It is an encouraging and emboldening truth to know that God uses the weak and insignificant people of this world to expand his kingdom. God has uniquely chosen the foolish to shame the wise in this mission to exalt his name. Such is what Paul says to the Corinthians in his first letter to them. It is God’s prerogative to assign the great mandate of the Great Commission to frail, feeble creatures like us. 3rd John speaks to this point excellently, showing both God’s gracious choice of us and our function as his children.
How would you answer the question, “What is the Bible about?” What is its point? Its message? Its overarching story? There are over 30,000 verses and 66 books in the canonical Scriptures, but what are they all saying? Churchgoers ought to know what their Bible says. It only makes sense if the system of belief that defines your entire life is derived from a book that you know what that book says. Such is modern Christianity’s biggest problem: the utter lack of biblical understanding.
In Ephesians 5, the apostle Paul continues his discourse directed to the Ephesian church in which he is describe what their spiritual walk, empowered by grace, should look like. He shifts the conversation of the letter from the Christian’s position to the Christian’s practice. After spending the majority of the early part of the letter expounding the boundless nature of God’s love, Paul begins to speak to their walk as God’s children. Without forgetting this love, then, how does God’s love inform our walk?
Mark 8 is, perhaps, the lynchpin chapter of Mark’s Gospel account. In it, we have the apostle Peter’s confession of The Christ. But it also records for us one of the strangest miracles written down in Scripture. As Jesus heals the blind man from Bethsaida, he was making a specific and significant point to his apostles (and us). Through it, he was revealing who he is and who he is for.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It serves as King David’s magnum opus as he eloquently describes the incredible refuge God’s Word is for him. It isn’t certain what occasion in David’s life inspired these words, but whatever it was it must have been a truly terrifying circumstance to galvanize the kind of resolve on display here to trust in God’s Word alone. But the ending of Psalm 119 is the most telling, the most intriguing part as this glorious psalm seemingly ends with a fizzle.
There’s a fascinating scene that appears at the end of Matthew 19, in which Peter, speaking on behalf of the rest of the apostles, makes the same self-righteous claim that the “rich young ruler” made to Jesus’s face only a few moments prior. It’s this erroneous assertion by Christ’s disciples that leads him to tell, perhaps, the most intriguing and unsettling parable of the kingdom in all of Scripture.
Zechariah 3 commences the fourth vision of the Lord to the prophet Zechariah. The first, second, and third visions having told of the future spiritual restoration of the nation of Israel, give way to the fourth vision, as if to answer the prophet’s inquiry, “How?” How will God accomplish this restoration? How will a righteous God clear the names of the guilty?
John 3 is, perhaps, the most famous chapter in all the Bible. It certainly contains the most famous verse in John 3:16. But the scene in which this verse takes place is often overlooked. The conversation between Jesus of Nazareth and Nicodemus the Pharisee is intriguing in its own right, but what’s most curious is the way their dialogue ends. What happened to Nicodemus after that twilight conversation with Christ?
There are several portions of the Bible, for one reason or another, that stand out from among the rest. These passages are usually ones we would call “pillars of the faith.” Such is what the first ten verses are of Ephesians 2, in which the apostle Paul relays a gloriously grandiose picture of God’s colossal gospel.
At the beginning of Revelation, John is instructed by Christ himself to record his marvelous visions and accompany his writings with specific missives to the “seven churches in Asia.” (Rev. 1:4, 11) What’s clear in each of the seven letters is Jesus’s inexorable determination to stir and to strengthen the faith of his children in each church body. It’s no different in the seventh of these letters to the church at Laodicea, in which the Spirit of God seeks to disrupt their leisurely lives with the urgency and currency of the gospel.