Reflections on the Death of America: The Christian Seeks an Abiding City [Tom Chantry | AUDIO]

Pr. Tom Chantry doesn’t usually post his own sermons on his blog but Monday we were treated to a good dose of his preaching, and it is definitely a good listen. Check it out here [38 min. mp3]:

Pastor Tom Chantry
Pastor Tom Chantry

The letter to the Hebrews was written to Christian people whose earthly nation was crumbling and on the brink of collapse. It was intended to soothe their souls with the supremacy of the changeless Christ over every institution of this world. It offers great encouragement to all believers who discover that their nations and their homes are no “abiding city,” reminding us that we are on our desert pilgrimage to Zion.

While you’re listening you should subscribe to the sermon feed for Christ Reformed Baptist Church.

Does God Change in the Incarnation? Spurgeon Answers [Quote & Sermon Audio]

Pastor Erik Raymond points out a quote from Spurgeon that is, “especially helpful in considering the immutability of God (the fact that he does not change) even in light of the incarnation of Christ“:

Charles Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon

All creatures change. Man, especially as to his body, is always undergoing revolution. Very probably there is not a single particle in my body which was in it a few years ago. This frame has been worn away by activity, its atoms have been removed by friction, fresh particles of matter have in the mean time constantly accrued to my body, and so it has been replenished; but its substance is altered.

The fabric of which this world is made is ever passing away; like a stream of water, drops are running away and others are following after, keeping the river still full, but always changing in its elements.

But God is perpetually the same. He is not composed of any substance or material, but is spirit—pure, essential, and ethereal spirit—and therefore he is immutable. He remains everlastingly the same. There are no furrows on his eternal brow. No age hath palsied him; no years have marked him with the mementoes of their flight; he sees ages pass, but with him it is ever now. He is the great I AM—the Great Unchangeable.

Mark you, his essence did not undergo a change when it became united with the manhood. When Christ in past years did gird himself with mortal clay, the essence of his divinity was not changed; flesh did not become God, nor did God become flesh by a real actual change of nature; the two were united in hypostatical union, but the Godhead was still the same. It was the same when he was a babe in the manger, as it was when he stretched the curtains of heaven; it was the same God that hung upon the cross, and whose blood flowed down in a purple river, the self-same God that holds the world upon his everlasting shoulders, and bears in his hands the keys of death and hell.

He never has been changed in his essence, not even by his incarnation; he remains everlastingly, eternally, the one unchanging God, the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither the shadow of a change.

Here is the entire sermon (his first preached at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark).

Read out [mp3]:

2014 Christmas Roundup

dore wisemen woodcut Christmas header nativity star

Here is the Christmas Roundup from last year with some recent posts added on:


Podcast The IncarnationSola Scripture Ministries International

On today’s broad cast of After Darkness Light, Heinz Dschankilic and Michael Haykin look at the essence behind the Christmas story. This essence is described in John 1:14 where the apostle notes that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Come join us today as they explore The Incarnation.


Christmas and Christianity, Part 1 | Nick Kennicott

I’m not sure if every pastor out there gets the same questions I do, but one that seems to come up pretty regularly this time of year is all about Christmas…

While Christians often debate this issue, I am convinced that the 2nd commandment forbids the making of images of Christ in every respect. I oppose the ikons of Eastern Orthodoxy depicting the members of the Trinity, and just as strongly oppose the myriad of attempts at depicting Jesus in art of various forms (film, paintings, sculptures, crucifixes, etc.). God has said quite categorically, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4). So the nativity scenes of Christmas depicting Jesus as a baby are a violation of the 2nd commandment, and while well intentioned, should not be displayed by Christians.

Christmas and Christianity, Part 2

There are at least five areas to consider when working through the biblical arguments against Christmas celebration. They are festivals and special days of observance, the Lord’s Day, the regulative principle of worship, cultural engagement, and Christian liberty.

Christmas and Christianity, Part 3

What About History?


elf santaSanta Claus is coming to town?Stephen Rees

It’s that time again. The run-up to Christmas. We’ve been preparing our children. We’ve warned them. They mustn’t say it. They mustn’t even hint at it. Whatever anyone says to them, they mustn’t let it slip. They don’t believe in Santa.

