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Bible Insights

Digging into Balaam’s Story

Serving God or Being Self-Serving? In reading about Balaam’s story in the post “The Error of Balaam, it’s difficult to see what he may have done wrong. Indeed, based on this record alone, he seems like an upstanding guy. Therefore, we need to dig into his story to what he did wrong. There are several […]

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Bible Insights

Balance Freedom of Speech with Being Careful in What We Say

The Tongue Is a Dangerous Tool that We Must Tame In one of his Psalms, David writes that he will be careful in what he says so that he doesn’t sin. He talks about putting a muzzle on his mouth (Psalms 39:1). He says nothing about having freedom of speech. James is clear about the […]

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Bible Insights

Who is Jude?

In the Bible, there is only one mention of a man named Jude. That lone reference occurs in the opening greeting of the letter that he wrote. However, Jude is a variation of Judas. Apparently, Judas was a common name two thousand years ago: We can rule out Judas Iscariot, because he committed suicide before […]

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Bible Insights

Ungodly Men in the Church

The book of Jude—which I’ve blogged about quite a bit—addresses ungodly men in the church, not those outside the church. Jude’s key passage is verse 11, where he compares ungodly men in the church to Cain, Balaam, and Korah. It’s noteworthy that each of these men has an overlooked connection with God, as do ungodly […]

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Bible Insights

Avoiding the Way of Cain

Cain kills Abel because he is jealous, jealous that his brother’s offering to God is accepted and his isn’t. God knows what Cain is thinking—and urges caution. God directly tells Cain that he must rule over his sinful thoughts, the temptation to do wrong. But Cain doesn’t heed God’s advice and kills his brother. The […]

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Bible Insights

Cain, Balaam, and Korah

In Jude’s brief exposition of ungodly people in the church, he evokes three Old Testament characters: Cain, Balaam, and Korah. Cain, we know to be a murderer; Balaam, greedy; and Korah, rebellious.  However, it is simplistic to see them merely as evil men, for they also had an air of godliness to them, seeking God or […]

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Bible Insights

Jude Writes in Triads

Jude writes his short letter to those who are called—that’s you and me. In it, he often writes in triads, listing three items or offering three examples. He does this with such regularity that when he deviates from this in verse 12, I thought I had misread the text. Consider Jude’s triplets (and a couple […]

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Bible Insights

A Servant of Jesus

In the post, “Who is Jude?,” I speculated that Jude might be Jesus’ brother. Aside from that, we only know one other thing about him.  Jude views himself simply as “a servant of Jesus.” Today, in a time when religious people parade their titles and promote their education as if they were badges of godly […]

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Christian Living

A Failure to Understand the Book of Jude?

I’m doing a series of posts about the short and often overlooked book of Jude. Jude’s letter is a warning, almost a rant, about ungodly people who are in the church. Among their sordid characteristics, Jude says that they “speak abusively against whatever they do not understand.” That seems to be an accurate description of […]

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Bible Insights

Are You the One?

John the Baptist sits in jail, about to be executed. In a dark moment, his faith begins to waiver. Seeking assurance, he sends his followers to Jesus, with the simple question, “Are you the one?” This question reminds me of the movie The Matrix where people keep asking Neo, “Are you the one?” Some think […]