Sunday, March 30, 2008

Headed to the Final Four!

UNC defeated a very good Louisville team Saturday night to advance to the Final Four.
This is UNC's 17th Final Four apperance.
I am asking all Dook, State, Wake Forest and Davidson fans to pull for North Carolina.
Let's support the ACC and the State of North Carolina!

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Need Answers

Here's a powerful clip from an episode of NBC's "E.R." illustrating a modern approach to Theology. This man asks to see the chaplain and they send this lady who has a very post- modern view of God.

“I need answers! I want a real chaplain who believes in a real God and a real hell!”

Thursday, March 27, 2008

MacArthur on the Resurrcetion Part 4

The resurrection then proves: the truthfulness of the Word of God; the deity of the Son of God; the completion of the salvation of God; the establishment of the church of God.

The Resurrection Proves the Inevitability of the Judgment of God
Fifthly and sadly, the resurrection proves the inevitability of the judgment of God...the inevitability of the judgment of God. When our Lord came into the world the first time, He was mocked and scorned, hated, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He was humbled, He allowed Himself to be treated so terribly, the people said He was hell. They battered Him, they spit on Him, they pushed a crown of thorns into His head, they drove nails through His hands and feet, they rammed a spear into His side, they put Him on display naked as a laughing stock.

But that's not the last scene the world will have of Jesus. He rose from the dead to be their judge. They executed Him as a criminal. He will come back as their judge. Listen to John 8, a very, very powerful, powerful testimony. He says to the Jews who have rejected Him, verse 26, "I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you." This thing isn't over, He said. Back in verse 21 He said, "Because you do not know Me you will die in your sins and where I am going you cannot come." I have more to say to you, He says, and to judge concerning you.

Back in John chapter 5 He speaks specifically about that judgment. In verse 22 He says, "All judgment is given to the Son, God has made Him judge and given to Him all judgment." Verse 21, "Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes and then not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son."

Down in verse 25, "Truly, truly I say to you, an hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear shall live for just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son to have life in Himself and He gave Him authority to execute judgment." What kind of judgment? Verse 28, "Some day the tombs are going to hear His voice, they're going to come forth, those who did good deeds to the resurrection of life, those who committed evil ones to a resurrection of judgment. "I can do nothing on my own initiative...verse 30 I hear I judge and My judgment is just." He's coming back as a just judge. He's coming back as judge, jury, sentencer, executioner. And God has testified to that. He was killed as a criminal. He will return as a resurrected judge.

Listen to Acts 10 verse 42, actually start at verse 40, "God raised Him up on the third day after being hanged on a cross...verse 39...God raised Him up on the third day...Acts 10 verse 40...and granted that He should become visible, not to all the people but to witnesses who were chosen before hand by God, that is to us who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead." Why did He appear to the apostles? Verse 42, "And He ordered us to preach to the people and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead." He will come back as a God- appointed judge. In Acts chapter 17 is preaching on the Areopagus known as Mars Hill in Athens and Paul says in verse 30 of that sermon that God has patiently overlooked the times of man's ignorance but He is now declaring to men that they just repent...verse 31 of Acts 17...because He has fixed a day, the day of the Lord, which He will judge the world in righteousness through a man He has appointed. And how did He furnish proof that Christ was the man? By raising Him from the dead, says Paul.

The resurrection then is the act of the Father by which He appoints Christ to be the judge. Now you can see how man sweeping realities in the Christian faith are unlocked to us in the resurrection of Christ. He is raised not only for our justification who believe, but for the damnation of those who do not believe and the Father attested to Him as Savior, as Son and as judge by His resurrection from the dead.

I'm thinking of Romans 14:9 which says, "Christ died and lived again that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living," and then the next verse says, "We must all stand before the judgment seat of God." He is not only the judge of the unbeliever, He is the judge of the believer. We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, Paul says in 2 Corinthians chapter 5, and He will be there to test our works to see if they're wood, hay and stubble or gold, silver and precious stones.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

MacArthur on the Resurrection Part 3

The Resurrection Proves the Completion of the Salvation of God

Listen to Romans 4, wonderful truth, truth on which we build our lives. "He was delivered up because of our transgressions and was raised because of our justification." In order for God to justify us, in order for God to declare us righteous, He had to raise Jesus from the dead.

There are so many essential features in our salvation contingent on the resurrection.

Jesus had to raise from the dead to:
1. To Bestow to Us Eternal Life

Our justification, first of all, includes bestowing eternal life, does it not? Part of being justified before God means that we receive eternal life. Well, the bestowing of eternal life is dependent on the resurrection. As in Adam all died, so in Christ shall be made alive. Because I live you shall live also In other words, it was in the death of Christ and His resurrection that He granted to us eternal life. If He never rose then He showed He couldn't conquer death. If He never rose He wouldn't be alive. If He wasn't alive He couldn't give us life. But He did arise and He said in John 11:25, "I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in Me even though he dies shall live again."

So, eternal life is dependent upon the resurrection. That's a component in the completion of God's salvation.

