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On The Necessity of Virtues and Values

Of an Empowering & Inspired Leader

The term values is often confused with virtues although similar in meaning virtues are characteristics and attributes (qualities and aspects) associated with the nature of God whereas values are any principles, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile and desirable (Bredfeldt 2006). Furthermore, values are determined by one’s worldview and are based on personality, family dynamics, environmental factors, social factors, cultural aspects, political views and other views of social nature. One’s view on creation, God (or the lack of, and even economics shapes one’s values as well as how one perceives and pursues the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom. Additionally one’s values are mutable and change as one’s perception and perspective changes. Our values can be influenced and manipulated by the views and teachings of others and form the basis of our morality where as our virtues are God given. The two combined form the basis for Ethics.

Ethics can be divided into three categories.  At the highest level is our Virtue our concept of God and Evil or theodicy.  Western social concepts of virtues is credited first to the Greek Philosopher Plato who views justice as the highest virtue.  Justice forms the bond that holds all the other four virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance (Self-control) and continence (abstinence from immorality especially sexually desire) in unity and congruency. Additionally, only through the exercise of knowledge and the power given within our soul can ultimate good be achieved for the form is an imperfect copy and our senses are inferior matter or existence is imperfect while essence (soul, God, spirit, knowledge) is perfect and unchanging and is the basis for all things (anonymous 2016).  The second level is one’s personal and family conception of what is right & wrong (general morality) and at the base is secular law or social and corporate structure.

Virtue, Values & Vices

Aristotle built upon Plato’s concepts but came to a different conclusion. For him matter and essence are inseparable and both are derived from God. The lower form matter thereby originated from the deity and all action originates from the potentiality of motion (anonymous 2016).   For Aristotle virtues are God given but must be developed in training and discipline in what he called means. If we for example wish exemplify High-Mindedness (Wisdom) but the over development of it this will lead to the excessive vice of pride (boastfulness, vanity). In Contrast a lack of development will lead to the vice of deficiency of foolishness ( humble-mindedness) Thus for Aristotle, virtues fail as a result of two categories’ of vices one of deficiency and one of excess as a result of a lack of discipline and training.

Aristotle’s list of virtues and vices are listed on the following chart (anonymous 2016).

Cowardice Courage Rashness
Insensibility Temperance Intemperance
Illiberality Liberality Prodigality
Pettiness Munificence Vulgarity
Humble-mindedness High-mindedness Vaingloriness
Want of Ambition Right Ambition Over-ambition
Spiritlessness Good Temper Irascibility
Surliness Friendly Civility Obsequiousness
Ironical Depreciation Sincerity Boastfulness
Boorishness Wittiness Buffoonery
Shamelessness Modesty Bashfulness
Callousness Just Resentment Spitefulness


Finally, one is to practice self-love and friendship or love of others, which is a communal relation, and peaceful and beautiful state of existence with the world in general (anonymous 2016). Furthermore, justice is both general and special in that it applies to the observance of both secular and moral law in occasional circumstance such as judicial and economic matters and is abstract in some instance for absolute justice, which is corrective, and often retaliatory is necessary in moral conduct and common decency.

God cannot be comprehended by practicing normal human moral insight; rather one finds God in happiness in being (anonymous 2016). For Aristotle, pain and pleasure of the mind and soul is the motivation behind the virtues and thus desire for higher pleasure one strives for the highest virtue of high-mindedness through the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom and the disciplines of means or pursuit of the other Godly virtues.

From a Biblical the character of the leader should be developed out of disciple and training from the study of God’s word, meditation, prayer, a life of obedience of faith ( reliance, dependence and trust on Christ and the Holy Spirit).   One must additionally die to flesh – born to Spirit (Rom. 12) and be without boastful pride and in loving humble servitude and in a unity of heart and mind that imitates the likeness of Christ (Phil 1-6). Through the transformation of one’s mind through various spiritual disciplines and the resistance of temptations and living by Christian Ethics, one is granted Spiritual Gifts for the glory of God and service (Rom 12-15).

