Professor John Lennox
Monthly Archives: July 2019
There is no cheap, easy, or lazy way to serve God.
expressing the unity of the faith, Paul told the Ephesians, “One
Lord, one faith, one baptism…” Eph. 4:5. But. one reads in the
scriptures about the baptism of the Spirit, water baptism of
believers in Jesus, and the suffering of Jesus is referred to as a
baptism. So just what does it mean to say “one baptism?”
The word “baptism” comes from the Greek word “baptizo” which mean to dip or plunge. It is consistently referred to as a total inundation so much so that it is also portrayed as a burial. There is a sense that anything one may immerse himself in could be called a baptism. This is how it is used with reference to the suffering of Jesus. He would be immersed in pain and suffering.
However, the mainstream, biblical context of the word references water baptism of a professed believer by the authority of a New Testament Church. The other main reference using that word is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that came upon the church on the day called Pentecost. So, how then is it to be referenced as one?
Some would have you believe that only Spirit baptism is important and that occurs in the minute of one’s spiritual salvation. Not so! That line is pure universal church heresy.
Still others would have you believe that Holy Spirit baptism can only occur AFTER water baptism, and that upon the select few who diligently implore the Holy Spirit to so accommodate them. Not so! That is pure holy roller heresy!
The truth of the matter is settled in long ago typology in the Old Testament. When the Hebrews were freed from Egyptian slavery, they came out after applying the blood of the Passover Lamb. Then they were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Did you catch that? IN THE CLOUD AND IN THE SEA. It was a simultaneous thing. Baptism is an immersion in water. A cloud is water even though it was a manifestation of the Spirit of God. The Hebrews were completely immersed with walls of water about them and the cloud of water even the Spirit of God over and about them.
Today when a professed believer is scripturally baptized, it is in water, but he is baptized to fellowship in the New Covenant, the practical expression of which is the New Testament Church where the baptism of the Holy Spirit still abides since Pentecost in special office work. By this the obedient believer is enabled to be led to spiritual maturity. So, it all occurs at once, as the scriptures plainly state: “….one lord, one faith, one baptism.” Scriptural baptism last forever, it can never be repeated.
It is more important to influence people than to impress them.Adrian Rogers.
Worship is an attitude of the heart where we become so full it overflows us and splashes on others.
classic question penned in Luke 10:30 was asked of Jesus by a certain
lawyer. It is a question that continues to be pondered as men seek to
justify themselves and/or their actions in life. Of course, it
continues to be asked because men are not willing to let the simple
and forthright teachings of Jesus on the subject be the final answer.
However, Jesus’ answer is the final truth whether it is accepted or
The context of the question centers around the terms of fulfilling the Law of Moses. First, one is to love God with all his heart then he is to love his neighbor as himself. So, who is my neighbor? To what degree am I allowed to discriminate and still do what I should do? Think with me about what is being said and taught here.
Does this mean that one should run right out and find someone in need and give him all his earthly possessions? No! Should this happen on a wide scale, all commerce would stop and the whole world become immediately impoverished. Jesus did not intend that. In fact, the Bible teaches us that the lazy who will not work should neither eat. II Thess. 3:10. Does this mean that poverty should be eliminated in one’s local vicinity? No! Jesus said, “The poor you have with you always.”
O.K. So now I’m thinking. Just what does this mean anyway? It means that a true Christian should not pass up opportunities to be genuinely helpful to others who genuinely have need, whoever they may be. In the “Good Samaritan story” it was the priest and Levite who miserably failed the test. They had opportunity and means to be helpful, but choose to not become involved. Then it was the generally despised Samaritan who actually performed the helpful deed. It was he who realized the unknown victim was in desperate need of a helping hand and he gladly gave it. The Samaritan realized the victim was his neighbor even though he may have never seen him before, and he was also not of his race.
Jesus’ teaching here is very plain and unmistakable. Who was neighbor to the unknown victim of crime? Was it the priest? Was it the Levite? No, it was the Samaritan. Jesus made the obvious application. “Go and do thou likewise.”
It really is true. What we keep, we lose. What we invest in others, we keep and it multiplies. Let us all be keenly aware of the plight of others. Those who need help the most are most likely those who will not ask for it. When opportunity knocks, let’s be ready to be a good neighbor.
I Kings 12
must it be like to be the son of the wisest man who ever lived, and
the grandson of the incomparable King David? This is the position and
relationship of Rehoboam who inherited the throne of Israel upon the
death of Solomon. The nation had reached its zenith of prosperity,
power, and popularity under the forty year reign of Solomon and now
it was Rehoboam’s turn to rule the nation of God’s covenant
Among the very first actions of Rehoboam upon ascending to the throne of Israel, was seeking counsel from two sets of advisors. One set was the older generation who had served well under Solomon. The other was a younger set anxious to flex their bureaucratic power and authority. Contrary to the advice of the older, more experienced bureaucrats, their advice was to further burden the people with great increases of taxation, and build yet a greater kingdom than Solomon had built. That advice was set in place and it led to not only a revolt, but to an actual split of the nation into two kingdoms. The southern kingdom was made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin ( near half of the population of the nation), and constituted the nation of Judah over which Rehoboam continued to reign. The other was the northern kingdom of Israel, made up of the remaining ten tribes over which Jeroboam reigned in Samaria.
So what did Rehoboam do that was so wrong? As a new king, he was lifted up with pride and looked for advice in the wrong places. Unlike his grandfather, he was not a man after God’s heart who sought His will and way in the affairs of government. Unlike his father, he did not seek the advice and wisdom that only God could give to enable one to fulfill such an overwhelming task of governing the nation.
So, what Rehoboam did that was so wrong after inheriting the throne of God’s covenant people was to seek the advice of sinful men, rather than that of God, about how to rule. Consequently, he suffered great loss and the people also suffered much loss and hurt. We must not forget the sin of Rehoboam and blindly repeat it. God’s ways are not man’s ways. There is only one source from which we can know the will and way of God. It is not from man or his reasoning however logical it may appear. It is from the Holy Spirit empowered, infallible Word of God, the Bible. May we be quick always to seek its advice in all matters of life.
“The fourth edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek Testament (1993) lists 343 Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, as well as no fewer than 2,309 allusions and verbal parallels. The books most used are Psalms (79 quotations, 333 allusions), and Isaiah (66 quotations, 348 allusions). In the Book of Revelation, there are no formal quotations at all, but no fewer than 620 allusions.”^^ Furthermore, “the OT is quoted or alluded to in every NT writing except Philemon and 2 and 3 John.”^
I find this statement from “Theopedia,” – “New Teatment use of the Old Testament very similar to what I have been taught in 3 different seminaries and read from studying the New Testament along with the old. Some of my instructors put it this way – “the old explains the new and the new explains the old.”
Here is my observation. Moses saw a burning bush that was not consumed and out of a great wonder at such a thing, he decided to investigate. As he approached, God called to him not to come close, in fact take the shoes off your feet because you are standing on Holy Ground. Now brethren, don’t be snarky or snide here. I don’t believe we worship at a burning bush, even though I believe there was an actual burning bush. I also don’t believe that we have to take our shoes off. Very simply, here is a principle, notice, principle being taught here. Where we meet God is a Holy place that deserves our reverence and respect.
How about Exodus 19:9-12. In preparation for the Lord coming to Mt. Sinai, certain spiritual requirements given, sanctify yourselves. Then there is a physical requirement, wash their clothes. Then he set bounds they could go to. They were not to touch the mount. From this, I know that God sets some spiritual standards, some physical standards and some boundaries for us.
So far we have reverence, respect, spiritual standards, physical standards and established boundaries.
Notice the requirements of the priest. Exodus 29:4-9. Notice the principle of dress that the priests are to adhere to. Once again I refer to principle. We stand as priests before God ministering to Him in praise, worship and prayers, sanctified to His service. They had certain clothes that they wore when doing the daily work around the tabernacle. Certain clothes for emptying the ashes. Then when entering the Holy place, they dressed with fine clothing. An example for us.
Exodus 29:43 says “And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory. Where we meet the glory of God is a place that is specifically designated. We don’t meet Him at the tabernacle but we meet Him where he designated on the first day of the week. Israel was called to the door of the tabernacle. We are called to the house of worship on the first day of the week.
Here is my summation: We are to revere the place where we have been called to meet and worship God. We have spiritual standard of preparation to meet God in that place. We also have physical standards that we should meet when we are ushered into the presence of God. I believe there are boundaries that we should not cross and these standards have been established by God. We don’t run in the sanctuary and we don’t drink in the sanctuary except to relieve a parched throat with a little water. It is not a social place but a worship place.
For those that built a fellowship hall first, you got it backwards. The tabernacle was not a place for fellowship it was for worship. Let us put a priority on worship and then build for fellowship. We can fellowship in homes. Sometimes we get our priorities mixed up.