Daily Archives: January 5, 2021

How to Live in a Crooked and Perverse Generation | John MacArthur

How to Live in a Crooked and Perverse Generation

Philippians chapter 2. Verse 5 of Philippians 2 says, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.”

You will notice in verse 15 that we live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. That is not only an apt description of our time in history, it suits all of history. Every generation is to some degree or another a manifestation of the crookedness and the perversity of the human heart. We are seeing it in our time very boldly. What this text says to us is that we have the responsibility in this crooked and perverse generation to act as the children of God and to shine as luminaries, or lights, in the world. That’s why we’re here. God understands that it’s a crooked and perverse generation.

Sometimes, as in our case, now more openly manifest than perhaps at other times when it’s covered up a little bit, I think many of you are feeling rather deep disappointment at the events of the recent election. You feel like though you prayed for mercy in the midst of judgment you’re not seeing that mercy. You’re watching the power structure of this country being taken over by people who are godless and contrary to Scripture. It’s easy to become very disappointed, especially if you care about righteousness and truth. We cherish personal righteousness, but our culture is deep into personal sin and wickedness, and not in a hidden way, but flaunted; and now we have advocates of that iniquity and wickedness being given political power over us. We cherish marriage, we cherish family, but our culture, by means of media and law, destroys both. And we see leaders who advocate fornication, homosexuality, trans-sexualism, pornography, divorce, et cetera; and now the people who advocate those things have more power than they’ve had in the past. Marriage and family is not likely to survive, and all that destroys marriage and family may become law.

We support law. We support law and order because it’s biblical as ordained by God, but now we have leaders who want to defund the police, unleash assaults against them and us: 8,700 protests occurred in the last few months, 574 of those were riots with mass looting and destruction, 2,000 policemen were injured. These were coordinated and orchestrated events. One incident alone did $70 million in damage, and the police were told to stand and watch. We fear for the future of our safety and the safety of our children in a world where people who want that are in control. But we know that persecution will be ramped up against the truth, and our whole generation is sinking deeper into iniquity and hardness against the Scripture. We’re going to become more of an unwanted agitator. So certainly there is some overwhelming disappointment.

Now we also know that we’re experiencing divine judgment. God has turned us over to a sexual revolution, a homosexual revolution, and a reprobate mind, Romans 1. So we know the nation is under judgment and under wrath, and part of that wrath is now going to be unleashed by the very people who rule us. So how do we respond? What’s to be our reaction to all of this? It does give us a sense of fear about the bleakness of what the future looks like for our children and our grandchildren as we see the sins of this generation being visited on the following generations into the future.

I want to pose a question that Francis Schaeffer asked long ago when he said, “How then shall we live? How then shall we live?” What do we do now? And I believe that we have the instruction we need in this portion of Scripture right in front of us, Philippians 2, and I want to take a look at it in a broad sense. Sometimes we get down into details; we’ve certainly done that with this passage. But I want us to look at three very simple features of this text, basic realities to navigate the times that we live in. Number one, where we are; number two, who we are; and number three, how we are to live. It’s all here for us.

Let’s start with “where we are.” Look at verse 15. We are in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Now that would certainly be true of the Philippians who received this letter living in the city of Philippi, a city in northeast Macedonia, or Modern Greece. It was a busy city. It was a thoroughfare to the – Ignatian highway came through there, which was a Roman road, and so it was a place where much trade went on. There was a river there, the Strymon River, so it had full water supply. It was discovered there as well that there were many goldmines, and the goldmines were so rich that they attracted Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great. And he found a small town named Crenedes, which means “little fountain.” It had springs, and so set up some headquarters there and renamed it after himself: Philip of Macedon. That’s how it got its name Philippi.

A little bit of history about that seemingly obscure little fountain town was that 42 years before Christ, 42 BC, one of the greatest battles in Roman history was fought there; and when I say a great battle, I mean 200,000 men engaged in war: 110,000 on one side and 90,000 on the other side, and 40,000 casualties. It was called the Battle of Philippi. It really reflected the Roman Revolution. It was Antonian Caesar with 110,000 against Brutus and Cassius with 90,000.

When the battle was over it was the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the massive Roman Empire. As a result of that many soldiers settled in Philippi; it was a very tough town, pagan to the bone. And if you were a citizen of Philippi you were given status as a Roman citizen. It reflected all the paganism of Rome, all the idolatry; it was a crooked and perverse place. And the Lord led the apostle Paul to establish the first church in Europe in Philippi on his second missionary journey. You remember the story, right? Acts 16, they put him in jail; and he was singing with Barnabas in the jail, and they were released from jail, and that first church was founded.

The believers there were desperately poor; all you have to do is look at 2 Corinthians chapter 8 and you will read there about the poor saints of Macedonia. That would be the Philippians. They were desperately poor. Paul says they were generous, but they gave out of their deep poverty. They were literally swimming in a sea of paganism, and a coarse and gross culture largely influenced by ex-soldiers. When the church was planted by the apostle Paul, it was assaulted and attacked.

Back in chapter 1, verse 28, Paul says, “Don’t be alarmed by your opponents. Don’t be alarmed by your opponents – which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.” Don’t be alarmed by persecution. You’ve been granted for Christ’s sake to suffer.

So this is a church isolated in the Roman world, the only church in Europe, in a sea of paganism. To make matters worse, the church was attacked by false teachers. Look at chapter 3, verse 2: “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.” Jewish legalists had come and attacked. Down in verse 18, “Many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you weeping, they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.” Their glory is in their shame. They boast about their wickedness.

This is a poor church. This is a persecuted church. This is a church that is being assaulted by false teachers. This is also a church struggling mightily with discord and disunity; and we’re certainly familiar with that.

Back in chapter 2, “If there’s any encouragement in Christ, any consolation of love, any fellowship of the Spirit, any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interest, but also for the interests of others.”

In chapter 4 we find that Euodia and Syntyche, verse 2, needed to be instructed publicly to live in harmony, and somebody needed to come along and help those women get their lives together. This is tough. The only church in Europe in the midst of paganism – poor, persecuted, attacked by false teachers, and internal discord and disunity. In fact, Paul wrote this letter to them in his fourth year of Roman imprisonment waiting for Nero to render a verdict on his life. In spite of all of that, this epistle is called the epistle of joy. Remarkable, isn’t it? This is the epistle of joy. Paul expects joy in a church in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

That phrase “crooked and perverse generation” was used by our Lord. It’s recorded in Matthew chapter 17, and then again in Luke 9, that our Lord said to the Jews of His day, “You are an unbelieving and perverted generation.” This is a general description, certainly for the world. “Crooked,” you notice in verse 15, is the Greek word skolios from which you get scoliosis of the spine, a twisting and curvature. It means to be bent. It means to be twisted. It means to be deviated from the standard. This is a generation of people who are twisted in terms of truth and virtue.

Listen to Proverbs 2:11, “Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things; from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; who delight in doing evil and rejoice in the perversity of evil; whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.” Way back in the book of Proverbs we find that that is the way the world was then, as it was in Paul’s day and our Lord’s day, and as it is now. Proverbs 21:8 says, “The way of the guilty is crooked, crooked.”

Isaiah also spoke of this, and Isaiah says essentially what everybody else that I’ve quoted says. Listen to the words of Isaiah in chapter 59, verses 7 and 8: “Their feet run to evil, they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, devastation and destruction are in their highways. They do not know the way of peace, there’s no justice in their tracks; they have made their paths crooked, whoever treads on them does not know peace.” Twisted, crooked, nothing new.

In Acts chapter 2, verse 40, apostolic preaching. Listen to this, chapter 2, verse 40: “Be saved” – says Peter – “from this crooked generation.” So we’re not surprised. This is perversity. This is what life without God is.

He adds a second word, “crooked and perverse.” They’re, in a sense, synonyms. “Perverse” is diastrephō. It means to distort. It’s two ways of saying the same thing. First word means to twist; the next one, to distort. So that’s where we are. So why would we expect anything other than what we’re seeing?

Our country, our nation, and our world has gotten back to sort of square one in its crookedness and perversity by systematically eliminating morality and religion. The apostle Paul is drawing that indictment. That phrase, “crooked and perverse generation,” comes right out of Deuteronomy chapter 32 – and we’ll see that in a bit; and it was essentially the reference that our Lord was speaking of in Matthew 17 and Luke 9. So from the history of Israel and from the words of Jesus indicting the Israelites of His day, Paul takes a phrase and uses it to define the godless world of the early church: “They’re twisted and perverted.”

The term “generation” has the idea not so much of a nation or a race as of those who are alive at a given time: all the people of a given kind and a given period, all the wicked God-haters. So that’s where we live, that’s where we are. And this is exactly where the Lord wants us to be.

You know, when our Lord was praying His great prayer in John 17, verse 15, this is what He says to the Father concerning us: “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” Did you get that. “I do not ask You, Father, to take them out of the world, but keep them from the evil one. Yes, they’re not of the world, as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” So He’s saying, “I don’t want You to take them out of the world, I want You to protect them from the god of this world, Satan. I want You to protect them by the truth.”

In 1 Corinthians chapter 5, the apostle Paul says this, verse 9: “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I didn’t at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. No. When I wrote about, ‘Don’t associate with immoral people,’ I didn’t mean isolate yourself. I didn’t mean go live in a monastery. You can’t leave the world because God placed you there for His redemptive purpose.” So in case you were wondering, we’re exactly where we should be, right? Right where we should be. And the world is exactly what it is; it’s just more open now than we’re used to seeing it, and its power is so pervasive, the power of evil has become so pervasive that it has risen to the heights of leadership.

So this is where we are, we’re exactly where the Lord wants us to be. And He prayed not to have us removed from the world, but to be protected in the world while we reach the world, right? We’re exactly where we’re supposed to be, and the world is exactly what it’s always been.

Now the second issue that I just want to mention to you from this text is now that we know where we are, let’s answer the question who we are. Who are we in this crooked and perverse generation? Well, that also is in verse 15. We are children of God above reproach, and we are lights in the world. That’s who we are, we have two identifications there.

We are children of God. That is to say we are not the children of the devil like the rest of the world. We understand that the devil’s kingdom and the devil’s children behave like their father, John 8, right? That passage in John 8 is so definitive, it’s amazing how many times in preaching we find ourselves having to go back to John chapter 8, verse 42.

