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iMPACT: Get Off the Couch!

iMPACT is the month that Covenant Life Church sets aside each year to ask what does it mean for us, as a church, to make a difference in the lives of the people in our church, in our community and in our world. iMPACT culminates on April 16 with our iMPACT Project Day where, in one day, we will deploy hundreds of people from our congregation to serve all around the region. This sermon, based on Genesis 12:1-4, served to kick off iMPACT 2011.


Kingdom Dynamics

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on the earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Concurrent with my current blog series on the kingdom of God, I have been teaching a class at Covenant Life Church on the kingdom. Following are my notes and audio recordings of my lessons from that class.

Week Message Title Notes Audio
1 The Priority of the Kingdom
2 The People of the Kingdom
3 The Promised Redemption of God
4 The Covenants, Part 1
Appendix A – Resources for Digging Deeper
Appendix B – Kingdom Verses


Leaders with Authority, Leaders under Authority

God, in His sovereignty, has given His church two different accounts of creation in Genesis 1 and 2. Each of these accounts teaches us about humanity and our relation both to God and to the world into which we were placed.

Genesis 1 emphasizes man as one created with authority. Consider Gen. 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” God created humanity with authority and commissioned them to rule of his creation. Man and Woman were to serve as the vice-regents of God’s kingdom here on earth.

Compare that with the picture of Genesis 2, which emphasizes man as one under authority. In verses 16-17 we read, “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’” Man, for all the authority given to him to rule over creation in Genesis 1, is not the ultimate authority. Man is subject to God.

There is an important leadership principle in there. Leaders are given authority, sometimes positional authority and sometimes authority that falls outside of any formal organizational structures. Yet, for all their authority and influence, they are never the “final answer.” They always remain under God’s authority.

Too many leaders, especially Christian leaders, have fallen into sin. And it is usually precisely because they begin to believe their own hype and begin to see themselves as the ultimate. But they aren’t. They are accountable to God himself and their should always be other humans to whom they report (be it an elder board or a pastoral team). When a Christian leader falls, it is almost without fail the case that they have no accountability.

Leaders are given incredible authority to rule in the particular area into which God has called them. Yet leaders with authority are always to be leaders under God’s authority.

Interact: What are the dangers of  a leader failing to recognize that although they have authority, they are also under authority?

From the archives: Mosaic Authorship of Genesis

From time to time, I am going to pull out an old article out of the blog archives from my old blog and move them over to this one. This is my first, a look into authorship of Genesis.

A while back, a friend was asking about authorship of Genesis. Was Genesis written by Moses? I provided a short answer at the time, but I thought I would further develop the idea presently.

Did Moses write Genesis? Yes! What evidence is there of this?

1) Tradition – Tradition has long maintained Mosaic authorship of the entire Pentateuch, including Genesis. Nothing much more to say on this matter as it is certainly not definitive, but at least should be considered the standard which would need to be refuted if he is not.

2) References such as “the Book of Moses” (2Ch 25:4, Ne 13:1) and “the Book of the Law of Moses (Ne 8:1). Thus, the Old Testament not only appeals to Moses as the author, but seeks to establish its authority specifically BECAUSE the author was Moses. Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch in general and Genesis in particular was assumed by other OT authors.

3) Just as the OT makes references to Mosaic authorship, so does the New Testament. For example, in John 5:46, Jesus said, “Moses…wrote about me”. But, and here is a clincher for me, consider John 7:22. “Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath”. Jesus appeals to Moses as the source of the circumcision commandment. Yet, as this verse itself notes, circumcision began in Gen 17 with Abraham (the patriarchs). How then can we understand “Moses gave you circumcision”? Since Moses was the author of Genesis, Jesus can attribute Moses as the source of circumcision.

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