Lazar Gog – Ma vede Domnul

Vezi si

Geneza 49:22-24

22 Iosif este vlăstarul unui pom roditor, Vlăstarul unui pom roditor sădit lîngă un izvor; Ramurile lui se înalţă deasupra zidului. 23 Arcaşii l-au aţîţat, au aruncat săgeţi, Şi l-au urmărit cu ura lor. 24 Dar arcul lui a rămas tare, Şi mînile lui au fost întărite De mînile Puternicului lui Iacov: Şi a ajuns astfel păstorul, stînca lui Israel.

Patriarhul Iacob printr-o decizie speciala, printr-un decret special al lui Dumnezeu, asa cum a avut Dumnezeu grija de toti patriarhii, prin ungerea  Duhului Sfant are abilitatea sa se uite in viitor si sa vada istoria ce urmeaza sa se desfasoare cu fiecare trib in parte. In pasajul de astazi, atriarhul Iacov se uita cu ochii Domnului, prin Duhul Sfant al lui Dumnezeu si il vede pe Iosif

Asa cum deseori a-ti auzit, Iosif este un prototip al Domnului nostru Isus Hristos. Dar deasemenea, Iosif este si un prototip al bisericii. Asa ca, ceea ce se intampla cu Iosif, ceea ce se intampla cu viata lui se intampla cu tine sau cu mine, cu viata noastra.

Sa ne uitam la cateva scene din activitatea lui Iosif, din experienta vietii lui si care se pot reflecta in viata noastra a bisericii:

  1. Ca si Iosif, noi am fost despartiti de casa tatalui nostru si am fost despartiti- in lume, dar Dumnezeu ne-a izbavit de acolo.
  2. Ca si Iosif, suntem chemati si avem putere de la Dumnezeu sa influentam lumea in jurul nostru spre mantuire. In lumea din jurul nostru suntem chemati sa avem o influenta sfanta.
  3. Ca si Iosif, sa nu ne pierdem cumpatul, chiar in situatiile cele mai dificile.
  4. Ca si Iosif, in imprejurarile in care ne gasim in viata- in Egipt, in lume, sa ne pastram caracterul sfant.
  5. In orice situatie sau circumstante ne-am gasi, lucrul cel mai mangaietor este ca Dumnezeu ne vede

Published on Oct 9, 2012 by  by Rev. Dr. Lazar Gog

Desiring God National Conference – Act the Miracle Panel on Sanctification (Video)

The panel videos are always a treasure trove of personal application advice on living life. Here’s just a few examples from this particular panel:

The moment of temptation – James 1:13-15

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

  • Dr. Russell Moore– I think Satan works in two ways. One of them is in deception. So, you have someone who is deceived in thinking ‘I don’t know, I don’t believe this is going to have consequences, you will not surely die…’ or somehow „i’m special, God’s law doesn’t apply to me in this case’. So, they’re deceived. They don’t see what’s actually happening until it’s too late. And/ or through accusation. That way that the devil accuses us because of our sin. So, either one of those areas leads to the same place which is ultimately to death. So I think the moment of temptation, one problem that people have  is not being aware of the darkness around us. The scripture warns us consistently. But, also to be aware of the possibility of despair. One of the ways that Satan can pin us down in temptation is to start to think of ourselves as an animal: „I don’t have any power over this, I don’t have any control over this, I’m just simply determined to walk in this way.”(13:00)
  • John Piper – I just drew attention to the words ‘No temptation has befallen you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful; He will not suffer you to be tempted beyond that which ye are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Corinthians 10:13)   I’ve always thought that’s a really provocative way to end the verse, after you’ve used the word escape, to use the word endure. A way of escape may be made so that you may endure. If you got to escape, you’re not enduring anymore. So, my conclusion is that the escape is the power to endure. The word for endure means- you’re being pressed about without being crushed. I’m feeling pressed by external or internal something and endurance means I’m not gonna give up here, I’m not gonna squash. And that’s the escape. The Lord gives that. (23:00)

