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Showing posts from May, 2011

keeping the Law & knowing what sin really is.

Thomas Schreiner is spot on: " ...If the law could be kept perfectly, then people would deserve salvation and therefore could boast. However, since all people sin and fall short of the glory of GOd, it is a great delusion for sinners to think that they can earn merit before God by their works. Paul condemns boasting in works because no one can possibly do all the works God requires. Human beings, though, are naturally given to idolatry (Rom.1:18-25), and thus they deveive themselves into believing that their obedience to the law somehow suffices to impress God and warrant salvation. Such folly stems from the failure to see how gloriously perfect God is, and how infinitely repugnant sin is to God" ( The Law & Its Fulfillment , p.114). Magnificently stated!

be careful for those foul balls . . . and hold on to your children!

God is good.

a heavenly prayer for a holy life.

May this be our prayer today... Open for me the wondrous volumes of truth in his, 'It is finished'. Increase my faith in the clear knowledge of: atonement achieved, expiation completed, satisfaction made, guilt done away, my debt paid, my sins forgiven, my person redeemed, my soul saved, hell vanquished, heaven opened, eternity made mine. O Holy Spirit, deepen in me these saving lessons. Write them upon my heart, that my walk be sin-loathing, sin-fleeing, Christ-loving! Let's pray that together.

what was Jesus like as a boy growing up??

Sometimes called the silent years, the years of Jesus' youth and upbringing are not recorded in the pages of Scripture for some reason. I tend to think the primary reason for this was that Jesus' upbringing was no different than any other good, religious Jewish boy's upbringing. Therefore, Paul Barnett has some helpful notes about the Jewish culture of raising boys during the time of Jesus: The Law ... enjoins sobriety in the upbringing of children from the very first. It orders that they shall be taught to read, and shall learn both the laws and the deeds of their forefathers, in order that they may imitate the latter, and, being grounded in the former, may neither transgress nor have any excuse for being ignorant of them. Jesus was thoroughly grounded in the law of God, as were most Jews of the time. This is clear from the comments of Josephus... But, should anyone of our nation be questioned about the laws, he would repeat them all more readily than his own name. The res

study on the early Church Fathers...

I'm continuing my work on a PhD project that I have to present in a few weeks at school titled: " what every NT PhD student should know about the nature and value of Patristic [=Church Fathers] materials for NT Textual Criticism [the science & art of finding the original text] . In my reading, I've come across some great quotes. Here is one by Edgar Goodspeed: “We have been too much inclined to pass by all this literature and go directly to the NT, as though it existed apart from the contemporary and later Christian literature. And it is true that it was in the books of the NT and in the earliest collections of them-- of the letters of Paul and of the Four Gospels--that the letter and gospel types were first set powerfully before the early Church, while the Revelation & the Acts offered patterns for the apocalypses and acts that were to come. But the development of Christian thought did not stop with the writing of the NT, and though none of these later writers ach

the preaching of the gospel brings hostility & mockings...

Last night I preached on the streets of Santa Monica, CA again with my buddy. Being May 21st at 6pm when we started preaching, we gathered quite a crowd—especially when a man walked up dressed in a full-on ancient outfit trying to impersonate Jesus Christ. It was blatantly blasphemous and severely mocking the gospel of Christ. So we went on to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ for the next few hours on 3rd street as floods of people walked by. One thing that struck me—and fed my soul!—this morning is the statement by the Apostle Paul: 1 Thessalonians 2:13 — For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 — Καὶ διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡμεῖς εὐχαριστοῦμεν τῷ θεῷ ἀδιαλείπτως, ὅτι παραλαβόντες λόγον ἀκοῆς παρ᾽ ἡμῶν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐδέξασθε οὐ λόγον ἀνθρώπων ἀλλὰ καθώς ἐστιν ἀληθῶς λόγον θεοῦ, ὃ

Man-Date — Stamina, Strength, Endurance, Commitment.

From my time with my college men last night. Intense and thrilling!

do your job — and let God handle the results...

From Mr. Spurgeon: “The duty of the Church is not to be measured by her success. It is as much the minister’s duty to preach the gospel in adverse times as in propitious seasons. We are not to think, if God withholds the dew, that we are to withhold the plough. We are not to imagine that, if unfruitful seasons come, we are therefore to cease from sowing our seed. Our business is with act, not with result. The church has to do her duty, even though that duty should bring her no present reward.”

T4G men playing ball!!

I like these guys (esp. the [non-shocking!] snapshot of Mohler on his iPhone on the bench!). T4G 2012 Teaser: The Game from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo .

10 things a good pastor can — or should! — say.

