"Unto Us a Son Is Given"
Summary: The above title comes from the words of Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, ...
'After Three Days'
Summary: A scriptural explanation of the time of Christ's death, burial and resurrection, showing that He died on a Wednesday and rose from the dead on the Sabbath.
Appearing Before God (Part One)
Summary: In Psalm 92:4-5, the psalmist proclaims: For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands. O LORD, how great are Your works! ...
Are You Zealous? (Part Four)
Summary: At the end of the previous essay, we considered the zeal of Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry, showing that His enthusiasm for God and His way of life fueled all of His efforts. ...
Are You Zealous? (Part Three)
Summary: As we have seen in Parts One and Two, Christian zeal is an interest, an earnest desire, and a pursuit of all that pertains to God, His way, and His Kingdom. ...
Avoiding Prayer? Consider Carefully
Summary: The alarm sounds, jolting the sleeper from deep slumber. He lifts his head and peers through slitted eyelids at the bedside clock. Five-thirty am. Hitting the snooze button, he sighs ....
Character and Reputation (Part Two)
Summary: In Part One, we saw that our character is who we are in God’s estimation, since only He truly knows us. Our reputation, on the other hand, is what other people ...
Cleansing the Temple and Economics
Summary: In John 2:13-17, the apostle John records Christ's cleansing of the Temple near the commencement of His ministry: "Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem...."
Compassion (Part One)
Summary: The apostle Paul instructs us in Colossians 3:12 (New International Version), “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion." We all like to think that we are tender-hearted ...
Creator, Sustainer, Head (Part Two)
Summary: Despite being perhaps the oldest text in the canon, the book of Job contains many detailed, even scientific, insights into the extraordinary creative and sustaining power of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Many of these are things humanity did not really understand until recent centuries. ...
Defining Hope for the Creation
Summary: None of us is perfect. We are all, in a sense, broken to some degree, whether from birth or by the constant grind of life. We have little hope of repair. James Beaubelle, however, finds real hope in Scripture, arguing that, if our hope is in our great High Priest, Jesus Christ, we can have faith that our hope will be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.
Devil in the Details?
Summary: In II Timothy 3:16, Paul tells the young pastor that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. ...
Friends of the Friendless (Part Two)
Summary: As we saw in Part One, friendship is a constant theme throughout God’s Word. We could even say that His plan of salvation is to restore friendship between Himself and humanity ...
Heirs of the Kingdom
Summary: In my studies, I happened across Matthew 8:5-13, the story of Jesus’ conversation with a centurion whose servant had become paralyzed and was in great pain: "Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, ... "
Life Doesn't Work on a Balance Sheet (Part One)
Summary: We hear the phrase so often that it has become a cliché: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
It is typically asked in times of catastrophe, such as when natural disasters strike or the apparently undeserving suffer violence. ...
Life Doesn't Work on a Balance Sheet (Part Two)
Summary: As we saw in Part One, Hebrews 5:7-10 describes a facet of Christ’s suffering: "... who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications ..."
Remember Me (Part One)
Summary: In I Corinthians 11:23-30, the apostle Paul reiterates what took place the night our Savior was betrayed and His instruction regarding the proper observance of Passover: "For I received ...
Skipping Services? Consider Carefully
Summary: After a long week of work, Fred arrives home early Friday evening and drags himself inside. He is looking forward to the Sabbath and the extended rest God allows us to enjoy on His day. ...
