RIGHTLY DIVIDING

The Great Deception

It’s easy to become discouraged and misled by false reports. That’s why it is so important to be able to discern between truth and error…

Comforting the Persecuted

The apostle Paul made a practice of visiting churches he had planted and providing pastoral care and counsel. But sometimes opposition to him and his ministry made the task impossible…

God is Faithful

Paul’s concluding words in this epistle are extremely important. He revisited prominent themes of prayer, sanctification, the Lord’s faithfulness, spiritual commitment, and preparedness for the Rapture of the church…

Church Life

The apostle Paul often addressed the church as a family. He called members brothers and sisters and encouraged them to love one another. To function properly, a church—like a family—must have structure, order, respect for its members…

The Christian’s Life

“At the Rapture,” wrote Bible scholar John F. Walvoord, “Christians will see their loved ones who died and preceded them to heaven. It will also end their earthly problems, and they will be forever with the Lord.”1 For these reasons, the Rapture has been a…

The Day of the Lord

1 Thessalonians 5:1–3: In 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18, we saw that Christians (both dead and living) will be raptured to be with Christ when He appears to receive His church. But what about those left behind?…

Our Blessed Hope

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18: When Paul established the Thessalonian church, he taught believers there about Jesus Christ’s imminent return. They were told, “wait for His Son from heaven…

A Life That Pleases God

1 Thessalonians 4:9–12: How to live a life that pleases God is the overriding theme of the first 12 verses of 1 Thessalonians 4. Verses 1–8 speak about sexual purity, and verses 9–12 provide practical instruction on how to maintain right relationships with…

Living in Moral Purity

1 Thessalonians 4:1–8: Some people find it difficult to live for Christ. But God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us, and we need to learn how to yield our lives to His control. In the final two chapters of 1 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul…

Paul’s Encouraging Word

1 Thessalonians 3:6–13: Greatly relieved by Timothy’s encouraging report that the young Thessalonian church was not wavering in its faith despite persecution, the apostle Paul penned this letter to the Thessalonians.

A Minister’s Encouragement

1 Thessalonians 3:1–5: Birthing is not easy. That’s why it’s called labor. Paul felt personally responsible for the Thessalonian church, which he had birthed through his ministry. He cared for the babes in Christ there with the gentle love…

A Minister’s Heart

1 Thessalonians 2:13–20: The testimony of a new believer in Christ causes other believers to rejoice. Imagine how overjoyed the apostle Paul was to learn of the Thessalonians’ steadfast faith despite their persecution. He rejoiced over them and longed to see them again.

Ministering With Affection

1 Thessalonians 2:7–12The church is a family. People enter it by being born into it spiritually. And, as in a family, all members have responsibilities; and their commitment to and love for one another are necessary to create…

Ministering with Integrity

1 Thessalonians 2:1–6: The apostle Paul’s abrupt departure from Thessalonica brought accusations that he was a religious charlatan preaching for financial gain and personal honor. If the accusations went unanswered, they…

The Thessalonians’ Testimony

1 Thessalonians 1:9–10: When the Thessalonians received Jesus Christ as their Savior, they experienced a thrilling transformation. They were completely delivered from the darkness and depravity of paganism and anxiously…

Rejoicing Over Salvation

1 Thessalonians 1:5–8: The apostle Paul did not preach on the power of positive thinking to the Thessalonians. He did not use skillful oratory, philosophical arguments, clever expressions, or…

Thankful for the Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 1:2–4: When kindness is shown to someone, the usual response is to say thank you. No New Testament writer other than Paul expressed thankfulness to his fellow Christians…

Introduction to the First Epistle to the Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 1:1: First Thessalonians is a key book for every Christian, whether a new believer or seasoned saint. The theme is the coming of the Lord, and each chapter builds on an aspect of the believer’s life…

The Thessalonian Church

Acts 17:1–10: One of the apostle Paul’s most important ministries took place in Thessalonica. His letters to believers there show how he established churches early in his ministry, met with opposition…

Confronting Church Conflict

3 John 5–14: Third John focuses on three men, two of whom—Gaius and Diotrephes—were church leaders. Gaius was a committed servant, full of love and truth, and given to hospitality…

