Voddie Baucham – Tracing the Line of the Promised Seed of Abraham

photo credit awildernessvoice.com

Voddie Baucham will be joining The Lignoier Conference next week. Read more about it here-  2014 National Conference. In this excerpt from his message at our 2011 Fall Conference at Reformation Bible College, Voddie Baucham traces the line of the Promised Seed from Genesis to the Gospels:

photo credit  www.justbibletruth.com

Transcript

God makes a promise in Genesis 3:15. This promise involves the promised seed. He pronounces this promise in a curse against the serpent. The serpent believes exactly what God says which is why in Genesis 4 we have the first murder. What is the first murder? The seed of the serpent, Cain, kills the seed of the woman, Abel. The seed that was promised still had not come to fruition. Eventually you come to a man name Terah who has an offspring by the name of Abraham. God makes a promise to that man named Abraham and this promise involves, among other things, seed. But this promise is rather significant because he and his wife, particularly his wife, too old for seed. So how do you get promised seed if the seed bearing woman is too old for seed? The answer is God must intervene. No? The answer is we’ve got to find somebody else—Hagar. Wrong answer. God didn’t say “a seed,” He said, “the seed.” Ishmael was a seed but not the seed. Isaac is the seed.

Isaac then goes on and they have twins. Which one is it going to be? Certainly it’s going to be the older. No, this is not about birth order, this is about election. “The older will serve the younger” (Gen. 25:23). So, it’s not Esau, it’s Jacob. Jacob goes forth and if seed is going to come certainly Jacob has to find a wife. He goes to Laban and he meets Laban’s daughter and falls in love, and thinks he has found the one…one, one, one. Seven years he works, and he gets married and wakes up next to the…other one.

And you thought it was a love story. But it was not a love story, it was an election story. The one whom he loves cannot bear children until way later in the story when she gives birth to a son named Joseph and then one named Benjamin. And then she dies. Joseph is loved above all of his brothers because he was the beloved son of the beloved wife. But he was not the promised seed. The woman that he didn’t even want, when her sister couldn’t have children, she did. And she proceeded to give birth to Reuben, Simeon, Levi-the father of the priesthood, and Judah. And as we come to this story, in Genesis 37 we are introduced to Joseph. In Genesis 38 there seems to be a chapter that’s out of place, because now we read about Judah and Tamar, the worst moment in Judah’s life. Why is that there in the midst of this story about Joseph? Because it’s not about Joseph, it’s about Judah.

Well why show Judah at his lowest point? Because God has to redeem Judah for him to take his place as the head of the family and to be identified as the promised seed because of the electing work of God. And so God redeems Judah and in what moment do we see Judah’s redemption? When Judah says to his father, Jacob, “Send me with the boy Benjamin. I know you love him, and if anything happens to him I will be his substitute. Judah goes on to have a son. It’s a great, great, great, great grandson. And his name is David.

David, just like his father Judah, shows up on the scene like this great, great, great, great grandfather of his. And what does he do when he shows up on the scene? When he’s finally identified and the promised seed brings forth his presence with authority. He walks down into a valley where there has been a giant who made this proposition, “Send me a man to fight with me. If he defeats me, we will serve you. If I defeat him, you will serve me.” David goes down, fights the giant as the representative substitute for God’s people; wins victory over the giant, thereby winning victory on behalf of all of God’s people.

And great King David, descendant of Judah, eventually has a greater son who is a greater king who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The New Testament opens up with a genealogy. And basically that genealogy screams: the God who made a promise in Genesis 3 has fulfilled that promise.

These are the line of the promised seed who will crush the head of the snake. And what does King David’s greater son Jesus do? Like his forbearers David and Judah, he stands as a substitute on behalf of God’s elect. Lays down his life, accepts the wrath of God poured out upon him that he might win victory on behalf of God’s people, that all of those who are found in him might be rescued.

VIDEO by Ligonier Ministries
Full Message: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/confere…

Voddie Baucham – Psalm 23

VIDEO by GoodTreeMinistries.com

Voddie Baucham la Bethesda Romanian Pentecostal Church Troy Michigan 14-15 iunie 2013

anunt de la http://romaniaevanghelica.wordpress.com

Event Details

Bethesda Church Troy, MI organizes the Evangelism & Apologestics Conference on June 14, 15 2013

Theme„Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…” 1 Peter 3:15

Please join us starting Friday at 6:30 in the evening and following Saturday at 9:30 in the morning.
Bethesda Church Troy, MI 2075 East Long Lake

Biserica Bethesda Troy, MI organizeaza Conferinta de Evanghelizare si Apologetica in perioada 14 si 15 Iunie 2013
„Fiti totdeauna gata sa raspundeti oricui va cere socoteala de nadejdea care este in voi; dar cu blandete si teama…” 1 Petru 3:15

Special Guest Voddie Baucham
Voddie makes the Bible clear and demonstrates the relevance of God’s word to everyday life.  However, he does so without compromising the centrality of Christ and the gospel.  Those who hear him preach find themselves both challenged and encouraged.

Invitation from Voddie: Ever Loving Truth Conference (Click here)
And register now!

Bethesda Romanian Pentecostal Church

2075  E. Long Lake Rd.  Troy,
Michigan,  48085 – USA
Office Phone: 248-740-7507
Email: info@betezda.com
Map – View Bethesda Map

Voddie Baucham – True Religion

This 7 minute clip is from Voddie Baucham’s visit to Romania, in December 2012.

