Friday, December 31, 2010

I SURE CANNOT

The God I worship saves. He does not merely "offer" salvation and leave it up to the "guilty sinner" to make the difference.  If Scripture does not convince you of grace, then I sure cannot improve on Scripture; If the Holy Spirit does not give you a humble heart, then I sure cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit.


The God I worship saves; He does not command repentance, leaving it up to the guilty sinner to make the difference. If Scripture does not convince you of grace, then I sure cannot improve on Scripture; If the Holy Spirit does not give you a humble heart, then I sure cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit.
 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

UNITY AND PURITY

‎"But Jesus does not just pray for the unity of the Church. He prays for the purity of the Church."

--Dr. R.C. Sproul (Quoted from Onward Christian Soldier pg 212)

ALL BUT DEMIGODS

2. WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THERE IS NOKNOWLEDGE OF SELF



Again, it is certain that man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked upon God’s face, and then descends from contemplating him to scrutinize himself. For we always seem too  urselves righteous and upright and wise and holy — this pride is innate inall of us — unless by clear proofs we stand convinced of our ownunrighteousness, foulness, folly, and impurity. Moreover, we are not thus convinced if we look merely to ourselves and not also to the Lord, who is the sole standard by which this judgment must be measured. For, because all of us are inclined by nature to hypocrisy, a kind of empty image of  righteousness in place of righteousness itself abundantly satisfies us. And because nothing appears within or around us that has not been contaminated by great immorality, what is a little less vile pleases us as a thing most pure — so long as we confine our minds within the limits of human corruption. Just so, an eye to which nothing is shown but black objects judges something dirty white or even rather darkly mottled to be whiteness itself.
 
Indeed, we can discern still more clearly from the bodily senses how much we are deluded in estimating the powers of the soul. For if in broad daylight we either look down upon the ground or survey whatever meets our view round about, we seem to ourselves endowed with the strongest and keenest sight; yet when we look up to the sun andgaze straight at it, that power of sight which was particularly strong on earth is at once blunted and confused by a great brilliance, and thus we are compelled to admit that our keenness in looking upon things earthly is sheer dullness when it comes to the sun. So it happens in estimating our spiritual goods. As long as we do not look beyond the earth, being quite content with our own righteousness, wisdom, and virtue, we flatter ourselves most sweetly, and fancy ourselves all but demigods.
 
Suppose we but once begin to raise our thoughts to God, and to ponder his nature, and how completely perfect are his righteousness, wisdom, and power —the straight edge to which we must be shaped. Then, what masquerading earlier as righteousness was pleasing in us will soon grow filthy in its consummate wickedness. What wonderfully impressed us under the name of  wisdom will stink in its very foolishness. What wore the face of power will prove itself the most miserable weakness. That is, what in us seems perfection itself corresponds ill to the purity of God.
 
-- John Calvin, Institutes.  B.1. C.1. page 83

100 PERCENT FIELD GOAL

What would you say of a basketball player who made EVERY SINGLE free throw, three pointer, layup, field goal, point he attempted to make? Wilt Chamberlin has the best yearly field goal of 73%, but that was for only one season. The best lifetime percentage is 60%. What about someone who attempts 1 billion shots and makes all 1 billion without fail.

THE LATTER IS THE GOSPEL

Either your Christianity will focus primarily on what you do and the power of your choices and will or else it will focus on what Christ has already done for you. The former is humanism, the latter is the Gospel. ~ Andrew Taylor

Monday, December 27, 2010

THE CONVINCER

The convincer and convicter of men is the Holy Spirit, who may use us as His vessels, but never as His substitute-- not even men so spiritually advanced as I may think myself to be may presume to do His work for Him. His office, permanently filled, is not to be usurped by even the most righteous of believers-- Al Hartman.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

HEART OF STONE

You may heat a stone if you thrust it into the fire, but for how short a time will it retain its heat; and though it glowed just now, how very soon it loses all its warmth and returns again to its native coldness. Such is the heart of man. You may think you have heated it under a powerful exhortation, or in presence of a solemn judgment, but how soon it returns to its natural state!

C. H. SPURGEON

Saturday, December 25, 2010

JOHN NEWTON ON INDWELLING SIN

Quotes from The Letters of John Newton - Indwelling Sin and the Believer


Though sin wars in us — it shall not reign in us. And though it breaks our peace — it cannot separate from his love. Nor is it inconsistent with his holiness, and perfection, to manifest his favor to such poor defiled creatures, or to admit them to communion with himself; for they are not considered as in themselves — but as one with Jesus, to whom they have fled for refuge, and by whom they live a life of faith.
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His power is displayed — in maintaining his own work in the midst of so much opposition, like a spark burning in the water, or a bush unconsumed in the flames.
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They dare not, they will not ascribe anything to themselves — but are glad to acknowledge, that they must have perished a thousand times over — if Jesus had not been their Savior, their Shepherd, and their Shield!
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Whoever is truly humbled — will not be easily angry, nor harsh or critical of others. He will be compassionate and tender to the infirmities of his fellow-sinners, knowing that if there is a difference — it is grace alone which has made it! He knows that he has the seeds of every evil in his own heart. And under all trials and afflictions — he will look to the hand of the Lord, and lay his mouth in the dust, acknowledging that he suffers much less than his iniquities have deserved.


Quotes from The Letters of John Newton - Indwelling Sin and the Believer

John Owen Christologia Preface

JOHN OWEN:   CHRISTOLOGIA

OR  A DECLARATION OF THE GLORIOUS MYSTERY  OF  THE PERSON OF CHRIST — GOD AND MAN:


In his preface writes....

Unto them that believe unto the saving of the soul, he (Jesus) is, he always has

been, precious — the sun, the rock, the life, the bread of their souls —

every thing that is good, useful, amiable, desirable, here or unto eternity.

In, from, and by him, is all their spiritual and eternal life, light, power,

growth, consolation, and joy here; with everlasting salvation hereafter. By

him alone do they desire, expect, and obtain deliverance from that woeful

apostasy from God, which is accompanied with — which containeth in it

virtually and meritoriously whatever is evil, noxious, and destructive unto

our nature, and which, without relief, will issue in eternal misery. By him

are they brought into the nearest cognation, alliance, and friendship with

God, the firmest union unto him, and the most holy communion with him,

that our finite natures are capable of, and so conducted unto the eternal

enjoyment of him. For in him “shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and

shall glory;” (Isaiah 45:25;) for “Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an

everlasting salvation;” they “shall not be ashamed nor confounded, world

without end:” verse 17.

On these and the like accounts, the principal design of their whole lives

unto whom he is thus precious, is to acquaint themselves with him — the

mystery of the wisdom, grace, and love of God, in his person and

mediation, as revealed unto us in the Scripture, which is “life eternal;”

(John 17:3;) — to trust in him, and unto him, as to all the everlasting

concernments of their souls — to love and honor him with all their hearts

— to endeavor after conformity to him, in all those characters of divine

goodness and holiness which are represented unto them in him. In these

things consist the soul, life, power, beauty, and efficacy of the Christian

religion; without which, whatever outward ornaments may be put upon its

exercise, it is but a useless, lifeless carcass. The whole of this design is

expressed in these heavenly words of the apostle: (Philippians 3:8-12:)

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of

the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered

the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win

Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness,

which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ,

the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him,

and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his

sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means

I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had

already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if

that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of

Christ Jesus.”

This is a divine expression of that frame of heart of that design — which is

predominant and efficacious in them unto whom Christ is precious

TIED MY REBELLIOUS IGNORANT LEGS TOGETHER

My God is a robust Savior, He is not a weak willed confused being with no real power except that which His subjects willingly surrender. All throughout scripture He is shown majestic and holy, glorious and triumphant able to do all that He wills without limitation. Notice when the angel speaks of Him in Matthew 1:21 he says, "...He WILL save HIS people from their sins."

It isn't Mary's obediance we should herald this day, nor the willingness of any of His creatures.

He busted through the door of my stoney heart and wrestled me to the ground like a lost sheep then tied my rebellious ignorant legs together, ...threw me over His shoulders and will carry me all the way home. This God my friends is mighty to save and worthy of my worship, forever and ever and ever! (emphasis mine, my favorite part, thanks Tim!)

May the Christ child be celebrated today as not the great enabler but King! His last words... "It is finished".



-- Tim Haufler

NOT THY FAITH

‎"It is not thy hold on Christ that saves thee; it is Christ. It is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee; it is Christ. It is not even thy faith in Christ, though that be the instrument; it is Christ’s blood and merit."

- Charles H. Spurgeon

Friday, December 24, 2010

DARKER FOULER

Let the Stable Still Astonish

Let the Stable still astonish:
Straw -- dirt floor, dull eyes,
Dusty flanks of donkeys, oxen;
Crumbling, crooked walls;
No bed to carry that pain,
And then, the child,
Rag-wrapped, laid to cry
In a trough.
Who would have chosen this?
Who would have said: “Yes,
Let the God of all the heavens
and earth
Be born here, in this place”?
Who but the same God
Who stands in the darker, fouler
rooms
of our hearts
and says, “Yes,
let the God of Heaven and Earth
be born here --
in this place.”
Leslie Leyland Fields

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SECRET TO ACCOMPLISH

the duties God requires of us are not in proportion to the strength we possess in ourselves. Rather, they are proportional to the resources available to us in Christ. We do not have the ability in ourselves to accomplish the least of God’s tasks. This is a law of grace. When we recognize it is impossible to perform a duty in our own strength, we will discover the secret of its accomplishment. But alas, this is a secret we often fail to discover.

--John Owen

Monday, December 20, 2010

DESIGNED FOR GOD

Tomato Sauce was designed for Lasagna, Spaghetti, and Pizza...not for painting walls, staining furniture, or cleaning clothes; Likewise Music was designed for God's Glory and God's Pleasure...not for the secular world to make money, become famous, and entertain themselves; what waste and misuse of a gift.

REJOICE IN THE LORD

My Joy is not based on sinners.

My Joy is not based on sinners, whether it be other sinners, or my old nature considered dead.

It is not based on my performance as it relates to intellectual progress, athletic progress, financial progress, ministry exposure, ministry reception.

My Joy IS based on the Sovereign, the Savior;

My Joy IS based on...

who HE is: Fully God, Fully Man, King, Messiah, Sovereign, Savoir, Lion, Lamb.

what HE has accomplished: incarnate, life, cross, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, enthronement.

what HE has accomplished: redemption, atonement, propitiation, preservation of His Bride.

where HE is: at the right hand of the Father, in glory, with adoration and exultation.

what HE has promised: to return, to rescue, to restore, to reign, to vindicate His Holiness, Righteousness, Glory, Name.

that He is...... who He is......without me, my contribution, my effort, my intentions, my zeal, my tears.

Circumstances change, Christ does not.

Rejoice in the Lord always....and I again I say, Rejoice IN THE LORD.

Friday, December 17, 2010

THE ONLY WAY

One thinks he could serve God much better if he were more prospered temporally...another if only he could have more society and Christian fellowship. But, my reader, the only way to serve God better is to be content with the place in which He has put you, and therein get a better heart!

~AW Pink

A TRUE PURITAN

A true Puritan is one whose heart is warmed by the Lord's sweet communion,
whose esteem is bent to the ground, facedown in His awesome presence,
whose mind is captured by the words of the Word Incarnate,
whose will succumbs to the sovereignty of God Almighty,
whose bones burn with the fire of the Holy Spirit,
whose desires are inflamed with the pleasures of the Great I Am,
who knows that he is yet incomplete, wretched, undeserving, unworthy, still persevering, still longing, still in dire need of His tender mercies and steadfast love.

A true Puritan doesn't yet know that indeed he is one.

– A Reformed sister in India, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

OBJECT LESSON

When asked to give examples of sin, one little boy raised his hand, when called on, he didnt say a word, he simply slapped the boy next to him on the back of the head. (via Ndivhuwo Rembuluwani)

CONFLICT

‎"You are but a poor soldier of Christ if you think you can overcome without fighting and suppose you can have the crown without conflict."

- John Chrysostom

(Of course the overcoming and crown are from Christ, not our fighting or conflict)

CHRIST HIMSELF

‎"All promises are either Christ himself, or by Christ, or from Christ, or for Christ. All promises that ever were made to God's people, they were either of Christ Himself, when He was promised, or such as were promised for Christ."

- Richard Sibbes

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

CONDITIONS MET

For Tulip-Deniers, Regeneration is not an act of God's Grace, but a reaction of God to the sinners who employed their ability to meet the condition/command of placing faith in Christ; Like their mother-Rome, and cousin-Mormon, grace gets them started, but it is up to them to make the most of God's offer, and in the end it is the sinner's ability to make the difference.

2 Nephil 25:23.....for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. (throw the term grace around, but redefine it)

NOT BY FORCE OF WILL

May God's grace grant me to become one who can admit his faults, yet persevere to "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Ph.3:14), not by force of will, but by faith in the grace of Him who called you, who will also faithfully do it (1Th.5:24).

(based on material from Al. H.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

FAILING TO INTEGRATE

There is SO-O-O much Scripture that I have sorely failed to integrate in my worldview...for example...

The Bible says, "The greatest among you shall be your servant." yet in my mind for 10 years I have still held different standards; The Bible does not say...The greatest among you shall be your: apologists, intellect, writer, published au...thor, speaker, prolific reader, greek scholar" and yet I have in some level coveted these goals more than serving; It is almost like what Jesus told to Nicodemus in paraphrase and new application, "You claim to be a Seminary student and pastor of 10 years, and you do not understand this, how shall you understand heavenly things, if you do not understand the basics?"

BETTER FOR THEM

“How sad is their condition that have a knowledge of Christ, and yet as to themselves it had been better they had never had it! Many there be that content themselves with an unpractical, ineffectual, and merely notional knowledge of him; of whom the apostle saith, “It had been better for them not to have known,” 2 Pet. 2: 21. It serves only to aggravate sin and misery; for though it be not enough to save them, yet it puts some weak restraints upon sin, which their impetuous lusts breaking down, exposes them thereby to a greater damnation.”

~ John Flavel

SCRIPTURE SUPPLIES

"The pastor ought to have two voices: one, for gathering the sheep; and another, for warding off and driving away wolves and thieves. The Scripture supplies him with the means of doing both."

~ John Calvin

Saturday, December 11, 2010

OUR BEST CANNOT

[The bad news] is that the best efforts of the best Christians, on the best days, in the best frame of heart and mind, with the best motives fall short of that true righteousness and holiness that God requires. Our best efforts cannot satisfy God's justice.

- Michael Horton

CONSTANT LOOKING

Let your constant motto be, "looking unto Jesus;" looking to Him just as you are; looking unto Him when faith is feeble; looking unto Him when faith is tried; looking unto Him when faith is declining; yes, looking unto Him when you fear you...... have no faith. Look up, tried and tempted soul! Jesus is the Author, the Sustainer, and He will become the Finisher of your faith. All you need is in Him; one glimpse, dim though it be, of His cross, one touch, trembling though it be, of His garment, will lift you from your lowest depths, lighten your heaviest burden, gild your darkest prospect.

~ Octavius Winslow

Friday, December 10, 2010

WE ARE THE ROMAN

We are the Roman Soldier who hurled the whip repeatedly to the bleeding back of Jesus. (Our old nature is; of course in Christ we are a new creation.)

I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR

Scripture is like water and bread. 12 ounces of water/milk and 2 slices of bread at 8 a.m. might last you 2 hours, and your body will be needing more fluid and food (Scripture). The need is based upon the weakness of the body, and meant to picture our constant need of Jesus to be our strength.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

LOOKING UNTO JESUS

- “It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to... the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus." All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within.


But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: he tells us that we are nothing, but that "Christ is all in all." Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.


If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by "looking unto Jesus." Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee.”

~ C.H. Spurgeon

Let your constant motto be, "looking unto Jesus;" looking to Him just as you are; looking unto Him when faith is feeble; looking unto Him when faith is tried; looking unto Him when faith is declining; yes, looking unto Him when you fear you...... have no faith. Look up, tried and tempted soul! Jesus is the Author, the Sustainer, and He will become the Finisher of your faith. All you need is in Him; one glimpse, dim though it be, of His cross, one touch, trembling though it be, of His garment, will lift you from your lowest depths, lighten your heaviest burden, gild your darkest prospect.

~ Octavius Winslow

Saturday, December 4, 2010

DOUBLE IMPUTATION

"Our sins, when laid upon Christ, were yet personally ours, not his; so his righteousness, when put upon us, is yet personally his, not ours."

- John Bunyan

Thursday, December 2, 2010

THE VERY ESSENCE

Arminianism is the very essence of Popery. Christopher Ness of St. John's College, Cambridge, a Puritan divine, in his treatise "An Antidote Against Arminianism," recommended by the great Dr. John Owen, writes...

"As blessed Athanasius sighed out in his day, 'The world is overrun with Arianism; so it is the sad sigh of our present times, the Christian world is overrun, yea, overwhelmed with the flood of Arminianism; which cometh as it were, out of the mouth of the serpent, that he might cause the woman (the Church) to be carried away of the flood thereof.' [Rev. 12.15.]

He quotes Mr. Rous, Master of Eton College, as saying, 'Arminianism is the spawn of Popery, which the warmth of favour may easily turn into frogs of the bottomless pit,' and Dr. Alexander Leighton who calls Arminianism 'the Pope's Benjamin, the last and greatest monster of the man of sin: the elixir of Anti-Christianism; the mystery of the mystery of iniquity; the Pope's cabinet; the very quintessence of equivocation.'"

http://www.truecovenanter.com/gospel/arminianism_another_gospel.html

BAPTISM LINKS

1) A Critical Evaluation Of Paedobaptism: http://www.founders.org/library/welty.html

2) Is Acts 2:39 A Prooftext For Paedobaptism?: http://gavinortlund.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/is-acts-239-a-valid-prooftext-for-paedobaptism/

3) Infant Baptism And Acts 2:39: http://www.sfpulpit.com/2008/03/28/infant-baptism-and-acts-239/

4) Credobaptism And Covenant Theology: http://psalm45publications.com/articles/credo-baptism-and-covenant-theology/

5) The Case For Believer's Baptism: http://www.gregboyd.org/essays/the-case-for-believers-baptism/

6) Why I Believe In The Baptism Of Disciples Alone -- A Credobaptist Apologia: http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/credobaptism

7) Review Of "The Biblical Doctrine Of Infant Baptism" By Pierre Marcel - Reviewed By Fred A. Malone: http://www.founders.org/journal/fj35/reviews.html#marcel

8) Infant Baptism And Acts 15:1-29: http://www.sfpulpit.com/2008/03/31/infant-baptism-and-acts-151%E2%80%9329/

9) Infant Baptism And The Doctrine Of Divine Adoption: http://expositorythoughts.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/infant-baptism-and-the-doctrine-of-divine-adoption/

10) A Reformed Baptist View Of I Cor. 7:14: http://www.eng.auburn.edu/~sjreeves/personal/1cor.html

11) Infant Baptism And The Regulative Principle Of Worship: http://www.founders.org/journal/fj35/article1.html

12) Baptism And Covenant Theology: http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/chantry/bc.htm

13) An Exegetical/Syntactical Exegesis Of Collosians 2:11-12: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:KLqjqtEryFgJ:www.reformedreader.org/RBTRII.1.Col.2.Barcellos.RPM.doc+Richard+Barcellos+Colossians+2:11&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjRrfr_WrJqKGvTREfdDGl5Kh6Z3JPsL6LDBCZ-pAzpiNoKhU2f0Mp6yn4JDzfzgklSv9QkdRj1GYNgeKVFIV0WX9Tvd149otzXqxabPXIhkW_wJW0QVuTcSYzsjgDota2CX73k&sig=AHIEtbRlMLWIoQ-qQDuW42R4zDxQor817A

14) More Links On The Subject: http://www.reformedontheweb.com/baptismaldebates.htm

SBC STATS

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=832
Southern Baptists, an Unregenerate Denomination (Part 1)

by Jim Elliff

"How are you doing?"
"Pretty well, under the circumstances."
"What are the circumstances?"
"Well, I have a very effective arm. It moves with quite a bit of animation. But then I have my bad leg."
"What's wrong with it?"
"I guess it's paralyzed. At least it doesn't do much except twitch once a week or so. But that's nothing compared with the rest of me."
"What's the problem?
"From all appearances, the rest is dead. At least it stinks and bits of flesh are always falling off. I keep it well covered. About all that's left beyond that is my mouth, which fortunately works just fine. How about you?"

Like the unfortunate person above, the Southern Baptist Convention has a name that it is alive, but is in fact, mostly dead (Rev. 3:1). Regardless of the wonderful advances in our commitment to the Bible, the recovery of our seminaries, etc., a closer look reveals a denomination that is more like a corpse than a fit athlete. In an unusual way, our understanding of this awful reality provides the most exciting prospects for the future-if we will act decisively.

The Facts
Although the Southern Baptists claim 16,287,494 members, on average only 6,024,289 people (guests and non-member children included), a number equal to only 37% of the membership number, show up for their church's primary worship meeting (usually Sunday morning). This is according to the Strategic Information and Planning department of the Sunday School Board (2004 statistics). If your church is anything like normal, and is not brand new, your statistics are probably similar. In other words, if you have 200 in attendance on Sunday morning, you likely have 500-600 or even more on your roll. Many churches have an even worse record.

Discerning who among us is regenerate is not an exact science, but a closer look at these numbers will at least alert us to the fact that most Southern Baptists must certainly be dead spiritually. That is so, unless, of course, you claim that there is no difference between a believer and a non-believer.

In the average church you can cut the 37% Sunday morning attendance by about two-thirds or more when counting those interested in a Sunday evening service, or other gatherings held in addition to the principal meeting of the church. In 1996, the last time the SBC kept these statistics, the number of Sunday evening attenders was equal to only 12.3% of the membership (in churches that had an evening meeting). One might ask what makes us claim that the rest are Christians, if they involve themselves with God's people only on such a minimal, surface level? How are they any different from the people who attend the liberal church down the street-the "church" where the gospel is not even preached?

And remember that the numbers of those attending include many non-member children and guests, often making up a third of the congregation's main meeting attendance. When all factors are considered, these figures suggest that nearly 90% of Southern Baptist church members appear to be little different from the "cultural Christians" who populate other mainline denominations.

To make matters worse, we tell a lot more people that they are true Christians (because they prayed a prayer sincerely) than we can convince to be baptized. Our largest pizza supper may bring in a hundred new "converts," but we will likely get only a few of those on the roll. After that, the percentages that I have been mentioning kick in. In other words, if you compare all who we say have become Christians through our evangelistic efforts, to those who actually show signs of being regenerate, we should be red-faced. In the Assembly of God's 1990s "Decade of Harvest," out of the 3.5 million supposedly converted, they showed a net gain of only 5 new attenders for every 100 recorded professions. When one considers all of our supposed converts, including those who refuse to follow Christ in baptism and who never join our churches, our numbers are much the same. Doesn't anybody see that there is a serious problem here?

Let me illustrate in rounded figures by looking at some of the churches where I have preached as a guest speaker. Each could be any Baptist church in any city. In one church, with 7,000 on the active roll, there were only 2000 in attendance on Sunday morning, and a mere 600-700 on Sunday evening. When you account for those attenders who are not members of this flagship church (i.e. guests and non-member children), you have about 1500 actual members coming in the morning and 500 or so in the evening. Where are the 5,500 members who are missing on Sunday mornings? Where are the 6,500 who are missing in the evening?

Another church had 2,100 on the roll, with 725 coming on Sunday morning. Remove guests and non-member children and the figure drops to 600 or less. Only about a third of that number came out on Sunday evening, representing less than 10% of the membership. Yet another church had 310 on the roll with only 100 who attended on Sunday morning. Only 30-35, or approximately 10%, came to the evening worship service.

These are all considered fine churches. All have an extremely competent level of leadership and vision. Some shut-ins and those who are sick, out of town, or in the military, certainly affect the figures a little. But those who are justifiably absent are not enough to alter the bleakness of the picture, especially when we remember that these numbers represent people who have been baptized and have publicly declared their allegiance to God and the Body of Christ. Even if you generously grant that the 37% are all true believers (an estimation that most pastors would say is way off the mark), one still has a church membership that is more dead than alive. If we are honest, we might have to ask ourselves, "Do Southern Baptists believe in a regenerate membership?"

Missing Christians are No Christians
What do these facts and figures, as general as they are, suggest? First, they reveal that most of the people on our rolls give little evidence that they love the brethren-a clear sign of being unregenerate (1 Jn. 3:14). It is impossible to believe that anything like real familial affection exists in the hearts of people who do not come at all, or who only nominally check in on Sunday morning as a cultural exercise. Love is the greatest mark of a genuine believer (1 Jn.3:14-19). Attendance alone does not guarantee that anyone is an authentic believer, but "forsaking the assembling," is a serious sign of the unregenerate heart. The phrase: "They went out from us, because they were never of us" (1 Jn. 2:19) may have doctrinal overtones, but it nonetheless represents many on our membership rolls.

Second, these numbers suggest that most of those who do not attend (or who only come when it is convenient), are more interested in themselves than God. To put it in Paul's words, they are "fleshly-minded" and not "spiritually-minded" (Rom. 8: 5-9). The atmosphere that most pleases them is that of the world and not God. They can stand as much of God as makes them feel better about themselves, and they find a certain carnal security in "belonging" to a local church. But beyond that, they will politely resist getting involved. They use the church, but are not really a part of it. For some, the extent of what they can take is an Easter service now and then; for others it is an occasional sterile (and somewhat Pharisaical) trip to church on appropriate Sunday mornings as fits into their schedule. But their apathy towards regular and faithful church attendance betrays their true affections. The fact is, you do what you love to do.

Third, the numbers indicate that some people have joined other denominations and our churches have not kept up with their movements-a sign of inadequate pastoral oversight and the built-in deficiencies of the "inactive membership" concept. I'm quite certain Paul never dreamed of "inactive membership." Embarrassingly, some left on the rolls are dead-physically! It goes without saying that a dead person is about as inactive as one could be! But others, though presumably alive physically, have disappeared without a trace. I believe it was our beloved Dr. Roy Fish of SWBTS who said, "Even the FBI could not find some of them." Yet, if we want to claim them as members, we are responsible to keep up with them.

All of these people have "prayed the prayer" and "walked the aisle." All have been told that they are Christians. But for most, old things have not really passed away, and new things have not come. Most are not new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). In too many cases, obvious signs of an unregenerate heart can be found, such as bitterness, long-term adultery, fornication, greed, divisiveness, covetousness, etc. These are "professing believers" that the Bible says are deceived. "Do not be deceived" the Bible warns us concerning such people (see 1 Cor.6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; 6: 7-8; Eph. 5:5-6; Titus 1:16; 1 Jn. 3:4-10; etc.).

Jesus indicated that there is a good soil that is receptive to the gospel seed so as to produce a fruit-bearing plant, but that the "rocky ground" believer only appears to be saved. The latter shows immediate joy, but soon withers away (Mt. 13:6, 21). This temporary kind of faith (which is not saving faith, see 1 Cor.15:1-2) is rampant among Southern Baptists. In The Baptist Faith and Message we say we believe that saving faith is persistent to the end. We say we believe in the preservation and perseverance of the saints (once saved, always persevering). In other words, if a person's faith does not persevere, then what he possessed was something other than saving faith.

In John 2:23-25 Jesus was the center-piece for what turned out to be a mass evangelism experience in which a large number of people "believed" in Him. Yet He did not entrust Himself to even one of them because "he knew their hearts." Is it possible that we have taken in millions of such "unrepenting believers" whose hearts have not been changed? I say that we have. Our denomination, as much as we may love it, is on the main, unregenerate. Even if you double, triple, or quadruple my assessment of how many are true believers, we still have a gigantic problem. It is naive to believe otherwise.

There are those who would say that such people are "carnal Christians" and don't deserve to be thought of as unregenerate. It is true that the Corinthian believers (about whom this phrase was used; see 1 Cor. 3:1-3) acted "like mere men" in their party spirit. Christians can commit any sin short of that which is unpardonable.

Undoubtedly, however, Paul did suspect that some of the Corinthians were unbelievers, for he later warns them about such a possibility in 2 Cor.12:20-13:5. A long-term and unrepentant state of carnality, is, after all, the very description of the unregenerate (Rom. 8:5-14, 1 Jn. 3:4-10, etc.). In calling some people "carnal" Paul did not mean to imply that he was accepting as Christian a lifestyle that he clearly describes elsewhere as unbelieving. He wrote, in the same letter: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived" (1 Cor. 6:9-11, etc.). Apparently there were some, even then, who were deceived into thinking that an unrighteous man or woman who professes faith in Christ could really be a Christian!

Is Follow-up the Problem?
A great mistake is made by blaming the problem on poor follow-up. In many churches there is every intention and effort given to follow-up, yet still the poor numbers persist. One church followed up "by the book," seeking to disciple people who had been told they were new converts during the crusade of an internationally-known evangelist. The report of the pastor in charge was that none of them wanted to talk about how to grow as a Christian. He said, "In fact, they ran from us!" I have known some churches to go to extreme efforts to disciple new believers. We must do this. Yet, like the others, they generally have marginal success. They have learned to accept the fact that people who profess to have become Christians often have to be talked into going further, and that many, if not most, simply will not bother. Authentic new believers can always be followed up, however, because they have the Spirit by which they cry, "Abba Father" (Rom. 8:15). They have been given love for the brethren, and essential love for the beauty and authority of the Word of God. But you cannot follow-up on a spiritually dead person. Being dead, he has no interest in growth.

It was the preaching of regeneration, with an explanation of its discernible marks, that was the heart of the Great Awakening. J. C. Ryle, in writing of the eighteenth century revival preachers, said that they never for a moment believed that there was any true conversion if it was not accompanied by increasing personal holiness. Such content was the staple of the greatest of awakening preaching throughout the history of revival. Only such a powerful cannon blast of truth could rock the bed of those asleep in Zion.

Copyright © Jim Elliff Permission granted for photocopy and internet transmission. For other uses, write info@ccwonline.org.



(This part of 1 of 2 parts).



More of Jim's articles may be found at www.CCWonline.org.

Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com

NOT THE GIFT OF GOD

Arminians on the other hand believe that man has the natural power of will to exercise faith on Christ. Sinners are therefore urged to make decisions for Christ. On this foundation of sand multitudes build their hope for eternity. The decisionist conversion is but the exercise of the unrenewed will. The faith in Christ professed is not the gift of God.

The joy experienced is the joy of the stony-ground hearers. The hope cherished is not the good hope through grace, but the hope of the hypocrite that shall perish. All the religious activity which follows, is not of the Spirit but of the flesh.

"Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7: 22, 23).

SOURCE: http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/misc/arminian_another_gospel.html

POPE AND HIS ARM

‎"The charge on which many of the Protestant martyrs were burnt at the stake was that they held to the doctrine of predestination and rejected the Arminian and Popish doctrine of free will."

--Augustus M. Toplady

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SALVATION BY WORKS

“The doctrine of justification itself, as preached by an Arminian, is nothing but the doctrine of salvation by works…”

Charles H. Spurgeon

ASK GOD

‎"We should ask God to increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and raise it up when it is overthrown." ~ John Calvin

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PAGAN NATION

‎"America...is not a Christian nation. It is pagan to the core." - R.C. Sproul

RUBBISH

Dr. Luther's thoughts about Erasmus "eloquent" defense of free-will: "I feel an indignation against the matter also, that such unworthy stuff should be borne about in ornaments of eloquence so rare; which is as if rubbish, or dung, should be carried in vessels of gold and silver;

"Does it follow from: 'turn ye' that therefore you can turn? Does it follow from "'Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart' (Deut 6.5) that therefore you can love with all your heart? What do arguments of this kind prove, but the 'free-will' does not need the grace of God, but can do all things by its own power...But it does not follow from this that man is converted by his own power, nor do the words say so; they simply say: "if thou wilt turn, telling man what he should do. When he knows it, and sees that he cannot do it, he will ask whence he may find ability to do it..." 164

ONLY CHRIST

"Ministers may set the food of the word before you, and carve it out to you; but it is only Christ can cause you to taste it"(Watson, Gleanings , 93).

ALWAYS CARRY

We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." ~ 2 Corinthians 4:10

Monday, November 29, 2010

LIVE IN THEE

‎"Lord, as formerly I lived without Thee in the world, so now let me live without the world in Thee. If we did but love God as well as a worldly man doth love his wealth and riches, we should be so taken up with the love of God as quite to forget the world; for the world makes them forget God"

- unknown Puritan

Sunday, November 28, 2010

LOOK BEYOND

"We shall never be fit for service of God, if we look not beyond this fleeting life"-John Calvin

DISHONOR AND HONOR

In Christ you can't lose. You have the joy of losing your honor as you are scorned by scoffers, so that you can dispaly that the honor of Christ is the most important aim of your life.

(Dishonor me if you must, I am immaterial. Honor Christ, He is paramount. Dishonor me, I am expecting. The Cross of My Master, was a scorn to the world, and it is in His Cross I boast.)

Why do I (we) think the Christian will take up his cross, and yet be given esteem or attention or an audience by the world, media, government, society? How often does 'Regis and Kelly' host interviews on Charles Manson, when he is a person of scorn. How often do politicians make platforms and policies by quoting Charles Manson, when He is a person of scorn. The Cross was a place of Scorn. Christ was hated. He was not esteemed. Yet we are puzzled and boggled that the church is not given a proper voice in the nation and culture. Do not be surprised. (John 15 and 16 and Matthew 10)

Congregations stoop to absurd levels to make the cross appealing. Come to our skeet shooting event, the Cross will follow. Come to our ski trip, beach trip, mountain trip, lock-in, concert, cookout, barbeque, cowboy church, Race-track church, flip-flop church, bagel, cream cheese and coffee church....the Cross will follow.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NEVER TO HEAVEN

Free-will carried many a soul to hell, but never a soul to heaven.

Charles Spurgeon

Friday, November 26, 2010

ALL HIS OFFSPRING

Romans 4:13-16 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be *guaranteed to all his offspring*--not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all...

Does this not smack of particularity? I mean, the promise resting on grace as a GUARANTEE to ALL of Abraham's offspring? Hmmm :) Well, the particularity being seen more in that the promise is guaranteed to all his "offspring."

-- good point by good FB friend, Andrew Johnson

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

OT ATONEMENT SERIES PART 1

Neither God nor the Priests were waiting for the altar, house, or Holy Place to "exhibit faith" for the atonement itself to be "applied"; rather, it is conveyed that to make the atonement is to effect the atonement without being dependent on the faith of the altar, house or Holy Place.



1. ALTAR: Exodus 29:36-37 and every day you shall offer a bull as a sin offering for atonement. Also you shall purify the altar, when you make atonement for it, and shall anoint it to consecrate it. [37] Seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and consecrate it, and the altar shall be most holy. Whatever touches the altar shall become holy.



2. ALTAR: Leviticus 8:15 And he killed it, and Moses took the blood, and with his finger put it on the horns of the altar around it and purified the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it to make atonement for it.



3. HOUSE: Leviticus 14:48-53 (KJV) And if the priest shall come in, and look upon it, and, behold, the plague hath not spread in the house, after the house was plaistered: then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the plague is healed. [49] And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: [50] And he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water: [51] And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times: [52] And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet: [53] But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be clean.



4. and 5. HOLY PLACE AND ALTAR: Leviticus 16:16-18 Thus he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel and because of their transgressions, all their sins. And so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which dwells with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. [17] No one may be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the Holy Place until he comes out and has made atonement for himself and for his house and for all the assembly of Israel. [18] Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around.



6. ALTAR: Ezekiel 43:20 (ESV) And you shall take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar and on the four corners of the ledge and upon the rim all around. Thus you shall purify the altar and make atonement for it.



7. ALTAR: Ezekiel 43:26 (ESV) Seven days shall they make atonement for the altar and cleanse it, and so consecrate it.



8. This should be a clear example that the people were not in a state of "faith to God" while the atonement was made, applied, and effective in staying the plague.



******Numbers 16:46-50

And Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the Lord; the plague has begun." [47] So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. [49] Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. [50] And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.

FLESH WILL FAIL

The arm of flesh will fail you. In justification, sanctification, and regeneration. Ye dare not trust your own;

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, Were not the right Man on our side, the man of God's own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

John 6:63 (KJV)
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 3:6 (ESV)
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

UTTER DESPAIR

For when man through repentance has come to the knowledge of himself, he finds nothing but utter despair. Hence, wholly distrusting himself, he is forced to take refuge in the mercy of God. But when he has begun to do that, justice makes him afraid. Then Christ appears, who has satisfied the divine justice for our trespasses. When once there is faith in Him, then salvation is found; for He is the infallible pledge of God’s mercy.

– Ulrich Zwingli

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BLANK ATHEISM

ACCOMPLISHMENT

Our first postulate is that because God is God,He does as He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases; that His great concern is the accomplishment of His own pleasure and the promotion of His own glory; that He is the Supreme Being, and therefore Sovereign of the universe.

AW Pink. Sov. of God. page 13

BLANK ATHEISM

How different is the God of the Bible from the God of modern
Christendom! The conception of Deity which prevails most widely today,
even among those who profess to give heed to the Scriptures, is a
miserable caricature, a blasphemous travesty of the Truth. The God of the
twentieth century is a helpless, effeminate being who commands the
respect of no really thoughtful man. The God of the popular mind is the
creation of a maudlin sentimentality. The God of many a present-day pulpit
is an object of pity rather than of awe-inspiring reverence.f1 To say that
God the Father has purposed the salvation of all mankind, that God the
Son died with the express intention of saving the whole human race, and
that God the Holy Spirit is now seeking to win the world to Christ; when,
as a matter of common observation, it is apparent that the great majority of
our fellow-men are dying in sin, and passing into a hopeless eternity: is to
say that God the Father is disappointed, that God the Son is dissatisfied,
and that God the Holy Spirit is defeated.

We have stated the issue baldly, but there is no escaping the conclusion. To argue that God is “trying His best” to save all mankind, but that the majority of men will not let Him save them, is to insist that the will of the Creator is impotent, and that the will of the creature is omnipotent. To throw the blame, as many do, upon the Devil, does not remove the difficulty, for if Satan is defeating the purpose of God, then, Satan is Almighty and God is no longer the Supreme
Being.

To declare that the Creator’s original plan has been frustrated by sin, is to
dethrone God. To suggest that God was taken by surprise in Eden and that
He is now attempting to remedy an unforeseen calamity, is to degrade the
Most High to the level of a finite, erring mortal. To argue that man is a free
moral agent and the determiner of his own destiny, and that therefore he
has the power to checkmate his Maker, is to strip God of the attribute of
Omnipotence.

In a word, to deny the sovereignty of God is to enter upon a path which, if
followed to its logical terminus, is ....to arrive at blank atheism.

AW Pink, Sov. of God. page 17

ROME WITHOUT A POPE

Arminianism is Rome without a Pope. -- The Reformers. (via Dr.James White)

YOUR CHILDREN

Matthew 23:37
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered YOUR CHILDREN together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!

>>Arminians reword "your Children" to "you".

Monday, November 22, 2010

FINE FREEDOM

Why all this boasting about free-will and the power of a man, about the natural ...light of reason? What is but blindness and darkness. Can it do anything than fight against the true faith and Gods word. This is why I reject and condemn as nothing but falsehood every doctrine that lauds our free will. For since apart from Christ, death and sin are our master and the devil is our god and prince, there can be neither power nor might neither wit or wisdom, by which we may prepare our selves for righteousness and life or search for them. On the contrary we are bound to be blinded captives of the devil and slaves to sin, to do and to think whatever our master satan wishes and is opposed to God with his commandments. Ah, what a fine freedom that is!

– Martin Luther

IDOL OF FREEDOM

Great quote, "My god was freedom, my God was not Christ; I made an idol out of freedom." The person continually failed in sanctification with this approach;;; {Seeking elusive freedom will not bring you to Christ, but being granted Christ will bring you to freedom.}

Friday, November 19, 2010

OBSCURITY

"The Church is always tempted toward a church of glory, whether that takes the form of grand buildings, political influence, global structures, charismatic personalities, or megachurches. But an approach to the church consistent with the gospel of Christ crucified and discipleship shaped by the gospel is an ecclesiology of the cross. That means power in weakness, wisdom in folly, and glory in shame. It means we must put our confidence in Christ's little flock and the sovereign rule of God. It means we must put our energies into the church of the cross even if that means obscurity."

Total Church by Chester and Timmis

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

VARIES NOT

‎"To know that while our feelings fluctuate, and our frames vary, and our experience ebbs and flows as the tide, yet our righteousness varies not, changes not, and that we are not justified one moment more really, more freely, more completely than another, is a mercy unspeakably great." ~ Octavius Winslow

THE BEST OF MY DUTIES

"Not only the worst of my sins but the best of my duties speak me a child of Adam." William Beveridge

FACE TO FACE

Make sure to face Jesus in His Word, prayer, and song, then go face the lions of this world.... via Greis Vllahu‎:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

THE BATTLE

"Prayer is not preparation for battle. Prayer is the battle."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NO MAN

‎"The extent of man's fall is so great and extensive that no man by the exercise of his own will or understanding can ever save himself or become a Christian."

- Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Exposition of Ephesians

Friday, November 12, 2010

NEVER KNEW

‎"I never yet knew anybody repent who gloried in his power to repent; I never yet knew a man heart-broken for sin who boasted that he could break his own heart when and where he pleased."

~CH Spurgeon

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A FOE DWELLS

What a treacherous foe dwells in our bosom!
We live in a dangerous world--a world lying in wickedness!

And when we remember what a treacherous foe dwells in our bosom, ever prompting us to evil--we need to cry mightily to God to save us from Satan, and from our own selves! "Hold me up--and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117

I have lately had a very sweet humbling view of my own hateful self--and a soul-melting view of the wonderful and over-whelming goodness of God, in loving and saving one so vile! "Christ died for the ungodly!" Romans 5:6

(Mary Winslow, "Words of Loving Counsel and Sympathy")

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

GIVE ME A HEART

"O for a better heart! O for a heart to love God more; to hate sin more; to walk more evenly with God. Lord! deny not to me such a heart; whatever thou deny me: give me a heart to fear thee, to love and delight in thee, if I beg my bread in desolate places." ~John Flavel

JOY OF THE ANGELS

If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God,
one to go down and rule earth’s grandest empire, the other to go and
sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire
indifference to each which service fell to his lot, the post of ruler
or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in
obedience to God’s will. - E.M. Bounds

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

EPHESIANS 1 v4

Our crooked tempers, fretful peevish minds, rebellious thoughts, coldness,
barrenness and death, our alienation from good, and headlong proneness
to evil, with the daily feeling that we get no better but rather worse,
make us think that God views us just as we view ourselves...

And this brings on great darkness of mind and bondage of spirit, until we seem to lose sight of our acceptance in Christ, and get into the miserable dregs of SELF, almost ready to quarrel with God because we are so vile, and only get worse as we get older.Now the more we get into these dregs of SELF, and the more we keep looking at the dreadful scenes of wreck and ruin which our heart presents to daily view, the farther do we get from the grace of the gospel, and the more do we lose sight of the only ground of our acceptance with God. It is "in the Beloved" alone, that we are accepted, and not for any good words, or good works, good thoughts, good hearts, or good intentions of our own.And a saving knowledge of our acceptance "in the Beloved," independent of everything in us either good or bad, is a firm foundation for our faith and hope, and will keep us from sinking altogether into despair.

~Philpot

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (all three via @Marissa)

Monday, November 8, 2010

BUILT IN CHRIST FOREVER

Grant me grace to bear Thy will without repining, and delight to be not only
chiseled, squared, or fashioned, but separated from the old rock where I
have been embedded so long, and lifted from the quarry to the upper
air, where I may be built in Christ forever.

~Valley of Vision

1 Chronicles 29

1 Chron. 29:10-19 (ESV)

Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: "Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. [11] Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. [12] Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. [13] And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

[14] "But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. [15] For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. [16] O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. [17] I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. [18] O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. [19] Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision."

REJOICE ALREADY

Helpful note to self, (to follow): What will it take from God to make you praise Him and rejoice in Him, that He has not already done. (and by the way, our praise and rejoicing should be first in WHO HE IS, and moreover what he has done); faulty barriers follow:

Before you rejoice and praise God, It will take that God, either:
1. Save a sinner. (see external fruit in evangelism).
2. Mature the sheep. (see external fruit in discipleship).
3. Purge the goats. (see external fruit in discipline.)
4 Help you financially or occupationally?
5. Enlarge your congregation. (repeat #1).

How foolish am I to murmur against God or impose on God some task of my own petty mind; Nay, dear self, God is already worthy of your fullest praise and rejoicing because of who he his and because of that Scripture testifies to His work, grace, and glory.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

FRANKLY THEY CAN'T

The gospel commands dead men to rise, dead men to believe, dead men to
understand, dead men to repent. The gospel commands dead people to do
what frankly they can't do. John MacArthur

Thursday, November 4, 2010

ARMINIAN IDOL

If God knows every detail of the future with infallible certainty, then (by definition) the outcome of all things is already determined. And if things are predetermined but God did not ordain whatsoever comes to pass, then you have two choices:

1. A higher sovereignty belongs to some being (or beings) other than God. That is idolatry.
2. Some impersonal force did the determining. That is fatalism.

Therefore if the thinking Arminian wants to avoid both fatalism and idolatry, he or she must deny God's foreknowledge, thereby nullifying God's omnscience—in other words, they essentially undeify God. That is of course blasphemy. But that is precisely the road Open Theism takes.

WORD FAITH KIN

In large part, Altar-Call/Hand-Count Arminianism is just the Word-Faith movement with a focus on salvation instead of financial prosperity. via Lane Chaplin

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Valley of Vision

‎"There is no comfort in anything apart from enjoying thee and being engaged in thy service; Thou art All in all, and all enjoyments are what to me thou makest them, and no more."

~ Valley of Vision;

" Christian,
you have no King but Jesus. Do not place your hope in any leader or any
party, for they will perish, when the storm comes. Christ and Christ
alone is worthy to have your complete allegiance. So serve His Kingdom
as an exile on this earth, and realize that your true citizenship lies only in heaven." -- Aashik Rao

"All that Jesus does for lost sinners--He does freely, out
of pure pity, kindness, and love. Yet we are always looking for something in ourselves--to encourage us! On the other hand, we tend to look at some sin
...committed by us--which discourages us. Whereas we
should look only to Jesus."

-- James Smith;

Monday, November 1, 2010

BOETTNER

To mention predestination before some is like shaking the proverbial red flag before an enraged bull. It arouses the fiercest passions of their nature, and brings forth a torrent of abuse and calumny. But because men have fought against it, or because they hate it is no reasonable or logical cause why we should turn the doctrine adrift.

Loraine Boettner in "The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination."

WHY ALL THIS

Why all this boasting about free-will and the power of a man, about the natural light of reason? What is but blindness and darkness. Can it do anything than fight against the true faith and Gods word. This is why I reject and condemn as nothing but falsehood every doctrine that lauds our free will. For since apart from Christ, death and sin are our master and the devil is our God and prince, there can be neither power nor might neither wit or wisdom, by which we may prepare our selves for righteousness and life or search for them. On the contrary we are bound to be blinded captives of the devil and slaves to sin, to do and to think whatever our master satan wishes and is opposed to God with his commandments. Ah, what a fine freedom that is!

~ Martin Luther

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Exclusive, Constant, Exceedingly Great

God's Sovereignty is Exclusive...therefore...our faith must be....Exclusive, not in self.

God's Sovereignty is Constant...therefore...our faith must be (can be, should be)....Constant, not wavering.

God's Sovereignty is Exceedingly Great...therefore...our faith must be (can be, should be)....Exceedingly Great, not small.



God's Glory is Exclusive....therefore...our joy should be Exclusive in His Glory.

God's Glory is Constant....therefore...our joy should be Constant in His Glory.

God's Glory is Exceedingly Great....therefore...our joy should be Exceedingly Great.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

REST ASSURED

‎"If God has laid your sins upon the Son of His love, you may rest assured that He will never lay them a second time upon you; since, if Christ has borne them and atoned for them to Divine justice, they never again can be found."

- Octavius Winslow

HORTON QUOTE

The gospel transforms us in heart, mind, will, and actions precisely because it is not itself a message about our transformation. Nothing that I am or that I feel, choose, or do qualifies as Good News. On my best days, my experience of transformation is weak, but the gospel is an announcement of a certain state of affairs that exists because of something in God, not something in me; something that God has done, not something that I have done; the love in God’s heart which he has shown in his Son, not the love in my heart that I exhibit in my relationships. Precisely as the Good News of a completed, sufficient, and perfect work of God in Christ accomplished for me and outside of me in history, the gospel is ‘the power of God unto salvation’ not only at the beginning but throughout the Christian life.

– Michael Horton from The Gospel-Driven Life

Friday, October 29, 2010

SPEND TIME

‎"There are preachers, teachers, and bloggers beyond number, but the great need of the church is men and women who spend time alone with God" ~Paul Washer

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

IT IS CERTAIN

"Man's mind is like a store of idolatry and superstition; so much so that if a man believes his own mind it is certain that he will forsake God and forge some idol in his own brain." (John Calvin)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

‎"God is not obligated to save anybody, to make any special act of grace, to draw anyone to Himself. He could leave the whole world to perish, and such would be a righteous world to perish, and such would be a righteous judgment"

~ R.C Sproul

DEEPEST JOY

The exhibition of God’s glory and the deepest joy of the human soul are one thing.
– Jonathan Edwards

DESPISED

‎"No doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God
is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God
orders everything, controls everything, rules over everything. The
carnal mind, burning with enmity against God, abhors the biblical
...teaching that nothing comes to pass except according to His eternal
decrees." - John MacArthur

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

PRAYER

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice Rise like a fountain for me night and day. For what are men better than sheep and goats that nourish a blind life within the brain, if, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer both for themselves and those who call them friend?~Tennyson

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

LOOK AT CHRIST

‎"Faith is sustained by looking at Christ, crucified and risen, not by turning
from Christ to analyze your faith… Paradoxically, if we would experience
the joy of faith, we must not focus much on it. We must focus on the
greatness of our Savior." - John Piper

Monday, October 11, 2010

NOT HOLY

The God of popular religion is not holy. - R.C. Sproul

Sunday, October 10, 2010

NOT THY HOLD

It is not thy hold on Christ that saves thee; it is Christ. It is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee; it is Christ. It is not even thy faith in Christ, though that be the instrument; it is Christ’s blood and merit.

- Spurgeon

Friday, October 8, 2010

ENEMIES OF

So these truths are published for the sake of the elect, that they may be humbled and brought down to nothing, and so saved. The rest of men resist this humiliation; indeed, they condemn the teaching of self-despair; they want a little something left that they can do for themselves … and therefore enemies of the grace of God.

– Martin Luther

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

John Piper - The New Birth is Not in Human Control

DOMINION; UNION

‎[Christ] is the head of the whole world by way of dominion, but a head to the Church by way of union... - Flavel

Saturday, October 2, 2010

JOY IN THE SOVEREIGN

Preach Christ Daily and Rejoice! God may purpose to draw them for His Glory; Rejoice! God may purpose to harden them for His Glory; Rejoice; either way God will use His word to accomplish His purpose, be it to draw, or be it harden; If your joy is based on the response of sinners, your joy is based on the sinner not the Sovereign;

If your joy is based on the response of sinners, your joy is based on the sinner not the Sovereign;

Evangelism is to be rooted in Joy for the Sovereign, not heartache for the rebel;

True, Philip. 3:18 says: ....I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.

however, Pauls' tears where not the motivation of his Evangelism; This is indicated 3-4x in the preceding verses:



Philip. 3:8-14 (ESV)
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
[9] and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— [10] that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, [11] that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
[12] Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. [13] Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Rev. 18:20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!"

Rev. 19:1-3 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying... out, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, [2] for his judgments are true and just;



for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants."
[3] Once more they cried out, "Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever."

See Exodus 15 in light of Exodus 14 and Deuteronomy 9.

My point is that Paul wept in Phil 3:18 for the enemies of the Cross of Christ; but 3x before that verse Paul makes it clear that his evangelism was not grounded on a "broken heart for the dogs/lost" but rather grounded on "the joy of the suprassing Glory of Christ, and knowing Christ."

Our evangelism is not grounded on "tears" for the sinner and his response; but our evangelism is grounded on joy for the Sovereign and his reign; I am not suggesting we become smug, arrogant, or hateful, I am pointing the basis of preaching solely on the glory of God and purpose of God; even if that glory be connected to Romans 9...preparing vessels of wrath for destruction;

There is a time to shake the dust of our feet, not sit outside the house and cry and cry and cry and sob; instead he says, "let your peace return unto you." Matt 10:13, and that is my point too;

Finally Paul practiced this, Acts 13:46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. Acts 13:51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were FILLED WITH JOY and with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 4:23-31 has that same rejoicing and boldness in light of being rejected, not "oh boo-hoo the message has been rejected by those who are breaking our heart." They quote Psalm 2, which in it's entirety talks about God laughing and speaking in wrath; not depressed because rebels ignore his message;

Deut. 7:16 And you shall consume all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

Do we kill? No.
Do we show mercy and compassion? YES.
Do we proclaim Jesus in Joy? Yes.
Is this Joy contingent on if God draws or Hardens? No.

Friday, September 17, 2010

THEODICY

1. If a Surgeon is semi-power and semi-loving then semi-suffering cannot exist? What type of logic is that? Surgeons are semi-powerful and semi-loving and yet semi-suffering does exist.

2. The assertion that: "If God is all-loving and all-powerful, then suffering cannot exists" fails because the creature is claiming to be all-wise; but he is not; and because he is not is not able to know what an all-wise God knows, that: The all-loving and all-powerful God can allow suffering to exist--- then he will remain confused in his mind until he trust's the all-wise God with faith.

3. Assertion: "If God is all-loving and all-powerful, then evil and injustice cannot exist."

Response: a. According to God's Decreed will, evil and injustice do not exist, because He has purposed the death of His Son and the punishment of those who killed Him and broke the moral will of God. God is not evil for making vessels of wrath fitted for destruction. God is not unjust for making vessels of wrath fitted for destruction.

In regards to evil and injustice between one creature to another, the rebellious creature does not deserve 70 earthly years of breath, so God is already merciful to each creature (who is experiencing their so called "injustice" from another creature).

Someone says, "God is all-loving" ask, "Oh, so is God a drunk", they should say "no." then you say, "so does the drunkard love alcohol more than God?" They'll claim "they don't love it" Obviously if God is all-loving, then he cannot lov...e both telling the truth and telling a lie to the same extent; that is insanity; So the lie experiences a rejection that the truth does not experience; i.e, the creature will experience things that the creator will not experience; the drunkard, too;

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MAGNIFIES MAN

"Free-will doctrine—what does it? It magnifies man into God. It declares God’s purposes a nullity, since they cannot be carried out unless men are willing. It makes God’s will a waiting servant to the will of man, and the whole covenant of grace dependent on human action. Denying election on the ground of injustice, it holds God to be a debtor to sinners."

-- Charles H. Spurgeon

Sunday, September 12, 2010

MERCY ME

Separated until the veil was torn
The moment that hope was born
and guilt was pardoned once and for all

Captivated but no longer bound by chains
left at an empty grave
the sinner and the sacred resolved

[chorus:]
and all of creation sing with me now
lift up your voice and lay your burden down
and all of creation sing with me now
fill up the heavens let his glory resound

Time has faded and we see him face to face
every doubt erased forever we will worhip the king

[repeat chorus]

ohh ah ohhh...ohh ah ohhh

the reason we breathe is to sing of his glory
and for all he has done praise the father praise the son and the spirit in one

[repeat chorus 2x]

and every knee will bow oh and every tongue praise the father praise the son and the spirit in one

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

LEARN THIS LESSON

Learn this lesson: not to trust Christ because you repent, but trust Christ to make you repent; not to come to Christ because you have a broken heart, but to come to Him that He may give you a broken heart; not to come to Him because you are fit to come, but to come to Him because you are unfit to come. Your fitness is your unfitness. Your qualification is your lack of qualification.

- C.H. Spurgeon

Monday, September 6, 2010

NEVER BECAUSE

Blessings at times come to us through our labors and at times without our labors, but never because of our labors, for God always gives them because of His undeserved mercy. - Martin Luther

NOT IN THE NEST

"God sends every bird its food, but he does not throw it into the nest: he gives us our daily bread, but it is through our own labour." - C.H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ACCOMPLISH

The question, "Who did Christ die for" is best answered by asking first, "What did His death accomplish." If you answer that question first, the other question is so clear. What did the death of Christ accomplish? -- Paul Thomas (FB aquaintance)

(My Addition:  Did the death of Jesus accomplish two degrees, one degree for all, and a separate degree for another;  one degree for availability, a second degree, for efficacy?  What did it accomplish for Peter that it did not accomplish for Goliath?  If it accomplished the same for Goliath as it did for Peter and Goliath is in Hell, the what more did Goliath need to accomplish that the death of Christ did not?)

ANGUISH

Gal 4:19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

DEATH TO

“If there is one maverick molecule in all the universe, then God is not sovereign. And if God is not sovereign, He is not God.... I think Arminianism is death to Christianity!” -R.C. Sproul

ON HIS MIND

When Christ was on the Cross, the Father's Glory was on His mind.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

NEVER WILL

In short, natural reason never will direct men to Christ; and as to their being endued with prudence for regulating their lives, or born to cultivate the liberal arts and sciences, all this passes away without yielding any advantage. - John Calvin

Monday, August 16, 2010

TO IGNORE IS CONTEMPT

If I were driving 95 in a 65, and I had three cop cars behind me on my bumper, blaring their lights and sirens; they would be upset that I was ignoring their will; and yet mankind attempts to paint most of society as "nice folks" despite how glaringly they leave God out of everything. Nevermind the blatant attacks upon God as "indicative" of man's rebellion, merely observe the "gall to ignore" God as a guide to their hatred of Him.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/40912

Swedish Driver Gets $1 Million Speeding Ticket By Kremena Krumova

Epoch Times Staff Created: Aug 13, 2010 Last Updated: Aug 13, 2010 . Facebook Digg

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Related articles: World > Europe

The new concept car F800 Style by German carmaker Mercedes is displayed on March 3 during the third press day at the 80th Geneva International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva. A 37 year-old Swede may pay the world's heaviest speeding fine for driving such a sports Mercedes at a speed of 186 mph. (Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images) A 37 year-old Swedish man who was caught driving his Mercedes SLS at a speed of 186 mph along the A12 highway stretching between Swiss Bern and Lausanne last Friday, may be fined the world’s biggest recorded speeding fine of over $1 million.

According to Swiss police, this is the fastest vehicle ever caught on the highway in Switzerland. Several cameras could not detect the speed of the luxurious limousine because their radar guns stop working at 125 mph.

Motorway fines in Switzerland are calculated based on the driver’s income and by how many miles he or she exceeded the maximum speed limit.

The previous biggest speeding offender was 44-year-old Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president of mobile giant Nokia. In 2001 he was made to pay almost $150,000 after driving his motorbike 47 mph in a 30 mph zone in Helsinki.

Friday, August 13, 2010

DID MORE

The resurrection is proof that Jesus did more to death than death ever did to Jesus;

(via a friend Paul Crews)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

FINGERS CROSSED

"I don't think we want to believe in a God who is a spectator in the
drama of redemption. Who sends a Christ to die on a cross and stands
there crossing his fingers hoping that someone will take advantage of it."~RC Sproul

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

HE MOURNS

I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him. - C.H. Spurgeon

ORIGINAL LANGUAGES

Without the Holy Spirit teaching, the original languages are burdensome and boring, but don't blame that on the Holy Spirit nor the original languages; pray for grace to change your mind, heart, and appetite.

Some people do not like the original languages, but they like their own mind which supposes skill over them.

Monday, August 9, 2010

OPENLY PROCLAIMED

These things, therefore, are openly proclaimed for the sake of the Elect: that,
being by these means humbled and brought down to nothing, they might be
saved. The rest resist this humiliation; nay, they condemn the teaching of self
desperation; they wish to have left a little something that they may do
themselves. These secretly remain proud, and adversaries to the grace of God.

page 38 pdf. "Bondage of the Will" Martin Luther.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

ENEMIES OF

The friends of free-will are the enemies of free-grace.

-John Trapp (puritan)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MY HOPE

I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Monday, July 26, 2010

CONTRARY

"They go and set up free will with the heathen philosophers, and say that man's free will is the cause why God chooseth one and not the other, contrary unto all of Scripture." ~William Tyndale

Thursday, July 22, 2010

PRECARIOUS

"Worship is a holy expression before a holy God. To invite non-believers into such a holy process is a precarious thing, and to design worship in such a way to accommodate their secular mindset is not only ineffective evangelism but also severely compromised worship." - Bill Izard

Friday, July 16, 2010

Trample

"I pray God that I may never find my will again. Oh, that Christ would subject my will to His, and trample it under His feet." - Samuel Rutherford

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

“But, how do we get water from a well? Do we woo it? Do we stand at the
top of the well and cry, ‘Here, water, water, water’?” ~ R.C. Sproul

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

UTTERLY BEYOND

God has surely promised His grace to the humbled: that is, to those
who mourn over and despair of themselves. But a man cannot be thoroughly
humbled till he realizes that his salvation is utterly beyond his own
powers, counsels, efforts, will and works, and depends absolutely on the
will, counsel, pleasure and work of Another -- God alone.

- Martin Luther

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SOONER

"Repentance and faith are distasteful to the unregenerate; they would
sooner repeat a thousand formal prayers than shed a solitary tear of
true repentance" ~Spurgeon

Undermines

"Preaching that downplays God's wrath does not enhance evangelism; it undermines it. The solemnity of the gospel and the fear of God are utterly trampled when the preacher denies the reality and severity of eternal punishment...The seriousness of sin is depreciated by this teaching. And therefore the gospel itself is subverted." -

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CANNOT HAVE BEEN

It may seem a harsh sentiment; but he who in his soul believes that man does of his own free-will turn to God, cannot have been taught of God, for that is one of the first principles taught us when God begins with us, that we have neither will nor power, but that He gives both; that He is “Alpha and Omega” in the salvation
of men.--

Charles H. Spurgeon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

SIX WAYS

(lifted entirely from http://bryanlopez.com/ )

Edwards identifies six points of how God does exercise His sovereignty in our salvation:

1. God exercises His sovereignty by calling a people or a nation, and giving them the opportunities of grace, and leaving others without them.

“According to the divine appointment, salvation is bestowed in connection with the provisions of grace. God may sometimes make use of very unlikely opportunities, and bestow salvation on men who are under very great disadvantages; but He does not bestow grace wholly without any means. But God exercises His sovereignty in bestowing those means. All nations are by nature in like circumstances towards God. Yet God greatly distinguishes some nations and peoples from others by the opportunities and advantages which He bestows upon them.”

2. God exercises His sovereignty in the advantages He bestows upon individual persons.

“Everyone needs salvation, and everyone is naturally, undeserving of it; but He gives some vastly greater advantages for salvation than others. To some He assigns their place in godly Christian families, where they may be well instructed and educated, and have Christian parents to dedicate them to God, and say many prayers for them. God places some under a more powerful ministry than others, and in places where there are more of the outpourings of the Spirit of God. To some He gives much more of the strivings and the awakening influences of the Spirit, than to others. It is according to His mere sovereign pleasure.”

3. God exercises His sovereignty in sometimes bestowing salvation on the lowly and poor, and denying it to the wise and great.

“Christ in His sovereignty passes by the gates of princes and nobles, and enters some cottage and dwells there, and has communion with its obscure inhabitants. God in His sovereignty withheld salvation from the rich man, who lived luxuriously every day, and bestowed it on poor Lazarus, who sat begging at his gate. God in this way pours out contempt on princes, and on all their glittering splendor. So God sometimes passes by wise men, men of great understanding, learned and great scholars, and bestows salvation on others of weak understanding, who only comprehend some of the plainer parts of Scripture, and the fundamental principles of the Christian religion. Yes, there seem to be fewer great men called, than others. And God in ordering it thus manifests His sovereignty.”

4. God exercises His sovereignty in bestowing salvation on some who have had very few advantages in life.

“Sometimes some, who have had obvious opportunities of grace, are rejected, and left to perish, and others, under far less advantages, are saved. Thus the scribes and Pharisees, who had so much light and knowledge of the Scriptures, were mostly rejected, and the poor ignorant tax collectors saved. The greater part of those, heard Christ preach many times, and saw Him work miracles from day after day, yet they were not chosen to receive salvation; and yet the woman of Samaria was chosen for eternal life, and many other Samaritans at the same time, who only heard Christ preach, as He occasionally passed through their city. So the woman of Canaan was elected for salvation, who was not of the country of the Jews, and only once saw Jesus Christ. So the Jews, who had seen and heard Christ, and saw His miracles, and with whom the apostles labored so much, were not saved. But the Gentiles, many of them, who, as it were, only briefly heard the good news of salvation, embraced those truths, and were converted.”

5. God exercises His sovereignty in calling some to salvation, who have been dreadfully wicked, and leaving others, who have been moral and religious persons.

“The Pharisees were a very strict sect among the Jews. Their religion was extraordinary. (Luke 18:11). They were not like other men, extortioners, unjust, or adulterers-that was their morality. They fasted twice a week, and gave tithes of all that they possessed-that was their religion. But yet, for the most part, they were rejected, and the tax collectors, and prostitutes, and openly vicious sorts of people, entered into the kingdom of God before them. (Matthew 21:31). The Apostle Paul describes his righteousness while he was a Pharisee, saying, “as for legalistic righteousness, I was faultless” (Philippians 3:6). The rich young man, who fell on his knees before Christ, saying, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’”-this man was a moral person. When Christ told him keep the commandments, he said, with all sincerity, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” He had obviously been brought up in a good family, and was a youth of such agreeable manners and correct behavior, that it is said, “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” Still he was not chosen; while the thief on the cross, that was crucified with Christ, was chosen and called. God sometimes shows His sovereignty by showing mercy to the worst of sinners, on those who have been murderers, and blasphemers. And even when they are old, some are called at the eleventh hour. God sometimes shows the sovereignty of His grace by showing mercy to some, who have spent most of their lives in the service of Satan, and have little left to spend in the service of God.”

6. God exercises His sovereignty, in saving some of those who seek salvation, and not others.

“Some who seek salvation, as we know both from Scripture and observation, are quickly converted; while others seek for a long time, and do not obtain it. God helps some over the mountains and difficulties which are in the way; He subdues Satan, and delivers them from his temptations: but others are ruined by the temptations with which they meet. Some are never thoroughly awakened; while to others God is pleased to give thorough convictions. Some are left to backsliding hearts; others God causes to hold out to the end. Some are brought down from a confidence in their own righteousness; others never get over that obstruction in their way, as long as they live. And some are converted and saved, who never strived after salvation, as others who, in the end, perish.”

DONE RIGHT

" . . . Somebody prayed the other day that I might see the reason why the Lord has lately afflicted me. I hope the brother will not pray that any more, for I do not want to know the Lord’s reasons—why should I? I know He has done right, and I will not dishonor Him by catechizing Him and wanting Him to explain Himself to a poor worm." ~ C.H.S

"But how easy it is, how easy it must be, for a man to be contented when he knows that God has promised to be with him in all circumstances and at all times!" ~ C.H.S

Thursday, May 27, 2010

GRIEVING

"it is not the absence of sin but the grieving over it which distinguishes the child of God from empty professors'"

- A. W. Pink

Monergism Books

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NEVER FORGET

We must never forget that there is no tribunal so magnificent, no throne so stately, no show of triumph so distinguished, no chariot so elevated, as is the cross on which Christ has subdued death and the Devil. (via Kim Nejudne )

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TWIST NOT

“People
tell me judge not lest ye be judged. I always tell them, twist not
scripture lest ye be like satan.”

-- Paul Washer

Saturday, May 8, 2010

GROANS

"A Christian's sighs and groans are among his best evidences that he is regenerate....Often there is life where there is not strength. A child may breathe and cry, yet cannot talk or walk. If God is the object of your affection, if sin is the cause of your grief, if conformity to Christ is the longing of your heart, then a good work has begun in you (Phil 1:6)"

- A.W. Pink

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

BECAUSE WE ARE REBORN

from monergism books.

"There has been so much emphasis upon decision, receiving, yielding, being willing, and giving ourselves that salvation is regarded almost exclusively in terms of our activity... [But] We do not give birth to ourselves, we are not reborn because we believe. We believe because we are reborn."

--Martin-Lloyd Jones.

OF HIMSELF

"Of himself, the fallen sinner can no more repent evangelically, believe in Christ savingly, come to Him effectually, than he can create a world. "With men it is impossible" [Mk 10:27] rules out of court all special pleading for the power of man's will. Nothing but a miracle of grace can lead to the saving of any sinner." - A.W. Pink

Oh, my reader, be not deceived on this vital matter; to mortify the lusts of the flesh, to be crucified unto the world, to overcome the Devil, to die daily unto sin and live unto righteousness, to be meek and lowly in heart, trustful and obedient, pious and patient, faithful and uncompromising, loving and gentle; in a word, to be a Christian, to be Christ-like, is a task far, far beyond the poor resources of fallen human nature."

- A.W. Pink,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

THE TRUE

But the true Christian hates sin, flees from it, fights against it, considers it his greatest plague, resents the burden of its presence, mourns when he falls under its influence, and longs to be completely delivered from it. Sin no longer pleases him, nor is it even a matter of indifference to him; it has become a horrible thing which he hates.

~~J.C. Ryle

Sunday, April 11, 2010

SIRENS AND SMILES

Where one thousand are destroyed by the world's frowns, ten thousand are destroyed by the world's smiles. The world, siren-like, sings us and sinks us.

—Thomas Brooks

Saturday, April 10, 2010

SELF-DECEPTION

(lifted entirely from the monergism blog...)

A person may have well balanced theology, and his general views of truth would be considered evangelical and orthodox. And yet, thus far may he proceed in the deepest 'self deception'.

With all this "form of knowledge," this lodgment of the truth in the understanding, this subscription of the intellect to the doctrines of revelation, he is an utter stranger to that 'heart transformation', that inward illumination of the Holy Spirit, without which the soul is spiritually dead, the heart is unrenewed and unholy, and the whole man is unfit for the kingdom of heaven.

In short, we have here the case of one who, while his judgment assents to the truth, his heart entirely rejects it. The Gospel is to him a thing of intellectual subscription, and not of heart experience. Not a single truth of the Bible has become an element of life and holiness in his soul.

(From Octavius Winslow's, "The Coming of the Lord in its Relation to Nominal Christianity")




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LEAVE BEHIND

"When you come to Christ--you must leave behind you: all your own righteousness, all your own holiness, all your own sanctification, all your own duties, all your own tears, all your own repentings, etc. Oh, this is hard! You must bring nothing but your sins and miseries to Him. Otherwise, Christ is not fit for you--nor you for Christ!"

-- Thomas Wilcox

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ALL GIFTS

"All gifts from God are intended by God to direct our attention to God & create fresh affections for God"- CJ Mahaney

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

FRESH

"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."

~ Horatius Bonar

Monday, March 22, 2010

COMMUNE

"It is not sufficient to commune with the truth, for truth is impersonal. We must commune with the God of truth. It is not enough to study and ponder the contents of religious books, or even the Bible itself. We must actually address the Author of the Bible, in entreaties and petitions" ~W.G.T. Shedd

Saturday, March 20, 2010

DESTROYING

"No more soul-destroying doctrine could well be devised than the doctrine that sinners can regenerate themselves and repent and believe just when they please."

~ Charles Hodge (Systematic Theology, vol 2)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Remember

"Remember thy sins, & Christ's pardonings; thy hell-deservings, & Christ's merits; thy weakness, & Christ's strength; thy pride, & Christ's humility; thy many infirmities, & Christ's restorings; thy guilts, & Christ's new applications of His blood; thy fallings, & Christ's raisings-up; thy wants, & Christ's fullness;... thy temptations, & Christ's tenderness; thy vileness, & Christ's righteousness." -Wilcox-

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

OUR COMFORT

"He that hath Christ for his king and God, let him be assured he hath the devil for his enemy, who will work him much sorrow, and will plague him all the days of his life. But let this be our comfort and great glory, that we poor people have the Lord of life and of death, and of all creatures, clothed with our flesh and blood who ever liveth and maketh intercession for us, defendeth and protecteth us."

~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

UNTIL MEN RECOGNIZE

"For until men recognize that they owe everything to God, that they are nourished by His fatherly care, that He is the Author of their every good, that they should seek nothing beyond Him — they will never yield Him willing service. Nay, unless they establish their complete happiness in Him, they will never give themselves truly and sincerely to Him."

-John Calvin

Thursday, March 4, 2010

HIS SUFFERINGS

"God may thunder His commands from Mount Sinai and men may fear, yet remain at heart exactly as they were before. But let a man once see his God down in the arena as a Man--suffering, tempted, sweating, and agonized, finally dying a criminal's death--and he is a hard man indeed who is untouched."

J.B. Phillips, "Your God Is Too Small"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010