Posted in Christian

To Encourage

The Door

pouredLet us act with humility, cast ourselves at one another’s feet, join hands with each other, and help another. For here we battle not against pope or emperor, but against the devil, and do you imagine that he is asleep?  
Martin Luther 
And Thou, O most merciful Father, we beseech Thee for Thy mercy’s sake, continue Thy grace and favor toward us: let the sun of Thy gospel never go down out of our hearts’ let Thy truth abide, and be established among us forever…. Apparel us thoroughly in Christ, that he may live in us, and so Thy name may be glorified in the sight of all the world. Amen. 
John Jewel

Posted in Discipleship

The times

One day the vindication certainly will come.

The times to come will be hard. Just as Jesus will suffer as Son of Man, so also the saints will be persecuted for their commitment to him. They will long for vindication, but they will have to wait for it. So Jesus exhorts them to pray always and not lose heart. Contextually, Jesus is speaking of not losing heart about the hope of vindiwroclawpolandcation. He compares such prayer to the persistence of a widow nagging a judge. Her constant request was for him to vindicate her against her adversary, a remark that shows the eschatological vindication theme. The judge, who is no respecter of persons, will vindicate her so as not to be “beaten black and blue” by her continual coming.
It is this image that Jesus compares to God’s response. To make the point, Jesus uses a rhetorical question about God vindicating his elect who cry out to him day and night. The vindication will come. Will God delay over them? No, that vindication will come speedily. But apparently it will delay long enough that there is a question whether people will wait faithfully for that vindication. So Jesus concludes the unit by asking, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The parable affirms the speedy vindication of disciples, while also noting that the indefiniteness of the delay is long enough to cause the possibility that some will not endure with abiding faith. It is this very ambiguity that produced discussion about the “delay” of Christ’s return in the early church. Nevertheless, the parable reinforces the previous unit’s discussion of the day of the Son of Man and urges disciples to “hang in there” until he returns. One day the vindication certainly will come.
Book: Jesus according to Scripture
Author: Darrell L. Bock

Posted in Discipleship

Hope Realized

the “already” and “not yet,”

the-Hidden-Things-of-GodJohn has often been understood to dissolve any so-called “tension” between the “already” and “not yet,” between the present and future, in favor of his emphasis on the present reality of the salvation and blessings of God. Yet even though “tension” may not quite capture the flavor of Johannine eschatology, there clearly is a definite “space” between the here and now and the future. This may also be seen in Jesus’ own journey to the Father-and his promise to the disciples that they will be where he is. Since he is returning to the Father, to the place and position that he had before the creation of the world, and since in the position he alone has seen the Father, the implication is that the disciples too have the promise of the vision of God. In this present life, because the Word of God has become incarnate, here is genuine knowledge of God; in seeing the Son, one sees the unseen Father. Yet the full vision of the unseen Father remains a future hope (see 1 John 3:1-2). Similarly, through the words and deeds of Jesus, one knows God and so has eternal life (17:3). Yet just as the Incarnate Word is fully God, yet not the entire fullness of God, and just as one sees the Father in the Son and yet does not see the Father in fullness, so to the life that the Word grants to human beings is fully the life of God, but not yet the complete fullness of the life. It awaits the resurrection. The very language of eternal life presses logically toward this end: life with the one who is the very origin and source of all life, the living and life-giving God.

Title: The God of The Gospel of John
author: Marianne Meye Thompson

Posted in Church

Sound Doctrine

The Church

sufferThis is why the apostles not only framed Christian faith in doctrinal terms but called for its preservation and protection in this form. There is no Christian faith in the absence of “sound doctrine” (1Tim. 1:10; Tit. 1:9), “sound instruction” (1Tim. 6:3), or the “pattern of sound teaching”  (2 Tim. 1:13-14). It is this doctrine, or, more precisely, the truth it contains and expresses, that was “taught’ by the apostles and “delivered” to the Church. Is this message that is our only ground for hope (Tit. 1:9) and salvation (1 Cor. 15:2; 1 Pet. 1:23-25). Without it, we have neither the Father nor the Son (2 John 9). Indeed, Paul says that we can grow in Christ only if we stay within this doctrinal framework, for its truth provides the means of our growth (Col. 2:6). It is no wonder that Christians are urged no to depart from the apostolic teaching they received “ in the beginning” (John 2:7,24,26, 3:11) or from what they had heard (Heb. 2:1), for it is the “faith once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). Nor should we be amazed to read of Paul’s admonition to Timothy that it is only by adhering to this “good teaching” that he will become a “good minister of Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 4:6). For all of these reasons, the apostles instructed believers to guard” this faith (2 Tim. 1:13-14; 4:3; cf. Tit. 1:9; Gal. 1:9), defend it (Jude 3), “stand firm” in it, not to “drift” from it, to become “established” in it, and to transmit it intact to succeeding generations.

author: David F. Wells

Posted in Discipleship


The Temptation
The temptation of Jesus is to be understood against this background. Satan did not challenge Jesus with the words, ‘If you are the Messiah ‘but’ If you are the Son of God.’ Satan recognizeded that Jesus, as the Son of God, could call upon angelic aid to assure personal safety. The temptations have to do indeed with Jesus messianic office, but with the messianic office that is grounded in his sonship.
That sonship involves a supernatural element is further supported by the recognition of Jesus by the demons. Mark records that at the very outset of his ministry, a demon-possessed man in the synagogue at capernaum saw Jesus, recognized him, and cried out, “what have you to do with us, jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God’ (Mk.1:24). Recognition by the demons was immediate and direct. It was not grounded upon observation and interpretation of Jesus’ words or deeds, it was not acquired inferentia knowledge; it was rather intuitive recognition of a supernatural kind. A comparison of this incident with Paul’experience with the demon-possessed girl in Acts 16 gives support to this interpretation.The expression The Holy One of God” is not a known messianic title nor a common primitive Christian designation of Jesus. Its background is the designation in the Old Testament of God as the Holy One. The demoniac recognised in Jesus the presence of a supernatural person.

