Posts Tagged ‘websters 1828 dictionary’

“Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)

Faith That is Seen

ladderIf faith stands alone, it is entirely invisible. If I say, “I believe this ladder will support my weight,” but then don’t ever climb it, my faith is veiled by my own dormancy. The reality is that someone else will have to come along and scale the ladder in order to prove its worth. At this juncture the amount of faith I possess is of no consequence if I fail to act upon its smallest portion. Neutral or idle faith is transparent and serves no purpose.

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17)

The Apostle Peter is essentially saying the same thing as James, therefore we can conclude that invisible faith and dead faith are the same beast to be avoided. Those who exhibit invisible or dead faith are in fact obstacles towards both personal sanctification and societital evangelism. To that end, James would later proclaim in his epistle…

You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:24)

Adding to Faith

My mom was clever. She tied a ribbon atop her antenna so she could easily spot her car as she exited the grocery store. My wife does a similar thing with our luggage. Since by itself there’s not much to distinguish it from the other baggage, she ties colorful ribbons to the handles. Peter is asserting that if we want others to see our faith (and we should), we need to apply something more than *bumper stickers, t-shirts, or refrigerator magnets.

Peter counsels us to add to our faith:

  1. Virtue: the practice of moral duties and the abstaining from sin. Virtue also lends itself to strength, valor, and bravery.
  2. Knowledge: a clear and certain perception of truth and facts. The lighting of the mind that aids discernment.
  3. Temperance: a habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions of our flesh. Simply put: self-control.
  4. Patience: to persevere through afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, with a calm, unruffled temper, without murmuring or complaining.
  5. Godliness: a purposeful and obedient observance of the laws of God and performance of religious duties, in love and reverence for our Father in Heaven.
  6. Kindness: the attitude and disposition of good will exercised cheerfully; that which delights in contributing to the happiness or basic needs of others.
  7. Charity: that disposition of the heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men. In a general sense, love.

These items should look vaguely familiar to us, for at least in part, they comprise the fruit of the Holy Spirit listed in Paul’s letter to the Galatians (Galatians 5:22-23). It’s beneficial for us to meditate on the Galatians text in conjunction with Peter’s letter, for in so doing we learn that these attributes are given by the Holy Spirit and received by the faithful, not contrived in our minds or achieved in our flesh. Working at these traits in our own strength is an act of futility that will only serve to make us weary and discouraged.

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (Galatians 5:16-17)

Can your faith be seen?

Is there evidence to support your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? If not, first make sure you are on the feetnarrow path, and if so, make sure you are walking forward. In order to exercise your faith, there must be some degree of movement. Remember it’s okay (and even recommended) that your first step be upon your knees.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, your walk can begin today! If you’re not sure where to start, leave a comment and I’d be blessed to share with you.

(*Bumper stickers, t-shirts, and refrigerator magnets are wonderful things. I employ all three!)

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Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:1-4)

I like to jest.

It’s not that I can’t help it (I can), but rather it’s what I do because I enjoy doing it. Frankly, I like making people laugh. Years ago when I first came upon this passage in Ephesians 5 in regards to the art of jesting, it worried me. Would I be forced to abandon my merriment? What is jesting anyway?

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary describes a jest as simply a joke meant only to excite laughter. Religion (according to the definition) should never be the subject of jest. Jesting is concise wit that consists in trope, metaphors, double meanings, or similitude of sound in different words.

Okay I can live with that, but why does God (according to scripture) forbid it?

He Doesn’t

Just this afternoon a person (kindly) reminded me that what I said (to her and another person) was coarse jesting. I kindly corrected her and cited the Bible verse.

“In the phrase ‘coarse jesting,’ ”  I said, “what is the key word?”

“Jesting,” was the reply.

“No it isn’t,” I corrected, “the key word is ‘coarse.’ “

I  went on to say that God likely opted to use the term coarse jesting instead of mere jesting because He was making a distinction between an acceptable jest and one that is crude, gross, or offensive. The person questioned my interpretation, however I was not convicted. I’m no Biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve nailed this one — I know crude, gross, and offensive when I see or hear it. I am after all a recovered coarse-aholic. Thanks be to God.

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Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

What is repentance, why is it important, and who preached on the topic?

Webster’s 1828 records that, “Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God.” I would agree, but add that cessation alone is not enough; one must turn away from sin and turn towards Jesus. Quite frankly, if you have no intention of believing in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you might as well just keep on with your abhorrent behavior.

When Holy Spirit conviction gives birth to Godly repentance, the recipient knows full well that a life or death situation exists. To purposely disregard this divine directive is to set a soul on a hellish spiral. The fanatical Christian with his, “REPENT or GO TO HELL” sign might be a little short on love, but his information is nevertheless completely accurate. I suspect that a believer walking more closely with Jesus would not be as harsh, but hopefully would get the same point across.

Who in the Bible preached the need for repentance? Well here’s the short list:

John the Baptist

For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’” Matthew 3:2


From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17

The 12 Disciples

So they (the disciples) went out and preached that the people should repent. Mark 6:12


Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

Paul and God

Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious…Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:22 + 30

What does true repentance look like? According to the scriptures three characteristics will be apparent. First, there will be Godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), second, there will be humility (Luke 18:9-14) and finally there will be the obvious rejection of the former ways and the turning to God (1 Thessalonians 1:9). These three attributes reflect a godly change of mind, of heart, and of will. Soon after, there will be fruit!

Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses to all these things.” Luke 24:45-48

What are your thoughts?

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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