Every Believer Must Do Good Works and Proclaim the Gospel

As opposed to bearing “bad fruit”, which means doing evil works,

…but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Matthew 7:17)

Which are sins and transgressions, such as evil works that break any of these commands in the Law,

…if she begins to fornicate…she shall be burnt with fire. (Leviticus 21:9 [JB2000])

You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol…
(Exodus 20:3-4 [NASB])

You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14 [ESV])

A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak…
(Deuteronomy 22:5 [ESV])

If a man lies with a male as with a woman…they shall surely be put to death… (Leviticus 20:13 [ESV])

You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15 [ESV])

You shall not covet…anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17 [NASB])

You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people… (Leviticus 19:16 [NASB])

“‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor… (Leviticus 19:13 [NIV])

 All who come to the belief of Jesus Christ must then begin to yield “good fruit”,

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16 [ESV])

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19 [ESV])

Which means to do “good works”, hence,

so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, (Colossians 1:10 [NIV])

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8 [ESV])

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21 [ESV])

that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:17 [ESV])

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16 [NIV])

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
(James 3:13 [ESV])

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:14 [ESV])

Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
(Titus 3:13-14 [NIV])

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10 [NIV])

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, (1 Timothy 6:18 [ESV])

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:17-18 [NIV])

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, (Titus 3:1 [ESV])

remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3 [ESV])

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (1 Peter 4:19 [NIV])

Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel, but with good works, as is proper for women who affirm that they worship God
(1 Timothy 2:9-10 [HCSB])

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 [ESV])

but both first to those in Damascus and Jerusalem, and all the region of Judea, and to the Gentiles, I kept declaring to repent and to turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. (Acts 26:20 [BLB])

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give aeonial* life. (Romans 2:7 [MODIFIED-NIV])*

Interlinear Links: *αἰώνιον (aeonial), Romans 2:7

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21 [ESV])

“‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (Ezekiel 16:49-50 [NIV])

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14 [NIV])

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10 [ESV])

Share with the saints who are in need… (Romans 12:13 [BSB])

All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along. (Galatians 2:10 [NIV])

this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: that you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes. And in that it was commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules. Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’ (Daniel 4:24-27 [NASB])

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, (Isaiah 58:6-9 [ESV])

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. (Proverbs 21:13 [ESV])

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”– when you already have it with you. (Proverbs 3:27-28 [NIV])

“Wash yourselves, and make yourselves clean; remove your evil behavior from my presence; stop practicing what is evil. Learn to practice what is good; seek justice, alleviate oppression, defend orphans in court, and plead the widow’s case. “Please come, and let’s reason together,” implores the LORD. “Even though your sins are like scarlet, they’ll be white like snow. Though they’re like crimson, they’ll become like wool. (Isaiah 1:16-18 [ISV])

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8 [NIV])

Where good works must accompany belief, for belief without works is dead and useless,

So also the belief, if it should not have works it is dead by itself. (James 2:17 [ABP])

Yet good works are performed not because works themselves save,

not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:9 [NIV])

For all have broken the Law of God and deserve to die,

They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:29-32 [ESV])

You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.(Deuteronomy 13:9-10 [NIV])

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 [NIV])

And there are no works anyone could do to earn mercy or pardon for having transgressed the Law of God, hence why the favor of God is called a “gift”, because God grants mercy if he wants to, or does not if he does not want to,

For by favor you are being preserved through the belief; and this gift of God is not of you; (Ephesians 2:8 [ABP])

For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9:15 [NIV])

So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (Romans 9:18 [ESV])

Where this choice of God to grant mercy came before the foundation of the world, which is why it is not of works that anyone is saved, but of the election of God,

So then it is not of the one wanting, nor of the one runningbut of the showing mercy of God. (Romans 9:16 [ABP])

though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Romans 9:11-13 [ESV])

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love (Ephesians 1:4 [ESV])
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30 [NIV])
Where God has chosen to grant mercy to those who merely believe,
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Galatians 3:14 [NIV])
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (Philippians 3:9 [NIV])
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:5 [NIV])
Where as a result of having received mercy and pardon to not be condemned to death as the Law of God requires,
If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel. (Deuteronomy 22:22 [NIV])

 

“‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 [NIV])

and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery… “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:4-11 [NIV])

he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:10 [NIV])

A man then begins to perform good works, demonstrating his own belief, having been pardoned for previous sins,

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:14-26 [ESV])

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 [ESV])

whom God set forth as an atonement through the belief, in the one of his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the letting pass of the preceding sins, (Romans 3:25 [ABP])

