Admission of Sin
For the last generation or two, modern society has been pulling away from acknowledging the reality of sin. Yet, when people believe that God's law is no longer valid, they deceive themselves. Martin Collins surveys scriptures that urge Christians to admit or confess their sins, showing how it benefits our understanding and growth.
Are You Justified?
"Justification" is a theological term that many people do not understand, thinking that it is a complex point of biblical doctrine. However, it is not as difficult as it may seem on the surface. Martin Collins explains what justification is and how it works in the life of the individual whom God calls to salvation.
Basic Doctrines: Doctrine
In these days of psychology and feeling, doctrine is not very popular. But it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of true Christians! This study briefly explores the basic doctrines of God.
Basic Doctrines: Repentance
Repentance is a condition of baptism in God's church and ultimately of conversion and salvation. It is also a lifelong process which we should continue until the day of Christ's return.
Basic Doctrines: Water Baptism
Baptism is one of the initial acts that a new Christian must experience during his new life in Christ. This fundamental doctrine places him in the right frame of mind for continuing in God's way.
Basic Doctrines: The Laying On of Hands
Laying on of hands is a strange subject to most, especially to the nonchristian. However, it is one of the church's fundamental doctrines and plays a large role in baptism, healing and ordination.
Basic Doctrines: The First Resurrection
The doctrine of resurrection is one of the chief teachings of Christianity. In fact, our very hope hangs on it! For those of us called and chosen in this age, the first resurrection is especially vital.
Basic Doctrines: The Second Resurrection
The doctrine of resurrection is one of the chief teachings of Christianity. For the billions of people who have never known the truth, the second resurrection offers them an opportunity for future salvation.
Basic Doctrines: The Third Resurrection
The doctrine of resurrections is one of paramount importance for the Christian. The third resurrection, however, is one that most of this world's Christianity ignores—but it is the one that shows God's ultimate justice and how He will deal with incorrigibly evil people in godly love.
Basic Doctrines: Eternal Judgment
One of God's roles is as Judge, and His judgments are eternally binding. But what does this mean? Who is judged? How? When? For what?
Basic Doctrines: The Reward of the Saved
Before going on a trip, it is a good idea to have a destination in mind, and so it is with Christianity. Just where do true Christians go after they die? What is their reward? Where is their reward?
Basic Doctrines: The Fate of the Wicked
For centuries, preachers have scared churchgoers with the image of a fiery hell where sinners spend eternity. Is such a place or state biblical? If not, what is God's plan for those who refuse to submit to Him?
Basic Doctrines: Salvation
Are you saved already or are you being saved? What is salvation anyway? What part do we play in our own salvation? These are important questions that we must answer from God's Word.
Basic Doctrines: Going On to Perfection
Most of our Christian lives will be spent going on to perfection. But what is it? How do we do it? This Bible Study helps explain this broad, yet vital subject.
Beware of Hypocrisy
In the gospel accounts, the Pharisees receive the lion's share of Christ's correction for their blatant hypocrisy, and they have become a byword for that sin. Martin Collins explores the extent of this sin, which can reach to the point of the unpardonable sin, and suggests how we can overcome it.
The Bible is full of symbols, allegories, parables, types and keys. What do they mean? How can we understand them, and thus understand God's Word?
Biblical Symbolism: Symbols of the Church
The church plays a major role in God's Word, so it is no wonder that the church is represented by literally dozens of symbols. These symbols, taken together, paint a very detailed picture of the future bride of Christ.
Biblical Symbolism: Yet More Symbols
The Bible contains many, many symbols that refer to the church. Included in this study are the symbols of the Temple and Tabernacle, the human body and trees.
Clean and Unclean Meats
Moderns sneer at the Bible's food laws, but God gave them for man's good. This study shows they are still in effect for us today!
Does I John 5:7-8 Support the Trinity Doctrine?
The passage in I John 5:7-8 appears to be a clear proof of the Trinity, the belief that God is made up of three Beings in one. There is just one major problem: The Trinitarian language is not original to the text. Martin Collins provides evidence from both the context of I John and recent scholarship that words were inserted long after John wrote his epistle.
Does Luke 9:50 Contradict Luke 11:23?
So, some say, which is it? "He that is not against us is on our side" or "He who is not with Me is against Me"? Martin Collins examines this seeming biblical contradiction, showing that the different audiences Christ addressed and the context of each statement provide a satisfying answer, removing any perceived conflict.
Does the Bible Contain Discrepancies?
Christians believe that the Bible is the written Word of God, and therefore, it is inspired and essentially free from error (any errors being the result of human misunderstanding and misinterpretation). Asking if the Bible can in any way contain contradictions, Martin Collins answers that, while difficulties do exist, they can be explained with thoughtful analysis.
Excellence in Character
Excellence in Character (Part One)
In this world, living virtuously is not easy. Those who try to do right often suffer ridicule and face some form of discrimination when they fail to join their more sinful acquaintances in their wickedness. Martin Collins begins a three-part series on excellent character, showing that this world needs to see examples of everyday virtue, if only as a witness against it.
Excellence in Character (Part Two)
The Bible speaks a great deal about virtue, those excellencies of character that imitate the holy and righteous character of Jesus Christ. Martin Collins explains that Scripture defines virtue as a strength or power that disciplined people use to produce beautiful traits of goodness.
