Last time we studied from Romans we took great encouragement by God's love being shown through Jesus' death for us while we were yet sinners. His sacrifice was an incredible event, and with the resulting resurrection, we have great hope today. As the passage continues, Paul goes on to discuss another action that had a great impact on us all. That being the sin of Adam and death that follows to this day.
I have said this before, and I'm sure I'll do so again: Jesus was a great master teacher. One aspect of His teaching that people are most familiar with is His use of parables. Some of these are short and relatively straightforward. Others were so confusing that the disciples asked for an explanation. Because of their importance in the Gospels, it was only a matter of time before I would develop a reading plan for them.
With the high number of divorces in this country, there is a great need for marriages to be strengthened. Thankfully, there are a number of individuals and organizations that work toward that goal. Sometimes though, just a short book with a few key principles can help people have a more godly view of their marriages. For men, one text that may be worth considering is For Married Men Only by Tony Evans.
Over the past several months, many have dealt with friends and family becoming ill from COVID-19. While I expect a number of them have recovered, I'm sure that some died from it, or complications related to it. Even more have passed away from other health problems too. Of course, the eventuality of death is something that all of us have to face. It is the great equalizer.
As Christians, we have many reasons to be joyous. Some of these are due to physical blessings that God graciously provides to all people. However, we who are of the family of God should feel far more moments of joy than most. One collection of Scripture that often teaches on this topic is the book of Psalms. It speaks of praise, gladness, and singing in a wide variety of contexts. One of the best passages that refers to all of these is Psalm 100.
When we look at the world, it is possible to think that God is not in control. The Jewish people likely felt that way when the Babylonians destroyed the Temple. As the Bible tells us, after 70 years of exile, thousands of Jews returned to Jerusalem and recommitted themselves to God. Many of these events are detailed in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. This may have also been the time that Psalm 93 was written.
I believe the Word of God was recorded to be read, studied, and understood. However, if we are careless in our exegesis we can reach conclusions that are contrary to His will. Such outcomes should be humbling to those of us who teach the Bible, and avoided as much as possible. It was with these concerns in mind that I decided to read Exegetical Fallacies by D. A. Carson.
Humility, or the lack thereof, lies behind many events in the Bible. Multiple kings of Israel were destroyed because they did not have it. A number of men and women exhibited it in various ways. Jesus taught it by explicit instruction, and also by example. Because of these reasons, reading passages on humility is surely edifying and uplifting for us.
As I study the Bible, one concept that I adhere to is keeping passages within their context. Although we learn much from individual verses, our understanding of God's Word is far richer when we see them build on each other. This importance of context was recently highlighted for me when I read Exegetical Fallacies by D. A. Carson.
Pride is involved with us being tempted to sin against God, and is admittedly an unpleasant topic to discuss. However, it is important for us to study so that we understand why we should resist it. That is one of the purposes for this reading plan. I hope that it brings the folly of pride to light in our lives, and motivates each of us to destroy it within ourselves through Christ.