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The Bible is talking about true religion, and it implies that if there’s true religion, then there’s false religion. Being born into a religion is not necessarily a bad thing. That’s different than being saved. You can be born into true religion, you can be born into a family that takes you to a true church, where you experience the true religion of Christianity, and come to faith in Christ, and that’s wonderful, no need to change that. But, you can also be born into false religion, and born into a religion that does not understand or communicate the Gospel. Born into a religion that causes you to trust in the religion itself, and not in Christ alone. If you find yourself in a false religion, if you find yourself in a religion that is pointing you again, and again, and again to yourself, to what you can achieve, to what you can accomplish, or to things that are done to you, or for you, by those in the religion, then you’ve found a false religion, that is ironically moving you away from those truths- the truths of your own sinfulness and the need for justification, and the true means of sanctification, as well.

It’s not just that we’re justified and declared righteous, but, we’re actually made righteous. And the Bible makes it clear that without holiness, no one will see God. And that righteousness is produced in us, by the grace of God, through that very same means. And, it’s not through us adhering to the rules of men, but, it’s by us being transformed. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5 „If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, new things have come.” It is really difficult, because, as a pastor, I want people in my church to raise their children in true religion. I want to see them walk in that. And, I want to see my children raised in true religion, and to walk in that. But, we have to understand the difference between truth and falsehood, and not just accept things because of the way that we were raised.

Q- How do you know a religion is true or false?

Because of the Gospel. Because of adherence to the Scriptures. The reformers are pretty clear on this, that a true church is a place where the Gospel is rightly preached. Where the sacraments or ordinances are rightly administered, and where is true Biblical discipline, and, underlying all of that, of course, is the truth of God’s word, wherein we find all the rest of these things. And so, when the word of God is received and believed, as authoritative, when the Gospel is proclaimed rightly, as we find it in the Scriptures, when we are observing things, like the Lord’s Supper and baptism, and when we actually exercise discipline because of this expectation of people being made new creatures in Christ, the, and only then, we find ourselves in the true church, or practicing true religion.

When any of those things is undermined- the Scriptures- when suddenly, the Bible is not authoritative, but, the tradition of man is authoritative, or a man is authoritative, we’ve left true religion. The Gospel- when the Gospel is perverted, we’ve left true religion. When we have a man centered Gospel, we have a Gospel that is not honest about sin, when we have a Gospel that is not accurate about justification, and sanctification, and adoption, and things of this nature, and then, when those ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are not viewed rightly, or when you add to them different things. Like, for example, when Rome adds sacraments, being sacramental religion- grace being dispensed through things like marriage and last rights, and so forth… Or, when there is no discipline, when there is no expectation of righteousness, and when we have no expectation of holiness, we find ourselves in false religion, and we should flee from that.

Q- There are many people who believe in salvation by grace, but, they think it’s necessary to add a few things to it, maybe a few good works…

That’s a pretty scary thought. I think people who believe that don’t view themselves rightly. First of all, I am not capable of good. I’m really not. Any good that is ever done in me, or through me, or by me is by the grace of God, through Christ Himself, and through Christ alone. Philippians 2:13 tells us that it is God who works in us, both to will and to do His good pleasure, and, any good that I do, to me to live is Christ, to die is gain. I am crucified with Christ, and yet I live. Not I, but Christ, who is in me. So, I’m not trusting in myself, I’m not trusting in my own works in order for me to be saved. But, I am anticipating, that because my salvation is genuine, that I will be saved, that I will be sanctified, and that progressively, I will see fruit in my life. The fruit of the Spirit in my life is not the way for me to measure whether or not I am achieving salvation. But, it is a way for me to recognize that salvation has been achieved and that it is working itself out in me. And so, there’s a difference in perspective. I’m not trusting in my own efforts to make me right with God, but I’m trusting in God’s work in my life to change me from the inside out. VIDEO by Biserica Speranta Oradea

Voddie Baucham – Religia Adevarata

Videoclip  (7 min) din Decembrie 2012 cu ocazia vizitei lui Voddie Baucham in Oradea, Romania.

baucham

Intrebare: Ce i-ati raspunde cuiva care spune: „Eu m-am nascut in religia mea si nu vad de ce ar trebui sa o schimb?”

Biblia vorbeste despre religia adevarata si da de inteles ca daca exista o religie adevarata, atunci exista si o religie falsa. Nu este neaparat un lucru rau sa te nasti intr-o anumita religie. Dar aceasta nu inseamna ca esti mantuit. Poti sa te nasti in religia adevarata, intr-o familie care sa te duca la o biserica adevarata unde sa experimentezi religia adevarata a crestinismului si sa ajungi la credinta in Hristos… in cazul acesta este extraordinar. Nu trebuie sa schimbi asta. Poti insa la fel de bine sa te nasti intr-o religie falsa, intr-o religie care nu intelege si nu comunica Evanghelia. Poti sa te nasti intr-o religie in care sa te faca sa-ti pui increderea in religia respectiva si nu doar in Christos…

Iar daca te gasesti intr-o religie falsa, daca te gasesti intr-o religie care arata mereu si mereu spre tine insuti spre ceea ce poti tu sa faci, spre ceea ce poti tu sa realizezi, sau spre lucurile pe care altii din aceeasi religie le fac asupra ta sau pentru tine, atunci esti intr-o religie falsa, care, culmea, te indeparteaza de adevar. Adevarul despre pacatul tau si despre nevoia ta de justificare si totodata de calea adevarata spre sfintire. Noi suntem nu doar justificati si declarati neprihaniti, ci suntem facuti efectivi neprihaniti. Iar Biblia arata foarte clar ca fara sfintenie, niciun om nu il va vedea pe Dumnezeu, si ca neprihanirea este produsa in noi de harul lui Dumnezeu prin aceleasi mijloace… si nu prin aderarea la regulile impuse de oameni, ci prin transformarea noastra. Pavel spune in 2 Corinteni 5 „Daca este cineva in Cristos, este o faptura noua. Cele vechi s-au dus: iata ca toate lucrurile s-au facut noi.”

