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

D. A. Carson - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:38

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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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:38

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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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:38

2 Samuel 18; 2 Corinthians 11; Ezekiel 25; Psalm 73

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2 Samuel 18; 2 Corinthians 11; Ezekiel 25; Psalm 73

IN THE CONTINUING PRESSURE he felt to respond to those who were undermining his authority in Corinth, Paul finds he must “boast” while not “boasting” (see yesterday’s meditation). In 2 Corinthians 10 Paul climaxes his...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:38

2 Samuel 19; 2 Corinthians 12; Ezekiel 26; Psalm 74

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2 Samuel 19; 2 Corinthians 12; Ezekiel 26; Psalm 74

“I MUST GO ON BOASTING,” Paul writes (2 Cor. 12:1), though of course he has been doing so only in the most ironic way (see yesterday’s meditation and the one for September 21). But now he faces a new dilemma. Apparently his...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:38

2 Samuel 17; 2 Corinthians 10; Ezekiel 24; Psalm 72

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2 Samuel 17; 2 Corinthians 10; Ezekiel 24; Psalm 72

THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF BOASTING in Western evangelicalism. Some of it is so flagrant that it is repulsive to all serious-minded people. Much of it, however, is subtle and potentially subversive. Probably most of us are guilty of it sometimes.

On...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:38

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

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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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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:38

2 Samuel 16; 2 Corinthians 9; Ezekiel 23; Psalms 70–71

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2 Samuel 16; 2 Corinthians 9; Ezekiel 23; Psalms 70–71

SECOND CORINTHIANS 9 IS THE second of two consecutive chapters that Paul devotes to the subject of giving.

(1) He resumes with a lovely delicacy (2 Cor. 9:1–5). On the one hand, he assures the Corinthians that they do not really need...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

Deut. 20; Psalm 107; Isaiah 47; Revelation 17

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Deuteronomy 20; Psalm 107; Isaiah 47; Revelation 17

HISTORICALLY, REVIVAL REFERRED TO a time of God-sent blessing beyond the ordinary. Ministers of the Word went about their work, praying, preaching, catechizing, counseling, whether in times of persecution, or in times of relative quiet and steady...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

Deut. 19; Psalm 106; Isaiah 46; Revelation 16

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Deuteronomy 19; Psalm 106; Isaiah 46; Revelation 16

THE JUSTICE ENVISAGED IN Deuteronomy 19 seems to stand a considerable distance from the views that prevail in Western nations today.

With part of this text’s emphasis, most of us will find ourselves in substantial sympathy: the courts must not...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

Deut. 18; Psalm 105; Isaiah 45; Revelation 15

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Deuteronomy 18; Psalm 105; Isaiah 45; Revelation 15

THE PROPHECY OF THE COMING of a prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15-18) must first of all be understood within its own context. Four observations bring this passage to sharp focus.

First, the preceding verses (Deut. 18:9-13) condemn the religious...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 16; Romans 14; Lamentations 1; Psalm 32

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1 Samuel 16; Romans 14; Lamentations 1; Psalm 32 image

THE ANOINTING OF DAVID as King over Israel (1 Sam. 16:1–13), even though his enthronement is years away, is full of interest.

(1) Sometimes prophets and preachers are slower to let go of a bad leader than God Almighty (1 Sam. 16:1). This is not...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

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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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 14; Romans 12; Jeremiah 51; Psalm 30

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1 Samuel 14; Romans 12; Jeremiah 51; Psalm 30 image

AMONG THE MAJOR POINTS that Paul has been making in his letter to the Romans is the sheer gratuity of grace, the amazing measure of mercy that has won Jews and Gentiles alike. Alike we are guilty; alike we are justified, forgiven, renewed, owing to the...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

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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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 13; Romans 11; Jeremiah 50; Psalms 28–29

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1 Samuel 13; Romans 11; Jeremiah 50; Psalms 28–29 image

ROMANS 11 HAS BEEN UNDERSTOOD in mutually contradictory ways. There is not space here to list them, let alone evaluate them. I shall simply lay out the flow of Paul’s argument as I see it.

(1) Does Paul’s argument in Romans...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

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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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 12; Romans 10; Jeremiah 49; Psalms 26–27

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1 Samuel 12; Romans 10; Jeremiah 49; Psalms 26–27 image

HERE I WISH TO REFLECT on one small part of Romans 10.

As part of his insistence that Jews and Gentiles alike must be saved by faith or not at all, the apostle Paul reviews the fundamental Christian “word of faith”: “That if...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

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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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 11; Romans 9; Jeremiah 48; Psalm 25

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1 Samuel 11; Romans 9; Jeremiah 48; Psalm 25 image

ONE OF THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS that the first Christians had to answer, as they bore witness to Jesus the Messiah, went something like this: “If Jesus really is the promised Messiah, how come so many Jews reject the claim?” Inevitably, there...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

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

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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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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 10; Romans 8; Jeremiah 47; Psalms 23–24

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1 Samuel 10; Romans 8; Jeremiah 47; Psalms 23–24 image

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR Christians to be “more than conquerors” (Rom. 8:37)? A considerable body of thought pictures a special group of illustrious Christians who “live above it all,” powerful in confronting temptation,...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

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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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 9; Romans 7; Jeremiah 46; Psalm 22

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1 Samuel 9; Romans 7; Jeremiah 46; Psalm 22 image

OCCASIONALLY SOMEONE COMES ALONG who shows exceptional promise from his or her youth, and then lives up to that promise. But that does not seem to be the common way of things. Who would have thought that a minor painter from Vienna could become the...

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

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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Tuesday, 26 September 2017 11:37

1 Samuel 7–8; Romans 6; Jeremiah 44; Psalms 20–21

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1 Samuel 7–8; Romans 6; Jeremiah 44; Psalms 20–21 image

WHY PEOPLE ASK FOR SOMETHING is at least as important as what they ask for.

This is true in many domains of life. I know an executive in a midsize corporation who successfully talked his bosses into setting up a new committee. The reason...

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