Prayer That Jesus Taught

I just finished a 14-week sermon series on “Prayer That Jesus Taught” from Matthew 6:9-13.

Part 1: An Introduction to Prayer That Jesus Taught (Matthew 6:9-13)

Part 2: “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9)

Part 3: “Who Is In Heaven” (Matthew 6:9b)

Part 4: “Hallowed Be Your Name” (Matthew 6:9c)

Part 5: “Your Kingdom Come” (Matthew 6:10)

Part 6: “Your Will Be Done” (Matthew 6:10b)

Part 7: “Your Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven” (Matthew 6:10c)

Part 8: “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” (Matthew 6:11)

Part 9: “And Forgive Us Our Debts, As We Also…” (Matthew 6:12, 14-15)

Part 10: “And Do Not Lead Us Into Temptation” (Matthew 6:13)

Part 11: “But Deliver Us From the Evil One” (Matthew 6:13b)

Part 12: “But Deliver Us From the Evil One” (Matthew 6:13b)

Part 13: “But Deliver Us From the Evil One” (Matthew 6:13b)

Part 14: Addendum Prayer (Matthew 6:13c)

The Most Neglected Practice in Today’s Church

Church discipline. That’s right. It is the most ignored subject and grossly neglected practice in today’s church.

However, what many Christians and churches do not realize is that whether a local church practice it or not actually determines whether she is rightly qualified to call herself a church. Many of the magisterial reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, have helped the Christendom since the Reformation that disciplining an unruly member is a mark of a true church. In fact, it was John Calvin who taught that three basic marks of a true church are: 1) preaching of God’s Word, 2) exercise of sacraments or ordinances, namely the baptism and the Lord’s Table, and 3) exercise of church discipline.[1] Thus, if any so-called church that fails to have those three marks is not a true church.

If you are interested in this subject, I recently gave a four-part series on this subject from my exposition in Matthew 18. In Part 1, I argue that discipline is part of God’s redemptive-history (i.e., biblical history and biblical theology). In Part 2, I show that church discipline has been taught and practiced all throughout the church history, and it has been considered as a normal life of  a local church. In Part 3, I state the purpose of church discipline and why some churches fail to implement it. Lastly, in Part 4, I address the steps or procedures of church discipline. The following are my transcripts:

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
  4. Part 4 (Final)

Also, if you want to listen to the sermons, click here.

What Foundational Aspects To Look For In A Biblical Church?

This summer I preached “What Foundational Aspects to Look for in a Biblical Church?” from Matthew 16:13-28. What was originally intended as a single message became a three-part series. Even though I’ve been a practitioner of expository preaching for 14 years, I’m always amazed how deep, profound, and enriching God’s word is. In this text, there are seven foundational aspects. They are as follows:

  1. A true church is known by a great confession (vv. 13-16).
  2. A true church is known by a great communication (v. 17).
  3. A true church is known by a great contrast (v. 20).
  4. A true church is known by a great cross (v. 21).
  5. A true church is known by a great confrontation (vv. 22-23).
  6. A true church is known by a great cost (vv. 24-26).
  7. A true church is known by a great consummation (vv. 27-28).

If you’re interested in the sermon transcripts, here they are:

If you’re interested in the recorded audio sermons, you’ll find them here.

The King Has Come!

From the last prophecy in Malachi to the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, 400 years had elapsed. Four hundred silent years where no miracles occurred. No prophets. No voice of God. The heavens were silent. As a matter of fact, the last word given in Malachi, the last book of the OT, was “destruction” or “curse.”

To a Jew living at the time just before Jesus’ birth, the unspoken question was, “Has God abandoned us?” What were they to think about all of the promises made to them in the Old Testament? What about the covenants God had made?

The opening verse of Matthew (1:1),  seen through the eyes of the Jewish people, help us to see the incredible grace of God in sending the promised hope that they longed for. But this promise was not only to the Jewish people, but it was a promise of hope for all of us.

In the Gospel of Matthew we see the glorious realities of Jesus as the King of Kings. He is the King of Heaven who came down to earth. He preached a gospel of the Kingdom. He showed the power and authority of the mightiest of kings. And He showed in His life, death and resurrection that He has power over even death itself. Although rejected by men, Jesus sits at the right hand of his Father in heaven and is coming soon to wage war with his enemies and to take his rightful place as Lord and Sovereign over all of creation.

In this blog post, as we come close to Christmas day, I would like to look at the four descriptive names of the king in Matthew 1:1.

Jesus: Yeshua, Yehoshua, Joshua

This is the name given to Jesus by Mary and Joseph, as commanded by God through His angel in Matthew 1:21. Yeshua means “Jehovah is Salvation” in Hebrew. Although it sounds to us like Jesus is his first name and Christ is his last, this is not the case. Christ is his title (See vv. 16, 17).

