Category: Bible

Two Words That Kill Effective Bible Study

Two Scenes Scene One: The “Postmoderns-Only Book Club” gathers together on a Tuesday night. They meet at the sterile, quiet library space, fiction novels in hand as they take their seats at the round table. Jim, the group leader, begins their time together with a discussion of this week’s chapter. “In today’s discussion, we come to the main character’s decision to leave his hometown. What does his leaving town mean to you?” “I think he’s sick of being there and wants something new,” one woman remarks. “Good analysis,” Jim responds. “What else?” “I think it means he wants to...

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Being Like a Berean: How to Properly Search the Scriptures

One of the great battles in being a Christian and a ministry leader is not being “one of those” types of leaders. In my over twenty plus years being a Christian and being in the Church, I’ve learned that Christians do not like being labeled as “judgmental”, “critical” and even more they suspect people who say they are “discerning”. I’m struck by the fact though that the Apostle Paul commends a group of Christians called the Bereans in Acts 17:11 for doing just that, namely being critical of his own statements. Luke compares the worshipers at the Berean synagogue...

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The Blessed Man

The book of Psalms ends with all creation blessing God. The first line of Psalms 146, 147, 148, 149, and 150—“Praise the Lord!”— captures the theme well. However, the Psalm begins with a poem about the blessed man (Psalm 1:1) and the Lord’s eternal rewards for that man’s righteous life. That righteous life is set within the context of a world to be judged (Psalm 1:5-6) and is contrasted with the lives of “the wicked” (vv. 1, 4, 5-6), also called “scoffers” (v.1) and “sinners” (vv.1, 5). In contrast with the wicked, the blessed man avoids worldliness. He doesn’t...

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The Great Promise of the Scriptures

What was lost in the Fall? One could answer life, innocence, righteousness, freedom, or a host of other things, and be correct. Yet none of these garners the label “greatest loss.” The greatest loss incurred by the Fall was lost communion with our Creator. But what man lost by sin, God restores by grace. Uninterrupted, unfettered, unadulterated communion with God is the great promise of salvation. In fact, this promise of God is like a ribbon woven through the Scriptures. We witness it when God enters into a covenant with Abraham and promises, “And I will establish my covenant...

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Finding Life “According to Your Word”: What Psalm 119 Says to Tired, Doubting Souls

Psalm 119 is an elongated exaltation of the truth, beauty, and goodness of God’s Word. In twenty-two stanzas, it leads the reader to consider all the ways in which God’s Word intersects our lives. There are dozens of themes to consider, but one that stands out is the way in which the Word mediates and regulates our relationship with God. While most systematic theologies present the doctrine of God’s Word in categories of inspiration, authority, sufficiency, clarity, and inerrancy, Psalm 119 speaks of the Word in purely existential terms. He commends us to pick and read—Tolle Lege!—because of what...

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