Home at Last: The Spectacular God at the Center {TGCW12-D.A. Carson}

“Home at Last: The Spectacular God at the Center” | Revelation 21-22
The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference 2012
Session #8 | D.A.
Carson
link to official website

We are forced to resort to symbolism because we are so dead to God and blinded.

1) What is new (vs. 1-8)
-a new heaven and new earth; newly created Jerusalem; social vision; city vision; where people come together; David’s city (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:10; Romans 8:18-25)
-no more tears and no more death (vs. 3; Leviticus 26; Ezekiel 37; Isaiah 35; Revelation 7; Isaiah 25; 1 Corinthians 15)
-God speaks (“It is finished”-no more payment for sin needed; “It is done” – Gospel promises come to consummation)
-Forgiveness is without cost to those who receive it, but it did cost the One who provided it. (vs. 6; Isaiah 55)
-We will perfectly reflect God. In every way we ought to be like God, we will be like God. A family connotation comes with “son” (vs. 7), associating your character with your heritage.

2) Symbolic of New Jerusalem (vs. 9-21)
-The Bride is the city. (You’re not supposed to paint these things. haha!) (Ezekiel  16; 23)
-Built like a cube in 1400 square miles. There is only one cube in the Old Testament and that is the Most Holy Place, the place where God dwells. Now the entire city is the Most Holy Place! 

3) What is missing from this city (vs. 22)
-The temple (all God has brought about, He’s brought about through the Gospel.)
-Sun and moon (God’s disclosed presence gives light)
-Night
-No gates are closed
-There is nothing unclean

4) What is central (vs. 1-5)
-The water of life from the throne & Lamb. Everything coming finally from the throne of God and the cross. (vs. 1-3)
-The blessed vision of the Blessed One (vs. 4-5). They will see His face and they won’t die or be consumed.
♪Face to face with Christ my Savior
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ Who died for me?
Only faintly now I see Him,
With the darkened veil between,
But a blessed day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.♪

The culmination of everything is to SEE God! Heaven centers absolutely on the ONE.

The Bible ends with an invitation in Revelation 22:17.

{Be sure to read the introductory post to my TGCW12 reviews.}

Through the Open Door: The Transcendent & Redeeming God {TGCW12-Kathleen Nielson}

“Through the Open Door: The Transcendent & Redeeming God” | Revelation 4-5
The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference 2012
Session #7 | Kathleen Nielson

link to official website

Revelation lights up our way to the end.
Chapter 4 sets the stage where God is on the throne. Chapter 5 unpacks the drama where Christ the Lamb comes to the throne. The Creator, Redeemer God reigns and there’s only one response: to worship Him.

Chapter Four
Where?
-at the end of the Bible; consummation
-in the midst of persecution under 1st century Roman emperors
-Purpose: Encourage God’s people to persevere with faith to the end
-Personally: Linked in to a blessed chain of recipients (ch. 1:1-2); Revelation of Jesus is passed on. Jesus is the subject, receiver, and revealer. (God>Christ>Angel>John>Servants>US) Seven is the number of perfection and completeness
-in Heaven (vs. 1)

What? (interprets the Who)
-the throne: symbolizes the sovereign rule of God. Everything exists in relation to it.
Six layers around the throne:
1) Layer of reflective beauty in stones (vs. 3); no light of their own
2) 24 thrones and elders in white with golden crowns (vs. 4)
3) Lightning and thunder from the throne (vs. 5)
4) Seven torches of fire (vs. 5)
5) Sea of glass like crystal (vs. 6)
6) Four living creatures (vs. 6-11)

Who?
-The holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty (vs. 8). Reflective of His eternal nature. He has eternal life within Himself. Everything else that lives only has life derived from Him.

Why?
-Worship

When?
-Now

Chapter 5: The drama that allows us to participate in the worship of Heaven
Where?
-Same place. At the throne.

What?
-Scroll with 7 seals…perfectly shut (vs. 1). This scroll symbolizes God’s decrees for human history. If you reveal the plans inside, you must have the authority to bring them to pass.
-Crisis: Who’ll open it? (vs. 2) No one (vs. 3).

Who?
-Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Genesis 12:49; Isaiah 11:10)…the Eternal King of Heaven
-Lamb
-The Lion is the Lamb. Everything is dependent on the death of the Lamb. The Gospel is the message of the cross.
-Songs of praise for the One who opened it! (vs. 9)

When?
-Now. Between Christ’s first coming and when He comes again.

Why?
-Worship, but with the full drama of redemption unfolded, we get to be part of the scene. (Exodus 19:4-5) A universe-wide song. LOUD!
Worship is what we were created for. We don’t make worship happen. We either join it or we don’t.

