Counseling One Another

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Counseling One Another

July 26, 2017
by Paul Tautges
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Four Reasons Job Stumbled

Job started so well. His faith was as invulnerable to Satan’s onslaughts as a turtle snuggled up inside its shell is to the frantic pawings of a dog. Job tucked his head and feet inside his faith in God and said, “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Later, however, Job was rebuked by God for his complaining spirit. What went wrong? There are at least four reasons Job’s trust in God took a tumble. First, he listened to bad counsel.

Avoid Bad Counsel

If you are going to handle your calamity in a wise, God-honoring manner, you must ignore well-intentioned but unbiblical counsel. If Job’s counselors had been from the church in our era, they probably would have said, “Job, look at these terrible things that are happening to you. We have to break the generational curses that have power over your life. We have to cast out the demons of skin disease. You need to send 500 dollars to the faith-healer, I. M. Acharlatan, at Better-for-aBuck Ministries.” People will say all kinds of crazy things to you when calamity strikes (“don’t worry, God didn’t know this was going to happen.” Really? now I am worried!). Don’t let their well-intended but unbiblical counsel trip you up spiritually and send you sprawling. To handle calamity, you must ignore unbiblical advice with a gentle smile and a thank you. People speak to you because they care; receive their counsel with a gracious attitude, but don’t let their unbiblical advice throw you into a tailspin like Job did.

Time Keeps On Tickin’

A second reason Job went off the rails was that he let the termite of time gnaw at his faith. According to Job 7:3, Job’s grief and the burning torment of his physical ailments had extended for months by the time his friends arrived. Job’s suffering felt eternal; the sheer duration of it was wearing him down. Like an eager marathon runner, Job bolted off the starting line of faith, but as the race of responding to his calamity stretched out mile after mile and day after day, Job’s faith began to stumble and stagger. Time is a killer in trials. Like Job, we start with strong faith, but as we tick off days on the calendar, turn over the page to a new month, eventually buy a new calendar for next year, and then a new one for the year after that, we can easily despair. Time makes trials hard.

The Expectations Trap

A third reason Job stumbled is he had false expectations of God. In chapter 29, Job listed his many accomplishments. For example:

  • He was a respected civic leader: “When I went out to the gate of the city … the old men arose and stood” (29:7–8).
  • He was adored by the poor and disadvantaged because of his philanthropy: “I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame” (29:15).
  • In summary he declared, “My steps were bathed in butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!” (29:6).

Because of his success and his great kindness to others, Job had built up some expectations—things he believed God owed him because he had been good. In chapter 30, Job had this flash of insight into his confused and angry heart: “When I expected good, then evil came; when I waited for light, then darkness came. I am seething within and cannot relax; days of affliction confront me.” (30:26–27)

Job’s summary is both pathetic and perfect: “When I expected good, then evil came” (30:26). The expectation that God owes me good if I have been good is dangerous because it leads to feelings of betrayal and anger at God. God, however, never promises endless good if we are a devoted mother, a patient father, a faithful taxpayer, or if we don’t run with the wrong crowd at school. To handle calamity rightly, Christians must avoid Job’s mistake of building up the expectation that “God owes me because I’ve tried to be good.”

The Shield of Faith

Finally, besides bad counsel, time, and expectations, there was one other reason Job stumbled: he lost his grip on the shield of faith. In chapters 1–2, Job was solidly entrenched behind an impenetrable barrier of faith in God’s wisdom—a perfect example of Paul’s teaching about the shield of faith in Ephesians 6. The soldiers of the ancient world often carried large shields. When enemy archers fired a volley of arrows, they ducked behind those shields and let the arrows harmlessly ricochet off. In Job 1–2, Job had done just that. Satan had fired a barrage of fiery darts at him, but the shield of Job’s faith had deflected them all. That’s how faith works: no arrow of Satan—no matter how hot or deadly—can overwhelm simple, childlike faith: “I’ll trust God whether I understand what he is doing or not.” In chapter 3, Job allowed the handle of the shield of faith to slip from his sweaty fingers. Rather than preoccupy himself with believing trust, Job allowed his thinking to be dominated by frustrated expectations and, later, by the disheartening, untrue accusations of his friends. In the Gospels, the man cried, “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). In calamity, we must voice a similar cry to Christ: “I believe; rescue me from my doubt, fear, anger, and unbelief.”

