Our newest memory verse is Philippians 1:21:
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: 1:19-26.
A small memory verse with a big message! For the Christian who is faithful, this is defining. To continue in the flesh “is Christ.” That is, to continue to live is to continue to bear fruit from labor. On the other hand, to no longer live in the flesh but die, (as he was awaiting his judgment in prison), is to experience gain! For Paul, it is a win-win situation and at the same time one which is hard pressed to answer. He wanted to remain so as to continue his labor and encourage his brethren, but his “departure” was to be with Christ and is “far better.” How many of us can view life with this perspective, this confidence, this attitude?
Steven J. Wallace
Our latest memory verse comes from the book of Ephesians. Ephesians 6:17 takes us back to fundamental of the faith—understanding what the will of the Lord is.
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: Ephesians 5:15-21
EXTENDED CONTEXT: Ephesians 5:1-21
My NKJV Bible provided a good breakdown of this context as:
- Walk in Love (5:1-7)
- Walk in Light (5:8-14)
- Walk in Wisdom (5:15-21)
Steven J. Wallace
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: Galatians 6:6-10.
EXTENDED CONTEXT: Galatians 5:1-6:15.
BREAKDOWN OF CONTEXT:
- Do not become entangled or estranged from Christ (Gal. 5:1-6). The danger of practicing things religiously which are not of the covenant of Christ (circumcision, Law of Moses).
- Our liberty from the Law of Moses is not liberty to live according to the flesh but in love (Gal. 5:7-15).
- The contrast of walking in the Spirit versus walking in the flesh amplified (Gal. 5:16-26).
- Individual duties and applications of walking in the Spirit (Gal. 6:1-15).
- Reach out to reclaim those overtaken in sin (Gal. 6:1, 2).
- Review our own work and standing with God (Gal. 6:3-5).
- Recompense the teacher of the word (Gal. 6:6).
- Remember what you sow is what you reap (Gal. 6:7-9).
- Recognize opportunities to do good (Gal. 6:10).
- Rejoice in the cross (Gal. 6:11-15).
--Steven J. Wallace
Bible Recall Memory Verse:
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: 2 Corinthians 5:12-21. This could be extended back to 5:9 where the aim is expressly stated to please God and to consider the coming judgment of God heavily.
Historically, the Corinthians heard, believed and were baptized into Christ (Acts 18:8; 1 Cor. 6:11; 12:13). Their new birth began when they initially obeyed the gospel, and it is the same today. While some were formerly fornicators, idolaters, homosexuals, drunkards, etc. they were forgiven and are no longer identified as such (1 Cor. 6:9-11). In their obedience, they were washed, sanctified, and justified. The Christian is a forgiven person, but he is not pardoned to continue in sin, but to transform into a “new creation.” Paul defined it well, “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).
1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: 1 Corinthians 1:13-17.
EXTENDED CONTEXT: 1 Corinthians 1:13-4:21 with the likelihood of this section-context extending through chapter six or possibly even further.
LESSONS FOR UNITY:
- Definition: speak the same thing, no divisions, perfectly joined together, same mind, same judgment
- The perils of disunity and factions in the church (pride, carnality, contentions, overlooking sin, an incubator for error, etc.).
- The prayer of unity (Paul pleads for what Jesus prayed for, John 17).
- The pleasant state of unity, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1).
- The posture for unity (Eph. 4:1-3).
- The platform for unity (Eph. 4:4-7).
Question: By what basis should we pursue unity?