Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Shift in Gears

To my so many faithful blog readers, and you both no who you are!!!
I am transitioning back to WordPress.
Follow my new blogsite:


https://coetuselectorum.wordpress.com/

Blessings,
TZ

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What I Really Need

Things have gotten steadily more difficult for my family. I am very frustrated. At the same time, I realize that God is alive and continues to amaze me with just the right word in season to refresh my weary soul. So as "Thanksgiving" is fast approaching and even before that another church meeting, I am being deeply challenged to truly trust God and be grateful with a true heart of devotion for all things. Even as we try to teach our four boys, there are good things in life and some not-so good or bad things, they all proceed from our Heavenly Father's Hand. So I am frustrated with my being frustrated. Nevertheless, the reality is still difficulty and I know I must trust the Lord, yet it is so hard! I need rebuking for my lack of faith. I need to set a better example for my children! I need to get over self pity. I need to remember to count my blessings. I need to remember the guy with no feet as I complain of not having shoes. I need to strive after purity and not after prosperity. I am so easily fooled by the allure of this world, and I am so easily satisfied with its trifles. Proverbs reminds me that "A good name is to be chosen rather than riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold" 22:1.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Privileged

I am one of the privileged! Every week I have a responsibility to stand before people and tell them what God thinks. I know, I know, preachers around here are a dime a dozen! Well that's true of hypocrites and heretics. I hope that I am neither, but I must admit, I sometimes play the role flawlessly! I am among those God called and set apart men that have the greatest task on earth: to speak God's Words! That is it! Really. That is what my job is, to speak the Word of God as fully and faithfully as humanly possible, and as supernaturally enabled to do so by God's Spirit. A tall order you say. Well that is true. The best of them all once wrote, "who is sufficient for such things?"  Some time ago, I read that "it takes twenty years to prepare a sermon because it takes twenty years to prepare the man." I am not sure that I'll ever be ready, but as the years roll by, I become more and more convinced that I am in the company of the privileged!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Common Experiences

It was interesting to discover some words from John Calvin as to his living arrangements. I had known of his need to sell some of his books on occasion, which I have emulated myself. But these words drew me closer to Calvin the man. Said, the Frenchman, ". . . I use the furniture that belongs to someone else.  Neither the table from which we eat, nor the bed in which we sleep,belongs to us." I hope the similarities do not end there. John Calvin is one of my heroes. His influence on me is incalculable. May his tribe increase, and may the cause for which he gave his life continue to grow and bring forth abundant fruit. It is comforting to know that men greatly used of God went through some of the difficulties I am facing. I hope that I can rise above these trivial concerns and impact eternity with rich dividends, even as the Genevan Reformer did before me!

The book from which the quote comes is Herman J. Selderhuis, John Calvin: A Pilgrim's Life. Translated by Albert Gootjes (Downers Grove, IL: InterVasity, 2009), p.220.

A highly recommended book!

En Christo
TZ.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paul and Prepositions.

It is almost a dogma that Paul depicted the relationship of those gifted individuals and the church members at large in Ephesians 4:11-16 as one of preparation alone. In other words the gifted individuals, namely, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, and Pastor / Teachers are to prepare the saints -- so that the saints undertake the work of ministry that builds up the body. Despite this widely accepted view, which in Southern Baptist circles is the foundation for almost all pastors, this reading is mistaken. In Ephesians already, Paul utilizes a main verb with coordinating prepositions for example in 1:3:

Who has blessed us
with [en] every blessing
in [en] the Heavens
in [en] Christ.

Also, more importantly, in close context, in 4:13:

Till we all reach
to [eis] the unity of faith and the full knowledge of the Son of God
to [eis] the perfect man
to [eis] the measured status of the fullness of Christ.

So Likewise, in Ephesians 4:11-12, Paul is not speaking about mere preparation, but more fully about the ministry of the gifted ministers just mentioned. In other words, Paul lists three tasks of the gifted persons:

He gave [gifted persons]
for [pros] equipping/preparing the saints
to [eis] work of ministry
to [eis] building of the body of Christ.

Exegetically, there is no compelling linguistic or grammatical reason to adopt the traditional reading. Maybe it is a fear of reducing the so-called laity to mere spectators that this tradition has emerged. There is, however, contextual evidence as to how Paul uses prepositions that permit an alternative understanding of Paul's approach, and more importantly, to Jesus' design for those gifted individuals.

En Christo,
TZ

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Beginnings

Just a quick note to say, "hopefully, by God's grace, I will resume writing some reflections here on a new blog."
Christ is the center of both theology and history. Christ is the supreme revelation from heaven. Christ is the pre-eminent person in the universe. Christ is the supreme object of faith and affection. So this blog will, hopefully, reflect my deepest love for Christ. Also,my deepest desire is that Christ is exalted and glorified through this site.

En Christo,
TZ