Posts Tagged With: authority

Saul Goes to Seminary

Do you know what I love about Bible?

Well, truth be told, there are a lot of things that I love about the Bible. Far too many to tell in this PODCAST.

But certainly residing at or near the top of my rather lengthy list is this: The window the biblical writers open to the growth and maturity of its principle players.

Case in point: The Apostle Paul.

Paul did not emerge from his road to Damascus encounter with Jesus a wholly-mature believer. Nor did Paul burst on the scene armed with a fully-formed theology that would become the capstone of his prolific writings. Paul had to grow in his faith as a committed Christ-follower just like the rest of us.

I love that!

Paul moved from a measurably primitive understanding of Jesus to a remarkably profound comprehension of who Jesus was and is and all that Jesus did and accomplished. This growth, this development, this maturity takes place right before our wondering eyes ever to behold in all of its spiritual splendor.

In short, Paul was a person in process, just like us! A process well-documented in the New Testament that as we are about to learn slowly-but-surely took place over many, many years.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Civil Disobedience

It is with a lump in my throat that I present to you this PODCAST.

We are about to bid a fond farewell to someone who has become a dear friend of mine—a precious-if-forlorn 40-year-old lame man.

It started out as just another ordinary day in Jerusalem, as if any day in the Holy City, in the two months following Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection, could have rightly been described as ordinary.

Peter and John made there way up to the Temple for their daily 3 PM prayers. They had no idea that by the end of that up-until-then ordinary day, their personal lives, the entire nascent Christian community, and all of Jerusalem would be rocked to their respective foundations.

Peter and John encountered a lame beggar holding out a helpless hand as he sat in Temple Courts. Having compassion on this desperate middle-aged man, lame from birth, Peter and John mercifully proceeded to heal him in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Naturally, at hearing this now-walking man leaping and praising God, thousands of worshippers gathered in Solomon’s Colonnade to see what had happened. As Peter was explaining to these awestruck witnesses that this man was healed in the name of their recently-resurrected Messiah, the Temple authorities stepped in.

They forcibly removed Peter and John from the Temple Courts, threw them into prison, and held them in custody overnight to await their trial the next morning.

As the Sun rose in its majestic arc over the Mount of Olives, Peter and John were rousted from their slumber, released from their shackles, perp-walked before the Sanhedrin, and forced to defend themselves before the Supreme Court.

Their only crime? Enabling a 40+ year old cripple for the first time in his life to walk. That’s it.

But what Peter and John have to teach us by their example is a lesson well-worth learning, especially in light of today’s headlines.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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The Epic (and I Do Mean EPIC) Handoff

“Epic,” as in Your-Salvation-and-Mine-Rides-or-Falls-on-This. I kid you not.

This PODCAST is going to be fun, and so instructive. Instructive on two levels.

1. Instructive as we discover together exactly what Jesus meant here in Matthew 18:18-20.

2. Instructive as we are handed, courtesy of Jesus, an opportunity to learn what to do, and perhaps more importantly, what not to do with the Bible.

As you are about to hear, we must bring to this passage every interpretive tool in the tool box in order to arrive at an accurate interpretation and application of this passage.

Let me put it this way: The Apostle Paul encouraged his protégé, young Pastor Timothy, to…

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth, (2 Timothy 2:15).

Do you know why Paul encouraged Timothy to handle the word of truth correctly? Because there were then, as there are now, scores of people — pastors, teachers, conference speakers, authors, commentators — who routinely handle the word of truth incorrectly.

In 1 Timothy 1:3, Paul similarly wrote Timothy,

I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth.

Why write this? Because there were Sunday school teachers or small group leaders in Timothy’s church who were teaching error.

It is so easy to make the Bible say whatever we want it to say. It is so easy, too easy, to carelessly teach what the Bible does not say.

Case in point: Matthew 18:18-20. A commonly-quoted passage made to mean all sorts of things that, to be perfectly honest with you, Jesus never intended. A passage so often applied in ways that Jesus did not have in mind. He would cringe today to see what so many have done with this passage.

And, as you are about to see, this passage will indeed require us to bring to its interpretation and application a whole set of interpretive tools — a knowledge of language, history, geography, culture, chronology, context, literary & Jewish background — all in an effort to understand what Jesus did indeed intend to convey to His disciples and to us at a singularly watershed moment in Jesus’ ministry.

So in this podcast, dear friend, we have a lot to talk about.

Please remember that depending upon your connection speed and web browser, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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Our Firm Foundation

The scene could not have been more chaotic. Crowds clamoring for Jesus’ blood. The blood-thirsty mobs hurling their false accusations at Jesus as they tried to convince the Romans that this man needed to die. The Roman soldiers salivating at the prospect of torturing yet another helpless victim.

And through it all, once the mayhem ended, once the maelstrom calmed down, the echoes of one question continued to reverberate against the city’s walls and over her cobblestone streets. You can read this singularly significant question in John’s account of Jesus’ execution.

Pilate, the Roman governor who held Jesus’ fate in his blood-stained hands, looked Jesus right in the eye and inquired of Him a three-word question that, in a haunting sort of way, continues to resound in our day.

Jesus had just said to Pilate, “What I say is true.” Pilate then sneered and cynically asked Jesus, “What is truth?”

In this PODCAST, we will discover the answer together.

And that answer IS the FIRM foundation of our faith!

Please note that depending upon your web browser, it may take up to 60 seconds for the podcast to begin to play.

May God richly bless you as you listen.

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