Category: Look Inside

Life Lessons: Ephesians 2:1-22

Posted by on 11/27/2017 in: ,

SITUATION

The Ephesians forgot what God did to save them and to make them a part of his Body.

OBSERVATION

God’s mercy plucks us from the destruction of our countless sins and places us in Jesus Christ’s righteousness.

INSPIRATION

When I read a verse like Ephesians 2:4, I feel I have discovered God’s roadblock on one’s way to hell—[But God’s mercy is great.] He is so rich in mercy that none need perish, but individuals must come to God in his appointed way. I adore the mercy that had lovingkindness, pity and compassion on me. . . .

Let me give you a modern illustration of mercy in action.

One day, a Christian named Paul went into a coffee shop, sat on a stool, and ordered his lunch. When he began speaking to the man next to him, he realized that Fred was in deep spiritual need. After sharing the gospel with him, Paul arranged to meet him again. It was at the second meeting that Fred was converted. Then Paul began to disciple him on a one-on-one basis, and Fred grew in grace and in knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

But it wasn’t long before Fred learned that he had a life-threatening disease. He had to go to a convalescent hospital that was sadly substandard. Paul visited him regularly, bathed him, changed the sheets, and did other chores that the staff should have been doing. The night Fred died, Paul was holding him in his arms, whispering verses of Scripture in his ear. That’s mercy. It’s a wonderful thing to see that Godlike quality in a human life.

APPLICATION

Are there some people around you who slip through the cracks unnoticed? Is there a lonely widow? An insecure junior-high student? A struggling single mother? Pay these people a visit—bring flowers or another gift; invest some time in their lives.

EXPLORATION

To learn more about mercy, look at Matthew 5:7; Luke 6:36; and 2 Peter 3:9.

THE DEVOTIONAL BIBLE NOTES

The Devotional Bible Notes — Experience the Heart of Jesus is written by Max Lucado. Not only will you have access to plenty of life lessons (like the one you read above) but also several indexes to help you find verses for certain life situations. Some of these lists that Lucado provides are “When You Feel Depressed,” “When You Encounter Discrimination,” and “When You Need to Lead.”

To learn more about this resource, visit our website.

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Look Inside: Expositor’s Bible Commentary

Posted by on 11/23/2017 in: ,

WHAT IS IT?

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary is a Gold Medallion Christian Book Award-winning resource! It is considered a major contribution to the study and understanding of the Scriptures. This 12-volume reference work is a staple for seminary and college libraries. Without a doubt, it provides pastors and Bible students with the comprehensive, scholarly tools needed to exegete, teach, and proclaim the Word.

It was compiled between the years of 1976-1992 with 50 different authors contributing.

FROM THE AUTHOR

One of the best ways to know more about a commentary set is to hear from the author. Here is an introduction from Frank Gaebelein, the main editor:

Written primarily by expositors for expositors, [this series] aims to provide preachers, teachers, and students of the Bible with a new and comprehensive commentary on the books of the Old and New Testaments. Its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible.

Its seventy-eight contributors come from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland, and from various religious groups, including Anglican, Baptist, Brethren, Free, Independent, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and Reformed churches…

Whatever else [the Bible] is—the greatest and most beautiful of books, the primary source of law and morality, the fountain of wisdom, and the infallible guide to life—the Bible is above all the inspired witness to Jesus Christ.

May this work fulfill its function of expounding the Scriptures with grace and clarity, so that its users may find that both Old and New Testaments do indeed lead to our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone could say, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Frank E. Gaebelein, the original Expositor’s Bible Commentary

HOW DOES IT WORK?

In the Olive Tree Bible App all of this content is easily accessed in the Resource Guide found in the split window. No matter which commentary you are using they both follow along with the scripture in your main window to give you easy access to expositional commentary, charts, outlines and more.

How does this affect you? It makes your study of God’s Word a smoother process. You don’t have to flip pages or have your desk full of open books. Instead, our app serves you the material you need, that is relevant to the passage your studying. We want to help you steward your time well!

Here’s a few screenshots of how the resource looks in our app.

