Category Archives: Salvation

Faith and Love in Ignatius’ Letters

Ignatius (35-108 AD), the disciple of the apostle John and overseer of Antioch, left us a series of letters written during his journey to Rome to face trial and eventually martyrdom. They were written to various churches along the journey to encourage and instruct them in his absence.

As I read through his letters recently, I was struck by the pervasive theme of love and faith. Not held apart, but bound together as a unified response towards God and the gospel. For Ignatius, both love and faith are indispensable for salvation.

Ignatius frames salvation as attaining to God—a goal that requires endurance even unto death. If we are found to be faithful at the end, only then are we true disciples of Jesus. Attaining to God is not a mere matter of intellectual faith alone. It also requires true love towards God and each other.

Direct Quotations of Ignatius
One of the most explicit statements of faith and love by Ignatius is found in his letter to the Ephesian church, the same church we know Paul was deeply involved with. As you can read in the quote below, Ignatius viewed spiritual life as a continuum that requires endurance in both faith and love.

None of these things escape your notice, if you have perfect faith and love toward Jesus Christ. For these are the beginning and the end of life: faith is the beginning and love is the end, and the two, when they exist in unity are God. Everything else that contributes to excellence follows from them. No one professing faith sins, nor does anyone possessing love hate. The tree is known by its fruit; thus those who profess to be Christ’s will be recognized by their actions. For the work is a matter not of what one promises now, but of persevering to the end in the power of faith. (Ignatius, Ephesians 14.1-2)

Earlier in the same letter, Ignatius describes the construction of the church as God’s temple, in which both faith and love play a pivotal role in forming this holy body of believers:

[…] you are stones of a temple, prepared beforehand for the building of God the Father, hoisted up to the heights by the crane of Jesus Christ, which is the cross, using as a rope the Holy Spirit; your faith is what lifts you up, and love is the way that leads up to God. (Ignatius, Ephesians 9.1)

Faith, Love, and the Crucified Christ
The theological closeness that the early church held faith and love together can be seen in a unique parallel Ignatius forms between both faith and love, and the crucified body of Jesus. He associates faith with Jesus’ fleshly body and love with Jesus’ shed blood.

You, therefore, must arm yourselves with gentleness and regain your strength in faith (which is the flesh of the Lord) and in love (which is the blood of Jesus Christ). (Ignatius, Trallians 8.1)

I glorify Jesus Christ, the God who made you so wise, for I observed that you are established in an unshakeable faith, having been nailed as it were, to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ in both body and spirit, and firmly established in love by the blood of Christ […] (Ignatius, Smyrnaeans 1.1)

The Gospel and Our Response of Faith and Love
In explaining the gospel, Ignatius describes both faith and love as our response towards Jesus:

If Jesus Christ, in response to your prayer, should reckon me worthy, and if it is his will, in a second letter that I intend to write to you I will further explain to you the subject about which I have begun to speak, namely, the divine plan with respect to the new man Jesus Christ, involving faith in him and love for him, his suffering and resurrection, especially if the Lord reveals anything to me. (Ignatius, Ephesians 20.1-2)

Again, in response to the gospel, Ignatius instructs his readers to “believe with love.” This is reminiscent of Paul’s statement to the Galatians that “in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.” (Gal. 5:6)

But the gospel possesses something distinctive, namely, the coming of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, his suffering, and the resurrection. For the beloved prophets preached in anticipation of him, but the gospel in the imperishable finished work. All these things together are good, if you believe with love. (Ignatius, Philadelphians 9.2)

I have too many quotes to list out here. I’ve posted the rest of them below this post if you’re curious.

Final Thoughts from Scripture
This theme of faith and love working together is seen all over scripture as well.

I’ve already mentioned Paul, how he taught that what really matters is “faith working through love.” Paul also writes that love is the fulfillment of the Law. All of the Mosaic Law and the Prophets are summed up in love, in loving God and loving our neighbor. (Romans 13:10) Paul also tells us that of faith, hope, and love, the greatest is love. (1 Co. 13:13) Earlier in the same chapter, Paul again emphasizes that without love, faith is nothing. He writes, “If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Co. 13:2)

For the apostle John, who apparently taught Ignatius, love is not only important, but a necessity. He writes in 1 John, “Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” And conversely, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

Finally, when we read in James that we are justified by works and not by faith alone, the context is clear that the “works” mentioned are acts of love. (James 2:24) They are not ritualistic religious practices that have no bearing on one’s heart for others, but are manifestations of godly love.

It is this other-focused love that is essential for Ignatius—true love that fulfills the law and looks not to please ourselves, but serve others. To use Ignatius’ own words, “nothing is preferable” to this love and faith working together in our lives to the glory of God.


Additional Quotes

For just as their are two coinages, the one of God and the other of the world, and each of them has its own stamp impressed upon it, so the unbelievers bear the stamp of this world, but the faithful in love bear the stamp of God the Father through Jesus Christ, whose life is not in us unless we voluntarily choose to die into his suffering. (Ignatius, Magnesians 5.2)

For inasmuch as I have been judged to bear a most godly name, in these chains that I bear I sing the praises of the churches, and I pray that in them there may be a union of flesh and spirit that comes from Jesus Christ, our never-failing life, and of faith and love, to which nothing is preferable, and–what is more important–of Jesus and the Father. In him we will reach God, if we patiently endure all the abuse of the ruler of this age and escape. (Ignatius, Magnesians 1.2)

Do not let a high position make anyone proud, for faith and love are everything; nothing is preferable to them. (Ignatius, Smyrnaeans 6.1)

I welcomed in God your well-beloved name, which you possess by reason of your righteous nature, characterized by faith in and love of Christ Jesus our Savior. (Ignatius, Ephesians 1.1)

[…] the church beloved and enlightened through the will of the one who willed all things that exist, in accordance with faith in and love for Jesus [Or faith and love of Jesus] Christ our God […] (Ignatius, Romans; Salutation)

Be eager, therefore, to be firmly grounded in the precepts of the Lord and the apostles, in order that in whatever you do, you may prosper, physically and spiritually, in faith and love, in the son and the Father and in the Spirit, in the beginning and at the end, together with your most distinguished bishop and that beautifully woven spiritual crown which is your council of presbyters and the godly deacons. (Ignatius, Magnesians 13.1)

I greet the household of Gavia, and pray that she may be firmly grounded in faith and love both physically and spiritually. (Ignatius, Smyrnaeans 13.2)

 

Meaning of 1 Corinthians 3: The Testing of God’s Church Builders

When discussing the last judgment and the consequences of good and bad works, I have heard it often incorrectly taught that your deeds don’t have any affect on your eternal security. If you are a Christian and have good works, congratulations, you’ll get some heavenly presents. However, if your life was defined by sinful living, don’t worry, you will still be saved—albeit with no eternal goody bag. While you “should” behave yourself as a Christian, eternity isn’t at stake, just the amount of heavenly treasure.

One of the go-to verses used to justify this wrong teaching is Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 3 where he writes that if someone’s work “is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Cor. 3:15)

A cursory reading of this verse without studying the context could understandably lead to this error. However, once you actually study the context and the flow of Paul’s thought, it becomes clear that this was not Paul’s point at all. In fact, Paul’s argument rather indirectly suggests that many in the local fellowship there are at risk of perishing on Judgement Day.

Before we get there, let’s take a look at the entire passage, I’ve highlighted particularly relevant portions to shed light on the true meaning.

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:5-17)

The greater context is dealing with those who have shepherded the Corinthian church—namely Paul, Apollos, and those who now lead the church. Paul describes himself and the other leaders as co-workers with God. They are servants, who are working with God (v 5). Each has their own task in cooperation with God (v 5), but all credit goes to God (v 7).

What are they working towards, what does their labor produce? Paul describes them as farm hands, planting and cultivating a crop. In verse 9, he expands upon the analogy. These leaders are laborers in God’s field, and also the construction crew of God’s building.

The field and the building represent the church—the fellowship of believers themselves. Paul says “you are God’s field, God’s building.” He’s not speaking to an individual here. “You” (este, ἐστε) is plural in the Greek. Paul is saying “you all”—that is, all you believers in Corinth—are God’s field and God’s building.

This is the first key to understanding the passage. The labor or work Paul describes here is not the totality good or bad works of our life, but rather the “construction” of the church itself.

In verse 10, this church building analogy continues. Paul laid the foundation, and the foundation was Jesus Christ (v 12). Now, after Paul has built the foundation of the church, other builders (church leaders) have come and continued the work. Paul explains that not all work is equal. Again, he’s not talking about general good and bad works, but specifically “church construction” work. Some build with precious and high-quality materials, others with not-so-good. In other words, some pastored their fellowship well and others poorly.

This work—the church itself—will be tested on Judgement Day (v 14). If the church doesn’t past the test, if it is burned up, these church leaders will suffer great loss, but will themselves be barely saved (v 15). The loss is not just rewards, but the loss of their congregation itself—the loss of people’s eternal lives. The pastors are largely to blame, as they did not train their church to the highest standard.

Paul does not stop there however. He has already addressed good leaders who’s work stands the test, and consequently are rewarded. He’s shown that those leaders who do a poor job shepherding their congregation will suffer loss, but they themselves will be saved. Now, in verse 16-17, Paul addresses those who are not builders, but actively tear down and destroy the church.

Paul writes, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (v 16). Before I studied this more closely, I always assumed Paul was saying that each of us individually are temples of God, an idea he expresses elsewhere (see 1 Cor. 6:19). However, that’s not what he’s saying here. Paul writes that “you all” (plural again) are God’s temple (singular). Paul is continuing with the building analogy. The church fellowship (“you all”) together constitute the singular building of God’s temple.

He continues, “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person.” (v 17) Paul has already talked about poor workers, but this isn’t just a poor worker. This is someone who is actively damaging the church. They are teaching false doctrines, leading people away from the truth. They are destroying the body of believers in Corinth. These destructive workers won’t be saved. No, God will destroy them.


To summarize, here’s what Paul reveals in 1 Corinthians 3 regarding church leaders and the quality of their work:

  1. Good church leaders: Church isn’t destroyed on Judgement Day. Leaders are saved and receive rewards.
  2. Poor church leaders: Their church is destroyed (congregants don’t pass the test and are destroyed). Leaders are barely saved, but suffer loss of their church and don’t receive rewards.
  3. Destructive church leaders: Work at tearing down the church, and so God destroys them.

Next time you hear someone use this passage to argue that works don’t matter, graciously point out to them that Paul is addressing something else entirely here. Paul teaches that in the last judgement, God will test the church. Some will stand the test, while others will be burned up. The church leaders will be held responsible for the quality of their shepherding. All those pastors whose teaching leads people astray, will be eternally punished for destroying God’s building.

A sobering passage, but a good wake-up call for all of us.

 

Christians Must Not Deny Jesus When Persecuted (Apostolic Constitutions)

The quotations below from the Apostolic Constitutions (375 AD) give historical perspective on the attitude of Christians regarding martyrdom and the eternal importance of never denying Jesus. As you can read below, it was taught that those Christians that were unfaithful to their confession risked losing their salvation. The memories of persecution were still relatively fresh for the church at this point, which makes these quotes all the more impactful.

I’ve made the particularly relevant portions below bold, although it’s all worth the read.

But he that denies himself to be a Christian, that he may not be hated of men, and so loves his own life more than he does the Lord, in whose hand his breath is, is wretched and miserable, as being detestable and abominable, who desires to be the friend of men, but is the enemy of God, having no longer his portion with the saints, but with those that are accursed; choosing instead of the kingdom of the blessed, that eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: not being any longer hated by men, but rejected by God, and cast out from His presence.

For of such a one our Lord declared, saying: “Whosoever shall deny me before men, and shall be ashamed of my name, I also will deny and be ashamed of him before my Father which is in heaven.” And again He speaks thus to us ourselves, His disciples: “He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” And afterwards: “Fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (5.1.4)

And a little later:

Let us therefore renounce our parents, and kinsmen, and friends, and wife, and children, and possessions, and all the enjoyments of life, when any of these things become an impediment to piety. For we ought to pray that we may not enter into temptation; but if we be called to martyrdom, with constancy to confess His precious name, and if on this account we be punished, let us rejoice, as hastening to immortality. When we are persecuted, let us not think it strange; let us not love the present world, nor the praises which come from men, nor the glory and honour of rulers, according as some of the Jews wondered at the mighty works of our Lord, yet did not believe on Him, for fear of the high priests and the rest of the rulers: “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

But now, by confessing a good confession, we not only save ourselves, but we confirm those who are newly illuminated, and strengthen the faith of the catechumens. But if we remit any part of our confession, and deny godliness by the faintness of our persuasion, and the fear of a very short punishment, we not only deprive ourselves of everlasting glory, but we shall also become the causes of the perdition of others; and shall suffer double punishment, as affording suspicion, by our denial that that truth which we gloried in so much before is an erroneous doctrine.

Wherefore neither let us be rash and hasty to thrust ourselves into dangers, for the Lord says: “Pray that ye fall not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Nor let us, when we do fall into dangers, be fearful or ashamed of our profession. Nor let us, when we do fall into dangers, be fearful or ashamed of our profession. For if a person, by the denial of his own hope, which is Jesus the Son of God, should be delivered from a temporary death, and the next day should fall dangerously sick upon his bed, with a distemper in his bowels, his stomach, or his head, or any of the incurable diseases, as a consumption, or gangrene, or looseness, or iliac passion, or dropsy, or colic, and has a sudden catastrophe, and departs this life; is not he deprived of the things present, and loses those eternal? Or rather, he is within the verge of eternal punishment, “and goes into outer darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (5.1.6)

The quotes speak for themselves. Let’s not deny Christ, fearing the temporary, and thus lose the eternal.

If you want to read more from the Apostolic Constitutions, check out my post on the early church teaching that continued obedience after baptism is necessary for salvation.

The Secret to Knowing God More Deeply

Many Christians are searching for a personal revival. They want to truly know God, experience God, and be a true friend of God.

Draw close, and let me tell you a secret. It’s not a secret because God hasn’t revealed it, but because church traditions have too often obscured it. Too often we don’t want to hear the truth, because we aren’t living according to the truth.

If you consider yourself a Christian, you already have faith that Jesus was God incarnate and that He died on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins. You believe that Jesus rose from the dead, conquering death and sin once for all. These are the basics.

However, if you really want to know God, it takes more than just intellectual belief. It takes more than a mental acceptance of the foundational dogmas of Christianity. It takes a true step of faith. You need to trust God enough to begin obeying Him completely and wholeheartedly.

Listen to the words of Jesus:

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (John 14:21-23 NASB)

Jesus promises to disclose Himself to us—if we keep His commandments and thus truly love Him. The Father loves everyone who obeys Jesus’ words. This seems to speak of a deeper love than the universal love God has for humanity. This love is found when we abide in God. The Father and the Son will come to us when we love God by keeping his commands, and God will dwell with us.

More verses speak of the necessity of obedience for true communion with God. If we keep Jesus commands, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit:

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. (John 14:15-17 NIV)

And if we continue to obey Jesus’ commands after believing in Him, we will be truly set free:

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:21-32 NIV)

These verses do not deny the absolute necessity of faith in Jesus. That is a given. But if we neglect walking in obedience to Jesus, we will never truly know God. The true family of God are those that obey God. Jesus said, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35)

Obedience is the secret to a deeper walk with God. There’s no convoluted formula to knowing God and true revival. It requires faith, repentance and continued life of obedience to God. It’s so simple. Yet, it still requires a response. We must obey. As we obey, our union with God will grow only stronger and produce eternal fruits that far outweigh any temporary costs.

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. (James 4:7-10 NIV)

The Lord Will Save Me into His Kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18)

While analyzing every New Testament use of the Greek verb “sozo” (σῴζω), meaning “to save,” I was surprised to find an instance I never noticed before.

Paul uses this verb 29 times in his letters (31 if you include Hebrews), and almost every instance has been consistently translated as some variation of “to save” in regards to our spiritual redemption and deliverance. When we look in the New Testament as a whole, and specifically in the Gospels, this verb is also often used in a more general sense when Jesus heals someone. The sick, lame, and blind are often “made well” (sozo) by Jesus.  So we do see broader NT usage that’s not limited solely to spiritual salvation. However, Paul consistently uses it in the sense of spiritual salvation, which were most familiar with. (Here’s a list of every NT use.)

Although in Paul’s letters “sozo” has been consistently translated as some form of “to save,” there is one exception found in 2 Timothy 4:18, where it reads “will bring me safely”:

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. (NIV 2 Timothy 4:18)

Most translations have some form of the phrase “will bring me safely.” Nothing is wrong with this translation. It does communicate the Paul’s overall meaning here.

However, it also unfortunately obscures the Paul’s use of “sozo” here. The entire phrase “will bring [me] safely” is translated from the future tense of “sozo,” meaning “he will save” (sosei; σώσει). This is significant because Paul has previously and consistently used this verb to communicate spiritual deliverance.

Young’s Literal Translation is one of the few that translate it as “ will/shall save”:

and the Lord shall free me from every evil work, and shall save me — to his heavenly kingdom; to whom is the glory to the ages of the ages! Amen.

I find this particularly interesting. Here Paul, near the end of his earthly ministry, is anticipating the Lord’s continued protection and ultimate future salvation into Jesus’ kingdom. He writes that the Lord “will save me into his heavenly kingdom.”

If you survey all the scriptures, Paul describes our salvation not only as a past event, but also as an ongoing process and a future hope. Just as God has delivered us from sin and death at our conversion, we are still being saved and ultimately will be saved.

Paul himself was no exception, as we see in his second letter to Timothy. He knew the value of perseverance, of running the race to the end. After writing that the time of his “departure” had come (2 Timothy 4:6), Paul writes:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Why will God rescue Paul from every evil work? Why will Jesus save him into the kingdom? It is because he’s “kept the faith.” He’s poured out his life as a servant in praise to God. He’s wholeheartedly trusted God with all that he has. He now looks forward to the completion of his salvation when he receives the “crown of righteousness,” given to those who persevere and joyfully anticipate Jesus’ glorious return.

What Is the Crown of Life?

The crown of life is mentioned twice in the New Testament—once in James and once in Revelations. In both instances, the crown is received by those who stand the test through perseverance in the faith.

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelations 2:10)

What Is the Crown?
When James and John allude to the “crown of life,” they aren’t thinking of some literal, physical crown. The “crown of life” refers to eternal life itself. It’s not just a bonus reward that only some people get in the eternal kingdom, but rather the prize received by all entrants into heaven.

This particular phrase uses what is known in Greek grammar as the genitive of apposition or epexegetical genitive. The genitive of apposition is often used when the head noun (here, “crown”) is metaphorical. The substantive in the genitive case that follows (here, “of life”) refers roughly to the same thing as the head noun (“crown”). (For more detail, check out this chart).

Put in simple terms, “crown of life” means more specifically “the crown that is life.” Life itself is the future reward. In keeping with the genitive of apposition, “crown” is a metaphorical reference that is further clarified by “of life.” So, the “crown of life” is simply another way to say “eternal life.”

This same concept applies to other “crowns” mentioned in the epistles. We read of a “crown of righteousness” (2 Tim. 4:8) and a “crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4). Just as with the crown of life, righteousness and glory are the rewards themselves. This makes perfect sense. When we enter heaven, we will be forever justified (found righteous) and glorified.

Conditions Upon Receiving Eternal Life
According to James, the crown will be given only to those who are approved after persevering under trial. The trial, of course, is a testing. It reveals the quality of that which is tested, in this case the Christian. After being tested by various trials, we will be either be approved or rejected. Those that are approved will receive eternal life (represented by the crown of life).

This crown has been promised to those who love God. Those who persevere and stand approved have been shown to truly love God, and thus receive eternal life. The one who is approved through perseverance and the one who loves God are one and the same. If you love God, you will persevere. If you persevere through trials, you show your love for God. They are different perspectives of the same reality.

The other reference in Revelations is completely consistent with the teaching in James. They both reinforce each other and communicate the same message. John, relaying the words of Jesus, writes that those who “remain faithful until death” will receive eternal life. Those who persevere until the day they die are those who are tested and found approved. They truly love God, as evidenced by their willingness to lay down their lives for Him. They walk in the same footsteps of Jesus as true disciples, loving as Jesus loved. As such, they receive the crown of life, which symbolizes eternal life.

This perseverance until our death isn’t in our strength alone, but with God’s help as we walk in obedience with Him. He will strengthen and guide us to the end, no matter what the trials. However, we must remain in Him through daily laying down our lives in service to God and others. If we are continually faithful in the small matters, he will strengthen us to remain faithful when faced with trials no mortal could withstand without divine help. And once we have overcome, we will receive the crown of life—life forever with God.

The words of Paul speak to this reality of God’s support as we abide in Him:

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)