Category Archives: Bible Passages

“Exegesis” can be defined as the discipline by which one studies a passage of the Bible in order to draw out and discover the original author’s intended meaning. In the process, the exegete will take into consideration the passage’s grammar and vocabulary in its original language, any known background from its historical context or what we know about the author, the passage just before and just after as well as how it fits into the argument of the book as a whole, its place in redemptive history, and so forth.

This practice is the opposite of “eisegesis” which involves reading our ideas “into” a passage rather than drawing it “out of” the text. The student must lay aside any unbiblical presuppositions and even his or her own feelings in order to let the text speak for itself.

Exegesis differs also from “proof texting,” where one makes a claim and then cites a list of verses that talk about it. Although proof texting is not bad in and of itself, a passage can be tacked onto the end of a paragraph in parenthesis and yet not actually prove the author’s point. The discipline of exegesis removes this danger by seeking the main point of each passage. Further, rather than labeling each text by the doctrine they support, we will know them by their originally intended meaning. For example, instead of considering Hebrews 2:1-4 a passage in favor of cessationism, we will see it as a passage that calls us to heed God’s Word.

In this portion of our blog we will study various passages of the Bible and discover their meaning based on their context. We may at times go line by line through a book while at other times diving into one key passage. We may at times study a passage in commentary form while at other times addressing a passage commonly taken out of context and offer a more sound explanation of it. Having dug up the meaning of each individual passage, we will discuss ways to apply it to our lives.

Enjoy!

We should not read the theme of humilityand unity into the intro of Philippians

Philippians 1:1 and Authorial Intent: Don’t Read Humility Into Everything

Humility and the unity among the body of Christ are main themes in Philippians. Sadly, however, many commentators read that theme into the introduction to the letter (1:1). This then turns the opening into some secret code that the original readers would not have understood. But when it is all boiled down, the opening of Philippians is just like any other opening, and a common sense reading is best. 

I am not downplaying the importance of asking questions during Bible study. It is certainly important to ask why every word and phrase is worded the way it is, for every detail was directed by the Holy Spirit. However, it is when exegetes are not satisfied with the most common sense answer, hoping to be “scholarly” and find some deeper innuendo, that I have a problem with these speculations. So it is important to ask in regards to the opening of the letter to the Philippians, “Why does Paul call himself a slave of Christ in this letter?” However, we must be willing to stop where authorial intent stops, which is as easy as, “Because he viewed himself as Christ’s slave.” Continue reading Philippians 1:1 and Authorial Intent: Don’t Read Humility Into Everything

Financial support is what the good work is referring to

A Proof Text for Eternal Security? The Real “Good Work” in Philippians 1:6

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)At first glance, this verse seems like a perfect proof text for eternal security (or, perseverance of the saints). God does the good work of saving us and bringing us to Jesus, all by His grace, and by that same saving grace He keeps us in His hand where none may pluck us out. While I agree that this is so, I must say that this is not the meaning of Philippians 1:6. By considering this verse in its immediate context, as well as the context of the epistle itself, we shall see that Paul has something quite different in mind. “Participation in the gospel” (v. 5), and “partakers of grace” (v. 7), as well as “began a good work in you” (v. 6) all sound like Paul is talking about their common faith in Jesus and salvation through him. However, this is only the conclusion of a surface reading. I contend, on the other hand, that Paul is referring to their financial support of his apostolic ministry. Continue reading A Proof Text for Eternal Security? The Real “Good Work” in Philippians 1:6

Are the Non-Elect Predestined For Hell? A Defense of Equal Ultimacy

So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.” (Romans 9:18)

The doctrine taught in this verse is called Equal Ultimacy. It has to do with double predestination. All Calvinists agree that God unconditionally elects totally depraved sinners and then exercises irresistible grace so that they believe–but what about the rest of humanity? What about those who were not elect before the foundation of the world?

My position is that God exercises the same freedom in His hardening as He does in showing mercy. In the same way that God chooses who goes to heaven and then works faith into them, so also He chooses who goes to hell and then hardens/blinds them. In the same way that election is unconditional, so also is reprobation equally as unconditional. Continue reading Are the Non-Elect Predestined For Hell? A Defense of Equal Ultimacy

What God Saves Us From

Sermons by Joshua Chipchase
Faith Baptist Church, Oxford, OH
July 2 & 9, 2017
Titus 2:11-14

Continue reading What God Saves Us From

What did Peter mean when he said that Paul's letters contain things that are hard to understand​?

Are Paul’s Letters Hard to Understand? Rethinking 2 Peter 3:16

There is a famous go-to verse in Second Peter for those trying to say that Paul’s letters are confusing and hard to understand. Peter’s words are frequently taken to mean that we cannot properly interpret many of the theological discourses in Paul. His statement has often been used as a cop-out in (losing) debates over a Pauline text. But is this really what Peter meant? Is he really telling his audience that they should throw in the towel and give up on Pauline exegesis? I encourage you to read the entire context in which the verse is found (see passage below), and then we will get into reasons why we can still understand Paul, and why this verse does not teach that we cannot: Continue reading Are Paul’s Letters Hard to Understand? Rethinking 2 Peter 3:16

The Shack: A Sub-Christian Explanation for Evil

The Shack, written by William P. Young and adapted to film in 2017 by Lionsgate media, tells the story of a man named Mackenzie who loses his daughter to a brutal murderer. In his grief, he is later summoned to the shack in which his daughter died by the Holy Trinity manifesting themselves as a black woman, a mid-eastern man, and an Asian woman. The film attempts to provide a Christian understanding of how human suffering and evil can exist when an all-powerful beneficent God exists. However, it ultimately fails to provide either a Biblical or comprehensive solution to the problem it addresses.

Continue reading The Shack: A Sub-Christian Explanation for Evil

He rescues us from this present age

Jesus Delivered Himself to Deliver Us (Galatians 1:4)

“[Jesus] gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age according to the will of God our Father.”

The statement is at the introduction of Paul’s letter and seems to simply be an outburst of doxology. He is overwhelmed at the tremendous mercy of Christ. However, from verse 6 of this chapter we can glean that Paul is not merely rejoicing in this faith. Rather, he is strategically stating the true gospel right out of the gate. You see, the very next thing Paul mentions after this work of Christ is that the Galatians are falling into a different gospel. Thus his statement in verse 4 is that real, saving gospel from which the Galatians are deviating. They had lost focus of the cross. Continue reading Jesus Delivered Himself to Deliver Us (Galatians 1:4)

How the cross carries us down the chain of Salvation

The Cross and the Golden Chain of Salvation (Romans 8:31-34)

In our original post on the Golden Chain of Salvation we looked at Romans 8:30 as our key verse. There we examined each stage in the process (predestination, calling, justification, and glorification) and concluded that, by God’s power, the links of the chain cannot be broken. If one part of the chain applies to somebody, we know the rest will too.

Now we will continue on in Romans 8 where Paul elaborates upon and solidifies what he has already said about the golden chain. Bringing up Christ’s death and resurrection Paul shows how our security is rooted in God’s justice (vv. 31-34), and in His love (vv. 35-39). Christians are hammered with opposition and trials in this life, but because Jesus died for us we can rest assured that nothing can “unlink” us from the chain of salvation. Continue reading The Cross and the Golden Chain of Salvation (Romans 8:31-34)

sin spreads from Adam to all human beings it is universal

Is Sin Universal? Answers From Romans

Sin absolutely is universal. The Bible gives us a clear answer to this inquiry: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). In its original context, that statement comes after Paul spells out the doctrine that all humans, whether Jew or Gentile, are under sin. This has been the point of his letter since the end of the introduction. This letter is all about the gospel, and one cannot understand salvation without a knowledge of sin. Further, when we grasp the universality of sin our worldview will be better equipped to interpret the evil and pain in this world. Continue reading Is Sin Universal? Answers From Romans

World Peace

There has been war throughout human history. Where does war come from? How will they end? Is there hope for world Peace? These are questions in the hearts and minds of people throughout the world. The United Nations was even founded in an effort to maintain and seek world peace. After the Second World War its purpose was stated in its charter: ‘We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind,…’ (http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/preamble/index.html)

Continue reading World Peace