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Session 4 – The Message of Pentecost Preaching – The Exaltation of the Son

Expositor’s Conference 2013

Session 4 – The Message of Pentecost Preaching – The Exaltation of the Son (Sinclair Ferguson)

Text: Acts 2:1–43 (NASB95)

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.

6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.

7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

8 “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?

9 “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,

11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”

12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”

14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.

15 “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day;

16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams;

18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy.

19 ‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.

20 ‘The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.

21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—

23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

24 “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

25 “For David says of Him, ‘I saw the Lord always in my presence; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.

26 ‘Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope;

27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

28 ‘You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’

29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

30 “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne,

31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay.

32 “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.

33 “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

34 “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,

35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” ’

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”

41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.

 

What Jesus does in the upper room with the disciples are parables of what would happen in reality from that point on. For instance, the washing of the disciples’ feet was parabolic to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. When Jesus breathes on the disciples in John 20, this is parabolic of the events of Acts chapter 2.

The focus on the day of Pentecost has been on the gifts that were bestowed on the Apostles and then on a personal application of those gifts. However, we must see that the events of the day of Pentecost were unique in history. There is no personal Gethsemane, no personal Calvary, and certainly no personal Pentecost. Gethsemane and Calvary were unique to Jesus Christ. Pentecost is unique to the Apostles. It never happened before and will never happen again. Pentecost is fundamentally an event concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and not the Holy Spirit. Witness the primary subject of Peter’s sermon.

Jesus spoke of this event on the last day of the Feast of Booths. Jesus uses the picture of the water being poured out to summon those who are thirsty to come and drink. Living water flows from Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself says that the Spirit was not yet given because Jesus had not yet been glorified. This discourse is the exegetical key for understanding the events of the day of Pentecost.

In Acts 2:14, Peter begins to answer the question “What does this mean?” Notice what Peter points out in verse 33:

1) Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of God;

2) Jesus has received the promise of the Holy Spirit which he has then shed forth.

 

Five points concerning the day of Pentecost – “What does this mean?”

A. The scriptures concerning Christ are being fulfilled.

1. Just as the events of the creation are recorded in Genesis 1, we have the work of the Spirit in the new creation recorded in Acts 2.

2. Just as Genesis provides a catalog of nations on the earth, Acts 2 provides a catalog of nations who would make the church. This is a reversal of what happened at the tower of Babel.

3. God promised Abraham by way of an oath that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. The covenant flows forth from the work of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

4. God promised that David would never lack a person to sit on the throne of Israel. On the day of Pentecost we see Jesus ascended to the throne of God and given the nations for an inheritance.

i.      The giving of the Holy Spirit to the nations is the fulfillment of the inheritance.

5. We see the fulfillment of Joel 2. The last days have come. Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

B. The new age inaugurated by Jesus Christ has dawned.

1. The pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh is the proclamation that the last days have begun.

2. The new age has dawned because Jesus Christ has ascended and is seated on the throne.

3. We are living in the last days. Maybe not the final days of the last days, but in the last days nonetheless.

4. We are living between the final two great events of Jesus Christ – his exaltation and his return.

4. Joel wrote of the marks that would indicate the beginning of the last days.

i.      The pouring out of the Spirit on all flesh, not just Jews

ii.      All would prophesy, not just Jews

1. Most Old Testament scriptures which we call prophecy is not predicting the future but interpreting the present based on the mind of God.

2. The old Mosaic distinctions between the prophet and the people has come to the end – see Numbers 11:29.

iii.      The distinction between male and female is broken down. The Spirit is poured out without distinction to sex.

iv.      We can now understand what Jeremiah means when he writes that no one will need teachers, for they shall all teach one another.

C. The coronation of Jesus Christ has taken place

1. The Lord has been seated at the right hand of God.

2. Jesus has been crowned with glory.

3. The giving of the Spirit to those on earth is evidence that Jesus has been crowned in heaven.

i.      Everyone received a gift because the king had been crowned. See Ephesians 4:8.

D. Worldwide conversion to Jesus Christ has begun.

1. The conviction of the world of sin by the Holy Spirit is directly related to the revelation of the exaltation of Jesus Christ.

2. The initial connection of the people of God to God himself through the Holy Spirit occurs with the giving of the Holy Spirit.

i.      This same connection is made to all who would believe from thereafter. We are filled with the same Spirit that was initially poured out on the day of Pentecost.

E. The church of Jesus Christ begins to be built

1. The church is the kingdom of Christ.

2. Jesus Christ is building a church that was impervious to persecution.


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In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life

In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life by Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson

Noted theologian, pastor, and educator Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson explores aspects of the person and work of Jesus in his latest book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life. This collection of articles, published earlier in Tabletalk magazine and Eternity Magazine, is designed to help believers gain a better understanding of their Savior and the Christian faith, and to live out that faith in their day-to-day lives. In fifty short chapters arranged in six sections, Dr. Ferguson shows that Christ, who is fully God, took on humanity that He might be the Great High Priest of His people as well as the once-for-all sacrifice; that He now ministers to His people through His Spirit, crowning them with great and precious blessings; and that believers are called to duty, from cultivating contentment to mortifying sin. In Christ Alone is packed full of nuggets of Scriptural truth that will spark and fan the flames of the believer s love for the Savior who is so beautiful in His person and so faithful in His work on behalf of His beloved sheep.

