Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience

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Read Through The New Testament in just 8 weeks with the NLT Bible and Immerse: Messiah
3 ways to get the most out of your experience
  1. Use Immerse: Messiah instead of your regular chapter-and-verse Bible. This special reader’s edition restores the Bible to its natural simplicity and beauty by removing chapter and verse numbers and other historical additions. Letters look like letters, songs look like
    songs, and the original literary structures are visible in each book. 
  2. Commit to making this a community experience. Immerse is designed for groups to encounter large portions of the Bible together
    for 8 weeks—more like a book club, less like a Bible study. By meeting every week in small groups and discussing what you read in open, honest conversations, you and your community can come together to be transformed through an authentic experience with the Scriptures.
  3. Aim to understand the big story. Read through “The Stories and the Story” (p. 483) to see how the books of the Bible work together
    to tell God’s story of his creation’s restoration. As you read through Immerse: Messiah, rather than ask, “How do I fit God into my busy life?” begin asking, “How can I join in God’s great plan by living out my part in his story?”
4 Questions to get your conversations started:
  1. What stood out to you this week?
  2. Was there anything confusing or troubling?
  3. Did anything make you think differently about God?
  4. How might this change the way we live?
Part of NLT Immerse: The Reading Bible, Complete Set, the Winner of the 2022 Christian Book Award for Bible of the Year!
Messiah is the first of six volumes of Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience program. Messiah takes the reader on a new and unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each part of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together combine to provide the reader with enjoyable and impactful readings all centered on Jesus. The end result is a Bible developed for the purpose of being read and understood, not referred to. Messiah is a new way to interact with God’s Word.
Messiah delivers Scripture to the reader as it was originally created: without chapter or verse breaks. While references are made available for ease of finding specific Scripture references, those references do not appear within the actual text of Scripture. This makes for uninterrupted reading of God’s Word. Created with the look and feel of a paperback book, and written using the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, the most readable translation available, Messiah enables you to easily read and understand the Bible.

Currently featured in the Saddleback Church "Anchored Life Challenge." To join the challenge and read through the New Testament in 8 weeks, join at

What is Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience?

Read (and listen!) through the New Testament in 8 weeks with your small group or on your own.

Immerse: Messiah is the first of six volumes in Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience. Messiah takes the reader on a unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each section of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together they combine to provide a life-changing reading experience centered on Jesus. This fresh arrangement of the books highlights the depth of the New Testament’s fourfold witness to Jesus the Messiah. The Son of God, who fulfills all the longings and promises of the collected Scriptures, can be experienced in Messiah through the rich variety of lenses provided by the books of the new covenant.

The Immerse Bible Series is the proud winner of the prestigious Bible of the Year award from the ECPA Christian Book Awards. Immerse: The Reading Bible is specially crafted for a distraction-free listening and reading experience, helping you dive in and get immersed in Scripture. You’ll have a great experience using Immerse by yourself. But for an even richer experience, try reading with friends.

Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience is an invitation to a different kind of community interaction with the Bible. Less like a Bible study, more like a book club.

- 8 or 16-week Bible listening plans take you through a large section of the Bible like the New Testament or the Torah
- Meet once a week for a free-flowing discussion about the text
- Wrestle with questions and celebrate ‘aha!’ moments together

Nothing impacts spiritual growth more than spending time in Scripture. Immerse removes many of the barriers that make Bible reading difficult and invites communities to become transformed together through the power of God’s word.

 Welcome to the saddleback church anchored life challenge which can also by found on the saddleback companion app or by purchasing the immerse messiah book from tyndale.

The anchored life challenge includes speakers such as Andy Wood, Rick Warren, and Stacie Wood. 
Immerse Messiah 12

Andy Wood: [00:00:00] Welcome to Immerse Messiah Reading for Week 3, Day 12. Now, regarding your question about the young women who are not yet married, I do not have a command from the Lord for them, but the Lord in His mercy has given me wisdom that can be trusted, and I will share it with you. Because of the present crisis, I think it is best to remain as you are.

Andy Wood: If you have a wife, do not seek to end the marriage. If you do not have a wife, do Do not seek to get married. But if you do get married, it is not a sin. And if a young woman gets married, it is not a sin. However, those who get married at this time will have troubles. And I'm trying to spare you those problems.

Andy Wood: But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters. The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. Those who weep or who [00:01:00] rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them.

Andy Wood: For this world as we know it, We'll soon pass away. I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord's work and thinking how to please Him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided.

Andy Wood: In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married. Can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. I'm saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best.

Andy Wood: with as few [00:02:00] distractions as possible. But if a man thinks that he's treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her, as he wishes. It is not a sin. But if he has decided firmly not to marry, and there is no urgency, and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry.

Andy Wood: So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn't marry Does even better, a wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes. But only if he loves the Lord. But in my opinion, it would be better for her to stay single.

Andy Wood: And I think I am giving you counsel from God's spirit when I say this. Now, regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that we all have knowledge about [00:03:00] this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love. That strengthens the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn't really know very much.

Andy Wood: But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes. So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god, and that there is only one god. There may be so called gods, both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords.

Andy Wood: But for us, there is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live. However, not all believers know this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, [00:04:00] so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated.

Andy Wood: It's true that we can't win God's approval by what we eat. We don't lose anything if we don't eat it, and we don't gain anything if we do. But you must be careful, so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. For if others see you, with your superior knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, won't they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol?

Andy Wood: So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer, for whom Christ died, We'll be destroyed. And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, [00:05:00] I will never eat meat again as long as I live.

Andy Wood: For I don't want to cause another believer to stumble. Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven't I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn't it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? Even if others think I am not an Apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves

Rick Warren: are

Andy Wood: proof that I am the Lord's Apostle.

Andy Wood: This is my answer to those who question my authority. Don't we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? Don't we have the right to bring a believing wife with us, as the other Apostles and the Lord's Brothers do? And as Peter does? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves?

Andy Wood: What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn't have the right to eat some of its fruit? [00:06:00] What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn't allowed to drink some of the milk? Am I expressing merely a human opinion? Or does the law say the same thing? For the law of Moses says, You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating, as it treads out the grain.

Andy Wood: Was God thinking only about oxen when He said this? Wasn't He actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest. Since we have planted spiritual seed among you. Aren't we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink?

Andy Wood: If you support others who preach to you, shouldn't we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the good news [00:07:00] about Christ. Don't you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple?

Andy Wood: And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the good news should be supported by those who benefit from it. Yet I have never used any of these rites. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge.

Andy Wood: Yet, preaching the good news is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn't preach the good news. If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment, but I have no choice. For God has given me this sacred trust. [00:08:00] What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the good news without charging anyone.

Andy Wood: That's why I never demand my rights when I preach the good news. Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people, to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew, to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law.

Andy Wood: Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this. So, I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles, who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from the law, so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God. I obey the law of Christ. When I am

Rick Warren: with those who are weak.

Rick Warren: I share their weakness, for I want to

Andy Wood: bring the weak to [00:09:00] Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save

Rick Warren: some. I do everything to spread the good news and share in its blessings. Don't you realize that in a race, everyone runs? But only one person gets the prize. So run to win.

Andy Wood: All athletes are disciplined in their training. They

Rick Warren: do it

Andy Wood: to win a prize that will fade away. But we do it for an eternal prize.

Rick Warren: So, I run with purpose

Andy Wood: in every step. I'm not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others, I myself might be disqualified.

Andy Wood: I don't want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of [00:10:00] them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, All of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water.

Andy Wood: For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them. And their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did.

Andy Wood: As the scriptures say, the people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry. And we must not engage in sexual immorality, as some of them did, [00:11:00] causing 23, 000 of them to die in one day. Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and then died from snakebites.

Andy Wood: And don't grumble, as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. If you think you are standing strong, Be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience, and God is faithful.

Andy Wood: He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out, so that you can endure. So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. When we [00:12:00] bless the cup at the Lord's table, aren't we sharing in the blood of Christ?

Andy Wood: And when we break the bread, aren't we sharing in the body of Christ? And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. Think about the people of Israel. Weren't they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance?

Andy Wood: Or that idols are real gods? Not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don't want you to participate with demons. You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord's table and at the table of demons, too. What?

