Out of the Horse's Mouth

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Posted by on in 2016 Show Archive
WHI-1311 | The Gifts That He Gave

On this program the hosts are continuing their series unpacking the implications of the ascension of Christ. This week they are joined by Justin Holcomb, who is the canon for vocations for the diocese of Orlando of the Episcopal Church. He is the author of the recent work God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies. He is also the author of Rid of My Disgrace, Know the Creeds and other excellent books. We are also honored to have Adriel Sanchez with us, who is the pastor of North Park Presbyterian Church in San Diego.

What are the fruits of Christ’s victorious death and resurrection, and how are they distributed? The hosts will answer this question by exploring Ephesians 4 and Psalm 68. After introducing the gifts that Christ has given to his church, they challenge us to consider how a recovery of these things can provide lasting nourishment and health for the body of Christ. Join the hosts as they continue this series and unpack the implications of Christ’s ascension on the White Horse Inn.

HOST QUOTE
“One thing that we can't miss is the emphasis upon God's victory and the work which God has done. The battle really does belong to the Lord, and the church or the people of God, we're on the receiving end of God's victory, dividing the spoils which God has won for us and received from his enemies.
“One of the interesting things about Psalm 68 is how it talks about the Lord receiving the spoils of war or the spoils of victory, and then Paul in Ephesians 4 says that those same spoils had been given to us. He's given gifts to men. And one of the biblical-theological points in the text of Psalm 68 is when it describes the spoils of war that the people of God receive in verses 12 and 13. It's as if the women at home divide the spoil though the men lie among the sheep folds. ‘The wings of a dove covered with silver; its pinions with shimmering gold.’ They divide this spoil of silver and gold in the form of a dove, which ties in here because in the New Testament, the Gospel of Luke, as Jesus is being baptized, the Spirit comes upon him there as a dove, and that's the gift which the people of God divide in Psalm 68, and we see that even here in Ephesians 4.”
– Adriel Sanchez
 
TERM TO LEARN
"The Gifts of the Holy Spirit"
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness (Rom. 12:4–8).
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills (1 Cor. 12:1–11).
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts (1 Cor. 12:27–31).
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11–12).
(Scripture from the English Standard Version)
 
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Event Info: Finding Yourself in God's Story

Finding Yourself in God’s Story

The life of faith is difficult because God sometimes seems far off. But is he really?

Your life is busy. You’re not sure how your faith fits into everything you’re doing each day. It’s easy to take the Bible for granted. It’s easy to take God for granted. And you’re a little disoriented.

“Finding Yourself In God’s Story” is what this weekend is all about. You’ll come away from our time together with renewed joy, hope, and confidence in God’s work for you and in you.

There will be great music, great teaching, and laughter. Along the way, you’ll discover how your life story only makes sense in God’s story.

Thanks to our donors, this conference is FREE!

Go to findingyourselfingodsstory.com to register and reserve your seat today. You do need a ticket!

Dates: July 29 - 30

Speakers and Special Guests

Keynote Speakers: Michael Horton and Nancy Guthrie

Seminar Speaker: Julius Kim

Musician: Sandra McCracken

Master of Ceremonies: Adam Christing

Conference Site: Fourth Presbyterian Church 5500 River Road | Bethesda, MD 20816

 

More About the Conference

In this conference we want to focus on Christianity’s core, its heart, its life, and its basic themes. We want to help people understand what God is doing in the midst of a disorienting world of false hopes and fictitious stories.

A Disorienting World

This world disorients. As the days, week, and years pass, life can feel pointless—like we’re just chasing after the wind. But we know that God gives our lives meaning and purpose. God is the center of our lives, but we often feel overtaken by the mundane: a thankless job, a troubled church, family strife, tragedy, death, sickness, or money problems. Even when everything seems well, we sense that there must be something more than wealth, success, and respect. The rewards for worldly success are often loneliness and loss. Does God have anything to say to this? What is God’s response to twenty-first century people confused and disoriented in our fast-paced culture?

Mistaking the Story

God has spoken to us in our struggle and to our needs, but sometimes we fail to recognize his answer because we have mistaken the story. People come to God’s Word looking to fit God into their lives: “How does the Bible address my situation?” “Where is God in the midst of all my suffering?” These are good questions, but we need to remember whose story this is. Since Adam and Eve’s rebellion at the beginning of history, humans have sought to live by the story of their achievements, successes, failures, or losses. In our confusion we can twist the Bible to invent a religion of self-improvement and good morals. Instead, we need to realize that the Bible addresses us in ways we have never imagined, and God has spoken in ways we could never have invented.

Discovering God’s Story

God wants us to see that we are participants in his work. We are a part of his story. Much of the Bible is in story form, and these stories are true. They reveal God’s work in the past, they explain his work in present, and they display his promise for the future. God’s Word reflects what God is doing in history. Through the Bible, God shows us our place in the world he created. To find yourself in God’s story is to come to understand what God is doing in your life, in the church, and in the world.

When we discover ourselves in God’s story, we come to understand that God is the God who is with us through pain and pleasure, confusion and confidence, doubt and dependence. God is the one who is at work in the world to save it. God is the one who has promised to gather a people from all over the world, from every tribe, tongue, and nation to know him and be known, to love him and be loved, and to worship him forever. Jesus himself told his disciples:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18–20 ESV)

This is God’s story. He invites us to discover our lives in it. Our hope is that you would come to understand God’s purpose for your life, the church, and his mission to redeem a people to the glory of his name.

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In This Issue: Ascension

The Christian church has been waiting for the return of Christ longer than Israel waited for his first appearing. Back on that spring day on Mount Olivet when the disciples saw Jesus ascend into heaven, did they expect this wait to be so long? How should the church conduct itself while its king and head is absent? What is Jesus doing in heaven all this time anyway? Although sometimes overlooked and often misunderstood, the ascension of Christ is as cardinal a doctrine of the faith as the incarnation and resurrection. In this issue, we’re defining and defending this doctrine by applying the benefits of Christ’s absence to the church body he left behind.

Our first article, from New Testament theologian Matthew Barrett, answers some of the questions: Where did Jesus go? Why is it significant that Jesus was taken up into the clouds? What did his departure communicate to the disciples? How should we understand the character of the event itself?