Each number indicates relevant entries for the passage

Notes are just a tap away

Charts and outlines are easy to use

LEARN MORE

You can learn more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (12 Volumes) by visiting our website.

If you’re looking for a reliable, comprehensive commentary set, the price won’t get much better than this. Don’t forget that this discounted price is only good for our Black Friday sale!

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Which Expositor’s Commentary is Right for Me?

Posted by on 11/23/2017 in: ,

You may have noticed that we have two commentary sets that are nearly identical in title:

The 12-volume set is heavily discounted for our Black Friday sale, which is helpful—if you know what it is and why it will enhance your study of God’s Word. So, this blog post will explain just that: what is the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, what are the differences between the two, and how it will help you study deeper.

AUTHORSHIP

Both commentary sets have a strong evangelical influence while at the same time drawing from a broad diversity of churches, including Anglican, Baptist, Brethren, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and Reformed.

The original Expositor’s Bible Commentary was compiled between the years of 1976-1992 with 50 different authors contributing.

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Revised Series is a 2012 update to the original that includes the work of 56 different authors – 30 of whom are new.

CONTENT

The original and the revised editions include the following content:

  • Comprehensive introductions
  • Short and precise bibliographies
  • Detailed outlines
  • Insightful expositions of passages and verses
  • Overviews of sections of Scripture to illuminate the big picture
  • Occasional reflections to give more detail on important issues
  • Notes on textual questions and special problems, placed close to the texts in question
  • Transliterations and translations of Hebrew and Greek words, enabling readers to understand even the more technical notes

Both sets use the NIV for its English text, but also refer freely to other translations and to the original languages. Each book of the Bible has, in addition to its exposition, an introduction, outline, and bibliography. They also include a balanced and respectful approach toward marked differences of opinion.

HOW IT WORKS

In the Olive Tree Bible App all of this content is easily accessed in the Resource Guide found in the split window. No matter which commentary you are using they both follow along with the scripture in your main window to give you easy access to expositional commentary, charts, outlines and more.

How does this affect you? It makes your study of God’s Word a smoother process. You don’t have to flip pages or have your desk full of open books. Instead, our app serves you the material you need, that is relevant to the passage your studying. We want to help you steward your time well!

Here’s a few screenshots of how the resource looks in our app.

Each number indicates relevant entries for the passage

Notes are just a tap away

Charts and outlines are easy to use

LEARN MORE

You can learn more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (12 Volumes) by visiting our website.

If you’re looking for a reliable, comprehensive commentary set, the price won’t get much better than this. Don’t forget that this discounted price is only good for our Black Friday sale!

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A Camel Through… What?

Posted by on 11/21/2017 in: ,

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'” —Matthew 19:23

A CAMEL THROUGH… WHAT?

If you’ve read this passage before, you have probably pictured something like this:

But the Archaeological Study Bible notes have information on this passage that you have probably NEVER heard. At least, I hadn’t!

THE LEGEND OF THE NEEDLE’S EYE GATE

“Since the Middle Ages commentators have considered the possibility that Jesus’ statement concerning the ‘eye of a needle’ (Mt 19:24) may have been a reference to certain doors or gates that actually existed in his day. Some homes did in fact have large doors that would allow a fully loaded camel to enter into the courtyard. Since such doors were cumbersome and required great effort to open, there were often smaller doors cut within them, permitting easy passage of people and smaller animals into the house.

Some interpreters have argued that this smaller door was the ‘needle’s eye gate,’ while others have suggested that the needle’s eye referred to smaller doors within larger city gates, such as those at Jaffa and Hebron. Passage through the smaller gate, it was said, would have forced a camel to its knees. Thus, the point of Jesus’ teaching in verse 24 is supposedly that a rich man can enter the kingdom of heaven only if he falls down to his knees.” — Archaeological Study Bible notes

IS THE LEGEND TRUE?

“As illustrative as these theories are, they in fact diminish the force of Jesus’ words. The point is not that salvation is difficult without God but that it is impossible without him.

