How to Make Wise Ethical Decisions – Wayne Grudem

photo creditChristians often wonder, „How can I find out God’s will for me?” – about a job, about marriage, or about many smaller decisions in everyday life. This talk discusses how to consider information from the Bible, from the situation, and from personal advice, changed circumstances, a subjective sense of what to do, and following guidance from the Holy Spirit. All of this is viewed from a perspective that God clearly wants us to know his will in each circumstance, and that there will always be at least one right choice that he wants us to make.

See more at http://www.FOCLonline.org

VIDEO by FOCL Online

Boundaries: How Maintaining Doctrinal and Moral Clarity Protects Christian Organisations – Wayne Grudem

photo creditBoundaries: How Maintaining Doctrinal and Moral Clarity  ,Protects Christian Organisations , Wayne  Grudem

New members are continually joining Christian organisations, bringing with them new ideas. Do we need to establish some doctrinal and moral boundaries to keep our organisations from going astray? When should we add new boundaries? What boundaries should be drawn? This talk proposes some general principles to consider along with some specific recent examples.

See more at http://www.FOCLonline.org

VIDEO by FOCL Online

Prayer and Ministry in the Power of the Holy Spirit – Wayne Grudem

Wayne Grudem gives very specific examples on how to pray, for ex. how should you pray for a neighbor who has just lost his job and is not a churchgoer…

wayne grudemHow can New Testament teachings and pastoral experience combine to help us follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance when praying for individuals in need, whether one-on-one or in small groups? This talk also discusses questions about miraculous spiritual gifts today, how to affirm both subjective perceptions of guidance and the sufficiency of Scripture, praying for physical healing and other needs, and praying for non-Christians as well as for Christians.

See more at http://www.FOCLonline.org

VIDEO by FOCL Online

Wayne Grudem – Does ‘political’ involvement distract from the gospel?

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

photo credit

photo credit waynegrudem.com

Wayne says there are 5 wrong views of Christian influence on politics, and one right view. Here are 4 videos from the lecture delivered in KingsGate, Petersborough, United Kingdom. VIDEO by christianorguk Photo on left via www.boomerinthepew.com

In the first video, he explores the first ‘wrong’ view; – Government should compel religion.

Part 1

It is a great privilege for me to speak to you and to be here in this nation(United Kingdom), my second most favored nation on the face of the earth, after, of course, my own nation. This is the nation that through its heritage has given me  the English Bible, through the courageous work of Wycliffe and Tyndale, and the translators of the authorized or King James Version. This is the nation that gave to me the rich heritage of English common law, and the rich heritage of rule of law, with the idea that even those in governmental authority  must be subject to the laws of a nation. This is the nation that also gave me the pilgrim fathers that founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony  in 1620 and wrote the Mayflower Compact, with its rich biblical concepts of government by the consent of the governed. This is the nation from which Erasmus in 1615, in Cambridge, just a few miles form here, published the first Greek New Testament, and that became the basis for a more full understanding of the New Testament that led to much of the accurate teaching that came out in the reformation, so that the truths of the justification by faith alone, in Christ alone, could be proclaimed in Germany, and in the rest of Europe and here in England and in the United Kingdom as well. This is the nation that gave to the rest of the world and to me, the rich theology found in the Puritan writers and in the Westminster confession of faith. And this is the nation that a few years ago, gave me a phD. And I’m thankful for that; and a nation where our oldest son was born in 1974. This is the nation in which, also, a number of courageous leaders in the church, stood firm, even giving their lives, even willing to be burned at the stake for the sake of preserving the truth of the Gospel. Again, that we are justified by faith alone, in Christ alone.

A day earlier, just a few days ago, we went through the Cabinet War Rooms in London, and I was reminded once again that this is the nation that stood firm against the demonic tyranny of Adolf Hitler, and would not yield. And gave 449,000 lives of its precious citizens to preserve freedom in Europe and for the rest of the world. There have been heroic times, again and again, in the history of Britain. And, again and again, Britain answered God’s call. And heroes stood up and stood firm, and brought good to this nation and to the rest of this world.

