Monthly Archives: January 2017

Every Man Did That Which Was Right in His Own Eyes

by Peter Ditzel

Judges 17:6 and 21:25 concern the era in Israel’s history known as the time or period of the judges. These verses have significance for us today: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Preachers almost always quote these verses as indicating how terribly bad things were at the time of the judges and use them as examples of how we must work to avoid being that way today. The assumption is that the Bible is here being critical of the idea of people doing what is right in their own eyes. There’s a problem with this interpretation. The Bible not only doesn’t back it up; it directly contradicts it. In this article, I’m going to show you where the Bible disagrees with what many commentators say about these verses, in what way the time of the judges is a shadow of the assembly Jesus’ founded, and how the time of the judges can be a significant lesson for Christians and even illustrate a valuable political principle for everyone.

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Q. Must we regularly confess our sins to receive God’s forgiveness?

A. Many, perhaps most, preachers teach that when a Christian sins, he or she must confess that sin to receive God’s forgiveness. They base this primarily on 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But if it is true that we must always confess a sin for God to forgive us, it would seem to contradict the fact that God has already completely forgiven believers because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. What, then, did John mean when he wrote 1 John 1:9?

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Living Sacrifice

by Peter Ditzel

This article is adapted from The Word of His Grace radio program, "Living Sacrifice."
If we Christians would join the wise men, we must close our eyes to all that glitters before the world and look rather on the despised and foolish things.... --Martin Luther
Martin Luther understood that being a living sacrifice involved turning from wordly ways.

In Romans 12, verses 1-2, Paul writes, “Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

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Whoever Is President, Jesus Is King

by Peter Ditzel

Picture of school bulletin board showing US map and saying Whoever is President, Jesus is King.
This is a picture of a bulletin board outside of a classroom in a local Christian school. What it says is absolutely the truth.

2 Nov. 2016: The 2016 presidential elections in the United States have grabbed global headlines, titillated followers
with scandal, and troubled American voters to what is almost certainly an unprecedented scale. Naturally, we can expect that since the United States is arguably the world’s only superpower and its policies inevitably affect other nations, the campaign to elect its next leader will attract worldwide interest. Yet, this year’s election has riveted attention largely because of the shock effect of the personalities involved. The nominees for the two major parties are seen by many as the worst and most alarming U.S. presidential candidates ever.

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Don’t Be Conformed to This World

by Peter Ditzel

In Romans 12:2, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul instructed us, “Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.” What does he mean when he says to not be conformed to this world? What does he mean by being transformed by the renewing of our minds? Is he writing of a one-time event, or are we to continuously renew our minds? How does this affect the way we are to view and interact with the world around us?

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The Sons of God

by Peter Ditzel

Almost all English Bibles translate Romans 8:15 as teaching our adoption: “For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” So also verse 23 and Galatians 4:5 and Ephesians 1:5, in English translations, refer to our adoption. Many preachers and Christian writers have praised God for His adopting us as His children. Certainly, adoption by the loving, all-powerful God of the universe would be a wonderful thing, and I would be very thankful for it, if it were what the Bible teaches. The thing is, the Bible doesn’t teach it. Everywhere the word “adoption” appears in an English-language New Testament, it is a poor translation that does not accurately convey the concept the Holy Spirit is revealing. Fortunately, what the Bible is saying is far greater and better than what we understand in English by the word “adoption.”

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Lessons from the Flood and Noah’s Ark

by Peter Ditzel

The Flood of Noah’s day was a global calamity that we can be thankful has never been repeated. Yet, the biblical account is more than one of death and disaster. It is a story of faith and salvation. There are many ways to approach this story. In this article, I want to discuss the Flood and the ark in line with the New Covenant Theology principle of Old Testament type and New Testament antitype, shadow and reality. What does the Flood picture? What does the ark picture? What do the occupants of the ark picture? And what can we learn from these things?

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Part 2: A Bible Study about Love

by Peter Ditzel

In Part One, we saw that the word love has many meanings, but that the apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, specifically defines the love Christians are to have for one another. Let's continue looking at Paul's detailed definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 and see how he links love to maturity, seeing clearly, and knowing fully.

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