{Be sure to read the introductory post to my TGCW12 reviews.}

On Another Mountain: The God Who Points to His Son {TGCW12-Nancy Leigh DeMoss}

“On Another Mountain: The God Who Points to His Son” | Matthew 17:1-15
The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference 2012
Session #6 | Nancy Leigh DeMoss

link to official website

{Sound theology should always lead us to doxology and transformation.}

The context:
ch. 16:13- Jesus is wanted His disciples to see who He is. Peter gets it (vs. 16). A pivotal point in the Gospels comes in vs. 21 (turns to the cross). Humiliation > Exaltation / Suffering > Glory
vs. 22- Peter wants a crown without a cross. In the mystery of God, death brings life.
vs. 24-26- Cost of Discipleship vs. 27- followed by glory
vs. 28- Glimpse/Preview of this in ch. 17

Chapter 17- Shows His glory. This whole experience was a confirmation of what Peter had confessed in chapter 16.
Blazing, blinding light from Jesus…a manifestation of His glory from within. His glory was made visible to human eyes. The fullness of God shone through His humanity (2 Corinthians 4). This was something that Peter and John remembered (“We were eyewitnesses to His majesty.” 2 Peter / “We have seen His glory.” John 1)

Moses and Elijah represented the Law & the Prophets. Spoke of Christ’s death: His “exodus.” The exodus through which God would bring deliverance. All of this discussion points us to the cross.

Luke 9- The disciples slept through it.

Yes, it was good for them to be there as Peter said, but they weren’t intended to stay there…yet. (vs. 4)

The Father interrupts Peter to let him know that Elijah, Christ, and Moses were not equals. Listen to HIM. (Power of God’s Word? They fell on their faces when He spoke).

-Jesus coming down from the mountain shows His submission to the Father. He chose to go back down the mountain to go to the cross.

1) For those who are in Christ, His transfiguration points to our transformation. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 12: 2; 2 Corinthians 3)
Transfiguration happened as Christ prayed. Gaze upon His beauty. If you want to be like Jesus, we have to behold Him. There are no shortcuts. We won’t be transformed by Keller, Carson, or Piper, but by Christ. Read HIS Word.  (Philippians 3:20-21 = future transfiguration/transformation; Proverbs 4:18; Daniel 12:3; Judges 5:31 = His glory shining through us.)

2) Gives us a perspective, context, and hope for our lives as we live–not on the mountain–but in the valley down below.
Sufferings precede glory. (2 Corinthians 4)

Jesus came down to the crowd. To messy situations. He goes with them down from the mountain into the valley. We are meant to see the circumstances down in the valley in light of the glory seen on the mountain. (vs. 14)

{Be sure to read the introductory post to my TGCW12 reviews.}

In the Third Heaven: The God Who Can’t Be Talked About {TGCW12-Jenny Salt}

“In the Third Heaven: The God Who Can’t Be Talked About” | 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference 2012
Session #5 | Jenny Salt

link to official website

Where do we get our bearings for life? 

The world says to boast about the things that are impressive about you. But, if the Gospel is our GPS, our attitude about boasting will be turned upside-down.

1) Paul shows what Gospel-boasting is. (vs. 1-6)
-Right at the point he’s being criticized, he brings up a low-point in his life–a time that could’ve been seen as pathetic. (ch. 11:30-33)
-Paul speaks in third person, distancing himself from something that would make him seem wonderful. In this context, God cannot be talked about.
-It will stop us from boasting about things that make me look right.
-Whitfield prayed to be spared from the “fiery furnace of popularity” and from the “hosannas of the multitude.”

2) Causes us to boast about our weakness. (vs. 7-10)
-God is sovereign. Nothing happens outside His will.
-There are painful things that happen without no seeming good. BUT Romans 8:28.
-But there was a purpose for the thorn: to keep Paul humble. It pinned him to the ground and held him fast to the Lord in trust and in confidence.
-In the midst of the suffering, His grace is sufficient.
-The more we recognize our weakness, the more we see Christ’s enabling strength. (2 Corinthians 1; 2:13; 9; 1 Corinthians 1) The greater our trouble, the greater our comfort. In our weakness, we are driven to depend on God alone. ♪Nothing in my hand I bring. Simply to the cross I cling. ♪ You bring nothing. He brings everything. 

I have learned to kiss the wave that pushes me against the Rock of Ages. -Charles H. Spurgeon

♪Let the weak say I am strong / Let the poor say I am rich / Because of what the Lord has done for us ♪

{Be sure to read the introductory post to my TGCW12 reviews.}

Treasuring Christ in Our Traditions {TGCW12-Noël Piper}

“Treasuring Christ in Our Traditions” | 2 Timothy 1:1-2:2
The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference 2012
Workshop #3 | Noel Piper

link to official website

-There is only one perfect Home and only one perfect Homemaker. (John 14)
-Home should be Heaven’s reflection. The main thing we want is to be with Jesus. Jesus should be the center of our home.
-One aspect of homemaking is traditions. Our traditions should reflect what we treasure. (James 1:17- He’s the Giver even of traditions.)
-Traditions are things we do regularly that cause us to know and love and want to know God more.
Deuteronomy 11- Tradition is firstly for our own hearts and souls.

