Jottings – No Hesitation


Commenting on Acts 20 ~

 

The model covered the whole time Paul spent in Ephesus, right from the first moment he arrived until he left. That period has already been described in Acts 19:1-20; and if that were the only account of it, we might well have formed the impression that it was two years and three months of the rigorous public preaching of a forceful man, performing extraordinary miracles and achieving triumphant success. What a different side of things the present address paints in. Here is what the work of serving the Lord was really like, and here is the real man who actually did it: marked by humility, often reduced to tears as he faced the plots of the Jews against him (Acts 20:19, 31), and constantly beset with trials. But see his moral courage and generosity: ‘I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you,’ he declares in verse 20; and again in verse 27, ‘For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.’

 

D.W. Gooding, True To The Faith: Charting The Course Through The Acts Of The Apostles. (Grand Rapids, MI: Gospel Folio Press, 1995), 323.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Jottings – Until I Make Your Enemies Your Footstool

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“For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:34-36 — Perhaps even so there were some in the crowd who still had a major objection: If Jesus really was King Messiah, where was there any evidence of his kingdom? When was he going to start putting an end to the problem of evil? And if he didn’t do that, how could he be the Messiah?

 
The question strikes us today with even greater force than it may have struck the Jerusalem crowd. Almost two thousand years have passed since Jesus’ exaltation. But where has there ever been any serious evidence that he has even attempted to solve the problem of evil? The twentieth century has in fact witnessed in the Holocaust, in Stalin’s purges, in the killing fields of Cambodia, and in a thousand atrocities besides, an out-flowering of evil greater perhaps than any previous century. Jesus has obviously not attempted to stamp out evil. How then is it credible that he is both Lord and Messiah?

 
Once more the psalm has the answer. It was never part of God’s programme that the Messiah should proceed, immediately upon his exaltation, to stamp out evil. The invitation was: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’ There was to be an interval between his exaltation and the subjugation of his enemies, during which he would be seated at God’s right hand, awaiting the time of his second coming. Only then would his enemies be made the footstool of his feet.

 
And what a mercy it was that this interval was written into the programme, for the sake of us all, of course, but particularly for the crowd who stood listening to Peter. They had crucified God incarnate, and he was now elevated to the position of supreme power in the universe. What if there had been no interval and he had proceeded at once to stamp out evil? We are, Peter pointed out, already in the last days of this present age. The cosmic convulsions will occur soon enough, to be followed by the great and resplendent Day of the Lord and the dawning of the messianic age to come. But thank God for the present interval.

 

David W. Gooding, True to the Faith: The Acts of the Apostles: Defining and Defending the Gospel, Myrtlefield Expositions (Coleraine, Northern Ireland: Myrtlefield House, 2013), 78–79.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Gospel Folio Press Announces eBooks

True Discipleship Gospel Folio PressRecently, on the Why We Web Blog, I gave 5 reasons why I believe the time has come to make the switch from traditional books to eBooks.

Late yesterday afternoon I received an email from Gospel Folio Press announcing the availability of many of their titles in eBook format. Needless to say this came as very welcome news! Gospel Folio Press is a publisher of reliable Christian literature written by reliable authors. The list of GFP authors includes such names as William MacDonald, David Gooding, John Lennox, and T. Ernest Wilson.

According to GFP’s email a selection of eBooks are already available in three different formats:

This morning when I visited Amazon’s website to browse GFP’s Kindle titles I was amazed to find 118 of their titles listed. IMHO that is an impressive start and is a strong indication of GFP’s commitment to eBooks and the Kindle platform. While on Amazon’s site I purchased True Discipleship by William MacDonald. The process worked flawlessly and within a minute or two I was reading brother MacDonald’s excellent book.

If you haven’t made the switch to eBooks yet, today you have one more reason to make the switch.

 

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Jottings – Insanity Is A Discriminating Epidemic

Jottings

On Acts 26:24 : “At this point in the proceedings Festus announced in a voice that boomed all round the court: “You are mad, Paul; your massive learning is driving you insane” (Acts 26:24). Strange that! You could enjoy the gladiator shows in Rome, like the rich and noble did, as well as the masses, and watch with amusement while men hacked each other to death—and not be charged with lunacy. You could in more recent times be so fanatical in pursuit of communist theory as deliberately to eliminate millions of human beings—and still not be called mad. But start a vigorous campaign to clean up the morals of the Roman Empire, to call on people to repent and seek the living God, to preach a message of forgiveness, peace, and hope—and it will seem to Festus, and a good many more, insanity. Insanity is obviously a very discriminating epidemic.”

David W Gooding, True To The Faith. Port Colborne, ON: Gospel Folio Press, 1995, p. 365.

True To The Faith is available here in print and here in PDF.

