Berkouwer on the authority of Holy Scripture

Discussing the authority of Holy Scripture in the modern world, Berkouwer writes, “The confession of the authority of the Word of God can never be isolated from the saving content of the Word of God” (Modern Uncertainty and Christian Faith, p. 14, emphasis mine).In confessing that the Bible is the Word of God, the believer …

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Praying Through God’s Word: 1 Chronicles

1:1-54Sometimes, Lord, we read, in your Word, things that make us wonder, "What's this all about?" What are You saying to us in the parts of the Bible that don't jump out at us? We ask, "Do we really need to read a long list of names?" You say to us, "All of these people …

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Berkouwer on the Spirit and the Scriptures

Berkouwer emphasizes the present activity of the Spirit in pointing men to Christ through the words of the Bible - "Scripture is the Word of God because the Holy Spirit witnesses in it of Christ” (Holy Scripture, p. 162, emphasis mine); “the purpose of the God-breathed Scripture is … to witness of the salvation of …

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Praying Through God’s Word: John’s Gospel

John 1:1-34We thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus – “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). What a wonderful thing this is – it’s the great exchange: Jesus has taken our sin, and we receive His salvation.John 1:35-2:25Help us, Lord, to look beyond what we are right …

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Praying Through God’s Word: 1 Peter

1 Peter 1:1-25What kind of people are we to be? You’re calling us to be holy. You’re calling us to be loving. It’s not holiness without love. It’s not love without holiness. It’s holiness. It’s love. This, Lord, is the life You’re calling us to live. Help us to walk with You in holiness and …

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Praying Through God’s Word: 2 Peter

2 Peter 1:1-2:10aWe thank You, Lord, for Your “very great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4). You’re leading us on, with Yourself, to “a rich welcome into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11). The pathway to heavenly and eternal glory will not be easy – but we’re not …

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Praying Through God’s Word: 2 Timothy

2 Timothy 1:1-2:7Lord, we’re not to keep Your Word to ourselves. You’ve given us the “Gospel.” Help us to share it with “faithful” people who will “pass it on to others” (2 Timothy 1:11,13 & 2:2).2 Timothy 2:8-3:9Help us, Lord, to “remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8). Jesus is the living …

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My One Year Bible – Days 91-120

Numbers 31:25-32:42; Luke 8:40-9:9; Psalm 40:1 In Moses’ time, the people of God were to “arm themselves before the Lord for battle” (Numbers 32:20). In Jesus’ time, His disciples were given “power and authority to drive out all demons …” (Luke 9:1). In every generation, the Lord’s people are to sing “a new song … …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Hebrews

Hebrews 1:1-2:9We thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus Christ. He is our Lord.  He came from heaven, where He is worshipped by angels (Hebrews 1:6). He is our Saviour. He came to earth where “He suffered death, so that, by the grace of God, He might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). Help us, …

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Karl Barth and Universalism: Comments from Berkouwer, Brown, Bromiley and Bloesch

By asking us to consider the question, “How convincing is Barth’s rejection of universalism?”, Berkouwer is really calling in question Barth’s understanding of election. He is really asking, “Does Scripture teach this idea of universal election?”—–Colin Brown has also been forthright on this point. He suggests that Barth’s reservation with regard to universalism should have …

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Praying Through God’s Word: 2 Kings

2 Kings 1:1-2:13Lord, there is always something more to be done for You. Help us never to say, “I’ll leave it to someone else” or “I’ll leave it until tomorrow.” The things that are left to someone else or left until tomorrow often end up becoming the things that never get done. Help us, Lord, …

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Berkouwer’s theology of the relationship between grace and faith

The more I thought of my own work on Berkouwer, the more I came to feel that the key Biblical text is Ephesians 2:8 - "By grace you have been saved through faith". The emphasis is on the absolute necessity of both grace and faith. It is not 'by grace you have been saved without …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Daniel

DANIEL 1:1-2:16 ‘Daniel resolved not to defile himself’ (Daniel 1:8). We thank You, Lord, that Daniel was devoted to You. It was not easy to live as Your faithful servant. His dedication to You was put to the test – ‘Test your servants’ (Daniel 1:12). Our faith is put to the test. We ‘suffer many …

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Journey through the New Testament: Mark

Mark 1- 3 With the command, ‘Follow Me’, there is the promise, ‘I will make you fishers of men’ (1:17). Jesus prayed (1:35). Jesus was mighty before men. The power of God was flowing freely. Jesus knew where the power comes from - He was humble before God. There is a world of difference between …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Isaiah

Isaiah 1:1-31 We thank You, Lord, that You invite us to “come” to You and receive salvation – “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Along with Your promise, there is also Your warning: “if you refuse and rebel … ” (Isaiah 1:18-20). You call us to believe in …

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Our Faith is rooted in the Truth of the Gospel.

Berkouwer emphasizes both objectivity and subjectivity. He does this by emphasizing that faith’s subjective certainty is rooted in the truth of the Gospel. “Faith involves a certain subjectivity, … a subjectivity which has meaning only as it is bound to the gospel.” (Faith and Justification, p. 30). “the church’s … certainty is bound to certain …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Ezekiel

Ezekiel 1:1-2:10 ‘The heavens were opened and I saw visions of God… The Word of the Lord came to Ezekiel’(Ezekiel 1:1-2). Lord, You open our eyes to ‘see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 4:4). You Lord speak to us. Help us to listen to You: ‘Speak, Lord, for …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Philippians

Philippians 1:1-2:11Lord, there are times when we feel like we can’t go on, times when we feel like giving up. When we feel like this, speak to us Your Word of encouragement: “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).Philippians 2:12-3:11Lord, we have …

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Praying Through God’s Word: 1 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:20When we gather together to hear the preaching of Your Word, show us, Lord, that we need more than the “words” of the preacher. Show us that we need “the power of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:5). Help us, when we hear Your Word, to know that it is more than “the …

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Rev James Philip’s Daily Bible Reading Notes

Old Testament Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth 1 Samuel 2 Samuel 1 Kings 2 Kings 1 Chronicles 2 Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah Esther Job Psalms 1-50 Psalms 51-100 Psalms 101-150 Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Songs Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi New …

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Bible Study Resources

The Treasury of David  1599 Geneva Study Bible Matthew Henry Calvin’s Complete CommentariesIVP New TestamentCommentaries Bible Pathway My Utmost for His Highest JohnWesley Bible Gateway CrosswalkBlueLetter Bible Rev James Philip’s Daily Bible Reading Notes “Preaching and Teaching” by James Philip

Praying Through God’s Word: 2 Corinthians

2 Corinthians 1:1-2:11Lord, You “comfort us in all our affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). You turn our times of trouble into times of great blessing. When bad things are happening to us, You keep on loving us. You don’t leave us on our own when the going gets tough. You’re with us in the good times …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Joel

JOEL   1:1-2:17‘Joel’ means ‘the Lord is God.’ We thank You, Lord, that You are our God. You are ‘gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love…’. Teach us to ‘return to You, the Lord our God.’ Help us to ‘return to You with all our heart.’ May we always look to You …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Malachi

MALACHI1:1-2:17Lord, You look upon us in our sin. What do You see? You see ‘the Wicked Land. You see ‘a people always under the wrath of the Lord’ (Malachi 1:4). You look at what Christ has done for us – ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’; ‘While we were still sinners, Christ …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Hosea

HOSEA 1:1-3:5 ‘Hosea’ means ‘salvation’. Married to ‘an adulterous wife’, Hosea spoke with great compassion to ‘the land’ which was ‘guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord’ (Hosea 1:2). We thank You, Lord, that Hosea brought Your Word of love to the people: ‘I will show My love to the one I …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Jonah

JONAH1:1-2:10‘Salvation comes from the Lord’ (Jonah 2:9). We can never save ourselves. We can only be saved – by You, Lord. Left to our own devices, we ‘flee from Your presence.’ We ‘run away from You’ (Jonah 1:3). Sin – This is the story of our life. Salvation – This is the story of what …

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Old songs, new songs – let us sing of the Lord’s great love.

"I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations" (Psalm 89:1). "I will sing" - In the worship of God, there are old songs, and there are new songs. There was a time when the old songs were new songs. There will come …

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Whatever the future holds for us, God will be there with us and for us.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil" (Proverbs 3:5-7). There are many things in life that we don't understand. When we don't understand what's going on, …

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Let us remember – that the Lord remembers us.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). "God has set eternity in the human heart" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”" (Ecclesiastes 12:1). The book of Ecclesiastes begins …

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Lord – give us strength. Give us your strength.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but …

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