Redemption comes from the marketplace where, in those days, slaves were purchased for a price. It speaks of the purchase of our salvation through the payment of a price for our sins… The New Testament also uses the related figure of ransom which refers to the price Jesus paid to purchase our salvation (Mark 10:45; 1 Tim. 2:6). The focus here is on the freedom we receive from the captivity of sin, through the price paid by Christ.
Most of the disciples were martyred for their faith. But none of them recanted their affirmation in order to save their lives. Someone surely would have done so if they had even a doubt that the Resurrection was not true.
Most other religions are based on their teachings. Christianity is based on the death of Christ and the Resurrection that attests its efficacy. The idea of the Resurrection was scorned by most people, as the response of the philosophical Athenians to Paul indicates: “When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered” (Acts 17:32). But Christianity has stood the test of time. This is significant because Christianity is the only religion that stands or falls on the truthfulness of an event. Its survival is evidence that its unique basis, the Resurrection, is indeed valid.
Experience is not firm enough to be the ultimate ground for the uniqueness of my faith.
Christian patience is an active thing. It conveys the idea of positive endurance rather than quiet acceptance.
God, who turned the crucifixion of the Son of God – the biggest evil ever committed – into something glorious. If His sovereignty has been expressed in history, there is nothing to prevent us from believing that it will be expressed in eternity. One day it will be revealed that the very existence of evil has been turned into something good.
But why doesn’t God immediately take away evil from the face of this earth? Evil is too integral a part of humanity and nature for Him to do that. [God] cannot destroy evil without at the same time destroying humanity.
Satan is still “alive and well” on planet earth. But he is bound with a rope that can be lengthened or shortened. He cannot do that which God does not permit him to do, and even his evil schemes will be finally used by the sovereign God to achieve ultimate good.
People who treat others as inferior are those who themselves suffer from a sense of inferiority and insecurity. Others are a threat to them because they don’t have a sense of being important to the eternal God. They don’t have the assurance that this God will look after them more than adequately. When we lose sight of our identity in Christ, lesser identifying features, like race, class, caste, and education, become significant. We try to find our identity by acting more significant than others.
When we enter into the “in Christ” existence we become one with those who are in Christ. Eternal life is received individually, but it is lived out in community. And the community battles sin in the body by confronting sinners and by requiring spiritual accountability.
The Gift of Eternal Life by Ajith Fernando taken from The Supremacy of Christ by Ajith Fernando, copyright 1995, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 183.
We must always insist that there is nothing we can do of ourselves to merit salvation. Salvation is “by grace…through faith” (Eph. 2:8). But when we accept His gift of salvation by faith we must know what this gift includes. We must know that it includes following Jesus as Lord. Otherwise people will think they have been tricked into accepting a way without being told what that way is. It is the grace of God that enables us to follow this way. It is all of grace. But it is a way in which sin is left behind and a righteous life is taken on. And when people accept that salvation that Christ offers, they must know that this is what they are accepting. Otherwise they would not be putting their faith in the Jesus of the Bible.
[God saved us] without breaking the law of justice or canceling its demands. What He did in love was to satisfy its demands. The demands of justice were not ignored or canceled. They were fully satisfied. And the only way that God could do that was by having His spotless Son take the punishment that was due to us. What we see here is an amazing love. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We call this grace, the result of which is salvation.
The Cross Challenges Humanistic Self-Sufficiency by Ajith Fernando taken from The Supremacy of Christ by Ajith Fernando, copyright 1995, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 143.
When God created us human, He gave us the capacity to enjoy beauty. And the greatest experience of beauty is in relationships of love. We have the joy of knowing that Jesus is beautiful and that He expressed His beauty in the most vivid way possible: by dying for us. Now we can taste of that beauty by having a love-relationship with Him that is deeper and sweeter than all the ugliness of the world. This too is a result of the work of Christ. It restores the beauty of life that was lost as a result of the Fall.
If we don’t take the time to enjoy God, we simply will not enjoy Him.
The Greek word for good used in John 10 is kalos, and it means more than “good” as opposed to “bad.” It has the idea of “beautiful” as well as “good.” So a classical Greek scholar, E.V. Rieu, translated the statement of Christ as, “I am the shepherd, the Shepherd Beautiful.”
Meditation is an expression of love, and delight is its reward… It defies our neatly and logically built-up systems and bursts forth with a new entity called delight.
Having lost the security of being rooted in the eternal reality of the Word of God, we are looking to busy activity to fill the void that has been created in our lives. And under that bondage to activity we find it difficult to linger with the Word simply for the joy of it. In fact, we may be afraid to stop our busyness lest it expose the shallowness of our lives. So we go on from activity to activity, from project to project. But activity is a dangerous source of fulfillment. Instead of finding our identity, our sense of self-worth, from our relationship with God, we begin to look to success in programs and other earthly indicators of success for our self-worth. But these will never satisfy. This will only enslave us more in our bondage to activity.
The biggest pain that a Christian worker has is not from attacks from outside the church. Attacks from within the church are always more painful than serious persecution. After all we have sacrificed for others for such meager material rewards, we are misunderstood, slandered, and ignored in our time of need. That we will experience this is as sure as the sunrise in the morning. We’d better be prepared to face it!
Jesus is presented as fully human and thus distinct from the Father. But He is also fully divine and thus a unity with the Father.
[Three reasons Jesus performed miracles:] 1. To show compassion. 2. To glorify God. 3. To give evidence to support His claims.
We believe that there is a Creator God who can intervene in the affairs of this world. This makes [miracles] theoretically possible, if God is more powerful than the so-called forces of nature, for Him to supersede the forces of nature and act in ways we call miraculous. We say that God does indeed do this occasionally.
I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, but I do not believe in the inerrancy of my interpretation of Scripture. Therefore, I am willing to stand corrected about my convictions if those corrections are shown to be a more accurate interpretation of the revelation of God in the Bible.
In its attempt to win a hearing, the contemporary pulpit has been guilty of depriving our generation of lasting joy. They have had the responsibility of feeding the people craving for solid meat, but perhaps not realizing what they are craving for, they have kept feeding them dessert. It may have given the people instant satisfaction, but it has left them unhealthy and not really able to be salt and light for Christ in this world.