A Beloved Servant

3 John 1–4: Churches are like families: full of members with differing personalities, dispositions, and temperaments. Some members are friendly, loving, truthful, generous, and hospitable…

Standing for the Truth

2 John 5–13: All Christians should obey biblical truth and manifest love, as taught by Jesus Christ. The “elect lady and her children,” whom the apostle John mentioned in his second epistle, lived observably according to these commandments…

Living Truthfully

2 John 1:1–4: A major problem in the first-century church was the proliferation of false teachers. Under the inspiration and leading of the Holy Spirit, the apostle John…

Confidence in God

1 John 5:13–21: Some Christians lack assurance that they are truly born again. Certainty about one’s salvation comes through knowing what God’s Word teaches. The apostle John’s major focus…

Victorious in Christ

1 John 5:1–12: The apostle John used the word overcomer more than any New Testament writer when speaking of the Christian’s victorious life in Christ (1 Jn. 5:4–5)…

True Christian Love

1 John 4:7–21: If one thing is glaringly missing in the life of many Christians today, it is the expression of Christian love. Throughout the First Epistle of John, the apostle John emphasized…

Spiritual Discernment

1 John 4:1–6: First-century believers were often inundated with heretical doctrine from people whom the Bible identifies as false teachers and false prophets. At that time…

Loving One Another

1 John 3:11–24: In 1 John 3:10, the apostle John declared, “Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” These strong words…

Saints and Sinners

1 John 3:4–10: The First Epistle of John teaches that people who are truly born again are children of God and will practice righteousness (2:29), keeping themselves pure from sin…

Behold God’s Love

1 John 3:1–3: God’s redemptive program began with His love for fallen humanity. Those who have been “born of Him” (1 Jn. 2:29) by faith in Jesus Christ manifest this…

Warning Against Antichrists

1 John 2:18–29: At the inception of his epistle, the apostle John declared, “God is light” (1 Jn. 1:5). He said people who walk in God’s light abide in fellowship with Him.

Love Not the World

1 John 2:12–17: In this section, John assured his readers of his confidence in their salvation (vv. 12–14); and he instructed them to guard against loving the world and becoming part of its…

The Test of Knowing God

1 John 2:3–11: It is easy for someone to say, “I know God”; but what does that really mean? First John 2:3–11 provides three tests or evidences of what it means to know God and be in…

God’s Provision for Sin

1 John 2:1–2: God is light (1 Jn. 1:5). Light defines and describes God’s true nature and symbolizes His purity, character, and glory. To have true fellowship with God, Christians must…

Fellowship With God

1 John 1:5–10: Fellowship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ is the message the apostle John proclaims throughout this epistle. For believers to have fellowship with God, they…

Christ’s Incarnation

1 John 1:1–4: Before the apostle John wrote 1 John, he had already lived through the inception, expansion, and persecution of the first-century church…

The First Epistle of John

In most Bible-believing churches, a Sunday morning service seems filled with a spirit of joy and harmony. Visitors are welcomed warmly and invited to please come back…

A Final Exhortation

Hebrews 13:18–25: The final eight verses of Hebrews 13 conclude the Epistle to the Hebrews. In them, the author exhorted Jewish believers one last time through a…

Counseling the Christian Hebrews 13:7–17

Chapter 13 of Hebrews contains the book’s final admonishment. Whereas verses 1–6 provide practical and personal exhortation on how believers should live in Christ, verses 7–17 focus more on theological…

The Christian’s Commitment Hebrews 13:1–6

To this point, the book of Hebrews has stressed the superiority of Christ, while exhorting believers not to leave the church because of persecution but to go on to Christian…

The Final Warning Hebrews 12:18–29

In a fifth and final warning to Jewish believers in Christ, the book of Hebrews contrasts the experience of God’s people at Mount Sinai as they received the Mosaic Covenant…

The Lord’s Chastening Hebrews 12:5–17

Tribulation and suffering befall all true Christians sometime in their lives. The believers addressed in the book of Hebrews were no exception. Persecution had…

A Faith That Endures Hebrews 12:1–4

The book of Hebrews was written to provide evidence of Jesus Christ’s divinity, confirm that the Mosaic Law had been both fulfilled and abrogated in Christ, and exhort Jewish believers…

