But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

For the Love of God - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 18 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 15; 2 Corinthians 8; Ezekiel 22; Psalm 69

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2 Samuel 15; 2 Corinthians 8; Ezekiel 22; Psalm 69

THE LONGEST SUSTAINED ENCOURAGEMENT in the New Testament to give money is found in 2 Corinthians 8–9. Today I shall reflect on some of the emphases in 2 Corinthians 8.

(1) Paul encourages the Corinthians to give by referring to the generosity...

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Monday, 17 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 14; 2 Corinthians 7; Ezekiel 21; Psalm 68

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2 Samuel 14; 2 Corinthians 7; Ezekiel 21; Psalm 68

WHAT A TWISTED THING SIN IS. Its motives and machinations are convoluted and perverse.

At one level the account of 2 Samuel 14 is pretty straightforward. At another, it is full of thought-provoking ironies.

David adopts the worst of all possible...

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2 Samuel 13; 2 Corinthians 6; Ezekiel 20; Psalms 66–67

THE THREAT TO DAVID’S REIGN predicted by the prophet Nathan begins with a sordid side-tale that nevertheless betrays exactly what is wrong with David’s rule (2 Sam. 13).

The multiplicity of royal wives meant that there were...

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Saturday, 15 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 12; 2 Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 19; Psalms 64–65

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2 Samuel 12; 2 Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 19; Psalms 64–65

IN NATHAN’S DRAMATIC CONFRONTATION with King David (2 Sam. 12), the prophet’s courage was mingled with a formidable sagacity. How else could a prophet grab the attention of an autocratic king and denounce his sin to his face,...

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2 Samuel 11; 2 Corinthians 4; Ezekiel 18; Psalms 62–63

HERE IS DAVID AT HIS WORST (2 Sam. 11). In the flow of the narrative through 1 and 2 Samuel, it is almost as if adversity brought out the best in David, while his chain of recent unbroken military and political successes finds him...

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Thursday, 13 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 10; 2 Corinthians 3; Ezekiel 17; Psalms 60–61

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2 Samuel 10; 2 Corinthians 3; Ezekiel 17; Psalms 60–61

IN SOME WAYS, Paul finds himself in an embarrassing position. If he fails to answer some of the concerns that the Corinthians entertained about him and his ministry, he could lose them—not lose them personally (that wouldn’t...

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2 Samuel 8–9; 2 Corinthians 2; Ezekiel 16; Psalms 58–59

IT IS BEYOND THESE BRIEF REFLECTIONS to provide a history of the difficult visits and painful letters that generated deep emotion in the apostle’s relations with the Corinthians. Relations between Corinth and Paul are...

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 7; 2 Corinthians 1; Ezekiel 15; Psalms 56–57

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2 Samuel 7; 2 Corinthians 1; Ezekiel 15; Psalms 56–57

AFTER HIS PALACE IS BUILT, David recognizes that he is living in splendor in comparison with the small and unostentatious tabernacle. He desires to build a temple, a “house” in which to place the ark of the covenant (2 Sam. 7).

T...

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Monday, 10 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 6; 1 Corinthians 16; Ezekiel 14; Psalm 55

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2 Samuel 6; 1 Corinthians 16; Ezekiel 14; Psalm 55

DAVID WOULD DOUBTLESS make many of us uncomfortable if he lived today. He was such an intense man—exuberant in his pleasures, crushed in his discouragement, powerful in his leadership, unrestrained in his worship.

(1) One occasion that...

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2 Samuel 4–5; 1 Corinthians 15; Ezekiel 13; Psalms 52–54

CLEARLY THE WRITER OF 2 Samuel (whose identity we do not know) thinks it important to record the various steps by which David came to rule over all Israel. Canonically, this is important because it is the beginning of the Davidic...

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Saturday, 08 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 3; 1 Corinthians 14; Ezekiel 12; Psalm 51

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2 Samuel 3; 1 Corinthians 14; Ezekiel 12; Psalm 51

EVEN AFTER THE DEATH OF King Saul, David did not immediately become king of Israel. At first David is anointed king over Judah (2 Sam. 2:1–7), and onlyJudah: even Benjamin, which remained with Judah following the division between...

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Friday, 07 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 2; 1 Corinthians 13; Ezekiel 11; Psalm 50

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2 Samuel 2; 1 Corinthians 13; Ezekiel 11; Psalm 50

ALTHOUGH 1 CORINTHIANS 13FORMS part of a sustained argument that runs through chapters 12–14, the passage constitutes such a lovely unit with so many wonderfully evocative lines that it has called forth countless extended treatments. Today I...

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Thursday, 06 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 1; 1 Corinthians 12; Ezekiel 10; Psalm 49

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2 Samuel 1; 1 Corinthians 12; Ezekiel 10; Psalm 49

WHEN DAVID HEARS OF the deaths of Saul and Jonathan (2 Sam. 1), his grief is not merely formal. He could not help but know that the way to the throne was now open to him. Nevertheless, his sorrow is so genuine that he composes a lengthy lament (2...