For these reasons, Job stumbled. But, thankfully, that is not the end of the story. In heartfelt worship, Job returned to a fear-of-the-Lord-faith which enabled him to humbly walk with God the rest of his days.

[This post is a chapter excerpt from Joel James’ helpful mini-book, HELP! I Can’t Handle All These Trials. If you find yourself in the midst of a painful trial, or know a friend who is, you will benefit from reading Joel’s counsel from the life of Job.]

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July 26, 2017
by Paul Tautges
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NUGGETS

Pray Them Home – “By God’s grace, my parents did not give up on me—despite how tempting it must have been at times. Instead, they entrusted my life to God, prayed for my brokenness, and fought for me in prayers that God eventually answered.”

Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel – And Why So Many Christians Think It Is – an older article from Albert Mohler

Profitable Fails – David Murray shares encouragement for those of us who battle the sense or fear of failure.

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July 25, 2017
by Paul Tautges
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Stubbornness Hinders Prayer

Hearing aids are a significant blessing to our family. In God’s gracious providence, these electronic devices have given the gift of hearing to four of our children. Whether it’s the typical battery-powered hearing aid, which became popular in the 1950’s, or the newer bionic technology known as cochlear implants, our family has been tremendously blessed by our children being given the ability to interact and succeed in the hearing world.

Over the years, the ability to hear or not hear—to listen or not listen—has been a tool to remind me of an important lesson pertaining to prayer. God delights in hearing His children. However, Scripture also teaches us that there are reasons He may choose not to listen. Simple stated, God listens to those who listen to Him. He makes that clear in His Word. God said to His people through the prophet Isaiah, “to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa 66:2). Jeremiah also warned rebellious Israel (Jer 11:9-11). But Isaiah and Jeremiah were not the only prophets who announced this kind of warning. Zechariah was another. And from his words we learn how stubbornness hinders prayer.

Who was Zechariah?

Zechariah was one of the prophets who spoke God’s Word to His people during the period following the exile, when God had His people carried away to foreign lands. Together with Haggai and Malachi, Zechariah called the people to repentance and renewed obedience. His name means “the Lord remembers,” which is fitting. For 70 years, God had chastened His people by means of the captivity in Babylon, but clearly God had not forgotten them. He remembered His covenant promise to them. Central to the covenant was the promise of the Messiah. Therefore, it’s no surprise to find that Zechariah prophesied of both the first and second comings of the Messiah.

Zechariah was born in Babylon, but returned to Jerusalem with his father and grandfather as part of the first wave of people who returned from captivity. This took place in 538 B.C., when Cyrus the king of Persia freed the captives so that they could return to their homeland. About 50,000 returned to Jerusalem in the first wave. Immediately they began rebuilding the temple, but they were opposed from outside, and attacked and discouraged from within. So the building project stopped, and was stalled for 16 years. Then God sent Zechariah and Haggai. Haggai called the people to resume and complete the rebuilding of the temple, while Zechariah called them to repent of their false worship and return to obeying the Lord from a true heart.

The book begins this way, “Return to me, says the Lord.” Why Did God Command His People to Return to Him? They had wandered away from Him and His Word. How had they strayed? They would not listen to God’s messengers (Zech 1:1-4). Instead of being attentive to God’s voice spoken through his prophets the people closed their ears to God. This was the first step to their spiritual decline. This led to a surface religion, heartless ritual (Zech 7:1-7). From the prophet’s rebuke, we learn about the relationship between stubbornness and prayer. What does stubbornness do to our prayer lives? In the interaction between God’s prophet and the God’s people, we learn the answer. First, the prophet reminded them of God’s requirements.

GOD’S REQUIREMENTS (vv. 8-10)

Zechariah reminded the people of Judah that God had made His expectations clear through previous prophets. He had no use for their hypocritical, empty worship. What He wanted from them was the practical outworking of righteousness that flows from obedience to His word. But what was their response to God’s prophets?

