In a sad commentary on the health of the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul declares that when the Corinthian church members gather together, “it is not for better, but for worse” (11:17). The weekly gatherings of the Corinthian church (16:2) were a fleshly display of what one author termed “radical individualism” rather than a sweet “manifestation of the Spirit for common good” (12:7).
During the Easter season, Jesus's "triumphant entry" into Jerusalem in Matthew 21 is often highlighted. However, there is another entry in Matthew 21 that is often overlooked — Jesus's entry into the temple to cleanse it. It immediately follows Jesus's entry into Jerusalem. Chronologically, these two entries are a day apart, but thematically Matthew highlights these two events as connected narratives. Why does Matthew do this?
When living in a difficult circumstance – especially when it continues unresolved – there is a human inclination to question the competency of God. Over the years I have counseled many people who have lived for lengthy periods of time with this assumption: I prayed, but God just doesn’t respond to me.
We do not expect the terms doubt and worship to be spoken or written in the same context. The essence of doubt is hesitation, which is to experience an inner caution or reluctance to commit. The fundamental idea of worship, however, is to trust, adore, and give allegiance to one who is worthy of worship. It would be assumed that these words are mutually exclusive, but they are actually used together by Matthew in two extraordinary narratives.
I was recently asked by a local pastor to speak to his church on the subject of the end time events, and specifically address the pre-tribulational, pre-millennial perspectives. The pastor stated that he believed and taught alternative views but felt that he must give his people “another look.” I had a wonderful evening with this pastor and his church tackling one of my favorite themes of the Scriptures! At the heart of the discussion is this question: Is the Bible clear about the end times? Or, to put it another way, has God exercised purposeful ambiguity to shroud the future events of world history?
The verb translated “fan into flame” in 2 Timothy 1:6 is unique in the Greek New Testament. The full phrase is somewhat startling as Paul calls Timothy “to fan into flame the gift of God.” One commentator suggests that “Timothy might be in a state of athumia [discouragement].” If so, is Paul anxious about the possibility of Timothy wilting in his ministry duties at Ephesus? Or, does Paul have something else in mind with these words?Let’s take a closer look at this phrase and see if we can discover what Paul is saying to his “beloved son” (1:2).
How does one see a doctrine? In Acts 11:19-26, Barnabas was sent by the church of Jerusalem to the multi-cultural, affluent, and burgeoning city of Antioch in Syria. The Jerusalem church had recently heard that the gospel of Jesus had penetrated this influential city “and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord” (11:21). When Barnabas arrived from Jerusalem, the text gives an unusual account of what he discovered; it says, “he saw the grace of God and was glad” (11:23). What did Luke mean by this comment? And how is it possible to see grace in the lives of believers?