Showing posts from 2009

Baptism with the Holy Spirit = Filling with the Holy Spirit

1. All four gospels record John’s statement that Christ will baptize with the Holy Spirit (and fire, except Mark and John).
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Mark 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.2. Prior to His ascension Jesus prophecied that the disciples would be baptized with the Holy Spirit after a few days.
Acts 1:5 For John…

The LORD is a God of Justice (Isa. 30:18)

Isa. 30:18 caught my attention this morning. The nature and necessity of divine justice has been on my mind because I've been lecturing on the biblical teaching regarding election and predestination.

What stirs debate in theological circles generates only praise from inspired writers of Scripture: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ, e.g., He chose us in him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before Him, having predestined us in love to adoption as children through Christ to himself" (Eph. 1:3-5).

In Isaiah 30:18 Isaiah describes Yahweh to rebellious Israel: "Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself/rises to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him."

That sent me looking for other OT texts connecting justice (mishpat) to Yahweh. Three texts stood out to me:…

Capital Punishment within a Christian Worldview

God entrusted to fallible, fallen, unsaved humans the responsibility of exercising justice (Deut. 1:16-17). He established the principles by which humans were to judge justly:

1. No favoritism or partiality (Lev. 19:15).
2. No allegation may be accepted without a minimum of two witnesses (Deut. 17:6).
3. When the appropriate number of witnesses are present, and the allegations are found to be true, the judges must pass an equitable sentence upon the criminal, i.e., the punishment is to be equal to the crime (Exod. 21:24-25; Lev. 24:19-21; Deut. 19:21).
4. The judges are to be present when the punishment is meted out so that they are fully aware of the effects of the punishment (Deut. 25:1-3).
5. The witnesses, in the case of capital punishment by stoning, are to be involved in carrying out the punishment (Deut. 17:3-6). This means that if witnesses have colluded and falsely accused someone, they become guilty of murder and, when discovered, will receive the same death p…

Glorying in the Cross (Gal. 6:14)

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Galatians 6:14 KJV)

Ἐμοὶ δὲ μὴ γένοιτο καυχᾶσθαι εἰ μὴ ἐν τῷ σταυρῷ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, δι᾽ οὗ ἐμοὶ κόσμος ἐσταύρωται κἀγὼ κόσμῳ

What does it mean to "glory in the cross?"

The first rule of interpretation is context, and the previous two verses provide the setting.
Galatians 6:12 Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. (NASB)As Paul makes clear throughout this letter, Judaizers were pressuring the Galatian Gentile Christians to be circumcised. Their purpose in this campaign was to avoid persecution themselves and to be able to boast about making "converts,"…

A Valuable Resource for Child Rearing

Several years ago, some of my friends highly recommended Ted Tripp's book Shepherding a Child's Heart. I purchased it and read it. I didn't find it significantly helpful. Probably that's a commentary on me, though Tripp's style tends to be repetitious, and I don't do repetitious well.

Recently, Lizzy Stetler posted a link to a series of five lectures by Tripp on Child Rearing. Marianne viewed the lectures and encouraged me to. The lectures are fabulous. I particularly resonated with his second lecture "Giving Kids a Vision for God's Glory." Powerful stuff!

I heartily recommend any dad (and mom) who is serious about inculcating a Christian worldview (modern term for Scripture's "wisdom") into their children to absorb all you can from these lectures.

Here are the links to the five lectures:
Session 1: The Call to Formative Instruction
Session 2: Giving Kids a Vision for God's Glory
Session 3: Helping Kids Understand Authority
Session 4…

He is able ...

