Published by Integrity Media Europe Unit 1, Hargreaves Business Park, Hargreaves Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 6QW ÂŠ Colin Urquhart 2010 Colin Urquhart has asserted his rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identiďŹ ed as Author of this work. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. Cover design: Jon Smethurst, Ezekiel Design Set in Palatino 10pt ISBN 97819070801111 9876543210 Printed and bound by CPI Clowes, Beccles
THE TRUTH NEW TESTAMENT Study edition
CONTENTS Introduction to the Truth New Testament Introduction to the Study Edition
THE NEW TESTAMENT TEXT WITH NOTES The Gospel according to: Matthew Mark Luke John
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The Acts of the Apostles Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Jude Revelation
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THE TRUTH – STUDY EDITION
STUDY SECTION ARTICLES ON KEY SUBJECTS Coping with Rejection and Opposition Discipleship Faith Forgiveness Fruitfulness God’s Love Healing Humility, Submission, Authority ‘In Christ’ Israel Kingdom of God/Kingdom of Heaven Manifestations or Gifts of the Holy Spirit Overcoming the enemy Prayer Salvation Soul and Spirit The Church The Cross The Holy Spirit Your Future Hope Worship
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PROFILE OF JESUS AND HIS MINISTRY Names of Jesus in the New Testament Jesus’ Ministry Jesus’ Relationship with His Father The Parables of Jesus Healings in the Ministry of Jesus Other Miracles in the Ministry of Jesus Descriptions of Jesus
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KEY THEMES (in margin of text) Authority Children of God, sons of God Church Compassion Covenant Cross, Blood Demons Devil Discipleship Eternal Life Faith 4
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Father, God Fear of God Finances Freedom Fruitfulness Giving and Receiving Glory Grace Healing Heart Holiness Holy Spirit Honour Hope Humility In Christ Inheritance Jesus (see separate section) Joy Judgment Kingdom of God/Kingdom of Heaven Leadership Life Light Love Mercy, Forgiveness Miracles Name Obedience Opposition Peace Perseverance Power Prayer Purpose of God Relationships Repentance Reward Righteousness Salvation Truth (see separate section) Victory Warning Wisdom Witness Word Worship 5
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THE TRUTH – STUDY EDITION
THE TRUTH The Truth in the New Testament Key verses
APPROPRIATING THE TRUTH PERSONALLY Nearly 300 verses in a personalised form
OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
The Cross (Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12) The New Heart (Ezekiel 36:22-32) The New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:3-14, 31-34) The Joy of the Saved (Isaiah 35) The Good Shepherd (Psalm 23) The Branch (Isaiah 11:1-5) The Anointing of God’s Spirit (Isaiah 61:1-3) The Glory of Your Kingdom (Psalm 145) Bless the Lord (Psalm 103) Revival (Psalm 85) Lord, You Know Me (Psalm 139) Trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:1-26, 4:4-27)
815 817 819 821 822 823 824 825 827 829 830 832
MAPS 1. The Holy Land at the time of Jesus 2. Places mentioned in Paul’s ministry 3. The Seven Churches in Revelation, Chapters 1-3
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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO
JOHN Introduction The apostle John was one of three disciples that formed the core group of Jesus’ twelve disciples. He describes himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Clearly, John was the most spiritually sensitive of the disciples. His position at the Last Supper indicates he acted as Jesus’ personal assistant. John contains much teaching unique to this gospel, especially material relating to Jesus’ relationship with His Father, and the principles upon which His ministry was based. It seems clear from his privileged relationship with Jesus that John understood Him in a way that others did not. John writes from a totally different perspective from the other three gospels. He is not concerned to write a chronological account of His ministry, but to reveal who Jesus is, so that people may believe in Him and so receive eternal life. From the beginning He is proclaimed to be God’s Son through whom the whole of creation came into being. His nature is revealed by a series of clear statements, preceded by the emphatic statement, ‘I, I AM’. The writer wants it to be clear that believers are able to relate to Jesus now in the same way that He related to the Father then. God sent Jesus to fulﬁl a particular purpose that could only be fulﬁlled by remaining at one with the Father, by living in complete submission and obedience to Him. This gospel is certainly written at a later date than the other gospels; towards the end of John’s life (say about 85-90 AD). He outlived the other disciples and so was able to counteract the wrong teaching that was circulating at the time. He could give clear revelation of the truth that had the power to set people free now and for eternity. The Word and Light (1:1-5)
