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Tag Archives: Grace

The Praise of the Redeemed

Redeemed

from Google Images

When the Lamb (Jesus) had taken the book to himself to reveal its contents, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before his feet and worshiped him (Revelation 5:8). The text says that every one of them had harps and golden censors in their hands, however, I don’t believe this means the four beasts and the twenty-four elders had both a censor and a harp in his hands. If that were true, it would be difficult to use either, because both require two hands to use. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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John’s Greeting in the Apocalypse

john's greeting

from Google Images

Specifically, John wrote to the seven churches of God, which were in Asia (Revelation 1:4), part of the same area to which Peter sent his epistles (1Peter 1:1). The Apostle Paul also wrote letters to churches in seven places: Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, and Thessalonica. The number seven is used 54 times in 31 verses in this book. It is seven churches, seven spirits, seven horns, seven eyes, seven seals etc. Why seven? Many scholars would conclude it is the number of completeness, perhaps derived from the creation week of Genesis 1 & 2. It took God six days to create the universe and every living thing in it, but he didn’t stop there. He created a day of rest on the seventh day by resting on that day. That is, he ceased his labor on that day, not that God was weary and needed to relax. Later he would command that the seventh day would be used as a day of worship to commemorate the completed or whole creation of God (Exodus 20:8-11). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Heart of God Toward the Sinner

Prodigal Son - 1

from Google Images

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, when his young son was still on his path home, his father ran to him, while his son was still some distance away (Luke 15:20b). It is implied in this verse that our heavenly Father meets us at some point in our journey back to him. He makes certain that we don’t have to make the full journey of repentance alone. The fact that the father of the young man ran to him would seem quite unfitting in the custom of the day, and this expresses the idea that our heavenly Father will not react toward us, in the manner in which we expect of him. Far from being angry over what we’ve done, he is always ready to give us much more than we desire. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Being Brought to Repentance

Repentance

from Google Images

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son Jesus tells of the condition that befell the young man after he had left his father. He spent his inheritance on strangers, and afterward found he hadn’t a friend among them. With his wealth gone, he came to realize he was a stranger in a strange land, and, at least for him, there was a famine in that land (Luke 15:14). That is he was alone and destitute with no means of saving himself. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Our Participation in Divine Nature

divine-nature-2

from Google Images

In Philippians 2:12 Paul tells his readers to each work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. In Peter’s second epistle Peter points to the believer’s part in his own salvation, showing that he has become a partner in or a partaker of divine nature. While God saves mankind from death (Romans 6:23) and gives us eternal life (2Corinthians 5:1-4), those who claim Jesus as their Savior are expected in this present life to in share the cost of salvation. Paul refers to this as offering oneself as a living sacrifice to God. In doing so, we refuse to be conformed to the image of this world by submitting to God’s hand in forming us after the image of his Son (Romans 8:29; 12:1-2; 2Corinthians 3:18). Peter describes the believer’s part as taking place in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, or as we might put it today: in asking ourselves WWJD? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Christ’s Divine Power

christ-in-you

from Google Images

Peter claims the believer has been given all things pertaining to life and godliness through “divine power” (2Peter 1:3), but is Peter referring to the Father’s power or that of Jesus? In 1Peter 1:1 Peter writes “…our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Then in verse-2 he again refers to Jesus with “…the knowledge of God, even Jesus our Lord.” The natural implication of the word divine in 1Peter 1:3 points to Jesus, i.e. Jesus’ divine power. It seems out of place, if Peter intends for us to understand the Father, because up to this point he is writing only of Jesus—our God and Savior and our knowledge of him. Why insert divine in reference to God (the Father)? It wasn’t worshipers of God who were being attacked, but worshipers of Jesus. Knowing Jesus as God was an astonishing revelation in the first century, and the mention of divine in verse-3 compliments Peter’s mention of our God and Savior in the first two verses of his epistle. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Epistles of Peter, Gospel of Luke

 

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The Woman with the Issue of Blood

tassels

from Google Images

While he was on his way to heal a young girl, a woman who had in issue of blood for twelve years (Luke 8:43; Mark 5:27-28) came up behind Jesus and touched him, hoping to go undetected. She believed that by touching Jesus she would be healed, and she thought that going to him among the thronging crowd her presence and purpose would go unnoticed. She was immediately healed, and her bleeding stopped (Luke 8:44). Mark 5:29 says that the woman felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. What she did was reach out and touch one of the four fringes or tassels, which hung from Jesus’ outer garment (Luke 8:44; cf. Numbers 15:38-39; Matthew 23:5). They were there to remind devout Jews of the Lord’s commandments and one’s duty to obey them. It had a set apart or holy significance (Numbers 15:40) that the woman reached out to touch, hoping to be made whole. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Freedom to Be Gracious

suffering-servant

from Google Images

It is a gracious matter to endure suffering, while acting out of one’s desire to be obedient to God (1Peter 2:19), or to behave in a manner pleasing to him. Often, this suffering comes at the hand of others. When Peter addresses the plight of the servant in 1Peter 2:18-20, application can be made to other walks of life, for example one is able to act out Peter’s argument at one’s place of employment. Yet, it needs to be remembered that the primary application is to the one who has no freedom, like slaves and conquered peoples. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2016 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Jesus and Moses

from Google Images

from Google Images

In Luke 5:33-39 Luke records Jesus making four pairs of contrasts: fasting and feasting, an old garment and new cloth, old wineskins and new wine, and old and new wine. All have to do with religious practice and how Jesus disciples relate to God, versus how this was done under the Old Covenant. Some contrast the Church and Judaism, but this isn’t enough. The heart of the matter is not simply Jewish tradition. Rather, the problem is with the Mosaic Law. Moses and Jesus are at odds in this respect, namely, that law and grace simply have no common ground. One cannot cry out for justice and forgive at the same time. Nevertheless, Jesus did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17)—i.e. to complete it, furnish what it lacked and pay its demands. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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This Day this Scripture is Fulfilled

Spirit of the Lord is upon me -1

from Google Images

It is interesting that Matthew punctuates his entire Gospel with the theme of Christ fulfilling all things under the Old Covenant. Luke doesn’t do that. Rather, except for a few statements in the final week of Jesus’ public ministry, Luke brackets the whole of Jesus’ words and deeds between Luke 4:19 and 24:44 under the theme of what in Scripture was to be fulfilled. Here in Luke 4:19 Jesus claimed he was the Messiah by saying Isaiah 61 was fulfilled in the ears of his family and friends at Nazareth. Then in Luke 24:44 Jesus told his disciples in the upper room that all things in the Law, Prophets and Writings (Psalms) that were written about him had to have been fulfilled by him. Luke sets forth these two Scriptures as an inclusio.[1] That is, everything that falls between these two verses, he intends for us (and his addressee, Theophilus – Luke 1:3) to understand they concern Jesus fulfilling the Scriptures. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Birth of John the Baptist

John the Baptist - Birth

from Google Images

John the Baptist was one of the seven people God named before they were born.[1] He was six months older than Jesus, because Elizabeth was pregnant with him in her sixth month when Mary conceived. John would later be killed by Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee, because John had been critical of him for marrying Herodias, his brother’s (Herod Philip) wife. Jesus said there was no greater prophet than John the Baptist, yet only Luke mentions the details surrounding his birth. Josephus tells us that about eight years after John’s death: Antipas was at war with King Aretas, his former father-in-law, whose daughter Herod had divorced in order to marry Herodias. Antipas lost that war taking heavy casualties and losing his authority and presence in key areas where his land bordered that of King Aretas. The Jewish people were convinced Herod’s defeat was punishment from God for killing John the Baptist. What can we know of John? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Authentic Boast

from Google Images

from Google Images

“Before concluding his letter Paul returns once more to the antithesis of cross and circumcision, setting them forth this time as representing respectively the true and the false ground of boasting, and thus carrying a stage further his polemic against the Judaizers and their way of legal observance (Galatians 5:2-12).”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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The Battle for the Good News

from Google Images

from Google Images

The question at this point is: why is circumcision (or anything we do) unable to make us right with God (Galatians 5:6; cf. 3:10, 21)? Just as the wages we earn have nothing to do with being a gift we receive, so circumcision or anything we do can have nothing to do with making us right before God, because righteousness is imputed (i.e. it is a gift), and what we do looks for a wage (reward for services rendered). It is Christ who makes us righteous (through grace, a gift), and we can only trust it is so, just as we trust that any gift we receive is entirely a gift—no strings attached. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Freedom and Authority

from Google Images

from Google Images

I may have freedom of religion while living under the authority of the American Constitution, but, if I choose to live under the authority of Iran, the American Constitution cannot profit me there, if I’m concerned about such freedom. Similarly, Christ cannot profit me, as far as freedom is concerned, if I choose to live under the Mosaic Law and trust in it for my salvation or my moral walk (Galatians 5:2). The Law doesn’t have power to give life, but it does have power to take it. Neither does the Law have power to make anyone righteous. It was never intended to have such power. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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Paul’s Argument of Relationships

from Google Images

from Google Images

In Galatians 4:12 and following Paul concludes his fifth argument for justification before God coming through faith in Christ and not through keeping the law. He does this by again pointing to Abraham. Anyone who shares the faith of Abraham is already his son and heir and doesn’t need to keep the law to make it so, whatever false teachers may say. The Law was given as a temporary custodian to prepare the Jews for the coming of Christ, but it was through Christ that both Jew and gentile would receive the blessings God promised to Abraham. The Law was to bring men to Christ by showing them that not only couldn’t they keep its demands, but its very nature tempted them to do those very things it told them not to do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2015 in Epistle to the Galatians, Paul

 

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