Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reflection - Godliness and Persecution

Source (book): "Faithful to the end", Chapter 9, Question 2, Page 135.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).
PHOTO: Scripture says, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). A source of comfort; "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20). We are in conflict with sinful flesh, the world systems, and the god of this world, the devil. But, God is more powerful than all of these.
Amazing creations of Photographer/editor Marina Gondra
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3WJ6ChAXbkA/VlQzgm7XqnI/AAAAAAAAiSw/nTXP4OIAvPU/s1600/photo-48708888.jpg
https://drscdn.500px.org/photo/48708888/m%3D2048/b9fa76ec6f0993ab0dc5e6fe0f70f22d - (photo-48708888.jpg)
https://500px.com/photo/48708888/nunca-jam%C3%A1s-by-marina-gondra?ctx_page=2&from=user&user_id=117665
https://500px.com/marinagondra
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/02/reflection-devil-flesh-and-world.html



"Every one who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). Reflect on whether this statement has been true in your own experience. Why do you think godliness and persecution go together? What should Christian do when they are persecuted?

"Every one who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). Reflect on whether this statement has been true in your own experience.
Yes, and all those who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. When times are bad and the economies are collapsing, we can see these persecutions punching on those who persists to accomplish tasks according to standard procedures. During the last days of a surviving company, employees or contractors have to manipulate testing procedures to obtain the result that are suitable to market their products.



During the last days of a barely surviving company, employees or contractors have to manipulate testing procedures to obtain the result that are suitable to market their products.
PHOTO: During the last days of a barely surviving company, employees or contractors have to manipulate testing procedures to obtain the result that are suitable to market their products.
Picture posted by Divya Marathi web team on 25 July 2015 at 15:43 PM IST
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1xlkU8IsaKo/VzwXNiwdAAI/AAAAAAAAjzU/eGvSysLy0CQj9s7dA_S5VnVKIpSiF3I3wCLcB/s1600/4facebook_2_1437747268_14.jpg
http://i9.dainikbhaskar.com/thumbnail/680x588/web2images/divyamarathi.bhaskar.com/2015/07/25/4facebook_2_1437747268_14.jpg
http://divyamarathi.bhaskar.com/news/BUS-GADN-you-will-freak-out-when-you-find-out-the-things-facebook-can-do-5063837-PHO.html?seq=2&OF5=



1. When a new product to be developed with new functions to suit the current time, it is inevitable that certain characteristics will suffer, given the limited size and compactness of the product. Employees make desperate attempts to conduct the same tests over and over again in order to obtain just one instance with result that are acceptable. This is done without doing any improvement to the product whatsoever. The extreme best value of the test results, instead of the average value obtained,  is used to represent the functioning ability of the product. It is then launch into the market. Then the company waits for negative feedback before rectifying the problems. If the employee go for the correct result, he will be considered irresponsible or incapable because the product cannot meet the requirement and cannot be sold.



Example of a false-positive test result in an extremely low (practically zero) probability situation.

PHOTO: Example of a false-positive test result in an extremely low (practically zero) probability situation. False-positive test results can have deleterious consequences if not recognised.
Picture posted by Melisande Rouger on Sunday, 9 March 2014
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZgKPOvIxwsk/VzwXPwnCUkI/AAAAAAAAj0M/I6ihmkP27IMAXalCmy9bYkSiUWtMPyilgCLcB/s1600/p9_Sunday_SF15b_Figure-1-cartoon-FP.jpg
http://blog.myesr.org/wp_live_esr11_23zcq/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/p9_Sunday_SF15b_Figure-1-cartoon-FP.jpg
http://blog.myesr.org/experts-share-strategies-to-help-radiologists-justify-their-imaging-decisions/



2. Setting of benchmark can also be falsified. Purposely different and tougher criterion are used to test other models of the product. The new model during development is tested less harshly. It is then concluded that the new model is equally durable and maybe better. The integrity of the test personnel is compromised. They follow instructions loyally, and very quickly the new model is considered fit to go into the market. Quality suffers. The temporary tester's contract is pre-planned to end very soon after. Righteous tester could possibly have their contract ended even much earlier.



