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.


Jon Payne – John Owen as Pastor-Theologian

It has now become image over substance today in the church.

What is a pastor-theologian?

1) He is a pastor with a theological education.

2) A pastor who is committed to the theological issues of the day.

3) Unafraid to preach and teach theologically to their congregation.

4) Gives his people the word of God in theological categories.

5) He delivers the whole counsel of God, without skipping the hard doctrines.

Well known quote of John Owen:

Be killing sin or sin will be killing you.”

Christ nourishes His sheep through the reading of His Word, through the sacraments, and through worship.

Efficacious means it works, it produces what is desired.

John Owen began attending Oxford at 12 years of age.

Owen wrote several catechisms. Owen was asked to play an important roll in Cromwell’s rule.

Owen’s Theology included the Regulative principal of worship.


Joel Beeke – What Really Is the Gospel?

Asked for prayer for Michael, Pam and their four children of his congregation. Michael was involved in a wreck, just before Beeke left home, and is in critical condition.

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.

I. The Gospel’s Content

euaggelión – gospel

Eu – good

Aggelos – messenger

The Gospel is the good message.

Romans 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, *“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

Not good advice, not hypothetical. Good news. Salvation that is completed. That is the good news.

Declaration of what has been accomplished.

Christ Jesus

1) came into the world
2) to save sinners

Total depravity is inseparable from sin itself. It means transgressing God’s boundaries. Total depravity is primarily an inward thing. Conceived and born in iniquity. Every part of me is unclean in the sight of God. We are alienated from God. We are slaves of sin. Sin is our master. The wages of sin is death.

II. The Gospel’s Reliability

The Gospel never fails. The Gospel is always true. “Trustworthy” is in the place of importance in the sentence in the Greek. It is finished.

III. The Gospel Scope

The Gospel is given to the whole world. It is worthy to be accepted by all. Acceptance is not just an Armenian term, vs 15 “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance,

IV. The Gospel’s Pattern

1 Timothy 1:16 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.

Paul is the pattern that the of the “chief of sinners” can be saved.

V. The Gospel’s Doxology

1 Timothy 1:17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Grateful love must come forth. You cannot “not” bring the gospel to others. The gulf is bridged. The Gospel gives glory to God.

Come sinner to the good news of Christ crucified and Him exalted.


Q&A Panel Discussion

1) Does substitutionary atonement provide any room for general atonement?

Paul Washer – We proclaim Christ to the masses. It is not a subject just to use to grind out theological issues and fight over.

2) What is the simple definition for expository preaching?

Steve Lawson – Until I come give attention to the public reading, exhortation and teaching.

1 Timothy 4:13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.

Expository is explanatory.

3) What counsel would you give to someone wanting to memorize large portions of Scripture?

David Miller – it is easier to learn large passages in context than verses here and there. Learn what is being said in the text, otherwise you might as well memorize the Sears & Roebuck catalog. Say it aloud to hear yourself. One day you will have a circumstance that the Holy Spirit will bring to your memory just what you need for that occaision.

4) Single woman – Where is the standard to set when choosing a spouse? All I see seem to be children playing video games instead of men ready for families.

Voddie Baucham

Priest – leader, man of prayer
Prophet – instructs in the word of God,
Provider – sees that people have what they need. JOB is more than a book in the Bible.
Protector- wisdom to protect

Warning to women – some of you are looking for such a perfect man that Christ on the cross is the only candidate. There is not another available.

God found Adam a wife when no one else was on earth. Women your chances are better than that.

Paul Washer – men you are to be training your young men. Not the coach, not the preacher, not the mother, definitely not the other boys.

5) How to further the cause of family worship?

Joel Beeke – The pastor needs to believe in and practice family worship The most important thing I do is family worship. Read the Bible, teach the Bible, sing about the Bible. Provide resources and lead them. Offer to help by leading other families in family worship to model the practice.

Tim Challies – How would this look if you started tonight?

Joel Beeke – Apologize to the family for the neglect. Everyone with a Bible and reading a short passage. Singing, Prayer. No worship, no food.

Beeke told about his father’s worship with the family.

6) How can you control technology and not let it control you?

Tim Challies – It is a battle. It is a fallen world. Be deliberate. A week’s fast from technology. Sunday try to shut off as much as possible.

7) Do you think Allegorical interpretation is plaguing the pulpit.

Chip Thornton – Yes, it is prevalent. Allegorical Interpretation is – If you proclaim a text and it isn’t the authors intent. Lawson’s Galatians 1 last night is perfect example of exegetical preaching. Repent if you didn’t hear it and go listen online.

8.) As an African American how can I encourage a reformed belief in the gospel and not in the typical churches others African Americans are a part of?

Voddie Baucham – Obviously they don’t know me or they wouldn’t say ‘African American’!

Have passion for people like you but your calling is to proclaim the gospel to all people. Don’t get into a trap of people groups. Make the gospel clear for all people. The melanin in their skin isn’t a factor in receiving the gospel. All hear the gospel in the same way.

9) How do you approach sharing the gospel with someone who differs theologically? Example someone who follows Joel Osteen?

Paul Washer – Speak the truth. Share with them as long as they are listening.

If you cannot speak to men about God, speak to God about men.

Our problem is a lack of Christ likeness.

10) In light of your recent book on Puritan Theology, how can they encourage us?

Joel Beeke – I dreamed of this in my 20’s. The Puritans marry doctrine and application. The Bible is applied to the whole man. Granted they are flawed.

11) Are the doctrines of Grace related to the controversy over inerrancy years ago?

David Miller – Absolutely, turning the big ship around takes a long time. I told my wife years ago if we could get past the inerrancy of Scriptures perhaps we could get to the weightier matters such as the nature of the atonement. This is wonderful. Those who preach grace ought to have grace.

Chip Thornton – I’m 37 years old, I am a product of those decisions on inerrancy of Scriptures. So “thank you”. Clapping.

12) Based on Famine in the Land the book of Steve Lawson’s, what if a family is awakened to the truth yet they are in a pragmatic church?

Steve Lawson – Often those who try to stay are rolled up and thrown out. The Puritans that tried to stay where often thrown out. Calvin had greater effect on Rome than Luther who tried to stay and change. It is hard to fight your own church.


Chip Thornton – The Sufficiency of Scripture

Some of you will corrupt the Word of God this next Sunday by dealing corruptly with the text before you.

1) Emphasizing minor points while ignoring the major ones.

2) Ignoring authorial intent.

I’m a recovering allegorist. “My name is Chipley McQueen Thornton and I’m a recovering allegorist.”

Exegetical hypocrites.

Sufficiency of Scripture in Preaching

1) Scripture is breathed out by God. Creative breath of God.

2) Authorial intent is sufficient. It does not change.

3) The single meaning of the text is sufficient.

What is allegory? Pilgrim’s Progress

Allegorism is an interpretation which usurps the authors intent and inserts the desired meaning of the preacher. It is not deeper meaning, it is a different meaning. (A different gospel) God is no longer the author.

1) Imposing an agenda driven hermeneutic. Turning every text into evangelism.

Video example of agenda driven hermeneutic giving Luke 5:4 ‘deeper’ meaning.

Luke 5:4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

2) Allowing the Culture into the interpretation.

3) Fanciful (fanatical) tendency allowed into the text. Every detail pregnant with meaning not given in the text.

Video example of Acts 27:19 On the third day, they threw out the ship’s tackle with their own hands.

4) Exemplarist Tendencies – Did the author intend for the text to be interpreted biographically?

5) Atomistic Tendencies – minor detail extracted and exploded from a text in order to dominate the text.

How to preach expository?

1) Minimum text – paragraph at most
2) Get the message from the text to shape the sermon. Not fit the text to the sermon.


Steve Lawson – The Preaching of John Calvin and What We Can Learn

John Calvin

Calvin chiefly was a preacher. Shepherded a flock for 25 years.

Prince of Preachers Charles Spurgeon respected Calvin as one of the greatest men born of a woman.

Calvin is remembered as a theologian uncovering doctrines that had been buried for centuries. Yet Calvin saw himself as a shepherd called to preach the Word to his flock.

1) Authority of Biblical Truth – Sola Scriptura

Calvin believed the minister’s chief mandate is to preach God’s Word. The preacher has nothing to say apart from the words of God. We need fewer preachers, but we need more real preachers. No room for fantasy and imagination. Preacher is the dispatched messenger. Bring not their own inventions. Merely the delivery boy. Humility characterized his ministry. The Message of Scripture is Sovereign. We owe the Scripture the same reverence that we owe to God. When the Bible speaks, God speaks. Boice said “Calvin had no weapon but the Bible.”

2) Priority of Sequential Exposition

Calvin preached verse by verse, book by book. NT Sunday mornings, NT & Psalms Sunday afternoon, then every weekday morning he taught through the OT. Example: Acts – 189 sermons; Isaiah – 353 continuous sermons. After being run away from Geneva for 3 1/2 years, upon his return, he resumed his preaching at the very next verse that he had left off. Make your meat and potatoes be the sequential exposition of books of the Bible.

