Christian Death: Mourn or Celebrate?

May 29, 2014 | Jason Helopoulos

Guest Blogger: Jason Helopoulos

Christians need a good theology of Christian death. It matters. Should we rejoice or weep when a brother or sister in Christ dies? Is a Christian funeral service a celebration or time for mourning? A right understanding of how to consider a Christian’s death will stymie the two extremes of merely rejoicing or merely grieving.

It is routine to hear the heartfelt sentiment of a dear dying Christian say, “Don’t weep when I die. Rejoice, for I shall be with Christ”? With the same affection, it is normal to hear family members of a deceased Christian say, “He didn’t want us to grieve. We want to joyfully remember the life he had and remind ourselves that he is truly in a better place”? These are endearing statements. We don’t want to disparage the affection that moved these sentiments. However, these responses are not sufficient. We should not merely rejoice when a Christian dies.

As Romans tells us, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).  It is not a good thing that our Christian friend or family member has passed away. No matter the benefits after death, death itself is an abomination. Death is an unwelcomed guest. It had no place in creation. Rather, it stormed onto the scene as the thief of life upon the entrance of sin into this world. Therefore, death itself is not to be celebrated. We cannot merely rejoice when a Christian dies somehow forgetting that death is an enemy.

For God formed man from the dust of the earth. Creation is turned on its head as man is returned to the dust in his death. There has been loss and loss that was not meant to be in this world. There has been death, which had no place in the good creation. In fact, at death man is torn asunder. His body and soul, created as one person, is separated. It is true that at that moment when a Christian dies, their soul immediately passes into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23), but their body is left to decay. The soul is naked before the Lord. And the body lies lifeless and void of the soul until the resurrection. Therefore, there is a sense in which we could say that our naked souls are longing for the day of resurrection. For on that day they will be reunited to our bodies never to experience that horrible separation again. We will forever dwell as we were created to be.

Martha, Mary, and their friends have good reason to weep at the loss of Lazarus (John 11:33). The Scriptures never ask Christians to deny the feeling of grief–it is a right and holy sadness. And we should never ask our loved ones to deny that emotion either. There is a sort of super-spirituality present with such a request or repression. It is an attitude that surpasses the teaching of the Bible and what our Creator has asked of us.

However, we should not merely grieve. When a Christian dies we should also be filled with rejoicing. Truly, for the Christian, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). As a believer in Christ departs from this life they are immediately in a far better place (Philippians 1:23). They are with Christ! They have finished the race and kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7); and that faith has become sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). They no longer see in a mirror dimly, but see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12). The object of their love, affection, and joy is before and with them forevermore.

What glories await the Christian at death. One moment, a feeble sinner experiencing the miseries of this life, and the next moment, one who is adorned with the crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8) in the presence of the King of Glory. There the Christian shall be–surrounded by His glory. A glory which banishes all our enemies. In that place there shall  no longer be the experience of loss, grief, pain, discomfort, or regret. Rather, the saint shall dwell in sheer joy and bliss as they revel in the beauty and glory of their Savior and God forever. Therefore, we should rejoice at the death of a Christian, for as the Apostle Paul says, they are “in a far better place” (Philippians 1:23). There may be no greater understatement ever penned–for what glories await us!

When a brother or sister in the Lord passes away, there should be grief and rejoicing. They both have a place. We grieve for what is lost and rejoice at what is gained. That is a good Christian theology of Christian death.

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University Reformed Church Votes to Leave the RCA

May 27, 2014 | Kevin DeYoung

On April 27, 2014, University Reformed Church (URC) voted 282-9 in favor of leaving the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and affiliating with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

The following Wednesday, the consistory of URC voted unanimously (14-0) to file a petition with the Classis of South Grand Rapids that we might leave the RCA with all our real and personal property and join the Presbytery of the Great Lakes in the PCA.

For the past three years, our church has wrestled with our place in the Reformed Church in America. We have prayed, studied, strategized, spoke, listened, prayed, asked questions, explored options, tried to discern what is in the best interest of the Kingdom, and prayed some more. We did not come to this decision lightly.

