Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2012

Yet More Twit-Bits

Some recent Tweets from me.
Subscribe here.

When we blame “the media” and “size zero models” for our culture’s body issues, who’s being shallow?

Sermons don’t prepare you to meet your Maker. Sermons ARE meeting your Maker.

Preaching is not preparation 4 stg else (eg right living). It’s proclamation 4 here&now. God IS speaking presently &personally

I sigh for the day when sighing will be no more. Isaiah 35:10

The heavens are evil. Our creators are killers. We must make contact &sacrifice ourselves 2 save. #gospelaccording2prometheus

We are brilliant and broken. Trouble is we’re always trying to attach the word “uniquely” to one or other of those descriptions.

Don’t be man-centred, be Man-centred. God is.

Islam: the bad (Judas) dies for the good (Jesus). Christianity: the good dies for the bad.

I in Christ am put to death. Christ in me implants new breath. Galatians 2:20

Christian teaching on sex, pre and post marriage: Dirty, Dirty, Dirty, Dirty, DUTY

“It’s not good news, it’s the truth”- a friend’s summary of much conservative evangelical preaching. 2often 2true!

While u were His enemy He died 4u, cleansed u, justified & adopted u. Now that ur His beloved, will He dis-adopt & damn you??

Arguing 4 the necessity of hell is like arguing 4 the necessity of the devil. It’s real, eternal, fearful but not *necessary*

The Father’s bright Radiance is a light always going out into darkness to transform it (Matthew 5:38-48)

Divine Perfection = love 4 enemies, the wicked & the unrighteous. It’s mercy 4 sinners. His glory is His grace (Matt 5:38-48; Lk 6:36)

Look up all the words of “The Angel of the LORD” in the OT. Then ask: Is He Liar, Lunatic or Lord? You can’t have a mild opinion of Him!

Just imagine what might happen if we recaptured a true theology of the Word. #reformation

A good golfer can play the ball from wherever it lies. Jesus is like that – the redeemer from *all* harm: Gen 48:16. #redemption

Dear Preacher, don’t aim to strengthen the shiniest 20% – bind up the bruised and broken 80%. Actually the shiny ones are broken too!

Jesus ascended blessing us and He hasn’t stopped – Luke 24:51 :)

Don’t read me the recipe, serve up the food. Don’t preach *about* the gospel, give me Christ.

Look at any of the gospel events – incarnation, life, death, resurrection or ascension of Christ – & try telling me that God is self-centred

Christ doesn’t die for us *so* He can love us. He dies for us *because* He loves us.

All you’ve ever got is Christ’s righteousness. All you ever need is Christ’s righteousness. #EnjoyYourDay.

Preacher, pay attn 2the tone of the songs, prayers, confession &creed: Devotional, declarative, doctrinal. Does the tone of yr sermon match?

Brighton: home town of the older prodigals – a far country full of older brothers. Even the name’s an imperative: Be Right On!

Either live by the external Word or die by a thousand internal judgements.

Read Full Post »

Happy Friday

During a week in which (I thought) Chloe Smith did the best she could to fight an indefensible corner, here are some cringe-worthy political interviews.

.

After that mauling, I’m sure Chloe will love to watch this next video on repeat:

.The last one’s a comedy sketch.  Stunningly, the penultimate one was real!

.

More cringe-worthy political interviews here

Read Full Post »

More Twit-Bits

Some recent Tweets from me.
Subscribe here.

No-one can hang their faith on a conditional. Preachers must *actually* offer Christ.

In their rush to defend the ‘reality’ of hell (which is right), some end up speaking of the ‘necessity’ of hell (which is unwise).

The movie hero who says “I shouldnt even be here” is deeply messianic. Like David coming to a battle that wasnt his to fight.#thankyouJesus

Peter’s evangelism = the opposite of ours. It ended with *God* making Jesus Lord, not the hearers. #Acts2

Also, “what must *I* do?” was the hearer’s response not the preacher’s goal! #Acts2

Jesus did not say “You really ought to be my witnesses.” You *will* be my witnesses – Acts 1:8

God’s grace is not his “sweet side”! It’s His blood-earnest, irreversible decision to knit His being to ours in Christ.