Taking Care With the Tares
Summary: Jesus' Parable of the Wheat and the Tares in Matthew 13 warns us that there will be false brethren within the church. Using the example of Christ Himself, Ted Bowling shows that the Bible also tells us how to interact with them in a godly manner.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ (Part One)
Summary: An outstanding feature of Christ's ministry is the many astounding miracles that He performed throughout Judea and Galilee. Martin Collins proposes that Jesus' miracles did far more than merely excite His audience: They declared the Source of His power and His message.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ (Part Two)
Summary: A striking aspect of Jesus' ministry is the sheer number and extent of miraculous healings He performed. Though He did not heal all the sick in the land, He healed everyone who sincerely sought His aid. Martin Collins looks at our Savior's healing miracles, His methods, and His motives in doing them.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: A Second Large Catch of Fish (Part One)
Summary: Jesus Christ performed two miracles during His ministry in which His disciples pulled in large catches of fish. The second occurrence took place after Christ's resurrection and before His ascension. Martin Collins posits that a comparison of the two miracles reveals the progress of Jesus' efforts to prepare His disciples for the next steps of their journey toward sanctification.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: A Second Large Catch of Fish (Part Two)
Summary: Both Luke (Luke 5:1-11) and John (John 21:1-14) record miracles in which Jesus helps His disciples catch a great many fish in their nets. Dissecting these miracles, Martin Collins finds that they show the growth of the disciples, whom Jesus was preparing for their ministries all along.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcism in the Synagogue
Summary: During His ministry, Jesus Christ was frequently asked to cast demons out of people. Martin Collins dissects the exorcism Jesus performed in the synagogue in Capernaum, revealing both the authority and the mercy of God.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part One)
Summary: Jesus Christ's miracle of feeding the five thousand people who had assembled to hear His message is the only miracle that all four gospels record. Martin Collins explains how Jesus used the circumstances to teach His disciples lessons that they would be able to use in their ministries after His death.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part Two)
Summary: The feeding of the five thousand—a miracle attested in all four gospels—tells us far more than the fact that Jesus was a marvelous miracle-worker. Martin Collins shows that it also reveals Christ's compassion on those who hunger, as well as His ability to teach vital lessons to His disciples—lessons we, too, can learn.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Four Thousand
Summary: Some people think that Christ's miracle of feeding the 4,000 is the same as His feeding of the 5,000, but there are too many differences for them to have been the same occasion. Martin Collins explores the spiritual connotations of this tremendous miracle, focusing on the disciples' spiritual development and Jesus' compassion.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part One)
Summary: When the Roman centurion sent his emissaries to ask Christ to heal his servant, Jesus responded with great praise for the centurion's faith. Martin Collins examines the accounts of this miracle, focusing on the centurion's relationship with the servant and the emissaries' responsibility in carrying their master's message.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part Three)
Summary: In the healing of the centurion's servant, Jesus commends the centurion for his faith. This Roman officer seems to have understood an aspect of God's authority and power that even most Israelites never realized. Martin Collins contends that many Christians today still do not fully comprehend the power of God's Word.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part Two)
Summary: The healing of the centurion's servant is significant in that it is one of only two miracles that Jesus did for Gentiles, and He is especially taken with the Roman officer's faith. Martin Collins shows that, along with his faith, the centurion also shows great compassion and humility, so rare even among Israelites.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Cripple by a Pool (Part One)
Summary: During His ministry, Jesus healed many people. The apostle John chose to highlight the healing of a crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5. Martin Collins covers the significance of the pool itself, Christ's choice in healing this particular man, and the curious question He put to him.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Cripple by a Pool (Part Three)
Summary: When Jesus healed the crippled man by a Jerusalem pool, His Jewish critics were more interested in attacking Jesus for healing on the Sabbath than in rejoicing that a lame man had been made whole. Martin Collins probes this hypocrisy, Jesus' instruction to the healed man, and the man's response to the Jews.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Cripple by a Pool (Part Two)
