Friday, February 29, 2008
There are lots of different churches out there. One of the newer types is called "emerging", which really just means that they're into "conversations" and, sometimes, wacky theology."
This clip was taken from Pastor Mark Driscoll's sermon on the emerging church and can be founda at http://www.marshillchurch.org/sermons...
1. That God draws them to Himself
Jn.6:44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him …”
2. That they seek to know God.
Acts 17:27: “God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”
3. That they believe the Scriptures
1 Thess. 2:13: “And we also thank God continually because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God …”
4. That Satan is bound from blinding them to the truth
Mt. 13:19: “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.”
5. That the Holy Spirit Works in them
Jn. 16:8-13: “When the Holy Spirit comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment…..He will guide you into all truth…”
6. That God sends someone to lead them to Christ
Mt. 9:37, 38: “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”
7. That they believe in Christ as Savior
Jn. 5:24: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
8. That they turn from sin
Acts 17:30-31: “God commands all people everywhere to repent.”
Acts 3:19: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
9. That they confess Christ as Lord
Rom.10:9-10: “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
10. That they yield all to follow Christ
2 Cor. 5:15: “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
11. That they take root and grow in Christ
Col. 2:6-7: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
1. The definition of loneliness
What is meant by loneliness may be best demonstrated through comparison with solitude.
- Loneliness comes when we’re forced to be alone. Solitude is a decision to be alone.
- Loneliness sweeps over us and stays with us despite our best efforts to get rid of it. Solitude can be started and ended at will.
- Loneliness is painful, draining and unpleasant. Solitude is refreshing, rejuvenating and enjoyable. In essence loneliness is the experience of being alienated from relationships.
2. The extent of loneliness
a. Transient-situational loneliness arises because of temporary social causes. A move away from home, the break up of a relationship, starting a new job, divorce or death are the kinds of things that initiate this type of loneliness. It lasts from a few minutes to a few months.
b. Chronic-persisting loneliness arises because of permanent psychological factors some of which we’ll consider in a moment.
3. The causes of loneliness
We’ll consider three of the causes identified by Psychologists; social, developmental and psychological.
a. Social Causes
This includes factors brought about by the rapid social changes in our era. Three current societal trends have exacerbated the experience of loneliness.
b. Developmental Causes
Three developmental needs must be met if loneliness is to be avoided. We need to experience attachment to others, acceptance by others and we need to acquire social skills.
i. Attachment to Others.
ii. Acceptance by Others.
iii. Acquiring Skills.
c. Psychological Causes
Loneliness appears more often in people who demonstrate the following character traits
i. Low Self Esteem.
ii. Inability to Communicate.
iii. Self Defeating Attitude.
4. The remedy for loneliness
a. Admit the Problem
b. Consider the Cause
c. Change our Thinkinga. We need to concentrate on our relationship with Christ
b. We need to concentrate on our relationship with churchFurther Resources
- Peter Hicks, What Could I Say? IVP
- Gary Collins, Christian Counselling, Word
- Geoff Baker, Friends, IVP
- Biblical Counsel for Concerned Singles, J.S. Forrey, Spring 1996 The Journal of Biblical Counselling, Christian Counselling and Education Foundation
- Loneliness: God’s Remedy, J.V. Clarke, Fall 2005, The Journal of Biblical Counselling, Christian Counselling and Education Foundation
- How You Were Programmed
Finding the Balance
They Conclude with:Be-Attitudes of Daily Living
- "Be positive. Set priorities by determining what's most important and why it's important. Don't sweat the small stuff. If you tackle mundane chores with a positive attitude and sacrificial enthusiasm, that'll be half the battle.
- Be unselfish. Pull your own weight. Don't expect your future mate to do all or even most of the work. Step up to the plate and do your fair share. On the other hand, don't keep score if you feel you're pulling more of the load. Adjust when needed.
- Be willing to use your skills and abilities. Use your strengths. If he's a good cook and she's a good mechanic, go for it. Don't feel tied to traditional duties. Use each other's skills to your mutual benefit.
- Be a team. Take on jobs as a team — "divide and conquer." Just be sure to choose duties together and compromise when necessary.
- Be servants. Just as Jesus washed the disciples' feet when they least expected it, serve your future mate by doing a chore without him or her knowing about it or by making dinner when he or she has had a tough day.
- Be content. You know there will always be things that need to be done, but avoid becoming discontent and grumbling about what's inevitable. Chores are a part of life.
- Be adaptable to the changes of life. When one of you is sick or working extra hours, pick up the slack for him or her for a while.
- Be careful to use time management. We can always put off those mundane, boring things, but they'll just pile up and get worse. Manage your time so you can deal with chores on a daily or weekly basis, and you'll be better off".
Dale and Susan Mathis work with couples in premarital counseling and serve as facilitators and mentors for their church's premarital ministry. Dale has two master's degrees in counseling and has worked in counseling and human resources for over 30 years. Susan, a former teacher, is editorial director of nine Focus on the Family publications. She has written hundreds of articles and columns for magazines and newspapers.
Dale and Susan make their home in Colorado Springs and have five adult children and one granddaughter.
Their article is an excerpt from their book, Countdown for Couples.
Nathan Busenitz provides at http://www.sfpulpit.com a helpful summary of the various positions to the issue:
(1) that New Testament believers are not under the Mosaic Law; and (2) that at the same time the New Testament authors esteem and appeal to that same Mosaic Law.
David Dorsey (in “The Law of Moses and the Christian: A Compromise,” JETS 34/3 (Sept. 1991): 323–24) summarizes six of these positions:
He also includes the Ten Commandments before Moses, under Moses, and After Moses:
1. Marcion. This second-century heretic’s gnosticism led him to view the strict and harsh God of the OT as different from and inferior to the “good God” revealed by Christ in the NT. Consequently Marcion jettisoned the entire OT—with its “Jewish” law—from his canon. . . .
2. Dispensationalism. This hermeneutical approach holds that God has developed different programs for his people in different ages and that the particulars—including the laws—that belong to the “dispensation of law” (Exodus 20—Malachi) are not binding upon God’s people in this present “dispensation of grace.” . . .
3. Covenant theology. . . . Reformed theologians see a greater continuity between the Testaments, maintaining that … there are not two covenants but one, and Christians are part of that covenant. We live under the “renewed” covenant, not the “new” covenant. The Church is spiritual Israel, and the laws of the Mosaic covenant are accordingly our laws [although often spiritualized]. . . .
4. Seventh-Day Adventism. Adventists . . . protest that it is inconsistent to accept the Ten Commandments as normative for all times and then reject or modify the fourth commandment. The entire Decalogue, including the injunction to observe the seventh day, is binding upon all Christians. [They also observe some dietary laws.] . . .
5. Christian reconstructionism. Also called theonomy or the Chalcedon school, this recent spinoff from Reformed theology argues for the normativity of not only the moral laws but also the civic regulations. . . .
6. World-Wide Church of God. . . . Herbert W. Armstrong argues that only a few of the laws, such as the sacrificial regulations, are no longer valid because they have been fulfilled in Christ, and that the great majority of laws still apply to spiritual Israel, including the Ten Commandments, with the observance of the seventh day, the keeping of all the Jewish feast days and holy days, the observing of the dietary laws, and some of the ceremonial laws.
1) First Commandment (Polytheism) – Gen. 35:2; Ex. 20:3; 1 Thess. 1:9
2) Second Commandment (Graven Images) – Gen. 31:39; Ex. 20:4; 1 John 5:21
3) Third Commandment (Swearing) – Gen. 24:3; Ex. 20:7; cf. James 5:12
4) Fourth Commandment (Sabbath) – Gen. 2:3; Ex. 20:8; Col. 2:16; cf. Heb. 4
5) Fifth Commandment (Obey Parents) – Gen. 27:41; Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1
6) Sixth Commandment (Murder) – Gen. 4:9; Ex. 20:13; 1 John 3:15
7) Seventh Commandment (Adultery) – Gen. 39:9; Ex. 20:14; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10
8) Eighth Commandment (Theft) – Gen. 44:4–7; Ex. 20:15; Eph. 4:28
9) Ninth Commandment (False Witness) – Gen. 39:17; Ex. 20:16; Col. 3:9, 10
10) Tenth Commandment (Coveting) – Gen. 12:18; 20:3; Ex. 20:17; Eph. 5:3
(This list was adapted from The MacArthur Study Bible, 124 and Walt Kaiser, Toward OT Ethics, 81-82)
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan has just published what looks to be an excellent book entitled The Reason for God. Some call it Van Til, distilled for the average New Yorker who questions Christianity. Listed below is the sermon series that he gave a year ago based on the contents of the book.
|Click "Download" to listen to sermons related to Tim Keller's book The Reason for God from the series The Trouble with Christianity: Why it's so Hard to Believe it.|
|Exclusivity: How can there be just one true religion?||1 John 4:1-10||Download|
|Suffering: If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world?||1 Peter 1:3-12||Download|
|Absolutism: Don't we all have to find truth for ourselves?||Galatians 2:4-16||Download|
|Injustice: Hasn't Christianity been an instrument for oppression?||James 2:1-17||Download|
|Hell: Isn't the God of Christianity an angry Judge?||Luke 16:19-31||Download|
|Doubt: What should I do with my doubts? (AM)||John 20:1-18||Download|
|Literalism: Isn't the Bible historically unreliable and regressive? (AM)||Luke 1:1-4; 24:13-32||Download|
Here's the publisher's description:
Buried Hope or Risen Savior? argues for the credibility of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, engaging the issue in relation to the recent “Jesus Family Tomb” claims that continue making headlines around the world.Now, to be frank, I have to say that the so-called "discovery" of Jesus' bones in an ossuary in East Talpiot has turned out to be a major yawn. I'm aware of no scholar (Christian, Jewish, secular) who thinks these are the bones of Jesus of Nazareth.
Among the contributors, Steve Ortiz (professor of Biblical Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) discusses the general background of this type of tomb and the archaeology of the Talpiot tomb site. Craig Evans (New Testament professor at Acadia Divinity College) writes about ossuaries and tomb inscriptions. Richard Bauckham (New Testament professor at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews) gives the history of Jewish names, extrabiblical writings, and Mary Magdalene. William Dembski (SWBTS research professor in Philosophy) discusses the statistical evidence for the names found on the Talpiot tomb to have been “Jesus.” Mike Licona (North American Mission Board director of Apologetics and Interfaith Evangelism) responds to claims that finding the bones of Jesus would not disprove Christ’s resurrection. Gary Habermas (Apologetics & Philosophy chair at Liberty University) summarizes the evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus. And Darrell Bock (New Testament professor at Dallas Theological Seminary) addresses the importance of the resurrection and how Christians should respond to challenges upon their faith.
But the value in a book like this is to show careful reasoning on how to think through an issue like this. The Talpiot ossuary "discovery" is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last. So I think the book still holds significant value.
