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some from the ministry held blamelessly in honor among them, even though they had been conducting themselves well.


You should strive hard, broth­ ers, and be zealousq in matters that pertain to salvation! 2 You have gazed into the holy and true Scriptures that were given through the Holy Spirit. 3 You realize that there is nothing un­ just or counterfeit written in them. There you will not find the upright cast out by men who were holy. 4 The upright were persecuted, but by the lawless. They were imprisoned, but by the unholy. They were stoned by those who transgressed the law and killed by those who embraced vile and unjust envy. 5 And they bore up gloriously while suffering these things. 6 For what shall we say, brothers? Was Daniel cast into the lions’ den by those who feared God?52 7 Or were Ananias, Azarias, and Mis­ ael shut up in the fiery furnace by those who participated in the magnificent and glorious worship of the Most High?53 This could never be! Who then did these things? Those who were hateful and full of every evil were roused to such a pitch of anger that they tortured those who served God with holy and blameless resolve. But they did not know that the Most High is the cham­ pion and protector of those who minis­ ter to his all-virtuous name with a pure conscience. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 8 But those who endured in confidence inherited glory and honor; and they were exalted and inscribed by God in their own memorial forever and ever. Amen.


And so, we too must cling to these examples, brothers.


2 For it is written, “Cling to those who are holy; for those who cling to them will themselves be made holy.”54 3 And again in another place it says, “With an innocent man, you too will be innocent and with one who is chosen, you will be chosen. But with one who is corrupt, you will cause corruption.”55 4 Therefore we should cling to those who are innocent and upright, for these are God’s chosen. 5 Why are there conflicts, fits of anger, dissensions, factions, and war among you? 6 Do we not have one God, and one Christ, and one gracious Spirit that has been poured out upon us, and one calling in Christ?56 7 Why do we mangle and mutilate the members of Christ and create factions in our own body? Why do we come to such a pitch of madness as to forget that we are members of one another? Remember the words of our Lord Jesus, 8 for he said, “Woe to that person! It would have been good for him not to be born, rather than cause one of my chosen to stumble. Better for him to have a mill­ stone cast about his neck and be drowned in the sea than to have corrupted one of my chosen.”57 9 Your schism has corrupted many and cast many into despondency, many into doubt, and all of us into grief. And your faction persists even now!


Take up the epistle of that blessed apostle, Paul. 2 What did he write to you at first, at


Or: You are contentious, brothers, and envious


Dan 6:16. 53Dan 3:19ff. 54Source unknown. Ps 18:25–26. 56Eph 4:4–6. 57Matt 26:24; Luke 17: 2.


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