Tag Archives: bible

Always Tell a Child Jesus Came to Heal the Broken Hearted

This is the other side of Never Tell a Child They Are Personally Worth the Sacrifice Jesus Made.

The side I seem perfectly incapable of articulating. So much so I actually need someone else to write it to get it right.

The person who knows my blind spots inside and out. And protects me against their dangers like a champ.

See, I knew yesterday’s post deserved a balanced treatment. I was just exploring a fraction of God’s majesty. Tinkering with but a fragment of the whole counsel of God.

So not long after I published it I began to nurture today’s post in my mind. To toy with text like  and an idea about “self-worth” versus “God worth.”

Then my wife commented. And wrote the post for me. So much better than I ever could have.

Here is an excerpt:

Maybe it isn’t our job to bolster self-esteem (and maybe it is), but it is certainly our job to point to the One who desires to bind up those hurts enough to allow a person to love others AS he LOVES himself. We don’t want to be too glib about the deep hurts that abuse cause. Christ obviously wasn’t. He came to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. If abused children aren’t counted among the brokenhearted and the captives, I can’t imagine who is.

Read the whole thing here.

If you liked what you read . Then share on Facebook and Twitter.

The Most Extraordinary Revival the World Has Ever Seen

Part of a new weekly series on the book of Matthew. This week: Matthew 12:38-41

Jonah had no idea what to expect the day he walked into Nineveh.

As the capital of the Assyrian Empire, it was quite possibly the largest city in the known world.

The inner city was surrounded by walls 8 miles long. The outer city circumscribed 60 miles. As many as 600,000 people could have been living in Nineveh at this time.

It was founded by an eponymous Ninnus. But it was who made it great.

The Spectacular Wealth and Sin of Sennacherib and His City

He built new streets and squares and created a palace with 80 rooms, some full of sculptures. The doorways were flanked by stone bulls or winged lions weighing 30 tons.

On the walls artisans carved battles, impalings and scenes of his soldiers parading the spoils of war before their king.

Of his conquest of Babylon he bragged that he slaughtered all of its citizens–young and old, woman and child.

Of his conquest of Jerusalem he gloated about caging up Hezekiah like a bird and starving the inhabitants of the city.

The people of Nineveh worshipped , the fish goddess, the daughter of Ea, the goddess of fresh water.

They worshipped , the fish god, represented as half man and half-fish.

They worshipped , highest god in the Assyrian pantheon and protector of the city.

And they worshipped , the goddess of love, war, fertility and sex.

And to cry out against their wickedness.

The Most Extraordinary Revival the World Has Ever Seen

It took Jonah three days to walk around the city and preach his sermon, which amounted to this: “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

Jonah more than likely felt pleasure in his sermon. He did not want to share salvation with non-Jews. However, obedience to God trumped his reluctance. Jonah’s reward? The destruction of the city he hated.

Historians are not sure who exactly was king over Nineveh during Jonah’s sermon: it is either Adad-irari III or Assurdan III. One puts us at about 810-783 B.C. The other at 772-755 B.C, respectively.

No matter.

The king of Nineveh’s response was dramatic. He rose from his throne and cast off his robe. He covered himself in ashes and sackcloth. Then came his proclamation:

In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.  Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish. 

It is not a stretch to say that Jonah’s jaw probably dropped.

Something Greater than Jonah Is Here

It’s this story, embedded in the Old Testament and embedded in the teachings of scribes and Pharisees, that Jesus uses to answer a request for a sign by some scribes and Pharisees.

Jesus says:

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “ An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 

Jonah was a stranger to Nineveh. He preached for 3 days. He performed no miracles. He was a fallen and flawed man. A disobedient prophet. And he only preached punishment on this earth.

In all ways he was inferior to Jesus.

Jesus was no stranger to the Jews of Jerusalem. He preached for 3 years. He performed all kinds of miracles. He was sinless. He was God in the flesh. Perfect in his doctrine. Perfect in his obedience. And he preached eternal punishment.

Yet, the Jews would not repent.