Our second article, from Pastor Jeremy Treat, takes up the meaning of the ascension. Pastor Treat argues that ascension essentially means enthronement. Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father where he rules and reigns. This act of ascending, then, helps to define both his kingship and his kingdom. In his article, Pastor Treat also shows us what the ascension means for us as the subjects of King Jesus who will one day reign with him.

Our third article, from our editor-in-chief Michael Horton, examines those strange words of Jesus in John 16:7, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” Dr. Horton’s article will show how the presence of the Holy Spirit is more beneficial for the church than the continued presence of Jesus on earth.

In addition to these feature articles, we’re including two interviews related to the topics we’re taking up in this issue. The first is with Dutch theologian Ad de Bruijne, an expert on the life and legacy of Abraham Kuyper. The second is with Russell Moore, who serves as president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is also the author of Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel. While each interview takes up its own distinct subject, we hope you’ll see how our thinking about the role of the Christian and the church here between Jesus’ first and second comings is determined by what Jesus is doing after his ascension.

With this issue, we’re now halfway through the 2016 calendar. Still to come are issues on justification, heaven, and the incarnation. We’d love to hear from you—especially if you’re a new subscriber. Contact us or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Posted by on in 2016 Show Archive
WHI-1310 | Christ’s Coronation

On this program the hosts are continuing their series unpacking the implications of the ascension of Christ. Now that he has died for our sins and has been raised for our justification, what is Christ doing? Is his saving work merely a thing of the past?

The hosts will focus particularly on his present ministry as our advocate and intercessor before the Father, and his everlasting reign as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Join the hosts as they continue this series and unpack the implications of Christ’s ascension on the White Horse Inn.

HOST QUOTE
“God initially sets things up where he was the king. In no other nation was the God of that nation also the king. The gods would be called upon to witness to treaties and that sort of thing, but you didn't have the God of that nation serving as the king. In Israel it was different: Yahweh said, ‘I will be the king and you will be my people,’ but Israel said, ‘We want a king like the nation,’ so he let them. He let them have their own king and they got Saul.
“But then God uses that wish that they had as a way of whittling the promise of the true Messiah down to one of Israel's kings, son of David, and amazingly you have Jesus Christ who is not only the king in the sense that he is Yahweh, who says, ‘I will be your king oh Israel,' but he's also the human king, the human seat of David. So either way, Israel is going to have a king who is God, and now the question is, are you going to recognize him as Yahweh. Now he has the name above every name that is named in heaven and on earth; to say Yahweh is king is now to say Jesus is king. That's a pretty amazing turn of events, isn't it? God working through human sin, wanting a king like the nations, to actually bring it about in history that this eternal son of his will be the faithful king that Israel needs.”
– Michael Horton
 
TERM TO LEARN
"Humanity of the God-Man"
Q. 37 How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man? A. Christ the Son of God became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her, yet without sin.
Q. 38 Why was it requisite that the mediator should be God? A. It was requisite that the mediator should be God, that he might sustain and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath of God, and the power of death; give worth and efficacy to his sufferings, obedience, and intercession; and to satisfy God's justice, procure his favor, purchase a peculiar people, give his Spirit to them, conquer all their enemies, and bring them to everlasting salvation.
Q. 39 Why was it requisite that the mediator should be man? A. It was requisite that the mediator should be man, that he might advance our nature, perform obedience to the law, suffer and make intercession for us in our nature, have a fellow-feeling of our infirmities; that we might receive the adoption of sons, and have comfort and access with boldness unto the throne of grace.
Q. 40 Why was it requisite that the mediator should be God and man in one person? A. It was requisite that the mediator, who was to reconcile God and man, should himself be both God and man, and this in one person, that the proper works of each nature might be accepted of God for us, and relied on by us, as the works of the whole person.
(The Westminster Larger Catechism)
 
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Where is Your Place in God’s Story?

Where do we find the joy of our salvation, the hope that it gives to all of life, and the confidence to share it with others? It's by exploring the credentials of the God who always fulfills his promises. Many people try to find a supporting role for God in the script we're writing for our own life-movie. But it's only by stepping into his unfolding drama that we find ourselves written into the greatest story ever told.

In Core Christianity, author, pastor, and theologian Michael Horton tackles the essential and basic beliefs that all Christians share. In addition to unpacking these beliefs in a way that is easy to understand, Horton shows why they matter to our lives today.

 

LINKS

Listen to an interview of Michael Horton on Office Hours.

The Gospel Coalition’s Review of Core Christianity.

 

SPECIAL OFFER

Get a signed copy of Core Christianity and support our mission.

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WHI-1309 | Implications of the Ascension

On this program the hosts continue their series on the ascension of Christ. What are its implications for how we interpret the New Testament? What does it mean for us today? In his farewell discourse, Jesus explained to his disciples that it is actually good that he goes away, since from heaven he will send “another advocate,” referring to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit, Jesus says, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and lead his followers into all truth.

By his life of obedience and sacrificial death, Jesus accomplished redemption once and for all, but now from his exalted heavenly throne he sends us the Holy Spirit to grant us repentance and enduring faith. Join the hosts as they continue their new series and unpack the implications of Christ’s ascension on the White Horse Inn.

