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)
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.
‘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.
While John Bunyan spent much time dissecting the Apostle Paul’s statement that “I will pray with the spirit”, he by no means ignored the second part of that phrase: “I will pray with the understanding also”. (1 Corinthians 14:15 KJV) Bunyan taught that the only way to receive this understanding was 1) by the work of the Spirit and 2) through God’s Word.
“Prayer it is, when it is within the compass of God’s Word; and it is blasphemy, or at best vain babbling, when the petition is beside the book,” he wrote, emphasizing the need for our heartfelt words to be backed up by biblical truth. Understanding is necessary for prayer, and Bunyan taught that “there is no understanding without the Word”. It is this combination of the Spirit of God and the Word of God that allows us to understand our sinful state and seek divine mercy through prayer.
“He that hath his understanding well exercised, to discern between good and evil, and in it placed a sense either of the misery of man, or the mercy of God; that soul hath no need of the writings of other men to teach him by forms of prayer. For as he that feels the pain needs not to be taught to cry O! even so he that hath his understanding opened by the Spirit needs not so to be taught of other men’s prayers as that he cannot pray without them.”
To continue reading Amy Mantravadi’s article, click here.
How many people do you know that have made it to the hall of fame in music, art, literature, or sports because of their love? We elevate people to the status of heroes because of their gifts, their talents, and their power, but not because of their love. Yet, from God’s perspective, love is the chief of all virtues. But what is love?
Love is said to make the world go round, and romantic love certainly makes the culture go round in terms of advertising and entertainment. We never seem to tire of stories that focus on romance. But we’re not referring to romantic love when we speak of the Christian virtue of love. We’re talking about a much deeper dimension of love, a virtue so paramount that it is to distinguish Christians from all other people. Moreover, love is so important to the Bible’s teachings that John tells us, “God is love” (1 John 4:7–8). Whatever else we say about the Christian virtue of love, we must be clear that the love God commands is a love that imitates His own. The love of God is utterly perfect. And we are called to reflect and mirror that love to perfection, to be perfect as He is perfect (Matt. 5:48). Now, of course, none of us loves perfectly, which is why we must be covered with the perfect righteousness of Christ by faith in Him alone. Nevertheless, it’s important for us to return time and again to Scripture to find out what love is supposed to look like, for we’re so easily satisfied with a sentimental, maudlin, romantic, or superficial understanding of love.
To continue reading R. C. Sproul’s article, click here.
“There is no man nor church in the world that can come to God in prayer, but by the assistance of the Holy Spirit.”
“Prayer, without the heart be in it, is like a sound without life; and a heart, without it be lifted up of the Spirit, will never pray to God.”
These two quotes are very typical of Bunyan’s argument in A Discourse Touching Prayer. Working off of Paul’s declaration that “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15 KJV), Bunyan emphasized the need for the Spirit in all aspects of a Christian’s prayer life, beginning with our initial union with Christ. “And because this poor creature is thus a member of the Lord Jesus, and under this consideration hath admittance to come to God; therefore, by virtue of this union also, is the Holy Spirit conveyed into him, whereby he is able to pour out himself, to wit, his soul, before God, with his audience.”
To continue reading Amy Mantravadi’s article, click here.
“But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”
We have been surveying the use of the Greek word ζωή (life) in John’s Gospel. We first looked at an author’s commentary in John 1:4, and saw that already in scripture, the idea existed of a coming light in the form of a person: a son, a gift from God who will bring life to his dying people, and deliver them from darkness and death.2
Next, we visited Jesus by night, along with Nicodemus, (John 3:1-21) and learned that this gift would be God’s own Son, who would be lifted up like the desert snake,3 so that the ones believing in him might have permanent life.4 But those who do not believe will be condemned. Jesus did not go into detail with Nicodemus about the nature of that condemnation, but Nicodemus knew the fate of those Israelites who did not look in faith at the desert snake. They rejected the remedy. They died. They never made it to the promised land.
Then, we looked at the words of John 3:31-36, where we discovered there are two kinds of people. There are the believers (ὁ πιστεύων) in Christ, and the rejectors (ὁ ἀπειθῶν) of Christ. Only the believers will receive permanent life (ζωή αἱώνιος). The rejectors await God’s wrath, which will destroy them.
To continue reading Jefferson Vann’s article, click here.
Why do we write? Perhaps more precisely, For whom do we write? This question might be easier to answer for preachers putting pen to paper on a weekly basis: they write for God himself, to proclaim the truth, to expand the kingdom by delivering God’s Word unvarnished to a world in the throes of deception. But for those of us outside of the pulpit, the answer isn’t always so obvious. If it is, it doesn’t stay long at the forefront of our mind.
This is a reminder: If you are a Christian writer, you write for the Son of God. Jesus is your boss. What does that mean? At first glance, it might pose a problem to the writing industry: Jesus never put quill to parchment. The Word never inscribed his words on a physical surface, save his tracings in the dirt before an angry mob (John 8) — right?
In one sense, this may be true. But in another sense, it’s misleading. What is writing, after all? Writing, in a broad sense, is merely marking the world with your presence. It is a system of symbolized communication that externalizes our thoughts and emotions, inscribing them on a service, or pixelating them on a computer screen. Writing draws the inside to the outside; it places thought, sentiment, and argument on a canvas to be viewed by the wider world. And it tells the world that we are here.
To continue reaading Pierce Hibbs’ article, click here.
Reading John Bunyan’s A Discourse Touching Prayer is a real pleasure, and not only because it is the first such work I have ever read that includes the phrase, “Therefore give me leave a little to reason with thee, thou poor, blind, ignorant sot.” This treatise, also known as I Will Pray with the Spirit, was composed while Bunyan was imprisoned in 1663. It is an exposition of the Apostle Paul’s statement that “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also”. (1 Corinthians 14:15 KJV) It contains some of Bunyan’s clearest teachings on prayer, which he defined in the following manner.
“Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God hath promised, or according to the Word, for the good of the church, with submission, in faith, to the will of God.”
Bunyan argued, “Thou then art not a Christian that art not a praying person.” He declared that prayer “is the opener of the heart of God, and a means by which the soul, though empty, is filled. By prayer the Christian can open his heart to God, as to a friend, and obtain fresh testimony of God’s friendship to him.” This type of prayer is much more than a stiff, formal activity. It is an action of both the head and the heart, even as Paul taught.
To continue reading Amy Mantravadi’s article, click here.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
A False Gospel
There is rampant in this age a false gospel of carnal Christianity, which has deceived many souls. The vast majority of Christendom today have not bowed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. These are on sinking sand and are an easy prey to such a teaching that has permeated our land and our pulpits. So our purpose is to bring out the true gospel and the false, showing clearly the warnings from God’s Word that we should not sow to the flesh, but rather to the Spirit. May you have an open heart and an open Bible, as we pray that God will deal with us all by His Spirit.
We are warned concerning this false gospel of carnal Christianity in Galatians 6:7-8:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
This to me is a most solemn warning to all of our hearts, and especially in this day of “freebelievism” and carnal Christianity, which is preached on such a large scale. You see, the vast majority of Christendom today is deceived1 as to the state of their never-dying souls before God. What is happening is justification in Christ is preached alone, at the expense of holy living; and the hearers of this one-sided gospel are left in the dark as to God’s requirement of the necessity of a holy life. God’s grace has been turned into lasciviousness; the attitude of most has been: “A little sin won’t hurt—I’m just a ‘carnal Christian’ you know, and besides, doesn’t grace cover it all?”
To continue reading Lee Roy Shelton’s e-book, click here.