Flesh: Good or Bad

The Greek word sarx, “flesh,” has a wide range of meanings—some positive and some negative. Positively, it can mean simply the physical body (Acts 2:31), humanity in general (John 1:14), or all living creatures (1 Peter 1:24). As part of God’s creation, “flesh” in this sense is good. However, Paul most often used the term […]

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Handed Over to Satan?

Paul’s ministry was not easy. From the moment of his conversion, after he was struck blind on the Damascus road, to the moment he was beheaded in Rome, Paul knew hardship. He provided a graphic, pen portrait of his ministry in 2 Corinthians 11:23–33. Some of the hardships Paul faced included “dangers among false brethren” […]

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Does God Hate?

Hate is a powerful word. We are taught from childhood to avoid hatred at all costs and to obey the command of Christ to love everyone, including our enemies. So it’s shocking to read the words that Paul quoted from Malachi, who declared that God loved Jacob but hated Esau (Malachi 1:2–3). How can a […]

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Understanding Our Troubled Times

Don’t you sometimes just shake your head and wonder, What on earth is happening in the world? Over the course of my lifetime, I have witnessed numerous changes in the broader culture. Unfortunately, not all have been for good. If Christians hope to make an impact in this world, it’s imperative that we first understand […]

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Why You Can Have Confidence in the Bible

What is your final authority in life? Before you answer too quickly, think about it for a few moments. When you’re cornered, when you’re facing an intimidating obstacle, when you’re forced to deal with reality, upon whom or what do you lean? There can be no more reliable authority on earth than God’s Word, the […]

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What Does It Mean to Be Made in God’s Image?

What does the phrase “the image of God” mean? Theologians have wrestled long and hard with this question, because the answer impacts how we think about Christ’s saving work, Christian ethics, and other important spiritual matters. Some have argued that image refers to humanity’s capacity to rule, because ruling is mentioned in connection with the […]

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Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax

As the Walrus and the Carpenter set out along the shore, they invited with them a little host of curious oysters. This naïve (and tasty) entourage was drawn in by the promise of a wide-ranging and mentally-stimulating conversation about the nature of the universe. The “big conversation” took place over dinner, and the curious little […]

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Between Since and So That

There’s a world of difference between since and so that. Explore that world with me in these sentences: We stayed in a hostel so that money was tight. We cancelled the picnic so that it might rain. We painted the baby’s room blue so that we had a boy. These ideas make no sense, because […]

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Fakes

2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Revelation 17-18 A friend of mine ate dog food one evening. No, he wasn’t at a fraternity initiation nor a hobo party . . . he was actually at an elegant student reception in a physician’s home near Miami. The dog food was served on delicate little crackers with a wedge of […]

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