Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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November 7 - Morning

“If it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless (kenos) and so is your faith...And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile (mataios)…If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied… Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame."
- First Corinthians 15:12-17, 19, 33-34

Bad Doctrine is Bad Company for the Soul of a Believer

As the Gospel moved west from Jerusalem into Europe it encountered Greek philosophy entrenched deep into the cultural worldview of the Gentiles.  In Greek philosophy the immortality of the soul was accepted, but any idea of a resurrected body was rejected. This philosophical position that rejected the physical resurrection was based on observation (the body decays) and the understanding that the body held the soul captive until, at the death of the body, the soul was set free. This Grecian philosophical view held by the Corinthians was not forgotten just because they accepted the gospel message. Instead, the Greeks in Corinth filtered the Christian message through this Greek philosophy, which resulted in the rejection of Christ’s physical resurrection and the absolute rejection of a physical, bodily resurrection of believers. (This blending of Christian doctrine with Greek philosophy was the beginning of Gnosticism.)
Throughout his argument proving the resurrection of Christ in First Corinthians 15 Paul used the phrase “has been raised,” which is the perfect tense of the Greek verb egegertai.  Paul uses it seven times in First Corinthians 15 (and, again in Galatians 2:20) to place emphasis on the reality of the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection. When this Greek verb, egegertai, is combined with the opening words ei de (translated “If”) the condition of the sentence is that of an assumed fact, not a merely a hopeful possibility.
But, if the alternative is true and Christ has not been physically raised from the dead, Paul says the Christian faith is:
  1. kenos – “vain,” “meaningless,” "useless"; which means there is no substance, without content, no truth, and it is lacking reality.
  2. mataios – “fruitless,” “empty,” "useless," futile"; which means it is powerless to produce the changes Paul’s gospel promises which includes forgiveness, transformation, eternal life, physical resurrection, etc. This word focuses on the aimlessness of a faith that is not ground in a dependable object and cannot lead to any purposeful end.
In fact, if the Corinthians only advantage was that they had an emotional experience, social relationships, or material gain because of their Christian “faith” then Paul says they “are of all people most to be pitied.”
“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
In fact, some of the problems portrayed earlier in this first letter to the Corinthians stem from the false understanding that there was no future resurrection. Thus, Paul quotes Isaiah in 1 Corinthians 15:32:
“If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’

To sum up his point Paul used a quote from a Greek comedy. This quote is from Menander, a Greek writer from 300 BC, who wrote more than a hundred comedy dramas and won Athens annual drama competition eight years in a row. This bit of practical wisdom from the Corinthian’s Greek world is a quote from Menander’s comedy, Thais:
“Bad company corrupts good character."

The “bad company” Paul is referring to is the bad doctrine found in the errant doctrinal statement that says “there is no resurrection.” Paul says bad doctrine corrupts good character, or bad doctrine will manifest itself in a corrupt life style. The acceptance of this and other bad doctrines was the reason the Corinthians where living such immoral and ungodly lives. Bad doctrine is bad company for the soul of a believer.
'Ivvelet (Hb) - Folly (Eng) - the Hebrew word 'ivvelet means "folly," "foolishness." It is an arrogance that mocks God and his created order with unacceptable talk and behavior which always leads to sin, death and judgment.
Do I understand the importance of truth and correct doctrine?
I will pursue correct biblical understanding and healthy doctrine in order to secure a righteous lifestyle.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Complete Text

General Text


Safety on roads


Spirit of prayer and intercession
St. Martin,
St. Pierre - Missionary groups have withdrawn

The Broad Wall - Part of the 22 foot wide wall built by Hezekiah to enclose the western portion of Jerusalem in 721 BC when the people of northern Israel fled to Jerusalem during the invasion of the northern country of Israel by the Assyrians as mentioned in Isaiah 22:8-11 and Nehemiah 12:38. (details)
(click on image for larger size)
The location of a first century gate in the Western Wall that was used by people of the New Testament times to enter onto the Temple Mount. (details)
(click on image for larger size)

Someone to Quote

"A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian...and most of all, his family ought to know." - Dwight L. Moody

Something to Ponder

Mark Twain visited Jerusalem in 1867 and wrote:
"Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost its ancient grandeur, and is become a pauper village. The wonderful temple which was the pride and glory of Israel is gone."
(Quote from Mark Twain's travel journal, "The Innocents Abroad" - 1869)

Here’s a Fact

In 2 Timothy 4:21 Paul tells Timothy that Pudens, along with Linus and others, send him greetings from Rome. Today the church of Santa Pudenziana located in Rome on Via Urbana may have been built over Puden's first century house. Below this church are a wall and a mosaic pavement from the days of Augustus or earlier. Bricks with the name "Pudens" and the dated with years equivalent to 127-129 AD have been found here. The church built over this house dates back to at least 300 AD. Puden may have been a senator and his daughters name Pudenziana. (Photo)


"He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe."
Proverbs 28:26

Coach’s Corner

Are you reading a book? Always have a book available to read.

Isaiah 22:8-11
New International Version (NIV)

The Lord stripped away the defenses of Judah,     and you looked in that day     to the weapons in the Palace of the Forest.

You saw that the walls of the City of David     were broken through in many places; you stored up water     in the Lower Pool.
You counted the buildings in Jerusalem     and tore down houses to strengthen the wall.
You built a reservoir between the two walls     for the water of the Old Pool, but you did not look to the One who made it,     or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.
Nehemiah 12:38
New International Version (NIV)
38 The second choir proceeded in the opposite direction. I followed them on top of the wall, together with half the people—past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall,
Matthew 18-19:1
New International Version (NIV)
The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Causing to Stumble
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
The Parable of the Wandering Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. [11] 
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
Dealing With Sin in the Church
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan.
2 Corinthians 8
New International Version (NIV)
The Collection for the Lord’s People
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Titus Sent to Receive the Collection
16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.
22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.
Matthew 25
New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

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