Saturday, July 10, 2010

Christ our Prophet

"Christ's prophetic work does not cease, however, with the end of his earthly ministry at his Ascension. As Louis Berkhof notes, Christ'continues His prophetical activity through the operation of the Holy Spirit. His teachings are both verbal and factual, that is, He teaches not only by verbal communications, but also by the facts of revelation, such as the incarnation, His atoning death, the resurrection and ascension.'7 Christ is the one who sends the Holy Spirit, and as the Spirit of Christ, he is the one who'will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment' (Jn 16:8). As Christ is the Word incarnate, and the central figure in biblical revelation, so too we cannot divorce the work of his Spirit from the written word. Since Christ fulfills the office of prophet, and since he continues to speak to us through his word-and only through his word-the Reformed are very reticent to give any credence to supposed'words from God,' or'words of knowledge' from modern day schwärmer such as Pat Robertson or Benny Hinn who repeatedly make such claims to speak forth Spirit-led utterances." -Kim Riddlebarger, The Triple Cure: Jesus Christ - Our Prophet, Priest and King

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ps 102

From the perspective of this psalm we see that God, for some reason has poured out his wrath upon the psalmist. The sufferings culminate with the accusation to God in v10. Where is God in the midst of the frustration of our daily labors and how “under the sun” we find no hope because our bones are, “scorched like the hearth”(v3). God has held back his redemption and allowed the enemies to overrun his people.

The psalmist here, as we are to, calls out to the Lord in his time of suffering for the Lord to remove his wrath both inwardly, and outwardly. However in a more negative example blames God for his suffering, and is possibly complaining about the curse that is upon this world. But this is not the end for the psalmist praises the Lord for his work.

Looking forward the psalmist in v.12 shifts his gaze to the everlasting nature of God. He see’s an appointed time where God will redeem a people for himself from every tribe and nation that a “people yet created may praise the Lord”(v18) so that, “The nations will fear the name of the Lord”(v15). And that when Paul spoke of the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:6) so does the psalmist here in v.13 speak of a appointed time when God will endure forever. The horizon of this psalm and our life collide in the person and work of Christ.

Let us focus upon the last three verses(26-28), but turn If you turn to Hebrews chapter 1, in verse 3 we see that Christ has made “purification for sins” and is the final way that God has spoken to his people. And when he speaks of the superiority of the son in v.8 he then goes on to quote Ps 102:26-28 in Heb 1:10-12. Christ is the salvation that will not wear out. Everything will change but the salvation that remains secure in Christ will never fade away.

For us we can take comfort that no matter how beaten down we get at work or because of our families because life is hard. We have a salvation that is established, firm, and as heaven and earth pass away so the word of the Lord, Christ our King will never pass away.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Dual Purposes of the Law

"While we are instructing Gods people in the details of the their duty, we may be teaching his enemies the number of their sins." -R.L. Dabney, Lectures on Sacred Rhetoric, pg 62

Simply note the dual purpose of instruction here that Dabney gives to preachers, the law needs to be expounded both to convict, but also to instruct. The point is to be specific when talking about sin. It is not enough simply to tell people they are going to hell but the specific explanation of what they have done wrong and how they have done it needs to be applied as a hammer to their conscience, not just to break but to smash their good deeds. People need to smell the blood on their hands from the murder they have been committing by breaking Gods law. Thankfully we have a high priest who bloodied himself for us. He was numbered for our sins so we did not have to be.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ps 101

What grips the hearts of wounded soldiers in this psalm is the tension of personal battles and corporate battles. This is the tension that we all feel. The failures that gut us and the hopes that galvanize our souls for service. The personal battles and the communal battles split this psalm in half at v. 5 showing the dual nature of Christian responsibility. The unpredictable nature of battles are shot through with failure. Failures that we as individuals and a community must lament.

This psalm laments the delay of Gods judgment upon the wicked. Both, the temple of our bodies, and the temple of the church built with living stones lament. However; pilgrims, with lamentation comes joy in their journey they near the end. And with joy so the song. The psalm starts in lament, yet also in joy because of the loving-kindness of our God. Because of the faithfulness of Christ, we are now able to depart from sin.

