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Showing posts from January 19, 2017

Semeion in the Gospel of John

Semeion in the Gospel of JohnJohn 3:2 Excerpt In the Gospel there is general reference to the σημεῖα of Jesus (2:233:26:2269:16) and sometimes there is summary mention of their great number (11:4712:3720:30). But a few are specially emphasised. In general they are the kind of miracles expected with the dawn of the Messianic age, cf. the saying in Is. 35:5 (Mt. 11:5/Lk. 7:22).309 No matter how one computes the number of σημεῖα of Jesus which were particularly important for the Evangelist,310 those miracles which he records bear Messianic features and are thus in some sense Messianic epiphany-miracles. The miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee in Jn. 2:11, the second miracle at Cana (the healing of the son of the βασιλικός) in 4:54, the feeding of the multitude in 6:14 and the raising of Lazarus in 12:18 are all explicitly called σημεῖα. In relation to the σημεῖα mentioned in 9:16 the healing of the man born blind (9:1ff.) is to the fore, while the healing of the lame man …

Doctrinal Implications of the Resurrection

Doctrinal Implications of the ResurrectionGalatians 1:1 Excerpt The Christological significance of the resurrection is considerable. The fact that Jesus prophesied that he would rise from the dead on the third day has important implications for his Person. One who could do this is greater than the sons of men. Paul clearly regards the resurrection of Christ as of cardinal importance. ‘If Christ has not been raised,’ he says, ‘then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain. … If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins’ (1 Cor. 15:14, 17). The point is that Christianity is a gospel, it is good news about how God sent his Son to be our Saviour. But if Christ did not really rise, then we have no assurance that our salvation has been accomplished. The reality of the resurrection of Christ is thus of deep significance. The resurrection of believers is also important. Paul’s view is that if the dead do not rise we may as well adopt the motto ‘L…

Baptism in John 3:5?

Baptism in John 3:5?John 3:5 Excerpt Could the text of 3:5 then possibly refer to Christian baptism? The answer is certainly not a simple one. Birth from above for John was the equivalent of salvation or eternal life. Such birth, as some scholars have noted, is in John similar to being children of God in the Synoptic Gospels (e.g., Matt 18:3Mark 10:15).78 In the early church baptismal language could be used in contexts that refer to the salvation process. Examples are numerous, but a few will suffice, such as being buried and raised (e.g., Rom 6:1–11), or the putting off of the old way and the putting on of the new (e.g., Col 3:1–17), or in the commission to evangelize (e.g., Matt 28:10). In such contexts baptism and salvation were clearly linked within the thinking of early Christians. Was the same true for John, who later in the first century was writing reflectively on the significance of the Nicodemus story for his community of believers? In trying to answer this question, we are t…

When Will You Comfort Me?

When Will You Comfort Me?Excerpt The psalmist sought deliverance from his sins, his foes, and his fears. Hope deferred made him faint; his eyes failed by looking out for this expected salvation. But when the eyes fail, yet faith must not. His affliction was great. He was become like a leathern bottle, which, if hung up in the smoke, is dried and shrivelled up. We must ever be mindful of God’s statutes. The days of the believer’s mourning shall be ended; they are but for a moment, compared with eternal happiness. His enemies used craft as well as power for his ruin, in contempt of the law of God. The commandments of God are true and faithful guides in the path of peace and safety. We may best expect help from God when, like our Master, we do well and suffer for it. Wicked men may almost consume the believer upon earth, but he would sooner forsake all than forsake the word of the Lord. We should depend upon the grace of God for strength to do every good work. The surest token of God’s go…

Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments

January 19: The Million Dollar Question Genesis 31, Matthew 23:37–24:28, Ecclesiastes 7:13–21 “Why do bad things happen to good people?” This is an ancient question, though often asked as if it’s new. The Preacher in Ecclesiastes says, “There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing” (Eccl 7:15). Answers to this age-old question do exist, the simplest is that since people gave into temptation near the beginning, havoc—caused by humans and by evil spirits—has taken hold. The time between now and when God takes full control of the world again is just grace; the moment He does is the end for all evil, including those who have not chosen Christ as their Savior. The only way to fix the world is to rid it of all evil, but the Preacher doesn’t offer this deductive explanation. Instead, he notes that life is a series of balancing acts, and he uses hyperbole to make his point (Eccl 7:16–17). The Preacher goes on to say, “…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, January 19                   Go To Evening Reading
“I sought him, but I found him not.” —Song of Solomon 3:1
Tell me where you lost the company of a Christ, and I will tell you the most likely place to find him. Have you lost Christ in the closet by restraining prayer? Then it is there you must seek and find him. Did you lose Christ by sin? You will find Christ in no other way but by the giving up of the sin, and seeking by the Holy Spirit to mortify the member in which the lust doth dwell. Did you lose Christ by neglecting the Scriptures? You must find Christ in the Scriptures. It is a true proverb, “Look for a thing where you dropped it, it is there.” So look for Christ where you lost him, for he has not gone away. But it is hard work to go back for Christ. Bunyan tells us, the pilgrim found the piece of the road back to the Arbour of Ease, where he lost his roll, the hardest he had ever traveled. Twenty miles onward is easier than to go one mile back for the lost evidence.
Tak…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

January 19th Vision and darkness A horror of great darkness fell upon him. Genesis 15:12. Whenever God gives a vision to a saint, He puts him, as it were, in the shadow of His hand, and the saint’s duty is to be still and listen. There is a darkness which comes from an excess of light, and then is the time to listen. Genesis 16 is an illustration of listening to good advice when it is dark instead of waiting for God to send the light. When God gives a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will make you in accordance with the vision He has given if you will wait His time. Never try and help God fulfill His word. Abraham went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all self-sufficiency was destroyed; there was no possibility left of relying on commonsense ways. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not of displeasure. Never pump up joy and confidence, but stay upon God (cf. Isaiah 50:10, 11). Have I any confidence in the flesh? Or have I got beyond all confidence …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

January 19 Thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron Exod. 28:2 Have we no garments of blue, and purple, and beautiful suggestiveness? We have garments of praise; we are clothed with the Lord Jesus. And have we no ornaments? The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is, in the sight of God, of great price. And have we no golden bells? We have the golden bells of holy actions. Our words are bells, our actions are bells, our purposes are bells. Wherever we move, our motion is thus understood to be a motion towards holy places, holy deeds, holy character. Joseph Parker

 Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.