Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.

Shortly after the ascension of Christ, during the feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the believers and they started preaching in tongues. As a result of this preaching, 3,000 people became Christians that day. Many times we hear this account being referred to as the standard for comparison when we are doing our own evangelism. Is this a proper comparison? Are we failing if our methods do not attain this degree of success? What happened here?

There were devout Jews that had come from all over the world in order to celebrate this Jewish feast. They were there in Jerusalem because they believed in the One True God of Israel. They were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah one day. So, when they heard the miraculous preaching, each hearing the message in their own native language, about Jesus being the awaited Messiah, is it any wonder that many of them believed? They were already believers. They were just adding something to their belief that they had been wanting to add, with longing hope.

So, do not be discouraged when your gospel preaching does not win 3,000 souls in one event. That does not mean you are doing something wrong, or that your ministry is ineffective. Your encouragement can come from the gospel message itself, and that God allows us to partner with Him in getting out the Good News.

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Here are three powerful tools everyone can use to help establish a steady footing in life: Forgiveness, gratitude, and honour. Each of these can be practised, or neglected, independently. Yet they are synergistic when combined. A three-fold cord is not easily broken.

Even though all of these are taught in the Bible, not every Christian has learned them. Wouldn’t it be a shame for us to neglect these powerful precepts, while some outside the household of faith have discovered these marvels, and are reaping the benefits?



Forgiveness for every wrong, is so powerful, that this alone will make a huge difference in one’s life.

We are not talking about making up excuses for what people have done. We are not talking about letting criminals go without justice. We are not talking about walking up to each person who has wronged you and saying, “I forgive you.” We are talking about forsaking hatred, bitterness, and anger.

This is a daily endeavour. If you forsake these for this moment, they can all come back tomorrow, or sooner.

Anger has its place, when we are confronted with some grave injustice. But, this emotion does not serve us well in combating injustice. Forgiveness allows our efforts to be employed more effectively, since anger is no longer clouding our vision.

Then there is bitterness. This is completely futile. Bitterness is like ingesting rat poison and waiting for the rat to die. Yes, this person messed up your life in the past. Are you now going to let them mess up your future as well, through bitterness? Forgiveness is for your sake, not theirs. You can have your life back, instead of letting them keep it. Bitterness causes illness, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Forgiveness gives you the freedom and liberty you need to progress toward healing.

Hatred is God’s domain, not man’s. Romans 12:19 “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the LORD.” You can omit hatred from your life, and leave that burden on the LORD. It will weigh you down. You cannot carry it, without injury.

Matthew 5:43-44
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Galatians 5:16,19-25
16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these;] Adultery, fornication, … hatred, … drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

When we walk in the Spirit, we can respond in forgiveness, instead of hatred, towards those who have hurt us.

Treat each person with loving kindness. The way you would treat them if you were wanting to draw them to your side. As if you want them to join your team, so the animosity can be put behind us. We will not win anyone over, if all they see is this misplaced wrath, whenever we encounter them. They will feel justified in continuing the strife because, surely, we must be surly, base, and just plain mean; that is all they can see. Meet your enemies, on the battlefield, from higher ground.

Those of us who are Christians, will find it easier to forgive others for every wrong, because we have been forgiven. Even God’s final judgment is ordained for the time of death. Who are we to forsake such godly love in condemning any living soul? Our love will result in forgiveness.



Gratitude for your blessings, is so powerful, that this alone will make a huge difference in one’s life.

Start looking for all of the good in life, and you will find it. Find something to appreciate about each day and each person. Search for the common ground between you and each person with whom you communicate, whether friend or foe. We have had enough practise in finding faults, errors, evils, and disagreements. We can short circuit the vicious cycle of attack, defensiveness, and retaliation.

Instead of regretting the past, be grateful for lessons instead. Just think, if you did not learn that lesson when you did, then you would have continued longer down the wrong path. You can’t learn everything at once. Learning takes time, not only to take in and process the information, but also to prepare your mind to receive the instruction. Sometimes we have a bias that needs to be disassembled first, before we can even see the truth. We said “sometimes,” but maybe we should have said “usually.”

Gratitude is the source of happiness, and happiness is the source of success.

