Posts in Biblical Exposition

Paul’s 4th Missionary Journey (And I Don’t Mean His Trip to Rome)

By Kenneth Berding Apr. 14, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament, Historical Theology

“Paul’s fourth missionary journey? I thought he went on three missionary journeys!” Yes, according to Acts, Paul embarked on three missionary journeys. Then he was imprisoned in Palestine for a couple years, transported under guard via ship to Rome (a journey that included a shipwreck on Malta), and spent a couple more years under house arrest in Rome. End of story? No. That is where the book of Acts ends, but it is not the end of the story. There are enough biblical and historical hints floating around to allow us to reconstruct some of what happened next. As a result of such a reconstruction, perhaps we ought to start talking about Paul’s fourth missionary journey ...

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God is Back!

By Joe Hellerman Apr. 7, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament, Theology

Maybe you didn’t know that he was gone. He was. The prophet Ezekiel saw it all in a vision. God abandoned his temple during the Babylonian Exile in the sixth-century BC ...

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Salvation in James: Gift and Responsibility, Part Three

By Darian Lockett Mar. 4, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament, Theology, Historical Theology

In this series of posts, we attempt to offer a rich and appreciative reading of James chapter 1 and 2 with an eye to James’ theology of human redemption—a Jacobian soteriology. In the previous post, we considered James 1:18 and 21 and concluded that this “word of truth” and “implanted word” thus is a new character, a new heart’s disposition created in us. It must be received (1:21) and, as the “law of freedom” it must be obeyed (1:22-25). Mercy must, it appears, be enacted in order to be efficacious. And thus the answer to the third question regarding this proverbial statement appears to be “yes,” mercy is a “work” required for salvation. But that is a misleading way to understand James. It is better perhaps to call the mercy that triumphs an appropriation of the divine concern (2:5, 8), proof of the reality of the “birth” (1:18) and the “implanted word” (1:21), and an accurate understanding of “faith” (2:14). This question of what constitutes “good works” will be explored now in this final post. 

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Salvation in James: Gift and Responsibility, Part Two

By Darian Lockett Feb. 25, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament, Theology, Historical Theology

In this series of posts, we attempt to offer a rich and appreciative reading of James chapter 1 and 2 with an eye to James’ theology of human redemption—a Jacobian soteriology. In the previous post, we considered the function of the “word” and the “law” as God’s gracious gifts for salvation. Here we specifically looked at James 1:18 and 21 and concluded that this “word of truth” and “implanted word” thus is a new character, a new heart’s disposition created in us. It must be received (1:21) and, as the “law of freedom” it must be obeyed (1:22-25). Thus, the “word/law” in James is God’s instrument for salvation—it is both gift and responsibility. In this second post we will focus on James 2:12-13 where “mercy” triumphs over judgment. 

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Salvation in James: Gift and Responsibility, Part One

By Darian Lockett Feb. 18, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament, Theology, Historical Theology

I suspect for many readers of the New Testament that the Letter of James is something like the odd uncle at a family Christmas party who unfortunately suffers from chronic halitosis. Someone you rather not talk with, but in the end you are related—and thus might owe the obligatory yearly conversation.

Well, if this does not accurately describe the church’s reception of James, it certainly represents the attitude of many scholars. For example, Andrew Chester notes “James presents a unique problem within the New Testament ...

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¿Quién Puede Tener Acceso a Dios? Salmo 15 / Psalm 15

By Octavio Esqueda Feb. 12, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education, Church Life, Ministry and Leadership

Disfrutar de una relación íntima con el Dios del universo es el propósito principal del ser humano. En Dios encontramos respuesta y sentido a nuestras vidas. El salmo 15 describe al tipo de persona que puede relacionarse personalmente con el Creador. El salmista se pregunta quién puede ser un huésped de Dios. En esa cultura, un huésped gozaba de acceso directo con el anfitrión. Este salmo de sabiduría se entonaba al entrar al templo. Los adoradores iniciaban con la pregunta y el sacerdote respondía con los requisitos y finalizaba con una promesa para aquellos que los cumplían.

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Ask God for What? Paul Weighs in on the Content of Petitionary Prayers

By Kenneth Berding Feb. 5, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

I am regularly vexed by how shallow my prayers can become. When I pray for something—and I know that all prayer is not for things—what should I pray for? Only for my family? For someone I know who is ill? For God to help me in the day ahead? For God to resolve whatever problem is currently worrying me? I often sense that there is some content that I’m missing when I’m praying. Do you sense the same thing? ...

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