One of the ground breaking insights that my old professor Paul Zahl brought into my life was the relationship of God’s Law (notice the big L) and the infinite little laws (notice the little l) that we get from society and even place on ourselves. For Zahl this is particularly true in the way the Law/law is heard. Continue reading
Here’s a great quote from J.I. Packer that I came across while researching for this week’s sermon.
“What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it–the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind. All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.
This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort… in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.”
J.I. Packer “Knowing God“
“God doesn’t give us a vote… but sometimes he picks out people, anoints them and then he breaks their legs and then he uses them in a mighty and wonderful way.”
“The church is a place where we can walk in the dark together because we can’t do it by ourselves.”
Psalm 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
“At this point David would also say that God had shown him no greater grace and blessing on earth than this, that he was permitted to be at a place and among people where God’s Word and dwelling place and the right worship were to be found.”
“He [God] commits to the Holy Christian Church the office of a shepherd, entrust and gives to it the holy Gospel and the Sacraments, so that by means of these it may care for and watch over His sheep and so these sheep may be richly provided with instruction, comfort, strength, and protection against all evil.” Continue reading
Below is a link to this post from TGC:
“We tread lightly here, but I fear we vastly underestimate the spiritual damage inflicted on our churches by “How To” sermons without an explicit gospel connection. The Bible is full of practical exhortations and commands, of course, but they are always connected to the foundational and empowering truth of the finished work of Christ. When we preach a message like “Six Steps to _______” or any other “be a better whatever”-type message — where the essential proclamation is not what Christ has done but what we ought/need to do — we become preachers of the law rather than Christ. (And it is not rare that this kind of message with barely any or no mention of Christ(!) at all gets preached.)”
“Somewhere along the way… the evangel [the Gospel] became increasingly separated from evangelism; the message became subservient to the methods. Today, it is taken for granted by many that those most concerned about doctrine are least interested in reaching the lost (or, as they are now called, ‘the unchurched’). We are frequently challenge to choose between being traditional or missional, usually with little definition offered for either. Where the earlier evangelical consensus coalesced simultaneously around getting the gospel right and getting it out, increasingly today the coalition is defined by its style (‘contemporary’ versus ‘traditional’), its politics… and its ‘rock-star’ leaders than for its convictions about God, humanity, sin, salvation, the purpose of history, and the last judgement.”