Many believers naturally love to focus on Jesus. We study His parables and commands and the events of His life, including His miracles. But sometimes we forget about the cross.
The day Jesus died, onlookers who were present remarked, “He’s saved others; Himself He cannot save (Mark 15:31).” Of course, the response here is He didn’t need to save Himself. The only reason He was on the cross was to save us.
But why was it necessary? Isn’t God so powerful that He could have defeated sin without a cross? …
“So will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:39–40
Many of us somberly commemorate Jesus’ death on the cross on what we call Good Friday. We then think ahead to Sunday, the day of His glorious resurrection. Since every word of the Bible is true and accurate, we know He did indeed die and rise again the third day as He said He would. But exactly when was the third day?
Was the time between Jesus’ death and resurrection literally three days and three nights precisely as He said…
“In those days and in that time, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together.” Jeremiah 50:4
After you read the Old Testament, it’s very clear the nation of Israel has had a historically difficult time. It’s probably one of the most hotly contested pieces of land on earth. Though the Jewish people had periods of oneness, most of the time, the nation was divided into two kingdoms — Judah and Israel.
These two kingdoms didn’t divide just land; it also divided hearts and, eventually, culture. And, evidence of the division continues to this day.
“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22:21
A recent hot topic in a Facebook group I’m in was about tithing. Specifically, whether Christians are required to tithe under the new covenant of grace. And let me tell you, it got very heated. It is obvious people have definite beliefs about tithing.
But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what we believe. All that matters is what the Bible says. …
“We count them blessed who endure.” James 5:11
In Part One, we explored what the first four Beatitudes in Matthew 5 mean. Jesus gave us these Beatitudes, the building blocks of the Christian faith. As a quick review, the first four Beatitudes concerned being poor in spirit, mourning over sin, becoming meek, and seeking God’s righteousness in every situation.
Once we recognize the sin in our lives and the world (Beatitude #1), mourn over it enough to accept salvation (#2), then clothe ourselves in humility and grace (#3) and eagerly seek God’s righteousness every day (#4), we are ready to…
“Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Soon after Jesus began His ministry, He gathered His disciples for in-depth teaching about what it means to be a Christian. We know this teaching as the Sermon on the Mount.
In Matthew 5:3–11, Jesus begins His teaching with a series of eight blessings known as the Beatitudes. Each one has special significance explaining how a believer can experience pure, divinely given joy or heavenly blessedness.
The Beatitudes illustrate how the ways of the world are at complete odds with God. Though the world says we find happiness when…
“For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son.” John 3:16
Have you seen the latest New York Life commercial on television? It’s a beautiful ad describing the characteristics of love according to the Greek language. Since today’s Bible is translated from Greek, the commercial inspired me to find out what types of love are found in the Bible.
Of the eight Greek types of love, I found evidence of seven of them sprinkled throughout God’s word. Just as a disclaimer, my findings are in not necessarily exhaustive. …
“He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” John 20:22
Has someone ever breathed on you, and you could instantly tell they hadn’t brushed their teeth recently? So nasty. But we’re polite people, and we don’t say a word, do we?
Now let me ask you this.
What if Jesus breathed on you? I don’t want to speculate about our Lord’s oral hygiene habits, but I bet you would put up with it a lot more than your close-talking coworker. Your first thought about tolerating it would likely be, well, He’s God!
But what if I…
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” Matthew 28:19
If you asked a middle schooler, “What is a church?” you’ll probably get a blank stare. But probably most people would simply answer “a building” or “a place where people worship God.” They’re not completely wrong.
There’s just one problem. If you can only identify a church as a building, then chances are you might not know if you actually belong to it. The reality is a church is so much more than brick and mortar. …
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
Thousands of people, both men and women across the world, attend a college or seminary to become pastors, priests, or certified Bible teachers. It’s encouraging that so many people are interested in taking a greater role in the church.
But is it for everyone?
Is it okay for both men and women to be pastors or priests? How about women, specifically? What does the Bible say about who serves in places of authority in the church…