2. To Send the Holy Spirit
Secondly, the sending of the Holy Spirit. If Jesus hadn't risen from the grave He never would have ascended back to the Father. If He hadn't ascended back to the Father, He never would have sent the Holy Spirit. He Himself said that He could not send the Holy Spirit until He had gone back to the Father, John 16:7, "I tell you truth, it is to your advantage that I go away. If I do not go away the Holy Spirit will not come to you. But if I go, I'll send Him to you." And when He comes He'll convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment. When He comes He'll lead you into all truth. When He comes He'll bring all things into remembrance. When He comes He will place you into the body of Christ. When He comes He will become the guarantee of your eternal life. When He comes He will take up residence in you and you will become His temple. When He comes He will empower you for service. When He comes He will guide you. When He comes He will instruct you in the Word of God. He will be the anointing that teaches you so that you need no human teacher.

The whole full-blown ministry of the Holy Spirit was dependent upon the resurrection of Christ. If He didn't rise He couldn't ascend. If He couldn't ascend, He couldn't send the Spirit. No resurrection--no ascension--no Holy Holy Spirit--no church. When you talk about the resurrection proving the completion of the saving work of God, you're talking about the heart of Christianity. He had to rise to give us eternal life. He had to have the life to give it. He had to rise to go back to the Father to send us the Holy Spirit.

3. To Forgive Our Sins
Thirdly, He had to rise to forgive our sins. If He hadn't risen from the dead then we would know the Father was not pleased with His sacrifice, His sacrifice was not efficacious, it was not successful, it didn't work, it didn't atone for our sins and therefore the Father did not exalt Him and take Him to glory because He didn't do what He was supposed to do. On the other hand, if Jesus was raised from the dead, taken to the right hand of God, seated at the throne of God on His right hand, affirmed by God as having perfectly accomplished our redemption, then there is forgiveness of sins. Then it is accomplished. Then He who came for the expressed purpose of dying to put away death and sin accomplished His purpose. He, it says, was made like His brethren in all things that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God to make propitiation for the sins of His people, that's Hebrews 2. Later on it says in Hebrews that He has perfected forever them that are sanctified by the offering of Himself, that His sacrifice did work, our sins were completely covered and the Father affirmed it in the resurrection.

4. To Intercede For Us
Fourthly, Jesus must rise from the dead in order to be at the right hand of God interceding for us. His resurrection is inseparably linked to His work of intercession as He presents His petitions on behalf of the weak and tempted Christians and intercedes for them before the throne of grace. John says in 1 John 1...1 John 2:1 and 2, we have an advocate with the Father who is always pleading our case. Hebrews chapter 4 and Hebrews chapter 7 says we have a merciful and faithful high priest, in all points tempted like we are yet without sin, and He ever lives to make intercession for us. He is always at the right hand of God. Satan is there accusing us. He is there defending us. He is our lawyer, our advocate, our defender. If He didn't rise from the dead He wouldn't have ascended. If He didn't ascend we have no defender there. We have no one there pleading our case. We don't have the Holy Spirit in us pleading our case with groanings which cannot be uttered because He couldn't go back and send the Spirit and we don't have Him there advocating on our behalf either. The resurrection therefore is necessary not only for forgiveness of sins but for perpetual intercession that we might never be tempted above that we are able and that there always will be a way of escape.

5. To Bestow Spiritual Gifts
Fifthly, the resurrection is crucial to the bestowal of spiritual the bestowal of spiritual gifts. What are those? Those are the divine enabling abilities that the Spirit of God gives to every Christian so that we can serve God. In Ephesians chapter 4 it says that Christ ascended and after He ascended He gave some as apostles and some as prophets and evangelists and pastor/teachers for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, for the building up of the body of Christ. He went back to heaven and then He began to work through gifted men and spiritual gifts to built His church strong. To each one of us, verse 7 says, was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift. And He gave us that gift when He ascended on high, when He led captivity a host of captives and gave gifts to men. Jesus, risen from the dead, ascends to heaven, sends back spiritual gifts, gifted men, so that we can serve God. That's all based on His resurrection. If He doesn't rise...arise, He doesn't ascend, He doesn't send gifts, nor the enabling Spirit.

6. To Grant Us Spiritual Power
Sixthly, the resurrection also grants spiritual power, spiritual power. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and earth." Then in Acts 1:8 He says, "When the Spirit comes I'm passing it to you and you now are able to do exceeding, abundantly above all you can ask or think according to the power that works in you." You have the power, Ephesians 1 says, that raised Jesus from the dead working through you. Jesus Christ then sends us power, the enabling power and authority of the Spirit of God.

7. To Give Us A New Position of Blessing
I can give you a seventh component of the salvation of God and that is Jesus Christ in His resurrection has given to us a new position of blessing, a new position of blessing. In Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 3 it says we are blessed with all spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ. Christ is in the heavenlies and because He is there He pours out all spiritual blessing on us. Chapter 2 of Ephesians and verse 7 says, "Forever He will pour out the surpassing riches of His grace in His kindness toward us."

