Blog Posts on Redemptive History

What Dead Abel Speaks to Us

Jon Bloom
What Dead Abel Speaks to Us

The story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4 tells much more about Cain than Abel. In fact, not one word is recorded from living Abel. But the author of Hebrews says that, “through [Abel’s] faith, though he died, he still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4). So what is dead Abel speaking to us?

It was dusk. Cain was working late. Not wanting to face his parents, he was trying to disguise his guilt-infused fear with a preoccupation with his crops. Then suddenly the unmistakable voice of the Lᴏʀᴅ... Continue Reading

I Know the Plans I Have for You

Tony Reinke

Jeremiah 29:11 is a precious verse to many: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lᴏʀᴅ, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

So how can Gentile John Piper, or any of us, lay claim to this hopeful promise made to Israel, God’s covenant people? Pastor John explains in this 3-minute video:


Related resources:

  • Do the promises in the Psalms apply to the Christian life today? The question was asked in episode 162 in the Ask Pastor John... Continue Reading

When God’s Promise Overcomes Our Problem

Jason DeRouchie
When God’s Promise Overcomes Our Problem

Paul said that the old covenant mediated by Moses bore a “ministry of condemnation” (2 Corinthians 3:9). What does this mean, and would Moses have agreed?

The Book of Deuteronomy clarifies three things: 1) Moses’s old covenant plea, 2) the people’s old covenant problem, and 3) God’s new covenant promise.

1. The Old Covenant Plea

Moses called for the right things: “Love the Lᴏʀᴅ your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), and “... Continue Reading

Why Boldness Matters Now

Jonathan Parnell
Why Boldness Matters Now

The Book of Acts profiles a people living bold.

The theme of boldness takes center-stage in Acts 4 with the story of Peter’s and John’s trial before the Sanhedrin. We learn that what astonishes the Jewish leaders pertains mainly to the apostles’ content, not their emotions. The bewildering reality at work in Peter’s and John’s testimony is what they say about Jesus.

These two fishermen had become messengers of God’s salvation, heralds for a new age in human history. They were now... Continue Reading

Live Bold

Jonathan Parnell
Live Bold

To live Christianly in a culture of confusion is to live boldly.

There is some explaining to do here. On one hand, the above sentence is simple and agreeable at face-value. On the other hand, there’s a sense in which it will resonate with certain personalities while alienating others. Does our culture really need Christians to live bold? What does that even mean?

The answer hangs on our understanding of “bold.” And if we’d learn from the Book of Acts, the answer is yes — the call of Christian... Continue Reading

A Pentecost to Celebrate

Ryan Griffith
A Pentecost to Celebrate

If it weren’t for Pentecost, we wouldn’t know about Easter.

For most of us, tomorrow isn’t flagged on our calendars as Pentecost Sunday. But it is a big deal for Christians, and there are at least three reasons why it’s a day worth celebrating.

Catching Up on the Context

First, the back-story. Recall that Jesus spent forty days after his resurrection with his disciples (Acts 1:3). Imagine those moments — the risen Savior in a glorified body talking and praying with his close friends... Continue Reading

Living in the Valley—For Now

Jonathan Parnell
Living in the Valley—For Now

The Gospels tell us what happened to Jesus when he entered Jerusalem. It is the testimony of history’s most important event and we can hold it in our hands. It is the testimony of four God-inspired authors whose words we’ve read and celebrated this spring. And then there’s the Book of Psalms.

Like the Gospels, the Psalms give us a fascinating picture of the Savior. Psalm 22 especially stands out. Jesus quotes Psalm 22:1 on the cross and the whole narrative of his crucifixion... Continue Reading

It Is Time for a Personal Revolution

Jonathan Parnell
It Is Time for a Personal Revolution

Bible prophecy is the key, John Piper explains in the 1980 sermon, “All the Prophets Proclaimed These Days.” The text is Acts 3:17–26. Peter is preaching his first sermon since Pentecost to a crowd of his Jewish brothers. His charge to them is straightforward: Repent therefore, and turn again, so that your sins may be blotted out, and so that times of refreshing may come.

The timing of Peter’s words are especially important. In fact, as he goes on to say in verse 24, all... Continue Reading

Why We Don't Walk Around Naked

Johnathon Bowers
Why We Don't Walk Around Naked

Have you ever stopped and wondered why we wear clothes? If you think about it, it’s an odd custom. Before exposing ourselves to the public, we choose to hang colored material from our shoulders and hips and then cinch everything together with a strip of cowhide. It’s true that this whole business provides some consolation on a frosty morning, but let’s be realistic, shall we? It’s summer. And summer means sultry. And sultry means sweat. And sweat means my clothes play the... Continue Reading

Our Tears Are Being Undone

Tony Reinke
Our Tears Are Being Undone

Tears sum up everything gone wrong in this fallen world. Grief, frustration, pain, disappointment, loss, stress, tragedy, disaster, regret, mourning, depression, lament, brokenness, abandonment — all of it can be expressed through the universal language of tears.

We need no interpreter to read this language: the wet, bloodshot eyes, the sobs, the facial contortions, the sporadic breathing, the body tremors, the broken speech. We are instantly struck by the tearful face of one who... Continue Reading