And this decision on our part does not mean that we have already left the RCA. Now that our petition has been filed, we will enter into a formal process with the classis—a series of meetings and reports which will take place over the next 6-8 months, as spelled out in detail by our Book of Church Order. We anticipate a final vote on our petition sometime in the first part of 2015.

Perhaps at a later date I will be able to share our 39-page petition for withdrawal. But for now the process is one that needs to take place between our church and the classis, not by blogs and in the public eye. Let me simply say at this point that our reason for seeking to leave the RCA is not one thing, but many things. From the adoption of the Belhar Confession, to the removal of the conscience clauses related to women’s ordination, to the growing acceptance of homosexual practice in the denomination, we believe the RCA has changed significantly in the last several years. The denomination has moved away from churches like ours. Our request is that we may be able to move too.

We are hopeful that our brothers and sisters in the classis will conduct a fair process and seek with us “how Christ’s Kingdom may best be served in this matter” (BCO 1.II.7.19b).

Thanks in advance for your prayers.

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Summer Plans: Read, Write, Relax, Repeat

May 23, 2014 | Kevin DeYoung

As you may know, last year I enrolled in a PhD program through the University of Leicester. My research is focusing on the theology of John Witherspoon in the Scottish half of his career. It has been great fun so far.

My church has always been generous in granting me time for study and writing, no more so than in setting out to write a doctoral dissertation. The Board of Elders has granted me three summer sabbaticals, the first of which starts today.

For the next twelve weeks, I’ll be spending as much time as I can with my family and in the 18th century. It is such a gift to have these months for study, writing, and refreshment. No sermon prep, no elder meetings, no to-do list other than a dissertation that needs to be written in the next three years.

I will be hunkered down in my study most of the summer, pretending that I’m not really at church. Without Sunday responsibilities, our family will be able to take a number of short weekend trips, in addition to our usual vacation with the in-laws. Next week I’ll be on the east coast doing archival work. Here and there I’ll be preaching for a few friends. But for the most part it’s: read, write, relax, repeat.

And what about the internet? Well, I will be trying to avoid her as much as possible. It does the soul much good. And our relationship can be rocky anyway! Look for less tweeting, less blogging, and less interaction with whatever the crisis du jour may be. The plan is to keep Monday Morning Humor going, write a new post for Tuesday, have my friend and pastoral colleague, Jason Helopoulus, do another day, and then see what happens the rest of the week. That’s a lot less blogging than usual, but I doubt anyone will suffer too badly for it. Don’t look for fastidious email replies either.

Lord willing, I’ll be back to my regular schedule in the first half of August. Grace and peace.

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The God of Diverse Excellencies

May 22, 2014 | Kevin DeYoung

One of the things I have constantly tried to do as a pastor is to lift up apparent opposites that don’t need to be opposite. I do not want us to be a lopsided church that excels in one kind of virtue at the expense of other virtues.

Obviously, we won’t be able to do all things equally well as a church, just like you cannot do all things equally well as an individual. But my hope is that University Reformed Church could be marked by diverse excellencies: grace and truth, logical precision and warmhearted passion, careful thinking and compassionate feeling, strong theology and tender love, Christian liberty and spiritual discipline, congregational care and committed outreach, appreciation for businessmen and entrepreneurs and advocacy for social justice, interest in local evangelism and interest in world missions, excellence without elitism, unity without uniformity, diversity without doctrinal infidelity, ambition without arrogance, and contentment without complacency.

The reason we want to be a church of diverse excellencies is because God is a God of diverse excellencies. He is sovereign, powerful, omniscient, and holy. And he is merciful, patient, wise, and loving. If we are a church with lopsided virtues we will not reflect the character of God who is perfect in all his ways.

Neither will we reflect Jesus. You want to know why theology matters? It matters because we become what we worship. Therefore, we need to know what God is like and what Jesus is like. If we have a lopsided Lord, we will become lopsided Christians.

We need to know Jesus Christ as both Lion and Lamb.

