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The Similitudes

The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:1-7:27 (Luke 6:20-49), is the first of 5 major discourses or sermons Jesus gave in the Gospel of Matthew (5:3-7:27; 10:5-42; 13:3-52; 18:3-35; 24:4-25:46). Jesus gave this one while sitting on a mountain in Galilee (5:1) – hence, its name. It is Jesus’ first recorded sermon in Scripture. It contains some of Jesus’ most famous words: “You are the salt of the earth” (5:13); “You are the light of the world” (5:14); “everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (5:28); “whoever slaps…

Portrait of a Believer

Why study the Sermon on the Mount? Matthew 5:1-7:27 is the first of 5 major discourses or sermons Jesus gave in the Gospel of Matthew (5:3-7:27; 10:5-42; 13:3-52; 18:3-35; 24:4-25:46). Jesus gave this one while sitting on a mountain in Galilee (5:1) – hence, its name. It is Jesus’ first recorded sermon in Scripture. That alone makes it worthy of study. This sermon also contains some of Jesus’ most famous words: “You are the salt of the earth” (5:13); “You are the light of the world” (5:14); “everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery…

Israel’s Blinding Pride

Romans 9:24-33 consists mainly of Scriptural proofs. Paul has completed his main arguments in the chapter and is finishing with strong evidences from the Old Testament. There is a quote from the Prophet Hosea in Romans 8:25-26; two quotes from Isaiah in vv. 27-28 and v. 29, and a final quotation (actually, 2 quotes combined in one) from Isaiah in v. 33 (Isaiah 28:16; 8:14). Paul has said many strong things in this chapter, and wants everyone to know that God has provided firm support for his conclusions that have stood for hundreds of years in Holy Scripture. Paul presents…
Romans 9:24-33 consists mainly of Scriptural proofs. Paul has completed his main arguments in the chapter and is finishing with strong evidences from the Old Testament. There is a quote from the Prophet Hosea in Romans 8:25-26; two quotes from Isaiah in vv. 27-28 and v. 29, and a final quotation from Isaiah in v. 33. Paul has said many strong things in this chapter, and wants everyone to know that God has provided firm support for his conclusions that have stood for hundreds of years in Holy Scripture. It is important to remember as one studies Paul’s arguments in…
The Book of Proverbs is thee book on parenting. Parts of Ephesians (6:1-4), Colossians (3:18-21), Titus (2:1-8) and others address parenting. No book addresses it like Proverbs. The first 9 chapters are devoted to this. An often repeated phrase is the direct address to children: ‘my son,’ or ‘my sons’ (1:8, 15; 2:1; 3:1, 21; 4:1, 10, 20; 5:1, 7, 20; 6:1, 20; 7:1, 24; 8:32). From the first exhortation, mom’s teachings are also in view: “hear your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (1:8; 6:20). Proverbs is for every parent. Characteristic of the Book of Proverbs…

The Fact, the Right, the Glory

In Romans 9-11, Paul deals with a very important issue: current Jewish national rejection of the Gospel. To some, this rejection threatens the credibility of the Gospel. If the Gospel is ‘to the Jew first’ (1:16), why have the Jews mostly rejected it? Maybe Paul’s Gospel is wrong! Paul’s Gospel is not wrong. Paul begins to explain in 9:6 that Israel’s historical failure is only apparent. God never intended salvation for the entire nation. Rather, He intended salvation only for a small minority: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is…

Elect Israel - The True Israel

In Romans 9-11, Paul deals with a very important issue: Jewish national rejection of the Gospel. This rejection threatened the credibility of the Gospel. If the Gospel was ‘to the Jew first and then to the Greek’ (1:16), why was the reverse happening? Why were Gentiles accepting the Gospel and Jews mostly rejecting it? If the Gospel was ‘to the Jew first’ but they were mostly rejecting it, maybe it was wrong! Paul’s Gospel was not wrong. His discussion in Romans chapters 9-11 and his many Old Testament quotations, proving that the Scripture had proclaimed these events all along, proved…
Paul was a very intense individual. From the end of Chapter 8 to the beginning of Chapter 9, he plunges from the highest heights to the deepest depths. He goes from: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life . . . nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our LORD” (8:38-39) to “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (9:3). From always being with Christ - to…

The First Lady of Proverbs

Happy Mother’s Day! The Book of Proverbs is thee book on parenting. Parts of Ephesians (6:1-4), Colossians (3:18-21), Titus (2:1-8) and others address parenting. No book addresses it like Proverbs. The first 9 chapters are devoted to this. The most repeated phrase is the direct address to children: ‘my son,’ or ‘my sons’ (1:8, 15; 2:1; 3:1, 21; 4:1, 10, 20; 5:1, 7, 20; 6:1, 20; 7:1, 24; 8:32). From the first exhortation, mom’s teachings are also in view: “hear your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (1:8; 6:20). Proverbs is for every parent. Proverbs also addresses…

'I Am Convinced.'

Paul is convinced. He is fully persuaded. He is sure (8:38). Of what? The great Apostle is sure that a genuine believer cannot lose his salvation – God’s salvation – that a genuine believer can never be lost or separated from the God Who justified him (declared him legally and positively righteous). As he said in chapter 5: “If while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (5:10). Charles Hodge paraphrased it: “If God saved us at our worst, He won’t…
Romans 8:31-39 (the last 9 verses) conclude one of the greatest chapters in the Bible. They provoke thought through a series of questions and provide encouraging affirmations for any Christian who may still doubt whether he is secure in God’s sovereign, eternal, unchanging love through Christ Jesus in the Gospel. These questions (experts disagree exactly how many there are) are rhetorical. Paul does not expect anyone to answer them because he immediately provides the answer to every question he poses. He does expect believers to understand, affirm, take encouragement and glorify God because of the answers. The questions have a…

Guaranteed Glory

Romans 8:28-30 is the high point of Romans chapter 8, one of the greatest in the Bible. These verses focus on the ultimate guarantee that the reborn child of God is forever safe from condemnation and separation from God. Paul has used the word ‘love’ and ‘loved’ only twice previously (5:5, 8), but now uses these words 4 times in the last 12 verses (vv. 28, 35, 37, 39). God’s sovereign, eternal unchanging love for His own as manifested in salvation, is what ultimately guarantees the saved sinner glory. The first of these verses, v. 28, focuses mainly on what…