A Review of Holman’s CSB (Christian Standard Bible) Large Print UltraThin Reference Bible, in Black Goatskin Leather.

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I know many of you are waiting out there to see what this revision of the H.C.S.B. is all about.  It isn’t a formal equivalent, it isn’t a dynamic equivalent.  F.Y.I. Holman calls it an optimal translation.  Here is an excerpt from their site, “The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a highly trustworthy, faithful translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. It’s as literal to the original as possible without sacrificing clarity. The CSB is poised to become the translation that pastors rely on and Bible readers turn to again and again to read and to share with others.”

If you are like me, you might be wondering what is the difference between the two.  Here is another excerpt from their site, ” The Christian Standard Bible is a revision of the HCSB, updating translation and word choices in order to optimize both fidelity to the original languages and clarity for a modern audience. The Translation Oversight Committee, co-chaired by Drs. Tom Schreiner and David Allen, incorporated advances in biblical scholarship and input from Bible scholars, pastors, and readers to sharpen both accuracy and readability.”

The main reasons I didn’t use the H.C.S.B. for my reading and study, is that it seemed obvious when the translation switched between the two translation philosophies.  It was a continuity and flow problem.  I’m glad to say, that seems to have been dealt with in this revision.  The C.S.B. reads much better.  It is more of a seamless blend of the philosophies.  As far as being an optimal translation…  I guess that depends on your opinion.  I’ve not needed to have a dynamic equivalent, nor have I needed to have sections of the Bible to be translated as a dynamic equivalent.  I’m a man of average intelligence.  I have a basic education.  If I come across a difficult passage, I read it again.  If I don’t know the meaning of a word, I look it up.  I think we should endeavor to become better students, rather than changing our translation philosophy to make the Bible simpler.

That being said, if I had to pick a Bible that wasn’t strictly a formal equivalent translation, this would be it.  For years I have sat by and watched the N.I.V. become a gender neutral mess.  The N.L.T. in my opinion is so dumbed down, it has lost the majesty of God’s word.  Don’t even get me started on The Message, Passion, or the Voice.  As far as I am concerned, if you have a copy of the Voice, you should burn it so no one else can be poisoned by it’s lies. (I have some pretty strong opinions.)  So what’s a person supposed to do if they want a translation that is a bit more accessible than the N.A.S.B. you might ask?  In my opinion, get a C.S.B.  It is everything the NIV used to be.  It is accurate, and accessible.  It stays true to the intent of the author (God) and retains the gender contexts of the Hebrew and Greek texts without imposing a cultural hermeneutic on them.

I hope you’ll give it a try.  Let’s take a look at the physical attributes of the Bible I was sent for review.  Keep in mind that it is an advance copy, so some details might be different by the time this actually is published and sold.

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The Bible arrived packaged in a padded envelope.  The envelope had some tears in it by the time it made it to me.  The retail, two piece box also had a dent in it.  The Bible inside was undamaged and received in new condition.

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This Bible is covered in an extremely soft and smooth goatskin leather.  The grain is very understated.  I’ve heard others refer to the goatskin as garment grade.  I don’t know how true that is, but I could see how that would be so.

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The inner liner is a type of bonded leather.  I’m not sure if it is Cromwell or not.  I asked someone from Holman.  When I find out I’ll post an update.  Since this is an edge lined volume, it is very flexible and floppy.  The cover can be rolled up.

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This is an edge lined binding.  The bonded leather is  glued to the text block, and then a piece of vinyl covered paper is glued over that.  There is a piece of binding tape that reinforces the hinge.  This is good and bad.  It is good because it will make the binding more durable.  It is bad, because it hinders the ability of the Bible to be opened flat in the first few pages and the last few pages.  Sometimes you’ll see a more narrow strip of binding tape, that allows the first pages to open more easily. Some don’t even use the tape. With a bonded leather inner liner it is good that they did. This is still an extremely flexible and floppy Bible.

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One feature I hope they keep in the production model is the perimeter stitching in red.  I think it makes a striking addition to the aesthetic appeal of this Bible.  The stitching on the front is colored black.  On the inside it is red.

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I think the silver page edge gilt was the right decision instead of gold, considering the bold red thread and smooth black cover.  They work together. The head and foot bands are a brown color, and don’t really pop. It is easy to miss them. I would recommend red and black colored for the bands to go along with the color scheme.
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The spine is also ornamented with three spine hubs, and the words, “Holy Bible, Christian Standard Bible, and Holman” hot stamped in silver letters.  The area close to the head is left empty.  As one of my fellow reviewers mentioned, it seems a bit unbalanced.  We will see what they do with it in the final version they bring to market.

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Even though this Bible is printed in China, the quality of the paper and printing is very good.
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I found the 9.5 pt Bible Serif font to be inked uniformly, having sharp, clean edges, and contrasting nicely with the white paper.  The paper was opaque and line matching was employed. (line matching is when the text on the back side of the page is printed directly over the font on the front side of the page, so there is no background noise bleeding through the paper, otherwise known as text ghosting.)  The paper is 30 g.s.m. and rates a very good opacity of 84 with a brightness of 83.  This black letter edition is a double column layout, with center column references.  It will be familiar to Bible readers. 2K/DENMARK did fine work with the font and layout.  See for yourself how good it is.
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Here is a single page backlit so you can see how opaque it is.
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There is about a half inch in the margin for limited note taking.

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There are two above average ribbon markers.  The one for the Old Testament is black and the one for the New Testament is red.

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Did I mention how flexible this Bible is?  Due to the sewn spine and edge lined binding this thing is super supple, for my alliteration fans.  It does open nice and flat, it also can be easy to hold onto with how it can be bent.  Take a look.

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Among the features I already mentioned, here is a list from Holman’s product page, “…Features include: Smyth-sewn binding, Presentation page, Two-column text, Center-column cross-references, Topical subheadings, Black letter text, 9.5-point type, Concordance, Full-color maps, and more…”  I really like the maps 🙂

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Here is a picture of their robust cross reference system.

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Weights and measures.

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A respectable and useful concordance.

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and some well done maps.

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If you are in the market for a large print ultrathin reference Bible, I encourage you to give this one a look.  It has all of the features you could want.  It uses a translation that will speed you along in your studies.  It comes in at a reasonable price for the top line model and a very good value for the other editions.  You’d be hardpressed to find another one in this segment of the market with all of these features for this price.  I believe Holman has this edition set to sell for about $139.00 but I am sure sites like Christianbook.com will sell it at a deep discount.  Make sure to check out all of the pictures I took of this Bible on my flickr site.  You can read more about the CSB translation on their site, www.csbible.com  You could also purchase a copy on Amazon.

 

ISBN: 9781462743223

Why do Calvinists Evangelize?

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  1.  God commands it in His word. Mark 16:15 (NASB) 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
  2.  He ordains the ends and the means.
  3.  At that moment in time, it is not apparent to us who is among the elect.  If we share the gospel with a person who is among the elect, but it is not their due time to be regenerated, then they will reject the gospel.  If it is their time, they will respond with repentance and faith, that are also granted by God.  If we share the gospel with a person who is not among the elect, no matter when in their life they hear it, they will never respond with true repentance and faith.  Even a person who is not among the elect could affirm the gospel intellectually, but never be truly converted.

If people would look into the history of modern evangelism, they would see that many of the memorable evangelists have been Calvinists.

Calvinist Evangelists

  1.   The Apostle Paul 🙂
  2.   George Whitefield
  3.   David Brainerd
  4.   William Carey
  5.   Charles Spurgeon
  6.   C.T. Studd
  7.   Jonathan Edwards
  8.   Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones
  9.   Francis Schaeffer
  10.   Francis Chan

Just to name a few.  Oh, and before you get all persnickety and claim that some of the people on the list were Pastors, or theologians, remember they also evangelized.  Spurgeon said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”  While we are at it, we all are sinners.  We have broken God’s laws and are guilty.  Repent from your sins.  Turn from them and obey God’s word.  Believe on the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, where He atoned for your sin.  Don’t put your faith in your own efforts or works to save you.  You can never satisfy the requirements of God’s righteousness, but Jesus did.  His righteousness can be credited to you if you will repent and trust in Him.

