Saturday, January 27, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The name "Christian" is not found very often in the New Testament, but is the distinctive title of those who belong to Christ. We read of it in Acts 11:26 where it was conferred upon the Gentile believers at Antioch by divine authority; for the word "called" there literally means "oracularly called," and therefore it was not the Antiochians alone who bestowed this name upon the believers, but God Himself who so designated them. That it has become their well-known appellation is evident from Acts 26:28, where we read that King Agrippa exclaimed, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian!" When Peter wrote his letter some years later he uses it as the commonly recognized name of the pilgrim company, and he tells us that it is praiseworthy to suffer as a Christian.Let us not be-little the title which the Lord Himself has given us or diminish it with a new catch phrase that won't offend the seeker, but rather let us stand firm for the name in which some of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ has suffered and died for in the past.
1 Peter 4:16 "but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name." None needs to be ashamed to suffer because of his faithfulness to the hallowed name he bears. The disciples, as we have noticed already, where called Christians first at Antioch (Acts 11:26). and this name has clung to them ever since, It signifies their union with Christ, and therefore is a name in which to glory, however the world may despise it! Let us therefore never be ashamed of this name and all that it implies, but be prepared to suffer because of it, knowing that we may thus glorify the God who has drawn us to Himself and saves us through His blessed Son, who bore our sins in His own body on the tree.
Excerpt taken from "Expository Notes on The Epistles of James and Peter" by H. A. Ironside, Loizeaux Brothers, Inc. 1947
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Jude 1:8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. NASB
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk So you shall purge the evil from among you. NASB
Friday, January 19, 2007
"The presence or absence of cross-centeredness impacts behavior. Christianity that is not cross-centered will be sympathy without decisiveness, kindness without justice, charm without backbone, and sentimentality without action.
Christianity then becomes a religion for the deserving but not for sinners, a message for the upper-class but not for the lower-class. Without the cross, justification by faith alone degenerates into moralism, and God's holy wrath morphs into tolerance for the well-intentioned. A cross-less Christianity tames the terrible God enthroned between the cherubim before whom the nations tremble. God becomes love, but nothing else. In short, when the message of the cross is removed from the center of Christianity, Christianity removes itself from the center of our thoughts and devotions. A bushel basket is placed over the lamp. It is that simple.
Most importantly, cross-centered Christians grow progressively humble. I fellowship with one church that preaches the cross. The sing it, they preach it, they read about it, and they exult in it. Therefore, they feel deeply their sinfulness and unworthiness. Humility is their outstanding quality.
Another church in my area believes in the cross, but transforming the culture is their central focus. They write about culture, sing about it, and discuss it constantly, By contrast, their outstanding quality is pride. They look down on other Christians. The are contentious and lack grace."
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Update: Benny Hinn and his lawyers are actively pursuing removal of all damaging video of his heretical behavior and teachings on YouTube.com so with that said it is getting more and more difficult to view this video of Mr. Hinn and his bizarre antics.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
ELECTION — the gracious and free act of God by which He calls those who become part of His kingdom and special beneficiaries of His love and blessings. The Bible describes the concept of election in three distinct ways. Election sometimes refers to the choice of Israel and the church as a people for special service and privileges. Election may also refer to the choice of a specific individual to some office or to perform some special service. Still other passages of the Bible refer to the election of individuals to be children of God and heirs of eternal life.
Throughout the history of redemption, election has characterized God’s saving activity. He chose and called Abraham from Ur to Canaan, making an everlasting covenant with him and his offspring (Gen. 11:31–12:7; Neh. 9:7; Is. 41:8). God also called Moses to lead His people out of bondage (Ex. 2:24–3:10; Deut. 6:21–23; Ps. 105). He chose Israel from among the nations of the world to be His special covenant people (Deut. 4:37; 7:6–7; Is. 44:1–2).
