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Friday, November 29, 2013

Charles Spurgeon on the Atonement:

“A redemption which pays a price, but does not ensure that which is purchased—a redemption which calls Christ a substitute for the sinner, but yet which allows the person to suffer—is altogether unworthy of our apprehensions of Almighty God.”

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Augustine on the Two Will of God

"Thus His saints, inspired by His holy will, desire many things which never happen. They pray,
e.g., for certain individuals—they pray in a pious and holy manner—but what they request He does
not perform, though He Himself by His own Holy Spirit has wrought in them this will to pray.
And consequently, when the saints, in conformity with God’s mind, will and pray that all men be
saved, we can use this mode of expression: God wills and does not perform,—meaning that He
who causes them to will these things Himself wills them. But if we speak of that will of His which
is eternal as His foreknowledge, certainly He has already done all things in heaven and on earth
that He has willed,—not only past and present things, but even things still future. But before the
arrival of that time in which He has willed the occurrence of what He foreknew and arranged before
all time, we say, It will happen when God wills. But if we are ignorant not only of the time in
which it is to be, but even whether it shall be at all, we say, It will happen if God wills,—not because
God will then have a new will which He had not before, but because that event, which from eternity
has been prepared in His unchangeable will, shall then come to pass." - City of God 22:2

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Gift Of Prophecy

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;"  -Romans 12:6
 
   Since I was born in 1994 there have been have around 40 predictions that the world would end [1].  One of the major "predictions" was from Harold Camping.  He predicted the end of the world multiple times (the irony of that is clear).  The truth is, the Bible gives us guidelines on how we are to handle "prophets" (I use that word vary loosely in this case. With this in mind, it makes me wonder why there is not more discussion of the gift of prophecy.  This gift has seemed to become a topic for the more "scholarly", when it is something that is vary applicable to the ordinary.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Tongues of Men and Angels: Is the Gift of Tongues for Today?

For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the Lord will speak to this people, to whom he has said, “This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose”; yet they would not hear. - Isaiah 28:11-12

   I once attended a men's conference at an Assemblies of God church in my hometown.  Being saved into a somewhat traditional Southern Baptist church, it was certainly a different experience.  A long time family friend had invited to one night of the conference just on a whim.  This became my first true experience with "glossolalia", what is held by many, especially Pentecostals to be the gift of speaking in the tongues.
   On the way home my friend (and he was actually a major influence in areas of my faith) asked me if I had wanted to speak in tongues and began to share about the "second blessing".  We talked a little, he prayed for me, and we parted ways.  Though my friend and I (along with many other Pentecostal friend I have had) may be differ one some issues in the faith, I have a deep respect for the work of Gospel done by AoG churches and my friend (who as I write this is a missionary to South Korea).  I love them as brothers, sisters and laborers together in the Gospel! I pray for them as often as I remember them and made sure to pray for there churches as I finished writing this.

"We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."
 - 1 Thess. 1:2-3


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bearing Witness

"For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will." - Hebrews 2:2-4

"Prove it!" This is common statement I hear from skeptics regarding Christianity. "That's all fine and good, but prove with absolute certainty that what you say is true." The issue ultimately is not the lack of evidence, because believe me it's there, the heart of the issue is the issue of the heart.
Just as it is for us, it was for the apostles and Jesus Himself. The hearts of the Pharisees were no more harder then the skeptics of today. They s the works of Jesus and still walked away from Christ. We can look at one example in Luke 7 where Jesus resurrected the widows son. What did it says the reaction of the people were?

"Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country."
-Luke 7:16-17.

We can see that the people saw that Jesus was obviously speaking for God. It showed that the message He had was authoritative and divine in origin. This doesn't stop just with Jesus but continues on to the apostles as well. Paul, in 2 Corinthians begins to defend his apostleship and authority. In chapter 12 verse 12 he gives a defense of his apostleship writing, "The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works."

Signs and wonders were the sign of the true apostle- an authoritative witness of the Glorious Risen Savior.

This is exactly why I started this section with Hebrews 2. It also supports the idea that signs and wonders (The supernatural working of the Spirit of God as we see in the book of Acts) were to authenticate the authority of the apostles.

