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His Everlasting Covenant

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The definitive “ Word ” that God has spoken “ in the Son ” surpasses all past revelations made in “ the prophets ,” including Moses, the Great Lawgiver. Jesus of Nazareth exceeded every one of his predecessors. He alone “ achieved the purification of sins ,” therefore, he “ sat down ” at the right hand of God and inherited “ all things .” Moreover, his exaltation signaled the commencement of the “ New Covenant .”

Covenant and Redemption

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The covenant of Abraham is foundational to the biblical concept of redemption, including the promise that “ all the nations of the Earth would be blessed in Abraham .” The Patriarch would have innumerable descendants, but how and when would the covenant bless the nations? Who are his descendants, and who is the “Seed of Abraham” destined to inherit the promises?

Ruler of Kings

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Jesus is called the “ Ruler of the Kings of the Earth ” in the present tense in the Book of Revelation . His sovereignty is based on his past Death and Resurrection, not military conquest. Though at times the “ Kings of the Earth ” do Satan’s bidding, the slain “ Lamb ” even uses their plots to achieve his redemptive purposes for humanity.

Calvary

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The inability of men to recognize Jesus as the Son of God until after his crucifixion is a key theme of Mark , and the first man who identified him as such was the Roman centurion on duty during his execution. The self-identification of Jesus as the “ Son of Man ” who suffers for his people made him repugnant to unregenerate men and unrecognizable to Israel (“ His own received him not ”).

Calvary or Rome?

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Institutional Christianity has a long and sordid history of mixing Church and State. The temptation to use political power to impose “right” beliefs and other agendas is too great. Advancing “Christianity” through the  political mechanisms  of this world  always  necessitates the use of the coercive power of the State, and this corrosive mixture inevitably corrupts the Church and destroys its witness.

Starting from the Cross

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The theme of fulfillment is dominant in the New Testament. In Jesus Christ, the promises of God have found their fulfillment. He is the Son of God sent to redeem Israel and rule the nations but in a most paradoxical way. Peter confirmed that he was the “ Messiah ” but failed to understand that he would undertake that role as the “ Servant of Yahweh ” who came to “ bear the sins of many .” His true identity was revealed through his self-sacrificial act at Calvary.