The Agreement, “Clothe in my right mind”
This agrees with the purpose God had since the beginning of time, and he carried out his plan through Christ Jesus our Lord.
18 At that time I will pour out my Spirit
also on my male slaves and female slaves,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will show miracles
in the sky and on the earth:
blood, fire, and thick smoke.
20 The sun will become dark,
the moon red as blood,
before the overwhelming and glorious day of the Lord will come.
21 Then anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.’ — Joel 2:28–32
1 So do you think we should continue sinning so that God will give us even more grace? 2 No! We died to our old sinful lives, so how can we continue living with sin? 3 Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism. 4 When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life.
5 Christ died, and we have been joined with him by dying too. So we will also be joined with him by rising from the dead as he did. 6 We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us and we would not be slaves to sin. 7 Anyone who has died is made free from sin’s control.
8 If we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 Christ was raised from the dead, and we know that he cannot die again. Death has no power over him now.10 Yes, when Christ died, he died to defeat the power of sin one time—enough for all time. He now has a new life, and his new life is with God.11 In the same way, you should see yourselves as being dead to the power of sin and alive with God through Christ Jesus.
Matthew 5-7 (New Century Version)
Jesus Teaches the People
1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a hill and sat down. His followers came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying:
3 “They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
4 They are blessed who grieve,
for God will comfort them.
5 They are blessed who are humble,
for the whole earth will be theirs.
6 They are blessed who hunger and thirst after justice,
for they will be satisfied.
7 They are blessed who show mercy to others,
for God will show mercy to them.
8 They are blessed whose thoughts are pure,
for they will see God.
9 They are blessed who work for peace,
for they will be called God’s children.
10 They are blessed who are persecuted for doing good,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
11 “People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do, you will be blessed. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. People did the same evil things to the prophets who lived before you.
You Are Like Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its salty taste, it cannot be made salty again. It is good for nothing, except to be thrown out and walked on.
14 “You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 And people don’t hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. 16 In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.
The Importance of the Law
17 “Don’t think that I have come to destroy the law of Moses or the teaching of the prophets. I have not come to destroy them but to bring about what they said. 18 I tell you the truth, nothing will disappear from the law until heaven and earth are gone. Not even the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will be lost until everything has happened.19 Whoever refuses to obey any command and teaches other people not to obey that command will be the least important in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys the commands and teaches other people to obey them will be great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 I tell you that if you are no more obedient than the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus Teaches About Anger
21 “You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘You must not murder anyone.Anyone who murders another will be judged.’ 22 But I tell you, if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be judged. If you say bad things to a brother or sister, you will be judged by the council. And if you call someone a fool, you will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “So when you offer your gift to God at the altar, and you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there at the altar. Go and make peace with that person, and then come and offer your gift.
25 “If your enemy is taking you to court, become friends quickly, before you go to court. Otherwise, your enemy might turn you over to the judge, and the judge might give you to a guard to put you in jail. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not leave there until you have paid everything you owe.
Jesus Teaches About Sexual Sin
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You must not be guilty of adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that if anyone looks at a woman and wants to sin sexually with her, in his mind he has already done that sin with the woman.29 If your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Jesus Teaches About Divorce
31 “It was also said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a written divorce paper.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife forces her to be guilty of adultery. The only reason for a man to divorce his wife is if she has sexual relations with another man. And anyone who marries that divorced woman is guilty of adultery.
Make Promises Carefully
33 “You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘Don’t break your promises, but keep the promises you make to the Lord.’ 34 But I tell you, never swear an oath. Don’t swear an oath using the name of heaven, because heaven is God’s throne.35 Don’t swear an oath using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to God. Don’t swear an oath using the name of Jerusalem, because that is the city of the great King.36 Don’t even swear by your own head, because you cannot make one hair on your head become white or black. 37 Say only yes if you mean yes, and no if you mean no. If you say more than yes or no, it is from the Evil One.
Don’t Fight Back
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, don’t stand up against an evil person. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other cheek also.40 If someone wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.41 If someone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles. 42 If a person asks you for something, give it to him. Don’t refuse to give to someone who wants to borrow from you.
Love All People
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemies.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. 45 If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong.46 If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that.47 And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don’t know God are nice to their friends. 48 So you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Jesus Teaches About Giving
1 “Be careful! When you do good things, don’t do them in front of people to be seen by them. If you do that, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “When you give to the poor, don’t be like the hypocrites. They blow trumpets in the synagogues and on the streets so that people will see them and honor them. I tell you the truth, those hypocrites already have their full reward. 3 So when you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know what you are doing. 4 Your giving should be done in secret. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
Jesus Teaches About Prayer
5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray so people will see them. I tell you the truth, they already have their full reward. 6 When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, don’t be like those people who don’t know God. They continue saying things that mean nothing, thinking that God will hear them because of their many words. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him. 9 So when you pray, you should pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name always be kept holy.
10 May your kingdom come
and what you want be done,
here on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us the food we need for each day.
12 Forgive us for our sins,
just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us.
13 And do not cause us to be tempted,
but save us from the Evil One.’ [The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen.]
14 Yes, if you forgive others for their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you for your sins. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins.
Jesus Teaches About Worship
16 “When you fast, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They make their faces look sad to show people they are fasting. I tell you the truth, those hypocrites already have their full reward. 17 So when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then people will not know that you are fasting, but your Father, whom you cannot see, will see you. Your Father sees what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
God Is More Important than Money
19 “Don’t store treasures for yourselves here on earth where moths and rust will destroy them and thieves can break in and steal them. 20 But store your treasures in heaven where they cannot be destroyed by moths or rust and where thieves cannot break in and steal them. 21 Your heart will be where your treasure is.
22 “The eye is a light for the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. And if the only light you have is really darkness, then you have the worst darkness.
24 “No one can serve two masters. The person will hate one master and love the other, or will follow one master and refuse to follow the other. You cannot serve both God and worldly riches.
Don’t Worry Clothe in my right Mind
25 “So I tell you, don’t worry about the food or drink you need to live, or about the clothes you need for your body. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes. 26 Look at the birds in the air. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. And you know that you are worth much more than the birds. 27 You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? Look at how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t work or make clothes for themselves. 29 But I tell you that even Solomon with his riches was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers.30 God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today but tomorrow is thrown into the fire. So you can be even more sure that God will clothe you. Don’t have so little faith! 31 Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. 33 Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. 34 So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Be Careful About Judging Others
1 “Don’t judge others, or you will be judged. 2 You will be judged in the same way that you judge others, and the amount you give to others will be given to you.
3 “Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your friend, ‘Let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye’?? Look at yourself! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. 5 You hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend’s eye.
6 “Don’t give holy things to dogs, and don’t throw your pearls before pigs. Pigs will only trample on them, and dogs will turn to attack you.
Ask God for What You Need
7 “Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you. 8 Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened.
9 “If your children ask for bread, which of you would give them a stone? 10 Or if your children ask for a fish, would you give them a snake? 11 Even though you are bad, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more your heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him!
The Most Important Rule
12 “Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets.
The Way to Heaven Is Hard
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. The gate is wide and the road is wide that leads to hell, and many people enter through that gate. 14 But the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to true life. Only a few people find that road.
People Know You by Your Actions
15 “Be careful of false prophets. They come to you looking gentle like sheep, but they are really dangerous like wolves. 16 You will know these people by what they do. Grapes don’t come from thornbushes, and figs don’t come from thorny weeds.17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit.18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.19 Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 In the same way, you will know these false prophets by what they do.
21 “Not all those who say ‘You are our Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do what my Father in heaven wants. 22 On the last day many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, we spoke for you, and through you we forced out demons and did many miracles.’ 23 Then I will tell them clearly, ‘Get away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you.’
Two Kinds of People
24 “Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.26 Everyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house, and it fell with a big crash.”
28 When Jesus finished saying these things, the people were amazed at his teaching,29 because he did not teach like their teachers of the law. He taught like a person who had authority.
5 In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.
20 But what you learned in Christ was not like this.
Your New Life in Christ
1 Since you were raised from the dead with Christ, aim at what is in heaven, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.2 Think only about the things in heaven, not the things on earth.3 Your old sinful self has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God. 4 Christ is your life, and when he comes again, you will share in his glory.