"For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution- Hebrews 2:2

Here the writer of Hebrews is talking about the Old Covenant- the law, a message of sin and condemnation. It was proven reliable by signs and wonders. It doesn't take more then a cursory look at the book of Exodus to see how God proved his messengers reliable.

Exodus 4:6- Leprosy Miracle
Exodus 7:8-13- Aarons staff turns into a snake
Exodus 7:14-12:51- Plagues of Egypt
Exodus 14- Crossing the Red Sea

And on and on the miracles go in the book of Exodus.

I do think, before going further, a definition for miracle (signs and wonders etc...) would be imperative to the discussion.

R.C. Sproul gives a very precise definition of a miracle. He defines a miracle in the broad sense that, "A work that only God can do, such as bringing life out of death, such as, restoring a limb that has been cut off—by command—such as, walking on the water, such as, turning water into wine." So, when the extraordinary happens through the ordinary. [1]

In this sense, this is not the same as God working supernaturally or God healing through prayer. The difference is in the use of human agent in the work. We all know God can (and will) raise the dead. (1 Cor. 15). But, when we see Elisha do it in 2 Kings 4, it is a miracle in a sense Sproul is speaking of.

Miracles (signs and wonders) carry with them the authority of God. As we've seen, only true messengers of God do true signs and wonders. The writer of Hebrews takes this thought forward into his day and time in the rest of the passage.

how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. -Hebrews 2:3-4

The message of salvation was declared first by Jesus then by those who heard from Jesus and, the writer says, this message was attested to by "signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will." We have seen various examples throughout Scripture of the miracles of Jesus. But, let's put the microscope under the miraculous workings of the apostles, specifically those laid out in 1 Corinthians 12.

Signs of the Spirit

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills - 1 Cor. 12:4-11

Here we see that gifts of the Spirit (tounges, prophecy etc...) put right alongside the working of miracles. While we will handle each gift specifically later on, it is important to see that the working of these gifts gave testimony to the message of the Gospel. Signs and wonders, along with gifts of the Spirit were "distributed according to his will." (2 Cor. 12:11, Heb. 2:4). These gifts were one of the many ways the Spirit testifies about Jesus (John 15:26). As 1 Corinthians 12:3 says "...and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit." and that is the whole point, they were to show that Jesus is LORD both through gifts and conversion. They were signs pointing to the reality of the Gospel.

What About Stephen?

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. - Acts 6:8  Many would point to this in the book of Acts and would claim that obviously these gifts were available past the apostles and to everyone in the church.  It is true that Stephen was not one of the twelve, but neither was Paul (and yet Paul performed miracles as well).  What were the requirements of being an apostle in the Bible?  They had to have seen the ressurected Lord Jesus (Acts 1:22).  There were nearly 500 men who had seen this according to Paul (1 Cor. 15:6).  So, in one sense Stephen was an "apostle" though not in the same sense as being one of the chosen, like Mathias.

Also, whether Stephen had seen Jesus or not is somewhat of an inference, but after Stephen preaches to the people, we have a confirmed sighting of Jesus.  "But [Stephen], full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God." -Acts 7:55.

Stephen did see the risen Jesus, just as Paul had.  This shows that he was certainly someone in a different category then "the rest of the church" as some have claimed.  He was a man who was full of the Spirit, yes, but even as the disciples did miracles before seeing the risen Christ (Matthew 10 for example) so Stephen did too.  The Spirit, through his miracles, and through his visions points the people to the "glory of God".  Let us also remember that even faithful men like Stephen faced persecution for his message, and he only got to the message of sin, not of the cross (Acts 7:51-53).

The Here And Now

As we've seen, the signs and wonders done in Bible were meant to be an authoritative sign of the early church.  We don't see these signs in the church today. We don't literally raise the dead, restore limbs or do the works that the apostles did. Though we, like Stephen and the apostles, had not seen the risen Jesus, our witness is not without hope! The Holy Spirit still does the work in conviction of sin (John 16:8) and the work of teaching and revealing Spiritual truth (John 14:26, 1 Cor. 2) and the work of rebirth. (John 3). Now we have the message of the apostles, in the Word of God, and there miracles testify to it. The Holy Spirit "carried along" the authors of Scripture so that it is the true authentic Word of the living God and there miracles prove there divine origin. By this word we are born again (1 Peter 1:23) and it is this word that will endure forever (Matthew 24:35).  The London Baptist Confession 1686 speaks of the work of the Spirit and the Holy Spirit this way,

"The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased." (1:1)

The works of these men were as a witness to the Scriptures, but while "those former ways" has now "ceased" the Scriptures abide forever.