Their punishment? On the day of judgement, a day they all believed was coming, they would stand before God. And the people of Nineveh, the generation that repented, would stand before them and level a finger to pronounce them condemned.

Those Jews were not seeking repentance. They were seeking a sign. And that lust would cost them their eternal lives.

Your Turn

The revival in late eight century B.C. Nineveh parallels nothing else in recorded history. A city of half a million fall to their knees and repent, removing the judgement of God.

Pentecost. The Reformation. The First and Second Great Awakenings. The sheer size of the Global South Movement may be the closest contender.

But no examples of a single city the size of Nineveh.

Some suggest the Nineveh revival was superficial because within a generation the city was destroyed as predicted by Nahum. Jesus doesn’t buy that. His illustration suggests their repentance was sincere, an instance of true saving faith.

And a warning to us: do not seek signs. Seek repentance.

What Do Your Bible Study Habits Look Like?

In the end, there are only two responses to the Bible–either you receive it or you reject it.

I recommend you receive it. Here’s why.

Basic to the Christian faith is the conviction that God, far from being dead and dumb, is living and vocal.

This means you can get to know him on a personal level…

Why is it important to get to know him? To know him means to build your life on a solid foundation.

As , it’s about putting ballast in the belly of your boat so that you can survive the wicked storm surge of the sea.

What You’ll Learn from Studying the Bible

If you read your Bible, you’ll learn how to survive adversity and judgment. You’ll overcome temptations, avoid sin. You’ll reform your mind. You’ll share words of wisdom and encouragement with people who need comfort.

But reading your Bible involves time. Lots of time.

It’s not going to be easy. You’re going to have to get up extra early in the morning. Stop staying up so late. Avoid the television, the radio. Practice patience and quietness.

It’s going to cramp your style–something fierce. That’s the drawback. The dark side.

What You’ll Gain from Studying the Bible

However, if you believe the Bible is God’s spoken Word that expresses God’s unapologetic purpose, then you’ll never regret the time spent.

You’ll never begrudge the sacrifices. (You’ll just learn how to make coffee at 4:30 AM.)

In fact, make the sacrifice and you’ll re-discover the lost art of meditation. You’ll experience the joy of solitude. The joy of isolation with Christ. You’ll crave time with Christ and your Bible.

And you’ll find what you need to survive in our post-modern, soap-opera saturated world.

Your Turn

So, what do your Bible study habits look like? Do you have strange circumstances that demand bizarre accommodations? And what personal changes have you seen from a sustained study and memorization of and meditation on the Bible?  I look forward to your thoughts.

Hell: What’s at Stake If We Neglect It?


What happens when orthodox Christians neglect the doctrine of hell? We begin to tinker with orthodoxy in some unhealthy ways.

Hell doesn’t get much press.

Blame it on the  and its fear of all things supernatural.

To be fair, Enlightenment writers were reacting to a gross abundance of commentary on hell.

In fact, this environment forced  to remark that some Paris theologians wrote so well about hell that they evidently had been there themselves!

However, contemporary Christians have lost their backbone on this important biblical doctrine. That’s troubling for many reasons. Let me show you what I mean.

Hell: A Ghastly Nightmare

The doctrine of hell is a repulsive doctrine. In fact, it’s hard to believe someone just made it up. But the Bible says a lot about hell. Mostly in the words of Jesus himself.

First off, what is hell? The orthodox meaning is eternal punishment for those who reject God and His grace.

What does that punishment look like? . Weeping. Gnashing of teeth. .

Fire, no doubt, is symbolic. But this shouldn’t comfort the lost because fire is symbolic of something much worse.

How much worse? We just don’t know.

We do know that hell will last forever and in addition to physical agony, occupants will experience unrelenting guilt and regret due to their decision to reject God’s offer of mercy in Christ.

Objections to Hell

As noted above, some people simply dismiss hell as superstition. These are your skeptics and atheists.

