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  • Brent Karding

    To see why I arced this passage the way I did, watch the video at the bottom of the page.

    I’m going to focus on application in this post. There are three applications I see:

    1. Learn contentment through Christ’s strength.

    Paul qualifies his thankfulness with the statement that he has learned contentment (11-12) and that he is able to meet every circumstance head-on with peace through Christ’s strength (13).

    How can we be content in a time of crisis, of “facing … hunger”? 13 has the answer. Paul was not self-sufficient but Christ-sufficient. See 2 Tim 1:2 and esp. 2 Cor 12:9-10.

    This letter shows us that neither Paul’s circumstances (1:12-13) nor the Philippians’ (1:28; 3:2; 4:2-3) were ideal. So if our circumstances are far from ideal, that doesn’t remove the possibility of being content!

    Note that this was something Paul “learned” (12d). This shows us that it wasn’t natural, but that it can happen, so we should have hope! This also shows us that our current bad circumstances should be our teacher; we shouldn’t run away from them.

    Now, the main applications will be from v. 18-20, since this is where the logical emphasis of the passage is.

    1. Seek the spiritual good of others.

    Paul also didn’t praise the Philippians for their generosity because he wanted more, but because he wanted them to have more eternal blessings (17a-b).

    Are we more interested in having our needs met, or in seeing others prosper spiritually? See Phil 2:1-5ff.

    1. Help others, and trust God to provide for you. This glorifies God!

    The emphasis of the passage is the Result of the Philippians’ gift. 1) Since they met Paul’s need, therefore God would meet all of theirs (19). 2) God’s provision, blessing them for their provision, would result in eternal glory to God.

    Are we seeking to be a blessing to others? We can trust in God to meet our needs when we are seeking first his kingdom. See Matt 6:33.

    See also 2 Cor 9:11-14. Our actions today can bring about glory to God forever!

    32. Philippians 4 10-20.png

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  • Brent Karding

    I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen (Philippians 4:10-20 ESV).

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  • Brent Karding

    Wives, submit to your husbands; husbands, honor your wives.


    This is the last passage in the several that I’ve talked about on a FB Live, about how women and men should live godly lives, specifically as women and men.


    “Likewise” (1a):

    See 2:11-12, which exhorts believers (“beloved”) to live holy lives among unbelievers, so that they will see their good deeds and glorify God on the last day. (These verses are themselves built on the truth of 2:9-10, which describes the reality of believers’ status as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” [v. 9].)

    This is followed by 2:13-17, which exhorts believers to be “subject” to human authority, and 2:18-25, which exhorts servants to be “subject” to masters. It is significant that 3:1a uses the same phrase, “be subject,” and its use of “likewise” shows that Paul is continuing his discussion of how believers should live in the world.

    I’m sticking with 3:1-7 because of my goal of discerning how men as men and women as women should live out Christlikeness. (See Jonathan Leeman’s excellent article on living in a Christlike way as men and women.)

    After our passage, Peter next uses the word “beloved” in 4:12. And all the verses in between the end of our passage and then “continue the larger theme of doing good and not evil, with respect to how we treat one another” (see discussion of the context here at Knowable Word, a great site for learning how to read Scripture in context).

    So the larger context is about living out our status in Christ, whatever our status on earth.


    I’ve divided the text into two pieces; this was simple, since Peter addresses wives in verse 1, and then husbands in verse 7.

    Now, within the lengthier section to the wives, I can see an exhortation to submission (v. 1-2), followed by an explanation of submission (v. 3-6). Notice the words “subject” (1a) and “submitting” (5d) which tie the two sections together (it is the same verb in Greek, ὑποτάσσω).

    Notice the main phrases in each section: 1a is the exhortation to submission, and 4a is the exhortation to inner adornment.

    Let’s talk first about the exhortation to submission (1-2).

    1b limits the submission: “to your own husbands,” not to men in general.

