DoesDevos: Coming Down The Mountain

“And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”

-Mark 9:9

The phrase “a mountain top experience” is one that is somewhat common in the Christian community. It is thought of as a pinnacle high point of closeness with God. This experience is akin to what Jesus’ inner circle experienced with Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. What people forget, is that Jesus came down from that experience. While it is encouraging to have moments of intense connection with God, we know that it is nothing more than a foreshadow of what will come in eternity. If we spend our lives constantly on that mountaintop, we can’t come down to tell others of what is at the top of the mountain. Seek after God, but know that we will never have what we truly seek until we reach heaven.

The Importance of the Virgin Birth

Here is an excellent quote on the importance of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ I read in MacArthur’s commentary on Matthew this week:

The consistency of this doctrine with other Christian truth is important to its usefulness and, indeed, to its credibility. For Matthew and Luke the chief importance of the event seems to be that it calls to mind (as a “sign,” Isa. 7:14) the great OT promises of salvation through supernaturally born deliverers, while going far beyond them, showing that God’s final deliverance has come. But one can also go beyond the specific concerns of Matthew and Luke and see that the virgin birth is fully consistent with the whole range of biblical doctrine. For example, the virgin birth is important because of: (1) The doctrine of Scripture. If Scripture errs here, then why should we trust its claims about other supernatural events, such as the resurrection? (2) The deity of Christ. While we cannot say dogmatically that God could enter the world only through a virgin birth, surely the incarnation is a supernatural event if it is anything. To eliminate the supernatural from this event is inevitably to compromise the divine dimension of it. (3) The humanity of Christ. This was the important thing to Ignatius and the 2d-century fathers. Jesus was really born; he really became one of us. (4) The nature of grace. The birth of Christ, in which the initiative and power are all of God, is an apt picture of God’s saving grace in general of which it is a part. It teaches us that salvation is by God’s act, not our human effort. The birth of Jesus is like our new birth, which is also by the Holy Spirit; it is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). (“Virgin Birth of Jesus,” in The Concise Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A. Elwell, abridged by Peter Toon [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991], 540, emphasis in original.) (For a further discussion of the virgin birth’s crucial doctrinal importance, see John MacArthur, Nothing But the Truth [Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 1999], 101–13, and God in the Manger [Nashville: W Publishing, 2001], 1–12.)

Scripture Sunday: Proverbs 3:11-12

Proverbs 3—This chapter is divided into five sections. •Profit of wisdom (vv. 1–18): this and section three and five all speak of the great profit of obeying wisdom. •Power of wisdom (vv. 19, 20): God by wisdom created the universe. The most conspicuous characteristic of the evolution theory is its total lack of wisdom—evolution thinking is utterly ludicrous. •Profit of wisdom (vv. 21–26): the second section on the profit of wisdom cites more rewards for obeying it. •Practice of wisdom (vv. 27–31): this section speaks specifically about the treatment of others. •Profit of wisdom (vv. 32–35): the third section on the profit of wisdom given here is in both the negative and positive—the negative predicts a curse upon and shame for those who do not honor wisdom, while glory is predicted for those who honor wisdom in their lives. –Butler’s Daily Bible Reading

DoesDevos: I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure

“I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.’ But behold, this also was vanity.”

-Ecclesiastes 2:1

Solomon had the opportunity to give himself anything that he wanted. For a time, he did. He wanted to see if giving himself any pleasure that he wanted would be enough to satisfy him. It wasn’t. Why do you think that the small pleasures you do will satisfy you? As hard as it sounds, no one ever sins because they hate it. Solomon purposely sought out every form of pleasure, and found it all meaningless. Try what you want, that is all you will find when you seek pleasure. Seek God instead.