We cannot change a corporation's moral compass, but we can change the benchmark.
PHOTO: We cannot change a corporation's moral compass, but we can change the benchmark.
Picture posted by Adam Kerin, Mobile Product Marketing Manager on 24 September 2015
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UhOBxavvcCE/VzwXOHx1PMI/AAAAAAAAjzg/cek8By93MDkIz3twrV7SVTOQhqD98gLTQCLcB/s1600/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAQmAAAAJDliZTg0ZDM5LWVjOWUtNDYwZi04MDNkLTNmYjdjODIyYWIxOQ.jpg
https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_800_800/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAQmAAAAJDliZTg0ZDM5LWVjOWUtNDYwZi04MDNkLTNmYjdjODIyYWIxOQ.jpg
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vw-scandal-bad-beetles-broken-benchmarks-adam-kerin



Why do you think godliness and persecution go together? [1a]
While the Bible is filled with promises that make glad the heart of the Christian, there are promises, predictions if you prefer in this instance, which make the Christian heart step back. This is one of those: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)


Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

PHOTO: Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
Picture posted by Haiku Deck on 19 November 2015
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Y-gpEiJ3fu4/VzwXOfdLnwI/AAAAAAAAjzk/O1PRSeSIq-Q0mgypPzJHCVXRLHciUrztwCLcB/s1600/EC1ACAA9-C458-476B-BBFF-BD8911D7FD98-1.jpg
http://a339062bb12acaf0447f-fe54b552272646221985f1a127513c68.r76.cf2.rackcdn.com/EC1ACAA9-C458-476B-BBFF-BD8911D7FD98.jpg
https://www.haikudeck.com/title-inspiration-presentation-nqypUwXKLv



The spiritual dynamic behind this verse is simple enough. The world is not godly, moreover it hates godliness. In particular, the world hates those people who point to or speak of Christ. To the world godliness, Jesus-likeness, is offensive, it is putrid (rotting smell) smelling, indeed, it is the odor of death to those who are perishing. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16) Therefore the world will naturally hate Christ-likeness. Any and all who desire to live like Christ, to walk as he walked, to love as he loved, to hate sin and evil as he hated it, to love the Father as he loved the Father, to hold loosely to the world as he held it loosely, will be hated by the world. Jesus warned us, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).



The world is not godly, moreover it hates godliness.

PHOTO: The world is not godly, moreover it hates godliness. Jesus warned us, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). To the world godliness, Jesus-likeness, is offensive, it is putrid (rotting smell) smelling, indeed, it is the odor of death to those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 2:15-16). The world gathers more boldness and gives full vent to its natural hatred, persecuting of believers.
Painting by Gustave Doré (1832–1883) - The Stoning of Stephen
Picture posted by Words on the Word on 18 May 2014

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--xcOQbV7rRg/VzwXQEIgzkI/AAAAAAAAj0Q/QbUJAyXjARss8H2Y5Ab71X-jn2AuoJgcACLcB/s1600/stoning-of-stephen-1.jpg
https://abramkj.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/stoning-of-stephen.jpg
https://abramkj.com/2014/05/18/becoming-a-living-martyr/



From this internal hatred the world will act. It will want to eliminate those who are like Christ. That elimination will proceed through various stages. Mildly, they will dislike and avoid Christ-like people. More seriously, they will slander and belittle his followers. Even more harmfully, they will exclude, demote and terminate the employment of believers. Finally, they will harm, imprison and execute Christians. Persecution runs through these stages as the world gathers more boldness and gives full vent to its natural hatred. Each stage, from dislike to martyrdom is real persecution. We should understand them as such. The world’s hatred leads naturally to its persecution of believers.



From this internal hatred the world will act.

