The Arrival of The Messiah

It’s about time we jump into the text… and get our feet wet in the gospels.

We’ve talked about context… and getting to know the neighborhood… and the promised Messiah. Now lets just look closely at the arrival of that Messiah. We’ll ask the question… “When little baby Jesus arrived, was there anyone, in faith, looking for Him”?

Matthew 1:18–19 (NASB95)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

You may have already noticed it. How is Joseph described? The text says he was “a righteous man”. How should we understand that description? There are a couple possible interpretations.Sometimes the term is used to describe those who think they are righteous… but they really aren’t (Matthew 9:11-13, Luke 15:7,Luke 18:9, Luke 20:20). These are the self-righteous folks who are more concerned with their outward appearance than their inner spirituality. Jesus warns us against being like these people (Matthew 23:27-28).Other times the word “righteous” is used, from God’s perspective, to describe the true spiritual state of someone. Continue reading “The Arrival of The Messiah”

Where does the TransitionalGospel take us?

When looking at the gospel of Jesus Christ, in its original context, we’ve got to head all the way back to the beginning of God’s story. We must be willing to jump back into the Old Testament and set the stage for the arrival of Jesus. To do this we will consider the problem of sin… and the promise, that God offered, to fix that problem.

We will look into the common role of faith in the salvation of all people. We must understand the purpose of the law in the Old Testament and how God used it with people of faith. The Old Testament law had a definite purpose and limitations.

Probably the most important idea we’ll delve into, is the concept of the “believing remnant”. This is the idea that since sin entered the world, God has always had “people of faith” on the earth. At any given time, there has always been a group who truly believed God was the only one big enough to solve the sin problem. Continue reading “Where does the TransitionalGospel take us?”

Are you a TransitionalReader?

Every text has a context. A TransitionalReader is someone who is able to put their preconceived notions at bay, and consider the context of the text just long enough for the Holy Spirit to confirm or deny their understanding.

Have you allowed yourself to be a TransitionalReader when it comes to the Gospels and the book of Acts… or do you know what the stories mean before you read them… because you “heard a sermon on that” or “read a book about that”.  Continue reading “Are you a TransitionalReader?”

The Greatest Generation

One of the things I hope to do… is encourage people to reconsider some things about the four gospel accounts and the book of Acts. As readers of the story of Jesus, our generation and culture has become very familiar with what happened while Jesus was on earth. For instance, most people know, in general, what miracles He performed. We are somewhat familiar with the people He healed. We can repeat the story of His birth, His death, and His resurrection. These “events” are similar to the interior of a house. We are comfortable with them. We like the way they feel. We’ve lived there, theologically, for a while.  They have become familiar.

One reader might really like the way John’s gospel reads. Another might like insight that the words of Christ offer. Someone else might really like the story of Pentecost… or Paul’s theology. These are the interior features of the gospel. As much as we love certain aspects of the scriptures, we often fail to leave them in their first-century Jewish context. Continue reading “The Greatest Generation”

TransitionalGospel is About Context

What is TransitionalGospel?

Transition – movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, to another

Gospel – the teachings of Jesus and the apostles

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The longer I live… the more I realize that everything has a context.

For a large portion of my adult life I helped people buy and sell real estate. I spent part of that time working for a large real estate brokerage in my hometown, but I also owned my own small company for about nine years. There’s one saying in real estate with which most everyone is familiar. It’s a saying that new Realtors learn early… and use often.

“The three most important things

to consider when purchasing a piece of real estate are…

location, location, and location.”

You’ve probably heard this adage before. It’s nothing new, but it is an important truth. It suggests that a property’s location will help decide its value more than any other individual feature the property has.

As an agent, I would often take clients out to view five or six homes they had picked out of a larger list. After looking at each property, I’d ask them to run down a list of the things they liked, and the things they disliked about the house. If you’ve bought a house, you’ve probably done something very similar. It’s a mental way to summarize the viewing of a house before moving on to the next one. I found that my clients would often focus on the interior features of the house more than the exterior features. Continue reading “TransitionalGospel is About Context”

The Problem of Sin… & Those Looking for Messiah

The book of Genesis introduces us to the beginning. God created and, as the story goes, man corrupted. The “problem of sin” was introduced early in the story. Sin is a problem because it causes separation from the creator. Sin can prevent our relationship with God, and it always disrupts our fellowship with Him. The Bible teaches that sin has affected all people. It’s even disrupted the physical make-up of our planet. The problem of sin is world-wide. As big of a deal as it was when it happened, God still wasn’t caught off-guard.

The gospel means “good news”. Most people know that. There is a promise in Genesis chapter 3 that some call the first presentation of “the gospel”. Genesis 3:15 is often called the first promise God made to take care of the problem of sin. If I’m Adam or Eve… hearing God’s words would have been really good news. It was God’s first promise in this regard… and it suggested that one of Eve’s seed… someone down the line a ways… would take a blow to his heel… but he would crush the head of the deceiver. That’s code for… I’ll send someone who will take care of the problem of sin. That’s the first mention of the promise. Continue reading “The Problem of Sin… & Those Looking for Messiah”