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Aug 10, 2022

Mat. 5:11 “Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers.

12 Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted.

Yesterday we heard of Jeremiah being put in a dry but muddy well, and being rescued by the faithful official, Ebed-Melech. And we heard the terrible and painful result of Zedekiah's cowardly failure to do as repeatedly instructed by the Lord.

Ezekiel— who was about 20 years younger than Jeremiah, prophesied about Zedekiah:

Ezek. 12:12 NLT “Even Zedekiah will leave Jerusalem at night through a hole in the wall, taking only what he can carry with him. He will cover his face, and his eyes will not see the land he is leaving.

13 Then I will throw my net over him and capture him in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Babylonians, though he will never see it, and he will die there.

In yesterday’s chapter we heard a clear theme:

Prov. 5:15 NLT Drink water from your own well—
share your love only with your wife.

The teaching in today’s passage is insistent:

Prov. 6:20 NLT My son, obey your father’s commands,
and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.

In yesterday’s reading of chapter 14, Paul wrapped up the theme about spiritual gifts that he started in chapter 12. Note that at the end he became vehement and insistent, signaling that he knew there would be people who would argue with him. I want to underline: Paul was the apostle of the Lord who wrote 13 books of our New Testament. Every church and Christian fellowship should take these instructions seriously. If we don't, we fall into the trap of thinking we are wiser than Paul (and we can even say the Holy Spirit). However, those who seek spiritual gifts in a way that is not self-glorifying will find that the Spirit of the Lord still gives authentic gifts.

GNT Translation notes:

1Cor. 15:1 And now I want to remind you, my friends, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which [you stand//your faith stands firm].
2 That is the gospel, the message that I preached to you. You are saved by the gospel if you hold firmly to it—unless [unless you think now that it was useless to believe it in the first place.//it was for nothing that you believed].
[This is a difficult place to interpret what Paul meant, and I think at least 3 possibilities deserve consideration, and all seem to me to be equally possible.]
NLT 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you[. Otherwise, it was useless that you became believers in the first place! //—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.//unless you never believed it in the first place.]
21 For just as death came by means of a man, [(Adam,)] in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man[, ([Christ])].
32 If I have, as it were, fought “wild beasts” here in Ephesus simply from human motives, what have I gained? [0//But] if the dead are not raised to life, then, as the saying goes, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die.”