To understand the tax collectors of Jesus’ day and how they were viewed by their fellow Jews, we must first gain some insight into tax system in Israel. At the time of Jesus, Israel was under Roman occupation, and Rome exercised its authority over Israel by placing governors over some of its provinces (e.g., the … Continue reading Jesus, Friend of Sinners
Paul told the Corinthians that he and his apostolic associates were wise to Satan's deceptive schemes (2 Cor 2:11). The apostle knew Satan was a formidable enemy who had millennia of experience tempting and deceiving God's image-bearers; but he also knew he had been given insight into the way his enemy operated. Following Paul's example, … Continue reading Custom-Made Temptations, Crafted Just For You
Romans 7:14-25 is one of the most debated passages in the Bible. There are three major positions that have vied for interpretational prominence over the years. One view sees Paul's description of his struggle with sin as his pre-conversion experience. The other sees Paul's description as his post-conversion experience. A third---articulated by Martyn Lloyd-Jones---argues that we ask … Continue reading Which Paul Is It? An Argument for Paul’s Christian Experience in Romans 7:14-25
How should we respond to and apply passages in Scripture that clearly refer to false teachers? Especially those false teachers who, like the ones in 2 Peter 2:1-22, once knew the truth, yet chose to forsake it (2 Peter 2:21)? Certainly, the obvious applications come to mind: stay away from these kinds of false teachers; … Continue reading Blots and Blemishes: How Should Christians Apply 2 Peter 2:1-22?
How do godly people respond when a church, community, city, or a country is guilty of great sin? The Biblical answer has always astounded and challenged me. When God rebuked the Israelites for their marriage to foreign women, Ezra the priest, one who was not guilty for breaking the law of intermarriage, responds, "O my … Continue reading Corporate Sin and Personal Humility
The longer I am a Christian, the more I realize of how great a sinner I am. This realization is not necessarily a virtue in and of itself: if I am only acutely aware of my sin, I will wallow in despair and fear. On the other hand, it is by recognizing the depth of … Continue reading Fighting and Resting – Thoughts on Romans 7:13-25