The Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between the soul and spirit.. dividing between the joint and marrow – and it also often cuts between the spiritual and the physical, between past history and future prophecy – and the Word of God is also profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness.
And this passage, which starts with a description of what was to happen to the satanically inspired King of Babylon, during the Jewish dispersion.. morphs into a declaration of Satan’s own prideful challenge against the Almighty.. and a prophecy of his future, devastating downfall: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!.
Before he fell Lucifer was God’s anointed guardian cherub, but when prideful sin entered his heart and he challenged God’s supremacy.. he became that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, who deceives the whole world, but his final destiny is the lake of fire.
Satan has many names and titles but one that is used to deceive the nations is Lucifer: “star of the morning – son of the dawn’ – for in his arrogance he seeks to counterfeit our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is God’s true “Day-Star’ and the one, legitimate “Bright Morning Star’.
Satan defiantly declares his resolve, which is to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ; trump the will of the Almighty and exalt his position above everyone else.. with his prideful announcement: I will be like the most High.
But Satan’s opposition will be as short-lived as a morning dew-drop.. and his spurious, illuminating light will be extinguished, when Christ.. the true and only bright Morning Star begins to rise – for Christ is the shining Sun of Righteousness, Who will arise with healing on His wings.
Satan was defeated at the cross, but the ripple effects of his evil deeds will continue to reverberate around the globe in which his murderous lies and satanic deceit have weakened the nations, blinded men’s eyes and hardened the hearts of those that are perishing. But one day soon Christ will return to set up His millennial kingdom and Satan will be flung into the bottomless pit – and the earth will be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.
This may be the most often-misused verse in the entire Bible. Modern culture garbles this comment into a command to never disapprove or correct the actions of another. This mishandling of Christ’s words is out of context three times over. First and foremost, Christ does not say “never judge,” He warns that there is a consequence to judgment. Second, this statement is immediately followed by instructions from Christ on the proper way to use judgment. Third, Jesus’ other teachings explicitly indicate that right judgment is necessary (John 7:24), while hypocritical or shallow judgment is wrong.
Even so, this verse—especially the first two words in most English translations—is a favorite quote of those attempting to twist Scripture.
Jesus has been teaching within the context of Israel’s religious leaders and the way they practice their righteousness (Matthew 5:20; 6:1). He has called out as hypocrites those who call attention to themselves as they give to the needy and pray and fast. Under their leadership, Israel’s worship of God had become about proving one’s worthiness to other people instead of humbly serving God. So, on the one hand, righteous acts were performed to get approval from others. On the other hand, controlling religious leaders looked for opportunities to express condemnation against those they didn’t see as sufficiently pious.
Following that example, the everyday people of Israel learned to perform religious duty for others’ approval, and to belittle those who did differently than they preferred. The result was a false religious experience: pride and fear of judgment instead of humility and graciousness to others.
In that context, Jesus says to the crowds of Jewish people following Him not to unfairly judge others in order not to be unfairly judged. He is talking about having an arrogant attitude: taking the place of God. Lack of humility and grace in how we perceive others leads us to wrongly declare one person’s righteousness worthy and another person unworthy merely based on our assumptions. To judge in this way is to assume authority over others that God has not given. In the end, God will judge those who judge in this way.
This does not teach that God’s people should never express an understanding of the difference between right and wrong. In a crystal-clear statement, Jesus teaches in John 7:24 that His followers must be careful to make right judgments instead of judging others by external appearances. Also, God often gives Christians the responsibility to make judgments about truth and falsehood (Galatians 1:8–9; Philippians 3:2; 1 John 4:1) and to hold fellow Christians accountable for sin (1 Corinthians 5:5).
What is condemned here is shallowness and hypocrisy: passing judgment on other believers as if one were God. This sneering kind of condemnation is clearly and repeatedly forbidden (Romans 14:10–13; James 4:11–12).
The previous verse completed a metaphor about planting a field. Paul pictured himself and Apollos as simple laborers among the field of the Corinthians, echoing something of Jesus’ parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23). The field belongs to God and that’s where the Corinthians should focus their allegiance, not on any human leader.
Now Paul has shifted to the metaphor of constructing a building, with a closely related point in mind. He pictures himself as a skilled or wise master builder by God’s grace. In that role, he is the one who laid the foundation. The building is the church, the community of Christians, in Corinth. The following verse will show that the foundation Paul put in place was Jesus Christ.
In other words, Paul is the one who introduced Christ and the gospel to the Corinthians. He began the work, providing the stable, supporting “starting point” for everything meant to come after. Now others have come to build on the foundation as the church grows both in numbers and, hopefully, in spiritual maturity.
Paul warns that those who continue the work be careful how they build in their teaching and leadership. He doesn’t seem to be calling out a problem with the current teachers and leaders. He is cautioning these leaders about the building work yet to be done. One cannot haphazardly throw materials into a stack—some building work is better than others.
Paul cannot call the Corinthian Christians ”spiritual” people. Though they are in Christ, they continue to live to the flesh. They are spiritual infants, not ready for solid food. Divisions among them prove they are still serving themselves, picking sides in a senseless debate between Christian teachers. Paul insists that both he and Apollos are mere servants of The Lord and co-workers. They are not in competition. Those who lead the Corinthians must build carefully because their work will be tested on the day of The Lord. Christian leaders who build the church will have their work judged by Christ to see if they have built on the foundation of Christ. All human wisdom will be shown to be futile and worthless.
While many regard this proverb as a precious promise, others consider it a severe warning, but all would be wise to recognise the godly principle on which this word of wisdom is founded.
Children are a gift from God and to dedicate time and patience in the child-training process is the right, responsibility, and joy of all parents. All children are born with a propensity towards evil, and training infants and young people in godly conduct, wise choices, and appropriate accountability for their actions and attitudes is a God-given, tool to help set a child in the right direction for their life.
For the Christian parent, appropriate training; vocationally, morally, intellectually, musically, educationally, spiritually, or simply encouraging the development of deportment or the promotion of individual gifts and talents, should always be founded on the Word of God and bathed in daily prayer, as day by day they seek to set an example of right living and of godly conduct.