For example, Professor Ortiz has a very helpful chapter on "The Use and Abuse of Archaeological Interpretation." He writes (pp. 29-30), "The scripts for all of these amateur portrayals are similar and follow the same basic 10 points:
- The prevailing hypothesis affirmed by the consensus of the scholarly community is wrong.
- The "discoverer" is not a trained archaeologist but is self-taught, and he knows the "true story" that all others have overlooked.
- An expedition is planned for one season, and (lo and behold) at the first attempt they find exactly what they are looking for.
- This is all documented while a camera crew happens to be filming the discovery.
- The process is "detective work" that has been missed by the academic community, and they (amateur archaeologists) are the ones who are able to unravel the mystery or solve the problem that has perplexed the experts.
- No new date is presented, only a reworking of previously published data. A corollary is that not all the data is consulted.
- Upon the presentation of the discovery, the scholarly community scoffs at the find, and it is claimed that there is a secret monopoly by those in power to suppress the information.
- The amateurs sensationalize the "discovery" by claiming that it is so revolutionary that it will change our way or thinking and our lifestyle.
- The old "discovery" is presented to the media as a "brand-new" discovery.
- Usually a book or movie comes out within a week of the "new" discovery.
The presentation of The Lost Tomb of Jesus follows the above script."
Here is the table of contents:
Part 1: Understanding the Different Aspects of the Law
- The Challenge of the Law of Moses
- The Tabernacle of Moses
- The Sacrifices, Prefiguring the Final Sacrifice of Christ
- The Priests and the People,
- General Principles for God's Dwelling with Human Beings Prefiguring Union with Christ
- The Land of Palestine, the Promised Land
- The Law and Its Order
- The Purposes of the Tabernacle the Law, and the Promised Land: Pointing Forward to Christ
- The Punishments and Penalties of the Law Prefiguring the Destruction of Sin and Guilt through Christ
- The Principle of Penal Substitution
- Principles of Justice for the Modern State
- Just Penalties for Many Crimes
- Penalties for Sexual Crimes
- Deterrence and Rehabilitation
- A Critique of Prisons
- Our Responsibilities Toward Imperfect States
- Fulfillment of the Law in the Gospel According to Matthew
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Proverbs 3:5-6—”Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (KJV).He reminds us to ask: "So how can you tell where your trust lies in Christian decision making? One tangible way to gauge our trust level is to simply examine our prayer lives. The very act of a prayer is a declaration of the fact that our trust is elsewhere. Prayer admits that we need Someone greater than ourselves. Prayer aligns the heart and calms the soul as it submits to the power and wisdom of God. In your private life, how much time is devoted to prayer? In church services or leadership meetings, is prayer viewed as simply the “nod to God” at the beginning of the meeting, or does it take up a good portion of the time?
Another way to measure your trust factor is to take stock of how much you complain. I have been convicted about my complaining spirit. Going on deputation seems to put you in the path that yields itself to grumpiness. In July, our van got stuck at a Bible camp. When someone towed the van, a large rock under the van (unseen by us) bent the drive shaft and tore up the muffler. In August, we blew a tire while going seventy-five down an Arizona freeway. Travel began taking its toll on all of us. I vented often. Mostly to God, then to my wife. However, reading a book by the Puritan John Flavel on the providence of God sent me reeling and repenting. He talks about when we get to heaven. When we see the hand of God in our affairs, how differently we will look at life’s problems. He says, “All the dark, intricate, puzzling providences at which we were sometimes so offended, and sometimes amazed, which we could neither reconcile with the promise nor with each other, nay, which we so unjustly censured and bitterly bewailed, as if they had fallen out quite against our happiness, we shall then see to be to us, as the difficult passage through the wilderness was to Israel, ‘the right way to the city of habitation’ (Ps. 107:7).” There is no need to complain when we trust that everything in our lives comes from the hand of God and is designed for our good".
The Bible gives us many warnings about misplaced trust. We can trust in money (1 Tim. 6:17), idols (Isa. 42:17), our own righteousness (Luke 18:12), personal strength (1 Sam. 17:43-45).
The blessings of a God-dependent life are many. Living every day as if our every breath came from the Lord causes the believer to rest under the good hand of God. Isaiah 26:3 talks about the peace that comes from a dependent life. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The Maple Syrup: Boils source material down to about 1/50th its starting volume.
The Mountie: When it's most dressed-up, it doesn't arrest anybody.
The Igloo: Goes 'round and 'round until a final capstone is dropped in.
The Curling: Kind of incomprehensible, but everybody seems to have a good time.
The Lacrosse: Fast, hard-hitting, and it's hard to see the points as they're made.
The Hockey Fight: Staggers unsteadily, swinging wildly, but lands a punch or two.
The Canadian: Overly apologetic.
The Snowmobile: Loud and a bit obnoxious, but takes you places you otherwise wouldn't go.
The Beaver: Dams everything in sight.
The Maple Leaf: Has 11 points; always ends up falling to the ground.
by Neil Young
The snowsquall: has no idea where its heading any more and ends up in the ditch.
by: Carey Nieuwhof
The Newfoundlander: Starts out on solid ground but then goes fishing and never comes back.
The Albertan: A wealth of natural resources, but never taxes anyone.
