Sam Storms: Everyone is familiar with the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4. But not everyone can explain what Jesus meant when he said that the Father is seeking men and women who will worship him “in spirit and truth” (v. 23)? To say that we must worship God “in spirit” means, among other things, that it must originate from within, from the heart; it must be sincere, motivated by our love for God and gratitude for all he is and has done. Worship cannot be mechanical or formalistic. That does not necessarily rule out certain rituals or liturgy. But it does demand that all physical postures or symbolic actions must be infused with heart-felt commitment and faith and love and zeal. But the word “spirit” here may also be a reference to the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul said that Christians “worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no
read more What does it mean to worship God “in spirit and truth”?
James Bannerman: The Church, as a society, owes its origin to Christ: it derives from Him its government and office-bearers; it receives from Him its laws and constitution; it draws from Him its spiritual influence and grace; it accepts at His hand its ordinances and institutions; it acts in His name, and is guided in its proceeding by His authority. In the expression that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, and in the fact that He is the only source of Church, power, there is much more implied that that He is the founder of the Christian society. He is both its founder and its administrator,–being the ever present source of life and influence, of ordinance and blessing, or law and authority, of word and doctrine within the community. Through His Spirit, and His word, and His ordinances, alike of government and grace, Christ both originates and administers His Church upon earth. Is it the spiritual
read more The Lord Jesus Christ is the Only Head of the Church
A couple of excerpts from the excellent book The Trellis and the Vine on the centrality of the gospel: “Throughout the world, the gospel is spreading, propagating, budding, flowering, bearing fruit. People hear it and by God’s mercy respond and are saved. But it does not stop there. Once the gospel is planted in someone’s life and takes root, it keeps growing in them. Their lives bear fruit. They grow in love and godliness and knowledge and spiritual wisdom, so that they walk in a manner worthy of their calling, fully pleasing to the Father, bearing fruit in every good work (Col. 1:9-10; 2:6-7)” (36-37). [emphasis mine] “The New Testament envisages that all Christian disciples will be prayerful speakers of God’s word, in a multitude of different ways and contexts. In each context, the message is essentially the same. It’s not as if we come to know Christ through the gospel word but then use a fundamentally different message to encourage each other
read more The Trellis and the Vine on Gospel Centrality
Greg Beale: The OT storyline appears best to be summarized as: the historical story of God who progressively reestablishes his new creational kingdom out of chaos over a sinful people by his word and Spirit through promise, covenant, and redemption, resulting in worldwide commission to the faithful to extend that new creation rule and resulting in judgment for the unfaithful (defeat and exile), all of which issues into his glory; the NT storyline can be summarized as: Jesus’ life of covenantal obedience, trials, judgmental death for sinners, and especially resurrection by the Spirit has launched the fulfillment of the eschatological already-and-not-yet promised new creation reign, bestowed by grace through faith and resulting in worldwide commission to the faithful to extend this new creation rule and resulting in judgment for the unfaithful, unto God’s glory. That sentence is expanded to over 1,000 pages here. (HT: Justin Taylor)
Excellent post by Jonathan Leeman: There are a lot of things a church should look for in its next pastor. But as your church considers different pastoral candidates, I want to make sure this is toward the top of your list: a supernatural faith in the power of God’s Word. AS IMPORTANT ANY OTHER QUALITY I’m not talking about a man who simply checks the belief box on the “authority” or “sufficiency” or “power” of the Bible. I’m talking about a man who whose conviction here runs so deep that it profoundly influences the way he works and lives. He plans his weekly schedule based on this conviction. He rests his daily mood upon this conviction. He even picks his clothes in the morning knowing that, it’s not how good he looks that will bring life to the dead, it’s the resurrection power of God’s Word and Spirit. This is as important as any other quality a pastor could have.
read more What You Reeeally Want in a Pastor