Friday, December 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

"And shall we not believe that God can convert a sinner when He pleases? Cannot the Almighty, the omnipotent Ruler of heaven and earth, change the character of the creatures He has made?

He changed the water into wine at Cana and converted Saul on the road to Damascus. The leper said, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean" (Matt. 8:2). And at a word his leprosy was cleansed.

Let us not believe, as do the Arminians, that God cannot control the human will, or that He cannot regenerate a soul when He pleases. He is as able to cleanse the soul as the body. If He chose He could raise up such a flood of Christian ministers, missionaries and workers of various kinds, and could work through His Holy Spirit, that the entire world would be converted in a very short time.

If He had purposed to save all men He could have sent hosts of angels to instruct them and to do supernatural works on the earth. He could have worked marvelously in the heart of every person so that no one would have been lost."

Loraine Boettner ~ (The Reformed Faith)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Luke 1:67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
       68 “ Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,
      For He has visited and redeemed His people,
       69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
      In the house of His servant David,
       70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
      Who have been since the world began,
       71 That we should be saved from our enemies
      And from the hand of all who hate us,
       72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers
      And to remember His holy covenant,
       73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
       74 To grant us that we,
      Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
      Might serve Him without fear,
       75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
       76 “ And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
      For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
       77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people
      By the remission of their sins,
       78 Through the tender mercy of our God,
      With which the Dayspring from on high has visited[e] us;
       79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
      To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pink Pick

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).

"Though the wind be imperious in its action, man being unable to regulate it; though it be mysterious in its nature man knowing nothing of the cause which controls it; yet its presence is unmistakable, its effects are plainly evidenced: so it is with every one that is born of the Spirit.

His secret but powerful operations lie beyond the reach of our understanding.

Why God has ordained that the Spirit should quicken this person and not that, we know not, but the transforming results of His working are plain and palpable."

A. W. Pink. "Regeneration Or the New Birth"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Must we believe in the Virgin Birth?

From Albert Mohler

In one of his columns for The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof once pointed to belief in the Virgin Birth as evidence that conservative Christians are “less intellectual.” Are we saddled with an untenable doctrine? Is belief in the Virgin Birth really necessary?

Kristof is absolutely aghast that so many Americans believe in the Virgin Birth. “The faith in the Virgin Birth reflects the way American Christianity is becoming less intellectual and more mystical over time,” he explains, and the percentage of Americans who believe in the Virgin Birth “actually rose five points in the latest poll.” Yikes! Is this evidence of secular backsliding?

Read rest of column here

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Two for Tuesday

Over at 5 Pt. Salt, Pastor Joel Taylor tears down the "God Particle" theory many scientists love to dream of -

The Mystery of the ‘God Particle’–Solved!

Scientists at the $10 billion dollar Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland are all excited. Really excited. LHC is home of the worlds largest particle accelerator. They claim to be closing in on defining the mass of the Higgs boson particle, aka, the God particle. Basically, it is the particle which they purport to be the means by which the entire universe obtains it’s mass. It is the ‘instruction booklet’ that will describe for us how particles, forces and all that stuff interact and bring it all together to form our universe. If seen, it would, allegedly, be the most significant scientific discovery in over 60 years.

But wait, there’s more. - - - Continue reading here

The Chief End of Man has a very nice excerpt of a sermon from St. Augustine - 

Excerpt from St. Augustine’s Christmas Day sermon

“Righteousness has looked down from heaven. in order that people may have a righteousness which is not their own, but God’s…

Unless He had a human birth, we would never attain to the divine rebirth; He was born that we might be reborn. Let nobody hesitate to be reborn; Christ has been born; born with no need of being reborn. The only ones in need of rebirth are those who have been condemned in their first birth. - - - - Read rest of excerpt here

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A thorough hatred

(Charles Spurgeon, "Treasury of David")

"You hate all workers of iniquity!" Psalm 5:5

"It is not a little dislike--but a thorough hatred which God bears to workers of iniquity. To be hated by God is an awful thing. O let us be very faithful in warning the wicked around us, for it will be a terrible thing for them to fall into the hands of an angry God!" Charles Spurgeon

