Posts by Neil Silverberg

Posts by Neil Silverberg

1 Corinthians 16 | Gathering on the Lord’s Day

“Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 In this concluding chapter of First Corinthians, Paul continues to answer the Corinthians’ questions by addressing their inquiry regarding the offering for the…

1 Corinthians 10 | Written For Our Learning

“Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come” (I Cor. 10:11). All of the instruction Paul gives to the church at Corinth in this chapter is taken from the Old Testament. Drawing from its rich history, he makes parallels between the story of the Exodus and the subsequent wilderness wanderings and the Christian life. Paul is indeed right to do so for…

1 Corinthians 1 | Saints Or Aints?

“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2). If I were searching for a word to characterize the church at Corinth it would not be the word ‘saint’. Remember, this is the church where an incestuous relationship was occurring without being challenged (see 1 Corinthians 5:1). Not to mention some believers at Corinth were involved in lawsuits against other church members (6:1). And if that wasn’t…

Romans 16 | It’s About People

In some ways, Romans 16 is anti-climatic. Apart from some theological meaty exhortations, there is just a list of people to whom Paul sends his greetings. These are all names of people we know very little about. After fifteen chapters of theological dynamite, this almost seems like a let down. We would expect this glorious book to end in a more dynamic way. Yet, this is perhaps a most fitting conclusion to Romans. Look at how many people Paul knew…

Romans 10 | Preach the Gospel (and by Necessity, Use Words)

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” Romans 10:17 (ESV) In recent years, a saying widely attributed to St. Francis of Assisi has become popularized; “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” This saying has especially become owned by those in various missional movements who advocate a more incarnationalform of evangelism, less dependent on words to promulgate the message. This approach is big on living a lifestyle that affirms the Gospel; thus, preaching withoutwords. This is…

Romans 2 | Why Everyone Is Guilty

This portion of Romans is not easy to understand. Paul uses somewhat archaic language to describe why even the non-Jewish world, who lived without the written Law, was guilty before God. This is what he means when he opens this section with the statement, “all who have sinned without the law” are guilty before God.  He is addressing the guilt of the Gentile world that were without the law in terms of having it in written form. How then can…

Mark 10 | Walked Away Sorrowful

At least by modern standards, the Son of God was a failure when it came to evangelism. Nowhere is that more evident than in the account of Jesus’ brief encounter with the so called ‘rich young ruler’. All the Synoptic writers include this encounter between the majestic Son of God and this moral young man seeking salvation. But Jesus violates every known stricture that modern evangelism says is so important when it comes to personal evangelism, For one, this young man…

Mark 2 | Traditions Die Hard

Our reading today takes us through the second chapter of the Gospel of Mark. This chapter records the growing hostility between the Son of God and the Jewish religious leaders who opposed Him. We are often critical of these leaders for their resistance to Jesus’ ministry and we should be. But it is helpful to first have a little background to help understand why these men were so opposed to His ministry. By the time Jesus came to Israel the…

1 Timothy 4 | Are You Working Out?

“Train yourself for godliness” I Tim. 4:7 Most people, when they think of living the Christian life, would not compare it to a rigorous program like that which athletes follow in order to achieve mastery in athletic prowess. Yet that is exactly what Paul does when writing to his young son in the faith, Timothy. Paul’s use of the word ‘train’ in the text is derived from the Greek word gymnazo from which we get our word gymnasium or gymnastics.…

1 Timothy 3 | Character Builds

“An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach” (I Timothy 3:2, CSV). A good friend of mine, a brilliant Bible teacher, once made the statement, “What a man builds with his gift he destroys with his character.” That was uttered during a time when many well-known television evangelists and preachers were exposed for sexual misconduct, financial misgivings, and ill-treatment of staff. His point was that while many of these ministers were powerfully gifted individuals who built their entire ministries on their…