Preaching Christ Crucified The Ministry and Message of Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified - the Sum of the Gospel Sun, 03 Dec 2017 04:14:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Groanings in the Spirit Sun, 03 Dec 2017 00:48:11 +0000 Continue reading

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”Romans 8:26-27 

Preaching Christ CrucifiedIn the shadow of the holiness of God, not only do we realize our weakness in worship, but we also recognize our ignorance in prayer. He is the sovereign God, ruling and reigning over all. He is omniscient, knowing all things. How can we possibly pray in situations and circumstances that are not specifically written in scripture? Oh, what a blessed comfort it is to each one of us to know that the Holy Spirit groans without utterance to intercede for us! 

SIDE NOTE: This is NOT a proof text for some kind of spiritual gibberish that some people want to call “speaking in tongues.” I don’t believe they can be uttered because this is holy communication between the three Persons of the Trinity. Furthermore, the Spirit is making intercession for countless souls simultaneously. Finally, since the text itself says that they are “groanings which cannot be uttered,” in other words, they are “unspeakable sighs,” that just doesn’t make any kind of sense that we would attempt to speak an “unknown language” when the Spirit Himself is not even speaking. 

As Jesus Christ makes continual intercession for our salvation unto the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25), the Holy Spirit also intercedes on our behalf. The Spirit’s prayers provide that work in us toward our perseverance as it is written, “that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). The Holy Spirit’s prayers are perfect, proper and powerful. 

And through this heavenly communication, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). This is one of the reasons why all things work together for good; it is because God is at work with unutterable groaning until that day when Christ Jesus comes.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 8:18-27,Hoping in the Spirit,” on January 10, 2010 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series, Christian Groanings (Romans 8:23-25).

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Christ Feared Not the Flesh Wed, 10 May 2017 18:06:26 +0000 Continue reading

Here’s my devotional thought from one of the verses I considered, pulled from one of today’s portions of the R. M. M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule.

In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” Psalm 56:4

Bible Devotions

The flesh, in itself, is weak in comparison to the truth and power of the heavenly and spiritual. The Lord Jesus declared such a truth Himself when He said, “…the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41).

Although Jesus was perfect Man in His incarnation, He did not take the flesh for granted. His flesh was susceptible to temptations in all points, just as we are, yet He did not sin because He surrendered His trust to the heavenly Father, not to temptation (Heb 4:15).

Jesus did not fear His humanity for He subdued it by praise for God’s Word (I will praise his word) through submission to God (In God); moreover, He placed His trust completely in God by submission to Him (in God I have put my trust), which is really an emphatic redundancy. Why? God is getting the reader’s attention with this repetition in submission.

The power of praise is saturated in God’s Word, found within God’s Word and comes from God’s Word (John 17:17). The strength of faith to trust in God is never divorced from God’s Word because it is empowered by God’s Word (Rom 10:17).

Filled with praise for God’s Word and full of trust for the God of the Word removed the fear of fallen men from Jesus as well (Psa 56:11). Since Adam’s fall, the flesh has lusted against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh (Gal 5:17). Men who are full of lusting flesh will arrogantly parade a false praise for God’s Word, only to defy the Living Word, Jesus Christ, and seek to destroy Him (Matt 27:1; Mark 3:6). Yet, Jesus feared not these presumptuous religionists.

If Jesus, who was perfect in His humanity, must subdue the flesh by praise in God’s Word and trust in the God of the Word, how much more should we pursue the same since we are imperfect descendants of fallen flesh.

Jesus, perfect Man and holy:
Yet, His flesh did not lead.
The Word He prais’d said Calvary
Was where He’d die and bleed

Our flesh is fickle and corrupt,
Against the spirit lusts:
Yet, vic’try’s ours when God’s Word’s prais’d
And in the Lord we trust

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

5/10 Reading Portions: Num 19; Psa 56-57; Isa 8-9:7; Jas 2

Get a free copy of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule by Clicking Here.

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Christ’s Burial Tue, 02 May 2017 15:46:15 +0000 Continue reading

Here’s my devotional thought from one of the verses I considered, pulled from one of today’s portions of the R. M. M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule.

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD. The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.”Numbers 9:10-11

Bible DevotionsA year had passed since the children of Israel had been freed from their bondage in Egypt on the fourteenth day of the first month, the month Abib (Num 9:1; Ex 12:2, 18; Ex 13:4). Certain men came to Moses desiring to know what to do about observing the Passover since they were defiled, ceremonially unclean, because they had buried the body of a man who had died (Num 9:6-8).

The LORD allowed those defiled by the dead body to keep the Passover by observing it a month later on the fourteenth day of the second month, known to the Jews as Pesach Sh’niy (פסח שני ), or the “Second Passover.”

This  provision was set forth in God’s sovereign providence in order to create a situation which would foreshadow and necessitate the burial of the Lord, Jesus Christ, more than 1,500 years later. This provision allowed Nicodemus and Josephus to take the body of our crucified Savior and place it in the unused tomb (John 19:38-42), fulfilling not only Numbers 9:6-11, it also fulfilled Isaiah 53:9, as well as several other passages.

This episode, and also from our other readings today, present unto us insights into the intricate workings of law and grace.

Certainly, there is only One who has kept the Law of Moses and fulfilled God’s holy commands, Jesus Christ. He is the only One who could keep them perfectly and gloriously in thought, word and deed.

Yet, our response to God’s holy commands is a response to God’s grace and mercy, by faith (Jas 2:17).

We see God’s tremendous love in His Son, Jesus Christ, and being saved by His grace unto eternal life, Christ declares of us, “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes” (Song 7:1), feet which are now “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15).

Therefore, because we are cleansed by the wine of His blood (Heb 9:22), freed from wrath by the propitiation in His sufferings (1 Jn 2:2), and granted eternal life by His incarnation and death (Rom 5:17), we hear, by the wind of the Holy Spirit (John 3:8; 15:26), the love the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, declares for His beloved bride (Song 7:1-9).

The love of Jesus Christ declared, in His life and substitutionary death, heard by those of faith (possessing beautiful feet shod with gospel shoes, Song 7:1), produces a response from the faithful (Song 7:10-13).

We certainly cannot perfectly keep or fulfill the Law. It would be the acme of foolishness to try. The best of our works, prayers, devotions, preaching, fellowship and worship unto God are filled with enough corruptions from our flesh, we must repent of them and confess them by the cleansing blood of Jesus Messiah (1 Jn 1:8-10).

Nevertheless, by God’s sovereign grace and in His perfect love, we respond as Christ’s precious possession (Song 7:10). We do not go forth in the world alone because He abides with us and dwells in us (Song 7:11). Our devotion to Him arises early in the morning and flourishes (Song 7:12). Moreover, His sacrifice, as sweet as the fragrance of mandrakes, is everywhere in our lives, producing the fruit of gospel works in our comings and goings, and these works are stored in heaven for Christ’s glory and exaltation (Song 7:13).

When one seeks, even strains, to produce fruit from the Law of Moses, it actually turns its back on faith in Christ’s sufficient work and holy character; yet, on the other hand, when we rejoice in the truth of the One who has kept and fulfilled the Law of Moses perfectly, the abiding presence of Jesus Christ produces in us loving devotion to Him, which brings forth fruit because He, Jesus Messiah, cannot be unfruitful.

The only reason we can work out our own salvation with trembling reverence (Phil 2:12) is because Jesus has worked into us His own glory (Phil 2:5-11). The only reason Jesus has worked into us His glory is because we sought Him with all our heart and found Him (Song 5:8; Jer 29:13). The only reason we would seek Him at all is because we have been saved by His amazing grace, for He sought us first (Isa 65:1-2; Rom 3:11; 10:20; 1 Jn 4:19).

May the gospel truth of Jesus Christ be buried deep within our souls.

The gospel is the heart and soul
Of children saved by grace;
Works spring forth from its fragrant smell
Its witness is its place

Men’s good works testify of Christ
For holy is our God:
Yet, they must come by gospel truth
Or on Christ’s blood we trod

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

5/2 Reading Portions: Num 9; Psa 45; Song 7; Heb 7

Get a free copy of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule by Clicking Here.

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Christ, a Byword and Laughingstock Mon, 01 May 2017 15:36:14 +0000 Continue reading

Here’s my devotional thought from one of the verses I considered, pulled from one of today’s portions of the R. M. M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule.

Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.”Psalm 44:14

Bible Devotions

During His examination, Jesus Christ was a byword, an incompressible conundrum, to Pontius Pilate (Mark 15:5). At His crucifixion, Jesus was a byword, a mysterious parable, to the Roman soldiers (Luke 23:36).

Moreover, Jesus was mocked, shamed, ridiculed and made a laughingstock by the Jews: “And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God” (Luke 23:35).

Jesus Christ is very God and these things happened to Him. Can we be so vain or foolish to think we would escape what He endured? Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). Therefore, we shouldn’t be amazed by the ridicule we receive (1 Jn 3:13).

Moreover, if we persevere, by God’s grace, to live devoted to Jesus Christ, doctrinally instructed by God’s Word, and dutifully active in gospel works unto the Father’s glory, we may even experience the shaking of the head among people who profess to be saved.

Understanding this helps us to renew our minds (Rom 12:2; Col 3:10): and with renewed minds, conforming to the reality we have been made new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17), and therefore, our prayers may be shaped with greater alignment to God’s will (1 Cor 4:15; Eph 5:15-17), and our actions may be determined by greater illumination of God’s Word (Jas 1:25).

Jesus was a byword
Among the uninformed;
To those who knew the Word,
They also cast their scorn.

Christ’s disciples should not
Expect nothing less than
Ridicule and mocking
Just like the Son of Man

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

5/1 Reading Portions: Num 8; Psa 44; Song 6; Heb 6

Get a free copy of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule by Clicking Here.

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Christ is Altogether Lovely Sun, 30 Apr 2017 19:19:32 +0000 Continue reading

Here’s my devotional thought from one of the verses I considered, pulled from one of today’s portions of the R. M. M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule.

His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”Song of Solomon 5:16

Bible DevotionsAs the Son of man, Jesus Christ was sufficient in, of and by Himself. He was holy as God’s Messiah and possessed perfect humanity as a the Man from heaven. God the Father did not desire Him to bring sacrifices and offerings t

We recognize the physical appearance of Jesus Christ during His incarnation was, according to scripture, plain and indistinguishable: “…he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isa 53:2). So indistinguishable among His disciples was the Lord, in fact, He must be pointed out with a kiss, a common eastern greeting, to be distinguished among a zealot, tax collector and a gaggle of Galilean fishermen (Matt 26:48).

The Song of Solomon expresses its spiritual counterpart, poetically and beautifully. Though Jesus Christ had “no form nor comeliness” and “no beauty,” He is “altogether lovely” to those who know Him and love Him; that is, to the bride of Christ.

To those other than the bride of Christ, they know not Jesus Christ and must receive a description from His espoused beloved (Song 5:9).

Here is the bride’s answer:

Song 5:10, Jesus is pure in righteousness (white), red by His shed blood in sacrifice (ruddy), and holy, separate and distinguishable from any other (the chiefest among ten thousand).

Song 5:11, Jesus leads His people from heaven (head is as the most fine gold) and the beauty of His provision is found in the supply of God (his locks are bushy, and black as a raven), just as Elijah was fed by the ravens at the brook (1 Ki 17:4-6).

Song 5:12, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, views His kingdom from heaven above and sends forth the Holy Spirit to minister to His people (eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters), with abounding promises (washed with milk), which are precisely crafted as a jeweler setting precious gems (and fitly set).

Song 5:13, Christ’s presence is a sweet fragrance (cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers); moreover, His words are beautiful to behold (his lips like lilies) and powerfully sweet when understood, especially as it pertains to His atoning death (dropping sweet smelling myrrh).

Song 5:14, Every action of Jesus is ordained in heaven (hands are as gold rings), both precious and beautiful (set with beryl). His humanity is pure and glorious (his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphire).

Song 5:15, The Lord’s walk and stance is unwavering and ordained in heaven (legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold); and His glorious presence hovers high above all men, providing shade and repose for His people and resources for His people to further the kingdom (countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars).

Song 5:16, The words of Jesus are the most savory (mouth is most sweet), moreover, the scriptures reveal His beauty and majesty (yea, he is altogether lovely).

Truly, “This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”o the brazen altar in Jerusalem’s temple. Neither did God require it of His Son.

Christ is our beloved Savior,
Not beautiful by sight;
Yet, in Spirit, His beauty’s more
Lofty than highest height.

 Jesus, very God, yet human;
Describ’d in heav’nly song,
Reveal’d in holy acumen
To those, in Him belong.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

4/30 Reading Portions: Num 7; Psa 42-43; Song 5; Heb 5

Get a free copy of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule by Clicking Here.

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Christ’s Sufficiency Sat, 29 Apr 2017 16:48:26 +0000 Continue reading

Here’s my devotional thought from one of the verses I considered, pulled from one of today’s portions of the R. M. M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule.

Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.”Psalm 40:6

As the Son of man, Jesus Christ was sufficient in, of and by Himself. He was holy as God’s Messiah and possessed perfect humanity as a the Man from heaven. God the Father did not desire Him to bring sacrifices and offerings to the brazen altar in Jerusalem’s temple. Neither did God require it of His Son.

MeditationsUntil He hung upon the cross, the Lord Jesus enjoyed perfect, intimate, unbroken, and unbridled fellowship with His heavenly Father, a fellowship far deeper, wider, longer and higher than any man, including Adam before the fall, has ever experienced, or can ever imagine. Moreover, the sound of God’s voice was ever in Christ’s ear.

Then, at Calvary’s cross, when Jesus suffered separation from that intimate fellowship (Matt 27:46; Psa 22:1), when He drank down the cup of God’s holy wrath to the dregs (Psa 75:8), the sacrifice and offering of Himself for the sins of God’s people was sufficient to restore fellowship with God to those who would receive its truth by faith alone (Eph 2:8-9).

In the truest and fullest sense, God never desired or required sacrifices from mankind after the fall of Adam. Yes, although the sacrifices were commanded by God, they were only foreshadows of Christ’s sacrifice to come, for “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb 10:4). Faith in God was the issue behind the sacrifices offered through the blood of animals, and even for those meal and grain offerings ordained in God’s Law (Heb 11:4)

The Lord Jesus is sufficient
To save and sanctify;
His sacrifice was whole, complete,
When dying He did cry,

 “It is finished!” O, what glory!
Son of God, Son of man;
We’re made partakers of His story,
Heirs eternal of God’s plan;
Bless’d receivers of God’s plan!

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

4/29 Reading Portions: Num 6; Psa 40-41; Song 4; Heb 4

Get a free copy of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule by Clicking Here.

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Christ’s Sorrow was Stirred Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:48:09 +0000 Continue reading

Here’s my devotional thought from one of the verses I considered, pulled from one of today’s portions of the R. M. M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule.

I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.”Psalm 39:2 

The Holy of holies of the Hebrew scriptures, Isaiah 53, speaks of God’s Messiah as His suffering Servant, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isa 53:3).

Yet, what did it really mean for Jesus, our Lord, to be the “Man of sorrows, and well acquainted with grief”? Although we might much acknowledge the sorrow and grief of the Master as declared in scripture, have we truly given time over to meditate on what the only perfect Man was troubled by, sorrowed over and grieved about? David’s psalm presents one of the great pictures of the thoughts of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, in the last hours of his life upon earth, especially as it deals with the sorrows of His soul.

MeditationsThe Lord Jesus remained silent when He was arrested and stood accused before the high priest (Matt 26:63). He held His “peace, even from good;” He did not defend Himself “while evil was before [Him]” (Psa 39:1), in the form of conspirators (Matt 12:14) and false witnesses (Matt 26:60).

Christ’s way was the cross, so for Him to speak in His defense and for His vindication would have been sinful. He must, by God’s eternal decree, stand as the guilty one, though He was innocent of all wrong; therefore, Jesus said within His soul, “I will take heed to My ways, that I sin not with My tongue” (Psa 39:1).

While the Lord’s heart burned with passion for souls, He thought of His Father’s will above all, even while Simon Peter warmed himself at a fire (Psa 39:3a; Jn 18:18). When the high priest finally adjured Jesus “by the living God” (Matt 26:63), the Messiah spoke (Psa 39:3b).

When He did finally speak of His glory (Matt 26:64), the high priest tore his garments and condemned God’s Messiah of blasphemy (Matt 26:65), and Jesus of Nazareth was made to ponder His “end, and the measure of [His] days,”  and although He is, was, and ever more shall be eternal God, He considered the frailty of His humanity and His “days as a handbreadth” (Psa 39:4-5a).

As knowledgeable of the scriptures the scribes, Pharisees, and high priest may have been, and despite Adam’s being created perfect and placed in the middle of Eden, “verily, every man at his best state is altogether vanity” (Psa 39:5b) and, apart from the grace of God through faith in His Messiah, “every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them” (Psa 39:6).

The time had come for Jesus to go to the cross: not ahead of His heavenly Father’s perfect schedule, neither behind (Psa 39:7)…

…so Jesus Christ, as eternal and sinless Messiah, continued in perfect sinlessness when He accepted His people’s transgressions as His own, seeking deliverance only by the God’s holy Word,,, and by the Father’s glorious vindication (Psa 39:8).

And again, before Pontius Pilate, Jesus said nothing because this was God’s plan (Psa 39:9; Mk 15:5), and it was for this purpose Jesus came into the world (Jn 18:37).

Upon the cross, Jesus sought no deliverance from His sufferings except by the hands of His heavenly Father (Psa 39:10; Lk 23:46).

Sin consumes man, to make him melt away (Psa 39:11); so Christ Jesus, in our stead, received God’s correction for the sins of His people; moreover, what was most precious to Christ— sweet and intimate fellowship with His heavenly Father— was consumed in Him like a moth lighting upon an open flame: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46; Psa 22:1).

Consumed in soul, desolate of deep communion with God the Father, and utterly dry of the refreshment which comes only from the living water of the Spirit’s intimate abiding, as perfect Man, the Messiah prayed a deep prayer in His heart (Psa 39:12-13), yet uttered it simply from His mouth, and said, “I thirst” (Jn 19:28).

Ponder My plight, Christ says to us,
From scripture deep and wide;
Vast and glorious are God’s ways
In Jesus crucified.

Every truth of God’s Messiah
Stirs our souls to treasure
Who Jesus is and what He’s done
In joy without measure.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

4/28 Reading Portions: Num 5; Psa 39; Song 3; Heb 3

Get a free copy of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s “Daily Bread” Bible Reading Schedule by Clicking Here.

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Christian Groanings Sat, 09 Jul 2016 05:01:36 +0000 Continue reading

“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”Romans 8:23-25

Preaching Christ Crucified - Romans CommentaryNot only does the creation groan (Romans 8:19-22), but we also groan and sigh within ourselves when, through the process of sanctification, we walk after the Spirit; and as we surrender to Him, we receive increasing revelations from the Holy Spirit that the true worshippers of God must worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for He seeks such to worship Him (John 4:23-24). And although we grow in grace and are strengthened in faith as God purifies us and sanctifies us through experience, we realize more and more that we still have these bodies of mortal flesh; and that the very best of our worship must be repented of because it is stained with sin. In the presence of His holiness, because we are adopted sons and daughters in Christ, we have access to the Holiest of all; yet, that glimpse causes us to see even more of our fallen flesh, more of our corruptions, and therefore, we groan, as it were, like Isaiah did when He saw the Lord high and lifted up: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

Yet, accompanying the revelation of my weakness, my imperfections, and my infirmities, God’s abounding grace shines upon me with that absolute certain hope of glory: a hope that tells us that a day is coming when I may worship the Father in perfect spirit and in glorious, glorified truth, unhindered, unhampered, and unrestrained by mortal corruption. For “in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11).

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 8:18-27,Hoping in the Spirit,” on January 10, 2010 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series, Creation Groans (Romans 8:19-22).

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Creation Groans Mon, 27 Jun 2016 02:01:26 +0000 Continue reading

“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”Romans 8:19-22

Here, the apostle presents a rather poetic expression of the incredible greatness of the glory to come; this glory that can in no way be compared or diminished by the sufferings mentioned in the Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Preaching Christ Crucified - Romans CommentaryThe “creature” (Romans 8:19) can, and probably should, be translated “creation,” referring to the whole created universe. This is the same Greek word (κτισις) used in Romans 8:20, 21, & 22. This “creation” refers to the world and its creatures, both of whom Adam had dominion over, but since Adam’s fall, the creation “was made subject to vanity, not willingly” (Romans 8:20). It became “without form and void” (Genesis 1:2) through the fall of man, subject to the curse of sin; and though the plants and animals are living things, they do not have reason, nor was a willing rebellion employed by the plants and animals to bring them to the condition in which they now exist; that is, it was not by their own doing that the curse was upon them, “for as in Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Yet, when the Lord Jesus returns, and those who God has saved in Christ are glorified, there will be new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3; Revelation 21). It is written in Isaiah 65:17, 25,

17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind….
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

The creation will be delivered from its bondage of corruption when Christ returns unto “the glorious [liberation] of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). Liberated from what? Why, from these mortal bodies, of course, as it is written, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53).

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). This verse can be translated, “For we know that every creature sighs together and labors in birth pains together until now.” And though we can translate this verse as “every creature,” the phrase “whole creation” is also an excellent translation from the three Greek words, πασα η κτισις.

Are these groans literal? Do we hear plants, grass, and trees groaning? Are we groaning with them? No. It is a rather poetic expression of the anguish that all of creation is experiencing until the return of Christ. Since the fall, the planet has been in anguish and continues with increasing frequency and intensity just like labor pains in child birth; and will do so until the second coming of the Lord.

There is great hope, however, because of the words “until now” in this verse of scripture. This anguish and travailing pain has been going on for some 6,000 years “until now.” Our sufferings (Romans 8:18) cannot compare with the eternal weight of glory; and not only that, those sufferings are light and momentary (2 Corinthians 4:17).

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 8:18-27,Hoping in the Spirit,” on January 10, 2010 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series, The Sufferings of the Children of God (Romans 8:18).

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The Church: Why Bother? Review Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:52:15 +0000 Continue reading

“The chief and sole goal of the church is to bring glory to God. Yet, glorifying God cannot happen without holiness, and holiness cannot exist apart from the truth.” —Chap. 3, para. 1, Kindle Location 540 (pg. 47, paperback)

The Church: Why Bother?In early 2007, a book was released by an Emergent (or Emerging) Church pastor titled, THEY LIKE JESUS BUT NOT THE CHURCH: INSIGHTS FROM EMERGING GENERATIONS. From a title like this, it’s clear he (and others) hasn’t a clue what the church is all about, what scripture says about what the church is and what it is not, what is the gospel, and what is Biblical Christianity. Imagine this scenario: You invite me to your home, I arrive with my lovely wife, Lisa, in tow, and when I get to your door you tell me, “You can come in, pastor, but I don’t like your wife. She’s not welcome here.” There are certainly gatherings of people calling themselves a “church” of Jesus Christ that do not reflect the behavior or resemble the Biblical picture of what is, in gospel truth, the beloved bride of Christ. Come on people, we’ve all read Matthew 7:21-23, haven’t we? Yet, to portray the true church of Jesus Christ, with the kind of perspective presented in the aforementioned book title, though pervasive today, is altogether wrong doctrinally misinformed at best and hateful, unbiblical and unchristian at worse. Hard words, I know, yet words needing to be said regardless of toes and feelings.

This is why a book like Pastor Johnson’s THE CHURCH: WHY BOTHER? is an important blessing for American Christianity today. It is a must read for anyone professing Biblical faith in Jesus Christ, in my humble opinion.

Although Jeff’s tongue is firmly pressed into his cheek in his chapter titles, he is sober and serious when it comes to the glory of God, the exaltation of Jesus Christ, and the holiness of Christ’s beloved and precious church. As a master builder under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Johnson dispels the untruths with surgeon-like precision and builds upon the sure foundation of Jesus Christ.

It is a book I whole-heartedly recommend, not only to Christian believers, but also to church leaders as a standard for membership. As a pastor myself, I’m so very happy to have the convenience of this book in Kindle eBook form as we have already begun incorporating THE CHURCH: WHY BOTHER? into our membership curriculum. The questions at the end of each chapter make this little volume excellent for use in Bible studies and membership classes.

I read this eBook on my Galaxy S6 (Android phone), as well as on my desktop and laptop. It is formatted well and the endnotes are hyperlinked so as to view the references easily and return to the exact point of reading.

My only misgiving about the book is that there is currently no accompanying workbook and an audio version would be a blessing to some of those in our congregation who are visually impaired (politically correct way of saying “blind as a bat”).

For the week October 19, 2015 through October 23, 2015, the Kindle eBook, which is regularly $4.49, will be a ridiculously low 99 cents.


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