The Courageous Manner of Paul’s Preaching

Dr. Robert MartinDr. Robert Martin

Paul says several things to the Ephesian elders which indicate that he exercised great courage in the course of his ministry generally and in his preaching particularly. At 20:22-24, e.g., we read,

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that […]

By | February 22nd, 2014|Herald, Preaching|

The Courageous Manner of Paul’s Preaching and the Fruit of His Preaching in His Own Conscience

Ancient Roman grand theather The grand theater at the ancient Roman town of Ephesus, Turkey Dr. Robert Martin

I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable. . . .

I go bound in the spirit . . . I hold not my life of any account as dear unto myself […]

By | February 22nd, 2014|A Closer Look, Preaching|

The Gospel of the Grace of God

even-smaller-robert-martinDr. Robert Martin

The “good news” is that in a marvelous display of grace, in a remarkable outpouring of generosity and divine philanthropy, where we have earned only eternal damnation, where this is the wages owed, God freely offers salvation to sinners through the merits of his Son! As Paul says to the Romans, “The wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:23). Or, as he says to the Corinthians, “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). That’s grace! That is what the “good news” is about. In a remarkable display of undeserved mercy and favor, God freely, sincerely offers helpless sinners life and salvation. That message was central to the ministry that Paul received from the Lord Jesus, for the sake of which he was willing to hazard his life.
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By | September 20th, 2013|A Closer Look, Gospel|

The Foci and Recurring Themes of Paul’s Preaching

Testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (20:21). In this segment of our study, we are considering Paul’s example as an able and faithful preacher of the Scriptures. In the last chapter we looked at Paul’s claim concerning the scope of his preaching, as described in the words: “I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable” (20:20), “I shrank not from declaring unto you the whole counsel of God” (20:27). In this chapter, we come to . . . The Foci and Recurring Themes of Paul’s Preaching At verse 21, Paul speaks of his “testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” In these words, he identifies a primary focus and recurring emphasis in his preaching, i.e., the companion themes of repentance and faith.

By | August 19th, 2013|A Closer Look, Preaching|

Preaching the Whole Counsel of God

Preaching the Whole Counsel of GodDr. Robert Martin

I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable . . .
I shrank not from declaring unto you the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:20, 27).

In both these statements, Paul tells us about his state of mind as a preacher. The word u`poste,llw (“to draw back”) was used of soldiers who shrank from duty out of fear. We will consider the implications of this word more fully when we take up the manner of Paul’s preaching; but, for now simply note that Paul is saying that from the first day he set foot in Asia, all the time that he went in and out among the Ephesians, at no time had he been a coward in his preaching. At no time had he retreated from his duty to God and to them out of fear of what might happen if he preached the whole counsel of God, i.e., if he preached everything needed for the profit of their souls. In simple terms, the fear of man did not determine the limits of what Paul said. The content of his preaching was not determined by consulting the faces of his hearers, or by consulting his own fears or prejudices. Instead, the only question was, “Is this part of the whole counsel of God, revealed for the profit of men’s souls?” This concern alone determined the scope of Paul’s preaching.
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By | July 25th, 2013|A Closer Look, Preaching|

A Biblical Definition of Joy

biblical_definition_of_joyDr. Robert P. Martin

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11).

Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language defines joy as “a very glad feeling.” That is not very helpful, because it is so incomplete […]

By | January 5th, 2012|A Closer Look, Christian Life|

The Marvelous Blessing Part 2

marvelous_blessing_iiDr. Robert P. Martin

The Loving Exhortation (John 15:9)

“Abide in my love”

It is important that we begin our consideration of these words by noting what they do not mean. When Jesus says in the next verse, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love” (15:10), he is not saying, “You must do certain things in order to enter into my love.” He loved us before the world began. This love stands behind our predestination to the adoption as sons (cf., Eph. 1:4-5). Also, Jesus is not saying that we must do certain things in order to warrant his ongoing love for us, i.e., things apart from which his love for us will diminish or perhaps cease altogether. Having loved us with an eternal love, having committed himself to do everything that is necessary to our ultimately being glorified with him, nothing will be able to separate us from the love of Christ (cf., Rom. 8:28-39).

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By | December 27th, 2011|A Closer Look, Christian Life|

The Marvelous Blessing Part 1

marvelous_blessingDr. Robert P. Martin

“That your joy may be full” (John 15:11)

At 15:9-11, Jesus continues with the subject of abiding in himself; and again he refers his disciples to his own example (cf., 13:34). The train of thought in these verses, as we move from one statement to the next, is such […]

By | December 14th, 2011|A Closer Look, Christian Life|

Christ, The True Vine (John 15:1-11)

vine_pictureDr. Robert P. Martin1

All that Jesus says in the final hours before his arrest (John 13-17) is designed to equip his disciples to fulfill their mission after his departure. Among the things that he addresses is the critical importance of on-going communion with himself. At the heart of his instruction […]

By | November 15th, 2011|A Closer Look, Christian Life|

Christ, The True Vine (John 15:1-11)

vine_pictureAll that Jesus says in the final hours before his arrest (John 13-17) is designed to equip his disciples to fulfill their mission after his departure. Among the things that he addresses is the critical importance of on-going communion with himself. At the heart of his instruction is the remarkable declaration […]

By | November 14th, 2011|Christian Life, Herald|