Showing posts from March, 2024

Learning to Rest

The night before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed to His Father, “ I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do ” (John 17:4). Throughout His public ministry, Jesus was preoccupied with this work as He said that His food was to do the will of His Father and “ to accomplish His work ” (John 4:34). This divine work, planned before the foundation of the world by “ the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God ” (Acts 2:23), is the central part of God’s plan of redemption for all mankind. It requires a victorious Messiah to be the Pascal Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). When Jesus said on the cross, “ It is finished! ” in John 19:30, He was speaking about more than His work on earth. He was introducing a sabbath rest.   Thus, the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested [sabat] on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh

One New Man

  But now in Christ Jesus , you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man , thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity [hostility] .         Ephesians 2:13-16 In Paul’s letters, we find the terminology “in Christ,” “in Him,” and other related descriptions of the new covenant relationship with God appear nearly 170 times. It captures the essence of the new relationship, a vital union and fellowship with Christ that Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ , he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come . This newness speaks not only to the absolut

Jewish & Gentile Believers in the Early Church

According to Geza Vermes, the transition from being Jewish to becoming a Christian during the first century was not a smooth one. As the Apostle Paul communicates in Romans 3:29-30: Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by [ ek – out of, faith is the instrument of justification] faith and the uncircumcised through [ dia tees – by means of, faith is the agency of justification] faith is one . The role that faith played in the Jew coming to know Jesus as Messiah was unique to the Jewish faith and, therefore, different from the Gentile coming to a saving faith in Jesus.   G├ęza Vermes (2 June 1924 – 8 May 2013) was a British academic, Biblical scholar, and Judaist of Jewish–Hungarian descent—one who also served as a Roman Catholic priest in his youth—and scholar who specialized in the field of the history of religion, particularly ancient Judaism and early Christianity. He is best