Verse 1 tells us that we are about to hear about the genealogy of Jesus. “Genealogy” is the Greek word genesis which means “birth, offspring, lineage or family tree. It probably reminds you of the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis, which refers to the “beginnings” or “generations” that are so prominent in that book. So this is the beginning of Jesus’ earthly life. But this is not the beginning of Jesus’ existence. John 1:2 tells us that Jesus existed in the beginning with God. Therefore, this is his earthly beginning, or the story of how he came to earth to be the King.

Christ: Messiah, Anointed One

As was mentioned earlier, Christ is a title. It means “Anointed One” or “Chosen One.” This anointing refers to the Old Testament practice of pouring a special scented oil over the head, beard and clothing of those chosen for the special offices of prophet, priest and king. You can see this in Elisha (prophet; 1Kg 19:16), Aaron (high priest; Ex 28:41), and Saul (king; 1Sam 10:1).

Jesus came as the Anointed One, chosen by God to be the Savior of his people. Imagine that you are living in this time when God had been silent for 400 years, and now the hope of Israel and the world is given a name—Jesus! But many had made claims to be a savior of the Jews and sought to bring about great changes. One such false messiah, Theudas, is mentioned in Acts 5:36-37.

At the time of the writing of Matthew, possibly a mere 20 years after Jesus returned to heaven, there were many who still doubted the truth about Jesus the Messiah. The religious elite of the time considered Jesus a fraud, a usurper to the throne. It is here that we begin to see the value of a family tree for Jesus—proof positive that Jesus was in the family line of the great King of Israel, David.

The Son of David

The term “son of” is not always used literally in the Bible. “Son of” can refer to any ancestor, even a distant one. Jesus is here called the “son of David.” The Messiah had to come through the family of King David as was promised by God.

Second Samuel 7:12-13 says, “When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”

Likewise, Psalm 89: 3-4 says, “You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: ‘I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations.’”  Verses 35-37 go on to say, “Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies.”

How would a Jew looking at verse one have reacted to hearing Jesus called “Son of David?” It was like a long-awaited mystery was finally being solved right before their eyes.The Jewish people had waited thousands of years for the revealing of this Son of David, and now they would hear about him!

 

The Son of Abraham

As if it isn’t enough for Matthew to connect Jesus’ family tree to the great king David, the height of Israel’s history, he also connects Jesus to the very father of the nation-Abraham!

In Gen 12:1-3, the promises made to Abraham and his family not only included the promise of blessing for God’s chosen people Israel, but in verse 3; the promise of blessing extends to all the families of the earth. What was that blessing?

The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 3:8:

“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

Galatians 3:16 adds,

“Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. Jesus, the Messiah, is himself the blessing given to all the nations of the earth.”

 

Jesus- Jehovah is salvation

Christ- The Chosen One of God

Son of David-The eternal ruling King

Son of Abraham-The promised blessing of God to the world

This is Jesus the King. Do you know the King?

There were many in Jesus’ day who expected him to come, but did not know him when he came. They expected a conquering warrior. They expected a political powerhouse. They expected a wealthy aristocrat.

God sent his Son as a helpless baby.

God sent his Son into a poor carpenter’s home.

God sent his Son to be ridiculed and scorned.

God sent his Son to die.

For your sins.

In your place.

For you to receive heaven while he took on the weight of the wrath of God set against your sins.

You see, God demonstrated his strength and might, his mercy and love on the cross.

Jesus is the King—and it is amazing to think that a King would die for a wretched sinner like you and me, but he did.

Let us remember our King this Christmas.

Preterism, Futurism, and the Olivet Discourse (Part 3)

In our last article we considered the support for both preterist and futurist interpretations of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25).  Considering the two respective groups of arguments, one can see why this is such a difficult passage to interpret.  So, which view is correct, preterism or futurism?  The answer seems to be that both are correct.

Rather than pitting one view against the other, a fair reading of the text seems to indicate that Jesus has both the events of 70 A.D. in mind as well as a future tribulation, followed by His second coming.  Consider the following quotes from commentators:

A. T. Robertson, “It is sufficient for our purpose to think of Jesus as using the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem which did happen in that generation in A.D. 70, as also a symbol of his own second coming and of the end of the world or consummation of the age.  In a painting the artist by skillful perspective may give on the same surface the inside of a room, the fields outside the window, and the sky far beyond.”

William Hendriksen, “It is not claimed…that any exegete is able completely to untangle what is here intertwined, so as to indicate accurately for each individual passage just how much refers to Jerusalem’s fall, and how much to the great tribulation and second coming.”