Este dificil pentru caci ca pastor, imi doresc ca oamenii din biserica mea sa-si creasca copiii in religia adevarata. Vreau sa-i vad umbland in ea. Vreau sa-i vad pe copiii mei cum cresc si umbla in religia adevarata. Dar trebuie sa intelegem diferenta intre adevar si neadevar si sa nu acceptam niste lucruri doar pentru ca asa am fost crescuti.

Intrebare: Dar cum putem sti daca o religie e adevarata sau falsa?

Cu ajutorul Evangheliei. In functie de fidelitatea acelei religii fata de Scripturi. Reformatorii au spus foarte clar ca o biserica adevarata este un loc in care Evanghelia este predicata corect, in care sacramentele sau simbolurile sunt administrate corect si in care exista disciplina biblica adevarata. Iar la baza acestora trebuie sa fie, desigur, este adevarul Cuvantului lui Dumnezeu in care gasim toate aceste lucruri. Asadar, atunci cand Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu este primit si crezut ca autoritate, cand Evanghelia este proclamata corect, asa cum o gasim in Scripturi, cand practicam lucruri precum Cina Domnului si botezul si cand exercitam la modul real disciplina datorita acestei asteptari ca oamenii sunt fapturi noi in Cristos, atunci si numai atunci putem spune ca ne gasim intr-o biserica adevarata sau ca practicam religia adevarata.

Daca oricare din aceste lucruri este subminat, de exemplu Scripturile, cand dintr-o data autoritatea nu o mai are Biblia, ci traditia oamenilor are autoritate sau o anumita persoana are autoritate, atunci am parasit religia adevarata. Sau Evanghelia… cand Evanghelia este denaturata, am parasit religia adevarata. Cand cream o Evanghelie in centrul careia se afla omul sau o Evanghelie care nu este sincera in privinta pacatului, atunci avem o Evanghelie care nu este sincera sau corecta nici cu privire la justificare, la sfintire, la infiere si alte lucruri ca acestea. Apoi, cand botezul si Cina Domnului nu sunt percepute corect sau cand adaugam la ele diferite lucruri, de exemplu cum face Biserica de la Roma cand adauga sacramente, fiind o religie sacramentala in care harul este impartit prin lucruri precum casatoria si asa mai departe… Sau cand nu exista disciplina, cand nu este o asteptare cu privire la neprihanire, si cand nu avem asteptari cu privire la sfintenie, atunci ne gasim intr-o religie falsa si ar trebui sa fugim de asa ceva.

Intrebare: Sunt multi oameni care cred intr-o mantuire prin har, dar cred in acelasi timp ca mai trebie sa adauge la aceasta cate ceva, poate niste fapte bune.

Da, este o perspectiva destul de infricosatoare. Cred ca oamenii care cred asta…Cred ca oamenii care traiesc cu aceasta convingere nu au o parere corecta despre ei insisi. Mai intai de toate, eu nu sunt capabil sa fac binele. Categoric nu sunt. Orice lucru bun facut in mine, prin mine, sau de catre mine este prin harul lui Dumnezeu prin Cristos Insusi si numai prin El. Filipeni 2:13 ne spune ca Dumnezeu e cel care lucreaza in noi si ne da atat vointa, cat si infaptuirea… Pentru mine a trai este Cristos si a muri e un castig. Eu sunt rastignit impreuna cu Cristos si traiesc, dar nu mai traiesc eu, ci Cristos care traieste in mine. Asa ca nu ma incred in mine insumi si nici in faptele mele pentru mantuire, ci ma astept ca in virtutea faptului ca mantuirea mea este autentica, sa fiu schimbat, sa fiu sfintit si sa vad tot mai mult rod in viata mea. Aceste lucruri nu sunt indicatorul dupa care pot masura daca obtin sau nu mantuirea, ci sunt mijlocul princ are imi dau seama ca mantuirea imi apartine deja si lucreaza in mine. Deci este vorba de o diferenta in perspectiva. Nu ma incred in eforturile mele ca acestea sa ma duca intr-o pozitie buna inaintea lui Dumnezeu, ci ma incred in lucrarea lui Dumnezeu in viata mea care ma schimba din interior spre exterior.

VIDEO by Biserica Speranta Oradea www.BBSO.ro

Voddie Baucham – Last sentence in the Book of Romans

Romans – 16:25-27 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret for long ages 26 but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith– 27 to the only wise God be glory for evermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

As we come to the end of this letter, Paul does not disappoint. It has been said that “orthodoxy always leads to orthopraxy”. In other words „right believing” will lead us to our right behaving, eventually. If we don’t believe rightly, we won’t behave rightly. But, it is also true, perhaps even more true that orthodoxy always leads to doxology. Doxology, or praise. When you know God rightly, you cannot help but worship God. And, it is quite ironic that there are those in our day, and those in our culture, who pit our knowledge of God, over and against our worship of God, as though we have to choose one or the other. As if we can only be heady Christians who know a lot about God, or we can be spiritual Christians who experience a lot with God. That is a false dichotomy. Nothing could be further from the truth. You cannot fully worship what you do not know.

You will never worship God rightly, unless you know God rightly. And here’s the beauty of it, because the knowledge of God is inexhaustible, we have an eternity growing in our appreciation for and worship of the almighty God. You cannot exhaust the knowledge of God. You cannot exhaust an understanding of what He’s done , and who He is, and because of that, you cannot and will not stop growing in your doxology, your praise. As Paul has walked through this, his magnum opus, the Book of Romans, and as he has dug more deeply than anywhere else in the New Testament, into this doctrine of our justification, it is only fitting, that as he comes to the end, he leaves us with this parting statement. If I had to give a title to this ending statement, it would be „Praise God for the Gospel!” That’s basically where Paul finishes.

