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Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

 

Establish the need: Who made it possible that we can pray to God?

 

Purpose: Today we shall see three points concerning how Jesus is the one who made it possible we can pray.

  • God does not hear the prayer of the unrighteous
  • Jesus made it possible we can go to God
  • Our prayers are done in Jesus’ name

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Our “This Sunday” series will be another a Corona Virus edition.  For this Sunday here’s what you can do: Pray for Justice for the Land.

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RC Sproul. Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, January 17th 2017. 262 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

Evangelical Christians would say sinners can be saved by placing their faith in Christ apart from their own works yet is this doctrine biblical and also important?  The late Christian theologian and apologist RC Sproul answered these two questions and other related to it in his book Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification.  I received a copy of this book from Shepherd’s Conference for pastors, and then I saw a blogger friend shared a review of this book which prompted me to dig it up and read it.  I wasn’t disappointed; I was blessed to have read it!  What stood out to me is Sproul’s ability to handle with care what is Rome’s actual position and then accurately respond to its doctrines both biblically and theologically.  It is a good example of scholarship and also handling the opposition well.

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photo of child reading holy bible

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Objection to Prayer: If God is sovereign why pray?

Selected Verse

Establish the need: If God is sovereign why pray?

Purpose: Today we shall consider six points in answering the question: If God is sovereign why pray?

  1. Point 1: We need to affirm God is sovereign
  2. Point 2: We pray simply because prayer is commanded by God
  3. Point 3: Prayer requests presupposes God’s sovereignty
  4. Point 4: The question wrongly assumes prayer is just asking for things
  5. Point 5: Prayer doesn’t change God’s mind
  6. Point 6: Prayer changes our situation

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Note: Kind of late posting this, multiple things, last 24 hours has been crazy.

Purpose of Prayer

Selected Verse

Establish the need: Why do we pray?

 

Purpose: Today we shall see the purpose of prayer outlined as 3 “A”s so that we would pray purposefully today.

  • To Ascribe Glory to God
  • To Associate Relationally with God
  • To Ask for God’s Benefits for us

 

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A late post today since after my lectures last night I just couldn’t type up a post!  Ever have one of those days?

Charles H. Spurgeon. Free Will a Slave.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, December 3rd 2018. 18 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

In 2016 I read quite a number of works by the famous English preacher Charles Spurgeon and since then I have desired to read more of his work though sadly I haven’t been able to read any of his works until now in 2020.  This booklet is Spurgeon’s defense of Calvinism by responding to John 5:40 which some Arminians in his day thought it was “one of the great guns of the Arminians” which I’m quoting from Spurgeon in the opening sentences in his booklet.  What Spurgeon aim to show in this booklet is how John 5:40 is actually a support for Calvinism instead.

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For today’s post we will tackle the question the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: Did John the Baptist recognize Jesus as the Son of God?

Here are the answers which the skeptic believes indicate a Bible contradiction:

Yes, he recognized him immediately.

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” 32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not recognize [d]Him, but He who sent me to baptize [e]in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes [f]in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”” (John 1:29-34)

No, he still wasn’t sure when he was in prison.

Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”” (Matthew 11:2-3)

Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?”” (Luke 7:19)

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

Here’s a closer look at whether or not there is a contradiction:

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Psalm 118 in Jesus’ last week

Psalm 118

 

Establish the need: Have you ever heard of the song, “This is the day that the LORD has made”?

 

Purpose: To marvel at this Messianic prophecies of Christ’s last week.

  1. Psalm 118:26 on Palm Sunday
  2. Psalm 118:22-23 mentioned by Jesus during the week
  3. Psalm 118:22-24 on that DAY

 

Reminder:

  • The last twenty four hours Jesus sang according to Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26.[1]
  • This would have been Psalms 113-118.
  • That is because the Jews sang Psalms 113-118 during the Passover.
  • Psalms 113-118 was called the “Hallel” Psalms.[2]
  • The Jews sang Psalm 113-114 before the Passover meal and afterwards they sang Psalm 115-118.[3]
    These songs would have been the Scriptures that Jesus have thought about as He was the worship leader for the Passover meal that was His Last Supper with His followers before He would be crucified the next day.
  • Yet these would minister to Him and therefore also minister to us!

Background

  • This is a Hillel Psalm; The Jews would have read Psalm 113-118 during the three major religious holiday: Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacle.  Psalm 118 would have been the last Psalm read.
  • The part of verse we are reading in, is a bit different because of the shift of the subject of the “stone.”

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Note: This is a guest post since presently I am busy today teaching class online for seminary students overseas.  This is by Robert Chamberlain.  His blog be found here, here and here!  Yes he blogs in three places!  Go check out his page and give his blogs a follow!

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 4:2‭-‬6 NIVUK

https://bible.com/bible/113/col.4.2-6.NIVUK

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In my post I have already shown that there is not a logical contradiction between Matthew 8:28 pitted against Mark 5:12 and Luke 8:26-27 which mentioned there are two men and one man Jesus healed respectively.

A sister in the Lord asked a follow up question:

What then is the significance of Matthew saying 2 versus Mark and Luke saying “a man”? Since most details in God’s Word have a reason or significance behind it, I’m wondering if there’s a deeper meaning/reason behind why each account mentioned the number the way they did?

I don’t think this is easy to answer.  Still I think its a fruitful exercise to consider the question by examining more deeper the Scriptures.  I will first make some observations and close with some thoughts on its significance.

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For this week’s “Wee-kids” Wednesdays here’s a review of a Christian children’s book.

 

Elena Pasquali. On That Easter Morning.  Oxford, UK: Lion Hudson Limited, January 24, 2020. 32 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Are you looking for a children’s picture and story book on the Bible’s account of Jesus’ death and resurrection?  This is one that’s worth your time and money.

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Christ and the Cup of Salvation

Psalm 116 

Establish the need: Have you ever hear people mock with “Where, now, is their God?”

Purpose: When we see others mock where is God we must continue to trust in God for two reasons:

  • Response to God (v.1-2)
    • The Messiah’s lowly experience (v.3-8)
    • The Messiah’s future hope (v.9-15)
  • Response to God (v.16-19)

 

Reminder:

  • The last twenty four hours Jesus sang according to Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26.[1]
  • This would have been Psalms 113-118.
  • That is because the Jews sang Psalms 113-118 during the Passover.
  • Psalms 113-118 was called the “Hallel” Psalms.[2]
  • The Jews sang Psalm 113-114 before the Passover meal and afterwards they sang Psalm 115-118.[3]
    These songs would have been the Scriptures that Jesus have thought about as He was the worship leader for the Passover meal that was His Last Supper with His followers before He would be crucified the next day.
  • Yet these would minister to Him and therefore also minister to us!

The Hallel Psalms broken down:[4]

 

Corporate Psalms                                            Personal

Praise                     113                                         116

Call to Nations     114                                           117

Praise                     115                                         118

 

Psalms 113-115 never uses “I, me, my.”[5]

But Psalms 116-118 uses “I, me, my” 72 times.[6]

Thus we are going to begin to see salvation described in very personal terms

Also the Psalm applies to all Christians but is especially relevant for Christ as He read and sang it.[7]

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Christ, Mockers and Eternal Life

Psalm 115

Establish the need: Have you ever hear people mock with “Where, now, is their God?”

 

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your [a]truth. 2 Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?” 3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; 6 They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; 7 [b]They have hands, but they cannot feel; [c]They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat. 8 Those who make them [d]will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them. 9 O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. 10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. 11 You who [e]fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. 12 The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron. 13 He will bless those who [f]fear the Lord, The small together with the great. 14 May the Lord give you increase, You and your children. 15 May you be blessed of the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth. 16 The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, But the earth He has given to the sons of men. 17 The dead do not praise [g]the Lord, Nor do any who go down into silence; 18 But as for us, we will bless [h]the Lord From this time forth and forever. Praise [j]the Lord!

 

Purpose: When we see others mock where is God we must continue to trust in God for two reasons:

  • Trust God because He is gloriously at work (v.1-8)
  • Trust God because He remembers us (v.9-18)

Reminder:

  • The last twenty four hours Jesus sang according to Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26.[1]
  • This would have been Psalms 113-118.
  • That is because the Jews sang Psalms 113-118 during the Passover.
  • Psalms 113-118 was called the “Hallel” Psalms.[2]
  • The Jews sang Psalm 113-114 before the Passover meal and afterwards they sang Psalm 115-118.[3]
    These songs would have been the Scriptures that Jesus have thought about as He was the worship leader for the Passover meal that was His Last Supper with His followers before He would be crucified the next day.
  • Yet these would minister to Him and therefore also minister to us!

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Christ and the Anticipation of Deliverance

Psalm 114

Purpose: In this study we shall see two points to be at awe with God with His deliverance.

  1. Be at awe with God’s deliverance in the Old Testament (v.1-3)
  2. Be at awe with God’s deliverance anticipating Christ (v.4-8)

 

Situating Psalm 114

  • The last twenty four hours Jesus sang according to Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26.[1]
  • This would have been Psalms 113-118.
  • That is because the Jews sang Psalms 113-118 during the Passover.
  • Psalms 113-118 was called the “Hallel” Psalms.[2]
  • The Jews sang Psalm 113-114 before the Passover meal and afterwards they sang Psalm 115-118.[3]
    These songs would have been the Scriptures that Jesus have thought about as He was the worship leader for the Passover meal that was His Last Supper with His followers before He would be crucified the next day.
  • Yet these would minister to Him and therefore also minister to us!

 

Note: This is not an easy Psalm to divide.  Charles Spurgeon said “I did not interrupt the reading of the Psalm by any exposition. It is a perfect whole, and could not well be divided without spoiling it.” [4]

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Christ and the Anticipation of A Great Reversal

Psalm 113

Establishing the Need: Have you ever wonder Scripture Jesus would have read the night before He would die on the Cross for our sins?  If you are just tuning in to our series this week you might to begin here: Why Study Psalms 113-118 Concerning the Last Week of Jesus’ Life?

 

Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord. 2 Blessed be the name of the Lord From this time forth and forever. 3 From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the Lord is to be praised. 4 The Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens. 5 Who is like the Lord our God, Who is enthroned on high, 6 Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth? 7 He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the needy from the ash heap, 8 To make them sit with princes, With the princes of His people. 9 He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!

 

Purpose: In this study we shall see three lessons from this Psalm for our times of trouble.

  • Be encouraged since God’s name will be praised from now to eternity (v.1-3)
  • Be encouraged since no one is like our God (v.4-6)
  • Be encouraged since God reserves things (v.7-9)

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