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Christian Living

Don’t Judge Christians for Their Theology

Forgive and be Forgiven As followers of Jesus, we shouldn’t judge others, but we do. Too often, we judge Christians for their theology. We must stop. When we evaluate others based on what they believe, we diminish them in the process. And we smugly elevate ourselves over them. When we do this, our egos show […]

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Bible Insights

How Many Times Should We Forgive Someone?

Jesus shared a story (parable) about forgiving others. Jesus’ illustration was prompted by Peter, who asked if forgiving someone seven times was enough; Peter thought seven times was generous. Jesus upped the figure considerably, saying seventy-seven times. We don’t take this amount literally, instead understanding that Jesus really meant we need to forgive others “more […]

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Bible Insights

David Mourns Abner’s Death

Psalm 163 from Beyond Psalm 150 Abner is captain of Saul’s army and initially opposes David. Later, he switches his allegiance. Nevertheless, Joab, the leader of David’s army, kills Abner to avenge his brother’s death. David weeps for Abner and sings this lament. Should Abner die as a fool dies? Your hands weren’t bound, and your […]

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Bible Insights

Satan Entices King David to Sin

The King Confesses His Mistake and Asks God to Take Away the Guilt In 1 Chronicles 21 we read the account of David telling Joab to take a census of the people to determine how many fighting men are in the nation. This was Satan’s doing who tempted David into numbering his military. This could […]

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Bible Insights

The Tale of Two Sisters

An Old Testament Parable Warning about the Perils of Prostitution and Idolatry Ezekiel shares a story about two sisters. It’s an Old Testament parable. And it comes directly from God. The older sister is Oholah, and the younger sister is Oholibah. Oholah is Samaria, the capital of Israel and represents the ten northern tribes. The […]

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Christian Living

Martin Luther Supported the Sacrament of Penance

But Luther Believed the Pope Had No Power Over Purgatory Martin Luther’s second group of ninety-five theses addressed the pope’s authority over purgatory, or to be more correct, the pope’s lack of authority. Martin asserted that the pope had no power when it came to remitting sins and their penalty in purgatory. Though some accounts […]

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Bible Insights

Beware the Adulteress

The book of Proverbs contains the majority of the Bible’s mentions of the word “adulteress” (seven times in Proverbs compared to five times in the rest of the Bible). It refers to a woman who commits adultery, that is, she has sex with someone other than her husband. In today’s language, that is referred to […]

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Christian Living

The Most Dangerous Prayer in the Bible

Forgiveness Is a Serious Thing, and We’re Well Advised to Never Withhold It You’re probably familiar with the Lord’s prayer, sometimes informally called by its opening line as the Our Father. It’s a well-known passage in the Bible and many Christian traditions recite it as part of their Sunday worship service. Growing up in a […]

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Bible Insights

Is God’s Forgiveness Conditional?

Jesus Wants Us to Fully Forgive Others So That We May be Fully Forgiven In asking the simple question, “Is God’s forgiveness conditional?” the answer seems obvious: “No! God’s forgiveness is unconditional.” I was taught that if I followed Jesus, he would forgive me. It was a fact. Forgiveness was unconditional. It made sense, and […]

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Bible Insights

What Does Jesus Want Us to Forgive?

In my post Be Careful What You Pray I mention a line in the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Different groups have different wording for this line. There are some I’ve run into: Debts “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” The word debt, conjures up thoughts […]