Free kindle book for a limited time.


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The Truth of the Cross [Kindle Edition]

The Truth of the Cross [Kindle Edition] by R.C. Sproul

Dr. R.C. Sproul surveys the great work accomplished by Jesus Christ through His crucifixion the redemption of God s people. Dr. Sproul considers the atonement from numerous angles and shows conclusively that the cross was absolutely necessary if anyone was to be saved. Opening the Scriptures, Dr. Sproul shows that God Himself provided salvation by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross, and the cross was always God s intended method by which to bring salvation. The Truth of the Cross is an uncompromising reminder that the atonement of Christ is an absolutely essential doctrine of the Christian faith, one that should be studied and understood by all believers.

Free kindle book for a limited time.


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G3 2013 Conference Notes

These are my husband’s notes on the G3 Conference

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

 

Dr. Steve Lawson

Preaching the Intolerant Message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Galatians 1:6-10

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—

7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (ESV)

 

To be wrong here is to be wrong in everything that matters and to be on the way that leads to damnation. There is no salvation outside of Christ alone, grace alone, and faith alone. This is an exclusive gospel message. All other paths lead to heaven. The gospel is not a way, it is the way.

 

The book of Galatians is Paul’s powder keg of dynamite ready to explode. It is zeal for the exclusivity of the gospel of Christ. Why is Paul so worked up? Because the gospel is under siege. It has been corrupted. It is under attack by the Judaizers, mixing works and grace. Paul’s day is no different than ours.

 

1. Note Paul’s amazement, astonishment, shock (v.6). He is amazed at just how quick the Galatians deserted God. Not the theology, but God himself. God and the gospel are inseparable. Desecrating the gospel is desecrating the glory of God, the holiness of God.

 

God only calls sinners to himself through the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ.

 

The Galatians were turning away from the gospel of Jesus Christ to a different (heterous – of a different kind) gospel. But this different gospel is really not another gospel (v.7). A different gospel is not a gospel at all.  Anyone who denies the exclusivity of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a false teacher who distorts the gospel.

 

2. Note Paul’s adversaries (end of v.7). False teachers trouble, disturb the church. They distort (turn in to the opposite) the gospel. They did this by including fleshly efforts in the gospel of Christ. Or they distort the gospel by subtracting from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

3. Note the fervency of Paul for the gospel of Jesus Christ (vv.8-9). Paul uses an extreme hypothetical example of distortion of the gospel. If Paul, or even an angel, preaches a different gospel, he is to be damned. He is to go to hell before he can take anyone else with him. Then in v.9 Paul extends this condemnation to anyone who would distort the gospel. He moved from the hypothetical to the reality. “Is preaching: – present tense…it is an ongoing problem right now. Anyone who distorts the gospel is to be accursed.

 

Note that this is the opening to the letter. There is no argument leading up to this pronouncement. There are none of the typical opening remarks in this letter. He is an erupting volcano of open public rebuke of the Galatians.

 

4. Note Paul’s aim (v.10). What is Paul’s aim? Paul asks a searching question. Is Paul seeking the favor of men or God? Is he striving to please men or God? Paul’s language shows he is not seeking the approval of man. He just finished condemning many men. Paul seeks to please only God. Preachers who preach to please God preach a narrow gate. This does not please man. A wide gate pleases men. We must be about asking this question of ourselves.

 

Friday, January 25, 2013

 

Tim Challies

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

ESV

 

The mission stays the same but our methods may change in a changing world. There is a massive shift in the way we communicate. The personal computer started this shift. The internet exploded the shift. The mission given to us is to go out and communicate the gospel the Jesus Christ. Our mandate is to communicate. What do we use? What do we reject?

 

The Great Commission in the light of a digital world. Three imperative components of the Great Commission: Go, Preach, Disciple. What can help us? What can hinder us?

 

1.            Go. We must get off the couch to share the gospel message. The apostles had to leave the upper room, and then had to leave Jerusalem. Missionaries must leave their home to other lands. But what does it mean to “Go” in a digital world?

 

a.            Can we go and still remain at home in front of our computer? Is cyberspace a real space? Are we together in fellowship when connected only by a wire? This capability has never been available before. Can there be such a thing as a cyberchurch? Can our sense of belonging and identity be divorced from our geography? Is an online community a community? Are we closer to people on line than the person who lives next door? Shared interests or shared space?  Online communities allow Christians to participate in society.

