gospel personal theology

Good Friday – Isaiah 53

Isaiah 53

53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? [1]
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected [2] by men;
a man of sorrows, [3] and acquainted with [4] grief; [5]
and as one from whom men hide their faces [6]
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief; [7]
when his soul makes [8] an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see [9] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, [10]
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, [11]
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

adoption personal theology

Adoption and Redemption

Reflecting on Ephesians 1:1-14 the other day, God struck me with a profound truth about the very nature of salvation:

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

I’ve certainly reflected on this passage often from a theological perspective, generally focusing on the predestining work of the sovereign God, but also in understanding the theological nature of adoption.  The fresh revelation for me was that I don’t often think of them together with the experience of a loving Father, rather as theologically distinctive aspects of salvation.

Our redemption through the blood of Christ, however, is an experience of the adopting love of a Father, not simply an historical fact.  In the same way that my friend Aaron Ivey longs to rescue his son, so too did God have the same longing as a Father, who sent his only begotten Son as a propitiation and sacrifice for redemption. Reflecting on the earthly process of adoption and fatherhood in general is giving such a fresh perspective on my own theology.  To think of adoption and redemption independently of one another is the residue of cold, theological calculation and divorced from the experience of God as my daddy, and I desperately need God to transform my mind and heart.

My prayer for the coming year is that I would continue to experience the fatherhood of God through the work of Christ.  May the knowledge of my head continue to be fused the affections of my heart.


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I pray that the simple, yet miraculous truth that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” rests profoundly on you during these few weeks!

links personal review

2009 Top Posts – Ethereal Thought Train

I’ve pretty much let Ethereal Thought Train go stale in the last two months, but I figured to close out 2009 I’d throw out your favorite posts of the year.  Without further adieu, here they are:

  1. The 5 Big Issues in Campus Ministry | Missiology 1
  2. Summary of College Ministry | Gentrified
  3. Discipleship and Ministry
  4. College Ministers and Adoption
  5. Being a Pastor – Fun Sunday Questions

Hopefully you’ll enjoy some old reading while I prepare some new material for 2010!


Giving Thanks

I’m sitting in the passenger seat on my way to the inlaws’ family thanksgiving and dwelling on this great American holiday, so I figured I’d jot down some thoughts. In no particular order:

  1. Most of the country is taking the weekend off to celebrate WHAT they are thankful for. What an incredible opportunity to show for WHOM we are thankful.
  2. Romans 1:21 – For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
  3. Thankfulness is generally a response to the provision of someone else and is a recognition of dependence. The greater the provision, the deeper the gratitude. The gospel is the greatest provision humanity has ever known.
  4. I tend to be more thankful for the physical blessings I have received than the provision of Jesus on the cross.
  5. Giving thanks is a natural component of worship.
  6. I’m thankful for new mercies each morning, because I am continually not thankful for what I ought to be.

Thank you Jesus for saving me, and I pray that is the legacy I leave in my family and my city.