Any persistent student of Scripture soon stumbles on the problem of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. The confusion springs from several key differences between them.
First, the scope of the testaments differs considerably. The former covers roughly a millennium and half of redemptive history (not counting the hazy period before Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and involves a multitude of characters living in different periods and locations around the ancient Near East. The latter covers a time period spanning less than a century and involving a relatively limited cast of characters.
Second, the form of the two testaments differs greatly. The Old exhibits texts comprising diverse genres ranging from poetry to legal code, from historical narrative to apocalyptic vision, while the New is comprised primarily of a historically unique genre called "Gospel" and a list of letters, at least one of which includes an extensive apocalyptic section.
Third, the message of the two testaments seems divergent. The Old encodes the prehistory and history of an ethnic—not to mention geopolitical—entity called Israel, including its constitutional documents and great orators, while the New describes the life and times of a singular individual and the followers he commissioned to proclaim his message of salvation.
As an Old Testament professor I often get asked, "How does the Old Testament relate to the New?" Here’s an analogy I like to give in response: The Old Testament is the blueprint; the New Testament is the building.
Before you build, you need a blueprint. The blueprint explains exactly how the building will be built. It shows you the wiring, the framing, the joists, the rooms, the floorplans. But once the building is built you don’t throw out the blueprint; you keep it around since it shows you the inner-workings. Anyone who’s renovated a home knows the value of the blueprint. You need to know where the wiring is laid, where the load-bearing walls are located, where the stairways and exits can be found in case of emergency. It’s hard to locate these things when you’re looking at the building. The blueprint is of utmost importance, but no one would say the blueprint is the building.
The blueprint explains the building. If someone asks to see the building before it’s built, you take them to the blueprint. Once the building is completed, however, you take them to the building itself.
The same is true with the New Testament. The New Testament is the edifice to which the Old Testament inevitably points and undoubtedly explains. The covenants, their signs, and the revelation that attends them anticipate Jesus and his kingdom. Indeed, they have little meaning without their fulfillment in Christ.
Here are four further reasons why I think this is a useful analogy.
1. The blueprint relates to the building in an organic, interrelated way.
The relationship between the Old and New Testaments is similarly one of organic development from anticipation, shadow, type, copy (or what we might call plan, form, design, profile) to reality, fulfillment, substance, actuality.
The curtain of the Old Testament closes on the people of God waiting for a litany of end-time promises. The New Testament opens with how the fulfillment of those promises are being inaugurated in Christ. When John the Baptist quotes Isaiah 40, he’s saying the restoration is finally happening. When Matthew quotes Isaiah 9 in relation to the northern kingdom, he’s doing the same. In other words, Jesus and the apostles are not starting a new religion. They are interpreting the Old Testament in light of the person and work of Jesus. Just as you cannot separate the blueprint from the building it describes, so you cannot separate the Old Testament from the New.
2. Understanding the building assumes understanding the blueprint.
The teaching of the Old Testament is assumed in the New. If you wish to understand virtually anything about Jesus’s life, death, resurrection, and significance for the world, you must flip back to the Old Testament.
For example, do you want to understand how Jesus is Christ (the Greek title referring to his role as Messiah)? No doubt his "Christhood" is one of the most common claims about him throughout the New Testament. Yet there’s little teaching about what the title "Christ" actually means. To grasp how Jesus is Christ, then, we must return to the Hebrew Scriptures and engage with its promises of a Davidic heir who would effect restoration from exile, restoring God’s people to their rightful place. The New Testament writers assume you already know what they’re talking about.
The examples are endless. Do you want to understand how Jesus is a prophet, or a priest, or a king, or a temple, or the true people of God? You can only discover what such titles and themes mean by reading the Old Testament. It is the blueprint for the kingdom of God, and Jesus is the building.
3. As the blueprint shows the building’s structural and ornamental aspects, the Old Testament relates to the New in a variety of ways.
On the one hand, there are load-bearing—that is, structural—walls. Themes like God’s presence, God’s holiness, God as a warrior, God’s requirement of righteousness, covenant, new creation, redemption from slavery/exile, grace, sacrifice, and sanctuary are crucial to an understanding of both testaments.
There are also themes we might call ornamental. These are more vague, allowing for a certain latitude in our understanding. The exact nature, role, and hierarchy of the angels, for example—and various aspects of the spiritual realm, for that matter—figure into the teaching of both testaments, but they often resist clear understanding.
The term "ornamental" does not mean unimportant. In Ephesians 6, Paul declares that the conflict of the Christian life is in fact spiritual, though it often wears carnal clothes. What we find in disciplines like demonology or angelology or in popular movies often stem from extrabiblical sources far removed from the teaching of redemptive history.
4. The building is not a distraction from the blueprint, but its proper purpose.
The revelation of Jesus does not establish a parallel path of redemptive history that runs alongside the work of redemption established in the Old Testament. There isn’t now one plan for those "in Christ" and another plan for ethnic Israel. All Old Testament roads lead to Christ. He is, after all, the Davidic heir, the true Israel, the better high priest, the righteous remnant, not to mention the one in whom the fullness of deity dwells bodily (Col. 2:9). He is the only hope for the new Israel—the children of the promise (Rom 9:8).
Uses and Limits of Analogy
No analogy yields a one-to-one relation to the thing it describes. If it did it’d be a copy, not an analogy. That said, sticky problems arise when we approach the relationship between the testaments, and word pictures can help.