The new birth, given by the Spirit through the Word of God is our commendation- our testimony to the outside world. Paul writes more about this in 2 Corinthians 3.

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. - 2 Corinthians 3:1-3

The Spirit's work in us, promised all the way back in the Old Testament (Ezek. 36:26) is all the testimony we need for the truth we claim. Whatever the skeptic might want to say, God Himself has already made Himself known in Creation (Romans 1:18-20), but ultimately in Christ. Skeptics will say if God will just show Himself they will believe Him, but He already has shown Himself in Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh. (John 1:14). He came to earth, destroyed the temple of His body, and as He said He would, He raised it up again (John 2:19). The skeptic will never see this apart from the work of Spirit to show them the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3-4) and we praise the one who opened our blinded eyes to see. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

An Introduction: A Plea for Humility and Unity

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. - Ephesians 4:4-7

   It seems more and more in the church of Jesus Christ, we walk in disunity. We are called the Body of Christ, but it seems we present ourselves more like Mr. Potato Head. By that I mean, and I'm guilty of this too, we put ourselves more into packs and troops then think ourselves as the Church as a whole.
    We want to divide ourselves by whether we are Reformed or not, whether we use drums in service or not or whether we vote on church issues or let the elders take care of it. While all these issue have there own degree of importance, some more the others, what we need to remember is that for believers on all sides of all these issues, the Lord will be an inexhaustible fountain of joy through the knowledge of Him.
    John 17:3 says, "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." For every believer, this is true, we await an eternity of joy and wonder as we gaze upon the risen Lamb and sing to Him a new song! (Rev. 5:9-10)
    No issue in the church today has been more discussed then the work of the Holy Spirit.  We always hear churches and people draw lines over issues such as tongues, healing (and for the the super scholarly) the place of prophecy in the life of the Church.
   I think for most of us three thoughts go through our minds as we read or think about the work of the Holy Spirit in believers.  Some, from more traditional Baptist or Reformed backgrounds may have visions of people rolling on the floor babbling while the worship band repeats the same chorus yet ANOTHER time.  If you are from a more Pentecostal background and know that while to those who are unfamiliar these things may seem odd, that they are an express of devotion to God.  Or maybe you're like so many: caught in the middle scratching your head.
   Over the history of the Church three main views have remained regarding the gifts.  If you are from the more traditional background and see the more "miraculous" gifts (tongues etc...) then you are familiar with what is called "cessationism" which is the view gifts like that of the apostles ceassed after the 1st century.  Or maybe you are more familiar with the Pentecostal experience (or something similar) then you would be familiar with the view called "Continuationism", which by virtue of the name means the belief that all the gifts of the Spirit available to the 1st century church are in use in the church today.
   Lastly, and much more commonly there is a third view becoming popular in the church today, it's the view called "open but cautious".  Which, in short, is the view that while the gifts of  the Spirit may be available, whether for practical or other reasons are not actively sought after.
   Regardless of your view (each of which will be fleshed out more over the coming chapters) you are in good company.  Great men such as John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Martin Lloyd Johns, Sam Storms, and even Methodist preacher John Wesley have been sited as continuations.  While men such as Charles Spurgeon, John Calvin, along with many of the other Reformers and even John MacArthur have been sited, or directed been quoted as cessationists.  Even those of you who would consider themselves "open but cautious" have Richard Gaffin from Westminster Serminary and David Platt, author of the book "Radical" who once gave a theological principle I think should be clear as topics like this are discussed.  "In essentials unity, In non-essentials, liberty" [1]
   The fact that all of these great men of the faith have disagreed on this issue just shows how humble we need to be when approaching it.  I know the temptation for the reader of this work will be to skip to the section on controversial issues of the Spirit.  I understand that and appreciate those who wish to study the meat of the Word.  But, let me encourage you, this work is not going to necessarily break any ground, but what I seek to do is bring a Biblical understanding and exaltation of the Person and Work of the Spirit of God.  This book is not meant to be a systematic theology, but to give an introduction and to help new believers and remind long time believers, of the glorious Third Person of the Trinity.
  So, let us come, in unity (Ephesians 4:4-7) around God in His nature and the Gospel and it's power (1 Cor. 15:1-11) and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth! (John 4:24).  "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." (Romans 8:14)  As we set out to search the Scriptures let us also be humble in our attitude toward each other and toward doctrine.  Let our prayer be, "Spirit of Truth, guide us into all truth!"

