Whoever is for the captivity, to the captivity!—Jer. 15:2.
In 607 B.C.E., a massive Babylonian army under the command of King Nebuchadnezzar II invaded the city of Jerusalem. Regarding the bloodbath that followed, the Bible says: “[Nebuchadnezzar] killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary; he felt no compassion for young man or virgin, old or infirm. . . . He burned down the house of the true God, tore down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its fortified towers with fire, and destroyed everything of value.” (2 Chron. 36:17, 19) The destruction of Jerusalem should have come as no surprise to its inhabitants. For years, God’s prophets had warned the Jews that if they continued to disregard God’s Law, they would be delivered into the hands of the Babylonians. Many Jews would die by the edge of the sword; any who escaped death would likely have to spend the rest of their lives in exile in Babylon. w16.11 4:1, 2
Through one man sin entered into the world.—Rom. 5:12.
Adam was the “one man” through whom sin and death “entered into the world.” Thus “by the trespass of the one man death ruled as king.” Paul added that “the abundance of [God’s] undeserved kindness” came about “through the one person, Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:12, 15, 17) And that undeserved kindness has resulted in good for all mankind. “Through the obedience of the one person [Jesus] many will be made righteous.” Actually, God’s undeserved kindness can lead to “everlasting life through Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:19, 21) Jehovah was not obliged to have his Son come to earth to provide the ransom. Moreover, imperfect, sinful humans did not of themselves merit, or deserve, what God and Jesus did in providing a ransom by which forgiveness was possible. So our being forgiven and offered the prospect of living forever is truly a kindness that is undeserved. We should highly value the gift of God’s undeserved kindness and let it affect our life daily. w16.12 1:1, 6, 7
Setting the mind on the flesh means enmity with God, for it is not in subjection to the law of God.—Rom. 8:7.
Self-examination is important. Why? Paul wrote: “Setting the mind on the flesh means death.” (Rom. 8:6) That is serious—spiritual death now and physical death in the future. Still, Paul did not mean that if someone began to ‘set the mind on the flesh’ his end unavoidably would be death. Change is possible. Think of the immoral man in Corinth who went after “the flesh” and had to be disfellowshipped. Yet, he could and did change. He ceased to walk after the flesh and returned to a straight path. (2 Cor. 2:6-8) If it was possible for that person to change, it is possible for a Christian today to change, especially one who has not gone after the flesh as far as the man in Corinth had. Certainly, Paul’s warning about the possible final outcome for someone who ‘sets his or her mind on the flesh’ should be a stimulus to Christians to make any needed changes! w16.12 2:5, 12, 13