"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Powerful Interpretation

A Powerful Interpretation

I happened upon YouTube’s videos featuring Max McLean’s entertaining, interpretive readings of the gospel of Mark.
“Entertaining,” you say, “How can this be? Powerful and entertaining? This I gotta see!”
At least I hope you said, or thought, something to that effect. If you love Scripture these videos are a must. If you have any interest at all in the Bible they are worth while. Or if you are simply an appreciator of interpretive reading, I heartily recommend McLean’s presentations.
So? The link is right in front of you. How much can a YouTube click cost?

Monday, August 29, 2011

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Thunder in the Morning Calm
Zondervan (August 2, 2011)
Don Brown

One thing I can count on from life-and-death adventures is their predictability. Perhaps I should take comfort in experiencing few surprises in my reading, but I don't.
        Actually, predicting elements of a novel gives me a slight ego-boost to keep me going when the read becomes boring. THUNDER IN THE MORNING CALM rewarded me with some of that predictability, but I also found some surprises on my to a satisfying, good-guy-wins climax.
        Don Brown's story of Korean War aftermath presented some interesting characters, but they failed to grab my empathy at a deep, intimate level. As the characters dealt with typical Communist propaganda, I felt as though they were assailing me with typical Christian propaganda. While not encountering typical Sunday school-style conversions felt refreshing, all the brethren seemed to share a common, Evangelical Christian worldview. I mean, that happens to be my worldview, but God's church includes many other religious styles and traditions.
        And speaking of brethren, our progagonist met a passle of 'em, seemingly, every time he turned around. Yes, God is perfectly able to place as many of His people as He wants wherever He wants, but at a certain point in a story it just begins to seem unlikely.
        That said, please don't think this book is not worth reading. Nancy and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though some of the Korean names slowed me down a bit. If you want a competent action thriller from a strong Evangelical worldview, without all the sex and language that typically accompanies the genre, please consider Don Brown's THUNDER IN THE MORNING CALM.


DON BROWN, a former U.S. Navy JAG Officer, is the author of Zondervan’s riveting NAVY JUSTICE SERIES, a dynamic storyline chronicling the life and adventures of JAG officer ZACK BREWER. After TREASON, his first novel in the NAVY JUSTICE SERIES, was published to rave reviews in 2005, drawing comparisons to the writing style of John Grisham, Don Brown was named as co-chairman of national I LOVE TO WRITE DAY, an event recognized by the governors of nine states to promote writing throughout the nation, and especially among the nation’s schools.
        Paying no homage to political correctness, Don's writing style is described as “gripping,” casting an entertaining and educational spin on a wide-range of current issues, from radical Islamic infiltration of the military, to the explosive issue of gays in the military, to the modern day issues of presidential politics in the early 21st Century.
        Don graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1982, and after finishing law school, continued his post-graduate studies through the Naval War College, earning the Navy’s nonresident certificate in International Law.
        During his five years on active duty in the Navy, Don served in the Pentagon, was published in the Naval Law Review, and was also a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

Lieutenant Commander 'Gunner' McCormick is assigned as an intelligence officer to Carrier Strike Force 10, being deployed to the Yellow Sea at the invitation of South Korea for joint exercises with the US Navy. During his pre-deployment briefing, he discovers a TOP-SECRET MEMO revealing rumors that the North Koreans may still be holding a handful of elderly Americans from the Korean War in secret prison camps.
        As it happens, Gunner's grandfather, who was a young marine officer in the Korean War, disappeared at Chosin Reservoir over 60 years ago and is still listed as MIA in North Korea. Sworn to silence about what he has read, the top-secret memo eats at him. Gunner decides to spend all his inheritance and break every military regulation in the book to finance his own three-man commando squad on a suicide mission north of the DMZ to search for clues about the fate of his grandfather. Risking his career, his fortune, and his life, Gunner will get his answers, or he will die trying.
        Don Brown is building a loyal fan base by writing what he knows best: thrillers with heart. A former Navy JAG officer and action officer in the Pentagon, Brown pens action-packed plots and finely-drawn characters that are credible and compelling. Thunder in the Morning Calm is a novel of bravery, duty, and family love that will keep readers of all ages reading straight through to the last page.