The cost of Christmas

In a few weeks time most of us will be celebrating Christmas. So how do we, as Christians, decide what it’s right to spend at Christmas? We face the same pressures as other folk. Let me remind you of five important truths.


albert n martinChristmas and the Christian | Feileadh Mor

Albert N. Martin is a straight shooter. In a series on Christmas he outlines the history of the practice in connection with Christian liberty…

MP3s:

Christmas and the Christian 01
Christmas and the Christian 02
Christmas and the Christian 03
Christmas and the Christian 04
Christmas Liberty 01
Christmas Liberty 02
Christmas Liberty 03

gillGill on Christmas

It directs to the observation of several fasts and festivals, which are no where enjoined in the word of God, and for which it provides collects, gospels and epistles to be read: the fasts are, Quadragesima or Lent, in imitation of Christ’s forty days fast in the wilderness, Ember weeks, Rogatian days, and all the Fridays in the year; in which men are commanded to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving. The festivals, besides, the principal ones, Christmas, Easter and Whitsuntide, are the several saints days throughout the year; which are all of popish invention, and are either moveable or fixed, as the popish festivals be; and being the relics of popery makes us still more uneasy and dissatisfied with them.


“Because you have been attending the wrong church.”

Santa Claus, the Gospel & the Church + The “right way to fire your pastor” | Tom Ascol

It happened again last week. On Thanksgiving morning I received an email from a friend of a friend. The first line read, “It appears I am being forced out of my pastorate.” The story that unfolded in the rest of that email and upon further inquiry is filled with themes that are tragically too common…


Should We Celebrate Christmas? | Scott Brown

Each year, I receive letters asking my thoughts about the celebration of Christmas. So last year, I posted over a dozen articles on the subject of Christmas expressing a number of different perspectives from respectable men…

Ponder through the Twelve Days of Christmas series and test each of them by the Word of God.

Day 1: Sermon by Charles Spurgeon

Day 2: Jonathan Edwards on Christmas, Easter, and New Year’s

Day 3: XMAS by A.W. Pink

Day 4: John Piper

Day 5: George Whitefield

Day 6: Brian Schwertly

Day 7: John MacArthur on the Christmas Tree

Day 8: A Scottish Covenanter – George Gillespie – on Christmas

Day 9: Two Sermons Commenting on Christmas Observance from Charles Spurgeon

Day 10: Rethinking the Pagan Origins of Christmas

Day 11: The Puritans on Christmas

Day 12.1: Did We Celebrate Christmas in Early American History?

Day 12.2: More Quotes from the 17th to the 19th Centuries

Day 12.3: What Roman Catholics Say About Christmas

Day 12.4: Christmas and the Use of Time

Day 12.5: R.C. Sproul and J.I. Packer


JoyFriday Funny: ‘Twas the Sunday pre-Christmas: a cautionary tale [Jeremy Walker] + Audio Interview About This Poem Jason Delgado

We interviewed Jeremy Walker about his newest book and this topic came up. Here is a five minute preview of Tuesday’s podcast:


The Power of the Most High | Stephen Yuille

We are in the midst of the Christmas season, when we give particular attention to the incarnation of Christ.


Jesus and the Real Meaning of Christmas | John Samson

Each Christmas we hear the story about angels and shepherds, of wise men and strange sightings of a star, of a donkey, and of the Child that was laid in a stable manger. Yet the actual birth of Jesus, though highly unusual, was not entirely unique. Of course, not everyone is born to the sight of a star moving and coming to rest overhead, or to the sound of angelic announcements and trumpet blasts! Yet it is true to say that many children have been born in humble surroundings. Therefore, it was the manner in which Jesus was conceived that marks Him out from others.

The doctrine of the Virgin Birth holds that Jesus’ birth was the result of a miraculous conception whereby the Virgin Mary conceived a baby in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, without a human father.

Christ’s miraculous birth tells us much about His nature.


In the Fullness of Time | Mike Porter

So, why did Caesar, the most powerful man in the known world, send out the decree? Because “this…has been written by the prophet”.  Because “the heart of the King is in the hand of the Lord as rivers of water — he turns it wherever he wills”. Because the fullness of time had come, and for no other reason. It was God’s sovereign design, and not that of men.


spurgeon14 reminders from Spurgeon for those home for Christmas | Tony Reinke

On Sunday morning, December 21, 1856, Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon to prepare his growing church for the coming Christmas season. He titled it “Going Home,” and the aim of the message was to encourage each member of his congregation to humbly, wisely, and appropriately find opportunities to share their personal testimony with family and friends.


