What You Should Know about “He Knew Her Not”

joseph
By Sean Perron

Perhaps you are reading through an Advent devotional this Christmas season or focusing on the Gospel accounts of the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke. The Bible never ceases to amaze and there are always new insights to discover in old stories.

This year I was struck by a small unexpected sentence in Matthew 1:24-25. It reads:

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Mat 1:24-25 ESV)

This text teaches that Joseph obeyed God by marrying Mary (even though the child within her was not his offspring) but he did not have sex with her until after she gave birth to Jesus. The ESV uses the language of “but knew her not” as a euphemism for sex. There are other translations that read:

NAS  Matthew 1:25 and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. (Mat 1:25 NAS)

NLT  Matthew 1:25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus. (Mat 1:25 NLT)

There are several things to point out from these couple of verses.

First, this is a unique situation in redemptive history. The main point of this verse is not to communicate that you should avoid sex after your wedding. There are several factors that make this situation unique – not the least of which is that the Holy Spirit conceived a baby in the womb of a virgin. There are also other Scriptures that command regular sexual activity for married couples. (1 Corinthians 7:5)

Second, the Bible (and Joseph) wanted it to be crystal clear that Jesus was not the offspring of an earthly father. Jesus is God in the flesh. His birth was miraculous. Joseph and Mary had a wedding but did not consummate their marriage until after Jesus was born. They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was not conceived by human relations. This was a divine act.

Third, this verse also teaches that Joseph and Mary had sex after Jesus was born. Mary was not a perpetual virgin. Joseph didn’t have sex with her until after she gave birth. There are also verses in the book of Matthew that talk about Jesus’ brothers and sisters. (See also Mark 6:3)

Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” (Mat 13:55-56 ESV)

These are all important things to point out from these verses, yet these were not the things that struck me this Christmas. What caught my attention was the self-control of Joseph.

Think about it. Joseph was a righteous man who followed the law (Matthew 1:19). He was presumably chaste and had no blemish on his record. He had waited his entire life to have sex until the proper context. He had been self-controlled because he wanted to obey God and follow the Old Testament law.

Then it comes out that Mary is pregnant with a baby that does not belong to him. He is told in a dream by an angel of the Lord that he should remain committed to Mary and take her as his wife. Joseph marries Mary… but still remains self-controlled.

He could have had sex with her and we have no indication that it would have been sinful. Yet, he chose to wait until after the birth of Jesus in order that it would be crystal clear that Jesus was not of earthly descent. Since he had a character of a righteous man and knew this was a unique divine circumstance, I conclude that he wanted to answer any possible claim that he was the earthly father of Jesus.

Joseph lived with Mary. He loved her. He saw her naked. He took care of her. He traveled with her to Bethlehem. And yet, he waited to have intercourse with her until after he helped her give birth to a child that was not his own.

Would you have been as self-controlled as Joseph? Would you have complained? Would you have grumbled? Would you have been bitter?

I don’t want to read more into the text than need be. Nor amy I trying to advocate for anything bizarre. I’m not advocating using Joseph as an example to refrain from intercourse within marriage. If you have followed my other blogs, you know I believe married couples should enjoy sex on a very regular basis.

I am saying that Joseph exerted a lot of self-control and truly loved well in a difficult and unprecedented situation.

Perhaps you need the grace of Jesus this Christmas to grow in the area of self-control. Are you single and struggling with pornography? Are you dating or engaged and struggling with purity? Are you married and having difficulty remaining sexually committed to your spouse? Use this Advent to ask God for the gift of control. Only the Holy Spirit who conceived Jesus can give us this spiritual fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  (Gal 5:1 ESV)

The Holy Spirit did a miracle in the womb of Mary. The Holy Spirit did a miracle in the heart of Joseph. And I am more than confident that the Holy Spirit can do a miracle in our lives and enable us to replace any sinful desires with steadfast love.

 


Sean is the Chief of Staff at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and the author of Letters to a Romantic: On Engagement (P&R, 2017)

Imagery to Fight: Revelation 16

by Sean Perron
by Sean Perron

 

Imagery to Fight

In life, the pressure is on. Trials, toils and snare abound for the believer. How will you fight against the intense temptations Satan will throw your way? Will you be able to endure until the end and be saved? Apocalyptic literature offers us some images to keep us in the faith.

Chapters 6-16 of Revelation contain many visions of judgment that are poured out upon the earth. The trumpet and bowl judgments are intense pictures of the wrath of God. While it is beyond the scope of this post to examine all the images in these chapters, this section will highlight a couple of images of Judgment and seek to apply them practically in counseling.