        If you would like to read the first chapter of Thunder in the Morning Calm , go HERE

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Curious Consistency

A Curious Consistency

Okay, I’m weird. I see shadows where there aren’t any people. Literally. The visual phenomenon is related to my dyslexia; at times my eyes move involuntarily, causing me to see stuff move when it’s not. When I was a kid lying in bed I’d watch the walls moving in on me, even though I knew solid walls don’t do that. Some might label me delusional—especially when I disagree with them on one of their pet issues.

There are times, however, when my screwy perspective picks up on curious consistencies or connections that may not be obvious to some. And at other times I remain oblivious to the most obvious things; just ask my wife Nancy.
This evening I stepped over to my trusty computer, opened Netflix, and began watching The Dead Zone, a USA Network suspense series based on a story and characters created by Stephen King. One of the characters, a Reverend Gene Purdy played by a sinister- looking middle-aged actor named David Stiers, is a high-profile pastor and Bible college mogul who rides around in a white, stretch limo. Reverend Purdy’s motives seem pure as the driven snow as he provides for protagonist John Smith from John’s mother’s estate that was willed to Purdy’s ministries, but we know different.
“How,” you may wonder, “does this TV series tie in with dyslexia?”
“Indirectly at best,” would be my short answer.  But I don’t intend to bless you with keeping the answer short.
As a Baby-Boomer, my constant companion and favorite baby sitter was the one-eyed monster, so I’ve spent way too much time watching TV and movies through the years. In Hollywood’s early years, producers treated men of the cloth with a certain deference. Remember Boys’ Town’s Father Flanagan? More recently, however, clergy-characters are consistently portrayed as wild-eyed idealogues, money-loving charlatans, filthy perverts, or crass capitalists.
My biggest problem with such portrayals isn’t simply the that they exist, but the fact that Christendom seems to have willingly cooperated in earning that seedy reputation. Religious folks, and particularly clergymen, all too often maintain a religious-sounding, holier-than-thou spiel while their private lives are just the opposite. We Christ-followers flippantly excuse our immorality with phrases such as, “Christians are sinners too, but we’re forgiven.”
Poppycock! God’s grace doesn’t work that way. In fact, using His grace as an excuse for sin caused the Apostle Paul to throw a fit(my rough analysis of Romans chapter six). Here are his words: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:1-4 ESV)
So, why does today’s unchurched world buy into all the media mud consistently slung at God’s church? Because it has eyes that see our pontifical posturing, noses that sniff out our judgmental attitudes, and ears that pick up our hypocrisy. That highly refined B.S. detector functions so well because most of them are just as hypocritical as church-goers, the difference being that non-religious folks make no claim of preferential treatment by God. Instead, they hope God grades on a curve, so that only worse sinners will go to “The Other Place” when they kick. But tragically, God’s word doesn’t back up that false hope.
How will God reach them with His redemptive love when so many associated with His church consistently deny His power, truth and love by our actions? Tragically, most of us won’t participate in that glorious work, as we are in fact working against Him. By allowing ourselves the luxury of treating others hatefully, and practicing ungodly attitudes while professing faith in God, we have committed the fabled, unforgivable sin mentioned in Scripture. What a shock we’ll experience when we religious blasphemers find ourselves in line with those we condemned, awaiting entry to The Other Place, weeping and grinding our teeth in despair at the curious consistency of our suffering.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thomas Nelson's efforts toward improving their Christian fiction selection encourages me. For too long the secular world has characterized Christian fiction as warmed-over, Sunday school-style salvation pitches. Opening the "Suggestion Box" and seriously considering all input is a strong beginning in their journey toward producing Christian fiction that is truly relevant to the needs of today's hurting populace. I hope you will participate in their survey as I intend to do. Thanks.

From Thomas Nelson:
One of the highlights of our days in the Fiction department at Thomas Nelson? Receiving reader letters—either directly addressed to us or passed along from our talented authors. It’s critical to be reminded that at the end of our long days acquiring, editing, designing, selling, marketing, and publicizing books, those stories are reaching readers, striking nerves, changing lives. We want readers’ feedback. How stories have given you hope. Which authors’ series you can’t help from sharing with everyone you meet. We want to know what makes you stay up late in the night to finish a story, and conversely what turns you away.
        We’re conducting a series of surveys—seeking answers from readers who love Christian fiction. Up for grabs is a free ebook for every respondent who completes the survery, as well as a $10,000 prize for one entrant. The responses we gather will help shape the future of the books we publish for years to come. As well as the data we’re collecting here, we’ll also seek more in-depth feedback from a panel we’ll develop over the next year. More details to come. The note below from one of authors gives a specific picture of how reader feedback shapes her work. In short, your opinion matters! We thank you for your time and appreciate your responding.

--Thomas Nelson Fiction

Dear Friends--
Your opinion matters. It really does. I love hearing from readers about what worked for them in a story and about what doesn’t work. Reader feedback changed the balance between romance and suspense in my novels. After the Rock Harbor trilogy, I wanted to write more suspense in my novels because that’s what I personally like. But readers really wanted more relationship and romance in the books so I moved back that direction to about the same mix of 50/50 that the Rock Harbor novels contained. I write for you even more than for myself.
        I had no intention of setting a whole series of books at Bluebird, Texas. It was going to be only one book, but readers sent me requests in droves for more books. The fourth book in the Lonestar series, Lonestar Angel, will be out in October. The Rock Harbor novels were going to be complete at three. There are now five and I’m thinking about another one! All due to reader demand.
        I’ve often asked for reader input on names and locations too. When I was struggling for a name for my hero in The Lightkeeper’s Ball, I turned to my readers. Harrison really fit my character, and my readers told me. Love that! When I was trying to decide on a location for the new Hope Beach series I’ve started, I asked readers. Their overwhelming response was for a series set in the Outer Banks so guess what I’m writing?!
        That’s why we’re coming to you for answers. We want to give you what you really want! Don’t be afraid to let us know what you really think. We value your honesty and the time it will take to share with us. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

Your friend,
Colleen Coble

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How To Become Spiritual Zombies

The Call To Holiness
How To become Spiritual Zombies

            My Daily Manna sent me to Matthew 5:43-48, where I found ideas I had to investigate. So I consulted Matthew Henry's Commentary, but while he expounded on those verses' wisdom, he apparently failed to explore the subleties of meaning hidden in the original Greek text. Often I wonder what Truth I miss by not being fluent in Koine Greek.
            Jesus' Sermon On The Mount asserts a standard of righteousness that seems perfectly foreign, even to Christ-followers. If, however, we are to emulate Christ's holiness as He directed, we shall conform to His standard.
            Jesus' strategy in preaching this impossible standard was the same as in issuing the Old Covenant Law: He expected that when we realize the impossibility of obeying Him in our own strength, those of us He calls to holiness must necessarily crave His Holy Spirit's presence and strength in our lives, and crave that above any carnal gratification.
          And if you think He called us to follow Him without calling us to crave a holy life, think again. His apostle penned, "it is written, 'you shall be holy for I am holy'" Since he bothered to include that bit of God's word in his letter—keeping in mind how hard it was to send correspondence back then—we are safe in inferring it is a command, and not speaking of Christ's imputed holiness. Can we be holy in His sight without craving Christlike holiness in our lives? Are babies born hungry for mom's milk? And if baby refuses to eat we know something is seriously wrong, and will die if we fail to feed her.
          Did God call us to that kind of spiritual living death? Are we to become spiritual zombies, physically alive but spiritually oblivious? Only if we wish to become God's enemies.
          The play-acting is over. Step up to live in God's holiness, as He intends.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Most Unsuitable Match
Bethany House; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
Stephanie Grace Whitson

When I began reading A Most Unsuitable Match to my wife Nancy, I almost quit after one chapter. This blogger isn't fond of stuffy, society novels. But Nancy encouraged me to keep reading and I will be eternally grateful she did.
        Besides the fun we had reading it together, Stephanie Whitson's coming-of-age novel of pioneer days romance struck a chord deep within my spirit. Miss Fannie Rousseau headed north on the "Misery River" to Montana Territory in search of her only remaining family, Aunt Edie. Blond and beautiful, young Miss Rousseau finds herself completely unprepared for the physical, personal, and spiritual journey she has undertaken. That journey provides the most satisfaction this reader has experienced in a long while.
        Please, get this wonderful book and read it slowly, thoughtfully and prayerfully. It might just give you a wonderful gift in return.


