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Monday, July 03, 2017

Chosen in Christ: God’s Eternal Plan of Redemption

The Gospel: 2016 National Conference

Message 7 Chosen in Christ: God’s Eternal Plan of Redemption:

Few subjects provoke debate like the doctrine of election. As a result, many struggle to see the value of it for Christian living. Yet from a biblical perspective, the doctrine of election is intended to comfort God’s people as well as magnify God’s grace. In this session, Dr. Ian Hamilton shows why God’s eternal plan to redeem His people for His glory is the basis for the work of Christ as our mediator, the foundation for the historical unfolding of the covenant of grace, and the ground for our hope in the gospel. Continue reading... Please click HERE.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Forever KING

The Forever King: Seeing Jesus in 2 Samuel

"Speaking of forever, we’ve all heard the famous line “A diamond is forever.” But is it true? Evidently, for the last twenty-five years a team of scientists have been trying to find out. At a site in central Japan, scientists have been monitoring a huge underground water-filled tank, waiting patiently for signs that all matter eventually decays into sub-atomic dust. Evidently, most theorists believe it will show that protons—the building blocks of every atom—do not last forever but decay into other particles. That would mean nothing made from atoms—not even diamonds—lasts forever.1

The Bible, however, talks about some things that do last forever.

“The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever” (Psalm 136). Forever the Lord will love his own.

“His righteousness endures forever” (Ps. 111:3). Forever God will be doing what is right.

“The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever” (Ps. 117:2). Forever God will do what he has promised to do and be who has promised to be.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isa. 40:8). Forever God’s Word will have the power to accomplish what it intends. Forever it will prove true.

The apostle John wrote: “The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). Evidently God intends to share his “foreverness” with those who find their life under his loving rule now. Does this kind of forever sound good to you? Let’s face it; most of us have had experiences that felt like forever that we don’t particularly want to experience again. So before we buy into this forever being offered to us, we want to know what we can expect.

Over three thousand years ago, God put a king on the throne in his city to rule over his people as his representative. The king who sat on this throne was never supposed to be a king like other kings in this world who rule independently and often tyrannically. Unlike any other kingdom and any other throne, this kingdom and this throne were established to last forever. But what does that mean and why does it matter? Here in 2 Samuel, as we look at the king God put on the earthly throne over his people—the throne that was to be an earthy extension of his heavenly throne—we get a glimpse of the forever God intends to give to us. David was the king who was according to God’s own heart, the kind of king God wanted to rule over his people. As we listen in on the promises God made to his king, we’ll discover that these promises shape the forever that God is inviting us into.

The King’s City

David was a teenager when the prophet Samuel anointed him to be king over Israel. Twenty-five years later David was still not ruling on the throne. Instead he had spent those years leading armies into battle and ducking from Saul’s spears and living out in the wilderness and even in foreign countries. Second Samuel picks up the history of Israel immediately after Saul’s death. In chapter 2 we read that David was finally made king of Judah in the south while Ish-bosheth the son of Saul was made king of Israel in the north, a hint of the division in the kingdom that will come later. Second Samuel 3:1 tells us, “There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.” All of the people who had followed Ish-bosheth had to decide if they would accept the king that God had chosen and anointed and submit to his rule for their lives (which is really the same decision we have to make). When we come to 2 Samuel 5, we read:

Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. (vv. 5:1–3)

So then David became king over all twelve tribes. But to effectively rule over all the tribes of Israel, David needed a capital city that would be centrally located amongst the tribes, a city that could become a fortress to withstand attack. And there was such a city. In fact, it had a royal history. A thousand years before the time of David, there was a city called Salem, in which a good king named Melchizedek ruled, who was also a priest of Yahweh (Gen. 14:18). Eventually Salem was taken over by the Jebusites who built a wall around the city and called it Jebus (1 Chron. 11:4). In David’s day, it was a fortress city set on a hill on the border between Judah and Benjamin, just the right location for ruling over all Israel. But there was a problem. Although it had been three hundred years since the Israelites crossed over the Jordan and began possessing the land God had promised to give to them, they still had not taken permanent possession of this great city. But this is now God’s king leading God’s people, and Jerusalem is about to become God’s place, a city that already had been and was going to become even more central to the purposes of God, not only for Israel but for the world, and not just in David’s day but forever.

And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”—thinking, “David cannot come in here.” Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. (2 Sam. 5:6–7)

The stronghold on Mount Zion, one of several mountains in Jerusalem, became the center of David’s kingdom. David established his palace and his center of government there. God established his great king in his great city.

And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him. And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house. And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. (2 Sam. 5:10–12)

David was the king, but he clearly didn’t rule like other kings of his day. Rather than ruling as a proud head of state exercising absolute control, David ruled humbly as vice-regent to Israel’s true King, God himself. He used his throne as a pulpit from which to preach God’s rule and reign. “The Lord reigns,” David wrote. “He is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting” (Ps. 93:1–2)." - PLS. Click HERE and continue reading

Extracted from The Forever King: Seeing Jesus in 2 Samuel -

Taken from The Son of David: Seeing Jesus in the Historical Books, by Nancy Guthrie. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il 60187,
What kind of king and what kind of kingdom are we asking for when we pray this prayer Jesus taught us to pray? A study of the Old Testament Historical Books—Joshua through Esther—enables us to see the kingdom of God not only as it once was, but also as it is now, and as it will be one day. Over ten weeks of guided study, relevant teaching, and group discussion, seasoned Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie traces the history of the people of God from the time they entered the Promised Land through a series of failed kings, exile, and finally their return to await the true King.
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