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.

Holding Fast the Faith

A martial call to keep the Word despite continual pressure to sweep us off course. The superiority of God’s Truth over human learning, and the need to defend not only the doctrines but the conduct they teach. Also, the vital practice of faith and love.

Seeing and Hearing Christ

Full chapter _____________ Acts 22 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you. (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,) I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in … Continued

Adding To Our Faith

Full chapter _____________ 2 Peter 1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as … Continued

Experiencing Christ

Whatever Paul suffers or surrenders for Christ, he is certain of spiritual and bodily triumph because he knows Christ. Here are the grounds of his certainty. Here also is what it means to deposit one’s life, soul and eternal interests into the safekeeping of Christ the Saviour.

Christian Basic Doctrine

Full chapter _____________ 2 John 1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. Grace be with you, mercy, and … Continued

Unknown Believers in the Battles of Life

Full chapter _____________ Judges 3 Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew … Continued

Personal Revelation

Sublime concepts illustrated and explained:- ‘Saved’ (what from and what to?), ‘Holy Calling’, ‘Grace’ (and the sense in which this Old Testament concept was more wonderfully revealed through Christ), the full meaning of ‘Abolished Death’, ‘Life’ (its glorious features) and ‘Immortality’. Here is our highest knowledge.

Three Great Strengths

Gifts of God – aptitudes and endowments – given to believers for the testimony of Christ must frequently be stirred up; literally Paul says – rekindled. Here is how, and here also are the three great strengths which we have from the Spirit that enable us to do this.

Christian Basics

Full chapter _____________ 2 John 1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. Grace be with you, mercy, and … Continued

The four ‘C’s of Christian Marriage

Here we find four foundational and timeless principles of the Godly union between Man and Woman; Comparability, Compatibility, Completeness and Complementarity.

All Your Needs Supplied

Paul speaks about God providing our needs, not supplying excessive earthly rewards, as the prosperity heretics claim. Here are the conditions. God’s ‘riches in glory’ are here defined, also how all glory should be His, not directed at human instruments.

Experiencing Christ’s Power

Paul has learned calm contentment of soul and how to obtain strength from Christ in every situation. Violence, sickness and poverty may abase, while revelations and blessing bring other dangers. Here are ‘five points of contentment’ that secure Christ’s presence and power in all events.

True Christian Commitment

Here are the matters which should occupy the minds and plans of believers. ‘Whatsoever things are true’ refers to the spiritual realities which should be our chief concern, unless we are becoming pliable, indifferent and ambivalent concerning the service and standards of the Lord.

New Babes and a Rejected Cornerstone

  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 … Continued

The Peace of God

The apostle’s way to all-surmounting trust and strength despite trouble or prosperity. Here are six very distinctive steps that lead – by the sure promise of God –  to spiritual safety and assurance. Here also is a definition of the peace that far surpasses all understanding.

Union With Christ

The deepest and most glorious concept – a union determined from eternity, secured at Calvary, implemented at conversion, deepened through life and perfected in death. Here is how it is felt; with a pastoral survey of the departments and circumstances in which union is unmistakably experienced.

Living Sacrifices

  Full chapter _____________ Romans 12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what … Continued

Satan Our Adversary

  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, … Continued

The Book of Life

To be named in this most magnificent register of grace cannot be bought, earned or inherited. How could Paul be so certain that his co-labourers were named there? ‘Eternal security’ as widely preached is dangerously wrong, but the security of ‘perseverers’ is assured by the Book.

A Balanced Mind

The opposite of minding earthly things is to keep heavenly themes in view. Here is how we should express and experience our heavenly citizenship with its riches and benefits, and how this exalts Christ in our hearts, and gives us perspective for all situations.

Paul Our Role Model

Not only are the apostle’s church activities a pattern for churches of all ages, but his manner of life is also to be closely imitated by believers. Here are key passages highlighting aspects of character, to develop and encourage true progress in godliness.

Sanctifying Power

Having been saved thirty years, Paul speaks of knowing ongoing resurrection power in his life, continuing to conform his mind, heart and will to Christ. What about earthly interests and pursuits? How should we weigh and ration them to fulfil the sufferings of Christ for us?

All Things Loss for Christ

Paul’s famous gain and loss passage exposes false hopes for both salvation and earthly satisfaction. Some 30 years after his conversion, the apostle affirms the overwhelming superiority of knowing Christ. What he means is explored here, especially the experience of walking with Christ.

He is Risen

  Full chapter _____________ Matthew 28 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled … Continued

In Spirit, not Flesh

The need to protect the Gospel and the Church; the threefold nature of the enemy; how to worship in the Spirit, and glory in Christ; ‘flesh’ in the church today; human inventions in God’s work; and how to express the right kind of sympathy for the unsaved.

The Sower and the Seed

  Full chapter _____________ Matthew 13 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, … Continued

‘Rejoice in the Lord’

The command to be happy as believers raises questions for all who suffer trials or have good cause for heaviness. Here is joy that exists alongside every hard experience, and how it is to be procured by reflection on key aspects of Christ and His work for us.

The State of a Church

The believer’s life is to be a conscious and willing sacrifice of love and service to God. Here is how we are to assess the condition of our church, and where it should be strong. Also, here are Paul’s indications of a future pastor.

