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Joseph, a Type of Christ

And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Gen. 45:7-8

For the last few days I have been reading the Genesis story of Joseph to my 6 year old son and pointed out that there were many similarities (or types) in the stories between Joseph and Jesus. On our way to the bus stop we talked about the Scripture that shows where both of them were betrayed, and my son quickly responded by declaring that God also brought about a good outcome through that same betrayal. I was delighted to see that he made this connection. In both cases God intended that the evil choices of men would be the means to bring about deliverance for His people. Joseph was a type of Christ in that he suffered unjustly by his brethren and then ended up saving many of the very people who originally intended to do him harm.

I often use passages such as Genesis 50:20 as well as Acts 2 & 4 in theological debates to show God's meticulous providence that he can even ordain evil to bring about a good purpose.

 "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." - Gen 50:20

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men." - Acts 2:23

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 15:51 -- john_hendryx

Christ, Our Great Substitute

by Thaddeus Williams

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
(2 Corinthians 5:21)

What is substitutionary atonement?

The cross of Jesus is where the substitutionary atonement happened. On the cross, Jesus served as our substitute and atoned for our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).

At the cross, our sin became Christ’s sin, our blameworthiness became Christ’s blameworthiness, the wrath we deserve from an infinitely just Being became the wrath He absorbed from an infinitely just Being. It made salvation possible for spiritually dead sinners wrought with guilt. As if this weren’t good news enough, Christ’s blamelessness became our blamelessness, Christ’s reward became our reward, Christ’s perfection our perfection, and Christ’s confident standing before the holy and just Father became our confident standing before the holy and just Father.

We can no more improve on Christ’s imputed righteousness than we can count past infinity.

“This is our acquittal: the guilt that held us liable for punishment has been transferred to the head of the Son of God…We must, above all, remember this substitution, lest we tremble and remain anxious throughout life—as if God’s righteous vengeance, which the Son of God has taken upon himself, still hung over us….[To] take away all cause for enmity and to reconcile us utterly to himself, he wipes out all evil in us by the expiation set forth in the death of Christ; that we, who were previously unclean and impure, may show ourselves righteous and holy in his sight.”
(John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, vol. 2, pp. 506, 510)

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 19:09 -- john_hendryx

On God, Providence, and Natural Disasters

Guest Post by Steve Hays

1. Two recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida renewed perennial debates about the problem of natural evil. Calvinists and freewill theists give different answers. A friend asked me to comment on this old screed by Rachel Held Evans:
 
I rarely read RHE. Outrage is crack cocaine for folks like RHE. The moral satisfaction of waxing judgmental gives them a temporary high. They're addicted to indignation. They live for indignation. Because the high wears off, they are constantly on the lookout for something wax indignant about. 
 
In her post, RHE uses John Piper as a foil to attack Calvinism in general. She also uses the occasion as a pretext to launch into a gratuitous tirade against C. J. Mahaney. I say gratuitous because that has nothing to do with natural evil. 
 
In this post I'm not going to comment on the allegations against Mahaney, both because it's a red herring in relation to the primary topic of her post, and simply because I'm in no position to offer an informed opinion regarding his complicity, if any, in the scandal. 

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 15:42 -- john_hendryx

Do you believe God sent the hurricane(s)?

Yes, I believe God ordains all that comes to pass (Eph 1:11) If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?" (Amos 3:6). After losing all ten of his children after a great wind had caused the collapse of his son's house, Job says, "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21). After being covered with boils he says, "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" (Job 2:10). Our world has been under judgment since the Fall, so there is sickness, death and calamity.

Jesus declared that disasters are reminders that we all live in our fallen world, of life's precariousness and ought to cause us all to repent:

(Quote) "...those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1–5)

Does this mean we (the church) should sit on our hands? No, I am thankful that God also ordains that his church would engage in acts of mercy and pray ... and that the prayers of His saints will play a role in, and affect the outcome of events and be instrumental in the salvation of souls. God ordains both the means and the ends.

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:51 -- john_hendryx

The Double Cure

When the Holy Spirit regenerates a man and joins him to Christ, He shows him the heinousness of his sin. Seeing he cannot save himself from it, the sinner appeals to Christ to deliver him both from 1) sin's guilt and 2) from its power; from God's wrath and from sin's bondage; to not only justify him, but to sanctify him --- to apply the double cure. Christ did not die for our sin so we could have peace with sin but so that we would go to war with sin. No regenerate man says 'Lord forgive my guilt but leave me in my bondage to my sin.' No, by the grace of God, he flees from sin to Christ for salvation - salvation from God's wrath as well as deliverance from our sinful self, for the power of the Spirit to put off sin. So unlike some modern teaching, salvation does not merely consist of being delivered from God's wrath but includes much more. Many in the justification-only crowd and some liberal theologians have used this theology as an excuse to live in sin. But as J. I. Packer once said, "A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth."

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 14:23 -- john_hendryx

Amillennialism and The “Future” Kingdom of God

A common misunderstanding about amillennialism is that “covenant theologians regard the kingdom of God as a wholly invisible and wholly present reality with no future, earthly fulfillment.” It is argued that because amillennialists have no place in their eschatological scheme for Jesus reigning upon a earthly throne in Jerusalem, they therefore by necessity have no place for an earthly, consummated kingdom. Far to the contrary, the amillennial position on the nature of God’s kingdom is that it is both a present and future reality – i.e., that it is both already-and-not-yet, inaugurated but not consummated – and that both these present and future elements of the kingdom include spiritual as well as earthly dimensions. This fulfillment, however, will not take place during a future millennial period but rather at the end of the age when Christ returns and heaven and earth are renewed. To say that because amillennialists do not affirm Christ’s earthly reign “from a throne in Jerusalem” then they cannot affirm an earthly future for God’s kingdom is to confuse a particular (premillennial) understanding of what Christ’s reign will look like with the broader category of God’s kingdom. Such an assertion would be similar to an amillennialist saying that because premillennialists do not affirm that Satan is currently bound so they cannot affirm the current, spiritual presence of God’s kingdom.

The follow excepts conclusively show that the above position is the amillennial position.

Kim Riddlebarger, A Case for Amillennialism

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 14:13 -- john_hendryx

The Nashville Statement and Acting in Love Toward our Neighbor

Just a couple of comments on one of the articles in the Nashville Statement

ARTICLE 10
WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.

WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree

------
If I may add my 2 cents to Article 10:

Those within the visible church who APPROVE of homosexual immorality are not acting in love toward our neighbor but, for fear of man's opinion, are denying him or her the gospel, which is the only hope for any of us. Those churches who approve are, therefore, guilty of doing harm and/or murdering souls.

If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand." - Ezek 3:18

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 14:18 -- john_hendryx

Rebuilding the Tower of Babel

While peace and global unity are laudable pursuits (on the surface), such goals ought to be seen in the light of what took place at the Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9). This event stands as a stark warning against utopianism, against man's proud and unending use of politics, economics and false religion to attain global unity apart from God. Mankind's ability to fashion such a world was forfeited at the fall and until we return to our Creator, and embrace His appointed means to reach this goal, mankind's quest for global unity will inevitably end in chaos and utter destruction.

According to Scripture, mankind will indeed finally succeed in creating this global counterfeit kingdom (Rev 13:8, 16:9, 17:8) but God will overthrow it, bring judgment on the earth, and join the family of man together under his righteous rule and bring in the only true lasting kingdom. (Rev 21)

"And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." Dan 2:43- 44

Note: I believe this same truth can be applied to just about any situation where human beings are endeavoring to do good.  When God and the gospel are removed from our charity, and we chose to do things our own way, we set up a counterfeit which does no ultimate good to the parties involved.  

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 19:12 -- john_hendryx

Life from the Dead: An Exposition of Romans 11:11-36

by Dean Davis

NOTE: The essay below is an extract from the book, The High King of Heaven: Discovering the Master Keys to the Great End Time Debate by Dean Devis (Redemption Press, 2014). It deals with one of the great biblical signs of the imminence of the Consummation: the large-scale converision of ethnic Israel in the last of the Last Days. Though other biblical texts touch on this theme (see note 1), Romans 11:11-36 gives us the single most important discussion of this holy mystery. I hope you will enjoy my humble attempt to plumb its amazing depths.

An Exposition of Romans 11:11-36

Though this passage touches only indirectly upon the Consummation, it is of great importance, since here we are supplied with yet another outstanding sign of its imminence: the latter day conversion of ethnic Israel at large, leading swiftly to the Parousia and the Resurrection of the dead. Later, I will touch on some of the practical implications of this unique revelation for Christian life and ministry. First, however, we must examine the text itself, in order to see if this really is the apostle’s message.

Introduction

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 14:18 -- john_hendryx

The Prosperity Gospel: A Global Epidemic

by Costi Hinn

Prosperity is hot topic in the church. Does God care if a pastor drives a nice car or lives in a nice home? Does God command that all who follow Him take a vow of poverty and starve their families in a protest of earthly comfort? Bible teachers sell millions of books and accumulate mass amounts of wealth, are they in the same league as other wealthy preachers? Some men will have deep convictions about attaining any measure of wealth, while others will be content use their wealth to give back to their church. Some will use their wealth to fund a child’s college tuition, or even scholarship a seminary student. Others will invest their wealth with the goal of giving even more away in the future.

Stewardship comes in all shapes and sizes but one thing doesn’t—God’s ability to weigh a man’s heart and motives. It is a man’s heart that God is most interested in and the gospel a man proclaims that God will judge most. When Heaven’s final bell rings and every man is recompensed according to his deeds, God will have the final say. The issue will not be whether that pastor took home a six-figure salary; the issue will be what that man taught and wrote while representing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In this article, the prosperity gospel is placed front and center as one of the deadliest teachings in the world today. It has attached itself to the Bible, and to Jesus Christ—though it has no business doing so. Billions chase after it in search of stability and hope. Yet, all those who live and die trusting in the prosperity gospel for salvation will be left wanting in both this life, and the next.

What is Prosperity Gospel Theology?

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 21:12 -- john_hendryx

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