A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four homeschooled children Nebraska history, she was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year.

Her first nonfiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. In addition to serving in her local church and keeping up with two married children, two college students, and a high school senior, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her family and church friends. Her passionate interests in pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture provide endless story-telling possibilities.


An unlikely attraction occurs between two passengers on a steamboat journey up the Missouri River to Montana...

She is a self-centered young woman from a privileged family who fears the outdoors and avoids anything rustic. He is a preacher living under a sense of duty and obligation to love the unlovable people in the world. She isn't letting anything deter her from solving a family mystery that surfaced after her mother's death. He is on a mission to reach the rejects of society in the remote wilderness regions of Montana. Miss Fannie Rousseau and Reverend Samuel Beck are opposites in every way... except in how they both keep wondering if their paths will ever cross again.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Most Unsuitable Match, go HERE.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A River to Cross
Bethany House; Original edition (August 1, 2011)

Yvonne Harris

Yvonne Harris contributed an entertaining, humorous and suspenseful work to the western romance genre with A River To Cross. Her free-flowing voice and fascinating characters drew us so effortlessly through the book that we hated to see it end. Thanks, Yvonne, for a captivating and memorable reading experience.


Yvonne Harris earned a BS in Education from the University of Hartford and has taught throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. Unofficially retired from teaching, she teaches writing at Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, where she resides. She is a winner and three-time finalist for the Golden Heart, once for The Vigilante's Bride, which was her debut novel.


Texas Ranger Jake Nelson patrols the U.S.-Mexico border, protecting the settlers from cattle rustlers, outlaws, and bandits. Sparks fly when Manuel Diego stirs up a revolt against the government, which leads to the murder of a newspaperman, who is the son of a U.S. senator, and the kidnapping of his sister, Elizabeth Madison, a journalist in the making.

With Elizabeth's photograph in hand--a dark-haired beauty with smiling eyes--Jake rides over the border to find her. After the Rangers defeat the marauders and rescue Elizabeth, Jake is surprised to learn she's not the spoiled daughter of a senator that he was expecting. In fact, he finds himself taken by her. And she by him.

But the Mexicans won't give up that easily, as Elizabeth becomes the target of an all-out hunt. Leaving Elizabeth back at Fort Williams, Jake and his men set off again, this time to go after Diego himself--to apprehend him and his renegades and bring them all to justice.

Meanwhile, Jake knows what's begun between him and Elizabeth is undeniable. Amid all the turmoil, Jake finally admits how much he loves her. She tells him the same. Until now, they've lived in different worlds, yet it is those differences that drew them together.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A River to Cross, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

GOD’S CIVIL DEFENSE--A study of Romans chapter twelve

What brain trust came up with the term “Civil Defense” for hiding in a bunker waiting for a bomb scare to expire — or waiting to die, which ever comes first? I suppose one could consider it a defensive action, but there’s nothing really “Civil” about rushing around helter-skelter, looking for a place to preserve ones miserable life from atomic fallout.
For a better example of civil defense consult the Bible’s New Testament, Romans chapter twelve. It teaches us to defend ourselves from sin while behaving civilly toward our brethren.
One might well ask, “Oughtn't we to love our brethren, making attempts at civil behavior unnecessary?”
One might well answer, “Ya think?”

Verse 1
The chapter begins by exhorting us to do something that might seem uncivilized; we must offer ourselves to God as “living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God.” Is the Bible telling us to willingly lean over a blood-receiver and have our throats cut?
Hardly! God wants to put us to use, not to death. But what if offering ourselves to God freely and completely did require giving our lives for His purposes? The faithful believer’s answer would be, “Yes, Lord.”
All this grisly conjecture depends upon understanding and obeying the second half of the above verse: For our sacrifice to be worth more than a tinker’s dam, our lives must be characterized by holiness(living separated from the world’s corruption). This, however, is not simply the imputed holiness of a life given to the Lord. Yes, such freely given and freely received holiness allows us fellowship with God, but through His Holy Spirit’s empowering we must also live our holiness.
Some easy-belief proponents will shake their heads at the idea that we must live holy lives. They point to the many New Testament passages that clearly state our salvation is God’s free gift1. And of course that is true. However, He gave us in His New Testament some balancing passages that do not negate those already mentioned, but complete the truth they declare2. In some way we humans cannot fully understand, God not only shares His holiness freely with believers, but also requires that we live conspicuously free of the world’s corruption.
This difficult truth is nothing more than the law of cause-and-effect. One Scripture verse that simply presents such a truth is: We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 ESV) Cause: He first loved us. Effect: We love. Many other Bible passages present God’s truth in such a way, but not in such a brief form.