The Accomplishments of Faith

Hebrews 11:32–40: The beginning of Hebrews 11 describes faith. Then it systematically illustrates it in the lives of those who lived before the patriarchal period until Israel crossed the Jordan River…

Faith at Jericho Hebrews 11:30–31

After 400 years in Egyptian captivity, the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land. The Lord commanded Moses to send one representative from each of the 12 tribes to search…

The Faith of Moses Hebrews 11:23–29

Moses was a gifted leader whom God used to bring about His plan for Israel and the world. He was blessed with good looks, intelligence, opportunities, eloquence, and leadership ability (Ex. 2:2; Acts 7:20, 22).

The Father of Faith Hebrews 11:8–22

Now the book of Hebrews moves from the faith of men before the flood to the faith of men in the patriarchal period. The author uses Abraham’s faith to illustrate…

Faith Before the Flood Hebrews 11:4–7

n Hebrews 11 a gallery of portraits is paraded before us, painted by the hand of God. Each portrait presents the unique faith of individuals who performed great exploits. These men and women…

The Bedrock of Faith Hebrews 11:1–3

The author of Hebrews revealed in chapter 10 that salvation is established on the bedrock of Christ’s sacrifice and not through the Levitical system. Christ’s death for sin and His abiding priesthood…

Words of Warning Hebrews 10:26–39

This section of the book of Hebrews comes on the heels of a strong warning in 10:25 that believers not abandon assembling together, as some were doing. In fact, Christians in every generation…

A Lifestyle of Faith Hebrews 10:19–25

To this point, the book of Hebrews has been doctrinal in nature. Using comparison, the author has shown Christ’s superiority over angels, Moses, and the Levitical priesthood. He has also shown…

Christ’s Sufficient Sacrifice Hebrews 10:1–18

Hebrews 10 culminates the central exposition on Christ’s eternal priesthood. In his closing argument, the author contrasted the imperfect, insufficient, and ineffective Levitical sacrificial system with Christ’s once-for-all, perfect, and sufficient…

Christ’s Heavenly Ministry Hebrews 9:23–28

Under the Levitical system, animal blood could only cover sin, never remove it. However, Christ’s blood was sufficient and efficacious to redeem mankind and remove sin. The remaining verses of Hebrews 9…

Christ’s Superior Ministry Hebrews 9:11-22

Hebrews 9 begins with a description of the earthly Tabernacle and its ministry through the Levitical priesthood under the first (Mosaic) covenant. Both the Tabernacle and its services were temporary…

The Hebrew Tabernacle Hebrews 9:1–10

Christ’s high priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood because it is based on a New Covenant and operates in a heavenly sanctuary. When referring to the heavenly sanctuary, the author…

Christ’s Perfect Priesthood Hebrews 7:11–28

Many first-century Hebrew Christians struggled to understand the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Growing up under the Levitical system of animal sacrifices, they had centered their faith in the Aaronic priesthood…

Who Is Melchizedek? Hebrews 7:1–10

First-century Jewish believers faced some perplexing questions concerning Christ’s high priestly ministry. Why wasn’t He called a priest while here on Earth? How could He be a legitimate high priest and how…

A Sure Hope Hebrews 6:9–20

In the previous eight verses of this chapter, the author encouraged new believers to leave Judaism and press on toward maturity in Christ. Failure to do so, he warned, would disastrously…

Maturing in Christ

Hebrews 6:1-8: Maturing in Christ is a process; it doesn’t happen overnight. Unfortunately, some people never get there. They regress rather than progress. Hebrews 6 warns believers in Jesus to forsake practices…

Christ Is Superior to Aaron

Hebrews 5:1–14: The tribes of Israel revered the Aaronic high priest. With the exception of Moses, he enjoyed greater access to and fellowship with God than any other Israelite. Although God bestowed…

The Greatest High Priest

Hebrews 4:4–16: The importance of what you are about to study on the high priesthood of Jesus Christ cannot be overstated. Christ’s high priesthood is mentioned briefly in Hebrews 2:17 and 3:1; but the subject…

The Rest God Gives

Hebrews 4:1–13: Chapter 3 of Hebrews presents two types of rest: that of entering Canaan (the rest offered to Israel) and that which comes from a life of faith in Christ. All the Israelites 20 and older…

Christ is Superior to Moses

Hebrews 3:1–19: Moses is a dominant figure in Israel’s history. Of all the Old Testament leaders, there is none greater. He is described as “the man of God” and “the servant of the Lᴏʀᴅ” (Dt. 33:1; 34:5).