“Jesus says to the Jews, ‘You are doing the deeds of your father.’ They said to Him, ‘We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I’m saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn’t stand in the truth because there’s no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he’s a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.’”

Do you get that? If one thing is characteristic of the world is that they are killers and liars. They’re killers and liars because their father the devil is the arch-murderer and the arch-liar. Are you surprised when you hear lies from people? Don’t be. Their father is the force in them that justifies lying.

We’re children of God, on the other hand, very clear separation. And because we’re children of God, we hear God’s word, and we follow His word, and we obey His word. We have become children of God by birth, and we have become children of God by adoption. We’re covered both ways.

I read earlier John 1:12, “As many as received Him,” – that is Christ – “to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” This is repeated often in the New Testament. We are children of God, and we are in the middle of the children of the devil.

First John 3:10, “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who doesn’t practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who doesn’t love his brother.” So where you see a lack of love and you see sin, you have a child of the devil. Children of the devil have been in charge of things in this culture since the beginning. First John 3:1, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it didn’t know Him.”

We’re the children of God, and they don’t know that, because the glorious manifestation of the children of God hasn’t happened yet. Romans 8:17, “If children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” Romans 8:16, “The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are the children of God.” So here we are, who we are (the children of God), exactly where we are supposed to be (in a crooked and perverted generation).

And, secondly, we are lights in the world; phōstēr is the Greek word. It’s used of the sun and the moon and the stars. We are the luminaries. As the sun, moon and stars are the luminaries that light the darkness in creation, we shine as the luminaries in the darkness of Satan’s kingdom.

I love this statement. He says, “among whom” – at the end of verse 15 – “you appear as lights in the world, among whom you appear.” Literally you are appearing. You are the luminaries. You are the shining light in the darkness of the world. This is where we need to be; this is where we are, as the children of God, and the only source of light in the darkness.

Isaiah records in Isaiah 49:6, speaking of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, the servant of the Lord who would come, “I will also make You a light to the nations so that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Jesus came into the world. He was the light to the nations, the light of life, the light of truth, and He took of residence in us so that we now shine as lights in the world. The Jews, they thought they were the world’s luminaries.

Back in Romans 2 Paul indicts them, verse 17, “But if you bear the name ‘Jew’ and rely on the Law and boast in God, and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you are yourself a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, and a corrector of the foolish, teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? You who say one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law; do you dishonor God? Truth is, ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.’ You say you’re the light, but your deeds don’t demonstrate it. You’re just a different form of the darkness.”

The Jews were not that light, but our Lord in His opening sermon in Matthew 5 said this to His followers, to us: “You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who’s in heaven.” We’re the luminaries. We are exactly where we need to be: we are in the darkness, we are in the crooked and perverse world. This is where He wants us to be. He doesn’t want us away from this, doesn’t want us taken out. He wants us protected from the evil one. He wants us sanctified by the truth. But we are exactly where we are to be. It was said of John the Baptist in John 5:35 that He was the lamp that was burning and was shining. And that should be true of us. “You are shining,” – He says, I love that, in verse 15 – “you are shining, you are appearing as the luminaries.”

Proverbs 4:18 says, “By the path of the righteous is the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” We’re the only hope this perverse and wicked generation has, right? We know where we are, and we know who we are, and we’re exactly where the Lord put us, to be His children as over against the children of the devil, and to be luminaries shining with the light of the presence of God and the glory of the gospel in the midst of the darkness.

Now that brings us to the third and practical response: “What are we to do? How do we live? How do we live?” I want to establish something so I want you to go back to John 18 for a moment because I want to reinforce something to you, “How do we live?” because this is challenging for us since we live essentially in a parallel universe. We live in a parallel universe, literally a universe that the unbelieving world doesn’t understand, doesn’t connect with, doesn’t relate to, because they’re dead in trespasses and sin. And we’re alive to God; we live in a completely different realm.

Listen to the words of Jesus in chapter 18 of John, verse 37. The question came up back in verse 33 about whether Jesus was a king, and it was sarcastic on Pilate’s part. “So Pilate said to Him, ‘So You are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth? What is truth?’” “You are a king.”

But go back to verse 36. “Yes, My kingdom is not of this world.” At the end of that verse, “My kingdom is not of this realm. My kingdom,” His kingdom, kingdom that belongs to Him. They tried to make Him a King, John 6:15, He didn’t allow it. And here’s what He is saying, listen very carefully: “His kingdom has no connection to the kingdoms of this world.” Did you get that? It has no connection. The whole world lies in the lap of the evil one. We have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, Colossians 1. Let me see if I can spell it out.

The kingdom that belongs to Christ transcends the world. It does not derive its power from the world. It does not derive its success from the world. It does not derive its reality, its origin, its nature, its extent, its duration from any created thing. Christ’s royal title, royal authority, and sovereign power are not derived or dependent on any created person, institution, force, energy, work, effort, or right. His dominion is eternal and derived solely from His own glorious nature as the eternal Son. His rule is neither given nor taken away by anyone. His power and authority cannot, by any effort, by any assault, be diminished, limited, altered, removed, replaced. His rule is complete, comprehensive, everlasting, over time and eternity and every soul; and none of that power comes from any created source. One day He will rule over all creation with a rod of iron in truth and righteousness, Psalm 2 and Revelation 20.

The Lord gave Pilate a kingdom manifesto. His kingdom will triumph over the whole creation of kingdoms. It’s spelled out magnificently, I know you’ll remember, in the eleventh chapter of the book of Revelation – so glorious. Twenty-four elders on their thrones fall on their faces and say, “We give You thank, O Lord God the Almighty, who was” – or were – “because You have taken Your great power and had begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came. And the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward your bond-servants, the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and destroy those who destroy the earth. And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple. There were flashes of lightning and sounds of peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.”

What’s that signaling? Go back to verse 15: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” That’s coming. He will halt the existence of all other kings and all other kingdoms, will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords. After that, He will create the new heaven and the new earth, as we read in Isaiah 65 and 66 and Revelation 21, and rule sovereignly forever.

For now the kingdom of God not yet in its millennial form, not yet in its eternal form – a new heaven and a new earth – is a spiritual kingdom. It’s a spiritual reality separate from above and beyond all earthly power and all earthly authority. I’m saying to you: nothing – any person, persons, powers on earth – do/has any effect on His kingdom. Doesn’t matter who’s in Congress, who’s in the Senate, who’s in the Presidency; it has no connection to His eternal glorious kingdom, which He rules alone as a triune God.

For now the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Christ is a spiritual reality separate from all other kingdoms. The realities of His kingdom cannot be propagated or protected or altered by any earthly governmental power. The realities of His kingdom cannot be harmed. They cannot be hindered. They cannot be limited by any power. No laws can be made that will make His kingdom more successful, more compulsory, more effective. Nothing any government or any ruler or any person or persons can do by their temporal forces does anything to advance His kingdom or diminish it.

For now His kingdom is in the hearts of those who believe in Him, right? He’s our King. And the church is where His kingdom becomes visible, and it’s built, as He said, on truth.

So we start with that foundation. So where we are (exactly where God wants us to be), who we are (exactly who He’s redeemed us to be). How do we live in this parallel universe? Well, There are several things you could look at. If you go back to pick up some imperatives, go back to verse 5. Here are imperatives, or commands. This would answer the question, “How do we live?” “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who humbled Himself.”

So how are we to live? We’re to live in humility. We’re to have the same attitude that our Lord had when He emptied Himself and took on the form of a slave. And then because He humbled Himself, God highly exalted Him. So the first imperative in the section we read is, “Have this attitude,” this attitude of utter and total humility.

You say life is getting hard in this situation. It’s likely we’ll all be humbled. But that’s a good thing, because whoever is humbled the Lord exalts. We know all of that. Second Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, how that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might be made rich.” He humbled Himself, and by that humbling was highly exalted, and accomplished God’s glorious salvation purpose.

In verses 3 and 4 of Philippians 2, which we are very familiar with and mentioned a few moments ago, “We are called to sacrifice for one another.” First Peter chapter 2 we’re told that Christ died as a sacrifice not only to atone for us, but as an example, as an example of willing suffering for divine purposes. James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” Take the suffering. Peter says, “Cast your care on the Lord, commit yourself to Him.”

So the first imperative is have this attitude: humility. The second imperative is back in verse 12: work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Work out your salvation – present middle verb, reflexive: “Work out your own salvation. Bring to completion the saving work.” How do you do that? Well, this is talking about holiness and sanctification. Pursue sanctification. Borrow – if you will – those wonderful words from Paul in chapter 3 of Philippians where he says, verse 12, “Not that I have already obtained it or already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. I press on to the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ.” This is Paul saying, “I pursue holiness. I pursue Christlikeness.”

But the verse tells you that, because verse 15 says that you are to prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent. So as you work out your salvation, verse 12, he says this: “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, work out your salvation.” And how do you work your salvation out? By obedience. By obedience. By pursuing a blameless, innocent, virtuous life.

There’s an element of worship here: “with fear and trembling,” verse 12. So that’s an imperative, it fits us all. Pursue the completion, katergazomai. It means basically to bring it to completion. Pursue your holiness. Pursue your holiness. Is that realistic? How do we do that? It is realistic, because at the subsequent verse 13 it says, “It’s God who is at work in your both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” His good pleasure means His enjoyment.

You can pursue holiness because God is at work in you. He’s at work producing that holiness. It’s possible, and it’s commanded. So how do we live in the world? We live humbly and we live holy.

There are couple of others that are mentioned at the end of the text. Go down to verse 16. The NAS says, “Holding fast the word of life.” I would prefer, “Holding out the word of life, holding up the word of life, holding forth the word of life,” because it’s talking about basically proclaiming the gospel. The word of life could be Christ. The word of life could be the Holy Spirit who’s the Spirit of life. The word of life could be the Scripture. The word of life is actually the sum of all the Trinity. God, Christ, the Holy Spirit give life; that life comes through the gospel.

So what are we called to do then? To be humble, to be holy, and to be faithful in proclaiming the word that gives life. We know that, that’s the Great Commission. It’s why we’re here, to proclaim into this dark, perverted, crooked world the life message of the gospel of Christ.

There is a fourth duty and that shows up down in verse 18: “rejoice in the same way.” What do you mean, “the same way”? “I’m rejoicing in my sacrifice.” Back to verse 17: “I’m rejoicing in my sacrifice.” He uses all sacrificial language there. He’s like a drink offering poured out. It would be an animal burning on an altar, and they would bring wine and they would dump it on top of the burning animal and it would send up smoke. Paul says literally, “I’m offering my life as a sacrifice and a sweet aroma to God.”

“In my sacrifice I find joy. I rejoice,” he says. “I rejoice in the sacrifice I’m making for you. And I urge you, rejoice in the same way.” You’re going to make sacrifices, they’re going to be required. Rejoice. Rejoice.

So how do we live in this crooked and perverse generation? We live humbly, holy, proclaiming the gospel, and joyful. All those are essential, but those are really not the point. I’m going to give you the point now.

Go back to verse 14. Here is the imperative that’s connected to verse 15: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Now there’s something very practical. Stop complaining. This is how you prove yourselves to be blameless, innocent children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world. Stop complaining. Yes, be humble. Yes, be holy. Yes, be faithful to testify to the gospel. Yes, be joyful. But the priority here is, “Stop complaining.” Both are in the plural: grumblings and complainings, or disputings.

In fact, grumblings is an onomatopoetic in the Greek. It’s, “Rah-rah-rah-rah-rah-rah.” It’s one of those expressions of discontent and dissatisfaction with low guttural sounds. “What are you talking about, complaining against the government?” No. Stop complaining to God about the situation. You are who you are, you are where you are, and you are not to complain, because this is where God has you. Don’t argue with God over His will. Don’t argue with God over His purposes.

Paul borrowed this phrase; and now you can do what I mentioned we would do earlier. Go to Deuteronomy 32, Deuteronomy 32. Moses at the end of his life, he’s going to die, and he’s giving a message of warning. We’ll just look at the first few verses: “Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb. For I proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” Wow. That’s our God. Did you get that?

The greatness of our God: the Rock, the immovable one. His work is perfect, His ways are just. He’s a God of faithfulness, without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” On the other hand, “The people have acted corruptly toward Him, they are not His children, because of their defect; but are a perverse and crooked generation.” That’s where that comes from. And Moses is indicting Israel: “You have become a crooked and perverted nation.”

What was the evidence of that? Well, there were a lot of things; certainly plenty of idolatry. But in that same chapter, verse 51, “You broke faith with Me. You broke faith with Me.” What does He mean? “You stopped trusting Me. You stopped trusting Me.” That’s familiar stuff. This is at the end of the forty years.

Go to the beginning. Go back to Exodus 5. Who’s the first complainer? Exodus 5:22 and 23: Moses, Moses who gives this speech started out as a complainer. Exodus 14 and subsequently – I don’t have time to go through them all – the Israelites complained about everything: “Why did you lead us out here? Why are we in the wilderness? We don’t like the food. We don’t have any water.” Endless complaining at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. Even the people closest to Moses, Miriam and Aaron, Numbers chapter 12, were complaining so that God struck Miriam with leprosy.

First Corinthians 10 Paul says, “This happened as examples unto us.” Don’t complain against God. Don’t complain against God.

You read the book of Exodus and you’ll see it, a lot of it. You read the book of Numbers and you’ll see more of it. But let me read you some summations just in kind of wrapping up from the Psalms.

In Psalm 106, maybe verse 19: “They made a calf in Horeb, they worshiped a molten image. Thus they exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that eats grass. They forgot God their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, wonders in the land of Ham, awesome things by the Red Sea. Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen seed stood in the breach before Him, to turn away His wrath from destroying them. They despised the pleasant land,” – the land of promise – “they didn’t believe in His word, they grumbled in their tents, they grumbled in their tents.” That’s familiar stuff. Some of you I’m afraid have been grumbling in your tent because you don’t like the way things have gone.

Psalm 78, verse 17, “Yet they still continued to sin against Him, to rebel against the Most High in the desert. In their heart they put God to the test by asking food according to their desire. Then they spoke against God; they said, ‘Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out, the streams were overflowing; can He give bread also? Will He provide meat for His people?’ Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath; and a fire was kindled against Jacob and anger mounted against Israel because they didn’t believe in God, they didn’t trust in His salvation.”

Down in verse 33: “He brought their days to an end in futility and their years in sudden terror.” Verse 40: “How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! Again and again they tempted God, and pained the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power, the day when He redeemed them from the adversary.”

Do you actually think that anybody in this world could do anything to harm the church of Jesus Christ? God is our protector. Stop grumbling. Stop complaining. Stop questioning the will of God. Stop questioning the work of God. His work is for us, it is in us, and it is from us. And what the world needs to see is humble, holy testimony and joy from the children of God who shine as lights in the world. And then we will be the blameless, innocent children of God above reproach, shining as lights in the world.

I want to close with two, two sources of divine revelation that’s going to encourage us. The first one is from David, Psalm 37: “Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off,” – I love this – “but those who wait for the Lord, they will” – what? “inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.”

And then that from David; this from Peter, 2 Peter 3: “Don’t let this one fact escape your notice,” – verse 8 – “beloved: with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but all to come to repentance.” The Lord can’t come and make things right until He’s gathered everybody in who’s been chosen.

“The day of the Lord will come. It’ll come like a thief in the night, and the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be?” This whole thing is headed for destruction. “What kind of person should you be? “Holy in conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we’re looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless.” Don’t complain against God; everything is on schedule. Humility, holiness, proclamation, joy, and trust.

Our Father, we thank You that You have called us together in this wonderful hour of worship. We thank You for the beginning of the celebration of the arrival of our Savior. We thank You that He came into the world to seek and to save sinners. We thank You that He has called us now to be in the world as instruments who, by virtue of our humility and our holiness and our faithfulness to proclaim the gospel, and our joy and our trust. No matter how tough it gets, no matter how much sacrifice we have to make, we trust you. May we live with complete faith in Your will and Your work, which You will do for Your own enjoyment. May we enjoy that reality, and may it take away fear and questions, so that we can proclaim Your glory as blameless and innocent children above reproach, shining as luminaries in the dark world. Thank You for such a calling, in our Savior’s name. Amen.

— Read on www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/81-98/how-to-live-in-a-crooked-and-perverse-generation!

Judgement Is Coming to America — Absolute Truth from the Word of God

So then, does it surprise you that corruption is entrenched not only in political establishments, but social as well. The United States I believe is corrupted beyond repair. I really do not foresee any revival coming. In-fact, I believe the near future will unleash further rounds of abominations that are normalized. What is next? Pedophilia? Bestiality? Of course, the masses will applaud and approve undoubtedly… who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32)

God is Judging America - Severe Judgement Coming Unless Repentance Comes  Soon -- Repent & Prepare: Jerimiah 51: 7-14 Being Fulf… | Bible prophecy,  Repentance, Words

There are a lot of fellow believers insisting God will spark a revival. Of course, that would be preferable. No doubt, all things are possible with God. Did He not send Jonah to Nineveh?  But even the long-suffering of God has its limit and conclusion. We only need to look at the Great Flood to see just that. When the door of the ark was closed, that was it. All caught outside the ark were destroyed and damned to everlasting contempt.  Let us consult our Bibles, shall we? Speaking of Noah, Jesus told us:

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37–39)

Just like the days of Noah… What were those days like exactly? Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) Evil Continually upon man’s heart. Ouch.  Are we currently there in this present day? No, not quite. However, we are RAPIDLY progressing towards that day. Until then God will send us warnings and raise up voices to call to repentance. He always has. This is a universal truth concerning all nations. As nations are concerned God will judge them accordingly.  Also take note… If God did not spare His people (ancient Israel and Judea) national Judgment, He most assuredly will not spare us.

Let’s compare the laundry list of charges:

You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:31)

Milan business owner's anti-abortion signs drawing both criticism and  support | WKRC

And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.’” (Jeremiah 32:35) Right, we see that sacrificing children is an “Abomination” to the LORD. We are guilty as charged to the tune of 60 million unborn babies sacrificed upon the altar of feminism. Considering we are a Nation of around 330 million, 60 million is a serious chunk. That’s 10 times more than the number of Jewish people murdered in the holocaust. I also would bet WAY more than ancient Israel and Judea sacrificed. 

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” (Romans 1:26–27)

as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 7)

Sexual Immorality - Family Radio 316

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

How often did we see the celebratory approval of homosexuality or transgenderism? So much so, that one can NOT turn on a TV (Idiot Tube) without having this thrown in your face. It’s all the time and everywhere in the mainstream. Worse, it’s celebrated. I refer you back to Romans 1:32. Thus as a nation, we have embraced this as normal.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:” (2 Timothy 3:1) Without a doubt I believe us to be in the last of the last days. If not quite there, then remarkably close.

For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,” (2 Timothy 3:2) Check all those boxes. Of course, these are not new and unique to our present day. However, these are mainstream norms of the present day.

unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,” (2 Timothy 3:3) The last year had this on full display. The amount of hatred out there is seething with venom. From rioters burning, pillaging, beating elderly with baseball bats, and despising law and authority. Not to mention slander becoming a norm. Fake news, anyone?

traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,” (2 Timothy 3:4)  Just look at the junk fed to our teens and young adults. The pleasures of life outweigh all. Our youth have become the “It’s all about me” generation.

having a form of godliness but denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:5a) Just look how apostate the church has become. They much rather conform to the world than to God. Notice how they have a form of godliness but in all actuality, they have no power. They are dead in their sins and don’t even know it. Sadly, this is most of mainstream Christianity.  Nelson’s Study notes word this well: A form of godliness is an outward appearance of reverence for God. Denying its power describes religious activity that is not connected to a living relationship with Jesus Christ. As time progresses, people would begin to participate in religious activities that are empty. Their activities have nothing to do with a true relationship with God or with individual faith in Jesus Christ. {Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1997). The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version (2 Ti 3:5). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers}.

It is this failing that is MOST disturbing. You may not know this, but we are amid a full-blown apostasy. There were some internal polls conducted by Lifeway on behalf of Ligonier ministries (State of Theology) last September where it cited: 22% of US Evangelicals believe in “gender fluidity” rather than that people have a God-given gender that is either male or female. Really now? That is Evangelicals who obviously have not opened their bibles in years. Not to mention when you filter the poll to all professed” Christians” those percentages skyrocket.  Here is a link to the [State of Theology poll] Go to the Data Explorer part and play around with the filters to look at the internals. I would say nearly 75% (Just a guess on practical experience) of professed “Christians” are apostates. It is getting worse as the years go by. To be sure, always there has only ever been a true remnant. Just as the Lord said: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13–14)

Trans Sanity: Perversion, Confusion and a Depraved Mind | VirtueOnline –  The Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism

Brethren, I believe God is giving our nation over to depravity. He removes His restraint and lets people have/do whatever they want. With a church that is compromised and lawlessness going out of control. It will not be long until we totally collapse as a nation. Just look at the next generation. I do not think any free society would last under the indoctrinated social policies they hold as values. (Read Socialism) Freedom comes with one requirement. It is to do the right thing when nobody’s watching. Since we overall as a nation fail at that, we are not going to maintain freedom.

God is Love to be sure. However, God is Holy and lawful. His Wrath is like a huge rubber band pulled back so far and ready to snap. I urge you all to be prepared and make sure you have oil in your lamps.

Make sure you are not a “Nominal Christian” Test yourself to see if you are in the faith.  Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Corinthians 13:5) If you fail this test, turn to Jesus Now! You are not dead yet! 

There can be nothing more horrific than to hear this: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21–23)

If you are Saved and struggling. Repent and recommit to the Lord. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

 If you are not saved and managed to endure my writing to this point {CLICK HERE} For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Shalom,

Brian

Judgement Is Coming to America — Absolute Truth from the Word of God

3 Reasons to Be Excited Right Now about Jesus’ Second Coming — BLOG – Beautiful Christian Life

Photo by  Kayla Farmer  on  Unsplash
Photo by Kayla Farmer on Unsplash

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning Beautiful Christian Life LLC may get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through its links, at no cost to you.

A while back I had an absolute blast flying in the back of a high-performance biplane designed for high speed aerobatics. After doing some flips and barrel rolls, the pilot let me know that he was going to fly straight up, kill the engine, and nose dive straight down towards the rocky terrain below.

While laughing, he warned me that we would hit 8.5 Gs and about half of the people that ride with him black out. Due to my military experience, I knew what a good amount of g-force felt like, so I clocked in, took a deep breath, and prepared for tunnel vision. As he killed the engine and we began plummeting towards God’s good earth, I felt like I weighed three hundred pounds and my sight became limited to what seemed like a pinhole. Everything around me was black except for that narrow plot of land below. 

In the same way that I experienced tunnel vision that day (by the way, I did not black out), many believers can focus so much on other aspects of the Christian life that they neglect the great doctrine of the second coming of Christ. Not only can the pressing cares of this life be overwhelming at times, but Christians can also be hesitant to focus on Jesus’ second coming due to their unfamiliarity with eschatological (study of end-times) positions, a knee-jerk reaction to false prophecies about the date of Christ’s return, or just an unfamiliarity about what Scripture says about Christ Jesus’ return. Here are three reasons to be excited right now about the second coming of Jesus:

1. The second coming is the next and final event in redemptive history.

At the same time, we cannot lose Paul’s commitment to “know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Yet, if one was to survey the prayers of Paul alone, it appears that Paul saw the second coming as the next and final event in redemptive history.

I could not escape that he held the second coming of Christ highly and as a necessary hope for all Christians. The epistles of Paul use the second coming, or “the Day,” as a future reality that transforms how we live in the here and now. Let’s look at a few examples:

[W]hen he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thess. 1:10-12)

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6)

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 5:23)

Whether it is Jesus commanding that we ought to be awake and prepared for his return (Matt. 24-25), or the resurrected and exalted Christ using his second coming as a comfort throughout the book of Revelation, Christians are called to be a people who long for this great day. As Hebrews 9:28 says,

So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Did you catch that? We are called to be a people with a sense of focused vision who are eagerly awaiting that day.

2. The second coming is a doctrine full of hope and practical implications right now.

As we fix our eyes on Christ and his return, it will transform the way we deal with ordinary and mundane things in the here and now. This might change the prayers of the stay-at-home mom from, “Oh Lord, give me just a little break” to “Oh Lord, would you save the soul of my child so that she will be found in you at your second coming?” This may transform the prayers of the weary pastor from “God, grow the church” to “God, help me equip and prepare your sheep for that great day!” Whatever it might be for you, the second coming is a doctrine full of hope and practical implications right now. As Charles Spurgeon once said, “Our position towards our Lord is that of waiting for His coming.”[1]

The question is, are we a people infused with the hope of the glory of God as we await his coming and prepare for his return? This is not a focused vision that directs our eyes straight down towards the ground, but it instead fixes our eyes upon Christ Jesus who came a first time to deal with sin and has promised to come again for us. 

3. The doctrine of the second coming of Christ is found throughout all of Scripture.

Many of the minor prophets zoom in on the day of Jesus’ return being a day of judgment and salvation. All who are found in Christ will marvel and rejoice at his coming, but those not in him will tremble in terror. This should not be a shock to us, because the first coming of Christ found its pinnacle at the cross where both judgment and salvation were accomplished, just as the minor prophets foretold. The judgment of God towards sinners was poured out upon the innocent Son of God. All those who trust in him walk away with the gift of salvation because judgment has been fully paid.

Yet, when Christ returns, it will be the consummation of all salvation where those in Christ will marvel at him and enter into his presence, but all those who denied him will endure the eternal judgment of God forever. This is Paul’s point in 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 where he argues for a worldwide event of judgment and salvation at the same time:

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thess. 1:9-10)

As we eagerly await that day, we must remember we are in the already-and-not-yet: “already” in the sense of Christ’s death, resurrection, ascension, and the sending of his Spirit that has secured the promise of his return, but “not yet” in the sense that we are awaiting for all of these things to come in their fullness when we see Christ face-to-face. Is not that the thing we eagerly expect most? To see our Lord and King face-to-face?

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Revelation: Worthy is the Lamb! (Teleios Academy) by Wes Van Fleet


[1] Charles Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1900), 389.

3 Reasons to Be Excited Right Now about Jesus’ Second Coming — BLOG – Beautiful Christian Life

No Fear for the New Year — The Master’s Seminary Blog

No Fear for the New Year — The Master’s Seminary Blog

Nathan BusenitzJanuary 05, 2021

I think we are all glad to see 2020 officially laid to rest in the history books. What a year it was, filled with unpredictable twists and turns.

As we embark on a new year in 2021, it is only natural to wonder what the next twelve months will hold. A new president is about to be inaugurated, along with a new Congress. Governmental restrictions remain in effect. Large sectors of the economy are still shut down. Health officials predict it will be months before things return to some state of normalcy.

No matter how uncertain the future might seem, as believers we are not pessimists. We are optimists, not because of wishful thinking on our part, but because our hope is anchored in the King of kings and Lord of lords.

We find solace in His sovereign goodness, knowing that He upholds all things by the word of His power and holds us safely in His hand. No matter what happens in 2021, our future is secure.

There are many places in Scripture we could look to see this truth articulated. Psalm 46 is one of those places. My intention is to encourage our hearts with the bold confidence of the Psalmist in the face of troubling times.

In verse 2 of Psalm 46, the Psalmist writes: “Therefore we will not fear.” What is it that we might have to fear? We could list many potential sources of anxiety, apprehension, and fear. The events of last year provides us with a fairly extensive list.

But the Psalmist focuses on two main categories: (1) In verses 2–3, his focus is on natural disasters, and specifically earthquakes and the destruction that they might cause; and (2) in verses 6 and 9, his focus is on national disasters, and specifically the violent upheaval that takes place when nations go to war and governments crumble.

These two categories sum up what we experienced in 2020, and they provide the main categories of concern as we look to the uncertain future. The Psalmist, likewise, recognized the dangers posed both by nature and by the nations. Yet, the encouragement to those who sang this song in ancient Israel, and the encouragement to those of us who read this Psalm today is the same: we will not fear.

But how is this kind of confident resolve in the face of instability and hostility possible?

I believe Psalm 46 answers that question for us, and it does so by lifting our eyes off of this world and putting them on the Lord. Those who know and love Him need never fear. Though the mountains tremble and collapse into the sea; though kingdoms rise and fall; though wicked men flourish; and though our lives are but a breath—we need not fear.

In this Psalm, we are given three reasons not to fear, even in the face of trouble, and each of these reasons focuses on God, who is our refuge and strength.

January 5: Reflecting on Light (truthforlife.org)

Reflecting on Light

And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.Genesis 1:4

Light might well be good since it sprang from that fiat of goodness, “Let there be light.” We who enjoy it should be more grateful for it than we are, and see more of God in it and by it. Physical light is said by Solomon to be sweet, but gospel light is infinitely more precious, for it reveals eternal things and ministers to our immortal natures. When the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual light and opens our eyes to behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we behold sin in its true colors, and ourselves in our real position; we see the Most Holy God as He reveals Himself, the plan of mercy as He propounds it, and the world to come as the Word describes it. Spiritual light has many beams and prismatic colors, but whether they be knowledge, joy, holiness, or life, all are divinely good. If the light received be thus good, what must the essential light be, and how glorious must be the place where He reveals Himself. O Lord, since light is so good, give us more of it, and more of Yourself, the true light.

No sooner is there a good thing in the world than a division is necessary. Light and darkness have no communion; God has divided them—let us not confound them. Sons of light must not have fellowship with deeds, doctrines, or deceits of darkness. The children of the day must be sober, honest, and bold in their Lord’s work, leaving the works of darkness to those who will dwell in it forever.

Our churches should by discipline divide the light from the darkness, and we should by our distinct separation from the world do the same. In judgment, in action, in hearing, in teaching, in association, we must discern between the precious and the vile, and maintain the great distinction that the Lord made upon the world’s first day.

O Lord Jesus, be our light throughout the whole of this day, for Your light is the light of men.

Source: Reflecting on Light (truthforlife.org)

January 5 Evening Quotes of the Day

Not Pride, but a Due Estimation
Proverbs 4:7; 16:16; 23:33; James 4:10

Humility does no more require that a wise man think his knowledge equal with a fool’s, or ignorant man’s, than that a sound man take himself to be sick. When a wise man values the useful knowledge which God has given him above all the glory and vanities of the world, which are indeed of lower worth, this is not pride, but a due estimation of things.

RICHARD BAXTER

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

God’s Foreknowledge and Human Belief
Romans 8:29

God decreed to save and damn certain particular persons. This decree has its foundation in the foreknowledge of God, by which he knew from all eternity those individuals who would, through his preventing grace, believe, and, through his subsequent grace would persevere, according to the before described administration of those means which are suitable and proper for conversion and faith; and, by which foreknowledge, he likewise knew those who would not believe and persevere.

JAMES ARMINIUS

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

JANUARY 5 – Daily Devotion: The Scandal Maker (Mark 2:13-3:6) (raystedman.org)

Master Washing the Feet of a Servant

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed himMark 2:15

This evidently was a farewell dinner Matthew gave for his friends, his tax-collecting buddies. He was saying farewell to his work and friends and leaving to follow Jesus, the one who would travel from place to place. It was also an opportunity to introduce them to his newfound Lord.

What a collection of rascals must have been there that day! All the tax collectors of the city, all the sinners, all the despised social outcasts were sitting there. As the scribes of the Pharisees passed by, they saw that right in the midst of it all, among the beer bottles and the poker chips, sat Jesus. And they were absolutely scandalized! It was obvious that He was the friend of these men. He was not lecturing them. He was sitting among them and eating and drinking with them. The scribes were simply appalled at this and called the disciples aside: Why does he do things like that? Doesn’t he know who these people are?

Jesus’ answer is very revealing. He actually agrees with their remarks. He says, in effect, You’re right, these are sick, hurting, troubled men. Their style of life has damaged them deeply. They don’t see life rightly; they are covering up many evils; they are false in many ways. You’re right, these are sick men. But where else would a doctor be?

He says something to them that rightly focuses their attention and turns their gaze back toward themselves. He says, I came to call not the righteous, but sinners. That is, those who think they are righteous, as these Pharisees did, are actually more needy than those they regard as social outcasts. These Pharisees were actually more deeply disturbed than the tax collectors and sinners, but they did not know it. But Jesus was saying to them, To those who think they’re righteous, I have absolutely nothing to say. But to these who know they’re sick and are open for help, I am fully available as a minister to their souls.

Our Lord made several things emphatically clear by this reply. First, He indicated strongly that when people think they have no need of help from God, they are in no position to be helped. There is nothing to say to them. But our Lord always put His efforts where men and women were open to help, where they were hurting so much they knew they needed help.

The second thing our Lord reveals is that people are more important than prejudice. Prejudices are preconceived notions formed before we have sufficient knowledge, usually mistaken or distorted ideas with which we have grown up. When prejudices are in opposition to the needs of people, they are to be swept aside without any hesitation. We Christians must learn to treat people like this–regardless of what their outward appearance may be. That is the way Jesus approached people everywhere.

Father, thank You for Jesus’ courage, which dared to challenge human traditions. Grant that I may see myself and others as You see us–sick people in need of a physician.

Life Application

Do we need to repent of the self-righteous judging that separates us from God’s forgiveness for our own sins, and from caring compassion toward other sinners?

Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray’s Messages

The Scandal Maker


Listen to Ray

Mark 2:13-3:6

13Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

15While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

17On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

18Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”

19Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.

21“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.”

23One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

25He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

27Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

1Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

4Then 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.

5He 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. 6Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

New International Version

Source: Daily Devotion: The Scandal Maker (Mark 2:13-3:6) (raystedman.org)

January 5: Think And Act Biblically by Dr. James Boice

Tuesday: No Other Doctrine

Theme: Warning Against False Doctrine

In this week’s lessons, we are reminded of the importance of sound doctrine if the church is to function properly and be protected from false teaching.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:1-11

Now Paul mentions false doctrines that were plaguing the church, and he has particular ideas in mind. They have to do with myths and genealogies. Now I don’t think this has to do with the kind of genealogies you find in the Old Testament, or of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospels. It is not the tracing of descendants that Paul is addressing. Rather, Paul combines this reference to genealogies with myths. Beginning in the latter half of the first century, and growing in influence in the next century, was teaching that collectively was known by the name of Gnosticism.

It took different forms, but one of its interests was in mythological genealogies. These kind of genealogies are not the ones we know. Instead, they had to do with the origin of things, which were thought to be emanations from the gods. So one god would produce two gods, one male and one female. These in turn would produce other gods, and so on, until there was this whole genealogy of divine beings. Moreover, because all of this grew out of the philosophical groundings of Greek thought, the basic idea is that God by his very nature as a spirit being would not create or have contact with that which is material. So the only way you can explain the generation of all things is by a generation of gods, such that the one who actually brings about the creation of the world is separated from the true God who as spirit cannot be contaminated by such things.

Now something of this sort is what presumably was going on and was making its way into the churches. Consequently, it was diverting Christians from that which was propositional and biblically grounded, causing them to become interested in dabbling in these speculative ideas about divine genealogies. Paul is exhorting Timothy to make sure that the churches remain faithful to the teaching that God has delivered for their spiritual growth.

At this point, we need to say a bit more about Gnosticism because we have modern forms of it. Gnosticism had two basic tenets, and two bad consequences from the point of view of Christianity. The first tenet is that the Gnostics put a premium on the intellect, maintaining that this is how salvation comes. In fact, the word “Gnosticism” comes from the Greek word gnosis, or knowledge. The idea was that if you had knowledge of certain things, that was Gnosticism’s understanding of how salvation was achieved; it is on the intellectual and spiritual levels. Gnostics, therefore, rejected Christianity’s idea that God has intervened in history.

The second tenet of Gnosticism was what I alluded to a moment ago. It is this chasm between the spirit and the flesh or between God and matter. This was an unbridgeable gulf, according to Greek philosophy, and it found its way into Gnosticism, which taught that salvation was by the intellect and completely divorced from how one lived. So the intellect or spirit could be saved, but not the body, which was considered evil. Moreover, Gnosticism went on to claim that since this is the case, it makes no difference what one does with the body, since in Gnostic salvation the mind would eventually leave the evil body behind.

From these two tenets we can observe two bad consequences that directly oppose Christian doctrine. First, because the body and physical matter is evil, in Gnosticism you can’t have an incarnation because God, as a spiritual being, cannot come in human flesh. Thus, this necessary theological truth is a direct antithesis to Greek philosophy.

Study Questions:

  1. Explain the mythological genealogies to which Paul refers.
  2. Describe the two tenets of Gnosticism mentioned in our study.
  3. What is the first consequence of Gnosticism for the Christian faith?

Reflection: What false doctrines are affecting the church today?

For Further Study: Download and listen for free to James Boice’s message, “Man’s Doctrine, God’s Doctrine.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

Source: Tuesday: No Other Doctrine | Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (thinkandactbiblically.org)

January 5, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

19:20 was prevailing Through their dramatic actions, the believers demonstrate the gospel’s influence in every area of their lives. Their actions testify to their joyful submission to Jesus and to the power of Jesus over evil powers.[1]


19:20 Luke again emphasizes the inherent power of the word of the Lord, showing that the gospel triumphs over all demonic powers. In these summary statements, Luke continues to give glory to God and his word rather than to any human skill, knowledge, or effort.[2]


19:20 — So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

God loves to honor His Word so that it grows mightily and prevails. If we want to be connected with such a mighty move of God, we must faithfully proclaim His Word through the power of His Spirit.[3]


19:20 The word of the Lord … prevailed over pagan religion in this political and religious capital of the province of Asia (now western Turkey).[4]


19:20. Luke concludes with his sixth progress report: So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. The Lucan narrative now turns to the consummation of the validation of Paul’s interadvent ministry (to a church composed of both Jews and Gentiles) brought about both by the nation’s rejection and God’s wise mercy for both groups (see Romans 9–11).[5]


19:20 This well-publicized renunciation of pagan practices caused the word of the Lord to grow mightily and to prevail. Perhaps if modern Christians would burn their trashy books and magazines, the word would prevail much more.[6]


19:20. The cleansed church became a powerful and growing church. (The spreading of God’s Word is also mentioned in 6:7; 12:24; 13:49.) With this sixth “progress report” Luke brought another section of his book to a conclusion (cf. 2:47; 6:7; 9:31; 12:24; 16:5; 28:30–31).

  1. The extension of the church to Rome (19:21–28:31).
  2. The completion of the third journey (19:21–21:16).
  3. The disturbance at Ephesus (19:21–41).[7]

19:20. Apparently, this incident was only one of many like it. Luke tells us that “in this way” the Lord’s word spread and grew in power. Luke ends Act V of Acts with another brief summary of the health of the Lord’s work. We have seen this in 6:7 and 12:24, but this time Luke refers to the dark culture of western Asia Minor where, for the first time, the gospel confronted the common activity of demons. Truth has invaded the kingdom of Diana and is winning the battle.[8]


20. Grew mightily, [lions.] The word κατα κρατος doth signify that the word increased not a little, (or that these proceedings were not common;) as if he should say, that in those increasings appeared rare efficacy, and such as was greater than it used commonly to be. The word grew do I refer unto the number of men, as if he should have said, that the Church was increased, new disciples being gathered together daily, because doctrine is spread abroad. And I interpret that, that the word was confirmed in every one thus, to wit, that they did profit in the obedience of the gospel and in godliness more and more, and that their faith took deeper root.[9]


20 The advances of the gospel into Macedonia, Achaia, and Asia did not come about without great difficulty and several periods of discouragement. At times, in fact, matters looked very bleak. Viewed externally, one may even be tempted to agree with Wilfred L. Knox (St. Paul and the Church of the Gentiles [Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1939], 85) that Paul’s “journey into Macedonia had been the height of unwisdom and its results negligible.” Perhaps Paul felt that way himself when forced to leave the province. But such a view forgets that at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea a flame had been lit that was to spread throughout the area. Furthermore, it is to ignore the fact that, to judge by Paul’s own extant letters, the churches founded in these cities—certainly at Philippi and Thessalonica but probably also at Berea—were among his best and most loyal ones.

