Tree

Supreme Significance

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It is important for us as believers to understand what happened on the cross, and that it was of supreme significance.  Jesus’ crucifixion on a tree is far more than simply the site of a Jewish man’s execution-this was the solution to mankind’s biggest problem: sin and the resulting alienation from God.  The crucifixion of Jesus is the divine transaction that saves us.  Only the blood of Christ can cleanse us from sin and reconcile us to the Father.

Although the Jews and the Romans viewed the crucifixion as the execution of a criminal, God saw the death of His Son as the perfect atoning sacrifice, which allowed for the justification of sinful mankind.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, May 18, 2020.

How Will We Know?

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Jesus will return to earth in the same manner in which He left (Acts 1:9-11; Daniel 7:13,14; Revelation 1:7). The psalmist said that God uses “clouds” as His chariot (Psalm 104:3), and Isaiah 19:1 pictures the Lord riding on a cloud.  Although these “clouds” could be natural, they more likely describe the supernatural “glory cloud” that represented God’s presence in Old Testament Israel.  While Christ possesses “great power and glory,” His return will be accompanied by visible manifestations of that power and glory – He will redeem the elect, restore the devastated earth, and establish His rule on earth.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Mark 13:26.

Free Indeed

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The term for “alienated” means “estranged,” “cut off,” or “separated.”  Before they were reconciled, all people were completely estranged from God (Ephesians 2:12,13).  The term for “enemies” can also be translated “hateful.”  Unbelievers hate God and resent His holy standard because they love “wicked works” (John 3:19,20; 15:18,24,25).  Actually there is alienation from both sides, since God “hates all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:5).  Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross that paid the full penalty for the sin of all who believe made reconciliation possible and actual (Romans 3:25;5:9,10;8:3).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Colossians 1:21.

Do This and You Will Live

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“Do and live” is the promise of the law.  But since no sinner can obey perfectly, the impossible demands of the law are meant to drive us to seek divine mercy (Galatians 3:10-13,22-25).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 10:28.

What is in man

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Prior verses, 23 and 24, subtly reveal the true nature of belief from a biblical standpoint.  Because of what observers knew of Jesus from His miraculous signs, many came to believe in Him.  However, Jesus made it His habit not to wholeheartedly “entrust” or “commit” Himself to them because He knew their hearts.  Verse 24 indicates that Jesus looked for genuine conversion rather than enthusiasm for the spectacular.  “Belief into His name” involves much more than intellectual assent.  It calls for whole-hearted commitment of one’s life to Jesus.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for John 2:23,24.