Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sin is cosmic treason -

“Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself.

Have you ever considered the deeper implications of the slightest sin, of the most minute peccadillo? What are we saying to our Creator when we disobey Him at the slightest point?

We are saying no to the righteousness of God. We are saying, “God, Your law is not good. My judgement is better than Yours. Your authority does not apply to me. I am above and beyond Your jurisdiction. I have the right to do what I want to do, not what You command me to do.”

 ― R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God

Monday, May 28, 2012

Choice - Peter Eldersveld

The predicament in which we sinners find ourselves is so utterly hopeless that divine redemption is our only way out. The Bible says, what we know to be true from our own honest introspection, that we are “dead in trespasses and sins.” And such dead men cannot begin their own resurrection. They must be raised by another— by God. You cannot expect sinners who are depraved by nature to initiate the work of their own redemption. It will have to be initiated by God.

Now the Word of God proves beyond all doubt that He has indeed taken the initiative, that He is our point of beginning. The classic passage on that is Eph. 1:4-12. Among other things, it says: “He hath chosen us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world . . . having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will . . . in whom (Christ) also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.”

Now that doctrine of divine election is mentioned no less than forty-eight times in the New Testament alone. And no wonder, for it is one of the grandest things we know about God. His plan of redemption is not an afterthought, something He had to devise when man fell into sin; it was not occasioned by the contingencies of history, nor does it depend upon the will of man. From eternity God chose sinners to he saved, and He did so according to the good pleasure of His will without qualifying conditions of any kind. It was His doing. Its point-of-beginning is with Him in eternity, where also its end will be. This means that our salvation has its origin as well as its destiny in the everlasting God!

However, oddly enough, this glorious truth, which is one of the fundamentals of our faith, is also one of the most controversial teachings in the Bible. It makes some people stiffen with resistance and even wince with pain every time they hear it. This is particularly true among certain Christians who have a more humanistic theology. And, of course, the reason for their antagonism is quite natural. For the other side of this glorious truth is that if God chose to save some, He necessarily chose not to save others. So, He is not only a God of election but also of reprobation. And that’s the part men don’t like.

They seem to feel under obligation to defend the character of God against the stigma and responsibility of election and reprobation. The fact that God very plainly assumes this responsibility does not seem to impress them at all. They believe it is better to have men choose God than to have God choose men. And so they take the ultimate decision, as to who will be saved, out of the hands of God and place it in the hands of men, who must then make the choice themselves. And thereby they make man the point-of-beginning—and ending, the Alpha and Omega of his own salvation. He can frustrate God if he wants to.

Now, personally, I am deeply grateful that the Bible presents a God who chooses the sinner, rather than a God who must wait to be chosen. I know that teaching confronts us with some very real and difficult questions which we shall never be able to answer, but I would rather live with those questions than try to escape them by adopting humanistic notions that conflict with God’s own revelation of Himself. The fact that we cannot comprehend the mystery of His mercy does not disprove it.               Read entire article HERE

Hat Tip to The Highway

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Where is Christ in the sermon?

A Welsh minister who was preaching last Sabbath at the chapel of my dear brother, Jonathan George, was saying, that Christ was the sum and substance of the gospel, and he broke out into this story:

—A young man had been preaching in the presence of a venerable divine, and after he had done he went to the old minister, and said, "What do you think of my sermon?"

"A very poor sermon indeed," said he.

"A poor sermon?" said the young man, "it took me a long time to study it."

"Ay, no doubt of it." "Why, did you not think my explanation of the text a very good one?"

"Oh, yes," said the old preacher, "very good indeed."

"Well, then, why do you say it is a poor sermon? Didn't you think the metaphors were appropriate and the arguments conclusive?"

"Yes, they were very good as far as that goes, but still it was a very poor sermon." "Will you tell me why you think it a poor sermon?"

"Because," said he, "there was no Christ in it."

"Well," said the young man, "Christ was not in the text; we are not to be preaching Christ always, we must preach what is in the text."

So the old man said, "Don't you know young man that from every town, and every village, and every little hamlet in England, wherever it may be, there is a road to London?"

"Yes," said the young man.

"Ah!" said the old divine "and so form every text in Scripture, there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures, that is Christ. And my dear brother, your business in when you get to a text, to say, 'Now what is the road to Christ?' and then preach a sermon, running along the road towards the great metropolis—Christ.

And," said he, "I have never yet found a text that had not got a road to Christ in it, and if I ever do find one that has not a road to Christ in it, I will make one; I will go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savour of Christ in it."

Charles Spurgeon (From "Christ Precious to Believers" March 13th, 1859)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Trinity

"Since God is the Creator, Preserver and final Disposer of all things, the One in whom we live and move and have our being, our knowledge of Him must be basic and fundamental to all our knowledge. In answer to the question, "What is God?", the Scriptures reveal Him to us, in the first place, as a rational and righteous Spirit, infinite in His attributes of wisdom, being, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth; and in the second place they reveal Him to us as One who exists eternally as three "Persons", these three Persons, however, being one in substance and existing in the most perfect unity of thought and purpose.

It is evident, moreover, that if God does thus exist in three Persons, each of whom has His distinctive part in the works of creation, providence, redemption and grace, that fact governs His activity in all spheres of His work and, consequently, the doctrine which treats of the nature of His Person must seriously affect all true theology and philosophy. Doctrines vital to the Christian system, such as those of the Deity and Person of Christ, the Incarnation, the Atonement, etc., are so inextricably interwoven with that of the Tri-unity of God that they cannot be properly understood apart from it."

Loraine Boettner -

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lawless Gospel

A must read from Berean Wife -

The gospel message is, in itself, simple.

Paul explains the gospel in two verses in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Jesus Christ died on the cross on Calvary to pay the debt which we owe for our sins. He was buried and lay dead in a borrowed tomb for three days. But, on the morning of the third day, God raised Jesus from the dead. After 40 days, Jesus ascended back into heaven where he now sits at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus Christ was crucified in order to pay a debt that you and I could never pay for ourselves – the sin in our lives which has separated us from the presence of God.

1 Corinthians 15:3-5 “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (NIV)

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a call to follow Him in obedience. It is not just a plea to make a “decision for Christ” or to pray the “sinner’s prayer.” The gospel of Jesus Christ frees people from their sins. But it also confronts and condemns the hypocrisy of those who are only outwardly religious. The gospel of Jesus Christ is an offer for forgiveness and eternal life to those who would repent of their sins. But it is a rebuke to those who do not live a life in pursuit of righteousness and holiness.

Matthew 23:25-26 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” (NIV)

We all know of people who have made a “decision” for Jesus Christ at some point in their life, and who may have even attended church for some period of time, but then have fallen away from the faith.

Where is the evidence of the pursuit of holiness....Continue reading here

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two for Tuesday - Two Pinks

"There are but two states, and all men are included therein: the one a state of spiritual life, the other a state of spiritual death; the one a state of righteousness, the other a state of sin: the one saving. the other damning; the one a state of enmity, wherein men have their inclinations contrary to God, the other a state of friendship and fellowship, wherein men walk obediently unto God, and would not willingly have an inward notion opposed to His will. The one state is called darkness, the other light: "For ye were (in your unregenerate days, not only in the dark, but) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord" (Eph. 5:6). There is no medium between these conditions; all are in one of them. Each man and woman now on earth is either an object of God’s delight or of His abomination. The most benevolent and imposing works of the flesh cannot please Him. but the faintest sparks proceeding from that which grace hath kindled are acceptable in His sight."

"Jesus Christ came into this world to glorify God and to glorify Himself by redeeming a people unto Himself. But what glory can we conceive that God has, and what glory would accrue to Christ, if there be not a vital and fundamental difference between His people and the world? And what difference can there be between those two companies but in a change of heart, out of which are the issues of life (Prov. 4:23): a change of nature or disposition, as the fountain from which all other differences must proceed—sheep and goats differ in nature. The whole mediatorial work of Christ has this one end in view. His priestly office is to reconcile and bring His people unto God; His prophetic, to teach them the way; His kingly, to work in them those qualifications and bestow upon them that comeliness which is necessary to fit them for the holy converse and communion with the thrice holy God. Thus does He "purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14).

A.W. Pink

Friday, May 4, 2012

Trumpet Call

"When the trumpets of that heavenly court blow, and when it's an angelic host singing "Here comes the judge!" you can, in the words of Rowan and Martin themselves, "bet your sweet bippy" that the laugh track won't kick in. A hanging judge is not one to inspire laughs but to induce fear and respect. That, at least, was the pointed conclusion of the second-century apologist Theophilus of Antioch. After expounding upon God's holy and universal law, his terrible yet righteous wrath against those who transgress it, and the deserved eternal punishment of those condemned by it, he left his audience with these sobering words: "You asked me to show you my God-this is my God. I advise you to fear and trust him."

Michael Horton