Sin

It is like the sweatsqueezing out of every gland. I amthe porous membranethrough which it seeps,discoloring what I touch,filling the very airwith my stench. The harder I try,the more I produce: my best effortsa deluge of brine,a baptism in the dead seawhich poolson my skin.

Have You Missed the Train?

Paul opens 2 Thessalonians chapter two by expounding on the revelation of Christ and the gathering of believers into Him.  Apparently, some claimed the day of the Lord had come.  It’s not a stretch to imagine these same people suggested the Thessalonians were suffering because God rejected them and was judging them.   Paul urges…

Re-imaging

God created man in His image.  His original command to His image was, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).  Man fell from this purpose.  God’s image in man was marred.  As a result, man multiplied his own image and likeness (Gen. 5:3).   Man’s image filled the earth.  All things…

The Kenosis Conundrum

“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to hold onto.  Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men” (Php. 2:5-7). When Paul says Jesus emptied Himself, what does he mean?  Debates about this center on the Greek…

Image

“Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness” (Gen. 1:26).  We see from this verse that, from the beginning, God’s purpose was for us to be in His image.  God’s image was to be fruitful, multiply, fill the creation, and subdue it (Gen. 1:28).   This purpose was frustrated and delayed at…

Parousia: Present or Coming?

Throughout First and Second Thessalonians, Paul uses the Greek word, “parousia.” More often than not, “parousia” is translated “coming” and denotes Christ’s second coming.   The Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich Greek lexicon notes that parousia can be translated “coming” or “presence” and was used in two main ways.  The first described the invisible presence of…

An End in Itself

Jacob’s death revives fears among his sons that Joseph will retaliate because of their cruelty towards him (Gen. 50:15).  Although Joseph already reassured them he held no grudge, they don’t yet trust this.  Once again, they appeal to Joseph for mercy (Gen. 50:16-18).  Joseph replies, “Am I in the place of God?  You planned evil…

A Piece of the Continent, a Part of the Main

The following article appeared in our local paper last week. It is a revision of something I posted a few years ago. *** When I was new to faith, I attended a prayer meeting at church. As we prayed, the formation of the first man, Adam, came to mind: I imagined particles of dust swirling…

IN

In 1 Thessalonians chapter four, Paul turns to discussing behavior and growing in separation to the Lord (1 Thess. 4:1-12).  But he starts with a phrase, easily overlooked, that provides vital context for what follows: “We ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus….” (1 Thess. 4:1).  In other words, “in Jesus” is where Paul’s…

Christmas Presence

The following appeared in our local paper this past weekend. It is a revision of a post previously published under the title, “Those Jell-o Loving Antichrists. *** Scripture tells us “God is love,” and that God’s love was most profoundly shown through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (1 John 3:16, 4:16).  At one point in my…