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September 23, 2011

2nd Commandment

Filed under: — Adam Osborne @ 10:59 am

COMMANDMENT #2
Exodus 20:4-6 “You shall not make for yourself an image (idol) in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Notes on Exodus 20:4-6
• v. 4 “idol” – peh’-sel – idol: – carved (graven) image.
• v. 5 “bow down” – shaw-khaw’ – prostrate (especially reflexively in homage to royalty or God): – bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.
• v. 6 “keep” – shaw-mar’ – A primitive root; properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.
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ASK: Before we even begin today’s bible study, what does the 2ND Commandment scriptures above make you think of? Discuss.

ASK: What’s the difference between last week’s commandment and this week’s commandment? (last week: Thou shalt have no other gods before me) (This week: make no idols)
• (Matthew Henry’s commentary) As the first commandment requires the inward worship of love, desire, joy, hope, and admiration, so the second requires the outward worship of prayer and praise, and solemn attendance on God’s word.

ASK question: “What are some modern forms of idolatry?”

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• “IDOL” is the Hebrew word pesel may here signify any kind of image, either of wood, stone, or metal, on which the axe, the chisel, or the graving tool has been employed. This commandment includes in its prohibitions every species of idolatry known to have been practiced among the Egyptians.
• Or any likeness, etc. – To know the full spirit and extent of this commandment, this place must be collated with Deu_4:15, etc.: Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves – lest ye corrupt yourselves – and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of Male or Female. All who have even the slightest acquaintance with the ancient history of Egypt, know that Osiris and his wife Isis were supreme divinities among that people.
• The likeness of any Beast – behemah, such as the ox and the heifer. Among the Egyptians the ox was not only sacred but adored, because they supposed that in one of these animals Osiris took up his residence: hence they always had a living ox, which they supposed to be the habitation of this deity; and they imagined that on the death of one he entered into the body of another, and so on successively. This famous ox-god they called Apis and Mnevis.
• The likeness of any winged Fowl – The ibis, or stork, or crane, and hawk, may be here intended, for all these were objects of Egyptian idolatry.
• The likeness of any thing that Creepeth – The crocodile, serpents, the scarabeus or beetle, were all objects of their adoration; and Mr. Bryant has rendered it very probable that even the frog itself was a sacred animal, as from its inflation it was emblematic of the prophetic influence, for they supposed that the god inflated or distended the body of the person by whom he gave oracular answers.
• The likeness of any Fish – All fish were esteemed sacred animals among the Egyptians. One called Oxurunchus had, according to Strabo, lib. xvii., a temple, and divine honors paid to it. Another fish, called Phagrus, was worshipped at Syene, according to Clemens Alexandrinus in his Cohortatio. And the Lepidotus and eel were objects of their adoration, as we find from Herodotus, lib. ii., cap. 72. In short, oxen, heifers, sheep, goats, lions, dogs, monkeys, and cats; the ibis, the crane, and the hawk; the crocodile, serpents, frogs, flies, and the scarabeus or beetle; the Nile and its fish; the sun, moon, planets, and stars; fire, light, air, darkness, and night, were all objects of Egyptian idolatry, and all included in this very circumstantial prohibition as detailed in Deuteronomy, and very forcibly in the general terms of the text: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in the Heavens above, or that is in the Earth beneath, or that is in the Water under the earth. And the reason of this becomes self-evident, when the various objects of Egyptian idolatry are considered.
• To countenance its image worship, the Roman Catholic Church has left the whole of this second commandment out of the decalogue, and thus lost one whole commandment out of the ten; but to keep up the number they have divided the tenth into two. This is totally contrary to the faith of God’s elect and to the acknowledgment of that truth which is according to godliness. The verse is found in every MS. of the Hebrew Pentateuch that has ever yet been discovered. It is in all the ancient versions, Samaritan, Chaldee, Syriac, Septuagint, Vulgate, Coptic, and Arabic; also in the Persian, and in all modern versions. There is not one word of the whole verse wanting in the many hundreds of MSS. collected by Kennicott and De Rossi. This corruption of the word of God by the Roman Catholic Church stamps it, as a false and heretical Church, with the deepest brand of ever-during infamy! This commandment also prohibits every species of external idolatry, as the first does all idolatry that may be called internal or mental. All false worship may be considered of this kind, together with all image worship, and all other superstitious rites and ceremonies.