I couldn’t help it, as I read through this passage and worked through this passage, through all of the implications here in this passage, I couldn’t help but just see the stark contrast between what we understand as worship and what Paul does here as worship. Because again, culturally, we’ve come to this place, where we believe that worship is purely experiential. That worship is about our experience with God. It is not about knowing God rightly. It is about encountering God passionately. If you read the lyrics of much of what we call worship music today, what you will find is that it is by and large not about God at all, but about our experience of God. About the way God makes me feel about me.

And so, when we gather, our desire is to bring ourselves to this cathartic experience of overwhelming ecstasy in how much God loves me. And how central I am in the grand scheme of things. We gather to make much of „me”, when what Paul does here, at the end of the Book of Romans is not to pause and talk about his experience, with these great truths. But, basically, to pause and say, „Before I go, let me remind you to praise God for the Gospel.”

In the text above, basically what you can do- there’s a bunch of propositional phrases and subordinate clauses in that sentence, and basically, what you can do is take all those propositions and all those clauses away and here’s what you get: „Now to Him”. Stop there. Cause, who is qualifying the Him? Stope there, and then it picks up in verse 27. You have another phrase there: To the only wise God. Go right after that, because that goes to describing this „Him”. So, if you put a line right after „the only wise God”, and you put a line right after „Him”, then, you’ve just connected those two. Here’s what you find: Now to Him be glory, forever more, through Jesus Christ. Amen. That’s his statement. The rest of this sort of explains the why and how there’s glory to Him, through Jesus Christ forevermore.

So, as we plow through this statement, let’s not actually lose sight of what Paul is doing here: Praising God for the Gospel. First of all, because the Gospel magnifies God. „Now to Him,” God is being magnified here. „To Him be glory, forever more, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Why through Jesus Christ? Because the gospel is the good news about what God has done in Jesus Christ. And that magnifies God. The Gospel magnifies God. That is why we worship God, that is why we thank God for the Gospel. That is why understanding the Gospel leads you to the right worship of God.

What is the Gospel?

Notice, first of all what Paul says here about God. He says that God is able, he goes on to say that God is eternal. Then, if you go down and look at verse 26, the last part of that, „according to the command of the eternal God.” So, God’s able, God’s eternal. He also says that God is singular, and that God is wise. So we see here a picture of God as able, as eternal, as singular, and as wise. So, God is magnified here, even in the words that Paul chooses to use to describe God. So, as he comes to this point of praise, as he comes to this point of worship, what he says is: If you’ve been listening and following all the way through the book of Romans, I’ve pointed you to God, by explaining to you the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I’ve explained to you the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we’ve seen that God is able. We’ve seen that God is eternal, so this is not an afterthought. We’ve seen that God is singular, there is no other God. And we see that God is wise. You couldn’t have figured this out on your own. But, beyond that, the Gospel itself magnifies this powerful, eternal, singular, wise God. If we understand the Gospel rightly.

What the Gospel is not

For the most part, we do not understand the Gospel rightly. We basically make 4 mistakes when we talk about the Gospel. And, this is what you and I encounter, when people say ‘the Gospel’. And why is it important here? Because Paul says „Praise God for the Gospel”. And, f you don’t know what the Gospel is, you are praising God for the law, and you are praising God for yourself. May it never be! Here is what the Gospel is not:

  1. Mistake #1 – We see the Gospel as (just) the plan of salvation – You ask the average Christian in our culture what is the Gospel, and they will not give you an announcement about what God has done, they will give you steps by which you get saved. Here is the danger in that: When you see the Gospel just as the plan of salvation, your understanding of the Gospel is truncated. So you are saved by the Gospel, but you are sanctified and you are kept by something other than the Gospel, if the Gospel is just the plan of salvation. Look at verse 25 again „now to Him who is able to strengthen you, according to my Gospel..” He doesn’t say „save you” according to my Gospel. If you read the Book, you know that God is able to save you according to His Gospel. It is the power of God to save.. (Romans 1:16). But, he says here that God is able to strengthen you, or to establish you. God is able to keep you, to make you firm, by the Gospel. The Gospel is not just how we get in, the Gospel is not just the plan of salvation. That’s a truncated view and it robs God of worship. Because, when we view the Gospel as just the means by which we are saved, and not the means by which we are also sanctified and kept, then we believe God does the initial work, and we do the rest. That’s a problem. (14)
  2. Mistake #2 – We see the Gospel as (just) the great commandment- there are those who boil down the Gospel, basically to the commandment, „Love God, love people.” There are thousands of churches out there whose statement is „We’re so and so church” and we’re about loving God and loving people. And, what it’s supposed to be is this sort of encapsulation of the Gospel. There’s a slight problem. That’s actually not an encapsulation of the Gospel. It’s an encapsulation of the law. That „Love God, love people,” it actually comes from Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39, where they ask: Jesus, what’s the greatest commandment, and they want to see which scholar He’s going to align Himself with. „What’s the greatest commandment?” There, Jesus says, „The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” By the way, that’s a summary of the first 4 commandments. So, „Jesus, what’s your greatest commandment?” His response, „I think 1 through 4.” And then He says, „And the second one is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.” That’s the summary of commandments 5-10. „Jesus, what’s the greatest commandment?” „I’m gonna have to say 1-4, followed closely by 5-10.” ‘Love God, and love your neighbor is not a summary of the Gospel, it’s a summary of the law. It is bondage, but, it is only the Gospel that frees us to love God, and love our neighbor. It’s the Gospel that empowers us to do that. If you replace the Gospel with ‘Love God, love people,’ you have actually replaced the Gospel with the law. There is no salvation in the law. By the works of salvation shall no flesh be justified. That’s not the Gospel.
  3. Mistake #3 – We see the Gospel (just) as the great commission. In other words, when Jesus says to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe whatsoever I commanded you (Matthew 28:16-20) there are those who say, „That’s the Gospel”. That ‘the whatsoever I commanded you’, that’s the Gospel. That is another instance of replacing Gospel with law, by telling everybody to go out and obey everything that Jesus commanded. The Gospel is not all the moral teachings of Jesus.
  4. Mistake #4 – We see the Gospel (just) as personal testimony- There are many evangelism training methods, that teach you to go out and share the Gospel with people. And, what they mean by that is ‘share your story’ with people. You know how ironic that is? The Gospel is Christ’s story. (18)