10 Simple Things Good Pastors Say 1. Please forgive me. Better than "I'm sorry," which can often be followed with an "if" or a "but," these words indicate a humble heart. Bad pastors hide their faults behind the cloak of their authority, practice self-defense against all charges, and basically pretend. Good pastors know they're sinners and admit it. 2. You're right. Good pastors know they're not always (not usually?) the smartest, most "spiritual" person in the room. They are zealous to give credit and acknowledge achievement and intelligence, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it encourages and empowers others. 3. You're wrong. Bad pastors chicken out when it comes to calling people on sin or biblical ignorance. Good pastors brave potential conflict and hurt feelings and say "You're wrong" in gentle but firm ways when necessary. 4. Jesus loves you. Why did we stop sayi

The Sprit quickens and gives life!

"It is the Spirit who quickens; the flesh profits nothing." John 6:63 All real religion begins with the quickening of the Spirit. When we experience this . . . we begin to breathe after spiritual things; we open our eyes in a new world; we hunger and thirst after righteousness; and at length taste that the Lord is gracious. We then have . . . new thoughts, new desires, new hopes, new fears, new joys, and new sorrows. The eye fixes on Christ, the heart goes out to Christ, and the chief desire of the soul is to be like Christ. James Smith (1858)

Revelation 3 -- are you lukewarm?

I preached last night on Revelation 3:14-22 on the Church of Laodicea — the lukewarm church at a rehab center. God taught me and He encouraged me as I had some great conversations with some of the men about their own spiritual lives. I also took one of my college guys along for the experience. It was a great time around God's word and a great time of fellowship! The sermon is here .

Revelation chapters 4-22 are futuristic...

But there are some who disagree. Hear the (bold) words of Harrington: " The futurist approach is a gross misinterpretation . . . unsavory and even dangerous. . . . The idea of an elect minority being shunted to the safe regions of the upper air while a vengeful Lamb destroys the inhabitants of the earth is scarcely Christian ." This is interesting on a number of fronts. 1. Harrington misunderstands the futurist approach — it's not a mere 'escapist' theology. 2. Harrington reveals an anthropological interpretation (man-centered) rather than a theocentric (God-centered) interpretation. 3. Harrington diminishes the utter holiness of God. It's not that God is mean to destroy the inhabitants of the earth during the Tribulation. He is just , right and fair in doing so. We all deserve to be destroyed by this Holy Lamb! 4. Harrington removes the joy, hope, and assurance of a believer in a God who promises to destroy evil not only in the spiritual realm but also on t

God's sovereign electing love...

How timely that I read Ephesians 1-2 in my morning reading today and then I opened my email and received this magnificent reminder: O the wonders couched in electing love! This act of choosing such creatures as we are, to be a special people unto Himself, displays . . . such grace, such condescension, such infinite wisdom and love! God's election says, "The Lord loves you!" Loves us! Yes, and with a love that is eternal, immutable, sovereign, infinite, and free! All the love of God is lavished upon us as His special people in Christ. Oh, those wondrous words of Jesus, "You have loved them--even as You have loved Me!" John 17:23 But few among the worldly wise, But few of nobler race, Obtain the favor of Your eyes, Almighty King of grace! God's election must bring a holy wonder that God would choose such wretches as us to be His cherished treasures for eternity . What amazing, uncomprehensible, uninfluenced, amazing love! Ephesians 1:3-6 — Blessed be t

one of the greatest privileges of being a preacher...

One of the greatest privileges of being a preacher is that I get to spend a week studying and digging deep into the riches of God's Word so that I can be adequately prepared to herald God's truth authoritatively and accurately. This morning I spent 4 hours working & finalizing two sermons: 1. Revelation 3:14-22 - The Church of Laodicea — Don't be Lukewarm! 2. Amos 8 - The Worst Kind of Earthly Judgment — A Famine for Spiritual Food! And God richly nourished my soul. I echo the words of the prophet Jeremiah. He said: But if I say, " I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name," Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it (Jer 20:9).

spurgeon's exhortation to NOT become lukewarm

From Spurgeon ... This is my closing word, there is something for us to do in this matter. We must examine ourselves, and we must confess the fault if we have declined in grace. An then we must not talk about setting the church right, we must pray for grace each one for himself, for the text does not say, "If the church will open the door," but "If any man hear my voice and open the door." It must be done by individuals: the church will only get right by each man getting right. Oh, that we might get back into an earnest zeal for our Lord's love and service, and we shall only do so by listening to his rebukes, and then falling into his arms, clasping him once again, and saying, "My Lord and my God." That healed Thomas, did it not? Putting his fingers into the print of the nails, putting his hand into the side, that cured him. Poor, unbelieving, staggering Thomas only had to do that and he became one of the strongest of believers, and said, "My Lord

interesting fact on the age of the earth...

I'm reading for my NT textual criticism class (that's fancy lingo for the science of looking at the various Greek manuscripts of the NT and comparing, contrasting, and evaluating the variant readings in texts to ascertain the original text) and I came across this fascinating fact. "In some manuscripts we find at the close of a colophon in which the scribe mentions the date when the work of copying was completed. The year is usually given according to the Mundane or Adamic era . This was reckoned from September 1, 5509 B.C., which was believed to be the date of the creation of the world. . . ." In Bruce Metzger, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible , 49. NOTE: isn't that amazing that early scribes throughout the history of the Church (and even before!) dated their mss to the creation of the world. And the creation wasn't millions and billions of years ago; it was only about 5,500 years prior to their writing!

counsel yourself biblically.