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Basic Christianity by John Stott
“If the first commandment concerns the object of our worship, the second concerns its manner. In the first God demands our exclusive worship, and in the second our sincere and spiritual worship. For God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
We may never have manufactured some gruesome metal image with our hands, but what hideous mental image do we hold in our minds? Further, although this commandment does not forbid the use of all external forms in worship, it implies that they are useless unless there is inward reality as well. We may have attended church; have we ever really worshipped God? We may have said prayers, but have we ever truly prayed? We may have read the Bible, have we ever let God speak to us through it and done what he said?” Basic Christianity by John Stott .
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MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY & MY NOTES ADDED ON EXODUS 20:4-6

The second commandment concerns the ordinances of worship, or the way in which God will be worshipped. Only God himself can tell us how to worship him.
• ASK: Did you notice something in verse 4 & 5? We are even forbidden here to worship even the true God by images,
• ASK: Why would God mind if we built alters in HIS image and worshipped that?
o We would start to eventually worship the image, not our God.
o How could we ever build anything as magnificent and marvelous as God?
Isa 40:18 With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?
o The Jews (at least after the captivity) thought themselves forbidden by this commandment to make any image or picture whatsoever. Hence the very images which the Roman armies had in their ensigns are called an abomination to them (Mat_24:15), especially when they were set up in the holy place.
Mat 24:15 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand
o It is called the changing of the truth of God into a lie (Rom_1:25), for an image is a teacher of lies; it insinuates to us that God has a body, whereas he is an infinite spirit, Hab_2:18.
Rom 1:25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Hab 2:18 “Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies?
For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.

• It also forbids us to make images of God in our fancies, as if he were a man as we are.
• Our religious worship must be governed by the power of faith, not by the power of imagination. They (Israel) must not make such images or pictures as the heathen worshipped, lest they also should be tempted to worship them.
• Those who would be kept from sin must keep themselves from the occasions of sin.
• They must not bow down to them occasionally, that is, show any sign of respect or honour to them, much less serve them constantly, by sacrifice or incense, or any other act of religious worship.
• When they paid their devotion to the true God, they must not have any image before them, for the directing, exciting, or assisting of their devotion.
• Though the worship was designed to terminate in God, it would not please him if it came to him through an image.
• CONSIDER THIS, I FOUND THIS VERY INTERESTING: The best and most ancient lawgivers among the heathen forbade the setting up of images in their temples. This practice was forbidden in Rome by Numa, a pagan prince; yet commanded in Rome by the pope, a Christian bishop. This is anti-christian.
o The use of images in the church of Rome, at this day, is so plainly contrary to the letter of this command, and so impossible to be reconciled to it, that in all their catechisms and books of devotion, which they put into the hands of the people, they leave out this commandment, joining the reason of it to the first; and so the third commandment they call the second, the fourth the third, etc.; only, to make up the number ten, they divide the tenth into two. Thus have they committed two great evils, in which they persist, and from which they hate to be reformed; they take away from God’s word, and add to his worship.

ASK/DISCUSS: God tells us to NOT make or worship Idols. Think about all your religious background, your training, your studying and reading. We know that He says do NOT do it, but in your mind, knowing God, what are the “reasons” that God would not want you to?

The reasons to not make idols (Exo_20:5, Exo_20:6),
• God’s jealousy in the matters of his worship: “I am the Lord Jehovah, and thy God, am a jealous God, especially in things of this nature.” This intimates the care he has of his own institutions, his hatred of idolatry and all false worship, his displeasure against idolaters, and that he resents every thing in his worship that looks like, or leads to, idolatry.
• Idolatry being spiritual adultery, as it is very often represented in scripture, the displeasure of God against it is fitly called jealousy.
• If God is jealous, then we should be so afraid of offering any worship to God other than as he has appointed in his word.
• The punishment of idolaters. God looks upon them as haters of him, though they perhaps pretend love to him;
• V5. He will visit their iniquity, that is, he will very severely punish it, not only as a breach of his law, but as an affront to his majesty, a violation of the covenant, and a blow at the root of all religion.
• PARENTS, LISTEN TO THIS: He will visit it upon the children.
o OK, “WHY” would God tell us that He will “visit it upon the children”? Is that fair? What’s that all about?
 Children are dear to their parents; therefore, to deter men from idolatry, and to show how much God is displeased with it, the judgments of God may be executed upon the poor children when the parents are dead and gone.
 He will bring such judgments upon a people as shall be the total ruin of families. If idolaters live to be old, so as to see their children of the third or fourth generation, it shall be the vexation of their eyes, and the breaking of their hearts, to see them fall by the sword, carried captive, and enslaved.
 Nor is it an unrighteous thing with God (if the parents died in their iniquity, and the children tread in their steps, and keep up false worships, because they received them by tradition from their fathers), when the measure is full, and God comes by his judgments to reckon with them, to bring into the account the idolatries their fathers were guilty of.
 Though he bear long with an idolatrous people, he will not bear always, but by the fourth generation, at furthest, he will begin to visit. (OUCH…THINK ABOUT THAT COMMENT)

NOW, THE GOOD STUFF: The favor God would show to his faithful worshippers: Keeping mercy for thousands of persons, thousands of generations of those that love me, and keep my commandments.
• Note, First, Those that truly love God will make it their constant care and endeavour to keep his commandments, particularly those that relate to his worship.
• Those that love God, and keep those commandments, shall receive grace to keep his other commandments.
• Gospel worship will have a good influence upon all manner of gospel obedience.
• Secondly, God has mercy in store for such. Even they need mercy, and cannot plead merit; and mercy they shall find with God, merciful protection in their obedience and a merciful compensation for their faithfulness.
Thirdly, This mercy shall extend to thousands, much further than the wrath threatened to those that hate him, for that reaches but to the third or fourth generation. The streams of mercy run now as full, as free, and as fresh, as ever. MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY & MY NOTES ADDED ON EXODUS 20:4-6

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Matthew 17 The Transfiguration
1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
On Matthew 17:1-9
ASK: OK, What was up with PETER? What’s the deal with the “three shelters”?
• three shelters…Peter was rejoiced at the vision and desirous of continuing it. He proposed, therefore, that they should prolong this interview and dwell there.
• Mark adds, “For he wist not (that is, knew not) what to say, for they were sore afraid.” They were frightened, amazed, and rejoiced; and, in the ecstasy of the moment, Peter proposed to remain there.

This is my Son, whom I love…
ASK: Matthew 17: 5….Why did God say this out loud?
• This was spoken to confirm the disciples; to make known to them that it was their duty to hear Christ rather than any other, and to honor him more than Moses and Elijah; and to strengthen their faith in him when they should go forth to preach the gospel after he was shamefully put to death.
• After this, it was impossible for them to doubt that he was truly the Son of God.
Mark 13 The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
From Matthew Henry’s Commentary – On Mark 13:1-2
See how little Christ values outward pomp, where there is not real purity of heart. He looks with pity upon the ruin of precious souls, and weeps over them, but we do not find him look with pity upon the ruin of a fine house. Let us then be reminded how needful it is for us to have a more lasting abode in heaven, and to be prepared for it by the influences of the Holy Spirit, sought in the earnest use of all the means of grace.
Message
Sunday’s sermon will include the following points:
1. The Paradox of Idolatry – how can a rational person worship man-made idols?
2. The Process of Idolatry – it is extremely deceptive
3. The Presence of Idolatry – do we have idols today in our churches and homes?
4. The Price of Idolatry – idolatry denies the all-sufficiency of the Trinity.
Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily that God would reveal to you any idols in your life and thank God for His all-sufficient grace.

