days when the disciples were multiplying in number [in Jerusalem. See verse 7], some Greek-[speaking] Jews began to complain to the Hebrews that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution [of food].
I leave you with peace; I give you my peace. I am not giving you peace like the world gives. Do not allow your hearts to be upset or afraid.
My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
For every person who asks will [certainly] receive; and the one who looks will [certainly] find; and to the person who knocks, the door will [certainly] be opened.
Jesus took upon Himself our sins [when] His body was placed upon the cross so that we, [through] dying to [i.e., giving up] the sinful life, would live for righteousness. You were healed [from your sins] by His being brutally treated.
So, you should submit yourselves to God, but oppose the devil, and he will flee from you.
Yet I am telling you the truth: It will be helpful to you for me to go away. For unless I go, the Helper [i.e., the Holy Spirit] will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.
"I am the good shepherd; and a good shepherd [is willing] to die for the sheep.
For we do not have a head priest who is incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but One [i.e., Jesus] who has been tempted in every way that we have, and yet without sinning.
and Jesus and His disciples had been invited to it also.
"You people are [like] salt on the earth. But if salt loses its flavoring ability, how will it ever get it back again? From then on it would be good for nothing except to be thrown out onto the roadway and walked on by people. [Note: This was mined salt which, when losing its "saltiness" due to exposure to the sun or rain, was simply disposed of by being dumped onto the roadway where people walked].
This Son expresses the radiance of God's splendor and represents His very Being, and He sustains everything by His powerful word. After He had provided cleansing for [man's] sins, He sat down at the right side of the Majesty [i.e., God] on high [i.e., in heaven].
Be sensible and alert; your enemy the devil is prowling around like a roaring [i.e., hungry] lion looking for someone to [kill and] eat.
And in the same way, the Holy Spirit helps [us in] our weakness; for we do not know what we ought to pray for [Note: Some translators understand this as "how to pray"]. But the Holy Spirit goes to God on our behalf with groanings [in our hearts] that are not expressed [in words].
Loved ones, we should have love for one another, because love comes from [the very nature of] God, and every person who [continually] loves [others] has been [spiritually] conceived by God [See 2:29; 3:9], and knows [he is in fellowship with] God.
Every person [Note: The Greek says, "every thing"] whom the Father gives me will [eventually] come to me [i.e., for salvation]; and I will never turn away that person who comes to me.
You should not love the [godless] world, nor the things [i.e., the materialistic values] that are part of this [present] age. If any person loves the world, a [genuine] love for the Father is not in his heart.
(Now Jesus' disciples had gone away to town to buy some food).
"But the Helper will come, that is, the Holy Spirit of truth [i.e., who reveals truth]. He comes from the Father and I will send Him to you from the Father. [When He comes] He will give testimony about me.
Look at how much love the Father has shown to us [Christians], that we should be called His children! But, that is what we [really] are! The reason the people of the world do not know who we are is because they do not know who God [really] is.
Now early [in the morning], while it was still dark on the first day of the week [i.e., Sunday], Mary from Magdala went to the [cave-like] tomb and saw the stone [had been] removed from [the entrance of] the tomb.
Then Peter began to speak. He said, "I perceive that God truly does not show favoritism toward anyone,
Then He said to everyone, "If anyone wants to be my follower, he should deny self [i.e., of always having its own way] and accept his cross [i.e., his responsibilities, with all their difficulties] everyday, and [then he can] become my follower.
Philip answered Him, "Not even two hundred coins' worth of bread would be enough to feed them if everyone ate only a little bit." [Note: The amount here indicated was two hundred days of a farm laborer's pay, or about $14,000 in 1994].
And it happened on a Sabbath day, when Jesus went to the house of one of the leading Pharisees for a meal, that they [i.e., probably other Pharisees who were also guests] were watching Him closely.
Jesus then went to Nazareth where He had been brought up. He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day, according to His custom, and stood up to read [the Scriptures].
The reason I left you in Crete [Note: This was an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the southern coast of Greece] was so you could set in order the things that were lacking and appoint elders in every city [i.e., where there was a church], as I directed you.
So, Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I tell you, the Son [of God] cannot do anything on His own [i.e., independently of the Father]; but [He does] what He sees His Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does as well.
Now Jesus was born in Bethlehem [a small town] in Judea during the time when Herod [the Great] was king [of Judea]. About that time some astrologer/sages from the east [i.e., Persia] came to Jerusalem, saying,
For all of you are children of God through your faith in Christ Jesus [as God's only Son].
You should let the message of Christ live in you abundantly [i.e., as individuals and collectively]. Use [much] wisdom in teaching and warning one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing with favor [i.e., with thankfulness] in your hearts toward God.