"What a vile thing is sin, which makes the God of love and Father of mercies--into an enemy to His creatures; and which could only be purged by the blood of the Son of God!" Thomas Adams

"Not only the work--but worker of iniquity also becomes the object of His hatred." William Gurnall

"Those whom the Lord hates, must perish. What is more due to such impenitent sinners, than hatred? What is more proper than wrath--since they treasure up wrath? Will He entertain those in the bosom of His love--those whom His soul hates? No! Destruction is their portion. What is that which Christ hates? As Christ hates iniquity, so also the "workers of iniquity." David Clarkson

"If God's hatred is against the workers of iniquity--then how great is it against iniquity itself! If a man hates a poisonous creature--he hates poison much more. The strength of God's hatred is against sin--and so should we hate sin, and hate it with all our strength! Sin is an abomination unto God--let it be so unto us!" William Greenhill

(From Puritan Devotionals)

Friday, November 18, 2011

What is the Gospel?

What is the Gospel?  (From

The gospel is not behavior modification, becoming a better person or learning to become more moral. It is not taking the life of Jesus as a model way to live or transforming/redeeming the secular realm. It is not living highly communal lives with others and sharing generously in communities who practice the way of Jesus in local culture.

These may all be good things but they are not to be confused with the gospel.

They should accompany the gospel, and should not separated from the gospel and while God may use them to authenticate the gospel and make our proclamation of the gospel more fertile in hardened hearts yet they are not to be viewed as replacements for the gospel.
Did you notice the one characteristic of all of the above activities has nothing to do with what Christ has done for us, but all about what we do for him. The true gospel, rather, is news about what Christ the Saviour, has already done for us (in his life, death and resurrection) rather than instruction and advice about what you are to do for God. Christ's accomplishment, not ours, is the essence of the gospel. Above all, the gospel of Christ brings good news, rather than instruction about our behavior.

The gospel of not about what we do, but our acts inevitably spring up and overflow in thanksgiving due to what Christ has done for us.

In short, the Gospel is the life-altering news that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, lived a sinless life under the Law, died for sinners and rose again to reconcile them to himself, eternally victorious over every enemy that stood between God and man. Now, because of this redemptive work, there is nothing that separates those who believe from their Creator and all the benefits that He promises in him. D.A. Carson says the gospel centers "upon Jesus Christ and what God has done through him.

The essential points of the gospel are Jesus Christ's status as the Son of God, his genuine humanity, his death for our sins, his burial, resurrection, subsequent appearances, and future coming in judgment. That no one is justified but in the gracious work of Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. It is not merely a recital of theological truths and historical events; rather, it relates these truths and events to situations of every individual believer."

But in order to fully understand what the Gospel is, it is important to understand why the Gospel is needed.

Read full post here!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Two for Tuesday

I heard a famous preacher say...
“You came here tonight and the Lord is merciful. He will forgive your sins tonight – He will forgive your past sins, your sins of today, and your sins for tomorrow.'
I thought, isn't that nice?
Can you imagine going up to a judge and the judge says, “You've been charged with stealing a lady's purse, did you steal it?”
“Yes,” replies the man, .”It had $100 in it.”
“Are you sorry?” the judge asks.
“Yes I'm sorry,” answers the man.
“Well,” the judge says, “You're forgiven. I forgive you for all the purses you've stolen in the past... all you've stolen today and all the purses you'll steal the rest of your life.”
Wouldn't that be insane?  
- - Leonard Ravenhill - -
Someone asked me, "Do you pray for the dead?" I said, "No, I preach to them!" I think every pew in every church is death row. Think about that! They're dead! They sing about God; they talk about God, but they're dead! They have no living relationship (with God). 

- - Leonard Ravenhill - -

Thursday, November 10, 2011

His Blood Must Save Alone, Put Anything With It And You Are Lost ~ Charles Spurgeon

From Puritan Fellowship

"When I see the blood I will pass over you." (Exodus 12:13)

"The blood of Christ hath such a divine power to save, that nothing but it can ever save the soul. If some foolish Israelite had despised the command of God, and had said, "I will sprinkle something else upon the doorposts," or, "I will adorn the lintel with jewels of gold and silver," he must have perished; nothing could save his household but the sprinkled blood. 

