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
At the heart of Christian hope is the future resurrection of the saints at Christ’s return and the arrival of the new heavens and the new earth.
Central to the New Testament understanding of salvation is redemption. God is not simply abandoning what He first created, but instead, He is recovering and restoring what was enslaved by sin, decay, and death. But in His redemptive acts, the end state of all things that have been redeemed will be vastly superior to their original state, and this is epitomized in the promise of bodily resurrection.
Continue reading REDEMPTION, NOT ABANDONMENT
The Day of the Lord will mean salvation to the “sons of light” who remain ever vigilant and prepared for it – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.
Rather than provide a list of “signs” whereby believers can ascertain the imminence of the “Day of the Lord,” the Apostle Paul gave instructions on how they must live in anticipation of that day’s sudden and unexpected arrival. It would not overtake the Thessalonians because they “were not in darkness,” but instead, they were “sons of light” and “sons of the day.”
Continue reading SONS OF LIGHT
Already, Jesus is “rescuing” his people from the coming “wrath” that will befall the unrighteous when he arrives – 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
From its inception, the congregation at Thessalonica had experienced hostility. Out of concern for their welfare, Paul sent Timothy to determine how the church was faring under persecution. His letter to the Thessalonians begins with his thankfulness for their perseverance, and then he reassures them that Jesus will rescue his people from a far worse fate than any present “tribulation.”
Continue reading RESCUING US FROM WRATH
According to Paul, men are not set right before God “from the works of the law,” but instead, “from the faith of Jesus Christ.
Having demonstrated that all men have sinned and violated the revealed will of God, both Jews and Gentiles alike, Paul concludes that no one can be set right before God “from the law.” Jews have the Mosaic Law but fall short of its requirements. Gentiles have the witness of their own conscience yet continue to live and even revel in sin.
Continue reading THE FAITH OF JESUS
Central to the hope of the early church was the bodily resurrection of the dead at the return of Jesus in glory.
Biblical Christianity is a forward-looking faith, and integral to its doctrine of salvation is the future resurrection of the dead, which also will mean the commencement of the New Creation. And in the New Testament, this hope is linked to two events: the past resurrection of Jesus and his future return at the end of the age. And salvation remains incomplete without it.
Continue reading CHRISTIANITY’S FORGOTTEN HOPE