The Newfoundland Sermon: "Always a half hour later than everyone else"by: Mike
He says: "Passages such as Hebrews 1:1-2, and 2:1-4 (among many others) make it clear that God is not sanguine about professed believers impatiently looking past His word for something better, more exciting, more entertaining. He didn't take it well when Israel ignored repeated (real-live, inerrant and binding) prophetic pleas:
Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets." 14 But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God. 15 They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the LORD their God, and.... (2 Kings 17:13-16)"And" what, you ask? Does it really matter? They turned from the word of God to something else. The specific form of rebellion and unbelief is secondary. He says again in Jeremiah 35:15 — "Also I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them again and again, saying: 'Turn now every man from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to worship them, then you shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your forefathers; but you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me'" (NAS).
Now that revelation has reached its climax in God's own Son (Matthew 17:5-8; Hebrews 1:1-2), is it sane or reasonable to imagine that God's attitude towards His inerrant, binding, sufficient revelation would be more shoulder-shruggy? If we imagine so, we aren't getting the idea from His Word (Hebrews 12:25)".
In summary: "hear and heed what He has already said. We don't need new, we don't need more. We need to deal with what He has given. And by and large, we aren't".
The Biggest Stumbling Block
TogethernessCatch the Spirit
Not an Excessive Expectation
Not Everything Goes Over Their Heads
A Sense of Awe
Some Practical Suggestions from Noel include:-Getting Started Step by Step
-Preparation All Week Long
-What Happens During Service?
-Goals and Requirements
My training for worship has three main goals:
- That children learn early and as well as they can to worship God heartily.
- That parents be able to worship.
- That families cause no distraction to the people around them.
So there are certain expectations that I teach the young ones and expect of the older ones:
- Sit or stand or close eyes when the service calls for it.
- Sit up straight and still—not lounging or fidgeting or crawling around, but respectful toward God and the worshipers around you.
- Keep bulletin papers and Bible and hymnal pages as quiet as possible.
- Stay awake. Taking notes helps. (I did allow the smallest ones to sleep, but they usually didn't need to!)
- Look toward the worship leaders in the front. No people-gazing or clock-watching.
- If you can read fast enough, sing along with the printed words. At least keep your eyes on the words and try to think them. If you can't read yet, listen very hard.
-Creating an Environment in the Pew-Afterward
-Closeness and Warmth
Amillennialism 101 -- Kim Riddlebarger
Kim Riddlebarger's Lecture on "Signs of the Times"
Eschatology and the Antichrist -- Dr. Kim Riddlebarger
Last week, we attempted to establish the first of two propositions: That New Testament believers are not under the Mosaic Law.
Today and tomorrow we will consider a second proposition: That the New Testament Writers Repeatedly Appealed to the Mosaic Law (and to other parts of the Old Testament) as an Authoritative Basis for Their Teaching. At first glance, this may seem surprising—especially if these same authors were equally convinced that the Mosaic Law was no longer binding for New Testament believers.
Jesus, of course, expounded the Mosaic Law in the Sermon on the Mount (specifically Matt. 5). Paul cites the fourth commandment as the basis for why children should obey their parents (Eph. 6:1-2). Peter cites Leviticus 19:2 as the basis for why Christians should be holy. James appeals to Leviticus 19:18 in exhorting his readers to love one another (Jas. 2:8) and to Exodus 20:14 in contending that they should not murder (Jas. 2:11). Jude points to the Exodus (v. 5), Sodom and Gomorrah (v. 7), Moses (v. 9), Cain (v. 11), Balaam (v. 11), Korah (v. 11), and Enoch (v. 14) in order to make his point.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament lists over 150 New Testament references in which the Pentateuch is directly quoted (see chart 2 below). The UBS GNT goes on to list well over 600 additional “allusions and verbal parallels” between the Torah and the New Testament.
Here is the list of references where the New Testament quotes from Exodus through Deuteronomy.
Exodus 1:8 – Acts 7:18
Exodus 2:14 – Acts 7:27-28, 35
Exodus 3:2 – Acts 7:30
Exodus 3:5-10 – Acts 7:33-34
Exodus 3:6 – Matt. 22:32; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37; Acts 3:13; 7:32
Exodus 3:12 – Acts 7:7
Exodus 3:15 – Matt. 22:23; Mark 12:26; Acts 3:13
Exodus 9:16 (LXX) – Rom. 9:17
Exodus 12:46 – John 19:36
Exodus 13:2 – Luke 2:23
Exodus 13:12 – Luke 2:23
Exodus 13:15 – Luke 2:32
Exodus 16:18 – 2 Cor. 8:15
Exodus 19:6 (LXX) – 1 Pet. 2:9
Exodus 19:12-13 – Heb. 12:20
Exodus 20:12 – Matt. 15:4; Mark 7:10; Eph. 6:2-3
Exodus 20:12-16 – Matt. 19:18-19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20
Exodus 20:13 – Matt. 5:21; James 2:11
Exodus 20:13-15, 17 – Rom. 13:9
Exodus 20:14 – Matt. 5:27; James 2:11
Exodus 20:17 – Rom. 7:7
Exodus 21:17 – Matt. 15:4; Mark 7:10
Exodus 21:24 – Matt. 5:38
Exodus 22:28 – Acts 23:5
Exodus 24:8 – Heb. 9:20
Exodus 25:40 – Heb. 8:5
Exodus 32:1 – Acts 7:40
Exodus 33:19 – Rom. 9:15
Leviticus 12:8 – Luke 2:24
