A Common Christian Confession


Christians should accept each another just as Christ accepted us (Romans 15:7). Yet we are also commanded not to yoke ourselves with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14) or those with defiant sin (1 Corinthians 5:11,13 and 2 Timothy 3:1-5). How do we determine with which groups we can share Christian fellowship? We can be arbitrary about this, or else we can try to use Biblical methods. Which way do you and your group use as a test for fellowship?

1. If they love (a) Jesus and claim to follow the Bible. As 2 Cor 11:4 and Matt 24:24 show, its not enough to love a Jesus; you have to love the real Jesus. Of course many claim to follow the Bible: This would be an OK test if people never deceived others or themselves. Even David Koresh claimed to follow the Bible....

2. If they really follow the Bible. This is an excellent test the Bereans used in Acts 17:11. This is the most sure method, but do you sit down with other Christians and go through every key verse of Scripture?

Since these simplistic methods have difficulties, some just give up obeying God in this area. However, God was serious when He gave us Romans 15:7 and 2 Corinthians 6:14.

3. If they share a common creed: A creed outlines beliefs, and as long as the creed is based on the Bible, clear enough, and detailed enough, this method is OK. A problem can arise though; does this mean your faith is based on the creed or based on the Bible? If the creed is imperfect, do you follow the creed or follow the Bible? If the creed misses an important point, is it OK to believe wrong on that point?

4. If they share a common confession: A confession does not define our faith, it is merely a fallible expression of the Scripture that defines our faith. It potentially still has the shortcomings of being in error, unclear, not being detailed enough and skipping primary doctrines, and being filled with extra-Biblical opinions. We hope and pray this confession will avoid those shortcomings.

So if the Bible is your only Creed, you can still have a confession. This confession is a non-authoritative, non-binding fallible, means of rapidly communicating to others the many beliefs, experiences, and practices you have.

Notes on the Confession

Statements of claimed truth may be Scriptural, anti-Scriptural, or extra-Scriptural. The Bible repudiates anti-Scriptural statements. Extra-Scriptural statements are neither proven nor disproven by the Bible, and they may be true, false, or a mixture. Christians not only disagree on what is true and false, they often fail to distinguish between what is Scriptural and what is extra-Scriptural, i.e. Scripture's words vs. their interpretation. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 Paul talks of some primary things; other matters are only of secondary importance. In Romans 14:1 Paul also talks of disputable matters of little importance. Two problems are that some think primary matters are only of secondary and trivial importance, and others think secondary and trivial matters are of primary importance.

Seeing a need for true Christians to visibly show their unity, the criteria of this confession was chosen with great care and after much prayer. Only beliefs that can be proven from Scripture are used; other beliefs held in common by most Christians but not demonstrably proven by Scripture are not included and probably not essential. On the other hand, we have tried to include as many Scripture-proved beliefs as we could, whether they be of essential or only of secondary importance.

This confession has three parts: Believing God's Word, Experiencing Life in the Spirit, and Obeying God's Commands. Regular print verses prove the statement. Italicized verses show the statement by example. Tilde "~" verses support but do not prove. The length of this confession indicates how many beliefs true Christians hold in common. This itself is a demonstration that although there are many assemblies and groups of Christians, there is only one Christian Church: His church, or which all true Christians are members.

Christians who agree with this confession do not necessarily agree it encompasses all they believe to be important, nor that its wording is exactly as they would have chosen. They do agree with all of the confession's contents, they agree that the essential beliefs required to be a Christian are within the confession, and they agree they accept others, per Romans 15:7, who believe, experience, and obey the Scriptural truths outlined in this confession.

As of July, 1994, the following groups at the University of Texas at Austin endorsed pages 2 through 4 as an expression of the Christian faith.
Austin Chinese Campus Christian Fellowship
Chinese Bible Study
International Student Friendship Ministries - UT
Longhorn Life Campus Mission
Navigators - UT

Legend on the references: Scripture references in italics are examples. The "~" sign means the verse supports the point, but the support is weak.

Believing God's Word


... The Greatness of God
God is loving, just, holy, & jealous. 1Jn3:1;Heb4:13;Lk1:37;1Pt1:17;2:23; Is45:21; Jsh 24:19; Job 40:2,8;Na1:2
God knows all; the end from the beginning, & who the elect were before any were born. 1Jn3:20;Is46:10;Ps139:16;~Ac13:48;Rm9:10-23;8:29;Ep1:4;~Pr5:21;15:3
God fills the heavens yet also has a local presence on His throne. Jr23:24;Is6;Re4-5
God is Almighty. Jb42:2;Rv1:8;Jr32:17,26, but He cannot be contrary to His nature (lie, sin, be tempted by evil). He doesn't do what He chooses not to do.He6:18;Jms1:13
We don't know all about infinite God, but we proclaim what He has revealed.Ec3: 11;11:5;Dt29:29;Rm10:14-5;11:33-4;15:14;1Cr2:9-16;Job38-42:6;Ep1:9;1Jn5:20;Mt28:20

... The Character of God
God has a holy name, Yahweh, also rendered Jehovah. Ex3:14;Dt5:6;6:4-5;Jn8:58
The Living God is spirit & unchangeable in essence, character, & knowledge. He9:14;Jms1:17;Ml3:6;Jn4:24;1Tm4:10. Jesus never changes. He13:8;1:12;~7:3
God does not change His mind & He is sovereign. God's decrees certainly happen. Nu23:19;1Sm15:29;Ezk33:12-20;Jr26:13. He is the King of Kings. 1Tm1:17;6:15
God is in general the King of the universe and in particular the King of His People.
We have freedom to do many things outside of God's desired will. Ezk8;Mt23:37-39
God is responsive; His revealed will, actions, feelings, & love toward people may change when their will & actions change. Ezk33:12-20;Gn20:3-7,22;Ac27:10,24; Jonah 3:4,10
God is love. 1Jn4:7-10. He hates sin. Jr12:8;Rm11:22 & becomes angry. Jr30:24;Re14:19-20
Even God's wrath brings Him praise. Ps76:10;Ex9:16;~10:1-2;14-15;Jg5;Rm9:17~Ex10:1-2
God does not delight in the death of the wicked, but rather desires that they turn from their wickedness & live. Ezk18:23,32;33:11;2Pt3:9;1Tm2:4-5;Mt18:14
He has compassion, mercy, & is generous. Jms5:12;2Cr1:3-9;Ps91:4;Ezk20:44;Mt20
God is good.Jms1:16-17;Mk10:18;1Pt2:3& trustworthy.Pr30:5-6;Jn17:17;1Sm15:29
To say God tells lies is a serious sin. He6:18,1Jn1:4;5:10;Nu23:19;Tt1:2

... The Trinity of God
There is & forever will be only One inseparable True God, existing in Three distinct persons: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. Jms2:19;Joe2:27;Jn5:9;17:3;Ps83:18
One God. There is none in the universe before, after, or besides Yahweh. Dt4:35-9;6:4;2Sm7:22;Mk12:29-33;Is43:10-2;44:6-8,24;45:5-14;46:9;1Tm1:17;6:15-6
Inseparable. Mt28:19;Jn10:27-30;12:44-6;14:9-11,23;15:26;16:15;17:10;Rm8:9-11
Distinct. Mt3:6-17;Mk1:10-11;Lk3:21-22;Jn14:31;15:26;16:28;Ac5:31-32
The Father is God. 1Pt1:3;Tt1:4;Ep1:3;3:14;4:6;5:20;Php2:11;Jn8:54;Pm3;1Th1:3
Son is God. He1:8-9;Jn1:1,18;20:28;Hos1:7;Is7:14;1Jn5:11,12,21;Co2:9;Mt1:23
Spirit is God. Rm8:9-16;Lk1:35;1Jn4:12,13,15-16;1Cr3:16+6:19;Ac5:3-4
Co-equal in nature/essence like a father & son. Co2:9-10;~1:19;Php2:6-7
Differ in role/rank like a father & son. 1Cr11:3;15:28;Mt12:18;Ep1:17;Jn14:28
The Father is (even now) Jesus' God. Jn20:17;1Cr11:3;2Cr1:3;Rm15:6;Ep1:3; He1:9;1Pt1:3;Re1:6;3:2,12. All must honor the Son just as the Father. Jn5:18,23

Scripture and Creation

... Scripture
Scripture is not just "suggestions for life", but we must take its authority in our lives as seriously as our Lord & Biblical writers meant. Jn10:35;Mt4:1-11;Jn14:23-24;2Pt1:19-21;3:16;Rm3:1-4;2Tm3:15-16;Pr30:5-6;Am8:11-2;Is66:5
The NT says some OT commands have been fulfilled and are not to be done.(eating pork, sacrifices, etc.) Ac10:9-16;15:1,5-29;Mk7:19;Ga5:2-4;He9:9-10;10:18
;Ps119:74,81,89, 92,105
The entire Bible is authoritative, trustworthy, primary, complete.Pr30:5-6;2Tm3:16
Every word in the 66 books is true in all it affirms, & all scripture is uniquely God -breathed. This includes all Gen, Ps & Rev. 2Sa22:31;Ps33:4;119:151;Pr30:5-6
The Apocrypha has errors (Nebuchadnezzar in Judith not an Assyrian king, etc.)
We should interpret the Bible the way God meant the words to be understood. Don't twist, trivialize, or ignore any of it. 2Pt3:16;Mk7:13;Jn8:37;12:48-50;14:23;~Ac 13:48;~Co3:16;Ps56:10;119:16. It's most precious to us. Ps119:72,97,105,120
Don't add to or go beyond God's Word. Pr30:5-6;1Cr4:6-7;Dt4:2;Re22:18;Ec12:12
God's Word is true in its original manuscripts; truth is not contradictory, but it may be imprecise (i.e. Mt28:1;Mk16:1;Lk24:1&Jn 20:1, Ezr2;Neh7). The NT. has the exact substance of Jesus' teaching, not exact words.Mt22:37;13:22;Mk12:30;4:19
God allowed some transmittal errors, but His Word stands forever. Is59:21; 40:8;Ps119:89. His Word is preserved infallibly (without significant error) up thru today.Is55:11;1Pt1:23-5;Ps119:89,91,144,160. Our hope is in it.Ps119:74,81
We're saved by Jesus, not by studying scripture. Jn5:37-40;Ja1:22-5;1Cr13:2;Lk11 : 52
Some feelings in Ps35:5-8;42:11a;7:8;69:22-28;109;137:9 show we should pray what's on our hearts; Christians are to love their enemies. Mt5:43-8;Lk6:27-35

