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)
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.
Every parent knows the experience. You’re tired and your children ignore your every word. You told them over and over, but they persevere in their obstinacy. Then you do what seems like the only option – you lose your temper. You lose control and give full vent to everything you have been thinking.
A lot of times, this makes them get back in line, so it feels like you have accomplished your mission. They got the message that you had enough and they are now scared enough to stop what they were doing, for a while. Over the long haul, this tactic loses its effectiveness and carries drastic consequences.
When we think about the goal of parenting – to discipline, teach, and train our children for the glory of God and the good of their own souls – we realize that anger, frustration, venting, and temper tantrums are not effective tools in our arsenal. In fact, they are Satan’s tools. Even when we speak true words in anger, our foolish behavior betrays the words coming from our mouths.
To continue reading Scott Slayton’s article, click here.
The Lord loves a straight shooter. How do I know this? Because this is the embodiment of the wisdom imparted in Proverbs, including this helpful little gem: “Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you” (4:24).
Crooked speech is talk that isn’t straight. It is bowed, off-kilter, circuitous, meandering. There are a few examples we could name, including outright lying and even hypocritical living, but one of the most glaring examples of crooked speech that is practically epidemic in the church is the sin of gossip. But what is gossip?
One reason gossip can be so difficult to define is that it so often masquerades as something more mundane, perhaps even beneficent. I’m sure you have witnessed plenty of prayer requests shared on someone’s behalf that seemed to include unnecessary details or salacious information. You’ve probably heard your share of “words of concern” that bordered on insinuation or improper speculation. Maybe you’ve offered such words yourself. I know I have.
To continue reading Jared Wilson’s article, click here.
I have preached the truth a hundred times to others and a thousand times to myself: You can’t sin without consequence. That’s not the way God has structured his world. It’s not the way God has structured his people. For Christians, the ultimate consequences have been fully paid by Jesus Christ, but this does not mean there is no reason to fear immediate consequences. Here, with an assist from a favorite writer, are four grave dangers in every sin.
The Danger of Becoming Hardened
The first danger is the danger of becoming hardened. The fact is, sin means to harden you against the love and mercy of God. In fact, the ultimate aim of each and every sin, no matter how small it seems, is to fully harden you against God. John Owen warns you must, “Take heed, use all means, consider your temptations, watch diligently; there is a treachery, a deceit in sin, that tends to the hardening of your hearts from the fear of God.” Every sin nudges you toward a complete and utter hardness of heart. The fact is, your sin is always several steps ahead of you. “Is it not enough to make any heart tremble, to think of being brought into that estate wherein he should have slight thoughts of sin? Slight thoughts of grace, of mercy, of the blood of Christ, of the law, heaven, and hell, come all in at the same season. Take heed, this is that [which you sin] is working toward — the hardening of the heart, searing of the conscience, blinding of the mind, stupifying of the affections, and deceiving of the whole soul.”
To continue reading Tim Challies’ 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.
Paul concludes his majestic treatise on the gospel of Jesus Christ in the book of Romans with a call for a renewed mind that is transformed by the gospel. He writes, “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Rom 12:2). In other words, the believer has an entirely different worldview because his thinking is liberated from the mold of this age (fallen world) by the lens of the gospel. This worldview transformation is the only way the believer can live out the will of God in daily life.
A worldview is how we frame the world and make sense out of everything we experience. God has not given Christians a set of detailed instructions for us to mindlessly follow. Rather, he has given us his word, gospel and Spirit to transform us. Taking “every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor 5:10) involves redefining every category in life, including manhood. A Christian man must rethink the very meaning of his existence in the world as a man. Manhood is to be radically reoriented and framed according to the gospel deeply within a man’s heart. This gospel reorientation involves the most fundamental categories of a man’s life.
To continue reading David Prince’s article, click here.
The Kingly Office of Christ as Providentially Executed for the Redeemed
“And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church.” Ephesians 1:22
He foregoing verses are thankful and humble adoration of the grace of God in bringing the Ephesians to believe in Christ. This effect of His power is compared with that other glorious effect, the raising of Christ Himself from the dead; both are from the same efficient cause. It raised Christ from a low estate, even from the dead, to a high, a very high and glorious state, to be the head both of the world and of the church: the head of the world by way of dominion, the head of the church by way of union and special influence, ruling the world for the good of His people in it. “He gave him to be head over all things to the church.” And here let these four things be seriously regarded:
1. The dignity and authority committed to Christ: “He hath put all things under His feet;” which implies full, ample and absolute dominion in Him, and subjection in them over whom He reigns. This power is delegated to Him by the Father; for besides the essential, native power and dominion over all, which He hath as God (Psa 22:28), there is a dispensed authority which is proper in Him as Mediator, which He received as the reward or fruit of His suffering (Phil 2:8-11).
To continue reading John Flavel’s e-book, click here.