Leviticus 18:5 – Rom. 9:15; Gal. 3:12
Leviticus 19:2 – 1 Pet. 1:16
Leviticus 19:12 – Matt. 5:33
Leviticus 19:18 – Matt. 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31, 33; Luke 10:27; Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8
Leviticus 23:29 – Acts 3:23
Leviticus 24:20 – Matt. 5:38
Leviticus 26:12 – 2 Cor. 6:16
Numbers 9:12 – John 19:36
Numbers 16:5 – 2 Tim. 2:19
Numbers 30:2 – Matt. 5:33
Deuteronomy 4:35 – Mark 12:32
Deuteronomy 5:16 – Matt. 15:4; Mark 7:10; Eph. 6:2-3
Deuteronomy 5:16-20 – Matt. 19:18-19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20
Deuteronomy 5:17 – Matt. 5:21; James 2:11
Deuteronomy 5:17-19,21 – Rom. 13:9
Deuteronomy 5:18 – Matt. 5:27
Deuteronomy 5:21 – Rom. 7:7
Deuteronomy 6:4 – Mark 12:32
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 – Mark 12:29-30
Deuteronomy 6:5 – Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:33; Luke 20:27
Deuteronomy 6:13 – Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8
Deuteronomy 6:16 – Matt. 4:7; Luke 4:12
Deuteronomy 8:3 – Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4
Deuteronomy 9:4 – Rom. 10:6
Deuteronomy 9:19 – Heb. 12:21
Deuteronomy 17:7 (LXX) – 1 Cor. 5:13
Deuteronomy 18:15 – Acts 7:37
Deuteronomy 18:15-16 – Acts 3:22
Deuteronomy 18:19 – Acts 3:23
Deuteronomy 19:15 – Matt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1
Deuteronomy 19:21 – Matt. 5:38
Deuteronomy 21:23 – Gal. 3:13
Deuteronomy 24:1 – Matt. 5:31; 19:7
Deuteronomy 24:1,3 – Mark 10:4
Deuteronomy 25:4 – 1 Cor. 9:9; 1 Tim. 5:18
Deuteronomy 25:5 – Matt. 22:24; Mark 12:19; Luke 20:28
Deuteronomy 27:26 (LXX) – Gal. 3:10
Deuteronomy 29:4 – Rom. 11:8
Deuteronomy 30:12-14 – Rom. 10:6-8
Deuteronomy 31:6,8 – Heb. 13:5
Deuteronomy 32:21 – Rom. 10:19
Deuteronomy 32:35 – Rom. 12:19
Deuteronomy 32:35-36 – Heb. 10:30
Deuteronomy 32:43 – Rom. 15:10
Deuteronomy 32:43 (LXX) – Heb. 1:6
It quickly becomes apparent that, although the New Testament writers considered the Mosaic Law no longer binding, they nonetheless frequently referred to it in their instruction of New Testament believers.
February 26th, 2008
(By Nathan Busenitz)
Today we are continuing to discuss our second proposition: That the New Testament Writers Repeatedly Appealed to the Mosaic Law (and to other parts of the Old Testament) as an Authoritative Basis for Their Teaching.
Not only did the New Testament writers frequently cite the Mosaic Law, they also evidence a high regard and personal esteem for it.
(From the outset, we will admit that much more could be said about this than what is written here. Thankfully, that’s why we have a comments section.)
The apostle Paul, for example, is clear that all Scripture including the Mosaic Law is profitable for the New Testament believer (2 Tim. 3:16). For contemporary theologians to then claim that certain parts of the Law are no longer relevant to Christians in any sense goes contrary to the New Testament evidence. After all, Paul (the New Testament author most outspoken regarding the abrogation of the Law) found great delight in the Law of Moses. Thus,
Paul writes that “the law is holy, and the commandment is holy righteous and good,” (Rom. 7:12), that the “law is spiritual” (7:14), and that in his inner being he “delights in God’s law” (7:22). And to Timothy Paul writes that the law is good if it is used properly (1 Tim. 1:8). (Online Source)
As David Dorsey explains:
When Paul addresses himself specifically to the question of the value (and not the legal applicability) of the law, he expresses nothing but the highest regard for it. He considers the laws to be God’s laws (Rom 7:22, 25; 8:7; I Cor 7:19). They are “good” (Rom 7:12–13, 16; I Tim 1:8), “holy and righteous” (Rom 7:12), and “spiritual” (7:14). He views the laws as embodying a standard of righteousness that we Christians are called upon to achieve by walking in the Spirit (8:4). He considers the laws valuable in the identification and conviction of sin in one’s life (3:20; 7:7 ff.). He teaches, as did Jesus, that each individual law of the Mosaic corpus (and not just a certain category of laws) fleshes out the one overarching law: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (13:9; Gal 5:14). Paul holds the corpus in such high esteem that his inner being delights in it. Most significantly for the present inquiry, he maintains that the individual laws (speaking specifically of the law dealing with muzzling the ox; Deut 25:4) were given “for us” and are written “for us” (1 Cor 9:8–10). In no instance does he imply that only a particular category of laws possesses such high value. (David A. Dorsey, “The Law of Moses and the Christian: A Compromise,” JETS 34/3 (Sept. 1991): 331-32.)
Rather than steering clear of the Mosaic Law, the New Testament writers are quick to appeal to it and esteem it (as well as the rest of the Old Testament). Of course, this is to be expected since the Old Testament was the Bible of the apostolic church. The apostles would naturally have referred to it in their teaching and writing.
But how does this appeal to and appreciation for the Mosaic Law fit with the apostolic teaching that Christians are no longer under the Law? Are the two propositions indeed contradictory? Or can they be reconciled and, if so, how?
Our articles for the rest of this week will focus on answering these questions.
9 Responses to “Appealing to the Law (Part 2)”
In today’s post, we will continue to discuss our first proposition: That in the New Testament era, believers are no longer under any part of the Mosaic Law.
This proposition is based on four premises, the first of which we considered yesterday (that the biblical saints regarded the Mosaic Law as a solitary unit, such that to be under part of it is to be under the whole, and vice versa).
Today we will consider a second premise: New Testament believers are no longer under the Mosaic Law because Jesus Christ fulfilled that Law perfectly and completely.
Not only was Jesus born under the Mosaic Law (Luke 2:21-24; Rom. 15:8; Gal. 4:4); He obeyed the Mosaic Law (Matt. 3:15; Luke 22:8; 1 John 3:4-5); and He commanded the Jews of His day to obey it also (Matt. 5-7; 8:4; 19:17-19). In fact, Christ says in Matthew 5:17-18 that He came to “fulfill” the Law – a promise He kept in every way possible.
First, He fulfilled all of the moral requirements of the Law, keeping every one of the commandments perfectly (Rom. 5:19) and taking away the curse of the Law for those who trust in Him (Rom. 10:4; Gal. 3:13; cf. Matt. 27:51). Second, He fulfilled the civil requirements of the Law, replacing the old constitution (the Mosaic Covenant) with a new constitution (the New Covenant — 2 Cor. 3:4-6; Heb. 8:7-13; 9:15; 10:14-17; 12:24; 13:20).
Third, He fulfilled the ceremonial requirements of the Law, as the ultimate and perfect sacrifice (Heb. 7:27; 9:12). And fourth, He perfectly and completely fulfilled all of the messianic prophecies given in the Old Testament (both those found in the Pentateuch and those found in the rest of the OT — Matt. 1:22).
Of course, these divisions (moral, civil, ceremonial) are artificial. Yet, they help show the completeness with which Christ fulfilled every aspect of the Old Testament Law.
As the Spotless Lamb (1 Pet. 1:19), Christ fulfilled the Law’s moral requirements; as the King of Kings (Rev. 17:14), Christ fulfilled the Law’s civil requirements; as the great High Priest (Heb. 4:14), Christ fulfilled the Law’s ceremonial requirements; and as the Coming One (Matt. 11:13), Christ fulfilled God’s messianic promises (as delineated in all of Old Testament prophecy).
Moreover, what the Law could not do (namely, save), God did through Christ (Romans 8:3). Those who are in Christ are no longer under the Law of Moses, but are under the Law of Christ — since they are in Him who perfectly fulfilled the Law of God in every respect.
We will consider more of what it means to be under the Law of Christ in tomorrow’s post.
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For those interested, here are several lists showing additional aspects of the Mosaic Law that Christ perfectly fulfilled:
Christ’s Fulfillment of the Mosaic Offerings
1. Burnt Offering (Lev. 1:3-17; 6:8-13) — purpose was atonement — Christ’s sinless nature allowed Him to atone for our sins.
2. Grain Offering (Lev. 2:1-16; 6:14-23) — purpose was dedication/consecration — Christ was wholly devoted to the Father’s purposes.
3. Peace Offering (Lev. 3:1-17; 7:11-36) — purpose was reconciliation/fellowship — Christ made it possible for us to have everlasting peace with God.
4. Sin Offering (Lev. 4:1-5:13; 6:24-30) — purpose was propitiation — Christ took our place on the cross in order to save us.
5. Trespass Offering (Lev. 5:14-6:7; 7:1-10) — purpose was repentance — Christ paid it all for redemption.
Christ’s Fulfillment of Old Testament Feasts (Lev. 23)
1. Passover (March/April) — Death of Christ (1 Cor. 5:7)
2. Unleavened Bread (March/April) – Sinlessness of Christ (1 Cor. 5:8)
3. Firstfruits (March/April) — Resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:23)
4. Pentecost (May/June) — Outpouring of Spirit of Christ (Acts 1:5; 2:4)
5. Trumpets (Sept/Oct) — Israel’s Regathering by Christ (Matt. 24:31)
6. Atonement (Sept/Oct) — Substitutionary Sacrifice by Christ (Rom. 11:26)
7. Tabernacles (Sept/Oct) — 7. Rest and Reunion with Christ (Zech. 14:16-19)
OT Sacrifices Compared to Christ’s Sacrifice in Hebrews
1. Old Covenant (temporary) — New covenant (forever) Heb. 7:22; 8:6,13; 10:20
2. Obsolete promises — Better promises Heb. 8:6-13
3. A shadow — The reality Heb. 8:5; 9:23,24; 10:1
4. Aaronic priesthood (many) — Melchizedekian (one) Heb. 6:19-7:25
5. Sinful priesthood — Sinless Priest Heb. 7:26,27; 9:7
6. Limited-by-death priesthood — Forever priesthood Heb. 7:16,17,23,24
7. Daily sacrifices — Once-for-all sacrifice Heb. 7:27; 9:12,25,26; 10:9,10,12
8. Animal sacrifices — Sacrifice of God’s Son Heb. 9:11-15,26; 10:4-10,19
9. Ongoing sacrifices — Sacrifices unnecessary Heb. 10:11-14,18
10. One year atonement — Eternal propitiation Heb. 7:25; 9:12,15; 10:1-4,12
NOTE: These lists are adapted from The MacArthur Study Bible (pp. 158, 160, 186).
February 21st, 2008
(By Nathan Busenitz)
Today we will continue looking at our first proposition: That New Testament believers are no longer under (or bound to) the Mosaic Law.
As we’ve noted previously, this proposition is based on for premises, two of which we have already considered: (1) That the biblical saints saw the Mosaic law as a solitary unit, and (2) That Christ fulfilled the law perfectly and completely.
