Author: Charlie Handren

A Brief Word on the Gospel and the Old Testament

The English word “gospel” is an approximation of the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (euangelion) which means “good news” (Friberg). While it is presently in vogue to refer to the whole Bible, or at least salvation history, as “the gospel,” this term is probably best reserved for the specific work of God in Christ—his incarnation, his words, his works, his suffering and death, his resurrection, his ascension to the right hand of the Father, and his eternal reign as King and High Priest—all of which he did in glad submission to his Father, for the glory of his Father, and for...

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Do Not Imitate Evil but Imitate Good

In the last blog post, we learned that John wrote his third letter to a man named Gaius who was his child in the faith and who was now the leader of a local church. In light of the testimony of some “brothers” who had been with Gaius and brought a good report of him to John and the church he served, John wrote to his beloved friend to encourage him and exhort him to continue pressing on in the work of exalting Jesus’ name among the nations. Along with this positive report, it seems that these “brothers” also...

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Be Fellow-Workers for the Truth

As is the case with 2 John, 3 John is a short but meaningful letter. It’s designed to pack one punch, and it does so with a force that can guide us in our lives with Christ if we’ll have ears to hear and hearts to receive what he has to say. Although this letter has a singular message, it comes in two parts, both of which are so significant that I will treat them in two blog posts rather than one. In this post, we’ll look at 3 John 1:1-8 and in the next post we’ll look at...

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Clinging to Christ in Truth and Love

The little letters we call 2 John and 3 John don’t get much respect or attention. In fact, in thirty years of listening to sermons, I’ve heard exactly one message from them both and the pastor who preached it took a line from 2 John and spoke of things John did not have in mind. Neither do these letters get much respect or attention in the scholarly literature. One prominent New Testament scholar even claims there is nothing novel or necessary in either letter and that it probably would have been better not to include them in the canon...

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Testing the Spirits

The heart of God is to welcome us into the fellowship of the Trinity, the very joy of God in God, by faith in his Son and the power of his Spirit. As John writes in 1 John 1:3-4, “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” Therefore, one of the primary aims of 1 John is to open...

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