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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)

Mormonism v. Biblical Christianity

Here is a short overview of the differences between the montheism of biblical Christianity and the polytheism of Mormonism, written by Justin Taylor.

August 31, 2010  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

Ever seen something like this?

Have you ever seen something like this in the Bible - God saying, "Go meet with the Baal worshippers' and arrange a huge rally, an ecumenical inter-faith service - talk about honor and integrity and family values.. and you can pray to Me, of course, and they can pray to Baal - in fact, hold the priest of Baal's hand as he prays.. that will be such a nice touch.. and its quite ok with me.. I, the Lord your God, the holy One, really don't mind.. that's because it will show so much love to people and it will open hearts to My religion and everyone will so appreciate you not being closed minded elitist bigots. It will do wonders for people's view both of you and of Me. Go do this in My Name."?

Ever seen that? Even a hint of it? No? Me neither. - JS

August 31, 2010  |  Comments (16)   |  Permalink

Free Online Study Bible Resource

The Holman Christian Standard Study Bible is now available as an online resource for free. Though I am a novice in terms of using the HCSB, one noticeable and remarkable feature is that if you scroll your mouse over the words in the biblical text, you can see the Hebrew and Greek words and definitions and other important information about where else you will find that word in the Bible. This website is definitely something to bookmark and use, found here. (Since posting this, John Hendryx made a very good observation in the comment section below. I would agree and although I would still recommend the useful Hebrew and Greek word feature of the site, would caution discernment concerning the study notes). - JS

August 31, 2010  |  Comments (8)   |  Permalink

I am sorry Glenn but I cannot join you by Pastor John Samson

I really like Glenn Beck. Though I have never met him in person, I have often watched his television programs and thought it would be so nice to have that kind of a guy as a friend. I imagine that he is far too busy and way too inaccessible for that to become a reality, but I do genuinely like the man. He is insightful, articulate, funny, and seems to want some great things for his family and our nation. I do think that sometimes he has one or two conspiracy theories that may not be fully justified - we shall see - but all in all, Glenn seems to be a really nice guy.

I share many of the same goals as Glenn. I speak as one born in England but now very much a U.S. citizen. All my children were born here in these United States and I live and pray for America to become in all reality, "one nation under God." I love America. I sincerely believe Glenn does too.

But I do have a problem - not a problem with him as a person in any way at all, but when he asks me to join him in praying for the very same things I wish for my country, I just cannot. I can pray for these things privately, and with fellow Christians, of course, and I do. I just cannot stand with Glenn in a public setting and be comfortable while I know he is praying to a false god. How could I ever say "Amen" at the end of his prayer that people would turn back to the god he serves? I just cannot do it. That is because Glenn Beck is a Mormon. The "god" he prays to is not in any way the same God as mine.

Continue reading "I am sorry Glenn but I cannot join you by Pastor John Samson" »

August 30, 2010  |  Comments (43)   |  Permalink

Psalm Seventeen: Keep Me as the Apple of Your Eye

Images of the Savior from the Psalms
Psalm Seventeen: Keep Me as the Apple of Your Eye

When King David published this psalm, his people must have derived immense comfort from it: how confident was their leader that God would hear his pleas for salvation, and deliver him from all his enemies! His life was pure, his faith was great, and he knew by long experience the wondrous steadfast love that would preserve all those who sought refuge in God the Savior, as the very apple of his eye. But this further consideration must have been particularly pleasing to all the people, that of old God was accustomed to deal with a nation in large part upon the basis of its king. Whenever a king walked uprightly and found favor with God, the whole nation would prosper; but “when a wicked one rules, the people groan” (Prov. 29:2). How the nation must have rejoiced, knowing that God loved their king, and their king represented them to God.

Continue reading "Psalm Seventeen: Keep Me as the Apple of Your Eye" »

August 30, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

The State of the Church - Dr. Michael Horton interviews Dr. R. C. Sproul

Recorded some time ago - this video interview is still right up to date regarding the issues facing the western Church in our time. On this edition of the White Horse Inn, Michael Horton talks with R.C. Sproul, Chairman of Ligonier Ministries and author of numerous books including The Holiness of God, The Truth of the Cross, and Knowing Scripture. Together they discuss many of the themes relating to the year-long WHI theme, "Christless Christianity," and evaluate the overall health of Evangelical Christianity.

