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New Testaments

The Ongoing Conversation

Jesus_ascension_1Lutheran theologian A.L. Graebner wrote of Christ’s ascension into heaven that it was “the glorious termination of His visible conversation with His church on earth” (Outlines of Doctrinal Theology). Writing in 1898, he was using the word conversation in the older sense of interaction. During His time in this world, especially during His three-year public ministry, Christ interacted visibly with His fellow human beings. Also after His resurrection, He appeared visibly to His disciples and spoke to them during a period of forty days. But then He was taken up into heaven as His disciples watched, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. After that there were only a few extraordinary appearances of Christ such as those to Paul (1 Corinthians 15:8) and John (Revelation 1:10-18).

But wasn’t Christ’s time in this world also a conversation in the sense in which we use the word today? In His ministry as recorded in the four Gospels, Christ engaged His people in a three-year conversation. That was a conversation that was truly unique, in which the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father declared to man the unseen God.Read More »The Ongoing Conversation

“We Have Such A High Priest”

“Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, ‘See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’ But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises”   (Hebrews 8:1-6).Read More »“We Have Such A High Priest”

The Emmaus Transformation

“And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:32).

Usually it is easy to tell.

There are the telltale signs that readily reveal a person’s frame of mind. You watch the youngster out in the winter cold shoveling the sidewalk. From the slouch of his shoulders to the doing-as-little-as-possible attitude, it is easy to conclude that he would rather be anywhere other than where he is. His negative attitude radiates through his lackluster actions.

On the other hand you might witness the retiree out in the summertime flowerbed. You hear her humming, see the hint of a smile playing about the corners of her mouth, while her hands busily make quick work of removing those stubborn and unwelcome weeds among her petunias and roses. You easily surmise that she is happy to be improving the appearance of her property.

Yes, it is usually quite easy to tell. A downcast—perhaps guilty, sad, or disappointed—frame of mind will be as readily obvious as a mindset of joy, happiness, forgiveness, or new life.Read More »The Emmaus Transformation

Salvation Guaranteed!

And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath  (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The LORD has sworn And will not relent, `You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek’”), by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.  But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever”  (Hebrews 7:20-28).Read More »Salvation Guaranteed!

A High Priest Like Melchizedek

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. Read More »A High Priest Like Melchizedek

A Roller Coaster in the Wilderness

…the same potential for disaster that faced the Israelites in the wilderness also faces us today.

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Hebrews 3:7-15).Read More »A Roller Coaster in the Wilderness

“…A Savior, who is Christ the Lord”

AnointedOneReading through the four Gospels—particularly during the days leading up to the birth of Jesus—one often finds many of God’s people anxiously looking for ‘the Christ.’

The good news which the angels brought to the shepherds was that a Savior had been born “who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

Simeon was promised that before he would die, he would see “the Lord’s Christ (Luke 2:26).Read More »“…A Savior, who is Christ the Lord”