Jesus Has Won

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses . . . Continue reading →

As It Was In The Days Of Noah: 2 Peter 1:1–2 (1)

The over-arching theme that unites these two epistles is what I have been calling the “Noah Paradigm.” Our Lord appealed to this way of thinking in his Oliver Discourse (Matt 24:37): “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man comes.” Our Lord was characterizing the inter-adventure age. He was giving us a way to think about our life between his ascension and his return Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (23e): Theology Of The Cross (1 Peter 5:6–11)

6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a . . . Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (23d): You Are Not Alone (1 Peter 5:6–11)

Politicians have often been tempted to declare “Peace in Our Time.” The most notorious example of this folly is the 1938 declaration by the Prime Minister of Great Britain that he and the German Chancellor Adolf Hitler had reached an accord to prevent war between them. Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (23c): Lions Are Real (1 Peter 5:6–11)

Occasionally, in Scripture, we are given glimpses of the spiritual realities behind the scenes, as it were. One thinks of the chariots of fire (2 Kings 6:15–17) that surrounded Elisha. They were present but unseen until Yahweh opened the servant’s eyes. In Zechariah 3:1–2 we are given a glimpse of a scene in which Satan is accusing Joshua the high priest. There is too that mysterious note in 2 Chronicles 21:1 in which Satan is said to have “stood up against Israel” (NASB95) and provoked David to perform a census in Israel. The spiritual realities and battles to which we are given an occasional glimpse burst, however, through the back curtain and on to center stage during the earthly ministry of our Savior Jesus. In the gospels we see Satan tempting Christ (e.g., Matt 4:1–11). He enters Judas (John 13:27) and demonic activity seems to increase dramatically during Jesus’s ministry (e.g., Matt 8:16; 8:29; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; 17:18). Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (23b): Cross Now, Glory Later (1 Peter 5:6–11)

The Christians of Asia Minor were being tested under difficult circumstances. They were being challenged and even harassed because of their Christian faith. We know that some of them were slaves and faced the temptation of disobeying unjust masters. It is not difficult for us to imagine how Christians were regarded by a surrounding culture that was largely pagan because that is the world in which you and I now live. We know that the Christians were misunderstood as being arrogant because they refused to go along with established Greco-Roman religious worship. They could not acknowledge Caesar (just now, Nero) as a deity. Their worship was misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misrepresented. In the second century they were suspected of being a death cult because of their talk about Jesus’ death, of worshiping the cross—which would have provoked the Romans particularly to disgust—because of their theology of the cross. We know that later they were accused of cannibalism because of the Christian doctrine that, in the Lord’s Supper, by the mysterious operation of the Spirit, the risen Christ feeds believers with his body and blood. Beyond all this, doubtless they had or would soon have news of the lies told about the Christians by Caesar and their martyrdom at Caesar’s hands in Rome. Continue reading →