Above all, [you should realize] that no prophecy of Scripture originates from a person's own initiative [Note: This passage is discussing the source of Scripture, not the understanding of it].
"I am not praying for these [apostles] only, but also for [all of] those who believe in me through their message.
My little children [i.e., dear ones], I am writing this to you so that you will not sin anymore. But if anyone does sin, we have Someone to go to the Father on our behalf; it is Jesus Christ, the [only] righteous One.
Now on the last and greatest day of the Festival [of Tabernacles], Jesus stood up and spoke out, "If anyone is thirsty he should come to me for a drink.
Now those things done by the sinful, physical nature [of a person] are evident; they are these: sexual immorality, moral impurity, indecent conduct,
Jesus answered her, "If you [only] knew the [real] gift of God, and who it is that said to you, '[Please], give me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
Christ set us free [from condemnation under the law of Moses], so we could stay free! Remain where you are then, and do not get tangled up again in the enslaving harness [of the law of Moses].
The brothers [then] immediately sent Paul and Silas away at night to Berea [i.e., a town in Macedonia]. When they got there they went into the Jewish synagogue.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor [the trials of] life, nor [evil] angels, nor [evil] rulers, nor present or future [circumstances], nor [evil] powers,
For there are three who give their testimony [about Jesus]:
For all of those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
In that same way, you should allow your light [i.e., influence] to shine in front of people, so that they will see your good deeds and [be led to] honor your Father in heaven.
[Dear] Theophilus, in my former letter [i.e., the Gospel of Luke] I wrote to you concerning what all Jesus did and taught since the beginning [of His ministry],
Later on Jesus found the man in the Temple, and said to him, "Look, you have been made well; stop sinning or else something worse [i.e., than the handicap you had] will happen to you."
May [God's] unearned favor be yours, [along with] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
What then should we conclude from this? [Just this]: If God is on our side, who can [successfully] oppose us?
I am confident of this very thing, that God, who began something good among you, will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ's [return].
Now it was before the Passover Festival [was to begin] and Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. Those [living] in the world, whom He had loved, and who were His own [disciples], He continued to love [dearly] to the very end [i.e., of His life on earth].
For prophecy was never produced by the will of man, but people spoke from God, as they were carried along [i.e., inspired] by the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, we were buried with Him through [our] immersion [in water] into [a relationship with] His death, so that, just like Christ was raised up from the dead through the glorious power of the Father, so we also can [be raised up from the water to] live a new life.
And everyone went to register in his own home town.
Did you suffer so many things [for the faith] all for nothing? [That is], if it really was for nothing?
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village [i.e., Bethany. See John 11:1], and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.
So then, my dear ones, just as you people were always obedient [to my teaching] when I was there with you, so now, in my absence [also], be [obedient] all the more. [Continue to] complete your own salvation [i.e., by living faithfully to the end. See Rom. 13:11] with fear and trembling [i.e., with a reverent and submissive spirit],
Life existed in Him; and that Life [was what] enlightened mankind [spiritually].
PM if Jewish time were meant].
And when He does come, He will bring conviction to the world regarding sin [i.e., exposing it and producing guilt], regarding what is right [i.e., upholding godly standards], and regarding judgment [i.e., showing that sin condemns].
Now if you people show special attention to the one wearing the fine clothing and say [to him], "You can sit here in this good seat," and to the poor person, "You stand over there," or "Sit on the floor by my feet,"
Jesus answered him, "If a person loves me, he will obey my teaching, and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him [i.e., in the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit].
If we claim to have no sinful practices [in our lives], we are self-deceived and are not being truthful about the matter.
"Look out for deceiving prophets, who approach you wearing sheep's clothing, but who are [actually] starving wolves in their hearts.
[Note: The following traits should be understood in the context of love for people]. Love is patient [with people], and is kind [to them]; love does not envy [what people are or have]; love does not boast [of being superior to others], it is not arrogant [in dealing with people].
God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is to be praised for being so merciful as to have given us a new birth, which provides for us a hope of never ending life through the means of Jesus Christ's return from the dead.
And it happened as Jesus finished praying at a certain place that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us [how] to pray, just like John [the Immerser] taught his disciples."
Even before the creation of the world God chose us, who are in [fellowship with] Christ, to be dedicated [to Him] and to be without just blame in His sight. Out of love
Then Jesus told His disciples a parable for the purpose of showing them that they should pray continually and not become discouraged.
There are many rooms in my Father's house, and I am going to prepare a place for each one you [in them]. I would not have told you this if it were not so.
