Westminster Bookstore

The Absolute Best In Reformed Literature...Check 'em Out!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Resurrection: Jesus Christ Was Raised From The Dead

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. - Luke 24:1-3 ESV

"Jesus' resurrection, which was a divine act involving all three Persons of the Godhead (John 10:17-18; Acts 13:30-35; Rom. 1:4), was not just a resuscitation of the ruined physical form that was taken down from the cross for burial. It was, rather, a transformation of Jesus' humanity that enabled him to appear, vanish, and move unseen from one location to another (Luke 24:31-36). It was the creative renewing of his original body, the body that is now fully glorified and deathless (Phil. 3:21; Heb 7:16, 24). The Son of God in heaven still lives in and through that body, and will do so forever. In 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, Paul envisages that Christians who are alive on earth at the moment of Christ's return will undergo a similar transformation, though in 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 he shows himself aware that Christians who die before the Second Coming will be "clothed" with their new body (the "eternal house in heaven") as a distinct event, at or after the time of the old body's return to the dust (Gen. 3:19).
Christianity rests on the certainty of Jesus' resurrection as a space-time occurrence in history. All four Gospels highlight it, focusing on the empty tomb and resurrection appearances, and Acts insists on it (Acts 1:3; 2:24-35; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30-32; 13:33-37). Paul regarded the Resurrection as indisputable proof that the message about Jesus as Judge and Savior is true (Acts 17::31; 1 Cor. 15:1-11, 20).
Jesus' resurrection demonstrated his victory over death (Acts 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:54-57), vindicated him as righteous (John 16:10), and indicated his divine identity (Rom. 1:4). It led on to his ascension and enthronement (Acts 1:9-11; 2:34; Phil. 2:9-11; cf. Isa. 53:10-12) and his present heavenly reign. It guarantees the believer's present forgiveness and justification (Rom. 4:25; 1 Cor. 15:17) and is the basis of resurrection life in Christ for the believer here and now (John 11:25-26; Rom 6; Eph. 1:18-2:10; Col. 2:9-15; 3:1-4)." - J.I. Packer, Concise Theology, pp. 125-126

2nd Chapter Of Acts - Easter Song

And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” - Luke 24:5-7 ESV

He is risen. He is risen, indeed!!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Evangel Lies: Happy Easter from John Dominic Crossan...

Watch. Listen.

This may very well be one of the most bizarre statements that I've heard in a long time. John Dominic Crossan's statement is heretical. There, I said it. Some of you may think that this is a little harsh--that I've crossed the line by passing such a harsh judgement on a man who claims to be of the same faith that I claim as well. But the difference between myself and JDC is where we get our material. Basically, Crossan says, "If he [Jesus] is in fact dead, so what? It doesn't shake my faith at all!". But the statement begs the question: WHAT exactly is it that he would believe in?!

Let's take our current holiday into consideration. The focus of the Easter holiday for the Christian community is the death AND resurrection of our Lord. To be sure, we are celebrating the passion of the Christ and his triumph over the grave which frees all of those who believe in him from death and hell as well. This is the Gospel in shorthand. Now, when we take this into consideration up and against what Crossan says, it makes you wonder how in the world anyone who is a rational, thinking Christian can basically say that they are essentially indifferent about the death and more particularly, the resurrection. This is the culmination of the Good News of the Gospel--if we get to the end of the story and Jesus did everything else, but does not rise after the third day, we are indeed nothing more than dead men walking. This is the same sentiment expressed in the scriptures themselves:

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. - 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 ESV

So while nothing will change for Crossan, it's pretty clear from the Bible itself that everything changes. There is no salvation for sin without the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Every prophecy of scripture, every orthodox creed and confession gets turned on its head. There would be no good news to tell; we are left with just another Friday and relegating Easter to a day of Egg-laying Bunnies and Cadbury's. Sweet. A guy couldn't ask for more...

I doesn't take long for Crossan's hypothetical to step over into the heretical. The fact that he's willing to go out on a limb and make such a statement means that he doesn't have much faith in the deity of Jesus Christ, which ultimately leaves him with no faith at all. He assumes Christianity based solely on it's moral teachings, but he denies the very thing that makes it viable for the salvation of mankind. That's not what I would call contending for the gospel--it's offending the gospel delivered once for all to the saints.