Have Yourself An Eschatological Christmas | Eric Ayala

When we think of Christmas, we often think of the beginning of Jesus’ life here on earth, of when he was incarnate in the flesh and the beginning of the story of the Gospels. But we don’t often think of Christmas as an Eschatological event. The historical reality of the incarnation wasn’t just a sign of a new beginning, but of a completion and fulfillment. Christmas is a mark of the end, the eschaton, as the God who will bring the final day steps into time and space to bring about the culmination of all things. With him comes light and peace and hope; and also judgment and terror, and finality. Far from a celebration of just a cute little baby that we call Jesus, Christmas shows us the declarative and magnificent power of the omnipotent God who reigns over all things.


Christmas in Jesus’ Own Words | Paul Gordon

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:10

Christmas in The Words of The Apostles of Jesus

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”
1 John 4:14


poetry poetic poet write draw“To Nazareth came Gabriel, a herald of God’s love” | Jeremy Walker

Recently, preaching from Luke 1, I was disappointed with the range of hymns available that focused on the miraculous conception. What follows is a first attempt at addressing that lack.


A Tale of Two Christmases | Tom Chantry

A thought occurred to me while I was driving home on Christmas Eve listening to callers to a radio station share their Christmas memories. They were all trying to be happy, but they all sounded depressed. It struck me of a sudden that I understand why this is.


 

More will be added here as they appear.

The Depth & Breath of Friendship [Spurgeon + more… Blog & Audio]

facebook_6

In this age of social media, everyone has hundreds if not thousands of friends, right? But are these really close friends you can call in a pinch, should the need arise. Friendship was also very important to Jesus. The Lord Jesus made it a point to gather intimate friends to Himself. He said to his disciples, “You are my friends…No longer do I call you servants… but I have called you friends” (John 15:14-15).

 

Grace Baptist Church in Stockport (just 20 minutes from Manchester England) gives that solid biblical concept additional consideration here [13 min. readout], making valuable distinctions between the type of superficial Facebook friends and the kind of friendship that ultimately leads to marriage between a man and a woman.

 

spurgeon-01In a sermon delivered on the Lord’s Day, March 8, 1857 by Rev. Spurgeon, the subject of friends and friendship was given his full treatment. The thrust of his sermon centered on Proverbs 18:24: “There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

 

Listen to a readout from the “Prince of Preachers” SermonAudio.com page [mp3]:

Audio from the 2014 RB Family Conf. Queensland Australia “A Face Like a Flint” [Jeremy Walker]

fam_conf14_v2

July 11-13, 2014

2014 FAMILY CONFERENCE – [Pastor Jeremy Walker]

1. A Face like Flint (Mark 10:22-45) [mp3]

2. Salvation Secured (Isaiah 50) [mp3]

3. Grasping the Goals (Psalm 119:1-16,30-32) [mp3]

4. Counting the Cost (Psalm 119:17-32) [mp3]

5. Pursuing the Path (Psalm 119:30-48) [mp3]

Audio for the 2014 Reformation Montana “The Family” Conf. now online. Feat: Voddie Baucham, JD Hall + more

Reformation Montana

Conference Audio:

All audio [RSS]

Thursday
 
2:00-2:50              Chris Rosebrough 
3:00-350               Justin Peters
4:15-5:00              Sye Ten Bruggencate
6:45-7:45              Justin Peters
8:10-9:00              Chris Rosebrough   

Friday
 
9:00-10:50            Voddie Baucham  
1015-1045            Q&A with Sye Ten Bruggencate
11:00-12:00           Phil Johnson  
2:00-2:50              Voddie Baucham   
3:15-3:50              Q&A with Chris Rosebrough
4:15-5:15              Phil Johnson     
7:00-7:50              Voddie Baucham  
8:10-8:45              Panel Discussion (with all Speakers)  

Saturday

9:00-10:00           Phil Johnson 
10:15-11:15           JD Hall   
1130-12:30           Voddie Baucham  

reformation montana

Audio from BTC’s 2014 Conf. “Wisdom from Proverbs: Life Lessons from God’s Word” feat. Nick Kennicott & Robert Elliot

Building Tomorrow's Church 2014 Elliot and Kennicott

Audio [RSS] from this past weekends Building Tomorrow’s Church Conference (BTC) “Wisdom from Proverbs” is now online:

Session 1: Introduction to Proverbs [mp3]:

Pastors Robert Elliott and Nick Kennicott open up the 7th-annual BTC Reformed Baptist Young Adult Conference, June 20-23, in Yucaipa, California, with an introduction to Proverbs. The weekend’s theme was “Wisdom from Proverbs: Life Lessons from God’s Word.”

