Keith Johnson believes the practice of theology takes place as an act of discipleship to Christ. Thus, it is critical to think accurate thoughts about God because personal discipleship will mirror what one believes about him. Describe the importance of knowing God's word for the purpose of participating and partnering with Christ.
When it comes to commands left by Jesus Himself; few ranks higher in importance than discipleship (Matthew 28:16-20). As a matter of fact, only loving God and our neighbor rank above that of discipleship (Matthew 22:36-40). When we achieve love for God, our neighbors, and ourselves the most important element in order that we might practice discipleship is to gain an understanding of theology. If we proceed in ministry, specifically discipleship, our theology is passed down whether accurate or not (2 Timothy 3:16). One slight change in theology can have a long-term impact. Denominational splits, the founding of cult-churches and dead churches most all have resulted from differences in theology away from mainstream Christianity. There are times when change is good, but only if it upholds the truth of God’s Word.
In order to understand exactly what is meant by “accurate thoughts about God ,” we need to determine the definition of proper theology. Our lecture for the week states, “Whether one considers theology as a broad investigation about God, or whether one thinks of theology as an in-depth search of God's revelation concerning himself (both general and special revelation), theology is first and foremost a quest to know God.” A minister who hopes to perform discipleship should always be on a “quest to know God.” In order for us to truly “know God,” we must intently study Him. To accomplish this we must study the best evidence of who He is outside of the Spirit that dwells within us, this requires the examination of His Word. God’s infallible, inspired, and inerrant Word provides us with all the accurate theology one would need in order to understand Him. Nothing would be considered greater than this beside His personal presence, which no current man has lived to witness. It is as if God had left a journal which was intended to give direction and instruction for the whole world. Some elderly or sick loved ones often leave final wishes in preparation and instruction for their family so that they won’t have to guess how that family member would like their funeral services to be performed. Similarly, God has left us a holy instruction for how to live and serve until His second coming, when Christ will officially reign as the true authority on Earth (Psalm 119:105; Revelation 20).
When we “participate” and “partner” with Christ; we allow ourselves to be led in the proper way, direction, and timing. When all things are done according to the Lord’s will, these works will always produce the best fruits. As ministers of the gospel, it is not only essential that we are connected to the Lord Himself, but also to His accurate teachings. By partnering with Christ, we can be assured by His convictions that we are heading in the right direction. When we act upon the instructions and commands of His Word, it pleases God. Accurate theological understanding helps to prevent many hang-ups and accidents associated with the misunderstanding of His Word. In reality, Johnson is correct to “believe the practice of theology takes place as an act of discipleship to Christ,” due to the interconnected pieces of both theology and discipleship. Johnson admits the reasoning for this conclusion saying, “He shows us the truth about God and his plan for history by making us participants in God’s wisdom and partners in this plan. The practice of theology is one form of this participation and partnership. The act of learning how to think and speak rightly about God is an act of faith and obedience that involves our participation in the mind of Christ and our partnership with Christ by the power of his Spirit.” I can surely say that I am very comfortable agreeing with this assessment. May we all share in this “partnership” with humbleness, love, grace, and compassion.
 Grand Canyon University, “Integration of Theology and Ministry” (lecture 1, Practical Theology, Grand Canyon University, 2016). https://lc.gcu.edu/learningPlatform/user/users.html
 Johnson, Keith L. 2015. Theology as Discipleship. Downers Grove, IL: IVP. ISBN-13: 9780830840342, 37.
1 Corinthians 9:19-22, Paul sought to become like several groups of people in order to win them to Christ, his mission. There are some human and wise limitations to becoming like others. How can we best follow Paul's example in order to reach our mission?
1 Corinthians 9:19-22 KJV
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
To put these verses of Scripture into perspective, Paul is simply stating that he is willing to do anything within the will and grace of God to reach out to the lost and dying. To get the gospel into some of these cultures and people, he had to place himself into some different situations and adapt to that culture. To many times today, before we reach out with the love of Christ, we want that person to fit into the culture identity that we are comfortable with. This is not what Christ was modeling with the Samaritan woman in John 4. Jesus went out of his way to interact with this woman who was both different in culture and a fornicator. I have touched on this in the previous posts, but our lecture gives us the best advice stating, “One important and early lesson of missiology is the goal to communicate effectively the message of the gospel, not convert people to one's culture.” Jesus had essentially ignored the cultural customs of the Jews in His day to cross over the boundaries in order that someone might believe and be saved. However, the results were not only her salvation, but an explosion of faith within that community.
