I just checked my sitemeter to see who had visited me today and apparently someone searching for ‘hillbilly inbreeders’ on msnsearch came to my blog.
So I automatically went to dogpile.com and searched for ‘hillbilly inbreeders’ and I came up number 3!
It’s good to know where you stand in the blogosphere.
I just checked my sitemeter to see who had visited me today and apparently someone searching for ‘hillbilly inbreeders’ on msnsearch came to my blog.
Justification consists of two basic parts. These parts are two acts of God. One is the forgiveness of sins and the second is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. As we look at these two acts of God we must keep in mind two basic concepts. These concepts are:
(1) We are sinners, worthy and deserving of the condemnation that we live under and eternal judgment to which we are destined, and
(2) God is holy, worthy and demanding of perfect obedience and honor from His creatures.
As we explore these acts of God, let us remember our place in this world that He has created.
Act One-The Forgiveness Of Sins
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
One thing that both of these passages make very clear is that the forgiveness of sins is not something man can do for himself.
Take note that the Colossians passage says that we were delivered and transferred from darkness to light. This deliverance takes place by a deliverer. It is a picture of a rescue from a kingdom that has us bound in slavery. Christ, our savior, saves us from that dark and evil kingdom and delivers us into His own kingdom of light and holiness where we are granted forgiveness of sins.
In the Hebrews passage we see another imagery. An imagery of the temple and the Law and the sacrifices. The significance of this passage is that by the Law, almost always the purification rites involved the shedding of the blood of an animal. All things in our world are contaminated by sin. So any time anything or person was to be used for the service of God there would be a sanctification process. In this process, usually an animal would be sacrificed as a sort of acknowledgment of the presence of sin in the cursed world we live in. In this way there existed a type of the forgiveness of sins. Insofar as the worshipper looked to God for forgiveness and looking to the perfect sacrifice that would appear his sins were forgiven, but not dealt with. It is only in Christ’s sacrifice that sins are actually and permanently dealt with. It is on Christ that our sins were once for all put to death. And only by faith in the death of Christ as our substitute can our sins be forgiven.
Act Two-The Imputation Of Righteousness
And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Genesis 15:6 is referred to no less than five times in the New Testament. Paul uses this verse to tell us how Abraham was justified before God, who the true descendants of Abraham are, and James uses this verse to tell us how justification worked itself out in Abraham’s life. While we will not look at James’ use in depth, I will point out that when he speaks of justification by works, that he is referring to the outworking of faith in Abraham’s life whereby he gained the testimony of righteousness from his peers and not from God. This means that Abraham’s faith, by which God declared him righteous was not an idle faith.
But Paul’s use of the verse is interesting. It is one thing to think of Abraham himself being counted righteous by faith and quite another to say that everyone who has ever been counted righteous are counted so by faith. But Paul uses different arguments to prove this is so. Paul argues that Abraham was counted righteous before circumcision, pointing out that it is not only Abraham’s immediate offspring who are counted righteous, but everyone who God calls, Jew or Gentile. He also argues that Abraham was counted righteous before the Law was given, proving that the declaration of righteousness was a gift that those who were not under the Law could also receive. But he also points out in 2 Corinthians the basis for that imputed righteousness. It is the death and resurrection of Christ.
In the verses leading up to the ones listed here, Paul tells us that it was for us that Christ died and was raised. He died to take our sins away and rose again to grant us new life. Our sinful nature died on the cross (forgiveness) and our new nature rose from the dead with Him (righteousness). In the book of Romans Paul puts it like this, “But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. ” (Rom 4:23-25)
The first act of Christ dying for our trespasses we have already discussed. Now we see that He was raised for our justification, or, our righteous standing before God. And now in 2 Corinthians 5:21 we find that since He was made sin for us, now we are made the righteousness of God in Him. That is to say, that standing in our position in Christ, we are righteous just as He is righteous.
We had two problems. We were sinners and God is holy. Christ by His death took care of both problems. He took the punishment for our sins allowing the Father to forgive us and imputed His righteousness to us allowing the Father to declare us legally and truthfully righteous.
Soli Deo Gloria
All Belongs To God
All the Glory belongs to You, o God,
all the honor and majesty.
All the Glory belongs to You, o God,
To You alone we sing.
All of Heaven belongs to You, o God,
all the earth and angels, too.
All of Heaven belongs to You, o God,
You who makes all things new.
All the redeemed belong to you, o God,
all the host of heaven sing,
All the redeemed belong to You, o God,
So we our offering bring.
