Wednesday, February 20, 2013

God's Grace

Here are some quotes I came across studying on Ephesians 2:1-10 today:

James Montgomery Boice: "When the Reformers spoke about grace alone, they were saying that sinners have no claim upon God, none at all; that God owes them nothing but punishment for their sins; and that, if he saves them in spite of their sin, which he does in the case of those who are being saved, it is only because it pleases him to do it and for no other reason.”

The New Hampshire Confession of faith reads: “We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on Him alone as the only and all sufficient Savior.”

Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals: “We reaffirm that in salvation we are rescued from God’s wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life. We deny that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our un-regenerated human nature.”

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Brick

William Barclay commenting on 1 Peter 2:1-12

"So long as a brick lies by itself it is useless; it becomes of use only when it is incorporated into a building. So it is with the individual Christian. To realize his destiny he must not remain alone, but must be built into the fabric of the church."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Just read this by JI Packer:

"As Hebrews 7-10 explains, God brought in an enhanced version of his one eternal covenant with sinners---a better covenant with better promises based on a better sacrifice offered by a better high priest in a better sanctuary, and guaranteeing a better hope than the former version of the covenant ever made explicit, that is, endless glory with God in "a better country---a heavenly one.""

What a great summary of our redemption---better!

As mama would say, "praise the Lord and bless his good name"

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Read the Bible for Life" by George Guthrie - Summary, Chapter 2

Since we did not meet last Wednesday evening for chapter 2 of the book Read the Bible for Life, I waited until this week to post the summary.

RTBFL - Chapter 2 - Reading the Bible in Context - January 29, 2013
Interview with Dr. Andreas Kostenberger

  1. Introduction
    1. Theme of our WBS: Reading the bible well for understanding, application, worship, obedience, and transformation into the image of Christ
    2. Last week: reading the bible as a guide for life
    3. Tonight: reading the bible in “context”
  2. What is “context”?
    1. “Context refers to the circumstances that form the setting for an event, a statement, or a written text, by which that event, statement, or text can be rightly understood.”
    2. In conversation with someone, we can understand rightly what someone is saying by the context of the conversation.
  3. Why is “context” important?
    1. The bible was not written in a vacuum. Written in a particular time, place, culture to a particular audience; yet, the bible is timeless truth for every time, place, culture and people.
    2. “Our understanding of the contexts in which God spoke His Word has a profound impact on the way we hear what God wishes to say to us through that Word.”
    3. Example: “hand” - use the word in different ways; context helps us understanding the meaning that is conveyed by the word
  4. What are the 4 types of “context” that are important in our reading & studying of the bible?
    1. Literary context
      1. words make up sentences; sentences make up paragraphs; paragraphs make up books; books make up the whole bible
      2. God chose to speak through words & sentences and through various types of literature------all of which is truth rightly understood, interpreted, & applied
      3. What kind of literature is it? Where does it fit? How does it function?
      4. Specifically it is looking at the words, sentences, and verses before and after a passage we are studying
      5. Example: Mark 4:35-5:1
    2. Cultural
      1. “Culture has to do with attitudes, patterns of behavior, or expressions of a particular society; and these are aspects of the ancient world that have an impact on our understanding of the bible”
        1. Ex: John 2 - the wedding at Cana - Jewish customs of weddings
        2. Ex. John 11 - Lazarus
    3. Historical
      1. Historical events, whether recorded in the bible (i.e., census at Jesus’ birth) or events outside that which is recorded in the bible (i.e., Emperor Nero) that form the backdrop for the biblical story
      2. importance of the broad sweep of “biblical history”
        1. Josephus; Apocryphal books (intertestament period)
    4. Theological
      1. How does a verse, passage, book fit into “the tapestry of theological themes in the story of the Bible”? How does the “part” fit into the “whole of the bible”?
        1. theological concepts in the NT almost always have a theological background in the OT (i.e., Passover lamb = Jesus)
      2. What does the story of the bible tells us about God, ourselves, and the world we live in-----all centered and flowing from God.
  5. Caution - be careful not to impose or read our “context” back into the bible; start w/ the bible and bring the biblical principles to bear into our culture; adjust ourselves to the scripture rather than seeking to adjust scripture to fit our culture
    1. i.e., defining marriage
  6. Objection to growing in our reading of the bible better (i.e., reading in context)
    1. “Why can’t I just read the bible and let the HS speak to me?” OR “Do I really need to go to the extra trouble?” “Isn’t that the pastor’s job?”
      1. “God gave His Word in particular times, places, and ways; and learning about those times, places, and ways helps us read the bible better.”
    2. Scriptural exhortations
      1. 2 Timothy 2:15
      2. Hebrews 5:11-14
  7. Tools to help us in our study
    1. Reading the bible regularly
    2. Asking questions about context while reading, listening to a sermon, etc.
    3. Get a good study bible - devotional study bibles; more theological study bibles; MacArthur Study Bible; ESV Study Bible; HCSB Study Bible)
    4. Bible dictionary
    5. Commentaries
    6. Internet (careful)