Some preachers produce abundant applications (or, implications?) for their congregations from biblical narratives, whether they are Old Testament historical narratives like Judges 4 or New Testament Gospel narratives like Mark 3. Other preachers insist they should offer only theological and practical implications. Still others refuse to recognize any implications or applications from Scripture narratives. They declare, “Biblical narrative is only descriptive, not prescriptive.” Which practice is best? Which practice is legitimate and in keeping with sound biblical interpretation?
New Testament Teaching
No matter what the topic, one should always begin with the Scriptures themselves. What does the Word of God teach?… Continue reading
Our previous blog post (March 2) discussed the purposes for biblical genealogies. Now, please read the genealogy found in 1 Chronicles 1:17–27,
17 The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. And the sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech. 18 Arpachshad fathered Shelah, and Shelah fathered Eber. 19 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg (for in his days the earth was divided), and his brother’s name was Joktan. 20 Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan.
The grace of God sets biblical Christianity apart from all religious systems. It is at the very core of what it means to be a Christian. The grace of God is what makes biblical Christianity different from every other worldview, every other philosophy, and every other way of life. It is what makes biblical Christians, period.
I have long loved the definition of God’s grace that J.I. Packer gives in his classic book, Knowing God. There he writes, “The grace of God is love freely shown towards guilty sinners, contrary to their merit and indeed in defiance of their demerit.… Continue reading
In Leviticus 26:12–13 God declares, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt . . .” (NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. That relationship includes His personal presence (“I will walk among you”). This excludes any detached or aloof relationship. The divine title Immanuel (“God with us”) expresses such a close relationship.
For many Bible readers, biblical covenants seem like legal technicalities couched in ancient stipulations.… Continue reading