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Showing posts from July, 2010

Inclusio as a rhetorical device for boundary marking in John's Revelation

See my article here .

God's Word is True.

"Either, then, this Book is nothing but a base and blasphemous forgery, unworthy of the slightest respect of men, and specially unworthy of a place in the Sacred Canon; or it is one of the most directly inspired and authoritative writings ever given. But a forgery it cannot be" (Joseph A. Seiss, The Apocalypse: Lectures on the Book of Revelation , 513).

Emphasis in Mark – The Messiah is Here and His Kingdom is Offered.

Emphasis in Mark – The Messiah is Here and His Kingdom is Offered. Mark 1:15 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Mark 1:15 15 καὶ λέγων ὅτι Πεπλήρωται ὁ καιρὸς καὶ ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ• μετανοεῖτε καὶ πιστεύετε ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ. Recent linguistic studies in Koine Greek have revealed a number of important features in grammatical studies. One such feature regarding the Greek verb is that it does not specifically connote “tense” (=time) but rather “aspect” (=viewpoint as the author chooses to portray an action). Also contained in this way of looking at the Greek verb is the idea of prominence in the verbal form the author chooses to use (as juxtaposed with the verbal forms that he consciously or subconsciously does not use). For example, the aorist verb form is usually background, the present/imperfect verbal forms heighten emphasis a bit. And the perfect/pluperfect verbal forms bring that particular

Who—or what—do you worship?

This morning at the CHICAGO TRIBUNE , Vikki Ortiz Healy writes an article which he titles: “Wired and Tired: Number of Teens Losing Sleep to Late Night Technology Use…” She writes: A relaxing summer evening for 18-year-old Ross Nikides last week went like this: He and five friends brought laptops to another friend’s house to play “World of War Craft” and other Internet games against each other. Around 4:15 a.m., one of the guys craved a milkshake, so they piled into two cars and drove around Carol Stream in search of an ice cream shop still open. An hour later, they were back at the friend’s house, slurping down their drinks while checking Facebook and playing Xbox until they fell asleep — cell phones by their sides — around 6:15 a.m. Indeed, she continues: Hanging out with friends and staying up late may not be different from what some teens did 30 years ago, but new research suggests technological distractions that teens have access to today cut into thei

Preach Ephesians 1-6 for the Big Picture

Last night God blessed me with the opportunity of teaching through Ephesians 1-6 in one sermon. The major thrust of the book is simply this: God saved you, so now you walk in holiness . I think that the order of the book and the way Paul builds his argument is absolutely crucial in this letter to the church in Ephesus. Ephesians 1-3 — God's Salvation Offered to You Ephesians 4-6 — Your Sanctification for Christ's Glory You can't have Eph 1-3 without Eph 4-6. And you certainly can't have Eph 4-6 (the 'works') result in Eph 1-3 (salvation). The beginning theme of God's sovereignty and sufficiency in saving dead sinners is the thrust of the first portion of the epistle. The subsequent chapters (4-6) merely show the high calling that true believers should then live to show that they are walking worthily of that salvation that God has sovereignly wrought about in them. You may listen here .

Having a great family time in HUME, California

Eternal, conscious, literal, fiery hell is historical.

Antioch's letter To the Ephesians (117AD) "such a one shall go in his foulness to the unquenchable fire" (16:2). Epistle to Diognetus (138AD) " when you fear the death which is real, which is kept for those that shall be condemned to the everlasting fire, which shall punish up to the end those that were delivered to it. Then you will marvel at those who endure for th sake of righteousness the fire which is for a season " (10:7-8). 2 Clement (150AD) " Nothing shall rescue us from eternal punishment, if we neglect His commandments (6:7). " ...when they see those who have done amiss, and denied Jesus by word or deed, are punished with terrible torture in unquenchable fire " (17:7). The Martyrdom of Polycarp (156-60AD) " And the fire of their cruel torturers had no heat for them, for they set before their eyes an escape from the fire which is everlasting and never quenched " (2:3). " You threaten with the fire that burns for a time, a

What it looks like to coast in your marriage —it's easy and dangerous.

