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Joshua 8

Here Israel conquers Ai, builds an altar at Mount Ebal, and reads the blessings and the curses of the Mosaic Law.

  • Problems and sin within the church, family, or soul can cause greater problems than problems and sin from outside such, v. 1
  • When you stay away from what God forbids you will enjoy what God provides, v. 2
  • Self-denial never means deprivation, v. 2
  • “Treacherous Israelites are to be dreaded more than malicious Canaanites” (Matthew Henry)
  • Love of ease and comfort does not help one fight the Lord’s battles
  • God’s enemies are blinded by their rage and hatred of Him
  • Prosperity hardens the fool and brings his destruction, vv. 6, 14–17
  • The triumph of the wicked is short
  • Those without God will always be ruined
  • God’s provisions must be enjoyed with orderliness, not greedily consumed, v. 27 (cf. 1 Cor 14:33, 40)
  • Obedience to God must not be delayed until our business or comfort in this world is established
  • God’s written Word is His grace and mercy to men
  • It is good and right to make God’s Word readable and accessible to all men
  • The clear and plain ministry of the whole counsel of God is a blessing to all
  • Everyone—regardless of age, gender, or status—should hear God’s Word
  • “The way to prosper in all that we put our hand to is to take God along with us, and in all our ways to acknowledge him by prayer, praise, and dependence” (Matthew Henry)
  • “Man’s device can add no beauty to God’s institutions” (Matthew Henry)

 

 

Joshua 7

In this chapter, Israel is defeated at Ai because Achan took things under the ban from Jericho; Achan and his entire family are stoned and their possessions burned.

  • Love of the world is a difficult root to remove
  • It is easy to promise yourself secrecy and impunity
  • Though none may see secret sins, God does and will bring such to light, v. 1
  • “True Israelites tremble when God is angry” (Matthew Henry)
  • “Nothing is more grievous to a gracious soul than dishonor done to God’s name” (Matthew Henry)
  • If one does not now repent and forsake sin that separates the sinner from God it will eternally separate them
  • Learning from others’ sin can help our sanctification
  • We must continually ask God and work with Him to examine our lives and carefully review our consciences for our own attempts to hide sin
  • “Let not the best families think it strange if there be those found in them, and descending from them, that prove their grief and shame” (Matthew Henry)
  • Sin injures God and His honor
  • Sincere repentance is specific repentance
  • One sin hardens the heart for other sins
  • Sin demands a great investment yet yields a poor return, Matt 16:26
  • Wandering eyes make weeping hearts, v. 21
  • Kill the desire to sin before sin kills you, v. 21
  • Those who think they can fool God fool only themselves
  • Sinners bring trouble upon those around them and themselves, v. 25
  • Public sin demands public repentance and when necessary public judgment, vv. 24–25

Joshua 6

Here Jericho is conquered after Israel marches around it seven days and its wall falls. God instructs everything to be destroyed; Rahab and her family are saved.

  • God as the sovereign Creator can raise up and tear down as He desires, v. 2
  • The walls of Jericho fell by faith, not by force, v. 5
  • “The strongest and highest walls cannot hold out against Omnipotence,” (Matthew Henry)
  • God’s promised deliverances must be expected in His way and time, vv. 14–15
  • Nothing worthy is ever lost by perseveringly doing one’s duty from God, vv. 15–16
  • The people’s shout was one of triumph, faith, and prayer, v. 20
  • God promised them a land flowing with milk and honey, not a land abounding with silver and gold, vv. 18–21
  • What Jericho trusted in for their defense God turned for their destruction, v. 20
  • The God whom you serve in the advance of Christ’s name is the same God whom Joshua served in the destruction of Jericho
  • It is foolish to invest in what God destroys, v. 26

Joshua 5

In this chapter, Israel is circumcised; manna ceases; the Captain of the Lord meets Joshua.

  • God is concerned for the honor of His people for His honor is wrapped up with them, v. 9
  • Don’t expect extraordinary support when needs can be met from ordinary means, v. 12
  • God’s gifts match our needs, vv. 10–12
  • God’s encouragements increase proportionate to our difficulties, vv. 13–15
  • God’s help and encouragement are found as we obey Him with diligence and sincerity, vv. 13–15
  • What God by His Word requires of us He by His grace works in us

Homosexuality

Click here for a PDF bulletin insert of this article 

Perhaps one of the most hot-button issues of our time is homosexuality. For the first time in history the majority of Americans see nothing wrong with homosexuality and homosexual marriage.

What should we make of this majority acceptance of homosexuality? Should we conclude that God going to judge the USA? The Bible makes clear that homosexuality is not the basis of God’s judgment; it is God’s judgment (Rom 1:18–32). God judges those who reject Him by giving them up to their sinful lusts, letting them have their way instead of graciously restraining them.

What is the evidence of God’s judgment through homosexuality? Consider these recent indications—

  • The immoral morals of America—the vast majority see nothing wrong with pre-marital sex, unmarried couples living together, and divorce. A quick sampling of what people watch and listen to provides more than sufficient evidence of America’s immoral morals.
  • The President of the USA boldly proclaimed in his second inaugural address: “The president has called for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman…Later in the address, Obama said: ‘Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law—for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.’”
  • The Boy Scouts of America is considering ending its ban on gay scouts and leaders. The honorary president of the Scouts, the President of the United States, said, “My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life” (emphasis added).
  • Fast changing laws about marriage—there are now nine states that legally recognize same-sex marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington—as well as the District of Columbia and two Native American tribes. As mentioned above, President Obama wants the Defense of Marriage Act to be repealed so that the federal government would recognize same-sex marriages.
  • There are many alleged Christian groups accepting homosexuality. The United Methodist Church does not view homosexuality as sin, allowing homosexuals to be members and lay leaders. A number of American Baptist Churches conduct gay weddings and make a conscious effort to make church “weird” so everyone is accepted “for who they are.” Even some evangelicals allow gays and lesbians as church members, view it as genetic, or no longer proclaim it as sinful.

In view of these evidences, what should Bible-believing Christians expect? We should expect homosexuality to continue to grow in acceptance. Expect advocates of homosexuality to press their views in the name of “tolerance.” Expect growing pressure on the true Christian church to compromise. Expect growing persecution on churches that do not compromise

We did not get to this point because of the media, rising divorce rate, etc. True, Satan uses such means to destroy humanity and ultimately attack God, but means are not the cause or root issue. Legal and social efforts to reinforce and strengthen a biblical view of marriage are good and have their place, but such will never deal with the root problem.

What is the root issue? In a word, it is sin. America’s refusal to acknowledge and honor the true God of the Christian Scriptures and instead suppress that through unrighteousness is the root cause. God judges the unrepentant by giving them up to their sinful and vile desires so that they dishonor their bodies and engage in idolatry and every gross perversion. Overall, the American way of life practices and approves of sin and those who engage in such (Rom 1:32).

More than ever, Christians must sanctify Christ as Lord in their hearts, and thus be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in them (1 Pet 3:15). This requires understanding what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. It is sin that God forbids (Lev 18:22) and a perversion (Gen 18:20–21; Rom 1:26–27). God judges unrepentant homosexuals (Gen 19:4–5, 24–25; Rom 1:18–32; 2 Pet 2:4–10; Jude 6–7). Unrepentant homosexuals will not be in Christ’s Kingdom (1 Cor 6:9–10). What must be remembered is that sin is not just the act of sinning—one’s thoughts, affections, desires, and disposition are sinful as well, and this applies to homosexuality (Rom 1:24–27; 8:5–8; Gal 5:19–21).

The Bible also teaches that God saves and sanctifies homosexuals. God can forgive and cleanse sin (Isa 43:25; Mic 7:18–19; 1 Cor 6:11), change homosexuals (2 Cor 5:17), and helps repentant homosexuals fight against temptation (1 Cor 10:13; Gal 5:16).

What should be the response of Christian churches? We must proclaim the biblical gospel which “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom 1:16). We must teach, defend, and exemplify biblical marriage and morality in our churches (1 Thess 4:1–8). We must strive for sexual purity in our churches and personal lives by fleeing from immorality (Ps 141:4; 1 Cor 6:18–20; Eph 4:17–24; 5:11–12; 2 Tim 2:22). We must avoid evil and tempting situations (Job 31:1; Prov 1:10; 4:25–27), which necessarily involves rejecting media that contains unbiblical morality (public compromise always begins with personal compromise). Last, we must be faithful and compassionate witnesses to homosexuals and encourage Christians who struggle with homosexual thoughts, affections, and desires.

“Such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified,
but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God”
1 Corinthians 6:11

New Testament Introduction and Survey

Bible Class: New Testament Introduction and Survey

Class One

Class Two

Class Three

Class Four

Class Five

Class Six

Class Seven

Class Eight

Class Nine

Class Ten

Class 11

Class 12 – 1 Corinthians

Class 13 – 2 Corinthians

Class 14 – Ephesians and Philippians

Class 15 – 1 Timothy and Titus

Class 16 – Colossians, Philemon, 2 Timothy

Class 17 – James and 1 Peter

Class 18 – 2 Peter and Jude

What the Bible Teaches About Salvation

Bible Class: What the Bible Teaches About Salvation–Notes and Class Lectures

Class One

Class Two

Class Three

Class Four

Class Five

Class Six

Class Seven

Class Eight

Class Nine

Fall 2010 Bible Class

If all you had was a New Testament, could you correctly explain to someone—

  • Who Jesus really is?
  • The gospel?
  • Why good works cannot save?
  • How a Christian should live? Why he should live that way?
  • What are the essential beliefs of Christianity?
  • What a church should be like and doing?
  • How a church should deal with false teachers/teaching?

There was a time when most people had a working knowledge of the Bible, especially the New Testament. Yet today while many homes at least have a Bible, few read it much less understand it.

If you do have some knowledge of the New Testament, you need to grow and increase in that knowledge – you need to be able to use the New Testament to minister to the lost and saved.

You should know what the New Testament says, as it is God’s final Word to us. It tells how a sinner can be right with God, what you should believe, and how you should live.

To help you grow in your knowledge of the New Testament, you’re invited to attend a series of classes where you will learn…

  • The message, occasion, purpose, and content of each book in the New Testament
  • How to correctly and skillfully use it to help others follow Christ (Col 1:28)

These classes will provide clear and understandable lessons with opportunity for Q&A.

Classes meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Two locations are available:

  • SW Ashtabula County: the Windsor Community Center, on Route 322, ½ mile west of Route 534 (Tuesdays—beginning Sept 28)
  • NE Ashtabula County: Ring family farm, 4733 Root Rd Conneaut, OH 44030 (Thursdays—beginning Sept 30)

If you’re not able to attend the classes, you can take the class by correspondence. Notes can be printed out for you or you can download them from the internet.

To encourage attendance, there is no charge for the class or notes, but donations are accepted to help defray costs.

Notes will be provided; bring a Bible, but extra Bibles will be available if you don’t have one or forget yours.

For more information, contact Pastor Dan Greenfield at (440) 474-3908 or neohio.meetings@gmail.com

To take the class, please

sign up during regular church services

or let Pastor Greenfield know!

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If all you had was a New Testament, could you correctly explain to someone—

· Who Jesus really is?

· The gospel?

· Why good works cannot save?

· How a Christian should live? Why he should live that way?

· What are the essential beliefs of Christianity?

· What a church should be like and doing?

· How a church should deal with false teachers/teaching?

· What happened to Israel?

· Does Israel have a future?

· How will things end?

· The future of the church?

Text Box: If all you had was a New Testament, could you correctly explain to someone—  •	Who Jesus really is? •	The gospel? •	Why good works cannot save? •	How a Christian should live? Why he should live that way? •	What are the essential beliefs of Christianity?  •	What a church should be like and doing? •	How a church should deal with false teachers/teaching? •	What happened to Israel? •	Does Israel have a future? •	How will things end? •	The future of the church?There was a time when most people had a working knowledge of the Bible, especially the New Testament. Yet today while many homes at least have a Bible, few read it much less understand it.

If you do have some knowledge of the New Testament, you need to grow and increase in that knowledge – you need to be able to use the New Testament to minister to the lost and saved.

You should know what the New Testament says, as it is God’s final Word to us. It tells how a sinner can be right with God, what you should believe, and how you should live.

To help you grow in your knowledge of the New Testament, you’re invited to attend a series of classes where you will learn…

  • The message, occasion, purpose, and content of each book in the New Testament
  • How to correctly and skillfully use it to help others follow Christ (Col 1:28)

These classes will provide clear and understandable lessons with opportunity for Q&A.

Classes will begin the week Feb 7, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Two locations are available:

Ø SW Ashtabula County: the Windsor Community Center, on Route 322, ½ mile west of Route 534 (Tuesdays—beginning Feb 9)

Ø NE Ashtabula County: Ring family farm, 4733 Root Rd
Conneaut, OH 44030 (Thursdays—beginning Feb 11)

If you’re not able to attend the classes, you can take the class by correspondence. Notes can be printed out for you or you can download them from the internet.

To encourage attendance, there is no charge for the class or notes, but donations are accepted to help defray costs.

Notes will be provided; bring a Bible, but extra Bibles will be available if you don’t have one or forget yours.

For more information, contact Pastor Dan Greenfield at (440) 474-3908 or neohio.meetings@gmail.com

Fall 2009 Bible Class

How would you answer these questions?

Could you provide answers from the Bible?

  • What is sin?
  • When does one become a sinner?
  • How would you prove that someone is a sinner?
  • What is guilt?
  • Why does God punish sin forever in hell if the sin lasted only a moment? Such “doesn’t seem fair!”
  • Is repentance necessary for salvation? Why?
  • What is “faith”? What does it mean to “believe”?
  • Is belief in Christ’s deity/substitutionary sacrifice/resurrection essential for salvation? Why?
  • Why did God have to send Jesus to earth and punish him for our sins? Wasn’t there another way?
  • The Roman Catholic Church does believe that one has to have faith in Christ for salvation. Yet it also teaches that works are essential. How does the Catholic Church reconcile these two seemingly different beliefs?
  • What do the Amish believe about salvation?
  • Can you give the gospel to someone clearly and with confidence?

Ten classes will cover these and other crucial issues that revolve around the gospel. These meetings will provide clear and understandable lessons with opportunity for Q&A.

These classes will help you learn and be convinced of these essential truths. Additionally, they will help you to be able to meet the spiritual demands of our day by being “equipped for every good work” (see 2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Classes will begin the week of Labor Day, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Two locations are available:

  • SW Ashtabula County: the Windsor Community Center, on Route 322, ½ mile west of Route 534 (Tuesdays)
  • NE Ashtabula County: Ring family farm, 4733 Root Rd Conneaut, OH 44030 (Thursdays)

If you’re not able to attend the classes, you can take the class by correspondence. Notes can be printed out for you or you can download them from the internet.

This class is open to anyone high school age or older.

To encourage attendance, there is no charge for the class or notes, but donations are accepted to help defray costs.

Notes will be provided; bring a Bible, but extra Bibles will be available if you don’t have one or forget yours.

For more information, contact Pastor Dan Greenfield at (440) 474-3908 or neohio.meetings@gmail.com

To take the class, please

sign up during regular church services

or let Pastor Greenfield know!

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Ten classes will cover these and other crucial issues that revolve around the gospel. These meetings will provide clear and understandable lessons with opportunity for Q&A.

These classes will help you learn and be convinced of these essential truths. Additionally, they will help you to be able to meet the spiritual demands of our day by being “equipped for every good work” (see 2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Classes will begin the week of Labor Day, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Two locations are available:

Ø SW Ashtabula County: the Windsor Community Center, on Route 322, ½ mile west of Route 534 (Tuesdays)

Ø NE Ashtabula County: Ring family farm, 4733 Root Rd
Conneaut, OH 44030 (Thursdays)

If you’re not able to attend the classes, you can take the class by correspondence. Notes can be printed out for you or you can download them from the internet.

