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)