For all of you with children, this will make you laugh. For those who teach children about God and His gospel on Sunday mornings, you might even laugh harder. Without further ado, the always creative and hilarious Tim Hawkins…
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Saint, do you feel condemned with oppression today for your sin and shortcomings by voices of demonic condemnation? The only cure is gospel truth! Read the fantastic quote below, look up the verses, and sing this song – drowning out the serpent’s words with that final and authoritative Word from God to you: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8.1).
On the basis of the description of in Rev. 12:9-21 and the description of Satan in Job 1:6-11; 2:1-6; Zech. 3:1-2, it can be concluded that the devil was permitted by God to have a place in the heavenly court as a [lawyer] to “accuse” God’s people of sin. The OT texts portray Satan accusing saints of unfaithfulness, with the implication that they did not deserve God’s salvation and gracious blessings (Zech. 3:1-5, 9). Implicit also in the accusations was the charge that God’s own character was corrupt.
In light of Rev. 12:11 (“they overcame him [the devil] because of the blood of the Lamb”), the accusations mentioned in verse 10 appear to be directed against the illegitimacy of the saints’ participation in salvation. The devil’s accusation is based on the correct presupposition that the penalty of sin necessitates a judgment of spiritual death and not salvific reward. The charges are aimed against all saints who do not receive the deserved punishment. Until the death of Christ, it could appear that the devil had a good case, since God ushered all deceased OT saints into his saving presence without exacting the penalty of their sin. Satan was allowed to lodge these complaints because there was some degree of truth in the accusations. However, the devil’s case was unjust even before the death of Christ, since in part the sins about which he was accusing and for which he wanted to punish people were instigated by his deceptions.
The death and resurrection of Christ have banished the devil from this privileged place and prosecutorial role formerly granted him by God. This is because Christ’s death was the penalty that God exacted for the sins of all those who were saved by faith. The sinless Christ vicariously took on himself the wrath that was threatening saints so that they might be delivered from the final wrath to come. This meant that the devil no longer had any basis for his accusations against the saints, since the penalty that they deserved and for which he pleaded had at last been exacted in Christ’s death (see also Rom. 3:21-26). G.K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New (217)
Friday, August 15, 2014
I’m endeavoring to do a series on membership right now. It’s challenging. While one of the challenges for me as pastor is in the formation of the series, a greater challenge is what this series confronts in the heart of every evangelical Christian living in Western culture. One of those challenges I addressed at the beginning of my sermon last week. I quoted Paul David Tripp to highlight this concern. Take a few minutes to listen to this quote in Tripp's own words, and ask God to search your heart. I would also encourage you to listen to last week’s sermon if you were absent. It’s vital we at new3c are all on the same page during this series.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Have you ever gone through a season of life wherein you know God’s in control, but His providence feels cruel? You want answers, but none seem to come. You know what the Bible says, but your emotions quickly interpret your suffering as a cruel joke – making it hard not to pray in human angst and even anger, “God, why are You doing this to me? Why are you letting this happen?”
To be a Christ-follower means to have this experience multiple times in our journey to the Celestial City. For those in such a place now – and for future moments of this testing of your faith – I offer wisdom from a great pastor and reformer from church history.
“Sometimes the causes of the events [of life] are hidden. So the thought creeps in that human affairs turn and whirl at the blind urge of fortune; or the flesh incites us to contradiction, as if God were making sport of men by throwing them about like balls. It is, indeed, true that if we had quiet and composed minds ready to learn, the final outcome would show that God always has the best reason for his plan: either to instruct his own people in patience, or to correct their wicked affections and tame their lust, or to subjugate them to self-denial, or to arouse them from sluggishness; again, to bring low the proud, to shatter the cunning of the impious and to overthrow their devices. Yet however hidden and fugitive from our point of view the causes may be, we must hold that they are surely laid up with him, and hence we must exclaim with David: ‘Great, O God, are they wondrous deeds that thou hast done, and thy thoughts toward us cannot be reckoned; if I try to speak, they would be more than can be told’ [Ps. 40:5].”
He continues a short time later along these same lines…
“When dense clouds darken the sky, and a violent tempest arises, because a gloomy mist is caste over our eyes, thunder strikes our ears and all our senses are benumbed with fright, everything seems to us to be confused and mixed up; but all the while a constant quiet and serenity ever remain in heaven. So we must infer that, while the disturbances in the world deprive us of judgment, God out of the pure light of his justice and wisdom tempers and directs these very moments in the best-conceived order to a right end.” John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion: Volume 1 (211)