Mar 7 2014

Forming Words

“Truly, truly, I say to you, (Transcendence)
the Son can do nothing of his own accord, (Hierarchy)
but only what he sees the Father doing. (Ethics)
For whatever the Father does, (Oath/Sanctions)
that the Son does likewise.” (Succession)
(John 5:19)

The premise that the entire text of the Bible has a common structure, one which operates at multiple levels, has many implications. Besides the fact that this is clearly a miracle, there is the question of why such a limitation would be placed upon the Words of God.

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Nov 11 2013

Offering Your Members

“The Lord’s Table is for dangerous people.”

If you are going to baptize infants, it makes sense that you would also allow them to take Communion. Baptism brings one into the priesthood (through the Laver) to the court of God, and Communion is fellowship in the priestly kingdom. To unite the two is consistent—as consistent as the two pillars flanking the threshold of Solomon’s Temple.

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Sep 24 2013

Q&A: Sin, Righteousness and Judgment

In John 16:7-11, we read:

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

What does it mean for the Spirit to “convict the world in regard to righteousness?” And what is the causal connection with Jesus going to the Father?

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May 23 2013

Seven Signs in John

Joe Rigney writes,

While Jesus clearly did many signs throughout his ministry (2:23; 6:2; 20:30), most scholars agree that there are seven signs that are emphasized in the Gospel of John, but only six are universally identified.

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Jan 8 2013

Bowing the Heavens – 2

In Born of the Spirit, Peter J. Leithart writes:

Alan Kerr (The Temple of Jesus’ Body: The Temple Theme in the Gospel of John (Library of New Testament Studies), 71) offers this comment on Jesus’ statement that Nicodemus had to be born of the Spirit before entering the kingdom: “It is almost universally accepted that Spirit here refers to the Spirit of God. But at this stage in the Gospel there was no Spirit (7:39), because Jesus was not yet glorified. It is not until Jesus is risen and appears to the disciples and breathes on them and says, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ that the Spirit is given (20:22). So from the point of view of Johannine timing what Jesus says to Nicodemus should only be realized in a post-resurrection setting. Properly speaking he can only be reborn from above when Jesus is glorified.”

This obviously affects the use of John 3:5 as a proof text for the doctrine of regeneration.

Is this support for the ‘giving of the Spirit’ in paedobaptism?

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Sep 4 2012

Do Not Weep

The Unexpected Luck of Widows’ Sons

A guest post by Luke Welch.

I’ve been reading The Hobbit again, out loud, to our children, and this time through, one phrase in the first chapter caught my attention.

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Aug 13 2012

End Begets Beginning

James Jordan maintains that Matthew’s Gospel was written first. Eugen Rosenstock-Huessey does too.

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Jun 21 2012

Genealogy and Mission

or Blood versus Water

They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham… You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.” (John 8:39, 44)

The theme of seed and fruit, or genealogy and mission, runs throughout the Bible. Genealogy is entirely objective. Our heredity is a factor in which we have no choice. It is the tree of life. But the fruit of our lives, what we choose to do with that life, involves our volition. Volition is mission. “It’s not about the hand you are dealt; it’s about how you play it.”

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Jun 19 2012

The Water and the Blood

or The New Commandment

1 John 5: 1-12   |   Sermon Notes   |   17 June 2012

Introduction

Jewish Christians were first opposed by unbelieving Jews, then by Jews who said they believed. This latter group are called “Judaizers,” and they were the false teachers whom the apostles condemn in their letters.

Not only did these men pervert the gospel by including adherence to the Law of Moses, they also failed to keep the commandments of Jesus. This was Pharisaism dressed up in Christianity, the old leaven carried into the new age. The Pharisees loved to control people, while they failed to control themselves. This is the context of John’s letters to Jewish Christians: despite their profession, these men would be exposed by their lack of of certain things in their character.

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May 11 2012

A New Covenant

Jesus’ words in John 14:23 follow the blueprint for His work in God’s people in the 40 years between AD30 and AD70.

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