Jesus’ contrast of the largest animal known in Palestine with the smallest of holes created a vivid and memorable illustration. The fact that modern-day gates have been so named can most likely be attributed to the influence of this and similar statements within the Talmud and the Koran. In other words, the term “needle’s eye gate” most likely did not precede the teaching; rather, the popularity of the term evidently came about because of the teaching.

But in Jesus’ original setting, it is very likely that a needle’s eye was simply a needle’s eye and not a gate at all.” — Archaeological Study Bible notes

BE CAREFUL!

Lastly, the Archaeological Study Bible warns Bible readers to beware of legendary, pseudo-archaeological interpretations. Why? Because they can be misleading and undermine the true meaning of a Biblical text.

We should always be careful about what we believe! Refer to reliable resources (like this one!), ask lots of questions, and seek input.

LEARN MORE

Interested in more of what the Archaeological Study Bible has to offer? Great! Here are two ways to learn more:

  1. Visit our blog post What’s in the Archaeological Study Bible – simple enough!
  2. Visit our website to read the product description and watch a video on how study Bibles work in the app.

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What’s Inside the Archaeological Study Bible?

Posted by on 11/20/2017 in: ,

When I first heard about the Archaeological Study Bible, I wasn’t sure what to think.  My initial thought was how could there be an entire Bible devoted to archaeological study?  And honestly, how could a study Bible devoted to archaeological study not be a snoozer?

So, I got a copy of the Archaeological Study Bible and began looking through it.  Wow, was I impressed (and wrong)!

WHAT MAKES IT GREAT?

The Archaeological Study Bible is a great resource.  There are 520 articles covering five main categories:

  1. Archaeological Sites
  2. Cultural and Historical Notes
  3. Ancient Peoples and Lands
  4. Reliability of the Bible
  5. Ancient Texts and Artifacts.

IT’S  ENHANCED!

Additionally, our app enriches the Archaeological Study Bible. As you read through your Bible, the Study Center will keep you synced with your reading. If this study Bible has content related to the passage of the Bible you are reading, the Resource Guide will let you know.

Here’s an example of an article on the Zealots and Essenes:

SO MANY PHOTOS

Also included are almost 500 full-color photographs throughout the text.  Here’s two examples:

Throughout the text there are detailed charts like this one:

At the end of the Archaeological Study Bible there are several maps that help you get an idea of the placement of biblical events:

The authors of the Archaeological Study Bible also included detailed book introductions for every book of the Bible. Other study tools include a glossary, extensive concordance and several indexes to help you find articles relevant to your study.

LEARN MORE

As you can see, you can spend hours learning the historical background of the Bible and the settings in which biblical events took place.  The articles and pictures will give you insights into the Bible and make you feel like you could have been there. Interested? Check out the Archaeological Study Bible in our store.

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NEW! NKJV Unapologetic Study Bible

Posted by on 11/17/2017 in: ,

ANSWERS FOR TODAY

Have you ever wished that the Bible spoke directly about controversial issues we face today? The NKJV Unapologetic Study Bible hopes to bridge the gap between God’s instruction and today’s questions. But how?

The goal of this Bible is to inspire believers to Christlike thought, belief, speech, and action. It is intended to help Christians from all walks of life to live their lives according to biblical principles, using information and encouragement based on a wealth of resources from around the glove and from ancient times up to the present day.

Normally, when you have a question about a present-day issue, you have to thumb through your Bible hoping to find a passage that relates somehow. Or, it’s the other way around. Reading the Bible doesn’t always seem to speak to things related to today, and you’re stuck trying to make connections on your own.

With this study Bible, you can be pointed in a good direction, without leaving your Bible app.

WHAT’S INSIDE?

There are eight subject areas covered in this study Bible:

  1. Church
  2. Corruption
  3. Economics
  4. Education
  5. Family
  6. Government
  7. Sanctity of Life
  8. Virtue

Emmanuel A. Kampouris, the publisher of Kairos Journal, wrote this study Bible. The notes and features of the NKJV Unapologetic Study Bible are based on his extensive online resource. Each of the listed subject areas contain articles regarding controversial topics such as: Taxation, Evolution, Parenting, Abortion, and more.

Here is an example!

Here is a list of everything included in this resource:

  • Book Introductions: Provide key passages and background information for each book
  • Articles: Over 220 articles placed near relevant Scripture passages bring keen biblical insight to the current issues of the day
  • Quotations: Over 60 quotations from historical figures help you understand, first, that the issues of the day are not new; and second, that wise people throughout history have been challenged to live by biblical standards, just as we are today
  • Unapologetic Profiles: Over 40 profiles of historical figures inspire you with biblical faith lived out in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances
  • Indexes: Categorize each of the above features to assist you in a topical study
    of the issues that matter to you

HOW IT WORKS IN THE APP

As expected, this study Bible works in our Resource Guide. As you are reading the Bible in the main window, the Resource Guide will show you what study Bibles notes (and any other notes or articles!) from the NKJV Unapologetic Study Bible line-up with what you are reading.

Additionally. this study Bible can be used with any translation you own, unlike a paper Bible.

Meaningful Bible study can happen now, with just a tap.

LEARN MORE

Visit our website to learn more about the NKJV Unapologetic Study Bible.

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5 Benefits of the Word Biblical Commentary

Posted by on 11/15/2017 in: ,

With 61 volumes and 26,000+ pages of content, the Word Biblical Commentary is a hefty commentary series.  With this much content, how do you navigate it all?

With the Olive Tree Bible App, you can easily read and study the WBC anywhere.  Here are 5 benefits of using the WBC in the Olive Tree Bible App (Screenshots are from the Mac OS version of the Olive Tree Bible App.  Click on Images for a larger view)

1. RESOURCE GUIDE & SPLIT WINDOW

Open your preferred Bible translation in the main window and have the Resource Guide open in the Split Window.  You’ll see relevant Word Biblical Commentary “hits” in the split window.

If you prefer to just read one resource at a time, you can open the WBC in the split window. The Olive Tree Bible App also keeps up with the scripture passage you’re reading in the main window with sync scrolling.

This means that as you move along in the Bible text, the WBC syncs to exactly where you are in your study.  No more flipping pages back and forth.  No more holding the commentary text open on your desk in one spot, reading through your Bible text, and having to go back and find your place in the commentary. You’ll save an enormous amount of time with these first two features alone.

2. EASILY NAVIGATE TO COMMENTARY SECTIONS

Each section of commentary in WBC (covering a range of verses) is further divided into a number of sub-sections. Each approach the entire set of verses from different perspectives like “Bibliography,” “Translation,” and more. Each of the sub-sections has been individually tagged based on content. So, if you have a particular Bible passage open in the main window, the Resource Guide will display the commentary notes for that passage in the WBC for each of the subsections.

Using it with the Resource Guide like this makes it easy to drill down to one sub-section, then jump back quickly.

3. SEARCH & LOOKUP FEATURES

Search the Word Biblical Commentary for words or passages.  Take “elder” as an example.  You can search the entire series for where “love” is mentioned in the commentary series.  You can also limit your search to the Old Testament, New Testament, biblical genre, or a specific book.

When your search hits are displayed, you can tap on the result to go directly to that section in the WBC.  You can also choose to open the search in a pop out window making this search accessible for further study.

4. LINKED REFERENCE POP-UPS

One of my greatest frustrations in the hard copy world of biblical commentaries are the other biblical references within the commentary.  For example, when I’m reading in Genesis 12 about Abram, there are multiple Scripture references in the WBC that help me with this passage.

With a hard copy, I have to open a different Bible and find each and every reference to read how the verse relates to what I am currently studying.  This is time consuming, slows down my study momentum, and requires me to keep all of my study materials out and open, spread out over a large desk space.

With the Olive Tree Bible App, the scripture references are hyperlinked within the commentary text.  All I have to do is tap the scripture reference to read it instantly.

5. TAKE NOTES & MORE

Make the Word Biblical Commentary your own with the Olive Tree Bible App. Without having to leave your current study, you can:

Highlight

Add a Note, Copy & Paste

LEARN MORE

The Word Biblical Commentary set serves as an exceptional resource for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.

Add the Word Biblical Commentary to Your Account Today!

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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Posted by on 11/10/2017 in:

The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) is the best known and most widely used collection of 500,000 Scripture references and parallel passages. By using the TSK in Olive Tree Bible App you’ll save tons of time and effort.  No longer do you have to leave your original text to search for a reference.

I’ll demonstrate how to use it with the Bible App running on an Android Tablet.

First, select your preferred Bible translation in the main window. Then open the split window to access the Resource Guide in the app. The Resource Guide takes your downloaded material and connects it with the text you have open in the main window.

Under the ‘Related Verses’ section you’ll see resources listed along with a number badge. The number indicates how many entries there are in that resource for the text that is open in the main window. Since I have the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) installed, the Bible App has found cross references relevant to the Titus passage I’m reading. I can then tap on the TSK to see all of the entries that are indicated.

The TSK organizes these cross references by topic and by verse making it easy to do further study on the particular themes found in Titus.

I can then tap the reference in the TSK and view each related verse as a popup, or even split it out into a new window without leaving my original text.  This feature alone saves me valuable time that I’d otherwise spend flipping back and forth between references.

As you can see, having the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) cross references in the Bible App will help you broaden your biblical understanding of specific themes and enable you to quickly study large portions of scripture.

What are some ways that you’ve utilized the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) to deepen your Bible Study?

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The Famous Preacher: H.A. Ironside

Posted by on 11/08/2017 in: ,

ABOUT H.A. IRONSIDE

Henry Allen “Harry” Ironside was a Canadian-American Bible teacher, preacher, theologian, pastor, and author who pastored Moody Church in Chicago from 1929 to 1948. He also belong to the Plymouth Brethren,

But Ironside didn’t wait until he was a pastor to preach. When he was 11 years old, he started his own Sunday school, averaging 60 listeners per week. Then, after finishing the eighth grade, Ironside began preaching with the Salvation Army. He went on to preach all over the world, sharing the gospel with more than 1.25 million people.

Additionally, Ironside preached under Moody Bible Institute, was offered a position at Dallas Theological Seminary, and was awarded two honorary doctorates from Wheaton College and Bob Jones University. For only having completed the eighth grade, Ironside was an accomplished and well-respected man.

Lastly, Ironside’s teaching left a long-lasting mark on evangelicalism. Along with others such as Cyrus Scofield, he was influential in popularizing dispensationalism among Protestants.

HIS WRITINGS

In his lifetime, Ironside wrote fifty-one expositions on books of the Bible. Here at Olive Tree, we offer a bundled set of Ironside’s commentaries, including 11 volumes.

In his commentaries, Ironside provides some historical observations, giving commentary on the text at hand. Then he moves into application. Hear what he has to say on Psalms 9-12:

Listen to David, for David is the author of these Psalms, and he knew what it was to suffer. With Saul on the throne, he knew what it was to be driven out into the wilderness, persecuted, hated, forsaken, and yet to love in return. Instead of grumbling and complaining, his heart goes out in thanksgiving, “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart” (9:1) – not with half a heart.

And think of the people of God in that coming day in the midst of the greatest tribulation ever known, taking up these words on their lips, “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee” (vv. 1-2). We may not be able to rejoice in circumstances, but we can always rejoice in Him, for God is above all circumstances. It is a bad thing when believers get under them.

A brother said to another whom he knew had not been well, “How are you, brother?”

“I am pretty well under the circumstances,” he answered.

And the other said, “I am sorry to know that you are under the circumstances. I wish you could be above them. The Lord is able to lift you above them.”

“Oh, yes,” said the other, “I was not thinking of that.”

[…]No matter what conditions are like in the world around – the nations may rage, wars and rumors of war may cause the stoutest heart to tremble – faith looks beyond it all and recognizes God as sitting on the throne, and knows that eventually He will bring out everything for His glory.

