Testifying of Christ

After the Jews began persecuting Jesus for healing a man on the Sabbath (John 5:16), Jesus began discussing His equality with the Father (John 5:17-23), the future resurrection (John 5:25-29), and the proof that He was who He claimed to be (John 5:33-47). This final point was critical. Not every claim that one may make of himself is true. This is why Jesus said, “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true” (John 5:31). He was not saying that He might make false claims. After all, He “always” did the will of the Father (John 8:29). Yet there was a difference between what Jesus claimed about Himself and what others – His enemies, in particular – claimed about Him.

How could the people know that Jesus was the Christ and not an imposter? They would need to have evidence. Jesus explained that this evidence came in the form of witness testimony that verified His claims. In this passage, He described four witnesses that testified of Him and confirmed His claim as the Christ, the Son of God. Let us notice these briefly.Continue Reading

Lifting Up Our Soul to the Lord

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust, do not let me be ashamed; do not let my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed” (Psalm 25:1-3).

This psalm is about our dependence upon God – something that each one of us needs to be reminded of from time to time. The text describes three areas in which we are dependent upon the Lord.

The psalmist explained this by describing himself as lifting up his soul to the Lord. This denotes a surrender of oneself to Him – a complete trust in God that carried with it a confidence that he would not be ashamed.

Let us consider what this psalm teaches us about our need for the Lord and the three ways in which we are dependent upon what He provides.Continue Reading

Here I Raise My Ebenezer

From time to time we sing the song, “O Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” The second verse begins with the phrase, “Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I’ve come.” This term (Ebenezer) is not one we use today, yet it is important for us to understand the words we sing. Paul said we are to “sing with the spirit, and…with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15, KJV).

In this article, we are going to look at the story in the Old Testament about the Ebenezer. This was a stone set up to remind the Israelites of an important lesson. As we look at this, we will see some lessons for us as well.Continue Reading

Nonreligious Americans See Evidence of Creator (08.12.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

This week we’re going to be talking about what nonreligious people think about the existence of a creator. There are a surprising number of Americans who, even though they do not identify themselves as believers, recognize that the physical world provides evidence for a creator.Continue Reading

New Every Morning

Sunrise

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him’” (Lamentations 3:21-23).

We sometimes hear it said that each day is a gift. This is certainly true, yet we need to know why this is true. It is about more than the simple fact that we are still alive. Each day is a gift because of God and what He provides for us each day.

In the passage above, Jeremiah reflected upon the goodness of God even as he and the nation were going through severe suffering (hence the name of the book Lamentations). There was still evidence of God’s care for them and a reason to have hope if they would focus on Him more than their present troubles.Continue Reading

The Limitations of Man

Man on a mountain

The word of the Lord came again to me, saying, ‘Son of man, say to the leader of Tyre, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Because your heart is lifted up and you have said, “I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods in the heart of the seas”; yet you are a man and not God, although you make your heart like the heart of God’”’” (Ezekiel 28:1-2).

Man has been made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27), but man does not share all of the attributes of God. In the passage above, the king of Tyre was condemned because he arrogantly thought of himself as being equal with God. He had certainly made great accomplishments in gaining wisdom and acquiring riches (Ezekiel 28:3-5), but God would prove to him that he was just a man: “Will you still say, ‘I am a god,’ in the presence of your slayer, though you are a man and not God, in the hands of those who wound you?” (Ezekiel 28:9).

We must recognize that as human beings, there are certain limitations that are placed upon us. Understanding this should cause us to be humble and to submit to the will of God. In this article, we are going to consider some of these limitations and see, in contrast, the greatness of God.Continue Reading

The Christian’s Boast

Man in front of waterfall

In the first half of Romans 5, Paul explained how Christians have been justified by faith and by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (Romans 5:1-11). In this passage, Paul used the word exult three times (NASB). This is not a term we commonly use today. The King James Version uses three different terms instead – rejoice, glory, and joy. The word means to boast about something (Thayer).

Usually we would think of boasting as something that we should not do as Christians. Yet it depends on the context. Paul told the brethren in Corinth, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31). If the word of God indicates that we are to boast, glory, and rejoice in something, then we can and should do so.

In this article, we will notice the three things Paul indicated in this passage in which we are to boast.Continue Reading