I wonder, if in these days, we are once again seeing a time in chick God is calling His british sons and daughters to rise up and stand against evil, to stand against threats that would silence the church and would silence the Gospel, to stand against threats that would destroy marriages, and threats that would destroy our children’s sexuality. To stand against the horrific murder of tens or hundreds of thousands of unborn children. For, a nation that yields to the tyrannies of laws that promote immorality, can be destroyed as surely as a nation that is overrun by military conquerors.

How then should Christians seek to influence laws and government? A number of mistakes have been made in the past. And so, before I explain what I think is the right solution to the question: How should Christians influence government- I want to explain, what I think to be 5 wrong views of Christian influence on politics. Transcript from the first 4 1/2 minutes, with 8 minutes remaining to cover the topic:

Wrong view #1 – Government should compel religion

Part 2

Wrong view # 2 – Exclude religion from government

Wrong view # 3 – All government is demonic

Part 3

Wrong view # 4 – Do evangelism, not politics

Part 4

Wrong view # 5 – Do politics, not evangelism

The 5th wrong view is: Do politics, not evangelism. This view says, „If we just pass good laws, we’ll have a great nation, we’ll have a great society. All we need is good laws.” What that forgets is: You need changed hearts. You need hearts changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You need  transformed people and transformed lives.

I don’t know anybody saying that today, but there was a movement in the 19th and early 20th centuries, both in Britain and in the US, there was a movement called the Social Gospel movement that said, „Well, let’s just put all our effort as Christians into transforming society.” And they neglected to mention, „You must repent of your sins and trust in Jesus as your Lord as your personal Savior. Well, that view is certainly wrong, and certainly contrary to Scripture, as well. So, where does that leave us? 5 wrong views:

  1. The government should compel religion – That’s wrong.
  2. The government should exclude religion – That’s wrong.
  3. All government is evil and demonic – That’s wrong.
  4. Do evangelism, not politics – That’s wrong.
  5. Do politics, not evangelism – That’s wrong.

Is there any right view?

I think so. I’m going to suggest:

  • point # 6 – The right view – Significant Christian Influence.

Significant Christian Influence on government. That’s not compulsion, but it’s also not excluding religion. It’s trying to bring influence. And now, I’m going to give you more verses that support this idea that there should be significant influence of God’s people, both in Old and New Testament on civil government. I mentioned Daniel 4:27, Daniel bearing witness about moral standards to King Nebuchadnezzar. Here’s another one Jeremiah 29:7. Jeremiah is speaking to the Jewish people who were in exile  in a secular pagan nation. They were in exile in Babylon. And Jeremiah 29:7 says „Seek the welfare of the city where I’ve sent you into exile.” Seek the welfare , seek the well being, seek the good of this pagan nation Babylon where I’ve sent you into exile. „and pray to the Lord on its behalf, where in its welfare, you will find your welfare.” Nehemiah 1:11, Nehemiah says, „Now, I was cup bearer to the King. Nehemiah.” As being cup bearer of high office, he had access to King Artaxerxes, King of Persia, himself the most powerful man on the earth, at that point in history. And look at Esther. Margaret, my wife, was saying to me, just the other day when we were driving the car. She was reading how Esther had immense influence on King Ahashuerus, influence on government, as a believer in the true and living God.

And then, if you sometime look through the Old testament prophets, just page through the section headings on the chapters, you will see in a number of sections, that these are prophecies not just to Israel. They’re prophecies to the unbelieving nations around Israel. Prophecy to Babylon, prophecy to Egypt, prophecy to Syria, prophecy to Moab, prophecy to Edom. I’ll give you some examples and you can look at them later. Isaiah chapters 13-23 – to foreign nations. Jeremiah 46-51 – prophecies to foreign nations. Ezekiel 25-32 – to other nations. Amos 1-2. Obadiah prophesied to Edom. Jonah was sent to Niniveh. Nahum was sent to Niniveh, to prophesy to Niniveh. Habakuk and Zephaniah 2. And then, we go from the Old Testament to the New Testament, we see John the Baptist rebuking Herod for all the evil things that he had done. And we see Paul reasoning with Felix, the Roman governor. And then we see, in the New Testament, Romans 13 , that teaches us in some detail, about the responsibility of civil government. We see 1 Peter 2:13-14 that teaches us about civil government. The Bible gives us a lot of teaching, and it gives u steaching about the action of the good and evil kings in the Old Testament. And, we have some of the prophets speaking about what kings should do and shouldn’t do.

