What happened 2000 years ago had brought heaven and earth together! The coming of the Son of God into this world, brought all of God’s prior revelation to fruition. Jesus the son of God, revealed to us what Moses, the Law and the Prophets were trying to tell us about God (Heb 1:1-2). This decisive event is the incarnation of the Son of God (John 1:14, 18), the Words and Deeds of the Son of God (John 5), the cross and resurrection of the Son of God and His imminent second return. These are summarized by one word namely, the gospel. The teachings are all centered upon this reality, the reality of the gospel! Because we are living in the period between His first appearing and His second return, we live in tension between what we are already in Christ and what we will be when he appears (1 John 3:1-3)
The teachings on this blogsite are historic Christianity. They are not personal revelations or private interpretations. They are neither based on infringe new movements nor brilliant ideas.One may not agree with everything. However please know that it is historic Christianity believed by the church for hundreds of years, if not thousands. That is to say, there is no novelty here. Most of the teachings are the result of being taught by those who have gone before us (church History) and by those who are alive (my mentors and teachers)! The teachings are based on what the church believed to be first and foremost.
Biblical Christianity is not defined by its infringe truth claims, but by the center, who is Christ Jesus our Lord. I have written on this here here,and here The church has always been united in this sense. Jesus had prayed that we are united. His prayer has always been true to the true church. He is the central truth that united denominations and people from all walks of life. Likewise, the church has always also recognized differences, and that is why we have denominations such as: Lutherans, Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Mennonites, Pentecostals, etc. Denominational differences are to be respected and when it is necessary to oppose such differences, I strongly advise that it is to be done in prudence, and humility (especially understanding and knowledge is in order) I also strongly advised condemning others, without understanding what the other person truly believes and especially while it is a historic Christianity, is self serving than Christ honoring. The word denomination exist because these groups believe and agree on what is central to Christianity, that is the Gospel. The church is united in this sense. We are brothers and sisters. Those who deny this central truth however, are not called denominations, but are rightly called Cults.
The teaching on this blog site attempts to be Christ centered. Jesus is the point of every Bible story. He’s present in all its pages. The Scripture is His word before it is ours. It is all about Him. The two common pitfalls of allegory and mere-moralizing are eschewed and avoided. All of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ (2 Cor 1:20). Our primary goal in life is to make Him the center of our existence (Phil. 1:20-21; 3:8-11). Christian exhortations, teachings, evangelism, counseling exist because he is the central truth! (Col 1:28-29) To fail to make Him the center, is to retract to legalism (a performance based Christianity) or nominal Christianity (or what Bonhoeffer calls ‘cheap grace’). I attempt to show how all scripture comes to climax on Jesus and his cross work, resulting in the outpouring of the Spirit to equip saints for worldwide mission and to transform them into the likeness of the Son.
Exegetical and Expositional
The teaching on the blog site attempts to follow closely to scripture and hear its meaning. Expositional teaching is paying closer attention to the massage of the text at hand. It is trying to discover the meaning of the bible than to be clever at inventing meanings from scripture (finding things that is not there.) Bible Scholars rightly describe expositional teaching as “preaching that takes for the point of a sermon the point of a particular passage of Scripture.” This is fostering the spirit of faithfulness to scripture, to say and believe what the scripture says.This however is not a fragmented study of the text at hand. We also put together God’s revelation to us. This take me to the next.
Puts the whole bible together
The teachings on the blogsite attempts to put the whole bible together using the bible’s own preferred way of putting it all together as they climax on the person of Christ (a point made #2). This way of summarizing the bible’s teaching comes to us in the form of a story: the story of creation (Genesis), the Fall, Redemption and consummation (Revelation). You can read here a summary. The God who created everything, chose to redeem sinners who had fallen from grace through His Son’s atoning work and the Spirit’s sanctifying work. He will one day send His Son once again to consummate all.
Transformation and Mission
The teachings on the blogsite attempts to accomplish these two fold goals. The first goal is to rekindle our hearts with passion of the mission of the Son and the Spirit. Second, and simultaneously, to be transformed to the image of the son of God as we look into his glorious revelation in Christ. This is not merely to fill our minds and hearts with the knowledge of God’s self-revelation, but knowledge leading to transformation and mission.
