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Monday, June 28, 2010


Alright, it's finally time for Jonah. I read this on like Wednesday of last week so I've had time to contemplate it. The more I think about it, the more I like it, but at the same time the more I hate it. I'll explain.

Overview first. Jonah is not like the other prophets. The book is a four-chapter narrative, not an oracle. The story is of the prophet Jonah's disobedience to God. The reason he is disobedient is the kicker. He is mad because he knows that Yahweh will save Nineveh and he doesn't want Him too (4:1-2). So chapter 4 is God discussing that problem with Jonah. Just read the book. It takes like ten minutes. It's worth the ten minutes. Then come back and read this because you'll have the proper context. Don't say, "Oh I remember it from Sunday school." It's different than they told you in Sunday school, trust me. Just go read it.

Okay, here is what I picked up in Jonah- Grace. Grace of the most amazing kind. There are two opposite ends of the spectrum here. Nineveh is the capital city of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrian Empire was one of the most brutal, terrible empires in the history of the world. This is a quote from the wikipedia page on how they would deal with rebels.

"Ashurnasirpal II paints a descriptive picture when he later describes how he dealt with the rebels; they were flayed, impaled, beheaded (first if they were lucky), burnt alive, eyes ripped out, fingers, noses and ears cut off."

So that is the background. Nasty, monstrous people who's brutality was most often directed toward Israel. This is the people that God wanted Jonah to announce judgment on. And in the end, they all repented (even the king and the animals! 3:6-8). And God relented of the disaster that He said He would do to them (3:10). That is amazing grace. They did not deserve anything. In fact, if anyone deserved the wrath of God it was them. But He relented.

Next is grace that maybe hits a little closer to home- grace for the self-righteous. Jonah right here is the epitome of self-righteousness. The man is a prophet of God. He leads the biggest revival in the history of the world. This would have been like someone going into Nazi Germany and preaching to Hitler and all the people of Berlin... and all of them repenting. That is not an exaggeration. This is by far the most amazing revival recorded so far in the Bible. And Jonah is mad! He's mad because he doesn't think that these people deserve God's grace. And you know what? He's right. They don't at all. They deserve His righteous wrath. But what Jonah has lost sight of is that he deserves God's wrath just as much as the Ninevites. This is not my opinion. This is a statement of fact- we all deserve nothing but the wrath of God for all of eternity. That is why self-righteousness is so utterly ridiculous.

Okay now here comes the grace. Jonah blatantly sins against God. In fact, this could be shown as the definition of sin. God tells Jonah to go one way and he turns to run in the other direction. But here is the grace- God chases him (1:4). It got me to thinking. I listened to a couple things this weekend in the car. Some were about Jonah, some weren't. But I started to connect some dots. God always does the chasing. ALWAYS. I can't think of a time where someone actually seeks after God first in the Old Testament so far. God is the one who goes after people and it is never of any merit of theirs. Adam (Genesis 3:9), Noah (Genesis 6:8, By the way this may look like merit for Noah in verse 9 but it isn't. Notice the order of these verses 5-6 then 8 then 9, Noah's righteousness was given to him by God's grace.), Abraham (Genesis 12:1-4), Moses (Exodus 3:1-6), all of the judges, Samuel (1 Samuel 3:4), David (1 Samuel 16:11-13), Isaiah, Jeremiah, every single one of the prophets. The point is God chases after people, even the extremely self-righteous. Not because of something they earned, but because He is God. This is grace. Unmerited favor. This is the beauty of Jonah. God's grace is for the extremely wicked who know they are extremely wicked and also for the extremely wicked who are haughty and think they are righteous.

That was the overwhelming theme of Jonah. There are more to be sure. We could talk about chapter 4 for hours on end. Jonah is overflowing with conversation grabbers. He got swallowed by a fish for three days! How could you not talk about that for awhile at least? He caused a bunch of pagan sailors to praise Yahweh, fear Him, and offer sacrifices to Him (1:14-16). This could be a very long conversation. But the theme at the forefront of this book seems to be grace. So I'll leave you with that. I hope this was good for you to hear. I hope it challenged you to read God's Word. That is what I want to happen from you reading this.