I offer this blueprint/building analogy, then, as one that highlights not only the provisional nature of the Old Testament in relation to the New, but also their organic and progressive connection.
Scott Redd is president and associate professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Wholehearted: A Biblical Look at the Greatest Commandment and Personal Wealth (Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics, 2016).
Most Christians will at some point wrestle with doubts over the truthfulness of Scripture. This observation is generally uncontroversial. What inflames debate is how these doubts should be resolved. Do we bypass our intellectual struggles and treat them as unimportant or a sign of weak spirituality, or do we delve into apologetics and rigorous historical study in order to establish our faith once and for all? Or might there be another way?
A person is not necessary saved just because he was told to ask Jesus into his or her heart. That does not necessary saved anyone, and many have held on to that statement as to their being saved.
First salvation occurs by the sovereignty of divine grace.
I do unfeignedly believe that Christ will in no wise cast out anyone who comes to Him and I dare to say that to every man and woman of the human peace—but I also believe just as firmly that no one comes unto Christ except those whom the Father draws to Him—and that all whom the father has given to Christ shall surely come to Him (The Drawings of Divine Love)
Both these statements are true and, therefore both of them are to be believed and we may rest assured that they both agree with one another.
On this occasion, of the saving of Naaman, whereas Jesus often preached the freeness of Divine Grace, here Jesus was please to preach upon the sovereignty of it, for it was the sovereignty of Grace that saved Naaman.
Second: God is a Sovereign and may therefore save whom He wills.
And He may also save them HOW He wills. yet when He is about to save a man, He does not depart from His usual method of working, but saves him according to the way in which He is accustomed to save.
Naaman was not healed until he was humbled. It was God’s purpose to heal him. He first had to hear the preaching of salvation, he had to have he faith to come to the place to be healed and then he had to be humbled.
The Gospel is that Jesus Christ suffered in the place of all sinners who trust him as their Savior, that he endured what they ought to have endured and made atonement to God for all the sins that they would ever commit. And if you therefore trust Him, you are saved. The simple act of relying upon Jesus as your Substitute and Savior puts away your guilt and sin forever.
As long as you have a rag of your righteousness that you trust in, you cannot have the robe of Christ’s righteousness to cover you
If you glory in what you have, and what you are, you are not the kind of man whom God delights to save!
You must lie low at the feet of Jesus! You must plead for forgiveness like a poor guilty sinner! You must cry, “Jesus save me, or I die!” or else through the gate of Heaven you are too big to pass for, “strait is the gate and narrow is the way,’ and no self-righteousness can go in there.
Pride must come down, self-righteousness must die and the sinner must glorify the Grace of God by admitting that he has no merit of his own – or he cannot be saved.
SO WHAT AM I SAYING: JUST THIS
Let us all go together to the Throne of God where we have offended and let us confess that none of us have any claims upon Him. Let each of us say to Him, “My Lord, if You should destroy me, I must confess that I deserve it. If You should save my brother, who is equally guilty, and not save me, I dare not complain, for You have the right to exercise Your mercy wherever and however You will, I shall receive the sentence that is just even if I am banished from Your Presence forever,”
Submit to the Lord as the burgesses of Calais came to the conquering king with ropes about their necks! That is the proper costume for a sinner to wear before God, Say, “Lord, I deserve, to die, I deserve to perish. I deserve to be destroyed, I will have no quibbles with You about my sentence, for how can a worm dispute with the Almighty? Who am I that I should reply against my Maker?”
When you have taken that position, rely upon the freeness of Divine Grace.
Grasp, as with a death-clutch, this great fact and say, “Lord, You forgive sinners for Your own name’s sake. You cannot find anything in us that is good, anything that can move You to pity. But oh, by Your mercy and Your love, let men see what a gracious God You are!
For Your great name’s sake, have mercy upon us and save us!”
And you can plead that Jesus said, “Him that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out,’ And that He has bid His servants say,”Whoever call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,”
Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:7
Plead with Him that He has said, “Come now, and let us reason together..though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool,”
Go and plead in that way, and trust yourself upon the Truth revealed in the Word of God. try it and prove it, and see whether God really means what he says. Say to Him
You have promised to forgive
All who in Your Son believe.
Lord, I now you cannot life--
Give me Christ, or else I die!”
I will not say to you—Go and risk it, for there is no risk. I will not say to you—Go and venture, for it is no venture. Go and say to the Lord, “O Lord, if I must perish, I will perish trusting in Your mercy through the precious blood of Jesus,Your dear Son! ‘Other refuge have I none.’ I cast aside all my former confidences and all my boasting and come as the worst sinner must come, for I feel that in some respects I am the worst sinner who ever came to You.
I come as an utterly lost, undone, bankrupt sinner and I look to the atoning Sacrifice of Jesus for all that, I need.” Then if you perish like that, I am quite willing to perish with you! And I will stand at the bar of God with you on the same terms, for if you are lost, I must be lost too! I solemnly avow that I have no hope in anything I have ever done. I have preached the Gospel
these many years, but I have not preached one sermon that I can look upon with any confidence so far as to depend upon it as a merit in the sight of God! After we are saved, we may do something in the way of almsgiving and other things to show our gratitude to God, but they are worse than useless if we begin to boast of them as a reason for our salvation. My song is— “I the chief of sinners am, But Jesus died for me.”
