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True Fellowship

True Fellowship

Paul’s language in Philippians 3:10 is translated in the ESV as “share his sufferings.” The Greek is κοινωνίαν τῶν παθημάτων. “Koinonia” here is the community and association. This newly formed community is tattooed with suffering. They share in the messianic pain. They are built up through the sufferings of one another. In mourning with those who mourn they are forming an authentic koinonia in truth and are being co-shaped after the image of Jesus, the Messiah.

{Textual annotations from sermon on Philippians 3:10-11}

James Jordan on Paedocommunion

James Jordan on Paedocommunion

Brian Moats went through the trouble of transcribing this long quote from James Jordan’s lectures on paedocommunion (well worth the read):

“”Think back to the garden. Adam and Eve…this time they don’t sin. They have a child. Does the child grow up knowing the Lord? Yes. The child, from the womb, is bonded in. Bonded to the mother and to God, just like John the Baptist who leaped for joy in the womb when he encountered Jesus. John as a fetus encounters Jesus as a fetus, and John LEAPS for joy….that’s a response of faith. People say, “do you believe children can have faith,” and I say, “Man I believe a FETUS can have faith!.” John the Baptist had faith in the womb. Now, I don’t know how much intellectual content it had, but he recognized Jesus. His heart had faith.

…back to Adam and Eve. The children would have grown up naturally knowing the Lord. They wouldn’t have to make a decision. Now, as they grow older they become more self-conscious in that relationship. Sin is what destroys this whole pattern of life…these bonds. If salvation means anything, if we are Trinitarian in our view, then I submit that to mean that these bonds [of father and son,community] are restored.
Our children do grow up knowing the Lord. Now, is that because we are MADE righteous and so our children are conceived without sin. NO. They are conceived in iniquity. They are born in sin, they are born dead. But the pattern of redemption follows the pattern of creation, and God baptizes our children and puts them in a relationship with himself. They may grow up to be an Esau and they may break this, but they start out inside by baptism. We don’t baptize our children because we presume they are regenerate. We baptize our children because we presume they are unregenerate… baptism is our claiming the promise.

Salvation, by implication, restores these relationships. It’s not just an individual thing. The Holy Spirit comes and we would expect then that God would put our children into a relationship with Himself just as if Adam and Eve had not sinned their children would have grown up in a relationship with God. And that’s what we find, of course. Have you ever known 4-6 year old children in Christian families who didn’t believe? If the parents went to church and brought their children along? And prayed [and discipled them]? Have you ever known small children who don’t believe? No. They do! They may get to be 13 or 14 [etc] and rebel, but when they are young they receive the faith of their parents. That’s God’s way. If God didn’t want it that way he wouldn’t have caused us to come into the world as little kids. There is nothing wrong with that [being a kid]. We think, somehow or other, there’s something wrong with that…for a child to believe what his parents tell him. That’s not wrong, that’s God’s way! If God didn’t want it that way children could pop into the world at the age of 20 who could make his own decision. Think about this. God’s way is for children to start out believing what their parents say, and then then begin to get to the point where they move away from their parents by degrees. First of all, there are terrible two’s where the child moves a little bit away. Then there’s terrible five’s, then there’s adolescence, and then eventually the child is out of the home. And each one of these defines a new stage and a new relationship with the parent. These stages are real. At each stage the child relates less to the father and the mother and more directly to God. That’s what we want. Children relate to God as Father. When they reach adolescence they begin to relate to God as husband. And that’s why they get involved in a passionate need to have a relationship with God the son that is like a spouse, for the same kinds of reason that they start to look for someone of the opposite sex. God puts them in a stage of life where they want a complementary relationship. Before that time they relate to God as a Father, they just climb into his lap. That’s not wrong. It’s just a different stage of life.”

Why Study the Scriptures?

Why Study the Scriptures?

If God has revealed truth about himself, about us, and about the relationship between himself and us in Holy Scriptures, then we should study Holy Scriptures. It is as simple as that…Not to be interested in the study of Holy Scripture, if one living and true God has revealed himself therein, is the height of spiritual folly. a

  1. Robert Raymond, xxxi  (back)
Systematic Versus Biblical Theology

Systematic Versus Biblical Theology

The late, Robert Raymond, in his massive A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith argues that Systematic Theology views “the Holy Scriptures as a completed revelation, in distinction from the disciplines of...biblical theology, which approach the Scriptures as an unfolding revelationthe systematic theologian views Scriptures as completed revelation.a

I am not certain about his distinction and/or whether he is taking a cheap shot at biblical theology, but I find the distinction unhelpful. The assumption is that biblical theology does not see the Bible as complete since it is dealing with an unfolding narrative. But the best of biblical theology sees the Bible as an unfolding complete drama. There is nothing more to be added, but there is plenty to consume again and again. In other words, BT sees narratives within narratives, which provide the theologian a richer engagement with the text. While ST are content with arranging the furniture pieces of the Bible in proper order. BT sees the supposed chaos of the furniture pieces as purposeful arrangements to be appreciated and re-arranged through the expectation and arrival of Messiah.

  1. Raymond, xxv  (back)
Wordmp3.com shameless plug!

Wordmp3.com shameless plug!

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Christ says ” I want all of you.”

Christ says ” I want all of you.”

How much of myself should I give? That’s the question C.S. Lewis asked in Mere Christianity. We can be the type of people who try to give everything, but then just give up trying to be good. Or we can become the type of people who spend our lives trying to give of ourselves to others grumbling and complaining in the process wondering why others don’t notice and making a martyr of ourselves each day.

Paul says our identity is only in Christ. Everything else, Paul says, is  loss. So, how much of ourselves should we give? C.S. Lewis in that famous line says: “Christ says, ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it.’”[1]

This can all be summarized in Paul’s famous statement: “Take up your cross and follow me.” Jesus does not want to compete with any rebellious bone in your body. He wants your all.

Worship demands your all. Body and soul. Whatever part of yourself not prepared to enter into the presence of God this morning, pray during confession that Jesus would kill it, so your worship may be pleasing in the sight of our God.


[1] Lewis, quoted in Devotional Classics.

N.T Wright on Justification in Philippians

N.T Wright on Justification in Philippians

‘Justification’ isn’t just about how someone becomes a Christian. It is about the status that they possess, and continue to possess, as full members of God’s people, no matter who their parents were or what their moral, cultural or religious background may have been. And, as verses 10 and 11 indicate, the faith which reaches out and embraces Jesus as Messiah embraces, in him, the way of suffering and death which marked him out. If you want to get to the resurrection of the dead, this is the only way to go.

Wright, Tom (2011-11-30). Paul for Everyone: Prison Letters (New Testament for Everyone) (p. 121). SPCK. Kindle Edition.

The Meaning of Liturgy

The Meaning of Liturgy

Liturgy is grounded in acts. Every act leads to another act. In liturgy, skipping to a meal before be- ing cleansed (washing of hands) is improper. Liturgy requires table manners. The liturgy shapes us. The word “liturgy” itself refers to the “work of the people.” Theologically, however, what happens in worship in the gathered assembly is not so much our work, but “the continuation of the service of the ascended Lord Jesus for his people.” a We can say that liturgy is the work of God on our behalf, or as theologian Jeff Meyers puts it, “It is God’s service to us.”

The Trinitarian Father

  1. Meyers, Jeff. The Lord’s Service: The Grace of Covenant Renewal Worship ( Canon Press:Moscow, ID.; 2003) 100.  (back)
Do you love Jesus? An Eucharistic invitation

Do you love Jesus? An Eucharistic invitation

“Because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord.” (Phil. 3:8)

The worth of knowing Messiah as Lord is greater than any human deed. Nothing is compared to this relational, covenantal union we have with our Lord.

This reminds me of the story my mentor once told me of a bright seminary graduate who came before examination by the examining committee. He sat there at his desk full of confidence. His Greek New Testament and Hebrew Bible were wide open. He had passed his written exams with flying colors. The entire presbytery was eager to hear this genius relate the glories of theology in intricate ways. The examination began when an old seminary professor who was about to retire looked at the candidate and asked: “Young man, do you love Jesus?” Silence. More silence. Now the young scholar’s face turned into every imaginable color. Then more silence.

The old professor looked to the head of the examining committee and proposed that the examination be terminated and that the young man return again in six months. All agreed.

Brothers and sisters, as you come to eat and drink with one another, do not allow that simple question to be answered by your silence. Come and dine that your answer might be strengthened and not silenced.

Interview at Trinity Talk on my new book “The Trinitarian Father”

Interview at Trinity Talk on my new book “The Trinitarian Father”

The Trinitarian Father: An Interview with Uri Brito

On this episode, Jarrod Richie interviews co-host, Uri Brito, on his new book The Trinitarian Father. Pastor Brito gives an overview of the book as well as tell us what readers should expect as they begin to read the book.

Purchase The Trinitarian Father here or e-mail uriesou@gmail.com.