    And 1c makes the submission purposeful: “so that … they may be won.” No doubt there were many mixed marriages in this day, where the wife had been converted but not the husband. If the wife acted respectfully toward him, and lived in moral purity (2), some would be won to Christ even without verbal witness by the wife.

    Now let’s go through verses 3-6. The main phrase, 4a, is supported by a Negative phrase, and its subordinate phrases (3). Rather than focusing on outward beautification, Christian women should focus on inward beautification.

    And that “beauty” that lasts and doesn’t fade (4c) is “a gentle and quiet spirit” (4d) - notice the Epexegetical genitive relationship.

    The relative phrase in 4e has a deeper logical relationship, I think, that of Ground (and I would label it as such if this were an arc). Godly women should make themselves beautiful in their hearts because God values this beauty so highly.

    This is Christlike: See Matthew 21:5, where Christ is described as “humble.”

    Then there is a clear Ground in verses 5-6, starting with “for,” that supports the main phrase in 4a. This is how “holy women” of the past adorned themselves.

    And notice the specific way they did this: “by submitting to their own husbands” (5d-e), exactly the same description in Greek as in 1a-b! (So really, 5-6 should be subordinate to 1a, but this isn’t possible to show in the Phrasing module.)

    Women of Peter’s day (and ours) are the “children” of Sarah (reminiscent language to being a descendant of Abraham - interesting!), if they “do good” and live fearlessly (6c-f).

    Secondly, let’s look at verse 7.

    The specific Manner of how husbands are to treat their wives is shown in 7c-d: “in an understanding way,” and “showing honor” to them. So husbands need to understand their wives specifically.

    (Another possibility is that 7d is an Explanation of 7c.)

    And they need to honor their wives. Why? Two Grounds are given: they are “the weaker vessel,” and “they are heirs with you of the grace of life.”

    The word “weaker” and its cognates is used more than 50 times in the New Testament. The adjective here can mean “sick” or “ill,” or to describe someone or something who is “experiencing some incapacity or limitation” (BDAG 142, s.v. ασθενής). The NIDNTTE says that “weaker” here “prob[ably] alludes to (averaged) differences between men and women in physical strength” (423). However, Karen Jobes is quoted, who makes an excellent point: "[T]he immediate context makes it clear that the female is also weaker in the sense of social entitlement and empowerment. Peter teaches that men whose authority runs roughshod over their women, even with society’s full approval, will not be heard by God” (K. H. Jobes, 1 Peter [2005], 209, emphasis mine, in ibid.).

    I like what Schreiner says about the second Ground: “The language of heirs points toward the eschatological gift (cf. 1:4; 3:9) that both men and women who believe will receive on the last day. Men should honor women because they share the same destiny—an eternal inheritance in God’s kingdom” (1, 2 Peter, Jude, vol. 37, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003), 161).


    1. Toward wives:

    It is a “warrior” spirit that is “precious” in the sight of 21st-century culture; see modern female superheroes, for example! But it is what God values that is truly precious.

    This is how God wants you, specifically, to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9). Do you respect and submit to the leadership of your husband? If he is unsaved, you may lead him to Christ in this way; if he is saved, you are helping him obey God’s Word in honoring you.

    2. Toward husbands:

    Do you know what your wife loves and dislikes, what helps her the most, what she needs from you? You must if you are to obey 7c.

    Do you use your greater physical strength to bear your wife’s burdens? Real men use their capacities for endurance to suffer and help others, not to serve themselves. Real men treat those weaker than themselves with honor, not contempt.

    3. Toward parents:

    We ought to train our daughters to have this “gentle and quiet spirit” toward their parents, specifically their fathers, to prepare them for submission to their husbands.

    We ought to train our sons to honor their mothers and sisters specifically, above the honor they should give to all people generally, so they can be prepared to live this way with their wives.

    31. 1 Peter 3 1-7.png

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  • Brent Karding

    1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. 7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Peter 3:1-7 ESV).

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  • Brent Karding

    @Koko Good question!