Andy Wood: Do we dare to rouse the Lord's jealousy? Do you think we are stronger [00:13:00] than He is? You say, I am allowed to do anything. But not everything is good for you. You say I am allowed to do anything, but not everything is beneficial. Don't be concerned for your own good, but for the good of others. So you may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience.

Andy Wood: For the earth is the Lord's and everything in it. If someone who isn't a believer Asks you home for dinner. Accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you, without raising questions of conscience. But, suppose someone tells you, this meat was offered to an idol. Don't eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you.

Andy Wood: It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person. [00:14:00] For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, Why should I be condemned for eating it? So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Andy Wood: Don't give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I too try to please everyone in everything I do. I don't just do what is best for me. I do what is best for others, so that many may be saved. And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. I am so glad that you always keep me in your thoughts, and that you are following the teachings I passed on to you.

Andy Wood: But there is one thing I want you to know. The head of every man is Christ. The head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. [00:15:00] A man dishonors his head if he covers his head while praying or prophesying, but a woman dishonors her head if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head. For this is the same as shaving her head.

Andy Wood: Yes, if she refuses to wear a head covering, she should cut off all her hair. But since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut, or her head shaved, she should wear a covering. A man should not wear anything on his head when worshipping. For man is made in God's image, and reflects God's glory. And woman reflects man's glory.

Andy Wood: For the first man didn't come from woman. But the first woman came from man, and man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man. For this reason,

Rick Warren: and because the angels are watching,

Andy Wood: a woman should wear a covering on her

Rick Warren: head, to show she is under authority. But among the Lord's people, women are [00:16:00] not independent of men, and men are not independent of women.

Andy Wood: For although the first

Rick Warren: woman came from man, every other man was born from a

Andy Wood: woman, and everything comes from God. Judge for yourselves. Is it right for a woman to pray to

Rick Warren: God in

Andy Wood: public without covering her head? Isn't it obvious that it's disgraceful for a

Rick Warren: man to have long hair? And isn't long hair a woman's pride and joy?

Rick Warren: For it has been

Andy Wood: given to her as a covering. But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this. And neither do God's other churches. But in the following instructions,

Rick Warren: I cannot praise you.

Andy Wood: For it sounds as

Rick Warren: if more harm than good is done when you meet

Andy Wood: together.

Andy Wood: First, I hear

Rick Warren: that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church. And to some extent, I believe it. [00:17:00] But, of course, there must be

Andy Wood: divisions among you, so that you who have God's approval will be

Rick Warren: recognized. When you meet together, you are not really

Andy Wood: interested in the Lord's Supper. For some of you hurry

Rick Warren: to eat your own meal without sharing with others.

Rick Warren: As a result, some go hungry, while others get drunk. What?

Andy Wood: Don't you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really

Rick Warren: want to disgrace God's church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not

Andy Wood: praise you for this. For I pass

Rick Warren: on to you what I received from the Lord Himself.

Andy Wood: On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and

Rick Warren: gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, This is my

Andy Wood: body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, He took the cup of wine after supper, saying, [00:18:00]

Rick Warren: This cup is the new

Andy Wood: covenant between God and His people, an agreement confirmed with My blood.

Andy Wood: Do this in remembrance of Me as often as you drink it. For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's

Rick Warren: death until He comes again. So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord, unworthily, is guilty of

Andy Wood: sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

Andy Wood: That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking

Rick Warren: the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the

Andy Wood: cup without honoring the body of Christ, you

Rick Warren: are eating and drinking God's judgment upon

Andy Wood: yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick, and some have even died. But if we would examine ourselves, We would not be judged by God in this way.

Andy Wood: Yet, when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will [00:19:00] not be condemned along with the world. So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord's Supper, wait for each other. If you are really hungry, Eat at home,

Rick Warren: so you won't bring judgment upon yourselves when you meet together.

Andy Wood: I'll give you instructions about the other matters after I arrive. Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us, I don't want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.

Andy Wood: So I want you to know That no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus. And no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different [00:20:00] kinds of service. But we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

Andy Wood: A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person, the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice. To another, The same spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same spirit gives great faith to another and to someone else. The one spirit

Rick Warren: gives the gift of healing.

Andy Wood: He gives one person the power to perform miracles and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.

Andy Wood: It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts.

Rick Warren: He

Andy Wood: alone decides which gift each

Rick Warren: person should [00:21:00] have. The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up

Andy Wood: one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,

Rick Warren: some are slaves, and some are free. But we

Andy Wood: have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

Andy Wood: Yes, the body has many different parts. Not just one part.

Rick Warren: If the foot says, I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand, that does not

Andy Wood: make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear

Rick Warren: says,

Andy Wood: I am not part of the body because I am not an eye. Would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body

Rick Warren: were an eye, how would you hear?

Rick Warren: Or if the whole

Andy Wood: body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where He wants it. [00:22:00] How strange a body would be

Rick Warren: if it had only one

Andy Wood: part. Yes, there are

Rick Warren: many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, I don't need you.

Andy Wood: The head can't say to the feet.

Rick Warren: I don't need you. In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary, and the parts we regard

Andy Wood: as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we

Rick Warren: carefully protect those parts that should

Andy Wood: not be seen, while the more honorable parts Do not require the special care.

Andy Wood: So God has put the body together

Rick Warren: such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members. So that all the members care for each other.

Andy Wood: If one part suffers. All the parts suffer with it, [00:23:00] and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it.

Andy Wood: Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church. First, our apostles. Second, our prophets. Third, our teachers. Then those who do miracles. Those who have the gift of healing. Those who can help others.

Rick Warren: Those who have the gift

Andy Wood: of leadership. Those who speak in unknown languages. Are we all apostles?

Andy Wood: Are we all

Rick Warren: prophets? Are we all teachers?

Andy Wood: Do we all have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not. So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.

Andy Wood: But now, [00:24:00] let me show you a way of life that is best of all. If I could speak all the languages of earth,

Rick Warren: and of angels. But didn't love

Andy Wood: others, I would only be a

Rick Warren: noisy gong or a clanging cymbal,

Andy Wood: if I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God's secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains.

Andy Wood: But if I didn't love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor, and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it. But if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is

Rick Warren: patient. Kind love is

Andy Wood: not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. [00:25:00] It is not irritable and it keeps no record of being wronged.

Andy Wood: It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices. Whenever the truth wins out, love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless, but love will last forever. Now, our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture.

Andy Wood: But when the time of

Rick Warren: perfection comes, these partial things

Andy Wood: will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. [00:26:00] Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror. But then, we will see everything with perfect clarity.

Andy Wood: All that I know now is partial and incomplete. But then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three

Rick Warren: things will last forever, faith, hope,

Andy Wood: and love, and the greatest of these. Love,

Rick Warren: let love be your

Andy Wood: highest goal, but you should also desire


Rick Warren: special abilities the spirit gives,

Andy Wood: especially the ability to prophesy for if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you'll be talking only to God.

Andy Wood: Since people won't be able to understand you, you'll be speaking by the power of the spirit, but it will all be mysterious, but one who prophesies, strengthens others. Encourages them, [00:27:00] and comforts them. A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally. But one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.

Andy Wood: I wish you could all speak in tongues. But even more, I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues. Unless someone interprets what you are saying, so that the whole church will be strengthened. Dear brothers and sisters, if I should come to you speaking in an unknown language, how would that help you?

Andy Wood: But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful. Even lifeless instruments, like the flute or the harp, must play the notes clearly. Or no one will recognize the melody. And if the bugler doesn't sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they're being called to battle?

Andy Wood: It is the same for you. If you speak to people in words they [00:28:00] don't understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space. There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning. But if I don't understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it.

Andy Wood: And the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me, and the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church. So anyone who speaks in tongues should pray also for the ability to interpret what has been said.

Andy Wood: For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don't understand what I'm saying. Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the Spirit. And I will also pray in words I understand, I will sing in the Spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand. For if you praise God only in the Spirit, [00:29:00] how can those who don't understand you, praise God along with you?

Andy Wood: How can they join you in giving thanks? When they don't understand what you are saying. You will be giving thanks very well, but it won't strengthen the people who hear you. I thank God that I speak in tongues, more than any of you. But in a church meeting, I would rather speak 5 understandable words to help others, than 10, 000 words in an unknown language.

Andy Wood: Dear brothers and sisters, don't be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind. It is written in the Scriptures, I will speak to my own people through strange languages and through the lips of foreigners, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.

Andy Wood: So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for [00:30:00] believers, but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. Even so, if unbelievers, or people who don't understand these things, come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy.

Andy Wood: But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers, or people who don't understand these things, come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin. Judged by what you say. As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed and they will fall to their knees and worship God declaring God is truly here among you.

Andy Wood: Well, my brothers and sisters, let's summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given. One will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that [00:31:00] is done must strengthen all of you. No more than two or three should speak in tongues.

Andy Wood: They must speak one at a time, and someone must interpret what they say. But if no one is present who can interpret, They must be silent in your church meeting, and speak in tongues to God privately. Let two or three people prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said. But if someone is prophesying, and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop.

Andy Wood: In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. Remember that people who prophesy are in

Rick Warren: control of their spirit, and can take turns. For God is not a God of disorder, but of

Andy Wood: peace. As in all

Rick Warren: the

Andy Wood: meetings of God's holy people, women should be silent during the church meetings.

Andy Wood: It is not proper for them to speak. They should be [00:32:00] submissive, just as the law says. If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for

Rick Warren: women to speak in church meetings. Or do you think God's word Originated with you Corinthians.

Andy Wood: Are you the only ones to whom it was given?

Andy Wood: If you claim to be a prophet or think you are spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord himself. But if you do not recognize this, you yourself will not be recognized.

Rick Warren: So my dear brothers and sisters be eager to prophesy and don't forbid speaking in tongues,

Andy Wood: but be sure that everything is done properly

Rick Warren: and in order.

Andy Wood: Let me now remind you dear brothers and sisters. Of the good news I preached

Rick Warren: to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this good news that

Andy Wood: saves you, if you continue to believe the [00:33:00] message I told you.

Rick Warren: Unless, of course, you believed something that

Andy Wood: was never true in the first place.

Andy Wood: I passed on to

Rick Warren: you what was most important, and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins,

Andy Wood: just as the scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day,

Rick Warren: just as the scriptures said. He was seen by Peter, and then by

Andy Wood: the Twelve. After

Rick Warren: that, he was seen by more

Andy Wood: than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive.

Rick Warren: Though some have died,

Andy Wood: then he was seen by James, and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him, for I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I'm not even worthy to be called an apostle, after the way I persecuted God's church. But whatever I am now, it is all because God [00:34:00] poured out His special favor on me, and not without results.

Andy Wood: For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles, yet it was not I, but God who was working through me by His grace. So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed. But tell me this, since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead?

Andy Wood: For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless, and we apostles would all be lying about God, for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can't be true if there is no resurrection of the dead.

Andy Wood: And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if [00:35:00] Christ has not been raised, Then your

Rick Warren: faith is useless, and you are still

Andy Wood: guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have

Rick Warren: died believing

Andy Wood: in Christ are lost. And if our hope in Christ is only for this life We are more to be

Rick Warren: pitied than anyone in the

Andy Wood: world, but in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead.

Andy Wood: He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

Rick Warren: So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead

Andy Wood: has

Rick Warren: begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who

Andy Wood: belongs to Christ will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection.

Andy Wood: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest. Then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back. After that, the end will

Rick Warren: come, [00:36:00] when He will turn the kingdom over to God the Father,

Andy Wood: having destroyed every ruler and authority and

Rick Warren: power. For Christ must reign until He humbles all His enemies beneath His feet.

Andy Wood: And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the

Rick Warren: Scriptures say, God has put all things under His authority. Of course, when it says, all things are under His authority, that

Andy Wood: does not include God Himself, who gave Christ His

Rick Warren: authority. Then, when all things are under His authority,

Andy Wood: the Son will put Himself under God's authority, so that God, who gave His Son

Rick Warren: authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything, everywhere.

Rick Warren: If the dead

Andy Wood: will not be raised, what point is there in people being

Rick Warren: baptized

Andy Wood: for those who are dead?

Rick Warren: Why do it? Unless the dead will some day rise again.

Andy Wood: And why should we ourselves risk our lives [00:37:00] hour by hour? For I

Rick Warren: swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death

Andy Wood: daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you.

Andy Wood: And what value was there

Rick Warren: in fighting wild beasts, those people of Ephesus,

Andy Wood: if there will

Rick Warren: be no resurrection

Andy Wood: from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, let's feast and drink, for tomorrow we die. Don't be fooled by those who say such things,

Rick Warren: for bad company

Andy Wood: corrupts good character. Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning,

Rick Warren: for to your shame I say that some of you don't know God at

Andy Wood: all.

Rick Warren: But

Andy Wood: someone may ask, how

Rick Warren: will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies

Andy Wood: will they have? What a foolish question.

Rick Warren: When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn't grow into a plant, [00:38:00] unless it dies first, and what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat.

Andy Wood: Or whatever you are planting.

Andy Wood: Then God gives it the new body He

Rick Warren: wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of

Andy Wood: seed. Similarly, there are different kinds of flesh. One kind for humans,

Rick Warren: another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies.

Rick Warren: The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind, and even the stars differ from

Andy Wood: each other in their

Rick Warren: glory. It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted

Andy Wood: in the ground when we die,

Rick Warren: but they will be raised [00:39:00] to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory.

Rick Warren: They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. for just as there are natural bodies. There are also spiritual bodies.

Andy Wood: The scriptures tell us, the

Rick Warren: first man, Adam, became a living person. But the last Adam, that is, Christ, is a life giving spirit.

Rick Warren: What comes first is the natural body. Then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday [00:40:00] be like the heavenly man.

Rick Warren: What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

Andy Wood: Cannot inherit what will last forever, but let me reveal to you

Rick Warren: a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet

Andy Wood: is blown.

Andy Wood: For when the trumpet sounds, Those who have died

Rick Warren: will be raised to live forever, and we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die. Our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal

Andy Wood: bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this scripture will be fulfilled.[00:41:00]

Rick Warren: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death. And the law gives sin its power. But thank God. He gives us victory over sin and death. Now,

Rick Warren: regarding your question about the money being collected for God's people in Jerusalem, you should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia. On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don't wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.

Rick Warren: When I come, I will write letters of recommendation [00:42:00] for the messengers you choose to

Andy Wood: deliver your gift to Jerusalem. And if it seems

Rick Warren: appropriate for me to go along, they can travel with me. I am coming to visit you after I have been to Macedonia, for I am planning to travel through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay a while with you, possibly all winter, and then you can send me on my way to my next destination.

Rick Warren: This time, I don't want to make just a short visit and then go right on. I want to come and stay a while, if the Lord will let me. In the meantime, I will be staying here at Ephesus until the festival of Pentecost. There is a wide open door for a great work here, although many oppose me. When Timothy comes, don't intimidate him.

Rick Warren: He is doing the Lord's work, just as I am. Don't let anyone treat him with contempt. Send him on his way with your blessing, when he returns to me. I expect him to come with the other believers. Now, [00:43:00] about our brother, Apollos. I urged him to visit you with the other believers, but he was not willing to go right now.

Rick Warren: He will see you later when he has the opportunity. Be on guard, stand firm in

Andy Wood: the faith, be

Rick Warren: courageous, be strong, and do everything with love. You know that Stephanus and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece, and they are spending their lives in service to God's people. I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, To submit to them, and others like them, who serve with such devotion.

Rick Warren: I'm very glad that

Andy Wood: Stephanus, Fortunatus, and

Rick Warren: Achaicus have come here. They have been providing the help you weren't here to give me. They have been a wonderful encouragement to me, as they have been to you. You must show your appreciation to all who serve so well. The churches here in the province of Asia send greetings in the Lord, [00:44:00] as do Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings.

Rick Warren: All the brothers and sisters here send greetings to you. Greet each other with a sacred kiss. Here is my greeting in my own handwriting. Paul, if anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come. May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you, in Christ Jesus.

Andy Wood: This concludes today's Immerse Reading Experience. Thank you for joining us.