But, when [God's] timing fully arrived, He sent His Son, born to a woman [i.e., Mary], born during [the time when] the law [of Moses was still in effect],
Jesus answered them, "[If you] destroy this Temple, I will raise it up in three days."
And we should consider how we can stir up one another to love [more] and to perform good deeds.
Is there anything to be encouraged about by being in [fellowship with] Christ? Is there any comfort from His love? Is there any sharing with the Holy Spirit? [Have you received] any affection and compassion [from Christ]?
Do not team up with unbelievers [i.e., in close relationships, such as marriage, etc.]. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or, what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Do not be deceived; God will not be fooled. Whatever a person does with his life, he will reap [the results of it].
Now large crowds were following Jesus and He turned [around] and said to them,
We should fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and completer of the [or, "our"] faith. [Note: Jesus is here pictured as the one who completely fulfills the life of faith, or who provides us with the ability to live such a life]. [And] because He could look forward to joy, He endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right side of God's throne.
"Those persons who show mercy [toward others] will be blessed because they will be shown mercy [themselves].
So, after they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you really love me more than these [other disciples do]?" Peter answered Him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." [Note: Since two different Greek words for "love" are used in this conversation, some scholars see a distinction in their meaning. See Butler, Vol. II, pp. 453-457 for a discussion of these views]. Jesus replied to him, "[Then] feed my lambs."
Jesus replied, "I am the bread who gives [spiritual] life; the person who comes to me will never get hungry [again], and the one who believes in me will never get thirsty [again].
"So I tell you, do not worry about [the material things of] your life, [such as] what you will eat or what you will drink, or about what you will wear on your body. There are more important things in life than food, and more important things about your body than the clothing you wear.
He made every race of people living throughout the earth from one [family] and determined when [they would rise in history] and where they would live.
She is going to have a son and you should name Him Jesus, for He is the One who will save His people from their sins."
Or, do you not know that your [physical] body is a temple [i.e., sanctuary] for the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves,
And God placed everything in subjection under His [i.e., Christ's] feet, and appointed Him to be head over all things to the church,
So, the Jews asked Him, "What [miraculous] sign will you show us, since you are doing these things [i.e., disrupting their merchandising activities]?"
We [apostles] proclaim to you [the truth about Jesus], who existed from the beginning [of time]. We have heard [Him] and seen [Him] with our [own] eyes. We looked at Him, and [even] touched Him with our hands. [See John 20:20]. [So, we proclaim that] He is the word of life [i.e., the life-giving Word]!
With every breath [it seemed], Saul [expressed his desire to] threaten and murder the Lord's disciples and [even] went to the head priest
For I consider that our present sufferings do not deserve to be compared with the glory that will be revealed to us [i.e., in the future life].
But the man who was healed did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
For this reason God allowed [or, abandoned] them to [practice] degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function [i.e., of sex] for what is against nature [i.e., lesbianism].
May there be to God, who is able to do infinitely more [for us] than we could [even] ask or think, according to [His] power at work in us ---
He rescued us from the domain of [spiritual] darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son whom He loves,
[Then] go on teaching them [i.e., these new converts] to obey everything I have commanded you and my presence will be with you always, even to the end of the age.
May there be mercy toward you people, and may your peace and love increase.
"You people of Israel, listen to this message: Jesus from Nazareth was a man whom God [demonstrated] His approval of by powerful deeds, miracles and [supernatural] signs which He accomplished through Jesus in your very presence --- and you all know this!
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River [i.e., where He had been immersed. See 3:21] and was led by the Holy Spirit [See Matt. 4:1] into the desert.
Jesus said to them again, "May there be peace in your hearts. Just as the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."
"Those persons who feel a deep sense of their personal need are blessed because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Then some of Jesus' disciples said to one another, "What is this He is telling us: 'After a little while [longer] you will not see me. Then, a little while [later] you will see me again,' and 'Because I am going [back] to the Father'?" [See verse 10].
Then one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have a meal with him. So, He went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the [dinner] table. [Note: Matt. 23:6].
Dearly loved ones, we are God's children now, but it has not yet been revealed [to us] what we will be [in the future life, Luke 20:34-36]. But, we do know this, however, that when Jesus is revealed [i.e., at His second coming], we will be like Him [I Cor. 15:49], for we will see what He really looks like!
Then I saw a great, white throne and Him who was seated on it [i.e., probably Christ]. Earth and heaven fled from His presence and they were not found anywhere [again].
and saying, "The appointed time has arrived and the kingdom of God is near. So, you people should repent [i.e, change your hearts and lives] and believe the good news [about the kingdom]."
But he replied to them, "The same man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your cot and walk.'"
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
[Now to get to Galilee] it required that Jesus travel through Samaria [Note: Samaria was the next country north of Judea].