HOST QUOTE
“Jesus as it were burns a hole in the clouds separating this age from the age to come through which the Holy Spirit descends, and then when Christ returns, that hole will be closed and there will be none of this present evil age. In the age to come, everything will be consecrated either for destruction or for everlasting salvation. The ascension of Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit are keeping history open for repentance and faith. It is important that Jesus not be on the earth because of his ministry right now in heaven. The Holy Spirit is the one we really need on earth right now.”
– Michael Horton
 
TERM TO LEARN
"Eucharist"
The Greek noun εὐχαριστία (eucharistia), meaning "thanksgiving," is attributed in the words of institution of the Last Supper to Christ as he ratifies the new covenant in his body and blood in 1 Cor. 11:20–21. The Apostle Paul links this ecclesiology of the sacrament to the ascension of Christ who is the source of the gifts. In ascending on high Christ now pours his good gifts lavishly by his Spirit to his saints through the ministry of Word and sacrament. It is this ministry alone that creates, sustains, unites, and brings maturity to the body of Christ sealed in this meal of thanksgiving (Eph. 4).
In Luke 24, on the day of Resurrection, meeting two disciples on the road to Emmaus Jesus shows himself from all of Scriptures as being the one the prophets spoke of. They recognized him when he came to supper. He took bread and broke it and gave thanks. Thus, they recognized him only after the meal! The verbal clauses are consonant with the words of institution. This model is how the church comes to recognize Christ. While the church recognizes Christ in the preaching of the gospel (“didn’t our hearts burn within us!”), it is in the breaking of the bread that she recognizes and communes with her Savior. He stands in her midst and he says “peace be with you.” This κοινωνία (communion) is a sharing in his body and blood. She is given this Eucharist as she awaits that last day, when she will feast with God forever in the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Those who partake of the Eucharist in true faith, in thanksgiving, receive all the benefits of Christ, while the unbelieving are condemned in partaking. By eating and drinking of bread and wine the church is lifted into Christ's presence by the Spirit and communes with him. This eating and drinking in thanksgiving, by the Spirit’s mystical work, sets the church aside (i.e. ‘made holy’) in body and soul for the Last Day as that end-times community of saints.
(Adapted from Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, pp 733–827)
 
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Posted by on in 2016 Show Archive
WHI-1308 | The Ascension of Christ

On this program the hosts will begin a new series discussing the ascension of Christ. What is the ascension? Where do we find this important event in Scripture? How does the Old Testament prophecy this important event of redemption?

After being born of a virgin and living a life that honored God, Jesus Christ laid down his life for his sheep. After he was raised for our justification, he ascended into heaven. But why did he leave his church behind? What is significant about his ascension to the right hand of God? Join the hosts for this discussion of the nature of Christ’s kingdom as they introduce their new series, “The Ascension of Christ,” on the White Horse Inn.

HOST QUOTE
“Douglas Farrow has argued persuasively that if you don't take the ascension seriously and wrestle at least with the fact of Christ's bodily departure from the earth, you end up spiritualizing both his resurrection and his ascension and his coming again. If Jesus hasn't gone anywhere because he lives in my heart or Jesus hasn't gone anywhere because the Holy Spirit has replaced him or if Jesus hasn't gone anywhere because the Pope has replaced him or the church generally has replaced him or we are the ongoing incarnation of Jesus, any of those answers means really we don't have a head in heaven. We don't have someone who is in every way like us, yet without sin; and what that means is if Jesus is like that, kind of erased in terms of his identity, we will be erased rather than redeemed in the new creation.”
– Michael Horton
 
TERM TO LEARN
"The Importance of the Ascension"
We must stress the point that it is indeed the ascension towards which the biblical story constantly strives, especially in its messianic dimensions, not the resurrection.... Resurrection may be a necessary ingredient, since death cuts short our individual journeys, but it is not too bold to say that the greater corporate journey documented by the Scriptures continually presses, from its very outset and at every turn, towards the impossible feat of the ascension.
"It is important to remember what is at stake here. If there is no real ascension that took place in history, then the church's sacramental acts are devoid of meaning... then the church's distinction from the world does indeed reduce to something that is purely ideological or ethical or social. If we wish to take the [Lord's Supper] and the church seriously, we must also take the ascension seriously.
(Douglas Farrow, Ascension and Ecclesia, pp. 26–27 and 39)
 
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WHI-1307 | Christ Our Resurrection Hope

Throughout this series, we’ve explored issues related to the factual nature of Christ’s resurrection. On this program the hosts will take a look at the theological implications of this fact and how it relates to us today.

How is Christ’s resurrection related to the resurrection of believers on the last day? The hosts will explore Paul’s answer to this question as they unpack the second half of 1 Corinthians 15. Join us for this broadcast of the White Horse Inn in our series, The Resurrection.

HOST QUOTE
“Go back to the beginning of the story and all this begins to make more sense when Adam is told to refrain from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And all the other trees in the garden and there's this one tree, the tree of life, the sacrament of immortality. And if he fulfills this trial, he wins for himself and his posterity immortality from that tree. He wins the right to eat from that tree of life. And when he fails, the cherubim and seraphim are sent with flaming sword to guard reentry because for our own good, if Adam and Eve have eaten from that sacramental tree of immortality, they would have then and there and all of us with them been under an eternal curse. There would be no undoing of that curse.
“The immortality would be immortal death, but he gave a stay of execution, didn't allow them to eat from that tree so that a space in history would open up for a last Adam who would come along and he would faithfully endure all that Adam failed to do, all that Israel failed to do. He will be the true Adam, the true and faithful Israel and then finally at the end of the Bible, just as in the beginning, you have the tree of life in the paradise of God and Christ gives to us the right to eat from that tree. That's just really amazing to think that now we have the right to eat, have indeed eaten from the tree of life in the paradise of God because Jesus Christ is the true bread of heaven and the true drink of everlasting salvation.”
– Michael Horton
 
TERM TO LEARN
"Christ’s Kingdom – Already/Not Yet"
Jesus did not hold that the coming of the kingdom was only a reality to be expected in the more or less near future. Moreover he also proclaimed it as the present fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy of salvation, manifested in his person and work. However, this does not mean that the statement "the kingdom of heaven has come" exhausts all that can be said. Jesus again and again speaks of the future of the kingdom of God, and that this future bears the character of the consummation and fulfillment of all things.
This constitutes the startling point of Jesus' pronouncements concerning the presence of the kingdom and his messianic self-revelation. They claim the presence of the kingdom and of the Messiah, whereas the great moment of the consummation has not yet arrived. Any attempt should be rejected which tries to divide the coming of the kingdom into separate parts. The kingdom of heaven appearing in the world with the coming of Christ signifies no less than the end of prophecy (Matt. 11:13; Luke 16:16), the binding of Satan (Matt. 12:28), the wonderful and all-embracing redemption of life (Matt. 11:5; Luke 4:18–19), the authority and power of the Son of Man (Mark 2:10), and the bliss of the poor in spirit (Matt. 5:13). Any attempt to detract from this character either by the application of an ethicizing or a symbolizing reduction, or by detaching the present from the future, is a dissolution of the contents of the gospel of the kingdom. We should rather consider the characteristic and peculiar nature of Jesus' preaching to be his proclamation of the kingdom in its consummative, eschatological significance both as a present and as a future reality. The fulfillment is there, and yet the kingdom is still to come. The kingdom has come, and yet the fulfillment is in abeyance.
(Adapted from Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, pp. 104–106)
 
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WHI-1306 | The Gospel Accounts of Christ’s Resurrection

On this program we continue our series on the Resurrection of Jesus. Once again Michael Horton interviews our special guest, Michael Licona, who is a New Testament scholar, historian, and Christian apologist. He is a professor at Houston Baptist University and the author of the excellent work, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.

Over the past two weeks we’ve aired the conversation with Michael Licona, and on this program we’re presenting the third and final segment of this exchange. This episode focuses on issues relating to the discrepancies between the various gospels accounts of Christ’s resurrection along with a number of commonly-held objections. Join us for this excellent broadcast of the White Horse Inn as we continue our series, The Resurrection.

HOST QUOTE
“So if I'm looking for an accurate worldview - and we all have worldviews whether we like it or not. We might not think about it but we all have worldviews that guide us in the decisions we make, moral decision, political decisions, all this. So what is my worldview based on? I want mine to be based on solid history.
“So if Jesus was not raised from the dead I want to find something else to do. If Jesus was raised, it is like I said, game, set, match, Christianity is true, the Christian life is worth living and so if I come across temptation, to cheat, whether it's on my taxes, to cheat on my wife or whatever, my moral, my ethics, things that I do, tough love, things that I don't want to love but Christ calls me to love and to give up myself, these things are all based because of my worldview and I hold that worldview because Jesus really rose and I believe that because there's good evidence for it.”
– Michael Licona
 
TERM TO LEARN
"Jesus Seminar"
A small, self-selected association of academics who meet twice a year to debate the “historical Jesus"... It champions a mission of debunking the perception fostered in the Gospels and many churches that Jesus was not only human but also a divine figure who brought salvation and will one day rule all things as sovereign Lord. It has marketed its views skillfully and attracted widespread media interest in its proceedings.
The Seminar's distinctive feature is its wholesale commitment to seven "pillar" assumptions about the Gospels and Jesus. Zeal for these assumptions, most of them disputed by other scholars, casts doubt on its claims to scholarly probity. These are: (1) the "historical" Jesus is not the "Christ" confessed by the church; (2) the Jesus of John's Gospel is almost completely fictitious; (3) Matthew and Luke are largely derived from Mark; (4) more important than Mark to Matthew and Luke was a hypothetical document called Q (consisting of about 225 verses common to Matthew and Luke and absent from Mark); (5) Jesus was not an eschatological visionary with respect to either some "second coming" on his part or some cataclysmic divine intervention by God to end the present age and inaugurate the final one; (6) Jesus must be considered within an "oral culture" context, claimed to be quite different from a written culture; and (7) the Gospels are false in matters of history unless they can be shown to the modern skeptic's satisfaction to be true.
The Seminar's procedure has been to vote on the likelihood of Jesus' sayings using colored beads. They are extending the same method to his deeds. Their findings (not surprisingly, given the "pillars" on which their observations rest) are that Jesus said and did little of what the Gospels report.
(Adapted from the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, s.v. "Jesus Seminar.")
 
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WHI-1305 | The Reliability of the Gospels & Epistles

On this program we continue our series on the Resurrection of Jesus. Once again Michael Horton interviews our special guest, Michael Licona, who is a New Testament scholar, historian, and Christian apologist. He is a professor at Houston Baptist University and the author of the excellent work, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.

The two scholars continue their discussion about the eyewitness character of the four Gospels and unpack a host of issues relating to the historical reliability and early dating of the New Testament epistles. Join us for this broadcast of the White Horse Inn as we continue our series, The Resurrection.

HOST QUOTE
“So when you start swinging the ax to grind, you better watch out because it doesn't just hit what you want it to. It can come back and hit you. And that's what happens here, if you're going to reject the Gospel authors because they're biased. You better throw out Bart Ehrman's stuff then, because Ehrman agrees that he's biased. He said that in a discussion that I had with him. He had said it in the midst of a debate that he had with Craig Evans. He admits his own bias, and yet he goes after the Gospel authors because they're biased.
“Bottom line is look, if we're going to say that you can't believe the gospels because their authors had an agenda and they were biased, well I guess then you couldn't read any Jewish historian writing on the Holocaust. You couldn't read an African-American historian writing on slavery in the United States. They're biased; they have an agenda. They don't want these things to happen again, right? But that bias can actually cause them to dig deeper than say a Gentile or a white historian would because it's nearer and dearer to their hearts. If Jesus was who he claimed to be and had commissioned them to go out and make disciples of all nations, of course they have an agenda. They want to make disciples of all nations.”
– Michael Licona
 
TERM TO LEARN
"The Authority of Christ in Scripture’s Inspiration"
Christianity is often called a book-religion. It would be more exact to say that it is a religion which has a book. Its foundations are laid in apostles and prophets, upon which its courses are built up in the sanctified lives of men; but Christ Jesus alone is its chief cornerstone. He is its only basis; he, its only head; and he alone has authority in his Church. But he has chosen to found his Church not directly by his own hands, speaking the word of God, say for instance, in thunder-tones from heaven; but through the instrumentality of a body of apostles, chosen and trained by himself, endowed with gifts and graces from the Holy Ghost, and sent forth into the world as his authoritative agents for proclaiming a gospel which he placed within their lips and which is none the less his authoritative word, that it is through them that he speaks it. It is because the apostles were Christ's representatives, that what they did and said and wrote as such, comes to us with divine authority. The authority of the Scriptures thus rests on the simple fact that God's authoritative agents in founding the Church gave them as authoritative to the Church which they founded. All the authority of the apostles stands behind the Scriptures, and all the authority of Christ behind the apostles. The Scriptures are simply the law-code which the law-givers of the Church gave it.
If, then, the apostles were appointed by Christ to act for him and in his name and authority in founding the Church—and this no one can doubt; and if the apostles gave the Scriptures to the Church in prosecution of this commission—and this admits of as little doubt; the whole question of the authority of the Scriptures is determined. It will be observed that their authority does not rest exactly on apostolic authorship. The point is not that the apostles wrote these books (though most of the New Testament books were written by apostles), but that they imposed them on the Church as authoritative expositions of its divinely appointed faith and practice.
(B. B. Warfield, "The Authority and Inspiration of the Scriptures,” The Selected Shorter Writings of B.B. Warfield Vol. 2, pp. 537–539)
 