The Superiority of Christ

Hebrews 2:1–18: In the midst of showing Christ’s superiority to angels, the author of Hebrews paused to apply what he had presented previously. He then warned and exhorted Jewish believers in Jesus—the recipients of this letter…

The Preeminent Christ

Hebrews 1:4–14: No chapter in the Bible presents such a full picture of the deity of Jesus Christ as Hebrews 1. After completing His earthly ministry, Christ was restored to the dignity and glory He possessed in eternity past…

The Incomparable Christ

Hebrews 1:1–3: Hebrews is without question one of the greatest and most important books in the New Testament. In it the writer presented an in-depth study of both the deity and humanity of Jesus the Messiah…

Jonah’s Rancor

Jonah 4:1–11: If we were writing the book of Jonah, how would we end the story? We’d probably have Jonah rejoicing over being restored from disobedience, rescued from the belly of a fish…

Nineveh’s National Revival

Jonah 3:1–10: The Bible abounds with accounts of God’s judgment. In His righteousness and holiness, He destroys both individuals and nations that are saturated with sin. But He also tells us plainly, “I have no pleasure…

Jonah’s Prayer and Promise

Jonah 1:7—2:10: In February 1891, the crew of the whaling ship Star of the East harpooned a sperm whale. In its death throes, the whale swallowed a man by the name of James Bartley. A day…

Running From God

Jonah 1:4–17: God chose Jonah the prophet to deliver a divine message of impending judgment to the city of Nineveh. Upon receiving this call, however…

The Disobedient Prophet

Jonah 1:1–3: The book of Jonah is probably the best known of all the Minor Prophets. What child has not heard the story of Jonah who was swallowed by a huge fish? The prophet’s…

Worship in the Kingdom

Zechariah 14:16–21: The Messiah’s Second Coming is the dominant theme of chapter 14. His return will be sudden, unexpected, visible, personal, powerful, glorious, and triumphant. When He steps on the Mount…

Israel’s Glorious Kingdom

Zechariah 14:8–15: As Zechariah’s prophecy neared its conclusion, the prophet described a number of physical changes that will take place in Israel immediately prior to the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom. Israel’s topography…

Messiah’s Glorious Return

Zechariah 14:1–7: Zechariah closed his prophetic predictions with a sweeping consummation of Israel’s future. The prophet described three major events that will take place: (1) a future invasion of Jerusalem during the Great…

Israel’s Defilement Removed

Zechariah 13:1–9: In the previous chapter, we saw God pour out His grace on Israel, resulting in the nation’s redemption, its reconciliation to God, and its renewed covenant relationship with Him. In chapter 13, Zechariah…

Israel’s Salvation

Zechariah 12:1–14: Will Israel survive the hatred and unceasing persecution that has plagued it for centuries? Although it faces a cauldron of unrelenting conflict, Israel will survive the world’s attempts to annihilate it. The last…

Israel’s Rejected Shepherd

Zechariah 11:1–17: In Zechariah 9 and 10, the Messiah is revealed as a compassionate Shepherd who will someday reunite and restore Israel. The revelation greatly encouraged Israel, but the good news was quickly dispelled…

Israel’s Messianic Shepherd

Zechariah 10:1–12: In the previous chapter, the Lord is pictured as a shepherd who saves Israel, and Israel becomes “the flock of His people” (9:16). Israel’s redemption will take place when the nation…

Israel’s Messianic King

Zechariah 9:9–17: When Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East, he did not lay siege to Jerusalem. The Jewish people survived his conquest because God kept His promise to protect the city (9:8).

