Archives For Biblical Theology

Sometimes it’s the little things, the small details, that hit the high notes of our praise.

David was on the run from a brood who wanted him out as king. There are thousands pursuing him, as Psalm 3 says. To make matters worse the coup is led by none other than his son Absolom. The king is fleeing the people who were supposed to be loyal we’re pursuing.

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I remember the day I first heard the gospel, it was awesome.  My faithful friend unpacked the message of the gospel to this weary sinner.  I was pierced through.  I needed a Savior and I knew it.  As our discussion came to a natural end, my friend found out that I did not own a Bible.  So as a good friend he gave me the one he was carrying.  It was a green pocket New Testament with the Psalms & Proverbs.  It comfortably was transferred from the pocket of his military cargo pants to my own.  I was and am thankful for my friend John’s kindness and graciousness that day.

However, what I am a little bent about is that Bible.  As I mentioned it was the NT, Psalms & Proverbs.  It did not include the Old Testament Scriptures.  This was a bit of a problem for me.  I had zero Bible knowledge at this point.  I did not know that the Bible had two testaments, I thought ‘Christ’ was Jesus’ last name, and couldn’t understand the purpose for all of these various letters (epistles).  But I read my green King James New Testament as tried to get stuff figured out.

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You may be familiar with the story in 1 Kings 21. Ahab is one of the worst kings in the history of Israel. His lusts knows no bounds. One day he decides that he wants to take the vineyard that belonged to a man named Naboth. He offered to give him another patch of land or even to buy it from him. However, Naboth resisted: ‘”The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” (1Ki 21.3)

Naboth refused because the land was part of his inheritance. We might think that this is dripping with the sentimentality of family. And it may. But more than that, it represents the Hebrew mindset that the land is a gift from God. Naboth can’t just “give it up and take something else.” The land is not like a pair of sneakers or upgrading a phone.

As we read on we see that Ahab’s wife, the notorious Jezebel, does his dirty work. She gets a couple of worthless guys together to accuse Naboth of something he did not do in order to put him to death. This she does successfully. The innocent Naboth is killed outside the city because of a false accusation of blasphemy.

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This is a guest post by Byron Yawn

I recently encountered a blog post discussing the hazards of a “redemptive historical hermeneutic” (RH). The author, a dispensationalist (and friend of mine), was contrasting RH with that of a grammatical historical method (GHI) of interpretation. The post was dealing with Jesus’ dialogue as he walked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)   

This particular passage is somewhat of an exegetical battleground in the discussion regarding the redemptive view of biblical interpretation and biblical theology.

As I am currently preaching through the historic books of the Old Testament, hold to a Christo-centric view of the Bible, practice grammatical historical interpretation, am a committed five point Calvinist and a premillennialist to boot (in the tradition of S. Lewis Johnson), I was intrigued. With the current push away from pietism/fundamentalism and the resurgence of law/gospel distinction underway in the church – the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament is back up as a hot topic.

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In the past I have been guilty of treating the Book of Proverbs a little bit like a commute to work. I sped through familiar passages and topics while aiming to get where I needed to go. Often times this destination has been a rebuke that I needed to hear concerning my tongue or some help toward counseling people more effectively. In short, I did not enjoy the commute through Proverbs like I should.

However, I recently begun reading this book on my days off, leisurely making my way through and highlighting along the way. You’ll never guess what happened. I began to see and smell the gospel flowers in full bloom. I heard the chirping birds with their songs of deliverance. The gospel notes are hit surprisingly well in this wisdom book. Some days I feel like Jacob grabbing ahold of that text, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” (Gen. 32.26) God has been good; I’ve been greatly blessed to say the least.

In effort to share and shamelessly disrupt others’ “commute” through this book, I have compiled a short list of verses along with some personal reflections on them. (Note: I quote the verse first and then a gospel meditation in italics after)

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ezra nehemiah emmaus bible church

Preachers love to preach. We love to dive down deep, mining God’s Word for glorious, eternal treasures and then to swim back up to the service, sharing them with our church each week. But sometimes we get a little preacher’s cramp in so far as what to preach next. After preaching through Ezra and Nehemiah, I am thoroughly convinced that pastors, in particular church planting pastors, should prayerfully consider preaching through these books.

Here are some reasons…

New Beginnings: Ezra starts out with the people of God in Babylon. Within a verse or two God is strirring the heart of a pagan King (Cyrus) to send his people back to Israel to rebuild the temple and reestablish the covenant community. It is time for a new day. In particulur for a church plant this helps to show how God works in people and communities to build something new.

Idolatry: The books are repleat with examples of what idolatry is. Everywhere from the neglegence of the weak in Nehemiah 8 to the ignorance of the Sabbath in order to make wine in Nehemiah 13, God shows how the elevation of good things to ultimate things is actually a replacement of what is ultimate, namely the worship and adoration of the Lord God. This primes the pump for a crucial discussion on idolatry.

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The Embassy of Joy

Erik Raymond —  May 30, 2012

On occasion we read international news stories that detail how people seeking safety will make a mad dash to an embassy Whether because of political, legal or some other issue, the people have gotten into some trouble with the local officials and they need asylum. They need protection.

While stories like this pique our interests they seem foreign. They might as well be tales from another world. Most of you reading this blog live in a nation that affords you tremendous safety and privilege. We don’t feel this type of pressure.

At the same time, we do have trouble and we do seek refuge.
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