God’s Plumb Line!
Amos 7:7-9 This is what he showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. 8And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them; 9 the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”
DIY; home decorating isn’t my strong point at this time! I tried to decorate a bedroom last year, and while the painting went well, the wallpapering was a disaster. It was just one wall – what’s known nowadays as a ‘feature wall’ – but when it was finished, there was paste over a good section of one of the adjoining painted walls, the edges of the wall looked more than a little ‘ragged’ the strips of paper seemed to have drifted apart in one than more place, and worst of all, the paper was anything but straight! Lamenting to a friend about the wall, he said, “You should have bought a plumb-line! At least then the paper would have been straight!”
That’s exactly what a plumb-line is for, – to make the work straight, or to test existing work, to see if it is standing true. It’s mostly used by builders, bricklayers, who want a finished wall to be properly constructed, to be standing totally straight, and despite the simplicity of its appearance, after all it’s just a weight on a piece of string, the plumb-line is an important safety device. A wall that is off the true vertical plane will be a danger to those who use the building, for it would be seriously weakened and in danger of collapse.
In the book of Amos, God shows the prophet that he is setting a plumb-line to test the faithfulness of his people. He speaks to the prophet and asks him what he sees, and what he sees is a familiar sight. A wall, with the Lord standing beside the wall, holding a plumb-line against that wall, and declaring that the wall is ‘off-plumb.’ God declares that the wall is His people, and that because the wall has failed the test, because it falls well short of what it should be, it must be removed, and a new wall rebuilt. Read more…
The Good News is Bad News for Goliath!
Text: 1 Samuel 17:41-47
We noticed that David had some really good news for Saul. He was not to be afraid! The Lord would deliver His people! It was, to some extent – a declaration of Gospel Principles. But have you also noticed that the Gospel is not UNIVERSAL Good News? For those who oppose and reject the Gospel – it is CONDEMNATION! 1st Corinthians 1:18. 2nd Corinthians 2:14. See how this is demonstrated in this part of the story… Read more…
Whose Armour are You Wearing?
Where David distinguishes between God’s Gospel and Mans!
Text: 1 Samuel 17:31-39. John 20:24-29
In this passage we see two versions of the gospel, David’s version and Saul’s version. One is right and one is wrong. One is man centred and one is God centred. Let’s return to our story, and see if you can pick out which is which…
David Is On a Mission
Text: 1 Samuel 17:12-30
Some might just decide to skip most of this and move on to the real excitement, where David defeats the giant. But if we did that, we would miss quite a lot of important information.
David and Goliath – Part One.
Saul hides from a Challenger… But wouldn’t you?
Text: 1 Samuel 17:1-11. Hebrews 11:32.
David gets mentioned in the role call of OT Heroes in Hebrews 11 where the common factor in each case is THEY HAD FAITH IN GOD. So the story about David and Goliath is not about David’s courage, – it is about God’s merciful preservation of His people, about God raising up a deliver who would trust him enough to rely on him and him alone, to deliver his people from their troubles. Read more…
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 14
Before you begin: Read Matthew 1:1-25
LORD’S DAY 14
35. What is the meaning of “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary?”
That the eternal Son of God, who is (1) and continues true and eternal God,(2) took upon Himself the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary,(3) by the operation of the Holy Ghost;(4) so that He might also be the true seed of David,(5) like unto His brethren in all things,(6) except for sin.(7)
(1)Jn. 1:1; Rom. 1:3-4. (2)Rom. 9:5. (3)Gal. 4:4; Jn. 1:14. (4)Mt. 1:18-20; Lk. 1:35. (5)Ps. 132:11. (6)Phil. 2:7. (7)Heb. 4:15; I Jn. 5:20.
36. What benefit do you receive from the holy conception and birth of Christ?
That He is our Mediator,(1) and with His innocence and perfect holiness covers, in the sight of God, my sin, wherein I was conceived.(2)
(1)Heb. 2:16-17. (2)Ps. 32:1; I Jn. 1:9. Read more…
HOUSEHOLD BAPTISM AS A SUBSTANTIVE ARGUMENT
In a social media conversation with a highly respected brother with a baptistic understanding of the sacraments, following a post (of mine) I expressed my belief that the incidences of household baptisms in the New Testament were one of the evidences that children were baptised in the early church. My friend dismissed this view (household baptism as a substantive argument) as ‘ridiculous’ – and asked me a series of questions, challenging my position.
Social media, of any kind, is not a good place to continue such a discussion, due to the inability to post lengthy discussion point, and it is always dangerous to reduce one’s theology to soundbites. Further, it is not beneficial for Christians to be discussing theological differences in a public forum, where the world is watching. Since neither my baptist brother nor myself will believe that baptism is a saving ordinance, the matter is adiaphora, and should be discussed between believers, in a reasonable and courteous manner, and in a place where unbelievers will not be spectators. For that reason, I have given my answers below, on this blog, and I hope that in doing so I presenting my understanding of the issue in a loving and gracious manner, understanding that Christians have disagreed on this doctrine for many years, (theologians and church historians who are more able than me) and that we will not resolve it on a blog post.