15 For righteousness is immortal.
Life as the Ungodly See It
16 But the ungodly by their words and deeds summoned death; considering him a friend, they pined away
and made a covenant with him, because they are fit to belong to his company.
1 For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves, ‘Short and sorrowful is our life, and there is no remedy when a life comes to its end, and no one has been known to return from Hades.
2 For we were born by mere chance, and hereafter we shall be as though we had never been, for the breath in our nostrils is smoke, and reason is a spark kindled by the beating of our hearts;
3 when it is extinguished, the body will turn to ashes, and the spirit will dissolve like empty air.
4 Our name will be forgotten in time, and no one will remember our works; our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud, and be scattered like mist that is chased by the rays of the sun and overcome by its heat.
5 For our allotted time is the passing of a shadow, and there is no return from our death, because it is sealed up and no one turns back.
6 ‘Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that exist, and make use of the creation to the full as in youth.
7 Let us take our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no flower of spring pass us by.
8 Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither.
9 Let none of us fail to share in our revelry; everywhere let us leave signs of enjoyment, because this is our portion, and this our lot.
10 Let us oppress the righteous poor man; let us not spare the widow or regard the grey hairs of the aged.
11 But let our might be our law of right, for what is weak proves itself to be useless.
12 ‘Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions;
he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.
13 He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord.
14 He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;
15 the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others,
and his ways are strange.
16 We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father.
17 Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;
18 for if the righteous man is God’s child, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.
19 Let us test him with insult and torture, so that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance.
20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected.’
Error of the Wicked
21 Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded them,
22 and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hoped for the wages of holiness, nor discerned the prize for blameless souls;
7 But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
Penitence and Trust in God
8 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.
9 I must bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he takes my side
and executes judgement for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall see his vindication.
10 Then my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me, ‘Where is the Lord your God?’
My eyes will see her downfall; now she will be trodden down like the mire of the streets.
Paul’s Present Circumstances
12 I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel,
13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ;
14 and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear.
15 Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill.
16 These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defence of the gospel;
17 the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment.
18 What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,
19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will result in my deliverance.
20 It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death.
21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.
The Cross and Self-Denial
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
27 ‘For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done.
28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.’