All posts by Matt

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to my wife Kate, and a father to my two sons Jonathan and Jacob. I serve as Professor of New Testament Studies at Grace College and Theological Seminary.

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains which doctrines are the most difficult to accept:

6739. The Holy Trinity and the human origin of Christ are the most difficult articles of faith to accept. Although human reason can understand many things, that a child could be born of a virgin because God is all-powerful, it will not go so far as to accept that three persons can be in one eternal Godly form with equal powers and strengths, and so on, and that God Himself became man. That is just too much  (p. 470).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Week 8 – 2 Peter 2:10b-16

Although my original intent was to work through 2:10b-22, our discussion was so lively and wide-ranging that we decided to leave 2:17-22 for next week. In the course of exploring the false teachers, we discussed demonic activity, homosexuality, Greco-Roman banquets, and talking donkeys.

Want to hear more? You can listen to the audio and follow along with the audio below:

Week 8 – 2 Peter 2,10b-22 (Handout)

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains how the devil is like a bird catcher:

1084. It belongs to a Christian that in moments of greatest weakness, he is strongest. In moments of greatest foolishness, he is wisest. The one as a result of meditation, the other through faith (p. 322).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Week 7 – 2 Peter 2:1-10a

With the truthfulness of the gospel established on eyewitness testimony of the apostles (1:16-18) and the OT Scriptures (1:19-21), Peter now moves to warn about the false teachers who threaten the church (2:1-10a).

Just as Israel had to deal with false prophets, so too the church must contend with false teachers who deny Christ through their sexual immorality and greed (2:1-3a). Peter assures his readers that the false teachers face certain judgment from God (2:3b-10a). Since God did not spare angels, the ancient world, or Sodom & Gomorrah but preserved righteous Noah and Lot, he knows how to rescue the godly from trials and punish the wicked.

Want to hear more? You can listen to the audio and follow along with the handout below:

Week 7 – 2 Peter 2,1-10a (Handout)

Is Samson a Type of Christ? Sermon Audio (Judges)

Typology is one of the ways that God reveals the unity of the Bible. Although sometimes abused, when understood properly typology shows us the beauty of Christ and the gospel.

Let’s begin with a quick overview of Judges. The opening section describes Israel’s military and religious failures (1:1-3:6), introducing us to the cycle of rebellion, retribution, repentance, redemption, and rest. The heart of the book then shows this cycle working itself out in the lives of the various judges (3:7-16:31),  Over time the judges become less and less successful, culminating in Samson’s failure to deliver Israel. The final section give a series of incidents that exemplify Israel’s failure (17:1-21:25), with a key refrain repeated: “In those days there was no king in Israel” (17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).

When read in light of the whole canon, Samson emerges as a type of Christ. Both in the good that Samson does and his failures we can see Christ foreshadowed: Read through the story of Samson (Judges 13:1-16:31), and then consider the following:

  • We have a king who wasn’t merely born from a barren woman, but one was born of a virgin.
  • We have a king who wasn’t merely born to rescue Israel from the Philistines, he was born to save his people from their sins.
  • We have a king who wasn’t merely dedicated by his parents as Nazirite, but live an entire life of perfect purity.
  • We have a king who wasn’t merely empowered by the Spirit on occasion, but was empowered by the Spirit for the entirety of his life and ministry.
  • We have a king who wasn’t merely empowered to kill wild animals and defeat armies, but a king who was empowered to defeat Satan, cast out demons, heal the sick, feed the hungry, still the storm, and raise people from the dead.
  • We have a king who didn’t merely speak in riddles to annoy his enemies, but a king who spoke in parables to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of God.
  • We have a king who didn’t merely bring moments of relief to the Israelites, but a king who brings eternal salvation to all his people, Jew and Gentile alike.
  • We have a king who didn’t merely defeat his enemies through his self-sacrificial death, but a king who offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins and rose triumphantly from the dead three days later.
  •  As if that is not enough there’s more! That king that we so desperately needed ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father. Then he poured out the same Spirit who empowered him to live a life of perfect obedience to live inside of his people to empower us to obey.
  • As believers we have a Spirit-empowered king who has defeated our greatest enemies of sin, death, and the devil.
  • We have a king who not only rules over us in righteousness, who also lives in us to empower us to walk in obedience just as he did. And his name is Jesus Christ.

Interested in hearing more? You can listen to the sermon below:

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains how the devil is like a bird catcher:

3289ab. The devil is like a bird catcher. He rings the neck or strangles all of the birds he catches, except for a few he keeps and sets out in a little orchard to sing their songs and act as a decoy, so that he can catch and ensnare several more.  (p. 340).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Week 6 – 2 Peter 1:12-21

This section of 2 Peter includes the final paragraph of the letter opening (1;12-15) and the first section of the main letter body (1:16-21).

In 1:12-15 states his reason for writing: to leave behind a permanent reminder of the true apostolic gospel. His impending death makes it crucial that this letter serves to stir up his readers to remain faithful to the truth long after he is gone.

The opening paragraph of the letter body (1:16-21) asserts the validity of the apostolic gospel. Peter uses two witnesses (cp. Deut ): the eyewitness testimony of the apostles (1:16-18) and the OT (1:19-21). Together these two witnesses confirm the truthfulness of the gospel.

Want to learn more? You can listen to the audio and follow along with the handout below:

Week 6 – 2 Peter 1,12-21 (Handout)

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains how God accomplishes his purposes in this world:

6532. Whenever God has something important to carry out, he undertakes to do it through a human, and then assists him who undertakes such work at God’s command, so that he may be able to carry it out and triumph over His enemies (in spite of their fierce resistance and opposition).  (p. 451).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther reminds us that we do not need to be a monk to please God in our daily lives

2433. The world neither acknowledges nor believes in the hidden treasures of God; it cannot be disputed that an obedient maid, a true diligent servant, and a child-bearing wife are far above a praying monk, who does not see beyond his grub; each, however, under the command and control of God  (p. 111).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Week 5 – 2 Peter 1:3-11

As we move past the greeting in 2 Peter 1:1-2, the apostle reminds believers that God has given us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness. Through God’s promises we are empowered to intentionally pursue growth in godliness because we have become partakers of the divine nature. By growing in godliness we confirm our status as God’s chosen people as we await the consummation of God/s kingdom.

Want to hear more? You can listen to the audio and follow along with the handout below:

Week 5 – 2 Peter 1,3-11 (Handout)