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Bible Insights

Discover How to Treat One Another

Consider How the Bible Teaches Us to Treat One Another

The Bible gives us many “one another” commands that instruct us how to treat one another.

Things to Do

Love one another (John 13:34, John 13:35, Romans 13:8, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:11, 1 John 3:23, 1 John 4:7, 1 John 4:11, 1 John 4:12, 2 John 1:5).

Accept one another (Romans 15:7).

Instruct one another (Romans 15:14).

Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21).

Forgive one another (Colossians 3:13).

Teach one another (Jeremiah 9:20).

Teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16).

Encourage one another (Judges 20:22, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10:25).

Agree with one another (1 Corinthians 1:10).

Fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7).

Give to one another (Esther 9:22).

Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16, 1 Peter 3:8).

Be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32)

Serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).

Bear with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love (Romans 12:10).

Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10).

Greet one another with a kiss of love (1 Peter 5:14).

Greet one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12).

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19).

Spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9).

Administer justice, show mercy and compassion to one another (Zechariah 7:9).

Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5).

Consider how the Bible teaches us to treat one another. Click To Tweet

Things Not to Do

Do not deceive one another (Leviticus 19:11).

Do not break faith with one another (Malachi 2:10).

Do not degrade your bodies with one another (Romans 1:24).

Do not lust for one another (Romans 1:27).

Stop judging one another (Romans 14:13).

Do not hate one another (Titus 3:3).

Do not slander one another (James 4:11).

When we follow these one-another commands from the Bible, we will begin to treat others the way God intended.

Read more about this in Peter’s new book, Jesus’s Broken Church, available in e-book, audiobook, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Christian Living

Don’t Let Your Prayers Be Hindered

Understanding the Weaker Vessel

When Paul talks in the Bible about marriage, I struggle with his words because he was a bachelor. What does he know about the subject? Peter, on the other hand, was married so I give more credence to what he says on the subject. Even so I struggle a bit when he talks about women as the weaker vessel in 1 Peter 3:7.

This verse is specifically about husbands and wives. It’s part of a longer passage that talks about the marriage relationship. Let’s breakdown what Peter says.

The Weaker Vessel

In looking at multiple versions of this verse, most use the phrase weaker vessel. It offends my sensibilities because I strive to view men and women as equals. Some verses clarify that this weakness refers to physical characteristics, which I understand to be true, even if I don’t want to dwell on it.

The Message translation doesn’t use the phrase weaker vessel. Instead. it says, “as women they lack some of your advantages” (1 Peter 3:7, MSG).

The Expanded Bible clarifies this even further using the phrase as “the less empowered one” and explains that in the society of that time, women tended to have less power and authority (1 Peter 3:7, EXB).

Can we expand our understanding of this teaching beyond marriage to produce a general principle? Or is that taking the verse out of context?

If we choose to extend Peter’s instructions beyond marriage, we should all—men and women—take care in how we treat others who may be a weaker vessel to us: those who lack our advantages, who aren’t as empowered, and who possessed less authority.

As we do so we promote a God-honoring justice.

Joint Heirs with Jesus

Not only is this verse about husbands and wives, but it also refers to a Christ-centered marriage. Husbands and wives who follow Jesus are his heirs.

Some translations say co-heirs or joint heirs. The rendering I appreciate most, however, is that we are equal partners (1 Peter 3:7, NLT).

As heirs of Jesus, we receive an inheritance from him, both now and later. That is, we inherit eternal life.

So That Your Prayers May Not Be Hindered

The outcome of husbands treating their wives properly, as joint heirs with Jesus, is a more effective prayer life. In this way, Peter gives a command with a promise: treat your spouse well and your prayers won’t be hindered. Other renderings say “blocked” (1 Peter 3:7, CJB) and “ineffective” (1 Peter 3:7, AMP).

Peter gives a command with a promise: treat your spouse well and your prayers won’t be hindered. Click To Tweet

Moving Forward

Putting this all together, when husbands treat their wives properly—when everyone treats everyone else with respect—our prayers will be more effective.

Don’t we all want a more vibrant, effective prayer life? Then we should take care how we treat others.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Jesus and Justice

Our Savior Came to Heal and to Save

After giving us four chapters of historical narrative, Isaiah shifts back to more prophecy. His future-focused look tells us about Jesus and justice.

