BT Blog

BT Blog

When Love is Bad and Hatred is Good

Love has long been held up as a far superior trait than hatred, and it isn’t hard to see why. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). In a discussion of the three supreme traits of faith, hope, and love, Paul affirmed that “the greatest of these is…

Characteristics of Faith from Hebrews 11

While no characteristic that God desires for us is unimportant, one could make a strong case that faith is among the most important. It is fundamental, foundational, and central. Jesus placed it among the “weightier” matters of the law (Matt. 23:23). Its usage in the New Testament bears witness to its preeminence. It sometimes describes the whole of New Testament doctrine (Jude 3; Acts 6:7; 1 Tim. 4:1). It is that which begins and undergirds all of gospel obedience (Rom.…

Forgiveness

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32). The character of the Christian includes “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” (Col. 3:13). What has God said about this beautiful gift that we can (and must) extend to each other? Specifically, what roles do repentance and restitution play in the interchange…

The Last Best Hope of Earth

One month before signing the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to Congress in which he addressed freeing the country’s slaves. In it, Lincoln stressed the importance of doing the right thing to “save our country,” which he described as “the last best hope of earth.” I want to borrow and amend Lincoln’s words. The family unit in American culture is under attack from many sides: radical feminism, which denies the value of husbands and fathers; gay rights advocates…

How Do I Make 2019 Better than 2018?

The time for resolutions has come. If you are among those who like to refocus with the dawning of a new year, here are a few suggestions. Assess the Past Year Self-examination is important and helpful. “Examine yourselves” is the admonition of 2 Corinthians 13:5. In the spirit of that passage, set aside some time to sit down in a quiet place and contemplate your life. What are your strengths? In what areas are you weak? What temptations seem the…

Signs of Grace

Paul began his second letter to the Thessalonian church with these encouraging words, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure” (2 Thess. 1:3–4).…

Unraveling the “Mystery”

Several passages in the New Testament use the word “mystery” in connection with God’s plan for the redemption of man (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 1:9; 3:3-4; Col. 1:26). But why call this plan a mystery? In modern English usage, we use “mystery” to refer to things that lie outside our understanding or that defy explanation. For example, the location of Jimmy Hoffa is a mystery. The fate of the Ark of the Covenant is a mystery. Were the writers of scripture…

God’s Plan for Man’s Redemption

Even though Adam never met Abraham, Moses never met David, and Jeremiah never met John, they are all inextricably linked. Though the Bible is a compilation of 66 separate books, it tells but one story. The personalities of the Bible and the books that tell us of them are all connected as integral parts of God’s plan for the redemption and salvation of mankind. That, really, is the theme of all scripture: the salvation of mankind from the guilt of…

Why study apologetics? Part 2

Christian apologetics is the area of study concerned with the defense of Christian faith against the attacks of skepticism. The primary areas of this study are the existence of God, the historicity and deity of Jesus, and the inspiration of the Bible. Although this area of study often involves technical and scientific subjects, it is important for every Christian to expend the mental effort to better understand it. Why is that so? What are the reasons that would motivate a…

Why study apologetics? Part 1

There are a lot of words that get thrown around in philosophical and religious discussions that do not necessarily find their way into many everyday conversations. Some examples would be words like “hermeneutics,” “sanctification,” “dispensationalism,” and “apologetics.” I want to call our attention to that last word – apologetics. Although this might not be a word you use very often, it is a word that every Christian needs to know because it describes something that every Christian needs to do.…

Lessons from a Beggar on the Street

On some mid-afternoon following the Pentecost events of Acts 2, Peter and John found themselves in the presence of a physically disabled beggar outside the temple’s Beautiful Gate (Acts 3:1-10). Consider the following lessons from the record of his dramatic healing: Don’t Ever Give Up (3:2).The paralyzed man had convinced some of his friends, family, or strangers to carry him from his home (wherever it was) to the temple every day so he could ask for financial help from passersby.…

Measuring Our Love for God

While there is definitely an emotional component to love, true love is not merely emotion. True love is also a decision. It is a deliberate act of the will. The Bible reveals some measuring sticks by which we can determine whether or not our love for God is as deep as it could be. Our love for God is measured by how much we love each other. “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and…