søndag 30. august 2015

Romans 12 (David Cook)

Here is the "highlights" of Romans 1-11 plus the reading of chapter 12: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-DSjRONViGJVUJfLWFiQXZGNG8/view?usp=sharing

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The following are the notes I (Daniel) took during the sermon when we heard it live at Word Alive in Wales (Easter 2015):

Romans 12 The renewed mind – David Cook

Muller – 10 000 children in orphanages! Muller “In my judgement it is the first daily duty, supreme and ultimate importance secret of effectual service; to see your souls happy/healthy in the Lord.”
Pray (Adam stopped talking to God, Christ brings us back)

Paul begins with the gospel...
What do I tell myself every day
No-one speaks more to me than I do. Lloyd Jones: Christians need to talk to themselves .
JI Packer pg 256:
“I am a child of God,
God is my Father,
Heaven is my home,
every day is closer to heaven,
my Saviour is my brother.
Every Christian is my brother too

Rom 5:1 the first great therefore of Romans: THEREFORE
Rom 8:1 Therefore now no condemnation
Rom 12:1 THEREFORE I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy.

Ch 1-11 in view of Gods MERCIES (plural) – in view of salvation, propitiation, Holy Spirit leading you in battle against sin nature.
Illustration: Archbishop’s sermon on Rom 12 on Royal coronation. We were urged to be servants like the Queen. But both failed – both missed part 1 “in view of God’s mercies” in view of what God’s done for us in Christ.
Illustration: Why Johnny can’t preach – ethical exhortation must never be divorced from redemptive context. God never does that. He never tells us what to do without telling us WHY.

We are in perfect relationship with God. Therefore you are to offer YOU as a LIVING sacrifice. The death of Jesus makes the whole OT sacrificial system redundant – but it has been replaced with living sacrifice
What should I say to me about me: “God has been merciful to me. Therefore I live for him”
cf 2 Cor 5:14-15 Chris died for all so that all who live might no longer live for themselves but for him
One outworking 1 Cor 6:18 Flee because YOU do not belong to YOU, you belong to the one who redeemed you. I am not mine, I am his.
You, because of God’s mercies, no longer belong to you.
This is your spiritual worship – the word spiritual is actually the word LOGICAL. It is a reasonable response. CT Studd “If Jesus Christ be God and died for then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him” (as he left all his estates in England to go as missionary)

Resist the world. Do not allow the world to press you into its mould. Adam: Serve self, divorce God. But rather (passive) be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Does not say by the renewing of your emotions. Reasonable rational.

Be driven by right thinking. Early Christians were the best thinkers of their age. Betrand Russell “most people would rather die than think – and most people do”

As Christian we properly use our minds

Turn over Rom 1:25 – the great exchange. We swapped out God v28 depraved mind.
How could people do such things? Because they worship the created instead of the Creator
Rom 12 we no longer have that counterfeit mind. We have a new mind. 12:2 is able to test and approve God’s will. Not given over to perversion. To a mind that now reverences God.
Transformation springs from a new mind that can make proper moral choices.

1min read Bible 4min think about what you read! Cultivate your mind.
Be lead by your brain, not by other parts of your anatomy!!!

Now Paul takes this up and applies it
v3-8 how you think about yourself
Not more highly than you ought. You don’t have all the gifts you need, but you do have some of them. Be interdependent. You are not the body, but you are part of the body. You need to serve.

How am I going to respond to my fellow believers?v9 -11
How does enthusiasm and vigour come? By service!
How do we get joy? Through prayer (not singing and dancing)
Practice hospitality with great vigour. (Here’s some money – no! feed them, give them shelter in our home)

How do I relate to the world that hates me v15
BLESS them, and do not curse them.
rejoice with my enemy who’s rejoicing

no class structure in the church

don’t take revenge but leave room for God’s wrath. So contrary to the world.

The unheeded Christ. Michael Hart – ranks Jesus no. 3 because he does not see Christians loving their enemies or teaching their children to love their enemies.

None of these come naturally to me!
You do not belong to you.

In view of God’s mercies do you see yourself as a living sacrifice.
We cannot claim the benefit of redemption without the implications
Illustration: sold house. Paid for – please give keys. No I want to keep the keys. Impossible to be paid and keep the keys. Impossible to be redeemed but keep living the same way!

I have been redeemed
I no longer live for me
I live for my saviour
I serve my brothers
I respond to an antagonistic world generously.

søndag 23. august 2015

Romans 5:1-8:39 (David Cook)

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The following are the notes I (Daniel) took during the sermon when we heard it live at Word Alive in Wales (Easter 2015):

Word Alive 2015 – Romans 8 The way to maturity – David Cook  

From ch1-5 question: Well, does it matter then how I live? Paul anticipates this in chapter 6. Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!

Problem of legalism or licence!

5:18-19 many will be made righteous. Are you Adam’s person or are you Christ’s person.

Illustrated in chapter 6. Baptism. Don’t you realise you were baptised into Christ. Died to Adam (old way) raised to new life.
Slave market – don’t you realise you are dead to the old master impurity
7:1ff marriage – can remarry only after death of spouse. Death has intervened – you have died to law, now free to marry Christ and new life.

6:11 in the same way make this calculation about yourselves: dead to sin, alive to Christ. (First command in Romans).

Legalism – dead to law. But licence is not an option! Dead to sin, alive to Christ.

Rom 8. Very hard to be a Christian in Nero’s Rome.

Will my past come back to condemn me
Am I a servant (can be fired) or a son (never taken away)?
What about my suffering?  Is this consistent with being Christ’s man, and can these things wreck God’s plans?

We need to keep hearing about justification again and again. Paul reminds us again and again: for the justified there is NO CONDEMNATION, Wooo!
Justification Past (what Christ has done), present (what Holy Spirit is doing)and future (what God will do)

V1-4 The past
No condemnation for those in Christ Jesus – because the rule of the Spirit which we have received has set us free from death. The law could not save us because we cannot do them. So v3 God sends his son as a pure man to be a sin offering – to meet the demands of the law in those how now live
The death of the innocent for the undeserving.
People will do anything (pilgrimage, even eat dirt) except trust in Jesus.
We cannot bear the guilt of our sin. Our past is gone. Guilt has been dealt with.

V5 the present
Q: am I well enough resourced in this conflict between the sin nature and the spirit.
The FIGHT. War of our natures. V9 you are NOT controlled by the sin nature. If you belong to Christ you have the Spirit.
I looked for the dove, and it flew away. I looked to the cross, and the dove flew into my heart (Spurgeon)
V10 body is dead because of sin, but alive to Christ cf 2 Cor 4:16 We do not lose heart.
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the assurance of our resurrection.
Born. Born again / regenerated. Die. Soul will be with Christ in paradise.” You do not have a soul. You are a soul – you have a body” CS Lewis. We will come with Christ in the clouds. Resurrection body will clothe my soul.
My body is depreciating because of the wages of sin. But we will be raised to life again.
Only talks 2 times about leading of spirit. Led by the Spirit to v13 put to death misdeeds of the body. You do not have an obligation to the sinful nature. We do not need to obey the sinful nature!
When was the last time you gave in to your sinful nature and said “oh that was good, I’m so glad I did that!”
Trust the Holy Spirit to lead you in the path of moral transformation
V15 You did not receive a spirit of fear, but a sprit which cries Abba father. “I dared to call him Father”.
V22 all creation is groaning
v23 we also groan as we wait for new creation
V26 Spirit helps us in our weakness but He intercedes for us.
Sometimes life is so hard I simply don’t know what to pray. Spirit intercedes for us. The paraclete, said Jesus – He is who is alongside.

The future
V28-29 Things are not out of control. In all things God is at work. It does not say that all things work out for the best (as a universal principle) – it says God is at WORK. Even when we are being slaughtered, in hardship.
2 qualifiers.
1.Only those loved by God. (human perspective)
Those called by God (divine perspective)
2. what is the good? To be conformed to the likeness of Christ. Christ is in family of God by right. We are there by grace. God’s agenda is to make us like our elder brother, Christ.
Cf Gal 4 (They’re being tempted to go back to law) v19 In labour pains (life of pastor!) until Christ formed in you.

threefold office
prophet – word of God
priest – prays to God 
king – rules
We have a kingly ministry. We reign over every event of life. Nothing ultimately harmful for me because it will make me like Christ. How comforting for you, how annoying for your enemies!
Illustration: Donald bought a new car. Loved it (finally saved up) Son Andrew crashed it. “Are you all right, son” Changed his life.

Paul concludes with three questions v31-21
is there an enemy who can prevail? No
is there an effective accuser on judgement day? No because the judge is on your side
is there anything that can frustrate the purposes of God? No! We are more than conquerors because nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ.
Are you Christ’s? Or Adams? Remember who you belong to?

JI Packer 5things (pg 257):
I am a child of God
Heaven is my home
Every day is one day nearer heaven
My saviour is my brother
All Christians are therefore my brothers and sisters

søndag 16. august 2015

Romans 3:21-5:2 (David Cook)

Click the link for this morning's sermon. 
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The following are the notes I (Daniel) took during the sermon when we heard it live a Word Alive in Wales (Easter 2015):

1.2 Romans 3:21-4:8 A unique prescription - David Cook

On safari in Kruger. Car starting unreliably. Bull elephant – “mostly” bluffing! Charged. Authentic elephant experience. Before that I had only seen elephants in zoos and circus – changed up. Counterfeit elephants.

There are counterfeit Christianities. Majority of Christians have counterfeit Christianity. Eg Some Catholic friends believe in Jesus but also based on their own good works. No assurance. There is nothing momentous about the counterfeit gospel.

Jesus PLUS my works is not momentous Because I can never be sure.

If we die without repenting do we go to heaven? So many people believe that we won’t go to heaven because of unconfessed sin.

When we start in the Christian life we know we stand only on the basis of Christ’s work. But we start substituting OUR works for Christ’s work!

Saved through faith in Jesus but live by faith in works – counterfeit gospel.

Rom 1:17 from faith from first to last – v20 law makes us conscious of sin, v21 but NOW has been made known (Paul didn’t discover it or make it up – revealed) . This righteousness from God comes through the faithful work of Christ and all who believe in that work.

v23 none of us have any righteousness.

Justified: legal court. The word is the noun form of the word righteousness. Means we are in the right with God. Legal declaration. Freely by grace, not what we deserve.(Mercy is withholding punishment due – grace is rewarding the opposite behaviour. Illustration: break in – please don’t report me to police. I won’t (mercy). Do you have 10 dollars? I was willing to show mercy (not report to police) but not grace (reward bad behaviour)

But how can God justify guilty unrighteous people and still be righteous?
v24 redemption by Christ Jesus. business world, pawn broker (cash converters) – buy back. Something in bondage, has to be bought back. Something that was yours, now buying it back. What is the price? The perfect life of Jesus given in death (“his blood”). This is what God’s justice requires: a perfect life. This is what God’s love provides: a perfect life.
This demonstrates God’s justice.
Luther: I reached heaven when I saw that God’s righteousness was not God’s requirement but God’s provision!
I don’t become perfect any more than Jesus becomes actually sinful. But it is a transaction that takes place.

3rd word: v25 sacrifice of atonement / propitiation. From Temple. Jesus sacrificial death absorbs the just anger of God.
It is an idea common to pagan religions – sacrificing maidens to monster. But God’s is not angry for no reason, and he provides his own sacrifice!


/ justified            ^\propitiation
US   <-redemptive      Jesus
Arrows point away from Jesus – his work is central. Points to us we are the recipients.
Jesus propitiates God’s wrath ; redeems us.
On the basis of Jesus’ work God the Father then justifies us.

No conditional element in our relationship with God.  (human relationships are always  conditional)

Rom 10:1. God provides righteousness but they reject God’s righteousness. And that is Israel’s problem.  It’s all about provision not requirement.

ALL RELIGION IS A HEARTLESS BULLY. Religion must be stamped out and stopped. Religion is cruel and unremitting. Making constant demands that are impossible to meet.  The only things that can stop this bully is Jesus Christ.

Our righteousness is filth. It is done. It is not do.
God is not sulking with you!

V27-28 3 implications.
no boasting. Because no law, and even faith is a gift!
open to all. Everyone on same basis of Christ
nullify law? No because Jesus fulfils the law.

“Do I hear somebody say that I dreamt this up? Is this new?” NO! Look at Abraham.  This is the experience of Abraham. God spoke, Abraham believed. It was by faith, not by his works.
But isn’t this only for the circumcised? No! You cannot say that circumcision (obeying law) was what made him right with God. Only by faith.
Isn’t this the law? No because it hadn’t come yet!
14 years before circumcision, 430 years before law. No law, no rite – only faith.

God’s Spirit does not send me back to the law – He takes me to Jesus.
V23 Abraham’s story is for us. It is by faith.

Have you collapsed all your weight onto Jesus. Or have you collapsed most onto him and a bit on us? Because that’s a counterfeit gospel.

Why should I let you into heaven? Because I... NO! Because Jesus.
Have I been good enough? NO! But Jesus has.

5:1 Since we have been justified by faith:
1. God is at peace with us
2. Access (landing platform) into life of grace (unconditional because opposite to what we deserve)
3. Rejoice at glory of God

Do you not find gospel good news / momentous news because you are relying on yourself – a counterfeit gospel.  

søndag 9. august 2015

Romans 1:1-3:20 (David Cook)

Click the link for this morning's sermon. 
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The following are the notes I (Daniel) took during the sermon when we heard it live a Word Alive in Wales (Easter 2015):

1.    Romans – David Cook

Romans 1:18-32 A Perfect Diagnosis

1991 audience with Pope. Rome needs Romans. So does London, Cardiff, Notodden

Romans starts 1:1 – not about people, a man. Paul (little) a slave (one without rights) set apart (fenced off) for? The GOSPEL of God. What’s it about? His SON: humanity – son of David (king); divine son – designated divine by resurrection from dead.
Gospel of God – it belongs to God. I’m not free to edit it – to add to it or to subtract it.

Three “I am” statements of Paul: v14 I am under obligation. V15 I am eager to share the gospel. V16 I am not ashamed.

Not good news – momentous news. Not necessarily good – but momentous (earth shattering).

It is God’s momentous news addressed at the central issue: v17 a righteousness of God.
About the righteous God who makes unrighteous righteous in a righteous way – through faith.

Romans answers the question: how can I be right with God.

Do you want good news or bad news first? Rom 1-3 is the bad news.

The unrighteous cannot help themselves. If you want to understand good news, momentous news – you must understand our predicament.
“This is a mongrel world – who has any answers”. Secularist has no answers because too optimistic about our nature.

Where are we most weak in our theological understanding? Our understanding of ourselves. Calvin: all true wisdom consists of two parts knowledge of God and knowledge of ourselves, and these two are linked.
Krustchev: Communisms failure is its failure to produce the selfless man.

What do you believe about humanity?
What does God say?

V18. It begins “the wrath of God”. If God is righteous, then he must be angry! He hates unrighteousness and has a just desire to punish it.
It is the idea of a crushing weight.

It is being revealed, being revealed now. Why? Godlessness – no respect for God. Wickedness – no respect for people.
People should have v21 glorified him.
But v23 they exchanged the glory of God revealed in created order for “the lie” idols. They worshipped the created instead of creator.
This is our human condition. So how does God react? God gave them over. It is the passive judgement of God. Teenager comes and says “I never want to see you again” parents say “you will never see us again”.
Degrading our bodies, sexual confusion. Inflamed with lust for one another. Extreme lust which will never be satisfied.
But that’s not all. A depraved mind – a counterfeit mind. Arrogant boastful etc. (v28-31). They do not only do evil, but encourage others do
Is your battle same sex attraction? Good to be here. But note that God’s diagnosis is not just limited to v26! Also v24 (uncleanness) v26 (sexual confusion) v28 (unclean mind).
Problem is theological.

Wants us to see that we are under the wrath of God.

This is reality. Christianity has a realistic assessment of the human condition.

3 attitudes.
1.    But we’d never do these awful things (2:1 self-righteousness)
You’re passing judgement – but you do the same things? Do you think you’ll escape God’s judgement? Your failure is judgementalism – your heart is hard and you despise his kindness.
Here is the problem v6 God will give to each person individually and each person universally.
and v11 God does not play favourites. Self-righteous man your problem is God.

2.    But we never knew! (ignorant)
V12 God will not judge you by what you did not have.
But their conscience judges them!
On judgement day the unreached ignorant national will be sometimes defended by following his conscience – other times condemned

3.    The Jew – we did know!
V20 you promote the law – but do you obey it?? Do you actually promote the law. No! God’s name is blasphemed  v24.

If you trust in your performance you will be condemned before God

But Jew says “circumcision” – you can’t take that away from me.
But Paul destroys that – circumcision only as useful as internal circumcision.

If you’re a law-breaker you cannot trust in a rite. “praise is not from man but God”
No haven in religion, good deeds, or ignorance.

Paul then addresses the question the Jews would come with:

What advantage then in being a Jew?
Many – but names only one: revelation of God.

Does their faithlessness then nullify God’s faithfulness? Can God come with wrath to his people and still be faithful. Yes! Because he made promises and warnings.

V5 But how can God judge me if my sin is bringing God’s glory into focus? That is just an evil argument!!

Every human excuse and every claim that I am exempt from God’s wrath DEMOLISHED.

Sums up now with quotes from OT.: Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah.
V10-12. No-one x8. Am I condemned? YES! Am I exempt? No. NO ONE is.
V13 -22 Conduct. 6 parts of our body (if you want to know what’s in our hearts listen to our words)
throats unclean (open graves, like touching a corpse). Do not trust them. Mouths overflow with cursing.
feet swift to shed blood, ruin and misery mark their ways. Statistics – abortion statistics.

There is no fear of God before their eyes. Psalm 36. V2- he flatters himself that his sin will not be found out. He even imagines himself to not be a sinner. V4 plans evil. Why? Because no fear of God.
3:19-20 straight edge of the law shows us how crooked we are.

Law is just a thermometer which tells me I’ve got a problem. Taking my temperature daily does not solve the problem. I need medicine!!

I need rescue from outside myself. It is a dangerous and wicked fantasy to think that we are right with God (God is our mate). No! We are in trouble with the righteous God because we are unrighteous.

Religion is simply cruel – it is a bully - because it calls on us to do the impossible and then threatens us with the horrific if we don’t do the impossible. Read ALL the religious books – because they tell us what to do. In Romans we are not given one command until Rom 6:11! And then that’s something to do with our mind!
Christianity is marked by the triumphant indicative: what God has done, not what we must do.

søndag 2. august 2015

Psalm 2. Kiss the Son, and you will be free.

Psalm 2

I remember a friend of mine at University utterly broken one Monday morning. I asked him what was wrong. Turns out he’d cheated on his girlfriend that weekend, and she’d left him. He was devastated. But what stuck with me was the words he said about cheating on her with this other girl. He said “I couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t want to cheat on her. But I couldn’t stop myself.”

He was free. Free to do whatever he wanted. And he found that that freedom was not freedom but slavery. He could not stop himself. Slave to his own desires.

Psalm 2. Kiss the Son, and you will be free.

(By the way, this is called Kiss the Son because the literal translation for v12 “Submit to God’s royal son” is “Kiss the Son”. I think it’s such a brilliant picture as we submit to this great King, we come forward to kiss him.)

We want to be free! Free from what? Free from God.

1. We want to be free from God

Ps 2:1–12 (NLT) Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? 2 The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one. 3 “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”

The word “nations” is goy-yem – the foreign nations or Gentiles. That is those who are not God’s people. What the New Testament often calls “the world”. Why is the world so angry? Why is the world preparing for battle, making plans, plotting against the Lord and his anointed one?

The answer is in v3: they want to be free. 3 “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”

That is our default position as human beings. We do not want to serve God. We want to be God. Little girls dream of being the princess, not the scullery maid. Little boys dream of being the king, or the knight, not the wine-taster or the stable hand!

Our desire for self-glory rather than God-glory goes right back to our rebellion in the garden of Eden, when Eve, looking at the fruit that God said “do not eat”… reached out her hand, and took it, and ate. I will decide for myself what is right and wrong. I will decide whether God should be obeyed or not. I will be God in my life. I’m not going to listen to anyone else. Why should I? I want to be free!

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Freedom. You know what the problem with defining freedom like that is? Freedom without constraints, freedom to do what you want, when you want. The problem is that that definition of freedom has no place for love. Because love is a constraint. You love someone and you are no longer “free”. You are bound to them. Their ups and downs are your ups and downs. Their joys your joys. Their sorrows your sorrows. There is something very wrong with our idea of freedom when it has at its core not love, but selfishness.

See, we were made for love, for relationship. We were made to love God, and love each other. But we decided to love not him, but love ourselves. But “loving yourself” is not love – that’s selfishness. Unsurprisingly, basing our new world order on selfishness instead of love for God broke our relationships with each other. So much hate in this world. So much anger and heartache and war and cruelty. Even in our own lives we lash out at the ones we love. Say hurtful things. We let them down. We break promises. We lie. And they do the same to us. We’re in a mess.

And it is all because we decided to be “free”. What a lie that freedom has turned out to be! Being free to do whatever you want makes us slaves to ourselves – our every whim, every change of emotion. We can choose anything – but we’re terrified we’ll choose the wrong thing – so we do nothing. How many of us use our freedom to sit and do nothing, paralysed by indecision. How many just drift through life, never achieving anything. Freedom?

Remember my friend at University. He said “I couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t want to cheat on her. But I couldn’t stop myself.” His freedom turned out to be slavery: A slave to himself, his own desires.

We, the angry nations, want to be free from God. We want to be king in our lives – but

2. The Lord has already set his chosen King on the throne

Did you notice the first word in the Psalm? “Why?” Why do we fight against the Lord? Why do we lay plans? Why do we rebel? Because it is pointless. Why do they waste their time with futile plans? (Futile means useless, wasted, unsuccessful).

So, we shake our fists in rebellion against God. Like an army, we link arms and march together. Millions upon millions of us, throughout time and history – we march. We march against this God. “Who does he think he is”, shouts our Captain, our Commander, Lucifer, also known as Satan. “God wants to chain you down – will you be chained?” He shouts. “No”, comes our answering cry.

What is the response in heaven? Is there worry? Is there shuffling of plans, reorganisation of defences? Does the Lord send out a negotiator, to bargain with us? Come up with some power-sharing agreement?
There is mocking laughter.

4 But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. 6 For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.”

As the Lord looks on our terrible rebellion, he is not concerned. We are like a puff of wind, a speck of dust. It reminds me of one of my favourite verses which is from Revelation 20:8 [Satan] will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore. 9 And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. What’s going to happen? You expect some sort of epic battle like in the Lord of the Rings, swords and heroism and desperate charges and big speeches.
But the next sentence is so brilliantly unexpected: But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them. That’s it. Done. The rebellion is over. Evil’s time is up.

Evil is no threat to God. It is his patience that delays the final judgement – that we have a chance to “Kiss the Son” before the hammer falls.

You can imagine the scene in heaven’s throne room. An angelic messenger running in – “Lord, they’ve surrounded us – a vast army.” And the Lord just bursts out laughing “Have they really. Oh dear.” And he walks out to see our might – and again laughs “Look at that. Is that the best you can do? Maybe I’ll give you a little puff from my nostril?” And at that the army is blown backwards.
Just do that now – blow through your nostrils. Not very powerful is it? But in Exodus 15:8 it is the “weak” breath from God’s nostrils that raises up the waters of the Red Sea and brings them crashing down again in judgement on the mighty army of Egypt. That’s what he can do with a little puff of breath from his nostrils!

Mighty does not begin to describe the power of God.

So it is unsurprising that he laughs at our rebellion. That he mocks our puny fists. We are no threat to him. We cannot bargain with him. We cannot demand to share power. We have nothing.

Actually, what I’ve just said about the army falling backwards in terror from the blast from his nostrils is not true – at least not here in Psalm 2. Because what is it that terrifies us? It is not a display of power. God does not get up there and flex his muscles. What terrifies us is what he says. It is there in v5 Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. 6 For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.”

What do we find terrifying? That the Lord has placed his chosen king on the throne. It is too late! I will never be King. I cannot be King. The Lord has already chosen the King and he is not me! That’s what terrifies us.

Isn’t that surprising? When I first read the Psalm I thought that God was displaying his power or something. Thunder and lightning – shock and awe – that kind of thing. I read v5 and 6 separately. But v6 starts with “for”: because. We are terrified because his King is already established, and we cannot win. We are forever rebels, terrorists instead of freedom fighters. Our cause is not just, we are not right. And now it is too late. The true King is upon the throne, and he is all powerful. Our rebellion is pointless.

The Lord has already set his chosen King on the throne. So let us listen to the words of God’s King.

3. The King speaks

7 The king proclaims the LORD’s decree: “The LORD said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. 8 Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. 9 You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’ ”

Did you notice that the King speaks only what the Lord has said? He proclaims the Lord’s decree. He is King under God. That is what the king should be. The reflection of God on earth. The visible image of the invisible God. Now, as Christians we know that that King is Jesus. Indeed, we might even remember that Jesus said in John 14:24 “my words are not my own, but my Father’s who sent me.

Jesus is God’s chosen King. But how did we get there? This Psalm wasn’t written for Jesus. The person writing it didn’t know. So why did he write it, how did he use it, and how did it come to so clearly be about Jesus? This is the work we need to do reading the Old Testament. We first need to understand it in its original context, then we need to ask the question “what difference does it make that Jesus has come”. And only then can we see how it applies to us. We’re on this side of the Cross, and so we have to take application from before the Cross through the Cross. Otherwise we’ll get into all sorts of trouble!

Well it seems based on the content of this Psalm that it was used in the coronation of Israel’s kings (when they were crowned king). And it’s all based on the promise God made to King David in 2 Sam 7. 2 Sam 7 is one of the great promises in the Old Testament, second only to the promise made to Abraham. In 2 Samuel 7 God promises David that from him will come a number of kings, leading up to the Great King of Israel who will rule the world forever and who will build the Temple of God, the meeting place between God and Man. So from David’s line would come God’s King who would bring man and God together.

So every time a new king appeared there was this hope that maybe this one would fulfil the promises of God. So they would sing Psalm 2. Maybe this one would subdue the nations and bring in a golden age of world-wide worship of God. But they also knew the track-record of the kings, and how often they sinned and ruined everything. So Psalm 2 was also a warning to them or a reminder to them of how they should rule as kings. That they have a decree from God to rule – but rule as He has said.

Jesus, we know, was descended from David. Jesus did only what his Father said. Jesus was the meeting place between God and man, the true Temple found in him, found in his own body: The God-man Jesus Christ. Jesus, too, was called the Son of God. 7 The LORD said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father.’

Now if you remember back to our series on Exodus, you will remember the nation of Israel being called the son of God. Israel was God’s Son. So why is the King called the son? Because he came to represent the nation of Israel before God. In the King is the nation.

In the same way Jesus, the perfect King, is our perfect representative before God. And we who are in Christ are called sons of God.

We see this in Acts 4 in the prayer of the Christians: 24 O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them 25 you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying, ‘Why were the nations so angry? Why did they waste their time with futile plans? 26 The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the LORD and against his Messiah.’
note how they now see Psalm 2 as pointing to the Messiah. Not just an anointed one, not just the king, but the promised Messiah – the rescuer of Israel. Why? Because they saw it being fulfilled. V27 continues 27 “In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. 28 But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will.

When they saw the risen Jesus they suddenly saw with eyes of faith this same Jesus on the cross, crown of thorns upon his head, the charge against him above his head “the king of the Jews” – and instead of his failure they understood this was his coronation. The Cross was Christ’s crowning achievement! There was the King, the true King of Israel, taking his place once for all. Here was the true Son of God, our representative. Here was the King who only spoke what the Father said. Here was the King who was given the whole earth as his possession, the nations as his inheritance.
And here we are, the nations, gathered together by the King.

Jesus says in John 8:36 If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. He offers true freedom. Freedom to be what you were born to be. Freedom to serve the true King. And as we give ourselves to him we find our true selves. We find power to love, truly love others. We find compassion and truth and goodness in us which we didn’t have before. And the ability to say no to sin, no to that which is wrong, no even to our own desires. We are free from the tyranny of ourselves, and can relax, given over to our Heavenly Father, who does only what is good for us. True freedom is found in Christ.

Jesus is God’s King, and he is established on the throne. He was crowned on the Cross, revealed to be the King in power with his resurrection. There is none like him, and there is no-one who can take his place. He is the King forever. I am not the King. You are not the King. And no-one else is the King. Only Jesus.

And soon he will return. And anyone who stands against him will fall. So, what do we do? Well, Psalm 2 applies this for us.

4. Kiss the Son

10 Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! 11 Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Submit to God’s royal son (lit. “Kiss the Son”), or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities— for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!

Be wise, you “kings”. Rebellion is foolish and ultimately futile. Rebellion will lead to being smashed like broken pottery by Jesus’ iron rod. There is only one King, and you’re not him. So submit to the King. Come forward and kiss the Son.

There are only two ways to live. For yourself, in rebellion, for a “freedom” that is not free – and he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities. Or live for him, take refuge in Him, and experience eternal joy and true freedom. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!

As I was preparing this I was listening to the soundtrack for the Chronicles of Narnia. In the Narnia books Aslan, the Jesus figure, is a Lion. One of the characters asks “Is he a tame lion.” The answer? “A tame lion?! Oh no, he’s not a tame lion. But he is Good.”

We do not serve a tame God. He is not domesticated – a pet to have around when we want or to dismiss when we want. Like Aslan the lion he is powerful, dangerous, able to tear you apart. Like Aslan he is good. But not a tame goodness “oh that’s lovely” – but Goodness, hard as rock, unyielding as iron, which wickedness and rebellion will be smashed against. So make right with him before you are smashed to pieces on the Rock.

There is no time to waste v12 for his anger flares up in an instant. When should you repent? NOW! Because you don’t know when he will return or call you home. When will you die and stand before the King? Don’t be like a friend of mine and say “Oh, I believe, but I want to have my fun now. Have a few years being “free””. That was twenty years ago. And he’s still living in rebellion against God. He is not free. He is bound by sin, his own desire to be king. And he cannot break it. Don’t be like him. Get right with the Son now.

We, the angry nations want to be free from God. But he has already put his King on the throne. Our rebellion is futile. It will only end in destruction. So cry out to the King – forgive me! Kiss the Son, and take refuge in Him. And this powerful King will smile like the noonday sun in all his brightness and glory and say – the price has been paid, you have been set free! Come in and join me, and rejoice!