Matthew 10:9-20 by Robert Dean
"Bah Bah Bah". We are all like little sheep who have lost our way. Listen to this lesson to learn about Jesus' compassion for the Jewish people, the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Learn how He sent out His twelve disciples to teach them and find out why He told the disciples not to go to the Samaritans. Master five questions to ask when interpreting Scripture which explain some seeming contradictions. See that we are to be free from cares and anxieties and thoughtful in our response to those who attack us for what we believe.

God's Training Program Includes Adversity
Matthew 10:9-20
Matthew Lesson #058
November 23, 2014

This is a period early in the ministry of Christ when He has made two cycles of His ministry in Galilee. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which is in Judea, and raised in Nazareth a very small town, probably no more than a hundred and fifty or so people. And then when He began His public ministry He moved to Capernaum on the northwest shore or the Sea of Galilee. There He conducted His ministry.

It is important when we put together the chronology of the life of Christ to understand that the Gospels are not necessarily written in chronological order. There are things that happen in Jesus' ministry where He teaches the same thing and says the same thing in multiple locations. So we have to be careful how we put things together in terms of the Scripture. We are looking at this in terms of Matthew's structure and at this stage he is showing the buildup of Christ's ministry in the north, and all that He did in the north in His ministry to those in Galilee.

When we come to chapter ten it is in the context of the fact that Jesus, as Matthew has presented this, has already had at least two tours in Galilee where He has been ministering to people, healing the sick, casting out demons, healing lepers and the blind, and now He is going to send out His disciples. The point to remember here in the order that Matthew is presenting it is that Jesus has already had two tours in Galilee. Now He sends the disciples out.

We saw that at the end of chapter nine He looked upon the multitudes and had compassion on them because they were weary and scattered like sheep having no shepherd. In that context Jesus is going to send replacement shepherds. These are the disciples. We have seen that Jesus is commissioning these disciples to a particular task, and we ought to ask some questions here as to what exactly is going on at this stage in Jesus' ministry. Why does He restrict them to just the house of Israel and prohibit them from going to either the Gentiles and from entering any of the cities of the Samaritans?

The reason for this goes back to an understanding of the Old Testament. The Old Testament is structured around four eternal unconditional covenants. The foundational covenant was made by God with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 and the promise is that God is going to make a new people from Abraham. He is going to bless them, bless his descendants, and He is going to bring judgment upon those who treat them lightly. He promises three things basically. He promises them land. A nation needs to have a piece of real estate in order to establish a nation, and so He describes the borders—from the river of Egypt to the River Euphrates and across to the Mediterranean. That land promises was expanded in Deuteronomy chapter 29 and we call it the land covenant, the real estate covenant. It is an unconditional covenant that this land is going to be eventually given permanently to Israel, but in order to experience the blessing they have to be in right relationship with God.

A second covenant that is built on the Abrahamic covenant is the Davidic covenant, the covenant that God gave to David. This relates to the second provision in the Abrahamic covenant, and that is a seed. God promised to Abraham a seed or descendants that would be more numerous than the sand of the sea floor or the stars in the sky—a metaphor used to emphasize the vast numbers that would come from him and be those to whom God would provide blessing. These seed, though, is also used to refer more specifically to the line that came from king David that culminates in the Messiah. The Davidic covenant singled out David who would be the progenitor of the Messiah—eventually the Messiah would come from the royal line of David. This is exactly what took place. Jesus' lineage can be traced through His mother to David. The mission of Jesus as the son of David is to come to offer the kingdom to Israel. And so His message at this early stage in His ministry must be understood in terms of that messianic ministry. It was a ministry that was focused upon the fulfillment of the promises and the covenants to the Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and not to the Gentiles.

