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Three Great Imputations: The Imputation of God’s Righteousness to Believers

September 30, 2012 by  
Filed under The Latest from Our Blog

S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week

Three Great Imputations: The Imputation of God’s Righteousness to Believers
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson begins a series on the relationship of God with the church.  Dr. Johnson describes the source and head of God’s imputations: Christ Jesus.

Scripture Reference: Romans 3:21-26

Click here to listen: The Imputation of God’s Righteousness to Believers

Transcript Excerpt:

Our subject for this morning is “A Cameo of Jesus Christ.”  We have a friend, my wife and I, who likes his own picture.  And some time ago, we visited in the home and we were really amazed to discover how many pictures of himself he had placed around the house.  [Laughter]  And the more we saw these pictures, the more we became curious about just how many pictures were in the house.  And I am happy to report that my wife was able to make a count [Laughter] and discovered that there were seventeen portraits of the head of the house in the house.  [Laughter]

Now, these were of various types, full paintings down to little photographs, snapshots.  Of course, if we entered into someone’s house and we found this situation, we would naturally comment upon it because it does seem a little bit unusual.  If we were to enter into an art gallery and as we went from room to room we should eventually discover that the photographs in the art gallery were all of one person, I think we should be a little surprised by that.

One of the things about the Bible is that wherever you go there is a photograph of Jesus Christ.  Whatever book you take up in the Bible, whether it be Genesis or Revelation or Romans or even the Book of Ecclesiastes, still it speaks of Jesus Christ.  In fact, our Lord himself is the authority for that.  For he said to the Jewish men of his day, “Ye search the scriptures; for in them ye think that ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Read the full transcript here…

Three Great Imputations: The Imputation of Human Sin to Jesus Christ

September 23, 2012 by  
Filed under The Latest from Our Blog

S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week

Three Great Imputations: The Imputation of Human Sin to Jesus Christ
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson explains the purpose of Christ in receiving the judgment reserverd for sinners.

Scripture Reference: Galatians 3:10-14

Click here to listen: The Imputation of Human Sin to Jesus Christ

Transcript Excerpt

One of the signs of our decadent age is its antipathy to dogma or doctrine.  And in fact, often in order to create an impression of disapprobation, the term doctrine is converted to dogma, because dogma does have a bad sound.  The apex of this antipathy to doctrine or dogma is directed toward theology, often even among Christians.  Although, most often among pagans.

About three years ago Mr. Charles Schultz in Woman’s Day magazine had a cartoon of about three pages long entitled “A Christmas Story.”  And I liked it because it had to do with theology.  It began with some pictures of Linus reading accounts of the Christmas story to Snoopy.  And he listened as he heard him speak about the Shepherd and about the glory of the Lord shining round about them, and about the gospel message, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”  And then Linus looked at Snoopy and said, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Snoopy.”  And in the next page Lucy is putting a letter into the United States mailbox and Snoopy is standing over on the side looking at her.  And then he follows along with her and he hears her explanation of Christmas.  And it is, “Then on Christmas Eve he flies through the air in a sleigh with a bunch of reindeer and brings all these kids the things they’ve asked for.  Why I don’t know,” Lucy says.  And then Snoopy in the last picture is back on his dog house, lying on his back reflecting.  “I’m going to have to be careful; all this theology could ruin my Christmas.”

Read the full transcript here…

Three Great Imputations: The Imputation of Adam’s Sin to His Posterity

September 16, 2012 by  
Filed under The Latest from Our Blog

S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week

Three Great Imputations: The Imputation of Adam’s Sin to His Posterity
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds the nature of sin and condemnation as the result of Adam’s disobedience as the representative head of mankind.

Scripture Reference: Romans 5:12-21

Click here to listen: The Imputation of Adam’s Sin to His Posterity

Transcript Excerpt

Since it is my privilege to preach to you for three Sundays before I leave for North Carolina and my porch and put my feet on the banister and rest for a month or so, I want to speak on three great theological texts.  And the general theme of these three messages will be three great theological imputations or the Imputation of sin, satisfaction, satisfaction of Jesus Christ, and salvation.  And today, particularly on the imputation of Adam’s sin to his posterity.

