Archive for March, 2010
“Some pastors and preachers are lazy and no good. They do not pray; they do not read; they do not search the Scripture…The call is: watch, study, attend to reading. In truth you cannot read too much in Scripture; and what you read cannot be read too carefully, and what you read carefully you cannot understand too well, and what you understand well you cannot teach too well, and what you teach well you cannot live too well…The devil…the world…and our flesh are raging and raving against us. Therefore, dear sirs and brothers, pastors and preachers, pray, read, study, be diligent…This evil, shameful time is not the season for being lazy, for sleeping and snoring.” -
Martin Luther, quoted in John Piper, The Legacy of Sovereign Joy (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2000), 101.
(On the run up to Easter, I’ve been preaching through the Passion narrative of Mark’s gospel. A few weeks ago we considered Gethsemane. Here are the notes for my sermon conclusion. I first read about the contrast between Eden and Gethsemane in one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons).
What a contrast between the ‘two great gardens of temptation’!
In the Garden of Eden – under the most meagre pressure – Adam succumbed to temptation and sinned. Adam disobeyed God’s will and by that one act of disobedience, he dragged the whole human race down into darkness.
But in the Garden of Gethsemane – under infinite pressure - Jesus resisted the immense temptation to disobey His Father’s will. Scaling that final summit of obedience, Jesus, the last Adam, succeeded where His predecessor failed. As our sinless substitute, He therefore completed His life of righteousness for us. He then died on a cross, enduring God’s just punishment for our sins.
What then does Gethsemane teach us, as we observe from the thickets of the trees? Simply this. That we can only be saved by Jesus’ obedience. We are as much the sleepy-sinners as the disciples were. We are ill-prepared to resist sin’s temptations and easily succumb. Thus, if we are seeking to obey our way into God’s favour, we will fail.
But if you are trusting in an obedience not your own…
- in a righteous-life lived for you
- in a punishment endured for you
- in a cup drunk for you
you will avoid condemnation. Christ will bear it in your stead. And you will be credited with His righteousness!
MacArthur, Mohler and others talk here about the value of seminary training.
I particularly liked the balanced assessment of Rick Holland:
“Nothing duplicates the depth and intensity of study in seminary. I’m not sure that Greek, Hebrew, Theology, and Exegesis can be learned any better than by giving three or four years of your life to them. Having said this, the history of the church is a living testimony to the fact that seminary is not a requirement for successful ministry.”
1. Job 1-3 – Why is light given to him who is in misery? Download (right click)
2. Job 18-19 – Who that was innocent ever perished? Download (right click)
3. Job 28-31 – Where can wisdom be found? Download (right click)
4. Job 38-40:5 – Shall a fault-finder contend with the Almighty? Download (right click)
5. Job 40:6-42:16 – Can you draw out Leviathan? Download (right click)
6. Question and Answer Session Download (right click)
Summer @ the Castle 2010
4–6 June, Castlewellan Castle, Northern Ireland
Chris Green on 2 Timothy
REGISTER NOW: www.atthecastle.org.uk.
Chris Green is the Vice Principal, Oakhill Theological College, London.
Chris has published commentaries on 2 Peter and Jude, 2 Timothy, and Acts, and edited a book on preaching.
Chris is married to Sharon, with two sons, Edward and Alex, and enjoys music, reading and watercolour painting.
He is passionate about church planting.
For any queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
“All churches rise and fall as the ministry doth rise or fall, not in riches and worldly grandeur, but in knowledge, zeal and ability for their work.”
(Richard Baxter, quoted in Preaching the Cross, Dever, Duncan, Mohler, Mahaney, p 17)
I pretty much got the best birthday present ever this week. My wife Nicki had secretly booked my flights and tickets for Together 4 The Gospel next month. You only turn 30 once! I think there’s a small UK contingent heading across. See below why I’m so excited, and if you see me there, do say hello.
Contrary to misconception, Jesus was a preacher. But there’s more:
“The real truth is that while He came to preach the gospel, His chief object in coming was that there might be a gospel to preach.” (R W Dale)
This is an excellent hymn that we learned as a congregation last Sunday night. Hope many churches will sing it!
My Jesus, fair, was pierced by thorns,
By thorns grown from the fall.
Thus He who gave the curse was torn
To end that curse for all.
O love divine, O matchless grace-
That God should die for men!
With joyful grief I lift my praise,
Abhorring all my sin,
Adoring only Him.
My Jesus, meek, was scorned by men,
By men in blasphemy.
“Father, forgive their senseless sin!”
He prayed, for them, for me.
My Jesus, kind, was torn by nails,
By nails of cruel men.
And to His cross, as grace prevailed,
God pinned my wretched sin.
My Jesus, pure, was crushed by God,
By God, in judgment just.
The Father grieved, yet turned His rod
On Christ, made sin for us.
My Jesus, strong, shall come to reign,
To reign in majesty.
The Lamb arose, and death is slain.
Lord, come in victory!
(Chris Anderson and Gregg Habbeger)
Also, here are Chris Anderson’s doctrinal notes on the song:
Because God delights in worship that is biblical, thoughtful and passionate—what we often call intentional—please consider the following overview of the biblical texts and theological themes behind the hymn My Jesus, Fair:
Verse 1 focuses on the irony that the curse which was given by God (pictured by the thorns of Genesis 3:18) was actually borne by God at Calvary (pictured by the crown of thorns).
The chorus expresses wonder at the sacrifice of the Son of God on our behalf, to which we respond with both joy and grief—abhorring our sin and adoring our Savior.
Verse 2 focuses on the scorn heaped upon our Lord at His trial and death, contrasting it with His silence and prayer for their (and our) forgiveness in Luke 23:34.
Verse 3 alludes to Colossians 2:14, where Scripture uses the powerful picture of God nailing our sins to the cross even as sinners nailed His Son to the cross.
Verse 4 is really the pinnacle of the hymn, expressing wonder at the doctrine of propitiation—that God was pleased to crush His Son and satisfied by His atoning death (Isaiah 53:10-11). It is worth considering that while we generally think in terms of the suffering of Christ, the wrath poured upon Him and the breaking of fellowship must have been infinitely grievous to the Father and Spirit, as well. The verse concludes with an allusion to Christ’s being made sin for us from 2 Corinthians 5:21. The more we meditate on the doctrine of propitiation, the more amazed we will be. It is glorious.
Verse 5 rejoices in Christ’s slaying death by His resurrection and anticipates His glorious return. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
(The notes for My Jesus, Fair were written by Chris Anderson.)