Saturday, 28 July 2007

Book - Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Dever) - Mark 1: Expositional preaching

Dever, Mark (2004), Nine marks of a healthy church. Wheaton: Crossway Books.

Mark 1: Expositional preaching

Expositional preaching
My main role, and the main role of any pastor, is expositional preaching ... God has decided to act by His Spirit through His Word. (39)

... expositional preaching is that preaching which takes for the point of a sermon the point of a particular passage of Scripture ... Expositional preaching is preaching in service to the Word. (40)

Christian preachers today have authority to speak from God only so long as they speak His message and unfold His words. (41)

The Central Role of the Word of God
Preaching should always (or almost always) be expositional because the Word of God should be at its center, directing it ... His Word is His own chosen instrument for bringing life. (42)

The role of God's Word in bringing life
... it was by His Word that God created the world and all the life in it. (43)

God's people were created ... by hearing that word of promise and by responding to it ... God's people were created by God's Word ... It was by God's Word that the people of Israel were constituted as God's special people. (44)

His Word is to be trusted and relied upon with all the faith that we would invest in God Himself ... The Word shows us what we are to believe. (45)

How does God put His Spirit in Israel so that they will live? He does it by His Word. (46)

... a people who show the life of God in them as they hear His Word and as by His grace they respond to it. (47)

He speaks, in order to interpret for us His great saving acts. (48)

God's Holy Spirit creates His people by His Word. (50)

The role of God's Word in sanctifying
God's Spirit uses the Word to create faith is us and because He also uses the Word to make us grow. (50)

We need God's Word to be saved, but we also need it to continually challenge and shape us. (51)

The role of the preacher of God's Word
... the congregation's commitment to the centrality of the Word coming from the front, from the preacher, the one specially gifted by God and called to that ministry, is the most important thing you can look for in a church. (52)

That is the great task of the preacher: to "hold out the word of life" to people who need it for their souls. (53)

... sound, expositional preaching is often the fountainhead of growth in a church. (54)

It is good to preach the truth, and to preach it in such a way that people can see where the truth is coming from. (55)

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Book - Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Dever) - Introduction

Dever, Mark (2004), Nine marks of a healthy church. Wheaton: Crossway Books.


For you historians
"The Reformation made the gospel, not ecclesiastical organization, the test of the true church." (22)

Since the Reformation, Protestants have typically viewed these two marks - the preaching of the Gospel and the proper administering of the sacraments - as delineating the true church over against imposters. (23)

"true preaching of the Word; proper observance of the sacraments; and faithful exercise of church discipline" - Edmund Clowney (23)

The church today reflects the world
The two most easily recognizable hallmarks of secularization in America are the exaltation of numbers and of technique. - Os Guinness (24)

Popular models of the church
1. Liberal - F. D. E. Schleiermacher
2. Seeker-sensitive - Bill Hybels, Willow Creek
3. Traditional (evangelical) - Billy Graham, First Baptist Women's Trio

All three are in part influenced by the assumption that evident relevance and response is the key indicator of success ... From both a biblical and a historical standpoint, this assumption seems incalculably dangerous ... He calls us more fundamentally to a relationship of trust with Him than a full understanding of Him and His ways (God's Word replete with images of delayed blessing). (27)

... successful ministry not as necessarily immediately fruitful but as demonstrably faithful to God's Word. (28)

Needed: A Different Model
We need churches in which the key indicator of success is not evident results but persevering biblical faithfulness ... the preaching of the message and the leading of disciples. (28)

Preaching the message (Marks 1-5)
Mark 1 - It is a defence of the primacy of expositional preaching as a reflection of the centrality of God's Word
Mark 2 - We must understand God's truth as a coherent whole, coming to us first and foremost as a revelation of Himself. (29)

Leading the disciples (Marks 6-9)
Mark 8 - Evangelism that does not result in discipleship is not only incomplete evangelism but is entirely misconceived. (31)

The end and purpose of all this is the glory of God as we make Him known. (31)

(Eph 4:1-16) God has entrusted to His church the glory of His own name - Mark Ross (32)

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Book - Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Dever) - Mark 2: Biblical theology

Dever, Mark (2004), Nine marks of a healthy church. Wheaton: Crossway Books.

