The cross wasn’t Plan B. It wasn’t God’s attempt to fix a plan spiraling out of control:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
In fact, God shouted his plan – to rescue his people at a tremendous price – from the very beginning. Let’s look to some of the major signs and symbols God gave along the way pointing to the cross of Christ: Continue reading
This article, as part of my sabbatical, is a reminder of content you may have missed in 2012.
In gospel-centered circles we often say that redemption precedes command. Look at the Ten Commandments – they begin with the words, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Ex 20:2) Everywhere we see God give us commands, it’s on the foundation of what he’s already done for us.
Redemption doesn’t just precede command. Redemption precedes even the curse.
But it doesn’t stop there. In Even The Curse Points to the Gospel I pointed out that redemption is bound up in the curse itself! I hope this makes you think about how merciful our God is.
Do you want to see Jesus in the whole Bible?
Maybe the resurgence of gospel-centered preaching has hit you like it’s hit me. You are bursting with excitement to see Jesus in every page of the Bible.
Genesis is full of symbols pointing to Christ. Great. Exodus has some too. So far, so good. Most of Leviticus points to Jesus as soon as you read Hebrews. Fantastic!
But what about Numbers? Not so much… What about Joshua and Judges? Maybe a few… What about all the genealogies? Not to mention passages without a hero. What about the book of James?
Suddenly the Bible doesn’t look like it’s full of Jesus.
How do you apply gospel-centered connections?
As I prepared a sermon to fill in for my pastor I recognized how James 1:2-4 points to Jesus. I rushed to show my wife, expecting her to faint with excitement.
Her answer stopped me cold. Who cares if we connect a passage to the cross if that connection doesn’t help us apply the intent of that passage to our lives?
Finding the answers
For the past year I’ve scoured every resource I could find on seeing Christ everywhere in the Bible. I’ve listened to seminary lectures, read books and journals and scraped for insights everywhere I could.
And I wrote it all down.
I originally wanted a simple document I could refer back to when I studied the Bible on my own, prepared Bible studies or wrote sermons. What I ended with was an 8,000 word e-book full of references to lectures, books and interviews that covers almost every biblical genre.
Why I’m giving this away
Several people have asked me why I’m not trying to sell this book. There are two reasons: Continue reading
A few months ago I discussed why penal substitution is the primary achievement of the cross. (See also what Jesus didn’t die for.)
We often (correctly) say that NT saints are saved through their faith in what the Messiah did and OT saints were saved through their faith in what the Messiah would do. I’m wondering when the Old Testament saints were responsible to put their faith in the Messiah save them specifically by dying on their behalf, taking God’s just wrath against them on himself.
In reverse chronological order, here are some major OT passages that point towards Jesus taking our punishment so we could be shown mercy: Continue reading
This is another entry in the forthcoming resource.
The Bible gives us many examples.
Many call Hebrews 11 the “hall of fame” of faith. These are the men and women God wants us to look at:
- Able (Heb 11:4)
- Enoch (Heb 11:5-6)
- Noah (Heb 11:7)
- Abraham (Heb 11:8-12, 17-19)
- Isaac (Heb 11:20)
- Jacob (Heb 11:21)
- Joseph (Heb 11:22)
- Moses’ Parents (Heb 11:23)
- Moses (Heb 11:24-28)
- Israel (Heb 11:29-30)
- Rahab (Heb 11:31)
- And many more! (Heb 11:32-38)
What should we do with these examples?
Our natural response is thinking that we should follow their example. And it’s wrong. What is the very next thing we read? (It’s easy to miss this in the chapter division.) Continue reading
I just attended the Alive in Christ Conference featuring Dr. Richard B. Gaffin and Dr. Lane G. Tipton at Calvary Church of Amwell (OPC) in Ringoes, NJ. The conference focused on the theme of union with Christ – its definition, destination and practical application.
Here are some notes from the four sessions from Saturday. Continue reading
This post references Christ-Centered Bible Study while I was still writing it. The resource is complete but I’m leaving this page as-is.
I’ve been a little light on posts in the past few weeks.
A New Project
That’s because something big is coming down the pipe. If you’ve enjoyed the content of the blog thus far, prepare to be amazed! This is going to blow away all the other content.
It’s bigger than the God Should NOT Be the Biggest Part of Your Life e-book.
It’s better than the How NOT To Use Strong’s Concordance series.
Here’s a sneak peek of the introduction to Gospel-Centered Bible Study: Continue reading