Category: What is the Gospel?

Three Critical Truths about Redemption

“Redemption” is a rich word and perhaps somewhat unique among the great gospel words in our theological vocabulary, in that it’s a word that easily resonates with unbelievers. Some of our favorite stories, songs, and films are built around the themes of redemption. George Lucas, for example once said that the original Star Wars films were about the redemption of Anakin Skywalker. One of Johnny Cash’s greatest songs is titled “Redemption.”[1] Or, if you want an example a bit more highbrow, look no further than the character of Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. None of this suggests,...

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Where is He Now? Christ and His Session

Only a single word remained, “Croatoan.” It was all that Governor John White could find of the 115 people (including his own family) he left behind three years earlier in 1587. Roanoke colony had vanished. There were no bodies, no gravesites; even the buildings had all been dismantled and removed. The only clue was that single word carved into a nearby tree. To this day, no evidence as to the fate of the Roanoke colony has ever been found. What happened to England’s first American colony remains an unsolved mystery. Fortunately for every Christian, what happened to Jesus after...

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Reigning with Christ on Daily Mission

To say that the heart of the gospel is Christ crucified would not be wrong (1 Cor. 1:23; Gal 6:14). To say that the heart of the gospel is the resurrection of Christ would not be wrong either, for by it our justification comes (Rom. 4:25; cf. 1 Tim. 3:16). To say that the heart of the gospel is the ascension of Christ would not be wrong, but you may receive a funny stare from a confused onlooker. The reason, of course, is that the ascension of Christ is an often overlooked element of the universally huge, wonderfully true,...

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A Son Is Given

God’s judgment is just as terrible as his salvation is wonderful. Nowhere is this made more apparent than in the ninth chapter of Isaiah, as the Lord describes in vivid detail the impending doom that he will bring to those who have continued in rebellion against him: “The Lord raises the adversaries…against him, and stirs up his enemies…[who will] devour Israel with open mouth. For all this, his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still” (Isaiah 9:11,12). Describing here a judgment in which an entire nation is devoured, or “eaten alive” as we might...

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Advent and the Genealogy of Christ

“And Asaph begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Uzziah; and Uzziah begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Ahaz; and Ahaz begat Hezekiah” (Matthew 1:8-9). Many devout Bible reader’s eyes have glazed over by the midpoint of the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1. Even though we understand that who fathered who is important because it’s included in the Bible, the generational heritage that spans the first sixteen verses of Matthew is not a page-turner. In this season of Advent as we expectantly, “wait for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and...

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