What is Non-Negotiable?

There is a well-known phrase that goes back to Saint Vincent of Lerins (died AD 445) that goes as follows: “In Essentials unity, in Non-Essentials liberty, and in all things Charity.” And, in principle, the idea is a good thing. Confessing Christians are commanded in scripture to treat one another with love — ἀγάπη (agape)… Read More

The Ever-Relevant Bible

“Indeed, there is not a man who is righteous on the earth who does good and does not sin.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) Boy, this sounds an awful lot like the Apostle Paul when he writes: “What then? Are we in a more prominent position? By all means, no! For both Jews and Greeks are already found… Read More

Pursuing the Gospel, not Self

“Now, I want you to know, brothers, that which has happened to me is rather for the advancement of the Gospel;” (Philippians 1:12) Paul’s focus here and always is on the advancement of the Gospel. He is willing to suffer anything and lose everything, and still call it good, so long as the Gospel goes… Read More

Destroyed, Forever and Ever…

“The wicked sprout like weeds, And all who do iniquity blossom; To be destroyed, forever and ever.” (Psalm 92:8 [verse 7 in English translations])   Paul writes in Romans 9:21-23 that God has created the wicked as vessels of wrath for the purpose of pouring out his power upon in destruction. The psalmist speaks in… Read More

Testifying to the Truth

“Then Pilate said to him, ‘Then you are a king!’ Jesus replied, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world — to testify to the Truth. All who are of the Truth listen to my voice.’” (John 18:37)   Focus on the Family’s… Read More

Jeremiah or Zechariah?

“Then was fulfilled the word of Jeremiah the prophet saying, ‘And they took the thirty silver pieces, the payment paid for the one on whom the Sons of Israel had set such a payment, and they gave it for the field of a potter just as the Lord instructed me.’” (Matthew 27:9-10)   Oceans of… Read More

We have a Stronghold in the God of Jacob

“Yaheweh Tsabaoth is with us; A high stronghold for us is the God of Jacob. Selah!” (Psalm 46:8 {verse 7 in English})   What a wonderful statement the psalmist makes. This is the kind of statement that ought to be set in stone on our patios and stenciled on our walls. It should be the… Read More

The Culture Wars

In Christian circles, we talk a lot about the culture wars and at least vaguely, I think, most people have some sense of what is meant by that. As we look around us, the western culture has grown more secular and less markedly “Christian” as a whole and the culture war is the crusade that… Read More

Playing Dominoes in Ukraine

I spent about half an hour the other day playing a game of two-on-two Dominoes with several of my Ukrainian students. The game was the basic game that I had played as a child, though it has been many years since I had played, and it was fairly easy to follow the progression even though… Read More

Blood Atonement: Genesis 20:16

“And to Sarah he said, ‘Behold, I have given a thousand pieces of silver to your brother. Behold it is for you a covering of the eyes to all that are with you and to all that you may be found to be in the right.’” (Genesis 20:16)   In many cases, this is the… Read More

The Great Nation of Ishmael

“And unto Ishmael, I have heard you, so behold, I will bless him and will cause him to bear fruit and I will make him exceedingly great. He will bear twelve princes and I will give to him a great nation.” (Genesis 17:20) Because of God’s promise to Abraham, God blesses Abraham’s firstborn and allows… Read More

The Conversation

“Some weather we’ve been having, isn’t it?” “Did you see the game last night?” “Did you read the paper this morning, with crime going up and unemployment going up, what is this world coming to?” “Did you hear what those democrats did?” Conversations, we all have them every day and usually they are had around… Read More

Sent into the World as Christ was sent into the World

“Just as you sent me into the world, I also send them into the world, and for them, I sanctify myself in order that they also might be sanctified in Truth.” (John 17:18-19) This statement that Christ makes is very simple to understand, but very difficult to apply and live out because of the ramifications… Read More

This is Our Message (1 Corinthians 15:11)

“Wherefore, if from me or them, in this way I preached and in this way you believed.” (1 Corinthians 15:11)               Paul has returned to his starting point.  This fact of the resurrection of Christ, he says, is the heart of his preaching.  Without the resurrection, there would be no good news for man. … Read More

Reminders (1 Corinthians 15:1)

 “Now I reveal to you, brothers, the gospel which I preached to you, and which you received, and in which you have stood,”  (1 Corinthians 15:1)   As Paul is bringing this letter to a close, he closes by putting before the Corinthian church both the hope that they have (resurrection) and the reason for… Read More

The Fire and the Cedars (Judges 9:15)

“And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you anoint me to be king over you, enter and take refuge in my shadow.  But if there is not, let fire go out from the bramble, and let it consume the cedars of Lebanon!’”  (Judges 9:15)   There are two levels to how we… Read More

The Word of His Power: Hebrews 1:1-4 (part 12)

also bearing all things in the word of his power;   Beloved, we have asked the question in terms of what “all things” refers to, but we must also pose the question as to just what is the “word of his power.”  Indeed, the simplest and most straight-forward answer, particularly in the context of the… Read More

Genealogies

I.  The Purpose of a genealogy             A.  they establish Jesus’ credentials             B.  Matthew, writing to a Jewish audience takes his genealogy back to Abraham                         1.  Matthew picks up where the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 leave off                         2.  Matthew’s emphasis is on the fulfillment of Jesus’ Sonship in… Read More