trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Scriptorium Studies

Paul spent a little more than 18 months in Corinth, doing the work which resulted in “many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized” (v. 8). A church took root; rather (as we shall see), a series of house churches, probably spread around the city, began to meet, worship, and learn what it means to be the Body of Christ. The several house churches were one church in Corinth, and for the time Paul was with them, everything seemed to go well.

But when Paul went to Ephesus, troubles began. He wrote 1 Corinthians to address certain issues, difficulties, and questions that were brought to him by visitors from Corinth. The tone of 1 Corinthians, with its focus on division, immaturity, immorality, neglect, and other matters, is stern and demanding. Paul expected better from these people he had served for a year and a half, and he let them know he was disappointed. But like a loving shepherd, he also walked them through their difficulties, reminded them of the grace of God, pointed them toward the Lord’s return, and urged them to stand firm in the faith.

When the captivity of God’s people is truly restored, when God “brings back the captivity of His people” (Ps. 53.6), then joy and rejoicing will characterize His people, and the salvation of God will come roaring out from their midst to turn the world right-side up for Jesus.

Neither of these outcomes was much in evidence during the period following the return from Babylon—at least, not consistently or for very long. It would not be until the book of Acts that we see the outcomes David envisioned in Psalm 53. Neither of these outcomes is particularly evident in our day, either. Like the people returning from Babylon, we deceive ourselves if we think our true captivity is at an end. That will only be so when we are wholly, entirely, jubilantly, and obediently captive to Jesus in all our ways. How we can get from where we are to being restored from our present captivity is the theme of this series, “Return from Exile.”

The greatest story ever told begins in doubt, takes root in unlikelihood, and blossoms into praise and thanksgiving with the birth of an unexpected child.

Besides being the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119 is distinct in other ways. Except for the first three verses, Psalm 119 is entirely a prayer. In it the anonymous psalmist pours out his heart in longing to know God’s Word and to gain the benefits it affords. Psalm 119 is an abecedarian psalm, as we will explain, and this makes it a long and beautiful poem as well.

Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah, so it will not surprise us that their messages resonate with one another in many ways. Like all faithful prophets, Micah brought the Word of God to His people, calling them to remember His grace and to turn from their sins, and warning that judgment from God was coming.

We have a great salvation, and Jesus is the whole of it. He has pre-eminence in all things, and He is the Head of His Body, the Church, of which we are members. The Colossians understood the power of the Gospel. They had been called to be saints of God and were conveyed into the Kingdom of His Son. They were increasing in Him and in the good works of love that mark our discipleship.

The book of Ruth starts with tragedy, as a faithless man leads his wife into exile in Moab. What Naomi did not know was that God was preparing great blessings for her and her faithful Moabitess daughter-in-law, Ruth.

The book of Deuteronomy consists of a series of messages Moses delivered to the people of Israel, east of the Jordan River on the plains of Moab.

These are Moses’ last words, and they are powerful. He begins with a brief history lesson, because he is speaking to a new generation of Israelites, many of whom were born during the years of wandering in the wilderness. Moses needed to make sure they understood both the promises of God and the mistakes of their forebears, before he turned the reins of leadership over to Joshua.

Jeremiah was the last prophet of God before the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon. His message is urgent, uncompromising, and pointed. It threatens judgment from God, and it promises a new day of covenant renewal and blessings.

Matthew roots the story of Jesus in Old Testament revelation. In the process, he teaches us how to read the Old Testament, so that we see Jesus on its every page. The story of redemption breaks into time and history with the birth of Jesus through two faithful and obedient people. God Who is with us has finally come! And He’ll never leave us again.

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.