God, Gift, Sacrament

Salvation is a gift. The righteousness of justification (Romans 5:17) and eternal life (Romans 6:23) are gifts freely offered. According to Risto Saarinen (God and the Gift), “God is directly called the giver 104 times [in Scripture], of which 42 are in John’s Gospel and John’s Letters. In addition to these, the so-called divine passive . . . often occurs as an indirect reference to […]

Hear, O Israel!

In the last 40 odd years of studying the Bible, I have read more essays and commentaries on Deuteronomy 6:4 than I can recall. I have also more than twice changed my view on what should be the correct translation of Israel’s central confession. What is so complicated? After the call to give attention — Hear, O Israel! — Moses gives us a string of […]

Brexit and the Binding of Satan – Part 5

Satan is currently bound from gathering the nations in kingly rebellion so that Jesus might gather them in priestly unity. Everything which Scripture records for us, no matter how mundane or mysterious, exists as part of a process of growth to maturity. This transformation is achieved through relationships established by a Father who delights in His Son and rewards His faithfulness as “seed” with abundant […]

Epiphany and Mission

God’s people are a missionary people, and this is not true only of the New Testament church. God called Abraham to bless the Gentiles through him, and one of Israel’s recurring sins was her failure to carry out this mission. Israel was supposed evoke praise from the Gentiles, but instead her idolatries and sins caused the Lord’s name to be blasphemed. God’s people are a […]

Readiness Is All

Are you ready for the New Year? Are you ready to follow Jesus wherever He takes you this year? Are you read to follow Him into the garden? Are you ready to stay at His side to be arrested, interrogated, tortured, crucified, buried? Are you ready to follow Jesus wherever He leads? Are you ready to follow Him to the grave? Are you ready? Ignatius […]