Here’s a list of book recommendations that I hope will be of help to those of you who want to read some good books. Some of them I may review at a later time. I hope to post some chapter summaries on The Baptists by Tom Nettles, which I am currently reading.
Sorry, still no words of wisdom from me, just read these guys instead. I’ll try to get a good post to make you mad over the weekend!
The Holy Trinity by Robert Letham
The Life Of God In The Soul Of Man by Henry Scougal
The Baptists by Tom Nettles
(Old Testament) Habakkuk
(New Testament) Hebrews
Books I Plan On Reading
When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper
The Baptists Volume 2 by Tom Nettles
(Old Testament) The Law
(New Testament) 1 and 2 Corinthians
Books On Regular Rotation
Books I Refer To Often
Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
Christian Theology by Millard Erickson
John Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries
Learning Theology With The Church Fathers by Christopher Hall
Systematic Theology by Charles Hodge
Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Don Whitney
I cannot speak of religion, but I must lament, that among so many pretenders to it, so few understand what it means; some placing it in the understanding, in orthodox notions and opinions; and all the account they can give of their religion is, that they are of this or the other persuasion, and have joined themselves to one of those many sects whereinto Christendom is most unhappily divided.
Others place it in the outward man, in a constant course of external duties, and a model of performances; If they live peaceably with their neighbors, keep a temperate diet, observe the returns of worship, frequent the church, or their closet, and sometimes extend their hands to the relief of the poor, they think they have sufficiently acquitted themselves.
Others again put all religion in the affections, in rapturous heats and ecstatic devotion; and all they aim at is, to pray with passion, to think of heaven with pleasure, and to be affected with those kind and melting expressions wherewith they court their Saviour, till they persuade themselves that they are mightily in love with Him, and from thence assume a great confidence of their salvation, which they esteem the chief of Christian graces.
Thus are these things which have any resemblance of piety, and at the best are but means of obtaining it, or particular exercises of it, frequently mistaken for the whole religion…
But certainly religion is quite another thing, and they who are acquainted with it will entertain far different thoughts, and disdain all those shadows and false imitations of it. They know by experience that true religion is a union of the soul with God, a real participation of the Divine nature, the very image of God drawn upon the soul, or, in the apostle’s phrase, ‘it is Christ formed within us’. Briefly, I know not how the nature of religion can be more fully expressed, than by calling it a Divine life…
Henry Scougal, The Life Of God In The Soul Of Man, [Scotland: Christian Focus Publications], pp. 42-44.
In certain cases this uneasiness has drawn to itself a wrong expectation of immediate wonders, and an intense desire for sign-seeing. Ah me, what fanaticisms come of this!
In America years ago, one came forward who declared that on such a day the Lord would come, and he led a great company to believe his crazy predictions. Many took their horses and fodder for two or three days, and went out into the woods, expecting to be all the more likely to see all that was to be seen when once away from the crowded city. All over the States there were people who had made ascension-dresses in which to soar into the air in proper costume. They waited, and they waited, and I am sure that no text could have been more appropriate for them than this, “Ye men of America, why stand ye here gazing up into heaven?” Nothing came of it; and yet there are thousands in England and America who only need a fanatical leader, and they would run into the like folly.
The desire to know the times and seasons is a craze with many poor bodies whose insanity runs in that particular groove. Every occurrence is a “sign of the times”: a sign, I may add, which they do not understand. An earthquake is a special favourite with them. “Now,” they cry, “the Lord is coming”; as if there had not been earthquakes of the sort we have heard of lately hundreds of times since our Lord went up into heaven. When the prophetic earthquakes occur in divers places, we shall know of it without the warnings of these brethren.
What a number of persons have been infatuated by the number of the beast, and have been ready to leap for joy because they have found the number 666 in some great one’s name. Why, everybody’s name will yield that number if you treat it judiciously, and use the numerals of Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, or Timbuctoo. I feel weary with the silly way in which some people make toys out of Scripture, and play with texts as with a pack of cards. Whenever you meet with a man who sets up to be a prophet, keep out of his way in the future; and when you hear of signs and wonders, turn you to your Lord, and in patience possess your souls. “The just shall live by his faith.” There is no other way of living among wild enthusiasts.
Believe in God, and ask not for miracles and marvels, or the knowledge of times and seasons. To know when the Lord will restore the kingdom is not in your power. Remember that verse which I read just now in your hearing,—”It is not for you to know the times or the seasons.”
