Hi Robert! Thank you so kindly for all your wisdom and biblical advice you have given me thus far, it has helped me to attain a better understanding of how we should live as Christians. I was watching this Christian program called "The Way of the Master," and they taught that we ought to fear God as in "terror," that the word "fear" in the Greek is phobos. The problem is that some of my sisters and brothers in Christ believe that believers ought not to fear God, but that this fear is actually "reverence" rather than terror. I know that there are several passages which speaks of the terror of the Lord which brings us to persuade men into believing the Gospel. I am confused as to whether we as believers are to fear God as in reverence, or fear God as in being afraid? Thanks in advance!
I think you are exactly correct and not confused at all. God is our Father; Jesus is our Lord. We respected our earthly fathers, but if they are anywhere near approximating in principle the goodness of our heavenly Father (whose role their role is designed by Him to teach; see the link [which also says quite a bit about your question generally]: The Fact and Purpose of Divine Discipline), then you can understand precisely the difference between "fearing" someone you know and love who has only your good in mind and "fearing" some person or force who means to do you ill. In the former case, the only reason to "fear" in anything beyond reverence and respect is in the anticipation of punishment for disobedient actions. So while terror serves no useful purpose for believers who call God their Father, respectful reverence is a very salutary thing:
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
Psalm 19:9 NIV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Proverbs 9:10 KJV
Here is something I have written on this you may find helpful (from part 1 of Coming Tribulation):
Don't be afraid: Jesus' words here are definitely not commanding John to abandon his healthy fear of God, an essential ingredient in the life of every believer and one without which a true love of God (one encompassing the appropriate level of awe, reverence, and respect, at any rate) would be impossible (cf. Deut.10:12; 10:20; Ps.19:9; Prov.1:7; Eccl.12:13; Is.6:5; 11:3; 33:6; 57:11; Matt.10:28; 2Cor.5:11; Eph.5:21; 6:5). That having been said, it is also important for believers to understand the difference between fearing God and being unreasonably afraid of God. In this respect, we may compare our situation to that of the relationship between children and their honorable, loving parents (an illustration that is really more than that since God actually has adopted us as His children in Jesus Christ: Jn.1:12; Rom.8:14-19; Gal.4:5; Eph.1:5; Heb.12:7). In normal, healthy families, children do not live in constant fear of their parents. However, all children must learn at a very early age that their parents' authority is nothing to be trifled with, and that trepidation is indeed a legitimate feeling when they contemplate or commit behavior which is unacceptable in their parent's eyes (especially when a fair standard is employed). In the same way, we believers, adopted into the very family of God the Father on the basis of His Son's sacrifice on our behalf, can be absolutely confident of His love for us (cf. 1Jn.4:18), but by the same token we would be foolish to deceive ourselves into imagining that our heavenly Father will tolerate unacceptable behavior from us any more than our earthly parents did (Heb.12:4-13). It therefore bespeaks a complete misunderstanding of the perfect and merciful character of our God to possess a morbid fear of a Father who loved us enough to send His Son to die on our behalf (Jn.3:16; Rom.5:8; 2Cor.5:14). But should the fact that He loves us so and forgives us in Christ produce disrespect for Him on our part and embolden us to conduct unbecoming those called to be the children of God? God forbid! We should take care never to lose our healthy fear of God, since it helps to keep us on the straight and narrow (Ex.20:20; Prov.3:7), and guides us away from many of the pitfalls of this life (Ps.19:9; Prov.9:10-12; Eccl.12:13-14). For those who possess this appropriate fear of God and follow Him in the way He has ordained (through following Jesus Christ), there truly is nothing to fear, in this life or the next (cf. Rom.8:12-17):
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and the body in hell.
Matthew 10:28-31 NIV
In the One we love and fear with a joyous godly fear, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
What is the difference between respect and reverence? And how are both manifested? What should the Christian's response to God be; one, both, neither?
