Your E-mails: April 2022

Your E-mails: April 2022

“Jesus said at the Last Supper ‘Do this in remembrance of me’. The Last Supper was the Passover. Surely you should keep the Last Supper once a year, at Passover, not every Sunday?“ Ed: EVERY YEAR on the 14th of the Jewish month Nisan religious Jews share the Passover meal. It is a ceremony that dates back 4,000 years to the meal their ancestors ate on their last night of slavery in Egypt. A central element in the Passover meal is the Passover Lamb, which recalls the lamb whose blood was used to protect the Israelite families from the final plague which God brought on the Egyptians. The record is in Exodus 12. The Passover Lambs were actually only pointers to the ultimate Passover Lamb, the Lamb of God—Jesus Christ (John 1:29). He was the supreme sacrifice, whom God has provided to save us from death (1 Corinthians 5:7). Jesus

2 Corinthians

BETWEEN the two letters to Corinth we have in our Bibles, it seems there was another letter which has not been preserved—evidently even more severe in tone than the first letter (see 2 Corinthians 2:3–4). In 2 Corinthians the Apostle Paul admits his great relief that, according to news brought to him by Titus, the ‘in- between’ letter had been well received (see 7:6–15). Though Paul is reassured about the spiritual development of the Corinthian believers, there is still much for them to learn. They have to learn that discipleship of Christ is not easy, and that all true believers must expect opposition (4:7–18). Suffering for Christ In Corinth, opposition would mainly come from those who had leanings towards Judaism. The ‘Judaisers’ would insist that believers are bound by the rituals of the Law of Moses. Paul shows that the Law was only of a temporary nature, whereas those things

The Law of Moses

The Law of Moses

ALTOGETHER, Moses was away for six weeks in Mount Sinai. The people last saw him climbing up into the dense cloud that covered the mountain. They began to wonder why he was gone so long. In fact he was remarkably busy. He was writing down hundreds of major and minor laws from God. There are whole chapters of these commandments in the books of Exodus and Leviticus. As chief judge and administrator, he was entrusted with setting up a system for teaching them, and for courts of justice to deal with offenders. Wise Laws Some of the laws were concerned with ceremonial matters, such as the rules of sacrifice, the great religious festivals, and the organisation of the priesthood. This area of Bible research is fascinating, because in many subtle ways the ceremonial laws spotlighted the ugliness of sin, and pointed forward to the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ. However,

Jesus the Saviour

Jesus the Saviour

YOU MAY HAVE HEARD it said more than once that the Bible teaches that we are all sinners. That there is none that is good and that all are equal in the sight of God. Equally sinners. That this is true there can be no doubt, but sometimes sinners can be encouraged by the knowledge that they are sinners amongst so many others. Looked at like this, being a sinner does not seem half so bad. But to be a lone sinner —a personal sinner—is a very different matter. In such a situation our sins take on a different hue and our position takes on a different perspective. It is true that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but if you are to be saved he died for your sins in particular. If he is to save me personally, then his sacrifice could not have been avoided,

True Peace of Mind

True Peace of Mind

ETHEL’S EYE was caught by an advert in the paper. “I must buy that—it will solve all my problems!” “No, mother” exclaimed her longsuffering son, “it’s a funeral plan. It won’t stop you falling over or getting ill or worrying about the state of the world. Pass it here. Oh, you can’t buy it anyway, you’re too old.” It may be a comfort to know that your funeral expenses are paid in advance. However, this comfort is limited in its scope and only lasts for your lifetime. The ‘for ever’ is relatively short. In contrast the Bible talks of things, including life, which really can last for ever. God has always existed and always will exist. Jesus, now raised from the dead, cannot die and shares God’s divine nature (Romans 6:9). This all-powerful God offers us a peace beyond our natural experience: And the peace of God, which surpasses all

Will You Go to Heaven?

Will You Go to Heaven?

THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE who believe in life after death, even if they do not believe in God. Many people take great comfort after the loss of a loved one in the thought that they are still alive, somehow, somewhere. It’s a sensitive and emotive subject. But we need to ask the question—what does God actually tell us about the afterlife? For the answer, we need to look in the Bible. What the Bible Says Here are some Bible passages which you may find surprising: For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and for ever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9:5–6). For Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise

Taking God’s Name in Vain

Taking God’s Name in Vain

WE LIVE IN a world which is increasingly atheistic. Fewer and fewer people identify with organized religion, or any faith at all. But strangely, the names of God and of Jesus Christ feature very commonly in everyday speech. They are used mostly as casual exclamations. People who use this language are generally oblivious to the fact that it is offensive and upsetting to those who believe in and worship God. Why would someone who believes in God use His name as a swear word? After all, people don’t swear and curse in the name of the Queen or the King or the President. Then again, why would someone who does not believe in God use His name as a swear word? What is the point? It is not just believers who find this language offensive. The Bible makes it clear that God hates it. The Israelites had to use the

How to Find God

How to Find God

I KNEW A MAN who was a Christian, and proud of it. But he swore and cursed more than almost anyone else I’ve ever known, and he was particularly imaginative in finding ways to abuse the name of God. I reminded him of the third of the Ten Commandments: ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain’ (Exodus 20:7). He smiled and said, “It’s just the way I am. I live hard and talk hard. God won’t hold it against me.” The fact was, this man was entirely confident because he was a Christian, and a good man—as evidenced by the fact that he had been christened as a baby, attended a couple of church services a year, and had never committed a very serious crime. There was no reason therefore