For the first time in his preaching ministry, Chuck Swindoll presents a comprehensive verse-by-verse study through the Gospel According to Matthew. Follow the life of Christ, from His birth to His Great Commission.
We now begin the second phase of our safari through Scripture. Our desire is to see all 27 books as a whole—to see how they fit together, how they relate to us, and the value of each section to the person who reads and believes the Bible. Of special interest is the “flow” of thought carried through these books and letters of the New Testament.
Matthew, a tax collector by trade, wrote his book to emphasize Christ, the King. The book includes numerous facts and expressions, which would have appealed to the Jewish reader. The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and the presentation of Jesus as Messiah are clearly emphasized. When we understand the book of Matthew we bow before King Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel.
While the law was a covenantal gift to God’s people, it is not our covenant law as Christians. We live under the new covenant, so interpreting the old covenant law can be challenging at times.
The thing that determines whether the exercise of making judgments is sinful or not is the attitude that accompanies it. Is it done in a humble, loving way or a proud, critical, unloving way?
The writers selected stories portraying Jesus the best for their audience, and wrote in a way their readers would understand. While they were selective in what they revealed, what is written is everything they thought important for their readers to know.
Sometimes cast aside as a minor player in the retelling of the Christmas story, Joseph’s story mirrored that of his wife in many ways. He sat with her marvelling at this baby. He wondered about the baby’s origin. And yet, Joseph was forced to make a choice that not even Mary had to make. Where Mary carried the baby within her, Joseph had to choose to stay, to involve himself in the baby’s life.
Two millennia ago, God answered the anguished cry of humanity by making “the problem of evil” His own. God Almighty became Immanuel, “God with us.” He lived as we live, suffered as we suffer, died as we die, yet without sin.
Reading through the Bible can be like taking a road trip. Each book has different scenes and along the way you meet interesting characters.
As Chuck Swindoll assures us in this message, God continues to walk into our lives when we least expect Him, and His surprises still bring relief. When we say yes to God’s will for our lives, God floods our hearts with relief. And, oh, the joy that God’s peace brings to our hearts!