Enjoyed this from Sojourn:
Prepping for this coming Lord’s Day, I was doing some reading on Isaiah 53 and using Gary Smith’s excellent NAC on Isaiah 40-66. In speaking of the lofty language to describe the Suffering Servant as the Messiah, he notes:
This fairly consistent positive imagery is completely shattered by rather contradictory images of appalling disfigurement (Isaiah 52:14), the absence of the majestic look of a king (Isaiah 53:2), mistreatment and rejection, lack of respect and suffering (Isaiah 53:3-4). The unusual theological explanation is that he suffered, was pierced, and was crushed for the sins of others (Isaiah 53:4-5). Although he was innocent (Isaiah 53:9b) and righteous (Isaiah 53:11), he did not object to this suffering (Isaiah 53:7b), so he died and was buried among because of the sins of others (Isaiah 53:8-9). Even more astonishing, God himself caused the iniquities of others to fall on him so that peace and healing could come to many others (Isaiah 53:5b, 6b). Surprisingly, it was God’s will for him to pay for the restitution of others (Isaiah 53:10). On the one hand this looks like a terrible perversion of justice, but on the other hand it was part of God’s unbelievable plan to transfer the guilt of many to this innocent Servant. He functioned as a substitute who took the penalty of others, and through this act he justified many (Isaiah 53:11). In spite of the unjust treatment of this Servant, this amazing story has a surprising and positive ending, for the Servant’s substitutionary role cause the will of God to be accomplished (Isaiah 53:10). This suffering Servant will not only live again and see the light (Isaiah 53:11); he will be exalted again because he bore the sins of many (Isaiah 53:12).
(Taken from Smith, Gary. New American Commentary: Isaiah 40-66. Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2009. pp. 464-5)
Even the Old Testament was telling of this Jesus who would come and not only die but rise for sinners.
I enjoyed these thoughts from David Livingstone, a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church and not that famous missionary, who wrote about an article for their newsletter entitled, “Is Watching a Very Good Sermon on TV or Online the Same As ‘Doing Church’?”. A helpful summary (from the DG Blog):
No doubt there are more than just a few folks who have surfed their way into our services from elsewhere to hear the very good sermons and will stay only as long as the sermons remain very, very good. That’s what “doing church” is for them … they are “auditing” church.
And that’s not all bad … in fact, it’s way better than staying away. By all means, come and audit! For that matter, staying home to watch a good sermon on TV is also way better than watching virtually everything else on TV. Long ago, the Apostle Paul wrote that he rejoiced at any kind of gospel preaching so long as Christ was proclaimed (Philippians 1:15-18), and so should we.
The rub comes in letting ourselves settle into minimalism. In other words, it’s very sad to reduce “doing church” to listening to a sermon whether it’s at home in front of a screen or in a building with others in front of a screen. “Doing church” is far more and far better than that … both on Sunday mornings and all through the week. Why? Because church isn’t a building to go to or programs and classes to attend; it’s a living fellowship of people who have a saving relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ … and a saving relationship with one another as members of the family of God (consider Hebrews 3:12-13).
I hope you found this helpful too.
Another Lord’s Day is completed. I was really grateful to God for His enablement yesterday.
We began in SS, looking at Paul Tripp teaching on how worshipping God as Creator and Sovereign helps establish right relations horizontally in our marriages. Meg and I were remarking over lunch how helpful this perspective was.
In the AM service, my sermon was from Colossians 2:4-5 entitled Protection. The audio is online, but unfortunately, the podcast isn’t working (Sorry). This sermon was a blessing to me, in seeing how God doesn’t leave His people to their own devices, but graciously reveals the truth to us. To put it simply: God protects us by revealing truth to us, empowering us to live out that truth and compelling us to maintain our trust in Jesus.
Then, in small groups, we continued wading through the Gospel Centered Life curriculum, seeing how the Gospel relates to all the commands of the Bible. The summary of this time: the commands drive us to despair of keeping them to the Gospel and the Gospel frees us to delight in following them.
It was an amazing day and God was so gracious to teach us. Hope you had a tremendous Lord’s Day as well.
…from his exposition on 1 John 2:29 and 1 John 3:1, in his book Life in Christ, which a group of our adults study each Wednesday night:
Oh, the quality of this love! Just realize what it means, the freeness of it all, that you and I should be called children of God! The freeness of this love that has looked upon us in spite of our sin, in spite of our recalcitrance, in spite of our unworthiness, in spite of our foulness as a result of the Fall and our own actions. Oh, the love that has not merely forgiven us but has given itself to us, that has entered into us and shared its own nature with us; stand in awe at the greatness of it!
Heed these words, especially in the next week as we ponder the Savior’s love.
This coming Lord’s Day, we anticipate, Lord willing, gathering together to celebrate the Gospel and, specifically, thinking about Jesus and His Work on the cross. We will have the Lord’s Supper at the conclusion of the service. We will sing songs: Sing to the King, And Can It Be, O Sacred Head Now Wounded, and How Deep the Father’s Love.
For the sermon, I will be preaching from Colossians 2:4-5 on Protection. My intro starts with the history of Protection, KS (of all things), but the focus in the sermon is how God protects us from error. In Colossians 2:4, Paul writes, “I say this…” and of course he is referring to all that he has written in chapters 1-2:3, but specifically, I think, the fact of Jesus Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Paul writes to give protection to God’s people and keep them from error. More on that Sunday AM.
Sunday PM, we will gather together in small groups and continue working through our Gospel Centered Life curriculum. We are in chapter 4 for our meeting this Sunday.
Hope you have a refreshing weekend and come ready to worship Jesus.
For my pastoral friends…
Check out Brian Croft’s book Visit the Sick for practical help in hospital time. We used this for an Elder’s/Deacon’s Meeting last year and found it practical and helpful.
I’ve seen tidbits of information coming out on the resurrection for this Easter already. After my post yesterday, I thought this would be a good follow up.
On a Twitter feed, Jonathan Dobson says, “If u invite people “to church” this Easter, make sure u invite them “into the church” the next week. Share your life not just your pastor.”
If you haven’t read Adrian Warnock’s book Raised with Christ, you are missing some great doctrinal teaching on the resurrection.
If you are more musically inclined, Andrew Peterson has an entire album devoted the the truth of the resurrection.
Take advantage of the gift God has given us in the internet and use these resources to deepen your joy in God as we celebrate the Gospel!
…from the Jesus Storybook Bible…