Jesus Christ

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Hardening of the Heart

Arteriosclerosis is a physical health condition brought on when plaque and cholesterol form in our arteries and cause them to harden and lose their elasticity. Over time, arteriosclerosis can completely close an artery, thus depriving the body of vital oxygen-rich blood and leading to physical death. However, if discovered in the early stages, the condition […]

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The Gospel of Jesus Christ

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). A right understanding of the gospel makes all the difference in how we live out our salvation experience. So what is the nature and core content of the gospel? The goal of this article is to show […]

Focus on the Faithful

The Early Church In the last two issues we’ve looked at the personal faithfulness of two giants of the Old and New Testaments, Abraham and Peter. We have examined the relationship of living faith between individuals and our heavenly Father, but faithfulness is also a communal reality. We are God’s people, so what does a […]

Mourning ‘Evangelical’

As a minister, I have always loved meaningful, descriptive words. When I first learned the word evangelical, I was impressed by its definition and excited to say, “I am an evangelical!” Though I’m still attracted to it, in recent years I have been more reluctant to state publicly that simple, joyful response from the heart: […]

Does the Bible command anyone to have a wedding?

Does the Bible command anyone to have a wedding or tell us what to do at such an event? It is true that the Bible contains no specific command requiring persons to participate in a public ceremony like a wedding in order to become husband and wife. It is also true that the Bible contains narratives […]

Focus on the Faithful – Abraham

“Faithful” is our theme for 2021, and in this space over the next six issues, we’ll look at six Bible characters whose faithfulness in their own unique context speaks to us in ours. Our goal here is to challenge and encourage the Church of God to embody faithfulness, in our own time, after the examples […]

Fits and Starts

For a long time, I committed more “fits” than “starts.” For those not familiar with the idiom “fits and starts,” it refers to irregular intervals of action and inaction, as in “His presidential campaign is proceeding by fits and starts.” The expression began in the late 1500s with “as by fits.” The noun fit meant […]

The Fullness

Most of us have a favorite verse of Scripture and, if asked, could tell why we like that text a lot. Could we also explain how the verses just before and after our favorite impact and help unpack its full meaning? Without revealing its location yet, I’ll tell you my favorite verse for today and […]

Becoming Conformed

Do you remember your first memory verse? I do. Dorothy Keim taught it to me at a church convention in 1973, when I was seven. It’s beloved by many — Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to […]

Is Righteousness a status or process?

Does being made righteous refer to a status or a process? The short answer is both. Let’s take a closer look at this great word, starting with its background in the Old Testament.  In both Hebrew and Greek, the basic meaning of righteousness is “conformity to a norm.” In its biblical context, the norm that […]