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 »
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.
In Matthew 6, Jesus encourages the Jews to store up "treasures in heaven". Is Jesus telling his hearers that when they get to heaven he will give them a box of Legos or a gold necklace or a white stone if they stop looking at pornography? Jesus' original Jewish hearers would have understood the phrase… Read More »
In Luke 9:23-26, Jesus says that his disciples must embrace the difficulty and suffering that comes their way as the result of their obedience. A clear vision of the judgment seat and the age to come is the necessary component that Biblical authors give us as the means of perseverance in discipleship.
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