Acts 2:42-47

This pericope provides a general description of the ideal characteristics and behaviour of the earliest Christian community. It also serves as an introduction to the next few chapters that go into more detail on the early church in Jerusalem (probably through to 6:7). There are no specific details given in this introduction for example about […]

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An outline of Mark’s references to Jesus’ self awareness of the nature and purpose of his death

2:5-7. Jesus forgave sins. Only God can do that. The Old Testament presents a model of forgiveness of sins associated with a sacrifice. I think Jesus here is foreshadowing the sacrifice of himself for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 7:27). 2:20. Jesus expects to be taken away from his disciples, in circumstances causing fasting/grief. 8:31, […]

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1 Kings 11

Despite enjoying peace and prosperity (wisdom, wealth, and wives) as blessings from God, Solomon breaks the covenant with his attitude and actions incurring the just (but merciful) punishment of God. Purpose (my reflections): Consequences for disobedience are real. The stakes are high. God is serious. Sin is punished Attitude and action maketh the man Even […]

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2 Samuel 7

Main pointThe sovereign almighty LORD does not need or want David to build him a house. Instead, God will build his own house (13) through the house he will build for David (11b). Main purposeGod does not need man, but we need God, and he has already done, and will do, all we need (cf. […]

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Mark 13 summary

In verses 1-23 Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple and describes the signs of the end of the age. The disciples ask the obvious question – when will this happen, and what will be the signs beforehand so that we can be prepared? In a parallel passage in Matt 24, the disciples ask more […]

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Hannah’s song: 1 Samuel 2:1-10

Main point Hannah delights in Gods deliverance her from her trials and looks forward to the way God’s anointed king will deliver all that are on the LORD’s side. Main purpose Let the hearer draw nearer to God in praise and thankfulness because God is powerful and purposeful. We are to serve him with humility […]

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God’s kingdom

When does the kingdom come? I understand the kingdom to be God’s activity in the world, and so I think God’s kingdom came with creation. God reigns as king over all (Ps 97:1). However God’s kingship was rejected in the fall and the ongoing sinfulness of humanity ever since. God re-established his kingship with the […]

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Following Jesus based on Mark 8:22–10:52

There are two main categories of Jesus’ disciples: those from the 1st century who physically followed Jesus during his earthly ministry; and all other Christians. Within the first category, we might distinguish between the 12 disciples specifically called by Jesus to be leaders of other disciples (Mark 3:13). However there is very little in Mark’s […]

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Judges 3

Main point: God is following through with his promised consequences for disobedience from Deuteronomy (e.g. Ch 28-33). However he is also following through with his covenant promises originally made to Abraham, and so God continues to graciously raise up deliverers to save his people when they cry out for help. The main character and hero of […]

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The title ‘Son of God’ in Mark’s gospel

The title and concept of ‘Son of God’ can have different meanings depending on the context – it can refer to exalted men (Gen. 6:2), angels (Job 1:6), all of Israel (Ex 4:22-23), or a unique descendant of David who would reign forever as God’s king (2 Sam. 7:12-14). In intertestamental times, the title came to anticipate a messianic eschatological redeemer […]

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Joshua 2

Main point: God has promised the land, God has prepared the land (e.g. people melting in fear), God will give the land as a possession, all as part of his purposeful work to fulfill his promises of land and people (e.g. Rahab as the first Canannite convert). Main purpose: We are to respond in faithful […]

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Applying the 10 Commandments to modern Christians

You shall not murder This law is applicable to modern Christians because it was well established before the 10 commandments (Gen 4:10-11, 9:6) and is continued into the New Testament (Matt 5:21-26, Romans 13:9). This is a law against the willful taking of life, and perhaps also against negligence or carelessness resulting in death. For […]

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Interpreting parables and Luke 15

Parables are brief metaphorical narratives that have two levels of meaning (1). My guidelines for interpreting parables from the synoptic gospels are: Understand the parable as a simple story designed to be easily understood by a 1st Century audience (‘1st level’ of meaning) Look for anything in the simple story that might be unusual or […]

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Exodus 3

Main pointGod continues to fulfill his covenant promises to the people of Israel by revealing his redemptive plans, extending his self revelation, and graciously commissioning Moses as his emissary and prophet. Main purposeKnow that God is the unparalleled and unbounded, faithful, gracious, almighty savior of his chosen people; and so we can confidently trust and […]

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Mark 2:18-22

This pericope, occurring within the middle of a pattern of five conflict stories, summaries the main idea at the heart of the emerging conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities – Jesus’ ministry is not another alternative solution for realising the hopes of the Jewish faith. Jesus’ ministry marks the beginning of a new means […]

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Genesis 15

Main pointGod is a gracious promise-making and promise-keeping God. His people are the undeserving recipients of his promised blessings. Main purposeKnow that God is faithful and therefore respond in belief and obedience. Supporting argumentsIn chapter 14 we read about Abram’s military success, some hints at him bringing a blessing to the nations, and his demonstration […]

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Tower of Babel: Genesis 11:1-9

Summary point:God’s people, in God’s world, God’s way. Summary purpose:Know your place, as God’s special chosen people, called out of the world, to honor and obey God. Falling between genealogy accounts, this passage contributes an anachronistic explanation for the dispersion of people groups after the flood. The area where the Tower of Babel narrative occurs […]

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My summary of John’s Gospel

The key purpose of the Gospel of John is that those who read it might believe in who Jesus is (Messiah and Son of God), and by believing, have life in His name (John 20:31). Chapter 1 introduces this clear purpose as it outlines the main message of the Gospel (Believe in Jesus and become […]

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Bootcamp reflections

I had my first ‘face-to-face’ experience of Ridley College this weekend at their (our?) 24hr Bootcamp, to start the academic year, and welcome new students (like me). It was just under 3hr drive to the campsite at Upper Plenty. I was one of maybe one or two others that had come to the Bootcamp as […]

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Reflections from Week 1 Old Testament foundations

Purpose and goal of scripture (2 Timothy 3:16) orthodoxy: Right thinking orthopraxis: right action It’s more than just that OT is fulfilled in Christ, but that the OT does not have the proper meaning if not seen in the light of Christ. Need to be mindful of multiple authors and audiences of the Scripture. It […]

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