Daniel Doriani, “In this passage, Jesus predicts specific events that will occur between his resurrection and Rome’s sack of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  But the same predictions appear to point beyond that period and to describe the days before Christ returns.  This makes sense if the fall of Jerusalem foreshadows or prefigures the last day.”

John MacArthur, “The only reasonable conclusion is that Jesus’ prophecies in Matthew 24 are like the Old Testament Messianic prophecies that juxtaposed near-at-hand and far-off events in one context.”

Again, this combination of the events of 70 A.D. and the second coming seems to be the best interpretation of the text.  This is what is called prophetic foreshadowing, namely when a prophecy has both a near and a far fulfillment (e.g. Isa. 7:14; 8:3, 8, 10; Matt. 1:23).  The destruction of Jerusalem was a type of the final tribulation at the end of the age. May the Lord help us to understand His word and live better in light of it for His glory.

Preterism, Futurism, And The Olivet Discourse (Part 2)

In our last article we considered a brief overview of preterism and futurism in relationship to the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25).  As we noted, according to preterism, some or all of the events described in Matthew 24-25 were fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple.  However, according to futurism, none of the events described in Matthew 24-25 were fulfilled in 70 A.D., but rather refer entirely to the future tribulation and second coming of Jesus Christ.

Now let’s consider some support for a preterist interpretation:

1.  The context is regarding the destruction of the temple (Matt. 23:37-39).

2.  The entire Olivet Discourse is Jesus’ answer to His disciples questions (Matt. 24:3), which

includes a question about the destruction of the temple (Matt. 24:1-2).

3.  The abomination of desolation (Matt. 24:15) is described by Jesus as the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (Luke 21:20).

4.  The generation that would experience the events of 24:4-31 could be interpreted to be the generation of Jesus’ own day (Matt. 24:34; cf. 23:36).

These passages must be taken seriously, but there are some significant challenges to the preterist interpretation.  Consider the following arguments in favor of futurist interpretation:

1.  The disciple’s question is about Jesus’ coming and the end of the age (Matt. 24:3).

2.  The promise of global evangelism prior to the end (24:14) didn’t happen before 70 A.D.

3.  Jesus’ description of the severity of the tribulation (24:21-22) doesn’t accurately describe the events of 70 A.D.

4.  Jesus is clearly speaking about His second coming (24:29-31, 33, 37).

5.  The parables of preparedness clearly relate to the second coming (24:42-25:30).

6.  The judgment of the nations follows the second coming of Christ (25:31-46; cf. Rev. 19-20).

7.  The book of Revelation was written after 70 A.D. and clearly describes a future tribulation.

So, which view is correct, preterism or futurism?  We will answer that question in our next article.

Preterism, Futurism, and the Olivet Discourse (Part 1)

In my home church (Grace Baptist Church) we are currently doing an exposition of the gospel of Matthew and are now in the Olivet Discourse (chapters 24-25).  This is Jesus’ final sermon recorded in Matthew’s gospel and its subject is eschatology, or is it?  The Olivet Discourse is a real battle ground of interpretive differences between preterists and futurists.

Let’s start with some definitions before moving any further.

1.  The Preterist View.

The word preterist simply means past and it teaches that most or all of the predictions of Matthew 24-25 were fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple.

There are two kinds of preterism:

A.  Full preterism teaches that the entirety of Matthew 24-25 was fulfilled in 70 A.D.  Those holding this view would even go so far as to say that no prophecy of Scripture remains unfulfilled.  In other words they believe that events such as the second coming, the resurrection from the dead, and the Great White Throne judgment are all past events.  They would even claim that we are now living in the new heavens and new earth (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21).

B.  Partial preterism teaches that some of Matthew 24-25 was fulfilled in 70 A.D.  They believe that Matthew 24:1-35 refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and that Matthew 24:36-25:46 refers to the second coming which is still a future event.  In other words they believe that what has traditionally been understood as the future seven year tribulation has already occurred (Revelation 6-19).

2.  The Futurist View.

This view teaches that the entirety of Matthew 24-25 refers not to 70 A.D. but to the future second coming of Jesus Christ.

So which is right, preterism or futurism?  In our next article we will look at the strengths of each view and carefully try to discern a right interpretation of this very difficult subject.  As J.C. Ryle said so well, “On no point have good men entirely disagreed as on the interpretation of prophecy.”

With that said, I leave you with my outline of the Olivet Discourse:

I.  The Setting (24:1-3).

II.  The Beginning of Birth Pangs (24:4-14).

III.  The Great Tribulation (24:15-28).

IV.  The Second Coming (24:29-31).

V.  The Parables About Preparedness (24:32-25:30).

VI.  The Final Judgment (25:31-46).