Tag Archive | Berean Husband

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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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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Expositor’s Conference – Session 7 – Preaching the Immutability of God (Steve Lawson)

Session 7 – Preaching the Immutability of God (Steve Lawson)

The seventh and last session of the conference is led by Steve Lawson preaching on the Immutability of God. As a side note, next year’s conference will feature Dr. Al Mohler. Preregistration is $89.00. And if you are in the Mobile area, John MacArthur will be preaching at Christ Fellowship Church on Wednesday, October 6 for a prayer breakfast and the evening service. He will be preaching on the topic of his forthcoming book: Slave.

The text is Malachi 3:6. This is a revelation of God about Himself – His own absolute immutability. The location of this revelation is significant – at the close of the Old Testament. In the midst of the change to come, God declares that He will not change.

So is it true that, even though the message does not change, the methods must change? If God has never changed, if human nature has never changed, if the methods of grace have never changed, then why should we expect that the methods need to change?

1. The definition of God’s immutability. God is unchanging, forever the same, never mutates, His attributes never cease, they never change.

(a) God’s essence is unchanging. He is, was, and will always be spirit. Refer to Psalm 102:25-27.

(b) God’s attributes are unchanging. Refer to James 1:17. God has no shadows. God cannot change for the better because He is already perfect, and being perfect He cannot change for the worse (A.W. Pink).

(c) God’s purposes are unchanging. God’s purposes were fixed in eternity past. There is no Plan B. Refer to Isaiah 46:9-11. However, we must always be amending our plans to align with the immutable purposes of God.

(d) God’s word never changes. Refer to Psalm 119:89. Even man’s law changes, but God’s word never changes. Refer to Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 5:18, Luke 16:17. Application: a ministry that never goes out of style is preaching the word of God.

(e) God is unchanging in the object of His love. Refer to Jeremiah 31:3. Nothing shall separate us from the love of God.

(f) God’s judgment is unchanging. The execution of God’s justice is unchanging. God’s wrath is unchanging. Refer to John 3:18. Annihilationism is unthinkable for an unchanging God. Refer to Revelation 14:11, 20:10. Forever and ever is also used to describe how long believers shall be in heaven.

2. The implications of God’s immutability.

(a) Our message never changes. As long as we preach the Bible we will never contradict ourselves. Refer to Hebrews 13:8. Preach the same Christ every day. Human nature does not change. The sickness is always the same. God’s remedy to the sickness does not change.  Refer to John 14:6. And the requirement placed on sinners does not change – faith in Jesus Christ.

(b) Our method never changes. These are the ordinary means of grace – the word of God, sacraments, prayer. In every season, the word of God going forward in public proclamation is the primary method of grace. God only had one Son, and He made Him a preacher.



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Expositor’s Conference – Session 6 – Question and Answer (R.C. Sproul)

Expositor’s Conference – Session 6 – Question and Answer (R.C. Sproul)

The sixth session of the conference was a question and answer session. Any reference to “I” or “My” in the answers is on the part of the speaker, not the writer.


Question: Is there a specific will of God revealed through His Holy Spirit?

Answer: The secret counsel of God for the individual is just that – secret. We should not spend time worrying over this. We should spend our time with working on the revealed will of God in the Bible and form our decisions based on the revealed will. The will of God is your sanctification. There is extraordinary providence – a leading of the God directly, but far less frequently than people suppose. When someone says God is calling me to do thus-and-so, ask “How do you know?”


Question: The resurgence of the popularity of reformed theology. What about the groups arising within the reformed camp? How inclusive should we be? How likely is division?

Answer: Evangelicalism was a small minority in Christendom years ago, but has exploded and has eroded. Reformed theology is now resurging, but there is already erosion. Negotiations on justification and imputation are already occurring. The camp is as broad as the non-negotiables of the faith.


Question: Reconciling God’s immutability and Christ’s kenosis.

Answer: They cannot be reconciled. All God’s attributes are immutable. The kenosis theory of emptying as we know it was developed by 19th century liberal theologians – that Christ laid aside his divine attributes. Reformed Christology recognizes that Jesus was, remained, as is, 100% God at all time. Chalcedon answered this question. Each nature retained its own attributes.


Question: What laws does God command a Gentile nation to obey?

Answer: Theonomy is a movement to create a Christian nation with the Old Testament civil laws. Rushdoony and North are the preeminent proponents of this movement. The New Testament in no way reflects the desire to maintain the Israelite civil state.  However…the Old Testament does reveal God’s righteous and God’s justice. Laws may be based on Old Testament principles without attempting to resurrect the entire Old Testament civil code. The work of theonomists in showing how the Old Testament law impacts the New Testament has been excellent. North has a book which is dedicated to R.C. Sproul. The church also needs to impact government by being a prophetic voice.


Question: Pink addresses the wrath of God and gives a special note to preachers to preach the wrath of God.

Answer: Preachers are guilty of not declaring the whole counsel of the attributes of God. We fail to see that God is glorified in His justice as well as in His mercy.