• to guard what I’ve deposited with Him δι᾽ ἣν αἰτίαν καὶ ταῦτα πάσχω• ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἐπαισχύνομαι, οἶδα γὰρ ᾧ πεπίστευκα καὶ πέπεισμαι ὅτι δυνατός ἐστιν τὴν παραθήκην μου φυλάξαι εἰς ἐκείνην τὴν ἡμέραν. (2 Tim. 1:12)

• to do exceedingly abundantly above what we are asking or thinking Τῷ δὲ δυναμένῳ ὑπὲρ πάντα ποιῆσαι ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ ὧν αἰτούμεθα ἢ νοοῦμεν κατὰ τὴν δύναμιν τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἡμῖν (Eph. 3:20)

• to cause all grace to abound unto me. δυνατεῖ δὲ ὁ θεὸς πᾶσαν χάριν περισσεῦσαι εἰς ὑμᾶς, ἵνα ἐν παντὶ πάντοτε πᾶσαν αὐτάρκειαν ἔχοντες περισσεύητε εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν, (2 Cor. 9:8)

• to help those who are being tested ἐν ᾧ γὰρ πέπονθεν αὐτὸς πειρασθείς, δύναται τοῖς πειραζομένοις βοηθῆσαι. (Heb. 2:18)

• to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him. ὅθεν καὶ σῴζειν εἰς τὸ παντελὲς δύναται τοὺς προσερχομένους δι᾽ αὐτοῦ τῷ θεῷ, πάντοτε ζῶν εἰς τὸ ἐντυγχάνειν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν. (Heb. 7:25)

• to guard us from stumbling and present us blameless before his glory with g…

God sanctifies Himself (Ezek. 38:23)

Last Sunday I shared a SS lesson with the combined Adult and Young Adult classes at Burlington Bible Methodist Church. I attempted to answer three questions:
1. What does it mean for God to sanctify Himself (Ezek. 38:23)?
2. What does it mean for us to sanctify God?
3. How do the answers to the first two questions relate to the first petition of the Lord's pattern prayer, "Hallowed by thy name?"In this post I share my answer to the first question. As I journeyed through all the OT texts on holiness, I was struck by the following verses.
Isaiah 5:16 But the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment, And the holy God will be sanctified in righteousness.

Ezekiel 20:41 "As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will be sanctified among you in the sight of the nations.

Ezekiel 28:22 and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Sidon, And I will be glori…

Discovery: 1 Peter 1:16 quotes Leviticus 19

I was sitting in chapel a month ago and Dad was doing a great job preaching 1 Peter 1:13-16. This is a great text that demonstrates that NT apostles understood the Pentateuch to provide immediately applicable commands for NT believers.

Verse 16 is Peter's quotation from Leviticus that buttresses his apostolic injunction to be holy in all your conduct: because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."

I was sitting there with my copy of Biblia Sacra (combined Hebrew & Greek Bible), and I noticed the Greek syntax of the quotation placed "holy" in an emphatic position: ἅγιοι ἔσεσθε, ὅτι ἐγὼ ἅγιός.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to look at the syntax of the Hebrew text in the places in Leviticus where this statement is made (Lev. 11:44, 45; 19:2; cf. Lev. 20:7). What struck me as I looked is that Leviticus 19:2 is the only place where the Hebrew syntax exactly matches the Greek syntax of 1 Peter 1:16.

וִהְיִיתֶ֣ם קְדֹשִׁ֔ים כִּ֥י קָד֖וֹשׁ אָ֑נִי (Lev. 11…

Deut. 6:6-7 -- Train them when you sit, walk, lie down, get up ... what am I supposed to say?

In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, God says,
6 These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. 7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.(Holman Christian Standard Bible)The KJV of v. 7 reads, "thou shalt teach them diligently." When I think of teaching, I think primarily of a setting where one person imparts information to others who do not have that information.

That needs to happen, but it isn't what God is talking about in this the classic passage on child training. The word translated "teach" in the KJV means "repeat." By using the word repeat God focuses on the method of instruction, not on the instruction itself.

Every teacher knows repetition aids learning. The Master Teacher commands parents to repeat His words (contextually, the Ten Words which are the Ten Commandments) to their children, not just daily, but all throughout the day.


A Reader's Hebrew Bible: Appendix A Available For Download

Zondervan has given me permission to make Appendix A--the glossary containing all words occurring over 100x-- available as a free download. I have formatted the document so that it can be printed double-sided as a booklet. For the booklet version click here:

If the booklet format is too hard to figure out how to print (it can be difficult), you can download a full-pageversion which you can then print in whatever way you prefer. For the full-page version click here:

Tole, Lege!
Philip Brown