Saturday, December 31, 2011

“I delivered thee when bound,
And, when bleeding, healed thy wound,
Sought thee wand’ring, set thee right,
Turned thy darkness into light.”

Author Unknown, Redemption Hymnal, Song 565

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What did the High Priest wear on the Day of Atonement?

The high priest's clothes that day were remarkably simple. When he represented God to the people he was attired in robes of sumptuous colour and glory. When he represented the people before God, he wore little more than a slave would: linen tunic, shorts, belt and turban.  
Gordon J. Wenham, New Bible Commentary; Leviticus, Inter-Varsity Press, 1994 Pg. 143

Friday, December 23, 2011

Incarnation Meditation from a Virgin Mother to her Divine Son

How shall I give You milk, who gives food to all creation?
How shall I hold You in my arms who holds all things?
How shall I look upon You without fear, on whom the cherubim with many eyes dare not lift their gaze?
Matutin, 6. Tone
As quoted in The Mystical Language of Icons - Solrunn Nes, Eerdmans, 2004

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Deeper Symbolism Than The Grave

In fact, the waters of baptism have an even richer symbolism than simply the symbolism of the grave. The waters also remind us of the waters of God’s judgment that came upon unbelievers at the time of the flood (Gen 7:6-24), or the drowning of the Egyptians in the Exodus (Ex. 14:26-29). Similarly, when Jonah was thrown into the deep (Jonah 1:7-16), he was thrown down to the place of death because of God’s judgment on his disobedience - even though he was miraculously rescued and thus became a sign of the resurrection. 
Therefore those who go down into the waters of baptism really are going down into the waters of judgment and death, death that they deserve from God for their sins. When they come back up out of the waters of baptism it shows that they have come safely through God’s judgment only because of the merits of Jesus Christ, with whom they are united in His death and resurrection. This is why Peter can say in 1 Peter 3:21 that baptism “corresponds to” the saving of Noah and his family from the waters of judgment in the flood.
Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, IVP, Leicester, 1994, page 968 (footnote 7)

Why Was Jesus Baptised?

Jesus sanctified baptism when He Himself was baptized, can anyone who scorns baptism pretend to piety? Not that He was baptized to receive remission of sins - for He was without sin- but, being sinless, He was nevertheless baptized that He might impart grace and dignity to those who receive the sacrament. For, “since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same nature,” that we, sharing His incarnate life, might also share His divine grace. Thus Jesus was baptized that we, in turn, so made partakers with Him, might receive not only salvation, but also the dignity.
The dragon, according to Job, was in the water, he who received the Jordan in his maw. When, therefore, it was necessary to crush the heads of the dragon, descending into the water, He bound the strong one, that we might receive the “power to tread upon serpents and scorpions.” it was no ordinary beast, but a horrible monster. No fishing ship could last under a single scale of his tail; before him stalked destruction, ravaging all in her path. But life came running up, that that maw of death might be stopped and all we who were save might say, ‘O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” Baptism draws death’s sting.
Cyril of Jerusalem:
Catechetical Lectures 3.11

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How shall we grieve?

What the Lord expects from us at such seasons is not to abandon ourselves to unreasoning sorrow, but trustingly to look sorrow in the face, to scan its features, to search for the help and hope, which, as surely as God is our Father, must be there. In such trials there can be no comfort for us so long as we stand outside weeping. If only we will take the courage to fix our gaze deliberately upon the stern countenance of grief, and enter unafraid into the darkest recesses of our trouble, we shall find the terror gone, because the Lord has been there before us, and, coming out again, has left the place transfigured, making of it by the grace of His resurrection, a house of life, the very gate of heaven.

Gerhardus Vos, as quoted by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb, Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault, Crossway Publishers, 2011, pg. 61

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why So Repetitive?

"Every week I preach justification by faith to my people,
because every week they forget it." 
[Martin Luther]

Friday, December 9, 2011

Why do we study theology?