The true plan of salvation was best described by C.H. Spurgeon: “The gospel is that Jesus Christ suffered in the place of all sinners who trust Him as their Saviour; that He endured what they ought to have endured and made atonement to God for all the sins that they would ever commit; and if you thus trust Him, you are saved. The simple act of relying upon Jesus as your Substitute and Saviour puts away your guilt and sin forever.” He continues, “Pride must come down, self-righteousness must die, and the sinner must glorify the grace of God by knowing that he has no merit of his own, or he cannot be saved. … Say, ‘Lord, I deserve to die; I deserve to perish; I deserve to be destroyed. I will have no cavils with Thee about my sentence, for how can a worm dispute with the Almighty? Who am I that I should reply against my Maker?’
“When you have taken that position, rely upon the freeness of divine grace. Grasp, as with a death-clutch, this great fact and say, ‘Lord, Thou dost forgive sinners for Thine own name’s sake. Thou canst not find anything in us that is good, anything that can move Thee to pity! But, oh, by Thy mercy and Thy love, let men see what a gracious God thou art! For Thy great name’s sake have mercy upon us, and save us!’”
“You can plead that Jesus said, ‘Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.’ [Jn 6:37].
“Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God for He will abundantly pardon.”
“I cast aside all my former confidences, and all my boastings, and come as the worst sinner must come, for I feel that, in some respects, I am the worst sinner who ever came to thee. I come as an utterly lost, undone, bankrupt sinner, and I look to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for all I need.” [Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 53, Sermon “Rule of Grace,” pp 500-502, Pilgrim Publications, Pasadena TX]
Joseph Caryl : He was born in London, educated at Merchant Taylors' School, and graduated at Exeter College, Oxford, and became preacher at Lincoln's Inn. He frequently preached before the Long Parliament, and was a member of the Westminster Assembly in 1643. By order of the parliament he attended Charles I in Holmby House, and in 1650 he was sent with John Owen to accompany Cromwell to Scotland. In 1662, following the Restoration, he was ejected from his church of St. Magnus near London Bridge. He continued, however, to minister to an Independent congregation in London till his death in March 1673, when John Owen succeeded him.
The works of Joseph Caryl:
A Directory for the Afflicted. (283 pages) PDF Google Books
An Exposition on the Book of Job (Chapters 1-3). (516 pages) PDF Google Books
Containing 21 lectures on Job 1-3.
An Exposition on the Book of Job (Chapters 18-21). (886 pages) PDF Google Books
Containing 42 lectures on Job 18-21.
An Exposition on the Book of Job (Chapters 32-34). (916 pages) PDF Internet Archive
Containing 49 lectures on Job 32-34.
Biography: Joseph Caryl (1602-1673), this eminent divine, was born in London, 1602,
Sound Words: The Patience of Joseph Caryl (Part 2)
April 24, 2012
by Mark Minnick
Rightly Dividing the Word of God
Those not well-acquainted with Puritan preaching may assume that it sacrificed exegetical accuracy for the sake of practical application. This was certainly not true of Caryl’s preaching. His work is marked by a thoroughly literal, historical, grammatical exegesis of the text. For instance, though many before him interpreted Job as an extended parable, he held that the book recorded actual history because of its use of proper names for people and places. And when it came to using the Biblical languages, Caryl excelled. In fact, he actually contributed to an English-Greek Lexicon. In the Hebrew text he appears equally at home, as evidenced by his frequent, insightful explanations of its words and grammar.
This historical, grammatical exegesis restrained dogmatizing upon uncertain points. For instance, after a thorough investigation into Job’s authorship, he wrote:It is very uncertain who was the writer of this Book … and whatsoever can be said concerning it, is grounded but upon very light conjecture. And therefore, where the Scripture is silent, it can be of no great use for us to speak, especially seeing there is so much spoken as will find us work, and be of use for us.
One wishes today’s expositors would more studiously practice such caution when they encounter matters on which Scripture is silent.
Another instructive example is his handling of the notoriously difficult question of the identity of leviathan.After over four pages of discussing learned opinions he cautiously postured himself with those who held the mysterious creature to be a whale. The example is in his rigid refusal to doubt the scientific accuracy of the account merely because he could not explain it. My heart leaps to his unshakable confidence in God’s Word. The only thing "questionable" he wrote, is "what that creature is." But "it be an unquestionable truth," he asserted, "and to be received, and to be as the matter of an historical faith, because God hath said it, that there is a living creature in the compass of nature, exactly answering every particular in the following description of Leviathan."
Exemplary as his exegesis is, Caryl’s greatest pattern for preachers is in his insistence that those who handle the Word must be Spirit-instructed. An especially valuable section of some 20 pages can only be briefly encapsulated in a few statements here. He speaks of Job’s words about "an interpreter" sent from God (33:23), and solemnly issues the caution that so unfortunately seems to be learned only from bitter experience:
"Natural parts and human learning, arts and languages may give us an understanding of the tenor and literal meaning of the law of God; but none of these can open our eyes to behold the wonders of the Law, much less the wonders and mysteries of the Gospel. The opening of our eyes to behold these spiritual wonders is the Lord’s work." And then, dividing asunder the joints and marrow of Bible teachers, he thrusts to the heart of the issue: "Tis possible for one to have learning in divine things, and not to be divinely taught."
Beyond this, Caryl’s most pressing burden was that his people not be content merely to hear his expositions."I had rather know five words of Scripture by my own practice and experience," he testified, "than ten thousand words of Scripture, yea than the whole Scripture, by the bare exposition of another."