Session 2: Purity [mp3]:

Pastor Robert Elliott speaks in Session 2 on Sexual Purity from the book of Proverbs…

Session 3: Speech [mp3]:

Pastor Nick Kennicott speaks in Session 3 on the topic of Speech from the book of Proverbs…


Session 4: Work [mp3]:

Pastor Nick Kennicott speaks in Session 4 on the topic of Work from the book of Proverbs…

Session 5: Money [mp3]:

Pastor Robert Elliott speaks in Session 5 on the topic of Money from the book of Proverbs…

“Joseph & the Gospel of Many Colors” Conference [Audio] feat. Voddie Baucham

Southern New England Reformation Conf 2014

Here is the audio from this past weekend’s 4th Annual Southern New England Reformation Conference  in North Providence, RI with Voddie Baucham:

“How to Read the Story” (Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors, Part 1) [mp3]

“Why Chapter 41 is Not the ‘Payoff’ You Thought it Was” [mp3]

“Why Joseph is Not the Star of His Own Story… And Who Really Is) [mp3]

“ The Most Significant Issue in the Christian Life” [mp3]

For more on this check out the podcast we did with Pastor Voddie

PodcastPromo30 Voddie Baucham Joseph

on his book on the subject:Joseph and the Gospel Voddie Baucham

[Paperback | Kindle]

James White on Holiness, Repentance & the Lordship of Christ [Audio|Video]

sola_fide

James White:

Tackled a tough, challenging section of Hebrews at PRBC on Sunday.  NOTE TO ALL ANTI-LORDSHIP, CHEAP-GRACE, NON-REPENTANCE FOLKS: Please note both sermons, but especially the evening sermon.  I really tried to give you all the evidence you could possibly need that I am firmly, unalterably OPPOSED to your position and identify it as a fundamental denial of the Gospel. I hope I’m really clear on that…

Here are the sermons:

The Peaceful Fruit of Righteousness (Heb. 12:10-11) [mp3]

Pursue Peace and Holiness (evening) (Heb. 12:12-17) [mp3]

He followed up with a short eight-minute “Screenflow” video the next day:

Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of Quebec General Assembly 2014 “The Mission” [English/French Audio] feat. Gordon Taylor [L’AERBQ]

worship missionsHot off the heels of the 2014 ARBCA GA {mp3s | interviewwas the General Assembly of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of Quebec [’Association d’Églises réformées baptistes du Québec à Lac-Mégantic | L’AERBQ] which took place April 22-23, 2014 in the province of Quebec, in Lac Megantic.

ARBCA Coordinator Gordon Taylor was asked to speak on the theme, “The Mission” (with Pascal Denault translating in French.)

AUDIO:

1. The Theology of Missions [La théologie de la mission]

2. Millions Dying [Les millions de perdus]

3. Let the People Praise God (Psalm 67) [Que les nations se réjouissent]

[source: Un Héraut dans le net]

Spurgeon Sermons Read/Preached Aloud [Audio]

spurgeon on sermonaudioI’m sure most of you have heard of SermonAudio.com.

I’m sure most of you may even subscribe to several different preachers on their.

Well, did you know you can also do that with the Prince of Preachers?

There are many individuals and churches that read Spurgeon books and sermons (some even preach the sermons) and then put them out for free. 

Here are some of my favorite from the past couple months, beginning with those read by Pastor Jeremy Walker (which are some of my favorite, because he has the accent and reads as if he is preaching it):

The glory of Christ – beheld! – John 1:14

A sermon for the present time – Zephaniah 3:16-18

The world turned upside down – Acts 17:6

Selections from The Treasury of David read by [Reformed Baptist Guru] Tom M. Sullivan (no accent but a rad voice):

Psalm 22 – The Cross, A Photograph of Our Lord’s Saddest Hours

Psalm 23 – Its Sweetness & Spirituality Are Unsurpassed

Psalm 46 – God Is Our Refuge Just Now, In The Immediate Present

and much more!

