Tag Archive | Expositor’s Conference

The Significance of Pentecost Preaching – The Coming of the Spirit

Expositor’s Conference 2013

The Power of the Holy Spirit in Preaching

Session 2 – The Significance of Pentecost Preaching – The Coming of the Spirit (Sinclair Ferguson)

Text: John 14:15–31 (NASB95)

15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

19 “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.

20 “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.

26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

28 “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

29 “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.

30 “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;

31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit in preaching. We live in personal communion with the Holy Spirit. He is ever present in our ministry. This communion is distinctive from the communion we have with the Father and with the Son. It is heresy to confuse the distinctives of the various forms of our communion with the members of the Trinity among the members of the Trinity. We never express our communion with God the Father as the one who died on the cross for our sins. That is our communion with only the Son. We must be aware of what is the nature of our specific communion with the Holy Spirit. It is He who sanctifies, it is He who illumines, it is He who comforts, it is He who empowers the preaching.

We must first be aware that it is the Son who sends the Holy Spirit to be with us. We know so much about the gifts of the Spirit, but we are so unaware of the person of the Spirit.

John 16:7 – this is a striking verse. How could it be advantageous for the disciples for Jesus to go away? It is ridiculous. The Christian would chose for Jesus to remain. That is because the Christian does not know the person and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The text we are considering is the chief text of the existence and the application of the Trinity.

Jesus is going to send another comforter. The word “another” here is “allos”, meaning “another of the same kind.” He will be of the same kind as Jesus. Explore what this means:

1.  The Holy Spirit would be a teacher in the same manner as Jesus (v.25-26)

a.  Jesus came as a teacher from God, teaching the very words of God.

b.  Paul writes that the Spirit will teach the deep things of God. This is what we see in verse 20. When the Spirit comes, we will not know less, but more. Specifically, we will be taught more intimately about the nature of Jesus Christ.

c.  The Holy Spirit allows us to see the intimate relationship between the Father and the Son. Even the angels cannot look into the face of God the way the Son does.

d.  The Holy Spirit reveals the depth of the grace of God. We are part of the intimate relationship between the Father and the Son because of the work of the Holy Spirit.

e.  The Spirit teaches us the glory of the Trinity.

f.  Where are we to learn these things? The Spirit will remind us of what Jesus has already said.

i.      He reminded the Apostles of what Jesus said, and they in turned preached these words and wrote about these words.

2.  The Holy Spirit would be a counselor in the same manner as Jesus (v. 16)

a.  Jesus has been the counselor of the disciples for the last three years.

b.  The word “counselor” or “comforter” here is to be taken in the sense of the legal setting. One who comes alongside for the means of defense.

c.  The Holy Spirit came as a defender of Jesus Christ and of His followers.

d.  The Holy Spirit came to convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment. He prosecutes sinners. But He defends the saints.

e.  The paraclete was traditionally the longest standing and best friend who would be called to bear witness for the accused.

i.      The Holy Spirit is this paraclete for Jesus Christ

ii.      The Holy Spirit would empower the Apostles to be paracletes for Jesus Christ.

f.  The same Holy Spirit that filled Jesus Christ is the same Holy Spirit that fills each believer. The disciples would have known this Holy Spirit because they had seen Him working through Jesus and He had been with them from the beginning.

3.  The Holy Spirit would be a home-maker in the same manner as Jesus (v.18)

a.  We are very familiar with Jesus as a home-maker as revealed in John 14:1-4.

b.  The Holy Spirit comes so that we are not left as orphans.

c.  In verse 23, we see that it is the work of the Holy Spirit that the full Trinity makes their home within us.

d.  The passion of the Holy Spirit is to make the Christian a fitting home for the Father and the Son.

e.  The children adore the home-maker. The home-maker is the teacher. The home-maker is the counselor. The home-maker explains the Father.


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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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Session 4 – Preaching Christ and Him Crucified (Lawson)

Session 4 – Preaching Christ and Him Crucified (Lawson)

Text: 1 Corinthians 2:1-9

1 Corinthians 2:1-9

1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.

2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling,

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

5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Wisdom from the Spirit

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.

7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—(ESV)

 

We live in an age of Christless Christianity. We are obsessed with buildings and programs. We are obsessed to be relevant and well-liked. Churches have everything except Christ. They are human-centered and human to the fringes. Christ is completely cast out the door. The motto of the church today is “do more, try harder.” There is little preaching of Jesus Christ as Lord. There is little preaching of Christ as savior. Christ, if He is preached at all, is presented as a coach. It is easy to fall into this trap in preaching. A great sounding sermon can be devoid of Christ. Or it can contain a watered-down Christ.

The letter to the Colossians was necessitated because of Gnosticism within the church of Colossae.

How we preach – there are four key words in Colossians 1:28 which define how we preach. It matters to God how we preach Christ. All four are necessary and cannot be omitted. Three deal with preaching and one deals with expositing. We need to consider our preaching ministry in light of this standard.

 1. Proclamation. Proclaim is the main verb in verse 28. The other verbs are participles. We must be known as proclaimers. Not speakers, not lecturers, not discussion leaders, not facilitators and not just teachers. Christ must be proclaimed because lives hang in the balance. There is a preposition added to the primary verb which gives it force. See Acts 13:5,38.

a. Preaching must go beyond teaching. Teaching is ground level. Preaching reaches a higher level.

b. To proclaim Christ means to speak with authority. Boldness deals with the full disclosure of the truth, to speak frankly, openly, straightforward.

c. We proclaim what we believe, and we proclaim all that we believe.

2. Admonition. All preaching must include admonishing, warning, stimulating, encouraging, persuading, exhortation. This is the Greek word “nouthesia”.

a. We cannot be stoic preachers. We are to awaken the slumbering. We are to plead with people to repent. Too many preachers are too proud to plead.

b. We are to preach with tears.

c. We must challenge people to apply the truth that they have been taught. The will of the preacher must make a claim on the will of the hearer. We are a hyper-grace people, we don’t warn people of the consequences of sin.

d. Read Spurgeon’s sermon “Compel Them to Come In.”  (online here)

e. Jesus Christ preached the threatening of eternal divine wrath more than anyone else in the Bible.

3. Teaching. This involves truth, doctrine, instruction, orderly and organized presentation. Explain the text. There is profound theology within the text which must be brought out. We use the word “exegetical” to describe this kind of teaching.

a. Why do preachers not preach expositorily?

i. They don’t know how.

ii. They don’t have role models.

iii. They don’t want to do the hard work.

iv. They are afraid.

b. What does the word “expository” mean? It means setting forth the primary things. To expound, to explain. The preacher is the mouthpiece for the Biblical text.

i. The Bible is like a lion. It needs no defense. It just needs to be turned loose.

c. Exposition without proclamation, admonition, and wisdom is clinical and boring. All proclamation with no exposition is superficial. It fills the sanctuary but not the pulpit.

4. Wisdom. Bring the word of God to bear on life in a life-changing way. Choosing the best means to reach the highest goal.

a. Without wisdom preaching is like a bridge that does not reach to the far side of the chasm.

b. Read Stott’s book “Between Two Worlds.”

c. The Bible does not have to be made to be relevant – it is relevant. The preacher’s job is to show the relevance to the congregation.

e. We take too much time getting our guns into position and never fire a shot from the pulpit.

f. Wisdom in preaching is to point out the errors of the world.

g. Preaching is that in which God Himself is present.

 

Who is adequate to this high call of preaching? No one. It requires the power of Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christ, there is nothing to our preaching. Preaching must have an impact.

 


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Session 3 – The God Who Saves (Mohler)

Session 3 – The God Who Saves (Mohler)

Text: Hebrews 9:11-28

Hebrews 9:11-28

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)

12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

13 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh,

14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.

17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.

18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.

19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.”

21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship.

22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,

26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (ESV)

 

Is talking about the blood atonement crude? Is it offensive? Is singing about the blood appropriate? Should the entire Bible be read to children? Why did God choose the need for blood for atonement?

We not only under-preach the person of Christ we also under-preach the work of Christ.

The children of Israel did not fully understand the meaning of the sacrificial system of which they were a part. It required the divine revelation of the Son to fully understand the meaning of the Old Testament sacrifices. Jesus Christ is the great high priest, the final high priest, the one who is greater than all other priests. The old things could not save, the new things, that is Jesus Christ, can save. That is the good things that have come.

Understanding this passage from Hebrews requires an understanding of the tabernacle and the temple. We must know about the sacrifices and the priesthood. We must understand that there was no forgiveness of sins performed by the Old Testament sacrifices. There was outward purification. There was also a delay of divine wrath. See verse 23.

The things God commanded to be constructed and performed on earth are copies of those things which already existed in heaven. These copies on earth had to be sprinkled with blood. But no earthly priest could do anything about the originals, which are in heaven. But Jesus Christ is infinitely better:

1. He entered once for all. Not repeatedly, as the earthly priests. There is no altar any more on earth. There was one final altar, and that was the cross of Jesus Christ. Christ only had to suffer once, not repeatedly.

a. The essence of the Roman Catholic mass denies this fact. The mass is seen as a repeated sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

2. He entered not in the earthly tabernacle (the copy), but into the tabernacle in heaven (the original).

3. He entered by means of His own blood, not the blood of goats and bulls. The priests carried blood from outside. Christ went into the tabernacle in heaven and there shed His own blood. Christ is both the great high priest and the sacrifice.

4. The remission was not good for a year, but forever.

5. The purification by the blood of bulls and goats was sufficient for the purification of the flesh. The blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient for the purification of the soul.

6. The sacrifice of one atoned for the sins of many.

7. Jesus is not only the great high priest, He is the Mediator, and He is also the King of kings.

Our salvation is purchased for us by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. We will never have confessed all our sins and will never have repented of all our sins.

We must discard the worldly definition of mediator in favor for the Biblical definition. We bring nothing of worth to the table. We bring a debt of sin to the table. Jesus Christ as mediator makes up all our deficit.

In verse 16-17, the writer of Hebrews changes word pictures momentarily. He changes to a picture of an heir and a will.

Beginning in verse 18, we see the need for the visible display of blood. This goes all the way back to the Passover.  The display of blood was frequent. It was copious. It was promiscuous. It was repeated. It was extensive to the point of being offensive. This should characterize our preaching. To be ashamed of the blood is to be ashamed of Jesus Christ.

The ages are behind us. Jesus Christ initiated a time beyond the ages by his sacrifice. A time with no end. And in a place made not by human hands. Christ put an end to the need to deal with sin at His sacrifice. The next time He returns is to gather His own unto Himself and to judge the condemned. But not to deal with sin.


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Session 2 – The God Who Speaks (Mohler)

Session 2 – The God Who Speaks (Mohler)

Text: Hebrews 1:1-4

Hebrews 1:1-4

1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,

2 but in these last days he (God the Father) has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (ESV)

1. We are not preaching the preeminence of Christ just by avoiding heresy. Heresy comes from within the church. Mormonism is not heresy because it does not come from within the church.

2. We are not preaching the preeminence of Christ just by saying good and nice things about Jesus.

3. We are not preaching the preeminence of Christ just by saying all the right things about Jesus. See Luke 24:25-27.

 

We must preach the totality of Jesus Christ from all of the scriptures. See Luke 24:32. We know we are preaching the preeminence of Christ when people go away with burning hearts.

 

The book of Hebrews;

1. It is one of the central theological treatises in the New Testament. We learn the most about the atonement from the book of Hebrews.

2. It ties the Old Testament to the New Testament. It allows us to interpret the Old Testament.

 

The story of the gospel does not begin at the manger in Bethlehem. It begins in the sovereign will of God before the foundation of the world. And through time God spoke to us in various ways. It is a privileged source (supernatural revelation) of the record of times past. There is no conjecture when we turn to the Scriptures. God’s revelation is an event that is many events and done in many ways. The ultimate revelation of God prior to the incarnation of Jesus Christ is by the prophets to the Jewish fathers. God spoke to them. See Deuteronomy 4:32-33. The miracle is not that God spoke to them, but that God spoke to them and they lived. The same is true for us sitting in church today when we hear the gospel message.

However, in the last days (in the most recent times) God has spoken to us by his Son. Not to our fathers, but to us. And not through prophets, but by his Son. If God had not spoken we would have nothing to preach. Without the gift of divine revelation we are doing nothing but looking at shadows and thinking they are real.

The book of Hebrews does not disparage anything in the Old Testament. The book of Hebrews just shows how all things in the Old Testament are fulfilled by Jesus Christ. No mention of correction of errors in the Old Testament. This would be the heresy of Marcion.

It is implied that now that God has spoken through his Son that there is to be no further and definitely no greater revelation. The parable of the vineyard is all about this issue.

We have confusion between speaking and doing. We think that those who speak don’t necessarily do. However, when God speaks it is done. This is proved by creation.

Notice these things about the Son from Hebrews 1:2-4:

1. The Son bears the sole authority of God. He is the appointed heir.

2. There is a complete relationship between creation and redemption. It has all to do with divine authority.

3. We see the glory of God in the visible reality of his Son. Very few people in the New Testament actually saw this. But Philippians 2 tells us that everyone will see this radiance.

4. Jesus Christ didn’t tell us what God was like, He was God. The term used is the “exact imprint.”

5. Jesus Christ is the only one who understands what holds this universe together. And it is in Christ alone that the power do hold all things together comes from.

6. Only Jesus Christ is able to make purification for sins. It is in past tense – He made purification for sins. The present tense belongs to the session of Jesus Christ – seated at the right hand of God, ever making intercession for the saints. That means RIGHT NOW.

7. Angels are not the big deal. Moses is not the big deal. The priesthood is not the big deal. The temple is not the big deal. Melchizedek is not the big deal. Jesus Christ is the big deal. No contest.

 

Preach the Jesus of the Bible. He isn’t always nice. He isn’t always safe. But He does save. It is easy to under-preach Jesus. The truth is you can’t over-preach Jesus.

 


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Session 1 – Preaching the Supremacy of Christ (Lawson)

Session 1 – Preaching the Supremacy of Christ (Lawson)

Text: Colossians 1:28-29

Colossians 1:28-29

28 Him we proclaim, warning (admonishing) everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature (complete) in Christ.

29 For this I toil (labor), struggling (striving) with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (ESV)

What a man thinks of Christ will tell you how a man thinks about everything else religious in his life. A high view of Christ yields a high view of preaching, a high standard of holiness, a high commitment to the church and evangelism. The reverse is also true. Thus the need for preaching the preeminence of Christ – His unrivaled supremacy.

Notice what Paul proclaims in verse 28, the first word – Him, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The overview for all of Lawson’s session follows:

1. What we preach, or better said, who we preach.

2. How we preach. It matters to God how we preach. There are four words used to describe how we are to preach.

a. proclaim

b. admonishing

c. teaching

d. wisdom

3. Why we preach. So that every man can be complete in Christ.

4. To whom we preach. We preach to every man.

5. What we preach.

Session 1 addresses what we preach. We preach “Him”, that is the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not preach a set of rules, or a cause, or a political view. We preach the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Christianity is Jesus Christ. Everything we do in the Christian life hinges upon Christ. See 1 Corinthians 2:2 and 2 Corinthians 4:5. It does not matter what book or passage we are preaching from, we must preach Jesus Christ.

What does it mean to preach Christ? See Colossians 1:15-23. There are seven truths about Jesus Christ in these verses.

1. To preach Christ is to preach that Jesus Christ is God. See Colossians 1:15. Fully, completely God. Jesus Christ is the full and perfect revelation of God. All deity dwells in Jesus Christ. See Colossians 2:9. He who has seen Jesus Christ has seen God the Father. Jesus Christ possesses all the divine attributes of God and all the power of God.

a. Understanding this truth is the cornerstone to understanding all other doctrines of the Bible.

b. This means that Jesus Christ has the right to rule and command our lives.

2. To preach Christ is to preach that Jesus Christ is sovereign. See Colossians 1:15. Jesus is the firstborn of all creation. Not that He is a created being – that is the Arian heresy. Jesus is the creator (see verse 16). “Firstborn” here means possessing all of the rights of the firstborn son. See Revelation 1:5. The heir, the inheritor of the legacy, the manager of the estate. Jesus is the first over all creation – the position of full supremacy. The position of full authority.

3. To preach Christ is to preach that Jesus Christ is creator. See Colossians 1:16. By Christ all things were created. “By Him” should read “In Him”. Nothing falls outside the creative power of Jesus Christ. See John 1:3.

a. Note that the creation is by Him, through Him, and for Him.

b. The One who made all is the one who will judge all.

4. To preach Christ is to preach that Jesus Christ is not only the creator, He is also the sustainer. See Colossians 1:17. Nothing is outside the immediate control of Jesus Christ. Deism is heresy.

5. To preach Christ is to preach that Jesus Christ is the head of the church. See Colossians 1:18. Jesus Christ controls, oversees, directs, guides, manages, requires submission from, the church. Christ is the greatest of all who will be resurrected unto life. Notice the use of the word “preeminence” in verse 18. That means first place in everything. All things are to please Him. It doesn’t matter if we please or displease anyone else.

6. To preach Christ is to preach that Jesus Christ is Lord. See Colossians 1:19-20. How do we see the Lordship of Christ in these verses?

a. Jesus is Lord because God is Lord. All the fullness of the deity of God dwells within Jesus Christ.

b. Jesus is Lord because He reconciles ALL THINGS to Himself. Only the Lord of all things can reconcile all things to Himself.

i. All things shall bow to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is exalted above all. Jesus Christ has authority over all.

7. To preach Christ is to preach that Jesus Christ is savior. See Colossians 1:21-22. Only Jesus Christ can reconcile evil man to the holy God.

 

Why preach anything else than Jesus Christ? There is salvation in no other name.

 


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