What immense blessing. The salvation of God demanded eternal life, the coming of the Spirit, the forgiveness of sins, ongoing intercession, the bestowing of spiritual gifts, the granting of spiritual power and the outpouring of eternal blessing...and all of that hinges on the resurrection. If Christ doesn't rise, none of it happens...none of it.

The question then is not what proves the resurrection but what does the resurrection prove? It proves that the Word of God is true. It proves that the Son of God is deity. It proves that the salvation of God is complete.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

MacArthur on the Resurrection Part 2

The Resurrection Proves the Deity of the Son of God
Secondly, the resurrection not only proves the truthfulness of the Word of God, it proves the deity of the Son of God...the deity of the Son of God. In fact, no greater proof exists for the divine nature of Jesus Christ then He rising from the dead. That is the most monumental thing that He did to verify that He was God, for only God can give life, only God can conquer death.

If you look in to the New Testament you will find a myriad of individuals giving testimony to Christ as God. Some are the most amazing, others we might expect.

For example, demons affirm the deity of Christ. In Mark 5 and 6...chapter 5 verse 6 and 7, I should say...the demons said, "Jesus, Son of the Most High God," even the demons, even the minions of hell, the fallen angels know of His deity, they know He is the Son of the Most High God.

In John chapter 9 you meet a man born blind, a man whom Jesus healed, a man who was sick for the glory of God. And Jesus says to him, "Do you believe in the Son of Man? And he answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him? And Jesus said you've seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you. And he said, Lord, I believe and he worshiped Him." He knew he was dealing with God. The rest of the people said, "We don't know where He's from." And the blind man said, "You mean He's opened my eyes and you don't know where He's from?"

And then there were the disciples who gave testimony. Peter on behalf of all of them said, "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God." Thomas said, "My Lord and my God." Nathaniel said, "Thou art the Son of God." Matthew said, "He is God with us." Mark said, "He is Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Luke said, "He is the Son of God." The Apostles, the writers of the New Testament, affirm the deity of Christ.

There was John the Baptist, you'll remember, His cousin who said, "I saw and bear record that this is the Son of God." There was Martha the sister of Mary who said, very affirmingly, "I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world," John 11:27. There was the testimony of a Roman soldier at His crucifixion, "Truly this man is the Son of God." And Christ repeatedly made such claims. He said, "If you've seen Me you've seen the Father. I and the Father are one."

You have the testimony of all of these individuals to the deity of Christ. But none of them is as potent as the testimony of one other individual. Look at Romans chapter 1 and verse 4. In verse 1 we are introduced to the phrase, "The gospel of God," Romans 1:1. Verse 2 says, "God promised it through the prophets." Verse 3 says, "It was the gospel of God concerning God's Son." Then verse 4 says, "It was the gospel of God concerning His Son who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead." At His baptism the Father spoke out of heaven and said, "This is My beloved Son, listen to Him." And that was a strong word from God at His baptism. But an even stronger word from God was that God raised Him from the dead and God was in essence saying...This is My beloved Son and He is proven to be My Son in that He has been raised from the dead, now for sure and for every reason listen to Him.

Romans 1:4 is the testimony of God the Father. He is the supreme witness. In Acts 13:30 it says, "God raised Him from the dead." And God did it to give testimony to His deity. In Romans 6:4 it tells us as well that Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father. The Father wanted Him raised from the dead so through His glory or His power, His attributes, His essence, He raised Christ from the dead. Ephesians chapter 1 verse 19 talks about the surpassing greatness of God's power. How great is it? Verse 20, "It is the power with which He brought about the resurrection of Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand."

Again, God is the one who raised Christ. And He did it to give testimony to His deity. He is become in His resurrection both Lord and Christ. The resurrection, Peter says in Acts 2:36, shows Him to be Lord and Christ.

So, the resurrection not only proves that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, but it proves that He was God. Romans 4:25 may be the most wonderful, the most powerful verse with regard to the application of His resurrection...makes a third point, and I want you to get this third point. The first point, His resurrection proves the truthfulness of the Word of God. The second point, His resurrection proves the deity of the Son of God.

Monday, March 24, 2008

MacArthur on the Resurrection

Here is an article by John MacArthur on the Resurrection.

Today I will post point #1

Resurrection, the Key to Everything
-by Dr. John MacArthur-

It's always a wonderful challenge for me when I come to this particular Sunday in the year to know what the Lord would have me say after being here 23 past Easters and sharing so many things about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As I was meditating and seeking to know the mind of the Lord with regard to this Lord's day, I asked a simple question in the process of my musings and that is the question: what would God the Father desire me to say about the resurrection? Not so much what would the people like to hear, not so much what would gather their attention and hold it, not so much what might be a nuance in regard to Easter that they've not thought about, but what would the Father want me to say? What simple straight-forward direct message could I bring that the Father Himself would want me to say concerning the resurrection of His Son?