Those of us who are born again, will find it easier to show gratitude for our blessings, because we know the Giver, and we love Him. Our love will result in gratitude.



Honour for your fellow man, is so powerful, that this alone will make a huge difference in one’s life.

Respect for others, just because they are human, is a strong basis for seeing the value of each person. Humility, instead of arrogance, when working with others, will bring out the best in both of us. When we value the contributions of each member, the team can reach its optimum. There are many differences between individual people, and those differences can contribute to a better outcome, if we can see past our prejudices.

Those of us who drink of the water of life, will find it easier to honour our fellow man, because we know that each person is made in God’s image. We know that Christ died for this person. God loves them, so we can love them. Our love will result in honour.

Exodus 31:17-18
17 … [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Exodus 20:1,11
1 And God spake all these words, saying, …
11 For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is,] and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

How much more emphatic can this be? God spoke this with a thunderous voice, from a fiery, smoking mountain, underscored it with flashing bolts of lightning, then wrote it in stone with His own finger. This is the testimony of Moses. This is quite important, since Jesus said those who would not listen to Moses, would not listen to Himself either.

Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:5 And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 1:8 And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Genesis 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
Genesis 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Genesis 1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Genesis 1:31 And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Each event of creation is contained in a specific, consecutive day. Chapter two verse three specifies that God did not rest, or stop, one day, from the day He started creating until the seventh day.

God’s stated purpose (Genesis 1:14) for creating the heavenly bodies is to tell time, such as seasons, days, and years. So, we accurately know the length of the evening morning cycle that constituted each of the days of creation.

What else did Jesus say about this?

Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

The first week of creation is “the beginning of the creation,” rather than there being any significant gap between the beginning of creation and the making of Adam and Eve. It is not difficult to calculate, from the biblical record, the 4,000 year time frame between the sixth day, when Adam and Eve were created, and the birth of Christ. If there had been a vast time span between the initial creation and the making of Adam and Eve, then 4,000 years would be short in comparison, putting them closer to the end of creation, rather than the beginning.

Jesus Christ is God’s Word. When we read Genesis, Jesus is personally speaking to us. He is telling us about the origin of the Earth and the origin of earthly life.

John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?


Which book will you choose?


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Isaiah 33:6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, [and] strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD [is] his treasure.

So, if we are to fear God, then why does the Bible say that we should not fear?

Psalm 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.

The only reason we should fear God is if we are in sin. This latent fear keeps us from sin, so that we need not fear.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

The Bible instructs us many times to fear not. It also tells us clearly to fear God. Is this a contradiction? Not at all. The reason we are to fear not, is because we trust God.

When we are outside God’s will, then we have stepped out from under part of God’s protection. In this case, we do need to fear. We now have less protection that was being provided by God’s providence, and we also need to fear God’s chastening.

It is this passive fear, this potential fear of God’s chastening, that will help keep us within God’s will so that we need not actively fear anything.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We have nothing to fear. Let’s keep it that way by showing our love to God by staying in His will.

Fear not.




If I disagree with someone, and they have a higher intelligence than I, does that mean I am the one who is wrong? When two people disagree with each other, is it always the most intelligent of the two who is correct? Of course you can think of examples when that was not the case. Acumen is definitely not the only criteria in determining truth. There are more factors to consider.

Einstein and I could disagree and we could both be right. How can that be? If our disagreement is regarding an opinion, then we may just have different opinions about the topic. That does not mean one is right and one is wrong, they are just different. The opinions may be regarding preferences. The opinions may be regarding subjective judgement rather and objective facts.

Einstein and I could disagree and we could both be wrong. That is almost too obvious to bother pointing it out. For every correct statement, there are an unlimited number of corresponding incorrect statements that could be given. And just because these other views are all incorrect, does not mean that they agree with each other.

Einstein also disagreed with himself. As he was doing his studies over the years, he found better answers to the questions he was studying. So, at one time he published his statements on a topic, then several years later he published again, on the same topic, but they contradict each other. Einstein still had a higher IQ than I, in both of those cases, but I would not be able to agree with both of them, since they contradict.