The Grecian Conqueror

Zechariah 9:1–8: The six remaining chapters of Zechariah’s prophecy consist of events pertaining to God’s eschatological program for Israel. They cover a vast period that extends from the Grecian era under Alexander the Great…

Israel’s Glorious Restoration

Zechariah 8:1–23: In the previous chapter, a delegation from Bethel questioned the necessity of continuing to fast over the destruction of Solomon’s Temple. Zechariah did not address the issue directly; instead, he used the question to reflect…

Fasting Without Fidelity

Zechariah 7:1–14: A delegation from Bethel arrived in Jerusalem seeking counsel from priests and prophets concerning fasting. They asked whether the annual fast commemorating the destruction of Solomon’s Temple should be continued since a rebuilt…

Messiah’s Coronation and Reign

Zechariah 6:1-15: What a long night Zechariah must have experienced. He had already received seven apocalyptic visions unveiling Israel’s future, and the eighth was soon to come. This final vision would reveal God’s judgment of the nations…

Israel’s Wickedness Removed

Zechariah 5:1–11: Zechariah’s first five visions greatly encouraged and comforted the Jewish remnant returning from Babylon. They revealed that the lord would return to Jerusalem with mercy, give Israel victory over its enemies, reestablish and enlarge Jerusalem…

Serving in God’s Spirit

Zechariah 4:1–14: The official seal for the State of Israel was unveiled on February 10, 1949. It consists of a seven-branched menorah (lampstand/ candelabra) with…

Vision Four: Israel’s Cleansing

God specifically chose Israel to be a holy nation in which He could manifest His grace and truth to mankind (Ex. 19:5–8). Failing to live up to her elective calling, Israel committed gross immorality…

Jerusalem’s Future Glory

No other city is more treasured by the Lord than Jerusalem. The prophet Ezekiel said that Jerusalem is set in the middle of the nations (Ezek. 5:5); and the prophet Ahijah called Jerusalem the city…

God’s Care for Judah

Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius [January/February 519 B.C.], came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of…

Called 
to Repentance

The book of Zechariah is among the most profound in the Old Testament and of great importance in view of the times and circumstances in which it was written. Zechariah summed up and condensed most…

Nineveh’s Demise

Nahum 3:1-19: Assyria’s unrelenting violence, extortion, and brutality are well documented in the records of its history. More important, however, God kept track of such savagery; and He judged it. In chapter 3 Nahum continued his vivid description…

Nineveh’s Destruction

Nahum 2:1-13: On March 19, 2003, a coalition of the United States and more than thirty-five countries implemented a preemptive strike against Iraq to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction. Twenty-six hundred years ago…

Declaring Nineveh’s Destruction

Nahum 1:1-15: In the days of the prophet Nahum, Nineveh was at the height of its glory. Its influence through trade, culture, and political conquest extended from Egypt to the Persian Gulf. The city was built by Nimrod…

Who Is a God Like the Lord!

Micah 7:1-20: Micah’s grief over the deterioration of Judean society is poignantly expressed in this final chapter. The prophet lamented Judah’s sinful condition, knowing that the nation could not go unpunished. In the midst of sorrow…

God’s Judgment Against Judah

Micah 6:1-16: In chapter six of Micah, God brings litigation against the people of Judah, charging them with gross immorality and idolatry. Judah is the defendant, and the Lord is both the prosecuting attorney and judge. Prosecution Revealed…

The Messianic King and His Kingdom

Micah 5:1–15: For centuries, Jewish people have looked for the Messiah to deliver them from Gentile oppression, secure for them the land of Israel…

A Future Hope for Israel

Micah 4:1-13: Many questions 
must have troubled King Hezekiah and the leaders of Judah when they heard Micah preach of the nation’s impending demise. After all, if Judah were destroyed, how would God fulfill the irrevocable promises

Micah’s Call for Justice

Micah 3:1-12: In the book of Micah, God holds Judah’s leaders responsible and accountable for their abuse of the underprivileged. Earlier, Micah condemned those who used the nation’s legal system to defraud people of their property…

Judah’s Corrupt Leaders

Micah 2:1-13: God gave the Jewish people the land of Canaan as an everlasting inheritance. However, their uninterrupted possession of it was conditioned on the nation walking in God’s ways and keeping His commandments. Failure…