So, there’s a lot of material in the Bible that can speak on the responsibility of government. But, a caution: Significant Christian Influence must never spill over into abolishing freedom of religion. Now, Christians, you would say, probably don’t have a huge influence  in government or in politics right now. Perhaps, some. But, what if God sends revival and 30% of the members of parliament, 40%, 50%, what if 70% of the members of parliament (this lecture took place in England) or 70% of a local city council are born again Christians? You know what the temptation will be? The temptation will be to abuse that power and to seek to compel religion. The temptation will be: Let’s prohibit the publishing of these atheist books that attack Christianity, or something like that. And then we begin to deny essential freedoms and make the mistake of trying to compel religions. If we have immense influence in government, we must always protect freedom of religion, and protect the freedom of jewish synagogues and moslem mosques and hindu temples to be built and publications to be published and people to speak in the public square, just as we want freedom for Christians, so we must protect freedom for others.

Essential freedoms:

  1. Freedom of religion must be protected
  2. Freedom of speech must be protected
  3. Freedom of the press must be protected
  4. Freedom of assembly must be protected, so that people can get together according to different views.

So we protect that. But, I still think we should seek for significant Christian influence on government. I’ll tell you, if we don’t seek for Christian influence on government, if Christians withdraw from the public square, and say, „You know, I’m just gonna be silent on the major  moral and ethical issues that we face as a nation, then you know what will happen? It will leave a moral vacuum. And who is going to rush into that vacuum? It won’t be long until the ultimate adversaries of the Gospel, Satan and his demons rush in to influence every decision, in a way contrary to biblical standards. And if that happens, then, it will be very difficult times, indeed. For, governments around the world will increasingly use their tremendous power to silence the church.

Governments will, in effect, say something like this, to Christians and to churches: Keep your homophobic, misogynist, oppressive, fear inducing, intolerant, militarist, hate mongering Christianity out of our lives and out of our schools, and off of our university campuses, and off of our radio and TV stations, and out of any part of government, and out of our quiet residential areas, where you’re never again going to get any permission to build anymore churches; and keep your hate mongering Christian religion locked up in the privacy of your own home. I read that sentence, too, which I wrote, I read that sentence to a graduate school classroom and a student raised his hand and said, „Surely, that’s alarmist. Peoplea rent going to speak that way to Christians.” As soon as he said that, someone else in the class, who was working for an organization like the Christian Institute, but in the United States, she raised her hand and she said, „That sounds exactly like the emails that I get now, on a regular basis.”

So, if Christians abandon the public square, I think a disastrously negative impact will come form other kinds of moral standards that will suppress the church. Is there a responsibility of pastors to teach on these issues and I know you come from many different churches, and so I just wanna say a word to pastors. My first answer is: I think, yes, you have some responsibility to preach on these issues, just as I think pastors have a responsibility to speak about slavery from the pulpit, in the United States, while slavery still existed as a moral evil. I don’t know, and I cannot decide  which issues you should preach on. Only you, in the counsel of your Elders, or the governing board of your church, you must pray and seek God’s wisdom, for when to speak and on what issues. But, I think you have a responsibility, at least to speak on some.

And I want to tell you, in my own life, there is a passage in Acts, that has encouraged me not to shrink back from speaking on unpopular subjects. It’s Acts 20:26- 27 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Paul stood blameless before God because, he said, he didn’t shrink back from declaring unpopular things. He didn’t shrink back to declare the whole counsel of God. When I teach theology courses, I come to the unit on hell- that’s not easy to teach on. I come to the unit on Jesus being the only way to salvation- that’s not easy to teach on. Because it’s unpopular in today’s culture. But I have a responsibility before God to teach even on unpopular subjects, because I have to teach the whole counsel of God faithfully. And that’s what I would say to any of you as pastors: You have a responsibility before God to teach on the whole counsel of God. Now, someone might say, „But, if I preach on some of these unpopular subjects, it will drive people away and it will hinder evangelism. My answer to that is, „The greatest evangelist in the history of the church, the apostle Paul, was the one who said, ‘I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God’.” He taught on even unpopular things. And he trusted God to bring the results an during the advancement of God’s kingdom, and to bring the fruit that He would give.

