One of my favorite New Testament churches is the church at Corinth. They didn’t always get everything right, and they caused Paul a lot of trouble, but when viewed through his apostolic eyes they are rightly seen as a trophy of God’s grace (1 Cor. 1:4-9; 2 Cor. 7:16).
While recently preparing to teach 1 & 2 Corinthians in our Sunday school New Testament survey, I got a little bit carried away in the details of Paul’s interaction with the church there, from his first visit in Acts 18 to his last recorded departure in Acts 20 – and is there ever a load of information to get caught up in!… 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
One of the benefits of getting older consists of gaining perspective, being able to put the past into its proper place in order to better understand the present. Fifty-four years of studying the Bible also has its benefits—primarily in more clearly understanding the continuity that exists between the Old and New Testaments. As I was reading through the Bible this past year, Isaiah 62:5 (“as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you”) called to mind the picture in Revelation 21:2 when John beheld the New Jerusalem descending from heaven “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” The association led me to contemplate God’s own joy with that city—especially with its inhabitants.… Continue reading