Adrian Reynolds: Many of us and people in our churches will have been praying about Tuesday’s vote on so-called gay marriage in the House of Commons. The Government’s success in the vote, and the sometimes empty arguments advanced, will have left many of us feeling a little cold, low and disappointed – not just physically, but spiritually too. As preachers, we will have the pulpit on Sunday, so what must we say? Plenty. But I would like specifically to suggest five things we must not say, despite the temptation. 1. Our God is not sovereign None of us would say this, of course, but might some of our people think it? How can the God we worship and adore possibly be sovereign and allow this vote to have gone through? If ever there were a time for a Mount Carmel type intervention, wasn’t this it? Surely the only reasonable deduction (and one that opponents might well make) is that God is not
What is God’s Ultimate Purpose?
Jim Hamilton: Do you want to ponder a question that has roots that stretch so far back into eternity past that we will never come to the end of them? How about this: What is God’s ultimate purpose? I would argue that God’s ultimate purpose is to display his glory and that his glory is seen most clearly when people understand and feel the way that God’s justice highlights mercy (cf. Rom 9:22-23). We have to feel the weight of God’s almighty, everlasting, righteous wrath crushing us so that we will perceive the liberating relief of God’s mercy. When people understand the gospel, they perceive the glory of God’s justice and his mercy in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. I contend that every single biblical author had God’s glory in salvation through judgment at the heart of his theology. If I am right about this, then the biblical authors have communicated what God’s ultimate purpose is, and the
John Piper, Desiring God, p.60 | “When every human being stands before God on the Day of judgment, God would not have to use one sentence of Scripture to show us our guilt and the appropriateness of our condemnation. He would only need to ask three questions: 1. Was it not plain in nature that everything you had was a gift and that you were dependent on your Maker for life and breath and everything? 2. Did not the judicial sentiment in your own heart always hold other people guilty when they lacked gratitude they should have had in response to a kindness you performed? 3. Has your life been filled with gratitude and trust towards Me in proportion to My generosity and authority? Case closed.” (HT: Symphony of Scripture)
From Protest to Praise
By: David Mathis An amazing progression occurs in the 3 short chapters of Habakkuk. The book begins with the prophet protesting that God seems to be standing idly by while his people in Judah plummet into rampant evil and injustice (1:2-5). God responds that it’s not going unnoticed, and, to Habakkuk’s surprise, God’s already attending to it—by raising up the wicked Chaldeans, “that bitter and hasty nation,” to punish Judah (1:5-11). Habakkuk protests the justice of punishing a wicked people with a people even more wicked! (1:12-2:1). The prophet is confident that God can’t answer him on this score, and so he will “look out to see what [God] will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint” (2:1). Habakkuk is optimistic that he can rebut whatever answer God has to give for this. God answers and again Habakkuk is floored: God will punish the Chaldeans in due course and bring destruction to their home in Babylon