This class is open to anyone high school age or older.

To encourage attendance, there is no charge for the class or notes, but donations are accepted to help defray costs.

Notes will be provided; bring a Bible, but extra Bibles will be available if you don’t have one or forget yours.

For more information, contact Pastor Dan Greenfield at (440) 474-3908 or neohio.meetings@gmail.com

Our Convictions

In our day there are many different opinions as to what a local church should be like and look like. Orwell Bible Church believes that the following convictions are essential to being a church where Christ is preeminent (Colossians 1:18) and God’s Word is ministered to all (Colossians 1:28).

God-Centered—A local church should recognize that God is entirely sovereign in the salvation of sinners. For evangelism this should result in a total dependence upon God through biblical evangelism rather than gimmickry and pragmatism. A local church with this conviction is committed to faithful obedience, recognizing that Christ builds His church.

Evangelistic—A local church should be committed to aggressively spreading the gospel with the objective of making and maturing disciples and establishing local churches. Biblical evangelism seeks to lovingly and purposefully take the gospel to those who have not heard it, make its message as clear as possible so that God might use it to save the sinner, and call the sinner to repentance and faith.

Edifying—A local church should be committed to building up its members. This is accomplished through the ministry of the Word, prayer, fellowship, worship, and Christian service. The end result is the protection, proper functioning, strengthening, and increase of the body.

The next four convictions specify the means of accomplishing evangelism and edification

Word-Centered—A local church should be committed to preaching and teaching the Bible. As God has given His Word in written form for the purposes of salvation and sanctification, it should use a translation that is orthodox and understandable. This means that a local church should not use in its public ministry of the Word liberal (RSV, NRSV, etc.) and gender-neutral translations (NLT, NRSV, CEV) and paraphrases (Living Bible). It should use translations faithful to the text of the original manuscripts, such as the NKJV, NASB, ESV, KJV, or NIV.

Worship—A local church is committed to worshiping God together in spirit and truth (John 4:24). It worships on the Lord’s Day through singing, preaching, praying, and giving. As worship is the believer’s magnification of God’s person and works, a local church should utilize music that is consistent with and supportive of this, rather than use music that was created to appease man’s carnal desires (musical forms such as rock, pop, jazz, alternative, etc.). A holy God must be worshiped by a holy people. The purposes of sacred music, in this order, are 1) praise and glorify God, 2) teach doctrine and admonish believers, 3) unify believers, and 4) testify of believers’ holy God and their changed lives.

Prayer—A local church must be committed to personal and corporate prayer. Through prayer believers seek God’s help and blessing, and ask God to save sinners and sanctify Christians. A local church realizes that prayer is an essential ministry and part of God’s plan for fulfilling the Great Commission.

Fellowship—A local church should be committed to strengthening members’ lives and relationships through regular and meaningful contact. Christians must exemplify, encourage, and exhort one another to live godly lives. Believers must also help one another with whatever needs may arise in their lives.

The next three convictions tell how we seek to glorify God through evangelism and edification via the means of the Word, prayer, fellowship, and worship

Every Member Ministry—All the members of a local church should be committed to serving the Lord in their local church according to their Spirit given gifts, following the example and teaching of their leadership.

Unity—A local church should be committed to strengthening and maintaining the unity that its members have as a result of Spirit baptism. Such unity is based on Scripture and expressed through love, corporate worship, and ministry. This means that personal problems and/or differences will be solved by biblical procedures; that gossip, backbiting, or slander will not be tolerated; and that such activities which would destroy the unity of the body will be dealt with as matters requiring church discipline.

Separation—A local church should be committed to both personal and ecclesiastical separation. Separation is an essential aspect of Christianity (Heb 12:14), for the sinner has been separated from the power, penalty, and realm of sin and put in the body of Christ which is characterized by holiness and righteousness. Accordingly, the members of a local church will evidence a commitment to holiness and godliness by rejecting all forms of worldliness. These forms manifest themselves in many ways in our culture, whether they are evil entertainments (most Hollywood movies, rock music, most television programs, pornography, social drinking, tobacco use, gambling, illicit drug use), evil speech (profanity, gossip, vulgar jokes), immodest clothing, and sensuality (modern sexual license).

