The Mission of Jesus Begins (Mark 1:9-13)

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Submitted by Craig Devenport. 

Mark 1:9-13

The first chapter of Mark has it all. Angels, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and even Satan are all in the same place at the same time, during the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and Jesus’ temptation by Satan. Continue reading

The sacrifice that celebrates peace (Leviticus 3)

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Leviticus 3

The Hebrew word for “peace” surpasses most notions of peace today. Some think of peace as the absence of political or international conflict. Others of the absence of pain or presence of tranquility. Some think of relational harmony. The Hebrew concept of peace includes these things, but it goes further. It includes health, wealth, joy, and wholeness. But there is more. The peace that makes all other peace possible is God’s peace established between God and humans. Continue reading

The sacrifice that kills negativity (Leviticus 2)

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Leviticus 2

A critical spirit infects the world we live in. Instead of expressing gratitude, we are prone to grumble and complain. We complain about the school board, politicians, or the way people parent or spend their money. Our inner voice tempts us to think we could do things better in their shoes. The Israelites had an offering to counter such negative attitudes. It was called the Meal Offering (or “Grain Offering”). Continue reading

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

Oh time, where did you go? (Psalm 90)

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Psalm 90

An interesting thing happens when raising children. You will not need to teach a child to say, “mine.” As soon as the child understands the concept, everything is “mine.” That firetruck, “mine.” That sippy cup, “mine.” That book, “mine.” Everything is “mine.” But do you know what you will need to labor repeatedly to teach a child? To share with his or her sister. Continue reading

Confused about the Holy Spirit?

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John 14:16-18

Many people are confused about the Holy Spirit. In this age of spiritism and new age practices, how are we to understand the Holy Spirit? Continue reading

Is Christianity about rule following? (Romans 7:15-25)

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Romans 7:15-25

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” These are the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:15. Paul was one of the champions of the grass root first-century church movement. He accomplished more for the church than almost anyone after him and wrote a significant portion of the New Testament. Yet, even the Apostle confessed he did not do what he wanted to. Continue reading

What is the church? (Acts 2:42-27)

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Acts 2:42-27

As a pastor, numerous people have told me that if they were to walk into our church building, the roof would cave in. I jokingly reply, “It has not caved in on me yet.” 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

Why is the world a mess? (Genesis 3:1-7)

 

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Genesis 3:1-7

The Bible begins with the affirmation that both creation and humanity were created “very good” (Genesis 1:31). In last week’s article we discussed what it meant for humanity to be created good in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27).

If God created humanity and creation good, what happened? Why all this strife, conflict, division, and suffering? Continue reading