Monday, December 31, 2007

Mulligan Gospel?

And believe it or not preachers all across this country think that this man preaches the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Give me a break!

(HT) Extreme Theology

Judgment Sermon

If you didn't get the free mp3 download from a couple of weeks back at Grace To You titled Judgment on a Reprobate Society this is your second chance to Download It Now. This is a must listen sermon for any born again believer and a great tool to use on your lost friends. Very very powerful message!

"You may try to tell me that this is an intellectual thing, that God blesses homosexuals and all this stuff is hearts and flowers and wonderful relationships and filial friendships, and its all very beautiful and its all very David and Jonathan and so forth and so on, but the fact of the matter is you're nothing but evil, vile, Godless, apostate perverts." —John MacArthur

Friday, December 28, 2007

Believe and Obey

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)"Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes... "only those who believe obey" is what we say to that part of a believer's soul which obeys, and "only those who obey believe" is what we say to that part of the soul of the obedient which believes. If the first half of the proposition stands alone, the believer is exposed to the danger of cheap grace, which is another word for damnation. If the second half stands alone, the believer is exposed to the danger of salvation through works, which is also another word for damnation." —Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)

Excerpt taken from The Cost Of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, SCM Press Ltd. published 1959, p. 63 & 68

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Isaiah 9:6-7
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Luke 2:9-14
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ignorance of Doctrine

Arthur Walkington Pink (1886–1952)"The substitution of so-called "practical" preaching for the doctrinal exposition which it has supplanted is the root cause of many of the evil maladies which now afflict the church of God. The reason why there is so little depth, so little intelligence, so little grasp of the fundamental verities of Christianity, is because so few believers have been established in the faith, through hearing expounded and through their own personal study of the doctrines of grace. While the soul is unestablished in the doctrine of the Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures—their full and verbal inspiration— there can be no firm foundation for faith to rest upon. While the soul is ignorant of the doctrine of Justification there can be no real and intelligent assurance of its acceptance in the Beloved. While the soul is unacquainted with the teaching of the Word upon Sanctification it is open to receive all the crudities and errors of the Perfectionists or "Holiness" people. While the soul knows not what Scripture has to say upon the doctrine of the New Birth there can be no proper grasp of the two natures in the believer, and ignorance here inevitably results in loss of peace and joy. And so we might go on right through the list of Christian doctrine. It is ignorance of doctrine that has rendered the professing church helpless to cope with the rising tide of infidelity. It is ignorance of doctrine which is mainly responsible for thousands of professing Christians being captivated by the numerous fallacies of the day. It is because the time has now arrived when the bulk of our churches "will not endure sound doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:3) that they so readily receive false doctrines." —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

Quote taken from The Sovereignty of God by A. W. Pink, first published 1930 republished 1984 by Baker Books p. 213-214

Theology Alert

Theology UnpluggedJust wanted to give a heads up to a newly found podcast that I have recently subscribed to and have found it to be very edifying. It is Theology Unplugged and it is brought to us by Reclaiming the Mind Ministries it is along the same format as The White Horse Inn but they stay mainly with theological issues. You can view their archives here or subscribe to the XML feed here and then there is this link just for iTunes users. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Suffering and Rejection

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)"To endure the cross is not a tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ. When it comes, it is not an accident, but a necessity. It is not the sort of suffering which is inseparable from this mortal life, but the suffering which is an essential part of the specifically Christian life. It is not suffering per se but suffering-and-rejection, and not rejection for any cause or conviction of our own, but rejection for the sake of Christ. If our Christianity has ceased to be serious about discipleship, if we have watered down the gospel into emotional uplift which makes no costly demands and which fails to distinguish between natural and Christian existence, then we cannot help regarding the cross as an ordinary everyday calamity, as one of the trials and tribulations of life. We have forgotten that the cross means rejection and shame as well as suffering... But this notion has ceased to be intelligible to a Christianity which can no longer see any difference between an ordinary human life and a life committed to Christ." —Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)

Excerpt taken from The Cost Of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, SCM Press Ltd. published 1959, p. 88-89

Valiant for the Truth!

