Thursday, September 26, 2013

become a fool, own the cosmos

"For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.  For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men... So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's."  (1 Corinthians 1:21-25; 3:21-23 ESV)

"You are either glorying in men, or else you are glorying in the Lord Jesus Christ. Glory in men and you will continue a slave and the slavery will increase!  Glory in the Lord Jesus Christ and he will set you free, and make you willing servants, the owner, the heir of the whole cosmos, children of God, and if children, then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ... See that the essence of wisdom is to become a fool, to become a Christian, to be laughed at by the world, but in reality to be made wise with the wisdom of God himself!" (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones*)

*Martyn Lloyd-Jones' sermon, "Full Salvation" is here to stream or download
All sermons in the MLJ library are now free for download. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

for all peoples

And [Simeon] came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,  "Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel."  (Luke 2:27-32 ESV)
To see Jesus is to see the salvation God has prepared for all peoples. 

Earlier the angel who spoke to the shepherds said, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."  (Luke 2:11)  But Simeon, holding and gazing upon the baby Jesus, prays, "my eyes have seen your salvation."   The Savior is the Salvation.  Salvation is a Person.  Jesus did not come just to show a way, or the best way, but to be The Way. 

And this Person is himself the salvation prepared for all people groups, whether Jew or non-Jew.  Light for the Gentiles, glory for Israel.  Abraham's blessing has come to all families (Gen. 12:3)

To see Jesus rightly, then, is to see that he has come to accomplish salvation in the presence of, and available to, all nationalities and ethnic groups.  This salvation is trans-cultural.  If I see or believe that Jesus is my Savior, my salvation, but believe that other ways may work for other people, then I do not see Jesus clearly. 

To see Jesus is to see the salvation prepared for all peoples.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

it all depends

Here's a little poem by Abraham Ebel on relativism.  It's been around awhile, but this is a clever way of putting it...

It all depends on where you are 
and it all depends on who you are.
It all depends on what you feel, 
and it all depends on how you feel.
It all depends on how you’re raised, 
and it all depends on what is praised.
What’s right today is wrong tomorrow. 
Joy in France and England’s sorrow.
It all depends on point of view, 
Australia or Timbuktu.
In Rome do as the Romans do.
If tastes just happen to agree,
then you have morality.
But where there are conflicting trends
it all depends;
it all depends.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Getz on leadership unity

Quotes taken from interview of Gene Getz by Howard Hendricks (from DTS class on Leadership)...

“As the biblical story unfolds in the New Testament, it becomes increasingly clear that each local church was to be managed and shepherded by a unified team of godly men...

"As they [the disciples] left the upper room and headed towards the Kidron Valley and they were following along, still not understanding everything that’s going on here, Jesus lifted His eyes and He prayed and He said, 'Father' –part of that prayer, 'Father, I pray for them, these men. But not just for them, but for all those who will believe on Me through them,' which is us, by the way, 'that they’ll be one as We are one. I in You, You in Me' –for what reason? '–so the world will believe that You have sent Me.' Inherent in the unity in that leadership team is a reflection of the Trinity... 

"All the way through the Scriptures, that concept of oneness is there. Now, that oneness is not going to be in the church, unless it’s modeled at the leadership level. So, that is so critical and that’s why the qualifications are so important because you're not going to have unity if you have arrogance, if you have ego, if you have selfish ambitions, if you have agendas for power, position.  And if you take those qualifications seriously, it wipes that out.  We’re all in process, obviously, but that, to me, is so critical. And then, as you have this unity, this oneness, it doesn’t mean you always agree on everything, but if guys really love Christ, love that church, want to serve that church and not themselves, they will lay aside their agendas. They’ll speak their peace, but when the end of the day comes, they’re going to  be one, and does the church ever sense that!  And, to me, that is the very thing Jesus prayed for and wants, and that’s why Satan, who knows more about that then we do, has attacked the church and the leadership at that level, and unfortunately has been victorious in a lot of situations.  But he doesn’t have to be, if we follow the Scriptures."

Friday, September 6, 2013

new song

"Spirit Of The Living God", by Audrey Assad

O Spirit of the living God, thou Light and Fire Divine
Descend upon Thy Church once more and make it truly Thine
Fill it with love and joy and power, with righteousness and peace
Till Christ shall dwell in human hearts, and sin and sorrow cease.

Blow, wind of God, with wisdom blow until our minds are free
from mists of error, clouds of doubt, which blind our eyes to Thee
Burn, winged fire, inspire our lips with flaming love and zeal
To preach to all Thy great good news, God's glorious commonweal.

So shall we know the power of Christ, who came this world to save
So shall we rise with Him to life which soars beyond the grave
And earth shall win true holiness which makes Thy children whole
Till, perfected by Thee, we reach creation's glorious goal.

Listen to it here.