John tells us that he writes this gospel so that we might, by faith, come to have the eternal life that is found only in Jesus. In this section, we have been shown that the sustenance of the spiritual life is something other than the sustenance of the physical life. Jesus appeals to the scriptures of the Old Testament, pointing to a new and better covenant. He pictures the contrast by returning to the idea of bread; the bread of Moses was perishing bread, for perishing people, but the Bread of Christ brings eternal life. Eating is believing, and Jesus’s flesh is the bread of eternal life. Upon this idea the Jews not only go from questioning to grumbling, but from grumbling to disputing among themselves; a first indication that their obstacle was not understanding, but believing. Therefore, in this passage, we will find the Disputing Jews, the Flesh of Life, and the Partaking of Flesh.
With the beginning of Romans 10, Paul is continuing to use the spiritual plight of his own people as the reference point for explaining that God’s sovereign purpose of redemption includes all the peoples of the world. As Paul again expresses his personal burden for Israel, he helps us to understand the proper heart toward the lost and the ignorant zeal of works righteousness, but his focus is verse 4 where he reminds us that true righteousness is a gift of God through Christ our Lord.
Jesus is continuing to expound on what it means for Him to be the living bread from heaven. We are not to follow Christ because of what we get from him materially, as the Jews are doing in this text, rather we are to follow and believe in Christ in order to get Christ! He is our true manna from heaven. He is the only one who can nourish and satisfy our souls. It is also in Christ alone that we are saved, preserved through this life, and resurrected on the last day. So do you believe on this Jesus?
As we reach the end of Romans 9, Paul is wrapping up his very directed discussion of the doctrine of election. There is a shift in these final verses to view the subject from man’s perspective. The only possible explanation that Gentiles, who do not pursue God at all, have attained righteousness is because they believed, and that exercise of faith is a gift of God. The Jews, on the other hand, have pursued righteousness diligently, but because they trust in their works and not in Christ, they have not attained it. Faith, or lack thereof, is the reason Christ is a cornerstone for some and a stone of stumbling to others.
As we near the end of Romans 9, Paul is careful to teach that God’s sovereign purpose in election includes Gentiles. Inclusion of them was not an afterthought nor a late addition, but part of His eternal plan from the very beginning. Just as God had chosen a remnant of Israel after disavowing them, God also chose Gentiles to receive His grace. Even more, the only reason anyone is saved is because God Himself spares them from destruction and makes them His own.
Piety is a combination of reverence for God, love of His character, and the exercise of these affections in obedience to His will and devotion to His service. This personal holiness is the means of enjoying fellowship with Christ for God’s glory. The Bible teaches that we grow in true godliness as both our life and doctrine become consistent with the gospel. Having asserted the great doctrine of justification by faith, and introduced the idea that where sin abounded grace abounded much more, Paul now wonders, in Romans 6:14, if someone might take this truth to imply that it doesn’t matter if a Christian puts to death sin in his life, because God will always overcome great sin with greater grace. Paul argues that since we are born again in Christ, we are indeed dead to sin, though sin may not yet be dead in us. In this verse we find a test, a promise, and an encouragement.
As the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation was written to the churches to assure struggling and persecuted Christians of Christ’s faithful love, His sovereign reign, and His ultimate judgment of all wickedness. In the first chapter, as John is given His first vision, he sees the exalted Christ and hears his Lord’s concern for His churches. It is this Christ that we should set our gaze upon in every generation. Only as we walk by faith — loving Him, reverencing Him, and depending upon Him — will we know true comfort and joy in the midst of this dark world.
In this final Christmas sermon from Genesis, we explore Jacob’s final words to his fourth son, Judah. Though Judah is not a man who distinguished himself that greatly above his brothers, he is still the head of the Israelite Tribe from which King David and the Messiah will come. Thus, these final words from his father are an explicit prophecy of the coming of the Christ and how He will rule the nations and pour out His blessings on His people.
In this third section, we have seen the growing opposition toward Jesus from the religious leaders of His day. Jesus answered that opposition by explaining His equality and the ultimate unity of His works with the Father. These verses describe one of our Lords most remarkable miracles. As we walk though this story together, we see first that the place and time where this takes place is clearly noted, to give greater evidence of the truth of the story. The circumstances are specified, so that the details may be proven. We will be encouraged to see that when true faith is tested it is for our sake, for the sake of God’s provision and salvation for those around us, as well as to display Christ’s compassion, power, sufficiency, and humility.
Do you like taking Tests? At many places in Scripture, we see God testing His children in order to prove, before the world, the veracity and strength of their faith in Him. In Genesis 22, we find one of the most severe tests ever given: God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son , Isaac, as a burnt offering on Mt Moriah. God was testing Abraham to see if his affections for God’s gifts has supplanted his affections for God Himself. Abraham successfully passed the test, and God’s subsequent promise of a “Seed” is the conquering, Redeeming Savior we worship and celebrate today.