Certainly many books and many articles and theses and dissertations have been written through the years on the resurrection. There have been many lectures and speeches and sermons and discussions on the resurrection. Most of it focuses on how to prove the resurrection. In fact, the books that have been written on proving the resurrection would fill a myriad of library shelves. And that's not unusual because often at this time of the year the question comes up: how can we prove the resurrection? If it is so central to Christian faith, how do we prove it? What is it that proves Jesus really rose from the dead?

Well the answer to that question is very simple...the Bible. And now that we've dealt with that question I want to move to another question. I don't want to talk about how we prove the resurrection, the Bible proves the resurrection. It is the Word of God and it says Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that settles it. The issue, frankly, is not what proves the resurrection, the issue is what does the resurrection prove? What does the resurrection prove? And the answer is, basically, the full redemptive plan and purpose of God. In fact, the resurrection is the key to everything.

If you remove the resurrection of Jesus Christ from Christianity, you don't have Christianity. You literally take the heart out of it. We accept that the resurrection happened by faith, faith in the Scripture, faith that is given to us by the Holy Spirit. We have been convinced by the Holy Spirit that the Bible is true and the Bible says Jesus arose from the dead and that settles that issue. And on the pages of Scripture there is ample convincing evidence.

But the question is, what did the resurrection of Jesus Christ mean? What did it verify? What did it accomplish? What did it prove? Well I want us to look at several realities that are proven by the resurrection, several that are made incontrovertible and inarguable by the resurrection. And I think you'll find them very basic to the message of Scripture.

#1 The Resurrection Proves the Truthfulness of the Word of God
First of all, the resurrection proves the truthfulness of the Word of proves the truthfulness of the Word of God. That's really reversing the normal approach. We might say, "Well, the Word of God proves the resurrection." But let's look at it in reverse and see how the resurrection proves the Word of God.

Turn in your Bible to Acts chapter 2. Acts chapter 2 takes us to a great day in the history of the church, it's first day, the day the church was born, the day of Pentecost. The believers had been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and now Peter stands up to preach a great sermon, the hearing of which caused 3,000 people to be saved and the church was born.

But as he moves in to his sermon he quotes an Old Testament passage starting in verse 25 of Acts 2. He is speaking about Christ and His death in verse 23, speaks of His resurrection in verse 24 when he says, "God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power." So he is saying Jesus arose from the dead, death couldn't hold Him.

And then he goes on to quote from Psalm 16, "For David says of Him, I was always beholding the Lord in my presence for He is at my right hand that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exalted, moreover my flesh also will abide in hope because Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades nor allow Thy holy One to undergo decay. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life. Thou wilt make me full of gladness with Thy presence."

He is quoting David. David was the author of Psalm 16. And David was writing this. Now some might say, "Well David was writing it about himself." But that's not true because David's soul did go in to Hades and David's body did undergo decay and David, the man that he was in a physical body has not returned to the ways of life. So it could not refer to David.

Notice how Peter interprets it then in verse 29, "Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried and his tomb is with us to this day." In other words, Peter is saying, "Now David couldn't be referring to himself, David has been abandoned, as it were, to death. He is still in the abode of the dead. His tomb is still present, still known to the people...they even knew its location...David has not returned to the ways of life. So he could not be referring to David."
Verse 30, "And so because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants upon his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay."
In other words, he says David was prophesying as a prophet the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus Christ whose flesh would abide in hope, whose soul would not be abandoned in Hades and who as the Holy One would never undergo decay. It was Jesus Christ who would be given back the path of life and would come back full of gladness face-to-face into the presence of God. David didn't fulfill that. His tomb is still sealed over there near Siloam. But David was a prophet and David was predicting the resurrection of Messiah.

To sum up Peter's argument, his logic would go like this. Psalm 16 refers to someone being resurrected. It can't be David. Messiah was to come as David's greater son, out of David's loins. The Psalm refers to Messiah...Messiah will therefore be raised from the dead. And then he concludes in verse 32, "This Jesus God raised up again."

The Old Testament then in Psalm 16 predicts the resurrection of the Messiah. If the Messiah doesn't rise. If Jesus Christ doesn't rise from the grave, the Bible is not telling us the truth. But the resurrection of Christ proves that the Bible speaks truth.

What does the resurrection prove then? The truthfulness of the Word of God. Look at Acts chapter 13 and here we find the preacher, not Peter this time but Paul, and Paul in apostolic fashion consistent with Peter is also preaching the resurrection which, of course, was the heart of the Christian faith. And in Acts chapter 13, now I want you to notice verse 30, verse 29, of course, talking about the cross and Jesus being laid in a tomb, and then Paul says as he proclaims Christ to Jews, verse 30, "But God raised Him from the dead and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people, and we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers." There it is. We're preaching the resurrection. It is good news. We are witnesses to it. And it is that which was promised to the fathers, the Jewish fathers, the Old Testament saints.

Verse 33, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus as it is also written in the second Psalm, "Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee." And he is saying when the psalmist said that he was predicting that Jesus would be raised from the dead.

Verse 34, and as for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no more to return to decay, He has spoken in this way, "I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David." That is a prophecy from Isaiah 55 and verse 3 which promises that the Messiah will not perish but the Messiah will inherit the holy and sure blessings promised to David that is all the Kingdom promise.

And then he says, therefore he also says in another Psalm and goes back to the same Psalm 16 that we saw earlier, "Thou wilt not allow Thy holy One to undergo decay. For David after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation fell asleep and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay. But He whom God raised did not undergo decay." And again you see, here is Paul and based on three Old Testament prophecies he preaches the resurrection of Christ. The Scripture is at stake. If Jesus doesn't rise, Psalm 2 is wrong, Psalm 16 is wrong, Isaiah 55 is wrong, any other Old Testament passage indicating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is wrong, therefore the Bible cannot be trusted. It is not always true. Who then can discern when it is and when it isn't? And man is left with a hopelessly skewed confusing inadequate and inaccurate document in the scriptures. But if Jesus rises from the dead, the prophecies are true, the Word of God is confirmed as speaking truth.

In Acts chapter 26 we read, verse 22, "And so having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the prophets and Moses said was going to take place." And what did the prophets say and what did Moses say even back in the Pentateuch? "That the Christ was to suffer and that means of His resurrection from the dead He should be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles." All the way back in the law, all the way back in the prophets as well as the hagiographa, the holy writings, the Psalms, we see it in the law, the prophets and the writings, the Messiah will die and the Messiah will rise. The Scripture is at stake. When Jesus arose then all of these prophecies and many more were fulfilled and the Word of God was proven to be true.

Now I want you to turn to the second chapter of John's gospel, John chapter 2, and verse 19. Here our Lord Jesus is speaking, speaking to the Jews who are asking Him about a sign. Jesus answered and said to them, You want a sign? I'll give you one. "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." That is a prophecy, that is Scripture spoken by Christ recorded in the gospel of John. The Jews in their ignorance said, "It took 46 years to build this temple," they think He's talking about the physical temple of Herod, "and You will raise it up in three days? But He was speaking of the temple of His body." Then verse 22, "When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this and they believed the Scripture and the Word which Jesus had spoken." They knew the Scripture promised a resurrection. They knew Jesus in speaking New Testament scripture promised a resurrection. And when it happened, they believed the Scripture. The resurrection of Jesus Christ should affirm our faith and confidence in the veracity, the inerrancy of Scripture.

What does the resurrection prove? It proves that the Scripture is true. In Luke chapter 24, a familiar scene on the road to Emmaus as two woe-begone and saddened and grieving disciples walk along thinking their Lord has perished for good, not knowing of His resurrection. They are sad, all is lost. And as Jesus comes alongside in verse 25 of Luke 24 He says to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart, to believe in all that the prophets have spoken, was it not necessary for the Christ, the Messiah, to suffer these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the scriptures."

The picture of a dead and risen Messiah is all over the Old Testament. Every time there was a sacrifice of a lamb, every time such sacrifices noted in the Scripture, it speaks of a dying Messiah. But every time it talks about Messiah's reigning and ruling and kingdom, it speaks about a living Messiah, therefore it is obvious that the One who dies must come back to life. It is all over the Old Testament. And the Scripture's veracity is at stake in the resurrection.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, you remember these wonderful words, "I delivered to you...verse 3...of first importance what I received that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures," just as the Old Testament said He would be...just as He Himself said and the New Testament writers said He would be.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday?

Have you ever thought about Good Friday for Jesus?

and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. 28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. Matthew 27:26-31

1. Jesus was scourged.

Scourging, practiced by the Romans was a cruel punishment that usually preceded crucifixion. The only ones exempted from scourging were women, Roman senators and soldiers except in cases of desertion. Normally there were between one and six trained Roman officer called lictors who were responsible for dispensing the blows to the victims. The lictors chosen to administer the scourging had previously received special medical training. They knew how to wield the whip so as to open bruises which had already formed. The instrument used for scourging is a short whip called a flagrum or flagellum to which was attached several braided leather thongs of variable lengths. Knots were tied in the ends of each thong, and sheep bone or iron balls were inserted into the knots at the end of each thong. This whip is called a flagrum or flagellum.

The person to be scourged is stripped of his clothing and his hands are tied to a post or be was bent over a stump called the "stump of half death".
Many men would die or pass out from the scourging alone. Often the Romans would have a bucket of saltwater to revive the victim.

2. Jesus was spit on.
The bible says the soldiers stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe on him and mocked Him.
The greek word for robe is "chlamus"- it is not a word for a long flowing robe like you would think, but a short cloak that came only to the elbows.
So imagine Jesus standing literally in army barracks with tough rugged Romans soliders naked from the shoulders down.
The Bible says they "mocked Him". Thankfully the Bible didn't record the words.
Then they spit on Him.

3. Jesus was Shamed.
Crucifixion- It is hard for me to think about Jesus without thinking about the Cross.
Oswald Chambers - “All heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, all hell is terribly afraid of it, while men are the only beings who more or less ignore its meaning.

a. Crucifixion was painful
The Historian Josephus called crucifixion “the most wretched of deaths.”
The philosopher Cicero said, “It is so altogether shameful that good Romans or Greeks should ever mention the cross. It is not fit for good decent people to make mention of it.”
-the word to describe crucifixion is the word
“Excruciating”- out of the cross or from the cross.
This was a word invented to describe the pain and horror of crucifixion.

Most men died by asphyxiation. They would move up and down on the cross to get air.
So, in order to slow down the process, the Romans would build a seat or ledge the man had to rest on so he could not move up and down the cross so he would die slower.
Some men found a way around this so they would nail his privates to the cross so he could not move up and down.

b. Crucifixion was public
This was done publicly in places of heavy traffic.Like at Wal-mart on Sunday mornings. To shame the man.
They wanted to publicly humiliate your family. They would make fun of your naked body hanging on the cross. A crucifixion brought out all the scum of society to watch a person die.
They would spit on you and throw things at you.
-all the while many men would lose control of their bowls and literally use the bathroom all over themselves and their cross. In front of everyone.

They wanted to strip the man of all of his dignity.

This was Jesus on Good Friday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Evidences for the Resurrection

taken from

The body of Jesus, in accordance with Jewish burial custom, was wrapped in a linen cloth. About 100 pounds of aromatic spices, mixed together to form a gummy substance, were applied to the wrappings of cloth about the body. After the body was placed in a solid rock tomb, an extremely large stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb. Large stones weighing approximately two tons were normally rolled (by means of levers) against a tomb entrance.

A Roman guard of strictly disciplined fighting men was stationed to guard the tomb. This guard affixed on the tomb the Roman seal, which was meant to "prevent any attempt at vandalizing the sepulcher. Anyone trying to move the stone from the tomb's entrance would have broken the seal and thus incurred the wrath of Roman law.

But three days later the tomb was empty. The followers of Jesus said He had risen from the dead.

As we have said, the first obvious fact was the breaking of the seal that stood for the power and authority of the Roman Empire. The consequences of breaking the seal were extremely severe.

FACT #2: EMPTY TOMB As we have already discussed, another obvious fact after the resurrection was the empty tomb. The disciples of Christ did not go off to Athens or Rome to preach that Christ was raised from the dead. Rather, they went right back to the city of Jerusalem, where, if what they were teaching was false, the falsity would be evident. The empty tomb was "too notorious to be denied." Paul Althaus states that the resurrection "could have not been maintained in Jerusalem for a single day, for a single hour, if the emptiness of the tomb had not been established as a fact for all concerned."

FACT #3: LARGE STONE MOVED On that Sunday morning the first thing that impressed the people who approached the tomb was the unusual position of the one and a half to two ton stone that had been lodged in front of the doorway. All the Gospel writers mention it.
Those who observed the stone after the resurrection describe its position as having been rolled up a slope away not just from the entrance of the tomb, but from the entire massive sepulcher. It was in such a position that it looked as if it had been picked up and carried away.

FACT #4: ROMAN GUARD GOES AWOL The Roman guards fled. They left their place of responsibility. How can their attrition he explained, when Roman military discipline was so exceptional? Justin, in Digest #49, mentions all the offenses that required the death penalty. The fear of their superiors' wrath and the possibility of death meant that they paid close attention to the minutest details of their jobs. One way a guard was put to death was by being stripped of his clothes and then burned alive in a fire started with his garments.

FACT #5: GRAVECLOTHES TELL A TALE In a literal sense, against all statements to the contrary, the tomb was not totally empty--because of an amazing phenomenon. John, a disciple of Jesus, looked over to the place where the body of Jesus had lain, and there were the grave clothes, in the form of the body, slightly caved in and empty--like the empty chrysalis of a caterpillar's cocoon. That's enough to make a believer out of anybody. John never did get over it. The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb, but rather the empty grave clothes--undisturbed in form and position.

FACT #6: JESUS' APPEARANCES CONFIRMED Christ appeared alive on several occasions after the cataclysmic events of that first Easter . When studying an event in history, it is important to know whether enough people who were participants or eyewitnesses to the event were alive when the facts about the event were published.

But the most telling testimony of all must be the lives of those early Christians. We must ask ourselves: What caused them to go everywhere telling the message of the risen Christ?
Had there been any visible benefits accrued to them from their efforts--prestige, wealth, increased social status or material benefits--we might logically attempt to account for their actions, for their whole-hearted and total allegiance to this "risen Christ ."
As a reward for their efforts, however, those early Christians were beaten, stoned to death, thrown to the lions, tortured and crucified. Every conceivable method was used to stop them from talking.

Yet, they laid down their lives as the ultimate proof of their complete confidence in the truth of their message.

The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
Acts 1: 1-3

Monday, March 17, 2008

Can I be a Christian and not believe in the Resurrection?

I will do a few posts on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The question I want to ask is: Can a person be a Christian and deny the Resurrection of Jesus?

Romans 10:9 says:
"that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

Al Mohler posted this article in response to this question and a comment made by NT Wright in 06. What do you think of his article and what is your answer to this question.

"I have friends who I am quite sure are Christians who do not believe in the bodily resurrection," says the Right Reverend N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham. This is a truly dangerous and unbiblical assertion, made all the more shocking when it is offered by someone of N. T. Wright's caliber.

The comments came in the course of an interview with The Australian published April 13, 2006. More:

"Marcus Borg really does not believe Jesus Christ was bodily raised from the dead. But I know Marcus well: he loves Jesus and believes in him passionately. The philosophical and cultural world he has lived in has made it very, very difficult for him to believe in the bodily resurrection.

"I actually think that's a major problem and it affects most of whatever else he does, and I think that it means he has all sorts of flaws as a teacher, but I don't want to say he isn't a Christian.

"I do think, however, that churches that lose their grip on the bodily resurrection are in deep trouble and that for healthy Christian life individually and corporately, belief in the bodily resurrection is foundational."

But belief in the bodily resurrection is not merely foundational, according to Scripture, it is essential. As Paul argues in Romans 10:9, the Gospel comes down to this: "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" [emphasis mine]. Beyond this, Paul's logic in 1 Corinthians 15 demonstrates the reverse -- if Christ is not raised then we are still dead in our trespasses and sins.

N. T. Wright's comments about Marcus Borg are particularly revealing. Borg, of course, denies much more than the resurrection of Christ. Yet, leaving all that aside for the moment, we must ask just what Bishop Wright has in mind when he says that Borg "loves Jesus and believes in him passionately?" This Jesus whom Borg is claimed to love and passionately believe in is not the resurrected Jesus Christ of the Scriptures. Thus, Borg loves and passionately believes in a crucified and dead Jesus. How then can Bishop Wright even entertain the notion that he is a genuine Christian?

Anglicanism is, by its very definition, an attempt at a via media, a middle way. But, there is no middle way between the denial of the resurrection and its affirmation. One way leads to eternal life, the other to everlasting death.

One of Bishop Wright's predecessors at the see of Durham, David Jenkins, once denied the resurrection outright [see my commentary published Friday]. Gladly, Bishop Wright does affirm the bodily resurrection of Christ. Indeed, he has published one of the most significant treatises on the resurrection of our times. Nevertheless, if he is genuinely to defend the resurrection of Christ against its denial, and if he is to affirm the faith as handed down by the Apostles, he must defend the resurrection of Jesus Christ as essential, and not merely as foundational. (end quote)

Sunday, March 16, 2008


What a great game! Carolina has won their 2nd straight ACC regular season and Tourney Championships.

Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I do!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Tyler has more heart and toughness than any player in College Basketball.
He is one of the greatest UNC players of all time.
Players with his passion, desire, toughness and grit come along about every 10 years.

We play Clemson tom. and they could have beaten us twice. I had rather play Dook than Clemson.
Dook fans you are lucky. Truly the 2 best teams in the ACC are playing tom.

Friday, March 14, 2008

ACC Tourney

I went to the ACC Tourney today to see the Heels play. Thanks Matt Johnson for the FREE Tickets!!

Great atmosphere and good game. What makes the ACC Tourney experience so great is the Arena is filled with fans from different
Matt and I sat beside 2 Duke Fans. They were really good men but they whined every time Carolina got a call. They said Hansbrough walked or fouled every time he touched the ball. Typical Duke fans. But they were a lot of fun to set beside.
The man beside me has 9 Season tickets to Duke games and has only missed one NCAA tourney game since Coach K has been Coach at Duke. That is amazing.

Hansbrough and especially Ellington played great. Hans was fouled many times and it was not called. This is becoming a pattern. Coach K has complained to the league about Hans shooting so many free throws. If you could go to a game in person he gets beat up pretty bad. He just keeps going. He should have shot 20 free throws today but only shot 10.

Below are some pictures of the game taken from Inside Carolina:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chan being Chan!

Great video!

I was at this Conference and Chan's message was very good and convicting.
If you can get this message get it.

Remember Jesus isn't looking for a Crowd but Commitment.

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?" John 6: 66-67

Sunday, March 9, 2008


For the 3rd time in 4 years UNC claims the ACC championship.

Since Roy Williams have taken over one word can describe his teams--- DOMINATION!

Last night Carolina beat Dook 76 to 68. This is the 5th time in the last 7 games that UNC has beaten Dook. We have beat them the last 3 yrs. at Cameron Indoor.
Below are some pictures and a great video of this great night.

If you are a Duke fan and need counseling just call the church office and ask for me.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Mark Marshall: Real Preacher of Genius

It is a rainy Friday and it got me to thinking about how blessed I am to be the Pastor Of ETBC.
Our church is filled with many great people and God has really blessed us.
We also, are blessed to have Kevin, Rodney and Mark as staff.
A church and a pastor can't do what they do without the help of the staff.

So in this post I want to spotlight Mark Marshall.
Mark has many qualities that make him invaluable to ETBC. One of those is preaching. He just has a gift. People often say his sermons are better than NyQuil, the rain, or a bad NASCAR race for sleeping. He just has a way with words.
There truly is only one "Mark Markio Guido Marshall".

This video is a salute to Mark Marshall's preaching. Thanks Mark for all you do.

Preach on preacher!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Senior Night at the "Hill"

Last night I had the great priviledge of traveling to the Dean Dome for Senior Night.
(Thanks Gordon and Zane Knight and Larissa Erkman for making this possible)

Gordon did a great job driving in the hurricane force winds. For those of you who don't know Gordon is Carolina's good luck charm. Everytime he shows up they win. He doesn't like Carolina. So way to go Gordon.

Below are some pictures of Senior Night.

Senior Quention Thomas making senior Speech.

Danny Green with the Dunk!

My son Jordan and I after the game. We got to walk on the court, it was a Holy moment!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Bad Science Part 4

The Piltdown Man

Science has been so eager to prove an unprovable Theory that in the past it has resorted to manufacturing evidence.
The article below is from the very science friendly site:

The "Piltdown Man" is a famous hoax consisting of fragments of a skull and jawbone collected in 1912 from a gravel pit at Piltdown, a village near Uckfield, East Sussex. The fragments were thought by many experts of the day to be the fossilised remains of a hitherto unknown form of early human. The Latin name Eoanthropus dawsoni ("Dawson's dawn-man", after the collector Charles Dawson) was given to the specimen.
The significance of the specimen remained the subject of controversy until it was exposed in 1953 as a forgery, consisting of the lower jawbone of an orangutan combined with the skull of a fully developed, modern man.
The Piltdown hoax is perhaps the most famous archaeological hoax in history.

It has been prominent for two reasons: the attention paid to the issue of human evolution, and the length of time (more than 40 years) that elapsed from its discovery to its exposure as a forgery. (end quote)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Do the Work of an Evangelist?

Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. I don't know if he had this in mind.

The article below is taken from

Of Magic and Lamb Chops: Things We Do in the Name of Evangelism
For Southern Baptists this time of the year, various state conventions hold “State Evangelism Conferences” with keynote speakers and sometimes offer evangelism clinics. I have participated in a number of these since high school and found them to have been encouraging moments in my walk with Christ.The other day, I was reading one of the state papers which had a list of the evangelists (assuming to be SBC supported) in that particular state convention. Immediately I came away with a couple of observations.

First, of the 30+ individuals pictured, only one looked to be under the age of 40. I am wondering if the role of itinerant evangelist is not being embraced by the younger generation. Some of you may remember that there was a conference of evangelists comprised of around a dozen attendees who convened to bemoan the Reformed Resurgence in the SBC. One is led to believe that the move away from the revivalism of Finney and Graham coupled with the upsurge of church planting and church revitalization could be an indicator that younger Southern Baptists are not going the route of a traveling evangelist.

Second, I noticed something that, I must say, took me for a spin. When you think of an evangelist, what comes to your mind? A preacher going from church to church preaching the gospel and teaching the Word of God, right? Well, as I looked at the subtitles to the evangelists, I indeed found many preachers and singers, but that was not all. Interestingly enough, there were also ventriloquists and illusionists. Now, I suppose there is nothing inherently wrong about a Christian being a ventriloquist or illusionist, but as an evangelist?

I realize that the SBC ethos has welcomed everyone from stand up comedians to burly men who break bricks and rip apart telephone books, but I can’t help but think that something has gone awry when we have fake preachers (ventriloquists) and fake miracle workers (illusionists) functioning as evangelists in our churches. How is it that we can go from John the Baptist to Kermit the Frog? How did we go from the Apostle Paul to David Copperfield?

My only conclusion is that we no longer believe that the gospel is “the power of God unto salvation for all who believe.” We do not trust in the sufficiency and regenerative power of God’s Word. We are, simply put, ashamed of the gospel.

I am not slamming the work that ventriloquists and illusionists do in their own respect. For all I know, they could be very good at what they do. What I am deeply concerned about is its relationship to the the gospel and the kind of results this sort of evangelism produces. What are we doing here? The souls of men and women, boys and girls are in the balance, and we are propping up the gospel with puppets and magicians and neutering its message in the process.

We no longer have real, live preachers who say, “Thus saith the Lord,” calling sinners to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sinners dead in their trespasses, fully engaged in their rebellious ways pronounced with darkened minds and hardened hearts have no other cure but the clear proclamation of the pure gospel. Like the Apostle Paul, we confess that “we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor. 4:2). To this end, that they may see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we preach Christ and not ourselves for their sake.

So I must ask, then. How will such sinners see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ through high-pitched puppets and the slight-of-hand-practices of illusionists? What will they remember when the show is over?

The truth is, the sinners in Paul’s day were no more sinful than sinners in our day, and if we are going to experience the power of the gospel in our lives and ministries, we must preach Christ and Him crucified. The resurrection of Christ is no mere illusion, and we should not evangelize like it either. (end quote)