In those hours on the cross, Jesus would perform the greatest act in human history, accomplishing salvation through the atonement that only He as the God-man could offer (1 Peter 2:24). Part of God’s redemptive plan was for Jesus to be humiliated, a humiliation that involved the nakedness that David predicted in Psalm 22:18. The redemption alluded to was fulfilled in the redemption accomplished.
Good teachers teach in three parts: they tell you what they’re going to teach you, teach it to you, and then remind you what they just taught you (and why it’s important). These three views of a topic—forward looking, in the present, and backward—are critical for mastering any subject. The Bible, with God as master-teacher, does the same thing. The Old Testament tells what redemption will look like when it comes. The Gospels tell what God did through Jesus Christ to accomplish redemption. And in the rest of the New Testament, God details the intricacies of the redemption already accomplished and how He applies it to the church. In this way, the Bible tells of redemption alluded to, redemption accomplished, and redemption applied.
Consider how this schema plays out in Psalm 22:18, wherein David writes, “They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” Here we have a redemption allusion. How do we know? First, we don’t have any biblical evidence of lot-casting enemies taking David’s clothing. This could be just an example of poetic metaphor employed by David to describe a particularly difficult situation he experienced.
You Might also like
Missionary Died Thinking He was a Failure; 84 Years Later Thriving Churches Found Hidden in the JungleBy Mark Ellis — 1 month ago
They spent 17 years at Vanga, but their service ended on a rocky note. “Dr. Leslie had a relational falling out with some of the tribal leaders and was asked not to come back,” Ramsey says. “They reconciled later; there were apologies and forgiveness, but it didn’t end like he hoped.” “His goal was to spread Christianity. He felt like he was there for 17 years and he never really made a big impact, but the legacy he left is huge.”
In 1912, medical missionary Dr. William Leslie went to live and minister to tribal people in a remote corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After 17 years he returned to the U.S. a discouraged man – believing he failed to make an impact for Christ. He died nine years after his return.
But in 2010, a team led by Eric Ramsey with Tom Cox World Ministries made a shocking and sensational discovery. They found a network of reproducing churches hidden like glittering diamonds in the dense jungle across the Kwilu River from Vanga, where Dr. Leslie was stationed.
With the help of a Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot, Ramsey and his team flew east from Kinshasa to Vanga, a two and a half hour flight in a Cessna Caravan. After they reached Vanga, they hiked a mile to the Kwilu River and used dugout canoes to cross the half-mile-wide expanse. Then they hiked with backpacks another 10 miles into the jungle before they reached the first village of the Yansi people.
Based on his previous research, Ramsey thought the Yansi in this remote area might have some exposure to the name of Jesus, but no real understanding of who He is. They were unprepared for their remarkable find.
“When we got in there, we found a network of reproducing churches throughout the jungle,” Ramsey reports. “Each village had its own gospel choir, although they wouldn’t call it that,” he notes. “They wrote their own songs and would have sing-offs from village to village.”
They found a church in each of the eight
villages they visited scattered across 34 miles. Ramsey and his team even found a 1000-seat stone “cathedral” in one of the villages.
By Amy Toman — 3 months ago
Keeping our children in church every Sunday is HARD. It is hard being the only adult able to correct and train on a weekly basis. It is hard to constantly be leaving service to discipline a toddler and continually coming back in. It is hard, but it is so worth it. There is no better use of my time than to teach our children the importance of corporate worship together.
We had the privilege of worshipping with some friends last Sunday. Jacob team preaches with another faithful pastor, meaning from time to time we as a family get to travel and be visitors with other churches we otherwise wouldn’t ever get to see. It is always such a privilege and a treat when we get to worship together as a whole family in the pew. Since becoming a Pastor’s wife, I will never again take for granted the entire family sitting together during worship. But this post isn’t about that. This post is about giving thanks for what I observed in our children during this service. Our children have been sitting through church services for their whole life. They are used to sitting through a worship service. Services are often interactive, including singing together, responsive readings, prayer and a sermon. Whenever we attend another church, we have the same, if not higher, expectations than on a regular Sunday. This past Sunday we asked a lot of our kids ages 2, 5, 8 and 11. They have amazed us in the past in their ability to be flexible to various orders of service and to learn from God’s Word from a multitude of different preachers.