Read and meditate each day: Psalm 24, 1 Peter 2:1-12, 21-25

For Teachers
Context and Commentary

When we think of idols, we immediately think of the golden calf from Exodus or the statue of Dagon (see below comments) in the Philistine temple. Paul wrote extensively on idols and idolatry and problems that Christians faced in dealing with idols and food sacrificed to them. That seems to be the most immediate application of this scripture. We are not to make images of God or other “deities” and bow down to them. However, not all idols are carved images or imaginary demi-gods and the lesson of this command is extendable beyond just graven images. Often times the sin of idolatry is more subtle, more deceptive than statues of Dagon. It slithers into our lives like its father the serpent until soon it is the object we spend a majority of our thoughts and energy on instead of God. It may be a sport, or an inanimate object like a car, or perhaps a person, even a spouse or child. Could it even be a nation or symbol of national pride?
TRIVIA OF THE DAY: Dagon was the god of the Philistines mentioned in the Old Testament in connection with the Ark of the Covenant. The Philistines placed the captured Ark in a temple of Dagon in Ashdod, before the statue of Dagon. The next morning they found the statue lying on its face on the temple floor. They set it upright again, but the morning after the statue was again lying face down on the floor, this time with its head and hands broken off. The Hebrews regarded this as a sign of the Ark’s power (see First Samuel 5:1-7). Dagon was a Semitic god adopted by the Philistines after their invasion of Canaan. Dagon (or Dagan) was worshipped in Mesopotamia at Ur in 2500 BC. His cult was popular among the Assyrians. He probably began his existence as a god of vegetation and evolved into a storm god.
The Hebrew name Dagon means “Great Fish.” The god was variously described as a fish god, an idol with the head and hands of a man and the tail of a fish, and as half-woman and half-fish. The woodcut from Kircher, shown above, adopts the latter representation. An identification or association was sometimes made between Dagon and the goddess Atargatis (or Atergata), who had the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a fish. Atargatis was worshipped in Carnaim, a town in Bashan (see the apocryphal text Second Maccabees 12:26). The fishtail on the goddess was said to represent her journey through the Underworld.

From Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible
On Exodus 2:4
Idol…Any sort of image is here intended. As the first commandment forbids the worship of any false god, seen or unseen, it is here forbidden to worship an image of any sort, whether the figure of a false deity Jos_23:7 or one in any way symbolic of Yahweh (see Exo_32:4).

Joshua 23:7 (NIV) 7 Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them.

Exodus 32:4 (NIV) 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[a] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

Bible Fellowship Time
Discussion questions:

1. What does the commandment specifically refer to?
a. Making idols, bowing down to idols.
2. What is an idol or graven image in the context of the culture of ancient Israel or Canaan?
a. Nothing, just “another” of many gods.
3. One of the passages in this week’s reading was the 10th chapter of Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians. What was Paul’s opinion of idols?
a. 1 Corinthians 10: 14-22 14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf. 18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
4. What was Paul’s instruction regarding idols?
a. flee from idolatry
Going Deeper – Matthew 17:1-9 & Mark 13:1-2
5. What is Peter’s reaction to the transfiguration?
a. Surprise, excited.
6. What elements of idolatry do we see in his reaction?
a. He wanted to “build” something to help him remember this event.
7. Do we often try to hang on to things (people or memories in this case) instead of loving God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all of our mind?
a. Yeah, just look at our photo albums? How many more photos do you have compared to how many bible lessons you keep and show in pride?
8. What does God say regarding Moses and Elijah?
a. ??? Nothing???
9. In Mark 13, the disciples draw Jesus’ attention to magnificence and splendor of the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. What mistake in their thinking did Jesus point out to them in His prophecy?
a. They will not last. Do not count on “anything” “or “anyone” to make you think of God. Worship only God, not buildings or idols, etc.
10. Is this a mistake Christians can make today? Give some examples.
Application:

God calls all people to look to Him alone in faith for salvation and worship. When we are reconciled to God we see clearly that He alone is God and worthy. But that doesn’t always seem to last in a practical sense, does it? Christians too can slowly fall into the sin of idolatry and grieve the Holy Spirit. Maybe not with graven images, but it happens when we give more authority to the created instead of the Creator. Subtly, these things can consume us and lead us astray like King Solomon who put his faith in his own wisdom or the Jews who put faith in their ancestor Abraham and the temple. Both put their faith in the created instead of Jehovah.

Are you placing your faith in an idol today? Do you give people or inanimate objects such as buildings more authority and higher standing than the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Do you let the cares of this world destroy your prayer life or worship? There is an old hymn that speaks of Christ’s all sufficiency:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Closing Devotion
Samuel Rutherford, in his book The Loveliness of Christ wrote:

“How blessed are we to enjoy this invaluable treasure, the love of Christ; or rather allow ourselves to be mastered and subdued in his love, so that Christ is our all, and all other things are nothing. O that we might be ready for the time our Lord’s wind and tide call for us! There are infinite plies in his love that the saints will never be able to unfold. I urge upon you a nearer and growing communion with Christ. There are curtains to be drawn back in Christ that we have never seen. There are new foldings of love in him. Dig deep, sweat, labor, and take pains for him, and set by so much time in the day as you can; he will be won with labor. Live on Christ’s love. Christ’s love is so kingly, that it will not wait until tomorrow; it must have a throne all alone in your soul. It is our folly to divide our narrow and little love. It is best to give it all to Christ. Lay no more on earthly than it can carry. Lay your soul and your weights upon God; make him your only and best-beloved. Look up to him and love him. O, love and live! Let those who love this present world have it, but Christ is more worthy and noble portion; blessed are those who love him.”

