All Articles For Langerak, William

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Our Lord calls all of us to witness to Him and the gospel of salvation from sin and death by Him; and calls not only those who hold the office of minister, but all who hold the office of Christian; and to do that not only passively but actively; not only by mouth but by deed; and not only some days but every day of our life. This calling is not optional, something to choose to do or not do, accept or reject. If we are a Christian in whom the Spirit of Jesus dwells by faith, we must and...

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Most of us know the seven “I am” passages of John (the Bread of life; the Light of the world; the Door; the Good Shepherd; the Vine; the Resurrection and the Life; the Way, the Truth, and the Life), and even that there are ten if you include “I am,” “I am he,” and “I am in the Father.” But do you know the “hereby” passages of John, their significance, or how many there are? We should. For they are as profound as the “I am” texts, and the Spirit similarly calls attention to them. One way is this: “Hereby”...

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Dazed and vulnerable after the disaster at Kappel, the fledgling Protestant church in Zurich turned to a young refugee pastor for leadership. King Jesus’ rebuke of His servants had been severe. Twenty-five pastors were dead. Among them, Zwingli, whose body was drawn, quartered, and burnt; a grim warning to any who dared replace him. Associates were in hiding. And nearby Bremgarten had just surrendered to advancing Catholic forces. Terms: Expel their pastor. The pastor, Heinrich Bullinger, flees to Zurich. His wife Anna, forbidden to leave, arrives days later. With love stronger than death, she overpowers the guard, lets herself out...

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Our God is the God who fills. Immense, He fills the vast heavens with His presence (Jer. 23:24). Thrice-holy, He fills the whole earth with His glory (Is. 6:3). Righteous Judge, He fills the world with His knowledge as waters cover the sea (Is. 11:9). Sovereign Lord, He sends His servants into the streets and lanes, highways and hedges to bring in the poor, maimed, halt, and blind to fill His house. Gracious, full of compassion and plenteous in mercy, He fills empty rebels with peace and the fruits of righteousness (Rom. 15:13-14; Phil. 1:11). Spirit, He fills dead men...

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In our age of capitalist bounty and socialist welfare state, of justice warriors and identity politics, it is easy to be cynical toward the poor and pleas to assist them. Nevertheless, every Christian ought to have the deepest pity for the poor, and if given the means, ought help his poor neighbor generously. Even more so, if that poor fellow is a believer. For if we have this world’s goods, see our brother in need, and show no compassion, the love of God does not dwell in us (I John 3:17). And no one can say, “We have no poor,”...

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In the New Testament Scriptures, there are several Greek words translated “world.” The most common is “cosmos,” origin of our words cosmic, cosmopolitan, and cosmetics. Its basic meaning is “a complex, unified system or arrangement of harmony, order and beauty.” And this gives rise to secondary meanings like “appropriate, fitting (modesty), fashion, adorn, ornament.” Of all New Testament writers, John uses “cosmos” or “world” the most. And this article focuses on that one word in the gospel of John concerning the world that God so loved, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not...

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One pernicious lie often told is that Christ forbids us Christians to judge. This ‘whopper’ persists in part because it seems to be based on Scripture. Rightly, the godly mother may tell her disparaging child, “Judge not, that ye be not judged;” or the caring teacher ask the critical student, “Who are you that judges another?” (Matt. 7:1; James 4:12). Certainly not falsehoods. But neither are such Scriptures the final word of God about judging, discernment, condemnation, and critical thinking; nor do they imply, must less teach, that Christians may not judge. The truth is that Christ calls every Christian...

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Revile is an ugly biblical word, and one we hardly use. The sin it describes, however, occurs far too frequently in our covenant conversations, marriages, homes, schools, and churches. And the words we use—name-calling, trash-talking, teasing, kidding, losing our cool, bullying or even verbal abuse—all minimize the despicable, destructive, malicious, and vicious nature of reviling. And often, then, so does any medicine we prescribe. Rather than treat the reviler’s stone-cold heart, we instead patch up the bruised and bloodied victim with the three T’s, “take it, turn the other cheek, and tough it out,” which in covenant relationships are the...

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We have a saying, “X marks the spot.” It comes from the practice of marking an important location on a map with an “X,” something that has fascinated many a reader of tales about buried treasure. Scripture also has its “X.” It marks treasure that is somewhat hidden to us English readers, but infinitely more valuable than a chest stuffed with gold. This “X’ is not a particular word (the usual subject of this rubric), but the Greek letter Chi (pronounced much like ‘key’). Although there are few English words that begin with an “X,” in Greek, this ‘key’ opens...

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Jesus is salvation! Let there be no doubt. His name literally is: “I Am Salvation” (Ps. 35:3; Matt. 1:21). There is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:12). Of this salvation the prophets diligently searched, and declared that one day the ends of earth would see it (I Pet. 1:10). Taking Jesus in his arms, Simeon testified: “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation” (Luke 2:30). Stopping on His way to the cross, Jesus told Zacchaeus, “Salvation is come to your house” (Luke 19:9). Salvation is in Jesus and belongs to Jesus (Ps. 3:8; 62:7). Jesus is the Lord, the Author,...

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