Conforming to the Status

“Nevertheless, in that which we have attained, to it shall we conform.” (Philippians 3:16) The principle that Paul is placing before us is that God has brought us out of our sinful estate, yet, having been given that great gift or forgiveness and reconciliation with God, we should strive to conform our lives to the… Read More

Our Lifeblood

“Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always been obedient, not only in my presence alone, but now also even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for God is the one working in you, even to will and to work for satisfaction.” (Philippians 2:12-13) The word, “His,” is… Read More

The One Name that is Above All other Names

“Therefore God exalted him and honored him with the name that is above all names,” (Philippians 2:9) As we have noted above…Jesus laid down his rightful heavenly glory and veiled it in flesh in the incarnation; in the resurrection, he took that glory back up, this time no longer veiled by the flesh, but instead… Read More

Judgment and Salvation…one goes with the other

“And not intimidated in any way by the adversaries, which is for them an indication of destruction but for you of salvation, which is from God.” (Philippians 1:28) In our culture today, it seems, we talk at length about the troubles caused by bullying, particularly amongst children. And indeed, bullying is sin and condemnable. Yet… Read More

Having Been Filled

“having been filled with the fruit of righteousness because of Jesus Christ to the glory and honor of God.” “Having been filled…” Notice the language that this verse begins with. We do not “fill” ourselves but we are filled. It is God’s work in us from the beginning to the end. We take no credit,… 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

Hope or Despair; Life or Death

“Then, when Judas, his betrayer, saw that he was condemned, he had second thoughts and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? Look to yourself.’” (Matthew 27:3-4)   In the flow of things, this… Read More

A Place of Refuge

“God is to us a place of refuge and strength; A helper in distress he is very much found to be.” (Psalm 46:2 {verse 1 in English Bibles})   While the wording of the second line of this verse is a little awkward in English, I rendered it so in the hopes of preserving the… Read More

Embezzled Grace

“Nevertheless, love those who are hostile to you — do good and lend money without disappointing anyone — and your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is benevolent to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be compassionate just as much so as your Father is compassionate” (Luke… Read More

Thoughts on Structuring a Discipleship Program

Recently, I was asked for some input on how I would structure a discipleship program if I were to have about 6 months of fairly intensive time to work with a small group of men.  I thought that I would share my initial thoughts here.   When I began doing homeless ministry, I spent some… Read More

Warnings from Israel’s Past: Egypt (Idolatry)

“Now I want to remind you, though you have known all these things, that the Lord once saved a people from the land of Egypt and afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” (Jude 5-7, ESV)   Within this section that offers warnings from the history of Israel, we find three sins that are being… Read More

Sanctification (1 Corinthians 15:2)

“and through which you are being saved. if you hold to the words which I preached to you—assuming you did not believe in vain.”  (1 Corinthians 15:2)    There are two things in particular that I want to highlight about this verse.  The first thing is the word sw/◊zesqe (sozesthe), which is the passive form… Read More

Delight in Sacrifices of Righteousness: Psalm 51 (part 20)

“Then you will delight in sacrifices of righteousness— a burnt offering, even a whole one; then bulls will go up upon your altar.” (Psalm 51:21 {Psalm 51:19 in English Bibles})   “Then,” David begins, pointing back to the verse that stands just before it—then, in light of the goodness of God as it is expressed… Read More

Restore the Joy of Your Salvation: Psalm 51 (part 13)

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation; and with an honorable Spirit you shall uphold me.” (Psalm 51:14 {Psalm 51:12 in English Bibles})   So often when we read this verse, or hear this verse cited by people in the wider church community, it is cited in a way that is almost totally centered… Read More

Create a Clean Heart in Me: Psalm 51 (part 11)

“A heart that is clean, you must create in me, O God; and a spirit that is steadfast, you must continually renew in my being.” (Psalm 51:12 {Psalm 51:10 in English Bibles})   Oh, how little man can do on his own!  It is God who providentially equips him to do anything of lasting value. … Read More

Biblical Perspicuity

What do we mean when we speak of the Perspicuity of Scripture?               While there are certainly many areas of scripture that are difficult to interpret and to understand, given that the Bible was given to all people throughout history, not to just a select few, and given that the Bible was given for… Read More