Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus by D.A. Carson Part 1
In the passage in front of us, Paul talks about the solution, how we are just before God. The controlling expression in this paragraph is “the righteousness of God” . The expression, which would be rendered “the justice of God or “the justification of God”, occurs four times in these six verses. The verb to justify occurs an additional two times, and the adjective just or righteous occurs once. This whole passage has to do with how a person can be considered just before this hold God, granted that our condition is miserable as it is made out of to be in the first two and half chapters. To get at the heart of Paul’s solution, we will reflection on the four steps that he establishes in his argument.
“But now” introduces something new into Paul’s argument. This is not just a logical transition: “but now, at this step in the argument…” Paul can use “but now” in diverse ways, but in this context the expression means, “But now, at this point in the stream of redemptive history”. Something new has come along.
What is the nature of the change that Paul here envisages? In the past there was something else, “but now” what is there? A popular but misguided view is that in the OT God was especially wrathful, “but now” in the NT God is especially love and gracious. The argument runs like this: in the old covenant, God demonstrated himself in righteous wrath, not least in famines, plagues, and war. Now, however, under the terms of the new covenant established by the cross, God displays a gentler side to his character in the gospel. Many Christians think that in the OT God is almost bad-tempered, while in the NT Jesus tells his followers to turn the other check—and he himself goes to the cross on our behalf. So when Paul introduces his paragraph with the words “but now”, he is preparing to paint a portrait of God that is a little softer than what is found in the NT.
The Trinity and Worship
Graham Kendrick shares some thoughts as a worship leader about the doctrine of the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Access all areas! Sometimes we can lose the wonder and the awe of the fact that we can worship God at all - that we are welcomed into His presence. We must understand that our only access to be able to come before God is through Christ - The Worship Leader.
When People are Big and God is small By Ed Welch
There are many other biblical themes and passages that direct us to the fear of the Lord. The gospel of Mark, however, is the book of amazement. It is constantly saying that Jesus amazed those who witnessed his ministry. This amazement did not always lead to reverent submission, but it is Mark’s way of teaching us that Jesus is the Holy one, God in the flesh.
Mark’s basic them is that Jesus amazed people by both his teaching and his miraculous deeds. He starts this immediately: “The people were amazed at his teaching” (Mark 1:22). Mark’s gospel proceeds to show Jesus’ demonstrating authority over evil spirits (1:27). Then, when Jesus told the paralytic that his sins were forgiven and he could walk, everyone was amazed and praised God (2:12).
The next story of amazement took the disciples back to the creation account and the creative word of God. Crowds were already following Jesus to the point where a boat was one of the few places he could rest. “Let us go over to the other side,” Jesus said to his disciples. After they rowed beyond view of the shore, a furious storm came up, threatening to capsize the boat. Waves were already breaking over the sides and the boat was filling up with water. How Jesus could ever sleep through such an even seems superhuman in itself, but that is not what caused the amazement. When the disciples could finally shake him awake, Jesus spoke to his creation, “Quite! Be Still!” And the water became flat as grass.
Prior to this time, the disciples had seen and heard many things. They had witnessed many miraculous healings, and they had heard teaching that elicited as much awe from the crowds as did the miracles. But this is the first time that Mark talks about the disciples responses. How would you respond if you were standing next to the Creator God and heard him speak to his creation? Don’t forget, even the words of the seraphim could shake the temple. “They were terrified”, Mark says about the disciples. They did not feel relief or happiness that they would live and not even lose their boat. They were terrified. What a wonderful response. It was ideal for people being schooled in the fear of the Lord.
Two Hours on Justification
As a guest host on the Dividing Line, I taught for two hours on what Martin Luther described as "the article upon which the Church stands or falls," the doctrine of justification by faith alone. - John Samson
Hour 1: Justification and the Three Transfers
Hour 2: The Active and Passive Obedience of Christ, how Paul and James compliment each other on the matter of justification and why Rome's 'gospel' cannot save.
An Historic Door Opened for the Gospel
JS - Over the last two weeks, I have had the privilege of guest hosting Dr. James White's dividing line broadcasts while he has been on a ministry trip to South Africa (the 4th of these shows at 2 p.m. later today). Dr. White shares here about one of the events on his trip and it is TRULY HISTORIC! God has opened a very significant and unexpected door for the gospel and it thrills my heart. Please continue to pray for Dr. James White and Alpha and Omega Ministries.
