Monday, 25 August 2008

Preaching and the History of Redemption

The History of Salvation

This is a sermon outline preached recently but it is becoming so clear to me that it is vital to understand the unfolding of salvation history for preaching and exegesis to be faithful to the biblical revelation. Hopefully this will be a taster. A book by Clowney on Preaching and Biblical Theology is helpful for futher study.

This is the theme of the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation and everything connects to this. This aids our knowledge of God, the glory of the coming of Christ and the accurate interpretation of the Bible.
A Tulip coming into flower
The red lava on Mount Etna (which is over 10,000 feet and 40 km cone)
Galatians 3:6, ¶ Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7. therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.
8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, [saying], "ALL THE NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED IN YOU."
9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

Background to Galatians and its troubles
The theme is Justification by grace through faith: this defended against the enemies of the Gospel.

1. Galatians 3: 7-9
· Verse 6 Believed God = believe the gospel and faith in his redeemer. How do we know this? John 8:56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw [it] and was glad."
· This is quoted from Genesis 15: 6 and this faith was before circumcision and before the law.
· Verse 7: Who are the sons of Abraham? Those who have faith in Christ as Saviour, Lord and Redeemer.
· God…preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham. The gospel is the message of salvation for fallen, sinful man and Christ is the central theme. ‘All the nations shall be blessed in you’… the focus is not on Abraham but on God and his plan. Abraham, the patriarchs, the prophets in Israel to the coming of the Messiah = God’s crowning revelation of Himself. Then the gospel overflows into the nations where the Holy Spirit gathers in the elect from every tribe, tongue, nation and people. Revelation 7.
· Blessed and verse 8 those who are of faith is a remnant. Faithful, elect, the true church and it is by grace, through Faith in Jesus are the ones who are blessed.
What is blessed?
Ephesians 1: 3. In Christ we have all the blessings of God known to man though Christ alone, by faith alone, though grace alone.
· Adoption
· Justification
· Forgiveness of sins
· Redemption
· Regeneration
· Eternal Life
The New covenant is not conditional blessings based on our obedience but unconditional blessings based on our faith in Jesus Christ. The aim is the glory of God, not obedience.

2. The Big Picture of Salvation History

Adam and the Garden of Eden
Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."
Noah and the Flood
Abraham: Genesis 12: 1-3 and all the patriarchs
Isaac, Jacob and Joseph
Moses and the Exodus
Joshua, the Judges to Samuel
The Davidic Kingdom
2 Samuel 7:12 "When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
14 "I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,
15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took [it] away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
16 "And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever."'"
The rise and fall of Israel and Judah
Off to Babylon and Assyria
Back in the Land: Messianic Expectation
Malachi 3:1 ¶ "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts.
Christ is the climax of God’s Plan
The Last days
The Triumph of the Lamb
Revelation: The theme of the book is ‘the victory of Christ and His church over Satan and all the enemies of the gospel’.
Rev. 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 12: 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.
11 "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.

3. New heavens and New Earth

What are blessings? Spiritual blessings involving the whole benefit of redemption.

Some areas of confusion
· Healing confusion and eternal life
· Confusion regarding getting more so-called blessings
· Freedom from legalism
· Conference in Manchester: ‘You can cancel out your blessings’
· Leader in Sheffield: if you do not work hard to fulfil your destiny God will take it off you and give it to someone else’.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Todd Bentley and Revivalism in Florida???

1John 4:1 ¶ Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Background to 1 John
· A book to test your assurance of salvation
· He distinguishes between true and false grounds of assurance and applies seven different tests
· One test of a true Christian and maturity is to know the difference between what is the spirit of truth and spirit of error.
· Chapter 4: Summary

1. John’s experience of truth and error
2. Test the Spirits
3. Keep in the love of God

1. John’s Experience of Truth and Error
A. Jesus
· Jesus distinguished between three categories of person; truly righteous, religious and unrighteous, ungodly and unrighteous.
· The Sermon on the Mount is an exposition of what is true compared to much false teaching by the Pharisees.
· “You have heard it said…but I say unto you”. Have you accepted some false teaching unknowingly? If Jesus were personally here what would he say to us as a congregation?
· Matthew 7: 15 “Beware of false prophets”, these are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
· The parable of the wheat and the tares.
· The cross was the result of false doctrine, error and the spirit of antichrist. Peter says in Acts 2 to the religious Jews “You crucified Jesus”.
· Matthew 23: Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees. Uses Woe 8 times and denounces them as hypocrites, blind guides, whitewashed tombs, you serpents, brood of vipers.
B. The Book of Acts
· Acts 15, the judaizers and the acceptance of the gentiles. The old covenant versus the new covenant.
· Paul comes to Jerusalem to discuss the ‘gospel’: The content of the message not methods in Galatians 2.
C. John’s Gospel
· John’s gospel and the background of Cerinthus who denied the deity of Christ in Ephesus. Story of the Bath house.

2. Test the Spirits
A. Should I be Critical as a Christian?
Love teaches believe the best of every person: explain the difference between discernment and a critical spirit.
V1 ‘do not believe every spirit’
B. What does it mean ‘Test the Spirits’?
Test= prove or test like £ 50 notes or diamonds in a jewellers shop. Illustration!
Test the spirits =whether something is truly from God, therefore avoid personalities or preferences.
V2 confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh: Islam, Jehovah’s witnesses,
V2-3 Spirit of God versus spirit of antichrist (now is in the world)
V5 They are of the world: prosperity teaching, money centred teaching, success and Christian motivation conferences.
V6: Spirit of truth versus spirit of error.
V 10 Christ is our propitiation: Steve Chalke and the denial of a substitutionary atonement to avert the wrath of God.
V 15 Confesses Jesus is the Son of God.
C. Why should we test the spirits?
V1 many false prophets have gone out into the world
2 Peter 2: 1-3 many will follow them. But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
3 ¶ and in [their] greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

· Brings destruction
· Sensuality =the senses, explains Florida
· Do miracles lead to faith? The example of Israel in the wilderness proves this is not the case.
· The way of truth is maligned
· They exploit people.

3. Keep Yourselves in the Love of God (Jude21)
Encouragement; 1 John 4: 4 Greater is He!!
The thread of love: ‘Let us love one another’ (V 7): do not unreasonably write people off.
Love is used 19 times in this one chapter:


Self examinationEncouragement
Searching questions

Closing Prayer

Closing Song; The Lord’s my Shepherd (with descant)
Benediction: Jude 24-5.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure (Matthew 13: 44)


· There are 7 parables here taught: Sower, Wheat and Tares (or weeds), Mustard seed, leaven and three together; hidden treasure, the pearl of great price, the parable of the net.

· Why did Jesus teach in parables?

Matthew 13:44 ¶ "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.

Three key words:

Kingdom of heaven

Treasure hidden


The picture of the parable relates to how people saved their expensive goods against the Romans or foreign armies. Explain.

1. Kingdom of heaven; also kingdom of God relates to the king, the Lord Jesus.

1Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, [be] honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Trinitarian rule by all three persons.

2. Treasure hidden

How precious is the gospel? How valuable is salvation? How wonderful is the sacred truth that Jesus is God’s promised saviour?

Heb 2:1 ¶ For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away [from it.]

2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense,

3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,

3. Joy

A fruit of the Spirit and a gift of the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 1: 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

Psalm 51: Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit.

13 [Then] I will teach transgressors Thy ways, And sinners will be converted to Thee.

Closing Song: Tell out my soul