You can have everyday traditions (such as laying up God’s Word in your heart) and you can have “especially” traditions.

“Especially” Tradition example:
*Birthdays: By the way you celebrate, you can say you are thankful for God putting this person in your life. These kinds of celebrations give security.
“Everyday” Tradition example:
*Bedtime, etc. It takes planning to surround everyday activities with Scripture.
-Often and regularly
-Repetition teaches whether you intend it to or not.

Catch what’s behind and pass it forward.
Psalm 78:1-7- At least 6 generations we’re indebted to and responsible to.

Reason for traditions: So that the children we love and future generations will set their hope in God. (vs. 7)

{Be sure to read the introductory post to my TGCW12 reviews.}

Gospel Outreach to Muslims and Others Who Don’t Look Like You {TGCW12}

“Abayas & Burqas: Gospel Outreach to Muslims (and others who don’t look like you)”
The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference 2012
Workshop #2 | Keri Folmar & Leeann Stiles

link to official website

Keri Folmar
Our purpose in life is to proclaim the excellencies of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
1) Know the Gospel -That’s the most important thing (God, Man, Christ, Response). Know the Gospel personally. Stoke your love for Christ. The more you know the Gospel, the more natural it will be for you to share it. 

2) Share the Gospel – Having beautiful feet right where you are (Romans 10). The Gospel is not just your testimony or talking generally about God. It’s not talking about how much you like Jesus. The key is His exclusivity (John 14:6).

3) The Gospel is not “how to live the good life.” (The prosperity gospel)

4) The Gospel is not signs and wonders. You must HEAR the Gospel to be saved.

*How can we share the Gospel with those who don’t look like us?
1) Get them to the Scriptures. That’s what has power. (2 Timothy 3:15)
2) Trust in God’s sovereignty. (Mark 9:35)
3) Live the Gospel. We must verbalize the Gospel, but our lives will give it confirmation. Community is important. Live it out in the context of your local church.

Leeann Stiles
There is no stronghold that can’t be overcome by the power of the Gospel. No heart can resist His grace when it is revealed to them. 
{1 Thessalonians 1:4-2:8}

1) Paul spoke and God empowered. (vs. 4)
-Told the Gospel (words are essential)
-Came in power, Holy Spirit, and with full conviction (1 Corinthians 1:18; John 16)
-Do you have confidence in the Gospel?

2) Paul shared the Gospel clearly and persistently. (vs. 9-10)
-Is the Gospel on your mind? Are your ready with  it?

3) Paul loved the Thessalonians well. (vs. 7-8)
-He had deep affection for them and opened his life up to them.

Recommended Books
*The Gospel for Muslims by Thabiti Anyabwile
*Marks of the Messenger by Mack Stiles
*Mack & Leeann’s Guide to Short-Term Missions
*Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper

{Be sure to read the introductory post to my TGCW12 reviews.}

The Snare of Compare {TGCW12-Carolyn Mahaney}

“The Snare of Compare” | John 21:15-22
The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference 2012
Workshop #1 | Carolyn Mahaney

link to official website

How do respond when someone gets what we want?
What are we to do about the things we can’t do anything about? 

vs. 18- Transition from addressing past failure of Peter to addressing his future: death by crucifixion.
vs. 19- “Follow Me,” Christ commands. Jesus knew the one thing that would help Peter most is to follow Him. Grace would be given. We often want pity when we are facing something hard. The best thing we can get is theologically sound counsel.

Like Peter, we have unexpected, undesirable things in our life that we can’t change. Peter could be sure that God assigned it to him. It was divinely appointed and assigned for a special purpose: to glorify God.

Every experience we have been assigned that we maybe don’t want is ultimately that we might glorify God. View these assignments as opportunities to glorify God.

vs. 21- Peter turned away from Jesus and started to compare Himself to John.

vs. 22- Jesus rebuked and commanded Peter. “What I have prepared for John is none of your business. You, follow Me.” For Peter, to turn away from the Savior and to John was the most destructive thing He could’ve done. “What I have assigned to her is none of your concern,” is the most loving thing God could say to us.

Something you must do instead? Follow Him! For every unwanted experience or withheld blessing, God has the same words for us: “You follow Me!” We must keep this in our head. Following the Lord is our life’s call.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. -1 Peter 4:12-13

{Be sure to read the introductory post to my TGCW12 reviews.}