Additionally, one is to be follow the guidelines of Christian character and conducts as outlined in 1 Tim: 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. This ethical code is similar to the classical code of the Greeks and summarized lists certain desirable traits of conduct for leaders and elders of the church. However, this code should become the basis for all believers conduct, as it is list some basics guidelines for virtues besides those in Romans 12-15. The Fruit of the Spirit, which results from discipline practice and training, is the highest virtues (Gal 5-16-26, Col 3:1-17) and is only given by the leading and granting of the Holy Spirit. Both lists also contain some of the more common sins or depravities of Humanity.  One should recall from Romans 1-8 Paul reminds us all though the Law illustrates us the nature of our sin and we may have all intentions to do good deeds, works actions or even obey out of obligation of the Law. Because of our sin even after being justified or declared citizens of distinction worth and righteous (elect, saints). Will fall short. Thus only by the atoning cross can any of us be truly forgiven, and it is by Christ grace and mercy that all faith is based not by anything we can accomplish. WE however must with the aid of the Holy Spirit striving to become transformed dying from the temptations of sin, forgiving others as well as our self, empowering others and spreading the Gospel to the fallen world serving as Christ like teachers in faith, hope and love.


Courage is essential and is the result of Endurance, perseverance, and often times suffering.  Courage is the ability to face one’s fears, standing firm in strength in one’s convictions and is a discipline virtue that arises from faith and relying on the practice of truth in times of crisis, adversity or suffering. Courage as a virtue is the assurance of the interdependence working of God in total trust and reliance in any situation or occasion of danger (whether perceived or actual).

Thus, with that aid of the Holy Spirit and the Authority given to the believer by Christ the sovereignty will insure the outcome is in the best interest of the Trinity of God and for his divine creation and Eternal- kingdom.  Additionally courage sparks the passion and not always the sensibility of the individual leading to actions in a situation. Wisdom is the application of knowledge, virtues, and vales in a manner that practical and is thus sensible and heartfelt or appropriate in any given situation.


Truth can be absolute or relative based on assumptions, feelings, false input of one’s senses or misguided views or actions. The Bible in inerrant when God, Christ or “The Angel of the Lord says or the Holy Spirit gives direct directives. However, the Bible is also infallible meaning it is the means and ends of achieving Faith. Both doctrines of the church are human perspectives and can be supported by the Biblical Evidence.

However, the Bible is not fully inerrant or infallible in itself and never makes an exclusive claim for one or the other. Rather truth and faith (Spirit) matched with authenticity should be seen as the Biblical doctrine  Biblical intake and teaching requires the ability to differentiate, evaluate and incorporate  historical, occasional, cultural, situational, universal, personal and finally current relevancy (Duvall and Hays 2012, 235-246).

To make a claim that either truth of faith or works or goodwill (deeds) are to be separated or combined in any a+ +b or b+ d or any other combination to achieve salvation is missing the mark. The truth is all are inseparable and holistic parts lived and in of obedience of faith for the suffering Bondservant of Christ. One style of leadership or church will not be fitting or reach and meet the needs for all people and doctrines of man will divide. Each view has strengths and weakness as every man has strength and weaknesses (Bredfeldt 2006).

The Key of Wisdom

The key is discernment with biblical guidance and application of general revelation, assessment and our experience. This enables one as an individual, the Body of Believers or universal communal church, and all who are willing to hear, see and receive the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ and the Good-News in a manner that leads to a profession of faith and the empowering and ongoing transformation to the Eikōn. This New Adam – New Kingdom fulfillment, will be granted  when final salvation and full restoration is completed upon Christ return which is only possible with the aid of others and the Holy Spirit brought forth in humble, and accepting discerning teachings of love grace and mercy.


Uniqueness & Diversity: The Character of a Leader

What defines ethics and sound character will vary from subculture to culture and will differ even by some degree with in the individual heart and mind of each person. A worldview is simply how an individual perceives the world and his place in creation. It is influenced by family dynamics, cultural customs, ethnicity, nationality, religious views ( doctrines and dogma & beliefs), peer pressure, inspiration, philosophical ideology, political perception,  economics, innate vales & talents , God given virtues ( often unrealized or undeveloped), knowledge, and wisdom. This list is far from complete.

