Category Archives: books

six unavoidable facts

Paul Tripp, Tim Lane, and Brad Hambrick present: six unavoidable facts

  1. Someone in your life had a problem this week. That person may be you. Even if you are here for yourself, chances are you know or will know others who struggle in this area. Because we live in a fallen world and have a sin nature, we can be certain that we will battle with sin and suffering in our lives. Because we love people, we can be certain we will be called on to love and assist others in their battle with sin and suffering.
  2. We have everything we need in the Gospel to help that person (2 Peter 1:3). God has given us Himself, the Gospel, the Bible, and the church and promised they are effective for all things that pertain to life and godliness. Our task as Christians is to grow in our understanding of and ability to skillfully apply these resources to our struggles. These resources are the essence and source of “good advice,” and we hope to play a role in your efforts to apply and disseminate this “good advice.” We do not aim to present new material, but new ways of applying the timeless, eternal truths of the Gospel found in Scripture.
  3. That person will seek help from friends, family members, or pastors before seeking professionals. Counseling (broadly defined as seeking to offer hope and direction through relationship) happens all the time. We talk with friends over the phone, crying children in their rooms, spouses in the kitchen, fellow church members between services, and have endless conversations with ourselves. We listen to struggles, seek to understand, offer perspective, give advice, and follow up later. This is what the New Testament calls “one-anothering” and something we are all called to do.
  4.  That person either got no help, bad help, or biblical, gospel-centered help. Not all counseling is good counseling. Not all advice that we receive from a Christian (even a Christian counselor) is Christian advice. Too often we are advised to look within for the answers to our problems or told that we are good enough, strong enough, or smart enough in ourselves to overcome. Hopefully you will see today how the Bible calls us to something (rather Someone) better, bigger, and more effective than these messages.
  5.  If they did not get meaningful help, they will go elsewhere. When we do not receive good advice (pointing us to enduring life transformation), we keep looking. We need answers to our struggles. This means that as people find unfulfilling answers they will eventually (by God’s grace) come to a Christian for advice. When they eventually come to you, we hope you will be more prepared because of our time together today.
  6. Whatever help they received, they will use to help others! We become evangelists for the things that make life better (this is why the Gospel is simply called “Good News”). We quite naturally share the things that we find to be effective. Our prayer for you today is that you will find the material presented effective for your struggles and that you will be so comforted and encouraged by it that it will enable you to be a more passionate and effective ambassador of the Gospel in the midst of “normal” daily conversations.
  • Bold faced text taken from Paul Tripp and Tim Lane How People Change.
  • Non-bold-faced text taken from Brad Hambrick False Love.

What does the law of God require?

Question seven of the New City Catechism asks: What does the law of God require?

Personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience; that we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love our neighbor as ourselves.What God forbids should never be done and what God commands should always be done.

Bible on: What does the law of God require?

Matthew 22:37–40

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Commentary on: What does the law of God require?

Loving the Lord God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength is the first great branch of Christian righteousness. You shall delight yourself in the Lord your God; seeking and finding all happiness in Him. You shall hear and fulfill His word, “My son, give me your heart.” And having given Him your inmost soul to reign there without a rival, you may well cry out in the fulness of your heart, “I will love You, O my Lord, my strength. The Lord IS my strong rock; my Savior, my God, in whom l trust.” The second commandment, the second great branch of Christian righteousness, is closely and inseparably connected with the first: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love—embrace with the most tender goodwill, the most earnest and cordial affection, the most inflamed desires of preventing or removing all evil and bringing every possible good. Your neighbor—not only your friends, kinfolk, or acquaintances; not only the virtuous ones who regard you, who extend or return your kindness, but every person, not excluding those you have never seen or know by name; not excluding those you know to be evil and unthankful, those who despitefully use you. Even those you shall love as yourself with the same invariable thirst after their happiness. Use the same unwearied care to screen them from whatever might grieve or hurt either their soul or body. This is love.

John Wesley (1703–1791). An English preacher and theologian, Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles, with founding the English Methodist movement. He travelled generally on horseback, preaching two or three times each day, and is said to have preached more than 40,000 sermons. He also was a noted hymn-writer.

From “The Two Great Commandments” in Renew My Heart: Classic Insights by John Wesley (Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour, 2011).

Juan Sanchez: What does the law of God require?

Prayer on: What does the law of God require?

We thank you Heavenly Father that you have not left us to grope in the darkness without any light to show us the way. We thank you that your Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. And we thank you that you have given us in the Holy Spirit an indwelling comforter and strengthener who writes your law in our hearts enabling us to love and to obey it. Grant us in increasing measure the fulness of the Spirit that we may live a life that is pleasing in your holy sight. For the glory of your great name. Amen.

John Stott (1921–2011). An English Anglican preacher who for many years served as rector of All Souls Church in London, Stott was one of the principal framers of the Lausanne Covenant (1974). His numerous books include Why I Am a Christian and The Cross of Christ.

