The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
Through our union with Christ in his death we are delivered from the dominion of sin. But we still find sin struggling to gain mastery over us, as Paul depicted so vividly, “When I Want to do good, evil is right there with me” (Romans 7:21). We may not like the fact that we have this lifelong struggle with sin, but the more we realize and accept it, the better equipped we will be able to deal with it. The more we discover about the strength of indwelling sin, the less we feel its effects. To the extent that we discover this law of sin within ourselves, we will abhor and fight against it.
But though believers still have this indwelling propensity to sin, the Holy Spirit maintains within us a prevailing desire for holiness (1 John 3:9). The believer struggles with the sin God enables him to see in himself. This is the picture we see in Romans 7:21, and it distinguishes believers from unbelievers who lie serenely content in their darkness.
Interpretations of Romans 7:14-25 fall into three basic groups. It is not the purpose of this book to discuss those interpretations or to decide in favor of one of them. Whatever our interpretation of Romans 7, all Christians acknowledge the universal application of Paul’s statement “When I want to do good, evil is right there with me”. As indicated in the previous chapter, indwelling sin remains in us even though it has been dethroned. And through it has been overthrown and weakened, its nature has not changed. Sin is still hostile to God and cannot submit to His law (Rm 8:7). Thus we have an implacable enemy of righteousness right in our own hearts. What diligence and watchfulness is required of us when this enemy in our souls is ready to oppose every effort to do good?
If we are to wage a successful war against this enemy within, it is important that we know something of its nature and tactics. Fir of all, the Scripture indicates that the seat of indwelling sin is the heart, “for from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual desires, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man “unclean” (Luke 6:45; See also Gen 6:5 and Mark 7:21-23).
The word heart in Scripture is used in various ways. Sometimes it means our reason or understanding, sometimes our affections and emotions, and sometimes our will. Generally it denotes the whole soul of man and all its faculties, not individually, but as they all work together in doing good or evil. The mind as it reasons, discerns, and judges; the emotions at they like or dislike. The conscience as it determines and warns; and the will as it chooses or refuses are all together called the heart
This One Thing I Do
The Goal of the Christian Life:
God's Plan from Ages Past
Sunday's sermon now posted:
The Doctrines of Grace
Throughout 2014, while Dr. James White has been away on various ministry trips, I have had the distinct honor and privilege of guest-hosting his “Dividing Line” broadcasts. This allowed me the opportunity of teaching on some major doctrines at the heart of our Christian faith, including five hour-long sessions on what are known as "the Doctrines of Grace." I have already received a number of testimonies from people saying that this series has enabled them to understand and embrace these precious truths for the very first time. Praise the Lord! I trust they will be a blessing to you." - Pastor John Samson
Here are the youtube videos:
Hour 1. The "T" in the TULIP, "TOTAL DEPRAVITY":
Hour 2. The "U" in the TULIP, "UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION"
Hour 3. The "L" in the TULIP, "LIMITED ATONEMENT"
Who is Jesus Christ? (Debate)
Dr. James White and Yusuf Ismail debate the Christology of the Gospel of John, and then the Christology of the Qur'an, in an historic debate in the famous Grey Street Mosque in Durban, South Africa (the home mosque of the late Ahmed Deedat).
Acts - The Story So Far
Pastor John Samson
(1) Acts 1-7
(2) Acts 8-13
BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION SERIES by Pastor John Samson
Four Dividing Line shows:
Hour 1: The first in a short series of teachings on "Rightly dividing the word of God – keys to Biblical interpretation."
Hour 2: The second part of a series entitled "Rightly dividing the word of God – keys to Biblical interpretation."
How People Change by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp
THREE KINDS OF BLINDNESS
The “here and now” hole in the middle of our lives produces three fundamental forms of spiritual blindness. First, there is a blindness of identity. Many Christians do not have a gospel perspective on who they are. For example, Phil was a good theologian, but his personal identity was more rooted knowledge and achievement than the gospel. This lack of gospel identity shows up in two ways. First, many Christians underestimate the presence and power of indwelling sin. They don’t see how easily entrapped they are in this world full of snares (See Gal 6:1). They don’t grasp the comprehensive nature of the war that is always raging within the heart of every believer (see Rom .7) they’re not aware of how prone they are to run after God replacements. They fail to see that their greatest problems exist within them, not outside them. My work with teenagers has convinced me that one of the main reasons teenagers are not excited by the gospel is that they do not think they need it.
Many parents have successfully raised self-righteous little Pharisees. When they look at themselves, they do not see a sinner in desperate need, so they are not grateful for a Savior. Sadly, the same is true of many of their parents. Many believers also fail to see the other side of their gospel identify: their identity in Christ. Christ not only gives me forgiveness and a new future, but a whole new identity as well! I am now a child of God, with all of the rights and privileges that this title bestows. This is important because each of us lives out of some form of identity, and our gospel identity amnesia will always lead to some form of identity replacement.
That is, if who I am in Christ does not shape the way I think about myself and the things I face, then I will live out of some other identity. Often in our blindness, we take on our problems as identities. While divorce, depression, and single parenthood are significant human experiences, they are not identities. Our work is not our identity, though it is an important part of how God intends us to live. For many of us, our sense of identity is more rooted in our performance than it is in God’s grace. It is wonderful to be successful at what God has called you to do, but when you use your success to define who you are, you will always have a distorted perspective
Acts - The Story So Far
Sunday's sermon is now up on sermon audio. "Acts - the story so far." - JS
A Two Hour Drive
The following is a transcript taken from the first question and answer session at the 2014 Ligonier National Conference.
Questioner: "This couple writes, 'we live in a rural area without access to solid Biblical teaching, let alone Reformed teaching. The nearest Church with such teaching is two hours drive away. How should we choose a group to meet with and serve when we disagree with the things taught from the pulpit?' What would you say practically to this couple?"
Dr. R. C. Sproul: "Drive two hours!"
Questioner: "Drive two hours?"
Dr. R. C. Sproul: "Lots of people do. Its that important. If you had to go to the hospital and it was a two hour drive you wouldn't stay home. You would go to the hospital. You wouldn't go to a dog pound because it was convenient. Would you?
Seriously! I mean its the old thing. I learned this from a former coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chuck Noll. His phrase was "whatever it takes!" and the spiritual nurture of your soul and of your children's souls are so important that if you have to drive two hours for worship, and for instruction in apostolic truth, then that's an obvious decision. You drive two hours, or move! But it has to be a priority in every Christian family to be somewhere where there is true worship, true gospel, true doctrine, for the sake of eternity."
These four lectures by Dr. Tim Keller (from the John Reed Miller Lecture Series) given at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson Mississippi, on Nov. 11-13, 2014, are an outstanding resource and help for all preachers. I recommend them highly. - JS
Lecture 1: What is Good Preaching?
Lecture 2: Preaching to Secular People and Secularized Believers
Lecture 3: Preaching the Gospel Every Time
Lecture 4: Preaching to the Heart
Now on Sermonaudio.com
BIG NEWS FOR US: Finally, King's Church, Phoenix is now on sermonaudio.com!!
Sunday's sermon "A Divine Appointment" (based on Acts 13:43-52) is now uploaded at this link.