So, is there ever a time when intelligence is the deciding factor in determining who is right? When the disagreement is between someone who has a limited intellect and someone else having an unlimited intellect, then the finite being is wrong every time.

Job 38:1-7
1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

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Among other biblical studies, we read through the Bible each year. We have tried several Bible reading schedules. There are some preferences that we wanted to incorporate into the plan, so we have now made our own. Here are some of the features of this schedule:

  • It is designed for reading aloud.
  • The amount of reading is fairly consistent each day, about twelve to fourteen minutes, so you can reliably fit it into your schedule.
  • Each chapter is read completely, instead of breaking the chapter up across different days. We have found it to be distracting to keep in mind a specific verse number to end the day’s reading. When we know the entire chapter is included, then we can focus on reading and just check the schedule chart between chapters.
  • The chapters are isolated when they include many names that are hard to pronounce, so easier passages fill in that day’s reading.
  • Consecutive chapters of difficult reading are on separate days, requiring less endurance of the tongue.
  • The schedule can be printed double-sided on a single sheet of A4 or US letter size paper.
  • It can be folded in quarters and used as a bookmark for the next day’s Old Testament reading.

We tried out this new schedule in 2015 and it has worked well for us. We plan to continue using this plan for the foreseeable future. As we have done with other reading schedules, we make a pen mark on the date for today’s reading, then fold it with the pen mark inside, so the fresh ink does not rub off inside the Bible. By the end of the year, the paper is fairly well worn, so we just print a new one.

Congratulations to the winner for our Leviathan Story Writing Contest!

There would have been one first place choice for each age category: under 10 years old, 10-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30+. However, all of the entries were for the 30+ category, so there is only one winner.

Thanks again to those who entered.

And the winner is Jerry Corbaley!


Before our main topic today, we would like to thank those of you who sent your creative writing work to us for our Leviathan Story Writing Contest. Yesterday, the 30th of September, was the final entry date.

Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due;] custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Job 32:21-22
21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
22 For I know not to give flattering titles; [in so doing] my maker would soon take me away.

Job 34:12-15
12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.
13 Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?
14 If he set his heart upon man, [if] he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;
15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

Job 36:2-3
2 Suffer me a little, and I will show thee that [I have] yet to speak on God’s behalf.
3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

Job 36:24-26
24 Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold.
25 Every man may see it; man may behold [it] afar off.
26 Behold, God [is] great, and we know [him] not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.

Job 37:1-5
1 At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place.
2 Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound [that] goeth out of his mouth.
3 He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.
4 After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard.
5 God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

Job 37:14 Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

1 Chronicles 29:11 Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine;] thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Isaiah 42:8 I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Psalm 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, [and] for thy truth’s sake.

Luke 7:22-23
22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23 And blessed is [he,] whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, …

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God;

Psalm 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Isaiah 66:2 For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Ephesians 6:1-3
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Philippians 2:3-11
3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Mark 14:3-9
3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured [it] on his head.
4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, [this] also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Philippians 2:25-30
25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

John 12:28 Father, glorify Thy Name.


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Before our main topic today, we would like to give you one last reminder about our Leviathan Story Writing Contest. The end of this month, the 30th of September, is the final entry date.

Word Studies


This word has a broad meaning and usage, but this study will focus on a calling of God, when a person knows Our Lord is guiding him in a specific path. A separate post addresses the sweeping call of God to salvation.

God gives wisdom to all who request, believing they will receive, but this is not a calling. A calling is personal guidance and direction, and God will grant us the wisdom we need to achieve our calling. Yes, there are several callings of God that apply to all Christians in general; calling to holiness (1Thessalonians 4:7), calling to suffer for living righteously (1 Peter 2:18-25), and calling unto liberty (Galatians 5:13). But the focus of this study is about specific callings. Romans 1:1 says Paul was called to be an Apostle. Ephesians 4:1-16 speaks of specific church ministries to which people are called. Hebrews 5:4 says Aaron was called to the office of High Priest. Ezekiel was called to be a watchman.

