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
Saturday, 14 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 19; Psalms 23-24; Eccl. 2; 1 Timothy 4

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Leviticus 19; Psalms 23-24; Ecclesiastes 2; 1 Timothy 4

PERHAPS THE MOST STRIKING FEATURE OF LEVITICUS 19 is the repeated clause, “I am the LORD.” In each case, it provides the reason why the Israelites are to obey the particular command.

Each must respect his mother and father, and must...

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Leviticus 18; Psalm 22; Ecclesiastes 1; 1 Timothy 3

THE BEGINNING OF THE SO-CALLED “HOLINESS CODE” (Lev. 18) is full of interest. We should take note of at least four things:

(1) Just because this is the first time that some prohibitions have been articulated in the Bible does not...

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Leviticus 17; Psalms 20-21; Proverbs 31; 1 Timothy 2

TWO SPECIFICATIONS IN LEVITICUS 17 constrained the ancient Israelite who wished to remain faithful to the covenant.

The first (17:1-9) limited sacrifices to what the Mosaic Covenant mandates and sanctions. Apparently some Israelites were offering...

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 16; Psalm 19; Proverbs 30; 1 Timothy 1

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Leviticus 16; Psalm 19; Proverbs 30; 1 Timothy 1

GOD IS SO WONDERFULLY GENEROUS in his self-disclosure. He has not revealed himself to this race of rebels in some stinting way, but in nature, by his Spirit, in his Word, in great events in redemptive history, in institutions that he ordained to...

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Tuesday, 10 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 15; Psalm 18; Proverbs 29; 2 Thess. 3

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Leviticus 15; Psalm 18; Proverbs 29; 2 Thessalonians 3

DAVID WROTE PSALM 18 after the Lord had delivered him from the hand of Saul and all his enemies. It is a joyous, grateful psalm. Some of the same themes we found in Psalms 16 and 17 are repeated here. But among the new elements in this psalm are...

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Monday, 09 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 14; Psalm 17; Proverbs 28; 2 Thess. 2

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Leviticus 14; Psalm 17; Proverbs 28; 2 Thessalonians 2

PSALM 17 IS A PRAYER FOR VINDICATION. Certainly David knows that he is not always righteous (see Ps. 51!). But in particular circumstances, the believing man or woman may well be certain that he or she has acted with utter integrity, with...

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Leviticus 13; Psalms 15-16; Proverbs 27; 2 Thessalonians 1

OBSERVE THE PATTERN OF CAPITAL LETTERS: “I said to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing’” (Ps. 16:2). In other words, addressing Yahweh (“LORD”), David confesses him...

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Saturday, 07 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 11-12; Psalms 13-14; Prov. 26; 1 Thess. 5

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Leviticus 11-12; Psalms 13-14; Proverbs 26; 1 Thessalonians 5

IN THIS MEDITATION I want to bring two passages together: “I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. I am the LORD...

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Leviticus 10; Psalms 11-12; Proverbs 25; 1 Thessalonians 4

IN LEVITICUS 8 AARON AND HIS SONS, under a ritual prescribed by God, are ordained as priests. In Leviticus 9, they begin their ministry. Here in Leviticus 10, still within the seven days of their ordination rites, two of Aaron’s sons,...

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Thursday, 05 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 9; Psalm 10; Proverbs 24; 1 Thess. 3

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Leviticus 9; Psalm 10; Proverbs 24; 1 Thessalonians 3

PSALM 10 CONTINUES THE THEME of the justice and judgment of God, now slanted away from the more immediate and personal issue of justice for David when he feels betrayed by his enemies and toward a more general treatment. Where is God when evil...

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Wednesday, 04 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 8; Psalm 9; Proverbs 23; 1 Thessalonians 2

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Leviticus 8; Psalm 9; Proverbs 23; 1 Thessalonians 2

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT in democracy, the Founding Fathers adopted several stances, accepted by few today, that were deeply indebted to the Judeo-Christian heritage. This is not to say that the Founding Fathers were all...

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Tuesday, 03 April 2018 18:00

Leviticus 7; Psalms 7-8; Proverbs 22; 1 Thess. 1

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Leviticus 7; Psalms 7-8; Proverbs 22; 1 Thessalonians 1

PSALM 7 IS THE SECOND OF FOURTEEN PSALMS that are linked in the title to some historical event (the first is Ps. 3). We cannot know the details, but clearly David felt terribly betrayed when he was falsely charged by someone close to him who...

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Leviticus 6; Psalms 5-6; Proverbs 21; Colossians 4

AT THE BEGINNING OF LEVITICUS 6, the Lord lays down through Moses what must take place when someone in the covenant community has lied to a neighbor about something entrusted to him, has cheated him, has lied about recovered property so that he can...

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Leviticus 5; Psalms 3-4; Proverbs 20; Colossians 3

IMAGINE A COMPLEX, WELL-ORDERED SOCIETY such that in every area of life there are actions that make a person dirty and further prescribed actions that make that person clean. When you get up in the morning, you wear clothes of certain kinds of...

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Saturday, 31 March 2018 18:00

Leviticus 4; Psalms 1-2; Proverbs 19; Colossians 2

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Leviticus 4; Psalms 1-2; Proverbs 19; Colossians 2

THE FIRST PSALMIS sometimes designated a wisdom psalm. In large part this designation springs from the fact that it offers two ways, and only two ways — the way of the righteous (Ps.1:1-3) and the way of the wicked (1:4-5), with a final...

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Leviticus 2-3; John 21; Proverbs 18; Colossians 1

AFTER THE REMARKABLE EXCHANGE that reinstates Peter, Jesus quietly tells him that this discipleship will someday cost him his life: “When you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not...

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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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