PHOTO: From this internal hatred the world will act. That elimination will proceed through various stages. Finally, they will harm, imprison and execute Christians. Each stage, from dislike to martyrdom is real persecution. The world’s hatred leads naturally to its persecution of believers of godliness.
Painting Gustave Doré (1832–1883) - Jesus Scourged
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-P9wXAK9Hfto/VzwXOzW1AjI/AAAAAAAAjz0/HhT3eRnpyag83WoSYlJ20DO621Qydlb1QCLcB/s1600/bible0207.jpg
http://cdn2.all-art.org/dore/bible0207.jpg
http://www.all-art.org/dore/history1-bible31.html



We, of course, fear persecution. That is only natural and normal. We should not expect, even as those who desire to live godly lives, to naturally welcome or love persecution. God may grant us peace in the midst of persecution, even joy for being counted worthy of suffering for Christ, but the anticipation of suffering is humanly frightful. Even our Lord asked if his cup of suffering might pass him by. It is important to remember this, that we will naturally fear persecution.



We, of course, fear persecution.

PHOTO: We, of course, fear persecution. That is only natural and normal. Even our Lord asked if his cup of suffering might pass him by. It is important to remember this, that we will naturally fear persecution.
Painting Gustave Doré (1832–1883) - Christ Presented to the People
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-P6RvnbmvaEI/VzwXPIsYOzI/AAAAAAAAjz8/-q_xB-zH2kAl0rXLCruBjQ030uYmta7wwCLcB/s1600/bible0210.jpg
http://cdn2.all-art.org/dore/bible0210.jpg
http://www.all-art.org/dore/history1-bible31.html



This fear of persecution has a natural impact in us. We tend to shy away from being so much like Jesus that the world will want to hate us and persecute us. Rather than allowing Christ to shine through us, we intentionally dim his lamp, hiding it under a bushel, so that we may pass undetected through a world scornful of Christians. I am fond of repeating the story of the Christian freshman at a state university. When asked by his parents how things were going in his first semester he replied: “Really great, no one even knows I am a Christian yet.” Little comfort to his parents, presumably, even less to his Lord.



This fear of persecution has a natural impact in us.

PHOTO: This fear of persecution has a natural impact in us. We tend to shy away from being so much like Jesus that the world will want to hate us and persecute us.
Painting Gustave Doré (1832–1883) - Christ Mocked
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EpvO0tkfapg/VzwXPFPXqRI/AAAAAAAAjz4/71qpuR0-MNEe79oqCgFTtDy2wb3NLclPQCLcB/s1600/bible0209.jpg
http://cdn2.all-art.org/dore/bible0209.jpg
http://www.all-art.org/dore/history1-bible31.html



We will naturally fear persecution, however, we must not allow that natural fear to overpower what should be a greater desire - to be like Jesus.  We are not warned that persecution follows those who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus so that we may avoid being persecuted. Far rather, we are told this to encourage us toward godliness by preparing us for the suffering that follows. Think of how shocked and discouraged we should be, had God told us: “Be godly and the world will reward you.” When in fact, we do find ourselves disliked and excluded for following Christ. How much more helpful our Master, Christ, has been to tell us this important truth, so that we might all the more desire to be godly while preparing for whatever shape persecution takes towards us. Forewarned is forearmed.



We will naturally fear persecution.

PHOTO: We will naturally fear persecution. We are not warned that persecution follows those who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus so that we may avoid being persecuted.
Painting Gustave Doré (1832–1883) - Jesus Falling Beneath the Cross
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WBMdK6PIZMY/VzwXPYV-CQI/AAAAAAAAj0A/yGqyFtEkQBo4ekRuTNYTUZSzyaPt2s6-gCLcB/s1600/bible0211.jpg
http://cdn2.all-art.org/dore/bible0211.jpg
http://www.all-art.org/dore/history1-bible31.html



This is the way our Master went. He knew well the cost of living a godly life in this godless world. The world hated him, slandered him, excluded, harmed, imprisoned and killed him.  And he calls us to follow him. We dare choose no other path. For to be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of Christ. (James 4:4) We must choose our alliances carefully. The world and its desires do pass away, but whoever does Gods’ will, whoever lives a godly life in Christ Jesus, lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17)



This is the way our Master went.

