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General Epistles

James Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, historian, and author of three non-fiction books. James enjoys people, music, film, and reading

MICHELANGELO SCULPTURE "PIETA" 1499

MICHELANGELO SCULPTURE "PIETA" 1499

The Epistle of James

Christians should be glad when we go through difficult times, because our faith is being tested to produce patience. If we overcome temptation, we will be rewarded with blessings. God does not tempt anyone. Rather, people are tempted by their own desires, which if yielded to, become sin and sin brings—in the end—eternal death.

Pray to God to grant you wisdom and He will do so, if you do not doubt that He will. The wisdom from God is pure, peaceful, gentle, and merciful. Every good thing that exists comes from God.

God is very caring and loving to Christians who patiently endure and persevere through earthly suffering—as Jesus did. It is impossible to both serve God and serve worldly desires. Submit to God and not the Devil. The more diligently you work toward personally knowing God, the more He will reveal to you about Himself. Approach God in utter humility and He will lift you up.

Really listen to other people, rather than blabbering away yourself. Don't seek revenge, don't be filthy, and don't be wicked. Take special care to comfort widows and orphans.

Have mercy on people and God will show you mercy. Keep control of your tongue as it is the most powerful and uncontrollable part of your body—capable of inflicting great harm on people. Bitterness, envy and selfishness come from evil spirits.

When you are at church, greet each person with the same love and attention regardless of how wealthy or well dressed they are. Christians are never to speak ill of each other, or complain about other Christians. We are to confess our sins to each other and pray for one another. If one of our brothers or sisters loses their way, we can save their soul from eternal death by turning them around from the errors that lead to perdition.

If you claim to have faith but your deeds show that you do not put your faith into action—this is a worthless kind of belief. The elders of the church should fervently pray over the sick—and anoint them with oil—so they'll be healed from their illnesses.

JAMES (FROM A CHURCH IN NOVGOROD RUSSIA)

JAMES (FROM A CHURCH IN NOVGOROD RUSSIA)

JESUS WITH HIS APOSTLES (STAINED GLASS)

JESUS WITH HIS APOSTLES (STAINED GLASS)

The Epistles of Peter

God the Father, out of His mercy toward us, resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead, producing a living hope in us that we will go to heaven through faith in salvation. God revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Even though none of us living presently have seen Jesus in the flesh, we must praise, honor and glory Him—in order to be saved. We must put our hope in grace and devote ourselves to the service of God in all of our behavior.

Christians have been redeemed by the precious blood of the sinless sacrificial lamb: Jesus Christ. Utilize the power of the Holy Spirit that abides in you to purify your soul and obey the truth. Demonstrate that you have been born again by sincerely, fervently loving your Christian brothers and sisters with a pure heart. God chose you.

You are precious. You are part of the spiritual house God is building and His holy, royal Priesthood. You are one of God's special people that He called out of darkness into His light to be His own; so praise Him and obtain His mercy.

The lusts of the flesh seek to destroy your soul—abstain from them. Do not use Liberty from the Law—that God has granted you—as an excuse for vice.

Jesus—who was reviled without reviling and suffered without threatening—bore our sins on the cross. By his stripes you are healed. He is the Good Shepherd who saves you. Let the hidden person in your heart be a gentle and quiet spirit of incorruptible beauty—which is very precious to God.

All Christians should be of one mind; having compassion, tenderheartedness, and courteousness for each other. Be a blessing to one another and minister to each other. Honor all people. Be living examples to the rest of the flock.

Jesus Christ is in heaven with God. Humble yourselves before God and cast all your cares upon Him—for He cares for you. Be vigilant because your adversary, Satan, is roaming around looking for whom he might devour. Resist him.

Jesus is Christ is our Savior, our Lord, and our God. He has divine power; he called us by His glory and virtue to have knowledge of Him. He has given us precious promises that we may partake in His divine nature—once we escape the corrupt lusts of this world. We must be diligent, faithful, virtuous—and we need to know Him. We should learn to control ourselves; to maintain our purpose in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement; to imitate Christ—to live with Him forevermore.

Peter slams down any claim that the gospel is a fable. He was an eyewitness to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in His power and majesty. You will do well to heed this light that shines in a dark place. The words in Scripture are not mere words of men—but the words of holy men who spoke as they were moved to do so by the Holy Spirit of God.

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Beware of false teachers among you who sneak in with destructive heresies—some even denying who Jesus is—bringing destruction on themselves. Many will follow their blasphemy against the way of truth. Do not allow them to exploit you with cunning, deceptive words. They are like brute beasts who will be caught and destroyed—perishing in their own destruction—for they speak evil of things they do not understand.

False teachers carouse in their own deceptions while they feast on you and entice unstable souls. They twist the Scriptures to untaught people. They speak great swelling words of emptiness and their reward shall be the blackness of darkness forever.

The doctrine of backsliding is: that if you have come to know the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but then go back to the pollution of the world and the corruption of the flesh—it would have been better for you to have never known Him, for your end will be worse than if you hadn't.

Ungodly people will be destroyed by fire when judgment day comes. But the Lord does not want any to perish. He wishes all would sincerely ask for forgiveness of their sins and then—change their wicked ways.

Jesus has promised there will be new heavens and a new Earth after judgment day. Peter endorses the wise words written in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul. And he urges us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.