Thursday, December 10, 2015

"The Blessing of a Messy Desk."

Picture of my office with my beloved books and Starbucks
My wife and I often joke about the ideal working desk. As with our home she prefers a perfectly tidy desk with everything organized in its proper place. I on the other hand appreciate the blessing of a messy desk. When I read this article by Michael Kruger a few months ago I laughed out loud and said "AMEN." Enjoy.

"Last week I finished a key portion of one of my research projects. And then I did what I normally do during such times (indeed, it is coming a bit of a tradition)–I cleaned up the colossal mess that I had made.

Before it was all said and done, books were strewn all over my desk, across my computer table, on the floor (on both sides of my desk), and up against the wall.

My wife stopped by the office with the kids and was so aghast at the chaos that she snapped the picture below and sent it out on Twitter.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Active Obedience of Christ: "No Hope Without It!" (part 3)

The Theological and Practical Significance of Jesus’ Perfect Life of Obedience:

2) Jesus’ Perfect Life Makes Him the Only Suitable Mediator.

The apostle Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”  Jesus Christ is the only suitable mediator between God and men by virtue of His Deity and His sinless humanity. 

Christ was equal to God, yet humbled Himself and became a man.  “We have here, in summary form, the conception of the second Adam, the inaugurator of a new, redeemed humanity, which Paul expounds in Romans 5:12ff.; 1 Cor. 15:21f.; 45 ff.”[1]  Human beings are restored to fellowship with God through Christ and His perfect work on their behalf.  “As the sinless God-man Christ is uniquely qualified to serve as a go-between who can bring sinful people into God’s family.”[2]  Humanity cannot enter God’s holy presence by their own efforts or merit.  We are in need of outside help that only a perfect Mediator/Priest can offer on our behalf.  
Hebrews 9:15 says, “And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” 
“The combination of Jesus' full deity and full humanity is what enables Christ to give Himself as the all-sufficient sacrifice that constitutes the very basis of the new covenant.  This Jesus is the mediator of a new and better covenant.”[3]  Human priests and mediators are no longer needed because of the perfect One, who gave Himself up as the final sacrifice.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Active Obedience of Christ. No Hope Without It! (part 2)

The Theological and Practical Significance of Jesus’ Perfect Life of Obedience:

1) Jesus’ Perfect Life Verifies His Messianic Pedigree 
and His Salvation Message

Promises of a future Messianic King were prophesized hundreds of years before the Christ-child was ever born (see T. D. Alexander's, The Servant King for an excellent survey of this).  The Old Testament prophets predicted exactly where the Messiah would be born, his royal family lineage, and what He would accomplish, among many things.[1] 

At what point young Jesus fully understood His Deity and Messiahship is not clear,[2] but by age twelve Jesus is already teaching the religious leaders in His “Father’s house.”  Jesus had some understanding of His chief mission even at a young age.
Jesus started His public ministry around the age of thirty years old.[3] “Luke 3:21-22 shows that with Jesus’ baptism comes the divine confirmation that Jesus is the Divine Messiah.  The testimony of heaven is that Jesus is the "beloved Son" of God.[4]  Jesus public ministry was comprised of mainly preaching and miracles (see John 2-11).  During his three and half year ministry Jesus spent much of His time proclaiming the divine message of faith and repentance.[5]

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Active Obedience of Christ. No Hope Without It! (part 1)

CONTEXT: During my  time in seminary an intramural debate broke out over the "active obedience of Christ."  As this theological discussion spilled over onto campus a few of my classmates (Marc Wragg and James Dolezal), and one of our local church pastors, (Phil Johnson), became increasingly concerned over some of the writings a (now former) professor produced concerning this subject.  The following is an essay I wrote as a young seminary student in defense of this core doctrine.

SUMMARY: The term "active obedience" refers to the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.  Christ's "active obedience" is not merely His inherent holiness as the Divine Son of God.  The active obedience of Christ includes His perfect, lifelong obedience to the letter and spirit of God's holy law (note Matthew 3:15; Galatians 4:4-5).  For thirty plus years Jesus lived one perfect life!  The perfect (alien) righteousness of Christ (the second Adam) is imputed to the account of all who receive the Savior in faith (see 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5).  This doctrine touches the heart of the biblical gospel.  To quote the late Dr. Machen, "I'm so thankful for the active obedience of Christ.  No hope without it."