PHOTO: This is the way our Master went. He knew well the cost of living a godly life in this godless world. The world hated him, slandered him, excluded, harmed, imprisoned and killed him.
Painting Gustave Doré (1832–1883) - The Crucifixion
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MTY9Htdxxdw/VzwXPozI6tI/AAAAAAAAj0E/Rl9PJhQIY8I01B_-IV-M_5F7K75ki3mrACLcB/s1600/bible0215.jpg
http://cdn2.all-art.org/dore/bible0215.jpg
http://www.all-art.org/dore/history1-bible31.html



It appears likely that more and more serious persecution awaits Christians in the United States. We have moved from grudgingly respected, to tolerated, to hated in less than a life-time. As my wife, Ann, who was a non-Christian in her early high-school years, says: “When I was young we hated Christians because they were good. Now the world hates us because we are bad.

We face a daily choice, either to follow Jesus - desiring to live a godly life in Christ Jesus - or to avoid persecution. We cannot do both.



We have moved from grudgingly respected, to tolerated, to hated in less than a life-time.

PHOTO: We have moved from grudgingly respected, to tolerated, to hated in less than a life-time. We face a daily choice, either to follow Jesus - desiring to live a godly life in Christ Jesus - or to avoid persecution. We cannot do both. Godliness and Persecution go together.
Painting Gustave Doré (1832–1883) - St. Peter Denying Christ
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NU1_hsPSt5w/VzwXO8152GI/AAAAAAAAjzw/q52MFQaVSog-LfMWq2UlOwlOF6fGGfDmQCLcB/s1600/bible0206.jpg
http://cdn2.all-art.org/dore/bible0206.jpg
http://www.all-art.org/dore/history1-bible31.html



Let us follow Jesus, ready for what we know is coming. For to follow Jesus is to find eternal life. When the causal disciples of Jesus began to realize that following him was going to mean difficulty, many of them turned aside. Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Peter spoke for every true believer when he replied: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:67-68) Let us follow Jesus, desiring to live a godly life in him, becoming like him more and more, in both the power of his resurrection and, however hesitatingly, in the fellowship of his suffering. (Philippians 3:10)



Sometimes Christ leads us into a situation to test our faith – to reveal the truth about our level of faith, and our need to grow closer to Him.

PHOTO: Sometimes Christ leads us into a situation to test our faith – to reveal the truth about our level of faith, and our need to grow closer to Him. Had Peter had the faith to realize that even in the bonds that his accusers had placed upon him – even with a company of soldiers standing guard and seeking to beat and humiliate Him, Christ was still the Lord. He still had all the power and authority Peter and the other disciples had witnessed over the last three years. Jesus allowed them to arrest Him for a greater purpose, but Peter did not understand and his faith suffered.
Let us follow Jesus, desiring to live a godly life in him, becoming like him more and more, in both the power of his resurrection and, however hesitatingly, in the fellowship of his suffering. (Philippians 3:10)
Posted by Coach on 8 July 2012
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http://www.coachbrown.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Peter-Denies-Jesus.jpg
http://www.coachbrown.org/faltering-faith-reveals-our-need-john-1815-18-25-27/



What should Christian do when they are persecuted?
The Challenge to Timothy [1]
Paul's character was exposed to Timothy. Paul has an unshakeable faith in God. His purposes were godly for he sought to glorify God. He showed godly qualities of patience, love, and endurance. His reactions in suffering were exemplary. How refreshingly different Paul was from the false teachers and the other terrible people of the last days. As Timothy looked at Paul's character, he would have being convinced and inspired. Paul walked his talk and offered a great example for Timothy to emulate.



Paul's character was exposed to Timothy.

PHOTO: Paul's character was exposed to Timothy. Paul has an unshakeable faith in God. His purposes were godly for he sought to glorify God. He showed godly qualities of patience, love, and endurance. His reactions in suffering were exemplary.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - The Beheading of Saint Paul by Enrique Simonet, 1887
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xFdOINF9Zio/VzwXNzlXnGI/AAAAAAAAjzc/_HZSOZFIdegFzCgV6djWSSUfKj7uimwyQCLcB/s1600/1024px-Decapitaci%25C3%25B3n_de_San_Pablo_-_Simonet_-_1887.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cf/Decapitaci%C3%B3n_de_San_Pablo_-_Simonet_-_1887.jpg/1024px-Decapitaci%C3%B3n_de_San_Pablo_-_Simonet_-_1887.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_the_Apostle



Because Paul's practice matched his preaching, he has the credibility and authority to exhort Timothy to be different from the world. His words "as for you" (2 Timothy 3:14) made that clear. The following story illustrates how difficult this can be.

Have you heard the story about the actor who was playing the part of Christ in the Passion Play in the Ozarks? As he carried the cross up the hill a tourist began heckling
[interrupt (a public speaker)], making fun of him, and shouting insults at him. Finally, the actor had taken all of it he could take. So he threw down his cross, walked over to the tourist, and punched him out.


Heckling [interrupt (a public speaker)]

PHOTO: Heckling [interrupt (a public speaker)]
Picture posted by Francesca Chambers on 30 July 2014 at 18:59 GMT
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ULTgmOd7-kU/VzwXOt4lOzI/AAAAAAAAjzs/r6Wdfb-MYpkvtedbcl9AkZJ4QG0XMDQtgCLcB/s1600/article-0-2021CD9200000578-279_638x425.jpg
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/07/30/article-0-2021CD9200000578-279_638x425.jpg
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2711157/I-believe-God-Obama-thanks-woman-interrupted-speech-prayer.html



After the play was over, the director told him, "I know he was a pest, but I can't condone what you did. Beside, you're playing the part of Jesus, and Jesus never retaliated. So don't do anything like that again." Well, the man promised he wouldn't. But the next day the heckler was back worse than before, and finally the actor exploded and punched hm out again.

The director said, "That it. I have to fire you. We just can't have you behaving this way while playing the part of Jesus." The actor begged, "Please give me one more chance. I really need this Job, and I can handle it if it happen again." So the director decided to give him another chance.

The next day he was carrying his cross up the street. Sure enough, the heckler was there again. You could tell that the actor was really trying to control himself, but it was about to get the best of him. He was clinching his fists and grinding his teeth. Finally, he looked at the heckler and said, "I'll meet you after the resurrection!"

You know, sometimes it is hard for those who profess to be Christians to behave kike Christian should. We try to carry our crosses, but if someone crosses us, we tend to lode our composure and behave in much the same way the rest of the world behaves. [2]

We are called to be different from the world. Not only must we not associate with the terrible people of the last days, we are to be different from them, demonstrating Christ-like character instead. Without this critical difference, we have no real message for a world in dire need of Christ. We display neither the truth nor the power of God if our character is no different from the worldly people around us. Scottish theologian P.T. Forsyth aptly warns: "Unless there is within us that which is above us, we shall soon yield to that which is about us." [3]


We are called to be different from the world.
PHOTO: We are called to be different from the world. We are to be different from them, demonstrating Christ-like character instead.
Picture posted by Philip Heng, Jesuit Singapore Website
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GUhI1e0vsHY/Vya2NCTe98I/AAAAAAAAjsc/O2sbYL6ij9gBDDt4ZwljruQmoUnp6arUQCLcB/s1600/good.samaritan1.jpg
http://www.jesuit.org.sg/graphics/prayer/homilies/good.samaritan1.jpg
http://www.jesuit.org.sg/html/prayer/homilies/2013.yearc.15ordsun.php



There are two realities that can help us to ensure that we have the character of Christ in a world of ugly character and behaviour: Firstly, our mentors; and secondly, the Word of God.

