Posts with the category “bible-study”

When God Spoke to Mountains: What the Mountains of Israel Can Teach the Mountain of the Lord's House
by Patrick Swayne on February 24th, 2024
Ezekiel is told on two separate occasions to prophesy to “the mountains of Israel” (Ezekiel 6:2; 36:1). Both times, he delivered a message from the Lord Himself. Why did God talk to mountains, and what can the church learn from what the prophet said?   Read More
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What Is the "Greater Sin"?
by Patrick Swayne on February 16th, 2024
While standing before Pilate, Jesus said, “The one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin” (John 19:11). What does "the greater sin" mean? Does this statement imply that there are big sins and little sins? Let's see what the Bible says.   Read More
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What Is the Unknown Tongue of 1 Corinthians 14?
by Patrick Swayne on January 26th, 2024
In 1 Corinthians 14 in the King James Version, one can read of an "unknown tongue." Why does it say this, and what exactly is the gift of tongues spoken about in this chapter?   Read More
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Our Mission Begins in the Mirror: Soul-Winning in 2 Peter 3
by Patrick Swayne on January 20th, 2024
Evangelism is the responsibility and privilege of every Christian. Though this is true, evangelism will fail if souls won fall away from the faith... including ours. As outward trials and inward troubles fell upon the church, what final charges did Peter give them, and what can we learn?   Read More
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Do I Believe in Work-Based Salvation?
by Patrick Swayne on December 29th, 2023
When asked, most people who claim to be Christians will also claim that they don't believe in salvation through good works. However, a closer examination of their beliefs may tell a different story.  Read More
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Are You Trying to Put God in a Box?
by Patrick Swayne on December 16th, 2023
When the Israelites took the ark of the covenant with them into a battle against the Philistines, they demonstrated that they thought God dwelled in a box. Are we guilty of trying to put God in boxes today?   Read More
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Were New Testament Authors Guilty of Plagiarism? (Examining Citation in Scripture)
by Patrick Swayne on November 10th, 2023
Students today are taught to avoid plagiarism by properly citing the sources that influence their work. New Testament authors used citation to a degree, but sometimes their efforts in doing so leave modern readers with more questions than answers. Let's attempt to answer some of these questions by considering a couple of New Testament examples.   Read More
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The Most Successful Gospel Meeting Ever
by Patrick Swayne on October 13th, 2023
Gospel Meetings were both both successful and common in the yesteryears of the United States. However, there once was a Gospel Meeting that would put even the best attended meeting in the United States to shame. What can we learn from this meeting and the man who preached at it?   Read More
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Mark's Look at Jesus' Temptation (and What It Teaches Us About Bible Study)
by Patrick Swayne on September 29th, 2023
If you were challenged to open your Bible to an account of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, would have you have turned to Mark 1? Mark's short account of this event is often overlooked or lumped into the longer accounts. What can be gained from focusing specifically on what he recorded and developing a habit of considering texts in their context first?  Read More
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Is Christianity a Relationship and Not a Religion?
by Patrick Swayne on September 22nd, 2023
"Christianity is a relationship, not a religion." Have you ever felt like this, or said it? More and more people see religion as the antithesis of faith instead of an avenue for faith. Are they right? Let's see what our Bibles say about "religion."   Read More
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Chariots, Horsemen, and God's People
by Patrick Swayne on August 25th, 2023
Prophets are sometimes understood as finger pointers at rather than participants in their culture. The truth is that prophets helped their people move forward and that their loss was keenly felt. What can we learn from Enoch, Elijah, and Elisha about walking with God and having an impact on others?   Read More
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The Lord Knows How to Deliver Us
by Patrick Swayne on July 28th, 2023
2 Peter 2 is a chapter full of condemnation for the wicked, and yet in the midst of it, there is a hopeful promise: "the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation" (2 Peter 2:9). What can we learn from the context about the Lord's deliverance?   Read More
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Why Acapella Matters
by Patrick Swayne on July 21st, 2023
The early church was united in the practice of acapella singing; the thousands of denominations that exist today... aren't, to put it mildly. These days, one can find all kinds of music being offered in praise to God. Why were things so different 2000 years ago? Let's dig deeper in our Bibles and find out.   Read More
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Why Should I Contend for the Faith?
by Patrick Swayne on July 14th, 2023
"Contend for the faith" is a command... except it isn't in the text of Jude 3. Instead, it's an infinitive, a verb form that describes an activity that Jude wrote to encourage. His brief epistle not only reveals how to contend for the faith but why one not only should but must do so.   Read More
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Are You an Idolator?
by Patrick Swayne on June 30th, 2023
We tend to think of idolatry as bowing down to a statue symbolizing a false deity or one's ancestors. However, Ephesians 5:5 would have us think about the term differently.   Read More
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Does the Bible Prescribe Alcohol for Mental Health? (An Examination of Proverbs 31:6)
by Patrick Swayne on June 22nd, 2023
Proverbs 31:6 is frequently used as a proof text for those trying to demonstrate a positive view of alcohol from Scripture. is that really how God intended for it to be used? Let's put the verse back in its context and reflect upon its meaning.   Read More
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Go Back Further: An Appeal Regarding a Recent Controversy over Women’s Roles in the Church
by Patrick Swayne on June 16th, 2023
Rick Warren, a well-known denominational church leader, recently proposed that we should "go back to the first century" to discover "the church at its best." In his church though, there are "women pastors" who teach the assembled church. How did his church establish this practice, and is it really what the first century church did?   Read More
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A Closer Look at Spiritual Death
by Patrick Swayne on May 26th, 2023
According to the teachings of John Calvin, man is spiritually dead because of sin and incapable of responding to God. Is this really what the Bible teaches about spiritual death?   Read More
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To Judge or Not to Judge?
by Patrick Swayne on April 27th, 2023
Some Christians view themselves as being incapable of judging others because Jesus said, "Judge not" (Matthew 7:1). But if Christians weren't meant to judge others, why did Paul expect the Corinthian Christians to be capable of doing so (1 Corinthians 6:5)? Let's discover the harmony between these thoughts and determine what Jesus meant when He said, "Judge not."   Read More
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Three Hours in John's Gospel
by Patrick Swayne on April 12th, 2023
Apart from his discussion of the crucifixion, there are three times when John calls our attention to the our of the day. What reminders do these three hours give?   Read More
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The First Gospel Sermon (According to Mark)
by Patrick Swayne on April 7th, 2023
Have you ever heard that the Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? While these truths are at the heart of the Gospel, it is important to see the Gospel as the entirety of the New Testament message. Mark reminds us that the Gospel was preached before Jesus even died on the cross.   Read More
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Are Christians Saved by the Skin of Their Teeth?
by Patrick Swayne on April 1st, 2023
More than once I’ve heard a preacher say that Christians are saved by the skin of their teeth, meaning "by the thinnest or barest of margins." Is this how we should envision our salvation?   Read More
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When Blood Speaks
by Patrick Swayne on January 20th, 2022
You might have heard before that "dead men tell no tales." Well, apparently no one told the author of the book of Hebrews. No, Hebrews doesn't teach that the dead communicate directly with us. But it does say that there is a sense in which Abel and even his blood continue to speak to us. What does Abel's blood say, and what better thing does Jesus' blood say (Hebrews 12:24)?  Read More
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