Though Jesus is God’s Son, as our Savior—the Messiah—he is also God’s servant, who will come to earth in service of Father God to restore us into a right relationship with him. God chose Jesus to redeem his people, for God delights in him.

Under the power of God’s Spirit, the Messiah will champion justice. This justice isn’t only for the nation of Judah, but it’s for all nations—all people, everyone. This Savior will not proclaim his message with loud, boisterous words but with gentleness. He will protect the weak and encourage those who struggle.

Jesus

Jesus will faithfully promote justice, never wavering from his mission. Through his followers, both then and now, he will persist until he spreads justice throughout the whole world.

Centuries after Isaiah’s prophecy, when Jesus comes to earth, he will come to heal and to save. Today most people seek Jesus for his saving power, while two thousand years ago people came to him more for his healing power.

Where does justice fit into all this?

Justice

The people in the Old Testament expected that the promised Savior would come as a military leader to rescue them from their oppressors. They assumed he would be an actual king, in the line of King David, ushering in an era of justice.

They believed that at his arrival, the Jews would finally receive fair treatment meted out by a morally righteous leader. He would be true in all he does, governing his people with excellence and protecting them from the immoral oppression of ungodly leaders from opposing nations.

Many people today seek a Savior who will provide them with justice. They need Jesus. Click To Tweet

Most of us don’t see Jesus today as a physical Savior but as a spiritual Savior. However, throughout the world, many people struggle under the weight of oppressive regimes. They need physical deliverance. They seek the Savior who will provide them with justice. They need Jesus.

We all do.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Isaiah 42-45 and today’s post is on Isaiah 42:1.]

Read more about the book of Isaiah in For Unto Us: 40 Prophetic Insights About Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles from the Prophet Isaiah available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Lessons from the Life of John Mark

Learn More about John Mark

There is an interesting story that begins in Acts 13. From it we can learn about the life of John Mark.

God tells the church to commission and send out Barnabas and Paul to other cities, telling the people they meet about Jesus. They do this, taking with them John (also called, John Mark or just Mark).

A Rough Start

The thing is, God didn’t tell them to take John Mark. He apparently doesn’t belong there. This is borne out later, when John Mark deserts Barnabas and Paul to return home.

Later, Barnabas wants to give John Mark a second chance (an example of mercy), but Paul says “no” (an example of justice). They part company over this disagreement, each going their separate ways.

This might seem like a bad development, but it turns out to be good, as they are then able to cover twice the ground, doubling their effectiveness and outreach.

A Strong Finish

For John Mark, his story ends on a positive note, too, with him and Paul later being reconciled (an example of grace) and Paul esteeming John Mark as his fellow worker and as being useful to him.

This is a great lesson in life. Despite making mistakes along the way, we can still finish well. John Mark did and so can we.

[Acts 13:2-3, 5, 13; Acts 15:36-41; Colossians 4:10, Philemon 1:24, and 2 Timothy 4:11]

Read more about other people in the New Testament in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

3 Things God Requires from Us

God’s Expectations May Surprise Us, but They Do Make Sense

As Micah wraps up his prophecy to the people of Israel, he slips in a profound thought. In one short sentence he tells what God requires of his people. It’s succinct and simple. It’s startling but profound. Equally astonishing is what Micah doesn’t include in his list of things God requires.

God doesn’t say go to church, develop the right theology, or obey a bunch of rules. Yet these are some of the many things we put great importance on today. We focus on these elements—and others like them—at the expense of what God requires.

What does God require from us? He wants us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with him (Micah 6:8).

Act Justly

We often hear the word justice, but we don’t often hear of acting justly. What does justly mean?

Here are some ideas. To act justly we should:

  • be honorable and fair in how we deal with others,
  • behave morally (that is, righteous), and
  • do all things properly.

Does this sound a lot like Jesus? It’s what he taught and how he acted. Yet we often forget to behave this way in our own lives. Instead we get caught up chasing secondary pursuits and even focusing on goals that don’t matter in God’s perspective.

Love Mercy

Another thing God requires is that we love mercy. This goes beyond merely showing mercy to others but to fully embrace mercy. Often people show mercy but do so in the begrudging way. Their attitude is wrong. Though they show mercy, they don’t love it. In fact, they may hate it.

