Resurrection Sunday has just passed and we have, hopefully, spent a significant amount of time contemplating the importance of our Savior’s resurrection from the dead. Our contemplation, however, might have neglected a key influence of Jesus’ resurrection with regard to His church: how the resurrection empowers, instructs, and provides the driving force for world missions in the proclamation of the gospel concerning Jesus Christ. My blog on this very topic has been published at ParkingSpace23: “The Resurrection of Christ and Missions.” Please visit this site and read the blog. It consists of more than just a doctrinal evaluation–it concludes with practical implications for you, your local church, and your relationship to world missions. He is risen! – He is risen indeed! Now, “Go into all the world . . .”
What do you do when you come to the book of 1 Chronicles in your Bible reading?
- Skip?–Jump over genealogies without reading.
- Skim?–Read the inserted headings, but not the text.
- Scavenge?–Read only the narrative inserts, like the one about Jabez.
- Squirm?–Read with distinct discomfort.
- Scowl?–Complain, but plow on through the reading.
- Skew?–Just declare in your mind that it must have something to do with Messiah.
- Skid?–Stop reading the Bible–it just got too difficult.
Why did God include over thirty genealogies in the Bible (including them in both Old and New Testaments)? Are all of them Messiah related? What can we learn from them. This blog post is the first of a two-part series on reading the biblical genealogies devotionally. It is posted on ParkingSpace23 (click for link).
The attributes of godly leaders occupies a good deal of Scripture. Sometimes we find it necessary to synthesize the biblical teachings on leadership in order to sharpen our understanding of its seriousness and its challenges. In my recent ParkingSpace23 blog (February 2, 2017) I address this topic by means of using “Hi-def” as an acronym to structure a high-definition approach to the concepts of leadership.
God produces godly Christian leaders–they do not produce themselves. Spiritual formation of Christian leaders comes about as the result of men immersing themselves in the Word of God and of the people of God bathing them in prayer. I hope my brief and imperfect blog will help all of us think more carefully about church leadership.
The post serves as a New Year greeting and New Year prayer for all readers of my blog. Throughout 2016 many of you sent me emails via my web site. You encouraged me to continue posting blogs, answering questions, producing Hebrew Whiteboard, and adding to the web site’s many resources. May you find a continually improving web site in 2017.
Above all, keep on trusting and praising the Lord in this New Year.
If you have ever wondered about the identification and nature of the Christian’s priesthood, this brief study should be of interest. In addition to explaining why Peter uses Old Testament language to describe the believer’s priesthood, the study attempts to demonstrate that our priesthood does not mean that the Church has replaced Israel. Another aspect of the study provides insight regarding the priesthood of our Savior. The blogs at this web site are well worth reading–they are written by a number of different contributors among whom I am but one.
Works, Words, and Wisdom—Divine and Human
by William D. Barrick
Commencement Address—Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
May 12, 2016
- A professor had just finished the final lecture for his introductory course in philosophy. One of the students said, “You have knocked a hole in everything I’ve ever believed in, and you have given me nothing to take its place.” The professor replied, “You will recall that among the labors of Hercules he was required to clean out the Augean stables. He was not, let me point out, required to fill them.”—Clifton Fadiman, ed., The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1985), 133.
- Therein lies a huge difference between philosophy and theology—we replace man’s ignorance with God’s wisdom through His Word.
- First of three consecutive Hallelujah psalms (111, 112, 113). All three psalms begin with “Hallelujah”; Psalm 113 also ends with “Hallelujah,” effectively bracketing all three into one group.
- Acrostic psalm (also, Ps 112)—“a student’s psalm”—William Varner, Awake O Harp (The Woodlands, TX: Kress Biblical Resources, 2011), 283.
- Psalm 111 focuses on the works of God, but Psalm 112 describes the works of the godly person. A number of similarities tie these two psalms together.
- Traditional psalm for Lord’s Supper (time of remembrance—v. 4). In this commencement we take time to remember the accomplishments of the graduates and the 33-year service at DBTS of a retiring professor of Old Testament, Dr. Robert McCabe.
I. Worshipping the LORD is imperative for our hearts (v. 1). The essence of worship consists of celebrating God, His works, and His Word.
A. We must praise the LORD (1a).
B. We must engage our entire being in His worship (1b). See Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” This is the first of the two greatest commandments—the commandments which summarize all of the Law and the prophets, according to Jesus (Matthew 22:36–40).
C. We must worship Him corporately (1c)—come together by agreement and obedience to fellowship.
II. Knowing the LORD’s works must occupy our minds (vv. 2–6).
A. We must delight in studying the LORD’s works (2).
B. Through His works we must learn of His enduring righteousness (3).
C. Through His wonders we must remember (proclaim) His grace and compassion (4). See Exodus 34:6–7, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.”
D. We must fear the LORD to experience His covenant blessings (5).
E. We must receive from Him the knowledge of the power of His works (6). See Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
III. Obeying the LORD’s Word must reflect His attributes (vv. 7–9).
A. Truth, justice, and trustworthiness characterize the LORD’s Word (7).
B. Truth, justice, and trustworthiness characterize those who obey His Word (8).
C. Through redemption and covenant the LORD reveals holiness and inspires reverence (9).
IV. Fearing the LORD produces wisdom, understanding, and praise (v. 10).
A. We must fear the LORD (10a).
Prov 1:7 + “Fools despise wisdom and instruction”
Prov 9:10 + “And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”
Prov 15:33 + “And before honor comes humility”
Job 28:28 “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding”
Eccl 12:13 “fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person”
B. We must do His Word (10b)—God’s works become our works (see Ps 112). See James 1:22, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves”—indeed, we should never be just readers, hearers, preachers, or teachers of God’s Word, but doers.
C. We must praise Him always and forever (10c).
- Now we can see “the student’s psalm”: Varner outlines it thus:
- Start with worship (v. 1).
- Study God’s works (vv. 2–6).
- Study God’s Word (vv. 7–9).
- Obey what you study (v. 10).
- Leslie C. Allen, Psalms 101–150, WBC 21 (Waco, TX: Word Books, Publisher, 1983), 93 said that this psalm is the Old Testament counterpart of Romans 5:1–11. Christ died that He might justify us so that through tribulation we might exult in Him, persevere, develop proven character, and hope without disappointment.
- If we obey what we know in Scripture, we will come to understand what we don’t know in Scripture and we will reflect more of God’s character in our lives.
- “What comes from the Lord because it is impossible for humans to manufacture it? Wisdom. What comes from humans because it is impossible for the Lord to experience it? Worry. What is it that brings wisdom and dispels worry? Worship.” (Charles Swindoll, The Quest for Character)
- When it comes to worshipping our God, we can do the following:
- Come to God’s Word—and listen.
- Be quiet—stay calm within our hearts and minds, no matter our circumstances.
- Commit yourself to obey God’s Word—remember, God does not forget!
- Don’t decide now and deny your commitment at a later date—God does not ignore our decisions!