A baby in a manger—what a little picture for such an immense person! Every Christmas we gaze in awe at a simple crèche and marvel at the miracle of the incarnation of the Son of God. Those tiny fingers belie the supreme power the person Himself not only possesses, but has already exercised. Even in His infancy Jesus embodied the fullness of the Godhead. The Son of God, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6–7 ESV).… Continue reading
“Christmas is coming!” Children and adults alike express their excitement at this wonderful time of the year with all of its activities, decorations, goodies, and gifts. Far from the hearts and minds of most people at this time of year is yet another exclamation: “Christ is coming!” Yet, the believers living in those last few centuries before the First Advent of Jesus Christ did look forward and think, “The Messiah (Christ) is coming!”
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.” (Zechariah 2:10 ESV)
“Behold, I come” literally says, “I am about to come!” A special Hebrew construction (sometimes referred to as the imminent future) expresses that concept..… Continue reading
Thanksgiving occurs every day and has since creation itself. Setting aside one special day as our American Thanksgiving merely formalizes a national observance. Unfortunately, many people merely use the time as a means of feasting and celebrating without giving true thanksgiving and praise to the Creator Himself. In order to expand true thanksgiving within any group (as small as one’s family or as great as one’s community), at least one person of true faith must call others to the highest giving of thanks there can ever be: offering heartfelt praise and worship to the Lord of heaven and earth.
Universal Call to Giving Thanks Based on a Universal Cause
One of the most well known of psalms closes by focusing on the universal cause for giving thanks to the Creator and King of all creation.… Continue reading
Three fairly significant biblical examples appear to support a believer’s participation in the military:
- Jesus’s approval of a king who waged war against wicked people (Matthew 21:33–41).
- In Luke 3:14 John did not command them to resign from military service, but to be content in that position with its wages. Their behavior was to be just and honest — even while remaining soldiers.
- In John 18:36 Jesus stated that it would have been proper for His disciples to defend His kingdom with swords if it had been an earthly kingdom.
In addition, New Testament writers employ a variety of military metaphors to describe the character of the believer: the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10–20), being a “good soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3–4), and waging spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:1–6).… Continue reading
Just war advocates normally base their stance upon passages revealing the divine origin and approval of government and its functions. Romans 13:1–7 forms the anchoring text for developing their view of governmental authority in the lives of Christians. The apostle Paul represents the government as a divinely constituted authority (vv. 1, 2). Hodge argues that
… Continue reading
It was to Paul a matter of little importance whether the Roman emperor was appointed by the senate, the army, or the people; whether the assumption of the imperial authority by Caesar was just or unjust, or whether his successors had a legitimate claim to the throne or not.