All for His glory,


Obadiah is simply an oracle against Edom. Remember that Edom is the nation that descended from Esau, so they are in a sense the opposite of Israel (Jacob). God is punishing them for taking advantage of Judah during the Babylonian conquest (10-14). It's weird because in 6-9, he talks like the judgment of them is past tense. Then in 12-14, he is telling them not to do things to Jacob that they have seemingly just done, future tense. So that was just kind of weird. Again we're back to the day of Yahweh (15), which will include judgment for all the nations, not just Israel. This is a reminder that God is the ruler of every nation.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Edification on I-65

Well I went to Nashville this past weekend to visit some friends. Actually I just went expecting to see the Bens, Ryans, and Lauren, but like fifteen more people were at Lipscomb for Impact (don't ask, I still don't really know what it is). It was a good trip though and it was good to be around Harding friends again.

One thing that I love about road trips is the opportunity for a lot of learning. I was in the car for about fourteen hours total and got to listen to a lot of stuff. So I'm going to relay some of that to you because it was all very good.

The first thing I listened to was a new album that I bought the day that I left. It's the new album by Lamp Mode Recordings titled "The Church." The album features some names that were very familiar to me like Trip Lee, Shai Linne, and Flame. And also some names that I have heard but haven't really listened to a lot: Hazakim, Tedashii, Evangel, Stephen the Levite, and God's Servant. Anyway, all the songs had to do with the Church. It was so good. I learn so much from hearing those guys "preach." Seriously. I know that Yoder and Dayton are still the only friends of mine that can handle Christian rap, but at least get on there and look at some of the lyrics when you get a chance. I haven't seen anywhere that they are out yet but I'm sure you can find them somewhere. (Two songs that were awesome for me to listen to were "Expositional Preaching" by Shai Linne and "Conversion" by Trip Lee)

The next thing I listened to was a sermon by R.W. Glenn on Jonah. It was fantastic and was great for me after just reading Jonah. I will talk more about it when I give my notes on my reading of Jonah.

Next was the kicker. This is something that I wasn't planning on at all and it just blew me away. I heard some stuff on that CD about defining what the Church believes. When I heard that I remembered seeing something that looked like that on my Mars Hill podcast. So I went looking for it. Sure enough I found a series that Mark Driscoll did a couple years ago called Doctrine. So I started listening to this series. Amazing. Imagine a church defining what they believe to the congregation. This wasn't like, "Okay let's look at justification or election." It was "This is what we believe about God." "This is what we believe about the Bible." "This is what we believe about mankind." Now maybe churches actually do this. I just haven't been there when they do it. But Driscoll started with defining God and went from there. It's a thirteen part series which I have only listened to six of. But it is so good. Even if you don't completely agree with everything that he says, it causes you to ask yourself why you agree or disagree. Most people would have no idea why they agree or disagree. I am working towards having a reason for why I believe what I believe.

So anyway, that was my weekend. Good fellowship with friends. Good fellowship with God. And good edification from Christian rappers and preachers.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Amos was apparently the first of these prophets. Verse 1 says he was around in the time of Jeroboam and Uzziah which would put him as a contemporary with Hosea and slightly earlier than Isaiah (Isaiah started his prophecy in the year Uzziah died [Isaiah 6:1]). The point is that it is very obvious there is not a lot of precedence for someone speaking as the mouthpiece of God. Forty-three times in this nine chapter book, Amos tells the people who is speaking by saying "thus says Yahweh" or "this is what Yahweh showed me" or finishing something with "declares Yahweh." He keeps reminding the people that these things are from God, not Him. Actually in chapter 7, Amos has to defend himself against Amaziah the priest. To his charges Amos says, "I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But Yahweh took me from following the flock, and Yahweh said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'" So that was a huge theme in this book.

The background is that things are going very well for Israel and Judah right now. So when Amos starts speaking I am sure it is a surprise to them. They think they are doing well. It seems like God/Amos even kind of toys with them a little bit. He tells them He's going to punish Damascus, then Gaza, then Tyre, then Edom, then the Ammonites, then Moab, and you can just picture everyone in Israel agreeing and being super happy about this. "Yeah those people should be judged for what they've done." Then Amos turns and looks at them, and tells them the judgments that are coming to Judah and to Israel. Boom.

The issue seems to be the problem of social justice. The people have no problem sacrificing in the temple and tithing and all those religious things, but they are selling people for things (2:6), and disregarding the poor, turning away the afflicted, etc. So God is going to judge them. So all the way through chapter 8 is this telling of judgment that is coming to these people. In chapter 5, there is a call to "seek God and live" (5:4). At the end of chapter 7 is the instance that I talked about with Jeroboam's priest confronting Amos. And finally in chapter 9 there is restoration. He will restore the fortunes of Israel "in that day."

Amos is another one of these minor prophets. They seem to all be telling the same story even though they are at different times in history. They are all judgment, but they end with restoration at the end of days. A promise of the coming day when Christ will redeem all things. I'm enjoying reading these books. They are things that I have never gotten in and read before. I've just heard about them. They are normally a lot different than I have heard. So read them. Be encouraged by learning more about our God.

All for His glory,


Joel is similar to the pattern of the other prophets. The format of it is something like this. Yahweh promises judgment on Judah by a swarm of locusts (1:2-12). Then, He calls for repentance because "the day of Yahweh is near" (1:13-14). Next Joel describes the day of Yahweh (2:1-11). And again there is a call to return to Yahweh so He may relent from this disaster (2:12-17). In 2:18 the tone switches. "Yahweh became jealous for His land and had pity on His people." So all the way through verse 27 He tells them all the ways that He will bless them (note that these things are all in future tense). Now in verses 28 and 29 God does something amazing. Like in Ezekiel 36 He promises to give them His Holy Spirit, "even on male and female servants" (the lowest of the people). Next comes a brief description of the day of Yahweh, followed by this, "And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh shall be saved." That is amazing. I think this is one of the few times I have heard something along those lines in the Old Testament. Then chapter 3 is God's judgment on the surrounding nations for their violence to the people of Judah.

I know this was short. I just wanted to give a brief summary of what was said. These are very short books so go ahead and read them as I go along.

All for His glory,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


People had me fooled by what they told me about Hosea. I always hear people say, "Oh Hosea is my favorite book. It is just such an awesome picture of God's unconditional love for us." So I was thinking, 'Okay this is going to be cool. I've been hearing all this judgment. It'll be a nice change of pace to just hear some good news.' Not so. The whole book is about God's judgment on Israel because they are unfaithful and unrepentant.

Chapter 1 is the story of Hosea buying Gomer out of prostitution like I always have heard. Then Gomer has kids. The first one is named Jezereel, because God will "break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezereel" (1-4-5). The next child is named No Mercy, because God will have no mercy on Israel (1:6). The next child is named Not My People, because Israel are not His people, and He is not their God (1:9). Then chapter 2 talks about Israel's unfaithfulness and the punishment they will receive because of it. But there is a glimmer of future hope in God's mercy at the end of the chapter (2:14-23). Chapter 3 returns to Hosea and Gomer. Hosea buys back Gomer and says that it is a picture of the time Israel will be without Yahweh but they will return to seek Him (3:5). Then the rough part comes. Chapters 4-10 is God pronouncing the coming judgment of Israel for the transgressing of His covenant (8:1). I thought that chapter 11 would return back to the topic of God's mercy and love for Israel because of the heading. It doesn't until the last few verses. It shows that Yahweh has this great and awesome love for Israel, but they keep running from Him. Chapters 12 and 13 return to the relentless judgment that is coming to Israel. Finally, chapter 14 is a plea to return to Yahweh. It seems like God is begging them to turn from these worthless idols and come back to Him. Hosea then ends with a proverb:

"Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know theml for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but the transgressors stumble in them."

I hope this didn't sound cynical (I'm saying that realizing that it did). I just want to get the point across that these prophetic books are not the stories we heard in Sunday school when we were little. They are all pronouncing judgment for the sins of Israel, Judah, and then nations of the world. This paves the way for the coming of Christ. Those people knew how detestable their sin was to God. He had told them with every prophet that He sent to them. They knew what the punishment was for the things that they had done. Anyway, just stick with me on that. I'm sure it will come up another time or two as I finish the Old Testament. I hope this made you think and hopefully made you get into the text as well.

