Attacks of the Devil

The apostle Peter asserts the necessity of restraint and abstention concerning self-indulgence, coupled with watchfulness for temptations. Then he warns of Satan’s constant activity, and gives the roaring, devouring lion analogy, showing the believer’s response, and God’s sovereign purpose.

He Careth For You

In a decisive prayer, burdens are to be passed entirely to the Lord. Here we consider what is and what is not to be passed, and the harm and sin of keeping anxiety. Here is how the help comes, and the tremendous promise of God’s care.

The Clothing of Humility

Beginning with humility in preachers and church officers, Peter calls all to place themselves under them. Exactly what is intended? He then speaks of being ‘clothed’ in humility. We explore the helps and hindrances to advancing in this essential grace for all believers.

Partakers Now of Christ’s Glory

While urging pastors to live humbly as patterns to others, and to be forward to preach and to watch, the apostle speaks of being partakers now – in some measure – in the glory of Christ to be revealed at the end. Here are the glories we taste even now.

Trusting the All-Sufficient God

‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’

Testing and Sifting of Believers

We are not to think that bad treatment of believers is abnormal, says the apostle. It is bound to happen if our lives show Christ and salvation. Here is counsel for tried believers and how assurance is strengthened and God’s promises are gloriously fulfilled.

Five Rules For The Church

In the light of the approaching end, the apostle gives duties to churches: (1) safe-mindedness; (2) watchfulness for prayer; (3) fervent love in the fellowship; (4) the exercise of all talents; (5) the earnestness and authority of preaching and teaching.

The Believer’s Mentality

Peter here brings out the new mentality of believers through conversion, and how they have done with sin and the world, to conduct their precious remaining years to God’s glory. Here is the distinction between today’s worldly evangelicalism and a truly godly lifestyle.

The Sanctifying Power of Hostility

When subjected to unreasonable and hostile acts, we pray. If God does not immediately relieve us, or there is no means of redress provided for us, then endurance is our calling. Here is love for enemies, and the example of the Saviour and of Noah.

The End of the Commandment

‘Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.’

Representing the Lord

To have a high view of Christ, and His divine attributes, in our heart is the greatest spur and personal preparation for making Christ known. Here is the duty of readiness, the manner of witness, and what is meant by giving ‘a reason’.

Magnifying Christ in the Heart

A very striking and unusual exhortation commands our special attention. How do we ‘sanctify’ God in the heart? Is it Christ who is to be hallowed? What is meant by the ‘heart’? Here is the believer’s essential preparation for securing blessing in trials or witness.

Precious Calvary

‘For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?’

The Call to Longsuffering

Seven verses show how God calls His people to tenderheartedness, meekness under provocation, and the promotion of peace. We are also exhorted to love this present life, and hear things we can only do for God’s glory while here on earth.

Features of Christian Marriage

This challenging and informative passage begins with God-given roles, urging conduct and hope for an unbelieving spouse, extolling the beauty of Christ’s character, and showing how the equality of saved husbands and wives (in spirituality, illumination, sanctification and usefulness to God) is consistent with male headship.

Never Out of His Care

This passage shows that the believer’s duty of respect for civil authorities applies also to employers, even the unjust. Our obedience is rewarded by God. When we were called to Christ we saw His patient endurance. It saved us, and called us to be like Him.

Obeying Civil Rulers

God rules all men through civil authorities whether good or bad, but here are circumstances in which believers obey God rather than men. Here are our biblical duties – for the Lord’s sake and glory – including abstaining from any abusive speech toward authorities.

Attacks On The Soul

With words only meaningful to believers, the apostle warns of the desires of the ‘lower’, fallen nature residual in them. Here are the core fleshly lusts and how they may be launched at believers, the need of vigilance and the remedies for their defeat.

Immeasurable Advantages

In five verses, Peter lists six magnificent blessings given to believers to mark them out, and to adorn them as God’s special treasure. Awareness of these is uniquely uplifting and strengthening through all the rigours of life. Here is the happiness and security of our walk.

The Ongoing Faith of a Believer

The inspired apostle shows the way believers should approach God, and how they should think in corporate and individual prayer, to secure a true sense of Him. Our approach should include a full commitment to our role as a ‘holy priesthood’.

I Commend You To God

‘And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.’

The Stages of Sanctification

The apostle’s call for brotherly love depends on sanctification – being made holy. Beginning with the new birth (with treatment of the doctrine of perseverance), this involves our putting off the soiled clothes of named sinful traits, as challenged and moved by the Word of God.

Brotherly Love

Beginning with the work of the Spirit at conversion, the apostle shows the plan of the resurrection in saving faith, then describes purifying of the soul and obedience to the truth, as he builds up to the great exhortation to brotherly love, here explained.

Greatest Motives for Holiness

The first motive is the goal and purpose of our calling- obedience to God and His Word in all aspects of life and behaviour. The second is the purity of God. The third is the eminence of the Redeemer who shed His blood for us.

Joy Should Never Fail

Inexpressible joy is the privileged possession of every believer, a joy distinct from the short-lived pleasure of, say, amazement or humour, or of unexpected kindness, or a gift. Spiritual joy endures alongside trial and grief, but it must be held tightly. Here is how.

The Life of Anticipation

We are, with Peter, born again into an ever-active anticipation (expectation) of a heavenly inheritance. Our duty is to reflect on this, resulting in security and loyalty to Christ. Here also is the testing and refining of faith.

Actively Anticipating Christ the Lord

Introducing 1 Peter with the opening themes, including – why we should love and worship the whole Godhead, the significance of the ‘sprinkling’ of the blood of Jesus Christ, and the fruit of constantly keeping active and alive our anticipation of eternal glory.

The Necessity of Spiritual Power

After the Great Commission (Mark and Matthew) and the personal, pastoral Great Commission (of John) we turn to the commission in Luke and Acts, noting the accelerated education of the apostles, new reliance on the Holy Spirit and primary work of evangelism.

The First and Greatest Duty of Believers

From study of the great commission we turn to Christ’s personal word to Peter and other disciples. Here is the searching question to all who are saved, and its implications for bearing fruit. Our answer determines the kind of service we will render to Him.

Christ Commissions His Own

To Mark’s Gospel we add the promise of the great commission in Matthew, viewing the scope of the Lord’s words to all who uphold His name and message to this hostile world. Here is the essence of the nearness and power of the risen Lord.

The Saving Grace of Repentance

The risen Lord’s command and commission to the disciples (and their successors) refers to their hearers who ‘believe’. Here we show that belief in Christ means dependence upon Him as a Saviour from sin; faith and repentance being inseparable graces. We define true repentance.

The Unbelief of Believers

None of the Lord’s disciples and immediate followers, men or women, expected the resurrection. All lost sight of His teaching of His rising again the third day. Only the hostile chief priests remembered it. Here is why, and what we should learn from it.

While Christ Lay Dead

What provision was made for the Lord at death? Where did His soul go? Are there two departments of Sheol? Did the Lord literally descend into hell? First, we see how Calvary galvanised Joseph of Arimathea, then provide answers (with application) to these questions.

How Christ Appeals to our Hearts

‘Incidental’ events at the cross of Calvary that have momentous significance for the soul, showing how God has made salvation possible, and how this is experienced by all those who turn to Christ and trust in Him.

The Price of Forgiveness

The scene at Christ’s crucifixion, especially the words of onlookers, who showed their guilty rejection of His mighty miracles, their blindness to what was really taking place, and who unwittingly (in their jeers) affirmed the necessity of His atoning work. Also – the dark hours.

Rejecting Christ the Lord

The events of Christ’s three hearings before Pilate, the monumental choice of Barabbas over the Lord, and the Saviour’s humiliation by the imperial guard all show the full depravity of unbelief, and the immeasurable love of God in redemption.

The Training Power of Grace

‘For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’

Securing The Lord’s Blessing

‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.’

The First Trials of Christ

What a scene of dishonesty, hostility and brutality! Christ, the creator of all, the Holy One, put on trial by corrupt sinful people! How far He would go for our redemption! Here also is His proof that Scripture had promised a divine Saviour.

Lessons For Us From Peter’s Denial

Peter’s collapse from bravado to denial was rapid and humiliating. How did fear so quickly overpower him? Here are the five failings that led to his fall, including the failing of love. Here also are the means to keep us from failing today.

Challenges Facing the Churches

‘One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith..’

The God Who Cannot Lie

‘Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began..’

Arresting the Lord of All

When Christ submits to being arrested like a criminal, we see the outcome of ‘nominal’ belief (in Judas), the venom of the Lord’s enemies, the deceitfulness of that shocking night, the reaction of ‘the flesh’ in believers, and a shining example of tenacious faith.

Who Is Wise?

‘Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.’

The Tongue On Trial

‘My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.’

Only Christ Can Prevail

When the disciples were told by the Lord that they would forsake Him, all of them (Peter first) contradicted Him. Yet in Gethsemane Christ bore the crushing foretaste of Calvary unsupported. Self-confidence (with us also) leads to prayerlessness, weakness and failing the Lord.

The First Lord’s Supper

The ‘last supper’ that led to the first Lord’s Supper. Here is how Christ ordained the supper for His people, and the six purposes of the supper, all of which are so greatly strengthening to the church and individual members. The ‘rite’ that shows Christ.

A Woman Who Surpassed The Disciples

Before Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, at a supper at Bethany, Mary, sister of Lazarus, anointed His head and feet with spikenard, to the dismay of the disciples. But her understanding and act of support outstripped theirs, and here is how, and the lessons for us.

Christ Describes the End of the World

As they sat with the Lord on the Mount of Olives overlooking the golden side of the temple, four disciples asked about the end of the world, and He told them about the imminent end of the temple, and also of His own later return.

Being Conformed to Christ

In this passage, the first step for advancing in communion with Christ is a full appreciation of His person. The second is the mortifying of self-love. The third is to see everything we possess as His, entrusted to us for godly management.

The Lord Answers Hostile Questions

During the Lord’s final week, He answered a series of hostile questions. His answers are often seen as remarkable ‘tactical’ ways of confounding His critics, but they were, in fact, completely relevant to the questions, leaving principles for all ages.

Christ’s Person, Manner and Power

Christ’s last days on earth show His divine nature, redeeming purpose and power to end the Jewish era and bring in the Gospel age. He also teaches the crucial elements of true worship, and the way to experience God’s power in fruitfulness.

Ambition in Believers

Beginning the final journey to Jerusalem, where He would die at Calvary, Christ spoke of His death and resurrection. Then James and John revealed their earthly ambitions. The snare of pride in God’s people, how it is stimulated, its consequences and its curbs.

Christ on Marriage and Divorce

What it means for husbands and wives to ‘cleave’ to each other – listing the aspects of responsibility that honour God and cement the marriage union. The tragedy of divorce and its causes. Also the real nature of headship, contrary to today’s common idea.

While We Wait

‘And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.’

Christ’s Conditions of Service

The Lord calls His disciples to live modestly, without substance and eminence, and requires humility and approachability. He prepares them for the founding of autonomous churches, and commands them to give up any activity, pursuit or desire that spoils spiritual life and service.

Lessons from the Transfiguration

First we review seven purposes of the transfiguration; secondly, we ask how three disciples merited such privileged communion, setting an example to us; thirdly, we define the ‘secrets’ of the kingdom. Finally we find the special key in the transfiguration to Old Testament prophecy.

Lordship Salvation or Not?

The Lord’s call to denial of ourselves and cross bearing has been used to teach salvation by works. It has also been used to insist on embracing His Lordship as a condition of salvation. Should it be added to repentance and faith? We answer from the Word.

Stages of Conversion to God

Conversion begins with regeneration, an instantaneous, invisible act of God in the soul imparting life, and immediately beginning to illuminate the mind, move the heart and incline the will. This proceeded in bursts in the disciples. Here is the Lord’s own illustration of this.

The Roots of Unbelief

Beginning with lessons from the Lord’s feeding of the 4,000, the Jewish leaders attempt to discredit Him. Here is why they would obtain no sign. Here also are their doctrines, why they should be avoided (with their modern equivalents) and how Christ is Himself the greatest sign.

What is Saving Faith?

The Lord delayed His healing of the Syrophenician’s daughter to bring out her faith. A seeker may have to wait for salvation. Sometimes it is defective repentance; sometimes faith is not set on the right object – Christ and His work and compassion. Here is help from a notable case.

Receive the Word

‘Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.’

Seeing into the Heart

In rejecting extra-biblical customs of Jewish tradition the Lord was not freeing believers to live as they liked but calling for genuine holiness rather than ceremonial cleansing. Here is His searching review of the state of the unforgiven human heart.

Having Spiritual Reality

Crossing the Sea of Galilee at night against the storm, the disciples are ‘seen’ by Christ from miles away. He comes to them walking on the water. Why does He demonstrate His divinity this way? Here are six lessons for all believers and for seekers.

The Supreme Teaching-Miracle

Miracles authenticated Christ and illustrate the way He heals and gives life to the soul. We learn of His compassion, and of His test of faith for the disciples. Then the eight purposes of the miracle, all showing Christ and how He should be proclaimed.

Natural and Spiritual Convictions

This history of Herod Antipas and his imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist tells of the conscience, both its power and weaknesses. Here are lessons for believers and seekers from Herod, Herodias and ‘Salome’, far richer than the dramas from successful Hollywood screenwriters.

The Sending of the Twelve

Early in their training by the Lord the disciples are sent on their first preaching mission. They were ‘apostles’, a special office for the first phase of the church, but their terms of service apply in principle to all believers, and especially preachers.

Access to God

We trace, via the raising of a girl to life, stages in receiving the gift of salvation. First, recognition of Christ; second, the birth of faith; third, surmounting setbacks; fourth, sincerity; fifth, the vital filter of faith; sixth, how Christ acts; seventh, immediate life.

Healing The Haemorrhage

A woman’s struggle for healing illustrates our quest for spiritual life. Do we search? Her ‘touch’ expresses faith, of itself powerless, yet seeking life. Her faith made her ‘whole’, but the Greek says it ‘saved’ her. Here also is the message of the miracle to believers.

The Legion of Demons

The unique casting out of demons miracle once debated publicly over months by Gladstone (Prime Minister) and Huxley (‘Darwin’s bulldog’). First: the event reviewed; secondly: the Gospel it portrays, especially the three pleas of mankind; and thirdly: its counsel for believers on avoiding backsliding.

Sowing Divine Seed

Christ begins with an evangelistic commission for all believers. Why do we fail in this? Rewards are promised in this life. Then a parable shows our part and God’s, in witness. Finally comes the quelling of the tempest, the encouragement of faith for the work.

To The Glory Of God Alone

‘Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.’

A New Beginning

A new beginning for a new year from the parable of the sower. Why the Lord used parables. The universal tender of salvation vital. The various states of heart of hearers, with counsel to the unsaved and to believers.

The Crown of Life

‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.’

Christ Prepares His Church

The call of the disciples, their unique role, and the care and patience of Christ in their training. Then the preparation of the church for extreme and persistent opposition, the reasons why demons were cast out, the unpardonable sin, and the supreme mark of true conversion.

Withered Affections

Christ was indignant and grieved at the scribes’ hardness of heart, and here is why. We also see what gives believers times of coldness, and show the remedies. The healing of a man’s withered hand illustrates the way saving faith operates to bring conversion.

Lord of the Sabbath

Here are the purposes of the sabbath, the additional purpose after deliverance from Egypt, and the even greater purpose after the resurrection of Christ. Here also is the error of rejecting the fourth commandment today, and how Christ is the Lord of the sabbath.

The Mind of Christ

First – what Christ saw in Matthew; second – Christ viewed as the Physician; third – why the disciples did not fast; fourth – the patching of the old garment and the new wine into old bottles: the distinctiveness of the testaments, and the necessity of total conversion for seekers.

Model Conversions

The first recorded healing of a leper by Christ and how it illustrates conversion, together with the healing of a paralysed man of Capernaum and its parallels with salvation. More than a demonstration of power, here is the call of Christ in miracles.

Christ’s Purpose Displayed

We begin with Capernaum – a city of spiritually dead though religious Jews, and a significant healing in the synagogue. Then we give seven proofs that Christ’s healing miracles pictured His spiritual healing of souls. Then two special miracles and the message of salvation to us today.

Godliness

‘For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.’

The Unique Call of Christ

Tracking the first months of the Lord’s ministry, including the three successive calls of the first disciples: 1) the elements of the call; 2) the work to which they were called; and 3) their phased response to the point of full yielding to Christ.

The Necessity of Love

These closing verses breathe the love and deep concern of the apostle to his readers, and here also is the warmth, commitment, hospitality and ‘addiction’ to the cause of Christ that make a church a place of zeal, light, holiness and happiness.

Principles for Believers

A number of practical instructions reveal ongoing ‘rules’ of conduct for believers and churches, including aims to pursue in living for the Lord and responsibilities that rest upon us for the defense of the faith and the work of the Gospel.

Indebtedness Our Motivation

Indebtedness to the Lord is the engine of real commitment, and the exhortation to serve Christ Jesus in this verse relies on an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Here are the duties we owe to God. Whoever is not moved to respond is possibly not saved at all.

Rescued by a Ransom

‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’

Resurrection Wonders

So much is here about our transformation to resurrection bodies at the coming of Christ. The bodies that have the likeness of animal life will be adapted to the physical yet heavenly realm of the new heaven and new earth. How? When? Paul tells all.

Uniqueness of Christ’s Resurrection

Six things unique in world history to the Gospel. The prominent public witness of the resurrection. Its purpose in human history. God’s plan and order for salvation, and the judgement at the return of Christ. Here is the message and meaning of Paul’s resurrection teaching.

Christ’s Substitutionary Atonement

Paul speaks of Christ as our substitute and sin-bearer. Here are some of the prophecies he refers to about the atonement. Here also are texts from the Gospels and Apostles that show crucial aspects of Christ’s redeeming work, these being the basis of our love for Him.

The Guidance of God

‘And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.’

Remember Lot the Righteous

‘..and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations..’

God’s Rules for Tongues and Worship

Reading these God-given rules and limitations of the ministry of prophets and tongues speakers we see the enormous gulf between what really happened in the formation stage of the church and what charismatics do today. The path of obedience is the true path of blessing.

Seeking The Face Of The Lord

‘When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.’ Full chapter _____________ Psalm 27 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies … Continued

The Supremacy of Love

Love must be the driving virtue and motive of all that is done for Christ, insists the inspired apostle. Then he shows how it acts and reacts in all circumstances concluding with the reasons for its supremacy over all the gifts and graces.

The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts

Paul speaks of the revelatory and sign gifts given while the New Testament was being delivered. These were never for individual benefit, but for the whole body. Here they are reviewed , along with the famous analogy showing the mutual dependence and care of believers.

How Worship Gets Corrupted

‘And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.’ Full chapter _____________ Acts 20 In the seventeenth year of Pekah … Continued

Paul’s Request for Prayer

‘Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.’ Full chapter _____________ 2 Thessalonians 3 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And … Continued

Eternal Glory

‘While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ Full chapter _____________ 2 Corinthians 4 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; … Continued

The Necessity of the Lord’s Supper

Corinth had combined a fellowship meal with the Lord’s Supper, but Paul firmly separates them. The Supper is presented as a spiritual banquet, distinct, and calling for deep earnestness. Here are the symbols and what it signifies to ingest them. Here is the Covenant of Grace. You can look at the different epistles in the … Continued

Sowing & Reaping

‘Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.’ Full chapter _____________ Galatians 6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s … Continued

God’s Order for Men and Women

Paul answers the question on the roles of husbands and wives and affirms conformity to the dress code of head coverings in Greek society at that time. With Calvin and major confessions we show that the ‘message’ of clothing may change in other ages and lands. You can look at the different epistles in the … Continued

Remedies for Temptation

Three factors are given by Paul for countering temptations. First, the necessity of watchfulness – how temptations come and how to prime the heart; secondly, the rule for resisting temptations; thirdly, the power of the Lord’s Supper to shame away sin and strengthen our resolve. You can look at the different epistles in the New … Continued

Profiting from Chastisement

Full chapter _____________ Hebrews 12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of … Continued

Discerning the Biblical Message

Exodus Israelites included believers and witnessed miraculous deliverances and provisions, yet they fell into various sins. Their actions and God’s responses are a pattern for later ages. It is not allegorising to draw these intended lessons (here reviewed) for avoiding sin.

Self-Preparation for Service

Paul makes himself all things to all men. Here is the wrong (common today) and the right sense of his words. Then we draw applications from Paul’s ‘focused athlete’ illustration, and his profound conception of the body as a servant of the mind. You can look at the different epistles in the New Testament and … Continued

Motives and Sincerity

Paul proves his apostleship – here are the unique tasks and qualifications of apostles as the church’s foundation. Paul was motivated by his commission for God, by a desire to reach souls (at great personal cost), and by the great joy of seeing a harvest. You can look at the different epistles in the New … Continued

The Believer’s Pride Battle

Knowledge is both vital and excellent, but it can so easily inflate pride and vainglory. The apostle names three graces (unfolded here) that deflate pride and make knowledge a source of blessing for the church. You can look at the different epistles in the New Testament and identify a particular doctrine, warning, correction, or encouragement … Continued

Christ’s Servants Never Bound

A passage about situations that disadvantage believers and the right way to approach them, beginning with slavery or any other onerous position in life that traps us. Then Paul speaks to both unmarried and married believers. Here are powerful encouragements of priorities for all. You can look at the different epistles in the New Testament … Continued

The Marriage Bond

The abiding bond of marriage is established with its ‘debt’ of love, care and pleasure, and its concept of headship blended with partnership. Also explained is Paul’s divinely inspired marriage teaching (often contested), the circumstances of divorce, and how the Lord is proved in marriage. You can look at the different epistles in the New … Continued

The ‘Freedom’ Heresy

A heresy that has swept into evangelical churches everywhere is the notion that Christian liberty frees Christians from all rule-keeping and avoidance of worldly pursuits. Here are Paul’s answers to such claims, and his powerful remedy for the avoidance of immorality. You can look at the different epistles in the New Testament and identify a … Continued

A Ministry of Restoration

‘Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.’ Full chapter _____________ Galatians 6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of … Continued

Purity and Happiness of the Church

The Corinthian church was proud when it should have grieved deeply at the polluted state of the ‘body’ through toleration of incest. Here is the pattern of discipline, also the potential spread of sin, and positively, the true church’s continuous ‘feast’ of joy.

Restoring Spiritual Power

Preachers at Corinth had thrown aside apostolic authority and failed to address many vital matters (listed here). Paul gives a binding command to follow the ‘pattern church’ of the scriptures, so neglected today. A full and faithful ministry will be given converting and edifying power. You can look at the different epistles in the New … Continued

Duties and Lives of Preachers

How to assess and regard preachers – here are the apostle’s standards. The problem of cliques, their causes and cure; also the simple, reasonable lifestyle of God’s servants demanded by the apostolic example, and the contrast seen today in ‘celebrity’ preachers. You can look at the different epistles in the New Testament and identify a … Continued

Spiritual Building

Paul turns to church growth, warning that believers’ hearts may be largely recaptured by the flesh. Soulwinning is God’s work and we must take care how we build. Here are applications; with the case of those who will lose a reward, yet be saved ‘as by fire’.  You can look at the different epistles in … Continued

Things Only Believers See

The apostle impresses upon us the spiritual blindness of our unconverted state to the wonders revealed in the Gospel, including future glories (described here). Here also is the meaning of ‘comparing spiritual things with spiritual,’ judging all things and living the mind of Christ. You can look at the different epistles in the New Testament … Continued

Never Eclipse the Spirit

Paul’s chief rule for preaching (and witness) is frequently lost, leading to the withdrawal of the Spirit. Here is the apostle’s golden rule. Here also is why the Gospel is called ‘a mystery’, together with the riches of the ‘eye hath not seen’ passage. You can look at the different epistles in the New Testament … Continued

God Overturns Society

This passage begins with man’s blindness to the things of God, proving that divine power alone can awaken lost souls. Indeed, God calls the humble to bring light and life to the wise and lofty to demonstrate that all glory is due to Him. You can look at the different epistles in the New Testament … Continued

The True Source of Power

For the Gospel to be credible, (so the Corinthians taught), we need conspicuous personalities or preachers. Here Paul proclaims the true source of spiritual power, the preaching of the cross of Christ, and why it is foolishness to the perishing and power to the saved. You can look at the different epistles in the New … Continued

A Manual for the Godly Life

This first study of a new series explores the great themes of the opening verses – the credentials of a preacher, the definition of a church, grace as the basis of all blessing, the features of conversion, and the wonders of partnership with Christ. You can look at the different epistles in the New Testament … Continued

Persevering in the Christian Life

Full chapter _____________ Hebrews 12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of … Continued

Christian Certainty

Should believers suffer many doubts and fears? Here is a sure footing for assurance – firstly what the Word does for us: its explanations and convicting power. Secondly, the approachability of Christ and His constant provision of needed help. Doubts cannot persist when God speaks and answers. Full chapter _____________ Hebrews 4 Let us therefore … Continued

Good Tidings of Great Joy

Full chapter _____________ Luke 2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph … Continued

The Believer’s Strong Tower

Full chapter _____________ Proverbs 18 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach. The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and … Continued

The Believer’s Good Works

The apostle commands subjection to ruling authorities and forbids slander of them or others. He reviews our past lives, and gives a 14 point overview of God’s mighty work within us, moving us to work for the salvation of others. Full chapter _____________ Titus 3 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and … Continued

God’s Training of Believers

A seemingly unusual but crucial concept given by Paul in this passage is that grace disciplines and trains. Here is how, with the apostle’s remarkable summary of the believer’s aim and objectives in this present world, as they look eagerly for the Lord’s return. Full chapter _____________ Titus 2 But speak thou the things which … Continued

Ask, Seek, Knock

Full chapter _____________ Matthew 7 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in … Continued

An Apostle’s Concept of Ministry

Paul’s dependence on the prayers of believers comes first, especially for openness and plainness of speech – and this is what this should mean for today. Here also are the vital components of biblical ministry, and the stirring concept of an ambassador in bonds. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

Praying in the Spirit

Explaining the words Paul uses in his great ‘armour of God’ exhortations to pray, words such as ‘always – supplications – watching thereunto – perseverance’ and particularly ‘in the Spirit’. Here is what he does not mean, and what he does mean by this most remarkable term.

