Gospel Old Testament

The Gospel is in Leviticus

“Moses and all the prophets” includes the 3rd book of the Torah. It’s somewhat of an evangelical applause line to say that you’ve tried to read through the Bible in a year, but got bogged down in Leviticus. Brothers and sisters, I’d like to issue an appeal that we stop disparaging the book as some cryptic, impossible-to-understand work that we somehow tolerate because it’s part of the Hebrew Bible. Instead, let’s look at Leviticus as…

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Gospel

Standing and State: The Importance of the Difference

When I first became a Christian, the believers I was among hammered home the distinction between our standing and state. I later came to see what a great gift it was to clearly delineate these two important truths. Our standing is who we are in Christ; our identity as blood-bought, redeemed sons and daughters of God. Our standing is sealed by the indwelling Holy Spirit, whom Paul refers to in Ephesians 1:13 as the seal…

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Gospel Theology

Yes, We Are Saved by Right Theology

What is popular in the broadest sense is often not detailed or specific. By popular, I mean “of the people.” A popular audience is less academic, less trained in technical terms or the jargon of specialty. They tend to be generalists. This does not mean that advanced concepts cannot be packaged in a way to appeal to a popular audience. (The “For Dummies” books acknowledge this, i.e. Physics for Dummies.) Evangelicalism is a popular movement;…

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Gospel

If Christ is not Raised: Physical Resurrection is Essential to the Gospel

Is the resurrection of Jesus an “essential doctrine” of the Christian faith? Or stated differently, must one believe Jesus rose physically from the dead to have one’s sins pardoned? This question came up, as it does each year, around Easter. Social media was ablaze with opinions on this, and among them was the suggestion that “We are not saved by believing a certain set of propositions, but by allegiance to Jesus.” I may paraphrase slightly…

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Gospel

Substitutionary Atonement and the Gospel

One of the many gospel foundations that’s under attack and scorn is the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. Whether it’s seeing the crucifixion as “divine child abuse” or otherwise dismissing the death of Jesus as wholly unnecessary for our forgiveness, these are among the ways in which the atonement is under attack. To understand why this is, we need to back up a bit, prior to the crucifixion, and ask why the death of Chris…

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Gospel Life in Christ

What is the “Word of Christ”?

Christians have as their rule and authority the written word of God—the Bible. We value what God has recorded in the Scriptures not only as sufficient for our lives, but also all we need in order to understand who God is, and what he has done. Scripture is, in other words, a revelation of God and from God. The truth of God’s Word is attested to in several places within the Bible itself. Psalm 19…

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Gospel Life in Christ

A Few Words Before I Go: Scripture’s Farewell Speeches

What do we learn from the farewell speeches recorded in Scripture? If we compare the parting words (or nearly so) of Joshua, Samuel, and Stephen, there are common themes. Noting these, are there lessons for believers in these discourses? There are at least two important things that as Christians, one never outgrows. Remember Your Redemption Joshua 24 finds him gathering all the people at Shechem. He rehearses the history of the nation, beginning with the…

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Gospel

Did Peter call for faith in his hearers?

The book of Acts is a transitional record, and in those transitions, we can learn something The birth of the Church comes about at the day of Pentecost, and from that moment, until chapter 28, there are profound developments in the life of the Christian community. The question I address is, what can we learn from how the gospel is presented, particularly in the earlier chapters? Are there patterns we should emulate, or are there…

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