March 9, 2018 | Mark and Scott McAndrew
I Corinthians 5-6 | Sunday: 1 Corinthians 1-6 has been primarily Paul responding a report he had heard from “Chloe’s people” (see 1 Corinthians 1:11). The report is about the corruption of the Corinthian congregation.
1 Corinthians 7-16 is largely Paul responding to a letter he had received from the Corinthians themselves. This letter was apparently filled with questions for Paul along with some misguided statements and assertions. You can see where Paul is addressing these whenever he uses the phrase “now concerning” in 1 Corinthians 7:1, 25; 8:1; 12:1; 16:1, 12.
1 Corinthians 5 is one of the clearest passages in all of the Bible about church discipline. One of the good elements of this text is how easy much of it is to understand, even if it is challenging in its content.
In 1 Corinthians 6 listen to how often Paul uses the phrase “do you not know”. What does this teach us about doctrine? Also, watch for how Paul uses gospel doctrines to fight sin in the believers’ lives.
For a thought provoking message on 1 Corinthians 5-7, see Russell Moore here.
For an NAC sermon on church discipline (including 1 Corinthians 5), see here.
Genesis 40-43 | Monday: We spent four sermons on these four chapters in 2016. For those messages (about 35-40 mins each) see below. They emphasize the many ways in which Jesus is the true and better Joseph.
For Genesis 40, see here. (Joseph – like Jesus – Between Two Criminals)
For Genesis 41, see here. (Joseph, Savior of the World)
For Genesis 42, see here. (Joseph’s Brothers)
For Genesis 43, see here. (Bread from Joseph’s Table)
I Samuel 1-5 | Tuesday: Don’t miss how 1 Samuel 1-2 parallel Luke 1-2.
In both cases you have a married woman who is unable to have children (Hannah and Elizabeth, respectively). In both stories the Lord answers the prayer of the barren women and grants her a boy (Samuel and John the Baptist). Both boys are lifelong Nazarites (for more on the Nazarite vow, see Numbers 6). Along with Samson, these are the only lifelong Nazarites we are told of in the Bible.
Samuel anoints David.
John anoints Jesus, the greater David.
Psalms 30-32 | Wednesday: Marshal Segall comments on Psalm 30 by reminding us that:
“David knew nights of intense terror and grief, and he knew the relentless, reliable, and irresistible power of our joy in God.
David looked in every direction and saw defeat. His opponents were bigger, stronger, and more in number. His circumstances suggested all was lost. But God. God rushes to offer help to the helpless, to bring healing to the broken, to restore life to the dying, despairing, and defeated.
In fact, God never left. For those who are his, he is never far off. His help, his healing, his life, and his joy are ever-present, however dark our days may be.”
Psalm 32 begins with these two powerful verses.”Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
“Oh, that we might cherish our forgiveness more! But I am convinced that until we fear sin and its consequences more keenly, we will not prize our pardon very highly. The degree to which we feel sweet gratitude for being forgiven is directly proportionate to the degree that the alternative of being forgiven strikes dread into our heart. The horror of sin and the fearfulness of hell are the only backdrop that will let forgiveness shine for the infinite blessing it really is.
If we do not see the gigantic tidal wave of God’s wrath rushing toward the little raft of our sin, then we won’t kiss the feet of the helicopter pilot who plucks us out of the ocean just in time…I want us to cherish our forgiveness and kiss the feet of Jesus unashamedly.”
For a helpful devotional by John Piper on Psalm 31:19, see here.
For an NAC sermon on Psalm 32, see here.
Job 21-22 | Thursday: In Job 21 we get another one of Job’s responses. D.A. Carson continues to provide helpful wisdom on this chapter by telling us that:
“The heart of Job’s response is thought-provoking to anyone concerned with morality and justice: “Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?” (21:7). Not only is there no obvious pattern of temporal judment on the transparently wicked, but all too frequently the reverse is the case: the wicked may be the most prosperous of the lot…While they display total disinterest in God (21:14), they enjoy prosperity (21:13). It is rare that they are snuffed out (21:17).
