The number of people, globally, who are known to have been infected by the Coronavirus has just passed the 1 million mark. Deaths associated with the virus are spiralling. Expressions such as ‘self isolation’, ‘social distancing’, ‘ramping up’, and ‘shutting down’, have taken on a new meaning and significance. The race is on to provide more diagnostic tests, discover a suitable treatment, offer enough protective gear to those working on the front line.
But what lessons can we learn, even while we are in the midst of the crisis?…
The uniqueness of Christ is seen, not only in the things which he did do, but also in the things which he did not do:-
- He never withdrew or modified anything he said. He who was the Truth, always spoke the truth.
- He never confessed any sin. The best and holiest of men and women have been the first to acknowledge their sin and failure. But not Jesus. His life stood up to the closest of scrutiny.
Some time ago, I participated in a debate about divorce and remarriage in Church. I argued that a divorced person may be remarried in church during the lifetime of a former spouse, certainly if the divorce had been occasioned by adultery on the part of the former spouse, and possibly for other reasons also. I’m afraid I don’t have a record of the counter-argument, but here’s what I presented:-
There are many things that we should be able to agree on:-
that marriage is ordained by God, Gen 2:24.
Text: Psalm 13
Ever experienced an unresponsive landlord, lover, parent? Here, the psalmist is confronting an (apparently) unresponsive God!
1. Protest, vv1-2
A threefold problem: circumstantial (enemy), personal (troubled thoughts), spiritual (God has gone AWOL).
How do you feel about that?
- happy with God all the time?
- never known God on intimate terms?
- used to low expectations?
David was ‘a man after God’s own heart’ (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22).
Marghanita Laski: ‘What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me.’ …
A summary of ch. 26 of John Flavel’s The Fountain of Life.
“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Acts 2:23
In this text, we have an account of
1. The nature of the death Christ died, which is here described more generally, as a violent death, You have slain him: and more particularly, as a most ignominious, cursed, dishonorable death; you have crucified him.…
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself; and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.” Phil. 2:8
DOCTRINE. That the state of Christ, from his conception to his resurrection, was a state of deep debasement and humiliation.
The Lord Jesus was humbled in his incarnation, his life, and his death. Here we deal with the second of these.
I. The Lord Jesus was humbled in his very infancy, by his circumcision according to the law, Lk 2:21. …
The Bible says many different things about God, at many different times and by many different people. It is all too easy (wrote Ian Paul some while ago) to simply read the words on the page and then decide whether we think we believe them or not.
Think of the passage in Numbers 15:32-36, where God says concerning the man who was caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath, “The man must die”.
It is conceivable (just!)…
A summary of ch. 5 of John Flavel’s The Fountain of Life.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John, 1:14
Here we have:
- The Person assuming, the Word, that is, the second Person or Subsistent in the most glorious God-head; called the Word, either because he is the scope or principal matter, both of the prophetical and promissory word; or because he expounds and reveals the mind and will of God to men, as verse 18: “The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared” or expounded “him.”
It is often supposed that Jesus was more permissive with regard to sexual ethics that the Old Testament, the reverse is, in fact the case.
Robert Gagnon invites us, in response, to consider the following:
1. The three stories of sexual sinners
Jesus reached out to sexual sinners. The key stories are: the sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50; 50; the woman caught in adultery in John 7:53-8:11; and the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.…
Gen 1:26 – ‘Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness”.’
Much has been made of the plural name for God here (‘Elohom‘) and of the expression ‘Let us make…’. A number of interpretations have been proposed:-
The plural of majesty or intensity (as with the royal ‘we’). This was the view of Keil, Dillmann, and Driver. But this is not well attested in Hebrew. Barnes Notes: ‘Such was not the usual style of monarchs in the ancient East.…