Monday, October 27, 2008

Christ, the True Temple

Here's the next installment of Kim Riddlebarger's "Amillennialism 101" audio series entitled "Christ: The True Temple". I don't plan on continuing to post on each subsequent installment, but this message goes so well with some of the posts I've made here in the pasts and comments I've made on other blogs that I couldn't resist adding this message to the collection. This is an hour long audio teaching, so give yourselves plenty of time to listen to it.

Just as Jesus is the true Israel, He is also the true Temple. And this is because, as I've suggested many times already, Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all the Scripture (Law, Prophets and Writings), as He Himself has said and as the NT writers agree. What we read in the OT about Israel, the Temple, the Passover, the Law, the Covenants, etc., is all prophetic; it all speaks to and about Christ--His Person and His work. He has come in fulfillment of all of it! The focal point of the OT ( and of all of Redemptive History) is Christ; and this audio message from Kim Riddlebarger continues to faithfully stress this important point. Enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Sermon on the Mount & Hughes


Here are three more in our series on The Sermon on the Mount:

Part 12: The King of the Kingdom

Brief Sermon Overview:

Having introduced and described the subjects of His kingdom, Jesus turned His attention to Himself as its King. Verses 5:17-20 contain Jesus' first reference to Himself in the Sermon on the Mount, and His self-introduction notably focuses on His relationship to the Scriptures: Jesus declared that He had come to fulfill the Scriptures, which told His audience that the kingdom whose presence He was proclaiming is the kingdom promised by God in all the Old Testament. At the heart of the Sermon on the Mount is the overarching biblical principle of christological fulfillment; in His person, words, and work, Jesus is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament - the Law of Moses itself as much as the rest of the Scriptures. This comprehensive fulfillment in Christ and its fruit in the new creation is the framework for interpreting the entire discourse, especially Jesus' forthcoming treatment of the ethic of His kingdom. In a word, the ethic of the kingdom of heaven is grounded in and expresses the fact and power of the new creation that is the focal point of Christ's fulfillment of the Scripures. To miss this is to miss the meaning of the sermon, which is precisely why Jesus prefaced His instruction in 5:21ff with verses 17-20.

Part 13: The Ethic of the Kingdom-Overview and Introduction

Brief Sermon Overview:

Jesus' self-introduction in verses 5:17-20 is the centerpoint of the Sermon on the Mount. In the broadest terms, this passage highlights the promise-fulfilment relationship between Himself and His kingdom and the Old Testament scriptures. More narrowly, it introduces and provides the framework for interpreting the next section in which Jesus articulates the ethic of His kingdom. This promise fulfillment dynamic is the key to understanding Jesus' instruction in the balance of the sermon, and especially the meaning of His formula phrase, "You have heard it said... but I say to you." This sermon considers the general views and interpretive issues associated with 5:21-48 in the hope of laying a proper foundation for reading and understanding this crucial passage.

Part 14: Enmity and the Ethic of the Kingdom

Brief Sermon Overview:

In verses 5:21-48 Jesus employed a series of discrete example cases to uncover for His audience the ethic that defines and governs HIs kingdom. Most importantly, He did so by comparing and contrasting the ethic of His kingdom with its Old Covenant counterpart. Each of His example cases draws in some way from the Mosaic code, and each highlights the fact that His kingdom and its ethic are the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and the kingdom it presided over. Thus His formula phrase, "You have heard..., but I say to you..." simply reiterates His framework declaration that He didn't come to abrogate the Scriptures (including the Law of Moses), but to fulfill them. In showing how that is the case, Jesus appropriately began His treatment with a law that was at the very heart of the Mosaic Code, namely the sixth commandment prohibiting murder. This sermon examines how the Mosaic prohibition against murder has been transformed in Christ and found its fulfillment in the New Coverant "kingdom of heaven."


And here is a link for a short, two-page Philip Hughes article: "The Millennial Reign: Climax or Anti-climax?" Make sure you click the arrow to go to the second page and finish the article. Obviously it could take a book length manuscript to fully set forth and interact with the Biblical evidence against Premillennial Dispensationalism; but Hughes' short article brings up some key elements in what I consider the faulty understanding of my dispensational brothers--an understanding that I once shared not so long ago. :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm not the only one--really!

As I comment on various blogs around the universe (or, for the time being at least, simply around this globe), I've noticed that for some reason the idea that Jesus is the "true" Israel seems, at best, to be a novel but unbiblical concept or, at worst, downright heresy that borders on anathema! Sometimes people respond to me as if I've just arrived from another planet! (Of course, many people who know me in person have accused me of that as well!)

I never really wanted to appeal to others to make my case, but Kim Riddlebarger over at The Riddleblog has a series going on "Amillennialism 101" in which his latest topic is 
"Jesus Christ, the True Israel". Previous audio messages in this series have been posted and I encourage you to make use of this free resource (along with many posts at The Vossed World) to help understand Biblical Eschatology.