LEARN MORE

Interested in growing in your understanding of God’s Word and applying it to your life? Read the Bible alongside this famous, influential preacher.

Learn more about Ironside and the volumes included in this bundle by visiting our website.

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Un-Earned Acceptance

Posted by on 11/07/2017 in: ,

This blog post is an excerpt of C.A. Coates Commentary and Articles.

It is the privilege of every believer to be consciously in the favour of God–to be in the unclouded light and joy of Acceptance. But, alas! many who are truly converted are not in the enjoyment of this privilege. It may be helpful to consider briefly why not.

HIDDEN SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

When I speak of self-righteousness in this connection I do not mean the proud self-righteousness of the unconverted man. I refer to the very different form of self-righteousness which leads many to doubt their acceptance with God because of the imperfections which they find in themselves.

You may say, “But ought I not to have misgivings when I find my spirit and the state of my mind so contrary to that which befits a Christian? and when I am conscious of inconsistencies and backslidings?” That you ought to judge yourself, and be humbled before God about these things, is most true; but it is in no wise true that your righteousness and acceptance with God depend upon yourself, or are measured by your condition or conduct. To have such a thought in the mind is really to suppose that you could be in the favour of God by being worthy of that favour in yourself.

It is simply self-righteousness.

TRYING TO EARN ACCEPTANCE

Then souls reason in this way: “Surely if I were converted I should be very different. There must be a great change in one who is born again. And if I had the Spirit of God He would help me to gain the victory over evil habits–over the lusts and tempers of the flesh–and to become pleasing to God. But instead of this more temptations seem to come in my way than ever before, and the evil tendencies of my heart seem to have acquired greater strength. I never felt more utterly unworthy of God’s favour and acceptance”.

It is not always easy to see that self-righteousness is hidden under all this, yet such is the case. There is the thought that, either by our own efforts, or by God’s grace and the help of His Spirit, we should become in ourselves suitable to God’s favour; and we are disappointed and distressed to find that we make so little progress in this direction.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE—ON OUR OWN

It is important to know that the effect of the new birth, and of the grace of God, is not to bring about some change in us on which we could rest, but to convince us of the impossibility of finding righteousness, or suitability to the favour of God, in ourselves.

An unconverted man may think himself worthy of God’s favour, but every converted person is made conscious of utter unfitness in himself for that favour. The awakened soul gives account of itself in such language, as, “I have sinned”; “I am undone”; “I am vile”; “I abhor myself”.

Indeed, it is a common thing for such to suppose that since they turned to God the evil tendencies of their hearts had increased rather than otherwise. The fact is that before conversion we went with the stream, and not a ripple impeded our progress; when, by grace, we made some stand against the current, we began to feel its force, and to be distressed by it, as never before.

AN ILLUSTRATION

[…]Allow me to use a very simple illustration.

I was lately in an old English city, and I observed that the principal streets were marked out in squares, and on every square a name was written in large white letters. I asked the meaning of this, and I was told that a fair was to be held shortly in the streets of the city, and that persons had paid for the right to stand during the fair in the square spaces on which their names were written.

BUT CHRIST

Now it is a blessed thing to know that Christ has secured for us a standing in that circle of light and favour where He is.

To use my illustration, there is a place in that circle of light on which, dear fellow-believer, your name is written. You are entitled to stand there, but it may be that you have never by faith occupied your standing. I feel sure that the men whose names I saw written on the ground were not content to know that they had right and title to a standing in the fair. I think I am safe in saying that everyone would be careful to appropriate and occupy his standing.

It is a wonderful moment for the soul when by faith we appropriate and occupy our standing in the favour of God–when we know that we are received by God in all the acceptance of Christ. We do not then think of ourselves, or of our worthiness, at all.

We think of CHRIST–His perfections, His suitability to divine favour, His infinite acceptance with God–and by faith we have access into the favour of which He is so worthy.

LEARN MORE

This excerpt was taken from C.A. Coates Commentary and Articles, which contains 37 volumes of his writings. Coates’ writing is extremely applicable, speaking directly to the Christian on matters of the heart. Learn more on our website.

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