God’s purpose for each of us and our church is to flourish. God intends for us to naturally grow in holiness and Christlikeness. Holiness is flourishing from God’s perspective, becoming more like God and Jesus. If we have any hope of flourishing as God intends for us, we must discipline our inner man to the powerful impact of the truth and reality of God’s providence.
Wisdom literature is one of the more difficult genres in the Bible. Though New Testament epistles might be the easiest for us to read and understand today, it's important to keep a balance of all biblical genres in our personal reading and corporate teaching.
Psalm 50 describes a courtroom drama, where the setting includes a judge, defendant, prosecution, witnesses, and defense. This and similar Old Testament passages are called covenant lawsuits. God is bringing charges against the nation of Israel.
We have been studying the character of the saved heart that desires to share resources to meet the needs of the church Body in order to share the Gospel more effectively. The context of 2 Corinthians 8-9 is that of one church giving to another. The giver's heart is based in the principle that everything we own is God's, not ours.
Why do bad things happen to good people? We know there are no truly good people, but we still wrestle when it seems justice is not being served. We want God to honor people who obey. Jesus addresses this idea of "retribution theology" in today's passage, Luke 13:1-17.
The psalmbook of Israel was divided into 5 sections. Book 5 contains many anonymous psalms and some by David. A common theme of these authors is deriving hope from the guaranteed future for the nation of Israel. Their eschatological message is, "it's going to be okay."
David's life was highly dramatic, but he didn't get caught up in it. What gave him balance, stability, and reference for his direction? Psalm 138 shows us 3 components to the "gyroscope" of David's life.
Ecclesiastes 8:12-17 are addressed primarily to the wise employee of a despotic king. Though we are not all government employees, all of God's people can learn a wise disposition while we live under human government from these verses.
We have divided the third chapter of Ecclesiastes into 3 sections.
This week, we will examine several plain truths to apply God's wisdom to our lives.
What Paul says about Israel in his context can be applied to religious people in our context. Even those who are stuck in their ways have not stumbled so badly as to never have opportunity to be saved again. The offer of salvation is always given to them. What Paul says of Gentiles in his context applies to irreligious people today. As they accept Christ, religious people see the joy that results and become jealous.
In most of Scripture, God speaks to mankind. The poetic books of the Old Testament are unique because in them, man speaks to God. Human authors used the poetic structures available to them in attempts to surpass the limits of human language and recreate their experience with God.
In Romans 9:19, Paul anticipates another question from his readers, then proceeds to dispel any fear or doubt they might have about God's justice in saving. God saves righteously: He is equitable, fair, and just.
God responds to thankfulness because giving thanks is in line with what God seeks. The Psalms we will study today are imprecatory psalms and laments which show a mix of confidence and concern. They reflect a desire of the righteous for God to destroy His enemies and to vindicate His name. God still pursues these goals, but He does so differently in the church era. The paradox of a thankful heart in the midst of life difficulties is what pleases God no matter what time we live in.
Genesis 19 is a hard chapter to understand. It is often misunderstood and misinterpreted as judgment on one particular sin, but it is not. Rather, it should be read as a sub-narrative in Abraham’s story about how God’s people can slip into living like the world.
After Noah and his family exit the ark, they are granted a new beginning and an opportunity similar to Adam and Eve’s. They step out into a new world and a new era of time. God reaffirms his instructions for humanity and reestablishes his covenant.
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