Your Excellency Theophilus: Since so many people have undertaken the task of compiling a narrative of events that have happened among us,
Now after these things [happened] the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples [Note: Some ancient manuscripts say "seventy." This group would have been in addition to the twelve. See Luke 9:1], and sent them two by two on ahead of Him into every town and locality that He planned to visit.
Seeing the large crowds, Jesus went up in a mountain [i.e., probably a hill near Capernaum] and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
But they had no children, because Elizabeth was unable to bear offspring due to their both being very old.
But you should know this: There will be terrible times in the last days [of the Christian age].
No person can serve two masters, for he will either hate the one and love the other, or else he will cling to the one and look down on the other. You cannot serve God and material things [at the same time].
Every temptation that you have experienced is one that commonly happens to people. But God is dependable and will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability [to cope with it]; [instead] He will provide, along with the temptation, also a way of escaping [it], so you people will be able to endure it.
For the Son of man came to search for and save those who were lost."
Then Jesus called out, "Father, forgive these people [i.e., the ones responsible for crucifying Him], for they do not know [i.e., realize] what they are doing." Then the soldiers [See John 19:23] divided Jesus' clothing among them by gambling for them.
Now at early dawn on the first day of the week [i.e., early Sunday morning], the women [See Mark 16:1] went to Jesus' grave site, taking the spices which they had prepared [for His burial].
Since then we [Christians] have [such] a great Head Priest, who has passed through the skies [i.e., ascended to heaven. See Acts 1:9], Jesus, the Son of God, we should remain true to our profession [of faith in Him].
Judah had sons named Perez and Zarah, [whose mother was] Tamar. Perez had a son named Hezron; Hezron had a son named Aram;
You [apostles] did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you to go and bear much fruit [i.e., through their evangelizing], and that your fruit should last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask Him for in my name [i.e. by my authority].
But Peter said to Ananias, "Why has Satan filled your heart [causing you] to deceive the Holy Spirit by keeping back part of the selling price of the land [while representing it as the full price]?
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the good news which I preached to you. You received it; you are standing firm in it;
"Be careful that you do not do your good deeds in front of people for the purpose of being seen by them, for [if you do] you will not have a reward from your Father in heaven.
And [remember] that, from childhood, you have known the sacred Scriptures which are able to make you wise [enough] to be saved through faith in Christ Jesus.
Now after John was turned over [i.e., to the authorities and imprisoned] Jesus went [back] to Galilee preaching the good news from God
Now when the people heard this message [of Peter and the other apostles, See verse 14], they were convicted [of its truth] in their hearts and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do [about our condemned condition]?"
Jesus replied to her, "Go call your husband and [then] come here."
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
And my God will supply all your needs [also], according to His glorious wealth [enjoyed by fellowship] in Christ Jesus.
Then I saw heaven open, and there before me was a white horse whose rider was called "Faithful and True." And He [i.e., Christ] judges and wages war in a just way.
Truly, truly, I tell you, the person who believes in me will perform the deeds that I do also; and he will perform even greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. [Note: The "greater deeds" are probably evangelizing the world].
Therefore, everything that you would like people to do to you, do [these things] to them also. For this is [what is required by] the law of Moses and the prophets.
You have condemned and murdered the righteous man [i.e., the innocent person, See verse 4] and he does not [even] resist you.
For I am in the presence of two or three [disciples] wherever they are gathered in my name."
And these [miraculous] signs will attend [the conversion of] those who believe. [Note: This refers to the supernatural miracles performed by the apostles and their associates during the apostolic age. See verse
But Jesus answered, "It is written [Deut. 8:3], 'A person is not to live by [eating] bread only, but [instead] by [believing and obeying] every statement spoken by God.'"
He existed in the form of God [i.e., He shared God's very nature], but did not consider [remaining] equal with God something [to continue] to hold onto.
Brothers, if any one of you is overwhelmed by a [particular] sin, those of you who are spiritually minded should [attempt to] restore such a person [to faithfulness]. But do it in a gentle way, being very careful that you yourself do not become tempted [to get involved in any sin].
But He gives [us] more unearned favor [i.e., to overcome the world]. Therefore, the Scripture says [Prov. 3:34], "God opposes proud people, but gives unearned favor to those who are humble."
But I tell you people who are listening [to me], love your enemies and do good things to those who hate you.
Pay attention so that no one takes you [spiritually] captive through his philosophy and empty deception based on human tradition, according to the principles of the world and not according to Christ.
This is [how] the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, began.
And this good news concerning the kingdom [of heaven] will be preached to people throughout the world as a testimony [of God's message] to all nations. Then, [after that] the end [i.e., of Jerusalem, the Temple, etc.] will come.
