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"...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)

Responding to Common Objections to Calvinism

2 Timothy 2:24-26 says, "And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will."

Traditions - everyone has them and those most enslaved by them are those who don't think they have any. On this 20 minute video, Dr. James White responds to a number of questions from a gentleman who goes as far as to say that Calvinists are not even Christians. The false assumptions contained in the questions are abundantly clear to anyone who is in any way familiar with the issues. Some would say that the rhetoric in the questions would not be worthy of a response, but showing patience when seeking to provide answers may help a number of people who watch the video.

December 31, 2008  |  Comments (3)   |  Permalink

Christ loved the Church and gave himelf up for her

(From the sermon - For Whom Did Jesus Taste Death? by John Piper)

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. - Ephesians 5:25-27

"There is a precious and unfathomable covenant love between Christ and His Bride, that moved Him to die for her. The death of Jesus is for the bride of Christ in a different way than it is for those who perish. Here's the problem with saying Christ died for all the same way he died for his bride. If Christ died for the sins of those who are finally lost, the same way he died for the sins of those who are finally saved, then what are the lost being punished for? Were their sins covered and canceled by the blood of Jesus or not? We Christians say, "Christ died for our sins" (1 Corinthians 15:3). And we mean that his death paid the debt those sins created. His death removed the wrath of God from me. His death lifted the curse of the law from me. His death purchased heaven for me. It really accomplished those things!"

"But what would it mean to say of an unbeliever in hell that Christ died for his sins? Would we mean that the debt for his sins was paid? If so, why is he paying again in hell? Would we mean that the wrath of God was removed? If so, why is the wrath of God being poured out on him in punishment for sins? Would we mean that the curse of the law was lifted? If so, why is he bearing his curse in the lake of fire?"

"One possible answer is this: one might say that the only reason people go to hell is because of the sin of rejecting Jesus, not because of all the other sins of their life. But that is not true. The Bible teaches that the wrath of God is coming on the world, not just because of its rejection of Jesus, but because of its many sins that are not forgiven. For example, in Colossians 3:5-6, Paul refers to "immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed," and then says, "On account of these things the wrath of God will come." So people who reject Jesus really will be punished for their specific sins, not just for rejecting Jesus."

"So, we go back to the problem: in what sense did Christ taste death for their sins? If they are still guilty for their sins and still suffer punishment for their sins, what happened on the cross for their sins? Perhaps someone would use an analogy. You might say, Christ purchased their ticket to heaven, and offered it to them freely, but they refused to take it, and that is why they went to hell. And you would be partly right: Christ does offer his forgiveness freely to all, and any who receives it as the treasure it is will be saved by the death of Jesus. But the problem with the analogy is that the purchase of the ticket to heaven is, in reality, the canceling of sins. But what we have seen is that those who refuse the ticket are punished for their sins, not just for refusing the ticket. And so what meaning does it have to say that their sins were canceled? Their sins are going to bring them to destruction and keep them from heaven; so their sins were not really canceled in the cross, and therefore the ticket was not purchased."

"The ticket for heaven which Jesus obtained for me by his blood is the wiping out of all my sins, covering them, bearing them in his own body, so that they can never bring me to ruin can never be brought up against me again - never! That's what happened when he died for me. Hebrews 10:14 says, "By one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." Perfected before God for all time, by the offering of his life! That's what it means that he died for me. Hebrews 9:28 says, "Christ also, [was] offered once to bear the sins of many." He bore my sins. He really bore them (See Isaiah 53:4-6). He really suffered for them. They cannot and they will not fall on my head in judgment."

"If you say to me then, that at the cross Christ only accomplished for me what he accomplished for those who will suffer hell for their sins, then you strip the death of Jesus of its actual effective accomplishment on my behalf, and leave me with what? An atonement that has lost its precious assuring power that my sins were really covered and the curse was really lifted and the wrath of God was really removed. That's a high price to pay in order to say that Christ tasted death for everyone in the same way."

