Month: January 2011

And He leads His children on…

Q. What is adoption?

A. Adoption is an act of the free grace of God, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, whereby all those that are justified are received into the number of his children, have his name put upon them, the Spirit of his Son given to them, are under his fatherly care and dispensations, admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, made heirs of all the promises, and fellow-heirs with Christ in glory.

(Question LXXIV of the Westminster Larger Catechism.)

By the sweat of your brow

This week’s verse is Genesis 3:19

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Alas, work is arduous and sometimes painful and we know it. We use this phrase so often when what we labour for is difficult.

Breath of life

This week’s verse is Genesis 2:7

the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

‘Breath of life’ is pretty much self-explanatory, and used fairly straightforwardly.

Am I my brother’s keeper?

This week’s verse is Genesis 4:9.

And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

Cain and Abel had offered up the fruit of their labour to God, Cain offered some of the fruit of the land and Abel the first lamb. God was very pleased with Abel’s offering but not with Cain’s. Out of jealousy, Cain murdered his brother. God asked Cain where his brother was, and Cain retorted “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Weirdly, the phrase is still used today for very similar reasons!

Forbidden fruit

This week’s verse is Genesis 3:3.

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Here, Eve is telling the serpent that Adam and herself are forbidden by God to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is where the popular phrase “Forbidden Fruit” originates. The phrase today can be applied to anything desirable which is deemed off-limits.

According to Merriam-Webster, the first known use was in 1605.


Almost four-hundred years ago on May 2nd, 1611, one of the greatest influences on the English language, the Authorised Version (AV) of the bible, was published. It wasn’t the first translation of the bible into English, and it certainly isn’t the last. However, along with the works of Shakespeare and the Oxford English Dictionary, it has been instrumental in forming the English language into what we use today. To celebrate the quadricentennial of the AV, every week this year, I plan to tweet a bible verse which has become a well-known phrase.

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