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
Thursday, 29 March 2018 18:00

Leviticus 1; John 20; Proverbs 17; Philippians 4

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Leviticus 1; John 20; Proverbs 17; Philippians 4

THOMAS GETS A LOT OF BAD PRESS — “Doubting Thomas,” we call him. Yet the reason he doubts that Jesus has risen from the dead may have more to do with the fact that he was not present when Jesus first appeared to the apostolic band (Jo...

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 40; John 19; Proverbs 16; Philippians 3

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Exodus 40; John 19; Proverbs 16; Philippians 3

THE CLOSING LINES OF Exodus 40 tie together several important themes already introduced, and anticipate several others. Here the construction of the tabernacle is complete, along with the vestments and accoutrements for priestly service. “Then the...

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Tuesday, 27 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 39; John 18; Proverbs 15; Philippians 2

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Exodus 39; John 18; Proverbs 15; Philippians 2

WHEN PILATE ASKS JESUS whether or not he is “the king of the Jews” (John 18:33), what interests him is whether or not Jesus presents some sort of political threat. Is he one of these nationalistic, self-proclaimed “messiahs” who...

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Monday, 26 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 38; John 17; Proverbs 14; Philippians 1

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Exodus 38; John 17; Proverbs 14; Philippians 1

JOHN 17 IS CONSTANTLY cited in ecumenical circles. Jesus prays for “those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you… to let the world know that you sent...

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Sunday, 25 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 37; John 16; Proverbs 13; Ephesians 6

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Exodus 37; John 16; Proverbs 13; Ephesians 6

THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, the “Counselor” or Paraclete, is dependent on Jesus’ “going away,” i.e., his death by crucifixion, subsequent resurrection, and exaltation (John 16:7; cf. 7:37-39). This raises important...

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Saturday, 24 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 36; John 15; Proverbs 12; Ephesians 5

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Exodus 36; John 15; Proverbs 12; Ephesians 5

GOD’S LOVE IS SPOKEN of in a variety of ways in the Bible.

In some passages God’s love is directed toward his elect. He loves them and not others (e.g., Deut. 4:37; 7:7-8; Mal. 1:2). But if we think of the love of God as invariably restricted...

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Friday, 23 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 35; John 14; Proverbs 11; Ephesians 4

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Exodus 35; John 14; Proverbs 11; Ephesians 4

THE FAREWELL DISCOURSE, beginning in John 14, includes some extraordinarily rich material on the Holy Spirit. Some highlights:

(1) In Greek, every noun is grammatically designated masculine, feminine, or neuter. The word for “spirit” is neuter....

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Thursday, 22 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 34; John 13; Proverbs 10; Ephesians 3

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Exodus 34; John 13; Proverbs 10; Ephesians 3

WHEN AT THE END OF THE previous chapter, Moses asks to see the Lord’s glory, he is promised (as we have seen) a display of his goodness (33:19). But no one, not even Moses, can gaze at God’ s face and live (33:20). So the Lord arranges for...

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Wednesday, 21 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 33; John 12; Proverbs 9; Ephesians 2

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Exodus 33; John 12; Proverbs 9; Ephesians 2

ONE CANNOT UNDERSTAND Exodus 33 without grasping two things: (1) The tabernacle had not yet been built. The “tent of meeting” pitched outside the camp (33:7) where Moses went to seek the face of God must therefore have been a temporary...

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Tuesday, 20 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 32; John 11; Proverbs 8; Ephesians 1

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Exodus 32; John 11; Proverbs 8; Ephesians 1

EXODUS 32 is simultaneously one of the low points and one of the high points in Israel’s history.

Only months out of slavery in Egypt, the Israelites prove so fickle that the delay of Moses on the mountain (a mere forty days) provides them with all...

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Monday, 19 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 31; John 10; Proverbs 7; Galatians 6

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Exodus 31; John 10; Proverbs 7; Galatians 6

IN THE EXTENDED METAPHOR of the shepherd in John 10, Jesus keeps revising the dimensions and application of the metaphor as he drives home a variety of points, a few of which we may pick up.

(1) For the biblically literate, it would be difficult not to...

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Sunday, 18 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 30; John 9; Proverbs 6; Galatians 5

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Exodus 30; John 9; Proverbs 6; Galatians 5

AS THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND precipitates the bread of life discourse, so Jesus’ healing of the congenitally blind man in John 9 precipitates some briefer comments on the nature of spiritual blindness and sight.

Some of the authorities were...

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Saturday, 17 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 29; John 8; Proverbs 5; Galatians 4

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Exodus 29; John 8; Proverbs 5; Galatians 4

TWO COMMENTS on John 8:12-51.

(1) Already in John 7:7, Jesus said to his brothers, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I testify that what it does is evil.” Both in his own person and in his uncompromising words, Jesus is so...

