Sinclair Ferguson’s message on James 3:1-2
- Sinclair did an excellent job of covering this text well and of getting to the Gospel and to Jesus from this text. This was a spectacular message which concluded with a glimpse of Jesus keeping control of His tongue in Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.”
If beholding is becoming (as in 2 Cor. 3:18), then as I see Jesus keeping control of His mouth in midst of such intense affliction, I may be enabled, encouraged, and equipped to keep my control of my mouth in the midst affliction.
Mark Driscoll gave an intense and very powerful message entitled “How Sharp the Edge? Christ, Controversy, and Cutting Words.”
1) Christians are to Feed the Sheep
2) Christians are to Rebuke the Swine – the Habitually Unrepentant
The Bible is easily read in thought of others, and painfully read in light of self.
When you’re in the middle of a war you’ve got to bring out the big guns.
3) Christians are to Shoot the Wolves – False Teachers
With wolves you cannot be to severe. With the wounded sheep you cannot be too gentle.
With wolves you shoot & with the sheep you weep.
Jesus shoots the wolves.
Jesus & Anything Ruins Everything.
It’s Jesus & Nothing!
Some people will not fight over anything. Some people will fight over everything.
Some times the most loving thing you can do is destroy someone before they go to ultimate destruction (Paul handing someone over to Satan…)
4) Bark at the Dogs – Religious People
Should we use satire? Jesus did.
Repent of Religion.
“God commands all people every where to repent.”
They take themselves way too seriously and take God way to lightly.
5) Pray for the Shepherds
Because they need the wisdom to discern the Wolves from the Sheep.
Pray for the shepherds. Pray for them more than you criticize, e-mail, gossip, or blog about them. Pray that they would have a discerning mind to know who is a sheep.
Pray that they would have a thick skin. Pray that they would have a humorous outlook. That they would laugh at themselves, that they would have a tender heart toward Jesus and the sheep. That they wouldn’t be hammered, that they would keep a tender heart, that they would have a humble disposition, that when criticisms are true, they would repent. That they would look at a criticism for a kernel of truth to be sanctified by.
Pray that shepherds would have encouraging families, that their wife would endure all the criticism, backbiting, people who would use her to get influence, that she would remain close to Jesus and be a place of refreshment for her husband, that she would know her job is to keep her husband from despair—not by always agreeing with him but agreeing that she will always be for him.
Pray for his children as people take shots at his family. That his children would not go astray because critics love that.
Pray that one of the elders in the church is a good sniper. That he could spot people who are trying to take down the pastor. If the pastor tries to do it, it’s a lose-lose situation. Some of you elders here need to get in the middle.
Pray that the shepherds would have evangelistic devotion, that they would not just feed the sheep, but that they would love the lost. That they would not waste their time checking their ratings and overlook Paul’s admonition to do the work of an evangelist. That they wouldn’t be so buried in firefights that they can’t see more people become sheep.
Pray for the shepherds, that they would learn selective hearing, that they would listen to their elders, that they would invite into their lives good counsel. Not everything that is said is worth a hearing. Shepherds can become so hard-hearted that their ears are closed and they spend time justifying themselves when they shouldn’t. They need to know who to listen to, who to heed, and who to not to.
Pray for the young shepherds, that older shepherds would not shoot them like wolves and wouldn’t criticize them like dogs, but would encourage them like dads.
Paul Trip gave an excellent message on our use of words and whether they originate from our tiny selfish kingdom or God’s Magnificent Eternal Kingdom.
The very first words ever were spoken by God. Words themselves belong to God.
Words can either give life or they can bring death – you choose.
God help us never to consider talk as if it did not matter.
“When you think your problems come from external sources rather than internal (self) then you stop seeking God’s grace to change.”
“I am my greatest communication problem.”
Sin makes me obsessed with my needs, my wants, and my feelings.
I want. I want. I want. I want. I want. I want. I want. I want. (Me monster)
Love is willing self-sacrifice for the redeeming good of another that does not demand reciprocation.
(Paraphrase Summary) My words will either come from a heart of “this is my kingdom how dare you attempt to rule here” or “this is God’s Kingdom, and you are a fellow citizen of His Kingdom.”
John Piper’s message entitled, “Is there Christian Eloquence?” was an exposition of two texts: 1st Cor. 1:17 & 2:1
“No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save.” – James Denny (spelling?)
Although the bulk of the message was given to identify and clarify the problem/issue, the final answer to Piper’s title question is Yes.
Here are his 5 supporting points:
1. Eloquence—that is, artistic, surprising, provocative, or aesthetically pleasing language—may keep people awake and focused because they find it interesting for reasons they can’t articulate.
2. Eloquence may bring an adversarial mind into greater sympathy with the speaker.
3. Eloquence may have an awakening effect on a person’s heart and mind short of regeneration, but still important in awakening in them emotional sensitivity to beautiful things.
4. Certain kinds of eloquence (cadence, parallelism, meter, rhyme, assonance, consonance) may not only add interest, but also increase impact by helping the memory.
5. The beauty of eloquence can join with the beauty of truth and increase the power of your words.
Bob Kauflin gave a message on Music as a gift from God to serve the Word.
Singing Helps us to remember the Word.
If the teaching in your church was limited to the songs that you sing, how well taught would your church be?
Music is a language of emotion.
We ought to blend types of music and be willing to learn from them all.
Daniel Taylor gave a lengthy message on the theme of story in our lives.
“The best way to conceive of faith is a story in which you are a character.”
With all due respect to Mr. Taylor, this was a message that probably could have been covered in about 10 minutes, and probably should have been.
All of the messages from this conference are available to download for free in either audio or video format.