... Creation
Genesis is a pre-scientific, yet trustworthy & true, account of Creation.Pr30:5-6.etc.
God took six of His days to create everything. Gn1,2Pt3:8;Ps90:4;Ex20:11;31:17
God created (not organized) all things.Gn1;Ep3:9;He11:3;2Pt3:5-8;Is45;Re10:6
All was made & is held together through Jesus. Jn1:3,10;He2:10;Co1:16-17;
Creation (man included) was originally good/delightful. Gn1-2;~Rm5:17-8;Pr8:30
Every human today, of all races, descended from Adam & Eve. Ac17:26-8;Gn3:20

... Angels, Demons, and Satan
Cherubim, angels, Satan, demons are real, powerful living beings the Father created through Christ to do His will.Co1:16;He1:6-7,14;Ps104:4;103:20;~Ezk10:4;41:18
Angels existed before the earth's creation. Job38:7. We shall judge angels. 1Cr6:3
Heavenly angels do not marry Mt22:30;Lk20:34-36; they can kill.Ps78:49;Nu22:33
Satan was originally a good guardian cherub; then he had sin & was cast out. Ezk28:12-17; Isa 14:12-15. Satan is the father of lies. Jn 8:44;Re12:9;~Ac5:3
Satan is a being who stalks & schemes. Jb1:9-11;2:4;Mt4:1-11;Lk4:1-13;2Cr2:11
Satan & demons can't disobey God's decrees. Mt12:27-9;Lk4:34;10:17-20;Jn10:29
Some demons are currently bound. Jde6. Satan prowls looking to devour. 1Pt5:8
Demon possession occurs. Mt8:28-33;9:32-33;10:8;12:28;17:18;Mk5:1-18;9:14-27;Lk9:37-43
Real demonic miracles/fortune-telling occur. Mt24:24;Rv3:12-5;Ac16:16-9;2Th2:9

Man and God's Law

... The Nature of All People
Since Gn3 man is not righteous to God. Rm3:9-23;5:12-19;Ps143:2;Co1:21;Ec7:20
We have a body, soul, & spirit. 1Th5:23;He4:12;Mt10:28;26:41;Mk14:38;Is10:18
All without Jesus remain as objects of God's wrath.Rm2:5-6;John 3:36;5:9;9:22;Ep2:3;1Th1:10;Jn3:36
He has given value & sanctity to human life. Gn1-2;9:6;Jms1:18;Ps8:4-8;Ps144:3
We're created to glorify.Is43:7;62:3, live with God.2Cr5:4-5,do good works.Ep2:10
Mortal life is fleeting. 1Pt1:18,24-25;Ja1:11;4:14;Is40:6-8,23-24;Ps39:4-6;89:47-8;119:3-4
The heart is deceitful beyond (our) cure. Jr17:9;Pr16:25; it can be made wise. Pr23:12-5
Worldly wisdom is foolishness to God. 1Cr1:18-30;2:14.;Mt11:25-26;Col2:8;1Tm6:20-21;Rm1:21-22
God cursed nature & humanity, bringing death to us. Gn3:17;5:29;Rm5:15-18;7-8
All sins are evil, but some are worse than others.Jn19:11;Mt10:15;Ezk8:6,13,15;16 :52;;11:21-24 Mark 3:28-29; 1 Jn 5:16-171Jn5:16-17. Defiant sin is worse than unintentional sin. Nu15:27,30;~Rm5:13
There's unforgivable sin & sin that leads to death. 1Jn5:16-17;Mt12:31-32;Lk12:10;Mk3:29
God can totally change people's hearts & opinions. Ex3:21,12:36;Pr21:1;Jr24:7
People can harden their hearts. Ex8:15,32;9:17,34;Pr28:14;Rm1:18-20;He3:12-15;Zc7:12
God may further harden hearts. Ex4:21;9:12;10:1,20,27;11:10;14:4,8,17;Jms11:20;Rm9:18
People make choices worthy of God's just judgment. Gn3:13-17;Mt23:37;Rm1:32

... Apart from and Prior to Christ
Jesus is the one & only: way to God, One who saves, mediates & redeems. Jn8:24;10:7-8,14-16;14:6;6:45;Ac4:12;1Tm2:5;2Cr11:1-5;Ga1:6-9;1Jn5:12
Even sincere sacrifices to idols are for demons & not for God.1Cr10:19-21;Dt32:17
God is just & fair to those who have not heard the Gospel. Rm2:2,6-16;5:13
God overlooked some past ignorance, but all must repent.Ac3:19;10:35;17:30;20:21;Rm5:13
Sin exists, but is not taken into account when there is no law. Rm5:13;4:15;3:20
It is better not to know the truth then to know & turn away. Jn15:22-24;2Pt2:20-22
Only together with us are OT saints perfected. He11:39-40;~1Pt1:10-12;Mt13:17
Jews as well as non-Jews must repent/believe in Jesus.Ac3:19;20:21;Mt23:29-33;Jn8:24;10:7-8,14-16

... The Law and the Two Covenants
The law was to make us conscious of sin Rm3:20 & lead us to Christ. Gal 3:23
Law was so that transgression might be shown until Jesus came. Rm5:20;Ga3:19
Law not made for good men but for lawbreakers & sinners. 1Tm1:9-10;Rm2:12
Law could not give justification, righteousness, life, or perfection. Ga2:16,21;3:11, 21;Php3:9;He7:19;Rm3:20;~Ac15:1-2. Christ was born under the law. Gal 4:4
Believers who try to be justified by law are fallen away from grace. Gal 5:4;~Ep2:8
We receive the Spirit by believing, not by observing the law.Gal 3:2,12;Rm10:11-14
NT believers uphold, not nullify the law. Love fulfills the law. Rom3:31;13:12
God has made many covenants. Gn9,15,17:2-14;28:13-15;Ps105:8;Jr35:18-19
Two are important enough to be called the 1st & 2nd. He8:7,13;9:15,18;10:9;13:20
The 2nd & better covenant may be called the eternal covenant. He10:9;13:20
The law is a shadow, not the reality, of the coming good things. He8:5,13;10:1
The law required sacrifices & offerings Hb10:8. Christ was born under law Ga4:4.
The New Covenant was prophesied in the OT. He8:8-12;Jr31:31-34;Joe2:28-32
Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant. He9:15;12:24. It is superior. He8:6

Salvation Through Jesus

... Jesus Christ's Position
Jesus existed before the world.Jn1:1-15;17:5,24;He7:3. He will not change. He13:8
Jesus is not just God's son, but God's one & only begotten Son. Jn3:16,18;1Jn4:9
Jesus was and still is 100% God & man in one person.Php2:5-8;Rm9:5;He1:9;2:17 -8;4:15;1Cr15:21. The Father is in Him yet didn't become Him.Jn14:10-26;15:1
He never sinned. He submitted, was tested, suffered, tempted, & learned obedience. 2Cor5:21;He2:10,18;4:15;5:7-9;9:26;12:2;Rm1:3-4;5:15-19;Jn8:46;12:49;Php2:8;1Pet1:19
He is the image of God.2Cr4:4;Co1:15;2:9. We see the Father thru Him.Jn14:7-10
Jesus was anointed, filled, led, & empowered by the Holy Spirit. Lk4:1,18;Ac10:38
He's the firstborn of all believers, both in precedence & as the first man resurrected in glory.~Ps89:27;Rm8:29;Col1:15,18;He1:6;12:23;Re1:5;~1Cr15:20-23
This same Jesus was physically resurrected and will physically, visibly, & personally return in power & glory.Mt24:27-30;Jn2:19-21;20:26-7;Ac1:9-11;Rv1

... Jesus' Christ's Mission
The Lamb of God.Jn1:29;1Pet1:19 came to serve, give His life as a ransom Mt20:28, to reveal God, to taste death for all, to destroy Satan's work 1Jn3:8, give abundant life Jn10:10, save sinners 1Tm1:15, save the world Jn3:17, be a sin offering Rm8:3, reconcile.Ep2:13-18 thru His blood on the cross. Jn1:29; He10:19
testify to the truth Jn 18:37; atoning sacrifice 1 Jn 3:8;4:10
Jesus purifies us from ALL unrighteousness 1Jn1:9, saving completely, not just spiritually, by the sacrifice of His body&blood.He7:25;10:14-20;Php3:21;Rm8:32
After completing His mission, Jesus ascended to heaven & is now at the right hand of God. Ac2:33;7:55-6;Col3:1;He1:13;1Pt3:22;Ps110:1;Mt22:44;26:64
Christ tasted death for everyone (not angels though He2:16). He is the Savior & ransom for all 1Jn 2:2;He2:9;1Tm 2:6. On the other hand, He saved & ransomed only the called. He9:15,28;Mt20:28;Mk10:45;1Tm4:10

... Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ
Mary needed a Savior too, & Jesus was Mary's savior. Lk1:47
We call Mary blessed because she bore our Lord. Lk1:42-48 Some overemphasize her blessedness.Lk11:27-28. Mary was a virgin until after Jesus was born. Mt1:25;Lk1:34;2:7. Scripture never said anything else extraordinary about Mary.
Jesus grew up with 4 called His brothers & some sisters. Mk6:3;Mt13:55-6;Lk8:19

... Our Salvation
Never forget we were bought at a price, Jesus' blood. 1Cr6:20;7:23;2Pt2:1;Ac20:28
We must believe & confess that Jesus is Lord to be saved. Rm10:9-13;1Pt1:23
We must call on the Lord to be saved. Ac2:21;22:16;Joe2:32;1Cr1:2;Zp3:9
It is a gift of grace, not earned by works. No merit on our part can save us.Ep2:8-9; 2Tm1:9;Tt3:5;Ac26:20;Rm3:23-24;4:5;6:14-15;9:32;11:5-6;Ga3:2,3,10-14
Real faith bears fruit, because faith without works is dead. Jms2:14-26;~1Jn3:17-19
All true believers work to obey God & express love for God & people. 1Jn3:14-15
Believers can be confident of their eternal life. 1Jn4:17;5:11-19;3:24;4:13;Ep3:12
God not only saves us, He also seals & preserves us. Ep1:13-14;Jud24;1Tm1:14

Becoming a New Creation

... Counterfeit Conversion
We must examine ourselves, for counterfeit Christians can be deceived. 2Cr13:5
Believers must be diligent to the very end in order to make their hope sure. He6:11
Some can have a false assurance of salvation Jer 7:9-10, even if they:
· Have the form of godliness; know the scriptures. 2Tm3:5;Jn5:39-47
· Believe (in an intellectual, not a saving sense), are baptized. Ac8:13,20;Jms2:19
· At least themselves believed they prophesied in Jesus' name, drove out demons, & performed many mighty miracles. Mt7:21-23;2Th2:9-10
· Once escaped the world's corruption by knowing our Lord & Savior.2Pt2:17-22