Suffering well is the indispensible prerequisite for witnessing well.#1Peter

There aren’t so much ‘proof texts’ for evangelism because evangelism is not so much a duty as a life.

Evangelism flows out of the shape of God’s life, the shape of God’s people, the shape of God’s word.

Paul warned Ephesian elders “savage wolves will come in among u”. What do u imagine? I imagine *legalists*! Col 2; 1 Tim 4; ALL OF GALATIANS

Jesus is your standing with God.

Living by grace aint about lifting piety above practicality. Its about lifting Christ’s piety And practicality above mine!

“I CAN’T BELIEVE HE CHOSE THIS! DOES HE EVEN KNOW ME? I’D RATHER D.. Oh, it’s actually quite nice.”#everyepisodeofdonttellthebride

Avoiding legalism is legalism. Only Jesus saves.

Jesus aint the Bait, He’s the Bread. The Father aint the Hook, He’s the Baker.

The new birth is a theological reality not an evangelistic programme.

The new birth is a status not a step. And it’s as out of our reach as being forgiven, justified, raised, adopted, chosen, etc.

Aim for “new birth” and you get neither new birth nor Jesus. Aim for Jesus and you get both.

“Decision” is not the entrance to a new life. Decision *is* the old life. “Chosen” is both the entrance and the essence of the new life.

Christian life is not ‘decision’ + ‘discipleship’. If u’ve begun w decision yr discipleship wont be His life lived, only your life pietized

Resolve says “I refuse to be a sinner, Lord prevent me.” Repentance says “Surely I was sinful from birth, Lord have mercy.”

Ever heard teaching on pride that sounds just like that line from the worship song, “It’s not about MEEEEEEEEEEE”?

Look at modern evangelistic methods & “successes” and you’ll say what Luther said of Rome’s system in 1510: “who knows whether it is so!”

Num 13&14: we ought 2 spy out our inheritance guaranteed by Joshua’s firstfruits. Instead, Num 15:39, we spy out the lusts of our hearts & eyes

“Sin separates us from God” – so says every evangelistic presentation I’ve ever seen. Isn’t it the reverse? Our separation leads to sin!

Global evangelicalism is characterised by “our choice 4 God”- Diarmaid McCulloch. Theologically that’s backwards. Practically he’s spot on.

Christ is in the OT in Person, through Prophesies and by Pictures. The 1st is the foundation of the other two.

‘If you feel far from God, guess who moved?’ Jesus did. Right into God’s presence. And He carried you with Him.

Do you feel more free as a Christian than you did as a non-Christian? If not, maybe you’re living under law. Gal 5:1

Read Full Post »

A little while ago I lamented a certain kind of evangelism that is all too common.  It’s basically the call to younger brother types to come to their senses, to wrench themselves away from the far country and to return to the father with a pre-prepared sorry speech.  The evangelist will even feed them a ready made, line-by-line repentance spiel – one with magic words guaranteed to effect a reconciliation.  The whole encounter goes something like this:

“We all know who God is don’t we?  He’s the Big Guy and you’ve been avoiding Him haven’t you?  Allow me to latch onto some guilt feelings you’ve experienced.  Let me call that ‘conviction of sin’.  And now let me promise relief from those feelings if you’ll only return to the Big Guy and bring this speech with you.  I guarantee it’ll work (becausetherewasthisthingcalledthecrosswhichyoudon’tneedtoknowaboutnow butIneedtocrowbaritinbecausethesewordsaremagic).  Anyway, the ball is now in your court.  It’s all down to you.  If you’re up to the challenge, carefully repeat this prayer after me…”

The whole paradigm is one in which “God” is taken for granted, Jesus is a helpful mechanism to fix the guilt problem but the real Name above all names is Decision before Whom all must bow in self-willed surrender.  Almighty Decision towers above you, are you equal to His call?