Here are six characteristics of a "coasting couple:" 1. Visual Lethargy You stop listening to and watching one another carefully. You used to be on the lookout for problems that might arise and then quick to apply the proper remedy. But now things are lazy. There is no "watching". Things begin to creep in the marriage, the schedules get busy, eyes get lazy, and sinful tendencies enter that would never have been tolerated before. If you're here, you have experienced visual lethargy in your marriage . 2. Habit Inconsistency Marriage necessitates the institution of good habits. The problem is that after a period of time, the marriage is not 'new' anymore and the relationship begins to 'break down' and good habits that once were integral in the marriage are now least important on the priority list. You used to get to the bottom of conflict before even going to bed (cf. Eph 4) but now you're lazy and just go to bed and say you'll talk through

Wherever your heart is reveals where your treasure is.

Wherever your heart is reveals where your treasure is. Last night I taught part 2 of Ephesians 4:1. I have created eleven points reviewing Ephesians 1-3 and showing what God has done for us in our calling. At the end of each main point, I have a “so that” because Paul commands all believers in Eph 4:1 to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” One of my points last night was that in Ephesians 2:6, God has raised us up, and seated us in the heavenly places in Christ. My point was that every true believer who is united to Christ (= “in Christ”) is raised and seated with Christ in heaven spiritually. Because that’s the case, the believer’s home is heaven and the believer’s longing should be heaven. The ‘so that’ of my point was to exhort my hearers to live for heaven not for this earth. After a couple of illustrations showing the folly of living for the here and now while neglecting to think about, long for, yearn for, meditate on, and live for heaven, I

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

Fabulous words from the old German hymn Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted Stricken, smitten, and afflicted, See Him dying on the tree! 'Tis the Christ by man rejected; Yes, my soul, 'tis He, 'tis He! 'Tis the long-expected prophet, David's Son, yet David's Lord; By His Son, God now has spoken Tis the true and faithful Word. Tell me, ye who hear him groaning, Was there ever grief like his? Friends thro' fear his cause disowning, Foes insulting his distress; Many hands were raised to wound him, None would interpose to save; But the deepest stroke that pierced him Was the stroke that Justice gave. Ye who think of sin but lightly, Nor suppose the evil great Here may view its nature rightly, Here its guilt may estimate. Mark the sacrifice appointed, See who bears the awful load; 'tis the Word, the Lord's Anointed, Son of Man and Son of God. Here we have a firm foundation, Here the refuge of the lost; Christ's the Rock of our salvation, His the name of

John Bunyan on election

Bunyan (d.1688) believed: "This act of God in electing is a choosing or fore-appointing of some infallibly unto eternal life. Election according to God's good pleasure is: (1) eternal , having been executed before the foundation of the world, (2) unconditional , being totally independent or foreseen faith or good works, and (3) effectual , in that no impediment can hinder the realization of God's purposes. Finally, (4) election is " in Christ ," since the Savior is the one in whom the elect were always considered and without whom there is neither election, grace, nor salvation." Praise God for our Sovereign God! (From Bruce Demarest, The Cross and Salvation , 110).

Ryle is Right — Again.

"A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, through-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He only sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed up in one thing; and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives, or whether he dies, whether he has health, or whether he has sickness, whether he is rich, or whether he is poor, whether he pleases man, or whether he gives offence, whether he is thought wise, or whether he is thought foolish, whether he gets blame, or whether he gets praise, whether he gets honour, or whether he gets shame, for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God's glory. If he is consumed in the very burning, he cares not for it; he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn; and if consumed in burning, he has but done the work for w

Spurgeon's Application on the Christian Ministry...