John 16:13 "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."

[1] "Silence in Judgment Amid Shouts of Mercy" delivered by David Platt on Revelation 6:1-8:1, Sept. 02, 2012, http://www.radical.net/media/series/view/1106/silence-in-judgment-amid-shouts-of-mercy?filter=book&book=66

Going To Begin A Series on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Posting the Introduction soon!  (I have posted a few pieces of it, but it will be posted in a better order)

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them" - Hebrews 7:25

Persevering through the prayers of our sympathetic Savior.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’" - Abraham Kuyper

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Justice

"For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when,according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus." -Romans 2:14-16

Over this past week we have seen that each person has a sense of justice within themselves.  We desire for justice to be done.  These are a truly visible sign of the fingerprints of the Potter on the clay of our hearts. Our intrinsic sense of what it right and wrong is smeared deep within our image, which is marred version of His own.  We have a conscience, which means literally "with knowledge" of justice, or right and wrong and points to the Greater reality of the Knowledge Giver, the One who is Perfection, the One who is Moral Law Giver.  He has set this Law in our heart and has shown that we are accountable to Him and one day He will judge us by the law through Jesus Christ.

The question then, for us, will we bow to Him now, or will we bow to Him later?

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:9-11

Monday, July 15, 2013

"What a Savior!"

The idea that Christ's work on the Cross merely made salvation "possible" is to be absolutely rejected.  That would make us our Savior, not God.  Not an ounce of the blood of Jesus was in vain. His atonement is actual and it is total.  "Full Atonement Can it Be?  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!"

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” - Matthew 1:21

Monday, July 8, 2013

Abortion Supporters Chant 'Hail Satan!', Denounced by Actual Satanists

via The Gospel Coalition

Last week at the Texas Capitol, pro-abortion protesters shouted, "Hail Satan!" in an attempt to drown out pro-lifers' rendition of "Amazing Grace." But on Twitter the United Kingdom's Church of Satan said it was "Unfortunate to see Satan's name used in such a diabolical manner." --------Rest of the Story Here

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"What is thy only comfort in life and death?"

"That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him."

-The Heidelberg Catechism Questions 1 and Answer

Great Encouragement!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics

Check out this blasphemous article on Huffinton Post talking about the recent statement from the Pope.

This could have a major effect on Biblical Truth during this time.

Pope Francis is quoted as saying,

"The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can... "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!".. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Let's be praying and keep our eyes on this story.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Claiming to be wise, they became fools,"-Romans 1:22

Thought for the day: To illustrate the truth of this verse, we don't have to look any further then what kind of jeans the culture seems to find popular. Why does it cost more for jeans with holes in them then without? Why does the culture seem to think it is smarter to pay more for what in reality is less?

This is certainly not an indictment or condemnation of a certain kind of jeans, but an analysis of the thinking of a culture.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hebrews 7:25

"Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them."

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Prayer For Good Friday


Blessed Lord Jesus,
Before thy cross I kneel and see the heinousness of my sin,
   my iniquity that caused thee to be ‘made a curse’,
   the evil that excites the severity of divine wrath.

Show me the enormity of my guilt by

   the crown of thorns,
   the pierced hands and feet,
   the bruised body,
   the dying cries.

Thy blood is the blood of incarnate God,

   its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.
Infinite must be the evil and guilt that demands such a price.
Sin is my malady, my monster, my foe, my viper,
   born in my birth,
   alive in my life,
   strong in my character,
   dominating my faculties,
   following me as a shadow,
   intermingling with my every thought,
   my chain that holds me captive in the
   empire of my soul.

Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light,
  the air supply breath,
   the earth bear my tread,
   its fruits nourish me,
   its creatures subserve my ends?

Yet thy compassions yearn over me,
   thy heart hastens to my rescue,
   thy love endured my curse,
   thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.

Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths
   of humiliation,
   bathed in thy blood,
   tender of conscience,
   triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation."
– “The Precious Blood,” Valley of Vision, 74-75.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Regarding "picking and choosing the Old Testament":

I find it frustrating when I read or hear columnists, pundits, or journalists dismiss Christians as inconsistent because ‘they pick and choose which of the rules in the Bible to obey.’ What I hear most often is “Christians ignore lots of Old Testament texts—about not eating raw meat or pork or shellfish, not executing people for breaking the Sabbath, not wearing garments woven with two kinds of material and so on. Then they condemn homosexuality. Aren’t you just picking and choosing what they want to believe from the Bible?

It is not that I expect everyone to have the capability of understanding that the whole Bible is about Jesus and God’s plan to redeem his people, but I vainly hope that one day someone will access their common sense (or at least talk to an informed theological advisor) before leveling the charge of inconsistency.
Tim Keller.

Read more here: 
http://www.redeemer.com/news_and_events/newsletter/?aid=363

Monday, March 18, 2013

“What Is The Foundation Of The Gospel?” - Ken Ham.




Great point.
“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! - Romans 5:17

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Charles Spurgeon on the atonement

We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it, we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, "No, certainly not." We ask them the next question-Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They say, "No." They are obliged to admit this if they are consistent. They say, "No; Christ has died so that any man may be saved if"-and then follow certain conditions of salvation. We say then, we will just go back to the old statement-Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did He? You must say "No;" you are obliged to say so, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace and perish. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why you... We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.
(Sermon 181, New York Street Pulpit, IV, p. 135)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Q&A: The case against women in combat

Very interesting article from Baptist Press by Michael Foust and interview with Owen Strachan. 
How do you think Christians should feel about this issue?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Even before U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the military was lifting its ban on women in combat, professor and theologian Owen Strachan was speaking out against such a possibility, saying it not only went against Scripture but also defied common sense.

The new executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Strachan penned a column for Christianity Today late last year outlining the biblical case against placing women on the front lines of combat.

Following the Pentagon's announcement, Baptist Press conducted an email interview with Strachan, who also serves as assistant professor of theology and church history at Boyce College in Louisville, Ky. What follows is the transcript:

Read more...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Forty Years After Roe, Human Dignity Hangs in the Balance

By Al Mohler

Excerpt-

"Nevertheless, Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land and abortion on demand remains a constant. Since Roe more than 55 million unborn Americans have been aborted, and the nation is more concerned about economics than the sanctity of human life. We have much ground to recover, but the only foundation for a recovery of human dignity is an affirmation of the fact that every single human being is made in God’s image and is of sacred worth from the moment of fertilization until natural death."

Friday, January 18, 2013

"The Most Important Question In The Abortion Debate"


This week marks the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  Which made abortion legal in this nation.
Here is David Platt talking about abortion.  Watch the full sermon HERE.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My reflection for the night. Thank you Lord for the Local Church, sanctify us and make us all that you desire us to be.

"Intentional, personal, local church accountability is the Divine means by which Christ shines into the darkened soul exposing it to it's shame and disobedience, so that it might be lead into glorious Freedom and Light."

-(See Ephesians 5:8-14)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Good News In A Hypothetical Statement...

"This is what the LORD says: 'Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,' declares the LORD." ~ Jeremiah 31:37

Friday, January 11, 2013

"Don't Listen To Saint Paul, Cause I can lead the way"



A new video has surfaced on Youtube which has many Christians up in arms; myself included.

While, many are up in arms over there claim that women should be ordained, which I do, Biblically disagree with, (You can read why HERE) the issue for me is how they make there case.Not only is the it a parody (done to the tune of "Call me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen) but it also presents no cohesive argument.

All we have to do is look at the second stanza to see where they go astray.

"Women priest is my call, Women preaching for all, Don't Listen To Saint Paul, Cause I can lead the way".

As to what the Bible has to says regarding women preaching, check out the link above (on the HERE).

As to why this is a problem for the rest of the video? By throwing out the word of the Apostle Paul into the New Testament, as this song is clearly advocating, you do truly lose any hope for any Truth on the subject.

1) By taking Pauls writings out you lose about 2/3 of the New Testament Truth (13 out of 27).

Also, by discrediting Paul, you must then assume that the words of his supporters are discredited.

