Are we living as strangers and pilgrims, a vital concept for the Christian journey? Throughout the Bible this is the rule, and here are its hardships and its many comforts, together with biblical dos and don’ts, and the resulting spiritual gains and benefits.
Here are the prophecies of Christ, the Branch, and of His ransom for sinners; of the return of the exiles; of the calling out of believers in the Gospel age; of the calling of the Gentiles; of the New Testament ministry, and the regenerate character of the church.
Although almost alone in his stand, Jeremiah obeyed God’s express command in these chapters to make no concession to apostate culture (unlike many evangelicals today). Here also is the source of his strength, his occasions of doubt, meeting with God’s reproof, and his preaching emphasis.
Here we glean the necessity of 1) strong sorrow for the lost, 2) ministering for conviction, 3) humbling ministry, 4) expansive labouring, 5) readiness for trials, 6) closeness to Christ. Precious and powerful verses to challenge and enliven sincere students of the Word.
Why does the prophet appeal to Judah to repent, when he knows they never will? So that God’s heart in the matter will be seen, obstinacy revealed and so that individuals may find the Lord. Here are lines of appeal still to be used today.
The unfaithful wife called back shows God’s patience to rebellious Israel. How much more to true believers who should never delay repentance after waywardness. Compromised Judah prayed to the true God from idol shrines! Reasons why worldly evangelicals forfeit real blessing today.
Modern translators and writer destroy the message of Jeremiah by calling his words charges or accusations against Judah rather than pleadings (KJV). Here is how we are meant to read these pleadings and apply them to ourselves, to derive challenge and comfort.
In 627 BC the long ministry begins. His call is our call – analysing the features, terms and privileges. Jeremiah’s good reluctance, his anointing and level of conviction; the certain outcome of his words (and ours). Are we in the last phase of the age?
The principle that God’s Word gives authoritative, detailed instructions for all spiritual matters, including doctrine, worship and methods, is now being denied by evangelicals who want liberty to innovate. Here are the texts that prove the principle, especially Paul’s passages about a precise pattern for the church.
All the prayers of the book reviewed, long and short, to see how God’s servant prayed; his petitions, anxieties, and arguments up to his final ‘eschatological’ pleas looking forward to the revealing of Christ. All the prayers may be ours, and have the last Great Day in view.
The Lord’s binding commands (in a series of texts)to stand apart from doctrinal unbelief and from sinfully conceived aspects of worldly culture. How in the case of worldly methods “the medium the message”. The result of disobedience, and the place of secondary separation.
The wall is complete, but within a few years the enemy is given quarters in the Temple. Confessions of faith are vital but the enemy may still enter by polluted practices. The entry of the world into the church, and what we should do.
The remnant re-establishing Jerusalem were to enter into formal covenant with God, a type of the sense of obligation and commitment of believers today. Here is the remarkable pattern for true worship and consecration and a list of personal obligations, derived from the chapter.
The order of reform (temple-walls-populating) equals: (1) worship, (2) defining and defending the faith, (3) evangelism. The calamitous reinvention of the church by evangelicals who reject God’s pattern. Also the revival of exposition and reverent worship, and the promotion of true joy in the Lord.
Progress reveals enemies who show friendship but plot to kill, and other subtle attempts to stop the work – applications for today. Here also is a brief survey of the duty of biblical separation, its necessity, and the scope for discretion.
The demoralised state of Judah (because faith failed) compared with the torpidity of our reformed churches in Britain. Lessons from the hostility of enemies to the stirring of Zion, plus weaknesses within and the need for watchfulness by churches and individual believers. Things to be watched.
Introducing Nehemiah; background information, the shocking news of failure from Judah, the diagnosis (‘our fault’), the admirable prayer, the sacrificial decision to go, and the plea to the king. Twelve key applications – qualifications which secured Nehemiah’s ‘call’ to a mission of civic and spiritual recovery
Here is a magnificent 3,500-year-old sermon about humility, providing ten aspects of life in which humility is the central element. How, for example, may a CEO remain humble before the Lord? The prophet endowed with greater meekness than all, apart from Christ, provides the key.
Surely it is the chief concern of truly saved people to keep alive and increase the vital flame of love for God. Here are the deep counsels of Moses on the various essential expressions of love to God which should be our pursuit, with hindrances and helps.
Moses reviews how a generation was set aside by God, and how the Israelites were forbidden to seize three nations, but to bypass them. Here is the stream of ongoing and vital principles that apply to the life of churches and individual believers to this day.
Almost 3500 years ago Moses preached his last sermons to the church of old, and these are preserved for us today in Deuteronomy. Here are the doctrines, comforts, promises and exhortations of the inspired pastor-prophet more quoted by the Saviour than any other.
Girding up the loins of the mind is vital protection from the unprecedented self-indulgence and self-seeking of today’s culture, in which what we want, like and enjoy determines everything. Here is Peter’s exhortation to manage our thoughts and emotions, with inspired encouragements.
Five ways by which the Lord fulfils and completes the moral law, leaving it as the “royal law” and standard of holiness for believers. Here, also are the texts which prove that the 4th commandment (the sabbath principle) is repeatedly affirmed in the New Testament.
Here are many facts about Satan and his demons, what they can and cannot do since Calvary, including their inability to possess people (not deeply involved in occult activity), or to search hearts and read thoughts. Here also is how we are to resist him.