I could only say one other thing. If you think God is calling you to greater influence on politics, I don’t ever want you to try and make your church  into an arm of a political party, because that transforms the church into something that shouldn’t be. But, parachurch organizations, like The Christian Institute (UK), and there are others, parachurch organizations can take much more explicit and repeated focus on political issues, because God calls them to that special task. And so, perhaps, God would call you to work in a parachurch organization as well. It can do a lot more than a church, on its own can do. 

So, in conclusion,
are these days, once again, days which God is calling heroes
to arise and take a stand,
lest darkness take a stand and overshadow the earth.
Might God be calling you to pray, to volunteer some time,
to perhaps contribute some money to a candidate,
or to some other means of helping the political process?
Perhaps, God is calling some of you to serve in political office, on a city council, or perhaps to even serve in parliament.
These are troubled times, but they might also become heroic times,
even for some of you here, tonight.

VIDEOS by christianorguk

Wayne Grudem Sermon: Guard your heart (video) August 2013

Photo credit marshill.com

Commentary on Wayne Grudem’s sermon from the Christian Post.

„Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life,” Grudem began by reading the verse, and explained that it talks about protecting, guarding, caring for your heart.

Biblical reference to the heart „includes all of your deepest moral and spiritual convictions, along with your feelings and emotions, especially your deepest moral and spiritual convictions in relationship to God,” said Grudem, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, on Aug. 25.

In this verse, „God is saying basically that the inward spiritual and moral life that you have will determine the course of your life and ministry, whether it will be a life that knows God’s favor and blessing or not,” added Grudem, the author of Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine.

Grudem shared three things in his sermon: what it is to keep your heart, why you should keep your heart, and how you keep your heart.

The Hebrew text for „with all vigilance” means, „more than all vigilance, more than all guarding, more than all protecting, keep your heart – more than your job, your health, everything,” he explained.

„Have we been making the condition of our hearts more important than any other concern?” he asked.

Grudem then expanded on the words, „keep it.” „If you are to keep something, it implies that there’s a goodness to it, that there’s a goodness that is to be protected and guarded.”

At the same time, the Bible also says in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful, he acknowledged. But „that’s not the whole truth.”

Several New Testament verses speak in a positive way about the condition of our hearts. „If we’ve been born again and trusted in Jesus as our Savior, there’s a goodness to them that has to be protected.”

Grudem quoted Romans 5:5, „God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Our hearts aren’t perfect, but there is a goodness in them still by Jesus’ work within us that needs to be protected and guarded, he explained. Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news

Photo credit wednesdayelegy.blogspot.com

VIDEO by Mars Hill Church Videos Published on Aug 27, 2013

Pastor Dr Wayne Grudem Sermon „Guard Your Heart”. Series Title: „Best Sermons Ever”. Copyright Mars Hill Church Seattle  AUGUST 2013. Message starts at the 3:00 minute mark:

Wayne Grudem – Which Bible Translation to use – commentary on the ESV & NIV

One of the most frequently asked questions related to the Bible is, „Which Bible translation should I use?” People often wonder what is the all-around best English Bible translation available. In this book, Douglas Moo, Wayne Grudem, Ray Clendenen, and Philip Comfort make a case for the Bible translation he represents: the NIV 2011 (New International Version), the ESV (English Standard Version), the HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible), and the NLT (New Living Translation) respectively.

In each case, the contributors explain the translation philosophy under- lying these major recent versions. They also compare and contrast how specific passages are translated in their version and other translations.

Which Bible Translation Should I Use? is ideal for anyone who is interested in the Bible and wants to know how the major recent English translations compare. After you’ve read this book, you will be able to answer the title question with confidence. You will also learn many other interesting details about specific passages in the Bible from these top experts.

Some examples from:

  • Psalm 1:1 (in first 3 min video)
  • Luke 17:3 (gender issues with the NIV, specifically using ‘brothers and sisters’ where the greek word specifically means ‘brother’ – this is in the second, 4 min video)
  • Nahum 3:13 (problematic translation in the NIV- changing the word ‘women’ to ‘weaklings’ – in 3rd video)
  • 1 Timothy 2:12 (in 4th video)

In this playlist (all videos under 5 min each):
~Videos 1-4 Wayne Grudem (from ESV translation committee)
~Video 5 Douglas Moo (from NIV translation committee)
~Video 6 ESV panel debating the 4 instances of word ‘slave’ in 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 passage at Tyndale House UK

 

Wayne Grudem – Biblical Issues for the election

Cover of "Politics - According to the Bib...

Cover via Amazon

Published on Oct 25, 2012 by 

Jim Garlow interviews Wayne Grudem (author of Politics According to the Bible) concerning 2012 election.

Related posts

Online book on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood edited by Wayne Grudem and John Piper

This book has been added to my

Online Book PAGE

which you can easily access anytime at the top of the blog.

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

John Piper & Wayne Grudem, editors

View entire book (PDF) (on The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood website)

Book CoverCrossway Books re-released Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhoodcomplete with a new cover and new preface that was co-written by CBMW leaders J. Ligon Duncan III and Randy Stinson. The new printing includes all of the chapters and materials from the original. The work covers the entire scope of gender issues from the biblical meaning of headship to head coverings and an examination of gender issues in church history. All of the authors in this book are well-established scholars, and each chapter provides a book’s worth of insight.

Here is a list of the Chapters:

You can actually read a chapter at a time, here at the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:

Item Title Author
Table of Contents John Piper and Wayne Grudem
Preface John Piper and Wayne Grudem
For Single Men and Women (and the Rest of Us) John Piper
A Vision of Biblical Complementarity John Piper
An Overview of Central Concerns John Piper and Wayne Grudem
Male-Female Equality and Male Headship Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.
Women in the Life and Teachings of Jesus James A. Borland
Head Coverings, Prophecies, and the Trinity Thomas R. Schreiner
„Silent in the Churches” D. A. Carson
Role Distinctions in the Church S. Lewis Johnson Jr.
Husbands and Wives as Analogues of Christ and the Church George W. Knight III
What Does It Mean Not to Teach or Have Authority Over Men? Douglas Moo
Wives Like Sarah, and the Husbands Who Honor Them Wayne Grudem
The Valuable Ministries of Women in the Context of Male Leadership Thomas R. Schreiner
Men and Women in the Image of God John M. Frame
The Church as Family Vern S. Poythress
The Meaning of Authority in the Local Church Paige Patterson
Women in the History of the Church William Weinrich
The Biological Basis for Gender-Specific Behavior Gregg Johnson
Psychological Foundations for Rearing Masculine Boys and Feminine Girls George Alan Rekers
The Inevitability of Failure: The Assumptions and Implementations of Modern Feminism David J. Ayers
Is It Legal for Religious Organizations to Make Distinctions on the Basis of Sex? Donald A. Balasa
The Family and the Church George W. Knight III
Principles to Use in Establishing Women in Ministry H. Wayne House
The High Calling of Wife and Mother in Biblical Perspective Dorothy Kelley Patterson
Where’s Dad?: A Call for Fathers Weldon Hardenbrook
Women in Society: The Challenge and the Call Dee Jepsen
The Essence of Femininity Elisabeth Elliot
Charity, Clarity, and Hope John Piper and Wayne Grudem
The Meaning of „Head”: A Response to Recent Studies Wayne Grudem

Debate by noted Christian scholars on the Trinity

Wikipedia has a good introductory summary of how Christians describe the Trinity-

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons (Greek: ὑποστάσεις):the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial (Greek: ὁμοούσιοι). Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being (Greek: οὐσία). The Trinity is considered to be a mystery of Christian faith.

The major difference that divides the 3 major religions- Judaism, Christianity and Islam can also be traced right back to each faith’s particular understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. Three years ago, 4 theologians met and debated, on the outskirts of Chicago at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School  (TEDS for short) of Deerfield,Illinois. They were/are former and current professors of TEDS – Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, Tom McCall, Keith Yandell.

The question the professors debated was-

Do relations of authority and submission exist eternally among the Persons of the Godhead?

Here is the Moderator, Dr. Chris Firestone’s introduction: There’s a real need for the Christian Evangelical community to maintain clarity and precision in its understanding of the doctrine of God, both in terms of its Christology and Trinity. This is where tonight’s debate picks up in earnest. The doctrine of the trinity is most arguably the most central and distinctive feature of the Christian faith. Questions to keep in mind as this debate proceeds-

  1. Which position best reflects the biblical witness?
  2. Which position is the most reasonable and rationally cogent?
  3. Should the biblical witness and rationale cogency be thought to conflict with one another?
  4. Should the Christians just stick with the confessional norms of the Church? If so, which position resonates with the historic position of the Church? If not, how revisionist of these norms should Evangelical Christians be?

