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|The Nashville Statement
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
My complete profile...
Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich
His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole
[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos
Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead
There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
| 1030: Adult Sunday School!
|As some of you readers may be aware, I lead an adult bible study each Sunday for the adults in my congregation. We are presently in our third year of examining together William Gurnall's "the Christian in Complete Armor".
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this particular Puritan work, I can only say that it is one of the most spiritually rewarding but difficult to follow Christian classics ever written. I say difficult to follow for several reasons, the first being that the language is a bit archaic, the next, and perhaps most important reason, is because it is so utterly pregnant with insight and truth that in any given paragraph one is likely to encounter three or more truths so profound that one has to pause and chew a long time in order to properly digest them.
I can say with some conviction that while I consider myself well read, I have never read anything so densely filled with immediately applicable truth. I have read through entire systematic theologies that were (by far) a less taxing read. To put that into perspective, I have taught through, in the first two years, only a little over one eighth of the book. At this rate it will be fourteen more years till I finish. Truth be told, as much as I desire to pick up the pace, I find myself unable to do so except at the expense of understanding, that is, to go at any faster a pace, for me at least, means presenting the same truths in some glossy way, whereby I only superficially present what is there, and in doing so provide only weiner-water sustainance to those members of my congregation that I have been privileged to know and to share these truths with.
When I purchased my iphone last year, I began to record these Sunday Studies, as the microphone on the iphone is quite sensitive, and lends itself well to this sort of application. Our church had been recording these same lessons each week, and recent lessons are available at my church's website in a compressed format that greatly reduces the quality of the audio.
Well today, on a lark I decided to see how difficult it would be to stream higher quality audio from my blog to any and all who want to follow along with the study. Each week, for as long as I am motivated, I will provide a new "streaming" lesson in the right hand column, along with a link, or post about, my notes for that lesson.
To begin with, here are my notes for the October 3 Lesson:
|Ephesians 6:11b - so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil”
High level outline: Explaining why the Christian soldier is to be compeltely armed and armored
Part one: The danger we face if unarmed
- Doctrine: The Devil is a very subtle enemy
- Satan's first Main Design (of two): To draw us into sin (we did this last year)
- Satan's second Main Design (of two):To accuse, vex, and trouble the saint over their sin
- First wile (method) of four of Satan as a troubler of the saints: He vexes the Christian with blasphemous and atheistical thoughts, thereby convicting the believer that he is not really a child of God who could produce such thoughts.
- Second Wile (method) of four of Satan as a troubler of the saints: He disguises his accusations of sin as Holy Spirit conviction
- Third wile (method) of four of Satan as a trouble of the saints: Satan raises trivial objections at the Christian's duties and performances
- Here we are talking about how the enemy convinces us that everything we say do or think is so entirely washed through with sin and corruption as to be worthless, and even counterfeit and wicked.
By exaggerating our flaws, our enemy discourages us in our ministry and even in the exercising of our gifts:
- Example 1: He convinces us that we ought not to risk attempting some good thing because there will be ten bad things that accompany it.
Perry with the Sword of Truth 1: God prepared these good works so that we might walk in them…
Ephesians 2:10 “10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Perry with the Sword of Truth 2: God purifies (through Christ) in order that we might be zealous for good works ….
Titus 2:14 “14who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
- Example 2: He uses our love for God, and our concern for God's glory, and how it might be corrupted by ourselves, to maim us, and make us so lame that when we do work, we work only begrudgingly, and that with the conviction that it is not only worse than useless - but in fact wicked.
- Question: How do we withstand these trivial objections?
Answer 1: Understand that God has given the enemy permission to do so for a reason: To hone you. Therefore, allow these objections to cause you to become more accurate and careful in all that you do in your service to the King.
Answer 2: Let it make you more humble.
Luke 16:10 "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”
If Satan identifies flaws in your best duties, consider what the rest of what you do looks like to God
Allow the knowledge that God has chosen you specifically (with full knowledge of your failures) to do these good works In His name to humble you before Him.
Answer 3: Take note of the fallacy of Satan's argument, which after you discover it, will help you answer the objection.
- Point 1: Satan will try to convince you that because your duty is imperfect, there is something wrong with your faith or your profession.
C.f. Zechariah 3:1-7 - the brand that is plucked from the fire still glows hot, though it is no longer in the fire - the heat clings to it. So are we who have been plucked from the fire, the devil looks to that heat that clings to us, and accuses us that we are still on fire.
Point 2: Satan argues that the sin that is present in our duty causes God to not accept our service. But this is bunk.
Consider the difference between money that is used to pay a debt, and money that is given as a gift of love. The man who may refuse a ripped bill in payment of a debt, will gladly receive the even torn and soiled money when the same is offered to him by the child who loves him, and offers it in love.
The same is true of God, our debt was paid by Christ, our service is not a payment of debt, but a love offering, and though it be tainted by that sin which still clings to us, and will cling to us until we leave this earth - this sin that clings to our love offering, does soil our love offering (though it may displace it to some degree).
Labels: Gurnall: the Christian in complete Armour
posted by Daniel @
See the right column margin for the audio link (under Adult Bible Study).
Oh yeah, by posting my notes and the study, you will have an opportunity to see  how poor I job I do at sticking to my notes, and again,  how although I use Gurnall's writing as a framework, I am not teaching verbatim, from Gurnall's book.
If there is some emphasis I put in the lesson that cannot be found in Gurnall's writings, and again, in my notes, chalk that up to my emphasizing what I believe best reflects the emphasis most needed by both myself and the local congregation I am teaching.
Daniel you are a great teacher, but...
Seriously, I really enjoyed listening to this; this is the nuts and bolts of understanding who we are in Christ. This is a fundamental lesson we need to learn and I fear many young believers struggle because they have not been taught this.
It was a great reminder for myself as well; even we who claim to rest on grace alone through faith alone can sometimes subtlely pick up a works = pleasing God syndrome.
These are truths I believe need to be repeated often. No matter how many times we hear them, they only grow in our understanding as we are exposed to them anew.
Daniel, I greatly appreciate your posting these lessons. Very timely in my life right now.
The audio streams beautifully even on my old computer. Is it possible to download the file as an mp3 so I can put it on my ipod? I'm not often able to just sit in the mornings at my computer so I wonder if I can make it more portable.
Susan, There is a way, but they are big files (14-16 MB each).
At the bottom of the "Adult Bible Study" widget in the right hand margin there is a link to the host, and there, for each lesson there is a download link.
I put both the host link ("the host" above) and the directly link to the file ("download link" above) in this comment to save you having to go to through the widget for the latest lesson. But you can always just surf over to http://doulogos.sermondrop.com/sermons directly and find the download links there.
Hope that helps.
It helps very much. Thanks, Daniel.
The Holy Spirit is speaking to me through your blog, as He has done for many years off and on here at this site.
This lesson re: the devil and his ways is something another Christian recently also shared with me - so the timing is interesting. I usually reckon issues to be tied to my own sinfulness and flesh, not often giving thought to the devil. Perhaps in so doing I neglect putting on God's armor.
In a conversation with a spiritual mentor of mine this morning, she told me that the armor doesn't cover the back, because we aren't to turn our back on the enemy, but to face him with the Word - as Jesus did during His temptation.
I appreciate the new means (audio) of being able to continue to grow in Him.
It worked. You're on my ipod. Thank you so much!
Wow, now the notes also, how grand.
I tend to stray off of the notes all too often, editing, as it were, as I go: deciding in the moment whether to include something that I have in my notes, or not -- even adding things that come to mind in the moment I am delivering the message.
Don't get me wrong, I like putting the notes up, I am just leary of someone actually trying to follow along with me if they had the notes in their hand.