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A Jet Tour Through the New Testament
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Throughout this series on Scripture’s “Frequently Abused Verses,” we’ve seen how God’s Word has been misunderstood and misapplied, as well as instances when it is intentionally twisted to accommodate blasphemous lies and spurious doctrines. Today we’re going to consider how the misappropriation of one verse—3 John 2—triggered a heretical movement that has been a scourge for God’s people and blight on the testimony of the church for more than half of a century.
Monday, October 5, 2015
Is it really “abuse” if a verse is used inaccurately to make an important point? The short answer is, “Yes.” We should not be so careless and cavalier with Scripture, or think so highly of ourselves, that we can impose new meaning—even if it is valid—on the inerrant, sufficient Word of God. If the point is worth making, it’s worth making from the appropriate text.
Friday, October 2, 2015
During my time in the charismatic church, Matthew 18:18–20 was quoted in every prayer meeting and regularly from the pulpit. In fact, I cannot think of any other Scripture passage I heard quoted so frequently without ever hearing a sermon on the passage itself. And yet we would regularly bind demonic forces on earth and loose angelic armies from heaven. And we always reminded ourselves that Jesus was there because at least two or three of us were present.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
We live in an age that demands short bursts of rapid-fire information. The day is fast approaching—perhaps it’s already here—when the number of Twitter followers will hold the preeminent place on a pastor’s resume. Sermon lengths are going the way of our shrinking attention spans. Modern pastors are tempted to replace exegesis and exposition with sound bite sermons and slogan theology.
Monday, September 28, 2015
You’ve probably heard the proverb “Familiarity breeds contempt.” That’s often true with relationships and institutions, as your close proximity reveals cracks and blemishes you wouldn’t notice in passing. However, when it comes to Scripture, familiarity usually breeds carelessness.
Friday, September 25, 2015
What does this verse mean to you? Most of us have heard that question before—it lurks inside countless Bible studies and Sunday-school classes. Scripture is now subject to the whims of the reader, who is prone to read personal experience into the text instead of discovering—and coming under—its objective truth. The worst forms of this are when people think they’re helping God—improving upon His perfection, sanitizing His story, and smoothing out the sharp edges of His truth.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
What do your prayers sound like to other people? Are you expressing submission to the Lord and His will for your life? Or do you approach His throne with an exhaustive wish list? If we are honest, we’re all occasionally guilty of treating God like a mystical genie or Santa Claus—as though He exists only to fulfill our requests.
Monday, September 21, 2015
The modern trend of Christian contextualization is antithetical to a historical interpretation. Rather than taking the audience back to the original setting of the text at hand, many of today’s preachers labor to sever the biblical text from its historical moorings and transport it into a contemporary setting.
Friday, September 18, 2015
In the quiet intimacy of the upper room, just hours before His arrest, Christ gave His disciples some final encouragement and instruction. He revealed again His unity with the Father, comforted His disciples with the promise of heaven, and told them about the Helper who would empower them for the work ahead (John 14:1-17). But as usual, the disciples failed to fully understand what He was saying.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Love, don’t judge. For many people in the church, that simple slogan has become the kneejerk defense in the face of criticism and confrontation. At some point, believers decided that careful discernment and agapē love are diametrically opposed; that judgment is always a threat to our unity in Christ.
Monday, September 14, 2015
I haven’t always sat under the teaching ministry of John MacArthur. In fact, earlier parts of my Christian walk have been tarnished by over-exposure to some really bad Bible teachers, and attendance in some very man-centered churches. A lot of my expertise in error comes from first-hand experience.
Friday, September 11, 2015
This week we’ve been looking at two well-known Old Testament figures, and considering how the Lord used each of them to accomplish His will. In Gideon’s story, the Lord magnified His own power against the backdrop of Gideon’s fear and cowardice.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
From before his birth, Samson was to be set apart for God’s use. But his unbridled lust, arrogant pride, and violent temper corrupted his character and ruined his reputation. Even a seemingly solemn, happy occasion like his wedding turned into a rage-fueled bloodbath.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Gideon’s weakness was the perfect canvas on which to display the Lord’s power. A braver, more capable military leader could have claimed credit for God’s victory over the Midianites. But Gideon’s fear and doubt made it clear that it was God’s victory alone.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
We generally associate Gideon’s name with his military victories. But when we first meet the Old Testament hero in the book of Judges, he’s hiding out in the wilderness, attempting to eek out a life while avoiding the notice of Israel’s enemies. Even after the Angel of the Lord told him that he would deliver Israel from the Midianites, he was filled with cowardly doubts.
Monday, September 7, 2015
In Israel’s history, no group of heroes is more unlikely than the judges of the Old Testament. The chaotic nature of the time period combined with the unique (and sometimes uncivilized) individuals whom God chose to lead His people resulted in scenarios that were often complex and even bizarre.