Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

Christ Our Priest

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May 16, 2017 Posted by | Christian, Christianity, Church, Devotional, God, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus, Son of the Most High God: Luke 8:26-39

Summary: Who is this man, who not only has power over the wind and waves, but also the demonic realm? It is Jesus, Son of the Most High God.


1.   A.   What power did Jesus demonstrate in last week’s lesson? Luke 8:22-25


B.   What power does Jesus demonstrate in this week’s lesson? Luke 8:26-39


C. Do you see who Jesus really is in these two passages? Luke 8:22-39


Remember the question the disciples had last week? Did you take note of who has an answer in this week’s passage? Luke 8:25, 28, Genesis 14:18, Psalm 9:1-2, Hebrews 5:5-6


2.   A.   Notice how this is a “bang, bang” play. They just get through one storm and what happens? Luke 8:26-27, Mark 5:1-2


B.   What is it like to be under the dominion of Satan? Luke 8:27, Mark 5:3-5


C.  What is all around us in our culture? What is the source of evil? Revelation 9:11 (Apolluon: a destroyer)


3.   A.   Who is behind all false religion? I Corinthians 10:19-20


B.   What happens when you are devoted to a false religion? I Kings 18:26-28


C.  What did Satan lie about at the very beginning? Genesis 3:4


4.   A.   What do all demons know? Luke 8:28, Matthew 8:28-29, Mark 1:23-24, Luke 4:33-34


B.   Who has power over the demonic realm? Luke 8:29-32, I John 4:4


C.  Stop and just enjoy this picture of deliverance! What was the man who was possessed doing? Luke 8:33-35


5.   A.   How did the people of Gerasenes react to this deliverance? Luke 8:35b-37


B.   What was the man’s request and what was Jesus’ response? What did the man do? Luke 8:38-39


C.  In light of Jesus’ directive to the man, what can you do or what should you do, when you talk to others?

May 19, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Gospel of Luke, Jesus, liberal, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Crossing Over: Luke 8:22-25

Summary: No matter what your situation, no matter what your distress, if you cry out to the Lord, He will hear you.


1.   A.   Back in September, Rod Powell taught from Psalm 107 and titled the message “God’s Great Rescue Mission.” Scott was so struck by it that he continued to teach from Psalm 107 following Rod. Why did they title their messages in this way? Psalm 107:1-6, 12-13, 18-19, 26-31


B.   What is the message of the scripture? I Peter 5:6-7, Hebrews 7:25


2.   A.   Read Luke 8:22-25 remembering the context. What has Jesus been teaching about?

Luke 8:11, 15, 21


B.   This account is in all three synoptic gospels, Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and our text, Luke 8:22-25. (You may do well to read the other two accounts.) What does Jesus say in the Luke account and what do the disciples do? Luke 8:22


C.  Continue reading, Luke 8:23. What did Jesus do? What does the weather do? Into what did the Lord lead them?


3.   A.   Does God allow storms into your life, even when you obey Him? Is life full of storms? What are we called to? Luke 8:22-23, 6:46-49, 9:23


B.   How did the disciples react to this “fierce gale of wind?” Mark 4:38, Luke 8:24


C. What truth were the disciples missing? I Peter 5:6-7, John 10:7-15


4.   A.   What did Jesus say at the beginning of this account? Luke 8:22


B.   Stop for a moment and bask in the assurance of God’s word! Luke 21:33, Philippians 1:6, II Timothy 4:18, John 3:16, 10:27-28, I Corinthians 15:55, Isaiah 41:10


C.  Look at what Jesus does in verse 24 and ask the same question the disciples asked, “Who is this then?” Luke 8:24, Mark 4:39, Isaiah 40:12, Psalm 107:25, 29, Job 37:2, 6, 11-13


5.   A.   What do the winds and the waves do when faced with the word of the Lord? Luke 8:25


B.   “Who then is this?”

  1. He is the one who cares. He died for you. I Peter 5:6-7, John 15:13, I John 4:10, Romans 8:32
  2. He is the sovereign of the universe.
  3. He is able. Luke 1:13, 31, 35-37
  4. He is the one who means what He says. Luke 8:22, John 3:16, Romans 8:28, 32

May 15, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Gospel of Luke, Jesus, liberal, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Parable of the Sower, Part 2: Luke 8:1-15

Summary: Taking a second look at “The Parable of the Sower” reminds us how important it is to “hear” the word of God. This time we also take a look at the fact that someone obviously needs to evangelize/speak the word of God in order for it to be heard.


