The sacrifice that reconciles (Leviticus 1)

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Leviticus 1

The late teacher and theologian R.C. Sproul once told about an encounter he had with the holiness of God. He was in college and a recent convert to Christianity. One afternoon, he felt compelled to leave his dorm, brace icy weather, and make his way to the chapel. There he sank to his knees, speechless. Terror overcame him, which gave way to deep peace. Continue reading

It was the Best of Times; it was the Worst of Times (Lamentations 3:22-23)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Lamentations 3:22-23

In his book A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens has given the literary world one of the greatest statements of all time. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” This so aptly describes our age and our world.

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Have You Not Heard? (Isaiah 40:28)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Isaiah 40:28

We must not forget Christmas is about celebrating the Incarnation of God, Jesus fully God and fully man. Before he was born, the Ancient of Days thought about being born. The form God chose to enter and experience his creation was an infant that grew and matured and was born in the same way as you and I. Somehow God’s infinite power was contained within a fragile infant. Continue reading

Face to Face (Matthew 6:22-23)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Matthew 6:22-23

You and I have a unique and singular face. We have been seeing it in a mirror since we were young. We have watched it change as we age. Continue reading

What did Jesus do? (Romans 1:1-6)

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Romans 1:1-6

“If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects [Heb 2:17] that he might learn to feel our pain [cf. Heb 5:2]. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross [Gal 3:13]; if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent to hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgement, in the power given to him to judge.” These are the words of the sixteenth century reformer John Calvin. Continue reading

Tikkun Olam (Proverbs 27:1)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Proverbs 27:1

I like to fix things. Most people do. It is a facet of our humanity that we create and repair. Life is short. And in our short sinful imperfect lives we are called by God to be co-regents, to participate in the restoration of the Kingdom of God in the here and now. So how do you and I repair/restore the world together; how do we repair ourselves, the people in the complex and paradoxical world in which we live? Continue reading

Husbands and Wives, Part II (Colossians 3:18-4:1)

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Colossians 3:18-4:1

Last week’s blog addressed Paul’s exhortation to wives. This week’s addresses Paul’s exhortation to husbands, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them (Colossians 3:19).” Continue reading

Let This Peace Rule in Your Hearts (Colossians 3:15-17)

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Colossians 3:15-17

The Apostle Paul said, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace (Colossians 3:15a).”

We often think of peace as the absence of conflict and the presence of harmony. This is true. However, how is such peace secured? For the first century Jew, peace would come through the end-time Messiah, who would usher in God’s kingdom on earth. Such peace was thought to come through a warrior king, who would defeat the enemies of the Jews. For the first century Roman, peace would come through imperial proclamation and military pacification. In a phrase, it would come through the “Pax Romana,” the Roman Peace. Continue reading

The Ascension (Hebrews 4:14-16)

 

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Hebrews 4:14-16

Christ was raised from the dead.

His life, death, and resurrection are historical facts corroborated by numerous sources outside of the Bible and were seen by many eyewitnesses. Continue reading

Why Not a King? And the Answer. (Colossians 2:8-15)

Why not a king_ And the Answer.Colossians 2:8-15

Why did our nation’s forefathers not choose a king or queen for our government? No one had ever had a “president” before. Continue reading