A Review of the E.S.V. Reader’s Gospels in Black Top Grain Leather Over Board Hardback Edition.

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Alright folks, with the recent release of the ESV 6 volume Reader’s set, I thought you might like to read a review about this Reader’s edition of the Gospels.  It would be a less expensive way for you to see if you want to shell out the bucks for the entire 6 volume set.  Maybe you don’t want the entire set, just the gospels?  Whatever the case may be, I offer this review up for your information and pleasure.

The Reader’s edition is an interesting concept.  There are no chapter or verse numbers.  There are no cross references or footnotes.  The paragraph format is done according to where new paragraphs would start in English.  The books are typically arranged other than that.  The only way to tell where you are in a book, is by using the index in the back in conjunction with the page numbers.  All of this is to accomplish the mission of a reader’s edition, to remove obstacles or impediments for the reader.

I find that as I read, I lose track of my progress.  I tend to read more in this volume.  Some of it is due to the lack of chapter and verse numbers, as well as the lack of cross references and footnotes.  While some of the other design and layout features contribute to it as well.  For instance, Crossway utilized a high quality, cream colored, uncoated, heavyweight paper more commonly seen in hardback novels.  It is 80 g.s.m. and you can hardly see through it at all.  The font is 12 pt. in size.  It is sharp and clear.  It is laid out in a single column.  This edition is truly meant to be read through like a book.  There is nothing in between you and the text.  I could go on and list all of the cool features of this edition, and I will, but I want to make sure you understand what the point is.  Reading and experiencing the gospels in a more fluid and retainable way was the goal, and Crossway achieved it.  Bonus is that there is no eyestrain, or headache after a long reading session.

So now that you know how accessible this makes the gospel, let’s look at some pictures and hear about some features of the construction.

The Bible was shipped from Crossway, and well packaged.  It arrived undamaged.

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This volume comes in a nice heavy slipcase.  It is intended to be kept, and used for storing this volume in when not being used.

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Once it is out of the box, the first thing you’ll notice is how soft the topgrain leather is.  If you don’t like leather over board, or if you want a Reader’s edition with a smaller price tag while retaining the same text block, you could get it with cloth over board.

Legatoria Editoriale Giovanni Olivotto or L.E.G.O. for short did a wonderful job printing and binding this book.  They are gaining some serious notoriety amongst quality book and Bible collectors here in the states.  Jongbloed in the Netherlands might have some competition in text block production if they don’t watch out 🙂

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Here is a good close up of the cover.

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You’ll notice the page edges are not gilt.  There are decorative head and tail bands in gold and black.  The spine has, “The Gospels” at the head, the ESV logo below that, “English Standard Version” after that, and the Crossway logo at the foot in gold.  There are also four ornamental spine hubs.

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Here is a picture of the inside of this casebound hardcover.

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The book names, headings, and drop caps are printed in an appealing red text.

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I took a picture of one page, separate from the others, and with light behind it so you could see how thick and opaque it is.  I’d never heard of Munken Premium Cream woodfree paper before, but after seeing it I’m sold.

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Here is another picture of the wonderful paper, 12 pt. font, and the crimson colored ribbon marker.

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From this picture you can also see the fat signatures with the ribbon laying on top of the page.

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Of course, like you’d expect on a high quality book, the spine is sewn.  This ensures a durable, and useable binding.

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Of course my favorite picture is the one where I am reading it.

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After reading from this edition, I am eager to purchase the 6 volume set.  I will probably get the cloth over board due to the price.  I am looking at getting the new Schuyler Personal NASB Quentel when it comes out this year, so I have to save my money 🙂  That way I can get both.  I would highly recommend getting this for anyone wanting to try a reader’s edition out.  It is one thing to know the concept, but another to live with it for a while.  Make sure to look at the rest of the pictures I took of this edition on my flikr page.  You can also read about more of the details on Crossway’s product page.  You can purchase your copy at Christianbook or Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

ISBN-13: 9781433549823

Material and Formal Heresy.

