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Showing posts from May, 2008

Let us go to him (Hebrews 13 - Bath CU)

I'm acutely aware as I post this sermon how indebted I am to the ministry of John Piper ( and Marcus Honeysett ( who have shaped my heart and passion for the gospel more than any others.

Let us go to him - Hebrews 13v13 at Bath CU.

This was the end of a series in Hebrews for Bath University Christian Union. I've taken a similar approach to John Piper's talk at the Together for the Gospel conference. Unpacking the glory of HIM, the subject of Hebrews, the one to whom we must go even if it costs us everything.

The revelation of Jesus Christ

He is the faithful witness, reliably revealing what will happen.
He is the firstborn from the dead, his resurrection brings ours.
He is the ruler of the kings of the earth, they all stand accountable to him.
He loves us.
He freed us from our sins by his blood, taking our punishment, cleansing us.
He made us a kingdom, over which he is king.
He made us priests to God the Father, and we may boldly approach.
He owns glory and rule over all things forever, he is incomparable.
He is coming with the clouds, he will return.
He will be seen by every eye, even those who pierced him.
He will cause all to wail, the light who exposes our sin.
He is the beginning and the end. He was, is and will be.
He Tribution and patient endurance are in him.
He addresses the churches with warning and encouragement.
He walks among his churches like a son of man.
He wears a long robe and a gold sash.
He has hair that is white like wool and snow.
He has eyes that are like flaming fire.
He has feet that are like burnished refined b…

My heart was aching to sing of the glorious reality of the blood and suffering of Christ

"Some people will think I am quenching the Spirit by desiring more of an accurate theology or a clearer description of who this God is that we’re excited about, but why should we have to choose between doctrine and expectation? Why can’t we have it all? Our excitement is baseless and will never last if it is not grounded in the gospel, and all of our theology, however fine-tuned, will never by itself produce revival. I guess what you’re hearing are the longings of a reformed-charismatic who desires the best of both worlds, yet so often sins by doubting such a thing is possible.”
Jesse Phillips

"the Power of Prayer (for entertainment purposes only)"

Love the church

Anglican, Floridan or whatever.... "We should go on preaching the gospel, praying for the sick and committing our lives to the local church where things find their right setting and safety... in the context of healthy local church life where eldership oversight is clearly in place, Biblical foundations are already established and a longing to reach the lost with the gospel is already in focus."
Terry Virgo

Thirty Nine Articles

Chris Watson Lee picks up on the current CofE question about the uniqueness of Christ.

Ed says pray, and I agree - but I think there are other lessons too.

1. If you have a doctrinal statement you gotta use it.

The 39 Articles of the Church of England are pretty good (with possible exception of the bit about baptising infants...!). Chris Watson Lee served the blogosphere well recently showing that everything in the UCCF Doctrinal Basis can be found in the 39 Articles - both outline an evangelical theology. Such as:
For holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
Article XVIII, Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of EnglandBut, having this on paper in a filing cabinet is no use. Confessions of faith are for worship. Doctrine is for joy (as Ligon Duncan says). They're for shaping the life of the church Biblically. Keeping a doctrinal basis at the heart of UCCF's ministry has kept us on track for 80+ years, but we need to keep using it…

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull

I'm enjoying a (slightly interrupted) week off at the moment. And that being the case we've just enjoyed an Orange Wednesday watching 'Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull'. Indy in the 1950s... kinda works. Some nice attention to detail and classic Indy action and bad comedy. Basically some mindless fun for a couple of hours. Sadly it's probably not much better than the children it has produced (National Treasure etc...).

Worse things to do on a wet afternoon though! :)

"Without affirming the uniqueness of Christ... the Church of England will forfeit any claim to the Gospel"

Albert Mohler reports on Paul Eddy's challenge to the Church of England: which boils down to should those of other faiths be evangelised? Is the gospel just for those who are already Christians or is there any evangelistic mandate...

The fact that the question needs asking is alarming in itself! One of the things that struck me about Mohler's address at T4G in April was his observation that once you abandon the authority of scripture everything else quickly unravels. Exhibit 1: The Church of England. I love *much* (not all) of what the Theoretical Church of England stands for. Sadly the CofE I have affection for doesn't exist (and possibly never did). It's the CofE personified by Latimer, Ridley, Simeon and co. and outlined in (most of) The 39 Articles. The theory of churches founded on sound doctrine, locally focussed and essentially independent but with some measure of oversight regionally for the church leaders, is a great theory. The CofE has possibly largely given …

All I Have Is Christ

When I visited Covenant Life Church in April we sang this outstanding new song by Jordan Kauflin, which is now available on Looked Upon, by the NA band for a fiver on download! I can't vouch for the whole album having not got it myself - I just know I love this one song.

(The album was released as part of the New Attitude conference this weekend, talks from which here. NA is kinda Together for the Gospel for a slightly younger crowd. Talks on: Ripping, Burning, Eating: A Right Response to God's Word • The Authority of Scripture Bible Q&A • The Troubled Soul: God's Word and Our Feelings • What's the Point?: Growing in Vision for Diligent Study • William Tyndale: A Life Transformed By God's Word • Fighting for Faith with God's Word • God as Father: Understanding the Doctrine of Adoption in God's Word. )


LIVE @ New Attitude sample

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the …

What do you think about Florida?

I'm not all that interested in the 'Florida Revival' and I've not looked into the specifics of it all, except for some glances at Todd Bentley's website a couple of years ago and it's increasing appearances on blogs - which I'm now adding too...

But, a few people have asked for my opinion on it recently, to which I've happily confessed my ignorance about it, and my general lack of opinion. What it does provide is a helpful opportunity to think about what genuine works of God look like.

And that being the case here are two helpful things to look at, both written by charismatics
Dan Edelen's blog: All true revival is marked by one overarching, indisputable reality: People are driven to repentance...Signs of the Spirit: An Interpretation of Jonathan Edwards' Religious AffectionsThe latter is particularly interesting as it's Storms' interpretation of Jonathan Edwards reflections on the basis of the American revivals of his time, and Edwards doe…

Starting with repentance

Mark Meynell, blogging from the European Leadership Forum

'Liveblog' Together at... Taunton

We've been up at Together at Taunton, the newfrontiers South West Bible Weekend. That's meant lots of time to camp in the rain, hang out with guys we're doing local church with and some top teaching from Simon Walker and Terry Virgo. Particularly stirred by Simon's focus on the Spirit and the Word going together (The Spirit annointed Word, the Word in the power of the Spirit), and then Terry on faith in the gospel as taught from 1 Kings. Matt Partridge concluded the weekend with a preach from Philippians 3.

The other major highlight is Matt Giles' new song, based on the Valley of Vision prayer 'Privileges' called 'The Grace of my God' which is phenomenally good.
Yes, wave upon wave of grace reaches me, pays for my sin and washes me clean!

Further reflections in the future I'm sure, but mostly just deeply thankful to be part of this 'family of churches together on a mission', enjoying the grace of God and seeking to have the light of the gosp…

Looking out to sea, looking at the Psalms

I sat on Exmouth beach yesterday evening before Em's school choir helped kick off the Exmouth Festival, listening to
Mike Reeves - Psalm 1 - All Souls
Mike Reeves - Psalm 15 - All Souls

When you have two spare half hours these two make a great introduction to the Psalms. I'm struck deeply by the way that Mike shows the Psalms to be a book about Jesus. Possibly not everyone is going to agree with his handling of the text, but I think it'd take some strong persuading to convince me that The Man is not Jesus.

BTW: regarding yesterdays explosion in Exeter. I was on the train back from Reading when it happened and just had my walk home a little diverted. Em was actually in town when it happened but only knew of it from the increased police presence.


FRESH The Conference

Saturday, June 21, 2008
10:00am - 4:00pm
St. Paul's Church Centre, 

Northey Avenue,

Cheam, Surrey,


United Kingdom

Fresh The Conference is a day not to be missed if you are a sixth former and about to go or thinking about going to Uni!

Fresh The Conference is based on the excellent new book from IVP called Fresh!

Fresh The Conference will help you prepare for Uni. We will be looking at

Fresh The Conference will feature 

Krish Kandiah (author of Fresh)

Filippe de Barros (a Christian SU worker) 

Kate Erith (Sutton Schools worker) 

Tim Neale (Kingston Schools worker)

FRESH, The Conference at Facebook
FRESH, the book - from IVP
FRESH, The Conference - Flyer (PDF)

Breakfast at Tiffany's

After a long 24 hours away up in Reading, during which I had the pleasure of preaching from 1 John to the RUCU, I decided to take the 1 hour 38 minute train journey as a break from work, and read a book. On my way to the station I used a birthday voucher to pick up Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. A facinating 100 page novella (packaged with three other short stories).