"And therefore let the words of Christ by these verbal explications, dwell richly in your understandings in all wisdom," he admonished his hearers.
"Add the comment of works to this comment of words," he exhorted them, "and an exposition by your lives to this exposition by our labours. Surely if you do not, these exercises will be costly indeed, and will come to a deep account against you before the Lord."
The Sufferings of Saints
By Caryl’s analysis, the Book of Job consists of a dialogue between eight speakers making 32 speeches (God speaking four times, Satan twice, Job’s wife once, Job thirteen times, Eliphaz thrice, Bildad thrice, Zophar twice, and Elihu four times).
They are made during three periods in Job’s life; the time of his happy condition (externally and internally), then during his calamity, and lastly, during his restitution. Most importantly, the speeches pose and debate two deeply troubling questions. The first Caryl raised in his church by asking "whether it doth consist with the Justice and goodness of God to afflict a righteous and sincere person, to strip him naked, to take away all his outward comforts … and that it should go well with those that are evil?" This issue Caryl viewed as the "one great debate, the main question throughout the Book."
Why does God seem to ignore the cries of His suffering saints? Is this just or good? When his preaching reached Job 19:7, "Behold I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard," Caryl offered several answers. God often waits to deliver His people, "that they may be more fit to receive deliverance. Many cry out of wrong, who are not yet fit to be righted. Deliverances may be our undoing if we are not prepared to receive deliverance."
Sometimes "the Lord doth not deliver presently from the wrong and oppression of the wicked, because some wicked men have not yet done wrong nor oppressed enough, and are therefore suffered to do more wrong to others, that themselves may be more fit for ruin. They must fill up the measure of their sin."
Caryl insightfully pointed out that not all graces are eternal. Some can only be exercised here, now, and in trials. These he called "suffering graces." Among them he named "the grace of faith, of meekness, of self-denial, and of patience." Before growing impatient, suffering saints ought also to remember and repent of "how oft He hath cried, and they have not minded Him."
The Greatest Trial
The first ten volumes of Caryl’s sermons introduce him on their title pages as "Preacher to the Honorable Society of Lincolnes-Inne." But volumes XI and XII refer to him simply as "Joseph Caryl, Minister of the Gospel." And whereas previously the sermons had been sold openly "at the sign of the Guilded Horshoe in the Old Bayly," or "by Thomas Parkhurst at his Shope at the three Crownes against the great Conduit at the lower end of Cheap-side," or "at the Gold Lyon in Duck-lane near Smithfield," the 11th volume seems to have been available only privately from one "M. Simmons … at her house in Aldersgate-Street."
These changes reflect Caryl’s loss of his church in October of 1662. Two thousand English ministers, including Joseph Caryl, aged 60, refused to sign the notorious Act of Uniformity.
By so doing these godly pastors lost their pulpits, their congregations, and their livelihoods. Richard Baxter, another ejected minister, recorded, "Many hundreds of them with their wives and children had neither house nor bread. Though they were as frugal as possible they could hardly live. In many cases their income scarcely provided bread and cheese."
The ejected pastor gathered what few would risk fines or imprisonment to meet in a house church and pointed them to their solemn duty. "Let us also be sure to stick to the commandments of God," he exhorted from Job 35:14, "for we may rest assured, God will stick to his promises. To keep commandments is our work. To keep promises is God’s work. We fail much in our work. God will not fail at all in his work: to believe this, is the highest and truest work of faith."
It was not Caryl’s habit to rail upon his adversaries, but while expounding God’s answer to Job out of the whirlwind (38:1), he encouraged his people with the suggestion as to why the Lord chose to speak out of such a medium. "Surely," Caryl said, it was "that Job might see that he was but as a feather, even like a rolling thing, or thistle-down, before the Whirl-wind. And questionless, all the wicked in the world, who condemn the Word of God preached by his Ministers, will be blown away by it as thistle-down or a rolling thing before the Whirl-wind of the Lord’s fierce anger and displeasure."
Ironically (perhaps prophetically?), these words were probably written within just a year of the Great Fire of London that burnt 13,200 houses, St. Paul’s Cathedral, 87 churches, and cost an estimated 10 million British pounds at a time when the City of London’s entire annual income was barely 12,000 pounds. Caryl had once referred to Amos 3:6, "Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?", and assured his people "Every evil or affliction or trouble is said to be the Lord’s doing, because it cannot be done without the Lord." There is no question, then, to whom Caryl and his people attributed the devastation of the Great Fire.
But to Joseph Caryl, ejected nonconformist minister, the greatest hope was not the destruction of his enemies. It was the vindication of his preaching. The preface to volume XII is dated May 10, 1666 (just four months before the Great Fire). His thoughts dwell on the final chapter of Job, especially God’s words to Job’s antagonists, "Ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath."
"To hear this gracious determination from the mouth of the supreme and infallible moderator of all controversies," Caryl wrote, "was (without controversy) a thousand times more pleasing and satisfactory to Job’s spirit, not only than the double cattle, which the Lord gave him, but, than if the Lord had given him all the cattle upon a thousand hills. The Lord shews himself very pitiful and of tender mercy, when he puts an end to the controversies of his servants, by vindicating their credit, and making it appear, that they have spoken of him, and of his ways, the thing that is right, or more rightly than their opposers and reproachers." Every preacher waits for just such a tender vindication from the Lord.
