10 Reasons Jesus Came

Justin Childers: At Christmas we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The fact that He was born is amazing. However, why He came is the most amazing thing about Christmas. Here are 10 specific reasons Jesus came from the Bible. 1.    Jesus came to do the will of the Father (John 6:38). In John 6:38, Jesus says, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” 2.     Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). In Luke 19:10, Jesus says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” 3.     Jesus came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). In 1 Timothy 1:15 Paul says, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” 4.     Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Luke 5:31-32). In Luke

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The Gospel Anchor to the Church’s Identity

By Jonathan Parnell: In A Light to the Nations, Michael Goheen explains the need to understand the nature of the Church (ecclesiology) in order to recover her missional role. He writes: Ecclesiology is about understanding our identity, who we are, and why God has chosen us—whose we are. If we do not develop our self-understanding in terms of the role that we have been called to play in the biblical drama, we will find ourselves shaped by the idolatrous story in the dominant culture (5). The foundation to the Church’s identity is the victorious work of Jesus Christ. He has intruded a fallen world with the dominion of a new age, died for our sins, conquered death by his resurrection, and acsended to reign as King over all. This is good news and Jesus has commissioned the Church to be its herald. Goheen gives five starting points in the gospel that lead us to discover what the Church is supposed to be (18-21).

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Jonah’s Twist Ending: Lessons from a Small-Hearted Prophet Swallowed by a Big-Bellied Fish

My thanks to Trevin Wax for this excellent summary and application of Jonah: Jonah is best known for being the prophet who ran from God and was swallowed by a huge fish. But the point of Jonah’s story isn’t a simple morality tale: “Watch out! If you run from God, He’ll get you back… and it won’t be pretty.” Instead, we see in Jonah’s life the contrast between the self-preserving actions of a prophet and the self-sacrificing actions of our missionary God. We first meet Jonah in 2 Kings 14. King Jeroboam restored Israel’s border “according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, had spoken through His servant, the prophet Jonah…” (v. 25). Jonah was a son of Israel given a word from God about the distinction between God’s people and the outside world. Jonah’s message was encouraging: “God loves Israel enough to fortify the borders that will defend us from those who would oppress us.” Next,

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