2011 in review

Hey, thanks for all the views, comments and downloading of notes. Hope to serve you better in 2012!

Grace and Peace!


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2012 and TRCC

Well, 2012 is upon us. The fact is, TRCC, that we are coming up on 10 years as a church. That is a testimony to God’s grace and purpose to and in us. It is NOT a testimony to our strategy and savvy. It’s in spite of our strategy and savvy, or lack thereof. TRCC is a living example of what happens when a band of people march unified toward a Godward mission as laid out in Scripture.

We have not made up some cleverly devised model to reach a particular demographic with shiny objects that attract. We have in fact held out the magnificence of Jesus and his global mission to build his church from all nations. We have sought to mold a local manifestation of that in Rome, GA that is reflected in how we do ministry and how we spend God’s resources from people to money.

We do believe the greatest thing we can do for God’s people, as under-shepherds of the Chief Shepherd Jesus, is to open Jesus’ word, help his people here from him, teach them how to hear from him and obey his leadership. This is how this little body, actually larger than the average church size in our town, has affected the world, literally, from Rome, GA.

In 2012, we will continue to point Jesus’ people toward the global mission of Jesus and equip them with his word to impact the world.

Here is some content that will be explored over the next few months to help us continue on the mission:

1. Haggai – Building God’s Kingdom: hands, heart, head

2. The Bible and Politics – How God’s people are to approach government, politics and living as a Christian in that context

3. TRCC distinctives – What is it that makes TRCC distinct?

So, if you are a TRCC member or attendee lets celebrate the goodness of the Lord and keep our eyes fixed on the mission of Jesus. If you are a person who is not connected to a local church, and a follower of Jesus and want to be connected to a mission that does not abort in Rome, GA, but has a global reality, then check us out. If you are not a follower of Jesus and want to engage in a discussion about Jesus, contact me.

Let us run the race hard and with perseverance!

Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born!

Isaiah 9:6-7

Six major covenants of the Bible:

1. Adam and Eve (Gen. 1:26–2:3) The establishment of marriage and the family unit as the form of God’s family (Jesus does not abolish the family, but builds on the sanctity of the marriage as the base of a family)


2. Noah and his family (Gen. 9:8–17) The establishment of the extended family and domestic household as the form of God’s family (Jesus does not abolish the extended family, but builds on it: “these are my mother and brothers”). Family is not just bloodline, but it is the kinship of indwelling Spirit connecting people as family.


3. Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 12:1–3; 17:1–14; 22:16–18) The establishment of the tribe as the form God’s family takes, particularly as tribe of all nations (Jesus does not abolish the tribe, but builds on the tribal identity as the target of the preaching of the Gospel: all nations)


4. Moses and the Israelites (Ex. 19:5–6; 3:4–10; 6:7) The establishment of the family of God as being a holy nation and kingdom of priests (Jesus does not abolish a kingdom of priests that are holy, but demands holiness, provides it and makes all of his people priests with equal access to Father with Spirit indwelling)


5. David and the Kingdom of Israel (2 Sam. 7:8–19) The establishment of a royal empire and national kingdom as the form of God’s family (Jesus does not abolish kingship, but rather himself takes the seat as King on David’s throne)


6. Jesus and the Church (Matt. 26:28; 16:17–19) The establishment of a worldwide kingdom Jesus calls his church as the form God’s family takes (in the New, Jesus does not abolish any of these covenants, rather he builds on their sanctity and forms a family from all nations that honors family identity from the marriage relationship on up to the tribe and unites them as one Kingdom, called the church, over which he sits as King)


Five special features of a covenant:

1. The covenant mediator (the person God makes the covenant with) and his covenant role (those that he, the mediator, represents).

2. The blessings promised in the covenant.

3. The conditions (or curses) of the covenant.

4. The “sign” by which the covenant will be celebrated and remembered.

5. The “form” that God’s family takes as a result of the covenant.


The reason this is important is that Isaiah 9:2-7 is speaking in the language of the Davidic Covenant.


This Child to be born to us establishes a royal empire and national kingdom that this Child will rule, as King from one end of eternity to another.


This Child, this God/Man, this Jesus will sit on David’s throne and establish a worldwide Kingdom that he calls his church. This church is one family, made up of distinct tribes from the entire earth and each person is a priest and holy to the Lord and this family is vital from the national identity of the “Kingdom of God” all the way down to the family unit.


How does Isaiah communicate the wonderful work that the Lord is doing?


Isaiah 9:6-7


1. A King is given, who from eternity, would have the government on his shoulders 9:6a


A. We have a king who will rule rightly


This is not to assert that the Triune God has not been ruling history well. He has been ruling well. This asserts that the plan of salvation, from all eternity, is breaking into history at this point and it is a monumental day.

The ensign of office used to be worn on the shoulder, in token of sustaining the government (Is 22:22). Here the government on Messiah’s shoulder is in marked antithesis to the “yoke and staff” of the oppressor on Israel’s “shoulder” (Is 9:4).

He shall receive the kingdom of the earth from the Father, to vindicate it from the misrule of those to whom it was entrusted to hold it for and under the Most High, but who sought to hold it in defiance of His right; the Father asserts His right by the Son, the “Heir of all things,” who will hold it for Him (Da 7:13, 14).[1]


2. Our King is the total package 9:6b


“…and his name shall be called…”

The Lord is knowable. False religions have this shroud of mystery around the demon masking as a deity and keep the people away from this so-called “god”.


The Lord of hosts is knowable and is named.


This implies that man can know him and that he wants to know his creatures.


