Category: What is the Gospel?

Christ Our Substitute: The Meaning Of The Cross

Several biblical terms express (but do not exhaust)  the ministry of Jesus as Substitute—and the meaning of the cross—including (but not limited to): Jesus as our PROPITIATION. “He is the propitiation for our sins…” (1 John 2:2) Related to the ancient Jewish world of temple sacrifices, the core meaning of propitiation (Greek=ἱλασμός “hilasmos”) speaks of Christ as our “wrath taker” (see also 1 John 4:10; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17). Jesus as our SACRIFICE. “But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26) Also related to the...

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What is the Doctrine of Justification?

What is the Doctrine of Justification? John Calvin, the great Reformer, spoke for many when he declared that justification is “the main hinge on which religion turns.” Why is it so important? Because “unless you first of all grasp what your relationship to God is, and the nature of his judgment concerning you, you have neither a foundation on which to establish your salvation nor one on which to build piety toward God.”[1] Such a critical doctrine demands to be understood. This is an attempt to explain the essence of what Protestantism has traditionally taken to be the essence...

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The Missing Piece of Christmas: The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Wonder of the Gospel

Amidst all of the fanfare, finery, and festivity of Christmastime, there could very well be something missing in your life. We are so thankful that the Word of God, the Holy Bible, speaks not only to the things that are but also to the things that are not and calls them into being. This is the message of the Magnificat. This is the message of Mary. This is the inherent and infallible word of the living God from the Gospel according to Luke, Chapter 1, versus 46-55. 46 And Mary said, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has...

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Christmas: A Time to Turn To God

It doesn’t make much sense to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world without acknowledging the very reason He came. He came to earth to save us from our sins and give us eternal life. It would be a tragedy to enjoy the presents, food, time with family and friends, and everything else and miss out on the real point of it all. So if you haven’t already, it makes sense to let Christmas be a time for turning to God. It is very simple to do so. You just need to recognize that your greatest need in...

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Why Justification by Faith Alone is Necessary for Good Works

“Justification by faith alone frees me to love my neighbor disinterestedly, for his or her own sake, as my sister or brother, not as the calculated means to my own desired ends,” writes Timothy George of why the traditional Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone encourages rather than discourages good works.[1]  The freedom to love “disinterestedly” does not, of course, mean that we should not seek joy in loving others, but (as the rest of the sentence shows) that we do not have to love our neighbors in order to meet our own needs. Rather, we are free to...

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