29 July 2007
28 July 2007
24 July 2007
A. In sinning against him, Lam. 5:16.
Q. 2. How does it appear that there is such a thing as sin in the world?
A. The God of truth declares, that all have sinned, Rom. 3:23; the broken law cries for vengeance against transgressors, and by it is the knowledge of sin, Gal. 3:10; Rom. 3:20; conscience, God's deputy in every man's bosom, tells him he is guilty, Jer. 14:7; the reign of death, and the groans of the creatures round about us, Rom. 8:22, all bear testimony that there is such a thing as sin in the world.
Q. 3. Can there be any sin, where there is no law?
A. No; "for where there is no law there is no transgression," Rom. 4:15.
Q. 4. Of whose law is sin a transgression?
A. Of the law of God.
Q. 5. What may be understood by the law of God?
A. All the precepts, or commandments, God has given to man as a rule of his obedience.
Q. 6. Where is this law of God to be found?
A. There was a bright and fair copy of it written upon the heart of man in innocence; but that being, in a great measure, lost by the fall, God has written again to us the great things of his law, in the scriptures of truth, Psalm 147:19, 20.
Q. 7. Are all the laws of God mentioned in scripture, of binding force now under the New Testament?
A. No; the ceremonial law, which was a shadow of good things to come, is now abrogated since the coming of Christ in the flesh; and many of the judicial laws, in so far as they had a particular relation to the state of the Jewish nation, are laid aside; but the moral law is perpetually binding on all mankind, in all ages and periods of the world, Psalm 119:160.
Q. 8. Does God require a perfect conformity to this law?
A. Yes; for there is a curse pronounced against every one that continues not in all things written in the book of the law to do them, Gal. 3:10.
Q. 9. Why is the nature of sin expressed by a want of conformity to the law?
A. To let us know that our very natures, since the fall, are sinful, Isa. 1:5, 6; that we are now quite destitute of that original righteousness and holiness, which we had at our creation, Gen. 6:5; and that every swerving from the holy law, even in omitting what it commands is sin, as well as in committing what it forbids, Isa. 43:22.
Q. 10. Why is sin called a transgression of the law?
A. Because the law is the boundary of all our actions; and whenever we sin, we break the boundary and limit that God has set us, and so are exposed to the curse of the law, Eccl. 10:8; Gal. 3:10.
Q. 11. Does the law of God extend to the first motions of sin in the heart?
A. Yes; for, says the apostle, Rom. 7:7 -- "I had not known lust, except the law had said, `Thou shalt not covet,'"
Q. 12. How many kinds of sin are there?
A. Two kinds; original and actual.
Q. 13. What do you understand by original sin?
A. The sin of our nature, which is called original sin, because we were "shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin," Psalm 51:5; and because it was the first sin of man, and is the original and fountain of all actual sin, Matt, 15:19.
Q. 14. What do you understand by actual sin?
A. Every thing that is inconsistent with, and contrary to the law, in thought, word, or deed, 1 John 3:4.
Q. 15. How are actual sins divided?
A. Into sins of omission and commission.
Q. 16. What is a sin of omission?
A. It is a neglecting, or forgetting to do that good which the law commands, James 4:17.
Q. 17. What is a sin of commission?
A. It is a doing of what the law of God forbids, Psalm 51:4.
Q. 2. Where is this Law written?
Q. 3. What conformity is due to this Law of God?
Q. 4. How doth it appear that the want of internal conformity is sin?
Q. 5. Is nothing a sin but what is against God's law?
Q. 6. Wherein lies the evil of transgressing God's law?
Q. 7. What further evil is sin?
Q. 8. Wherein is the evil of sin manifested?
Q. 9. What course must the sinner take to recover himself out of his misery?
Q. 10. What may we infer from hence?
21 July 2007
Theology is good. And not only is it good, but it is critical to the Christian walk and is an expectation of God. The word theology is derived from two Greek words. The root “theos” means God and the suffix “-ology” comes from the Greek word for speak. So what theology really means is “speaking of God” or as has become the more accurate definition, “the study of God.” It is impossible for us to grow closer to God (ie “sanctification”) if we do not learn more about Him. While all we need to know to be saved is our own depravity and God’s grace, to grow in that grace we need to learn more about God - about His character and attributes, about our place before Him, and about His will for our lives…”
20 July 2007
Jesus created wine so that the attendees at the wedding might have a good time! He did it so that they might be refreshed and rejoice in the gift of God! According to the writer in Christianity Today [pg. 26, June 18, 1990], only a sick person would want someone to drink. Jesus Himself wanted His disciples to drink, to enjoy wine as God’s gift.
Beer and wine are enjoyable gifts of God. This is the teaching of Psalm 104 which is a praise psalm. The Psalmist writes:
You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earthand wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart. [vss.14-15].