The last two convictions describe the direction and organization of Orwell Bible Church as we seek to glorify God by making and maturing disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ

Fundamentalist—A local church should be committed to faithfully teaching and militantly defending those doctrines that are basic (fundamental) to the Christian faith. It also should be committed to ecclesiastical separation, avoiding and refusing to cooperate with individuals or organizations that deny these fundamentals as well as separating from those who identify or walk with those who deny the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith.

Biblically Ordered—A local church should be committed to believing and practicing the following distinctives: the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice; the autonomy of the local church; the priesthood of the believers; two ordinances, baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper; individual soul liberty; a saved, baptized church membership; two offices, pastor (also called elder and overseer) and deacon; and separation from ungodly alliances (church and state; ecclesiastical apostasy and compromise; sinful behavior).

Why Did Jesus Pray?

“But Jesus himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray”

Luke 5:16

Jesus provides a pattern to follow on how a believer should live while on this earth (cf. Rom 8:29). In addition to studying how he prayed, it is perhaps even more basic to learn why he prayed.

As the eternal Son of God he had unbroken communion with the Father. What need did he have for prayer, then? You would think that because he always communed with the Father, as he had throughout eternity past, there was no need for him to pray as we do.

While he was one Person possessing two natures—human and divine—these natures did not commingle so that his humanity became something different from the rest of humanity. Were that to happen, Jesus would have been unlike us and thus unable to offer himself as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sin (Heb 2:17).

As a man, then, Jesus had to pray for many of the same reasons we need to pray, save for repentance and confession of sin, for he had none of his own. In identifying definite reasons why Jesus had to pray, we must be careful to limit ourselves by what the Bible definitely says and to make sure any reasons (whether explicit or implicit) are consistent with what the Bible teaches about the Person of Christ.

Consider these occasions and motivations that prompted Jesus, the eternal and incarnate Son of God, to pray–

  1. Jesus was tempted by Satan, Matt 4:1ff
  2. Jesus had to minister to and with believers who possessed sin natures, Luke 6:12-13
  3. Jesus preached the gospel to fallen, unregenerate sinners, Mark 1:35-39
  4. Jesus was a human being, which inherently involves finite limitations (even now he prays, Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25)
  5. Jesus prayed for the needs of others, Matt 19:13; Luke 22:32; John 17:11, 15, 24; Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25
  6. Jesus experienced grief, distress, and trouble, Matt 24:36-38; Mark 14:32-34
  7. Jesus worshipped and expressed thanks for God’s provision, Luke 11:2; 22:17, 19; John 17:3, 11, 25
  8. Jesus needed to be “saved from death,” Heb 5:17
  9. Jesus prayed for God’s blessing on his ministry, Luke 3:21 (conjecture, based on the fact that his baptism was the commencement of his public ministry)
  10. Jesus asked God to forgive men for their actions against him, Luke 22:34
  11. Jesus entrusted himself to his Father’s care, Luke 23:46
  12. Jesus desired to receive exclusive glory God and himself, John 17:1, 5
  13. Jesus experienced opposition from unregenerate sinners and religious leaders

So, why did Jesus pray? Jesus prayed because that is what righteous human beings do! They communicate with their Heavenly Father! Righteous men humbly address God because:

  1. Prayer is part and parcel of a relationship with God
  2. Prayer is essential to following God
  3. Prayer is the natural action of one who is godly

Jesus prayed because he was a righteous man/human being. Jesus was a human being—a righteous one—and so he prayed. He prayed for the exact same reasons we as believers—justified (righteous) individuals—must pray, with the exception of confession and repentance of sin.

Jesus, as a righteous man, prayed to God because he lived in a world that is disposed and organized against God.

The fact that we are “like” Jesus because of our humanity and righteous standing demands that we pray, for he did.

The fact that we are “unlike” Jesus because we still possess a sin nature adds an additional demand that we pray.

What does our prayerlessness testify about our pride and self-sufficiency?