When we are willing to cross cultural and racial boundaries for the sake of the gospel, God works miracles. The fruits of our labor are tremendous in eternal reward. Due to the type of dedication and work that this type of witnessing requires, many choose to forgo this route, even though it is what we are commanded to do as part of our faith. James 2:14-26 tells us how these types of works are necessary not only for our faith, but for the up building of God’s Kingdom. Who knows, the next person you witness to may go on to be the next Samaritan woman who runs into town to tell everyone of the gospel. That small work may have exponential results. God works in ways such as that and it results into an eternal impact. Although it is rewarding to be a servant in heart, it requires us to get some dirt on our hands. Going into the most gospel deprived places, even within the awesome U.S.A. can be a dirty job. You may encounter drug addicts who are diseased, homeless who haven’t washed, prostitutes, the dying, the hurting, foul-mouthed individuals, and even criminals. Serving those in need in these conditions does feel risky and uncomfortable, but God is with us each step of the way.
There are limits however that we must keep in mind. There must be personal (Titus 2:12), safety, and spiritual limits (1 John 2:15-27; Romans 12:2) that we must set ahead of time. As a lady, you may not feel comfortable going into a man’s area alone, in which case I do not blame you. As a believer, you should not be entering in establishments that promote sin and wrong conduct. Personally, you may not like going to speak to a family who have visible food on their furniture and roaches crawling before your eyes. I have personally seen all these things which is why I can speak from experience. There was one instance that I was alone at a home with a man who began to clearly show signs of both mental health and drug addiction. I tried my best to always remain near the door for safety and sanitation reasons. He was surely interested in showing me his old record collection of Elvis Presley and other oldies music, on record none the less. I said what I needed to, sowed that seed, and got out of there! We must remember to keep God’s Word in our hearts and share His compassion with others, even when it can cost us our comfort. This is the only way that the gospel will reach the ends of the earth.
 Grand Canyon University, “Global Christian Leadership” (lecture 8, Best Practices In Christian Leadership, Grand Canyon University, 2016). https://lc.gcu.edu/learningPlatform/user/users.html
Living Life “Abundantly”
Working in the field of criminal justice has it fair share of excitement as well as disappointments. Those disappointments are one of the main reasons why many individuals do not make a career out of the field. I have been in this field for several years now. At the moment, I work in a facility where we often send young men home from being locked up to half-way houses and so forth. One thing we know for sure is that many of these young people often wind up in the situation that they were in because they had to look out for themselves. Many were born into tough parental situations and some have no parents at all. Many young people are fortunate to have a responsible grandparent or aunt to look after them, while some wind up staying with associates or in the streets. Some kids steal to get by, others rob and sell drugs. While there will never be a permanent solution until the return of the Lord, the situation is surely dire as more resources are really needed to help curve this problem.
More Than Breaking Free
What I want these young men to understand is that as they are preparing to leave, I understand that they can survive back in the streets. Going back to that lifestyle of taking what is needed rather than earning is always a huge risk. Unfortunately, many of them take that route earning themselves a long-term home back in the system of incarceration. They can survive in a world where they are experienced at getting by, but just getting by is not what they should do. The question is not if they can survive, but rather what will be the quality of their survival? Are they living a quality life or are they just living a life? What makes our life worth living is not just whether we are breathing, but also what we are doing and experiencing while we are still breathing. Decisions are made in hospitals daily based on quality of life. Family members have to make tough decisions by trying to think for their spouse the best they can by judging if the circumstances that patient faces are worth living through or not. John 10:10 tells us that, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Having life “abundantly” has way more meaning and purpose than to just have life. Having life “abundantly” means more than just living in bondage. Living life “abundantly” means breaking free of those chains and burdens (Romans 6:18).
More Than Average
As free folk, we stand back and judge those who have had to make great sacrifice just to survive. We can assume that every person who is locked in a jail cell earned their way to their captivity. Perhaps many of us have never been placed in a situation where we had to choose between starvation and freedom. Of course there are those who choose to commit to a lifestyle of illegal activity even though there are other feasible routes, but aren’t we guilty of the same when we are presented with an opportunity to be more instead of settling for less? Does God not give us the freedom to break free from the bondage of limits, providing us with a path of grace and mercy that leaves nothing impossible (Luke 1:37)? By remaining where we are, far away from the burning conviction of God, we squander away our “abundant” life in exchange for mediocracy. Henry David Thoreau is credited with saying, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and die with their song still inside them.” God has planted a unique and Gospel centered song in each one of us and all we have to do is sing it! Does God now already own the breath that was first breathed into the lungs of Adam at his creation? Speaking of what God owns, this brings me to my next point.
