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BECOMING

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BECOMING Magazine 2
Welcome to Issue 6, Friends!
This time around we are focusing on BECOMING: A Student of the Bible. And by that, I mean a student
of the whole bible. I think most Christians today would say they are pretty familiar with the New
Testament, but have limited knowledge when it comes to the Old Testament. Of course, we live in a post-
Jesus era under the new covenant of grace and it can be tempting to assume that much of the Old
Testament has little value to Christians here and now. But, we would be wrong in that assumption!
Here are 3 of the most common objections to studying the Old Testament:
No matter where we find ourselves in our Christian walk today, out of our desire to be mature followers of
Christ, we must to commit ourselves to a continual process of growth and learning. And sometimes that
means digging in to difficult or unfamiliar territory. Don't be intimidated- we know that if we are in
Christ, the Spirit of all truth guides us!
In putting this issue together, the prayer of the BECOMING team is that you will come to a fuller
understanding of God's truth revealed in both the Old and New Testaments. Of course, we can only
realistically scratch the surface of this topic here in the magazine, so I urge you to check out the Resources
on page 20 (and at www.becomingmag.com) to find our favorite books and websites to help you grow in
your knowledge of the Lord.
Always BECOMING,
Shannon
It's too boring. Whether it's the detailing of the Law in Leviticus or the seemingly tedious
genealogies, parts of the Old Testament can seem really boring out of context. These are great
opportunities to read a biblical commentary, get insight from a trusted teacher, and to read the
Bible existentially- that is, to put yourself in the situation and consider it from that point of view.
Sometimes, what looks to be boring can be of tremendous importance.
its Too difficult to understand. Well, this is the point where we have to take our call as disciples
seriously. A disciple is essentially a learner, and in following Jesus we have a lifelong
responsibility to grow in the knowledge of our Lord. Without a doubt, there are parts of the Bible
that are difficult and may take some working out, but that doesn't give us permission to exist on
spiritual milk our whole lives. We must move on to solid food.
its Not relevant to modern culture. We know that all Scripture is God-breathed, and because God is
unchanging, His truth- which is the only truth- is unchanging. The culture of our day hates
biblical morality, thinking itself to be too tolerant or too intellectual to be constrained by such
principles. But, there is truly nothing new under the sun, as King Solomon said. Just a simple
review of Genesis shows us that the issues of our day have been seen and dealt with for
thousands of years. The Bible speaks to all areas of life at all times.
Editors \0|
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BECOMING Magazine 4
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BECOMING Magazine 5
heres what The Bible is...
A book written by one Author.
Although, there were many writers of Holy Scripture,
we must remember that "all Scripture is God-breathed"
and that its writers were under the influence of the
Spirit of God to reveal the exact message He wanted
revealed (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 3:16). The Bible, above
all else, tells God's story.
Written with one clear and constant message.
It is the story of God's plan to redeem His creation
through the Son Jesus. This is what we call the
metanarrative, or "big story", of the Bible. While the
Bible has much to teach us, we must always keep in
mind that it is a book about God. When we study it,
our first question should not be, "How does this apply
to me?", but "What does this tell me about God?".
heres what the Bible IS NOT
A book of stand-alone sayings or stories.
Author and pastor, Tim Keller, says that many of us
"read the Bible as a series of disconnected stories, each
with a 'moral' for how we should live our lives. It is
not. Rather, it comprises a single story telling us how
the human race got into its present condition and how
God through Jesus Christ has come and will come to
put things right." Extracting individual verses or
stories without respect to context can often lead to
misunderstanding. Every piece relates to the larger
whole which is why we should work toward a good
understanding of the entire Bible.
A collection of independent books...
that have no reference to the others. Each book of the
Bible is one part of the larger whole and must be
studied and understood within that larger context. It is
amazingly complex and, at the same time, simple and
straightforward in it's main message. Vaughan Roberts
says, "If we want to understand any part of the Bible
properly, we must consider where it fits in [God's]
great plan and how it contributes to it."
Up until a few years ago, I lived my life as a New
Testament Christian. I understood its themes and it
was (mostly) comfortable there. Whenever I found a
reference to the Old Testament that I didn't understand,
I just skipped over it. Studying the Bible as a whole
never really occurred to me. The stories of Noah and
Jonah- put on the mental shelf long ago as mere
children's stories- were eclipsed by the weighty and
"more important" story of Christ. The links between
Old and New remained largely unconnected for me.
