Thoughts From Romans1:4

This verse is a good example of Paul’s manner of writing. After he mentions a subject, his mind seems to catch fire. He presents it in new forms and amplifies it, until he seems to forget for a time the subject on which he was writing. This is the reason that his writings abound so with parentheses, and that there is so much difficulty in following and understanding him. The reason I say this is I’m guilty of the same thing. As my wife proofread my post on this verse, which was a couple pages long, she said I lost her. So, from now on I’ll do my best to keep it as simple as I can.

The title “Son of God” in the New Testament was given by way of eminence to the Lord Jesus Christ. This was the common and favorite title by which the apostles designated Him. The title “Son of God” is applied to Jesus no less than 27 times in the Gospels and Acts, and 15 times in the Epistles and Revelation. The other most common title which is given to Him is “Son of man.” By this title Jesus commonly designated Himself. There can be no doubt that the title “Son of man was to denote that He was a man, that He sustained a special relation to man, and that He chose to speak of Himself as a man. The first, the most obvious, impression on the use of the title “Son of man” is that he was truly a man. The title “Son of God” stands in contrast with the title “Son of man,” and as the obvious meaning is that Jesus was a man, so the obvious meaning of the title “Son of God” is that Jesus was divine and that He had a relationship to God in His nature which implied more than that He was human or angelic.

From Doubt to Faith

[24]But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

[25] The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

[26] And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

[27] Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

[28] And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

[29] Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
John 20:24-29

Why is it that some people believe the gospel and others do not? Perhaps the experience of Thomas can supply at least some of the answers to this question. From this text we can observe three barriers to faith that Thomas had to overcome in order to believe in the resurrected Lord.

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Free to Fail

“Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: [25] And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.”
Matthew 25:24-25

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Philippians 4:13

Matthew 25:25 and Philippians 4:13 are two very different statements. One was made by a man who was afraid to fail and did nothing. The other was made by a man who was free to fail and did everything. As far as the biblical record is concerned, some of the greatest achievements in the history of God’s kingdom have come from very ordinary, imperfect people who have overcome failure to be used of God in a significant way. Their lives model some biblical principles for overcoming failure.

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On the Brink

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. [14] The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. [15] And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:”
Exodus 14:13-15

Life (or is it God?) has a relentless way of pushing us to the brink. Through a persistent parade of obstacles and opportunities we are continually confronted with moments that demand a decision. In our text we find that the nation of Israel stands at just such a place. Before them lie the blessings of God. Behind them gather the dust clouds of Pharaoh’s chariots. God’s message to a people on the brink is to:

“Fear Ye Not”

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Living With Loneliness

We all know what it is like to feel lonely. Loneliness is Friday night with nowhere to go, eating lunch by yourself, saying “no” when everyone else is saying “yes,” having no one to talk to, having the sole responsibility for making an important decision, losing a loved one.

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