A. Wonderful Counselor

            Wonderful regularly means ‘supernatural’ (cf. especially Jdg. 13:18), and it is Yahweh who is ‘wonderful in counsel’ in Is. 28:29.[2]


B. Mighty God

Horsley translates: “God the mighty man.” Indicating the nature of the second person of the Trinity. Jesus

the God/Man.

He is mighty in his taking on flesh to die for sinners.


C. Everlasting Father

This marks Him as “Wonderful,” that He is “a child,” yet the “everlasting Father” (Jn 10:30; 14:9). Earthly         kings leave their people after a short reign; He will reign over and bless them forever.[3]


D. Prince of Peace

The use of the title “Prince” connects the Christ Child to the throne of David in verse 7. He is heir to

the throne and as such brings peace.

1. Peace between God and man

2. Peace between man and man in the Kingdom (unity)

3. Our Kings government will never end, but rather, it will continue to increase 9:7


“And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,..” (Daniel 2:44 ESV)

A. Jesus’ government is increasing even now

B. Jesus’ government will be fully visible

C. Jesus’ government is our government and the standard by which we operate


All this, thanks to Christmas.

[1] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, A. R. Fausset et al., A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), Is 9:6.

cf. compare

[2] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Is 9:1–7.

[3] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, A. R. Fausset et al., A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), Is 9:6.

Advent Week 4: Luke 1:46-56



2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

Luke 1:46-56

Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

Romans 16:25-27

Luke 1:26-38


The Lord sends Gabriel to Mary to tell of the Lord’s plan and Mary responded to the angelic message by going to stay with Elizabeth until just before the birth of her child.


Mary’s visit provided further confirmation of the message in that she was greeted by Elizabeth apparently spontaneously with a blessing (verse 42).


She realized that Mary was to be the mother of the Messiah, and she was overjoyed that she should visit her. She praised Mary for accepting the angel’s word. Even the movements of John in her womb were seen as a response to Mary’s arrival.


Mary’s poetic reply is known as the ‘Magnificat’ (the Latin verb for ‘glorifies’). It uses the form and language of a Jewish psalm and is loaded with echoes of Old Testament praise to God. Inspiration for the words came from 1 Samuel 2:1–10, the song of Hannah after God had given her a child.


      The shape of the song is that a shout of exultation, of praise to God is followed by a series of clauses indicating why he is to be praised.


After the briefest reference to Mary’s own reason for thanksgiving, the song tells of what God does for his people, speaking quite concretely of his judgments on the mighty and his blessings for the humble—all in fulfillment of his promises to his people. The past tenses in verses 51–54 most probably express what God is going to do in the future through the Messiah—actions that have already begun to take place in that the Messiah has already been conceived, and actions that are of the same kind as what God has done in the past history of Israel. This is thus a metaphorical description of the work of Jesus.[1] Particularly, this passage looks to the future work of Jesus in his return. Thus the theme of his return.


1. People are to magnify the Lord (1:47): Magnify to glorify DO NOT magnify to demean

μεγαλύνω megalúnō; fut. megalunṓ, from mégas (3173), great, strong. To make great, enlarge. With the acc., in relation to the borders of garments (Matt. 23:5); to show great mercy to someone or to do him great kindness (Luke 1:58); magnify or praise (Luke 1:46; Acts 5:13; 10:46; 19:17; 2 Cor. 10:15; Phil. 1:20; Sept.: 2 Sam. 7:26; Ps. 34:3; 69:31).

Syn.: doxázō (1392), to glorify; hupsóō (5312), to, elevate; sébomai (4576), to revere; hairéomai (138), to prefer; aírō (142), to lift up; phusióō (5448), to inflate; auxánō (837), to grow, increase; prokóptō (4298), to cut one’s way forward, advance.[2]


A. Mary repeats herself, as usual in Hebrew poetry, to emphasize the point. Mary says the same

thing in a different way to make the point obvious.

1. Magnify – take what appears to be small and barely visible because it is far away and make it visible so as to observe it

Example: the sun

2. Magnify – take what is very small and make it look bigger than it is in order to

observe it

Example: a paramecium (cell)


Why magnify the Lord?


2. God condescends to us (1:48): God too notice of Mary and he takes notice of us

A. The incarnation has implications regarding Jesus’ identification with his people

1. Hebrews 2:14-18

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:14-18 ESV)


3. Our God is holy (1:49): He has done great things for Mary

A. Great things means things man cannot do, therefore, holy is his name


4. Our God is full of mercy (1:50): His mercy goes on from generation to generation.

A. Mercy is for the one who knows the Holy God of creation and fears him

5. Our God is full of might (1:51): Jesus has a strong arm that scatters

A. Outstretched Arm – Military term used in Deuteronomy and the prophets

God uses to describe his rescue of Israel from Egyptian captivity.

B. Hand – Military term used to describe God’s movement of nations and particularly his movement of his people in discipline       for their sin


6. Our God reverses the order of fallen men (1:52–53): Jesus humbles the proud and exalts the lowly.

James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 quoted from Proverbs 3:34 (Septuagint)

“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6 ESV)

“Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5 ESV)


A. Jesus’ reign reverses the order created by fallen man.

1. The proud are nothing because man’s strivings are not counted.

2. The humble are saved for they counted Jesus better than themselves.


B. The proud and rich are those who owe their status to quarreling and

injustice, not gain that has been brought by God for God’s purposes.

1. Do not boast in what we do but what he has done

2. Do not gain by the slightest cheat


7. Our God is faithful (1:54–55): Jesus will keep all his promises to Israel.

A. Romans 11 reminds us that Jesus is faithful and will complete his promise

to make a great nation comprised of a people from every tribe, nation and


1. Christmas points us to the global scope of the season

2. Christmas points us to the faithfulness of God to complete what he started


[1] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Lk 1:39–56.

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament, electronic ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).