So, there I was, calling myself a follower of Christ for
25 years without understanding half the Book I
professed to be so devoted to!!
Saint Augustine said, "The New Testament lies hidden
in the Old, and the Old Testament is unveiled in the
New." In other words, the Old and New testaments are
i ns e pa r a bl e a nd not unde r s t a ndi ng t he i r
interconnectedness is like missing a link in a chain- it
just doesn't work. If you grew up in the church like
me, you probably have plenty of David-and-Goliath-
type stories locked in memory, but with little
understanding of their purpose in the overall story.
How's your comprehension of the Tabernacle or the
Exodus from Egypt or Abraham's life? All these
things foreshadow Jesus in amazing ways- rich little
nuggets of truth that we miss if we never seek to
understand the overarching storyline of the Bible.
Add, on top of that, that we've been taught to pick
apart the Bible to suit our daily situational needs.
That's fine for certain purposes! I have several verses
that are dear to me and provide encouragement and
strength in times of trouble. But, if all we know about
Paul's letter to the Philippians is "Do not be anxious
about anything", or "For God so loved the world"
from the Gospel of John, then it stands to reason we
might be missing quite a lot. It seems silly when we
think of it this way, but this is the method many
Christians use to study the Word, and it can amount to
a very limited understanding of redemptive history.
If we are to become mature and sanctified Christ-
followers, we must take an interest in the whole
council of Scripture, as challenging as it may be. If we
disregard any portion of Scripture or if we dissect the
story down to individual verses, we get an incomplete
picture of God's nature and His intentions for human
history. In Gods Big Picture, Vaughan Roberts
highlights some vitally important information:
BECOMING Magazine 6
So, it stands to reason that if we don't know and
adequately understand the One story, the most
important story, we will find it difficult to pass it on
to those He has placed in our path.
Consider the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
When the angel, Gabriel, came to announce the
coming Savior, God had not spoken for 400 years.
Not a word, not a warning, not a prophecy. Just
silence. But, Mary's ancestors had been storytellers of
the One story, and by their faithfulness, the one chosen
to bear our Savior humbly and expectantly accepted
her destiny. And, it is with the same passion and
conviction that God's story is to be on our lips, as well-
all day, everyday.
We have been entrusted with the Good News, a
message whose power lies in the proclamation of it!
So, in our lives- in our work, our marriages, with our
families and our friend, we must know the story and
tell it. Live it. Breathe it. Sing it. Proclaim the good
news of the gospel- the gospel that is woven into every
page of the Bible. It is God's BIG picture.
remember two things
God is the hero of the Bible from beginning to end,
and He never changes... He is the same God in both
the Old Testament and the New: holy, just, loving, and
sovereign. For example, His deliverance of the
Israelites from Egypt not only foreshadows the
redemption Christ achieved; it also speaks, in and of
itself, of the grace and power of God. Vaughan Roberts
We keep 2 dimensions in mind when we study the
Bible: the historical and the relational. Wherever we
land in the Bible, we ought to seek to identify what the
passage has to tell us specifically about God, as well as
considering how it fits into the overall story of
redemption.
For example, we see the coming Christ hidden at every
turn in the Old Testament- Abraham's near sacrifice of
Isaac, the Exodus from Egypt, the Mosaic Law, the
Temple, King David, the words of the prophets all
of these things, in one way or another, point us to our
need for redemption and God's plan to accomplish it
through Jesus Christ. At the same time, they also tell
us about God and our relationship with Him.
These connections are gems to be discovered as we
study and learn and press on to maturity in faith.
Although, we could never plumb the depths of the
richness of His story, we do seek to know the God who
says, "let the one who boasts boast about this: that they
have the understanding to know me, that I am the
Lord, who exerci ses ki ndness, j ust i ce and
righteousness on earth" (Jeremiah 9:24).
we are Storytellers
At the end of the day, there is only one story that
matters, for even our individual stories are woven into
God's grand plan. Our culture, though it may not say
it outright, loathes His metanarrative. If sinful
humanity had it's way, it would eliminate the big story
altogether and opt for autonomy, where each
individual self governs according to what he or she
believes is best. In this worldview, we are all
independent of each other and of an all-encompassing
story, thereby freeing us from responsibility to others
and, most importantly, from God.
