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Who are the “Saints”?

The identity of the “saints” in the Bible has sometimes been the subject of debate between evangelical Christians—often triggered by the claim that the NT uses “saints” as a designation of Jewish Christians only. The consequences often drawn from this view have such an impact that it is worth taking another look at the issue, not to stir up needless controversy, but in the quest for clarity and consensus. Paul and the Saints Because Paul uses this expression more than any other NT author, what follows is an attempt to summarise what his letters reveal. First, a concordance will quickly...

Privacy, Revelation and Psalm 19

How do you feel about your privacy? Last week, Apple released their new update ios 14.5 that has a range of new features. These include better FaceID unlocking when wearing a mask and Apple watch (thanks COVID-19), new emojis and the ability to teach Siri which music app is your favourite. However, it is the new App Tracking Transparency that really has the tech world in a spin. Despite our embrace of social media, we still like to have a sense of control over who knows our details … but God is in the business of revealing himself to us....

April 18: The Real Reformation Day

I recently discovered that Chile has legislated for a public holiday on October 31, the day we celebrate as Reformation Day, remembering Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in 1517. But when I ask people what the 95 Theses taught, silence is frequently the answer. The text itself is relatively unknown. By contrast, the words spoken by Luther on this day, April 18, 500 years ago, when he appeared before the Emperor, Charles V, at his Diet in Worms, are remembered and celebrated, providing us with both an image of protest and words...

Why Did Jesus Die?

Why did Jesus go to the Cross? If you are looking for an encouraging exercise this Good Friday, you might like to try to make a list of all the different reasons you can think of. If you can’t wait, here is ours: 1. To satisfy God’s justice By coming forward as our representative and substitute, and by enduring the penalty for our sins, Jesus not only made us right with God, he demonstrated God’s mercy and justice. God put [Jesus] forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because...

The Cry at the Cross

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’. When some of those standing near heard this, they said, ‘Listen, he’s calling Elijah.’ Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,’ he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from...

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