The role of commandments in sanctification and obedience

  • John Piper: To tell you what you ought to do. (25:00)
  • Kevin Deyoung: Theologians talk about the law being used in different ways. (26:00)
  1. One way is a restraint of wickedness. You get these commandments in some kind of common grace it restrains you from everything you might want to do
  2. Second, what we think of most in the law-gospel distinction. The commands come at us and we say, „I don’t live up to that, I don’t love my neighbor as myself, I don’t love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, I don’t obey the 10 commandments. I need a Savior.” It shows you a need for a Savior. You run to Christ.
  3. And then, the third use which is in the various historically reformed confessions and also in the Lutheran ones (which is sometimes overlooked) is that the law is also given to us as the perfect rule of righteousness. And, there’s a lot of difficult, theological layers. Because, what do we mean by the law, for example?  The law can mean the Torah- the first five books of the Bible, it can mean the Mosaic Covenant, it can mean just commands, and what do we mean as an instrument of our sanctification? The law’s not giving us the power to obey, but, it is giving us the blueprint. It is pointing us along the path. It is telling us how we ought to live. In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul can do this back and forth, „I’m not under the law, but I’m under the law of Christ.” There’s a sense in which he’s saying the Mosaic covenant is not our covenant. I’m not under law, but I don’t want to do away with commandments. I’m still under the law of Christ. And he wants to hold out for us. So, when he gets to Romans 13 he talks about love, he says, „Love is fulfilled in these commandments and these commandments, he lists half of the decalogue is fulfilled in love.” So, if people want to know what it’s like to love your neighbor, you have to go to some of the commandments and if you really want to obey the commandments, you have to talk about loving your neighbor. I wouldn’t quite say they’re interchangeable, but you have to talk about both if you’re gonna talk about either in a biblical way. And I would say, that is the heart of the third use of the law.
  4. So, commands- the New Testament is full of them. God still gives them to us. We just need to obey them, as one hoping to live out all that we are in Christ, and not as one hoping to prove or hoping to earn some sort of status in Christ. So, the law leads to Gospel. But, if you look at the exodus, the Gospel also leads to law because He set them free from Egypt, He didn’t tell them, „Clean up your act, obey the 10 commandments for 400 years and I’ll set you free.” He set them free and then He led them to Sinai and then He said, „Now, you’re to worship Me and here’s what it looks like”.

The role of striving in a christian life

  • Dr. Russell Moore: There is a tendency and there is a danger, because we tend as christians to ping back and forth between extremes and we tend to react to the last bad thing that I encountered. And so, people that grew up in churches in which the Gospel was for unbelievers, and then everybody else was living according to rules or principles, or however this was laid out in that congregation, tend to want to move away form that and say, „We have the Gospel, we are received and accepted in Christ,  we believe the Gospel and so everything else comes almost organically, reflexively and so there’s a tendency to not want to talk about pleasing God or about the commandments of God and then, those people’s children react to that with, „We need to have holiness. Let’s have rules and regulations,” and eclipse the Gospel. Instead, you have both of those things. You have a Gospel that frees us and it tells us who we are in Christ. It tells us what has been done for us. But, that grace that has freed us, has freed us to live out a life in Christ that is defined by the word of Christ. By what it is that He tells us to do.And so, we believe and because we believe, we’re obedient. Pastor Piper’s book ‘Future Grace’ is one of the most helpful things in print about the fact that, because we believe God, who has spoken to us about how we can be freed from condemnation, and how we’re made right, we also then believe Him when He tells us what is best for us, as we move toward the future that He has for us. (29:00)
  • John Piper: As I’ve thought about this most recently, what’s been helpful is to notice that the phrase ‘by faith’ is a definer of the verb ‘live’. For example, Galatians 2:20 the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. The ‘living’ and the ‘faith’ are not the same. The Bible says, „Strive to enter by the narrow gate.” You just take that word ‘strive’ and say ‘believe harder’. Well, it doesn’t work that way because you have descriptions of the christian life that use verbs of ‘doing’ or ‘living’ by faith. So ‘faith’ becomes the instrument or the empowerment for living or doing. We walk by faith and not by sight. So, the walking is not the same as the believing. I’m walking by believing. That means then practically, that the way the will is engaged in obedience is not simply by believing. For example, you’ve decided that the command of ‘visit this person in prison’ or ‘welcome this refugee’ into your home’, os something else. And it involves the motion of your body. The legs have to flex and you must get up, open the door, get in the car, turn the key, take some time… These are all physical actions that have in and of themselves no moral significance whatsoever. But, they are what you are called upon to do. They’re getting you towards doing something. Now, the question is not merely believing. I must do that by faith. That’s why I wrote the book (Future Grace). What does it mean to turn the key by faith, to open the door by faith, to drive a car by faith, go to a prison by faith or a sick person by faith? It also, your will is telling your muscles to do things. And, you’re doing them. And that takes some exertion. It’s painful. It’s hard to deny yourself a comfortable evening at home when you think you should go to the hospital, or something. Here’s where the rubber meets the road for me: The alarm goes off. I’ve had the grace to set it early for meeting God in the morning. It goes off and I am absolutely dead tired. My mind and body make an absolutely compelling case for why sleep is more needful than the Bible. Now, what do you do at that moment? You, by faith get out of bed. Well, for me that would mean believing the promise that it is more blessed to be with my Bible than to be in bed. Believe it. Having believed that, now what? Believing that will get you out of bed. But not before you say to your legs, „Flop over the edge of the bed legs! Flop! Do it now! Do it! ” That really is what it comes down to when you’re getting up in the morning. After you believe, your will tells your body to do things, or NOT. And, that’s why I think it’s over simplistic, it’s flattening, it’s reductionistic to say that that battle is only fought in terms of ‘believe the Gospel more’ or ‘believe the promise more’. It is believe the promise, convince yourself it is more blessed. That’s gonna produce the motivation to get you out of bed, but, then the will says to your legs- who are saying back to you ‘NO, I’m not’- ‘Yes you are.’You sit there and you watch yourself talk to yourself and watch your muscles act in obedience.  (32:00)
  • Kevin DeYoung – I don’t think any of us are in danger of ‘we’re working too hard’.  That may sound, not quite right theologically, but here’s what I mean. We can be in danger of striving, of working, of of being diligent and we can get it wrong in a couple of ways. One, is to do it without faith- legalism or we can not be working at all the things that we ought to be working at. (devotions, family, etc) (38:00)

