Fisher of Men

What is Temptation in Christianity?

Temptation is the intentional enticement of a person, by some bait—usually pride, always self-gratifying—to disobey God’s revealed Word. The predicate may be demonic or fleshly, but the object is always the distortion of God’s world and the defiance of God’s mission in the world. Temptation and Original Sin Temptation is as old as, well, the Garden of Eden. The devil, in the form of the serpent, tempted our first parents, Adam and Eve. They fell for the lie, which flattered them, and were led into the trap of death and loss. The rest of the Bible unfurls the redemptive plan of God in Christ. Temptation of Christ Our Lord Jesus, the “second Adam” was “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan” (Matthew 4:1). Though led by the Lord, the Savior was tempted by the Devil (...

What is the Pentateuch? Summary of the Five Books of Moses

The Pentateuch, or books of Moses, are the first five books found in the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These five books ascribed to Moses have a peculiar place in the structure of the Bible, and an order which is undeniably the order of the experience of the people of God in all ages.   The Name “Pentateuch” The term “Pentateuch” does not occur in Scripture, nor is it surely known when the text was thus separated into five parts: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Presumably, that was done by the LXX. translators. Some modern critics speak of a Hexateuch, introducing the Book of Joshua as one of the group. But this book is of an entirely different character from the other books and has a differ...

Was Jesus Actually a Carpenter?

Was Jesus a Carpenter? We can look to the Gospel scripture to know the events and details of Jesus’ life and one verse in particular addresses whether Jesus was actually a carpenter. Mark 6:3 gives us the response by those in Jesus’ hometown when he returned to teach in the synagogue, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.” They refer to Jesus as being previously a carpenter, a trade he likely learned from his father of the same profession.  The Gospel also mentions carpentry in Matthew 13:54-55, saying “Coming to his hometown [Jesus] taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, ‘Where did this man ...

What is the Romans Road to Salvation?

“The Romans Road is a sort of roadmap through various gospel truths that someone, years ago, put together by selecting key verses out of Romans,” Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace to You, said. Watch the full video of his explanation below. [embedded content] God’s plan for human salvation is communicated throughout the entirety of Scripture. The Romans Road to salvation is a collection of verses from the New Testament book of Romans that concisely explain God’s salvation plan. Because this collection is human assembled, not an official Biblical arrangement, some collections may include more or fewer verses than others. For the most part, the Romans Road consists of essentially four parts. The Romans Road Bible Verses 1. The Human Problem (Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23)...

What are the Fruits of the Spirit? What is their Meaning and Purpose?

You may have heard about the fruit of the Spirit and wondered what it is and how it relates to being a Christian. In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul lists nine specific behaviors – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – that are the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life.  Where is the Phrase “Fruit of the Spirit” in the Bible? The phrase “fruit of the spirit” comes from Galatians 5:22-23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” The Greek word καρπός that we translate “fruit” usually means fruit in the sense of edible fruits and vegetables, but it can also be translated as offspring, deed, action...

Who Were the Nephilim in the Bible?

We know from Genesis 6:4 that Nephilim were the offspring of “the sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” When we discuss the details about the Nephilim in Christian circles today, there is always disagreement. Is there a correct answer to who exactly were the Nephilim? Scholars and theologians find this subject fascinating. Nephilim: Fallen Angels or Giants? The word Nephilim is found in the Bible two times, the first is in Genesis 6:1-6 and then again in Numbers 13:33. Scholars and commentators translate the word Nephilim as giants or fallen ones. Even among the most brilliant there is debate on translating this term. One reason Nephilim is often translated as “fallen ones” is the relation to the Hebrew word “naphal” (to fall). One school of thought associates these beings w...

What is Ash Wednesday? & Why Do Christians Celebrate It

Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection. Who Celebrates Ash Wednesday? Have you ever noticed how once a year, usually in February or March, there are a lot of people walking around with an ash cross on their foreheads? You probably knew it had something to do with Lent, but you weren’t sure why the ash cross was sign...

What Is the Kingdom of God?

The Kingdom of God is mentioned through the Old and New Testament of the Bible. As a Christian, it’s important to understand the meaning behind this phrase that is often confusing for many Christians and non-Christians. If someone asked you what the kingdom of God meant, would you know how to answer them? Let’s take a look at the original Greek and Hebrew meaning of the phrase, the different phrases used throughout the Bible, what it means to seek first the Kingdom of God and how to  live and pray with the Kingdom of God in mind.   Origin & Meaning of The Kingdom of God From the coming of Jesus Christ to begin the kingdom, through the whole story of redemptive history and the Church, we see a clear picture of the Gospel. This “kingdom of God” is mentioned in Scrip...

5 Ways We Can All Relate to Charles Spurgeon

At first glance, most of us have little in common with Charles Spurgeon. Many of us who grew up around church have heard the name of Charles Spurgeon but know little about who he was or what he is remembered for. Ask any pastor, and they will surely know quite a bit about this man who continues to influence us today. Spurgeon has been called the “prince of preachers,” and one could say that he was a sort of Billy Graham in his time. He preached the gospel unapologetically in a way that was understandable to all.   A Legacy of Accomplishments Spurgeon became a pastor at age 19, and with his masterful speech and strong grasp of theology, was already impressing those who heard him. He was also a strong writer and wrote his first gospel tract at the same age. Over time, Spurge...

What Is Protestantism & Why Is it Important?

“Doctrine on Fire:” An Introduction to Protestantism: One of the most famous works on the origins of Protestantism began with this literary portraiture: “The man who thus called upon a saint was later to repudiate the cult of the saints. He who vowed to become a monk was later to renounce monasticism. A loyal son of the Catholic Church, he was later to shatter the structure of medieval Catholicism. A devoted servant of the pope, he was later to identify the popes with Antichrist. For this young man was Martin Luther.”1 The late Dr. Roland Bainton’s magnus opus on the Reformation, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther rightly centers the Protestant faith on the extraordinary person of Martin Luther. It is hard to overestimate the importance of Martin Luther (1483-1546) to the Reformati...

How to Read & Understand the Bible in 4 Simple Steps

There are four steps to mastering the Bible so well that the Bible masters you: 1. Read the Bible 2. Study the Bible 3. Memorize the Bible 4. Meditate on the Bible Seems simple. Obvious, even, for those who have been Christians for a while. Yet very few people take all four steps. Many take one step. Some take two steps. Very few take all four steps. As a result, very few people ever experience the full life transformation, the fellowship with God, the spiritual stability and strength, the power in ministry, the joy in worship, and the spiritual prosperity that the Bible promises to those who master it so well that it masters them. Step #1: Read the Bible for Breadth of Knowledge To begin a mastery of the Bible, you must read the Bible. This may seem self-evident to some, but to others who...

10 Valuable Reasons to Know the History of Christian Theology

Sam Storms Pastor, Author History, according to one cynic, is nothing but “the succession of one d___ thing after another.” Unfortunately, many Christians would agree, although one hopes they wouldn’t use precisely the same terminology! The fact is, people wonder why the history of Christian theology is worthy of our time and energy. Facts, dates, and dead people do not inspire much excitement, and many doubt the practical value of spending time on something that cannot be changed. Alister McGrath has pointed out that “history is often the refuge of people who cannot cope with the present and find consolation in turning over the pages of the past in a wistful manner.” They are more comfortable discussing Augustine’s doctrine of God than their own. “Those who find theological self-dis...