The faithfulness of Christ is found in two areas as the kingship of David is shown in two areas in this psalm. It is both personal and communal. These two sections split the psalm in half at v.5. We know this because he moves from the first person to the third and begins to invoke his rule. The personal aspect first we see in verse one as a lamenting song of joy. Joy in what you ask? The loving-kindness of our God. Songs to who? Songs to our transcendent God who comes near in the immanent humanity of Christ. Keep in mind that this very verbal act of singing separates Gods people from the pagan hordes because we have a basis and a object to sing to out of a pure motive. The basis is the love of God. He calls, he gives, we receive, and thus we sing. The object of our song is not a separated mystical reality, or a narcissistic ‘Song of Myself’ by Mr. Whitman. But our song is to a God who acts in history, who moves the mountains, calms the sea, and radically divorces his people by the power of his voice from their sin through the pilgrimage of the exodus into the promised land. This is the object in this psalm and despite the overflow of wickedness in our world; it is cause for us to rejoice. Sing oh people of God, and sing with joy as the son of righteousness rises on the breath of your prayers and the preaching of his word.

But where then does the church sing? Two places, here and there. Here in the church, and there in heaven. We come and partake of heaven as we invoke the name of the Lord together with the psalmist, “O LORD”! Who has this privilege? None but the saints here and the saints there. The saints in this room and the saints in heaven who are our kin.

But now, back to our psalm, notice here another fact built upon the loving-kindness of our God. The psalmist walks in the integrity of his heart(v2). How? Is this not David the murderer? The adulterer? Yes it is but, because of the grace of God David sought the future grace in Christ and was given what he did not receive, a pardon. A pardon of a new heart. The old was ripped out and the new soldered in by the Holy Spirit.

The final section, 5-8, the king wields his zeal upon those who do not keep Gods law. The language is very brash for our modern tolerant age. But do not be afraid of these harsh ethical encounters such as: “I hate”, “I will destroy”, “to cut off”. We are not to fear these because they show us the ethics of the final judgment of God when Christ comes for war, for restitution, for final peace. It looks forward to this erasure of the curse. In a future hope he will violently remove the curse from this world. This was inaugurated in the coming of Christ.

What part do we play in this grand drama of redemption that is laid out before us? Let us grab and take hold of a threefold cord of application because it is not easily broken. First, we as Gods people have comfort now in the indicative of the Lords loving-kindness (v.1) bestowed upon us in Christ, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). While David was yet a sinner, Christ died for him, and so for us. We also can walk in “integrity of heart” in a world that is eroding away from the inside because Christ has made us alive through the resurrection power at work within us.

Second, our example here is to despise sin and love God and our neighbors. We can now, “set no worthless thing before our eyes”(v.3) but to “look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Our example here is to buy for ourselves treasures that cannot rust by despising the glories of this world. By losing this world we gain the other.

Third, the hope for tomorrow is that this cursed world is being, “cut off from the city of the Lord” (v.8). Hope is heavenly Zion come upon us with the return of our Lord. Our weakness’s, failures, pains, hardships, and mishaps will all be gone and our faith will become sight.

So, beloved, pilgrims of the Lord, be strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ today in the future hope of forest fire purity that comes with our lord as he rides upon the clouds.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Summer Time...

This summer I am an intern a Covenant Reformed OPC in Mt. Airy NC. It is going to be a very exciting time as my pastor has dead bear skins on his walls, head included. This week was full of adventures to say the least I had my first trip to Walmart in the South.

I will be under Pastor Brent Ferry a graduate of Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. He was an author in the The Law is Not of Faith a book put out by my school. He also recently finished a Th.M. at Westminster Philedelphia's London campus on the history of the use of the mosaic economy in reformed theology. He has also contributed to many magazines and articles. Here is a full list. Read up its great stuff!

This summer should be full of exciting adventure in the South for me. It is already exciting because they have Waffle House in the south, sometimes home to toothless waitress's. This summer should include everything tales of mexican food in the south to my preaching. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

White Horse Inn

One of my professors at seminary has started a radio show called White Horse Inn. They have a blog, I recently submitted and was accepted to have an article posted on the blog.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Garbage Burning Fail

Garbage Burning Fail: "

Submitted through the FAIL Uploader

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