Matthew 5-7

In "the Sermon on the Mount", we learn, from Jesus, that the way to happiness is the way of holiness. Holiness is to be seen. Happiness is to be shared. Holiness must take shape in our lives - the shape of Jesus Christ, living in us. The truly happy life is the Christ-centred life. It's …

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Numbers 7

Numbers 7:1-47  -  Why do we bring our offerings to the Lord? - ‘that they may be used in doing the service of the tent of meeting’ (5). We give ourselves to the Lord - ‘Love so amazing, so divine, shall have my soul, my life, my all’ - and we ask Him to put …

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God says, “I am with you. I will save you.”

Jeremiah 14:1-15:21; Colossians 3:1-4:1; Proverbs 24:15-22 Our spiritual warfare is both outward and inward. We have enemies coming at us from without and from within. Concerning the enemies from without, God says, “This people will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you… I will …

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Sin, salvation and service

Jeremiah 7:30-9:16; Colossians 1:1-23; Psalm 116:12-19 There is a great contrast between sin - “Do not trust your brothers. For every brother is a deceiver... and no-one speaks the truth” (Jeremiah 9:4-5) - and salvation - “the holy and faithful brothers in Christ... the Word of truth, the Gospel... has come to you” (Colossians 1:2,5-6). …

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A Critique of J D Bettis, "Is Karl Barth a Universalist?"

More about Berkouwer, see The Theology Of G C Berkouwer The question of universalism in Barth’s theology has been raised directly by J D Bettis in his article, “Is Karl Barth a Universalist?” (Scottish Journal of Theology, Vol. 20, No. 4, December 1967, pp. 423-436).This article requires to be carefully discussed not only for its significance as …

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Faith – Conflict and Victory

Jeremiah 11:18-13:27; Colossians 2:6-23; Psalm 118:1-16 The life of faith is a life of conflict. We live among “the faithless” – God is “always on their lips, but far from their hearts” (Jeremiah 12:12). We are called to maintain the faith in the face of “hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and …

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Colossians

COLOSSIANS 1:1-2:7  -  ‘In everything’ Christ is ‘pre-eminent’ (18). In Him, there is salvation - ‘redemption, the forgiveness of sins’ (14) - , sanctification - ‘mature in Christ’ (28) - and service - making Him known (27). Everything is in Christ. In Him are ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (2:3) - all that …

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Meditating On God’s Word: New Testament

MATTHEW When the tempter comes, we must stand on God’s Word: ‘every Word that comes from...God’ (Matthew 4: 4). ________________________________ From religion to revival Standing upon divine revelation – “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), Jesus received God-given strength for challenging the …

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Preach God’s Word – and pray that men and women will be brought back to the Lord.

Ezekiel 40:1-49; James 5:1-20; Psalm 130:1-8 The prophecy spoken by Ezekiel has its ultimate Source in God Himself - “the hand of the Lord was upon me” (Ezekiel 40:1). He goes on to describe “visions of God” (Ezekiel 40:2). To speak the Word of God faithfully requires patience. There is not always evidence of great …

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God wants to bless us. How much do we want to be blessed by Him?

Ezekiel 33:21-35:15; James 2:1-26; Psalm 128:1-6 The Word of God speaks clearly about sin and judgment - “See, I Myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep” (Ezekiel 34:20), “judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful” (James 2:13). God’s Word also gives to us great promises. …

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Called to believe in God’s Word – and called to trust in Christ as Saviour and follow Christ …

The purpose for which God has given us Scripture G C Berkouwer points out that “Scripture itself in a very explicit way speaks about its intention” (Holy Scripture, p. 125, where he cites John 20:31, Romans 15:4, Romans 4:23-24, 1 Corinthians 10:11, 2 Timothy 3:16 and 1 Timothy 1:18-19). He emphasizes that his approach is …

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Jesus brings His light into our darkness.

For more of these Daily Devotional Readings, visit God's Word For Every Day. Matthew 4:12-17 Having overcome His enemy, Jesus begins His ministry. Satan will be back - Luke ends his account of Jesus' temptations with these ominous words, 'When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left until an opportune time' (4:12). Satan …

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One Year Bible: Days 334-361

Day 334 Daniel 7:1-8:14; 1 John 2:12-27; Psalm 136:13-26 Daniel 7:13-14 looks forward, prophetically, to the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the future towards which history is moving, the future towards which God is working, the future of the Kingdom of God. This world is passing away, "but the man who …

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The ‘depth-aspect’ of salvation

Maintaining that Berkouwer has continually failed to expound the full teaching of Scripture concerning the ‘before’ element of divine election,  A L Baker insists that “Berkouwer cannot communicate what the Bible means by ‘election’ if he neglects such a determinative concept” (G C Bekouwer's Doctrine of Election: Balance or Imbalance?, pp. 102-103). Referring to the …

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Berkouwer on “‘Luther and Calvin’ on ‘Paul and James’”

