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
Sunday, 21 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 23; Matthew 22; Nehemiah 12; Acts 22

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Genesis 23; Matthew 22; Nehemiah 12; Acts 22

THE CLOSING VERSES OF Matthew 22 (Matt. 22:41-46) contain one of the most intriguing exchanges in the Gospels. After successfully fending off a series of tricky questions designed rather more to trap him or demean him than to elicit the wise answers he...

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Saturday, 20 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 22; Matthew 21; Nehemiah 11; Acts 21

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Genesis 22; Matthew 21; Nehemiah 11; Acts 21

THE DRAMATIC POWER of the testing of Abraham by the offering of Isaac (Gen. 22) is well known. The very terseness of the account calls forth our wonder. When he tells his servant that we (22:5 — i.e., both Abraham and Isaac) will come back after...

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Friday, 19 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 21; Matthew 20; Nehemiah 10; Acts 20

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Genesis 21; Matthew 20; Nehemiah 10; Acts 20

IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, Lord Acton wrote that all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The founding fathers of the American Republic would not have disagreed. That is one of the reasons why they constructed a government with checks...

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Thursday, 18 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 20; Matthew 19; Nehemiah 9; Acts 19

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Genesis 20; Matthew 19; Nehemiah 9; Acts 19

AFTER JESUS’ INTERVIEW with the rich young man, he says to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a...

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 19; Matthew 18; Nehemiah 8; Acts 18

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Genesis 19; Matthew 18; Nehemiah 8; Acts 18

IF A PERSON ISN’T CAREFUL, it is fairly easy to distort an analogy. The reason is obvious.  When one thing is an analogy of another, inevitably there are points where the two things are parallel, and other points where they are quite different....

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 18; Matthew 17; Nehemiah 7; Acts 17

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Genesis 18; Matthew 17; Nehemiah 7; Acts 17

ONE OF THE GREAT FAILURES into which even believers sometimes fall is the tendency to underestimate Jesus (Matt. 17:1-8).

Jesus takes the inner three of his twelve disciples — Peter, James, and John — to a high mountain, just the four of them....

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Monday, 15 January 2018 16:00

Genesis 17; Matthew 16; Nehemiah 6; Acts 16

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Genesis 17; Matthew 16; Nehemiah 6; Acts 16

WE ARE NOT TO THINK that God disclosed himself to Abram every day: the decisive moments take place over considerable time. Putting the chronological hints together, Genesis 12 occurs when Abram is seventy-five; Genesis 15 is undated, but occurs during the...

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Saturday, 14 October 2017 15:00

1 Kings 18; 1 Thessalonians 1; Ezekiel 48; Psalm 104

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Written by: Don Carson

1 Kings 18; 1 Thessalonians 1; Ezekiel 48; Psalm 104

IT IS TEMPTING TO COMMENT further on the Pauline triad found in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (see meditation on October 11), but the confrontation on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18) beckons.

The most shocking thing about that confrontation...

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Friday, 13 October 2017 15:00

1 Kings 17; Colossians 4; Ezekiel 47; Psalm 103

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Written by: Don Carson

1 Kings 17; Colossians 4; Ezekiel 47; Psalm 103

HERE AND THERE IN THE New Testament we are suddenly given brief glimpses of arrays of Christian people. Romans 16 provides such a snapshot, and Colossians 4:7-18 provides us with another. The men and women briefly introduced...

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Thursday, 12 October 2017 15:00

1 Kings 16; Colossians 3; Ezekiel 46; Psalm 102

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Written by: Don Carson

1 Kings 16; Colossians 3; Ezekiel 46; Psalm 102

FIRST AND 2 KINGS narrate the declining fortunes of both the northern and southern kingdoms. Occasionally there is a reforming king in one realm or the other. But on the whole the direction is downward. Some orientation (1 Kings...

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017 15:00

1 Kings 15; Colossians 2; Ezekiel 45; Psalms 99–101

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Written by: Don Carson

1 Kings 15; Colossians 2; Ezekiel 45; Psalms 99-101

THE SETTING WAS A Bible study led by a lady in the church where I was serving as pastor. A woman from one of the more popular cults had infiltrated this group, and the lady from our church soon discovered she was a little out...

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017 15:00

1 Kings 14; Colossians 1; Ezekiel 44; Psalms 97–98

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Written by: Don Carson

1 Kings 14; Colossians 1; Ezekiel 44; Psalms 97-98

FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE are together sometimes referred to as the Pauline triad. They occur in Paul's letters in various combinations. Sometimes only two of the three show up; sometimes all three.

Probably the best known verse...

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Written by: Don Carson

1 Kings 13; Philippians 4; Ezekiel 43; Psalms 95-96

SOME PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR Christians (Phil. 4:4-9):

(1) Always rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4). This command is so important that Paul repeats it. Our responsibility to obey it is independent of circumstances, for regardless...

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Sunday, 08 October 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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...

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Saturday, 07 October 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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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Friday, 06 October 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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...

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Thursday, 05 October 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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...

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Tuesday, 03 October 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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...

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Monday, 02 October 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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...

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Sunday, 01 October 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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 wonderful...

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Saturday, 30 September 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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...

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Friday, 29 September 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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...

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Thursday, 28 September 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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...

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 15:00

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

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Written by: Don Carson

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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