Weekly Roundup: 2019.04.17
John Calvin on the phrase “[Christ] descended into hell”, Sinclair Ferguson with an insightful article about joy in God, John MacArthur with a pungent article on the insufficiency of worldly philosophy but the sufficiency of Christ, and an article by 9Marks exhorting pastors to explain how they reached their conclusions about the Scriptural text.
Enjoying God Is a Command | Sinclair Ferguson | Ligonier Ministries
God takes joy in our salvation (Luke 15:6–7, 9–10, 32). So should we. Here, Ephesians 1:3–14 provides a masterly delineation of this salvation in Christ. It is a gospel bath in which we should often luxuriate, rungs on a ladder we should frequently climb, in order to experience the joy of the Lord as our strength (Neh. 8:10). While we are commanded to have joy, the resources to do so are outside of ourselves, known only through union with Christ.
Christ Plus Philosophy | John MacArthur | Grace to You
Human wisdom cannot enhance God’s revelation. In fact, it inevitably resists and contradicts divine truth. Even the best of human wisdom is mere foolishness in comparison with God’s infinite wisdom.
Christians needn’t look to human wisdom anyway. They possess the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). His great, perfect, incomprehensible wisdom is revealed to us in God’s Word and through His Spirit.
Preachers, Don’t Just Explain What the Text Means—Tell Us How You Got There | Lucas O’Neill | 9Marks
When we clearly demonstrate that our interpretations and applications are clear conclusions based on the evidence in the passage, we show that we’re trustworthy in the pulpit. We’re not there to hijack Scripture for our own agendas, and our people can see we’re doing honest work, that our propositions are controlled by and derived from the text.
For more articles saved over the years, see my Evernote collection.
John Calvin on that controversial phrase of the Apostle’s Creed, “He descended into hell”:
But, apart from the [Apostle’s] creed, we must seek for a surer exposition of Christ’s descent to hell; and the word of God furnishes us with one not only pious and holy, but replete with excellent consolation. Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgment, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death. We lately quoted from the prophet, that the “chastisement of our peace was laid upon him,” that he “was bruised for our iniquities,” that he “bore our infirmities”; expressions which intimate, that, like a sponsor and surety for the guilty, and, as it where, subjected to condemnation, he undertook and paid all the penalties which must have been exacted from them, the only exception being, that the pains of death could not hold him. Hence there is nothing strange in its being said that he descended to hell, seeing he endured the death which is inflicted on the wicked by an angry God. … But after explaining what Christ endured in the sight of man, the creed appropriately adds the invisible and incomprehensible judgment which he endured before God, to teach us that not only was the body of Christ given up as the price of redemption, but that there was a greater and more excellent price—that he bore in his soul the tortures of condemned and ruined man.
- Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book II, Chapter 16, Section 10