Continue reading "The State of the Church - Dr. Michael Horton interviews Dr. R. C. Sproul" »

August 30, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

The Old v. The New Gospel

The following is a quote from Dr. J. I. Packer, from his Introduction to John Owen's "The Death of death in the death of Christ":

There is no doubt that Evangelicalism today is in a state of perplexity and unsettlement. In such matters as the practice of evangelism, the teaching of holiness, the building up of local church life, the pastor’s dealing with souls and the exercise of discipline, there is evidence of widespread dissatisfaction with things as they are and of equally widespread uncertainty as to the road ahead. This is a complex phenomenon, to which many factors have contributed; but, if we go to the root of the matter, we shall find that these perplexities are all ultimately due to our having lost our grip on the biblical gospel. Without realising it, we have during the past century bartered that gospel for a substitute product which, though it looks similar enough in points of detail, is as a whole a decidedly different thing. Hence our troubles; for the substitute product does not answer the ends for which the authentic gospel has in past days proved itself so mighty. The new gospel conspicuously fails to produce deep reverence, deep repentance, deep humility, a spirit of worship, a concern for the church. Why?

Continue reading "The Old v. The New Gospel" »

August 27, 2010  |  Comments (6)   |  Permalink

Concerning Division in the Church by Pastor John Samson

"I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name." - 1 Cor 1:10-15 (ESV)

As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church there were many issues that were of concern to him, one of which he outlines in this passage, namely division in the Church. He wished to see harmony and unity and was alarmed to hear reports that there were four factions amongst the Church members. The King James Bible states the problem this way, “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.” In considering the four groups a few things come to mind.

Continue reading "Concerning Division in the Church by Pastor John Samson" »

August 25, 2010  |  Comments (3)   |  Permalink

Cling to the Cross: A Gospel Message for Muslims

The six minute video below is a small portion of one of the live Answering Islam episodes entitled "The Crucifixion" from the Aramaic Broadcasting Network (www.abnsat.com) focusing upon why Christians refuse to accept Muhammad's denial of the death of Christ upon the cross and how this is central to the gospel proclamation to which all true Christians are pledged. Having spent a good deal of time outlining the very strong historical basis for believing Jesus was indeed crucified, Dr. James White now speaks directly to the heart of his mainly Muslim audience as to why this is vital for peace with God. Please share this with your Muslim friends, family and co-workers.

Continue reading "Cling to the Cross: A Gospel Message for Muslims" »

August 24, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Satellite TV Outreach to the Muslim World

"And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice." - John 10:16

Please pray for ABN (www.abnsat.com), a satellite television outreach ministry to the Arabic and Muslim world. To give you a taste and sense of this ministry, the video below is a sample TV program entitled, "Jesus, 100% God, 100% Man":

Christians proclaim that Jesus is fully God and fully man. How is this possible? Does the Bible actually teach this? Join special guests, Dr. James White and Sam Shamoun as they discuss this vital question on the Answering Islam TV show (below):

Continue reading "Satellite TV Outreach to the Muslim World" »

August 24, 2010  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

Psalm Sixteen: You Will Not Leave My Soul in Sheol!

Images of the Savior from the Psalms
Psalm Sixteen: You Will Not Leave My Soul in Sheol!

Everywhere in the Psalms, as we have often seen before, David speaks not primarily with regard to himself alone, as a mere individual; but rather, being the anointed King and representative of the people, he comes before God in their behalf as a type of Christ, the true King and Messiah and Mediator of the people, and pleads blessings for them from God. But in a few places, David's office as a type and shadow of Christ is overwhelmed, as it were, by the brightness of the glory of the One prefigured, so that his own voice is all but lost, and the radiance of the glory of God is seen so clearly that it is as if the very Son of God were speaking alone and unmediated.

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August 23, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Don't know much about Islam?

The 2010 God and Culture Conference on Apologetics took place today at the Oakbrooke Bible Church, Waterford, Michigan, USA. Though I have yet to hear all the sessions (though I hope to over the coming days), the 5th talk on the subject of Islam by Dr. James White was amazing for the amount of information packed into 50 minutes. Dr. White has spent much of the last 5 years studying Islam in depth, including the daunting task of learning Arabic, yet this has proven to be remarkably helpful in preparing him for the public debates he has had with leading Islamic apologists in the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia.