From the end of the sermon “The Call to Fulfil the Law” on Matthew 5:17–20, recorded 15th October 1989, available from www.allsouls.org

Tension In A Christian’s Soul

Tension In A Christian’s Soul

“There are two opposing stories, each one being told in the life of every Christian. The clash of the two stories is the narrow road, creating tension in a Christian’s soul that uncovers our core desire to tell the story of Jesus.”

Tension In A Christian's SoulDr. Larry Crabb, A Different Kind of Happiness, Page 69

Questions for Reflection:
• As you think about what it means to be a follower of Christ, do you live with an awareness that an ongoing battle within your own heart will remain until heaven?
• How does the opportunity to tell the story of Jesus with your life impact your perspective regarding that battle?

What Old Testament Persons Foreshadow

What Old Testament Persons Foreshadow

It is characteristic of the Old Testament persons and events that despite their imperfections, they foreshadow the perfect which is to come (I Cor. 13: 10). In fact it must be this, for if the foreshadowings were perfect they would no longer be mere shadows and would become the solid reality. Saul, along with the judges before him, and the kings after him, is part of the historical foundation laid in the Old Testament for the revelation of the perfect human king, Jesus of Nazareth, who mediates God’s rule.

Goldsworthy, Graeme. The Goldsworthy Trilogy: Gospel & Kingdom, Wisdom & Revelation (Kindle Locations 1010-1014). Paternoster. Kindle Edition.

About The Goldsworthy Trilogy:

Combining three incredibly important books for the teaching of the Church, The Goldsworthy Trilogy offers a complete and comprehensive guide to understanding the gospel throughout the whole of Scripture. Hugely popular, this collection is being released in this special format and will be an essential guide to be used again and again for those who seek to understand the Bible in the light of who Jesus is.

Straightforward in his approach, Goldsworthy looks at how the Bible can only be understood through the eyes of the gospel. This being the base of his interpretation, he studies the Old Testament and its application for today, Israels wisdom literature and its role in the Christian life and the purpose and contemporary relevance of the book of Revelation. This trilogy follows the Bible chronologically to give the reader a complete overview of evangelical biblical interpretation forming an essential one-stop reference that will last a lifetime.

About Graeme Goldsworthy:

Graeme Goldsworthy is an Australian Anglican and Old Testament scholar. Now retired, Goldsworthy was formerly lecturer in Old Testament, biblical theology and hermeneutics at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of “According to Plan” (IVP, 1991), “Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture” (Eerdmans, 2000) and “Proverbs: The Tree of Life” (CEP, 1993). Goldsworthy has an MA from Cambridge University and a ThM and PhD from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia.

What Old Testament Persons Foreshadow

Pattern Imitation

…Jesus teaches, exemplifies, and above all enables “pattern imitation” among his followers rather than simply calling for a simplistic, self-generated “copying” of Christ.

Pattern Imitation

Mark was thus written with the intent of providing a reliable sketch of Jesus’ public appearances with the additional aim of engendering a form of pattern imitation.

Jesus was an intentional teacher.  The contents of his “curriculum” focused on a true understanding of both God’s messianic rule and the identity and function of God’s messiah.

Bayer, H. F. (2012, p. 12). A Theology of Mark: The Dynamic between Christology and Authentic Discipleship. Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing.

Other Quotes from this book:

pattern imitation

About Hans F. Bayer

Professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary.

Born and raised in Germany, Professor Bayer came to Covenant Seminary in 1994 after teaching for ten years at the German Theological Seminary at Giessen, where he also planted and co-pastored a church.

With his expertise in critical scholarship and commitment to the authority and unity of the Scriptures, Dr. Bayer seeks to exemplify our pastor-scholar model. He hopes that his personal interest in world mission might add a multicultural dimension to each student’s world vision for the Gospel.

Dr. Bayer lectures and preaches regularly in the U.S.A. and throughout Europe. He has published English and German monographs, essays, and dictionary articles, primarily on the Gospels and the book of Acts. He contributed to the ESV Study Bible, as well as video-taped lectures on Acts for Third Millennium Ministries, and has recently published A Theology of Mark: The Dynamic Between Christology and Authentic Discipleship, as well as a German commentary on the Gospel of Mark. He is currently working on a New Testament Introduction volume and The Watermarks of Christ: Contours of Peter’s Transformation in Mark, Acts, and His Epistles.

Dr. Bayer and his wife, Susan, have three children and two grandchildren.

God’s Character Defines Morality

God’s Character Defines Morality

“…because God exists and because He is a holy God, there is a moral order to the universe. God’s own character defines for us what is good and what is evil. He is the measure or standard against which we can judge any behavior. He has created and He now governs the world in such a way that this distinction between good and evil is upheld.”