Theology must be in the service of the church and its mission. Authentic theology must be shaped by what we might call a missionary hermeneutic. Theology divorced from this context is essentially barren, self-referential and indulgent. David Bosch says:
‘Just as the church ceases to be the church if it is not missionary, theology ceases to be theology if it loses its missionary character… We are in need of a missiological agenda for theology rather than just a theological agenda for mission; for theology, rightly understood, has no reason to exist other than critically to accompany the missio Dei.’
Tim Chester and Steve Times, Total Church: A Radical Reshaping Around Gospel and Community, IVP, Nottingham, 2007, Pg 152

What is our anchor in both life and death?

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain
Will your anchor shift, or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fasten’d to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

It will surely hold in the floods of death,
When the waters cold chill our latest breath;
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the veil! 

-Priscilla Owens 1882

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Every day belongs to God. But Sunday is the Lord’s day in a special way. Jesus has owned it uniquely ever since that first Easter when He stepped out of the empty tomb. Think of it. On that morning, for the first time, He had conquered death. He had atoned for our sin. He had made a way for us to come boldly into the presence of the Father. And every Sunday since then has been an anniversary of that amazing morning. The Saviour has risen - and everything has changed.

Joshua Harris, Stop Dating the Church - Fall in Love with the Family of God, Multnomah Books, 2004, Pg. 104

Friday, December 2, 2011

Why did God create the world?

The world was not created unintentionally or out of necessity; it is not an automatic emanation or overflowing from God, but the consequence of Divine choice. We should think, not of God the Manufacturer or God the Craftsman, but of God the Lover. By voluntary choice God created the world in “ecstatic” love, so that there might be besides Himself other beings to participate in the life and the love that are His.

Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way, (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimirs Seminary Press, 1995) 44.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How Does God Reveal Himself To Us? (pt 2)

Thus we reach the final thought of comparison: that of the approach of God to man through Moses, and the approach of God to man through Jesus. The difference may be discovered by the reading of the twentieth chapter of Exodus in close connection with the twenty seventh chapter of Matthew, which, of course, simply means the comparison between Sinai and Calvary.
Through Moses, God spoke to men in thunder, in cloud, in lightning, in the terror of the tempest, and earthquake. Through Jesus He spoke through a broken, bruised and dying Man Who was infinitely more than Man. By Sinai came the law. By Calvary came the flowing the river of grace.
-God’s Last Word to Man, G. Campbell Morgan, Marshall, Morgan & Scott, Ltd, 1948, pg. 36

How Should We See The Cross?

Barabbas had a wonderful angle on the cross; he could point to the middle cross and say, 
“There would I have been, if He had not been put in my place.” 
 The Cross He Bore : Meditations on the sufferings of the Redeemer, Fredrick S. Leahy, Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh 1996. P72

    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous...
    1 Peter 3:18

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two Cups

As we meditate on Christ’s prayerful submission in Gethsemane, we should realise that there, as Philip E Hughes puts it, ‘we see Him enduring our hell so that we might be set free to enter His heaven.’ And so at unspeakable cost He drank ‘the cup’ to the very last drop. ‘Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given Me?’ (John 18:11) What obedience, what love! What mystery!

But none of the ransomed ever knew

How deep were the water’s cross’d;

Nor how dark was the night

That the Lord pass’d through…

Now He gives to His people ‘the cup of salvation’ (Psalm 116:13) these two cups, one so bitter, the other so sweet, stand side by side: the one cup necessitated the other. One cup was emptied that the other might be filled to overflowing. The first cup guaranteed the second. Both cups are precious and bear the hallmark of sovereign grace. ‘what shall I render to the LORD for all His bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD…’ (Psalm 116:12,13)
The Cross He Bore : Meditations on the sufferings of the Redeemer, Fredrick S. Leahy, Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh 1996. pg.10-11

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This is My Story, This is My Song!

As is true of all Scripture, God intends that this story – a story of His saving grace poured out freely on needy humans – should become our story as well. 
For indeed, this is the story of all who follow Christ. For Christians, personal salvation is very similar to the story of the Pentateuch. God, the Sovereign of the universe, breaks into our personal history and provides a solution for our brokenness. Because of His love and grace, He provides salvation by His own revelation in history (incarnation). God gives us prophets and teachers to interpret his historical acts and help us maintain our relationship with Him. The rest of the story is one of growth in grace, or the imitation of our Saviour. So the gospel of Jesus Christ was also the gospel of the Israelites.
-B. Arnold and B. Beyer, Encountering the Old Testament, Baker Books, 1999, pg 68.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hear His Voice

The Holy Spirit is acknowledged as the one who spoke ‘through David’ in the writing of Psalm 95. The Spirit continues to speak to subsequent generations of Christians through this scripture, warning them to make each day a fresh ‘Today’ in which to hear His voice and live. 

David G. Peterson, New Bible Commentary; Hebrews, IVP, Pg. 1329

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why Does Jesus Identify With Us? (Part 2)

Nearly all reject the weak and poor as objects of disgust; an earthly king cannot bear the sight of them, rulers turn away from them, while the rich ignore them and pass them by when they meet them as though they did not exist; nobody thinks it desirable to associate with them. 
But God, who is served by myriads of powers without number, who “upholds the universe by the word of His power,” whose majesty is beyond anyone’s endurance, has not disdained to become the Father, the Friend, the Brother of those rejected ones. He willed to become incarnate so that He might become “like unto us in all things except for sin” and make us to share in His glory and His kingdom. What stupendous riches of His great goodness! What an ineffable condescension on the part of our master and our 
Symeon the New Theologian 
Discourse 2.4

Jesus the Suffering Conqueror

Because of Jesus’ resurrection, all threats against you are tamed if you trust in Christ. Jesus conquered death, so death and evil done to you is not the end of the story and you can have hope. In the book of Revelation, one of the key themes is conquering through suffering. This theme is evident in the number of the occurrences of the verb “to conquer” in the book. John describes amazing promises to Christians, addressing the promises specifically to those who “conquer”:
-To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (2:7)
-The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death. (2:11)
-To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (2:17)
-The one who conquers and who keeps My word until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. (2:26)
-the one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (3:5)
-The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from My God out of heaven, and My own new name. (3:12)
-The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with My father on His throne. (3:21)

How will these staggering promises come to pass? How will they conquer amid affliction and persecution? How will they find the strength to endure and overcome against all odds? John provides the answer: they will conquer by looking by faith to the One who has already conquered, Jesus Christ. We read in Revelation 5:5-6:
    And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
    And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain
John describes Jesus as the kingly Lion and the meek Lamb who has conquered all of His and our enemies. Jesus has conquered His enemies through His suffering and death on the cross, and yet he is also one who has been slaughtered. Jesus is “the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth,” and He is the one “who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom of priests to His God and Father.” We reign with Him because He died and freed us and made us a kingdom for His glory.

Justin & Lindsey Holcomb, Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault, Crossway Publishers, 2011, pg. 147-148

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)

Peace is Jesus’ bequest to His disciples. Peace was commonly used at this time as a word of greeting (20:19, 21, 26) or of farewell. It thus comes in aptly in this final discourse of our Lord’s. But the expression used here is not the usual formula of farewell; Jesus is using the term in His own way for His own purposes. The repetition of “peace” is impressive. The concept is important. Having stated positively what He gives, Jesus goes on to differentiate this give from anything that the world can give. When the world uses “peace” in a greeting it expresses a hope. It can do no more. And even that it usually does in no more than a conventional sense like our “good-bye” (= “God be with you”). But Christ effectually gives His people peace. Moreover, the peace of which He speaks is not dependent on outward circumstances, as any peace the world can give must necessarily be. Because He gives people such a peace Jesus can enjoin them not to be troubled in heart no cowardly. A Christ given serenity excludes both. In the Bible “peace” is given a wider and deeper meaning than in other Greek writings. For the Greeks (and for us) peace was essentially negative, the absence of war. But for the Hebrews it means positive blessings, especially a right relationship with God. This is to be seen in the Old Testament and is carried over into the New. The word here has its fullest content. 

Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, New International Commentary on the New Testament, Eerdmans, 1995, pg. 583-584

Monday, September 26, 2011

My hope

You're my hope for tomorrow
My peace for today
You're the joy in my sorrow
the Truth and the Way

-Jimmy Robeson, 2007

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;

Robert Robinson, A Col­lect­ion of Hymns Used by the Church of Christ in Angel Al­ley, Bi­shop­gate, 1759.

Friday, September 23, 2011


"When I enter the pulpit with the Bible in my hands and in my heart my blood begins to flow and my eyes to sparkle for the sheer glory of having God's word to expound."

John Stott, as quoted by Roger Steer in Basic Christian; The Inside Story of John Stott, IVP Press, 2009

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Does Jesus Identify With Us?

Moses, like Jesus, was not ashamed to consider His people who were in slavery as His brothers, and He was prepared to identify with them in order to deliver them. (Exodus 2:11, 4:18, Hebrews 11:24-26).
Peter O’Brien, The Letter to the Hebrews, Apollos Press, 2010 page 118

Saturday, September 10, 2011

He changes everything

Ever good thing we could think or desire is to be found in this same Jesus Christ alone, For,
He was sold, to buy us back;
captive, to deliver us;
condemned, to absolve us;
He was made a curse for our blessing,
sin offering for our righteousness,
marred that we might be made fair;
He died for our life;
so that by Him
fury is made gentle,
wrath appeased,
darkness turned to light,
fear reassured,
disposal despised,
debt cancelled,
labour lightened,
sadness made merry,
misfortune made fortunate,
difficulty easy,
disorder ordered,
division united,
ignominy ennobled,
rebellion subjected,
intimidation intimidated,
ambush uncovered,
assaults assailed,
force forced back,
combat combated,
war warred against,
vengeance avenged,
torment tormented,
damnation damned,
the abyss sunk into the abyss,
hell transfixed,
death dead,
mortality made immortal.
In short, mercy has swallowed up all misery, and goodness all misfortune. For all these things which were to be the weapons of the devil in his battle against us, and the sting of death to pierce us, are turned for us into exercises which we can turn to our profit. If we are able to boast with the apostle, saying, ‘O hell, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?’ it is because by the Spirit of Christ, we live no longer, but Christ lives in us.

John Calvin, as quoted by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb, Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault, Crossway Publishers, 2011, pg. 101

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Jesus Leads Many Sons To Glory

The goal of His marvelous purpose is to ‘bring many sons (and daughters) to glory.’ In the Old Testament the theme of the Lord’s leading His people is familiar, particularly Israel’s exodus from Egypt (Exodus 3:8, 6:6-7, 7:4-5, etc) where God’s mighty action is underscored. As the elect people of Yahweh, Israel knew from the beginning of it’s history that the Lord was its ‘Leader’. 
For the author of Hebrews the typological significance of God leading His people out of Egypt is obvious. Language that describes this event is deliberately employed by our author to describe God’s action of leading many contemporary sons and daughters to glory. It is cast in terms of a new exodus with believers as ‘the new Exodus generation’.
Peter O’Brien, The Letter to the Hebrews, Apollos Press, Nottingham, Pg. 104

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Talitha Cumi

“Banishing all from the house except the parents and His three chosen disciples, He entered the chamber of death to rob it of its prey.” 
- Henry Ironside commenting on Mark 5:40

Friday, September 2, 2011

Who is qualified to recieve God's grace?

God receives none but those who are forsaken, restores health to none but those who are sick, gives sight to none but the blind, and life to none but the dead...He has mercy on none but the wretched and gives grace to none but those who are in disgrace.

Martin Luther, as quoted by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb, Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault, Crossway Publishers, 2011, pg. 17

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jesus is a merciful and faithful High Priest.

He is a faithful as well as a merciful high priest in God’s service. It is possible, of course, to suggest here that in His high priestly service Christ is merciful towards man and faithful to God, the twin title reflecting the manward and Godward aspects of His ministry. 
But it is equally true that He is faithful to us. The trustworthy and reliable Christ is the One who comes to our help when we are tempted, not a vacillating, capricious, occasionally unavailable Helper, but One who has proved Himself fully dependable and completely adequate in every experience of life.
Raymond Brown, The Message of Hebrews, Bible Speaks Today, IVP, 1982 pg. 72

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Three Terrible Questions and One Astounding Answer

Alas and did my Saviour bleed and did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?
Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon that tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown and love beyond degree!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A long gestation period before the new birth

God's reward for faithful ministry is beautifully illustrated by the story of Luke Short, converted at the tender age of 103. Mr Short was sitting under a hedge in Virginia when he happened to remember a sermon he had once heard preached by the famous Puritan John Flavel. As he recalled the sermon, he asked God to forgive his sins right then and there, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Short lived for three more years, and when he died, the following words were inscribed on his tombstone, 
"Here lies a babe in grace, aged three years, who died according to nature, aged 106."

Here is the truly remarkable part of the story. The sermon that old Mr. Short remembered had been preached eighty-five years earlier back in England! nearly a century passed between Flavel's sermon and Short's conversion, between the sowing and the reaping. Sooner or later, by the grace of God, faithful work always has it's reward.

Philip Ryken, Entrusted with the Gospel, Crossway Publishing, 2010 page 41

Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

Monday, August 1, 2011

Prayer Requested / Be för mig snälla

Today I am leaving with Rachel, Eoin and Aan-Sofie to the Calvary Chapel Scandinavian Conference in Stockholm. I'll be teaching two of the main sessions;
Thursday night I'll be talking about legalism as the chief enemy of the gospel from 1 Timothy 4, 
and Saturday morning I'll be talking about the work of gospel ministry from 2 Timothy 2.
I hope that I can encourage (and be encouraged by) my Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and Icelandic brothers and sisters. Your prayers are appreciated.  
Tack så mycket!

O cross, tool of salvation of the Most High! 
O cross, banner of Christ’s victory over all enemies!
St Andrew

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why Do We Know God?

We know who God is not because any of us was smart enough to figure Him out, but because out of His own love, grace, and mercy He has spoken to us.

Al Mohler, He is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern world, Moody Publishers, 2008, pg. 54

Why Do We Praise God?


But the most obvious fact about praise - whether of God or any thing - strangely     escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honour. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. The world rings with praise - lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favourite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game - praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars…
    I had not noticed either that just as men spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: “Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?” The Psalmists in telling everyone to  praise God are doing what all men do when they speak about what they care about…
    I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete until it is expressed. 

C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms (New York; Harcourt, Brace & World, 1958) pg. 93

Friday, July 29, 2011

Who is this Man?

He wrote no books, and yet the books written about Him would fill the largest library in the world. He wrote no music, and yet more songs, more oratios, more anthems, more hymns have been written about Him than about anyone who ever lived.

D. James Kennedy, Cross Purposes, Multnomah Publishers, 2007, pg. 108.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What do you say when you are about to die? Part 3

I think of the story an elderly Scottish woman who lay at death’s door. Her pastor came to see her, and as was the custom, he inquired into the reality of her faith, probing deeply. At last, he asked her this penetrating question: “Sadie, after all God has done for you, suppose that when you die, He still allows you to perish. What then?”
Sadie answered, “Well, that’s up to Him. He will do what He will. However, if He does allow me to perish, then He will lose more than I, for though I will lose my soul, He will lose His honour, for He has promised me in His Word, ‘He that trusteth in Me shall never perish.’”

D. James Kennedy, Cross Purposes, Multnomah Publishers, 2007, pg. 20.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What should we fear?