Praise God for the Gospel!

by needanewstartcom

The Gospel magnifies God

The Gospel is an announcement, it is news. It is God centered news. It is an announcement of what God has done. It is Christ centered news. It is an announcement of what God has done in Christ. It is cross centered news. It is an announcement of what God has done, in Christ, through the cross, to save sinners. The Gospel is grace centered news. The Gospel is an announcement of what God has done, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, through His cross, through His active and passive obedience, laying down His life, on the behalf of sinners, who are saved by the sheer grace of God, as that death is applied to them. And the Gospel is eschatological news. It is news for the now, and the hereafter. It has implications for every aspect of our lives.

  1. Implications for how we love God, and love people.
  2. Implications for how we carry out the Great Commission.
  3. Implications for how we understand, let alone tell our story
  4. Implications for all those things

The Gospel is an announcement of news. You are not the Gospel. The Gospel is not your story. The Gospel is not something that happens in you. The Gospel is something that has happened outside of you.

The Gospel displays God’s power

Not only does the Gospel magnify God, but the Gospel displays God’s power. Verse 25 „Now to Him who is able”. God is able- you could spend the rest of your life unpacking that one, right there. But, what has Paul been writing about? By the way, there is in this last sentence, a recapitulation of the major points that Paul has been making. It’s glorious when you see it. Paul goes bak here- „Now to Him, who is able to strengthen you..” In Ephesians 3, there is a doxology in the middle of the letter, that sounds just like this. Ephesians 3:20-21 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Jude 1:24 24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. And it goes back to this in Romans 1:4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.  and Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 

This is not just our justification. You go to Romans 8 and it’s the whole golden thread. This Gospel is not just how God gets us justified, but it’s how He gets us adopted, and sanctified, and glorified. All of it, right there in that chapter. And it is the Gospel, by which that is accomplished. In Romans 1:11 Paul says, „ I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong.” What is the spiritual gift to strengthen them? The Gospel. The Gospel displays the power of God.

We see the power of God here. The power to save us, the power to strengthen and sanctify us, and the power to secure us. Paul says, „Praise God for the Gospel, because the Gospel doesn’t just magnify God, but it displays His power. God’s power saves. God’s power strengthens. God’s power keeps. Isn’t it interesting that here in this doxology, Paul doesn’t say, „Now, in light of what I have given you, hold on tight and work real hard. By the way, he’s not against holding on tight, and he’s not against working real hard. But, you have to understand that your holding on tight, and your working real hard is not what keeps you. It is a byproduct of the only thing that keeps you, which is the Gospel. (29)

The Gospel unfolds God’s providence

„according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages, but now has been disclosed through the prophetic writings, and has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith. What does he recap here? Salvation history. Paul, the Jew, the Benjamite, was anticipating the fulfillment of of the promises that God made to his forefather Abraham, and is now seeing the conversion of the Gentile world, the very fulfillment of the promises that he’s longing for, and beyond that, he gets to walk the ground and watch it happen first hand. So, when he says, „Praise God for the Gospel, he cannot help but recount salvation history, and what it is that God has done. We see this also throughout the letter, that which is revealed or manifested. That goes back to 1:17 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith, and 3:21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. Paul’s pointing back to it, here in his doxology. „Praise God!” But, not just praise God because I feel warm and fuzzy about God right now. Praise God because of the things I told you earlier. Praise God because of what I said in chapters 1,2,3,4,5. Praise God for all of these things I have just unfolded for you. Praise God for that which was present even in the writings of the prophets, but is only now being fully understood. Praise God for His timing in His bringing these things about in His fullness of time. Romans 1:2  the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. Again, Paul is not just praising God because he’s finished writing, he’s praising God and he’s pointing back to what he’s written, much of it in the first chapter. Again, this is a bookend. WE PREACH THE GOSPEL, and THAT’S WHAT MAKES THEM OBEDIENT SONS OF GOD, because it unfolds God’s providence before us. How can you hear the Gospel and not pause in awe of the unfolding providence of God?

Voddie Baucham – When to leave a church

baucham

This is a short clip uploaded by wretchedtv. Watch the message Voddie Baucham preached at this same G3 conference (including full transcript) here- Voddie Baucham – What the Gospel Is, and What it is Not

Voddie Baucham on when and if one should leave a church. Some points from Baucham:

  • When you leave a church, there’s a way that you leave a church. We leave a church when we are in a right relationship with that church. There can be a variety of reasons to leave a church, but, it’s always to go to a church- if God’s called you to another place, you’ve had to move, or you found a church that better suits you or fits you. It’s not (because) ‘I don’t like you, or you don’t sing the songs that I like

If the church plays contemporary music and I like hymns, is that a reason to leave?