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Material heresy is forgiven with all of your other sins upon justification. During your sanctification as you mature you will repent from any material heresies you believed and conform to orthodoxy. I didn’t understand the Trinity at all as a young Christian and when I came to understand that partialism was a heresy I repented. I was a regenerated justified believer, but was wrong about the Trinity, until someone explained it in a way I could understand. A formal heretic would reject orthodoxy even after correction and discipline, proving they were false converts to begin with.  (this is a general answer for all incorrect understandings that new believers might have, given they are true converts.)

Accusing, “White people” of racism is racist.

Nubians, Ethiopians, Kenyans, Creole, Mulatto, Irish, Rus, Mediterranean, Norse, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Manchurian…. Believe it or not, we could say these are all different races or they are all the same. There are definite distinctions between one of these peoples and the others, but they are all human. Accusing, “White people” of racism is racist. Don’t you know not all white people are the same? Look into how the Polish, Irish, and Italian immigrants were treated during the industrial revolution in America. Look into how Armenian people were treated by the Turks. How about how Hitler and the Nazis treated the Jews? White on white racism. While all you snowflakes are hating a homogenous, “White people” you are proving just as racist as the Nazis you are claiming we are emulating. We are all humans. People, individuals, nations, made by God for His glory. Repent and believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross! Find unity and identity in Jesus.

Mermaids, Vikings, and Marriage.

My Wife of 25 years has taken to whimsically fancying herself to be akin to a mermaid, a beautiful creature of the sea, sunning herself on a jutting rock. She has developed some new emotional affinity with her notion of the ocean.(I thank you.) Something about it resonates with her. When I am given to whimsy, sometimes I see myself as a strong Viking, boldly standing on the bow of my dragon ship, crashing through the waves, with the wind blowing my beard back, and my sword trailing down my side. When we were young I used to write her love notes. I’d pretend to be the Viking Sven, and I would tell her how I was going to raid her village and take her away with me. I would tell her how I would make her one of my people, my family would be hers. I’ve never stopped being the Viking in love. She used to be my Olga of the neighboring village. She still is my Viking princess, even after 25 years of being married. There is something ironic about her new found identity. Mermaids lure sailors to their death with their beauty, and siren’s songs. Well, Vikings are sailors after all. I wonder dear woman, didst thou deceive me those many years ago, or have you just grown a new tale? I realized which word I used, and I meant to do that… Think about it.

Traditionalists of the Southern Baptist Convention, (SBC and their Attacks on Calvinism.

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As of late, you may have noticed some personal attacks on Calvinists, and on Calvinism in general coming from men within the SBC.  These men are calling themselves, “Traditionalists.”  I wonder whose traditions they are identifying with?  I wonder if they know the real history of the SBC?  I wonder if they understand that their roots are in Calvinism?  I wonder, when they accuse us of following traditions of men, if they ever look at themselves and their own traditions?  The following two sections of scripture are about the Pharisees and their hypocritical keeping of traditions.  It is identified as wrong, and not to be emulated.

Colossians 2:8 (NASB) 8  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

Mark 7:8-9 (NASB) 8 Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
9 He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.

This section of scripture is about imitating Paul as he imitates Christ.  This tradition is good, and to be kept.

1 Corinthians 11:1-2 (NASB) 1  Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

So call yourself a traditionalist if you like.  I don’t care.  Hate the doctrines of grace, if that is how you think.  Chase all of us evil Calvinists out of the SBC, but I’ve got news for you, we’ve been the theologically conservative salt in your denomination.  When we leave, you will fly headlong down the road to liberalism and eventual irrelevance.

Snowed in, with a bad back, and an inauguration to watch.

