Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

____________________________

Thursday
Dec242009

The Benefits of Christ's Birth

From the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 14

35. What is the meaning of “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary?”

That the eternal Son of God, who is and continues true and eternal God,[1] took upon Himself the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary,[2] by the operation of the Holy Spirit;[3] so that He might also be the true seed of David,[4] like unto His brethren in all things,[5] except for sin.[6]

[1] Jn 1:1-4, 10:30-36; Rom 1:3-4, 9:5; Col 1:15-17; 1 Jn 5:20; [2] Mt 1:18-23; Jn 1:14; Gal 4:4; Heb 2:14; [3] Mt 1:18-20; Lk 1:35; [4] 2 Sam 7:12-16; Ps 132:11; Mt 1:1; Lk 1:32; Rom 1:3; [5] Php 2:7; Heb 2:17; [6] Heb 4:15, 7:26-27

36. What benefit do you receive from the holy conception and birth of Christ?

That He is our Mediator,[1] and with His innocence and perfect holiness[2] covers, in the sight of God, my sin,[3] wherein I was conceived.[4]

[1] 1 Tim 2:5-6; Heb 2:16-17, 9:13-15; [2] Rom 8:3-4; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 4:4-5; 1 Pt 1:18-19; [3] Ps 32:1; 1 Jn 1:9; [4] Ps 51:5

Thursday
Dec242009

Merry Christmas from the Riddleblog!

The Riddlebargers wish you and yours a very merry Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous new year.

 

Wednesday
Dec232009

Come Join Us on Christmas Eve

Here's the Christ Reformed Announcement:

You are invited to join us for an evening of Lessons and Carols on Thursday, December 24 at 7:00 p.m.

Lessons and Carols is a service celebrating the birth of Jesus.  The fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols and hymns.  We hope you and your family can join us for this wonderful evening as we remember the birth of Christ and hear of God’s faithfulness throughout all ages.

For more info, Click here

Here's my purpose for this year's Christmas Eve sermon:

I hope to ruin Christmas for every non-Christian present.  This year, I'm focusing on the truth claim associated with our Lord's incarnation, seen in Luke's insistence that the birth of Jesus took place during the reign of Caesar Augustus.  God came to earth in Christ to save us from our sins, not to make us feel better about ourselves.  Peace on earth and good will towards men (biblically defined) requires an incarnation.  This is not some sort of timeless truth.



Wednesday
Dec232009

"He Appeared to Take Away Sins" -- 1 John 2:28-3:10

The Sixth in a Series of Sermons on John's Epistles

The Apostle John makes a direct connection between Jesus as God manifest in the flesh and the fact that Jesus died to take away the guilt of our sins.  But there were some, John says, “who went out from us, but who were not of us” and who were doing everything in their power to deny this essential connection.  As John has set out in the opening chapters of this epistle, those who are Christ’s will live in the blessedness of the knowledge that their sins are forgiven.  Those who are Christ’s have the benefit of knowing that Jesus Christ is presently in heaven interceding for them as their advocate before the Father.  And those who are Christ’s, will not be characterized by sin–something John describes as “practicing sin.”  Why?  Because God’ people walk in the light.  Those who walk in the light wage will war upon their sins as well as strive to mirror that righteousness which is found in Christ.  The behavior of God’s children stands in sharp contrast to those whom John will now characterize as children of the Devil, who practice “sinning.”

As we continue our series on the Epistles of John, we now make our way into the third chapter of John’s first epistle, which includes the second main section of this letter.  Throughout this portion of his epistle, John will repeat–for the sake of emphasis–a number of themes he’s already set out in chapter two.  In 1 John 2:28-3:10, John once again addresses the importance of obeying the commandments of the Lord (our topic this morning).  As John will put it, Christians are people who are characterized by the “practice of righteousness” and not by the “practice of sin.”  Then, in verses 11-18, John reminds his readers of the necessity of loving their brothers and sisters in Christ, while in verses 19-24, John speaks of the assurance of our salvation in light of our own sinful hearts.  And then in the first six verses of chapter 4, John returns to the theme of discerning truth from error.  Although in many ways this section of 1 John is a repetition of the first section–something which was often done in letters of this period–John now tweaks each of these points to emphasize their importance in light of the challenges then facing the churches to which John is writing.