Please set aside a good portion of time for this very important debate, as it is 2 1/2 hours long, and very well worth the time, considering the debaters, especially the most well known debater- Wayne Grudem, whose Systematic Theology Textbook sits on all of our shelves. At the introduction Dr. Chris Firestone also mentions several books written by the panelists on the subject of the Trinity that are well worth looking into as well. Enjoy!

Gifts of the Holy Spirit (4) Discovering and seeking spiritual gifts

by Wayne Grudem – Paul seems to assume that believers will know what their spiritual gifts are. He simply tells those in the church at Rome to use their gifts in various ways: “if prophecy, in proportion to our faith…he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness” (Rom. 12:6-8). Similarly, Peter simply tells his readers how to use their gifts, but does not say anything about discovering what they are: “As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).

But what if many members in a church do not know what spiritual gift or gifts God has given to them? In such a case, the leaders of the church need to ask whether they are providing sufficient opportunities for varieties of gifts to be used. Though the lists of gifts given in the New Testament are not exhaustive, they certainly provide a good starting point for churches to ask whether at least there is opportunity for those gifts to be used. If God has placed people with certain gifts in a church, when these gifts are not encouraged or perhaps not allowed to be used , they will feel frustrated and unfulfilled in their Christian ministries, and will perhaps move to another church where their gifts can function for the benefit of the church.

Beyond the question of discovering what gifts one has is the question of seeking additional spiritual gifts. Paul commands Christians, “Earnestly desire the higher gifts” (1 Cor. 12:31), and says later, “Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1). In this context, Paul defines what he means by “higher gifts” or “greater gifts” because 1 Corinthians 14:5 he repeats the word he used in 12:31 for “higher” (Gr. Meizon) when he says, “He who prophesies is greater than he who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified” (1 Cor. 14:5). Here the “greater” gifts are those that most edify the church. This is consistent with Paul’s statement a few verses later when he says, “Since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up of the church” (1 Cor. 14:12). The higher gifts are those that build up the church more and bring more benefit to others.
But how do we seek more spiritual gifts? First we should ask God for them. Paul says directly that “he who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret” (1 Cor. 14:13; cf James 1:5, where James tells people that they should ask God for wisdom).

Next, people who seek additional spiritual gifts should have right motives. If spiritual gifts are sought only so that the person may be more prominent or have more influence or power, this certainly is wrong in God’s eyes. This was the motivation of Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8:19, when he said, “Give me also this power, that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit” (see Peter’s rebuke in vv. 21-22). It is a fearful thing to want spiritual gifts or prominence in the church only for our own glory, not for the glory of God and for the help of others. Therefore those who seek spiritual gifts but “have not love” are “nothing” in God’s sight (cf. 1 Cor. 13:1-3).

After that, it is appropriate to seek opportunities to try the gift, just as in the case of a person trying to discover his or her gift, as explained above. Finally, those who are seeking additional spiritual gifts should continue to use the gifts they now have, and should be content if God chooses not to give them more. The master approved of the servant whose pound had “made ten pounds more,” but condemned the one who hid his pound in a napkin and did nothing with it (Luke 19:16-17, 20-23)—certainly showing us that we have responsibility to use and attempt to increase whatever talents or abilities God has given to us as his stewards. We should balance this by remembering that spiritual gifts are apportioned to each person individually by the Holy Spirit “as he wills” (1 Cor. 12:11), and that “God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose” (1 Cor. 12:18). In this way Paul reminds the Corinthians that ultimately the distribution of gifts is a matter of God’s sovereign will, and it is for the good of the church and for our good that none of us have all of the gifts, and that we will need to continually depend on others who have gifts differing from ours. These considerations should make us content if God chooses not to give us the other gifts that we seek.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit (3) Gifts may vary in strength

by Wayne Grudem – Paul says that if we have the gift of prophecy, we should use it “in proportion to our faith” (Rom. 12:6), indicating that the gift can be more or less strongly developed in different individuals, or in the same individual over a period of time. This is why Paul can remind Timothy, “Do not neglect the gift you have” (1 Tim. 4:14), and can say, “I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you” (2 Tim. 1:6). It was possible for Timothy to allow his gift to weaken, apparently through infrequent use, and Paul reminds him to stir it up by using it and thereby strengthening it. This should not be surprising, for we realize that many gifts increase in strength and effectiveness as they are used, whether evangelism, teaching, encouraging, administration, or faith.