The Overarching Theme of our Study
The teaching series on the blogsite attempts to focus on the broader topic of “God, Revelation & Scripture”. We are currently working on the unique identity of Yahweh our God, who revealed himself to be a Triune-God: Father Son and Holy Spirit. The overarching Theme of the teachings can be summarized as follow. You can read here.
Interestingly, the New Testament does not reveal a new conception of the being of God. The being of God revealed in the OT remains in full force through the New Testament. For instance to the writer of the book of Hebrews, God is the living LORD of the Old Testament Heb 3:12; 10:31. We will continue with this study in our current topic “the Living God”. Stay tuned.
In Hebrews the writer ascribes what the prophets in the OT has spoken simply as ‘God said’. (We will further study this topic in the ‘Doctrine of the Word’ series, mentioned above) This close association between the voice of scripture and the voice of God is extremely important for the NT believers and especially for our time, as confusion is rampant among us. We will be back to Hebrews. Let’s pause for a moment and read Galatians 3:8-9. It reads:
- Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”
Did you see that? First Paul ascribes scripture an anthropomorphic (human like) character of seeing ahead and speaking to Abraham. Does scripture speak and see? Second, go back and read to what Paul is quoting from. It could be one of these text from the book of Genesis: Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4. Go back and read it. It was God himself verbally addressed to Abraham saying All nations will be blessed through you. Paul here simply ascribe what God says to Scripture. Do you see that? In other words Paul heard God through scripture. To hear scripture is to hear the words either that God himself has spoken or God through his holy prophets has spoken. Thus “what God says = what scripture says”. This is what Paul said above. Likewise, the writer to the Hebrews reverses that order. “What scripture says = what God says“. That is to say, even when the person speaking it is not God himself, if scripture says it. Then God says it. It is His Word! What the human author have written, God has written. Precisely because scripture was written by the Supervision of the Holy Spirit and it is a product of the Spirit (theo-pnuestos – mistakenly translated as in-spiration, more like ex-spiration). 2Pet 1:21 “for prophecy never had ”its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Spirit of God.
The fullness of Yahweh’s revelation came to fruition when Yahweh, now is known as Father and sends the Son and the Holy Spirit. Because of this reality, the new covenant differs significantly from the old covenant system, in which God the divine being reveals Himself through mere non-divine agents such as prophets and working through non-divine mediators such as angels, priests and kings. This makes the OT inferior and incomplete. It could not transform the hearts of men and women (but this does not mean that there were not redeemed people of God in the OT). The author of Hebrew comments:
One Mission, Two agents and Three persons
The New Covenant was inaugurated by two agents with a unique mission of rescue. They came into this time-space, the world, for a single mission with two fold agency, for no other reason but to save sinners, like you and me. Thus, the mission of the Son and the Spirit was redemptive in nature. However in this very ACT of saving, (the son dying for sinners and the Spirit applying that same redemptive work to sinners by dwelling in them) imparted to us an intimate personal knowledge of the living God, (the God of the OT) who is now revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (As I will show you later these two agents, were also one with the father in Creation of the universe as Word and mighty breath of God. These two were present in the one creative act but with two agencies described in manners of ‘Speaking’, ‘being spoken‘ and”hovering‘. Remember we said that there is only one act of God). Therefore this man Jesus Christ is not only the Lord, but after the resurrection his role in creation was transposed back before time. If Jesus is not what he claimed to be, this would have been flat out blasphemy. The New Testament writers identify Him, as preexisting with the father before time began and identify Him as one with the father in creating the world. This is attested in several text of scripture:
- Identified as one with the Father in Pre-Existence:
- In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the word was God He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1)
- And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Col 1:17.
- Identified as one with the Father as an agent in Creation
- All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:2–3.)
- He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.Colossians 1:15–16
- Identified as one with the Father as an agent in Redemption
- Hebrews 1:3–4 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
- “through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled bin his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, Col 1:20–22.
- Identified as one with the Father as an agent in Revelation
- Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
- For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, Col 1:19.