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  • John Piper: The principle that I think we should keep in mind that the warfare against sin, for holiness is a warfare to be fought in the moment with the Bible, and in the background with the Bible. In other words, daily meditation on Scripture is tilling the garden in which the flowers of holiness grows. And if a rabbit, at 3 o clock in the afternoon comes along to try and chew down this beautiful flower, you kill it. And you kill it with a verse that you remember from the morning. So its the ‘both’ ‘and’. Sometimes we can only do one. We need the Bible when challenged in some way of impatience or unkindness and I need a verse to kill that sin. Yes, you do and I do. I also need to be stocking that arsenal and just sweetening my sour heart every morning. So, just those 2 things, by way of principle- we’re pursuing a sweetening, humbling, nourishing, strengthening, and those are just adjectives of which there are 1000 of things that God is doing in our hearts when we read the Bible, and we don’t know He’s doing. And then, through the day, we need particular daggers that we stick Satan with when he’s trying to make us do something we shouldn’t do. (2:00)
  • John Piper: Someone may have mentioned the inspiration of other people’s holiness. And I’m thinking right now of histories and biographies. So, a means of grace for me, few things outside the Bible inspire me to want to be something that I’m not, as biographies of people who in all their sinfulness have conquered some sin, or conquered some weakness and have glorified Christ more because of it. So, I’m stirred and want to press on and fight the fight by stories of people I read in history who have done that.  (11:10)
  • Kevin DeYoung: Don’t pass up those promptings to pray. Sometimes I get it at night, this feeling, ” I need to go pray, I need to think through this” and the thought comes, „I’ll do that in the morning.”  Second thing, very practically, we’re all different, but the practical thing that has helped my prayer life the most  has been not sitting down while I’m doing it. I walk… I wish that I could wake up and have great times in prayer, but I get great times of sleepiness that come and so I walk, and you go out and walk 25 minutes and you’ve got 25 minutes to come back… walking has helped me immensely. (5:00)
  • Dr. Russell Moore: Hymns- I find often that the power of hymns and songs comes not in the moment in which I’m singing them, but, later when they sort of just show up in some primal place inside of me, often very, very convicting. Just a few weeks ago, I was driving along and I was having a really hard time in terms of self pity and anxiety about something and I had my iPod just set to random music and all of a sudden an old hymn from my tradition ‘Just as I am’ came on, which I had heard every single Sunday, 50 verses of it at the end of every service as a child. But, it just pierced through to me because I thought, „I don’t believe that right now,” that I am standing here, just as I am, without one plea, except that your blood was shed for me. It moved to this point of repentance and conviction that I’m not sure simply thinking about it would have gotten to me so quickly.  (12:00)

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