Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Banner of Truth -- Gethsemane's King and Lamb -- Joel Beeke

John 18:1-14

-nobleman saw a beautiful slave woman for sale
-men who were going to buy her were talking about the depraved things that they would do to her
-the nobleman called out to the slave trader that he would pay double whatever anyone else would pay
-after seeing the nobleman's money he sold the slave to him
-he took her, and she spite in his face
-he wiped it off and took her to an office
-after arguing with the man behind the desk he finally said, "I have the right to do this."
-the man behind the desk grudgingly admitted that was true and put together some papers
-the nobleman gave them to the slave woman and she spit in his face
-he wiped it away and said, "Don't you understand, these papers mean you are free."
-she stared at him and asked if it was really true he paid twice the price anyone would pay for a slave to set her free
-he said yes, and she broke down in tears
-we have a saviour who has paid a far greater price to set up free
-here we find Jesus knowing the suffering that was coming, set forth to go through all that to save us
-to pay the whole price
-and he did it knowing you and me
-knowing his church and the people the Father had given him
-with that knowledge he went forth to endure all this
-this was the joy that was set before him
-he went forth as Gethsemane's king and lamb

First the kings three fold sovereignty
-only 11 went into the garden with Jesus
-Jesus had 12, but only 11 entered the garden
-and only 3 when further in to his place of prayer
-prays to his Father asking if there is another way
-in angony, overwelmed, over burdened with what is coming
-three times he prays
-it is after this third session of prayer he goes to meet Judas and the soldiers
-not just a few soldiers, a great multitude can to get Jesus ready if there was any resistance
-Judas betrays him with a kiss
-how often do we do this, betraying our Lord
-how often are we more passionate about other things than Jesus?
-then Jesus steps forth toward them and asks who are they looking for
-they were seeking Jesus of Nazareth
-but not Jesus as he was
-Nazareth was not meant as a title to honor, but to speak of him as a false prophet
-no valuing of Christ for who he is
-we often do the same thing
-we want him to take away the bad
-but don't have him as our treasure, but things he can give us are the real treasure
-Jesus answered, "I am."
-language of Exodus 3, Where God in answer to Moses says he is, "I am."
-speaks as supreme king and god
-when he says this they fall back before him
-because he is king, I am, God
-then he lets them get back up
-and then asks them again, "Who do you seek?"
-but they are still blind, and respond, "Jesus of Nazareth."
-still have no idea of who he is
-then this king comes forth and stands as a substitute
-saying that he is the one they seek, so let his followers go
-amazingly even with Peter cutting off the one person's ear none of these soldiers did anything
-they were held back by the word, the command of Jesus
-so he lost none of those who were his
-he preserves not only they bodies, but their hearts and souls
-he still protects his people today
-he stands in our place as our substitute that we might go free
-he is bound for their sake and ours

-second the lambs three fold submission
-turns himself over to his enemies and becomes a submissive lamb
-first his willingness to be arrested
-he already showed he really held the power
-but he submitted to them and the arrest they put him under
-this was the working out of God's plan and decree and will
-none of these soldiers, or Judas, or the Jewish rules are in control
-yet Jesus submits
-reminds us that even when our worst fears come to be, God is still in control and operating in those troubles
-secondly he submits in his willlingness to be bound as a criminal
-sometimes they would tie the bindings so tight to keep blood from going to his fingers
-to cause pain
-Jesus offers these hands in submission
-to set us free from the bands of sin
-fettered with our sins to free us from that bondage
-bound so his people might be bound to him for all days
-makes all the difference
-bound to the sovereign will of his Father
-that was Jesus only goal, to do his Father's will
-bound to restore as the second Adam, what we lost in the sin of the first Adam in garden of Eden
-thirdly, submits to being led away
-like a lamb to the slaughter - Isa 53
-taking our place
-to be our savior
-the deliver delivered himself up

-let us serve him as our king
-and submit to him as he submited to the Father
-cherishing the privilege of sharing in the fellowship of his sufferings

-african slave girl said more, "I have only one request, now that you have set me free can I be your slave forever."

Banner of Truth Opening Sermon -- Mark Johnson

John 17

Fascinating to consider the psychology behind various Christian conferences.
-various reasons people go
-some trendy
-some personality driven
-some smaller conferences have a certain loyalty among attenders
-Banner conference has one aspect to encourage a spirit of catholicity -- not a denominational focus, but a kindred spirit united in Christ and his gospel
-not a unique thing, has much historical precedence
-looking at the final verses of John 17
-the prayer of Jesus not only for his apostles, but for all his people
-if this prayer had not been answered by the Father in Heaven, there would be no church today
-but the Father's answer in the affirmative gives us hope
-we may have come wondering what God would say to us at this conference
-but how many considered what Jesus would be praying for us at this conference
-how and what is he praying for as our intersessor
-only a few places in scripture where we are given a direct insight into Jesus prayers for his people
-this passage is one of them
-prays that he would be glorified in his people just as Father glorified in Jesus
-prays for his apostles, the very ones who would forsake him that night
-then he prays for all his people
-one thing we find Jesus praying here
-that his people would be one
-first thing, his concern for unity among his people
-in view of the expansion of the church he prays they may be one, not just once but twice
-what exactly is he asking for
-oneness seems to be far from us for a multitude of reasons
-Jesus answer is that the oneness among his people is to be like the oneness of the triune God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
-many try ways to get around it through various ways
-invisible unity, spiritual unity
-but the unity Jesus has in mind is a very visible one
-three thought arising from this to help make sense of it
-first and formost a positional unity
-just as Father, Son and Spirit are one because they are one God
-so Christians are one because they are part of one body
-we have union and communion with Christ and in him and through him we have union and communion with one another
-share same spiritual DNA
-the divine family is the pattern of our spiritual family
-we belong to one another
-Second thing we find is the unity Jesus has in mind is diverse in its character
-the persons of the godhead are distinct persons even though they are one God
-that is the beauty of the oneness we have as God's people
-we are all different
-even Jerusalem counsel did not give a lot of specifics, but general directions allowing a lot of latitude
-third, this unity will always be imperfect in this world
-it will never be a unity we find, as it should be, on this earth
-it must begin in our local congregations
-then spill over to our denominations, networks, fellowship
-but beyond that as well
-recognizing that this unity is beyond denominational bounds
-we must spare not effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace
-on the eve of his crucifixion he prayed this
-He also speaks of the impact of this unity
-for those outside the church
-not to say there are not joys, and blessings for those in the church for those who experience this unity
-but Jesus focus is on those outside
-again points to it twice
-that the world may know
-the major effect of this will be to turn the eyes of the world away from the church to Christ and Father
-this extraordinary oneness among people of God reflects the the oneness of the triune God to the world
-man has tried to manufacture this oneness
-but it always fails
-but God cultivates a unity that doesn't start on the outside, but on the inside with a change of the heart, then works out
--Matthew Paris (sp?) -- Africa needs Christian Missionaries not NGOs
-gospel when truly believed brings unity even between enemies
-when the world sees the church like that in unity their eyes are directed to Christ wondering who is the savior who can do this
-if we put the effort into building bridges to one another as Christians as we do seeking to divide we would see much more of this unity
-not that there are things that don't need to be defended, but we spilt all to easily
-What are the things that build this unity?
-How is it achieved?
-all to often our answer is diplomacy, church politics, and the like
-but at the end of the day none of those things will achieve this
-only way to get this unity that Jesus is praying for, is to recognize the church is a spiritual living organism
-very last request
-"the love you have for me might be in them"
-prayer ends on same note in began on
-knowing God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent
-to know in the Bible is so often the language of love and intimacy
-that sort of love is what Jesus wants in his people
-souce is in knowing God the Father and Jesus his Son
-Jesus will continue to make the Father known
-the more we grow in the knowledge of God, the more we will grow to love one another as fellow believers
-cf. Eph 4:16ff
-thus the means of grace and how they bring increasing knowledge of Jesus and through him the Triune God will bring growth in our love for one another
-this unity of love is THE distinctive of the church (cf. John 13)
-we should not settle for our divisions but labor for this unity that Christ prayed for.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Camping Bringing Shame on Jesus

There are many ways to bring shame on the name of Jesus such as getting caught up in various sins, but one of ways that some like Harold Camping seem not to consider is false teaching, in particular his teaching that today is the day of the rapture. The shear amount of mockery of Christ and his people that has come from this man ignoring Christ's own teaching is amazing. To be clear the Lord Harold Camping claims to follow said the following,

And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. False christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.
(Mark 13:21-33 ESV)

By presuming to know more than Jesus said any of us know, Harold Camping has brought shame on the name of his professed Lord and Saviour. May God preserve all of us from doing the same, even if it is in different ways.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Hymn that Would Have Fit Nicely this AM Service

Today the focus of our worship service was that we must exalt Jesus above ourselves based on the events that lead up to John the Baptist saying, "He must increase and I must decrease." (John 3)

When I got home I read the text of this hymn over a Challies.com. It would have fit very well with our service, but I was not aware of it when planning things.

Here it is:

God forbid that I should glory,
Save in the Redeemer’s cross.
Counting shame for Him but honor,
Counting earthly gain but loss.
All the love of God is here,
A love that casteth out all fear.

God forbid that I should glory,
Save in Christ my Lord alone.
Him I lean on; Him I follow,
Him, before the world, I own.
All the love of God is here,
A love that casteth out all fear

God forbid that I should glory,
Save in Christ the Son of God.
Him who sought me Him who bought me,
Him who washed me in his blood.
All the love of God is here
A love that casteth out all fear.