1. Sometimes we encounter new converts (e.g.: crying Mike) where we’re not sure if they truly took the word to heart or if they’re still possibly “rocky ground”. How can John 10:27 help us realize what the next step may be (either more evangelism or helping them grow)?


2. As mentioned in the summary, in order for there to be a hearer, there must be a speaker. This pattern continues from Luke to Acts. What do we find in Acts 8:4-6, 25 and 35?


3. Speaking of Acts 8:35, what are some remarkable things about that situation?


4. As we see from the beginning of Luke 8, Jesus’ ministry touched men AND women. What is some of the fruit from that we see in these first 3 verses?


5. Although prominent in portions of Luke, where else do we see women serving in the Scriptures? John 19:25-27 , Matthew 28:1-8, Acts 16:14


6. As way of a reminder, what is a parable? They tend to either reveal or conceal issues of the __________?


7. Acts 17:22-34 is almost like the “Parable of the Sower” played out in real life. The only missing component is the rocky soil. How do we see the thorny soil, trampled path and the good soil played out in real life here?


8. Luke 8 is a reminder of which 3 enemies that we face? It’s also a reminder of what powerful weapon that we have to conquer these three?


9. Review verse 15 of this parable. What are some principles of the good soil? How have you seen this at work in your own life?


10. A truth packed parable like this one will have important implications in our lives. First, should we be discouraged if our proclaiming of the word doesn’t bear much, or even any, fruit? Isaiah 6:9, Ezekiel 3:7


11. In a similar vein, is the emphasis in The Great Commission on faithfulness or success? Why can this be so difficult to abide by in our western culture?


12. When we finally hear what Christ has done for us, what’s the outcome? Matthew 7:17-20


13. What is the problem of those who have heard, but not really heard? Hebrews 4:2


14. Finally, whose responsibility is it to proclaim/evangelize the good news? Colossians 2:6

May 11, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Gospel of Luke, Jesus, liberal, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Parable of the Sower, Part 1: Luke 8:1-15

Summary: “The Parable of the Sower” is probably the most important of all the parables. Let’s take a closer look as we “hear” why Jesus’ words in this passage are so crucial to eternal life.


1. Why do many agree that the “The Parable of the Sower” is the most important parable in Scripture? Note its frequency and discourse.


2. What are the 4 types of soil? What is similar between them all? What is different?


3. Luke 8:8 contains the key verse, even word for this parable. What is it? Do we often need improvement in this skill?


4. Agricultural references are not unique to this parable. What are some other related agricultural analogies in Scripture? II Corinthians 9:10 , II Timothy 2:6


5. What is the “seed” in this parable? Luke 8:11


6. Seeds seem so small and weak, but what does God say about His seed/word? Luke 13:18-19, James 1:21 , I Peter 1:22-25


7. Review verses 12-15 . What 3 enemies do we face?


8. Luke’s recording of the seed/word going out really expands when he pens the book of Acts. Acts 4:19-22, 6:4, 12:24, 8:1-4


9. Speaking of Acts, can God even use persecution to spread His word? Are there other examples of this type of action that you’ve read about or even experienced?


10. Truly hearing is so critical to taking the word of God into our hearts. See Luke 8:18 for a parallel warning regarding hearing.


11. The word of God, but especially parables, can either reveal or conceal the truth. They’re really a reflection of our own heart condition. Are there any obstacles that you need to

remove from your heart? Are there any spiritual primers that help open your heart to the word of God?


12. What “soil type” do some of your friends or family fall into? How could you use this parable to help you minister to them?

May 9, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Gospel of Luke, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Man’s Public Vindication Luke 7:24-28

Summary: “I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”


1. A. Last week we looked at John asking a question. What was John expecting that caused him to ask this question? Luke 7:18-19 , Isaiah 9:1-7, Luke 3:7-9, 17


B. What was the response to the question? Luke 7:20-23


C. Who struggles with doubt from time to time? Where do you turn when you struggle with doubt? Luke 7:24-28 , Ephesians 6:12 , Isaiah 40:1-8, Hebrews 4:14-16


2. A. As we look at John, what was he privileged to do? Isaiah 40:9 , John 1:23, 29, 34


B. How would you characterize Jesus’ response to John’s disciples? Luke 7:21-23


C. What is God’s attitude toward those who serve Him? Hebrews 6:10


3. A. As you read this public vindication of John, remember what he was like. Was he a man pleaser? Luke 7:24-28, 3:7


B. Do we/should we be seeking to please men? Galatians 1:10


C. Read the text again and examine what you really want out of life. Luke 7:24-28 , II Timothy 3:1-5


4. A. How did Jesus identify John? Who speaks for God? Luke 7:24-28, 1:76


B. What does the Bible have to say about the prophet John? Matthew 3:3 , Isaiah 40:3 , Luke 7:27 , Malachi 3:1 , 4:5-6, John 1:6-8, 15


