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Jul 2019 29 Jul 29, 2019

I’m asked this question more times than you can imagine, and I addressed it at length in my book, Tough Topics (Crossway). In this article I will try to shorten that explanation a bit. If we are going to answer this question with any degree of accuracy (assuming it can be answered), we must set it within the context of Jesus’ interaction with the Sadducees and the question they posed to him in Mark 12:18-23. And Sadducees came to him, who say that there i...Read More

Jul 2019 24 Jul 24, 2019

What precisely is “eternal life”? Does this simply mean that if we believe in Jesus we will live forever? Is he referring here only to the unending duration of our existence? No, it means far more than that, because everyone, even unbelievers, will live forever. Some will live forever in the presence of God in the new heavens and new earth while others will live forever in hell. So “eternal life” must mean something more than simply always remain...Read More

Jul 2019 22 Jul 22, 2019

John comes straight to the point without hesitation or compromise. If one does not believe in the Son, he/she will “perish.” To perish is the opposite of experiencing eternal life. If you gain eternal life by believing in Jesus, you are assured by God that you will never perish. But what does it mean to “perish”? It does not mean that you cease to exist. It means that you remain under the condemnation of God’s wrath and judgment. Twice in v...Read More

Jul 2019 19 Jul 19, 2019

The eternal life that John describes in John 3:16 does not come automatically to all people. It is not bestowed on those whose children “behave” themselves or on people who first get their lives straightened out, put everything in order, and make certain their bills are paid on time. Eternal life is for anyone and everyone who “believes” in this gift of God’s love, namely Jesus: who he is and what he has done to save sinners. This offer is ...Read More

Jul 2019 17 Jul 17, 2019

Today we turn our attention to the gift that God gave. We saw in the previous post that God’s immeasurable love is such that he not only feels a great affection for the fallen world but that this feeling leads to concrete, sacrificial action: he gave us his Son! Muslims consider it blasphemy to suggest that God has a son. Many Mormons happily affirm that Jesus is God’s son because they argue that God the Father, who has a literal, physical body, had sexual r...Read More

Jul 2019 15 Jul 15, 2019

When we declare our love for someone, we often have in mind at best a stirring of our hearts, an internal affection that rarely is expressed in any concrete action on our part. That sort of love is hardly worth having. God’s immeasurable love for us, on the other hand, is a giving love, a sacrificial love. As John declares in John 3:16, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. Let this truth sink deeply into your soul: God loved this world by giving to it...Read More

Jul 2019 12 Jul 12, 2019

Today we turn our attention to the object of God’s immeasurable love: the world. John uses one word: “world” (kosmos). Many try to magnify God’s love by pointing out how many people have lived in this world. “Just think,” they say, “of the multitudes of men and women who have swarmed across the face of the earth. Oh, how great the love of God must be that it could encompass such a countless multitude.” I’m not so sur...Read More

Jul 2019 11 Jul 11, 2019
Jul 2019 10 Jul 10, 2019

John 3:16 may well be the most famous verse in the entire Bible. Even if it isn’t, its truth warrants continual celebration and gratitude. What I propose to do over the next couple of weeks is to explore this passage by looking at seven inescapable and eternally significant realities that together comprise this justifiably famous text. The first truth in this text, God’s love, is foundational to everything that follows. But can anything more be said about th...Read More

Jul 2019 8 Jul 8, 2019

Last week I posted only the first half of an interview that Pneuma conducted with Andrew Gabriel based on his excellent book, Simply Spirit Filled. Here is the second half. Pneuma Review: When addressing the subject of spiritual manifestations, such as shaking and being slain in the Spirit, some people tend to categorize them as either all of God or all not of God. You do not do that in the book. Please tell us why. Andrew Gabriel: The funny thing is that a friend from...Read More

Jul 2019 8 Jul 8, 2019

Here is the headline in the June 7, 2019, edition of USA Today: “Pope tweaks temptation phrase in Lord’s Prayer.” Instead of “Lead us not into temptation” he wants Catholics to pray, “Do not let us fall into temptation.” This caught my attention, as you might expect. Five days later, on June 12, John Piper wrote an article in response to the Pope’s action entitled, “Reading the Bible Upside Down: Why the Pope Changed ...Read More

Jul 2019 5 Jul 5, 2019

[On June 30, the Pneuma Review published this short interview with Andrew Gabriel. If you don’t recognize that name, he is the author of a book that I have highly recommended on numerous occasions. The book is, Simply Spirit Filled: Experiencing God in the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit. It is written for a lay audience. It is not technical and no knowledge of Greek is required. Andrew does a great job of addressing some of the more controversial aspects of ...Read More

Jul 2019 3 Jul 3, 2019

What did Jesus mean in John 3 when he spoke to Nicodemus of being born again? The best way to answer that question is by taking note of what Jesus did not mean. And it is, somewhat surprisingly, Nicodemus himself who supplies us with the answer. (1) We know, first of all, that being religious is not the same as being born again. We know this because Jesus was speaking to one of the most religious men in Israel, a Pharisee, and to that man he says, “You, Mr. Pharis...Read More

Jul 2019 1 Jul 1, 2019

One of John Piper’s most important books is entitled God is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2005). The primary emphasis of the book is the fact that, whatever other blessings we might obtain when we believe in Jesus Christ, preeminent over all is the glorious reality of getting God! The Apostle Peter put it this way: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that h...Read More