The Lion-like Jesus in Matthew 23 who said “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are” is the same as the Lamb-like Jesus in Matthew 25 who said “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

And the Lamb-like Jesus in Matthew 27 who cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” is the same as the Lion-like Jesus in Matthew 28 who declared “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” We need to worship Jesus for all his diverse excellencies.

That means as believers we must be deliberate and diligent to know and cherish and imitate and rest in every facet of Christ’s glory. If you are particularly drawn to Jesus’ strength, his unyielding commitment to the word of God, and his unspeakable power, then take time to meditate on Jesus’ mercy, his identification with outsiders, and his unspeakable suffering. And if you are drawn to Jesus as your best friend, confidant, and comforter, be sure to reverently worship him as your King, Lord, and Righteous Judge.

And if you don’t yet know God, or are still getting acquainted with Christ, consider this: A God that is only a lion or only a lamb is only half a God. You hurt and suffer, so you need more than a King to rule over you. But you also lack wisdom and direction, so you need more than a tender hand to comfort you. You sin, so you need a Lamb to bear the guilt you feel and the punishment deserve. You struggle, so you need a Lion who can devour the evil that works in you and the evil that works against you.

What good is a Lion-like God if he doesn’t take care of sin and if he rules by his roar alone?

What good is a Lamb-like God if he doesn’t triumph over suffering and deal with the wrongs in the universe?

Jesus is calling. Do you hear his voice? There is no voice like his. Only in Jesus Christ will you find a God who is both a strong Lion and a slain Lamb. Only in him will you find a God of so many beautiful and diverse excellencies.

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The Grace that Saves Is the Grace that Leads Us Home

May 21, 2014 | Kevin DeYoung

I know, I know. The horse is already dead, so stop beating it.

As far I know my own heart, I’m not trying to pile on, dig in my heels, or even win an argument. I would like, however, to be clear.

I believe with all my heart in justification by faith alone. It is the “main hinge on which religion turns,” as I explain here and here. I cherish beyond words that because “it is finished” (John 19:30), I can know true comfort, trusting that Jesus Christ “has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil” (HC Q/A 1). I gladly affirm the scandalous nature of free grace. I need it every day. As God gives me strength, I will preach, and pray, and sing, and shout of the wonderful, matchless grace of Jesus as long as I live.

I am also compelled by Paul’s example and by Holy Scripture to declare the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

Which doesn’t mean we move past the gospel or leave grace behind. The gospel never ceases to be relevant. We are never not dependent on grace.

In fact, grace is so amazing that there is more than one thing to say about it. By grace we do wonders (Acts 6:8), by grace we are justified (Rom. 3:24), by grace we exhort (Rom. 12:3), by grace we build (1 Cor. 3:10), by grace we work hard (1 Cor. 15:10), by grace we give generously (2 Cor. 8:7), by grace we use our gifts (Eph. 4:7); by grace we are strengthened (Heb. 13:9), and by grace we are saved (Eph. 2:8). Every good thing we do, every true thing we believe, every bit of resting, every bit of striving, every mercy and every effort is by grace (James 1:17).

If there is one central area of confusion surrounding progressive sanctification, I think it has to do with the role of exertion in the Christian life. Is there any place for God-infused effort as we “grow in grace” (2 Pet. 3:18)? When we meet people whose hands and feet cause them to sin, can we only tell them of justification by faith, or can we also implore them to cut it out and “cut it off” (Mark 9:43-47)? Might that word of warning and exhortation be a grace to them?

If we are faithful parents, faithful mentors, and faithful preachers, we will gladly teach with all our might that Christ made propitiation for the sins of his people (Heb. 2:17), that we can with confidence draw near to the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16), that Christ is the mediator of a new and better covenant (Heb. 9:15), that Christ offered up his body once to bear the sins of many (Heb. 9:28), and that we should not be sluggish (Heb. 6:12), that we must not go on sinning deliberately (Heb. 10:26), that we must run with endurance the race set before us (Heb. 12:1), and that we should strive for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).

Legalism, self-righteousness, glorying in our own strength—these are dangers we must always guard against and constantly preach against. The greatest grace champions can be graceless in real life.  The strongest proponents of holiness can be worldly to the core. We are all leopards whose spots do not change as easily as we would like or as noticeably as we think. We need to hear of grace to the day we die.