December 30, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Contradictions?

"All Scripture is God breathed..." 2 Tim 3:16.

Christians through the ages have always believed in the inerrancy of Scripture and would affirm statements of faith such as, "We accept the Bible (the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament) as the written Word of God, the sole infallible rule of faith for all Christian life, practice, and doctrine. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches."

Yet the attacks upon the Bible (in both its inerrancy and sufficiency) continue unabated in our day. The claim is repeatedly made that the Bible is full of contradictions. For example, many who have the attention of the media (Bart Ehrman, John Dominic Crossan and others) are teaching that the Gospel of Mark presents a very different portrayal of Jesus' arrest and crucifixion than that found in Luke or John. It is a common claim but is it one that is substantiated by the text of Scripture itself? In no way! Here is the Sunday morning sermon by Dr. James White at Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church from yesterday (December 28, 2008) from Mark chapters 14 and 15.

December 29, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Bad News: Santa Claus is coming to town

December 26, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Images of the Savior (38 -- Korah's Rebellion)

And it came to pass, when he had finished speaking all these words, that the ground which was beneath them was cloven, and the earth opened up its mouth and swallowed them and their households and all the men who were Korah's and all their possessions. And they and all that was theirs went down to Sheol alive, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. And all of Israel that was surrounding them fled at their voice, because they said, “Lest the earth should swallow us up!”. And fire came forth from Yahweh, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men offering incense. – Numbers 16:31-35

Immediately after the account of Israel's failure to enter the land of Canaan, and her being cursed, therefore, to wander about in the wilderness for forty years, until that entire generation which disbelieved God's promises should be utterly consumed, excepting only Caleb and Joshua, who had a different spirit; God then immediately sees fit to set forth in summary the laws that Israel must obey when she had entered into the Promised Land, and the means of the forgiveness of sins committed in ignorance, through an atoning sacrifice. In this way, after so devastating an occurrence, he holds forth both a solemn warning and a certain hope, as we shall now make clear.

Continue reading "Images of the Savior (38 -- Korah's Rebellion)" »

December 26, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

A video outreach tool from England for Christmas

This video presentation, made by a church in London, England called St. Helens Bishopsgate is a very thought provoking, biblical presentation about the true meaning of Christmas. Something to point people to click on and watch:

December 23, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

The help of the very present God

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Concerning this verse, C. H. Spurgeon once wrote:

"A help that is not present when we need it is of small value. The anchor which is left at home is of no use to the seaman in the hour of storm; the money which he used to have is of no worth to the debtor when a writ is out against him. Very few earthly helps could be called "very present": they are usually far in the seeking, far in the using, and farther still when once used. But as for the Lord our God, He is present when we seek Him, present when we need Him, and present when we have already enjoyed His aid.

He is more than "present," He is very present. More present than the nearest friend can be, for He is in us in our trouble; more present than we are to ourselves, for sometimes we lack presence of mind. He is always present, effectually present, sympathetically present, altogether present. He is present now if this is a gloomy season. Let us rest ourselves upon Him. He is our refuge, let us hide in Him; He is our strength, let us array ourselves with Him; He is our help, let us lean upon Him; He is our very present help, let us repose in Him now. We need not have a moment's care or an instant's fear. "The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.""

December 23, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Beware of the dogs (He did not say cats)

WARNING - The following article contains wacky, wierd, ridiculous dry English humor and exceedingly poor biblical exegesis. Hopefully, a resumption of normal sound doctrine will follow in future articles. Cute cat video though.

Here at the reformation theology blog we take biblical interpretation seriously. This is fueled not by some intellectual desire for "one-up-manship" or elitism - no, rather we take biblical interpretation seriously because we take God seriously. Our attititude to God can, in truth, rise no higher than our attitude to the God breathed word He has revealed.

But what if we get biblical interpretation wrong? Well lets see what crazy ideas we can come up with if things like word meanings and context are abandoned. (Hopefully, everyone will see not only the humor, but also the point about how important true exegesis and biblical interpretation really is). On some issues, people's eternal destinies hang in the balance. We must know the difference between true and false doctrine concerning the Deity of Christ, the atonement of Christ, justification by faith alone, the meaning of repentance, etc. and much of this hangs on the right interpretation of biblical words in their context. But on other issues, we can be wrong, and, though it is still very important, well, it does not matter quite as much. For instance, what if someone takes words out of the context and ignore their meanings entirely?

Continue reading "Beware of the dogs (He did not say cats)" »

December 20, 2008  |  Comments (5)   |  Permalink

MP3 Library Christmas Update

Merry Christmas! Here is our updated Christmas MP3 folder.

We have created new sermon folders for: All European Speakers Messages, R. Scott Clark and Christ the Center/The Reformed Forum.

We have also updated some folders with newer sermons such as: Donald A. Carson, Alan Cairns, Bob DeWaay, Richard L. Pratt, Jr, Evangelism, Higher Education, Isaiah, 1 & 2 Samuel, Reformed Hymn Sermons and Hymnals and Paul D. Tripp's Tenth Presbyterian Church

December 19, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Images of the Savior (37 -- The Failure to Enter the Promised Land)

And Yahweh said, “I have pardoned according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of Yahweh: because all of the men who saw my glory, and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tested me these ten times, and have not obeyed my voice, shall certainly not see the land which I swore to their fathers; even all who despised me, they shall not see it. But my servant Caleb, because a different spirit is with him, and he has been fully after me, I will bring him into the land whither he went, and his seed shall possess it.” – Numbers 14:20-24

In the events following Israel's first setting out for the Promised Land, from the foot of Mount Sinai, we are instructed in many particulars of the dangers of grumbling and rebellion, the several ways in which the Lord responds to these treacherous dispositions, and the serious and devastating consequences of continuing in such a frame of disbelief; and we see, moreover, the consolatory and beneficial ministry of Moses, who mediates, intercedes for, and guides the people, as a type of the Messiah, together with the favorable effects of this office, but only upon the believing remnant within the largely apostate Church. In the confluence of these two lessons, we are taught to fear, and not to be highminded at all; but also, to hope for and be confident of victory, though all the world should oppose us, if we continue steadfast in the faith. Let us now see how the scriptures holds forth these lessons to us.

Continue reading "Images of the Savior (37 -- The Failure to Enter the Promised Land)" »

December 19, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Why read Calvin's Institutes in 2009?

Dr. Ligon Duncan gives 10 reasons here. An eleventh reason is that the folk at www.reformation21org/blog/ - starting in January, will be blogging their way through what many believe to be the most important book of the last 500 years.

December 18, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Redeeming the Time

Time seems to slip away from us so easily, yet we are called upon to focus our energy towards being disciplined and productive with our time - not just in getting things done, but in getting the right things done. We all need reminders about this often, and more than this, practical help and advice as to how to go about the task.

Eph. 4:15-17 tells us, "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

The Scottish preacher Alexander MacLaren (1826–1910) once observed: "No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it." How true this is.

There is an excellent article by R. C. Sproul regarding time management I would recommend here (found on C. J. Mahaney's blog site). May we all read, mark, learn and inwardly apply.

December 15, 2008  |  Comments (7)   |  Permalink

Abandon Despair and Banish Your Laments

Gospel Summary:

Man was created to glorify God & Enjoy Him forever
"Worthy are you, our Lord and our God to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things." (Rev 4:11) "Do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor 10:31)

Man has failed to glorify God & is under His just condemnation
"For all have sinned..." (Rom 3:23) The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23) "These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction" (2 Thes 1:9)

Jesus fully bore the wrath and suffered the punishment sinners deserve
Not wishing that sinners perish forever, God determined to save a people for Himself in the Eternal Son who became a man and lived the life we should have lived and died the death we justly deserve. God loves sinners and sent His Son to be the wrath absorbing sacrifice for their sin (1 John 4:10; John 6:37) he "...gave His life as a ransom for many" (Mk 10:45) & "rose again" from the dead (2 Cor 5:15) on their behalf.

All who, by the grace of God, turn to Jesus in submissive faith are forgiven
If you confess you are a sinner in need of Christ then God has begun to work in you a life-changing, eternally satisfying relationship with Himself! "Repent and believe the gospel (Mk 1:5) "In Your presnece is fullness of Joy (Ps 16:11). If your trust is in Jesus alone for your salvation (that is, you have no hope save for Christ's mercy) then you can be assured that your sins are forgiven and He has granted you eternal life.

Click here for more...

December 11, 2008  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

Images of the Savior (36 -- The Formation of the Kingdom)

And they set out from the Mount of Yahweh, on a journey of three days; and the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh set out before them on a journey of three days, to seek out for them a resting place. And the cloud of Yahweh was over them by day, whenever they set out from the camp. And it came to pass that, whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Arise, O Yahweh, and let your enemies be scattered; and let those that hate you flee from before you”; and whenever it rested, he said, “Return, O Yahweh, to the myriad thousands of Israel”. – Numbers 10:33-36

When we arrive at the book of Numbers, in our journey through the five books of Moses, a very considerable portion of the Pentateuch has passed since Israel first arrived at Mount Sinai, comprising half of Exodus and the entire book of Leviticus. But in spite of this lengthy segment of text, we find the hosts of Israel still gathered together at the foot of Mount Sinai, so that, for the entirety of one and a half of Moses' five books, they have made no progress in their journey whatsoever. This very fact emphasizes the utterly crucial and significant nature of what took place on Mount Sinai; for the Holy Spirit has seen fit to devote a very large part of the foundational books of the Law to detailing the events of that one monumental episode. As we move into a consideration of the book of Numbers, therefore, it would behoove us to give a little reflection to what had in fact transpired at the Holy Mount of Yahweh, and how the thing that had there taken place undergirds and gives meaning to the next event in Israel's history, when she sets out from the mountain to journey across the wilderness. In this reflection, we will learn much of the nature of the Church, and see many glimpses of the Savior, which will serve to encourage and instruct us today, as we move across the wilderness of this world, a united body and kingdom of priests, under the headship of Christ.

Continue reading "Images of the Savior (36 -- The Formation of the Kingdom)" »

December 11, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

1599 Geneva Bible - Calvin Legacy Edition

1599 Geneva Bible - Calvin Legacy Edition:
Casebound in Genuine Leather with gold foil stamping


Description: On July 10, 2009, the world will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin (1509-1564). A controversial and often misunderstood theologian, Calvin’s impact on our modern world is simply beyond comprehension. Calvin’s view that God reigns everywhere and over all things led him to develop the biblical idea that man can serve God in every area of life—church, civil government, education, art, music, business, law, journalism, etc. Calvin’s teaching led directly to what has become known as the “Protestant work ethic” and created unprecedented economic prosperity around the world.

One of his lesser-known contributions is that of the Geneva Bible, named for the city where Calvin lived and taught. The Geneva Bible was the first English Bible to feature chapters, verse numbers, cross references, and textual notes. The Geneva Bible and its nearly 300,000 marginal notes helped lead the English speaking world out from under the ignorance, heresy and tyranny of the Middle Ages and into a full understanding of God’s Kingdom ruling over all.

As its popularity and distribution increased, the Geneva Bible’s marginal notes incurred the wrath of the King of England. Specifically, the marginal note for Exodus 1:9 indicated that the Hebrew midwives were correct in disobeying the orders of the Egyptian King. King James railed against this interpretation, calling it “seditious.” The tyrant knew that if the people held him accountable to God’s Word, his days as a “Divine Right” king were numbered. Calvin and the Reformers were not about to change the clear meaning of Scripture to cater to the whims of the King or the Pope. The Geneva Bible began the unstoppable march to liberty in England, Scotland, and America.

The great American historian George Bancroft stated, “He that will not honor the memory, and respect the influence of Calvin, knows but little of the origin of American liberty.” The famous German historian, Leopold von Ranke, wrote, “John Calvin was the virtual founder of America.” John Adams, the second president of the United States, agreed: “Let not Geneva be forgotten or despised. Religious liberty owes it most respect.”

Continue reading "1599 Geneva Bible - Calvin Legacy Edition" »

December 10, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

More on 1 Timothy 2:4

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, (2) for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (3) This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (6) who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (7) For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle ( I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. ” - 1Tim 2:1-7

In addition to the youtube video posted immediately below this article, further discussion of this text and the verses that surround it by Alan Kurschner (including interaction with John Piper's comments on the text) can be found here.

December 10, 2008  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

Upon what basis does God know the future?

All orthodox Christians affirm the fact that God has exhaustive knowledge of the future. However, many Christians have not thought through the issue as to how He knows future events.

Does God, from His vantage point merely passively observe the events of time (and the "free-will" acts of His creatures), taking in the data He sees? Or does God decree all the events of time so that they work to serve His purpose - a purpose ordained before any event in time ever occurred (what we call an "eternal decree")? Is God merely a cosmic spectator as He observes the events of time, or does He ordain whatever comes to pass as One who "works all things according to the counsel of His will"? (Eph. 1:11)

In this youtube video below you will find a very interesting interchange between Dr. James White and a gentleman named John calling in to the Dividing Line program. Starting off with 1 Timothy 2:4 and God's desire for the salvation of "all men" (and exactly what this might mean), the conversation develops into a rigorous (yet friendly) discussion about God's Sovereignty. (approximately 25 minutes)


December 10, 2008  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

When healing does not come...

"He forgives all ours sins and heals all our diseases." Psalm 103:3

I will let you in on a secret. I was nurtured in the faith at a church that believed it was always God's best purpose to heal. If healing did not occur, it was believed that the person in need or the one praying for them was not tapping into the power of God that was available - there was a "short-circuit" of God power in some way. Even Jesus could do no major miracles in Nazareth "because of their unbelief" it was claimed. How I inwardly wince even saying this and admitting to this now!

In an earlier part of my ministry, though I had compassion on sick people and often saw precious people healed by the Lord's power, (I have seen the Lord do some amazing things through the years), I still carried this unscriptural baggage with me into my ministry, and I feel sure I was not able to help certain people. Actually, its a lot worse that that because there were some under my pastoral care with terminal illnesses who although were given much encouragement to receive healing from the Lord, they were in no way prepared to meet their Lord if healing did not occur. I did not talk to them about the possibility of death and preparing themselves and their family for it. Why should I? My belief system did not allow for it. I believed that to talk about death would be a lack of faith that God was going to heal. I was walking in the light of what I knew, but what I knew was either not enough, or worse, a denial of God's sovereignty. I have asked God for forgiveness for this, and believe He has graciously done so, and trust that in His mercy He will protect His precious sheep. "Oh God, protect your lambs, even from the falsehoods that came from my lips!"

Of course, now I understand that I was believing an over-realised eschatology. Jesus, at the cross certainly did purchase salvation for every aspect of man, including his body, but ultimately He is Lord over exactly when the healing takes place. Healing can take place here on the earth, and often does, but if not, our resurection bodies will not be subject to sickness and disease. Our bodies will not be subject to the effects of the Fall, the curse will be forever removed. There will be no more pain - the former things will have passed away. Thank God! This is a blessing that was provided by Jesus and His redemptive work for us at the cross and it is a wonderful future certainty that heaven will not be full of sick people. There will be no need for wheelchairs, eye glasses, pace-makers, heart bypass surgery, breathing machines, radiation therapy or health insurance. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

I recently came across a very helpful article on the subject of healing by Dr. Sam Storms. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Storms for the first time in Tucson, Arizona during the summer. He is a wonderful brother and I encourage you to read his very balanced and concise overview concerning why healing sometimes does not occur (below). If you are interested in more teaching along this line, I would point you to an article concerning Mark 11:23 and what it actually teaches, found here. God bless. - John Samson

Why God Doesn't Always Heal (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) by Dr. Sam Storms

God loved the apostle Paul. Yet God sovereignly orchestrated his painful thorn in the flesh and then declined to remove it, notwithstanding Paul's passionate prayer that he be healed.

We are not apostles. Yet, as his children, no less so than Paul, God loves us too. We don't know the nature of Paul's thorn, but each of us has undoubtedly suffered in a similar way, and some considerably worse. We, like Paul, have prayed incessantly to be healed. Or perhaps knowing of a loved one's "thorn" we have prayed for them. And again, like Paul, God declined to remove it. Why?

Continue reading "When healing does not come..." »

December 08, 2008  |  Comments (6)   |  Permalink

An Amillennial Eschatology Chart!

Parousia_Concurrent2.jpg
Click Here for larger image

R. Scott Clark recently posted this. This chart illustrates the concurrent events associated with the Second Advent of Christ. i.e. that the resurrection of the just (and unjust) dead, the judgment of all mankind, and the renewal of the entire cosmos will all occur at a point in time: the time of Jesus' return; the day of the Lord. Could it be so simple and straightforward???

HT: Riddleblog

December 05, 2008  |  Comments (12)   |  Permalink

Images of the Savior (35 -- The Covenant Blessings and Curses)

If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them, then I will give your rains in their season, and the land shall give its produce, and the trees of the field shall give their fruit....But if you will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments, and if you reject my statutes, and if your soul abhors my judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant; then I will do this to you: I will appoint over you a terror, blight, and fever, that consume the eyes and waste away the soul; and you shall sow your seed in vain, and your enemies shall eat it.... – Leviticus 26:3-4; 14-16

Throughout the entire book of Leviticus, we have seen demonstrated in many ways that the peculiar blessedness of God's people consists only in this, that he is their God, and has taken them unto himself to be his own people; and likewise, the land which he had promised to their fathers to give to them, was a blessing ultimately in this respect, that it was the land where God's tabernacle would dwell, the land where his presence would abide in the midst of the people. Accordingly, it is a matter of utmost seriousness, which extends far beyond the mere horrors of physical famine, fruitlessness, and subjugation to enemies, that the covenant curses at the end of the book hold forth to the people, if they disobey his law: for these are but fruits of a much vaster problem, viz., that God himself is displeased with his people, and cannot dwell with them favorably anymore. And likewise, the blessings held forth to the people, as long as they keep his covenant, are far greater than mere physical ease and prosperity, which things even the nations enjoy at some times and to some degree; for they signify that God is not only dwelling in the midst of the people, but that he is pleased to do so, and rejoices to be with them, and is favorably disposed to provide them with any good thing of which they might have need. So that, the essence of the covenant blessing consists most fundamentally in God's favorable presence; and the essence of the covenant curses consists in God's wrathful presence, so that he cannot endure anymore the sight and proximity of those whom in their rebellion he abhors.

Continue reading "Images of the Savior (35 -- The Covenant Blessings and Curses)" »

December 05, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Almost everything we are about to tell you is... out of date...

This short video is absolutely mind blowing, dazzling, dizzying and dumbfounding! It shows us the world as it is now, and what advances are likely to take place in our generation. Thank God for the eternal Gospel that never changes.. but we must recognize that almost everything else out there certainly will. Fasten your seat belts and hang on tight! Real tight!

December 04, 2008  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

Ten Differences Between the Reformation and Rome

This article by Guy Davies appeared in the September/October issue of Protestant Truth. Guy is Joint-Pastor of Penknap Providence Church and Ebenezer Baptist Church in Wiltshire, England.

1. The Roman Catholic Church believes that its traditions and teaching are as authoritative as Scripture. The Reformed value tradition, but accept the Bible alone as their authority, and sole rule of faith and practice.

2. The Roman Catholic Church believes that the Pope, as successor of Peter and Bishop of Rome, is head of the visible Church. The Reformed believe that Christ alone is head of the Church and that no man may claim universal primacy over the people of God.

3. The Roman Catholic Church believes that the Bible cannot be properly understood apart from the official interpretation of Rome (the Magisterium). The Reformed believe that Christians have a responsibility to judge the truth of all teaching by the extent of its conformity to the teaching of the Bible as it has been commonly accepted with the help of responsible exegesis and the witness of the Spirit.

4. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that we are justified by baptism and that justification must be supplemented and improved by works. The Reformed hold that the Bible teaches that justification is God's declaration that a sinner is righteous in his sight, on the basis of faith in the finished work of Christ, apart from works. We are justified by faith alone. Baptism does not effect justification; it is the sign of it, as well as of the believer’s cleansing from sin and reception of new life in Christ.

5. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Lord's Supper is a re-offering of the sacrifice of Christ and that the bread and wine are actually changed into the body and blood of the Saviour. The Reformed hold that that in Scripture the Lord's Supper is a fellowship meal that is to be kept by believers in remembrance of the finished work of Christ. The bread and wine are significant symbols to believers of Christ's body and blood. At the Lord's Supper, they enjoy communion with the risen Christ, who is present at the Table by his Spirit.

Continue reading "Ten Differences Between the Reformation and Rome" »

December 04, 2008  |  Comments (9)   |  Permalink

The Calvinistic Resurgence in America

"This is not the time for Reformed triumphalism. It is time for quiet gratitude to God and earnest intercessory prayer, with tears, that what has begun will flourish beyond all human expectation." D. A. Carson

A very interesting overview of the current deepening interest in the reformed doctrines of grace by Erroll Hulse is found at the banner of truth website here.

December 04, 2008  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

Monergism MP3 Library - This Week's Features

12-04-08

Monergism MP3 Library

We have created new sermon folders for: Reformation Heritage Conference Lectures, Herman Bavinck, Eric Alexander, John MacArthur's GTY Jude Audio Study, Sermons For Women Historical & Biographical Studies and True Woman 2008 Conference, Gospel Coalition Facebook Videos and Ken Sample's A Christian World View and A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth - Claims to the Test.

We have also updated some folders with newer sermons such as: Bruce Waltke, Dave Harvey, J. Ligon Duncan, Jerram Barrs, William Edgar, Nicholas T. Batzig, Bryan Chapell and Michael Horton.

Monergism MP3 Library

December 04, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Former Synergist Embraces Calvinism

This weekend I received the following encouraging email from a visitor which he has graciously allowed me to share with you

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John,

I have always thought Calvinism was wrong, I could not see how it could make sense!

I have just read:
What Do Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinism Share in Common?
by John W. Hendryx

and
Is it God's Desire for All Men to Be Saved? by John Hendryx

I must repent in dust and ashes!!!

This FINALLY makes sense to me.

Thank You John.

Now I might have to find a reformed church, do you know any in southern Connecticut.

Peace
Rick

December 01, 2008  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

John 3:16 - "all the believing ones..."

The original text of the New Testament in John 3:16, the Greek phrase πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων (transliterated into English as Pas Ho Pisteuwn), means "all the believing ones" or "everyone believing," NOT "Every Single Person Can Believe."

Dr. Jerry Vines recently preached on John 3:16 at his own conference on the same topic. At one point in his message it seems he attempted to respond to the common objection to his views by asserting that pas ho pisteuwn means more than "everyone believing." Here is an examination and response from Dr. James White.

December 01, 2008  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink