Weekly Readings

October 1, 2017

First Lesson:

Ezekiel 18:1-4 (Listen)
<< Ezekiel 17 | Ezekiel 18 | Ezekiel 19 >>

The Soul Who Sins Shall Die

18:1 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you [1] mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

Ezekiel 18:25-32 (Listen)
<< Ezekiel 17 | Ezekiel 18 | Ezekiel 19 >>

25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? 26 When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. 27 Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. 28 Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?

30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. [2] 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”


[1] 18:2 The Hebrew for you is plural
[2] 18:30 Or lest iniquity be your stumbling block

Second Lesson:

Philippians 2:1-4 (Listen)
<< Philippians 1 | Philippians 2 | Philippians 3 >>

Christ's Example of Humility

2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:5-4:23 (Listen)
<< Philippians 1 | Philippians 2-4 | Colossians 1 >>

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, [1] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, [2] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Lights in the World

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy's [3] proven worth, how as a son [4] with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.

25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.

Righteousness Through Faith in Christ

3:1 Finally, my brothers, [5] rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.

Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God [6] and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, [7] blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Straining Toward the Goal

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

4:1 Therefore, my brothers, [8] whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, [9] help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

God's Provision

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

14 Yet it was kind of you to share [10] my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. [11] 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.


[1] 2:5 Or which was also in Christ Jesus
[2] 2:7 Greek bondservant
[3] 2:22 Greek his
[4] 2:22 Greek child
[5] 3:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 13, 17
[6] 3:3 Some manuscripts God in spirit
[7] 3:6 Greek in the law
[8] 4:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 8, 21
[9] 4:3 Or loyal Syzygus; Greek true yokefellow
[10] 4:14 Or have fellowship in
[11] 4:17 Or I seek the profit that accrues to your account


Matthew 21:23-27 (Listen)
<< Matthew 20 | Matthew 21 | Matthew 22 >>

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Matthew 21:28-32 (Listen)
<< Matthew 20 | Matthew 21 | Matthew 22 >>

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

Weekly Bible Readings 

September 2017

Sept. 3
Thirteenth S. a. Pentecost
First Lesson: Jer. 15:15–21
Second Lesson: Rom. 12:9–21
Gospel: Matt. 16:21–28

Sept. 10
Fourteenth S. a. Pentecost
First Lesson: Ezek. 33:7–9
Second Lesson: Rom. 13:1–10
Gospel: Matt. 18:1–20

Sept. 17
Fifteenth S. a. Pentecost
First Lesson: Gen. 50:15–21
Second Lesson: Rom. 14:1–12
Gospel: Matt. 18:21–35

Sept. 24
Sixteenth S. a. Pentecost
First Lesson: Isa. 55:6–9
Second Lesson: Phil. 1:12–14, 19–30
Gospel: Matt. 20:1–16

October 2017

Oct. 1
Seventeenth S. a. Pentecost
First Lesson: Ezek. 18:1–4, 25–32
Second Lesson: Phil. 2:1–4 (5–13) 14–18
Gospel: Matt. 21:23–27 (28–32)

Oct. 8
Eighteenth S. a. Pentecost
First Lesson: Is. 5:1–7
Second Lesson: Phil. 3:4b–14
Gospel: Matt. 21:33–46

Oct. 15
Nineteenth S. a. Pentecost
First Lesson: Is. 25:6–9
Second Lesson: Phil. 4:4–13
Gospel: Matt. 22:1–14

Oct. 22
Twentieth S. a. Pentecost
First Lesson: Is. 45:1–7
Second Lesson: 1 Thess. 1:1–10
Gospel: Matt. 22:15–22

Oct. 29
Reformation Day
First Lesson: Rev. 14:6–7
Second Lesson: Rom. 3:19–28
Gospel: John 8:31–36 or Matt. 11:12–19

November 2017

Nov. 5
All Saints’ Day
First Lesson: Rev. 7:(2–8) 9–17
Second Lesson: 1 John 3:1–3
Gospel: Matt. 5:1–12

Nov. 12
Twenty-third S. a. Pentecost
First Lesson: Amos 5:18–24
Second Lesson: 1 Thess. 4:13–18
Gospel: Matt. 25:1–13

Nov. 19
Twenty-fourth S. a. Pentecost
First Lesson: Zeph. 1:7–16
Second Lesson: 1 Thess. 5:1–11
Gospel: Matt. 25:14–30

Nov. 23
Thanksgiving Day
First Lesson: Deut. 8:1–10
Second Lesson: Phil. 4:6–20 or 1 Tim. 2:1–4
Gospel: Luke 17:11–19

Nov. 26
Last S. of the Church Year
First Lesson: Ezek. 34:11–16, 20–24
Second Lesson: I Cor. 15:20–28
Gospel: Matt. 25:31–46