In terms of what these words reflect as translations in the English Bible there is not much difference at all. They are synonyms in English, of course. But when it comes to matters of Bible translation, one really has to take the translation on a case by case basis, since in this situation there are really no exact equivalents in either Hebrew or Greek. When it comes to yir'ah and phobos (the two most common Hebrew and Greek words for fear/reverence/repect), in using the words "reverence" or "respect" English translations are attempting to render these two terms for generic fear into something that will "make sense" to us. English is almost always careful to distinguish between terror and reverence, between fear and respect, but the vocabulary of the biblical languages often does not make that distinction by means of word choice. That does not mean in such cases that the distinction is not genuinely there; it does mean that any proper translation has to take the context into careful account in order to reflect the actual meaning.
You can see all this clearly from, for example, Hebrews 12:28, where we are told to worship God in an acceptable way with "reverence and fear" (NASB), or "reverence and awe" (NIV), or "reverence and godly fear" (KJV). In this case the word "reverence" is in all three versions translating a word (eulabeia) which also generally reflects "godly fear" and is in fact sometimes used in the LXX, the Greek version of the Old Testament, to translate the generic Hebrew word for fear (yir'ah). But it often works better in English to translate "fear" as "respect" when talking about other people and "reverence" when talking about God. For example, at Luke 18:2, Jesus describes the unjust judge as some who neither "feared God nor cared about men" (NIV), or "feared God neither regarded men", or "did not fear God and did not have respect for men" (NASB). But the Greek verbs here phobeo and entrepo, can both be used with God or men as an object (and are) and can both be translated "fear" (or respect or reverence).
I think that the main point I would derive from a word study of this sort is that the Bible generally does not make the sometimes rather large distinction we assume must be there when we differentiate "fear" (which may imply cowardice) from "reverence" (which may not bring out the aspect of trepidation in the Greek and Hebrew) from "respect" (which is very calm and somewhat neutral, whereas that may be a downgrading of the emotion described or commanded). What I suppose then that I would draw from all this is that when we read "respect" or "revere" in English translations, we should invest these terms with more meaning and intensity of feeling than we would normally do based upon their usage in contemporary American English – especially when the object is God.
Hope this helps,
In our Lord who is our holy fear and love,
Hello Bible Study for Spiritual Growth:
The Bible declares that it contains words which are superfluous in addition to the words which are required. This declaration is made in two places. The first place is Matthew 13:33 which reads, "Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." The second place is Luke 13:21 which reads, "It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."
These declarations caused the Bible to be searched for a way to establish which words were of which sort. The way was thrice discovered. The first discovery was at Deuteronomy 19:15 which reads, "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established." The second discovery was at Matthew 18:16 which reads, "But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." The third discovery was at 2 Corinthians 13:1 which reads, "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." Their commonality, which is the way to remove the leaven, reads, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."
Somebody might nevertheless object to the claim that the three verses cited above mention a way to remove the leaven. One of the objections might be that each of the verses differs from their commonality. The reason that each verse differs from their commonality is that these three verses have been leavened in order to prevent that people would realize that God provided a way to remove the leaven. The leaven was completely successful in hiding the way to remove the leaven until 1992.
Since then, the way to remove the leaven has been used to remove the leaven from the Gospels, and is being used to remove the leaven from other portions of the three measures of meal. The results of removing the leaven are available for free at http://www.thisgoodriddle.com
Hoping that this information is of interest and benefit to you,
I do know that the Bible warns against either adding or subtracting anything from it:
Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.
Deuteronomy 4:2 NIV
See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.
Deuteronomy 12:32 NIV
Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
Proverbs 30:6 NIV
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
However, I have never seen any passage that even remotely suggests that anything in the Bible is superfluous, nor do I honestly even see you drawing any connection here between "leaven" and supposedly superfluous material in the Bible, except that you assert that this is so.
To the contrary, in my long experience with scripture it is "every word which proceeds from the mouth of the Lord" whereby we are spiritually enlivened (Deut.8:3). For "every word of God is flawless" (Prov.30:5), and, indeed, God has "magnified thy word above all thy name" (Ps.138:2: KJV).
