Archive for the ‘Biblical Concepts’ Category

Redeeming Words

My new blog project exists to redeem Christian terminology from misuse and misunderstanding.

Check it out: Redeeming Words

The Sovereignty of God Conference, Day 2 (am)

sovGodconfDue to work, I missed the morning session of Day 2, which included 2 messages. However, I was able to listen to them yesterday on CD. What a blessing! Each message fit right into the theme and continued in this wonderful conference of solid, biblical preaching.

Bill Poss, an elder at the host church, kicked it off with the topic, “God’s Sovereign Choice of the Younger Son.” His sermon was very exegetical, drawing from the text the only conclusion that can be consistently made: God will mercy whom He will and harden whom He will. Consequently, the message focused on Romans 9 and God’s unconditional election based on His purpose.

Eric Redmond followed him and spoke on “God’s Sovereignty and the Call of the Pastor.” He had us open to 2 Timothy, and I smugly thought I knew where he was going, but I was surprised. I figured he would preach on Paul’s charge to Timothy, or the qualifications of a pastor, or something to that extent. He did touch on those things, but the thrust of his message actually dealt with Paul’s terrible conditions in chapter 4:9-22 and how Timothy was called to be by his side. The point was clear: the call of God on one’s life is more important than the place in which he serves. Coming from a leader familiar with the tough, transient, often unrecognized nature of urban ministry, this message was profound. For me, it hit home, for I’ve been involved in urban ministry myself and feel that is where God will be using me for the rest of my life.

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The Sovereignty of God Conference (with amazing cell phone pics), Day 1

sovGodconfToday, the Sovereignty of God conference, put on by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, hosted by Bread of Life Fellowship in Haledon, NJ, came to a conclusion. The speakers included pastors from New Jersey as well as James White and Eric Redmond.

Well, I’m no Tim Challies, and I didn’t live-blog it, but I’m going to give a quick recap because this conference was a tremendous blessing to me.

How refreshing it was to attend a conference that had little to do with ourselves, our circle, convention, or denomination, or that promoted anyone’s agenda. The only agenda was the promotion of God’s sovereignty – a true conference on doctrine about God. And I say that it hit the nail on the head.

This conference was much more than expounding on a particular theological position, namely Calvinism. Despite the fact that there’s so much controversy and so many pot-shots going back and forth, the purpose wasn’t to arm us Calvinists with better arguments and more proof texts. Sure, some of the debate points were mentioned, but the emphasis was on the truth of God’s sovereignty as revealed in His word and the implications thereof. Instead of leaving me with ammunition to propagate the agenda of spreading 16th century soteriological nuances, I was left with a sense of awe about our mighty God. I was also given a humility about how I go about thinking about our sovereign God, communicating our sovereign God to others, and serving our sovereign God each day.

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The Holy Spirit of Promise: God’s Down Payment

Ephesians 1:13-14
13
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

In our struggling economy, there’s little doubt that the housing market has been hit the hardest. Families across the nation are being forced to sell their houses at half the purchase price. Often, the financial stability of the family depends on whether or not a house will sell. In such a situation nothing is more comforting than a buyer’s promise of earnest money. This initial down payment stands as a guarantee that the deal will go through. As an added benefit, the money is given and is immediately available for the family to use.

The Christian life is often more volatile than any economic crisis. Fightings without and fears within as Paul would say. But, there is nothing more comforting than the presence of the Holy Spirit of Promise, the earnest of our inheritance, God’s down payment.

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Double Standards in Fundamentalism Today, #5: Me

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Galatians 4:16
 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

True friends tell you what you need to hear. As much as I covet those comments in which people say, “great website!”, I need much more to hear about the things I need to change. Those things have been brought to my attention, and it seems like I’ve been one of the biggest Double Standards all along. I hope now to articulate some of the problems, and offer some possible solutions.

(No, that’s not really me in the picture.)

