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
Monday, 08 October 2018 18:05

1 Kings 12; Philippians 3; Ezekiel 42; Psalm 94

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1 Kings 12; Philippians 3; Ezekiel 42; Psalm 94

THE DIVISION OF THE unified kingdom into two unequal parts—the kingdom of Israel with its ten tribes in the north and the kingdom of Judah with two tribes in the south (1 Kings 12)—once again presents us with a remarkable dynamic between...

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1 Kings 11; Philippians 2; Ezekiel 41; Psalms 92–93

IN FEW PLACES DOES THE WORD however have more potent force than in 1 Kings 11:1: “King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women.” In those days, the size of a king’s harem was widely considered a reflection of his wealth...

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Saturday, 06 October 2018 18:05

1 Kings 10; Philippians 1; Ezekiel 40; Psalm 91

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1 Kings 10; Philippians 1; Ezekiel 40; Psalm 91

THE VISIT OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA (1 Kings 10) has often been spiced up in books and films until it has become a royal love story. Not a hint of love interest or sex scandal peeps out of the biblical text. The function of the queen of Sheba is to...

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Friday, 05 October 2018 18:05

1 Kings 9; Ephesians 6; Ezekiel 39; Psalm 90

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1 Kings 9; Ephesians 6; Ezekiel 39; Psalm 90

JUST BEFORE THE CLOSING LINES of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he invites his readers to pray for him (Eph. 6:19–20): “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the...

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Thursday, 04 October 2018 18:05

1 Kings 8; Ephesians 5; Ezekiel 38; Psalm 89

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1 Kings 8; Ephesians 5; Ezekiel 38; Psalm 89

THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE in Jerusalem and Solomon’s prayer on that occasion (1 Kings 8) overflow with links that reach both backward and forward along the line of redemptive history.

(1) The structure of the temple is a proportionate...

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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 18:05

1 Kings 7; Ephesians 4; Ezekiel 37; Psalms 87–88

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1 Kings 7; Ephesians 4; Ezekiel 37; Psalms 87–88

ONE OF THE REMARKABLE FEATURES of Paul’s letters is that much space is devoted to teaching people how to live. Indeed, the Bible as a whole is interested in teaching us what to believe (because these things are true), and it is no less...

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Tuesday, 02 October 2018 18:05

1 Kings 6; Ephesians 3; Ezekiel 36; Psalm 86

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1 Kings 6; Ephesians 3; Ezekiel 36; Psalm 86

A MYSTERY IN PAUL’S WRITINGS is not normally something “mysterious,” still less a whodunit. It is a truth or a doctrine which in some measure has been kept hidden in previous generations, and now with the coming of the Gospel has been...

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Monday, 01 October 2018 18:05

1 Kings 4–5; Ephesians 2; Ezekiel 35; Psalm 85

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1 Kings 4–5; Ephesians 2; Ezekiel 35; Psalm 85

CHRISTIANS ARE OFTEN TAUGHT to memorize Ephesians 2:8–9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Certainly...

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Sunday, 30 September 2018 18:05

1 Kings 3; Ephesians 1; Ezekiel 34; Psalms 83–84

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1 Kings 3; Ephesians 1; Ezekiel 34; Psalms 83–84

CHRISTIANS SOMETIMES ASK WHY, if Solomon was so wise, he married many wives, ended his reign rather badly, and eventually compromised his loyalty to God.

The answer partly lies in the difference between what we mean by wisdomand the various...

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Saturday, 29 September 2018 18:05

1 Kings 2; Galatians 6; Ezekiel 33; Psalms 81–82

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1 Kings 2; Galatians 6; Ezekiel 33; Psalms 81–82

THE END OF GALATIANS 6 brings several themes together.

(1) Paul’s practice was to dictate his letters. Nevertheless, in order to authenticate them, he commonly wrote the last little bit in his own distinctive hand (compare 2 Thess. 3:17)....

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Friday, 28 September 2018 18:05

1 Kings 1; Galatians 5; Ezekiel 32; Psalm 80

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1 Kings 1; Galatians 5; Ezekiel 32; Psalm 80

THE TRANSFER OF REGAL AUTHORITY from David to Solomon (1 Kings 1) is messy. One of David’s sons, Adonijah, confers with Joab, the head of the military, and tries to take over. Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, reminds her ailing husband of his...

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Thursday, 27 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 24; Galatians 4; Ezekiel 31; Psalm 79

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2 Samuel 24; Galatians 4; Ezekiel 31; Psalm 79

GALATIANS 4INCLUDES a couple of sections that have long prompted Christians to ponder exactly how Paul understands the history of Israel—especially the so-called “allegory” of 4:21–31. They attract a great deal of attention....

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Wednesday, 26 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 23; Galatians 3; Ezekiel 30; Psalm 78:40–72

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2 Samuel 23; Galatians 3; Ezekiel 30; Psalm 78:40–72

GALATIANS 3 COULD USEFULLY occupy us for an entire book as long as this one. But here I shall restrict myself to two observations.

First, in the first five verses Paul appeals to experience. He asks the Galatians whether their conversion and...