Joseph Caryl did not live to see his preaching vindicated. God willed that he die as he had lived, in the patience of hope. Caryl accepted the mission. An eyewitness wrote of his last illness, "His sickness, though painful [was] borne with patience and joy in believing. He lived his sermons."
He lived his sermons. What higher commendation could people give their preacher? They beheld 24 years of preaching climax in a few days of dying and testified that right to the end, crossing the last deep river, he lived his sermons!
The patient Puritan died in 1673, in his own home, with a company of sorrowing friends gathered round the bed. "He did at last desire his friends to forbear speaking to him, that so he might retire in himself," one of them wrote in recalling the scene. These last minutes "he spent in prayer; oftentimes lifting up his hands a little; and at last, his friends finding his hands not to move, drew near and perceived he was silently departing from them."
You have heard of the patience of Joseph Caryl. His patient preaching, living, and dying ring with the same admonition he gave his people through 24 years of preaching: "Take, my brethren, the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience."
Dr. Mark Minnick is the pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina, where he has served on the pastoral staff since 1980. He serves on the executive board of the FBFI.
"When the heart is cast into the mould of the doctrine which the mind embraces, . . . when not the sense of the words but of the things is in our hearts, when we have communion with God in the doctrine we contend for, then shall we be garrisoned by the grace of God against all the assaults of men. Without this, all our contending is of no value to ourselves. What am I the better, if I can dispute that Christ is God but have no sense that he is a God in covenant with my soul? . . . It is possible to contend for truth in a spirit most opposite to its nature, and most warmly to advocate the rights of a cause from which we ourselves may derive no benefit. In all cases, it should be remembered, that the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.” John Owen
I understand that the popular celebration of Saint Valentine’s Day was orchestrated by the greeting card companies. Flowers, candy, red hearts and romance…..
Valentine’s Day use has made business at Union Mills bakery busy with all the cookies and cakes. Close to 4,000 cookies have been made this week.
I know the history or some of it by reading the Wikipedia, which you can read if you would like. Interesting story about the man named Valentine.
The first time the day became associated with romantic love was in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. Then in the 18th century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”) .
Remember from the first grade getting “valentines” for every one in the class.
Oscar Wilde is reported to have observed: “Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.” Which is the same as to say that everything in the world is about power. And Mr. Wilder was certainly right in his assertion, though he was right in a way he could not have imagined.
The reality is that we live in a world of symbol and sacrament, wherein everything points to something else.
EVERYTHING POINTS To Christ
Hardly are the blind given sight or the lame strength without the Lord perceiving deep spiritual significance in the act.
And when Jesus was on the edge of one of His greatest miracles of all, the raising of Lazarus from the dead, He is still not content to let the miracle merely stand on its own two feet. But Jesus insists on making that act, too, a symbol of something greater: “I am the resurrection and the life” John 11:25.
Why it is, after all, that Jesus is so adept at teaching in parables, but that He sees life as supremely parabolic? Were Jesus to respond to Oscar Wilde, we might imagine Him saying: “Obviously everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about me.”
JESUS IS ROMANTIC: (If we might use that term in a good sense)
Everything in the world is surly about Jesus: every story in the Bible leads to Jesus, every event significant in proportion to its proximity to the great Event; every holiday, sacred or secular, is holy precisely became it is a day. And certainly romance is included in the scope of everything in the world that is about Jesus Christ the Lord.
Yes I said “romantic” and all that is included under that term belong to that divine lover (Biblical term if I might add) Can I say that all the red roses, all the red cookies, all the red hearts, in a sense should be in symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Christ is the One whom we should love and give our affection to the most)
All our affection toward Christ as He is the One who not only invites us to Himself, but by His Spirit sovereignly draws His beloved to Himself.
I know it seems to be a little uneasily with us to use the image of Christ as a romantic person. But if you will note we have been well instructed in its companion image of Christ as a husband from Ephesians 5. Where we are informed of a marriage between us and Christ. This romantic courtship is biblical if we just drop the worldly view of sex, and romance. The intimacy that has so been blurred by the world, but in the spiritual sense is just what we as believers should have with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Of course there is the Song of Solomon which is all about sex and romance and in a sense is a few of our true love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Note if you will the romance of Jesus at the wedding at Cana, see Jesus acts in a sense of Valentine, when He filled the empty cups with wine. Some would say that the wine was really not important but only the wedding vows. But we must say that there is nothing secondary with what Jesus did that day. Everything in the world is about Jesus.
If we see deep enough, we see that Jesus sees the truth more clearly than anyone, He once again employs again that habit of seeing the world symbolically (a habit learned, no doubt, from the Father), as He perceives in the wedding feast a dim reflection of His own eternal romance. This romance, will be seen in time with the reality of Jesus death on the cross and the price of our redemption paid for my the wine of the new covenant, His blood.
So maybe if we who are Believers who really love the Lord in a very special way, should see that maybe this event that we all seem to get caught up in, see it as a day that we might remember the romance that our Lord was engaged in when He God became man and lived and died and rose again for our redemption.
Hosea 2:14 “Behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” That does sound like a little romance, don’t you think.
And February 14th this year of 2016 does fall on Sunday, and what a wonderful day to show a romance to a lovely Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bee: Danville, Va. Saturday, March 26, 1951
Danville, Saturday May 5, 1945 Below
Kannapolis Daily Independent December 29, 1938 Dad was in Jacksonville FLA for a meeting and the returns to preach here.Evangelist Everette Whisnant will return from Jacksonville Fla this weekend and will preach at the church formerly occupie
Heaven's Perspective on the Cross: Substitute
Heaven's Perspective on the Cross: Substitute
Isaiah 53:4-6; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18
by John MacArthur http://www.gty.org/Resources/Print/Blog/B
What was the point of Christ's death?