I enjoy Mr. Spurgeon and his brilliant insights into the biblical text. In drawing application from Psalm 68 and how God receives gifts and then gives gifts to His own (cf. Eph 4:7-8) Spurgeon provides some helpful thoughts. I. The great blessings of the Christian ministry 1. Ministers are received for, and are given to, you by Christ. As men, and as sinful men, ministers are as nothing, and wish not to make anything of themselves; but, as the gifts of Christ, it behooves you to make much of them. If you love Christ, you will make much of your minister, on account of his being his gift--a gift designed to supply Christ's absence in a sort. If you fear God, you will be afraid of treating your pastor amiss, seeing he is the gift of Christ. 2. Ministers are not only given to, but received for you, of God the Father, as a covenant blessing, among the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ. In this view, consider that Christ received nothing at his Father's hand but wh

God's perfect jealousy

"God is a jealous lover, and He will tolerate no rival in His child's heart; no spiritual adultery and no alien friendship can be tolerated for a moment by Him." (Alexander Ross)

Psalm 68 — One of the most difficult psalms textually and exegetically

Indeed, I have my work cut out for me this week. The next psalm in line for our study is Psalm 68. Here are just a few quotes I've gathered regarding the historical interpretation of this difficult psalm. "It is doubtless a difficult psalm to interpret. Dahood writes: “It is widely admitted as textually and exegetically the most difficult and obscure of all the psalms.” Kraus (famously) writes: “There is in the Psalter scarcely a son that, in its textual corruption and disconnectedness, presents the interpreter so great a task as Ps 68." In 1851, a commentator, E. Reuss, gathered 400+ commentaries on the Psalms seeking to understand Ps 68 and left the study thoroughly confused! I have some good ideas as to the structure and content of the psalm. I'm convinced that much of the imagery of this psalm comes from historical events recounted in the OT—the exodus from Egypt, the march through the wilderness/desert, the conquest and distribution of the land of Canaan, and

The single meaning of Scripture.

I appreciate what Walt Kaiser writes: "The best argument for a single-meaning hermeneutic is to be found in observing what happens when it is removed from current conversation or writing. Communication itself is severely handicapped if not made impossible. If individual speakers or writers are not sovereign over the use of their own words, and if meaning is not a return to how they intended their own words to be regarded, then we are in a most difficult situation—everyone communicating, but no one in particular ever receiving (or knowing if he has adequately received) the message" ( Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching & Teaching [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981], 47). I am convinced that the meaning of Scripture is what the biblical author intended when he wrote the biblical text. I believe that what he wrote was the same as what God intended in the text. Thus, the A/author are one and the same. As we open our Bibles in church tomorrow and read f

The power of God in the book of Job

Be encouraged by the sovereignty of God in Job: אַף־בְּ֭רִי יַטְרִ֣יחַ עָ֑ב יָ֝פִ֗יץ עֲנַ֣ן אֹורֹֽו׃ וְה֤וּא מְסִבֹּ֨ות׀ מִתְהַפֵּ֣ךְ בְּתַחְבּ֯וּלֹתָ֣ו לְפָעֳלָ֑ם כֹּ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר יְצַוֵּ֓ם׀ עַל־פְּנֵ֖י תֵבֵ֣ל אָֽרְצָה׃ Job 37:11-12 11 "Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning. 12 "It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, That it may do whatever He commands it On the face of the inhabited earth. That God controls everything on the face of the earth and beyond is a truth clearly revealed in Scripture. An amazing verse revealing the power of God and the sovereignty of God over the clouds as Job learns from Elihu that the clouds change direction and turn around by the guidance of God! The clouds do whatever God commands of it on the face of the whole inhabited earth. The clouds exist to do God’s bidding. The clouds obey every command of God. There is nothing that ever happens apart from the sovereign allowance and pr

my own vision and purpose statement for life.

Recently in a doctoral seminar my professor exhorted all of us to create a vision and purpose statement for our personal lives and for our ministry. Since I have already created one for our youth/college group and for the music ministry , I decided to go home that evening and work on a personal vision and purpose statement . I have called it " Geoff Kirkland's spiritual goals ." With no self-serving motivation whatsoever, I have outlined it with an acronym G-E-O-F-F so that I can easily memorize it and not forget it! I challenge you to do the same. It profits greatly to sit, think, pray, and write your own personal vision and purpose statement for life. Have fun! Soli Deo Gloria .