GO OVER “IF WE HAVE TIME”……

Discussion from http://www.gotquestions.org/idolatry-modern.html with other comments added.

Question: “What are some modern forms of idolatry?”

Answer: All the various forms of modern idolatry have one thing at their core: self. We no longer bow down to idols and images. Instead we worship at the altar of the god of SELF. This brand of modern idolatry takes various forms.

DISCUSS: Whether or not you agree that “SELF” can be a form of Idolatry, the below is a good discussion that warrants consideration and comment:

First, we worship at the altar of materialism which feeds our need to build our egos through the acquisition of more “stuff.”
• Our homes are filled with all manner of possessions.
• We build bigger and bigger houses with more closets and storage space in order to house all the things we buy.
• ASK: What ends up happening with a lot of that STUFF that we buy over time?
o It ends up in the garage or other storage space.
o Then we rush out to buy the newest item, garment or gadget and the whole process starts over.
• This insatiable desire for more, better, and newer stuff is nothing more than covetousness.
• Looking at “stuff” from God’s opinion, why does God know we will never be happy indulging our materialistic desires?
o Because it is Satan’s trap to keep our focus on ourselves and not on Him.

Second, we worship at the altar of our own pride and ego.
• This often takes the form of obsession with careers and jobs.
• ASK: How much time do you, men and women, spend per week at work?
• Millions of men—and increasingly more women—spend 60-80 hours a week working.
• ASK: What about your week-ends, how about your vacations?
• Even on the weekends and during vacations, our laptops are humming and our minds are whirling with thoughts of how to make our businesses more successful, how to get that promotion, how to get the next raise, how to close the next deal.
• ASK: Where do our children fit in to the balance?
o In the meantime, our children are starving for attention and love. We fool ourselves into thinking we are doing it for them, to give them a better life. But the truth is we are doing it for ourselves, to increase our self-esteem by appearing more successful in the eyes of the world.
• This is folly. All our labors and accomplishments will be of no use to us after we die, nor will the admiration of the world, because these things have no eternal value. As King Solomon put it, “For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:21-23).

Third, we idolize mankind—and by extension ourselves—through naturalism and the power of science.
• This gives us the illusion that we are lords of our world and builds our self-esteem to godlike proportions.
• We reject God’s Word and His description of how He created the heavens and the earth, and we accept the nonsense of evolution and naturalism.

Finally, and perhaps most destructively, we worship at the altar of the fulfillment of the self to the exclusion of all others and their needs and desires.
ASK: Please give me some examples of what I am talking about “fulfillment of the self to the exclusion of all others and their needs and desires.”
• This manifests itself in self-indulgence through alcohol, drugs, and food.
• Those in affluent countries have unlimited access to alcohol, drugs (prescription drug use is at an all-time high, even among children), and food.
• Obesity rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed, and childhood diabetes brought on by overeating is epidemic.
• The self-control we so desperately need is spurned in our insatiable desire to eat, drink, and medicate more and more.
• We resist any effort to get us to curb our appetites, and we are determined to make ourselves the god of our lives.
• This has its origin in the Garden of Eden where Satan tempted Eve to eat of the tree with the words “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). This has been man’s desire ever since—to be god and, as we have seen, the worship of self is the basis of all modern idolatry.

All idolatry of self has at its core the three lusts found in 1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
• If we are to escape modern idolatry, we have to admit that it is rampant and reject it in all its forms.
• It is not of God, but of Satan, and in it we will never find fulfillment. This is the great lie and the same one Satan has been telling since he first lied to Adam and Eve. Sadly, we are still falling for it.
• Even more sadly, many churches are propagating it in the preaching of the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel built on the idol of self-esteem.
• But we will never find happiness focusing on ourselves. Our hearts and minds must be centered on God and on others. This is why when asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). When we love the Lord and others with everything that is in us, there will be no room in our hearts for idolatry.