SO WE RISE EACH MORNING
AND EMBARK AS STORYTELLERS
TO THIS GENERATION,
TO FUTURE GENERATIONS;
STORYTELLERS OF ONE STORY.
FOR REALLY, THERE IS ONLY
ONE STORY TO SHARE: HIS.
ANN VOSKAMP
BECOMING Magazine 7
Consider historical context.
Where are you within the Bible story? Where have
you been and where are you going?
How does this point to Christ in the
New Testament?
How does this passage fulfill what
has come before (Old Testament)?
Consider relational context.
What does this tell you about
God? What application might
it have for you?
Consider the original message to
the original audience.
Take care to recognize literary
techniques such as poetry, proverb,
historical narrative, and
interpretation.
Are you in the
Old
Testament?
Are you in the
New
Testament?
Start
Here
GODS BIG PICTURE
NAVIGATING
BECOMING Magazine 8
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God saves through faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone
always. The Old Testament (OT) practice of sacrificing
animals could not bring eternal forgiveness. Jesus is
very in clear in telling us the He is the ONLY way to
God. John the Baptist proclaims Him as the "Lamb of
God, who takes away the sins of the world" (John
1:29). So, if faith in Christ is the only way to
salvation, you may wonder how people were saved in
the OT before Jesus appeared in history?
The means for salvation has always been faith.
Genesis 15 tells us that Abraham was considered by
God to be righteous because "he believed God"; he
had faith. The OT saints did not have the full details
of Christ's coming, but they understood they were
sinners and they trusted God to be their Savior. R.C.
Sproul explains: "It is important to understand that
salvation occurred in the Old Testament in the same
manner that it occurs in the New Testament. When
Paul speaks of Abraham's justification as being by
faith, that is shorthand for saying that Abraham was
justified by the righteousness of Christ."
God's law still stands. Our culture loves to argue that the
"rules" of the Bible are no longer relevant to our day.
It is important to understand that there were 3 types of
"law" in the Old Covenant: civil, ceremonial, and
moral. The civil law, or judicial law, applied to the
nation of Israel before Gods people became the
church, and is no longer applicable to us. The
ceremonial law, rules pertaining to the sacrificial
system, was made obsolete by the final saving work of
Jesus. However, God's moral law, which represents
his unchanging character, stands forever.
Jesus tells us that He did not come to abolish the Law,
but to fulfill it! Upholding God's law was of utmost
important to Christ. The apostle Paul says in Romans
6, "Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how
can we live in it any longer?" Although, we are saved
by grace and are no longer bound by the requirements
of the Law, we are not free to disregard it- and why
would we want to?
True gratitude for God's grace drives us to glad
obedience! As Christians, we strive for this:
to delight in God's law AND in the riches of His
grace.
New Covenant? Eternally saved by grace through
faith in Jesus Christ. Got it!
Old Covenant? Dnt really understand it, not sure it
applies to me, never really paid much attention...
Can you relate? As Christians today, we can be
tempted to wonder, and are sometimes falsely led to
believe, that the Old Testament Law and sacrificial
system have little relevancy to us in a post-Christ
world. Of course, we absolutely affirm that the Law is
no longer over us to condemn us. But, we must also
remember the words of our Lord: If you love me,
keep my commands (John 14:15) We have been
saved to keep the law, thereby pointing the world to
Christ and showing our love for Him.
Use the Old Covenant/New Covenant comparison
chart (facing page) and the following important
points to know to deepen your understanding of the
Covenants and guide your future study:
God saves by substitution. Throughout the Bible, we see
that God saves by providing a substitute to die in the
place of others. When Abraham, resolved to be
obedient to God, raised his hand to sacrifice his
beloved son, Isaac, God intervenes and provides a ram
to take Isaac's place. And, in behalf of sinful humanity
helpless to save themselves, God intervenes and sends
Himself as a substitutionary sacrifice to atone for sin
and reconcile a people to Himself. "But God
demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we
were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
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BECOMING Magazine 9
The Law shows us God's nature and character. The 10
Commandments aren't just some arbitrary rules to
obey set by a God who likes to make things
difficult for us. The commands of God proceed
from the very nature of God. We know that God
cannot lie (Titus 1:2), and He therefore expects
that we do not lie, either- commandment #9. The
Law reveals who God is and sets the standard of
how He wants us to live.
