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The Messiah's Difficult Test

It’s difficult and frustrating to be a human much of the time. We fight and fight against sin and often with very little to show for it. This is the way it has been since the fall. Ever since Adam and Eve disbelieved God, doubted His Word, and pursued making themselves to be gods, all of humanity has struggled in the battle against sin. But one human was able to defeat it. When Jesus was tempted with temptations in many ways similar to what Adam and Eve faced, He was victorious. Jesus’s victory over temptation from Satan proved that He was the very best human and the only One as righteous as God. He proved His worthiness as a spotless sacrifice to appease God’s wrath and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Praise be to Jesus for His endurance through temptation and His righteous life that won our salvation. Read More

The Messiah's Obedient Identification

The significance of Christ’s dual nature, divine and human, is essential to our faith, but if we aren’t careful, we can minimize one of Christ’s natures over the other. In our tradition, we are more likely to over-emphasize Jesus’s deity, because we know that Scripture emphasizes that Christ is divine. But if we underestimate Christ’s humanity, we lose an important part of Who He is. In His baptism, Jesus identified with us as humans as He prepared to take the sins of the world on Himself. But also, in Christ’s baptism, God identified Jesus as His beloved Son in Whom He was greatly pleased. This is the significance of Jesus’s baptism, not that God was baptized or that a man was baptized, but that the God-man was explicitly revealed to be the God-man. He is the only One worthy and able to save the human race. May Jesus Christ, the God-man, be praised, because He is true God and true man, our Savior. Read More

The Messiah's Peculiar Forerunner

We all sin; this is a fact that Scripture emphasizes (cf. Rm 3:9-20), but how we respond to our sin is a key reflection of our hearts. When I sin, my flesh wants to cover it up to prevent others from knowing about it and to minimize my feelings of shame. According to 1 John 1:6-9 to respond this way removes the possibility of fellowship with God and forgiveness from God. But when I am able to suppress my flesh and bring my sin to light through confession, I initiate repentance, find forgiveness, and restore fellowship with God. This is not easy. My flesh loves to think that if I can only hide my sin and prevent others from seeing it. Then people will like me and I will retain my position of influence or acceptance. But my greatest need is not to influence people or to be accepted by people. My greatest need is to be right with God, and repentance is the only way to find it. May we all repent as the Kingdom continues to draw near. Read More