When the rapture occurs, 1 Thessalonians 4 tells us that Christ is to bring the souls of those who have died from heaven to earth. He’s going to resurrect their bodies, and their souls will re-enter their bodies permanently in resurrection.
Sin isn’t a popular word. Most people think of sin as doing something really bad, like murder, assault, or robbery. But the word “sin” has the idea of missing the mark, not hitting the target.
The idea is that God has set a glorious standard and when we fail to live by it, we sin. We say, do, and think things that are contrary to God's standard, and the problem is that no matter how much we try and achieve change by ourselves, we just can't succeed.
The Bible teaches that our nature is imprisoned to sin. We miss the mark because we choose creation over the Creator. We look to succeed by our own strength, yet we never shake our own selfish sin. No matter what our education, religious heritage, ethnicity, or financial status, we cannot overcome the power of sin by ourselves. This is a problem.
Just as it is vital to remove the root in order to ensure that the weed will not just grow back, it is essential to bring light to the source of our sin and allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify our hearts, removing sin’s roots.
Perhaps the waters of guilt have washed over you, and you feel like you are sinking in sorrow and regret. What could be preventing you from moving beyond your past and feeling forgiven?
The criminal is now the hero, sadly misunderstood and mistreated. The victim is the selfish sadist who decides to press charges because he is bigoted, rash, or confused. The cold, hard facts are softened and slanted by the semantic footwork of slick political pawns.
How would you communicate the message of James 5:13–16 to people enduring chronic pain or illness? How would you address their deep questions about God’s character? How would you emphasize the importance of prayer and confession in the midst of suffering?
The virgin birth circumvented the transmission of the sin nature and allowed the eternal God to become a perfect man. He never sinned, which qualified Him to be a righteous substitutionary sacrifice for sinners.
The term “restoration” in Scripture, at times, has the greater connotation of receiving back more than has been lost so that the final state is greater than the original condition.
God did not give us His Word to satisfy our curiosity; He gave it to change our lives. Can you name a couple of specific changes God has implemented in your life during the past six or eight months?
Peter’s transformation from a rash fisherman in the Gospels to a bold witness for Christ in the book of Acts boils down to one Person—the Holy Spirit.