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WHI-1304 | The Historical Reliability of the Four Gospels

On this program we continue our series on the Resurrection of Jesus. For the next three programs Michael Horton interviews special guest, Michael Licona, who is a New Testament scholar, historian, and Christian apologist. He is a professor at Houston Baptist University and the author of the excellent work, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, which will be unpacked in these interviews.

How can we be sure that the various claims about Jesus recorded in the four gospels represent genuine eyewitness reports? How can we be sure that they were written in the crucial eyewitness period? Join us for this broadcast of the White Horse Inn as we seek to answer these important questions and more as we continue our series, The Resurrection.

HOST QUOTE
“So Cicero, as highly educated as he was in philosophy and in rhetoric and everything, he had his own secretary who penned these letters and letters that had correspondence between him and Brutus' secretary. So Brutus would have a secretary who would respond to Cicero and write to Cicero, but they wrote to one another through these secretaries and yet they were both highly educated. When we come to Paul in the New Testament, you have Paul's most admired piece of literature attributed to him, Romans, his letter to the church at Rome. And in chapter 16:22, it says, ‘I Tertius who write this letter send you my greetings.’ So Tertius wrote this letter. So it could very well be the case that Paul had very lengthy discussions with Tertius. Tertius interviewed him, took down all these things and then Tertius constructed Romans and Paul read it and approved of it and said, wow, Tertius you make me look good. Thank you so much. And Paul signs off for this thing but it's written by Paul.
“So, there's good reason to think that Paul and Cicero could use it, why wouldn't Matthew, Mark, Luke and John use some sort of a secretary to help them pen their gospels? At that point it gets pretty difficult to say something like [Bart] Ehrman and others would say that, well, the gospel authors couldn't have written those things because they weren't educated men, with the exception of possibly Luke. They weren't educated. They were fishermen, or Matthew being a tax collector, they couldn't have written gospels like that. Well, they could have had secretaries doing these things.”
– Michael Licona
 
TERM TO LEARN
"Apostolic Inspiration"
The operation of the Holy Spirit after the day of Pentecost differed from that which the prophets in their official capacity enjoyed. The Holy Spirit came upon the prophets as a supernatural power and worked upon them from without. His action on them was frequently repeated but was not continuous. The distinction between His activity and the mental activity of the prophets themselves was made to stand out rather clearly. On the day of Pentecost, however, He took up His abode in the hearts of the apostles and began to work upon them from within. Since He made their hearts His permanent abode, His action on them was no more intermittent but continuous, but even in their case the supernatural work of inspiration was limited to those occasions on which they served as organs of revelation. But because of the more inward character of all the Spirit's work, the distinction between His ordinary and His extraordinary work was not so perceptible.
The supernatural does not stand out as clearly in the case of the apostles as it did in the case of the prophets. Notwithstanding this fact, however, the New Testament contains several significant indications of the fact that the apostles were inspired in their positive oral teachings. Christ solemnly promised them the Holy Spirit in their teaching and preaching (Matt. 10:19, 20; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11, 12; 21:14, 15; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13). In the Acts of the Apostles we are told repeatedly that they taught "being full of," or "filled with" the Holy Spirit. Moreover, it appears from the Epistles that in teaching the churches they conceived of their word as being in very deed the word of God, and therefore as authoritative (1 Cor. 2:4, 13; 1 Thess. 2:13).
(Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 148)
 
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WHI-1303 | Resurrection in the Old Testament, Part 2

On this program the hosts continue their series, celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord. The hosts continue to explore the doctrine of the resurrection throughout the Old Testament Scriptures in this episode.

What did the prophets say about the afterlife and the general resurrection of the dead? More importantly, what did they teach about the role of the coming messiah? Did they really predict that he would die for the sins of his people and rise again on the third day? Join us for this broadcast of the White Horse Inn answering these important questions and more as we continue our series The Resurrection.

HOST QUOTE
“We see in places like Isaiah 26:14 wonderful depictions of the future resurrection. First, it says of God's enemies, ‘They are dead. They will not leave. They are shades. They will not arise. To that end you have visited them with destruction and wiped out all remembrance of them.’ And then in verse 19 he says to his own people, ‘Your dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust awake and sing for joy for your dew is a dew of light and the earth will give birth to the dead, come my people, enter your chambers and shut your doors behind you, hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by.’ There, you think of Noah's ark, you think of the blood on the doorposts as the angel of death passes over. Clearly it is death followed by a general resurrection. This is 750 years before Jesus.”
– Michael Horton
 
TERM TO LEARN
"The Objectivity of Faith"
To believe in something without first seriously reflecting on it or looking into it is not an act of faith, it is an act of foolishness. It is not, as some have held, a virtue to believe something without evidence or reason. The person who says, "You just have to have faith," is really just proclaiming he has no idea what faith is. The whole point of Christianity is not that we have faith-that is no different from any other religion or worldview. If just having faith were the goal, all would be saved since everyone believes something. No, faith itself is not the object. In fact, what differentiates religions is the object of each faith. The content of faith ultimately is what matters. And the content of a faith is what must be investigated and then embraced or rejected.
Paul argued based on facts that could be investigated by anyone who was interested. He recognized that if Christianity was true, it must be rooted in facts. Paul saw the contact point in the historical, physical, temporal aspects of the life of Jesus. Jesus was a real person who did and said certain things in certain places at certain times. Witnesses to Jesus' life and teaching could be found and questioned regarding these things. Jesus' reality—His historicity—is the foundation of Christianity. Without it, there is no Christianity. Paul was so sure of this foundation that he went so far as to point out the most vulnerable claim of the Christian faith [in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19].
If Jesus did not live, do, and say the things claimed by the apostles, then Christianity is false. If there is a better explanation for the resurrection, then Christians are simply wasting their time.
By pointing out this vulnerability, Paul was really pointing out the strength of Christianity. So convinced was he of the historicity and verifiability of the resurrection, the event that confirmed the claims of Jesus, that he pointed out how to prove it false—almost as a challenge. Christian claims can be investigated and tested. This challenge has no parallel in other religions. No other sacred text shows how to destroy its own claims.
The church fathers showed they understood the importance of Jesus' historicity when they crafted the Nicene Creed, the universally accepted creed of the church. The creed says, "For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried." Why mention Pontius Pilate? What doctrine is based on him? The answer is: none; there is no doctrine based on Pilate. He is mentioned to remind us that these were real events happening to a real person at a particular point in history.
(Doug Powell, Holman Quick Source Guide to Christian Apologetics, pp. 11, 16, 18)
 
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WHI-1302 | Resurrection in the Old Testament, Part 1

On this program the hosts continue their series, celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord. The next two weeks we will look at the Old Testament and how it anticipates the resurrection of the Messiah. The hosts will begin an exploration of the Old Testament background of this doctrine of the resurrection.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says that Christ was raised on the third day “according to the Scriptures.” How did the ancient Jewish view of the afterlife differ from the views of their contemporaries? What do the Psalms and Wisdom literature teach about death and the hope of resurrection? Join us for this broadcast of the White Horse Inn as we continue our series The Resurrection, focusing on the very essence of the Christian hope.

HOST QUOTE
“There are only like four default settings we have as human beings, right? We keep falling back to the same pagan ways over and over again in the absence of the gospel. Ancient Near Eastern myths of dying and rising gods... We hear a lot about this especially Christmas and Easter on the History Channel where they try to make this argument that every religion, every philosophy, and every world view you find these common themes and one of them is resurrection. God such as Adonis, Addus, Isis and Osiris along with hosts of crop-related deities were worshipped according to the cycles of nature.
”As N.T. Wright observes, did any worshipper in these cults from Egypt to Norway at any time in antiquity think that actual human beings having died actually came to life? Of course not. In Egypt, these myths included funerary practices. The aspiration of the dead was to become united with Osiris. But the new life they might thereby experience was not a return to the life of the present world; nobody actually expected the mummies to get up, walk about and resume normal living. I would love to post that in every church bulletin right around Easter and Christmas for people to get that because they're going to hear over and over, well, just like Osiris --not that they've done any investigation but they've heard it on the History Channel or somewhere.”
– Michael Horton
 
TERM TO LEARN
"History and the Early Church’s Doctrine"
From the beginning, the Christian gospel, as indeed the name "gospel" or "good news" implies, consisted in an account of something that had happened. And from the beginning, the meaning of the happening was set forth; and when the meaning of the happening was set forth, then there was Christian doctrine. "Christ died"-that is history; "Christ died for our sins"-that is doctrine. Without these two elements, joined in an absolutely indissoluble union, there is no Christianity.
It is perfectly clear, then, that the first Christian missionaries did not simply come forward with an exhortation; they did not say: "Jesus of Nazareth lived a wonderful life of filial piety, and we call upon you our hearers to yield yourselves, as we have done, to the spell of that life." Certainly that is what modern historians would have expected the first Christian missionaries to say, but it must be recognized that as a matter of fact they said nothing of the kind.
The great weapon with which the disciples of Jesus set out to conquer the world was not a mere comprehension of eternal principles; it was an historical message, an account of something that had recently happened; it was the message, "He is risen." The world was to be redeemed by the proclamation of this event. And with the event went the meaning of the event; and the setting forth of the event with the meaning of the event was doctrine. These two elements are always combined in the Christian message. The narration of the facts is history, the narration of the facts with the meaning of the facts is doctrine. Such was the Christianity of the primitive church.
(J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, pp. 27-29)
 
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As a minister of the gospel, I’m neither called nor qualified to enter into the fray of public political commentary.  But the attraction of many evangelicals to Donald Trump reveals a lot about the churches in America.  How so?  See my article just published in Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/march-web-only/theology-of-donald-trump.html.

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WHI-1301 | The Earliest Account of Christ’s Resurrection

On this program the hosts continue their series, celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord. This week we will be looking at the counter-arguments that seek to dismiss the resurrection. Countless skeptics in our day continue to claim that the New Testament gospels were written long after Jesus’ crucifixion, and that, as a result, the life of Jesus was embellished over time. The real Jesus, they say, may have been a nice teacher or political revolutionary, but by the time the story was written he was presented as a kind of glorified messiah who had risen from the dead.

But there is actually new evidence—confirmed by liberal and conservative scholars alike—that in his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul recites an early Christian creed which goes back to the earliest days of the Jerusalem church. Why are so many scholars convinced of this early date, and what does it say about Jesus? Join us for this broadcast of the White Horse Inn as we continue our series The Resurrection, focusing on the foundation of the Christian faith.

HOST QUOTE
"Paul's letters to the Corinthians are among the earliest writings of the New Testament documents and that fact is undisputed even by the most liberal scholars of our day. It's really amazing how that position has changed, that scholarship, that consensus has moved towards very early dating. And this is a really wonderful concession because it means that historians everywhere have to explain how by 53 to 55 AD, which is the generally accepted date of the Corinthian epistles, we find a monotheistic Jewish Pharisee professing faith in the divinity of one of his fellow rabbis who is crucified only two decades earlier. It's a fascinating historical drama in itself but especially when you add the fact that before he became a Christian leader, he was a fierce opponent of this Jewish sect, persecuting other leaders even to the point of killing them.
"Now the way the story is usually told by unbelieving historians is that Jesus was a great teacher who preached peace and love while teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony. But like a good fish story, tales about Jesus evolved overtime and by the late 1st century, when the story was finally written down, the group of teachers pictured with a halo, walking in water and performing miracles. But if that's really what happened, how do we explain Paul's conversion to the Christian faith in the early 30s and the various documents that he leaves behind, some dating to the late 40s, in the case of Galatians and Thessalonians? It's one thing to get a Greek or Roman pagan to believe in the divinity of a given man. You might recall the story told in Acts 14 when Paul himself was taught by many in Lystra to be an incarnation of Zeus. But Jews were very different. Pharisees in particular were very strict monotheists, believing only in one God. So how do we get a man like this to profess the divinity of one of his fellow rabbis at such an early date? That question is totally ignored by most liberal scholars and Discovery Channel documentaries. The way the story is usually told, Jesus wasn't declared to be divine until a decree by the Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. for political reasons. That makes for entertaining television but is far from the interesting complexity of actual historical events."
– Michael Horton
 
