Ask Your Preacher Archive

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Intellectual Advantage

Friday, July 07, 2023

“Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect! First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:1)

Let us not make the mistake that the Jewish nation made. They assumed their advantage was that they were better people than others because God had given them the law. Not at all. They were selfish, rude, greedy, unkind, and complainers who wandered from God as much as the rest of mankind. If anything, the law of Moses made it clearer to them than any other nation how sinful they really were!

The benefit wasn’t that they were better… but that they knew better. The knowledge that was entrusted to the Jewish nation gave them an advantage over all other peoples. They had a written record of God’s ethical standards and promises. When we know who we ought to be and what we ought to anchor our hope to, we can find peace though we are sinful and in need. 

Christians – never forget that your advantage is not based upon your moral superiority. The Word of God is a blessing because it highlights our moral inferiority and needs for the Great Physician. It is a great advantage because it tells you where to find Him.


Idol Hiding

Thursday, July 06, 2023

“You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?” (Romans 2:22b)

During the trials of Jesus, there was a particular type of injustice that was seen. The Jewish people professed to hate the Romans and their idolatrous ways but then turned to them when they needed their help to crucify Jesus. They also gave Judas thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus, but then they refused to accept the money back because it was blood money. Their religious convictions were pliable when presented with an opportunity for advantage.

The above verse in Romans addresses this tendency in all of us. We say we hate sin until it would force us to make a change to our entertainment choices. We profess moral convictions unless our job requires us to do something immoral, and then we hide behind “company policy”. We cry from the housetops against sin, but then we enter those same houses and secretly practice the very things we have just denounced.

Make sure your faith is consistent. Don’t cry against the idols while hiding them in your closet.


A Heart for God

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

“…in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them…” (Romans 2:15)

The Scripture often speaks of the need for God’s law to be written on the tablet of our hearts (see places like Jeremiah 31:33, 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, and Hebrews 8:10). That is a beautiful, poetic statement, but what does it actually mean?

The above verse explains the concept. ‘Written on our heart’ means that we are not merely teaching and intellectually assenting to the Word of God, but we are constantly allowing it to shape and guide our conscience. ‘Written on our heart’ means we are connecting the words to who we are, not who everyone else is. The Word of God is a sword (see Hebrews 4:12), and it is meant to judge the thoughts and intentions of hearts. We write it on our hearts when we cut our own souls first. Let the Word carve pathways in your conscience so that you let it become the voice that accuses and defends you. The goal? That your heart would begin to speak like Scripture.

Complete Transparence

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

“For there is no partiality with God.” (Romans 2:11)

We tend to seek out those who are partial to us and likely to treat us with some form of favoritism. It is hard not to. We want to be around people who make us feel good, see the world similar to us, or are likely to flatter us. We typically profess a desire to be treated fairly and impartially, but the reality is most of us want partiality because it means we are in the “in crowd” and enjoy the benefits of validation and admiration… even when we may not deserve that admiration and are not making valid choices.

One of the more terrifying aspects of God is His impartiality. There is no cloak of flattery with Him, nor is there any hope of preferential treatment. When you do what is right, He will praise you, but He will just as openly condemn your mistakes. With God, He doesn’t care about what family you are from, who you know, or what your best friend says about you. He cares whether or not you are right with His Son. Nothing else will save you.

Perfect Love

Friday, February 26, 2021
     My question is about Matthew 5:48.  I know that it’s unlikely for us to do overnight, but would it be fair to say that if we truly wanted it, we could achieve perfection?

Setting Goals

Dear Setting Goals,

It is possible to be perfect like Matt 5:48 says because Matt 5:48 isn’t talking about being sinless; it is talking about being equal in our love for all mankind, just like God designed us to be.  The word ‘perfect’ simply means ‘complete’; it doesn’t always mean ‘without sin’.  In the case of Matt 5:48, we are talking about being complete in our relationships with others.  God loves both the good and the bad (Matt 5:45).  We must do more than just love our friends (Matt 5:46-47); God wants us to love our enemies, too (Matt 5:44).  The person that can show love toward both his friends and enemies (and some people can) is ‘perfect’… they still sin, but they are able to show complete love toward their fellow man.

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