It was the Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who were responsible to accept the kingdom and to conform to God's spiritual standards so that the kingdom would come in. This was the message of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus: "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". It was at their doorstep if they would conform to God's principles. This was the message of Jesus, which He proclaimed when He went on tours through Galilee, and it is the message He will descend the disciples with when they go out on their tours. To understand this we have to understand that He is fulfilling His mission as the Jewish Messiah, which is why He is sending them only to the house of Israel at this point.

Jesus commanded them. This is the word PARANGELLO, which means to charge them with a task. It is a very significant word, a word that often is translated command, sometimes charge, sometimes to order; but is has that essential meaning of binding a person to a specific task or mission. Jesus used it to tell a healed leper not to go and tell people but to go to the Levites for cleansing first. He used it to command an evil spirit in Matthew 8:29; to charge Jairus and his wife in terms of the healing of their daughter in Matthew 8:56; and in Matthew 9:21 He gives a mission to His disciples. So the word indicates a sense of command.

Their mission was not the mission for every believer at that stage, or for every believer in history. We have to understand that, because the mission was going to change for them. Jesus has given them instructions as to the course of action they should take in the coming weeks, and they are not to even enter [EISERCHOMAI = not to enter, not to go inside] a city of the Samaritans and were to stay completely away from the Gentiles. It sounds very harsh but it has to do with the mission that they are involved in at this particular time.

In Matthew 10:7 He gives them the message that they are going to take, which is the kingdom of heaven being at hand. It is a very similar structure in the command to what we find in the great commission for believers. The disciples were given a mission; we are given a mission. Our mission is given at the end of Matthew (Matthew 28:19, 20). We are to go and teach everything that Jesus commanded. And so it is the same kind of structure. The difference is that here it is a present participle—as you go, because it is talking about their present mission; then they are to preach, again a present active imperative, indicating that this is what they are to continuously be doing at this point in time. It is interesting that in Matthew 28:19, 20 there is the similar verb to go, POREUOMAI, but the verb there is followed by the commands to baptize and to teach and both the participle and the verbs are in the aorist tense. That may not mean a whole lot to people; it is a fine point, and the fine point difference is that by using an aorist tense Jesus is emphasizing the priority of the mission—not that it should just continuously characterize them but they should be their highest priority.

In Matthew 28:19, 20 we have the Great Commission, which defines the mission for every believer for every believer down through the centuries. That is our mission. In some way or other every one of us fits into that mission because it is our responsibility to be involved in evangelism. In the New Testament evangelism would culminate under ordinary circumstances with somebody trusting in Christ and then going through water baptism, which was a picture of their positional identification with Christ, entering into new life where they recognize they are no longer slaves to the sin nature; they had been identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.

The disciples were given a mission. Our mission is a very different mission. This mission was narrow in its focus in relation to the fulfillment of the covenants and message to Israel, whereas our mission is broader because we are to take the gospel into the whole world. The emphasis here is on this immediacy and the urgency of their particular message.

Now we see the ministry that they were to be involved in described in verse 8. They were to heal the sick, cleanse lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons; and Jesus said: "Freely have you received, freely give". This is an emphasis on grace. They were to understand grace. They were not to be dependent upon the people, asking them for money; they were not to let that be associated with their ministry at all. This is important to understand. This was a targeted instruction for this particular mission. Jesus is not giving universal mandates here for how every ministry should be conducted for all times.

Grace, of course, should be applied in ministry at all times. We know that from other passages, but not from this passage. One of the key things in understanding this particular section has to do with understanding the basic principles of hermeneutics. We have to understand how to interpret Scripture. The best way to do that is to ask the basic questions: who, when, where, and why? Who is speaking, and to whom are they speaking? When we ask what, we need to understand what the message is. What is the message? And why is this message being given to those particular people?