... The Holy Spirit Living in Every Believer
The Holy Spirit was sent from heaven 1Pt1:14 asked for by Jesus Jn14:16, given & sent in Jesus' name by the Father Jn14:16,26. The Holy Spirit goes out from the Father Jn15:26, sent by Jesus from the Father Jn15:26;16:7.
The H.S. can pray, be grieved, & know the innermost thoughts of God Ep4:30;Isa63:10;1Cr2:10-11. Eph 4:30
God's power is working today. Mt28:20;2Tm3:5
Christ baptizes us with the Holy Spirit, who is alive with mind, feelings, & will. He indwells believers that we may live a holy life. 2Tm1:9,14;Rm8:9-17;Ga4:6-7
The Holy Spirit seals believers until the day of redemption. Ep1:13-14;4:30;2Cr5:5
All believers have the Holy Spirit; those who do not are not God's. Rm8:9-17
God commands us to be filled with the Spirit. Ep5:18;Ac2:4;4:8,31;9:17
Unbelievers can resist the H.S Ac7:51. One can receive God's grace in vain. 2Cr6:1

... The Believer's Nature and the Christian Life
All who have a saving faith have eternal life, are glorified, belong to Christ, will be with Jesus, & are Sons of God.Jn3:16;Rm8:29-30;9-10;Ac13:46-48;Ga3:7,26-29
All those in Jesus, not just some, are born again of God. Jn3:3,5;1Jn5:1,5
All male & female believers are Christ's body, His bride, sons of God. Ga3:26-29
We are new creations in Christ; we are born again. Jn1:13;3:3-8;Rm6:4;2Cr5:17; Ga4:29;6:15;Col 3:9-10;Ep4:22-24;1Pt1:23;2:2;1Jn2:29;3:8-9;4:7;5:1,4,18
Don't bypass but renew your mind.Rm12:2;8:6-7;1Pt1:13;Php4:7;He8:10;Mk12:30
We are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices; our bodies are God's Temples & collectively His Temple. Rm2:1;1Cr6:19;3:16-17;2Cr6:16;Ep2:21-22;Re3:12
We're creatures, not the Creator; we're not to be worshipped. Rm1:23-5;Ac14:11-8
We are no longer under God's wrath Rm2:5-11;5:9-10;9:22-23;Ep2:3;1Th1:10;5:9. God still disciplines His children.He12:5-10;Dt8:5;Ps39:10-11;1Cr11:32;Re3:19
Both believers' kids & unbelieving spouses are in some way sanctified. 1Cr7:14

... Christ's Body, the Church
All true believers together are Christ's body on Earth, the Church. 1Cr12;Ep4:16
The Church is founded on the apostles & prophets of the Bible, with Jesus as the only cornerstone. Ep2:19-22;1Pt 2:6-8;Mk12:10-11;1Cr3:11;~Mt16:16-19
Religion as in Mt15:3-9;Mk7:6-12 can be bad. Religion as in Jms1:27 can be good.
Even good church leaders can be wrong & need rebuke. Gal 2:11-16;Ac15:7

Our Destiny

... In Prior times, After Death:
OT told of eternal life.Is26:19;25:7-8;53:7-12;Ps49:14-5;30:12;139:24;Pr14:32;Lk20:37-8
OT said both godly & evil went to the grave/Sheol/Hades.Ezk32;Ps55:15;Ps49:14-5
OT said dead knew nothing; didn't praise God. Ps6:5;115:17;Ec9:5-6,10;Is38:18

... Now Until Judgment Day, After Death
For a believer, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. 2Cr5:6-8; Php1:21-23;Rv6:9-11;Lk23:43;Ac7:59. Believers exist after death.Lk16,20:38
All die once & then are judged; reincarnation's false.He9:27-8;~2Sm12:23;Jb20:21
There is no 2nd chance after death. He9:27. All, even Jews, who reject Jesus will die in their sins. Jn8:24;12:47-48;6:45;Ac3:23;13:45-46+48;20:21;Rm9:1-2;10:1;11:23

... The Last Things
Rapture, tribulation, & Armageddon occur, in some order. Re16:16;20;Mt24:39-44
The will be one Antichrist, & already many lesser antichrists. 1Jn2:18,22:4:3;2Jn7
The sea beast will have power to war against & conquer the saints. Re13:7
Believers' resurrection & Jesus' return has not happened as of today.~2Tm2:17-18
We've varying heavenly rewards.Mt5:12;10:42;6:19-21;Lk6:23;1Cr3:12-5;Re22:12
The lost have varying severity of judgment.Mt10:15;11:22-24;Mk12:40;Lk12:47-48

... The Millennium
Martyrs who refused beast worship reign with Christ for 1,000 years. Re20:4-6
The rest of the dead are resurrected after the 1,000 years. Re20:5
All appear before the judgment seat of Christ. 2Cr5:10;Rm14:12;1Cr3:5

... Ultimate Destinies
The full consummation of God's kingdom awaits the future return of Jesus.Re20:1-8
Our life in heaven is eternal & imperishable. Lk20:35-36;Jn 3:16;1Pt1:23;Ps41:12
People after death do not turn into angels. He2:5+2:16;~1Cr6:3
Our bodies will be like Jesus' glorified body.2Cr3:18;Php3:20-1;1Jn3:2-3;1Cr15:49
Saints will reign with Christ on Christ's throne. Ep2:6-7;Re3:21;also Re20:4-6.
God restores youth.Ps110:3. In heaven we will not be married.Mt22:30;Lk20:34-36
There will be a new heaven, earth, & Jerusalem.Re21-22;2Pt3:10,13;Is65:17;66:22;Eze47:1-12
God's Judgment is final & the Lake of Fire is eternal. Re20:10(Mt 25:46);2Th1:9;He6:2;Jude7
Non-believers have painful consciousness after death. Re20:10;Lk12:5;13:28;16; Ezk32:31-32;Mt3:12;5:21;13:42,50;22:13;25:41;Is50:11
Non-believers will perish.Lk13:3,5;Jn3:16;2Th2:10, be no more on earth. Ps104:35; Dt29:20, be destroyed.2Th1:9;2Pt3:16;Mt10:28;1Cr3:17;Php1:28;Js4:12;Re11:18
Destruction does not mean non-existence; Satan, beast, & false prophet will suffer forever in the lake of fire. Lk21:16+18;2Th2:8;Re19:20;20:10.
Unbelievers are eternally punished there too. Mt25:41,46;Re14:9-11;~19:3;~22:15

Mk 16:16, He 11:6, & Rom 10:9-10 show you must believe to be saved. Acts 8:13-26, Jms2:14-16, & 1Cor 13:2 show that intellectual belief alone is not sufficient.

Experiencing Life in the Spirit


... Who We Worship - The One and Only True God
Worship of God is a top priority for us.Mt4:10;Lk4:8;Rm12:1;Ps95:6;96:9;138:1-2
We worship no other, nor belong to temples (or lodges) that worship other gods. Mt4:10;Rm1:23-25;We mustn't have idols.Ex20;Is55:3;1Jn5:21;1Cr6:16;Jnh2:8;Hk2:18-19;1Jn5:21
We are devoted to God; we do not have the same devotion, either in degree or kind, to angels, Mary, or any human except Jesus. Co2:18;2Cr11:2-3;Dt5:7-10;Ps44:20
God's servants in earth & heaven worship Jesus. He1:6;Jn9:38;~Lk2:11-14,26-32;Mt 28:9;2:11-12;Re5. We honor Jesus as we honor the Father.Jn5:23;~Rm15:17

... How We Worship
The way we worship the eternal God matters.Dt12:31;Co2:23;He8:5;11:4;Ge4:3-7
We worship noisily with joy.Ps100; & in silence. Zp1:7;Zc2:13;Hk2:20;~La3:28
We worship with reverence & awe.He12:28-9;Ml2:5;Hk3:2;Ac2:43;1Pt1:17;Ps47:2
Lift hands, clap, shout.Ps63:4;47:1. -No grudges against others.1Cr13:5;Mt5:23-4
Worship both together&individually. He10:25;Ep5:19;Co3:16;Ps116:14-18;1Cr11:33
We worship with songs, hymns & spiritual songs with gratitude. Co3:16;1Cr14:26
We do not observe OT. regulations such as diet & sacrifices.Ac10:10-16;He10:18
Meaningless repetition is useless. Mt6:7. Meaningful repetition can be good. Ps136
Prophesying or speaking in tongues when it is not God's will, is not necessarily inspired by Satan. Rather, it may be "out of order" or "disorderly". 1Cr14:26-33
The Spirit's gifts are for the strengthening of the church. 1Cr12:7;14:12;~Pr25:14

... Water Baptism
Our disciples are baptized in the name of the Father, & Son, & H.S. Mt28:19, not just Jesus.Ac8:16
Peter & Paul commanded their hearers to repent & be baptized. Ac2:38;3:19;20:21;~Mk1:15;16:16
We use water in baptism. Acts 1:22; 8:36-39; 10:47; 1 Pet 3:21
Baptism in Christ Jesus is a baptism & a uniting into His death. Rm6:3-7
We're "circumcised" in/by Christ in the putting off the sinful nature, being buried with Jesus in baptism & raised with Him thru our faith & God's power. Co2:11-3
Water baptism "saves" us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Not that the water cleanses us, but it is the pledge of a good conscience toward God. 1Pt3:21

... We Worship & obey in the Lord's supper
All believers still do this in remembrance of Him. 1Cr10:24-6;Ac20:7-11
Jesus said of the bread "this is my body", given/broken for us. Of the cup He said, "this is my blood", shed for the remission of sins. Mt26:26-28;Mk14:22-24;Lk22: 19-20;1Cr11:23-26. Jesus was only sacrificed one time. He9:12,25-28;10:10, 12,~14. No sacrifice is now being made for sin. He10:18
Like Jesus, we drink the fruit of grapevines (not water).Mt26:29;Mk14:25;Lk22:18
We examine ourselves before partaking. 1Cr11:28-32. Partaking unworthily is sin-ning against Jesus' body & blood. Unbelievers/disobedient believers must not par-take.1Cr11:27-34. We're strengthened by grace, not ceremonial foods. He13:9-10

Drawing Near to God

... Fasting
We fast not for tradition.Zc7:5, not for show.Mt6:16-18, but to worship. Ac13:2-3
Fast to pray for help.Is58:3-9;Ac14:23;Ps35:13;Ne1:4;Es4:3,16;1Ki21:27;Ezr8:232Sm12:16,22 & for individual & corporate repentance. Ne9:1;Da9:3;Joe1:14;2:12-5;Jonah3:5

