Archive for November, 2006

God Strengthens Us by the Gospel by Dr. John Piper

pic_johnpiper.jpgThe following is an excerpt from a sermon last Sunday at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The text is Romans 16:25-27.  You can read the whole manuscript here.  I found the message to be encouraging and hope you will also! 

Today, I mainly want to focus on the statement that God strengthens his people according to his gospel. Verse 25: “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel.” Everything Paul says in verses 25 and 26 is an unpacking of the gospel which strengthens believers. This gospel which strengthens is “the preaching of Jesus Christ” (v. 25b). Jesus is the central reality of the gospel. This gospel is “according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages” (v. 25c). That’s the mystery that the Gentiles—the nations—are full fellow citizens with Jewish believers by faith in Jesus (Ephesians 3:6). That good news “has now been disclosed” (v. 26a), and even though it was hidden in past ages, it is the very Old Testament “prophetic writings” (v. 26b) themselves that Paul uses to reveal the mystery to “all nations” (v. 26b). And all of this good news for the nations was “the command of the eternal God” and aims at “the obedience of faith” (v. 26c).

All of that is an unpacking of the gospel in verse 25 which God uses to strengthen believers so that they will indeed persevere in the obedience of faith and draw all attention to the glory of God.

So the focus today is on this amazing fact: At the end of this book, as Paul puts the words of his final doxology on his lips, what he chooses to ascribe to God is that God is able to strengthen you with his gospel. When he ends by calling all attention to the glory of God, he does so in a way that makes that glory shine more brightly in God’s strengthening you, his people who believe the gospel.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org. Email: mail@desiringGod.org. Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.

Disclaimer: BowingDown does not necessarily endorse or agree with Dr. John Piper on all issues of theology; however, we have great appreciation for much of his writing and testimony as it directs us toward God-centered and Bible-based ministry.

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SharperIron Posting

logo_bottom.jpg“Now Thank We All Our God” was posted this morning over at SharperIron. It was written as part of a personal study on thanksgiving in the Scripture. I hope you get a chance to read it and give me your feedback.

The article can be found here: http://www.sharperiron.org/2006/11/23/now-thank-we-all-our-god/

The discussion thread can be found here: http://www.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=4059

God’s Gracious Giving

cornucopia.gifGod is a giving God. His giving is beyond our full comprehension. His giving is not an occasional decision on His part; it is characteristic of His very nature. He gives because of who and what He is, not because of who or what we are.

God’s giving is of grace. None of His abounding gifts to angels or to men is deserved. God owes no man anything. God does not need to repay a favor or seek another’s favor. He does not give in order to gain. He does not give out of any obligation. All that God has ever given has been an expression of His free grace. Continue reading

Worship in Black & White, Pt. 3

bw.gif(To download biblical language fonts for this paper, click here.)

Worship and Music

The next thesis requires a brief diversion from our chronological sweep of the book. The term adw, “to sing” occurs in three places in Revelation. In each of the three passages (5:9; 14:3; 15:3), this word occurs in close proximity of an occurrence of proskunew (5:14; 14:7; 15:4). But more significant than the lexical connection[1] is the thematic connection. Each of these occurrences signify a created being or beings singing worship to God and/or the Lamb. These connections, in part, fueled the following comment by Thompson: Continue reading

Worship in Black & White, Pt. 2

bw.gif(To download biblical language fonts for this paper, click here.)

Worship and God

            With letters to the churches complete, in chapter 4 John ushers us into the very throne room of God. The description is breathtaking. John describes the one on the throne as looking like “jaspar stone and sardius.” An emerald rainbow encircling the throne is next to catch his eye. John then begins to list those that surround the throne, including the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures. These groups of attendees join their voices together in two songs of praise with which chapter 4 culminates. These songs will be considered now in more detail. Continue reading

THE END…ALMOST

pray.jpgNearly a year ago, a dear family very close to me was accused of criminal acts that have been to this point unsubstantiated.  The family is involved in Christian ministry outside the United States.

TODAY is the scheduled date for the judge to render his verdict.  I would greatly appreciate the prayer and fasting of Christian brothers and sisters specifically today for God to be glorified through the outcome. Pray for strength and peace for the family members involved. Please pray!!

The Powers That Be

jasonprez2.jpgAs many of my readers know, I am an active participant in the political process.  I do spend a great deal of time during election seasons campaigning for the candidates I support.  This season was no different.  In fact, for the first time in my life, as I looked at the touchscreen in front of me in the polling booth, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I knew each of the candidates personally for whom I was about to vote.  They have become my friends. Continue reading