Wine makes us glad. Wine refreshes. Both wine and beer are given by God as creation gifts. If we despise wine, we are snubbing the Lord’s gifts. In Jotham’s Parable of the Trees the vine says to the trees, “Should I lave my wine, which cheers God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?” (Judges 9”13). Wine cheers the heart of man, but it especially chhers the heart of God Himself! When Christ made the wine, He rejoiced in His creation. But when Christ drank the wine, He Himself was cheered by it. - From Drinking with Calvin and Luther, pages 40-41.
It would seem abundantly clear, then, that the Scriptures do allow the moderate partaking of alcoholic beverages. There is no hesitancy in Scripture in commending wine, or embarrassment in portraying its consumption among the righteous of Biblical days. Wine is set before the saints as blessing and gladness (Deut. 14:26; Ps. 104:14–15), even though it may be to the immoderate and wicked a mocker and curse (Prov. 20:1; 23:29–35).
19 July 2007
Perhaps that title should read What I have Learned Attending Some Churches as not all churches inculcate the following but far too many do. Here’s the list of things I’ve learned:
To contemplate my sin more than the mercy of God
To be a legalist even in a Reformed church
To be overly introspective
To fear God’s wrath more than enjoy His mercy and forgiveness
To live in the past rather than in the present
Obvioulsy, those things are wrong & I have come to see that I must learn from the past, live in the present (under God's forgiveness) and look to a bright future (with God's mercy). God is not sitting in heaven just waiting for me to sin to send me the holy zap. Conversely, we read in Hebrews 4 that we can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Yes, we need to spend some time examining ourselves however, in our darkest hour we should remember the mercy of God and that He is working all things together for our good. In John Piper’s Pleasures of God he writes concerning this:
But the promise is greater yet. Not only does God promise not to turn away from doing good to us, he says, "I will rejoice in doing them good" (Jeremiah 32:41). "The Lord will again take delight in prospering you" (Deuteronomy 30:9). He does not bless us begrudgingly. There is a kind of eagerness about the beneficence of God. God is not waiting for us, he is pursuing us. That, in fact, is the literal translation of Psalm 23:6, "Surely goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life." God loves to show mercy. He is not hesitant or indecisive or tentative in his desires to do good to his people. His anger must be released by a stiff safety lock, but his mercy has a hair trigger. . . .
But still the promise is greater. Finally, God promises that this rejoicing over the good of his people will be with all his heart and with all his soul. . . . When God does good to his people it is not so much like a reluctant judge showing kindness to a criminal whom he finds despicable; it is like a bridegroom showing affection to his bride. And add to this, that with God the honeymoon never ends. He is infinite in power and wisdom and creativity and love. And so he has no trouble sustaining a honeymoon level of intensity; he can foresee all the future quirks of our personality and has decided he will keep what's good for us and change what isn't; he will always be as handsome as he ever was, and will see to it that we get more and more beautiful forever; and he is infinitely creative to think of new things to do together so that there will be no boredom for the next trillion ages of millenniums. . . .
There is a condition we must meet in order to know him as our God and be a part of the wonderful covenant in which he never turns away from doing us good but rejoices over us with all his heart and all his soul. That condition is to put our hope in him as the all-satisfying Refuge and Treasure. God takes pleasure in this response with all his heart, because it magnifies the glory of his grace and satisfies the longing of our soul.
It’s time for change. Living a holy life does not mean living an unhappy life. It’s time to revisit Q&A #1 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. It’s time to start enjoying Him now, enjoying His mercy, His forgiveness, His promises and His constant care and oversight.
18 July 2007
Q. 2. How many ways may the will be said to be free?A. The will may be said to be free three ways. 1. When the will is free only to good; when the will is not compelled or forced, but freely chooseth only such things as are good. Thus, the will of God (to speak after the manner of men) is free only to good; he can neither do nor will any thing that is evil. Such also is the freedom of the wills of angels, and such will be the freedom of all the glorified saints in heaven; there neither is, nor will be, any inclination of the will unto any evil thing for eve; and yet good will be of free choice. 2. He will may be said to be free only unto evil, when the will is not constrained, but freely chooseth such things as are evil and sinful. Thus, the will of the devil is free only unto Sin; and thus the wills of all the children of men in the world, whilst in a state of nature, are free only unto sin. 3. The will may be said to be free both unto good and evil, when it sometimes chooseth that which is good, sometimes chooseth that which is evil. Such is the freedom of the wills of all regenerate persons, who have in some measure recovered the image of God; they choose good freely, through a principle of grace wrought in them by the Spirit; yet, through the remainder of corruption, at some times their wills are inclined to that which is sinful.
Q. 3. What freedom of will had man at his first creation?A. The freedom of will which man had at his first creation, was a freedom both to good and evil. Though the natural inclination and disposition of his will was only to good, yet, being mutable or changeable, through temptation it might be altered, and might become inclinable into evil.
Q. 4. How were Our first parents left to the freedom of their own wills?A. Our first parents were left by God to the freedom of their own wills, when God withheld that further grace (which he was nowise bound to give unto them) which would have strengthened them against the temptation, and preserved them from falling into sin.