Aligning Our Will With God’s

To grow in appreciation of and delight in God’s commands provides motivation and zeal for obedience. Here is Paul’s counsel for advance and especially in the paramount duty of representing Christ by our lives, and lifting up the light of the Gospel.

An Agenda for Holiness

Sanctification involves striving in obedience to God, by His power. Here are key striving texts, and an overview of the four departments of holy, spiritual living for which we are to strive. Here also is the apostle’s definition of conscientious effort.

The Name Above All

As God-and-Man Christ is elevated to the highest glory and given a name unutterable on earth, but known in Glory. A strongly uplifting study for believers is to explore this greatest name, not to identify it, but to grasp its significance and wonder.

Christian Thinking

Paul shows that to think as a Christian needs the impetus of strong indebtedness to Christ. Urged by this, we can adopt spiritual values, particularly dis-self-esteem, plus outgoing care for others. Then we begin to resemble our Lord, who laid aside Heavenly glory for His people.

The Moribund Church

Full chapter _____________ Revelation 3 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are … Continued

All for Christ

How greatly Paul longed to be with Christ! Do we have such love of the Lord? Here Paul shows how to increase in appreciation of Christ. He also urges believers to Gospel labour, honouring their heavenly citizenship standards (not compromising with the world, as some prescribe).

“To me to live is Christ”

Paul’s great profession challenges every believer. All we are and have is Christ’s – homes, possessions, abilities, and time. He is our standing, strength, joy and future. We live to prove Him in holiness, service and love, and here is how death is all gain for His people.

Surprises of the Spirit

Paul is silenced by imprisonment for years, yet in Rome his witness stirs the entire emperor’s palace and guard, and moves the ‘underground’ church to new boldness. Learning from the tragedy of wrongly motivated preachers. Also, praying for preachers, and the challenge to magnify Christ by life or death.

Choices in the Christian Life

Paul prays that our love will overflow, leading us to choose Christ’s interests in every aspect of life. Our spiritual journey consists of continuous choices – here they are. Right choosing keeps us genuine all the way, and gives rise to practical fruits that glorify God.

Applied Christian Living

Philippi had a remarkable congregation, bonded to the apostle Paul through longstanding ties of support and love. This is truly an epistle of love, also shedding much light on how to apply the Word to life, and to the practical service of Christ.

God ‘Working in You’

Holiness comes only by God’s help. Why atheists cannot improve. Believers may resist God’s work in them. Here are the good works we were converted for, with hindrances and helps. The importance of giving all glory to Christ (and the tragedy of evangelical celebrity culture).

Poor But Rich

  Full chapter _____________ Revelation 2 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them … Continued

Solid Assurances

This inspired prayer for the people begins by lifting up Almighty God, an all prayer must. The God of peace is extolled, the resurrected Christ, His authority over his people, His work as Shepherd, His all-accomplishing blood, and the covenant everlasting. Here are the assurances.

‘Christian Assurance’ – Eternal Security

  Full chapter _____________ 1 John 5 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this … Continued

This World is Not Our Place

The attitude of believers toward this doomed world; compassion but not restoration; in it but never of it; the stance of the Lord and of Bible history; soul-winning our great aim. Also, the central place of praise, and how we offer it in Christ’s name.

Opposites Cannot Mix

Here – the doctrines of the faith are an anchor to avoid drift. Grace must be held to as the exclusive way of salvation; it cannot hold fellowship with ‘works’. Proof that O.T. food laws have ceased. Reasons why Christian must never be ‘culturally progressive’; loyalty to God is at stake.

“Ye are the light of the world”

  Full chapter _____________ Matthew 5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they … Continued

Memory – The Key to Spiritual Progress

Ways to remember great lessons of the spiritual life and doctrine; how undershepherds ‘rule’ as guides not by personal authority, but by faithful, applied preaching. What is not meant by the words ‘obey’ and ‘submit’ (v17) and the vital true sense.

Sensing Christ Near

Covetousness is a fierce spoiler of a believer’s experience of the Lord. Here are its forms and effects, how it becomes an act of worship, and the remedies to be used to combat it. Here, also, are Christ’s glorious kindnesses toward His people.

Life’s Greatest Purpose

The climax of incentives to holiness is revealed as the greatness of the cause we serve. For we are not called to the Mosaic order, but the Gospel age; to the kingdom that shall never fall. Here are its contrasting and glorious features – and our duties.

Our Vastly Superior Covenant

Good churches are soon corrupted and disabled by indifference to holy living, so believers are to watch over each other, thankful that they are not under the Old Testament order, but the altogether better order of Christ’s people, bound for the heavenly Jerusalem. Here are the mighty differences.

Recovering From a Spiritual Low

A low state of spiritual love, fervour, service and assurance may be speedily remedied by the blessing of God, and here is how. Here also is the duty of peace with worldlings, and the necessity of inward purity for a deep awareness of the Lord – by faith.

God’s Training Course

Here are the depths and riches of the Father’s training of His people, representing His affection and plans for them. We may neglect it, becoming subject to the firmer disciplines here noted. How may we tell between chastisements, and afflictions for other purposes?

Our Battle and Cause

Famously called ‘the greatest fight in the world’ these verses show us how the hearts of believers may be kept zealously loyal to their high calling. Here is what it means to ‘consider Him’ and to keep ourselves from fainting in faith, and strong in passion for souls.

Servants by Constitution

Human beings are servants by nature, and here are some of the things that we are willingly enslaved by. We have only so much time to discover that Christ alone is worthy of service. Here are His attributes and plans, and His call to spiritual life.

The Heavenward Race

How God validates our faith in the eyes of others, if sin is laid aside. Also, how Christ regarded His debasement as temporary, and non-obstructive to the securing of joy for the redeemed, and how we should esteem our effect upon souls higher than our trials.

Faith Subdued Kingdoms

The most magnificent passage of proofs from Bible history that faith in Christ and a loyal, prayerful life brings from our lives a ‘good report’, i.e.- the witness of God that we are His. Here are the faithful, what they did, and the corresponding deeds today.

“Salt of the Earth”

  Full chapter _____________ Matthew 5 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they … Continued

The Incarnation of Christ

  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 … Continued

How Believers See Christ

Unbelievers (and backsliders) see nothing, but faith views Christ in His Word and Work. Here are many ways in which we ‘see’ Him, especially His Person, power, affections and plans. We must view His all-surpassing qualities constantly, and do so with prayer, trust and submission.

How to Choose by Faith

Moses believed a centuries-old promise of deliverance for Israel, and renounced royal life to serve God. His sacrifice was immense, as were also the results. He looked away from earthly rewards, and looked to spiritual gain. Here are the applications for us today.

Giving Account to God

What will we do, asks Isaiah, in the day God brings us to account for our life? At the moment God disrupts our indifference to Him, or our defiance of Him, what will become of us? Here are examples of futile human defences. The only Saviour must be sought before that final day.

Walking by Faith

Four great examples of how faith sees Truth, believes and obeys it. Isaac responded with trembling, Jacob obeyed a unique insight, Joseph secured a 400-year testimony, and the parents of Moses performed a dangerous yet vital act with calm certainty. Here are enduring applications.

Seeing Jesus

  Full chapter _____________ John 12 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a … Continued

The Gospel and its Transforming Work

  Full chapter _____________ 1 Thessalonians 1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God always for you all, making … Continued

I Thirst

  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, … Continued

How Rare is Christian Obedience!

True faith produces obedience and obedience is the proof of true faith. Strangely, today, much right doctrine does not always lead to obedience. Here are God’s objectives in the proving of Abraham by the offering of Isaac, showing parallels with our provings by the Lord.

The Formation of Faith

Sarah did not at first believe that she would conceive, but then faith was formed. Here is how it operated in the work of God to establish the line and church of Christ. Here also are the reasons why God employed miraculous means, with applications to us.

Is Abraham’s Faith Ours?

This is the story of Abraham’s God-given saving faith that compelled him to answer God’s call. What made such an impression on him, how did he respond, and what was the basis for his ongoing faith? Here also are the parallel influences in believers today.

Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

  Full chapter _____________ Mark 15 And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, … Continued

Faith that Inherits

In a single verse both saving and keeping faith are presented in the life of Noah. Here is his ‘illumination’ about future things, his careful response, his obedience, his devotion to the Seed Royal, and his witness – all showing he is an heir of righteousness by faith.

Walking with Christ

From Abel to Enoch we see how our faith may speak on earth long after we die, and what it means to walk with God. Here sixteen features of being in communion are swiftly reviewed to help motivate and encourage believers to live by faith.

Facts about Ongoing Faith

Faith, for a saved person, is the capacity to see beyond the reach of human vision and sense, to perceive as real and certain, matters revealed by God in his Word. Here are faith’s benefits and enemies, and how it must be exercised and enabled to grow.

The Hallmark of True Belief

A two-part hallmark being first, conscientious concern for righteousness. False faith becomes indifferent to sin, but here is the difference between false faith and backsliding. The second mark is the acceptance of Christian priorities and trials. Here also are the joys of true faith.

Every Believer’s Priestly Duties

Inspired steps for fruitfulness and assurance that track the symbolic duties of the high priest. Here is counsel on: 1) drawing near to God, 2) obtaining cleansing, 3) affirmation and witness, 4) watching over others, 5) gathering for worship and instruction, 6) weighing our remaining time.

Good Things to Come

Further proof that Old Testament Jews knew that their ceremonial worship were both lessons on grace and prophecy of Christ’s work in signs. Here, also, the greatness of Christ is presented, and His present work of subduing all things by conquering hearts and progressively frustrating His enemies.

The Riches and Power of the Blood of Christ

One of the purposes of Hebrews is to convince readers that the Old Testament saints actually knew that their worship was typical and figurative of the work of their coming Messiah. Here are aspects of the wonder and riches of the atonement to move believing hearts.

Deep Symbols of Old

Sparkling verses that review the riches of O.T. times to show how much people were shown about God’s holiness and the provision of redemption through the coming Saviour. The symbols have gone, but the record of them stirs and deepens our perception of how much we owe.

