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Christ in All of Scripture – Mark 4:35-41



Mark 4:35-41

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Jesus continues to display his expanding range of power in every sphere of creation: power over the laws and forces of nature (Mark 4:35–41), power over the spiritual and demonic world (Mark 5:1–20), and power over human illness and death (Mark 5:21–43).

Jesus is not merely a political messiah along the lines of a Davidic king (cf. 2 Sam. 7:12–15). Rather, this Messiah is God, the eternal Son (see Psalm 2; Psalm 110:1, 5; Dan. 7:13–14; cf. 2 Sam. 7:16). He is Yahweh, come in the flesh (Isa. 40:3). It is crucial to realize this, since only God has the power to deliver and to save from the brokenness of our world and the bondage of sinful rebellion against him (e.g., Isa. 25:9; Isa. 33:22; Isa. 35:4; Isa. 37:20; Isa. 38:20; Jer. 17:14; Zech. 8:7; Zech.9:16; Heb. 7:25).

It is a great source of encouragement for followers of Jesus to remember who they serve: the triune Creator of this universe. The power of the eternal Son protects and guides with utter reliability, even in great distress. Since Jesus has paid the price for our sinful rebellion and has overcome the powers of Satan and the grip of death, his followers are in good hands—whether at any given moment this results in life or in death (Phil. 1:20–23). For in the gospel we know that because Christ has died and risen, and we are united to him, all that happens to us comes to us from the hand of a loving Father. All wrath has been removed. He does everything for our good.

This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.


April 14, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Books,ESV,Gospel Transformation Bible | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

Christ in All of Scripture – Exodus 3:13-16



Exodus 3:13-16

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt.

Naming has great importance in the Bible. In the garden of Eden, the giving of names demonstrates lordship over the creation (Gen. 1:26–27; Gen.2:19, 23; Gen. 3:20) and can often relate to hopes (Gen. 4:1), memories (Gen. 35:18), or prophecies (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:21). In naming, one’s character is revealed.

Moses’ question is therefore supremely important: what is the name, the character, of this God of whom I will speak? God’s response seems enigmatic. But notice how the revelation of God’s name builds: “I am who I am” (Ex. 3:14a); “Say this . . . , ‘I am has sent me to you’” (Ex. 3:14b); “Say this . . . , ‘The Lord [I am], the God of your fathers’” (Ex. 3:15, 16). In other words, this living, personal God who revealed himself to Abraham and made covenant with him is the God who is moving to deliver his people now.

All of this makes Jesus’ own use of this divine name significant as well, not only in the seven “I am” statements in the Gospel of John (John 6:35; John 8:12; John 10:9, 11; John 11:25; John 14:6; John 15:1), but especially his declaration to the Pharisees that “before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). In saying this, Jesus was claiming to be the same living, personal God who made covenant with Abraham, the same God who revealed himself to Moses, and the one who was now moving to deliver his people.

This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.


April 7, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Books,ESV,Gospel Transformation Bible,Uncategorized | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

Three lessons about Scripture from 2 Timothy 3:16-17

ESV Bible header

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

1. Scripture is inspired.

Paul affirmed with elegant finality that “all Scripture is breathed out by God.” You can hear the meaning of the transliteration of the Greek word Theopneustos (God-breathed–Theo = “God” and pneustos = “breath”). More literally, “All Scripture is breathed into by God.” When you speak, your word is “you-breathed” – your breath, conditioned by your mind, pours forth in speech. You breathe out your words. This belief that Scripture was “breathed into by God” perfectly expresses the view of the first-century Jews about the Old Testament writings.[1]

The early church believed exactly the same thing. As Peter declared, “No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20, 21). The Old Testament Scriptures were God’s breath, God’s words.

Beautifully, we see that this is also how the early church regarded the Gospels and the Epistles. In 1 Timothy 5:18 Paul uses the same word for Scripture (graphe) that he uses here in 3:16 to refer to quotations from both the Old Testament and New Testament: “For Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain’ [Deuteronomy 25:4] and ‘The laborer deserves his wages’ [Luke 10:7].”

Similarly, the Apostle Peter includes Paul’s writings in the category of Scripture (graphe): “There are some things in [Paul’s letters] that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16). It is clear that Peter regarded Paul’s writing to be Scripture!

2. Scripture is useful.

The apostle uses two pairs of words to flesh out Scripture’s usefulness – “and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (v. 16b). The first pair – “teaching” and “reproof”– have to do with doctrine. Positively, all Scripture is “profitable for teaching.” That is why the whole of both Testaments must be studied – not just Romans, not just the Old Testament, not just the Gospels. All the didactic, poetic, narrative, apocalyptic, proverbial, and epical sections together are to make up the tapestry of our teaching. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching.”

And of course when this is done, there will also be “reproof.” Those true to the Scriptures cannot escape this duty. Together the “teaching” and the “reproof” produce the boon of sound doctrine. It is for want of both that the church has so often fallen into error.

The second pair–”correction” and “training in righteousness”–have to do with conduct. “Correction” comes from the Greek word for “straight,” which the New Living Translation helpfully renders, “It straightens us out.” God’s Word is useful in a practical way. Those who accept its reproof will begin to find their lives straightening out. Then they will be ready for the Word’s positive effect of “training in righteousness.” The righteousness that has come to the believer by faith is actualized by the training of God’s Word. In sum, the God-breathed Word is “profitable” for all of life, all doctrine and all duty, all creed and all conduct–everything!

3. Scripture equips.

Paul ends this section on the sufficiency of Scripture by saying, “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (v. 17). Paul here uses two forms of the Greek word for equip (an adjective [“complete”] and a participle [“equipped”]) to make his point. The man of God is super-equipped by the Word of God. The man of God is before all else a man of the Bible.

The testimony of God’s Holy Word is that it is his breath and that it is everything to believers. The book of Deuteronomy records that when moses had finished writing the words of the law and had given it to the Levites to place beside the ark and had sung his song, the song of Moses, he said, “Take heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life” (Deuteronomy 32:46, 47; cf. 31:9–13; 21:1–43).

This set the standard for the proper regard for the Scriptures of the old covenant. This is why the psalmist devoted the 176 verses of Psalm 119 to the celebration of the Scripture, using the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet as a structure. In effect, he said God’s Word is everything from A to Z. The Scriptures are life!

When Jesus began his ministry and was tempted by Satan, his encyclopedic knowledge of the Word enabled him to defeat the tempter with three deft quotations from Deuteronomy (see Luke 4:1–13; cf. Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:13, 16). Jesus Christ, God incarnate, leaned on the sufficiency of Scripture in his hour of need. Indeed, his summary response to the tempter was like a bookend to Moses’ declaration that the Scriptures are “your life,” for Jesus insisted that they are the soul’s essential food–”It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4; cf. Luke 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).

The Scriptures were life to Moses and food to Jesus. They cannot and must not be anything less to us. They are the very breath of God.


This post was adapted from the Preaching the Word commentary 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus: To Guard the Deposit by R. Kent Hughes and Bryan Chapell.


[1] J. N. D. Kelly, A Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1963), p. 203.

April 3, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Books,ESV,Uncategorized | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:44 am | 1 Comment »

Encouraging Report from TGC International

ESV HeaderWe’ve had the privilege of partnering with The Gospel Coalition’s International Outreach on several projects in recent years, including work to distribute copies of the ESV Global Study Bible overseas in 2013. Through this partnership, Crossway and TGC International Outreach raised the funds to distribute more than 2,500 Global Study Bibles and distribute them to ministry leaders in 28 countries.

Bill Walsh of TGC International Outreach reports:

Our purpose was to make these available to our worldwide missions network with the goal of putting these study bibles into the hands of pastors primarily in the Global South who badly need them. We believe that God has uniquely blessed us with a truly global network of like-minded churches and missions who are able to put these bibles directly into the hands of church leaders who typically lack good access to biblical teaching and training.

Walsh goes on to share what recipients had to say about the ESV Global Study Bibles:

With the recent Typhoon, many pastors have lost everything, including their Bibles. We plan to send these ESV Global Study Bibles to pastors who have lost their Bibles in the flood.

Many promising Bible schools and students in Asia have no English Bibles to study from or if they do it may be as in Myanmar, where they have 13 students and only 5 Bibles (all different versions). These Bibles will have an impact all over Northern India and Northern Myanmar.

I expect these study Bibles to be the most significant resource for ongoing study and preparation for teaching.

Students in Cambodia are so eager to learn the bible and learn English; we hope these bibles will serve both purposes and have the students understand the deep meaning of the gospel.

Read the encouraging report in full.

March 20, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,ESV,News & Announcements,Publishing,Study Bibles,The Bible | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:44 am | 0 Comments »

Christ in All of Scripture – Leviticus 5:14-16



Leviticus 5:14-16

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the Lord, he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. He shall also make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing and shall add a fifth to it and give it to the priest. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and he shall be forgiven.’”

A guilt offering was brought when Israelites sinned by defiling something belonging to the Lord. Such possessions included holy food items (Lev. 5:14–16; cf. Lev. 22:10–16; Num. 18:8–13) or even the Lord’s own holy name (Lev. 6:1–7; v. 3 assumes a false oath in the Lord’s name). This offering was to be brought even when people suspected they might have committed such an offense (Lev. 5:17–19). In either case (of actual or suspected sin), to sin against what belonged to the holy King was to show disrespect to the King himself, while to show respect to what was his was to respect him.

Paul applies this principle to believers when he exhorts us to be sexually pure, in this way acknowledging that we belong to the Lord and have been bought at a great price: Jesus’ lifeblood  (1 Cor. 6:18–20; cf. Eph. 1:7). When we revere God’s holiness and the greatness of the redemption he has accomplished for us, we are spurred to live holy lives as an act of reverential worship before our holy and redeeming King.

This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.


March 17, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Biblical Studies,ESV,Gospel Transformation Bible,GTB,Life & Doctrine,Old Testament | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:15 am | 0 Comments »