Bible Study Commentaries
Oct 27, 2014
Joseph’s life began with high prospects. His two dreams indicate the time when all of his siblings and parents would bow before him. Then things went wrong, and he spent more than two years in prison. Most of us also have faced similar disappointments in life. Let’s take a few common situations. Suppose you have worked hard at Wal-Mart or Lowe’s. You thought you were in line for a promotion but did not get it. Maybe you were a military officer in line for the next promotion level, until the promotion list came out and your name was not there. Perhaps you were in theological training, waiting on a church position. To your shocked surprise, the class goof-off was called but not you. Life is full of disappointments. To highlight ways to find a way out, I will feature the way we can look at our situation.
Oct 27, 2014
Some English versions translate Hebrews 9:11 in terms of Christ as high priest of good things to come in the future (NASB, KJV, NKJV). The majority of English versions, however, translate the verse in terms of Christ as high priest of the “good things that have come” (HCSB, NIV, ESV). Hebrews 10:1 states that the law of Moses was a mere “shadow of the good things to come.” Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, God’s people no longer live in the shadows. We live in the reality of the fulfillment of Old Testament promises regarding our relationship with God.
Oct 21, 2014
One of the most quoted Scriptures concerning temptation is 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” We remember that temptation is the opportunity to satisfy a God-given desire in a God-forbidden way. We are not robots. If God provides a way out, we must choose to take it. Remember also the distinction between a test to demonstrate or strengthen morality and the means to encourage sinful action. God is in the soul-winning business.
Oct 21, 2014
The author of Hebrews described his work as a “word of exhortation” (Hebrews 13:22), in other words, a sermon. Psalm 110 and Jeremiah 31:31-34 function as the primary Scripture passages for this sermon. Psalm 110 affirms both the royalty of Jesus (Psalm 110:1-3) and the priesthood of Jesus (Psalm 110:4). The Old Testament prohibited the same person from serving in both offices as demonstrated by God’s judgment of kings Saul and Uzziah for usurping the role of the priest (1 Samuel 13:7-10; 2 Chronicles 26:11-15). Hebrews 7 combines the concepts of a change of priesthood (v. 12), change of law (7:13) and guarantor of a better covenant (v. 22). Building upon the idea of covenant, Hebrews 8 describes why the covenant is better. Jeremiah’s prophecy of the new covenant serves as the foundational text for this section of the sermon. Notice how the author used the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34 at the beginning and conclusion to this section of his sermon (Hebrews 8:6-10:16-17).
Oct 13, 2014
The major theme of Hebrews is the High Priesthood of Jesus. No other biblical book directly mentions this precious doctrinal truth. Apparently, Christian maturity is necessary to understand the implications of the priestly ministry of Christ. In Hebrews 5, the author began his emphasis on the high priesthood of Jesus (Heb. 5:1-10). Yet, the author interrupted his discussion of Christ’s priestly ministry because of the immaturity of the readers (Heb. 5:12). After encouraging believers to allow God to carry them on to Christian maturity, the author resumed his focus on the priestly ministry of Christ (Heb. 6:20).
Oct 13, 2014
Joseph is one of the most intriguing men named in the Old Testament. The Bible shows a major shift with the phrase, “These are the generations of Jacob.” Previously, the phrase was used in regard to the heavens (Gen. 2:4), Adam (Gen. 5:10, Noah (Gen. 6:4) and so forth. In Jacob’s case, the account omits Reuben, the first born, and shifts the lineage to Joseph, the Holy Spirit’s way of signaling a major genealogical change. We immediately see Joseph, a youth of 17 years old, sharing with Jacob, his father, an “evil report” concerning his 10 brothers. The Bible does not detail what the brothers were doing that led to the troubling report, but the action probably put at risk the welfare of the sheep. Also, Joseph incurred anger on two other accounts. First, Jacob had clothed him in “a coat of many colors” (v. 34). From the use of the word revealed in Judges 5:38 and 2 Samuel 13:18, we can infer that such garments signified honor and position. The elder brothers probably felt threatened that Jacob was abrogating the policy of passing authority to the eldest son, i.e., Reuben. Joseph made the situation worse by revealing a dream he had in which, while binding sheaves, the sheaves rose up and bowed before his sheaf (vv. 5-8). He added insult to injury from another dream in which the sun, moon and 11 stars “made obeisance” to him (v. 9). Even Jacob objected to the notion that he and Joseph’s mother, now deceased, would bow before Joseph (v. 10). The conditions were right for a family tragedy. The brothers decided to kill Joseph.