The Law shows us our need for a Savior. The apostle Paul
says in Romans 3:20, "through the law we become
conscious of sin". As we recognize our inability to
uphold God's commands, we see how our sin
choices have separated us from a holy God. In
order for the Israelites to atone, or make amends,
for their sin against God, a system was instituted
that required the people to sacrifice animals, for
"without the shedding of blood, there is no
forgiveness" (Hebrews 9:22). Here, a chilling
realization: Forgiveness for our rebellion against
God requires the shedding of blood; it requires
taking a life.
The Law is a shadow of Christ, who was to come. We see
that the Law served it's purpose of revealing
personal sin, but it was never a means to eternal
forgiveness. "It is impossible for the blood of
bulls and goats to take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4).
The Law points us to the promised Messiah, the
one who would be crushed for our sin, bear the
iniquity of us all, and ultimately present us
blameless before God. The Israelites in the Old
Testament yearned for the coming of the promised
King, the only one able to permanently bring them
to peace with God through the shedding of His
blood. Although Christians today are no longer
under law but under grace through faith in Christ,
we seek to uphold the moral law out of gratitude
and a desire to glorify God.
CHRIST: A Perfect Life. In the living of a perfectly
righteous life, Jesus satisfied every requirement of
God's Law. He did for us what we were unable to
do for ourselves! When we believe in Christ, his
perfection and righteousness is imputed, or
transferred, to us such that we become blameless
and holy before God. "God made him who had no
sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might
become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21).
CHRIST: the Sacrificial Lamb. Because of Jesus' life of
perfect obedience, He was able to offer Himself
unblemished to God. In His suffering and dying,
Jesus took on the due penalty of the Law and
endured the punishment in our stead. Through
Him, we are cleansed of sin, our fellowship with
God is restored, and we are freed from bondage to
sin and eternal death. Jesus is called our Passover
lamb because just as the blood of a lamb on the
doorposts of their houses delivered the Israelites
from slavery and death in Egypt, so the blood of
the Lamb of God on the "doorposts of our hearts"
delivers us from slavery to sin and eternal death.
CHRIST: the Risen Savior. The apostle Paul says that if
Christ is not raised from the dead, we have a
worthless religion! Why is the resurrection so
important? First, it is proof that what Jesus said
about Himself is true. Jesus claimed equality with
God and the ability to forgive sin. Had he simply
died as any other human that would have been the
end of the story, and there would be no reason to
believe His claims. Second, it is proof that God
accepted the offering of the Son. Death is the
penalty for sin, but Jesus' sacrifice was pure and "it
was impossible for death to keep its hold
him" (Acts 2:24). The grave was not able to hold
Jesus because it had no power to- death is reserved
for the unrighteous, and so it had no claim on Jesus
Christ.
What is the Old Covenant?
God made many covenants with his people in the
Old Testament. However, when we refer to the
Old Covenant, or "the Law", we are commonly
referring to the Ten Commandments and the
sacrificial system set up to atone for the sins of the
people when those commands were broken.
What is the New Covenant?
Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus
institutes a new covenant between God and man.
Unlike the repetitive animal sacrifice of the Old
Testament, Jesus' sacrifice would never have to be
repeated. Those who believe in Him are justified
by His blood and given the gift of eternal life.
BECOMING Magazine 10
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large and had several important pieces that were
full of symbolism that actually pointed toward
Jesus Christ, the one who sacrificed himself once
for all sin on the cross.
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The centerpiece of the tabernacle was the Ark of
the Covenant which initially contained the 10
commandments and, later, other items. Exodus
first gives instructions regarding this piece
because it was the symbolic dwelling place of
God and the rest of the tabernacle was built
around it. You can read a description of the ark in
Exodus 25; essentially, it was a chest made of
acacia wood and covered with gold.
The arks lid was pure beaten gold. On each end
of the covering, there were two cherubim made to
face one another looking inward toward the cover
with up spread wings nearly touching at the top.
The function of the ark was twofold: first, God
was understood to dwell symbolically between the
wings of the cherubim; second, the covering of
the ark was called the atonement cover and it was
an integral part of atoning for sins. Once a year,
on the Day of Atonement, the high priest
sacrificed an animal for the sins of the people and
sprinkled its blood on the atonement cover (or
mercy seat). This showed that atonement for the
peoples sin had been made and they could now
call on the mercy of God. The shed blood was
powerful symbolism of mercy and judgment. For
without the shed blood, when God looked down
on the mercy seat, he saw the broken law.
