Tag Archive | Berean Husband

Session 6 – The Church’s Call to Biblical Preaching – Steve Lawson

2 Timothy 4:1-5

1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

NASU

This is not an isolated instance of emphasis on the word of God

Chapter 1 – retain the standard of sound words
Chapter 1 – guard the treasure entrusted
Chapter 2 – entrust these to faithful men
Chapter 2 – compete according to the rules
Chapter 2 – but the word of God is not in prison
Chapter 2 – accurately handling the word of truth
Chapter 2 – stray from the truth
Chapter 2 – able to teach
Chapter 2 – knowledge of the truth
Chapter 3 – knowledge of the truth
Chapter 3 – My teaching
Chapter 3 – Sacred writings
Chapter 3 – Inspired by God
Chapter 4 – Sound doctrine
Chapter 4 – Our teaching

1. The sobriety of the charge (v.1)

a. A solemn, serious charge. A biding, forceful order.

i. Diamarteuromai – to witness to, against. To attest.

b. The witnesses of the charge – God and Jesus Christ

c. The potential judgment – the living and the dead will be judged

i. The preacher will have a stricter accountability and stricter judgment

ii. Boldness – “all speech”

2. The substance of the charge (v.2)

a. Preach the word – imperative verb

i. Preach – to herald a message

ii. The – definite article

iii. Word – the word of God (see 2 Tim. 3:16)

1. Confine ourselves to the word of God. Only. All.

2. Read, explain, illustrate, apply

3. The specifics of the church (vv. 2-5). Eight more imperative verbs:

a. Be ready. The idea of alertness, urgency, always ready

b. Reprove. Exposing sin. Heart-searching and soul-probing.

c. Rebuke. To charge those who are sinning to stop.

d. Exhort. Parakaleo, to call alongside of. Application of doctrine to the life with persuasion.

i. With patience – to bear up under a trial

ii. With instruction – keep on teaching

e. Be Sober

i. This is set up in vv.3-4. These verses talk about “they” – that is, the superficially religious crowd.

1. They will not endure sound doctrine

2. They will call for false teachers

3. They will turn away

ii. Don’t be caught up in this wave

f. Endure hardship

i. Woe unto you when all men speak well of you

g. Do the work of an evangelist

i. A mission field is within the church

ii. Also to the mission field outside the church

h. Fulfill your ministry. Literally, “fill to the full”. Do all that God calls you to say and do.

Video available at G3 Conference

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Session 5 – The Founding and Founder of the Church – David Miller

Matthew 16:13-18

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

KJV

Ecclesiology – the founding of the church
Christology – the founder of the church

The Founding of the Church – Ecclesia is described three ways in the New Testament.

1. The church is the visible, local body of believers, described using these metaphors:

a. A building

b. A bride

c. A body

2. The church is an institution. In this form it is abstract. But the manifestation of the abstract is only in a local, visible body.

a. Abstract principles, i.e., “the family”, are never taken to mean a universal body. It always refer to an abstract institution that is only manifested in a local, visible way.

3. The church is a broad collection or comprehensive inclusive body which is to be gathered together at a point in time in the future. This church will be local and visible.

The Founder of the Church – three statements regarding the founder of the church:

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

a. Made of the exact same stuff as God the Father

b. Has the exact same characteristics as God the Father

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

a. Speaks of the humanity of Jesus Christ

3. The Christ

a. God’s anointed one

b. Three classes of men were anointed: prophet, priest, king

i. Prophet – he has a message. Sound in doctrine.

ii. Priest – he has proper credentials.

iii. King – he has a kingdom

Video available at G3 Conference

 


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Session 4 – The Church – Chosen and Called by God – Steve Lawson

Romans 8:28-30

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

NASU

The sovereign grace of God in salvation. God formed the church in eternity past by His own sovereign will. The church sees God clearest, itself rightly, and the world correctly when standing upon the sovereignty of God in choosing and formation of the church.

The text is as close as we have to the order of salvation. It goes from everlasting past (foreknowledge) to everlasting future (glorification). And it is all the act of God – He…He…He…

1. Foreknowledge – beginning in eternity past with God and his foreknowledge. This is the conception and the birth of the church. It is the first move in our direction by God.

a. What foreknowledge does not mean – foresight. God did not look down the tunnel of time to see who would chose Christ. Five reasons this cannot be true:

i. God never looks into the future to learn anything. It is an inferior view of God.

ii. God would see that no one would believe if he looked into the futue.

iii. The text speaks only of God and what He does. There is no reference to you or me.

iv. “Whom” – personal pronoun. Not what God foresaw, it is whom he foreknew. Nothing to do with events. It is about God and his relationship to a person.

v. The word “foreknowledge” is a personal relationship knowledge performed beforehand. It is often used as a synonym to the word “chosen”.

2. Predestined – those who God foreknew, are without a single loss or single addition, predestined. The destination is determined before the journey is begun – “pro-orizo”. And what is the predestination – to be conformed to the image of His son, that is, the sanctification of the believer.

Ephesians 1:11

11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
NASU

a. We begin with the counsel. God counseled with himself.

b. Second, we see God’s will. The word is singular. A divine decision was made. Sovereign choice was made.

c. Third, there is God’s purpose. God’s divine determination to carry out his will. This is God’s resolution. And what God purposes, will, must, shall, come to pass exactly according to his will.

d. Finally, there is predestination. A designed destination. What God has purposed is irrevocable, unalterable, infallible.

3. Called – not a general call, not an open invitation. This call is an effectual call. Many hear the general call, only the elect hear this second call. It is a sovereign call to those God predestined. Four things about this call:

a. The author of the effectual call is God the Father. He is the caller Himself.

b. The nature of the call is efficacious. It is effect. It never fails to secure the effect for which it is intended. It is a divine summons. MacArthur says it is a subpoena. God draws us. God drags us.

c. The origin of the effectual call is from eternity past.

d. The outcome of the call is communion with Christ. See 1 Corinthians 1:9.

i. God appointed the day, the time, the bringer of the message.

4. Justification – all who are called are justified. Three metaphors:

a. Legal – legally declared to be without sin by God the judge.

b. Bookkeeping – the righteousness of God credited to our account.

c. Clothing – clothed in the white raiment of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.

5. Glorification – the verb tense is as if it has already happened (third person singular aorist active indicative).

 

Video available at G3 Conference


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Session 3 – The Worshipping Church – Conrad Mbewe

John 4:21-25

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.

22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

ESV

 

Knowing God truly is will cause us to worship Him. God has created all things for His own glory. The most important activity that can occupy a creation is to worship its creator. God reveals even more of Himself in the grace which He extends.

We need to focus not only the doctrine of the worshipping church but also the practice of the worshipping church. Or, in other words, how does God expect the church to worship Him.

The Samaritan women in John 4 appeals to a specific argument of the day, specifically who is right? There was a fight between the Samaritan and the Jews. This same fight about who is right goes on today. We see in these verses that it matters not who is right, but what does God consider right.

Jesus solves this issue. He begins by revealing who God is. God is spirit.  An argument concerning a physical place is not relevant because God is spirit.

The hour is coming and now is…” What was different about this specific time? It was the fact that God had become man and was walking among the people. And it was Jesus Christ who would further reveal God to the true worshippers.

What does Jesus mean about worshipping in spirit and in truth? Notice the “But” in v.33. There was error in the thinking of the Samaritans. And up to that time, there was correctness in the thinking of the Jews. But all that is now changing. True worship is not about a physical place and physical means. It is a spiritual transaction and spiritual interaction.

What about truth? The Samaritan worship was not built on truth. There was no truth in the gods set up on Mount Gerazim. The Jewish worship was built upon the truth. God had revealed Himself and the Jews sought to worship according to this truth. God is seeking for worshippers who will worship Him according to the truth revealed about God, and specifically as revealed through Jesus Christ. There has been a greater revelation of truth, and those who would worship God must worship in this greater revealed truth.

Practically, this has outworkings in our worship today. Such as in our hymnody. Our hymns should be characterized by spirit and truth. And our singing must be in spirit and in truth. However, it is easy for us to end up in error at one end or the other – worshipping in spirit but not in truth, or vice versa. Also, it is possible for our worship to have neither spirit nor truth. It could be our heart is in love with the world or with self. This means we need to spend the time to prepare our hearts and our minds for worship instead of entering into worship in a flippant, unprepared manner. I must make sure that I am worshipping in spirit and in truth.


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Session 2 – The Radically Normal Life of the Christian – Tim Challies

1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

1 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.
2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;
4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,
5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.
7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.
8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,
10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,
11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,
12 so that you may live properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

ESV

How do we live out the Christian life on a day-to-day basis? What does it look like in the home? What does it look like in the local home?

We are inundated with books that encourage us to live radical lives. To live crazy lives. These books are trying to meet the need to feel significant, to make a difference. The Bible tells us to be extraordinary. But is also tells us to ordinary, to be normal. What is the ordinary Christian life?

Thessalonica was a big city. It was an important city. It was an immoral city. The Christians ask Paul what it looks like to live as a Christian in such a city. What is Paul’s answer? Does he tell them to sell everything and spend all their time witnessing? Does he tell them to sell everything and live in a cloister? No.

We live with a low-grade guilt that we are not doing enough.

The summary of Paul’s teaching regarding living the Christian life:
1. Be decent
2. Be devoted
3. Be diligent

1. Be decent

a. Be sexually pure. The way we express sexuality tells whether we are following God or following along with the world

i. The culture in Paul’s day was shocking in its sexual immorality

ii. People being saved and coming into the church were bringing this baggage from their old life with them and did not know how to deal with it

b. The commands (vv. 3-5)

i. Negative – abstain from sexual immorality in order to be holy

ii. Positive – control your own body in holiness and honor

1. Self-control – Christians learn to control their desires

iii. Don’t do – Do do. Put off – Put on. Stop and Start. Run away – Run to.

c. The warnings (vv. 6-8)

i. Sexual sin defrauds another person

ii. God is the avenger

1. It cannot be hidden from God

2. God will protect the innocent from the guilty

iii. To ignore the warnings are to ignore God himself

d. What does it not say?

i. It does not say be celibate.

2. Be devoted (vv. 9-10)

a. Contrast is love versus lust.

b. Churches are warned about their lack of love and their loss of love.

c. The church in Thessalonica was exceling in love.

d. Four observations of the love of the Christian

i. Love is taught by God

1. How? By the cross. By the gospel.

ii. The primary object of the Christian’s love is for each other.

1. Love must make us uncomfortable because we must love those who are not like us.

iii. Love extends outward

1. …all the brothers throughout Macedonia.

2. Can the love of your church be gauged by what is said by other churches?

iv. Love is meant to grow.

1. It is a lifetime calling to grow.

2. …more and more.

e. What does Paul not say? Move around the world and love over there. He says love those around you right where you are.

3. Be diligent (vv. 11-12)

a. Aspire to live quietly. Be peaceful. Calm down. Be content to be unremarkable, to be unnoticed. Be normal.

b. Mind your own affairs (business). Don’t be involved in things that are not your concern.

i. Serve with others interest in mind, not your own interests.

c. Work with your own hands. Take care of yourself. Don’t be lazy. Don’t consider work as something beneath you.

This kind of life is to display the power of God to Christians and non-Christians (v.12). Your life will be God-honoring. We are not impressive to others if we are lazy, if we are busybodies, if we are unloving, if we have no self-control. The Lord expects us to live lives as ordinary Christians. Those who are going to live a “radical” life must also be ready to live an “ordinary” life. If we want to see the ultimate example of living this ordinary life, we need look no farther than the Lord Jesus Christ.


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Session 1 – The Church is God’s Will for Your Life – Josh Buice

Ephesians 4:1-16
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
9 ( In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

ESV

A working definition of the church – called out of the world, darkness, sin. Not entertainment. Metaphors for the church: family, body, flock, building, bride

Modern-day problems related to the church: attempts to redefine the church away from its central mission. Impotent pulpit. Laziness in the church.

God’s will for your life: spend your life for the life of the church.

Ephesians – a letter from Paul to a church he loves. Theology and working out of that theology.

1. The Church is called to unity (vv. 1-6)

a. It is a worthy cause

b. Live our lives to honor Christ

c. Culture does not tell us how to “do” church

d. We are held accountable to be called out from the world

e. The calling is a God-centered calling (vv.2-6)

i. Unity, or the lack thereof, is often over trivial matters

ii. Notice the alliteration: “one…”

iii. One Body – all the parts are important

iv. One Spirit – the Spirit is the bond of unity

v. One Hope – a hope the world knows nothing of

vi. One Lord – exclusivity of Christ

vii. One Faith – the faith once delivered to the saints

viii. One Baptism – obedience to the command of Jesus Christ, not an agent of salvation

ix. One God and Father who is…– declaration of the comprehensive character of God

2. The Church is Gifted by God (vv.7-12)

a. By Grace

b. The gifts of the church (vv.8-11)

i. The apostles

ii. The prophets

iii. The evangelists

iv. The preachers and teachers

c. The gifts were given to equip (v.12)

i. Lives are being given away to things that are not ministry

ii. Lives are being given away to ministries that are not connected to the church

3. The Goal is Maturity (vv.13-16)

a. God desires His church to grow in maturity (v.13)

b. The immature know nothing about Christ

i. Pastors are to blame for this

c. God desires stability in the church (v.14)

i. Pastors should work for the members to be stable in their faith

d. God desires the sanctification of the church (vv.15-16)

i. A mature church is a loving church


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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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Session 7 – Preaching the Sovereignty of Christ (Lawson)

Session 7 – Preaching the Sovereignty of Christ (Lawson)

Text: Revelation 1:9-16

Revelation 1:9-16

9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet

11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,

13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.