We are meant to see ourselves as people commissioned by God to engage in a noble warfare, sent on our way with strong promises of success. To avoid failure, and to know the nearness of Christ, we must constantly exercise faith and heed conscience, but do we? Here is how we should do so.
Aspects of Paul’s God-given example, including his simplicity, courage (only he could reform the church at Jerusalem!), loyalty to his calling, great feelingfulness, and spirit of sacrifice – body, heart and mind. What an inspiration, challenge and aim is his life, yet speaking across the centuries.
Timothy proves that a third-generation Christian does not have to be third-rate. Here is his background and characteristics, together with the race analogy which kept him in daily prayer and effort. This is the life of ‘focus’ which we all need, young and old.
How do we cope with troubles? Do we put into practice the steps so carefully presented by Paul for finding God’s peace? Here are those five steps for knowing peace even at the eye of the storm, which keeps our reasoning clear, and the Lord in view.
A surprising number of striking helps stand out in the course of the epistle, some designed to jolt us, and others to help motivate us to more conscientious effort. From true confession to steps for keeping the soul, here are ten inspired counsels for the battle against sin.
Compromising Sardis and faithful Philadelphia are here contrasted. Doctrine was right, but the ‘works’ of Sardis were its ruin, doubtless because members accommodated in their lives idolatry. Today the equivalent is worldliness in personal life and in worship. Which church do we resemble?
Given by God, faith suddenly brings to life the realities of the Gospel and we come to Christ. It also has a rational aspect here explained. Then it must be exercised and increased as life goes on, and this famous, inspiring passage shows how we must do this in all circumstances.
A remarkable group of proverbs teach that spiritual joy must be deepened by the individual believer taking the rights steps here enumerated. They also show that joy needs spiritual priorities, restraint over material things, fellowship, control of anger, and worthy not trivial meat for the mind. Here is spiritual happiness!
A single study showing the nature of Christ’s love for His own, which in turn compels, motivates and energises us to love and serve Him. Illustrated by reference to various miracles of Christ, each highlighting a distinctive, precious and heart-warming aspect of His love.
Not blissful happiness or ‘Christian hedonism’, because in a world of sin there are countless griefs and trials, but the lifting up of the inner person. This psalm remarkably conducts us through an agenda for thanksgiving and reflection that greatly strengthens and gladdens the heart.
Communion is described by Paul, not in terms of a mystical sensation, but as the realisation of Christ’s love in our ‘inner lives’. Here we see how His love passes knowledge; how it is a lifelong and eternally-progressive appreciation; how it transforms us; and how it makes us feel.
The last prophet of the OT challenges Jerusalem’s severe spiritual decline, around 425 BC. The trouble lay with insincere ministers, shocking compromise, and sheer lack of commitment. Yet here also are detailed predictions of Christ, of the age of the Gospel, and of the eternal destiny of the faithful.
The first wave of Jews to return from Babylonian exile had stopped building the temple to focus on their own homes. Haggai brings God’s rebuke, revealing how God inhibits the happiness of His erring people, then giving immense encouragement, assurance of preservation, and prophesying Christ’s coming and the Christian era.
Everything in Daniel’s exceptional life and ministry arose from his first test on arrival in Babylon. This, with later tests, and his revelations, maintained him for 70 years at the top of an empire, for the preservation of Zion, and for imparting unique prophecies on historic eras and the last times. Here is biblical faithfulness at its noblest.
What Elisha’s prophets taught – alongside the law, salvation and the psalms of spiritual life, they taught God’s lessons from events, including the miracles of Elijah and Elisha. Here are examples of their sermons from miracles, including the siege of Samaria and its overthrow.
Analysing semi-conversion – Elisha’s servant despite his spiritual advantages fell, and the reasons show pseudo-conversion, its signs, causes and dangers. By contrast the miracle of the floating axe shows a student prophet with marks of grace and dependence on the Lord.
The spiritual meaning behind Elijah’s withdrawal (not desertion!) from Jezebel’s murderous threats, his deep dismay and despondency at the seeming failure of Carmel events to move hardened Israelites, and his pilgrimage to Sinai seeking light. God’s gracious treatment of His faithful prophet, and his new commission.
Ministry at the Tabernacle hardly ever refers to the church’s own labours, but this message sets out vital aims of the seminary (LRBS) in the preparation of preachers and officers for the eight principal spiritual battles of our day. Here are the issues – so often not addressed in seminaries – that are testing and sifting Bible churches today.
David’s census – a lesson for God’s people throughout time about acting only on divine authority. Who inspired it: God or Satan? Why was it so wrong? The ‘normative principle’ of God’s rule over us. The problem of pride and God’s precautions for us. A verse also about heartfelt worship.
The contrast between love and lust seen in Amnon’s rape of Tamar; Jonadab, like Satan, will prove a treacherous friend; Absalom unites charm and murderous cunning; a coup prepared after ’40 years’ – not an error but linking to the public mood that deposed Samuel.
Following comments on the summary of David’s wars (ch 8), the kindness shown to Mephibosheth (ch 9), and the Ammonite war (ch 10), this message focusses on the fall of David into sin, the causes and consequences, applied to God’s people today (ch 11-12).