Here are this week’s top deals, brought to you by Faithlife Ebooks. For more deals, visit our sale page or get our Free Book of the Month. Some of these deals are only good for a few days, so act fast to get these books at the sale price! (more…)
By Elisabeth Elliot
When I came to the realization that my husband was missing, not knowing for another five days that he was dead, the words that God brought to me then were from Isaiah the 43rd chapter, “When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God” (Isa 43:2–3). [Read more…]
By Timothy Keller
What is this “gospel” for which Paul is willing to glory in being a slave? What gospel would make Paul happy to lose everything in order to share it?
First, it is worth reflecting on the word itself. “Gospel”—euangeloi—is literally “good herald.” In the first century, if on a far-flung battlefield an emperor won a great victory which secured his peace and established his authority, he would send heralds—angeloi—to declare his victory, peace and authority. Put most simply, the gospel is an announcement—a declaration. The gospel is not advice to be followed; it is news, good news about what has been done.
The gospel isn’t ours
The apostle Paul is the herald of this announcement. It is a good reminder that the gospel is not Paul’s; it did not originate with him and he did not claim the authority to craft it. Rather, it is “of God” (v 1). We, like Paul, are not at liberty to reshape it to sound more appealing in our day, nor to domesticate it to be more comfortable for our lives.
The gospel isn’t new
Neither is the gospel new; rather, God “promised it beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures” (v 2). The Old Testament is all about it. All the “Scriptures” point forward to this announcement. They are the scaffold on which Paul stands as God’s herald. Every page that God wrote before outlines what he has now declared in full color.
The gospel is a who
The gospel’s content is “his Son” (v 3). The gospel centers on Jesus. It is about a person, not a concept; it is about him, not us. We never grasp the gospel until we understand that it is not fundamentally a message about our lives, dreams, or hopes. The gospel speaks about, and transforms, all of those things, but only because it isn’t about us. It is a declaration about God’s Son, the man Jesus.
This Son was:
- Fully human: “as to his human nature” (v 3).
- The one who fulfilled the promises of Scripture: he was “a descendant of David” (v 3), the king of Israel a millennium before. God had promised David that from his family God would produce the ultimate, final, universal King—the Christ (see 2 Samuel 7:11b–16). And David’s own life—his rule, suffering and glory—in many ways foreshadowed that of his greater descendant (see Psalms 2; 22; 110).
- Divine: the Son was “declared with power to be the Son of God, by his resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Paul is not saying that Jesus only became God’s Son when he was raised from the grave. Rather, he is outlining two great truths about the resurrection. First, the empty tomb is the great declaration of who Jesus is. His resurrection removes all doubt that he is the Son of God. Second, his resurrection and ascension were his path to his rightful place; to his rule at God’s right hand (Ephesians 1:19b–22), sitting at “the highest place,” given “the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:9–10). God’s Son had humbly become a man, tasted poverty, endured rejection and suffered a powerless death. The resurrection is where we see not only that he is the Son of God, but that he is now the Son of God “in power.”
Not until the end of Romans 1:4 does Paul actually name God’s Son: “Jesus Christ our Lord.” God’s Son is Jesus, the Greek version of the Hebrew name Yeshua/Joshua—“God will save,” the fulfiller of all God “promised beforehand” (v. 2). He is Christ, the anointed man whom God has appointed to rule his people. And he is our Lord, God himself. The gospel is both a declaration of Jesus’ perfect rule and an invitation to come under that perfect rule, to make him “our Lord.”
Editor’s note: This excerpt from The God of All Comfort provides a brief but fascinating reflection on human perception before the fall. It appears in the earlier part of the book, where the author is contrasting the beauty of perfection with the deformities of sin and horror. You can preview the first three chapters free with a subscription or trial to Faithlife Connect. [Read more…]
Here are this week’s top deals, brought to you by Faithlife Ebooks. For more deals, visit our sale page or get our Free Book of the Month. Some of these deals are only good for a few days, so act fast to get these books at the sale price!
Jesus Every Day
Rediscover your compassionate Savior with this collection of daily heart-provoking prayers and accompanying Scriptures from author and speaker Mary DeMuth. Each reading will awaken your tired soul, prompt new ways to encounter Jesus, and inaugurate the kind of authentic conversation you’ve always yearned to have with him.
The Leadership Style of Jesus
Leadership is influence—and no leader has influenced the world more than Jesus Christ. In The Leadership Style of Jesus, Michael Youssef suggests Christlike qualities every leader needs, and how to deal with the temptations and pressures leaders face, including ego, anger, loneliness, criticism, the use of power, and passing the torch to others.
Astonished Beyond Measure: Surprising Responses to Jesus
People who saw what Jesus did and heard him speak said such things as: “We have never seen anything like this.” What was it about Jesus that caused people to be so surprised? Even unbelievers responded with amazement. Today, we too stand amazed before Jesus, our Lord and Savior!
The Undoing of Saint Silvanus
Only God knew why Jillian Slater agreed to return to New Orleans on the news that her father had finally drunk himself to death. There she walks into a web of spiritual and personal danger borne out of her family’s broken history. Only God himself can orchestrate the undoing of all that is going on at Saint Silvanus.
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If you want the deepest experience of your vertical relationship with God, check your horizontal relationships with the family of God. You are not an only child in God’s family. [Read more…]
By Warren Wiersbe
A university professor was meeting a famous Chinese lecturer in a crowded train station. After welcoming him, the professor said, “If we run to our gate, we can get the next train and save three minutes.” The guest quietly asked, “And what significant thing shall we do with the three minutes that we are saving?” [Read more…]