Tag Archive | Jesus

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

Expositor’s Conference 2013

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

Text: Acts 2:1–43 (NASB95)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

A. The scriptures concerning Christ are being fulfilled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ii.      All would prophesy, not just Jews

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

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

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

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

C. The coronation of Jesus Christ has taken place

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

2. Jesus has been crowned with glory.

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

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

D. Worldwide conversion to Jesus Christ has begun.

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

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

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

E. The church of Jesus Christ begins to be built

1. The church is the kingdom of Christ.

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


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Donald Whitney – When God Turned His Back on Jesus

Matthew 27:33-56

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

Christians do question God at times.

Perseverance only develops when prayers go unanswered.

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

How did God forsake Jesus?

1) Complete darkness – the judgement of God on Christ

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

2) Failure to deliver Christ from the cross.

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

3) No comfort for Jesus

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

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

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

Matthew 22:39-44

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

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

5) Allowed physical suffering

Psalm 22:14-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Valley of Vision Prayer

Love Lusters at Calvary

My Father,

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

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

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

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

~ Love Lustres at Calvary, in The Valley of Vision

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


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Because of Christ’s Righteousness

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

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

Jerry Bridges in

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

Not because I’ve studied my Bible everyday.

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

Not because I’m a good wife or mother.

Not because I go to church.

Not because I ….

Just because of Christ’s righteousness.


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Accepted on Your Own Worth?

Are you accepted on your own worth?

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

Hate to break the news but that is impossible.

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

Thank goodness we don’t have to.

We can begin each day with the deeply encouraging realization,

I’m accepted by God,

not on the basis of my personal performance,

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

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

Gerald Bridges, Jerry Bridges from Holiness Day by Day


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Jesus Became Sin – Paul Washer

Deep South Founders Conference

Session 7 – Saturday Morning Service – January 14, 2012

Paul Washer

Jesus Became Sin

2 Corinthians 5:21

The fact that God became flesh is horrendous. But it did not end there. God became sin. He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf. It is not that Jesus was corrupted or defiled or impure. Jesus’s righteousness was imputed to us because our sins were imputed to Him. There is a legal declaration of righteousness and a practical declaration of righteousness – God treats us as He treats His Son Jesus Christ – being right with Him. God both legally declared Jesus guilty and God treated Him as guilty.

Jesus knew no sin. We have never loved God as God ought to be loved. There was never a moment that Jesus did not love God as He should be loved. We can say the same with obedience. We are cursed because we have not done all the things written in the law (Galatians 3:10). Jesus completely obeyed and fulfilled the law.  But then Jesus bore the curse for us (Galatians 3:13). Turn the beatitudes upside-down and you have defined the curse that belongs to us but were thrown upon Christ.

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.

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.

Audio:

The Doctrine of Man – Part 3 by Paul Washer

 


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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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