Question: What about the cessation of spiritual gifts?

Answer: I believed miracles ceased at the end of the Apostolic age…because the function of the miracle was to authenticate agents of revelation. Miracles only appeared at significant epochs of Biblical history. We must also be specific about our definition of what a miracle is – an immediate intervention of God to do that which only God can do.


Question: Can God speak outside of scripture.

Answer: Of course He can. But does He? No. Not in the terms of new specific revelation.


Question: Thoughts on denominations in light of unity. Are they necessary? Are they desirable?

Answer: The zeal of denominations is admirable. There are issues that will never be resolved this side of eternity. We must practice the way we are convinced God would have us the way practice and not practice they way God is not pleased to have us practice. It is another matter to break fellowship over such an issue. Any doctrine left to the development by inference from scripture is subject to error (i.e., baptism).



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Expositor’s Conference – Session 5 – Preaching the Wrath of God (R.C. Sproul)

Session 5 – Preaching the Wrath of God (R.C. Sproul)

After lunch on Tuesday, the fifth session of the conference was lead by R.C. Sproul, preaching on the wrath of God. Dr. Sproul’s first statement is that the wrath of God is reserved for those who fall asleep during a sermon after lunch. The text for Dr. Sproul’s sermon is Leviticus 10:1-11.

We struggle with the portrait of God in the Old Testament. We struggle with the difference between the God of wrath in the Old Testament and the God of love and mercy in the New Testament. However, this is a false dilemma. The greatest wrath of God is revealed in the New Testament at the cross.

The offering made by Nadab and Abihu is translated as strange, profane, and unauthorized. And for this they are struck dead by God. When Aaron complains to Moses. Moses reminds Aaron of God’s words – among those who come near me, they must regard God as Holy, and God must be glorified before all the people. And what is Aaron’s response? He holds his peace (he shuts his mouth) before the righteousness of God’s judgment. Who can plead his case before God?

But God was not finished. Not only was the mouth of Aaron shut. He instructed the dead bodies to be taken outside of the camp – out of the presence of God.  Think for a minute of all that is done outside the camp. The scapegoat is sent outside the camp. The carcass of the sacrifice is disposed of outside the camp. Lepers were sent outside the camp. Jesus was crucified outside the camp.

But God was not finished yet. Aaron and his sons were forbidden to mourn for Nadab and Abihu. Aaron and his two remaining sons were anointed as holy. He was forbidden to mourn the wrath of God against the unholy.  We are never to obscure the difference between the profane and the holy. Do we have a sense of the presence of the holy entering into the sanctuary.

Moreover, consider the experience of Uzzah. The ark was designed so that it would never be touched by human hands. Yet Uzzah profaned the holy with the common. Jonathan Edwards makes the point that the sin of Uzzah was the sin of presumption – presuming that his hands were cleaner than the mud into which the ark would have fallen.

And there are other such accounts. The account of Korah. The account of Ananias and Sapphira. How do we account for these sudden outbursts of the wrath of God? We must start by considering that, before God, every sin is a capital offense. Therefore, the revelation of the wrath of God against these specific sins is an evidence of the mercy of God, the patience of God, the forbearance of God.

Yet, human nature opposes this. The more merciful God is, the more we sin and become hardened to the mercy of God. This is because there is no fear of God. The accounts of Nadab, Abihu, Uzzah, Korah, Ananias, and Sapphira are reminders that the wrath of God is still alive and well. When we are saved, we are saved from God, that is, from the wrath of God. Nobody is amazed by grace any longer.

Here is the progression of our response to grace: at first we appreciate it, then we expect it, then we demand it. Romans 1 reminds us that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. God’s wrath is not random, not capricious. It has a specific target – all ungodliness and unrighteousness. Jesus Christ became this target of God’s wrath for the sins of His people.

To explore this matter further, read the books by Jeremiah Burroughs – Gospel Worship and Gospel Fear.





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Expositor’s Conference – Session 4 – Preaching the Grace of God (Steve Lawson)

Session 4 – Preaching the Grace of God (Steve Lawson)

Steve Lawson is the preacher for the fourth session, with the subject of preaching the grace of God. His text is Ephesians 1:3-14.

Paul understood grace because he had lived through a revelation of God’s grace on the road to Damascus. Paul understood that all that he was was because of the grace of God.


1. Electing grace. Grace begins in eternity past, before the foundation of the world (verse 4). The word means to be drawn out and set apart for a purpose. To chose out from among the many. God chose by Himself and for Himself according to the tense of the verb. See 1 Corinthians 1:26-31. God’s choosing is not based on merit.  Notice the two modifiers of this choosing: in Christ and in love. The order of this electing grace can be constructed from four key words in Ephesians 1:11 – first there is the counsel of God. Out of this counsel comes the will of God. Out of the will of God comes purpose. And what God purposes, He predestines to guarantee the certainty of fulfillment. This grace causes us to preach with humility.


2. Redeeming grace. Verse 7 tells us of the redeeming grace of God. To redeem is to pay a price that a person cannot pay for themselves to purchase their freedom. The price paid was the blood of Jesus Christ. See Ephesians 5:25-27. This grace allows us to preach with compassion.


3. Regenerating grace. This is the grace which has made us alive. This is the grace of the new birth. See Ephesians 2:4-5. The dead person can do nothing. The sinner is spiritually dead, and therefore can do nothing spiritually, However, God, having made us alive spiritually, gives us the ability to do something spiritually. This grace allows us to preach with boldness.


4. Preserving grace. This is seen in verse 13.  We have been sealed up in the life of Christ. What has been done in eternity cannot be undone in time. What can separate us from the love of Christ? Nothing. Even our glorification is spoken of in the past tense. This grace allows us to preach with confidence.


This is the grace which we preach. This is the only grace. Any grace which is not these four things is not grace at all.






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Expositor’s Conference – Session 3 – Preaching the Holiness of God (R.C. Sproul)

Session 3 – Preaching the Holiness of God (R.C. Sproul)

Moving on to Tuesday morning and the third session of the conference. The subject of the session is the Holiness of God. The text is Isaiah 6:1-13.


The attributes of God as contained in the confessions of most major denominations are uniform. However, the most unique characteristic of reformed theology is the doctrine of God. That is because reformed theology does not forget on page 2 what it learned on page 1. Theology goes astray when it departs from one the attributes of God.

Of all the attributes of God, the one most neglected but most needful is the simplicity of God. That is, God differs from all creatures in that he being is simple, not compound or complex. We are complex creatures. God is simple, He is not made up of parts. God is completely all of His attributes. God’s attributes cannot be set against one another. Love does not prohibit wrath. Therefore, we can use every attribute of God to define His holiness. His holiness is eternal. His holiness is immutable. And therefore, we can say that holiness captures every attribute of God.

The vision of Isaiah came in the year king Uzziah died (by the way, the same year Rome was founded). King Uzziah was perhaps the greatest king since David, but is also the king who usurped the role of the priest. Uzziah profaned the holiness of God.

In verse 1, Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on the throne. The word Lord here is the word Adonai. This is juxtaposed with LORD in verse 3, which is Yahweh. Adonai is the title given to God in the Old Testament, the sovereign one. This title is also given to Jesus Christ in the New Testament. In Greek, it is rendered kurios. And how did Isaiah see the Lord? High, lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple. The length of the robe determined the status of the king.

Above the Lord are the seraphim. They are constructed in a way that fits their habitat, just as are all creatures. The habitat of the seraphim is the immediate presence of God. Therefore, they must have three sets of wings, for they must cover their face and their feet, and they must fly. Compare the record of Moses requesting to see the glory of God. Even the sinless seraphim cannot look upon the holiness of God. Also consider the beatitudes – only the pure in heart will see God. Again, compare the events of Moses at the burning bush. Our feet symbolize our status as creatures.

But most striking is the message of the seraphim – holy, holy, holy. Thrice repeated because of the overwhelming magnitude of God’s holiness. Not just holy. Not just holy, holy. But holy, holy, holy. This is the only attribute of God described this in this superlative manner in the Bible.

The whole earth is full of the glory of God. Why is it that the world does not know who God is, seeing that His glory fills the whole earth? It begins with the fact that the church does not know who God is.

And notice the effects of the presence of the Lord. The thresholds shook, the temple was filled with smoke. But the greatest effect was upon Isaiah himself. He did not proclaim himself blessed for having seen the Lord. In contrast, Isaiah pronounces doom, judgment, curses upon himself, through the use of a single word – Woe. Not upon his enemies, but upon on himself – Woe is me. Isaiah understood who God is, and Isaiah understood who he is. This is why sanctification is such a gradual process.

What does Isaiah become aware of? His unholiness. Specifically, his unclean lips. We are taught that our first petition is the hallowing of the name of God. Isaiah realizes that his lips have profaned God, and that he dwells amongst a people of unclean lips. But God has grace upon Isaiah. God cleanses Isaiah in the way in which Isaiah recognizes his unholiness. And in this cleansed state, Isaiah then becomes ready to become a servant for the Lord. Isaiah becomes a messenger of God’s judgment. One that had received mercy was then given a message of judgment. But Isaiah is also told that there will be a remnant left in Israel, as a seed left in a burned stump.






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Expositor’s Conference 2010 – Live Broadcast

The Expositor’s Conference 2010 is supposed to be live broadcast through SermonAudio today.

The first session is due to begin at 9:00 AM.

The link to the live broadcast is SermonAudio Christ Fellowship.

7:30 A.M.
Breakfast
9:00 A.M. Preaching the Holiness of God
Dr. Sproul

10:30 A.M. Preaching the Grace of God
Dr. Lawson
12:00 P.M.
Lunch
1:30 P.M. Preaching the Wrath of God
Dr. Sproul
3:30 P.M. Questions & Answers  (Steven Lawson & R.C. Sproul)
5:00 P.M Dinner
6:30 P.M. Preaching the Immutability of God
Dr. Lawson



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