  • It could be, but can you stay there and not be divisive? If you could stay there and not be divisive, and be a source of encouragement, and live your life with these brothers and sisters, love covers a multitude of sins. 

Is a good rule of thumb, that if I’m getting bitter, maybe it’s time for me to rethink?

  • I think it’s time for you to repent. Because, when you get to that place, there’s a number of reasons you could be at that place, and they’re not all somebody else’s fault. So, if you’re at a place where you’re gossiping, and you’re becoming bitter; sometimes when we get to that place, things aren’t nearly as bad as we’ve made them out to be, because we’ve rehearsed them over and over again. And, often times, what’s needed at that point is really repentance and to go to our brother and say, „I’m sorry, I’ve been talking against you, instead of praying for you. I’m sorry.” 

Voddie Baucham – What the Gospel Is, and What it is Not

Click on photo to watch video on live stream

A big thank you to Manuela who alerted me to the G3 Conference video being posted.

In some ways the Gospel has become a fad…. there are those that speak much about the Gospel, but, when they say Gospel, they don’t mean what the Bible means by Gospel. There are those who love hearing so much Gospel talk, because to them, the Gospel is the means, to them, by which God levels the socio economic playing field in the world. And so, when they say Gospel, when they celebrate Gospel, they are celebrating the social Gospel.

There are other. When they hear Gospel, they are excited about that, because for them the Gospel is all the moral teaching of Jesus. And, so they celebrate a form of legalism. There are others who are more subtle in their form of legalism. Because, when they hear Gospel, they simplify the Gospel. There’s phrase, there’s a mantra that is going around now, that is presumed to be a simplification of the Gospel. And it is „Love God, Love People”. The irony here could not be greater. „Love God, love people” is actually an abbreviation of Jesus’s teaching on the greatest commandments.

Here’s the great irony. „Jesus, what is the greatest commandment?” It was a legitimate question, a legitimate argument, and some have argued that the first commandment was the greatest commandment. And then, all the others rested on the first commandment. Some have argued that the fifth commandment was the greatest, because it was the bridge between the first and second tables of the law. Others have argued that the tenth commandment, in, coveting, was the greatest commandment, because ultimately, all of your sins arises out of your coveting. So, „Jesus, what is your greatest commandment?” Is he going to say 1, is He going to say 5, or 10?” And, Jesus looks at them and says, „You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind- which, by the way is your summary of the first table of the law. „Jesus, what is your greatest commandment?” „I’m going to have to say 1 through 4.” Then, the other shoe drops. He says, „The second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself,” which is the summary of the second table of the law.

So, here’s how the conversation went, „Jesus, which commandment is the greatest commandment?” His response, „I’m going to have to say 1 through 4; followed closely by 5 through 10.” Folks. this ubiquitous saying „Love God, Love People” is actually a summary of the law. The whole law. It’s not the Gospel at all. It’s what the Gospel freed us from, and to.

So, when we talk about Gospel, we need to be clear, and as I think about clarity concerning the Gospel, and fighting for that clarity, defending that clarity, my mind is immediately drawn to 1 Corinthians 15, because that’s precisely what Paul does. He clarifies the Gospel and he does battle on behalf of the Gospel. But, he does more than this. I believe, if we look carefully, we discover that he outlines 3 different types of arguments.. Three different lines of argumentation:

  1. The first is an argument from authority.
  2. The second is an argument from evidence, and
  3. The third is an argument from logic.

All of them are important and useful in their own right. We know here that Paul is actually addressing, in one sense, a kind of mixed multitude. You’ll see that, as we get further along in 1 Corinthians 15, where he actually addresses those individuals who are arguing against the very concept of resurrection. As he does this, he both shuts the mouths of those who oppose the Gospel and emboldens and strengthens the arms of those who preach it and defend it. We need to be emboldened. We need to be encouraged. We need to see an example of what it looks like when a Christian squares his shoulders and plants his feet, and does battle on behalf of the Gospel, because we live in a culture that does not celebrate the 10 commandments. We celebrate the 11t commandment, which is the only commandment: „Thou shalt be nice”. (8:00)

And so, the idea of a vigorous defense is dismissed, regardless of its clarity or truth if it sounds „even ever so slightly, as if it’s not nice”. Because, if after all, none of the other commandments matter, the 11th commandment is the greatest commandment. „Thou shalt be nice. You have to be like Jesus, who was nice. He walked around with a lamb on His shoulders, had long flowing hair, like a model in a magazine, pretty hands that never did a day of work”. Paul would beg to differ.

1. The argument from authority

1 Corinthians 15- I would remind you brothers, of the Gospel I preached to you of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved if you hold fast to the word I preach to you. Otherwise you have believed in vain. This is incredibly important. Paul is the sender, the Corinthians are the receivers, and the message is the Gospel that he preached to them. But, there’s something more here than just effective communication. He says, „I’m reminding you of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand… In other words, they are standing in, standing on that Gospel that Paul preached tight now- and by which you are being saved.

I love that phrase. Paul didn’t say „by which you have been saved”, although you have. He didn’t even say „by which you will be saved”. Although you will. He says: by which you are being saved. This ongoing, sanctifying work of the Gospel. The Gospel is not just a message that you need to hear to get saved. The Gospel is a message you need to hear to stay saved, to be saved, to live saved.

