Saturday, April 28, 2007

Has been crushed, is being crushed, will be crushed

The good news of the gospel is that our Jesus has crushed [justification], is crushing [sanctification], and will finally and fully crush [that’s glorification] the head of the serpent. And we know that the serpent of Genesis 3 is Satan, in part, because of the language Paul uses to describe Satan in Romans 16.20. So let’s read Genesis 3.15 [the Protoevangelium or first gospel] and Romans 16.20 and make a redemptive historical connection. Let me read it in the Harris paraphrase.15[God the Father] will put enmity between [Satan] and the woman [Eve], and between Satan’s offspring [the reprobates who loves self]; and Eve’s offspring [the redeemed who love God in Christ]; [Jesus] shall bruise [Satan’s] head, and [Satan] shall bruise [Christ’s] heel. 20The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Anticipating more than eating Connie's southern biscuts

I'm sitting in our living room drinking coffee [thanks Paul and Jenean for the Kona Blue Sky Coffee Beans] anticipating the delicious taste of Connie's homemade biscuits that are already in the oven but not yet baked. More than the culinary anticipation of eating Connie's cooking, I'm joyfully anticipating the experience we'll share together on Sunday celebrating the declaration that Jesus was declared to be the "Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead" [Romans 1.4]. In other words, "He was 'descended from David' in order to share our weakness, but was transformed by the 'Spirit of holiness' at the Resurrection, and was brought into a new epoch of His personal human existence" [TRSB, p. 1612].God the Father receives glory from the God the Spirit's transformation of God the Son at His resurrection from the dead! This is the purpose [end] of all of God's redemptive acts whether the creation of the world, the erecting of 12 stones to commemorate the passing over the Jordan "on the day the Passover lamb was to be chosen," or Christ's resurrection from the dead. The purpose for these wonderful saving acts was that "all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever" [Joshua 4.24].In our prayer circle on Wednesday, Albert shared his passion for evangelism. I was stirred and am happy that Grace Baptist is stirring into flame a desire to share the gospel with Newton Township and beyond. The fan that will increasingly enliven the flame will be the God-given desire that God's fame be spread and poured out over Northeastern PA. Our brother Peter puts it this way:"Whoever speaks, as one who speaks the oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies - in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen" [I Peter 4.11] .So we do not ultimately exalt those things that are merely used to echo God’s glorious shout. That would be to exalt a sun’s beam rather than to bask in its effulgent radiance. To ultimately exalt those means is to flirt with idolatry. This is a great danger for all of us in the 21st evangelical church. As Louie Giglio reminds us, we worship the waiter and miss the meal.So on this resurrection weekend, let's exult with Peter the Name of the One who is risen from the dead and has raised us to be seated with Christ in the heavenly places: “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” [Acts 3.6]