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.
The Gospel writer Luke precedes his account of Jesus’ birth with that of a lesser (though still prominent) figure in Jewish prophecy: the forerunner who would prepare the way for the Messiah and announce his arrival.
The circumstance of this forerunner’s birth were memorable. His mother, Elizabeth, was a relative of Jesus’ mother, Mary. His father, Zechariah, served as a priest in the temple. One day the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to announce that he and his wife would have a son. When Zechariah asked how that could be possible, since he and Elizabeth were well past the age when most people become parents, Gabriel told him he would be mute until his son was born because of his unbelief (Luke 1:5-20).
3. As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
4. Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
5. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
6. From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (1 TIMOTHY 1:3-11: WARNING AGAINST FALSE TEACHINGS)→
Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was. He had certainly given them plenty of evidence to believe He was the Messiah. The miracles, healing, and His power over nature added supernatural confirmation to the “Good News” message Jesus was preachings to the crowds. Still, it must have been difficult even for the disciples to declare that their new leader, Jesus, was in fact the Messiah they had heard about all their lives. Continue reading HOW DID PETER KNOW THAT JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH?→
The Good News that God has for people is all wrapped up in the person, life, and teachings of Jesus Christ. When Jesus started His ministry, He declared that a new time in history had arrived. The God who created this world and all its people was now on the planet in a human body. Knowing that God was not far away or disconnected from this Continue reading WHAT IS GOD’S GOOD NEWS? (MARK 1:14)→
People communicate in may ways. What about God? Does he have an answering machine? How does he call people, how does he lead them, and how should they respond? Many was a young woman when she was engaged to Joseph. One day the angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that God had a special mission for her. The Holy Spirit would soon cause her to become pregnant, and she would give birth to God’s Son, Continue reading HOW TO RESPOND TO GOD’S LEADING→
In the book of Daniel, written years before Rome burst on the world scene, a Jewish exile in Persia interpreted a dream for King Nebuchadnezzar. The dream featured a huge statue made of different layers of material: gold, silver, bronze, iron, and iron mixed with clay. Daniel’s interpretation revealed that each layer of the towering image represented a kingdom that would rise, with that golden section representing Babylon, the reigning superpower of that day. Comparing this sequence to history, we discover Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (ROME)→