Depending on whom you ask, you could receive a variety of confused and conflicting answers. Even within the church, many people are inclined to look at the life and death of Jesus through their own skewed perspective of what it means to them.
But in order to understand the full weight and meaning of Christ's death, it's important to understand what it means from heaven's perspective. What did the Lord's death on the cross accomplish in terms of God's eternal plan?
So far in this short series, we've seen that Christ's death was a sacrifice and a submission. Today we'll see that it was also a substitute.
The New Testament is rich with substitution language when it comes to Jesus' death. Hebrews 9:28 says He was "offered once to bear the sins of many." The apostle Peter described Christ's substitutionary death in his first epistle with these words: "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed" (1 Peter 2:24). In 2 Corinthians 5:14, Paul puts it bluntly, saying "One died for all." For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;
Of course, all those passages borrow language from perhaps the most definitive text on the death of Christ—Isaiah 53. Often called the first gospel, Isaiah 53 goes into explicit detail about the Lord's substitutionary sacrifice, centuries before He was even born.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5) http://biblia.com/bible/nasb95/Isaiah%20
4 Surely our 1griefs He Himself abore, And our 2sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, 3Smitten of bGod, and afflicted. 5 But He was 1pierced through for aour transgressions, He was crushed for bour iniquities; The cchastening for our 2well-being fell upon Him, And by dHis scourging we are healed.
1 Or sickness a Mt 8:17 2 Or pains 3 Or Struck down by b Jn 19:7 1 Or wounded a Is 53:8 Heb 9:28 b Is 53:10 Ro 4:25 1 Co 15:3 c Dt 11:2 Heb 5:8 2 Or peace d 1 Pe 2:24 1 Pe 2:25
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
In fact, verse 6 of Isaiah 53 couldn't be plainer about the substitutionary aspect of Jesus' death: "The Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him."
Theologians refer to Christ's death as a "penal substitute," an unfamiliar concept in our therapy-oriented society. Today legal punishment is rarely about making restitution for a crime. Most often, punishments are focused on vengeance for the victims or rehabilitation for the criminals—and about making us feel better in the aftermath. We've clouded the idea of fixed standards and penalties for breaking those standards.
But that's exactly how God's law works. His standards are fixed as a perfect expression of His holiness, and any violation of those standards demands a specific penalty—death. Paul referred to death as "the wages of sin" (Romans 6:23), and it's a telling way to describe it. Death isn't the result of a divine vendetta. Sin earns death. And all sin must be punished.
In fact, all sin will be punished. No sin goes unpunished—it can't. God's law demands a penalty. Without that penalty, His perfect law ceases to be perfect. Christ didn't erase or ameliorate the penalties of our sins. He paid them in full.
What's more, He paid those penalties in an astoundingly short time. In just three hours, Christ exhausted the wrath of God—wrath that would have been poured on us, individually, throughout eternity if not for His substitutionary death. He suffered an almost infinite punishment to satisfy God's law and purchase our forgiveness.
The penalty for our sins wasn't waived—it was poured out on Christ as He willingly took our place. His body was broken and His blood was shed on our behalf—"the just for the unjust" (1 Peter 3:18)—as a perfect substitute.
by Cameron Buettel ,.
One doesn’t simply invite himself over to the White House for a night in the Lincoln Bedroom, or into Buckingham Palace for tea with the Queen. No matter how earnest your desire or assertive your request, you will be denied access.
And that’s no surprise to most people. We understand that monarchs and heads of state require a certain level of exclusivity, and we generally respect those boundaries.
However, we don’t have that understanding when it comes to the Lord and His heavenly kingdom. Too many people assume their entrance into God’s family is a function of their own earnest desire. Phrases like “Asking Jesus into my heart” or “Accepting Jesus as my personal Savior” are emblematic of a mentality that carelessly reverses the roles in salvation. And that mentality is widespread in the church—today those phrases are some of the most common Christian clichés, ushering in what you might call the era of the alter call.
During my formative years as a Christian, I became so familiar with these expressions that I never seriously thought about their meaning. I always assumed the idea was biblical, since it seemed to echo Jesus’ words in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
Knocking on the Door of Your Heart?
Jesus is not a jilted suitor shut out in the cold by those who reject Him. As Paul Washer once said, “If He wants to kick the door down, He’ll kick it down.” Additionally, the door does not represent the hearts of all people but rather the particular church that Christ’s message was aimed at. John MacArthur rightly points out:
Though this verse has been used in countless tracts and evangelistic messages to depict Christ’s knocking on the door of the sinner’s heart, it is broader than that. The door on which Christ is knocking is not the door to a single human heart, but to the Laodicean church. Christ was outside this apostate church and wanted to come in—something that could only happen if the people repented. . . . The Lord Jesus Christ urged them to repent and have fellowship with Him before the night of judgment fell and it was too late forever. 
Not only is Jesus not waiting at the doorstep of your soul, He is also not waiting for you to offer an invitation, or even respond to His invitation. The language of Scripture is that of compulsion. Paul preached, “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30). When the apostles preached the gospel their messages ended with the strong commands to repent and believe (Acts 2:38; 3:19).
