The darkness that covered the land when the poor Lamb of God was brutalized and stripped on that cross, all that we might be covered. And, we are covered, we who trust in this Lamb. As Sinclair Ferguson once said, “The last thing Jesus wore before his crucifixion was a seamless garment. Where is it now? Spiritually, it is on every believer.”
Dear pastor, you may think, “I don’t have what it takes. I’m just an ordinary man.” Well, you are right. In and of yourself, you don’t have what it takes. You have WHOM it takes–and your Savior is no ordinary man! Let us be concerned about the true care of souls. Let us labor in the Lord’s vineyard, pastor in his pasture with the words of Paul ever before us, “For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Col 1:29).
We need pastoral manuals--books of pastoral theology and practice--that help us put the T (i.e. Theology) into the PT (i.e. Pastoral Theology).This has long been a part of the Christian tradition, as theologians, following the lead of Paul to Timothy and Titus, crafted epistles and manuals on pastoral practice.
Saint Aurelius Augustine (354-430) had his finger on the pulse of all men, when he confessed, “O Lord, you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in Thee” (Confessions, 1.1). Ever since our first parents gave up restful communion with God in favor of servile hiding from him and were banished from the Garden of Eden (lest they take and eat of the Tree of Life and live forever in their restless, fallen condition – Ge 3:22), we have been a people in desperate need of rest. Our forebears in the faith wandered in the Egyptian wilderness and rest was hard to come by. The Prophets of the OT called out to a people unable to wring rest out of their rebellion. Indeed, before Augustine ever confessed, Christ called out, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt 28:11-30, ESV).
In the last post I sought to whet your appetite for the theological greatness and understanding the worthiness of studying Jonathan Edwards. We considered his love for the Trinity, how lively was his doctrine in his preaching, that he was inovatively Redemptive Historical, that his homiletic was suffused with a beautiful Christology and that he was deeply biblical, yet not naively biblicist.
In keeping with the opening illustration from that first post, my desire is for this post to be a cup of water to keep you in the race. Maybe, you considered the reasons in the last post and began to tackle something in JE, yet you are starting to feel the burn. As you come round the turn try to lay hold of 5 more reasons why we should marinate in JE today:
The Alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars, and churchmen who hold the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today's Church.