All for His glory,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Preaching Christ Jesus as Lord

I listened to this sermon today at work. "The Joy of Preaching the Gospel of God" So good. I expected some good stuff about how telling the gospel to others causes joy. And I know Ken Jones from the White Horse Inn radio show, so I figured I'd check him out. What I got was an awesome hour of breaking down what we should preach (it was at a pastor's conference). The answer is astounding. It shouldn't be but it is. Especially in contrast to the way it is normally done. This isn't just for preachers. It's for anyone who wants to preach the gospel, which should be all Christians. Great stuff. I highly recommend it. It's worth the hour of listening.


Daniel is not what I expected. I remember all the sunday school stories that came out of it. So first off, I figured it would be a long book since I'd always heard so many things from it. No so. It's only twelve chapters. Secondly, I had no idea that there were a bunch of prophetic visions in here. So I was a bit surprised. But I liked the book a lot. It was a pleasant surprise.

Chapters 1-6 of Daniel consist of six stories about Daniel during the Babylonian, and then Persian, captivity. The stories told are Daniel and his friends refusing to defile themselves with the kings food as young men, Daniel interprets Nebuchanezzar's first dream, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, Daniel interprets Neduchanezzar's second dream, the hand writing on the wall for Belshazzar, and Daniel and the lion's den.

All the stories are different but they seem to come in two different forms. The first form is Daniel or his friends being faithful to God to show His glory (chapters 1, 3, and 6). Chapters 3 and 6 result in the king praising Yahweh because of the faithfulness of His servants and then His saving power for them (3:28; 4:1-3; 6:25-27). The second form is Daniel interpreting something that tells the kind of God's control (chapters 2, 4, and 5). These stories continually show that God is in control over the kingdoms of men and especially who rules them (2:21, 37-38; 4:17, 25, 32; 5: 21). All of these stories have the same purpose, shown by the reaction to each one. That purpose is for the name of the Lord to be praised.

Now it looks like later in life Daniel was given these prophetic visions. To tell you the truth these were amazingly confusing. My mind was barely working in chapters 11 and 12 because I just had no clue what was going on. But it was very encouraging because I can see that these are extremely detailed visions. Especially the last one which has no pictures of beasts or animals or anything. It is plainly talking about kings and people. I actually recognized some of this stuff from history class. It seemed obvious to me that the goat in chapter 8 and the Greek king in 11:3-4 has to be Alexander the Great. It's a Greek king who has powerful wrath and dies when his power becomes its greatest (8:7-8, 21). Then his kingdom is divided among four (8:8, 22) but "not to his posterity" (11:4). I don't know this stuff, but that one jumped out at me. Anyway, I would love to come back to this stuff with a history book next to me and see what comes of it. The stuff in chapters 11 and 12 is so detailed that I think it would be really cool to look at. But for now I must move on to Hosea.

I really did enjoy Daniel. Now I am into the minor prophets and I don't think I have a book over fifteen chapters the rest of the way. I'm really looking forward to these last twelve books because I love reading books that are compact. They are forced to get to the point because there is not a lot there. Anyway, I hope that this peaked your interest a little in Daniel. I sure didn't know this stuff was in there so maybe some of you didn't either. As always I hope this challenges you to get into the Word more and see what God has given to us.

All for His glory,

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Yes I realize that it has been awhile since I have posted notes on a book. I have been busy with the reading of Ezekiel... and the World Cup. Seriously though, Ezekiel is a really hard book to stay with. He provides so many details of everything. It was great though. I love those details. Honestly, this might be my favorite book that I have read so far. That may seem weird after you see some of the things that are in it, but the clarity of God's purpose and the promise of the future are just so awesome to see.

Okay, first a brief synopsis. Ezekiel is somewhat of a contemporary of Jeremiah. Their timelines overlap just a little bit and they are speaking to basically the same crowd about the same stuff. They are very very different though. Ezekiel is apart of the first group brought into exile in Babylon (1:1). The book begins about five years before the destruction of Jerusalem (contrast 1:2 and 24:1). So for the first twenty-four books, he is prophesying to Jerusalem about what is to come. Then as the siege on the city is happening, he prophesies against the nations surrounding Judah who are gloating over their destruction (chapters 25-32). Next come the prophecies of hope and Yahweh's return to His people, Israel (33-39). Then the final nine chapters (40-48) are Ezekiel's visions of the new temple. Okay, so that is the timeline of what is happening. It's hard to follow but those dates really help.

There is too much to explain in detail about this book, but I will try to compact it as much as I can. Chapters 1-3 are the calling of Ezekiel and they are pretty amazing. He sees a vision of the throne of God (1:4-28). Then the Spirit enters into him and God calls him to be a watchman for Israel. A couple quick notes: #1. Every time Ezekiel sees the glory of Yahweh, he falls flat on his face and the Spirit has to lift him up and set him back on his feet. #2. God continually refers to Ezekiel as "son of man" throughout the book.

In chapter 4, Ezekiel is told to symbolize the punishment God will bring to Judah and Israel. First, he has him draw the siege of Jerusalem on a brick. Then, he has him lie on his left side for 390 days (to symbolize the number of years of Israel's punishment) and then his right side for 40 days (to symbolize the number of years of Judah's punishment). Next, God tells him to only eat bread during this time. And He tells him to prepare the bread on human dung (4:12)! Ezekiel gets God to change it to cow's dung but still. And He also has him shave his head and face and divide the hair onto scales. I didn't quite get that part.

Real quick: go back and read what I just wrote in the last paragraph. Those things are ridiculous! And Ezekiel does them! Crazy stuff.

The next nineteen chapters are prophecies to the people of Judah of their coming destruction. I am just going to try to hit some important points. The first and most important thing in the entire book is said over and over and over again. Actually this phrase occurs in some form 71 times in the book, "Then they will know that I am the LORD." Everything is about showing His glory to Israel and to the nations. That is so clear in this book that I don't know how it could ever be missed. If you don't get anything else, get this: Yahweh's clear goal throughout scripture (especially obvious in Ezekiel) is to show the world how great and glorious He is. That comes up everywhere and I cannot wait to see it shown in the New Testament.

Okay back to the notes from chapters 5-23. Chapter 5 verse 13 gave me chills when I read it. Yahweh just told Ezekiel the horrible things that he will do to Jerusalem and then said this, "Thus shall my anger spend itself, and I will vent my fury upon them and satisfy myself. And they shall know that I am the LORD- that I have spoken in my jealousy- when I spend my fury upon them." Satisfy myself? God's wrath is satisfying to Him. He also says this in 16:42, 21:17 and 24:13. But I want to contrast that with a couple things that I think are very important. They come in chapter 18 verses 23 and 32. Verse 32 says, "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the LORD GOD; so turn, and live." Verse 23 is very similar. So there is this contrast here. God is satisfied in the destruction of Jerusalem and the surrounding nations, but He says that He has no pleasure in the death of anyone. I am not saying I have this figured out at all. I don't and probably never will. God is far too big for me to ever understand. But I do have a theory. It is obvious that God does not like killing people, but He is also just and righteous in His nature. So in order to satisfy His justice and righteousness, He must do something that He does not necessarily like. That is confusing and brings up all kinds of questions but I think that is what I am seeing here. (Help from people who know and have studied this stuff is appreciated.)

The next thing is the abominations that Yahweh reminds His people of. The reason for all of this destruction is their iniquity. It is their fault. That is very important to keep in mind.

Chapters 8 and 9 are amazingly scary. I have never heard that before. Not something they tell you in Sunday school class. But it's important. Read it if you have time.

There is hope in chapter 11. Verses 14-25 are kind of pointing toward the hope of chapters 33-39. Verses 19-20 are just awesome. I'll talk more about those in that section though.

Chapter 20 is the one that just blew me away. God reminds Israel of their rebellious history with Him. He goes all the way back to Egypt. But the amazing part is the reason that He gives for the way He dealt with them. He says in every case that He "acted for His name's sake, that it may not be profaned in the sight of the nations." All of this He did for His glory. In 20:44 He even says that it was not according to their evil ways and corrupt deeds, but for His name. So He did not show them mercy for their sake but for His own. This is all over the place. Look in the Psalms. David knows this. He says that God leads him in the path of righteousness "for His name's sake" (Psalm 23:3). God is all about His glory and proving it to us. Remember that. I am seeing it everywhere.

Chapter 23 is also a passage that you won't hear in Sunday school class. It portrays Samaria and Jerusalem as two sisters who are both whores. It is a disgusting picture of the sin that God sees in them. It is something that is not pretty, but is necessary to understand how repulsive our sin is to God.

