Topical Studies

5 Examples That Prove No, God Is Not Racist

In Deuteronomy, God says that the Israelites are His "treasured possession." So, does this mean that God is racist? Or to a lesser extend, is He showing preference for one group over another? Not at all! Let's take a deeper look at Scripture, and five specific examples of how God's grace and plan for redemption stretches to every nation, every culture, and every person on earth. 

"Made in the Image of God": Knowing Him by Seeing People

God created in us motivations, passions, pleasures, and thinking power that mirror his own. Think of a painter who sees something lovely and wants to bring out the joy it gives him. The substance of the thing isn’t the same, nor is it meant to be a clone. There can only be one original. But every time the subject is painted, new qualities are displayed.

How to Be the Bridge : Practical Steps to Racial Reconciliation

Racial reconciliation has been a hot topic in recent years, not just in Christian circles. The phrase itself may evoke a range of emotions in people, but at its heart the practice of racial reconciliation is complicated, messy and uncomfortable. Latasha Morrison has jumped headfirst into the messiness of this mission, wading through the hard conversations in search of the hope that can only be found on the other side.

Morrison founded the Be the Bridge group in 2016, and her book of the same name was recently released. It gives steps for the reader to form their own Bridge groups, with a process that is easy on paper, but challenging in practice. “I like to tell people that this is going to be uncomfortable,” Morrison said over the phone. “It’s going to be hard and you’re going to want to quit.” But she continues that this work is absolutely worth it and she is "excited about what God is doing in the hearts of people." 

What Is Anointing of the Sick and Is it Biblical?

The Anointing of the Sick is most commonly associated with the Roman Catholic Church and, as such, this article explores the rite from the Catholic faith’s perspective. In Catholicism, the Anointing of the Sick is considered a sacrament and centers on the Lord’s healing presence and the forgiveness of sins.

Is the Gift of Speaking in Tongues Still Relevant Today?

The question of spiritual gifts is one that sparks excitement, debate, and questions. Being invited to use unique gifts in building God’s kingdom is an exciting prospect. Certain gifts seem easy to understand: teaching, encouragement, and hospitality are accessible. Others seem foreign, maybe even scary to some people because they seem supernatural.

Speaking in tongues is such a gift. It causes controversy among believers, with different groups seeming to make different claims about the ability. What is the goal and the purpose of it? Can people still speak in tongues today? Speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, is Biblical, but needs to be understood.

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What Is God's Wrath?

Wrath. The word alone instills fear and creates an image of someone on a warpath exacting revenge on all their enemies. There are no warm fuzzies here. No hallmark moments. If the wrath of a human can be scary, then what is the wrath of God going to do to a person?

When you think of the fact that the Bible says God is love, then how does the wrath of God coincide with that? That one question alone forces us to investigate and make sure that there is real understanding of what the wrath of God truly is. 

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Why Do We Call on God as ‘Jehovah Rapha’ for Healing?

We have an infinite God who goes by many names. And these names, scattered throughout Scripture, often have a different meaning, showing us another facet of this wonderful creator, healer, and provider.

Although God is attentive to our prayers, we may pray using different names as a reminder to ourselves about God’s power, his wonder, his strength, his provisions, and many other divine qualitites.

God also reveals a part of himself via a name. We can learn something new about him every time we discover a new name in the Bible.

Names had a whole other type of weight in the Old and New Testament. It wasn’t just something one slapped on a birth certificate. Names could determine one’s telos (purpose), life trajectory, or one’s family lineage.

During times of sickness, we may call upon God using his name that is tied to healing, “Jehovah Rapha.” We’ll dive into the meaning of the words Jehovah Rapha and what they mean for us today.

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Should Christians Believe That Everything Really Happen for a Reason?

The popular phrase “everything happens for a reason” gets said a lot by Christians and non-Christians alike. When something happens to us in life, we may wonder if there is a deeper reason behind it. Most of us may have felt at times that something happened according to God’s good and gracious plans. But does the idea that everything happens for a reason align with what the Bible teaches?

God is sovereign and in control of all things. What God orchestrates and allows is meaningful, significant, and purposeful. Though everything may not happen for a reason, what we find in the Bible is that God will redeem us, restore us, help us, and cause a good outcome for those of us who love him and follow Him.

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What to Do to Hear "Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant"

In Matthew 25:23, Jesus tells a parable that ends with the phrase "well done, good and faithful servant!" But this phrase is more than just a hearty pat on the back. So just what makes this phrase so important, and what can believers do to hear these incredible words ourselves one day?

What Christians Get Wrong about "Turn the Other Cheek"

Most of us have heard the phrase “turn the other cheek” at some point in our lives. Often, we are advised of this after a mishap with someone. Personally, I would always think about what that phrase meant and why it was so important to obey it.

There are two places in Scripture where Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek. The first occurrence is in the book of Matthew. Here we read these words. “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” The second occurrence of this verse is found in Luke 6:29. It states, “If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.” So what do these verses mean, both for Jesus’ biblical audience, and for us today?

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5 Remarkable Things to Know about Pentecost Sunday

The Christian remembrance of Pentecost holds important biblical teaching that builds the life of a believer and continues to support the fulfillment of the Great Commission in our time.

Let’s consider five remarkable things all believers should know about Pentecost Sunday.

10 Lies People Believe about Purity

Growing up, I laughed at comedian Flip Wilson’s excuse for doing wrong: “The Devil made me do it.” It took me years to understand that the Devil couldn’t make me do anything; that was a lie.

Yet our sneaky enemy does love to plant lies in our thoughts about a subject dear to God’s heart: holiness. The lies we believe about personal purity encourage us to rationalize our behavior and justify our sins.

When we believe these lies, they cripple our effectiveness in serving the Lord. But powerful principles from the Word of God offer guidelines to help us govern our thoughts and actions.

Let’s examine some of the lies we believe about purity.

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7 Pillars of Wisdom to Build Your Life Upon

Proverbs gives us practical advice and life-principles that show us how to live wisely in the fear of God. The book personifies wisdom as a woman who calls out to the naïve and simple, and in Proverbs 9:1 we find this intriguing statement: “Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars.”

Why seven? Is this a random number, or is there a reason Solomon chose to mention the number seven? We know God loves numbers; He also loves a good mystery. It would be helpful if we could find a list of these “seven pillars” but unfortunately, God chose not to make it that easy. 

God does talk a lot about wisdom in Scripture, and several passages help us discover what these seven pillars might be. There are other possibilities; this is just one practical application, taken from God’s Word, that helps us build a house of wisdom.

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Are Christians Really "Once Saved, Always Saved"?

It's one of the biggest questions that Christians can face, and as such there are generations of arguments, research and books on the topic. When someone becomes a Christian, are they set for life - no matter what? And if so, what are we to do with people who leave or fade out of the faith?

Who Wrote Revelation?

Revelation is the last book in the Bible, and often, the last book people want to pick up and read. It's filled with mind-boggling imagery that can be frightening or hard to comprehend. But just who was the author behind this book? And once we establish that, can we parse out some of the meaning behind Revelation, to make it less intimidating?

Who Was James, Jesus' Brother?

Jesus came from a big family. Matthew 13:55-56 names Jesus’ brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas and mentions sisters (plural), so He had at least six siblings.

James is always named first when Jesus’ brothers are listed, which in his day likely meant that he was the eldest of the four. Known as James the Just and Old Camel Knees, James led the church at Jerusalem until his violent death in AD 62.

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5 Signs You May Be Controlled by a Spirit of Fear

You might feel terror when faced with a deadly threat. You may feel anxious about getting on stage to speak. These are natural feelings.

But you also might be controlled by a spirit of fear.

The term “spirit of fear” comes from 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (KJV). 

Sometimes, this fear can be difficult to recognize, and might manifest in different ways than one might expect. Below, we’ll explore five signs that you might be suffering under a spirit of fear.

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