And now let us all remember, that "other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, Jesus Christ," for "there is none other name given among men whereby we must be saved." My works, my prayers, my tears, cannot save me; the blood, the blood alone, has power to redeem. 

Sacraments, however well they may be attended to, cannot save me. Nothing but thy blood, O Jesus, can redeem me from the guilt of sin.

Read rest of sermon here

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two for Tuesday

Spotlight on two great Puritans - 

John Owen - 

John Owen, called the “prince of the English divines,” “the leading figure among the Congregationalist divines,” “a genius with learning second only to Calvin’s,” and “indisputably the leading proponent of high Calvinism in England in the late seventeenth century,” was born in Stadham (Stadhampton), near Oxford.

He was the second son of Henry Owen, the local Puritan vicar. Owen showed godly and scholarly tendencies at an early age. He entered Queen’s College, Oxford, at the age of twelve and studied the classics, mathematics, philosophy, theology, Hebrew, and rabbinical writings. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1632 and a Master of Arts degree in 1635. Throughout his teen years, young Owen studied eighteen to twenty hours per day.

Read more here

 Thomas Watson - 

Thomas Watson was probably born in Yorkshire. He studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1639 and a Master of Arts degree in 1642. During his time at Cambridge, Watson was a dedicated scholar. After completing his studies, Watson lived for a time with the Puritan family of Lady Mary Vere, the widow of Sir Horace Vere, baron of Tilbury. In 1646, Watson went to St. Stephen’s, Walbrook, London, where he served as lecturer for about ten years, and as rector for another six years, filling the place of Ralph Robinson.

In about 1647, Watson married Abigail Beadle, daughter of John Beadle, an Essex minister of Puritan convictions. They had at least seven children in the next thirteen years; four of them died young.

Read more here

Biographies courtesy of Monergism

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quote of the Day

As for discipline, many churches neglect it because they fear it will reduce their membership and thus detract from their glory. But the truth of the matter is that the church which fails to exercise discipline is sure to lose both its self-respect and the respect of those without.

Strange though it may seem, the world today despises the church precisely because the church is so worldly, and the members of the church by and large take no pride in their membership because it carries with it no distinction. On the other hand, the faithful exercise of discipline is sure to enhance the church's glory.

R. B. Kuiper

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Reformed Faith by Loraine Boettner

From A Puritans Mind

by Loraine Boettner

The Sovereignty of God
The purpose of this article is to set forth, in plain language and in terms easily understood, the basic differences between the Calvinistic and the Arminian system to theology, and to show what the Bible teaches concerning these subjects. The harmony that exists between the various doctrines of the Christian faith is such that error in regard to any one of them produces more or less distortion in all of the others.

There are in reality only two types of religious thought. There is the religion of faith, and there is the religion of works. We believe that what has been known in Church History as Calvinism is the purest and most consistent embodiment of the religion of faith, while that which has been known as Arminianism has been diluted to a dangerous degree by the religion of works and that it is therefore an inconsistent and unstable form of Christianity. In other words, we believe that Christianity comes to its fullest and purest expression in Reformed Faith.

In the early part of the fifth century these two types of religious thought came into direct conflict in a remarkably clear contrast as embodied in two fifth-century theologians, Augustine and Pelagius. Augustine pointed men to God as the source of all true spiritual wisdom and strength, while Pelagius threw men back on themselves and said that they were able in their own strength to do all that God commanded, otherwise God would not command it. We believe that Arminianism represents a compromise between these two systems, but that while in its more evangelical form, as in early Wesleyanism, it approaches the religion of faith, it nevertheless does contain serious elements of error.

We are living in a day in which practically all of the historic churches are being attacked from within by unbelief. Many of them have already succumbed. And almost invariably the line of descent has been from Calvinism to Arminianism, from Arminianism to Liberalism, and then to Unitarianism. And the history of Liberalism and Unitarianism shows (Read rest of post here)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is Jesus Christ in forefront? Is He in the centre? - Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“A very good way in which we can test our own profession of the Christian faith is just to apply this test to ourselves. Is Jesus Christ in forefront?

Is He in the centre? 

You will find that in this introduction the Apostle mentions Him at least five times (Romans 1:1-7). I had occasion to note recently that in the first fourteen verses of the Epistle to the Ephesians he mentions Him fifteen times.

He cannot get away from Him, as it were; he must keep on mentioning the Name. He uses the terms ‘Jesus Christ’, ‘the Lord Jesus Christ’, ‘Christ Jesus our Lord’, and so on. 

Watch him in his epistles, he is always using the Name, and it evidently gives him great pleasure to do so, And the question, I repeat, is, ‘Is this true of us? Is Jesus Christ in the forefront of our minds, and our hearts, and our conversations? 

I mean - and here I am talking to Christian people, to believers – when we talk to one another, are we always talking about some experience or some blessing we have had, or are we talking about the Lord Jesus Christ? 

I have no hesitation in asserting that as we grow in grace, we talk much less about ourselves and our experiences, and much more about Him.”

- Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans (Volume 1): Exposition of Chapter 1 - The Gospel of God

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Calvinism & Evangelism

From Fundamentally Reformed

Perhaps you are familiar with this parable concerning the difficulties of affirming both man’s free will and God’s all-encompassing sovereignty.

A sign above the door to Heaven boldly proclaims “Whosoever will may come!” However, once through Heaven’s gates, an astute observer will notice that the flip side of the sign says, “Only those predestined before the foundation of the world may enter.”

There is more than a little truth to this parable. The first sign deals with salvation from man’s perspective. To the awakened sinner, the first sign gives hope that if he will but look, he will live. Calvinism pulls the curtain back on the awakened sinner’s soul and sees God’s Spirit at work in regenerating the sinner, and granting him repentance and faith, due to the second sign.

As I see it, Calvinism deals mostly with what goes on behind the scenes, so to speak, in respect to salvation. But let me stress that Calvinism is not prying into secret areas of God’s will. No, Calvinism responds to numerous Scripture texts. While they don’t claim to understand everything, Calvinists are bound to believe the five points due to their regard for Scripture. This is not something they enjoy “making up from thin air” so to speak.

A proper understanding of man’s part and God’s part in salvation will do much to help us sort through the sticky issues surrounding Calvinism and evangelism. Historically, some Calvinists (hyper Calvinists, actually) have claimed that we have no responsibility to evangelize since God will irresistibly draw His elect with or without our help. Furthermore, they have claimed that we cannot confidently tell anyone necessarily that if they will but believe and come, that they will be saved. Such hyper Calvinists, then, denied the first sign.

So it is due to extremists from   (Read rest of post here)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Short Response to the Arminian Doctrine of Prevenient Grace - by John Hendryx


The term “prevenient grace” – a distinctly Arminian doctrine – refers to a universal grace which precedes and enables the first stirrings of a good will or inclination toward God and it explains the extent or degree to which the Holy Spirit influences a person prior to their coming to faith in Christ.

The Arminian, together with the Calvinist, affirms total human moral inability and utter helplessness of the natural man in spiritual matters and the absolute necessity for supernatural prevenient grace if there is to be any right response to the gospel.

Like Calvinists, Arminians agree that, apart from an act of grace on God's part, no one would willingly come to Christ. This point is important to distinguish so as to not confuse Classical Arminianism with either Finneyism or Semi-Pelagianism, which both reject the need for prevenient grace.

So Christ's redemption is universal in a provisional sense but conditional as to its application to any individual, i.e. those who do not resist the grace offered to them through the cross and the gospel. Prevenient grace, according to Arminians, convicts, calls (outwardly), enlightens and enables before conversion and makes conversion and faith possible.

While Calvinists believe the inward call to the elect is irrevocable and effectually brings sinners to faith in Christ, the Arminian, on the other hand understand God's grace as ultimately resistible. In short, they affirm that prevenient grace, which is given to all men at some point in their life, temporarily brings the sinner out of his/her condition of total depravity and puts them in a neutral state of free will wherein the natural man can either accept or reject Christ.

Prevenient grace defined as follows by "Wesley's Order of Salvation":

"Human beings are totally incapable of responding to God without God first empowering them to have faith. This empowerment is known as "Prevenient Grace." Prevenient Grace doesn't save us but, rather, comes before anything that we do, drawing us to God, making us WANT to come to God, and enabling us to have faith in God. Prevenient Grace is Universal, in as much as all humans receive it, regardless of their having heard of Jesus. It is manifested in the deep-seated desire of most humans to know God."

Furthermore, in reply to the orthodox assertion that the sinners' generation of faith itself implies merit the Arminian will often respond by affirming that the human will, aided by prevenient grace, is free, even in accepting pardoning grace; that though this acceptance is no more meritorious than a beggar’s acceptance of an offered fortune, yet it is accepted freely, and with the full power of rejection, and is none the less grace for that. In other words, every sinner determines for himself, whether or not he will be saved, and thus determines his own election based on whether or not he responds positively to the gospel offered to him by God while under the influence of prevenient grace. The Arminian contends or reasons that anything else would be unfair of God.


While the example of the beggar may sound reasonable at first glance, I propose we look more closely at these concepts. What are the similarities and differences of Arminian theology with orthodoxy on the concept of saving grace?

Read rest of post HERE

Monday, October 24, 2011

By Grace Alone!

By Grace Alone author unknown

Thou art our God, and we thy race
Elected by thy sovereign grace.
Not by the works which we have done
But by the cross our vict'ry's won,
Oh keep this truth within my heart,
That from it I may ne'er depart.

By nature we depraved did dwell
Under thy curse--deserving hell--
Sinful, corrupt in every part,
Not one pure motive in our heart.
Hadst thou not looked on us in grace,
We would remain a perished race.

In love eternal thou did chose
To save thy sheep; their bonds to loose,
No good did we within us have
To claim thy gracious plan to save.
Elected by thy grace alone;
Holy to stand before thy throne.

Incarnate did thy Son appear--
A sacrifice--a Lamb most pure;
To make atonement for his sheep
And perfectly thy will to keep.
Now cleansed from sin and righteous, we
Are sons and heirs eternally!

The blood of Christ by grace supplied
Was by thy Spirit's pow'r applied.
Thy Spirit we could not resist,
Who breathed new life into our breast.
Our souls alive, which once were dead,
Sing praise to Christ, the Lord, our Head!

With all thy saints we are preserved
To enter heav'n--a place reserved.
Secure we're kept within thy care,
Lest we be lost to Satan's snare.
Oh Sovereign God, all praise to thee
For our salvation, full and free!

This hymn of thanks, Oh Lord we bring;
For by thy grace alone we sing.
Employ our lives in every sphere,
Thy law to keep; thy Name to fear,
"By grace alone"--this doctrine pure--
Our only comfort doth secure.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 21st has come and gone.

Not content with three strikes and you're out, Harold Camping wanted a fourth try.

Well, October 22nd came after his fourth failed attempt to predict the end of the world; just like September 7th, 1994 came after his September 6th end of the world prediction...and May 22nd, 1988 came after his May 21st end of the world prediction...and May 22nd, 2011 came after his May 21st end of the world prediction.

To those who are still following Harold Camping:

Thus says the LORD of hosts:

“ Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
They make you worthless;
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the LORD.
Jer 23:16

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Does it Make God a Moral Monster if He Ordains All that Comes to Pass?


One of the major premises of Roger Olson's new book "Against Calvinism" is his declaration that classic Reformed doctrine of meticulous providence makes God into a moral monster, or worse, indistinguishable from the devil. He asserts that the Calvinist cannot consistently affirm that God ordains all that comes to pass, including the wicked acts of men, without also making God the author of sin.

Does it follow? Not in the least. The charge that it makes God a moral monster if the God of Scripture ordains all things, even the wicked acts of men, rests ultimately on the assumption that unless we can explain his actions then we may sit in judgment upon Him. In other words, the charge rests purely upon rationalism and extra-biblical logic. We acknowledge that we cannot explain all of God's secret acts since God has chosen not to reveal many things about Himself. But one very prominent feature of the Bible is that it frequently declares that God meticulously ordains all that comes to pass (Eph 1:11) AND that men are responsible for their actions. One major example sticks out: the greatest sin ever committed by men in history -- the crucifixion of Jesus ---when the Apostle Peter, preaching at Pentecost declares:

"...this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men." (Acts 2:23)

and two chapters later in Acts it again says:

"...both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done." (Acts 4:27-28)

The Bible itself testifies, in plain language, that God ordained evil men to crucify Jesus. Yet "lawless men" are 100% responsible for carrying it out. So those who embrace the Bible as authoritative need to be able to develop a theology which fits that into their view. While you may not understand it, you must yield to what the Scripture teaches regarding God's meticulous hand of providence in all things, and His blamelessness in doing them.

The fatal flaw in Olson's argument flows mostly from his insistence that Calvinists must somehow explain this philosophically or else we are being inconsistent, or worse, make God into a monster.

Read rest here

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two for Tuesday

Spotlight on two great Puritans

John Flavel

John Flavel (or Flavell) was born in 1628 in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. He was the son of Richard Flavel, a minister who died of the plague in 1665 while in prison for nonconformity. John Flavel was educated by his father in the ways of religion, then “plied his studies hard” as a commoner at University College, Oxford. In 1650, he was ordained by the presbytery at Salisbury. He settled in Diptford, where he honed his numerous gifts.

He married Joan Randall, a godly woman, who died while giving birth to their first child in 1655. The baby died as well. After a year of mourning, Flavel married Elizabeth Stapell and was again blessed with a close, God-fearing marriage, as well as children.

In 1656, Flavel accepted a call to be minister in the thriving seaport of Dartmouth. He earned a smaller income there, but his work was more profitable; many were converted. One of his parishioners wrote of Flavel, “I could say much, though not enough of the excellency of his preaching; of his seasonable, suitable, and spiritual matter; of his plain expositions of Scripture; his talking method, his genuine and natural deductions, his convincing arguments, his clear and powerful demonstrations, his heart-searching applications, and his comfortable supports to those that were afflicted in conscience. In short, that person must have a very soft head, or a very hard heart, or both, that could sit under his ministry unaffected”

Read more here

John Bunyan

John Owen said of John Bunyan, a powerful preacher and the best-known of all the Puritan writers, that he would gladly exchange all his learning for Bunyan’s power of touching men’s hearts. John Bunyan was born in 1628 at Elstow, near Bedford, to Thomas Bunyan and Margaret Bentley. Thomas Bunyan, a brazier or tinker, was poor but not destitute. Still, for the most part, John Bunyan was not educated well. He became rebellious, frequently indulging in cursing. He later wrote, “It was my delight to be taken captive by the devil at his will: being filled with all unrighteousness; that from a child I had but few equals, both for cursing, swearing, lying, and blaspheming the holy name of God” (Works of Bunyan, ed. George Offor, 1:6). Sporadic periods of convictions of sin helped restrain some of that rebellion, however.

When Bunyan was sixteen years old, his mother and sister died a month apart. His father remarried a month later. Young Bunyan joined Cromwell’s New Model Army, where he continued his rebellious ways. Fighting in the Civil War sobered him considerably, however. On one occasion, his life was wonderfully spared. “When I was a soldier, I with others, was drawn out to go to such a place to besiege it. But when I was just ready to go, one of the company desired to go in my room; to which when I consented, he took my place, and coming to the siege, as he stood sentinel he was shot in the head with a musket bullet and died”

Read more here

Biographies courtesy of Monergism

Monday, October 17, 2011

Reformed reading and a little amusement from around the Web -

Fortress for Truth: Martin Luther (Ligonier Ministries)

Martin Luther was a giant of history. Some believe he was the most significant European figure of the second millennium. He was the pioneer Reformer, the one God first used to spark a transformation of Christianity and the Western world. He was the undisputed leader of the German Reformation. In a day of ecclesiastical corruptions and apostasies, he was a valiant champion of the truth; his powerful preaching and pen helped to restore the pure gospel. More books have been written about him than any other man of history except Jesus Christ and possibly..............Continue reading here

The Perfect Christian (5-Point Salt)

A Christian is one who recognizes Jesus as the Christ, Son of the living God, as God manifested in the flesh, loving us and dying for our redemption; and who is.....Continue reading here

Secret of the High Five (Calvinistic Cartoons)

Did John Calvin invent the High Five? Find out here

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Reformed Faith

The term "Reformed" refers to the great revival that swept through Europe five hundred years ago that is known as the Protestant Reformation. This movement was a protest against the abuses of the Roman Catholic church, abuses which arose from two principle tap roots. The first was Rome's denial of the sole Headship of Jesus Christ over His church. The second was the leaven of the false gospel of Roman Catholicism, a "gospel" which taught (and still teaches) that men are justified before God by their own merits, and not by the free and Sovereign grace of God in Christ alone.

The Protestant recovery of the gospel of Christ and His Apostles finds its best summation in the five "sola" statements of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, and Soli Deo Gloria.

I. Sola Scriptura ("Scripture Alone").

The Lord Jesus Christ alone is the unrivaled Head of His church, and He shares His throne with no man; even if that man is a pastor, priest, or pope. King Jesus exercises His rule over His church by His Holy Spirit through His Holy Word. Therefore the Protestant Reformers insisted upon the sole authority of Holy Scripture to bind the consciences of men. Although God does empower a plurality of men known as "elders" to shepherd each local church, their authority must always be exercised under the authority of Christ and His Word, to which nothing may be added or taken away.

II. Sola Gratia ("Grace Alone").

With the recovery of the sufficiency of Holy Scripture came the recovery of Scripture's message: the gospel of Christ and Him crucified. The Reformers believed and then preached that the only hope anyone has of being saved from his sin and from the wrath that is to come is in the free grace (the unmerited favor) of God alone. The Triune God alone saves sinners, and He is absolutely Sovereign over when and to whom He dispenses His effectual saving grace. Fallen man is powerless and helpless to save himself or to contribute anything to his own salvation.

III. Sola Fide ("Faith Alone").

The saving grace of Almighty God is received by sinners as they exercise faith in the Living Christ alone for their salvation. Yet even this faith is a gift of God's grace to sinful men, so that they have no room to boast. By affirming this truth the Reformers were denying that men are justified before God by their own merits or by an infusion of Christ's righteousness that enabled them to keep God's Law unto salvation. Instead, the Protestants taught that whenever a lost sinner ceases from his works and simply believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted to him for righteousness. From the moment a lost sinner truly believes the righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself is imputed to him because his sin was imputed to Christ upon the cross. Therefore, from that time onward, the believing sinner is eternally justified before God on the basis of Christ's perfect righteousness and finished work on the cross.

IV. Solus Christus ("Christ Alone").

The Reformers affirmed that the only object of saving faith has always been and evermore shall be the Lord Jesus Christ alone. He alone is the way, the truth, and the life; no man can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). The saints of the Old Testament were saved by faith in the Messiah who was to come, and the saints of the New Testament are saved by faith in the Messiah who has come and who is soon coming again. There is no other Mediator between God and men, and there is no other name given under heaven by which men must be saved, than the man whose name is the Lord Jesus Christ.

V. Soli Deo Gloria ("To God Alone Be the Glory").

Because the Triune God alone is the Creator of all things, and because the salvation of sinners is a loving work of His free grace alone; all honor, praise, and glory is His alone. "But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-that, as it is written, 'He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.'" (I Corinthians 1:30-31)

So, what is the Reformed faith? It is the acknowledgement of the sole Headship of King Jesus over His church which He exercises by His Holy Spirit through the sixty-six books of His Holy Word. It is also the unashamed belief and proclamation of the message of those sixty-six books, the gospel of Christ crucified. This gospel teaches all men that sinners are saved by God's grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone to the glory of God alone. To the One True and Living God be all glory, honor, and praise in Christ Jesus our Lord both now and forever. Amen.

Courtesy of Berean Baptist Church