    One of the reasons we started the forum was so that people could post a phrase/arc/bracket they are struggling with, and ask for help with a logical relationship or something like that. Or so that people can post a phrase they made and get feedback from the Biblearc community.

    So the answer is to post your phrase here! You can save your phrase as an image in the Phrasing module, and upload it in a post here. Have you saved a phrase as an image before?

    The other option is that you can get the Learning Resources add-on, which is $8/mo., and allows you to get more detailed feedback from an instructor on two phrases/arcs/brackets per month.

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  • Brent Karding

    @Mildred-Codilla, I’m finally posting an arc, like I told you I would all those months ago! It’s a new post on 2 Corinthians 5 (you had asked about verses 16-17 here). It is here.

    You’ll notice that I arced verse 16 (along with 13) as an Inference from verses 14-15. And verse 17 is an Inference from all of verses 13-16. I didn’t talk about those verses very much in my new post, so I wanted to mention that here.

    I hope the new arc helps you understand the passage better!

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  • Brent Karding

    This is a famous passage, beloved by many Christians—and for good reason! Verse 17 beautifully describes the new creation, and verse 21 is perhaps the clearest description of the substitutionary atonement in the Bible.

    But the message of the overall paragraph is not as well understood. Therefore, I want to briefly study the whole paragraph, describe its overall message, and apply it to ourselves.

    1. The emphasis of the two main sections (11-17 and 5:18-6:2)

    Notice in verses 11-12 that the emphasis is in verse 12, specifically in 12c. (The arc is at the bottom of this post.) Verse 11 supports verse 12. Here is what these verses are saying (bold font shows the logical emphasis): “You know we are genuine; therefore, we are giving you a reason to boast about us, so that you can reject hypocrites.”

    Then, in verses 13-17, there is a Bilateral construction, where 14-15 are supporting both verse 13 and verse 16. Here is what these verses are saying: “Christ’s love controls us; therefore, we passionately live for God and others, and we view people through a spiritual lens.”

    Then verses 18-19 is the Manner of the Action described in verses 13-17. The Action can be summarized by saying that “the transformation of believers in the new creation is both the work of God through Christ and the message the apostles preached.” And this transformation has its source and its continued effectiveness in God - that’s what verses 18-19 are saying.

    Then, in 5:20-6:2, you have an Inference - an application from verses 13-19. Here is what these verses are saying: “Because viewing God and others differently and being a new creation in Christ comes from God through Christ’s reconciliation [verses 13-19], we beg you to be reconciled to God, not to receive his grace in vain in this day of salvation.” So the main emphasis of this section is that the Corinthians be reconciled to God and not to receive God’s grace in vain. Because God has given the ministry of reconciliation to Paul, he begs the Corinthians to be reconciled to God.

    The main point of 5:20-6:2, then, is Paul’s plea that they be reconciled to God, not receiving his grace in vain.

    2. The emphasis of the passage as a whole

    So how do 5:11-12 and 5:13-6:2 relate to each other? How can we relate Paul’s goal of giving the church a reason to boast about them and accept them (5:11-12) to his exhortation for the church to be reconciled to God, not to receive God’s grace in vain?

    Well, what does it mean for the Corinthians to be “reconciled to God,” and to “receive his grace in vain”? Those are important questions to answer, since the section containing those words has the logical emphasis within 5:13-6:2.

    It seems like these two things are identical. Notice how Paul “implores” them in 20c, and “appeals to” them in 1b. These verbs have very similar meanings. This seems similar to me to the parallelism of Hebrew poetry! It is likely, then, that to receive the grace of God profitably is the same thing as to be reconciled to God.

    Then, do 20d and 1b have to do with accepting Paul and boasting about him? Yes, I believe they do. Paul is saying to them, "You need to accept my apostolic ministry, through which you received God’s grace originally. If you reject me and my ministry, you will have received God’s grace in vain.” This would be very bold, but it fits with the context of the book so far. Also, in 5:17ff, Paul has spoken of his ministry of reconciliation, given to him by God, containing the message of what God has done, thus tying his ministry inseparably with his message. Therefore, if the Corinthians reject him, they are rejecting his gospel.

    Notice how I summarized the largest arc in my Main Point Summary, connecting the two halves of the passage with the phrase, “in other words.” Boasting about Paul and his gospel is the equivalent of receiving God’s gracious gift of reconciliation through Christ.


    So what does this mean for us? We don’t know Paul personally! Nevertheless, I see at least two applications for us today:

    1. We must humbly receive all Scripture as God’s authoritative revelation.

    We imitate the Corinthians’ rejection of Paul when we cast doubt on any teaching of Scripture. After all, the Bible is the foundation of the church (“the foundation of the apostles and prophets” in Eph 2:20). The Bible is God’s authoritative self-revelation, entirely perfect and wonderful (Deut 4:8; Ps 12:6). If there is any verse of Scripture we don’t like, we are rejecting the grace of God. If there is any verse of Scripture we refuse to obey, we are rejecting the grace of God.

    2. We must test all teachers and teaching based on their faithfulness to Scripture and not their outward attractiveness.

    Some people “boast about outward appearance” (12c), instead of “what is in the heart” (12d). Some teachers out there sound really good, and they have huge churches and massive platforms on the internet - but that doesn’t mean what they say is biblical!

    So we must not “regard [anyone] according to the flesh” (16b). We must not be superficial but judge all things by God’s book. We must look at teaching and teachers with spiritual eyes, judging spiritual reality, not mere outward appearances.

    30. 2 Corinthians 5 11-6 2.png

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  • Brent Karding

    11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 1 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2 ESV).

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  • Brent Karding

    @Mildred-Codilla said in Is Pole Dancing To Men Audience A Sin?:

    These are my questions ABOUT INSISTING REPENTANCE:

    1. Is it okay to use Luke 14:25-33 to make them understand what repentance looks like?
    2. Is it okay to mention that repentance is “laying aside every weight (encumbrance), and sin which clings so closely IN ORDER TO run the race of faith in Jesus [Hebrews 12:1] ?
    3. It’s true that not all sins that we repented of can directly be stopped, can you give your idea on sins that can directly stop by the working of God when a person GENUINELY repents? Is it more on the lifestyle at first, then sanctification will follow, meaning other sins (that are not a lifestyle but sin in the inside) will be stopped from glory to glory (2 Cor.3:18)?
    4. What verses in the Bible commands the genuinely converted believers to keep on repenting after conversion?

    I’ll try to answer each question, Mildred! They are good questions.

    1. Yes, Luke 14:25-33 is a perfect passage to show what following Christ costs. He is clear that if you don’t forsake all you have, you cannot be his disciple - i.e. you cannot become a Christian.
    2. No, Hebrews 12:1 isn’t a good verse to use for this since it was written to exhort believers to turn away from their sin, clinging to Christ.
    3. Repentance is more of a mindset, of a change of mind. It is indeed from the inside out, rather than from the outside in. There’s no list of sins that can be directly stopped and never sinned again; sanctification is a gradual process, which is why we need to keep repenting over and over again as we grow in obedience.
    4. Hebrews 12:1, which you quoted, refers to the need for believers to keep repenting of sin. See also Ephesians 4:20-24; Romans 6:12-14; 8:13. None of those verses use the word “repentance,” but that is the reality presented there. I’ll discuss them now:

    “But that [referring back to the sins of verses 17-19] is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:20-24).

    Putting “off your old self” (v. 22) refers to turning away from sin, stopping living the way you used to before you were saved.

    “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Rom 6:12-14).

    Verse 12 is talking about turning away from performing sinful actions, but rather performing righteous actions.

    “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:13).

    This also refers to a lifestyle of repentance, of not continuing in sin but killing the deeds of the sinful nature, stopping sinful actions.

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  • Brent Karding


    You’re very welcome, Mildred.

    If anyone else here has anything to add, please go ahead!

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