Last Sunday was one of those days. We asked them to wake extra early so we could drive a little over an hour to a friend’s church. We then asked them to sit quietly during the entire service, which was different from what they were used to. A wonderful service, but different. We then asked them to eat quietly at a table and play calmly while we had lunch at the church with some friends. Unfortunately, due to the weather we were unable to play outside, which was the original hope. We asked a lot of our children and they exceeded our expectations in a new environment.
Children Can’t Sit Long
Thinking back on the worship service, I had several reasons to give thanks. Our normal Sunday service runs about 1 hour and 10 minutes. There are ample times when the children are active, responsive, up and down participating through singing and reading. We allow them to bring a notebook and pen, or a small toy for the younger ones, to use during the sermon to help keep their hands occupied and ears open. This week, I forgot to grab our church notebooks. A Big mistake! Or so I thought until we arrived at church. Again, our children surprised me! They were perfectly fine listening to the sermon without their notebooks. Not only did they sit quietly (well, all but the toddler) but they sat through a service that was 1.5 hours. An extra 20 minutes longer than they are used to. They were friendly and interactive with those who sat around us. And despite not knowing many of the songs included in the service, they began to sing along on the 2nd or 3rd verse as best they could.
So why am I telling you this? It is not to brag about our kids, or to brag about our parenting. It is to brag about God. To brag about the goodness of His Word. To brag about the all captivating Word that he speaks to all ages. I often hear parents, grandparents and well meaning friends say that children can not sit through the worship service. I hear that children are too young to sit still for that long. That they are not able to understand the sermon. The word of God written in Scripture is above their heads. We hear that children must have the story retold in an easier way. How foolish can we be to insinuate that the Word of God is too hard for our children? That we, sinful creatures can take the word of God and minimize it for our children. That we know better than God. It’s insulting to God and proves our selfish, sinful, conceited attitudes.
Many children in our western culture have been told they can’t sit in worship. They have been led to believe that the Bible is too difficult for them to understand. That there are only certain stories worth learning about. Why these stories? Because some believe kids can only learn the “fun stories of scripture.” Children are taught about Jericho falling down, but are they taught about Joshua, Rahab, or Moses? Are they taught why the walls of Jericho needed to fall down? Are they taught of the victory of God in fulfilling His great promises to His people? Are they taught how destructive and devastating sin is? Are they exposed to the ultimate reality of God’s wrath against His enemies? Are they told of the grace of God in Christ? Are they taught about the significance of the return of
What Are Children Being Taught in “Kids Church”
For us at Redeeming Family, we desire (as do many who serve the church by volunteering with children’s ministry programs) to see the lambs brought to the great shepherd Jesus. Often the confusion we experience surrounding children’s ministry isn’t about motive, it is about method.
From our observations through years of participating and volunteering in a variety of capacities in multiple churches, the content of “kids church” is often lacking at best, and counterproductive at worst. Children might be taught that Jesus was a good man (rather than the God-Man) who died for them to save them from their sins. But are they taught the consequences of their sin?
By Josh Moody — 7 months ago
Chapter 6 of Matthew’s gospel, the center of the famous Sermon on the Mount, is then instructive for our presumptions of what piety means and how to put it into practice in a number of interesting ways. First of all, notice the list of topics that our Lord chooses. Giving, prayer, fasting—so far, so normal in terms of what we would expect under the topic of piety—then money again, this time from a different angle, which is perhaps not so surprising given the preponderant difficulty that most humans have with money and possessions. But then Jesus finishes with a long section on anxiety or worry, which is not exactly a “spiritual discipline” as such, and in the middle of that is one of the more well-known statements in the Sermon on the Mount about seeking first the kingdom of God.
Second but more importantly still, notice the ongoing contrast that runs throughout this chapter. Over and over again, Jesus is telling His followers not to be “like them,” those who make a display of piety, but instead to be “like this,” those who give thought only to God as their audience. You can see this contrast in Matthew 6:1–2, where Jesus describes the extraordinary showy behavior of givers at the time and then tells His followers, “Sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others.” So don’t be like them. Instead, be like this: “When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matt. 6:3).
You can see the same contrast when He teaches on prayer: “When you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites” (Matt. 6:5). So don’t be like them. Instead, be like this: “When you pray, go into your room . . .” (Matt. 6:6).
We can see the same contrast in Jesus’ teaching on fasting: “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites . . .” (Matt. 6:16). Instead, “when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face . . .” (Matt. 6:17). Don’t be like them; instead, be like this.