TERM TO LEARN
"The Resurrected Body"
Resurrection is not resuscitation. We are not talking about a body brought back to its former life, a body that needs food, can get sick, can age, and must eventually die again. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he did not resurrect him; he resuscitated him. A resurrected state, however, is a body that is physical yet incorruptible-it cannot die, age, or become ill.
(Doug Powell, Holman Quick Source Guide to Christian Apologetics, p. 268)
 
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I had the pleasure of crossing paths with Jerry on many occasions. He kindly accepted invitations to speak at our White Horse Inn events way back in the 1990s. Unassuming, gracious, and humble, Jerry’s love of Christ, his gospel, and the genuine godliness to which we’re called was always an encouragement. More than that, it was a spur to my own reflections and pursuit of God.

In an age of religious celebrities, Jerry was not your usual best-selling author and sought-after speaker. He was from another generation—maybe even another era—in which Christian service was more a matter of quiet faithfulness and generosity. You wanted to be like Jerry, but he wanted you to be like Christ.

I’m sure that I speak for many when I say that I will miss his presence, but not his impact. As he rests in peace, awaiting with us the resurrection, we continue to be inspired by his message and the man who exhibited its richness.

 

We've been pleased to feature Jerry Bridges' work in the pages of Modern Reformation through the years. You can read these two articles without a subscription:

 

Justin Taylor shared some great resources yesterday including this video:

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WHI-1300 | What People Believe & Why

On this program the hosts begin a new series as we prepare for Easter in celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord. As we come closer to this time, we have continually found that the necessity for an examination of the historic truth claims of Christianity is continuously needed. If you ask people on the street what they believe about God and the afterlife, you’re likely to get a wide variety of answers. But an important follow-up question you should ask is, “Why do you believe that?”

On this program the hosts will listen to and interact with a number of on-the-street interviews dealing with basic religious questions. Why do people believe what they believe, and do the answers they provide work in other areas of life? Is it arrogant to believe in a factual religion? Why or why not? Join us for this broadcast of the White Horse Inn as we begin a new series, focusing on the resurrection as the foundation of the Christian faith.

HOST QUOTE
“It's so important to realize that the Apostle Paul moved the Resurrection out of the category that the Greeks would have put it in, out of the category of it's useful, it gives me happiness. He moves it over into the category of not, it makes my life better than worse, but it is true rather than false.
“And folks, everything in Christianity rests upon that claim that Jesus rose from the dead and if he hasn't, then we're still in our sins. You can't separate theology, your belief about "the afterlife," what happens when you die – you can't separate those convictions from what you believe about Jesus being raised on the third day. It is the fulcrum of everything that we believe as Christians. Everything hangs on it. Paul puts it in the category of true or false, either this happened and we're saved or it didn't happen and we're lost.”
– Michael Horton
 
TERM TO LEARN
"The Need for Apologetics"
Christians who believe but don't know why are often insecure and comfortable only around other Christians. Defensiveness can quickly surface when challenges arise on issues of faith, morality, and truth because of a lack of information regarding the rational grounds for Christianity. At its worst this can lead to either a fortress mentality or a belligerent faith, precisely the opposite of the Great Commission Jesus gave in Matthew 28:19-20. The charge of the Christian is not to withdraw from the world and lead an insular life. Rather, we are to be engaged in the culture, to be salt and light.
The solution to this problem is for believers to become informed in doctrine, the history of their faith, philosophy, logic, and other disciplines as they relate to Christianity. They need to know the facts, arguments, and theology and understand how to employ them in a way that will effectively engage the culture. In short, the answer is Christian apologetics.
(Doug Powell, Holman Quick Source Guide to Christian Apologetics)
 
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WHI-1299 | The Story of David, Part 2

On this program the hosts are wrapping up their series on The Story of God’s People as they conclude their discussion of the life and ministry of David.

How can we reconcile that David was both a man after God’s own heart and also a notorious sinner? Ultimately, the most important aspect of the story of David is the promise that God himself reveals about a future king who will reign on David’s throne, and whose kingdom will never end. Join us on the White Horse Inn as we conclude The Story of God’s People.

HOST QUOTE
Unfortunately, David's life is really characterized from this point onward by a lot of tragedy. This is the time period, as you continue reading through 2 Samuel, you read of Absalom's rebellion against David. You read of the rape of Tamar by David's other son. Things are not well in David's household and finally David is an old man and he dies, and it's really left up to his son Solomon to develop this new temple for God, to dedicate it in Jerusalem and in 1 Kings 8:27, Solomon during the dedication of the new temple in Jerusalem, he asks a really profound question. He says, ‘Will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you. How much less this house that I have built?’ You got to fast-forward to John 1. In John 1 it's not just that the highest heavens cannot contain God, but the dusty roads of the Middle East bore his footprints.
– Eric Landry
 
TERM TO LEARN
"The Kingdom of God"
The great future announced by Jesus is considered entirely from the standpoint of the divine kingship. And then it is not a question of a general timeless statement concerning God's power and reign, but especially of its redemptive-historical effectuation which will one day be witnessed.
Jesus has nevertheless spoken of the coming of the kingdom as a present reality. This does not mean--and this also is an established fact--that there is no room for the future of the kingdom… but it means that the one great kingdom of the future has become present. Its fundamentally eschatological character is maintained as a matter of course. It is the great kingdom, the coming of God into the world for redemption and judgment. The future, as it were, penetrates into the present. The world of God's redemption, the great whole of his concluding and consummative works pushes its way into the present time of the world.
We shall continue to hold fast to the terminology of the gospel including fulfillment and consummation. These terms have the advantage of qualifying the presence of Jesus' coming and his work as well as the beginning of the great era of salvation, and, besides, they hold out the prospect of the definitive, final significance of the kingdom as something of the future.
(Adapted from Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, pp. 19, 55-56)
 
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WHI-1298 | The Story of David, Part 1

On this program the hosts continue their series, The Story of God’s People, as we look at the great characters and moments of redemptive history. This week we’re beginning a two-part exploration of the life of David. Israel is in the Promised Land, but the people want a king like all the other nations.

