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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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Expositor’s Conference 2011 – Blogging

Berean Husband is reporting (almost) live from the 2011 Expositor’s Conference at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. This is the third year for me to attend this conference. The first year featured Joel Beeke. Last year the featured speaker was R.C. Sproul. This year the featured speaker is Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. It is said that SBTS is the largest gathering of men being trained to preach the gospel that has ever been collected in the history of the earth. And, of course, the conference also features Steve Lawson every year, the pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Preeminence of Christ in Preaching”. The conference runs from Monday night through Tuesday night and includes seven sessions by Lawson and Mohler.

There is big news here again this year. The featured speaker for the 2012 Expositor’s Conference is John MacArthur. The dates for next year’s conference are September 24-25, 2012. Early registration is set at $89 per person plus $35 for spouse for the next 90 days.

As is the case every year, the book bag included with registration is full of outstanding books. The bag includes Lawson’s titles “Made in Our Image” and “Pillars of Grace” and Mohler’s work “He is Not Silent”.

It’s about ten minutes before the beginning of the first session. The crowd this year seems to be comparable with the last two years – perhaps 300 or 400 people here in the sanctuary.


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Question and Answer Session – 2011 True Church Conference

Question and Answer Session

Bruce Ware – BW

David Miller – DM

Steve Lawson – SL

Jeff Noblit – JN


Q: How can we avoid a religion of dead works?

BW: We get to the point of dead works when there is a heaviness in doctrine without a heart embrace of the gospel. We also need to ignore wanting to be liked. We need to be offensive when we need to be offensive. Our approval is from God alone.

DM: When the preacher of the church diverts the attention away from the gospel to other things.

SL: We must keep the main thing the main thing. Keep the peripheral issues suppressed. We must cease reliance on pragmatic things and depend on the power of God. This was the problem with the church in Ephesus. See Edwards “Religious Affections” on this topic.

JN: A doctrinally sound and spirit-lead pulpit is necessary. There must also be church discipline. Doctrine must be taken seriously by the congregation.


Q: Can a church’s methodology undermine its sound theology?

SL: This can happen in evangelism, giving a false assurance of salvation. Using manipulative evangelism. The methodology cannot be man-centered. Doctrine and methodology should be guided by godly men. Strong preaching makes for soft hearts. Soft preaching makes for hard hearts.

BW: Training for a theological and biblical mind and heart need to be promoted in the church. Not just keeping people entertained and out of trouble. The whole of the program in the church needs to be focused in this. Equip the people to have the mind of Christ.

JN: What helps the most is preaching. More than classes. More than seminars. We need to know the answer to the question “How?”


Q: How do I learn to preach the gospel – be a gospel centered preacher?

SL: It is more caught than taught. Sit under strong gospel preachers. The text must be king. Don’t bring truths to the text, take truths from the text.

BW: Don Carson’s approach to historical-redemptive progression of revelation.

JN: The text has a limited fulfillment and an ultimate fulfillment.


Q: Who should we be listening to as an example?

SL: Jesus Christ. Adrian Rogers because of his bold authority. John MacArthur because of his Bible exposition. S. Lewis Johnson because of his expository style. Gary Thomas because he is articulate. John Piper because of his fervency, zeal and God-centeredness. But we must be careful trying to emulate anyone. We must be ourselves. Read Spurgeon. Read Whitfield.

BW: Brian Borgman because of his careful exegesis. Lee Tankersly because of his application.


Q: Excesses we look back on and cringe.

SL: Trying to have too many cross-references and losing sight of the text. Spurgeon said that the whole Bible called out to him every week “Preach me! Preach me!” Not having application for our doctrine.

DM: Not persevering with the text until your own heart has been affected. How should we expect others to repent unless we have done so ourselves?

BW: Balance – we need to be full of grace and truth. Truth without grace leads to harshness.

 


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Steve Lawson – “Gospel-Centered Preaching” – 2011 True Church Conference

Message 7 – Steve Lawson – “Gospel-Centered Preaching”

This sermon is a continuation of the message which Dr. Lawson began last night, looking at the five common denominators of the 19 sermons in the book of Acts. This has been expanded to six common denominators over the course of the evening. This represents 25% of the book of Acts. The first common denominator covered last night is that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures. The text of the sermon is Acts 3:11-26. Here is the remainder of the common denominators.