Jesus is the Word. He existed in the beginning, before time began. This Word was with God and, indeed, the Word was God. 2 He was the Word that God spoke in the beginning. 3 By this spoken Word, through Jesus, everything was created. Nothing could exist if it were not for Him. 4 In Jesus, in this Word, was the life that brought God’s light into people’s lives. 5 This Light came and shone 1:1
1:3 1:4 1:5
In the original text, the name of Jesus is not mentioned in this verse. Clearly John is referring to Jesus as the Word God spoke to bring all creation into being. Jesus is the only person ever to have been born who pre-dated His conception. God created through Jesus. As the Word of God, Jesus could not operate independently of His Father, even during His humanity. God’s creative life is contained in the words Jesus spoke. Throughout this gospel there is stark contrast between Jesus as the Light and the spiritual darkness of the world. Because He is the Light, Jesus’ words bring light into people’s lives. But most of those who belong to the darkness, including many religious leaders, refused to receive Him.
into the spiritual darkness of the world; but the darkness did not want the Light, and so did not receive Him. John prepares the people (1:6-9) Before Jesus came, God sent another man, called John, to His people. God called him to be a witness, to prepare people for the coming of the light, for He wanted everyone to believe in Jesus. 8 But John was not the Light, only the one preparing for the coming of the Light. 9 Jesus Himself was the true Light, able to give spiritual light and understanding to all men; and He was coming into the world. 6
The Word became a man (1:10-18) So Jesus came from heaven into this world, and although the world was created through Him, people did not recognise who He was when He came. 11 Even though He came among those who rightly belonged to Him, they still did not accept Him. 12-13 However, some did welcome Him and they came to believe that He was God’s Son. To them He gave the right to become God’s children, those who were not only born naturally with a human mother and father, but given a second birth by God. 14 The Word, then, became a Man and came to live among us. Those of us who knew Him have seen His glory, the glory that could only belong to the One and Only Son of God. He came from the Father in heaven and was full of grace and truth. He was constantly giving to people and always taught what was right. 15 John taught about Jesus. He openly proclaimed: “He is the One of whom I spoke when I said, ‘The One who comes after me is much greater than I, because He existed long before I was born.’” 16 Jesus was full of grace and we all received from Him one act of grace after another. He constantly blessed us in ways we could 10
FAITH CHILDREN WORD GLORY GRACE TRUTH
Although the writer wants to focus on Jesus during the opening chapters, he keeps referring also to John the Baptist, for two reasons. First, to reveal the important role he played in preparing for Jesus’ ministry. Second, to counteract the widespread confusion caused by those who thought the Baptist was the Messiah. 1:8 John was not the Light, the Messiah. 1:9 Jesus is the Light that would penetrate the spiritual darkness of the world. 1:10-11 A brief statement of the opposition to Jesus’ ministry. 1:12-13 Those who recognised Jesus as God’s Son were born again and so became children of God. 1:14 John, the author, was one of the three disciples who saw Jesus’ natural body transfigured into His glorious body. But this verse has a wider application, referring to all the glorious things Jesus said and did, witnessed by John and the other disciples. He graciously gave to all who came to Him in faith and taught the truth that had the power to set people free. 1:15 Again the writer shows how John the Baptist deferred to Jesus. He was only the one preparing the way for Jesus. 1:16 A note of personal testimony by the writer, what it meant to know Jesus personally. He is the same now and for ever!
never deserve. 17 God gave us the law through Moses, but grace and truth came when He sent Jesus Christ. 18 No-one has ever seen God in His Majesty and glory, but Jesus, the One and only Son who is Himself God and who is One with the Father, came to make Him known to us.
