Author Archives: Dr. Steven R. Cook

About Dr. Steven R. Cook

Dr. Steven R. Cook is a Christian educator. He is protestant, non-charismatic, and dispensational. Studies in the original languages of Scripture, ancient history, and systematic theology have been the foundation for Steven’s teaching and writing ministry. He has written several Christian books, dozens of articles on Christian theology, and recorded more than seven hundred hours of audio and video sermons. Steven currently serves as professor of Bible and Theology at Tyndale Theological Seminary, and hosts weekly Bible studies at his home in Texas.

Helping the Poor

It’s a fact of life that the poor always exist (Matt. 26:11). There are differing degrees of poverty, and some of the poorest in our society are homeless. There are various reasons why a person becomes poor. Some are poor because of their own bad choices (Prov. 24:30-34; cf. 13:18; 23:21), while some are poor because of the bad choices of others (Mic. 2:1-2; cf. Jer. 22:13; Jam. 5:4). Some look for a hand up, while others want a hand out. Our ability to help is sometimes hindered by our lack of resources, and other times by the recipient’s unwillingness to receive what we offer. Continue reading

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Why Believers Show No Grace

God is gracious to us and treats us better than we deserve. More so, He calls us to be like Him and to show grace to others. This means loving our enemies and being kind to those who hurt us. Continue reading

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The Noetic Effects of Sin

The noetic effects of sin refers to the affect sin has on the mind of every person. Sin impacts our ability to think rationally, especially about God, Who has made Himself known through general revelation and special revelation. God’s revelation disrupts the mind of man, confronting wrong thoughts and inviting conformity to the mind of God. Continue reading

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Original Sin

Original sin refers to Adam’s sin in the garden in which he disobeyed God (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-24). Adam is the head of the human race. When Adam sinned, we all sinned with him. His fallen position is our fallen position. His guilt is our guilt. The pure image of God (imago Dei) that belonged to the first couple was marred when they sinned and all Adam’s children are born with a distorted image and a proclivity toward rebellion against God (Ps. 51:5; 58:3; Eph. 2:1-3). Continue reading

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The Worthless Person

     In several places in the Bible there are references to worthless persons (Deut. 13:13; Judg. 19:22; 20:13; 1 Sam. 25:17; 1 Ki. 21:9-13; Prov. 6:12-14; 16:27; 19:28; Nah. 1:11). The term worthless translates the Hebrew בְּלִיָּעַל belial, which … Continue reading

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Bible Promises that Strengthen our Faith

The Lord permits us to face trials in order to develop our Christian character (Jam. 1:2-4). He also gives us promises that are rooted in His character that we might learn to trust Him as we walk with Him. The tests of life are inevitable, but how we handle them is optional. Continue reading

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God’s Righteousness in the Future

The future is bright because there is the hope of a good and righteous King who will bring in everlasting righteousness.  This King is the Lord Jesus, the Christ, the Savior who will establish His kingdom upon the earth.  Jesus will reign forever.  Continue reading

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The Righteous Lifestyle of the Believer

God is working to produce His righteousness in us from the moment of salvation onward.  Paul writes, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).  God produces His righteousness in us to justify, sanctify, and ultimately glorify us.  Continue reading

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A Dispensational View of God’s Righteousness

God is forever righteous and the expectation of righteous behavior from His people is a timeless truth. God’s righteousness is manifest in the laws He gives, and He always expects righteousness from His people. Continue reading

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God’s Righteousness at the Cross

The subject of the cross addresses God’s righteousness, man’s sinfulness, and Jesus’ substitutionary death which satisfied God’s righteous demands toward our sin and reconciles us to the Father.  Certainly other characteristics of God are seen at the cross such as love, mercy, and grace; however, this article will primarily be concerned with His attribute of righteousness.  The cross makes sense when we see it in connection with God’s attribute of righteousness. Continue reading

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Biblical Righteousness: A Word Study

Throughout the Bible righteousness is also seen as a relationship word that recognizes established standards between a sovereign and subordinate.  A man is recognized as righteous, either before God or men, when he satisfies the legal demands placed upon him.  Continue reading

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The Righteousness of God

The Bible reveals God is righteous.  He is righteous in essence and action.  He loves righteousness and approves of those who walk in conformity to His character and commands.  Scripture declares, “For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face” (Ps. 11:7), and “Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments” (Ps. 119:137).  Continue reading

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God’s Favor Toward His People

God’s favor refers to the goodness and blessing He shows to others. God’s favor is based on His sovereignty, for He is under no compulsion to act, but does so according to His good pleasure, freely, from the bounty of His own goodness. His favor is often accomplished through the agency of other people as well as through circumstances. Continue reading

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When a Believer Perpetually Sins

The purpose of this article is to show that a child of God can simultaneously surrender some areas of his life to God and other areas not. Like train tracks that run parallel, a believer may be obedient in one thing and disobedient in another. Continue reading

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What it Means to Follow Jesus

Jesus called men to follow Him (Matt. 4:18-19; 9:9; John 1:43), and He had many female followers as well, several of whom funded His earthly ministry (Luke 8:1-3). To follow Jesus means to learn His teaching, obey His commands and model our life after Him. Followers of Jesus were to share the gospel (Matt. 4:19), not be bound by the world’s values (Matt. 8:19-22), treasure Jesus above one’s profession (Matt. 9:9), be committed to Jesus above family (Matt. 10:34-38; cf. Mark 1:20), and deny self and take up one’s cross daily (Matt. 16:24; cf. Luke 9:23). There is no place for personal glory or selfishness in serving the Lord, as one’s life is given for His glory and the benefit of others (1 Cor. 10:32-33; Phil. 2:3-4). To follow Jesus is a lifelong pursuit. Continue reading

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The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus while celebrating the Passover meal on the night before His crucifixion. The unleavened bread symbolizes the perfect humanity of Christ, and the red juice symbolizes the blood of the New Covenant that was ratified on the cross. Christians who partake of the Lord’s Supper see themselves as the beneficiaries of the spiritual blessings of forgiveness and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Continue reading

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Christians Paying Taxes

Paying taxes is a form of godliness for the believer, for we support divinely established institutions of government and believe in the rule of law (Rom. 13:1-5). As submitting Christians, we pay taxes to our city, state, and federal government. Paul writes, “For because of this [submission to government] you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor” (Rom 13:6-7). Continue reading

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When Believers Hide

There have been, and are times when God’s people hide themselves, or were hidden by others, in the face of persecution. Biblically, there appear to be both right and wrong reasons for hiding. Continue reading

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Living in Babylon

Daniel was born into a good family of noble birth in Judah (Dan. 1:3-6). In his early years he witnessed the spiritual and moral decline of his country. Idolatry was rampant in Israel to such an extent that human sacrifice had become acceptable (Ezek. 16:20-21). As a result of Judah’s spiritual decline, God brought judgment upon the nation through Nebuchadnezzar, a Babylonian king (Jer. 25:8-9; Dan. 1:1-2), who besieged Jerusalem in 605 B.C. and transported many captives to his homeland. Continue reading

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Divorce and Remarriage?

Scripture teaches that divorce is permissible only when a spouse offends through sexual infidelity (Matt. 5: 31-32), or when an unbelieving spouse abandons their Christian partner (1 Cor. 7:12-16). Divorce is not required, and is discouraged if any hope of saving the marriage can be found. Forgiveness and love is expected in the Christian toward the offending spouse. Continue reading

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Christianity is not a Religion

Religion is man, by his own efforts, seeking to win the approval of God. This is true of all religions (Islam, Judaism, Catholicism, etc.). Biblical Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with God through the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Most think of Christians as people who seek to do good works for God in order to be saved; but this is wrong. Rather, a Christian is one for whom God has accomplished our salvation through the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. Continue reading

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Honor the Lord From Your Wealth

Giving for the Lord’s work is legitimate. The issue for the Christian is not how much one gives, but rather, that one gives joyfully, “for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). Continue reading

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Living By Grace

The basic idea of “grace” is unmerited favor. The kindness shown is by no means obligatory, but rather, finds its source in the goodness, abundance, and free-heartedness of the giver. Continue reading

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The Characteristics of a Christian Leader

A Christian leader is marked by how he/she serves and treats others. The biblical teaching is that one who wishes to lead must make himself/herself a servant to others. This requires a biblical mind and an attitude of humility. Continue reading

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God the King Maker

God is never neutral. He meddles in the affairs of mankind, political or otherwise. His unseen hand works behind all the activities of mankind, controlling and directing history as He wills. “Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps” (Ps. 135:6). Ultimately, it is God “who changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and establishes kings” (Dan. 2:21a), for “the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men” (Dan. 4:14). Continue reading

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What is Integrity?