 

b.            The gospel is preached most effectively where there are intimate relationships. It is a part of loving others as ourselves.  We need to be loving the people who are close to us – family, neighbors, town. We are not to ignore the people near us. We need to value real-world relationships. We need to relate people who are not like us. Imagine a church made up of 150 me’s. The love of the Lord should be what engenders our love for one another, not common interests.

c.             Romans 10:15. Why the feet? They are representative of going.

 

2.            Preach. It should be easier than ever to preach the gospel to the world. The digital age gives us communication power. As we communicate more in quantity, we communicate less in quality. There is a lack of quality when we get away from face-to-face communication.

 

a.            We have lost communications with those at the bank, at the stores, with our friends, with our fellow church members. Evangelism no longer occurs on the street corners and market squares.

 

b.            As the voice extends, the personal recedes. We are less present when our communications are going over an extended distance than when we are close. No boyfriend ever says that he can’t wait to be away from his girlfriend so he can write her a letter. We long to see our savior face-to-face.

 

c.             Our extended-distance communications are mediated. They are mediated by screens, keyboards, distance. Unmediated communications requires elimination of distance and devices. Being on line allows us to withhold parts of ourselves we don’t want others to see. It is much more difficult to cover up when we invite people into our world.

 

3.            Disciple. We are called to grow in our obedience and knowledge. The digital world is a distracting world. We have lost our ability to think. We live shallow lives because we think shallow thoughts because we are distracted.

 

a.            Our digital devices are always demanding our attention. Everything else is less important than the demands for attention of the digital devices.

 

b.            Our digital devices open up to us a world of entertainment. We have something to distract us during our down times. We spend all our extra time filled with entertainment. We no longer meditate. We never stop to consider things like Solomon does in the book of Proverbs.

 

c.             What are we meditating on day and night? The words of God or Facebook? Or the latest streaming movie? Meditation is a daily battle, it is hard work. Digital devices give us a new source of temptation.

 

d.            How can we disciple someone if we are constantly distracted? How can we disciple someone if we are constantly thinking shallow thoughts? Mediated communications limits intimate relationships which are required for discipleship.

 

Conclusion:         All things are lawful but not all things edify. What is it that we serve and what is it that we use to serve us?

 

Dr. Steve Lawson

The Preaching of John Calvin

 

John Calvin was the exegete of the Reformation. He was the king of commentators. He was the greatest theologian given to the church since the apostles. He was a biblical expositor of the highest order. He is the single most important reformer. He uncovered doctrines that had been buried for centuries. He is the most important figure in the church in the last 500 years. But chiefly, Calvin was a preacher and a pastor. He viewed his chief duty was to preach the word. He was shy and retiring, but was thrust into the spotlight by the providence of God. Theodore Beza said of Calvin “his every word weighed a pound.”

 

What are the marks of John Calvin’s preaching?

 

1. The authority of Biblical truth, or Biblical preaching – Sola Scriptura (see James 3:1) – and nothing but the Bible. John Calvin’s preaching was true to the text of God’s word. The preacher has nothing to say apart from the words that God speaks. Preaching must be rooted and grounded in the authority of the word of God. There is no room for inventions, fantasy and imagination. The preacher is nothing but a dispatched messenger from God’s throne, merely a delivery boy. Calvin submitted to the sovereignty of the word of God. John Calvin said “We owe to the scripture the same reverence which we owe to God himself. When the Bible speaks, God speaks.” The inerrancy and inspiration of the word of God arises with John Calvin.

2. The priority of sequential preaching – expository, systematic preaching of the Bible, verse by verse, phrase by phrase, word by word, the full counsel of God. Difficult doctrines could not be overlooked. Long books were covered by upwards of 200-300 consecutive sermons. Calvin was reluctant to stay in Geneva and was run out of town after two years because he upheld the word of God. It was with reluctance he returned to Geneva. But when he returned, he took up his exposition just where he had left off three and one half years earlier. He did not change to please men. Topical sermons have their place, but they are the dessert to the main course of exposition.

3. The energy of lively preaching – with energy. Calvin preached only with a Hebrew and Greek text before him. He preached with no notes. But he was not unprepared. The sermon came together from the text itself. This allowed him to be dynamic and not boring. This allowed energetic, lively, passionate preaching. Steve Lawson – “If you are going to bore people, bore them with Shakespeare and not the Bible.” Calvin was accurate and precise with the word of God. There was no fluff, no wasted statements, every word was to the point. Stenography was birthed in the front pew in Calvin’s church. Brief introductions – short porch into a large house. He established the context, set a central theme, told the hearers where he was going, and then preached the truth of the word of God so that the common man could understand. There was little literary flourish to Calvin’s preaching – familiar, personal, and easy language, yet still the words of God. He preached with analogies, word pictures, metaphors to illustrate truths of scripture. He used the first person plural personal pronouns – “us, we”. Calvin – “Preachers must be like fathers, dividing the bread into small pieces to feed his children.”

