- Our Just God
Let us begin this morning considering an unchanging quality of the One in whom we live and move and have our being; and who created all things by the power of His word and in whom all things hold together, and in whose sight no one is hidden; both our outward actions and our inner thoughts and intentions of the heart, “all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” We must recall and know, that the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present, unchanging God is just.
Isaiah 30:18 declares of Him that, “the Lord is a God of justice.” God says through Isaiah, “there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me…I, the Lord, love justice,” and The Psalmist proclaims the same thing of Him. Psalm 11:7 says, “For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness.” Psalm 33:5 says, “He loves righteousness and justice.” Psalm 37:28, “the Lord loves justice.” The Psalmist declares justice to be the habitation of His throne, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.”
Easton’s bible dictionary states that the justice of God is:
“That perfection of His nature whereby He is infinitely righteous in Himself and in all He does…Justice is not an optional product of His will, but an unchangeable principle of His very nature.”
In Deuteronomy 32:3-4, Moses says to:
“3 Ascribe greatness to our God!4 “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.”
To be just, means that the Judge of all the earth will always do that which is right. He will always do what is consistent with His character and nature, which is expressed to us through the reflection of His holy glory, which is The Law. He is not bound to the Law, He embodies it; it explains Him. He is the standard of that which is right, good, and holy. All that is wrong, evil, and unholy is that which is contrary to Him, and He will not allow the guilty to go unpunished.
He is also not subservient to justice as if it were over Him demanding Him to act without question. He does not merely exercise justice because justice demands to be served; He is just, therefore He administers justice. This is called Divine Simplicity. To say that God is simple, is to say that God is not made up of parts. Take a car for instance. To produce a functioning car, one needs to combine thousands of individual parts. Those parts individually are not the car, but the car depends upon all those parts to collectively operate for the car to be. God is not like this. He is not the product of all His attributes being compounded together at various degrees. All that God has, He perfectly is. His attributes are not distinct from His being. As James Dolezal puts it, God:
“is the wisdom by which He is wise, the justice by which He is righteous, and the power by which He is powerful, and so forth for all His other attributes…All that is in God is God…All things look ultimately to Him for their being, but He looks to none.”
God does not depend upon His attributes in order to be. If that were the case, He would not be the Creator and source of all things. Logically, the attributes would have to transcend Him and sustain Him. If we understand our theology, we know that the Aseity of God refutes this. God is self-sufficient. He exists in and of Himself. It was the great Puritan theologian Stephen Charnock, who pointed this out saying:
“God is the most simple being; for that which is first in nature, having nothing beyond it, cannot by any means be thought to be compounded; for whatsoever is so, depends upon the parts whereof it is compounded, and so is not the first being: now God being infinitely simple, hath nothing in himself which is not himself, and therefore cannot will any change in himself, he being his own essence and existence.”
God is simple. All that He has, He perfectly is, and He operates without diminishing any of His being. God is both just and love. He administers justice in the most righteous and loving way, and He loves righteously without compromising His being just.
By this point, our brains are begging for relief, but the sermon must go on for we have not even touched our text yet. Since God is just and loves justice, He hates all injustice. Proverbs 11:1, “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.” Proverbs 17:15, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.”
- God’s Command to be Just
It, therefore, should not surprise us that since God is just, people are commanded by Him to be the same as He is, especially those who are called by His name. He said to the Israelites in Exodus 23:6, “You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute.” In Leviticus 19:15,36 He says:
“15 You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly… 36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt.”
In other words, “Be just for I AM just!”
Why did God take pleasure in King Solomon? When Solomon was permitted by God to ask Him for anything, he did not request a long life for himself, or for riches, or for his enemies to be destroyed, or for honor. He asked that God would give him an understanding heart to judge the people of God, and to be able to discern between good and evil. He asked for “discernment to understand justice.” God did according to Solomon’s words, and gave him a heart of wisdom and discernment to execute justice.
God is just, and He loves justice, and He defines justice, and He says to His people through Moses in Deuteronomy 1:16-17:
“Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him. 17 You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike.”
Listen to what He says in Deuteronomy 16:18-20:
“18 You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue.”
Perhaps the most familiar statement is found in Micah 6:8:
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Since God is just, those who bear His image are to pursue justice and prevent injustice from occurring. Justice was to be administered equitably, meaning fairly and impartially. It was not to be meted out based one’s bias’s or prejudices. It was to be carried out on the foundation of truth, which was done first by upholding the Law of God, and then through the testimony of witnesses. The Law provided the lawful standard, and witnesses provided the evidence that the good and righteous standard was not met. God then prescribed, through the Law, how to distribute justice upon the guilty.
The Israelites sought to establish a system of jurisprudence. They wanted to maintain justice and equity among society, so in obedience to God they set up a legal system with courts and judges that would impose it. There were local councils known as a Sanhedrin, meaning “sitting together,” that sought to do this. These bodies consisted of 23 men who were often taken from among synagogue leadership, and they would pursue justice according to the standard God set forth.
There was also a supreme court of Israel that was located in Jerusalem. It was known as the Great Sanhedrin, as well as the Senate of the Son’s of Israel, or the Council of the Elders. It was the most powerful body of government in all of Israel consisting of 71 members. The High Priest presided over it, and the rest of the assembly consisted of representatives from the chief priests, elders, and scribes, who met daily in the temple.
To ensure that justice was met there were several legal measures to take in order to protect the accused. The measures were developed from what God said in Deuteronomy 19:15-19:
“15 A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.16 If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing, 17 then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days. 18 The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, 19 then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.”
Based on this, jurisprudence said:
- The trail must be public during the daylight hours. It could not be done at night.
- There needed to be an adequate opportunity for the accused to make a defense.
- The charge must be rejected unless there were at least two eye witnesses that could substantiate the accusation. Perjury was punishable by death. What does the Law of God say? Exodus 20:16, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” To bear false witness is to commit an abominable act, because a false witness intends to use that which is right and good for evil. They appeal to the meting out of justice, only not upon the guilty, but the innocent. They commit an atrociously unjust act with the intent of stripping another image bearer of God of their inalienable rights given to them by Him, and they do so within the parameters of justice, which is a reflection of who God is. Those guilty of perjury must, therefore, die, for they have trampled upon that which is good, right, and holy.
- Those who testified against the accused needed to be the first to deliver the blows of execution. We see this in Deuteronomy 17:7:
“The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”
This was to display a clear conscience on the part of the witness. It proved that a witness was not only confident enough in what they saw to testify with their words, but they were convinced enough to justly act upon what they saw or heard. No doubt, this too worked as a deterrent to perjury.
- A full day was to pass for capital offenses. Meaning that 24 hours were to occur between the announcement of a guilty verdict and the carrying out of the death sentence of the one condemned. This was to allow the council to fast, reflect upon the verdict, and hear any further evidence. It is because of this that trials were not to be held the day before a feast when fasting was prohibited.
All of this was to be done to maintain justice and equity among society to the glory God.
As we are about to see, the Great Sanhedrin rejected all of these legal measure that were given by God to protect the accused. What was ordained by God to uphold justice, was corrupted through time by nepotism, social prominence, and political gain. Christ will undergo six unfair trials at the hands of His enemies. There will be an illegal indictment, unlawful testimonies, criminal questionings, and an illicit sentence. Though a guilty verdict has already been determined, for formalities sake, the eternal Son of God will stand trial before:
- The former High Priest Annas (John 18:13-24)
- The current High Priest Caiaphas, Annas’ son-in-law, and the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54)
- The Sanhedrin again after dawn (Luke 22:66-71)
- Pilate (Matthew 27:11-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-38)
- Herod Antipas (Luke 23:6-12)
- Pilate for the final time (18:33-19:16)
Mark’s account thrusts us into the details of His second trial under the cover of darkness before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, as well as His third trial after dawn before the Sanhedrin.
- The Folly of Annas
Mark 14:53-54 says:
“53 They led Jesus away to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes gathered together. 54 Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the officers and warming himself at the fire.”
We should understand that before He stands before Caiaphas, He stood before Caiaphas’ father-in-law Annas, as John notes “the Roman cohort and commander, and officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him, and led Him to Annas first.” John is the only gospel which contains the account of Jesus’ arraignment before Annas.
Annas was a crooked priest and politician who detested Christ. He was the one who led the lucrative temple operation of money changing and the selling of animals, which people referred to as the Bazaars of Annas. Jesus disrupted his nefarious enterprise both at the beginning of His ministry, and at the end. He hated Christ and wanted to find some evidence by which to condemn Him to death. John 18:19-21 says:
“19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. 21Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.”
What Jesus did here was draw to light the illegality of the trial. He had been arrested and was now standing before prosecution without any formal charge or witnesses. Jesus’ words reveal first that Annas did not care about the truth. If he genuinely wanted to know it, there was a plethora of witnesses he could question and he would get it, “Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.” The second things Jesus exposes by saying this is that Annas was required by law to have witnesses for there to be a charge. As John says:
“22 When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” 24 So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.”
- The Injustice of the Sanhedrin
A miscarriage of justice is unfolding. They could not convict Him without any charges, and Annas was unable to find any grounds on which to accuse Him. Mark explains in 14:55-56:
“55 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and they were not finding any. 56 For many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony was not consistent.”