Then there are your evangelicals…

Some evangelicals–Unitarians, for example–believe in universalism–the idea that everyone will eventually be saved. But Jesus’ words are unmistakable: “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” 

Others believe in postmortem evangelism. These evangelicals insist the dead will be given another opportunity to repent after death. Again, the Bible doesn’t support this notion. Just the opposite: “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

Finally, you have your annihilationists who believe that the wicked are exterminated at death. But annihilationists must hold this belief in the face of ample biblical reference to .

Now let me ask you: Why are so-called evangelicals busy reducing, revising and removing the biblical doctrine of hell when those who were evangelicals in the past would’ve ferociously resisted such ideas?

Here’s your answer: Hell is marked by so much awkwardness and embarrassment evangelicals are looking for anyway out of this doctrine.

The Logical Reason Behind Hell

Yes, hell is terrible. But NOT the least bit unfair. It is simply a gesture by God to honor those who reject him, his love and his offer of grace through Christ.

In essence, he gives them what they want: separation from God.

However, because of sin everyone deserves hell… including both those who accept God’s offer of rescue through Christ and those who reject it.

Yet hell is not a fate God wants people to experience:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

The Benefits of the Doctrine of Hell

Yes, even though hell is a horrifying doctrine, it does provide certain benefits.

One benefit is a sense of relief and gratitude for God’s mercy and forgiveness and promise of heaven. Mercy and forgiveness and heaven are meaningless if there is no depth…

We would certainly respond one way to a friend who kept us from stepping into a puddle. Quite another way to a friend who kept us from stepping off the edge of a cliff.

Another benefit involves our future and reminds us how important life decisions are here and now. The doctrine of hell motivates us to share the gospel when we know the outcome for those who reject Christ or remain in their sins is eternal physical agony.

Why We’ve Lost Our Backbone Over Hell

Yet, in spite of these benefits, contemporary Christians have lost their convictions about hell. There is at least one good reasons for this: Our view of the nature of God has changed.

In an attempt to shed any repulsive concepts attached to God, we redefine him to suit our preferences. Here are four ways we’ve done that.

1. We redefine God’s love so that it resembles sentimentalism and indulgence minus God’s hatred for sin. In turn, we love the sinner and ignore his sin.

2. Hell seems so excessive, so we limit God’s holiness. However, the traditional doctrine of hell argues that eternal punishment is a just penalty for an insult against the infinite holiness of God.

3. We limit God’s knowledge to suggest that he doesn’t stop decades of megadeath simply because he didn’t see it coming. This is the heresy of .

4. We minimize God’s justice by arguing that it would be easier to persuade a skeptic to embrace a God without wrath and righteousness.

But what’s more important: That we properly market God to our culture? Or that we stand up for orthodoxy–no matter the cost?

What’s at Stake if We Neglect the Doctrine of Hell?

Here’s the deal: The Bible presents hell as a concrete reality. It’s existence is not up for Debate. Revision. Or vote. To do otherwise is to pervert the truth, reduce the sting of sin and minimize the threat of hell.

So WHAT if hell is scandalous or too out of step with the contemporary mind?

That won’t make it go away.

We must deal with it. As Christians, that means defending it’s classic treatment. If we don’t, what’s at stake? Our very concept of God and the gospel are diluted.

And where does this end? Our culture gets to define our model of God? To do so would be to feed on lies. And I don’t want that to happen. Do you?

What the Song of Solomon Really Means


The sexually-charged language of Song of Songs [or Song of Solomon] makes it a provocative read…

But one wonders if it actually makes a major theological contribution to Judaism or Christianity.

In fact, one wonders why it’s even in the Old Testament…why it’s even in the canon at all.

I mean, what was the original author or editor hoping to communicate to his reader?

And what about the fact that there’s no mention of God. Isn’t that problematic?

Well, no. Not really. Not after you see that this short, but potent celebration of intimacy between husband and wife sheds light on our own relationship with God. It’s a good lesson to learn.

Common Approaches to Song of Songs

Some pastors would have you think Songs is a manual to a smokin’ hot marriage…

While others would want you to see it as a allegorical narrative of God’s relationship with the Israelites.

Still others suggest it’s a typological story–one  in which the groom plays Christ and the bride plays the church.

These three interpretative strategies are the literal, allegorical and typological approaches.

The allegorical grew out of the embarrassment over the erotic details found in the text [the very same details the sex-crazed literalists exemplified]. Take the explicit mention of two breasts in for example:

Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle,
that graze among the lilies.

Some Christian interpreters argued the two breasts were the two testaments–spiritually nourishing the church…

Another view suggested the breasts reflected the dual command to love God and neighbor…

And a third view believed the breasts represented Mount Ebal and Mount Gerazim. [Keep your comments to yourself.]

Another good example of allegorical interpretation born out of timid temperaments is the the sachet of myrrh lodged between the two breasts. Some early scholars said it was Christ who spans the two testaments.

Then there’s the graphic, : “I came down to the walnut grove / to see the blossoms of the valley,” said the woman.

If you blushed, then you know why some early church fathers went to interpretive extremes to suggest alternative meanings, like the hard outer layer of the walnut is the Mosaic Law–and the nutritious center is Jesus Christ.

But this is fellatio, folks. Plain and simple.

To be honest, you wonder what’s more embarrassing: the topic of oral sex or a scholar’s theological interpretation of that act. Let’s keep digging.

The Problem with Allegorical Interpretations

The problem with interpreting Songs allegorically is that the text simply doesn’t hint at a deeper meaning.

I mean why take the breasts to be the OT and NT? Two mountains? Two commands of God?

The text simply doesn’t support any of those arguments.

But if Songs is NOT an allegorical love story between God and his people or Christians and Jesus–then what is it?

We found part of our answer in the discovery of unique ancient Near-Eastern documents found in the 19th century.

What these specific documents taught us is that Songs is from the exact same genre–love poems. More precisely, matrimonial love poems.

That makes Songs a collection of matrimonial love poems. Songs sung at weddings.

Scholars are divided on how many actual love poems make up Songs. But that’s not really important. What’s important is uncovering the theological contribution Songs makes to the canon…

And this is where it gets good.

The Essential Meaning Behind Songs

The text itself gives us many clues. And whether there are three or thirty poems, the Song’s primary importance relates to love and, no surprise here, sexuality–something near-and-dear to our humanity.

See, what Songs defines is a love that is mutual, exclusive, total and beautiful. And in many ways Songs is an expansion of : “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

In frank but beautiful language, this tiny little book praises mutual, intense love, culminating in this robust, evocative statement:

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.

What we see here is an expression of love that transcends this earth and is deeply emotional–as God intended between husband and wife.

What God-Ordained Marriage Looks Like

Contrast this with the ephemeral, capricious and shallow character of contemporary love and you see God’s vision for marriage involves a volitional, muscular emotion that has a singular and solitary intent to honor the object of it’s affections.

And this is exactly the way God wanted it when he created man and woman in Eden. When you comprehend that the allusions to the garden in Songs are allusions to Eden, then the meaning behind Songs becomes immediately apparent…

The implication is that before sin, man and woman stood bare, unashamed, in front of each other. Now, we sense an intimacy since lost.

Song of Songs then is about the redemption of sexuality. A return to the God-ordained concept of marriage, a concept illustrated throughout Scripture to help us understand the relationship between God and his people.

In the OT, marriage is used negatively to shed light on Israel’s betrayal and unfaithfulness. In the NT, marriage is compared to our union with Christ–a union climaxing [no pun intended] at the end of time with a wedding feast.

Here on earth we get to enjoy the splendid privilege of experiencing the union of man and woman as one flesh, a profound mystery  between Christ and his church.

In other words, the better our marriages–the more they reflect the glory of God. And I think that’s pretty sexy. You?

Miracles in the Bible Are NOT Normative

Ever since I posted my complaint over Jason Westerfield’s little book God Come to Me his fans have let me have it.

One of the dominant accusations looks like this:

“Damien [sic] does not believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit or miracles for today; that is a damnable heresy…”

There are three things wrong with that statement.

1. I do believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s that our definitions probably differ wildly. [See my post The Trick to Finding Your Spiritual Gifts.]

2. I do believe in miracles today. I just don’t believe they are normative. At all. Otherwise they wouldn’t be miracles, would they? More on this in a minute.

3. Even if I didn’t believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit or miracles, it would NOT be a damnable heresy. Since when was salvation dependent on anything outside of Christ?

What most intrigues me about Westerfield and Co. is this presumption that miracles were normative throughout the Bible. Jason said it best: “After reading about Abraham and others in the Bible, I came to the conclusion that if all of this was happening to them, then it should be happening to me.”

Okay. But why? Why should they be a normal part of Jason’s and every Christian’s life?

Pagan Miracles v. Biblical Miracles

Yes, miracles occurred pretty frequently during Jesus’ ministry, but only for 3 years, mind you…not the entire 33.

And true, the early church was a hotbed for miracles. But there was a reason for that.

However, from front to back, the biblical narratives do not portray a world saturated with miracles…the kind of world Jason Westerfield, John Crowder and the  would have you believe we should live in.

Unlike the pagan mythologies of ancient history where gods constantly disrupt ordinary human affairs, the Bible inserts miracles on a very limited basis.

That’s why the supernaturalism found in the Bible stands out–because its miracles are NOT commonplace.

In fact, the relative infrequency of biblical miracles may be seen in the fact that they constitute a small, albeit important, part of the narratives spanning over two thousand years from Abraham to the apostolic era.

Miracles in the Book of Joshua

Furthermore, certain biblical periods are marked by an increase in spiritual warfare and miracles. Moses and the Exodus are an obvious Old Testament example. The life and work of Jesus is the New Testament equivalent.

Israel’s conquest of Canaan is another.

The book of Joshua records three such miracles: the drying up of the Jordan river, the collapse of Jericho and the stalling of the sun.

Nothing normative about these extraordinary events that occurred over a six year period.

Instead they hammer home this point: Israel’s conquest of Canaan was God’s sovereign work…and God’s sovereign work alone. What we don’t see is any suggestion that these miracles should be happening to us. Today.

Do I Believe Miracles Occur Today?

Here’s what I’m not saying: Miracles don’t occur. I think they can. I believe in a supernatural God who created the universe. That’s a miracle. But you’re going to have to do better than straightening a spine to convince me miracles occur today.

You’re going to have to stop a storm in it’s tracks. Raise a man dead for four days back to life. Cure a life-time cripple. Cast out 2,000 demons.

If you can substantiate such a claim, then you’ll have my attention.

But remember, biblical miracles had a singular purpose: unmistakably declare the sovereignty and character of God…rather than provide humans with a thrill that can lead one to a dangerous distraction.

Fear and Loathing in a Liberal Bible Class

Where I take a class called “Bible as Literature” in college and come away scratching my head. Hard.

The January/February Nine Marks journal on  brought back old memories of a particular class I took While in college:

“Bible as Literature.”

That course title was very misleading. Perhaps I was a bit naive.

The course was an elective and since I was a English major and a Christian it would serve two purposes: college credit and religious devotion.

While I got the credit, I didn’t get the devotion. [This was a secular school after all.]

Instead I got a low-grade bender on liberal theology.

A Shock to My System

Understand: I didn’t expect this. I wasn’t prepared for the challenge. Thus, it struck fear in my heart–and probably a handful of other Christians who thought to take the class for the same reasons I did.

[My own experience reminds me a lot of Daniel Wilson’s .]

Soon after the class began I loathed it. All parts of it. The readings before class. The discussions during class. The reeling sense of disappointment following the class.

It was the first time I ever seriously fought for my faith. Not in a public forum. But quietly within my soul.

That fight eventually went in the wrong direction.

Running Rabid and Roughshod over Scripture

Granted, we all have commitments and can never declare strict objectivity in our arguments, but it became quite clear in the first class that the professor wanted nothing more than to dismantle any Christian faith.

She had an agenda.

The classes usually ran like this: Show up to class. Read the text in question. Professor declares what Christians believe. Professor declares why Christians were wrong.

I don’t ever remember reading it as literature.

In fact, I don’t ever remember any serious  going on or effort root around the historical context.

It was a raw reading and the professors reaction to it. Nothing more.

While it’s not fair to call the professor a liberal [she was an atheist through and through], her approach WAS liberal.

Repulsive and Primitive Doctrines

She liked to pick on those texts that were repugnant to her senses. The wrath of God. Blood atonement. Eternal punishment. Resurrection.

Any feature that sounded primitive and offensive she dismissed. And like the Jesus Seminar she eliminated many of the words of Jesus to mere legends.

But in doing so, she, the Jesus Seminar and any liberal Christian reduced Him to a non-controversial figure instead of the unique Son of God.

If that was the case, why was He crucified if He didn’t offend anyone?

Liberals Love Affair with Man

Back in the early 20th Century, J. Gresham Machen denied that liberalism was Christianity. Whereas Christianity was rooted in supernaturalism, liberalism was rooted in naturalism.

One of the common characteristics of liberalism is an obsession with gaining the world’s approval and admiration–at any cost.

It’s the approval of the culture that counts–not Christ.

“I risk becoming a liberal, because I don’t just love God. I also love the sheep. And I love myself,” . ”And it’s those two loves, wrongly focused, that tempt me down a gospel-denying path.”

Liberalism too often chooses the gospel-denying path.

Liberalism trims God’s Word in favor of the love and esteem of others. This explains why a historically Christian school like .

Man has become our measure. Not God.

Liberalisms Motive

Remember liberals operate out of an apologetic motivation. They want to craft something the culture will happily swallow.

What they end up doing is trying to save Christianity from itself. And themselves from academic ridicule.

As , “The lesson of theological liberalism is clear—embarrassment is the gateway drug for theological accommodation and denial.”

But Christians are forbidden to court the spirit of the age. We are to cling to the orthodox gospel and all it’s ugly permutations.

One of the main reasons the gospel is such a stumbling block is that it cannot be adapted to suit cultural preferences or alternative worldviews.

Instead, it’s built to confront them all, including the liberal worldview.

10 Reasons Why You Should Cherish the Bible


The Bible is a beautiful book. Yet, we American Christians tend to neglect it’s beauty. Image source: .

One reason we neglect it is because we treat the Bible like a commodity.

It’s as important as motor oil. A tea pot. A baseball glove.

Another reason we neglect it is from simple ignorance.

We don’t know what makes it unique or useful…especially when it comes to other books.

This post will hopefully cure you of that ignorance and low view of the Bible and encourage you to cherish the greatest book ever written.

1. The Bible reveals more than a general revelation about God.

God plants a sense of himself in the soul of every man–sensus divinitatis–the sense of the divine. This is known as immediate general revelation.

We also know God through his creation. Nature points beyond itself to its Creator. This is known as mediate general revelation.

But there is more to God and his will than immediate and mediate general revelation. There’s special revelation.

2.  The Bible reveals God’s special revelation.

General revelation is not sufficient for salvation–the essential message of the gospel. But special revelation is. This is known as the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. This doctrine means that the Bible describes what is necessary to know for salvation, particularly the person and work of Christ.

3.  The Bible reveals the record of Christ.

In the early days of the apostolic church, the life and doctrines of Jesus were passed on orally. Thus, the Bible is a written record of this oral tradition.

4. The Bible establishes the church.

The written record of Christ and his doctrines create the measurement on which all human doctrines are to be measured and the foundation for the community of Christian believers.

5. The Bible preserves from corruption.

With the written record of Christ and his doctrines, rogue ideas–like  or trinitarian heresies–can’t take root in the church.

6. The Bible morally edifies the church.

 says that the word of God is sufficient for “teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

7. The Bible comforts the church.

The odds are high that you and I will endure  trials and tribulations as Christians during our life on earth. Books of the Bible like  encourage us to persevere in patience and righteousness, looking toward our future reward .

8. The canon is closed.

In the past, God revealed himself through priests and prophets and dreams. Christ is the culmination of God’s special revelation, spelling out clearly what we need for salvation. And just as there was an  of silence from God, the closing of God’s special revelation to man occured with the culmination of Christ.

9. Men risked reputations and lives to translate the Bible into an easy-to-read language.

Whether it was , ,  or modern-day missionaries–men throughout history viewed the corporate rewards of translating the Bible into the common language of a region greater than the personal risks involved.

10. We are free to read the Bible in America.

Some nations prohibit citizens from reading a Bible. Thus, not only should we cherish the Bible as if it were scarce or prohibited, but we should also .

What other reasons can you think of for cherishing the Bible? Share your thoughts. If I get enough suggestions, I’ll build another blog post using your name and suggestion. Looking forward to hearing from you.

5 Stipulations: What It Takes to Be a Bible Student

Ever wonder what it takes to be a Bible student?

I mean to become someone who can crack open the New Testament and grow in faith and understanding?

Someone who can crawl through the Old Testament and feel his spirit rise?

If so, then you probably need to know that there are certain stipulations to being a bible student.

Here are five. Take a look and see how you measure up:

1. Are you born again? Do you have the mind of Christ? Are you spiritual? 

2. Do you long for the Word of God so you can grow in your salvation? 

3. Do you long to examine the Scriptures to see what your pastor says is true? 

4. Are you striving to be holy? 

5. Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? 

Naturally, the first question is the most important.

Why? If you’ve never invited Jesus Christ to be your personal Lord and savior of your life, then Satan’s blinded your mind to God’s truth.

See, you can read the Bible. Study it. Discuss it.

You might even be able to articulate atonement, predestination and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus in a meaningful way.

But one thing you can’t do: Embrace Jesus Christ as the redeemer of sinful mankind who bore God’s wrath for your sin.

So, while a study of the Bible might inform your mind, it will never descend into a transformation of your heart. Thus, you resist the simple, unapologetic truth of the Bible and never become a true student of it.

If you fall into this category, Christ is your need. He is your only hope. And not only for a fruitful Bible study. But for a divine rescue operation.

Confess your sins to God and ask him to forgive you right now. Once you do, the beautiful story of redemptive history found in the Bible will unfold for you.

And that’s a promise.

6 Basic Benefits to Studying Your Bible


That’s the average number of  in a 24 hour period.

Tempting to read them all. I know.

Such wonderful, witty wisdom holed up in those nearly one million posts.

But you’d need over 900,000 minutes to read them all (that is if it took 1 minute to read each post…which is about the average time spent on a page here).

In other words, 625 days.

Now, while there are some gems out there, frankly, most blog posts are not useful. Especially if you’re after divine revelation. Or a power that can sustain your daily Christian walk.

The Bible provides that power. And it reveals a rich source of benefits. Benefits you’ll enjoy when you read less blogs (including Fallen and Flawed) and more Bible.

So, what are those benefits? Here are six.


In the Bible you’ll find the truth that sets you apart as a believer for a particular purpose, namely, to do what God wants and to hate what God hates.

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is the truth. 

God’s Blessing When Obeyed

 Once you discover what God calls you to do and you do it, you receive reward. Among those rewards…peace, genuine fellowship and joy.

But He said, ‘On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it’. 


The truth of Scripture is the weapon you use to defeat the world, the flesh and the devil. 

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 


Crawling through the Scriptures in search of the truth about God cultivates an ever-growing hunger for this truth. Sometimes this growth is rapid. Sometimes it’s slow. But it’s always growing.  

Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you grow in respect to salvation. 


In the message of the Gospel you find God’s omnipotence. Which is important. It’s this power–and this power only–that overcomes a man’s sinful nature and gives him new life.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 


God’s Word opens our eyes and illuminates our life so we can avoid stumbling. 

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 

So, what am I missing? What other benefits do you receive when you study your Bible? I look forward to hearing from you.