4. Exegetical preaching – historical context, original languages, grammatical structure, literal, normal, plain direct interpretation. Calvin the founder of modern exegesis. The task of the expositor is to unfold the mind of the author. Never lead the hearer away from the meaning of the author to the original audience. Only knowing what the passage means from the original author to the original audience makes any difference. Not uprooting the text from the context. No eisegesis, only exegesis. The natural and obvious meanings, not hidden meanings. No holding back the Bible from the common man – the Bible is written in clear language. Calvin – “The important thing is that the scripture should be understood and explained. How it is explained is secondary.” This is substance over style, doctrine over delivery. “Nothing is of more importance than the literal interpretation of the text.” You cannot have the text until you have the meaning of the text. True interpretation requires much perspiration. We must rightly handle the word of God.

5. Relevant preaching – preaching to real people with real needs – edify with the Word of God.  Practical preaching. He was personal and winsome and he could rebuke at the same time.

6. The necessity of Gospel defense. The pastor needs to both feed the sheep and ward off the wolves.

7. The fervency of evangelistic preaching. He was constantly calling people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

8. Doxological preaching. Go to the last paragraph of most all of Calvin’s sermon – “Let us fall before the majesty of our great God, acknowledging our sins.”

 

Dr. Chip Thornton

The Sufficiency of Scripture in Preaching

 

Corrupting the word of God in preaching by: 1) emphasizing minor points and ignoring the major point, 2) ignoring the meaning of the text which the author intended to his audience. The SBC is known for allegorical preaching, not expository preaching.

 

The sufficiency of scripture: 1) scripture contains all we need for all matters of faith and doctrine. 2) total absolute attention to the authority of the text. 3) The original Biblical author’s intended meaning and intended application. 4) In practice as well as in principle.

 

1. Scripture is breathed out by God. Produced by the creative breath of the almighty creator.

2. Authorial intent of the text is sufficient.

3. The single meaning of the text is sufficient.

4. Allegorism is a scheme of interpretation which usurps the author’s intended meaning and inserts the desired meaning of the preacher. It demeans or denies authorial intent. When allegorism happens, scripture perishes. It is not a deeper meaning, it is a different meaning. It removes God as the author. It denies context, historical context, and grammatically structure.

 

How allegorism happens:

1. Imposing an agenda-driven hermeneutic. Not all texts are evangelical. Not all OT texts are Christ-centered.

2. Allowing the current culture into the interpretation process. This happens with political platforms.

3. Fanciful tendencies in interpretation. Allegorism repackages itself in every generation. Every detail is not pregnant with meaning that is not evident in the text.

4. Exemplarist tendencies in interpretation. Did the author intend for the text to be interpreted biographically.

5. Atomistic Tendency. A minor detail is exploded and used apart (extracted) from the text as a major point. Do not discard the major meaning of the author in favor of emphasizing a minor point.

 

Watchwords: God-centered, text-driven, authorial intention.

 

So how do we preach expositorily?

1. Determine the minimum amount of text that gives the context.

 

2. Derive from the text the shape and content of the sermon.

 

Question and Answer Session

 

1. Does substitutionary atonement provide any room for general atonement (Jesus died for the whole world)?

 

PW – We proclaim Christ to the masses and call all to repentance. But atonement is particular, not general. John 3:16 does not argue particular atonement or general atonement.

 

2. What is an overall definition of expository preaching?

 

SL – 1 Timothy 4:13.  Read the text, teach the text, explain the text, apply the text to the hearers. Preaching must be a fire – light and heat.

 

3. What counsel to someone who wants to memorize large blocks of scripture?

 

DM – It is easier to memorize contiguous blocks of scripture. You must learn what the text means as it is being memorized. Memorize out loud so your ear hears the word.

 

4. How does a single woman set a standard for marriage to a godly man?

 

VB – There is a famine in the land for Biblical manhood. He must be a priest, a prophet, provider, protector.

 

5. How should a pastor further the cause of family worship in the congregation?

 

JB – The pastor must believe in and practice family worship. Then he needs to relay what the scriptures say about family worship. Help the families to do family worship – provide resources and go model family worship. Past neglect needs confession and repentance.

 

6. How to control technology instead of allowing technology to control you?

 

TC – Technology is in a fallen world. It is cursed as much as anything else. We must be deliberate in using technology. Take a day long break from technology.

 

7. Do you feel that allegorical interpretation is plaguing the pulpit today?

 

CT – It is prevalent because we are always looking for a deeper meaning or a different meaning, other than the meaning that the author intended. A form of allegorism is preaching truth from the wrong text.

 

8. How do we encourage belief in reformed doctrine instead of emotion-driven doctrine in a racial group that is not known for embracing reformed doctrine?

 

VB – We need to have passion for those who are like us but it should not interfere with our calling. All people hear the gospel in the exact same way.

 

9. How do you approach with sharing the truth with someone who differs with you theologically?

 

PW – In all things we need Christ-likeness. When speaking the truth, share to the person who is open to hearing the truth. When they close up, then shut up. When we cannot speak to a man about God, then speak to God about the man.