book: A Theology of the New Testament
author: George Eldon Ladd

Posted in Christian


peter-catacombRedemer, teach us not only to believe on You, but also to abide in You; to take Your cross not only as the ground of our pardon, but also as the law of our life Teach us to love it not only because on it You have bore our curse, but because on it we enter into the closet fellowship with Yourself and and crucified with You. And teach us that as we yield ourselves wholly, to be possessed of the Spirit in which You did bear the Cross, we will be made partakers of the power and the blessings to which the Cross alone gives access.
book: Abide in Christ
auther: Andrew Murray

Posted in Christian

C-New Wave

crux-2We must now examine the specific relationship between the Kingdom and the church,
accepting the circle of Jesus’ disciples as the incipient church if not yet the church itself . The solution to this problem will depend upon one’s basic definition of the kingdom. If the
dynamic concept of the kingdom is correct, it is never to be identified with the church. The
Kingdom is primarily the dynamic reign or kingly rule of God and derivative, the sphere in which the rule is experienced. In biblical idiom, the kingdom is not identified with its subjects.They are the people of God’s rule who enter it, live under it and are governed by it. The church is the community of the kingdom but never the kingdom itself. Jesus’ disciples belong to the  Kingdom as the kingdom belongs to them’ but they are not the kingdom the kingdom is the rule of God’ the church is a society of women and men…………G. E Ladd

Posted in Christian

Don’t Forget

 in due season

ConversionThere is surely no part of Christian teaching which has been the subject of so much ridicule and indignant rejection as the doctrine of election. How absurd for intelligent, educated people to believe that almighty God should have his favorites, that he should pick out one small tribe among all the families of humankind to be the special objects of his attention. Is it not simply a piece of ignorant egotism? There can be few places where this is felt more keenly than in India, with its immensely ancient and venerable traditions of religious experience and sophisticated theological reflection. How can one believe that almighty God has hidden the secret of truth for all these centuries from the great saints and scholars of India, the men and women who were composing some of the greatest religious literature in the world at a time when the tribes of western Europe were wild barbarians, and the India should have to wait three thousand years to learn the secret of eternal salvation from the descendants of these barbarians? But the scandal is certainly not peculiar to India. It was Rousseau who said that he could not understand why, if God had something to say to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, he could not say it directly but had to go through Moses to say it.

The Gospel in a Pluralist Society
author: Lesslie Newbigin

Posted in Church

The Wholly Other

He is the image of the invisible God

The light of the body is the eye
The light of the body is the eye

In sharp contrast with every other religion, Christianity stands for the fact that in Jesus Christ God has communicated to us his Word and has imparted to us his Spirit, so that we may rally know him as he is in himself although not apart from his saving activity in history, for what he is toward us and for us in history he is in himself, and what he is in himself he is toward us and for us in history. The Word of God and the Spirit of God are not just ephemeral modes of God’s presence to us in history; nor are they transient media external to himself through which God has revealed to us something about himself; they belong to what God ever is in his communion with us. They are the objective ontological personal forms of his self giving and self-imparting in the dynamic outgoing of the holy Love which God himself is. It thus belongs to the essential faith of the Church that through his Word and his Spirit who are of one and the same being with himself God has really communicated himself to us in his own eternal and indivisible Reality as God the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. That is why we believe that what God is toward us in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, he is in himself, antecedently and eternally in himself; and that what he imparts to us through the Spirit who sheds the love of God into our hearts, he is in himself, antecedently and eternally in himself. It is thus that through Jesus Christ God has given himself to us and through the Holy Spirit takes us up into communion with himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the one God of all grace whom we know as the God of our salvation.

Think of the immense revolution this means for our understanding of God. It means that God is not some remote, unknowable Deity, a prisoner in his aloofness or shut up in his solitariness, but on the contrary the God who is free to go outside of himself, to share in the life of his creatures and enable them to share in his own eternal Life.

The Christian Doctrine of God
One Being in Three Persons
Thomas F. Torrance

Colossians 1:15-17 (ESV)

The Preeminence of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:16 That is, by means of; or in

Posted in Christian

Many Other Things

The Public Reading of Christian Books

WisdomThe public reading of Christian books took place for the most part in assemblies for worship. Justin Martyr, describing the procedure of Christian assemblies in the middle of the second century, says:

And on the day which is called the day of the sun there is an assembly of all those who live in the towns or in the country, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read for as long as time permits. Then the reader ceases, and the president speaks, admonishing and exhorting us to imitate these excellent examples. Then we all rise together and pray and, as we said before, when we have completed our prayer, bread is brought, and wine and water, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability and the people assent with Amen; and there is a distribution and partaking by all of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And those who collected is deposited with the president, who gives aid to orphans and widows and those who are in want on account of illness or any other cause, and to those also who are in prison and to strangers from abroad, and, in a word, cares for all who are in need (Apol. 1.67).

The reading mentioned here as a vital part of weekly assembly was by that time an established and probably universal Christian liturgical custom.

title: Books and Readers in The Early Church
author: Harry Y. Gamble

Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.  John 21:25   (ESV)