Tag Archives: Matthew 16

The Theology of Jesus: Part 9 Ecclesiology

We are making serious progress in our thinking about the theology of the Lord Jesus.  Granted, He never left us a systematic theology textbook, but that’s okay.  Most of them are boring and tough to read.

Typically, systematic theology (which organizes the data of Scripture on a logical basis) covers ten areas.  We are now in our ninth area — the doctrine of the church.  What did the Lord Jesus teach about the church?

Two primary texts from the Lord Jesus teach about the church.  Let’s notice what He says:

Much of what we know about the New Testament church is left to the Holy Spirit’s guiding the Apostles into all truth.  We learn of offices in the church (Titus 1, I Timothy 3), the ordinances (I Corinthians 11), and spiritual gifts (Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, I Peter 4).

The Lord knew that the first-century church, filled with imperfect disciples, would have the problems we later find in the book of I Corinthians.  He knew that the tendency for Jewish converts to go back to Judaism would be real (as we see in the book of Galatians).  But He is still building His church!

Christians sometimes say, “I wish we were more like the First-Century Church!”  Make a list of some of the characteristics (both positive and negative) of the early church from Acts 2 and I Corinthians.  (to be continued)



Posted by on October 3, 2018 in the theology of Jesus


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Loving the Lord with Our Minds — Our Divine/Human Example (Part 2)

How do you know when to postpone or even cancel your church (or synagogue) picnic?  You might check or look at Farmers’ Almanac or notice a twinge in your shoulder that a bad storm is on its way.

I’ve recently been looking at the topic of loving God with our minds in preparation for speaking at Emmaus Bible College’s screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-4-55-42-am“Christian Ministry Seminars” on February 6-7.  My theme is (was) “Anti-Intellectualism Isn’t Spirituality.”  By the time you read this, the conference will have taken place.

But I digress.  Jesus Christ, the 2nd Person of the Trinity, is our model in loving God with our minds.  He commanded faith “like a child” not childish faith.  And on the matter of weather, notice what He says in Matthew 16:

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-5-06-10-amJesus clearly advocates the use of one’s reason in determining whether or not to hold the scheduled synagogue picnic.

He says that you Pharisees and Sadducees use your cognitive powers to observe the sky and draw certain conclusions.  He does not challenge them to simply flip a coin, but to use their minds to come to specific decisions.

He says you know how to make prognostications about the weather, but are unable (or unwilling) to objectively look at the evidence for His Messiahship and come to the appropriate conclusion.

Jesus reminds them that man’s sinfulness has affected screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-5-22-07-amhis mental ability.  “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign,” He says.  Man’s fallenness has impacted his God-given skill of drawing rational conclusions.  Wickedness and spiritual adultery affect one’s intellectual process.

Rather than giving the Pharisees and Sadducees a sign (although He does predict His own resurrection), He gives them a brief sermon on how their sin inhibits their ability to love God with their minds and affirm His as the Promised Messiah.  Such mental short-circuiting affects people today.  But we should still look for ways to appeal to them on an intellectual basis.  And that’s part of what it means to love God with our minds! (to be continued)

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Posted by on February 12, 2017 in loving God with our minds


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