A portion of the talk may be disturbing to some as it includes an Islamic "alter call" as we hear people becoming Muslims as they are guided through the necessary confession in Arabic - and it is certainly uncanny to notice the similarities between this and much that takes place in Christian services today. As I say, the session on Islam is the 5th talk in the list found here. I recommend it very highly. - JS

August 21, 2010  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

An “Interview” with the Apostle Paul on the Law, Life, and Death

At his blog, Justin Taylor outlines an imaginary interview with the Apostle Paul based entirely on his words in Romans 7. Its brilliant.. and goes something like this:

Paul, thanks for taking some time to help me think through what you’re getting at in Romans 7:1-13. Let’s start with your intended audience here. Who are you talking to?

Those who know the law.

Is the law still binding on them?

The law is binding on a person only as long as he lives.

Well, since they’re alive it sounds like they are still bound to the law. But maybe I’m misunderstanding. Can you give an example of this principle from everyday life?

Sure. A married woman is bound to her husband while he lives.

You gave the initial principle as “the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives,” which had one person and a law. But now you’ve introduced two persons, bound to each other by a common law. I think I’m tracking with you. So when does that “binding” cease to exist?

If her husband dies, then she is released from the law of marriage.

And what happens if she is unfaithful while she is bound to her husband and under the law of marriage?

If she lives with another man while her husband is still alive, she will be called an adulteress.

But she’s not bound if she becomes a widow?

If her husband dies, then she is free from the law of marriage.

And if she is free from the marriage law, then she is free to join to a new man?

If her husband is dead and she remarries, then she is not an adulteress.

This marriage-law-divorce-remarriage stuff is helpful in illustrating your point: “The law is binding on a person only as long as he lives.” So what’s the upshot with regard to Christians and the law?

We have died to the law.

How did we die to the law?

We died to the law through the body of Christ.

For what purpose did we die to the law?

We died to the law so that we would belong to another—to him who has been raised from the dead.

Continue reading "An “Interview” with the Apostle Paul on the Law, Life, and Death" »

August 19, 2010  |  Comments (4)   |  Permalink

Operative Principle in the Covenant of Works and Grace

The operative principle in the Covenant of Works is “do for ourselves.” The operative principle in the Covenant of Grace is “trust God’s Mediator to do for us.”

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written,
Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in
the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the
sight of God is evident, for, ‘The just shall live by faith.’ And the law is not of
faith: but, ‘The man that doeth them shall live in them.’”
– Galatians 3:10-12

In one sense nothing has changed between the two covenants. What is held before man in both covenants is the same blessedness. What is necessary and indispensable to receive this blessedness is identical in the two covenants. The
Lord required perfect and universal righteousness in both. The definition of righteousness is unchanged from the Covenant of Works to the Covenant of Grace. But in another sense everything is at opposite poles. In the Covenant of
Works man must earn by his doing. In the Covenant of Grace man must receive the free gift from a Mediator by believing.

Quote from Walter Chantry's The Covenants of Works and Grace

Commenting on the same subject, John Calvin said, ‎"The person who wants to be justified by works must do more than produce just a few good deeds. He must bring with him perfect obedience to the Law. And those who have outstripped all others and have progressed the most in the Law of the Lord are still very far from this perfect obedience." - John Calvin

August 19, 2010  |  Comments (3)   |  Permalink

Justification and Sanctification

We can make a distinction between the body and the head of a man and he suffers no loss, but if there is a separation, the man will be dead. The head and the body must stay together for life to continue. Similarly, though we can make a distinction between justification and sanctification, we must never separate the two.

JUSTIFICATION
Justification is a legal court room term defined as the act of God when He declares a person just or righteous in His sight. This takes place the moment a sinner places their trust in the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. For the sinner who has faith in Jesus, God pronounces the sentence “I find you not guilty! I reckon (I count, I declare) you righteous in My sight, and you and I are forever at peace with each other. All of your sins were transferred to your sin bearing Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, who took the full brunt of My holy wrath for them, and what has been transferred to your account is the righteousness of My Son, who lived not only a sinless life, but a life fully pleasing to Me. This very real righteousness is yours now and forever.”

Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Christian is a justified person. God has declared him right in His sight because of Christ.