JUDAH’S REFUSAL (vv. 11-12a)

But the people did not listen to, or obey, the previous prophets. Instead they refused to heed the commandments of God, turned a stubborn shoulder (Like a stubborn animal turns away from the yoke that his owner attempts to place on its shoulder), plugged their ears, and hardened their hearts.

Stubbornness makes us want what we want when we want it, even if it is ultimately not for our good. An illustration of this is found in 1 Samuel 8, in the people’s demand for a king. God would not listen to the people’s cry because they had already determined in their heart that they would not listen to Him. Getting their own way, and becoming like the peoples around them, were more important to them than learning and doing the will of God. But God loved them too much to leave them alone. He responded with discipline, just as the prophets had warned.

GOD’S RESPONSE (vv. 12b-14)

God was angry, closed His ears to their cries, and disciplined them. Sadly, we are not all that different from the Old Testament people of God. We, too, are sometimes stubborn in our hearts, rebellious in our wills, our hearts become hardened to the Word, and we invite the discipline of God. When we allow stubbornness to imprison our hearts then we lose fellowship with God and, as a result, God does not listen to our prayers. Why? Because our hearts are not soft and pliable toward Him.

Psalm 51:17 describes the kind of heart that God will never ever reject: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. A stubborn heart is the direct opposite of a contrite heart, a heart broken with humility.  God says, “A contrite heart I will never despise.” But will God despise a stubborn heart?  Yes, He will. If we are stubborn and close our ears to His Word, thus becoming unteachable and resistant, then we can pray until we are blue in the face, but God will not answer. He will say, “I called to you and you would not listen, so you will call to Me and I will not listen.” But there is hope. If that stubborn heart becomes a broken heart, then God will listen again.

Where Do We Go From Here?

In Psalm 32, King David begins a song rejoicing in the blessing of forgiveness (Ps 32:1-2). But it wasn’t always this way. David did not always know the blessing of being forgiven (Ps 32:3-5). What kept David from experiencing the blessing of forgiveness and fellowship with God for so long? Stubbornness (verse 9). However, once he confessed his sin to God and received His merciful cleansing he was prepared to teach us a very important lesson: The godly person is not one who does not sin, but rather one who is quick to admit his or her sin and seek forgiveness. Sin is ungodly, but there is a godly response to sin.

Stubbornness hinders our relationship with God and, consequently, hinders our prayers. If this describes you then let the Holy Spirit soften your hardened heart. Confess your stubbornness to God and ask Him to give you a broken spirit and a contrite heart in its place. Jesus died for your stubbornness.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus invites us: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you [Don’t turn a stubborn shoulder away from the lordship of Christ], and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When we are tender and humble before the Lord, He opens His ears wide to our prayers. It is only Jesus who makes this possible.

Read more about hindrances to prayer in Brass Heavens: 6 Reasons for Unanswered Prayer.

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July 21, 2017
by Paul Tautges
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The Blessings of Seeking Wisdom

Over years of reading through Proverbs, it’s impossible to estimate how many times this biblical book of wisdom has amazed and rebuked me. It is both simple and profound, filled with warning and promise. For these reasons, and many more, I never grow tired of it and am usually fed a nugget of truth when I read the chapter of the day.

However, another way to study the book is to do so according to its main topics. For example, the six categories of Proverbs. Or you can take a topic mentioned in the book and trace it through the Bible, much like my very first Bible does, The Thompson Chain Reference Bible. There are many good study resources for Proverbs, but one of my favorite small ones is Jim Newheiser’s Opening Up Proverbs, which is a wonderful tool for personal Bible study, small groups, or one-to-one discipleship. Yesterday, in a conversation with one of my counselors-in-training, I recommended it again. So, this morning, I pulled it off the shelf and decided to share some snippets with you.