But then, there’s this „if” clause. „If you hold fast to the word that I have preached to you, unless you believed in vain”. Couple of possibilities here. Possibility #1 is that Paul just introduced the idea of a christian losing his or her salvation. He says, if you keep holding on and you keep believing, and you keep standing you’ll be saved. But, if you stopped, then you won’t be saved. Here, I’ll give you a simple answer and then a more complex answer. The simple answer comes form John MacArthur, he says, „If you could lose your salvation, you would.” How arrogant does a person have to be, to believe that it’s possible for them to lose their salvation, but they haven’t? But, there’s a second idea, that’s the idea that such theology would put Paul at odds not only what he teaches in the rest of this passage, but, what he teaches everywhere else. He’s not ashamed of the Gospel. Why? Because the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. It is the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation. Not me. Not my apprehension of a retention of the Gospel, that’s the power of God unto salvation, but the Gospel. And the God of the Gospel, to be more precise. (13:00)

But, there’s also this phrase that he puts in Ephesians 1, which I believe puts all of this to rest. We could talk about the fact that we have, as a present possession, eternal life. Jesus makes that clear. We could talk about the fact that Jesus gives us the promise that we’re in His hand, and that’s in the Father’s hand, and there’s nobody that’s gonna remove us from that. Ephesians 1:11-14

In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinedaccording to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

So, Paul’s not arguing here that, somehow, we lose our salvation, if we are wavering on the Gospel. What he is doing here is an argument form authority: That we can’t have salvation if we don’t believe the right Gospel. You don’t get to reinterpret, or reinvent, or tweak the Gospel and have the hope of salvation. If what you believe is something other than that which was proclaimed, you have no hope of salvation. So, first and foremost, it’s important that we get the Gospel right. Because, if we don’t, there are people out there (including ourselves) who will be duped into believing that they are right with God, when in fact they are at enmity with Him. If you believe the wrong Gospel, it doesn’t matter how sincere you are in your belief. You are merely, sincerely wrong. So, his first argument is an argument form authority. As an apostle, he reminds them that he preached the Gospel to them clearly. That they are standing and are saved by the Gospel that he preached. Remember the context here- the resurrection is being brought into question. After this argument from authority he moves on to a second type of argument (16:00):

2. An argument from evidence

A. 1 st piece of evidence- According to the Scriptures.For, I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received. That Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures.” So, first he couches this argument form evidence, not in the things around him, or even in himself, but in the Scriptures, in the prophecies of the Scriptures- that God foretold that He would send forth His Son, born of a virgin, born under the law. That He would come in due season. That he could live, that He would die, and He would raise again on the third day. One of my most favorite passages in the New Testament is in Luke 24, when Jesus is on the road to Emmaus. Jesus calls them ‘foolish one’ and ‘slow of hearts to believe’. What? Moses and the prophets. He doesn’t say: You should have believed those things that I told you. But, (he says) ‘you didn’t believe Moses and the prophets’. And because of that, you missed death, burial, and resurrection. That’s the first piece of evidence. It’s biblical evidence. We have the authority, inerrancy, sufficiency of the Scriptures. It always amazes me that we hang on to the authority of the Scriptures, inerrancy of the Scriptures and everything else, until we get to apologetics. Then it’s reason.

B. 2nd piece of evidence- Eyewitnesses. Then, he goes on, „and He appeared to Cephas, then to the 12, then he appeared to more than 500 brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then, he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.” Now you have eyewitnesses. First, we have the evidence of what the Scriptures have taught. The argument form authority is: This is what the apostles have told you. The argument from Scriptures begins with what the Scriptures have taught. And then, there is evidence that Christ has fulfilled what the Scriptures have taught, because there are these eyewitnesses who saw Him. Most of whom remain until now. Which means, that if you do the math, there are 300 eyewitnesses to the resurrection still alive during the time that 1 Corinthians was written. Which, by the way, demonstrates the early, not the late dating of the New testament.

Paul is not talking about some secret that he and a few others know, that nobody else knows. Paul is not speaking about men who are wielding their own personal authority, because of information that they have, to which others have no access. Paul is speaking about events that took place in public, in the open. The Gospel that we preach is a historical Gospel. The Gospel that we preach is a Gospel of things that actually took place. The Gospel is real, it is historical. Enough already with the idea that the Gospel doesn’t necessarily have to be true, if it just changes your life. These are historical events. In fact, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most well attested event in all of antiquity. If we can’t trust the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can’t trust anything form antiquity. Over 300 eyewitnesses still alive at the time of his writing.

C. #3rd piece of evidence- Personal Evidence. he appeared also to me, for I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But, by the grace of God, I am what  I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder  than any of them. Though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me, whether it was I or they, so we preached , so you believed.” Connecting this argument from the argument of authority: What evidence? (1)Scriptural evidence. The Bible foretold these events that would occur. (2)Eyewitness evidence. That there are individuals who saw this resurrected Christ, after His resurrection. (3)Personal evidence. That I saw this resurrected Christ, after His resurrection.

Note, that Paul does not take his own, isolated experience, and argue solely from that isolated experience. That’s not the power of the Gospel. The power of the Gospel is not that I’ve been changed. What is the difference between you and the thousand other people who’ve been changed by a thousand other things. Be careful here. Her’s what Paul is not doing. Paul is not giving us a pattern whereby we argue first from those evidences, and then from our own testimony. His testimony is different form your testimony. Galatians 2. At the end of Galatians chapter 1, Paul goes back to the other apostles after 3 years of being instructed and confirms his Gospel. This is one of the most fascinating and overlooked pieces of the New Testament. „Then, after 14 years, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them (the apostles) the Gospel that I had proclaimed among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I had not run in vain.” (28:00)

3. The argument from logic

(33:00) Here’s where he gets right into the face of his opposition. „Now, if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead?” There’s the question. Here’s the problem. There are people who, evidently are hanging around the Corinthian church and like some aspect of what they’re experiencing. But, they don’t like this one aspect, where the Gospel that is being preached rubs up against their personal philosophy, that doesn’t allow for the concept of the resurrection. So, what they want is a resurrectionless Christianity. They want a Christianity that will fit within the context and confines of their presuppositions.

