As you read the biblical texts below, notice the difference from one to the next (marked in italics).
1 John 5:7–8 (AV)
7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
1 John 5:7–8 (ESV)
7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
Why is the text of the KJV longer in these two verses?
Dear Pastors, Deacons, and Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Five hundred years ago on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the doors of Wittenberg, fanning a Reformation into full flame. The history of the Reformation and its aftermath is something that every pastor and Christian should know and review from time to time. To that end, our joy this year for the Conference on the Church for God’s Glory is to celebrate the Reformation’s 500th birthday.
The day will begin and end with sermons that fit the day’s theme and are meant especially to encourage pastors. Between these sermons, we have asked a handful of seasoned pastors and professors to not just teach but preach the five solas that came out of the Reformation. Here is our schedule for the day:
· 10:00 – Hebrews 12:1–2, David Huffstutler (Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Rockford, IL)
· 11:20 – Sola Scriptura, Michael Harding (Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Troy, MI)
· 12:15 – Sola Fide, Steve Thomas (Senior Pastor, Huron Baptist Church, Flat Rock, MI)
· 1:00 – Lunch at local restaurants
· 2:45 – Solus Christus, Ralph Warren (Senior Pastor, Lake County Baptist Church, Waukegan, IL)
· 3:50 – Sola Gratia, Michael Barrett (Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Old Testament at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary)
· 4:55 – Soli Deo Gloria, Professor David Saxon (Department of Bible and Church Ministries, Maranatha Baptist University, Watertown, WI)
· 6:00 – Closing Sermon, Michael Barrett
· 7:15 – Dismiss
It will be a day to review key doctrines we hold dear, to be sure, but it will also be a day to see how we should live them out as well. We hope the day will be an exercise of the command Paul gave to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:16 long ago: “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Please join us for this special day. I hope you will. May God bless you as you faithfully do His work.
Pastor David Huffstutler,
First Baptist Church, Rockford, IL
What does it mean for one to say that the Son of God is “begotten”? As it is used of the Son of God, the term “begotten” (Greek, monogenēs) has been variously understood throughout church history. Even today, stemming from the etymology of monogenēs (mono = one; genēs = begotten), translations vary for this word. For example, from 1 John 4:9, as the Father’s Son, Jesus is described as the “only begotten” (KJV, NKJV, NASB), “one and only” (NIV, HCSB, NET Bible), and “only” (ESV), as seen in the passages to follow. In answer to our question, below is a survey of the 9 NT uses of monogenēs, and a brief explanation of the meaning of monogenēs as it describes the Son of God in 5 of these 9 uses.
The term monogenēs can describe an only child (Luke 7:12; 8:42; 9:38) or a unique child among multiple children, such as Abraham’s son Isaac (Heb 11:17) who was unique in that God’s promises to Abraham would be fulfilled Isaac and not his other son Ishmael (cf. Gen 17:18–19). As the term is used of Jesus 5 times, it is by John alone, typically translated “only.” Jesus’ glory was the “glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:14). Jesus, “the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made Him known” (John 1:18). The Father “gave His only Son” (John 3:16). Condemnation is for the one who “has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18). “God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9).
To these uses we should add that the related verb gennaō (“to bear, beget, or give birth”) is used 97 times in 65 verses, 3 of which refer to Jesus’ physical birth (Matt 2:4; Luke 1:35; John 18:37), and, helpful to our study, another 3 referring to what was declared of the Son from Ps 2:7 (see Acts 13:33; Heb 1:5; 5:5; cf. Ps 2:7), namely, that He is indeed the Son of God, implying that has been so for all eternity, and is still as such now being both God and man in the person of Jesus.
As it describes the Son of God, the meaning of monogenēs or gennaō is said by many to mean that the Son of God is a unique Son to the Father (similar to Isaac above). Without beginning or end, the Father and the Son are both God in who they are, but the Father does not share what He does in His paternal and preeminent functions. The Son is wholly God and yet distinct from the Father as Son. Being both God and yet related to the Father in this way, Jesus can perfectly display divine glory (John 1:14), make the Father known (John 1:18), and be given and sent into the world as the Son of God who died for us so that we might live through Him (John 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9).
Psalm 39 speaks to the suffering, and the psalm itself is better than the transfer of poetry into propositions that follows. As you read the below, please be sure to read Psalm 39 for yourself. It is medicine for the suffering soul.
Looking at the psalm broadly, the author David laments of his “distress” (39:2) at the hand of God (39:10), a suffering severe enough to provoke prayers to know death’s time and for some peace until then (39:4, 13). Despite his cry, “I am spent by the hostility of your hand,” he could say, “My hope is in you” (39:7, 10).
Psalm 39:1–3. David attempted to remain silent about his suffering in the midst of wicked people. But this actually made his anxiety increase, moving him to speak to God (39:1–13; cf. 39:4–13).
Psalm 39:4–6. David’s suffering caused him to reflect upon the brevity of life and to more or less ask God when he would die (39:4–5). Realizing that life is brief, David speaks against living for possessions, especially when they are given in time to others (39:6). Given life’s brevity, we should pursue something other than earthly goods, and, as with David’s experience, suffering can be God’s gracious means in helping us realize that our hope is in Him (cf. 39:7).
Psalm 39:7–11. Finding no hope in earthly things, David proclaims his hope in the Lord (39:7). Should sin be the cause of his suffering, he asks for forgiveness (39:8). He then again acknowledges that his suffering is from God and that it is severe (39:9–10). This discipline and rebuke for sin took away David’s joy in what he treasured most, moving him to reflect upon God’s greatness in general (39:11). If God could do this with David, He could easily treat mankind as a breath (39:11). As earlier, suffering’s value is shown again. God can use suffering to take away what we enjoy most in this life in order to keep our hope fixed on Him (cf. 39:7, 11).
Psalm 39:12–13. In his parting words, David calls upon God to hear him as a sojourner whose brief life is quickly passing by (39:12). The parting prayer is that the frowning providence of God would be turned away so that David could smile again before his earthly life was over (39:13). For us today, we know that our departure from this earthly life is to enter the immediate presence of our Lord (2 Cor 5:8). For whatever tears we may cry in this life (cf. Ps 39:12), we know that they will be wiped away in time (Rev 21:4). And until then, it is fitting for us to pray as David for God’s smiling providence, in one’s welfare, health, and soul (cf. 3 John 2).
Pastor David Huffstutler
Pastor Huffstutler regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our pastoral bio page.