Father Forgive Them

  Full chapter _____________ Luke 23 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the … Continued

Our Great High Priest

Surveying the points of superiority of Christ’s high priesthood over that of O.T. high priests powerfully stirs our gratitude and indebtedness. Likewise, the superior excellence of the covenant of grace increases our love, dedication, and anticipation of future blessing.

Melchisedec

Prophecies about Christ and His work included the foretelling of His high priestly work, and the passing of the Levitical priesthood – which was symbolic and unable to atone for sin. Here are great characteristics of Christ represented by Melchisedec, and also by David’s related prophecy.

Full Assurance

Spiritual certainty is here based on a forward-looking, heavenly view of life. It is when being with the Lord is kept in view, and becomes our chief motivation for holiness and service, and our chief consolation, that assurance is maintained strongly to the end.

The Death of Death

The purposes of Christ’s resurrection. Here also are aspects of the tyranny and ugliness of death which the human mind does not like to think of, to show the scale and magnificence of Christ’s victory over it on our behalf. The present and eternal benefits of knowing Him.

We Must Advance

Some Christians devour doctrine, but stand still in personal sanctification, separation from the world, and service. Here is the call to fully-formed maturity. Do we long for our lives to make some return to Christ for the incomprehensible price He paid for us?

Christ’s Compassion and Our Obedience

After showing the superior sympathy of Christ over His Old Testament type – the high priest – this chapter challenges dullness of hearing. The cause is failure to personally prove Christ. The learning, deepening life depends on a truly obedient, non-worldly walk.

The Word and Prayer

Senses in which the Word is ‘living’. Its power in conversion and in sustaining a spiritual walk. Its unmatched power in ministry, never to be displaced by drama or film. Implications of a unique term ‘throne of grace’, and the rules of prayer, for mercy first, then help.

Are We Sure of Salvation?

Here is deep concern for souls, conversion being defined as a rest. Rich terms and appeals are here explored. Salvation is said to have been in place and ready for the Fall. The literal promised land was also a picture of spiritual rest which was preached alongside.

Spiritual Psychology

Understanding how the heart (mind-affections-will) may lose spiritual sensitivity and strength, and how these may be restored and maintained. Keeping church and world distinct, and why Christian works of compassion are different from the heresy that Christ calls us to restore the world.

A Summary of Christian Life

  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 … Continued

The Obvious Believer

Reflecting on the Lord, to maintain a strong manifestation of our conversion and hold on Christ. Keeping up assurance, witness, and anticipation of glory by ready response to every scriptural challenge. How to hear the voice of Christ in His Word, and to keep the heart.

What Christ Means to Us

The range of Christ’s sufferings on Calvary; how divine attributes met there; being brought as children to glory; and other insights into Christ’s love. Plus the twofold purpose of His sufferings: (a) atonement (b) to show that he has tasted our every trial, and will help us.

Seeing Spiritual Things

The inspired writer urges the spiritually vague to faith, and speaks of the greatness of salvation, the signs of the apostles, the ministry of angels, and David’s prophecy of atonement. Here also are explanations of Christ dying for ‘every man’, ‘tasting death’, and how we ‘see Jesus’.

The Christian Era

A majestic letter showing the glory of Christ, and how the Old Testament ceremonial is fulfilled in Him. Here is Christ’s divine nature and work, and our privileges drawn from many uplifting passages. Here too the errors of future society and churches are predicted, with a call to holiness and blessing.

The Immeasurable Personal Love of Christ

A review of the characteristics of Christ’s love for His people, and how it should stir ours for Him. Also, how having received such love, we should reflect it in marriage. Here also is Paul’s famous declaration that it is impossible to be separated from the Lord’s love.

The Motto Text of James

It is the duty of believers to watch for backsliding with tender concern, and to win back wanderers. This leads James to state a magnificent and inspiring New Testament proverb or faithful saying, a motto for soul winners. Here is its meaning, encouragements and its powerful incentives.

Effective Prayer

(First 15 mins missing due to power cut.) Prayer is both an immense privilege and a great responsibility for saved people. This is about ‘energised’ prayer, concerned and pleading in character, and also zealous and persistent. Here are the obstacles and the way to overcome them: to pray with great resulting power.

The Practice of Patience

Patience is described by James as a means of proving the Lord’s affection and compassion, and also a route to great happiness. Here are the kinds of affliction that require patience; how it is obtained and exercised, and what it accomplishes in the spiritual life.

No More Slaves but Sons

  Full chapter _____________ Galatians 4 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the … Continued

Seeing the Eternal Context

The lot of materialists is vividly described by James, viewed in the light of eternity. They do not see it, but believers do, and so avoidance of earthly ‘goods’ is not hard. Here is advice on material things. Also, how the church family is far better than earthly things to believers.

God’s Will for Us

James gives two examples of how a worldly believer lives without reference to God: first in critical talk about other Christians, and secondly in deciding their own affairs without considering God’s will and purpose. Here is how to be prayerfully available to God, the opposite of worldliness.

Worldliness

James employs the imagery of two natures in the believer in showing how not to yield to worldly desires, but to resist the devil. Here praying ‘amiss’ is defined, and prayer priorities listed. Here also – how the Spirit gives far superior favours than those of the world.

