The work of the third member of the Trinity has been the hinge upon which innumerable church councils and debates have revolved. The prominence and priority of the Spirit in the life of Christian is, indeed, a hotly contested subject. Throughout the Scriptures, the Spirit is commonly associated with God’s “creative power” and the “newness of life” that comes from the proclamation of God’s Word.
When one refers to the “Synoptic Problem,” one is endeavoring to address a fundamental question in Scriptural textual criticism: “What is the best explanation for the textual similarities and differences between Matthew, Mark, and Luke?” (Baum, 911) How one determines a solution to this supposed problem discloses the source of one’s faith.
In John’s Gospel, one can find perhaps the most oft-quoted and debated scene in all of Christendom, that being the twilight conversation between Jesus himself and Nicodemus, the Pharisee. Nicodemus solicits the Savior at dusk, certainly betraying his consternation in engaging this Galilean carpenter turned miracle worker.
I am a mere month away from entering my first post as a senior pastor. Last week, that reality felt months and months away. Now, it feels more imminent than ever. For a while now, my wife and I have tried to make sense of our feelings as we entertain this significant season of transition in our lives, explaining our emotions as some strange amalgamation of nervous excitement.
Integral to one’s understanding the book of Acts is a working knowledge of Luke’s intent in the account of his Gospel. In the preface to his Gospel, Luke writes that he is desirous that one named Theophilus might “know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.” (Luke 1:3–4) The rest of the Lukan account revolves around this premise.
Of the Gospels, it could be asserted that the Johannine version is that which is most replete with cruciform language. Though each Gospel makes its own “turn” towards Jerusalem and, therefore, towards the cross, John’s narrative is uniquely concerned with the Son of Man’s accomplishments on Golgotha’s tree.
Fundamental to the gospel itself is an understanding of its inexorable testament to a literal devil figure, whose might and minions are at once thwarted in their mission to subvert God’s reclamation of creation by the Son of God’s triumph over death. Evidence throughout the Gospels affirm the real activity and tangible presence of Satan and demons, with Jesus trouncing their operation at every turn.