A. Jesus’ last words on the Cross were, “It is finished” (see John 19:30). He had done everything His Father had sent Him to do (see John 17:4). One of things He had come to do is found in Matthew: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17). So, one of the things Jesus had come to do was to fulfill—not destroy, but fulfill—the law. Obviously, then, by the time He said, “It is finished,” He had done this. But the question is, in what way did He “fulfill” the law? What did He mean by “fulfill”?
by Peter Ditzel
Have you ever wondered what day Christians are to keep? Saturday? Sunday? Are we to keep the day as a Sabbath or as a Lord’s Day? Or maybe there is no day for Christians to keep. This might sound like a relatively minor issue. But this question, simple as it sounds, has divided Christianity into four camps, each supporting its own view.
J. C. Philpot (1802-1869)
Preached at Eden Street Chapel, Hampstead Road, London,
July 24, 1853.
And this word. Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. –Hebrews 12:27-28.
by Peter Ditzel
Probably most Christians who have read the first three chapters of Genesis assume that they know what happened in the Garden of Eden. But there is a problem. It is very difficult to approach this subject without a bias. This is because most theological systems, in order to make their systems work, have made assumptions about what happened in Eden that are not found in the Bible. These assumptions are taught in seminaries and find their way into sermons and Christian books without being challenged. In fact, anyone who does challenge them, even with sound biblical support, runs the risk of being labeled a heretic. Well, I am going to run that risk in this article and, in doing so, pop a few balloons full of hot air theology.
by Peter Ditzel
Antinomianism comes from the Greek anti, “against,” and nomos, “law.” Literally, it means “against law.” It is used to refer to a doctrine that centers on the belief that grace frees a Christian from the law. Detailed definitions differ. Yet, when a theologian labels someone an antinomian, he or she almost always intends it negatively or pejoratively. Antinomian is a dirty word in theological circles. But do those who fit some of the most common definitions of antinomian really deserve such scorn? Is what these definitions describe truly unbiblical? In this article, I want to discuss the most common definitions of antinomianism and compare them with the Bible. I also want to reveal their origin. Could it be that many of us sovereign grace, New Covenant believers fit the definitions of antinomian and don’t even realize it? Would that be a bad thing?
by Peter Ditzel
I think that if you were to ask a representative sample of average churchgoers to name two apostles, they would most often name Peter and Paul. Today, we might call Peter and Paul the powerhouses of early Christianity. Peter was the apostle to the Jews, and Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7). So, it was no small thing when these two men had a head-to-head confrontation in Antioch. Paul records it in Galatians 2. I want to go over those verses, explain what really happened, and point out why the outcome was crucial for the truth of the Gospel.
by Peter Ditzel
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount has been called the epitome of His ethical teaching, His manifesto, and the key of the whole Bible. To understand the Sermon on the Mount and its relevance for you, you need to know who was Jesus’ intended audience and whether Jesus was correcting the misunderstandings of the scribes and Pharisees, or whether he was giving a new law, fulfilling the role of the new Lawgiver, as a sort of new and greater Moses.
Michael Sattler (1490-1527)
The following is excerpted from "On Two Kinds of Obedience," a tract written by Michael Sattler. He was also the author of the Schleitheim Confession, which was originally printed under the title, "Brotherly Agreement of Some Children of God." This confession is generally recognized as the first confession of those who were called "Anabaptists" by their persecutors.
Obedience is of two kinds, servile and filial. The filial has its source in the love of the Father, even though no other reward should follow, yea even if the Father should wish to damn His child; the servile has its source in a love of reward or of oneself. The filial ever does as much as possible, apart from any command; the servile does as little as possible, yea nothing except by command. The filial is never able to do enough for Him; but he who renders servile obedience thinks he is constantly doing too much for Him.
by Gilbert Beebe
This article appeared in the Baptist publication, Signs of the Times, on October 15, 1869. Gilbert Beebe (1800 – 1881) was the editor and founder of that publication. With the exception of correcting minor typos, and breaking some paragraphs into two or more shorter ones for the sake of eye appeal, I have not edited the article. —PD
VERY DEAR AND MUCH ESTEEMED BROTHER BEEBE: – Will you please give your views, through the Signs of the Times, on Romans 7:2 and much oblige your brother in tribulation, if a brother at all.
William Brickey. Red Bud, Illinois. September 21, 1869.
Sermon by Martin Luther August 27, 1525
Martin Luther, "How Christians Should Regard Moses," trans. and ed. by E. Theodore Bachmann, Luther's Works: Word and Sacrament I, vol. 35 (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960), 161-174. This sermon was delivered on August 27, 1525, in Luther's long series of seventy-seven sermons on Exodus preached from October 2, 1524, to February 2, 1527. Either before or after you read this article, you may want to read "Comments on Luther's 'How Christians Should Regard Moses'."
Dear friends, you have often heard that there has never been a public sermon from heaven except twice. Apart from them God has spoken many times through and with men on earth, as in the case of the holy patriarchs Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others, down to Moses. But in none of these cases did he speak with such glorious splendor, visible reality, or public cry and exclamation as he did on those two occasions. Rather God illuminated their heart within and spoke through their mouth, as Luke indicates in the first chapter of his gospel where he says, “As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old” [Luke 1:70].