God wants us to love showing mercy to others. Isn’t that what he does for us? Shouldn’t we follow his example and do it for others?

Walk Humbly with God

Humility is a word we don’t hear very often anymore. In today’s culture, humility is no longer an esteemed characteristic. In truth most people look down on the humble and dismiss them. Instead society embraces the bold, egotistical, and controversial. However, in God’s kingdom, this is the wrong perspective.

God requires us to walk humbly with him. And when we walk humbly with him, the natural outgrowth is humility toward others.

If God expected his people to do this thousands of years ago, is there any reason he doesn’t expect it from us today? Click To Tweet

A Final Thought about What God Requires of Us

Though Micah directs these expectations of what God requires to the nation of Israel, these points are consistent with his character and more broadly applicable to us. Yet these fall short of a command for us to obey today.

Even so we are well advised to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. If God expected his people to do this thousands of years ago, is there any reason he doesn’t expect it from us today?

[Read through the Bible this year. Today’s reading is Micah 5-7, and today’s post is on Micah 6:8.]

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Obadiah Proclaims Justice

The book of Obadiah in the Bible contains a prophecy about the nation of Edom.

Among other things, Edom is criticized for their pride. The primary issue, however, is not what they did, but what they didn’t do. Theirs is not an act of commission, but of omission.

Specially, the gripe that God has for them is for violence afflicted on the nation of Judah. Not that Edom actually committed the violence, but that they merely stood by and watched as other nations did it.

For this they are destined to be “covered with shame” and “destroyed forever.” That is a harsh judgment for doing nothing. There is no forgiveness offered to Edom and no restoration recorded; just punishment.

This shows us God’s heart for us to act justly and his displeasure for those who stand idly by and not helping those in trouble.

When we see someone in need, someone being taken advantage of or being treated unfairly, do we take action to assist or stand aloof like Edom?

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Obadiah, and today’s post is on Obadiah 1:10-11.]

Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Avoiding the Rebellion of Korah

While the story of Cain killing his brother may be commonly known, the rebellion of Korah is quite obscure.

Korah was from the tribe of Levi; he and the other Levites were assigned God-given tasks to serve in the temple; they were set apart for this. However, they were not to serve as priests; that fell only to Aaron and his descendants.

Korah didn’t like these distinctions. He advocated that all people were holy, had God (the Holy Spirit) in them, and should be elevated to the level of priests. 

(Interestingly, these were something that Jesus would later proclaim and that his followers would embrace, but in Korah’s time this was not the case. There were distinctions and that’s how God wanted it at that time.)

Korah stirred up some followers, insisting on equal status for all. Then he and Moses had the equivalent of a modern-day smackdown. Moses won and was affirmed by God. Korah lost—big time. The ground beneath him opened up and he and his family fell in and died. God squashed the rebellion of Korah.

Today, we would hail Korah as a martyred reformer who pursued justice and equality, advocating that anyone can approach God.

Although Jesus would later usher in these changes, those were not the expectations God had put in place in Korah’s day. God had a different plan then, and, no matter how well intended, Korah opposed it. He will forever be associated with a failed uprising against God: the rebellion of Korah.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Numbers 16-18, and today’s post is on Numbers 16.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Isaiah Reveals 3 Things About God

The Lord Is Gracious, Compassionate, and Just

After Isaiah records the stinging words of God against his people, Isaiah adds a passage of comfort and reassurance. It starts with the word yet. He writes, “Yet the Lord longs . . .

Here are the three things that result from God’s longing for us, to offer us grace, compassion, and justice.

God is Gracious

God longs to be gracious to his people, to us.

On a general level, gracious means to offer kindness and courtesy. On a spiritual level being gracious is to offer mercy. Our gracious God is merciful. When God offers us mercy, it means we don’t get the punishment we deserve for the bad things we have done. We get a reprieve.

God is Compassionate

Coupled with mercy is compassion. Compassion is to offer sympathy to those who struggle, be aware of their suffering, and take steps to alleviate it. Our compassionate God is sympathetic to our situation. He’s aware of it, and desires to free us.

