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Showing posts from December 18, 2013

The Man Grows in his Knowledge of Christ

The Man Grows in his Knowledge of Christ
‎The man did not realize it then, but the safest place for him was outside the Jewish religious fold. The Jews cast him out, but Christ took him in! Like Paul (see Phil. 3:1–10), this man “lost his religion” but found salvation and went to heaven. ‎Note carefully how this man grew in his knowledge of Christ:    (1) “A man called Jesus” (v. 11) was all he knew when Christ healed him.    ‎(2) “A prophet” (v. 17) is what the man called Him when the Pharisees questioned him.    ‎(3) “A man of God” (vv. 31–33) is what he concluded Jesus to be.    (4) “The Son of God” (vv. 35–38) was his final and complete confession of faith. (See 20:30–31.)
Wiersbe, Warren W. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992. Print.

Walking with God

Walking with God Excerpt ‎John’s readers were confused by two false teachings. The first was the claim that those who choose sin’s lifestyle can maintain fellowship with God. This John labeled as a lie (v. 6). The second claim was by those who said they were without sin (v. 8). They based their claim to fellowship with God on the belief that they matched God in His moral perfection! John called this claim self-deceit: “We deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (v. 8).
‎Truth and falsehood are not related so much to the trustworthiness of the teller as they are to correspondence with reality. The problem with the claim of sinlessness is not that the motives of the claimant are unpure. His or her report may be made with honest conviction. But the report of sinlessness is mistaken: it does not correspond to reality. “We deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
‎What is the reality of sin for the Christian? The simple fact is that while in His death Jesus dealt fully with si…

Position of Man

Position of Man Excerpt ‎In the psalm this exclamation comes after a contemplation of the starry heavens, which had impressed the psalmist’s mind with a sense of God’s transcendent glory. 
In contrast with this glory, man’s insignificance and unworthiness occur to him, as they have similarly occurred to many; but, at the same time, he thought of the high position assigned to man in the account of the creation, on which position he next enlarges. He asks how it can be that man, being what he is now, can be of such high estate. Thus the Epistle carries out truly the idea of the psalm, which is that man’s appointed position in the scale of things is beyond what he seems now to realize.
Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. Hebrews. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.

Sheep Gate, The

Sheep Gate, The
Shepherds driving their flock into a fortified sheepfold erected to protect the animals from marauders.  Extended walls shield the narrow entrance; a Safaite rock drawing found in the desert east of Amman, Jordan.
Achtemeier, Paul J., Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature. Harper’s Bible dictionary 1985 : 938. Print.

Prayer for His Disciples

Prayer for His Disciples Excerpt ‎Here the Divine Intercessor turns from himself, and from the approaching glory of his own mediatorial Person and position, to meditate, for the advantage of his disciples, on what had already been done for them, in them, to them. He clothes these meditations in the form of a direct address to the eternal God, and makes the series of facts on which he dwells the groundwork of the prayer which follows for his disciples, as representative of all who, like them, have come into relations with the Father through him.
Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. St. John. Vol. 2. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.

Which Herod?

Which Herod? Excerpt ‎Herod the Great, king of the Jews 40–4 bc, born c. 73 bc. His father Antipater, a Jew of Idumaean descent, attained a position of great influence in Judaea after the Roman conquest and was appointed procurator of Judaea by Julius Caesar in 47 bc. He in turn appointed his son Herod military prefect of Galilee, and Herod showed his qualities by the vigour with which he suppressed brigandage in that region; the Roman governor of Syria was so impressed by his energy that he made him military prefect of Coele-Syria. After the assassination of Caesar and subsequent civil war Herod enjoyed the goodwill of Antony. When the Parthians invaded Syria and Palestine and set the Hasmonaean Antigonus on the throne of Judaea (40–37 bc) the Roman senate, advised by Antony and Octavian, gave Herod the title ‘king of the Jews’. It took him 3 years of fighting to make his title effective, but when he had done so he governed Judaea for 33 years as a loyal ‘friend and ally’ of Rome.

Walk Properly Before Unbelievers

Walk Properly Before  Unbelievers Excerpt ‎There are good reasons for these exhortations. Such behavior does win the respect of non-Christians and so glorifies the Christian’s God. Love of this kind is appreciated by everyone. Paul placed importance on the testimony of Christians before outsiders, unbelievers. This kind of behavior also wins the respect of Christians; people appreciate those who do not take advantage of them. Paul discouraged the Thessalonians from expecting financial favors from the brethren simply because they were fellow Christians. Nor was he promoting a fierce spirit of independence; he was not saying that every Christian must become completely self-sufficient. He was advocating personal responsibility, as is clear from the context. This is a manifestation of mature Christian love for the brethren. Constable, Thomas L. “1 Thessalonians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Vic…

The 7 Best Study Bibles on

The 7 Best Study Bibles on Logos.comDecember 9, 2013 By    |   14 Comments 14 Last week, I wrote about the most important factors to consider when choosing a study Bible, and I explained how the Faithlife Study Bible performs in each of them. This is a powerful resource that has something to offer no matter where you are in your faith journey. But you may want to augment your FSB with an additional set of study notes, and there are number of other exceptional study Biblesavailable for purchase on Here’s a quick rundown of some of them: ESV Study Bible—One of them most highly regarded study Bibles ever produced, the ESV was the first Bible to be named Christian Book of the Year. J. I. Packer, who chaired the ESV translation team, served as the theological editor for the study Bible. This study tool commands the respect of church leaders from virtually every denomination. Nelson Study Bible—I’ll admit to a little bias here because I carried Nelson through high schoo…

Horeb, the place of Commission and Law

Horeb, the place of Commission and Law Excerpt ‎Interestingly Moses’ communication from God here [Horeb] (3:1-3) is at the same mountain where God later gave him the Law(19:20; 24:13-18; cf. 3:12). Hannah, John D. “Exodus.”The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 1. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 111. Print.

tent of meetings

tent of meetings

The "tent of meeting" may have been a simple portable shrine similar to the one depicted in this drawing from the Temple of Bel at Palmyra and known from Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Canaan.
Achtemeier, Paul J., Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature. Harper’s Bible dictionary 1985 : 1014. Print.

Tale of Two Cities

Tale of Two CitiesTitus 3:12 Excerpt ‎Paul was a prisoner in Rome, his friend Philemon was in Colossae, and the human link between them was a runaway slave named Onesimus. The details are not clear, but it appears that Onesimus robbed his master and then fled to Rome, hoping to be swallowed up in the crowded metropolis. But, in the providence of God, he met Paul and was converted!
‎Now what? Perhaps Onesimus should remain with Paul, who needed all the assistance he could get. But what about the slave’s responsibilities to his master back in Colossae? The law permitted a master to execute a rebellious slave, but Philemon was a Christian. If he forgave Onesimus, what would the other masters (and slaves) think? If he punished him, how would it affect his testimony? What a dilemma! …
Wiersbe, Warren W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996. Print.

Mars Hill

Mars Hill
‎ At Mars’ Hill, also known as the Areopagus, Paul used an inscription to an “unknown god” as a starting point for proclaiming the good news of Christ to the Greeks. He confronted widespread idol worship by declaring the true identity of the Creator. Using Greek worship and poetry, Paul articulated God’s demand for repentance and His provision of salvation through Jesus: “Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said … ‘What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you’ ” (Acts 17:22, 23).

Paul's Salvation

Paul's Salvation Excerpt ‎Paul’s salvation experience had taken place about 30 years before he wrote to the Philippians. He had won many spiritual battles in that time. He had grown much in those years, but he candidly confessed he had not obtained all this, nor was he yet made perfect (v. 12). He still had more spiritual heights to climb.
This testimony of the apostle reminded the saints at Philippi—and it serves to remind believers today—that there must never be a stalemate in their spiritual growth or a plateau beyond which they cannot climb.
Lightner, Robert P. “Philippians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 661. Print.

Statue of Rameses II

Statue of Rameses II
‎There are two statues of Rameses II. between the Nile and the Necropolis of Memphis. The larger one is prostrate and surrounded by walls. Steps are provided by which the walls are ascended, and a temporary framework is built above them, and across them, upon which persons may stand and look down upon the colossal statue. 
Our view is of the smaller of the statues. This one is broken at the feet and part of the cap is wanting. Rameses II. was frequently called the Pharaoh of the Oppression. This is probably not correct. He was, however, “the new king who knew not Joseph.” He now lies in limestone, prostrate amid the ruins of the city he helped to enrich and adorn. The first in her glory, he is the last in her desolation.
Blanched with the sun of thirty centuries he now lies looking into the deep eastern heavens. His companions were once the proud courtiers of a prodigal court, his companions now are the jackals, whose weird howl lends a melancholy interest to the…

Sheep Shearing

Sheep Shearing
‎In spring (April/May), the annual sheep shearing was a hallmark of the year for the shepherds. For the shear, the legs of a sheep are bound; then its woolen fleece is removed with a shearing knife or a blade shear. ‎Gen 31:19; 38:12–13; 1 Sam 25:2–7; 2 Sam 13:23–24; Song 4:2; Isa 53:7; Acts 8:32

But I Have This Against You

But I Have This Against You Excerpt ‎The rebuke given to this church: Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, v. 4. Those that have much good in them may have something much amiss in them, and our Lord Jesus, as an impartial Master and Judge, takes notice of both; though he first observes what is good, and is most ready to mention this, yet he also observes what is amiss, and will faithfully reprove them for it. 
The sin that Christ charged this church with was their decay and declension in holy love and zeal: Thou hast left thy first love; not left and forsaken the object of it, but lost the fervent degree of it that at first appeared.
 Observe, (1.) The first affections of men towards Christ, and holiness, and heaven, are usually lively and warm. 
God remembered the love of Israel’s espousals, when she would follow him wither-soever he went.
(2.) These lively affections will abate and cool if great care be not taken, and diligence used, to preserve them in constant exercise.

Life of a Shepherd

Life of a Shepherd John 10:11 Excerpt ‎When evening settled over the land of Palestine, danger lurked. In Bible times lions, wolves, jackals, panthers, leopards, bears, and hyenas were common in the countryside. 
The life of a shepherd could be dangerous as illustrated by David’s fights with at least one lion and one bear (1 Sam. 17:34-35, 37). Jacob also experienced the labor and toil of being a faithful shepherd (Gen. 31:38-40). Jesus said, "I am the Good Shepherd" (cf. John 10:14). In the Old Testament, God is called theShepherd of His people (Pss. 23:1; 80:1-2; Ecc. 12:11; Isa. 40:11; Jer. 31:10). Jesus is this to His people, and He came to give His life for their benefit (cf. John 10:14, 17-18; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 5:2, 25; Heb. 9:14). He isalso the “Great Shepherd” (Heb. 13:20-21) and “the Chief Shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4).
Blum, Edwin A. “John.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Boo…

Don’t Make These 10 Common Bible Study Mistakes (Part 1)

Don’t Make These 10 Common Bible Study Mistakes (Part 1)December 17, 2013 By    |   4 Comments 4 We know we ought to be studying the Scriptures, but sometimes we don’t know how. Here are five of 10 common Bible study mistakes to avoid: 10. Starting without prayerThe Bible is unlike any other book because it was inspired by God himself. Paul told us that “the things of the Spirit of God . . . are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14), and Jesus said that the Spirit guides us into the truth (John 16:13). We have access to God through prayer, so we should be looking to him for guidance as we seek to understand his Scriptures. It doesn’t matter what incredible resources and study tools we use if we do not first go to God. 9. Studying by yourselfScripture was intended to be read and studied in community. We’ve all but lost sight of that in our modern individualistic culture. I’m not saying it’s wrong to do personal study—there is definitely a time and place for that. Bu…

Bible Study Magazine

Ann Voskamp, Christianity in Nigeria, and No Pollyanna Prophets  |  Tue, December 17, 2013  | PRODUCTS0 We often read Micah 5:2 at Christmastime: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you one will go out for me, to be ruler in Israel; and his origins are from of old, from ancient days” (LEB). Reading this verse against the backdrop of Christ’s birth, we envision Micah as a gentle prophet bearing a gentle message. But Matt Morton explains that the context of Micah’s message reveals much more about its implications. The January–February ’14 issue of Bible Study Magazine features this article and others as part our special section on the eighth- th

My Verse for Today

My Verse for Today
15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

My Prayer for Today

Prayer  Min. Lynwood F. Mundy
Almighty YHWH, thank You for today's awakening to a new day. Bless those with infirmities; Bless the peoples of the world; Bless this nations government; Bless those that are incarcerated. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

December 18
Into the FamilyRomans 8:1–17
As people once bound to sin and destined for death, our ability to approach God personally—to call Him our Father—should astound us. Yet we sometimes forget to pray. We can take it for granted that He looks out for our every need.

The concept of approaching God as Father would have been a radical concept for the Roman community. In his letter to the church there, Paul discusses how our former lives without God were nothing but slavery to sin and death, the wages of sin. Christ’s work has set us free from this trajectory: “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself confirms to our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer together with him so that we may also be glorified together with him” (Rom 8:15–17).

Paul’s audience would have used…