So, Paul says- argument form authority- „Here’s what I preached to you as an apostle. Argument from evidence- here’s what God has verified and validated historically in the open. Now, he gets to the argument from logic, and he says, „There are some of you, who on the one hand want to say that you are attached, but on the other hand want to say that your personal philosophy doesn’t allow for the concept of resurrection.” Now, we all question something. (Some) just don’t like the idea of hell…and so, we want a Christianity without hell. We don’t like the idea of judgmentalism. So we have a Christianity that doesn’t speak the truth to sin. We don’t like the idea of holiness or righteousness, so we have a christianity that doesn’t require it. We don’t like the idea of the church. So we have a christianity that’s absent of it. And so on, and so on… Watch what he does. There are 7 things that must follow, if the concept of the resurrection is not true (35:00).

But, if there is no resurrection of the dead:

  1. then, not even Christ has been raised. That is brilliant, because He just demonstrated form authority and form evidence that Christ has been raised.
  2. and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain and your faith is vain. There are people out there who want to pick the supernatural parts of the Gospel out. They don’t like the supernatural parts. And so, they don’t believe in the virgin birth, they don’t believe in the resurrection, But, at the same time they say, „But, your Christian faith is good. You do great things in the community. Good for you”. Paul says, if there’s no such thing as resurrection our preaching is vain. In other words, it’s empty and it’s useless.
  3. your faith is vain. Your faith is useless because the resurrection is central to the Gospel that we preach. You just gutted the Gospel. You’ve got a Gospel that’s another Gospel, which is no Gospel at all.
  4. we are even found to be misrepresenting God, that we are testifying about God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise. If it is true that the dead are not raised, for if the dead are not raised,  not even Christ has been raised. If there’s no such thing as a resurrection, you just called me a liar.
  5. and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you’re still in your sins. If Christ has not been raised, there is no justification. He died for our sins, He rose again for our justification. If Christ has not been raised, there is no penal substitutionary atonement. If Christ has not been raised, that means He went into the ground with something that would keep Him there. The only thing that would keep Him there is sin. If Christ has not been raised, He was a sinner and no one has satisfied the righteous wrath of God, on your behalf and mine. And, you and I are still in our sins, and we are only waiting, marking time until we face almighty God and are consumed by Him, the consuming fire. You have offended a Holy and a righteous God and you have no hope. He will crush you. He must. Justice cries out for it. From the time that you were a child, one of the first concepts you learned is „that’s not fair”. Because everything on the inside of you cries out for it. And for God not to consume you , would not be fair. For God to give you a pass, without the shedding of blood, and the remission of your sin through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
  6. And if those also who have fallen asleep in Jesus Christ have perished, if in Christ, we had hoped in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. „I want to hold on to christianity, but I don’t like this resurrection thing.
  7. You and I are the most pitiful lot in mankind because we believed the biggest lie that was ever perpetrated.

Here’s the wonderful thing that happens, because of the way Paul situates his argument: If there is no such thing as a resurrection from the dead, these 7 things are true. The first one has already been proven, which means, not only are you wrong, but all 7 of these things are flipped. There is such thing as resurrection from the dead, which means:

  • Christ has been raised
  • our preaching is not vain, but it is the power of God unto salvation
  • our faith is not vain. But by grace you are saved, through faith
  • which means I am not a liar, I am a truth teller
  • which means that you and I are still not in our sins. Christ died for sins, once for all. The just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us back to God. All, we like sheep had gone astray. Each of us had turned to our own way, but God had laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. I am not in my sins, I am redeemed form my sins. I am cleansed form my sins. Those who had gone on before me did not die vain, hopeless deaths. But, absent from the body, they are present with the Lord.

The Gospel matters. The content of the Gospel matters. It all matters. Do I have to know all there is about the Gospel? I’ll spend eternity  and not know everything there is to know about the Gospel. But, what does it mean to believe the Gospel savingly?  It means to believe what we have received and whatever it is that we’ll continue to receive.

Argument from authority- we believe because the apostles said it was so
Argument from evidence- We believe it because God did it in the open and there is evidence verifying what He did
Argument from logic- Why do we believe it? Because logically it makes absolutely no sense to believe otherwise. Because, there are things that not, only are we not willing to accept, but things that literally cannot be the case, because Christ indeed has been raised.

Ultimately the Gospel is the only thing that will matter when those of us will face a righteous God and will have to give an account. It is only through the Gospel, that the account we give is that our debt has been paid in full, by the One who lived, and died, and rose again. And is coming again, to judge the living and the dead. And to redeem that which was put on deposit.

Original video here – http://new.livestream.com(could not import this video)

Voddie Baucham – God’s will vs. my will

https://i1.wp.com/thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/files/2012/06/voddie-baucham.jpg

at Southern Baptist University, September 2010

Our preoccupation with wealth, prestige and power shapes the way we view the Scriptures. It causes us to see things that are not there and to miss things that ought to scream at us.

A Pastor’s Rebuke To Single Men & Married Men: Proceed With Caution!

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A strong message to men in relationships as well as married men. Are you following the commands of Christ in regards to dating, courtship, or marriage? I pray God will use this to think deep about your own life.

Sermon Excerpts:

Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church; „Trial: Marriage & Men”

Voddie Baucham, Grace Family Baptist; „Biblical Headship”

Paul Washer, HeartCry; „The Christian Husband”

There is no excuse for any man who claims the name of Christ to treat a woman in a dishonorable, disrespectful way.

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