Thursday, October 29, 2009

"What He Must Be" food for thought from chapter 4

This chapter is about the first requirement: He must be a follower of Christ. Baugham asks "What does it mean to be a Christian? ... Let us focus on three key aspects of conversation. For the sake of convenience, I have placed them in the following categories: regenerate, repentant, and reformed."

The word "reformed" always takes me aback a little. It always makes me think of 'reformed theology' but it, of course, has many other meanings. In the section where Dr. Baugham explains the point of "reformed" he states the following:

Beyond being regenerate and repentant, a true Christian man is reformed. Perhaps the most famous assertion of this truth came from the pen of the apostle Paul. He wrote, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Any man who has truly been converted will inevitably bear the marks of that conversion in the form of a changed life.

This is not to say that the man will no longer have struggles or rough edges. It is, however, to say that there will be fruit. No good tree will bear bad fruit. True conversion produces true changes. John captures this beautifully in his first epistle:

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this is it evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3: 9-10)

Wayne Grudem, commenting on this passage, helps draw the fine line between the appropriate expectation of a reformed life and the unreasonable expectation of a perfected life. He writes:

Here John explains that a person who is born again has that spiritual "seed" (that life-generating and growing power) within him, and that this keeps the person living a life free of continual sin. This does not of course mean that the person will have a perfect life, but only that the pattern of life will not be one of continuing indulgence in sin.

"What He Must Be" tidbit from chapter 3

This book is so good. It's making me think about things I've never thought about before. It's making me think of things in a whole new way...

Quote from Tim Keller:
There is, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible; is it basically about me or basically about Jesus? In other words, is it basically about what I must do, or basically about what he has done? If I read David and Goliath as basically giving me an example, then the story is really about me. I must summons up the faith and courage to fight the giants in my life. But if I read David and Goliath as basically showing me salvation through Jesus, then the story is really about him. Until I see that Jesus fought the real giants (sin, law, death) for me, I will never have the courage to be able to fight ordinary giants in life (suffering, disappointment, failure, criticism, hardship).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Qualities Necessary to Assume the Role of a Christian Husband

I'm reading a really good book right now (more about it in a bit). I wanted to write out part of it here and insert the verses that are referred to by the author.

"I believe God has spoken rather decisively in his Word about what our daughters should look for. Moreover, I believe there are some non-negiotables that our daughters must be looking for. There are some things a man simply must be before he is qualified to assume the role of a Christian husband.
  • For instance, he must be a Christian -- 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"
  • He must be committed to biblical headship -- Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body."
  • He must welcome children -- Psalm 137:3-5 "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."
  • He must be a suitable priest -- Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
  • He must be a suitable prophet -- Ephesians 6:4 "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
  • He must be a suitable protector -- Nehemiah 4:13-14 "Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the LORD, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses."
  • He must be a suitable provider -- 1 Timothy 5:8 "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." Titus 2:5 "To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

A man who does not possess -- or show strong signs of -- these and other basic characteristics does not meet the basic job description laid down for husbands in the Bible.

The book is titled "What He Must Be... If He Wants to Marry My Daughter" by Voddie Baucham Jr. This book is not only about what women should look for in a marriage partner but also about what men have to be. It is written to fathers, mothers, sons, daughters. It's about legacy... multigenerational legacy -- how to recognize it and how to Change It!