God said that 'in the last days [of the Jewish nation?] I will pour out My Holy Spirit upon all people [i.e., both Jews and Gentiles], and your sons and daughters will speak out [in prophecies] and your young men will see [supernatural] visions, and your old men will have [supernatural] dreams.
and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.'
"Look, the virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and they will name Him Immanuel," which means "God with us."
For all of the fullness of Deity lives in His body,
There was a man sent from God whose name was John [the Immerser].
Now this is [how God's] judgment [works]: The Light [See 1:5-9] has come into the world, but people loved darkness [i.e., sin] rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil.
[Then] He came to His own [world, while on earth], but His own [people, the Israelites] did not welcome Him.
Actively seek to live in peace with all people. And be dedicated to God, because no one will see God without this.
For the Lord Himself [i.e., Jesus] will come down from heaven with a commanding shout [Note: This probably refers to Jesus' voice. See John 5:25, 28], [and] with the archangel's voice [i.e., Michael. See Jude 9] and with the sound of God's trumpet; [at this] the dead in [fellowship with] Christ will rise [from the dead] first.
For whatever things were written previously [i.e., in the Old Testament], were intended for us to learn from, so that we could have hope [i.e., in the face of difficult times] through remaining steadfast, and through the encouragement [received] from reading the Scriptures.
Now the Holy Spirit specifically says that in later times [Note: "Later times" in the New Testament usually refers to the period following the first coming of Christ and the establishment of the church], some people will fall away from the faith [i.e., the true teaching of Christianity]. They will pay attention to deceitful spirits [i.e., lying people] and the teaching of evil spirits.
You people who have become unfaithful to God, do you not know that being [intimate] friends with the world [of sin] means hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever determines to be an [intimate] friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
But now [i.e., under the Gospel age], a way of being considered right with God apart from [any] law has been made known. [The writings of] the law [i.e., the Pentateuch] and the prophets bear witness to this.
If you love one another, then everyone will know by [observing] this that you are my disciples."
Give [to others] and you will have [things] given to you. People will pour into your lap a full measure [of goods]; it will be pressed down, shaken together and running over [the edges]. Because the standard you use in giving [to others] will be the standard used [by them or God] in giving back to you."
My commandment [to you] is this: You should love one another just as I have loved you.
If I have the ability to speak in the languages of human beings and angels [Note: Perhaps the idea is supernaturally and eloquently], but do not have love [for people], I have become [no more than] a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
There was a whole crowd of people praying outside because it was the time for burning the incense offering.
The person who does not love [others] does not know God [as Savior], for [the very nature of] God is love.
So then, you [Gentiles] are no longer foreigners and aliens [i.e., to God's promises. See verse 12], but you are fellow-citizens with the saints [i.e., God's holy people], and are part of God's family.
[One day, as He was] gathered with these apostles, He urged them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there until they received what the Father had promised them. (Jesus had previously discussed this with them). [See Luke 24:49].
Rejoice in [fellowship with] the Lord all the time. I will say it again: Rejoice!
For the message of [Christ dying on] the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing [i.e., in a lost state], but it is God's power to us who are being saved.
I give them never ending life and they will never be destroyed, and no one will [be able to] steal them out of my hand.
I am astonished that you people are so quickly abandoning God [i.e., by rejecting His truth], who called you [to Himself] through the unearned favor bestowed [on us] by Christ. [You are turning] to a different "gospel,"
But He said to him, "Man, who appointed me to judge or [decide on how] to divide [the property] between you two?"
This message was about Jesus from Nazareth and how God specially chose Him [and signified it] by giving Him the Holy Spirit and power. He traveled all over doing good [for people] and healing everyone who was [being] oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Then He [i.e., the King] will say to those at His left side, 'Go away from me, you who are cursed [by God], into the never ending fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels.
You people [already] know this [or, "you should know this"], my dearly loved brothers. However, every person should be quick to listen, slow to talk and slow in becoming angry.
And He is the One who provides a "covering over" [or atonement] for our sins [See Heb. 2:17; Dan. 9:24; II Chron. 29:24], and not for ours [who are already Christians] only, but also for the sins of the people of the whole world.
Now it happened that when Zacharias' turn came in his division,
Now in the church at Antioch there were [these] prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon, called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, the foster-brother of Herod the Tetrarch [i.e., governor of Galilee], and Saul.
Then He took a [small] loaf of bread, and after He had given thanks to God, He broke it and gave [pieces] to His apostles, and said, "This is [i.e., represents] my [physical] body which is [to be] given for you; continue to do this [i.e., eat it regularly] to remember me by."