C. Take note of how long God was silent, not speaking through a prophet, from Malachi 4:6 to Matthew 3:3. What is it like now for us? I Peter 1:10-12 , Matthew 13:11, 16


5. A. What was John longing for? Matthew 13:24-30, 47-50


B. Did John understand all of what was happening in his time? Do we? Luke 4:18-21, Isaiah 61:1-2, II Peter 3:3-13


C. Imagine the privilege that was John’s. He spoke for God. He proclaimed the Gospel as he pointed people to Jesus. Yet he considered himself “not fit to untie the thong of His sandals.” How about us? What are we called to? Did Jesus forget John? Does He forget you?

II Corinthians 5:20 , Romans 14:8 , Acts 20:24 , Ephesians 1:4 , John 20:21 , Hebrews 6:10 , Luke 7:28

May 3, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Gospel of Luke, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Inerrancy: A Place to Live

Frame, John M. “Inerrancy: A Place to Live.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 57, no. 1 (2014): 29-39.


In the article “Inerrancy: A Place to Live” is centered on the belief that inerrancy is a Biblical doctrine that a Christian stands on and is a way of life. The Bible is the very words of God. Once you doubt the truthfulness of those words then you doubt the saving power of the gospel.

Brief Summary

Frame simply defines inerrancy as “simply propositional truth. To say that a sentence is inerrant is simply to say that it is true, as opposed to false.”[1] The doctrine of inerrancy in some cases has become such a distraction that one forgets about the great stories of the Bible that point to how great God is and what God has done. The modern liberal and secularist approaches the Bible with difficulty because of its supernaturalistic worldview. “And for that matter, if someone asks how a book written by human beings can be inerrant, the answer is the same. If God wants such a book, he can arrange to provide one. We live in a supernaturalistic world; God’s world.”[2] Frame goes on with several quotes from Alvin Plantinga’s 1984 article “Advice to Christian Philosophers” on how to best approach liberal theologians view of inerrancy.

Critical Interaction

Frame in his article states that inerrancy is a biblical doctrine as a member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). ETS defines inerrancy “in the form, ‘Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written, and is therefore inerrant in the authographs. So I assume that most of you here today believe the doctrine of inerrancy. You do not believe it to be a recent theory, a speculation or overreaction to criticism, but to constitute one of the doctrines of orthodox Christianity. Further, since you believe that the doctrine of our faith are based on Scripture, you believe that the doctrine of biblical inerrancy is itself a biblical doctrine.”[3] “Inerrancy pertains to what is affirmed or asserted rather than what is merely reported. We must judge the truthfulness of Scripture in terms of its meaning in the cultural setting in which its statements were expressed. The Bible’s assertions are fully true when judged in accordance with the purpose for which they were written. Reports of historical events and scientific matters are in phenomenal rather than technical language. Difficulties in explaining the biblical text should not be prejudged as indications of error.”[4]

The author gives many examples for a biblical basis of inerrancy. Several examples include the doctrine of the deity Christ, the deliverance of the Israelites at the Red Sea, and the feeding of the 5,000 just to name a few. “The inerrancy of the word of God enables us to state with confidence the most extraordinary fact—that the whole world is God’s, and displays his glory. It enables us to say that Jesus is really Lord, that he really saved us from sin and its consequences, and that he is coming again to restore the whole universe to something pure and even more beautiful. And inerrancy assures us that we have a God who speaks to us in our own experience—the Lord of language who knows how to use symbols to talk to human beings.”[5]

In the latter half of the article Frame focuses on the approach of inerrancy between liberals and evangelicals. It is important to note that “when you read the Bible without a believing heart, without a worldview centered on an absolute tri-personal God, problems appear and multiply. Virtually nothing seems plausible. Everything needs to be explained or explained away.”[6] The liberal approaches theology as a non-Christian even though they profess to be Christians. Then what happens is a non-Christian worldview infiltrates the Christian worldview and evangelical theology slow but surely changes over time.

