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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.


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Due to the Pharaoh’s paranoid delusions, the descendants of Israel are enslaved. Then it gets worse. Pharaoh starts a crazy genocidal campaign against them. An Israeli child named Moses is miraculously delivered and, as an adult, finds himself standing before God Himself.

The plot moves fast in this book.

Culture is essential for human flourishing. Which is a good thing, because culture is also unavoidable. We can get away from it and we can’t do without it.

But what is it? Defining culture would seem to be the logical place to begin in articulating a Christian approach to culture. If we don’t know what it is, we won’t recognize when we see it, and we will be less likely to use it as God intends.

Paul spent a little more than 18 months in Corinth, doing the work which resulted in “many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized” (v. 8). A church took root; rather (as we shall see), a series of house churches, probably spread around the city, began to meet, worship, and learn what it means to be the Body of Christ. The several house churches were one church in Corinth, and for the time Paul was with them, everything seemed to go well.

But when Paul went to Ephesus, troubles began. He wrote 1 Corinthians to address certain issues, difficulties, and questions that were brought to him by visitors from Corinth. The tone of 1 Corinthians, with its focus on division, immaturity, immorality, neglect, and other matters, is stern and demanding. Paul expected better from these people he had served for a year and a half, and he let them know he was disappointed. But like a loving shepherd, he also walked them through their difficulties, reminded them of the grace of God, pointed them toward the Lord’s return, and urged them to stand firm in the faith.

What does the Bible teach about our role in helping government be a servant of God for good? This series explores that question from the perspective of God's Law.

Genesis is the foundation of the Bible. Understand what God is trying to teach us in this opening work and the rest of scripture becomes clear. Misunderstand it, and you’ll misunderstand everything else.

James begins with a blunt description of life in Christ and the challenges Christians face. Our trials are actually opportunities to do great things for the Lord, but are also opportunities for failure.

No excuses.

When the captivity of God’s people is truly restored, when God “brings back the captivity of His people” (Ps. 53.6), then joy and rejoicing will characterize His people, and the salvation of God will come roaring out from their midst to turn the world right-side up for Jesus.

Neither of these outcomes was much in evidence during the period following the return from Babylon—at least, not consistently or for very long. It would not be until the book of Acts that we see the outcomes David envisioned in Psalm 53. Neither of these outcomes is particularly evident in our day, either. Like the people returning from Babylon, we deceive ourselves if we think our true captivity is at an end. That will only be so when we are wholly, entirely, jubilantly, and obediently captive to Jesus in all our ways. How we can get from where we are to being restored from our present captivity is the theme of this series, “Return from Exile.”

The Kingdom is real and it is now. And we are called to realize its presence.

David’s path to being king has taught him a lot. He understands that his anointing is a huge deal. Thus, he respects Saul to a surprising extent and puts to death an Amalekite who claims to have killed him.

David assumes the throne absent any bossy attitude. Mercy and reliance on the LORD will be his style.

Our generation’s cynicism, even skepticism, about truth has become so much a part of the spirit of the times that we give but little thought to the damage this can wreak on society and culture.

We live in a world of lies, half-truths, and outright deceit concerning some of the most important matters people can consider. Even in the Church, the tendency to try to “improve” on God’s truth, or to force God’s truth into the frail glass slipper of our preferred ways of thinking, is in many ways gaining ground.

Only those who stand firm under the truth of God will have the discernment, wisdom, and grace needed to help our world find its way out of darkness and unbelief into light and life in Jesus Christ. But this will only be the case as we resolve to let God be true with respect to all matters on which He speaks, and to regard alternative opinions as unreliable.

The Truth that Makes Us Free looks at the big questions that every human being needs to confront, and it urges us to do so from under the cope of divine revelation in Scripture. Only as we stand under the Word of God will be able to rise above the lies of our day and live fully and fruitfully within the light of truth.

Light is a powerful image for representing Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. Jesus identified Himself as the Light of the world. In His Kingdom, all who believe in Him walk in the light as He is in the light.

But what does this mean? What are the effects of it? How does this happen? And what does it mean for us to refract rather than merely reflect the light of Christ into our world?

The greatest story ever told begins in doubt, takes root in unlikelihood, and blossoms into praise and thanksgiving with the birth of an unexpected child.

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