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Introduction

I suggest that every believer ought to be a part of a small Bible reading group.  Our group reads one or two chapters a day from the New Testament and exchanges emails with our takeaways.  Two tangible benefits flow from participation in our group. First, we engage the Bible in community.  Second, we share some of the events going on in our lives. 

So that I retain a record of my reading, I use a Bible that allows me to take notes.  The specific New Testament is the Journaling New Testament Inductive Edition by Crossway.  The translation is the English Standard Version. 

Matthew 3-4

During my reading of Matthew 3-4, one takeaway was the call to repent found in Matthew 3:2, 8; 4:17 (ESV):

2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”… 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. … 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The ESV translates the Greek verb metanoeō as “repent.” The Logos 9 sense of the verb is:

Sense: to reconsider (repent) – to have a change of self (heart and mind) that abandons former dispositions and results in a new self, new behavior, and regret over former behavior and dispositions.

Another interesting point is that repentance is a component of the irreducible minimum of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus, although sanctification is a process, a believer will display the fruit of genuine repentance.

Also, it is interesting that John the Baptist pointed out the two kinds of people, i.e., saved people and lost people, when he said at Matthew 3:10, 12 (ESV):

10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. …  12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, your eternal destination is hell unless God intervenes.  But, your destiny can change. 

Today can be the day of your salvation!  Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved.  You can also go to another article at my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/10/20/there-is-hope-even-when-there-seems-to-be-no-hope-2/ ). 

Please send me any comments to steve@stevebelsheim.com or use the comments feature of the blog.

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Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  The quotations from news sources are fair use.

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