Sin is the adversary of character and is like a genetic curse inherit in all humanity. Sin leads to opposition to the guidelines of the Law that is Holy and the basis of our virtuous morality. Only through Christ atoning sacrifice are we worthy and significant free from blind obligation to obedience of the Law.  In correlation by the leading of the Spirit sanctified and ethics is thus written on the heart of all who live obediently in and by faith (Rom 6-8).

Our strengths and weakness need to be assessment and evaluation and at times God uses not our strengths but our weakness ( Gen 50:20)  for the benefit his divine purpose ( Matt 28: 18-20 must be done in conjunction Matt 22:33-39). Finally, Philippians 1-11, Titus 1:6-8, 1 Timothy 3:2-7, 1 Corinthians 13, Galatians 5, Romans 12-16 as well as Matt 5-7, Eph 5, Col 3:5, and Rom 1:18-32, Rom 2-6). The Good News is since all are declared righteous and redeemed by Christ and love writes the Law on one’s heart in transformation, obedience and willing service of love.

The individual and community is being transformed and restored as long as we keep trudging running, persevering, suffering thru the race of life and praising and glorify God in all things. Thus, doing our part to advance the completion of God promise of salvation and inclusion of all who are willing into the New Adam ( Man)- Perfected reconstructed Eternal kingdom of God when Christ returns to reign in the Eschatological Age (Moo 2000).

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks


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anonymous. Ancient Greek Philosophy. Edited by James Fieser, Bradley Dowden, & Kirby Jeremy. 2016. (accessed May 01, 2016).


Bredfeldt, Gary J. Great Leader, Great Teacher: Recovering the Biblical Vision for Leadership. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2006.

Duvall, Scott J., and Daniel J. Hays. Grasping God’s Word. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

Moo, Douglas J. Romans. NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.


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Analysis of Colossians 3: 1-4

(A lesson on Scripture Interpretation)

Colossians 2:20-3:11

New International Version (NIV)

20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Living as Those Made Alive in Christ

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of GodSet your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. [b] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.


Step 1: Historical Meaning:


To gain understanding of the passage or verse of study one must verse analyze the literary content of the text being studied. First, is it a figurative passage using idioms, comparative or contrast ideas, or is it a literal form of communication? Is it an active or inactive statement? Compare the verbs, conjunctions and other forms of grammar and determine what the passage or verse is trying to convey. An action statement will be a command or some sort of activity. Is it a dialog? Is it a Revelation from God (Theosophy) which is normally indicated by a statement as “The Lord said, Appeared Angel appeared…”? Keep in mind the wording and grammar style may be different than that of a contemporary writing and will reflect the author. All though all scripture is Inspired and inerrant the personality and culture of the writer will be reflected in the style of the  passage or verse as well as the composition will be written to convey a message to a certain audience in a manner of speech reflecting the culture and society of the intended reader of the time. Dictionaries, encyclopedias atlases, study guides and concordances as well can provide a wealth of information for research on geographical, historical or uncommon terminology to gain further understanding as you uncover the wonders of God’s Word.

In Regards to the relevance of (Colossians 3: 1-4) to the people of Colossae, Phrygia (The Philemon people also resided in the city, the city was also known as Kona) [i] it is speaks on the dangers of Sin and Christ alone is the means of Salvations and is a place of prominence next to God in Heaven. This is reinforced by the central theme for Colossians which is verse 1:18.

“He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.”[ii]

A secondary theme is that the message of Salivation and Grace extends to all people Jew and Gentile.

The paragraph preceding the text studied states that one who dies a Spiritual death or thus as a follower of Christ one will be led astray by the temptations and the workings of the world. Although, society, law and culture teach these ways are wise and profitable in actuality the lead to a form of sickness to one’s body and even can serve as a false God causing pride to kill of humility and stiffen spiritual growth. Thus, cutting one off from God and leaving one feeling unsatisfied and unfilled.

The paragraph preceding the Colossians 3:1-4 commands us to put to death our sinful nature and warns that Jesus is returning. On can conclude from this statement that the salvation is a gift and the reader must keep the commandments (Exodus 20) and obey the teachings of Christ and live free from sin if one wishes to enter Heaven.

Step 2 Measuring the Width:


To measure the width one must determine the similarities and difference of the society and people of writing (historical content) and that of today. At times the text itself may be relevant and the Holy Spirit may reveal through illumination a direct correlation but at other times one may need to consult reference materials. The above passage transcends the gap of time and ages but I chose to do a little research on the people and society and the Author (Paul) to gain further insight into the subject being presented.

Paul wrote the Epistle from Ephesus during his third missionary trip in around 53-58 A.D. [iii]However, the letter was circulated at around 62 A.D. (He was imprisoned in Rome at this time)[iv]

The people of Phrygia (Present day Turkey) are mentioned in various near eastern texts and the area was under the occupation of the Persians Greeks and Romans at various times throughout history. The Phrygian Mode of music is credit from originating from this region but at the time of Paul the people were noted as dull in some Roman texts. However, this seems to reflect the arid conditions of the land and not the people. It is obvious that the people were accustomed to the lavish lifestyle of the Hellenistic and Roman people and this is why Paul wrote the letter.  The Church of Colossae was looked upon favorably by Paul as reflected by Paul in (Colossians 1) as this is a prayer of Thanksgiving. However the city itself must have been in a sinful state and the Christian were suffering from persecution. The book of Philemon however illustrates some of the church members are being led astray by sin.

One can only turn on the news, read the paper or step outside into the world today and see the corruption of Sin and the promotion of the ways of the world over the ways of God. Even today some churches are falling away from Evangelism and the Gospel embracing feel good preaching and empowerment. This Spiritual prosaic only strengthens the ways of Satan and false teachings. Plus, misinterpreted readings of the scripture and piece meal sermons only further dilute God’s word.

Therefore, the gap is relatively small for the contemporary reader and the historical counterpart of Kona.



Step 3 Crossing the Bridge:

In order to cross the bridge of history and culture one must ask themselves a series of five questions to find the theological truth looking for contrast and similarities in the audience, society, geography and related historical properties of the period of the writing.

  1. Is the principal reflected in the Biblical text?

The principal of mankind to turn toward indulgence,  greed, immorality and the like to feel satisfied and for society to approve and promote such actions is universal and is throughout the Bible.( Romans 6:22-23 It reflected in the passage itself and the paragraph before and after the on being studied.  The other main theme of Christ ascending to sit at the right hand of God is also reflected elsewhere.  (Ephesians 1:20) Remember the Bible never contradicts itself.

  1. Is the Passage timeless?

As Stated above the two themes are timeless and universal and cross all historical gaps.

  1. Is the Passage culturally bound?

The Passage studied is relevant in a modern as well as a historical setting and thus is culturally bound.

  1. Is the Passage consistent with the rest of the teaching of Scripture?

After not only review the material surrounding (Colossians 3:1-4) but recollecting on my studies of previous readings of The Word , consulting reference materials, and consulting other related Books of the Bible on the Theological issue presented the teaching was found to be sound.

  1. Finally, is the Scripture still relevant today?

As Salvation, Grace, the second coming, temptation and entrapment of man and the dangers of man are a universal theme in the Bible  it has been proven to be proven to be sound theological interpretative argument for a post- modern reader In America as it was in time of Paul.

Step 4 Applications for Today:

In order to apply a passage or verse to one’s life the key elements that connect the writing and the situation need to be identified. One should then consider a scenario where all the factors can apply keeping in mind the meaning must be relevant to contemporary society as well as it was to the original audience.

Below I will outline two scenarios from the text in (Colossians 3:1-4).

  1. On Greed:

Suppose that you are offered a promotion that would increase your status and income but would require you to spend less time away from your family, would require you be accepted even though there are coworkers and friends have worked more diligently towards the promotion and are more qualified than you and God has more than provided for your needs and you are aware of one of those coworkers is facing financial hardship and would benefit greatly from the material gain of the position. Not to mention the boss is a close friend of yours and it may appear as though he is showing you favoritism if you accept the promotion.

Society will teach us to accept the position, you too earned it. People will understand.  He who has the most toys and most power is the most successful. Money, Power, Prestige this will make me happy. One’s family will understand the long hours and the time away from home. The man struggling will find another means to get by. Pride will kick in, humility will become lacking, more will not be enough and one will not be satisfied. For more clarification on this issue one only needs to read (Ecclesiastes).

  1. On sexual Immorality :

Suppose if you will you are presented with the opportunity to engage in sexual intercourse with the most attractive person you can imagine but that person or yourself is separated but not divorced.

Society and the law would not consider this to be adultery and many of this would act on this temptation.

However, under Gods Commandments this would be adultery. The laws governing adultery and impurity and sexuality are clearly divined in the Bible one such account is given by Christ himself In Matthew.


27 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.


31 It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.( Matthew 5:27-32 E.S.V)[v]

Thankful for salvation and sanctification are sins are forgiven. (John 3: 14-25).

I hope this essay will enrich the reader as the discover God’s word and gain freedom through a better understanding of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

In Christ,

Trent Rindoks

Word count: # 2074



  1.             i.  
  2.           ii.   American Standard Bible (NASB)Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
  3.         iii.  
  4.         iv.  
  5.           v.   copyright © 2001 by Crossway,

Is There Time for Everything “Under the SUN?”

(What Solomon Teaches on Worldly Trappings)

During my morning meditation, I came across some words of wisdom I wish to share. I have been reading 31 days to Happiness[i] as one of my sources of inspiration.  31 days of Happiness is a study that teaches one to use The Book of Ecclesiastes and King Solomon’s revelations to break free of world entrapment.

In Chapter 5, David Jeremiah analyses Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, which states:

A Time for Everything

3 There is a time for everything,

And a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,

A time to plant and a time to uproot,

3     a time to kill and a time to heal,

A time to tear down and a time to build,

4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,

A time to mourn and a time to dance,

5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6     a time to search and a time to give up,

A time to keep and a time to throw away,

7     a time to tear and a time to mend,

A time to be silent and a time to speak,

8     a time to love and a time to hate,

A time for war and a time for peace.

Versus 1-3 deal with our physical life reminding us that our life is temporary and planned by God. The Author also points out however that our body decays and heals as part of a natural process as we age, that cells regenerate every seven years after decaying, and life and death are a natural occurrence in God’s world. Christians should not fear death any ways. Christ states in 1Corinthians 15 (MSG):


15 1-2 Friends, let me go over the Message with you one final time— this Message that I proclaimed and that you made your own; this Message on which you took your stand and by which your life has been saved. (I am assuming, now, that your belief was the real thing and not a passing fancy, that you’re in this for good and holding fast.)

3-9 The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; and that he finally presented himself alive to me. It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence.

10-11 But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste. Haven’t I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others? Even then, my work didn’t amount to all that much. It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it. So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it’s all the same: We spoke God’s truth and you entrusted your lives.

12-15 Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ. And face it—if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.

16-20 if corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.

21-28 There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man. Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ. But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with him at his Coming, the grand consummation when, after crushing the opposition, he hands over his kingdom to God the Father. He won’t let up until the last enemy is down—and the very last enemy is death! As the psalmist said, “He laid them low, one and all; he walked all over them.” When Scripture says that “he walked all over them,” it’s obvious that he couldn’t at the same time be walked on. When everything and everyone is finally under God’s rule, the Son will step down, taking his place with everyone else, showing that God’s rule is absolutely comprehensive—a perfect ending!

29 Why do you think people offer themselves to be baptized for those already in the grave? If there’s no chance of resurrection for a corpse, if God’s power stops at the cemetery gates, why do we keep doing things that suggest he’s going to clean the place out someday, pulling everyone up on their feet alive?

30-33 And why do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work? I look death in the face practically every day I live. Do you think I’d do this if I wasn’t convinced of your resurrection and mine as guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus? Do you think I was just trying to act heroic when I fought the wild beasts at Ephesus, hoping it wouldn’t be the end of me? Not on your life! It’s resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection, that undergirds what I do and say, the way I live. If there’s no resurrection, “We eat, we drink, the next day we die,” and that’s all there is to it. But don’t fool yourselves. Don’t let yourselves be poisoned by this anti-resurrection loose talk. “Bad company ruins good manners.”

34 Think straight. Awaken to the holiness of life. No more playing fast and loose with resurrection facts. Ignorance of God is a luxury you can’t afford in times like these. Aren’t you embarrassed that you’ve let this kind of thing go on as long as you have?

35-38 Some skeptic is sure to ask, “Show me how resurrection works. Give me a diagram; draw me a picture. What does this ‘resurrection body’ look like?” If you look at this question closely, you realize how absurd it is. There are no diagrams for this kind of thing. We do have a parallel experience in gardening. You plant a “dead” seed; soon there is a flourishing plant. There is no visual likeness between seed and plant. You could never guess what a tomato would look like by looking at a tomato seed. What we plant in the soil and what grows out of it don’t look anything alike. The dead body that we bury in the ground and the resurrection body that comes from it will be dramatically different.

39-41 You will notice that the variety of bodies is stunning. Just as there are different kinds of seeds, there are different kinds of bodies—humans, animals, birds, fish—each unprecedented in its form. You get a hint at the diversity of resurrection glory by looking at the diversity of bodies not only on earth but in the skies—sun, moon, stars—all these varieties of beauty and brightness. And we’re only looking at pre-resurrection “seeds”—who can imagine what the resurrection “plants” will be like!

42-44 This image of planting a dead seed and raising a live plant is a mere sketch at best, but perhaps it will help in approaching the mystery of the resurrection body—but only if you keep in mind that when we’re raised, we’re raised for good, alive forever! The corpse that’s planted is no beauty, but when it’s raised, it’s glorious. Put in the ground weak, it comes up powerful. The seed sown is natural; the seed grown is supernatural—same seed, same body, but what a difference from when it goes down in physical mortality to when it is raised up in spiritual immortality!

45-49 We follow this sequence in Scripture: The First Adam received life, the Last Adam is a life-giving Spirit. Physical life comes first, then spiritual—a firm base shaped from the earth, a final completion coming out of heaven. The First Man was made out of earth, and people since then are earthy; the Second Man was made out of heaven, and people now can be heavenly. In the same way that we’ve worked from our earthy origins, let’s embrace our heavenly ends.

50 I need to emphasize, friends, that our natural, earthy lives don’t in themselves lead us by their very nature into the kingdom of God. Their very “nature” is to die, so how could they “naturally” end up in the Life kingdom?

51-57 But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:

Death swallowed by triumphant Life!

Who got the last word, oh, Death?

Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?

It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!

58 With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.

Versus 4-5 teach about our emotional life.

It teaches us basically mourning, celebrating crying, anger, and expressions of affection are all part of who we are in God. We must learn to embrace our emotions and express them in the right contact. We must not hold in our emotions when they need to be released but need to learn to contain them when it may cause undo harm. Basically it states there is a time and a place for every thin “Under the Sun”

Verses 6-8 teach us about our spiritual life, our difficulties in life. It also reminds us that the tongue can be our enemy.

New International Version (NIV)

Taming the Tongue

3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

This section also teaches us that at times hatred and war are also necessary.  We  should hate sin, but love the sinner.  Remember what is said in Psalms:

I will not look with approval

on anything that is vile.

I hate what faithless people do;

I will have no part in it. (Psalm 101:3)

I hate and detest falsehood

But I love your law. (Psalm 119:163)

If you continue, reading Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 it explains that even ones work and achievements are meaningless.  Solomon explains that either what you build someone will destroy or it will eventually decay. Worse yet you may be forgotten or someone may claim your deeds as their own! The Chapter goes on to point out we came from dust and will return to dust so we might as well enjoy are time here. It should be cautioned and noted that Solomon also in Ecclesiastes concluded wealth and hedonism leads to a separation from God, Loneliness and ultimately empties and destruction.

So what is the ultimate answer to true happiness? After studying many religions and philosophical paths, I concluded. There are two choices:

Spend all your time doing good deeds and try to achieve balance with the universe (for the non-religiously inclined)or to empress some divine being or host of beings

Salvation (For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV).

[i] David Jeremiah 31 Days to Happiness searching for  Heaven on Earth (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004)

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