God is Just

As a just God, he is fair and righteous (does the right thing). When others treat us badly or unfairly, we want to receive justice. We want God to do the right thing, rescuing us and punishing our enemies. As a just God, he will do this for us.

God Balances Justice with His Gracious Mercy

However, this is where it gets a bit tricky, because we don’t want God to exact justice on us. We don’t want to receive the just punishment we deserve. Fortunately, this is where his mercy comes in. Mercy means not receiving the sentence we have justly earned because of our wrong actions. We want mercy, not judgement.

God longs to offer us grace, compassion, and justice. All we need to do to receive these blessings is to wait for him. Click To Tweet

God longs to offer us grace, compassion, and justice. All we need to do to receive these blessings is to wait for him.

If we’re patient, he’ll deliver.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Isaiah 28-31, and today’s post is on Isaiah 30:18.]

Read more about the book of Isaiah in For Unto Us: 40 Prophetic Insights About Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles from the Prophet Isaiah available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Bible Insights

Isaiah Issues a Call to Pursue Justice

Pursue Justice for the Oppressed, Widows, and Orphans

A short passage in the book of Isaiah warns against those who make unjust laws to deprive the marginalized of their rights. Isaiah targets the lawmakers. In doing so, he seeks to protect the oppressed, widows, and orphans. He calls us to pursue justice.

But this isn’t just a warning for legislators, it’s a passage for all of us.

Don’t Make Unjust Laws

At a first read, these two verses seem to only apply to those who make laws. This pertains to the politicians who enact laws and the bureaucracy that provides the details. This is a great place to start, but it doesn’t end there. This passage also has lessons for all of us.

Don’t Use Unjust Laws

Merely because there is a law, doesn’t mean it’s a good one. In fact, many laws are unfair; they’re unjust, favoring one group over another. Just because a law allows us to do something, doesn’t mean we should.

Sometimes to pursue justice means to not avail ourselves to a law that treats some people unfairly. Even though we may have a right to do something, the moral response is to not do it—even though the law says we can.

If we discover an unjust law, we should do what we can to overturn that law and replace it with a fair one. Click To Tweet

Pursue Justice by Opposing Unjust Laws

A final implication of this passage applies to all people. If we discover an unjust law, we should do what we can to overturn that law and replace it with a fair one. Or perhaps the best response is simply to seek to overturn that law.

Most people don’t fit into the group of lawmakers or the groups marginalized by unjust laws. Most of us don’t make the laws or suffer from them. If this is you, your job is to work to turn unjust laws into just ones. We must all pursue justice.

[Read through the Bible this year. Today’s reading is Isaiah 8-10, and today’s post is on Isaiah 10:1-2.]

Read more about the book of Isaiah in For Unto Us: 40 Prophetic Insights About Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles from the Prophet Isaiah available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Dear Theophilus, Isaiah

40 Prophetic Insights about Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles

Isaiah was an awesome prophet, but do you sometimes struggle to understand what he wrote?

End your frustration.

Read Dear Theophilus, Isaiah for accessible, practical, no-nonsense insights into God’s most prolific prophet. Then connect his words to our world today.

Dear Theophilus, Isaiah: 40 Prophetic Insights about Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles

Discover what Isaiah says about:

  • Peace—and about woe.
  • The critical importance of justice and the evil of injustice, both then and now.
  • The coming savior, Jesus, who will embrace all people of all nations.
  • Our future and the end times.
  • The amazing parallels between the books of Isaiah and Revelation.

Dear Theophilus, Isaiah is part devotional, part Bible study, and part commentary, but it’s fully an exploration of biblical spirituality for today’s followers of Jesus.

Did you know?:

  • Isaiah predicted the deportation of Judah and its repatriation 70 years later. (Both events happened just as he said.)
  • New Testament writers refer to Isaiah more than any other prophet (79 times).
  • Isaiah also includes some psalms and historical accounts.
  • Jesus read from the book of Isaiah in the synagogue. (It told us about Jesus!)
  • Later, a man from Ethiopia reads Isaiah and then gets baptized.

Get your copy of Dear Theophilus, Isaiah today, and start digging into this most amazing prophet whose words can still inspire and inform us today.

Note: Dear Theophilus, Isaiah has been updated and republished as For Unto Us: 40 Prophetic Insights About Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles from the Prophet Isaiah.

Get your copy today.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.