Have you ever thought of Peter as an “ignorant fisherman?” If so, J. Vernon McGee would ask you to take a second look. “As we see in his first epistle, he deals with more doctrine in a brief letter [of 2 Peter] than any other New Testament writer. He takes up controversial matters and handles them in a masterful way.” 2 Peter is the apostle’s “swan song,” and his message is that you won’t be able to live for God unless you have a knowledge of the Word of God.
1 John 3:19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
College Press NIV Commentary: Our love helps us to know whether we belong to the truth. John tells us that when we know that our hearts condemn us, our love is insufficient. Since God is greater than our hearts, then he can know who we are and what we are. Let us not try to deceive God by having only a “love with words or tongue.” God knows our hearts. We can set our hearts at rest in his presence if we are obedient to his command. We know that we “belong to the truth” when our consciences are at ease in his presence.
“God’s work and witness go on, the only question is whether or not we will be in on it…When God called me to preach and when He calls you to teach Sunday School or to form a witnessing club for neighborhood children or to be a nursing home visitor, or to go to the mission field, etc., that is a special call with your name on it. The only question is, have you found it and are you doing it?”
Expository Preaching Through the Old Testament is a 21-volume sermon collection by Rev. Bob Marcaurelle. For 54 years, Marcaurelle has pastored the Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Anderson, South Carolina.
In these volumes, Marcaurelle takes you through the Old Testament, preaching on most every major story and character. He provides an endless supply of fresh material for preaching and teaching. Reading his sermons will make you want to sit and listen to him preach, they are that good. Excellent teaching flows from every paragraph.
Some Christians are heroes in their daydreams only. The characteristic mark of such heroism is imagining ourselves as faithful on great and public occasions and in rarefied atmospheres when others will be impressed. In stark contrast, true faithfulness in Scripture is first exercised in small things and in private. If we fail there, any faithfulness we show in public will be hypocrisy, a performance for the crowd and not an expression of loyalty to our Lord.
Daniel and his three friends were under intense pressure. Their consciences (educated by God’s Word and devoted to it) were under attack. The pressures to conform were intense. No doubt there were others, Jerusalem-born like themselves, who laughed at their sensitivities. What harm would good food do them, or new names? It is interesting and instructive to see their response. – The Preacher’s Commentary, Daniel
To understand the Bible, understanding the cultural background of each passage is important in helping you to know the author’s purpose for writing the book and why they did.
The IVP Bible Background Commentary is a unique, accessible commentary that helps you discover what it was like to actually be there when you are reading the Bible. Verse-by-verse, you are given all the background information you need to understand the local manners and customs of ancient times and cultures. You’ll become aware of what the people in the Bible were thinking and what was going on in their daily lives. Reading this work will shed valuable light that will even help your other commentaries make more sense.
Throughout its history, the ability of the church to practice justice has determined whether the values of God advance or decline. When Christians are practicing justice, they show that God is loving and powerful to work against some of the strongest forces of hate in the world. When the church is weak, complacent or engaging in injustice, God is made to look more like a personal crutch for the weak and the immoral. And who can blame the world for this perception? The church is suspect when some preachers tell us to expect new living room furniture from God but say nothing about God caring or doing anything about little children starving or being shot to death in various parts of the world. If the church is to regain a powerful hearing, then it must hear the cry of justice from the Scriptures.
Have you ever thought about how the Bible was written by people who were experiencing oppression? It might seem obvious, but is also something we can easily miss. The good news is that the Bible is also the story of the physical and spiritual salvation from that oppression.