Texts such as these indicate that spiritual gifts may vary in strength. If we think of any gift, whether teaching or evangelism on the one hand, or prophecy or healing on the other, we should realize that within any congregation there will likely be people who are very effective in the use of that gift, perhaps through long use and experience, others who are moderately strong in that gift, and others who probably have the gift but are just beginning to use it. This variation in strength in spiritual gifts depends on a combination of divine and human influence. The divine influence in the sovereign working of the Holy Spirit as he “apportions to each one individually as he wills” (1 Cor. 12:11). The human influence comes from experience, training, wisdom, and natural ability in the use of that gift. It is usually not possible to know in what proportion the divine and human influences combine at any one time, nor is it really necessary to know, for even the abilities we think to be “natural” are from God (1 Cor. 4:7) and under his sovereign control.

But this leads to an interesting question: how strong does an ability have to be before it can be called a spiritual gift? How much teaching ability does someone need before he or she could be said to have a gift of teaching, for example? Or how effective in evangelism would someone need to be before we would recognize a gift of evangelism? Or how frequently would someone have to see prayers for healing answered before he or she could be said to have a gift of healing?

Mai mult

Lucrarea Duhului Sfint (3) – Wayne Grudem

Citeste   Partea 1 aici.

Citeste   Partea 2 aici.

Aceasta este partea finala:

  • Duhul Sfint unifica
  • Duhul Sfint dovedeste prezenta si binecuvintarea lui Dumnezeu

Teologia Sistematica de Wayne Grudem (pp 666-681)

Cititi in Limba Engleza-

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Gifts of the Holy Spirit – What are spiritual gifts?

from Wayne Grudem’s  BIBLE Doctrine – Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith.

In previous generations, systematic theology books did not have chapters on spiritual gifts. But the 20th century has seen a remarkable increase in interest in spiritual gifts, primarily because of the influence of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements within the church.

We may define spiritual gifts as follows: A spiritual gift is any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church. This broad definition includes both gifts that are related to natural abilities (such as teaching, showing mercy, or administration) and gifts that seem to be more „miraculous” and less related to natural abilities (such as prophecy, healing, or distinguishing between spirits). The reason for this is that when Paul lists spiritual gifts (in Rom. 12:6-8); 1 Cor. 7:7; 12:8-10, 28; and Eph. 4:11) he includes both kinds of gifts. Yet not every natural ability is included here, because Paul is clear that all spiritual gifts must be empowered „by one and the same Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:11), that they are given”for the common good” (1 Cor.12:7), and that they are all to be used for „edification”(1 Cor. 14:26), or for building up the church.

1. Spiritual gifts in the history of redemption. Certainly the Holy Spirit was at work in the Old Testament, bringing people to faith and working in remarkable ways in a few individuals such as Moses or Samuel, David or Elijah. But in general there was a less powerful activity of the Holy Spirit in the lives of most believers. There was little effective evangelism of the nations, there was no casting out of demons, miraculous healing was uncommon(though it did happen, especially in the ministries of Elijah and ELisha), prophecy was restricted to a few prophets or small bands of prophets, and there was very little experienceof what New Testament believers would call „resurrection power” over sin, in the sense of Romans 6:1-14 and Philipians 3:10.

The pouring out of the Holy Spirit in new covenant fullness and power in the church occurred at Pentecost. With this a new era in redemptive history was inaugurated, and the new covenant empowering of the Holy Spirit that had been prophesied by the Old Testament prophets (cf. Joel 2:28-29) had come to God’speople; the new covenant age had begun. And one characteristic of this new era was a widespread distribution of spiritual gifts to all people who were made partakers of this new covenant – sons and daughters, young men and old men, menservants and maidservants– all received a new covenant empowering of the Holy Spirit, and it would also be expected that all would receive gifts of the Holy Spirit then as well.

2. The purpose of spiritual gifts in the New Testament age. Spiritual gifts are given to equip the church to carry out its ministry until Christ returns. Paul tells the Corinthians, „You are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:7). Here he connects the possession of spiritual gifts and their situation in the history of redemption (waiting for Christ’s return), suggesting that gifts are given to the church for the period between Christ’s ascension and his return. Similarly, Paul looks forward to the time of Christ’s return and says, „When the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away”(1 Cor. 13:10)…The pouring out of the Holy Spirit in „power’ at Pentecost (Acts 1:8) was to equip the church to preach the gospel (Acts 1:8)–something that will continue until Christ returns.And Paul reminds believers that in the use of spiritual gifts they are to „strive to excel in building up the church” (1 Cor. 14:12).

But spiritual gifts not only equip the church for the time until Christ returns, they also give a foretaste of the age to come.Paul reminds the Corinthians that they were „enriched” in all their speech and all their knowledge, and that the result of this enriching was that they were „not lacking in any spiritual gift” (1 Cor.1:5-7). Just as the Holy Spirit himself is in this age a „down payment”(2 Cor. 1:22 cf. 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:14) of the fuller work of the Holy Spirit within us in the age to come, so the gifts of the Holy Spirit gives us are foretastes of the fuller working of the Holy Spirit that will be ours in the age to come.

In this way gifts of insight and discernment prefigure the much greater discernment we will have when Christ returns. Gifts of knowledge and wisdom prefigure the much greater wisdom that will be ours when we „know as we are known” (cf. 1 Cor.13:12). Gifts of healing give a foretaste of the perfect health which will be ours when Christ grants to us resurrection bodies. Similar parallels could be found with all the New Testament gifts. Even the diversity of gifts should lead to greater unity and interdependence in the church (see 1 Cor.12:12-13, 24-25; Eph. 4:13), and this diversity in unity will itself be a foretaste of the unity which believers will have in heaven.

3. How many gifts are there? The New Testament epistles list specific spiritual gifts in six different passages. Consider the following table:

1 Corinthians 12:28                    Ephesians 4:11

1. apostle                                            (1) apostle

2. prophet                                          (2) prophet

3. teacher                                          14 evangelist

4. miracles                                         15 pastor-teacher

5. kinds of healing

6. helps                                             Romans 12:6-8

7. administration                            (2) prophecy

8. tongues                                           16 serving

1 Corinthians 12:8-10               (3) teaching

9. word of wisdom                           17 encouraging

10. word of knowledge                   18 contributing

11. faith                                                 19 leadership

(5)  gifts of healing                            20 mercy

(4)  miracles

(2) prophecy                                    1 Corinthians 7:7

12. distinguishing                             21 marriage

between spirits                                  22 celibacy

(8) tongues

13. interpretation of   Tongues                           

1 Peter 4:11

Whoever speaks (covering several gifts)

Whoever renders service (covering several gifts)

(Tomorrow in Part 2 – more on the number of gifts, the variation in the strength of the gifts and discovering and seeking spiritual gifts)

Also in this series – in Part 3 – the debate on the validity vs. cessation of the spiritual gifts.

Lucrarea Duhului Sfint (1) – Wayne Grudem

sursa pozei http://www.MoldovaCrestina.net

In acest capitol teologul Wayne Grudem arata:

Care sunt modurile specifice prin care Duhul Sfint aduce credinciosilor binecuvintarea lui Dumnezeu? Putem deosebi patru aspecte prin care lucrareaDuhului Sfint dovedeste prezenta lui Dumnezeu si prin care da binecuvintarea:.
  1. Duhul Sfint imputerniceste.
  2. Duhul Sfint curateste.
  3. Duhul Sfint reveleaza.
  4. Duhul Sfint unifica

Le vom examina pe fiecare din aceste patru activitati.

Faceti click pe primul buton (va scrie „view in full screen”  cind treceti cu mouse-ul peste buton) ca sa mariti cartea pe tot ecranul calculatorului.

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What does Christ’s ascent into Heaven mean for us? Wayne Grudem

1. Christ ascended to a place.

After Jesus’ resurrection, he was on earth for forty days (Acts 1:3), then he led his followers out to Bethany, just outside Jerusalem, and „lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50-51)

A similar account is given by Luke in the opening section of Acts: „When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven he went, behold, two men stoodby them in white robes, and said, „Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven”(Acts 1:9-11).

These narratives describe an event that is clearly  designed to show the disciples that Jesus went to a place.

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