"It wasn't a potential atonement actuated by the sinner, it was an actual atonement initiated by the savior."

John MacArthur

Close-up of the word CHRIST and its definition

How can you study the Bible?

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How can you study the Bible?

Years ago, a pastor that I’ve studied under, and have admired for over forty years, John MacArthur, suggested a system that I use today and recommend for your consideration. Since most of the Old Testament is “narrative” he suggested that you read daily starting in Genesis and working your way through to Malachi. Get into a habit of spending whatever time you feel is good and simply read the Old Testament like a normal book. The New Testament is a little different and although the Gospels and Acts are somewhat narrative, the rest of the New Testament are letters that contain the doctrines of our faith. Here Pastor MacArthur suggests reading a comfortable amount daily and repeating that every day for a month. For example, I may read Galatians for a month, and then Phillipians and Philemon the next month, etcetera. With this approach, it is possible to read the entire bible in one to two years and really start to get a grasp of the Bible’s meanings and interconnections.

We’re constantly encouraged to “spend time in the word” and yet we often fall short. If anything, we’re often more interested in the latest Christian Bestseller book and our Bibles are again left by the wayside. We know we’re commanded to spend time in the word.  2 Timothy 2:15 instructs us to “study to show yourself approved by God.” One commentary added that we should be working with the word “as a master craftsman would his tools”. Of course, one reason is that we always face oppression from Satan to obey almost anything God asks us to do. We do as believers, however, have the power to overcome that. Another reason, I believe, is that we don’t read the Bible like we do other books. With other books, we start at chapter one and read onto the next chapter and the next chapter. Maybe we jump ahead to a chapter we think might be really interesting.

Typically this is not so with the Bible. We tend to randomly open to a book, read a few verses, and call it a day. But this approach misses the context, it missed the flow, it missed the life of the word. We would never do this with other books. Yet we often accept it with the Bible.

In my first few pass-throughs, I highlight and underline important passages. As I read every day, the Holy Spirit seems to reveal new concepts and verses that have previously gone unnoticed. I also ask questions about the meaning of a particular passage as well as the original meaning of various Greek words. I use Mounce and Mounce’s Greek and English Interlinear for word meanings and The Wycliffe Bible Commentary for passage meanings.

With this approach, I add prayer and meditation, to contemplate what I’ve read, and then I add some memorization.

My goal with memorization is not to sound like an Awana student, but to use various verses conversationally. For example, it is sufficient to say “Romans, or even the Bible, says “all have sinned” in sharing the Gospel. Of course, you want to be sure that your point is in context with the actual verse, but adding the exact chapter and verse as well as additional text does not necessarily benefit the engagement and may even come off as sanctimonious.

Consequently, the following are my favorite verses that I continue on trying to memorize. I have added some comments, where appropriate, and have included links to other verse(s) in ( )’s where the other verse(s) substantiate that specific verse or add additional insights.

What’s important with a Bible verse listing like that below is that you start to see connections between verses.

Most of the doctrines of our faith are drawn from a combination of verses and not from one specific verse. For example, the guidance on when divorce is permissible is not in one single verse but in multiple verses.

In fact, knowing only one of the verses on a specific subject can result in errors. An illustration of this the verse on judging which in Matthew 7:1 states “do not judge, or you too will be judged”. But this leaves out the additional verses in John 7:24 and Phillipian 1:10 that instruct us to be discerning and to judge correctly in love and not on mere appearances.

It’s these connections that bring to life the truths of the Bible.

This is an ongoing project as the Spirit continues to enlighten me with new verses and other nuances. I believe that’s part of what Hebrew’s 4 means when it states “the word is alive and active.”

As you read, pray, and mediate through the Bible, develop your own list of verses that you would like to memorize and use in your spiritual walk. Of course, feel free to use any of the ones listed below.

Key Verses

Matt 5:32 – divorce

anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery

  • the Bible allows for divorce in only two situations 1) unrepentant immorality (above), and 2) 1 Cor 7:13 where an unbelieving spouse leaves the marriage

Matt 7:1- judging

Do not judge, or you too will be judged

  • an oft misquoted popular verse – believers are to judge, but correctly in love, and not on appearances only (John 7:24), they are to discern what is best (Phil 1:10)

Matt 7:22 – false believers

many will say…Lord, Lord didn’t I prophesy in your name…and He will say I didn’t know you

  • the church is full of false believers but God knows the real thing and he will reject false believers in judgment
  • be aware that “know” is much more than intellectual assent, it means establishing a loving relationship and occurs many times in the bible
  • for example, Amos 3:2 states “(Israel) only have I known…” – of course, God knew all nations but only with Israel did he establish a loving relationship as His chosen people

Matt 13:13 – blindness

seeing they do not see, hearing they do not hear

  • a number of verses speak to the blindness of unbelievers – here Jesus explains how parables are used to conceal the truth to those who deny him

Matt 18:15- church discipline

if another member of the church sins…

  • the goals of church discipline are purity in the church and reconciliation, the approach is applicable to a number of situations

Matt 21:22 – answers to prayers

if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer

  • God answers prayers according to His will (see James 1:5 and Phil 4:6)

Matt 22:16 – election

Many are called, but few are chosen

  • God sovereignly chooses his children and this is taught throughout the Bible – without election this verse would be “many are called but few choose”

Matt 23:37 – responsibility

Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I have longed to gather your children together…and you were not willing [John 5:40]

  • interestingly, even though we are chosen or elected, we are responsible for our choice not to follow Christ – this is an example of a paradox in the Bible since “God’s ways are above our ways” (Isaiah 55:8).  We need to learn to accept even those truths in the Bible that are not fully logical to us and that we don’t fully understand

Matt 28:19 – evangelism

go and make disciples

  • believers are to share the gospel with everyone as commanded by Jesus

Mark 6:3 – offensive

they (jews) took offense

  • the Bible is offensive to unbelievers – it is particularly offensive to Jews

John 1:13 – not free will

children of God born…not of human decision…but of God [James 1:18, Rom 9:16]

  • some believe that God does not elect believers, but simply ratifies their “free will” decision – this verse and others (Rom 9:16, James 1:18) speak clearly that salvation is not through man’s free will but of God’s sovereign will

John 3:16 – how God loves us

in this way God loved the world by sending his son

  • maybe the most popular Bible verse, and often translated as “God so loved” – “so” is better translated as “in this way” – it is not how much, but how God loved the world

John 3:18 – condemned

whoever does not believe stands condemned already

  • without saving faith, this is the position of all mankind

John 5:40 – responsibility

yet you refuse to come to me to have life [Matt 23:37]

  • yet another verse showing that we are responsible for denying Christ (see Matt 23:27)

John 6:37 – perseverance of Saints

all the father gives me will come to me…and I will lose none

  • this simple verse proves three salvation truths – God elects, those elect will accept salvation, and once saved always saved

John 6:44 – divine attraction

no one can come to me unless the father…draws them

  • God not only chooses, but He causes us to accept His salvation gift

John 7:24 – judging

stop judging by mere appearances – instead, judge correctly

  • we are to judge and be discerning, but correctly in love and not on mere appearances

John 15:15 – chosen

you did not choose me, I chose you

  • not only are we chosen as believers, but God chose the nation Israel, Moses, Noah, Mary, and here the apostles – election is not unique, it’s ubiquitous in the Bible

John 15:18 – the world hates us

if the world hates you, remember it hated me first

  • believers will be hated by the world, as Christ was hated

Acts 2:23 – loving plan

this man (Christ) was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge

  • foreknowledge means the formation of a loving relationship, not simply looking into the future – (see notes in Rom 8:29)

Acts 11:18 – repentance

…God has granted repentance that leads to life

  • there are two sides of the salvation coin – faith and repentance – both are gifts that God gives believers

Acts 13:48 – election

all who were appointed for eternal life, believed

  • yet another strong proof of election in the Bible

Rom 2:6 – justice

God will repay each person according to what they have done

  • God is the perfect judge and will judge believers and unbelievers according to their deeds

