God Against Us

Minor Prophets XII: Nahum Introduction Nahum is the prophesy of the destruction of the great city of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. Nahum finishes the story of Jonah, insisting on God’s justice and mercy. Historical Sketch Assyria is first mentioned as one of Adam’s landmarks along the Tigris River (called Hiddekel in Gen….

Covetousness and New Hearts

Minor Prophets X Micah 1-3 Introduction Micah ministers in the southern kingdom of Judah towards the end of the 8th Century B.C. He ministered during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (Mic. 1:1) when the northern kingdom of Israel/Samaria fell to the Assyrians in 722 BC (2 Kings 17). The Text: Like Amos before…

Scandalous Grace

One of the greatest scandals of the gospel is the free grace of forgiveness. But we say this, and I do not think we often let it sink in. The scandal of free grace is God’s love of sinners, God’s love of His enemies, His love of the worst kinds of evil people. We like…

God Provides the Lion and the Lamb

In Revelation 5, John weeps because there is no one worthy to open the scroll and loose its seals. But one of the elders calms him and says, “Do not weep. Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals”…

The End of the Barrel We Are Demanding

Naysayers of Penal Substitutionary Atonement, like Darrin Belousek, often begin their objections to the doctrine by describing it as something like this: [God] cannot tolerate sin and so must judge sin by punishing sinners with death… [source] The trouble is that this is a rhetorical setup, skewing the question to present the doctrine as a…

A Love Story

Minor Prophets III: Hosea 1-3 Introduction While many scholars do not believe that Hosea is the first minor prophet chronologically, this underlines the intentionality of putting it first as an introduction to the Book of the Twelve. The theme of the first three chapters of Hosea is the determined love of God for His people,…

The Spirit of Forgiveness

Fourth Sunday in Easter: Jn. 21:15-25 Introduction Here, as the close to the breakfast episode, John zooms in on the restoration and forgiveness of Peter. This is not the first time John has highlighted forgiveness as proof of the resurrection (Jn. 20:23), and this comes immediately to the fore in his epistle (1 Jn. 1:5-10)….

Wrath, Love, and Christmas

First Sunday after Christmas Lessons: Is. 63:7-9, Heb. 2:10-18, Mt. 2:13-23 Christmas is not always an easy time of the year. Of course children love it. They give us some of the best facial expressions, some of the best responses to the gifts, to the lights, to the candy. Their intensity, their joy, their delight…

Stay There

The most important thing for a husband to remember is the most important thing for everyone to remember, and that’s the gospel of Jesus. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is the most important thing to remember. This is for many reasons, but take just one. Men were made to be strong and to…

Untimely Birth

Paul uses an unusual phrase hosper ektroma “untimely birth” to describe his vision of Jesus and conversion to Christianity (1 Cor. 15:8). N.T. Wright points out that normally, ektroma refers to a miscarriage or abortion, and clearly Paul doesn’t mean the word in it’s normal, literal usage since the result of such a birth is death….