And He is the head of the [spiritual] body, the church. He is [its] source, the firstborn One from the dead [i.e., the first one to return to life, never to die again], so that He could rank first [in importance] over all things.
God's divine power has given us everything [necessary] for [abundant] life and godly living, through the knowledge of Him [i.e., God], who called us by His own splendor and goodness.
No one should say when he is tempted, "God is tempting me," because God cannot be tempted by evil and He does not tempt anyone.
[Meanwhile] an angel [sent] from the Lord spoke to Philip and said, "Get up and travel south on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza; that is a deserted region."
[It is being sent] to Timothy, my dearly loved son. May you have unearned favor, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
The person who perseveres under trials is blessed, because when he has been approved by God, he will receive the crown of [never ending] life, which God has promised to those who love Him.
But Peter and the apostles answered them, "We must obey God instead of [you] men [in this situation].
Therefore, from one man [Abraham], who was as good as dead [i.e., because of having a sterile wife], were born descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the [grains of] sand on the seashore.
For [just] as the human body is one [unit], made up of many parts, and all the many parts make up a single body, so it is with Christ. [Note: Just as a human body is a single unit, and Christ is a single being, so the members of His body, the church, constitute one body. See verses 27-28].
For God did not give us a spirit [i.e., a disposition] that makes us cowards but one that gives us power and love and self-control.
Then Jesus told this parable to certain ones who were relying on their own goodness and putting everyone else down:
Now when they had run out of wine, Jesus' mother said to Him, "They do not have any more wine [left]."
For while we were still helpless, at [just] the proper time, Christ died for ungodly people.
"For the kingdom of heaven is similar to a man who planned to go on a trip to a distant country, so called his servants and entrusted to each of them a large sum of money [Note: The narrative that follows suggests that the man was turning over some of his assets to financial managers to invest for him].
But the place for cowards, and unbelievers, and disgusting people [i.e., because of their terrible sins], and murderers, and sexually immoral people, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, will be the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This is the second death."
[I pray] that all of them may be one, just as you, Father, are [one] in [fellowship with] me, and I [am one] in [fellowship with] you, so that they also may be [one] in [fellowship with] us in order that the world may [see it and] believe that you sent me.
Aram had a son named Amminadab; Amminadab had a son named Nahshon; Nahshon had a son named Salmon;
Now it happened while Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Genneseret [i.e., Lake Galilee] that the crowd was pushing closer to Him to hear God's message.
You believe that there is [only] one God; that is good! Even the demons believe [that], and they shudder [with fear at the thought].
But just as there were false prophets among the people before, there will also be false teachers among you [Christians]. They will privately teach harmful doctrines that destroy people [spiritually], by even denying [that Jesus is] the Master, [and thereby] destroying themselves quickly.
Is there anyone among you who is suffering? [If so], he should pray. Is anyone happy? [Then] he should sing a psalm.
[This is] a record of the family background of Jesus Christ, the descendant of David, who was the descendant of Abraham. [Note: The following is an incomplete lineage through Jesus' step-father Joseph].
So, the large number of believers were united in heart and soul [i.e., mind and spirit] and not one of them said that anything he owned [really] belonged to him, but they shared all things in common.
[Then] the woman said to Jesus, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
No, I tell you; but unless you repent [i.e., change your hearts and lives], you [too] will all be destroyed just as they were.
For an angel of the Lord came down to the pool [from heaven] at certain times and stirred up the water. Then the first person to enter the pool after the water became choppy was healed from whatever disease he had."}}
So, He is also able to save completely those people who approach God through Him, since He lives forever to intercede [i.e., to plead to God] on their behalf.
Zacharias became disturbed when he saw the angel and was gripped by fear.
When the apostles had come together, they asked [Jesus], "Lord, are you ready to restore the kingdom [of God] to [the nation of] Israel [at this time]?"
For the Son of man did not come to be served [by others] but to be the servant [of others], and to sacrifice His life as a ransom price for many people [i.e., to purchase them back from Satan]."
Therefore, let all those who make up the household of Israel [i.e., God's people] know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ."
"If anyone comes to me [i.e., to be my disciple], and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters and, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Jesus replied to him, "Have I been with you men all this time, and [still] you do not know me, Philip? The person who has seen me, has [also] seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
And the experts in the law of Moses were watching Him to see if He would heal [someone] on the Sabbath day, so they could figure out how to accuse Him.
If you remain in [fellowship with] me and my teaching remains in your hearts, [you can] ask for whatever you want, and it will be done for you.
Whoever is born from human parents is a human being; and whoever is born from the Holy Spirit is a spiritual being.
Now Jesus was teaching in one of the [Jewish] synagogues on the Sabbath day.