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."
-Francis Chan

Friday, July 22, 2011

Jesus in Hebrews, Worship in Costa Coffee

Yesterday at Costa Coffee I sat down with my friend Shane Dean and he taught me a bit of how to use the Logos Bible Software that I had on my computer, yet had been completely unable to figure out myself. It was a great couple of hours of explaining lexicons, hyperlinks, language tools, text comparisons, sentence diagrams, visual filters, etc.
And then right before he left he showed me the passage analysis feature, which allows you to chart out any pericope according to the frequency of words used, or quickly see the importance of a word or theme in a book. I offhandedly typed in "Jesus" as my search, and "Epistle to the Hebrews" as my pericope. The chart that came up nearly brought me to tears. 
It so wonderfully showed the great and noble name that He possesses and the great things that Jesus has done for us. 
  • The One who is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession is the same One who suffered outside the gate. 
  • The One who is called the Son of God is also the One who opened a way for us through the curtain of His flesh. 
  • The Great Shepherd of the Sheep, who was crowned with glory and honour experienced the suffering of death.  
 It was an amazing moment as I was quickly reminded that the Scriptures are not just words to be studied, but they teach us about (and lead us to) the Saviour to whom we are to worship. I just looked at the chart and whispered a quiet prayer of thanks to my Lord, Jesus Christ, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What is Repentance?

Some people encounter Jesus and say, “Sweet! Jesus, do You want to join the party of my life with this sin, that addiction, this destructive relationship, and we’ll all just coexist together?” 
But repentance means saying, “Sweet Jesus, You are the best thing that has ever happened to me! I want to turn from all the sin and selfishness that rules me. I want to let it go and walk with You. Only You. You are my life now. Help me to walk away from the enslaving, worthless things in my life.

France Chan, Forgotten God, David C. Cook Publishers, 2009, pg. 83

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How to Read the Bible

A conversation between myself and Shane Angland about how we should read the Bible. (6 of 6, there aren't any more!)

I really enjoyed doing this interview with Shane and I hope you have enjoyed watching it. Shane's a fantastic guy and a great friend and I love serving Jesus with him. Make sure you check out his blog because it's better than mine! (He actually writes his own stuff!)

Why Does God Love Us?

He is the great God, “the God of the spirits and of all flesh,” “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity,” and created not angels and men because He wanted them, for He is being itself, and as such must necessarily be infinitely happy in the glorious perfections of His nature from everlasting to everlasting; and as He did not create, so neither did He redeem because He needed us, but He loved us because He loved us, He would have mercy because He would have mercy, He would show compassion because He would show compassion.

Susanna Wesley (1669-1724) as quoted by Fred Sanders in The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything, Crossway Publishers, 2010, pg. 67

What translation do you use?

A conversation between myself and Shane Angland about Bible Translations. (5 of 6, more to come!) 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Is the Bible historically reliable?

A conversation between myself and Shane Angland about the Historical Reliability of the Bible. (3 of 6, more to come!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Textual Criticism

A conversation between myself and Shane Angland about Textual Criticism. (2 of 6, more to come!)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Canon of Scripture

A conversation between myself and Shane Angland about the Canon of Scripture. (1 of 6, more to come!)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Jesus is Better

In this epistle... Everything presented is presented as better:
a better hope, 
a better covenant, 
a better promise, 
a better sacrifice, 
a better substance, 
a better country, 
a better resurrection, 
a better everything. 
Jesus Christ is presented here as the Supreme Best.
And we are presented as being in Him and as dwelling in a completely new dimension – the heavenlies.
We read of the heavenly Christ, 
the heavenly calling, 
the heavenly gift, 
the heavenly country, 
the heavenly Jerusalem, 
and of our names being written in the heavenlies.
Everything is new. Everything is better. We don’t need the old.

-John MacArthur, commenting on the Epistle to the Hebrews

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Apart from Him...

The Christian’s life in all its aspects - intellectual and ethical, devotional and relational, upsurging in worship and outgoing in witness - is supernatural; only the Spirit can initiate and sustain it. So apart from Him, not only will there be no lively believers and no lively congregations, there will be no believers, and no congregation at all.

J.I. Packer, quoted by Francis Chan, Forgotten God, David C. Cook Publishers, 2009, pg. 83

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How does God reveal Himself?

