Life

Difficult to see

It is difficult to recognize pride as sin when it is held up on every side as a virtue, urged as profitable, and rewarded as an achievement. What is described in Scripture as the basic sin, the sin of taking things into your own hands, being your own god, grabbing what is there while you can get it, is now described as basic wisdom: improve yourself by whatever means you are able; get ahead regardless of the price; take care of me first. For a limited time it works. But at the end the devil has his due. There is damnation.

Commentary from A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Master Work Lessons Bible study, Fall 2020, by Eugene Peterson.

All that the world has to offer

The real person is the soul, who will live forever in heaven or hell. To have all that the world has to offer yet not have Christ is to be eternally bankrupt; all the world’s goods will not compensate for losing one’s soul eternally.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Mark 8:36,37.

Dead or Alive

Nonbelievers are so bound in the sphere of sin, the world (Eph. 2:12), the flesh (Rom. 8:8), and the devil (1 John 5:19) as to be unable to respond to spiritual stimuli; totally devoid of spiritual life. The spiritually dead have no ability to make themselves alive.

Only through a union with Jesus Christ can those hopelessly dead in their sins receive eternal life. Believer’s sins are all put to Christ’s account, nailed to His cross as He paid the penalty in their place, for them, thus satisfying the just wrath of God against crimes requiring punishment in full.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 2:13,14.

The God who can be known

Acts 17:23: for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an alter with this inscription:

Acts 17;23b

The Athenians were super-naturalists – they believed in supernatural powers that intervened in the course of natural laws.  They at least acknowledged the existence of someone beyond their ability to understand who had made all things.  Paul thus had the opportunity to introduce them to the Creator-God who could be known (Deut. 4:35; 1 Kin. 8:43; 1 Chr. 28:9; Ps. 9:10; Jer. 9:24; 24:7; 31:34; John 17:3).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Acts 17:23,24.