At Athens Paul faced the snobbery and polite refusal of self-satisfied people, and it seems evident that their lack of response on top of his difficulties in Macedonia almost drove him to despair. But at Corinth, in spite of his own feelings of “weakness,” “fear,” and “much trembling” (1 Co 2:3), God worked remarkably by giving Paul an open door and a successful ministry. Of course with success also came problems, which at Corinth arose from within the congregation. Nonetheless, Paul had much to thank God for when he called to mind his experiences at Corinth, and he evidently returned to Jerusalem to fulfill his Nazirite vow with much joy. At Ephesus, after revisiting his Galatian converts, his ministry continued in ways that evidenced God’s presence and power.

Paul’s second and third missionary journeys read like a slice of life. Having set out in his earlier panels episodes depicting the gradual widening of the gospel to new groups of people and the establishment of a new missionary policy to the Gentiles, Luke in panel 5 presents for his readers a graphic account of the gospel’s entrance into new regions. It is the story of the church’s dedicated service under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit in proclaiming the good news to those who desperately needed to hear it. It is a story not without opposition and not without times of depression and soul-searching. But it is also a story of divine blessing, times of elation, and periods of confidence. Through it all God was at work. And in looking back on those days Luke says simply, “In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.”[10]


Domination

So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. (19:20)

Luke’s brief summary statement (cf. Acts 6:7; 12:24) pulls the passage together and emphasizes the dominant position the Word of God achieved in Ephesus. All the satanic forces of the occult and magic arrayed against the Word could not overpower it. The bold preaching of the gospel, the confirming miracles, the defeat of the exorcists, the resultant awe and respect for the name of Jesus, and the public repudiation of the magical arts demonstrated the invincible might of God’s Word.[11]


[1] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ac 19:20). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[2] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2127). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ac 19:20). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1405). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] Valdés, A. S. (2010). The Acts of the Apostles. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 581). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1645). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Toussaint, S. D. (1985). Acts. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 411). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[8] Gangel, K. O. (1998). Acts (Vol. 5, pp. 325–326). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[9] Calvin, J., & Beveridge, H. (2010). Commentary upon the Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 2, pp. 221–222). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[10] Longenecker, R. N. (2007). Acts. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 1011–1012). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[11] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1994). Acts (Vol. 2, p. 178). Chicago: Moody Press.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR JAN 5, 2021 | Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR JAN 5, 2021

Conclude with Solemn Praises of God

Conclusion 6.4 | ESV

We may conclude all with doxologies or solemn praises of God, ascribing honor and glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and sealing up all our praises and prayers with an affectionate Amen.

Now blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen. Psalm 41:13 (ESV)

Forever blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things, and blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen. Psalm 72:18-19 (ESV) Yes, let all the people say, “Amen! Praise the LORD!” Psalm 106:48 (ESV)

To the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. Romans 16:27 (ESV)

Now to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5 (ESV)

To God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:21 (ESV)

To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:17 (ESV) To him be honor and eternal dominion; 1 Timothy 6:16 (ESV) to him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:11 (ESV)

Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25 (ESV)

Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to the LORD our God. Revelation 19:1 (ESV) Amen, Hallelujah! Revelation 19:4 (ESV)

And now, we prostrate our souls before the throne and worship God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to God forever and ever! Amen. Revelation 7:11-12 (ESV) To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” Revelation 5:13 (ESV) And let the whole creation say, “Amen. Amen.”

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January 5 Afternoon Quotes of the Day

God Knows All but Waits for Confession
Job 31:33; Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 5:25; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20; Revelation 12:10

The Lord knows all things, but He waits for your words, not that He may punish, but that He may pardon. It is not His will that the devil should triumph over you and accuse you when you conceal your sins. Be beforehand with your accuser: if you accuse yourself, you will fear no accuser; if you report yourself, though you were dead you shall live.

AMBROSE OF MILAN

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Early Church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Virtues and Vices Contrasted
Romans 6:22; Galatians 5:13–14, 16–24

There is labor in vice, there is rest in virtue; there is confusion in lust, there is security in chastity; there is servitude in covetousness, there is liberty in charity.

AELRED OF RIEVAULX

Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

January 5, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

2:3 fear and with much trembling Paul draws a contrast between himself and professional public speakers who used eloquence and wisdom to gather an audience. The apostle was a skillful speaker, but his delivery may have been unimpressive by Corinthian standards (2 Cor 10:10). Paul declares his manner to be another example of the paradoxical nature of God’s strength in weakness.[1]


2:3 weakness … fear … trembling. Paul came to Corinth after being beaten and imprisoned in Philippi, run out of Thessalonica and Berea, and scoffed at in Athens (Ac 16:22–24; 17:10, 13, 14, 32), so he may have been physically weak. But in that weakness, he was most powerful (see vv. 4, 5; 2Co 12:9, 10) There were no theatrics or techniques to manipulate people’s response. His fear and shaking were because of the seriousness of his mission.[2]


2:3. Paul recalls that he was with them in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. Maybe these terms refer to his initial loneliness and discouragement after his previous ministry in Athens, or to the anxiety he felt for the Thessalonian believers, or to the overpowering evil of Corinth, or possibly to his sickness (cf. Gal 4:13). He had developed such a relationship with them that he felt free to share his own sense of vulnerability.[3]


2:3 Paul further emphasizes that his personal demeanor was neither impressive nor attractive. He was with the Corinthians in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. The treasure of the gospel was contained in an earthen vessel that the excellence of the power might be of God and not of Paul. He himself was an example of how God uses weak things to confound the mighty.[4]


2:3. Paul continued to focus on the manner of his prior ministry in Corinth. He had come with weakness, fear, and much trembling. In all likelihood, the weakness of which he spoke was his physical ailments. Paul had suffered physical abuse because of his faith in Christ (2 Cor. 12:7). He had also had difficulties with his sight (Gal. 6:11), and perhaps other illnesses (2 Cor. 12:7–10). The apostle had not come to Corinth asserting himself with human strength as the factions in the Corinthian church had begun to do. He had come as a weak person—and in his weakness he had brought the wisdom of God.[5]


2:3 “I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling” Paul is showing us his inadequacies: (1) he was fearful because of his rough treatment at Philippi, Thessalonika, and Berea (cf. Acts 16–17); (2) he was disappointed at the results and possibly his methodology used in Athens (Origen’s view from Acts 17:22–34); (3) his physical problem, probably eye trouble, caused him great difficulty (cf. 2 Cor. 12:7–9); and (4) his lack of faith and discouragement while at Corinth. Christ had to appear to Paul several times to encourage him (cf. Acts 18:9–10; 23:11; 27:23). His words and his physical condition were not what turned people to faith in Christ, but the gospel’s appeal and the Spirit’s power (cf. v. 4; 1:17; 2 Cor. 10:10).

It is helpful to me as a minister of Jesus Christ to realize

  1. Jesus had His own discouraging moments (Gethsemane)
  2. the Apostles often did not fully understand Jesus’ teachings
  3. Paul felt fearful and weak.

We must always acknowledge the weakness of the flesh, yet also acknowledge the tremendous power of the gospel and the Spirit! God’s character and provisions are magnified through human weakness (cf. 1:26–29; 2 Cor. 12).

Paul’s weaknesses are the very things that the false teachers in 2 Cor. 10–13 attacked him for. They magnified their strengths (education, social position, spiritual giftedness, speaking skills). Apparently Paul’s writings were more rhetorically structured (2 Cor. 10–13) and powerful than his oral messages.[6]


3. I came to you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling.

What a confession from the lips of one of Christ’s apostles! What honesty! What humility! Once more (see v. 1) Paul relates personal history as an example. He bares his soul and reveals his inner thoughts. He had nothing to offer except the message of Christ’s death on the cross. The reception he received from the Jews in Corinth soon turned hostile, so he had to leave the local synagogue to continue his ministry in the house of Titius Justus. When discouragement overpowered Paul, Jesus appeared to him in a vision and told him not to be afraid, to keep on preaching, and not to be silent. Jesus revealed that he had many people in the city of Corinth (Acts 18:7–11).

“I came to you in weakness and in fear” (compare 4:10). From his other epistles, we learn that Paul had to cope with physical ailments; he frequently endured punishment and affliction (2 Cor. 11:23–28; 12:7) and he was ill during his visit to the Galatians (Gal. 4:13–14). We assume that Paul was a rather unattractive man, perhaps small of stature (2 Cor. 10:10) and plagued with poor eyesight (see Gal. 4:15; 6:11). Nevertheless, he proved to be a fearless proponent of the gospel when he preached in the synagogues and marketplaces of Damascus, Jerusalem, Antioch, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Achaia.

Paul refers to his eighteen-month stay in Corinth (Acts 18:11) when he writes that he spent his time in Corinth “in fear and with much trembling.” His was the arduous task of establishing a church in cosmopolitan Corinth. In the eyes of influential Corinthians, Paul was a person without strength, means, or privilege. Because of his trade, they considered him no better than a slave and had no respect for him. The Jews constantly plotted against him and eventually had him stand trial before Proconsul Gallio (Acts 18:12). The terms fear and trembling occur often in Paul’s epistles as an expression of anxiety. Fear is a debilitating force used by Satan to hinder Christ’s servants and to distort their perception. Paul gives no details but confesses that during his stay in Corinth, he experienced fear and trembling. Here these terms relate to numerous social and political threats Paul had to face.

Moreover, we suggest that Paul harbored innate fear and trembling because he knew his human limitations in the tremendous task of preaching the gospel and founding a church in Corinth. He knew that while denying himself he had to trust in God to provide the necessary strength to accomplish the task. This is evident from the message conveyed in the next verse.[7]


3. From the message Paul turns to the manner of the preaching. He had had much to discourage him just before he came to Corinth (see Introduction, pp. 22f.). He must have been somewhat down-hearted, and this was reflected in his general manner. In any case the Corinthians were not very impressed by his personal presence (2 Cor. 10:10; in the second-century Acts of Paul and Thecla Paul is said to be ‘a man small of stature, with a bald head and crooked legs, in a good state of body, with eyebrows meeting and nose somewhat hooked’). Paul says that he had been without strength and afraid, even to the point of trembling (Phillips, ‘I was feeling far from strong, I was nervous and rather shaky’). He did not, of course, fear men; he feared God in the light of the task committed to him—it was what Kay calls ‘anxious desire to fulfil his duty’.[8]


3. And I was with you in weakness. He explains at greater length what he had previously touched upon—that he had nothing shining or excellent in him in the eyes of men, to raise him to distinction. He concedes, however, to his adversaries what they desired in such a way as to make those very things which, in their opinion, tended to detract from the credit of his ministry, redound to its highest commendation. If he appeared less worthy of esteem from his being so mean and abject according to the flesh, he shows that the power of God shone out the more conspicuously in this, that he could effect so much, while sustained by no human helps. He has in his eye not merely those foolish boasters who aimed at mere show, with the view of obtaining for themselves a name, but the Corinthians, too, who gazed with astonishment on their empty shows. Accordingly a recital of this kind was fitted to have great weight with them. They were aware that Paul had brought nothing with him in respect of the flesh that was fitted to help him forward, or that might enable him to insinuate himself into the favour of men, and yet they had seen the amazing success which the Lord had vouchsafed to his preaching. Nay more, they had in a manner beheld with their own eyes the Spirit of God present in his doctrine. When, therefore, despising his simplicity, they were tickled with a desire for a kind of wisdom, I know not of what sort, more puffed up and more polished, and were captivated with outward appearance, nay, even with adventitious ornament, rather than with the living efficacy of the Spirit, did they not sufficiently discover their ambitious spirit? It is with good reason, therefore, that Paul puts them in mind of his first entering in among them, (1 Thess. 2:1,) that they may not draw back from that divine efficacy, which they once knew by experience.

The term weakness he employs here, and in several instances afterwards, (2 Cor. 11:30; 12:5, 9, 10,) as including everything that can detract from a person’s favour and dignity in the opinion of others. Fear and trembling are the effects of that weakness. There are, however, two ways in which these two terms may be explained by us. Either we may understand him to mean, that when he pondered the magnitude of the office that he sustained, it was tremblingly, and not without great anxiety, that he occupied himself in it; or that, being encompassed with many dangers, he was in constant alarm and incessant anxiety. Either meaning suits the context sufficiently well. The second, however, is, in my opinion, the more simple. Such a spirit of modesty, indeed, becomes the servants of the Lord, that, conscious of their own weakness, and looking, on the other hand, at once to the difficulty and the excellence of so arduous an office, they should enter on the discharge of it with reverence and fear. For those that intrude themselves confidently, and in a spirit much elated, or who discharge the ministry of the word with an easy mind, as though they were fully equal to the task, are ignorant at once of themselves and of the task.

As, however, Paul here connects fear with weakness, and as the term weakness denotes everything that was fitted to render him contemptible, it follows necessarily that this fear must relate to dangers and difficulties. It is certain, however, that this fear was of such a nature as did not prevent Paul from engaging in the Lord’s work, as facts bear witness. The Lord’s servants are neither so senseless as not to perceive impending dangers, nor so devoid of feeling as not to be moved by them. Nay more, it is necessary for them to be seriously afraid on two accounts chiefly—first, that, abased in their own eyes, they may learn wholly to lean and rest upon God alone, and secondly, that they may be trained to a thorough renunciation of self. Paul, therefore, was not devoid of the influence of fear, but that fear he controlled in such a manner as to go forward, notwithstanding, with intrepidity through the midst of dangers, so as to encounter with undaunted firmness and fortitude all the assaults of Satan and of the world; and, in fine, so as to struggle through every impediment.[9]


Ver. 3.—I was with you; literally, I became or proved myself, towards you, as in ch. 16:10. In weakness. St. Paul was physically weak and liable also to nervous weakness and depression (ch. 4:7–12; Gal. 4:13; 2 Cor. 10:1, 10; 12:7, 10). He shows an occasional self-distrust rising from the consciousness of personal infirmities. This enhances our sense of his heroic courage and endurance. Doubtless this physical weakness and nervous depression were connected with his “stake in the flesh,” which seems to have been an acute and distressing form of ophthalmia, accompanied with cerebral disturbance (see my ‘Life of St. Paul,’ i. 215–221). In fear, and in much trembling. Probably the words are even literally true, though they are a common phrase (2 Cor. 7:15; Phil. 2:12, 13; Eph. 6:5). It must be remembered that in his first visit to Corinth St Paul had gone through stormy and troubled days (Acts. 18:1–12).[10]


2:3 in weakness with great fear and trembling. The Corinthians’ acceptance of Paul’s message was not due to his personal strength and conviction. Rather, God proved the content of his message by using a physically weak person like Paul (Gal. 4:14; 2 Cor. 10:10). Paul’s appearance exemplified Christ’s victory through weakness (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1). His fear and trembling were caused not by a sense of inferiority toward the “eloquent” but by a concern that both his message and his life faithfully portray Christ.[11]


2:3 / This next sentence begins exactly as did the last (2:1–2), literally, “And I”; so that the Greek text signals the connection of this sentence, which runs to the end of 2:5, with the foregoing comments. The niv renders the Greek verb came, although the word may mean either “came” or “was with.” Following 2:1–2, the latter sense of the verb (“was with”) seems preferable, so that Paul is explaining the conditions of his stay and ministry, not merely the style of his arrival. Paul refers to his weakness, fear, and trembling. By referring to weakness, Paul reiterates the language of 1:25, now applying the notion of weakness to himself. Paul is fond of this image of his person and work; he uses “weakness” in key texts such as Romans 8:26; 1 Corinthians 15:43; 2 Corinthians 11:30; 12:9; 13:4. Especially from Paul’s discussions of weakness in 2 Corinthians, one learns that he valued weakness not for its own sake (as if he were a masochist), but because in, through, and despite Paul’s weakness God’s power was at work in his ministry. The contrast of Paul’s weakness and God’s powerful, sustaining grace reveals that the power and the results of that power are property and achievements of God alone (see 2 Cor. 4:1–12).

Paul’s uses of fear and trembling conjure up obvious, crucial biblical categories of profound piety that recognize the difference between human frailty and divine strength. The niv rendering “in weakness and fear, and with much trembling” is peculiar in that it couples weakness and fear and separates trembling from the other two terms. This translation slightly distorts Paul’s statement which (lit.) reads, “And I in weakness and in fear and in much trembling was with you.” While Paul’s statement is enigmatic (since today one cannot know exactly what his words described), still his point is clear: Paul’s manner of ministry was far removed from a polished and persuasive performance; his behavior allowed the reality of God’s power alone to bring the Corinthians into the experience of salvation.[12]


3 With another “and I” Paul resumes the description of his preaching; but now it focuses less on the form of preaching and more directly on the “form” of the preacher. The verb can mean either “I came to you,” emphasizing that this is how he was when he arrived, or “I was with you,” suggesting that he manifested “weakness” in his ongoing relationship with them. The latter is to be preferred for two reasons: (1) There is a precise analogy in 16:10, which speaks of Timothy’s coming and not fearing while he is with you (the same combination of verbs and prepositional phrase as here and in v. 1); (2) vv. 1–2 emphasize his resolve when he came to them; here the emphasis is on the ongoing visit.

From this distance it is impossible to know the exact nature of Paul’s being with them “in weakness.” He is most likely referring to some observable physical condition.21 In any case his intent seems clear: for him there was a genuine correspondence between his own personal weaknesses and his gospel (cf. Col. 1:24). At the heart of his preaching stood the “weakness of God” (1:25), the story of a crucified Messiah (v. 2). His own weaknesses served as a further visible demonstration of the same message, but even more to demonstrate that the message was of divine, not human, origin (see esp. 2 Cor. 4:7 and 13:4). Thus the apostle regularly glories in his weaknesses, not because he “enjoyed ill health” but because they were a sure evidence that the power was of God and not of himself. Apparently this became a point of genuine contention between Paul and this church, as the long apologetic sections of 2 Cor. 4:7–5:10 and 11:17–12:10 reveal. Possibly Paul has already gotten inklings of the problem from his informants, hence this passage, and especially 4:8–13.

Along with “weakness” he adds “and in fear and much trembling,” but it is not at all clear what this means. The two words often occur together in the LXX (e.g., Exod. 15:16; Isa. 19:16), usually to express the dread that people (esp. enemies) are to sense in the presence of God and his activity in the world. The combination is unique to Paul in the NT (2 Cor. 7:15; Phil. 2:12; Eph. 6:5), but elsewhere does not seem to refer to people over against God. Most likely here it reflects the general picture given in Acts 18:9–11, where for reasons unknown to us Paul seems overwhelmed by the task of evangelizing in this great city. In any case it is a condition which he is gladly willing that the Corinthians should now recall, so that they will be reminded of how unlike the sophists his preaching and appearance truly were.[13]


[1] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Co 2:3). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Co 2:3). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Hunt, D. L. (2010). The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 717). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[4] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 1751–1752). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, p. 26). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[6] Utley, R. J. (2002). Paul’s Letters to a Troubled Church: I and II Corinthians (Vol. Volume 6, p. 33). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

[7] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, pp. 74–75). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[8] Morris, L. (1985). 1 Corinthians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 7, p. 56). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Vol. 1, pp. 98–100). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[10] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 1 Corinthians (p. 59). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[11] Vang, P. (2014). 1 Corinthians. (M. L. Strauss, Ed.) (p. 35). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[12] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (pp. 53–54). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[13] Fee, G. D. (1987). The First Epistle to the Corinthians (pp. 92–94). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Did Kamala Harris Plagiarize Martin Luther King Jr.? | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Matt Margolis via PJMedia.com,

For Joe Biden, plagiarism has kind of been his thing. His first presidential campaign was doomed by allegations of plagiarism. Not one to learn from his mistakes, his platformhis COVID-19 response plan, and his DNC acceptance speech were all allegedly plagiarized.

Suddenly, his selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate makes more sense. Activist Andray Domise pointed out on Twitter that a story she told Elle Magazine last year just before the election seems awfully similar to a story told by Martin Luther King Jr. about a girl in Birmingham, Alabama.

Let’s take a look and see…

From Elle MagazineOctober 6, 2020:

Senator Kamala Harris started her life’s work young. She laughs from her gut, the way you would with family, as she remembers being wheeled through an Oakland, California, civil rights march in a stroller with no straps with her parents and her uncle. At some point, she fell from the stroller (few safety regulations existed for children’s equipment back then), and the adults, caught up in the rapture of protest, just kept on marching. By the time they noticed little Kamala was gone and doubled back, she was understandably upset. “My mother tells the story about how I’m fussing,” Harris says, “and she’s like, ‘Baby, what do you want? What do you need?’ And I just looked at her and I said, ‘Fweedom.’”

