4.9: Summary of Key Concepts

Algebraic Expressions
An algebraic expression (often called simply an expression) is a number, a letter, or a collection of numbers and letters along with meaningful signs of operation. (5÷0 is not meaningful.)

In an algebraic expression, the quantities joined by "+" signs are terms.

Distinction Between Terms and Factors
Terms are parts of sums and are therefore separated by addition signs. Factors are parts of products and are therefore separated by multiplication signs.

Common Factors
In an algebraic expression, a factor that appears in every term, that is, a factor that is common to each term, is called a common factor.

The coefficient of a quantity records how many of that quantity there are. The coefficient of a group of factors is the remaining group of factors.

Distinction Between Coefficients and Exponents
Coefficients record the number of like terms in an expression.

(underbrace{x+x+x}_{3 ext { terms }}=egin{array}{c}
3 x
ext { coefficient is } 3

Exponents record the number of like factors in an expression

(underbrace{x cdot x cdot x}_{3 ext { factors }}=egin{array}{c}
ext { exponent is } 3

An equation is a statement that two expressions are equal.

Numerical Evaluation
Numerical evaluation is the process of determining a value by substituting numbers for letters.

A polynomial is an algebraic expression that does not contain variables in the denominators of fractions and in which all exponents on variable quantities are whole numbers.

A monomial is a polynomial consisting of only one term.
A binomial is a polynomial consisting of two terms.
A trinomial is a polynomial consisting of three terms.

Degree of a Polynomial
The degree of a term containing one variable is the value of the exponent on the variable.
The degree of a term containing more than one variable is the sum of the exponents on the variables.
The degree of a polynomial is the degree of the term of the highest degree.

Linear Quadratic Cubic Polynomials
Polynomials of the first degree are linear polynomials.
Polynomials of the second degree are quadratic polynomials.
Polynomials of the third degree are cubic polynomials.

Like Terms
Like terms are terms in which the variable parts, including the exponents, are identical.

Descending Order
By convention, and when possible, the terms of an expression are placed in descending order with the highest degree term appearing first. (5x^3−2x^2+10x−15) is in descending order.

Multiplying a Polynomial by a Monomial
To multiply a polynomial by a monomial, multiply every term of the polynomial by the monomial and then add the resulting products together.

(7(x−3)=7x−7 cdot 3=7x−21)

Simplifying (+(a+b)) and (−(a+b))


Multiplying a Polynomial by a Polynomial
To multiply polynomials together, multiply every term of one polynomial by every term of the other polynomial.

(x+3)(x-4) &=x^{2}-4 x+3 x-12

Special Products

(a+b)^{2} &=a^{2}+2 a b+b^{2} & ext { Note }: &(a+b)^{2} eq a^{2}+b^{2}
(a-b)^{2} &=a^{2}-2 a b+b^{2} &(a-b)^{2} eq a^{2}-b^{2}
(a+b)(a-b) &=a^{2}-b^{2} & &

Independent and Dependent Variables
In an equation, any variable whose value can be freely assigned is said to be an independent variable. Any variable whose value is determined once the other values have been assigned is said to be a dependent variable.

The collection of numbers that can be used as replacements for the independent variable in an expression or equation and yield a meaningful result is called the domain of the expression or equation.

9. Defining Rest (Hebrews 4:1-10)

1 Therefore we must be wary that, while the promise of entering his rest remains open, none of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For we had good news proclaimed to us just as they did. But the message they heard did them no good, since they did not join in with those who heard it in faith. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “ As I swore in my anger , ‘ They will never enter my rest! ’” And yet God’s works were accomplished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this way: “ And God rested on the seventh day from all his works ,” 5 but to repeat the text cited earlier: “ They will never enter my rest! ” 6 Therefore it remains for some to enter it, yet those to whom it was previously proclaimed did not enter because of disobedience. 7 So God again ordains a certain day, “Today,” speaking through David after so long a time, as in the words quoted before, “ O , that today you would listen as he speaks! Do not harden your hearts .” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken afterward about another day. 9 Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God. 10 For the one who enters God’s rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works (Hebrews 4:1-10). 2


When I was in college, I worked on the night maintenance crew. We cleaned the student union center from midnight Friday night to 8 a.m. Saturday morning. On one particular Friday night, one of the members of our work crew wasn’t to be found, so we decided to search the building to find him. It turned out that he had curled up under a piano and was getting his rest. This is not the kind of “rest” we will be talking about in this lesson. Sleeping on the job is not “rest.”

I fear there are some Christians who may be “sleeping on the job.” If so, this message will not provide any comfort for them. The “rest” we are talking about is not the kind that you find a couple of weeks in the summer, in a hammock, or in bed. Speaking of beds, have you noticed how often mattresses are advertised on T.V.? There are foam mattresses with a memory (probably better than mine) and a plethora of others. And then there are the sleeping pills that we “can ask our doctor about to see if they are right for us.”

We know that it is important for our bodies to get a proper night’s rest, and if we don’t, there are unpleasant consequences. But if physical rest is important to our physical well being, spiritual rest is even more important to our spiritual well being. In our last lesson, we saw how the author of Hebrews warned us about failure to enter God’s rest, due to unbelief, a hardened heart, and disobedience. We now know how we can fail to rest, but it isn’t entirely clear just what that “rest” is. I believe the first ten verses of Hebrews 4 will give us a much better definition of rest. That is the goal of this lesson.

Our Approach in this Lesson

We will begin this lesson with an overview of chapters 1-4. We will then return to last week’s lesson and the text of Hebrews 3:1-19, which is the basis for our text. Then we will concentrate on our text – the first ten verses of chapter 4. There are several terms on which the author builds his argument, so we will seek to define them, and then determine how these help us to understand what “rest” means for us. We will conclude with some areas of application.

Overview of Chapters 1-4

The Book of Hebrews begins with the declaration that while God has spoken in various ways through the Old Testament prophets, He has now spoken fully and finally in His Son (Hebrews 1:1-4). The Son is characterized by a seven-fold description (verses 1-4), which is then buttressed by citations from Old Testament texts (verses 5-14). The thread which unifies chapter 1 is that the Son is superior to the angels. Chapter 2 begins with an exhortation to pay even more careful attention to the revelation which has come through the Son. The remainder of the chapter deals with the results of the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity. To briefly summarize the benefits of the incarnation, it enabled the Son to die in the sinner’s place, paying the penalty for his sins, and restoring him (or her) to the glory and authority which God gave man at creation. Furthermore, it enabled Him to become a faithful and merciful high priest. His humiliation and exaltation is God’s provision for man’s redemption and restoration.

Chapters 3 and 4 will establish the superiority of the Son to Moses. The first six verses of chapter 3 set out the argument and provide three examples of the superiority of the Son. Verses 7-19 of chapter 3 continue to show the Son’s superiority to Moses, but in a more subtle way than verses 1-6. The author cites the last half of Psalm 95, in which the psalmist warns the people of his day, based on the failure of the Israelites to enter Canaan. The warning was against failing to enter God’s rest, due to unbelief, hardness of heart, and disobedience. The subtlety of the argument is that Moses did not lead the Israelites into Canaan indeed, he and Aaron didn’t enter the land either. The author wants his readers to know that there is still a rest available to us, but there is likewise a danger of failing to enter this rest, for the same reasons that earlier generations failed.