... Prayer to God
Be devoted to prayer. Co4:2-4,12;Ps109:4;Rm12:12;Ep6:18-20;Php4:6;1Th5:17
Pray to the Father; praying to Jesus is OK too. Mt6:9;Lk11:2Ac7:59-60;Rv22:20
Jesus is with us even now. Mt29:20;Jn14:23;Rm8:10; in the midst of us. Mt18:20
Continually offer to God praise. He13:15;Ps119:164;171-172;Is63:7;1Tm1:17
Continually give God thanks. Ps106:1;1Th5:18;Ep5:4,20;Co2:7;3:15,17, for others.Phm4
Confess personal & corporate sins.Da9:3-20. Pray for ourself.Php4:6;Ne1:4-11;2:4
Remember others in prayer always. 1Sm12:23;Rm1:10;Php1:3;Co1:9-10;1Th1:2-3;2Th1:3;3:1-2;2Tm1:3-4. Pray for Jesus' coming. 1Cr16:22;Re22:17,20
Pray for others, kings, governments.1Jn5:16;Jms5:16;1Tm2:1-3. & leaders.1Th5:25
We sometimes pray for rain.Zc10:1
Do not pray for things God told us not to pray about. Jr7:16;11:14;14:11;1Jn5:16
We are to pray in the spirit & in the name of Jesus.Co3:17;Jn14:13-14;15:16;16:26
Prayers/tears are precious to God.Rev7:17;8:3-5.;He5:7;Ac20:19 -but not always.Ma2:13-4;He12:17
For effective prayer have self-control/clear mind.1Pt4:7. Persist. Lk11:5-10;18:1-7
Cherishing sin. Ps66:18-19,wickedness. Pr15:29;1Pt3:12;Is1:15;Jr11:14;14:12;Mi 3:4, inconsiderate of wives.1Pt3:7;~Ml2:13-5, wanting to spend on passions. Jms 4:3-4, ignoring: God. Zc7:13, law.Pr28:9, cry of the poor.Pr21:13 -hinder prayer.

... Meditation on God
Meditate on God & His word, laws, promises, ways, wonders. Ps104:34;1:2;119: 15,23,27,48,78,97,99,103,140,148;39:3;2Cr7:1;2Pt1:4, & works. Ps77:12;143:5
-morning/night. Ps5:3;16:7;63:6;119:55,148;92:2;42:8;77:6;Is26:9;Job35:10;Ge24:63
meditating on God pleases Him.Ps19:14;5:1;104:34 & enriches us. Js1:8,Ps1:2-3

... We Call Upon the Lord
We live trusting fully in God. Gn4:26;Ps18:3;28:1;40:4;55:6,23;62:8;116:1-4,17; 122:1;Is25:9;26:4;Zp3:2;Joe2:32. Dying people can get saved. Lk23:40-3;~Hb4:7
Believers still call upon God for help for ourselves & others.Ps7:6;18:3;41:4;Jnh 2:2
Don't trust in man.Pr16:20;21:19;26:12;28:26;29:5;Ps118:8;Jr2:13;9:23-4;17:5-6;Hk1:11
Wait upon the Lord. Ps27:14;33:20;37:7,34;38:15;40:1;119:166;130:5-6;Is26:8;30:18;40:31;64:4;La3:24-26;Hos12:6;Mic7:7;~Zp3:8;Jud21
Call on God for wisdom, knowledge & help. Jr33:3;Jms11:1:5;Ep1:17-18;Co1:9-11

... Intimacy and Abiding in Christ
We delight ourselves in the Lord. Ps37:4. God delights Himself in us. Zp3:17
Intimate friendship.Jb29:1-4.Draw near to God. Zp3:2,17;He10:22;Jms4:8;Is28:13
Have an affection & devotion to Jesus. Lk7:36-50;2Cr11:2-3
Abide & be nourished by Jesus, the Vine & Bread of Heaven.Jn6:50-1,57;15:1-8
We thirst for God. Ps42:1-2;63:1;143:6;Is55:1-2;Jn4:13-15. We have hearts close to God.Mk7:6;Mt15:8. Jesus gives Living water. Jn4:10-14;Rv22:17;~Jr2:13
Love Jesus for who He is, not just what He provides. Mk6:14-15,26-35;~2Cr11:2-3

Our Struggle Against Sin

... Experiencing God
At times even faithful believers feel far from God.Ps43:2;44:23-24;89:46;102:1-11
God strengthens us.Ep3:16;2Th2:17;Co1:11;Ac9:31;Is41:10;58:11;Ne6:9;Ps89 :21;119: 28;1Pt5:10;2Tm4:17;Php4:13
Refresh/encourage each other. Phm7,20;Rm15:32;1Cr16:18;2Cr7:13;2Tm1:16
We must keep ourselves in His love. Jud21;2Pt3:17;1Jn2:24,27;1Tm1:14;~Re2:4-5
Obedient get needed guidance.Is30:21;58:10-1;Jn14:16-8,25-6;Lk12:11-2;Je33:3;Ps73:24
God is emotional, He feels for us deeply. Rm8:27;Mt23:37;Is61:5;62:4;63:9
We praise God for His greatness, kindness, & character we still see in fallen creation. Rm1:19-20;Ac14:17;Ps8;19;104;119:64;Job38-41
We love God's word.Ps119:97;Jr6:10, we take pleasure in it.Jr6:10, that we not sin against God. Ps119:11. It is a light & a lamp to us. Ps119:105;Pr66:23

... Repentance & Forgiveness
Salvation involves life-changing repentance. Lk5:32;3:8;Ac2:38;11:18;20:21;2Tm2:25;1Pt3:21
We are to keep a clear conscience. 1Tm1:5,19;He9:14;10:22;13:18;1Pt3:16,21;2Pt3:14;Ac23:1;24:16;2Cr1:12;2Tm1:3
Not that it was always clean, but Christ cleanses it. Heb 9:14;~1Jn2:28;3:20-21
God's forgiveness is thorough.Ps103:12;Is1:18;38:17;43:25;Mi7:19;Jr50:20. It is so complete that even Paul could say he was innocent of all men's blood. Ac20:26
If we do wrong or leave where God wants us to be, we may suffer. God may still greatly bless us when we repent and return. Ruth,~2Cr2:5-11;Re3:15-21
Even believers let us down.1Cr9:3-6;2Cr6:12;10:1;12:20;2Tm4:16;Ga~2:13;4:19-20
Forgive our brothers as Jesus forgave.Mt6:12,14-5;18:21-35;Lk17:3-4;2Cr2:7,10;Ep 4:32;Co3:13. Don't hold anything against anyone.Mk11:25-26;Mt5:43-48;Lk11:4;1Cr13:5
An unloving/unforgiving heart is a symptom of not being heaven-bound. Lk7:47

... God Helps Us Struggle Against Sin & Overcome Sin
No believer on earth is without a sinful nature or no longer sins. 1 Jn 1:8-10; Jms 3:2
Don't be deceived sin's strength or the goodness of God. Jms 1:13-18; 1 Cor 6:9-11
Flee immorality, idolatry,greed,evil youth desires. 1Cr6:18;10:14;1Ti6:11;2Tm2:22
Always remember: God, angels, demons, & perhaps departed believers watch us. Jr23:24;He4:13;Pr5:21;15:3;49:10;Rm 2:16; Ec 12:14; Ps 139; Job 1:8-10;2:3; ~Heb12:1
We have no temptation that others don't have. God won't let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.1Cr10:13.Resist the devil & he will flee from you.Jms4:7;1Pt5:9
Sin's deceitfulness can harden people. He3:12-13;Pr28:13-14;~Rm1:21-32
At times we mourn. Jms4:8-10;Mt5:4;Lk6:21;Jr4:19;9:1;13:17;La1:16;Ezk9:4;20:43;21:6

... Healing
Our God is a healer. Ps30:2;41:3;103:3;Is53:4-5;58:8;Jr3:22;17:14;33:6;Dt32:39
God not only forgives, He is in the process of transforming us. Rm12:1-2;Is57:18-9
God also heals us physically. Rm8:26-27;Mt8:17;Is53:4;1Pt2:24;Ps41:3;103:3
We pray for healing as well as seek natural cure. Jms5:15-16;2Ch16:12;1Tm5:23
Church elders pray/anoint sick believers to be healed/forgiven. Jms5:14-16
The obedient still get sick. Gal3:13;Ph2:26-27;1Tm5:23;2Ki13:14;Ps6;Dn8:27
We are called to be peacemakers for God.Mt5:9;Pr12:20;2Cr5:18-20;Ps34:14

Our Identity in Christ

... We Do Not Belong to the World
Satan rules this world. Jn12:31;14:30;2Cr4:4;Ep2:2;1Jn5:19;Mt4:8-9
God has ultimate control of the world & everything else though. Jn19:11;10:29
We mustn't be of it, love it, or befriend it.Jn17:14,16;2Tm4:10;Jms4:4;1Jn2:15-17;3:13
In the world we're strangers, aliens, overcomers. 1Pt1:1;2:11;1Jn5:5;He11:13-16;13:14
Jesus' kingdom is not of this world. Jn18:36. We're citizens of heaven.Php3:20
We are to still be in the world though. Jn17:15,18;2Cr10:3
Our mind is to be on heavenly things, not earthly things. Php3:19;Co3:1-3

... Living New Lives of Faith & Holy Awe
Live new lives.Ac5:20;2Cr5:17,in awe of God.Jr2:19;5:22;Is29:23;Ec5:1-7;He12:28-9;1Pt1:17
We desire Christlikeness, that our belief, love, walk be like Christ's.1Jn2:6;Dt30:16
Jesus is our way, truth, life, vine, God, & priest. Jn14:16;15;20:28;He4:14-5:10
We clothe ourselves with Christ. Rm13:14;Ga3:27, & with humility.1Pt5:5
It is Jesus Christ who baptizes us in the Holy Spirit. Mt3:11;Mk1:8;Lk3:16;Jn1:33
God is our hope.Ps52:8-9,1Cr13:13. We need to grow up in our salvation.1Pt2:3

... Who We Are
Take God seriously, seek first God's Kingdom.1Cr9:24;Mt6:33;~Jn12:43;2Tm2:15
As soldiers of Christ we fight the good fight of faith.1Tm1:18;6:12;2Tm4:7;He12:4
Out of compelling concern.Ac5:42, we take seriously the command/responsibility/ debt from God to actively share our faith. Rm1:14-15;Mt28:19-20;Phm6;2Tm4:2
Die to self & take up our cross daily. Co2:20;3:3-5;Ga6:14;Lk9:23-4;Mk8:34-5
Glory in Jesus' cross.1Cr1:23;2:2;Ga6:14;Rm15:17. We're devoted to Him.2Cr11:3
Our identity is Christ's ambassadors. 2Cr5:20, Christ's aroma.2Cr2:14-16;a letter for Christ.2Cr3:3;God's priests, kings & people.1Pt2:5,9-10,16
We're precious treasures & jewels to God. Zc9:16;Ml3:17;Dt32:10;33:12;Ps17:8

... Generosity
All belongs to God. Ps24:1;50:9-12;Lv25:23. Excel in giving. 2Cr8:7;Ps37:21-26
Give generously, cheerfully, & according to our means. 2Cr8:1-9:11;Php4:16
It is evil to show special attention to the rich in church. Jas2:1-11
Our giving is to be in secret, otherwise God may not reward us. Mt6:1-4

... Pride & Self-Confidence, vs. Confidence
We are not to be proud; we have no good thing that was not given by God. Ps16:2
We are not to "walk by their own light", & have confidence in ourselves. Ps52:7
Obedient believers can be confident & content that they will be effective doing God's will. 2Pt1:5-8, -without comparing themselves to others.2Cr10:12;~Php2:3
A man is tested by the praise received.Pr27:21. Don't seek own honor.Pr25:27;27:2
Fear none but God.Hg2:5;1Jn4:18;Ps118:6;Rv2:10. Be bold. Ac4:13,29-31;Ep 6:19;Php1:14. Be strong & courageous. 1Ch22:13;1Cr16:13;Rv21:8;Josh
There is great authority when believers use the name of Jesus. Jn15:16;Ac10:13-8
Believers should feel a confidence in their own salvation; yet we should examine ourselves that we be not deceived. 1Jn4:17;1Tm3:13;2Cr13:5
We wait for eternal life. Jude21

The Triumph of Joy Over Suffering

... Lonely & Distressful Situations, & Comfort
We may be lonely/distressed. 2Cr4:8-9;6:4-11;Ps13;18;25:16;43;77:2;120;Php2:27
Cast your cares upon God; He cares for the lonely. Ps68:6, & for us. 1Pt5:7;Na1:7;Mk6:34
He at times sends us into distress.Ac20:22-4,38;Mt14:22-33;Mk6:45-52;Jn6:16-21
We receive genuine comfort from the Spirit. We comfort others. 2Cr1:3-11;~Mt5:4;~Ps119:50,52
We also suffer/agonize for others' sake. Rm9:1-3;2Cr2:4-5;7:7;Ga4:19-20;Ep3:13

... Perseverance in Suffering & Persecution
Believers have to persevere in suffering.Rm8:17-18;2Cr1:8-9;4:8-12;6;2Tm2:3;4:5
All who want to live a godly life will be persecuted. 2Tm3:12;Php1:29;2Pt5:9-10;Rm8:35-39
God disciplines us for doing wrong. 1Cr11:32;He12:5-11;Dt8:5;Ps39:10-11;Jnh 2:2
We suffer consequences of wrong & foolishness. 1Pt4:15;Rm13:4;Pr19:3,5,9;15-19
We suffer from evil people. 2Tm3:10-13;1Pt4:12-19;Jn16:2;Lk21:16;Mt24:20-2
We suffer, like Job, to test our faith, refine us, & glorify God. 1Th3:3-4;Zc13:9
We suffer for others. Ga4:13;Co1:24, & for Christ. Rm8:17;1Pt4:14-6;2Th1:4-7
We suffer for Christ. Mt24:9;Lk21:12-18. It helps us rely on God. 2Cr1:9;12:8-10, & conquer sin. 1Pt4:1-2. Precious in God's sight is a saint's death. Ps116:15
We know that God can use all things, even bad things for good. Rm8:28;Ge50:20
Count on justice from God, not necessarily from people.Pr29:26;Ec7:15;Hk1;Na1:3

... Experiencing the Joy of God's Pleasure

Experience now God's great love. Is58:13-4;Jn14:23;16:27;17:26;~13:1;1Jn3:1,17
Please God first. Eph5:10;Jn12:43;Ga 1:10;6:8;1Th2:4;Co1:10;He11:5-6;13:16,21; Hg1:8;Is65:12;Rm2:29;8:8;Php4:18;1Jn3:22;Pr16:10. Live for God's will.1Pt4:2
Don't give God less than your best. Mt6:33;2Cr13:9,11;1Cr9:24;15:58;Php3:12-6;2Tm2:15

... We Experience the Holy Spirit Living Inside of Us
He is guiding, correcting, comforting us.1Th4:8;Jn14:15-8;25-6;16:12-5;Rm8:9-16
We have His anointing, testimony, & confidence in our hearts. 1Jn2:20,27;5:10,13
He strengthens/encourages. 2Th2:17;Ep6:10;Php4:19;Co1:9-11;1Tm1:12;Is28:6;2Tm4:17;Is41:10
The Holy Spirit's gifts are given for the common good. He2:4;1Cr12:7;~Ep4:15-16
Be cheerful. Pr15:15;17:22. Release your stress to God. Php4:4-7;1Pt 5:7;Jn14:27

... the Loving Fellowship of Church Life

We live a life of love. 1Cr16:14;Ep5:1;1Jn3:10-18,23;4:7-13;5:2;2Cr8:24;~Jn17:26
Love each other deeply. 1Pt1:22;Jn13:34-5;He13:1-3;2Jn5;3Jn6;Ep1:15;Php1:8;Phm4
Sadly, godly believers can still have sharp disagreements. Ac15:36-41;Php4:2-3
Internal & visible unity of believers; not yoked with unbelievers. 1Cr6:7-18;1Pt3:8
Every true believer is God's priest, king, ambassador, & witness. 1Pt2:9;2Cr5:20
Hell's gates shall not prevail against Jesus' Church. Mt16:18. The one church's foundation is the Biblical apostles/prophets; its head is Jesus. Ep2:20;Re21:12-14
We should confess our sins to other believers. Jms5:15-16;Ac19:18;Pr28:13
Elders & deacons are examples & must meet Biblical qualifications. 1Tm3;Tt1:5-9
False teachers can be inside the Church. Ac20:28-30;1Jn2:19;Ga2:4;3Jn9;2Pt2:1

Ultimate Experience

... At Least in Prior Times
Instruments pleased God. Ex15:20;Ps33:2-3;43:4;92:3;98:4-6;108:2;Is30:29-31;38:20
In the OT few were filled with the Holy Spirit. Joe2:28-9;~Ac2:17-8;Ps51:11
Women must pray or prophesy with their heads covered. 1Cr11:3-16
Women do not have religious authority over or teach men in church 1Tm2:11-15, or speak in church. 1Cr14:33-38.
Speaking in tongues is both useful & necessary. 1Cr12:7,10;14:4,5,26. It's not to be forbidden, but desired; prophesy is more desirable though. 1Cr14:39;1Cr14:5
Tongues & prophesies in church are only to be 1 at a time. 1Cr14:27-33
Without an interpreter, tongues should not be publicly given. 1Cr14:7-13,27-28
Prophecy, tongues, knowledge will all pass away in the future.1Cr13:8-13;Zc13:2-6

... From Now Until Judgment Day
Eagerly pray for the speedy coming of God's kingdom.1Cr11:7;2Pt3:12,14;Mt6:10; Lk11:2;1Cr16:22;pray/await Jesus' return. Re22:17,20;1Co1:7;1Th1:10;Tt2:13
Beware false prophets. Mt7:15;24:11,24;Rv2:20;19:20;Dt13:1-11;18:20-2;2Pt2:1-3;Mc3:5-7
Do not be deceived by false Christs. Mt24:5,11,23-25;Mk13:5,21-22;Lk17:23;21:8
Nobody knows the hour, including Jesus while on earth. Mt24:36;25:13;Mk13:32

... Believers After Death
To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord. 2Cr5:8;Php1:23;Rv6:10
After death we have a rich welcome into heaven. 2Pt1:11;Php2:21-23
Desiring crowns is OK. Re2:10;3:11;1Pt5:4. Crowns will be cast before God's throne. Re 4:10. Believers will sit with Jesus on His throne. Ep2:6-7;Re3:21
No eye has seen, no one has imagined what God has prepared for us. 1Cr2:9
Some musical instruments will be used in worship in heaven. Re5:8;~14:1-2;15:2
There are rewards in Heaven; these can be lost by our actions on earth. 1Cr3:13-15;9:27;2Jn8;Re11:18.Being with love ones is 1 type of reward. Php4:1;1Th2:19
We are preserved in God's presence forever. Ps41:12;Jn6:58;3:16;1Th4:17
There will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain. Re21:4;Is25:8

... Now and In the End
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Rm8:29-39;2Cr5:5;1Th4:17;5:10
Bel'vrs are never under God's wrath. Rm2:5-11;5:9-10;9:22-23;Ep2:3;1Th1:10;5:9
True Christians may suffer, be persecuted, killed by evildoers. Rm8:35-39;1Pt5:9
There will be a falling away before the end. Mt24:10-12;1Tm4:1-3;2Tm3:1-5;4:3-4
The Millennium will be a time of peace, prosperity, sacrifices, & the righteous rule of Christ. Re20:1-7, ~Ezk45-48;Is11:6-12:6;65:20. We'll eat in heaven.Lk22:30
The new Jerusalem will be most beautiful, with a brilliance of jewels. Re21:2-22:6
The glory of God & the Lamb gives the New Jerusalem light. Re21:23;22:5
There will be the river of water of life, tree of life, the light of God. Re21-22

Co3:3,Php3:18-19;Jn14:16-18,Rm8:9-16 teach all true believers experience now live in the Spirit. Mt7:21-23,2Pt2:20 show that experiences alone are insufficient.