5 So put all evil things out of your life: sexual sinning, doing evil, letting evil thoughts control you, wanting things that are evil, and greed. This is really serving a false god. 6 These things make God angry. 7 In your past, evil life you also did these things.
8 But now also put these things out of your life: anger, bad temper, doing or saying things to hurt others, and using evil words when you talk.9 Do not lie to each other. You have left your old sinful life and the things you did before.10 You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you. This new life brings you the true knowledge of God.11 In the new life there is no difference between Greeks and Jews, those who are circumcised and those who are not circumcised, or people who are foreigners, or Scythians.There is no difference between slaves and free people. But Christ is in all believers, and Christ is all that is important.
Clothe in my right mind
12 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always 13 Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. 14 Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful.16 Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and instruct each other by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.17 Everything you do or say should be done to obey Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.Your New Life with Other People
18 Wives, yield to the authority of your husbands, because this is the right thing to do in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and be gentle with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, because this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not nag your children. If you are too hard to please, they may want to stop trying.
22 Slaves, obey your masters in all things. Do not obey just when they are watching you, to gain their favor, but serve them honestly, because you respect the Lord.23 In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people.24 Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, which he promised to his people. You are serving the Lord Christ.25 But remember that anyone who does wrong will be punished for that wrong, and the Lord treats everyone the same.
1 Peter 2:11-3:12
Live for God
11 Dear friends, you are like foreigners and strangers in this world. I beg you to avoid the evil things your bodies want to do that fight against your soul.12 People who do not believe are living all around you and might say that you are doing wrong. Live such good lives that they will see the good things you do and will give glory to God on the day when Christ comes again.
Yield to Every Human Authority
13 For the Lord’s sake, yield to the people who have authority in this world: the king, who is the highest authority,14 and the leaders who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right.15 It is God’s desire that by doing good you should stop foolish people from saying stupid things about you.16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Live as servants of God.17 Show respect for all people: Love the brothers and sisters of God’s family, respect God, honor the king.
Follow Christ’s Example
18 Slaves, yield to the authority of your masters with all respect, not only those who are good and kind, but also those who are dishonest. 19 A person might have to suffer even when it is unfair, but if he thinks of God and can stand the pain, God is pleased. 20 If you are beaten for doing wrong, there is no reason to praise you for being patient in your punishment. But if you suffer for doing good, and you are patient, then God is pleased.21 This is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and gave you an example to follow. So you should do as he did.
22 “He had never sinned,
and he had never lied.” — Isaiah 53:9
23 People insulted Christ, but he did not insult them in return. Christ suffered, but he did not threaten. He let God, the One who judges rightly, take care of him. 24 Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross so we would stop living for sin and start living for what is right. And you are healed because of his wounds. 25 You were like sheep that wandered away, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
1 Peter 3
Wives and Husbands
1 In the same way, you wives should yield to your husbands. Then, if some husbands do not obey God’s teaching, they will be persuaded to believe without anyone’s saying a word to them. They will be persuaded by the way their wives live.2 Your husbands will see the pure lives you live with your respect for God.3 It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful.4 No, your beauty should come from within you—the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious to God.5 In this same way the holy women who lived long ago and followed God made themselves beautiful, yielding to their own husbands.6 Sarah obeyed Abraham, her husband, and called him her master. And you women are true children of Sarah if you always do what is right and are not afraid.
7 In the same way, you husbands should live with your wives in an understanding way, since they are weaker than you. But show them respect, because God gives them the same blessing he gives you—the grace that gives true life. Do this so that nothing will stop your prayers.
Suffering for Doing Right
8 Finally, all of you should be in agreement, understanding each other, loving each other as family, being kind and humble.9 Do not do wrong to repay a wrong, and do not insult to repay an insult. But repay with a blessing, because you yourselves were called to do this so that you might receive a blessing.
10 The Scripture says,
“A person must do these things
to enjoy life and have many happy days.
He must not say evil things,
and he must not tell lies.
11 He must stop doing evil and do good.
He must look for peace and work for it.
12 The Lord sees the good people
and listens to their prayers.
But the Lord is against
those who do evil.” — Psalm 34:12–16
The Unity of the Body
1 I am in prison because I belong to the Lord. Therefore I urge you who have been chosen by God to live up to the life to which God called you. 2 Always be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love.3 You are joined together with peace through the Spirit, so make every effort to continue together in this way.4 There is one body and one Spirit, and God called you to have one hope.5 There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.6 There is one God and Father of everything. He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything.
7 Christ gave each one of us the special gift of grace, showing how generous he is. 8 That is why it says in the Scriptures,
“When he went up to the heights,
he led a parade of captives,
and he gave gifts to people.” — Psalm 68:18
9 When it says, “He went up,” what does it mean? It means that he first came down to the earth.10 So Jesus came down, and he is the same One who went up above all the heaven. Christ did that to fill everything with his presence.11 And Christ gave gifts to people—he made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to have the work of caring for and teaching God’s people.12 Christ gave those gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger.13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge of the Son of God. We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection.
14 Then we will no longer be babies. We will not be tossed about like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to fool us. They make plans and try any kind of trick to fool people into following the wrong path.15 No! Speaking the truth with love, we will grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head.16 The whole body depends on Christ, and all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to make the whole body grow and be strong with love.
The Way You Should Live
17 In the Lord’s name, I tell you this. Do not continue living like those who do not believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing.18 They do not understand, and they know nothing, because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives.19 They have lost all feeling of shame, and they use their lives for doing evil. They continually want to do all kinds of evil.20 But what you learned in Christ was not like this.21 I know that you heard about him, and you are in him, so you were taught the truth that is in Jesus.22 You were taught to leave your old self—to stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse, because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do.23 But you were taught to be made new in your hearts,24 to become a new person. That new person is made to be like God—made to be truly good and holy.
25 So you must stop telling lies. Tell each other the truth, because we all belong to each other in the same body. 26 When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.27 Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.28 Those who are stealing must stop stealing and start working. They should earn an honest living for themselves. Then they will have something to share with those who are poor.
29 When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.30 And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes.31 Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.32 Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.
Living in the Light
1 You are God’s children whom he loves, so try to be like him.2 Live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But there must be no sexual sin among you, or any kind of evil or greed. Those things are not right for God’s holy people.4 Also, there must be no evil talk among you, and you must not speak foolishly or tell evil jokes. These things are not right for you. Instead, you should be giving thanks to God.5 You can be sure of this: No one will have a place in the kingdom of Christ and of God who sins sexually, or does evil things, or is greedy. Anyone who is greedy is serving a false god.
6 Do not let anyone fool you by telling you things that are not true, because these things will bring God’s anger on those who do not obey him.7 So have nothing to do with them.8 In the past you were full of darkness, but now you are full of light in the Lord. So live like children who belong to the light.9 Light brings every kind of goodness, right living, and truth.10 Try to learn what pleases the Lord.11 Have nothing to do with the things done in darkness, which are not worth anything. But show that they are wrong.12 It is shameful even to talk about what those people do in secret.13 But the light makes all things easy to see,14 and everything that is made easy to see can become light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper!
Rise from death,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 So be very careful how you live. Do not live like those who are not wise, but live wisely.16 Use every chance you have for doing good, because these are evil times.17 So do not be foolish but learn what the Lord wants you to do.18 Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit.19 Speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord.20 Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Wives and Husbands
21 Yield to obey each other as you would to Christ.
22 Wives, yield to your husbands, as you do to the Lord,23 because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. And he is the Savior of the body, which is the church.24 As the church yields to Christ, so you wives should yield to your husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it 26 to make it belong to God. Christ used the word to make the church clean by washing it with water.27 He died so that he could give the church to himself like a bride in all her beauty. He died so that the church could be pure and without fault, with no evil or sin or any other wrong thing in it.28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they love their own bodies. The man who loves his wife loves himself. 29 No one ever hates his own body, but feeds and takes care of it. And that is what Christ does for the church, 30 because we are parts of his body.31 The Scripture says, “So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.” 32 That secret is very important—I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 But each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband.
4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son who was born of a woman and lived under the law.5 God did this so he could buy freedom for those who were under the law and so we could become his children.
6 Since you are God’s children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and the Spirit cries out, “Father.”7 So now you are not a slave; you are God’s child, and God will give you the blessing he promised, because you are his child.
13 I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength.