Monthly Archives: August 2014

Peter & Paul: a Shared Urgent Concern

I am in the midst of preaching a short series about the Scriptures, and two of the passages I’m covering have a connection I hadn’t previously observed.

Two of the strongest statements about the divine origin and inspiration of Scripture are found in 2 Peter 1:20-21 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:20-21)


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

In addition to noting the strong claims made for the Scriptures in these passage (they are breathed out by God, the product of men being moved by the Holy Spirit, and are profitable for us to the point of equipping the man of God for every good work), the two passages are written by men in similar circumstances.

The apostle Peter knew that he would soon be putting off his earthly tent (2 Peter 1:14), and Paul was “ready to be offered” seeing the time of his departure was at hand (2 Timothy 4:6).  While Peter was addressing believers more generally and Paul was writing to Timothy, both take great pains to warn their audiences about false teachers and their destructive influence.  Both are also concerned for the continued growth of their readers in godliness.

So, it is in this context that we receive these robust statements about the nature of Scripture:  dying men, urging their readers to stay true to the Book that will help them grow in godliness and help guard them against false teachers.  This ought to be the desire of every preacher for his congregation as well.

Let us know trifle with this Book, but draw near to God and delight in Him as we seek the growth and guard that His inspired Word provides for us.

Genesis 3:15 – a Few Reflections

Genesis 3:15 is a key pivot point in the storyline of the Bible and human history.  Genesis 1-2 are a prologue introducing a perfect created order made by God, and Revelation 21-22 are an epilogue detailing the renovation and renewal and re-creation of a new heaven and new earth.  Everything in between details the long war against God, and how the promise of Genesis 3:15 is made, unfolds, is fulfilled, and is consummated.

This verse has been called the protoeuangelion, or “first gospel” announcement.  It was spoken to the serpent, when God cursed him after man’s sin, which he instigated by encouraging a distrust of God’s Word and character.

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel. (Genesis 3:15 NKJV)

Genesis 3:15 has several themes and concepts that make more sense as the whole story of the Bible unfolds.  They center around two key ideas.

AN ONGOING CONFLICT

God promises enmity, or hostility, between the serpent and the woman, and between the serpent’s seed, or offspring, and the woman’s seed.  There was not only hostility between the deceiver and Eve, but there would also be hostility between the serpent’s seed and her seed.  The hostility was a reality when God spoke the words, and would become an unfolding reality, especially seen in the following chapter with the wicked Cain slaying Abel, who pleased God (cf. 1 John 3:12).  Ultimately, this struggle of evil and good comes to a head in the conflict between Satan and Jesus, but it would also be illustrated in the attacks on Christ by wicked religious leaders, whom he called “a generation of vipers” (Matt 23:33).

A PROMISED, SUFFERING, VICTORIOUS, & HUMAN SAVIOR

God promises that the woman’s seed will bruise, or crush, the serpent’s head and that the serpent will bruise his heel.  On one level, we get glimpses of the victory to come throughout redemptive history, such as the slaying of the evil Goliath, by David striking his head with a stone and then cutting it off (1 Sam 17).  Ultimately, however, we see this promise fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus was the seed of the woman – born of a virgin, and so not the seed of man.  Yet, Jesus, though eternally the Son of God, truly became completely human, yet without a sin nature and without committing any sin.

Jesus suffered.  The serpent sought to tempt Jesus, attack Jesus, and destroy Jesus.  Jesus suffered to the point of death.

Yet, this same Jesus crushed Satan’s head.  He won an irreversible victory at the cross, when His death defeated him who had the power of death, that is, the devil (Heb 2:14-15).  He triumphed through an apparent defeat, yet it was nothing more than a crushing of His heel, while He conquered the serpent and obtained everlasting victory for all who would trust Him and become children of God.

This post was originally published at Gazing at Glory.

New CAPS Bible Study Class in Bristol

CAPS will offer a Bible study methods class, primarily geared toward Sunday school teachers and preachers, but open to anyone who wants to study the Bible for themselves. The class will meet monthly for six sessions at Fellowship Chapel in Bristol, Virginia, beginning Sat., Sept. 6 from 9-11 a.m.  Cost is $10 for materials.  This class will be a hands-on, interactive, participatory class, walking through the book of Philippians as we learn some methods of inductive Bible study.  For more info, contact Doug Smith at 423- 646- 1825 or by the form at this link.

CAPS Reunion This Friday, August 8

We’re planning to have a CAPS reunion & dinner this Friday at Bancroft Bible Camp in Kingsport from 6 to around 8 p.m.

If you’re a CAPS student or graduate and haven’t received info about this, or you would like to RSVP, please shoot me an email at capsministry @ gmail.com.  We need to have our head count in place by Wednesday so we can have enough food.

Hope to see you there!