It is official membership community. When the world divided into nations, citizenship became the certified recognition of privilege and accountability to the laws and leaders of the nation granting it. Paul invites Christians to think of membership in God’s kingdom in the same way-a relationship of privilege and responsibility. This latter citizenship supersedes and qualifies all other memberships so that the Christian, while loyal to the state (Rom 13:1), is not unconditionally so.Continue reading WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP?
Jesus was in the tomb only about thirty-six hours (from late Friday afternoon until early Sunday morning)-not three full days as some people might conclude from Paul’s statement that He was raised on the third day.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (RAISED THE THRID DAY)
This phrase from the Song of Deborah (read Judges 5:10) pictures Sisera’s mother wondering why her son had not returned from a battle with the Israelites. But Sisera would not return; he had been killed by a woman named Jael, who drove a tent peg through his head while he was sleep (Judges 4:21).Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (A CRY FROM A WINDOW)
Engaging in sexual intercourse prior to marriage. The Song of Songs is an extended poem extolling the virtue of sexual fidelity between a king and his chosen bride. Sexual desire runs strong throughout the song as the king and his beloved anticipate their union together. At intervals the poet repeats a refrain counseling sexual restraint: “Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you, by the gazelles and the wild does of the field; do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time” (Song 2:7 HCSB; 3:5; 8:4). To the church in Corinth, a city well-known forContinue reading BIBLE DEFINITION OF THE DAY (PREMARITAL SEX)
The Bible records several instances of suicide (Abimelech-Judg 9:54; Samson-Judg 16:29-30; Saul-1 Sam 31:4; Saul’s armor beaer-1 Sam 31:5 Ahithophel-2 Sam 17:23; Zimri-1 Kings 16:18; and Judas-Matt 27:5; cp. Acts 16:27). Of these, the deaths of Abimelech and Saul could be called “assisted” suicide. With the possible exception of Samson (whose death may be better termed “martyrdom”), the Bible presents each person who committed suicide as an individual whose behavior is clearly not to be emulated.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SUICIDE)
Saul was a young man dutifully searching for his father’s stray donkeys. Samuel was the renowned prophet, priest, and judge of Israel reluctantly searching for his nation’s first king. When their paths crossed, the course of Israel’s history changed dramatically.
Samuel had served as the Lord’s representative leader of Israel for decades, but he was growing old. When his sons proved to be unfit to succeed him, the people of Israel demanded that a king be appointed to rule over them. They were envious of the monarchies common in surrounding nations.Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SAUL: WRESTILING WITH DEOMONS)
Paul spent eighteen months in the city of Corinth (Acts 18:11), working with Priscilla and Aquila at their mutual trade of tentmaker to support himself. During this time they established a church in this thriving, paganistic city.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (PAUL THE TENTMAKER)
After writing 1 Corinthians, Paul revisits the congregation he stared in the busy seaport town of Corinth. It’s not a happy reunion.Continue reading FIGHTING OFF A HOSTEL TAKEOVER
The truth or facts of life that a person acquires either through experience or thought. The greatest truth that a person can possess with the mind or learn through experience is truth about God (Psa 46:10; John 8:31-32). This cannot be gained by unaided human reason (Job 11:7; Rom 11:33). It is acquired only as God shows Himself to people-in nature and conscience (Psa 19; Rom 1:19-20); in history or providence (Deut 6:20-25; Dan 2:21); and especially in the Bible (Psa 119; Rev 1:1-3). Mental knowledge by itself, as good as it may be, is inadequate; it is capable only of producing pride (1 Cor 8:1; 13:2). Moral knowledge affects a person’s will (Prov 1:7; Phil 3:11-12; 1 John 4:6). It is knowledge of the heart, not the mind alone.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (KNOWLEDGE)
This verse compares the Christian life to the footrace in which athletes competed in the Greek games (read 1 Cor 9:25). The foot race was one of the most popular events of the Greek games that were held every year in Athens. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A LIFETIME RACE)