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First Principles

Repentance is Gospel

As John came preaching in the wilderness, he was “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4). When some of the Pharisees and Sadducees came out to be baptized, he told them to “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt 3:8). He told the people, “I baptize you with water for …

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Trust and Submission

Trust and submission are two related issues that we sometimes have a difficult time putting into practice. They are also two of the most significant aspects of what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ, so understanding and practicing them are vital.  Christians are to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). …

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The Context of Grace

The announcement of salvation coincides with the message, “Your God reigns” (Isa 52:7). Christians recognize that salvation comes by the grace of God through faith (Eph 2:8-10). With this comes the recognition of God’s authority to offer grace. Grace is meaningful because the One who offers that grace reigns. Only one with the power to …

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Receiving the Kingdom

Receiving the kingdom of God is not always an easy task. Even those who always get what they want may actually find themselves missing out on the benefits of God’s ultimate blessings because of how they approached it. A couple of episodes in Mark’s gospel illustrate the point.  Children were being brought to Jesus that …

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Sin is described in Scripture, not only as a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4), but also as a falling short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23). This fact is critical to understanding why the problem of sin is so serious. When Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3, their sin was not just about …

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