2) By doing that you must throw out the writings of Peter, John, and James because they accepted Paul as minister to the Gentiles. "James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised." ~Galatians 2:9 (emphasis mine)

That eliminates 8 more of the books from the canon.

3) But, if we look in 2 Timothy 4:11, we see three directly be taken out (and more by implication). Paul writes,

Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.

That wipes out Acts, Luke and Mark.

But, by principal, Matthew, Jude (the brother of James) and the writer of Hebrews because of there closer connections with the rest of those in the canon (and possibly even Paul himself.) Now we see that by taking out eliminating one segment of truth, all we get in the end with is a lie.

Romans 1:25- " They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen."

"Jesus answered 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." ~ John 14:6

If today you realize you have been avoiding the Truth of God's Word or realize your rebellion against God, I call you to see the Truth and come to Him. See more in the side bar and at: http://needGOD.com

Monday, January 7, 2013

"'For I Know The Plans I Have For You...

...declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" - Jeremiah 29:11

This is a verse that has been abused by many false, and unfortunately, even true Gospel preachers. They will say "This proves that God has a wonderful plan for your life! God wants to prosper you if you just believe in Him!"

But does this verse really help the prosperity Gospel movement? Lets look at some context:

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.

This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.
” ~Jeremiah 29:4-14

In the context what we see is quite the opposite.  The Lord, through Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, is saying in verses 4-9 that Israel, who is currently in exile to Babylon to settle down and endure this trial.  Verse 10 sets up the Lords message perfectly, "This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place."  God tells these people that the exile will be seventy years, for many of these people this is the remainder of there lives.  For the rest of there lives they will face great pain, suffering and tribulation.  But, He says that through seventy years He will begin the process of restoring the remnant, through the Covenant- which is the Blood of Jesus. (Matt. 26:28).

The promise, which is laid in the next four chapters, is the new covenant.  In Jeremiah 31:31-37, we are given the promises of the New Covenant- the promise of being able to keep his covenant (32-33), the promise of forgiveness of sins (34) and the eternal keeping power of God (36).

So, we know that this promise in Jeremiah 29:11 is not a prosperity Gospel.  It is actually quite the opposite.

It is a promise that even through the pain, suffering and exile of this life, that one day we will have hope, joy, and an everlasting relationship with our God.  It can start today through trust in the blood of Christ.  There is no true blessing in the prosperity "Gospel".  It is not good news.  But the shed blood of Christ to redeem a sinful people for Himself and His Glory, now that is good news. I think the words of John to the church of Ephesus are appropriate.

"Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God." ~Revelation 2:7

Saturday, January 5, 2013

5 Notes On Dating For The Guy

Learning and experiencing so much of this article right now!

Via: Brandon Anderson-The Resurgence

I work in church operations, which means I spend an inordinate amount of time with young, single volunteers, many of whom are recent converts. When I first started, it quickly became clear that most young Christians have no idea what Christian dating looks like practically. Here are some insights to help Christian men date in a way that honors God.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Read More

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Rise and Pray..."

And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” ~Luke 22:39-46

As I have been reading through the gospel of Luke this month, I have been overwhelmed by the authority of Jesus and His commands to His people.  In this passage, as He is within reach of His arrest, He stops to pray, which is a common theme in Luke.  As He prays, He has the cross in view saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.", the "cup" He is referring too is the cup of Gods Wrath due to sin which He will bear on Himself on the Cross.  There He would bear the full weight of sin for His people who turn to Him. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin (Jesus), so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." ~2 Corinthians 5:21.  Another thing I find interesting is the statement made about prayer within the text itself.

We see the disciples, as the text says, "a stones throw away" and when Jesus returns to them they are "sleeping for sorrow".  How often is this me?  I let the sorrows of life or the emotions of a moment take control when I should be praying.  What happened to me and the disciples is simple, we both looked away from Jesus.

Jesus was within a stones throw of the disciples and yet the feel asleep in prayer, and us, as Christians, even knowing the love of the Lord and His interceding  for us. (Hebrews 4:14-5:14).

But, we must "Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation." We must look toward Jesus, the Author and perfecter of our faith, in times of temptation.

" And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." ~2 Corinthians 3:18

As we look to Jesus, we are sanctified and formed more into Christs Image. (2 Cor. 3:18)

Let 2013 be a year of prayer- looking to Jesus and continuing to be formed in His image.