June 2010


Advertisements

I am saddened by the way that many professing believers present the gospel.  It usually falls into two categories: unclear or sloppy.  An example of the former is this, ‘I knew I was far from God and I needed him.’  While the latter sounds something like this, ‘God died for me.’  Both are true in a respect, but, they do not present the gospel. (Please refer back to my earlier posts on Greg Gilbert’s book What is the Gospel? for a clear explanation of the gospel).

Imagine my surprise when I realized that I was guilty of sloppiness in my articulation of the doctrine of the incarnation.  This morning I read this paragraph from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and was convicted of my lack of precision and the error that this can propagate.

But to me it seems always to be wise not to say that God became man.  That is a loose statement which we had better not use.  We often do say that, but believing as we do in the Persons of the Trinity, what we should say is that the second Person of the Trinity was made flesh and appeared as man.  If we merely say, ‘God became man’, then we may be saying something that is quite wrong, and if people believe something wrong as the result of our statement, we cannot really blame them. We must be particular and we must be specific and we should always be careful what we say…Jesus Christ has not been changed into a man; it is this eternal Person who has come in the flesh.  That is the right way to put it.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God the Father, God the Son, 256-57.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

Some of you know of John Wooden, some do not.  By all accounts, he was a devoted follower of Christ.  He passed away this weekend.  What made him so special?  Was it the twelve NCAA basketball national championships?  Or maybe the fact that he coached Lew Alcindor (Kareem-Abdul Jabar)?  Nope.  He was an amazing man because of his integrity and loyalty.   Take a few minutes to watch this report of Wooden’s never-stopping, never-giving up love he demonstrated towards his beloved wife.

 

…sin.

The opposite of mortifying sin (putting it to death) includes excusing sin, tolerating sin, or merely wounding sin by attempting to manage it.  Mortification is Holy Spirit-enabled conviction followed by repentance of sin, faith in God, worship of God, and perseverance in holiness so that sin remains dead and joy remains alive.

Mark Driscoll, Doctrine, 161

Sin hurts other people and grieves God, but it also corrodes us.  Sin is a form of self-abuse.

Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Not The Way It’s Supposed to Be, 124

When we sin as image bearers of God, we are saying to the whole creation, to all of nature under our dominion, to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field:  “This is how God is.  This is how your Creator behaves.  Look in his mirror; look at us, and you will see the character of the Almighty.”  We say to the world, “God is covetous; God is ruthless; God is bitter; God is a murderer, a thief, a slanderer, an adulterer.  God is all of these things that we are doing.”

R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, 116.

An Old Testament Dog!

I am reading Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears.  Currently, the subject is the Fall.  So, what did the Fall (Adam & Eve’s historical sin of rejecting God and His Word) give us?  Driscoll & Breshears offer an interesting reversal on the great exchange.

A respect for authority was replaced by rebellion.  A clear conscience was replaced by guilt and shame.  Blessing was replaced by physical, spiritual, and eternal punishment.  Viewing God as a friend to walk with was replaced by viewing him as an enemy to hide from.  Trust was replaced by fear.  Love was replaced by indifference and even hatred.  Intimacy with God was replaced by separation from God.  Freedom to obey God was replaced by enslavement to sin.  Honesty was replaced with lying and deceit.  Self-sacrifice was replaced by self-centeredness.  Peace was replaced by restlessness.  Responsibility was replaced by blaming.  Authenticity was replaced by hiding.

I have always viewed the Fall in terms of all of creation being infected or marred by sin.  The replacement theology of the Fall is more concrete.  It helps me to apply the doctrine of the Fall in my life.  For example, when I blame others, I am often rejecting God-given responsibility.  Or, my desire to hide from life issues is an assault on authenticity in my own life and character.

Sin impacts so much more than our eternal destiny.  It wages war against life as it is supposed to be lived.  No wonder Psalm 1 speaks of the blessedness of the man who avoids sin and trusts in the Word of the LORD.