Psalm 103:1-2 — Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits. Hear the words from Roy Clements: " We need to ask ourselves whether or not there is any real praise in our hearts. it is so easy to come to church out of habit. It is so easy to repeat 'Amen' without ever really speaking to God. It is so easy to hear sermons without ever really listening to God. Spiritual lukewarmness is a common disease in a land like ours where being a Christian is respectable. If that is our condition, then we, like David, need to talk to ourselves. We need to stir our hearts up to a more appropriate emotional response to the truth about the God we know. If you find your heart cold, then do what David did and count your blessings."

God justifies the ungodly -- part 4

God Justifies the Ungodly… Part 4 By Geoffrey R. Kirkland Greek Text: τῷ δὲ μὴ ἐργαζομένῳ πιστεύοντι δὲ ἐπὶ τὸν δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἀσεβῆ λογίζεται ἡ πίστις αὐτοῦ εἰς δικαιοσύνην· Geoff’s Translation: But to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. Discourse: This pregnant verse encapsulates the core elements of the gospel. It includes such truths as the inability of mankind to work at attaining their own salvation (τῷ δὲ μὴ ἐργαζομένῳ), the necessity for humans to have true, saving faith to be saved (πιστεύοντι), the One whom we are to believe in and the One who justifies, namely God (τὸν δικαιοῦντα), and the prerequisite for being eligible to receive salvation is that one must be “ungodly”—and every single human being qualifies (τὸν ἀσεβῆ). This launches us to our final element in this study on the gospel. It is an element that is often neglected from “gospel presentations” and from “evangelistic campaigns.” Y

pray for me — street preaching tonight

I'm off to Santa Monica to street preach with a seminary buddy. Pray for me. I have 2 sermons prepared: 1) God Justifies the Ungodly — Romans 4:5 2) Your Deeds Are but Filthy Rags Before God — Isaiah 64:6 Thanks!

God justifies the ungodly -- part 3

Here is part 3 of my ongoing series on the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ — God justifies the ungodly . =================== God Justifies the Ungodly… Part 3 By Geoffrey R. Kirkland Greek Text: τῷ δὲ μὴ ἐργαζομένῳ πιστεύοντι δὲ ἐπὶ τὸν δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἀσεβῆ λογίζεται ἡ πίστις αὐτοῦ εἰς δικαιοσύνην· Geoff’s Translation: But to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. Discourse: This verse shows that God saves the one who does not work for his salvation by meritoriously earning good deeds which will incur God’s favor (τῷ δὲ μὴ ἐργαζομένῳ) as this could never happen. Rather (δὲ), the it is the one who believes who is saved (πιστεύοντι). The previous article showed that true saving faith involves a submission to the Lordship of Christ and a proper recognition of who God is and what Christ has accomplished for sinners. The next ingredient for study is to examine who it is who justifies. But first of all, justifi

A NYTimes Bestseller - Bart Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus"

Review of: Ehrman, Bart D. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. New York: Harper One, 2005. Assessment of Book from a Layman’s Perspective: Bart Ehrman certainly accomplished his purpose in writing a book for those who “know almost nothing about textual criticism” (15). Furthermore, this book shows “how scribes were changing scripture and how we today can recognize where they did so” (15). In this regard, Ehrman did a marvelous job at fulfilling the purpose of the book. It is easy to read, clear, very simple, and full of examples and various textual critical issues in the NT to support his hypothesis. With that said, I grieve for Ehrman and for those who read the book—especially those lay people with very elementary knowledge of the NT who read this book and are swayed to believe that it is only a “human book” (12, 211). I could foresee a number of questions arising in the minds of laymen who read this book. Such questions may include: (1) why eve

God justifies the ungodly -- part 2

here is part 2 of the series: God justifies the ungodly . God Justifies the Ungodly… Part 2 By Geoffrey R. Kirkland Greek Text: τῷ δὲ μὴ ἐργαζομένῳ πιστεύοντι δὲ ἐπὶ τὸν δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἀσεβῆ λογίζεται ἡ πίστις αὐτοῦ εἰς δικαιοσύνην· Geoff’s Translation: But to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. Discourse: The beginning of Paul’s discourse continues his thought from Romans 4:4 that if someone works his reward is not a gift but it is an obligation—that is, something that is “due”. It is not this way with the gospel (δὲ). The gospel is for the one who does not work to earn his salvation (τῷ μὴ ἐργαζομένῳ). None will earn salvation. No one can work for his redemption. One can no more save himself than if he were drowning in the middle of the ocean with the towering billows and mighty waves pummeling down upon him while still trying to swim to shore for safety. It will not happen. Good works will not save. If