Even before the creation of the world (1 Peter 1:17–21), God appointed Christ and His perfect sacrifice as the basis for showing mercy to the Gentiles. Through Christ they could experience hope in spite of being strangers to Israel and not being recipients of God’s covenants with Israel (Ephesians 2:11–13). The apostle Paul understood this point very clearly and the Spirit of God led him to repeatedly write of its profound significance. One such occasion appears in Paul’s epistle to the Romans:
8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.
For the past ten years I have been involved in teaching on rafting trips through the Grand Canyon. The subject matter consists of Genesis 1–11 regarding creation and the Noahic flood. With each trip I exhort the participants to be observant—to look at everything they see, to consider what they can learn about their Creator. The book of Job provides one of the texts I use for this exhortation: Job 12:7–10.
Wisdom and the Deep Things of God
Just before Job launches a three-chapter discourse (Job 12–14), Zophar speaks briefly (Job 11) of wisdom and the deep things of God (Job 11:7–9).… Continue reading
The Word of God must be at the core of all missions strategy. Without the Word of God, no ministry can be satisfactorily performed—
the Word provides the authority for ministry,
the instruction for ministry,
the power of ministry, and
the message of ministry.
To all of this nearly all agree. But what we too often neglect is how Bible translation fits into missions strategy.
Bible Translation and Evangelism
First of all, James 1:18 and 1 Peter 1:23 declare that the new birth itself is by means of the Word of God. That means that a missionary must speak from the Bible in the language of the people in order to evangelize.… Continue reading
God said to Israel, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:12 NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. In an earlier blog we covered the first major concept (“I will . . . be your God”) and discovered whom we should serve. Now we turn to the second major concept (“you shall be My people”) and how we should live for Him.
Jesus taught His disciples, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).… Continue reading