As for popular proverbs such as “God stores up a man’s punishment for his sons” (21:19), Job is unimpressed; the truly wicked do not care if they leave their familes behind in misery, provided they are comfortable themselves (21:21). That is why the wicked need to “drink the wrath of the Almighty” (21:20) themselves—and that is not what usually happens. True, God knows everything; Job does not want to deny God’s knowledge and justice (21:22). But facts should not be suppressed. Once the rich and poor have died, they face the same decomposition (21:23-26). Where is the justice in that?
Even allowing for Job’s exaggerations—after all, some wicked peoople do suffer temporal judgments—his point should not be dismissed. If the tallies of blessing and punishment are calculated solely on the basis of what takes place in this life, this is a grossly unfair world. Millions of relatively good people die in suffering, pverty, and degradtation; millions of relatively evil people live full lives and die in their sleep. We can all tell stories that demonstrate God’s justice in this life, but what about the rest of the stories?
The tit-for-tat morality system of Job’s three interlocutors cannot handle the millions of tough cases. Moreover, like them, Job does not want to impugn God’s justice, but facts are facts: it is not a virtue, even in the cause of defending God’s justice, to distort the truth and twist reality.
In the course of time it would become clearer that ultimate justice is meted out after death—and that the God of justice knows injustice himself, not only out of his omniscience, but out of his experience on a cross.”
“What are we to make of this final speech by Eliphaz? It is a tour de force of logic and rhetorical power. As with all the comforters’ speeches, it does contain truth. God does see what happens on earth. God does want men and women to turn to him in humble repentance. God does bless the penitent with right relationship with him.
So what is the problem? The problem is that Job is already penitent. He is a believer walking morally in the light. And yet he is experiencing darkness. Just as the wicked often prosper in this age (Job 21), so the righteous sometimes suffer in this age, with a suffering they do not deserve.”
“In an even greater way no one could convict the Lord Jesus of sin (John 8:46), and yet he suffered for sinners.”
Isaiah 56-61 | Friday: This is a helpful quote from Drew Hunter (edited by J.I. Packer):
“[Here] in Isaiah 56–59, Isaiah begins to speak of the time when some of the exiles return home—as well as subsequent generations. Here we see that God opposes religious hypocrisy and redefines his people, welcoming the humble from any nation. . . .
Although Isaiah 40–55 emphasized the promise of salvation for exiled Israel, we have already seen that the servant’s saving work issues forth a call to “everyone who thirsts” (Isa. 55:1). Now in Isa. 56:1–8, salvation is explicitly shown to extend to the nations. What does God promise to give the foreigners who trust in him (Isa. 6–8)? How does Isa. 56:8 expand the vision of Isa. 11:11–12? Does this shed light on what Jesus says in John 10:16? . . .
How does Isaiah 59:2 help us understand the consequences of our sin? . . .
FAITH AND WORKS. ‘They seek me daily,’ God says, ‘and delight to know my ways’ (Isa. 58:2). They ‘delight to draw near to God,’ but their obedience is merely external and their delight is insincere. Quarreling and oppression prove their religious devotion to be a farce (Isa. 58:3–5). Jesus speaks of people who call him ‘Lord’ and do many works in his name, yet whose disobedience demonstrates their lack of relationship with him (Matt. 7:21–23). Similarly, James reminds us that a non-working faith is a dead faith (James 2:17, 26). Throughout the Bible, we see that true faith always expresses itself in a life of love (Gal. 5:6). As Martin Luther put it, ‘we are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.'”
For more from where these quotes are from, see link below.
For an extremely helpful overview of these chapters, see this resource.
Mark 1-2 | Saturday: In Mark 1:15 Jesus says: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.”
Tim Keller comments on this verse and says:
“Right there you can see the difference between Christianity and all other religions, including no religion. The essence of other religions is advice; Christianity is essentially news. Other religions say, ‘This is what you have to do in order to connect to God forever; this is how you have to live in order to earn your way to God.” But the gospel says, This is what has been done in history. This is how Jesus lived and died to earn the way to God for you.’ Christianity is completely different. It’s joyful news.”
Mark 2 begins with the story of Jesus healing the paralytic.
Tim Keller comments on this story and give us a helpful reminder when he says we need to: “realize that the main problem in a person’s life is never his suffering; it’s his sin.”
Alistair Begg provides some more helpful insight into this story in Mark 2 in this short 3 minute clip.
For a Mark Dever sermon on Jesus’ authority in Mark 1:21-28, see here.