1. The issue is not the existence of so-called inner rings, but our desire and willingness to spend our lives in order to gain from an inner ring what is freely promised in Christ: hope, security, and identity.
  2. The only place to begin a discussion of human/creaturely identity is with our relationship to the God whose breath filled dust, brought us to life, sustains us and gives us a hopeful future.
  3. The Lord knew how it felt to be a rejected stone.
  4. The drama of Scripture is about God renaming us by bringing us into his image-bearing family once again. And it would take “a name above all names” to accomplish it.
  5. The sign of the cross, according to the earliest centuries of Christians, is “the sign of the Lord,” and every baptized Christian was “marked” with it.
  6. Fullness, truth, reality – all this God gives us as his gift in Christ.
  7. All our sin and shame is answered for in the death and resurrection of our Lord.
  8. It all starts with God; and it all ends with God. He is the alpha and omega of giving and generosity.
  9. You are a child of God. You’re blameless, holy, perfect, and righteous. Don’t feel that way? Too bad. God is greater than your heart.
  10. You’re not new because of what you do. You’re new and so you do new things, even in spite of yourself, because of your sinful nature.
  11. From the beginning to the end of his letter, John really wants one thing: for us to be in Jesus.
  12. Being the baptized just may be the last, great resistance.
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