Archive for June 5th, 2009

This is from Carson’s book The Cross and the Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians.

The ways of destroying the church are many and colorful. Raw factionalism will do it. Rank heresy will do it. Taking your eyes off the cross and letter other, more peripheral matters dominate the agenda will do it–admittedly more slowly than frank heresy, but just as effectively on the long haul. Building the church with superficial ‘conversions’ and wonderful programs that rarely bring people into a deepening knowledge of the living God will do it. Entertaining people to death but never fostering the beauty of holiness or the centrality of self-crucifying love will build an assembly of religious people, but it will destroy the church of the living God. Gossip, prayerlessness, bitterness, sustained biblical illiteracy, self-promotion, materialism–all of these things, and many more, can destroy a church. And to do so is dangerous: ‘If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple’ (1 Cor. 3:17). It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (83-84

Well said.



Here are my notes on Psalm 130. I hope you find them to be a blessing. I relied on resources from Eugene Peterson, Walter Kaiser, JI Packer, and a couple of other commentaries. I have pasted an excerpt below. Thanks for stopping by.

Psalm 130: De Profundis

PS 130:1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
PS 130:2 O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
PS 130:3 If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
PS 130:4 But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.
PS 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
PS 130:6 My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
PS 130:7 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
PS 130:8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

He begins in the depths. I’m not persuaded that by the end of this Psalm, short as it is, that he has been extricated from that situation. “Out of the depths…I cry to you….Out of the depths…I wait on you…Out of the depths…I put my hope in you.” Maybe as he looks back, if he is looking back, he sees that his wait was long; but as long as he waited he was in the depths.

If we remain in the depths, will we continue to hope, cry and wait on the Lord? The action here is passive: I wait. I hope. I cry out. The action, though, belongs to the Lord who acts: He moves. He inspires. He answers. We can do nothing in the depths until the Lord does this moving, inspiring, answering. Ask, Seek, and Knock. But that’s all. We wait.

Still, our voices must be exposed if he is to hear. Our situation must be declared if he is to rescue us. Maybe so long as we continue to fool ourselves—thinking we are not in the depths and therefore quite and rather in control of our lives—he won’t come to us or hear us or answer us or be attentive to us. Perhaps he won’t, can’t?, answer those who do not call out to him from the depths?

What does the individual learn that he will pass along to the congregation? “I Cry out…Israel, put your hope in the Lord.” This is testimony.

The action is all the Lord’s action. He hears. He forgives. He comes. His Word. His unfailing Love. His hope. His redemption. He service. All is from the Lord and redirected to him.

In who else can we hope? For who else can we wait? Who else’s love is unfailing? Who else forgives? Who else hears our cries for mercy? Who else makes us stand? Who else’s word is worthy of our hope? Who else is faithful? This Psalm speaks to us of a consistent and faithful God who can be trusted even when we are crying out of the depths. We may wait; likely will. But as sure as the morning comes, the Lord will hear us. He is worthy of our hope and trust.