Which is the purpose of receiving favor and pardon, to subsequently begin to perform good works as instruments of righteousness, as opposed to doing evil works as instruments of unrighteousness,

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (Romans 7:4 [NIV])

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:13 [ESV])

Where as opposed to evil works that the Law forbids, the Law also commands what good works to do,

If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. (Leviticus 25:35 [ESV])

If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the LORD against you, and you be guilty of sin. (Deuteronomy 15:7-9 [ESV])

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18 [ESV])

Where all these commands define “righteousness”,

And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.” (Deuteronomy 6:25 [NIV])

Where the greatest example of a work of righteousness is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to bring salvation to others,

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. (Romans 5:18 [NIV])

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 [NIV])

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13 [NIV])

Which is why whoever does not do good works, which is  commanded by the Law, will incur sin and transgression,

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. (James 4:17 [NIV])

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the aeonial* fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to aeonial* punishment, but the righteous to aeonial* life.” (Matthew 25:41-46 [MODIFIED-NIV])*

Interlinear Links: *αἰώνιον (aeonial), Matthew 25:41Matthew 25:46

For doing good unto others is doing good unto God, for man was created in the “representation” of God,

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 [ESV])

Which is why serving others is how believers serve God,

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (Matthew 20:26 [NIV])

The greatest among you will be your servant. (Matthew 23:11 [NIV])

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35 [NIV])

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13 [ESV])

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40 [ESV])

Which is why someone who serves money by pursuing wealth cannot possibly please God, because he is doing the opposite of what he should be doing, pursuing giving to others and serving others,

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24 [NIV])

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
 (Luke 16:13-14 [NIV])

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:25 [NIV])

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10 [NIV])

Where the Law even reveals the hospitality to house foreigners that the righteous must also do,

And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” (Genesis 18:1-5 [ESV])

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. (Genesis 19:1-3 [ESV])

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:2-3 [ESV])

and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. (1 Timothy 5:10 [ESV])

…Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13 [BSB])

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9 [NIV])

If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. (Leviticus 25:35 [ESV])

Hence why Lot is called “righteous”, because his righteousness is evident with his hospitality towards the angels that went to Sodom,

and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (2 Peter 2:7 [NIV])

And these are the matters of the Law that the Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers of the Law discarded,

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23 [KJV])

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit aeonial* life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor? 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37 [MODIFIED-ESV])*

Interlinear Links: *αἰώνιον (aeonial), Luke 10:25

Because they only concerned themselves with lesser matters of the Law, such as tithing, wearing tzitzit, wearing phylacteries, observing Sabbaths, observing Festivals, for although these matters of the Law must not be neglected, whether someone fulfills them literally or spiritually, depending on whether the command is merely a foreshadow of a future reality in Christ or not,

But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and behold, all things are clean to you. But woe to you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint, and rue, and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the others undone. (Luke 11:41-42 [WBT])

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; (Matthew 23:5 [NIV])

and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” (John 5:10 [NIV])

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come;the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17 [NIV])

The great matters of the Law are doing good works, which are actions of love and mercy towards others,

Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary of bearing them. And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you: yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make yourself clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do good; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:13-17 [NLT])

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6 [KJV])

For good works are in themselves the spiritual sacrifices and gifts that God desires from the elect, to be offered up to the temple that is in heaven, whose high priest is Jesus Christ,

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16 [NIV])

And ye yourselves also know, ye Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church had fellowship with me in the matter of giving and receiving but ye only; 16 for even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my need. 17 Not that I seek for the gift; but I seek for the fruit that increaseth to your account. 18 But I have all things, and abound: I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things that came from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:15-18 [ASV])

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 [ESV])

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5 [ESV])

I call upon you, therefore, brethren, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies a sacrifice — living, sanctified, acceptable to God — your intelligent service; (Romans 12:1 [YLT])
Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. (Hebrews 8:1 [NLT])
Where no one is to appear before God empty handed,

Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed: (Deuteronomy 16:16 [NIV])

Where more examples of good works include helping widows, helping orphans,

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27 [BSB])

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
(1 Timothy 5:3-4 [ESV])

Visiting those in prison, looking after the sick, clothing those who are naked, giving water to the thirsty, giving food to the hungry,

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-36 [ESV])

does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment… walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord GOD.
 (Ezekiel 18:7-9 [ESV])

Performing works of the power of the holy spirit to heal those that are sick,

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. (Acts 3:6-8 [NIV])

Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
 (Mark 3:4-5 [NIV])

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
(Mark 16:17-18 [NIV])

Or any type of help to someone who is afflicted or has a need. And some will do more good works than others, since all will bear different measures of good fruit,

Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:8 [ESV])

Which is why after Jesus Christ revealed how men who wish to become his disciple must humble themselves, which was by “selling their possessions”,

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions… (Luke 18:22 [NLT])

Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions… (Mark 10:21 [NLT])

Sell your possessions… (Luke 12:33 [NIV])

So therefore every one of you who does not give up all that he himself possesses, is not able to be My disciple. (Luke 14:33 [BLB])

They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. (Acts 2:45 [NLT])

that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4:34-35 [NIV])

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. (Matthew 13:44 [NLT])

 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
(1 Peter 5:6 [ESV])

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:10 [ESV])

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 [NIV])

For the LORD, who is high and lifted up, looks upon the humble, but the proud he does not know.
(Psalm 138:6 [JB2000])

He then gave the next instruction, “give to the poor”, which is doing “good works”,

…and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22 [NLT])

…and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21 [NLT])

and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. (Luke 12:33 [NIV])

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.
(Luke 19:8-9 [NIV])

Which is also what the “saltiness” of salt symbolizes, “good works”,

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Matthew 5:13 [NIV])

And also what the light of a lamp symbolizes, “good works”,

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 [ESV])

Which is why Paul instructs all to work to earn wages, that they may then have something to give to those in need,

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. (Ephesians 4:28 [NIV])

You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:34-35 [ESV])

And even why Cornelius eventually received the holy spirit, because his righteousness, which means obedience to the Law, was accompanied by good works,

The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” (Acts 10:22 [NIV])

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. (Acts 10:1-4 [NIV])

Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.
(Acts 10:30-31 [NIV])

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.
(Acts 10:44-45 [NIV])

Where someone must then continue doing good works throughout the appointed time in this body, without ceasing, hence,

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 [ESV])

For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. (Hebrews 6:10 [ESV])

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. (Luke 12:33-36 [NIV])

And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. (Luke 12:42-44 [NIV])

Which relates to the parable of ten virgins, for the light of their lamps symbolizes “good works”, where their lamps must continue burning until the bridegroom comes, where if someone stopped doing good works, which is what is meant with running out of oil to keep a lamp lit, but then again began giving their money to the poor at the arrival of Jesus Christ, which is what is meant with buying oil to light a lamp again when the groom comes, its already too late,

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25:1-13 [ESV])

Which also relates to the parable of talents, where the talents also symbolize “good works”, where the initial talents anyone receives are the “first works” anyone does as a newly appointed servant of the master, when first doing “sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven”,

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:1-5 [ESV])

“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. (Revelation 2:19 [ESV])

For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. (Matthew 25:14-23 [ESV])

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 [NIV])

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21 [NIV])

Where an appointed servant must then continue to receive more talents, which means continue to do more “good works”,

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:13 [NASB])

From the time he became appointed as a servant to the time of the return of the master, where talents, which have monetary value, are used in this parable because the measure of good works anyone does relates to the measure of reward anyone receives, as such, “talents” also symbolize “reward” as a result of “good works”,

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6 [NIV])

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. (Revelation 22:12 [NIV])

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:20-21 [NIV])

A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. (Proverbs 11:18 [NIV])

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. (Revelation 3:1-2 [ESV])

Hence why the servant who was lazy and did not continue doing good works,

He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ (Matthew 25:24-25 [ESV])

Had his talent taken away, because he lost his reward from that one good work he initially did, because he didn’t continue doing good works to receive more talents,

But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?… So take the talent from him… (Matthew 25:26-28 [ESV])

And rather, his share of reward from that one good work went to those who had continued doing good works and already had reward from their own good works, for those who who do not give up will have an abundance, hence,

…and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. (Matthew 25:28-29 [ESV])

Yet if this lazy servant had been wise, instead of earning more talents himself, he could’ve invested his talent with bankers to earn more talents,

Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. (Matthew 25:27 [ESV])

Which means to teach others to do good works, and thus the “talents” they produce because of the servant that is dedicated to teaching them to do good are accredited to the servant,

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. (Romans 1:13 [NIV])

Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. (Philippians 4:16-17 [ESV])

For although all are called to do good works, only a few are called to become teachers,

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1 [NIV])

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? (1 Corinthians 12:29 [NIV])

To equip others to do “good works”,

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:11-12 [NIV])

Where these teachers are laborers for the sake of the gospel, who correct, rebuke, and teach,

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Luke 10:2 [NIV])