Barrs, Jerram. The Heart of Evangelism (pp. 113-114). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

God's Character Defines Morality

Before they are appointed to preach, teach, and rule

Before they are appointed to preach, teach, and rule

Leaders in the church are required by Scripture to set an example in the areas of love, kindness, gentleness, patience, and forbearance before they are appointed to preach, teach, and rule. If we obediently require these attitudes and character traits of our leaders, what will our “new community” look like?

Barrs, Jerram. The Heart of Evangelism (p. 76). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Before they are appointed to preach, teach, and rule

Authentic witness of Jesus

Authentic witness of Jesus brings forth authentic discipleship in the context of the growing messianic kingdom of God. (p. 6)

Bayer, H. F. (2012). A Theology of Mark: The Dynamic between Christology and Authentic Discipleship. Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing.

Authentic witness of Jesus

About Hans F. Bayer

Professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary.

Born and raised in Germany, Professor Bayer came to Covenant Seminary in 1994 after teaching for ten years at the German Theological Seminary at Giessen, where he also planted and co-pastored a church.

With his expertise in critical scholarship and commitment to the authority and unity of the Scriptures, Dr. Bayer seeks to exemplify our pastor-scholar model. He hopes that his personal interest in world mission might add a multicultural dimension to each student’s world vision for the Gospel.

Dr. Bayer lectures and preaches regularly in the U.S.A. and throughout Europe. He has published English and German monographs, essays, and dictionary articles, primarily on the Gospels and the book of Acts. He contributed to the ESV Study Bible, as well as video-taped lectures on Acts for Third Millennium Ministries, and has recently published A Theology of Mark: The Dynamic Between Christology and Authentic Discipleship, as well as a German commentary on the Gospel of Mark. He is currently working on a New Testament Introduction volume and The Watermarks of Christ: Contours of Peter’s Transformation in Mark, Acts, and His Epistles.

Dr. Bayer and his wife, Susan, have three children and two grandchildren.

The final outcome of Christ’s call to discipleship

The final outcome of Christ’s call to discipleship is God-dependent, Christlike individuals and communities maturing in the context of the unending rule of God. (p. 6)

Bayer, H. F. (2012). A Theology of Mark: The Dynamic between Christology and Authentic Discipleship. Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing.

The final outcome of Christ’s call to discipleship

About Hans F. Bayer

Professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary.

Born and raised in Germany, Professor Bayer came to Covenant Seminary in 1994 after teaching for ten years at the German Theological Seminary at Giessen, where he also planted and co-pastored a church.

With his expertise in critical scholarship and commitment to the authority and unity of the Scriptures, Dr. Bayer seeks to exemplify our pastor-scholar model. He hopes that his personal interest in world mission might add a multicultural dimension to each student’s world vision for the Gospel.

Dr. Bayer lectures and preaches regularly in the U.S.A. and throughout Europe. He has published English and German monographs, essays, and dictionary articles, primarily on the Gospels and the book of Acts. He contributed to the ESV Study Bible, as well as video-taped lectures on Acts for Third Millennium Ministries, and has recently published A Theology of Mark: The Dynamic Between Christology and Authentic Discipleship, as well as a German commentary on the Gospel of Mark. He is currently working on a New Testament Introduction volume and The Watermarks of Christ: Contours of Peter’s Transformation in Mark, Acts, and His Epistles.

Dr. Bayer and his wife, Susan, have three children and two grandchildren.

Disciplines of Discipleship

The disciplines of discipleship are never to be pursued in autonomy or self-sufficiency.  Rather, they grow out of a reconciled relationship with God and a personal realization of the need to be radically transformed.  (pp. 5-6)

Bayer, H. F. (2012). A Theology of Mark: The Dynamic between Christology and Authentic Discipleship. Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing.

Disciplines of Discipleship

About Hans F. Bayer

Professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary.

Born and raised in Germany, Professor Bayer came to Covenant Seminary in 1994 after teaching for ten years at the German Theological Seminary at Giessen, where he also planted and co-pastored a church.

With his expertise in critical scholarship and commitment to the authority and unity of the Scriptures, Dr. Bayer seeks to exemplify our pastor-scholar model. He hopes that his personal interest in world mission might add a multicultural dimension to each student’s world vision for the Gospel.

Dr. Bayer lectures and preaches regularly in the U.S.A. and throughout Europe. He has published English and German monographs, essays, and dictionary articles, primarily on the Gospels and the book of Acts. He contributed to the ESV Study Bible, as well as video-taped lectures on Acts for Third Millennium Ministries, and has recently published A Theology of Mark: The Dynamic Between Christology and Authentic Discipleship, as well as a German commentary on the Gospel of Mark. He is currently working on a New Testament Introduction volume and The Watermarks of Christ: Contours of Peter’s Transformation in Mark, Acts, and His Epistles.

Dr. Bayer and his wife, Susan, have three children and two grandchildren.