Verse 2:
A simple command, really. “Do not be conformed to this world, …” Obviously, easier said than done.
The next phrase hints at how we might obey this command: “... but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, …”
Why? “... that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Testing means we will have options, probably multiple choice.
In school we all loved(or hated less) tests with multiple choice questions; if we studied at all, one of the answers looked better than the rest. God gives us options as well, usually not simply good versus bad, but good versus better versus best. And often the best isn’t at all obvious. We pick one, and either suffer the consequences or enjoy the reward. That’s called learning, not simply memorizing the correct answer, but learning by experience what works and what doesn’t.

Verse 3:
Conceit is God’s enemy, therefore it is our enemy. It is one of the most effective soldiers in Satan’s accursed army.
This verse begins with the conjunction for, linking it to the previous verse with cause. For conceit, pride, arrogance and their whole unseemly family, is the stuff that makes this world system, and most regrettably, many of our brethren, corrupt.
This passage’s apostolic author gave us the Holy Spirit prescription for the disease: We are not to think more highly of ourselves than we, by faith, aught to think. And by that God-given faith we must moderate our self-thought with sound judgment consistent with God’s grace.
Does that mean we must perpetually bow low, beating our chests with mea-culpas, personally accepting responsibility for the world’s ills? If such self-flagellation were scriptural, yes indeed, but it is not. In the same letter to the Romans, the author gave us one of the most liberating statements in Scripture: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2 ESV)
Born and raised in a Catholic family, I bought the teaching of temporary remission of sin through the Sacraments, and the perpetual guilt that accompanied it. When I first accepted Yeshua’s work and presence in my life that guilt was amplified many times over, as I more fully appreciated the magnitude of His sacrificial gift. But I was defenseless against the enemy’s guilt trips because I was as yet ignorant of God’s teachings.
Then, when I found Romans 8:1-2 and drank it into my mind and heart, I understood that in some supernatural, miraculous way, my Savior took all my guilt upon Himself at the cross. Though I can never understand His infinite love for me, I can joyfully accept it. And knowing that boundless love makes me love all those who walk this world with me, friend and foe alike.
For that reason I am able to view myself through faith in God’s grace, not as a super-human, but as a super-forgiven human. And by the same grace I am able to willingly accept any role God has for me in His church, from cleaning the bathrooms to offering the benediction.

Verse 4:
Face it, a few of our beloved brethren get a huge charge out of holding some lofty position in the church’s ministry. They seek high position with the same vigilance that consumes politicians running for office. And woe be the committee member who votes against them. Somehow, such self-important brethren have lost sight of God’s design for His church; that design being compared in Scripture to a healthy human body, with each member performing his or her function according to their unique gifting.
Verse five continues the thought by explaining that every part of the body, God’s church, is significant, and members with every other part. If one part is weak or diseased the entire body functions below par. Can there be any wonder how so much of today’s church is plagued with impotence?