After reading Phil Johnson's post on How Can I Be Sure? and the many other post around the blog world on the topic of the Emergent Church and the battle over the "Truth War" and recently I heard an interview on Way of The Master Radio with Doug Pagitt and Doug refused to let Todd Friel quote Psalms and I wondered why he would do that, so I decided to do a search for the word "Truth" in the bible and found that Psalms is so full of truth claims (imagine that) which is exactly what Mr. Pagitt tries to avoid. In my search of the word "Truth" in scripture I have compiled a summery of my thoughts in line with what the bible reveals concerning truth, I hope and pray it sheds some light on the false notion that as Christians we must embrace ambiguity and reject absolute truth.

The God of the Bible is the "God of Truth" (Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalm 31:5, Isaiah 65:16), God "lives, in truth" (Jeremiah 4:2) and the Bible is called the "scripture of truth" and the "Word of truth" (Daniel 10:21, John 17:17, 2 Corinthians 6:7, Ephesians 1:13, James 1:18). Jerusalem is "called a city of truth" (Zechariah 8:3) the ten commandments are called "the law of truth" (Malachi 2:6) and God "desires truth in our inward parts" (Psalm 51:6), and the only way we can truly serve God is "in Spirit and in Truth" (John 4:23). We are reminded to continually walk before Him "in truth" with all our soul (1 Kings 2:4) and to "serve him in truth with all your heart" (1 Samuel 12:24). The man who wants to walk righteously before God must "speaketh the truth in his heart" (Psalm 15:2) and he wants to be "guided and taught in truth" (Psalm 25:5), and will "not conceal" the truth from others (Psalm 40:10), but will gladly "rejoiceth in the truth" (1 Corinthians 13:6).

But today within Christianity there are those who deny that there is even an absolute truth to be known but without truth there is no mercy for "mercy and truth are met together" (Psalm 85:10), they say that this is a new generation where truth is within each of us but "His truth endureth to all generations" (Psalm 100:5) and "endureth for ever" (Psalm 117:2). If no one can surely know truth then there is no actual right or wrong which is the basics of all laws and without laws there is only anarchy but God's "laws and commandments are truth" (Psalm 119:142,151, Malachi 2:6). Those who deny absolute truth also deny the Lord Jesus and call Him a liar for Christ said "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) and was "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Jesus taught "the way of God in truth" (Matthew 22:16, Mark 12:14) we are told that "the truth is in Jesus" (Ephesians 4:21). These same false teachers also deny the Holy Spirit for the Spirit is called "the Spirit of truth" (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13, 1 John 4:6) and "the fruit of the Spirit is in truth" (Ephesians 5:9). We are to be "sanctified through the truth" (John 17:19) and we are to "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) and we are to have our "loins girt about with truth" (Ephesians 6:14) and how can we do this unless we study so that we can "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15), and we know that it is God's will that we "come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4) so that "the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

But those who maintain that we can't know truth are "false witness's and speak deceit" (Proverbs 12:17), they are "in err and devise evil" (Proverbs 14:22), they make mention of God "but not in truth, nor in righteousness" (Isaiah 48:1) they "obey not the voice of the Lord and truth is cut off from their mouth" (Jeremiah 7:28). "And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 9:3). And "they will deceive his neighbour, and will not speak the truth" (Jeremiah 9:5) and their "father is the devil" (John 8:44) for they have "changed the truth of God into a lie" (Romans 1:25) and are "instructors of the foolish" (Romans 2:20) and they "hinder you that ye should not obey the truth" (Galatians 5:7) for they have "received not the love of the truth" (2 Thessalonians 2:10) and are "men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth" (1 Timothy 6:5). These same men have "turned away their ears from the truth" (2 Timothy 4:4, Titus 1:14) and are "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7).

But these men have been led "captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Colossians 2:8) and are "a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right!" and "full of all kinds of deceit and trickery" (Acts 13:10). So I pray that these men "will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will" (2 Timothy 2:26) otherwise they might be counted among those who "might be damned who believed not the truth" (2 Thessalonians 2:12) because the Lord will "judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth" (Psalm 96:13).
"There is one sure and infallible guide to truth, and therefore, one, and only one corrective for error, and that is the Word of God." —G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Linebacker

Come on, you know you have always dreamed of being a Christmas Linebacker!

(HT) Mister Anderson

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Playing Men of God?

