Baptist21 is committed to seeking gospel-centrality among the nations through the church to the glory of King Jesus. Part of seeking gospel-centrality is learning to read the Bible rightly and understand how the gospel of King Jesus is the central theme of the entire bible (Lk. 24). So, B21 author Jon Akin (who is completing a PhD in O.T. Studies) has written several blogs showing how to read the Bible Christocentrically throughout the Old Testament.
In addition, Jon has written a blog on the importance of “Preaching the Gospel Every Week,” both to believers and unbelievers.
In an effort to help our readers think through the Gospel-Centered interpretation of the Old Testament, Jon has submitted a blog entitled “The Gospel of King Jesus in the Life of King Joash.”
The inter-connectedness of the Bible is breathtaking. Years ago, I was able to preach through the story of Joash. Joash points quite vividly to the greater Son of David, Jesus Christ. The parallels in this story to the story of Christ are amazing. In 2 Chronicles 22:10, wicked Queen Athaliah “destroyed ALL the royal heirs of the house of David,” but Joash is hidden away in the Temple. This is a dark time in the history of Judah. Again, all of the promises to David about a Son who will sit on an eternal throne over an eternal kingdom lie dead in Jerusalem tombs!
The evil queen, the seed of the serpent, has played a part in the cosmic war raging throughout the centuries. Genesis 3:15, right after the fall, tells us that the “seed of the woman” will crush the head of the serpent, but the serpent will bruise the heel of the head crusher. This enmity and warfare rages on across the world stage. John pulls back the curtain on this war in Revelation 12:4 where he writes, “the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.” This refers back to Gen. 3:15 and Matthew 2 where Herod tried to destroy Messiah as soon as he was born, but it also engulfs every attempt that the dragon/serpent made to destroy the Messiah before he came.
Holywood has shown a similar storyline in the first two “Terminator” movies. In Terminator 1, the machines send a cyborg terminator back in time to destroy the man who will be their undoing. On this attempt they try to kill his mother before she has him. In Terminator 2 they send another cyborg back through time to kill the man while he is a boy and weak.
We see a similar play in the biblical storyline. As soon as the promise of a deliverer is made, Eve gives birth, and yet Satan moves Cain to kill Abel. The promise is dead, but God raises up Seth. Pharaoh is killing the male Hebrews when they are born, but God delivers Moses. Later in Israel’s history, Hamaan will attempt genocide against the Jews, and then Herod will try to kill Jesus when he is a baby. All of these are attempts by the serpent to kill the line before the Messiah King comes! Athaliah participates in this by wiping out the sons of David. The promises lie dead in the tombs of Jerusalem! Yet, one is saved, King Joash.
Joash is rescued and hid away for 6 years. Joash is not the first child and will not be the last child hidden away from an evil ruler. Moses was hid from Pharaoh, and Jesus will be hid from Herod. All three will have similar ministries, Exodus! In the seventh year, Jehoiada the priest orchestrates a coup to set Joash on the throne. They bring Joash out of the temple, which shows that he is the true Son of God/King. They crown him and proclaim him as king. Athaliah hears the shouts and songs of the people as they bring Joash to the throne. Then the Bible says that she looks and sees the king “standing” by his pillar (2 Chr. 23:13). This is similar to the heavenly vision of Revelation 5. John sees the lamb, as though slain, but standing! Yahweh has brought life out of death. Yahweh has brought victory out of defeat. And what is the crowning and victory of Joash accompanied by? Singing and praising (cf. Rev. 5:6 & 13)!
Evil Athaliah and her followers are put to death (cf. Gen. 3:15, serpent’s seed is being crushed). This may seem harsh to some, but these verses should be cross-referenced in your study Bibles with John 3:16. God loves the world so much that he will kill the enemies who try to keep the Son from coming. Joash defeats the enemies and he sets worship right again in Judah. The land is quiet.
After this, Joash sets himself to rebuilding the temple. Why? Kings are temple-builders (cf. Solomon, Zech. 6:12-15, etc.). Solomon built the original temple. Joash re-builds the temple, and Jesus will build the final temple.
King Joash is a Moses who leads his people out of bondage to an evil tyrant in order to build a dwelling place for God. His life points to the Greater Son of David, Jesus Christ. Not only does Herod try to kill him at birth, but Jesus is killed on a Cross. The hope for an eternal kingdom once again lies dead in a tomb in Jerusalem. Yet, on the third day, King Jesus does what the sinner King Joash cannot, he walks out of the grave. He crushed the head of the serpent forever. He ascended into heaven, and he sent gifts in order to build his temple (cf. Eph. 4:7-16). They thought they could tear this temple down, but Jesus raised it up in three days, and he is building it now through his Spirit on the foundation of apostles and prophets. This is a greater Exodus and a greater Temple, presided over by a faithful King-Priest!
Owen Strachan and Doug Sweeney wrote and assembled the Essential Edwards Collection (Moody, 2010). These are excellent works that make Edwards’ writing accessible to a wide audience. Many believe that Jonathan Edwards is the greatest theologian America has produced. Strachan and Sweeney have given the church a great gift by making his theology and writings available to us in this way.
Baptist21 wants to let you know that RIGHT NOW they are available at Westminster Books, all five volumes, for HALF OFF! This opportunity is available for a limited time (Tuesday July 27th-Monday August 2nd).
For more info on this you can check out Owen’s Blog.
It is alarming that in evangelicalism so many preachers have jettisoned the weekly preaching of the gospel in order to regularly give their congregations “practical tips” on how to live a nice Christian life. It seems that this reality is driven by a misunderstanding of the gospel. Many preachers/Christians see the gospel as merely the “plan of salvation” or the way one enters the Christian life, but once they’ve believed it and entered the faith now they need to learn how a Christian behaves. Now, they need tips on how to live a better life. Preachers who do this don’t see the gospel as practical or as applicable to everyday life.