Oct 7, 2014
Hebrews describes the Christian life as a pilgrimage. Pilgrimages have several key characteristics. First, pilgrims have a leader. For Christians, Jesus is our pilgrim guide. Second, pilgrims travel together, never alone. Third, pilgrimages have a goal. The author of Hebrews describes the goal of the Christian life as maturity (completeness) and the heavenly city (Heb. 11). The readers the author addressed ceased to make progress in the pilgrimage of the Christian life. At a time in their Christian experience when they should have been capable of teaching (feeding) others (Heb. 5:12), the readers required an infant diet of milk (Heb. 5:11). The author attributed the lack of Christian growth to spiritual laziness (Heb. 5:11).
Oct 7, 2014
In our studies in the Book of Ephesians, we began with a presentation of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in chapter one. As we progressed through the other chapters, we were challenged to honor God in our daily lives. In this concluding study we are challenged to comprehend our role in God’s revelation of His will for us. The issues are momentous.
Sep 29, 2014
In the ancient world, protocol was important. Failure to follow the correct procedures of approaching a king was dangerous. Likewise, sinful humans approach God only through the proper protocol established by God. Hebrews 9 describes the design of the tabernacle as an illustration of the seriousness of approaching God. What God the King requires for sinful humans to approach Him, He provided through Christ. The biblical revelation condemns the attitude that God is our “homeboy.”
Sep 29, 2014
In our last study, we considered the kind of impression we Christians have on our communities. I likened the process to a military white-glove inspection in which neighbors have contact with us on a daily basis. Now, we turn our attention to inner aspects of our life within the fellowship. What ways are open to us to make our lives fulfilled and complete? I call the following “Seven principles for a fulfilled life.”
Sponsors
Special Reports
Religious educators to meet in Lakeland on Nov. 10
LAKELAND (FLBaptist)—As small-group pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Tom McCormick led the church’s growth of small groups to more than 200 with 3,000 people on the rosters, from the 30 Read More
Recordings of FBSC, Pastors' Conference sermons will be available for purchase
JACKSONVILLE (FLBaptist)—Recordings of sermons delivered during the annual Florida Baptist State Convention Nov. 10-11 at the First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland will be available online in Read More
650 attend first-ever women's retreat at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center
LEESBURG (FLBaptist)—The Women’s Retreat at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center was more than the opportunity to hear two leading Christian recording artists and two nationally known speakers, said Read More
Volunteers help feed 600 people a week in DeFuniak Springs
DEFUNIAK SPRINGS (FBW)—More than 600 people in DeFuniak Springs receive food every week because of the efforts of volunteers from Southwide Baptist Church and ministry partners of other Read More
Florida Campers on Mission have nationwide impact
MAYO (FBW)—Campers on Mission are often on the move and always looking forward to their next project, according to veteran members. The tales of COM adventures are as varied as the people who tell Read More
Teen leads Gainesville church's bicycle ministry
GAINESVILLE (FBW)—Pine Grove Baptist Church in Gainesville is using bicycles to help win its neighbors to the Lord. The ministry, which refurbishes used bikes to give away to needy children and Read More
Hispanic churches in Miami team up to fight hunger through food festival
MIAMI (FBW)—On a bright, hot October Saturday morning, nine Hispanic churches sold popular Latino dishes during the Festival de Misiones in Primera Iglesia Bautista de Coral Park’s parking lot. Read More
Florida Focus: Announcements from Baptist churches around the state
One-time announcements are provided free by the Witness to Florida Baptist churches. Please email materials at least three weeks before the date of the event to floridafocus@goFBW.com. Information Read More
Houston Mayor Annise Parker to drop subpoenas of pastors
HOUSTON (BP)—The subpoenas will be withdrawn, Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced Oct. 29. The word "subpoenas" grabbed national attention after it became known that five Houston Read More
SBC President Ronnie Floyd: Stand up for Houston pastors
NASHVILLE (BP)—Baptists must let their voices be heard, said Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd. Floyd is one of several speakers from across the nation slated to speak Read More
Texas AG to Houston city attorney: Drop pastor subpoenas
HOUSTON (BP)—Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called on Houston city attorney Dave Feldman Oct. 16 to withdraw subpoenas requiring five pastors to submit their sermons to his office in regard to Read More
Hillsong big winner at 45th Dove Awards
NASHVILLE (BP)—Hillsong United, a worship band at Australia's Hillsong Church, was the big winner at the Gospel Music Association's 45th annual Dove Awards Oct. 7. The band was named Read More
Gay marriage left standing by SCOTUS
WASHINGTON (BP)—Same-sex marriage is on the verge of becoming a legal reality in 60 percent of America's states. The U.S. Supreme Court paved the way Monday (Oct. 6) for marriages between people Read More
Churches encouraged to take '1% Challenge'
NASHVILLE (BP)—October is “Cooperative Program Emphasis Month” on the Southern Baptist Convention’s calendar. Churches are challenged to study the Cooperative Program—to learn about it, see what it Read More
S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A founder, dies
S. Truett Cathy, founder of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain famous for closing on Sundays, died Sept. 8. He was Read More
David Platt elected new IMB president
David Platt was elected president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board Aug. 27 by board trustees. Platt, 36, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham... Read More
Adrian Peterson scandal renews debate about spanking children
Christian parents across the country have been quietly talking about what role corporal punishment should play in the discipline of their kids following the indictment last month of pro football Read More
First Baptist Naples’ car care ministry changes oil, lives
NAPLES (FBW)—For most people, maintaining their car is not a life-changing experience. But for Mary Hickman, her life changed dramatically when she attended the car care clinic sponsored Read More
Panama City church revitalized through merger
PANAMA CITY (FBW)—For years, members of Westview Baptist Church in Panama City feared for the future of their once-thriving congregation. Membership dipped to 12 and efforts by local and state Read More
A testimony to what God can do
CLEARWATER (FBW)—Unfortunately, it’s not every week that a church invitation makes news. But that happened recently at Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater. About a month ago, more than Read More
'Left Behind' movie stirs end-times discussion
NASHVILLE (BP)—Despite negative reviews by some secular and Christian film critics, the end-times thriller "Left Behind" starring Nicolas Cage grossed nearly $7 million at Read More
God uses collegiates to bring change ‘through them and to them’
Amber walked through the streets of Bruhl, Germany, praying for the physical and spiritual needs of the German people. Olivia taught English classes to university students in East Asia, Read More
Florida Baptist mission teams share the Light in darkness of Eastern Cuba
SANTIAGO, Cuba (FLBaptist)—It was mid-afternoon in mid-July when the lights went out in Eastern Cuba and stayed out for about five hours, even as the sun set. With skies growing darker, Read More
Military veteran's new mission extends Cuba partnership
How much difference can one mission trip make in a person’s life? Just ask Peter Vega Jr. When he went on his first mission trip to Western Cuba in November 2011, Vega had no Read More
Giving hope to the homeless through clothes, food, faith and fellowship
Lem Simmons is not your typical pastor. In fact, most people would not identify him as a member of the clergy just by looking at him. With his cap turned backward and a body covered with Read More
The Cooperative Program Factor: Mandate, Missions, Ministries
Following the Great Commission Mandate, the Florida Baptist Convention has set as its priorities to reach people for Jesus Christ, start new churches and strengthen existing churches. The summary of Read More
Nov. 2 Bible Studies for Life: Overcome being forgotten
Joseph’s life began with high prospects. His two dreams indicate the time when all of his siblings and parents would bow before him. Then things went wrong, and he spent more than two years in Read More
Nov. 2 Explore the Bible: The good things that have come
Some English versions translate Hebrews 9:11 in terms of Christ as high priest of good things to come in the future (NASB, KJV, NKJV). The majority of English versions, however, translate the verse Read More
Oct. 26 Bible Studies for Life: Overcome Temptation
One of the most quoted Scriptures concerning temptation is 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be Read More
Oct. 26 Explore the Bible: I shall be their God
The author of Hebrews described his work as a “word of exhortation” (Hebrews 13:22), in other words, a sermon. Psalm 110 and Jeremiah 31:31-34 function as the primary Scripture passages for this Read More
Oct. 19 Bible Studies for Life: Overcome betrayal
Joseph is one of the most intriguing men named in the Old Testament. The Bible shows a major shift with the phrase, “These are the generations of Jacob.” Previously, the phrase was used in regard to Read More
Oct. 19 Explore the Bible: Our priestly Savior
The major theme of Hebrews is the High Priesthood of Jesus. No other biblical book directly mentions this precious doctrinal truth. Apparently, Christian maturity is necessary to understand the Read More
Oct. 12 Explore the Bible: Grow in Christ!