The Word of God is our only anchor in the world controlled by the devil. Subverting it in any way is fraught with the most intense spiritual danger. And leading others into such dangerous straits is even more to be feared.
Whatever portions of scripture may seem to you unimportant or irrelevant or hard to reconcile with what you think to be true, let me assure you that with time and diligent study, every word of God will prove flawless and beneficial for everything we do in this life in our walk with Jesus Christ:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2nd Timothy KJV
Stay safe in Jesus Christ,
Today I have been thinking about Jesus' comparison of the kingdom of God with the mustard seed and leaven (Luke 13:19-20). My interpretation of this has always been (what I think is) the most common interpretation. As far as I understand, when Jesus speaks of the "kingdom of God", he is referring to the reign of God within one's life, not a physical kingdom, nor Heaven, nor the collective Church. With this definition of the kingdom of God, it seems to me that Christ is saying, in the case of the leaven, that when God reigns over one's life, God's dominion spreads from the entry point (whatever part of one's being first bowed down to Him) to every other part of this person's thoughts, will, and deeds. Thus, every part of the "dough" would be "all leavened".
The mustard seed has always been a bit more difficult for me to understand. I see two possible interpretations. That the kingdom of God has a very small, humble, seemingly inconsequential beginning (Christ himself, perhaps), but explodes into a gigantic entity in which all the birds of the air (believers from all nations) may dwell. I think of Ezekiel 17:22-23: "I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it , that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest." Or that, like the leaven, the reign of God begins as a small influence within a life, but moves throughout to infect every facet of being.
These interpretations all speak very positively of the kingdom of God. However, some people in my church all have a different interpretation of these verses. I don't understand it completely, but their interpretations result in a negative view of the kingdom of God. They say that these verses have to be interpreted in the light of the other references in the Scriptures, and in all other instances in the Bible leaven is always negative ("the leaven of the Pharisees", etc.). They also say that there is really no such thing as a "mustard tree", that mustard plants are actually bushes, so that a mustard tree is actually an unnatural monstrosity that was never meant to be.
I think that the true reign of God is incorruptible, so I don't see how their interpretation could be correct, that the kingdom of God could be used to "puff" someone up. After all, in the case of the leavened, self-aggrandizing Pharisees, it was the reign of their own ungodly greed and self-importance which puffed them up, not the true reign of God.
What do you think? Have you ever heard this interpretation before? I am thoroughly confused over my own thoughts about it, much less these other interpretations.
Also, I just read the email about the mp3's on your website, and I think they would be a great resource, albeit a ton of work. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, because I can listen to them while at work but don't get much actual reading time. I did a little research, and I don't think the issue of size would be much of a problem. Audible.com, which is the most-used downloadable audiobook website in the world, uses mp3 format at 32 kbps (versus normal 320 kbps for music). This is their highest quality of download, and sounds as good as anyone would want it. So, a six-hour audio file at 32 kbps would actually only be about 83 MB. They also have 16 kbps, which still sounds good and would cut the file size in half. When you get down to 8 kbps, it starts to sound not so good, but still acceptable. And with the capacity of most computers and mp3 players today, these file sizes are not very large at all (a normal 45-minute cd in music-quality mp3 format is about 60 MB). And encoding into all of these formats would be easy and wouldn't require any special software.
Of course I couldn't help you come up with more time in each day so that you might be able to do all that it would take to get audio on your website. I think it would be a fantastic resource for those like me who do not have time enough to sit down and study your writings in the depth that we would like to. I know that my father listens to Christian resources online all the time as well, and that he would appreciate being able to listen to yours.
Oh, one more quick thing - is modern Hebrew different from Old Testament Hebrew the way that modern Greek is different from classical Greek? I would like to learn Hebrew sometime in addition to Greek. How could I learn a language without being in school?
