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Monday, July 18, 2011

Not Ashamed

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16

The Gospel books of the Bible contain the good news of forgiveness of sin, by the grace of God, through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The books of Matthew, Mark and Luke are written from a common perspective and are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels. The books are not identically composed in all verbiage; these differences are designated the Synoptic Problem. There have been several theories postulated to explain the differences in the accounts, the most commonly accepted theory is the Markan Priority. This postulates that Mark was the first book written and Matthew and Luke were written afterward, including other sources or quelles. This theory explains the verses in Matthew and Luke that are not found in Mark. Regardless of the Synoptic problem or the Markan Priority used to explain it, the Gospels are the inspired Word of God that describes Who Jesus is and what He came to earth to accomplish.

The Book of John begins with the truth of Jesus' true identity as the Logos and His existence before the world was created. This book is written in thematic discourses and includes parables and miracles that the other books do not. The Gospels are not intended to be a historical or chronological account of the entire life of Christ. Each book is written to a specific audience and conveys different aspects of Jesus' identity that would be relevant to that group. The book of Matthew was directed toward the Jews, it begins with Christ's genealogy traced back to Abraham. This information would have been very relevant to the Jewish community, as Abraham is the father of the Jewish faith. The Gospels provide a window through which we may view the purpose of Christ's existence, ministry, death and resurrection. In them we gain insight into God's plan of redemption for mankind.

Lord, I pray that you infuse our reading of Your Gospel Books with understanding. I pray that You quicken their truths to our spirits and allow us to learn more deeply of You. Thank you for Your Son and the opportunity to be in relationship with Him and share that relationship with others. Please cover us and bless us so that we may walk in the light of Your Word. Lord, I pray for salvation and sanctification today. I pray that you sweep over this dry land and water it with Your Spirit. Lord, praise You and thank you. Let Your will be done. Amen.


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