An Abundant Steward
Even being a good steward requires us have an “abundant” life. When we examine the Parable of the Talents we can see how God bestows upon us set resources, property, and gifts among many other things. Part of those gifts is the time we have here in this world to make an impact for the Kingdom of God. God wants to see us using our time, energy, and resources wisely. Are we living life “more abundantly” or are we squandering our time away by concerning ourselves with the things that do not matter. Worrying about what could happen will most likely never matter. This is why the Word advises us against worry and stress. Worrying, hatred, envy, and all these irrational focuses only waste the precious time and gifts that God has given us for such a time as this. There even be things we enjoy that waste time and precious resources, which may not be in our best interest. Of course we all sometimes need a break, but too much of anything is no good for the body nor the soul. Use your “abundantly” given resources wisely.
Since God has called us out and required more than ordinary from us, we must do something significant with our life! Living life “abundantly” means living life to our full potential. Whatever our calling and whatever our path in life, we should always strive to be the best at it. Not all of us were given the genetics and talent to shoot, throw, or kick a ball which insured an end to our athletic careers. What we can do however, is be the best employee, best business owner, best example of Christ that we can be by living to our full potential. I don’t like using myself as an example due to this ministry not being about me, but because I allowed God to use me the last couple of years, He has taken me to new heights in my life that I never thought were possible. While working full-time, being a husband, a father, and running an online ministry, I am two courses away from completing my master’s degree. In the meantime, I have also been blessed with a job that makes a difference. What I thought would never be possible at times, has been proven wrong once again by the God of all Creation. Because my family and I had the faith of a mustard seed, sowing in our effort and time, God has provided “abundantly.” God didn’t just call us to be followers, but He commanded us to expect to be vessels used for His glory. First and foremost, we are called to be disciples and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). God only works in “abundance” as He shows by the methods He has ordered us to duplicate by discipleship. It is for this reason that we must understand this “abundance” mindset and faith, applying it to every area of our lives daily. I pray that this message has given you reason to place your faith and trust in God, in order that you may live life more “abundantly” every day. Come back soon and God Bless!
John 10:10 (KJV)
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Luke 1:37 (KJV)
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Romans 6:18 (KJV)
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Matthew 28:19 (KJV)
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”
Are We Giving Birth To Life Or Death?
Last week we discussed the birth of Christ and the celebration that we have annually called Christmas. We talked about how and why it offends and specifically why the name of Christ offends in the first place. This week, we will dive into the process of birth and how children are not the only things that we can birth in our lives. The events of pregnancy and birth are perhaps some of the most exciting moments for a young mother. However, to maintain this state and rapid pace of growth from within, she must take extra care of her body and developing baby. This mother has to not only eat right, but also ensure that they receive good pre-natal care and maintain the least stressful environment as possible. During the pregnancy, the mother goes through a range of hormone induced emotions which are brought on by this life giving process of carrying a child. There are going to be food cravings, random moments of crying, shouting, and even some hostility towards dad. The closer to her due date this new mother gets, the larger her child becomes, and the more developed he/she becomes. Around the eighth month, the child now stands a great chance of surviving outside of the womb. Many of the physical features are now visible. Mom’s mobility is now very limited. Her belly now sticks out blocking her view of the double-sized swollen ankles and feet. This mother-to-be now aches in pain and her body is sending messages to her brain that new life is about to be birthed from within her.
The big day finally arrives after several false alarms and mom is rushed to the hospital. Everyone is both nervous and excited. The nurses come in the room to check mom’s dilation, the doctor is now informed and the hospital makes its preparations. Dad begins to call all the family and notify them of the soon coming birth if he hasn’t already out of excitement. Now all the family rushes to the hospital (usually more frantic than mom herself). Grandma and Grandpa couldn’t be more excited because now they get to spoil another child, who they can also send home to terrorize their mom and dad. Besides, they owe them a few headaches anyway! As mom begins to push, she experiences severe pain and her hips begin to literally break apart. She screams out in agony and even though it seems like eternity, in an instant you hear and see a crying baby appears. Even though mom has experienced all of those battles and obstacles, she is overwhelmed with feelings of joy, love, and admiration of this new little one in her arms. Everyone becomes even more excited and is buzzing around the hospital just hoping to get a glimpse. Is he/she more like mom or dad? What color is the hair and eyes? How long are the eyelashes? All of these things come to mind.
