Thursday, March 20, 2008

On February 25-27, 2008 Resurgence hosted it's National Conference titled Text & Context at Mars Hill Church's Ballard Campus. In this sixth session from the Conference, listen as John Piper explains how his preaching is informed by his shepherd, counseling and individual care.
Listen Now - Download Audio Track

this is an amazing sermon if not awesome.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Last Sunday's Brunch

Romans1:16-17 The Thesis of Romans Salvation to Everyone

In 1965 a very popular show graced the television sets of many American homes. Branded with Chuck Connors. Many years later I would grow up watching this same show that was shaping the morays of America in the mid to late seventies. The shows story was about:

Captain Jason McCord played by ChuckConnors, a West Point graduate who is the sole survivor of a massacre at Bitter Creek. He is judged to have been a coward in the battle and is dismissed in disgrace. In the introduction, we see McCord's commanding officer rip the rank designations and decorations from hisuniform. He breaks McCord’s sabre in half, tossing the bottom half out of the fort gate. Now McCordmust wander the West in the 1880's hoping to establish his innocence as he is only guilty do being the last man

This is much like the picture of Paul that we have before us. Heis bold, proud and unashamed as he has done nothing wrong. But for Paul, thestory he livesto tell is not one to set him free, but to bring freedom to all whobelieve innot a massacre, but a deliberate sacrifice to pay for your soul.

Rom 1:16-17- ForI am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God forsalvation toeveryone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

  • First let us deal with what Paul is not saying that he isnot. He says he is not ashamed.
    • Onedefinition of shame is that it is a painfulsensation excited by a consciousness of guilt or impropriety, or ofhaving done something which injures reputation, or of the exposure ofthat which nature or modesty prompts us to conceal.
    • Paulhas done nothing to earn a sense of Guilt.
    • Hismissionary endeavors on the behalf of Christ were not rooted inimpropriety or inappropriate behavior.
    • Heproclaiming and heralding of the Messiah was nothing to injureone’s reputation.
    • Infact, Paul was not guilty of anything that would that was immodest orprompted the need to conceal what he had done.
  • Thetruth is Paul is asserting the exact opposite.
    • Paulis telling us that he has no shame.He is not afraid. He has no fear as the beloved hymn says. Paul issaying in the vernacular of the day, “I’ve got notshame in my game.”
    • Paulis aware that it is the Gospel of Jesus that causes apainful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt in one.
    • Itis the knowledge of the Purity of Jesus as the sacrifice that announcesour impropriety, our indecency, uncouthnessand bad behavior.
    • Itis this that injures reputation, as we have aself built reputation of being good.
      • Remembergood means not weakor defective; havingstrength adequate to its support;
      • Thatis at the other end of the spiritual spectrum as we are weak to sin,defective with a sin nature that is inherited from the first man, Adam.And we will never have the strength to support the sins that wecontinue to pile not only on our conscious, but upon the Cross ofChrist.
    • Finally,it is the Grace filled Gospel that do to a lack of modesty,prompts us to conceal. Our lack of reverence and deep pietytoward the King of the Universe, God and His Word that caused us toturn from God and hid like Adam and his wife did in the garden whenthey were confronted with their sin.
  • Sowhat is this Good News that gives Paul such gumption? What exact is itabout the Gospel that helps Paul shed all fear and removes any hint ofshame from him person?
  • WhyI am glad that you are so intelligent and intuitive!
    • The Greek word behind theEnglish “Gospel”means simply ‘Good News’.
    • In Ancient Greece, when abattle was won, a messenger was sent to the city and, coming nearer, hewould exclaim this one word ‘evangelion’:Good News – the battle is won! Man did not seek God! But theGood News is that God seeks man
    • Paul is running to you and mein this text with the Good News that God has won the battle for oursoul over Satan. His Good News is that you do not have to spendeternity in Hell or be captive here on Earth because of our sins. The GoodNews is that Jesus set free all that believe and trust in Him!
    • Thatis what Paul is excited about to the point that he loses his self andbecome a marathon runner bring us the Good News, the Best News ever,that the spilled blood of Jesusbuys your soul, pays off your sins and purchases your eternity.That all you have to do is make Him your Lord.Make Him the Master of your life and forever with Him you will reignand bypass an eternity of torment in Hell for yoursins.
  • Readwhat Paul said about this Gospel that he has zero amount of shame about.
    • For it is the power of God for salvation toeveryone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
    • TheGospel is the distinct vehicle for Grace in which God providedfaultless and flawless hecatomb or sacrifice to pay for our sinfullives riddled with faults and flaws.
    • It is through this vehiclethat salvation is delivered wholesale to the those who are willing toreceive His sovereignty. It matters not if you are of the remnant of Israelor are Gnostic Greek. Christ is for those who are in the loop and thoseon the outside looking in.
    • The power of God for salvation is for youan available you right here right now. We have to make the decision to man up or to wimpout. Declare Christ with out shame or suffer for the shamefulthings that we have committed.