Finally, while it is true that Jesus promises to reside in believers (John 15:4), a drastic change must happen before that can take place. The unbelieving heart is dead, hard, and cold to spiritual things. Before Christ can reside in one’s heart through the Spirit, He has to exchange the heart of stone for a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).
When you stop to think about it, asking Jesus into your heart goes against the nature of the gospel, and begins one’s new spiritual life with a poor understanding of what has just occurred.
Who Needs Acceptance?
The sloppiness of modern evangelistic clichés is also painfully evident in the phrase “accepting Jesus as your personal Savior.” A brief moment of reflection should be all that’s needed to identify the problem. On the day of judgment, it is we who will need Christ’s acceptance. To say that we accept Christ dangerously assumes that we sit in judgment and Christ stands on trial.
Our evangelistic terminology needs to reflect the knowledge of our proper place with respect to Christ when it comes to gaining His acceptance. Jesus clarifies who needs to accept whom when He says,
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
There is an eternal difference between you accepting Christ and Christ accepting you. I’ve often argued that the thief on the cross was a very good theologian because he had no trouble recognizing who needed whose acceptance. Perhaps, like me, you bought into the cliché without thinking it through. Whatever the case, it’s always dangerous to assume that Christian slogans equate with biblical truth.
Making Jesus Lord?
Modern evangelistic outreach regularly follows the call to “accept Jesus into your heart” with the phrase “and make Him your Lord and Savior.” Sadly, when I first encountered the language of contemporary altar calls, I never stopped to ask what Jesus’ job description entailed before I “made Him Lord and Savior.”
God’s Word is abundantly clear on this point. Christ’s Lordship has never been contingent on anybody’s willingness to grant Him that title. Jesus is Lord. And your present belief has no bearing on that eternal reality. He is Lord of Christians, atheists, and everything else in the universe—whether they bow their knee in repentance or burn in a hellfire of regret:
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8–11)
According to Paul, “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Romans 6:16) Using this Spirit-inspired logic, you don’t need to make Jesus Lord of your life, you simply need to demonstrate that He is Lord of your life by submitting to Him in repentance, faith, and obedience.
The Altar Call and Its Wayward Offspring
There is nothing wrong with evangelism that impresses upon the sinner the urgency to repent and believe. But formulaic altar calls have spawned all sorts of reckless Christianese and faulty views of salvation. They are the tragic legacy of Charles Finney, a nineteenth-century evangelist who denied the sovereignty of God in calling and regenerating sinners.
Finney’s desire to see greater numbers of converts at his meetings led him to invent the “anxious bench.” Finney was convinced that revival hinged on the preacher and his methods. The anxious bench was one of Finney’s favorite preaching tactics. It provided vacant seating at the front of the church where those who were worried about eternal matters could sit, be specifically preached at, and personally converse with the preacher after the meeting.
While you wouldn’t see that exact pattern repeated today, the pragmatic principles are still at work in modern altar calls and evangelistic crusades. It was the walk to the front that set the wheels in motion. And humanly engineered means of producing converts have been rampant ever since.
Using Appropriate Biblical Language
In stark contrast, God’s sovereign means of salvation have never changed. He draws the sinner through His call (John 6:44; Romans 8:28), convicts the sinner by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), regenerates the sinner by His power (Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Corinthians 5:17), and sees the sinner through the lens of Christ’s atoning work (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The preacher should never presume to take upon himself any of the Holy Spirit’s responsibilities. Instead, God has chosen preaching as the means of proclaiming Christ crucified and calling for the response that He demands—repentance from sin (Acts 17:30–31) and faith toward Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9; Acts 20:20–21).
Rather than asking sinners to accept Christ we should call them to plead for His acceptance. Rather than telling sinners to “make Jesus Lord” we should call them to submit to His lordship. And instead of calling sinners to a saving altar, we should entrust them to a sovereign Savior.
The Process of Growth in Grace in the Believers Life: Five Mistakes Viewed, Three Evidence Stated:
Holiness is an ongoing process of growth in grace that constitutes a condition of personal spiritual health.
1A Some common mistakes about spiritual growth.1B Growth in Grace is Visible: The first mistake is to think that growth in grace is always clear to see.
Rather, growth in grace is a process wrought by the Holy Spirit that centers on the human heart. The quality of a person's responses to a crisis, a shock, or the demands of any new citation, may tell us all sorts of things about them that we did not know before, and one of those things may well be their spiritual stature.
2B Growth in Grace is Uniform: A second mistake is to think that growth in grace always is a uniform process, either in itself throughout the stages of a believer's life, or in comparison with what God is doing in the lives of others. Sanctifying grace works differently in all people. It's always conditioned by their natural make-up.
God's health-giving, growth-producing, work of sanctification is differently shaped in detail, and appears to proceed at different speeds, in different lives.
But all Christians can testify that knowing God through Jesus Christ enables them now to live and act in ways that were simply beyond them before; and a professed Christian with no such testimony can hardly be genuine, and is certainty not growing in grace.
3B Growth in Grace is Automatic: A third mistake is to think that growth in grace is automatic if you are a religious professional, be it a minister or missionary, full time worker,
All Christians need God's help to know who they are, and to live with Him, and with their own human intimates in honesty, integrity, and vulnerability.
4B Growth in Grace is Protection: A fourth mistake: to think that growth in grace shields one from strains, pains, and pressures in one's Christian life. Christians have no more exemptions from these than did Jesus or Paul. As a matter of fact, compassion generates more stress for growing Christians than other human beings ever know.