I would agree with you (even in the Ezekiel parallel which has often occurred to me as well). I think the plain sense of the scripture is that the expansion is good in these parallels (whether of leaven or mustard), not bad. I have always been puzzled by those who want to interpret these two parables in a negative way, since our Lord's words seem to me to be – and seem to be designed to be – pretty straightforward for anyone wishing to give them serious consideration. I would say that they are meant to mean what you have discerned. For what Jesus tells us was true of His ministry, true of our individual Christian lives, and true of the entire kingdom of heaven as well. From the smallest of beginnings, God has wrought and is in the process of bringing about things as yet beyond comprehension. They truly will fill the whole world, and a new one of His own making in time to come at that! I have long drawn great comfort and inspiration from these words, for they tell me that despite what our eyes may see, despite how we may (rightly) downplay our own efforts and their effects in the devil's world, in time to come we can yet not even imagine the wonders that will be revealed. The Lord's plan will indeed come to full fruition and the seed of the Word, whether in our individual hearts or in the world at large will sprout to become a tree which fills the entire cosmos (and indeed in many ways it already has, especially in regard to our Lord's victory on the cross) How wonderful to be a part of this glorious process and to anticipate the great day when all these things will be fully revealed!
As to mustard trees, I never get too excited about supposed contradictions like this. Having spent many years investigating the details of the ancient world in both my secular work and Christian ministry, I can tell you that our present knowledge is far from complete. If we had a total understanding of ancient flora and fauna, perhaps we could make such definitive judgments. As it is, I think it is pretty clear from the parable that Jesus is drawing a comparison between a small seed / large plant-tree and a small (to the eye) divine beginning with an unimaginably large result. Over-parsing these things is often counterproductive.
As to Hebrew, it's a little different situation from Greek since spoken Hebrew effectively fell into a lapse (although like Latin it continued to be spoken by some in a scholarly environment). When it was revitalized, it was essentially melded onto an Indo-European syntax, so that Modern Hebrew is in some ways closer to the ancient than Greek (vocab), but in other ways farther removed (syntax). In any case, studying Modern Hebrew was a plus for me (I did a year), but it's no substitute for BH. As to learning it on your own, I wouldn't recommend it (except for the likes of John Stuart Mill).
Thank you for comments about MP3. I don't remember if I mentioned it in that response but there are propriety issues as well, if I recall correctly. In any case, yes, I'd love to do it, but I'm barely making the progress I'd like to make now. Thanks for all your encouragement!
It's me again with a question. Below is a cut/paste of Matthew Henry's overview. Why do you think he referred to the exhortation as "pathetic"?
Deuteronomy 4 - In this chapter we have, I. A most earnest and pathetic exhortation to obedience, both in general, and in some particular instances, backed with a great variety of very pressing arguments, repeated again and again, and set before them in the most moving and affectionate manner imaginable (v. 1-40). II. The appointing of the cities of refuge on that side Jordan (Deu_4:41-43). III. The particular description of the place where Moses delivered the following repetition of the law (Deu_4:44, etc.).
I believe I am correct in saying that M. Henry's commentary is a 19th century work. It is true that in contemporary spoken American English, the word "pathetic" almost always has a pejorative connotation (as in, "That's really pathetic!"). Language is always in flux, and usage never stays static. One of the trends in our language today that I have noticed is the tendency of words with more than one meaning to drop out the less common meaning over time. The adjective pathetic, as most dictionaries will tell you, is from the Greek work pascho which means "to suffer", and pathetic used to mean (and may still "officially" mean) "characterized by pity or emotion". Mr. Henry is saying that the Lord's appeal to Israel in Deut. 4 is both heartfelt (from His point of view) and aimed at the hearts of the hearers (an appeal to pathos, or emotion). So he is saying that the words of warning in this chapter are emotionally effective, not that they are a poor attempt. In his own day, most people would have gotten this. But my guess is that if Mr. Henry were writing today in this country, even though the use is historically and technically correct and sufficiently erudite, his editor would make him switch out that adjective as potentially confusing based upon patterns of contemporary usage.
Hope this helps.
Thanks and yes that did clear up my confusion. My electronic Bible, downloaded from e-sword.org allows you to download commentaries too. Thus, I have both Barnes and Matthew Henry. Even though they are somewhat dated, I often find them to be of assistance. Thanks again.
