Are You Afraid of Spiritual Gifts? – An Excerpt from Sam Storms

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How can Christians pursue and implement the miraculous gifts of the Spirit without falling into fanatical excess and splitting the church in the process? In today’s excerpt from  Practicing the Power, pastor and author Sam Storms helps us rethink our approach to spiritual gifts.

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My working assumption is that you are reading this book because you sincerely desire to see a more robust and vibrant expression of the Holy Spirit at work in your personal life and in your church. Please know that this is a good thing! Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 14:1 is that we should eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy. To long for and humbly pursue all the spiritual…

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Last chance: WORDsearch Bible software sale on Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Revised Edition

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Right now, the 13-volume Expositor’s Bible Commentary—Revised Edition is over $200 off at WORDsearch Bible software.

This commentary set is a favorite of pastors, teachers, and Bible students for its scholarly but accessible approach to helping you understand the biblical text’s core meaning. It’s full of world-class scholarship from D. A. Carson, George Guthrie, John Walton, Andreas Kostenberger, and many others.

“If there is one set of commentaries that all pastors and teachers should have, this is it,” writes Daniel I. Block.

Get the complete collection on sale now at WORDsearch Bible software.

Don’t wait! The deal will disappear on February 19, 2017.

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How to Read the Old Testament Prophets

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J. Daniel Hays recently sat down with us to talk about why the prophets are difficult to interpret, about Jesus’ use of the prophets, and about the prophets’ importance for understanding the whole Bible. His Message of the Prophets online course is now available for everyone. Learn more >

When people first read them, they think, wow, I just don’t have any idea what exactly what these guys are talking about.

The prophets are using poetry and figures of speech. They have this scathing critique and criticism against the kings and the people of their day.

The other critical thing about the prophets that makes them difficult is they are very much embedded in a specific historical timeframe, and the geo-political events around them are influencing what they’re saying and what’s taking place. It’s important to place…

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An Excerpt from Roger Olson’s Essentials of Christian Thought

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Christians living in a pluralistic society filled with competing worldviews and visions of the nature of reality need guidance about how to sort them out biblically.

In The Essentials of Christian Thought, eminent theologian and church historian Roger Olson outlines the basic perspective on the world that all Christians, regardless of the place and time in which they are born, have historically held. Continue to read to find out why Olson thinks this is necessary.

9780310521556_imageWhy This Book?

This book is primarily intended for Christian believers, although others are more than welcome to read it. The intended audience is people who believe the Bible is a truthful and trustworthy guide not…

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What Do the Prophets Say about the End Times?

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This post is adapted from The Message of the Prophets, a new online course taught by J. Daniel Hays. For a limited-time, save $20 on your sign-up price. Learn more.

When most people think of prophets, they think about prediction of events that will happen in the future.

But did you know? Only a fraction of prophetic literature actually concerns the future—as little as 8 percent, according to Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart.

However, that small fraction of predictive prophecy presents us with some of the Bible’s greatest interpretive challenges.

The main interpretive challenges for us regarding the predictive aspects of the Old Testament prophets can be grouped around…

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Old Testament Prophecy is Not About the Future (Mostly)

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This post is adapted from The Message of the Prophets online course, taught by J. Daniel Hays.

When many people think about prophecy, they think about predictions about the future. For modern Christians, this usually means predictions about how the world will end.

But this wasn’t what the prophets in the Old Testament thought—or how they were heard.

Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart write:

“Less than 2 percent of Old Testament prophecy is messianic. Less than 5 percent specifically describes the new-covenant age. Less than 1 percent concerns events yet to come in our time.” 1

So if the prophets aren’t talking about the future, what are they talking about?

Most of the material in the prophetic books…

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What Is the Grand Story All About? – An Excerpt from the Story of Reality

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9780310525042“We are hungering for the thing we were made for. We are hungering for God’s Kingdom.”

In today’s excerpt from The Story of Reality, Greg Koukl explains that the main point of the story is God’s Kingdom. Read further to find out about our participation in it.

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Did you ever wonder how to sum up the main theme of the Bible accurately in a single, simple concept? It’s right there in the first line: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Put simply, the Story starts with a Sovereign who creates a domain he benevolently rules over…There is a kingdom.

This is what…

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“When They Approach the Old Testament, They Think It’s Boring”

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We recently sat down with Gary Schnittjer to talk about why the Pentateuch is often read less frequently than other parts of the Bible, as well as some ways to encourage and deepen your study of the Pentateuch. Take a look:

One of the problems Christians have when they approach the Old Testament is they think it’s boring.

I think especially a book like Leviticus or Numbers or Deuteronomy—they’re not often read and studied carefully by Christians. They seem irrelevant…

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Tremper Longman, III on Studying Genesis

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We recently sat down with Tremper Longman to discuss some of the challenges in studying the book of Genesis. Take a look at what he had to say:

Genesis, like the rest of the Old Testament is a difficult book for us as twenty-first Christians to understand. After all, we’re distant from this book in many ways.

For one thing, it’s an ancient book. This is a book that was written three thousand five hundred years ago and has many strange and ancient customs.

The book of

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An Exegetical Reading of the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) – An Excerpt from John

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Today’s excerpt is from the Gospel of John, the newest installment in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

Written by Edward W. Klink III, the excerpt below from John 2:1-11 is an example of how each passage is interpreted in the light of its biblical setting, with a view to grammatical detail, literary context, flow of biblical argument, and historical setting.

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johnzecntJohn 2:1 – 11

Literary Context

The careful and lengthy introduction to Jesus by means of a prologue (1:1 – 18) and a two-pericope introduction to the narrative proper (1:19 – 51), along with the careful articulation of the completion of the first “week”…

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Hebrew and You with Lee M. Fields – Hebrew Poetry and Isaiah

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isaiahAccording to Duvall and Hayes in Grasping God’s Word , more than one-third of the Old Testament is written in the form of poetry. (373) Modern English versions usually mark off poetry by punctuation, namely, by arranging into poetic lines rather than a continuous running text. This helps us identify poetic sections, but there is still more to understanding Hebrew poetry.

Hebrew and English poetry often use the same devises, e.g., rhyming, figures of speech, forms of parallelism, rare words or forms. But the may use them to different degrees or ways. Of course, it is oftentimes impossible to translate poetic features. Knowing some Hebrew can help us appreciate what authors…

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Why Are Jesus’ Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different?

ZA Blog on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

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This post is adapted from the Four Portraits, One Jesus online course, taught by Dr. Mark Strauss.

The birth narratives in both Matthew and Luke help answer the question, “Who is Jesus and where did he come from?” One of the ways each book does this is by recounting Jesus’ genealogy.

The problem is: the genealogies are different.

The Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would come from the line of David. Both Matthew and Luke provide genealogies of Jesus that confirm he was a descendent of David—therefore, a legitimate Messiah. He was a legitimate claimant to the…

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