Let me suggest that the answer to all of this is (unsurprisingly) focussing on Christ.  Evangelism is speaking of Jesus.  It’s lifting Him up by the Spirit (which means Scripturally) so as to present Him to the world as good news.  So we say ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good.’  We basically hold out the Bread of life saying “Tasty isn’t He??”

Now if we approach evangelism with Christ at the centre, there are many advantages:

1) Jesus simply is the most interesting and attractive Subject.  You might have some cracking gags, moving anecdotes, contemporary illustrations and memorable catch-phrases, but they’ve got nothing on the power and beauty of Christ.

2) Faith is immediately seen for what it is – receiving Christ as He’s offered in the gospel.  Faith is not “banking the cheque” of forgiveness.  What does that even mean?  What do any of our illustrations of faith actually mean?   Far better simply to hold out Christ and say “Look and live!”

3) Decision is dethroned. We don’t so much tell the world to believe in Jesus.  Far more than this, we tell the world about Jesus such that they do believe (Steve Holmes).   Because faith is a response to contemplating Christ.  The spotlight does not fall on the listener and their willingness to summon up the necessary response.  The spotlight falls on Christ Himself.

4) You don’t have to worry about offering cheap grace.  You’re not offering ‘a blank cheque’ for free, you’re offering the Lord for free. To receive the it of grace/forgiveness/a ticket to heaven is entirely different from receiving Him – the LORD our Righteousness.  In this way conversion and discipleship are held together.  The one who simply receives Christ has unmistakably received a new Master.

5) You don’t sell Christianity on the back of some abstract fringe benefits.  Instead the preacher says “The one thing you get for receiving Jesus, is Jesus.  But if you’re seeing things clearly, the one thing you want is Jesus.”

6) Because of this, you don’t have to fence all your promises of forgiveness and freedom and new life with ‘…if you really, truly, ruly believe’.  Since faith is receiving the Christ who is offered there’s no chance of the listener trusting an abstract promise in vain.  Those who receive Jesus receive Jesus.

7) The decision time at the end of the talk is de-emphasized.  It is not the business end of proceedings.  The real business is holding out Christ by the Spirit (and therefore in the word).  The listener receives Christ as they are won by the gospel preaching.  They can trust and receive Christ in their seats during the preaching.  It’s not about a form of words that they must parrot at the end.  If you want to pray at the end that’s fine.  But it’s only confirming a receiving of Christ that’s occurred during the preaching.  Faith comes by hearing.

Read Full Post »

Surveying the Scene

Go on and fill out  this survey to improve Christian websites.  It only takes a minute.

And, just so you know, the answer to question 9 is: “Rants against Christ-less theism, legalism and burdensome theologies of glory.”

Read Full Post »

Galatians 3-4 Sermon

Text

Audio

Powerpoint

.

…This was how the Galatian believer saw the history of God’s people from Adam onwards.

Now for them, Christ’s coming and dying was very important: We must realize that these Galatians were not denying the centrality of Christ or His cross. But, they thought, surely the law comes first – the law is foundational.

The default way in which God relates to His people has surely been law.  From the garden of Eden, surely – He commands and we are to obey.  And when Moses went up Mount Sinai surely he was given the law of laws – He was given the very commands of God, written by His finger on stone.  Surely these words, being God’s words, express His eternal will for the people of God.  Bottom line – there is a law, law is to be obeyed.

Now, in this timeline, the cross is important, and Jesus’ dying is central because we need His sacrificial death for all our failures at law-keeping.  So there is an understanding of Gospel here.

The Gospel comes and helps us out when we fail to live up to the law.  But, basically, what God wants is legal obedience.  That is the bottom line for being a Christian.

