When Paul and Barnabas first came to Antioch in Pisidia, they entered the synagogue and were invited to share a word of encouragement with those in attendance. It’s here that Luke provides a summary of a typical sermon preached by the apostle Paul to Jews and God-fearers. He begins with an overview of Israel’s history, […]

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In spite of humanity’s sinful rebellion and our repeated failure to trust our Maker, God has always been faithful to his promises. One promise in particular, made to King David, was that a son would come from his line who would one day reign in righteousness and restore all things in perfect peace. At the […]

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For new creations in Christ, who have been born again by the Spirit through the word of God, Bible reading is like inhaling and prayer is like exhaling. Yet if we are honest, we all struggle to pray at times. We feel guilty when we don’t pray, inadequate when we do pray, and sometimes we […]

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Acts 8:14-17 has been at the center of all kinds of controversy regarding the book of Acts and its interpretation. The doctrine of a “second blessing” taught in many churches is based partly on these verses. But why exactly did the risen Lord Jesus wait to send his Holy Spirit on the Samaritan Christians? If […]

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The Sign of Immanuel (Isaiah 7:1-8:10)

Most of us are familiar with Matthew’s explanation of the birth of Jesus, when he writes: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Matt. 1:22-23). However, many […]

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God Will Provide the Lamb

At Christmastime, we love to sing traditional carols and hymns, proclaiming that “all is calm, all is bright ’round yon virgin mother and child—holy infant so tender and mild.” With such a peaceful description of Jesus’ birth, it’s easy to forget the bitter cup of God’s wrath which he came to drink in full. In […]

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Salvation is a Person (Luke 2:22-40)

Unique to Luke’s Gospel is the mention of two characters who play a small but profound role in the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. These two saints, Simeon and Anna, had been faithfully committed to serving and worshiping God. They knew that God had promised a Messiah who would come to save and restore his people and […]

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The Promise of the Messiah (Luke 1:26-38)

The mission of John the Baptist was to prepare the way for the Lord, to announce the coming of the Messiah. But how exactly would this Messiah come? How could a child be born who would be the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6-7, being both a Davidic king yet also Mighty God and the Everlasting Father? The answer […]

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The Promise of the Messenger (Luke 1:5-25)

We would imagine Luke’s gospel – an account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – to begin with the story of Christ’s birth. However, Luke does not start with the announcement of the coming Messiah,  but with the announcement of the coming messenger, John the Baptist: “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare […]

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