Saturday, April 26, 2008

The New Gospel vs The Old Gospel

J. I. Packer"There is no doubt that Evangelicalism today is in a state of perplexity and unsettlement. In such matters as the practice of evangelism, the teaching of holiness, the building up of local church life, the pastor's dealing with souls and the exercise of discipline, there is evidence of widespread dissatisfaction with things as they are and of equally widespread uncertainty as to the road ahead. This is a complex phenomenon, to which many factors have contributed; but, if we go to the root of the matter, we shall find that these perplexities are all ultimately due to our having lost our grip on the biblical gospel. Without realising it, we have during the past century bartered that gospel for a substitute product which, though it looks similar enough in points of detail, is as a whole a decidedly different thing. Hence our troubles; for the substitute product does not answer the ends for which the authentic gospel has in past days proved itself so mighty. The new gospel conspicuously fails to produce deep reverence, deep repentance, deep humility, a spirit of worship, a concern for the church. Why? We would suggest that the reason lies in its own character and content. It fails to make men God-centred in their thoughts and God-fearing in their hearts because this is not primarily what it is trying to do. One way of stating the difference between it and the old gospel is to say that it is too exclusively concerned to be helpful to man to bring peace, comfort, happiness, satisfaction and too little concerned to glorify God. The old gospel was helpful, too more so, indeed, than is the new but (so to speak) incidentally, for its first concern was always to give glory to God. It was always and essentially a proclamation of Divine sovereignty in mercy and judgment, a summons to bow down and worship the mighty Lord on whom man depends for all good, both in nature and in grace. Its centre of reference was unambiguously God. But in the new gospel the centre of reference is man. This is just to say that the old gospel was religious in a way that the new gospel is not. Whereas the chief aim of the old was to teach men to worship God, the concern of the new seems limited to making them feel better. The subject of the old gospel was God and His ways with men; the subject of the new is man and the help God gives him. There is a world of difference. The whole perspective and emphasis of gospel preaching has changed.

From this change of interest has sprung a change of content, for the new gospel has in effect reformulated the biblical message in the supposed interests of helpfulness. Accordingly, the themes of man's natural inability to believe, of God's free election being the ultimate cause of salvation, and of Christ dying specifically for His sheep, are not preached. These doctrines, it would be said, are not helpful; they would drive sinners to despair, by suggesting to them that it is not in their own power to be saved through Christ. (The possibility that such despair might be salutary is not considered; it is taken for granted that it cannot be, because it is so shattering to our self-esteem.) However this may be (and we shall say more about it later), the result of these omissions is that part of the biblical gospel is now preached as if it were the whole of that gospel; and a half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth. Thus, we appeal to men as if they all had the ability to receive Christ at any time; we speak of His redeeming work as if He had done no more by dying than make it possible for us to save ourselves by believing; we speak of God's love as if it were no more than a general willingness to receive any who will turn and trust; and we depict the Father and the Son, not as sovereignly active in drawing sinners to themselves, but as waiting in quiet impotence at the door of our hearts for us to let them in. It is undeniable that this is how we preach; perhaps this is what we really believe. But it needs to be said with emphasis that this set of twisted half-truths is something other than the biblical gospel. The Bible is against us when we preach in this way; and the fact that such preaching has become almost standard practice among us only shows how urgent it is that we should review this matter. To recover the old, authentic, biblical gospel, and to bring our preaching and practice back into line with it, is perhaps our most pressing present need." —J. I. Packer

Excerpt taken from the introduction of "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ" by John Owen

Friday, April 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

"To love the doctrines of grace is to love God as He has revealed Himself in His Word. He is "the God of all grace" (1 Peter 5:10), and unless we anchor our faith in the fullness of grace taught in Scripture, we will never glorify God for our salvation as He so richly deserves." —Richard D. Phillips

Excerpt taken from "
What’s So Great about the Doctrines of Grace?" by Richard D. Phillips

Deceitful Dreamers

I have made comments before related to the video below here and here, but I just wanted to let the words of Thomas Manton address these so called dreamers of God.

Jude 1:8 "In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings."

"Concerning these dreamers pollute, note that the erroneous thoughts of wicked people are but a dream. Wicked people are dreamers. First, they are dreamers in connection with their state and condition. Every worldly person is in a state of "deep sleep" (Isaiah 29:10). They snore on their bed of ease without any sense of their dangerous condition. They are like Jonah in the ship who slept while the storm raged. They sleep, but "their destruction has not been sleeping" (2 Peter 2:3). Second, they are dreamers in the sense that their vain thoughts are aptly compared with dreams. A dream gives a false delight and deceives with a vain hope.

Dreams tickle our fancy. They hug a cloud, as we say, and embrace the pleasures of the world in place of true riches. Worldly people run from pleasure to pleasure as if they are in some sweet dream. "Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it" (Psalm 39:6). They imagine that they are happy and are content with their condition.

Dreams deceive us by giving us false hopes. The prophet Isaiah compares the dream of the enemies of the church to a dream of a night vision. "Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel, that attach her and her fortress and besiege her, will be as it is with a dream, with a vision in the night—as when a hungry man dreams that he is eating, but he awakens, and his hunger remains; as when a thirsty man dreams that he is drinking, but he awakens faint, with his thirst unquenched. So will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion" (Isaiah 29:7-8). So it is with these dreamers—all their hopes are dashed in an instant. The foolish virgins slept (Matthew 25:1-13), and they dreamed that the door of grace would remain open to them, but they found it shut. Many flatter themselves with fair hopes until they awake in flames.

Take heed, then, of being deceived by your own dreams and the imagination of your own brain. There are no dreams as foolish as those we dream while we are awake, as Epiphanus says of the Gnostics. Waking dreams are most pernicious. There are two kinds of such dreams: firs5, dreams of opinion, which hug error instead of truth; and, second, dreams of hope, when we cherish presumption instead of faith.

Dreams of opinion. These are rife today. Idle and ungrounded notions, no matter how plausible they appear, are but the dreams of a misty, sleepy brain. To avoid these you must beware of a blind mind. People sleep in the dark, and in sleep fancy gets the better of reason. Study the Word, or else there will be no light in anything that is brought to you. Many people are perverted by mystical interpretations when people bring to the Word what is not really there.

Dreams of hope. People dream about external happiness in temporal enjoyments (Psalm 49:11; Luke 12:19; Revelation 18:9). Others dream about attaining an end without using the means. They live in sin and yet hope to die comfortably and at last go to heaven, as if it were an easy thing to leap from Delilah's lap to Abraham's side. If you do not want to dream like this, examine your heart. Examination is like rubbing your eyes after sleeping. People laugh at their dreams when they are awake. When we confess our sin, we are telling our dreams to wake up, and we come to ourselves." —Thomas Manton (1620 - 1677)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quote Your Pastor

I hope this thread will spark some to actually reply. Over the past year or so I have been paying very close attention to my pastor's word's to the point that I have even been noting exact quotes and I have started to compile them. I am also very confident that there are other pastors out there other than Piper, Mohler, MacArthur, Dever, Sproul and any other famous conference preachers that are preaching the gospel week in and week out with conviction and making some great statements to the glory of God that no one else may every hear or read, so I want to encourage you to post your pastors quotes here. I will kick it off with one by my pastor that he made during Sunday school earlier this year. Include your pastors name and church loacation and make them short and sweet, no dissertations please!

"Whenever a proper Biblical view of the sovereignty of God is presented it will always produce either a bended knee or rebellion." —Jonathan Sims, Shelbyville Mills Baptist Church: Shelbyville, TN
Note: I reserve the right to reject any quote I find offensive or heretical.

Blame Me Not

"Why call Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?

Ye call Me the way and walk Me not.
Ye call Me the life and live Me not.
Ye call Me Master and obey Me not.

If I condemn thee blame Me not.

Ye call Me bread and eat Me not.
Ye call Me truth and believe Me not.
Ye call Me Lord and serve Me not.

If I condemn thee blame Me not." —Jeffery O'Hara

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lost Hymns

At Calvary

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.

Now I’ve given to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary!

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!

Blast from the Past

With all the media coverage of the Pope being in America this week, I thought I would actually sit down and see what takes place during the mass at Yankee Stadium today. To be honest I found it to be extremely disgusting to see so much praise and honor going out to a mere sinful man in the name of Christ as the Cardinal who welcomed the Pope called him the Holy Father a number of times and once he even called him the Supreme Shepherd. So with all this attention I thought it would be appropriate to bring up a post from the past with some media coverage of my own by Dr. John MacArthur discussing "The Pope and the Papacy" brought to you by Way of The Master Radio.

Download Free MP3 Part 1
Download Free MP3 Part 2

"We must have no truce, no treaty with Rome. War! War to the knife with her! Peace there cannot be. She cannot have peace with us—we cannot have peace with her. She hates the true Church, and we can only say that the hatred is reciprocated. We would not lay a hand upon her priests; we would not touch a hair of their heads. Let them be free; but their doctrine we would destroy from the face of the earth as the doctrine of devils. So let it perish, O God, and let that evil thing become as the fat of lambs. Into smoke let it consume: yea into smoke let it consume away." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Ineradicable Taint of Sin

I was reading "God's Way of Holiness" by Horatius Bonar and I came across this quote and just had to share it.

"Romish devotees, with fastings and flagellations, in addition to earnest words, have tried to extirpate the wrong and nourish the right. Groping after righteousness, yet not knowing what righteousness is, nor how it comes to us, they have built themselves up in self-righteousness. Professing to seek holiness, without understanding its nature, they have snared themselves in delusions which bring no purity. Bent, as they say, upon "mortifying the flesh," falsely identifying "the flesh" with the mere body, and working upon the theology which teaches that it is the body which ruins the soul, they lay great stress on weakening and macerating the corporeal frame, not knowing that they are thus feeding sin, fostering pride, making the body less fit to be the helpmeet of the soul, and thereby producing unholiness of the darkest type in the eye of God. By rules of no gentle kind: by terror, by pain, by visions of death and the grave, by pictures of a fiercely flaming hell, by the denial of all certainty in pardon, they have sought to terrify or force themselves into goodness. By long prayers, by bitter practices of self-denial, by slow chants at midnight or early morn in dim cathedrals, by frequent sacraments, by deep study of old fathers, by the cold of wintry solitude, by multiplied deeds of merit and will-worship, they have thought to expel the demon, and to eradicate "the ineradicable taint of sin."" —Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

Salvation is of the Lord

C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)"Salvation is of the Lord." That is just an epitome of Calvinism; it is the sum and substance of it. If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, "He is one who says, Salvation is of the Lord." I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. "He only is my rock and my salvation." Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock-truth, "God is my rock and my salvation." What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor. —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Excerpt taken from a sermon titled "A Defense of Calvinism" by C. H. Spurgeon

Friday, April 18, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Never substitute good works for the preaching of the gospel" —Mark Dever

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

T4G Audio

Sovereign Grace Ministries has posted the 2008 T4G conference audio which include sermons by Ligon Duncan, Thabiti Anyabwile, Mark Dever, R. C. Sproul, C. J. Mahaney, Albert Mohler, John Piper and John MacArthur. It's hard to believe that all my favorite pastors are all gathered together just three hours from my house and I am missing out. Be sure to check back later in the week to get all the audio from this years conference.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Take heed to yourselves, lest your example contradict your doctrine...lest you unsay with your lives what you say with your tongues, and be the greatest hinderers of the success of your own labors." —Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Campbellism Exposed

Living in the Bible Belt one of the first things you will notice down here is the wide spread teachings of Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) which is sometimes called "Campbellism" and better know as The Church of Christ or CoC. I really don't have the time or space to discuss Mr. Campbell's bio or background but will just mainly deal with one of his unusual doctrines. One of the most destructive teachings of Alexander Campbell is what is know as "Baptismal Regeneration" which most CoC members will surly deny the use of this terminology but will quickly accept the definition, which is that water baptism is a part of salvation and washes away sins. This is mainly due to Biblical misinterpretation of several scriptures like Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:20-21 and Mark 16:15. And in doing so they teach that baptism is a requirement for salvation which ultimately destroys grace and puts baptismal waters on equal ground with the Blood of Christ. Below is a quote from a great resource on Campbellism by William Phillips that was first published in 1860 basically titled "Campbellism Exposed".

"Who could have dreamed that a Protestant reformer, in the nineteenth century, claiming exemption, alike, from Catholicism and "sectarianism," would rake up WATER REGENERATION from the dregs of papal rubbish, and make it a leading feature of his reformation? This Mr. Campbell has done. I do not assert that his views on this subject are precisely those of the Catholic church, but they are substantially the same. Each makes baptism necessary to the remission of sins — a sine qua non in the salvation of man. The following quotations from Mr. Campbell's Millennial Harbinger — extra, No. 1, will show that we do not misrepresent him:

"If we speak Scripturally we must use these terms (immersion, regeneration, and conversion,) as all descriptive of the same thing." "Remission of sins cannot in this life be received or enjoyed previous to immersion." "Immersion alone is the act of turning to God." "No man can enjoy the peace of God, or the hope of heaven, until he is immersed for the remission of sins."

These assertions clearly make baptism a saving ordinance; and I know not that any Papist ever used stronger language in pointing out its importance. And it is well known that these views are received and promulged by his adherents; who, universally, urge "obedience" (by which they mean immersion,) as THE MEANS of obtaining remission of sins. Consequently, Mr. C's "ancient gospel" is literally a gospel of water, for upon its principles, without water there could be no salvation; and his reformation, taking a retrograde direction, goes back to embrace a radical error, which before the time of Luther, had almost driven the spirit of Christianity from the church; and which, if now received, must reform us back to that gloomy period, and enshroud us in darkness."
Excerpt taken from "Campbellism Exposed or, Strictures on The Peculiar Tenets of Alexander Campbell" by Rev. William Phillips, p18-19

Despitefully Used

Matthew 5:44 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

Have you ever been used? How about despitefully used? What does this term mean? Well the word used here for this term is one word in the Greek, epēreazō and it carries with it the meaning to "insult", "treat abusively" or even to "threaten". Can you relate to this kind of treatment? I can, as I have been threatened by even a so called fellow Christian before, that I should lie for them in a certain situation or else someone (not necessarily them) would epēreazō me or accuse me, this would also carry with it the "insult" to ones character especially coming from a so-called believer as they insult the integrity of ones walk with the Lord and our good conscience. In the authorized version this word is translated in 1 Peter 3:16 as "falsely accuse" speaking of those that should be ashamed knowing of our good conversation in Christ.

I am sure we all have been epēreazō before that really isn't the issue here. No, the real lesson here is how will you or I respond when we are threatened, insulted and accused falsely? The text is clear that we should "bless them" and "do good to them" and "pray for them", why? Well there are at least two reasons, first because here the Lord clearly commands us to love our enemies, and in doing so we practice that which is common to the "children of our Father which is in Heaven" (Matthew 5:45). And second because "it is better that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing" (1 Peter 3:17), and when you suffer as a Christian you "glorify God on this behalf" (1 Peter 4:16). Which brings up a very important point that as a Christian you will suffer, just get used to it for "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12)

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Spirit’s Perseverance

H. A. Ironside (1876-1951)"People say, “I see you believe in that old Baptist doctrine of ‘once in grace, always in grace.’” Or another says, “I understand you hold that old Presbyterian idea of ‘the final perseverance of the saints.’” I do not know why this should be called either Baptist or Presbyterian, only to the extent that Baptists and Presbyterians agree with the Book, and the Word of God clearly shows that once God takes us up in grace nothing can separate us from the love of Christ so that evidently the expression, “once in grace, always in grace,” is a perfectly correct one. But, on the other hand, I am not so enthusiastic about the other expression, “the perseverance of the saints.” I believe in it; I believe that all saints--all really belonging to God--will persevere to the end, for the Book tells me, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13), and if a man starts out and makes a profession but gives it all up, he will never be saved, because he was never born again to begin with, he was never truly changed by grace divine. On the other hand, the reason he endures to the end is not because of any particular perseverance of his own. What I believe in, and what the Word of God clearly teaches, is the perseverance of the Holy Spirit. When He begins a work, He never gives up until it is completed. That is our confidence." —H. A. Ironside (1876-1951)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More on Mac

I know I am a couple of days late posting on seeing MacArthur preach in person but it has been a very busy week for me. Over all it was a great night of fellowship as I seen fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that I haven't seen in quite sometime. In case you didn't know MacArthur has a great sense of humor and it comes across more in person than on radio, he is also taller and thinner than I had thought. Grace To You had a table set up and was giving away some freebies such as catalogs and leather bookmarks which are very nice, Lifeway Christian Bookstore actually was setup in little rooms selling John's new book which if you haven't heard is titled "A Tale of Two Sons" and it's taken from the parable that Jesus told in Luke 15 and this was the text from which MacArthur preached from. He preached for 70 minutes and about the half way mark I thought there is no way he is going to finish this message tonight, but he did and his ending to the message caught most by surprise as the crowd gasped for air, I won't spoil it for you, you'll have to buy the book. After the message John stayed late to sign books and I never saw the end of the line so I didn't stay too long, but I did stay long enough to see him sign my good friend Jeremy's books yea I said books. He had John dedicate his MacArthur study Bible, and he also signed his seven year old son's book "I Believe in Jesus", not to mention that his wife went before him and got his newest title signed. The neat thing was to see MacArthur quote scripture with each signature off the top of his head, very impressive. To see my friend get his picture made with John MacArthur meant more to me than getting my own book signed. Priceless!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Mac in Town

That's right John MacArthur is coming to Murfreesboro, Tn tomorrow night at Belle Aire Baptist Church at 7:00 p.m. This is a free event, (no charge like Hagee, Hinn, or Osteen) so come early to get a seat, the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. For mor information you can visit See you there!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Ridiculous Display

"Oh, that you and I might in all these ways so live that all who see us should know that we are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ! It would be ridiculous if a man went into society with a label on his breast, "This man trusts in God," and it would be a pretty clear sign that he needed to be thus ticketed. I would have you shun all distinctive phylacteries in matters of religion as too much flavored with the leaven of the Pharisees; but when the possession of godliness proclaims its own self, even as a box of precious spikenard tells its own tale, you need not be ashamed of it. Display and ostentation are vicious, but the unrestrained use of influence and example is commendable." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Lost Hymns

Forgive Them, O My Father

“Forgive them, O my Father,
They know not what they do.”
The Savior spoke in anguish,
As sharp iron nails went through.
No word of anger spoke He
To them that shed His blood,
But prayer and tenderest pity
Large as the love of God.

For me was that compassion,
For me that tender care;
I need His wide forgiveness
As much as any there.
It was my pride and hardness
That hung Him on the tree;
Those cruel nails, O Savior,
Were driven in by me.

And often I have slighted
Thy gentle voice that said:
Forgive me too, Lord Jesus,
I knew not what I did.
O depth of sweet compassion!
O love divine and true!
Save Thou the souls that slight Thee,
And know not what they do.