Continue reading "Justification and Sanctification" »

August 18, 2010  |  Comments (3)   |  Permalink

Christian Beliefs DVD Course by Dr. Wayne Grudem

Wayne Grudem is Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. As well as being an international conference speaker, Dr. Grudem is the author of several books including the widely-used Systematic Theology. He served as General Editor for the ESV Study Bible, and is a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society. He has degrees from Harvard, Westminster Seminary, and the University of Cambridge.

Since writing his Systematic Theology book, he served the church further by distilling the essence of that book into a shorter one called "Christian Beliefs" covering 20 basic doctrines of the faith. Now this material is available in a DVD series as Professor Grudem, in his very engaging style, provides essential teaching for all Christians (at a time when the foundations of the faith are being eroded).

Each session lasts approximately 40 minutes with optional discussion breaks and a questions and answers section. It is suitable for both group or individual use. In the video below you will learn more about this 16 hour (20 session) DVD discipleship series answering these 20 questions:

Continue reading "Christian Beliefs DVD Course by Dr. Wayne Grudem" »

August 18, 2010  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

Must You Hear the Gospel to Be Saved?

jesusonlyway.jpgIn our shrinking, pluralistic world, the belief that Jesus is the only way of salvation is increasingly called arrogant and even hateful. In the face of this criticism, many shrink back from affirming the global necessity of knowing and believing in Jesus. There has always been a price to pay to take the good news of Jesus to those who need it and don't want it. The difference today is that those voices are closer to us than ever—whether in the neighborhood or on the internet. Their nearness makes them seem more numerous (which they aren't), and feel more dangerous (which they are).

These are not days for the timorous to open their mouths. A thousand bloggers stand ready to echo or condemn your commendation of Christ to a Jew, or Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist, or anyone else. Once upon a time, there was a safe, private place to take your controversial stand for Jesus. No more. If you are going to stand, you will be shot at—either figuratively or literally. As I write this, there is news across the web of fourteen Christians killed in rioting because the other religion believed their holy book had been desecrated. What if, in your town, the "other" religion defined desecration as the public statement that their holy book is not the infallible guide to God?

The Commercialized, Psychologized Temperament - If the evangelical church at large was ever too confrontational in its evangelism, those days are gone. The pendulum has swung, with a commercialized and psychologized temperament, in the other direction. The church today leans strongly toward offering Jesus as appealing or not offering him at all. And what's new about this temperament is that we are more inclined than we used to be to let the customer, or the person who is offended, define what is appealing. The commercialized mindset moves away from personal conviction toward pragmatic effectiveness.

It feels that if the consumer is unhappy with the presentation, there must be something wrong with it. When this feeling becomes overriding, it circles around and redefines the "truth" being presented so that the presentation can be made enjoyable. If the claim that Jesus is the only way of salvation offends people, the commercialized mindset will either not talk about it or stop believing it.

The psychologized mindset defines love as whatever the other person feels is loving. The effect is the same as with the commercialized mindset. If a person or group finds your summons to believe on Jesus for salvation to be arrogant instead of humble and loving, then, if you have the psychologized mindset, you will feel guilty and apologetic. It must be your fault. If this mindset becomes overriding, it too will circle around and change not only the presentation, but, if necessary, the thing presented, so that the other person will not feel unloved In this way, the unhappy consumer and the offended listener take on a power that once belonged only to the Bible. There is an epidemic fear of man behind these two mindsets. In the name of marketing savvy or sensitive communication, cowardice capitulates to the world, and we surrender the offensive truth of Christ's uniqueness and supremacy.

What Is at Stake My sense of urgency increases the more I think about what is at stake in surrendering the universal necessity of believing on Jesus in order to be saved.

Jesus: The Only Way to God, Now Available at Monergism Books

August 16, 2010  |  Comments (4)   |  Permalink

Psalm Fifteen: Who May Dwell On Your Holy Hill?

Images of the Savior from the Psalms
Psalm Fifteen: Who May Dwell On Your Holy Hill?

The answer to the question here posed by the Psalmist contains in itself all that is necessary for eternal life and happiness; and everything that can be desired, and that can never fade away or grow dull or tiresome, hangs in the balance. The tents of the wicked may be filled with all sorts of fleeting, carnal delights, but the end of those things is shame and misery; but the Holy Hill of Yahweh is filled with such an abundant store of unfading riches as all eternity could never suffice to uncover. This is because Zion, the Lord's Holy Hill, is where the Lord himself dwells; and he who has been chosen to dwell before the Lord in peace, he, that is, to whom the Lord is his portion, seeing that the Lord is his Lord, possesses all that belongs to the God of the universe. Every good thing created by God for man's pleasure is his, and eternal life, which is the knowledge of the Lord (John 17:3), and every wondrous attribute and precious quality of the Lord's own nature is for him, and he may draw upon it in any trial whatever, because God is his God, and God cannot be divided against himself or against those who belong to him.

Continue reading "Psalm Fifteen: Who May Dwell On Your Holy Hill?" »

August 16, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Is the Holy Spirit underemphasized in Evangelical and Reformed circles?

Dr. John Piper responds:

August 14, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Prayer for Pastor P J Smyth, his family and the God First Church

Please pray for P J Smyth, pastor of God First Church in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is facing the battle of his life with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (cancer of the Lymph glands). Thankfully, it is localised to his neck and chest, with no signs of any cancer elsewhere in his body. This is classified as Hodgkin’s Stage 2a which is better than stage 2b, or 3 or 4, but not as good as stage 1. In the video below PJ describes the situation and his own response to it which is very heartening and faith building. - JS

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August 12, 2010  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

Book Review: One or Two, by Peter Jones

Go to Monergism Books

It is no difficult task to discern that great cultural changes are afoot in the Western world, and that these changes are not friendly to Christianity. But just where are these cultural changes coming from, what is driving them, what are their real implications for the unique message of biblical Christianity, and how should Christians respond? Peter Jones' perceptive analysis of the new paganism contains invaluable information that all who claim the Name of Christ would be foolish to disregard, and a sobering prognosis that calls for much serious reflection. I would recommend this book both to non-Christians, who might be surprised where so many of the current cultural and political trends really originated, and what the alternative to them is; and also to Christians, who will doubtless be enabled by it to explain the differences between true Christianity and every other option in much more detail.

Anyone who is familiar with Tolkien's masterpiece will appreciate the analogy Jones employs at one point in his book:


"A scene in the movie, The Lord of the Rings, shows the band of heroes hopelessly surrounded by thousands of orcs in the Mines of Moriah. Then, miraculously, the ugly crowd, in a squealing frenzy, dissolves into the shadows. Relief registers on the travelers until... a far more fearsome enemy emerges from the depths of the earth—a Balrog, demon from the beginning of time.

Christians were relieved when secular humanism, long-time enemy of biblical supernaturalism, scurried off into the shadows. Little did we realize that a demon from the beginning of time threatens our “Fellowship of the King.” That demon comes in disguise, offering spiritual help from the one place where it cannot be found: within the human soul."


So what, in Jones' analogy, is this “demon from the beginning of time? The bad news is that it is a system that has been in existence from the beginning, and has served as the foundational basis for all the great religions of the world. It is the “One-ist” view of the world – that all creation is essentially the same, that we all partake of it, and that we are to derive all our own answers and beliefs from it. In a word, whether Buddhist, Hindu, or any of the old pagan systems of old, it is “The Lie,” which exchanges the glory of the invisible God for the lesser glory of his created things. The good news is that the Lie has already been exposed by the Truth – the “Two-ist” view of reality, which recognizes that all creation is utterly distinct from the Creator, and that who we are and what we ought to think and do and be must come from outside ourselves and outside all of creation.

This “Two-ist” worldview overcame the old paganism many centuries ago, after Julian the Apostate failingly attempted to reinstate it in the stead of Christianity, and ended his attempt with his death-bed cry of defeat, “You have conquered, Galilean!”. But have the forces behind the modern cultural revolution succeeded where Julian failed? Is there really a new rebirth of the old paganism afoot? Is that what the revolution of the sixties was all about? And if so, what does it mean for the future of Christianity in the Western world?

Jones has obviously thought about these issues very carefully, for a very long time. He has gathered together piles of examples and documented immense changes. And what he has found is that the beliefs of the new culture, which is rising up to replace the old “secular humanism” of the past generation, is precisely in line with what Paul argued against in Romans chapter one: instead of the truth about God, the Creator of all things, there is a renewed emphasis on the supremacy and divinity of nature and the environment. Instead of the true worship of God by offering up our bodies as living, holy sacrifices, there is a renewed emphasis on a false spirituality, which seeks enlightenment by discovering the truth within, or being freed from the bonds of the physical body. Mystical meditation, ancient shamanic practices, and many other such false spiritualities are rapidly gaining ground as legitimate religious practices. Finally, instead of heterosexuality, which by God's design represents the “two-ist” nature of reality and the union of Christ with his Church, where “One” and “Two” are finally joined, there is a widespread push for “pansexuality” – accepting as legitimate every form of sexual expression, including homosexuality, which is clearly against the commandments of the Creator, but which is in full harmony with the “One-ist” view of the supremacy of creation.

Jones summed up the point of his book when he said, “You will never understand cultural conflict, debates in the Church, or your own questions about life if you do not understand that the world is divided over Truth. A timeless antithesis exists: Is everything God (One-ism), or is reality divided into the Creator and everything else (Two-ism)?” As a broad, “big-picture” overview, One or Two provides a helpful foundation for recognizing just how deep-seated and important the differences really are between true Christianity and everything else, which, in spite of the great variety, is at heart fundamentally the same in its opposition to the Truth that Paul so clearly proclaims in his letter to the Romans.

Available at Monergism Books

August 11, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Psalm Fourteen: There is None Who Does Good, No, Not One

Images of the Savior from the Psalms
Psalm Fourteen: There is None Who Does Good, No, Not One

There is perhaps no worse news ever given, nor any grimmer verdict ever uttered under heaven, than that stinging indictment of the psalmist against the human race, “There is none who does good, no, not one!”. Consider how certainly this truth is established, and by what unassailable testimonies it has been sealed: Yahweh himself has looked down from heaven, he has searched out all the world and examined every child of man, to see if there is anyone who understands, anyone who seeks God – but, no, the answer comes back when the universal search is ended: they have all gone astray without exception, they are all corrupt, they all do abominable things, they have all despised and scoffed at God, and in their inmost hearts refused even to acknowledge the existence of him who created them, the evidence of which is borne out by their lives lived with no fear of God before their eyes.

Continue reading "Psalm Fourteen: There is None Who Does Good, No, Not One" »

August 10, 2010  |  Comments (3)   |  Permalink

Working For Your Joy

Are you having John Piper withdrawals? Hold on. Help is on the way!

In one of the few speaking engagements Dr. Piper accepted during his 8 month sabbatical, here he is at a very recent conference in London, England, speaking on the subject of "working for your joy."

Working for your Joy from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

August 09, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

The Cause(s) of Salvation

"First, the originating cause of salvation is the eternal purpose of God, or in other words, the predestinating grace of the Father. Second, the meritorious cause of salvation is the mediation of Christ, this having particular respect to the legal side of things, or, in other words, His fully meeting the demands of the Law on the behalf of and in the stead of those He redeems. Third, the efficient cause of salvation is the regenerating and sanctifying operations of the Holy Spirit, which respect the experimental side of it; or, in other words, the Spirit works in us what Christ purchased for us. Thus, we owe our personal salvation equally to each Person in the Trinity, and not to one (the Son) more than to the others. Fourth, the instrumental cause is our faith, obedience, and perseverance: though we are not saved because of them, equally true is it that we cannot be saved (according to God's appointment) without them."
- Quote from A Fourfold Salvation by A.W. Pink
August 07, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Rome v. The Gospel

At the Council of Trent in the 16th century, the Roman Catholic Church placed its eternal and irrevocable curse on the Gospel, announcing it as actually heretical. I am certain that in the hearts and minds of the delegates at the Council, this was never intended - not even for a moment - but that is in fact what happened.

The most relevant Canons are the following:

Canon 9. If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone..., let him be anathema.

Canon 11. If anyone says that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins,... let him be anathema.

Canon 12. If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy (supra, chapter 9), which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema.

Canon 24. If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of the increase, let him be anathema.

Canon 30. If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema.

Canon 32. If anyone says that the good works of the one justified are in such manner the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him justified; or that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ...does not truly merit an increase of grace and eternal life... let him be anathema.

As Dr. Michael Horton rightly noted, "It was, therefore, not the evangelicals who were condemned in 1564, but the evangel itself. The 'good news,' which alone is 'the power of God unto salvation' was judged by Rome to be so erroneous that anyone who embraced it was to be regarded as condemned."

