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Showing posts from October, 2022

Right relationships in Christ (preaching resource for 11/27/22)

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This post exegetes Romans chapters 12 and 13, providing context for the RCL Epistles reading for 11/27/22 (the first Sunday of Advent). This exegesis draws on commentary from Warren Wiersbe ("Bible Expository Commentary") and John Stott ("The Message of Romans"). "The Way of Joy" by Greg Olsen (used with artist's permission) Introduction As he does in most of his epistles, Paul concludes Romans with a list of practical duties ( imperatives ) that flow out of his presentation of the gospel, with its indicatives of grace. This is Paul's Christ-centered,  gospel-focused and grace-based approach to Christian living where behavior flows from belief; doing flows from being. The ethics to which Paul now turns focuses on relationships —beginning with our relationship with God and extending into our relationships with people. By grace, we are rightly related to God in Christ, and now through Christ we are (also by grace) rightly related to people and even t

The Ascension and the Parousia of Christ

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This post from Torrance scholar  Stavan Narendra John  outlines  chapter seven of Thomas F. Torrance's book " Space, Time and Resurrection " (STR). Stavan wrote this outline for a meeting of the  Torrance Reading Group . For addtional STR chapter summaries, click on the number:  1 ,  2 ,  3 , 4 ,  5 ,  6 , 8 . "Ascension" by Copley (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) The relation between the ascension and the parousia In chapter seven of STR,  Thomas F. Torrance orients his readers to the relation between the ascension and the parousia. He does so by highlighting three main points: 1. The importance of understanding the parousia in realist terms  Torrance elaborates on the importance of a realist interpretation by:  a. highlighting how the NT uses the term parousia in a “realist and effective sense” : “Parousia, normally translated as coming or advent, means coming and presence, the real presence of him who was, who is, and who is to come. ‘All is present, an

The preeminence of Jesus (preaching resource for 11/20/22)

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This post exegetes Colossians 1:11-20, the RCL Epistles reading for 11/20/22. It draws on commentary from Warren Wiersbe (Bible Expository Commentary) and Peter T. O’Brien (New Bible Commentary). "Christus Pantocrator" by Wahra (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction Paul writes to the church in Colosse in large part to refute false teachers who were troubling the Christians there. These false teachers were not so brash as to deny the importance of Jesus. Instead they dethroned him, giving him prominence but not preeminence . According to their teaching, Jesus was but one of many “emanations” from God through whom men could reach God. It is this claim that Paul addresses and refutes in our Epistles reading today. Focused on the grace of God in Jesus We begin with Colossians 1:11-14:  ... 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified

Sharing and Living the Word (preaching resource for 11/13/22)

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This post exegetes 2 Thessalonians 3, drawing on commentary from John Stott in providing context for 2Thess. 3:6-13, the Revised Common Lectionary Epistles reading for 11/13/22. St. Paul by Rembrandt (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction   In 2 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul peers into the future and sees Christ revealed on the last day. He also sees the Antichrist's rebellion, preceding that day. Meanwhile, a cataclysmic outbreak of lawlessness is being held back, though the spirit of lawlessness is already at work in the world.  In this situation between the two advents (appearings) of Christ, what is our responsibility as Christians? How are we to live? Notice what Paul says in 2Thess.3:1-5. 1 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message [the word]  of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has [the]  faith.3 The Lord is faith

On the Atonement (its means and results)

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As we approach Advent and Christmastide, it's a good time to be reminded that Jesus Christ, in himself, is our atonement with God. Thus we understand that the Incarnation (Advent-Christmas) along with the Cross (Good Friday), Resurrection (Easter), Ascension and outpouring of the Spirit (Pentecost) are all fundamental to both the means and the results of the Atonement. "The Adoration of the Shepherds" by Jordaens (public domain via Wikimedia commons) In his book  Face to Face, Volume Three: Sharing God's Life , theologian Marty Folsom  explores twenty metaphors used in Scripture to unveil the rich, varied meanings/implications of the Atonement. Here, quoting from this enlightening book, is a brief summary of each metaphor: 1) A demonstration of love "God does not need to be conditioned to love us.... This means that the cross must go much deeper than any attempt to buy off God.... Firstly and foremost, atonement is a demonstration of love.... In love, God acts t