Q. 5. How did our first parents fall, when they were left to the freedom of their own wills?A. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own wills, through the temptation of the devil, who spake unto them in the serpent; through the desirableness of the fruit of the forbidden tree to their sensual appetite; and through the desirableness of being made wise, and like unto God, by eating thereof' under their rational appetite; and through the hopes of escaping the punishment of death threatened by God; they did venture, against the express command of God, to eat of this tree. The woman being first beguiled and perverted by the devil, did eat; and then the mall, being persuaded by his wife and the devil too, did eat also. "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof' and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat."— Gen. 3:4-6. "The serpent beguiled Eve, through his subtlety." — 2 Cor. 11:3. "The woman being deceived, was in the transgression."— 1 Tim. 2:14.
Q. 6. What was the state in which our first parents were created, from whence they fell?A. The state wherein our first parents were created, and from whence they fell, was a state of innocency. "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions."— Eccles. 7:29.
Q. 7. Whereby did our first parents fall from the state wherein they were created?A. Our first parents fell from the state wherein they were created, by sinning against God.
16 July 2007
15 July 2007
They told churchgoers they must think twice before they refer to God as 'He' or 'Lord' because of the dangers that it will lead to domestic abuse. And later we read, Church of England leaders warned yesterday that calling God 'He' encourages men to beat their wives.
Finally, a voice of reason, Simon Calvert declares, The Bible says God has both female and male characteristics but it does not feel inhibited about referring to God as male." Simon Calvert of the evangelical Christian Institute think tank, said: "They appear to suggest seriously that we should ditch many centuries of Judaeo-Christian teaching because of some half-baked feminist theory." The guidelines - Responding to Domestic Abuse -say that centuries of Christian teaching have led to "questionable assumptions" about the Bible and moral teaching.
14 July 2007
12 July 2007
11 July 2007
2. Did God give him a law? Yes: The Lord God commanded the man, Gen. 2:16. Did he give him a command of trial? Yes: Of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it, Gen. 2:17. Did he assure him of happiness, if he obeyed? Yes: for of every tree in the garden (even the tree of life,) thou mayest freely eat, Gen. 2:16. Did he threaten death upon his disobedience? Yes: for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die, Gen. 2:17.
3. Was this God's covenant with Adam? Yes: for we read of those who, like Adam, transgressed the covenant, Hos. 6:7 (margin). Was, Do this and live, one branch of that covenant? Yes: for the man that doeth them, shall live, in them, Gal. 3:12. Was, Fail and die the other branch of the covenant? Yes: the soul that sinneth, it shall die, Ezek. 18:4. Was this the covenant of innocency? Yes: for the law was ot of faith, Gal 3:12. Was there a mediator of this covenant? No: for it is the better covenant that is established in the hands of a Mediator, Heb 8:6.
08 July 2007
Nor do thou envy bear to those
that work iniquity.
2 For, even like unto the grass,
soon be cut down shall they;
And, like the green and tender herb,
they wither shall away.
3 Set thou thy trust upon the Lord,
and be thou doing good;
And so thou in the land shalt dwell,
and verily have food.
4 Delight thyself in God; he'll give
thine heart's desire to thee.
5 Thy way to God commit, him trust,
it bring to pass shall he.
03 July 2007
2. Beware of murmuring and fretting under any dispensations of providence that ye meet with; remembering that nothing falls out without a wise and holy providence, which knows best what is fit and proper for you. And in all cases, even amidst the most afflicting incidents that befall you, learn submission to the will of God; as Job did, when he said, in consequence of a train of the heaviest calamities that happened to him, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord," Job 1:21. In the most distressing case say with the disciples, "The will of the Lord be done, Acts 21:14.
3. Beware of anxious cares and diffidence about your throughbearing in the world. This our Lord has cautioned his followers against, Matt. 6:31. "Take no thought (that is, anxious and perplexing thought), saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" Never let the fear of man stop you from duty, Matt. 10:28, 29.; but let your souls learn to trust in God, who guides and superintends all the events and administrations of providence, by whatever hands they are performed.
4. Do not slight means, seeing God worketh by them; and he that hath appointed the end orders the means necessary for gaining the end. Do not rely upon means, for they can do nothing without God, Matt. 4:4. Do not despond if there be no means, for God can work without them, as well as with them; Hos. 1:7. "I will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen." If the means be unlikely, he can work above them, Rom. 4:19. "He considered not his own body now dead, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb." If the means be contrary, he can work by contrary means, as he saved Jonah by the whale that devoured him. That fish swallowed up the prophet, but by the direction of providence, it vomited him out upon dry land.
5. Lastly, Happy is the people whose God the Lord is: for all things shall work together for their good. They may sit secure in exercising faith upon God, come what will. They have ground for prayer; for God is a prayer-hearing God, and will be inquired of by his people as to all their concerns in the world. And they have ground for the greatest encouragement and comfort amidst all the events of providence, seeing they are managed by their covenant God and gracious friend, who will never neglect or overlook his dear people, and whatever concerns them. For he hath said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," Heb. 13:5.