And we need grace to enable us—as regenerated, saved, justified, adopted, beloved children—to beat our bodies (1 Cor. 9:27), run the race, and fight the good fight (2 Tim. 4:7).

There is no plausible way to read the Bible and conclude that God working in us absolves us from working hard, no responsible way to think that exhortation and exertion are anything other than essential to a life of discipleship.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”
  • Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
  • Colossians 1:29 “For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
  • 2 Peter 1:5 “For this reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge…”

The Bible clearly teaches that God works in us so that we might work out. This is taught by Calvin:

As it is an arduous work and of immense labour, to put off the corruption which is in us, he bids us to strive and make every effort for this purpose. He intimates that no place is to be given in this case to sloth, and that we ought to obey God calling us, not slowly or carelessly, but that there is need of alacrity; as though he had said, “Put forth every effort, and make your exertions manifest to all.” (Commentary on 2 Peter)

And by the Westminster Confession of Faith:

Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will and to do, of His good pleasure: yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them. (16.3)

This effort is not by our own strength, and it merits nothing. But as Christ works in us by his Spirit through the gospel, we are called to striving and effort. To make this effort is not a return to Moses, and to call others to this striving is not antithetical to the gospel. In an attempt to safeguard what is true, let us not proscribe a bevy of doctrines that are not false. Nuance is not the enemy of faith. Saying everything Scripture says does not have to weaken any one thing that Scripture does say.

If as a preacher I tell you that you can be justified by works of the law, I should be damned (Gal. 1:8,9; 2:16). And if I never tell you to flee from sin (1 Cor. 6:18), never warn you about persisting in sin (1 John 3:4-10), never implore you to no longer keep on sinning (Heb. 10:26), never plead with you to pluck out your eye (Mark 9:47), never let you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9), never urge you to lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees (Heb. 12:12-17), then you may be damned.

God uses a multitude of indicatives and a host of imperatives to save us and sustain us. It’s all of grace, of course, but grace does not always look or sound the same. There is grace to run and grace to rest. And we need both.

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Theological Primer: Law and Gospel

May 20, 2014 | Kevin DeYoung

From time to time I make new entries into this continuing series called “Theological Primer.” The idea is to present big theological concepts in under 500 words. Today’s topic is as thorny as they come: the relationship between law and gospel.


The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) is largely composed of three elements: the Apostles’ Creed (Lord’s Day 7-22), the Ten Commandments (Lord’s Day 34-44), and the Lord’s Prayer (Lord’s Day 45-52). It’s worth noting, as many have, that this most beloved of all Catechisms includes its exposition of the Law in the section on gratitude, not in the section on guilt. This choice reflects the widespread Reformation belief in the so-called third use of the law.

(1) The law is given to restrain wickedness.

(2) The law shows us our guilt and leads us to Christ.

(3) The “third and principal use” of the law (as Calvin put it) is as an instrument to learn God’s will. The law doesn’t just show us our sin so we might be drawn to Christ; it shows us how to live as those who belong to Christ.

In one sense Christians are no longer under the law. We are under grace (Rom. 6:14). We have been released from the law (Rom. 7:6) and its tutelage (Gal. 3). On the other hand, having been justified by faith, we uphold the law (Rom. 3:31). Even Christ recoiled at the idea of coming to abolish the law and the prophets (Matt. 5:17). Christians are free from the law in the sense that we are not under the curse of the law–Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Rom. 10:4)–nor is the law a nationalized covenant for us like it was for Israel.

But the law in general, and the Ten Commandments in particular, still give us a blueprint for how we ought to live. The Ten Commandments were central to the ethics of the New Testament. Jesus repeated most of the second table of the law to the rich young man (Mark 10:17-22). The Apostle Paul repeated them too (Rom. 13:8-10), and used them as the basis for his moral instruction to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:8-11). There can be no doubt that the commandments, even under the new covenant, are holy and righteous and good (Rom. 7:12).

We obey the commandments, therefore, not in order to merit God’s favor, but out of gratitude for his favor.