EACH DAY Psalm 24
Of David. A psalm.
1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
5 They will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God their Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty—
he is the King of glory.
EACH DAY 1 Peter 2
1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
The Living Stone and a Chosen People
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”[b]
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”[c]
8 and,
“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”[d]
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Footnotes:
EACH DAY 1 Peter 2:21-25
21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[a]
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,”[b] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Sunday: Luke 22 Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
The Last Supper
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.
10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.[a] 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.
36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’[b]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That’s enough!” he replied.
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[c]
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Jesus Arrested
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”
Peter Disowns Jesus
54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”
“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.
59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
The Guards Mock Jesus
63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him.
Jesus Before Pilate and Herod
66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”
Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied, “You say that I am.”
71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”
Footnotes:
a. Luke 22:20 Some manuscripts do not have given for you … poured out for you.
b. Luke 22:37 Isaiah 53:12
c. Luke 22:44 Many early manuscripts do not have verses 43 and 44.
Monday: Jeremiah 10:1-16, Matthew 17:1-9

Jeremiah 10 God and Idols
1 Hear what the LORD says to you, people of Israel. 2 This is what the LORD says:
“Do not learn the ways of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
though the nations are terrified by them.
3 For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.
5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.”
6 No one is like you, LORD;
you are great,
and your name is mighty in power.
7 Who should not fear you,
King of the nations?
This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
and in all their kingdoms,
there is no one like you.
8 They are all senseless and foolish;
they are taught by worthless wooden idols.
9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish
and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made
is then dressed in blue and purple—
all made by skilled workers.
10 But the LORD is the true God;
he is the living God, the eternal King.
When he is angry, the earth trembles;
the nations cannot endure his wrath.
11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’”[a]
12 But God made the earth by his power;
he founded the world by his wisdom
and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;
they have no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
for he is the Maker of all things,
including Israel, the people of his inheritance—
the LORD Almighty is his name.
Footnotes:
a. Jeremiah 10:11 The text of this verse is in Aramaic.
Matthew 17
The Transfiguration
1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Tuesday: Matthew 19:16-30

Matthew 19:16-30
New International Version (NIV)
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[a] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[c] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
Footnotes:
a. Matthew 19:19 Exodus 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20
b. Matthew 19:19 Lev. 19:18
c. Matthew 19:29 Some manuscripts do not have or wife.

Wednesday: Exodus 32:1-5, 25-35

Exodus 32:1-5
New International Version (NIV)
Exodus 32
The Golden Calf
1 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods[a] who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD.”
Footnotes:
a. Exodus 32:1 Or a god; also in verses 23 and 31
b. Exodus 32:4 Or This is your god; also in verse 8
Exodus 32:25-35
New International Version (NIV)
25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.
27 Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29 Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the LORD today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”
30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
33 The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”
35 And the LORD struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

Thursday: Romans 1:1-25

Romans 1:1-25
New International Version (NIV)
Romans 1
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[a] was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from[c] faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,[d] that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[e] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[f]
God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Footnotes:
a. Romans 1:3 Or who according to the flesh
b. Romans 1:4 Or was declared with power to be the Son of God
c. Romans 1:5 Or that is
d. Romans 1:13 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 7:1, 4; 8:12, 29; 10:1; 11:25; 12:1; 15:14, 30; 16:14, 17.
e. Romans 1:17 Or is from faith to faith
f. Romans 1:17 Hab. 2:4

Friday: 1 Corinthians 10

1 Corinthians 10
Warnings From Israel’s History
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”[a] 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ,[b] as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Idol Feasts and the Lord’s Supper
14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.
18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
The Believer’s Freedom
23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”[f]
27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
Footnotes:
a. 1 Corinthians 10:7 Exodus 32:6
b. 1 Corinthians 10:9 Some manuscripts test the Lord
c. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
d. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
e. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
f. 1 Corinthians 10:26 Psalm 24:1

Saturday: 1 John 5

1 John 5
Faith in the Incarnate Son of God
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Concluding Affirmations
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
Footnotes:
a. 1 John 5:8 Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century)

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