Summary: Many spiritual lessons can be derived from Jesus' healing of the crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda. Martin Collins looks into Jesus' commands to the man, as well as the man's obedient response—and the reaction it caused.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Leper (Part One)
Summary: Leprosy is a horrible, disfiguring disease, one that the ancients said could only be cured by an act of God Himself. Martin Collins shows that Jesus' healing of a leper manifested His divine power and mercy.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Leper (Part Three)
Summary: Jesus' healing of the leper in Mark 1:40-45 exhibits His compassion for those suffering the repulsive effects of sin. Martin Collins examines how the cleansing of this horribly diseased man parallels the spiritual cleansing that prepares us for salvation.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Leper (Part Two)
Summary: The leper who approached Jesus for healing provides us a good example of how we, too, can come before Him for help. Martin Collins examines five vital character traits that we can learn to apply in seeking God's aid.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Nobleman's Son
Summary: The healing of the nobleman's son (John 4:46-54) is thought to be Jesus' first-recorded miracle of healing. Martin Collins uses the circumstances of this tremendous example of God's power to illustrate His ability and willingness to heal.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Paralytic (Part One)
Summary: The healing of the paralytic in Capernaum is a remarkable witness of Jesus being the Christ, the Son of God. Martin Collins explains that Jesus honors the faith of the paralytic's four friends who lowered him through the roof, illustrating that the faith of others can be instrumental in bringing sinners to Christ.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Paralytic (Part Two)
Summary: When Jesus heals the paralytic, He makes no bones about the fact that He, as the Son of Man, has the prerogative to forgive sin. Martin Collins explains how forgiveness and healing intersect in this awesome miracle of God's power and mercy.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Withered Hand (Part One)
Summary: One Sabbath during His ministry, Jesus took the opportunity to heal a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees, however, castigated Him for doing so. Martin Collins points out the hypocrisy of these self-righteous Jews regarding the Sabbath.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Withered Hand (Part Two)
Summary: When Jesus healed the man with the withered hand, He was being closely watched by the Pharisees, yet He did not hesitate to heal on the Sabbath. Martin Collins explains why Jesus' reaction was righteous and the Pharisee's was hypocritical.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Woman With a Flow of Blood
Summary: Jesus' healing of the woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years is unique among His miraculous healings in that He healed her without speaking a word. Martin Collins explains the woman's genuine faith and how Jesus used the occasion to bring glory to God.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Blind Bartimaeus
Summary: One of the last of Jesus' miracles was the healing of blind Bartimaeus near Jericho about a week before His arrest. Martin Collins shows that Jesus' compassion for the man's blindness points to His compassion for all those who are spiritually blind, a compassion He proved by giving His life to pay the penalty for sin.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Malchus' Ear (Part One)
Summary: The last of Jesus' miracles during His human life occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane as He was being arrested by a large contingent of troops. Peter, defending his Lord, drew his sword and lopped an ear from the head of Malchus, the high priest's servant. Martin Collins shows that, while exposing a few of Peter's character flaws, the scene reveals Jesus' love and kindness, even under heavy stress.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Peter's Mother-in-Law
Summary: Jesus had served the people all day, but that evening, when He entered Simon Peter's house, He found He had one more miracle to perform. Martin Collins dissects the healing of Peter's wife's mother, showing that it contains a pointed lesson about gratitude and service.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Two Blind Men (Part One)
Summary: In this parable, found in Matthew 9:27-31, two blind men doggedly follow Jesus into a house—probably Peter's—so that He will restore their sight to them. Martin Collins explains the lessons Christians can learn from the examples of these two persevering supplicants.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Two Blind Men (Part Two)
Summary: Matthew 9:27-31 contains the story of two blind men whom Jesus healed. These men are certain that Jesus can heal them, showing their faith, but they do not have enough faith to obey His command not to tell anyone about it. Martin Collins analyzes the healing of these two men, who did not let their handicap keep them from seeking Christ.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Raising a Widow's Son
