The Apostle Paul tells us that living according to the flesh is a bad thing. It means we are either relying on ourselves or we are pursuing sin. So, Paul goes on to say that Christ took on the flesh. If the flesh is bad then how is Christ’s taking on the flesh a good thing? Is Paul contradicting himself or is there another usage of the flesh in Paul’s letters?
The doctrine of the trinity is a confusing doctrine. How can God be one God and three persons at the same time? Why would we want to talk about God being one God and three persons? How can such talk be encouraging and necessary? Is it necessary to speak of God being one God and three persons?
The catechism makes a strong statement that we have only one comfort in life and in death. How can there be only one comfort rather than the top five or top ten comforts? Is it really possible to have only one comfort?
Christ assures us that the folly of Christ’s cross is salvation manifested by the power of God. How can this be? This sounds impossible because the cross is a method of execution. Why would we want this symbol? The tragedy is that we are tempted to sanitize this symbol, but why is that so tragic? What could be the possible benefit of this cross?
The servant is the one who secured us by His work. So, how is the servant going to remove the offense of exile from His people?
The servant is the one who lives out the promises of the Lord. This is great, it is encouraging, and it is very significant for his mission. However, why would we appeal to this text for Christmas rather than Isaiah 9 or Isaiah 7 if we were going to use a passage from Isaiah? What does this servant teach us about the significance of Christmas?
Job continues to consider his life, his struggle, and what he has become. He has moved from a man who possessing great prestige in society, among the wealthiest, but has been reduced to one who hopes that there is someone who will take his case to the highest court. In chapter 19 Job moves from one who hopes there is a lawyer/advocate who can plead his case to now clinging to a redeemer. Why is this is a significant shift for Job?
Job’s friends, the counselors, are now beginning to interact with Job. They grieved with Job, they failed to recognize their friend, and Eliphaz has interacted with Job’s speech or attitude. Job questioned the wisdom of God, and Eliphaz questioned whether Job really understands God. How will Job respond? We noted that the counselor was not consistent with the Lord’s wisdom. Will Job finally see through this trial and clearly see the Lord?
The ridiculous claim that the Lord made was that Israel was going to plunder the Egyptians. This sounds ridiculous because how can a people who are in slavery, have been in slavery for centuries, and are still very much in slavery when the Lord finds them going to triumph over their slave masters? Our understanding is rather simple: if a people have been enslaved for centuries then it is very likely they will remain in slavery. However, the Lord promised that the Lord would deliver his people with a mighty hand. Is the Lord really able to do such a thing? What does this deliverance-exodus teach us about God’s redemption?
There is little doubt that Pharaoh claiming not to know the Lord is basically Pharaoh saying that the Lord of Israel is no match for him. The reality is that the Egyptians have held the Israelites for 400 some years and their God has not acted on their behalf so what can their God really do? Pharaoh heard the Lord’s warning through Moses, and should know that God means business. So, how much business does the Lord really mean? Is the Lord really ready to deliver his people from the Egyptian bondage? What can such a message declare about the Lord’s Sabbath rest?