Embodying the Hospitable Kingdom Community – An Excerpt from Reading Romans in Context
One of the most common themes found in Romans is the debate surrounding eating food sacrificed to idols. That may not mean much to us today, but when we look at the historical context the Jews lived in, we can understand better. Go ahead and take a look at how Reading Romans in Context uncovers that for us today.
Romans has long been hailed as one of Paul’s most theological and even systematic letters. However, not everything in the letter is simply a timeless truth for every audience. Romans 14:1 – 15:13 appears in an extended set of teachings that inform the Christian life of obedience (Rom 12:1 – 15:13), and yet the passage is addressing tensions among the Christians specifically…
Extrabiblical Sources as Context – An Excerpt from Reading Romans in Context
How best should we approach extrabiblical sources when studying Scripture? That is the question asked in today’s excerpt from Reading Romans in Context. Since taking historical context into account is valuable, we cannot ignore a historical source simply because it is not in the biblical canon. Yet we want to be certain to handle it wisely.
Read on to get a glimpse into the recent release, Reading Romans in Context.
Paul’s letter to the Romans is widely celebrated as the apostle’s clearest and fullest exposition of the good news concerning Jesus Christ. As William Tyndale lauded, “[It] is the principal and most excellent part of the New Testament, and the most pure Euangelion, that is to say glad tidings and that we…
Ministry and Mission [Awakening Faith]
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17)
Our Lord Jesus Christ appointed his apostles to be guides and teachers of the world and stewards of his divine mysteries. He asked them to shine out like lamps to cast their light not only on the Jews, but on every country under the sun and on people settled in distant lands. These holy men became the pillars of truth, and Jesus said that he was “sending them just as the Father had sent him” (John 17:18).
These words make clear the dignity of the apostolate and the glory of the power given to them, but they also give them a hint about the methods they are to adopt in their apostolic mission. For if Christ sent out…
The Pastor’s Prayer [Awakening Faith]
God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong. (Romans 1:9 – 11)
Now you have called me, Lord, by the hand of your bishop to minister to your people. I do not know why you have done so, for you alone know that. Lord, lighten the heavy burden of the sins through which I have seriously transgressed. Purify my mind and heart. Like a shining lamp, lead me along the straight path. When I open my mouth, tell me what I…
Unshaken Courage [Awakening Faith]
Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat.” (Revelation 7:15 – 16)
“The sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). Who would not wholeheartedly strive after such glory, to become a friend of God and immediately rejoice with Christ, to receive heavenly rewards after earth’s torment and suffering? Soldiers of this world take pride in triumphantly returning to their home country after they have defeated the enemy. How much greater is the glory in returning triumphantly to heaven after conquering the…
The Path of Humility [Awakening Faith]
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)
Christ, the spotless lamb, became the sacrificial victim, led to the slaughter for the sheep that were blemished — as if we were merely blemished and not entirely corrupt! Such is the grace we have received! Let us live worthily of that great grace and not show contempt for it. So powerful is the Godly physician that he has healed all our sins! If we choose to be sick again, we will not only harm ourselves, but show ingratitude to the physician as well.
So let us follow the paths that Christ has revealed to us, above all the path of humility, which he himself became for us. He showed us the path by his teachings,…
By Faith, Through Wisdom [Awakening Faith]
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)
So who is God? God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; he is one God. Do not ask to know more of God. If you want to see into the depths of God, you must know the depths of the natural world, for knowledge of the Trinity is compared to knowledge of the sea: “And the great depths, who shall fathom them?” (Job 11:7). Just as the depths of the sea are invisible to the human eye, so too the godhead of the Trinity is beyond human sense and understanding.
I submit, therefore, that if people want to know what they should believe, they should not think that they will understand better through arguments than through belief; if they do that, they will be further from…
Prayer Accomplishes Much [Awakening Faith]
But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. (Psalm 66:19)
In the past, prayer was able to bring down punishment, rout armies, and withhold the blessing of rain. Now, however, the prayer of the just turns aside the whole anger of God, keeps vigil for its enemies, pleads for persecutors. Is it any wonder that it can call down water from heaven when it could obtain fire from heaven as well? Prayer is the one thing that can conquer God. But Christ has willed that it should work no evil and has given it all power over good. Its only art is to call back the souls of the dead from the very journey into death, to give strength to the weak, to heal the sick, to exorcise the possessed, to open prison cells, to free the innocent…
Death Made Dead (II) [Awakening Faith]
The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:26)
Death has become like a tyrant who has been completely conquered by the legitimate monarch; bound hand and foot, the passers-by sneer at him, hit him, and abuse him, as they are no longer afraid of his cruelty and rage because of their king’s conquest. That is how death has been conquered and branded for what it is by the Savior on the cross. It is bound hand and foot; all who are in Christ trample it as they pass, and his witnesses mock it, scoffing and saying, “O death, where is your victory? O grave, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
Do you think this is a weak proof of the impotence of death? Or is it a small indication of the Savior’s victory when young boys…
If the Early Church Was Extraordinary, Why Should We Be Ordinary?
(Can’t see the video? Watch it here)
This is the language of the modern church. Some connect such language to the early church. They wonder, Why should we strive for ordinary when it seems like they didn’t?
Recently through Twitter this question was posed to Michael Horton, author of Ordinary. In the above video he suggests the times when the Church has been most effective has been when it’s been most ordinary.
Horton explores two ordinary ways of early Christians:
Everyday Living: “They were set apart by their godliness, their devotion to their family, their unwillingness to participate in pagan rites.” Christian Living: “They gathered regularly on the Lord’s Day for the Word of God, preaching, prayers, singing the Psalms, and eating bread and drinking wine.”
Death Made Dead (I) [Awakening Faith]
I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. (Hosea 13:14)
A very strong proof of the conquest and destruction of death by the cross is given by an interesting fact. All of Christ’s disciples despise death; they take the offensive against it, and instead of fearing it, by the sign of the cross and by faith in Christ they trample on it as on something dead. Before the Savior came, even the holiest of men were afraid of death and mourned the dead as people gone forever.
But now that the Savior has raised his body, death is no longer terrible, and all those who believe in Christ tread it underfoot as nothing. They prefer to die rather than to deny their faith in Christ, knowing full well that when they…
Reliving Christ’s Passion [Awakening Faith]
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
We must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honoring his blood by shedding our own. We must be ready to be crucified. If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ. If you are crucified beside him like one of the thieves, acknowledge your God like the good thief. For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore,…