Many times when Jesus gives instructions to His disciples (e.g. Matthew 28:19, 20) it not only has implications for their specific ministry, but He is speaking through them to the whole church. In other passages Jesus is simply giving instruction to the apostles in terms of their particular authoritative mission, and it has no application whatsoever to anyone other than the immediate apostles. So when we come to a passage like this we have to address the question: is Jesus addressing the apostles alone, or is He giving instructions through them to all of us. Is it the responsibility of church age believers to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and raise the dead? Absolutely not! It is not part of the mission of the church. We can't just take this verse out of context; we have to understand it even in terms of the next couple of verses.

Matt 10:9, 10 NASB "Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for {your} journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support."

In other words, if you are going out on a mission to teach the Word, don't take any money with you. That would not be realistic today, and it wasn't realistic by the end of Jesus' ministry for people not to make provision for their travel. They weren't to take an extra set of sandals, an extra staff; they were to go in dependence upon the Lord.

There are a couple of things we need to understand in terms of the debate that goes on in understanding this particular passage. It is really odd how people will go and read their views, their opinions, their theologies or whatever into so many different passages of Scripture. What we have to learn to do is read in terms of the author's intent and not impose our thoughts, our ideas or our agenda on the author. In this passage we have to recognize that there are two other passages that seem to convey very similar material. There is our passage here in Matthew 10:1-26. There is a parallel passage in Luke chapter ten, and then a seemingly parallel passage in Luke 22:35-37.

Looking at the debate we have to recognize that there are some folks who just reject the idea completely that the Bible has anything to do with objective truth or with God, that it wasn't written by God or influenced by God, it is not inspired by God and it has no internal authority; it is just a collection of writings by people inventing their own religious take on the messianic teaching of the Bible. We call people like that liberals, in terms of their theology, because they have rejected the historical conservative view of the Scripture as the divinely inspired Word of God. There is a moderate group in the middle called moderate evangelicals. They, too, have problems with the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture. The first group looks at these passages and says these are evidence of contradictions in the Scripture. The second group, the moderate evangelicals, will try to minimize the contradictory claim but will end up with some sort of weak view of contradiction. What happens with both of those is, because they don't respect the text of Scripture as communicating truth, they are often guilty of reading their ideas into the Scripture. So it is important for us to stop and address this hermeneutical issue.

First of all, we ask the questions of who is speaking and who is being addressed. The person speaking, of course, is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is speaking as one with authority because He is the Messiah. To whom is He speaking? He makes it very clear that He is addressing the twelve. He makes it clear in verse 1 where Matthew says He summoned His disciples to Him. Then in verse 5 He reinforces that by saying, "These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them ..."

In Luke 10:1-6 the context is very different; the 'who' is very different. Jesus is still the one commissioning the group to carry the gospel of the kingdom out, but we are told in Luke chapter ten that He appointed seventy and sent them out two by two. I don't care how numerically challenged you can be, you can't confuse twelve with seventy. This is talking about two different situations, two different circumstances. In Matthew 10 Jesus is just sending out the twelve; in Luke 10 Jesus appoints seventy and sends them out two by two. But if you read the broader context of Luke, in Luke chapter nine Luke records the sending out of the twelve. He is the only Gospel writer who talks about the sending out of the twelve and the sending out of the seventy. They are not the same thing.

When did this occur and where did it occur? In Matthew chapter ten Jesus is sending His disciples out into Galilee. This is part of His early Galilean ministry; we can see that from the context. In terms of the order of events, Jesus Himself has already made two tours of Galilee. In Luke 10:1 we are told that Jesus appoints the seventy and sent them out, but He sends them out to precede His ministry. What we learn when we take the time to investigate the context is that Luke 10 actually takes place toward the end of Jesus' ministry, whereas Matthew 10 takes place during the first part of Jesus' ministry.

We are told in the Scripture that Jesus' initial ministry began in Jerusalem (John 2 & 3) and there was so much opposition from the Pharisees that He went back up to Galilee and spent much of the next year and a half ministering there. Then at the end of His ministry just a few months before His crucifixion He came back to Jerusalem and Judea. The Gospel of John gives the account of His work in Jerusalem and Luke describes His work in the surrounding province of Judea. This is what is described in Luke chapter ten, and He is sending out a group into Judea preceding Jesus. There is no restriction of the disciples' ministry in Luke 10; that restriction was only in Matthew. So there are two different events. This is why He gives this specific command to provide neither gold nor silver, nor copper in your money belts.

Jesus is going to change that in Luke chapter 22 where we have one of the more interesting passages as Jesus is talking to His disciples before the cross. This is actually the day before he goes to the cross. It is the day time, the night time of which is going to see Him in the upper room celebrating the last supper with His disciples. Luke 22:35 NASB "And He said to them, 'When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?' They said, '{No,} nothing'." That is what we have been talking about in Matthew chapter ten. He had previously commanded them to go but not to take anything with them. God would provide for them. So this was part of their training mission. There is a principle here that if you are going to go into any kind of ministry you have to learn to rely on the Lord. We have to learn to trust in Him.

As a pastor there are many times when the congregation faces different challenges. Sometimes they are financial challenges, personnel challenges, health challenges, sometimes challenges related to a place to meet, but you have to learn to trust God. One of the best places to learn that is in seminary. What has happened in the last fifteen years or so, and it is very disturbing to some of us who have gotten more mature in the ministry, is that young men come along thinking they have the gift of pastor-teacher and they want the seminary to come to them. This is happening all over the world in many different kinds of education systems and the whole concept of an Internet based education has become much more popular and much more qualitative in the last ten years. When I first started hearing this in the late nineties that certainly wasn't true. There are too many men who are coming along and saying they have a wife and kids, so they just can't go to seminary. They can't trust God, is what they are saying. One of the most important lessons a seminary student learns when they go to seminary has nothing to do with what they learn in the classroom; it has to do with learning to trust God to provide for them, while they go to the best place they can go to get their training wherever that might be. Because if you can't trust God to provide for you and your family wherever you go to seminary then how will you ever learn to trust God when you are a pastor? You won't!

When God trained Elijah his training included going out into the wilderness and trusting God to provide his nourishment every single day. Part of the training God had for the disciples was to teach them to trust in Him every single day and not to take anything with them. That was part of the training process. It is not just about content, not just about theology, not just about grammar; it is about learning to trust God to provide for the needs of your congregation when you become a pastor. That is what Jesus is teaching the disciples at this particular time.

But, that is not the mission for every believer at every time. That was a restricted mission. At the end of His ministry Jesus reminds them of what He taught them and what they learned. They learned to trust God.

Luke 22:36 NASB "And He said to them, 'But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one'."

There is a change. You can't go back and derive a timeless principle from Matthew 10 because they were limited to a specific time and a specific place and a specific purpose. But that purpose has changed. "... and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." Isn't that interesting! Jesus realized that there was going to be opposition and hostility, and they had the right to self-defense. He not only authorizes, He commands them to make sure they are carrying a weapon to protect themselves in the course of their ministry.

Luke 22:37 NASB "For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, 'AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS'; for that which refers to Me has {its} fulfillment." He ties this to the fact that He is going to be crucified the next day and everything is going to change.

Another thing to realize in this command not to take anything with them was that this also had a cultural significance in terms of the relationship with the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the religious leaders. Alfred Edersheim, a converted messianic Jew from the 19th century, wrote a massive book called The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. He relates much of the Talmud and Mishna to understand the culture and the context of what Jesus is saying and what is going on in the Gospels. He says:

The directions about not taking staff, shoes or money purse simply correspond to the rabbinic injunction not to enter the temple precincts with staff, shoes and money girdle. The symbolic reasons underlying this command would in both cases be probably the same: to avoid even the appearance of being engaged in other business when the whole being should be absorbed in the service of God.

That is the point He is making. This kind of language is also the kind of language used by the rabbis in terms of what they should have with them when they go to serve the Lord in the temple, because even the appearance of being engaged in some other mission, being distracted in some other opportunity, should not be there. The whole being should be focused and absorbed in the service of the Lord.

One other writer, Alfred Plummer, in his commentary on Matthew says:

The general meaning in all three Gospels is the same: make no elaborate preparations, but go as you are. They were not to be like persons travelling for trade or pleasure but are to go about in all simplicity. It is not that they are purposely to augment the hardships of the journey.

When you get somebody with an ascetic mindset: I'm just going to get rid of all the comforts of life and that is going to make me more spiritual. Plummer is saying that that is not the point here. The point isn't just to get rid of the comforts for the sake of getting rid of the comforts.

... as forbidding staff and sandals seem to apply, but that they are not to be anxious about equipment.

Freedom from care rather than freedom from comfort is what he is saying. Their care is to be for their work, not for their personal wants.

One of the things that often happens when we go on trips is we try to think about every possible scenario that comes up, and we over pack. When we over pack we get on a trip and we have a lot of stuff that we have to keep track of while we are on the trip. When you take less you have less distraction and you can focus on the mission. That is the point of these particular commands at this particular time, along with learning to trust God for all of the cares.  

Matthew 10:11 NASB "And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave {that city.}"

They are to go into the town and find someone who has a good reputation and is hospitable, and seek them out. They weren't to stay at some disreputable place because that could harm their testimony and injure their reputation.

Matthew 10:12 NASB "As you enter the house, give it your greeting." Be gracious, be kind, don't prejudge their response.

Matthew 10:13 NASB "If the house is worthy [responsive to the gospel], give it your {blessing of} peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your {blessing of} peace." The blessing of peace was a typical Middle East greeting; they would bless the house. Taking back the blessing of peace was not giving the blessing and symbolically they should shake off the dust from the feet, which indicates that they have no connection, no responsibility to that particular household, because they have rejected the gospel and they, too, will be rejected at the ultimate time of judgment. This is where Jesus goes in verse 15. He connects this to judgment.

Matt 10:14, 15 NASB "Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for {the} land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city."

For those of you who love grammar, what do we have in the phrase "more tolerable"? We have a comparative. That means that God's grace in judgment is going to be ameliorated for some at the last judgment than for others. The concept that it is going to be more tolerable for one group (Sodom and Gomorrah) than for those who reject the gospel of the kingdom indicates that in eternal judgment there will be degrees of judgment. That is something that surprises some people. In the lake of fire there are going to be some places that are terribly miserable and some that are even more miserable. But that would make sense, wouldn't it? Because on the heaven side there are going to be different levels of reward. So apparently from these passages that we see there are going to be different levels of eternal punishment.

We see this is passages such as Luke 10. In a similar scenario Jesus is giving instructions to the seventy that are going out. Luke 10:12 NASB "I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city. [13] Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. [14] But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you."

Tyre and Sidon were the centers of Baal worship in the Old Testament. When you look at paganism in the Old Testament it is a picture of Phoenicia—

Tyre and Sidon. These were the most degraded places in the ancient world. Again we have those words "more tolerable", so there are degrees of punishment.

Luke 10:15 NASB "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades! " That is a term for Sheol, the place of the dead in the Old Testament. [16] "The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me." The point here is that what Jesus says indicates gradations of punishment in the lake of fire. He says the same thing in Matthew 11:20-24.

Matthew 10:16 NASB "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves." In other words, they will be surrounded by enemies, by people who will take advantage of them, by people who would destroy you, by people who hate you because you stand for the gospel.  Because you stand for the truth they want to destroy you. How should they handle it? By reaction? By retaliation? By anger? By responding in kind to what the unbeliever says? No, He says, "be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves." This is simply a metaphor borrowing on a proverbial idea in the ancient world that a serpent was somehow wise, quiet, crafty, subtle. And harmless as doves means not a threat.

What Jesus is saying is to be thoughtful in response to those who attack you and don't seek to return kind for kind. Don't seek to retaliate.

Matthew 10:17 NASB "But beware of men, for they will hand you over to {the} courts and scourge you in their synagogues; [18] and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles."

Now wait a minute. This didn't happen on this mission, did it? In fact, most of them were welcomed. So what is going on here? We have to put ourselves in the point of time in God's plan in Matthew chapter ten. Which means the church age has not been predicted. Remember, Paul always called the church age a mystery. A mystery doesn't refer to something that is an enigma, something that is partially understood or somehow mysterious; it refers to something that hasn't been revealed yet. That is the meaning of the Greek word MUSTERION in the Scripture and in the Greek culture. MUSTERION was something that was still undisclosed; it had not yet been revealed. So the fact that there would be this future church age between the cross and the crown was not yet known. So Jesus is talking about what will transpire within the framework of the age of Israel.

The age of Israel, the time in God's plan for Israel, was laid out in that remarkable prophecy in Daniel 9:23-27. In that passage God is giving a time frame for Israel, that there would be a period of 490 years between the decree, which we traced back to Artaxerxes and the decree to Nehemiah to go back and build the walls of Jerusalem, until the time of Israel's future redemption and the coming in of the kingdom. As that prophecy breaks it down there will be 483 years until the Messiah is cut off. Then there is an indication that there is a pause, a gap of time before we get to the last seven years. All of that 490 years is described as the age of Israel.

From Jesus' perspective historically in giving this description to His disciples He is saying, "As you look forward, as you go about this mission, you are going to go into this time of hyper persecution." He says the same thing in Matthew 24:9 NASB "Then they [those hostile to the gospel] will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name." This was in the Olivet discourse when Jesus was describing the events during the seven-year Tribulation, and He says almost the same thing there. He is not talking specifically about the twelve disciples because they won't be alive then. He is looking to future believers through those disciples.

What we see in Matthew 10:16-18 is that Jesus is talking about the fact that He is going to send the disciples out on this mission now. They are going to have a certain response, a measure of rejection. But when you get further rejection in the end times, in that period we call the Great Tribulation in the seventieth week, then that persecution will intensify beyond anything you can imagine.

The Bible doesn't teach that we won't go through tribulation. This is one of the attacks we often hear from people who don't believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture and don't believe in dispensationalism: that we teach a pre-Tribulation Rapture so that we won't go through difficulty. But that is not what we are saying at all. It is not that Christians won't go through difficulty, adversity or tribulation; it is that we won't go through that intense period that is described as the time of Jacob's trouble in Jeremiah. In fact, Jesus said in John 16:33 NASB "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." He was talking to His disciples. You and I and the disciples have all gone through difficulties in this life. We have all gone through various stages of adversity, for many different reasons. We reap negative consequences because we are joined with other sinners and unbelievers who make bad decisions, and we reap the consequence also of their bad decisions. We go through tribulation because we live in the devil's world and there will always be difficulties and challenges as we live in the devil's world.

So those of us who believe in a pre-Trib Rapture and dispensationalism are not saying we are going to have an easy life because of the Rapture, we are just saying that God has a plan and a purpose for Israel. That is what Jesus demonstrates in this passage. His plan and purpose for Israel was the foundation for mission that was given to His disciples. The church is given a mission as well. Our mission is to baptize converts in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and to teach believers to obey everything that Jesus taught. We will in that process face adversity and hostility. We will face testing, and it is through testing that we mature as believers.

1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it."

James 1:2-4 NASB "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have {its} perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Our mission is not the same as the disciples' mission in Matthew chapter ten or the mission of the seventy in Luke chapter ten. It is about our mission to communicate the gospel to those who are in need and to see that they receive the proper training necessary to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And it is part of our response as believers that we make sure that we grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. That can only happen by daily submitting to the teaching of the Word of God and letting our minds be renewed by the Word of God, and not being conformed to the world around us.