Now in 25-32 Ezekiel prophesies against the surrounding nations. There is a lot of wrath and anger, always because of the iniquities of the nation, usually pride. A line that comes up a lot in this section is "I am the LORD; I have spoken." Which seems to be like Him saying, "I said I'll do it; so I'll do it." Also good to note is that God is using other nations to exact His vengeance (26:3 He will bring up many nations against Tyre, 26:7 He will bring Nebuchadnezzar against Tyre, 30:10 He will use the hand of Nebuchadnezzar to put an end to Egypt's wealth, 30:24 He will strengthen the arm of the kind of Babylon and put His sword in the king's hand). He is using the nations like chess pieces. I know it is not a very popular thing to say, but the image here is that God causing nations to war against other nations and win or lose, simply for His purposes.

Chapter 33 brings hope. First Ezekiel is restored as Israel's watchman. Next in chapter 34, Israel's shepherds (kings) will be judged for their awful job of caring for their people. But Yahweh promises that He will be the new shepherd and will care for His people. Chapter 35 is a prophecy against Edom for there arrogance against Israel and the fact that they stood by and did nothing while Israel's blood was being shed (35:5-6). Chapter 36:1-15 then gives a prophecy about the mountains of Israel and the joy and abundance that will be brought back to them.

Chapter 36 verses 16 through 38 and then all of chapter 37 is the passage that made me rejoice yet gave me the most trouble. I know that it says that it is for Israel. But it seems so predictive of what Christ did for His bride. I don't know what indicators would be to tell which it is. Hopefully I learn that in my Principles of Biblical Interpretation class in the Fall. But it is just so awesome to read this. I urge you to read it. Note especially two things: #1. All of this goes back to God's glory. It is everywhere in this but especially in 36:22-23. #2. Yahweh does for us what we cannot do for ourselves (36:26-27). We cannot take away our heart of stone so He does it for us and then gives us His Spirit. And in chapter 37, the dry bones cannot bring themselves to life. They can't do it so God does it for them. Now whether these are meant to be Christians or the Israelites after the return from exile, God is still doing for them what they cannot do.

Chapter 38 and 39 also seem very eschatological (referring to the "last days"). Yahweh brings His judgment against the nations. He speaks of mighty earthquakes that bring the mountains down and raining hailstones of sulfur and fire. I don't think that has happened yet so I can only assume that He is not talking about the nations that Israel is dealing with at that time.

Finally, chapters 40-48 are Ezekiel's vision of the new temple. It is filled with a bunch of measurements of things that I have never heard of (jambs?). But it is important to read. If nothing else, there is one amazingly important thing in here. It comes in chapter 43, the presence of Yahweh returns to the people! And then the last line makes it known: "And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The LORD Is There."

Well, Ezekiel was amazing. So much packed in and so much to sort through. I know that I am not a Bible scholar. Even if I was I could not hope to understand all of this. I very well could have gotten some of this wrong. But I am excited to learn more about the Lord of the nations and unpack all the splendor of His glory. I pray along the way that He gives me His grace and His Spirit that I need to understand His Word. I am enjoying His Word. Please pray that that joy continues. I want to find pleasure in knowing my God better. I hope that this in some way challenged you or put some questions in your mind. As always, discussion is welcome.

All for His glory,

P.S. I have started to put links on a lot of my references. It goes to which a website that Mr. Webster showed me at Blackhawk. I just wanted to say that it is not at all meant to take things out of context. I always wish that you would read the whole book, even the whole Bible with me so we can discuss issues with the same context in mind. But I realize that is rarely going to happen. So I've just put those up for an easy way for you to look at the text. I hope it helps.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sermons from Passion

I am kind of on this sermon thing. I think that it is beneficial to hear the whole sermon instead of just some clip of it (which I'm not discounting, they can also be very beneficial). But I wanted to make something clear. These are not substitutes for the truth of the Word of God. These are commentaries on the Truth. They are not the Truth. Just like books and commentaries. They should never be read or listened to on their own. Go to the Word for the Truth. Go to these things to help you understand what you have already read. Trust me I know that it is easier to just listen to someone try to explain it instead of reading it. But it is not God's Word. It is man's interpretation. Okay, rant over.