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Tuesday, 25 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 22; Galatians 2; Ezekiel 29; Psalm 78:1–39

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2 Samuel 22; Galatians 2; Ezekiel 29; Psalm 78:1–39

SOME COMMENTATORS UNDERSTAND Paul in Galatians 2:1ff. to be saying that after some years he returned to Jerusalem to set before the Jerusalem apostles and other leaders the Gospel he had been preaching among the Gentiles, because he wanted...

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Monday, 24 September 2018 18:05

2 Samuel 21; Galatians 1; Ezekiel 28; Psalm 77

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2 Samuel 21; Galatians 1; Ezekiel 28; Psalm 77

THE OPENING LINES OF Paul’s letters are usually crafted with great care. The simplest form of letters in the ancient Greek world was: “From me, to you, Greetings”—often followed by some statement of thanks, and then the body of...

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2 Samuel 20; 2 Corinthians 13; Ezekiel 27; Psalms 75–76

IN MANY CHURCHES AROUND THE WORLD, though comparatively less frequently in North America, the minister at the end of the service will quietly utter the two words, “The grace.” Those gathered know that this is a signal for the...

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Saturday, 30 July 2016 22:00

Judges 15; Acts 19; Jeremiah 28; Mark 14

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Judges 15; Acts 19; Jeremiah 28; Mark 14 

EVENTUALLY THE CLASH BETWEEN Jeremiah and the false prophets becomes concretized in one particular contest—that between Jeremiah and Hananiah (Jer. 28). The issue could not be clearer. Jeremiah insists that unless Judah repents, its capital city Jerusalem will be destroyed, most of its population will

Friday, 29 July 2016 22:00

Judges 14; Acts 18; Jeremiah 27; Mark 13

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Judges 14; Acts 18; Jeremiah 27; Mark 13 

IF THE PROPHECY IN JEREMIAH 27 takes place early in the reign of Zedekiah (Jer. 27:1), there are still years to go before Jeremiah is vindicated. At this point King Jehoiachin and the aristocracy have already been transported to Babylon, leaving behind Zedekiah and a ruling remnant. But far from being

Thursday, 28 July 2016 22:00

Judges 14; Acts 18; Jeremiah 27; Mark 13

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Judges 14; Acts 18; Jeremiah 27; Mark 13 

IF THE PROPHECY IN JEREMIAH 27 takes place early in the reign of Zedekiah (Jer. 27:1), there are still years to go before Jeremiah is vindicated. At this point King Jehoiachin and the aristocracy have already been transported to Babylon, leaving behind Zedekiah and a ruling remnant. But far from being

Thursday, 28 July 2016 22:00

Judges 13; Acts 17; Jeremiah 26; Mark 12

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Judges 13; Acts 17; Jeremiah 26; Mark 12 

BECAUSE DEVOUT READERS THINK of the biblical writers as heroes of the faith, they sometimes overlook the fact that in their own day many of these writers were despised, treated as outsiders, viewed with contempt. Of course, some who contributed to the canon of Scripture grew rich or famous or both: Solomon

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 22:00

Judges 12; Acts 16; Jeremiah 25; Mark 11

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Judges 12; Acts 16; Jeremiah 25; Mark 11 

THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAH 25 is dated to the fourth year of Nebuchadnezzar, i.e., 605 B.C., the year when the Babylonians defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish, forcing Judah to switch its allegiance to the new and rising power. By this time Jeremiah has been prophesying for twenty-three years—from the

Tuesday, 26 July 2016 22:00

Judges 11; Acts 15; Jeremiah 24; Mark 10

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Judges 11; Acts 15; Jeremiah 24; Mark 10 

THE VISION OF THE TWO BASKETS of figs (Jer. 24), one “very good figs, like those that ripen early” (Jer. 24:2—the early ones ripened in June and were viewed as a delicacy, cf. Isa. 28:4) and the other basket full of figs “so bad they could not be eaten” (Jer. 24:2), is plain

Monday, 25 July 2016 22:00

Judges 10; Acts 14; Jeremiah 23; Mark 9

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Judges 10; Acts 14; Jeremiah 23; Mark 9 

MUCH OF JEREMIAH 23 IS A denunciation of the “shepherds” destroying and scattering the sheep of God’s pasture (Jer. 23:1; compare Jer. 10 and meditation for July 14). The long section denouncing the lying prophets (Jer. 23:9-40) is one of the most penetrating presentations of the

Sunday, 24 July 2016 22:00

Judges 9; Acts 13; Jeremiah 22; Mark 8

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Judges 9; Acts 13; Jeremiah 22; Mark 8 

ALL SERIOUS READERS OF JEREMIAH know that the various oracles are not given in chronological sequence. Sometimes the sequence of the oracles is perplexing; sometimes it is clearly thematic. In Jeremiah 22, we find a series of utterances regarding the final kings of Judah, but the list is not in chronological

Saturday, 23 July 2016 22:00

Judges 8; Acts 12; Jeremiah 21; Mark 7

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Judges 8; Acts 12; Jeremiah 21; Mark 7 

JERUSALEM BECAME A VASSAL TO Babylon from 605 B.C. on, after Babylon defeated Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish. Jerusalem revolted and was defeated in 597, when most of the royal family, along with the nobility, the wealthy, and the skilled craftsmen were transported to Egypt, leaving behind Zedekiah as

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