Don’t forget that the Ten Commandments were given to Israel after God delivered them from Egypt. The law was a response to redemption not a cause of it. We must never separate law from gospel. In one sense, the law shows us our sin and leads us to the gospel, but in another sense, the law ought to follow the gospel just as the giving of the Decalogue followed salvation from Egypt. Likewise, Ephesians 2 first explains salvation by grace and then instructs us to walk in the good deeds prepared for us (v. 10). Romans first explains justification and election, and then tells us how to live in response to these mercies (Rom. 12:1).

In short, we obey the law in gratitude for the gospel. As Louis Berkhof observed, we distinguish between the law and the gospel, but always as “the two parts of the Word of God as a means of grace” (Systematic Theology, 612).

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An Ephesians Kind of Prayer

May 19, 2014 | Kevin DeYoung

O Lord, who has given to you that you should repay him?  Surely we have given you nothing and yet you lavish your riches upon us.  Who are we that you should have set your affections upon us?

How infinite your tenderness toward us.  How astounding your glory that you should have chosen us before the ages began. How amazing your grace in forgiveness and redemption.  All that we have and all that we are and all that we will be are bound up in your Son, Jesus Christ.

We pray, therefore, in the name of Jesus that you would make us strong in our inner being.  Through your Spirit give us power that is not our own.  With Christ in our hearts, make us steadfast that we may not give up in the face of suffering, or give in to cultural pressures, or give ourselves over to the lusts of the flesh.

We earnestly plead that by your sovereign might and majesty we may not only know, but truly grasp, the love of Christ.  We want to taste and see that you are good.  Give us born again tastebuds.  Give us spiritual eyes.  Let Jesus’ compassion, mercy, and kindness overwhelm us and overflow from us.

And fill us, Lord.  We want to be more like you and know you more.  It seems like we have so far to go, but you can do all things.  May our fragrance be as the aroma of Christ to others.  May our gatherings be so marked by your presence that sinners and unbelievers fall down and worship, exclaiming, “God is really among them!”

Do more than we can ask.  Bring yourself glory in ways we have not imagined.  If it means more people, bigger budgets, more influence, more programs, so be it.  If it means more sacrifice and more suffering, your will be done.

May Jesus Christ be praised.  Amen.

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The Dominion of Providence

May 17, 2014 | Kevin DeYoung

On May 17, 1776, John Witherspoon (1723-94) preached one of the most significant sermons in the history of this country.

Preaching at Princeton, the Scottish pastor turned college president, delivered his most famous address. It was a General Fast day, appointed by the congress of the American colonies for prayer and humble supplication before God in the face of an unknown, and possibly war-filled, future.

Witherspoon’s sermon, based on Psalm 76:10, was entitled The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of  Men. It is widely regarded as one of the principal sermons which prepared the way for the Declaration of Independence, which Witherspoon himself would sign less than two months later.

After imploring his hearers to not only prepare “for the resolute defense of your temporal souls,” but to consider “the truly infinite importance of the salvation of your souls,” Witherspoon turned his attend to politics.

If your cause is just—you may look with confidence to the Lord and intreat him to plead it as his own. You are all my witnesses, that this is the first time of my introducing any political subject into the pulpit. At this season however, it is not only lawful but necessary, and I willingly embrace the opportunity of declaring my opinion without any hesitation, that the cause in which America is now in arms, is the cause of justice, of liberty, and of human nature.

So far as we have hitherto proceeded, I am satisfied that the confederacy of the colonies, has not been the effect of pride, resentment, or sedition, but of a deep and general conviction, that our civil and religious liberties, and consequently in a great measure the temporal and eternal happiness of us and our posterity, depended on the issue. The knowledge of God and his truths have from the beginning of the world been chiefly, if not entirely, confined to those parts of the earth, where some degree of liberty and political justice were to be seen, and great were the difficulties with which they had to struggle from the imperfection of human society, and the unjust decisions of usurped authority.

There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage.

Sounds relevant.

The sermon is worth reading in its entirety (go here, scroll down, and click on the Dominion of Providence), both for it political-historical significance and to learn from Witherspoon’s great concern for conversion and personal holiness even in the midst of such national tumult.

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Bible Test – Follow Up

May 16, 2014 | Kevin DeYoung

A number of you asked for more information about our leadership training course. Our terrific associate pastor, Ben Falconer, has been the main one responsible for developing the class. I asked him to write up a short description:

Each year, URC offers a Leadership Training Course for members who are interested in growing in leadership in the church. The Course is required for men who are interested in serving as elder or deacon in the future, but we encourage both men and women who have a heart for the Lord and a desire to grow to take the course.

We meet together for 12 sessions every other week on Saturday mornings over a period of 6 months. There are 4 distinct components of the course: qualifications for leadership, Bible content, practical ministry, and theological overview. We cover these 4 areas through reading books and Bible passages, defining theological terms, memorizing key Bible passages, group discussions, and working through case studies.

The 4 books we read correspond to the 4 components of the course: Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders, 40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible by Robert Plummer, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul Tripp, and Salvation Belongs to Our God by John Frame.

At the end of the 12 sessions, students take an exam that includes a portion of general Bible knowledge, theological terms, and short essays. It is a rigorous course, but has been very well received by the people who’ve taken it. If students do not do well on the exam, we provide follow up work and another opportunity to pass and complete the class.

As for the exam itself, I encourage you to find the answers to the questions on your own, but if you are really stumped, you can get an answer key from the church office: urc[at]urcstaff[dot]org.

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100 Bible Knowledge Questions

May 15, 2014 | Kevin DeYoung

Several years ago our church started offering a leadership training course once or twice a year. The class began as a training seminary for those who had been nominated for elders or deacons. Now the course must be completed before a man can be considered for the office of elder or deacon.

At the end of the 12-week class there is a test. The exam contains a couple longer essays, short answers, and a series of questions testing basic Bible knowledge. We are careful to say  that you don’t have to be a brilliant student to serve at University Reformed Church. There is much more to effective ministry than passing a written test. Much more.  And yet, we do not want our staff, teachers, and officers to be biblically illiterate. Granted, people aren’t usually too excited about taking a test, but they are almost always glad to have taken the class. And more often than not, the test proves to be an edifying experience.

For fun, and for your own evaluation and learning, I thought I’d post the questions that comprised the knowledge portion of the exam. We have changed the exam in recent years, so these are not the exact questions we currently use. (I’m not going to show everyone the test ahead of time!) But this will give you an idea of the sort of Bible knowledge we want our lay leaders to have. No one gets every question right, but most people get most of them right, and a few erudite members have nearly aced the thing. I have not provided below the answers to test, because, well, it’s a test.

A.    Who did the following?
1.    Wrote the book of Acts?
2.    Appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration?
3.    Directed the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem?
4.    Killed a thousand Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone?
5.    Led the Israelites into the promised land?
6.    Was exiled to the island of Patmos where he wrote Revelation?
7.    Was going to curse Israel, but had to bless them?
8.    Became the first King of the 10 tribes that broke away?
9.    Rescued David from her foolish husband Nabal?
10.    Was rebuked by Paul for refusing to eat with Gentiles?

B.    Where geographically did the following events take place?
11.    God gave Moses the Ten Commandments?
12.    A silversmith caused a riot?
13.    Elijah had a confrontation with the prophets of Baal?
14.    Believers were first called “Christians”?
15.    The river Jesus was baptized in?
16.    The walls of the city collapsed after the Israelites marched around it?
17.    Jesus walked on water?
18.    The place where Jonah was supposed to be going when he fled to Tarshish?
19.    The place where Paul was heading when he was blinded on the road?
20.    The river Ezekiel was at with the exiles when he received a vision from God?

C.    In which book of the Bible do you find the following?
21.    Peter visits Cornelius where he learns that God accepts Jews and Gentiles?
22.    Paul asks a runaway slave to be welcomed back?
23.    Israel worships a golden calf made by Aaron?
24.    The story of Joseph and he brothers?
25.    Twelve men explore the land of Canaan, but only two trust God to give it to them?
26.    God’s judgment on Israel is pictured by a prophet as horde of locusts?
27.    A description of the armor of God
28.    The words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” in the Old Testament?
29.    A prophet marries a prostitute?
30.    The Magi visiting the Christ child?