Seek the Treasure of Wisdom

The second chapter of Proverbs is a call to seek wisdom with all that we have and to be receptive to receiving it from others. There should be an earnestness about our desire for wisdom. “In 1849 thousands of men were willing to leave their comfortable homes to travel to far-away California, where they lived in tents and spent day after day in back-breaking labour, all because they hoped to find a few nuggets of gold. Would that we approached our personal Bible reading, the sermons we hear at church, and Bible classes with the same fervor. Merely going through the motions of religion will not make you wise. You must fully exert yourself and dig deeply.”

4 Ways Wisdom Will Bless You

The second chapter of Proverbs provides incentive for seeking wisdom with all our heart. Here are four ways wisdom brings blessing.

  1. You will know God personally (Proverbs 2:5-8). “Through wisdom comes a proper relationship with God. You will fear the Lord, experiencing his awesome transcendence. You also will enjoy a personal, intimate knowledge of and fellowship with Him.”
  2. Wisdom will transform you as a person (Proverbs 2:9-11). “When wisdom enters your heart, you will become a changed person….Wisdom also gives us discernment. Just as a mother has a trained nose to sniff the milk in the refrigerator to know it is spoiled, wisdom will enable us to distinguish between good and evil.”
  3. Wisdom will deliver you from dangerous people (Proverbs 2:12-22). “Proverbs seeks to prepare us to live in the real world, where there are many threats to our virtue.” Its wisdom will protect you from evil men and loose women. By the way, this is one reason Proverbs is so important to parenting!
  4. Wisdom will keep you safe (Proverbs 2:20-21). “By wisdom you will have good companions, as opposed to evil men and strange women. By wisdom you will walk in righteousness.”

Wisdom is found in the written Word of God and the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. Meditate on the Word where you will find Christ, “in whom are the treasures of wisdom (Col. 2:3; Prov. 2:4). He is the path to life (John 14:6; Prov. 2:20).”

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July 21, 2017
by Paul Tautges
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NUGGETS

Trust When Your Illusion of Safety Shatters – “God doesn’t expect me to convince myself that the world is safe or that everything will turn out just as I’d hoped. But He does want me to trust that He is powerful and strong, even when He doesn’t prevent disaster.”

10 Things You Should Know About Dementia – “Heaven will be a time to experience the glory of God in ways impossible while confined to our present bodies and brains.”

How to Make an Effective Preacher – Author Unknown – “When I am tempted to rethink and retool the focus of my ministry, I read and reread this lyrical piece of sage advice, and I am reassured that the priority of my calling is preaching God’s word in God’s way to God’s people.” Powerful!

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July 20, 2017
by Paul Tautges
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NUGGETS

Should Christians Cremate Their Loved Ones? – For many years, I’ve wanted to teach or write on this subject. However, there’s not much that I would say differently than John Piper says in this article.

Loving the People You Love to Hate – “Do you love to hate somebody? Do you hope for their failure and inwardly delight when it comes? Do you have the slightest inkling that your desire for justice has bled into desire for vengeance?”

7 Ways to Love Your Pastor – From the True Woman blog.

Guard Your Health – Really good counsel from Tim Challies.

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July 19, 2017
by Paul Tautges
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Strength Equal to the Task

This morning, in preparation for our weekly staff meeting, I picked up C. H. Spurgeon’s devotional Checkbook of Faith and was encouraged. I hope you will be, too.

“Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be”   (Deuteronomy 33:25).

Here are two things provided for the pilgrim: shoes and strength.

As for the shoes: they are very needful for traveling along rough ways and for trampling upon deadly foes. We shall not go barefoot — this would not be suitable for princes of the blood royal. Our shoes shall not be at all of the common sort, for they shall have soles of durable metal, which will not wear out even if the journey be long and difficult. We shall have protection proportionate to the necessities of the road and the battle. Wherefore let us march boldly on, fearing no harm even though we tread on serpents or set our foot upon the dragon himself.

As for the strength: it shall be continued as long as our days shall continue, and it shall be proportioned to the stress and burden of those days. The words are few, “as thy days thy strength,” but the meaning is full. This day we may look for trial, and for work which will require energy, but we may just as confidently look for equal strength. This word given to Asher is given to us also who have faith wherewith to appropriate it. Let us rise to the holy boldness which it is calculated to create within the believing heart.

