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What is a tree for?

A tree is good (Gen 1:12).

A tree is beautiful (Gen 2:9).

A tree is for food (Gen 1:29).

A tree is a blessing from God for his creation, even in those wild places where no human being has set foot (Job 40:20-22).

A tree is for birds (Ps 104:16-17).

A tree is for war—to make tools to besiege a city, but never beyond the strictest limits (Deut 20:19-20).

A tree is a blessing from God for people and a sign of peace, giving shade and shelter to those under his protection (Mic 4:3-4).

A tree is a gallows for a man cursed by God (Deut 21:22-23).

A tree is for houses for kings and people (2 Sam 5:11).

A tree is for the praise of God’s glory (Ps 148:7-9).

There is a tree that brings life (Gen 2:9).

There is a tree that brings death—a curse from God himself bringing death to man and death to his world (Gen 3:17-19).

There is a tree where a man absorbed and suffered the curse (Gal 3:13).

There is, on that tree, healing and life (1 Pet 2:24).

There is a tree in a garden city where there is no curse—a tree whose fruit gives life and whose leaves bring healing to the nations (Rev 22:1-3).

Published inGeneralThe Briefing

Publications by Lionel Windsor:

  • Lift Your Eyes: Reflections on Ephesians

Recent blog posts

  • Ampelmann, BerlinTurn around and walk the other way (Ephesians 4:17–19)
    Darkness, futility, and desire: this is the way the world walks. Paul doesn’t write these things so that we can gloat or judge. He writes so we can repent, and live.
  • Photo by Kira auf der Heide on UnsplashPlaying your part (Ephesians 4:16)
    Paul’s vision for Christ’s body is unity in diversity. It’s not just flat uniformity, nor is it just diversity for the sake of diversity. It’s diversity for a common purpose.
  • Photo by Ben White on UnsplashThe truth in love: A key principle for church growth (Ephesians 4:14–15)
    Paul’s principle for the growth of Christ’s body isn’t about presentation or organisation. It’s more fundamental: “speaking the truth in love”.
  • Colosseum with cross-shaped cloudsChrist’s body: A brief history (Ephesians 4:11–13)
    Paul didn’t write Ephesians 4:11–13 to give us a detailed blueprint for how to organise our ministries. He wrote these verses to point us to God’s grace in Christ.
  • Cathedral CeilingChrist: Up there and down here (Ephesians 4:8–10)
    In these verses, Paul makes a big deal of Christ going up (to heaven) and down (to be with us by his Spirit). Why? to encourage believers as we face all the ups and downs of living for Christ.
  • Genesis 1:27 modified NIVMale and female: Equality and order in Genesis 1:27
    Genesis 1:27 is important in debates between egalitarians and complementarians. It clearly implies equality, yet also seems to suggest a certain order.
  • Gift among giftsGifted beyond measure (Ephesians 4:7)
    How should Christians think about our own individual ‘giftedness’? We need to see our own gifts in the light of God’s wonderful, superabundant grace.
  • Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, Roman ForumThe one and only God (Ephesians 4:4–6)
    In this part of Ephesians, the apostle Paul makes an unavoidably scandalous claim: The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the one and only God.
  • Finding praise in the right place (Romans 2:28–29)
    There is a very strong temptation to measure your ministry by looking at how much people are praising you. This passage teaches us where to look for praise.
  • This unity (Ephesians 4:2–3)
    In the classic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the King of Swamp Castle issues an appeal for unity: “This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who!” It’s become a classic line used to poke fun at people who are trying to bring peace and unity without showing any understanding of the reality of the situation or the depth of hurt that’s been caused. While we might never end up being quite as absurd as Monty Python, Christians can sometimes talk about unity a little like this. That is, we can treat unity as some ideal state where everybody just gets on, no matter how deep our differences are and no matter what hurt has been caused. And yet—unity really matters. Christians are called to unity. Christian unity is anchored in the truth of the gospel.

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