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Friday, 16 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 28; John 7; Proverbs 4; Galatians 3

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Exodus 28; John 7; Proverbs 4; Galatians 3

THE PRIESTLY GARMENTS God prescribes (Ex. 28) are strange and colorful. Perhaps some of the details were not meant to carry symbolic weight, but were part of the purpose of the ensemble as a whole: to give Aaron and his sons “dignity and honor”...

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Thursday, 15 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 27; John 6; Proverbs 3; Galatians 2

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Exodus 27; John 6; Proverbs 3; Galatians 2

JESUS DECLARES HIMSELF TO BE the “bread of life” (John 6:35), the “bread of God” (6:33).

The language is metaphorical, of course. That is made clear by John 6:35, where the metaphor is unpacked just a little: “I am the bread of...

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Wednesday, 14 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 26; John 5; Proverbs 2; Galatians 1

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Exodus 26; John 5; Proverbs 2; Galatians 1

ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING biblical passages dealing with what it means to confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is John 5:16-30.

In a preindustrial culture, the majority of sons do what their father does. A baker’s son becomes a baker; a...

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Tuesday, 13 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 25; John 4; Proverbs 1; 2 Corinthians 13

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Exodus 25; John 4; Proverbs 1; 2 Corinthians 13

EXODUS 25 AND JOHN 4 are canonically tied together.

The former begins the instructions for the construction of the tabernacle and its accoutrements (Ex. 25 — 30). The tabernacle is the forerunner of the temple, built in Solomon’ s day....

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Monday, 12 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 24; John 3; Job 42; 2 Corinthians 12

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Exodus 24; John 3; Job 42; 2 Corinthians 12

IT IS NOT EASY TO SORT OUT some of the sequence of events in these chapters of Exodus. What is clear is that God graciously provides enough of the revelation of his covenant that the people agree to its terms (Ex. 24). More of its stipulations, especially...

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Sunday, 11 March 2018 18:00

Exodus 23; John 2; Job 41; 2 Corinthians 11

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Exodus 23; John 2; Job 41; 2 Corinthians 11

WHEN THE JEWISH LEADERS question Jesus’ right to cleanse the temple as he did, and demand that he provide some authority for his action, he replies, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:19).

Only...

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Saturday, 10 March 2018 16:00

Exodus 22; John 1; Job 40; 2 Corinthians 10

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Exodus 22; John 1; Job 40; 2 Corinthians 10

WE SHALL DO WELL to a little of the case law found in the Pentateuch — beginning now with some of the laws of restitution found in Exodus 22:1-15.

Thieves must not only pay back what they stole, but something extra as well (22:1, 4). This extra amount...

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Friday, 09 March 2018 16:00

Exodus 21; Luke 24; Job 39; 2 Corinthians 9

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Exodus 21; Luke 24; Job 39; 2 Corinthians 9

THE FIRST TWO VERSES of the following poem are a meditation on part of Luke 24:1-8, 13-25. The last two verses draw on other resurrection accounts (John 20:24-29; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Cor. 15:50-58). It may be sung to the Londonderry Air (“Danny...

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Thursday, 08 March 2018 16:00

Exodus 20; Luke 23; Job 38; 2 Corinthians 8

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Exodus 20; Luke 23; Job 38; 2 Corinthians 8

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (Ex. 20) were once learned by every child at school in the Western world. They established deeply ingrained principles of right and wrong that contributed to the shaping of Western civilization. They were not viewed as ten...

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Wednesday, 07 March 2018 16:00

Exodus 19; Luke 22; Job 37; 2 Corinthians 7

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Exodus 19; Luke 22; Job 37; 2 Corinthians 7

THE NEW TESTAMENT ACCOUNTS of the “words of institution”: — i.e., the words that institute the Lord’ s Supper as an ongoing rite — vary somewhat, but their commonalities are striking. Luke 22:7-20 allows us to reflect on some...

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Tuesday, 06 March 2018 16:00

Exodus 18; Luke 21; Job 36; 2 Corinthians 6

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Exodus 18; Luke 21; Job 36; 2 Corinthians 6

ONE CAN ONLY IMAGINE the conversations that Moses had enjoyed with Jethro, his father-in-law, during the decades they spent together in Midian. But clearly, some of the talk was about the Lord God. Called to his extraordinary ministry, Moses temporarily...

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Monday, 05 March 2018 16:00

Exodus 17; Luke 20; Job 35; 2 Corinthians 5

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Exodus 17; Luke 20; Job 35; 2 Corinthians 5

BY THIS STAGE IN JESUS’ MINISTRY, the tensions between him and the authorities have become acute. Some are overtly theological; others have pragmatic overtones and elements of turf protection. Every unit in Luke 20 reflects some of this increasing...

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