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“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”

A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense (Digest)

“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’ Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.” (1 Peter 2:4-8)

It was God’s desire – therefore, the apostle Peter’s desire – that those “who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (v. 10) would grow. It is the desire of every parent to see their child grow, and such desire is no different with our spiritual Father. To grow, they would first need to lay aside the evils which characterized their former man (v. 1). Then, as does the newborn babe, they would need to “desire the pure milk of the word, that [they] may grow thereby” (v. 2). Continue reading » “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”

Is Jesus Really the Son of God?

On one occasion, when Jesus was with His disciples in the region of Caesarea Philippi, “He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ (Matthew 16:13-15).

Just as in the days of Christ, it seems that everyone today has an opinion about Jesus. Some wish Him away by claiming that He never existed. However, the historical evidence proves that He did exist. Some claim that He was a prophet of God and a good man, while others claim that He was a liar and a troublemaker. Christians believe that He is the Son of God, and claim Him as their Lord and Savior. Continue reading » Is Jesus Really the Son of God?

“I who speak to you am He”

John 4:25-26

At the end of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4, the woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ).  When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus’ response was His most direct self-affirmation to date in His early ministry, as He said, “I who speak to you am He.”

Other words and phrases had earlier been used, by Jesus and others, that intimated His position.  The first example, of course, was the angel’s words to the virgin Mary, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).

Continue reading » “I who speak to you am He”

Video Script: Is Jesus the Messiah? (3)

In Genesis 12, the Bible records two promises made by God to a man named Abram (later God renamed him Abraham). “Now the LORD had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'”

The first promise was kept when God established the nation of Israel. The Israelites left Egypt, gained their sovereignty and dwelt in the land of Canaan, a land that had also been promised by God.

Continue reading » Video Script: Is Jesus the Messiah? (3)

The Glorious Church Reflected in The Promised Messiah

In his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul extols the glorious church of our Lord (5:27). The church was planned by God from eternity past (3:11) for the redemption of mankind (5:23), and the glory of God (3:21). By its existence and purpose the church reveals the manifold wisdom of God to the universe He created (3:10). The church had its beginning on the day of Pentecost about fifty days following the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2). It was established then and exists today as a result of divine planning, the fulfillment of divine promises, and the execution of divine power. Continue reading » The Glorious Church Reflected in The Promised Messiah