Friday, December 31, 2010

"The Effective Invitation" by R. Alan Streett. Chapter 2

Chapter 2 of R. Alan Street's "The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide for the Pastor" is entitled "The Theological Content of the Invitation." Street warns us that we cannot preach the Gospel without issuing an invitation to our hearers to respond.  The aim of 1st century preaching was the conversion of the lost.  The invitation is the act of the preacher in exhorting and instructing hearers in appropriating the content of the message (kerygma) in their individual lives.  Streett quotes Roy J. Fish concerning the nature of the Gospel: " is obvious that it represents an offer.  God makes man a concrete offer of forgiveness of sin on the basis of the saving acts of his Son.  Such an offer demands a decision."  Streett is critical of the practices of substituting a trip to the altar or the raising of hands for the inclusion of the theological content of the invitation.  Scriptural models of the invitation all contain theological content.  In Mk. 1:14-15, Jesus preached the Kingdom of God which is entered through repentance and faith. (see also Acts 3: 12-26, 20: 20-21)  Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin, says Streett, but the preacher must clearly define the terms for his listeners.  Repentance must be preached first in the Gospel invitation (Acts 20:21, Heb. 6:1).  The Greek verb matanoeo is translated in English as repent.  It means a change of mind toward someone or something. It denotes a rational rather than an emotional response.  Repentance is not the message of the Gospel, but the intitial response, and its origin is with God, not man.  (Ps. 80:19, Jn. 6:44, Acts 5:30-31, Rom 2:24, 2Tim 2:24-25) Faith is the second component of the invitation. The Greek verb pisteuo is translated as believe, commit, trust.  It means to rely one someone or something.  The noun pistis is translated as faith and the object of this faith is the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Faith is a gift of God (Phil 1:29, 2Pet 1:1, Heb. 12:2, Rom. 10:17), it is more than mental assent (James 2:14) and does not focus on the visible world (2Cor. 5:7, Jn. 20:29, Ge. 12:3, 15:6 and Rom. 4:19-25).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Preaching And Teaching

Yesterday I preached a sermon entitled "Something New Under The Sun."  I had found a message I had written under that title and when the pastor asked me to preach this Sunday, I decided to use that message as the basis of the sermon.  In the end, all that survived of the original message was the title.  In the very near future, I will post the sermon on my audio blog.  Over the next couple of weeks I will finally get that blog going.  I will also post the original written message on my main blog.  All this will be done if God permits it.

I have almost finished teaching on the Sermon on the Mount. It took me longer than anticipated to teach both the Sermon on the Mount and the book of Philippians.  I am going to have to refine my teaching style.  Next month I hope to take time to post some of what I taught from Philippians on both my main blog and audio blog.

Friday, December 3, 2010

"The Effective Invitation" By R. Alan Streett. Chapter 1

Recently I began reading "The Effective Invitation: A Practical Guide For The Pastor" by R. Alan Streett, chairman and professor of Evangelism at The Criswell College and editor of the Criswell Theological Review.  Chapter 1, "Tell Me, What Is The Gospel," deals with the theological content of the Gospel message.  I will briefly summerize the chapter's contents.

Streett cautions against making an appeal to others to accept Christ as Lord and Savior when a clear proclamation of the message of the Gospel has not been preached. There are two parts to the Gospel message, proclamation and invitation. Proclamation must always precede an invitation to listeners to respond to its truth.  Three New Testament words deal with proclamation: kerygma, kerysso and keryx.  Kerygma, appearing 8 times in the New Testament, refers to the content of the Gospel.  It is translated in English translations as "preaching" (ex. 1Cor. 1:21).  Kerysso, appearing 61 times, means "to proclaim" or "to preach"; it refers to the act of preaching.  Keryx, appearing 3 times, refers to the preacher.  Paul used the word twice to describe himself (1Tim 2:7, 2Tim 1:11).  The word also includes the concept of an ambassador in its meaning. (1Cor. 1:17, Eph. 6:19-20, 2Cor 5:20)  The preacher does not proclaim merely for the sake of doing so.  An inseperable component of his motivation is an expectation of response.  Three New Testament words deal with evangelism: evangelion, evangelizo and evangelistes.  Evangelion, appearing 77 times, simply means good news and is a synonym for kerygma (Rom 16:25).  Evangelizo, appearing 55 times, means to bring or announce glad tidings. Evangelistes, appearing 3 times, meaning bringer of good tidings, is translated as "evangelist" and is a synonym for keryx.    

Two-Fold Nature of Man

Taken from F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches", chapter 2, "The Nature of Man."

Man is a compound being

1Cor. 6:20, 1Cor. 7:34, Job 14:22, 2Cor. 4:16
The outer man is mortal- Rom. 6:12, Rom. 8:11, Gen. 1:29,2:7,15,3:19, Ps. 8:4, 5 with Heb. 2:6-7, 1Cor. 15:53, Lk. 20: 35-36, Job 19:26, Mt. 10:28, 2Cor. 4:16.
The inner man is spirit- 2Cor. 4:16, Job 32:8, Is. 57:16, Zech. 12:1, 1Tim. 1:17, Mt. 10:28, Ps. 22:26, Mic. 6:7, James 2:26, Rom. 6:12-13, 2Cor. 5:1-9, 2Pet. 1:13-14, 2Cor. 12:2-4, Phil 1: 21-24, Mt. 22:32, Rev. 6: 9-10, 20:4, Lk. 23:43,46, Acts 7:59, Ps. 90:10, Ecc. 12:7, Rom. 3:4.
Christ is first-begotten of the dead- Rev. 1:5, Col. 1:18, 1Cor. 15:20, Acts 26:22-23.