2013 Christmas Roundup

dore wisemen woodcut Christmas header nativity star

Here is the Christmas Roundup from last year with some recent post added on:


Podcast The IncarnationSola Scripture Ministries International

On today’s broad cast of After Darkness Light, Heinz Dschankilic and Michael Haykin look at the essence behind the Christmas story. This essence is described in John 1:14 where the apostle notes that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Come join us today as they explore The Incarnation.


Christmas and Christianity, Part 1 | Nick Kennicott

I’m not sure if every pastor out there gets the same questions I do, but one that seems to come up pretty regularly this time of year is all about Christmas…

While Christians often debate this issue, I am convinced that the 2nd commandment forbids the making of images of Christ in every respect. I oppose the ikons of Eastern Orthodoxy depicting the members of the Trinity, and just as strongly oppose the myriad of attempts at depicting Jesus in art of various forms (film, paintings, sculptures, crucifixes, etc.). God has said quite categorically, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4). So the nativity scenes of Christmas depicting Jesus as a baby are a violation of the 2nd commandment, and while well intentioned, should not be displayed by Christians.

Christmas and Christianity, Part 2

There are at least five areas to consider when working through the biblical arguments against Christmas celebration. They are festivals and special days of observance, the Lord’s Day, the regulative principle of worship, cultural engagement, and Christian liberty.


elf santaSanta Claus is coming to town?Stephen Rees

It’s that time again. The run-up to Christmas. We’ve been preparing our children. We’ve warned them. They mustn’t say it. They mustn’t even hint at it. Whatever anyone says to them, they mustn’t let it slip. They don’t believe in Santa.

The cost of Christmas

In a few weeks time most of us will be celebrating Christmas. So how do we, as Christians, decide what it’s right to spend at Christmas? We face the same pressures as other folk. Let me remind you of five important truths.


albert n martinChristmas and the Christian | Feileadh Mor

Albert N. Martin is a straight shooter. In a series on Christmas he outlines the history of the practice in connection with Christian liberty…

MP3s:

Christmas and the Christian 01
Christmas and the Christian 02
Christmas and the Christian 03
Christmas and the Christian 04
Christmas Liberty 01
Christmas Liberty 02
Christmas Liberty 03

gillGill on Christmas

It directs to the observation of several fasts and festivals, which are no where enjoined in the word of God, and for which it provides collects, gospels and epistles to be read: the fasts are, Quadragesima or Lent, in imitation of Christ’s forty days fast in the wilderness, Ember weeks, Rogatian days, and all the Fridays in the year; in which men are commanded to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving. The festivals, besides, the principal ones, Christmas, Easter and Whitsuntide, are the several saints days throughout the year; which are all of popish invention, and are either moveable or fixed, as the popish festivals be; and being the relics of popery makes us still more uneasy and dissatisfied with them.


“Because you have been attending the wrong church.”

Santa Claus, the Gospel & the Church + The “right way to fire your pastor” | Tom Ascol

It happened again last week. On Thanksgiving morning I received an email from a friend of a friend. The first line read, “It appears I am being forced out of my pastorate.” The story that unfolded in the rest of that email and upon further inquiry is filled with themes that are tragically too common…


Should We Celebrate Christmas? | Scott Brown

Each year, I receive letters asking my thoughts about the celebration of Christmas. So last year, I posted over a dozen articles on the subject of Christmas expressing a number of different perspectives from respectable men…

Ponder through the Twelve Days of Christmas series and test each of them by the Word of God.

Day 1: Sermon by Charles Spurgeon

Day 2: Jonathan Edwards on Christmas, Easter, and New Year’s

Day 3: XMAS by A.W. Pink

Day 4: John Piper

Day 5: George Whitefield

Day 6: Brian Schwertly

Day 7: John MacArthur on the Christmas Tree

Day 8: A Scottish Covenanter – George Gillespie – on Christmas

Day 9: Two Sermons Commenting on Christmas Observance from Charles Spurgeon

Day 10: Rethinking the Pagan Origins of Christmas

Day 11: The Puritans on Christmas

Day 12.1: Did We Celebrate Christmas in Early American History?

Day 12.2: More Quotes from the 17th to the 19th Centuries

Day 12.3: What Roman Catholics Say About Christmas

Day 12.4: Christmas and the Use of Time

Day 12.5: R.C. Sproul and J.I. Packer


JoyFriday Funny: ‘Twas the Sunday pre-Christmas: a cautionary tale [Jeremy Walker] + Audio Interview About This Poem Jason Delgado

We interviewed Jeremy Walker about his newest book and this topic came up. Here is a five minute preview of Tuesday’s podcast:


The Power of the Most High | Stephen Yuille

We are in the midst of the Christmas season, when we give particular attention to the incarnation of Christ.


Jesus and the Real Meaning of Christmas | John Samson

Each Christmas we hear the story about angels and shepherds, of wise men and strange sightings of a star, of a donkey, and of the Child that was laid in a stable manger. Yet the actual birth of Jesus, though highly unusual, was not entirely unique. Of course, not everyone is born to the sight of a star moving and coming to rest overhead, or to the sound of angelic announcements and trumpet blasts! Yet it is true to say that many children have been born in humble surroundings. Therefore, it was the manner in which Jesus was conceived that marks Him out from others.

The doctrine of the Virgin Birth holds that Jesus’ birth was the result of a miraculous conception whereby the Virgin Mary conceived a baby in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, without a human father.

Christ’s miraculous birth tells us much about His nature.


In the Fullness of Time | Mike Porter

So, why did Caesar, the most powerful man in the known world, send out the decree? Because “this…has been written by the prophet”.  Because “the heart of the King is in the hand of the Lord as rivers of water — he turns it wherever he wills”. Because the fullness of time had come, and for no other reason. It was God’s sovereign design, and not that of men.


spurgeon14 reminders from Spurgeon for those home for Christmas | Tony Reinke

On Sunday morning, December 21, 1856, Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon to prepare his growing church for the coming Christmas season. He titled it “Going Home,” and the aim of the message was to encourage each member of his congregation to humbly, wisely, and appropriately find opportunities to share their personal testimony with family and friends.


Have Yourself An Eschatological Christmas | Eric Ayala

When we think of Christmas, we often think of the beginning of Jesus’ life here on earth, of when he was incarnate in the flesh and the beginning of the story of the Gospels. But we don’t often think of Christmas as an Eschatological event. The historical reality of the incarnation wasn’t just a sign of a new beginning, but of a completion and fulfillment. Christmas is a mark of the end, the eschaton, as the God who will bring the final day steps into time and space to bring about the culmination of all things. With him comes light and peace and hope; and also judgment and terror, and finality. Far from a celebration of just a cute little baby that we call Jesus, Christmas shows us the declarative and magnificent power of the omnipotent God who reigns over all things.


Trappings of TraditionReformed Baptista

Blogs and discussion groups abound with ideas on what to do for Advent, claiming that by doing these things I will create meaningful memories for my children. If I don’t fill my kids with sugar and deck them halls with red, green, silver or blue, have I deprived my children forever?

Is there something wrong with you if you don’t follow tradition?

…If this time of year brings an undue amount of pressure for you, here is a sanity-saving tip that I have come to know: if a holiday event brings you stress and pressure, then don’t do it.

Let me repeat: if a holiday event brings you stress and pressure, then don’t do it!

It is truly that simple. Breaking the trappings of tradition can be difficult, but once done, the freedom is thrilling. The doctrine of Christian liberty is such a precious doctrine to study. Usually we hear it summoned as a defense for various holiday celebrations. Yet let’s remember that it also offers freedom from holiday celebrations.


More will be added here as they appear.

Inner-Biblical Exegesis: The Bible on the Bible + Colossians 1:12-14 & Exodus Typology [Richard Barcellos]

The more than 63,000 textual cross references found in the Bible - Visualized
The more than 63,000 textual cross references found in the Bible – Visualized

Richard Barcellos, pastor of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, writes on the Apostolic hermeneutic and its origins in Christ’s ministry and in the Old Testament itself,

 

This post from Barcellos @ the Reformed Baptist Fellowship and Theology Forum Facebook page serves as a great introduction:

How did the covenant theologians get from the Bible to covenant theology? The answer is that they utilized long-standing hermeneutical principles somewhat typical of the entire Christian theological tradition from the early centuries to the post-Reformation era. In other words, they utilized a pre-critical or pre-Enlightenment method of interpreting Scripture. They did not believe the Bible was to be interpreted like any other book. They believed the Bible was the Word of God and that it was its only infallible interpreter. They believed that the Bible often interpreted itself and that later texts often used earlier texts in a way that gave the divine (and therefore infallible) interpretation of those earlier texts.

