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)