With that said, I'd like to direct you toward another sermon. It has brought a lot of things to life for me as I have read them in the Old Testament. I can't wait to get to the part that he talks about in Romans 3. Anyway, this is John Piper's message from Passion 2010, "Is Jesus an Egomaniac?"

Also, here it is written out if that would make it easier to follow along for you.


I know that a lot of you might not like my fetish with Christian rap. That's okay. I can understand that. I have no ill feelings towards you. Music has a lot to do with taste. But just humor me by reading the lyrics to this Timothy Brindle song. I shout for joy when I hear the truth of these words.

by Timothy Brindle (featuring Shai Linne)

(Verse 1: timothy)
Who can resurrect your soul? A smart man can't/
But Christ will to conduct a heart transplant/
I'm livin' proof of this spiritual maintanance/
I'm now revering His patience and fearing His greatness/
-See all believers have truly died ourselves,/
Cuz when Christ died we were crucified as well/
--So our old body of sin can be done away with/
What a great gift, He's begun the face lift/
And just as Jesus rose from the dead- we too walk in a newness of life/
In Union With Christ!/
In the past my master was sin, it attracted my skin/
But I no longer have to give in!/
His word told me He'd change me with His might/
So I could be holy and blameless in His sight/
I was first regarded as that jerk He pardoned/
But I'm confident He'll finish the work He started/
Modestly, in all honesty Christ lived flawlessly/
He's the Molder- I'm His pottery/
He set me apart-- from the sons of destruction/
He's perfecting my heart- it's under construction/

Praise God if He washed your weary soul/
Then you're a trophy of grace- a walking miracle/
Bless the LORD if you're a saint that is saved, then/
You're being changed by His sanctification (repeat )

(Verse 2: timothy)
Christ doesn't just save us for forgiveness of sins/
He takes us to shape us into an image of Him/
Because Christ fulfilled the Law, when we were doomed with Satan/
Believers get His righteousness from imputation/
So there's no condemnation for His consecrated/
I know the process stated seems complicated/
But it's the Holy Spirit's keen medication/
All by His washing and regeneration/
He takes worms and maggots and turns their habits/
I once cursed with madness I now serve with gladness/
Tell me, who else can take vessels of strife/
And then transform them into stencils of Christ?/
Who else can take these random goons/
And then breathe life into abandoned tombs? (NOBODY!!!)/
Christ came to die, His price claimed this guy/
His grace will save, plus His might sanctifies/
As His workmanship my crew cares to please Him/
Dude there's a reason, it's fruit bearing season/
We receive the win, He gave His life for this/
We'd been freed from sin, we're slaves of righteousness/

Praise God if He washed your weary soul/
Then you're a trophy of grace- a walking miracle/
Bless the LORD if you're a saint that is saved, then/
You're being changed by His sanctification (repeat )

(Verse 3: Shai linne)
Through faith (in Christ) everything that happened to Him happened to me/
I happy to see His majesty adapting me gradually/
-I'm fabric, He's weavin' me into His kingdom's tapestry/
Imagine me spittin' systematic theology practically/
I'm askin' thee question that impacted me on a major level:/
'How can a Holy Righteous God save a rebel?'/
The mystery is priceless, His decree is like this:/
Through Christ He makes the wicked positionally righteous!/
No longer targets of His curses/
He takes deceivers makes'em believers/
Then sets them apart for His purpose/
Not only just the reverends/
We need to know this brethren/
The road that get's to heaven/
Goes through Romans 6:11/
Acknowledging that's true what's already occured/
Christ died to sin-me too, the Lord said in His Word/
In Jesus we rest/
We've been freed from the mess/
By the Spirit we put to death the misdeeds of the flesh/
I know my place/
That's why I write my name in lower case/
The more I grow in His grace/
The more He shows me His face/
I praise Him and thank Him, through His working I get to have this?/
My sanctification's more certain then death and taxes!/

Praise God if He washed your weary soul/
Then you're a trophy of grace- a walking miracle/
Bless the LORD if you're a saint that is saved, then/
You're being changed by His sanctification (repeat )

bridge: He bore our sins in His body on the Cross, so we might die to sin and live to righteousness!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The name gives it away. This book is Jerusalem and her people lamenting over the fall of their city and nation. The things that are happening are terrible. Cannibalism is mentioned twice (2:20; 4:10) and women are being raped in the streets (5:11). That is just a picture of what Jerusalem looks like for the people still there after Babylon overtook them. But this lament about the state of things is always brought back to one thing- God. It is obvious that this is all from Him. Babylon is not the cause of their destruction, God is (1:5,12,14; 2:2,8,17; 4:11,16). And it was their sins that brought on the anger of the Yahweh (1:5; 4:13). There is a ray of hope found in the Yahweh's character in chapter three (v 22-26). Also, one very interesting note is that in 3:33 it says Yahweh "does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of man." This makes it sound like His hands are tied. Like He is forced into wrath by His justice and Israel breaking the covenant. Also note verses 3:38-39. One last thing that I noticed was that at the end of every chapter, they turn their focus to another nation. Since they have suffered for their sins, they want God to be "fair" and cause their enemies to suffer for their own sins.

P.S. You might have noticed that I am writing "Yahweh" in the place of "LORD." The reason is that Lord and LORD mean two different things (according to my ESV footnotes). Any time you see LORD in the Bible it is referring to the name that the Israelites used for Him, Yahweh. I figured I should start clarifying. I think it is important, and it kind of makes God sound more like a being than a thing. Plus it's easier than having to change the font every time to write LORD.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Now that I've informed you that I will be suggesting sermons, I'll go ahead and do it. How bout two?

The first is by David Platt. He is the Pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. Platt also recently wrote a book called "Radical." Dayton is reading it and told me to put it on my list. The message I am posting was given earlier this year at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, "The Cost of Following Jesus."

The next one is from Timothy Keller. Keller is the Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and author of books like "The Reason for God" and "Prodigal God." The message is from a seminar he gave, it's called "How the Gospel Changes Us."

Catching Up

Well obviously it has been awhile since I have written on here. There has been a lot going on in my life lately. I got back from Chile on Tuesday. It is good to just be back here with my family. Something I didn't expect though was how much I miss being around people my age. So that has been an adjustment. I started my construction job on Thursday, which I didn't really expect to start for a week or two. And there has been a lot of other stuff that it would be pointless to talk about.

I just finished Jeremiah this morning. Yes it did take me a month to finish one book. At the start of this thing I decided that I didn't want to ever spend more than a week in one book because I felt like I would lose the flow of what was going on and much of the big picture stuff. I was right. I am completely lost in Jeremiah still. I didn't even take notes on most of it. Add that to the fact that it has to be one of the hardest books to understand in the Bible (all that prophecy stuff) and I just had a time of it. As bad as it sounds, I am really looking forward to getting past Ezekiel. There is just something in me that really enjoys reading a book where I can see the end. It helps me pay attention to detail much more. And after Ezekiel, I've got a lot of small books all the way until Matthew. But because of all that stuff, I'm not going to write out notes on Jeremiah. I'm sorry. It's disappointing to me that I read the whole thing and didn't even pay enough attention to know what it was talking about, besides a lot of wrath. But I think I would be incomplete and probably wrong in most of my observations if I were to do them. So yeah, I'm just moving on to Lamentations.

On another note, I'm asking for your prayers. I have been very discouraged these last few days. I don't know why. I talked to Dayton about it and he is right when he says that somewhere I am not fully believing the Gospel. That is where all of my problems come from (see Timothy Keller's seminar message "How the Gospel Changes Us"). I think that I am failing to believe that God will sustain me. I am putting a lot of value into what other people think of me. That is wrong. I know it's wrong. But it is hard to wiggle free from it. I'm praying about it. So I just ask that you would be praying for me as well. Pray that I would trust God completely.

One more note. Since we are now in summer, my guess is that most people have a little more time (maybe true, maybe not). So I am going to take it easy on the youtube clips and short tidbits. While they are great because they make us think about things, we need more. We need explanations of those truths from the word. So I'll be posting a lot more full-length sermons. Just a heads up. And I'll also post some of my readings that I am going to do with the guys in my Bible study this summer. I'm super excited about that. Honestly I don't think I have ever sat down and studied a book of the Bible like we are planning on doing. I can't wait. (Ephesians I think)

Thank you for all your prayers and especially your patience in waiting on me and my laziness. I hope that you are in some way encouraged and challenged by some of this. Keep seeking God.