Books of the Bible

No Longer a Slave: What I Noticed When I Read Philemon – Christian Article

Although the book of Philemon is a very short letter, it can be challenging to understand because it deals with slavery. Christians in the United States have a difficult time conceiving of slavery apart from the type of slavery that existed in the United States until the 1860s. Even though the slavery of first-century Rome was quite different, there is much that followers of Jesus in every time and culture can learn from this letter. A Word About Slavery I…

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Seeing the Unseen: What I Noticed When I Read Hebrews – Christian Article

The book of Hebrews is an amazing book. The Hebrew writer, whoever he may have been, helps his audience understand the continuity between (what we now call) the Old and New Testaments. He helps his Jewish audience understand that following Jesus is both a continuation of their temple worship, but also understand why following Jesus is superior to temple worship. Here are a few things to notice. The Audience I might be wrong, but it seems that perhaps Hebrews was…

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Stop Talking and Start Doing: What I Noticed When I Read James – Christian Article

The book of James might be one of the easiest books for Christians to understand, regardless of time and culture. It deals with the sort of issues and behaviors that are common to religious people of every era, and there is really no misunderstanding what James is telling his audience to do and not to do. I always end up feeling incredibly convicted by this short little book. The Audience James simply addresses this book to, “the twelve tribes in the…

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Don’t Be Afraid: What I Noticed When I Read Revelation – Christian Article

It is a shame that the book of Revelation is either ignored or read in a hyper-literal way. Christians seem to either be scared of it or obsessed with trying to “decode” it. I think we should simply heed the admonition at the beginning of the book by reading it aloud, hearing it, and keeping the things that are written in it. Revelation blessed its original audience and it can continue to bless the church today if we will heed…

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How Christians Respond to Mistreatment: What I Noticed When I Read 1 Peter – Christian Article

1 Peter, like most of the books in the New Testament, can be read in a matter of minutes. When you read it in one sitting, I recommend reading two or three times in that same sitting. This is one of those books that challenges a lot of our American ways of thinking. What would our lives look like if we really took the whole book of 1 Peter seriously? Your Time of Exile Peter calls his audience “exiles of…

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When Christians Fall Away: What I Noticed When I Read 2 Peter – Christian Article

There are many who believe it is impossible for someone to be saved and then fall away. They believe that if a person becomes a Christian and then falls away, they were never really saved in the first place. However, I’m not sure how you could maintain a belief in “once saved, always saved” after sitting down to read 2 Peter. From start to finish, this is a letter warning Christians about falling away. False Teachers Peter’s big fear is…

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Changing the World Through Love: What I Noticed When I Read 1, 2, 3 John – Christian Article

John’s epistles are a great example of why context, following an author’s train of thought, and appreciating an author’s unique style are so incredibly important. John assumes his audience can see the beautiful themes he has expertly woven into the fabric of the text. Therefore, we run the risk of completely misunderstanding any single verse when we rip it from its context to use it as an isolated prooftext. Here are some of the things I noticed when I sat…

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Contend for the Faith: What I Noticed When I Read Jude – Christian Article

There is so much packed into the tiny book of Jude. The way Jude turns a phrase is beautiful and almost poetic. But because of the subject matter, it is certainly not pleasant. Jude references many events from biblical literature and even some events from literature outside of the biblical canon, all to warn his audience that God will judge the ungodly. This is a subject modern Christians probably need to consider a little more often. Contend for the Faith…

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Don’t Mess with the Apostles: What I Noticed When I Read 2 Corinthians – Christian Article

The apostle Paul’s follow-up letter to the church in Corinth starts off very meek and mild. However, in the second half of the letter, his tone changes and he deal directly with the primary problem in Corinth. The primary problem in Corinth is that there are people undermining Paul’s authority and credibility. Second Corinthians is such a relevant book for Christians today because there are still many who undermine Paul’s authority and credibility. What Paul’s Critics Were Saying It seems…

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Stop Distorting the Gospel: What I Noticed When I Read Galatians – Christian Article

The book of Galatians might be the earliest of Paul’s epistles and it is definitely the harshest. When this letter was written to the churches in Galatia, Paul was steaming mad with righteous anger because false teachers were corrupting the churches he planted on his first missionary journey. Here are a few things I noticed in Galatians about the gospel, the promises of God, the Law of Moses, and the Spirit. Distorting the Gospel Paul dealt with a particular problem…

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Revealing the Mystery of the Gospel – What I Noticed When I Read Ephesians – Christian Article

In the book of Ephesians, Paul emphasized (as he always seemed to do) that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not a new idea. Everything Jesus accomplished was part of God’s plan since “before the foundation of the world.” But there was one thing that was surprising about the Gospel, one thing that had been a secret or a “mystery” before, but now was revealed by the Gospel. What was that “mystery”? What had God’s people not expected the Messiah…

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Torn Away: What I Noticed When I Read First and Second Thessalonians – Christian Article

Before I share my thoughts on First and Second Thessalonians, I want to apologize for the extended break I took writing posts over the holidays. Now that we are going again, I’m excited to wrap up my summaries of the books of the Bible over the next few months. Here are some of my thoughts on Paul’s two letters to the church in Thessalonica. Based on what Luke recorded about Thessalonica (see Acts 17), we know there were very few…

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How to Keep a Church Faithful: What I Noticed When I Read Colossians – Christian Article

The book of Colossians is similar to Ephesians in many ways, but it is also incredibly unique. Colossians can be read in just a few minutes but it may prove to be somewhat challenging to understand. Paul wrote this letter to the church in Colossae to keep them faithful, to inoculate them against false doctrine. I am firmly convinced that Paul’s method of keeping a church faithful still works today. The Problem in Colossae It’s not hard to pick up…

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What is Real Christian Fellowship: What I Noticed When I Read Philippians – Christian Article

Paul’s letter to the Philippian church is short and sweet. It can very easily be read in one sitting. In fact, with books as short as Philippians, I like to read them twice in one sitting. If you do that, you may just pick up on something you missed the first time. That’s exactly what happened to me this week. Everyone knows Paul says a lot about joy and rejoicing in Philippians, but here is another theme you may have…

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