Life

What is in man

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Prior verses, 23 and 24, subtly reveal the true nature of belief from a biblical standpoint.  Because of what observers knew of Jesus from His miraculous signs, many came to believe in Him.  However, Jesus made it His habit not to wholeheartedly “entrust” or “commit” Himself to them because He knew their hearts.  Verse 24 indicates that Jesus looked for genuine conversion rather than enthusiasm for the spectacular.  “Belief into His name” involves much more than intellectual assent.  It calls for whole-hearted commitment of one’s life to Jesus.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for John 2:23,24.

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Be Anxious for Nothing

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Fret and worry indicate a lack of trust in God’s wisdom, sovereignty, or power.  Delighting in the Lord and meditating on His Word are a great antidote to anxiety (Psalm 1:2).  

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Philippians 4:6.

The Greater Act

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Adam’s sin brought universal death – exactly opposite the result he expected and Satan had promised:  “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5).  Christ’s sacrifice brought salvation to those who believe.  Unlike Adam’s act, Christ’s act has – and will – accomplish exactly what He intended, spiritual life.  Christ’s one act of redemption was immeasurably greater than Adam’s one act of condemnation.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Romans 5:15, 17.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

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The wind blows where it wishes,

and you hear the sound of it,

but cannot tell where it comes from

and where it goes.

John 3:8

Jesus’ point was that just as the wind cannot be controlled or understood by human beings but its effects can be witnessed, so also it is with the Holy Spirit.  He cannot be controlled or understood, but the proof of His work is apparent.  Where the Spirit works, there is undeniable and unmistakable evidence.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for John 3:8.

Externals of Religion

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Jesus’ reply emphasized the spiritual bankruptcy of the nation (Israel) at that time, since even one of the greatest Jewish teachers did not recognize this teaching in the prior verses on spiritual cleansing and transformation, based clearly on the Old Testament.  The net effect is to show that externals of religion may have a deadening effect on one’s spiritual perception.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for John 3:10.

The Necessity of Forgiveness

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And whenever you stand praying,

if you have anything against anyone, forgive him,

that your Father in heaven may also

forgive you your trespasses.

But if you do not forgive,

neither will your Father in heaven

forgive your trespasses.

Mark 11:25-26

“Anything against anyone”- An all-inclusive statement that includes both sins and simple dislikes, which cause the believer to hold something against another person.  “Anyone” incorporates believers and unbelievers.  

“Forgive”- Jesus states the believer’s ongoing duty to have a forgiving attitude.  Successful prayer requires forgiveness as well as faith.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Mark 11:25.

Imagine.

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The Spirit of God begins to prepare for the great reality that God will have a sanctuary in the midst of His people and will dwell with them.  God promised to dwell with man on earth  (Ezekiel 47:1-12).  This has been God’s desire in all epochs: 1) before Moses (Genesis 17:7,8); 2) in the Mosaic era (Leviticus 26:11-13); 3) in the church era (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19); 4) in the Millennium (Ezekiel 37:26-28); and 5) in eternity future (Revelation 21:3).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Ezekiel 37:26.