As you go about your business this Easter weekend, please take the time to meditate not just on the life of Jesus; meditate on our risen Lord and his triumph over the death, sin, and hell. Without this monumental historical event there is no hope for any. I would also urge you to pray for men like Crossan who have a muddled view of the savior. Pray that they come to the knowledge of the truth. And lastly, for those who do believe, don't forget to share this wonderful news with someone over the holiday....

He is risen. He is risen, indeed. Amen.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. - 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 ESV

Soli Deo Gloria,

Preserve and Light the Way: On Being Salt and Light (Pt. 2)

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:5 ESV

"But the fallen human beings need more than barricades to stop them becoming as bad as they could be. They need regeneration, new life through the gospel. Hence our second vocation to be 'the light of the world'. For the truth of the gospel is the light, contained indeed in fragile earthenware lamps, yet shining through our very eartnenness with the more conspicuous brightness. We are called both to spread the gospel and to frame our manner of life in a way that is worthy of the gospel." - John R.W. Stott

As for our second role as Christians, being the light of the world, Jesus gives a simpler explanation. That is, at least it is simpler in our ability to comprehend what we are to do. While there can be some linguistic and historical wrangling as to what definition of salt we are to be in a metaphorical sense. It also gives us a better understanding of how these two functions of being salt and light compliment one another. Without salt to "prepare the way", in a manner of speaking, the light will have little or no effect.

"This Little Light O' Mine..."

As the light of the world, Christ describes his followers in two ways--the first of which is 'a city on a hill'. We are not to be hidden; we are to stand out. It should be almost impossible for us to stay hidden. We should always seek to make ourselves as visible as possible, to be in plain sight of the watching world. In a second metaphor, Christ explains this as a lamp that is used to light a house. He points out how ridiculous it would be for anyone to light a lamp and then try to conceal the light that it gives off. John Calvin comments on this issue:

"This means that they ought to live in such a manner, as if the eyes of all were upon them. And certainly, the more eminent a person is, the more injury he does by a bad example, if he acts improperly. Christ, therefore, informs the apostles, that they must be more careful to live a devout and holy life, than unknown persons of the common rank, because the eyes of all are directed to them, as lighted candles; and that they must not be endured, if their own devotion, and uprightness of conduct, do not correspond to the doctrine of which they are ministers."

The Christian's life is one of ultimate exposure and exhibition. We are to be on display for all the world to see. How else are we suppose to light the way for a world that remains in darkness? People everywhere are searching for a "better way". Take a trip on the Internet highway or a click of the remote control and we are immediately overwhelmed with all sorts of products of "salvation". Everyone has an angle promising to save us from the problems and misery of life. It comes in all shapes and forms--from money to miracle creams. Yet these things never truly satisfy and leave us wanting. We, by our fallen nature are conditioned for the darkness. As Jesus told Nicodemus, "man loves darkness more than the light".

"...I'm Gonna Let it Shine!"

Therefore it is the duty of the Christian to spread the light of the gospel into the world. We are to illuminate the darkened eyes by our example. This is why Jesus admonishes his disciples to take care that they always have the light shining. That we do not try to hide ourselves because of our own human frailty. Also, we must not allow ourselves to be extinguished by discouragement of our failures at times. Christ sustains us in both our failures and our successes. There are many examples in the Bible to point out the shortcomings of many mighty men and women, both old and new testaments, who had moments of faltering. But the thing that will sustain us through it all is that we remember that we are not doing any of this for ourselves. Our light is not to be shown for our own gratification and glory, but to the Glory of God Alone. We are in the business of shining the light that points to salvation in Christ as the only way, not through us. As Paul states to Timothy,

though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen - 1 Timothy 1:13-17 ESV

So as we go about our business of being in the world and not of it, we must always remember that salt and light must go together like law and gospel--you can't have one without the other. Light the way for the watching world.

Hoobastank - Crawling in the Dark

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” - John 8:12 ESV

"As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." - John 9:5 ESV

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. - 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 ESV

that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world - Philippians 2:15 ESV

Soli Deo Gloria,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

For all you Ben Stein Fans...

I've heard a lot of buzz about this film. I can't wait to see it when it comes out (I hope). Go to the website, check out the trailers...

Also don't forget to sign up for updates so you can find out ways to get this movie played in your area.

Oh yeah...one more thing...TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!!



In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. - Genesis 1:1 ESV

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. - John 1:1-3 ESV

Soli Deo Gloria,

Facebook Badge