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The Biblical Concept of Justification (part 3)

The Importance of Justification

 

It could be said that the importance of the doctrine of justification is twofold: it is important as a doctrinal foundation and it is important as a personal distinction.

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The Biblical Concept of Justification (part 2)

The Procedure of Justification

Through the introductory comments of our discussion on justification, we found that a problem is presented in applying the idea of justification to the relationship between sinful man and a Holy God. The term justification carries the forensic idea of acquitting one who is guilty and in turn declaring them free of guilt. However, when God is seen as the Holy Judge that He is, and men are seen for the guilty sinners that they are, Job’s question is inevitably asked, “…how should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2)

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The Biblical Concept of Justification (part 1)

The Problem of Justification

To begin a discussion of the idea of biblical justification, defining the term itself cannot be avoided. This is because once one understands the implications behind the word used by Scripture, a problem arises. That problem shows itself in the attempt to apply the idea of justification to the relationship between God and man.  Continue reading

The Biblical Concept of the Triune God, Part IV: The Trinity in Scripture

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:26,27)

The Hebrew word for “God” explains why the startling phrase “Let us make” is discovered here. “Elohim” is a plural noun. The ancient Israelites knew this, and always translated the word singular, knowing the plural adds intensity. God, then, is a singular plurality – the very essence of Trinitarian teaching. Furthermore, the pronoun used in God’s quote is “our”, another plural term. Yet true to the consistency of this concept, the verse narrates the result of God’s decision in saying “so God created man in his own image” and uses the singular pronoun “he” two more times. So a plural word is rendered singular, and a plural pronoun is transmitted singularly. This truth, incomprehensible as it may seem, testifies of the unity of thee Persons of the triune Godhead.

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The Biblical Concept of the Triune God, Part III: The Holy Spirit is God

The nature of the Holy Spirit has been a controversial subject throughout history. Unfortunately, the controversies have diluted the understanding of Who the Holy Spirit is. However, understanding the Person and work of the Holy Spirit has a tremendous significance to the Christian life.  

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The Biblical Concept of the Triune God, Part II: Jesus is God

This is the longest and possibly most significant part of this series. True Christianity hinges on what we believe about Jesus Christ. Amazingly, the Word of God declares Him to be God.

1. Explicit verses from Scripture stating the Deity of the Lord Jesus:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

This verse of scripture is undoubtedly speaking of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. We know this because of the context. The following verses speak of the kingdom which is to come, over which Christ will reign as King. In this verse, He is given many names, one of which is The mighty God. The name alone tells us that Christ is God, for there can be no other God save God Himself (Isaiah 45:6).

Another name given here revealing Christ’s Deity is “everlasting Father.” According to the doctrine of the Trinity, the person of Christ is distinguished from the person of the Father, however, they are one (John 10:30; I John 5:7).

No scriptural distinction is ever provided between “mighty God” and “Almighty God.” They are synonymous. Jehovah is called the Mighty God in Genesis 49:24; Deuteronomy 7:21; Psalm 50:1; 132:2,5; Isaiah 10:21; Jeremiah 32:18; Habbakkuk 1:12 and the Almighty God in Genesis 17:1; Ruth 1:21; and Joel 1:15; In this verse, Jesus Christ is called the Mighty God. In Revelation 1:8 and 19:15, Jesus Christ is called the Almighty God. Does the Bible contradict itself? No, this clearly tells us that Jesus is God!

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The Biblical Concept of the Triune God, Part I: The Father is God

Last year, I was having a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness family member. Of course, the Trinity was the main topic of our discussion. This sparked me to do the following research.

This is not a techincal dissertation. This is the result of my findings as I looked through the Bible to see where I can find passages relating to the Trinity or to the Deity of the Three Persons. What resulted strengthened my faith in a tremendous way. I come from this study now more than ever convinced that the Bible doesn’t just imply a Triune God, but the Word of God overwhelmingly declares the concept of the Trinity!

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