"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


  • Rev. John Samson
  • Rev. David Thommen (URC)
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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.


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  • When People are Big and God is small By Ed Welch

    Pg. 128

    There are many other biblical themes and passages that direct us to the fear of the Lord. The gospel of Mark, however, is the book of amazement. It is constantly saying that Jesus amazed those who witnessed his ministry. This amazement did not always lead to reverent submission, but it is Mark’s way of teaching us that Jesus is the Holy one, God in the flesh.

    Mark’s basic them is that Jesus amazed people by both his teaching and his miraculous deeds. He starts this immediately: “The people were amazed at his teaching” (Mark 1:22). Mark’s gospel proceeds to show Jesus’ demonstrating authority over evil spirits (1:27). Then, when Jesus told the paralytic that his sins were forgiven and he could walk, everyone was amazed and praised God (2:12).

    The next story of amazement took the disciples back to the creation account and the creative word of God. Crowds were already following Jesus to the point where a boat was one of the few places he could rest. “Let us go over to the other side,” Jesus said to his disciples. After they rowed beyond view of the shore, a furious storm came up, threatening to capsize the boat. Waves were already breaking over the sides and the boat was filling up with water. How Jesus could ever sleep through such an even seems superhuman in itself, but that is not what caused the amazement. When the disciples could finally shake him awake, Jesus spoke to his creation, “Quite! Be Still!” And the water became flat as grass.

    Prior to this time, the disciples had seen and heard many things. They had witnessed many miraculous healings, and they had heard teaching that elicited as much awe from the crowds as did the miracles. But this is the first time that Mark talks about the disciples responses. How would you respond if you were standing next to the Creator God and heard him speak to his creation? Don’t forget, even the words of the seraphim could shake the temple. “They were terrified”, Mark says about the disciples. They did not feel relief or happiness that they would live and not even lose their boat. They were terrified. What a wonderful response. It was ideal for people being schooled in the fear of the Lord.

    October 15, 2014  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

    Two Hours on Justification

    As a guest host on the Dividing Line, I taught for two hours on what Martin Luther described as "the article upon which the Church stands or falls," the doctrine of justification by faith alone. - John Samson

    Hour 1: Justification and the Three Transfers

    Hour 2: The Active and Passive Obedience of Christ, how Paul and James compliment each other on the matter of justification and why Rome's 'gospel' cannot save.

    October 10, 2014  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

    An Historic Door Opened for the Gospel

    JS - Over the last two weeks, I have had the privilege of guest hosting Dr. James White's dividing line broadcasts while he has been on a ministry trip to South Africa (the 4th of these shows at 2 p.m. later today). Dr. White shares here about one of the events on his trip and it is TRULY HISTORIC! God has opened a very significant and unexpected door for the gospel and it thrills my heart. Please continue to pray for Dr. James White and Alpha and Omega Ministries.

    DrWhite-DurbanSAJames White writes:

    "As I wait here in London for my flight back to Phoenix, I am still processing what took place this past Tuesday evening in Durban. As the attached picture shows, I stood once again in a masjid---not just a room associated with a mosque, but in the masjid itself, and had the unfettered freedom to proclaim the full truth of God. If I can figure out how best to link an audio file, I might have time before my flight to post a portion of my presentation on John's Christology, but I can tell you this: I had the opportunity (indeed, the necessity, given Yusuf's presentation), of delving into John 1:1-18, John 8:24, 58, 13:19, 18:5-6 (the I Am sayings of Jesus) and of course John 20:28. That is certainly not unusual---but to do so in a historic masjid, the first Christian to speak there---that's amazing. But now add in the real kicker: I was standing where Ahmed Deedat often stood in denial of those very truths. That's what I am still processing. Only God could open a door like that, give an opportunity like that. I thank Him for using means (specifically, Rudolph, Adrian, etc. there in South Africa), but they will tell you the same thing: the Lord has granted favor to our interactions with our Muslim friends in South Africa. No doubt about it."

    October 10, 2014  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

    The article upon which the Church stands or falls

    Sola Fide: On today's Dividing Line broadcast I taught on the doctrine of justification by faith alone and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer's account, highlighting Romans chapters 1-4. - JS

    October 07, 2014  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

    Acts 10 - Part 2

    Yesterday, as a guest host of the Dividing Line broadcast, I continued walking through Acts 10, seeking to explain why it is one of the most important chapters in the entire New Testament. - JS

    October 03, 2014  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

    When People are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch

    Pg. 76

    God was still part of this culture. In fact, most people, both then and now, would say that God exists and that the soul is immortal. That sounds pretty good—a little basic, perhaps, with no explicit statements about Jesus, but it seems essentially Christian. But jump to the present for a moment. How do you react to news poll indicating that the vast majority of Americans believe in God, an afterlife, and even the existence of angles? Are you encouraged to think that American is a Christian country? Or are you somewhat suspicious, left wanting to ask a few more questions? You can probably guess my reaction.

    We live in a times when there is a resurgence of God-talk and spiritual language, but conversations rarely get to the thing 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, and that he appeared to Peter and then the Twelve” (1 Cor. 15:3-5).

    The last two centuries have introduced God language that sounds fine but is divorced from biblical content. For example, the French philosopher Rousseau talked about God, but he found his god in nature. His god was all peace and goodness, and he moved to a feeling of worship. Rousseau shifted the focus from objective revelation (the Bible) to the subjective experience (feelings), from other people to the inner life and from loving God and neighbor to loving self.

    October 02, 2014  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

    Acts 10 - The Gentile Pentecost

    JS - Today I once again had the privilege of guest hosting Dr. James White's "Dividing Line" broadcast. After informing people as to Dr. White's ministry schedule in South Africa we had a couple of surprising and dramatic Royal announcements, including the declaration of a 6th Sola of the Reformation. Thankfully, some sort of sanity was regained as we took a trek through Acts chapter 10, showing why it is one of the most significant chapters in the entire New Testament, revealing why Gentiles have full citizenship in the kingdom of God. Here's the show:

    September 30, 2014  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

    May We Meet in the Heavenly World: The Piety of Lemuel Haynes

    If we view mankind as they come into the world, we shall then find them haters of God—enemies to God—estranged from God—nay, the very heart is enmity itself against all the divine perfections; and we shall find them acting most freely and most voluntarily in these exercises. There is no state or circumstance that they prefer to the present, unless it be one whereby they may dishonor God more, or carry on their war with heaven with a higher hand. They have no relish for divine things, but hate, and choose to remain enemies to, all that is morally good. Now, that this is actually the case with sinners, is very evident from the scriptures.

    We are told in the chapter of which the text is part that that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit; which teaches us that here nothing truly spiritual or holy in the first birth, but that this comes by the second, or by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Christ tells the Jews that they hated him without cause. And the inspired apostle says that “the carnal mind is enmity against god, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”. So, then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom 8:7-8).


    See this is the state that mankind are in antecedent to the new birth, it is not fit or reasonable that God should bring them into favor with Himself, or be at peace with them, without regeneration. Nay, He cannot, consistent with His perfections, for this would be for Him to connive at wickedness when He tells us that He can by no means clear the guilty.

    To suppose that sinners can see the kingdom of God or to be happy in the divine favor without regeneration or the new birth, is a perfect inconsistency, or contrary to the nature of the thing. The very essence of religion consists in love to God, and a man is no further happy in the favor of God than he loves God. Therefore, to say we enjoy happiness in God, and at the same time hate God, is a plan contradiction.

    It is evident from scripture that those to whom God gives a title to his spiritual kingdom are regenerated or born again, and those that are not, and remain so, shall be miserable. This is not only asserted in the text by the Son of God, who was co-equal, co-eternal, and co-essential with the Father—whose words stand more permanent than the whole fabric of heaven and earth.

    September 25, 2014  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

    ENCOURAGE BY Paul Tripp

    This is a life changer, consider it.

    Let me present a model of confrontation that uses the word ENCOURAGE as an acrostic.

    Examine your heart – Confrontation always begins with you. Because we all struggle with indwelling sin, we must begin with ourselves. We must be sure that we have dealt with our anger, impatience, self-righteousness, and bitterness. When we start with our own confession, we are in a much better place to lead another to confess.

    Note your calling- Remember that confrontation is not based on your opinion of the person. You are there as an ambassador and your job is to faithfully represent the message of the King. In other words, your goal is to help people see and accept God’s view of them.

    Check your attitude- When you speak, are your words spoken in kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, forbearance, compassion, and love? Failure to do this will hinder God-honoring, change producing confrontation. We need to examine both our message and our attitude as we speak.

    Own your own faults- It is vital to enter moments of confrontation with a humble recognition of who we really are. As we admit our need for the Lord’s forgiveness, we are able to be patient and forgiving with the one to whom God has called us to minister.

    Use words wisely- Effective confrontation demands preparation, particularly of our words. We need to ask God to help us use words that carry his message, not get in the way of it.

    Reflect on scripture- The content of confrontation is always the Bible. It guides what we say and how we say it. We should enter moments of confrontation with a specific understanding of what Scripture says about the issues at hand. This means more than citing proof texts; it means understanding how the themes, principles, perspectives, and commands of Scripture shape the way we think about the issues before us.

    Always be prepared to listen- The best, most effect confrontation is interactive. We need to give the person an opportunity to talk, since we cannot look into his heart or read his mind. We need to welcome his questions and look for signs that he is seeing the things he needs to see. We need to listen for true confession and the commitment to specific acts of repentance. As we listen, we will learn where we are in the confrontation process.

    Grant time for a response- We must give the Holy Spirit time to work. There is nothing in Scripture that promises that if we do our confrontation work well, the person will confess and repent in one sitting. Rather, the Bible teaches us that change is usually a process. We need to model the same patience God has granted us. This patience does not compromise God’s work of change, but flows out of a commitment to it.

    Encourage with the person with the gospel- It is the awesome grace of God, his boundless love, and his ever-present help that give us a reason to turn from our sin. Scripture says that it is the kindness of God that leads people to repentance (Romans 2:4). The truths of the gospel—both is challenge and its comfort—must color our confrontation.

    September 18, 2014  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

    Do We Believe or Does God Believe For Us?

    Sometimes I hear our Arminian/Roman Catholic friends declare that if God freely gives us a new heart to believe then it is not us doing the believing but God doing the believing for us. Response: That is like saying that since God give us physical eyes to see that God is doing the seeing for us. My sight is the result of God's gift to me and my own use of the gift. God is not coercing me to see. I do so willingly. Likewise when God restores the heart to a regenerate state, we want what we want which is to believe in Jesus Christ. Most importantly, the effect of this truth is that is brings man to the dust, to strip him of all hope in himself. Only then is grace truly grace, not the reward for some condition I first meet, lest any man should boast (1 Cor 1:30-31).

    September 12, 2014  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink