In my prior post on Matthew 3:2 I shared that God’s will for us is to let our hearts be turned from sin, and now he tells us why:
Let your change of heart be seen in your works; And even now the axe is put to the root of the trees; every tree then which does not give good fruit is cut down, and put into the fire.
We see in these verses that God made a promise to us that when we believe in Jesus as savior and turn from our sin, our hearts begin to change and make us WANT to do good works. We begin to see truth and hear in our hearts what we must do, even if it’s not the popular decision and even when no one else understands why we do what we do. It doesn’t matter, because God knows.
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The first passage of the New Testament that tells us what God’s will is for our lives is the following:
Let your hearts be turned from sin; for the kingdom of heaven is near.
Breaking this simple statement apart, there are three things we want to know about his Will.
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The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus of a virgin birth,
Now all this took place so that the word of the Lord by the prophet might come true, See, the virgin will be with child, and will give birth to a son, and they will give him the name Immanuel, that is, God with us.
In my prior post on Matthew 1:20-21 I shared that the name Jesus was related to the fact that he was going to forgive people for their sin, and he was also to be called Immanuel, meaning “God with us” (in Hebrew עִמָּנוּאֵל). Read More “They Will Give Him the Name Immanuel”
“For” is such a tiny, almost insignificant word that it can be easily overlooked in the verse,
An angel of the Lord came to [Joseph] in a dream, saying “Joseph, son of David, have no fear of taking Mary as your wife; because that which is in her body is of the Holy Spirit. And you will give him the name Jesus; for he will give his people salvation from their sins.
But “for” has great significance here; linking a common boy’s name at the time – much like the name “Joshua” today – to a very unique and old story that had been unfolding for generations of Israelites. The promise of a coming Messiah, foretold through the gift of sight given by God to the prophets Isaiah, Micah and Jeremiah, suddenly here in the flesh.
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