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mining the treasures of the lasb

As a believer in Christ, you will often be asked questions about your faith sometimes these are honest seekers with tough questions that have bothered them; sometimes they're questions used by the questioners in hopes of tripping you up. In either case, it helps to be prepared with answers, or at least to know where to find the answers. The Life Application Study Bible notes were written not only to help explain the contents of the Bible and to get people started in thinking about application, but also to answer some of these key questions.

The treasures are here, and so we have mined them for you by guiding you to the notes that best answer questions in the following twenty-five categories. The references noted after each question are for the note(s) that will best help you to answer that question. (A number in parentheses indicates that there is more than one note on that particular Scripture.)

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 Belief 
 Bible 
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 Death 
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 Forgiveness 
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 God 
 Gospel 
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 Heaven/Hell 
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 Jesus 
 Life 
 Old Testament 
 Only One Way 
 Other Religions 
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Life
What does God really want from me?
Doesn't God want me to be perfect? How can I do that?
How can I "commit" my life to God?
If I am a Christian, how am I supposed to live?

Notes from Ecclesiastes 1:8-11
Many people feel restless and dissatisfied. They wonder: (1) If I am in God's will, why am I so tired and unfulfilled? (2) What is the meaning of life? (3) When I look back on it all, will I be happy with my accomplishments? (4) Why do I feel burned out, disillusioned, dry? (5) What is to become of me? Solomon tests our faith, challenging us to find true and lasting meaning in God alone. As you take a hard look at your life, as Solomon did his, you will see how important serving God is over all other options. Perhaps God is asking you to rethink your purpose and direction in life, just as Solomon did in Ecclesiastes.

Notes from 1 John 4:20, 21
It is easy to say we love God when that love doesn't cost us anything more than weekly attendance at religious services. But the real test of our love for God is how we treat the people right in front of us--our family members and fellow believers. We cannot truly love God while neglecting to love those who are created in his image.

Notes from Matthew 5:48
How can we be perfect? (1) In character: In this life we cannot be flawless, but we can aspire to be as much like Christ as possible. (2) In holiness: Like the Pharisees, we are to separate ourselves from the world's sinful values. But unlike the Pharisees, we are to be devoted to God's desires rather than our own and carry his love and mercy into the world. (3) In maturity: We can't achieve Christlike character and holy living all at once, but we must grow toward maturity and wholeness. Just as we expect different behavior from a baby, a child, a teenager, and an adult, so God expects different behavior from us, depending on our stage of spiritual development. (4) In love: We can seek to love others as completely as God loves us.

We can be perfect if our behavior is appropriate for our maturity level--perfect, yet with much room to grow. Our tendency to sin must never deter us from striving to be more like Christ. Christ calls all of his disciples to excel, to rise above mediocrity, and to mature in every area, becoming like him. Those who strive to become perfect will one day be perfect, even as Christ is perfect (1 John 3:2, 3).

Notes from Romans 5:20
As a sinner, separated from God, you see his law from below, as a ladder to be climbed to get to God. Perhaps you have repeatedly tried to climb it, only to fall to the ground every time you have advanced one or two rungs. Or perhaps the sheer height of the ladder seems so overwhelming that you have never even started up. In either case, what relief you should feel to see Jesus offering with open arms to lift you above the ladder of the law, to take you directly to God! Once Jesus lifts you into God's presence, you are free to obey--out of love, not necessity, and through God's power, not your own. You know that if you stumble, you will not fall back to the ground. Instead, you will be caught and held in Christ's loving arms.

Notes from Hebrews 10:14
We have been made perfect, yet we are being made holy. Through his death and resurrection, Christ, once for all, made his believers perfect in God's sight. At the same time, he is making them holy (progressively cleansed and set apart for his special use) in their daily pilgrimage here. We should not be surprised, ashamed, or shocked that we still need to grow. God is not finished with us. We can encourage this growth process by deliberately applying Scripture to all areas of our life, by accepting the discipline and guidance Christ provides, and by giving him control of our desires and goals.

endorsements

“Studying and teaching from the New Living Translation second edition provides refreshing insights from a translation with high credibility.I recommend it to both Christ followers taking their first steps of faith and seasoned veterans on their spiritual journey.”

Gene Appel
Eastside Christian Fellowship
Fullerton, California

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