2459b. The most important lesson learned from theology is to be able to acknowledge Christ. That is something a teacher should never cease teaching from student to student.
Christ is friendlier than are we. When I can do something good for a friend, how much more would Christ merciful and good be! That is why Peter said [2 Peter 3:18]: “Grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.” Namely, that He is the most righteous and most merciful, upon whom we alone depend. But Satan does an excellent job of clouding this knowledge and works within us so that we give more trust to someone who has friendly intentions toward us than we do Christ. (p. 416).
2038. When God lets wicked people live a pleasant life, I do not envy them, for the same thing is happening to them as in the case with pigs in their stall, which will soon be slaughtered. What Isaiah said is fitting: “Fatten them up Father, fatten them up for the slaughter (p. 413).
One of the things I most enjoy in teaching is tracing a biblical-theological theme from Genesis to Revelation. So when Brian McCrorie, the pastor of Heather Hills Baptist Church, invited me to come to his church’s leadership retreat and teach on a biblical theology of servanthood, I eagerly accepted.
So in the 75 minutes I was given, I attempted to show that because we failed to serve God in the way we were created to, God raised up servants to point forward to the ultimate servant Jesus Christ. Throughout redemptive history God gives the title “servant” to key figures such as Adam, Moses, Joshua, David, and the Isaianic servant, each of whom anticipates some aspect of Jesus’ identity.
Want to hear more? You can listen below and follow along with the handout:
1285. Faith is a great thing, and that is well illustrated by the Psalms. I know that my faith is limp, like the arms of a fur coat, when it comes to my own work. But when it comes to God’s Word, my faith stands no matter how weak it is; it is certain and does not fail. The Church and its faith stand by us, and they do a lot. Faith and the Lord’s prayer are great weapons against the devil. My little Lena and Hans also pray for me and many Christians (p. 406).
5598. In regard to how a faithful soul should talk with Christ, Martin Luther said: I am Your sins, You are my salvation. Therefore I am joyful and without worry. For my sins have no more power over Your redemption, nor will Your salvation allow me to remain a sinner long. Praise be to God! Amen! (p. 376).
The relationship between the Old and New Testaments is notoriously complex, and there are a variety of different ways of approaching the issue. I believe that one of the most fruitful is studying how the New Testament authors quote from, allude to, or echo Old Testament texts. Yet even when one does this, the way that NT authors interact with OT texts can often seem strange. At times they seem to assert that certain events fulfill what was promised in the OT, yet when one reads the OT text(s) in question it can sometimes be hard to see it.
Enter the new book by G.K. Beale and Benjamin L. Gladd: Hidden but now Revealed: A Biblical Theology of Mystery.
They use the concept of “mystery” as their entry point for exploring the relationship between the OT and NT. They define mystery as:
the revelation of God’s partially hidden wisdom, particularly as it concerns events occurring in the “latter days.”
Their starting point is how the term is used in Daniel, since that sets the foundation for how it is used in the NT. From there Beale and Gladd look at specific occurrences of the term mystery in Early Judaism, Matthew, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, and Revelation. They also include chapters on the concept of mystery in the NT where the specific word does not occur, as well as the difference between mystery within Christianity and the pagan mystery religions.
Also of note is an appendix by Beale entitled, “The Cognitive Peripheral Vision of Biblical Authors.” It tackles the thorny issue of cases where the NT authors appear to draw meaning from an OT text that goes beyond the conscious intention of the OT human author.
As a Ph.D student at Wheaton College, I had the privilege of learning from Dr. Beale, as well as become good friends with Ben (who was studying under Beale). I can think of no two men better qualified to trace the theme of mystery and tease out the implications for our understanding of the Old and New Testaments.
You can find an early review of the book here. It promises to be a significant contribution to our understanding of biblical theology and how the Old and New Testaments relate to each other.
6305. The torment of the soul suffered by God-fearing Christians is highly useful and a good experience for flesh and blood. He who has never experienced it knows nothing. That is why all the Psalms in each and every verse use nothing but temptation, anguish, affliction, and a book full of the torment of the soul. The tormenters of the Holy Fathers (Patriarchs) arise out of the most basic admonishments in the first tablet of the Ten Commandments, such as Saint Hieronymous’ [Jerome] torments of the flesh (p. 447).
Now that we have reached the end of our journey through Jeremiah, we spent our final class period reflecting on what we have learned about God, humanity, and redemption. It was a great discussion of what God was doing in people’s lives through the timeless message of Jeremiah.
On a personal note, I think the most significant insight I gained was seeing a glimpse of imputation in Jeremiah I had never noticed before. In Jer 23:5 YHWH promises to “raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shalll reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” He will be called “The LORD is our righteousness” (23:6). Later in Jer 33:15 God reiterates this promise of a righteous Branch from the line of David. But in this passage it is Jerusalem that is given the name “The LORD is our righteousness” (33:16). The righteousness of the righteous Branch is given to the people whom he redeems. As such it aligns with what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Interested in hearing more? You can listen to the audio below and follow along with the handout:
1167. The Law [Ten Commandments] is no help in seeking redemption. When it is correctly understood, it brings about doubt, when it is not correctly understood, it produces heretics. When the Gospel is misunderstood, it brings about overly secure people, when correctly understood, pious people. The only purpose of the Law is to establish limits, to keep people upon Christ’s path. Externally, it has the same effect as any other political law (p. 323).
As we come to the final chapter of Jeremiah, we find a simple (albeit extended) narrative description of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, as well as the exile of a remnant to Babylon. The chapter is nearly identical to sections of 2 Kings 24-25, and this material may have been added by Baruch to the end of the book as a way of confirming the truthfulness of Jeremiah’s prophetic words.
But the chapter ends with a note that Jehoiachin, the last Davidic king, was given a seat at the king’s table and a daily allowance. By ending the book this way, Jeremiah leaves us on a note of hope that the Davidic line remains alive; God’s promises will be fulfilled. We see this come to fruition in Jesus Christ, who according to Matthew 1:11 was a descendant of Jehoiachin (also known as Jechoniah).
Because I was in San Diego for the ETS conference this past week, I asked my former student and good friend John Sloat (you can follow him on Twitter @John_Sloat). So the voice you hear is his, but there is no handout. Enjoy!