Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Joy of Ministry

 In August, I will be preaching from 1 Thessalonians chapter two. This chapter deals with Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians. It is my hope as a pastor that we gain great insight about ministry from this study! We have been looking at the false teacher in Jude, so now we will look at the heart and soul of a pastor called by God and the ministry with which he has been entrusted. 

 We need to have a right view of ministy, and I think we will see this in this new study!  Ministry is hard, but full of joy!  I love what I do and understand the purpose. As Christians, we need a right view of ministry through the Scripture. We need to trust the power of the Gospel, and turn to the Word of God for our wisdom! So let us be about truth and doing it all for the glory of God!


The Manner of Discovering the True Sense of Holy Scripture

by Thomas Boston

1 The sense of the scripture is but one, and not many. There may be several parts of that one sense subordinate one to another; as some prophecies have a respect to the deliverance from Babylon, the spiritual by Christ, and the eternal in heaven; and some passages have one thing that is typical of another: yet these are but one full sense, only that may be of two sorts; one is simple, and another compound.

Some scriptures have only a simple sense, containing a declaration of one thing only; and that is either proper or figurative. A proper sense is that which arises from the words taken properly, and the figurative from the words taken figuratively. Some have a simple proper sense, as, ‘God is a Spirit,’ ‘God created the heavens and the earth;’ which are to be understood according to the propriety of the words. Some have a simple figurative sense, as, ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away,’ &c. These have but one simple sense; but then it is the figurative, and is not to be understood according to the literal meaning of the words, as if Christ were a tree, &c. Thus you see what the simple sense is. The compound or mixed sense is found wherein one thing is held forth as a type of the other; and so it consists of two parts, the one respecting the type, the other the antitype; which are not two senses, but two parts of that one and entire sense intended by the Holy Ghost: e.g. Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, that those who were stung by the fiery serpents might look to it and be healed. The full sense of which is, ‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, that, &c. even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.’ Here is a literal and mystical sense, which make up one full sense betwixt them. Those scriptures that have this compound sense, are sometimes fulfilled properly (or literally, as it is taken in opposition to figuratively) in the type and antitype both; as Hos. 11:1. ‘I have called my Son out of Egypt,’ which was literally true both of Israel and Christ. Sometimes figuratively in the type, and properly in the antitype, as Psal. 69:21. ‘They gave me vinegar to drink.’ Sometimes properly in the type, and figuratively in the antitype, as Psal. 2:9. ‘Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron.’ Compare 2 Sam. 12:31. Sometimes figuratively in both, as Psal. 41:9, ‘Yea, mine own familiar friend hath lifted up his heel against me; which is meant of Ahithophel and Judas. Now the sense of the scripture must be but one, and not manifold, that is, quite different and nowise subordinate one to another, because of the unity of truth, and because of the perspicuity of the scripture.

2. Where there is a question about the true sense of scripture, it. must be found out what it is by searching other places that speak more clearly, the scripture itself being the infallible rule of interpreting of scripture. Now that it is so, appears from the following arguments.

(1.) The Holy Spirit gives this as a rule, 2 Pet. 1:20, 21. After the apostle had called the Christians to take heed to the scripture, he gives them this rule for understanding it, ‘Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation of our own exposition. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’ As it came, so is it to be expounded: but it came not by the will of man; therefore we are not to rest on men for the sense of it, but holy men speaking as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and so never erring; therefore we are to look to the dictates of the same Spirit in other places.

(2.) There are several approved examples of this, comparing one scripture with another, to find out the meaning of the Holy Ghost, as Acts 15:15. And to this agree the words of the prophet,’ &c. The Bereans are commended for this, Acts 17:11. Yea, Christ himself makes use of this to show the true sense of the scripture against the devil, Matt. 4:6. ‘Cast thyself down,’ said that wicked spirit; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee,’ &c. ver. 7. ‘It is written again,’ says Christ, ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ And thus our Lord makes out the true sense of that scripture, that it is to be understood only with respect to them who do not cast themselves on a tempting of God.**


God is Everywhere

 

 As I sit on the patio of our beach house, I see people walking by, even jogging by. A thought came to mine. “I wonder if they are looking this way, if they see me; If they do see me, do they really care?” As a Christian I live a life that is concerned with taking care of my family; trying to meet their physical and spiritual needs. I work a secular job; I also pastor a church, so much to do! This is the point I would like to make. As I live my life, do I live it with the right view: the view that God is everywhere, and I can’t run from Him or hide from Him? He is ever present in all that I do: working, pasturing, raising my children. Or do I live my life as if God is not there, and the only time He will appear is when I have my devotion time, or when I am in church, or when I am telling someone about Jesus. This would be wrong, because God is not only in those places. Look what King David said in Ps.139:1-5 “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” So we see God is everywhere and we cannot keep anything from Him. He knows all our personal thoughts and all our ways!

 So I should live a life devoted unto God, aware that He is Creator and I am the creature. Look at what it says in Job.37:22 “Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed with awesome majesty.” Also King David said it like this in Ps.139:7-9 “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” This is the proper view of God! This should affect our lives as believers! Let us not live this Christian life as those passing by; but in full view of God. Let our passion be Him! Living this way will heighten your awareness of sin. Look at what it says in Ps.139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” King David sees how big God is and says “search me.” That is the desire in us because we are his children, wanting to get things right and not to sin; looking for it and not wanting it there! That is when we are living like God is everywhere, right in the middle of our lives.