F.B. Hole

Introduction to James

We incline to think that the Epistle of James is read less than any other of the Epistles. This is a pity, because it deals with matters of a very practical sort. There is in it hardly anything which could be called the unfolding of Christian doctrine, but a great deal which inculcates Christian practice. We might almost call it the Epistle of works, of everyday Christian behaviour. Its difficulty lies in the fact that the standpoint from which it is written differs from that of all t...

1 Peter 5

When Christians are passing through times of persecution and suffering, so much depends upon there being a right and happy condition amongst themselves. The Apostle Peter, therefore, supplements his warnings as to the persecution with some words of admonition addressed respectively to the elder and the younger amongst the disciples. Between such friction may easily develop, as we know right well. The tendency to develop friction has always existed but never more so than now, inasmu...

2 Peter 1

In his second epistle the apostle Peter addressed himself to the same believers-Christian Jews scattered throughout Asia Minor-as in his first. This fact is not directly stated in the opening verses, but 2 Peter 3: 1 makes it quite apparent. In the salutation with which the Epistle opens he simply describes them as those who had received a like precious faith to himself "through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." They had believed the gospel just as he had beli...

2 Peter 2

Yet everything of God, and therefore good, is counterfeited by Satanic power, consequently chapter 2 begins with a warning. When in old time the Holy Ghost was moving holy men to give us utterances from God the great adversary moved and brought in among the people false prophets. We have many examples of this in the Scripture. In the days of Ahab things had reached such a pass that Elijah could say, "I, even I only remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and f...

1 John 4

Amongst the wiles of the devil imitation takes a foremost place. In the Old Testament, for instance, we find that when God wrought powerfully through Moses in the presence of Pharaoh, the Egyptian magicians imitated what was done as far as they could, in order to nullify the impressions made on the mind of the king. Again we find that when the sanctuary had been established in Jerusalem with its ordinances of divine service, Jeroboam easily diverted the ten tribes from it by the simple ...

1 John 3

Verse 28 of Chapter 2 stands as a short paragraph by itself, and the second chapter would more fittingly have ended with it. Verse 29 begins another paragraph which extends to verse 3 of chapter 3. At this point someone might well have desired to enquire-But who are the children of God, and how exactly may they be distinguished from those who are not? The answer given here is that those who are born of God are the children of God, and that they may be distinguished by the doing of ...

1 John 2

The closing verses of chapter 1 have shown us that we cannot say that we have no sin, nor that we have not sinned. The opening words of chapter 2 act as a counter-balance, lest we should rush to the conclusion that we can excuse ourselves for sinning by assuming that we can hardly help it, that it is practically inevitable. It is nothing of the kind. John wrote these things that we might not sin. Other scriptures speak of special provision made to keep us from falling: the point here is...

2 John

Before we come to the details of this short Epistle we may point out several features of a more general nature. The Author's name is not mentioned. This feature characterizes also the first and third Epistles, yet in each case there can be no doubt that John is the writer. The style is identical, agreeing also with the Gospel that bears his name. It is quite remarkable that not once does John mention his own name in his writings, save in the Revelation. Yet there is something very fi...

3 John

In certain features the third Epistle of John is very like his second, yet in its main theme it is the converse, and at the same time the complement, of the second, as we shall see. Like the second it is an epistle of a private nature, yet containing in its brief verses instruction of such an important kind that the Spirit of God has seen it needful to give it a permanent niche in the inspired Word. We cannot say with any certainty whether Gaius, to whom it was written, is to be id...

Jude

The epistle of Jude bears a very strong resemblance to 2 Peter 2: 1-3: 14, which lies upon the surface and must be apparent to every reader. Both refer to very evil men, who come in amongst the saints, and both unmask their true character. Both quote Old Testament examples by way of illustration and warning; and amongst the examples both mention the angels that sinned, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Both remind us that even holy angels would not assume authority as these men do. Both quote t...
Syndicate content