It is important to understand that by law, the Sanhedrin was only permitted to investigate trials which were presented to them. Meaning they were not allowed to search out grounds on which to convict a person, but this is exactly what is happening with Jesus. They are not even looking for actual grounds, but false ones. Matthew 26:59-60 says:
“59 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. 60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward.”
Two eventually do come forward, and as Mark 14:57-58 says:
“57 Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, 58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’”
They are distorting the words Christ made three years prior after He cleansed the temple the first time. The Jews asked Him to perform a sign to demonstrate by whose authority He did such things. Jesus said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The moment He said this they thought He was talking about the actual temple, “but He was speaking of the temple of His body.” Three years prior, Jesus told these men that they would destroy Him, and He would raise Himself back to life in three days. Here they are taking those words and distorting them with the purpose of destroying Him.
Remember, these are false witnesses. After their encounter with Jesus outside the temple in John 2, they eventually knew He was not talking about the temple, but Himself. How do we know they eventually knew He was talking about His body and not the temple? After they had Him killed at the hands of the Romans, they say to Pilate:
“63 Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ 64 Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.”
There was only a couple of time Jesus revealed to His enemies what they would do to Him, and it was that day outside the temple three years prior, and another time they asked for a sign, to which He said,
“just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
These men knew what He meant, and here they are twisting His words to say something they know He did not say so that they might destroy Him, which is what He did say would happen. Mark; however, points out that, “59 Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent.”
We then see that:
“60 The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 61 But He kept silent and did not answer.
Just as Isaiah said:
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.”
He had no need to speak. He was innocent. In order to save us, He had to be made like His brethren in all things; He had to partake in flesh and blood; He had to be truly Man, and as a Man He was tempted in every way that we are tempted, yet He came to the other side of temptation without any sin. There was not a speck of sin in His life that they could use against Him to charge Him, and condemn, and kill Him.
This enraged them, and Mark says:
“Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
Matthew 26:63 records the High Priest saying:
“I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Oh, the depraved depths of the human heart! John MacArthur says this:
“In his presumption and arrogance, the high priest hypocritically demanded truth from Jesus while perpetuating lies against Him.”
They knew Jesus claimed to be both the Christ, and the Son of the Living God, for He did so on numerous occasions. The wanted to kill Him for this near the beginning of His ministry after He healed a man on the sabbath who had been sick for 38 years. John 5:16-18 says:
“16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”
They wanted to kill Him for being guilty of blasphemy, which is defiant irreverence of God. Leviticus 24:16 commands that, “The one who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death.” A man who declares himself to be God is guilty of blasphemy and deserving of death. What they are attempting to do is to lure Him into making a statement among the hearing of the Great Sanhedrin, so that they could charge Him of blasphemy and condemn Him to death. Caiaphas, therefore, asks Him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the blessed One?”
Jesus answers him in Mark 14:62:
“62 And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
He ascribes the Messianic title of the Son of Man to Himself, and that they would see Him sitting where only God can sit. They ask, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Living God?” He says in effect, “I am, and though you illegally condemn Me right now, there will be a point in time when you will see Me coming in the clouds of heaven with judgment to justly condemn you.”
Mark records that:
“63 Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.”
Yes, the reason Jesus was killed was because He being a Man made Himself out to be God. They illegally condemned Him to death for something He was not guilty of committing. Jesus did not commit blasphemy, because He was who He claimed to be. The gospel accounts were given to us that we might observe the claims of Christ, observe His works which validated the claims, and conclude that He is the Son of God. These men heard His claims, witnessed His miraculous works, and rejected their Christ, their King, their Savior, their God. They were the ones guilty of blasphemy. As Mark says:
“65 Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers received Him with slaps in the face.”
- They Meant Evil, God Meant Good
It is just as John says in the opening of His gospel, Christ was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. They rejected Him and condemned Him to death.
Here we see the nations in an uproar, the people’s devising a vain thing, the kings of the earth taking their stand, and the rulers taking counsel together against the Lord and His Christ, against the Father and His Son. As the Psalmist says, “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.”
Long before these men seized Christ, they had already determined that He needed to die. In fact, after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, these wicked men were deciding what need to be done with Him. John 11:47-50 says:
“47 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48 If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.”
Caiaphas’ council, in others words, was that they should kill Jesus so that they all could be physically, socially, politically, monetarily, and geographically spared from the Romans. In other words, “Kill Him so we may be saved. If He does not die we are doomed.”
John goes on to say that unbeknownst to Caiaphas:
“51 He did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.”
What they meant for evil, God meant for good to preserve many people alive. He sovereignly worked everything according to the council of His own will. God satisfied His justice through the injustice of man. It is just as the disciples prayed to God in Acts 4:27-28:
“27 For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.”
Is God the author of evil? No! There is none good but God. He cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself will not tempt anyone with it. He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. Greatness is to be ascribed to His name, for He is:
“The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.”
