Day 9: Call His Name “God Saves!”

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) What’s in a name? In our culture, naming children is a lost art. Typically parents pick names they like. There may be some family or personal significance, but the meaning of a child’s name rarely matters. This was not the case in the ancient world. Names had to do with identity. You are what you’re called. Take Moses for example. His name means “to pull/draw out of water.” Remember Moses’ story? He was sent down the Nile … Continue reading Day 9: Call His Name “God Saves!”

Jesus Is More Than a Marriage Ref

When we read Jesus’ teaching on divorce in Matthew 19:1-9 (or Mark 10:1-12), it’s easy to get bogged down in the details of who can get divorced for what reason. I did that extensively once—I wrote a position paper on divorce in seminary. But I think in the context of what Matthew (and Mark, of course) is doing in his Gospel, this passage goes beyond petty details. After all, the major Pharisaical schools of thought liked to quibble over details. That was their speciality. But Jesus is more than a marriage ref. He is attacking the very heart of Pharisaism. That’s one of … Continue reading Jesus Is More Than a Marriage Ref

What’s the Point of the Gospels?

It would, perhaps, be a seemingly great advantage had God simply inspired one, long, comprehensive and exhaustive account of Jesus life from birth to resurrection with every detail recorded.  However, that is not what seemed best to God. Unlike parts of a modern day biography, the gospel accounts of Jesus do not exist primarily tell us about the menial aspects of his life (as if the God-man had anything menial about his life), particularly childhood and adolescence. Furthermore, details that don’t seem to add up between the four gospels are most likely attributed to the perspective and emphasis the author has.  … Continue reading What’s the Point of the Gospels?

Words

Daily I am reminded of how careless I am with words. Thankfully, Christ died for the sins of my tongue just as much as any other sin. Here is a “Bible verse poem” compiled from Proverbs 10:19, Ephesians 4:29, Luke, 6:45, and Matthew 12:36-37. Lord, remind us of the power of our words Words When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his … Continue reading Words

If the Bible Says it Once, It’s True

Some Christians believe in annihilationism, that is, that those who do not receive Jesus will not suffer in  hell, but will actually cease to exist. But Matthew 25:46, plain as day, says that people will be punished forever if they are not saved.  It would be hard to reconcile annihilationism with these words of Jesus.  In his Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem wrote, “The Bible only needs to say something once for it to be true.” Eternal punishment in hell is a terrible doctrine, indeed.  But if the Bible teaches it, then we must believe it, and hard as this seems, … Continue reading If the Bible Says it Once, It’s True