The Purpose of the Parables

The Purpose of the Parables

Many believe Jesus told parables to his followers because he was revealing some kind of new resurrection and kingdom. However, Jesus made clear that his parables were told to unbelievers, to confront them in their ungodliness: “The knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in…

Shepherding the Flock

Shepherding the Flock

The purpose of all Christian leadership (whether the gifting be apostolic, prophetic, pastoral, teaching, or evangelism) is to lead the body of Christ toward eternal life. Though we may debate what eternal life entails (i.e. heavenly destiny vs. New Earth), the main point is that we are called to forsake this life, take up…

The Message of the Kingdom and Its Demands

The Message of the Kingdom and Its Demands

The Parable of the Sower is one of Jesus’ most familiar parables, which he described as decisive for understanding all the parables: “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” (Mk. 4:13) Matthew says the seed is “the message of the kingdom” (13:19). Of course, any Jew of Jesus’ day would…

The Second Coming

The Second Coming

The cornerstone of the Christian faith is “the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Tit 2:13). This is what the angels promised the disciples when Jesus was taken up: “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you…

Characteristic Elements of the Apostolic Witness

Characteristic Elements of the Apostolic Witness

Theologians have long sought the “elusive center” (Gordon Fee) of biblical theology. That is, what is the central message of the Scriptures and the apostolic witness? Since the Reformation, most Protestants have focused on justification by faith. During the last hundred years, a shift has occurred toward eschatology. Some within the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement have…

Rejoice in the Lord

Rejoice in the Lord

Paul’s command to “rejoice in the Lord” is in context to “the book of life” (v. 6) and the resurrection, i.e. when Jesus “will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (3:21) It is similar to the command Jesus gave his disciples, “do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Lk. 10:20) Our hope must not…