We have seen indications of more than one “rest” in chapter 3. There is the “rest” of entering the land of Canaan, which the first generation of Israelites failed to attain. Then there is the “rest” which is available for the readers of Psalm 95. This must be a different rest because the readers are now dwelling in the Promised Land, and “rest” is still being offered. There is also “God’s rest,” which will be more fully explained in chapter 4. And so as we come to chapter 4, we find that it is tightly related to chapter 3. In chapter 4, the author will cite fragments of his quotation from Psalm 95 in chapter 3. It is these repeated words and phrases which provide us with the key to understanding the author’s meaning of “rest.” Chapter 4 will conclude with an exhortation to strive to enter “God’s rest,” with an emphasis on the Word of God (verses 12-13) and on the high priestly ministry of our Savior (verses 14-16).

Tracing the Argument of Chapters 3 and 4

There are two keys to understanding the argument of chapters 3 and 4. The first is the superiority of the Son – Jesus Christ – to Moses. This is introduced in 3:1-6. The second is the superiority of the rest which Jesus has achieved to the “rest” which Israel, under the leadership of Moses, did not attain (indeed, a rest to which Moses himself did not attain). This superior rest is the focus of verses 7-19. A few observations of these verses will prove helpful when we come to our text in chapter 4.

First , verses 7-19 continue the theme of the superiority of Christ to Moses. We can see from the incidents underlying Psalm 95 that neither the first generation of Israelites nor Moses himself entered into the rest God had for them.

Second , these verses address the danger of falling back into Judaism. If the danger facing the Hebrews was drifting from Christ and the New Covenant and falling back into Judaism and the Old Covenant, then verses 7-19 deal with this issue. Consider verse 8:

“Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion , in the day of testing in the wilderness” (Hebrews 3:8, NET Bible, emphasis mine).

“Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness” (Hebrews 3:8, NASB95, emphasis mine).

“Do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert” (Hebrews 3:8, NIV, emphasis mine).

The NET Bible provides us with the most literal translation of verse 8. One could thus read it with two slightly different meanings. Either the readers are warned not to sin as those in the past sinned in the day of testing, or, the readers are warned not to sin as they did in the day of testing. The first understanding is reflected by the translation of the NASB the second by the translation of the NIV. The NET Bible remains somewhat neutral by rendering the verse literally, allowing the reader to go either way.

What difference does it make? Well, the warning certainly becomes more personal with the rendering of the NIV. But how can one be guilty of the sins of a bygone generation? Consider these verses:

34 “For this reason I am sending you prophets and wise men and experts in the law, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35 so that on you will come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar ” (Matthew 23:34-35, emphasis mine).

51 “You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors did ! 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become ! 53 You received the law by decrees given by angels, but you did not obey it” (Acts 7:51-53, emphasis mine).

Do you notice how both Jesus and Stephen linked the guilt of those in previous generations with the guilt of a later generation? In both instances above, the audience that was being condemned was Jewish. These folks rejected Jesus and chose to identify themselves with the Jews and the Judaism of a bygone day. They identified themselves with the old by clinging to it, while rejecting the new. They also identified with the older generation by repeating their sins. And so it is that they became guilty of those sins, partners with that unbelieving and hard-hearted generation in their sin.

Is the author of Hebrews saying this as well? Is he saying that those who are tempted to fall back into Judaism will also fall back into the sins of the past? If so, this is a strong argument against doing so. Let the readers take note of what it means to identify with the rebels of the past, rather than with the Redeemer.

Third ,we should note that the entire first generation 3 of Israelites failed to enter their rest (verse 16). If an entire generation failed, then the warning based upon their experience carries more weight. Have you listened to the commercials for prescription drugs lately? After urging us to ask our doctor about the usefulness of a certain medication, they go on to list all of the possible side effects. Why don’t these side effects scare us to death? Because we assume that they are few and far between. If only 5% of those who take a pill have their hair fall out, then I conclude that it probably won’t happen to me, especially if the pill will fulfill all the promises that are made concerning its benefits. But when 99.9999% of that generation failed, then the danger must be great indeed.

Fourth , this generation failed for forty years. Israel’s unbelief and disobedience was a persistent practice. It was the rule, and not the exception.

Fifth , the Israelites failed under Moses’ leadership, after hearing God speak to (and through) Moses, and after seeing many miracles in confirmation of Moses’ authority.

Sixth , God was angry with this generation, and this resulted in their death in the wilderness (which is exactly what they asked for – Numbers 14:2), and thus their failure to enter into rest.

Seventh , the offer of “rest” remains till “today.”

Eighth , the danger of failing to enter rest also remains till “today.”

Ninth , the fundamental problem is that of “unbelief.”

The Keys to Understanding Our Text

There are several “keys” to understanding our text. The first is those “key terms,” which are found in Psalm 95 and to which our author repeatedly refers. We will look more carefully at these terms in a moment. The second is to understand how the psalmist connected the dots – how he understood and applied Israel’s failure to enter into rest to his own day. We should learn how to interpret and apply Scripture from the Scriptures. What better way to understand our text than to grasp how the psalmist came to his interpretation and application . The third key is to understand how our author interpreted and applied the lessons of Psalm 95 to his day. Surely his method of interpreting and applying Scripture is instructive to us as to how we should understand and apply Hebrews 3 and 4 today.

Key Terms


Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “ Oh , that today you would listen as he speaks! (Hebrews 3:7, citing Psalm 95:7b)

But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” that none of you may become hardened by sin’s deception (Hebrews 3:13).

As it says, “ Oh , that today you would listen as he speaks! Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion ” (Hebrews 3:15, referring to Psalm 95:7b).

So God again ordains a certain day, “Today,” speaking through David after so long a time, as in the words quoted before, “ O , that today you would listen as he speaks! Do not harden your hearts ” (Hebrews 4:7, referring once again to Psalm 95:7b).

When the author of Psalm 95 said, “today,” he was somehow keeping the offer made to the first generation current. Whatever was “today” in Psalm 95 is still “today” today.

When the writer to the Hebrews cites from Psalm 95:7, he calls attention to the word “today.” He makes the point that while the “rest” that the first generation of Israelites failed to enter was dwelling in peace in the Promised Land, there was still a “rest” being offered in Psalm 95. It was still “today.” Thus, for the psalmist, the offer of rest remains, as does the danger of failing to enter into it. And when the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews uses Psalm 95, he does so in a way that makes it clear that there is still an offer of rest, and that it will be embraced and experienced or lost.

“Today” thus calls attention to at least of couple of applications. First , there is an urgency regarding the offer of rest. It must be seized while it is today, for a “tomorrow” is coming when it will be too late, just as there was for the ancient Israelites. Second , rest appears to be a day-by-day, “one day at a time” experience. It is not something that we believe for the moment, but rather something we believe and lay hold of day after day.

God’s Word

God’s Word is a key ingredient in the Book of Hebrews (as we will point out in our next lesson), although it is referred to by means of several different expressions. In addition to being called “the Word of God,” (4:12), it is sometimes referred to as “what God has spoken” (1:1-3), “what we have heard” (2:1), or “good news” (4:2). It is even referred to as “so great a salvation” (2:3) and as “God’s voice” (3:7).

God’s Word is the Father’s full and final revelation through the Son, the crowning conclusion to previous revelations through the prophets (1:1-4). It is the message of salvation to which we are exhorted to give much more careful attention (2:1-4). Israel’s unbelief and disobedience was in spite of God’s Word revealed to and through Moses, which was confirmed by the many miracles associated with the exodus from Egypt (3:7-19). Belief in God’s Word is the key to “rest” (4:3), just as “unbelief” is the reason why men fail to enter into God’s rest (3:19). While the “good news” that the ancient Israelites received was not the full-blown gospel that we have heard, it was nevertheless good news that did them no good because they failed to believe it and act upon it.


Faith is also known as belief, just as the absence of faith is unbelief. Faith is a key concept in the Book of Hebrews, as will be dramatically evident when we get to chapter 11. It is an evil heart of unbelief that falls away from the living God (3:12, see also verse 19), while those who enter God’s rest do so by faith (4:3). Unbelief leads to a hardened heart, which leads to rebellion and divine discipline.


Community is not a term that is found in our text, or even in the Book of Hebrews. But it is a concept which is emphasized as vitally important to the believer. It is very possible that the concept of “community” is referred to in verse 2 of chapter 4:

For we had good news proclaimed to us just as they did. But the message they heard did them no good, since they did not join in with those who heard it in faith 4 (Hebrews 4:2, NET Bible emphasis mine).

For we also have received the good news just as they did but the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith (CSB, emphasis mine).

For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened (ESV, emphasis mine).

Other translations render this verse differently:

For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard (NASB, emphasis mine).

For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it (NKJV, emphasis mine).

So we have two ways of understanding this verse, due to a measure of ambiguity in the Greek text. (1) The good news did not do some any good because they did not identify themselves with people of faith. Or, (2) The good news did not do some any good because they did not personally embrace it by faith. Perhaps the ambiguity is deliberate, so that both meanings apply.

It is pretty clear that the Word does us little good if we refuse to believe it. But the writer to the Hebrews also wants us to realize that our faith and Christian walk is not a solo proposition but a choir event. When we come to faith in Christ, we are joined with Christ and with other believers (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 Ephesians 2:11-22 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10). This is why the author can employ Psalm 95, a psalm which summons the community of faith to worship. This is also why he expects the saints to gather regularly to encourage one another and to watch for those who are drifting:

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has an evil, unbelieving heart that forsakes the living God. 13 But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” that none of you may become hardened by sin’s deception (Hebrews 3:12-13).

23 And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy. 24 And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, 25 not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near (Hebrews 10:23-25).

There are several kinds of rest referred to in Hebrews. The first rest mentioned is the “rest” the first generation of Israelites failed to enter, namely entrance into the Promised Land and rest from its enemies (Hebrews 3:11). Then there was the “rest” to which the psalmist referred in Psalm 95 that was available in his time ( “today” ). And there is the “rest” which was available to those whom the author of Hebrews was writing in his day:

Therefore we must be wary that, while the promise of entering his rest remains open, none of you may seem to have come short of it (Hebrews 4:1, emphasis mine).

That rest was not merely the rest of possessing the Promised Land, but a great rest, a “sabbath rest.” The source of this rest is God, who after having completed the work of creation, rested on the seventh day. This rest is the rest from our labors. It is the “rest” which is the key to the rest which is available to us today.

There is still a “rest” that is available to us “today.” I would understand this to have present and future dimensions, just as salvation has. There is surely a “salvation rest,” a resting from our works in an effort to earn God’s favor, when we come to faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary. And there is the eternal rest which all Christians will experience. But there must also be what we might call a “sanctification rest,” a rest from striving as Christians in the power of the flesh, in a futile effort to attain godliness. I believe that we see this in Romans 7 and 8. Chapter 7 is the description of a Christian trying to live up to God’s standards in the power of the flesh, and failing badly. Chapter 8 is the solution. The Christian is to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised the dead body of Jesus from the grave. By the working of His Spirit in us, we are able, to some degree, to live a godly life (see Romans 8:1-17). This is resting in Him, or we might even say, abiding in Him (see John 15:1-14). This is the key to fruitfulness.

The Argument of Hebrews 4:1-10

So, having reviewed the argument of Hebrews 1-4, and having noted the terms and concepts foundational to this argument, let us briefly trace the author’s argument in the first ten verses of chapter 4.

The ancient Israelites, along with those who lived in the days of the psalmist, had the promise of rest, a rest which could only be attained by faith. Because the first generation of Israelites failed so badly to enter God’s rest – in spite of the extent of revelation from God, and miracles to confirm it – we should have a keen sense of our own fallibility, and thus the danger of a failure in our faith and walk (4:1).

We are not that different from those ancient Israelites. Just as they received the good news of a promise of entering the land of Canaan, so we have received an even greater revelation of good news, the good news of salvation by faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Just as the “good news” the ancient Israelites received did them no good because of their lack of faith, so our “good news” is only profitable through faith. It requires not only initial faith on our part, but on-going faith. This kind of faith is encouraged and stimulated by our association with others who share the same faith (4:2).

The “rest” into which we enter is God’s rest, God’s Sabbath rest, such as we find in Genesis 2:2 – the rest God entered after He had finished His work of creation. It is this rest into which the ancient Israelites failed to enter, for “My rest ” is God’s rest, God’s Sabbath rest. This is the rest some failed to enter, but which remains available to us today, a rest received by faith (4:3-6).

Just as the psalmist could seize upon the term “today” and apply it to his readers, so God has fixed a “today ” for us, the same “today” as was offered in the psalms. And so we need to believe God and enter this rest, rather than to refuse to believe and fail to enter, as did the ancient Israelites. This “rest” must be more than merely entering Canaan because Joshua did lead the second generation of Israelites into the Promised Land, and yet many years later the psalmist spoke of a rest that was still available, a greater rest. And that rest was God’s “Sabbath rest,” a rest still available, a rest of ceasing from futile works in an effort to earn God’s favor. The one who has entered God’s rest has set aside striving in the flesh, and has trusted in the work God has finished, in Christ (4:7-10).


When I think of the Old Testament law, with all of its requirements and stipulations, it makes me tired. How could one ever please God by the works of the law? No one ever could, for the purpose of the law was not to provide men with a list of works by which one could be saved. The purpose of the law was to demonstrate to men that they could never save themselves, but must be saved some other way. And that way was the promised Messiah, Jesus the Christ:

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – 22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. 26 This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness (Romans 3:19-26).

4 But “when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, 5 he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7).

8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God 9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

This is why our Lord could say,

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry” (Matthew 11:28-30).

How different this was from what the Jewish religious leaders did:

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The experts in the law and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4 They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing even to lift a finger to move them” (Matthew 23:1-4).

The concept of rest is such a beautiful thing to one who is weary of striving to please God in his (or her) own strength. To trust in Jesus is to cease from one’s own labors, one’s own efforts, and receive the fruit of the work which Jesus did on the cross of Calvary. For a Hebrew Christian to entertain thoughts of retreating back to Judaism, of going back under the law, was to set aside rest for fruitless works.

Have you entered that “rest,” my friend? Have you experienced the rest which only Christ can give? Have you ceased from fruitless efforts to win God’s favor? If not, I urge you to do so “today” by acknowledging your sin and your inability to please God. And then simply trust in the only provision God has made for sinners to be forgiven and to enter into His rest. Trust in Jesus.

My Christian friend, are you resting in what Christ has done for you? Or are you striving in the power of your own flesh to please God, just as Paul describes in Romans 7:

15 For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me. 21 So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. 23 But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (Romans 7:15-24)

Praise God the answer immediately follows:

25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 6 For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. 11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you (Romans 7:25-8:11).

For the Christian, there is not only the rest of salvation, but the day-to-day rest of dependence upon God for living the Christian life. There are many things which can interfere with our “resting” in Christ. As I write this message (a little while after having preached it), the stock market has taken a serious downward turn. Do I lose my rest because of this? Do I worry and fret about the future, or do I rest in God’s promises:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? 27 And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? 28 Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow they do not work or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 30 And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? 31 So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:25-33).

Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “ I will never leave you and I will never abandon you ” (Hebrews 13:5).

Persecution is on the rise, not only in distant places, but in our own country. Are you resting in our Lord’s promises, or are you filled with doubts and worries? We need to believe in God’s Word:

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way. 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people. 14 You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:10-16).

32 But remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened. 33 At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and afflictions, and at other times you came to share with others who were treated in that way. 34 For in fact you shared the sufferings of those in prison, and you accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew that you certainly had a better and lasting possession. 35 So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. 36 For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised. 37 For just a little longer and he who is coming will arrive and not delay . 38 But my righteous one will live by faith , and if he shrinks back , I take no pleasure in him . 39 But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls (Hebrews 10:32-39).

National elections are coming soon, and many are concerned (downright worried) about the outcome. We can and should rest in the knowledge that it is God who raises up kings and who puts them down. It is He who holds the heart of the king in His hands:

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord like channels of water

he turns it wherever he wants (Proverbs 21:1).

We can forsake our rest because of worries about our families and even about our ministries. These are areas in which God desires to lead us to rest, rather than leave us to trust in futile works of the flesh. Let us rest in Him, who has done all the work for our salvation and sanctification, and who promises to lead us to eternal rest.

1 Copyright © 2008 by Robert L. Deffinbaugh. This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 9 in the series, Near to the Heart of God – A Study of the Book of Hebrews , prepared by Robert L. Deffinbaugh on September 7, 2008. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with or without credit.

2 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the NET Bible. The NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION, also known as THE NET BIBLE, is a completely new translation of the Bible, not a revision or an update of a previous English version. It was completed by more than twenty biblical scholars who worked directly from the best currently available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. The translation project originally started as an attempt to provide an electronic version of a modern translation for electronic distribution over the Internet and on CD (compact disk). Anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection will be able to use and print out the NET Bible without cost for personal study. In addition, anyone who wants to share the Bible with others can print unlimited copies and give them away free to others. It is available on the Internet at:

3 With the exception of Joshua and Caleb.

4 It is interesting to recall how those who rebelled against God identified themselves with rebel leadership, while those who were faithful identified themselves with Moses and those who remained faithful to God. I am thinking here of the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram in Numbers 16:1-35.

What Is Disruptive Innovation?

According to Christensen, disruptive innovation is the process in which a smaller company, usually with fewer resources, is able to challenge an established business (often called an “incumbent”) by entering at the bottom of the market and continuing to move up-market. This process usually happens over a number of steps:

  1. Incumbent businesses innovate and develop their products or services in order to appeal to their most demanding and/or profitable customers, ignoring the needs of those downmarket.
  2. Entrants target this ignored market segment and gain traction by meeting their needs at a reduced cost compared to what is offered by the incumbent.
  3. Incumbents don’t respond to the new entrant, continuing to focus on their more profitable segments.
  4. Entrants eventually move upmarket by offering solutions that appeal to the incumbent’s “mainstream” customers.
  5. Once the new entrant has begun to attract the incumbent business’s mainstream customers en masse, disruption has occurred.

Colossians Key Verses

Colossians 1:3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you.”

Colossians 1:10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

Colossians 1:13-14For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 1:15-16The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities all things have been created through him and for him.”

Colossians 1:21-22Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”

Colossians 2:8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”

Colossians 2:12having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

Colossians 2:16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.”

Colossians 3:1 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

Colossians 3:5-6Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.”

Colossians 3:13-14Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Colossians 3:18-21Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”

Colossians 4:2-4Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.”

Colossians 4:6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

What is your favorite Bible verse from the book of Colossians? Share it in the comments!

The Holy Bible, New International Version

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

The Basic Accounting Multiple-Choice Test

Once you're done with the lessons above, take my Basic Accounting Multiple-Choice Test to check your knowledge.

This quick quiz will test your understanding of the tutorials on defining accounting, the accounting equation and its three elements, as well as financial position.


Karl Marx was a Prussian philosopher and economist whose works posited that societies could escape the self-destructive nature of capitalist socioeconomic systems by implementing socialist theory into their policies, both locally and abroad. Marxism, a theory that closely analyzes social classes, aims to dismantle the capitalist structure of the international system, as it states that capitalism is no longer practically sustainable in the modern world. Marx believed that private property should be replaced by cooperative ownership, with the emphasis placed entirely on satisfying human needs for consumption, rather than creating private profit. Under an ideal socialist international regime, societies would work together to ensure that basic human needs were met on a global scale. Marxism was a dominant political ideology during the Cold War and inspired socialist revolutions in countries such as China, Vietnam and Cuba. Marxism&rsquos influence can still be felt today, with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung encouraging students to study Marxism in exchange for free tuition. The Marxist revival is not exclusive to current and former communist nations The 2017 Marxism Festival was hosted by the Socialist Workers Party in London and attracted thousands of activists from across the world. As the global population continues to grow and sustainability becomes increasingly precarious, Marxism remains a relevant topic of discussion for those who advocate the prioritization of human needs over private profit.

The Protein Synthesis Machinery

In addition to the mRNA template, many other molecules contribute to the process of translation. The composition of each component may vary across species for instance, ribosomes may consist of different numbers of ribosomal RNAs (rRNA) and polypeptides depending on the organism. However, the general structures and functions of the protein synthesis machinery are comparable from bacteria to human cells. Translation requires the input of an mRNA template, ribosomes, tRNAs, and various enzymatic factors (Figure 9.19).

Figure 9.19 The protein synthesis machinery includes the large and small subunits of the ribosome, mRNA, and tRNA. (credit: modification of work by NIGMS, NIH)

In E. coli, there are 200,000 ribosomes present in every cell at any given time. A ribosome is a complex macromolecule composed of structural and catalytic rRNAs, and many distinct polypeptides. In eukaryotes, the nucleolus is completely specialized for the synthesis and assembly of rRNAs.

Ribosomes are located in the cytoplasm in prokaryotes and in the cytoplasm and endoplasmic reticulum of eukaryotes. Ribosomes are made up of a large and a small subunit that come together for translation. The small subunit is responsible for binding the mRNA template, whereas the large subunit sequentially binds tRNAs, a type of RNA molecule that brings amino acids to the growing chain of the polypeptide. Each mRNA molecule is simultaneously translated by many ribosomes, all synthesizing protein in the same direction.

Depending on the species, 40 to 60 types of tRNA exist in the cytoplasm. Serving as adaptors, specific tRNAs bind to sequences on the mRNA template and add the corresponding amino acid to the polypeptide chain. Therefore, tRNAs are the molecules that actually “translate” the language of RNA into the language of proteins. For each tRNA to function, it must have its specific amino acid bonded to it. In the process of tRNA “charging,” each tRNA molecule is bonded to its correct amino acid.

4.9: Summary of Key Concepts

GNOSTICISM IS THE TEACHING based on Gnosis, the knowledge of transcendence arrived at by way of interior, intuitive means. Although Gnosticism thus rests on personal religious experience, it is a mistake to assume all such experience results in Gnostic recognitions. It is nearer the truth to say that Gnosticism expresses a specific religious experience, an experience that does not lend itself to the language of theology or philosophy, but which is instead closely affinitized to, and expresses itself through, the medium of myth. Indeed, one finds that most Gnostic scriptures take the forms of myths. The term “myth” should not here be taken to mean “stories that are not true”, but rather, that the truths embodied in these myths are of a different order from the dogmas of theology or the statements of philosophy.

In the following summary, we will attempt to encapsulate in prose what the Gnostic myths express in their distinctively poetic and imaginative language.

The Cosmos

All religious traditions acknowledge that the world is imperfect. Where they differ is in the explanations which they offer to account for this imperfection and in what they suggest might be done about it. Gnostics have their own -- perhaps quite startling -- view of these matters: they hold that the world is flawed because it was created in a flawed manner.

Like Buddhism, Gnosticism begins with the fundamental recognition that earthly life is filled with suffering. In order to nourish themselves, all forms of life consume each other, thereby visiting pain, fear, and death upon one another (even herbivorous animals live by destroying the life of plants). In addition, so-called natural catastrophes -- earthquakes, floods, fires, drought, volcanic eruptions -- bring further suffering and death in their wake. Human beings, with their complex physiology and psychology, are aware not only of these painful features of earthly existence. They also suffer from the frequent recognition that they are strangers living in a world that is flawed and absurd.

Many religions advocate that humans are to be blamed for the imperfections of the world. Supporting this view, they interpret the Genesis myth as declaring that transgressions committed by the first human pair brought about a “fall” of creation resulting in the present corrupt state of the world. Gnostics respond that this interpretation of the myth is false. The blame for the world’s failings lies not with humans, but with the creator. Since -- especially in the monotheistic religions -- the creator is God, this Gnostic position appears blasphemous, and is often viewed with dismay even by non-believers.

Ways of evading the recognition of the flawed creation and its flawed creator have been devised over and over, but none of these arguments have impressed Gnostics. The ancient Greeks, especially the Platonists, advised people to look to the harmony of the universe, so that by venerating its grandeur they might forget their immediate afflictions. But since this harmony still contains the cruel flaws, forlornness and alienation of existence, this advice is considered of little value by Gnostics. Nor is the Eastern idea of Karma regarded by Gnostics as an adequate explanation of creation’s imperfection and suffering. Karma at best can only explain how the chain of suffering and imperfection works. It does not inform us in the first place why such a sorrowful and malign system should exist.

Once the initial shock of the “unusual” or “blasphemous” nature of the Gnostic explanation for suffering and imperfection of the world wears off, one may begin to recognize that it is in fact the most sensible of all explanations. To appreciate it fully, however, a familiarity with the Gnostic conception of the Godhead is required, both in its original essence as the True God and in its debased manifestation as the false or creator God.


The Gnostic God concept is more subtle than that of most religions. In its way, it unites and reconciles the recognitions of Monotheism and Polytheism, as well as of Theism, Deism and Pantheism.

In the Gnostic view, there is a true, ultimate and transcendent God, who is beyond all created universes and who never created anything in the sense in which the word “create” is ordinarily understood. While this True God did not fashion or create anything, He (or, It) “emanated” or brought forth from within Himself the substance of all there is in all the worlds, visible and invisible. In a certain sense, it may therefore be true to say that all is God, for all consists of the substance of God. By the same token, it must also be recognized that many portions of the original divine essence have been projected so far from their source that they underwent unwholesome changes in the process. To worship the cosmos, or nature, or embodied creatures is thus tantamount to worshipping alienated and corrupt portions of the emanated divine essence.

The basic Gnostic myth has many variations, but all of these refer to Aeons, intermediate deific beings who exist between the ultimate, True God and ourselves. They, together with the True God, comprise the realm of Fullness (Pleroma) wherein the potency of divinity operates fully. The Fullness stands in contrast to our existential state, which in comparison may be called emptiness.

One of the aeonial beings who bears the name Sophia (“Wisdom”) is of great importance to the Gnostic world view. In the course of her journeyings, Sophia came to emanate from her own being a flawed consciousness, a being who became the creator of the material and psychic cosmos, all of which he created in the image of his own flaw. This being, unaware of his origins, imagined himself to be the ultimate and absolute God. Since he took the already existing divine essence and fashioned it into various forms, he is also called the Demiurgos or “half-maker” There is an authentic half, a true deific component within creation, but it is not recognized by the half-maker and by his cosmic minions, the Archons or “rulers”.

The Human Being

Human nature mirrors the duality found in the world: in part it was made by the false creator God and in part it consists of the light of the True God. Humankind contains a perishable physical and psychic component, as well as a spiritual component which is a fragment of the divine essence. This latter part is often symbolically referred to as the “divine spark”. The recognition of this dual nature of the world and of the human being has earned the Gnostic tradition the epithet of “dualist”.

Humans are generally ignorant of the divine spark resident within them. This ignorance is fostered in human nature by the influence of the false creator and his Archons, who together are intent upon keeping men and women ignorant of their true nature and destiny. Anything that causes us to remain attached to earthly things serves to keep us in enslavement to these lower cosmic rulers. Death releases the divine spark from its lowly prison, but if there has not been a substantial work of Gnosis undertaken by the soul prior to death, it becomes likely that the divine spark will be hurled back into, and then re-embodied within, the pangs and slavery of the physical world.

Not all humans are spiritual (pneumatics) and thus ready for Gnosis and liberation. Some are earthbound and materialistic beings (hyletics), who recognize only the physical reality. Others live largely in their psyche (psychics). Such people usually mistake the Demiurge for the True God and have little or no awareness of the spiritual world beyond matter and mind.

In the course of history, humans progress from materialistic sensate slavery, by way of ethical religiosity, to spiritual freedom and liberating Gnosis. As the scholar G. Quispel wrote: “The world-spirit in exile must go through the Inferno of matter and the Purgatory of morals to arrive at the spiritual Paradise.” This kind of evolution of consciousness was envisioned by the Gnostics, long before the concept of evolution was known.


Evolutionary forces alone are insufficient, however, to bring about spiritual freedom. Humans are caught in a predicament consisting of physical existence combined with ignorance of their true origins, their essential nature and their ultimate destiny. To be liberated from this predicament, human beings require help, although they must also contribute their own efforts.

From earliest times Messengers of the Light have come forth from the True God in order to assist humans in their quest for Gnosis. Only a few of these salvific figures are mentioned in Gnostic scripture some of the most important are Seth (the third Son of Adam), Jesus, and the Prophet Mani. The majority of Gnostics always looked to Jesus as the principal savior figure (the Soter).

Gnostics do not look to salvation from sin (original or other), but rather from the ignorance of which sin is a consequence. Ignorance -- whereby is meant ignorance of spiritual realities -- is dispelled only by Gnosis, and the decisive revelation of Gnosis is brought by the Messengers of Light, especially by Christ, the Logos of the True God. It is not by His suffering and death but by His life of teaching and His establishing of mysteries that Christ has performed His work of salvation.

The Gnostic concept of salvation, like other Gnostic concepts, is a subtle one. On the one hand, Gnostic salvation may easily be mistaken for an unmediated individual experience, a sort of spiritual do-it-yourself project. Gnostics hold that the potential for Gnosis, and thus, of salvation is present in every man and woman, and that salvation is not vicarious but individual. At the same time, they also acknowledge that Gnosis and salvation can be, indeed must be, stimulated and facilitated in order to effectively arise within consciousness. This stimulation is supplied by Messengers of Light who, in addition to their teachings, establish salvific mysteries (sacraments) which can be administered by apostles of the Messengers and their successors.

One needs also remember that knowledge of our true nature -- as well as other associated realizations -- are withheld from us by our very condition of earthly existence. The True God of transcendence is unknown in this world, in fact He is often called the Unknown Father. It is thus obvious that revelation from on High is needed to bring about salvation. The indwelling spark must be awakened from its terrestrial slumber by the saving knowledge that comes “from without”.


If the words “ethics” or “morality” are taken to mean a system of rules, then Gnosticism is opposed to them both. Such systems usually originate with the Demiurge and are covertly designed to serve his purposes. If, on the other hand, morality is said to consist of an inner integrity arising from the illumination of the indwelling spark, then the Gnostic will embrace this spiritually informed existential ethic as ideal.

To the Gnostic, commandments and rules are not salvific they are not substantially conducive to salvation. Rules of conduct may serve numerous ends, including the structuring of an ordered and peaceful society, and the maintenance of harmonious relations within social groups. Rules, however, are not relevant to salvation that is brought about only by Gnosis. Morality therefore needs to be viewed primarily in temporal and secular terms it is ever subject to changes and modifications in accordance with the spiritual development of the individual.

As noted in the discussion above, “hyletic materialists” usually have little interest in morality, while “psychic disciplinarians” often grant to it a great importance. In contrast, “Pneumatic spiritual” persons are generally more concerned with other, higher matters. Different historical periods also require variant attitudes regarding human conduct. Thus both the Manichaean and Cathar Gnostic movements, which functioned in times where purity of conduct was regarded as an issue of high import, responded in kind. The present period of Western culture perhaps resembles in more ways that of second and third century Alexandria. It seems therefore appropriate that Gnostics in our age adopt the attitudes of classical Alexandrian Gnosticism, wherein matters of conduct were largely left to the insight of the individual.

Gnosticism embraces numerous general attitudes toward life: it encourages non-attachment and non-conformity to the world, a “being in the world, but not of the world” a lack of egotism and a respect for the freedom and dignity of other beings. Nonetheless, it appertains to the intuition and wisdom of every individual “Gnostic” to distill from these principles individual guidelines for their personal application.


When Confucius was asked about death, he replied: “Why do you ask me about death when you do not know how to live?” This answer might easily have been given by a Gnostic. To a similar question posed in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Jesus answered that human beings must come by Gnosis to know the ineffable, divine reality from whence they have originated, and whither they will return. This transcendental knowledge must come to them while they are still embodied on earth.

Death does not automatically bring about liberation from bondage in the realms of the Demiurge. Those who have not attained to a liberating Gnosis while they were in embodiment may become trapped in existence once more. It is quite likely that this might occur by way of the cycle of rebirths. Gnosticism does not emphasize the doctrine of reincarnation prominently, but it is implicitly understood in most Gnostic teachings that those who have not made effective contact with their transcendental origins while they were in embodiment would have to return into the sorrowful condition of earthly life.

In regard to salvation, or the fate of the spirit and soul after death, one needs to be aware that help is available. Valentinus, the greatest of Gnostic teachers, taught that Christ and Sophia await the spiritual man -- the pneumatic Gnostic -- at the entrance of the Pleroma, and help him to enter the bridechamber of final reunion. Ptolemaeus, disciple of Valentinus, taught that even those not of pneumatic status, the psychics, could be redeemed and live in a heavenworld at the entrance of the Pleroma. In the fullness of time, every spiritual being will receive Gnosis and will be united with its higher Self -- the angelic Twin -- thus becoming qualified to enter the Pleroma. None of this is possible, however, without earnest striving for Gnosis.

Gnosis and Psyche: The Depth Psychological Connection

Throughout the twentieth Century the new scientific discipline of depth psychology has gained much prominence. Among the depth psychologists who have shown a pronounced and informed interest in Gnosticism, a place of signal distinction belongs to C. G. Jung. Jung was instrumental in calling attention to the Nag Hammadi library of Gnostic writings in the 1950's because he perceived the outstanding psychological relevance of Gnostic insights.

The noted scholar of Gnosticism, G. Filoramo, wrote: "Jung's reflections had long been immersed in the thought of the ancient Gnostics to such an extent that he considered them the virtual discoverers of 'depth psychology' . . . ancient Gnosis, albeit in its form of universal religion, in a certain sense prefigured, and at the same time helped to clarify, the nature of Jungian spiritual therapy." In the light of such recognitions one may ask: "Is Gnosticism a religion or a psychology?" The answer is that it may very-well be both. Most mythologems found in Gnostic scriptures possess psychological relevance and applicability. For instance the blind and arrogant creator-demiurge bears a close resemblance to the alienated human ego that has lost contact with the ontological Self. Also, the myth of Sophia resembles closely the story of the human psyche that loses its connection with the collective unconscious and needs to be rescued by the Self. Analogies of this sort exist in great profusion.

Many esoteric teachings have proclaimed, "As it is above, so it is below." Our psychological nature (the microcosm) mirrors metaphysical nature (the macrocosm), thus Gnosticism may possess both a psychological and a religious authenticity. Gnostic psychology and Gnostic religion need not be exclusive of one another but may complement each other within an implicit order of wholeness. Gnostics have always held that divinity is immanent within the human spirit, although it is not limited to it. The convergence of Gnostic religious teaching with psychological insight is thus quite understandable in terms of time-honored Gnostic principles.


Some writers make a distinction between “Gnosis” and “Gnosticism”. Such distinctions are both helpful and misleading. Gnosis is undoubtedly an experience based not in concepts and precepts, but in the sensibility of the heart. Gnosticism, on the other hand, is the world-view based on the experience of Gnosis. For this reason, in languages other than English, the word Gnosis is often used to denote both the experience and the world view (die Gnosis in German, la Gnose in French).

In a sense, there is no Gnosis without Gnosticism, for the experience of Gnosis inevitably calls forth a world view wherein it finds its place. The Gnostic world view is experiential, it is based on a certain kind of spiritual experience of Gnosis. Therefore, it will not do to omit, or to dilute, various parts of the Gnostic world view, for were one to do this, the world view would no longer conform to experience.

Theology has been called an intellectual wrapping around the spiritual kernel of a religion. If this is true, then it is also true that most religions are being strangled and stifled by their wrappings. Gnosticism does not run this danger, because its world view is stated in myth rather than in theology. Myths, including the Gnostic myths, may be interpreted in diverse ways. Transcendence, numinosity, as well as psychological archetypes along with other elements, play a role in such interpretation. Still, such mythic statements tell of profound truths that will not be denied.

Gnosticism can bring us such truths with a high authority, for it speaks with the voice of the highest part of the human -- the spirit. Of this spirit, it has been said, “it bloweth where it listeth”. This then is the reason why the Gnostic world view could not be extirpated in spite of many centuries of persecution.

The Gnostic world view has always been timely, for it always responded best to the “knowledge of the heart” that is true Gnosis. Yet today, its timeliness is increasing, for the end of the second millennium has seen the radical deterioration of many ideologies which evaded the great questions and answers addressed by Gnosticism. The clarity, frankness, and authenticity of the Gnostic answer to the questions of the human predicament cannot fail to impress and (in time) to convince. If your reactions to this summary have been of a similarly positive order, then perhaps you are a Gnostic yourself!

Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development considers the impact of external factors, parents and society on personality development from childhood to adulthood. According to Erikson’s theory, every person must pass through a series of eight interrelated stages over the entire life cycle [2] .

1. Infancy: Birth-18 Months Old

Basic Trust vs. Mistrust – Hope

During the first or second year of life, the major emphasis is on the mother and father’s nurturing ability and care for a child, especially in terms of visual contact and touch. The child will develop optimism, trust, confidence, and security if properly cared for and handled. If a child does not experience trust, he or she may develop insecurity, worthlessness, and general mistrust to the world.

2. Toddler / Early Childhood Years: 18 Months to 3 Years

The second stage occurs between 18 months and 3 years. At this point, the child has an opportunity to build self-esteem and autonomy as he or she learns new skills and right from wrong. The well-cared for child is sure of himself, carrying himself or herself with pride rather than shame. During this time of the “terrible twos”, defiance, temper tantrums, and stubbornness can also appear. Children tend to be vulnerable during this stage, sometimes feeling shame and and low self-esteem during an inability to learn certain skills.

3. Preschooler: 3 to 5 Years

Initiative vs. Guilt – Purpose

During this period we experience a desire to copy the adults around us and take initiative in creating play situations. We make up stories with Barbie’s and Ken’s, toy phones and miniature cars, playing out roles in a trial universe, experimenting with the blueprint for what we believe it means to be an adult. We also begin to use that wonderful word for exploring the world—”WHY?”

While Erikson was influenced by Freud, he downplays biological sexuality in favor of the psychosocial features of conflict between child and parents. Nevertheless, he said that at this stage we usually become involved in the classic “Oedipal struggle” and resolve this struggle through “social role identification.” If we’re frustrated over natural desires and goals, we may easily experience guilt.

The most significant relationship is with the basic family.

4. School Age Child: 6 to 12 Years

Industry vs. Inferiority – Competence

During this stage, often called the Latency, we are capable of learning, creating and accomplishing numerous new skills and knowledge, thus developing a sense of industry. This is also a very social stage of development and if we experience unresolved feelings of inadequacy and inferiority among our peers, we can have serious problems in terms of competence and self-esteem.

As the world expands a bit, our most significant relationship is with the school and neighborhood. Parents are no longer the complete authorities they once were, although they are still important.

5. Adolescent: 12 to 18 Years

Identity vs. Role Confusion – Fidelity

Up until this fifth stage, development depends on what is done to a person. At this point, development now depends primarily upon what a person does. An adolescent must struggle to discover and find his or her own identity, while negotiating and struggling with social interactions and “fitting in”, and developing a sense of morality and right from wrong.

Some attempt to delay entrance to adulthood and withdraw from responsibilities (moratorium). Those unsuccessful with this stage tend to experience role confusion and upheaval. Adolescents begin to develop a strong affiliation and devotion to ideals, causes, and friends.

6. Young adult: 18 to 35

Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation – Love

At the young adult stage, people tend to seek companionship and love. Some also begin to “settle down” and start families, although seems to have been pushed back farther in recent years.

Young adults seek deep intimacy and satisfying relationships, but if unsuccessful, isolation may occur. Significant relationships at this stage are with marital partners and friends.

7. Middle-aged Adult: 35 to 55 or 65

Generativity vs. Self absorption or Stagnation – Care

Career and work are the most important things at this stage, along with family. Middle adulthood is also the time when people can take on greater responsibilities and control.

For this stage, working to establish stability and Erikson’s idea of generativity – attempting to produce something that makes a difference to society. Inactivity and meaninglessness are common fears during this stage.

Major life shifts can occur during this stage. For example, children leave the household, careers can change, and so on. Some may struggle with finding purpose. Significant relationships are those within the family, workplace, local church and other communities.

8. Late Adult: 55 or 65 to Death

Integrity vs. Despair – Wisdom

Erikson believed that much of life is preparing for the middle adulthood stage and the last stage involves much reflection. As older adults, some can look back with a feeling of integrity — that is, contentment and fulfillment, having led a meaningful life and valuable contribution to society. Others may have a sense of despair during this stage, reflecting upon their experiences and failures. They may fear death as they struggle to find a purpose to their lives, wondering “What was the point of life? Was it worth it?”

The following are key concepts/big ideas in economics:

  • Scarcity results in choices with opportunity costs
  • Values influence economic choices
  • Markets provide incentives and ration scarce resources
  • Perfectly competitive markets are efficient
  • Market failure may require government intervention
  • The benefits of market activities may not be equitable
  • Government intervention may involve an equity–efficiency trade-off
  • Interdependence results in flow-on effects
  • Marginal analysis will maximise results
  • Economic indicators aid economic analysis
  • Inflation can distort economic indicators
  • Economic models aid economic analysis
  • Micro and macroeconomics

Scarcity results in choices with opportunity costs

Resources are scarce when unlimited wants exceed the capability of the available resources to satisfy them, so that economic choices must be made.

Resources are used when an economic decision is made, meaning that a cost is incurred.

The “opportunity cost” is the next best alternative use of those resources.

Opportunity cost can be used to evaluate decisions. If the net benefits from a choice are greater than the next best alternative, then a sensible economic choice has been made.

Economic growth reduces scarcity

Economic growth occurs when the real value of the goods and services produced by an economy enables more wants to be satisfied.

Accordingly, societies strive for economic growth as a way of reducing scarcity.

Full employment reduces scarcity

Full employment occurs when all resources are fully utilised.

If resources are fully employed, then more can be produced. Societies therefore strive for full employment as a way of reducing scarcity.

International trade reduces scarcity

Countries trading products and services they are comparatively better at producing will be able to sell them overseas for a higher price than they sell them locally. They will be able to buy other imports for a lower price than they can be produced locally. This enables more wants to be satisfied and reduces scarcity.

Values influence economic choices

Values are the core beliefs that people hold. The different values or perspectives held by individuals and groups influence the economic choices they make.

Values affect the importance (or weighting) people give to the different factors they consider in making a choice. Groups and individuals with the same information, but different values, may make different choices.

For example, Māori may believe that their traditions and values best suit them to conserve natural resources and that they should be given the responsibility to manage the stretches of the New Zealand foreshore they own.

Markets provide incentives and ration scarce resources

Markets are places or situations where producers and consumers exchange goods and services.

In free market economies, the prices set by the interaction of supply and demand allocates scarce resources.

Whenever resources are particularly scarce, demand exceeds supply, and prices are driven up. The effect of higher prices is to discourage demand and conserve resources.

The greater the scarcity, the higher the price, and the more the resource will be conserved. For example, as oil slowly runs out and its price rises, demand will be discouraged, leading to more oil being conserved than at lower prices.

An incentive is something that motivates a producer or consumer to follow a particular course of action or to change it.

Higher prices resulting from increased consumer demand are an incentive for producers to supply more of a good or service because they may earn more profit.

For example, as world demand for dairy products rises, New Zealand farmers are switching to dairying. Similarly, students are likelier to work hard to develop skills they recognise as required for the high paying job they aspire to.

Perfectly competitive markets are efficient

Efficiency is an economic concept related to how well an economy allocates scarce resources to meets the needs and wants of consumers.

Efficient markets allocate scarce resources so that the price consumers are prepare to pay for a good equals the marginal cost of the resources used to produce that good.

Adam Smith (widely cited as the father of modern economics) argued that if consumers are allowed to freely choose what to buy and if producers choose freely what to sell and how to produce it, a free market will, as if led by an invisible hand, settle on products and prices that make both consumers and producers both better off.

For example, market equilibrium occurs at the price where the quantities demanded by consumers equals the quantity supplied by producers, meaning that just the right amount of resources are used, since there are neither shortages nor surpluses.

Market failure may require government intervention

Market failure occurs when free markets fail to allocate resources efficiently.

For example, in the cigarette market, consumers’ decisions can impact negatively on other people in a variety of ways.

One such negative impact is the health problems caused by inhaling second hand smoke in domestic settings or public areas.

When the smoker pays only the price at which the producer sells the cigarettes, they are not paying for the cost of these negative impacts.

The government intervenes by applying an excise tax on tobacco products to deliver a more efficient and equitable outcome.

The benefits of market activities may not be equitable

Equity is an economic objective relating to fairness or evenness.

A market may be efficient, but society may be concerned that the benefits from market activity are unfairly shared out.

For example, free markets inevitably distribute incomes unevenly because the income earned depends on supply and demand for labour resources, which are different in different markets.

If a government believes the gap between rich and poor is too great, it will redistribute wealth by giving benefits to the poor, for example, unemployment benefits, and taxing the rich at higher rates.

Government intervention may involve an equity–efficiency trade-off

Government interventions to improve equity may sometimes diminish efficiency.

For example, higher marginal tax rates may discourage high-income earners from working harder or longer if they feel that more of their income goes to the government. As a result, productivity falls.

Some governments seek to help low-income families by adopting policies to stimulate economic growth. They believe that the benefits of higher growth will trickle down to the low-income families.

Other governments recognise that reducing poverty will improve economic efficiency.

For example, reducing poverty tends to reduce levels of illness, which are linked to poor housing and nutrition. Improved public health reduces demand for more hospital services and the need for more hospitals to be built.

Improved economic efficiency also gives a government the opportunity to can spend more on developing infrastructure to improve productivity.

Interdependence results in flow-on effects

The different sectors of an economy (households, producers, financial, government, overseas) rely on each other (are interdependent).

Events impacting on one sector will flow on to affect other sectors.

For example, when overseas countries that trade with New Zealand go into recession and reduce their spending, the flow-on effect for New Zealand is fewer export receipts and lower levels of economic growth.

Marginal analysis will maximise results

Marginal analysis compares the additional benefit of an activity with its additional cost.

An economist would recommend the use of scarce resources to satisfy wants only when the extra benefit gained from using the scarce resources exceeds the extra cost associated with using them.

For example, a student with an after-school job could use marginal analysis to optimise the number of hours worked. How much the student values their time not working (the opportunity cost) represents the marginal cost. The amount they are paid is the marginal benefit.

Although the marginal cost of the first or second hour worked may be low (the student still has plenty of times to do other things), the cost of further hours begins increase.

If the student is paid $15 an hour, but values the marginal cost of a third hour spent working at more than $15 – they really want to use it for study or to be with friends – then the most hours they should work are two.

Economic indicators aid economic analysis

Economic indicators are usually economic statistics, such as the unemployment rate, real GDP, or the inflation rate.

These statistics are important for economists. They use indicators to estimate how well the economy is doing and to highlight trends in contemporary macro-economic issues, such as economic growth, employment, international trade, inflation, and equity.

Inflation can distort economic indicators

Nominal indicators have not accounted for the effects of inflation.

Real indicators account for the effects of inflation.

For example, nominal national income is the dollar value of an economy’s income in a particular year. Real national income is the income with the effects of inflation removed, thereby indicating the actual purchasing power of the income.

Economists use increases in real income to identify economic growth – increasing real income shows that a country, with its resources, is now able to satisfy more wants and needs.

Economic models aid economic analysis

Economic models are simplifications of the real world. They are developed to aid analysis and support predictions about economic behaviour and performance.

Economists have developed a variety of models to aid analysis of both macroeconomic and microeconomic issues.

A supply and demand model

Microeconomics uses a supply and demand model. This model combines producer supply and consumer demand to support analysis of the effects of choices on price and the flow-on effects of decisions on others.

More sophisticated applications allow users to make predictions about economic efficiency.

An aggregate supply and aggregate demand (AS AD) model

The macroeconomic AS AD model aids analysis of changes in the internal and external influences affecting an economy, in particular, their impact on inflation, economic growth, and employment.

Micro and macro-economics

Economics is traditionally divided up into two branches – microeconomics and macroeconomics. ‘Micro’ means small and ‘macro’ means big.

Micro-economics is the branch of economics that examines individual decision-making by firms and households and the way they interact in specific industries and markets. Among economists, the most commonly accepted set of ideas about how the economy works is called neoclassical economics. Key concepts outlined above, including, opportunity cost, thinking at the margin, incentives in consumer/producer decision-making, markets efficiency, and why markets fail are all based on neoclassical ideas and form the basis of micro-economic theory.

Macro-economics is the branch of economics that examines the workings and problems of the economy as a whole. It is concerned with aggregate supply (total national output of goods and services) and aggregate demand (the total spending of the whole economy ) and issues such as economic growth, inflation, unemployment, and economic fluctuations. Macroeconomic policy suggestions therefore tend to focus on the balance of aggregate demand and aggregate supply. Demand side policies seek to influence the level of spending in the economy. This in turn indirectly affects the level of production, prices, and employment. Supply side policies are designed to influence production directly.

Watch the video: 7 of 14 - Summary of key concepts for Future Value u0026 Present Value (October 2021).