Proverbs uses the imagery of the “forbidden woman” as a type of all temptation to sin. The picture is especially poignant for a young man, but we do not want to lose the impact of it for both men and women in all sorts of temptation. The idea is, that it is alluring and appeals to the natural appetites, but contains the element of drawing us toward what is not rightfully ours.
Mike Reeves’ new book, The Good God, from Paternoster, is exactly what the doctor ordered for the church today. And not one of those miserable doctors that prescribes some yucky fluid in a plastic bottle. I mean one of those doctors that suggests a break in the sun and a feast of good food to help you feel better from all that ails you.
It is important to know that there is such a thing as a faith which cannot save. Many Christians do not know this. I was never taught this while I was growing up—and I grew up in the church. I was taught that if a person prayed a sinners prayer or merely professed to be a Christian, they were truly born again regardless of how they lived their life. But this just isn’t biblical. There are many who think themselves to be saved and are not.
The idea of giving is one of the great themes of the good news (cf. Jn 3:16). It pulses through the true Christian way of life as we imitate the God who gives and gives and gives in an overflowing fashion. This second letter to the Corinthians talks much about the generous nature of new covenant ministry. Our Father is the God of all comfort; he makes us stand firm in Christ; he has put his Spirit into our hearts.
Why do so many Christian ministries—churches, mission organizations, Bible colleges, and care organizations—embrace the world’s form of leadership? Why this misguided faith? Did Jesus get it all wrong? Or do we need a rethink? Do we, perhaps, even need new hearts?
The holiness which God granted to the nation of Israel, which was on the condition of their faithful obedience to the law given to Moses at Sinai, is stated as a reality for everyone who believes in Christ apart from the law. The word, holy, indicates that we, as God’s people, are set apart to God from sinners, and we are being made citizens of a holy nation.
Hollywood’s upcoming Noah (March 2014) is good reason to speak of the actual historical, biblical character. If the trailer is any indication, the movie production could very well be a huge success. The formula is well-tested and proven. The urge to see the movie will undeniably be irresistible. At the very least, both Jews and Christians will be compelled to experience it. To be honest, I must confess to being somewhat intrigued, and may even shell out the ridiculous ticket price on a future date with my wife.
God is not interested in depriving us and then setting us up to fall. He provides for us out of the rich bounties that are at our disposal. It is for want of reveling fully in His goodness and grace and filling our souls with the delights which do rightly belong to us, that we are so powerless to refuse those things which are not appointed for us, when offered. This is true in every area of temptation, but it has special application to the married.
I wonder if we might be setting Christians up for difficulty when we talk of the Christian life primarily in terms of duties? That is, duty is about externals, and even if they are a good idea, the danger is that if we emphasize externals we create dutiful but numb believers. Sadly I fear that too many Christians could be described as dutiful but numb. Maybe our relationship with God isn’t simply two obedience steps away from thriving.
Perseverance in the faith is one of the true markers of a Christian. And the Corinthians were in need of this warning from Paul, they were, after all, embracing a false teaching which undermined the one true Gospel which alone has the power to save. Make no mistake about it, Paul was drawing a line in the sand here in vs. 2.
A television commercial shows a man asking a small group of children some questions around theme “What is better….” What is better—big or small, fast or slow? Of course, they are trying to sell you the benefits of their fast communication connections. But suppose you were the kids in that commercial and I asked you, “What is better—generous or stingy?” And the answer is… generous!
In the dialogue with his friends Job knew something of what the Bible reader knows from the start. He was not, as his friends presumed, a very evil man facing God’s proper justice. Rather he was a remarkably faithful man undergoing a prolonged spiritual stress test. Job said as much: “when he [God] has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (23:10).
The Apostle Paul prays that believers will be enlightened to know the truth that God’s inheritance will be obtained in the saints. Also, Paul wants the believers to know that God’s inheritance in the saints brings glory to Him. Then, he wants them to know that there are riches accruing to God through the glory which is brought to Him through the outworking or manifestation of redemption in the lives of the saints.
In our politically correct day – the tendency to be overly polite has crept even into the Church, so that our words are often “defanged” in an all-costs effort not to offend anyone. Offending people has taken on the character of being the only real cardinal sin of our age. You can say anything, as long as in reality it says nothing that can bother anyone else.