The Bible Project – Word Study: Khata – “Sin”‘
The Bible Project – Read Scripture: Amos
Rethinking Hell – Fear, Fire, and the Pharisees; A Response to Joel Richardson (Part 1)
This weekend, my wife and I spent a great deal of time talking about social media — specifically how she responds to it. For a few years she was on Facebook, up until a particularly negative incident led her to abandon it. A couple years ago, she decided to give Twitter a try, but eventually found people’s negativity made her sad. She then deleted her account. She likes Instagram because it’s full of happy pictures. But even then, she finds she needs to put strict limits on her usage to protect her time and attention.
I think she’s on to something.
I generally like social media. I prioritize my usage around work—which means I’m checking the accounts I manage a few times a day (but then only for questions and comments directed to these accounts). My personal accounts I use for a different purpose.
To continue reading Aaron Armstrong’s article, click here.
The exhortation to “abide” has been frequently misunderstood, as though it were a special, mystical, and indefinable experience. But Jesus makes clear that it actually involves a number of concrete realities.
First, union with our Lord depends on His grace. Of course we are actively and personally united to Christ by faith (John 14:12). But faith itself is rooted in the activity of God. It is the Father who, as the divine Gardener, has grafted us into Christ. It is Christ, by His Word, who has cleansed us to fit us for union with Himself (15:3). All is sovereign, all is of grace.
Second, union with Christ means being obedient to Him. Abiding involves our response to the teaching of Jesus: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you …” (John 15:7a). Paul echoes this idea in Colossians 3:16, where he writes, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” a statement closely related to his parallel exhortation in Ephesians 5:18: “be filled with the Spirit.”
To continue reading Sinclair Ferguson’s article, click here.
The point of this epistle is to encourage believers to live lives of personal holiness during a time of persecution—that is, during a time when the challenge of personal holiness is beyond inconvenient. If God had wanted His people to be extraordinarily holy, the argument might go, He would have given us more help — times of unparalleled prosperity, comfortable homes, a recliner to read our Bibles in, and Bible search software. Then we would really be holy. So . . . how’s it going?
This book is an epistle exhorting Christians to a life of holiness under pressure, holiness when it is not convenient to be holy. The book was likely written in the early sixties A.D (c. 62-63). The first Roman persecution against the Christians broke out in 64 A.D.
To continue reading Douglas Wilson’s article, click here.
I used to lead a small group Bible study in my home. And when I proposed we study Exodus, people agreed to participate only if we stopped once we hit the Ten Commandments (chapter 20).
Some time later, I proposed preaching through Exodus at our church. Some of the other elders expressed concern that a chapter-by-chapter exposition would be too taxing for the people. They wanted assurance that we wouldn’t belabor the tabernacle details.
Over the years, I have heard from many friends, who attempted to read the Bible cover-to-cover, that they gave up in the closing chapters of Exodus (though I can think of some who made it as far as Leviticus or Numbers before abandoning ship).
These three anecdotes highlight a major barrier for modern readers: There’s no avoiding the fact that Exodus dedicates exorbitant space to the architectural details of the tabernacle. And those details occur not only once but twice. Every preacher must solve the conundrum of how to preach Exodus without preaching the same sermon(s) multiple times. Every Bible reader must cope with both the pile of cubits, fillets, calyxes, and ephods (Ex 25-31), and the pile of cubits, fillets, calyxes, and ephods (Ex 35-39). As my son loves to ask me: Pete and Repeat were in a boat. Pete fell out, and who was left?
To continue reading Peter Krol’s article, click here.
‘But grow in grace‘ (2 Pet. 3:18)
True grace is progressive, of a spreading and growing nature. It is with grace as with light; first, there is the crepusculum, or daybreak; then it shines brighter to the full meridian. A good Christian is like the crocodile. Quamdiu vivet crescit; he has never done growing. The saints are not only compared to stars for their light, but to trees for their growth (Is. 61:3; Hos. 14:5). A good Christian is not like Hezekiah’s sun that went backwards, nor Joshua’s sun that stood still, but is always advancing in holiness, and increasing with the increase of God (1 Cor. 3:6).
In how many ways may a Christian be said to grow in grace?
(1) He grows vigore, in the exercise of grace. His lamp is burning and shining: therefore we read of a lively hope (1 Pet. 1:3). Here is the activity of grace. The church prays for the blowing of the Spirit, that her spices might flow forth (Cant. 4:16).
To continue reading Thomas Watson’s article, click here.
In five previous articles, I conducted a review of the entire Old Testament and found that our English translations are somewhat guilty of hiding a sentiment found there. It involved the choice of translating the Hebrew terms ארץ (erets) and שמים (shamayim). That sentiment is that God wants to reign in the whole land ארץ (erets) around us, as well as the sky שמים (shamayim) above us. But when we use the common translation “heaven and earth” we are sidetracked from that sentiment. The term heaven is too readily identified with the place of God’s celestial throne. The term earth is too readily identified with this planet. The simple terms sky and land are better translations.
The Gospels also reflect the same sentiment.
The New Testament Greek words that correspond to the Hebrew terms ארץ (erets) and שמים (shamayim) are γῆ (Gē) for land and οὐρανός (ouranos) for sky.
To continue reading Jefferson Vann’s article, click here.
Sometimes when I’m reading the Bible, a verse will grab my attention. That happened when I read Exodus 23:2a this morning:
(NIV) Exodus 23:2a “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.
I got to thinking about examples throughout the Bible where people either courageously stood apart or else gave in to the pressure and influence of the crowd. I also thought about the different ways in which this principle applies to us today.
Biblical Examples of Courageously Standing Apart from the Crowd
Sometimes we feel like we have it tough because often those who are deeply committed to following Jesus are a minority where we live and work. But think about Noah. The Bible describes Noah’s world like this:
(NIV) Genesis 6:5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.
To continue reading Mark Corbett’s article, click here.
Many have written books, essays, articles and posts about the role that Christians are to play in the transformation of the current world with its politics, literature, art, music, education, etc. The variation of opinions leaves many believers confused as to where they are to place the better part of their prayers, time, energy and resources. Despite a multitude of insistent voices, Scripture does not give us a neat and clean systematic framework for the impact that Christians are to have on this world. Instead, it gives us general principles about our need to “do good to all men, especially to those of the household of faith – as we have opportunity” (Gal. 6:10). The generality with which the Scriptures set out principles which Christians are to put into practice during their time in this world leaves little room for any certainly about the immediate outcome of putting those principles into practice in our lives.
To continue reading Nick Batzig’s article, click here.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof“ 2 Timothy 3:5
“He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” Romans 2:28-29
The texts which head this page deserve serious attention at any time. But they deserve especial notice in this age of the church and world. Never since the Lord Jesus Christ left the earth was there so much formality and false profession as there is in the present day. Now, if ever, we ought to examine ourselves, and search our religion, that we may know of what sort it is. Let us try to find out whether our Christianity is a thing of form or a thing of heart.
I know no better way of unfolding the subject than by turning to a plain passage of the Word of God. Let us hear what St. Paul says about it. He lays down the following great principles in his epistle to the Romans: “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Rom. 2:28-29). Three most instructive lessons appear to me to stand out on the face of that passage. Let us see what they are.
To continue reading John Ryle’s e-book, click here.