A voice of one crying in the desert (1:19-28) While John was testifying to the imminent coming of Jesus, the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent a deputation of priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 John made it abundantly clear to them: “I am not the Christ, the Messiah.” 21 So they asked him: “Well, who are you? Are you Elijah?” “No, I am not,” said John. “Are you the Prophet we have been expecting?” “No,” John answered. 22 Exasperated, they said: “Tell us who you are! Give us an answer we can relay to the leaders who sent us. How do you describe yourself?” 23 John quoted some words of the prophet Isaiah in response: “I am the voice of someone crying in the desert, ‘Prepare for the coming of the Lord!’” 24 Some of those sent to John belonged to the Pharisee party. 25 They questioned John: “If you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet, then why do you baptise people?” 26 John replied: “I only immerse them in water; but Someone is living among us whom you do not recognise. 27 He is the One who comes after me, and I am not worthy even to do the work of a slave for Him.” 28 All this took place at Bethany which is on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising people. 19
God’s Lamb (1:29-34) On the following day, John saw Jesus approaching him and said: “Look, this is God’s Lamb who takes away the world’s sin! 30 This is 29
The Old Covenant, signified by Moses, prepared the way for the New Covenant of grace and truth that Jesus established. The Law, which revealed God’s will, had to come before the grace which enabled people to fulfil His will. The Law could not empower them to do so. 1:18 Jesus is the One and Only Son of God by nature; believers become sons of God by adoption. From the start of the gospel, the author expressed clearly that Jesus was fully God and yet fully man. 1:19-28 A further passage that makes clear that the Baptist was not the Messiah. 1:23 Isaiah 40:3. The Baptist fulfilled the prophetic words of Isaiah that God would send a forerunner, one who would prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. 1:27 How the Baptist sees himself in relation to Jesus. God uses the humble. 1:28 Not to be confused with the Bethany near Jerusalem where Jesus often stayed. 1:29 No one, apart from Jesus, would have understood at the time what was meant by referring to Jesus as ‘God’s Lamb’, the sacrifice that God Himself provided to cleanse people from all sin.
He to whom I was referring when I said, ‘The One who comes after me is much greater than I, who existed long before I was born!’ 31 Although I did not personally know of whom I spoke, He is the reason I came baptising with water, to prepare the way for Him to be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John proclaimed: “I saw God’s Spirit descend from heaven like a dove that came and rested upon Him! 33 I would not have recognised Him but for the fact that the One who sent me to baptise with water had told me, ‘The man on whom you see My Spirit descend and remain is He who will baptise in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 Now I have seen Him and I can say assuredly that this is God’s Son.” The ﬁrst disciples (1:35-42) John was again in the same place on the following day, together with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus walking by he said to them: “Look, this is God’s Lamb!” 37 On hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. 38 When He saw them Jesus asked: “What do you want?” “Teacher, where are You staying?” they replied. 39 Jesus said to them: “Come and you will see.” So they went with Jesus, saw where He was staying and spent the rest of the day with Him, from four o’clock onwards. 40 Simon Peter’s brother, Andrew, was one of the two disciples who heard what John had said about Jesus and followed Him. 41 Andrew went and found His brother Simon and told him: “We have found the Messiah,” (that is the Christ, God’s Anointed Son). 42 Then he took Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said: “You are Simon, son of John. From now on you will be called Peter, a rock.” 35
Philip and Nathanael (1:43-51) 43
On the following day, Jesus decided to return to Galilee. He dis-
1:32 As with the other three gospels, the author records the way the Spirit came upon Jesus after being baptised by John. 1:33 Jesus’ disciples later baptised people in water, but Jesus Himself did not do this. He was to baptise, to immerse, to infuse people with, the Holy Spirit. This prophecy was fulfilled when the first group of believers received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, once Jesus had returned to heaven. When people are baptised in water they are baptised into Christ. When they are baptised in the Holy Spirit they are baptised by Christ. 1:39 A disciple did not only follow the teachings of his master or rabbi. He would spend time with him, follow him, eat with him and do all he could to become like his teacher. He wanted to draw from his master as much as possible. 1:40 ‘The other disciple’ was probably John, the author of this gospel. 1:42 Peter is a rock, a boulder: not the Rock – Jesus. Jesus is the bedrock on which the church would be founded, not Peter.
covered Philip and said to him: “Follow Me.” 44 Like Andrew and Peter, Philip came from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip in turn found Nathanael and told him: “We have found the One we have been waiting for, who Moses spoke about in the law, the One of whom the prophets also wrote! He is Jesus of Nazareth, Joseph’s son.” 46 “Nazareth!” Nathanael gasped, “How can anything good come from there?” “Come and see for yourself,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said to him: “This is a true Israelite and there is nothing false about him.” 48 “How can You know anything about me?” Nathanael asked. “I noticed you before Philip called you. You were sitting under the ﬁg tree,” Jesus answered. 49 Then Nathanael exclaimed: “Teacher, You are God’s Son, the King of Israel.” 50 “You believe in Me simply because I told you that I noticed you under the ﬁg tree! You shall see far greater things in the future,” 51 Jesus said. “I tell you the truth, you shall see the heavens open and God’s angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Jesus turns water into wine (2:1-11)
Three days later, Jesus, together with His mother and disciples, was invited to a wedding that took place at Cana in Galilee. 3 The wine ran out, which was a social disaster, and so Jesus’ mother said to Him: “They have no more wine.”
1:45 1:46 N.B.
The exact location of the fishing port of Bethsaida is uncertain, but it was somewhere on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The ruins of a former settlement are believed, by some, to be those of this city, but they are at least a kilometre from the present shoreline. Jesus was later to curse this town because although He performed many miracles there, still the people did not believe. The name Nathanael does not appear among the twelve disciples. He was possibly known later as Bartholomew. Nazareth was a small, inconsequential place of only a few hundred inhabitants. Nobody was looking to Nazareth to produce the Messiah! Within this first chapter the author, John the Apostle, has identified Jesus as the Word of God that brought creation into being, the Light of God, the One and Only Son of God who came full of grace and truth, the One who reveals the true nature of God, God’s sacrificial Lamb, the One who would baptise in the Holy Spirit, the Messiah, the King of Israel, the Son of Man. This underlines the author’s purpose for writing: that people will believe who Jesus is and receive the life that He came to give. Only John records this incident. Some have viewed it as a loving gesture on Jesus’ part. But this event must be much more significant. John records only a few incidents from Jesus’ ministry that he regards as signs of His glory. The old wine running out signifies the end of the Old Covenant which was good in that it was given by God, but is now to be superseded by the new wine of the New Covenant Jesus came to establish. This new wine is produced by Jesus taking the water of our ordinary lives and miraculously giving us a new birth in the Spirit, so that believers in Jesus become the new wine. The new tastes far better than the old (v.10).
KEY THEMES (in margin of text)
FREEDOM • The freedom made possible for all believers in Jesus Christ; freedom from sin and guilt, freedom from sickness and the devil’s oppression. • The quality of life believers are able to enjoy as a result of Jesus Christ’s ministry on the cross. Luke 4:18-19 ‘The Lord’s Spirit is on Me because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to tell the prisoners they can be set free and to tell the blind they will be able to see; to free people from the oppression that has crushed them and to announce that the year of God’s favour has arrived.’ John 8:36 “So if God’s Son sets you free from your bondage to sin, you will be really free.” Romans 8:1 How wonderful to be liberated now from all the condemnation this continual failure brought. For those who live in Christ Jesus have been set free from all condemnation. Romans 8:21 Creation can only be liberated from bondage, from that death principle we see at work all around us, by being brought into the liberty that God’s children enjoy because they know and reﬂect His glory. 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Spirit is the Spirit of the Lord God and where His Spirit is present, people have been set free. Galatians 2:4 But some false brothers came among us in a covert way to spy on us because of the freedom we have in Christ, wanting to return us to slavery. Galatians 5:1 Christ has set us free to live in freedom. So stand fast in that freedom and do not allow yourselves to be yoked again in slavery. Galatians 5:13 Brothers, you were called to live in freedom, but do not use your freedom from legalism as an opportunity to do whatever you like. No, instead serve one another as the outworking of your love for one another. Hebrews 2:15 Now all those who have spent their lives in bondage because of their fear of death and what lay beyond, are set free. 1 Peter 2:16 This is true freedom, to live obediently in ways that please the Lord. But do not use the freedom He has given you as a front for evil. Live as true servants of God, who show proper respect to everyone.