A new birth is certainly a thrilling time full of joy and hope for the future. Many billions of exciting births have taken place all around the world. Some have ended in unfortunate tragedies; while most have produced new citizens of society who have gone on to produce more children. A major birth that comes to mind, especially this time of year is the birth of Jesus Christ. Although His birth had unusual circumstances surrounding it, it must have surely been an exciting time for Mary. Isaac also comes to mind when you reflect on exciting births and Joseph may very well be another. However, children are not the only thing that we adults can give birth to. As our Scripture points out, we can also give birth to great sin, despair, and curses upon others and ourselves.
Psalm 7:14-16 (KJV)
14 Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity;
Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit and dug it out,
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His trouble shall return upon his own head,
And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.
James 1:13-15 (NKJV)
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Being pregnant with sin and evil desire is not what I would consider an exciting time. It is the type of pregnancy and birth that I want to avoid at all costs. I am sure that it is unintentional when we become subject to the sin that we give birth to, however it never fails that someone often falls as a victim to this commonality. Why, you might ask? The reason is obviously because our flesh is prone to sin (Matthew 26:41). But what does it mean in Psalm 7:14-16 as it says to be “wicked”? One source explains the “wicked” by saying, “the wicked are so hotly set upon the evil which they maliciously intend, that they would be immediately acting of it.” This type of individual has no care for what is right or wrong and no conviction for the injustices that they perpetuate upon others. But, how do we get there and how can we avoid such a title as being considered “wicked”?
If you are a born-again believer (confessed faith in Christ and believe) it is impossible for you to obtain this title. One would have to literally renounce their faith and have no conviction at all, which is nearly impossible. The reason it is impossible is because God has ensured that “He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6), however we may forbid Him according to our own free will from interfering in our lives by conviction. Some may consider this to be the actual unforgivable sin mentioned in Mark 3:28, however I do disagree with that distinction. Regardless, God cannot violate His Word and law by going against the will of mankind. This should give us hope as believers that as long as we have even a “mustard seed of faith” in our hearts, we have a hope in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ! But does this prevent us from “conceiving the trouble” which we entertain and giving birth to the “falsehood” that we bare? Absolutely not!
Every time we entertain sin and give it a host in our lives, it will take root and begin to manifest itself through us. The Holy Spirit’s job is to lead, direct, guide, and pray for us; however we make this job difficult and at times irrelevant when our decisions disregard His work. God simply won’t force us to be obedient to Him. He will simply just wait for us to get our act together, much like a school teacher who has lost their patience with a rowdy class. He will begin to wait until we have had suffered enough from our own iniquities and come running back to Him for help. When we give into temptation, sin, and the wickedness of the world over and over again, we give it the attention that it desires. More specifically, we begin to consider and now lay down with the enemy. As we become attracted to the things of the world and ways of the enemy, he mesmerizes us with all the flashy lights that sin has to offer. But like anything dealing with the enemy, it is all “smoke and mirrors” as they say. Soon, after lying down with the enemy in his bed, we will have “conceived” these troubles and now “bring forth” the “falsehoods” that it manifests. In other words, our evil fruit will begin to bear itself through our life.
Sin begins with a thought or feeling as highlighted in James1:13-15, but then is soon entertained when it is not resisted. When the sinful thoughts are not resisted, we begin to conceive its evil, which then allows the sin to give birth to full blown acting upon the sin. This is the “death” that is”brought forth” in verse 15. This is the part that we as Christians need to avoid, that “conception” and “death.” We will always be tempted as we pointed out earlier that the flesh is weak. Being that Jesus was also tempted, do we not expect to be also tempted ourselves? With the temptations being inevitable, we should focus on how to avoid entertaining sin and therefore its following conception and birth. We do this by following God’s Word regarding the avoidance of the entrapment of sin. Scripture such as Luke 22:40; Romans 8:37; and Hebrews 4:15-16. We should also keep in mind the words of 1 Corinthians 10:13 which states that, “he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear” and also “escape.” So, let us avoid the type of birth that gives way to the evils of this world. Let us also avoid the types of labor pains that aren’t necessary in life and cause curses that can only be taken away by the Lord’s return. As we exit this Christmas season and enter into a new year, let this new season also bring with it a new mindset and spiritual renewal. Dive into the Word of God and allow Him to do His work in you, reminding you of who’s you are and who you are! You are the child of the King! Therefore, you will give birth only to the blessings and goodness that God has willed for you in this season. God Bless you all, and may you have a most wonderful New Year’s Eve!
