Justification by Works and Baptism

by Matthew W. Bassford At the end of Romans 3 and the beginning of Romans 4, we encounter the most famous of Paul’s teachings: justification by faith in Jesus. Throughout the context, he contrasts it with justification by works. Abraham was not justified by works, nor was David, nor can we be. From this magnificent…

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Are men called by God to preach?

Question: Why do some people say that in order for a man to preach he has to be called by God? Answer: “Called” is another way to say “invited” or “encouraged to come.” Those who are Christians have been called by God. “You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly…

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What was Jesus talking about in Luke 12:49-50?

Question: Dear Minister, I am deeply interested in your thoughts on something Jesus said. I came to cast fire on the earth and how I wish it were already kindled. I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished. The first is generally described as Jesus’s message…

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I use your material in my children’s class

Question: I am with the children’s ministry in the Lord’s church. I am using your materials to teach my children and it’s helping me a lot. I just want to thank you and pray that God will bless you with more insight in his word so you will continue to be a blessing to us.…

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Was “homosexual” mistranslated?

Question: Hi, I recently came upon a claim that, because of mistranslation, homosexuality was condemned even though it isn’t stated as being bad. I read certain people explaining that I Corinthians 6:9-10 is mistranslated since “homosexual” wasn’t even a word in Ancient Greek. They even claim that only the abuse of boys by older men…

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What constitutes a vow?

Question: Hi Jeffrey, What constitutes a vow is something I’ve been trying to understand. Can you help me understand from the Bible why you say it’s a commitment witnessed by others? It seems like these thoughts I have could be considered rash vows, or they could not be vows at all. I think of them…

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Natural Relations

by Matthew W. Bassford Though the battle is over these days (at least as far as wider American society is concerned), the past couple of decades saw a great deal of strife over the practice of homosexuality. In their ultimately successful assault on Biblical morality, gay-rights proponents adopted three main strategies: rejecting the authority of…

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