Our life in this world is a life of exile, a life of being aliens and strangers in a world that is hostile and in rebellion against our Lord. How must we react to the hostility of our government and culture to the Christian faith?
How do we get ready for the return of Christ? By entering the Most Holy Place as a community with our praise and thanksgiving to God and supplications for our needs.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If you do, are you among the 92 percent who break them? Join us this Sunday, December 28, at Pasig Covenant Reformed Church (Metro Manila) and Big Springs Community Church (Montague, California) to look at someone who has never broken his “New Year’s resolutions.”
The world is not in an endless, meaningless spin, but is swiftly moving to an end. Though “creation was subjected to futility,” or meaninglessness or vanity, it will be “set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
From out of the Pharaoh’s wicked scheme to destroy all Hebrew babies came Moses, the redeemer of Israel. Out of the remnant from Babylon, God brought Joseph and Mary to be the earthly parents of the Messiah. Out of Herod’s wicked plan came the baby Savior, the event Matthew described as, “out of Egypt I called my son.”
To thousands of new Jewish converts to Christianity, this was the meaning of believers-only baptism: as soon as they believed in Christ, their children, formerly members of God’s own treasured people, now have become unclean, detestable pagans, cut off from God’s covenant promises. And not one of them dared question the apostles; they just sheepishly accepted this horrific fact.
A husband promises to love and to cherish his wife, but would he keep this promise if his wife was unfaithful? Not so with Christ, who, like Hosea, kept his promise, even to an adulterous Bride: he “loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
â€œThink positively, because I’m here to talk with you and walk with you along life’s narrow way. Give me all your tears of sadness and all your years of pain, and youâ€™ll enter into life in my name. By being strong-willed, you will be able to overcome the obstacles of a long and winding, dry and hot desert road and arrive at your blessed assurance. Now you can testify that I’m alive because I live within your heart. Then, because I’m a loving and healing Bro, you can be happy and blest, praising your Savior all the day long.”
Jesus told the Pharisees that God will evict the Jews, the old tenants, and bring in new tenants into the vineyard. The Jews perceived what Jesus meant: God will take the kingdom away from the Jews as his chosen people, and his new kingdom will now be expanded to include the Gentile nations.