PEACE • Not the absence of noise or conﬂict, but the impartation of God’s supernatural peace into the hearts and lives of those who trust in Him. Matthew 10:13 If deserving people live there, the blessing of peace will rest upon that place. But if you are not welcomed, that blessing of peace will come upon you instead. Luke 2:13-14 Then there appeared with the angels a great number of other angels who were all praising God and saying: “Glory to the Most High God in heaven and His peace to men on earth on whom His favour rests.” Luke 19:41-42 When Jesus was near enough to see the city, He wept over it and said: “If you only listened today to what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from you and you cannot see it.” Luke 24:36 While they were still explaining this, Jesus Himself suddenly stood among them and said: “Peace be with you!” John 14:27 “I leave you with the gift of peace. It is My peace that I give to you, the kind of peace the world can never give you. Because you have My peace, there is no need to allow your hearts to become fearful or troubled.” Ephesians 2:14 So He is our peace. Because we have been forgiven and accepted by God, we are at peace with Him. Ephesians 2:15-17 Through what He accomplished when He became man, He abolished the whole idea of serving God through a legalistic approach of obeying a series of religious rules and regulations. His intention was to create a new people out of the two opposing groups that existed before. The only way was to make it possible for anyone, no matter what his race, to be at peace with God, and to draw them together into one Body, to reconcile them to one another. He accomplished all this through the cross which dealt a death blow to their former hostility. Jesus came and preached peace with God to those outside His covenant with Israel, as well as those who were part of that relationship. Ephesians 6:15 You wear the shoes of the gospel so that you are always ready for any eventuality and can walk in peace. Philippians 4:7 God’s peace is beyond understanding and will keep your hearts and minds at one with Christ Jesus. Colossians 3:15 As members of the one Body of Christ, you have been called to live at peace with all the other members. So let the peace of Christ be a guiding principle of your life. And always be thankful to God. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. 748
APPROPRIATING THE TRUTH PERSONALLY
NEARLY 300 VERSES IN A PERSONALISED FORM Appropriating the truth personally will greatly encourage your faith. Applying the truth to your own life, and others for whom you pray and to whom you witness, will enrich you spiritually beyond measure. In this section there are nearly 300 verses which have been printed in a personalised form, showing you how you can receive so much from God, simply by realising that in His Word He is speaking to you personally. All these truths are truths about you as a believer in Jesus Christ. Of course, they are truths for every other believer as well; but faith comes only through personal relationship with God, made possible only by personal application of the truth. It will help you, not only to read these verses, but to speak them aloud – to declare the truth about yourself. Do not be deterred by thinking that the way you actually live does not measure up to what you are declaring. By speaking the truth continually, not only will your faith be encouraged, but your daily lifestyle will come increasingly into line with the truth! So appropriating the truth personally will enable you to speak the truth with real faith over your own life, and over others for whom you pray. You can use a few of the verses in this section at a time in prayer; or you can take one truth and keep afﬁrming it all day long, so that this aspect of the truth becomes a real part of you by the end of the day. Using the Scriptures in this way helps you to appropriate personally the Spirit and life in God’s Word. The reference for each has been given if you would prefer to use the words of the text itself.
