You Always Need Forgiveness

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As long as we are wandering around in this fallen world, we will struggle with sin. Everyone will, as the Preacher of Ecclesiastes said:

Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 ESV

Sadly, this is an inexorable part of reality and a biblical truth. It is presupposed in the Bible that we will struggle with sin our entire mortal life. Look at the Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus taught us during his Sermon on the Mount. Here, the Lord Jesus Christ teaches us how to pray to our Heavenly Father. First, Jesus provides us with a few instructions for prayer.

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How I Found My New Phone On The Mountain

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Where did you get your phone from? I found mine when I was out camping in the mountain earlier this year. It was early dawn. The sun had just risen over the hillside when I got out of my tent to do my morning routine. After I had finished, I went out to the edge to admire the beautiful morning landscape. As I took a deep breath of the crisp mountain air, I saw it, sparking off in the distance. Curious, I moved in for a closer look. There it was, hanging off of the lush Apple tree, a brand new and ripe iPhone XS.

“Yes!” I exclaimed, leaping of joy. Finally, I would be one of the first to get this year’s model. I plucked it off of the tree and booted it up. The pixels were so beautiful and crisp. What a wonderful day! Immediately, I rushed home to show it to everyone. They were so jealous. I bet you’re jealous too.

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Yahweh — Titles of Jesus

Welcome to part three of the series: The Titles of Jesus. I began this series without realizing it, starting with the Firstborn and continuing with the Lamb of God. Since it was so well underway, I thought this should be turned into a series. Thus, we come to the most preeminent title for Jesus: Yahweh. It is a most glorious name which points to the Son’s eternal nature and independence. Unlike us finite beings, the Son is not dependent on anything to exist; he exists in and of himself, forevermore, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Many Christians only associate the Father with Yahweh and the Old Testament. However, when one realizes that Jesus is Yahweh too, their eternal unity becomes more evident throughout the Bible. Indeed, the divine name itself, Yahweh, can remind us of their intimate relationship, their oneness, one in love and justice, together forever in everything. From eternity past to the infinite future, they have been together in perfect love, and they will always be together in love. Truly, God is love.

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A Thief Stole Your Stuff

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Imagine this. A thief breaks into your home and steals your stuff. He steals everything, everything. Your house is barren — even the dust is gone.

Fortunately, the police manage to catch the criminal. Apparently, the thief’s name is Erick, a kind of shaggy, sad-looking guy. When he goes to court, he pleads guilty but begs the judge to let him go because he’s usually a good person. After all, he doesn’t usually steal. It’s been over a year, a whole year, since he last stole something! You see, Erick has been really depressed lately because his dog just died, so he needed some drugs to get over the pain.

“You know how it is, right?” Erick tells the judge while he looks down on the floor with a tear in his eye. “Please let me go. I promise, promise, I won’t do it again.” (He said that the same thing last time too.)

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Who is Yahweh?

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If you have been reading through the different articles at this site, you will have noticed that I occasionally refer to God as “Yahweh,” and the “Lord,” written with capital letters. Perhaps you’re wondering where Yahweh comes from. It might not be apparent right away, but it occurs over 6000 times in the Old Testament, beginning with the first book, chapter two:

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

Genesis 2:4, ESV

The Lord written with capital letters is an indication from the Bible translators that the underlying Hebrew text is the divine name for God: Yahweh. This is not a secret that the Bible translators are trying to hide from Christians (unlike what certain other groups want you to believe).

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The Lamb of God — Titles of Jesus

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:29, ESV

After John the Baptist had recognized Jesus as the Messiah, he referred to Jesus as the Lamb twice. In John 1:29, John the Baptist pointed at Jesus and proclaimed that: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” And again a few verses later: “Behold, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36). The two disciples who were standing with John knew that this was significant because they immediately left John to follow after Jesus.

Since then, Christians have been enamored by Jesus’s role as the Lamb of God, regularly featured in psalms and art. Our modern worship music is saturated with lambs. And for a good reason. The Lamb of God is one of the most distinguished titles of Jesus that describe his work on the cross, which was frequently prophesied in the Old Testament. When John’s disciples and the Jews first heard this, they could have been reminded of several texts.

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The Firstborn — Titles of Jesus

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He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:15–17, ESV

Jesus is addressed with a plethora of excellent titles throughout the Bible, like Savior, God, Yahweh, Messiah, Alpha and Omega, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and The Word. We recognize, appreciate, and rejoice over all of these, adding them to our worship vocabulary and writing them into our hymns and songs.

Unlike certain other titles that just confuse us, like ‘firstborn.’ How can Jesus be the firstborn when he wasn’t created?

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The Herald (John 1:6–8)

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There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

John 1:6–8, ESV

When a king was going out, it was customary to send out a messenger ahead of him to inform everyone about his imminent arrival. This messenger was called a herald. Kings didn’t just show up and tell the people: “Hello. I’m the king.” No. The King always had an entourage, and he sent a herald ahead of him so that the people could arrange a grand reception for him. Because Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, He had to have a herald as well. His herald was John the Baptist.

Ever since God had brought His people Israel out of Egypt during the Exodus, God had periodically spoken to them through the prophets, who prophesied everything from the disastrous fall of Jerusalem to the glorious arrival of the Messiah and His messenger, until around 440–400 BC, when God sent His last prophet Malachi. Malachi (whose name means “The Lord’s messenger”) prophesied that God would send His messenger to “prepare the way before me” (Mal. 3:1) and that He would send “Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes” (Mal. 4:5). Then, for the next 400 years, God was silent.

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Life and Light (John 1:4b–5)

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:1–5, ESV

In the last article, I began to explain the thematic words in John, starting with life; in this article, we will continue to look at life and its close companion: light.

Life and light are closely associated. “the life was the light of men.” The light is one with life. You can distinguish between them but never separate them. They’re one inside of God almighty. He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust, giving light and life to every man and the world (Matthew 5:45). Jesus reinforces this connection between life and light in John 8:12 when He says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The connection is also found in the Old Testament in Psalm 36:9: “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.”

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Pure Life; Pure Being (John 1:4a)

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:1–5, ESV

Have you ever considered the statement that “In Him was life”? It is a phenomenal claim to make. Within those four words, John is claiming that all of life have their origin within Jesus Christ the Word, and that He is the being of pure life and pure being. This has three huge implications.

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