Excellence in Character (Part Three)
God's purpose is a family matter; He is reproducing Himself in human children transformed to spirit. He wants each member of His Family to have the same righteous character that He does. To this end, Martin Collins writes, each Christian must develop godliness through righteous behavior and service, adding virtue to their faith.
First Love (Part One)
In His letter to the Ephesians, Jesus Christ scolds the church for having lost their "first love" (Revelation 2:4), despite their tireless zeal in defending the gospel from false apostles. What, exactly, did they lose? Martin Collins answers from Scripture: A Christian's foremost responsibility is to love God wholeheartedly. Even so, a spiritual decline similar to the Ephesians' loss of their first love broadly affected the first-century church.
First Love (Part Two)
Jesus Christ's reprimand of the Ephesian church in Revelation 2:4, "You have left your first love," seems odd being said to a church that appeared so busy doing God's will. Martin Collins explains, not only where the Ephesians' problem lay, but also the remedy Christ provided within the letter itself to improve both their spiritual lives and their works.
Fruit of the Spirit (Bible Study)
The Holy Spirit
What is the Holy Spirit? What does it do? Who has it? How does it work? What does it produce?
A Bible study on love, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
A biblical study on the basic aspects of one of the fruit of God's Spirit, joy.
Bible study on peace, the third of the fruits of the Spirit.
Longsuffering, or patience, the fourth fruit of the Spirit, is a much needed virtue in a fast-paced, impatient world. This Bible Study highlights the basics of this godly attribute.
The fifth fruit of the Spirit, kindness, reflects God's loving actions toward us. We in turn must learn to bestow kindness on others.
'Good' is a term we use very loosely, yet it is a major characteristic of God! It is defined in terms of what God is: absolute goodness! This study gives a general overview of this sixth fruit of the Spirit.
Pertinent scriptures and comments on the seventh fruit of the Spirit, faithfulness.
Meekness is one of the hardest of the fruit of the Spirit to define. However, the Bible shows meekness to be, not weakness, but strength, as the character of such people as Jesus and Moses shows.
No government—not even God's—can work without self-control. As a fruit of God's Spirit, this virtue may be the single hardest to master over the course of a lifetime, yet we need it to do our parts in God's Kingdom.
God's Ministering Angels
People are often both mystified and fascinated by angels. What do they look like? How many are there? What are their names? What are their powers? What is their purpose? Martin Collins uses biblical texts to show that angels are God's servants whose purpose is to help those He has called to eternal life.
God's Non-Transmittable Attributes
God's Non-Transmittable Attributes (Part One): Omnipotence
From the first century, the church's constant study has been focused on God and His nature. Among His many wonderful attributes are those that are His alone, traits that He cannot pass on to others because they define Him as God. Martin Collins examines God's attribute of omnipotence, defining His power over all creation.
God's Non-Transmittable Attributes (Part Two): Omnipresence
David writes in Psalm 139 that everywhere he might go, God is there. In this psalm, he points out God's attribute of omnipresence, that is, His ability to be present everywhere at all times. Martin Collins explores the scriptural evidence for God's omnipresence, showing that by His Holy Spirit, He can be with us in any place under any circumstance.
God's Non-Transmittable Attributes (Part Three): Omniscience
The apostle John declares in I John 3:20 that God "knows all things," confirming the extraordinary greatness of the One we worship. Modern theologians call this divine attribute omniscience
, "the quality of having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding." Martin Collins gathers biblical proof of God's omniscience, explaining how it co-exists with human free will.
God's Non-transmittable Attributes (Part Four): Immutability
The classical gods of Mount Olympus reflected their worshipers' ideas and morals, and so they were flawed. They fought and schemed, lied and betrayed, lusted and abused. Not so the God of the Bible. Martin Collins explains that God Almighty is immutable; He does not change. This character trait allows us to trust and follow Him in hope.
God's Master Plan
Like any good builder, God has a master plan to accomplish His purpose for humanity. We find the blueprint for His creation in the pages of the Bible.
The Sabbath is the "hinge" on which the others turn. This basic study treats the foundational truths about God's Sabbath day.
Holy Days: Passover
Though not a holy day, per se, Passover may be the most important festival ordained by God. Not only does it memorialize Christ's death, it also symbolizes our redemption and forgiveness, allowing us to have eternal life!
Footwashing is the initial part of the Passover ceremony. Why did Christ institute it? What is its purpose?
Holy Days: Unleavened Bread
The Feast of Unleavened Bread immediately follows the Passover. In it we see how hard it is to overcome and rid our lives of sin.
Holy Days: Pentecost
The late spring Feast of Pentecost shows the harvest of firstfruits, God's church. It is a continual reminder of our part in God's plan!
Holy Days: Trumpets
The Feast of Trumpets sounds a dire warning of war on the one hand and triumph for God and His saints on the other. Our goal now is to be prepared for that day when Christ returns!
Holy Days: Atonement
Atonement, a day of fasting, pictures God's solution to the problem of human sin. This study shows why this solemn day is so vital!