5B Growth in Grace is a Retreat: A fifth mistake is to think that growth in grace may be furthered by retreating from life's hard places, heavy burdens, and hurtful relationships. Of course, it might be a good idea for some good reason why some Christians should choose to live relatively withdrawn lives, but the belief that only so can they grow in grace. Christians grow as they accept their destiny of self-denial and cross-bearing. Luke 9:23.
2A So when spiritual growth does take place and graces of Christian character, and in intimacy with God is taking place, one may at least expect to see a few signs of it:
1B Sign one is growth delight in praising God, with an increasing distaste for being praised oneself. Psalms 115:11
2B Sign two is a growing instinct for caring and giving, with a more pronounced dislike of the self-absorption that constantly takes without either caring or giving. Luke 23:24, 44
3B Sign three is a growing passion for personal righteousness, with more acute stress because of the godlessness and immorality of the world around, and a keener discernment of Satan's strategy of opposition, distraction and deception ensuring that people neither believe nor live right. 2 Corinthians 2:11
4B Sign four is a growing zeal for God's cause, with more willingness to take unpopular action to further it. Psalms 144:1
5B Sign five is a great patience and willingness to wait for God and bow to His will, with a deeper distaste of what masquerades as the bold faith, rather then trying to force God's hand. Matthew 26;39
3A And so how are these principles applied personally. Since God's teaching in the Scripture on holy growth in holiness has been given then how do we make it personal?
1B Am I concerned about growing in God's grace? 2 Peter 3:18:
Growing in grace is not an option for a believer, but it is necessary, not a suggestion but a command. "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:14.
Grow in Grace! i.e. in Christian virtues, facets of Christian character. Yes but much more
To grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ means:
1C To strengthen our grasp on the whole doctrine of grace.
2C To deepen our faith-relationship with Christ and through Him with the Father and the Spirit. In which we involve Them into our living our lives.
3C To become more Christ-like as the Spirit assimilates us to the One we contemplate, leading us to pray for conformity to Him, to act in imitation of Him, and to manifest our progressive transformation into His moral image.
This is a command that is on an continued basis, i.e. "grow" is in the present tense, and means "keep growing" it is a matter of being consciously Christians, and trying all the time to be more Christian, in every part of our living. Therefore, growing in grace is our true life's work, a huge and never-ending task.
4A Then do you practice these principles of growing in grace all that it should be?
Of course you would ask, what, are these principles that bring about growth in our daily lives? Well, Bible reading, study, prayer, church worship, Christian fellowship would be good. Of course. But there is more than this. Here are three helpful ways to help fulfill this command to grow in grace
1B Work out your salvation. Paul's explanation of what his readers' obedience to the call to demonstrate the mind (attitude) of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11) will really amount to. It will be an expressing in action, and so a perfecting and completing, of the salvation that is theirs now. And they should work out their salvation "with fear and trembling"- that is to say, with awe and reverence for God's work in them.
2B Remain (Abide, Stay Put) in Christ. John 15:4-5, 9-10. We are to look to Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives, as the source of power to serve, we are to listen to Christ to find what form that service should take, we are to cultivate His company as you go about Christ's business and to bath in the certainty of Christ's love.
3B Watch and Pray: Matthew 26:41. First Peter 5:8-9, Hebrews 2:18, 4:15. Satan cannot keep us from being believers, but he will certainly draw on all his resources to keep us from growing in grace and to ensure that God is dishonored, one way or another.
5A Four Disciplines that have to do with clearing the path to healthy growth in the graces of Christ
1B Acceptance of Facts. 2 Peter 3:3-9,15. Knowledge God's sovereignty over His world. To hold a grudge against God is one way of blocking growth completely.
2B Avoidance of Folly: 2 Peter 3:17. Namely the proud unconcern about holiness as described in First Peter.
3B Assimilation of Food: First Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 1:19-21; 3:2. Bible truth, the Word of God.
4B Affirmation of Fellowship: 2 Peter 1:10, 2 Peter 1:7, 3:1, 8, 14-17. God did not create, nor does He redeem, anyone to be a lone wolf in His world. We are made, and we are saved, for affectionate togetherness and mutual help.
Gleamed from J.I. Packer book Rediscovering Holiness
In Common With Conservative Christians and the Historic Protestant Creeds, We Believe—
That God is the Sovereign Creator, upholder, and ruler of the universe, and that He is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
That the Godhead, the Trinity, comprises God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
That the Scriptures are the inspired revelation of God to men; and that the Bible is the sole rule of faith and practice.
That Jesus Christ is very God, and that He has existed with the Father from all eternity.
That the Holy Spirit is a personal being, sharing the attributes of deity with the Father and the Son.
That the vicarious, atoning death of Jesus Christ, once for all, is all-sufficient for the redemption of a lost race.
That Jesus Christ arose literally and bodily from the grave.
That He ascended literally and bodily into heaven.
That He now serves as our advocate in priestly ministry and mediation before the Father.
That He will return in a premillennial, personal, imminent second advent.
That man was created sinless, but by his subsequent fall entered a state of alienation and depravity.
That salvation through Christ is by grace alone, through faith in His blood.
That entrance upon the new life in Christ is by regeneration, or the new birth.
That man is justified by faith.
That man is sanctified by the indwelling Christ through the Holy Spirit.
That there will be a judgment of all men.
That the gospel is to be preached as a witness to all the world