Articles (Page 3)

Articles (Page 3)

Incorporation into Christ: The Mystery in Ephesians

I was a teenager when I experienced my first revelation as a reader of Paul’s letters. It was as if Ananias had once again stepped off the street called Straight and opened my eyes. What I saw was very simple and (I have since found out) already discovered by many before me: Paul wrote very often about Jew-born and Gentile-born believers and how they become a unified church through the gospel. “So that’s why he talks so much about things…

Living By the Prophet’s Words

Prophets like Moses and Paul, John and Isaiah had amazing encounters with the Lord. But we are to step out in faith without having similar experiences. You should not expect that God has to prove that what has been written is required of us by an additional vision, appearance, voice, or impression. We shouldn’t say, “I won’t take this step unless I have special revelation from God,” but must obey what God has made known to the prophet-writers of the…

Jesus and Joseph

Like Jesus, Joseph was the special son of his father, beloved; like Jesus, Joseph was hated because his father loved him and because of his words and predictions of future authority; like Jesus, Joseph was plotted against; like Jesus, Joseph was stripped of a wonderful tunic, made bloody; like Jesus, Joseph was sold for silver; like Jesus, Joseph was taken to Egypt; like Jesus, Joseph was falsely accused; like Jesus, Joseph was given authority after humility; like Jesus, Joseph began…

Why Is God Angry With Us?

I have at times felt uncomfortable with the idea that God is angry at humankind. I mean that the harshness of it sometimes feels unfair. The feeling comes when I read things like the conquest of Canaan or the graphic predictions of judgments that God would bring on Israel. But most of all, eternal torment is almost impossible for me to think about without real terror and revulsion. Could anything someone does in these moments on earth deserve that? My…

What is the Gospel? A Look at the Message in Acts

What serious Bible reader hasn’t been a bit surprised by the way the apostles in Acts proclaim the gospel message? “Well, that’s not quite the way I would have done it,” he muses, turning the page. That’s at least how I began to reflect on the question “What is the gospel?” a few years ago. Now it seems to me that this is a highly important topic. Christianity (or “the Way,” if we’re going to be Acts-ian) has been very…

Jacob Saw Christ

Jacob, on his flight to Paddam-Aram, had a dream of a ladder leading to heaven with the Lord at the top and angels descending and ascending. This took place at what he would call Bethel, or “house of God.” “And behold, the Lord stood above it and said…” is a phrase which indicates that he was actually speaking with the preincaranate Christ. That it was the preincarnate Christ that Jacob saw that night is made clear later when Jesus met…

Women in Your Ministry Context: An Appeal for Male Christian Leaders to Choose Male Assistants

A fine young pastor and his family take a small church in a rural area, or perhaps in a tired part of an otherwise thriving city. It’s their first opportunity to lead a church, and they have dreams of something deep, growing, and lasting. There is little money given by the church to hire anyone else other than this single leader. Well enough. It can’t be other than it is in the beginning. But right off the pastor is in…

Identity Theft: Losing Our Christian Self-Consciousness

When whimpering Gideon hid himself from the Midianites in the winepress while threshing his wheat, the angel of the Lord appeared to him with this striking greeting: “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Man of valor? In Gideon’s mind, nothing could be further from the truth. But the angel continued, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.” Gideon squeaked out a lame response, “O my Lord,…

Ministry Report From Colombia, March 2016

I just returned from a 3-week trip to beautiful Santa Elena, Colombia where I was teaching at the Instituto Bíblico Reformado Nueva Providencia. The teaching format was kind of a cross between a Bible Intensive Retreat and The Muller Center for Biblical Studies in which we studied the books of Titus and Mark for a full 11 days. The official title of the class was “Inductive Bible Study Method – New Testament”. There were 17 students, mostly between the ages…

On Your Knees: Missions Work Thousands of Miles Away

A man once spent twenty minutes and twenty seconds of his life one day looking at two different emails. The first email was from a local store that shared all of its weekly deals. He studied it in detail, not only hoping to find a great offer, but also to see what was new in the world of technology. He took 20 minutes to do this, although he thought often throughout the rest of the day about what he discovered. The…

The Word Was In the World: Doing What?

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.” Jn 1:10 We know that the “Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (v 14), and that He “explained” the Father (v 18), but what was the Son doing before all this? I believe, properly understood, that John 1 teaches that He was in the world. He was, in fact, God (“the Word was God,” v 1), so He was…

What to Ask Myself Before I Teach the Bible

The results of our teaching are entirely God’s business. But it is our business to be as prepared as possible. This not only means that we must know our subject, but that we must be spiritually-minded and intentional. The following are questions to ask yourself before you teach others: Have I prayed? Do I consciously and desperately need the Spirit? Do I believe that my hearers must hear what I have to say? Am I attempting to live by the…