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.
Just beneath the soft, newborn skin of this beautiful story is the flesh and bone of a theological truth that is older than creation: God planned to send a Saviour long before time began.
“Do not be afraid.” We see this phrase recur throughout the Christmas story and it’s easy to gloss over without fully comprehending it.
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.
The virgin birth circumvented the transmission of the sin nature and allowed the eternal God to become a perfect man. He never sinned, which qualified Him to be a righteous substitutionary sacrifice for sinners.
The Bible never describes the work of demons in the lives of believers directly in terms of immorality. In other words, to say a believer has a “spirit of lust”—as if his real problem is a demon—assumes something the Bible never teaches.
Using the Word of God for sinful ends is nothing new. Would it surprise you to learn that our enemy Satan has memorized Scripture and uses it to tempt us to sin?
On a recent tour of Israel, my wife and I went to this hill to hear anew the familiar expressions of “Blessed are” preached by Chuck Swindoll. But there, on the Mount of Beatitudes, it was what I saw, more than what I heard, that really demonstrated the power of Jesus’ words.