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)
Like all of us, teens are made to live in relationship. They are social, interested in peers, and looking for connection in the relationships they build. They are also growing in independence. For many, social media is newly available to them and it is tailor-made made for those who are just entering the social scene. It offers an easy way to connect with people and places a world of information at their fingertips. It can even offer community to those who are shy or more isolated and need a connection to the outside world.
However, this new way of relating can be dangerous to a teen who is unaware of its potential risks. Indiscriminate use of social media can have many negative impacts. It is addictive. It can create a felt need to always be “connected” for fear of missing out on something. Some teens will start to lose sleep and lose interest in other activities. Others will constantly create and recreate themselves online while feeling a false sense of security because of the perceived safety of an electronic screen. This might lead to a lack of discretion about what is okay to post and make them vulnerable to on-line bullying, sexting, and pornography. It can even increase the risk of victimization from online predators.
To continue reading Julie Lowe’s article, click here.
“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11
Beloved children, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. His arm was stretched out on the cross, and His bosom was pierced with the spear. That arm is able to gather you, and that bosom is open to receive you. I pray for you every day that Christ may save you. He said to me, “Feed My lambs”; and I daily return the words to Him, “Lord, feed my lambs.” In the bowels of Jesus Christ, I long after you all. I believe Christ has gathered some of you. But are no more to be gathered? Are no more green brands to be plucked from the burning? Will no more of you hide beneath the white robe of Jesus? Oh, come! For “yet there is room” (Luk 14:22). Lift up your hearts to God while I tell you something more of the Good Shepherd.
1. Jesus Has a Flock.
Every shepherd must have a flock, and so has Christ. I once saw a flock in a valley near Jerusalem. The shepherd went before them and called the sheep, and they knew his voice and followed him. I said, “This is the way Jesus leads His sheep!” Oh, that I may be one of them!
To continue reading Robert Murray McCheyne’s e-book, click here.
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.