Subscribe now

All articles in category Biblical/theological

Jonah for today’s church (2)
October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Jonah for today’s church (2)

‘Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and he answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice’ (Jonah 2:1-2). Prayer is a sacred act. It is not meant to be a flippant afterthought or a casual thinking out aloud. It is approaching the throne of grace, mindful both of the one doing the praying and the One doing the listening. Prayer is a holy activity that gives us immense access to God.      Jonah’s example tells us that we can pray from anywhere....

Read more
‘Your eyes shall see the King in his beauty’ (Isaiah 33:17).
October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Your eyes shall see the King in his beauty’ (Isaiah 33:17).

The immediate context of this promise is the threat Israel faced when the Assyrian king Sennacherib mounted a siege against the nation (c.700 BC). The people had seen king Hezekiah in mourning, with sackcloth on his head because of the danger they were in. God assured them that the time would come when the pagan army would be defeated and their king would again ‘adorn himself with the robes of state and appear with a smiling countenance in all the beauty of joy’ (C. H. Spurgeon). Serious students of Scripture know that, in the Old Testament, our glorious Saviour is prefigured in the context of...

Read more
October 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘Break up your fallow ground’

‘For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns’ (Jeremiah 4:3). Last summer I was walking along a path through two fields near my home. It was during the dry spell at the end of June. In the first field, the farmer was growing maize and the corn really was ‘as high as an elephant’s eye’. Although there had been no rain for a while, the maize was growing splendidly, as the roots sucked up moisture and nourishment from the ground. The field was doing what a field is supposed to do...

Read more
September 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Fishers of men (2)

‘When Simon Peter saw [the miraculous catch of fish] he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord! For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken … And Jesus said to Simon, Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men. So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him’ (Luke 5:8-11). Peter — always a passionate fellow — responded dramatically to Christ’s miracle. He was, as we might say, ‘blown away’. The others too were astonished by what happened....

Read more
August 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Law and gospel

There is much to discourage us about the state of the church today. We think of its conformity to the spirit of the world, lack of depth in Christian experience, absence of heart religion, paucity of the fear of God, disregard for the Lord’s Day, lax attitude to worship, and absence of seriousness with regard to eternal issues. However, the church was in an even worse state prior to the Reformation. It was characterised by indifference, pride, laxity and worldliness, but a change came that was radical in its ethical effects. God’s law While we acknowledge that the Reformation was pre-eminently a revival, we have...

Read more
August 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Priscilla and Aquila: ‘working together with him’ (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Priscilla and Aquila are two lesser known characters in the New Testament. The impression we get is that they were a man and wife team ministry, for the New Testament references to them are invariably as a couple, and not as individuals. Their ministry was not a high profile, public one, yet it was owned by God for the blessing of souls and the glory of his name. If we were to capture the ministry of this Christian couple in five words, those words might be: instability, industry, diplomacy, bravery and hospitality. Instability Priscilla and Aquila knew much disruption in their lives. Acts 18 reveals...

Read more
August 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

Fishers of men (1)

One dreary January day, a discouraged young pastor sat down and wrote himself a letter. He saw scant success in his ministry: no real fruit, no changed lives and, as far as he knew, not a single convert to Christ from all his preaching, visitation and counselling. Nor was he alone in this, for all across the country the best of men were seeing little fruit. The Christian faith seemed to be in retreat. People — even the people in the churches — were indifferent to the gospel. Then suddenly Jesus’ words to Peter and Andrew flashed into his mind: ‘Follow me, and I will...

Read more
July 2016
Articles > Biblical/theological

‘You are the Son of God!’

In the language of another time, George Hutcheson (d. 1678) observes that ‘private conference and mutual edification are notable means for advancing the kingdom of Christ, for by these means Christ gathered his disciples’. Today, we might casually call this ‘networking’ or ‘sharing’. It has been variously called personal, conversational, and even lifestyle evangelism. Spontaneity The calling of Jesus’ disciples seems so casual and unstructured, perhaps even haphazard. There is no standard procedure or prescribed method, beyond people talking to people. The record of these conversational transactions is spare, although there was surely much more communication going on behind the scenes (cf. John 1:39). The...

Read more
Page 4 of 103« First...23456...102030...Last »