14 The hairs of his head were white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,

15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.

16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. (ESV)

 

1. Why we preach.

a. The banner over all we do is the glory of God. But under this answer there are subsidiary but important answers.

b. We preach so that the preacher may present every man complete in Christ. That is, bring them into the presence of God as a mature man.

c. Our joy is to see others rewarded by God.

d. In other words, our goal is the sanctification of the believer leading unto their final glorification.

i. Notice the progression in the Great Commission – make disciples (salvation), mark disciples (baptism) and then mature disciples (teaching).

e. Justification and sanctification are inextricably linked. No one comes through the narrow gate and then hooks a hard left to get onto the broad road.

f. Colossians 2:6-7. Three metaphors for receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and living the process of sanctification:

i. Walking in Him

ii. Rooted in Him

iii. Built up in Him

2. To whom we preach.

a. In Colossians 1:28 there is a phrase mentioned three times – every man. We have one message for every man, and that is Jesus Christ.

3. What we preach.

a. In Colossians 1:29 we see:

i. The human side of preaching. Paul says “I labor.” “Labor” here is wearisome toil. Exerting all of one’s strength. And if that is not enough, Paul goes on to use the word “striving”. We get our word “agonize” from this word.

ii. The divine side of preaching. How can any preacher carry out the charge entrusted to him? By the power of God within us. By the energy of God. By the power of God which he works within us like dynamite.

 


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Session 6 – Questions and Answers (Mohler)

Session 6 – Questions and Answers (Mohler)

 

The sixth session of the conference was a question and answer session with Dr. Mohler and Dr. Lawson.

 

Question: Has church autonomy been a benefit or detriment?

Answer: The Baptist church is characterized by strong associations which hold churches together in the gospel. Church autonomy is not the issue. Sometimes churches must withdraw from fellowship with other churches.

 

Question: What about pastors that are not prepared to go into the pulpit?

Answer: Where there is no prospect for recovering a church for the gospel those that love the gospel should be with people who are like-minded. False churches are revealed by their teaching and their lack of fruit. We need to be able to tell the difference between a congregation and a crowd.

 

Question: How engaged should pastors be with current events?

Answer: To the extent for the congregation to be faithful and no farther. The church is not a political action committee. But there are many issues that look political that are really Biblical – marriage being one.

 

Question: Being doctrinally precise is important. How much emphasis is placed on doctrinal precision in seminary?

Answer: Not all theological issues are at the same level. Certain things must be believed by all Christians. Other things vary among believers. We need to practice Christian triage. We can disagree over certain things. We must agree over other things.

 

Question: What are some things coming down the pike in terms of heresies to warn our congregations?

Answer: Here right now: 1) Can we trust the word of God to tell us all things, particularly in Genesis and the historical Adam? 2) Churches bending the rules of Biblical sexuality. Watch out for the CBF. The cultural and legal pressure will be huge. 3) The exclusivity of the gospel and Jesus Christ as the only way. Intolerance and exclusivity will be catch phrases. 4) The nature of justification. This is the heart of the gospel. Are there any saving works of righteousness? 5) The “Grace Movement” that denies the necessity of sanctification.

 

Question: Why does God call all people to repent? Why does God threaten things that He is not going to carry out?

Answer: God commands all men to repent because He is just. Just as He commands all men to obey.

All commands from God are impossible to obey. There is a special grace given to those who will obey, who will repent. Things that God says He will do that He is not going to do are a learning narrative for the hearer. He wants the hearer to contemplate what the implications are. It is God revealing Himself, not changing His mind.

 

Question: How has it affected you when students left and showed that they were not one of us?

Answer: It is horrifying when a parent sees a child go out and walk away from the faith. Likewise for a pastor to see a member walk away from Christ. We mourn every shipwreck, but we dare not turn our eyes away from them. We must strive to present every man complete before Christ. We must not have “product envy”. The congregation looks about the same week after week. Evidence is slow to come.

 

Question: What about Mark Driscoll and the affects of his teaching, particularly on youth and young people?

Answer: We must be a company of discerning men. Wherever the gospel is found we should rejoice. But we cannot agree on the all the implications of the gospel. We must be careful of over-contextualization, especially the contextualization we do not think about, such as being crude. There are things that do not need to be discussed because they have nothing to do with the gospel. There needs to be age discrimination, gender discrimination. And we need to talk about certain things in only a certain way. We also have a problem with hero-worship.

 

Question: How would you assess the state of the Southern Baptist Convention?

Answer: I (Mohler) am a willing and appreciative Southern Baptist. That being said, we are a messed up people. The SBC is at a very tender moment. Denominationalism is dying. Churches do not need from denominations what they used to – literature, etc. We were called together to do missions, which we still do well. We train ministers well. The state of the SBC varies by geographic region and by generational group. Younger people see no need for denominations and associations.

 

Question; What about the movement to be like the world?

Answer: We are all dressed like someone in the world. We cannot escape being like the world. What we must do is not be influenced by the world in an inappropriate manner.

 

Question: What about the cosmic child abuse charge? How do we answer this Biblically?

Answer: We have a slaughterhouse religion, we have a bloody cross religion. It would be true of any of us that if we willed the suffering of our son we would be guilty of child use. We must answer this question by refuting that God must meet human definitions of morality. But to pay from an infinite crime required an infinite sacrifice by God.

 

Question: What do you do for your soul to combat burnout?

Answer: Read. When I (Mohler) get tired, I read. It is not what I suggest for everyone. I read many things that I don’t read by choice. I rest by reading things I chose. I also feed my soul by preparing to preach the word of God. Praying scripture and memorization. Burnout is a disguised form of spiritual depression.

 

Question: What is meant for elders to have faithful children?

Answer: The pastor of a church should have an orderly, Christ-centered, reputable household. We under-interpret the text, and we over-interpret the text. It is not just an aspiration. But the issue can be over-interpreted related to children no longer in the household. The text addresses what is normative – married, children, no scandal. The pastor exerts first of all his pastoral authority in the home.

 

Question: What do you and Dr. Ligon Duncan talk about in regard to the covenantal family issue?

Answer: Too little water too early. We do not see the tie between circumcision and baptism in the New Testament that we would expect to see if infant baptism were appropriate. The New Testament is a sign of regeneration. However, there are benefits to children being in the household of parents who are part of the covenant.

 


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Session 5 – The God Who Shakes (Mohler)

Session 5 – The God Who Shakes (Mohler)

Text: Hebrews 12:18-29

Hebrews 12:18-29

18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest

19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.

20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.”

21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,

23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.

26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”

27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,

29 for our God is a consuming fire. (ESV)

 

We have tuned out the warnings of scripture. We should be waking up in the middle of the night in sheer terror of the danger we are in. Hebrews 12 is a chapter about the danger to come.

Warnings in Hebrews which trouble us:

1. Hebrews 6:4-8. How does this passage mesh with the perseverance of the saints? We must cross reference this with the parable of the soils. There are soils which show signs of life but do not continue. The words in Hebrews 6 sound like someone who is regenerated, but a careful examination shows that they can also be applied to those who appear to be saved but are not.

2. Hebrews 10:26-31. Is the death of Christ nullified by an intention to sin? Imagine this indictment against a person:

a. spurned the Son of God

b. profaned the blood

c. outraged the Spirit

3. Hebrews 12:3-13. The warning is against growing weary. We are troubled by the fact God disciplines us when we grow weary.

4. Hebrews 12:14-17. Esau sought to repent but no room was found for him to repent.

 

However, the warnings are offset by the promises of better things. There was a warning against touching Mount Sinai and that warning yielded fear and trembling. But thank God we have come to Mount Zion. God has proved Himself as a terrible, holy judge. But God has also proved Himself merciful beyond measure through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 12:22-24 speak of the greatest hope available to those who believe:

1. A mountain that can be touched without fear

2. A place where angels gather in joy

3. The City of the Living God

4. A place where the firstborn are citizens – that is us, we are the ones enrolled in heaven

5. A place where God will judge the righteous who are made perfect by the blood of Jesus Christ

6. A mediator who was also our sacrifice

 

Then in verse 25 the writer of Hebrews moves on to pleading with his readers. If the people of old perished because they did not heed the warnings when God thundered and shook the earth from Mount Sinai, what will happen to those who ignore the warning when God from heaven shakes the heavens and earth?

Notice that the writer of Hebrews freely moves back and forth between the picture of “shaking” and the picture of a “consuming fire.”

We are citizens of a kingdom that cannot be shaken. It is the only thing that will not pass away. And that is because of the work of the one who is the mediator of the new and better covenant. And what is our response to be? Worship.


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