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 [ESV])

…Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2 [NLT])

Let the elders ruling well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those laboring in the word and the teaching. (1 Timothy 5:17 [BLB])

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7 [ESV])

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17 [ESV])

Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints— be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer.
(1 Corinthians 16:15-16 [ESV])

and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2 [ESV])

On account of this I left you in Crete, that you might set in order the things lacking and might appoint elders in every town, as I directed you, if anyone is blameless, the husband of one wife, having believing children, not under accusation of debauchery, or insubordinate. For it behooves the overseer to be blameless, as God’s steward; not self-willed, not quick tempered, not given to wine, not a striker, not greedy of base gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined; holding to the faithful word according to the teaching, that he may be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to convict those contradicting it. (Titus 1:5-9 [BLB])

I beg you therefore, be imitators of me. Because of this I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in every assembly.
(1 Corinthians 4:16-17 [WEB])

And are worthy to make a living from teaching,

If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:11-14 [ESV])

Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
(Luke 10:7-9 [NIV])

Yet as opposed to teaching, which only a few are called for, apart from all being called to do good works, all are called to also announce the gospel, for there is a distinction between teaching believers, which only a few should do, and announcing the gospel to unbelievers, which all must do,

proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. (Acts 28:31 [ESV])

But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and proclaiming the good news, the word of the Lord, with many others also. (Acts 15:35 [BLB])

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16 [NIV])

Where the effective way of announcing the gospel to unbelievers, aside from telling them about it, is by doing good works that can be seen by them,

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:15 [ESV])

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12 [NIV])

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Is God behind all suffering here on earth

At Bijbelvorsers, vereniging voor Bijbelstudie – Bible Scholars, Association for Bible study on June 29, 2011 at 9:42 am was written by Bible scholar Marcus Ampe. Until 2014, December 22 it got 400 viewings

Often we do find people saying it is a vengeance of God when people suffer. By earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters they like to warn people that it is a penalty from God and that they should change their way of life.

The central character of the Book of Job, Job (Arabic: أيّوب, Ayyūb‎), as portrayed by Bonnat

In the ancient Hebrew writing The Book of Job we can find a story of the suffering Job and the attempted explanation of these events by his friends. But at the end we also do get to know God’s answer. This is so much different from what lots of people do want us to believe.

In some Christian denomination the preachers even do focus on the terror. They proclaim that it is God who punishes the evil doers. And because the people do such wrong they and their environment has to undergo all the suffering.

If that was not enough they even tell those people that after all the suffering on this earth it shall not be finished. God shall punish them even more. (That is what they tell them.) Those preachers say that those evildoers are going to be tortured for ever after they die. They present them a picture of a hell, which is going to be a torture room full of fire for all those people who sinned veraciously. They want to give the others, who did some little sins, some hope, and present that they also have to face some extra punishment, but that will only happen for a short time in the purgatory.

But as you shall see when you read the Book of Books,  the Bible, you shall be able to come to the conclusion that this is not the truth they are telling. They do the same thing as the friends of Job and try to mislead the people who have trust in them.

In the world around us we are able to find believers and non-believers. People who do good and people who do wrong. Those who do bad things have mostly the opportunity to be confronted with more problems than those who do good. But do not make the mistake, that the ones who do good shall have it always good. No, also they can become confronted with a lot of badness and have to suffer a lot. Their doing good is no free way to have a life without problems.

Perhaps you think it being righteous that everything goes well with such people who do good. But you’ll notice that the world does not turn like that. Everywhere you look you shall be able to find good an bad things.

Throughout the history of humankind we found a lot of troubles coming over people who had nothing to do with it. Wars seem to be insurmountable. History books have pages over battles between different people. Those battles brought a lot of pain to many people. But it are not only such big events which can bring pain to humans or animals. Even the flora world came and still comes into problems many times

Job's Evil Dreams (illustration)

Job’s Evil Dreams (illustration) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Book of Books, the Bible, we can find a Guide Book to Life and a Guide to our Suffering. Each of those Books in that Library can give us the the power to change. We can find the history of humankind but especially also the history of the chosen people, who wanted to stay under the wings of their Creator, the Only One God.

It is normal that when we live that we wonder what on earth we are doing here. It is not so weird to question the reason of us being here and to think about what we have to do or to think about what is expected and by whom here on earth.
Would there be a reason to be here, and to go through all those problems to grow up, to get a job, a way of living, etcetera.

Do you know there is a Higher Being who took care that we can find the answers to many life questions? His Words are written down by patient scriptors who opened up a world of knowledge which had first to be brought over verbally, then written on tablets, later scrolls and at last found a better way to got multiplied so that They could become available to as many interested persons as possible. Thanks to Gutenberg and many Biblestudents the Words of God became spread over the whole world and were put against the human teachings of several persons and institutions which proclaimed being spokesmen of God.

But be careful, as you shall be able to see in the book of Job, those so called friends can bring misleading messages and even can tell you things which are not according the Truth. Therefore we always have to listen carefully but also look at their sayings and compare them with other sayings or with reactions on their words.

Also in the book of Job we get to hear at first many things about God, which seem to be very acceptable. Some denominations use those words of the friends quite often to tell their story of the picture. But they forget to bring into attention the lost chapter of that Book, when God gives His reply to Job and his three friends. For some people that chapter does not give them the satisfying answers, but their at least we get the real answer from God who we do have to believe.

The bible is full of examples of difficulties people had to encounter. But the Book of Job is in a certain special, because it treats the subject of Suffering in particular.

We can find a more than blessed man who had at first nothing to complain of. But at a finger click everything can change quickly. Such a wealthy man got pulled down under until he did not see any light any more. Though he considered himself as a man of God he did not see any use any more to live longer. He just wanted that his life would come to an end soon, because he had enough of all those problems.

As in the other stories of the assemblage of scriptures we can find an example of a person in need who can not be helped by his friends. We get to see that man is not always the right guide nor able to help sufficiently. Perhaps people can give us wrong advice. But we may find that there are also others who sincerely try to help us but who are also not always able to bring the right solution.

In the Holy Scriptures we do find on several places One Helper who always came back into the picture. Several people were helped by Him and it is not because we do not seem to get any answers or signs from Him this day that He would not be around us. Job also thought that God had abounded Him. Do you think at certain moments that God has left you? Do you think God would leave you on your own?

Look very carefully around you and you shall be able to see the Hand of God. He is there at places where you would not expect Him.

Today we can have the opportunity to find God His Words at our coffee-table. The only thing is that we do have to take the Book and have to open it and read it. Without reading it we are not going to get as much answers as God is willing to give to us. Also in our time of affliction He is there to guide us, but we do have to want to see His stretched out arm. Let Him carry you through the storms.

The Bible is not just a book from and for the old days. It still can be very very useful. Also today we find a lot of people who are wrongly accused of something. More and more we can find people being bullied. This often because they dare to be different or to do good. It is as if today the world does not like people who want to be goodhearted. Working hard and doing what is expected from you by the higher ones is being looked at as being week. The world today does not like to have people who want to live according to rules, morals and ethics, and they prefer to scum them.

In case we have to face problems it can be good to look at the problems of some one else like Job.

Let us be aware that everything we have to undergo in this life can be a learning experience. Even from the moments we do not like we can learn. We also can learn from suffering. The experience of the pain, having to face problems can bring us to moments to look for solutions and give us the chance to grow stronger.

I do agree than we have to make a big shift in our attitude how to look at that suffering. But we should be able to manage.

The Book of Job can be a very good teaching tool for us to make a new start or to find new ways to dope with our suffering and with all the problems which seem to be too much for us.

Therefore I would like to advice you to take that Old Book at hand and to read it. Perhaps my Bible Study I wrote on our ecclesia site can help you to go through it and to see solutions to your own situation.

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Please do find out in the Bible Study at the Christadelphian Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven.

  1. Bad things no punishment from God
  2. Profitable disasters
  3. Facing disaster fatigue
  4. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  5. Fragments from the Book of Job #2: chapters 12-20
  6. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  7. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  9. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  10. Fragments from the Book of Job #7 Epilogue
  11. Let us recognise how great God is

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Additional reading:

  1. A world in denial
  2. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?
  3. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  5. A risk taking society
  6. Securing risks
  7. God does not change
  8. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  9. Bad things no punishment from God
  10. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  11. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  12. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  13. Newsweek asks: How ignorant are you?
  14. We are ourselves responsible
  15. Weekly World Watch 24th – 30th Oct 2010‏
  16. Reacting to Disasters
  17. Certainty in a troubled world
  18. Tragic coach crash in the Swiss Alps
  19. If there is bitterness in the heart
  20. A great man does not lose his self-possession when he is afflicted
  21. The blessing of a broken leg
  22. Signs of the Last Days
  23. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy
  24. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  25. Just be yourself…
  26. What happens when we die?
  27. All Souls’ Day
  28. Fear and protection
  29. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  30. Finish each day and be done with it

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  • The Secret Book of Job (npr.org)
    the tornado went away. Wait, wait – the things the tornado said came to pass. My harvest was bountiful. My flock stretched out like the sea. My wife, she gave me more children, 10 sons. And once again, she held her head high in the marketplace, servants trailing after her. And only I heard her sobs at night.
  • ‘The Norton Anthology of World Religions: Volume II’ (rss.nytimes.com)
    the selected Jewish writings show that contrary to some popular assumptions, religion does not offer unsustainable certainty. The biblical story of the binding of Isaac leaves us with hard questions about Abraham’s God, and later, when Moses asks this baffling deity for his name, he simply answers: “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh”, which can be roughly translated: “Never mind who I am!” The Book of Job finds no answer to the problem of human suffering, and Ecclesiastes dismisses human life as “utter futility.” This bleak honesty finds its ultimate expression in Elie Wiesel’s proclamation of the death of God in Auschwitz.
  • The Norton Anthology of World Religions (3quarksdaily.com)
    At a time when religious faith is coming under intense scrutiny, “The Norton Anthology of World Religions” is presenting a documentary history of six major faiths with sufficient editorial explanation to make their major texts intelligible across the barriers of time and space. – See more at: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2014/12/the-norton-anthology-of-world-religions.html#sthash.msely1Oh.dpuf

     

  • Leviathan wins best film award at IFFI in Goa (in.rbth.com)
    The film is a modern reworking of the biblical book of Job. It is set on a Barents Sea peninsula and tells the story of a man who struggles against a corrupt mayor who wants his piece of land. 
  • In One of William Blake’s Final Works, the Engraved Trials of an Unfortunate Soul (hyperallergic.com)
    When his younger brother died of tuberculosis in 1787, the Metropolitan Museum of Art explains, Blake “reported discovering his wholly original method of ‘relief etching’ — which creates a single, raised printing surface for both text and image — in a vision of Robert soon after his death.” This technique also meant he had total control over his books, even if it involved incredible patience, including writing backwards onto the plates for the types of dense borders that are part of the Illustrations of the Book of Job.
  • Is Atheism a Specifically Western Phenomenon? (the-american-interest.com)
    dam Garfinkle, the editor of The American Interest, asked me this question. He told me that he had met a Saudi who claimed to be an atheist: What does this mean? We know atheism in its Jewish or Christian context, as a rejection of the Biblical God. What would atheism mean in a Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist context?
  • Russian film Leviathan nominated for Golden Globe awards (tass.ru)
    A 2014 Russian drama film Leviathan directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev has been nominated for the Golden Globe’s Best Foreign Language Film.
  • Wrestling with the Big Questions: A Day In Job at LICC (bibleandmission.redcliffe.org)
    The book of Job speaks a compelling word of honesty and hope into the deepest and most difficult of human experiences. Job’s story of suffering and the process he goes through with his comforters and with God is just as relevant for Christians and local churches today as we wrestle with our own questions and the questions of those around us.

Pain, sanctification and salvation

It is nice to be content with the believe God uses these times of pain in our lives like a gardener uses pruning shears.

In order to grow, we must be pruned. In order to fully trust God, we have to come to the point where we trust his strength more than our own. I like to say that the amount of pain you endure is proportionate to the amount of joy you are capable of experiencing.{About Devotions by Chris}

Many people have known pain, and many have been at the end of their tops, or did come to a point they did not see any solution any more. For many it has been like they got to the bottom and they thought they would not survive if it felled out again.

When bad things happen to us when we are doing everything right, we often question our position but also God.

We’ve all heard the question asked “Why do bad things happen to good people”. Well it happens to give you an opportunity to grow. If things aren’t happening in your life that are pruning you, that’s when you should be concerned. {Why bad things happen to good people}

Some Pruning tools that can be used to maintai...

Like there are pruning tools, we also do have to find the right tools to go through life – Some Pruning tools that can be used to maintain a garden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may do a lot of good works and not see the nice results of it, but in the end we should know that no matter what happens it always shall come to a certain point because of our actions taken. Be them good or bad, it at a certain time shall show.

We all produce fruit in our lives. Our actions produce results. Our results show God, others and ourselves what’s important to us. There is a law of sowing and reaping. {Why bad things happen to good people}

If you sow time I to other’s lives, you will reap love. If you sow forgiveness, you will reap joy. If you sow understanding, you will reap peace. On the other hand if you sow selfishness, you will reap loneliness. If you sow bitterness, you will reap hate. What you do matters and will come back as fruit in your life. God wants us to produce good fruit in our lives so that others will be able to see Him through us. {Why bad things happen to good people}

Many people want to see it that when they become a Christian that they will never have to face pain any more, and that they should not do any works any more or not have to be careful to be not bad. They think they are saved and at all times shall end up in heaven, instead of understanding the good hope of the coming Kingdom of God.

We should come to understand that the Divine Creator expects something from His creation. He wants us to love Him and to recognise Him as the Only One God, and not to bow down in front of pictures or statues, worshipping other gods (be it men, women, nature elements, animals or plants). He knows man wanted to go his own way, but has given them an opportunity to grow and to restore the relationship between God and man again. He even provided a ‘son of man’ who was willing to obey Him and showed it to humankind that man can follow the Divine Creator and do His will instead of the own will.

God’s Son, His unspeakable gift, is the measure, even as He is the pledge of grace.” {Horatius Bonar}

“Jesus fully paid the price for your sin, which means you don’t ever have to hide from God, no matter how messed up you think you are.” {Paul Tripp}

“It’s by grace alone that your sins are forgiven, and it’s by grace alone that the wandering allegiance of your heart is reclaimed.” {Paul Tripp}

With that special example of the promised Messiah in mind we should also remember how he even at to suffer, though he had not done anything wrong, he had never sinned, and always followed the commandments of his God, the God of Abraham. When people say only good things can come to good Godly persons and ungodly persons shall receive bad things, they should remember Jesus Christ who also had to undergo bad things, though he never earned such bad things. Bad things are no punishment from God.

When bad things happen to good people it is like the bad things that can happen to bad people. They can learn from it or can moan about it and continue to walk in the negativity of that life. Others can try to get the positive out of the negative. They can try to see that bad things happen to everyone and learn form them. They can see in it an opportunity to grow and to produce more and better fruits than ever before, in the acceptance that they are like pruned by God.

If you are being pruned right now, stop and thank God instead of questioning Him. It means that He thinks you are producing good fruit and He has bigger plans for you. Trust in Him and in His plan for you. Handle the pruning with grace and look forward to the next time of harvest in your life. {Why bad things happen to good people}

English: Pruning: dense growth after shearing.

Pruning: dense growth after shearing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Without pruning, we can only produce so much of each fruit. When He does prune us, He creates more opportunity to produce than ever before. But by that pruning and producing fruit we also should know that:

God doesn’t give us groceries for a week (which is how most of us shop). He wants us to be dependent on Him daily and to go to Him daily for our needs. He could provide a lifetime of bread for us with just one word, but He doesn’t. He longs for us to go to Him and to rely on Him. {Hold You, Dada!}

God knows that if He were to supply more than our daily bread, we would start to forget who provided it and then begin to take credit for His work. It’s not a far stretch to take that further to our salvation. {Hold You, Dada!}

God accepted the ransom offer Jesus brought in front of Him. Jehovah was willing to take Jesus out of the dead, after having been three days in hell, and made him higher than angels, to come to sit next to Him, to be a mediator between Him (Jehovah God) and man.

As such we have somebody who gave his life to save us. By this offer for which we do not have to pay, we got a clean-washing of our sins (by the Blood of Christ). Having bought free by Christ, many do think than everything is finished and cleared, and now they may do whatever they want, because “Once saved, always saved”. They are very mistaken! If they are not careful it can well be that they loose everything. It can well be that they become like the fig tree which did not produce any good fruits any more and was cut down. We also can be cut off from the entrance to the Kingdom of God. We can still miss all the chances, all the opportunities which where freely given to us.

God knows that our independent nature wants to do things to earn His grace and salvation, but that’s not God’s plan. Our dependence on Him is what He’s after. {Hold You, Dada!}

It is not God Who has done the work. It is not God Who has paid the price. It is the Nazarene man Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who is the Messiah and has offered himself as a Lamb for God and for mankind.

People may be been “baptised into the Body of Christ Jesus” and may be “marked with the cross of Christ” and “sealed with the Holy Spirit” but this does not mean it shall be “forever”.  When they are been grafted onto the “Tree of Life” than they should be people who follow the Wish of the Most High Divine Creator. Those who are willing to step in the footsteps of the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) should be willing to bear fruit, not because you fear the harvest, but because this is who you are:

a branch of Christ’s choosing, nourished by the root of God’s saving love and mercy, strengthened by the stirring sap of the Spirit. {Sermon: On doing the things}

We all should be careful that we do not get Emotional pain and emotional deadness but keep seeing the light of salvation and stay encouraged by it and by are fellow believers. Others around us should see our hope in action. With our actions and words we should bring others to come to realise who they have to follow and what they have to do, making them to come from pain to purpose. Each person for himself has to decide or to determine the drive.

When there is faith there should also be works of faith resulting in fruitage of the Spirit.

Every person who is calling himself a Christian should make him or herself perfect in every good work to do the Will of God,  like Jesus did not his will but the Will  of his Father. It is only when we by faith work at ourselves and allow us to change and grow in Christ, that we shall have the working in us that which is well pleasing in God His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.

Now the God of peace, who brought up the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, from the dead with the blood of an eternal covenant*,  (21)  perfect you* in every good work, to this end, you* should practice his will, working in you* what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ: to whom is the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21 MLV)

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Additional reading:

  1. Why think that (4) … God would reveal himself in words
  2. Doubting the reality, genuineness and effectiveness of God’s love
  3. Does God stands behind all evil on earth
  4. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  5. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  6. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  7. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  8. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  9. Luck
  10. From pain to purpose
  11. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  12. Are you right down in the dumps? Stop digging!
  13. It continues to be a never ending, exhausting battle for survival.
  14. End of the Bottom Line
  15. In Defense of the truth
  16. Running away from the past
  17. I said God it hurts
  18. Dealing with worries in our lives
  19. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  20. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  22. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  23. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  24. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  25. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  26. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  27. God is Jehovah Shammah-God is There!
  28. Determine the drive
  29. Faith Over Fear
  30. Opportunity!
  31. God’s Comfort
  32. Aligned
  33. Faith because of the questions
  34. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  35. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  36. It is not try but trust
  37. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  38. Acknowledge the majesty of the Lord’s reputation!
  39. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  40. How do you keep people from stealing your joy?
  41. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  42. Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark
  43. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1:1-7 Help from God our Maker
  44. Bearing fruit
  45. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  46. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful
  47. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  48. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  49. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy

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  • Dig for Thursday the 4th of December……Jesus, nothing added and nothing taken away, that is God’s best…..Ecclesiastes 3 v 14 (heilanword.wordpress.com)
    Jesus could only do the work of His Father; this is made clear in Scripture, especially the Gospel of John.
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    The finished work of Jesus Christ was complete and perfect and the express will of God the Father.Nothing needs to be added to the work of Jesus.

     

  • Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “Working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ” (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)
    Through Jesus and His work on our behalf, God works His pleasure in us.
  • Believers In Jesus Christ Are World Overcomers! (fggam.org)
    As believers in Jesus Christ, as sons of God, as the Body of Christ, endued with His overcoming power, we have His ability in us to change the evil conditions around us. However, we must first deal with the evil conditions that are in our own souls so that we can confidently and in the love and power of Jesus Christ live and conduct ourselves as the conquerors God has made us to be in this world.
  • The Stage Is Set (atimetoshare.wordpress.com)
    I don’t deserve His pardon. My works don’t mean a thing, / But through His Hero, Jesus, Christ, He’s made my spirit sing. / The story has unfolded. The truth lays at our feet. / The happily ever after comes when we our Savior meet.
  • Doing works for God or Doing God’s will (thepauls.wordpress.com)
    This is a warning to all missionaries, full-time and part-time church workers and the lay person, for the people that Jesus is referring to here are not those who are unaware of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but those who have prophesied, cast out devils and done (not some but) many wonderful works, in his name – the works that Jesus calls – works of iniquity.
  • Don’t give up on yourself (freedom4eternity.wordpress.com)
    His mercy is ever-lasting. Be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus — Phil. 1:6 NIV (syntax modified).
  • Thanksgiving Day (emmanuelchatham.typepad.com)
    Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them.
  • Brethren, be Forthright and Dutiful, share Scripture with Vigor! (authorrubengarza.wordpress.com)
    Brethren, be Forthright and Dutiful, share Scripture with Vigor. Live at Peace with one another for it unifies Souls and lays Foundation for the Kingdom of God. Move with us to a place where Songbirds warble Melodies to Christ, King of Life. You have what it takes to become a Pillar for your neighbor’s home.
  • Jesus Christ and Race Relations (fggam.org)
    In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:28
  • 2 Become 1! (newheavenonearth.wordpress.com)
    The tree of life has one kind of fruit: awesome, wonderful, amazing, supernatural, extraordinary, divine Love! This Love has no opposite; it is Light without any darkness at all! It is nondual, single awareness, God-consciousness, super-abundant, powerful, spiritual energy, and comes from a sound, light-filled Christ-Mind!