THE SYMBOLIC MEANING: Jesus Himself establish established the primary figurative interpretation of the cross as a call to complete surrender to God. He used it five times as a symbol of true discipleship in terms of self-denial, taking up one’s cross, and following Him (Mark 8:34; 10:38; Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23; 14:27). Building on the Roman practice of bearing the crossbeam to the place of execution, Christ intended this to point to the necessary death of self, involving the sacrifice of one’s individuality for the purpose of following Jesus completely; and a willingness to imitate Jesus thoroughly, even to the extent of martyrdom.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (CROSS,CRUCIFIXION)
Paul (or Saul, as he was also known) was a zealot, a staunch defender of the Jewish faith. He was especially zealous about exposing and punishing offshoots of Judaism that threatened to obscure its message.
He targeted the disciple of a rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth who were attempting to keep his message alive even after the rabbi himself had been crucified. They spread stories about seeing him risen form the dead. They claimed he was the Son of God and the way to everlasting life.Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (PAUL “THE UNLIKELIEST DISCIPLE”)
The psalmist has an extremely high view of God’s ability to respond mightily to the believer’s plea for help. He uses poetic language to describe the indescribable-God’s almighty power. God sounds frightening because He is. When God acts to help someone prevail over injustice, the energy God expends will be much more frightening than the victim’s adversary.Continue reading WHY DOES GOD SEEM SO FRIGHTENING?
This verse compares the Christian life to the footrace in which athletes competed in the Greek games (read 1 Cor 9:25). The foot race was one of the most popular events of the Greek games that were held every year in Athens. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A LIFETIME RACE)
Several Bible passages emphasize a Christian’s preeminent commitment to love-not merely a sentimental, warm feeling, but a choice of the will to put other people’s welfare ahead of one’s own by showing respect, considering their feelings, and praying on their behalf. Continue reading IS IT OKAY FOR A CHIRSTIAN TO INTENSELY DISLIKE ANOTHER BELIEVER?
Demons apparently are quite intelligent about matters of theology and practice. They are monotheists (this is, they believe that one supreme God exists), though the history of demonic influence shows that they propagandize false belief in imaginary pagan deities. They hold belief in the identification of Jesus as God’s Son, as shown in their confession in Matthew 8:29. They certainly believe in the existence of moral standards and in God’s final judgment concerning evil. So, in many ways, demons believe biblical truth. They have seen the truth close up, and their entire job is to subvert it. You have to know the opposition, so to speak. Continue reading WHAT RELIGION DO DEMONS BELIEVE?