Rom 2:11 – no favoritism

God does not show favoritism

God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) – this concept is repeated many times in the Bible

Rom 3:10 – none righteous

there is no one righteous

  • Romans 3:10, 23, and 28 make up the gospel presentation – no one is righteous since all have sinned

Rom 3:23 – sin

all have sinned and fall short

  • see Rom 3:10

Rom 3:28 – faith not works

a person is justified by faith apart from works

  • man can’t work their way to salvation

Rom 5:3 – Christian life

suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope

  • the Christian life is not “name it and claim it” but suffering which produces growth

Rom 8:30 – election to glorification

for those who God foreknew…he predestined, he also called; justified; [and] glorified

  • this is one of the most complete statements of our salvation gift – from foreknowledge to glorification
  • it is also the one verse used by those who believe in “free will” salvation because they interpret “foreknew” as simply God’s ability to see in the future and then ratify man’s free will choice. If that were true, however, Acts 2:23 would mean that Christ’s death on the cross was not planned in love but simply foreseen and ratified by God. This, of course, is incorrect
  • “know” is much more than intellectual assent – (see Matt 7:22)

Rom 9:6 – true believers

not all who are descended from Israel are Israel

  • this verse, 1 John 2:19, Matt 7:22 and other verses speak of false believers who mingle among true believers

Rom 9:16 – God’s vs. man’s will

(salvation) does not depend on human desire but on God’s mercy

  • see notes in John 1:13

Rom 10:17 – God’s persuasion not man’s

faith comes from hearing the message

  • the power of salvation is through the Bible – not our ability to persuade or speak well

Rom 11:5 – election

there is a remnant chosen by grace

  • this corresponds to “the narrow gate” of Matthew 7:13-14 and is another example of election

Rom 12:2  – sanctification

do not conform to…this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind

  • between justification and glorification is the sanctification process whereby we continue to grow to become more Christ-like

Rom 12:19 – justice

vengence is mine, I will repay says the Lord

  • In a world of biased justice, we have a perfect Judge – we are to pray for their salvation, God will take care of justice

Rom 13:1 – government

let every one be subject to the governing authorities

  • God institutes the family, the church, and government to control the problems of sin – we are, therefore, to be subject

1 Cor 1:26 – who is chosen

not many wise, not many influential, not many noble…God chose the foolish to shame the wise, the weak to shame the strong, and the lowly to nullify the things that are

  • God does not follow the laws of statistical probabilities but chooses specific people for salvation according to His will
  • See also Jame 2:5

1 Cor 2:7 – mystery

God’s wisdom, a mystery…that God destined us for glory before time began

  • the New Testament reveals a number of things which were unknown in the Old Testament (for example gentiles and Jews could obtain salvation Eph 3:6) – here we have the mind of Christ through the Spirit

1 Cor 2:9 – mystery

no eye has seen, no ear heard, no mind conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him

  • we can’t even conceive what God has prepared for our Glorification
  • the new heavens and new earth will not be a life of float on a cloud with a harp – our eternal reward will be spectacular and unbelievable

1 Cor 2:14 – foolishness

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit

  • the Bible and believers are foolishness to the unsaved person – this foolishness is even viewed as hateful – ultimately believers will be persecuted more and more because of this attitude

1 Cor 3:16 – the Spirit’s Indwelling

you are God’s temple and God’s Spirit dwells in you

  • the Holy Spirit indwells all church age believers

1 Cor 7:13 – divorce

if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him

  • the counter to this statement is one of two instances where divorce is authorized – where a non-believer leaves (see also Matt 5:32)

1 Cor 7:14 – mixed marriages

the unbelieving spouse has been sanctified through his believing spouse

  • since believers are not to be united with non-believers, God provides a special exception for mixed marriages
  • this often occurs when one person in a marriage of unbelievers becomes a believer
  • sanctification here does not mean salvation but rather an exception for the believing spouse who is united with an unbelieving spouse

