Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Turned unto Fables

2 Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

Are you a Christian? If so I am sure you get your daily bombardment of email from your Christian brothers or sisters who have been so moved by some sentimental story about some little girl, soldiers in Iraq or a made up story about God that has compelled them to forward it to you so that you can prove your a true Christian by passing it on to your true friends. And if you do then "something good will happen to you today" or "something that you have been waiting for will come to you" and always added by "do not break this chain". These chain letters are nothing more than a ploy to get your email so that some website can spam you with advertisement. But don't get me wrong I too send out Christian emails, but it's never packaged up in sentimentalism it's always doctrinal teachings geared to exalt Christ, quotes from great Christian writers from the past to make people think, or informational news about some false fad or teaching coming down the pike. Very seldom do I ever get a response from these type of emails but what's even more interesting is that I never seem to get the type of emails that build up or edify the body of Christ forwarded or sent to me in any format, it's always some silly story wrapped up in bad theology that's driven by "their own lust" of getting something in return. Why is this? Because the time is upon us where people no longer "endure sound doctrine", they have "turned away their ears from the truth" and have "turned unto fables" or sentimentalism and emotionalism but they can't seem to stomach the Word of God long enough to pass the true Gospel on. And so if you find yourself compelled to send me some mushy sentimental so-called Christian story via email because you believe it will change my life or will prove to me what a wonderful Christian you are; please, don't bother because they only make it as far as my trash bin!

The Trinity

I know that I don't have the credentials to be talking about the Holy Trinity but have you ever had an encounter with an anti-trinitarian? Who are really binitarians because they do believe that the Holy Spirit is fully God and a distinct person they just don't believe that Christ was God "manifest in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16)? Well I recently had an encounter with a United Pentecostal on the topic of the Trinity and it's not a pretty site to watch their face snarl and nostrils flare as their voice gets louder and louder after you have pointed out that Jesus Christ was not just the Son of God but also God the Son and that all major cults on the face of the earth also deny the deity of Christ, and that only historical Christianity confirms the Trinity as God the Farther, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, three distinct persons being fully God, yet one God. Can I explain how this can be? Of course not, I am only a feeble minded creature trying to ponder an infinite Creator that has been divinely revealed to us in Scripture. But just because I can't explain it does not mean that I should over look the overwhelming evidence presented to me from the Bible and deny the doctrine of the Trinity just because it doesn't make sense to me. The doctrine of the Trinity was progressively and clearly revealed throughout scripture but rather than trying to give you an exhaustive list of verse's to prove my point here are just a few thoughts to ponder and some audio resources to help you along.

First it's quite clear that Isaiah thought the Messiah would be "The mighty God". Isaiah 9:6 "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."

The apostle John sure thought that Christ was God, John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." and then in John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John also confirms his statement of the Word being manifest in 1 John 1:1-2 "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;"

The apostle Thomas called Jesus God and then Jesus approved of his statement in John 20:27-29 "Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

I have already pointed out that the apostle Paul believed that Christ was God in the flesh 1 Timothy 3:16 "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."

Scripture is so clear as to the deity of Christ that to deny this truth one must be blinded by the adversary to deny such claims of the Bible. If you are struggling with this doctrine I highly recommend downloading Wayne Grudem's very insightful four part audio study on the Trinity available for free download at monergism.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Worthy is the Lamb!

Arthur Walkington Pink (1886–1952)"The One seated upon the Throne of Heaven, the One who is Governor over the nations and who has ordained and now regulates all events, is infinite not only in power but in wisdom and goodness as well. He who is Lord over all creation is the One that was “manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16). Ah! here is a theme no human pen can do justice to. The glory of God consists not merely in that He is Highest, but in that being high He stooped in lowly love to bear the burden of His own sinful creatures, for it is written “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19). The Church of God was purchased “with His own Blood” (Acts 20:28). It is upon the gracious self-humiliation of the King Himself that His kingdom is established. O wondrous Cross! By it He who suffered upon it has become not the Lord of our destinies (He was that before), but the Lord of our hearts. Therefore, it is not in abject terror that we bow before the Supreme Sovereign, but in adoring worship we cry “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing” (Rev. 5:12)." —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)

(HT) Symphony of Scripture

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

Monergistic Regeneration

On Friday January 18th, 2008 the Reformation Society of Oregon held a meeting where Dr. Arturo G. Azurdia III gave two powerful expositions/lectures on the subject of monergistic regeneration. The MP3's have been posted for free download at http://www.monergism.com/. I believe they are a superb biblical exposition of various texts of Scripture and highly recommend them for your personal edification and spiritual growth.

Monergistic Regeneration - Part I by Dr. Arturo G. Azurdia III
Monergistic Regeneration - Part II by Dr. Arturo G. Azurdia III

(HT) Monergism.com

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Beware of the Deception

Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."

2 Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 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."

Sid Galloway - Beware of Deception.mp3

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Renunciation of Revenge

Matthew 5:38-42 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)"This saying of Christ removes the Church from the sphere of politics and law. The Church is not to be a national community like the old Israel, but a community of believers without political or national ties. The old Israel had been both—the chosen people of God and a national community, and it was therefore his will that they should meet force with force. But with the Church it is different: it has abandoned political and national status, and therefore it must patiently endure aggression. Otherwise evil will be heaped upon evil. Only thus can fellowship be established and maintained.

At this point it becomes evident that when a Christian meets with injustice, he no longer clings to his rights and defends them at all costs. He is absolutely free from possessions and bound to Christ alone. Again, his witness to this exclusive adherence to Jesus creates the only workable basis for fellowship, and leaves the aggressor for him to deal with

The only way to overcome evil is to let it run itself to a standstill because it does not find the resistance it is looking for. Resistance merely creates further evil and adds fuel to the flames. But when evil meets no opposition and encounters no obstacle but only patient endurance, its sting is drawn, and at last it meets an opponent which is more than its match. Of course this can only happen when the last ounce of resistance is abandoned, and the renunciation of revenge is complete. Then evil cannot find its mark, it can breed no further evil, and is left barren." —Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)

Excerpt taken from The Cost Of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, SCM Press Ltd. published 1959, p. 141-142

Sunday, January 20, 2008

From the Beginning

Jude 4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

"Who were before of old ordained to this condemnation; or judgment; meaning either judicial blindness of heart, they were given up to, in embracing and spreading errors and heresies; so that these are not casual things, but fall under the ordination and decree of God, which does not make God the author of them, nor excuse the men that hold them; and they are ordained and ordered for many valuable ends; on the part of God, to show his power and wisdom; and on the part of truth, that it might be tried and appear the brighter, and to manifest his people and their graces: or else punishment is designed, even everlasting condemnation, to which some are preordained of God; for this act of preordination respects persons, and not mere actions and events; and is not a naked prescience, but a real decree, and which is sure, certain, and irrevocable; is God's act, and springs from his sovereignty, is agreeably to his justice and holiness; nor is it contrary to his goodness, and is for his glory: the date of this act is "of old"; or as the Syriac version renders it, "from the beginning"; that is, from eternity; see
2 Thessalonians 2:13; for reprobation is of the same date with election; if the one is from eternity, the other must be so too, since there cannot be one without the other: if some were chosen before the foundation of the world, others must be left or passed by as early; and if some were appointed unto salvation from the beginning, others must be foreordained to condemnation from the beginning also." —John Gill (1697–1771)

Taken from John Gill's Exposition of the Bible

Friday, January 18, 2008

You Call That a Conference?

Just in case you missed the ground-breaking news in the Baptist Press about 15 pastors from eight states who recently gathered in Jackson, TN because "they have concerns about the growth of Calvinism and the rise of a Willow Creek-style of non-confrontational evangelism within Southern Baptist churches." Sorry but I can not imagine a Willow Creek-style of evangelism ever coming out of a Calvinist church. I also promise that I will never use the words Willow Creek and Calvinism in the same breath again! What is real news to me is that (BP) called this small meeting a conference, WOW. Please take the time to read the entire article and then head over to Timmy Brister's blog as he gives some insight into this SBC summit.

"The SBC media machine, Baptist Press, has a way of making matters “newsworthy” that do not have the merits thereof. There are thousands of church staff who have “conference meetings” with higher attendance than this conference."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Still Ashamed

A dear brother reminded me of this article by John MacArthur that was adapted from his 1993 book Ashamed of the Gospel. I'm sure that this article may still take some by surprise even after fifteen years but the problem is still with us and it's just getting worse. So please church, WAKE UP!

The market-driven philosophy of user-friendly churches does not easily permit them to take firm enough doctrinal positions to oppose false teaching. Their outlook on leadership drives them to hire marketers who can sell rather than biblically qualified pastors who can teach. Their approach to ministry is so undoctrinal that they cannot educate their people against subtle errors. Their avoidance of controversy puts them in a position where they cannot oppose false teaching that masquerades as evangelicalism.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Calling God a "Monster"?

John Hendryx posted a beautiful rebuttal to a response by a so called "professed Christian" who attacked one of John's previous post saying that the God John presented was a "Monster". A must read for any Calvinist. I also wanted to make note of one of the comments made by Jerry of Minor Mutterings which I think is so often the case. "Unfortunately, many "professing Christians" are, in actuality, blasphemous idolaters." Read Full Article

"It is pure ignorance and folly, and one of the highest forms of blasphemy, to call God a 'monster' simply because He exhaustively knows all things before they take place"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Law of Christ

Matthew 5:20 "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)"Of course the righteousness of the disciples can never be a personal achievement; it is always a gift, which they received when they were called to follow Him. In fact their righteousness consists precisely in their following Him, and in the beatitudes the reward of the kingdom of heaven has been promised to it. It is a righteousness under the cross, it belongs only to the poor, the tempted, the hungry, the meek, the peacemakers, the persecuted who endure their lot for the sake of Jesus; it is the visible righteousness of those who for the sake of Jesus are the light of the world and the city set on the hill. This is where the righteousness of the disciple exceeds that of the Pharisees; it is grounded solely upon the call to fellowship with Him who alone fulfils the law. Their righteousness is righteousness indeed, for from henceforth they do the will of God and fulfil the law themselves. Again, it is not enough to teach the law of Christ, it must be done, otherwise it is no better than the old law. In what follows the disciples are told how to practise this righteousness of Christ. In a word, it means following Him. It is the real and active faith in the righteousness of Christ. It is the new law, the law of Christ." —Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)

Excerpt taken from The Cost Of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, SCM Press Ltd. published 1959, p. 125

Friday, January 11, 2008

Join Church Online!

This church claims that the reason Christ died on the Cross was so that God could have a relationship with you, (I don't even want to go in to that one) but apparently relationships with new church members are optional, as perspective members don't even need to come to church to become a member just join the congregation from the comfort of your home by filling out the online Application for Church Membership. What's next virtual baptism?

Quote of the Day

"The most insidious assault on the Gospel comes from the so called church." —John MacArthur

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Saved to Happiness?

John Samson at Reformation Theology has written an article on what it means to be "Saved" titled Just So We Are Clear.

"The usual modern "Gospel" message being preached is "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." Though the message is heard almost everywhere around us, when I turn to the New Testament, I cannot find Jesus or a single Apostle preaching this kind of message. Certainly God is a God of love. The Bible speaks of this on almost every page. There's no doubt about that. But God is also a holy God who will never compromise His holiness."

Christless Christianity

This is a must read article by Dr. Michael Horton of Modern Reformation and host of The White Horse Inn, titled Christless Christianity.

"Jesus was not revolutionary because he said we should love God and each other. Moses said that first. So did Buddha, Confucius, and countless other religious leaders we've never heard of. Madonna, Oprah, Dr. Phil, the Dali Lama, and probably a lot of Christian leaders will tell us that the point of religion is to get us to love each other. "God loves you" doesn't stir the world's opposition. However, start talking about God's absolute authority, holiness, wrath, and righteousness, original sin, Christ's substitutionary atonement, justification apart from works, the necessity of new birth, repentance, baptism, Communion, and the future judgment, and the mood in the room changes considerably."

Inability of the Law

I just wanted to share today's daily devotional Day-By-Day By Grace, by Pastor Bob Hoekstra, Director of Living In Christ Ministries.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ... But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "The just shall live by faith." Galatians 2:16; 3:11

Our great initial need before God is to be justified, to have God Himself declare us not guilty, to have the Lord pronounce us righteous in His sight. At first glance this appears to be an impossible situation for man. God, our Judge, is holy. Man is innately unholy. "But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (
Isaiah 64:6).

The consequences of such ungodliness are inevitably universal and appropriately severe. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (
Romans 3:23). "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23a). The just sentence for all of humanity, in light of their sins against a pure and holy God, is death, everlasting separation from God.

The law of God offers no help and provides no hope of remedying this dire situation. People are "not justified by the works of the law." Trying one's best to measure up to the law never produces a verdict of not guilty. In all the history of humanity, not one person could ever perform sufficiently before God's law to achieve a declaration of being righteous. "No one is justified by the law in the sight of God."

Vows and pledges of personal improvement offer no hope. Asking others how to strive more earnestly provides no assistance. Only faith supplies the necessary remedy. "A man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ." Trusting in our own best efforts leaves us guilty before God. Trusting in Christ's perfect work on the cross leaves us justified before God. "The just shall live by faith." - Bob Hoekstra

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Milky Way

Not Our Finest Hour!

James Montgomery Boice (1938–2000)"Sadly, this is not the church's finest hour. We live in an age of weak theology and casual Christian conduct. Our knowledge is insufficient, our worship is irreverent, and our lives are immoral. Even the evangelical church has succumbed to the spirit of this age. What ever Happened to the Gospel of Grace?

Perhaps the simplest way to say this is that evangelicalism has become worldly. This can be demonstrated by comparing it with yesterday's liberalism. What was once said of liberal churches must now be said of evangelical churches: they seek the world's wisdom, believe the world's theology, follow the world's agenda, and adopt the world's methods." —James Montgomery Boice (1938–2000)

Taken from The Doctrines of Grace by James Montgomery Boice & Philip Graham Ryken, Crossway Books, p.20 Copyright © 2002.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Quote of the Day

"In the total expanse of the human life there is not a single square inch of which Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, 'That is mine'." —Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

"We hope that this newborn year will not be worse than its predecessor, and we pray that it may be a great deal better. At any rate, it is new, and we are encouraged to couple with it the idea of happiness, as we say one to another, "I wish you a happy New Year." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Quote taken from a sermon delivered on Thursday evening, January 1st, 1885, by C. H. Spurgeon titled Sermon for New Year's-Day.