As The Westminster Confession of Faith wonderful states:
“God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:(a) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,(b) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.(c)”
What this is means is that God has already preordained everything that is going to occur, and He will accomplish His purpose without distorting the will of man or taking away second causes. He will cause everything to work together for the praise of His own glory.
It is important for us to understand that there are four variations of cause:
- Material, or the elements out of which an object is made.
- Efficient, or how it is created.
- Formal, or the expression of what it is.
- Final cause, or the end for which it is.
We will only focus briefly on Final and Efficient causes.
God is the Final cause of evil, but not the Efficient cause of it. What this means is that God determined that evil would be part of His plan, but He did not directly cause it to come into being. He, therefore, is not morally culpable for the existence of evil, because He did not directly bring it into being, man through the exercise of his own will did. Phil Johnson, the executive director of Grace to You, states this regarding God not being ethically culpable for sin:
“To illustrate that someone or something can be the “final cause” of an evil act and yet not be held morally responsible for it, consider these examples:
- My friend, without my consent, robs a bank to get money to help pay my medical bills. He is the efficient cause of the action. He is morally culpable. I am the final cause, the one for whose sake the thing was done, yet I am not morally culpable.
- My enemy, in a fit of rage over something I have done or said, goes on a wanton spree of vandalism. He is arrested, tried, and found guilty, because he is the efficient cause. Yet he continues to blame me for the episode. Indeed, I am the final cause—for he did this because of me. But I am not morally culpable.
- A car thief caught in a sting operation makes the futile plea that he is not guilty because he would never have stolen that car if the police had not left it unlocked with the keys in the ignition. Here the cops are absolutely the final cause, because they staged the opportunity for the crime in order to catch a ring of serial car thieves operating in the neighborhood. The thief himself is the efficient cause. He is also the only person in this scenario with evil intent.”
Again, God is the Final cause of evil, but not the Efficient or direct cause of it. This is exactly what we see Peter saying in Acts 2:23
“By the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God (Final Cause), you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men (Efficient Cause) and put Him to death.”
Why did God determine evil to be part of His plan? So that He could reveal to us that He is love, and merciful, and gracious, as well as good, wrathful, and just. Without sin, we would not see Him, or know Him, for who He is.
- God, Just and Justifier
The Living God who is good, wrathful, just, love, merciful, and gracious, has explained Himself in Christ. He placarded His Son upon the cross for all the world see, and displayed Him publicly as a propitiation for sin to demonstrate that He is righteous and just. Through His display of justice, He demonstrated His own love towards us in that while we are yet sinners, He died for us. He became a Man to become our sin and bear it on His body on the cross that He might experience the wrath of God we deserve. He appeased our penalty on His body and shed His eternal blood to cover our sins, thus satisfying God’s holy justice toward the sin of His people. God proved this all to be true by raising Christ from the grave three days later. He did this, so that He may withhold His wrath from us so that we might taste of His mercifulness; and He did this that He may give to us what we do not deserve, His eternal life, so that we might experience His graciousness. He is therefore just, and the justifier of the one who turns from their sin and trusts in the Person and work of His Son, Jesus the Christ; and He accomplished this through the injustice of man.
Do not harden your hearts to Him and turn from Him and neglect so great a salvation. My prayer is that we would all draw near to Him through Christ, that He might draw near to us. My desire is that we would grow in the grace and knowledge of the Son. My longing is that He may give us a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. My hope is that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened, so that we may know the hope of His calling, and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in us, and the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. My prayer is that we may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and grow in respect to our salvation.
 Acts 17:28
 Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:2-3; 4:
 Isaiah 45:21; 61:8
 Psalm 89:14
 Genesis 18:25
 Exodus 34:7
 1 Kings 3:5
 1 Kings 3:11a
 1 Kings 3:9
 1 Kings 3:11a
 Acts 5:21
 Acts 22:5
 The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Mark 9-16, John MacArthur; Page 321-22
 John 18:12-13
 John 2:13-17
 Mark 11:15-18
 John 18:22-24
 John 2:19
 John 2:21
 Matthew 27:63-64
 Isaiah 53:7
 Hebrews 2:14-17; 4:15
 The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Mark 9-16, John MacArthur; Page 328
 Luke 4:18-21; John 4:25-26; 5:17-18; 8:16-19; 10:29-39
 Daniel 9:13-14
 John 10:33
 John 1:10-11
 Psalm 2:1-3
 Psalm 2:4
 Genesis 50:20
 Ephesians 1:11
 Mark 10:18
 James 1:13
 1 John 1:5
 Westminster Confession of Faith
 Romans 3:25
 Romans 5:8
 Hebrews 2:3-4; 3:18
 James 4:8
 2 Peter 3:18
 Ephesians 1:17
 Ephesians 1:18
 Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 2:2