Archives For Theology

Today I continue my summer summary series. In this blog post I look at the doctrine of the Bible (also known as “bibliology”) using the Evangelical Free Church of America’s statement of faith as a guide.

The EFCA statement of faith on the Bible reads:

The Bible. Article #2. We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.

I. KEY TERMS 

A. General Revelation and Special Revelation

God has shown himself and his truth by both general revelation and special revelation.

1. General Revelation Continue Reading…

This blog post is the first of my Summer Summary Series. In these blog posts I am providing an examination of the ten articles of the statement of faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America (the organization which I hope to receive my ministry license through).

The EFCA statement of faith on God reads:

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.

A Summary of the Doctrine of God

“The Adoration of the Holy Trinity” by Johann Heinrich Schonfeld (1609-1684)

I. GOD IS CREATOR

The Bible is absolutely and solemnly clear that God is the one who created the world and the universe (Gen 1:1; 14:19, 22; Exod 20:11; Neh 9:6; Pss 146:6; Acts 4:24; Heb 11:3; Rev 4:11; 14:7). God created this world out of nothing—ex nihiloin seven literal days with the appearance of age. Before the world was created only God existed with himself (John 1:1-3; Rom 4:17). Therefore, the world and universe which we live in should not be worshipped; God should be the only object of our worship. God also created heaven and those who live there (Neh 9:6; Pss 103:21; 148:2-5; Acts 4:24; Col 1:16; Rev 10:6).

II. BROAD EXPLANATION OF GOD Continue Reading…

When I moved to Texas I had to learn all about the “big three” schools. Places such as “Lubbock” and “College Station” and “Austin” were legendary cities because of the large schools located there. These were the cities of the “big three” colleges in Texas: Texas A&M (College Station), University of Texas (Austin), and Texas Tech (Lubbock). While Texas might have it’s “big three,” Paul writes about the “big three” in the lives of believers in Philippians 3:9-11.

First is justification. This is the teaching that we have righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. He writes, “and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith” (Phil 3:9, NLT). The basis and grounds for Christians be counted as righteousness depends on faith.

Second is sanctification. Once a person has placed his faith in Jesus Christ and committed to follow Him, the next step is sanctification. Sanctification is the daily act of becoming more like Jesus. “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,” (Phil 3:10, NLT). The Christian life is not always warm and happy. Here Paul reminds his readers that if they are to become more like Jesus, then they are going to suffer along the way. This suffering was predicted in the book of Acts, “And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:16, NLT). That suffering was lived out as Paul has shared, “For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him” (Phil 1:29, NLT) and “through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” (2 Cor 4:10, NLT). Sanctification includes joy as well, but suffering seems to be a big theme of sanctification for Paul. 

Third is glorification. After a person has experienced justification and participated in sanctification, there will be a glorification for all believers at the end of their lives in heaven. “So that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” (Phil 3:11, NLT).

While it is easy to get caught up into the worldly view of things (as I learned about the big three in Texas), we should be reminded of the “big three” that Paul describes for believers: (1) justification, (2) sanctification, and (3) glorification.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 8:1-5

“1When the Lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw seven angels who had been standing in front of the throne and they were given seven trumpets. 3Then another angel came and stood near the altar holding a golden censer and a large amount of incense was given to him so that he can give the prayers of the many saints on the golden altar. 4Then the smoke of the incense from the prayers of the saints ascended up out of the hand of the angel in front of God’s throne. 5Next the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire from the altar and threw it on the earth. Then there was thunder, noise, lightening, and an earthquake.” (Rev 8:1-5) 1

The Lamb Breaks the Seventh Seal (Rev 8:1-5)

Matthias Gerung: “The Opening of the Seventh Seal and the First Four Sounding Trumpets, Revelation 8:1-13”

II. OPENING SILENCE (8:1-2)

A. The Seventh Seal’s Silence (v. 1)

Καὶ ὅταν ἤνοιξεν τὴν σφραγῖδα τὴν ἑβδόμην, ἐγένετο σιγὴ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ὡς ἡμιώριον.

“When the Lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” (Rev 8:1)

1. The Sound of Silence Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own. The Greek text is from NA28.

If you are like me you become sad when you see homes take down their Christmas lights, remove Christmas decorations, and toss the Christmas tree out to the road for the garbage man to pick up. However, the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ’s birth—is about much more than the one month of celebration during December. It is about the things Christ did for us through his life and death. There are five things that I like to use to describe what Christ did on the cross. Continue Reading…

This weekend we celebrated Good Friday (in remembrance of Christ’s death) and Easter (in remembrance of Christ’s resurrection). Jesus Christ came to earth as God’s Son was to serve as a “slave” or “servant” on behalf of the people of the earth. But, what does it mean that Christ was a “slave” or “servant”? How could God incarnate as human be a “slave” or “servant”?

The word that will be examined in this word study is slave used in Phil 2:7, “Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form” (New Living Translation). In section 1 I will review the word used in other English translations as well as provide a definition of the word slave. In section two I will provide the meaning of the Greek word, δουλος, which is often translated as slave. In section three I will provide some conclusions on slave in Phil 2:7.

How Jesus Christ was a "Slave" Philippians 2:7

Photo Credit: Norditalienischer Maler

I. OTHER TRANSLATION OF PHIL 2:7 AND A DEFINITION OF SLAVE 

A. Other Translations of Phil 2:7

It appears that most translations chose the word servant (ten translations) to describe the role Jesus took on earth, the word slave (seven times), and bondservant (twice). Another observation is that some of the “literal” translations used servant (ASV, ESV) while the “dynamic” translations used slave (NET, NLT, Message). Continue Reading…

In previous blog posts I have emphasized the Abrahamic Covenant’s role in GenesisGalatians, and the overall message of the Bible. However, it was not until recently that one of my twitter followers made me aware that the Abrahamic Covenant is also mentioned in Psalm 105. Here’s a brief look at Psalm 105 and its connection to the Abrahamic Covenant. 

The Abrahamic Covenant in Psalm 105

Photo Credit: Sweet Publishing

I. THE PURPOSE AND ARGUMENT OF PSALM 105

A. Purpose  Continue Reading…

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I saw “War Room.” It is a fantastic movie. I have seen previous movies by the Kendrick brothers (Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous) and this is perhaps the best. Below is a brief summary of the movie as well as some reflections on the movie based on the Bible.

A Review of the Movie War Room

I.    SUMMARY OF THE MOVIE

The movie, “War Room” is based on the prayer and life of an elderly African-American woman, Mrs. Williams.[1] The movie revolves around what Mrs. Williams called her “War Room.” That war room was her prayer room in her home. The war room was a closet within an unoccupied room, it had a chair, prayers taped to the wall, Scriptures taped to the wall, a lamp, and a Bible. Continue Reading…

Today’s post concludes my biblical study on women and leadership. This has been one of the most difficult topics I have written on. Last week I wrote about Jesus’ relationship to women and women’s roles in the book of Acts. And the week before that I wrote about the Old Testament perspective on women and leadership.

Today’s post examines the most difficult of the three areas: Paul’s teaching on women and biblical leadership. A 2,000 word blog post can barely scratch the surface of this topic, but in this post I hope to provide you with a brief outline of all the important texts as well as some brief notes about hermeneutics and exegesis.

What Exactly Did Paul Say about Women and Leadership?Rembrandt’s Apostle Paul

I.     PAUL’S TEACHING ON WOMEN IN 1 CORINTHIANS Continue Reading…