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Gal 1:1-10: No Other Gospel Print E-mail

It would be foolish for us to think that there were no struggles or difficulties in the early Church.  In fact, in the book of Acts and the epistles, we see the writers of the New Testament often addressing particular problems in the Church.  One such struggle that we see addressed in a number of places is the acceptance of Gentiles as Christians (see Acts 10, 15:1-35, Romans 9-11, Ephesians 2:11-3:13).  How are the Gentiles to be accepted as Christians?  Should they first become Jews (through circumcision and observance of the Law of Moses) and then become Christians?  Or is there another way?  These are the questions that Paul is trying to address in his letter to the Galatians.

Last Updated ( Friday, 14 April 2006 )
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Psalm 45: The Davidic King, A Wedding Celebration, and Our Sure Salvation Print E-mail

One of my frustrations as I was taking a class in order to attempt to have a better grasp on Hebrew came when we were translating some verses my professor had handpicked from the Scriptures for their challenging nature. He was trying to illustrate the fact that it is important to learn idioms in a culture before one can become a good translator. Thus, he pointed out, one could understand the meaning of every word in the sentence, “Get off my back,” but if he did not understand that it was an idiom meaning “Leave me alone,” his understanding of the sentence would be incorrect. Thus, in this particular exercise I sat there confused again and again not because I didn’t understand what each of the words meant but precisely because I understood what each word meant. 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 May 2006 )
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Psalm 44: Past Victories and Future Hope for Present Struggles Print E-mail

After looking at the life of Joseph, one might suppose that he could have written Psalm 44.  Joseph who seemingly tried to do what was right before the Lord had to face horrible difficulties when he was sold into slavery by his brothers and thrown into jail by Potiphar.  It seems that maybe in the depths of that prison he would have asked the questions that are being put forward in our psalm this morning.  Or if we consider the book of Job, which begins with Job losing his sons and his daughters and his own health even though the book makes it clear that he was righteous before God, we might conclude that Job could have written this psalm.  One can hear Job crying out to God, Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way, yet you have broken us in the place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death (v. 18-19). 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 March 2006 )
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Psalm 43: Fighting for Hope in God (Cont.) Print E-mail

As we noted last week, Psalm 42 and Psalm 43 were probably at one time one psalm.  The content of the two psalms are linked and the refrain that is repeated twice in Psalm 42 (verse 5 and 11) is repeated again in Psalm 43 (verse 5).  Thus, it seems that the two Psalms were written together and were later split into two Psalms.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 March 2006 )
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Psalm 42: Fighting for Hope in God Print E-mail

The Christian life is a fight.  Or, even better, it is a war with multiple fights and battles going on constantly all around us, without and within.  There are times in our lives when the war seems to be going well.  Maybe we are experiencing victories in a number of difficult areas in our lives or maybe the Lord has given us a time of rest from our struggles.  Of course, there are other times when the war seems to be going about as bad as it could go.  Maybe we are being attacked on every front.  Things are difficult at work, at home, even at Church.  I guess most of the time we spend our lives somewhere in between the two: not necessarily at peace, but not getting bombarded on every side.  We simply must spend our lives in the trenches, longing for the Day of rest that the Scriptures promise.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 March 2006 )
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Gen 48-50: Sovereignty and Responsibility in the Lives of the Patriarchs Print E-mail

It is appropriate to conclude our look at the book of Genesis this morning by returning once again to one of the major themes in the book, namely that of God’s sovereignty. We have seen His sovereignty in creation. We have seen His sovereignty in the calling and choosing of Abraham. We have seen His providential hand moving in the lives of the founding fathers of Israel, namely Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thus, we see God’s sovereignty as a major theme in the book of Genesis.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 March 2006 )
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