Matthew 26:41 (NKJV)
41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Luke 22:40 (KJV)
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Romans 8:37 (KJV)
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (KJV)
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
‘Tis The Season of Repentance or Offense
As we all gather for the Christmas holiday this season, many of us will reminisce of past times and magical moments of our childhoods. Many times it seems that Christmas will never be the same as it was when we were five and amazed by all the lights. They were much simpler times when everyone seemed to have more patience and wanted to stick around just a little while longer at holiday events. The food was better and all the loved ones we lost along the way were present with us in those good times. In fact, as we reflect it is easy to catch ourselves taking the here and now for granted. It’s easy for us to forget how blessed we are every day by the same baby who made this season possible a couple of thousand years ago. While we are reflecting, celebrating, and exchanging gifts this holiday season, let’s not forget our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must not let our hearts develop no room in the Inn for the savior of the world. Don’t put the Christ child out in a mental manger until the holidays are over, let’s remember His sacrifice and worship him now.
We all know one of the most favored Christmas songs heard this time of year called “Mary Did You Know?” It dives into all the unknowns that we wonder about how Mary must have felt and wondered about her new child who would soon be the Savior of the world. I find myself wondering a different set of questions also. Questions such as: Mary how bad was the world when you were pregnant? Did it seem that no man would repent in those days? Did you warn those who you met that they must soon repent for the King was soon to be present with them? Mary did you know that John the Baptist would soon preach repentance to the world and prophesy the ministry of Jesus? I wonder all of these things and many more as I read about the birth and prophesied Christ stories of Luke, Matthew, Isaiah, and others. Jesus was not only the birth that brought the most joy to the world, but also brought in the most controversial message in all of the history of the world.
The message of His gospel will either convict or divide us (Luke 12:51-52). For many years in the United States, corporations have been forced to remove nativity scenes, crosses, and even Christmas trees from their premises during the holidays. Recently, it has become a common place for many people to use the saying, “happy holidays” instead of the traditional “Merry Christmas” in fear of making an offense to someone of another faith. It leaves me to wonder, why is the name of Christ offensive and why must this holiday be offensive in general? There are many reasons that could be explained in an academic debate for days, but we can address the main reason here and now. 1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us that, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (KJV). Christ and the cross that represents his crucifixion offends those who are convicted by the Holy Spirit, but deny responsibility for their transgressions. The Word also tells us in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (KJV). Of course, Christians will never fully escape persecution so long as the enemy roams this earth (2 Timothy 3:12), however we can break free from our bondage and the offense that the cross brings us by repenting of our sin.
The cross and the name of Christ bring offense to the hearts and minds of man because of what it represents. Since because the holiness, righteousness, and presence of God brings conviction upon man, we are reminded of these offenses in the presence of His name and cross. Just the mere presence of either one of these two brings such power and conviction, that rather than just ignore it, those who won’t give in to it have to lash out in agony. The reason is that the Scripture tells us that we are either servants of evil or servants of God (Romans 6:15-18) and because those who are servants of sin are also servants of the enemy, they cannot bear with the meaning behind the name of Jesus Christ. The Word of God also tells us that we cannot serve two masters and must serve either God or the enemy (Matthew 6:24). The enemy knows because of the sacrifice of Christ, he has been defeated. He also knows that if you bear the name of Christ in your heart, that you have also chosen eternal life over defeat with the enemy in Hell. In knowing these things, we must be quickened to turn away from our wicked ways and repent (Acts 3:19). Even as born-again believers, we must remember when we encounter someone who is offended by the name of Christ not to take offense by their reaction, but to witness the love of Christ in return. We should give them the Gospel with love, and in God’s timing they may believe because of the seeds that we have sown into them. Of course not everyone will believe and many will be offended along the way, but we must be in constant prayer for these individuals keeping in mind that they are indeed “slaves to sin” and a dead system. Thank God that He has provided us with a way to life because He was the “life.” As you celebrate with family and friends this Christmas season, let us remember those who are less fortunate than us and on their way to suffering by remembering the reason for the season! God Bless and Merry Christmas from your family and friends here at SCM!
Isaiah 7:14 (KJV)
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV)
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons
Matthew 1:21-23 (KJV)
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
John 1:29 (KJV)
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
John 3:16 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV)
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Luke 12:51-52 (KJV)
51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
Romans 6:15-18 (KJV)
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Matthew 6:24 (KJV)
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Acts 3:19 (KJV)
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
John 1:4-5 (KJV)
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.