1 Cor 10:13 – common to man

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

  • temptation is not unique but God will not allow what we can’t bear and will provide a way of escape

1 Cor 14:34 – women leadership

Women should remain silent in churches

  • women are not to teach men in church settings – outside that they can participate freely
  • Gal 3:28 states that “there is neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ” – this refers, however, to our position in Christ not to teaching and leadership role

2 Cor 4:4 – blinded non-believers

the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers

  • one of many verses which show non-believers are blinded to the truth by Satan

2 Cor 6:14 – unequally yoked

do not be yoked together with unbelievers

  • believers are commanded not to be yoked with unbelievers, especially in marriages and business partnerships

Gal 5:14 –  love God, love your neighbor

the entire “law” is fulfilled in keeping this one command – love your neighbor as yourself

  • the Old Testament 10 Commandments “law” can be condensed to love God and your neighbor

Gal 5:19 – drugs

the acts of the flesh are…sexual immorality…sorcery…hatred…and the like

  • it is interesting to understand the acts of sin includes drugs – and legalizing drugs is a strong modern-day movement
  • there are two usages of the word sorcery in the New Testament – once to mean magic where Simon for example, in Acts, is trying to buy the magic of the Apostles, and another here where sorcery is “pharmakia” and means drugs

Gal 5:22 – fruits of the spirit

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (or patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

  • all believers receive all nine of the fruits of the spirit

Gal 5:7 – sowing and reaping

God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows

  • Vengeance is God’s (Rom 12:19) – as a perfect judge he will yield perfect justice (see Romans 2:6)

Eph 1:4 – election

He chose us in him before the creation of the world…he predestined us..through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will…in him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will

  • again, election by His will, not ours

Eph 1:13 – sealed

When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal…a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance

  • believers are indwelled and sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our inheritance

Eph 2:1 – dead in our trespasses

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…we were by nature deserving of wrath but God made us alive

  • prior to our salvation, we are dead – without an outside influence, a dead person can do nothing

Eph 2:8 – grace and faith

by grace you have been saved through faith, and not from yourself, it is the gift of God, not by works…for we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do

  • the most succinct and complete grace by faith salvation verse

Eph 5:7 – don’t share in their sin

do not be partners with disobedient non-believers

  • this and 2 John 2:10 are commands not to partner with the sins of unbelievers

Eph 5:21 – submission

Submit to one another – wives, husbands, children, slaves, and masters

  • we are to submit in love to each other

Eph 6:12 – spiritual battles

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms

  • the reason it is difficult to understand the sinful man is that they are ruled by the powers of the dark world and the forces of evil in the heavenly – i.e. Satan

Eph 6:14 – stand firm

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth…and the shield of faith …to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one

  • justification frees us from the penalty of sin, we are now free from the power of sin, in glorification, we will be free from even the presence of sin

Phil 1:10 – innocent and shrewd

I pray that your love may grow in knowledge and insight, so you may be able to discern what is best

  • believers need to be innocent as doves and as shrewd as serpents (Matt 10:16) – we are to be discerning and to judge

Phil 2:12 – sanctification

continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling for God works in you to will and act to fulfill his good purpose

  • we need to “act worthy” (Eph 4:1) of our calling and continue to work out our salvation
  • He causes us to will and to act to fulfill His good purpose – God has a plan is fulfilling His plan – see James 4:13
  • God doesn’t just allow things to happen, he causes them to fulfill his will and plan – the early American patriots referred to this concept as “providence”

Phil 3:19 – glory in shame

their glory is in their shame, their mind is set on earthly things

  • unbelievers share a common trait of glorifying their shame
  • be wary of a person who glories in his past shames

Phil 3:20 – citizenship

our citizenship is in heaven…the Lord…will transform our bodies to be like his glorious body

  • one of the more difficult concepts to understand is that we are foreigners on earth and our citizenship is in heaven – “you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14)
  • while we are to be submissive to the governing authorities we need to remember that we are citizens of heaven