The views of Luther and Calvin regarding the relationship between Paul and James - this is not merely a matter of historical curiosity. Rather, it points towards a way of overcoming the evangelism - social concern polarization. Both Luther and Calvin were committed to the principles of “grace alone”, “faith alone”, “Christ alone” and “Scripture …

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Stability, service, salvation, sanctification, singing, strength (Psalms 1-9)

PSALMS 1:1-6  -  As well as journeying through the Old and New Testaments, we will read a Psalm at fairly regular intervals. The first Psalm contrasts two ways - the way of the Word and the way of the world, the way of blessing and the way of judgment. Encouraging us to build upon the …

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Commenting on Bultmann’s Concept of Myth

Berkouwer's basic criticism of Bultmann's concept of myth is that it is different from the New Testament conception of myth. He insists that, in the New Testament, "myth stands over against the truth (aletheia) of the history of Jesus Christ ... the decisive die has ... been already cast in the New Testament opposition to …

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G C Berkouwer on “Faith and Perseverance”

Berkouwer insists that "the living preaching of the Scriptures, which offer no metaphysical and theoretical views about .... 'permanency' as an independent theme in itself, does nothing to encourage 'a continuity' which is opposed in any way to the living nature of faith" (p. 13). He stresses that "The perseverance of the saints is unbreakably connected …

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Thinking About Divine Election: Some Thoughts From G. C. Berkouwer

In any attempt to understand the nature of divine grace, five important observations require to be made. (1) Man only knows of grace through revelation. (2) Divine revelation comes to man in the form of human language. (3) The inadequacy of human language as a vehicle of divine revelation demands that due care be taken …

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Berkouwer on “Scripture and Christ”

In his book, “Holy Scripture”, Berkouwer places great emphasis on the vital connection between Scripture and Christ.* “Scripture is the Word of God because the Holy Spirit witnesses in it of Christ” (”Holy Scripture” (p. 162).* “the purpose of the God-breathed Scripture is … to witness of the salvation of God unto faith” (p. 180).* …

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Less pride, more humility – and more of the grace of God

Ezekiel 38:1-39:29; James 4:1-17; Proverbs 28:7-17 God’s Word speaks of His judgment upon sin (Ezekiel 39:23-24). It also speaks of His great salvation from sin (Ezekiel 39:25-29). “Scripture says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6). God’s Word speaks of the choice placed before man - obedience or disobedience, blessing or …

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Christian Doctrine and Christian Experience

Describing Berkouwer's theological method, L B Smedes writes, 'The truth of the Gospel ... is known and understood only within the total context of both revelation and the obedience of faith. Theology, whose task is to restate that truth, is determined in its methods and limited in its conclusions by the nature of the Gospel as …

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Declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.

Ezekiel 43:1-44:31; 1 Peter 2:4-24; Psalm 132:1-18 In Ezekiel, the priests are described in great detail. In 1 Peter 2:5, the Lord’s people are described as “a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” This description continues in 1 Peter 2:9 – “a royal priesthood … a people belonging to God. …

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God’s Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.

Daniel 5:17-6:28; 1 John 1:1-2:11; Psalm 136:1-12 “For He is the living God and He endures for ever; His Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end” (Daniel 6:26). “His love endures for ever” (Psalm 136). God is the God of love. His Kingdom is the Kingdom of love. God is eternal. His …

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Athanasius on the Atonement

Are there two unreconciled theories of the atonement in Athanasius? Do the writings of Athanasius contain two theories of the atonement - a ‘physical’ theory which teaches that, through Christ’s assumption of humanity, mankind is clothed in the incorruption and indestructibility that is inherent in Christ the Word and a ‘legal’ theory which maintains that …

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G C Berkouwer on “Faith and Sanctification”

Publisher's Review Faith and Sanctification is the first volume to appear in the First American Edition of a series of monographs covering the whole field of Christian theology. This major contribution to the current literature of theology, destined to exert its influence within the main current of American religious thought, it the work of Prof. G. …

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When the Lord spoke to me, I was strengthened.

Daniel 9:20-11:1; 1 John 3:11-4:6; Psalm 137:1-9 “When He spoke to me, I was strengthened” (Daniel 10:19). The strength we receive from the Lord is a greater strength than the temptations we face – “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). To know …

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They will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 28:1-29:21; Hebrews 12:14-29; Psalm 126:1-6 Many times over, in these chapters of Ezekiel, the words are repeated, “They will know that I am the Lord.” We must view the events of history in relation to God. He is fulfilling His purpose. He is demonstrating that He is the Lord. The demonstration of His Lordship …

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Let us love another – and show the love of God to one another.

Lamentations 2:7-3:39; Philemon 1-25; Psalm 119:121-128 At the heart of the book of Lamentations, there is this great declaration concerning the love of God: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed” (Lamentations 3:22). His love reaches us not only directly but also through the love of His people - “Your love, dear …

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