 

10. How can the Puritans help and encourage us today?

 

JB – The Puritans marry doctrine and application. They take the whole Bible, apply it to the whole man, for the whole of everyday life.

 

11. Is the controversy over the doctrines of grace currently related in any way to the conservative battles in the SBC in times past?

 

DM – Getting past the debate over the inspiration of the scriptures opened the door for moving on to discussions about other weighty matters. It is good that there is a controversy now over the doctrines of grace because it would not be considered otherwise. The debate needs grace.

 

12. What should you counsel a person who is a member of a church which is pragmatic and man-centered?

 

SL – Every situation is unique. Most who try to stay inside such a church and change the church end up getting rolled up in the church. You must follow your conscience. Most people choose to move on. Most people don’t want to cause trouble in their church. We must determine what our presence and assets are supporting.

 

Joel Beeke

What Really is the Gospel?

 

1 Timothy 1:12-17

12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,

13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,

14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.

17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

ESV

 

1. The Gospel’s content. What is the essence of the gospel? The word begins with “eu”, or good, and then “aggelos”, or message. The gospel is the good message.  The good news as preached by Jesus Christ is that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The good news of the apostles is the good news of Jesus Christ. It is not good advice, it is good news, a declaration of what has been accomplished. Christ Jesus: 1) came into this world, 2) to save sinners. We need to understand how bad we are to know how good the good news is. The term we use is total depravity. Every part of me is unclean in the sight of God. By nature, sin is our master.

 

2. The Gospel’s reliability. The gospel is always true. The word “faithful” or “trustworthy” is in the emphatic position at the beginning of the sentence in the Greek text. It is true even for the chief of sinners. The proof is in the bleeding Son of God on the cross.

 

3. The Gospel’s scope. The gospel is commended to be worthy to be accepted by all. The scope of the gospel is unto all men.

 

4. The Gospel’s pattern. Paul himself was a pattern used to exemplify the truth of the gospel. If Paul could be saved, then anyone can be saved. Paul received all long-suffering, that is, unlimited patience.

 

5. The Gospel’s Doxology. The truth of the gospel, the experiential reality of the gospel, results in nothing but giving praise and glory to God. The good news brings honor to God.

 

Dr. Jon Payne

John Owen as Pastor-Theologian

 

What is a pastor-theologian? He is a pastor with a theological education. A pastor who is committed to knowing and understanding theological issues of the day. A pastor who is unafraid to preach and teach theology to his congregation. A pastor who is devoted to giving his congregation theological catechizing. A pastor who is unafraid to deliver the whole counsel of God to his congregation.

 

Owen thought that the feeding of the sheep occurred generally in the reading of the word, preaching the word, and the sacraments in the context of public worship. However, Owen also visited his flock home-by-home to instruct them.

 

Owen’s theology:

1. Regulative principle of worship – as appointed or prescribed by God in his word. The worshipper and the manner must both be acceptable to God.

2. Eager expectation in worship.

3. The means of grace in public worship.

 

Voddie Baucham

Getting the Gospel Right – Why it Matters

 

Simplification of the gospel “love God, love men” is a summary, not of the gospel, but of the law.

 

1. An argument from authority (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).

 

Note the gospel: a sender, a receiver, and a message.

Note the tense: you are being saved.

Note the fact that we can’t have salvation from the wrong gospel.

 

2. An argument from evidence (1 Corinthians 15:3-11)

 

Note the Biblical evidence: as it is written in the scriptures.

Note the eyewitness evidence: over 300 were still alive who were eyewitnesses of the resurrected Christ.

Note the personal evidence: Paul saw the resurrected Christ as well. Paul’s gospel was the same as the gospel of the other apostles. The power of Paul’s evidence is not in his conversion, but in the gospel he preached.

 

3. An argument from logic (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)

Note seven things that must follow if there is no resurrection from the dead:

a. then Christ himself has not been raised.

b. our preaching is in vain

c. your faith is in vain

d. you are misrepresenting God, a liar, a blasphemer

e. you are still in your sins. There is no atonement without the resurrection of Christ (v.20).

f. those who have died have perished

g. we are to be pitied because we have hoped in a lie

 

Note: If there is resurrection from the dead, then all seven of these things are reversed.

Paul Washer

The Gospel

 

Exodus 34:5-7

5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.

6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,

7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty,

ESV

 

The gospel of Jesus Christ is found in this passage. On one hand, we have a God who forgives sin. On the other hand, we have a God who punishes all sin. This requires a knowledge of the attributes of God. How can both of these things be true? How can a righteous God cover sin?

 

Psalm 32:1-2

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity

ESV

 

How can God count a man who has iniquity as if he had no iniquity? Do we really want a righteous God while we are unrighteous?

 

Romans 3:23-25

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

ESV

 

God passed over sins? How can God be merciful in his perfect justice? Because the blood of Christ is a complete propitiation.

 

2 Corinthians 5:21

21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

ESV

 

Christ was made sin. The one who knew no sin was made sin. No one who has ever lived has gone one moment without committing sin. We have never loved God should be loved. Christ never sinned, even though he was tempted in every way, yet he never sinned. Christ was not tempted just like me, but just like all of us, and yet he stood. Christ was made sin on our behalf. The moment you believe God, God makes a forensic declaration that you are right with him. Declared and treated as being right with God. Christ was declared to be and treated as if he were guilty of our sins.

 

Galatians 3:10

Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.

ESV

 

What does this mean? The sinner outside of Christ is so vile before God that God is to  be praised for ridding the earth of him.

 

Galatians 3:13

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”

ESV

 

Jesus Christ became the curse for us. The blessings and curses from Mount Gerazim and Mount Ebal are a picture of what happened on the cross of Calvary. Jesus Christ was the covenant keeper. We are the covenant breakers. But the curses were taken by Jesus and the blessings fall upon us. God crushed his only-begotten Son on the cross of Calvary. This is the bridge between Mount Gerazim and Mount Ebal.

 

How can God bless the wicked? How can God be just and the justifier? How can God deal mercifully with Adam, Noah, Abraham, David? Because of Jesus Christ on Calvary. Because Jesus Christ was cursed for them, for me, on Calvary. Jesus Christ took full responsibility for them and for me. This gives a whole new meaning to the command to take up our cross and follow Jesus. It is what happened to Jesus in prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus did not sweat drops of blood and pray that the cup be taken away from him because of the physical act of crucifixion. It was because he had to bear the curse of all his people and the wrath of almighty God. God had to satisfy his own justice.

 

Jehovah Jireh – God will provide. Not a new house, not a new car. God will provide a savior. God showed His love for me when He did not withhold His Son, His only Son, from me.

 

Numbers 6:24-26

24 The Lord bless you and keep you;

25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

ESV

 

God blesses a wicked nation. How can a righteous God bless this unholy people. It points to Jesus Christ. You are blessed because Christ was cursed.

 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

 

Don Whitney

Believing God and Yet Questioning God

 

Matthew 27:46

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

ESV

 

When things get tough, we ask the question “Why?” And yet the explanation never comes. Even Jesus asks “Why?” Jesus questions God. Jesus asks God why God has forsaken him. In what ways did God the Father forsaken Jesus Christ?

 

1. First, there is the darkness that fell over the land. The darkness indicates the judgment of God falling upon Jesus Christ.

2. Second, God did not deliver Jesus from the cross (see Psalm 22:1).

3. Third, no help and no comfort was given (see Psalm 22:11, 19). No man, no woman, no angel, and particularly not God the Father.

a. “forsaken” – to leave someone in the state of defeat, to abandon, to desert, to leave wounded on the battlefield

4. Fourth, God allowed him to be ridiculed and mocked by the wicked (see Psalm 22:7-8). Not just the Romans, not just the Jewish leaders, not just those who passed by, but even the thieves crucified on either side of him, who were dying there, mocked Jesus.

5. Fifth, God forsook Jesus Christ to endure physical suffering (see Psalm 22:14-17).

6. Sixth, God forsook Jesus by separating fellowship with Jesus. Jesus did not complain about others forsaking him. He was concerned only about God forsaking him.

a. Many people live their entire lives without a thought of God. Jesus had never known a moment without being in fellowship with God.

b. God was present there are the cross in a real way, perhaps more so than anywhere else in history. Yet God forsook Jesus Christ on the cross.

c. Why did God forsake Jesus? Because God is holy and Jesus was made sin for us (see Psalm 22:3). Analogies fail us because we know nothing that is perfectly holy.

d. Sin separated Jesus from God and the wages for that sin resulted in death.

e. Sin will result in the eternal separation of sinners from the presence of God in Hell.

f. God’s justice is inflexible. He must punish even his own Son Jesus Christ when sin was found in him.

 

Paul Washer

Prayer

 

Matthew 5:13

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

ESV

 

Salt has certain properties. If you take away those properties, you no longer have salt. Likewise, there are certain characteristics of the disciple that will impact the world (see Matthew 5:3-12). Power exists in character and virtue.

a. the poor in spirit – absolute dependence on God. Not our cleverness, contextualization, cultural relevance. Our weakness drives us to total dependence on Jesus Christ.

 

Mark 1:35-38

35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him,

37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”

38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”

ESV

 

Although Jesus was God, he was also man. What he did he did in the power of the Holy Spirit. He was subject to all our weakness. Yet still he gets up while it is still dark he gets up to pray. Even when there was so much to do, he still needed to separate himself.

a. There is prayer that is work (intercession, etc.), but then there is also prayer that is the enjoyment of God.

 

John 15:7

7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

ESV

 

John 15:16

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

ESV

 

Fruitfulness is aligned with prayer. We need to believe what God says and stand on that foundation. We have not because we ask not. If we expect to be fruitful, then we need to ask God to make us fruitful.

 

Luke 11:1

1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

ESV

 

Luke 11:8-10

8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.

9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

ESV

 

What did the disciples see in Jesus that they wanted to emulate? His praying.

a. The presence of Christ cannot be fabricated.

b. Persistence in prayer is needed. We need to become familiar with the phrase “wrestling with God” as we are with the phrase “resting in God’s sovereign decrees”. Sometimes we are just too refined to wrestle with God, to be bold in prayer, to ask God.

 

Luke 11:11-13

11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;

12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

ESV

 

Consider the state of the disciples before and after the resurrection. They had no valor, virtue, or insight prior to the resurrection. But after the resurrection they remained doubtful (Matthew 28:17). But after Pentecost we see significant change (Luke 24:49). It was there that there at Pentecost that they received power from God. The resurrection was not enough to propel the disciples. It required the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

Acts 1:8

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

ESV

 

Would you describe your life as endued (arrayed, clothed) with power? Does your church look like it is endued with power? With power for ministry? With power to live?

 

Acts 2:21

21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

ESV

 

Pentecost was a unique event in the history of the church. It is unique in that it was the initial moment. It was the unique fulfillment of scripture. It was accompanied by unique signs. But the truth of the outpouring of the Spirit was not and is not limited to the day of Pentecost. It was the beginning, but not the end.

a. This prophecy of Joel is wrongly interpreted as a new covenant promise that is limited to a single event. All the other new covenant promises are understood to continue on through the entire age of the church.

b. it the outpouring of the Spirit marks the entire church age, then the results of the outpouring of the Spirit should also be expected throughout the entire church age. Not the dreams, visions, tongues, but the saving of people because God’s Spirit has been poured out on them. What then? They will know God, they will understand God, they will receive power. They will be bold.

c. At the moment of conversion, a person is regenerated and indwelt with the Holy Spirit. But this is not the grounds for passivity.

 

1 Corinthians 2:4

4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

ESV

 

It has nothing to do with smart. It has nothing to do with strong. It has everything to do with the power of the Holy Spirit. Smart is useless in the kingdom of heaven. The church is too often just a cheap version of the world. You need the power of the Holy Spirit. Every time you see weakness in you, you need to ask for the unction of the Holy Spirit.


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Donald Whitney – When God Turned His Back on Jesus

Matthew 27:33-56

33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull),
34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.
35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.
36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.
39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads
40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying,
42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.”
48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink.
49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.”
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,
53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him,
56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Christians do question God at times.

Perseverance only develops when prayers go unanswered.

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

How did God forsake Jesus?

1) Complete darkness – the judgement of God on Christ

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

2) Failure to deliver Christ from the cross.

Psalm 22:22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

3) No comfort for Jesus

Psalm 22:11 Be not far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.

Psalm 22:19 But you, O LORD, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!

4) Allowed people to ridicule Christ. Even the thieves dying on the cross mocked Jesus.

Matthew 22:39-44

39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads
40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying,
42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

Psalms 22:7 All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
8 “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

5) Allowed physical suffering

Psalm 22:14-

14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.
16 For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet*—
17 I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;

6) God forsook Jesus inwardly. Jesus had never known separation from God. God is Holy and Jesus was made sin for us.

Psalm 22:3 Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.

Sin separates Jesus from God. The wages of sin is death … even for Jesus, much less for us.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s Holiness is unimaginable and His Justice is inflexible. God cannot look on sin.

God’s punishment was on Christ and His mercy was on us. Substitution.

The Valley of Vision Prayer

Love Lusters at Calvary

My Father,

Enlarge my heart, warm my affections,
open my lips,
supply words that proclaim ‘Love Lustres at Calvary.’
There grace removes my burdens
and heaps them on thy Son,
made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me;
There the sword of thy justice smote the man,
thy fellow;
There thy infinite attributes were magnified,
and infinite atonement was made;
There infinite punishment was due,
and infinite punishment was endured.

Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy,
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy
that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell’s worst
that I might attain heaven’s best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inherit glory,
entered darkness that I might have eternal light.

My Savior wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,
groaned that I might have endless song,
endured all pain that I might have unfading health,
bore a thorny crown that I might have a glory-diadem,
bowed his head that I might uplift mine,
experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,
closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclothed brightness,
expired that I might forever live.

O Father, who spared not thine own Son
that thou mightest spare me,
All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;
Help me to adore thee by lips and life.
O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise,
my every step buoyant with delight,
as I see my enemies crushed,
Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed,
sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood,
hell’s gates closed, heaven’s portal open.
Go forth, O conquering God, and show me
the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.

~ Love Lustres at Calvary, in The Valley of Vision

He turned His back on Jesus to turn His face on you.


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David Miller – Christ is Prays for His Followers (John 17)

John 17:6-8

6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.
8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

Given them Thy Words

Theology

Plurality of Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Anthropology

Christology – Son, Ancient of Days, No Beginning or End

Soteriology – I am the way, the truth, the life,

Eschatology – best life yet to come, I go to prepare a place for you, Consummate Expositor,

A Christian is one who belongs to God. Thine they were and thou gavest them to me. Unconditional election and predestination. Our salvation originated in the heart of God.

“Traditional” Southern Baptist Beliefs

Southern Baptist Convention 1845 – no confessional doctrine

The Abstract of Principles is the first official confession of Faith which Southern Baptists endorsed. At Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Boyce requested in 1859 an Abstract of Principles – Basil Manley.

V. Election.

Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life — not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ — in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.

Election delineated

Not because of foreseen merit in them

Justification

Recipients of special revelation John 17:8

John 17:10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.

Jesus is glorified in us


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Because of Christ’s Righteousness

We can begin each day with the deeply encouraging realization,
I’m accepted by God,
not on the basis of my personal performance,
but on the basis of the infinitely perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jerry Bridges in

Holiness Day by Day: Transformational Thoughts for Your Spiritual Journey Devotional

Not because I’ve studied my Bible everyday.

Not because I’ve given my money away to missions.

Not because I’m a good wife or mother.

Not because I go to church.

Not because I ….

Just because of Christ’s righteousness.


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Accepted on Your Own Worth?

Are you accepted on your own worth?

Have you done all you needed to make yourself acceptable to God?

Hate to break the news but that is impossible.

We can never do enough, clean up enough or be holy enough for an infinitely Holy God.

Thank goodness we don’t have to.

We can begin each day with the deeply encouraging realization,

I’m accepted by God,

not on the basis of my personal performance,

but on the basis of the infinitely perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gerald Bridges, Jerry Bridges from Holiness Day by Day


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David Miller – Christ and His Church

True Church Conference 2012

True Church Conference  live-streamed.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Message 6 – David Miller – Christ and His Church

 

The text for the sermon is Matthew 16:13-18

 

A. The Founding of the Church

1. The church is a particular local congregation. The body, the building, the bride.

2. The church is an institution. This is an abstract principle. But the abstract has its manifestation in the local particular congregations.

3. The church is a reference to the broader family of God. But even this church will be local and visible.

B. The Founder of the Church

1. The character of the founder – He is the Son of the living God

2. The condescension of the founder – He is the Son of Man.

3. The Christ – He is God’s anointed one. He is God’s prophet, priest, and king.

a. Jesus Christ believed in the inerrancy of scripture.

b. Jesus believed in the literal interpretation of scripture.

c. Jesus believed in the atoning power of the blood.

d. Jesus ministers in a sanctuary made without human hands.

e. Christ alone is priest of the church.

f. Jesus Christ alone is the only potentate of the church.


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David Miller – The Glory of Jesus Christ

True Church Conference 2012

True Church Conference  live-streamed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Message 1 –  David Miller – The Glory of Jesus Christ

 

The text for the sermon is John 1:14-18. The subject of the sermon is the glory of Jesus Christ.

 

A. A definition of the glory of Jesus.

There are two words translated glory. The Hebrew word “kabode” – meaning “heavy” or “weighty”.  This deal with the visible manifestations of God. The Greek word is “doxa”, it means to ascribe worth or worship. The words of Jesus are full of grace and truth. And Jesus Himself is full of grace of truth.

“The glory of Jesus is the sum total of all His attributes and deeds which separates and distinguishes Him from all other beings.” – Miller

 

B. A delineation of the glory of Jesus.

The text gives us four things that distinguish Jesus Christ:

1. The person of Jesus distinguishes Him. See John 1:1-3. He is the logos, the express image of the Godhead, the visible manifestation of the invisible deity. He is co-eternal with the Father, co-existent with the Father, and co-equal with the Father.

2. The prerogative of Jesus distinguishes Him. See John 1:14. God became flesh. And He dwelt among men. Man does not possess this kind of prerogative. Man cannot make himself God. But Jesus can make Himself man.

a. the meaning of the incarnation – the joining of the divine nature with a human nature.

b. the means of the incarnation – it was a miracle, supernatural, inexplicable

c. the motive of the incarnation – so that Jesus might be touched the feelings of our infirmity, so that He might be our kinsman-redeemer

                i.              He must be worthy

                ii.             He must be wealthy

                iii.            He must be willing

3. The preferment of Jesus distinguishes Him. See John 1:15. The one who comes after John is preferred over John because He came before John.  And we prefer Jesus over this world.

4. The plentitude (fullness) of Jesus distinguishes Him. See John 1:16. Wave after wave of grace. Grace piled on top of grace.

 

C. A design of the glory of Jesus.

No man has ever seen God. But Jesus Christ has declared before us God. See John 1:18. There have been some revelations of God. For instance, creation. But creation can only condemn, it cannot redeem. The law reveals the holiness of God. But the law can only condemn, it cannot redeem. But then Jesus came. We learned things about God that were never seen before. What were types and shadows were revealed in the true light.


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