Archives for March 2017

How Easter Reveals Jesus’ Claim on Our Lives

Since the earliest days of the church, Christians have commemorated the death, resurrection, and glorification of Jesus of Nazareth at this time every year. And there has been plenty of argument concerning the purpose of those events.

We agree that Jesus died for us, but what does that mean, really? Too often we assume that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins . . . and leave it at that.

But when Jesus gained victory over death itself, he claimed authority over our very lives.

Bearing our crosses

In his book Pro Rege, Abraham Kuyper, the nineteenth-century Dutch journalist and theologian turned Prime Minister, says:

People will comment that ‘everyone has their cross to bear,’ complain about ‘the cross that we just have to bear,’ or say about those with a tough lot in life that they pass through life ‘under a cross.’ . . . In accordance with this usage, any who, despite their harsh lot in life, find peace in that lot—who endure the disasters that overcome them with a steadfast spirit and do not succumb to them in despair, but find secure refuge in God—they are considered to have fulfilled Jesus’ command. (2:39)

Do you agree? Then think again:

If the world sees that you are loyal in confessing your Savior and witnessing for him, it will try and make you pay for it. . . . Matthew 10:38 does not refer to our common suffering, but only to our suffering for the sake of Christ. Moreover, it is important to realize that the suffering thus depicted lies not in that we will have to bear our cross, but in that we will be nailed to it. . . . What Jesus pronounces with ‘whoever does not take his cross,’ is not a friendly word of comfort for the hardships and sorrows of life. It is a most solemn announcement that those who confess him and witness for him must always be prepared to die for him.

Loyal subjects of a living King

Unlike believers in other parts of the world, most Christians in my country (the United States) haven’t experienced the worst horrors of Hebrews 11: “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword.” (Heb 11:35–37)

As a turn of the century European aristocrat, neither did Kuyper. Nor was he in a place to see the atrocities of two world wars. But he understood the claims Jesus makes on all of our lives. The Easter message is one of hope and love. We are forgiven by the King of Glory. We are now his friends and heirs. But we are also his servants, and since he is King, we are his subjects. The King’s death and resurrection was so much more than a victory shout. It was a war cry, his proclamation that Satan no longer has authority or any claim to rule.

And Kuyper reminds us that Jesus’ authority extends to the life—and death—of every Christian.

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Pro Rege volume 2 is now available in both print and digital formats! Dig into its theological riches this Easter. You may find yourself disagreeing with Kuyper, but you certainly won’t be left without food for thought. Get it now.

Wayne Grudem on Seeing the NT As a First-Century Reader

God’s Word is eternal, but between us and its earliest readers lies a chasm of time, culture, and language. Before we can apply Scripture to twenty-first-century life, we must first understand the world in which it was written.

Ask celebrated theologian Wayne Grudem, and he’ll tell you one of the best resources for glimpsing that world is a little-known work written nearly 100 years ago.

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Video: How to Create, Deliver, and Publish a Powerful Sermon

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You can preach excellent messages using the technology of a yellow legal pad. You can then shift those notes to Word. You can then create a PowerPoint. You can then email that PowerPoint, or put it on a thumb drive, and get it to your church sound guy.

Or you could focus on your sermon, and let Logos take care of the busywork for you.

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7 Reasons to Add Church Media to Your Easter Service

easter-mediaNot all pastors like using church media. That’s okay. Even the designers who make church media are sensitive about when and where to use it. There’s a fine line between adding to and distracting from a sermon or service. Some churches choose to avoid the line altogether by not using media.

But when used appropriately, church media is another powerful way to express your message.

As you put the finishing touches on your Easter service, here are seven reasons you may want to add church media:

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Should I Get Logos 7 Basic if I Already Own Logos?

By now, you’ve probably heard about Logos 7 Basic, the new, free version of Logos Bible Software. And if you already own Logos, you may be wondering, “What does that mean for me?” In fact, you may be one of the customers who flooded the blog with questions like:

“If I install the free version of Logos 7, will my copy of Logos 6 be deleted or overwritten?”

“I have Logos 6 and Logos Gold. Is there any reason why I should get Logos 7 Basic?”

Great questions. Here’s the answer:

When you get Logos 7 Basic, we’ll add new books and features to the resources you already own; you won’t lose a thing.

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Journey through the Bible with a Logos Mobile Education Subscription

Dig into the Dead Sea Scrolls with Dr. Craig Evans, discover the Apocrypha with Dr. David deSilva, and explore Acts with Dr. Darrell Bock.

With the Mobile Ed Subscription, you can access a diverse collection of courses from today’s top scholars. For $49.99/month, you’ll get the flexibility to view a rotating selection of courses at your own pace anytime, anywhere through Faithlife TV and Logos Bible Software. Course content is updated quarterly.

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Which Are More Accurate: Literal or Non-Literal Bible Translations?

We may hate to admit it, but if we’re honest with ourselves, even our favorite English Bible translations can at times be clunky. Here’s an example I was just teaching about in adult Sunday School. Check out the three phrases I bolded: “your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 1:3).

“Labor of love” sounds natural enough—but only because it’s a stock phrase in contemporary English, borrowed straight from the KJV. The other two phrases, however, don’t sound like anything I would ever say. When was the last time you thanked a coworker in a note for their “toil of hardship”? We just don’t write like that.

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What’s the Deal with All That Circumcision in the Bible?

circumcision

Circumcision is mentioned nearly 100 times in the Bible. It is a central focus for Old Testament and New Testament theology (Rom 4:9–12; Gal 2:1–12; 5:1–10).

If we’re honest, that just sounds absurd.

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6 Can’t-Miss Commentaries on Sale This Month Only

commentaries

There are just four days left to save up to 50% on church history, theology, and biblical studies resources in the March monthly sale. And if you’re ready to give a boost to your commentary collection, check out these can’t-miss deals before they disappear:

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4 Days Left to Get Your Free Devotional!

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On Easter, Jesus struck a staggering blow. Death is on its last legs, breathing its last rasping breaths. With all of creation, we await the day it stumbles into its grave at last and Jesus ushers in the renewed creation.

But the resurrection didn’t just change history, it shapes our everyday. We don’t live under the dominion of death; as believers, we have tasted the future of resurrection. Ours is a risen existence.

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