If I were introduced into a room where a large number of parcels were stored up, and I was told that there was something good for me, I should begin to look for that which had my name upon it, and when I came upon a parcel and I saw in pretty big letters, “It is not for you,” I should leave it alone. Here, then, is a casket of knowledge marked, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” Cease to meddle with matters which are concealed, and be satisfied to know the things which are clearly revealed.
Taken from: The Ascension and the Second Advent Practically Considered
Delivered on December 28th, 1884, by C. H. SPURGEON, At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.
The following is an excerpt from an article by Fred Zaspel entitled, New Covenant Theology and the Mosaic Law. I post this in response to Phil Johnson’s post earlier today, Did Jesus Change the Moral Law?
While I am normally in agreement with Phil (and Wrigley), I must let Fred speak when necessary.
In this excerpt I think that Zaspel has proven himself most faithful to the text. And so I must move to the ‘New Covenant’ side of the road on the issue of the nature of the fulfillment of the law in Christ.
A Denial: “Not To Destroy”
When Jesus says “I came” He speaks in reference to His Messianic mission. This fits well in Matthew’s Christology and follows naturally the infancy narrative, the voice from Heaven at His baptism, etc. The phrase “the law and the prophets” refers to (OT) Scripture as a whole. The verbs “destroy” and “fulfill” (katalusai, plerosai) are both telic, or purpose, infinitives. Jesus is addressing and clarifying the goal of His mission in relation to the Scriptures.
The definitions of “destroy” offered in the standard lexicons are almost endless, and for this reference (5:17) “abrogate,” “abolish” or “annul” are generally offered by lexicographers and commentators alike. “Destroy” stands in contrast to “fulfill,” and while the contrast may not be absolute (cf. 10:34) the strong sense of purpose is evident. Moreover, the parallel in verse 18 speaks of parts of the law “passing away” (parelthe) and likewise reflects the idea of accomplishment of intended goals: the law will not “fall to the ground.” Kataluo (“destroy”) is used five times in Matthew (5:17 (twice); 24:2; 26:61; 27:40) and always by Jesus (or when His words are being quoted). The other references (outside of chapter 5) refer to “destroying” the temple, and that usage illustrates well the meaning here (as KJV). He has not come to “tear down” or “disassemble” the law in the sense of destroying that for which it was intended. He has not come to make it fail its intended design. He will not render it invalid. Liddell and Scott offer several definitions that may fit: cancel, dissolve, dismiss, make useless, cast down. Perhaps “overthrow” fits best. Simply put, Jesus denies that He has come with cross-purposes to the law. He will not invalidate the Scriptures which God has given; He will allow them to stand, and their purpose will continue to be served.
Aside: An Implication
There is an assumption in Jesus’ words which has significant implications concerning His Person and authority. “I did not come to destroy the law” would be unnecessary verbiage coming from anyone else, but from Jesus the denial assumes the possibility. His words are freighted with implications of the authority He has as Messiah.
This fits very well within the larger Matthean Christological themes highlighted earlier. And it is directly related to Jesus’ claim in Matthew 12:8: “The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.” This is one more opportunity for Matthew to emphasize that Jesus is “greater than Moses,” and it falls at a crucial point. As it relates to the law, in precisely what way is Jesus greater than Moses? And how will that authority be evident?
It has already been shown that in vv.21-48 He will take the law of Moses in whatever direction He sees fit. But in those various directions, what is the cohesive factor? How can His treatment of the law be explained and identified?
The answer to these questions lies in the next infinitive, plerosai (“fulfill”), the key word to the entire discussion.
An Affirmation: “But To Fulfill”
pleroo (“fulfill”) in Matthean Usage
With all the press Matthew gives to this word the question of definition becomes greatly simplified. Of particular significance are the “fulfillment quotations” in which the “filling up” is that of God’s purposes in redemptive history. In these Matthew follows up a narrative of some event associated with Jesus’ life, cites a specific passage from the Old Testament, and declares it to be “fulfilled.” Each of these “formulas” makes clear announcement that God’s purposes have reached their culmination in Jesus. The sense of “fulfillment” is a broad, redemptive-historical one. Often it is the “prediction / verification” sense which is prominent (eg., 21:4-5). But often the connection is more subtle (2:15, 17-18). “[T]he kind of typology varies considerably. Yet the perception remains constant that the OT was preparing the way for Christ, anticipating him, pointing to him, leading up to him.” With His arrival God’s purposes expressed in the Scriptures are reached.