In Christ Jesus, our Lord, Savior, Redeemer and Friend,
You're very welcome.
And as far as being dated is concerned, while I get very little help from commentaries generally speaking, I find very, very few tools/commentaries produced after WWII to be of any use whatsoever (such is the state of the present day church visible and its "scholarly products").
What is "spiritual growth" called in Greek and Hebrew?
Good to make your acquaintance. The most straightforward word/s for grow/growth in the Greek New Testament are the verb auxano and its cognate noun auxesis. As far as I am aware, there is no specific vocabulary in the Old Testament specifically for "spiritual growth" since the Old Testament does not approach the issue descriptively as in the NT (cf. 1Cor.3:6-7; Eph.4:16; Col.2:19 – all forms of auxano, auxesis). However, that does not mean there was no spiritual growth or any understanding of the process by Old Testament believers, just that ancient Hebrew had a different way of expressing things and that the Old Testament books tend to be historical and prophetical rather than hortatory and dogmatic. For example, there is no instance in the Old Testament of the word "conscience", but we may be sure that Old Testament believers all had one (cf. "David's heart smote him": 1Sam.24:5).
Another important word complex referring to spiritual growth in the New Testament and one which is often overlooked is the verb katartizo and its cognates. The essential meaning is "to fit out" as in preparing a ship or packing a horse, and "to fully equip or make ready" as in preparing soldiers for battle. The idea is to give Christian everything he or she needs for accomplishing their objectives in this life, the ultimate manifestation of which is the full and proper function of our spiritual gifts in the ministries to which the Lord has called us – impossible without spiritual growth and spiritual maturity. This set of words is variously translated in the versions and with such flexibility that it would be hard to track it in an English only word study. For example, here is how 2nd Corinthians 13:11 is rendered in the versions:
KJV: Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect . . .
NASB: Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete . . .
RSV: Finally, brethren, farewell. Mend your ways
NIV: Finally, brothers, good by. Aim for perfection
ESV: Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration
The main thing I take from this comparison is that none of these versions have fully understood Paul's point in using the imperative katartizesthe. What he means is, "become thoroughly fitted out for Christian combat through the process of spiritual growth"; this might not be a workable translation for a published version, but that is the gist of what is meant.
As this example shows, the biblical teaching on spiritual growth – as with many biblical teachings – is not confined to places where the words "growth" or "grow" are used (cf. the parable of the sower in Matt.13) – just as in the case of the Trinity, which, while it is a doctrine that is absolutely fundamental to basic Christian knowledge and doctrine and a sine qua non of spiritual growth, yet the word "Trinity" does not occur in scripture. So while vocabulary studies are often very valuable in doctrinal study, they are neither an exhaustive nor a dispositive means of searching out everything the Bible has to say about a given subject. Please also see the following links:
Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Growth
Epignosis, Christian Epistemology, and Spiritual Growth
Principles of Spiritual Growth (in Peter #16)
The Judgment and Reward of the Church (in CT 6)
In our dear Lord Jesus Christ,
I asked my pastor to give me a subject to study. So he has, but I'm not sure how to go about it. I am to research the word "wine". Could you maybe give me some suggestions on how to get started on this one?
Good to make your acquaintance. There are a number of ways to approach any topical study in the Bible. I would recommend the following procedure (it's a flexible one - you can certainly add or subtract as you wish):
1. Start with your study Bible. See if there are any articles on the topic (they may not use the word "wine"; maybe "alcohol" or "drinking" etc.). Look up any references to the word in the study Bible indices (or related words - think flexibly).
2. Find a good Bible dictionary (I like Unger's and also Smith's), or a good Bible encyclopedia (Anchor or Interpreters or International Standard are some of the standbys). Look up not only "wine" but other related words and subjects.
*3. One of the best things to do is to look up the word and related words you are studying in a good concordance of the version you use (Strong's for the KJV). Look up the passages in context. If possible, look up all the references to see the many different ways and contexts in which a word may be used. Make notes.