Phil 4:6 – anxiousness and prayer

be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God

  • believers are to continuously pray – 1 Thess 5:17 “pray without ceasing”
  • see James 1:5 and Matthew 21:22

Phil 4:8 – thoughts

whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy – think about these things

  • believer’s thoughts are to be on the things of Phil 4:8

Phil 4:13 – strength

I can do all things through him who gives me strength

  • we are to remember that God is our strength

Phil 4:19 – supply

God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus

  • economics is the study of unlimited needs and limited supplies – God, however, has unlimited supplies

Col 2:13 – dead in trespasses

when you were dead in your sins…God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins…nailing it to the cross

  • again, it is important to understand that prior to salvation we were dead in our trespasses and cannot do anything without an outside influence like the Holy Spirit

Col 3:3 – position

your life is now hidden with Christ in God

  • believers are bought and “in Christ”

Col 3:18 – submission

Wives submit, husbands love, children obey, slaves, masters

  • God created institutions – family, church, and government – we are to submit in love to each other

1 Thess 1:10 – rescue

Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath

  • God rescued Noah from the Flood, Lot from Sodom, the Jews from the Egyptian Army, and He will rescue us from the Tribulation

1 Thess 1:14 – who killed Jesus

the jews who killed the Lord Jesus

  • this is one of the clearest statements on who killed Jesus
  • most Jews will state the Romans killed Jesus – true, they were the instrument, but the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy, and demanded that he be crucified

1 Thess 4:16 – rapture

for the Lord will come down from heaven…and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive will be caught up [rapture] together with them and will be with the Lord forever. Encourage one another with these words

  • the church age saint will receive their glorified body at the rapture which occurs right before the seven-year tribulation period – we are to comfort each other with this thought (that Jesus will rescue us from the tribulation) – see 1 Thess 1:10

1 Thess 5:2 – the day of the Lord

the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night, while people are saying peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly

  • “the day of the Lord” comes at the end of the seven-year tribulation with Jesus and the saints return to judge sinful man and usher in a 1000 year period – the Millenium, prior to the creation of the new heaven and a new earth

1 Thess 5:9 – rescued

God did not appoint us to suffer wrath

  • over and over again, God saves believers from wrath (see 1 Thess 1:10)

2 Thess 2:3 – the AntiChrist

the coming of the Lord will not come until the rebellion occurs, and the man of lawlessness [Antichrist] is revealed. He will exalt himself…proclaiming himself to be God…the Lord will overthrow with his breath [second coming]

2 Thess 2:11 – delusion

God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie…and all will be condemned who have not believed but delighted in wickedness

  • this verse, along with Heb 6:6, shows there is a point at which denying God will become permanent. God will act to seal the non-believer’s fate as He did with the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart in Exodus 8

2 Thess 2:13 – chosen

God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth

  • over and over again, God chooses, He elects

1 Tim 3:1 – elders and deacons

who aspires to be an elder…must be blameless

  • Elders and deacons should be a “calling” to which you “aspire” for the position
  • The overriding criterium is “blamelessness”
  • The only significant difference between an elder and a deacon is that an elder needs to be “able to teach”
  • All believers should also aspire to the same qualifications listed in 1 Tim and Titus

1 Tim 5:8 – honor your parents

anyone who does not provide for their relatives, especially their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever

  • there are verses which link the second commandment – honor your parents – to providing for your parent in their old age (1 Tim 5:4 – “repaying their parents…for this is pleasing to God”)

1 Tim 6:10 – the love of money

the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil

  • another oft misquoted verse – “love of” is the issue

2 Tim 1:7 – timidity

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

  • unfortunately we see, with the erosion of our 2nd amendment rights, a far too complicit acceptance – but God didn’t give us a spirit of timidity, believers need to stand up with the truth

2 Tim 1:9 – called

He saved us and called us – not of anything we have done but because of his purpose and grace given before the beginning of time

  • again, election and timing – before the beginning of time

2 Tim 2:25 – the gift of repentance

Opponents gently instruct, so God will grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth

  • it is important to remember two sides of the salvation coin – faith and repentance – both of which are gifts from God, as shown in this verse

2 Tim 3:7 – unbelievers

always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth

  • again, non-believers try to look like believers but never quite make it

2 Tim 3:12 – persecution and evil men

Everyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted while evildoers will go from bad to worse

  • here are two truth that becomes more evident daily – believers will be persecuted and, as the Spirit “gives them over” (Roman 1) evil men will become even more evil

2 Tim 3:16 – inspiration

all scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so the servant of God may be equipped for every good work

  • who wrote 2 Timothy? Paul, yes. The Holy Spirit, yes. Yet another paradox of truth regarding the Bible.

2 Tim 4:3 – a sound doctrine

the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine and gather teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear

  • Sermonettes for Christianettes are not popular because they’re good. They’re popular because they don’t offend and “tickle the ear”.

2 Tim 4:10 – went out

Demas deserted

  • many fail to comprehend this, but Demas, like Judas, are real-life examples of non-believers that seemed to be believers but eventually depart

Titus 5:6 – blameless

an elder must be blameless

  • like 1 Timothy 3, the overriding characteristic of an elder/deacon is “blamelessness”.

Titus 3:1 – submit to government

remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, obedient, good, gentle

  • as with other verses – submit out of love and in accordance with God’s primary institutions – family, church and government

Heb 4:12 – the living word

the word of God is alive and active

  • this should put to rest any call for “updating”

Heb 6:4 – sealed

it is impossible for those who have once been enlightened… and have fallen away to be brought back to repentance.

  • Like 2 Thess 2:11 which deals with the Tribulation of non-believers, there comes a time where salvation is no longer possible

Heb 7:27 – no transubstantiation

He sacrificed for their sins once for all

  • Unlike the Catholic faith, Christ died once for all and doesn’t need to die with each church service (mass).

Heb 10:25 – assembling of believers

not giving up meeting together…but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching

  • the church is not a building, it is the believers which are commanded to continue to assemble, all the more in the end times

Heb 11:17 – faith

By faith Abraham believed

  • Old Testament saints are saved exactly the same as New Testament Saints – by faith

Heb 13: 8 – unvarying God

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever

  • Our God never changes

James 1:2 – trials

consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds – faith produces perseverance

  • believers will face trials that will produce perseverance – this is sanctification at work

James 1:13 – sinless

no one should say God is tempting me

  • God is sinless and temps no one

James 1:5 – prayer

if any lack wisdom, ask God..and it will be given..but you must believe and not doubt

  • God answers prayers according to His will (see Matthew 21:22 and Phil 4:6)

James 1:18 – the power of salvation

He chose to give us birth through the word

  • Like Romans 10:17, the word has the inherent power of salvation

James 1:19 – anger

everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry

  • this is common sense wisdom

James 1:27 – pure religion

religion that God accepts as pure is this: to look after orphans and widows

  • two of the weakest in society, widow and orphans, helping would produce little worldly benefit but does produce heavenly benefits

James 2:5 – elected

has not God chosen those who are poor to be rich in faith

  • Like 1 Cor 1:26, salvation doesn’t follow statistical probability theory but God’s divine selection

James 2:23 – faith

Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness

  • again, both OT and NT saints are saved one way only – by faith

James 3:1 – teachers

not many of you should become teachers – who will be judged more strictly

  • a warning for those who want to teach

James 3:13 – contrasts

two kinds of wisdom

  • like the Galatians 5:2 fruits of the spirit, there is good and bad wisdom

James 4:7 – the devil

submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee

  • through God, believers have power over sin and power over the father of sin

James 4:13 – God’s will

you who say we will go and do this…instead if it is the Lord’s will

  •  See Phil 2:12 – we complete Gods plans

James 5:16 – confession

confess your sins to each other that you may be healed

  • confession is not for forgiveness, we are already forgiven – confession is for restoration