The Christian colleges and universities after World War II did not have as “high an academic reputation as those that were non-Christian, liberal, or secularist.”[7] In order for the young scholar to challenge the liberal on the doctrine of inerrancy the scholar had to attend the non-Christian institution to combat the issue. “But what happened all too often was that the young scholar would return from his broadening experience with doubts about inerrancy and some sympathy for those who denied it. But as we have seen, that entailed sympathy for the naturalistic worldview that generated this rejection of inerrancy, even worse an embracing of that worldview, or some kind of inconsistent halfway house between orthodoxy and naturalism.”[8] This in turn effects the way a scholar approaches research, exegesis, and even theology. The scholar is now approaching the Bible not as a book of sacred scripture but as a book of literature. God is then far removed from the divine causation of the Bible.

The Christian needs to guard their mind from the persuasion of liberal thinking. A young Christian scholar or Bible college students needs to surround themselves with scholars and mentors that have the same mind set. What goes into your mind comes out of your heart and mouth. So, if a student of the Word of God is taught misconceptions about inerrancy then the student in turn will believe those misconceptions. “As part of postmodernism, there has been an objection to the idea of foundationalism, which is the view that all beliefs are justified by their relationship to certain basic beliefs. With respect to Christian beliefs, this generally means that doctrines rest upon the authority of Scripture, and are established by demonstrating that Scripture teaches them.”[9]


Inerrancy is not a dead topic. If anything it is becoming a very important doctrine that needs to be applied to the Christian worldview and challenge the postmodern liberal worldview. All inerrancy standards of criteria need to be based on a biblical world view. The standard needs to start with 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is God breathed…”


Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013.

Frame, John M. “Inerrancy: A Place to Live.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 57, no. 1 (2014): 29–39.


[1] John M. Frame, “Inerrancy: A Place to Live,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 57, no. 1 (2014), 29.

[2] Ibid., 31.

[3] Ibid., 29.

[4] Millard J Erickson, Christian Theology, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013), 204.

[5] Frame, 30.

[6] Ibid., 32.

[7] Ibid., 35.

[8] Ibid., 35.

[9] Erickson, 205.

April 26, 2014 Posted by | Article, Article Review, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, liberal, New Testament, Old Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Psalms a Life Time of Learning



Schmutzer, Andrew J., and David M. Howard, eds. The Psalms: Language for All Seasons of the Soul. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2013. 288 pages. Amazon $21.94


The book has a fourfold purpose: 1. to celebrate the enormous impact the Psalter has had and continues to have in Christian faith; 2. to highlight the insights and work of present-day scholars who have studied the Psalms and understand both its tradition and current trends; 3. to weave together some primary theological, literary, and canonical themes of the Psalter; and 4. to offer a book that both trained pastors and professors of the Psalms can use as a tool (pg. 15-16).


The book is divided into five parts: Part 1, Psalms Studies in the Twenty-First Century; Part 2, Psalms of Praise; Part 3, Psalms of Lament; Part 4, Considering the Canon; Part 5, Communication the Psalms. The book is a collection of papers that grew out of the Psalms and Hebrew Poetry Consultation of the Evangelical Theological Society which was established in 2009. Some of the contributors include Bruce Waltke, William VanGemeren, Francis Kimmitt, Robert Chisholm Jr., Andrew Schmutzer, Michael Travers, Walter Kaiser, Allen Ross, Daniel Estes, Randall Gauthier, Robert Cole, David Howard, Jr., Michael Snearly, Tremper Longman III, Mark Futato, David Ridder, and John Piper. As one can tell there are a lot of contributors across many disciplines but all with a vast amount of knowledge and experience.


Part 1 looks at the theology of the Psalms through the life of Bruce Waltke. The Psalms for Waltke have been a life time of study and at each part of his life he gained something in his Christian life from the Psalms. In Part 2, Kimmitt writes about Psalm 46, a Psalm of praise. “Hymns of praise are to be sung or spoken in those moments in life when all is well in the world, when our lives are trouble free and well ordered. We join with the psalmist in praising and thanking God for who he is and what he has done for his people” (pg. 64). In Part 3, Kaiser gives a great definition for a Psalm of lament. “The literary form of ‘lament’ is one of a number of special literary genres that exist in the Bible in a shared pattern of communication that alerts the reader and listener as to how a text or speech is to be interpreted or understood. Such a lament forms may be called compositions of complaint, forms of petition, or examples of prayers, which present a specific need to God, not only so that special need may be resolved, but also that it may often ultimately end to the praise of God’s name and person” (pg. 127). In Part 4, the contributors look at the organization of the Psalms and how the entire book is divided up. Finally in Part 5, Futato, Ridder, and Piper teach the reader how to make the Psalms relevant for today’s Christian. The book is one big strength. I could not find any weaknesses. The only weakness that I would mention is that the book is advanced level reading and not intended to just be a quick read.