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The last few days have been interesting. So much snow, that my gas furnace and on demand water heater both had their roof-top exhausts covered completely with snow. I didn’t want frozen pipes or a frozen house, so I had to get the exhausts cleared and call some professionals to get the over 3 ft. of accumulated snow off my roof. Thanks Arturo Martinez for all your hard work. If anyone needs some snow removed from their roof, message me and I’ll send you his number. The next morning of fun was realizing the pets could not go outside to do their business. I began to dig them a patch of ground out and wrenched my back. It gave me time to ponder deep topics like, “Will it get better or worse? Will I be able to get to work Monday? How many ibuprofen have I already taken?” One thing is for sure, is that the will of God will be done. This brings me to the inauguration. 4 and 8 years ago, I trusted in the will of God when the pro-abortion, (a.k.a. baby killing) perversion promoting, (LGBT nonsense) Barry Soetoro a.k.a. (Barack Obama) took office and kept it. Even while I wondered how people could condone the evils of perversion, (LGBT) perverse marriage, (Gay Marriage… no such thing) abortion, and socialist totalitarianism, I was comforted by the knowledge that God is sovereign and in control of all things, including the political leadership of this country. I honestly believe we were getting the leaders we deserved as an unrepentant people. We have been calling good evil and evil good for fat too long to keep on experiencing the blessings of God. Instead, for 8 long years or corrosive evil leadership, we were under the discipline of God. I hope that the people have repented, and we will be experiencing a reprieve. God willing, may America be blessed once more. I would ask all of you to repent of your sin, put your faith in the finished work of Christ, and seek God’s glory and will first and foremost in the years to come.

Struggling With Doubt, or Not a Care in the World?

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None of us are sinlessly perfect.  Everyone of us is aware of a specific sin in our lives.  Some of us wonder if we are even saved because of that specific sin that is in our lives.  Some of us are at war with the sin, while others are complacently allowing for it.  Which group are you in?

We are endangered when we count on our own efforts to fight the sin, and then failing time and time again, only to have doubt come in and rob us of our assurance, or we justify our sin away as if it is only a trifle, no big deal, everyone does it, and we allow for it instead of fighting against it.  We count on grace to keep us safe.  Both ways of thinking are wrong.  We should be at war with our sins, knowing that Christ has won the war against sin once and for all.  It is our lot to stand in front of the enemy before us and engage in the fight with all we have, resting in the knowledge that the outcome of the war has already been secured even if we fail in our battle time and time again, but with practice and provision from the Holy Spirit, and God’s word, we should be strengthened.  God will sanctify us, and mature us out of that fight into another fight.  We will keep fighting sin until we die, and are resurrected into a glorified body, that will only do that which is pleasing to God.

If you find yourself in the other group, using grace as a license for sin, sitting back in defeat, without a hope of ever growing, don’t give in.  Now is the time to stand up and fight.  Don’t prove you were never saved at all.  Don’t harden your heart to the calling of the Holy Spirit to get in the fight.  Don’t have a false assurance of your conversion.  “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you [a]fail the test?” 2 Cor 13:5  You might experience a pleasant surprise.  If you get back in the fight, repent and ask Christ to forgive you, He will.  You can have assurance of your salvation.  You can know you are saved.  You can know through the fight, successes and failures, that drive you back to the cross again and again for grace.  Don’t focus on you and your fight.  Focus on Christ and His fight.  Focus on His victory over sin, death and the grave.  Focus on His victory imputed to you by faith and enjoy the peace between you and God in the midst of the violent war against sin in your life.

The Deity of Christ from the Old Testament for our Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, and Muslim friends, part 2.

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Today we are going to pick up where we left off from the last article you can read it here.  Earlier we examined Genesis 15:1-2 to see that the Word of the Lord is God.  We also connected these verses with John 1:1-18 to see that the Word is Jesus.  Today we are going to look at Genesis 15:3-7 which will reinforce our previous assertion that the Word of the Lord is God, Jesus is the Word, and Jesus is God.  [The text in the brackets is mine.]  The blue text indicates who is doing the action and the red is what is being done.

Genesis 15:3-7 (NASB) 3 And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4 Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying,

[If you notice, the person doing the talking is identified as “the word of the Lord.”  You can tell he is a person because he is, “saying.”  The word of the Lord is speaking to Abram.]

“This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5 And He took him outside and said,

[Notice the Word is referred to as, “He.”  What did He do?  He, “took him outside and said…”  How can anyone look at these verses and not come to the conclusion that the Word of the Lord is God, and how can they, in light of John 1:1-18 not see that Jesus is the Word and He is God?]

“Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6  Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7 And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.

If this isn’t enough, I’ll post some more later on.  Study the word, to know the Word, and His intent.  Knowing Him is knowing God.  To know God, and be known by Him, to be His adopted child and heir, is to be saved by this Triune God’s grace according to His sovereign will, regenerating and indwelling by His Spirit, and the justifying work on the cross of His Son.