Throughout our time in these epistles, we have seen that historical context is everything.  If we don’t understand why John writes these letters as well as have knowledge of the errors he is refuting, we’ll make a mess of things–as many have done, especially with the section we are covering this morning.  The Apostle John writes these three epistles at some point toward the end of the first century.  While at many points in these epistles John alludes to his gospel–likely written a short time earlier–John is writing to both state and defend the doctrine that Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh.  The incarnation of Christ–that Jesus is fully God and fully man–is the very foundation of the Christian faith.  To deny the incarnation is to deny Christianity.  To deny the incarnation is to embrace the spirit of antichrist.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click here 

Tuesday
Dec222009

Protestants and Creeds

 

 

Protestants and Creeds (from the January 2009 Tabletalk)

Q. What is then necessary for a Christian to believe? 

A. All that is promised us in the gospel, which the articles of our catholic, undoubted Christian faith teach us in sum.   (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 22)

I’ll never forget the first time I worshiped in a Presbyterian church. I had been raised in independent Bible churches where it was a given that Christians believed the Bible, while Roman Catholics relied on tradition. We had “no creed but Christ.” You can imagine how I was taken aback when the Presbyterian faithful recited the Apostles’ Creed with great gusto, including the line that, at the time, I could not bring myself to repeat: “I believe…in the holy catholic church.”

To read the rest of this article, Click here

Monday
Dec212009

You've Got to Hear These . . .

The folks at White Horse Media have made available a few free audio snippets from our 20th Anniversary White Horse Inn CD.

These include some of our spoof commercials (including the Dad Rod Christian Cruise), celebrity impersonators (doing Billy Graham and Bill Clinton), as well as several out-takes of screw-ups during taping (we do have a blast).

You can check out the preview of the 20th Anniversary White Horse Inn CD here:

White Horse Inn 20th Anniversary CD

Monday
Dec212009

Who Said That?

"I've had to stop a sermon, go back and raise a dead person," adding good-naturedly, "It did improve my altar call that night."

Who said that? Leave your guess in the comments section below.  Please, no google searches or cheating.  Answer to follow next week.

Sunday
Dec202009

This Week's White Horse Inn

The Word Made Flesh

Christianity is the religion of a book, and this particular book contains a good deal of words to be read, reflected upon, and applied. But God's word contains more than instructions on how we should all behave. Ultimately it points to a person, the Word of God made flesh, who descended from heaven in order to save the fallen race of mankind.

http://www.whitehorseinn.org/



Sunday
Dec202009

"Blessed Be the Lord God of Israel" -- Luke 1:57-80

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon, for the fourth Sunday in advent.

Click here
Wednesday
Dec162009

"Antichrist Is Coming!" -- 1 John 2:18-27

The Fifth in a Series of Sermons on the Epistles of John

It is difficult to find anything in the Bible which has provoked as much unbiblical speculation as has the doctrine of antichrist.  The very mention of this mysterious figure sends the Christian imagination off and running.  But this is nothing new.  The church fathers, by and large, thought the Antichrist would be an apostate Jew who would come to power after the fall of the Roman Empire.  The Reformers–and virtually the entire Reformed tradition–have seen the warning about antichrist fulfilled in the Roman papacy.  More recently, the dispensationalists have taught that the Antichrist will appear near the time of the end in connection with the rapture of the church.   At the beginning of the seven-year tribulation period, dispensationalists tell us the Antichrist will make a seven-year peace treaty with the nation of Israel before turning on God’s ancient people, declaring himself to be God in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.  Much of this antichrist speculation is so far afield from the way John uses the term “antichrist” in his epistles, it is truly remarkable.  For the Apostle John, antichrist is not some dreaded future foe, but a very present threat to those to whom he is writing.  John warns his readers in Asia Minor, “Antichrist is coming.”

We are continuing our series on the Epistles of John and we take up John’s warning regarding the antichrist in verses 18-27, the final of the four things in this part of John chapter 2 which John says should characterize all those who walk in the light.  The first thing which should characterize Christians, John says, is that they confess their sins (1:5-2:2).  The second thing they will do is to strive obey the commandments of God, which are a published revelation of God’s will (2:3-11).  Those who walk in darkness have no interest in God’s law.  Then, in verses 12-17, John warns us not to love the world.  I attempted to make the case last time that John is not referring to the physical world (the universe) when he warns us not to love the world.  Rather, John is referring to the fallen world as it is currently under the control of the evil one (cf. 1 John 5:19).  John puts this in very stark either/or terms.  If we love the fallen world in its opposition to God, we cannot love the Father.  

This brings us to verses 18-27 and the fourth characteristic of those who walk in the light–they will oppose the many antichrists who have already gone out into the world.  In order to make sense of John’s warning about these antichrists–these arch-enemies of Jesus Christ who is the word made flesh–recall that John is responding to an early form of Gnosticism, which held that reality exists in the form of a dualism between pure spirit (the good) and matter (evil).  As we have seen, this conception of the universe makes Christ’s incarnation a metaphysical impossibility because if these proto-Gnostic categories are in fact correct, God (who is pure spirit) cannot take to himself a true human nature (which would be evil).  In order to explain the physical appearances of Jesus in the gospels these proto-Gnostics opposed by John were affirming that while Jesus was truly God, he only appeared to be human (or took the form of a human).  It is this so-called docetic heresy which John will now label the “spirit of antichrist.”  This definition is quite different from the way in which most people use the term.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click here