Gospel-Centered Links April 2013

Praise God, we have an embarrassment of riches this month!

Jesus In The Pentateuch

This is a series of articles I missed in August, 2012. It’s light on detail and heavy on typology. Well worth a read.

Samson on the Cross: A Good Friday Reflection

Alastair Roberts shows us how Samson points to Christ. In God’s strength Samson crushed his enemies with his own death:

At that point he prays that, just that one final time, God would strengthen him. He braces himself on the two pillars of the temple, then pushes with all of his might. The temple of Dagon collapses, falling on all of those within it. Willingly giving up the Spirit that had returned to him in that final act, Samson dies with the Philistines, accomplishing a greater victory in his death than at any point in his life.

Of course, Jesus is the true and better Samson: He not only defeated his enemy through his death, but his enemy was death and he did not stay dead because he had the authority to take his life back up.

The Gospel In Sex

The title of Tim Challies’ post is actually “The Thing About Sex” but I think this is a better name for it. He discusses precisely how sex, as one of the unique aspects of marriage, is a declaration of God’s love for the church:

Few husbands have the words to express to their wives that the physical pleasure and relief that may come through sex are bound up in the much better and greater unity they find in making love to their wives. And yet somewhere they know it, they know that the greatest joy in sex is not orgasmic but in the joy of being body-to-body, soul-to-soul, and completely exposed before another person. The intimacy comes by way of vulnerability. There is no other place where a person is so exposed, so bare, so vulnerable. Sex is a declaration: This is who I am. Sex is a question: Do you accept me as I am? Sex is an answer: I accept you as you are. There is no other place where a person can be so loved and accepted.

Jesus vs Religion – Knowing God

Peter Mead reminds us that knowing about God is not a substitute for knowing God:

Church is not seminary-lite with courses running one lecture a week over several weeks. Church is a different animal. There should be an educational component, but it should be so much more than that… Let’s be very careful that our own study and personal walk with Christ is genuinely intimate rather than allowing it to reduce to academic study alone. Then let’s make sure our preaching pursues life transformation and personal introduction, rather than settling for information transfer and cultural reinforcement.

6 Ways to Understand the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

Nick McDonald gives us a quick summary of ways the OT is utilized in the one-story narrative of the NT:

  1. The OT writing is sacred.
  2. Corporate Solidarity.
  3. Christ is the corporate head of the true Israel in the OT and NT.
  4. God’s history is united.
  5. The age of fulfillment has come.
  6. Christ is the goal.

Click through for summaries of each. Numbers 2, 3, 5 and 6 are especially good.

Christ Is Not Just Another Theme in the Old Testament

Scott Redd posts at the Gospel Coalition website about the temptation to treat Jesus as one of many themes in the Old Testament. He warns us that Jesus isn’t a theme in the OT, he’s the point of the OT:

The New Testament claims that Christ fulfills the Old Testament in many ways. Just to name a few, Christ is:

  • Old Testament covenant Lord (John 8:58; see also kurios as title for Christ)
  • Sovereign eschatological king (Rev. 21:22)
  • Key actor in creation (John 1:1-5 [Genesis 1])
  • True Israel (Matt. 2:15 [Hos 11:1]; John 15:1-17)
  • The temple of God (John 2:19-21)
  • Restorer from exile (Matt 3:3 [Isa. 40:3; Mar 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23])
  • Final and authoritative prophet (Heb 1:2)
  • Heir to the world (Heb 1:2; Ps 2:8)
  • Sustainer of his people in wilderness (1 Cor 10:4 [Exod. 17:6])
  • Foundation of human salvation (Acts 4:11 [Ps. 118:22])
  • Wisdom teacher par excellence (Matt 12:42 [Luke 11:31])
  • The very wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:23)

3 Ways the Gospel Changes Marriage

  1. From Selfishness to Service
  2. From Laziness to Engagement
  3. Self-Righteousness to Humility

Preach the Old Testament as if Jesus Is Risen

In a typology-heavy post, Mitch Chase helps us see how Jesus illuminates our reading of the Old Testament.

Don’t read the Old Testament pretending Jesus didn’t happen. After Jesus died and rose from the dead, his disciples saw the ancient promises differently. Those promises were no longer suspended in mid-air but became yes in Jesus. The types had found their antitype, the arrows their target, the shadows their Light.

Four Suggestions To Grow Kids With Grace

  1. Parent from grace rather than for goodness.
  2. Parent for kids who will make disciples among the lost rather than become saved and satisfied.
  3. Parent toward learning and living the ways of Jesus rather than just learning them.
  4. Parent in an environment that welcomes confession and offers restoration rather than an environment of demanding expectation and exasperating correction.

Find Your Worth in the Gospel

The main point? I am valuable because god loves me.

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