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Author Archives: Dr. Larry Dixon

About Dr. Larry Dixon

Seminary professor, teaching systematic theology and other topics. Grandfather, wicked tennis & table tennis player, loves playing chess on letsplaychess.com. Please check out the ten books I've written. "The heart cannot rejoiced in what the mind rejects as false!"

What Did Jesus Pray About? (Part 3)

We are examining Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 over the next few posts, asking what prayer meant to Him. Let’s continue our thinking on the first few verses.  We saw that prayer prepared the Lord Jesus for His “hour.”

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Jesus then focuses on the issue of glory.  He asks that the Father “glorify” the Son.  There is a mutual glorifying that Jesus desires.  He states that He had brought the Father glory on earth by finishing the work the Father gave Him to do.  But, wait.  The work of atonement was just beginning, right?

What was the work the Father gave Him to do that He says He had “finished”?  He had lived out the perfect human life, resisting the temptations of the Evil One, and revealing the Father to His disciples.  He had faithfully taught the truth, healed the sick, and even raised the dead.  These “works” were important, but were signs leading up to His great work, giving Himself for the sins of the world.

We are to be like our Lord.  We are to “finish” the work He has given us to do.  What work has He assigned to you?  Of course, there is always more work to do.  But take the time in prayer and thank the Lord for the work He has empowered you to finish.  (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2017 in prayer

 

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What Did Jesus Pray about? (Part 2)

Okay, all you prayer warriors out there!  If you’re at all like me, your prayer life needs some serious work!  We want to examine Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 over the next few posts, asking what prayer meant to Him.  Let’s look at the first few verses here in our text:

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

The daily, active spiritual life of the Lord Jesus is an incredible study!  As the Second Person of the Trinity, He became fully human without giving up His deity.  Yet He maintained a spiritual walk with the Father through times of prayer.  Often alone.

Alone with God.  That’s one practice that is difficult for many believers.  Just spending some quiet time alone with the Lord.  Jesus models that for us.  Away from ministry.  Away from people.  How’s your alone time?

For the Lord Jesus, prayer prepared Him for His “hour.”  “The hour has come,” He says.  Now, this, of course, is where we are not like the Lord.  We don’t need the Father’s strength for the same work that awaited Jesus, the work of atonement.  But, how much more do we need the Father’s strength and enabling for the much smaller tasks that lie before us?

What lies before you today?  A grouchy boss?  An unbelieving spouse?  Rebellious children?  Bills unpaid?  Nagging health issues?  Go to the Father.  Spend time alone with Him.  (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2017 in John 17

 

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What Did the Lord Jesus Pray About? (Part 1)

Okay.  Okay. I’ll admit it. Prayer has got to be one of the hardest spiritual habits for me.  We want to examine Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 over the next few posts, asking what prayer meant to Him.  Here’s our major text.  Please read over John 17.  Feel free to enter a comment below, pointing out something that strikes you from this passage:  (to be continued)

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in prayer

 

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Getting into READING! (A Quote from John Piper)

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2017 in reading

 

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Writing Projects I’m Working on ….

One of the benefits of being retired is that I can get back into writing — which I normally love to do.  I say “normally” because I’m venturing into the world of fiction which I find really difficult.  Here are some of the projects I’m working on.

1. I just had an article posted on patheos.com which you might find interesting. It is found at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/evangelicalpulpit/2017/10/stephen-paddock-hell/  I originally entitled the article “Gambling with God: Five Certainties in the Stephen Paddock Tragedy.”  The Patheos editor thought his title would draw more interest — and it has generated 163 comments!

2.  Some of you know that I am quite committed to the idea of friendship evangelism.  So I’m working on a book entitled Unlike Jesus:  One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel.  We are not a friend of sinners like Jesus was — and I’m praying my small effort might help to change that!  I also want to develop a four-message weekend conference on this theme.  Those four messages are just about ready.  Consider having your church invite me for a weekend!

3.  For years I have been working on a novel whose central character is Dr. Theophilus Hornby, a Bible college teacher, who solves mysteries and crimes (part-time, of course).  I find fiction really tough to do well, but I’m working on my first adventure with this sixty-some-year-old professor (who looks and acts a lot like …. me!).  [Some of you might be aware that I wrote a short novel a few years ago entitled Abandon All Hope (which is still available on Amazon.com)].

4.  I have a great interest in producing a full year DocDevos, daily devotionals in biblical doctrine.  The original DocDevos was published in 2002 by Christian Publications and was subtitled Ten-Minute Daily Devotional on the Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith.  That volume only covered the first three areas of theology (Introductory Matters, Bibliology, and Theology Proper).

5.  I would like to write several shorter (and smaller) books similar to, say, this one by the folks at the Christian Research Journal or Robert Morgan’s fantastic The Red Sea Rules.  One would be a study of the man born blind in John 9 and entitled Insight from a Blind Man.  The other might be a survey of the minor prophet Jonah and entitled Belief Contradicted by Behavior: A Study of Jonah.   Some of you know that I’ve worked a bit on helping myself and others improve their preaching, so I might expand on my little pamphlet which is entitled Ten Specific Steps You Can Take To Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better!

Well, those are a couple of projects I’m working on.  (I also want to write some Christian comedy, but that’s a topic for another day!).

Prayers are definitely appreciated, friends.  Thanks for lifting me and my efforts up before the King!

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2017 in writing, writing projects

 

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Not That You Asked . . . Possibilities for the Future . . .

For you loyal readers of my blog, I want to thank you.  The last almost year and a half at Crossroads Fellowship Church has been such a blessing for me.  Every week I got to work on another Sunday message and many of them found their way (in some form) onto this blog.

You might be wondering what is next for us.  We’re wondering too!  I want to serve another church that is between pastors and am looking into several possibilities.  I’ll be teaching an online course on leadership for CIU later in September.  Here are several other projects I’m pursuing:

1. I might help one Bible college develop online courses.

2. I have a couple of “Theology Matters” conferences coming up in November (one in Kansas and another in Iowa).

3. I will be teaching at a Bible college in Myanmar (Burma) sometime next year.

4.  I have already done some professional editing for a publisher in Scotland and would love to do more.

5.  I’m finally getting back into writing and have a number of projects I’m working on (details in my next post).

Sure appreciate your praying for us. We’re trying to hold off drawing Social Security until my birthday in February.  I might do some driving for Uber (what an opportunity to share the gospel with others).

 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2017 in the future

 

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STUCK! Ten Areas That Will Bury You as a Believer and How to Dig Your Way Out! (Area #10- SINNERS) (con’t)

This is my last message/post on the topic of being STUCK!  These messages were/will be preached at Crossroads Fellowship Church in Augusta (website: crossroadschurchinaugusta.com).  How do we Jesus-followers sometimes get STUCK on the issue of SINNERS?

The reality is we are simply not like the Lord Jesus who was a friend of sinners.  Let’s admit it. We’d rather spend our time with fellow-believers than reach out to the lost.

Our text for this topic is Matthew 11 where we read:

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

Both Jesus and John the Baptist were mocked by their contemporary culture.  John the Baptist was thought to be demonized because of his austere lifestyle. Jesus was charged with being a glutton and a drunkard because of His indulgence in food and drink.  Both austerity and enjoyment were areas of judgment for Jesus’ culture.  Jesus was neither a glutton nor a drunkard, but His social interaction with “sinners” opened Him up to such accusations.

I want to be like Jesus.  I want to be a friend of sinners.  If that is true, what steps must I take to get more like Jesus, to get unSTUCK in this area?  Please write out one step you will take in this area in the comment section below.  And thank you for sticking with me in this series!


 

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2017 in christian growth

 

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