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Showing posts with label Discipleship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Discipleship. Show all posts

13 April 2023

The Neronian Dilemma

The Bible claims that God gives political power to whomever He pleases, “even to the basest of men.” He “removes kings and installs kings,” including rulers of whom we may disapprove. Disciples of Jesus who assume certain politicians should hold power presume on God’s patience and prerogative, and this is especially problematic in democratic societies.

11 April 2023

The Mind of Christ

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul points to the obedience of Jesus as the model for proper conduct by his disciples. His willing submission to death on the Roman cross sets the pattern for his followers. And his subsequent elevation to reign over all things is the result of that “obedience to death,” for exaltation did not precede death, but followed it.

22 March 2023

Mercy and Enemies

The reality of persecution raises important questions. How should disciples react to hostility and opposition, especially when they are persecuted by the government? Should they resort to indignation, civil disobedience, and public protests, or ought disciples of Jesus emulate his example?

27 December 2022

Day of Visitation

Peter exhorts Christians to persevere in trials and live holy lives in the knowledge of the coming day of visitation

Peter writes to Christians under pressure to conform to the expectations of the surrounding society. Their situation is not unique - they were members of a worldwide suffering community.

07 October 2022

Warfare in the Spirit

Disciples wage spiritual warfare through right conduct, acts of love, and proclaiming the gospel. “Spiritual warfare” is a common topic in popular preaching, an idea derived from Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus - “Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers… against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

03 May 2022

Suffering Servant

Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the role of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah. But unlike Adam, the “Servant of Yahweh” did not attempt to grasp the “likeness of God.” Instead, he humbled himself and submitted to a shameful death on the cross. For this reason, God highly exalted him and made him “Lord” over all things. Exaltation did not precede his death - it followed it.

04 December 2021

Power and Wisdom

Jesus performed miracles, exorcised demons, and taught with great authority. For a time, he attracted great crowds. Nevertheless, his contemporaries failed to recognize who he was despite his miracles and preaching. In the end, only the Roman centurion at Golgotha recognized him as the “son of God” when he breathed his last.

17 November 2021

Governing Authorities

Writing to the churches of Rome, Paul presents principles for Christian conduct in relation to the State. Believers must “subordinate themselves to governing powers, for there is no authority except by God.” His statement was written when Nero ruled the Roman Empire, the same man who became the first emperor to persecute the church.

28 June 2021

Sanctified Wholly

Considering the future arrival of Jesus, Paul summons the church to become sanctified completely by that day – 1 Thessalonians 5:23. 

Paul concludes his first letter with a series of exhortations calling on believers to pursue righteous living in the interim between their conversion and Christ's “arrival” from heaven.