Hebrews describes the Christian life as a pilgrimage. Pilgrimages have several key characteristics. First, pilgrims have a leader. For Christians, Jesus is our pilgrim guide. Second, pilgrims travel Read More
Oct. 12 Bible Studies for Life: Connected through prayer
In our studies in the Book of Ephesians, we began with a presentation of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in chapter one. As we progressed through the other chapters, we were challenged to honor God Read More
Se jubila John Sullivan, después de 26 años como líder de los bautistas de Florida
LEESBURG, Fla. (BP) – John Sullivan ha anunciado su jubilación después de servir a los bautistas de Florida como director ejecutivo-tesorero por un cuarto de Read More
La Convención Bautista de la Florida esta “confiada” que el fallo de $12.5 millones será anulado
JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Abogados de la Convención Bautista de la Florida indicaron el martes que están “confiados” que el fallo por un jurado de Lake County de conceder $12.5 millones a un hombre quien Read More
Junta del Witness elige nuevo editor por unanimidad
JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—La junta de directores del Florida Baptist Witness voto por unanimidad el 9 de enero emplear un editor que ha mantenido altas posiciones con publicaciones Read More
EDITORIAL: Dios Con Nosotros
FRESNO, Calif. (BP) -- La rapidez de cambios muchas veces nos sorprenden. He observado las reacciones de muchas personas al enfrentarse con los ajustes que vienen con los cambios. En el trabajo, con Read More
Autista MK ayuda a alcanzar los uruguayos
ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay (BP) -- Dentro de un pequeño templo budista en Shiojiri, Japón, el misionero de 23 años Steven Kunkel -- quien es de América del Sur -- se sienta frente a Read More
Missions College apoya la participación de la iglesia
CARY, C.N. (BP)—Con más de dos décadas de experiencia misionera en las Américas, Marty Childers tiene una pasión por ayudar a las iglesias a ser más efectivas en el Reino a través de las misiones. Read More
La convención de Florida ratifica asociación con Cuba Oriental
LEESBURG, Fla. (BP) -- La Junta Estatal de Misiones aprobó una asociación histórica con la Convención Bautista de Cuba Oriental y un presupuesto de $30.5 millones del Programa Cooperativo 2014 que Read More
Ted Traylor de Pensacola el grupo de trabajo para estudiar la declinacion de bautismos SBC
NASHVILLE (BP)—La Junta de Misiones Norteamericanas está convocando a un grupo de trabajo de pastores nacionales tocante al impacto del evangelismo y la declinación de los bautismos para tratar la Read More
Longtime evangelist Freddie Gage, 81, made great impact for the Kingdom
HOUSTON (BP)—Freddie Gage, a Southern Baptist evangelist for more than 60 years whose fervency for souls extended to the SBC's Conservative Resurgence, died Sept. 12 in a Read More
Robert Davis: the Life & Legacy
Former pastor Robert Davis, 70, of Lake City died Monday, August 18, 2014 at Suwannee Valley Care Center (Haven Hospice) following a lengthy illness. Davis was a loving man who served Florida both Read More
Longtime First Baptist Brandon organist Zelda P. Shenning dies
Zelda P. Shenning, 72, died May 26 in Brandon, where she served as organist of First Baptist Church for 30 Read More
FBC Eustis mourns death of Executive Pastor
Longtime First Baptist Church of Eustis Executive Pastor Dr. Hoyt “Skip” Haymans III died on May 22 at the age of Read More
Former ‘first lady’ of First Baptist Church Ocala dies in Virginia
Hilda Johnson, long-time first lady at First Baptist Church of Ocala, died May 21 in Newport News, Va. Johnson was the wife of Ed Johnson, who served as pastor of First Ocala from 1983 Read More
Retired Jacksonville pastor, James Branch, 85, dies
JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—James Branch, 85, pastor emeritus of Faith Memorial Baptist Church in Jacksonville, died Feb. 24. Read More
OBITUARY: Charles L. (Chuck) Gray, pastor of Bay Haven Baptist Church, dies at 72
SARASOTA (FBW)--Charles L. (Chuck) Gray, 72, pastor of Bay Haven Baptist Church in Sarasota, died Nov. 4. He was a Vietnam Era veteran of two tours of duty and the recipient of two purple Read More
Babb H. Adams, former FBSC president, dies at 84
INVERNESS (FBW)–Babb H. Adams, past president of the Florida Baptist State Convention, died Oct. 30 in Inverness, his home since 1981. He was 84. Read More