3) Accuracy of Sound Exegesis

Plain, literal interpretation of the text. John Murray “Calvin was the Exegete of the Reformation.” He preached from the Hebrew and the Greek. He preached in French and lectured in Latin. Not eisegesis but exegesis. Real estate – location, location, location. Bible Study – context, context, context. Calvin said “The scripture should be understood and explained. How it is explained is secondary.” MacArthur said “The meaning of the text is the text.” All true interpretation requires much perspiration. You will give an account for every sermon before God.

4) Energy of Lively Preaching

He preached with no notes. He used just the Bible. He was so fluent with the Bible that he could flow. It is a sin to bore people with the Word of God. Bore people with Shakespeare, not with the Bible. Lecturers in the pulpit is not preaching. Dig it out and write it down, but don’t lecture. Calvin was not a hyper-Calvinist! Be accurate and precise with the Word of God. No fluff, no waste. His every word was to the point. Every word weighed a pound. Not like preachers circling the airport but never landing. He had a short porch to a big house. No big introduction but right to the point. He puts the cookies on the bottom shelf. Sentences are simple, making the text as clear as possible to his hearers. No flourish in his words. Calvin “Preachers are like fathers, dividing the bread into small pieces to feed the his children.” Don’t choke and gag your people. Painting mental pictures using analogies, similes, word pictures, and metaphors. Used personal pronouns us and we.

5) Necessity of Gospel Defense

One voice for the sheep and the other for the wolves. Guard the gospel.

6) Fervency of Evangelistic Preaching

Calling people to repentance and faith.


Tim Challies – Mission in a Changing World

The mission stays the same but our methods may change.

St. Frances of Assisi “live the gospel if necessary use words.” We reject that. Use words.

The Great Commission in a Digital Word

Matthew 28: 19-20

1) Go

Not on your couch

Go where the people are

a) Going while sitting in front of a computer?

b) Cyber churches?

c) Community today is more shared interests than shared location

d) Go and love – love your neighbor Love needs closeness. Trading real world relationships in favor of virtual relationships.

e) “How beautiful the feet” ( Romans 10:15) not the fingers

2) Preach – communicate

a) More communication in quantity and less in quality

b) Less present over extended distances

c) Less authenticity when communicating online

3) Disciple

a) Demanding

b) Distraction- lack of thinking

Digital devices are evolving to distract us. Shallow thoughts lead to shallow lives because we are distracted. Down times to think. Chewing things over.

c) What are we meditating on day and night? Facebook or God’s word

d) 1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.


Steve Lawson – Why Preach the Intolerant Message of the Exclusive Gospel?

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.

The Gospel is the only way of Salvation

Genesis – Revelation – by grace alone, through faith alone, through Christ alone

Every other path leads to Hell

We must be Bull-dogmatic about this!

Galatians is Paul’s most passionate letter. Fiery zeal

Paul can’t wait for a secretary to write, he wrote in his own hand.

The gospel has been compromised. Judiazers have come in the church. Salvation is no longer a gift but a reward for the righteous.

Paul is amazed, astonished, shocked – bewildered, marvel, blow my mind,

Shocked at the believers and that they have gone AWOL. They aren’t deserting Paul, they are deserting God Himself.

Quickly – Paul was just there – he had no more left town then they deserted the gospel.

Piper – “God is the Gospel”

They were desecrating the glory of God.

Salvation is based on the finished work of Christ on the cross.

God was being attacked.

Vs 6 amazed, shocked, stunned that the believers were so quickly deserting God who called them by the grace of Christ. God only calls sinners by the gospel the grace of Christ.

The Gospel – the grace of Christ

Different – heteros – different of another kind

They were trading Diamonds for dirt – truth for lie

Only one saving gospel

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

ECT – no difference between the gospel and Rome?

Larry King – compare MacArther’s response vs Joel Osteen’s

Trouble you – Disturbed,

Distort – pervert

Earn your way to God

Salvation is not Faith and …

1) Baptism

2) Good works

3) Speaking in tongues

4) Miracles

Paul’s anathemas

1) Even if we …

2) or an Angel from heaven

He is to be accursed (anathema – devoted to destruction – go to Hell) before he can take others with him.

Paul starts it all over again in vs 9.

As we have said before, so I say again!

If any man is preaching (on going) any other gospel let him be accursed.

Paul is so hot that this is the first part of the first chapter.

No “I thank God for you” no “I …. for you” just a public rebuke. Not the typical beginning of Paul’s letters.

Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but are ravenous wolves.

Paul’s aim vs 10 am I seeking the favor of men or of God? Paul seeks affirmation from God and God alone.

“If you please God it doesn’t matter who you displease, but if you displease God it doesn’t matter who you please.”


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


Plurality of Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit


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


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