Below is an quote from a sermon that Paul Washer preached, don't know the name of the sermon, where it was preached nor do I have it in it's entirety, but I heard this clip on The Way of The Master Radio with Todd Friel that was aired December 13th you can download the full show here it sounds like a sermon jam but not sure about that. If you have any information about the actual sermon please let me know. Anyway this is Paul Washer's take on seeker-sensitive church's.

"If you are a lost unregenerate Hell bound church member, then you will need all sorts of things to motivate you for the Christian life, you'll need to go to a church where it's like a six-flags over Jesus, they have every sort of thing you can imagine to keep you entertained. They have program after program after program because they got to keep the machine going because the building cost a lot of money. And they gotta introduce and embrace every fad that comes down the pike, church growth this, church growth that, my goodness how did the apostle Paul ever start a church? You have to be sensitive to culture, this generation, that generation, the x-y-z generation, every generation and you have to know everything, NO! It's all a bunch of little boys trying to play men of God without the scripture is what it is and they've got to build something on something other than scripture because they don't have scripture nor the power of God." —Paul Washer

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Come and Die

"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." —Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Running To The Light

For almost sixteen years me and my family sat under superficial biblical teaching that was driven by either programs or purpose all born out of a faulty theology that "had a form of Godliness", and it was very easy to run to the light that they were shining because it was a light that had been "put under a bushel", it was just enough of the true Light not to offend the eyes of my heart, it was like looking "through a glass darkly" but only worse, because I had been given sun glasses to wear and I gladly put them on. But now after a year long steady diet of sound biblical doctrine from a local expository preacher who's presentation of the Light is being "set on a candlestick", the scales have been removed from my darkened mind and now several things have become very apparent to me in my own life. First it is quite clear that my wicked heart is being exposed to more Light than ever before and this is proving to be a very painful process to endure, because the first reaction of my flesh is to run from the glaring Light that has "been shed abroad in my heart", or I want to try and hide my sin from the Light. These two gut reactions are not acceptable to a true Christian they both leave me wanting and defeated and neither reaction leaves me fulfilled but convicted in my spirit of some wrong doing. Second I am understanding more of what it means to press on, you see, I see myself for what I truly am and it's an ugly site to behold but I find that the Light is so attractive to me like never before and it's beauty is so desirable that I no longer want to hide my sins or flee, but I want to run to the Light so that there is no longer any more hiding places for my guilt and burden to remain. This is a very difficult time in my walk with Christ as I have found myself so unsuspectingly crushed by sins that I have never dealt with before and some that I have really never realized were hindering my walk and my witness.

So I pray that God will continue to expose me to more of the Light of His Word in hopes that my darkened heart will shine brighter and brighter with the love and truth of Jesus Christ all to His glory, please forgive me Lord and help me to kill my sin daily with more of Your Light. Amen

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This Week in Blogdom

Joe Thorn leaves us with a great Packer quote on doctrine.

Tim Challies notified us of the
White House Christmas Card.

CRN informs us of an
article from Ankerberg Theological Research Institute concerning Islam.

Erik at the
Irish Calvinist reminds us of a sermon by R. C. Sproul on justification.

Nathan Busenitz over at
Pulpit Magazine gives us a great article on compromise.

Over at Team Pyro Phil Johnson reminds us that the
Gospel Lite tastes great but it's less filling.

and finally Ingrid over at
Slice of Laodicea informs us of a new book on a forgotten doctrine.


This morning as I prepare my heart for corporate worship with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, I am reminded by this article of the type of worship services me and my wife have come out of recently and how important it is to join in a biblical worship service instead of the ever growing showtime religion that seems to be so popular today. Below is a quote from John MacArthur's article.

"Can the church fight apathy and materialism by feeding people's appetite for entertainment? Evidently many in the church believe the answer is yes, as church after church jumps on the show-business bandwagon. It is a troubling trend that is luring many otherwise orthodox churches away from biblical priorities.

Church buildings are being constructed like theatres. Instead of a pulpit, the focus is a stage. Some feature massive platforms that revolve or raise and lower, with colored lights and huge sound boards. Shepherds are giving way to media specialists, programming consultants, stage directors, special effects experts, and choreographers.

The idea is to give the audience what they want. Tailor the church service to whatever will draw a crowd. As a result, pastors are more like politicians than shepherds, looking to appeal to the public rather than leading and building the flock God gave them. The congregation is served a slick, professional show, where drama, pop music, and maybe a soft-sell sermon constitute the worship service. But the emphasis isn't on worship, it's on entertainment."
Excerpt taken from an article by John MacArthur titled "Gimme That Showtime Religion".

Friday, December 14, 2007

Quote of the Day

“We shall never be clearly persuaded, as we ought to be that our salvation flows from the wellspring of God’s free mercy until we come to know his eternal election, which illumines God’s grace by this contrast: that he does not indiscriminately adopt all into the hope of salvation but gives to some what he denies to others” —John Calvin (1509-1564)

Lost Hymns

How Sad Our State By Nature Is!

How sad our state by nature is!
Our sin, how deep it stains!
And Satan binds our captive souls
Fast in his slavish chains.

But hark! a voice of sovereign grace
Sounds from the sacred Word;
“Ho, ye despairing sinners, come,
And trust upon the Lord!”

My soul obeys the Almighty’s call,
And runs to this relief;
I would believe Thy promise, Lord;
O help my unbelief!

To the blest fountain of Thy blood,
Incarnate God, I fly;
Here let me wash my spotted soul
From sins of deepest dye.

Stretch out Thine arm, victorious King,
My reigning sins subdue,
Drive the old Dragon from his seat,
With all his hellish crew.

A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
Into Thy hands I fall;
Be Thou my strength and righteousness,
My Savior, and my all.

Words: Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs, 1707

Thursday, December 13, 2007

God-fearing Men?

As I come near to the end of this great book by A. W. Pink titled The Sovereignty of God, several things have really impacted my thinking of God while reading this book, first and foremost is a clearer view of His absolute sovereignty over all of His creation including salvation, reprobation, the human will and how all these great truths should impact our prayer life have been a real eye opener. Pink takes it even further as he talks about the attitude of fear we should always have towards God and the dangerous effects of not having a healthy fear of the Lord. I know there are some in Christendom who say that God doesn't want us to fear Him, and this seems to be a pious statement, but Mr. Pink begs to differ and I whole heartily agree.

"Why is it that even among those who profess to be the Lord's people there is so little real subjection to His Word, and that its precepts are so lightly esteemed and so readily set aside? Ah! what needs to be stressed to-day is that God is a God to be feared. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 1:7). Happy the soul that has been awed by a view of God's majesty, that has had a vision of God's awful greatness, His ineffable holiness, His perfect righteousness, His irresistible power, His sovereign grace. Does someone say, "But it is only the unsaved, those outside of Christ, who need to fear God"? Then the sufficient answer is that the saved, those who are in Christ, are admonished to work out their own salvation with "fear and trembling." Time was, when it was the general custom to speak of a believer as a "God-fearing man"—that such an appellation has become nearly extinct only serves to show whither we have drifted. Nevertheless, it still stands written, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him" (Psalms 103:13)! —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)
Quote taken from The Sovereignty of God by A. W. Pink, first published 1930 republished 1984 by Baker Books p. 181

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merciful Husband

Proverbs 11:17 "The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh."

I am far from being a Biblical scholar so don't make to much of this it's just a thought that ran through my mind this morning as I was reading my daily Proverbs and I came across the verse above, and I was reminded of Ephesians 5:28 "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself." and so I have concluded that "He that is cruel and unmerciful to his wife troubles his own flesh: Do good to your soul, love your wife and be merciful to her."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Open Line Denies Calvinism

"Calvinism really is a bad doctrine" was the knock-out punch from "Chuck" who called into Open-Line on Monday night which is a bi-weekly radio program hosted by Pastor Donald Cole and part of the Moody Broadcasting Network. This was said right after Pastor Cole said quote: "Everybody is among the elect" and all you have to do is to "activate it" referring to salvation and that "until you activate it, it's useless" just like a credit card. Then a 11 year old girl called in and quoted John 6:44 and asked about predestination, and Pastor Cole said "what Jesus is really saying is that if your not a lover of God you won't like me either". Now I know that Pastor Cole is a very well loved and respected Bible teacher and my goal is not to attack Pastor Cole's faith in Christ, as I truly believe him to be a brother in the Lord Jesus, but do these statements really line up with scripture? Now I don't think that Pastor Cole really believes you have to love God before you come to Christ. And I am pretty sure the Bible teaches that men are DEAD in there transgressions and sins (Eph 2:1, Col 2:13) and I don't think men dead in sin love God. So my question to Pastor Cole is why in the world would the Apostle Paul asked the question in Romans 9:14a "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?" if he wasn't teaching the doctrine of election? I guess I shouldn't be shocked since Moody himself tended to lean more toward the Arminian side.

Anyway, you can download the whole program in mp3 format HERE and pick up the discussion almost 17 minutes into the show, I would love to hear your comments on this one.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Meddle Not With Them!

Proverbs 24:21 "My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:"

With all the Emergent church leaders like Brian McClaren who are declaring that Everything Must Change I believe it's quite clear from this verse that as Christians we are commanded not to meddle with them that not only are given to change but who openly proclaim that a change is needed within Christendom, and you may ask why? Well just read the next Proverb.

Proverbs 24:22
"For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?"

Clearly the Emergent Church Movement has risen suddenly and who will know the ruin of them that follow this change? The famous Baptist Preacher John Gill commented on these verses in his Exposition of the whole Bible he said concerning verse 21 quote:

"Or who are given to change in religious things; make innovations in doctrine and practice, always love to hear or say some new thing; turn with every wind, and shift as that does; are tossed about with every wind of doctrine, fickle and inconstant, carried about like meteors in the air, with "divers and strange doctrines"; such as disagree with the perfections of God, the doctrines of Christ and his apostles, the Scriptures of truth, the analogy of faith, anti form of sound words; and so the word here used signifies "divers", and is so rendered Es 3:8; and may design such who hold doctrines and give into practices divers and different from the faith once delivered to the saints, and from the institutions and appointments of Christ; innovations in doctrine and worship ought not to be admitted of; and such who are for introducing them should not be meddled or mixed with; they should not be countenanced and encouraged; they should not be attended upon or given heed unto; have no fellowship, and join not in communion with them." —John Gill (1697 – 1771)
I would like to leave you with a quote from D. A. Carson that I think speaks volumes of truth on this subject of change within Christendom.
"Always be suspicious of church's that proudly flaunt how different they are from what has gone before." —D. A. Carson

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Quote of the Day

"It would be impossible to overemphasize the importance of sound doctrine in the life of a Christian. Right thinking about all spiritual matters is imperative if we would have right living. As men do not gather grapes of thorns nor figs of thistles, so sound character does not grow out of unsound teaching". —A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

Taken form A Treasury of A. W. Tozer by A. W. Tozer, p. 174

Friday, December 07, 2007

Strong Delusion

"We read in 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness". The fulfillment of this scripture is yet future. What God did unto the Jews of old He is yet going to do unto Christendom. Just as the Jews of Christ's day despised His testimony, and in consequence, were "blinded," so a guilty Christendom which has rejected the Truth shall yet have sent them from God a "strong delusion" that they may believe a lie." —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

Quote taken from The Sovereignty of God by A. W. Pink, first published 1930 republished 1984 by Baker Books p. 124

The Sky Angel Cowboy

Just thought I would share this touching phone call from a 12 year old boy named Logan who lives on a ranch in Nebraska.

(HT) The Morning Show

You Will Glorify God!

If you haven't taken the time to download and listen to a sermon I recommended last week by Pastor Jeff Noblit of First Baptist Church of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Please do your soul a great service and download it today. Below are just a couple of quotes from Pastor Noblit's message.

"When I read much about the seeker model church, or the emergent church or the Joel Osteen type of church it's glaringly clear to me that this is not a ingenious new way to present Christ, it's an old false way of doing church that actually denies the biblical Christ, the biblical gospel and does not build a biblical church. It's old liberalism in new clothing. And brothers I want to say to you any preacher who makes any effort to dumb down the doctrine of sin, the depravity of man, and calling men to repentance is not preaching the true gospel, that's not the gospel. It's not clever... it's wicked, it's dooming men's souls and leading millions to false assurance."

"You see what we need to remember brothers is our God is a purpose driven God, three times in Ephesians chapter 1 He tells us that the gospel and ministry of Christ is "to the praise of the glory of His grace" That's His purpose, His glory. The ultimate purpose has not been will never be the eternal souls of men being saved, that is not the ultimate purpose. God is absolutely powerful enough to redeem every soul had He wanted to, the ultimate purpose is the glory of God, and sir you will glorify God either in Hell vindicating His justice which should come against a sinner like you, or either in Heaven glorifying His Grace that got you there fully by His own doing but you will glorify God."
Download MP3 - Calvinism a Cause for Rejoicing and Concern by Pastor Jeff Noblit

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Merry Tossmas?


Maintaining Your Justification?

As some of you know one of things that really gets under my skin is the false teaching that a true Christian can loose his/her salvation and there are few that make these claims who truly ever come out from under this burdensome teaching. To try and shed some light on this topic I want to direct you to an article by J.W. Hendryx over at Reformation Theology titled Biblical Reflections on Hebrews 6, below is a quote from the article.

"The very assertion that a Christian can lose their salvation is tantamount to saying that what Christ accomplished on the cross was insufficient to save completely and so you need to trust in yourself to maintain your own righteousness, and this is not unlike Roman Catholic theology. To say Christ can lose us is the same as believing that what Christ did is not enough for someone... That you MUST MAINTAIN YOUR OWN JUSTIFICATION.

This is a form of legalistic self-justification to believe that you can either attain or maintain your own righteousness before God and it is itself a denial of Christ, the very error the Hebrews were tempted to make, that the author was speaking of. In fact this is a backdoor to the Galatian heresy where Paul says, "Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" (Gal 3:3) To believe one can lose salvation, therefore, is trusting in something other than Jesus Christ to keep you righteous in Him."

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Always the Ungodly

Romans 4:5 "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

"The ungodly is justified, the very moment that he believes; before sanctification has begun to operate in him, he knows that he stands before God perfectly right. He is not merely beginning to be right; partly right, to be a little more right to-morrow, and perfectly right when he enters heaven; but perfectly right now, henceforth, and forevermore. He is righted not only for the present and for all eternity, but also for the past. He is assured of standing before God in flawless right, as though be had never been wrong, nor ever could be wrong again.

Hence the consciousness of being justified is instantaneous and at once complete, and can not be increased nor decreased. And this is possible because this righteousness has nothing to do with his being, but has exclusive reference to the relation in which he sees himself placed. This relation was miserable and wholly unrighteous; but another, outside of himself, has restored that relation and made it what it ought to be. Hence he stands right, without any reference whatever to his personal being. This is the deep significance of the confession that he who is justified is always an ungodly person." —Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920)

Excerpt taken from The Work Of The Holy Spirit by Abraham Kuyper, 1900, Page 447

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Redemption Secured

I want to thank Tony Reinke over at the Shepherds Scrapbook for recommending the book The Apostles’ Doctrine of the Atonement by George Smeaton. I have found it to be a very easy read and a very in depth exposition of Scripture. I just wanted to share a quote I came across in chapter 2, section VII titled Epistle To The Galatians where Mr. Smeaton explains Galatians 3:13-14a "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ;" saying quote:
The price or ransom paid for us was nothing else but the personal Redeemer, the Son of God condescending to be made a CURSE for us; a thought so vast and unfathomable, that though our minds grow familiar with the phraseology, we are for ever incapable of comprehending or fully surveying it. The ransom which liberated us was not His divine doctrine, nor His bright example of holiness left us to follow; for that would but throw humanity back upon its own resources, and could never be disjoined from dependence on works, or inner holiness. The apostle thinks of the ransom in a far other way: he identifies it with the Lord's abasement and ignominious death as a vicarious satisfaction. He affirms that the price by which He discharged us from temporal and eternal penalty was His being made a curse for us by entering into our position before God. That is the meaning of the participial clause (compare 2 Cor. v. 19): He was made the accumulated curse of His people, as if it were embodied in Him. God treated the sin-bearer as if He had been the sinner: that is, what the law awarded to us was visited upon Him; and by that substitution our redemption was secured.
Excerpt taken from The Apostles’ Doctrine of the Atonement by George Smeaton (1870; reprint, Banner of Truth, 1991) p.246

Ministerial Confessions

Hear the heart searching words of Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) as he openly confesses to the ministers of his day the short-comings of the Church of Jesus Christ and calls for a introspection of our hearts:

We have been carnal and unspiritual. The tone of our life has been low and earthly. Associating too much and too intimately with the world, we have in a great measure become accustomed to its ways. Hence our spiritual tastes have been vitiated, our consciences blunted, and that sensitive tenderness of feeling has worn off and given place to an amount of callousness of which we once, in fresher days, believed ourselves incapable.

We have been selfish. We have shrunk from toil, difficulty and endurance. We have counted only our lives, and our temporal ease and comfort dear unto us. We have sought to please ourselves. We have been worldly and covetous. We have not presented ourselves unto God as "living sacrifices," laying ourselves, our lives, our substance, our time, our strength, our faculties, our all, upon His altar. We seem altogether to have lost sight of this self sacrificing principle on which even as Christians, but much more as ministers, we are called upon to act. We have had little idea of anything like sacrifice at all. Up to the point where a sacrifice was demanded, we may have been willing to go, but there we stood; counting it unnecessary, perhaps calling it imprudent and unadvised, to proceed further. Yet ought not the life of every Christian, especially of every minister, to be a life of self sacrifice and self denial throughout, even as was the life of Him who "pleased not himself"?

We have been slothful. We have been sparing of our toil. We have not endured hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. We have not sought to gather up the fragments of our time, that not a moment might be thrown idly or unprofitably away. Precious hours and days have been wasted in sloth, in idle company, in pleasure, in idle or worthless reading, that might have been devoted to the closet, the study, the pulpit or the meeting! Indolence, self indulgence, fickleness, flesh pleasing, have eaten like a canker into our ministry, arresting the blessing and marring our success. We have manifested but little of the unwearied, self denying love with which, as shepherds, we ought to have watched over the flocks committed to our care. We have fed ourselves, and not the flock. We have dealt deceitfully with God, whose servants we profess to be.

We have been cold. Even when diligent, how little warmth and glow! The whole soul is not poured into the duty, and hence it wears too often the repulsive air of 'routine' and 'form'. We do not speak and act like men in earnest. Our words are feeble, even when sound and true; our looks are careless, even when our words are weighty; and our tones betray the apathy which both words and looks disguise. Love is lacking, deep love, love strong as death, love such as made Jeremiah weep in secret places. In preaching and visiting, in counseling and reproving, what formality, what coldness, how little tenderness and affection!

We have been timid. Fear has often led us to smooth down or generalize truths which if broadly stated must have brought hatred and reproach upon us. We have thus often failed to declare to our people the whole counsel of God. We have shrunk from reproving, rebuking and exhorting with all patience and doctrine. We have feared to alienate friends, or to awaken the wrath of enemies.

We have been lacking in solemnity. How deeply ought we to be abased at our levity, frivolity, flippancy, vain mirth, foolish talking and jesting, by which grievous injury has been done to souls, the progress of the saints retarded, and the world countenanced in its wretched vanities.

We have preached ourselves, not Christ. We have sought applause, courted honor, been avaricious of fame and jealous of our reputation. We have preached too often so as to exalt ourselves instead of magnifying Christ, so as to draw men's eyes to ourselves instead of fixing them on Him and His cross. Have we not often preached Christ for the very purpose of getting honor to ourselves? Christ, in the sufferings of His first coming and the glory of His second, has not been the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, of all our sermons.

We have not duly studied and honored the Word of God. We have given a greater prominence to man's writings, man's opinions, man's systems in our studies than to the Word. We have drunk more out of human cisterns than divine. We have held more communion with man than God. Hence the mold and fashion of our spirits, our lives, our words, have been derived more from man than God. We must study the Bible more. We must steep our souls in it. We must not only lay it up within us, but transfuse it through the whole texture of the soul. The study of truth in its academic more than in its devotional form has robbed it of its freshness and power, engendering formality and coldness.

We have not been men of prayer. The spirit of prayer has slumbered among us. The closet has been too little frequented and delighted in. We have allowed business, study or active labor to interfere with our closet hours. A feverish atmosphere has found its way into our closet, disturbing the sweet calm of its blessed solitude. Sleep, company, idle visiting, foolish talking and jesting, idle reading, unprofitable occupations, engross time that might have been redeemed for prayer. Why is there so little concern to get time to pray? Why is there so much speaking, yet so little prayer? Why is there so much running to and fro, yet so little prayer? Why so much bustle and business, yet so little prayer? Why so many meetings with our fellow men, yet so few meetings with God? Why so little being alone, so little thirsting of the soul for the calm, sweet hours of unbroken solitude, when God and His child hold fellowship together as if they could never part? It is the lack of these solitary hours that not only injures our own growth in grace, but makes us such unprofitable members of the church of Christ, and that renders our lives useless. In order to grow in grace, we must be much alone with God. It is not in society, even Christian society that the soul grows most rapidly and vigorously. In one single quiet hour of prayer it will often make more progress than in whole days of company with others. It is in the 'desert' that the dew falls freshest and the air is purest. So with the soul. It is when none but God is near; when His presence alone, like the desert air in which there is mingled no noxious breath of man, surrounds and pervades the soul; it is then that the eye gets the clearest, simplest view of eternal certainties; it is then that the soul gathers in wondrous refreshment and power and energy. Nearness to God, fellowship with God, waiting upon God, resting in God, have been too little the characteristic either of our private or our ministerial walk. Hence our example has been so powerless, our labors so unsuccessful, our sermons so meager, our whole ministry so fruitless and feeble.

We have not honored the Holy Spirit. We have not sought His teaching or His anointing. "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth." (1 John 2:20). Neither in the study of the Word nor the preaching of it to others, have we duly acknowledged His office as the Enlightener of the understanding, the Revealer of the truth, the Testifier and Glorifier of Christ. We have grieved Him by the slight put upon Him as the Teacher, the Convincer, the Comforter, the Sanctifier. Hence He has almost departed from us, and left us to reap the fruit of our own perversity and unbelief. Besides, we have grieved Him by our inconsistent walk, by our lack of circumspection, by our worldly mindedness, by our unholiness, by our prayerlessness, by our unfaithfulness, by our lack of solemnity, by a life and conversation so little in conformity with the character of a disciple or the office of ambassador.

We have had little of the mind of Christ. We have come far short of the example of the Master. We have had little of the grace, the compassion, the meekness, the lowliness, the love of Jesus. His weeping over Jerusalem is a feeling in which we have but little heartfelt sympathy. His seeking of the lost is little imitated by us. His unwearied teaching of the multitudes we shrink from as too much for flesh and blood. His days of fasting, His nights of watchfulness and prayer, are not fully realized as models for us to copy. His counting not His own life dear unto Him that He might glorify the Father and finish the work given Him to do, is but little remembered by us as the principle on which we are to act. Yet surely we are to follow His steps; the servant is to walk where his Master has led the way; the under shepherd is to be what the Chief Shepherd was. We must not seek rest or ease in a world where He whom we love had none.

We have been unbelieving. It is unbelief that makes us so cold in our preaching, so slothful in visiting, and so remiss in all our sacred duties. It is unbelief that chills our life and straitens our heart. It is unbelief that makes us handle eternal realities with such irreverence. It is unbelief that makes us ascend with so light a step into the pulpit to deal with immortal beings about heaven and hell.

We have not been sincere in our preaching. If we were, could we be so cold, so prayerless, so inconsistent, so slothful, so worldly, so unlike men whose business is all about eternity? We must be more in earnest if we would win souls. We must be more in earnest if we would walk in the footsteps of our beloved Lord, or if we would fulfill the vows that are upon us. We must be more in earnest if we would be less than hypocrites. We must be more in earnest if we would finish our course with joy, and obtain the crown at the Master's coming. We must work while it is day; the night comes when no man can work.

We have been unfaithful. The fear of man and the love of his applause have often made us afraid. We have been unfaithful to our own souls, to our flocks, and to our brethren; unfaithful in the pulpit, in visiting, in discipline in the church. In the discharge of every one of the duties of our stewardship there has been grievous unfaithfulness. Instead of the special particularization of the sin reproved, there has been the vague allusion. Instead of the bold reproof, there has been the timid hint. Instead of the uncompromising condemnation, there has been the feeble disapproval. Instead of the unswerving consistency of a holy life whose uniform tenor should be a protest against the world and a rebuke of sin, there has been such an amount of unfaithfulness in our walk and conversation, in our daily deportment and talking with others, that any degree of faithfulness we have been enabled to manifest on the Lord's Day is almost neutralized by the lack of circumspection which our weekday life exhibits.

We need men that will spend and be spent, that will labor and pray, that will watch and weep for souls!