The Sword of the Spirit

In the soldier image the sword of the Spirit represents the Gospel work of the church. Here is the penetrating, searching, persuasive power of the Gospel as proclaimed by the apostles. A church or believer not proclaiming salvation is a soldier without the sword. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

The Helmet of Salvation

The helmet is the hope or anticipation of final salvation, when Heaven’s glory dawns on the soul and we see Christ – the greatest possible incentive to serving Him. Here is the Lord’s emphasis on eternal life, and the believer’s experience of death. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of … Continued

The Shield of Faith

Why is faith described as a shield? What are the fiery darts? Here is the centrality of faith in the Christian life, how it is tested in our earthly journey, how the shield is taken up, and the gracious accomplishments of faith. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of the … Continued

The Christian’s Great Purpose

The third component of the Christian armour, the footwear, portrays us on the march for Gospel witness. It is readiness for Gospel work. Here are seven essential parts of readiness, and the means provided by God for these to remain present in the heart. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

The Breastplate of Righteousness

The apostle shows how righteousness acts to be protective of the heart or affections in a saved person – a large target of the devil. Here is how self-denial, love for Christ and obedience to the commandments garrison the heart from pollution and shame. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

The Belt of Truth

The foundational piece of the Christian’s armour is firstly objective truth – the unchanging doctrines of the faith. (The sword, later, is Scripture used ‘offensively’ to make Christ known). Secondly, the belt is also subjective truth, truthfulness and sincerity for which here are helpful rules. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning … Continued

Be Strong in the Lord

The introductory passage to the magnificent description of the Christian ‘armour’ – all that is needed in the spiritual warfare to defend against the wiles of the devil and to preserve and enhance instrumentality for the Lord. Each item is a wonder of grace and effectiveness. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the … Continued

Mutual Ministry and Worship

Beginning with the duty of conversation, admonition and encouragement between believers the apostle moves to the blessing of singing psalms plus hymns and spiritual songs (here defined), the elements of true worship (public and personal) and the importance of melody of the heart. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of … Continued

Filled with The Spirit

Charismatic thinking mistakenly sees similarities between the effects of alcohol and the filling of the Spirit. This verse describes tremendous differences between them. Here are the details of Spirit-filling together with the fruit and the means of obtaining this filling. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of the New Testament. … Continued

Facing Struggles in the Faith

Full chapter _____________ Luke 17 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little … Continued

The Duty and Blessing of Attending God’s House

Full chapter _____________ Psalms 100-101 Psalm 100 – A Psalm of praise.  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his … Continued

Walking In and For Light

In a marvellous overview of the Christian’s walk and duties, the apostle shows how they should demonstrate the light of Christ in new life; how they should channel the message of light, and how they may enlighten their surroundings or new posting in this fallen world. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the … Continued

Kindness, Cleanness and Substance

The duty and treasure of kindness toward God’s people, its impediments contrasted with the great motive – the full readiness of the nature of Christ’s love to us, and how He yielded Himself up for eternity. Also the necessity of cleanness, and the pitfalls of jesting.  Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the … Continued

The Waters of the River of Life

Full chapter _____________ Ezekiel 47 Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the … Continued

The Nearness of the Spirit

The apostle’s appeal never to grieve the Holy Spirit. Here are the sins that do, causing Him to withdraw from (but never leave) us. Here also is what the sealing of the Spirit means for us, and the folly of undervaluing His grace. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of … Continued

‘Formative’ Sins

Formative in the sense that in addition to being deeply offensive to God, they form deep roots in the character, promoting other sins and shaping the whole person, whereas new opposite virtues (performed by the Lord’s help) lead to lifelong blessing and usefulness. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of … Continued

Serious Examination: Is it I?

Full chapter _____________ Matthew 27 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the … Continued

The New Person

First, an analysis of the sad state of the unsaved heart. Then two levels of transformation: (1) conversion, where putting off the old and putting on the new life is God’s work, and (2) details of sanctification, where believers are empowered to act by God. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning … Continued

The Riches of Truth

The apostle lays down the vital role of the entire congregation functioning together in evangelism and sanctification. The chief agent of this is ‘the truth’. Here we seek to appreciate more fully the privileges and power of the faith entrusted to us. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of the … Continued

Think on These Things

Full chapter _____________ Philippians 4 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with … Continued

Resolving Identity Crisis

Full chapter _____________ Galatians 3 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? … Continued

Spiritual Growth

Unity defined, not as membership of an organisation, but as a bond between those in union with Christ and bearing His likeness. Then, the opposition believers will know and the answer of holy living. Lastly: service and loyalty to the body, the local church. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

The Purpose of Pastors

The apostle first shows that the ministry of Christ’s church is described in prophecy. He then identifies the different kinds of teacher by their tasks (expounded here), and states the great objectives of all ministry – soul-winning, sanctification, and closeness to Christ. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of the … Continued

The Unity of the Spirit

Beginning with prerequisites for Christian fellowship, Paul presents seven reasons for close union within churches, each a powerful encouragement. What it means to be one body, under one Holy Spirit, with one eternal hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one Father. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of … Continued

The Christian’s Calling

First, the nature of God’s calling – irresistible and transformational, also the basis of assurance; second, the objective of the call – pardon, liberty, holiness and heaven; third, the character of the called – lowliness, meekness, patience, and forbearance among believers and before the world. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning … Continued

A Life With an Aim

Full chapter _____________ 2 Corinthians 5 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so … Continued

God Glorified in the Church

The true church is a demonstration to the world of God’s glory. Human nature prefers to vaunt personalities, preachers, even musicians and their produce, but our God-given role is to show the fruits of the converting and sanctifying work within us.  Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of the New … Continued

The Christian’s Daily Need

The apostle prays that believers will have Christ in their hearts (here explained), and rooted and grounded in love for Him, we will know more of His for us. Here is the scope of the breadth, length, depth and height of that love. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of … Continued

The Curse, the Cross, and the Cure

Full chapter _____________ Galatians 3 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? … Continued

The Mystery of the Gospel

Paul’s special calling to unfold to the Gentile world the hitherto unproclaimed grace of God, person of Christ, and oneness of saved Gentiles with saved Jews in one body. Here also are the unsearchable riches of Christ, and the ultimate purpose of the Gospel. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

Keeping Alive the Spirit

In the building of a spiritual family the work of the Holy Spirit is the vital power. Here several Holy Spirit verses in Ephesians are explored (including ‘Be filled with the Spirit’) to show the different activities of the Spirit in the Christian life. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

Disciples at the Empty Tomb

John was the first disciple to grasp the reality of the resurrection and realise that the Lord ‘must’ rise again from the dead. Here are the reasons why it was essential and inevitable, together with the great assurances it brings into Christian lives. Full chapter _____________ John 20 The first day of the week cometh … Continued

Analogies of the Church

Having shown that God has brought saved Jews and Gentiles into one church, Paul presents the church’s character. First, her citizenship and privileges, secondly, her family ties, thirdly her doctrinal foundation, fourthly, her unworldly saved beauty, and her sensitivity to the Spirit. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles of the … Continued

Philip – a pattern for soul winning

Full chapter _____________ Acts 8 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judæa and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great … Continued

All Things New

The sense in which conversion is a new creation – God’s distinctive workmanship – and the implications for our daily walk. Also, the duties of remembering our origins; rightly esteeming the blood of Christ; and the uniting of saved Jews and Gentiles in the church. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning … Continued

How Much We Owe

This inspired review of Christian experience begins with the characteristics of spiritual death and the rule of the prince of the power of the air. Then we learn the extent of God’s love in both initiating and accomplishing conversion, with the goal of eternal life. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning … Continued

The Assurance of Power

The fifth great theme of Ephesians calls us to consider God’s mighty power in our salvation and sanctification. To reflect on this gives a great surge of assurance, building our certainty and faith for the final stage of redemption – entry into eternal glory. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

The Intense Knowing of God

Paul desires that his readers gain wisdom to grasp the spiritual purpose in passages of Scripture – something opposed by many preachers today. Here are the proofs for true personal study and use of God’s Word, with examples of the process given elsewhere by Paul. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning … Continued

Our Ultimate Purpose

In five verses the apostle looks to the eternal Heavenly glory awaiting the elect: first the end-time gathering, second their inheritance, third the choir, and fourth the seal or ‘down-payment’ of the Spirit received even now, with its ten (at least) marvellous, amazing components. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

Adoption into God’s Family

The adoption of spiritual children is rooted in the longing of God before time began. It brings the redeemed into the eternal family of love, clothed with privileges and an inheritance secured by the most costly process imaginable. Here the apostle reveals its wonders. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

The Wonder of Electing Love

The apostle gives glory to the Triune God, source of all spiritual blessings, given according to His sovereign election of souls. Here we answer doubts about election, whether it is fair, whether it undermines or strengthens evangelism, and how it should inspire Christian living. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of the crowning epistles … Continued

Tychicus and Aristarchus

Paul’s commendations of his fellow-preachers and helpers in Rome show the standard for all believers, especially ministers. Here are the terms he uses, with their full meaning and challenges. Plus a glimpse of Archippus and his possible ‘hindrance’, with its common equivalents today. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern Turkey). It … Continued

Christ’s Representatives

Two verses that commend walking in wisdom toward unbelievers, redeeming or buying up the time, and gracious speech. Here is what the apostle meant by these challenging terms, with counsel for daily conduct and witness to the dying souls to whom we are assigned. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern Turkey). … Continued

Praying and Persuading

A call to the two continuous commitments of the Christian life – first to persistent prayer (the impediments, the helps, and the branches of prayer); secondly to pray specifically for preachers. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern Turkey). It was pagan, and it was proud. But it was also a city … Continued

Paul’s Dedication Formula

The perfect text for the new year, providing its own natural headings, challenging believers to live every moment of life under the direction of Christ, to do all for His glory and for Him, and to be thankful for everything day by day. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern Turkey). It … Continued

The Right Hand of Fellowship

Full chapter _____________ Galatians 2 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should … Continued

Indwelling Grace of Believers

Paul presents four tremendous graces given to believers to exercise and keep in view constantly, lifelong – the doctrine of salvation, the gift of wisdom (here explained), the practice of melody in the heart through psalms and hymns, and a strong awareness of representing Christ. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern … Continued

Progressive Renewal

Once saved, the Christian has the infallible help of the Spirit to lay aside the impulses of the old nature, including covetousness, the five distinct forms of anger, and lying.  Progressive renewal also brings rich shafts of knowledge which provide the believer’s blessed assurance. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern Turkey). … Continued

The Child of God – Dead and Dying

Explaining how believers are dead, yet commanded to put to death sin. Here is the offensiveness of impurity, the apostle showing how it invades the mind (uncleanness), the heart (inordinate affection or passion) and the will (evil concupiscence or evil longing). Remedies for mortification. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern Turkey). … Continued

Seeking Things Above

After dismissing the fleshly rites that heretics had begun to introduce to the church, Paul points to the ‘heavenly life’ and growing the graces that will be perfected in glory – deep feeling, kindness, lowliness, a servant spirit, generous love and grateful contentment. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern Turkey). It … Continued

Conquest of the Soul

The Judaisers have tried to persuade Colossians to adopt Jewish ordinances. Paul shows they have a vastly superior circumcision of heart. The old nature is dethroned and a new installed. But old sins may re-emerge without these named precautions. Here is Paul’s imagery of conquest. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern … Continued

Antidotes to Backsliding

Beginning with the ferocity of the forces of error surrounding believers (here are examples) Paul identifies first the need for deep appreciation of the doctrine of Christ, secondly church order and firmness, thirdly a sense of amazement at Calvary, as our key defences. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern Turkey). It … Continued

Authentic Evangelism

Five verses draw together essential elements of all witness. Here is how Paul came to rejoice in the troubles of a proclaimer. Here also is his deep sense of responsibility for the Gospel, his estimation of Christ’s priceless value, and his manner of persuading souls. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern … Continued

The Height and Depth of Salvation

In showing aspects of reconciliation the apostle extols the scope of Christ’s redemptive work (including securing the external obedience of the angelic host), then the depth of our alienation, then the height of our elevation, and finally the sure sign of redemption. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern Turkey). It was … Continued

The Greatness of Christ

Following aspects of the atonement, Paul turns to the magnificence of Christ, 1) His significance as image of the Father, 2). as forerunner and Creator of all, 3) as sovereign Head of the Church, and 4) as ‘all fulness’ – in which we may participate. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern … Continued

Fruits of Calvary

Three verses that present four distinctive aspects of the eternal accomplishments of Christ on Calvary, 1) our personal crucifixion with Him, 2) our deliverance from Satan’s power, 3) our redemption and transfer into the kingdom, and 4) our purifying.  So great was the price paid! Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern … Continued

The Whole Life of a Believer

In these verses Paul urges greater knowledge, not only of doctrine, but of God’s ways, how He deals with us, and the lot of believers. Here we also learn about applying the Word, our aims in behaviour, and the power to obey and please God. Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern … Continued

The New Life

Beginning an epistle of essential doctrines, objectives, conduct and spiritual joys in the converted life, Paul defines and extols five aspects of this new life: faith in Christ, love for the saints, anticipation of glory, assurance, and love in the Spirit.  Do we have these? Colossae was an ancient city in Phrygia (part of modern … Continued

Christ Enduring The Cross

The pre-eminence of Christ who condescended to be our scapegoat and Saviour. The accomplishments He foresaw. What He endured on Calvary’s cross, and how He maintained obedient faith through the deepest conceivable valley of death. All the lovingkindness of the Lord in one verse. Full chapter _____________ Hebrews 12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed … Continued

The Presence of God

Paul’s closing counsels set before us the duties of Christian cheerfulness, keeping spiritual perspective and faith alive, being of one mind as a church family and maintaining harmony.  Here are the steps to be taken, and the great reward of God’s presence in our midst. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most … Continued

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ

Full chapter _____________ Romans 13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror … Continued

Testing Ourselves for Faith

First, the problem when believers reform their behaviour but without any depth of repentance. Here is vital counsel. Then Paul tells us that if Christ is in us, it is fairly plain to see. Here are the signs of His dwelling in true believers. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical … Continued

Strength for Servants

The apostle discloses how he experienced in mysterious manner entry into paradise, to prepare him for all rigours he must endure.  He speaks also of the affliction given him to maintain humility, and to show him and us that every achievement is the Lord’s doing. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most … Continued

Why Paul Suffered

Paul’s labours and sufferings 1) added to his authentication 2) revealed his love for Christ and souls 3) showed his human limitations 4) preserved his humility 5) equipped him to comfort others 6) exposed human hostility 7) deepened desire for glory 8) set standards for consecration. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the … Continued

The Person and Work of Christ

Full chapter _____________ Revelation 1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, … Continued

The God of All Grace

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 5 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but … Continued

The Fall and Rise of an Apostle

The harrowing list of pains, pressures and trials, endured by Paul as a continuous authentication of his ministry as an apostle, starts at Damascus, with his ignominious escape. Here is the first of the purposes of Paul’s many sufferings and how it applies to us.

The Life of Paul

Paul speaks reluctantly of his life and work to defend his standing, so attacked by heretics.  Here is his level of commitment, contention for the truth, and faithfulness through labours, privation and persecutions.  Is our commitment diluted by the affluence, comfort and self-care of our age? Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the … Continued

Defending the Church

How superficial the Corinthians were in letting false teachers get in!  They only had to claim to be Christian preachers and no questions were asked.  When good people lay aside discernment the result is Satanic conquest.  A similar war faces sound churches today. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical of … Continued

The Battle for the Mind

Beginning with Paul’s apostolic authority, this passage presents his reliance on God’s power rather than human schemes, showing how strongholds of human thought void of biblical foundation may be thrown down by the truth.  Here also is the need for true submission to Christ. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical … Continued

Gifts: Sowing and Reaping

The apostle’s instructions for giving have often been found surprising, being chiefly spiritual matters.  The priority of the Gospel is emphasised even in relief offerings, and a precious list of aims and attitudes is given, bringing a reward of spiritual not fleshly enrichment. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical of all Paul’s … Continued

The Graces of the Christian

Six graces are listed: faith (conviction), witness, knowledge, diligence (earnestness), love for the cause and stewardship.  Then follow seven aspects of such graces that challenge the heart and show the spirit in which they are exercised.  This passage uniquely defines dedicated spiritual living. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical of … Continued

The Mind of Christ

This message marks a break in the 2 Corinthians series to reflect on the redeeming work of Christ, surveying the statements throughout His earthly ministry predicting the details of Calvary and the resurrection – the goal and triumph of His immeasurable love for His own. Full chapter _____________ Matthew 12 At that time Jesus went … Continued

The Essentials to Instrumentality

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 5 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but … Continued

How Believers Repent

Believers may, like those of Corinth, make serious mistakes and need to repent and reform.  Here the apostle chronicles the Corinthian readiness to change, highlighting seven distinct components of a believer’s repentance, so that restoration to full blessing and fruitfulness may be experienced. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical of … Continued

The Unequal Yoke

Fellowship with false teachers nearly ruined the Corinthian church, leading to this passage on the utter incompatibility of believers being united with unbelievers (as churches or as individuals entering into marriage).  Here are God’s reasons, and the command to stand apart from apostate churches or denominations. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the … Continued

The Example of a True Minister

Paul is a model for all believers, especially preachers.  Here he lists our weapons, such as preaching and witness, to be maintained regardless of our reception, even despite great violence, and through lows and highs – making many rich, and though having nothing, yet possessing all things. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily … Continued

God’s Terms for Blessings

The apostle gives inspired and essential conditions for instrumentality in Gospel work.  Beginning with a strong plea to avoid fruitlessness, he stresses the necessity of a consistent life, resilience through all hardship, and five positive qualities which must be exhibited, by the Spirit’s help. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical … Continued

Dynamic Christian Living

These verses reveal first the means by which Paul sustained his unflagging zeal; secondly the radical change of outlook brought about by conversion, and thirdly the compelling obligation for evangelism which is given to every true believer: are we really saved, and are we genuine witnesses? Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the … Continued

The Motivation of Believers

The apostle says – all will appear at the judgement seat, saved and lost.  Will the sins of the saved be revealed?  What will be the basis of judgement?  What are the ‘good’ deeds referred to?  Here also is Paul’s concern for the salvation of souls. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the … Continued

The Soul’s Final Triumph

At death the believer’s soul enters its heavenly home, capable of praise, fellowship, love and learning, and awaiting only the resurrection body.  Here is the greatest imaginable incentive to holiness and service and how it should always be in the forefront of our minds. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical … Continued

The Seven Pillars of Christian Suffering

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 4 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, … Continued

Behold Your King!

We consider the astonishing condescension of Christ, to leave the infinite glory of Heaven, and to enter the cesspit of our world to suffer, die and rise again for His enemies.  Here is a glimpse of the pre-incarnate and risen glory of our great Redeemer. Full chapter _____________ John 19 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, … Continued

The Paradox of the Christian Life

The mighty, glorious paradox of the witnessing Christian life is here seen – in weakness, Christ makes us strong; in hindrances and hardships, He provides the escape; when at the end of our resources, He supplies – a lifelong proving of His power and faithfulness to us. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily … Continued

The Glory of Christ in Conversion

The glorious nature of Gospel ministry burdens preachers and witnessing believers to reach every form of unbelief and rebellion against God.  Here are more forms.  Here too is Satan’s chief objective – the obscuring of Christ, and the necessity of the Spirit’s illuminating work in salvation. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the … Continued

Liberty and Transformation

The apostle shows where false teachers (promoting Jewish views) went wrong, explaining the veil over their minds and hearts. Then he advances the liberty of true conversion, and here are its components. Finally the question is answered – how does beholding Christ lead to sanctification and glory? Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily … Continued

The Greatest Contrasts in History

Learning from contrasts, including that between the law written on stone, and conversion written in the heart; the ministry of the the letter and that of the Spirit; the old and the new covenants; the administration of death and of the Spirit, with the unique glory of the latter. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians … Continued

The Triumphant Life

Paul reveals his great anxiety for the Corinthians, but hastens to show how he looked also at the overall scene and God’s ceaseless blessing in opening doors and making Paul and others the savour of Christ everywhere; truly a model life for us all. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical … Continued

Spiritual Battle Honours

Despite Satan’s drive to establish a hold over God’s people, the Corinthian church purges out grievous sin (here are the purposes of discipline), achieves restoration for the offender, proves its obedience to the Lord, and defeats Satan’s devices (these being named and described here). Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical … Continued

Spiritual Participation

An insight into Paul’s deep sense of the priesthood of all believers. Shared intercession comes first (he needs them), then shared sincerity, then a shared anointing (not just the preacher), finally shared proving of the Lord (the local church needs no external oversight). Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical of … Continued

The Four Marks of a Christian

Full chapter _____________ Ephesians 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord … Continued

Armed for the Battle

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 4 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, … Continued

The Father of Mercies

Beginning with God as a compassionate Father over His children, Paul moves to sufferings incurred for the sake of Christ and the Gospel, especially his own experience of ‘so great a death’, and its spiritual purpose – that of delivering him from self-trust. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians is easily the most biographical of … Continued

The Lord With Us

Some believers imagine that Christ speaks to them and even touches them, while others overreact from extreme pietism and think little of Christ’s constant presence with them. Here is the Lord’s nearness throughout the Bible, and the power of ‘seeing Him’ with the eye of faith. Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians is a remarkable … Continued

Follow The Word!

Paul commands withdrawal of fellowship from believers who persistently flout the apostles’ teachings. One example of disorder is the refusal to work for a living, but here are the key offences that seriously blight Gospel work. Here also is the call to fellowship and harmony. Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians is a remarkable source … Continued

Four Marks and Duties of True Believers

Authentic believers, says the apostle, pray for the Gospel in a certain way, taste opposition (and deliverance), have lively consciences to obey the Lord, and grow in new sense of His love, looking for His return. Are we consciously experiencing the features of a sincere walk? Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians is a remarkable … Continued

A New Year Christian Perspective

Paul first speaks of indebtedness (here is how election should influence us); then of our experience of the call of God; then of our duty to hold the faith; then of the forms God’s blessing takes, and finally of the kind of strength God imparts. Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians is a remarkable source … Continued

The Reason of the Hope

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 3 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning … Continued

Christ and the Church Foretold

Isaiah’s first prophecy of Christ and His Kingdom; its characteristics, conversions and blessings; culminating in the prophet’s inspired appeal – as from the heart of God – for people to learn the way of salvation and walk in this light to the Heavenly city.  Full chapter _____________ Isaiah 2 The word that Isaiah the son … Continued

Signs of The End

Two particular events must precede the Lord’s return, says Paul – the great apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin. Here are his terrible acts, and the final triumph of Christ. How near are we to these events, and how should they affect us now?

Standing in a Fallen World

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 4 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning … Continued

The Necessity of Growing Faith

Paul’s short yet dazzling unfolding of end-time events written to a young church in a place of fierce opposition. Starting themes are the duty of constant praise, and the unceasing exercise of faith. Here also is Paul’s introduction to the Lord’s return.

Yielding Highest Esteem to God

This famous doxology of Jude urges us to hold God in highest esteem by looking back at what He has done, looking also at what He is currently doing, looking ahead to our entry into glory, and looking at His everlasting attributes. This is authentic worship.

Only Christ Suffices

Full chapter _____________ Acts 10 There was a certain man in Cæsarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the … Continued

Four Pillars Of Faithfulness

Jude provides four duties of maintaining faithfulness. First, the building upon faith ( i.e. doctrinal understanding and trust); second, praying in the Holy Spirit (what it is); third, keeping oneself in the love of God (frequently forgotten steps), and fourth, avoiding dangers.

The Christian Warfare

Jude urges God’s people to defend the faith, warning of the stealth of errorists, and of how down the centuries they invent doctrines and attack the authority of Scripture. He also reveals their motives and points to how the battle must be fought.

Correcting the Ministry

John here presents four crucial ideals for believers to aim at: 1) to take seriously personal spiritual progress or soul-prosperity; 2) to fully embrace missionary support; 3) to avoid Diotrephes-style leadership; and 4) to know how to recognise those truly approved by God.

Guarding the Truth

The chief message of this personal letter to a Christian lady is the duty and protective power of mutual love against error. Here we define ‘walking in the truth’, consider how fellowship love guards against doctrinal and spiritual collapse, and summarise the main heresies over time.

Unchanging Christian Distinctives

John sets out the authentic characteristics of truly saved believers. What he means by saying that they sin not, and how they fight sin. Here also are Satan’s attempts to ruin them, and a key work of redemption – a certain and personal walk with God.

The Matter and Manner of Prayer

Here is the necessity of prayer and why God requires it; the meaning of God’s promise to answer ‘according to his will’; the things for which we should pray; the manner in what we should pray; and the vexed exception of the ‘sin unto death’.

From Blasphemy to Faith

As unbelievers we thought unbelief was ‘innocent’. Surely it was for Christians to demonstrate God’s reality to us. But here is God’s viewpoint – the depths of wilful unreasonableness in our rejection of Him. And here also is what we owe to Him for His mercy.

Christian Evidences

The apostle describes seven solid evidences of the work of salvation in the true believer (different from the ‘marks of grace’ usually described). All provide either strong assurance, or a profound challenge in the case of those who have not yet experienced conversion to Christ.

Duty and Fruits of Brotherly Love

From the warning against false teachers, the apostle turns again to the great duty of love to fellow believers, providing fourteen compelling reasons (with benefits) for honouring this obligation. Here love is defined, its actions and activities listed, and the reasons surveyed.

Who Are You Listening To?

Full chapter _____________ Isaiah 51 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed … Continued

The Church: Its Identity and Purpose

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 2 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living … Continued

Distinguishing Truth from Error

The duty to test all who teach by four standards: (1) Do they proclaim the divinity and humanity of Christ, our infallible mediator? (2) are they truly converted? (3) are they separate from the world? (4) are they bound by the authority and sufficiency of scripture?

What Do You Think Of Christ?

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 2 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living … Continued

Why We Must Stop Loving the World

Full chapter _____________ 1 John 2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the … Continued

Simple Spiritual Pre-requisites

Full chapter _____________ Deuteronomy 10 At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou … Continued

Fellowship Love

The apostle John describes five aspects of love, in the church, at the same time showing that each one is evidence of true conversion. Here love, helpfulness to fellow believers, and the promised greater instrumentality in prayer, are seen as bulwarks of assurance.