"As I wait here in London for my flight back to Phoenix, I am still processing what took place this past Tuesday evening in Durban. As the attached picture shows, I stood once again in a masjid---not just a room associated with a mosque, but in the masjid itself, and had the unfettered freedom to proclaim the full truth of God. If I can figure out how best to link an audio file, I might have time before my flight to post a portion of my presentation on John's Christology, but I can tell you this: I had the opportunity (indeed, the necessity, given Yusuf's presentation), of delving into John 1:1-18, John 8:24, 58, 13:19, 18:5-6 (the I Am sayings of Jesus) and of course John 20:28. That is certainly not unusual---but to do so in a historic masjid, the first Christian to speak there---that's amazing. But now add in the real kicker: I was standing where Ahmed Deedat often stood in denial of those very truths. That's what I am still processing. Only God could open a door like that, give an opportunity like that. I thank Him for using means (specifically, Rudolph, Adrian, etc. there in South Africa), but they will tell you the same thing: the Lord has granted favor to our interactions with our Muslim friends in South Africa. No doubt about it."
The article upon which the Church stands or falls
Sola Fide: On today's Dividing Line broadcast I taught on the doctrine of justification by faith alone and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer's account, highlighting Romans chapters 1-4. - JS
Acts 10 - Part 2
Yesterday, as a guest host of the Dividing Line broadcast, I continued walking through Acts 10, seeking to explain why it is one of the most important chapters in the entire New Testament. - JS
When People are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch
God was still part of this culture. In fact, most people, both then and now, would say that God exists and that the soul is immortal. That sounds pretty good—a little basic, perhaps, with no explicit statements about Jesus, but it seems essentially Christian. But jump to the present for a moment. How do you react to news poll indicating that the vast majority of Americans believe in God, an afterlife, and even the existence of angles? Are you encouraged to think that American is a Christian country? Or are you somewhat suspicious, left wanting to ask a few more questions? You can probably guess my reaction.
We live in a times when there is a resurgence of God-talk and spiritual language, but conversations rarely get to the thing of “First Importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter and then the Twelve” (1 Cor. 15:3-5).
The last two centuries have introduced God language that sounds fine but is divorced from biblical content. For example, the French philosopher Rousseau talked about God, but he found his god in nature. His god was all peace and goodness, and he moved to a feeling of worship. Rousseau shifted the focus from objective revelation (the Bible) to the subjective experience (feelings), from other people to the inner life and from loving God and neighbor to loving self.
Acts 10 - The Gentile Pentecost
JS - Today I once again had the privilege of guest hosting Dr. James White's "Dividing Line" broadcast. After informing people as to Dr. White's ministry schedule in South Africa we had a couple of surprising and dramatic Royal announcements, including the declaration of a 6th Sola of the Reformation. Thankfully, some sort of sanity was regained as we took a trek through Acts chapter 10, showing why it is one of the most significant chapters in the entire New Testament, revealing why Gentiles have full citizenship in the kingdom of God. Here's the show:
May We Meet in the Heavenly World: The Piety of Lemuel Haynes
If we view mankind as they come into the world, we shall then find them haters of God—enemies to God—estranged from God—nay, the very heart is enmity itself against all the divine perfections; and we shall find them acting most freely and most voluntarily in these exercises. There is no state or circumstance that they prefer to the present, unless it be one whereby they may dishonor God more, or carry on their war with heaven with a higher hand. They have no relish for divine things, but hate, and choose to remain enemies to, all that is morally good. Now, that this is actually the case with sinners, is very evident from the scriptures.
We are told in the chapter of which the text is part that that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit; which teaches us that here nothing truly spiritual or holy in the first birth, but that this comes by the second, or by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Christ tells the Jews that they hated him without cause. And the inspired apostle says that “the carnal mind is enmity against god, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”. So, then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom 8:7-8).
See this is the state that mankind are in antecedent to the new birth, it is not fit or reasonable that God should bring them into favor with Himself, or be at peace with them, without regeneration. Nay, He cannot, consistent with His perfections, for this would be for Him to connive at wickedness when He tells us that He can by no means clear the guilty.
To suppose that sinners can see the kingdom of God or to be happy in the divine favor without regeneration or the new birth, is a perfect inconsistency, or contrary to the nature of the thing. The very essence of religion consists in love to God, and a man is no further happy in the favor of God than he loves God. Therefore, to say we enjoy happiness in God, and at the same time hate God, is a plan contradiction.
It is evident from scripture that those to whom God gives a title to his spiritual kingdom are regenerated or born again, and those that are not, and remain so, shall be miserable. This is not only asserted in the text by the Son of God, who was co-equal, co-eternal, and co-essential with the Father—whose words stand more permanent than the whole fabric of heaven and earth.