"I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods." begins the unnamed narrator as he introduces us to Holiday Golightly, whose rootless ego-centric existence matches her name. I really enjoyed the portrayal of the relationships between the characters and the places they're found. I think this is probably a book to read again soon.

What is special is the mundane that is lived out with gospel intentionality…

"The wisest thing some ministers can do for mission is downsize the amount of effort that goes into the Sunday event,"Total Church author Steve Timmis told a packed Moore College lecture theatre yesterday... “If you spend 2 hours making your powerpoint – cut back to 1 hour and use the other hour to have a coffee with non-Christians,” he says. “Just start with simple, almost mechanical things like time management… so you are actually doing both.”

ht: Ant Adams

The most miserable man in England

Slightly corny from Marcus Honeysett but the point is pretty profound... Compare Terry with Ronaldo. Interviewed after the match, having just missed a penalty himself, he said something like "when I missed I knew this was the worst day of my life. But now its the best because someone else got the goal I didn't" (or thereabouts). The Bible says that Jesus Christ takes (and scores) the penalty that we miss, on our behalf, turning the biggest nightmare of missing out on the glory of God, into the best of days. When it comes to taking the penalty for sin, I want to be in Ronaldo's shoes, not Terry's.It's all over bar the shouting - Marcus Honeysett

Uncurved by the gospel - believe in God's Son Jesus

through campus and you'll struggle to make eye contact as individuals walk past, immersed in themselves and shrouded in the sounds of their iPods. The world has become a global village, socially networked and yet we're more disconnected than ever. I want to suggest that this is in fact our number one problem. Not AIDS, not global warming, not the credit crunch.

Our deepest problem is found in the human heart. We find man curved in on himself. Unable and unwilling to come out of ourselves. Ego-centric. Living in self. Living for self. Falling over ourselves as we preen infront of the mirror with endless flattery. Martin Luther said that is the very definition of sin –man curved in on himself

I was talking with a Buddhist on Sunday afternoon and this was his definition of virtue – to search within for self-deity. And he thought Christianity was the same as what he believed. He could not have been further from the truth. Being curved inward is the essence of sin, today and even …

Him, that is Jesus.

John Piper preached Hebrews 13 at T4G.. I'm doing the same next week for Bath CU, and desperately trying to not rip off Dr Piper's work. But top this:Jesus is

God’s final revelation (1:2).
The heir of all things (1:2).
The creator of the world (1:2).
The radiance of God’s glory (1:3).
The exact imprint of God’s nature (1:3).

He upholds the universe by the word of his power (1:3).
He made purification for sins (1:3).
He sits at the right hand of the Majesty on High (1:4).
He is God, enthroned forever, with a scepter of uprightness (1:8).
He is worshipped by angels (1:6).
His rule will have no end (1:8).
His joy is above all other beings in the universe (1:9).
He took on human flesh (2:14).
He was crowned with glory and honor because of his suffering (2:9).
He was the founder of our salvation (2:10).
He was made perfect in all his obedience by his suffering (2:10).
He destroyed the one who has the power of death, the devil (2:15).
He delivered us from the bondage of fear (2:15).
He is a merciful a…

NWA The Interviews - John Piper on Prayer and Bible Study

"So far John Piper has addressed the UK church scene and preaching. In this section of our video interview, I asked him about his prayer life, which he described as prayer mingled with the Word rather than separate sections of time for prayer alone and the Word alone. He talked about his Bible study, and how that, along with so many other things in his life, sometimes feels like it is driven by the expectations placed on him. His focus is currently on preparing for what he is going to do. Unfortunately there is a small section at the end when we somehow lost the audio, but one of the technical whizzes over at UCCF managed to figure out what Piper was saying."

Interview by Adrian Warnock

Clive Parnell : Being Human

Human being, musician, evangelist, podcaster and more, Clive Parnell is now blogging. Clive and I both started working with UCCF on the same day five years ago as CU Staff though we've both changed roles since then. I love Clive's creativity and his ability to come at things in fresh ways and above all his commitment to simply being a (being renewed) human being.

Groaning under a sense of deep dishonour done to God...

Andrew Bonar, Leviticus p447: There is little of the pilgrem spirit in those who never long for 'the rest that remaineth.'There is too little weariness of sin - little of Brainerd's cry, 'Oh, that my soul were holy as He is holy! Oh, that it were pure as Christ is pure, and perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect! These are the sweetst commands in God's book, comprising all others. And shall I break them? Must I break them? Am I under a necessity of it as long as I live in the world? O my soul! woe, woe is me, that I am a sinner!'There is much groaning under human misery, but there is little groaning under a sense of deep dishonour done to God. There is, too, now and then, a longing to be at rest ourselves; but rarely do you find souls who are groaning in sympathy with all creation... Oh, to hear the earth's hills and valleys ringing with hallelujahs that come from souls reposing with true sabbatic rest on their God, while all creation listens in sabbatic…

Contemplating with joy the things of Christ alone

Athanasius on the Psalms: "To those who really study it the Psalter yields especial treasure. ...the Psalter is a garden which, besides its special fruit, grows also some those of all the rest. ...You see, then, that all the subjects mentioned in the historical books are mentioned also in one Psalm or another; but when we come to the matters of which the Prophets speak we find that these occur in almost all. Of the coming of the Saviour and how, althought He is God, He yet should dwell among us... Having thus shown that Christ should come in human form, the Psalter goes on to show that He can suffer in the flesh He has assumed... For He did not die as being Himself liable to death: He suffered for us, and bore in Himself the wrath that was the penalty of our transgression... Nor is this all. The Psalter further indicates beforehand the bodily Ascension of the Saviour into heaven the Psalter, besides all these things, you learn about yourself. You find depicted in it all the…

Marcus Honeysett

Welcome to the web Marcus Honeysett, blogger, Bible teacher etc.
Digital H2O, grace, glory, godliness.

The Goal of Preaching: Worship

My one overwhelming tip for your Bible preparation for this weekend is this: worship over the Bible as you prepare. For sure we want to be diligent and accurate in our prep and our delivery but it is possible to have accurate Bible talks and studies that that don’t glorify God because they take his mighty word and make it boring.

...the key point is not to deify the technical and underplay the glory. Worship over the text as you prepare. Make every effort at accuracy. If you want your message to have power then it has to come with accuracy from the text. People have to be able to see clearly that you are preaching to them what the Bible says, concretely, specifically and compellingly. But don’t substitute glory for mere accuracy as your goal.

Lastly, that tells us we should pray over our preparation and our deliver…

The Apostolic Fathers - Mike Reeves (mp3)

At Theology Network: The Apostolic Fathers (Mike Reeves)
Because church history is cool. And because ‘We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants.’ (Bernard of Chartres)

Part 1, Part 2

ht: Dan Hames

Grace, all grace, that's all.

Keller makes a critical point. Too often as preachers we preach a gospel that moves people from rebel to legalist. We so easily preach so that younger sons become older sons, but somehow miss the glory of the father’s prodigious grace in humiliating himself for the sake of both sons. (ht: Milton Stanley)Up at The Mill, Mo has been doing 'Relay' on us, encouraging us about this pioneering missionary opportunity for recent graduates to be immersed in the grace of God. I'm reminded how much I love Relay because Relay is about grace. Grace that I desperately need.

What's delighting me at the moment is that I work for UCCF who are all about Grace, and I find myself in a local church whose explicit foundation is the same glorious gospel of Grace. And not just notionally and nominally, but in both cases intentionally, relentlessly, specifically and deeply. That gospel, and the gospel-care I find is way more than I deserve. I need to believe that grace is enough for me in my si…

Oh redemption, sweet redemption!

A new hymn by Matt Giles:

1. Oh redemption, sweet redemption!
Satan has no hold on me!
Full indemnity, I have indemnity,
The debt is paid and I am free!
So impoverish and desperate,
In my sins I would have died,
yet my King's eternal ransom,
Did my ev'ry need supply.

Oh the cross, my final plea!
Nought else to offer thee, but what Christ did for me.
A million sins implored my fall,
Christ died once, and crushed them all!

2. Pow'r of death obliterated
Serpent crushed beneath His feet.
From the grave He rose untainted
And still He stands in victory.
In His death we stand united,
In His life we shall arise,
Earthly shadows now receding,
For heaven's glory draws yet nigh.

Resurrected I shall be
For His empty tomb will now ring true for me!
Blast of trumpet will resound
We shall arise to claim our crowns.

3. He has raised a mighty army,
Where there once were only bones.
A people confident in His accomplishment;
That His perfect blood atones.
We will raise a royal banner,
With our heads held proudly high…

The Oracles of God (Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Bible in the Evangelical House)

Several things strike me as I read Lloyd-Jones from 51 years ago.

1. There is genuine prophetic insight here.
2. Not necessarily negating the previous comment, problems recur in the church generation after generation.
3. Where's my Bible, let me read it! How precious it is to have the word of God.
"The Apostle finds it is essential to lay down a firm foundation. There are many people today who are in such a hurry to erect some kind of an evangelical house, that I am afraid it is not going to be very durable. And then you will find that in times of trail and testing, they will not quite know where they stand. They are carried away by every wing of doctrine, they have no discrimination and they cannot see the subtle error in false teachings. The only way to avoid that is to make certain that we are looking at every difficulty and dealing with every conceivable objection...

There is nothing greater than this, than that God should speak to man - the oracles of God..There is no greater…

There is such a thing as grace (and how the gift of repentance brings us to enjoy this profound doctrine)

Picked up my copy of Lloyd-Jones on Romans 2-3 today to accompany me on the train to Bristol. Classic, clear, passionate, gospel-filled stuff from The Doctor: "This is the first note in gospel preaching. First and foremost he gospel calls us to repentance... there is but little evidence of a sense of sin these days, or that it is a rare thing to see anyone weeping under conviction; it is not surprising that it is a rare thing to hear anyone going throgh an agony of soul because of his or her consciousness of sinfulness in the presence of a holy God... repentance is not something detached and theoretical and academic... The beginning is this changed attitude toward God Himself; thinking about God in terms of the scriptural revelation rather than in terms of our own ideas... What amazes us, now, is how God tolerates us at all! We no longer feel that we have any claim on His love and we are reduced to tears when we realise that, in spite of our being what we are, and God being what …

Psalms and the Pentateuch

From The Bible Student's Compendium And Dictionary:
On the five books of Psalms corresponding to the Pentateuch:

Book 1 - Genesis.
It shows us God's plan for MAN. God is Jehovah (the Lord) in this book. He has covenant-plans toward mankind. True, sin has broken things up and man is in rebellion against God. But the plans were made in CHRIST, and God still has His one Man in mind: Ps. 2; THE LAST ADAM: Ps. 8 (cf. Gen. 1). The middle Psalm of the book (21) describes Him as crowned for rule and set to be a blessing for ever (v. 6; cf. Gen. 12 and 22:18); though, indeed, He shall only reach His Crown through a Cross (22-24). Yet the MAN Christ Jesus is set before us, waiting in faith for the glory the Lord will give Him (16, 17, 18); "bowed down heavily" in the days of His flesh (35:14), yet "the Lord hath pleasure in the prosperity of His Servant" (v. 27), and when He has "waited patiently" as "a poor and needy" Man, cast upon the Lord, He rec…

What can help the squeamish fellow who is afraid of making global claims for Christ?

UCCF Evangelism Podcast #3 - Art and Evangelism

Man Curved in on Himself

"...personhood as ‘ecstatic’, in terms of a going out or being drawn out of oneself by the Spirit into the life of Christ, a life lived for and with others. So we might also say that persons are ‘eccentric’, that they find their lives in the lives of others. Enter the man curved in on himself, who stubbornly refuses to go out of himself and smugly stays at home in and with himself. He is ego rather than ec-centric, finding his life in and living his life for himself... It’s a familiar image, and a fitting one, the photonegative of the man whose life is found in relationship. In this view, sin is a violation, perversion, and refusal of the very relationships which constitute us. Eberhard Jüngel puts it succinctly, calling sin "the urge towards relationlessness and dissociation". And the sinner? "The sinner is, to put it simply, a person without relations, with no relation to God or to self".
--Matt Jenson, The Shape of Our Sin - at The Other JournalMartin Luther…

On the Holy Spirit - gifts for the common good

Gifts are for the common good (1 Corinthians 12v4-11)

Paul here notes that
v4 – there are various gifts and in v8-10 he lists many. What are they? Paul doesn't say – it's not the point! Our (21st Century) way of reading is desperate for those definitions of prophecy etc, and maybe some controversy might have been avoided if they had been supplied - but they're not, which probably means there is something more important for us to understand. We'll find some sense of more specific and descriptive definition of tongues and prophecy across the whole of chapters 12-14, but not much yet. So far, they are gospel-centred gifts..v6 – gifts come from God. He gives. And they are gifts (charismata) of grace. Given to all. Freely. Graciously. Not as a reward but a gift.v7 – gifts are manifestations of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Spirit is one of revelation, of manifestation, of confession. Displaying God. God's gifts show us our God. Prophecy, tongues, administration... gosp…

Beach Supervision and the kindness of God

Kath has tormented me for five years because for our first four years as colleagues I worked in landlocked Reading and she worked on the south coast.

Finally, almost five years since I started working for UCCF I've been able to do a meeting on the beach. With Kenny, on Falmouth beach under glorious sunny skies. Brilliant! Beach, talking, praying and studying Ruth 4 with a brother.

O the kindness of God! Utterly undeserved. May I never lose the wonder and priviledge of this. May the beach never be taken for granted. May the grace of God never be presumed. Those famous words from Lewis ring truer now... this time last year I was supervising Ed & Carolina in our paved frontyard (on a sunny day) to the roar of the M4, now I've felt the sand between my toes and heard the waves reaching the shore. Undeserved kindness.

This same kindness is shown in the book of Ruth, through God's actions and through the kindness of his people. Ruth is a story that begins with death and ends wit…

A culture of grace

Listening to something by Tripp & Powlison whilst musing on 1 John 3 (ahead of preaching on it in Reading in a few couple of weeks), they comment on how the gospel creates a culture of grace. In that, Jesus is a role model to us. Not like normal role models who we watch from a distance. Jesus shows us what love is by acting upon us in love, dying for our sins.

This is how we know what love is - by way of his substitutionary and propitiatory death. And as we become increasingly Jesus-centred we'll become increasingly other-centred. Not just in sentimental words of love, but in love that acts to meet needs.

This sets an agenda totally opposed to the spirit of our age, indeed of every age since the days of Cain - an age in which we're so curved in on ourselves that we don't know what love is. The gospel takes us away from ourselves, to Jesus to believe in him and onward to others to serve them.

Like extinguishing a fire with petrol?

On the Holy Spirit - Spiritual is Gospel

Let's go hunting elephants in the charismatic jungle in 1 Corinthians 12-14. Chapters 1-4 of this letter are most concerned with wisdom and then the discussion is pursued in the area of sexual immorality (5-7) and idolatry (8-14) all of which has concern with the body of Christ, a prominent theme in chapter 15...

1. Spiritual is gospel (1 Corinthians 12v1-3)

Paul says, v1, that he does not want them to be uninformed about 'spiritual gifts' or 'spiritual things'. He's writing to a church that is experiencing charismania. Things are in chaos – evidently it’s more the miraculous gifts being carried to excess than an excess of administration. Rather than forbidding pursuit of these things he seeks to inform them. It's a good principle to remember that abuse should be replaced by right use rather than non-use.

Getting informed: First there are idols. Mute idols (v2). The Old Testament says quite a lot about idols. A key theme is their inability to speak. They are …

Moses, Micah and the Cross

I'm preparing to preach on the end of Micah in a month.
So much of the language echoes Moses' song in Exodus 15.

Micah 7v15 - What Micah looks to will like when they came out of Egypt.
Ex 15v14 & Micah 7v17 - The nations tremble.
Ex 15v1 - the horse and his rider thrown into the sea.
Micah 7v19 - sins thrown into the depths of the sea.
Exodus 15v11 & Micah 7v18 - Who is like you God?Moses looked back and celebrated the victory of God.
Micah however looks forward rather than backwards.
He looks forward in faith to God's salvation.
God says "I will show them marvelous things" (ESV, Micah 7v15).
The world will be shown God's salvation.
They will see his love, righteousness and wrath.
Where? Surely we're to say - Micah's faith is in the direction of the cross, though he doesn't yet know it. He looks ahead to a salvation like, but greater than, the Exodus.

Reading Micah we look ahead with him,. We see at the Cross God's salvation, seeing clearly what he…

Justification by Faith for Sixteen Year Olds!

Lady Jane Grey was briefly Queen of England as a teenager, living in troubled times as the reformation was ongoing around her (she lived during the lifetimes of Luther and Calvin). I don't know much about her beyond a few things I've found here and there online. A shameful lack of knowledge of British History! A little of my findings follow.
Prior to her death in 1554 she was questioned by John Feckenham . His aim was for her to deny her Protestant beliefs.
Feckenham: What is then required of a Christian?
Jane: That he should believe in God the Father, in God the Son, and in God the Holy Ghost, three persons one God.
Feckenham: Is there nothing else to be required or looked for in a Christian but to believe in him?
Jane: Yes; we must also love him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind, and our neighbour as ourself.
Feckenham: Why, then faith only justifies not, or saves not.
Jane: Yes, truly, as Paul says, faith only justifies. Why, Paul says, if I have all…

Living Leadership - 2008 Conference MP3s

Making sure that I read more than just 'Christian' books

Blog a Penguin Classic. So, you sign up, they email you to say what they'll send you (I got one by Tennyson) and then you wait to receive it, read it and blog a review within six weeks. Sounds good to me. I'm going to read anyway, this just makes it easier!

ht: Ros Clarke

On the Holy Spirit

This is the beginning of a series of posts based on a training day I did for our South West relay at the end of April.

On the Holy Spirit, developing clearer thinking on those matters of first importance so that we might grow in love for Jesus' church in the power of the Holy Spirit, in other-centred, gospel-confessing service.

Everyone had packed their bags and was waiting to board the coach. In one corner of the room I could overhear that a heated discussion was underway. I lurked nearby and listened in. They were discussion charismatic gifts. Not so much the gifts of administration and teaching, but prophecy, healing and tongues. Controversial! And often considered with anecdotes and hearsay rather than with the Bible. I decided then, 2.5 years ago, to get the scriptures open in this. I shared my thoughts with the CU small groups coordinator and we shaped a plan for the next term to study 1 Corinthians 1-4 and 12-14. Some criticised us for not studying chapter 15 (though no-one …

Terry Virgo on the new Slipstream Podcast

Slipstream, a ministry of Evangelical Alliance by Krish Kandiah, resourcing leaders for the church. Their first new resource is a podcast with Terry Virgo.

Seven (first third of the year on the blog)

It's a third of the way through the year so I thought I'd review seven key posts/topics on the blog this year. I tend to do this at the end of the year, but I'm curious to see if what's significant in my mind now turns out to be. The blog is something of a reflection of what I've been thinking about this year.

1. Tim Keller - notably on three ways to live and his book The Reason for God.

2. Feeding on the Old Testament. 1&2 Samuel with Jim Hamilton and Genesis and Lamentations. See also: Daniel Newman on 1 Samuel

3. Go Wayne Grudem Go! - this video staring the wonderful South West Relay added 1000 hits in one day to the blog thanks to the linkage of Challies. See also The Top 10 Books.

4. The aftermath of speaking on the question of whether God is a sadist at Exeter University. More blogging on the doctrine of penal substitution. More on the blood here.

5. Thinking about emotions within the Christian life. This plays out of the back of having read Sam Storms 'Si…

T4G08 - Panel Discussions

The T4G08 panel discussions are now online.

They were a valuable part fo the conference, though with 8 talks and 6 panels it was a bit of an overload at times!

I particularly enjoyed the last one though I was most tired during it, Panel Discussion with John Piper - with some helpful reflections on his own church, on godly women in his church and on preaching.

Panel Discussion with Thabiti Anyabwile is also worth a listen.

Grace upon grace, the food of marriage (Or, grace is what makes Christian marriage different - and how desperately I need that grace)

If Galatians is my favourite book in the New Testament then Romans 7v1-6 is one of my other favourite passages (if you'll permit having favourites).

It's so good because it tells of our awful old marriage to Mr Law which ended when we, not the law, died with Christ. And then we rose to a new marriage with Jesus. Freely. Secured. Justified. Alive. And while the old husband was always right and always fault-finding, Jesus just gives us grace upon grace that is transforming. Abundant grace by which we can reign in life.

I love this glorious life-giving life-changing God-glorifying truth. I love that we got taught it at our 'Join the Church' course meeting last night.

A secondary application has been hitting me afresh this week (actually it's been working away at me since Terry Virgo's opening talk at New Word Alive :

It's not Paul's intention in the passage, but anyone who is married is bound to ask the question - what about my marriage? The sobering question …