Now this view of history was a big problem for the Galatian church.  Because they thought like this, when preachers came and told them that they needed to obey the OT Law of circumcision to be a proper Christian, they fell for it.  Why? Because, they have gospel and law running along together, side-by-side, in their minds and hearts.  They have faith in Jesus AND legal obedience in their thinking about what makes someone a Christian.

If you have this understanding in your head about Law and Gospel then you will fall for false teaching time and again.  You will seek your Christian identity in duties and observances and not in Christ.

So we need to over-turn this telling of history.  And thankfully Paul does that for us in chapter 3, beginning at v6.

First thing he does is he under-cuts Moses.  Paul goes back in Israel’s history and leap-frogs over Moses and says ‘think about Abraham. Think about when there was no Mosaic law to be obeyed, not even the covenant of circumcision, think about the life of the people of God before there were any commandments at all.  What made Abraham a fully-fledged believer?’  Answer (v6):

“He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.

In verse 8 Paul describes this faith as faith in the Gospel.  We are children of Abraham when we trust the Gospel, because that’s what Abraham trusted.

So the history of the people of God does not begin with law at all it begins with Gospel

Now the Gospel promises spoken to Abraham were about the Seed (v16) and that Seed, that promised offspring, was Christ.  That’s why I’ve got the Gospel stretching right back to the time of Adam because the Seed who was promised to Abraham was first promised to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15.  Right from the garden of Eden, Jesus was promised as the Seed of the woman.  He would crush Satan’s head but at great cost to Himself.  Right from the beginning, Christ’s incarnation and death and resurrection, His victory over Satan was preached.  And people trusted this gospel – people like Abraham – and they were saved.

So this Gospel is how God relates to people.  Gospel is God’s bottom line.

But if that’s true – where does the Law fit in? It begins 430 years after Abraham (v17) and it lasts until (v19) the Seed had come.

The Law begins at the mountain of Sinai and ends at the mountain of Golgotha.  That is the Law’s place….

Text

Audio

Powerpoint

.

Read Full Post »

10000 Comments Later

Over the past 5 years there have been a few milestones along my blogging journey.  But perhaps my favourite was passed today.  10 000 comments!

Far and away the best thing about blogging is the feedback from you guys.  So a big thank you to all of you who comment.

And to those lurkers who haven’t yet braved the blog’s under-belly, why not leave a message below?

 

Read Full Post »

Why listen to God’s word?

There’s no such thing as a free lunch – so the saying goes.  The LORD begs to differ:

Isaiah 55:1-3 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. 3 Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

A free lunch is exactly the kind of thing our heavenly Father provides.  After all, if we ask for bread, will He give us a stone?  If we ask for an egg, will He give us a snake?  (Matthew 7:9-10)  No, He gives us free sunshine, free air, free water, free life.  His very nature is to offer us free sustenance.

How does this sustenance come?  Through His word.  Notice how the LORD says “Listen, Give ear, Hear me.” Whatever God has for us, it’s dished up in the word.  See verses 10-11:

10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Just as rain brings grain, so the word brings food to us.  The purpose for which God sends his word is to bring life.  It’s like rain on a parched land.  It makes people dying with thirst to bud and flourish.

Back in verse 3, simply to hear this word brings life to our souls.  Why?  Because through God’s word we receive His “faithful love promised to David.”

Now think about that!

In the words of the King James version, He offers “the sure mercies of David” to peoples and nations.  He invites the world into His covenant with David.

When Isaiah wrote this, King David was long dead.  Yet all Israel knew that David foreshadowed the true King of the Jews.

In Isaiah 9, we read about the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace who reigns on David’s throne.  Christ is the true David and Isaiah knew it.

In Isaiah 11 he prophesies about Christ as the shoot of Jesse.  The Messiah is the Ideal David, filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding.  He is a Cosmic King to bring justice and righteousness to the world.

Thus “the sure mercies of David” refers to the Father’s covenant love for His Son.  This is what God wants to give us: He wants the world to enjoy His love for Christ.

In Isaiah 42, we read about how the Father feels towards Christ:

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.