And Jesus answered, "The foremost one is this [Deut. 6:4-5], 'Hear this, you Israelites, the Lord our God is the only Lord,
For that [doubting] person should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord [through prayer],
And because of God's unearned favor shown to me [i.e., in appointing me to be an apostle], I am telling every person among you not to think he is more important than he really is. Instead, he should have a sensible estimate [of his gifts] in harmony with the degree of faith God has given to each person.
Then Jesus said to the apostles, "These are the words that I told you while I was still with you, [when I said] that everything written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms about me needed to be fulfilled."
Now a certain married couple named Ananias and Sapphira sold a piece of property
Now when Jesus arose from the dead early on the first day of the week [i.e., Sunday morning], He appeared first to Mary from Magdala, from whom He had driven out seven evil spirits.
Therefore, you must [attempt to] be complete, just as your heavenly Father is [already] complete.
And you fathers [Note: This word probably includes both parents], do not stir up your children to become angry, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Now as the Sabbath day ended and the first day of the week [i.e., Sunday] approached [Note: See Mark 16:1-2 for the exact timing], Mary from Magdala and the other Mary [i.e., Jesus' mother. See Matt. 27:56] went to look at the grave site.
Children, you should obey your parents in the Lord [i.e., as part of your Christian responsibility], for this is the right thing to do.
Jesus answered him, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If it did, then my servants [i.e., disciples] would fight to keep me from being turned over to the Jews. But now my kingdom does not belong here." [i.e., Jesus' kingdom was not based on physical, but spiritual principles].
Do not do anything from rivalry or from empty conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves.
But we are [really] citizens of heaven and we are waiting for a Savior [to return] from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Now when the Sabbath day was over [i.e., after sunset on Saturday evening], Mary from Magdala; Mary the mother of James [i.e., the "other Mary" of Matt. 28:1, who was probably Jesus' mother. See Matt. 27:56]; and Salome [i.e., the mother of James and John and wife of Zebedee. See Matt. 27:56], bought spices [i.e., consisting of aloes and other aromatic perfumes] in order to apply them to His body [i.e., as a means of embalming].
Not many of you should be teachers, my brothers, because you [should] know that we [teachers] will be judged more strictly.
For in [the strength of] God we [all] live, move around and have our [personal] identity, just as a certain one of your [Athenian] poets [once] said, 'For we too are His children.'
because you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not [really] your husband. So, you have told the truth."
After drinking some of the sour wine, Jesus said, "It is completed," [i.e., His work of dying for the sins of mankind] and gave up His spirit [i.e., to God. See Luke 23:46].
For this is the way holy women in ancient times decorated themselves. Their hope was in God and they were known for being in subjection to their own husbands.
Place all your anxious cares upon God [in prayer], because He genuinely cares about you.
[Then] one of His disciples, named Andrew, [who was] Simon Peter's brother, said to Him,
And this is the message we heard from Him, and [now want to] announce to you: God is light [i.e. righteousness] and in His [very nature] there is no trace of darkness [i.e., evil].
For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass [so that] its flower [blossoms] fall off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed. In the same way, the wealthy person will fade away as he goes about his business [affairs].
As each of you has received a gift [from God], you should make use of it [in the body], so that you will be [good] caretakers of the many unearned ways that God favors you.
Then, on that same day, two disciples [See Mark 16:12] were [walking along], going to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles [northwest] of Jerusalem.
First of all, then, I urge you to offer [special] requests, prayers, intercessions [Note: "Intercessions" probably refers to praying on behalf of others], and thanksgivings for all people.
Do not think that I came to bring [only] peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace [only] but [also] a sword [of division. See Luke 12:51].
Christ bought us back from the curse [caused by our not obeying all the requirements] of the law of Moses; He became a curse for us [by dying on the cross], for it is written [Deut. 21:23], "Every one who hangs on a tree [i.e., a cross] is cursed [i.e., cut off from God]."
This Word existed with God from the beginning [of time].
"You have heard what was said [Exodus 20:14], 'You must not be sexually unfaithful to your mate.'
For our appeal [to you was] not based on error, or impure [motives], or deception.
Therefore, since the children share in [bodies of] flesh and blood, Christ also, in the same way, took on a human body so that, through His death, He could destroy [the dominion of] him who had the power to cause death, that is, the devil.
And the King will answer them and say, 'Truly I tell you, since you did all this for one of my least [significant] brothers, you did it for me.'
Then young men wrapped up his body and took him out and buried him.
But God said to me, "My unearned favor is enough for you, for my power is made complete in [your] weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast, so that the power of Christ can rest on me.