Our Mentor [1]
Timothy was urged to "continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of" (2 Timothy 3:14), and not compromise or abandon his conviction. The premise is "because you know those from whom you learned it." This refers to Paul as well as Timothy's mother and grandmother. Here we see the power of mentoring by example. It brings conviction and confidence to persevere, to hold on, and to stand firm amid a deteriorating world. Timothy must continue to abide in what he has learned.


The power of mentoring
PHOTO: The power of mentoring
"continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of" (2 Timothy 3:14). To persevere, to hold on, and to stand firm amid a deteriorating world.
Picture posted by GospelGifs
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-y0YffJLULZk/Vya2NxcaQxI/AAAAAAAAjso/6t7lpf1RCGAccHRsQ9J_l_wZABBRIPJNQCLcB/s1600/jesus_calls_02.gif
http://gospelgifs.com/art_pages_05/images/jesus_calls_02.gif
http://gospelgifs.com/art_pages_05/picture_jesus_calls_02.htm


So firstly, what helps us to be different from the world in our character and conduct is the positive influence of our spiritual mentors.

The Word of God [1]
The Word of God helps us to maintain Christian character in an ungodly world. Paul reminded Timothy of "how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). Here again, we see the key role of the Bible in shaping and stabilising us. In an unwise and coarse world, the Bible gives us wisdom from above to be godly and to experience salvation through faith in Christ in an ever-depending way.


In an unwise and coarse world, the Bible gives us wisdom from above to be godly and to experience salvation through faith in Christ in an ever-depening way.
PHOTO: In an unwise and coarse world, the Bible gives us wisdom from above to be godly and to experience salvation through faith in Christ in an ever-depending way.
Picture posted by Alianta Evanghelica on 12 January 2016
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https://aliantaevanghelica.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/citirea-sfintei-scripturi-si-rugaciunea-sunt-doua-arme-puternice-impotriva-pacatului.jpg
https://aliantaevanghelica.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/alianta-evanghelica-acuza-publicatia-evenimentul-zilei-ca-a-jignit-biserica-penticostala-si-a-dezinformat-cititorii-romani/



Paul coined the term God-breathed, Greek theopneustos, to remind us that the Bible has God's breath in it, that if we care to observe carefully [4], God speaks through its words [5]. As we read the Bible regularly and seriously, we are taught, rebuked, corrected, and trained in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). As John Wesley observed, the same Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of the Bible also "continually inspires, supernaturally assists" us as we prayerfully read it; hence the invaluable effects of Bible reading in our lives [6].



Paul coined the term God-breathed, Greek theopneustos, to remind us that the Bible has God's breath in it, that if we care to observe carefully [4], God speaks through its words [5].

PHOTO: Paul coined the term God-breathed, Greek theopneustos, to remind us that the Bible has God's breath in it, that if we care to observe carefully [4], God speaks through its words [5]. As we read the Bible regularly and seriously, we are taught, rebuked, corrected, and trained in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
Picture posted by John The Baptist Artworks
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZYtEjGp9mds/VzwXPrwDX8I/AAAAAAAAj0I/rpcrIymwGRQXt06ZCc01CrGcHD3grk0LACLcB/s1600/my_words_are_spirit_and_life-1024x721.jpg
http://jtbarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/my_words_are_spirit_and_life-1024x721.jpg
http://jtbarts.com/is-god-real/5-hasnt-the-bible-been-lost-in-translations/



The Bible has important functions in our lives - both corrective and formative, for both creed and conduct. without it, we will be no different from the wicked world. Because of the multi-faceted ministry of the Bible in our lives, John Stott is right in stating that "Scripture is the chief means which God employs to bring the 'man of God' to maturity" [7]. The Holy Spirit uses Scripture to do His Work of sanctification in the believer, as the Reformers clearly understood. They insisted that the Holy Spirit speaks primarily through the Word and that the Word cannot be understood without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, there exist today views that seem to force a choice between the Spirit and the Word. There are some whose main diet is what they understand to be Spirit-inspired visions. They hold on to their visions and promptings without checking whether these were in accordance with or contrary to Scripture. On the other hand, there are others who reduce the study of the Bible to technical and legalistic exercise without benefit of the illumination of the Holy Spirit and His assistance in applying Scripture to life. Both Groups demonstrate a failure to understand the deep connection between Scripture and the intentions and methods of the Holy Spirit.



The Holy Spirit uses Scripture to do His Work of sanctification in the believer.

PHOTO: The Holy Spirit uses Scripture to do His Work of sanctification in the believer. The Holy Spirit speaks primarily through the Word and that the Word cannot be understood without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. There is a deep connection between Scripture and the intentions and methods of the Holy Spirit.
Picture posted by Sue Cummins, The Sword of the Spirit, June / July 2015 - Vol. 80
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-iC6R4oimhTs/VzwXQEWN_mI/AAAAAAAAj0U/3Kx6fvtOnIQ7oX_5h1APLWUlb3068HvLQCLcB/s1600/what-is-the-holy-spirit2-720x420.jpg
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The faithful and regular use of the Bible will help us to be "thoroughly equipped for every good work:" (2 Timothy 3:17). Not only does the Holy Spirit use the Bible to produce Christian character, He also produces Christian ministry in a terrible world - the focus of the next chapter.



Not only does the Holy Spirit use the Bible to produce Christian character, He also produces Christian ministry in a terrible world.

PHOTO: Not only does the Holy Spirit use the Bible to produce Christian character, He also produces Christian ministry in a terrible world.

"Dear Lord, We pray for your help to endure persecutions and to persevere being faithful to You.
Please be our Mentor. You have already set Your examples when You Carry the cross up to Calvary to save us while we are sinners.
Please help us to study Your Words so that the Holy Spirit can sanctify us. Amen!
"
 

Picture posted by art-kingdom.com - The Ascent to Calvary detail
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Reflection - Godliness and Persecution
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



Reference

[1] From "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, Copyright © 2014 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-241-0, PART THREE: UNLIKE THE WORLD, Chapter 9 "Christian Character in a Terrible World" (2 Timothy 3:10-17), Page 132-136.

[1a] Persecution Anyone?, posted by Rev. Dr. Tom Hawkes on 2 November 2015, http://www.uptownchurch.org/persecution-anyone/

[2] This story has been told and retold by many preachers, e.g. Melvin Newland, "The Most Exellent Way," sermon on 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, posted on www.sermoncentral.com.

[3] Quoted in Bll Bright and Henry Brandt, Soul Prescription: Experiencing True Healing and Freedom (Enumclaw, WA: WinePress Publication, 2009), 19.

[4] Wright, The Pastoral Letters, 120.

[5] Witherington, Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians, 360.

[6] Wesley, Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testatment, 2 Timothy 3:16, 794.

[7] Stott, The Message of 2 Timothy, 103.

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1 John 2:15-17 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+John+2%3A15-17&version=NIV

2 Corinthians 2:15-16 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Cor.+2%3A15-16&version=NIV

2 Timothy 3:10-17 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A10-17&version=NIV

2 Timothy 3:12 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A12&version=NIV

2 Timothy 3:14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A14&version=NIV

2 Timothy 3:15 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A15&version=NIV

2 Timothy 3:16 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A16&version=NIV

2 Timothy 3:17 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+3%3A17&version=NIV

James 4:4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+4%3A4&version=NIV

John 6:67-68 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+6%3A67-68&version=NIV

John 15:18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+15%3A18&version=NIV

Philippians 3:10 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Phil.+3%3A10&version=NIV

Revelation 22:20 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+22%3A20&version=NIV