Revelation 16 can be used to provide powerful images in order to bring about repentance and to keep believers from falling into temptation. Revelation 16:2 says, “So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.” This verse gives a descriptive picture of what will happen to all of those who follow the way of Satan instead of the way of Christ. Every person who gives way to the persuasion of sin is described in this text. Those who have obtained the mark of the beast have given themselves over to sin and disobedience.

The image of a bowl that spreads sores and painful diseases is an unpleasant thought. This is an example of apocalyptic literature exposing the façade of sin. The bowls in Revelation are bowls of wrath. They are bowls filled with the fury of God. We do not want these bowls poured on our heads anymore than we want scalding hot water to be dumped on our backs. Romans 6:23 rightly says that “the wages of sin is death.” Revelation 16 gives readers a similar truth as in Romans 6:23 but it is delivered in a much more pungent manner.  This passage communicates that the wages of sin is full of infected sores. Sin brings God’s wrath and in this text God’s wrath manifests itself in painful sores. Imagine green pus filled boils covering your skin. These sores are a direct cause of sin. These are wages for the wicked on their way to death. We want God to anoint our heads with smooth oil, not sour sores.

The judgments continue to pour and Revelation 16:8 describes another bowl of wrath that inflicts pain. “The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire.” This imagery involves a giant bowl being held over the earth by a massive angel. This bowl is filled with liquid that is poured out to ignite the sun. When the liquid touches the sun, the sun intensifies and explodes the solar system with heat and light. All the enemies of God feel the intense heat on their skin and every exposed area becomes burnt. This bowl is another picture of the consequences of sin. Instead of infected sores, God releases heat from hell. In this text, the wages of sin is sun poisoning. All the enemies of God are burned before they can even march into battle. These are the same people who are gearing up for the battle against God at armageddon and they already have a foretaste of their defeat (Revelation 16:14-16). How foolish is the battle of armageddon? Creatures are planning to attack their Creator and cannot even conquer the sun! Sin is foolishness and will only result in misery. This imagery of splotchy red soldiers with burning red boils should be brought to our minds before giving into temptation. This should cause us to pause before partaking in sin.

 

How should we respond to judgment?

The interesting twist in Revelation 16 comes from the response of those under judgment. Instead of crying out for mercy from the wrath of God, they actually do the extreme opposite. 16:9 says, “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power of these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.” This is instructive for counseling on two levels.

First, this gives some insight into the depravity of man. Wicked hearts are blind to logic and this passage reveals this reality. The most illogical act in response to the bowl judgments would be to curse God. Yet the unbelievers go to great lengths to mount an attack plan against their Creator and wage war against him in 16:16. Armageddon is the apex of human folly. The creatures are attempting to attack the very one who sustains their existence. The image of Armageddon should be a clear call for counselors that many people respond to correction in the worst possible manner. It shows that sin is blinding and causes people to operate in illogical ways.

Second, these passages come as a warning to believers and unbelievers. These are examples of how not to respond to the discipline of God. Revelation 16:9 and 11 indicate that the proper response to the wrath of God is repentance. When faced with the judgment of God, humans should fall to their knees and beg for mercy. Fleshy boils and burns should cause the believer to wince at the harmful results of disobedience. When the imagination brings to mind the clamor of thousands of sun scorched soldiers at the battle of Armageddon, the foolishness of sin should be brought to mind. These images, and the emotions they invoke, can be a means of grace for persevering believers in holiness. This fresh vision of judgment may become your salvation.

 

This blog post is attempt to demonstrate the usefulness of apocalyptic imagery in discipleship and counseling. See Counseling Beasts and Imagery to Ignite for more. 

Imagery to Ignite: Revelation 4

by Sean Perron
by Sean Perron

Are you dull to the things of God? Do you yawn at the Bible or have trouble being excited about the Christian life? Perhaps you or someone you are counseling is spiritually lethargic. A good place to turn may be Revelation chapter 4 or 5. Here is one section from these chapters.

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: (Revelation 4:1-6, ESV)

Imagery to Ignite Worship

Chapters 4-5 of Revelation contain glorious descriptions of the throne room of God. These images convey a multitude of colors and they relay a symphony of sounds. Reading texts like this can move a counselee away from self absorption and give them an eternal perspective to live for what truly matters. I agree with Dr. Jim Hamilton in his commentary on Revelation when he says that believers should not limit their imagination when encountering this imagery. He writes,

“I would suggest that at this point, as we consider John’s description of what he saw, we let our imaginations run wild. We cannot be too extravagant in our attempt to depict this for our mind’s eye. The colors we imagine will not be too vibrant. The space we allot for the throne and what surrounds it will not be too large; the sights and sounds we conceive in our brains will not be too impressive, too surprising, or too overwhelming. We are talking about the glory of Almighty God, seated on his throne in Heaven. We will not overdo it in our attempt to image this scene.” (James M. Hamilton, Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches, 143)

A common theme that emerges from Revelation is the theme that only the triune God is worthy of worship.John is even rebuked at the end of the book when he falls to worship at the feet of an angel. The message in Revelation is that Jesus is to be worshipped and Jesus is clearly distinguished from angelic beings (Revelation 22:8-9) This theme is particularly evident in chapters 4-5. John describes four living creatures that simply exist to worship God day and night. These creatures never cease to cry out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8)

John also records the twenty four elders falling at the feet of God worshiping him repeatedly. The phrase “worthy” is ascribed to God in 4:11, 5:9 and 12. In 5:11, John records that “myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands” praise God aloud and the scene in chapter 5 climaxes with every creature in, on and under the earth blessing God. Chapter 7 adds a new element to this divine scene when saints from every nation and language gather around the throne of God to join the eternal praise. In these passages alone, the message is clear, God demands and deserves unceasing praise.

When a person meditates upon the visions John writes about in these chapters, the spiritual experience can nearly become overwhelming. Jonathan Edwards records his experience of the overbearing delight of God when reading the Scriptures after his conversion. He writes, “I seemed often to see so much light exhibited by every sentence, and such as refreshing food communicated, that I could not get along in reading.” (Iain H. Murray, Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography, 41) These passages in Revelation can certainly have this effect and can fuel the worship of believers and counselees. The images described by John open up a window of fresh air for struggling believers to look through and breathe.

Set my mind where?

Colossians 3:1-2 commands believers to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” What exactly should a counselee dwell upon to obey this verse in Colossians? Where is Christ seated at the throne room of God? The imagery in Revelation 4-5 is an answer to these questions and gives direction to those seeking to obey Colossians 3:1-2. Counselees who are wrestling with a number of issues such as pride, anxiety or fear of man can be immensely helped by meditating on theses visions of worship in Revelation. Even in the midst of trials and tribulations, God is receiving the praise he deserves and he is seated on the throne. Believers can set their mind on the images found in Revelation 4-5 of the twenty four elders crying out in joyful praise to God.

These apocalyptic visions may be particularly helpful for those who have become dull to the precious things of God. This imagery can be used as kindling wood to set cold hearts ablaze for the glory of God. These passages teach that the God’s purposes continue throughout the ages and true delight is to join in with the continuous choir of heaven. This imagery is both practical and powerful. Use this imagery to ignite love and holiness in your life.

This post is in a series on Counseling with Apocalyptic Imagery. See Post 1: Counseling Beasts

That’s Not Funny: Dirty Jokes and Jesus

by Spencer Harmon
by Spencer Harmon

What you laugh about says a lot about you.

Most of the world is laughing at things they should be crying about .  They are inviting you to join them.  The Bible teaches that marriage should be honored, and that people shouldn’t defile the marriage bed (Hebrews 13:4), yet the marriage bed is scorned on the silver screen during countless scenes of fornication that are seen as humorous.  Adultery is inane, blasphemy is a gag, and sin is joke, and they want you to start laughing.

To compound the problem, many of us find ourselves confused about the types of things we should be joking about.  You know the situation, right?  You’re with a group of friends, and someone tells that border line joke, and everyone nervously chuckles and shifts their eyes towards everyone else to make sure it’s OK to laugh.  Your conscience is pricked, and you (and everyone else in the group, for that matter) know you shouldn’t be laughing.  How should we think about this?

Jesus wants to be Lord over your laughing, and he inspired Ephesians 5 to show us the way. Here are a few things to keep in mind about crude humor, filthy talk, and sexual immorality as you engage in conversations and entertainment:

It’s improper.  You were not made to indulge in any type of sexual immorality.  Paul tells these people that sexual immorality and impurity, “should not even be named among you, as is proper among saints”.  Like wearing your shoes on the wrong feet all day long, indulging in impurity throughout the day doesn’t fit with believers that are indwelt by the Spirit.  Why would we let these things have a name among us when these are the very things that Jesus bled for?  It’s improper among Jesus’ cleansed bride.

It closes up the kingdom.  If you indulge in sexual immorality for the rest of your days, you won’t go to heaven.  Paul tells us that you can be sure of it.  The raunchy joke on your favorite show may be drained of its humor if you see it as something that is a roadblock to heaven.  Yes, Jesus died for all of your sins and every stumbling into impurity, but Jesus also died so that you would be set free from the power of sin (Romans 6), and that you would be delivered from this present evil age (Galatians 1:4).  Paul is warning Christians that if they are sexually immoral they will not inherit the kingdom of God.

It is damned.  When we laugh at sexual immorality, we are laughing about things that people are being punished for in hell.  Paul tells the Christians that because of sexual immorality and impurity the wrath of God is coming.  The picture painted for us by the world around us is opposite.  Explicit sexual immorality is not that big of a deal, and it’s easy to be numbed and carried by the current of laxity in regards to this type of humor and joking.  This is why we need the truth of Scripture to wake us up to the reality of sin and kick us in the pants to start swimming against the tide.  Paul tells us not to be “deceived”.  How easy it is so consume the view of the world around us without exposing it for what it is.

You were made for so much more.  Finally, crude joking just isn’t that funny.  When viewed through the lens of Scripture and brought under Jesus kingship, we begin to see these types of jokes as simply out of place.  Filthy talk and crude joking is nothing but a counterfeit joy that will give you the temporary buzz of laughter.  What Jesus calls Christians to is something much more durable and long lasting: thanksgiving.  You were not made to laugh at sex-scenes in movies and make line-bending jokes; you were made to experience the heart-bursting, pure thrill of thanksgiving.  The next time you are tempted to talk filthy or crudely joke, replace those thoughts and words with thankfulness.  Your joy will be compounded, your community enriched, and soul refreshed.  You were made for so much more.

It would be easy at this point to nuance all of my words with qualifications and exceptions and warnings about being legalistic towards others.  There are people who have over-corrected and think that God loves them based on their humor. However, I believe that what I need more than anything is Paul’s straight talk about my mouth rather than definitions about where the line is when it comes to my humor.  As we seek to bring even our laughter and humor under Jesus’ rule, let each of us live as those who will give an account for every word – and joke – we speak.   There are better things to laugh at, and better gifts to be enjoyed.

How to Study the Bible

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by Sean Perron

I took a hiatus from blogging the past few months and instead have been working through a series on How to Study the Bible. Here is a list of blogs and audio sessions that were given at the Emmaus Student Ministry at Crossing Church. The series concluded last week and covered a wide range of genres and interpretive issues. I have categorized them here in this blog post and hope they can serve you this new year.

How to Study the Bible:

Why I Joined the Biblical Counseling Movement

by Sean Perron
by Sean Perron

 

When a husband knocks a hole in the wall because his wife upset him, is it mania or sinning in anger? When a person panics on a plane or in an elevator, is it a matter of trusting God or an attack from the body? When a woman comes to you depressed and hopeless, will you counsel her to find joy in God or counsel her to purchase Prozac? Or both?

I am a part of the Biblical Counseling movement. I consider myself a part of this wave, and have bought into their philosophy hook, line and sinker. I have done so because I have been persuaded by the Scriptures. I have seen the fruitfulness of skilled counseling from the Bible and watched lives be transformed by the Spirit. Having confessed my allegiance, the question remains: What is this movement, and why should you be interested?

Essential to Biblical Counseling is the sufficiency of Scriptures. Biblical Counselors are fully confident that the 66 books of the Bible are enough to help people with their “problems in living”. The movement is for believers who take the Scriptures seriously and believe the inspired Word alone is sufficient to counsel any scenario related to life and godliness.

Let us be clear; we do not mean the Scriptures will suffice in the cheap pathetic way. It is not as if the Bible is all we have, so we are forced to call it sufficient. No. Biblical counseling teaches that the Scriptures are all we need for the most complex problems in life. It is because the Scriptures are gloriously sufficient to speak into our lives. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says,

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Peter tells us it is through God’s very great promises found in the Bible that people overcome sin and grow in holiness. Do not miss the sweeping ramifications of these verses. God has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. How has he done this? Through the knowledge of Him and by his promises.

If someone has a problem growing in godliness, the Scriptures sufficiently speak to it. If someone is trapped in habitual sin, the Bible adequately addresses it.

We should desire to be a Biblical Counselor because we believe the Apostle Peter when he says God’s promises are precious and very great. The counselor who believes in the sufficiency of Scripture believes the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul (Psalm 19:7). We hold high the invaluable words of God which are more precious than gold. We believe they are sweeter than honey and seek to skillfully administer them in the lives of others.

Another relevant verse for this discussion is 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Is there a good work that needs to be done by the believer? Paul says the Scriptures are sufficient for this. Follow the argument being made in these verses: The man of God may be complete because all Scripture is profitable. There is nothing lacking. The Scriptures do not come up short in counseling. The Biblical Counseling Movement is zealous for the God of the Bible who has infinite power and matchless wisdom.

Although I believe the Scripture is sufficient to counsel, I am confident this post is insufficient to answer every question. Let me choose one and then allow the reader to pursue more.

Is secular psychology worthless?

No. Secular Psychology has things to offer. There are observations psychologists have made that are good and true. They may label someone with a bipolar disorder because they have noticed they have had prolonged spiking mood swings, irritability, racing thoughts, insomnia, and agitation coupled with one or more massive episodes of depression. (see chapter two in Good Mood, Bad Mood by Charles Hodge) These observations and many alike may all be true. But knowledge of their research or the terminology they use is not necessary.

When counseling a woman concerned about self-image and eating struggles, it may be helpful to know only four percent of women globally think they are beautiful. I might be helped to read that “researchers have found that “fat talk”—a phenomena in which a person makes negative claims about their weight to others—is an expected norm among women and a way for them to appear more modest.” (See the post: 9 Things You Should Know About Female Body Issues from TGC)

All such statistics and observations may be true, but they are not necessary. We do not need to know hundreds of notes from thousands of counseling hours to be capable counselors. The man of God is not equipped for every good work by them.

The sufficiency of Scripture is of paramount importance for every Christian. There are questions that must be answered and how we answer them determines whether we are being faithful to God and His Bible. We will give an account for how we help those around us. If the Scriptures are sufficient to counsel, then we must dedicate our lives to this endeavor. The needs of many are complex, but they are not impossible. I am confident that if we drink from the deep well of the Bible, we will thirst no more.

I am a part of the Biblical Counseling movement because I have come to believe in the power of Christ who grants to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. I pray you will consider joining this movement.

Thou Shall Not

HPIM1841
by Spencer Harmon

Christians are gloriously and delightfully free.  The law can’t condemn us, Satan can’t accuse us, sin can’t enslave us, and death can’t defeat us.  New desires, new hearts, clean consciences, transformed minds.  This is who we are.  These are the incredible, unchanging realities for every person who has rested on the unchanging grace of God and put all their confidence in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  The message of the gospel is a message of amazing freedom.

Yet, oftentimes, we use this freedom to go back to the sins that we have left.  We pick up the chains that were broken from our bruised wrists; we sit in the jail cell with the door wide open.

One of the great lies that Satan uses to keep Christians in the cell is legalism.  You’re sitting in the movie theater with your Christian friends, and all of a sudden the film takes a horrific turn hellward.  You should leave.  But then it starts, “I don’t want to be a legalist”  You don’t want to be that person that makes the whole group uncomfortable and feel like bad Christians at the movie theater, do you?

The problem with this thinking is that Bible never presents a deep desire for holiness as legalism.  It presents it as the normal life of a Christian. Daniel prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10); Paul beat his body (1 Corinthians 9:27); Jesus prayed all night (Luke 6:12).  None of these men were legalists, and all of these exerted significant restraint in their daily lives, saying “no” to a hundred sinful things in order to have the One Great Thing.

“But I don’t want to be a Pharisee!”  But what was Jesus’ problem with the Pharisee’s?  “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness” (Luke 11:39).  The Pharisee’s kept the rules because they thought it made them right with God; Christians keep the rules because they have been made right with God and they want to please their Father.  Pharisee’s walk out of movie theaters because they think it will force God to be on their team; Christians walk out of movies because because they’re already on God’s team, and they want to honor the coach.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers.  Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).  The freedom the Christians have in Jesus is not a horse to ride into the saloon of satan, but is rather a basin where you wash the feet of others.  Do you feel bad when you have to correct a conversation?  Do you feel like a legalist when you change the channel during a sexually charged commercial?  The glorious reality is that you are free not to feel that way.  “No” isn’t a cuss word; fleeing sin isn’t legalism.  It is when saying “no” becomes your basis for a right standing before God that you become a legalist.  It is when you’re identity is found in the movies you don’t watch and the music you don’t listen to instead of Christ when you become a Pharisee.

So, next time you want to walk out of a movie, turn the channel, look the other way when everyone else gawks, don’t feel foolish – feel free.  Your identity is not wrapped up in the fact that you are running away, your identity is wrapped up in the one to whom you are running.  Let your vision of Him be clear, and let your desire for Him dictate your life. Come out from the dark and into the light; rise from the dead and into life; the chains are broken, the cellar door has swung open, and your once shackled legs are now empowered to walk in the smile of God the Father.  “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.  And his commandments are not burdensome.  For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith” (1 John 5:3-4)