Holy Days: Feast of Tabernacles
The Feast of Tabernacles is a type of the soon-coming Millennium, when Christ will set up His government on the earth. Real peace and prosperity will be the norm. And everyone will have access to the knowledge of God!
Holy Days: Last Great Day
The Last Great Day is the final holy day of the year, and it depicts the final steps in God's plan. After this—eternity!
Though the holidays of this world in some ways counterfeit God's holy days, it is obvious that they are very different. God's Word shows that we should not be involved in them!
Is Your Conscience a Good Guide?
For many, the nature of the human conscience, an individual's inner sense of right and wrong, is a difficult concept. Most importantly, can we trust it? Martin Collins examines the Bible's perspective on the conscience, showing that, while it may be God-given, it is not the final arbiter between what is good and what is evil.
Overcoming (Part 1): Self-Deception
God desires us to overcome our human nature and grow, but we tend to place major hurdles in the way of accomplishing this. This series of Bible Studies examines these impediments to overcoming.
Overcoming (Part 2): Self-Justification
A great impediment to overcoming our sins is self-justification. We tend to excuse ourselves for what we do, and this only makes it harder to become like God. He is more interested in our transformation than in how good we feel about ourselves!
Overcoming (Part 3): Self-Righteousness
On the heels of self-deception and self-justification often comes self-righteousness. This obstacle to overcoming occurs when we set our own standards rather than God's.
Overcoming (Part 4): Self-Will
We can easily slide quickly down the path of spiritual self-destruction when self-will becomes dominant in our lives. Our goal is to live by God's will, not our own!
Overcoming (Part 5): Self-Denial
A key to overcoming our sins is learning when to deny ourselves. Christ plainly declares that those who desire to follow Him must deny themselves.
Overcoming (Part 6): Self-Surrender
Many words that begin with "self" describe conditions that we must overcome. Self-surrender, however, is something we need to engage in to overcome our faults.
Overcoming (Part 7): Selfishness
Maybe the most basic impediment to overcoming is our innate selfishness. Our goal, however, is to bear the character of our God, whose primary characteristic is love or outgoing concern for others.
Overcoming (Part 8): Self-Indulgence
Few human faults can hinder Christian overcoming like self-indulgence. If we can learn to control our desires, we are a long way toward living a godly life.
Overcoming (Part 9): Self-Exaltation
Self-exaltation was one of the sins that got Satan in trouble—and we certainly do not want to follow his lead! Conversely, we are to humble ourselves so God can exalt us in due time.
Overcoming (Part 10): Self-Pity
We all have low days on occasion, but when our despondency turns to self-pity, we have a problem. The "woe is me" attitude can mire us in stagnation and severely hamper our growth because self-pity is just another form of self-centeredness.
Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man
Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Part One)
The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man illustrates the resurrections from the dead and the Second Death. Martin Collins explains how knowing the time element hidden within the parable opens up the meaning of Christ's teaching.
Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Part Two)
Jesus' well-known parable preaches the gospel of the Kingdom of God by revealing salvation, the resurrection to eternal life, and inheritance of His Kingdom on the earth. Martin Collins explains how.
Parable of the Good Shepherd
Parable of the Good Shepherd (Part One)
The Parable of the Good Shepherd is one of only a few parables in the gospel of John. Martin Collins explains that the apostle John emphasizes the sovereignty of Christ: He is the great and benevolent Ruler and Owner of His sheep.
Parable of the Good Shepherd (Part Two)
In John 10, Jesus characterizes Himself as a "Good Shepherd" who loves and cares for His sheep. Martin Collins looks deeper into the personal relationship that exists between the Shepherd and His flock, which is shown in His kind and providential leadership of His church.
Parable of the Talents
Parable of the Talents (Part One)
The Parable of the Talents continues Jesus' thought from the Parable of the Ten Virgins. While the first parable highlights preparation and watching for Christ's return, the second portrays Christians engaged in profitable activity in the meantime.
Parable of the Talents (Part Two)
The Parable of the Talents is often confused with the Parable of the Pounds. Martin Collins brings out their differences, showing that these parables illustrate Christian responsibilities from different angles.
Parable of the Ten Virgins
Parable of the Ten Virgins (Part One)
Jesus gave the Parable of the Ten Virgins to encourage His disciples to be watchful and to make preparations for His return. In Part One, Martin Collins compares the two groups of virgins, applying the lessons to our situation at the end of the age.
Parable of the Ten Virgins (Part Two)
The Parable of the Ten Virgins is without doubt prophetic concerning the attitude of Christians at the end time. Martin Collins discusses the differences between the wise and foolish virgins, drawing out principles we can apply to our Christian walk.
Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
In His discussion of the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, Jesus does not attribute tragedy or accident directly to any person's sins as the Jews did—instead, He affirms the sinfulness of everyone. The more important factor is will we repent to avoid spiritual death?
Parable of the Cloth and Wineskins
It is common sense not to put new wine in old wineskins or a new cloth patch on an old shirt. However, most people miss the point Jesus is making: His new way of life is incompatible with our old habits and beliefs!
Parables of Counting the Cost
In Luke 14:25-33, two parables and an exhortation urge us to forsake all that we have as a mandatory condition to becoming Christ's disciples. One main lesson is emphasized in these scriptures: the nature and influence of true discipleship.
Parable of the Good Samaritan
Most people understand the basic point of this well-known parable. The whole story describes working compassion as contrasted to selfishness. It also clarifies just who is our neighbor.
Parable of the Great Supper
The Parable of the Great Supper is Jesus' response to a fellow dinner guest exclaiming, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" In the parable, Jesus exposes and corrects the ignorance of those who, in their pride, misjudge their true moral condition.
Parable of the Light
One of Jesus' most remembered sayings concerns the Parable of the Light. The Bible Study explains how we can let our light shine both in the world and at home.
Parable of the Marriage Feast
Jesus exposes the Jews' rejection of the gospel using the illustration of a king sending invitations to a wedding celebration. Though God is shown to be merciful and just, the invitees' character is revealed to be wanting.
Parables of the Millstone and the Lost Sheep
These two parables are linked because they are the answers to the disciples' question, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus' answer explains the value He places on those who follow Him.
Parable of the Minas
Jesus gives the Parable of the Minas in reaction to the people thinking He would set up His Kingdom immediately—an event that still has not occurred. Martin Collins shows that the parable demonstrates what Jesus expects of and how He deals with His servants in the meantime.
Parable of the Persistent Friend
In this parable, Jesus illustrates persistence and perseverance in prayer. Unlike the sleeping friend, God is not reluctant to answer our prayers, but He does want us to be diligent and patient in our requests.
Parable of the Persistent Widow
Though the widow speaks only five words in this parable, she provides Christians in these last days with an example of persistence in prayer. Martin Collins delves into the context and meaning of this helpful and encouraging parable.
Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
The two men who go to the Temple to pray contrast in character, belief, and self-examination. Martin Collins shows that, although this parable involves prayer, it is not as much about how to pray as it is about how to be justified before God.
Parable of the Rich Fool
Jesus teaches in this parable that we need to guard against every kind of covetousness. Even if we have everything we could ever want or need, when we die, our goods will do nothing for us. It is the height of folly to believe that one has no need of God.
Parable of the Sower
God spreads His Word liberally among the world's people. Besides God's direct involvement in converting people, the difference between one growing in it and another "dying on the vine" is the soil in which the Word is planted, explained in Jesus' Parable of the Sower.
Parable of the Treasure
Jesus' Parable of the Treasure in Matthew 6:19-21 is designed to get us to evaluate the relative values of material wealth and "treasures in heaven." Martin Collins expands on the metaphors of moths, rust, and thieves.
Parable of the Two Builders
What have we founded our lives upon? Jesus asks this question in a parable in His Sermon on the Mount. Having a strong, sturdy foundation will allow us to weather the storms of life and prevail.
Parable of the Two Debtors
Within this parable Christ shows the principle of reciprocity. Just as we have been forgiven a huge, unpayable debt, so must we extend forgiveness to those who owe us, showing that we appreciate what has been done for us.
Parable of the Two Sons
Because of their different attitudes, people react to God's calling differently. The Parable of the Two Sons explains that one's ultimate obedience to God is the one that really matters!
Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
Offenses and sins against us are unfortunately common. Jesus teaches us how to deal with them in this parable, focusing on our attitude of forgiveness because of being forgiven ourselves.
Parable of the Unjust Steward
The Parable of the Unjust Steward has bothered Bible students for many years. Is Christ saying that Christians are foolish? Are we to make friends with greedy people? Are we doomed to fail? This Bible Study answers these frequent questions.
Parable of the Unprofitable Servants
In this Parable, Jesus emphasizes the kind of faith His disciples need to endure trials and obey His commands. Martin Collins explains that the only way for a Christian to obtain increased faith is to manifest steadfast, persevering obedience grounded in humility with the help of God's Spirit.
Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers
In this parable, Jesus manipulates His enemies into admitting their guilt in rejecting, persecuting, and even killing the prophets—and ultimately Himself. Martin Collins shows that Jesus uses this parable to proclaim God's plan to take His message to others, the church, who would accept it.
Parables of Luke 15
Parables of Luke 15 (Part One)
Jesus' discourse in Luke 15 is essentially one distinct parable with three illustrations. His intention is to reveal that, as the Son of Man, He came into the world to seek and save the lost. This study analyzes what is commonly known as the Parable of the Lost Sheep.
Parables of Luke 15 (Part Two)
In the Parable of the Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10), concern over something lost and the joy at recovering it is the fundamental issue. Martin Collins explains that the illustration depicts God's diligence in "finding" those who are lost.
Parables of Luke 15 (Part Three)
Martin Collins concludes his series on the three illustrations that comprise one long parable in Luke 15. In this part, he explains what is known as the Parable of the Prodigal (or Lost) Son.
Parables of Matthew 13
Parables of Matthew 13 (Part One): Introduction
Matthew 13 contains more parables than any other chapter in the Gospels. What many fail to realize is that they are related in theme and organized to teach Christians specific lessons. Martin Collins explains that they provide a prophetic summary of the development of the church.
Parables of Matthew 13 (Part Four): The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Most people, and even theologians, interpret the Parable of the Mustard Seed as an illustration of phenomenal growth of the church. Martin Collins shows, however, that the traditional interpretation is flawed, and that a comparison of biblical symbols points to a much darker explanation.
The Parables of Matthew 13 (Part Nine): The Parable of the Householder
The last of the parables of Matthew 13, the Parable of the Householder is addressed directly to Christ's disciples, and beyond them, to God's ministers. Martin Collins reveals that Jesus wants His ministers to use their learning and experience to feed His flock a balanced spiritual diet.
Seven Churches of Revelation
The Seven Churches
The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 have intrigued Bible students for centuries. Where they simply seven churches in Asia, or do they have more immediate relevance to us today?
The Seven Churches: Eras?
Historically, the modern church of God has believed that the seven churches are types of seven eras from apostolic times to Christ's return. Is this a valid belief?
The Seven Churches: Ephesus
Christ's first letter to the churches focuses on the Ephesians, a people who succeeded in trying the spirits, but in the interim left [their] first love.
The Seven Churches: Smyrna
The letter to Smyrna contains a rarity among the seven churches—no criticism! What's so good about the Smyrnans?
The Seven Churches: Pergamos
Christ severely criticizes the church of Pergamos for its problems with the doctrine of Baalam and idolatry. Nevertheless, to those who overcome these sins, He will grant eternal life!
The Seven Churches: Thyatira
Thyatira, the middle of the seven churches, receives a litany of praise and rebuke from our Savior. He particularly focuses on idolatry, which is spiritual fornication.
The Seven Churches: Sardis
The sixth church, Sardis, is dead for the most part. What is the problem? What do they need to do to come alive again?
The Seven Churches: Philadelphia
The Philadelphia church is often considered the best of the seven. Is it? Does it have any faults? Are we biased in our judgment?
The Seven Churches: Summary
The seven churches exist in the end time, but is there hope for a bright future? What will happen next in the course of events? Will the church—now scattered—come back together?
Should We Ignore Our Feelings of Guilt?
Many individuals are wracked with guilt over past words and actions that caused great pain to others. While, in our secular age, such guilty people often do not consider their wrongdoing to be sin, it is "missing the mark" of a certain set of standards. Martin Collins explores the subject of guilt, particularly its relation to sin and its long-term effects.
Ten Commandments (Bible Study)
The Ten Commandments
God's Ten Commandments are the divine law and standard that regulate human conduct. As our world testifies, they are still very much needed today!
The First Commandment
The first commandment reveals our first priority in every area of life: God. Anything we place ahead of Him becomes an idol!
The Second Commandment
A Bible study on idolatry, concentrating on the subject of the second commandment: the way we worship.
The Third Commandment
The third commandment, contemplating God's name, may be the most misunderstood of all. This commandment covers the quality of our worship.
The Fourth Commandment
Observing the Sabbath day is a vital key that this world's Christianity has lost. It opens up whole vistas of God's way and purpose!
The Fifth Commandment
The fifth commandment bridges the two sections of love toward God and love toward man. We begin learning righteous conduct at home, with our parents.
The Sixth Commandment
The commandment against murder is the one most universally followed by man. But Jesus shows there is much more behind it than merely taking another's life.
The Seventh Commandment
The seventh commandment protects family relationships from a sexual standpoint. This study delves into why sexual sins are so destructive and why God wants His children to be chaste and pure.
The Eighth Commandment
There is more to the eighth commandment than the physical act of stealing. This Bible Study explores other ways of stealing and how to avoid Satan's way of get.
The Ninth Commandment
A Bible study into the meaning of the Ninth Commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
The Tenth Commandment
A biblical survey of coveting: what it is, what it produces and what a Christian should be doing.
The apostle Paul predicted the end-time generation to be unthankful. As Christians, we need to buck this trend and show our appreciation to God and fellow man.
The Book of Life
Several times in both testaments, the Bible mentions a book or books that God uses to record the names and perhaps additional information about each person who has lived. This book is called the "Book of Life" or "the book of the living." Martin Collins examines the few scriptures that mention this intriguing book to find out what God's Word reveals about it.
The Fruit of Justification
The heavily theological subject of justification confuses a great many people. In fact, much of nominal Christianity, even theologians, do not understand the Bible's teaching on it. Martin Collins, focusing on what justification produces, provides clarity on a few points of this challenging doctrine.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ
The Miracles of Jesus Christ (Part One)
An outstanding feature of Christ's ministry is the many astounding miracles that He performed throughout Judea and Galilee. Martin Collins proposes that Jesus' miracles did far more than merely excite His audience: They declared the Source of His power and His message.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ (Part Two)
A striking aspect of Jesus' ministry is the sheer number and extent of miraculous healings He performed. Though He did not heal all the sick in the land, He healed everyone who sincerely sought His aid. Martin Collins looks at our Savior's healing miracles, His methods, and His motives in doing them.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Water Into Wine (Part One)
Jesus' first miracle, turning water into wine, occurred at a friend's wedding in Cana. Martin Collins examines this truly astounding event, revealing principles of the nature of Jesus' miraculous power and God's purpose in performing such signs.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Water Into Wine (Part Two)
In performing the miracle at Cana, Jesus gave a command that may have seemed strange at the time. Using the changing of water into wine as a backdrop, Martin Collins expounds on the connection between obedience to God's commands and blessings.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Nobleman's Son
The healing of the nobleman's son (John 4:46-54) is thought to be Jesus' first-recorded miracle of healing. Martin Collins uses the circumstances of this tremendous example of God's power to illustrate His ability and willingness to heal.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Great Catch of Fish
In performing the miracle of the great catch of fish, Jesus as Creator manifests His divine power over creation, forcing Peter to realize just who his Master was. Martin Collins explores this astounding miracle, extracting important lessons for us today.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Peter's Mother-in-Law
Jesus had served the people all day, but that evening, when He entered Simon Peter's house, He found He had one more miracle to perform. Martin Collins dissects the healing of Peter's wife's mother, showing that it contains a pointed lesson about gratitude and service.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Leper (Part Three)
Jesus' healing of the leper in Mark 1:40-45 exhibits His compassion for those suffering the repulsive effects of sin. Martin Collins examines how the cleansing of this horribly diseased man parallels the spiritual cleansing that prepares us for salvation.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Paralytic (Part One)
The healing of the paralytic in Capernaum is a remarkable witness of Jesus being the Christ, the Son of God. Martin Collins explains that Jesus honors the faith of the paralytic's four friends who lowered him through the roof, illustrating that the faith of others can be instrumental in bringing sinners to Christ.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Paralytic (Part Two)
When Jesus heals the paralytic, He makes no bones about the fact that He, as the Son of Man, has the prerogative to forgive sin. Martin Collins explains how forgiveness and healing intersect in this awesome miracle of God's power and mercy.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Cripple by a Pool (Part One)
During His ministry, Jesus healed many people. The apostle John chose to highlight the healing of a crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5. Martin Collins covers the significance of the pool itself, Christ's choice in healing this particular man, and the curious question He put to him.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Cripple by a Pool (Part Three)
When Jesus healed the crippled man by a Jerusalem pool, His Jewish critics were more interested in attacking Jesus for healing on the Sabbath than in rejoicing that a lame man had been made whole. Martin Collins probes this hypocrisy, Jesus' instruction to the healed man, and the man's response to the Jews.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part One)
When the Roman centurion sent his emissaries to ask Christ to heal his servant, Jesus responded with great praise for the centurion's faith. Martin Collins examines the accounts of this miracle, focusing on the centurion's relationship with the servant and the emissaries' responsibility in carrying their master's message.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part Two)
The healing of the centurion's servant is significant in that it is one of only two miracles that Jesus did for Gentiles, and He is especially taken with the Roman officer's faith. Martin Collins shows that, along with his faith, the centurion also shows great compassion and humility, so rare even among Israelites.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part Three)
In the healing of the centurion's servant, Jesus commends the centurion for his faith. This Roman officer seems to have understood an aspect of God's authority and power that even most Israelites never realized. Martin Collins contends that many Christians today still do not fully comprehend the power of God's Word.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Raising a Widow's Son
The gospels present Jesus working the wonderful miracle of resurrection only three times in His ministry, one of which is the raising of the widow's son. Martin Collins dissects the episode, elucidating the depth of our Savior's compassion for others.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Stilling a Storm
To many, one of Christ's greatest miracles is His calming of the storm on the Sea of Galilee, showing His awesome power over His creation. Martin Collins explains that the miracle not only highlights Jesus' glory, but it also reveals the disciples' need of greater faith.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Two-Demon Possessed Men Healed (Part Two)
Most of the gospel accounts of Jesus casting out demons are impersonal, merely stating the fact that He did so. However, the exorcism in Matthew 8:28-34 is quite detailed. Martin Collins concentrates on the facts that the demon-possessed men were unclean and that God's Word is powerful and efficacious.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Two Blind Men (Part One)
In this parable, found in Matthew 9:27-31, two blind men doggedly follow Jesus into a house—probably Peter's—so that He will restore their sight to them. Martin Collins explains the lessons Christians can learn from the examples of these two persevering supplicants.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Two Blind Men (Part Two)
Matthew 9:27-31 contains the story of two blind men whom Jesus healed. These men are certain that Jesus can heal them, showing their faith, but they do not have enough faith to obey His command not to tell anyone about it. Martin Collins analyzes the healing of these two men, who did not let their handicap keep them from seeking Christ.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part One)
Jesus Christ's miracle of feeding the five thousand people who had assembled to hear His message is the only miracle that all four gospels record. Martin Collins explains how Jesus used the circumstances to teach His disciples lessons that they would be able to use in their ministries after His death.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part Two)
The feeding of the five thousand—a miracle attested in all four gospels—tells us far more than the fact that Jesus was a marvelous miracle-worker. Martin Collins shows that it also reveals Christ's compassion on those who hunger, as well as His ability to teach vital lessons to His disciples—lessons we, too, can learn.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Walking on the Water (Part One)
Jesus' walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee may be the best-known of His astounding miracles. Martin Collins examines both the miracle and the context, showing that this incident and Jesus' calming words to the disciples unmistakably declared to them just who Jesus really was.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Walking On Water (Part Two)
Jesus' miracle of walking on the water contravenes everything we know about natural law, showing that God is sovereign and more powerful than the laws He made to govern His creation. Martin Collins examines Peter's test of faith as well as the other disciples' reactions to this astounding demonstration of Christ's divinity.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Syro-Phoenecian (Part One)
Jesus Christ's exorcism of the daughter of a woman from the region of Tyre and Sidon was more than just another astounding miracle. It also brings out the surprising depth of the woman's faith in Him. Martin Collins expounds on this faithful Gentile's persistence and humility in pursuing Christ's favor on her daughter's behalf.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Syro-Phoenician (Part Two)
During His earthly ministry, Jesus did not often teach or heal Gentiles, as His work concentrated on His own people, the Jews of Judea and Galilee. However, He made an exception for the Phoenician woman's daughter due to the boldness of the elder woman's faith. Martin Collins shows how Jesus tested her faith—a test she passed with flying colors.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Deaf-Mute (Part One)
Among the gospel writers, only Mark records Jesus' healing of the deaf-mute man (Mark 7:31-37) in any detail. His handicap, one that first-century medicine had few answers for, isolated him from society. Martin Collins explains that Christ's healing of the man's hearing and speech have spiritual counterparts from which we can learn valuable lessons.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Deaf-Mute (Part Two)
The gospels provide many accounts of Jesus healing the sick, and it seems that there are almost as many methods that He used to heal them, from speaking a word to touching them to smearing clay on their eyes. Martin Collins considers Christ's method of healing a deaf-mute man, extracting spiritual lessons applicable to us today.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Four Thousand
Some people think that Christ's miracle of feeding the 4,000 is the same as His feeding of the 5,000, but there are too many differences for them to have been the same occasion. Martin Collins explores the spiritual connotations of this tremendous miracle, focusing on the disciples' spiritual development and Jesus' compassion.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing the Blind Man from Bethsaida
Only Mark tells us about the healing of the blind man from Bethsaida, highlighting a few important spiritual truths. Martin Collins reveals what makes this particular miracle unique and the lessons that it teaches, as well as the significance of the miracle's location.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Young Boy (Part One)
All of the synoptic gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—contain the story of Jesus, after His transfiguration on the mountain, casting the demon out of the young boy who would have seizures and fall into the fire or into water. Martin Collins explains why the disciples could not cast the demon out themselves and why Jesus could and did.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Coin in the Fish's Mouth
Jesus' miracle involving Peter finding a coin in a fish's mouth, enough to pay the Temple tax for both men, is often overlooked. Martin Collins explains the biblical background of the Temple tax, as well as Christ's awesome display of prescience, power, and control in performing this miracle.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part One)
Only the apostle John records Jesus' healing of the man born blind, found in John 9, which shows Christ calling a people for Himself despite the efforts of the Jewish authorities to deter Him. Martin Collins covers a few major themes woven throughout this account.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part Two)
The episode of the healing of the man born blind takes up an entire chapter of the book of John, signalling its importance in understanding the work of Christ. Martin Collins discusses the blind man's response to Jesus, the part the Sabbath plays in the healing, and the ubiquity of opposition to true Christians.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part Three)
In the healing of the blind man in John 9, knowledge is a significant theme. What those in the scene know and do not know reveals a great deal about them. Martin Collins concludes his study of this important chapter in John's account of the ministry of Jesus Christ, showing that the truly vital knowledge is what God Himself reveals.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Stooped Woman (Part One)
When Jesus healed a woman bent over by a severe spinal condition, it was in a synagogue and on a Sabbath, arousing the anger of the Pharisees, who taught that healing was forbidden on God's day of rest. Jesus uses the situation to illustrate a proper use of the Sabbath, as a time to loose what is bound and straighten what is crooked.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Stooped Woman (Part Two)
As was His custom, Jesus attended and/or taught at a synagogue on the weekly Sabbath, and on one occasion, He noticed a severely deformed women, bent nearly double, in the audience. In His profound compassion, He healed her of this infirmity, which had plagued her for eighteen years. Martin Collins expands on the details of the gospel narratives on this merciful miracle.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man With Dropsy
In this miraculous event recorded in Luke 14:1-6, Jesus deliberately heals a man with dropsy on the Sabbath at the house of a chief Pharisee. Martin Collins shows that Jesus was teaching them an unmistakable lesson about the purpose of the Sabbath day: It is a day to perform acts of loving service to others, especially to those in need.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Resurrection of Lazarus (Part Two)
Jesus' resurrection of His friend Lazarus from the dead proved to be the final straw for the Jews who were trying to kill Him. After contrasting Jesus' weeping with those around Him, Martin Collins considers the diverse reactions of the witnesses to His great miracle, focusing on how it was a sign to them and us.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Ten Lepers Healed
Christ's healing of ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19) stands as a significant sign of His divinity, as it was widely known that only God could heal leprosy. Martin Collins unpacks this scene, explaining that Jesus' interaction with the one leper who returned in gratitude teaches a great deal about faith and spiritual blessings.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Blind Bartimaeus
One of the last of Jesus' miracles was the healing of blind Bartimaeus near Jericho about a week before His arrest. Martin Collins shows that Jesus' compassion for the man's blindness points to His compassion for all those who are spiritually blind, a compassion He proved by giving His life to pay the penalty for sin.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Withering of a Fig Tree
Some Bible students scratch their heads over the incident, recorded in Matthew and Mark, in which Jesus curses a fig tree for not having any fruit, even though it was not yet the season for figs! Martin Collins explains this difficult passage, showing that Jesus used the situation to teach His disciples a lesson on hypocrisy.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Malchus' Ear (Part One)
The last of Jesus' miracles during His human life occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane as He was being arrested by a large contingent of troops. Peter, defending his Lord, drew his sword and lopped an ear from the head of Malchus, the high priest's servant. Martin Collins shows that, while exposing a few of Peter's character flaws, the scene reveals Jesus' love and kindness, even under heavy stress.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Malchus' Ear (Part Two)
Even while in the process of being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus showed mercy on the stricken Malchus, healing his detached ear. Martin Collins continues to explore this incident in the life of Christ, showing that He was true to His Father's will even during the most agonizing night of His life, drinking the cup He had been given.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: A Second Large Catch of Fish (Part One)
Jesus Christ performed two miracles during His ministry in which His disciples pulled in large catches of fish. The second occurrence took place after Christ's resurrection and before His ascension. Martin Collins posits that a comparison of the two miracles reveals the progress of Jesus' efforts to prepare His disciples for the next steps of their journey toward sanctification.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: A Second Large Catch of Fish (Part Two)
Both Luke (Luke 5:1-11) and John (John 21:1-14) record miracles in which Jesus helps His disciples catch a great many fish in their nets. Dissecting these miracles, Martin Collins finds that they show the growth of the disciples, whom Jesus was preparing for their ministries all along.
The Model Prayer
The Model Prayer (Part One): Introduction
Most nominal Christians know what is called "the Lord's Prayer," found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11, because they recite it frequently. Jesus, however, never intended His teachings in these verses to become "vain repetitions," rote recitations that soon diminish into meaninglessness. Richard Ritenbaugh contends that Jesus gave His disciples a basic outline or model from which they could craft their own meaningful prayers to the Father.
The Model Prayer (Part Two): Our Father in Heaven
Jesus begins His instructions to His disciples about how to pray with, "Our Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:9). There is more to this simple salutation than meets the eye. Richard Ritenbaugh explores how these four common words put those who pray in the proper frame of mind to address Almighty God and receive the help they need.
The True Gospel
There are many 'gospels' in the world but only one true gospel—the message that Christ brought about the good news of His coming Kingdom! It is the ONLY gospel that will bring us salvation. We need to hear it!
The biblical system of tithing has been a point of controversy among Christians for centuries. Does God still command them? Did Jesus approve of them during His ministry? Was the law of tithing changed for His church?
Tithing: First Tithe
Many churches understand tithing but do not believe that God commands them for today. This Bible Study shows that tithing has always been God's way of financing His work on earth.
Tithing: Second Tithe
God commands us to keep His feasts and holy days, and He also makes funds available for us to do so—by saving second tithe. When God gives us something to do, He always provides the means to do it!
Tithing: Third Tithe
God ensures that all His children have what they need to survive and thrive. The third tithe is God's way of supporting the needy and the poor.
The subject of tithing is bound to spawn arguments in this time, but the biblical teaching about it is very simple: The tithe is God's and still in force!
What Is an Abomination?
"Abomination" is a word that is quickly becoming archaic in modern usage because so few things are considered abominable anymore. Martin Collins provides both secular and religious meanings for the term, as well as a survey of biblical Hebrew and Greek words that convey a similar idea.
What Is Propitiation?
What Is Propitiation? (Part One)
God and humankind are very different. God is spiritual, immortal, righteous, holy, and pure. Human beings, on the other hand, have the opposite attributes: physical, mortal, sinful, profane, and corrupt. Martin Collins begins a short series on the subject of propitiation to explain how God and man can be reconciled and experience a profitable relationship.
What Is Propitiation? (Part Two)
The subject of propitiation can be deeply complex. However, understanding three related Greek terms will help to frame propitiation properly, as the expression of God's mercy and grace. Martin Collins explains that Christ's propitiatory sacrifice satisfied both the law and God's holiness, allowing Him to extend mercy to believing, repentant sinners.
What Must We Do When We Recognize Our Guilt?
When we do something against the law or even against our own conscience, guilt is triggered, and we suffer, not just a gut-wrenching emotion, but also a descent into a state of culpability, of sin. Martin Collins instructs the guilty on their response to guilt, recommending taking the proper spiritual steps to remove the guilt through Jesus Christ.
Would Jesus Christ Vote?
Would Jesus Christ Vote? (Part One)
America's presidential primary season has brought voting in political elections to the fore once again. Because it is not directly mentioned in Scripture, people often ask if voting is biblically condoned. Martin Collins, beginning a short series of Bible Studies, re-asks the question in its most basic form for a true Christian: Would Jesus Vote?
Would Jesus Christ Vote? (Part Two)
When Jesus walked the earth during His ministry, He delivered a message of the coming Kingdom of God with Him as its King. However, as Martin Collins explains, Jesus never inserted Himself into the political process, but instead, He taught His disciples to come out of this world's way of life.
Would Jesus Christ Vote? (Part Three)
As the election approaches in the United States, many are proclaiming this to be the most important election in generations. While it may seem to be the height of patriotism to cast a ballot, Martin Collins shows that Christians are urged to refrain from interfering in the politics of this world, following the example of Jesus during His life and ministry.