Summary: The gospels present Jesus working the wonderful miracle of resurrection only three times in His ministry, one of which is the raising of the widow's son. Martin Collins dissects the episode, elucidating the depth of our Savior's compassion for others.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Resurrecting Jairus' Daughter
Summary: The resurrection of Jairus' daughter, recounted in all three Synoptic Gospels, is one of Jesus Christ's greatest miracles. Martin Collins explains Christ's seemingly curious actions in raising the twelve-year-old from premature death.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Stilling a Storm
Summary: To many, one of Christ's greatest miracles is His calming of the storm on the Sea of Galilee, showing His awesome power over His creation. Martin Collins explains that the miracle not only highlights Jesus' glory, but it also reveals the disciples' need of greater faith.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Great Catch of Fish
Summary: In performing the miracle of the great catch of fish, Jesus as Creator manifests His divine power over creation, forcing Peter to realize just who his Master was. Martin Collins explores this astounding miracle, extracting important lessons for us today.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Resurrection of Lazarus (Part One)
Summary: Among Jesus Christ's greatest miracles is the resurrection of his good friend, Lazarus of Bethany, brother of two of His most ardent followers, Mary and Martha. Martin Collins examines John 11, particularly Jesus' approach to and way of expressing the concept of death.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Resurrection of Lazarus (Part Two)
Summary: Jesus' resurrection of His friend Lazarus from the dead proved to be the final straw for the Jews who were trying to kill Him. After contrasting Jesus' weeping with those around Him, Martin Collins considers the diverse reactions of the witnesses to His great miracle, focusing on how it was a sign to them and us.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Withering of a Fig Tree
Summary: Some Bible students scratch their heads over the incident, recorded in Matthew and Mark, in which Jesus curses a fig tree for not having any fruit, even though it was not yet the season for figs! Martin Collins explains this difficult passage, showing that Jesus used the situation to teach His disciples a lesson on hypocrisy.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Two Demon-Possessed Men Healed (Part One)
Summary: The gospels contain many mentions of Jesus freeing the demon-possessed from evil spirits. Martin Collins begins a multipart study on the two demoniacs at Gadara, explaining how demons exercise their powers and the difference between demon influence and demon possession.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Two Demon-Possessed Men Healed (Part Three)
Summary: Jesus Christ performed many miracles, including exorcisms of demons like the evil spirits He cast out of the men near Gadara. Martin Collins explains the significant changes that occurred in the men once the demons were gone.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Two-Demon Possessed Men Healed (Part Two)
Summary: Most of the gospel accounts of Jesus casting out demons are impersonal, merely stating the fact that He did so. However, the exorcism in Matthew 8:28-34 is quite detailed. Martin Collins concentrates on the facts that the demon-possessed men were unclean and that God's Word is powerful and efficacious.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Water Into Wine (Part One)
Summary: Jesus' first miracle, turning water into wine, occurred at a friend's wedding in Cana. Martin Collins examines this truly astounding event, revealing principles of the nature of Jesus' miraculous power and God's purpose in performing such signs.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Water Into Wine (Part Two)
Summary: In performing the miracle at Cana, Jesus gave a command that may have seemed strange at the time. Using the changing of water into wine as a backdrop, Martin Collins expounds on the connection between obedience to God's commands and blessings.
The Price of Atonement
Summary: We will soon be observing the Day of Atonement. Like Luke in Acts 27:9, we tend to think of this holy day as “the Fast.” Afflicting our souls by not eating and drinking for the entire 24-hour period ...
The Shepherd's Guidance (Part Three)
Summary: Sometimes, circumstances conspire to scatter Christians into small groups or even from all contact with other believers and from the ministry that Jesus Christ gives to the church to equip them and encourage their growth (Ephesians 4:11-16)—in the biblical metaphor, leaving the sheep without a shepherd. ...
What Did Jesus Do?
Summary: We have all seen "WWJD?" on bracelets, T-shirts, and the like. Perhaps a better question to ask is, "What Did Jesus Do?" because He left us the perfect example of godly living in the four gospels!
What Is the Passover Anyway?
Summary: To someone not familiar with the Bible's instructions regarding the keeping of Passover, this festival can seem strange and confusing. This article explains the basic points of the Passover, showing from Scripture what God commands and why.
