391. Money is Satan’s scripture, through which he works in the world, just as God does everything through the true Scripture. (p. 97).
The opening chapter of Jeremiah introduces us to the prophet and foreshadows the kind of ministry he will have. After setting the historical stage (1:1-3), God calls Jeremiah to be his prophet to the nations (1:4-16). By putting his words in Jeremiah’s mouth God appoints him “over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (1:10). Fulfilling this ministry will cause Jeremiah great suffering, but God promises to protect him (1:17-19). Jeremiah 1:1-19 shows us Jeremiah’s commission to speak God’s words of judgment and restoration for both Judah and the nations.
Just as God promised to deliver Jeremiah by being with him, so too God has delivered us by taking on flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. As great as it was for Jeremiah to have the Word of the Lord come to him, we have the far greater blessing of having the Word who became flesh dwelling in us.
Want to hear more? You can listen to the audio below and follow along with the handout.
3559. Ambition. He talked a lot about the ambitious and pretentious, as he read from a letter sent to him by a writer aspiring to wisdom. He said ironically: When the stomach is ready to burst it is time to get rid of it through writing and praying–and then he pronounced: Arrogance is the sin of the snake (p. 132).
This past Sunday I began a new Life Education course at Christ’s Covenant Church on Jeremiah. Over the next 12 weeks I will be working my way through the book, usually in pretty big chunks.
During our first session, I walked through the historical background to the book. We focused much of our time on 2 Kings 22-25 to set the historical stage for Jeremiah’s ministry.
Interested in hearing more? You can listen to the audio here:
Here are the handouts if you would like to follow along:
3996. God placed His Church in the middle of the world among endless external activities and vocations, so that Christians would not be monks, but live among the general population, so that our work and our practice of our faith would be known to the public. For the society of mankind is, as Aristotle said, not an end in itself, but only the means and its principle purpose is that one teachers another about God. Accordingly, as Aristotle said, society isn’t made by a physician teaching a physician, a farmer teaching a farmer, and so on. There are three kinds of vocations; labor must take place, warfare must be carried on, and all must be governed. The state consists of these three. And finally, Plato said that just as oxen aren’t governed by oxen and goats by goats, so men aren’t governed by men but by extraordinary persons. (p. 281)
This past Sunday I had the privilege of preaching at my home church, Christ’s Covenant Church. We are beginning a series on the church, and the elders asked me to kick things off by doing a biblical theology of the church. The goal was to help our congregation understand our story as a people – the people of God.
Before you listen, though, let me provide two caveats. First, I only had about 38 minutes, so I had to be extremely selective in how I traced this theme through the biblical story. Second, I did not have the time to discuss the well-known issue of the relationship between Israel and the church.
The main thrust I tried to communicate is that God’s purpose from the beginning was to create a people who would reflect his glory by living joyfully and obediently under his sovereign rule. But all throughout the OT the people of God fail repeatedly. God promises to raise up a Serpent-crusher who will defeat the serpent, deal with the sins of his people, and institute a new covenant to create an obedient people. That promise is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who obeys where God’s people have failed, dies for their sins, and crushes the serpent by rising from the dead. He inaugurates the new covenant and pours out his Spirit to create the new covenant people of God.
Want to hear more? You can either listen online or download the audio here.
1810. God treats kings the way children do a card game. While they are playing, they hold the cards in their hands; afterwards, they throw them in the corner, or under a bench, or on the rubbish pile. That is exactly how God handles those in power. As long as they are in power, He thinks of them as useful, but as soon as they go too far, He knocks them off their throne and lets them lie there, like the King of Denmark, and so on. (p. 187)
Just last year Doug Moo’s long awaited commentary on Galatians in the Baker Exegetical Commentary series was released. As the author of arguably the best modern commentary on Romans, Moo’s volume on Galatians was highly anticipated, and it does not disappoint.
Last week I had the privilege of speaking at a pastors retreat for Heather Hills Baptist Church. They asked me to walk through a biblical theology of marriage as the foundation for their reflection and discussion on issues related to marriage and our culture. My wife Kate and I greatly enjoyed our time with these faithful pastors and their wives!
My goal was to trace the thread of marriage from Genesis to Revelation. The central point that I tried to demonstrate is that God created marriage to display/reflect his relationship with his people. Thus marriage is not an analogy but rather a microcosm of the greater reality.
Below you will find a link for the handout I used, as well as the audio.
234. A preacher is like a carpenter; his tools are God’s Word. Because the audience, upon whom he is to work, is diversified, he should not continuously teach in the same tone, rather, in respect of the differences in his congregation, comfort for a while, frighten, scold, offer reconciliation, and so on. (p. 209)