And yet, in this climate, there is beginning to be a re-emphasis on the centrality of the gospel for all of life and a renewed interest in gospel-centered preaching. It’s becoming a buzz word. But, there seems to be confusion about what gospel-centered preaching actually is, what it sounds like, what it does, how one should do it, and so on…
It seems that every young seminarian has experienced sitting down in a seminary chapel to hear a preacher who holds up his Bible and says, “We have to do expository preaching or we aren’t really preaching the Bible,” only to have that preacher set his Bible down after that and use one verse as a diving board into tips he wants to share with the preacher boys on what ministry is like. Most preachers claim to be expository preachers, but it seems as though very few actually do it.
In the same way, no one would voluntarily claim “I’m NOT a gospel-centered preacher.” Everyone thinks they are, and yet we hear testimony of so many young people who when they actually hear gospel-centered preaching say “I’ve never heard anything like that. Who does that? Where can I hear more of that? How can I learn to do that?” No one would claim that they are not gospel-centered, but people may mean different things when we say it.
It is in this context that Baptist21 is excited to announce the opportunity to host a B21 Panel Luncheon at the 9 Marks Conference at SEBTS on Friday September 10th from approximately 12:15pm-1:30pm.
For more information about the 9marks conference on Biblical Theology to be held at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary click here – this will be exciting conference that boasts an outstanding lineup. The plenary speakers will be Danny Akin, Thabiti Anyabwile, Matt Chandler, Mark Dever, and David Platt.
The topic for this year’s panel will be “Gospel-Centered Preaching in the Local Church.” This theme will combine the discussion from last year’s 9 Marks conference (expository preaching) and this year’s conference (biblical theology).
This panel will aim to bring greater clarity to what gospel-centered preaching actually is and what it isn’t. Here are some other things that will be discussed:
We are going to have an incredible lineup of experienced and competent preachers to help us think through these important issues:
Where: SEBTS Multi-Purpose Room in the Ledford Student Center
When: Sept. 10, 12:15-1:30 (after the Sermon Review for Session 1)
Cost – There will be a $7 charge that will include a Chic-Fil-A Lunch
The GCR vote is over, but now the real work of actually seeing a Great Commission Resurgence come about begins! One of the highlights of the entire GCR report was the focus on church planting as the best strategy for sustaining a long term assault on the lostness of North America. Our hope is that as we are enabled over the next few decades to unleash waves of gospel-centered church planters on the lostness of North America we will become a convention of 70,000 churches.
We are very optimistic because interest in church planting is increasing. With increased interest comes the need for increased training and support. It will take a refocused NAMB and refocused state conventions that partner with local churches to plant more churches. It will take local churches and networks of churches that provide vision, training, accountability, support, and many other things. There are many good options within the SBC with whom churches and church planters can partner. You may or may not be aware of them. Baptist21 wants to take a few posts and highlight some of them.
First Baptist Woodstock’s Church Planting School
The first resource we want to point you to is the FBC Woodstock Church Planting School. FBC Woodstock is one of the leading church planting churches in the convention. They are now beginning to ramp up their focus on church planting even more by beginning this church planting school. The help they are offering to aspiring planters and current planters is invaluable!
The leadership and experience of Pastor Johnny Hunt is well-known. Equally well-known is his love for and ability to mentor younger pastors. That element alone is enough to make anything FBC Woodstock offers to young pastors a must attend!
But, add to this the experience and expertise of Bill Agee who is providing leadership and oversight of this school. Bill Agee has spent his life planting churches. Right after getting married, Bill and his wife moved site unseen to South Dakota to plant a church. In 10 years they planted a church in every community around them for 60 miles. As a Director of Missions in the Central Baptist Association in Phoenix he aided churches in planting 73 churches in a 10 year period in this key western city. When he arrived at the association they were spending $200 a month on church planting, but when he left they were spending $20,000 a month on church planting.
Bill Agee is a church planter. As the new Church Planting Strategist at FBC Woodstock he is someone from whom aspiring Southern Baptist church planters need to learn.
Baptist21 would highly encourage you to attend the church planting school at FBCW September 20-22. It will provide valuable and extremely helpful training.
Here is some of the key information from the website:
Don’t miss your chance to get in on the ground floor of the Woodstock Church Planting School. We want to leverage our international reach & years of experience to help aspiring planters, current planters, planting strategists, and partnering organizations to launch strong, reproducing churches in places with little Kingdom influence.
A practical, hands-on workshop covering the following topics:
Check-in begins at 11a.m. and the first session begins at 1 p.m. on the 20th. and school ends at Noon on the 22nd.
$149 after Aug. 15th
Cost includes meals & materials. Transportation, lodging and off-site meals are the responsibility of the attendees.
Register online NOW at woodstockcps.com.
A dear friend of mine on his personal blog recently began citing short, pregnant quotes from church history’s key figures; men we often refer to as the old dead guys (you can visit Ross’ blog here). These include Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, and many more.
I thought this would be helpful on occasion for our readers as well, so I’m starting with this quote from Augustine’s “Sermon 36″ on Proverbs 13:7. Enjoy.
“Observe his riches: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him (Jn 1:1-3). What could be richer than he through whom all things were made? A rich man can possess gold, but he can’t create it. These riches of his having thus been declared, now observe his poverty: And the word became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn 1:14). It is by this poverty of his that we have been enriched, because by his blood which flowed from his flesh, the flesh the Word became in order to dwell among us, the sacking of our sins was torn up. Through that blood we have cast off the rags of iniquity, in order to clothe ourselves in the robes of immortality.” Augustine, 410AD
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