Showing posts from February, 2009


The keryx was an ancient Greek messenger. He was essentially the town crier. He was the source of news. Paul has the image of the keryx in mind in Romans 10. The follower of Christ is a keryx. We must carry the good news of the gospel into a world that is desperate for good news. As a keryx we should spread the news so that people have an opportunity to respond to it. We should embody our message. The gospel is an incarnational reality. As a keryx we should take care to get the message right. Finally we must answer the call of our King to spread the good news. Audio of Keryx

Spread the word. is now simply ! You no longer have to enter blogspot into the address. Thank you David C. for the suggestion. You owe me $9.99.

The History of Israel as Recorded in the Old Testament (SERMON AUDIO: Wednesday Teaching)

Critical to understanding the New Testament and especially a book like Romans is understanding Israel. Paul has their history, culture, and theology in mind in his writing. This teaching explores the history of Israel as recorded in the Old Testament. The following teaching will explore the history of Israel in what is commonly referred to as the intertestamental period. The final teaching will look at Israel in unfulfilled prophecy. Hopefully this background material will enrich your reading of the New Testament, in particular the Book of Romans. Listen to audio. Sermon slides and notes

Thinking Deeply About Participating in the Plan of God (Reading Romans 10:14-21)

“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.” Romans 10:19 Paul quoted Moses. In Deuteronomy 32:21 Moses sang a prophetic song that contained a stanza about how God would punish His wayward people. He told them that if they turned to idols which are foolish, empty gods, then God would turn to a people that Israel considered to be a foolish, ignorant people, the gentiles. If Israel turned to fools God would punish them by Himself turning to fools. As a gentile this does not bode well for my self-esteem but I am yet in awe that the wrath of God has resulted in my salvation. I am a fool for the grace of God, literally. Paul had critics. He was criticized for his gentile mission. If his gospel was of God then why would his focus not be on the Jews instead of the gentiles? Furthermore, if the gospel was the saving act of God why was it not working for the Jews but rather for the gentiles? Paul’s answer in Romans was that it was wor

The Problem of Unfulfilled Prophecy (Reading Romans 10:14-21)

“But I ask, did Israel not understand?” (Romans 10:19) One of the problems with prophecy is interpreting the unfulfilled portions. People tend to interpret prophecy according to the blueprint of history as they experience it. This is why most all Christian generations since the 1st century have had some sense that they were living in the “last days.” This is not to say that there is not such a thing as the “last days” but the impending doom of world tragedy seems to give some urgency to interpretation. Whether it be the Crusades or WWII there has always been a good candidate for the Anti-Christ and all other symbols in Daniel and Revelation. Once those events pass and the Apocalypse moves out further on the horizon we are left to ask “so, what was that all about?” We go into the next dust storm saying, “this must be it.” The dust settles and we ask, “if that wasn’t it, maybe the next crisis will be it.” The same crisis of “it” exists in Judaism. Their apocalyptic hope is ho

Communicating Christ (Reading: Romans 10:14-21)

The captives waited for good news. God had promised that when the people’s hearts turned back to Him that He would deliver Israel from Babylonian captivity and return her to the land. The people were crying out to God but the hills were silent. Israel longed to hear the sound of feet, a messenger carrying good news. It was time to return home. The sound of feet would be the signal that God was working to deliver His people. Feet would signal the intervention of God (Isaiah 52:7). What is the best news you have heard today? We live in a vacuum of good news. We are malnourished news addicts. Last night Sean Hannity interviewed Karl Rove about the economic stimulus bill. I think the economic stimulus bill is a horrible mistake, but asking Karl Rove to give his opinion of the bill is like asking the 1980 Russian Olympic Hockey team to discuss the state of hockey in America. Once you’ve been soundly beaten no one really cares. When it comes to the economic stimulus package I am not intere

What it Means to be Saved (SERMONAUDIO: SUNDAY A.M.)