God's Attributes In General And Who Each Person Of The Trinity Is

From F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches", Chapter 1- "The Doctrine of God":

God's Attributes

1. Self Existence: Jn. 5:26, Ps. 36:9
2. Eternity: Ps. 90:2, Is. 57:15
3. Spirituality: Jn. 4:24
4. Unity: Is. 45:21
5. Immutability: Mal. 3:6, James 1:17
6.  Omnipresence: Jer. 23:24, Acts 17: 27,28
7. Omniscience: Acts 15:18, Heb 4:13
8. Omnipotence: Rom. 1:20, Mt. 19:26
9. Wisdom: Dan. 2:20, Rom 11:33
10.  Holiness and Truth: 1Pet. 1:16, Hab. 1:13, Titus 1:2
11. Justice: Ps. 89:14, Acts 10:35
12. Goodness: (Benevolence, love, mercy,grace) Rom. 2:4, Jn. 3:16, Ps. 136:26, 1Pet. 5:10,
13. Faithfulness: 2Thess. 3:3, Heb. 11:11

1. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are represented as special personsdistinct from each other.
2. They are clased together, seperate from all other beings.
3. Divine titles are aplied to each.
4. Divine attributes are ascribed to each.
5. Divine works are attributed to each.
Yet There is only one God.

God The Father

The word "Father" applied in 2 senses, to God without any personal distinctions (1Chron. 29:10, Ps. 89:26, 2Chron. 6:18, Jn. 4: 21,23,24) and to distinguish the Father from the Son (Mt. 11:27, Jn. 5:17, Acts 2:33, Rom. 15:6, Gal. 1:1-4)

God The Son

1.  Divine Titles Applied to Him the same as the Father- Heb. 1:8, Is. 9:6, Mt. 1:23, Jn. 1: 1,14, Acts 20:28, Jn. 20:28, Rom. 9:5, Phil. 2:6, Col. 2:9, Titus 1:3, 1Jn. 5:20, Rev. 17:14

2. Divine Attributes are ascribed to Him.
a. preexistence or eternity-Jn. 8:58, 1Cor. 15:47, 1Jn. 1:1, Phil 2:6-7, Jn. 17:5, Col. 1:17, Mic. 5:2, Rev. 22: 16,13
b. Omnipotence- Is. 9:6, Mt. 28:18, Jn. 11:25, Phil. 3:21, Col. 2:10, Jn. 10: 17-18, Heb. 1:3, 2Tim. 1:10
c. Omnipresence- Mt. 18:20, 28:20
d. Omniscience- Jn. 2:24-25, 21:17, Acts 1:24, Col. 2:3, Mt. 11:27, Rev. 2:23

3.  Divine works are ascribed to Him.
a. Creation- Heb. 1:1-2, 10, Jn. 1:3, Col. 1:16
b. Redemption- Eph. 1:7, Heb. 9:12

4. He is Preeminent--Above All Things- Acts 10:36, Rom 14:9, Phil 2:9, Col. 1:18, 1Pet. 3:22

5.  He is a proper object of Devotion and Worship- Heb. 1:6, Jn. 5:23, Lk. 24:52, 1Cor. 1:2, Phil. 2:10, Rev. 5:13, 2Tim. 4:18

God The Holy Spirit-
Also divine and distinct from the Father and the Son.  Called the Spirit of God (Rom 8:9)because He was sent from God (Jn. 15:26).  Also called the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9) because He is sent to do the work of Christ.
1.  His divinity- Mt. 10:20, Ez. 36:27 cf Acts 2: 17-18, Acts 28:25, Rom. 8:14, 1Cor. 3:16, Eph. 1:13.
2. His personality-
a. Associated with Father, Son as their equal- Mt. 28:29
b. The personal pronoun "He" is applied to Him, Jn. 16:13
c. Personal acts are ascribed to Him- Jn. 14:26, 15:26, 16:13, Acts 13:2,4.
d. Particular attributes are ascribed to Him- for example- knowledge (1Cor. 2:11), will (1Cor. 12:11), Power (Rom. 15:13)

All three are classed together, seperately from all other human beings, as divine- Mt. 28:19, 2Cor. 13:14, Jude 20:21, 1Pet. 1:2, Rom. 8: 14-17.
3. His works-
a. In creation: Gen. 1:1,2, Job 33:4, 26:13, Ps. 104:30.
b. In redemption: 2Thess. 2:13, Acts 15:8,9, Titus 3:5, 1Jn. 3:24, Rom 8:9, 14, 16  

Divine Authority of Scripture And The Words Of the Apostles

Taken from F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches" , Preliminary- The Divine Authority of The Scriptures:

The Holy Spirit as the author of Scripture- 2Pet 1:19,21, 2Tim. 3:16, Is. 1:10, Jer 1:7, Ex 1:3, Jn. 5:39, 46, Lk.16:31, Heb 10:7.

The Holy Spirit as the author of the words of the Apostles- Mt. 10:19-20, 1Thess. 2:13, 1Cor. 14:37, 2Pet. 3: 15-16