Obeying Gods' Commands

Our Love and Worship

... Love God with all our Heart, Soul, Mind, & Strength
Love God with all we have.Dt6:4-5;11:13;30:16;Mt22:37-38;Mk12:30;~2Tm4:6-8
God is our master.Ml1:6;Jn14:23-24;Mt7:21-23;Dt30:16;Ep6:9;2Tm2:21;Ac22:10
Faithfulness; living consistent with beliefs; no hypocrisy. Mt23:3,25-27;24:51;Lk12:1-2
To love Jesus is to obey Him; we must walk as Jesus did.Jn14:23-24;1Jn2:3-6;5:2-3
All must learn the Bible & be equipped for good works. Ep2:10;4:12;2Tm3:16-17

... Idols, Magic, the Occult, & Astrology
Don't bow to carved images or stones.Lv26:1;Ps31:6;115:1-8;Ex20:3-5;Is44:12-19
Set no idols before you (at home, work, life).Ps101:2-3;1Cr10:14;Zp1:4;Dt30:17-18
Don't try to communicate with the dead.Dt18:10-2;Is8:19;1Sm28:3,7-12+Lv20:6-8
Have nothing to do with magic & the occult, such as channeling, witchcraft,astral-projection,mediums,fortune-tellers,astrology,tarot cards,oujia boards, TM, EST, Qi-gong. Lev 19:26,31; 20:6-8,27; Acts 19:19; Ezek 13:18; Dt 18:9-14; Mic 5:12; Rev 9:21
Likewise for horoscopes, eastern or western astrology, luck & superstitions.
In regard to evil we are to be infants.1Cr14:20;Mt10:16 yet be on guard. Mt10:16-7

... Kindness and Loving Others as Ourselves
Love others as ourselves.Mt22:39-40;Lk12:31;Jms2:8;Co3:13-14;1Jn3:16-8;2Cr2:4
We show love for God by loving others. 1Jn2:9;3:10,14-19;4:19-21;Ga5:6,13-14
Be rich in good deeds. 1Tm5:10;6:18;1Pt2:12,15,devoted to do good.Tt3:14;Ja4:17
Aid, care, protect, help, & don't cause harm to others. 1Cr13:7;Rm13:10;14:19-21
Be kind to people & animals.Pr12:10;He13:3;to eat animals is OK.Ac10:10-5;Ge9:3
Be hospitable to one another. 3Jn8. Be hospitable to all. 1Tm5:10;He13:2;Tt1:8
Don't be self-seeking or just look after own interests. Rm2:8;Php2:3-4,20-1;Jas3:14-16;1Th4:11-12;Ps119:36;Is56:11
Do not insult others, or even return insults. 1Pt2:23;3:9;~Mt5:11,22;Lk6:22;Jms2:6
We overlook insults. Pr12:16;19:11;~1Cr13;5. Be civil, not rude. 1Cr13:5;Co4:6
Have no malice to others. Ga5:18;Ep4:31-32;Tt3:3;Mt5:43-48;Lk6:27-36;Lv19:17
Don't even plan or think evil. Ps119:150;Pr30:32;12:20;14:22;16:27,30;24:1-9;Ec 7:29;8:11;Is29:15;32:6-7;33:15;55:7;Jr11:15;Na1:9;Rm1:30;13:14;Zc8:17;Mi2:1;Dt15:9

... Humble Service Instead of Pride & Jealousy
We do everything for God's glory, not our own. Php2:21;Co3:17;1Cr10:31
We're like soldiers & athletes for Christ. 2Tm2:3-5;Php2:16;Lk17:7-10;1Cr9:24-7
Proud are opposed, the humble given grace. Jms4:6;1Pt5:5;Pr3:34;1Cr13:4;Ob3-4
Humble yourself before the Lord & He will lift you up. Jms4:10;1Pt5:6;Mic6:8
Humble towards others.Pr11:2;22:4;Ps25:9;75:9;Ac20:19;Ep4:2;Jms3:13;1Pt3:8;5:5
Value others as more important than you. Php2:21;Mt23:11-2;1Cr10:33;Rm12:10
No dissensions, jealousy, or quarreling. Rm13:13;1Cr3:3;2Cr12:20;Ga5:20-21,26
Do not be conceited, envying or gloating over others. Ga5:26;Mk7:22;Rm1:29; 1Cr13:4;Tt3:3;1Pt2:1;Pr3:31;23:17;24:1,17. Envy is unhealthy. Pr14:30;Job5:2.
Don't covet fame or have selfish ambition. Jms3:14-16;Php2:3;1Th4:11-2;Ps119:36

Our Personal Fight to Please God

... Life & Death
We'll risk death before we deny God by word, action.Mt10:32-3;Lk12:8-9;Rm16:3; 2Tm2:12;He11:36-8;2Pt2:1;Jd4;Re3:8, or idolatry. Ps97:7-9;1Cr10:7,14;Zc7:2
We're willing to die & suffer for God.Mt10:39;Da3,6;He11:35-7;Rm8:35-9;14:7-8;Php1:20;Hb12:4;~Rv2:10,13;Ac15:26;Re12:11
We are putting to death our old sinful nature. Co3:1-5;Rm6:6,11;8:13;Ga5:24
We deny ourselves & take up our cross daily. Mt10:38;16:24;Mk8:14;Lk9:23;14:27
Peacemakers pray for peace.Jms3:17-8;Mt5:9;1Tm2:1-2;1Pt3:11;He12:14;Rm12:18
God's servants do not proselytize by arms/holy wars. 2Cr10:3-5;~Jn18:36;Mic3:5-6
Don't murder; in OT executions & just wars OK.Gn9:6; Jsh,He11:34;Lv24:13-17
Don't endanger others' lives; don't hate others or seek revenge.Lv19:16-8;1Jn3:15
Think on what is pure.Php4:8. Do not crave violence/horror. Ps11:5;Pr2:14;3:31

... The Pursuit of Holiness
The holy life is a command. 2Tm1:9;2:21;3:2;1Tm1:8;1Pt1:15,16;Lv20:7;22:32
The process of holiness is not easy, we struggle to achieve it.Rm7:14-25;Hb12:4,11
Holiness is a gift, position, & reward. It is a goal. Rm6:22;1Cr9:24-27;1Th4:1-7
It is required; without holiness none will see the Lord. He12:14;~Mt5:8;1Cr6:9-11
Be pure. Is52:11;Ga5:16-21;Ep4:19;5:3-5;Co3:5-6;1Th4:3-5;Re9:21;21:8. Have pure & holy hearts. 2Tm1:9;2:22,1Tm2:8;5:22;1Pt1:22;1Th3:13, & discipline. Pr5:12,23;6:23;9:13;23:23;25:28;Jb31:1;1Th5:6;2Tm1:7,10;Tt1:8;2:6;1Pt4:7;2Pt1:6
Say no to worldly passions & pleasuresTt2:11;3:3;1Tm5:6;2Pt2:13;Jms4:3;He11:25
Guard heart, have pure thoughts. Pr4:23;6:14,25;11:20;12:8;15:26;Jr 4:14;Ps141:4
Avoid even appearing evil.2Cor8:21;1Th5:22;Ep5:3;~Php2:15;Php3:17;Rm12:17-8;1Tm4:12
The immoral, impure, & greedy are idolaters. Ep5:3,5;Co3:5;1Cr6:10;Lk12:15-21

... Integrity, Honesty, & Pure Speech
Have integrity in your whole life. Pr11:1,3. Do not break pledges to God. 1Tm5:12
Ask for & have wisdom/good judgment. Pr6:23-24,32;7:4-5,7;Jms1:5;Ep1:17;Co1:9
We must not bear false witness or lie to each other.Pr19:9;Co3:9;Ep4:25;1Tm1:10; Re21:8,27;Lv19:11-12;Ps35:20;Zc8:16-7;Zp3:9,13. Teach with integrity. Tt2:7-8
Believers do not need to have "loose lips" on every question. 1Sam16:1-5;Pr12:23
Don't deceive, be dishonest, swear by things, use foul talk, use God's name in vain. Ep4:29;5:12;Jms3:5-12;1Pt2:1;3:10;Pr12:19-22;Is59:13;Is5:18;Mt15:19;Ps15:4;Mi6:12;Is58:13
Don't gossip.1Tm5:13;Pr11:13;16:28;17:9;Rm1:29 or betray confidence. Pr25:9-10
No slander.Ps15:3;Rm1:30;1Cr6:10;Ep4:31;Co3:8;2Tm3:3;Tt3:3;Lv19:16;Pr30:10
Speak the truth in love. Ep4:15. Don't grumble. 1Cr10:10;Php2:14;1Pt4:9;Jude16
Build up, don't destroy believers. 2 Cr 10:8;12:10; Pr 11:9,11;12:14; 1Th 5:11; Rom 14:19
Speak to destroy pretensions that set themselves up against God. 2Cr10:4-5

... We Are Responsible to Examine Ourselves & Be On Our Guard
We are responsible to watch our life & doctrine closely. 2Tm1:14;Col 1:23;Pr22:5
Not to follow wisdom of this world. Co2:8-9;Jms3:15;1Cr1:17-27;2:6,8,14;2Cr1:12

Purity and Family

... Drunkenness, Gluttony, & Dissipation 1 Pet 4:4; Lk 21:34
Do not hurt our bodies or be gluttons. 1Cr3:17;Pr28:7. Do not get a tattoo.Lv19:28
Don't be drunk/intoxicated.Ep5:13;Pr23:20-1;25-39;Mic2:11;Mt24:49;1Sam1:12-7
Drinking can be ok.Jn2:10;1Tm5:23;Ec9:7.but no addiction.1Tm3:3;Tt2:3;~Is5:22
Don't carouse/party wildly.1Pt4:3-4;Ga5:21;Rm13:13;Pr23:19-21;Is5:11-2;1Cr10:7

... Sexual Purity
Treat our bodies as God's pure temple, honor Him with your body1Cr3:16;6:18-20
Don't be ashamed of your body, which God wonderfully made. Ps139:14;SofS4
No lust / sex outside of heterosexual marriage. Avoid looking & being in situations that incite lust. Rm1:26-27;1Cr6:9-10,18;Lv20:13;Gn19:5-7;Ezk16:50;Jude7
Sexual immorality involves, desiring, planning, immodest: behavior, dress, talk, looking, or touching outside of marriage. Jms1:15;Ezk3:3,21;Mt15:19
You must control your body; not vice versa. 1Th4:3-7;Co3:5;Tt2:12;1Cr9:25-27
No homosexuality.Lv18:22;20:13;Rm1:26-27;1Cr6:9;Gn19:5-7;Ezk16:50;Jde7;1Tm1:10
Have pure lips / speech.Pr4:24;6:12;8:13;10:31-2;12:13-4;19:1;22:11;Zp3:9;Ep5:4
-pure eyes.Pr4:25;6:13;Jb31:1;Ps101:3;119:37;Is29:20;Mt5:27-29;2Pt2:14;1Jn2:16
Avoid a crooked path. Pr4:26;5:6-8;6:13;2:7,13,15-20;7:25;10:9;16:17;21:8
Avoid tempting places & situations.Pr4:27;2:18;5:8;7:8;7:27;1Cr10:14;2Sm11:1-4
Have modesty. Pr7:10;1Tm1:9;Ezk16:43,58;23:18-24:13;~1Cr11:5-16;Mk7:22
Don't listen to seducing or evil talk (1-900...). Pr6:24;7:14-21

... Marriage
Marriage should be honored, when the two become one; don't abuse it only as a convenience (taxes, etc.). Singleness is OK too.1Cr7:1,8-9,27-36;Mt19:11-12
Nothing is evil, impure, or sinful with marital sex. Pr5:15-19;18:22;1Cr7:28;SofS
Don't withhold marital rights, except briefly by mutual consent for prayer.1Cr7:2-6
No sex or marriage with close family. Lv18:6-18;20:11-12,17-21;1Cr5:1-5
The husband is the head of the family. Ep5:22-24;1Cr11:3;1Pt3:1-6;Gn3:16;Nu30
Wives must submit to their husbands. Husbands must be considerate of their wives & love them as Christ loves the Church. Ep5:22-33;1Pt3:1-7;Co2:18-19;Tt2:5
2 become 1 in this partnership; each must submit to the other. Ep5:21-31;Ge2:23-4
Believers mustn't wed unbelievers. Don't divorce though. 2Cr6:14-18;Ml2:11-12
God hates divorce; remarriage is OK if your spouse has died. Ml2:13-16;Mt5:31-32;19:1-9;Mk10:11-12;Lk16:18;Rm7:3;1Cr7:10-13,39;1Tm5:14
Elders & deacons must not have more than one wife. 1Tm3:2,12;Tt1:6

... Family
Honor parents; no worship. Dt5:7-16;26:14;Ex20:3-12;Lv20:9;Pr20:20;30:11,17
Obey, respect, & don't backtalk parents, both Christian & non-Christian. Don't exasperate kids.Mt15:4;Ep6:1-4, rather train kids in the Lord.Ep6:1-4;Rm1:30; Pr22:6;28:24;30:11;Co3:20-1;Dt6:7,20;~Lk18:15-7.Kids are God's gifts.Ps127:3
Obey & love God above family. Lk21:16;Mt10:20-21,34-37;12:46-50;Lk12:52-53
Parents must love & discipline kids.Pr13:24;19:18;22:15;23:13;29:15-7;He12:9-10
Materially care for our family. 1Tm5:3-4,8,16;Pr31:12-15,21,27;Tt3:14;Mk7:10-3
Believers must persevere even if forsaken by parents.Ps27:10;Mt10:34-9:Lk12:52-3

Time and Money

... Fairness and Ethics
In business be honest.Pr11:1;16:11;20:10,23;Lv19:13-4,35-6;Dt25:13-6;Mic6:10-11;Eze45:10-12
Never use litigation to exploit those with less money. Pr22:22-23;~24:28;Jms2:6
Be generous to poor. Pr19:9-10;22:9;Is58:7-8,10. Don't make unjust laws. Is10:1-2
Don't make exorbitant interest. Pr28:8. Be wise in who you hire. Pr26:6,10;10:26
No have favorites on wealth, race, or gender. Men & women have been given different roles though. Jms2:1-7;Ga3:28;1Tm5:21;Pr17:23.Treat all fairly. Pr 17:15;28:21;29:14;31:5,8-9;Jms2:1-7;3:17;Lv19:15,33-34;24:22;Ml2:9;Job13:10

... Material Giving Instead of Greedy materialism
Honor God with our wealth; He gives wealth.Pr3:9-10;10:22;13:21;31:11-27;Dt8:18
Keep free from the love of money & things.1Tm6:9-10;2Tm3:2;He13:5;~Rm1:29;Mt6:24-26
Do not serve money or wear yourself out to get rich. Mt6:24-34;Pr23:4;1Tm6:9-10;
Do not covet money, things, or other's spouses. Ex20:17;Dt5:21;Rm7:7-12
Don't trust in wealth but in God. 1Tm6:17;Ps49:6;Pr11:4,28;18:10-11;Lk12:15-21
No bribes; they corrupt hearts. Dt16:19;Pr15:27;Ps15:5;Ec7:7;Is5:13;1Sm4:3-4;Pr29:4
Be skilled in your work; work hard. Pr22:29;1Cr4:12;Ep6:5-8;Col2:22-24
Don't steal directly or indirectly (work, software piracy). Ep4:28;Tt2:10;Mt15:19
Do not use differing measures in commerce.Pr11:1;20:10,23;Lv19:35-36;Dt25:13-15
We pay taxes. Rom 13:6-7; Mt 17:24-27;22:15-21; Mk 12:13-17; Lk 20:22-25
Make every effort to timely repay debts. Ps37:21;Rm13:8;Jms5:4;~Pr22:7;~Dt28:12
Be wise; be wary to put up security for debts for others. Pr11:15;20:16;6:1-3
Hold on to heavenly treasures. Re3:11;1Tm6:17-19;Eph1:3;Col1:12. don't be afraid to lose your earthly ones. He10:34;Mt6:19-21;19:21;Lk12:15-18;33-34;Php3:7-9;Ac4:32-37
God does not accept offerings if: we don't respect the Lord's house. Ml1:10-14, you need to be reconciled with others.Mt5:23-24, a gift is ill-gotten. Dt23:18;~Pr10:2

... Generosity
Be kind & compassionate to others. Co3:12;1Cr13:4;Ep4:32;Pr11:16-17;1Th5:15

We give to full-time godly workers & the Lord's people. 1Cr9:7-14
Give generously for God's work.Pr3:9,10;11:24;1Cr16:2;2Cr8:1-8;9:6-12;Hg1:3-11
Don't oppress.Ezk22:7,13,29;45:9;Pr14:31;Jr7:6;22:16defend the oppressed.Isa1:17
Help the poor. Is1:17;58:6-10;Jr5:28;Ga2:10;Ps41:1;Pr14:21;24:11-2;29:7;31:9,20; Eph 4:28; 1 Tm 6:18-9; Jms1:27;Lv25:35-37. Don't help those who refuse to work. 2Th3:6-15
We should especially help widows & orphans. Jms1:27; Dt 15:11; Ps 68:5, other believers.1Jn3:17-19, sick, hungry, naked, & imprisoned. Mt25:34-46;Zech7:9-10;Is58:10-11;Ps69:33

... Time and Priorities
We should plan & save for the future. Pr 6:6-8;10:5;31:16; Lk15:18-30; Tt 3:14
All our plans are contingent on God's will. Jms4:13-16; Pr27:1;16:9; Lk12:15-21
Be careful how you spend your time; work hard for the Lord.Ep5:15-16;Php2:20-1
Don't be idle or lazy.1Th5:14;2Th3:6-12;Pr6:6-11;12:24,27;15:19;31:27;Ec11:6;Tt3:14
Work is good & given by God. Gn2:15. Painful toil was a curse though. Gn3:17-19
Don't waste your life with luxury & self-indulgence. Ja5:5;Mt21:34;23:25;Am6:4-7
Keep the Sabbath or, believe all days are the Lord's. Is56:2,6; Rom14:5-6;He4:8-11;Eze20:13-24;Jr17:21-27

The Poor and Citizenship

...Our Attitude toward the Poor
Do not despise the poor Pr 14:21;17:5. God made the rich, the poor, and their oppressors Jb34:19;Pr29:13. God views charity very seriously. Ac10:2,4,31
If someone is rich, that does not automatically mean they are displeasing God by oppressing the poor as in Job 29:12. Abraham was wealthy (Gen 13:2-6), yet he would not be called righteous in Rm 4:3 and Jms 3:21, if he oppressed the poor.
Don't be apathetic toward the poor Ezk16:49;~Lk16:19-20, or ignore them. Pr 21:13
Remember the poor Gal 2:10. Helping them is like helping Christ. Mt 25:34-46
Some, such as Joseph and Mary (Lk 2:24+Lev 12:8), are poor through no fault of their own, Ru1:6;2:2 or from injustice Pr13:23. Care about justice for the poor. Pr 29:7; 31:9. Jesus, John the Baptist, & Paul were poor.
Others are sluggards, Pr6:9-11;10:4;12:24, made rash vows, Pr 22:26-27; 6:2-3, put up collateral for others, Pr 6:1,3; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 27:13, spent money on pleasure, Pr 20:21; Jms5:5;Mt23:25;Am6:4-7), or neglect.Pr27:23-24
Our ideal should be to eliminate poverty Dt 15:4, yet we should realize that the poor will always be among us. Dt 15:11; Mt 26:11; Mk 14:7; Jn 12:8

...Our Actions Toward the Poor
Do not oppress the poor. Pr22:16;28:3; Jb20:19; Ezk 18:12;22:29; Am2:7;4:1;5:11
Don't exploit with unjust laws, Isa10:1-2, courts.Pr22:22-23;~24:28; Jms2:6;Am5:12. Do not charge exorbitant interest. Pr 28:8
No partiality to the rich or poor. Ex 23:3; Lev 19:15; Pr 29:14
Don't try to rid the poor from the land Am8:4; Ps109:16, or destroy them. Isa 32:7
Do not preach helping the poor and not practice what you preach. Jms 2:15-17
Be generous to the poor (Pr 19:9-10; 22:9; Isa 58:7-8,10) and kind to them. Pr 28:8
Give to the poor. Isa1:17; 58:6-10; Jer 5:28; 22:16; Gal 2:10; Psalms 41:1; Pr 14:21; 24:11-2;28:27; 29:7; 31:9,20; Eph 4:28; Ac 9:36; 1 Tim 6:18-9; Jms 1:27, even in business. Ex 23:11; Ru 2:2,6,15. Rescue the poor. Job 29:12;Lv25:35-37
Especially widows, orphans. Jms 1:27;Dt15:11;Ps 68:5.believers. 1 Jn 3:17-19; Rom 15:26
Especially help the sick, hungry, naked, and imprisoned. Mt 25:34-46; Zc 7:9-10;Is58:10-11;Ps69:33
Do not give food to someone who refuses to work. 2 Th 3:10; Pr 16:26
Do not help those who are doing wicked work, 2 Jn 10-11, or would be foolish with the money Pr 1:16. Realize that some falsely claim they are poor. Pr 13:7

...Duties of a Citizen
Pray for government leaders, 1 Tim 2:1-2, and honor them. Rom 13:7; 1 Pet 2:17.
Obey gov't.Rm13:1-5;1Pet2:13-16, but God's law is higher.Ac4:19-20;Dan3:8-18.
Even in disobeying an evil king, one should still honor the king. Dan 6:4-21
We should not speak evil of the ruler of our people. Acts 23:2-5; Ex 22:28
It is OK to serve in secular gov't. Gen 41:41-44; Neh 1:11; Dan 6:4; 1 Ki 18:3-4,14
Hiding from evil gov't is OK.Pr27:12;Am5:13;1Ki17:2-10;18:4,9-14;1Sm19:11-12
Don't rebel, Pr17:11;28:2;Isa1:23;Jer42:10-11, unless due cause.2Ki9;1Ki11:29-40
Pay your taxes; it is proper for a government to collect them. Mt 22:17; Rom 13:7
Before a ruler, do not exalt yourself, Pr 25:6,27, or be a glutton or greedy. Pr 23:1-3


...Attitude Toward Government Officials
God can direct the king's heart as He pleases; God's plans prevail.Pr21:1; 19:21
Know that a crown (or political office) is never totally secure. Pr 27:24
Those who seek God fully understand justice (Pr28:5), which gives stability. Pr 29:4
Gov't should value its people.Pr14:28. It is founded on righteousness.Pr16:10,12
As with ants & locusts, a ruler is not always key to get things done.Pr6:6-8;30:27
Rulers as well as others, should not be proud. Pr3:5-6;~11:2;~13:10;21:24;30:29-31
A ruler should not be wise in his own eyes.Pr3:7; 12:15; 26:12,16; 28:11
Women, Pr 31:3, & alcohol, Pr 31:4;23:29-35, can ruin rulers.

...A ruler should not
Do not be a tyrant.(Pr 28:15-16), unjust (Pr 17:10), deprive people of rights. Pr 31:5
Don't take bribes (Ps15:5;Pr15:27;17:23;28:16;29:4;Is1:23;5:13;1Sam4:3-4;5:13; 12:3;Ex23:8;Ecc7:7;Dt16:19;Am5:12). Don't drink while governing. Pr31:4-5
Do not praise the wicked, but rather resist them. Pr 17:12; 28:4
Don't listen to lies. Pr 29:12; rather value those who speak truth. Pr16:3; 17:7,13
Caution is OK, but do not be swayed by the fear of others. Pr 29:25
Do not steal, rather defend orphans and widows. Isa 1:23
Do not give food to those who refuse to work. 2 Th 3:10; Pr 16:26
Do not hoard food when people need it. Pr 11:26
Don't oppress the poor (Pr 28:3; 22:16) or have exorbitant interest rates. Pr 28:8

...A ruler should
Get rid of all the evil he sees (Pr 20:8,26; 25:4-5); punish false witnesses. Pr 19:5
Have people be reluctant to do him or his country wrong. Pr 19:12; 20:2
Gov't has a duty to maintain order, Pr28:2. It's OK to train for war.Ps144:1;149:6-8
Gov't bears the sword against evildoers, Rom13:4, and external foes Dt20:1;Jdg3,4.
The rulers under you should be righteous and people of integrity. Pr 29:2; Neh 7:2
Women leaders, such as Deborah, are OK. Judges 4:4-10;5:1
For waging war have many advisers. Pr 20:18; 24:6; ~12:15
Have skilled people working for you (Pr22:29); don't have lazy messengers.Pr10:26
Speak up for those who cannot, and defend the rights of the needy. Pr 31:8-9

...The Courts
Justice is based on God's standard, not man's, Pr29:26. No foolish laws. Pr8:15
Bring things quickly to court.Pr25:7-8; don't accuse someone without cause.Pr24:28
Don't sue another believer,1Cor 6:1-8. Don't betray a friend's confidence.Pr25:9-10
Do not call the guilty innocent or the innocent guilty. Pr 24:23-25; 17:15; Dt 25:1
Judge poor & non-citizens fairly,Pr29:14;Dt24:17-18, don't exploit. Pr22:22-23
Do not mock at justice, Pr 19:28. Do not hold court judges in contempt. Dt 17:12 Do not punish parents for their kids or vice versa. Dt 24:16; Ezek 18:13-14; 17-20
Working as a lawyer is OK, Tt 3:13. Do not bear false witness. Ex 20:16; Dt 5:20
Treat unintentional wrongs less than intentional ones. Nu35:18-28; Ex21:12-14

Salt and Light in This World

... Authority & Respect In Society
Honor secular authority; obey laws subject to God's. Tt3:1;Rm13:1-7;1Pt2:13-18
There are examples to disobey laws that are against God. Ex3-12;Dan3,6;Ac4:19
Respect elderly.Lv19:32;1Tm5:2.Give proper respect. 1Pt2:17;3:16;Ep6:1-5;Tt2:10
Don't let go of God's commands for tradition. Mt15:3-9;Mk7:1-13;Is29:13;1Pt1:18

... Discerning vs. Judging
We must not to judge, condemn, or pass sentence on others' souls or eventual salvation. Mt7:1-5;Lk6:37;Rm2:1-4. God is the One Judge of that. Jms4:11-12
Do not judge other believers on their serving God. Rm14:4,10,13;Jms2:4;4:11-12
Do judge people's actions & words & those inside the church.1Cr4:1;5:1-2,11-13;6 :1-6;Php2:29;1Th5:12-14;2Th3:14-15. Judge right/wrong for all things. 1Cr2:15

... Stand Up Individually & Together Against Evil
We are not ignorers of evil, but salt & light in this world. Mt5:13-6;Php2:15-16
We resist the wicked. Pr28:4. We testify against evil & evildoers. Lv5:1
The church expels defiant sinners.1Cr5:9-11. We warn of people.3Jn9-10;2Tm2:17
Our enemies are not people, but dark spiritual forces. Ep2:12;2Cr10:3-5
Don't approve of evil. Rm1:32

... Praying for & Blessing Those Who Persecute Us
When insulted, wronged/persecuted, we respond with blessings/prayers.Lk6:27-34;Mt5:43-7
Do not hold grudges. 1Cr13:5-6;Ep4:26;Mt18:21-22;Ezk25:15;35:5;Lv19:18
Don't pay back evil for evil, but overcome evil with good; feed & give drink to your enemies and pray for them. Rom12:17-21;Pr25:21-22;Lk6:35;~Mt5:44

... We Have a Responsibility to Evangelize & Make Disciples
We obey God & preach the word, & not just live a godly life.2Tm4:2,5;Mt28:19-20
We demonstrate the Gospel with our lives, & not just share words.1Th1:5,6;2:7-10
We should (without distortion) all make God's teaching attractive. Tt2:10;2Cr4:2
Be sincere & don't use flattery or deceit.1Th2:3-5;1Tm2:7;Tt2:7-8;2Cr7:19;1Pt2:1
Jesus gave requirements to being His disciple.Lk14:26-35;Jn13:34-35;15:8;8:31-32
In an appropriate way, patiently correct, rebuke, encourage. 2Tm4:2;1Th5:14
Persuade/correct/teach people.2Cr5:11;10:4-5;Ac2:40;26:28-29. We should have an answer "full of salt" for all, with gentleness & respect. Co4:6;1Pt3:15-16
Rebuke/warn/correct as John the B., Jesus, Paul, James, Peter & Jude. Mt3:7-10
Comfort/encourage/honor. 2Cr1:4-5;He3:13;10:24-25;1Th4:18;Php2:29;1Tm5:17
Preach helpful & sound (not questionable) doctrine. Ac20:20;Tt2:1;2Tm4:3-4

... We Have a Responsibility to Grow/Improve & Help Others Grow
Grow in grace & knowledge 2Pt3:18. Build ourselves up in faith Jude20;1Pt2:2
Spur others to love & good deeds. He3:13;10:24-25;1Th3:2;4:18;5:11;~Rm12:8
Don't stumble them.Ml2:8;Mt18:6-7;Mk9:42;Rm14:13-21;1Cr8:7-13;10:32;2Cr6:3
Bring back wanderers.Jms5:19-20.Rebuke should be Biblically patterned.Mt18:15-7
Teach/encourage others to remain faithful. 2Pt11:10-11;3:14,17;1Jn5:21;Jude3,21

Church Life

We should try to guard our disciples from going astray.
... Unity in Christ and Division from False Christians
Unity in Christ is spiritual/internal Ep4:3, relational/cooperative Ps133, worshipful Rm15:5-7, a witness Jn17:23, & to stand against opposition. Php1:27-28
Preserve unity in Christ & help others to do so. Ep4:3;1Cr1:10;Rm15:7;Php4:2-3
Don't stir dissension among believers. Pr6:19;28:25;29:22;~Co2:18-9;Ga4:17;5:10
No lawsuits against believers; believers should arbitrate disputes.1Cr6:1-8;Jms2:6-7
Accept as bros. all who Jesus does. Rm15:7;Php4:21;1Th5:26;He13:24;Mk9:38-41
Greet all God's churches &believers.Rm16:16;1Cr16:20;2Cr13:12;1Pt5:14;2Jn9-10
No unity with unbelievers 2Cr6:14-18; defiant Christians & who deny God's power 1Cr5:11,12;2Tm3:1-5, warned, divisive people Tt3:10-11, & idle. 2Th3:6,14-15
We should use our gifts & desire the greater gifts. 1Pt4:10; 1Cr12:31
All must pray, be holy, etc.1Tm2:8;Hb12:14;2Tm3:17;Jas2:17
Some have special roles.Ep4:11-13. No believer has all spiritual gifts. 1Cr12:29-31

... Obey, Honor, & Test Christian Leaders
Consider their lives; imitate their faith. He13:7;1Pt5:3;Php3:17;4:9;1Tm4:12;2Th4
Obey/submit to our shepherds' authority, as they follow Christ. He13:17;1Cr11:1;2Pt2:10
Leaders must not lord over the flock, who belong to Jesus. Ac20:28;1Pt5:3;2Cr1:24
Honor & do not despise elders, paid leaders & others in the church. 1Th5:12-13;Ga 6:6;Php2:29;Tt2:15;1Cr9:3-14;16:18;1Tm3:1;5:17-18;Mt10:10
Leaders should train others. 2Tm2:1-2. Don't lightly accept accusations. 2Tm5:19
Test. Re2:2,20;Mt7:15-20;2Co11:2-6,13-5;Php3:2;2Th2:3;2Tm3:5,9;2Pt3:17;1J4:1

... We Have a Responsibility to Oppose False Teachers
Guard that they not lead you & others astray. 1Jn2:26;3:7;4:1;2Jn7-8;Re2:16; 2Pt2:2;Ac20:28-29. Rescue strayers. Jude23;~Jms5:19;Ga3:1-5;4:9-23;5:2-7
Do not welcome false teachers 2Jn8, or even tolerate them. Re2:2,6,20;~Pr25:26
contend for the faith.Php1:27;4:3; refute false teachers.1Tm1:3;Tt1:9-11;Jd3;Mt23

... At Least in Prior Times
OT believers obeyed the entire OT Law: moral, ceremonial, & judicial. ~Jms2:10
No sexual intercourse during wife's monthly period. Lv18:19;20:18;Ezk18:6;22:10
Don't eat idol-gifts,blood,strangledMeat.Gn9:4;Lv17:10-4;19:26;Ac15:19-29;21:25;Ez33:25

... From Now Until Judgment Day
Do not to worship any other, or receive the beast's mark. Re13:16-17;14:9-11;19:20
Do not be deceived by false Christs. 1Jn2:18,22-27;Mt24:4-5,11,23-26;Lk21:8
Believers are to be alert, & not be caught spiritually sleeping. Lk21:34-35;1Th5:4-8
All Christians should leave Babylon, a spiritual prostitute drunk on the blood of the saints. Re17:4;18:4-24;19:2;~Is52:11,~Jer 50:8;51:6;45-47;~Zc2:7;~2Cr6:14-18

Titus 1:16, John 14:23-24, James 2:14-26, & other verses show that obedience to the Lord & works are an essential result of salvation. 1 Cor 13:3 shows that the greatest actions, without love, are nothing. Eph 2:9-10 show that works are not a means (or input) that saves us, but rather a purpose for which we are saved.

For more info please contact Christian Debater™ P.O. Box 144441 Austin, TX 78714 www.BibleQuery.org

by Steven M. Morrison, PhD.