 

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Christmas Lessons For Modern Living

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A wide array of diverse people appear throughout the Gospel narratives surrounding the nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Kings and shepherds, Gentile wise men and Jewish priests, and a number of other completely different kinds of people show up before, during, and after the birth of the Messiah. One way or another, they all provide examples to instruct us – some good and others bad. Mary, Simeon, and Anna highlight three different qualities that every Christian ought to emulate.


Brain Food

In the aftermath of the shepherds’ visit, Luke 2:19 records Mary’s response: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” The key word to notice is “ponder,” meaning “to give careful consideration to various implications of an issue—‘to reflect on, to think about seriously, to think deeply about.’”* Another commentator adds: “‎Literally, ‘casting together,’ i. e. comparing and considering; like our ‘casting in mind.’ Comp. Genesis 37:11, ‘his father observed the saying.’ She did not at once understand the full significance of all these events.”** To put it slightly differently, she was one who meditated on the things of God, carefully and repeatedly turning truth over in her mind.

The modern world presents many challenges to regular meditation on Christ as He is revealed in the Scriptures. Endless e-mails, interminable texts, intrusive iPhones and a host of other contemporary innovations threaten to distract from what is of ultimate value. The frenetic pace of life on the digital superhighway must not overwhelm our minds. We must assiduously carve out the time to feed on the Christ of the Bible, mentally masticating thoughts concerning His person and work.


Purposeful Waiting

Like Mary, Simeon gives modern believers a valuable and practical lesson worthy of imitation. He is described as “…waiting for the Consolation of Israel…” (Luke 2:25.) “The Consolation of Israel” is rightly capitalized in the New King James Version for it is a Messianic title. Simeon was not merely awaiting an event such as world peace or heavenly glory, he was expecting a person. As David Gooding explains:

The delightful term ‘consolation of Israel’ suggests that his expectation was based on the programme enunciated in such passages as Isaiah 40ff. He was looking for the day when Israel’s warfare and chastisement would be over, and God would ‘comfort his people’. Nor was Simeon narrowly concerned simply for the future of Israel. Basing himself again on Isaiah’s predictions (e.g. Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6 etc.) he foresaw the time when the light of God’s salvation would spread to the very ends of the earth (see Luke 2:31-32).***

In other words, he was looking forward to the Lord’s coming. Likewise, Christians today ought to eagerly anticipate the coming of Christ – this time He returns to receive His people to Himself (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.) Is this our daily focus and earnest hope? May the Holy Spirit stir us to long for the Lord’s coming like Simeon of old.


Spread The Word

The third of our nativity role models, Anna, demonstrates the great privilege of believers to proclaim the good news of Christ. She “…spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38.) The glad tidings of Christmas are that the Son of God took on human flesh in order to give His life as a sacrifice for sin so that God His Father could reconcile sinful and fallen mankind to Himself. Anna was an excellent example of an ambassador for Christ, faithfully discharging the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-21.) Like her, we must share the good news with those we meet.

Mary, Simeon, and Anna remind us of the ongoing impact that the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ have upon our lives. Such truths go beyond mere sentimentality and must form the bedrock of our behavior. We must meditate on the Word while we wait for the Lord Jesus to return, and speak of Him to those that we meet.

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*Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996, pp. 349f.

**F.W. Farrar, The Gospel According to St Luke, With Maps, Notes and Introduction. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1891, p. 70.

***D.W. Gooding, According to Luke. pp. 55f. Electronic ed., accessed here: Key Bible Concepts on 3/29/11.

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Website Review: KeyBibleConcepts.org

Key Bible Concepts One of the great benefits of the internet is the ability to quickly, easily, and inexpensively disseminate high quality literature. However, if you have spent any time on the internet, you will know that the major obstacle is identifying and locating reliable and trustworthy literature.

Sure, you could use a search engine (such as Google or Bing) to help locate material online regarding the topic you are interested in. However, search engines will not distinguish between Biblical truth and heresy. Online (and offline) we must remember to follow the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11) who searched the scriptures daily to see whether the things they heard were true or not.

Here at Digital Sojourner we are constantly on the lookout for websites and other digital resources that we believe are worthy of your attention. Digital tools that we believe are helpful to the child of God. Of course, our recommendation is not a substitute for being a good Berean.

According to Lukewww.keybibleconcepts.org is an excellent example of a website that provides high quality and reliable literature for those who are seriously seeking the things of God. The website features ten full length books written by Professor David Gooding and Professor John Lennox. Each book is freely available via PDF download. There is no cost whatsoever. The site does not require you to create an account, or even provide an email address. Simply select the book you are interested in and begin reading!

Available titles include: According to Luke, by Professor David Gooding. This book carefully examines the literary structure used by Luke to present the person and work of Christ. In Opium or Truth Professors Gooding & Lennox examine the obstacles in accepting Christianity that many thoughtful people have expressed.

I could continue to list the available resources, but why not visit the site yourself to see what is available and then let us know in the comments what your favorite book is!

Note: Most of the books at www.keybibleconcepts.org are available in traditional print format from Gospel Folio Press at very reasonable prices.

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