In Romans 13, the Apostle Paul exhorts the disciples in Rome to "cast off the works of darkness" and to live "as in the daytime", because "the night is far gone" and "the day is at hand". Paul understands that what motivates discipleship - right belief and right living in light of that belief -… Read More »
In Matthew 6, Jesus tells his followers to not be anxious or worried about their lives in this age, but instead to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness" - to look ahead with anticipation to all that God had promised in his covenants with Israel. Even 21st century Gentiles who have been… Read More »
What does Jesus' death on the cross deliver us from? Is his sacrifice primarily about our forgiveness so that we can have a restored relationship with God now and go to heaven when we die? When we see the words of Jesus and the apostles from within a first century Jewish apocalyptic worldview, the story… Read More »
Many Gentile Christians avoid reading the Old Testament, perhaps because it's perceived as irrelevant or "fulfilled" by Jesus' first coming. But the Old Testament speaks of SO much more than Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world. It holds out a clear, certain hope through a larger story involving God's covenants… Read More »
The first century Jewish follower of Jesus anticipated a climactic day of judgment and justice. In a world still filled with wickedness, oppression, and injustice, disciples of Jesus should be proclaiming something very different than an ethereal future that involves playing a harp and floating on a cloud forever. God has given certainty regarding this… Read More »
Faith is typically associated with one gritting their teeth in blind belief or hoping for something to come to pass when there is no proof or evidence that it will. The Bible's definition of "faith" is far from this. The God of Israel has given ample historical evidence to help us affirm his words as… Read More »
Though trials come to our lives and when wickedness prevails in the world, the hope that the Bible holds out for disciples of Jesus is far from ambiguous. The apocalyptic hope of the first century Jew focused on the coming day of God and the resurrection of the dead, and with a clear picture and… Read More »
Following Jesus is costly. In Luke 14, Jesus says that if we don't count the cost from the beginning, we won't be able to be his disciple. This message is rarely heard in Western Christianity because we've lost the hope and expectation that first century Jews had for the future.
The common modern understanding of the Gospel is that "Jesus died and rose again so we can go to heaven when we die", but Luke writes several times that people proclaimed "the gospel" before Jesus even said that he was going to die and rise again (Luke 3:18, Luke 9:1-6, Luke 20:1). So, what would… Read More »
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