What I Read Online – 02/06/2013 (a.m.)

06 Feb
    • (1) Courage to do God’s work (v.6)


    • 2) Courage to do God’s work in God’s way (v.7,8)
    • (3) Courage to deal with myself and my fears (v.9)


    • As one considers again the temptations of Christ, it seems that one should rightly hold that the theanthropic Jesus could not sin because he was God. But this does not necessarily answer the question of why he did not sin. And, in fact, the answer Scripture suggests to us is this: Jesus did not sin, not because he relied on the supernatural power of his divine nature or because his divine nature overpowered his human nature, keeping him from sinning, but because he utilized all of the resources given to him in his humanity. He loved and meditated on God’s Word (consider again the significance here of Psalm 1 being the first and opening psalm, pointing obviously to Christ); he prayed to his Father; he trusted in the wisdom and rightness of his Father’s will and Word; and, very significantly, he relied on the supernatural power of the Spirit to strengthen him to do all that he was called upon to do. Jesus lived his life in reliance on the Spirit so that his resistance to temptation and his obedience to the will of the Father took place through, not apart from, the empowerment provided him as the second Adam, the seed of Abraham, the son of David. Recall again Peter’s claim that God anointed Jesus “with the Holy Spirit and with power,” and that he went about doing good (the moral life and obedience of Christ) as well as healing all who are oppressed by the Devil (the miracles he performed), “for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). Although he was God, and although he was impeccable as the God-man, he resisted temptation and obeyed the Father not by his divine nature but by the power of the Spirit who indwelt him.

    • Question 1: What is the role of the church?
    • Question 2: Why not try to form a more culturally sensitive expression of the Christian church?
    • Question 3: Shouldn’t some things be strange when we are called out of darkness into light (1 Peter 2:9)?
    • Concern 1: There seems to be a naive view of culture.
    • Concern 2: There seems to be an overly casual attitude toward theological truth.
    • Concern 3: There seems to be an implicit understanding that the Holy Spirit will do what human teachers don’t.
    • This emphasis on the Spirit taking the baton from us to lead the Muslim into all the truth about Jesus shows up often. It’s a misappropriation of the promise Jesus made uniquely to the apostles (John 16:13) and an under appreciation for the role of Spirit-gifted teachers in the discipleship process (Eph. 4:11-14). The early church was certainly Spirit-filled, but it was also devoted to the apostles’ teaching. To expect the Spirit to teach what we won’t does not honor the Spirit. Instead, it dishonors the work he has already done in leading the once-for-all apostolic band into all truth we need to know.
    • Christianity Today is to be commended for highlighting such an important issue for the global church. What is less encouraging is the cautious endorsement of the insider movement in their editorial and the many weaknesses evident in this featured interview. Let us pray for seminaries, denominations, pastors, missionaries, mission committees, churches, and parachurch agencies as they think through these significant challenges and try to avoid these attractive compromises.
    • confessional Christians are those who are disciplined by their confession
    • This is where the discipline of a confession is important.  This elder has no right to share his doubts with the world in general.  Of course, he can speak confidentially to a ministerial friend for counsel; but he must not teach (in any sense of the word) against the content of the vows he has taken.
    • While we cannot go into extensive detail about these various apocryphal writings, we can at least note one basic fact that is often overlooked: all of these apocryphal writings are dated to the second century or later.   Thus, this post is the corollary of the prior one.  Not only are all New Testament writings from the first century, but all apocryphal writings (at least the ones that are extant) are from the second century or later.  And many are from the third or fourth century.
    • For one, we know that many of these apocryphal writings are outright forgeries, pretending to be written by someone who was clearly not the author. 
    • Second, many of these apocryphal writings contain obvious embellishments and legendary additions
    • And third, many of these apocryphal writings contain a Gnostic-style theology that did not even emerge until the second century, and therefore could not represent authentic first-century Christianity (e.g., Gospel of Philip).
    • Paul reminds all of us with Timothy that only the Lord knows his elect. Pastors and elders in council may approve valid professions of faith and guard the ministry of preaching, sacrament, and discipline, but only the Great Shepherd can separate the sheep from the goats on the last day. Until then, our calling is to entrust ourselves to faithful shepherds and to long earnestly and prayerfully for the repentance of those who have strayed from Christ’s Word
    • For more on this, see Horton’s posts “How Much Do I Need to Know?” “How Far Is Too Far?” He is especially helpful in identifying two common errors: (1) assuming that we only need to know the bare minimum that is necessary for salvation; (2) assuming that we need to know everything correctly in order to be saved.
    • No! No! No! The assembly is not merely functional; the assembly was and is necessary, because assembly is what God is doing in remaking a broken world
    • The local church really and concretely represents the regathering that God is doing in a broken world. The whole story of salvation may be told around this theme of scattering as the judgment of God and gathering as the rescue of God
    • To put it bluntly, it matters to go to church, and it matters for the preacher to be physically present to preach in the assembly of the church. The assembly is not just to hear the word; indeed, it is the word of the gospel that gathers unlikely men and women under grace. Preaching gathers the church, preaching shapes the church as a community of grace, and preaching sustains the church as the grace of Jesus is proclaimed and pressed home to hearts, consciences, and lives
    • The purpose of preaching is not to do good preaching; the purpose of preaching is to shape the assembly of God’s people to become like Christ in heart and in character, and to be Christlike witnesses in a needy world. For through the godliness of the local church the world will be reached for Christ.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 06/02/2013 in Current Issues


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