Matthew’s understanding of “fulfillment” is, from the standpoint of many interpreters, very elaborate. At times it seems almost embarrassingly fanciful. Who would have expected that God’s calling up of Israel out from Egypt was a prefigurement of the return of Jesus from Egypt (Hos.11:1; Mat.2:15)? But this is Matthew’s outlook: he very casually looks across the history of Israel and sees it all as typologically prospective of Jesus in some way. His conviction is that in Jesus “all the rich diversity of God’s relations with his people in word and deed converges; that is what ‘fulfillment’ means for Matthew.”
So to say that Jesus is the new Moses, David’s greater son, etc., or to say that He holds supreme authority, is entirely right — but it is not enough. He is still more. He is the outworking, the full measure, the goal, and the accomplishment of the Divine purpose. In short, He is the “fulfillment” of redemptive history. This is precisely the outlook which pervades Matthew’s Gospel, and he goes to great lengths to show it. It is entirely arguable that Matthew’s whole theological motivation in writing his Gospel may be summed up in this one word — fulfilled (pleroo, 17 times in Matthew; teleo, 3 times). This is his trademark, his primary thrust emphasized over and again even without the use of the term. For Matthew, Jesus is the fulfillment of all the expectations regarding David’s and Abraham’s Son, and He is the one who “fills full” all the promises made throughout Israel’s history. Speak of Bethlehem, Galilee, the Messiah, the King of Israel/the Jews, the suffering Servant of Jehovah, the Son of Man, or any of a host of other terms pregnant with expectation, and Jesus is the Fulfiller, the answer and goal of them all.
Within this context it would be surprising if chapter 5 of Matthew’s Gospel would be any different. Indeed, it is not. Jesus’ Sermon text, the basic proposition which He proceeds to expound, is precisely that: He came “to fulfill.” It seems, then, from the general Matthean use of “fulfill” (pleroo), that Jesus’ claim is intended to be understood in an eschatological sense. Curiously, the only parallel to this statement found elsewhere in the Gospels is Luke 16:16-17 which clearly points in this same direction.
“The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fall.”
Again it is Jesus Himself who specifies that the law had a prophetic/prospective function; it anticipated Him who brought about its expectations. In doing so, the law did not “fall” (pipto). The parallel holds even in detail. Christ brought to final realization the “full” eschatological realization of the law.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Fred Zaspel
You can read the whole article by clicking here.
This phrase is used four times in Scripture. Habbakuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38.
Habbakuk, of course, coined the phrase, so to speak. More accurately, these are the words he used to convey what the Spirit was saying through him. A close look at the context of Habbakuk shows us the backdrop of the phrase. Judah is in a state of rebellion against God. Habakkuk cries out asking God why He lets this continue. God answers Habakkuk’s prayer by telling him that Judah’s sin will not go unpunished. He is raising up the Babylonians, who will come into Judah and carry them away captive.
But for Habakkuk this raises more questions. Surely God would not allow a nation more wicked than Judah to be the executers of His judgment on them. God responds to this prayer of Habakkuk by saying that the Babylonians are coming to execute judgment on Judah, but that they in turn will also be judged by another nation that God will raise up. As for Judah, they are to hear the proclamation of judgment, repent, and if they will not repent, then to wait for that judgment.
And then we come to the verse that we started with.
“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”
These words are spoken in a context of warning and assurance. Warning, because when Judah thought that they were strong, they were found to be weak. Assurance, because when those who trusted God for their strength were found to be strong. Not by their own merits, but by faith in God who is their Strength and Sustenance.
May these be words of warning to us, that we may by faith cast out all prideful thoughts of human abilities and trust in God who makes us just and alive. For it is by faith that the just will live.
Hyperbole is used WAY too much. Everybody uses hyperbole, no exclusions, and they use it all the time.
‘What is this hyperbole’, you ask? Don’t worry. Everybody is asking that question. Hyperbole is a way overstating the truth in order to make a point. And for the record, I am always, totally against overstating anything. That’s why I will absolutely never, ever tolerate hyperbole on this blog.
On a related note, all the boats in New York are flipping over. Also, all hurricanes are hitting the Gulf Coast.
Joe is always the first to comment, and bloggers never spend any time with their families.
Today, absolutely everything that could go wrong at work, went wrong. Tomorrow there will not be any problems whatsoever.
The Yankees always win the World Series and the Vols are the best college football team, bar none.
Do you see what I mean about hyperbole? Of course you do. Everyone does.