First Things First

What are we celebrating today? A version of rejoicing in spring in the budding of trees, the blooming of flowers, and the renewal of the season? In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Paul takes you to the heart of the gospel he preached and gives you real reason to celebrate.

Paul takes up one last problem of the Corinthians. Apparently some were denying the resurrection of the body in general and Christ’s resurrection in particular. In dealing with the problem, Paul shows how central the resurrection is to your entire life as a Christian. The Scriptures cannot talk about the death of Christ without also having in view the resurrection–and his death is in view when the resurrection is mentioned.

Paul passed on what he had first received. Likely this was an early confessional formulation in the church, and Paul quotes it here as it makes the point Continue reading “First Things First”

An Earthshaking Death

They who are here, however, arise from the dead when Christ dies, and may remain here until after His glad passover day. Thus they establish a relationship between Christ’s death and resurrection, preaching the unity which exists between His state of humiliation and His state of glorification.” (Klaas Schilder, Christ Crucified, p. 525)

This evening’s message is “An Earthshaking Death,” Matthew 27:51-53.

Triumphantly into the Temple

Jesus not only entered Jerusalem in a triumphal parade, he continued on into the Temple. As he continued his triumphal entry in to the temple (Matthew 21:12-17), his actions and words challenge you to re-evaluate how you respond to him. Ask yourself, do I respond to Jesus the way that I should? Are we as a church being the kind of church that the Lord wants us to be? In what ways do I need to be cleansed? How should we be worshiping?

You are familiar with the story of the Triumphal Entry, the major event of Palm Sunday. Finally Jesus is willing to be hailed as the messianic King. He clearly accepts the majestic, messianic titles of “Son of David” and “the one coming in the name of the Lord.” At the same time, his actions send the message that his followers, both outside Jerusalem that day, and today, need to change their expectations as to who he is. Matthew details Jesus’ instructions to bring a donkey and her colt. The actions bring to mind Continue reading “Triumphantly into the Temple”

The first human words recorded in the Bible

In looking at material for our study of Genesis 2:8-15, I was struck by this comment: “The mysterious sleep suggests that Adam received revelation about the nature of the woman from God. After he awakes and God presents the woman to him, he joyously confesses that she is ‘bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.’ Indeed, these first human words recorded in Scripture are a love song in fulfillment of a God-created desire.”
Rowland S. Ward, Foundations in Genesis: Genesis 1-11 Today, p. 98.

Is God at Home in You?

Where is God? Where is God at home? Where does he live? In heaven? Everywhere? In church? In you? All of the above have some truth in them. In John 14:15, 21-24 Jesus tells you that God makes his home in you!

For starters, remember that God is a Spirit. He does not have a body, which by definition has a location in space and time. He certainly lives in heaven, as the Psalms describe his dwelling place. But he is also present everywhere, as Psalm 139 reminds you. At particular times he comes to live among his people, showing his glory in the cloud and fire as Israel wandered through the desert. Later he filled the Tabernacle, the tent that symbolized his presence in the middle of the nomadic people. When Solomon built the Temple the glory of the Lord filled it, but Solomon recognized that if even the heavens could not contain God, much less could a temple made of stone and cedar covered with gold.

God does not have a body, but the message of John’s Gospel, shared by the rest of Scripture, is that at a particular point in human history the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, became flesh Continue reading “Is God at Home in You?”