Friday, 28 March 2008

The Holy Spirit, Power in the Church and Revival

'[We] can produce a number of converts, thank God for that, and that goes on regularly in evangelical churches every Sunday. But the need today is much too great for that. The need today is for an authentication of God, of the supernatural, of the spiritual, of the eternal, and this can only be answered by God graciously hearing our cry and shedding forth again his Spirit upon us and filling us as he kept filling the early church.

What is needed is some mighty demonstration of the power of God, some enactment of the Almighty, that will compel people to pay attention, and to look, and to listen. And the history of all the revivals of the past indicates so clearly that that is invariably the effect of revival, without any exception at all. That is why I am calling attention to revival. That is why I am urging you to pray for this. When God acts, he can do more in a minute that man with his organizing can do in fifty years.' -Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Thursday, 27 March 2008


'People that make a difference in the world are not people who have mastered a lot of things. They are people who have been mastered by a very few things that are very very great.

If you want your life to count you don't have to have a high IQ... you don't have to be smart, you don't have to have to have good looks,you don't have to be from a good family or from a good school. You just have to know a few basic simple glorious majestic obvious unchanging eternal things and be gripped by them and be willing to lay down your life for them... cos it isn't you, it's what you're gripped with.'

John Piper

Dont waste your life...

Friday, 21 March 2008

It pleased God to kill Jesus

He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth...
[Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not be born.
One of the twelve whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, 'What will you give me if I deliver Him over to you?' And they paid Him thirty pieces of silver.
Now this man bought a field with the reward of wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.
While he [Jesus] was still speaking, there came a crowd. And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, 'No more of this!' And He touched his ear and healed him. Then they seized Him and led Him away. Pilate took Jesus and flogged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head and arrayed Him in a purple robe. They came up to Him, saying, 'Hail King of the Jews!' and struck Him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, 'See, I am bringing Him out to you that you may know that I find no fault in Him'. They took Jesus, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place of a skull which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified Him.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to its jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet. My God, my God why have you forsaken me?
Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the Scripture), 'I thirst'. A jar of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to His mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said 'It is finished', and bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
It was the will of God to crush Him; he has put Him to grief. Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied. A hanged man is cursed by God. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Is 53v5-7, Mark 8v31, Mark 14v21, Matt 26v14, Acts 1v18, Luke 22v47,50, 51, 54, Luke 19v1-4, John 19v16-18, Psalm 22v14-16, 1, John 19v28-30, Is 53v10,11, Deut 20v23, Rom 8v3, 2Cor 5v21

Enjoy Easter at Mars Hill

Saturday, 15 March 2008

New Bible

I am now the proud owner of the famous ESV translation.
Some call it the English Standard Version, others the Extremely Sound Version, others the Extremely Smudgeable Version. I'm not sure which is true.

I've been reading it the last few days and I like the flow. It's good. Modern language and a word for word philosophy. (Can't be dealing with the NIV's thought-for-thought method of translation!!).

Many modern Calvinists like it. Piper is an advocate, in fact he's written a good article on Bible translations. Driscoll is a fan. I'm told at Mars Hill you'll see Indie Rockers who smoke holding an ESV under one arm. Grudem, Packer and Kent Hughes were on the translation committee. It seems to be the Bible for the 'Emerging Calvinists' who are springing up everywhere.

Not sure if I'm going to abandon the New King James yet. If I do I wont be telling my fellow King James brothers who claim that the textus receptus is the only accurate text to translate a Bible from. More about that here.
Bibles like the New King James and the King James are based on the Received Text (or textus receptus). This text is based on 6 Greek manuscripts dating from the the 12th to the 14 century. We now have over 5000 other texts. The ESV uses these other texts for the translation. Differences occur in the texts. Take for example Acts 8v37 and the end of Marks gospel. 1 John 5v7 is another. The KJV and the NKJV contain 'the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit' in the verse whereas the ESV omits these words. As it happens the additional words that appear in the KJV and the NKJV date from a later and unreliable manuscript. (See as a source for this paragraph: 'Hermeneutical Issues' lecture from the link given below).

To be honest I get a bit annoyed when people are more concerned with minor differences in Bibles when souls are plunging into Hells fire. Take a look at this guy who overeacts to the NIV, here. Without being too critical I assume he's my brother, I must love him. I do get annoyed at some of the civil battles that some Christians take pride in fighting. Saying that there are some worth fighting.

I am against the King James (or Authorised Version) because it is an in-accurate translation of the Bible to our culture. It's written in a 400 year old language. The Bible has to be written in the language of the day. Words and their meanings currently evolve at an incredible rate. The translation of the Bible needs to adapt to this. It's Gods infallible word-we need to understand it!!
Not really liking the NIV. I feel a Bible that tries to translate meaning-for-meaning (at the cost of accuracy) is dangerous. Bible translators need to translate word-for-word into a cultural language. I'm under the conviction that it is the preachers job to translate meaning.

Some good lectures on Bible translation from a guy called Robert Stein can be found here. The guy is good; real, down to earth, and helpful.

ESV Endorsements. ESV Blog. Read the ESV online.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Refreshing Grace from Prayer

The more I pray the more I understand the beauty and refreshing power of prayer. It's like pouring clean fresh water to a dry school. When you focus on God and open your heart to Him you feel renewed and encouraged. I believe real prayer is a fresh filling of the Spirit because we're calling on God for what we don't have, it's a constant confession of independence. This is refreshing, it's renewing, it's the key to receiving more satisfaction than you can think of.

When I was first saved I used to look on prayer as some kind of heavy task. I imagined God standing behind me like a forceful slave-driver speaking into my life by delivering over-bearing commands. I'm really glad I was wrong! Prayer is enjoyable! There's a myth floating around some conservative churches that 'denying yourself' (Mat 16v24) means throwing away pursuit of joy. Not true. It means pursuing real joy! 'Denying yourself' happens when we see Gods glory as our ultimate treasure, better than any sin. It's seeing God as our treasure!

If God is our treasure then prayer is our joy. Prayer is our joy when we savour Gods glory above everything and anything else. Therefore real Christ-exalting, pride-crushing prayer results in cherishing God and pursuing Him as ultimate good and satisfaction.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Driscoll on God

'You have been told that God is a loving, gracious, merciful, kind, compassionate, wonderful, and good sky fairy who runs a day care in the sky and has a bucket of suckers for everyone because we're all good people. That is a lie... God looks down and says 'I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you,' and we say that is deserved, right and just, and then God says 'Because of Jesus I will love you and forgive you.' This is a miracle.' -Mark Driscoll

Sunday, 2 March 2008