Verse 6:
“Body Life” is a Christinese term that’s been bandied about for many years, and means the daily dynamics of relationships, ministries, and gifts acting within the church. Here again, we see faith prominently mentioned in the midst of a passage about exercising our spiritual gifts within the local body life. The apostle emphasizes the role of grace in God’s assignment of spiritual gifts; the converse being the idea that individual believers presume upon His grace when we proactively select our own roles within the church. Though job preferences are natural to our fleshly self-interest, we must allow God to decide what work we actually do within the church. That takes faith.
Verse six begins the listing of spiritual gifts with prophesy, a touchy subject in today’s church. Touchy, not because the apostle treated it as controversial, but because today’s church denominations can’t seem to agree on the current role of prophesy. The extremes range from the belief that prophesy was sealed with the Scriptural canon’s completion, to the belief that any “Spirit-filled” believer can declare any vague impression as being from God.
The problem with exercising faith is the church has turned it into such a subjective quality. We might say we believe the Bible, but fail to implement its principles and promises in our daily lives. Our faith must produce the “rubber meets the road” level of trust when all else has failed.
The object of our faith must be worthy of our faith, and we must understand that object’s true nature for our faith to be well-placed and valid. If I were to have faith that a helium-filled toy balloon would support my weight, then jumped off a cliff while holding it, I would likely become badly disillusioned … and injured … when I completed my descent. And performing such a feat because “God told” me to do it” would not soften the impact.

Verses 7&8:
Seems obvious that if our gift is service, we should use it in our serving. But if it was all that obvious, would God have instructed us specifically to do it that way? There must either be a kind of serving that doesn’t rely on the spiritual gift of service, or there is more to service than meets the eye.
It’s safe to say that when we engage in any kind of ministry it must be genuine and Holy Spirit motivated. So, why would anyone go to all the work of ministering if his motives weren’t pure? For the same reason anyone does anything from ulterior motives; they seek some sort of payback.
Again, we refer back to verse 6: “And having gifts, different according to the grace that was given to us,” and apply it to each of the gifts listed in this passage. If that grace was for serving, our serving will be genuine. If it was for teaching, our teaching will also be genuine, etc.
Verse 8 deviates from that pattern somewhat: “he who is sharing--`In simplicity!' he who is leading--`In diligence?' he who is doing kindness--`In cheerfulness.'” Here we see the moral character that we must exhibit when exercising the particular gifts. Exercising all these spiritual gifts depends upon a common principle: consistency with God’s character.

Verse 9 on
The rest of the chapter develops, completes and applies the common principle at work in exercising the spiritual gifts and interacting with one another within the church. Each verse is golden as God’s word builds an understandable view of God’s character that we will emulate out of love for Him. To try and fail is to prove God’s grace. To fail to try is to prove we are not His.

Please keep in mind that any passage excerpted from God’s word conveys only part of God’s revealed truth. Do not fall into the enemy’s trap of seeking to prove specific teachings with a few Bible passages taken out of their full Biblical context.

1: Partial list of Scripture verses asserting that our salvation is the free gift of God.

John 3:13-17 ESV
(13)  No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
(14)  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
(15)  that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
(16)  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
(17)  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 5:24 ESV
(24)  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 10:9-11 ESV
(9)  I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
(10)  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
(11)  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 11:25-26 ESV
(25)  Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
(26)  and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

John 6:51-58 ESV
(51)  I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
(52)  The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
(53)  So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
(54)  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
(55)  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
(56)  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
(57)  As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.
(58)  This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever."

Romans 3:19-24 ESV
(19)  Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
(20)  For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
(21)  But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it--
(22)  the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
(23)  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 ESV
(18)  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
(19)  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
(20)  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
(21)  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
(8)  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
(9)  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Galatians 2:15-16 ESV
(15)  We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;
(16)  yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

(24)  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

1 John 5:10-12 ESV
(10)  Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.
(11)  And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
(12)  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

2: Partial list of Scripture verses showing God’s requirement that believers live separated from the world’s corruption.

Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
(14)  "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
(15)  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
(16)  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV
(1)  Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Galatians 5:16-26 ESV
(16)  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
(17)  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
(18)  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
(19)  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
(20)  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
(21)  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(22)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
(23)  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
(24)  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
(25)  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
(26)  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV
(8)  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
(9)  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
(10)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 4:17-24 ESV
(17)  Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
(18)  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
(19)  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
(20)  But that is not the way you learned Christ!--
(21)  assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,
(22)  to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
(23)  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
(24)  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Philippians 3:14-15 ESV
(14)  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(15)  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

Hebrews 12:8-10 ESV
(8)  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
(9)  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
(10)  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV
(14)  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
(15)  but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
(16)  since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

1 John 3:2-11 ESV
(2)  Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
(3)  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
(4)  Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
(5)  You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
(6)  No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
(7)  Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.
(8)  Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
(9)  No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
(10)  By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
(11)  For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.