The Kingdom Unleashed #14 – Matthew 12:30-37, 46-50

MATTHEW 12:30
30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

1 KINGS 18:21
21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waiver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”

REVELATION 3:15-16
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

MATTHEW 12:31-32
31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

MATTHEW 12:33
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.

MATTHEW 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. “

MATTHEW 12:38-39
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

MATTHEW 12:43-45
43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

PSALM 139:23-24
“Search me O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is an offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”

MATTHEW 12:46-50
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

The Kingdom Unleashed #13 – Matthew 12:22-29, 43-45

Matthew 12:22-29, 43-45
22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak was brought to [Jesus]. He healed him, so that the man could both speak and see. 23 All the crowds were astounded and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”

> 2 Perspectives on Jesus’ Identity:

1) The Son of David

Matthew 21:9
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

2) A Demon-possessed Man

24 “This man drives out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” 25 Knowing their thoughts, he told them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?” 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 28 [But] If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 

Acts 19:13-16
13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

> True power is found in the fullness of faith in Jesus.

29 “How can someone enter a strong man’s house and steal his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.”

43 “When an unclean spirit comes out of a person, it roams through waterless places looking for rest but doesn’t find any. 44 Then it says, ‘I’ll go back to my house that I came from.’ Returning, it finds the house vacant, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that person’s last condition is worse than the first. That’s how it will also be with this evil generation.”

The key to the story: Vacant

> We all have a God-shaped hole in our lives.

Jesus came to bring us life to the full. 

The Kingdom Unleashed #12 – Matthew 12:1-14

Matthew 12:1-14
At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him. 11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. 14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

1. Divine order of priority (to put several things, problems, etc. in order of importance)

Matthew 10: 5,6
These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

1. With the unveiling of the Kingdom to the Jewish people first, then to the Gentiles we begin to see a divine order of priority.

2. Old Testament scripture references.

I Samuel 21: 1-6
Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?” So David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has ordered me on some business, and said to me, ‘Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.’ And I have directed my young men to such and such a place. Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found.” And the priest answered David and said, “There is no common bread on hand; but there is holy bread, if the young men have at least kept themselves from women.” Then David answered the priest, and said to him, “Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated in the vessel this day.” So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away.

Exodus 21: 8-11
 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Hosea 6:6
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

God desires from us:

Flexible, pliable heart over inflexible religious rituals

Luke 16:10
10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

If we want to be successful in the eyes of God, we first must be faithful in the small things.

>Being vs. Doing?  NO!!!!

The correct order is:

1st:  Being

2nd: Doing

Matthew 22:35-40:
35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

The Kingdom Unleashed #11 – Matthew 11:20-30

Matthew 11:20-24
20 Then he proceeded to denounce the towns where most of his miracles were done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes long ago. 22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until today. 24 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Big statement:

> The greater the light that’s shown, the more accountability there becomes.

Matthew 11:25-30
 25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, because this was your good pleasure.”you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants.” 27 [Jesus continued,] “All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him.” 28 [Jesus continued,] “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 23:2-4
 “The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them.

> Jesus’ yoke:

Come…”

“Come to me…”

“…all who are weary and burdened,”

“…and I will give you rest.”

Anapauō – to cease from working and recover your strength

“Take up my yoke and learn from me,” 

  “…because I am lowly and humble in heart,”

“…and you will find rest for your souls.” 

> Why is Jesus’ yoke easy and light?

1) Because he bears it with us

2) Because it fits well

3) Because you’re walking in step with him

Galatians 5:1
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

The Kingdom Unleashed #10 – Matthew 11:1-11

John 1:29-30
29 John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I told you about: ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’”

Matthew 11:1-6, 10-11
1 [Jesus] moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns. Now when John heard in prison what the Christ was doing, he sent a message through his disciples and asked him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

> Why did John send his disciples to Jesus?

1) Because Jesus wasn’t who John expected him to be

2) Because John wanted his disciples to shift their focus to Jesus

Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news, and blessed is the one who isn’t offended by me.”

Isaiah 35:5-6
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy, for water will gush in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 10 [He] is the one about whom it is written: “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you. 11 “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” 

> When you become filled with the Spirit…

1) You are set apart

2) You are lit up with a new Light

3) You take a seat of honor in the Kingdom of God.

4) Your thirst is satisfied

John 7:37-39
37 On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” 39 He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

5) You live differently

Galatians 5:16
16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh.

6) You need to be filled continually

Ephesians 5:18
18 …be filled with the Holy Spirit.

7) You are secure eternally

Ephesians 1:13-14
13 In [Jesus] you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. 14 The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:13-14 (MSG)
13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

The Kingdom Unleashed #9 – Matthew 10:32-39

> Jesus’ bold statements:

Matthew 10:32-38
32 “Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge me before others, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever denies me before others, I will also deny him before my Father in heaven.” 

Statement 1: True faith is shown to the world.

34 “Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to turn “a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”

Statement 2: The gospel will divide.

37 “The one who loves a father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; the one who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” 

Statement 3: Your love for me must be far greater than all other loves in your life.

38 “And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

Statement 4: Take up your cross and follow me.