4. If you still need more, then there are also specialized works by biblical and non-biblical (and "quasi-biblical") scholars that focus on individual topics such as this. Finding bibliography is always somewhat tricky, but the sources mentioned in #2 above will probably give you some leads. For most doctrinally related areas, a good systematic theology (I like Chafer's and Strong's) will usually have some very good analysis and references.
Almost all of the above works (or equivalents) can be found in a good public library or church library. However, nowadays getting on the internet can yield a lot of good information very quickly (including a number of encyclopedias which are available online) . For example, a quick search of my own site, Ichthys, yields a number of results on "wine", for example:
Should Christian leaders refrain from drinking in public?
Communion and the Blood of Christ
Did Jesus drink the water turned to wine at the wedding in Cana?
Jesus' declaration about not drinking wine any more until the coming of the Kingdom
What does the Bible say about the use of alcohol?
Of course, one has to be careful with any source, and especially cyber-sources. Make sure to check on the information you receive from others by verifying for yourself whatever they claim "the Bible says" (see the link: Read your Bible). For in all such endeavors, what we really want to know is what God thinks about the subject, and the only way to know this is by searching the scripture in the power of the Spirit, in prayer and humility.
Best wishes for a successful Bible study!
In Him who is the truth, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Dear Robert Luginbill:
Thanks for being so kind as to notify me of your update on the mailing list. I have enjoyed your material very much, and give you a lot of credit for all the work you are doing. Yes I would like to stay on your mailing list. Thank you. In one of my e-mails I may have mentioned that I was working on writing a daily devotional guide for the whole year. Lately, I kept myself busy, delving into the 'Kenosis' of Jesus Christ. In Philippians Paul uses the word, and it is popular enough to be in Webster's dictionary. In Paul's description I found a skeleton frame in which he portrays 3 steps down and 3 steps up (that is as nearly as I can decipher it.) Upon meditating, I thought of other comments by the disciples and Paul in other scriptures. Since 7 is such a great number I tried to fill in 7 steps down the ladder rungs (I got that from my years in painting) and 7 steps back up. Here they are very briefly. Later I want to fill this out some more with the scripture texts as well.
Here are the 7 steps of his "Humiliation."
1) Incarnation - from heaven to earth, now in human form.
2) Submission - to his parents. This is recorded after his overstay at the temple at his 12'th. birthday.
3) Subjection - to the law - He was born of a Virgin, under the law, and "I came not to destroy the law, but to give it its true and full meaning.
4) Rejection- of his ministry, and claims to divinity "He was rejected and despised."
5) Renunciation -his surrender of his human life to become a 'bond-servant' when he said, "Unless a kernel of grain fall to into the ground, etc. and further "my hour has come and the power of darkness, etc.
6) Crucifixion - Death on the cross, that of slave, as he was betrayed for the price of a slave.
7) Descent into hell, the place of departed spirits.
Here are the 7 steps of His "Exaltation"
1) Resurrection -
2) Appearance - over 40 days.
3) Commission - Go ye into all the world. This places him as head of the church.
5) Presentation - of his completed and satisfaction of God's Holy Law as he presented his blood in the heavenly tabernacle.
6) Exaltation- Given a name above all names etc. and seated at the right hand of God.
7) Recognition by all when he comes to reign on this earth.
If you want to use any of this material feel free to do so, and if you want to make any comments, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you again. However, no rush. God bless you. C. W. den Hoed - Together in the harvest fields.
Thanks so much for your e-mail, and especially for your good words of encouragement. I have placed your name on my new notification list. Thanks much also for sharing your work. I will keep it in mind. Coming up in the next year or so I have scheduled to do the Soteriology part of the Basics series and this material looks very promising. You will find my own development of these issues at the link in part 4A of the Basics Series, Christology (see especially, "Kenosis").
Keep up the good work – I know that life-complications can make one's efforts for Jesus problematic, but there is great reward for perseverance.
In our dear Lord Jesus Christ,