Election to salvation takes place “in Christ” (Eph. 1:4; 2:10) as a part of God’s purpose for the human race. As part of His eternal plan, God allows us to use our freedom to rebel against Him. Thus it is gracious of God to save those who find salvation through Jesus Christ. It is not unjust of Him not to save everyone, since no one deserves to be saved (Matt. 20:14; Rom. 1:18; 9:15). Election is gracious; it is also unconditional and unmerited (Acts 13:48; Rom. 9:11; 1 Pet. 1:2). It is an expression of the eternal, sovereign will of God who cannot change (Rom. 8:29; 2 Thess. 2:13). Therefore the salvation of the elect is certain (Rom. 8:28, 33).
Election is a necessary condition for salvation; faith is the sufficient condition. The elect inevitably believe, but they do not believe against their will. They have a God-given desire and ability to trust in Christ for salvation (Acts 13:48; 1 Cor. 15:10; Phil. 1:29; 2:13). The elect choose God because He effectively calls them through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ; they choose Him because He first chose and called them to Himself (Rom. 8:28). That initiating love of God is reflected in Jesus’ statement, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16).
A careful study of the Bible’s doctrine of man cures any romantic notion of a human will that is free to choose for or against God. Those who are slaves to sin and its power (Rom. 6:6) neither understand nor seek after God in and of themselves (Rom. 3:11; John 14:17; 1 Cor. 2:14). Outside of Christ, people are spiritually dead rebels who neither desire to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ nor are able to. Apart from God’s gracious, free, eternal, and sovereign choice of sinners to become His children, none would be saved but would remain forever under His wrath (Rom. 1:18).
Election is not to be a source of complacency (2 Pet. 1:12) or presumption (Rom. 11:19–22) on the part of Christians. They are to make their calling and election certain by growing in godliness (2 Pet. 1:2–11) as they respond with gratitude to God’s electing love (Col. 3:12–17).God has chosen Christians to bear the image and glory of Christ (Rom. 8:29; 2 Thess. 2:14). They have been elected to be holy in conduct, like Christ (Eph. 1:4). Like Him, they are also to be glorified in their whole being in the life to come (2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:21). The ultimate goal of our election is that we might bring praise and glory to God (Eph. 1:6; Rom. 11:33; 2 Thess. 2:13).
Taken from the "Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary"; Nashville: T. Nelson. (1995)
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Excerpt taken from Heritage of great evangelical teaching : Featuring the best of Martin Luther, John Wesley, Dwight L. Moody, C.H. Spurgeon and others. 1997, c1996. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
"Our Lord teaches us to beware of this terrible, alarming possibility of deceiving ourselves. We are all quite clear about conscious hypocrisy. The conscious hypocrite is not a problem; he is obvious and self-evident. What is so much more difficult to discern is unconscious hypocrisy, when a man not only misleads others but also deceives himself, when a man not only persuades others wrongly about himself, but persuades himself wrongly about himself. That is the very thing with which our Lord is dealing here, if we believe the New Testament is true, then there is nothing more important than that we should examine ourselves in the light of a statement such as this.
If, then, what we are describing is unconscious hypocrisy, does it not follow that we can do nothing about it? Is it not by definition something with which a man cannot deal with? If it is a condition in which a man is deluding himself, how can he possibly safeguard himself against it? The answer is that, on the contrary, a great deal can be done. The first and most important thing is to consider the cause of self-deception. That is the way to discover it in ourselves. If we can arrive at a list of the causes of self-delusion and self-deception, and the examine ourselves in the light of these causes, we shall be in a position to deal with them. And the New Testament is full of instruction with respect to that. That is why it is always exhorting us to test and to examine ourselves; that is why it is always exhorting us to prove and try the spirits, and indeed to prove all things. It is a great Book of warning. That is not popular today. People say that that is being negative; but the New Testament always emphasizes the negative aspect of truth as well as the positive.
What, then, are the common causes of self-deception in this matter? First: there is a false doctrine of assurance. This is the tendency to base our assurance only upon certain statements which we ourselves make. There are those who say, "Scripture says, 'He that believeth on him is not condemned' but shall receive 'everlasting life'; 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved'; 'Whosoever believeth in his heart and confesseth with his mouth shall be saved.'" They interpret such statements as meaning that as long as they acknowledge and say certain things about the Lord Jesus Christ, they are automatically saved. Their error is surely this: The man who is truly saved and who has a genuine assurance of salvation does make, and must make, these statements, but the mere making of these statements does not of necessity guarantee, or assure, a man of his salvation. The very people with whom our Lord is dealing with do say: "Lord, Lord," and they seem to put the right content into that statement; but, as we have seen, James reminds us in his Epistle that "the devils also believe, and tremble." If we read the Gospels, we discover that the evil spirits, and devils, recognize the Lord. They refer to Him as "the Holy One of God." They know who He is; they say the right things about Him. But they are devils and they are lost. So we must be wary of that very subtle temptation, and remember the way in which people wrongly persuade themselves. They say "I do believe, and I have said with my mouth that I believe Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, and that He has died for my sins, therefore..." but the argument is incomplete. The believer, that Christian, does say these things, but he does not stop at merely saying them. That is what is sometimes described as "fideism" or "believism," which means that a man is really putting his final trust in his own faith, and not the Lord Jesus Christ. He is relying on his own belief, and on his mere assertion of it."
Excerpt taken from a two-volume set, titled "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1896-1981)
Friday, January 12, 2007
Divine love can only spring from the teachings and operations of God upon the heart. Our "carnal mind is enmity against God"—nothing but implacable, irreconcilable enmity. But when the Lord is pleased to make himself in some measure, known to the soul; when he is pleased, in some degree, to unveil his lovely face, and to give a discovery of his grace and glory—immediately love springs up. He is so lovely an Object! As the Bride says, He is "altogether lovely." His beauty is so surpassing, his grace so rich, his mercy so free—all that he is and has is so unspeakably glorious—that no sooner does he unveil his lovely face, than he wins over all the love of the heart, takes possession of the bosom, and draws every affection of the soul to centre wholly and solely in himself.J.C. Philpot (1802-1869)
Excerpt taken from a sermon by John MacArthur titled "Chosen by God, Part 2" it is part of an audio series titled "Chosen for Eternity" you can download this sermon at www.gty.org it's tape #60-3
Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne. Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own. Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee, And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side, Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified. No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight, But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.
Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave, And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save. His glories now we sing, Who died, and rose on high, Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.
Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time, Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime. All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me; Thy praise and glory shall never, never fail throughout eternity.
Before Salvation came into this world, Election marched in the very forefront, and it had for its work the billeting of Salvation. Election went through the world and marked the houses to which Salvation should come and the hearts in which the treasure should be deposited. Election looked through all the race of man, from Adam down to the last, and marked with sacred stamp those for whom Salvation was designed. "He must needs go through Samaria," said Election; and Salvation must go there. Then came Predestination. Predestination did not merely mark the house, but it mapped the road in which Salvation should travel to that house, Predestination ordained every step of the great army of Salvation, it ordained the time when the sinner should be brought to Christ, the manner how he should be saved, the means that should be employed; it marked the exact hour and moment, when God the Spirit should quicken the dead in sin, and when peace and pardon should be spoken through the blood of Jesus. Predestination marked the way so completely, that Salvation doth never overstep the bounds, and it is never at a loss for the road. In the everlasting decree of the Sovereign God, the footsteps of Mercy were every one of them ordained.Excerpt from a sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, September 20, 1857, by the REV. C. H. Spurgeon at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens; Entitled "Things That Accompany Salvation".
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
By Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Excerpt compiled after listening to GTY90 from Grace To You. An interview with John MacArthur and Phil Johnson titled "Straight Talk About the Seeker Church Movement"
Monday, January 08, 2007
And shall I fear to own His cause Or blush to speak His name?
Must I be carried to the skies On flow'ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize And sailed thro' bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face? Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace, To help me to God?
Sure I must fight if I would reign; Increase my courage, Lord
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain, Supported by The Word. Amen
Friday, January 05, 2007
It has become apparent that you must have never heard the Biblical truth on the subject of the gift of tongues, because if you had I am sure the Holy Spirit would have confirmed it's truth with the Holy scriptures. So with your recent statements about the Southern Baptist stance being "out of touch with the text and the times", is proof enough that you are the one who is out of touch, and now I believe it's time for you to hear the other side of your argument. Denis Lyle is in touch with the Holy text as he preaches his sermon titled "Is the Gift of Tongues for Today?" Please take the time to download it for free, it will only cost you 48 minutes of your time but it's truth will impact your life for all of eternity. If for some reason you still want to argue with the scriptures, let me refer you to a quote by A. W. Tozer
"The scholar has a vitally important task to perform within a carefully prescribed precinct. His task is to guarantee the purity of the text, to get as close as possible to the Word as originally given. He may compare Scripture with Scripture until he has discovered the true meaning of the text. But right there his authority ends. He must never sit in judgment upon what is written. He dare not bring the meaning of the Word before the bar of his reason or his experience. He dare not commend or condemn the Word as reasonable or unreasonable, scientific or unscientific. After the meaning is discovered, that meaning judges him; never does he judge it."Excerpt taken from "The Knowledge of The Holy" by A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Emphasis added.
Fling him into his office and tear the Pastors Office sign off the door and nail a sign to it that says STUDY. Take him off the mailing list. Lock him up with his books, his computer, and his Bible and slam him down on his knees before text and broken hearts and the flick of lives of a superficial flock and a Holy God. Force him to be the one man in your community who knows about God. Throw him into the ring to box with God until he learns how short his arms are. Engage him to wrestle with God all the night through, and then let him come out only when he is bruised and beaten into being a blessing. Shut his mouth forever spouting remarks and stop his tongue forever tripping lightly over every non-essential. Require him to have something to say before he dares break the silence. Burn his eyes with weary study. Wreck his emotional poise with worry for God. Make him exchange his stance for a humble walk with God. Make him spend and be spent for the glory of God. Rip out his telephone. Burn up his ecclesiastical records. Put water in his gas tank; then give him his Bible, and tie him to the pulpit and make him preach the Word of the living God. Test him! Quiz him! Examine him! Humiliate him for his ignorance of things divine. Shame him for his good comprehension of finances, game scores and politics. Laugh at his frustrated efforts to play Psychiatrist. Form a choir and raise an anthem and haunt him with it night and day. When at last he dares approach the pulpit, ask him if he has a Word from God, If he doesn't dismiss him. Then command him not to come back until he's read and re-read, and written and re-written, and until he can stand up and say thus saith the Lord. Break him across the board of his ill gotten popularity. Smack him hard with his own prestige. Corner him with questions about God. Cover him with demands of celestial wisdom. Give him no escape until his back is against the wall of the Word. Then sit down before him and listen to the only word he has left, God's Word. Give him a chapter and order him to walk around in it, camp on it, sup with it, and come at last to speak it backward and forward until all he says about it rings with the truth of eternity.
Then when he is burned out by the flaming Word, when he is consumed at last by the fiery grace blazing through him, when he is privileged to translate the truth of God to men, and finally transferred from earth to heaven; then bear him away gently, and blow a muted trumpet and lay him down softly. Place a two edged sword on his coffin, raise the tomb triumphant for he was a brave solider of the Word and ere he did die for he had become a man of God.
Transcribed from a message by John MacArthur entitled "The Man of God" which was delivered at The Masters Seminary 08/31/2004
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Monday, January 01, 2007
Excerpt taken mostly from a sermon called "The Devil In The Pulpit" by E. L. Powell ( 1860-1933) found it the book titled "Great Southern Preaching" edited by Charles M. Crowe, The Macmillan Company 1926
"I wish you to consider the devil in his own pulpit, delivering his own message. I wish you to think of him at his very best, when he brings into play all of his marvelous ability. I wish you to see him as the greatest strategist of the world, as the most consummate villain that imagination or experience has ever created. How wonderfully versatile is this devil! How marvelously subtle! So far as pulpits go, the devil has no need to trouble himself as to hospitality. Every vantage ground is his pulpit. One of the noticeable things in connection with his ministry is the fact that he always seizes upon influential and important agencies. He does not cast his power in weak places. He watches for the strategic opportunity, and always uses the important institution or the great personality.
Now when the devil mounts his pulpit what is his text? His text is this: Give the people what they want. It seems plausible. It seems reasonable. One hesitates before denying the truthfulness or of the message. Give the people what they want. Now, the devil's message is summed up in one word - "selfishness." Now, friends, there is not a more subtle or more refined message than this which the devil brings to the world today. It is the secular message of today, what is secular? It is whatever is done for yourself to the exclusion of other people, or at the expense of other people. It matters not whether it be good or bad. If your business is being conducted for your own good and at the expense of society, it is a devil's business no matter what that business may be. Whatever is unselfish is divine; whatever is not sacrificial is satanic. Whatever is satanic is secular. Now here is the devil's message: "All that man hath will he give for his life." Therefore, use all of your gifts, all of your talents, all of your accomplishments to minister to physical existence.
Now, the second part of the devil's sermon is very close akin to the first: "Use your spiritual gifts, your peculiar endowments, your faculties and powers, whatever they may be, for vulgar and spectacular ends. The people want to be surprised; they want to be startled and amazed, and then they will rally to your standard. Here is the second part of the devil's message; Hugeness is greatness. That which is startling and surprising and amazing is the glorious thing. When we come to learn that nothing is worth while, nothing is great that is not based upon an ethical foundation. I think of Calvary, with the cross of Jesus Christ on its summit, as the mightiest eminence upon which this world has ever looked. What makes it great? That which makes Calvary great is the sublime self-sacrifice expressed on that cross. This same devil said to Jesus, "Come down from the cross and we will believe you to be the Son of God." It was a temptation in another form, and yet the same temptation suggested by him in the wilderness, namely, cast yourself from the pinnacle of the temple. If Jesus had come down from the cross he would have exploited the spectacular, He would have degraded the cross into a miserable theater of the picturesque. There is nothing great except that which is moral. All else is simple vulgarity. All else is nature standing aloof from the moral interpretation placed upon nature by man.
The third division of the devil's message, and is the peroration as well, consists of the emphasis placed by him upon things divorced from all ethical significance. Seeking kingdoms, thrones, positions, promotions. These in themselves has no inherent value in it. The only meaning of any office is the opportunity which it gives you to serve your fellow man. Why seek one for itself? The difference between ambition and aspiration is this; Ambition is seeking things under the mistaken notion that they have some value in themselves. Aspiration is that fine quality of the soul, that divine insight, which enables us to see the realities behind the things. Do not let the devil's preaching allow yourself to be prostituted and dishonored but stand on the proclamation of the Gospel as the direct antithesis to all that is materialistic, to all that is spectacular, to all things without moral relationships and without ethical ignificance."
"One of the consequences of failing to preach the Word of God demonstrates pride and a lack of submission; it's a maverick mentality. I know that the Bible is there but the Bible is old and it's outdated and people don't like long sermon's and they don't want to hear what the Bible has to say, we hear so much of that going on today, so literally this is a lack of submission to the Word of God, so you fail to submit to the Farther, the Son, the Spirit and the Word. You do not train your people to submit to Biblical truth if you don't. If you literally are not conscience bound, duty bound, relentlessly bound to the teaching of the Word of God, then your conveying to your people your own lack of submission and like people, like priest. And if people won't submit to the Word of God then what in the world will they submit to."