by Norm Miller
God tells us in Philippians 2.5-8 that Jesus emptied Himself, took the form of a slave and humbled Himself. Our Lord left the splendor of heaven, where surely the angels attended His every need. Yet, He voluntarily laid aside some of His rights and privileges as God and donned human flesh. What’s more, He became a bond-servant to humanity. Whereas the New Testament brims with accounts of how Jesus served others, few passages can top John13.
John records events at the Last Supper, where the Lord and His disciples observed Passover and discussed betrayal and footwashing. Have you ever thought about how many pairs of feet Jesus washed?
Jesus knew He would be betrayed, but He wrapped Himself in a towel of service and washed the disciples’ feet, all 24. Here the Lord performed one of the most culturally servile tasks, on par with emptying chamber pots. Whereas it is one thing to serve those who love you, it is quite another to serve those who would do you harm signified by a kiss.
To be like Christ is to wash the feet of all, even those who would do you harm, who would call you names, who would do ill to your reputation, who would sabotage your ministry, who would steal from you, lie to you, hate you.
We do well to serve those who love us, and who are the objects of our love. But our enemies? Jesus said to love them – to repay evil with good. In so doing we will have the attitude in ourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.
by Dr. Scot McKnight
Dr. McKnight — professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Ill. — is the author of the award-winning The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paraclete, 2004), which won the Christianity Today book of the year for Christian Living. Dr. McKnight obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Nottingham (1986), and is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for New Testament Studies. He is author or editor of 40 books, has given interviews on radios across the nation, has appeared on television, and regularly speaks at local churches, conferences, colleges, and seminaries in the USA and abroad. SBCToday is grateful for his permission to link to this article.
At the core of Calvinism is God’s sovereignty, but just what sovereignty means is the essence of Calvin’s core: sovereignty means determinism in that God elects, God awakens, God shows grace, God predestines, God regenerates, God preserves and God glorifies. John Wesley, on the other hand, can be said to teach each of those, but where he thinks Calvin went wrong is that Calvin’s view of sovereignty so overwhelmed his theology that he ends up denying the capacity of humans to choose to believe. We are looking at Don Thorsen’s fair-minded comparison of John Calvin and John Wesley, in his book Calvin vs. Wesley: Bringing Life in Line with Practice. Continue reading
by Dr. David L. Allen
Dean of the School of Theology
Professor of Preaching
Director of the Center for Expository Preaching
George W. Truett Chair of Pastoral Ministry
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
These six verses clearly form a paragraph unit. The paragraph in English is composed of two sentences (1-3 and 4-6). The paragraph in most Greek New Testaments is likewise subdivided right in the middle. However, most Greek New Testaments don’t place a period at the end of verse 3, but rather place a colon marker (raised period) to indicate a partial stop, but not the end of a sentence. Thus, the Greek New Testament editors view Ephesians 1-6 as a single sentence. Continue reading