These people have been [specially] selected, and [their acceptance was] pre-planned by God the Father, and they were set apart through [the work of] the Holy Spirit. This resulted in their obedience and sprinkling [Note: This is a figurative reference to the Old Testament practice of cleansing, See Exodus 24:7-8] by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God's unearned favor and peace be continually upon you.
I testify to every person who hears the words of the prophecy of this book [Note: This is probably Jesus speaking, but could possibly be John]. If anyone adds to these words, God will add to him the calamities described in this book.
It was about His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born as a physical descendant of King David.
Then one of the experts in the law of Moses [Note: Matt. 22:34 identifies him as being a Pharisee also], came and heard Jesus and the Sadducees discussing together [i.e., the subject of the resurrection], and knowing that Jesus had refuted the Sadducees successfully, asked Him, "Which commandment is foremost, above all the others?"
came to you. This Gospel is [now] also producing fruit all over the world [i.e., throughout the Roman Empire] and growing [in its influence], just as it is doing among you people also, since the day you [first] heard and understood God's unearned favor in [all its] truth.
It is the Holy Spirit who [Note: The Greek word here is "that" instead of "who"] gives life [i.e., understanding the spiritual nature of Jesus' teaching can produce spiritual life]; the flesh is of no value [i.e., understanding Jesus' teaching only in a physical sense makes it worthless]. The words I have spoken to you are [from the] Holy Spirit and [they give] life.
and knowledge along with your goodness, and self-control along with your knowledge, and endurance along with your self-control, and godliness along with your endurance,
"Every person therefore, who hears these words of mine and obeys them will be like the sensible person who built his house on a [foundation of] rock.
The Holy Spirit Himself bears testimony [along] with our [human] spirit that we are the children of God.
Here is how we can know what genuine love really is: It was [demonstrated by] Jesus laying down His life [on the cross] for us. And [because of that] we [too] should [be willing to] lay down our lives for [the sake of helping] our brothers [and sisters].
As Jesus was walking along He saw a man [who had been] blind from birth.
Then Jesus said to him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise [Note: This is a place in God's presence, referred to as "the third heaven" (II Cor. 12:2-4), and where overcomers will be able to eat from "the tree of life" (Rev. 2:7)]."
Now this is what I am saying, brothers; flesh and blood [i.e., physical bodies] cannot possess the kingdom of God [i.e., the heavenly realm]; neither can [bodies that] decay possess [a place] which does not decay.
But people are made right with Him as a free gift by His unearned favor, through being bought back [from Satan] by Christ Jesus.
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you: On the night the Lord Jesus was turned over [to the Jewish authorities] He took bread,
but whoever drinks the water I give him will never get thirsty [again]. For the water I will give him will become in him [i.e., in his spirit] a spring of water, bubbling up and producing never ending life." [See John 7:38].
[This letter is from] Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, [who was] called to be an apostle, [and] set apart for [preaching] the Gospel of God.
After seeing [all] these things, I looked and there [I saw] a huge crowd, which no one could count, from every nation, and tribe, and race, and language group standing in front of the throne [of God] and in front of the Lamb. They were dressed in white robes and had palm tree branches in their hands.
"Truly, truly, I tell you, the person who does not enter the sheep corral through the gate, but climbs over another way [i.e., over the fence], is a thief and a robber. [Note: "Thief" suggests quiet subtlety, while "robber" suggests open aggression].
Marriage should be considered honorable among all people and its sexual responsibilities should be faithfully kept. For God will judge [and condemn] those people who are sexually immoral and who are sexually unfaithful to their mates.
This is a trustworthy saying: If any man eagerly desires to be an overseer [i.e., an elder], he desires a noble task.
"Those persons who attempt to make peace [between people] will be blessed because they will be called God's children.
Then, while Apollos was [still] at Corinth, Paul traveled through the [western] districts and came to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners [i.e., in prominent view of everyone] in order to be seen [and praised] by people.
"You have heard what was said [Lev. 19:18], 'You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
For you brothers were called [by God] to enjoy your freedom; but do not use this freedom as an excuse for living a sinful life; instead, use it to render loving service to each other.
Then the great dragon was thrown out [of heaven]; he is the snake from ancient times who is [also] called "the Devil," and "Satan," the deceiver of the entire world. He was thrown down to earth along with his angels.
So, whether you people eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to honor God.
For in this way, you will be provided with a rich welcome into the never ending kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ [i.e., in heaven].
In whatever you do, work wholeheartedly, as though it were for the Lord and not [just] for people,
This is the reason that I bow my knees [in prayer] to the Father,
You [should] know that you were bought back [from Satan], from your useless way of life, inherited from your forefathers, not with such perishable things as silver and gold,