John’s Steps to Holiness

Gaining Christian perspective by comprehending all aspects of God’s mighty love, then by looking forward to seeing Christ and being transformed, then by appreciating deliverance from the dominion of sin, and then by knowing how to stay close to the Saviour.

The Threefold Abiding

In five verses John describes three major aspects of the spiritual life, the word ‘abide’ appearing six times. Here is how we should make use of the body of Christian doctrine, maintain close union with Christ, and keep alive the illumination of the Spirit.

A Briefing on Antichrist

The apostle John provides the facts about the emergence of antichrist, what exactly antichrist will do, and the twin means by which believers will discern ‘many antichrists’. These two, the unction of the ‘Holy One’ and the test of truth, are here explained.

Love Not The World

In three famous verses, John shows that love for the world cannot coexist with love for God, then defines worldliness, shows its offensiveness to God, and describes how it passes away to judgement before our eyes. What believers do, however, lasts forever.

The Profound Work Within

John’s words to little children, fathers and young men seem repetitive and puzzling at first sight, but they are a call to think of the considerable changes brought about in those who are converted, and to stir assurance and zeal. Here are the triumphs of grace.

Christian Fellowship

After extolling Christ and exhorting to holiness, the first topic of the epistle (showing its importance) is mutual love in the congregation. Here are the grounds of solid ties, and the blessings and helps, along with the Apostle’s warnings about opting out of this precious duty.

Maintaining Spiritual Life

The aged apostle speaks out of concern for believers everywhere, urging all to avoid spiritual lifelessness by keeping in full view: 1) The campaign for personal holiness; 2) The price Christ paid for us; 3) All His commands to serve Him; 4) Our love for Him.

The Word of Life

Christ is extolled by the aged apostle as truly man and God, who is holiness and truth, genuine believers being identified by their sensitivity to sin and concern for biblical obedience, and false Christians by their relative indifference to one or the other.

Glorifying God in Life and Death

Why does the risen Lord tell Peter he will die a martyr? How did this glorify God and why was Peter told that John’s future should not concern him? Here are the reasons and their importance to us as individuals and churches today.

Resurrection Counsel

A resurrection appearance of Christ to seven disciples gives a final lesson on dependence upon Him for all future blessing. Then, the threefold restoration of Peter shows love for Christ is the key to blessing and the antidote to self-love and disloyalty.

The All Sufficient Word of God

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed … Continued

The Strategy of Resurrection

It is clear the resurrection was completely unexpected by the disciples. Here is how it came, first by gentle intimation, then with a caution, then as a proof of Christ’s successful atonement, and then as a command to trust in the living Lord.

The Trials of Christ

The Gospel of John here reveals the repeated failure in understanding and loyalty of a representative disciple, the deep dishonesty of the Jewish leaders, and the unwavering purpose and dignity of the Son of God throughout the multiple unjust, overnight hearings leading to Calvary.

Christian Distinctives

In the course of this great ‘high priestly’ prayer, the Lord reveals the purpose of the Christian calling, the vital distinctives of a true Christian faith, and the Christian’s future destiny. Then the hour of redemptive work arrives, and He proceeds so calmly to Calvary.

Christian Righteousness

The Saviour’s prayer – ‘Sanctify them through thy truth’ has led to a review of the Ten Commandments, this study surveying the scope of the last three – ‘Thou shalt not steal…bear false witness….covet’ – and especially how these guide believers in the life of the church.

Searching Sanctifying Laws

Continuing John 17:17, ‘Sanctify them through thy truth’, we here review the fifth to the seventh commandments to see the wide application given by Moses and the New Testament, each commandment naming the chief sin of a ‘family’ of offences. This is the path of holiness.

Keeping the Lord’s Day

Christ’s high priestly prayer ‘Sanctify them through thy truth’ takes us to the moral law and a review of the fourth commandment. Here are the biblical reasons (and the resulting blessings) for honouring the Lord’s Day. Here also are its biblical purposes and warnings.

Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth

Sanctification (purification, consecration and commitment) by the Word is the will of Christ for His own, and here we turn to the first three of the Ten Commandments to challenge our souls. How should these be applied today in our lives and churches?

The Characteristics of True Believers

Believers are those who have ‘seen’ God and His ways. They are interceded for and kept, in order to reflect and speak of Christ. They are separated from the world and dedicated to the joy and service of Christ, and they are sanctified by the Word.

The Lord’s High Priestly Prayer

A prayer expressing the united will of the Godhead for things about to be secured by the work of Christ. Awed disciples learn, and generations of believers receive mighty assurance. This introduction shows Christ praying as prophet, priest and king for all His own.

Christ’s Last Promises to His Disciples

The very final briefing of the Saviour to the disciples before His arrest tells of much yet to be taught them (by the Spirit), of Christ being ‘seen’ (by the Spirit), of their new liberty in prayer, and of their great joy – all ongoing promises for believers.

The Era of the Spirit

Christ speaks of the Spirit’s work convicting of sin (unbelief being the crowning sin), convincing of the perfection of Christ and our dependence on Him, and convincing of the judgement to come. As these things were preached, the Spirit would convict and convince souls.

Our Unshakeable Inheritance

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed … Continued

The Church and the World

The Saviour taught that people generally, locked in the world system, whatever their surface attitude, detest Him and His message. History shows this to be so. Here are the various forms of hatred, the reasons behind them, and the biblical response of Gospel workers.

Chosen for Service

Sublime words of Christ about mutual love between believers, about the privilege of being loved by Him, of being told all things by Him, of being ‘elected’ to salvation and service, commissioned, and equipped with the power of prayer. An overwhelming inspiration to full commitment.

The Parable of the Vine

Christ’s instructions to the apostles defining the Christian life. He begins with the New Covenant, and how He is the true vine securing redemption for His people. He also defines ‘fruit’ (the essential evidence of conversion) and what it means to ‘abide’ in Himself.

Lessons in Love

Five expressions of love for Christ all found in this passage – all being a key to ongoing assurance, and all stirring greater love. For a new year, we see Christ’s words – love learns, love trusts, love identifies, love serves and love obeys.

Keeping Spiritual Priorities

Full chapter _____________ Ephesians 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord … Continued

Christ Tells of the Spirit

In this last teaching discourse to the apostles the Lord impresses upon them things they have not yet grasped, especially about the Holy Spirit: that He is a divine Person, giving spiritual illumination and assurance, and impressing Christ on the hearts of believers.

How Christ Builds Our Faith

The day before Calvary, with the disciples, Christ gives a fourfold remedy for their deficiencies. They must grasp the necessity of faith, the heavenly objective, His pivotal atonement, and His equality with the Father. Only then can they fulfil their commission.

Seeing Things Unseen

Having washed the disciples’ feet, Christ revealed to them seven vital immediate events – the betrayal, their future work, the ugliness of hypocrisy, the need for heart-searching before the Lord’s Supper, the direction of events, how humiliation would bring glory, and the future church.

Washing the Disciples’ Feet

A symbolic act with four moving lessons for the future apostles, just before Christ went to Calvary, showing his love for his own, his coming humiliation, his cleansing of them, and the humility of bearing and life (essential to them and all believers in order to be used by God).

Christ’s Final Public Message

The profound meaning of ‘now is the judgement of this world’, and the scornful questions of the masses, revealing their problem, then the Lord’s last great appeal before Calvary, then the mysterious hardening of the heart of the people, plus green shoots of conversion.

Seven Voices For Calvary

Almost like a Greek play with seven scenes, the apostle John (in twenty verses) tracks seven distinct sources of powerful authenticating views about Christ as Messiah, including the words of Christ Himself and the Father. Here also is the Lord’s call to salvation.

The Momentous Supper

John’s record of the last days of the earthly life of the Lord begins with the supper at Bethany – a remarkable picture of Christian worship and commitment seen in Martha’s service, the testimony of Lazarus, and Mary’s demonstration of faith by the symbol of anointing.

God’s Superior Power

Two months before Calvary, the ruling council of chief priests and clergy assembled to plan the death of Jesus of Nazareth. Their folly is here tracked to show how everything they thought and planned was overruled and re-shaped by the sovereign power of Christ.

Deepening Conviction

Over several days, the Lord gave three clear intimations that He would raise Lazarus from the dead, but the disciples, then Martha, in varying degrees, could not take in His words. Faith triumphed in the end, and here is the history of growing conviction.

Learning Christ’s Methods

Surrounding Christ in the temple precincts four months before Calvary, the teachers of the Jews attempt to ensnare Him, but the encounter reveals seven elements of the Lord’s approach to lost souls, all of which teach believers how they should proceed.

The New Messianic Order

Six months before Calvary the Lord uses the Good Shepherd allegory to portray salvation and the new church order. Here is the contrast between Satan’s ‘shepherds’ and the Lord. Here also is the call of the Gospel, and the gifts of salvation bestowed by Christ.

Seeing Christ at Work

Announced by Christ as a demonstration of His saving work, picturing repentance as central to saving faith. Also here is a statement of commission to successive believers, a view of Christ’s divine attributes, and a glimpse of the demise of the Jewish priesthood.

Practical Religion

Full chapter _____________ Psalms 100-101 Psalm 100 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of … Continued

Christ – The Key to Knowledge

The Jerusalem ‘clergy’ failed to see the Lord in the clear promises of Genesis and subsequently, so His words made no sense to them. Here is how Christ is the chief rule of interpretation, and the key to understanding all human history.

Abraham’s Faith in Christ

Full chapter _____________ Genesis 15 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer … Continued

Joseph’s Brothers – the Agony of a Guilty Conscience

Full chapter _____________ Genesis 42 Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and … Continued

Grades of Belief

In a vast temple court, the Lord declares Himself the light of the world, but the Pharisees reject His divinity. Here, He reasons with them, giving a solemn warning. The shallow belief of some of them urges us to be sure of genuine conversion.

The Divine Wisdom and Grace of Christ

Scribes – experts in the law – devise an inescapable trap for Christ, determined to frame charges against Him, but He confounds them, turning the attention of the crowd to salvation. Here also is ‘I am the light of the world,’ and what it means to possess Him.

The Threefold Delusion

The Pharisees and chief priests thought they had communion with God, power to vanquish Christ, and knowledge of the Scriptures. In reality, they had none of these, as this passage shows. Here also is Christ’s great call to the thirsty to receive life and power by the Spirit.

Wonders of God’s Mercy

The remarkable parable of the labourers in the vineyard teems with surprising facts of God’s mercy toward souls. This also illustrates how God gathers people to Himself out of all the different age-groups, at immeasurable cost to Himself.

Reactions to Christ on Earth

The attitude to Christ of His own brothers (before their conversion), then of the common people crowded into Jerusalem from throughout the land for the feast of tabernacles, then of the leaders, and then of the residents of Jerusalem. Here also are the lessons.

God’s Grace in Christ

Full chapter _____________ Titus 2 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they … Continued

Zealousness in the Christian Life

Full chapter _____________ Luke 6 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not … Continued

Words of Eternal Life

Christ exclusively has the words of eternal life, but it is enriching to understand that this is a comprehensive term that refers to a host of features of eternal glory, reviewed here. If these are not appreciated and wanted, one cannot really desire eternal life.

Christian Workers’ Ethics

Full chapter _____________ Titus 2 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they … Continued

Christ Reveals Calvary

About a year before Calvary, the Lord preached at Capernaum promises of eternal life to all who received His bodily work for sinners. They would, He said, be ‘drawn’ by the irresistible grace of God to find true and living union with Him.

Earthly or Heavenly Salvation?

The discourse of the Saviour to followers who sought a political rather than a spiritual salvation. Here is His presentation of His divinity, His life-giving work, His salvation promises, and His explanation of the Father’s preparatory work in the hearts of those who believe.

The Testing of Faith

The building of faith in the great calling of saved people – how slowly it deepens, without thought. Here is the testing of the disciples, with lessons, in the feeding of the 5000, and Christ’s earthly power in walking on, and calming, the storm-tossed sea.

Earth or Heaven?

Early in His ministry, Christ challenged the Jews, proclaiming a spiritual resurrection for all who ‘heard’ His voice, and a future bodily resurrection. Again, He asserted His divine sonship, authenticated by the Father through His mighty works, and through the scriptures – especially Moses.

The House of Mercy

The startling question ‘Wilt thou be made whole?’ exposes the human indifference to salvation, broken only by Christ’s initiative in opening the heart to mercy. Here are lessons in salvation; also – Christ’s unambiguous assertion of His divinity, which became the real basis of all hostility.

Sowers and Reapers

The harvesting of souls is the Saviour’s stated source of great satisfaction, and will be ours also if it governs our priorities and prayers. Here also is the power of witness, and the nature of saving faith in the case of the nobleman of Capernaum.

The Woman at the Well

Christ’s exhaustion shows His astonishing love in assuming the limitations of human nature for salvation. His encounter with a brazenly reluctant hearer, unable to grasp spiritual wonders until He revealed His identity, reflects all experience of conversion. Here also are the golden rules of worship.

Worth Serving The Lord

Full chapter _____________ Malachi 3 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the … Continued

The Forerunner Bows to Christ

Here is the exemplary modesty of the Baptist in yielding the crowd to Christ, and his exalting of Christ’s divinity. Also, we see how crowds desired baptism without deep belief, explaining why John’s Gospel emphasises belief in Christ’s redeeming purpose (which leads to repentance).

The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Full chapter _____________ Galatians 6 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, … Continued

Christ’s Own Appeal to Souls

How the Lord presented salvation by grace to Nicodemus, showing that it was always given to individuals, through faith, by the immeasurable love of God in Christ. Here also is the Lord explaining why people refuse to believe, and his appeal to Nicodemus to repent.

The Lord’s Agenda

A ruling pharisee, possibly exploring cooperation between Christ and the Temple order, comes by night, but the Lord teaches that only a new birth purchased by Himself, wrought directly by God, and revealed throughout Scripture, can save people, whether pharisees or ordinary Jews and Gentiles.

False Teachers – Their Manner, Methods and Motives

Full chapter _____________ Titus 1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his … Continued

Christ Purges His Temple

The Lord’s purity cannot allow the shameful hypocrisy of Temple conduct, and by an act of divine power He casts out the commerce, and prophesies His own death and resurrection (as well as the fall of the Temple), providing lessons for spiritual living today.

Resurrection Power

We see first, the immeasurable, surpassing, incomparable greatness of Christ’s resurrection and its chief purposes. We see also forty days of appearances, and consider the way ‘resurrection’ is replicated in a spiritual, moral way in the lives of believers, before their own resurrection.

The Beginning of Miracles

First we see the message of the miracle; second – the insurmountable problem; third – the necessity of obedience; fourth – the quality of the miracle; fifth – the results. The disciples saw Christ’s divine power and the nature of His saving work.

The Biography of a Soul

The encounter of the first disciples with Christ reflects the experience of all believers, embracing a considerable surprise, a deep sense of need, a compulsion to share Christ, a new character, light on the Word and the progressive discovery of even ‘greater things’.

John’s Gospel of New Life

John the Baptist, the forerunner, was needed because of extreme spiritual barrenness. He called thousands to repentance, but most remained unsaved, never receiving Christ’s spiritual baptism – the new birth. Here are lessons to us, and also the saving work of Christ – the Lamb of God.

Christ’s Infinite Qualities

Four elevating verses, first, presenting Christ’s eternal existence and amazing condescension to His people; secondly, showing His limitless capacity, and the meaning of ‘grace for grace’; thirdly, extolling His mighty accomplishments, and fourthly, telling how He reveals and ‘exegetes’ the Father to provide our spiritual experiences.

The Light of Christ

Reflections on the magnificent introduction to John, glorifying Christ; eternally equal with the Father (no eternal submission), Creator and fountain of life, obscured by the Fall but always saving souls, rejected by the world but ‘tabernacling’ among us for the salvation of those ‘born of God’.

Melody in the Heart

First, the use of psalms and hymns for personal spiritual help; secondly, the biblical authority and necessity for hymns of human composition; thirdly, the nature of melody in the heart, and fourthly, the qualities needed for valid, edifying, God-glorifying hymns.

The Process of Sanctification

Romans 8 shows sanctification begins with conversion and that it is progressive lifelong. Here is how the Spirit employs the Word, the conscience, and the practice of putting to death sin. Here also are special means such as divine chastisement, suffering and mutual admonition.

Correcting Spiritual Coldness

Loss of spiritual feeling, love, joy and fervour are more serious and ominous than we may think. Attendance soon suffers and a backward drift gathers pace. Why did it happen? The spiritual warfare must come back into view, with all its measures and helps.

The Temptation Of Christ

He who saw Satan cast out of Heaven began His ministry in voluntary subjection to the adversary’s extreme malice. Yet even the Lord of Glory must do so to ‘qualify’ to be our representative and Saviour. Here is the meaning of each temptation and response.

God’s Sanctifying Power

‘Let go, and let God’ is a great mistake in sanctification, for there must be striving and prayer for progress in holiness. Yet, says Paul, it is all achieved by the power of God. Here also are the three ‘departments’ of life to be specially guarded.

Test All Things

All believers have a solemn responsibility to examine and establish the biblical authority behind all doctrines, acts of worship and methods proclaimed or carried out by their churches, and by themselves as individuals. Here are categories of doctrine and practice to be monitored. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians is a letter with much biographical … Continued

“Quench not the Spirit”

How is the fire of the Spirit manifested in believers’ lives? Here are texts showing His work to be sanctifying, illuminating (with joy), and imparting zeal for souls and good works. Here also are the ways we resist and quench the holy flame.

The Culture of Thankfulness

The Bible is full of thankfulness. Here is its immense significance in the Christian life, also its power to inspire humility, indebtedness to God, appreciation of Him, holiness, trust, reliance, love, happiness and evangelism. Here also are matters for inclusion in thanksgiving.

The Life of Prayer

A call to prove the Lord in every phase of life. Here are the biblical departments of prayer, followed by the need for greater determination, faith, desire, thoughtfulness, patience, holiness and sincerity, with attention to prayer in trials, and the obligations that come with prayer.

A Door for the Word of God

Full chapter _____________ Colossians 4 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of … Continued

Paul’s Compendium of Conduct

This brief ‘treasury’ of concise exhortations lists key duties for Christian living, including rules for the spiritual life and duties for life in the everyday world. Here are the first eight forming a life of aspirations to both monitor and inspire.

Spiritual Wakefulness

So inclined are we to spiritual and moral casualness that the apostle stresses the necessity and urgency of constant self-scrutiny of our tendencies, temptations, conduct, words and our associations in the fight against the surrounding ‘darkness’. Here are his three selected items of armour.

Christ’s Imminent Return

The apostle declares Christ as the unique and authoritative hope for the resurrection of the body. Here also is the concept of being joined to Him for salvation and therefore for eternity; the parousia and the rapture, and their imminence and comfort.

Walking to Please God

Four principles of living to please the Lord: (1) The need to be pledged to constant progress, (2) the chief virtues to aim at, (3) the necessity of deliberate, determined abstention from sin, especially returning sin, and (4) the role of the Holy Spirit.

Ye Serve the Lord

Full chapter _____________ Colossians 3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who … Continued

Portrait of Paul

Reflected in this letter is the apostle’s deep concern for believers, and his sacrificial spirit. Also we see his acceptance of hardship for Christ, his great priority of building faith and trust in believers, his prayerfulness and his teaching on separation from the world.

Joy in Fruitbearing

Of all the marks of conversion the apostle’s crowning sign here is readiness to suffer in the course of witness. Also, he refers to Satan’s hindrances (here are today’s), and to the immense joy of relating to converts (our wreath of glory) both now and eternally.

Thankfulness for a Miracle

Paul’s description of the mission to Thessalonica presents the vital ingredients of evangelism – a desire for souls, hard work night and day, holy lives, fatherly appeals, and a desire for lasting conversion, all leading to a miracle of God in illumination and regeneration.

Three Tests of Soundness

Paul entered Thessalonica outwardly lowly but inwardly laden with treasures of grace and power. He lays out three tests of soundness: matter (the message), motives, and manner (of proclamation), and here we apply them to Jews, pagans, modern atheism, and present-day Christian phonies also.

Transformation Process

Thessalonica saw lives radically changed. The new objective of believers was the gathering of souls out of a doomed world for Christ’s return, not world restoration (an old heresy returning today). Here also is their realisation of God’s hatred of sin. Is ours fading?

Paul’s Eleven Signs of the Elect

Paul’s letter to a young church begins with eleven signs that people are truly elect and saved. Paul can rejoice for the Thessalonians, but could he for us? And are the signs reflected in professing Christian congregations today? Have we reason to rejoice?

The Lepers’ Logic: Go and Tell

Full chapter _____________ 2 Kings 7 Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. Then a lord on whose hand … Continued

Barnabas, the Son of Consolation

Full chapter _____________ Acts 4 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the … Continued

Fellowship With God

John looks back sixty years recalling with amazement how the apostles listened to Christ, and watched Him through His earthly ministry, constantly convinced of His redeeming work, and by the wonder of personal fellowship with God. Here is the basis and joy of such fellowship.

Pressed By Christ’s Love

The apostle explains his persistence in service, however arduous, as being driven by Christ’s love to him, showing how the power of that love comes from reflecting on it. Here are the elements that awaken and compel our souls, proving also that new life is within.

Living in a State of Fear

Full chapter _____________ Isaiah 8 Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz. And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare … Continued

Christ Teaches Fruitfulness

A final teaching miracle by the risen Lord trains seven apostles to see key principles of service and instrumentality, including the threefold reproof and restoration of Peter, and the lessons for us, especially on the nature of true love for Christ leading to lifelong loyalty.

The ‘Whatsoever’ Rule for the Christian Life

The rule of doing all in the name of Christ appears in the context of worship and is a warrant for distinctively Christian hymns, but it goes beyond, embracing all our thoughts, words and deeds. Here is how His name influences every aspect of life.

The Trial of Abraham’s Faith

Full chapter _____________ Genesis 22 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him … Continued

Put Off the Old Man

Full chapter _____________ Colossians 3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who … Continued

Let Calvary Speak

A devotional study of significant events at Calvary: (1) Christ’s garments stripped, (2) the bravery of four women, (3) Christ’s compassion to Mary, (4) His last triumphant report to the Father, (5) the proof of His death, (6) the new-found boldness of formerly-secret disciples.

Heavenly Mindedness

Full chapter _____________ Colossians 3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who … Continued

‘Abide In Me’ – The True Meaning

Union with Christ is the greatest imaginable privilege of the redeemed, and vital for progress in sanctification and usefulness to the Lord. But what exactly does it mean to abide in Christ, and to allow Him to abide in us? Here are biblical directions.

Our Life as an Offering

Paul’s powerful challenge to all believers to offer up their lives constantly as a living sacrifice. The need for sacrifice today; what it includes, and also what it is not. The value of this precious concept and its benefits to us spiritually.

Eternity in the Psalms

Contrary to what Bible critics ignorantly claim, the Old Testament is full of heaven and the eternal bliss of the redeemed. Here is a review of David’s psalms that overwhelmingly prove so, including an explanation of the few places that suggest (wrongly understood) the contrary.

The Secret of Steadfastness

The closing admonition of the epistle is a stirring appeal for vigilance in keeping our souls, coupled with a plea for lifelong growth in the gifts given at conversion, and consciousness of Christ’s love. Here is what these are, and how they should deepen.

Living In Peace

The apostle urges growing union with the Lord and inner peace by keeping in view the day of the Lord, reflecting on the reason for Christ’s delay – the salvation of the redeemed – and by building knowledge and stability in the Word of God.

Let No Man Beguile You

Full chapter _____________ Colossians 2 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance … Continued

The Day of the Lord

‘One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ Reflection on God’s view of time, the certainty of final dissolution of all things, and the believer’s duty to look for that day and shun materialism.

Signs of Antichrist

From false teachers in the churches, Peter turns to our vulnerability to the godless worldview of the last days, how it is prophesied in both testaments, its motivation, its underlying contempt for accountability, and its wilful rejection of creation, design and morality.

False Teaching and Us

A seemingly negative chapter is crammed with profound comments on false teachers and the immense danger of association. It reviews their infiltration of the church throughout time, and warns believers of growing used to surrounding worldliness and the power of secret sin.

 

See more sermons on 2 Peter.

Right Interpretation

The Old and the New Testaments magnificently authenticate each other through the fulfilling of prophecy in the marvellous Person and work of Christ. Here is the self-interpreting nature of the Bible, its sufficiency, and the right of private judgement, and how these are honoured.

The Silver Chain of Graces

Brotherly love, and how it differs from ‘charity’ (agape love). Here are its characteristics, benefits, helps and hindrances. Also, how love can become a vice, and how all the graces in the silver chain gain assurance and a foretaste of Heaven.

The Mystery Unlocked

Full chapter _____________ Colossians 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father … Continued

The Amazing Day

The day of Christ’s resurrection which transformed the disciples, except for Thomas. Here are the reasons for his cynicism, swept away by his seeing the Lord. Here also is the promised blessedness of Gospel age believers, when signs would give way to faith alone.

Patience and Godliness

To enjoy the multiplying of God’s blessing, faith must be clothed with seven virtues. Here, patience (endurance) is defined with (biblical) hindrances and helps. Also, here is godliness, shown to mean reverence, and its powerful influence is our spiritual lives.

Clothing Faith With Character

The new life embraced by the gift of faith is to be ‘adorned’ by virtue, knowledge and temperance. Here is what they are, how they are cultivated by the Spirit’s help, how they add to each other, and how they save churches from decline.

Partakers of the Divine Nature

Here the essence of apostolic preaching is seen:- precious faith (the door to blessing) defined; how knowledge is vital to advance; God’s provision of everything needed for spiritual life, and also the sense in which we are partakers of the divine nature.

Paul’s Worldwide Pulpit

Paul’s journey to Rome, where he would gain the souls of many Jews as well as Gentiles in a ‘protected’ ministry in the capital of the world. Here are the wonders of God’s ways and the apostle’s example of determination, compassion and faithfulness.

Paul’s Triumph in Shipwreck

Paul’s fourth shipwreck is recounted, showing that believers will know trials. Paul is the principal person in this event, praying, trusting and encouraging, and God gives him all lives on board. Here are the spiritual lessons that stand out in this unique narrative.

Christ – Our Supreme Message

In days when so many evangelical leaders make social efforts equal to the Gospel, here is God’s commission to Paul, the message to be declared, the apostle’s obedience, and the response of human rulers. The Gospel is unquestionably the priority for God’s people. The Acts of the Apostles is an astonishing history of the church … Continued

A Life All Pleasing To The Lord

Full chapter _____________ Colossians 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father … Continued

The Christian’s Purpose

Paul, after two years captivity in Caesarea is tried before a new governor of Judea, and offered a ‘retrial’ in Jerusalem. What will he decide? Here is how he discerned God’s guidance. Here also is the relentless hostility of unbelief against him, and its equivalent today.

The Divine Confrontation

Paul’s trial in Caesarea shows the hostility of the human heart to the Gospel, the apostle’s unchanging priority as he turns his defence into a witness, the impact of God’s Word on Governor Felix, and his rejection of amazing mercy. Here are the lessons.

Paul’s Final Appeal to Jerusalem

The dramatic record of how God brought the apostle through murderous mobs and organised assassination, to take him under Roman escort on the first step to the capital of the empire, where as ‘ambassador in bonds’, he would gather many souls.

“A remnant shall be saved”

Accused by a vast Jewish crowd of being their enemy, Paul, flanked by Roman soldiers, tells of his conversion, and his call to preach to Gentiles. Here are the evangelistic lessons for us, and also the perilous position of the Jewish people and Temple.

God’s Amazing Overruling

At the end his third missionary journey Paul’s long foretold ‘captive ministry’ is about to begin, his violent arrest serving to repair a serious defect in the vast Jerusalem church. Here is the problem, the shock, the Lord’s overruling, and Paul’s remarkable ‘pulpit’.

The Church and the World

From Miletus to Jerusalem, believers knew Paul was heading into suffering, and tried to dissuade him. But emotions must yield to God’s way, and the age-long hostility to Christ must be demonstrated. Here is the example of the apostle and the lessons for us.

Gospel Effectiveness

Full chapter _____________ Colossians 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father … Continued

“I Commend You To God”

Paul’s charge to the elders of Ephesus urged self-scrutiny, the care and protection of the flock, awareness of the spiritual warfare, emphasis on the Word, and obedience to Christ’s command to find happiness as givers of Gospel grace and needed help.

Paul’s Life Displayed

This most moving (and challenging) farewell address of Paul, given to the Ephesian elders, shows the heart, manner and commitment of a true minister of the Gospel, indebted and loyal to his charge even in the knowledge of very great trials ahead.

Five Aspects of Apostolic Life

In his ministry, Paul had aims and objectives, seen here, never being in a rut. Much exhortation was given, reviewed here. He endured the rigours of life, and here is why, and saw God’s power, as we should also in ways here stated

Gospel Opposition

From Ephesus the Gospel spread mightily by preaching. Without choirs, vocalists, bands, entertainment or over-the-top preachers, great numbers were saved. Here is the sad mindlessness of the opposition (like today), and views of the apostle Paul’s courage and modesty, an example to be followed for instrumentality.

Signs of Christ’s Presence in the Church

Genuine, living churches will manifest the effects of Christ at work shown in this passage – Christ becomes all to believers, the offence of the cross is known, godly fear is present (alongside joy), believers renounce worldliness, and the Word prevails. Lukewarm churches, show no signs.

Unfolding Providences

At Corinth great encouragements came repeatedly to Paul and his fellow missionaries, as they do to all faithful servants of God. First, we review his steadfastness, then see the provision of work, home, fellow-labourers, meeting-place, assurance, and (in Corinth) a special peace from violence.

The Penalties of Pride

Athens, where pride in learning and culture disabled ability to grasp truth; where pride disdained a supreme God; where pride refused to repent; and where pride displayed its greatest obstinacy. Here grace was largely withheld, and the city of idols left in their ‘power’.

Paul’s Use of Persuasion

There is a treasury of information about Paul’s methods in Thessalonica, in both Acts and 1 Thessalonians. We note, for example, that Paul reasoned with the active minds of his hearers, which is rather different from plain exposition. Here is authentic apostolic evangelism.

Imitating Paul at Philippi

At Philippi on the second missionary journey Paul and Silas are falsely charged, flogged and flung bleeding into jail. But their deportment and witness manifests sincerity, steadfastness, and sympathy for individuals to a degree that commends them and challenges us as believers today.

The Surprising Journey

The beginning of Paul’s second missionary journey is full of unexpected events – a key helper appears, the Spirit blocks progress, redirection to Europe takes place, Luke amazingly coincides with the mission – all events reflecting the sovereign hand of God in the Christian life.

The Sole Source of Authority

The independent Church of Antioch protests to Jerusalem about false teachers from there who have visited them. Wrongly called a ‘Church Council’, here are the facts of what took place and how apostles asserted divine revelation as the only source of doctrine and directions.

Conditions for Blessing

As the Gentile mission reaches Iconium and Lystra, great lessons emerge about times of soul winning and blessing, especially how persecution is provoked, the tenacity of God’s people is increased, and any form of accommodation with the culture and religions of the world is shunned.

How Paul Preached Christ

Here is the first sermon of the Gentile mission, and the first of Paul’s to be reported in detail. Preached in a synagogue to Jews, and yet made understandable to Gentiles, we see the apostle’s method, his emphasis on Christ, and his urgings and warnings.

Miraculous Assurances

At Antioch the Lord established an autonomous church, and here He begins the Gentile mission. Paul is soon endorsed by a God-given miraculous deed as His apostle. But young Mark fails to grasp the historic moment, and leaves. What about us?

Flesh Against Spirit

Only inspired history could provide this view of the war between fallen human nature (driven by Satan), and the work of the Spirit. Here is Herod Agrippa’s attempt to crush the church, and the power of prayer in keeping Gospel mercy flowing.

Seeing The Cross of Christ

Full chapter _____________ John 19 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and … Continued

The Character of Nehemiah

Full chapter _____________ Nehemiah 1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had … Continued

The Trials of Faith

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed … Continued

Not Of The World

Full chapter _____________ 1 Peter 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed … Continued

How to Think as Christians

Steeped in mistaken Jewish culture, early converts shunned the Gentiles, but God amazingly transformed them to embrace Gentile salvation. The Word still trains believers to think, saving them from conforming to the unreasoned opinion-culture of social media, and rooting them in obedience to Christ.

Keep the Commandment

Full chapter _____________ 1 Timothy 6 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because … Continued

Nominalism and Prejudice

Full chapter _____________ John 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was … Continued

The Great Event for Gentiles

The 66 verses devoted to the visit of Peter to Centurion Cornelius tells us that God’s orchestration of the start of Gentile evangelism with the sealing of the ceremonial law, was an epochal event. No wonder it required authenticating angels and visions.

The Gentile Door Inches Open

Saul’s 3 years in Damascus and 7-8 years in Tarsus – the long years of preparation and proving, and the reasons why. Then the significance of Peter’s two great miracles as God prepared the way for the Gentile mission.

Preparing Paul the Apostle

How Saul the persecutor experiences conviction of sin, transformation, and the proving work of God to prepare for his magnificent work – the Gentile mission. Here also are the elements of church life to be honoured to secure the ‘comfort of the Holy Ghost’ and growth.

The First African Profession

The risen Lord had sent the Gospel to the ‘uttermost part of the earth’ and now Philip is made the historic instrument who would begin that mission. The core of his witness was Calvary, and the result a full-hearted profession. Here are the lessons.

Simon of Samaria

Luke’s record of how intense persecution served to spread the Gospel extensively; how a city in superstitious subjection to sorcery was captivated by the Gospel, and how a double-minded ‘convert’ and prototype prosperity preacher was exposed by apostles. Encouragement and warnings for us.

Stephen’s Finest Hour

Stephen proved to the Sanhedrin the disaster of Israel devoting herself to visible symbols while opposing real faith in Messiah. Here are the lessons for us. When they stoned him, he prayed for their salvation, a prayer notably answered in the conversion of Saul.

Fighting the Good Fight

Full chapter _____________ 1 Timothy 6 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because … Continued

Faith in the Ultimate Promise

Stephen, in showing the Sanhedrin the roots of their hostility to Christ, also traces the typical call of God out of the world, the obedience and trials of faith, and the supreme promise of eternal glory that keeps believers all for Christ.

The Rule for Church Expansion

In this record of extraordinary awakening among people in and around Jerusalem comes the implementation of Christ’s first rule of church government, the two approved ‘methods’ of ministry, the inevitability of opposition and the necessity of preaching for conviction of sin.

Counted Worthy to Suffer

The apostles face an enraged Sanhedrin, but stand firm. Council members want them dead, but the counsel of Gamaliel (though proud and foolish) came to their aid and they are flogged and released. Boldly they teach and evangelise everywhere. Here are the applications to us.

Impact of The Word

Explaining first the sign miracles and their special purposes for the apostolic age. Secondly, the primacy of preaching for the conversion of the lost. Thirdly, the differences between the disciples and the chief priests and rulers, and their significance for us today.

The Struggle for Sincerity

The judgement upon Ananias and Sapphira for their hypocrisy stunned the early church and the wider public. This exceptional event marked God’s hatred of insincerity, to which believers are constantly pressed by Satan. Here are the lessons for promoting personal integrity and freedom from self.

The Power of Faithfulness

With the leading apostles arrested, the new church suffers an apparent major setback, but the superior power of God is honoured in prayer, not for relief, but for success of the word, and they are answered in transformed hearts. Here are the lessons.

The Spiritual Battle Agenda

Full chapter _____________ 1 Timothy 6 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because … Continued

The Gospel Proved

In his second temple sermon, Peter proves from prophecy that Jesus is Christ. When arrested, he trusts God in answering the Sanhedrin, receiving a marvellous measure of vindication. The pattern for this being – prove the Gospel, trust the power of God, see vindication in witness.

The Living Christ

The healing of the disabled man in the temple before the evening sacrifice led to Peter’s second recorded sermon – an inspired ‘masterclass’ in convicting contrasts, resulting in thousands of conversions, and yielding lessons on Christ’s presence in the lives of His people today.

Fruits of Pentecost

The characteristics of people converted through the first sermon of the young church. These serve today as the signs of spiritual life to comfort and encourage (or to challenge) all who hear the call of Christ. Also, the community of goods applied today.

A Resurrection Test of Faith

The reaction of the disciples to the resurrection brings powerful pastoral help to believers today. It was such a shock, and they were reproved by the Lord for their unbelief. But unbelief still works in us, to some degree: here is how, and the healing remedy.

The Astounding Sermon

The first sermon of the Christian church (and of Peter) is amazing in structure and clarity, never swerving from lifting up Christ and pressing the necessity of repentance and faith. It also reflects the powerful work of Christ in preparing the apostle for such a task.

The Purpose of Pentecost

How could the apostles survive the inevitable hostility of Jews and Gentiles after the Lord’s ascension? The miracle of Pentecost was powerfully reassuring, but it also conveyed to them vital principles for the church age. These are here reviewed, along with the power given.

God’s Sanctifying Work Within

In the interval between the resurrection and Pentecost, remarkable advances were accomplished in the apostles. Here we see their inner lives, grasp of the Word, high view of service and total submission to God’s authority, and our own inner development is challenged.

A New Era Of Power

Luke’s magnificent inspired record of the first decade of the church provides far more than history. Here are doctrines, duties, patterns for church life, methods and priorities, joined with examples of faith and patience in both blessing and persecution. This is authentic Christian living.

Paul’s Gospel Doxology

The closing prayer of praise in Romans draws strong assurance from the Gospel, emphasising the eternal security it gives, its complete and unchanging nature, its exclusive power to save, its being received by faith alone, and the glory it reflects upon the Lord.

The Seven Pillars Of A Contender

Full chapter _____________ Jude Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was … Continued

A Christian’s Vital Feelings

An appeal for the stirring up of strong feelings of earnestness and warmth in the spiritual life, and a warning against sinking into coldness, with its consequences. Here are Paul’s pressing arguments. They provide an insight into his life, and a fresh impetus for ours.

The Ties that Bind

Paul longed to see the church at Rome, both to help them and to be refreshed by them. Here are the ways we are strengthened through fellowship, and the nature of the ties that the Holy Spirit forms within true churches of Christ.

Full of Goodness

These five verses of vital exhortation for every church present the importance of mutual admonition in the right spirit; living life as an offering to God; true submission to the Word; and the necessity of entire dependence on the Holy Spirit for all blessing.

Holding on to Assurance

Hope (meaning anticipation) of God’s dealings with us throughout life, and then in glory, is the crown jewel of assurance. Here is the way God gives it, with joy and peace, showing both our part and the powerful aid of the Holy Spirit.

Living for Others

Contrary to the ways of today’s society the believer is called to an unselfish life. Here are the questions we should ask about any activity; Paul’s personal discipline; the example of Christ in His life, and the role of the Old Testament in helping our progress.

Four Features of True Christians

In a single verse Simeon’s biography gives four features of a life the Lord will use for His glory. How we should covet these, praying for them and cultivating them. Here is the way to great instrumentality wherever we are placed, and the basis of assurance.

Every Saint is a Contender

Full chapter _____________ Jude Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was … Continued

How Christ is Put On

Here is, first, the walking analogy for the Christian life and its implications; then the genuineness of that walk; then the characteristics of heathen life which still press on believers today. Finally, what it means to put on Christ, how to do so, and the blessings.

The Nature of Love for Others

What form does love for others take? It is not unconditional love, or necessarily even affectionate love. ‘Social’ love is here defined, with hindrances and helps. Also the error of loving oneself, and the great exhortation to ‘awake out of sleep’ to serve Christ.

God’s Rule Over Law and Order

Why should hostile authorities be conscientiously obeyed by believers? Because while rulers may not know it, they are servants of God, Who in His kindness has etched into the fallen human constitution a need for government. Here is how Christ is magnified.

True Christian Behaviour

Searching practical verses setting the tone for sanctified behaviour, reflecting the Saviour, proved by the apostle Paul, and providing a gauge of our progress and a spur to advance. What are we really like in our relationship with other people, and in adversity?

Christian Privileges

Full chapter _____________ Jude Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was … Continued

The Spiritual Power of Anticipation

The immense value of ‘rejoicing in hope’ is here seen. This is the practice of  anticipating and expecting God’s hand in our lives. We see its major place and its fruits from Paul’s various references to it in Romans. Its neglect costs us much blessing.

God’s Spiritual Provisions

Full chapter _____________ Philippians 4 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with … Continued

Outward, Inward, Upward

A threefold exhortation in a single verse calls believers never to hang back in outgoing activity for Christ, always to maintain spiritual zeal and also to live as people who are bonded to the service of Christ. Here are the applications and helps.

Spiritual Living in the Church

Reasons why love for fellow believers often falls short, and how we should build it up. The command to utterly hate evil things, and how this is a vital help in avoiding sin and harm in our churches. Cleaving or clinging to good, despite Satan’s assaults.

Our Measure of Faith

Seven spiritual gifts – roles in the church for which God distributes abilities and the dedicated and spiritual way they are to be carried out. Here is a view of all that was done in a first-century church with all members pooling their efforts.

Pleasing God

The epistle now turns from doctrine to living, beginning with dedication, and the offering of ourselves as a holy sacrifice, not conformed to this world, but transformed by God. The second cannot proceed if the world is not renounced. The prize is real discernment.

Trusting the Depths of God

This great song of praise is a compelling call to reflect on God’s infinite wisdom and knowledge and on His mysterious ordering of the lives of His people. The passage moves us to marvel and trust Him for all, and to serve Him wholeheartedly.

The Future of Grace

God’s promises to bless Abraham’s offspring are kept in every age in an elect remnant saved by grace. Even Gentile salvation is used by God to turn the hearts of many Israelites. And saved Jews and Gentiles have enriched the world, here is how.

Gospel Responsibility

Paul’s famous ‘backwards text’ covers the wonders of the Gospel, the call and the commissioning of preachers, and what it means to truly hear, believe and call upon the Lord for salvation.  The back-to-front order serves to stir responsibility to make Christ known.

The Rock of Destiny

Christ, long prophesied, was appointed to obtain spiritual salvation at Jerusalem in a manner that would humble human pride and presumption, draw multitudes to believe, but confound those who rejected Him. To the last day Christ will be the Rock of refuge or of dismay.

The Sitting Yet Standing Saviour

Full chapter _____________ Hebrews 1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of … Continued

All Prayer

Full chapter _____________ Ephesians 6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them … Continued

Commended to the Grace of God

Full chapter _____________ Acts 20 And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia. And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid … Continued

The Summons From On High

Full chapter _____________ Psalm 50 The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it … Continued

The Gospel According to Paul’s Letter to Philemon

Full chapter _____________ Philemon 1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my … Continued

Sovereign Mercy

Paul upholds God’s right to exercise sovereign election, and shows it is the only hope of salvation. He also shows God’s kindness during life to the lost, and amazingly, the threefold divine purpose of all human history encapsulated in three unique verses.

Paul’s Longing for Souls

The apostle is anguished for the souls of his enemies the Jews. Lessons in intercession. Also the symbols of true spiritual life held before Israelites and their rejection by so many. The same symbols appeal to us, bringing Gentiles into the ‘Israel of God’.

Arguments of Certainty

Proofs that Christ’s love of His own can never cease, ranging from the immeasurable price paid for them, to the impotence of all forces seeking to block the flow of His love. Here is the kind reasoning that carries us over attacks on assurance.

God’s Explanation of Our Salvation

Here is the solid foundation of assurance in all the problems and needs of living for Christ in an increasingly hostile world. Also, the great objective of election and calling – likeness to Christ – and the features of character that should mark us out for Him.

Sighs of The Spirit

The incomparable privilege of having the Holy Spirit’s prayers on our behalf; what they are, and what love they show. How they should greatly energise our prayers. Also, what is meant by ‘all things’ working for good, and why this is as much a challenge as a comfort.

The Marks of a Christian

Full chapter _____________ Philemon Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God, … Continued

The Longing of Creation

Famous verses depicting the creation as a person subjected to the judgement imposed on mankind through sin, and looking forward to the end of the age, when it will be transformed into the home of the children of God. Here is the full, glorious picture.

Adoption, Assurance, Inheritance

Here are the priceless blessings of adoption into the family of the redeemed, also how one’s own spirit, then the Holy Spirit, both witness to our adoption. Then the inheritance that lies ahead for those who suffer now (here explained) with Christ.

Marks of a Spiritual Person

Marks of a spiritual person, or, what it means to ‘walk after the Spirit’. Our thinking and behaviour is driven either by the flesh or the Spirit. Here are the features of each lifestyle (even in the church) and how the flesh is to be put to death.

The Outcome of Life

The wages (or meagre rations) given by the world’s largest employer – ‘Sin’, slowly poison our interests in and openness to spiritual matters. Physical death follows but here is the astonishing gift of pardon and life through Christ and His atoning work.

Proof of Salvation

First, the apostle shows the deep reality of the believer’s old life and sins being in Christ on Calvary. Secondly, he shows the certainty of new life and power over sin through reflection on this, and calls for a response of complete dedication to Christ.

Christ’s Eternal Achievements

In his passage showing the contrast between Adam and Christ, Paul provides five distinct aspects of the Lord’s achievements in redemption and the privileges of believers. Here also is the apostle’s stirring exhortation to all who are called ‘dead to sin’, and what this means.

Experiencing God’s Love

Realisation of God’s love for us is given by the Spirit first through a profound sight of Calvary, and the price paid for contemptuous sinners. Such great love, we see, can never be withdrawn. Then we receive melting insights of His love during reflection, prayer and praise.

The Preciousness of the Church

Full chapter _____________ 1 Timothy 3 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy … Continued

Peace, Access, Power and Glory

The priceless benefits of justification are here described and amplified. So great is the ‘fortune’ of believers, how can we fall into sorrow, or not share it, for the worldling has nothing. It is all by faith, progressively refined in the tests of life.

Heirs of Eternity

Paul traces eternal life, by faith alone in God’s redeeming plan, back across the centuries to Abraham, and then to King David. It pre-dated circumcision and also the law, and involves dependence on Christ and His creating power to give new and everlasting life.

Antidotes for Discouragement

Full chapter _____________ Haggai 2 In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of … Continued

The Story of Resurrection

Many prophecies shine out of the Old Testament about the resurrection of the Messiah and His people, and here are striking examples, showing that resurrection is a key theme. The Lord spoke repeatedly of His own resurrection and here are the reasons and the benefits.

The Tapestry of Grace

The apostle’s perfectly woven threads of teaching show the depths of justification, redemption, propitiation and faith in such a way that the unenlightened are amazed, and believing hearts soar. It is not by inadequate ‘works’ but by faith that God’s law is honoured.

The Necessity of Grace

The apostle prepares the ground to show that grace is the only solution to human sinfulness. God will be faithful to His promises (to save), and His warnings (of judgement) also. Both Jew and Gentile must be saved by grace alone.

The Law Etched in the Heart

To what extent are the Ten Commandments written in every heart? Does the apostle redefine the term ‘Jew’ in showing that Gentiles may be Jews in their hearts? May Christians ever resemble the Jews condemned here for disobedience to the law? Paul provides the answers.

Saved and Lost Judged by Deeds

All will be judged by their deeds, even those saved by grace alone. True salvation leads to good works – the sure evidence of grace. Here is the kind of evidence that appears, and the apostle’s call to all Christians to be certain of their salvation.

Society’s Steps to Judgement

Three times it is said that God gives up and gives over people to their sin. Here are the reasons and the outcome. Here also is the list of 22 sins that increasingly fill an atheistic society like ours, and the opposite traits in Christ’s people.

Society at its Worst

How God’s wrath is revealed in the Gospel and the reason for it. Also how disrespect for Him in society leads to increasingly extreme sensual sin. What it means to be given up to sin, and the mission of the church to rescue people in time.

Gospel Obligations

Paul gives three reasons why he is ready to evangelise where his message will be despised. Herein is the power of the Gospel, also an explanation of God’s imputed righteousness, and of how regeneration leads to someone being consciously convicted and persuaded by the Gospel.

The Selfless Servant

Before Paul’s famous, stirring, profound statements come pouring from his inspired pen, six priceless verses reveal his unselfish, caring, outward-looking character, his evangelistic priority and his great concern to live in accordance with the will of God. All are challenged to keep spiritual priorities.

Christ Revealed in Romans

Introducing Romans – the supreme doctrinal foundation of our faith – revealing Christ in the full glory of His work and His headship of the church. Romans shows how He calls, saves, sanctifies and keeps His own, and the duties of the Christian life. Above all, it exalts Christ.

When Christ is With Us

In this hostile world, believers cannot live successfully and fruitfully without Christ being with their spirits. Here is why the soul is also called the spirit, and what it means for Christ to be with our spirit. Examples and counsels for securing His nearness.

Paul’s Last Days and Duties

Facing execution, Paul from prison cares for infant churches to the end, sending out pastors. An enemy has given devastating false evidence against him, and now he expects deliverance not from death but by death into the Eternal Kingdom. Martyrdom will seal his genuineness for Christ.

Paul’s Most Inspiring Words

Soon to be executed, Paul uses exalted language to describe the privilege and blessings of the Christian life, and the experience of death. Here is what he means by the good (noble) fight, finishing his course, keeping (guarding) the faith, and receiving the crown of righteousness.

Paul’s Final Commission

We are ‘present’ at Paul’s last briefing of Timothy, a key minister, who receives a solemn charge for his life’s work. And yet these words apply to all truly committed believers, for all witness, and uphold the ministry. Here are the ten vital commands.

The Praise of Faith

Full chapter _____________ Habakkuk 3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth. O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. God came from Teman, and the Holy One from … Continued

The Inspired Scriptures

The New Testament canon, set by the Spirit through the apostles, joins the Old Testament as the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word, unparalleled by any human literature. Here are its unique excellencies, themes and purposes, that deepen and equip believers for their ‘good works’, also here named.

Everlasting Love

Timothy witnessed the love that drove Paul on his missionary journeys. Here is the source – God’s love of all, even the unredeemed, proved from scriptures. Also the purposes of ‘common grace’, and Paul’s chief love passages, with hindrances and helps to advancing in this highest grace.

Precious Faith

Paul urges Timothy (and us) to follow his continuous exercise of faith. Here is the necessity of placing faith in God’s providence and overruling in our lives, faith in His power to help, and faith in His Word (prescriptions and promises). Here also are many priceless characteristics of faith.

Paul’s Self -Training

Following the features of ‘perilous times’, the apostle provides a unique eight-point summary of his standards and aims as a servant of God, referring to his ‘manner of life’ or ongoing training in service. Here are the objectives for us all.

Distinctive in Perilous Times

A series of particularly godless seasons are to take place during the last age, the present age, each being worse than the previous one, the last being ended by the return of Christ. Here are the features of such seasons, and the response of true believers.

Modus Operandi

Should preachers shout? To be in earnest and larger than life is natural and sincere public communication, but is the bellowing culture not contrary to the words of Paul, and to Christ’s example? Here is the ethos of proclamation for all, exemplified by the Lord.

Fit For The Lord’s Use

Even Timothy, sanctified, godly and aged 38-42 must ‘go on fleeing’ the sins of ‘youth’, here described, along with the method of fleeing them. Here also are the positive virtues to be pursued in order to be instrumental for God in witness and intercession.

A Seeker’s Struggles

Forgiveness and new life from God are wholly secured for us by the atoning death of Christ, and are given freely when we come to Him in repentance and faith. But there must be a pressing need and desire on our part, here described.

How the True Church is Distinguished

A passage calling true Christians from all spiritual association with false and worldly teachers, showing why this must be so. How the true church can never be overthrown; its distinguishing marks; also, promises of instrumentality to all who leave worldly culture and ways.

Closeness to Christ

Christ gave Himself for His people, and so Paul endured all for those who would be saved. What it means to die to sin, the old life and the world, and to live to represent and please Christ. Also, the meaning of ‘rightly dividing the Word’. What is the context of 2 Timothy? Here is … Continued

Three Golden Rules of Service

Paul tells Timothy to ponder deeply on his three illustrations of soldier, athlete and farmer, seeing them as principles of service to Christ. Here are the three vital rules of dedication to Him, obedience to His Word, and soul-participation in Him. Here also – ‘The Uncontainable Word’.

The Soldiering Analogy

Timothy is to pass the Word to truly saved men, separated from the world, for the future. It is not only preachers who are to live as ‘soldiers’ but all believers, and here are the standards and conditions we accept for the love of Christ.

Being Strong in Grace

Paul’s exhortation to be strong in grace is no mere general encouragement. It is the secret of his walk, and a necessity for us all. Here is the practice of constant dependence on Christ in every aspect of the life of churches and individual believers.