Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
A Call for Discernment, Part 1 (1 of 2)
A Call for Discernment, Part 1 (2 of 2)
A Call for Discernment, Part 2 (1 of 2)
A Call for Discernment, Part 2 (2 of 2)
A Call for Discernment, Part 3
"But you have today in the churches many preachers who do not pursue the discipline in the science of interpretation of Scripture. And as a result of that what they do is go lightly across the top of things, preach relationally, sort of a quasi Christian psychology or tell a lot of stories or whatever it might be, and as a result they're not ever really interpreting the Word of God." —John MacArthur
Be Cross-Functional, Cross-Cultural: Be open and show empathy towards different views, welcome diversity.
Be Transparent: Be clear, be simple, no vagueness and no hiding.
Be a Learner: Be passionate, learn from every opportunity to help create a learning company.
Be Frugal: Achieve maximum results with minimum resources.
Be Competitive: No complacency, focus on the competition and continuous benchmarking.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Excerpt taken from The Cost Of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, SCM Press Ltd. published 1959, p. 250, 253
Saturday, February 23, 2008
"God has given us this gospel not merely for the purpose of securing to us life hereafter, but of making us sure of this life even now. It is a true and sure gospel; so that he who believes it is made sure of being saved. If it could not make us sure, it would make us miserable; for to be told of such a salvation and such a glory, yet kept in doubt as to whether they are to be ours or not, must render us truly wretched. What a poor gospel it must be, which leaves the man who believes it still in doubt as whether he is a child of God, an unpardoned or a pardoned sinner! Till we have found forgiveness, we cannot be happy; we cannot serve God gladly or lovingly; but must be in sore bondage and gloom." —Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)Excerpt taken from "The Everlasting Righteousness" by Horatius Bonar first published 1874, Banner of Truth 1993, p143.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Excerpt taken from a sermon titled Authentic Religion by J. C. Ryle
Friday, February 15, 2008
Today's Christian television is for the most part broadcasting nothing more than false teachers 24/7, with a few exceptions. But to say this is often viewed as being judgemental, people to often come to the conclusion that discerning truth from error and judging others is one in the same. But it is not for we are commanded to not "cast our pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6), but how can we do that if we don't know who the pigs are? We are also told that we will know them (wolves in sheeps clothing) by their fruits. It's interesting that the word used for the pharase "you shall know" in the King James Version is the greek word "epiginōskō" which means to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly, to know accurately, to know well or to recognise by sight, hearing, of certain signs, to perceive who a person is, so it's not as if you might know who they are but as Christians you "will" know who these wolves are. So what is the standard fruit by which we are to discern true teachers of God and false ones? The two quotes below are amazing statements of Godly men from the past who I think so clearly describe every false teacher on TV today as having a low view of God and too high a view of man.
"The sum of the whole is, that ordinarily, and generally speaking, as men are, so are the doctrines they preach, and by them they may be known, and judged to be what they are. Christ here, and in the preceding verses, is speaking not of men of bad lives and conversations, who take upon them to teach others; for there is not so much reason to caution good men against these; they are easily detected, and generally discarded; but of men that put on sheep's clothing, who pretended to much holiness of life and conversation, and strictness of religion; and under that disguise delivered out the most corrupt and unwholesome doctrines; which tended greatly to depreciate him and his grace, and to do damage to the souls of men." —John Gill (1697–1771)
"It is a remarkable fact that all the heresies which have arisen in the Christian Church have had a decided tendency to dishonor God and to flatter man." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Is Christ eternal? Christ is the everlasting Father, Isa 9:6, may be urged against the Cerinthian heretics, who denied the pre-existence of Christ's Godhead, and held that Christ had no being until he derived it from the Virgin Mary.
Does divine worship belong to the first person in the Trinity? So it does to Christ. John 5:23. "Let all the angels of God worship him." Heb 1:6. Is creation proper to the Deity? this is a flower of Christ's crown. "By him were all things created." Col 1:16. Is prayer proper to the Deity? this is given to Christ. "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Is faith and trust peculiar to God the Father? this is given to Christ. "You believe in God, believe also in me." Christ must needs be God, not only that the divine nature might support the human from sinking under God's wrath—but also to give value and weight to his sufferings.
Christ being God, his death and passion are meritorious. Christ's blood is called sanguis Dei, the blood of God, in Acts 20:28, because the person who was offered in sacrifice was God as well as man. This is an invincible support to believers; it was God who was offended, and it was God who satisfied. Thus Christ's person is in two natures." —Thomas Watson (1620-1686)
Excerpt taken from the Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Excerpt taken from a sermon titled Apostates, Be Warned - Part 2 by John Macarthur
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
“Carefully notice the range which this catalogue takes. It is a very singular one, for it begins with thoughts, and then it runs on until it lands us in utter want of thought, or foolishness. Matthew Henry says, “Ill-thinking is put first, and unthinking is put last.” Sin begins with “evil thoughts,” but ends in foolishness. The word rendered “evil thoughts” may be translated evil disputings, evil dialogues. Now this is thought by some to be almost a virtue, certainly a manly exercise. To be able to dispute, to be a questioner, a caviller, a perpetual and professional doubter; that, I say, is highly esteemed among men. What is modern thought but evil thought? David says, “I hate vain thoughts;” and all thoughts which run counter to the revelation of God are vain. In this instance I may quote the Psalmist: “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of men, that they are vanity.” Thoughts which are devout and reverent towards the sacred oracles are to be cultivated; but the thoughts which cavil at revealed truth, and would improve upon the infallible declarations of Jehovah, are evil and vain thoughts. All manner of mischief may come out of thinking in opposition to God; hence it is said, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.” Thinking contrary to God’s mind, and disputing with the clear statements of God’s own word, may be the first step in a descent which shall end in everlasting destruction.
Rising in evil thought, sin flows through a black country full of varying immoralities, until it falls into the Dead Sea of “foolishness.” How often have I heard it said of a vicious life, when it has ripened into horror: “The man must have been mad! He was not only wicked, but what a fool he must have been! The devil himself seems to have forsaken him. He acted craftily enough at one time; but afterwards he went against his own interests, and insured his own destruction.” Yes, men begin with the thought that they know better than their Maker, and at last they reach utter thoughtlessness, stolidity of conscience, and stupidity of mind. In the end they refuse to think at all, and nothing can save them from reckless defiance of common prudence. They are given over to judicial senselessness. Though God himself should speak, they have no ears for him: their sin has brought on them the punishment of utter hardness of heart. They have made themselves to be as the adder, which will not hear the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. This is the way of sin — to begin with fancied wisdom, and end with foolishness. The man who thought himself more than a man, at last ends as a brute beast devoid of reason. What a range, my brethren, there is between these two points! Read the words again, and see what a terrible zig-zag path lies between wrong thought and no thought at all.” —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Excerpt taken from A sermon delivered on Lord's-Day morning, July 25th, 1886, by C. H. Spurgeon titled Hidenous Discovery.
Monday, February 11, 2008
How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Excerpt taken from The Saints' Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter
Friday, February 08, 2008
"The idea that the Christian gospel can mix with or blend with any other religious system in any way is absolutely wrong. You cannot mix the gospel with Roman Catholic or orthodox sacramentalism. You cannot mix the gospel with liberalism. You can't mix the gospel with Mormonism, or the religion of the Jehovah's Witness, or Christian Science or any other religion. You cannot mix the gospel even with the religion of Judaism. The gospel is absolutely exclusive. It mingles with no other religion. It accommodates no other religion. In fact, it replaces all other religion. The gospel is absolutely exclusive. Now this needs to be emphatically understood in a time which exalts diversity of belief, tolerance of religion, pluralism, inclusivism and even universalism which essentially says we're all headed the same direction. Now we know there is one God, there is one authoritative book, the Bible. There is one Redeemer of souls, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is one gospel, the gospel of grace and faith. And that singularity of the Christian gospel means that any intrusion that mixes or alters the singularity of the gospel renders it void, nullifies it. It stands alone." —John MacArthurExcerpt taken from a sermon titled The Uniqueness of the Gospel by John MacArthur.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
"I do not care how well meaning the liberal social causes may be. If there is ever to be reconciliation then they will have to repent of their rebellion against God and His Word, defrock their homosexual and female ministers, abandon all their 'scholarship' that claims the Bible is a human product, confess Jesus' bodily resurrection, confess that Jesus died for our sins as our substitute and confess that Jesus is the ONLY way of salvation. Then and only then will I believe that we share the same savior." (Read Full Article)
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Quote taken from a sermon titled Why Expositional Preaching is Particularly Glorifying to God you can download it here.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
This is my pastor Jonathan W. Sims preaching on John 3:16, it's the complete sermon. This is actually a very short sermon for him but a very powerful message. I suggest sending this to anyone who is asking questions about Christ and salvation. You can view the chruch website at http://www.smbconline.com/.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
The sermon today has taken on something of the role of the monologue of a late-night talk show host, but not as funny. Its purpose seems to be to sustain a dialogue between the pastor and the congregation for the purpose of building relationships, fostering group identity and comity, and providing a port-of-entry for newcomers. If the dialogue is interesting, pleasant, and generally uplifting, the partners will continue their conversation for the foreseeable future. Church members might even be encouraged to invite their friends to join in, and visitors will be made to feel right at home from the get-go. And because the sermon is only a dialogue, a context for congregational conversation, it can’t be expected to carry much of the “disciple-making” weight. So the church multiplies programs, staff, and training contexts, cafeteria-like, so that members can pursue their interests and needs in as many ways as possible.If the quote above describes the type of church you are currently attending I would suggest that you pray for God to guide you to a church that is more like the quote below.
The sermons of those early American preachers followed the format laid down by their forebears: careful exposition of words and phrases in their context; detailed explanation and theological argument; spare and strictly impersonal illustration (Jonathan Edwards seems never to have told a personal anecdote concerning himself or his family); specific and unapologetic application to the circumstances of the congregation; and a call for submission to the evangelical demands of the text. These colonial preachers were eloquent, passionate, learned men; they expected their congregations – largely comprised of unschooled farmers, shop owners, tradesmen, and a handful of learned professionals – to understand their meanings and bring their lives into line with the demands of Scripture. And, to their credit, those church members, by and large, did.
Quotes taken form an article that appeared at Crosswalk.com titled Recovering Preaching from Adequacy by T. M. Moore