...When it comes to the great, defining events of the economy of salvation, it has been God’s direct intention to do these things in order to make Himself known to us.
In the old covenant, the central events were the choosing of Abraham, the Exodus from Egypt, and the gift of the Promised Land. In these events God was doing something in history that brought about knowledge of Him. “I will take you to be My people, and I will be your God,” He declares in Exodus 6:7, with the result that “you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the Egyptians.” At the other end of Old Testament history, the Lord promises that He will bring His people back from exile and that this mighty act will result in sure knowledge of His identity and character: “And I will put My Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD (Ezek 37:14). Over and over, God links accurate knowledge of His character to recognition of a definite constellation of His mighty acts on behalf of His people.
But those old-covenant events all cry out for their divinely ordained fulfillment in the new covenant, where God completes His intention to make Himself known.  The book of Hebrews begins by announcing this breakthrough to a new level of God’s self expression toward us: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He spoke to us by His Son” (Heb 1:1-2). This Son is not simply a messenger who carries God’s words, or an interpreter who explains God’s ways. He is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature” (v.3), and His being sent into the world is itself a mighty act of God to simultaneously save us and reveal Himself. 

-Fred Sanders, The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything, Crossway Publishers, 2010, pg. 131

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How has God spoken to us through His Son?

The revelation from Jesus Himself was unique, because not only was it purely God's message (as was the case with every other inspired writer) but it was also God's personality through which the message came. the personality of Paul, Peter, John and the other Biblical writers is clear in their writings. yet in the revelation from Jesus we see the personality of God.

David Guzik commenting on Hebrews 1:2 "In these last days He has spoken to us by His Son" 
Hebrews, Enduring Word Commentary Series, pg 12, 2004

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Trees

For, as death came upon the human race by the disobedience of one man, it was fitting that by another man’s obedience life should be restored. And, as sin, the cause of our condemnation, had its origin from a woman, so ought the author of our righteousness and salvation to be born of a woman. And so also it was proper that the devil, who, being man’s tempter, had conquered him in eating of the tree, should be vanquished by man in the suffering of the tree which man bore. Many other things also, if we carefully explain them, give a certain indescribable beauty to our redemption as thus procured.

Anslem of Canterbury
Cur Deus Homo

Where does the bride of Christ come from?

 Because of the sin of the first Adam, society sinks deeper into the mire of sin and guilt. But thank God, there’s another Adam - a Second Adam - God’s Son. God provided a bride for that first Adam - Eve was created from a rib that God took out of Adam’s side when he was in a deep sleep.
 Likewise God also has provided a bride for the second Adam. We are that bride. And in order to get His bride, Christ’s side was also pierced - it was pierced as He hung there upon the cross at Golgotha. But there was no deep sleep for Him. There was no anesthesia. Even a mild form of vinegar and gall was refused by Christ, that He might experience the pain that sin properly deserves. This pain is something we must endure forever if He does not endure it for us.

-D. James Kennedy, 
Cross Purposes, 
Multnomah Publishers, 2007, pg. 62.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What is the goal of the church?

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. 

Worship is. 

Missions exists because worship doesn't. 

Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. 

John Piper, 
Let the Nations be Glad; the Supremacy of God in Missions, Baker Academic, 2003,  Page 17 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

God's grace in salvation

Last Sunday morning at church we had a visiting couple from America show up. We had a great time chatting and getting to know each other after service and that evening we decided to meet up again for fish & chips. As we were sitting in my front room talking about the grace of God and how He had individually called each of us to believe in Him and follow him, something that Tom said sounded familiar. 
I thought I had heard it before, so I asked him, "Sorry, but did you ever give your testimony on video? I think I saw it online a couple months ago!" He laughed and confirmed that it had been posted on a few blogs recently! 
Tom has an incredible account of how God pursued him and brought him to Himself. I'd love for you to take 6 minutes and listen to his story!
Tom Martin Testimony from Covenant Life Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A conversation about the grace of God (pt 2)

How did a band of fishermen change the world?

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, who made fisherman all-wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them, drawing all the world into Your net. O Loving One, glory be to You.
(Apolytikion for Pentecost)