30 May 2011

Mission: To Exalt Christ

Acts 13:26-37
26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,
“‘You are my Son,
today I have begotten you.’
34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,
“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’
35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,
“‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’
36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption.

27 May 2011

Critical Questions (4) Matthew 9:9-13

Matthew 9:9-13

9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”  - ESV

26 May 2011

Road Maps for the Psalms

Road Maps for the Psalms: Inductive Preaching Outlines Based on the Hebrew Text
Looking for a good book to go along with your Psalm reading or teaching? Let me recommend George Zemek's, Road Maps for the Psalms, Inductive Preaching Outlines Based on the Hebrew Text. This is a marvelous work. Outline after outline give the reader a path to studying and teaching the Psalms. It has helped my study of the Psalms and I'm sure it will help yours as well. Dr. Zemek is currently the director of The Ministry Training Center at the Bible Church of Little Rock in Arkansas and has held other ministry positions in the past including director of doctoral studies at Grace Theological Seminary. This book is worth the investment. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

24 May 2011

Who is? I AM?

Exodus 3:1-15
3:1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

7 Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

23 May 2011

Caught Between Two Worlds - Psalm 1

Psalm 1
1:1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish. - ESV

17 May 2011

16 May 2011

Exceptional Post on Introverts

Being one of the world's leading introverts I found Thom Rainer's post on The Introverted Leader exceptional. The following is just a wee quote:

Small talk drains introverts. We weird people often wonder why people ask us how we’re doing. We can’t stand to be captured by a stranger or casual acquaintance that wants to tell us how we can make the world a better place to live. We dread being placed at a dinner table where we are expected to carry the conversation. We do not like being the center of attention. To the contrary, a lone corner of a room with no one noticing us suits us just fine.

I have often been perceived to be unfriendly because of my introversion. It’s a fair accusation. I do not have a gregarious outwardly friendly personality. But I am deeply loyal to friends and family. Still I do need to work on my appearance of unfriendliness.

If the above describes you to any degree I suggest you read Rainer's suggestion's to compensate for your introversion. I found them helpful and wise. Thanks Dr. Rainer.

From Dust and Ashes 1 Samuel 31

We conclude our sermon series this week in First Samuel.

14 May 2011

Dr. Carl Trueman's Republocrat

Interesting. I don't necessarily agree with Trueman's politics but his conclusions are certainly worth pondering from a Biblical perspective.

12 May 2011

Sanctification VII: It's Procurer

The Doctrine of SanctificationWe have now reached what is to our mind the most important and certainly the most blessed aspect of our many-sided subject, yet that which is the least understood in not a few circles of Christendom. It is the objective side of sanctification that we now turn to, that perfect and unforfeitable holiness which every believer has in Christ. We are not now going to write upon sanctification as a moral quality or attribute, nor of that which is a matter of experience or attainment by us; rather shall we contemplate something entirely outside ourselves, namely, that which is a fundamental part of our standing and state in Christ. That which we are about to consider is one of those ‘spiritual blessings’ which God has blest us with ‘in the heavenlies in Christ’ (Eph. 1:3). It is an immediate consequence of His blood-shedding, and results from our actual union with Him as ‘the Holy One of God.’ It is that which His perfect offering has sanctified us unto, as well as what it has sanctified us from.

Among all the terrible effects and fruits which sin produces, the two chief are alienation from God and condemnation by God: sin necessarily excludes from His sanctuary, and brings the sinner before the judgment seat of His law. Contrariwise, among all the blessed fruits and effects which Christ's sacrifice procures, the two chief ones are justification and sanctification: it cannot be otherwise. Inasmuch as Christ's sacrifice has ‘put away’ (Heb. 9:26), ‘made an end’ (Dan. 9:24) of the sins of His people, they are not only freed from all condemnation, but they are also given the right and the meetness to draw nigh unto God as purged worshippers. Sin not only entails guilt, it defiles; and the blood of Christ has not only secured pardon, it cleanses. Yet simple, clear, and conclusive as is this dual fact, Christians find it much harder to apprehend the second part of it than they do the first.

...By the redemptive work of Christ the entire Church has been set apart, consecrated unto and accepted by God. The grand truth is that the feeblest and most uninstructed believer was as completely sanctified before God the first moment that he trusted in Christ, as he will be when he dwells in Heaven in his glorified state. True, both his sphere and his circumstances will then be quite different from what they now are: nevertheless, his title to Heaven, his meetness for the immediate presence of the thrice Holy One, will be no better then than it is to-day. It is his relation to Christ (and that alone) which qualifies him to enter the Father's House; and it is his relation to Christ (and that alone) which gives him the right to now draw nigh within the veil. True, the believer still carries around with him ‘this body of death’ (a depraved nature), but that affects not his perfect standing, his completeness in Christ, his acceptance, his justification and sanctification before God. But, as we said in an earlier paragraph, the Christian finds it much easier to believe in or grasp the truth of justification, than he does of his present perfect sanctification in Christ. For this reason we deem it advisable to proceed slowly and enter rather fully into this aspect of our subject. Let us begin with our Lord's own words in John 17:19, ‘For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.’ Unto what did Christ allude when He there spoke of sanctifying Himself?

...God has made Christ to be sanctification unto us by imputing to us the infinite purity and excellency of His sacrifice. We are made nigh to God by Christ's blood (Eph. 2:13) before we are brought nigh to Him by the effectual call of the Spirit (1 Pet. 2:9): the former being the necessary foundation of the latter—in the types the oil could only be placed upon the blood. And it is on this account we ‘are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints’ (1 Cor. 1:2). How vastly different is this—how immeasurably superior to—what the advocates of ‘the higher life’ or the ‘victorious life’ set before their hearers and readers! It is not merely that Christ is able to do this or willing to do that for us, but every Christian is already ‘sanctified in Christ Jesus.’ My ignorance of this does not alter the blessed fact, and neither does my failure to clearly understand nor the weakness of my faith to firmly grasp it, in anywise impair it. Nor have my feelings or experience anything whatever to do with it: God says it, God has done it, and nothing can alter it. - From The Doctrine of Sanctification by A.W. Pink.

10 May 2011

Sanctification VI: The Author

The Doctrine of SanctificationGod Himself is the alone source and spring of all holiness. There is nothing of it in any creature but what is immediately from the Holy One. When God first created man, He made him in His own image, that is, ‘in righteousness and true holiness’ (Eph. 4:24 and cf. Col. 3:10). The creature can no more produce holiness of himself than he can create life: for the one he is just as much dependent upon God as he is for the other How much less, then, can a fallen creature, polluted and enslaved by sin, sanctify himself? More easily could the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots, than a moral leper make himself pure. Where any measure of real holiness is found in a human heart its possessor must say with Paul, ‘By the grace of God I am what I am’ (1 Cor. 15:10). Sanctification, then, is the immediate work and gift of God Himself. - From The Doctrine of Sanctification by A.W. Pink.

09 May 2011

Critical Questions (2) Who is the Son of Man?

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Matthew 16:13

05 May 2011

Themelios Volume 36

The new issue of Themelios is available for download. Take a look - it's great reading!

Sharing Together With Mary

We welcome Rev. David Khoubal to our pulpit. His messaage: Sharing Together With Mary. Rev. Khoubal is the headmaster of Reformed Seminary in Myanmar.