What Now? – Rooted & Built Up Lesson 8

Rooted and Built Up Series (Col. 2:7) – Lesson 8 // Holland Bible Series // Fall 2013

  1. Accomplished: We have completed 7 foundational teachings:
  2. Short-Term Plan: Those hearing the studies should share with others:
    • 2 Tim. 2:2 – Paul (teaching publicly) → Timothy → Faithful men → Others
      • You are like Timothy
    • Matt. 18:20; Luke 10:1; Acts 13:2; etc. – best to work in pairs (or threes)
    • Pray for people to share with
  3. Long-Term Idea: Acts 13-14 – (1) Share message with others, (2) Leave, entrusting them to God, (3) Follow up later (see Acts 14:21-22), (4) Appoint others to carry on the work (see Acts 14:23)
  4. Goal: Acts 1:8–
    • Jerusalem: A place disciples were temporarily visiting
    • Judea: Surrounding region
    • Samaria: Neighboring region
    • Ends of the Earth: No Limit

Baptisms, Water and Holy Spirit – Rooted & Built Up Lesson 7

Rooted and Built Up Series (Col. 2:7) – Lesson 7 // Holland Bible Series // Fall 2013

baptism – to dip; to make fully wet (see Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible)

Water Baptism


  • Luke 3:21-23 – Jesus was baptized at beginning of ministry (30 years old)
  • John 3:22; 4:1-2 – Jesus’ disciples baptized during His earthly ministry
  • Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16 – Jesus commissioned His disciples to baptize after He ascends:
    • Acts 2:37-41 – First Christian converts were baptized
    • Acts 8:35-38 – Ethiopian eunuch immediately baptized after conversion
    • Acts 9:18 – Paul baptized 3 days after Jesus was revealed to him
    • Acts 10:44-48 – Cornelius’ household baptized immediately after receiving the Holy Spirit
    • Acts 16:13-15 – Lydia’s household baptized soon after believing the gospel
    • Acts 16:30-33 – Philippian Jailer and household baptized soon after conversion
    • Acts 19:1-6 – Ephesians baptized soon after receiving instruction concerning baptism
  • Hebrews 6:1 – baptism listed as 3rd foundation of Christian faith


  • Romans 6:1-6 – baptism corresponds to burial of former/sinful self
  • Colossians 2:11-12 – baptism corresponds to circumcision
    • Circumcision = cutting off the flesh
    • Romans 4:11 – circumcision was the “evidence” that Abraham believed
      • Genesis 17:10-11 – circumcision was the sign that one was in covenant with God

Old Testament Pictures:

  • 1 Pet. 3:20-21 – the flood is a picture of baptism
    • Water buried the sinfulness of the world
    • “saved through water” = saved out of a world system under God’s judgment
    • “not the removal of the filth of the flesh” – it is not physically cleaning you from filth
    • “the answer of a good conscience toward God” – baptism is the response of a good conscience toward God
  • 1 Cor. 10:1-11 (esp. vv. 1-2) – the Israelites being “baptized” in the Red Sea
    • Exodus 14:28 – The water thoroughly buried Israel’s oppressors
    • This took place after they were covered by the blood of the Lamb and brought into life through Passover (Ex. 12)
    • Heb. 11:29 – this happened “by faith”; those without faith drowned

Holy Spirit Baptism

Note: In the previous teaching, we saw that all who repent and believe the gospel receive God’s Holy Spirit (see Eph. 1:13).  This indwelling Spirit changes people’s characters in the process of sanctification, and is THE seal that a person is saved and belongs to God.  However, the teaching of the baptism of the Holy Spirit shows that God offers greater fullness, power, and gifts of the Holy Spirit than what may have been experienced at conversion.

Old Testament Picture

  • Exodus 14:19-20; 1 Cor. 10:1-11 (esp. vv. 1-2) – “baptized…in the cloud”
    • In addition to water, there is baptism “in the cloud” (representing the Holy Spirit)
    • Note: They were led by the cloud before being immersed (cf. Ex. 13:21-22)

What it is:

The concept of being, “baptized with/in the Holy Spirit” is found 7 times in the New Testament:

  1. Matthew 3:11 – Jesus baptizes people with the Holy Spirit
  2. Mark 1:8 – same as Matt. 3:11
  3. Luke 3:16 – same as Matt. 3:11
  4. John 1:33 – same as Matt. 3:11
  5. Acts 1:5 – Jesus told disciples they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit soon
  • Acts 1:8 – baptism of Holy Spirit gives power to witness to Jesus
  • Acts 2 – fulfilled at Pentecost
    • 2:2 – sound from heaven; filled the whole house
    • 2:3-4 – God filled with Holy Spirit, Spirit gave utterance, people spoke in tongues
    • 2:6-13 – tongues in known languages; glorified God
    • 2:14-36 – Peter had boldness and Scriptural understanding
    • 2:37 – the people were convicted
  1. Acts 11:16 – Peter identifies baptism of the Holy Spirit with the experience of the first Gentile converts
    • Acts 10:44-45, 47; 11:15 – the Holy Spirit “fell upon” them/ “had been poured out” / they “received the Holy Spirit”
    • Acts 10:46 – spoke in tongues; praised God
  2. 1 Cor. 12:13 – the body of Christ has been baptized by the Holy Spirit, and made to drink of that Spirit
    • Associated with 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-11):
      1. Word of wisdom – ability to know how to handle situation
      2. Word of knowledge – ability to know facts
      3. Faith – special faith for a particular situation
      4. Gifts of healings – ability to heal
      5. Working miracles – ability to work miracles
      6. Prophecy – ability to speak God’s specific utterances and statements
      7. Discerning of spirits – ability to discern God’s Spirit from demonic spirits
      8. Different kinds of tongues – ability to speak an unlearned language
      9. Interpretation of tongues – ability to understand an unlearned language

N.T. Teaching and Examples:

  • All Christians are called to be filled with God’s Spirit (Eph. 5:18), and eagerly desire Spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:1).
  • This does not automatically happen at conversion (even though believers do receive God’s Spirit indwelling when they believe on Christ) –
    • Disciples received Holy Spirit when Jesus resurrected (John 20:22-23), then later had Holy Spirit fall on them (Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:4-8; Acts 2)
    • Acts 4:31 – believers were filled by the Spirit in a prayer meeting
    • Acts 6:3 – deacons had to be “filled with the Spirit,” this implies that not every Christian was filled with the Spirit, otherwise the qualification would be unneeded 
    • Acts 8:5-25 – they believed and were baptized; LATER the Holy Spirit fell on them
    • Acts 19:1-7 – the Holy Spirit fell on the believers when Paul laid hands
    • 1 Cor. 14:1,13 – believers are told to be eager for spiritual gifts and pray for them
    • Eph. 5:18 – believers are commanded to “be [continually] filled” with the Spirit
    • 2 Tim. 1:6 – Timothy received a spiritual gift through Paul’s hands
    • O.T. Picture: Ex. 13:21-22; 14:19-20; 1 Cor. 10:1-2 – Israel was led by the cloud of God’s presence BEFORE being “baptized” by it.
    • Picture from Nature: Gen. 1:6-7; 8:11; 2 Pet. 3:5-6 – As water is a type of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39), it serves 2 functions in the earth, though it is 1 substance: (1) indwells the world, (2) pours out from above.  These are the same functions of the Holy Spirit in believers today: (1) indwelling the moment someone is converted, (2) pouring over them as a separate work of power
    • Picture of Jesus: Matt. 1:20; Luke 3:21-22 – Jesus was born of the Spirit BEFORE the Spirit fell on Him and He was empowered from above.
  • Acts 2:39; 1 Cor. 13:8-13 – Until Christ returns, the promise and command of being filled with the Spirit remains in effect
  • How you are filled with God’s Spirit:
    • Acts 2:4 – it is a work of God (The Father – Luke 11:13; Acts 1:4; The Son – Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; Acts 2:33; The Holy Spirit – 1 Cor. 12:4,7-11, 13)–
      • God fills with the Spirit
      • The Spirit gives utterance
      • People obey the Spirit’s prompting
    • Acts 8:21 – Repent and empty yourself of your flesh 
    • Luke 11:13 (cf. Matt. 7:11); 1 Cor. 14:13 – Ask God to fill you with His Spirit
    • Acts 8:18; 9:17; 19:6; 2 Tim. 1:6 – frequently accompanied by laying on of hands
      • Hebrews 6:2 – laying hands is listed as 4th foundation of Christianity
    • Eph. 5:18; 2 Tim. 1:6 – If already received, must continue to be filled and fanned into flame
    • John 11:40; 2 Cor. 5:7;  Heb. 11:3; etc. – Walk in faith on the testimony of God’s words concerning the Holy Spirit filling, not your experience.  THEN, you’ll see.

The Gospel: Justification & Sanctification – Rooted & Built Up Lessons 5 & 6

Rooted and Built Up Series (Col. 2:7) – Lessons 5 & 6 // Holland Bible Series // Fall 2013

“Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mark 1:14-15)

The Gospel: Definition

  • “Gospel” = “Good News”
  • 1 Cor. 15:1-11
    • v. 1 – the gospel is your standing point in Christianity
    • v. 2 – the gospel brings salvation to all who believe it
    • v. 3 – Paul “received” the gospel; he did not create it
    • vv. 3-8 – the Gospel is:
      • Christ” (v. 3) – Jesus is the Christ/Messiah, fully God and fully man (Isaiah 7:14-9:7; John 8 [esp. v. 24]; 1 John 2:22-23; 4:3; etc.) 
      • died for our sins” (v. 3) – Jesus’ death paid for our sins (Isaiah 53:5-6)
      • was buried” (v. 4) – Jesus’ body was buried (Isaiah 53:9)
      • was raised on the third day” (v. 4) – Jesus was bodily resurrected after 3 days (Psalm 16:10; Matt. 12:40) 
      • in accordance with the Scriptures” (vv. 3, 4) – the only legitimate gospel is the one affirmed by Scripture

The Gospel: Justification (“IN CHRIST”)

justification – “An instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.” (Wayne Grudem’s, Systematic Theology, p. 1246, 2000)

This is only a sampling of Scriptures:

  • Romans 3:21-26 – Faith in the gospel => God passes over our sins and freely justifies us without compromising His righteous standard. 
  • Romans 4:1-8 – Abraham and David affirm: God justifies the ungodly through faith in gospel.
  • Ephesians 1:1-2:13 (see also Colossians 1:21-23) – “In Christ” — we are blessed with every spiritual blessing (1:3), holy and blameless (1:4), given grace (1:6), redeemed (1:7), raised up with Christ (2:6), seated in heavenly places (2:6), brought to God and His people (2:13)
    • Eph. 1:13 – We get “in Christ” when we believe the gospel
  • O.T. Pictures of Justification:
    • Adam and Eve reconciled to God when covered by slain life of another (Gen. 3:7, 21)
      • We are reconciled to God through the slain life of His Son (Eph. 2:13)
    • Noah and family covered in the ark: the ark absorbed God’s wrath on their behalf (Gen. 6-8)
      • Jesus absorbed the wrath of God toward sin for all covered in Him (Rom. 3:25)
    • Jacob received the father’s blessing because he was covered by the father’s favored son (Gen. 27:15-16, 21-23, 35)
      • We receive God the Father’s blessing by being covered in the life of Jesus, His “beloved Son” (Matt. 3:17). 
    • Passover: When midnight judgment came, life was inherited ONLY by houses covered by the blood of the slain lamb (Exod. 11-12)
      • At the final judgment (Matt. 25:6), only those covered by Christ’s blood will receive life (John 3:16-18)
    • Day of Atonement (Lev. 16; 23:26-32; Numbers 28:7-11): The work of the High Priest covered the sins of all the people; the people were commanded to afflict their souls (Lev. 23:29), and rest (Lev. 16:29, 31; 23:28, 30-32; Num. 29:7)
      • “Atonement” = “to cover” (same root word as the pitch covering the ark)
      • High Priest = Jesus (Heb. 3:1)
      • Afflict souls = repent
      • Rest = faith in Christ’s finished work (see John 6:29; Heb. 3-4)

The Gospel: Sanctification (“CHRIST IN YOU”)

sanctification – “the simple, literal meaning of sanctification is ‘making saintly,’ or ‘making holy.’” (Derek Prince’s, Spirit-Filled Believer’s Handbook, p. 80, 1993)

This is only a sampling of Scripture:

  • Hebrews 10:14
    • “perfected forever” = justification
    • “those who are being sanctified” = sanctification
    • The evidence you are perfected forever is that your life is changing and conforming more to Christ.
  • Ephesians 1:13-14 – The evidence that we are saved and justified is the Holy Spirit’s life within us.
  • Galatians 5:22-24
    • The fruit of the Spirit will grow in all who are justified.
    • Compare John 5:24 with 1 John 3:14
      • Only two places “passed from death into life” is found in Bible
      • John 5:24 – shows how to pass from death into life: faith
      • 1 John 3:14 – shows the evidence: love, especially toward Christians
        • Matt. 25:31-46 – this is not a checklist of how you inherit eternity, but a picture of “loving the brethren” (1 John 3:14).  Notice that this love came so effortlessly and supernaturally in them that the “sheep” did not even realize they were doing these things (Matt. 25:37-40). 
  • Galatians 5:6; James 2:14-26
    • True, living faith will always produce something
  • O.T. Pictures of Sanctification:
    • Passover: in addition to the unblemished lamb’s blood covering the houses, the life of that same lamb was eaten and received by the Israelites, giving them energy to physically depart from their oppressors (Exod. 12:8-11, 51)
    • Unleavened Bread: After the Passover feast, the people were to rest and keep leaven out of their house (Exod. 12:15-20; Lev. 23:5-8).
      • Leaven represents sin (1 Cor. 5:8)
      • Rest = faith in Christ; sanctification is a work of God in us (1 Cor. 15:10)
    • Ark: After God’s wrath subsided and the flood ended, the new world began from a dove within the ark (Gen. 8:11)
      • Dove = image of Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22)
      • New world beginning = image of new life that happens as a result of the Spirit living within you (2 Corinthians 5:17)
    • 1 Chron. 15 – priests returning ark; justification, then sanctification

The Practical: What do We do in this Process?

  • 1 Cor. 15:10; Galatians 3:1-5; Philippians 2:12-13; Hebrews 4:11 – rest/trust in God to do the work in you.
  • 1 Cor. 3:6b – God alone “causes the increase” of life within you
    • However, we can do things to nourish that life (1 Cor. 3:6a), and impede that life (Prov. 24:30-34; Mark 4:5) 
  • Acts 2:42 – Three-legged stool: (1) Study the Scriptures, (2) Fellowship (especially over meals and communion), (3) Pray
    • This provided a base for God to produce: signs, wonders, respect, love, sharing, praise, and conversions to Christ (Acts 2:43-47) 
  • 1 Thes. 1:5 – the gospel spreads to others through: (1) our words, (2) the power of the Spirit, (3) a changed life
    • These things will happen as we study the Scriptures, pray, and submit to God as He leads us by His Spirit and Word
  • O.T. Picture of the Church’s Work:
    • Eve, as Adam’s “helper” (Gen. 2:18), while still the “weaker vessel,” (1 Pet. 3:7), had the job of helping him spread his life (“be fruitful and multiply” – Gen. 1:28), and helping him reign over the earth (“subdue it” – Gen. 1:28).  She was made 100% out of the life of Adam (Gen. 2:18:25), yet still had to submit this life to Adam and cooperate with him.
      • Similarly, as the bride of Christ, we are His helper, though being the “weaker vessel”.  Our new life comes from His life in us, yet we must still choose to cooperate with His Spirit in us, and use this new life to serve Christ and work as His “helper” to spread His life and bring His kingdom/authority over the earth.

Repentance and Faith – Rooted & Built Up Lessons 3 & 4

Rooted and Built Up Series (Col. 2:7) – Lessons 3 & 4 // Holland Bible Series // Fall 2013

“Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)


Necessity of Repentance:

  • Is. 40:1-3; Malachi 3:1; Mark 1:1-5; Acts 19:4 – Jesus’ way was prepared through repentance (via John the Baptist’s ministry of repentance)
  • Jesus says:
    • At beginning of His ministry:
      • “Repent” (Matt. 4:17)
      • “Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
    • During His ministry:
      • “Fall and be broken by Him” (Matt. 21:44)
    • At end of His ministry:
      • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all” (Luke 24:47)
  • Church preaches:
    • “Repent…” (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 8:22; 11:18; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20; Hebrews 6:1; etc.)

Definition of Repentance:

  • Not remorse (Matt. 27:3-5; 2 Cor. 7:10; Hebrews 12:17)
    • Compare Judas (Matt. 27:3-5) with Peter – both denied the Lord, both were sad, but only one repented
  • Greek: “metanoein” = to change one’s mind – “not an emotion, but a decision” + Hebrew: “shub” = to turn; to return; to turn back – action
    • Example: Prodigal son changed his mind (v.18) and turned back to his father (v.20).
      • Turn away from “dead works” (Heb. 6:1), and “toward God” (Acts 20:21)
  • Compare Matthew 12:41 with Jonah 3:10 – Jesus defines repentance as turning from evil ways.

Repentance is not the doing or ceasing to do of certain deeds (e.g. helping the poor, ceasing to get drunk, etc.).  However, such acts will always follow repentance.

Repentance is initiated by God (Acts 5:31; 11:18).  It is a decision to submit your heart to Jesus as Lord, and the actual act of submitting your heart to Jesus as Lord.  Repentance and faith always lead to deeds, but repentance itself is a surrendered and penitent heart toward Jesus.  The deeds that follow are the evidence that repentance and faith have happened.

The Way to Repentance:

  • John 6:44 – God draws people to repent
    • Jews (Acts 5:31) and Gentiles (Acts 11:18)

1.  Psalm 139:23; John 16:8; 2 Cor. 7:10 – God reveals sinfulness to us

2.  Philippians 2:13 – God works in us the willing and doing

3.  Matt. 25:24-30; Phil. 2:12 – We must choose how we respond

  • Examples:
    • Song of Songs 1:4 – “Draw me away!…The king has brought me into his chambers…”
      • Bride couldn’t draw herself to the king, but cried out for him to draw her.
      • The king did.
    • Luke 15:20
      • “He arose and came” 
      • “When he was still a great way off, his father…ran…”
        • He made the first steps in the right direction, and his father ran the greater distance to bring him back home

The People Who Need to Repent:

  • Luke 13:1-5; Acts 17:30 – All people
    • 2 Cor. 7:9; Hebrews 6:1; Rev. 2:5,16,21-22; 3:3,19 – including Christians 



  • Heb. 12:1-2 – Biblical faith is authored and perfected through Jesus
  • Faith is produced when God’s word (Gen. 15:6; Luke 8:11; Rom. 10:17; Heb. 3:7) is received in the heart (Luke 8:15; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Thes. 5:8; Heb. 3:7-19).
  • Faith is focused on the present, yet unseen/invisible realities of God (Psalm 27:13; John 11:39-40; 2 Cor. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:5-9; Heb. 11:1).  
  • True faith ALWAYS produces “something” (Luke 8:4-15; 1 Thes. 2:13).
    • The ”something” produced by faith:
      • Comes exclusively through God’s Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13)
      • Finds outlet in the tongue (Mt. 12:34; Lk. 6:45; Rom. 10:9-11)
      • Will be love (Gal. 5:6, 22-23; 1 Thes. 5:8)
      • Will be hope (Rom. 4:18; 5:1-5; Heb. 11:1; 1 Pet. 1:3)
        • Hope concerns future events (Heb. 11:1; 1 Pet. 1:3-4)
        • Hope takes place in the mind (1 Thes. 5:8)
      • Will be visible (Psalm 27:13; John 11:39-40; Heb. 11:1, 3)
  • This faith must:
    • Continually come as God’s word is received (Rom. 10:17)
    • Rest on God’s power, not human wisdom (1 Cor. 2:4-5)
    • Be built up by Spirit-led prayer (Jude 1:20)
    • Be tested (Job 23:10; Prov. 25:4; Isaiah 48:10; Zech. 13:9; Malachi 3:2-3; Luke 22:31-32; James 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:5-7; 4:12-13)
      • Through trial and persecution (Mt. 13:20-21)
      • Through worldly “success” (Mt. 13:22)
  • Scriptural pattern: hear → believe → see
    • Gen. 1:3ff; Gen. 45:27-28; Prov. 20:12; Luke 24:13-32; John 21:4-12; Rev. 1:10-12
    • God first revealed Himself through O.T. Scriptures, then by coming in the flesh 
    • Nature: a child in the womb hears first, sees blurry later, then sees fully

Excerpted from Derek Prince’s, Faith To Live By:

P. 114–

There are three words, each beginning with the letter f, that we must put in their right order: facts, faith, feelings.  The facts are found in the Word of God, and they never vary.  Faith takes its stand with the facts of God’s Word and confesses them as true.  Feelings may waver, but ultimately, if faith stands fast, feelings will come into line with the facts.  On the other hand, if we start at the wrong end – with feelings rather than facts – we will always end up in trouble.  Our feelings change hour by hour and moment by moment.  If we base our lives on our feelings, our lives will be unstable as our feelings are.  “The righteous man shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17)–not feelings!


It is important to correctly evaluate the evidence of our own senses.  God does not ask us to close our eyes and ears and walk around as though the physical, material world around us did not exist.  Faith is not mysticism.  We do not question the reality of what our senses reveal, but we do question its finality

Abraham’s sense [in Romans 4:16-21] told him that he was physically incapable of fathering a child and that Sarah was likewise incapable of bearing one.  Yet God has promised them a son of their own.  Abraham did not pretend that what his senses revealed to him about his own body and about Sarah’s body was not real.  He simply refused to accept it as final.  When God’s word promised him one thing and his senses told him another, he clung tenaciously to God’s promise without letting his senses cause him to doubt that promise.  Finally, after their faith had been tested, the physical conditions both of Abraham’s body and Sarah’s body were brought into line with what God had promised.  They actually became physically capable of having a child.

It will be the same with us.  There may be a period of conflict between the statements of God’s Word and what our sense tell us about a particular situation.  But if our faith is valid, and if we cling to it as Abraham did…in due course the physical condition confronting us through our senses will be brought into line with what God’s Word has to say about it.

What Can We Learn from Jesus’ View of the Bible? – Rooted & Built Up Lesson 2

Rooted and Built Up Series (Col. 2:7) – Lesson 2 // Holland Bible Series // Fall 2013


  • John 1:1; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3 – Jesus = God.  He shows us who God is, what God thinks, how God feels, etc.  
  • John 13:15; Heb. 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:21; 1 John 2:6; etc. – believers of Christ are to follow Jesus’ example.
  • Therefore, studying Jesus’ treatment of the Scriptures shows God’s very heart toward the Scriptures, and sets the standard by which all “Christians” should approach the Scriptures. 

According to Jesus…

  1. God’s Word = God’s written Word: Scripture (John 10:35).  Examples:
    • Matt. 19:4-5 – Jesus sees the narrative of Gen. 2:24 as God’s word
    • Matt. 22:41-44; Mark 12:35-37 – Jesus recognizes David’s words in Psalm 110:1 to be the words of the Holy Spirit
  2. Jesus applies this written Word (Scripture) to the entire Old Testament:
    • Luke 11:49-51 – The Jewish ordering of the Old Testament started with Genesis and ended with 2 Chronicles (as it still does today).  Therefore, Jesus affirms the entirety of the O.T. by pointing to “bookends”: Abel is the first recorded martyr (see Genesis 4) and Zechariah is the last recorded martyr (see 2 Chronicles 24).
    • Luke 24:44-45 – Here, He mentions all 3 divisions of the Jewish Old Testament: (1) The Law, (2) The Prophets, (3) The Writings/Psalms
    • Jesus quoted from the majority of the 39 Old Testament books.
  3. Jesus extends this written Word (Scripture) to the entire New Testament:
    • Luke 24:27,44; 1 Cor. 15:3-4 – The message of the  N.T. was foretold and confirmed by the Old Testament, written hundreds of years beforehand. 
    • Matt. 10:20 (spoken to “these twelve,” v. 5); 28:19-20; Mark 13:11; 16:20; Luke 12:12; 24:49; John 14:25-26; 15:20; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; 5:2-4; Romans 15:18-19; 1 Cor. 2:4-5, 10; Eph. 2:20; 1 Thes. 1:5; 2:13; Heb. 2:3-4; 1 Peter 1:12; 2 Pet. 3:2; Jude 1:17 – the testimony of the apostles, combined with the work of the Holy Spirit, ensures the New Testament to be God’s truly authoritative word 
    • The Gospels:
      • Matt. 7:24-26: 24:35; 28:19-20; Mark 8:38; 13:31-32; Luke 6:46-49; 9:26; 21:33; John 5:22 cf. 12:48; 5:24-25; 6:63; 7:15-17; 8:26-28, 37-38, 40, 43-47; 12:48-50; 14:10; 15:3,7,15; 17:8; 18:37 – Jesus treated His words as God’s words, and on equal authority to the Old Testament.
        • “Truly I say to you,” “Truly, truly, I say to you” – these phrases are favorite expressions of Christ.  These are words of absolute authority, and contrast the phrase of biblical prophets (“God says…”), or the words of great men (“I believe…,” “I think…”).
        • 1 Cor. 7:10-11; 1 Tim. 5:18; 6:3; Heb. 2:3 – The early church affirmed the authority and importance of Jesus’ words.
      • Matt. 28:19-20 – Jesus commissioned His apostles to teach His words to others.
        • Matt. 23:34 – Scribes were sent as people who recorded words in writing.
        • John 14:26 – Jesus ensured His words would be remembered
        • Matthew and John’s gospel came from apostles directly
        • Mark’s gospel has well been recognized to be Peter’s words, and therefore also is directly apostolic
        • 1 Tim. 5:17-18 – Paul recognized Luke’s writings as carrying Scriptural authority
      • Picture: Josh. 1:7-8 – when Moses was gone, a written record of his words and deeds led God’s people.  Thus, it is fitting and expected that after Jesus leaves (who is a type for Moses, and the “prophet” foretold by Moses in Deut. 18:18), a written record of his words and deeds would lead God’s people today.
    • The Rest of the New Testament:
      • John 16:13-15 – through the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ words would extend beyond what He taught in the gospels
        • Acts 1:1 – the gospel accounts are only the beginning of what Jesus did and taught
        • John 21:17; Acts 26:16 – Peter and Paul were commissioned by Jesus to nourish the church by their message.
        • Rev. 1:19 – Jesus commissioned John to write His words in Revelation
        • 2 Peter 3:15-16 (see also Acts 22:14; 26:16) – Peter recognized Paul’s writings as carrying Scriptural authority as well
          • 1 Thes. 2:13; 1 Cor. 14:37-38; 2 Cor. 13:3 – Paul confirms this
      • Rev. 22:18-19 – this warning not to add or take away from the words of “this book” applies to the book of Revelation primarily.  However, since the content of the book of Revelation demands it to be placed at the end of the N.T., it can secondarily be applied to the entire N.T., and even the whole Bible.
    • John 10:3-4, 27; 1 Cor. 2:11-16; 1 John 2:27; 4:6 – all who receive Jesus have his Spirit in them to help in recognizing what is truly God’s word, and thus the N.T. being received by the church throughout centuries as being God’s word  speaks volumes.
      • There were warnings that people should test the words of “leaders” (Matt. 24:23-24; Acts 17:11; 20:30-31; 2 Cor. 11; 1 Thes. 5:21; Heb. 13:9; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 4:1; Jude 1:3-4; Revelation 2:2), so the N.T. was not blindly accepted, but was discerned to be truly Scripture by early church.
  4. Matt. 4:1-11 – Scripture is Jesus’ final authority
    • This includes “every word” (Matt. 4:4) and “all” of the words (Luke 24:25).
      • Matt. 5:17-18 (cf. Luke 16:17) – even the jot and tittle
      • Matt. 22:32 – Jesus’ argument hinged on the English word, “am”
      • Matt. 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37 – Jesus’ argument hinged on, “my”
      • John 10:34-35 – Jesus’ argument hinged on the letter, “s” (“gods” vs. “God”)
    • Scripture is superior to esteemed religious traditions (Mark 7:9-13)
    • John 10:35 – “Scripture cannot be broken”
    • John 17:17 – “Your word is truth” (not just true)
    • Matt. 7:24 – obedience to God’s word is the only secure position
      • Isaiah 55:6-11; 1 Cor. 1:25 – any word proceeding from God is infinitely greater than words/ideas originating with humans
  5. Scripture is relevant to people regardless of their time, place, culture:
    • Matt 22:23-33 – Jesus says to the Jews of his day, “Have you not read what was said to you,” (v.31), about words God spoke to Moses 1,500 years ago
    • Hebrews 11:5-6 – Gives personal identification with words written by Solomon ~1,000 years prior
  6. Scripture is knowable to everyone willing to follow it
    • Matt. 11:25; John 7:17 (cf. John 8:43; 10:27) – a surrendered heart to God will open understanding of the Scriptures, by the help of the Holy Spirit.
      • Mark 4:11-12; Luke 24:25; John 5:37-40 – those with hard and disobedient hearts will not understand
    • Matt. 9:13; 12:3,5,7; 15:3; 19:14; 21:42; 21:13; 22:29,31; John 3:10 – Jesus presumed that people could read the Scriptures and understand their meaning
      • John 20:30-31; Col. 4:16; Heb. 13:24 – other writings were also considered understandable
    • Matt. 4:4,7 – we can avoid deception in the Scriptures by letting the Bible interpret itself.
  7. Scripture is necessary for maintaining spiritual life:
    • Matt. 4:4 – every word of the Bible nourishes life
      • 1 Pet. 1:22-2:3 – the word is milk; Matt. 4:4 – the word is bread; Heb. 5:12-14 – the word is solid food
    • John 6:63 – “the words I have spoken to you are…life”
  8. Scripture provides a completely sufficient revelation of God:
    • Luke 16:29-31 – The Old Testament was sometimes called “The Law and the Prophets,” therefore, Jesus is teaching that the Scriptures provide more revelation for those in this life to trust God than even observing a resurrection, and by our response to the Scripture will we be judged.
    • John 12:47-48; Rev. 19:15 (cf. Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12) – all people will be judged according to the Scriptures

Addendum: Do All Scriptures Apply to us Today?

Scripture is relevant to people regardless of their time, place, culture:

  • Matt 22:23-33 – Jesus says to the Jews of his day, “Have you not read what was said to you,” (v.31), about words God spoke to Moses 1,500 years ago
  • Hebrews 11:5-6 – Gives personal identification with words written by Solomon ~1,000 years prior

Follow-up Question: How can we determine when God’s word applies only to the people of that time, and when it applies to us today?  

Follow-up Answer: 

Paraphrased from William Gouge’s, Building a Godly Home (edited and modernized 2013), pp. 181-182–

In Ephesians 6:3, Paul quotes a promise given exclusively to Israel in Deuteronomy 5:16 concerning the Promised Land.  However, when he quotes it to the Christians, he applies it to all Christians, and changes “Promised Land” to mean any land you live in.  This is not deceitful.  Instead, he applies the substance of the promise to Christians of his day, while recognizing the circumstance of the promise was that in Canaan (the Promised Land) they should enjoy that blessing.  Though Christians live not in Canaan, which is the circumstance, it shall go well with them and they shall live long, which is the substance.

Similarly, while Christians no longer need to be circumcised to be part of God’s covenanted people as Abraham was (the circumstance), yet the promise God gave to Abraham (that He would be his God and the God to all his people) is the substance that can be applied to Christians when the believe on Christ.  This could be shown in hundreds of other incidents, for instance, the substance of all the Jewish sacrifices and sacraments is seen in Christ’s work and our faith and application of this work, though the specific circumstances of eating a special meal and doing special duties on special days, like shadows, do not need to apply to Christians.   

Through this we can learn to make use of the Old Testament, even of those promises and privileges which in some particular respects were appropriated to the Jews, by observing the substance and distinguishing it from the circumstance.  Thus shall we find that to be true which the apostle spoke of all the things which were written earlier, namely, that “they were written for our learning” (Rom. 15:4).  In this respect the same apostle says of the things recorded of Abraham, “it was not written for his sake alone,” (Rom. 4:23), and again of the things recorded of the Israelites, “they are written for our admonition” (1 Cor. 10:11).

Pray therefore for the spirit of illumination to discern between substance and circumstance, in reading the Old Testament especially.  

How to Know God and His Word – Rooted & Built Up Lesson 1

Rooted and Built Up Series (Col. 2:7) – Lesson 2 // Holland Bible Series // Fall 2013

Rooted and Built Up Series: Overview

“Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…”

(Matt. 28:19-20)

“Preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved…”

(Mark 16:15)

“Repentance and remission of sins should be preached…I send the Promise of My Father upon you…endued with power from on high”

(Luke 24:47)

“Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars.” .

(Prov. 9:1)


  1. How to Know God and His Word
  2. What can we learn from Jesus’ view of the Bible?
  3. Repentance
  4. The Nature of Faith
  5. The Gospel: Justification – Covered in Christ
  6. The Gospel: Sanctification – Christ in us
  7. Baptisms, Water & Holy Spirit

Lesson 1: Our Posture for Revelation

Our job: Give our hearts to God—

  • Parable of the Sower – Matt. 13:1-9,18-23; Mark 4:1-9,13-20; Luke 8:4-15
    • Mark 4:13 – Starting point for understanding Jesus
    • Luke 8:11 – God’s word = seed
    • Luke 8:15 – Our hearts = soil.  Options:
      • 1. Those who hear, but do not understand (Matt. 13:19)
      • 2. Those who hear and understand, but do not change (Mark 4:16)
      • 3. Those who hear, understand, and change, but do not keep their hearts only for God (Luke 8:14)
      • 4. Those with honest and good hearts (Luke 8:15)
  • John 7:17 – a heart willing to obey brings understanding
    • Matt. 6:22-24 – serving two masters brings darkness
    • Proverbs 1:23 – (1) “Turn,” then (2) “I will make my words known to you”
    • 2 Cor. 3:16 – (1) “Turn,” then (2) “the veil is taken away”
    • 1 Samuel 3:1-14 – God’s word came AFTER Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”
  • Matt. 11:25-30 –
    • humility and coming to Jesus brings revelation
    •  trusting in your own wisdom and going your own route brings darkness
    • Psalm 25:8-9 – God shows his way to humble sinners
  • Romans 1:18-32; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 – hearts that choose sin end up deceived

How to Change our Hearts– 

  • Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; Luke 18:19 – the human heart is corrupt and deceitful
  • Ezekiel 36:26 – our only hope is for God to give us new hearts
  • Song of Songs 1:4; Philippians 2:12-13; 1 Peter 3:7 (think in terms of the church as the bride [weaker vessel] and Jesus as the Husband [stronger vessel]) – We acknowledge our inability to have a the heart God desires, and ask and depend on Him to supply what we lack: this is true humility!

God’s Means of Revelation (Mark 8:22-25 – From blindness to light)

  • God gives general revelation through creation (Romans 1:18-31)
  • God gives specific revelation through His Word and Holy Spirit:
    • (1) God’s Word (John 10:35 – fundamentally, the Scriptures)
      • Brings light – Psalm 19:7; 119:130; Hebrews 4:12-13; Romans 10:14,17; Revelation 1:12
      • A standard for testing truth – John 12:48; 17:17; Acts 17:11; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 19:15
    • (2) The Holy Spirit
      • Brings light – 1 Corinthians 2:6-16
      • Guides in testing truth – 1 John 2:27
  • The Word and Spirit Together–Never in Isolation:
    • Genesis 1:2-3; Psalm 33:6 – physical light came when the word and Spirit united
    • Leviticus 11 – a picture:
      • Lev. 11:36-37 – Only 2 things can never become contaminated and unclean:
        • (1) A well full of water (symbol of the Holy Spirit, see John 4:13-14; 7:38-39)
        • (2) A seed unplanted (symbol of God’s word, see Luke 8:11)
        • Conclusion: Among all elements God gives us, only his Spirit and Word will always remain pure.
    • Numbers 21:4-9 – another picture:
      • The people were given over to serpents when they became discontent with the manna and water.
        • Serpent is a symbol of Satan’s deception (2 Cor. 11:3; Rev. 20:2)
        • Manna/bread is symbol of God’s word (Matt. 4:4)
        • Water is a symbol of God’s Holy Spirit (John 7:38-39)
        • Conclusion: When people become discontent with the Scriptures and Spirit as their source of nourishment, they will be given over to deception.
    • John 8:17 – the testimony of 2 establishes truth
      • Witness 1= God’s Word; Witness 2 = God’s Spirit.  When you walk by both of them in tandem, you will have truth.
      • Acts 15 – the early church sought confirmation by the Word and Spirit in making decisions
      • Natural parable: God has given us 2 eyes by which we can see.  If only 1 is used, we lack depth perception.  But when both are used in agreement, we see clearly.
  • Walking in Stride with God’s word and Spirit:
    • James 4:6,10 – humble ourselves
    • Acts 2:42 – (1) study Bible, (2) fellowship with other believers, (3) pray
    • James 1:22-25 – obey what God speaks
    • Note: It will be difficult work sometimes (Job 28; Prov. 25:2)

Book Review: “A Deeper Walk” by Marcus Warner

Quick version

  • I agree with a good amount of this book. At least the main points of the gospel, the need for Scripture and the Spirit, and the push for “heart-focused communities”.
  • Many people will likely takeaway true and biblical things from this.
  • Nevertheless, I am concerned where the author leans into non-biblical or extra-biblical remedies and areas of focus when perfectly Scriptural and gospel-centered conclusions are neglected.


In brief, Marcus Warner says the following in A Deeper Walk:

Current discipleship methods are either:

  1. Osmosis – no intentionality, just hope by being around other Christians people will “fall in”
  2. Traditional – where the intentionality centers around academics, behavior, and church attendance

Instead, Warner proposes a better model:

Marcus Warner’s FISH Discipleship Model

  • Freedom
  • Identity
  • Spirit: (which includes guidance by the word and Spirit)
  • Heart-focused Community: mature leaders, vibrant small groups
  • Go Fish – reproduce this model

Here’s a little of how that looks

  • preach and believe gospel
  • address past wounds by talking and praying about these, including forms of “memory healing”
  • incorporate spiritual warfare
  • walk through identity – true and counterfeit
  • neuroscience findings help to corroborate his new discipleship framework, e.g. recognizing the need for identity that gives you joy, knowing how generational issues impact you presently, etc.

Points of Agreement

  • Undoubtedly, God talks of generational curses in the Bible (Exodus 20, for example). In fact, I’d argue that Paul’s treatise on the gospel in Romans 5 shows a sort of generational curse we are all under as descendants of Adam. Thus, a sin nature is in us from birth based on the sin of our ancestor (great-great-grandpa Adam)
  • It is true that Christians still carry baggage and don’t experience all of the freedom that was made available for us at the cross. This reminds me of Israel inheriting the Promised Land totally by the Lord’s doing (Deut 6), but still having giants to fight in order to gain their full inheritance (see the Book of Joshua). “Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.” (Heb. 2:8)
  • Similarly, in Num 21, when the Israelites were given over to snakes, they wanted Moses to have God remove the snakes. But instead He added a snake – a dead, bronze serpent hoisted on a pole. They were to look at this to experience healing, but the snakes stayed there. They never went away. Jesus explains in John 3 that this is a type of His death on the cross, and when we believe in Him, sin and Satan lose their sting (but, as the story shows, don’t go away altogether).
  • The New Testament letters show repeated warnings against Satan and principalities and powers coming against the church. They also show that sin can still–sadly–flourish even in Christian communities (see 1 Corinthians as a sad example of this). This doesn’t mean they aren’t Christians, but does confirm we still have issues even after coming to faith in Christ.

Where I Think The Author Misses

Thus, I agree with Warner that issues exist even after people have become Christians, read the Bible, grew up in a church, etc. But I’m concerned that his solutions veer away from the Bible’s methods at times, and lean more into psychology, neuroscience, etc.

In general, I just think there is so much revelation of the power of the gospel and the Person of Christ that could directly minister to a lot of the needs and problems the author states. This is not a plea for more academics on Bible study in itself. I do think there needs to be more care and attention given to God’s word, but I think we need more revelation of God and His Gospel, as laid out in the word. This comes with Bible study and heart posture / prayer / fellowship. So this would include more Bible study and teaching, but also a general humble heart posture for God to reveal more of Himself and the Gospel. Thus we could pray with Paul:

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Eph. 1:17-19

Some of the specifics of how I see this in contrast to Warner:

  • Deut 11:8-12; Josh. 1:1ff and 3:1-7 – Israel would experience deliverance by doing all of what Scripture says firstly. Then God would fight on their behalf. No doubt God spoke to them outside of the written words of the Law. So you see the Scriptures and the Spirit speaking in diverse ways to them. But if there are things untried in the Scripture and we firstly jump to non-biblical remedies, we have no blessing or promise that God will fight on our behalf. See also Exod. 23 where it says God would be willing to fight for them, but not all at once–it would be a process. Let’s start with what Scripture says first. And as you’ll see below, I think there are some things left untried by the author or other things suggested by the author that I find unbiblical.
  • Numbers 21 – As said previously, in Num 21, the solution was to get eyes looking at the Bronze Serpent (a type of Jesus and the power of His sacrifice, see John 3). I think Warner instead is giving a lot of approaches that redraw our focus on serpents all around us. Yes they are there, but the healing comes from new understanding, revelation, and focus on the cross and the true gospel.
  • A large part of the trajectory of God’s people is looking forward. Think of Phil. 3:13: “one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead”. Similarly, Joseph experienced an intense amount of trauma, abuse, and mistreatment throughout his years. Yet, he names his children “Manasseh” (which means “forgetting”) and “Ephraim” (which means “fruitful”). In contrast to modern psychology, we don’t see Joseph going backwards to address his struggles, but trying to forget and move on. This is before the Spirit was indwelling and the gospel fulfilled in Jesus. All of us today have even more resource in the Lord to do the same.
  • Though generational curses exist today, I don’t believe the remedy is to conjure up specific sins from ancestors and renounce them in special ways. I actually can’t think of anything akin to this happening anywhere in the Bible. Instead, we break from generational sins/curses when we repent and say no to those sins. See Ezekiel 18 where God confronts their wrong understanding of generational sins and curses. They played the victim and pointed the finger to their parents’ issues. But God says, in effect, “The moment you repent yourself for these same sins is when I meet you and forgive you. I’m looking to you, not your parents.” See Ezekiel 18 & God’s Justice for more on this.
  • Similarly, we are told in Galatians 3 that Jesus took all the curses of the Law by hanging on a tree. And in Romans 5, we are told that all the curses passed down from Adam and beyond are destroyed by Christ’s sacrifice. But now we have a choice. Look at Galatians 5:1: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Notice that if we stand in Christ and His sacrifice we can be free of the fear of curses on us (from ancestors or otherwise). But if you don’t stand on that ground, but want to enter back into a break-curses-by-your-works mentality, you are taking on a new yoke. The yoke of the Law where curses stay on you regardless of your position in Christ. This is not a yoke you want. Now I imagine the author of this book would quickly say he’s upholding Galatians 5:1. And maybe he is. But it’s hard for me to see how the conclusions of needing to renounce ancestral sins in order to live free is not a separate work wherein someone is trying to be free outside of Christ’s sacrifice alone. Again, it reminds me of looking at snakes instead of the bronze serpent hoisted up.
  • Watchman Nee wrote a great work called, “Sit, Walk, Stand”. It’s based on Ephesians and shows how we are told to sit in Christ’s finished work, then from that place to walk in His ways, and finally to stand firm against the enemy’s attacks (Eph. 6). The premise of all of this is that we already have full victory provided for by Christ. We have full inheritance (see Eph. 1 and 2) in Him. But Satan tries to get us OUT OF this inheritance in Christ. In other words, we stand in Christ’s victory, and Satan tries to get us to stand somewhere else. In contrast to this beautiful truth, I get the impression in some of the book that Warner envisions we have neutral territory that we are fighting Satan for. So he has “legal” (his word) grounds to wreak havoc in Christians. But I think that mentality weakens us and makes us fight Satan outside of Christ and his atonement. Satan has no legal ground anywhere for those in Christ. Period. He will try to attack and get footholds, no doubt. But if we can stand firm in Christ’s sacrifice (using those 7 weapons of Ephesians 6 to stand well), we will experience Christ’s victory through and through. Easier said than done, no doubt.
  • All of these points can boil together to say that the truest and best healing that God gives is found in the revelation of Scripture and Christ and His gospel. I think Warner recognizes this to an extent, but not enough. I think some methods will draw this out more (learning Scripture, praying, fellowshipping with others around Christ), but other methods may divert from this (talking of “legal ground” Satan has over us, for instance).
  • Neuroscience, etc. can give powerful confirmation. But if we can’t find some of the principle in Scripture directly, I don’t trust it for ultimate and lasting change. So…
  • I think the best test of where Warner is standing is to look over all the Scripture he references (and there is a fair amount, praise the Lord). Look at what those Scriptures say themselves (reading them in context) and there is the best ground of light that Warner gives us in this book. But if there are no Scriptures to support a position, we should hold that position looser. This, to me, is a very practical method I use to apply Acts 17:11 to anyone I’m reading. Just write down or note all the Scriptures they use, and see what it adds up to. If there’s not much there, I fear their premise is sinking sand (not the rock of Christ and revelation of Scripture).

Be Berean

I’m not claiming I have a great grasp on all this. There’s so much I don’t know and haven’t experienced. I truly offer this humbly as my thoughts from reading Warner’s book.

Over all of this, when reflecting on Warner’s “A Deeper Walk” or even my book review of Warner’s “A Deeper Walk”, I suggest the following:

Acts 17:11 – discernment:

  1. look at every Scripture referenced;
  2. read the context in the Bible;
  3. hold where the author seems to match the context; reject where he alters the meaning/principle/application.
  4. Where other claims are made outside of scripture, consider what the law of Scripture (as well as the law of nature –Scripture’s supplementary revelation, see “Is Scripture Enough?”) might say based on what you know from other sources.
  5. This requires some discipline – see Acts 17:11 and Heb 5 and Matt 4.
  6. Last, but certainly not least: We need God’s help and come to Him with honest humility to pray He helps us discern these things rightly

Book Review: Carl R. Trueman’s “Strange New World”

I was immensely blessed by the insightful book of Carl R. Trueman: Strange New World (2022). It really helped me make sense of where the culture is now in terms of the LGBT+ revolution (i.e. how and why we got here), as well as offering some very firm suggestions for how the church can shine for Jesus in this new age.

Definitely read the book yourself. But… for those who like the 1-page summary, here you go!

Summary of Trueman’s Strange New World

The thinkers who paved the way to today’s sexual revolution:


  1. Rene Descartes (1596-1650): mind trumps body
  2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778): feelings = the truest you; society corrupts this; born good
  3. Romantics: nature is superior to society in finding the truest you; born good

But these people still believed there was an absolute morality that these things pushed humans toward.


  1. G. W. F. Hegel: society shapes the way humans think about ourselves
  2. Karl Marx: economic relations between people shape our worldview; atheistic—sees religion as defining morality to keep the poor in bondage by the rich
  3. Friedrich Nietzsche: God is dead, and we must free ourselves from religion’s shackles of so-called “morality”; “Superman” = a human brave enough to live as he wishes, unconstrained by society’s current version of morality; ethics is a matter of personal preferences
  4. Oscar Wilde: the individual must break from the herd; artists lead the way as creators who transgress according to their personal feelings
  5. Sigmund Freud: sex is foundational to human happiness (the ultimate meaning of life); sexual desires exist from infancy; religion gives true security by curbing the violent, sexual desires we have
  6. Wilhelm Reich: agrees that sexual desires are destructive to the morality of today, but sees this as a human construct informed by economic classes that can be redefined (bringing together Marx and Freud); society must allow sexuality to be liberated, not curbed; traditional family structure is an obstacle; the struggle for liberation is psychological now (being our authentic self according to sexual feelings), not strictly economical (contra Marx)

Other Contributors

  1. Plastic society + distrust in nation, church, family + technology = vacuum to find new authority
  2. The pill
  3. Pornography
  4. Social science “evidence” against traditional views of sexuality
  5. Cultural elites breaking from tradition
  6. Wanting to be recognized/belong + Internet = new affinities and allegiances
  7. Lesbians & Gays started in tension; Lesbians-Gays-Bisexuals in tension with Transgender & Queers; being victim to oppression (especially in a way that can’t be communicated to others) draws them together

There were some other things I’m missing in there. And obviously this is just quick bullets, so read the book yourself to get the explanation! But up to this point in the book (only 1-2 chapters left) I thought Trueman did an excellent job of showing precisely why we are in the predicament we are. However, I was noticing there weren’t many pages left and was wondering how these problems could be solved in so little time.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised to read on with some of the very helpful suggestions Trueman supplies for how the church can shine her light in the midst of confusion and darkness all around…

God Shines Through His Church

Here are some of the biggest practical steps he suggested for the church:

  1. Own all the ways I have “drunk” these very cultural philosophies we live in, but in different forms. Where have I made my own feelings or sentiments take precedence over God’s word, for instance? And repent.
  2. Repent of all the ways we as a church collectively have drunk in these cultural philosophies.
  3. Look to the 2nd century church as an example. They were strangers in the world, marginalized and seen as wrong, foolish, enemies of the society, or worse.
  4. Be a strong community and family that upholds biblical morality.
  5. Teach the whole counsel of God. He suggests looking to historic confessions and creed that have stood the test of time (in order to remove ourselves from our own cultural biases). But I’d go further to say we should stay “stubbornly biblical”. Go chapter-by-chapter, book-by-book through the whole Bible in our teaching, preaching, Bible studies, Bible readings, etc. When we focus on only certain themes or thematic studies, we inevitably gravitate toward our own preferences and can disregard the rest.
  6. Sing more biblical songs. Start with the Psalms if you don’t!
  7. Appeal to natural law more than we do. This is a practical way to reinforce Scriptural truths, but do so in a way that is a bit more felt and understood by people. For instance, point people to the design of male and female to be the best design for sex, and the reproduction of life, whereas homosexual sex can hurt the body.
  8. Be hopeful–God has put us in this very time and place as His ambassadors. What an honor! He plays the long-game. All will end up for His glory.

WHY Study the Bible, Isaiah 55 (with Video)

Dedicated to my nephew, Lucas. Keep seeking the Lord and His word, buddy! It is always the right decision.

VIDEO: Why Study the Bible, Isaiah 55 (11 min)

Video: Why Study the Bible, Isaiah 55 (11 min)

My paraphrase of Isaiah 55

God says:
You work hard for food for your body.
But I have a feast for your soul.
The best part? It costs you nothing.
Here's how you get it:
1) Desire it
2) Listen to my word
3) Follow what you hear

Consider it this way:
You have thoughts and ways to live.
But all of your thoughts and ways are wrong.
My thoughts and ways are different.
Like heaven is above the earth, so My ways and thoughts are above yours.
So how can you know My thoughts and ways when they are so high above you?
Just like rain and snow fall from the clouds, so I send down my word from heaven to show you My thoughts and ways.

Only those who receive my word in their soul--
this means hearing, knowing, obeying it (all with my help)--
only those people will have life.

But what a life it will be!
Think of feasting, dancing, singing, and lots of growth.
It's all that and more!
There is only 1 way to get this.
Do you want it?
1) Take time to hear/study/know my Bible
2) Follow Me as I speak through it.