To follow Jesus “wherever he goes” necessitates a lifetime of self-denial and sacrificial service for others.
When Jesus dispatched his disciples to announce the “good news” to the “lost sheep of Israel,” he warned that they would find themselves as “sheep among wolves.” Hostile men would haul them before “councils and whip them in their synagogues,” and his followers would be hated “by all men for my sake.”
Continue reading WAY OF THE CROSS
In the ministry of Jesus, the kingdom of God arrived as announced by John the Baptist – Mark 1:1-3.
The gospel of Mark begins with a declaration from the Hebrew Bible that sets the stage for the messianic mission of Jesus Christ. Thus, it opens on a distinct note of fulfillment. Jesus is the promised Messiah of Israel, and with the appearance of John, the long-awaited “season of fulfillment” has begun.
Continue reading IN THE BEGINNING
Matthew portrays Jesus as the Greater Moses, the True Lawgiver who brings the “Law and the Prophets” to their intended fulfillment.
In Matthew’s gospel, the life of Jesus echoes events from the history of Israel. The point is not that Christ reenacted what Yahweh did in Moses and for Israel, but that he brought what God had begun in the distant past to fruition. He is the Greater Lawgiver foreshadowed in the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt under Moses.
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Through a series of seven “beatitudes,” Revelation summons believers to faithfulness despite hostility and persecution.
The book of Revelation is not a divination tool for deciphering future mysteries. Instead, it summons God’s people to vigilance, right living, and perseverance in testimony during trials and persecution. Its concern is not when certain events will occur, but how the churches must “overcome” and thus arrive at the city of “New Jerusalem.”
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The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost signaled the arrival of the “last days” – Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:17-21.
The application of the prophecy from Joel in Acts links the outpouring of the Spirit to the commencement of the “last days.” For the book, the Spirit’s activity and presence in the church are programmatic and foundational for its existence, from the Day of Pentecost until the return of Jesus.
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Believers are the heirs of Abraham and possession of the inheritance is guaranteed by the gift of the Spirit.
Possession of the land of Canaan was a preliminary stage in God’s redemptive plan, which always envisioned something larger than Israel. Now, the covenant promises find their fulfillment in the “true seed of Abraham,” Jesus, including the promises of resurrection and new creation.
Continue reading INHERITANCE OF THE SAINTS