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Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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November 12 - Evening

"By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am 'timid' when face to face with you, but 'bold' toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world...The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ...I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. For some say, 'His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.' Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present...Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you."
- Second Corinthians 10:1-2, 4-5, 9-11, 15-16

Backing Up His Words with Actions


In Second Corinthians chapter 10 Paul appeals to the Corinthians "by the humility and gentleness of Christ," to accept his apostolic teaching and to live according to the standards of the Word of God.
Some of the Corinthian leaders have challenged Paul's authority during his three year absence in Ephesus. Paul spent those three years corresponding with the Corinthians by letter and apostolic representatives such as Timothy and Titus. These challengers to Paul's authority have said that Paul was "timid" when face to face with them in Corinth, but then once he got across the Aegean Sea Paul suddenly got "bold" in his letters. Paul, again pleads with them and says:
"I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world." - 2 Corinthians 10:2

Many of the Corinthians had become believers, but had rejected Paul's apostolic doctrine and had instead opted for a blend of spiritualized Christianity mixed with their Greek philosophy (early Gnosticism). Paul warns them that he is not going to do battle with them like the worldly philosophers or politicians who mix and match words and ideas to unite a group of people in order to gain a following for a particular cause or project. Paul says that his teaching is not negotiable, nor can it be sifted through and picked over for favorite parts that are then mixed with other philosophies. "On the contrary," Paul's apostolic doctrine has:
"divine power to demolish strongholds,...arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ!"

The Corinthians are being warned that they are fighting against the sword of the Word of God. They are in danger of being "demolished" by the "divine power" of the Word of God.
Those sound like threatening, fighting words, Paul? Did he mean to sound so aggressive? Yes, indeed, those are fighting words spoken by Paul to the Corinthian church, so he says, "I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters" (here the letter of Second Corinthians) but Paul warns them again that just because:
"some say, 'His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.' Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present."

So, if they thought his letters seemed threatening and aggressive, Paul says:
"People should realize that what we are in our letters...we will be in our actions when we are present."

So, Paul doesn't retract, apologize or try to explain his "weighty and forceful" letters, and instead, simply says we meant what we said and he plans on backing up his words with his actions!
Paul's hope is that when the Corinthians come in line with the word of God in their doctrine and their actions then:
"our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you."

Strategically, Paul wants Corinth to be a base of operation to reach into the rest of Achaia, but he can't have Corinthian church doctrine corrupted with Greek philosophy and their lifestyles a mere reflection of their culture instead of the transforming power of the Word of God.
Doron (Gr) - Gift (Eng) - the Greek word doron means "a gift," "present." Doron is used to communicate a "gift offered in expression of honor," or "money placed in the treasury for the temple and support of the poor."
I will be a man of truth and detest my lips when they lie.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Ask God to convict
you of sin, error

Church

Church staff
United States Marines
Sweden



Below today's Damascus Gate built in the 1500's. This lower level reveals the pavement and portions of the gates from 135 AD and NT times on the north wall of Jerusalem.
Temple Mount retaining wall showing Solomon's original square walls at 500 x 500 cubits, the Hasmonean extension, and finally Herod's extension that doubled Solomon's original size. Highlighted is Warren's Gate which is only accessible today in the Western Wall Tunnels.




Someone to Quote

"We are not only to renounce evil, but to manifest the truth. We tell people the world is vain; let our lives manifest that it is so. We tell them that our home is above and that all these things are transitory. Does our dwelling look like it? O to live consistent lives!" - Hudson Taylor

Something to Ponder

The Bible has been translated into 1,200 different languages, including Klingon, the fictional language of a race from outer space in the Star Trek TV series. Here is a sample of the Klingon Translation or the Gospel of Mark. Or, buy a KLV (Klingon Language Version) from Amazon today!?!?

Here’s a Fact

The book of Nehemiah mentions Geshem (or, Gusham) the Arab in Nehemiah 6:1, 6. This same person is mentioned in two inscriptions in Dedan and Tell el-mashkutah (near the Suez Canal) as Gusham, king of Kedar.

Proverb

"The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful."
Proverbs 12:22

Coach’s Corner

Christ is strengthening you to do all the things he has called you to do. So, do the right thing and trust God.

Nehemiah 6:1
New International Version (NIV)
Further Opposition to the Rebuilding
When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates—
Romans 6
New International Version (NIV)
Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Luke 23
New International Version (NIV)
23 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”
So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied.
Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”
But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”
On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.
13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” [17] 
18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then
“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”     and to the hills, “Cover us!”’
31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The Death of Jesus
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
The Burial of Jesus
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.


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