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Archive for the ‘OT Studies’ Category

In light of this Advent season, as we are anticipating the second Advent of our Lord, it is important to note our role in His coming. As mentioned in the last post linking to 2 Peter 3, we are told that we can hasten the day of His coming. This is shocking to many Calvinists due to the fact that we have focused so heavily on the eternal counsel and decree of the Lord, that we have neglected to see the vast array of texts that seem to say we have a role in all of this. It is because of this undue weight on the predestinating character of God that Calvinists often get a little nervous with passages like when Abraham prays for Sodom and Gomorrah, or when Moses prays for Israel in Exodus 32, and the Lord seems to “change His mind,” or relent, from what was first proposed. (more…)

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Sabbath: A Holy Rest

Yesterday’s sermon was on the seventh day of creation.  After preaching the past several weeks from slightly different perspectives on how humanity is to work together to advance the kingdom of God on earth – or cultivate the Garden to make the whole earth the Garden, it is appropriate to discuss sabbath keeping.  Though, I do have to admit for whatever reason I didn’t talk as much about resting as I was planning on, but  I trust that the Lord used the sermon to instruct His people in the things they (we) needed to hear.

First, I looked at the seventh day of creation; it is important to see what it was that God rested from in order to understand our rest.  God certainly did not kick up in His lazy boy recliner and enjoy an afternoon game or nap.  Instead, He rested from His creative activities.  What He set out to create had been created.  But, He did continue to work in His providential and governing acts (see Psalm 121:3-4 or John 5:17).  So, God was still working, but it was a different sort of work than the other six (an important principle).  Because of this He blessed the seventh day and made it holy, or set it apart from the other six.

In Exodus 20, the commandment for God’s people to rest on the Sabbath is based on the seventh day of creation; whereas, in Deuteronomy 5 it is based on redemption, the Exodus.  But, there is much to be learned from looking at the Exodus 20 commandment and the seventh day.  And without going into too much detail at this point my main proposition for our rest was, and I will elaborate if time permits in the days to come: It is a different day to do a different work to show that God’s people are a different people with a different blessing looking toward a different end.

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After the service on Sunday I had the opportunity to talk with one member of the congregation. He mentioned that some of what was taught during the sermon actually went against one of the best sermons that he had ever heard. One of my main premises, as I have shown in other posts, was that we can’t fulfill God’s purposes for humanity and the world by ourselves – “it is not good that man be alone.” Thus, the image of a part of man, rib or side, being used to make woman, who is man’s suitable helper, shows that according to fulfilling purpose man was incomplete without woman – the two become one. What he had heard in the other sermon was that in marriage we approach it as two complete people in Christ. (Though often these statements reeks of American individualism, I understand what he was saying) (more…)

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Fearing the Lord

A friend from seminary has written a very helpful series on what it means to fear God.  Click here to read more…

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This week we looked at Genesis 1:28 (the Cultural Mandate), seeking to find out why it is that man was created. And the answer from the text seems to be to make the whole earth the Garden (the Kingdom of God, the Temple, the Sanctuary, etc). That everything that we have been given: gifts, talents, resources, relationships (this one will be developed more this upcoming week) is for the expansion of God’s Kingdom over the earth. (more…)

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In the sermon this week I mentioned that to rightly bear God’s image is to have proper relationship with the three major relationships of man: man-God, man-man, man-nature.  The image bearer, because he is made in God’s likeness, realizes that he/she was made to work God’s purposes, to worship Him, to do all for His glory.  Also, when one is rightly bearing God’s image, they are properly relating to one another, realizing that they need one another to work God’s purposes.  And as far as relating to nature, the image bearer will subdue and have dominion in a way that can rightly be called caring for and tending it (Genesis 2:15). (more…)

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This week we looked at what it means to bear God’s image.  Some of the main points I wanted to get across to the congregation was that we are the image of God, as is all humanity in a general sense.  Realizing that we are the image of God realizing a state of being; it is at the core of what it means to be human.  Then I mentioned that the kings, or emperors, of the ancient near East were thought to be the only one’s that bore the god’s image.  But in the Bible all humans bear God’s image, thus showing that we were created with great dignity; we are vice-rulers (of which the responsibilities we will look at in the upcoming weeks). (more…)

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