Archive for the ‘Theology Proper’ Category

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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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