While a tall and handsome Saul appears to fit the part, God chooses a young shepherd boy from Bethlehem. What is significant about David’s story, and how does it end up pointing us toward the eternal kingship of Christ? That’s what’s on tap this week on White Horse Inn as the hosts continue their series, The Story of God’s People.

HOST QUOTE
“So already here at the beginning of David's story, we get the sense that there is more to David's story than David's story. This is not just about David. David, as Mike likes to say, is not the primary character in his life story. He's being made a supporting character in the story that God is telling about his creation and his redemption, his love for Israel. God is working and moving through Samuel and even through Jesse to establish his eternal plan and purpose.
“So Samuel makes his way to Bethlehem and we keep reading in 1 Samuel 16 starting at verse 5 that Samuel consecrated Jesse and his sons, invited them to the sacrifice, and then they start coming kind of down the road. You get the sense of a beauty pageant and Samuel is the judge and the first one up is Eliab and Samuel thinks surely the Lord's anointed is before him. And then you get God speaking in through the microphone in Samuel's ear, ‘No, don't do the same thing that you did with Saul. Don't look on his appearance of the height of his stature because I have rejected him. ’The Lord sees not as man sees. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart. It took seven sons of Jesse to get that point across to Samuel. And you almost get the sense that it really is for Samuel that God is parading the sons of Jesse before him to help him understand the importance of what's about to happen.”
– Eric Landry
 
TERM TO LEARN
"On the Incarnation of the Son of God"
We confess, therefore, that God has fulfilled the promise which He made to the fathers by the mouth of His holy prophets, when He sent into the world, at the time appointed by Him, His own only-begotten and eternal Son, who took upon Him the form of a servant and became like unto man, really assuming the true human nature with all its infirmities, sin excepted; being conceived in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit without the means of man; and did not only assume human nature as to the body, but also a true human soul, that He might be a real man. For since the soul was lost as well as the body, it was necessary that He should take both upon Him, to save both.
Therefore we confess (in opposition to the heresy of the Anabaptists, who deny that Christ assumed human flesh of His mother) that Christ partook of the flesh and blood of the children; that He is a fruit of the loins of David after the flesh; born of the seed of David according to the flesh; a fruit of the womb of Mary; born of a woman; a branch of David; a shoot of the root of Jesse; sprung from the tribe of Judah; descended from the Jews according to the flesh; of the seed of Abraham; since he took on him the seed of Abraham, and was made like unto his brethren in all things, sin excepted; so that in truth He is our Immanuel, that is to say, God with us.
(The Belgic Confession, Article 18)
 
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WHI-1297 | The Story of Moses, Part 2

On this program the hosts continue their series, The Story of God’s People, as we look at the great characters and moments of redemptive history. In the story of Moses, we see God rescuing his people from slavery, atoning for their sin, and feeding them manna in the wilderness. Who was Moses and why was he such an important figure in ancient Israel? How does he relate to the rest of the Bible? What significance does he have for us?

When we look at his importance, it is essential to understand that these stories aren’t ends in themselves. They actually point our attention to Jesus Christ, who is the true Lamb of God, the true bread of heaven, and our ultimate liberator and redeemer. This week we will be wrapping up our discussion of the life and ministry of Moses. That’s the focus of this edition of White Horse Inn as the hosts continue their series, The Story of God’s People.

GUEST QUOTE
“I love how when God speaks to Moses and tells Moses, ‘Here's what you're supposed to say to the people of Israel.’ Notice all the ‘I’ statements. He said, ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagle's wings and brought you to myself.’ It's this strong emphasis on its divine action. It’s God agency that leads to the liberation of his people. Now, we're arriving at this climactic moment where God is going to enter into covenant with his people but he wants them to know that you're entering into covenant with me because I bore you on eagle's wings, I brought you to myself.”
– Uche Anizor
 
TERM TO LEARN
"Eucharist"
The Greek noun εὐχαριστία (eucharistia), meaning "thanksgiving", is attributed in the words of institution of the Last Supper to Christ as he ratifies the new covenant in his body and blood in 1 Cor. 11:20-21. The Apostle Paul links this ecclesiology of the sacrament to the ascension of Christ who is the source of the gifts. In ascending on high Christ now pours his good gifts lavishly by his Spirit to his saints through the ministry of Word and sacrament. It is this ministry alone that creates, sustains, unites, and brings maturity to the body of Christ sealed in this meal of thanksgiving (Eph. 4).
In Luke 24, on the day of Resurrection, meeting two disciples on the Road to Emmaus Jesus shows himself from all of Scriptures as being the one the prophets spoke of. They recognize him when he came to supper. He took bread and broke it and gave thanks. Thus, they recognized him only after the meal! The verbal clauses are consonant with the words of institution. This model is how the church comes to recognize Christ. While the church recognizes Christ in the preaching of the gospel (“didn’t our hearts burn within us!”), it is in the breaking of the bread that she recognizes and communes with her Savior. He stands in her midst and he says “peace be with you.” This κοινωνία (communion) is a sharing in his body and blood. She is given this Eucharist as she awaits that last day, when she will feast with God forever in the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Those who partake of the Eucharist in true faith, in thanksgiving, receive all the benefits of Christ, while the unbelieving are condemned in partaking. By eating and drinking of bread and wine the church is lifted into Christ's presence by the Spirit and communes with him. This eating and drinking in thanksgiving, by the Spirit’s mystical work, sets the church aside (i.e. ‘made holy’) in body and soul for the Last Day as that end times community of saints.
(Adapted from Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, pp 733-827)
 
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