An Outline of the Christian Faith, Part 3: Atonement and Advent (Revelation 1:5–7)


John follows his statement about revelation (Revelation 1:1–3) and his trinitarian greeting (verses 4–5) with a doxology to Jesus Christ (verses 5–7). A doxology is a word (logos) in praise of the glory (doxa) of God, or in this case, of Jesus Christ. There are several doxologies in Revelation (e.g., 4:6–11, 5:9–13, 7:12, 19:1–2). The sequence of verses 1–7 is instructive. Theology gives rise to doxology, faith to praise. A man or woman who thinks correctly about God but fails to worship him wholeheartedly has not understood him at all. Why praise Jesus Christ? Two reasons: Atonement and advent. Atonement: … Continue reading An Outline of the Christian Faith, Part 3: Atonement and Advent (Revelation 1:5–7)

An Outline of the Christian Faith, Part 2: Trinity (Revelation 1:4–5)


As we have seen, the primary source of the Christian faith is revelation. Now we turn to the primary content of the Christian faith: Who God is and what he does. Revelation 1:4-5 touches on both topics. Before examining these topics, however, notice the literary context of John’s remarks. Ancient letters begin with the sender’s name followed by the recipient’s name and a short greeting (e.g., Jas. 1:1, 1 Pet. 1:1–2)—just like John does here. But the greatness and goodness of God so overwhelm John that he transposes an ordinary greeting into an extraordinary declaration of God’s doing and being. … Continue reading An Outline of the Christian Faith, Part 2: Trinity (Revelation 1:4–5)

Love, Life, and Death (1 John 4:9-10)


How do we know that God loves us? First John 4:9-10 answers that question by teaching us that God’s love is public, personal, proactive, and propitiatory. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. First, God’s love is public. It is something he “showed” us. It is not merely a theological idea or spiritual feeling, it is an historical … Continue reading Love, Life, and Death (1 John 4:9-10)