I would recommend the book for anyone who wants to gain a greater knowledge of the Psalms. The book is geared toward the pastor, seminary student, or Bible college student. I received this book for free from Moody Publishers for this review.

April 19, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book Review, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Old Testament, Psalm, Psalms, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Good Life, Part 1: Luke 6:20-26

Summary: Jesus’ teaching on happiness is often counter cultural. Who wants to be poor, mournful or insulted? However, there is much blessing if we suffer these things while living for Christ.

1. This passage in Luke probably took place at a different time than the Sermon on the Mount (compare Matthew 5:1 with Luke 6:17-20). However, what are some of the similarities between this passage and Matthew 5:3-12?

2. Speaking of similarities, why do you think Jesus repeated some of these themes? What’s the significance of this?

3. As we saw earlier (Luke 6:17), many people were following Jesus. However, what are some keys to truly following Christ? Luke 9:23, John 8:31-32

4. Luke 6:20-26 is often referred to as The Beatitudes. As Pastor Scott said, you could even nickname this section the “deep seeded Haptitudes.” What’s another word that could be substituted for this? Is a deep seeded happiness circumstantial? John 16:22, Romans 14:17

5. This section of scripture in Luke 6 seems to emphasize suffering. Overall, does God even want us to be happy? Should we seek out suffering? Colossians 2:16-23, I Timothy 6:17

6. Can genuine happiness only be found in Christ? Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, Philippians 2:1-3

7. In order to achieve genuine happiness, we must often adjust our long-term outlook on life. In fact, how far out should we look? Colossians 3:1-4

8. Adjusting our long-term outlook definitely gives us perspective. In fact, it’s likely the main point of this section. How do verses 22-23 help us understand that?

9. Much of the teaching in Luke 6:20-26 is NOT easy. However, think about your growth as a Christian. Has it primarily developed during the easy or difficult times of your life?

10. In fact, when life is going well, far too often we have a wrong perspective on life. What does Luke 12:13-21 say about this?

11. Going back to the parallel passage in Matthew 5:3, how does this influence our coming to Christ? Psalm 34:18 , I Peter 5:5

12. Finally, we are obviously not alone when we humbly face suffering. We can take comfort in truths like Psalm 1:1-3. We can also take comfort that other saints have faced severe trials and have overcome them by the grace of God. Psalm 51:17, Isaiah 6:5, I Timothy 1:15

April 6, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Gospel of Luke, Jesus, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Makes a House Call: Luke 5:27-39

Summary: Jesus said, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” He is The Great Physician. He also said, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” He is The Good Shepherd. The Good Physician came to where the people were sick and took time with them. He came “to seek and to save” the lost.

1. A. As you read the summary above, be reminded of what we have already seen Jesus do here in the book of Luke. Then read part of our passage, Luke 5:27-32. What does Jesus call Himself? Luke 5:13, 20, 24, 27-32

B. What is the deepest need of the paralytic and Matthew? Luke 5:20, 27, 32

2. A. Who was Matthew? How did his profession come off in that day? Luke 5:27-32 , Matthew 21:31b

B. What was Jesus accused of and why is that a good thing for the true believer? Luke 5:30 , 7:34

C. Have you responded to Jesus the way Matthew did? What pattern for the believer do you see in Matthew’s response to Jesus’ call? Luke 5:27-29 , II Corinthians 5:17

3. A. Did everyone react to Jesus the way Matthew did? Luke 5:30

B. Who is grumbling almost always against? Exodus 16:2, 6-7, Numbers 14:26-27 , John 6:41 , 7:12

C. What are you really doing when you grumble? Psalm 106:24-25 , Romans 8:28

D. What were the Pharisees like and who or what did they trust in? Who is the modern equivalent of Pharisees? Luke 5:21, 30

4. A. What is Jesus’ response to the grumblings of the Pharisees? Luke 5:31-32

B. Who did Jesus come to call? Luke 5:29, 32 , 19:10 , Mark 2:15-17 , Romans 3:10-12 , Psalm 14:1-3, 53:1-3, John 9:41

5. A. Read Luke 5:33-39 then answer one overriding question: Can you mix your old self (before you came to really know Jesus as Savior) with the new self (after you received new life in Him)?

B. Is salvation a cause for celebration? Luke 5:33-34

C. In Luke 5:35 , what is mentioned for the first time in the book of Luke?

D. What examples does Jesus give concerning mixing the old life before Christ with the new life in Christ? Luke 5:36-38

E. What example is given concerning those who stick with their old life/religion? Luke 5:39

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, Church, God, Gospel of Luke, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, New Testament, Religon, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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