But the Council of Trent met a long time ago. Hasn't Rome since modified its position? In another place Dr. Horton wrote, "Has Rome's position changed? In fact it has not. The Vatican II documents as well as the new Catechism of the Catholic Church reinvoke the theological position of the Council of Trent, condemning the gospel of justification by an imputed righteousness." But knowing full well that Rome's full curse is on me for believing the following, I quote the Scripture and embrace the only true Gospel of my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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August 07, 2010  |  Comments (42)   |  Permalink

Warning for America

This news story is extremely worrying.

August 05, 2010  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

The Christian's Reasonable Service

The Christian's Reasonable Service by Wilhelmus à Brakel (1635-1711)

The Christian's Reasonable Service, vol. 1 (,pdf)
The Christian's Reasonable Service, vol. 2 (.pdf)
The Christian's Reasonable Service, vol. 3 (.pdf)
The Christian's Reasonable Service, vol. 4 (.pdf)

The entire printed four-volume set of The Christian’s Reasonable Service can be purchased for a discount price at Monergism Books

August 05, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Question About the Validity of Arguing for Paedo-Baptism from Colossians 2

Question from a Baptist friend considering arguments for Reformed paedo-baptism:

"Where I am struggling is that, aside from Col. 2, there does not seem to be any connection between circumcision & baptism. Col. 2 seems to be talking about spiritual circumcision (which was in th Old Covenant and happened only to the elect) and spiritual baptism (raised through faith in the powerful working of God). Such a baptism is effectual through the gift of faith.

The pattern that I see in Redemptive History is that our parameters for 'spiritualizing' a shadow, sign, or type is the scriptures in precept or principle. I definitely see linking 'spiritual circumcision' with 'spiritual baptism', but does that give us license to do the same with their physical counterparts? If so, then it would stand to reason that such must happen to only the males at eight days and to avoid such would result in removal from the covenant which it signifies. The argument is proposed that there is no male or female in Christ, but that is in clear reference to salvation..."

My Answer:

I think you're underestimating the importance of the link between baptism and circumcision in Col. 2, and unnaturally divorcing the sign from the thing signified in both circumcision and baptism. God has always chosen to seal and signify his covenant realities with physical signs, and it is dangerous and presumptuous for us to think that we may assure ourselves of the realities signified while spurning the signs which God has condescended to provide us with as seals of the grace he freely gives. How can we know that we are possessors of spiritual baptism, by which we are united to Christ? Only by this, that we have gone through physical baptism, and our hearts are firm in faith that what God has promised to us and solemnly testified to in that sign he has been faithful actually to give. It is reckless and arrogant to say that we are spiritually baptized when we have never been physically baptized.

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August 05, 2010  |  Comments (9)   |  Permalink

Don't Mess With The Gospel

In this message from the Together for the Gospel Conference earlier this year, Dr. R. C. Sproul reflects on 50 years of ministry and all the philosophical changes that have taken place in the western world, none more earth shattering than the crumbling condition of the evangelical church due to its failure to grasp the biblical gospel. In the presentation below, at around the 29 minute, 9 second mark, Dr. Sproul outlines the clear differences between the biblical Gospel and the "gospel" of Rome. It is well worth viewing this passionate and clear call to the Church from one of God's choice servants. - JS

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August 03, 2010  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

Hypocrites Beyond All Hope of Cure

Sermon Audio:

Hypocrites Beyond All Hope of Cure - Hosea 6:4-11

Sermon Manuscript:

The first three verses of Hosea chapter six, as we discovered last week, provide for all the elect remnant a most hopeful and comfortable promise of the mercy and life which will certainly follow all of God's righteous tearing and breaking down of his people. This sure promise of grace, to which the faithful clung for many generations, finally received its full vindication and ultimate fulfillment on the third day after the death of Christ, the last legitimate Seed of Abraham and true Israel in himself, when, true to the prophecy, God raised him from the dead, and in him, all of his people as well, who had been broken down by exile, plague, captivity, and many other such things. This final confirmation of God's promise of grace was so great beyond all expectation, that even today, we who are in any distress whatsoever, if we belong to Christ, may look to his resurrection and consider it a seal and pledge that God will work everything, even the most difficult of things, for our eternal good, just as the apostle later assures us at the end of Romans chapter eight.

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August 03, 2010  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink