Are We All Headed in the Same Direction? (Part 7)

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We have seen that the “weak” brother is sometimes right and the “strong” is sometimes right. Significantly, there are times when we ought to be weak—when God wants us to consider ourselves unable to do something. But is that issue-specific or believer-specific1?

“Issue-specific” means that the correct stance is specific to each issue. For example, for temple-idol-meat the correct stance is “weak,” and for market-idol-meat the correct stance is “strong (with exceptions).” Issue-specific means that every issue has a right answer that God desires for every believer. Read more about Are We All Headed in the Same Direction? (Part 7)

Apologetics & Your Kids: Part 7 - Is All Truth God's Truth?

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Last time I asked whether the facts speak for themselves. My answer was that they do not, they are freighted with interpretations, whether right or wrong. In Part Seven I called attention to the temptation of attaching ourselves to slogans and ideas from the world. Before proceeding along the lines I started with in the last post, I want first to take two common but deadly slogans which Christians use and look at them, for though they sound alright, they have been the cause of much confusion among Christians. The phrase I have in mind today is “All Truth is God’s Truth.” Read more about Apologetics & Your Kids: Part 7 - Is All Truth God's Truth?

The God Who is There - Romans 9:1-10:4 (Part 2)

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Recognition of God’s sovereignty in His work with people can be a tough subject to tackle. Even believers can become so earthly minded that we forget that God is not an elected leader Who seeks our approval. He is the Supreme. He is the Creator. All answer to Him, and He answers to none.

That can be deeply offensive to the American mind, but that makes it no less true. God is God—and as such, He is the Planner, the Author and the King. Don’t skip what Paul wrote and focus only on the offense: Paul made the point that God had (and has) a plan. He is at work. He has decided on the basis of His own desire to work through some people, and that wasn’t based entirely on them—but on His sovereign right to make such a decision.

Before you dive into what seems objectionable about those words, look at them. If you have a relationship with the Living God, you can celebrate the fact that you are not a cosmic accident. God has a plan He is working. He wanted you, and He chose you! How can that not be an exciting reality? Read more about The God Who is There - Romans 9:1-10:4 (Part 2)

1 John 2:2 - Does Grace Extend to Everyone? (Part 3)

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An Exegesis of 1 John 2:2, Continued

(6) Biblical and Theological Context

In the immediate context of 1 John 2:2, John writes to believers so that they will not sin, but if they do, he wants them to understand they have an advocate (1 John 2:1). Jesus is (present tense) a propitiation for our sins—He continues to be a propitiation even today. Immediately after identifying Christ’s propitiatory role, John explains the importance and reasonableness of obedience. By obedience we can have assurance of our salvation—we can know by experience (ginosko) that we have come to know (ginosko) Him. Obedience helps to provide assurance, but even when we do sin, and are thus robbed of that component of our assurance, Jesus is still our Advocate (2:1), and the Holy Spirit still abides within us (3:24) as the pledge of our inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14). Read more about 1 John 2:2 - Does Grace Extend to Everyone? (Part 3)

Winsome Strangers - 1 Peter 2:11-12

This outline continues a series preached in 2002. If I were going to preach this one again, I would probably simplify the outline. Too many outline levels gets confusing. In any case, it’s usually best not to enumerate out loud any deeper than the top level points of an outline, other than maybe the occasional quick list.


The old adage says “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” Scripture teaches differently: When in Rome, be winsome strangers. From our study of 1 Peter 1, we know that believers are displaced strangers (1 Pet. 1:1), beloved strangers (1 Pet. 1:2), and born again strangers (1 Pet. 1:3). We find in our text that we must also be winsome strangers. Read more about Winsome Strangers - 1 Peter 2:11-12

The Mimetic Sufferings of Christ

The ministry and pain—especially emotional pain—go together. Except for a few Pollyanna types who keep their heads buried in the sand, most of us know that times of suffering, sorrow, despair, grief, depression, and heartache are part of life. It is not until one is privy to many lives, however, that it becomes clear how pervasive these experiences are.

Fortunately, for most of us, not all of life is miserable. For many of us, life is mostly a positive experience. If we are particularly fortunate, we may escape the traumas of abuse, divorce, a straying child, extreme poverty, or a debilitating physical condition. Read more about The Mimetic Sufferings of Christ

1 John 2:2 - Does Grace Extend to Everyone? (Part 2)

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An Exegesis of 1 John 2:2

To adequately handle any passage we must work through some important exegetical steps. We need to (1) verify the text and translation, (2) identify background and context, (3) identify structural keys, (4) identify grammatical and syntactical keys, (5) identify lexical keys, (6) address Biblical context, and (7) consider theological context. Then we would verify our work, put it into practice in our own lives as appropriate, and communicate it with others as God gives us opportunity.1 Read more about 1 John 2:2 - Does Grace Extend to Everyone? (Part 2)

1 John 2:2 - Does Grace Extend to Everyone? (Part 1)


A literal translation of 1 John 2:2 reads as follows: “And He a propitiation He is for the sins of us, not for those of us only, but also for those of the whole world.” At first glance the verse seems simple enough, but there has historically been startling disagreement regarding its intended meaning.

John MacArthur concludes that the passage cannot mean that Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world, insisting that, “Jesus didn’t pay for the sins of Judas … or Adolf Hitler.”1 MacArthur supports his view with an appeal to John 11:52,2 which he says indicates that Jesus died only for the children of God. The passage reads, “… and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.”3 John Piper’s explanation of the passage is similar, as he, like MacArthur, supports his 1 John 2:2 interpretation from an appeal to John 11:52.4 R.C. Sproul explains 1 John 2:2 as follows: “He is the “propitiation” for us, the one who endured the wrath we deserve so that divine justice is fulfilled, not set aside. Christ is the propitiation for “the whole world,” not because He made atonement for every sinner, but because He redeemed not only Jews but people from all parts of the world” [emphasis mine].5 Read more about 1 John 2:2 - Does Grace Extend to Everyone? (Part 1)