1 Peter 1:4 – heavenly treasure

we have an inheritance that can never perish

  • as certain as is our salvation, so is our inheritance and those treasures we have stored there

1 Peter 1:20 – chosen

Christ was chosen before the creation of the world and God glorified him so your faith and hope is in God

  • as we were chosen, so too was Christ to be crucified and resurrected for our salvation

1 Peter 2:20 – suffer

if you suffer for doing good…this is commendable before God

  • suffering for Christ is like “suffering with benefits”

1 Peter 3:1 – submission

Wives submit to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over by the behavior of their wives

  • sweet behavior brings salvation to unsaved spouses

1 Peter 4:12 – suffering

do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come to test you – if you are insulted because of Christ, you are blessed

  • do not be surprised, persecution and suffering will come

1 Peter 5:1 – shepherds

Elders be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care…not lording it over…then you will receive a crown that will never fade away

  • elders should shepherd and not lord over their authority
  • churches should be lead by Godly elders not democratic process

1 Peter 5:5 – submit

you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders

  • everyone is to submit to each other

2 Peter 1:5 – sanctification

make every effort to add to your faith goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love – confirm your calling and election

  • Peter simply lists progress aspects of our sanctification process

2 Peter 2:1 – false prophets

there will be false prophets among you secretly introducing destructive heresies…bringing swift destruction on themselves

  • we are warned again and again of false prophets and anti-Christs, especially in the end times

2 Peter 2:11 – rebuking Satan

even angels did not heap abuse on angelic beings

  • false religions rebuke Satan – true believers abstain from this practice

2 Peter 3:8 – time

with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. the lord is not slow in keeping his promise, instead, he is patient not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief

  • God’s patience is for salvation and His concept of time is completely different than ours

1 John 2:19 – false believers

they went out from us because they did not really belong to us

  • this and other verses teach false believers will leave the body, especially during times of persecution

1 John 2:23 – true vs false believers

no one who denies the Son has the Father

1 John 3:6 – habitual sin

no one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him

  • all believers sin and any believer can commit even the most grievous sin – they cannot, however, make a lifestyle of their sin and continue to sin
  • a believer might even commit murder, he cannot, however, be a hitman

1 John 3:9 – habitual sin

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning because they have been born of God

  • see 1 John 3:6

1 John 4:2 – true vs false believers

Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus has come in the flesh is from God but every spirit that does not acknowledge is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist

  • see 1 John 2:19

1 John 4:4 – greater

you have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world

  • believers must never forget that God is greater than all

1 John 4:12 – seeing God

no one has ever seen God

  • the validity of all the “gone to heaven and returned” books can be invalided with this one verse

1 John 5:16 – point of no return

there is a sin that leads to death

  • although salvation is a free gift, there seems to be a point where God seals the fate of someone who continue to reject
  • Thess 2:11 speaks to this during the Tribulation and Heb 6:4 speaks to this generally

2 John 10 – don’t welcome false teachers

do not welcome them…and share in their wicked work

  • believers need to be concerned about partnering with false prophets and teachers – this verse and Eph 5:7 both speak to this error

Jude 3 – stand firm

contend for the faith that was once or all entrusted to God’s holy people

  • similar to Ephesian’s “stand” we are to contend and fight for the truth of faith

Jude 9 – rebuking Satan

even Michael when he was disputing with the devil did not dare to condemn him but said “the Lord rebuke you!”

  • similar to 2 Peter 2:11, we are not to rebuke Satan but can ask the Lord to do so

Jude 18 – scoffers

In the last times, there will be scoffers…these are the people who divide you

  • as end times approach, scoffers, persecution, and other problems will continue with evil men who only become more evil

Revelation 22:20 – salutation

Come, Lord Jesus

  • all believers should pray for the return of Christ continually


No amount of writing can even begin to scratch the surface of the truths of the Bible. The verses above are my favorite and as I continue to grow in the word, I will continue to add to them. You should do likewise. Make this list your list and modify and add to it to meet your needs.

Nothing is more important than saturating your life with the word of God.