The dead back to life

Ezekiel’s ‘career’ as a prophet was strange by any standards. He often had to act out the message he was delivering to the Israelites in exile. He also had strange and, at times, horrific visions. The valley of the dry bones is one of these: a graphic scene but a very understandable message. Continue reading “The dead back to life”

The gifts or the giver

Large crowds followed Jesus, not because they recognized his majesty or craved his life-altering words, but first because his signs amazed them (John 6:2), and then because he fed them (John 6:26).

The signs were to lead them to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, which would lead them to eternal life (John 20:30, 31). The bread in their bellies should have opened their hearts to the food that endures to eternal life (John 6:27, 35, 41, 48, 51). In their eyes, Jesus was great because he helped them. When the food ran out or the miracles finished, their service ceased.

Are we that much different? Continue reading “The gifts or the giver”

God’s Spirit is Holy

“I am speaking the truth in Christ – I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 9:1 ESV).

The third person of the Godhead is known in the New Testament by several names, or at least by several distinctive adjectives or identifiers appended to his essential nature of spirit. In Romans 8 alone he is called “The Spirit of God” (verses 9, 14), “the Spirit of Life” (verse 2), and “the Spirit of Christ” (verse 9). Continue reading “God’s Spirit is Holy”

A faithful watchman

Although our cities and towns no longer have watchmen, I think we can understand their function and the need for them in days of the past. The watchman was the person who stood ‘watch’, looking for the enemy or anything that might threaten the settlement of people, especially while they were sleeping. We might call them a ‘lookout’. We find a good description of a watchman in the book of Ezekiel. Continue reading “A faithful watchman”

Led by what?

By what are you led?

We can be led by our emotions, following the dictates of the ebbs and flows of our passions. We can be led by our opinions, moving swiftly from one unstable presumption to another. We can be led by tradition, adhering to the conventions of generations past, wise or foolish. We can reject tradition and be led instead by the whims of culture.

Or we can be led by the immutable, omniscient, and transcendent Holy Spirit. Continue reading “Led by what?”

‘Into the name:’ good doctrine, if not good English

The various accounts of the Great Commission offer so many rich perspectives and principles that they deserve frequent study and reflection. One phrase of one verse of in Matthew’s narrative stands out, including what it says about the Holy Spirit.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28.19.

Continue reading “‘Into the name:’ good doctrine, if not good English”

Life is short, death is sure

The disciples of Jesus often allowed themselves to have discussions of little importance. For example, they talked a great deal about food. 

After Jesus fed the 4,000 and spoke with the Pharisees in Mark 8, Jesus and his disciples got back into their boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. The disciples had forgotten to procure bread for themselves. In the middle of their discussion about where to get bread, Jesus said, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod!” Continue reading “Life is short, death is sure”

Our Holy Spirit

“And we are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32 ESV).

Few Biblical subjects are as complex or controversial as is that of the Holy Spirit. One fact which is indisputable is that there is some kind of relationship between Christians and the Holy Spirit. That God has promised to “give” the Spirit to those who obey him is clearly and repetitively stated in the New Testament. Exactly what this means and the nature and extent of the relationship is much contested, but to deny that a relationship exists is to deny God’s inspired Word. Continue reading “Our Holy Spirit”