8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “The New Testament in Seven Sentences” by Gary M. Burge

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I always look forward for October because it’s our cottage prayer meeting at our house. Our cottage prayer meeting consist of having our church members come to our home, have a 30 minute devotion led by our pastor and the rest is  fellowship over a meal. October is also the birth month of my father in law, sister in law, wife and our daughter. So it’s fitting to celebrate the birthdays by having a cottage prayer meeting. This year will be held at my parents house. Aside from the birthdays it will be a thankagiving celebration because of how God sustains my father in law through his dialysis. Please consider praying for us specially that the gospel may be preach and God may open my relatives heart as they hear the message.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from book by Gary M. Burge, The New Testament in Seven Sentences, published by 10 of Inter Varsity Press. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at IVP.

“This is the mission of the church. This is the task of God’s people who have followed Jesus since his resurrection and ascension. We don’t simply equip people to go to heaven; we invest in kingdom building here on the earth.”

“…the Hebrew experience of God’s kingly rule had two dimensions. God ruled the present—sustaining nature and guaranteeing Israel’s present experiences in history. And God ruled the future—promising that his vision could see what was to come and his power could bring about his will. God ruled the future, and this meant he would decide how the future would unfold and how human history would end.”

“There is a difference between the experience of grace and recognizing it as a primary Christian (or Jewish) doctrine. The New Testament—from Jesus to Paul—wants to press us to return to first principles: that God has been working on our behalf throughout history and that this has been seen with pristine clarity in the arrival of Jesus.”

“The church that we know so well is thus not simply a collection of believers who have faith in Jesus. It is a community of men and women who are living out the mission given to Abraham four thousand years ago. The church is thus the “tribe of Abraham” now joined to a messianic mission that began with Jesus.”

Your identity was not exclusively anchored to what you believed intellectually about Jesus (though this was important). It was also anchored to a dynamic experience of God that could be quantified only with difficulty. As in Nicodemus’s conversation with Jesus (John 3), the Spirit is like the wind, which blows unpredictably. No one doubts its reality, but no one can calculate its movements.”

“The church in the New Testament is called the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27), which means not simply that the church belongs to Christ but that he indwells the church and gives the church its life. His Spirit indwells its members and equips them to sustain Jesus’ work so that it is not a cliché when we say that we are Jesus’ hands and feet in the world.”

“These Gospel writers believed that a colossal shift had taken place in Judaism—and in the world—and they are about to tell us what it is. And they knew it was going to be controversial. The Gospel writers do not shy away from the fact that whenever this story is told in full by Jesus, crowds are either won over or they are resistant and disturbed.”

“For the New Testament, the death of Christ was a turning point in history. God had shown his righteousness by achieving in Jesus our righteousness through a dramatic act of forgiveness on the cross.”

Book Review: Essentials by Lee McMunn

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It’s great that McMunn starts his book with the Trinity unlike the usual gospel presentation. At first you might think it’s a short book about doctrine, but it’s not. Essentials is an evangelistic book . Essentials is giving a step by step explanation of the gospel. And as I have said McMunn started this book with the Trinity and ends with an invitation to have a relationship with God. Essentials is a presentable evangelistic tool because of appealing title, chapter title and cover image.

There are downsides in book. First, in chapter 3 which illustrates how Jesus rescues. Although the context is answering the question “So why didn’t he save himself? Why did Jesus stay on the cross?” an illustration of a kid drowning is not the biblical way to represent humanity submerged in sin. Total depravity points us that we are not drowning but dead at the bottom of the river.  Second the sinner’s prayer at the last part of the book, which is for me unbiblical. Decisionism is not part of the gospel message.

Essentials is a good book but has problematic issues. If for not those issues, I would have graded this book a bit higher.  Still you can benefit reading it for yourself and use some parts of it for your personal evangelism.

My verdict:

3.5 out of 5

4 Ways to Serve God with a Thankful Heart

wmzimcpPsalms 116 gives us more than reasons why God is good. It also shows us how, knowing God is good, to pay it forward. The last part of the psalm presents ways to serve God (and eventually others) with a thankful heart. Here are four of them that David did and we should follow these examples.

Acknowledge God’s mercy in our salvation (v. 13) – This is the first step in serving God thankfully. Like the cup people raised in special occasions, we uphold gratitude towards God by remembering His saving grace toward us undeserving sinners. Think about how God planned your salvation way back before the foundations of the world.  Then look at the extend God had done to His Son Jesus for you to be saved. Acknowledging God’s salvation to you might be enough to cultivate a heart brimful of thanksgiving and moving you to serve. Keep that tucked in your heart every time you serve Him.

Consider our commitment and plans for God (vs. 14 & 18)- What are your commitments to God? Do you set plans, ambitions or goals for God? Paying vows is like that. Not only will it challenge your faith to step to the next level but it will make your maturity grow. As vows committed in the Bible takes matured people to think of it and accomplish it, so will you if you seek to consider it. Of course you do pray, worship, read the Bible and share the gospel, having plans for God is intentionally setting aside something that will glorify Him. We look at our lives we plan and set goals for that vacation, that car or our children’s future. Can we do that to God too?

Have a continuous dependence to God (vs. 13 & 17) – If you look closely at the two verses, you can see that phrase “and call upon the name of the Lord” was mentioned twice. This is not just a prayer of supplication but it shows David’s continuous dependence with God.   Do you continue to ask God to help you? You should because He is glorified in our constant asking. The more we ask the more we grow in dependence to God. And that’s already service to God! Will you consistently seek Him in your journey to this life?

Put your involvement with God in public (vs. 18 & 19) – God had shown you the ultimate “public display of affection” through Christ hanging in the cross. Now it’s our turn to show another ultimate PDA. It’s living the life God intended for you to reflect His glory.   It starts by going to church. Show how you want to serve Him by listening, praising, praying and worshiping Him, with fellow believers in the church. As you root yourself in the presence of the believers and God, eventually your “publicness” with God will eventually flow to your family, work and other parts of your life.  As Matthew 5: 14- 16 puts it:

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Service to God starts with the right disposition of the heart. Having that kind of heart will help us navigate in the different phases of our ministry. A thankful heart matters to God as you serve Him and others.

The Quotable Round-Up #91

f11jjqtHeads up guys! time for some 6 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from the book “Is Christianity Good for the World?” by Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson. If you find these nuggets of wisdom superb, please get the book at your favorite bookstore or log in to Amazon. God bless and Peace!

“If there is no God, what is truth? Christopher Hitchens displays great moral indignation, but, given atheism, I want him to justify that indignation. If there is no God, then who cares? And Christopher Hitchens writes as a very capable wordsmith, but given atheism, I want him to justify his vibrant and engaging prose. If there is no God, then yammer, yamber, yaw&^% . .” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“There is no God, right? Because there is no God, this means that—you know—genocides just happen, like earthquakes and eclipses. It is all matter in motion, and these things happen.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“The Christian faith is good for the world because it provides the fixed standard which atheism cannot provide and because it provides forgiveness for sins, which atheism cannot provide either. We need the direction of the standard because we are confused sinners. We need the forgiveness because we are guilty sinners. Atheism not only keeps the guilt, but it also keeps the confusion.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“If Christianity is bad for the world, atheists can’t consistently point this out, having no fixed way of defining “bad.” If Christianity is good for the world, atheists should not be asked about it either because they have no way of defining “good.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“In the kindness of God, the Cross is an object of inexorable fascination to us. When men and women look to Him in His death, they come to life in His resurrection. And that is good for the world.” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“The Cross is God’s merciful provision that executes autonomous pride and exalts humility.” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

 

The Quotable Round-Up #81

tpn6bjcHello guys! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring fresh quotes from R. C. Sproul’s book titled “The Truth of the Cross” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of a holy God Who’s wrathful. But there is no wrath for those whose sins have been paid. That is what salvation is all about.”
— R. C. Sproul

“The Greek word crisis means “judgment.” And the crisis of which Jesus preached was the crisis of an impending judgment of the world, at which point God is going to pour out His wrath
against the unredeemed, the ungodly, and the impenitent. The only hope of escape from that outpouring of wrath is to be covered by the atonement of Christ.”
— R. C. Sproul

“The idea of being the Substitute in offering an atonement to satisfy the demands of God’s law for others was something Christ understood as His mission from the moment He entered this world and took upon Himself a human nature. He came from heaven as the gift of the Father for the express purpose of working out redemption as our Substitute, doing for us what we could not possibly do for ourselves.”
— R. C. Sproul

“Christ came and paid the ransom in order to secure the release of His people, who were held captive to sin. Christ gave this ransom voluntarily, that He might redeem us from our bondage and bring us to Himself as His beloved bride.”
— R. C. Sproul

“When the Bible speaks of ransom, it speaks of that ransom being paid not to a criminal but to the One Who is owed the price for redemption, the One Who is the offended party in the whole complex of sin—the Father. Jesus didn’t negotiate with Satan for our salvation. Instead, He offered Himself in payment to the Father for us. By so offering Himself, He made redemption for His people, redeeming them from captivity.”
— R. C. Sproul

“It is important that we understand that God manifests no enmity toward us. He has never broken a promise. He has never violated a covenant. He has never sworn a vow to us that He failed to pay. He has never treated a human being in this world unjustly. He has never violated us as creatures. In short, He has kept His side of the relationship perfectly. But we have violated Him. We are the ones who violate the creature-Creator relationship. By our sin, we show ourselves to be God’s enemies. Therefore, with respect to enmity, He is the injured party, the violated One.”
— R. C. Sproul

“What do we mean when we speak of God’s justice? In the ancient Jewish mind, justice was never abstract. That’s why, in the Old Testament, justice inevitably was linked with the concept of righteousness. Righteousness means doing what is right. Therefore, God’s justice has to do with His internal righteousness, His character, which defines everything He does. God never acts according to injustice. He never violates any of the standards or canons of righteousness. A simple definition of God’s justice is “His eternal, immutable commitment always to do what is right.”
— R. C. Sproul