Now, here’s what Martin Luther King Jr. said in January 1965 in an interview with Playboy magazine.

I never will forget a moment in Birmingham when a white policeman accosted a little Negro girl, seven or eight years old, who was walking in a demonstration with her mother. “What do you want?” the policeman asked her gruffly, and the little girl looked him straight in the eye and answered, “Fee-dom.” She couldn’t even pronounce it, but she knew. It was beautiful! Many times when I have been in sorely trying situations, the memory of that little one has come into my mind, and has buoyed me.

Eerie coincidence? Maybe. Or just maybe her story is fiction inspired by Martin Luther King’s story about the little girl who said “Fee-dom.”

If so, this would not be the first time Kamala Harris has romanticized her backstory with falsehoods. As PJM’s Tyler O’Neil noted back during the Democratic primaries in 2019, Kamala Harris exaggerated her personal history with busing when she attacked Joe Biden (all but accusing him of being a racist) for his past opposition to racially integrating school via mandated busing. “And there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day, and that little girl was me,” she said. It was a well-rehearsed line that ultimately didn’t win over her party, as her campaign failed months later, but it was seen as a powerful moment in her campaign. She also recently has been accused of lying about celebrating Kwanzaa when she was growing up when it wasn’t even invented until two years after she was born. There is also photographic evidence that her family celebrated Christmas.

So, while I can’t say for sure whether her story was true or whether it was inspired by Martin Luther King’s story, based on her past willingness to exaggerate her personal story, I’m inclined not to give the benefit of the doubt.

Source: Did Kamala Harris Plagiarize Martin Luther King Jr.?

Did Kamala Harris Steal Her Childhood Story About Calling for ‘Fweedom’ from MLK? | The Western Journal

 

Kamala Harris doesn’t have to pander to the black community. Really. She’s just making it worse at this point.

Ever since Rep. Tulsi Gabbard dismantled Harris on a debate stage during the Democratic primary in 2019 for Harris’ record as a prosecutor — with the implication she was behind “mass incarceration,” a big no-no with black voters — Harris has made sure to emphasize her African-American bona fides in ways that can be painful to see, at least for this white person watching Harris make faux pas like naming the very dead Tupac Shakur as the “best rapper alive.”

It’s little things like this that make it surprising no one paid attention to an anecdote that led off an obsequious October Elle Magazine profile of Harris, then still on the campaign trail with Joe Biden.

“Senator Kamala Harris started her life’s work young. She laughs from her gut, the way you would with family, as she remembers being wheeled through an Oakland, California, civil rights march in a stroller with no straps with her parents and her uncle,” writer Ashley C. Ford’s profile began.

“At some point, she fell from the stroller (few safety regulations existed for children’s equipment back then), and the adults, caught up in the rapture of protest, just kept on marching. By the time they noticed little Kamala was gone and doubled back, she was understandably upset. ‘My mother tells the story about how I’m fussing,’ Harris says, ‘and she’s like, “Baby, what do you want? What do you need?” And I just looked at her and I said, “Fweedom.”

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“This past August, that same precocious child, now a member of the U.S. Senate, stood on a stage in a nearly empty auditorium flanked by American flags and accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president, making history as the first Black and Indian American woman to do so.”

You’ve read this article before even if you haven’t — stories about how Harris is a gritty go-getter for fweedom, swimming against the intersecting tides of being black, Indian and female.

For example, take this interaction between Ford and Harris, dear reader, and try not to laugh:

“With political corruption and police brutality top of mind today, it can be hard to believe there’s a powerful defender ready to battle for all of this country’s people at once. None of us can tell the future, so we look for clues, and try to pose the right questions,” Ford wrote. “I ask what justice means to a prosecutor who wants to defend our civil rights. The senator says, smiling, ‘It’s about freedom, it’s about equality, it’s about dignity. When you achieve equality, and freedom, and fairness, it’s not because I grant it to you. It’s because you fought for it because it is your right. This is not about benevolence or charity; it is about every human being’s God-given right. What do we collectively do to fight for that? That’s what justice represents to me — it’s about empowerment of the people.’”

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At this point, one assumes, Ford stood up and began slow-clapping.

Anyhow, these kind of anti-adversarial political interviews pop up in magazines of a certain bent all the time, and nobody pays too much attention to them. In this case, perhaps someone should have — particularly an editor or fact-checker at Elle Magazine, say — considering the inspiring anecdote that led off the story sounds almost exactly the same as one told by the most famous leader of the civil rights movement to arguably the most famous chronicler of the civil rights movement:

 

In 1965, Alex Haley, author of “Roots” and the ghostwriter of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” sat down with Martin Luther King Jr. for an interview for Playboy. In closing, King was asked about the whether there were “ever moments when you feel awed by this burden of responsibility, or inadequate to its demands.”

RELATED: Is He Wrong? Biden Refers To Kamala Harris as ‘President-Elect’

Among other anecdotes about why he felt he “must accept the task of helping to make this nation and this world a better place to live in — for all men, black and white alike,” King told this one:

“I never will forget a moment in Birmingham when a white policeman accosted a little Negro girl, seven or eight years old, who was walking in a demonstration with her mother. ‘What do you want?’ the policeman asked her gruffly, and the little girl looked him straight in the eye and answered, ‘Fee-dom.’ She couldn’t even pronounce it, but she knew. It was beautiful! Many times when I have been in sorely trying situations, the memory of that little one has come into my mind, and has buoyed me.”

Is it possible such unique, inspiring, “from-the-mouth-of-babes” snapshots happened during marches in both Birmingham, Alabama, and Oakland, California? Of course. Is it profoundly unlikely? Uh, yes.

Perhaps Harris’ mom read King’s interview and passed the story along as an inspiration. Maybe Harris, born in 1964, internalized it and it commingled with her actual memories, which happens to many of us. However, one’s skepticism is aroused when the story was being told by the same person who also recently released a dubious video about her childhood memories of celebrating Kwanzaa.

“Every year, our family would – and our extended family, we would gather around, across multiple generations, and we’d tell stories,” Harris said.

“The kids would sit on the carpet and the elders would sit in chairs, and we would light the candles, and of course, afterwards have a beautiful meal. And, of course, there was always the discussion of the seven principles. And my favorite, I have to tell you, was always the one about self-determination, kujichagulia.”

The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh noted a flaw here:

 

The holiday wasn’t created until 1966 — two years after Harris’ birth — and wasn’t in wide cultural currency until many years later.

Again, though, this could have happened. Harris could have sat on the carpet and listened to the “elders” in their chairs discussing the seven principles of African heritage. And then young Kamala would have started fussing, most likely.

“Baby, what do you want? What do you need?” Harris’ mother might have said.

“Kujichagulia,” young Kamala would reply.

Let’s all be glad we have such a “powerful defender ready to battle for all of this country’s people at once,” one who knew it at such a precocious age. Or who stole the memory from an unnamed girl in Birmingham who inspired Martin Luther King Jr., one of the two.

Source: Did Kamala Harris Steal Her Childhood Story About Calling for ‘Fweedom’ from MLK?

WALSH: Kamala Harris Is A Fraud, Failure And Liar. Other Than That, She’s An Inspiration. | Conservative Review

Ever since the announcement that Kamala Harris would be Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential nominee, there has been a non-stop flow of worshipful articles and essays from the bootlicking media, trying to convince us to see this vapid, unimpressive bureaucrat as a civil rights pioneer and transcendent political leader. Aimd the initial tidal wave of fawning Kamala Harris hagiographies, a particularly sickening, and yet somehow still hilarious, example was lost in the shuffle. Originally published back on October 6, a piece in Elle titled “Kamala Harris Is Our New Vice President-Elect” has finally gone viral this week.

Author Ashley C. Ford, reporting with all the critical objectivity of a 16-year-old girl profiling Harry Styles for her high school newspaper, tells us in the subheading that Harris has been fighting for justice and freedom “since birth.” I have four children myself and in my experience infants just lounge around all day, defecate in their pants and cry when they’re hungry. I have never seen an infant demonstrate any real interest in justice or freedom. But then again, none of my children are like Kamala Harris (or so I pray). 

According to the piece, here is what Kamala’s childhood freedom fighting supposedly looked like: 

Source: WALSH: Kamala Harris Is A Fraud, Failure And Liar. Other Than That, She’s An Inspiration.

Kamala Harris Recalls How As A Little Girl She Helped Slaves Escape On The Undewgwound Wailwoad — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—Kamala Harris chuckles as she tells the story. Not the chuckle of an insincere politician making up a story to appeal to her base, but the chuckle of a warm, loving woman. The kind of chuckle you would chuckle while hanging out with your family or locking up non-violent drug offenders for decades. 

She recalled in her interview with The Babylon Bee how as a little girl she helped slaves escape to the North on the “undewgwound wailwoad.” (Did we mention how warm and sincere she was? It was like talking to your best bud).

“My parents were pushing me in a stroller,” she says, cackling — no, chuckling — “and I must have gotten loose somehow.” (At the time, there weren’t any safety regulations on strollers, so this is not her parents’ fault, just to be clear). “Anyway, I wandered away down to the Deep South and began helping slaves get to the free states. When my parents found me years later, they were understandably upset. They said, ‘Kamala! What are you doing!?'”

She chuckled again.

“I replied, ‘I’m hewping swaves escape on da undewground wailwoad, mommy!'” Harris then revealed that one of the slaves she helped escape grew up to be none other than Albert Einstein.

Harris, with her likable laugh and authentic demeanor, went on to tell the story of how she helped “Abwaham Winkon” draft the “Emancipation Pwocwamation” and how she refused to give up her seat on a bus, launching the “Civil wights” movement.

Kamala Harris Recalls How As A Little Girl She Helped Slaves Escape On The Undewgwound Wailwoad — The Babylon Bee

‘Fweedom’: Kamala Harris Says She Marched for Civil Rights in a Stroller

A little-noticed anecdote that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) told Elle in October has gone viral, thanks to its fantastical premise that she was a civil rights champion even as a small child, and it is likely cribbed from a story recounted by Martin Luther King Jr.

Source: ‘Fweedom’: Kamala Harris Says She Marched for Civil Rights in a Stroller