Many scholars today would argue that the book of Romans – perhaps the apostle Paul’s most weighty and important epistle – was written principally to address the vital issue of mutual acceptance. That is certainly where Paul ‘arrives’ in the […]
We often call ourselves a ‘family of churches’ and although that’s not a Bible phrase it’s one we feel comfortable with. God Himself lives as Trinity, in loving relationship, so we love emphasising that magnificent value of expressing mutual love, affection, and desire for one another’s blessing.
Others had deplored Israel’s spiritual condition and had withdrawn, determined to disassociate from Jerusalem’s moral bankruptcy. The Essenes and Qumran community waited in isolation for better times. Even John the Baptist remained an outsider in the wilderness. In contrast, Jesus […]
It seems strange to record that God tests us to see what is in our hearts, as though He didn’t already know. We read a similar thing in Abraham’s life where God called him to his greatest ever exploit of faith, namely to offer up his promised son as a sacrifice on the altar.
Eugene Peterson, in his famous translation of the Bible, says, ‘Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come to you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours.
The writer to the Hebrews warns us of a great danger in the Christian life, namely that if we don’t enjoy immediate results, we tend to throw in the towel. Or, if we don’t completely abandon the cause, we at least begin to drag our feet, lose our joy and simply go through the motions with no genuine expectation.
Recently when I prayed for a lady in Scotland, she told me that she had endured shoulder and neck pain for 40 years since she was a small child. Through tears and laughter she told me, ‘The pain has completely gone!’ Wonderful!
Paul was in a dilemma. How could he further communicate with the recalcitrant Corinthians? His powerful visit to the town, following the personal encouragement of the Lord Jesus, had resulted in the birth of the church. Jesus had stirred Paul […]
We hate people telling us what to do! Small children withstand their parents, pupils defy their teachers, teenagers disregard the establishment, and the supposedly sophisticated are motivated to accumulate wealth that provides them with the freedom to ‘do their own […]