Testing Our Spiritual Wisdom

James chooses a word for ‘knowledge’ used only once in the New Testament. It speaks of specialised knowledge – like military intelligence – of Satan’s wiles and how to defeat him. Do we have it? Here is the all-enabling, non-self-seeking wisdom that is from above.

Bridling The Tongue For Christ

This famous passage on the frightening potential of the tongue also gives us a powerful instrument in the pursuit of holiness. Don’t you know, James seems to say, that by control of the tongue (with God’s help) you can control all your faculties and passions. Here is how.

Dead and Living Faith Compared

This passage seems to teach justification by works as well as faith. But James insists that true saving faith is evidenced in a new life of obedience and sacrifice. We should seek nothing less in days when worldly evangelicalism and a new form of Calvinism have united with the world.

Discrimination in the Church

Intermingled with uplifting terms about Christ and the rewards of faith, James shows the sinfulness of discrimination, whether partiality or preference shown through wealth, class, ethnicity or similar distinction. All need salvation by faith alone. Here also the ‘royal law’ of ‘liberty’ is defined.

Doctrine Not Applied is Vain

The Western surge in the promotion of Calvinism in churches is not always accompanied by reform of conduct, or separation from the world. A great gulf is seen between belief and practice. James deals with this very situation, and with how we must all face our inconsistent ways.

The Trials of Character

How to handle poverty or wealth, and temptations to sin that come from within ourselves. The source is inner corruption, and here are the precautions and remedies for halting their development, especially vital when the world presses us as never before.

The Trials of Faith

From the Pastor of the church at Jerusalem came the first of all NT epistles, and its first theme is troubles. The inspired writer does not primarily dispense comfort, but calls us to understand the purposes and respond well, telling us how to handle tests of faith.

From Banishment to Acceptance

  Full chapter _____________ Ruth 1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth-lehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was … Continued

Persevering Prayer

  Full chapter _____________ Exodus 17 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give … Continued

An Agenda for Blessing

Striving for earthly gain and satisfaction makes believers vulnerable to the snare of many longings and lusts, leading to severe spiritual decline and sorrow. Paul appeals to us to flee from these things, giving a six-point agenda for the consecrated life that leads to spiritual fruitfulness.

The Battle for Eternity

‘Lay hold on eternal life’ was spoken to a preacher, showing the need to grasp eternity as the supreme objective and inspiration and the antidote to complacency and backsliding. Here, too, is why the historic two-nature model for sanctification is the best practical aid to believers.

Constant Communion

The word ‘godliness’, as used by both Paul and Peter, does not mean holiness but devotion or reverence. Knowing this brings all the exhortations to godliness to life. Here we see what constant devotion is, how it is to be exercised and maintained, and the blessings it brings.

Greatness of the Truth

Conforming a church to God’s pattern must begin with a glimpse of the greatness and glory of Christ and His church (which would shame away today’s trivialisation and entertainment). Here is the all-surpassing wonder of ‘God manifest in the flesh’, and the five powerful proofs.

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 … Continued

The Christian’s Resolve

  Full chapter _____________ Psalm 39 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart … Continued

Signs of Spiritual Life

Are we truly saved? Do we need a jolt to examine our status before God, or do we need reassurance that we are saved? In a single study, here are two major signs from 1 John: our commitment to the Gospel, and our changed relationship with sin and the world

The King Eternal

This magnificent expression of praise describes the Sovereign Ruler. Here is how God determines all things without being the author of sin, together with rich observations drawn from God being eternal, immortal, invisible and exclusively wise. Thinking of His Being promotes our communion, love, holiness and service.

The Real Power of Truth

Timothy was not a special delegate, but a prototype pastor in the Bible’s pattern for church order. Here is the true aim of the Gospel – to produce holy and dedicated hearts. Here also is the glory of the Gospel, and how Paul’s conversion is a pattern for all others

Paul’s Personal Admonitions

Having shown that there is much opposition to Gospel work, Paul gives five famous directions for resisting and overcoming this, here explained. On these directions, with God’s help, the very survival let alone the spiritual advance of a congregation depends. Here also are the apostle’s closing encouragements.

The Source of Fervour

Our resurrection bodies will be the image of Christ’s, constituted for eternal glory: physical, tangible, yet spiritual, powerful and perfect. Death – the great devourer – will be itself swallowed up by the final victory of Christ. Here is how we should be affected and inspired even now.

Jealous for Truth

At Corinth even good believers lacked backbone to defend the priceless truth of resurrection against a minority of cynics. Here is Paul’s call to wake up, his warning of the power of error, and his revelation on the necessity and nature of glorious resurrection bodies.

End Time Glory

Christ’s resurrection guarantees the day when He shall return and His people shall receive their resurrection bodies. Here is the manner of it, and the accompanying acts of Christ that end the tyranny of death and all opposition, ushering in unbreakable glory and bliss

The Unique Message of Resurrection

The Cross would have disappeared from history as a terminal failure, had not the Resurrection shown its significance and accomplishments. Christ must save soul and body for God’s original plan to be brought to pass – a godly host living bodily on a glorified earth.

True Worship

When Paul says everyone had a psalm, doctrine, tongue, etc, for worship, he obviously refers to the recognised leaders of the church, as we prove here. These are his inspired directions for orderly worship that includes the full biblical ‘agenda’, and glorifies Christ.

Understanding is the Key

Amidst clear teaching on the limited purpose of the temporary gift of tongues-speaking, and the paramount place of understanding in worship, Paul reveals the four ‘departments’ or objectives of all teaching and ministry, and the nature of evangelism. Here also prophecy is defined.

The Components of Love

Only the Christ of Calvary could have composed and inspired this glorious chapter (penned by Paul) about Christian love, its qualities, its strength, and its eternal crowning. Here are our aims in the experience of love, and why it is so much greater than faith and hope.

The Church is Like a Body

The Apostle speaks of an individual congregation as a ‘body’, showing the divine design and the wide differences in the contribution of members. If a church is a preacher only, it is ultimately doomed; that is if there are not roles for all, and no mutual care and dependence.

Hearing God Speak

The purpose of spiritual gifts – revealing the New Testament (and authenticating the spokesmen). Paul lists them, with ongoing spiritual gifts and their features. Never for personal indulgence, they bring God’s Word to all. Here also is why the church is gloriously called the body of Christ.

Divine Provision for Troubled Consciences

  Full chapter _____________ Hebrews 9 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the … Continued

Lord’s Supper Sincerity

At Corinth the Lord’s Supper was ruined and invalidated by being confused with a ‘love feast’. Paul shows how we should approach the ordinance and what we should derive from it. It is a deeply moving ‘proclamation’ of Calvary, and either insincerity or absence leads to chastisement from the Lord.

What the Resurrection Tells Us

Though long foretold (also by Christ) the resurrection shocked the disciples. By His appearances Christ showed His divinity, the success of His atonement, His closeness to His people, their eternal security, His readiness to show them proofs, His desire for their service, and the certainty of end-time prophecies.

Christian Dress

Paul tells women to wear the veil of their society, which symbolised subjection. Our society has not had this dress code for decades. Hats no longer signify subjection. Is Paul’s requirement to be literally obeyed today, or may the principle be observed in a different way?

True Followers

What Christ left to Paul to reveal. True Christians are to be imitators of the apostles’ ordinances – here meaning traditions, i.e. the doctrines and practices they taught, including behaviour, aims, attitude, love, reverence, separation from the world, working for Christ, and living with an eye to eternity.

Putting Self Last

Seeking the wellbeing of others above our own is a key objective for Christ’s people. How we speak of others as well as to them, and how we help them in deed must be Christ like if we hope to be used by Him, and have spiritual fulfilment.

Give Us an Answer

  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 … Continued

Closer to Christ

‘The communion of the blood of Christ’ is a remarkable term speaking of partnership or sharing with a divine person. Yet Christ is not known by touch, voice or bodily sensation, but by faith. Here is the way in which we know strong personal spiritual familiarity with Christ.

Control of Temptations and Trials

Here are eight kinds of trial and seven kinds of temptations possibly arising from them, with God’s assurances of how He overrules to fix the limits of these, and helps His people overcome and bear them. Here are the ‘ways of escape’ enabling us to overcome them all.

Backsliding Dangers

In the wilderness, the Israelites were punished not only for idolatry and fornication, but also of wanting the foods of Egypt, being dissatisfied with spiritual provisions, and for ‘worldly’ worship. Astonishingly, the latter offences are widely approved in churches today. Here is the counsel of the Apostle Paul.

Gospel Priorities

To be saved by the Gospel means to live for the Gospel. 1 Corinthians 9 is often used to justify compromise with the world, so called ‘front line’ living, even patronising pubs and clubs. It actually condemns this, presenting real dedication to the Gospel, gaining much instrumentality.

The Glorious Burden

Paul earns his own living to avoid hindering the Gospel. However, God commands the normal support of preachers. Here is the obligation of the persuasive offer of the Gospel, and it is consistent with election and regeneration. Also, maintaining fervour for souls, and the woe pronounced against slackness.

Dangerous Knowledge

Spiritual knowledge, though vital, is merely ego-inflating if unaccompanied by active love for Christ, for His cause, and for souls, as well as by an active conscience warning of sin, and urging to Christian duties. Here is how love and conscience work to make knowledge effective, and to keep us humble.

Urgent Living

Our lives are ever running lower on time to love and serve the Lord. We cannot make earthly matters, including our home, our chief priority in favour of the cause of Christ and of souls. Are we living too much for things that are doomed to pass away?

Mutual Debts in Marriage

A key word has slipped out of some modern translations – the marital debt of benevolence, meaning goodwill and kind benefits. Here are seven debts each has to the other in Christian marriage, a sevenfold bond and blessing to the crowning earthly friendship of life’s journey, are we paying what is ‘due’?

The Indwelling Spirit

The Spirit takes possession of the soul purchased of Christ, making it an inner sanctuary. It is the place of communion with God, where assurance and comfort are bestowed, and divine stirrings are felt. How careful we must be to preserve the purity of both body and soul!

A Year of Hopes

Canaan symbolises heaven, but chiefly it pictures the new life entered at conversion, given and ‘watered’ by God, to be increasingly ‘possessed’ by the believer. Here are God’s commands and promises, with nine new developments that come with growing Christian experience every new year.

Signs of True Believers

Paul shows the shame when believer takes believer before a secular court, contradicting their calling and mutual love. Then he describes sins never to be committed by believers; the threefold basis of true conversion; and the rules of Christian liberty

Keeping Church and Marriage Holy

Church discipline is seen to have several aims including the honour of Christ, the purity, witness and protection of the church, and the restoration of the offender. Here, also, is the meaning of Christ our passover, and the beauty of Christian conduct, especially in marriage

In Christ’s School of Power

We look in every passage of the Word for a doctrine, a duty, a reproof, an encouragement, a promise and a view of Christ. All are here, especially how the Lord’s loving discipline is exercised, and how His power and blessing rules in a believer’s life.

Christ’s Pattern for the Church

This message shows that Paul is to be keenly imitated in doctrine, conduct, and church policy – all three. Here are the proof-passages showing that a precise pattern is given for churches in the New Testament. Also, proof that Christ has already taught all Paul’s major doctrines

Right and Wrong Aims

Paul warns against being ‘puffed up’, vaunting earthly accomplishments or gifts, and being satisfied and overconfident. Consider Gospel workers, says Paul, their humility, selflessness, sacrifice, and acceptance of persecution. Live for spiritual and eternal aims, striving for sanctification and witness – whatever the cost.

Christ Real to Us

Here is Christ as the sole foundation for salvation, life, sanctification and eternity. Here also is the local church as God’s dwelling place, and the assurance that all things are ours, and precious, whether our present lives, the world, or death, for we are Christ’s

Defining Spiritual Meat

Spiritual maturity begins and proceeds with a taste for the ‘meat’ of the Word, but what is this? It is not sound doctrine alone, for ‘carnal Christians’ often have this. Here it is defined as passages that specifically promote love for Christ, holiness, obedience and consecration.

Receiving and Understanding Truth

Why human wisdom cannot read God’s mind. God must reveal His truth to man. Here is how we may be certain that the Bible, exclusively, is that very revelation. Here also are features of the freeness of salvation, verbal inspiration and the chief rule of interpretation.

The Deep Things of God

The apostle reproves the Corinthians’ taste for over-eloquent preaching decorated in philosophy, showing that Cross-centred persuasions, seemingly inadequate, are the wisdom and the power of God. Would he not condemn today’s Christian drama, film, or rock-music centred outreach?

Bringing Down this World’s Wisdom

How God humbles the wise, mighty and noble both now and at the last day through the witness of ordinary believers holding forth the Cross alone. Also, how Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, and how He should be constantly praised by us.

The Wisdom and Power of God

Corinth was a far better church than many think, but their cultural love of heroes and oratory needed to go (like some of our fads). Paul magnificently elevates the Gospel above all human wisdom. Though foolish to millions, God’s call opens minds with converting power.

Christian Privileges

Beginning a series in this remarkable epistle, full of doctrinal, devotional and practical issues. True faults of this church are often exaggerated, distorting the message. Paul’s strong commendations show the majority were marvellously converted and walking with the Lord. Here are incomparable Christian blessings.

The Christian’s Burdens

Full chapter _____________ Psalm 55 Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and … Continued

Musing and Meditating

Full chapter _____________ Psalm 39 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was … Continued

Reasons Not To Fear

Full chapter _____________ 1 Samuel 12 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and … Continued

The Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ

Full chapter _____________ 1 Corinthians 1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name … Continued

The Spirit of Power

Paul, in his final imprisonment, awaiting execution, tells of how Spirit-given power, love and safe-mentality sustains him, and what it means to believers to know Christ, and to commit to him all their earthly and eternal interests, with the ultimate day in view.

The Snares of Prosperity

Love of material gain, status and appearance begins with mental desire. Here is why these aims are deceitful, leading to a threefold fall or snare. Here are the hurts, and the vital antidotes that protect and promote spiritual contentment and fruitfulness.

Love for Christ

The psalmist had stumbled into material desire, or into doubts, envying the apparent benefits of godless people. But surrounded by the symbols of divine mercy in the sanctuary, he recovered his sense of salvation, his exclamation of love yielding great lessons for us on how to express love to Christ.

Humility Essential for Blessing

Paul’s humility not merely partial, but extending to intellect, judgement, spiritual power, preaching and personal requirements. Here are the major forms of pride for us to avoid. How is humility (a conversion gift) lost? Here are helpful answers along with the marks and virtues of humility, and its rewards.

Praying and Walking

  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 … Continued

A Stronghold in the Day of Trouble

  Full chapter _____________ Nahum 1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great … Continued

Paul’s Golden Rule

Paul defines Christian conversion as a new creation, and the church as a community of new-created people. Here are their distinctive features and blessings. Here also is the three-fold meaning of Paul having the scars of Christ, and the meaning for us.

Lessons on Providence

  Full chapter _____________ John 11 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, … Continued

Glorying in the Cross

We cannot glory in the life of Christ, or the Bible or any doctrine without supremely glorying in what took place on Calvary’s cross, something only Christ could do, displaying his attributes, saving billions of souls, and crucifying the world to us, and us to the world.

Sowing and Reaping by Believers

It is a law of life that we reap what we sow. Believers, saved by grace, may slip back to sowing for earthly gratification rather than holiness and the service of Christ. Paul here provides needed urgings and promises.

The Law of Helpfulness

Paul first gives the ‘rules’ for kindly correction between believers, then he applies Christ’s ‘new commandment’, the law of mutual love – or burden bearing. Do we really follow this, the kindest of laws? If not, says Paul, we amount to nothing.

Walking in the Spirit

If given spiritual life by the Spirit, we should walk by His rule and help. Here is the manner in which we must read the Word, pursue holiness, engage in prayer and practise dedication to Christ in order to know real happiness and fulfilment.

Meekness and Strength Together

Meekness is the humble acceptance of God’s providence, as well as such things as the rule of the Word, Christian service and local church order. Temperance is strength over such things as the tongue, gifts, desires, moods and thoughts. Here are the biblical helps.

Deepening Faith

Ongoing faith is Spirit-given, but must be exercised. This is faith in the Word and its doctrines; living faith in Christ, and also faith in the eternal goal. False and true, hindrances and helps, are here presented.

Growing Personal Virtues

Longsuffering, gentleness (or kindness) and goodness are given by the Holy Spirit but must be exercised and increased. Here are passages that show how and give spiritual incentives. Here also are the helps and the hindrances.

Peace – the Anchor of Character

Peace is given directly to the believer by the Spirit, and also channelled through the Word. Here are descriptions of Satan’s false peace, salvation’s true peace, and Christ’s legacy of Peace. Also, how peace should rule in our hearts when trials come.

Facts About Joy

Joy given by the Spirit is to be maintained. Here are biblical facts about its character and achievements, and how it may be lost. Here also are the rich sources from which Christian joy is drawn.

The Virtue of Love

Love, the chief of Christian virtues, is imparted by the Spirit, and is a quality of thought, affection and action which must be exercised and protected. Here are its marvellous features, its scope, and its strength.

The Resistance of Thomas

This disciple’s famous disbelief in the resurrection followed several reliably reported appearances. His doubts clearly rose from a spiritual struggle within, and this passage – and the way the Lord directed him – yields numerous helps for us today.

Being Led of the Spirit

A passage not about guidance but about sanctification, and how the Spirit gives the power that enables us to avoid fleshly, sensual sins. Here are those lusts, and here also are the spiritual benefits that accompany their defeat

The Law of Love

Love is the substance of all the moral law, when it is obeyed by saved hearts full of gratitude to Christ. Here is how it works for each commandment. Here also is how the old fallen nature and the indwelling Holy Spirit are in conflict, and the way sin is to be overcome.

The Paradox of Christian Living

The doctrine of Christian liberty proclaims our freedom from the condemnation of the moral law and from Jewish ceremonial ritual. It includes our freedom to approach God, through Christ, without need of a priesthood. Yet we are to be willing servants of God’s standards, and of other people. Key verses show how.

Paul’s Allegory of the Covenants

While making powerful appeals for loyalty to salvation by faith, Paul brings a lesson from Ishmael and Isaac. Here are the great differences between salvation by works and faith; the two covenants are contracts for securing union with God, that are foreshadowed in the history of Abraham’s household.

The Primitive Era

Paul shows that before Christ all people were under elementary forms of worship. The Jews were given sound rituals designed to lead them to God, while the pagan world devised their own. Then came the marvel of Gospel light.

It Always Was By Faith

The moral and ceremonial laws of the Jewish era spelled out the barriers to being accepted by God, along with many lessons of forgiveness through trusting in the coming Christ. But finding this mercy was always through faith, not works, as these great verses prove.

Justified By Faith Alone

Paul quotes Genesis about Abraham’s belief being ‘accounted to him for righteousness’. He does not mean that belief is accepted in lieu of righteousness; or that it assists justification. Here is the meaning. Also, how faith in Christ brings us into all the blessings promised to Abraham.

Paul Reproves Peter

Peter believed in salvation by faith alone, but at Syrian Antioch he failed to stand up for the truth. Why did he err; and what was at stake? Here are glorious features of the true doctrine.

Paul’s Commission and Ours

Paul tells how God dealt directly with him, revealing the Gospel of faith – not works – and making him an apostle. His stand for truth (then against ‘Judaizers’) must be copied today. Here, also, is what it means to have Christ revealed in us.

Lightweight Believers

Paul is astonished to hear of genuine believers so quickly turning to the false teaching of ‘Judaizers’. Here is his strong defence of justification by faith alone, and of the exclusive saving power of Calvary. Who are the Judaizers today?

Love Analysed

Love for Christ includes love for His cause, shown by concerned prayer for Gospel work and for fellow believers. Paul here provides for news which will fuel prayer. Here also is defined the love which brings harmony, faith and special grace into a church.

Is it the Real Gospel?

Paul’s Gospel caused trouble and offence, however lovingly expressed, because it called people to the Christ of Calvary, atoning for sin, and pressed the need for repentance and transformation of life. Is this really the Gospel as we understand it?

The Comprehensive Victory of the Church

The ‘gates of hell’, symbolising the various strategies (here named) of Satan to destroy believers will never succeed. But what about a particularly immoral atheistic society? Is Satan prevailing? Here are biblical answers of encouragement.