Why do I have to make such a decision you might ask? Or maybe you are as saying, “Who are you totell me what I have to do?” Or better you are saying in your mind. “I’m okay –my good will out weigh my bad.”

Well,let me address these rebuttals, excuses and defense mechanisms with not my views but the writing of Paul that not onlycarry withthem apostolic authority, but are the very Holy Spirit inspired Word ofGod inverse 17.

17For init the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it iswritten,"The righteous shall live by faith."

  • I speak to you notbecause I am perfect but because of therighteousness of God
  • The clause for in refers us to the Gospel. It is inthe Good News that we see the righteousness of God. This is the pictureand manifestation of His holiness and Glory.
  • In His redemptionof His creation for His Glory, to Display His majesty in accordance toHis Word that prophesied and predicted His Son would die to atone forHis people to have faith in His as His plan as been.
  • The question youreally need to be asking is “Am I part of his plan? IsGod’s plan for me to have faith, which means trustHim?” If you do not have the complete security that you arepart of God’s Plan you need to ask Him to make you part of itright now.
  • You need to askhim to save you, to place you in heaven because you feel pain, sorrowor regret what you have done by sinning against Him and not ValuingGod. You need to need to tell him that you believe, trust and havefaith that His son Jesus, was pure ad n prefect a He lived and died foryou and the you know that he rose from the Grave to pay your personaldebt to God for your sin. You need to ask him to be your personal Lordand Master because you know he is coming back for you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Toolbar for Scholars and Biblefreaks like me

You really need this for serious study and to beable to moe quickly with out opening up several programs

Tyndale Toolbar

Friday, March 07, 2008

calvinism, baptist, wesley and Jesus

I some times wonder what has happened to the churches that we are members and servants of. Better yet, I wonder how have become the way we are. When did certain things come in to existence and when did doctrines change. This is an amateurish recollection with many overreaching characterizations and personnel biases but then again it is my blog. I expect to hear rebuttals, corrections, and rebukes, but I lovingly and gladly welcome them. It will be wonderful to dialogue about this and a chance for us all to become wiser.

From my reading it seems that there were always two groups of Baptists. Freewill and Predestined. You might have seen them written about as General and Particular. As I remember reading (and will now have to go and read more about) the General Baptist were Arminian in nature. Over time these Baptist were intertwined and with various other faith groups and dissolved into their ranks or we infected by their doctrines. The short of it, they disappeared. This left the Strict Baptist, Calvinist Baptist, Reformed Baptist, Particular Baptists or how ever you want to define them, appear to be the only Baptist group as they migrated to the Americas. Now we know that some of those pesky Free Willer’s got past the border patrol but for the most part it seems that Those that came over were establishing Churches that would have that we were Strict Baptist.

Over time this would change. For many years Churches in America were quarter time or halftime, meaning they would meet once a month or twice a month. Pulpits in churches were filled by Baptist half the time and Methodist the other. This led to a congregation having many different theologies presented to them. Additionally this influx also led to Arminian theology being injected into the church by Wesley’s circuit riders. In some case membership in these dual congregation churches was determined on who baptized you.

There are still some churches that operate this way. I heard of one in the 90’s that passed two offering plates one for each denomination.. One hilarious story of a bi-congregation tells of a Baptist Preacher that had many decisions made after he preached an in the days following. A loyal Methodist wired a message for the quarter time Methodist preacher so he could baptize them before the Baptist pastor could return. Apparently a sprinkle a day would keep the Baptist away and place them on the roll of the Anglican off spin. In some cases these churches were filled with people that were honest attending both as they sought the Lord. In short, they attended church and it just happened to be Methodist that Sunday which was better than no church. At other times, they were just going to the only entertainment venue in the area. Unfortunately the Calvinist Methodist like George Whitefield and Charles Simeon did not spread as far as the Wesleyan-Arminian version.

Revivals during this time were also spinning changes in doctrine. As people with out discipleship and poor education tired to discern the Bible, devolution or Biblical regression took place. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit some found pay dirt. Others did not. In some cases even unregenerate men preached and spread heterodox doctrine. The addition of new doctrines like Dispensational Theology also sprang up as the winds shifted.