In All Times and In All Ways

Jesus Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 1:9, 22-23; 4:15; 5:23), the leader who builds the church (Hebrews 3:1), the senior pastor and Chief Shepherd who rules the church (Matthew 16:18).  It is ultimately Jesus who closes down churches when they have become faithless or fruitless (I Peter 5:4).  Therefore, it is absolutely vital that a church loves Jesus, obeys Jesus, imitates Jesus, and follows Jesus at all times and in all ways, according to the teaching of his Word (Colossians 3:16).

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 64

Eyewitness Accounts in the New Testament

If you accept the plain reading of the text, the New Testament certainly contains eyewitness testimony.  Notice how many times various apostles claim to be eyewitnesses (Acts 2:32; Acts 3:15; Acts 4:18-20; Acts 5:30-32; Acts 10:39-40; I Corinthians 15:3-8; I Peter 5:2; II Peter 1:16; John 19:33-35; John 20:24-30; I John 1:1-2)

– Geisler, Norm and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, copyright 2004, page 252-253

Equipped for Service

God’s grace first saves us and then equips us for service.  We enjoy the kingdom only as children, completely dependent on our heavenly Father.  We serve as we use the gifts of the Spirit.  Our ministry is therefore humble service, not selfish manipulation.  All Christians are to gird themselves with humility to serve one another (I Peter 5:5).  Peter is not denying a difference in roles between those who exercise governing oversight and the members of the church wh0 must recognize their authority.  Yet those who join in governing are not to be little Caesars, lording it over the church; they are shepherds, called to serve the flock.

– Edmund Clowney, The Church: Contours in Christian Theology, copyright 1988, page 62-63

The Biblical View of Satan

The biblical view of Satan is far more sophisticated than the caricature.  The biblical images include that of an “angel of light” (II Corinthians 11:14).  The “angel of light” image indicates Satan’s clever ability to manifest himself sub species boni (under the appearances of good).  Satan is subtle.  He is beguiling.  The serpent in the garden was described as “crafty” (Genesis 3:1).  Satan does not appear as a fool.  He is a beguiling counterfeit.  He speaks with eloquence.  His appearance is stunning.  The prince of darkness wears a cloak of light.

A second image we have of Satan is that of a roaring-lion who goes about seeking whom he will devour (I Peter 5:8).  Notice that the same figure that is used for Christ, the lion is used by Satan, the archetype of the Antichrist.  The Lion of Judah redeems.

– R.C. Sproul, Knowing God, copyright 1988, page 87