Friday, January 29, 2016

Daily Reading, Biblical Theology, and Spirit-Given Exhortation

January 29. I read Psalm 29,59,89,149.[1] The apostle Paul quotes from Psalm 89 in his preaching of the Gospel. God’s covenant with David is actually a covenant with David’s Seed “according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3; 9:5). When we follow the apostles (who were uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit) in “trying to persuade…concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets” (Acts 28:23) we are walking a well-trod and ancient path. When we do this with fellow believers, we gift them with a whole Bible. Not just the four Gospels or the New Testament, but a whole Christian Bible. I rejoiced early yesterday morning to hear a fellow Bible teacher in this little town tell me the biblical maturity he’d seen in students who were beginning to grasp a whole-Bible Christian theology. Praise the Lord, and may the next generation of the Church know, preach, and obey the whole Book far more than us!

The covenants are the theological, God-ordained “glue” that holds the Old and New Testament together as the testimony of Jesus Christ. “All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, Who is Himself the focus of divine revelation” (Baptist Faith & Message 2000, I).

I have found David My servant;
With My holy oil I have anointed him
With Whom My hand will be established;
My arm also will strengthen him.
The enemy will not deceive him,
Nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
But I shall crush his adversaries before him,
And strike those who hate him.
My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him,
And in My name his horn will be exalted.
I shall also set his hand on the sea
And his right hand on the rivers.
He will cry to Me, ‘You are my Father,
My God, and the rock of my salvation.’
I also shall make him My firstborn,
The highest of the kings of the earth.
My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever,
And My covenant shall be confirmed to him.
So I will establish his descendants [lit., “Seed”] forever
And his throne as the days of heaven”
(Psalm 89:20-29).

Paul quotes this passage in his “word of exhortation” to the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch.[2]

“Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it. For a period of about forty years He put up with them in the wilderness. When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land as an inheritance - all of which took about four hundred and fifty years. After these things He gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus…brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him. And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus…David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay; but He Whom God raised did not undergo decay. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (Acts 13:16-38).

Sunrise almost 3 weeks ago. The mountain (Cookes Peak) goes from shadow
to detailed definition in the full daylight (especially just before sunset). This is how
progressive revelation functions from the Old to New Testament.
God “found” David, and through the ever-living and ever-reigning Seed of David “forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” Repent and believe in this Davidic King unto forgiveness and blissful eternal life before His Father.

[1] I try to read the Psalms daily in an x, x+30 pattern. Psalm 119 should have been in today’s line-up, but I save it for the 31st of the month and read it alone.
[2] Notice that this “exhortation” is not what we would call “practical” these days. It is pure biblical/covenantal theology. “Exhortation” is a work of the Holy Spirit, and it leads to the “increase” of the church (Acts 9:31). It causes joy (Acts 15:31). Remember Romans 15:4,5. This is the reason God gave the New Testament Church the gift of the Old Testament. This should be the substance of the Spirit-given prophecy in the Church (1 Corinthians 14:3).

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