Making Sin a Trivial Thing

Ahab

Now Ahab the son of Omri became king of Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him.

It came about, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went to serve Baal and worshiped him. So he erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal which he built in Samaria. Ahab also made the Asherah. Thus Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.” (1 Kings 16:29-33).

Ahab was one of the more infamous kings in the Bible. In the passage above, he is said to have done “more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1 Kings 16:33). When studying the history of Israel, then this becomes even more remarkable. While there were some good kings of Judah, all of the kings of Israel “did evil in the sight of the Lord” as Ahab did; but Ahab was worse than the rest of them.

One of the points made in the text above is that Ahab had departed so far from God’s will that it became “a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat” (1 Kings 16:31). Sin was seen as “trivial” because it was viewed as unimportant or unconcerning.

Sin is always a problem, but it is particularly dangerous when sin becomes trivial. We need to understand why this is. By looking at the example of Ahab, we can also see what factors in his life led him to view sin in this way so that we can guard against this as much as possible.Continue Reading

Jesus Christ – Our Perfect Example

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:21-24).

In this passage, Peter explained that Jesus left an example for us to follow. There are many people we may look up to as examples in life – parents, peers, older Christians, successful individuals, and more. Yet Jesus was not just an example; He was the perfect example. This passage shows us how He left a perfect example for us.Continue Reading

The Result of Following Your Heart

Walking shoes

The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

A popular idea in our modern culture is that we should “follow our heart.” While this is popular, it is not wise. Our heart, on its own, will not direct us in the way we need to go. Jeremiah said, “I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). In the passage quoted at the beginning of this article, the Lord said that man’s heart is “deceitful” and “desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). The rest of that chapter elaborates on this idea.

In this article, we are going to examine that chapter (Jeremiah 17) and see what happens when we follow our heart. However, we first need to understand the context. Jeremiah had been warning the people of Judah about destruction that was coming. They had rejected God, embraced idolatry, and refused to repent of their sin; so God was going to punish them through the Babylonian army that was coming against them. Though we live in a different time and under different circumstances, the basic points are the same. We will experience the same pitfalls as they did if we also “follow our heart.”

What happens when we follow our heart? This chapter describes six consequences that will come from this.Continue Reading

Monthly News Roundup (03.25.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

This is the last episode for the month of March. I plan to use the last episode of the month to highlight and briefly comment on some of the news stories from the last month that we haven’t discussed yet here. In this episode, we’ll be talking about the charge of Jesus being a racist, three men being named the legal parents of two children, and the discovery of more Dead Sea scrolls.Continue Reading

Practicing Church Discipline

Empty pews

Church discipline is often not a pleasant topic to discuss and is even more difficult to practice. Because of this, some congregations hardly discuss it at all. Then when a situation arises that requires it, they are either unsure how to proceed or they ignore it altogether and hope the problem simply goes away.

However, while church discipline is often difficult and painful to practice, there are times when it is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, the Scriptures show us that when it is done for the right reason and in the right way, it is actually for the good of the congregation and of the one from whom the church withdrew fellowship.

In this article, we are going to consider several passages in the New Testament that talk about this topic; but we will use Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 5 as the outline for our study.Continue Reading

Why People Do Not Receive Jesus

Scribes and Pharisees

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12).

When Jesus came and preached to the Jews, many “did not receive Him.” What does this mean?

Some today might explain this as receiving Jesus as their Savior and inviting Him into their heart. Certainly, we must see Jesus as our Savior; however, this is about more than that. This is about receiving Jesus as the Son of God and obeying Him as Lord. John said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). To believe in the Son is to accept that Jesus is the Son of God. To obey the Son is to recognize Him as Lord – the one with the right to rule over us and expect us to do His will.

In his gospel account, John recorded certain events in Jesus’ life. The purpose of this record was to produce faith in us (John 20:30-31). Yet today, many are like “His own” who “did not receive Him.” Why? People today will often reject Jesus for the same reasons that people did during His time on earth. We will not be considering an exhaustive list of the reasons why people refuse to accept Jesus, but will notice some of the reasons recorded for us in the gospel of John.Continue Reading

Thankful (Part 3): Thankful for God’s Mercy

Thankful

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:12-16).

As Paul wrote to Timothy, he told of his own background as a persecutor of the church and how he considered himself as the “chief” of sinners (KJV). Yet he was able to be forgiven and become a part of the Lord’s work because of the mercy that was shown to him. He explained to Timothy that the Lord’s treatment of him is an example for all believers. As Paul received mercy, we also receive mercy from God. As Paul thanked the Lord for this, we are to be thankful for God’s mercy as well.Continue Reading