Category: The Gospel and the Ministry

The Marks of Grace in the life of the Christian

Introduction Today were going to look at 2nd Peter 1:3-12 and conclude with what we can learn from this passage. In this first main section in 2nd Peter 1:3-12, Peter emphasizes that God’s grace results in godliness. 2nd Peter 1:3-4 His in 2nd Peter 1:3 refers to Jesus Christ. Christ’s power is the source of the believer’s sufficiency and perseverance (matt. 24:3-; Mark 5:30; Luke 4:14; 5:17; Rom. 1:4; 2 Cor. 1:29). The genuine Christian is eternally secure in his salvation and will preserve and grow because he has received everything necessary to sustain eternal life through Christ’s power. To be godly is to live reverently, loyally, and obediently toward God. Peter means the genuine believer ought not to ask God for something more (as if something necessary to sustain his growth, strength, and perservance was missing) to become godly, because he already has every spiritual resource to manifest, sustain, and perfect godly living. “Knowledge” is a key word in 2nd Peter (2 Peter 1:2, 5-6, 8; 2:20; 3:18). Throughout Scripture, it implies an intimate knowledge (Amos 3:2). The knowledge of Christ emphasized here is not a superficial knowledge, or a mere surface awareness of the facts about Christ, but a genuine, personal sharing of  life with Christ, based on repentance from sin and personal faith in him (Matt. 7:21).  This call “called us to his own glory and...

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Indicative and Imperative

Running as a constant motif through Romans 6 is the interplay between what is called the indicative and the imperative. In the former mode, Paul insists that God has himself accomplished our decisive break with sin: “We died to sin” (v.2); “our old self was crucified with him” (v.6); we are “dead to sin but alive to God” (v.11); we “have been brought from death to life” (v.13); “sin shall not be your master” (v.14); “you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of righteousness” (v.18); “you have been set free from sin and become slaves to God” (v.22). But Paul regularly intersperses his indicatives with imperatives that make us responsible for winning the battle against sin: “Do not let sin reign” (v.12); “do not offer the parts of your body to sin but offer yourselves to God” (v.13); “For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members(C) as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.” (v.19). the combination of these emphases presents both a theological and practical problem. The theological problem is to combine these two so that we can achieve a coherent picture and at the same time do justice to Paul’s teachings on related topics. No theologian completely ignores one of these emphases or the other, but many focus on...

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Christocentric by Matthew Fretwell

Incarnational living is Christ-centeredness; meaning, Christ is interwoven into the warp and woof of the homogeneous fabric of faith. Christ is above culture. Sure, the church strives to place Christ “in” culture, but the sovereignty of Christ means that He already supersedes culture. His position is outside of time. Being Christocentric means that I acknowledge all things are in, through, for, and by Him (Eph. 1:3-14). When the Lord stated “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt. 22:21), Jesus implied three things: (1) Caesar may claim to be “Augustus” (the title denotes god-like, or majestic), but God is the One and only God; (2) all things are God’s, and government exists for God’s purpose, and (3) all things pertain to, and are created for, God. Caesar owns nothing! He is a created being. Christ, is above culture, but has established all things “in” Him. The Word of God launches this understanding past our human finite minds, more than once: Christ was/is the Creator (Jn. 1:1; Col. 1:16-17; Rom. 11:36). The ancient Christian church acknowledged Christ as the entirety of their lives. They lived the Gospel within every community they reached. With no personal Bibles, buildings, or Sunday school classes, the church thrived on what they knew to be true in their hearts: the Gospel. “Classical Christianity affirms the centrality...

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Boasting, Pride and Humility Part 2

Introduction In part one of our look on boasting (http://servantsofgrace.org/2011/02/23/boasting-pride-and-humility-part-1/) we learned the importance of humility and the dangers of pride. Today we are going to continue our study on boasting by looking at Galatians 6:4, 13-14, 2nd Thessalonians 1:4, James 1:9; 3:13, 4:16 and conclude by applying what we have learned about this topic. Galatians 6:4, 13-14 Galatians 6:4 falls within the broader context of Galatians 5:13-6:10 a section in Galatians in which Paul is instructing the Galatians on life in the Holy Spirit and love. Freedom from the law Paul teaches does not lead to libertinism, for believers by the power of the Spirit live a new life characterized by love. Test means to approve something after testing it. Believers first must be sure their lives are right with God before giving spiritual help to others (Matthew 7:3-5). If a believer rejoices or boasts, it should be only boasting in the Lord for what God has done in him (2 Cor. 10:12-18), not for what he supposedly has accomplished compared to other believers (1 Cor. 1:30-31).   Galatians 6:13-14 falls within the context of Galatians 6:11-18 a section in which Paul gives his final warning to the Galatians. Paul summarizes the main themes of the letter and challenges the reader to stay true to the gospel. To require circumcision according to Paul is to deny the cross...

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Boasting, Pride and Humility Part 1

Introduction Bost (halal, means “to praise”; kauchaomai, “to vaunt onself,” is used in a good and bad sense in the Bible. To praise God: “In God we have made our boast all day long” (Psalm 44:8); to praise oneself, to vaunt (Psalm 10:3). Paul describes what it means to boast in a good way in 2nd Corinthians 7:14, “Forwhatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to youwas true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true.” Paul also explains why boasting in the sense of self-righteousness is bad in Romans 2:17,23 and Ephesians 2:9. 2nd Corinthians 10:8, 13, 15, and 17 give the fullest picture of boasting in the New Testament. In today’s post we will look at 2nd Corinthians 10:8, 13, 10:15, 17, 11:30, 12:5-6, 12:9 and conclude by applying what we have learned. Tomorrow we will look at 12:9, Galatians 6:4, 13, 14, 2nd Thessalonians 1:4, James 1:9, 3:14, 4:16, and conclude by applying what we have learned. 2nd Corinthians 10:8, 13, 10:15, & 17 2nd Corinthians 10 falls within the context of 2nd Corinthians 10:1-13:10 which is Paul’s appeal to the rebellious minority in Corinth. This is the third major section of the letter, and Paul directly appeals to those who are still rejecting his gospel and apostolic authority. For in his...

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