Justice and Mercy at The Cross

Only the Christian gospel presents….a way in which justice and mercy kiss each other… First, Christianity confirms the fact that justice must be satisfied. Sin must be condemned according to its demerit. This means eternal doom. The sinner must be damned because God must be inexorably holy and just. His all-powerful Being must vindicate His all-holy Being. Christianity never compromises the ever-blessed purity and excellency of the divine nature. Second, Christianity alone finds a way to satisfy infinite justice and provide infinite mercy at the same time. What no other religion has dreamed of, Jesus Christ has accomplished. He underwent the infinite wrath of God against sin and lived to bestow His mercy on the damned sinners for whom He died. The infinite Son of God took upon Himself a human nature in which He underwent the full fury of the divine wrath. The omnipotent God satisfied His violated holiness by punishing sin completely in His blessed Son, who “became sin” for His people. The justice of God was vindicated in full in the substitute, His own Son, our Saviour dear. He survived that awful vengeance and rose victor over the grave by the power of His own divinity. Now He offers to every sin-sick and “pleasure” – burdened soul an everlasting mercy. Perfect mercy and perfect justice in the gospel of the crucified.

John Gerstner
The Problem of Pleasure, Soli Deo Gloria

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All Things Means All Things!

God “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). This “all things” includes the fall of sparrows (Matthew 10:29), the rolling of dice (Proverbs 16:33), the slaughter of his people (Psalm 44:11), the decisions of kings (Proverbs 21:1), the failing of sight (Exodus 4:11), the sickness of children (2 Samuel 12:15), the loss and gain of money (1 Samuel 2:7), the suffering of saints (1 Peter 4:19), the completion of travel plans (James 4:15), the persecution of Christians (Hebrews 12:4-7), the repentance of souls (2 Timothy 2:25), the gift of faith (Philippians 1:29), the pursuit of holiness (Philippians 3:12-13), the growth of believers (Hebrews 6:3), the giving of life and the taking in death (1 Samuel 2:6) and the crucifixion of his Son (Acts 4:27-28).

 John Piper

Overview on Biblical Theology

What is Biblical Theology?

Kerux – A Primer on Biblical Theology

Biblical Theology approaches the Bible as an organic drama of God’s unfolding revelation through history. In distinction from doctrinal or systematic theology, biblical theology follows the progressively unfolding revelation of God’s words and deeds through history. This linear aspect of revelation unites each revelatory event and proclamation both retrospectively and prospectively. Geerhardus Vos described the organic continuation of revelation in history as a flower expanding from bud to blossom. The blossom is retrospectively united to the bud; the bud is prospectively united to the blossom. One of the tasks/privileges of the interpreter of Scripture is to draw out these organic prospective and retrospective relationships. At the center of this organic unity is the person and work of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Even as our Risen Lord related all of Scripture retrospectively and prospectively to himself (Luke 24:27), so Reformed biblical theology is preeminently Christocentric.

God spoke into history; God acted in history; God was incarnated in history. Vos described this vertical interface with history as the eschatological penetration of the history of redemption. In fact, Vos approached Scripture from the standpoint of the priority of the eschatological. Overarching the entire history of redemption was the eschatological arena. Every revelation of God in history was an invitation for the creature to possess the arena of the Eschatological/heavenly. This would only be accomplished through the saving work of the Son, Jesus Christ. Hence, Christ was eschatologically revealed throughout the history of redemption as the promised seed of the woman, seed of Abraham, seed of Jesse, etc. Even as God and man met in Jesus Christ, so the eschatological and the linear met at every point of God’s special revelation.

Graeme Goldsworthy – Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture

From the evangelical preacher’s point of view, biblical theology involves the quest for the big picture, or the overview of biblical revelation. It is of the nature of biblical theology that it tells a story rather than sets out timeless principles in abstraction. It does contain many timeless principles, but not in abstract. They are given in an historical context of progressive revelation. If we allow the Bible to tell its own story, we find a coherent and meaningful whole.

Dr Mark Dever gave an excellent sermon on the beautiful plan of God from Genesis to Revelation. For those of us who wants to know more about the story of the Bible, you need to listen to this sermon.

9Marks at Southeastern — Dever, Anyabwile, Platt, Akin and Chandler

BIBLICAL THEOLOGY

Thomas Crane wrote:

The discipline of reading and understanding the Bible has long been an issue of frustration for many believers. Some passages in the Bible are just not easy to understand and the temptation can be to stick with reading the tried and true passages, the familiar and comfortable texts.

Yet, if believers take seriously the fact that the Creator of the universe has spoken and that the whole Bible is the Word of God, they can ignore nothing in the Bible. Biblical theology helps show believers how to read and understand the Bible. Graeme Goldsworthy, author of According to Plan says, “Biblical theology is a way of understanding the Bible as a whole, so that we can see the plan of salvation as it unfolds step by step. It is concerned with God’s message to us in the form that it actually takes in Scripture.”  Read the rest of the review ….

Session 1: Preaching from Genesis through Revelation, Mark Dever unfolds the beautiful plan of God, evident in Scripture from beginning to end.

Session 2: Preaching from Romans 9, Thabiti Anyabwile reminds us how God’s sovereign election demonstrates His glory.

Session 3: Preaching from Isaiah 6, David Platt reminds us of God’s holiness and the scandal of the Gospel.

Session 4: Preaching from Philippians 2, Danny Akin connects the suffering servant in Isaiah 45 and 53 to Paul’s teaching on the incarnation of Christ.

Session 5: Preaching from Revelation 2, Matt Chandler helps us see the danger in losing our passion for Christ, and for His body, the Church.

1 King 5 {Preparation for building the temple}

This week I have been working and studying on 1 King 5.  I would love for you to share your thoughts on this chapter. I pray and hope that Life University can assist our teachers and students to grow in their walk with the Lord. Here are several questions for you to ponder on and don’t forget to leave your comments.

1. What is the main objective of the text?
2. What is the Biblical Interpretation of the text?
3. What application can you draw from the text?
4. How can you draw the Gospel to the text?

1King 5 – [5 :1]  Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram always loved David. [2 ] And Solomon sent word to Hiram, [3 ] “You know that David my father could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. [4 ] But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor misfortune. [5 ] And so I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to David my father, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.’ [6 ] Now therefore command that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. And my servants will join your servants, and I will pay you for your servants such wages as you set, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”

[7 ] As soon as Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people.” [8 ] And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message that you have sent to me. I am ready to do all you desire in the matter of cedar and cypress timber. [9 ] My servants shall bring it down to the sea from Lebanon, and I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you direct. And I will have them broken up there, and you shall receive it. And you shall meet my wishes by providing food for my household.” [10 ] So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the timber of cedar and cypress that he desired, [11 ] while Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 cors of wheat as food for his household, and 20,000 cors of beaten oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. [12 ] And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.
 
[13 ] King Solomon drafted forced labor out of all Israel, and the draft numbered 30,000 men. [14 ] And he sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in shifts. They would be a month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the draft. [15 ] Solomon also had 70,000 burden-bearers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hill country, [16 ] besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief officers who were over the work, who had charge of the people who carried on the work. [17 ] At the king’s command they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones. [18 ] So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the men of Gebal did the cutting and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house. (1 Kings 5 ESV)

2 New Book Reviews

Review by Trevin Wax:
40 Questions About Interpreting The Bible: by Robert Plummer.

An oft-quoted word of wisdom about seminary education goes something like this: Don’t take classes. Take professors. In other words, the teacher makes the class. Find the teachers you want to learn from, not just the classes that look interesting.

For my first semester at Southern Seminary, I decided to take Hermeneutics (the art of interpreting the Bible), hoping it would give me a firm foundation for biblical interpretation throughout my seminary years. I wound up in the class of Dr. Robert Plummer – a young-looking professor with a quirky sense of a humor and a genuine love for the Scriptures. Though I took more than 90 credit hours of classes at SBTS besides Hermeneutics, the initial class with Plummer remained one of my favorites.

Now that I am serving in a church, I have often longed for a concise, easy-to-read primer on Hermeneutics that I could draw from for my teaching. I don’t have to wait any longer. Dr. Plummer’s book, 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible (Kregel, 2010) is, quite frankly, the best Hermeneutics resource that I’ve come across……. read more @Trevin Wax 

Review by James Grant
Tullian Tchividjian, Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels. Crossway, 2010. 192 pages.

One of the benefits of the current “gospel-centered” movement is a realization that the Old Testament proclaims the gospel. It is crucial for the church, and for her ministers, to preach and teach the stories of the Old Testament from the perspective of the good news that runs as a stream throughout the Scriptures all the way to the cross and then throughout the world. I am thankful for the work of writers, preachers, and teachers who have been witnesses of this model of interpretation, such as Edmund Clowney, Sydney Greidanus, Graeme Goldsworthy, Bryan Chapell, and Tim Keller to name a few.

Tullian Tchividjian’s book Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels joins this movement of gospel-centered interpretation of the Old Testament by examining the Book of Jonah….read more