However, when the blood intervened, God saw
that atonement for sin had been made and that
forgiveness could be given.
This depicts the forgiveness of sin granted to
believers through the death of Jesus Christ! So,
when God looks upon a Christian, He does not see
their sin but the shed blood of Christ covering
What do you think of when you think of your
body? Does your mind jump to your thighs or
those few extra pounds? Maybe you are training
for a marathon... or bathing suit season. We spend
a lot of time toning, trimming and tucking our
bodies- taking care of our health and physical
bodies can become all consuming!
Lots of words may pop to the surface of your
mind with regards to your body but does the word
temple ever make the top 10? If you are a
Christian, your body, first and foremost, is a
temple of the Holy Spirit!
But, why is that important and what was the
temple exactly? The temple is first described as a
tabernacle in the book of Exodus. The tabernacle
was a tent-like structure that could be set up and
taken down to move around with the Israelites as
they wandered in the desert (Solomon would later
build the first temple for the Lord which was a
building that did not move!). The word tabernacle
literally means dwelling place.
God desired to dwell among his people but,
because of the sin of the Israelites, there had to be
a separation between God and the people- they
had to approach him in the way he prescribed.
That approach was through animal sacrifice,
which atoned for their sin. The tabernacle was
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BECOMING Magazine 11
BECOMING Magazine 12
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The prophet Isaiah tells of a Messiah who would
come and sacrifice himself once for all sins;
looking back, we understand that Jesus was that
final sacrifice. When his work on the cross was
complete, the physical temple was rendered
useless. In fact, the bible tells us that the thick
curtain that separated the Holy Place from the
Holy of Holies, where Gods presence dwelt in the
temple, was torn in two at the moment Jesus died.
This picture of the torn curtain tells us that the
access to God that was once restricted was now
available through Jesus final sacrifice.
So, as we connect the dots between the Old and
New Testament, we see that the New Testament
book of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says this:
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The price, of course, was the death of Jesus Christ
on the cross. After he ascended and the Holy
Spirit was given to believers, our bodies became
temples of the Holy Spirit.
So you see, our bodies are truly not our own. Its
not just meant for our pleasure and to nip and tuck
and tan and adorn as we see fit. Our bodies
belong to the service of the Lord! We are his
hands and feet. And, if you have received Jesus as
your Lord and Savior, your body and your
everyday life belong to him.
The Temple in the Old Testament pointed to the
Savior. Well, Christian, Jesus came and he died
and rose again and now allows your body to be
the dwelling place of his Holy Spirit. So, lets do
what 1 Corinthians exhorts and honor God with
our bodies. More importantly, lets honor the Holy
resident who guides us into relationship with our
risen Savior!
their sin. If the person he is looking upon is not a
Christian, then he does see their sin which has not
been atoned for and that person is still under
wrath and judgment.
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Another item in the tabernacle with great
symbolism pointing toward Christ is the Table of
Showbread. This was also made of wood overlaid
with gold and contained twelve loaves of bread as
well as golden plates for the bread and golden
ladles, bowls and pitchers for handling the incense
and drink offerings. The most significant objects
were the loaves of bread which represented the
twelve tribes of Israel. These loaves were
offerings of thanksgiving to God for his faithful
provision and care of his people.
We also understand that the bread pointed to Jesus
who would later describe Himself as the bread of
life (John 6:35). He used bread to symbolize His
body when he taught the disciples during the last
supper. During that supper the communion bread
pointed to the broken body of Christ that would
give new life to those who would believe on him
for salvation and also points back to the
showbread of the tabernacle.
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This was a seven branched candlestick called a
menorah familiar to us today. The observable
purpose of the lampstand was to give the priests
light as they worked in the Holy Place. However,
it also symbolically pointed to Jesus who is the
light of the world (John 8:12). The apostle John
who wrote the true light that gives light to every
man was coming into the world (John 1:9), may
have had this object in mind later when he
penned, The Word became flesh and made his
dwelling [literally, tabernacled] among
us (John 1:14). John likely was remembering the
tabernacle and its symbolic furnishings.
BECOMING Magazine 13
GIVE YOUR BODIES
TO GOD BECAUSE OF
ALL HE HAS DONE FOR
YOU. LET THEM BE A LIVING
& HOLY SACRIFICE- THE
KIND HE WILL FIND ACCEPTABLE.
THIS IS TRULY THE WAY TO WORSHIP HIM.
ROMANS 12:1
BECOMING Magazine 14
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Our Christian lives are lived in an in between period. Vaughn Roberts
writes: The kingdom of God is both now and not yet. It has
come with the appearance of Jesus on earth and through his
death and resurrection. He has spoken of the kingdom as a
present reality. It has been manifest in his own ministry on
earth and it is now possible for anyone to enter it (Mt 12:28,
19:14). But the kingdom is also something we must wait for in
the future... If we have placed our trust in Christ, we belong to
the new creation, but we have not yet received all its blessings.
So, many of Gods promises are experienced in 2 ways:
partially here on earth- the NOW- and completely when Jesus
returns- the NOT YET. This is important information for us as
Christians, as it not only gives us hope for what is to come but
also clear opportunities to experience a portion of Gods
kingdom while here on Earth!
BECOMING Magazine 15
look forward to the day we are given new, eternal
bodies in our eternal home, but until then, we rely on
the Spirit to renew our hearts day by day.
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The Bible speaks of our salvation from sin as being
past, present, and future! In the past, Jesus death and
resurrection saved us from the penalty of sin.
Presently, we are being saved from the bondage of sin
through the power of the Holy Spirit. And, when we
are finally ushered fully into His presence, we will be
saved from the presence of sin.
It is amazing that in a world full of sin, our Lord made
it possible to experience relief and even freedom from
its grip! In John 16:33 He says, In this world you
will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the
world. No matter what temptation or trial assaults us,
we know that Christ has overcome them all, and we
are given the ability in His Spirit to live free from the
clutches of sin in the midst of it all.
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The Christian life is one of frustration and joy.
Frustration as we live in a fallen world and are far off,
it seems, from experiencing the fullness of Gods
perfect kingdom; joy as, in Jesus, we are given the
firstfruits of the Spirit and are able to taste of heavenly
things like perfect rest, redemption, and freedom from
sin right here on earth.
The promises of God are not just hope for the future,
they are realities for present life. What should we gain
from this knowledge?
If we know that we are Gods temple, it should impact
how we treat our bodies both physically and mentally,
as well as how we care for others and engage with the
world. If we know we can experience true peace and
rest in this chaotic world, it should compel us to trust
Him to provide in the everyday circumstances of life.
If we know we are new creations in the Spirit, it
allows us to walk free from the bondage of sin and
experience His renewal every day. As we wait for the
fulfillment of Gods incredible promises in the future,
let us seek to know Him and a portion of His promises
right now!
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In Matthew 11:28, Jesus proclaims, Come to me, all
you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you
rest. Rest was the goal of Gods creation from the
beginning with Adam and Eve in Eden, and it is one of
His ultimate promises for us in eternity. God wants us
to share in His perfect rest.
We know that complete rest and peace from sin will
not come until Jesus returns again and all things are
restored. However, His words show us that in Him we
can still experience real rest during our time on Earth.
He says in John 14:27, Peace I leave with you; my
peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives,
so let not your hearts be troubled or afraid. And, in
Matthew 11:29-30, Accept my teachings and learn
from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and
you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask
you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is
light.
One of our deepest human longings is to find a deep
sense of rest in the turmoil of life. Only God is able to
accomplish this for us (Is. 26:12). When we truly trust
in Him, by obeying His commands and believing what
He promises, we find the peace that passes
understanding in the midst of earthly troubles.
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One of the great contrasts of the Bible is that of life
and death, both now and eternally. Paul writes in 2
Corinthians 4:16-17, Though outwardly we are
wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day
by day. For our light and momentary troubles are
achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs
them all. Even though our outer physical bodies
move toward death, our inner spiritual lives experience
Gods new mercies every morning that give us the
strength to live for the advancement of His Kingdom.
Paul goes on to reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that
if anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation.
The old things have gone; everything is made new!
When we are made alive with Christ, our bodies
become the temple of the Holy Spirit; not only is He a
deposit guaranteeing our permanent residence in the
coming Kingdom, He is our Counselor in whose
presence we walk and power we rely on everyday. We
BECOMING Magazine 16
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And then, one night, a couple of years ago, I laid
in bed completely broken and just gave up. I told
my Lord in prayer that what I had been trying all
these years wasnt working, and I was going to
stop praying for him to change and just pray
that God would open my eyes and show me the
way to a healthy marriage through His Word,
instead. And you know what? He did just that.
My marriage hasnt been the same since.
I searched Gods Word for all He had to say about
the way that wives should react to their husbands
and strive to be in their marriages; I committed to
acting out what I found. Amazingly, I found that
abiding in Gods word was transformational-
completely counter-cultural, completely unnatural
at first, but still, absolutely transformational.
I found that the more I yielded to my husband in
arguments and approached his differing opinion
with humility, the gentler, kinder, more loving and
more giving he became in return. And, even more
importantly, I saw his relationship with the Lord
grow in leaps and bounds. 1 Peter 3:1 was truth,
and I was in awewives, be subject to your own
husbands, so that even if some do not obey the
word, they may be won without a word by the
conduct of their wives.
As my husbands relationship with the Lord grew,
our marriage strengthened and I began to see him
treat me as the Lord calls a husband to treat his
beloved. I am so grateful that by the Lord closing
my mouth and opening my eyes and heart, I have
experienced 1 Peter 3:7- husbands, live with
your wives in an understanding way, showing
honor to the womansince they are heirs with
you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may
not be hindered.
So, am I still a feminist? Well, I guess I am
Gods idea of feminine- committing to live the
way He calls me to live in my marriage as my
husbands loving and grateful wife, enjoying all
the blessings that come as a result.
As the church yields to Christ, so you wives should yield to
your husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:24
WHAT?! Isnt this completely opposite of what
my natural, hot-headed, stubborn female self
wants to do in marriage? What about what I
want? Am I not the girl who enrolled right away
in Philosophy of Feminism freshman year in
college, only to graduate, get married, and find
out that as a Christian woman I am to yield to my
husband in all things?!
It can be difficult balancing a strong personality
with Gods call to me to submit to my husband,
as is fitting to the Lord (Col 3:18). He calls me
to be self-controlled, pure, working at home,
kind, and submissive to (my) own husband, that
the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:5).
Well, I am about to celebrate my 10 year
anniversary, and it has not always been a fairytale
marriage. There have been many wonderful
times, my husband is truly a great man, and I do
love him very muchbut there have also been
many tears and many nights going to sleep
wondering if we could ever be and stay happy. I
wondered how God could ask me to yield any
further to a fighter personality without losing
myself completely in the process.
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BECOMING Magazine 17
BECOMING Magazine 18
BE A STUDENT OF THE BIBLE
2. Read Commentaries
The word commentary may signal the
boring alarm in your mind, but a great
commentary is anything but boring. Youll
gain great insight, but try to do your own
study before letting someone else do it for
you. Reliable commentary authors: Sproul,
Stott, and Moo.
1. Use a study bible
Take advantage of the hard work the editors
have done! Individual book overviews, verse
notes, and information boxes offer helpful
context and references. The NIV & ESV are
reliable study bibles. In addition, you can use
a reference site like biblegateway.com to look
up passages in many different translations .
3. Small Group Study
Being in small group study is a great way to dig deeper into the Bible. Whether you join a group or
create your own, make sure the members have study goals that reflect your own. Set expectations
for accountability and confidentiality from the beginning.
Were big believers that for a study group, smaller is better- that way, honest relationships can be
formed and real issues of faith can be hashed out. Life isnt always rosy and biblical truth isnt
always easy, so having a safe place to work through hard questions can be a real treasure.
4. Learn from the Experts
Many theologians and pastors have their
resources available online- most for free!
Check out the sermons of pastors John Piper
(desiringgod.org) and Tim Keller
(timothykeller.com), or the teaching series of
R.C. Sproul (ligonier.org).
5. Use your brain
Thinking and reflecting is an integral part of
working out our faith! Stop relying solely on
pastors and bible teachers for understanding.
The most fruitful learning always comes
when you take your role as disciple seriously
and begin seeking God for yourself.
HOW TO
5 Ways to Dig Deeper
BECOMING Magazine 19
5 Things I Love:
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JESSICA KELTNER
Friend of the magazine, Jess Keltner, shares why serious study of Scripture
has changed her faith. P lus, she gives us her Top 5 worship resources!
Suppose I'm new to Old Testament (OT) study. Give me a reason why this should
be something I care about
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Why do you think it's so important for us as Christians to be familiar with the
Bible as a whole?
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What effect has studying the OT had on your pre-existing biblical knowledge?
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As you began to dig into Old Testament scripture, what was one discovery
that proved to be life-changing?
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BECOMING Magazine 20
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