1 Peter: Reasons to Rejoice…And Reasons for Trials

“Wait, Peter!” these first readers of his epistle might have been thinking to themselves at this point.  “Aren’t you aware of all the persecutions and hardships we are facing because of our Christianity?”  The apostle acknowledged this.  “…though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials…” (1:6b).  He will elaborate further on what those trials were later in this book, as well as how Christians should respond to them.  For now, notice that he still expects them to rejoice because of all the great blessings with positive eternal ramifications which the Father had and continued to shower upon them…in spite of the trials they were currently experiencing.  The Lord expected the same from His apostles, and He expects the same from us today (John 15:11, 18-25; Phil. 4:4-7).  Are our daily lives filled with joy in spite of whatever hardships life throws at us for these reasons…or are we too focused on the bad to see the eternal good?… Read More 1 Peter: Reasons to Rejoice…And Reasons for Trials

1 Peter: Christians Are Guarded By The Power of God

The apostle now informs his Christian readers that the power of God guards us (1:5a).  This term, also rendered “kept” in some English translations, comes from the Greek term phroureo and is a military term; it refers to being under military guard.  During biblical times, soldiers at the gates of a city would stand at post to either keep the hostile invaders from entering the city or keep the citizens within that city from leaving the protection of its walls and falling into enemy hands.  Our heavenly Father does the same for us through His awesome power.  The gospel is the power God uses to save us (Rom. 1:16), and this same power is used to guard us from Satan. … Read More 1 Peter: Christians Are Guarded By The Power of God

“For I Know Whom I Have Believed”

One of the most beautiful hymns sung in many churches on Sunday’s is David Whittle’s I Know Whom I Have Believed. Whittle’s first verse reads, “I know not why God’ wondrous grace to me He hath made known, nor why, unworthy, Christ in love redeemed me for His own.” It then leads into the chorus, which basically quotes what Paul wrote to Timothy above. Each succeeding verse expresses Whittle’s admitted lack of knowledge or understanding about various facets of God’s plan to save us or how He works in our lives, but each time he brings us back to the chorus and agrees with Paul in saying, “But I know Whom I have believed…”… Read More “For I Know Whom I Have Believed”

Hebrews: They Overcame By Faith

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days” (Hebrews 11:30). Put yourself in Joshua’s shoes and imagine meeting with your military strategists to lay out the plan God gave to you for taking the city of Jericho: Okay guys, we’re going to basically march around the city blowing trumpets for six days, and on the seventh day march around it seven times doing the same thing, and then give a great big yell. Then Jericho’s walls will fall down. I guarantee it” (Joshua 6:1-5). I don’t think General Eisenhower would have approved of this military strategy for D-Day. No, only deep trust in God’s promises would motivate any soldier to go along with this plan.… Read More Hebrews: They Overcame By Faith

Hebrews: Do We Truly Believe That God Means What He Says?

Whether one truly believes that God rewards those who seek him is just as much a foundational building block of the Christian religion as one’s belief in God’s existence. I’ve encountered many professed Christians over the years who, when asked about their faith, claim to believe in God…and yet live lives not much different from those who deny God’s existence and have no motivation to uphold his standards. … Read More Hebrews: Do We Truly Believe That God Means What He Says?