Today we will consider the third: (3) That Christians are under a new law, the Law of Christ.
Based on the fact that Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Law completely, those who are “in Christ” (a phrase often used by Paul to speak of Christians) are no longer subject to the Mosaic Law. What Christ fulfilled, the Christian no longer needs to fulfill.  Instead, New Testament believers are subject to the Law of Christ (also called the Law of the Spirit—Romans 8:1).
With this in mind, Robert Lightner identifies six passages that discuss the New Testament believer’s relationship to the Old Testament Law.  We will consider each of these passages briefly:
Acts 15:1-29. The fifteenth chapter of Acts details the decision of the Jerusalem council regarding what parts of the Mosaic Law Gentile Christians were required to observe. In verse 29, the apostles determine that Gentile Christians are not required to keep the whole Mosaic Law, but rather to avoid only a few things (including eating food offered to idols, eating blood, eating animals that were strangled, and practicing sexual immorality). But do these few restrictions indicate that the Jerusalem council thought that all Christians were still subject to some of the Mosaic restrictions?
In light of Paul’s later teaching (in 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14), the answer is clearly no. Instead, they placed these restrictions (specifically the first three) on the Gentiles so as not to be a stumbling block for their Jewish brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Cor. 8:7-13). Thus, the teachings of the apostles in Acts 15 (where Paul was present) and the teachings of Paul in 1 Corinthians 8 do not conflict. While the apostles understood dietary restrictions to have been ended (cf. Acts 10-11), they nevertheless encouraged Gentile Christians to be considerate of their Jewish counterparts.
(It is significant to note that the Jerusalem Council makes no mention of the Ten Commandments in this passage.)
Romans 6:14. In this passage, Paul is specifically discussing the process of sanctification in the Christian life. After all, those who have been buried with Christ (vv. 1-10) are also dead to sin (vv. 11-23). Verse 14, then, contends that sanctification cannot come from following the Mosaic Law, but rather by grace through Christ. The fact that Paul is speaking of the Mosaic Law in verse 14 is evidenced in 7:4-7. As Lightner points out, “Rather than basing progressive sanctification on the deeds of the Law, Paul stressed that believers are not under the Law. For him the Law was not a means of sanctification any more than it was a means of justification.” 
2 Corinthians 3:6–13. Paul spends significant time in these verses contrasting the Mosaic Covenant with the New Covenant found in Christ (see v. 5). In fact, the Law of Moses is that which “kills” (v. 6), a “ministry of death” (v. 7), a “ministry of condemnation” (v. 9), and that which is “passing away” (v. 11). Clearly, the apostle leaves no room for even partial adherence to the old legal system. Thus, Gleason argues:
The use of this passage to advocate the end of the Mosaic Law for Christians fits well with Paul’s argument against the Judaizers. They were attempting to place the Corinthians under bondage to the covenantal stipulations of the Mosaic Covenant. Paul’s discussion of the fading glory of the Old Covenant was designed to show that those stipulations were temporary and were replaced by the New Covenant. To ignore this fact as some do is to assume erroneously like the Judaizers that Gentiles need to observe part or all of the Law. Such an assumption violates the temporary function of the Mosaic Law within the framework of a covenant established between God and the nation Israel. 
Galatians 3:17–25. As in 2 Corinthians, Paul (in this passage) is arguing against the teachings of the legalistic Judaizers. Again, the apostle condemns those who would seek some sort of heavenly merit through their strict adherence to the Mosaic Law. In verse 24, Paul makes it clear that the Law was only temporary, serving as a tutor that pointed to Christ. When He came, the Law’s tutorial purpose was completed. Furthermore, because Paul references the entire Sinaitic event (v. 17), he must have the entire Sinaitic Law in view. Thus, the entire Mosaic Law passed off the scene with the death of Christ.
Galatians 5:18. Not only is the Law unable to save (as seen in Gal. 3), it is also unable to sanctify (as was also evidenced in Rom. 6). Thus, Paul argues that those who are living in accordance with the Spirit are no longer bound by the Mosaic Law. The fruit of the Spirit (listed in vv. 22-23) is not the by-product of the Old Testament Law. Rather, for the Christian, it is the by-product of the Law of Christ (Gal. 6:1-2).
Hebrews 7:11-12. In discussing the superiority of Christ’s priesthood over that of the Levitical system, the author of Hebrews also implies that Christ’s Law is superior to that of Moses. In fact, the writer directly says that if “the priesthood [is] changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law” (v. 12). After all, “the Law of Moses and the Levitical priesthood were inseparable. The one without the other would have been meaningless.” 
Charles Ryrie takes this passage to its logical conclusion:
If the law has not been done away today, then neither has the Levitical priesthood; but if Christ is our high priest, we cannot be under the law. Every prayer offered in the name of Christ is an affirmation of the end of the law. . . . [Thus] the evidence of the New Testament forces to the conclusion that the law—all of it, including the Ten Commandments—has been done away.” 
Tomorrow we will conclude this first proposition, by looking at a fourth premise and then by summarizing the discussion up to this point. Again, for those who feel the series has been lopsided so far (leaning in an antinomian direction), please remember that our second proposition is coming—and that it will bring some balance to the discussion. We will introduce that second proposition at the end of our article tomorrow.
* * * *
 This contrast is made especially clear in Galatians 3:19-4:7 and 6:1-2. In denouncing those who cling to the Mosaic Law, Paul upholds those who live by the Law of Christ. Clearly, the latter has replaced the former. See, Richard N. Longenecker, “The Pedagogical Nature of the Law in Galatians 3:19-4:7,” JETS 25:1 (Mar. 1982): 71.
 Robert P. Lightner, “Theological Perspectives on Theonomy—Part 3: A Dispensational Response to Theonomy,” BSac 143:571 (July 1986): 241-43.
 Ibid., 242.
 Randall Gleason, “Paul’s Covenantal Contrasts in 1 Corinthians 3:1-11,” BSac 154/613 (Jan. 1997): 79.
 Lightner, “Part 3,” 243.
 Charles C. Ryrie, “The End of the Law,” BSac 124/495 (July 1967): 244.
February 22nd, 2008
(By Nathan Busenitz)
This will conclude our discusion of our first proposition: That New Testament Believers Are Not Under the Mosaic Law.
This proposition is based on four premises: (1) the Mosaic Law is viewed by the New Testament authors as a solitary unit; (2) Jesus Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Law such that those who are in Christ are no longer under the Law; and (3) Christians are under the Law of Christ which is distinct from the Law of Moses.
A fourth premise is (4) that the Mosaic Law was specifically given to Old Testament Israel and therefore does not directly apply to the New Testament Church.
Due to the numerous arguments involved, a detailed discussion concerning the distinction between Israel and the Church is outside of the limits of this study. In our view, the mystery nature of the church (Eph 3:4-6), the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5; 1 Cor 12:13), Christ’s promise to build (future tense) His church (Matt 18:17), Paul’s teaching concerning the beginning of the church (Eph 1:20; 4:7-12), and the New Testament’s references to Israel as a separate entity during the church age (1 Cor 10:32; Rom 9:3-4; 11:26) distinguish it from Old Testament Israel.
Because the Mosaic Law was Israel’s constitution—it was intended for them, not the Church.
Before moving on to our second proposition, we believe it would be beneficial to summarize our first: That New Testament believers are not under the Mosaic Law. We have several reasons for holding this view. First, the Bible does not present the Mosaic Law in parts or categories—but rather as a unified whole. Thus, it follows that if part of the Law has passed away, the whole Law has passed away. Second, the Bible indicates that Jesus Christ fulfilled the entire Mosaic Law perfectly. What He has fulfilled, believers no longer need to fulfill.
Third, the New Testament teaches that, for the Christian, the Law of Moses has been replaced with the Law of Christ (and the Law of the Spirit). The apostles indicate that the Law of Moses was only temporary and that it has passed away. Finally, because the Law of Moses was for Israel (and not the Church) it is no longer binding during the Church age.
In light of these contentions, we have concluded that believers during the church age are no longer under the Mosaic Law.
Coming Up Next:
At the beginning of this series, I noted that my view is based on two propositions, of which we have only considered the first. Beginning Monday, we will consider the second, which might be stated as follows:
Proposition 2: The New Testament writers repeatedly appealed to the Mosaic Law, basing much of their own teaching on the Law and expressing their personal appreciation for it.
Though this proposition initially sounds contradictory to our first proposition, my goal in this series is to show how the two can be harmonized.
A Few Clarifications:
Before going on, I’d like to note a few clarifications based on some of the feedback I’ve gotten this week:
1. I am not advocating New Covenant Theology. It is true that I do see a distinction between the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ. But even Calvin, commenting on Galatians 6:2 noted a “contrast between the law of Christ and the law of Moses.” I believe we are no longer under the Mosaic Law, but that we are now under the Law of Christ. However, I am quite sure that does not make me a New Covenant Theologian.
2. I am not advocating antinomianism. I do believe that Christians are under God’s Law – even if the expression of that law for the church is the Law of Christ, and not the Law of Moses (which was given to Old Testament Israel). A thorough explanation of this will be given next week.
(By the way, for those who want to know where this series is ultimately going, please see my comment to David McCrory following yesterday’s article.)
3. I am not saying that there is no place for a three-fold division of the Mosaic Law. In fact, it can be helpful for our understanding of the Law’s contents to explain it in those terms (which is something I said on both Monday and Tuesday). My point is that such divisions are external additions which have been placed on the Mosaic Law, and which are not explicitly found in the Old Testament, the New Testament, or Old Testament Judaism.
I also believe that, when the apostles speak about the Law in the New Testament, they are usually referring to it as a solitary whole. Thus, when they teach that we are no longer under the Law, they mean the Law in its entirety.
4. Along those lines, I should note that my series is not the final or official word on this issue from Grace Community Church. Phil Johnson did an excellent series on the Law several years back (found here) which approaches the issue differently (though we ultimately end up in a similar place).
As I continue to study this issue myself, I recognize the need to grow in my own understanding of God’s Word. Posting articles like this helps sharpen my own thinking as I interact with our readers in the comments section. Even if someone does not fully agree with my position, I hope the process is helpful in causing us to think deeply about the things of God. I know its been good for me.
5. Finally, I would again ask for patience as the series unfolds. I made the mistake of drawing this series out over two weeks of time. In retrospect, I probably should have summarized my conclusions and done it all in one post. Alas, hindsight is 20/20.
As I’ve stated several times throughout this series, next week will bring the much-needed balance.
Monday, February 25, 2008
He says: "I am hoping that this will give people a better idea of why we live in a postmodern world. It does not justify or endorse postmodernism in any way, it simply gives a context for the confused mindset that many in our generation are experiencing. The emerging church, Emergent and emerging, is that which seeks to be a witness for Christ because they identify with the postmodern mindset. I hope this helps in our ongoing discussion".
This video is taken from the Introduction to Theology course of The Theology Program.