Spurgeon’s Checkbook of Faith may be read online daily here. Or print copies are available from most Christian book sources in paperback or bonded leather.

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July 18, 2017
by Paul Tautges
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4 Ways to Pray When Bad News Comes

When you receive bad news what is your first response? Do you get angry? Do you get depressed? Or do you experience a little of both? Does disappointment provoke you to become angry with God or others whom you perceive to get in your way? Do you panic? How do you respond when bad things happen? There are many different ways to respond, but in the first chapter of Nehemiah we see the best response of all—prayer.

Stop. Before you keep reading this post, read Nehemiah 1:1:-11.

In the providence of God, Nehemiah was given a tough assignment. His burden was to regather the Jews who had returned to Judah after the exile to Babylon, rebuild God’s city, and return the people of God to the Word of God. When he first heard the bad news concerning his fellow Jews and city, he could have become angry or slip into depression. Instead he prayed, and God answered, and God used Nehemiah to bring comfort and hope to His people.

In his example, we see 4 essential elements of compelling prayer.

Be consecrated in body and mind (v. 4).

As soon as Nehemiah heard the bad news, he prayed; prayer was his immediate response. Long before it was written, Nehemiah understood the admonition given in the NT: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). The text says he “wept and mourned for days” and “continued fasting and praying.” He was moved with compassion for his people, which compelled him to pray with fasting.

In OT times, fasting was an outward manifestation of an inner affliction of the soul. This affliction may have been the result of grief over loss, or deep sorrow over the ugliness of one’s sin. When the humiliation was deep and profound, fasting was usually accompanied by tearing one’s clothes, putting on sackcloth (a course fabric made of goat’s hair), and sprinkling ashes on the head. Prayer often accompanied fasting, and facilitated increased concentration in prayer (See, for example, Daniel 9:3 and 2 Samuel 12).

However, fasting was not only present in the Old Testament. We see a number of examples in the New Testament, as well. John the Baptist directed his disciples to fast. Jesus said, “When you fast,” which implies He expected His disciples to fast at times. Probably the most memorable NT example is when the church of Antioch prayed and fasted to discern God’s will in regard to sending out servants into the harvest. It was when they had fasted and prayed, the Spirit directed the whole congregation to send out Barnabas and Paul (Acts 13).

What all of these examples teach is this: Fasting sometimes accompanied prayer as a demonstration of humility and deep intent to seek the will of God and surrender to it in humility,

Be confident in God’s character and promises (vv. 5, 8-10).

The title “the great and awesome God” indicates Nehemiah’s appreciation of who God is: the one whom Nehemiah feared and the source and object of his deep faith. “God’s awesomeness is the impression his total character and person leaves on all who encounter him. Those who know and trust God are those who fear him” (Brenemen). This same fear of God is modeled in Psalm 86:1-10.

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.In the day of my trouble I call upon you,for you answer me.There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,nor are there any works like yours.All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord,and shall glorify your name.For you are great and do wondrous things;you alone are God.

Nehemiah prayed, “Remember the word.” This does not imply that God forgets, but is a way of saying, “Lord, I believe You. I trust you to keep your Word, to fulfill your promises.” To ask God to remember is to ask Him to intervene. Therefore, Nehemiah was asking God to intervene on his behalf, and on behalf of the people whom He had redeemed from Egyptian bondage. Before they entered the Promised Land, God warned them through Moses (Deut. 24:25-27). He had promised to chastise them because of their sin. However, God also promised to restore them once chastening had done its work of bringing them to repentance (Jeremiah 29:10-13). Nehemiah prayed with confidence because he trusted in God, that He is faithful to honor His Word and fulfill every promise He has ever made.

Be contrite in spirit when confessing sin (vv.6-7).

When Nehemiah approached God in prayer, he did so as God’s “servant;” i.e. with humility and meekness. He then proceeded to confess his and their sins to God. The Bible celebrates a contrite spirit. In Isaiah 66:2, the Lord says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” And in Psalm 51:17, as King David confessed his sin before God, he said, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

The Hebrew and Greek words often translated contrite mean “crushed, crippled, or broken.” A contrite heart refers to a conscience that is crushed under the weight of its own guilt. God draws near to the person who has a contrite spirit. In Isaiah 57:15, God says, “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15). In contrast, God turns His ear away from the proud heart. The psalmist confessed, “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Ps 66:18). Unconfessed sin short-circuits prayer, but brokenness and humble confession open the door to answered prayer.

Be courageous to make big requests (v. 11).

Nehemiah asked God to grant him favor in the eyes of the king. Now read Nehemiah 2:1-8 to see God’s answer. Nehemiah took a big risk when he showed his transparent sadness before the king, but God went before him—He prepared the way—because this servant prayed.

Sometimes we fail to bring big requests to God because deep-down we believe whatever we long for is not possible, or that God is somehow less than good. What is your “impossible”?

  • Maybe it is the salvation of a hardhearted friend or family member
  • Or restoration of a marriage (yours or someone else’s)
  • The return of a prodigal son or daughter
  • Or an employment need
  • Perhaps it is for the Lord to overcome your infertility
  • You name it…

Whatever your “impossible” is, know this: Scripture testifies that nothing is impossible for the Lord (Genesis 18:14). God says, “I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jer. 32:27).

God is good, too. “You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees” (Psalm 119:68). “The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:9). There is nothing God cannot do, and He is surpassingly good. Therefore, do not fear. Bring your big requests to Him.

[This post is an abbreviated summary of this past Sunday’s sermon preached at Cornerstone Community Church in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.]

If you desire to grow in the spiritual discipline of prayer, you may be consider reading one of my books on prayer:

  1. Brass Heavens: 6 Reasons for Unanswered Prayer
  2. Pray About Everything

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July 18, 2017
by Paul Tautges
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NUGGETS

Are All Your Friends Your Age? – Here’s why I’m regularly calling our church to Christ-centered, multi-generational ministry and community.

If You Are Watching the Game of Thrones You Are Watching Porn – New post from Covenant Eyes.

Why You Will Join the Wrong Church – “Our relationships will ebb and flow, as will our affection for the church. But the solution is not always looking for a better fit.”

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July 14, 2017
by Paul Tautges
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The Prophetic Ministry of Jesus

The biblical title Christ refers to the anointed one. “In the old covenant, three particular people were anointed for the service of God: the prophet, the priest, and the king. These three dimensions reveal more fully both his person and his work.”

These words are from a chapter that blessed me, this morning, in Name Above All Names by Alistair Begg and Sinclair Ferguson. To reflect on the ministry of Jesus as prophet, the authors employ four R’s.

Required – “Our fallen condition requires us to have Jesus as our prophet….the reason he comes to us as prophet is to deal with our ignorance. Spiritual ignorance is the reason God sent prophets throughout all biblical history—and ultimately sent his true and final prophet, the Lord Jesus.”

Revealed – Hebrews 1:1-2 instructs us that God revealed himself in many ways throughout biblical history, but Jesus Christ, His Son, is the final revelation. “God puts his words in Jesus’ mouth. Jesus reveals everything his Father has commanded him.”

Recognized – “Ultimately, Jesus must be recognized, not merely as a messenger of revelation from God but as the very source of that revelation. Jesus is not only the revealer; he is the revelation!”

Realized – “Jesus’ ministry as prophet needs to be realized—but how? In the preaching and teaching of the Bible. Christ’s prophetic ministry was continued in the preaching and teaching ministry of the apostles. But the same is true of all preachers who stand in the line of the apostolic authority and have been set apart as gifts of the ascended Christ. It is their ongoing task to bring the Scriptures to bear upon the minds of the foolish and ignorant in their own time and generation. If we fail to understand this, then both our preaching and our hearing of the biblical testimony to Christ will be impoverished.”

The authors wrap up these thoughts nicely in the following words: “So the present prophetic ministry of Christ never introduces bizarre or strange or new and fanciful notions. No, it is found in the opening up of the Word.”

Friends, let’s exalt Christ by faithfully proclaiming His Word.

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