I feed on every word that comes from God’s mouth. (Matthew 4:4) My Father is well aware of what I need even before I ask Him. (Matthew 6:8) I will not worry about any aspect of my life. (Matthew 6:25) I will not judge others. (Matthew 7:1) The Kingdom of heaven and living in right relationship with God is my priority; so everything else will be given me as well. (Matthew 6:33) I will continue to ask, and what I pray for will be given me. (Matthew 7:7) It will now be done for me exactly as I have believed. (Matthew 9:29) The Lord has given me authority to drive out evil spirits that afﬂict people, and to heal all their diseases and sicknesses. (Matthew 10:1) 797
APPROPRIATING THE TRUTH PERSONALLY
I will remain faithful to the end and will be saved. (Matthew 10:22) Because I am united with Jesus, He makes light of my burdens. (Matthew 11:30) My eyes are blessed because they do see, and my ears are blessed because I listen to the Lord. (Matthew 13:16) “You are the Christ, the Messiah, God’s Son.” (Matthew 16:16) If I have true faith that is even the size of a mustard seed, I can say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there’, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for me. (Matthew 17:20) I have authority to prevent on earth what heaven does not allow, and I can liberate on earth what has been liberated in heaven. (Matthew 18:18) When I believe, everything becomes possible. (Mark 9:23) No matter what I ask in prayer, I am to believe it is mine already, and it will be mine! (Mark 11:24) I will worship only the Lord my God and He is the only one I am to serve (Luke 4:8). The Lord’s Spirit is on me because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. (Luke 4:18) Because I forgive, I will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37) The measure I receive is determined by the measure I use when I give. (Luke 6:38) It is important that I listen carefully to the truth. (Luke 8:18) I will not be afraid; I will simply go on believing. (Luke 8:50) Jesus has given me authority to overcome every power the enemy has. (Luke 10:19) I rejoice that my name is written in heaven. (Luke 10:20) I am a truly blessed one because I hear God’s Word and obey it. (Luke 11:28) Because I openly confess faith in Jesus before others, He will openly acknowledge me in heaven as one who belongs to Him. (Luke 12:8) The Holy Spirit will show me what to say. (Luke 12:12) I will not be afraid, for it has already pleased the Father to give me His Kingdom. (Luke 12:32) My treasure is wherever I choose to set my heart – in this world or the next! (Luke 12:34) “My son, you are always with Me and everything that is Mine is yours.” (Luke 15:31) I give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God. (Luke 20:25) 798
OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES
10. REVIVAL (Psalm 85)
This Psalm is as relevant today as when ﬁrst written. We need to see God’s purposes for our nations fulﬁlled. This will only be possible as He continues to be merciful to us, and revives His church in the power of the Holy Spirit. To revive is to bring back to life. The Lord wants His people everywhere to reveal Jesus and show the world that it is His desire to save sinners. So He needs a people in whom His love and faithfulness, His righteousness and peace, are expressed. He is the God who restores and revives all those who look to Him, longing for His will to be fulﬁlled in their lives. He must have a church ﬁlled with His life, for His will among the nations to be fulﬁlled. Lord, You showed favour to Your land and restored the welfare of Your people. You forgave them completely for all their sins. You chose not to show them Your wrath, so that they did not experience Your ﬁerce anger. O God, our Saviour, restore us again, instead of being displeased with us. Surely You will not always be angry with us? You will not allow Your anger to come upon future generations, will You? Will You not revive us again so that, as Your people, we will rejoice in Your loving kindness? Lord, reveal Your never ending love to us, and give us Your salvation. I will pay attention to what My Lord God says. For He promises to give His peace to His saints, the people He has set apart for Himself. I pray they will not return to their former foolishness. It is certain that God’s salvation is close to those who live in fear of Him, for He wants His glory to be revealed to our nation. In Him, love and faithfulness come together; His righteousness and peace embrace. His faithfulness is revealed on the earth, and His righteousness is poured out on us from heaven. The Lord is bound to give us what is good, so that our land will be a rich harvest ﬁeld. His righteousness precedes Him, preparing the way for His will to be fulﬁlled.