D.    In which book and chapter(s) do you find the following?
31.    God first speaks the Ten Commandments?
32.    The call of Abram?
33.    The Sermon on the Mount?
34.    The Great Commission?
35.    The Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples in wind, fire, and tongues?
36.    Just as Adam was the head of the old humanity, Christ is the head of the new: “Just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous”?
37.    ”But these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  And the greatest of these is love”?
38.    A religious leader hears “Unless a man is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven”?
39.    Satan bound for a thousand years?
40.    The three Hebrews saved from the fiery furnace?

E.    Give the main topic or event of the following Bible chapters
41.    Genesis 3
42.    Isaiah 53
43.    Romans 4
44.    Psalm 119
45.    Hebrews 11
46.    Acts 15
47.    John 17
48.    Revelation 21-22
49.    Luke 15
50.    Exodus 3

F.    Who said the following?
51.    If I perish, I perish.
52.    What is truth?
53.    After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?…Will I really have a child, now that I am old?
54.    O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
55.    Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in the kingdom.
56.    The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?
57.    He must increase; I must decrease.
58.    Am I dog that you come at me with sticks?
59.    I know my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth?
60.    Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.

G.    If you encountered the following error, to which book would you turn for help?  Choose the book that best addresses the error.  Use each  of the listed books only once: Genesis, Job, Song of Songs, Amos, John, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 Timothy, James, Revelation.
61.    ”As long as you believe the right things, it doesn’t matter how you live your life.”
62.    ”I’m sure I don’t have any spiritual gifts.  Only special people do.”
63.    ”We are saved by Jesus, but we also have to do our part by obeying the law of the Old Testament.”
64.    ”If you are sick, you must have sin in your life.  Good people don’t suffer.”
65.    ”God doesn’t care about the poor and oppressed.  That’s the social gospel.”
66.    ”I know God promises to bless me, but I can’t really trust him through the hard things in life, like famine, barrenness, and imprisonment.”
67.    ”In the end it won’t make any difference who we followed or what we did with our lives.  Jesus will treat everybody the same when he comes back.”
68.    ”There’s nothing special about Jesus.  He’s just one way among many, just another prophet or good moral teacher.”
69.    ”The best way to pick your elders is by looking at how successful they are in the business world.  Next, consider how many degrees they have.  After that, popularity matters most.  Finally, if you still can’t decide, go by good looks.”
70.    ”The Bible doesn’t say anything about intimacy between a man and a woman.  That’s  too fleshly for God to care about.”

H.    Arrange the following events in proper chronological order.
a.    The giving of the Law
b.    The atoning death of Christ
c.    Malachi prophesies
d.    The promise to Abraham
e.    creation and fall
f.    Pentecost
g.    Exile in Babylon
h.    David is King over Israel
i.    Paul is shipwrecked
j.    The Judges rule over Israel

I.    Match the verse with the doctrine it best supports.  Each doctrine from the list will be used only once: providence, atonement, election, justification, immutability, sanctification, inspiration, deity of Christ, Trinity, total depravity
81.    Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. 1 Peter 1:15
82.    God demonstrated his love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
83.    What you meant for evil, God meant for good.  Genesis 50:20
84.    He chose us in him before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4
85.    I the Lord do not change.  Malachi 3:6
86.    Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not count against him. Romans 4:8
87.    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1.
88.    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
89.    For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.  2 Peter 1:21
90.    There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  Romans 3:10-11

J.    In which Old Testament book would you find the following Messianic prophecies?  Books may be used more than once.
91.    The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
92.    He would crush the head of the serpent.
93.    He would come riding on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
94.    Born of a virgin.
95.    Came to preach good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, release the prisoners from darkness, proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and comfort all who mourn.
96.    Would be a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.
97.    Would be like a sun of righteousness rising with healing in its wings.
98.    ”They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”
99.    Buried with the rich in his death.
100.    Like a lion’s cub of the tribe of Judah.

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