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Wednesday, 05 September 2018 18:05

1 Samuel 31; 1 Corinthians 11; Ezekiel 9; Psalm 48

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1 Samuel 31; 1 Corinthians 11; Ezekiel 9; Psalm 48

THREE OBSERVATIONS ABOUT the Lord’s Supper, from the many that could be drawn from Paul’s treatment of it (1 Cor. 11:17–34):

First, it is a temporary ordinance. It is to be observed only “until he comes” (11:26). In part...

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1 Samuel 29–30; 1 Corinthians 10; Ezekiel 8; Psalms 46–47

FIRST CORINTHIANS 10 INCLUDES several passages worthy of prolonged meditation. But today we reflect on a passage which, superficially speaking, is one of the easiest of them.

Paul tells the Corinthians that the things that happened...

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Monday, 03 September 2018 18:05

1 Samuel 28; 1 Corinthians 9; Ezekiel 7; Psalm 45

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1 Samuel 28; 1 Corinthians 9; Ezekiel 7; Psalm 45

THERE ARE SEVERAL QUESTIONS about the witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28) that we cannot answer. Was the prophet Samuel actually called up by her mediumistic activity, or was this some sort of demonic deception? If Samuel was called up, was this an exception...

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Sunday, 02 September 2018 18:05

1 Samuel 27; 1 Corinthians 8; Ezekiel 6; Psalm 44

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1 Samuel 27; 1 Corinthians 8; Ezekiel 6; Psalm 44

APPARENTLY SOME CHRISTIANS in Corinth, secure in their knowledge that idols are nothing at all, and that all meat has been created by the one true God so that it is good to eat even if it had been offered to an idol, feel wonderful liberty to eat...

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Saturday, 01 September 2018 18:05

1 Samuel 26; 1 Corinthians 7; Ezekiel 5; Psalms 42–43

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1 Samuel 26; 1 Corinthians 7; Ezekiel 5; Psalms 42–43

IN THE COURSE OF HIS treatment of “virgins” (1 Cor. 7:25–38—the word refers to the sexually inexperienced, whether male of female), Paul writes, “Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you...

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1 Samuel 25; 1 Corinthians 6; Ezekiel 4; Psalms 40–41 image

DESPITE ITS GREAT INTEREST and deft characterizations, one must ask why the story found in 1 Samuel 25is included. How does it advance the storyline of 1 and 2 Samuel?

Once some of the social conventions of the day are understood, the...

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Thursday, 30 August 2018 18:05

1 Samuel 24; 1 Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 3; Psalm 39

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1 Samuel 24; 1 Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 3; Psalm 39 image

IN CASE ANYONE WERE TO READ 1 Corinthians 4 and conclude that no standards whatsoever are to be maintained in the church—after all, maintenance of standards requires judging, doesn’t it?—the next chapter, 1 Corinthians 5, provides...

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Wednesday, 29 August 2018 18:05

1 Samuel 23; 1 Corinthians 4; Ezekiel 2; Psalm 38

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1 Samuel 23; 1 Corinthians 4; Ezekiel 2; Psalm 38 image

PAUL IN 1 CORINTHIANS 3 HAS BEEN telling the Corinthians how notto view servants of Christ. They are notto view any particular servant of Christ as a group guru, for that means other servants of Christ are implicitly inferior. When each different...

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1 Samuel 21–22; 1 Corinthians 3; Ezekiel 1; Psalm 37 image

THE TWO EXTENDED METAPHORS that Paul deploys in 1 Corinthians 3:5–15 make roughly the same point, although each carries a special shading not found in the other.

In the agricultural metaphor (1 Cor. 3:5–9), the Lord is the...

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1 Samuel 20; 1 Corinthians 2; Lamentations 5; Psalm 36 image

THERE ARE NOT MANY CHAPTERS in the Bible that devote much space to the theme of friendship, but 1 Samuel 20 is one of them.

Strictly speaking, of course, 1 Samuel 20 is not about friendship per se, in the way that friendship is a theme to be...

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1 Samuel 19; 1 Corinthians 1; Lamentations 4; Psalm 35 image

EVANGELICALS REGULARLY DRAW a line between justification and sanctification. Justification is God’s declaration that an individual sinner is just—a declaration grounded not in the fact that he or she is just, but in God’s...

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Saturday, 25 August 2018 18:05

1 Samuel 18; Romans 16; Lamentations 3; Psalm 34

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1 Samuel 18; Romans 16; Lamentations 3; Psalm 34 image

THE KIND OF JEALOUSY described in 1 Samuel 18 is a terrible thing.

(1) It is grounded in an ugly self-focus, a self-focus without restraint. In his world, Saul must be number one. This means that peers must not best him or he becomes jealous. Not for...

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