I had a good and restful evening last night. My roommates never showed up (or maybe I was never assigned any). Regardless, I got to bed early and woke up early; just the way I like it! I enjoyed breakfast with some fellow Reformed Baptists, though these ones hail from Maryland. It was good to spend some time with them.
This morning began with a sermon from Rick Phillips, whom I’ve written about several times in connection to his involvement with the Reformed Expository Commentary series. He preached on Hebrews 7:26-28 (and having written a commentary on the book he is well qualified). This is the first of two messages he’ll preach. This one was meant to lay much of the ground work with the bulk of the application coming in the second.
The passage he spoke on is one of the great chapters in the Bible and is Scripture’s most concentrated teaching on Jesus’ High Priesthood. His sermon reminded me of James Boice’s “Where is the Lamb?” sermon that he preached many times. From this text Phillips taught that there are four things that must be asked about any sacrifice: what is offered; to whom it is offered; by whom it is offered; for whom it is offered. He moved through each of these headings showing that the sacrifice was for sinful man under condemnation of the law; that it was offered to the Holy God; that Christ Himself was offered; and that it was offered for the sake of those who would be Christ’s. He taught that though “Where is the lamb?” is a great question, we must also ask “Where is the true priest?”
He offered just a few words of application to the pastors here, focusing on the necessity of preaching on sin and atoning blood. Those Old Testament sacrifices always pointed forward to Christ; as blood was so central in the sacrificial system, so Christ’s blood must be central to the theology of the New Testament church. His exhortation was to hold to this theology and to preach this theology with boldness.
After a short break, we enjoyed a sermon by Iain Hamilton entitled “The Minister’s Calling. ” He preached from Romans 11:33-36. It was a message very much geared towards pastors and very much encouraging them to press on in their calling to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ even as they deal with the tough times that are inevitable to those who are called to minister.