Welcome to my digest of Christian comment.
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Does the New Testament teach that Jesus’ return was expected imminently (i.e. within the lifetime of that first generation of believers)?
Jesus taught that his disciples should be ready for his return given that he himself did not know the day or hour that it would happen (Mt 24:36).
Other New Testament passages imply that his return could happen very soon (1 Cor 1:7; Phil 4:5; Tit 2:13; James 5:8f).
But other passages teach that certain things would occur before his return, including the destruction of the Temple (Mt 24:2; see also Mt 24:30; Lk 21:11).…
To the doctrine of substitution, it might be objected that:-
1. It is unnecessary, since God could forgive sinners without any additional condition or requirement. But God is not only perfect love, desiring the salvation of the sinner, but also perfect justice. The Puritans used to say that there are three things that even God cannot do: he cannot die, lie, or deny himself. And for God to simply turn a blind eye to sin would be for him to deny his own nature.…
1. Their reality. Jesus knew the difference between a disease and a demon. Illness can sometimes look like demonisation (and vice-versa), but illnesses do not speak to those about to heal them! Nor do they possess supernatural knowledge! Just as their are good angels, so there are disobedient angels. These are demons, and their leader is Satan. The reality of demons, although not obvious to many Western Christians, is heavily documented in the literature of missions and revivals. …
2 Peter 1:4 ‘[God] has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire.’
This is one of the most striking claims in the whole of Scripture. Although the phraseology here is unique, the thought is echoed in Jn 1:12; 1 Jn 3:2-3; 1 Pet 5:1, and Rom 8:23,29.…
John 10:34 ‘Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 10:35 If those people to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’ (and the scripture cannot be broken), 10:36 do you say about the one whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?’
To whom does this refer?
1. According to Carson, this probably refers to the people of Israel at the time they were given the law.…
Text: Psalm 16
Today (11th April, 2021) is a time of thankfulness (for the life of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh), and of hopefulness (as Covid restrictions are further eased tomorrow).
But what about happiness? Has anyone ever discovered, or will anyone ever discover, the secret of real and lasting happiness?
I want to introduce you to someone who has discovered the secret of happiness.
Happy, though in danger, v1
v1 – ‘Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.’…
John 10:8 “All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.”
Who is Jesus referring to?
1. All, without exception? This is a very sweeping statement. To be sure, our Lord would be very far from rejecting the witness of Moses, the prophets and John the Baptist, for whom he had the utmost respect (Jn 1:17, 19–36; 5:39, 46; 8:56).
Nevertheless, Klink maintains that the reference is rather broad:
‘There is and has never been access to God other than through Christ.…
The story of the last week of Jesus’ earthly life (‘Holy Week’, or ‘Passion Week’) is told in great detail in the four Gospels.
But there are some apparent discrepancies which sceptics seize on in order to undermine the historical accuracy of the narrative.
For example, Judith Redman supposes that she is speaking for many when she states that ‘scholars who have looked at what we can know about the historical Jesus from the Gospels have generally decided that the answer is “not much”.’…
In the course of a thought-provoking article, Glen Tinder writes:
The idealism of the man-god does not, of course, bring as an immediate and obvious consequence a collapse into unrestrained nihilism. We all know many people who do not believe in God and yet are decent and admirable. Western societies, as highly secularized as they are, retain many humane features. Not even tacitly has our sole governing maxim become the one Dostoevsky thought was bound to follow the denial of the God-man: “Everything is permitted.”…
Jesus Christ’s joy originates in God
From his intimate relationship with his Father and the Spirit Lk 10:21 pp Mt 11:25-26 See also Isa 11:2-3; Mt 3:16-17 pp Mk 1:10-11 pp Lk 3:22; Mt 12:18; Isa 42:1; Ac 2:28; Ps 16:11
From his awareness of God’s purposes Heb 12:2 See also Jn 8:29
Jesus Christ’s coming brings great joy
His birth Lk 2:10-11 See also Mt 2:10; Lk 1:44; 2:20,28-32
His resurrection and ascension Jn 16:20-22 See also Mt 28:8-9; Lk 24:40-41,50-53; Jn 20:20
Jesus Christ gives joy to his people
He brings joy to his disciples Jn 17:13 See also Isa 61:1-3; Jn 15:11; Ro 12:12; Php 1:26
Being in his presence is likened to the joy of a wedding Mt 22:1-10 See also Mt 9:14-15 pp Mk 2:18-19 pp Lk 5:33-34; Mt 25:1-10; Jn 3:29; Rev 19:7,9
To know Jesus Christ brings great joy to others Lk 15:7 See also Mt 8:11; Lk 15:10,22-24,31-32; Jn 8:56
(Dictionary of Bible Themes, Martin Manser)…