2. The sermons emphasize the sinless life of Christ (see verse 14). Jesus Christ is the Holy and Righteous One. Sinless perfection. Perfectly moral character. Perfect compliance to the will of God. No deviation from the glory of God the Father. Why is this important? Why did Jesus not come from heaven immediately to the cross? Jesus lived under the law, in subjection to the moral law of God. The very law we fail to keep, He kept. It is this righteousness that is imputed to us in justification. Righteousness imputed to sinners was not created out of nothing. We need more than our sins forgiven, we need a holiness that does not belong to us, a righteousness that is not our own.


3. The sermons emphasize the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ (see verse 15). The charge is killing the author, or prince, of live. The originator of life was put to death. Jesus did not die as a victim, He died as a victor (see Acts 4:10ff). The rejected stone has become the chief cornerstone.


4. The sermons emphasize the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Of all who were crucified, there was only one who was raised from the dead. See verse 15. And a subset of this is frequently the eyewitness account of the resurrection. A living savior must be dominant in our preaching. A dead savior is no savior at all.


5. The sermons emphasize the necessity of repentance and faith (see verses 6, 16, 19). These two are inseparable. Without faith, repentance is nothing more than a moral resolution. Without repentance, faith is just head knowledge.


6. The sermons emphasize the inescapability of the final judgment. There will be a final judgment at the end of the age. A final day of accountability. Otherwise, our preaching is nothing but suggestions and options to the people. There are consequences for not heeding the preaching. See verse 23. A closely related topic to this which is emphasized in these sermons in the book of Acts is the session of Jesus Christ at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. He is the judge who presides. See Acts 17:31 – this day has been fixed.


Now is the time for the strongest men to preach the strongest message in the context of the strongest ministry. – Dr. John MacArthur.



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David Miller – “The Atonement – Satisfaction” – 2011 True Church Conference

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Message 6 – David Miller – “The Atonement – Satisfaction”

This is the second part of the sermon which David Miller began on day 1 of the conference. The text is Isaiah 53. The previous sermon was about the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. He made his soul an offering for sins.


1. The incontrovertible will of God. The redemption of sinners was the will of God from before the beginning of God – it was decreed by God, it was spoken by God, and it will stand. It was the will of God that His Son should die. Those who carried out the infliction of the death of the Son were sinning and responsible for their actions, yet this action was still the providential will of God. Peter says as much in His sermon on the day of Pentecost and then again in Acts chapter 4. This will of God cannot be questioned. In Psalm 2 we see the response of God to those who would question the incontrovertible will of God – He will laugh and hold them in derision.


2. The intrinsic worth of the substitute. How is it that Christ in his physical sufferings, death, and burial could satisfy the claim of justice for an innumerable host of people? The wages of sin is death – not just physical death, but also spiritual death. How could the physical death of Christ pay the price for the spiritual death due to man? Should he not have to spend an eternity in hell? The reason is based on the worth of the substitute. First, He was a man, He was a human. But he was a perfect man. He in no wise needed to suffer for His own sins so He could therefore suffer for the sins of someone else by substitution.  But He was so much more. He was God in human flesh. He is infinitely righteous. He is infinitely holy. There is an intrinsic worth in the son of God that could save worlds of sinners.


3. The incomparable work of the Savior.

a. He accomplished satisfaction. This is the propitiation. Indefensible wicked sinners, condemned before God, are declared righteous because of the substitution of the blood of Jesus Christ and the complete satisfaction of holy justice.

b. He has acquired a seed. A seed declared from eternity past. The death of Christ purchased this seed. This is the bride of Christ presented to Him by the Father.

c. He has accumulated the spoils. He conquered death, the grave, sin, and triumphed over Satan. Satan’s domain has been spoiled. Jesus is in session ruling and reigning at the right hand of the Father.

d. He advocates for the saints.


Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there! The risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased with His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God

 

“Before the Throne of God Above” – words by Charlie L. Bancroft, 1863



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Steve Lawson – “The Gospel in the Old Testament” – 2011 True Church Conference

Message 5 – Steve Lawson – “The Gospel in the Old Testament”


The text of Dr. Lawson’s sermon is Acts 3:11-25.  The gospel is rooted and grounded in the Old Testament. It is not a new idea in the New Testament. It is and always has been the one and only way of salvation. The only difference is the point of view which people look unto Jesus Christ, forward or back. The gospel began in Genesis. Take for instance Genesis 3:15. The blood of Jesus is a scarlet thread through the Old Testament.


There are five common denominators in the 19 sermons found in the book of Acts. The sermon of Acts chapter 3 clearly shows all five of these distinctives. Tonight we look at only the first of these five.


1. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Peter preaches that the gospel is inseparably found in the Old Testament. See verse 13. The selfsame servant of the Lord found in the Old Testament is Jesus Christ of the Old Testament. Isaiah is replete with “servant songs”.  Then see verse 18. Every single prophet in the Old Testament foretold of the coming of Christ. Then see verses 20-21.  There are pictures of Jesus throughout the Old Testament. He is preeminent throughout the Bible. Then see verses 22-23. The entire Old Testament looks forward to the coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ spoke as no one ever spoke. His words were greater than that of Moses. Don’t listen to Moses. Listen to Jesus. He is the great prophet of God.  Then look at verse 24. All the prophets without any exceptions had one central compelling message. Then look at verse 25. Jesus is the fulfillment of the covenant with Abraham. All the blessings of grace and salvation would come through the seed of Abraham, the Lord Jesus Christ. Then look at verse 26. God reiterates that Jesus Christ is His chosen servant and sent him to bless by turning men from their wicked ways.


Romans chapter 1 shows the basis the gospel has in the Old Testament. In verses 1-3 we see the basis of the scriptures and the lineage of Jesus. And then verse 17 pulls from the Old Testament to tell us that the just shall live by faith. Then in Romans chapter 4 we see examples in the Old Testament of salvation through faith alone. Abraham and David are specifically called out.


The same case is made in 1 Corinthians 15. Paul points out that the Old Testament scriptures point to a Christ who died, was buried, and was raised from the dead.


And finally consider Galatians 3. There is only one way of salvation. Salvation of the Gentiles was foreseen in the Old Testament.



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Jeff Noblit – “Striving to Avoid Extra-Biblical Excess” – 2011 True Church Conference

Message 4 – Jeff Noblit – “Striving to Avoid Extra-Biblical Excess”

Looking at what we don’t do well and where we are not properly balanced.


1. Watch for clarifying terms – rules, convictions, and viewpoints which are not commanded in scripture are extra-biblical. Individuals have them. Churches have them. They can be healthy as long as they are not viewed as adding to our righteousness. Our efforts do not improve our standing before God or make us superior to others. Can we still fellowship with those who don’t have our convictions? Extra-biblical excess is when these things become a pillar of the church when they are not commanded by the scripture, when they become the identity of the church. A lot of this shows in what descriptive term we put in front of the word “church” – contemporary, emerging, family-integrated, etc. The gospel must draw them or we must fail. We should not depend on the additive descriptive to be the draw. These things should not be the draw for someone to join the church.


2. Watch for worldly externalisms. See Colossians 2:8, 18, and 20-23. The world wants to impose externals on you instead of Jesus Christ. Also see Galatians 4:3. This is works religion. The highest form of worldliness is legalistic religion. Much self-abasement is actually flaunting religion and self-indulgence. We turn to our own self-restraint to combat sin, but Paul tells us that these external rules do not stop the indulgence of the flesh.


3. Watch for pendulum swings. See Matthew 23:15 – from one excess to another excess. We swing as we leave a weak, unhealthy church and land in a legalistic church, a whole new set of extra-biblical excess and error. We must strive to maintain a biblical balance. Structure and organization are not bad. New external forms do not transform the heart.


4. Watch for silly women. See 2 Timothy 3:6-7. False teachers find a foothold among weak (or silly) women. Women that are burdened by sin. Women that are led by their passions. These lead to the abandoning of sound doctrine. These lead to never being able to be grounded on the truth.


5. Remember that a sovereign God is behind all. See 1 Corinthians 11:18-19.  There may be divisions in the church, but verse 19 says that we should expect this.  And why should we expect factions within the church? Because that is how God reveals what is genuine. Factions are used to purify and purge the church.


6. The irrevocable reference point – total abandonment to the gospel. Our reference point must be on the power of gospel message to change lives. We will build on the foundation of the gospel or we will fail (see Romans 1:16, 16:25).



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