Those are the sure mercies of David.  That’s the Father’s everlasting love for His Son.

From all eternity the Son has been the true David – the Anointed King.  He is the Father’s everlasting delight and He pours His Spirit without measure onto Christ.

This is the everlasting covenant.  These are the sure mercies of David.  They’re all found in Jesus.  And in God’s word we are given Christ for free.

That’s why we read our Bibles.  That’s why we have preaching.  That’s why we encourage each other with the word.  Because in God’s word, God’s Son is offered.  And He is Bread for the hungry.  He offers Living Waters for the thirsty.  All without money and without cost.  We simply “listen” / “give ear” / “hear” our Father and through the gift of Christ our souls will live.

Why listen to God’s word?  To feast on Christ.

.

This is taken from the introduction to my Isaiah talks

It’s also the theme of my latest devotional’s preface

 .

Read Full Post »

This is adapted from my fourth talk on Isaiah

Idols are everywhere in the evangelical world.  Well, teaching about idolatry is.

Everyone is talking about the dangers of false gods.  This can be a very good thing.  Personally, I’ve been helped as I’ve considered my sinful patterns to be far more than ‘bad choices.’  I’m constantly falling for false visions of ‘the good life’.  “Career success”, “people-pleasing”, “the need to be right” – a thousand loves can capture my heart.  And, while I may imagine that I’ve chosen these things, in fact they’ve chosen me.  They dominate and enslave me, and as I continue to serve them, they harden my heart and steal it away from the true God.

This is a profound and helpful diagnosis of our problems.  But below I’ll offer three caveats to all this idolatry talk.  It’s not that idols-speak is wrong or damaging – not at all.  It’s that idols-speak cannot bear the full weight of all our pastoral needs.

Idols-speak – the way we tend to do it – can under-appreciate the true depth of our problems.  And more than this, if we look to it for our solutions we can miss our true hope for change.

Three Caveats About Idols-Speak…

1) The Old Testament has a language for over-reliance on the flesh AND for idolatry.

The Old Testament constantly speaks of our foolish trust in man, in money, in power, in giftings, in intelligence, in beauty, etc, etc.  But, by and large, it reserves the term “idolatry” for false gods, foreign conceptions of god, foreign conceptions of worship.

It’s true that Ezekiel 14 speaks of “idols of the heart” but even there we’re thinking of false religion and foreign gods.  So in the OT there’s idolatry AND there’s false trust in things.

Sometimes we read of idols in the OT and immediately spiritualize it: “Jeremiah was so right – I need to spend less time on Facebook.”  Well… maybe you are in danger of idolising Facebook.  But the ultimate false-god to which you’re liable to look is not Social Media.  It’s Satan.

Within days of receiving the ten words from Sinai, the people were worshipping a golden calf and proclaiming that this Satanic image had saved them (Exodus 32).  This event is in Scripture as a warning for us. 

We imagine that ancient people might have fallen for Baal or Molech, but it takes an iPad to really capture our imaginations.  But this is just chronological snobbery.  If God’s people of old were in danger of mistaking a foreign god for the living God, then that’s got to be a danger for us also.  The real idolatry has always been to get God wrong.  And this remains today.

Of course we have all sorts of functional saviours today – and they can have a god-like grip on us.  But such false faith has always been the case, and the OT has (separately) dealt with it.  The ultimate idolatry is having our God look more like Baal than Jesus.  This is a danger for every age.

2) The New Testament knows all about idolatry as a fundamentally theological problem. 

When the LORD walked among His people as Man, their greatest problem was their understanding of God.  They did not recognize their Messiah and so they did not know the God they claimed to serve (John 8:19).   These biblical, religious members of God’s people belonged to the devil and had a theology to match (John 8:44).  We are fools if we think that our struggles are different.

Of course “greed is idolatry” (Col 3:5) and “Mammon” is a rival to God, but the NT’s conception of idols goes well beyond sex, money and power.  1 John, for instance, is full of the desperate need to confess Jesus as Christ, Jesus’ coming in the flesh, Jesus as the Son of God, etc, etc.  That’s why it finishes with the admonition, “Keep yourself from idols.”  There is a constant theological battle which we must fight to understand God in Christ.  Apart from Him, we are possessed by the spirit of anti-Christ and begin to worship an anti-Christian god.  Once again we must insist – this is not a danger for other people.  It is our danger.  Constantly.

Someone who is convicted by modern idols-speak might well confess to “worshipping parental approval.” (And that may indeed be a problem for them).  But, again, the real danger is worshipping the devil.  I mean that seriously.  It is not as though Christians have their doctrine of God sewn up and now we can focus on the lesser objects of our devotion.  In Old AND New Testaments, the deepest danger of idolatry is that we will worship Satan.  Which means we really need to get God right, don’t we?

3) Idols-speak as a solution is man-centred.

If my problem is defined as, ‘Me worshipping the wrong thing’, what’s the solution?  You might imagine that the solution is now ‘Me worshipping the right thing.’  Thus, we might have quite a “God-centred” diagnosis of sin (to use the lingo of many who engage in idols-speak), but we’re in danger of recommending a “man-centred” solution.

I don’t see this so much in the preachers and writers who champion idols-speak, but I do notice it in, for instance, the accountability groups that take this teaching on board.  There exists the distinct impression that my false worship caused this problem, so now my true worship will solve it.  I must put away my idols and refocus my devotion towards God.

Yet this is tragically ironic.  For if my hope lies in turning my worship from one object to another, I have cast God as the ultimate idol.  There He sits, passively, waiting for my worship.  He was passive and displeased when I worshipped money.  Now He’s passive but pleased with my true worship.  But in both cases, He’s the passive one, I’m the active one.

The trouble is, a passive God is the Bible’s definition of an idol.  In Isaiah 64 the prophet gives us a profound definition of the true God:

Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.  (Isaiah 64:4)

The living God works while we wait.  It’s the idols that wait for us to work.  That’s the fundamental distinction.  The living God is alive and He gives life.  The false gods are dead and simply take your life.

But here’s the perennial danger – and it can be exacerbated when idols-speak is the be-all and end-all of discipleship – I cast God as a dumb idol to whom I make all the offerings.

It works like this: imagine a Christian, convicted of their over-commitment to career progression.  They publicly repent of this “idol” in their life and now determine to offer up true service to God, because, well, God is God and, you know, our Maker has certain claims on us.  Right there, the danger of idolatry is immense!  Because right there, there’s every possibility that God is cast as the passive recipient of our resolute worship.

Who has delivered the sinner from their idolatry?  And how?

Even if idols-speak proves helpful in diagnosing our problems – and it definitely does – we mustn’t rely on it to solve our problems.  Christ in His word must come to us again to cleanse us from sin and refocus us once more on the invisible God  who Christ alone reveals.  We must move off centre-stage, sit down in the audience and watch Christ work redemption for us.

When we are the ones who wait for Christ to work, then we’re experiencing the living God. Then we are weaned off idols – both small and great.

Read Full Post »

If you don’t know about my wife’s wonderful blog and ministry – check it out now.

Here’s the opening to her latest article for the Church of England newspaper:

If you’d met me seven years ago, here’s what you’d have seen:  a ‘successful’ Christian, newly married to a vicar in training. Leader of a thriving children’s ministry. A talented student with a bright future ahead. Someone who seemed to have it all together.

But there’s one part you might have missed: a young woman gripped by an eating disorder that would nearly take her life…

Read the whole article here

Read Full Post »

The next quarter of the King’s English is available on Lulu.

In the next 24 hours it will also be available on Kindle.  Stay tuned.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Read Full Post »

Free Greek Audio Bible

Thanks so much to Matthias Muller for making this available and Theo Karvounakis for reading the Koine Greek!

The Koine Greek (Textus Receptus) audio Bible is now available for download for all who have already learned Greek but don’t mind getting used to modern Greek pronunciation (100% native). Freely you have received, freely you shall give…

437MB, 260 chapters, 27 folders, 20 hrs, 48kbps mp3s, £0.00, value – infinite.

Add it to your dropbox for simple download and spreading. It’s meant to be public domain. Glory to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 .

Download Koine Greek Bible via Dropbox

 .

The videos are coming as well but take longer.

 .

Koine Greek New Testament (audio)

.

Read Full Post »

Happy Friday

Read Full Post »

Yes I want that song infecting your brain.

We’ll live forever, knowing together that we did it all for the glory of love

Now there’s a line fit for the triune God!  As I’ll try to show below, it’s a pretty good summary of God’s motives in creation and redemption.  God’s life and work is an other-centred, outward-focussed, spreading goodness.  The Father, Son and Spirit do all things for the glory of love.  This is starkly different from ‘the love of glory‘ – especially where ‘glory’ is defined apart from love!

So in this post I want to show that “the glory of love” is God’s motivation in all things.  Later I’ll show why “the love of glory” is not God’s motivation according to the bible – at least not how it’s popularly framed.  Our God does not sing: “I did it all for the glory of me!”

But first, here’s just a little survey of love as the centre of God’s life and action in Scripture (notice number four!):

.

God’s being is love

1 John 4:8,16

The Father loves the Son

Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 12:6; John 3:35; 15:9; 17:24; Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 1:13

The Father hands everything to the Son because of love

Psalm 2:7f; Isaiah 42:1; John 3:35; 5:20

The Father glorifies the Son because He loves Him

John 17:24

The Father predestines and elects us in Christ because of love

Ephesians 1:4f; Isaiah 55:3

The Father creates out of love

Colossians 1:16

He chooses the patriarchs out of love

Deuteronomy 10:15

He makes and keeps covenant with His people because of love

Ezekiel 16:8; Isaiah 54:10

He redeems Israel out of love

Deuteronomy 7:8; Isaiah 63:9; Jeremiah 31:3; Hosea 11:1

He leads Israel because He loves her

Exodus 15:13

He plants them in the land because He loves them

Psalm 44:3

He relents from judging time and again because of love

Numbers 14:19; Ps 51:1; 106:45; Hosea 11:1-9; Jonah 4:2

He will provide future redemption from all sins because of love

Psalm 130:7f

He saves because He loves

John 3:16; Titus 3:4f

The Son is given to us because of love

John 3:16; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2,25; 1 John 4:8-10

We’re adopted because of love

Ephesians 1:5f; 1 John 3:1

We’re regenerated because of love

Ephesians 2:4f

We’re forgiven because of love

Revelation 1:5

.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

.

 

Read Full Post »

Five Talks on Isaiah

 

Talk 1 – Reigning and Serving, part 1.  Audio.  Text.  Powerpoint.

Talk 2 – Reigning and Serving, part 2.  Audio.  Text.

Talk 3 – Judgement and Salvation.  Audio.  Text.  Powerpoint.

Talk 4 – Religion and Redemption.  Audio.  Text.

Talk 5 – Old Creation and New Creation.  Audio.  Text.  Powerpoint.

.

Read Full Post »

A talk on fear… the Egyptian midwives… David and Goliath… David before Abimelech… David in his cave… Psalm 34… Luke 12… just listen!  Outstanding!!

Paul Blackham – Fear: The Egyptian Midwives

 

Read Full Post »

Here is Richard Bewes speaking at a wonderful conference I attended  last week.

If you’re pressed for time, make sure you catch his talk on preaching.  Just the first 30 minutes blew the doors off.  Perhaps the best  introduction to the purpose and power of preaching I’ve ever heard:

Richard Bewes – Preaching

Richard Bewes – Preaching Q&A

Richard Bewes – Revival

Richard Bewes – Revelation 14

.

 

Read Full Post »

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »