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Classic Sermon Index Launched

On November 12, 2013, Free Will Baptist pastor Paul Harrison launched ClassicSermonIndex.com, a website housing a vast collection of historical sermons. The 42,000 sermons date as far back as the second century and are indexed by primary biblical text for simple searching. Each sermon is cataloged according to its principal text, author, book title, […]

By |November 12th, 2013|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Sermon Preparation|Comments Off

Green Tree Bible Study: Parables on the Cost of Discipleship (Luke 14:25-33)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Here are two short parables that Luke groups together. Neither of them appears in the other gospels. Apparently, Jesus meant to convey the same message through them both. Sometimes that message is seen as negative. It is summarized in v. 33 and is shown to not be negative after all. Let’s look at these two parables to get an understanding of this point.

The first parable is found in vv. 28-30. It might be called “The Parable of the Unfinished Tower.” As was often His custom, Jesus introduces it with a “Which of you?” question that expects the answer “No one.” The question is whether a person would start building something without first making sure he has enough to complete it. Obviously, no rational person would do so. Otherwise he might wind up with a building left unfinished. This would make him an object of ridicule. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship|Comments Off

Green Tree Bible Study 22: Scoffers and the Day of the Lord (2 Peter 3:1-9)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Peter has been making passing references to the day of the Lord (7:19; 2:3, 9). Now he comes to the subject in earnest. He makes several important points.

First, he briefly mentions the purpose of this epistle (vv. 1, 2). Peter desired his readers have a means of keeping in mind the teachings of the prophets and apostles. As we shall see, he was thinking primarily of the teachings concerning the day of the Lord.

Second, he warns readers that scoffers will rise (vv.3, 4). The phrase “The promise of His coming” refers to Jesus’ promised coming. This is the truth that will be mocked. Why? They will mock it because they “proceed after their own lusts.” People live in fleshly indulgence find it easier to deny the coming of the Lord. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine|Comments Off

Green Tree Bible Study 21: The Perverse Way of False Teachers (2 Peter 2:10-17)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Peter has assured us that false teachers are always a danger (2:1-3). Now he launches into an impassioned description of these false teachers. In doing so he utilizes ceremonial language that flows without break through verse 17. Let us look at the various points of this description.

First, they “walk after the flesh” (v. 10a). They follow where flesh leads—to a lust for things that pollute.

Second, they are characterized by arrogant blasphemy (vv. 10b, 11). “Despise” in verse 10 is from the Greek word kataphroneo: “think down.” Here it means to “look down upon.” The word “Government” here is better translated “lordship” and almost certainly refers to Christ’s. In other words, they hold in contempt the Lordship of Christ. They are audacious, self-willed, and unafraid when blaspheming “dignities” and “glories” (Greek: doxai). (This probably refers to the glorious things of Christ.) […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine|Comments Off

Green Tree Bible Study 20: Apostasy—The Awful End of False Teaching (2 Peter 2:18-22)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Peter has just been describing false teachers (vv. 10-17). In verses 18-19 he makes a transition from their character to the awful result of the teaching.

First, he indicates that immature believers are the false teachers’ prey (vv. 18, 19). The passage says the false teachers “allure” their victims (v. 18). This is the same word as “beguile” in v. 14, a word used in Greek for a fisherman’s bait. The bait used here is a “promise” (v. 19). They promise “Liberty,” a false liberty that indulges the lusts of the flesh (v. 18-19).

The falseness of their promise is picturesquely described as “over-swollen words of emptiness” (v. 18). But there’s a catch, a “hook.” They themselves are servants (Greek douloí: bond slaves) of corruption. And any person they catch will become slaves of the flesh as well. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine|Comments Off

Green Tree Bible Study 19: The Certain Appearance and Judgment of False Teachers (2 Peter 2:1-9)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

You might have wondered why Peter made spiritual growth so important in chapter one. The answer is in chapter two: erroneous teaching exists to threaten the spiritually immature. Peter tells us to expect the certain appearance and judgment of false teachers. He deals with each of these characteristics individually. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship|Comments Off

Green Tree Bible Study 18: God’s Word and Spiritual Growth (2 Peter 1:12-21)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Peter has urged us to “grow in grace” (l:5-11). He has assured God has provided everything we need for that (l:3, 4). Now we are going to find out that we need more than bread to live. We are sustained by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Thus in 1:12-27, Peter will discuss the proper use God’s Word as a means for instruction and spiritual development. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship|Comments Off

Green Tree Bible Study 17: Add to Your Faith (2 Peter 1:5-11)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Being a Christian is more than going to heaven when you die. It also includes continually living for God in the here and now. It includes growing toward spiritual maturity. Peter has assured us that God has provided everything needed for our spiritual well being. He now expounds and expands on the subject.

First, he exhorts us in the proper manner of spiritual growth (1:5-7). Adding it to our “faith” is the key. In attitude we are to be “giving all diligence.” The Greek word used here is spoude. This carries the idea of earnestness or zeal—even urgency.

There are seven Christian graces we should earnestly strive to add to our saving faith. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship|Comments Off