It doesn’t seem precisely accurate to say that we “feel” called, or “feel” led of the Spirit in our ministry. The word “feel” implies either physical touch or emotional effect. A calling of God is neither physical nor emotional, though it will have occasion to influence some emotions. It is sensed spiritually, rather than with the physical senses or emotions. It seems like the “sense of calling” could be categorized with the senses of peace, love, hope, and joy. These are sensed by the spirit, rather than the emotions, though they cause emotions, at times. All of these are facets of who you are, elements of your inner being.

Sometimes we have innate gifts, or talents, that will help us carry out our mission, our calling. Other times we will need to grow and change to become the right person for the job. So, the gift, itself, is not a calling. There will also be many occasions when our life’s work will require us to do tasks that are unsavoury, or for which we are ill equipped; almost the opposite of a gift. Our calling is not always our favourite thing to do, though we are driven to do it.

If I happen to see an opportunity arise, also known as an “open door,” that does not equate to a calling. Yes, God will do His part to make a way for me to fulfil His calling in my life, whether He opens a door, or helps me break through barriers. I cannot find my calling just because of some coincidence where it seems easy for me to proceed. On the contrary, taking such opportunities may be a distraction that hinders me from fulfilling my calling.

Another distraction can be a burden that you feel for a cause. Yes, you will be burdened for your calling. However, as a caring person, you would have many burdens for various concerns. You cannot pursue them all. Pray for wisdom and guidance to prioritize the time, talent, and treasure, that you will devote to each of these ministries.

Each person has a deep need to have a purpose in life. God has a purpose for each of you who are reading this. From an earthly perspective, your purpose, or calling, may seem insignificantly small, or it may look overwhelmingly huge. We can be sure that neither of those extreme views are God’s perspective.

Word Studies


I am a Christian. More precisely, I am a follower of The Way, The Truth, and The Life, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Word of God, so I am a student of the inerrant Scriptures, the Holy Bible.


You may have been told that you need to do good to become a Christian. That is backwards. Yes, Christians do good, but that is not how they became Christians. Rather, Christians do good because they are Christians.

There are many who say they are Christians, but they live an evil life. There are three possible reasons for this. Maybe they are not Christians. I am not accusing them of lying. Maybe they have been mislead to believe they are Christians. Perhaps they are ignorant of the teachings of Christ, or they have fallen.

As Christians, we have inside information. We know the Designer and Creator of the universe. He has decided what would be good for everyone to know about the way the universe works and how to live our lives in accord with this. He put all of this information in a Book, The Holy Book, The Holy Bible. Wouldn’t it be wise for us to live in harmony with the teachings of this Book? Christians are those who follow Christ. So, we learn what the Bible says, and do it, so we do good.

So, how does one become a Christian? Repent and believe the gospel. You might be thinking that “repent” means to do good, so I am contradicting myself. Again, that is backwards, repentance results in doing good, but repentance is not an overt action.

To repent, first I must see how extremely bad my sins are to God. Each sin is rebellion against a Holy God. My sins are so bad, Jesus had to suffer horribly, and die unjustly, to pay the penalty for my sin. Yes, it is that bad. I must come to the realization that I do not deserve to be in God’s presence, and that there is nothing I could ever do to merit such an honour. That is the bad news. If I don’t agree, then I cannot repent.

The good news, the gospel, is that Jesus’ sacrifice means He can and does now offer me a pardon for my sins. That is why repentance, and believing the gospel, must both go together. To repent, I am turning from my sinful ways, I am turning from my own way of running my life, I am turning away from rebellion against God. But, I am not just turning away, I am also turning towards. I am turning from death to life. I am stepping off the throne of my life and receiving Christ as my king.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man this thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Acts 26:20 … they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

So, you see, repentance does not consist in a change of my behaviour, but a change in my mind, having faith, believing, trusting. There is no virtue in believing on Christ. All of the virtue is in what He has done. I am trusting in His virtue, not my own virtue.

After I have repented, there will be several virtuous things I will do, also known as “works meet for repentance,” now that Jesus is on the throne of my life. I will love the One True God and no other gods. I will not bow down to images. I will get baptized. I will love others. I will build the structure of my life on the foundation of my love for God and others. Those are some examples, and there are many others, but I do not learn everything at once. Over the course of my life, God will keep teaching me, through His Word, about the truths that I did not know, that I misunderstood, or about which I had been mislead.

1 John 2:3-6
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

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