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Is Levi Really Matthew, the Apostle?

levi-the-tax-collector

from Google Images

Some people today maintain that Levi of Mark and Luke is not Matthew. While both Levi and Matthew are tax-collectors (publicans), it is thought that the writer of the first Gospel was merely trying to reconcile the fact that Levi doesn’t appear among the Twelve in any of the four lists.[1] Why would Mark and Luke record Levi’s conversion (Mark 2:13-15; Luke 5:27-29), if he is never heard of again, not even appearing in any of the lists of the Twelve? So, the theory is that the writer of the first Gospel merely picked an otherwise unknown apostle to be Levi! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Battle for the Good News

from Google Images

from Google Images

The question at this point is: why is circumcision (or anything we do) unable to make us right with God (Galatians 5:6; cf. 3:10, 21)? Just as the wages we earn have nothing to do with being a gift we receive, so circumcision or anything we do can have nothing to do with making us right before God, because righteousness is imputed (i.e. it is a gift), and what we do looks for a wage (reward for services rendered). It is Christ who makes us righteous (through grace, a gift), and we can only trust it is so, just as we trust that any gift we receive is entirely a gift—no strings attached. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Living Under the Curse of the Law

from Google Images

from Google Images

According to the word of God, a curse is not simply a wish for harm but contains the power in itself to inflict that harm. The Law forbids anyone to curse the leader of his people (Exodus 22:28). The phrase immediately before cursing one’s leader is “you shall not revile the gods”. The term gods refers to our rulers (cf. Psalm 82), and we are told that reviling or speaking disgracefully of one’s leader is the same as cursing him. This sort of thing, if done to one’s parents was punishable with death (Exodus 21:17), and to do so toward God was considered blasphemy, and the offender was to be stoned (Leviticus 24:11, 14). Job’s wife told him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). In other words, if he wanted to be relieved of his suffering, all he had to do was curse or revile God, and God would take his life. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in Galatians

 

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