The Christian church has lost the sense of the importance of theology and consequently the Christian church is weak.  We often hear the cliché “deeds are everything while beliefs are unimportant.”  And really there could not be any statement that is more damaging to the truth of the word of God than the statement “belief is unimportant, deeds are everything.”  Dr. Samuel Johnson said to Boswell over 100 years ago with reference to a man who denied the existence of a moral order, “If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why sir, when he leaves our house, let us count our spoons.”  [Laughter]  And I think it is true to say that what a man believes determines what he does.  And so when we see a person doing certain things, it is almost always the product of what he really believes.  And so consequently it is the beliefs that really matter.  It is not the deeds for they are secondary.

Now, if we were to turn to the Bible and say beliefs are unimportant, but deeds are everything, it is obvious that we have the cart before the horse.

Now this was illustrated in my experience recently when I was in Memphis preaching.  I stayed at the home of one of the leading lawyers of the city of Memphis, an outstanding Christian man, one of the elders of the First Evangelical Church and a teacher of one of the adult classes, and a man who was very knowledgeable in the Bible.  And we got in quite a few friendly discussions and one of the first friendly discussion, mild argument, occurred on the breakfast of the second day I was there because in the course of discussion, he made a statement to the effect that seemed to depreciate theology.  And consequently I spoke up and said, “Now wait a minute, George.  Theology is the most important thing that we have.”  And I gave a little discourse on what I thought was the importance of theology [Laughter] and he replied, “Well, theology is for you preachers and professors.  I’m interested in that which is practical and useful for my daily life.”  And so with that, the discussion closed and I thought, well I have four or five more days to try to convince him of the truth.  And so I let it drop.

Read the full transcript here…

Three Great Imputations: A Cameo of Jesus Christ, Rev. 1:4-8

September 9, 2012 by  
Filed under SLJ Weekly Message, The Latest from Our Blog

S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week

Three Great Imputations: A Cameo of Jesus Christ
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson begins a series on the relationship of God with the church.  Dr. Johnson describes the source and head of God’s imputations: Christ Jesus.

Scripture Reference: Revelation 1:4-8

Click here to listen: A Cameo of Jesus Christ

Transcript Excerpt:

Our subject for this morning is “A Cameo of Jesus Christ.”  We have a friend, my wife and I, who likes his own picture.  And some time ago, we visited in the home and we were really amazed to discover how many pictures of himself he had placed around the house.  [Laughter]  And the more we saw these pictures, the more we became curious about just how many pictures were in the house.  And I am happy to report that my wife was able to make a count [Laughter] and discovered that there were seventeen portraits of the head of the house in the house.  [Laughter]

Now, these were of various types, full paintings down to little photographs, snapshots.  Of course, if we entered into someone’s house and we found this situation, we would naturally comment upon it because it does seem a little bit unusual.  If we were to enter into an art gallery and as we went from room to room we should eventually discover that the photographs in the art gallery were all of one person, I think we should be a little surprised by that.

One of the things about the Bible is that wherever you go there is a photograph of Jesus Christ.  Whatever book you take up in the Bible, whether it be Genesis or Revelation or Romans or even the Book of Ecclesiastes, still it speaks of Jesus Christ.  In fact, our Lord himself is the authority for that.  For he said to the Jewish men of his day, “Ye search the scriptures; for in them ye think that ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Read the full transcript here…

Is There Jewish Christianity Today?

November 11, 2011 by  
Filed under SLJ Weekly Message, The Latest from Our Blog

S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week

Is There Jewish Christianity Today?
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson introduces a series on Paul’s writings concerning the fulfillment of God’s promises made in the Old Testament. Dr. Johnson gives an exposition of Paul’s explanation of how Jews after Christ’s ministry participate in the promises.

Scripture Reference: Romans 11:1-6

Click here to listen: Is There Jewish Christianity Today?

Transcript Excerpt:

Our subject for our next few sessions together is “The Apostle Paul and the Purpose of the Ages.”  And we’re turning to Romans chapter 11 and looking at this marvelous chapter in a series of our studies here in this particular radio class.  The subject for today as we look at Romans chapter 11, and verse 1 through verse 6, is “Is There Jewish Christianity Today?”

The question of Israel’s place in the divine purpose has rarely been as relevant to life on this planet as it is today.  Standing at the critical center of the political and military uncertainties and anxieties of the nations is the Nation Israel.  Theologians of different persuasions recognize this fact.  Professor G. C. Berkouwer, one of the really notable Christian theologians of the twentieth century, in his book “The Return of Christ,” although denying in it that Israel the nation has an ethnic future, yet feels it necessary to explain why he must devote a chapter to the nation in his work.  He finds justification for discussing Israel and the future in two things, the renewed attention given to Israel on account of the tragic outbursts of anti-Semitism in our age and the rise of the Jewish state in the land of Palestine.

The issue of Israel rises constantly in our newspapers as they seek to report the life of the globe.  When President Reagan visits an un-denazified German cemetery in a state that is not now the state of Hitler, Hitlerism abounds in our world by another name, communism, the issue of Israel is again highlighted before the Western world as we reflect upon the demonic evil of the holocaust.

For the study of the divine purpose in Israel in the New Testament revelation, one must first and foremost consider Paul’s great chapters in his Epistle to the Romans.  It is in this letter alone that the apostle discusses thematically the future of Israel.  The discussion is found in Romans 9 through 11, and the reason for it is found in the subject matter of Romans 1 through 8.  While the entire epistle is an exposition of the gospel, chapters 1 through 8 form the doctrinal heart of the soteriology of Paul.

Read the full transcript here…

Evangelical Feminism and the Bible, part II – Galatians 3:38

September 11, 2011 by  
Filed under SLJ Weekly Message, The Latest from Our Blog

S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week

Evangelical Feminism and the Bible, part II
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson continues his discussion of feminism within evangelical thought by expounding the Apostle Paul’s teachings on the role of women in the early church.

Scripture Reference: Galatians 3:38

Click here to listen: Evangelical Feminism and the Bible, part II

Transcript Excerpt:

Last week we started our series of studies on evangelical feminism and the Bible.  And I started out by making what I think is an important form in the form of a question.  And it was, what is the unique significance of our maleness and our femaleness?  And have we really forgotten that?  Or are we so exposed to thoughts that are characteristic of our society that we do not realize what the word of God has said from its beginning.  I suggested that a question that most of the feminists cannot answer is a simple question that a child, a girl or a man or boy may ask his parents, “Dad what does it mean to be a man and not a woman?”  Or “Dad what does it mean to be a woman and not a man.”  These are questions that the Scriptures have significant things to say about in the egalitarianism of the society of which we are a part now.  That’s largely lost.  And so often we know that in evangelicalism, the things that the world thinks about and bombards us with are soon the things that we see in the church of Jesus Christ.  They slip often unnoticed and it’s not until difficulties have arisen in the church of Christ that we realize that we have been subjected to influence from unchristian sources.  We don’t doubt at all that rationality may exist in differing view points, at least plausibility I should say.  It appeared to be rationality exists in many of the things with which our society is occupied.

…. you can read the full transcript here.

Great Lion of God – Paul, Ananias and Arabia

February 27, 2011 by  
Filed under SLJ Weekly Message, The Latest from Our Blog

S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week

Paul, Ananias and Arabia
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson discusses the ministry of the Antioch Christians to Paul after his conversion and the time he spent with the community.

Scripture Reference: Acts 9:10-19

Click here to listen: Paul, Ananias and Arabia

Transcript Excerpt:

Tonight we are looking at the subject of “Paul, Ananias, and Arabia,” the next step in the unfolding of the life of the Apostle Paul.  And so will you take your New Testaments and turn to Acts chapter 9, verse 10, and let me read a few verses here.  And then we will look at a passage in Galatians chapter 1 also for Scripture reading.  Acts chapter 9, verse 10 through verse 19.

“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias.  And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.  And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.  Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.  But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.  And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.  And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.  And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.”

Now, you’ll notice that in the Lukan account, after saying, “And when he had received meat, he was strengthened,” the next sentence is “Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.  And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.”  Now, let’s turn to Galatians chapter 1, and read verse 15 through verse 17.  The apostle is going over, now, in the Epistle to the Galatians, some of the experiences that he had when he was converted.  And he is saying that the message that he is proclaiming is a message that he has received by divine revelation.  So after saying that he has profited in the Jews’ religion above many of his equals in his own nation, in verse 15 he writes, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen;” or the Gentiles, “immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”  Now, notice he says that immediately he went into Arabia, but he returned to Damascus.

…. you can read the full transcript here.

Great Lion of God – The Conversion of Paul

February 20, 2011 by  
Filed under SLJ Weekly Message, The Latest from Our Blog

S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week

The Conversion of Paul
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds the coversion of Paul on the road to Damascus. Dr. Johnson discusses how the event served to provide the apostle with a fundamental understanding of God’s election and process of salvation.

Scripture Reference: Acts 9:1-9

Click here to listen: The Conversion of Paul

Transcript Excerpt:

Outside of our Lord’s ministry, the most important event in the history of Christianity is Paul’s conversion, in the opinion of many.  It is surprising really to realize that more space is devoted to it than any other event in the New Testament, except the passion of our Lord, and so one can see the importance of it.  The cruciality of the event is seen also in the fact that humanly speaking, in the life of the apostle as he was persecuting the early church, something must be done about this man Saul, who was the chief of the Jewish Gestapo.

He is the individual of whom we read in chapter 8, verse 3, “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.”  In chapter 22, in verse 19, in one of his other accounts of his conversion, he makes this comment about his preceding ministry, 22:19, “And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee.”  And in chapter 26 and verse 10, in the third of the accounts of his conversion testimony he said, “Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.”  So humanly speaking something must be done about the Apostle Paul.

…. you can read the full transcript here.

Great Lion of God – Stephen: The Paul Before Paul

February 13, 2011 by  
Filed under SLJ Weekly Message, The Latest from Our Blog

S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week

Great Lion of God – Stephen: The Paul Before Paul
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds the account of Stephen.  Dr. Johnson explains how the martyr’s testimony served God’s purpose in preparing Paul for his role in proclaiming the gospel.

Scripture Reference: Acts 6:1 – 7:60

Click here to listen: Great Lion of God – Stephen: The Paul Before Paul

Transcript Excerpt:

Tonight, our subject as we continue our study of the Apostle Paul is “Stephen:  The Paul Before Paul.”  And for those of you who have your New Testaments with you turn with me to the 6th chapter of the Book of Acts, and we will say the things that we want to say tonight against the background of chapters 6 and 7 of the Book of Acts.  I’d like to begin with a word of introduction, as usual, then we will talk about the encounter in the synagogue, the encounter that Stephen had before the Sanhedrin, and finally we’ll conclude with just a few comments in support of the lasting impression that Stephen had upon Paul.

Remember, in our previous studies we have considered the apostle as a man of Tarsus.  We dwelt a little bit upon his background, his early years, his training.  And then we looked at him as the man of Jerusalem, looking specifically at his training in spiritual things at the feet of Gamaliel, and some of the things that are related to that.  After the apostle’s training in the city of Jerusalem, evidently he went back to Tarsus, and he was there, it seems, during all of the time of our Lord’s ministry.  Or at least, so far as we know from Paul’s writings, he did not have any personal contact with our Lord before his encounter with him on the Damascus Road; so momentous events had been transpiring in the Holy Land during the apostle’s sojourn at Tarsus.

…. you can read the full transcript here.

Great Lion of God: Life of Paul (The Early Years – Part II)

S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week

The Early Years – II: The Man of Jerusalem
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson continues his exposition on the early life of Paul. Dr. Johnson provides details about the apostle’s theological education in the school of Gamaliel.

Scripture Reference: Acts 22:31, 26:5

Click here to listen: The Early Years – II: The Man of Jerusalem

Transcript Excerpt:

There are two passages of Scripture that I’d like to read before the subject tonight and the study of Paul.  Chapter 22 and verse 3, a passage we read last time, you may remember, but I’d like to read it again.  Acts 22:3, the apostle, in his defense says, “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the Law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.”  And then in chapter 26 and verse 5, the apostle in his defense before Agrippa says, “Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.  And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.  For which hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.”

If there were a text that one would want to put over the life of the Apostle Paul, it might be the passage in the Old Testament that goes like this, “I will bring the blind by a way that they know not, in paths that they know not will I lead them.  I will make darkness light before them and crooked places straight.”  Because there is certainly one thing characteristic of the Apostle Paul and that is the divine sovereign providence that guided all of his pre-Christian experience and his post Christian experience with the result that he is a chosen vessel of the Lord.

…. you can read the full transcript here.

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