Christian integrity means being genuine in character, honest in speech, and faithful to promises (both to God and others). Continue reading

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The Basics of Grace

Grace derives from the bounty and open-handedness of the giver, can be very costly to the donor, but is always free to the beneficiary. Continue reading

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The Plain Interpretation of Scripture

     We live our lives on the assumption that language—whether written or spoken—serves as a reliable vehicle for the expression of ideas.  Our survival and success depends on the plain use of language whether we’re reading the words on … Continue reading

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Religious Syncretism

    Several years ago I had a strange conversation with a young woman who was in graduate school and finishing her degree in Social Work.  The woman became excited when I mentioned I was in seminary and she proceeded … Continue reading

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The Gospel in two Minutes

The gospel is the solution to a problem. There are two parts to the problem. First, God is holy (Ps. 99:9; Isa. 6:3), which means He is positively righteous and can have nothing to do with sin except to condemn it (Hab. 1:13; 1 John 1:5). Second, all mankind is sinful and separated from God (Rom. 3:10-23). The gospel message is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).  Jesus died in our place, “the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18; cf. Rom. 5:6-10). In order for us to be reconciled to God, we must simply trust in Jesus as our Savior (John 3:16; Acts 16:30-31). Continue reading

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God the Holy Spirit

     There is some confusion today among students of the Bible concerning the identity of the Holy Spirit.  Some heretical groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Unitarians say the Holy Spirit is merely an impersonal force.  Mormons recognize the … Continue reading

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Jesus is God

     Does the Bible teach that Jesus is God?  Yes, the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is God.  He is properly identified as one of the three Persons of the Godhead, commonly referred to as the Trinity.  There is … Continue reading

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An Ambassador for Christ

An ambassador is an official dignitary who represents the country that sent him into a foreign land, and his message is derived from the sending ruler. The Christian ambassador represents the Lord Jesus Christ who has called and equipped him to speak on His behalf to those outside of Christ’s kingdom (John 18:36; Acts 26:17-18; Col. 1:13-14). The Christian message is simple, that God reconciles us to Himself through the cross of Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-21; Eph. 2:13-16; Col. 1:19-20; 1 Pet. 3:18), providing us forgiveness for all our sins (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:13-14), and the gift of His righteousness which makes us acceptable to Him (Isa. 61:10; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:17; Phil. 3:9). Continue reading

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The Doctrine of Simultaneity

Too often Christians struggle with understanding their position in Christ and why they continue to sin after salvation. The doctrine of simultaneity addresses this very relevant and practical doctrinal truth. Continue reading

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Seven Kinds of Death in Scripture

     Throughout Scripture, death means separation, and at times it means inability to produce.  It does not mean cessation or annihilation of life.  Death is first mentioned in Genesis where God promised Adam he would die if he disobeyed … Continue reading

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The Sin that Leads to Death

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not bring death, he should ask, and God will give life to him– to those who commit sin that doesn’t bring death. There is sin that brings death. I am … Continue reading

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The Sin of Idolatry

Idolatry is the selfish sin of substitution in which we devote ourselves to worship something or someone in the place of God.  It is foremost a sin of a covetous heart that leads us to desire more than what God provides, and to trust something or someone lesser than God to satisfy our wants and needs. Continue reading

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What Does it Mean to Be a Man?

There is no greater expression of manhood than the Lord Jesus Christ.  At a point in time, nearly two thousand years ago, the eternal Son of God became a man (John 1:1, 14).  He manifested grace and truth (John 1:17), lived a holy life (John 6:69; Heb. 7:26), faced adversity with Scripture (Matt. 4:1-11), and perpetually pleased His Father (John 8:29).  He came not to be served, “but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).  He always spoke truth, both strong and gentle (Matt. 23:13-39; John 8:1-11), even in the face of hostility (John 8:40).  He welcomed children (Matt. 19:13-14), cared for the sick (Matt. 8:14-16; 14:14), fed the hungry (Mark 6:35-44), and made the humble feel loved and welcome (Luke 7:36-50).  The King of kings and Lord of lords manifested Himself as the Servant of servants when He humbled Himself and washed the feet of His disciples that they might learn humility (John 13:1-17). Continue reading

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An Evangelical Response to Same-sex Marriage

God’s Word reveals marriage is a divine institution and not a human social construct. Marriage is a covenant relationship between a man and a woman and is intended to be for a lifetime (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:3-6). Marriage began with the first humans—male and female—at the beginning of time-space-history (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:18-25). Concerning marriage, Moses wrote “a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Jesus Himself stated marriage began in the Garden of Eden and is between a man and a woman (Matt. 19:4-6).  Continue reading

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God, History, Time and Eternity

Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. (Ps. 90:2)      The Bible is a record of what matters most to us.  It gives … Continue reading

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Marriage Vows and Ceremonies

     Marriage is a covenant relationship (Prov. 2:17; Ezek. 16:8; Mal. 2:14-15; Matt. 19:6).  In Scripture, the word covenant (Heb. בְּרִית berith, Grk. διαθήκη diatheke) is used of a treaty, alliance, or contract.  The strength of a covenant depends … Continue reading

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Making a Biblical Marriage

     Marriage is a divine institution originally designed to permanently unite a man and a woman (Gen. 2:18-25).  It is not a human invention.  The first couple was created in God’s image to live under His provision and authority, … Continue reading

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The Doctrine of Election

Election (ἐκλέγω eklego) is that free choice of God from eternity past in which He chose to save and bless those who are the objects of His love and grace. The elect are the ones chosen. God elects based on His sovereign good pleasure and not because of any foreseen goodness in people (John 1:11-13; 6:37, 44, 65-66; 10:27-28; Acts 13:48; 16:14; Rom. 8:29-30; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:1-2). God elects groups (Luke 6:13-16; John 6:70) and individuals (1 Chron. 28:5; Acts 9:15); and His selection is based on sovereign choice (Rom. 9:10-18), not any foresight of good or worth (Deut. 7:7-8; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; Rom. 9:11). Election is to salvation (Acts 13:48; Eph. 1:4-6), spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3), holy and righteous living (Col. 3:12; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9), and service for the Lord (Jer. 1:4-5; Gal. 1:15-16; cf. Acts 9:15). Continue reading

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A Biblical Worldview

A worldview is a biased perspective on life. It is a mental framework of beliefs that guide our understanding of what is. It’s the assumptions we employ to help us make sense of the world, ourselves, and our experiences. Continue reading

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When God’s People Sin

     Do God’s people every behave poorly?  Yes.  There are times we behave poorly.  As a Christian, there are times I behave poorly toward God by refusing to do His will (James 4:17).  There are times I behave poorly … Continue reading

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Essentials of the Christian Faith

The essentials of the Christian faith consist of core doctrines taught in Scripture.  To depart from one or all of these doctrines is to be outside Christian orthodoxy.  Christians may disagree about non-essential doctrines (i.e. the rapture, millennial reign of … Continue reading

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The Work of the Holy Spirit

The dynamic of the believer’s spiritual walk is predicated to a certain degree on how much Bible knowledge resides in his soul. He cannot live what he does not know, and knowing God’s word necessarily precedes living His will. Knowing … Continue reading

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The Purpose of Life

What is the purpose or meaning of life? It is a metaphysical question that pertains to ultimate reality. To answer the question, we must consider where we came from (origins), who/what we are (identity), and where we are going (eternity). There are two major ways to answers this question. Continue reading

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Christians in America

Historically, Christians in America have been a positive influence in society by promoting law and being charitable to the needy (Gal. 2:10; Jam. 1:27). They’ve built schools, hospitals, orphanages and other helpful organizations that lift man up. They’ve fed the hungry, cared for the sick, housed the homeless, provided for widows and orphans, and visited prisoners with the gospel. Christians have also promoted art, literature, music and science. Continue reading

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God Loves Israel

     God loves Israel, declaring, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (Jer. 31:3). God is eternal, and His love is eternal. To possess the love of God is to love … Continue reading

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