The biblical meaning of righteousness and justification Parts 2 @ 3, with Chris Thomson

Lionel Windsor at Forget the Channel continues his interviews with Chris Thomson, lecturer in Old Testament at Moore College:

In the first part, we saw that “righteousness” is essentially a moral quality: it’s about being “right” or “good” rather than “wrong” or “bad”. We also saw that this moral righteousness can be “credited” to someone by God.

In the second part, we saw that “justification” is about finding in a person’s favour, on the basis of their moral quality of righteousness. Justification can happen either because a person is actually righteous, or because they have been “credited” as righteous even though they aren’t.

In this third part, we talk about how getting the meaning of the words right helps us to understand what the apostle Paul is talking about in Romans. What is the “righteousness of God” in Romans 1:17? Is Christ’s righteousness is “imputed” to us? And why is this so important for our assurance of God’s love and salvation?

God’s concern for greater Sydney

“If you were to look for one sentence that summarises the teaching of the Bible, it would be hard to find a more succinct candidate than the final words of the prophet Jonah’s prayer: ‘Salvation belongs to the Lord!’ (Jonah 2:9).

Jonah is a remarkable book for many reasons. One example is that it contains, in the Hebrew text, only five words of prophecy (3:4), whereas both the minor and major prophets of the Old Testament contain hundreds and thousands of words of prophecy addressed to Israel or the nations.…”

Archbishop Glenn Davies points us to the message of Jonah and God’s concern for the city.

John Piper’s prayer for Minneapolis

John Piper has published a heart-felt prayer for Minneapolis, the city he has called his earthly home for the last forty years.

The biblical meaning of righteousness and justification Part 1, with Chris Thomson @ Moore College

“Martin Luther famously wrote about justification by faith: ‘if this article stands, the church stands; if this article collapses, the church collapses’ (Luther’s Works 40/3.352.3).

Justification matters. Why? Because it is caught up with our status before God, our assurance of eternal life, and our freedom to live the Christian life in love for others and without fear.

But what does the Bible actually say about justification? Luther and Calvin recognised that we need to come to grips with the precise meaning of the key biblical terms – ‘righteousness’ and ‘justification’ – in order to grasp the biblical doctrine. But in modern New Testament scholarship, there is often a lack of clarity about these terms.

In this 3-part series, I speak with my colleague Chris Thomson, lecturer in Old Testament at Moore College, who has engaged in detailed research in this area as well as scholarly discussions with others, including N. T. Wright.

We talk about what the terms mean, what other people are saying today about the terms, why righteousness is different from justification, why it’s both shocking and deeply comforting that God is the one who justifies the ungodly, and why it matters for us today.”

– More very helpful input from Lionel Windsor at Moore College.

The Coronavirus Crisis as a Wilderness Experience

“To what might we compare this unexpected and unsettling coronavirus season? We might think of it like “Groundhog Day”: a repeating monotony of locked-down life.

We might think of it like the holding pattern of an aircraft coming in to land: an interminable period of waiting– like that of refugees waiting for a safe place to call home.

A related question to ask is, where the current pandemic fits into each of our life stories? It’s a question worth pondering, for, as Alistair McGrath puts it, ‘the story we believe we are in determines what we think about ourselves and consequently how we live.’

The Bible throws up an intriguing answer to both questions …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Brian Rosner shares some thoughts on how the Lord continues to work in his people.

The importance of Priest and priest

“Who needs priests? For many in our society, there is a real cynicism around the word ‘priest’ and the idea of a religious establishment.

Yet there are some who have an earnest desire for priests. Perhaps we want people who are holy because we know deep down that we are not very holy, and we like to outsource. So we want people who have dedicated their lives to knowing God, who are trained in handling the Scriptures, paid to look after our spiritual wellbeing… and that way we don’t have to think too much about it.

But both the writer of the book of Hebrews and our Anglican tradition expose the folly of these attitudes. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Ben George points us back to our great high priest.

Is “Church Online” Church? (Lionel Windsor, Mikey Lynch, Andrew Heard)

Lionel Windsor writes:

“In this discussion for the Reach Australia network’s podcast, I join Mikey Lynch (leader of Tasmania’s Vision 100) and Andrew Heard (lead pastor of EV Church on the Central Coast of NSW) to think theologically about the current realities of church life, church approximation and online church.”

Watch or listen here.

‘Repent or You will Perish’ — COVID-19 and God’s Gracious Judgments

“Every death, every disappointment, every illness, any suffering, any frustration, any loss, any regret, any pain that we experience is a gracious judgment of God. And every one of God’s gracious judgments is a message from God, a wake-up call from God. For every one of them:

Are not each of these messages that we desperately need today? These gracious judgments can equally well be described as ‘severe mercies’. …”

Read and share the whole article by Peter Adam at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

(Photo: St. Helen’s Bishopsgate.)

New resources from Dick Lucas

St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London has made available a swathe of talks on preaching by Dick Lucas – recorded in the last decade.

They are featured in the most recent talks on their website, as well as in the special Teaching from Dick Lucas section.

Paul, Philosophy & Knowledge — Edwin Judge

God on the Ground podcast speaks with Emeritus Professor Edwin Judge AM.

Fascinating.

Why Evangelicals must engage Roman Catholicism

“Whether you live in a majority Roman Catholic region or in an area where Catholics are few, the presence of the Roman Catholic Church is pervasive. Unless you crouch in your little corner, not wanting to engage the world around you (wherever you are), you must deal with Roman Catholicism.”

– At Vatican Files, Leonardo De Chirico encourages Christians to understand and rightly respond to the Roman Catholic Church. (Link via Tim Challies.)

Ashley Null on Cranmer’s Collect for the Second Sunday after Easter

“Cranmer’s Collect for the Second Sunday after Easter reminds us of his perennial concern to link justification to sanctification. In so doing, he answers the all-important question for Christians: where do we find the motivation to be more like Jesus?

An original composition, the prayer makes clear that the secret to godliness lies in gratitude for the free gift of salvation. …”

– Ashley Null continues his post-Easter devotions for GAFCON.

Corona Crisis — a Five week series from the Bishop of Bathurst

Next Sunday, the Bishop of Bathurst, Mark Calder, begins a 5 week special sermon series addressing issues raised by the crisis.

This weekend, he turns to Psalm 13.

Do pray that this series might be a blessing to many across New South Wales, and further afield.

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