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What is “This” in Ephesians 2:8-9

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 (AV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

8 (ignt) τη γαρ χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι δια της πιστεως και τουτο ουκ εξ υμων θεου το δωρον

9 (AV) Not of works, lest any man should boast.

9 (ignt) ουκ εξ εργων ινα μη τις καυχησηται

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To what does the word “this”, touto  in the Greek, refer in Ephesians 2:8-9? Every pronoun must refer to a noun used in the same context, usually prior to the use of the pronoun, though not universally so, or to a concept expressed in relationship to its use...

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Should We Understand the Bible As it is Written?

If none of the Bible can be read and understood as it is written, then it cannot be understood at all, and this is impossible. Only if the Bible means what it says, can it be understood, known, and useful for salvation and living a godly life, as Paul and Peter assured their readers that it would.Read More

Test All Things

How shall we know if what we believe is the truth, if we refuse to listen to and test the words of those who tell us that we are in error? Read More

Further Thoughts on “Mark and Avoid”

What is wrong with a generalized instruction to "mark and avoid" those who teach differently from or challenge teachings of a particular leader or group? If we refuse to listen to and test the words of those who disagree with what we have been told is true, we insulate ourselves from the possibility of being shown why our beliefs do not conform to Holy Scripture and finding our way to understanding God's Word more properly.Read More

Whom to Mark and Avoid

Certain groups presenting a Christian face and apparent Christian message, admonish their followers to "mark and avoid" anyone who may speak against their key doctrines. Whom did Paul instruct to "mark and avoid", and for what reason were they to do so? Do modern teachers or leaders have the authority of the apostles to be free from question of their teachings or lives, or is such an instruction the mark of a cult?Read More

What Is Sin?

To sin is to miss the target. That requires there be a target to be missed. Paul said that, where no law is, sin is not imputed, because sin is “transgression” – violation – of law. From this, we learn that the target is whatever “law” has been issued. Until we have a target, we cannot be held responsible for failing to hit it. And God, Who is just, does not count our sin against us apart from our having been given that target – His perfect nature and His spoken commands.

Paul refers to the Law of Moses as being like a school-master, tutoring Israel to righteousness. The “Ten Commandments” were God’s summary of there moral conduct that should be reflected in the life of any Israelite who believed and revered God...

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On What Day Was Jesus Crucified?

Increasingly, Christians are debating whether the traditional belief is incorrect that Jesus was crucified on Friday. Some have embraced Wednesday, often resorting to what they have heard from others concerning the Jewish name of the day of the week. Others embrace Thursday in an attempt to reconcile the sole reference to “three days and three nights” in Matthew 12:40, where Jesus states, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

If we follow only the Bible, and begin with clear statements within the text, we can determine the necessary answer correctly and without resorting to speculative ideas about what may have been expected from Jewish traditions.

Firstly, the Jews co...

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The Debt of Love – Romans 13:8

Owe no one any thing, but to love one another…” Romans 13:8 (a)


We are to avoid indebtedness; we must pay or render whatever we owe. Debt is an obligation, not an option.

Love is a debt. Debt is an obligation, not an option. We are therefore obligated to love one another; we may not choose to decline.

Paul’s instructions are written to the Christians in Rome in response to questions arising about the relationship between Christ’s saints – a new reality for that generation – and the civil government of a pagan kingdom. But those instructions are applicable to everyone who falls into the definition of “every soul” in verse one.

In 13:1, Paul says that “every soul” should subject themselves those in superior jurisdictions, which jurisdictions are determined and assigned by...

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The Truth Shall Make You Free

People are increasingly co-opting Biblical phrases, including things Jesus said about Himself, to legimize the current “freedom” movements. Bordering on blasphemy, applying a statement made by God about Himself, His salvation, or His Scripture to a worldly conflict that may or may not resolve to the benefit of those using it, is dangerously flippant toward Christ.

“The Truth shall make you free,” has nothing to do with public health statistics or medical treatments. It is a direct quote from Christ, Who said, “IF you abide in My word, you are indeed My disciples, and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” John 8:31...

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John 5:37-43” “I have come in the name of My Father, and you do not receive Me. If another comes in his own name, that one you will receive.”

John 5:37-43:

And the One sending Me, Father Himself, has witnessed concerning Me. Neither His voice (sound) have you ever heard nor (a) glimpse of Him have you seen. And His word you have not abiding in you, that Whom He commissioned, This (one) you believe not. You search the Scriptures, that you suppose in them to have eternal life, and those are the testifiers (testifying ones) concerning Me! And you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. Glory from people I receive not. However, I have known you, that you have not the love of God in yourselves. I have come in the name of My Father, and you do not receive Me. If another comes in his own name, that one you shall receive.”

“I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me...

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