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 11

Rick Warren: [00:00:00] Welcome to Immerse Messiah Reading for week three, day 11.

Stacie Wood: Immersed in First Corinthians, the people in the church at Corinth, a Greek city renowned for its immorality, were struggling. They were grateful to Paul for introducing them to Jesus, but now they were convinced they had moved beyond Paul in some key ways. The Corinthian community was deeply influenced by the Greco Roman religious culture around them.

Stacie Wood: Many of their ideas came from this cultural environment. which they were trying to integrate with their new Christian faith. One set of ideas supposed a sharp divide between physical and spiritual realities, including the body and soul. It was thought that physical realities like the body were inherently evil, while spiritual realities like the soul were good.

Stacie Wood: In this heresy, the [00:01:00] body and what was done in the body would have been considered insignificant. Only the soul was important. This view, so different from the Bible's, went back many centuries to the philosopher Plato. It was still highly influential, as evidenced in a religious movement known as Gnosticism, which would become a major adversary to the early church.

Stacie Wood: Paul wrote this letter shortly after A. D. 50. After having stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, Paul had moved on to Ephesus, just across the Aegean Sea. The Corinthians took advantage of the short distance, corresponding with Paul about the problems facing their church. So what was going on in Corinth?

Stacie Wood: A lot, it turns out. They seemed to think that being spiritual meant being free from the bodies that trapped their spiritual selves. This led them to ask questions about marriage and sexual relations, including whether people should even bother to get married and [00:02:00] have children. On another extreme, some boldly argued that certain actions done with the body had no effect on the soul.

Stacie Wood: This included things like eating food sacrificed to idols and visiting prostitutes in pagan temples. Paul's teaching about the resurrection also raised questions for them. What was the point of the resurrection, where the soul would return to the body if the physical body wasn't important or even good?

Stacie Wood: And besides, how would that work? And what would those bodies be like? The letter from the Corinthian believers to Paul provided him with plenty of questions to answer. But Paul had also learned from some friends who had visited Corinth that even more things were happening there. A man in the church was having sexual relations with his stepmother.

Stacie Wood: The church had also divided into factions based on which famous teacher they liked most. Paul, Peter, or Apollos. The weekly worship [00:03:00] gatherings were full of disorder, and believers with disputes were even taking one another to public court. In all, Paul would have to address 12 different problems in his letter.

Stacie Wood: We don't have the letter the Corinthians sent to Paul, but we do have this lengthy reply now known as 1 Corinthians. This was not the first letter Paul wrote to them. In this letter, he mentions an earlier one that has not survived. Even with all their questions and problems, Paul addresses the Corinthian believers as God's own holy people and gives thanks for them.

Stacie Wood: In the main body of his letter, he addresses all their questions, as well as his own concerns, one by one. While he writes about many different topics in his reply to the Corinthians, A basic correction is inherent in many of Paul's responses. For example, being spiritual doesn't mean being freed from the body.

Stacie Wood: Instead, it means living in the [00:04:00] human body with a true appreciation that it is a gift from God. Our bodies were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies, Paul insists. Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? So you must honor God with your body.

Stacie Wood: Paul's stunning conclusion about the importance of the resurrection is crucial not only for the Corinthians, but also for us today. The good news about Jesus is built on the teaching of God's victory over death. Without the resurrection of Jesus, the faith of God's people is useless. And they are still trapped by sin and its deadly consequences.

Stacie Wood: But with it, believers know that God's renewal of the world has already begun in Jesus, and that they will experience it fully in resurrected bodies at His return.[00:05:00]

Rick Warren: The first letter to the Corinthians. This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes. I'm writing to God's church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be His own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as He did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.

Rick Warren: May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. I always thank my God for you, and for the gracious gifts He has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. Through Him, God has enriched your church in every way, with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. This confirms that what I told you about [00:06:00] Christ is true.

Rick Warren: Now you have every spiritual gift you need. As you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Rick Warren: I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. For some members of Chloe's household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters.

Rick Warren: Some of you are saying, I'm a follower of Paul. Others are saying, I follow Apollos, or I follow Peter, or I [00:07:00] follow only Christ. Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not. I thank God that I did not baptize any of you, except Crispus and Gaius.

Rick Warren: For now no one can say that they were baptized in my name. Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don't remember baptizing anyone else. For Christ didn't send me to baptize, but to preach the good news, and not with clever For fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power. The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction.

Rick Warren: But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the scriptures say, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent. So where does [00:08:00] this leave the philosophers? The scholars, and the world's brilliant debaters. God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.

Rick Warren: Since God in His wisdom saw to it that the world would never know Him, through human wisdom, He has used our foolish preaching. to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews who ask for signs from heaven, and it is foolish to the Greeks who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it's all nonsense, but to those called by God to salvation.

Rick Warren: Both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God's weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. Remember, dear brothers and sisters, [00:09:00] that few of you were wise in the world's eyes, or powerful, or wealthy.

Rick Warren: When God called you, instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing.

Rick Warren: What the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit, God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God. He made us pure and holy. And he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the scriptures say, if you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.

Rick Warren: When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, [00:10:00] I didn't use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God's secret plan, for I decided that while I was with you, I would forget everything except Jesus Christ. The one who was crucified, I came to you in weakness, timid and trembling, and my message and my preaching were very plain.

Rick Warren: Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust, not in human wisdom, but in the power of God. Yet when I am among mature believers. I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten.

Rick Warren: No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God, His plan that was previously hidden, even though He made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of [00:11:00] this world have not understood it. If they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the scriptures mean when they say, No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.

Rick Warren: But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets. No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit. And no one can know God's thoughts. Except God's own spirit. And we have received God's spirit, not the world's spirit.

Rick Warren: So we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the spirit. Using the spirit's words to explain spiritual truths. But [00:12:00] people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's spirit.

Rick Warren: It all sounds foolish to them, and they can't understand it. For only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.

Rick Warren: Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you, I couldn't talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world. Or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren't ready for anything stronger. And you still aren't ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature.

Rick Warren: You are jealous of one another, and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that [00:13:00] prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren't you living like people of the world? When one of you says, I'm a follower of Paul, and another says, I follow Apollos, Aren't you acting just like people of the world? After all, who is Apollos?

Rick Warren: Who is Paul? We are only God's servants, through whom you believed the good news. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it. But it was God who made it grow. It's not important who does the planting or who does the watering. What's important is that God makes the seed grow.

Rick Warren: The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work, for we are both God's workers. And you are God's field. You are God's building. Because of God's grace to me, [00:14:00] I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it.

Rick Warren: But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have, Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials. Gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the Judgment Day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done.

Rick Warren: The fire will show if a person's work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God, and that the Spirit [00:15:00] of God lives in you?

Rick Warren: God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you need to become a fool. to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the scriptures say, he traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.

Rick Warren: And again, the Lord knows the thoughts of the wise. He knows they are worthless. So don't boast about following a particular human leader, for everything belongs to you. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future, everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ.

Rick Warren: And Christ belongs to God. So look at Apollos and me as [00:16:00] mere servants of Christ, who have been put in charge of explaining God's mysteries. Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don't even trust my own judgment on this point.

Rick Warren: My conscience is clear. But that doesn't prove I'm right. It is the Lord Himself who will examine me and decide. So don't make judgments about anyone ahead of time, before the Lord returns. For He will bring our darkest secrets to light, and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.

Rick Warren: Dear brothers and sisters, I've used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I've been saying. If you pay attention to what I've quoted from the scriptures, you won't be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another. For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? [00:17:00] What do you have that God hasn't given you?

Rick Warren: And if everything you have is from God, why boast, as though it were not a gift? You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God's kingdom without us. I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you. Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor's parade, condemned to die.

Rick Warren: We have become a spectacle to the entire world, to people and angels alike. Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools. But you claim to be so wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are so powerful. You are honored, but we are ridiculed. Even now, we go hungry and thirsty, and we don't have enough clothes to keep warm.

Rick Warren: We are often [00:18:00] beaten and have no home. We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet, we are treated like the world's garbage. Like everybody's trash, right up to the present moment.

Rick Warren: I'm not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you, as my beloved children, for even if you had 10, 000 others to teach you about Christ, You have only one spiritual father, for I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the good news to you, so I urge you to imitate me. That's why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord.

Rick Warren: He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus. Just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go. [00:19:00] Some of you have become arrogant. Thinking, I will not visit you again, but I will come, and soon, if the Lord lets me. And then I'll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches, or whether they really have God's power.

Rick Warren: For the kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk, it is living by God's power. Which do you choose? Should I come with a rod to punish you? Or should I come with love and a gentle spirit? I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you. Something that even pagans don't do.

Rick Warren: I'm told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship. Even though I am not with you in person, I am [00:20:00] with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Rick Warren: You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan, so that his sinful nature will be destroyed, and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns. You're boasting about this, is terrible.

Rick Warren: Don't you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough, made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed for us.

Rick Warren: So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of [00:21:00] sincerity and truth. When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn't talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols.

Rick Warren: You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer, yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people, don't even eat with such people. It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.

Rick Warren: God will judge those on the outside. But as the scriptures say, you must remove the evil person from among you. When one of you [00:22:00] has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers? Don't you realize that someday, we believers will judge the world?

Rick Warren: And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves? Don't you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges? Who are not respected by the church.

Rick Warren: I'm saying this to shame you. Isn't there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? But instead, one believer sues another. Right in front of unbelievers. Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why [00:23:00] not let yourselves be cheated?

Rick Warren: Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong. And cheat even your fellow believers. Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people, None of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

Rick Warren: Some of you were once like that, but you were cleansed. You were made holy. You were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. You say, I am allowed to do anything, but not everything is good for you. And even though I am allowed to [00:24:00] do anything, I must not become a slave to anything.

Rick Warren: You say, food was made for the stomach and the stomach for food. This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them. But you can't say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. And God will raise us from the dead by His power, just as He raised our Lord from the dead.

Rick Warren: Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is a part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never. And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, the two are united into one.

Rick Warren: But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. [00:25:00] Run from sexual sin. No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?

Rick Warren: You do not belong to yourself. For God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. Now, regarding the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations. But because there is so much sexual immorality, Each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

Rick Warren: The husband should fulfill his wife's sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband's needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. [00:26:00] Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time.

Rick Warren: So you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again, so that Satan won't be able to tempt you because of your lack of self control. I say this as a concession, not as a command, but I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet, each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another.

Rick Warren: So I say to those who aren't married, and to widows, it's better to stay unmarried, just as I am. But if they can't control themselves, They should go ahead and marry. It's better to marry than to burn with lust. But for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband, but if she does leave him, let her remain [00:27:00] single, or else be reconciled to him.

Rick Warren: And the husband must not leave his wife. Now I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a fellow believer has a wife. Who is not a believer, and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. And if a believing woman has a husband who is not a believer, and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him.

Rick Warren: For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy. But now they are holy. But if the husband or wife, who isn't a believer, insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases, the believing husband or wife is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you to live in [00:28:00] peace.

Rick Warren: Don't you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you. And don't you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you? Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.

Rick Warren: For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now, for it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God's commandments.

Rick Warren: Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. Are you a slave? Don't let that worry you. But if you get a chance to be free, take it. And remember, if you were a [00:29:00] slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.

Rick Warren: God paid a high price for you, so don't be enslaved by the world. Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you. This concludes today's Immerse Reading Experience. Thank you for joining us.