Mark 2: Biblical theology

Today people believe to be true simply what they desire to be true. (58)

One of the chief marks of a healthy church is a biblical understanding of God in His character and His ways with us ... He is creating; that He is holy; that He is faithful; that He is loving; and that He is sovereign. (60)

The God of the Bible is a creating God

God is a creating God - creating the world and creating a special people in the world. (60)

Sound teaching in our church must include a clear commitment to the teachings of the Bible, even if those teachings are often neglected. (62)

The God of the Bible is a holy God

... God's passion for holiness, it is within the context of His covenant with us - it is within the context of His commitment to having a relationship with us. (63)

... it is God's own revelation to His people of how we can come to know Him, of how we can find our way to Him in spite of our sin. (64)

... it is God Himself who provides the way of access to Him as He forgives our sins. (65)

The God of the Bible is a faithful God

God is not only holy and just in His unwavering commitment to oppose and punish sin; He is also faithful to His promises ... hope requires an atoning sacrifice, a propitiation to assuage the righteous wrath of God. (67)

Jesus Christ was the faithful fulfillment of God's promise. (68)

The God of the Bible is a loving God

God keeps all of His promises because of His covenant love for His people. (69)

The God of the Bible is a sovereign God

... the hope of the whole world being put right, as God's sovereign plan extends from Christ to His covenant people to creation itself. (71)

As Christians, we need to know that God will continue to care for us, and that His continuing care is based not on our faithfulness but on His. (72)

... pray for leaders in the church to have a biblical grasp of and an experential trust in the sovereignty of God. (73)

In the Bible we see God giving us His Word - His promises - and we respond to Him by trusting Him (75)

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Saturday, 21 July 2007

Online Sermons

  • Overview Sermon on the Whole Bible - Mark Dever
  • Overview Sermon on the Old Testament - Mark Dever
  • Overview Sermon on the New Testament - Mark Dever
  • Old Testament Books - Overview Sermons
  • New Testament Books - Overview Sermons

  • 9 Marks sermons
  • Desiring God - Sermons
  • Monergism - MP3 Library
  • Sermon Cloud
  • Shepherds' Conference - Media Vault (require free sign-up and login)

    Sermon transcripts
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    Thursday, 19 July 2007

    South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan

    South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan (Wikipedia)

    The 2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan began on July 19, 2007, when 23 South Korean missionaries were captured and held hostage by members of the Taliban while passing through Ghazni Province of Afghanistan. Two of the hostages were executed before the deal was reached between the Taliban and the South Korean government. The group, comprised of sixteen women and seven men, was captured while traveling from Kandahar to Kabul by bus on a mission sponsored by the Saemmul Presbyterian Church. The crisis began when two local men, who the driver had allowed to board, started shooting to bring the bus to a halt. Over the next month, the hostages were kept in cellars and farmhouses and regularly moved in groups of three to four.

    Of the 23 hostages captured, two men, Bae Hyeong-gyu and Shim Seong-min were executed on July 25 and July 30 respectively. Later, with negotiations making progress, two women, Kim Gyeong-ja and Kim Ji-na, were released on August 13 and the remaining 19 hostages on August 29 and August 30.

    The release of the hostages was secured with a South Korean promise to withdraw its 200 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2007. Although the South Korean government offered no statement, a Taliban spokesman claimed that the militant group also received some $20 million USD in exchange for the safety of the captured missionaries.

    South Korean mission groups re-strategize for high-risk areas (Christian Post, 24 Sep 07)

    Pastor: Korean hostage was killed for refusing to convert to Islam (CT, 5 Sep 07)
    Hostages held in Afghanistan return to S. Korea (ST, 2 Sep 07)

    Mission field dangerous for Church workers (NPR, 6 Aug 07)

    Korean missions in wake of hostage crisis (Christian Broadcasting Network, 3 Aug 07)

    Korean hostage crisis pressures US, Karzai (AsiaTimes, 31 Jul 07)

    Korean hostage crisis should impel, not deter (Christian Post, 28 Jul 07),_Not_Deter.htm
    Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan raising anxiety (CSmonitor, 28 Jul 07)

    South Korea rethinks mission strategy (BBC News, 26 Jul 07)

    Dead South Korea hostage devout Christian, family man (Reuters, 26 Jul 07)

    Foreign hostages in Afghanistan

    Afghan turmoil

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    Saturday, 14 July 2007

    Book Review - Skilful Shepherds by Derek Tidball

    Here is a review I wrote sometime in 2006 on this excellent resource for understanding pastoral theology in Scripture, history and contemporary society today.

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    Saturday, 7 July 2007

    Articles on Homosexuality

    Choices Ministry (Church of Our Saviour)

    Exodus International

    Homosexuality against biblical teachings (Electric New Paper, 14 Jul 04),4139,67776,00.html

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