What we believe it means to be “saved” and what Paul says it means to be “saved” may be two separate things. We have made it as if going to Hell is worse than missing life in Christ. As a result we have created a group of people who are glad they are not going to Hell but who are not living for Jesus. Romans 10 has become a passage many interpret as “say this” and you will have eternal life. But what is Paul actually talking about when he says to confess with your mouth and believe in your heart? The answer may surprise you. Audio link: What it Means to be Saved Subscribe in iTunes

Justification by Faith (SERMON AUDIO: WED. TEACHING)

The doctrine of justification by faith is the distinguishing mark of evangelicalism. It is the way God can declare a sinner righteous while at the same time retaining His own righteousness. Understanding justification by faith is key to understanding the prevailing argument in the book of Romans. This teaching contains several doctrinal points about justification by faith as well as an outline of how the idea progresses throughout the book of Romans. Justification by Faith Audio

The Hope of the Coming Hell

“ Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” (Romans 10:1) The quest for salvation has certainly cooled. For those who are not saved it does not seem to be much of a concern. For those who are saved the “un-saved-ness” of the other population seems to be something unfortunate, but not much else. For Paul the condition of those who had not entered God’s salvation was something that anguished his heart. There are not many things in life that actually cause the immaterial soul to feel pain, but this trauma he felt. Nowadays it is as if no one really cares who is saved and who is not. Salvation refers to rescue. Rescue from what? It could be a number of things ranging from physical illness to military attack. In the mind of Paul salvation primarily and almost exclusively refers to rescue from the wrath of God. Yet most interesting at this point, when one dissects the mind of Paul, is that it is not so much that the “un-saved” would enter into the

Use Translations

I have twenty minutes so this is less than a post and more like a tip. When studying the Bible it is good to have two or three translations on hand in addition to the one you like to read all the time. In reading Romans alternate translations will be a big help. After I read a passage in several translations, several times, I write down my initial thoughts and observations from the text and then build a brief outline. I primarily read and preach from the English Standard Version. In study I read from the ESV, the American Standard, The Message, and the New Living Translation. The ESV is a modern version that is a blend of literal rendering and readability. The American Standard is a literal translation thus it is not very fluid or readable. The Message seeks the “meaning” of the text over a translation of the text. I really enjoy Eugene Peterson’s style. I would recommend his series of books Christ Plays in 10,000 Places , Eat This Book , and The Jesus Way . The Jesus Way is the bes

God Brought Me Here (SERMONAUDIO)

When you look back at the path of your life you get a sense there is something more to history than the simple progression of events. Time is not a calendar date but something with meaning. History carries with it themes of morality, judgment, redemption and hope. We all look at the world and know things are not as they should be and there is a potential for life to be much better than it is. God is working in history which includes the progression of your own life. What is God doing at this time? God is defining what it means to be His child. God is displaying His sovereign power over history. God is ruling the human soul. God is saving people for His glory. God is bringing people to Jesus. Audio: God Brought Me Here Subscribe in iTunes

In With the Old, In With the New

Many people concentrate the bulk of their Bible reading in the New Testament. The reasons for this range from the New Testament being easier to understand, to the Old Testament being somewhat boring, to the fact that we are living in the New Testament age therefore it is more immediately applicable. These are shallow reasons and inevitably lead to a “shallow at best” reading of the New Testament. It would be hard to argue with Paul or Jesus that concentrating one’s Bible reading in the New Testament is preferred. Paul and Jesus quoted the Old Testament extensively. Here are some statistics that are quite revealing: 1) There are around 225 direct quotations of Old Testament passages in the New Testament. 2) The New Testament writers allude to the Old Testament over 1,000 times. These may be paraphrases or references to stories or truths. 3) One out of every 22.5 verses in the New Testament refers to the Old. 4) There are 278 Old Testament verses cited in the New. 5) In Matthew 22

Righteous Circus

Today we begin reading and studying Romans 10. ______________________________ Righteous Circus What is the price of the soul? In all of us there is a sense of deficit. More than anything we want things to be right. We want life to be right. The deficit of the ideal presses people to extremes. I do not understand drug addiction but in talking to those who do there seems to be sense of deficit. Dull the senses and escape the pain. Find ecstasy chemically. Compensate. Rebel. Kill the soul and end the cries of the conscience. It is violence against self. A group of men hijacked a plane and drove it into a building in the name of Alla, god. They did it because they believed it would make them right. They did it because they believed it was right. Destroy the infidel. Usher in the righteousness of Alla by force. Jewish history is not immune to these moments. Just before the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 there were zealots, the Sicarii to be exact. They carried daggers under their

24 Things About to Disappear in America

This is a post that is flying around the blogosphere. I thought I would share it just in case you haven't come across it - very interesting! I found it via " Between Two Worlds ." The original is on _____________________________ Friday February 6, 2009 By Rod Dreher We'll mark this, the 5,000th post on Crunchy Con, which will be three years old this spring, with an interesting list a reader sent in from the Interwebs: 24 Things About to Disappear In America. He said that he couldn't find attribution for it, but if one of you knows where it comes from, please let us know. Take a look at it below the jump, and suggest in the comboxes what No. 25 (or more) should be. We were watching a not-so-old movie at home not long ago, and my kids saw a character dialing a rotary phone, and had no idea what that thing was. 24. Yellow Pages Th

The Doctrine of Election

Audio of Wednesday Night's teaching on The Doctrine of Election . You can also access the audio by subscribing to iTunes podcast .

The Theology of History

History is more than the recording of events. History is about interpretation. Whether it be war or famine, natural disaster or 9/11 it is undeniable that in every human event there is something operating that is much deeper than mere record. History also carries with it themes. In human moments there are themes of judgment, morality, hope, and despair. As victims of history we sense that this world is not as it should be and there is the potential for it to be something far better. We call these sorts of thoughts and arguments “natural theology.” Natural theology speaks of the truth we all encounter without the help of “special revelation” like the Bible, a prophet, religion, the life of Christ, etc. Natural theology points to that area in all of us that thinks about existence and asks the question “why.” There must be an answer. Natural theology observes design and order and discerns that there must naturally be a designer, something intelligent that is behind all of this. Natural

No Fear in Election

So by now you have studied so much of Romans 9 you are scared of the Bible. The idea of God’s election is an intimidating thing. Congratulations, your feelings on this matter are your initiation to the awe and wonder club. At the same time as we are struck with awe and wonder at the electing purposes of God there is also a tendency to allow the mind to wonder into all sorts of dark corners. It is only human. When we read this passage and think about it there is a fear that is veiled in “what if?” What if a person wants to be saved, but can’t be because God refuses them? What if I am one of those people? What if Brian Branam is one of those people and I have been predestined to read his blog, become thoroughly confused, and as such my condemnation is sealed? What if someone is saved, but doesn’t really want to be? Just remember that when your mind wonders into these dark caverns that people also have a tendency to watch scary movies and sleep with the lights on. The mind is prone to w

The Promises of God in the Hands of Men

If you were here yesterday you know that my initial observation of studying the sovereignty of God is that there are some strong human reactions to these truths. There are questions, objections, and stories of how the sovereignty of God plays out in very human ways. There is a paradox in all of it. We also saw how Paul’s consideration of these topics inspired in him three human passions, three reactions that are natural to any human who faces the truth of the sovereign God. Paul had an incredible burden for his countrymen that they may be saved. Paul had a sense of awe before God. Paul unreservedly surrendered his body and mind to God as an act of worship. With these things in mind I believe if we read this passage of Scripture and fall short of that we have missed the true message of Romans 9 – 12. If we approach Romans 9 – 12 as a doctrinal debate rather than a call to unreserved surrender to a sovereign God we are committing a gross injustice and belittling the text. This is why “c