What Is This "Advent"?
Summary: The world around us is celebrating what many call Advent, the month-long buildup to Christmas that the more devout among them treat as a period of more intense prayer and fasting. ...
Who Fulfills the Azazel Goat— Satan or Christ? (Part Five)
Summary: While the church of God has long taught that the azazel goat of Leviticus 16 represents Satan bearing part of the blame for man's sins, the present series has shown that this view has no biblical support. David Grabbe concludes the series with several common questions posed by those who have desired additional clarification of some of the issues involved in the subject.
Who Fulfills the Azazel Goat— Satan or Christ? (Part Four)
Summary: Many in God's church have believed that humanity cannot be "at one" with God until Satan has been bound at the beginning of the Millennium. This misunderstanding, David Grabbe contends, has come about due to a general failure to grasp significant truths about the completed atoning work of Jesus Christ, something that Satan has no part in.
Who Fulfills the Azazel Goat—Satan or Christ? (Part Two)
Summary: In the pivotal ritual on the Day of Atonement, two goats play significant and separate roles to represent specific divine purposes within the process of salvation. As David Grabbe explains, understanding the role of the live goat hinges on recognizing whose sins are in view, as well as who is actually responsible for sin.
Why 153 Fish? (Part One)
Summary: In Psalm 12:6, David compares God’s Word to silver that has been purified seven times. His revelation contains nothing superfluous, and thus each detail, no matter how seemingly insignificant, holds ...
Why 153 Fish? (Part Three)
Summary: The eighth sign of Christ’s Messiahship in John’s gospel contains the curious feature of 153 fish, which Jesus miraculously provided. As a symbol, fish typically represent people, such as when Jesus initially ...
Why 153 Fish? (Part Two)
Summary: As Part One detailed, the apostle John structured his gospel around eight signs that reveal Jesus Christ as the Messiah. He arranged these signs so that the first sign corresponds to the eighth, the second ...
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Twelve): The Son's Superiority Over Angels
Summary: The nascent church was not wholly "of one accord" on every doctrine. Some Jews among the early converts believed that Jesus Christ did not qualify to be the church's High Priest, considering angels to be greater and holier. John Ritenbaugh explains that the main goal of the author of Hebrews is to show Christ's superiority over every conceivable candidate for the office, and in chapter 1, specifically over angels.
Why Preach the Gospel to the World?
Summary: On a street corner of a crowded city, a young man in threadbare clothes stands on a pine box, a worn Bible clutched in one hand. He shouts at the hustling passersby, "God is not mocked! We will reap what we have sown!" ...
Why Was Jesus Not Crucified as Passover Began? (Part One)
Summary: Many Bible students scratch their heads over a seeming discrepancy in timing between the Old Testament instructions about Passover and Christ's fulfillment of it in His crucifixion. Contending that the spiritual fulfillment is far more important than physical rites, David Grabbe relates that Jesus did indeed fulfill the Passover—just not as one might expect.
Worthy to Take the Scroll
Summary: When reading the book of Revelation, we often pass quickly through chapters 4 and 5, perhaps because very little of significance seems to happen in them. To many, they contain just a fantastic description of God's throne room. David Grabbe, however, explains that chapter 5, especially, narrates an event of tremendous magnitude for those whom God has chosen.
Would Jesus Christ Vote? (Part One)
Summary: America's presidential primary season has brought voting in political elections to the fore once again. Because it is not directly mentioned in Scripture, people often ask if voting is biblically condoned. Martin Collins, beginning a short series of Bible Studies, re-asks the question in its most basic form for a true Christian: Would Jesus Vote?
Would Jesus Christ Vote? (Part Two)
Summary: When Jesus walked the earth during His ministry, He delivered a message of the coming Kingdom of God with Him as its King. However, as Martin Collins explains, Jesus never inserted Himself into the political process, but instead, He taught His disciples to come out of this world's way of life.