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One Spirit and One Body

One Spirit One Body

from Google Images

On their journey back to Galilee, the Apostles began to dispute among themselves who was the greatest. In view of what follows, I do not believe their dispute was over which individual was the greatest. We need to keep in mind that one of the gifts of the Spirit is a diversity of administration or ministries (1Corinthians 12:5). One of the lessons Jesus had been teaching the Apostles concerned what life within the Body of Christ is like. There are four lists of the apostles recorded in the New Testament. It can be verified by comparing these lists that there are a few things that are always so. The lists are found in Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:13-15, and Acts 1:13. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Healing a Young Boy Possessed by Spirit

Demons - Deliverance

from Google Images

If the young boy who was possessed by a spirit (Luke 9:37-39) in the sense that a sentient and independent entity seized the boy’s body and mind, as one would take one’s own property, there is little I can say in defense of such a thing, as far as God permitting it is concerned. Why would God do such a thing, and how would his permission be justified, according to how the Scriptures define God’s character? If God wants us to know him (and I believe he does – Philippians 3:10-15), then what he says about himself ought to be seen in what he does and what he allows to be done. If God views a man’s will to be of particular importance (cf. Job 1:6-12; 2:3-7), then how can he justify allowing a malevolent spirit taking full control of an infant boy, knowing the child could never develop a desire to know his Creator? If such a thing is wrong, then the only alternative is that what we believe about demonic activity **must**also be wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Transfiguration and the Apostles

Transfiguration

from Google Images

Often we speak of the Transfiguration as though it was simply an event in the lives of the three Apostles who were with Jesus, and we conclude they simply misunderstood, and in saying so we move on to the next event in the Gospel narratives. We may conclude that Jesus was in a glorified state, something like we expect him to be at his Second Coming, but then we move on in the narrative. But, wait! What actually happened there on top of Mt. Olives? What did the three Apostles experience, and what might they have been thinking versus its true meaning? What real value can we take away from all this? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Prophecy Made More Certain

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

from Google Images

In 2Peter 1:19 Peter claims the prophecies about Christ are more certain and clearer from the standpoint of the Gospel (cf. 1Peter 1:12-13 Romans 15:8). In the same way that the hope of our resurrection is made more certain in Jesus’ resurrection (cf. 1Peter 1:3-4), so the Transfiguration of Christ had made his coming more certain in the minds and hearts of those who were eyewitnesses of it, and for us who believe their word. It is fitting that Peter should be the only New Testament writer to point to the Transfiguration, because it seems he was especially moved by the experience (cf. Mark 9:5-6; Luke 9:33-34). So, what occurred to Jesus on the mount strengthens the prophecies of the coming of the Messiah, causing those who believed them to be expectant. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Coming Kingdom of God

Kingdom of God -3

from Google Images

In Luke 9:27 Jesus claimed that at least some of the Apostles would be alive to see the coming of the Kingdom of God. Misunderstanding what Jesus meant has led some folks to believe Jesus was wrong, and the writers of the New Testament were wrong to expect Jesus to come in their lifetimes. Moreover, misunderstanding the signs of this event has led many to falsely claim Jesus would return on certain dates, and the world as we know it would end at that time. This slant on the Scriptures has always proved to be wrong and has led many to take for granted that Christianity is just another of the world’s religions and has no basis in reality. What can we say about these things, and what did Jesus really mean in Luke 9:27? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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If One Suffers for Righteousness

pay-it-forward-1

from Google Images

When I was a youth I was told that Jesus said his followers would be persecuted (cf. Luke 21:12; John 15:20). When we are baptized, the ceremony reminds us that with the Spirit of God comes also the trials of fire (Luke 3:16). We are not promised a bed of roses by coming to Christ, but we are promised his continual presence with us (Hebrew 13:5; cf. Matthew 28:20b). Usually, just knowing the Lord is with us during difficult times is all that is necessary for us to be content, but, even if I found myself perplexed and in fear, when the trial was over I was often astonished, as I looked back and saw the nearness of Christ and his protection through it all. This is not to say that I (or we) live a life of trouble and persecution. Judging from my own history, we do not. Life is usually wonderful, filled with joy and peace, but trouble does come, and Peter spoke to us in his epistle concerning how those times should be lived out. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2016 in Epistles of Peter

 

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When There Is No Freedom

no-freedom

from Google Images

What is the believer’s responsibility when his freedom is taken away? This can occur, if one is forced into servitude (slavery), when one nation conquers another, when powerful, unmerciful men are in authority in civil and commercial institutions and one might add other examples. What is a Christian to do under such circumstances? I believe both Peter and Paul offer reasonable solutions to these questions when they speak of the haustafel codes pertaining to servants or slaves. While it may not be a popular solution in our modern society, we need to remember the New Testament speaks to those who have freely chosen to follow Christ, and such a choice involves bearing wrongful treatment without complaint. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2016 in Epistles of Peter

 

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