Monochrome

Who is my neighbor?

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This reveals the man’s self-righteous character.  The prevailing opinion among scribes and Pharisees was that one’s neighbors were the righteous alone.  According to them, the wicked-including rank sinners (such as tax collectors and prostitutes), Gentiles, and especially Samaritans-were to be hated because they were the enemies of God.  They cited Psalm 139:21,22 to justify their position.  As that passage suggests, hatred of evil is the natural corollary of loving righteousness.  But the truly righteous person’s “hatred” for sinners is not a malevolent enmity.  It is a righteous abhorrence of all that is base and corrupt-not a spiteful, personal loathing of individuals.  Godly hatred is marked by broken-hearted grieving over the condition of the sinner.  And Jesus taught here and elsewhere (Luke 6:27-36; Matthew 5:44-48), it is also tempered by a genuine love.  The Pharisees had elevated hostility toward the wicked to the status of a virtue, in effect nullifying the second Great Commandment.  Jesus’ answer to this lawyer demolished the pharisaical excuse for hating one’s enemies.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 10:29.

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Obedience to the Truth

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Scripture should permeate every aspect of the believer’s life and control every thought, word, and deed (Psalm 119:11; Matthew 13:9; Philippians 2:16; 2 Timothy 2:15).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 3:16.

Taken for a Ride

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Here is the term for robbery.  False teachers who are successful in getting people to believe lies, rob them of truth, salvation, and blessing.  Far from being advanced, profound knowledge, the false teachers’ beliefs were simplistic and immature like all of the rest of the speculations, ideologies, philosophies, and psychologies the fallen satanic and human system invents.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 2:8.

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.

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.

Pray!

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This places no limits on a believer’s prayers, as long as they are according to God’s will and purpose.  This therefore means that man’s faith and prayer are not inconsistent with God’s sovereignty.  And it is not the believer’s responsibility to figure out how that can be true, but simply to be faithful and obedient to the clear teaching on prayer, as Jesus gives it in this passage.  God’s will is being unfolded through all of redemptive history, by means of the prayers of His people-as His saving purpose is coming to pass through the faith of those who hear the gospel and repent.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Mark 11:24.

Our Conscience

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Conscience-the soul’s warning system, which allows human beings to contemplate their motives and actions and make moral evaluations of what is right and wrong.  In order to work as God designed it, the conscience must be informed to the highest moral and spiritual level and best standard, which means submitting it to the Holy Spirit through God’s Word (Romans 12:1,2; 1 Timothy 1:19; 2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 9:14; 10:22).  

 

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 2 Corinthians 1:12.