All Articles For Langerak, William

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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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His name shall be called Wonderful (Is. 9:6). In general, a wonder is anything that is extraordinary in our experience or that defies our ability to imagine, perform, or explain it. It refers to special vows (Num. 6:2), difficult cases to judge (Deut. 17:8), unusual diseases (Deut. 28:59), the unique love of David and Jonathan (II Sam. 1:26), and the greatness of Solomon’s temple (II Chron. 2:9). But, more particularly, wonders are glorious revelations of God so astonishing, impossible (humanly), incomprehensible, and unimaginable, that worship is demanded and unbelief is inexcusable. Wonders, also often called marvels, declare the awesome glory...

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Although rather plain, the word ‘cover’ communicates a rich variety of meaning. Its basic idea is simply to hide or conceal. But depending on the type, purpose, object, or means of concealment, ‘cover’ can mean to hide temporarily (mask) or hide permanently (obliterate); to hide from sight, hearing, knowledge, creditors, enemies, or memory; and so can be in order to clothe, adorn, beautify, smother, destroy, shield, guard, protect, and even pay. With regard to God, His glory covers the heavens (Hab. 3:3). He covers Himself with light as with a garment (Ps. 104:2). He covers the heavens with clouds and...

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Treasure is a hoard, store, or accumulation of riches. Although the word may conjure up in our mind chests filled with gold and jewels, a treasure can consist of anything considered valuable. The main Greek word is thesaurus, which we know as a treasury of synonyms. And God’s Word, a treasury of wisdom, teaches us much about seeking, working for, and keeping the right kind of treasure, while being indifferent to, leery of, even abhorrent of the wrong kind. God taught such lessons throughout the Old Testament. Early on, Pharaoh enslaved Israel to build treasure cites, a picture of what...

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In general, “dwell” refers to the close, rich, abiding love lived between husbands and wives, parents and children, and members of the church within a structure (tent, house, city, land) that promotes and preserves that communion in peace (I Pet. 3:7; Heb. 11:9; Ps. 133:1). The main significance is that the Spirit defines the covenant as “dwelling,” that is, more specifically, as the blessed, abiding, and intimate communion of love between God and His church in Christ and through the Spirit, wherein God dwells in them and they dwell in God forever. In both its old and new administrations, the...

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The celebration of our redemption and resurrection in Jesus is a good time to remember the wonderful aspect of the gospel indicated by the prefix re- of these two words. Re- basically means “again” and denotes something repeated, returned back, or done intensely. Redemption, therefore, means “to be bought back” and resurrection “to be raised again.” And re- is one of the most common prefixes in Scripture, which shows the rich significance of “again” to the holy gospel. The gospel is the good news of re-. Our Father has nurtured, raised, and stretched out His hand to rebellious (to war...

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Fire is the most prevalent, destructive yet, if controlled, beneficial power in the universe. Man, therefore, largely credits his ability to control fire for being able to swing out the trees and build modern civilization, to heat homes, forge steel, make electricity, and even rocket to the moon. But man cannot control all fire. He cannot control the fires of lighting and lava. He cannot control his fiery passions whereby he uses fire to sin, serve idols, shoot his neighbor, bomb cities to rubble, and thus also worry about living only a twitchy finger from nuclear oblivion. But most importantly,...

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