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All articles in category Biblical/theological

June 2018
Articles > Biblical/theological

Should we celebrate the sabbath on Saturday or Sunday?

Recently hearing a disturbing sermon from an elderly brother, I was constrained to respond to the things he was saying. This is how this article came to be written. He was a dear brother, a good-hearted man, who seems to have been shaken not by old Adventist arguments but by a new group, who are part of a modern Judaising movement. Their main argument is that, for the Saturday observance of the sabbath to be changed to Sunday, a new commandment is required. Fourth Commandment The day of ‘rest’ was established at the completion of the first creation, based upon the Lord’s cessation from his...

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June 2018
Articles > Biblical/theological

God is no man’s debtor

In the 1960s I was engaged to a young lady whose father was a self-employed mechanic. He purchased a plot of land and obtained permission from the local planning authority to construct a garage complete with car showroom, vehicle repair workshop, MOT testing facility and petrol sales forecourt. He entered into a financial agreement with the Mobil Oil Co., whereby, in return for exclusively selling that company’s petrol and oil products, Mobil would provide a loan that would cover the cost of building and equipping the garage. The loan was to be repaid through a sales incentive bonus, which required a minimum quantity of petrol...

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May 2018
Articles > Biblical/theological

Jesus’ Prayer Life

If we are to be Jesus’ disciples, then by definition, we are to learn of him. How then are we to learn from one we have never met? We cannot hear the words that come out of his mouth as those described in the Gospels did; but we can read those words, and hear those instructions and commands as we read the Gospels. How much we can learn as we read, for example, the Sermon on the Mount or the Upper Room Discourse (John 14-16). But there is another way in which we can learn from Jesus, and that is by his example. Peter tells...

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May 2018
Articles > Biblical/theological

Growing older: From one degree of glory to another

A middle-aged man looks in the mirror, puts on a bright orange wig to cover his bald head and suddenly he’s young again – allegedly! But why does he do it? If you see him in the street, it’s obvious it’s a wig! The colour doesn’t match his eyebrows or stubble and you can clearly see the join. And yet, somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind, he’s still in his thirties or forties. He may not look young, but he still feels young — or at least feels younger than he looks. So by using a wig it provides him with an illusion...

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April 2018
Articles > Biblical/theological

Christ’s resurrection and our justification

How is the resurrection of Christ linked to the idea of justification in the New Testament? To answer this question, we must first explore the use and meaning of the term ‘justification’ in the New Testament. Confusion about this has provoked some of the fiercest controversies in the history of the church. The Protestant Reformation itself was fought over the issue of justification. In all its complications, the unreconciled and unreconcilable difference in the debate came down to the question of whether our justification before God is grounded in the infusion of Christ’s righteousness into us, by which we become inherently righteous; or in the...

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April 2018
Articles > Biblical/theological

A glorious resurrection

The Christian believer’s hope of life after death is highlighted by a comment attributed to John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States (from 1825 to 1829) and a leading opponent of slavery. A friend once asked him when he was an old man, ‘How is John Quincy Adams today?’ His reply was, ‘I am doing very fine sir, but the building in which I live is getting rather tottery. I fear I must soon have to vacate it. I expect, however, to move into a new one some day’. John Quincy Adams’ remark was biblical. Death is not the cessation of existence, but...

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March 2018
Articles > Biblical/theological

Exalted Prince and Saviour

The apostle Paul prayed that the Ephesian church would know: ‘What is the exceeding greatness of [God’s] power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come’ (1:19-21). The power that saves a soul is the same power that raised Jesus from death. Paul’s reasoning is as follows. In order to understand the ‘exceeding greatness of his...

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February 2018
Articles > Biblical/theological

The ministry of angels

In one of his poems, John Milton said: ‘Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth, unseen both when they wake and when they sleep’. The teaching about angels is one of the intriguing things of biblical faith. It is mysterious. Yet it is clear from the Bible that there are a finite number of created spirits, evil (fallen) and elect (holy). It seems they are not so limited in movement as human beings. There is ‘behind-the-scenes’ activity of both unfallen angels and demons, including Satan their chief (Ephesians 6:12). References to them are found all over the Bible. Sometimes they take visible form; for example,...

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