If you are interested at all in how the Bible understands "Israel" in relation to Jesus Christ...well...just read my material! :-) Or even better, listen to a trained Theologian/Pastor/Author/Seminarian, etc., and get a better understanding. Of course, you can also get a thorough Biblical Theological understanding of Jesus as the True Israel by going to SGCC's SermonAudio site where you'll find this concept in many sermons dealing with the nation of Israel.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

GGM honored

My newest Prog-Rock friend at one of my newest favorite sites has given me a great honor. These may be the most profound sentiments that have ever been spoken by mortal man; check it out here.

Oh...and the rest of his material is pretty good, too! :-) Really, Bob's material is always interesting, thought-provoking and encouraging. I'm enjoying my time and learning a lot over at "Vanguard Church".

When I originally posted this, I was going through a 12-part series of posts at "Vangaurd Church" concerning the expansiveness of the Gospel. I've sinced finished; and other than a very few nuances I would make with his understanding of the Kingdom (very few, nothing to really quibble over), Bob has spoken my mind, so-to-speak. Bob's posts here have tremendous value in helping us to understand the "cosmic" purpose of God in redemption. For those of you familiar with our "Sacred Space: God With Us" series at SGCC or my initial posts on Shalom and Sacred Space (check the archives), this will be very familiar territory. :-)

And don't forget to check out "The Vossed World" and this GGM inspired post. You simply can't go wrong reading Bruce's material--it's spot on!

More Hughes is on the way soon--I hope!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sermon on the Mount--9, 10 and 11

Here is more Sermon on the Mount from our series on Sunday mornings. As usual, I've included our Pastor's brief summary of each message below the link to the PDF file. This is a tremendous series that I hope you will interact with--at least in your own thoughts, if not on this blog. I also encourage you to begin listening to the sermons from the beginning to get the full force of the Gospel. Thanks and "happy reading" :-)

Part 9: The Beatitudes--Peacemaking

Brief Sermon Overview:

While most Christians (as well as non-Christians) associate the concept of "peace" with the Christian faith, they commonly do so in a manner consistent with all religious thought. Every religious system holds out peace as an ethic to be pursued; even the militarism of Islam serves the cause of "peace" understood as the entire world being unified in subjection to Islam. All religions exalt and strive for peace, but they envision peace in natural, temporal categories. So it is with perhaps the majority of Christians: For multitudes, peace is "peaceability" that works to address human discord and conflict; peace speaks to harmony between human beings, cultures and nations. But if by the term "peacemaker" Jesus meant a conciliator, then those who are so characterized could hardly be called "sons of God," for God is not a conciliator in this sense. Jesus - as both true God and true Man - is the quintessential peacemaker, and yet He provoked strife and contention everywhere He went. More than that, by His coming Jesus had determined to introduce a whole new order of conflict into the world of men (Mat. 10:34-36). The only way to grasp Jesus' meaning in this beatitude is to understand "peace" as it is central to the Old Testament's developing promise and portrait of the kingdom of God. This sermon seeks to do just that and show how the promise of peace has been fulfilled in Christ.

Part 10: The Beatitudes--Persecution

Brief Sermon Overview:

Jesus' final beatitude is unique in that it ascribes blessedness to individuals on the basis of the evil way they are perceived and treated by others. All of its predecessors are concerned only with qualities in the blessed person himself without any direct consideration of those around him. Despite this distinction, this beatitude, too, has its focal point in the inward nature of the sons of the kingdom, for it is precisely who they are that provokes opposition. This becomes clearly evident when the nature and psychology of this persecution are correctly understood. Jesus was speaking of persecution in a very narrow sense; not recognizing this, the tendency among Christians is to regard any and every form and instance of opposition as persecution. The truth is, very little of what believers receive at the hands of others constitutes the persecution Jesus was referring to, and this sermon seeks to show how this is the case, what authentic persecution is, what provokes it and why it is inevitable and unavoidable for the true sons of the kingdom. This, in turn, will reveal why persecution shows Christ's own to be eminently blessed.

Part 11: The Similitudes

Brief Sermon Overview:

Jesus' observations regarding the certainty of persecution may have left His hearers concluding that it's best for the sons of the kingdom to keep a low profile in the world. The fact that the Israelite kingdom had been defined by separation would likely have reinforced this thinking. Christ's kingdom - the kingdom of heaven - is indeed to be marked by separation, but not of the sort expected by the children of Israel. The sons of the kingdom of heaven are to be separated from the world, but, in contrast to the Israelite prototypical kingdom, separation in Christ's fulfilled kingdom is entirely spiritual, having no geographical or cultural component. The point of distinction between the subjects of Jesus' kingdom and the sons of this world is His life and likeness in them, so that their Christ-likeness - not their practice or lifestyle per se - is the issue in their separation. This understanding is foundational to Jesus' instruction regarding salt and light. The symbolism of salt and light highlights "witness" as the central ethic of the kingdom - witness, not to religion, morality, or Christian doctrine as such, but to the reality of the new creation in Christ. Being salt and light means living an authentic life as one who has died and whose life is now hidden with Christ in God. For the Christian, authentic self-witness is witness to Christ (John 15:18-27); being salt and light is nothing more than living day-to-day, moment-by-moment in the life and likeness of Christ.