Archive for the ‘imitation’ Category

In his letters to the Corinthians and the Ephesians, Paul uses the same word, charis (Greek = grace or gift in English) to denote both God’s saving work and his transforming work of empowering the saints in ministry.

The benefit we receive from a kind act, a patient and truthful Christian friend, an evangelistic conversation that leads to repentance, a sermon preached in the power of the Spirit–all these and more are ongoing experiences of God’s grace in the world.

These gifts point back to salvation “from before the foundations of the world” (Eph 1:4-6).  They point forward to the way in which God will “graciously” give his heirs “all things” (Rom 8:32), with the vital redemptive grace of cross, resurrection, ascension-enthronement and pouring out of the Spirit in between.


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A little more on Jesus (and us) in the OT.  In his commentary on 1 and 2 Kings (abbreviated in the good study notes in the ESV Study Bible), Iain Provan does a great job of illustrating how OT characters point to Jesus, and also point to us:

Like Solomon, then, both Hezekiah and Josiah function typologically within the whole canon of Scripture, preparing the way for the one who is ultimately to sit upon David’s throne and usher in God’s kingdom.

Like Solomon, however, they can also serve as models for behavior for those called to follow Jesus with their crosses.

They remind us . . . of the necessity of obedience to God’s Word, as it is addresses us in the present through the inspired writings of the past . . . . of the necessity of such obedience even where it goes against the grain of the surrounding culture, and even where it offers no immediate prospect of reward.

They remind us of how the believer should trust and pray in a crisis, even when besieged by a great army of enemies or troubles . . . .

They remind us of the importance of ongoing reform in worship, of the importance of ensuring that God alone is the focus of our attention and that what we do is in complete conformity to God’s will . . . .

Iain Provan, 1 and 2 Kings, 284.

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(1)  My buddy and the best Christian musician and worship leader in Memphis, Josh Smith, has some interesting thoughts on the tensions between different values/dynamics in the way we think about and do worship.

Sort of related:

(2)  It doesn’t get much better than Luther on vocation; this one is going in a book soon:  “God is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid, said Luther. According to Luther, vocation is a “mask of God.”  He is hidden in vocation. We see the milkmaid, or the farmer, or the doctor or pastor or artist. But, looming behind this human mask, God is genuinely present and active in what they do for us.”

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