God’s Pressure Cooker, Pt.2

Purpose 1: Manifesting the Life of Christ

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh (2 Cor. 4:10-11

As Paul continues the sentence begun in verse 7, he expresses the first purpose of God in applying heat to His saints: that they might better manifest Christ to those around them. Paul introduces this idea by using a powerful paradox: the gospel minister is simultaneously bearing about the dying of Christ and manifesting the life of Christ. What does this mean? Read more…

Gird Up Your Loins

As twenty-first century Christians we often are limited in our perceptions and interpretations of the Bible. We look at the Word of God through our own clouded lenses reflecting our personal backgrounds, education, language, and cultural biases. Without meaning to, we may limit the importance, significance and impact of idioms used in Scripture. In this article we will strive to illustrate the value in having a basic understanding of the customs and manners of the Bible (See book review on The New Manners and Customs) . To fully understand and apply biblical truth it is often necessary to study the cultural and historical background of the reference or idea expressed. It is necessary to identify with the people of the Bible.

A good example of this is the use of the expression “gird up the loins of your mind” by Peter in I Peter 1:13. What was the historical basis and meaning of this statement to a person living in the New Testament era? How are we to understand Peter’s use of this expression? How do we apply it to our lives? Read more…

Uplifting Psalms for Heavy Hearts

A common denominator among most counselees is the presence of trouble in their lives for which they have no answers. The counselee feels helpless and hopeless in the midst of such trouble, even though God has already provided many resources for solutions. This “helpless” condition requires the counselor to offer genuine hope to the counselee – hope of solutions and hope of change. The Psalms, in particular, are filled with such hope and help.

Psalm 32 not only offers deep insights into the nature of forgiveness and resulting wisdom but also provides a broad-stroke picture of God’s deliverance. As with many psalms, the exegete may have some difficulty identifying a unifying theme in Psalm 32. At first glance, forgiveness captures our attention because of the relational ramifications. If we were to focus on this aspect alone, however, we would overlook important features in the rest of the psalm and would miss important teaching that is equally useful in counseling. This psalm requires the use of a common technique Read more…