Inner-Biblical Exegesis: The Bible on the Bible (3-parts)

(These notes are based on a course in biblical theology which will be held at MCTS in January)

Part 1 [Readability]:

In this section of the lectures, an attempt is made to look at how the Bible interprets the Bible. Because the New Testament use of the Old is a more familiar subject to most students, we will start by looking at various passages in the New Testament which are either explaining an Old Testament text or texts or which shed light on the hermeneutical assumptions or principles of various New Testament authors or figures. Once this brief survey is conducted, we will look at the Old Testament use of the Old. What we will find is that the New Testament authors and/or figures did not invent a new hermeneutic but utilized a very, very old one. They applied the principles they learned from our Lord, though not invented by our Lord. Or, in the words of Hamilton, “On the human level, Jesus learned the interpretive perspective he taught to his disciples from Moses and the Prophets.” The interpretive principles used by Christ and the New Testament authors and other figures (i.e., Apostles and nameless disciples) were not invented to account for Christ, they were embedded in the Old Testament before Christ and led to Christ. This also means that the New Testament got the Old Testament right and that to be a Christian interpreter, we must use their methods of interpretation.

Part 2 [Readability]:

Who is the greatest theologian ever, the greatest interpreter of Scripture ever? Is it Paul, Augustine, Calvin, Owen, Turretin, Bavinck? Is it someone in our own day? Or could it be that the greatest is yet to come? Though there have been, are, and will be many great theologians, I think there is only one greatest theologian and I think he already came among men and left this world’s scene long ago. I think the greatest theologian is the man, Christ Jesus.

 

Jesus was a master-teacher of God’s truth. I fully believe his is the first theological mind of anyone depicted to us in the New Testament (or Old Testament and ever since). He was the first-rate theologian of the first century and all other centuries before and after. No other mind at that time (or any other time) was enabled to read and meditate upon the data of our Old Testaments and do what he did with the results of that meditation. He changed the face of the world. How Jesus interpreted and applied the Hebrew Scriptures in the first century affects us on a daily basis over two thousand years later.

 

I think Jesus Christ was and is the greatest theologian ever. Our Lord was a theologian, you know. He read the Bible. He interpreted and applied the Bible and He taught others how to do the same. It may help us at this point to think a bit about theology (i.e., knowledge of God) and how that relates to our Lord.

Part 3 [Readability]

We will explore this a bit more in the lectures, but for now it will serve our purposes to note that the writers of the New Testament, inspired by the Holy Spirit of truth (i.e., the Spirit of the exalted Christ), end up following Jesus’ own principles of Bible interpretation. Why is this? The simple answer is that he taught them these principles or at least illustrated them while discussing the Scriptures with them. Jesus’ own view of the Old Testament as it related to him was communicated to the disciples. Consider Luke 24:25-27 and 44-49.

Colossians 1:12-14 and Exodus Typology:

 A type is a historical person, place, institution, or event that was designed by God to point to a future historical person, place, institution, or event.

 

That to which types point is always greater than the type itself.

 

Types are both like and unlike their anti-types.

 

Paul interprets the redemption of sinners by Jesus as the anti-type of the redemption of Israel from Egyptian bondage.

 

G. K. Beale argues that if Paul is using “the exodus images…typologically…then Israel’s redemptive history prefigured that of eschatological Israel, the church.” I agree.

 

What are the connections between Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage, the exodus, and the redemption of sinners by Christ?

 

Just as the Israelites were in a dark and oppressive place, so sinners redeemed by Jesus were trapped in the domain of darkness.

 

Just as God liberated Israel from bondage, so Christ liberates sinners from bondage.

 

Just as God took the Israelites out of Egypt and gave them an inheritance – the Promised Land, so God takes sinners out of the bondage of sin and qualifies them for a future inheritance.

 

Just as Israel was transferred from Egypt to Canaan, so sinners are transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son.

 

Just as God ruled over Israel, so God places believing sinners in the kingdom of his beloved Son to be ruled by him.

 

We can extend the connections to other aspects of the New Testament by noting that just as Israel was given a memorial meal to remember their deliverance from bondage – the Passover, so the church has been given a memorial meal – the Lord’s Supper. And just as Israel was given a memorial day – the Sabbath, so the church has been given a memorial day – the Lord’s Day. Paul sees what the Old Testament typified in Israel, finding its fulfillment in the work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Read the Rest [Readability]

Listen to Richard Barcellos’ Sermon on This Text [19 min]