Messianic Hope and the Gentiles

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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:

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, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.

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“You Are My People”–How Should We Live?

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slide_jer-7_23God 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

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What Does it Mean to be “Spiritual”?

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As religion – especially formal religion – has seen a downfall in the general public, a replacement of sorts has partially taken its place – and people have been noticing. The new trend is for people to say that they are not religious, but rather “spiritual.” Whatever the difference between those two may be, it is certainly at least a little bit reflective of putting off what is external and formal for what is internal and informal. It is a cry for something real in the midst of a religious scene that seems fake and hypocritical. It is a cry for something that people can identify with.… Continue reading

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Two Misconceptions about Spiritual Gifts

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readington churchWe hear a lot about “serving” our church. But what does that actually mean? When I say “serve your church,” my intention is not to tell you about all the programs and ministries our church offers, and where there might be an opening for you to get plugged in. You may very well be the most “active” person in the church, performing the greatest number of tasks than any other person, while using your spiritual gift the least. And as such, you are not serving your church well.

The hypothetical is unlikely, but certainly a possibility. We would therefore do well to ask ourselves, “Is this ministry distracting me from using my spiritual gift, or is it providing me with an opportunity to use it?” Only when all the members understand the nature of their gifts and how they fit in to the corporate body will we truly see how the Lord can bless our church.… Continue reading

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” . . . That He May Be With You Forever”

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Many people are concerned about the end of the world. Books are written, movies find new-creative ways to show us how it will all end, and there are seemingly a million or so options about how to interpret the “End Times” passages in the Bible. Interestingly, with all this attention focused upon the end, there is one area that gets missed that I believe is vital.

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Before I go any farther there are three things you must know:

(1)  If you disagree with my position on Eschatology, then you are free to go once you read #3 below, unless you want to learn a bit what another position believes.… Continue reading

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