Luke 9:23
23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” 

Jesus’ slogan: Come and Die

a) The cross was a symbol of humiliation

b) The cross was a symbol of suffering

“Snuggie Theology”

Luke 6:22
22 [Jesus said,] “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you, insult you, and slander your name as evil because of the Son of Man.”

John 16:33
33 [Jesus said,} “You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

Philippians 1:29
29 For it has been granted to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him…

“Pajama Jeans Gospel”

c) The cross was a symbol of death

“Christ says, “Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down.” – CS Lewis-Mere Christianity

Galatians 2:20
20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Matthew 10:39
39 “Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of me will find it.”

Statement 5: When you die daily, you live in me!

2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 

The Kingdom Unleashed #8 – Matthew 10:1-20

Matthew 10:1-20
1 Summoning his twelve disciples, he gave them authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: First, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Disciple – a learner

Apostle – a messenger sent with orders

> Jesus taught them to BE before he sent them to DO.

 Jesus sent out these twelve after giving them instructions: “Don’t take the road that leads to the Gentiles, and don’t enter any Samaritan town.Instead, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you received, freely give.”  Don’t acquire gold, silver, or copper for your money-belts. 10 Don’t take a traveling bag for the road, or an extra shirt, sandals, or a staff, for the worker is worthy of his food.”  11 “When you enter any town or village, find out who is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12 Greet a household when you enter it, 13 and if the household is worthy, let your peace be on it; but if it is unworthy, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone does not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.”

> Jesus taught the disciples JEJIT – Just Enough, Just in Time.

>> How has God provided for you JEJIT, personally?

16 “Look, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves.” 17 “Beware of them, because they will hand you over to local courts and flog you in their synagogues. 18 You will even be brought before governors and kings because of me, to bear witness to them and to the Gentiles.” 19 “But when they hand you over, don’t worry about how or what you are to speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour, 20 because it isn’t you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you.”

> We must always be ready to share about our hope in Christ.

>> What does it look like to always be prepared?
1) Know your story
2) Know God’s story
3) Share how they intersect

Choose to Love God, and Love people

Choose to Grow as a disciple

Choose to Go wherever He leads you

Where are you being sent?

The Kingdom Unleashed #7 – Matthew 9:35-38

Matthew 9:35-38
35 Jesus continued going around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. 

Splagchnizomai – to be moved to one’s bowels

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

Ekballō – to drive out

> We must pray that God would send people out, but at the same time, listen to the call coming to us.

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The Kingdom Unleashed #6 – Matthew 9:18-30

Matthew 9:18-21
18 As [Jesus] was telling them these things, suddenly one of the leaders came and knelt down before him, saying, “My daughter just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.”19 So Jesus and his disciples got up and followed him.

> Jesus LOVES defeating death!

20 Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years approached from behind and touched the end of his robe, 21 for she said to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I’ll be made well.”

Luke 8:43-48
43 A woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years, who had spent all she had on doctors and yet could not be healed by any, 44 approached from behind and touched the end of his robe. Instantly her bleeding stopped.  45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are hemming you in and pressing against you.”  46 “Someone did touch me,” said Jesus. “I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 When the woman saw that she was discovered, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she declared the reason she had touched him and how she was instantly healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Matthew 9:23-27, 32-34
23 When Jesus came to the leader’s house, he saw the flute players and a crowd lamenting loudly. 24 “Leave,” he said, “because the girl is not dead but asleep.” And they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. 26 Then news of this spread throughout that whole area.
32 Just as they were going out, a demon-possessed man who was unable to speak was brought to him. 33 When the demon had been driven out, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed, saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!” 34 But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the ruler of the demons.”

> Three responses to Jesus:

1) Open Minds (Leader, bleeding woman)
2) Blown Minds (The crowds)
3) Closed Minds (Pharisees)

> You cannot remain neutral to Jesus.

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

Matthew 1:1
1An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham…

Matthew 9:28-30
28 When he entered the house, the blind men approached him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” 30 And their eyes were opened.

> Any time we take the stories of Jesus, and make the focus more about ourselves than Jesus, it’s not the Bible anymore.

> The transformation that Jesus can bring into your life is equal to the depth of openness that you approach him with.

The Kingdom Unleashed #5 – Matthew 9:1-17

Isaiah 53:5-6
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.

Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

> Jesus makes all things new

1) A New Authority

Matthew 9:1-7
1 So [Jesus] got into a boat, crossed over, and came to his own town. Just then some men brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. 2 Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the scribes said to themselves, “He’s blaspheming!” Perceiving their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why are you thinking evil things in your hearts?  For which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then he told the paralytic, “Get up, take your stretcher, and go home.” So he got up and went home.

> Only Jesus has the power and authority to forgive you and make you new.

2) A New Approach

Matt 9:9-13
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth, and he said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed him. 10 While he was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came to eat with Jesus and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”12 Now when [Jesus] heard this, he said, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 

> Jesus showed us that loving “sinners” is proof of our true love for God.

3) A New Covenant

Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then John’s disciples came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests be sad while the groom is with them? The time will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.” 16 No one patches an old garment with unshrunk cloth, because the patch pulls away from the garment and makes the tear worse. 17 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

> You don’t just “add Jesus” into your life.  You must allow him to make your life completely new.

Ephesians 4:21-24 (NLT)
21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.