31 December 2010
30 December 2010
1. Teaches us to feel compassion towards others who are suffering.
2. Teaches us to prize our outward comforts and mercies.
3. Teaches us submission and self-denial. We learn to take up our cross.
4. Willl teach us by enduring little, we learn to endure much.
5. Will allow trouble so that we know our own heart. We will develop meekness through affliction and He will then save us from it.
(From Selected Works, A Treatise on Afflictions pages 5-27.)
29 December 2010
27 December 2010
24 December 2010
23 December 2010
21 December 2010
18 December 2010
This never ceases to amaze or effect me. God always works the opposite way we think He should. Praise Him for His wondrous works and Providence!
Thank you Carl Trueman for reminding us of what is truly important at this time of year.
14 December 2010
10 December 2010
08 December 2010
06 December 2010
04 December 2010
02 December 2010
Conversely, we are God's: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God's: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God's: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal. ( Taken from the Institutes of Christian Religion by John Calvin, Book III, Chapter VII.)
As we enter the Christmas season, we are so often prone to indulge ourselves. Hence, let us meditate on Calvin's words above and consider not ourselves but rather deny ourselves and focus on the glory of Christ in every thought, word and deed this holiday season.
30 November 2010
SCOTS, wha hae wi’ WALLACE bled,
Scots, wham BRUCE has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to Victorie!
Now’s the day, and now’s the hour;
See the front o’ battle lour;
See approach proud EDWARD’S power—
Chains and Slaverie!
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward’s grave?
Wha sae base as be a Slave?
Let him turn and flee!
Wha, for Scotland’s King and Law,
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
FREE-MAN stand, or FREE-MAN fa’,
Let him on wi’ me!
By Oppression’s woes and pains!
By your Sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!
Lay the proud Usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
LIBERTY’S in every blow!—
Let us Do or Die!
29 November 2010
26 November 2010
To remedy this evil, the Lord teaches his servants to recognize the vanity of this present life, carefully training them by means of various afflictions. Lest they look forward in this life to peace and tranquility, he allows war, turmoil, theft and other evils to upset and trouble them. Lest they thirst too much for ephemeral wealth or trust too fondly n the wealth they have, he reduces them to poverty, sometimes by sending barrenness to the earth, sometimes by fire, sometimes by other means; or else he condemns them to bare sufficiency. Lest they delight too much in marriage, he gives them difficult or headstrong wives who torment them, or wayward children to humble them, or else afflicts them with the loss of spouse or children. If, however, in all these things he treats them kindly, to stop them becoming proud in their conceit and complacent through excessive confidence, he warns them by means of sickness or peril, and gives them as it were visible proof of how fragile and fleeting are the good things we enjoy, since they are subject to decay.
Thus the discipline of the cross is of great benefit to us when we understand that the present life, judged in itself, is full of worry, trouble and much misfortune. It is never completely happy at any time, and all the blessings we hold dear are transitory and uncertian, trifling and tinged with endless misery. The conclusion we draw then, is that here we must expect nothing but conflict. If we would seek our crown, it is to heaven that we must look. We may be sure that our heart will never really learn to want the life to come, and to meditate on i, without first feeling disdain for this earhly life. (From A Guide to Christian Living by John Calvin, translated by Robert White, Banner of Truth, pgs. 87-91.)
This passage from John Calvin has helped more than many others to understand our place here on earth and the afflictions we all encounter. I hope it helps you as well.
25 November 2010
Read more here and enjoy your day.
24 November 2010
|Catherine Winkworth (translated this hymn to English)|
Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.
23 November 2010
22 November 2010
20 November 2010
Such a task calls for Divine aid, hence help and grace need to be earnestly and definitely sought of the Holy spirit each day. And as, so many today are just playing with the solemn realities of God, never embracing and making them their own. How about you, reader? Is this true of you? - A.W. Pink
18 November 2010
16 November 2010
15 November 2010
10 November 2010
This lengthy quote is simply to say that we too often, even as believers, are fearful of the wrong things. We seek to maintain what is not important while we seek after what will perish. Only the Lord makes life truly a blessing in whatever circumstances we are in.
09 November 2010
There is no gospel without deliverance, there is no deliverance without repentance, there is no repentance without rememberance and there is no rememberance without an Ebenezer.
08 November 2010
06 November 2010
03 November 2010
02 November 2010
01 November 2010
30 October 2010
27 October 2010
2. You need not be anxious about anything (Phil. 4:6).
3. Trust in the Lord with everything you've got (Prov. 3:6-7).
4. Be courageous (Ps. 31:24).
5. God is always with you (Heb. 13:5).
6. Go to the Lord boldly when things are really tough (Heb. 4:16).
7. Remember that whatever you are doing, do it to the glory of God (Col. 3:17).
26 October 2010
25 October 2010
23 October 2010
All that Samuel has considered well. Even amid the desolations of Shiloh the Lord was helping them. He was helping them to know their sins, and helping them to know the bitter fruit and wo[e]ful punishment of sin...The links of the long chain denoted by Samuel's 'hitherto' were not all of one kind. Some were in the form of mercies, many were in the form of chastenings. (First Book of Samuel by W.G. Blakie, pg. 104 .)
Something we should all seriously consider when we look back on what has occured in our lives; that many situations were chastenings for our good though it may not have seemed so at the time.
21 October 2010
God is Light
-He is a God of splendor and brilliance
-He is self revealing
-He is pure and absolutely holy
-He is enlightening
In this Light we see ourselves for what we really are.
This Light is the medium in which we have fellowship with God.
John answers the Gnostics:
vs. 6 "Fellowship with God"
vs. 8 Original sin
vs. 10 Actual sin
19 October 2010
17 October 2010
2 Our feet have been standing
4 to which the tribes go up,
16 October 2010
15 October 2010
The verses that are in question here are Rom. 3:25, Heb. 2:17, 1Jn 2:1-2 and 1Jn 4:10. In each case we are dealing with the Greek hilaskomai and its related words. Again, Morris clarifies, Nothing deals with salvation from the divine wrath other than hilasterion, which means 'the averting of wrath.' If we reduce hilasterion here to the sub-personal 'expiation', as do some modern translations and commentators, then what has become of God's wrath? ...To do justice to what the apostle is saying [in Romans 3] we must include in our understanding of this passage the idea that part of the meaning of salvation is that God's wrath is averted. ...The plain fact is that hilasterion signifies 'the means of averting wrath' and the new translations miss this (pg. 169).
Morris delves further into the Greek for us and explicates Dodd's errors but moreover, he brings to light why propitiation has the correct meaning. It is not the word he is contending for but rather the idea it conveys. We must realize that His wrath will be reckoned with. This is all the more important in that those who reduce our term to no more than 'expiation' rarely face the questions that result. If there is no 'wrath of God', if 'wrath' is the wrong term and there is nothing corresponding to this teaching of Scripture, then the question arises, "Why should sin be expiated?' And another question, 'What would happen if sin were not not expiated?' (pg. 174).
Excellent chapter from an excellent book. This chapter is worth the price of the book alone.
14 October 2010
12 October 2010
God is calling Samuel to be a light in a dark time in Isreal's history.
1. God calls His prophet (vs. 10).
2. God informs His prophet (vss. 11-14).
3. God confirms His word. (vss. 19-21).
Likewise today, we must seek Christ as our Prophet and Teacher by
1. Partaking of the means of grace.
2. Praying He opens our hearts and minds.
3. Living our lives by what He has already taught us.
09 October 2010
08 October 2010
05 October 2010
03 October 2010
02 October 2010
01 October 2010
Delving into Tributes to John Calvin: A Celebration of His Quincentenary (Calvin 500) has been worth every moment of valuable reading time as well. Taken from the Calvin 500 conference each chapter is a study on Calvin in itself. Worth every penny.
What are you reading?
26 September 2010
God be merciful unto us, and bless us
and shew us the light of his countenance, and be merciful unto us;
That thy way may be known upon earth
thy saving health among all nations.
Let the people praise thee, O God
yea, let all the people praise thee.
O let the nations rejoice and be glad
for thou shalt judge the folk righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.
Let the people praise thee, O God
let all the people praise thee.
Then shall the earth bring forth her increase
and God, even our own God, shall give us his blessing.
God shall bless us
and all the ends of the world shall fear him.
24 September 2010
23 September 2010
22 September 2010
18 September 2010
15 September 2010
12 September 2010
1 Samuel is about three men:
The book begins with Isreal in a state of severe spiritual decline. Philistines were in control and Mosaic worship is corrupt.
Verses 1-20 can be studied under three headings:
1. Hannah's problem
2. Hannah's prayer
3. Hannah's peace
Lessons to be learned:
1. We will experience trials
2. Hannah's trials mirror that of church - a desire for the coming of Christ
08 September 2010
As citizens of democratic nations, Christians may be concerned about the implications of Qur’an-burning for international peace and justice. However, as citizens of the kingdom of Christ, they have even more reason to denounce such actions. Recall James and John—the “sons of thunder”—asking Jesus if they could call fire down from heaven on a Samaritan village that rejected their message. We read that Jesus rebuked them.
This is not the era of driving out the nations from God’s holy land, for the church is the only holy land and Christ is its living Temple. This is the era of enduring persecution, not for provoking or participating in it. In the Book of Revelation we read that it was not the martyr’s protests or book-burnings, but “the word of their testimony” and their witness to the Lamb that conquered the Beast.
...Christians are called to love Muslim neighbors simply because they are created in the image of God. Yet they are also called to proclaim the gospel and to explain and defend it, albeit with gentleness and respect.
Read the entire post here.
07 September 2010
The event in Matthew 8:1-4 demonstrates:
-The Authority of Jesus
-The Compassion of Jesus
-The Wisdom of Jesus
-Messianic fulfillment (Matt. 8:17)
-The Power of Jesus Christ
-Christ's infinite compassion
04 September 2010
01 September 2010
31 August 2010
30 August 2010
28 August 2010
1. The afflicted must be allowed an awakened and tender sense of the Lord's afflicting hand.
2. We must allow the mourning, afflicted soul a due and comely expression of his grief and sorrow in his complaints both to God and men.
3.The afflicted person may (ordinarily) accuse, judge, and condemn himself, for being the cause and procurer of his own troubles.
4. The afflicted Christian may, in a humble, submissive manner, plead with God, and be earnest for the removal of his affliction.
This is one of the best little books to come from Banner of Truth this year. If you're grieving, this may help.
More on this great little tome later...
25 August 2010
24 August 2010
23 August 2010
22 August 2010
21 August 2010
17 August 2010
Idleness is a grevious sin.
Why? Four reasons:
1. It fails to fulfill the creation mandate
2. It deprives others of our productivity - it is theft
3. It exposes one to the Devil's temptations
4. It is contrary to the example of Jesus Christ
To be learned:
1. Don't take idleness lightly
2. Don't be idle in spiritual things
3. Work hard at whatever God has given you to do
13 August 2010
12 August 2010
06 August 2010
04 August 2010
03 August 2010
...Sermons and books and tracts, and committee meetings and the company of good men, are all good in their way, but they will never make up for the neglect of private prayer. Mark well the places and society and companions that unhinge your hearts for communion with God and make your prayers drive heavily. There be on your guard. Observe narrowly what friends and what employments leave your soul in the most spiritual frame, and most ready to speak with God. To these cleave and stick fast. If you will take care of your prayers, nothing shall go very wrong with your soul. (From A Call to Prayer by J.C. Ryle.)
What a remarkable statement. In some ways it is most obvious. But, let's face it, it is what we all do. We let the busyness of life get in the way of communion with the Life-Giver. Prayer is too often neglected. It is time to remove those things that so easily unhinge our hearts for communion with God.
02 August 2010
31 July 2010
30 July 2010
28 July 2010
27 July 2010
The Lord Jesus Himself is our example. He was not only thoughtful, gentle, self-sacrificing and patient, but He also corrected His mother, used a whip in the Temple, Severely scolded His doubting disciples, and denounced hypocrites. True spiritual love is above all faithful to God and uncompromising towards all that is evil. We cannot declare, ‘Peace and Safety’ when in reality there is spiritual decay and ruin!
True spiritual love is very difficult to exercise because it is not our natural love. By nature we would rather love sentimentally and engender good feelings. Also many times true spiritual love is not received in love, but is hated as the Pharisees hated it. We must pray that God will fill us with His love and enable us to exercise it without dissimulation toward all. - A.W. Pink
26 July 2010
24 July 2010
23 July 2010
“Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). The “heart” is here put for our whole inner being, the “hidden man of the heart” (1 Peter 3:4). It is that which controls and gives character to all that we do. To “keep”—garrison or guard—the heart or soul is the great work which God has assigned us: the enablement is His, but the duty is ours. - A.W. Pink
22 July 2010
21 July 2010
Canst thou answer this, believer? Canst thou find any reason why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why yield to gloomy anticipations? Who told thee that the night would never end in day? Who told thee that the sea of circumstances would ebb out till there should be nothing left but long leagues of the mud of horrible poverty? Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow, and ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of despair? Knowest thou not that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter? Hope thou then! Hope thou ever! For God fails thee not. Dost thou not know that thy God loves thee in the midst of all this? Mountains, when in darkness hidden, are as real as in day, and God’s love is as true to thee now as it was in thy brightest moments. No father chastens always: thy Lord hates the rod as much as thou dost; he only cares to use it for that reason which should make thee willing to receive it, namely, that it works thy lasting good. Thou shalt yet climb Jacob’s ladder with the angels, and behold him who sits at the top of it-thy covenant God. Thou shalt yet, amidst the splendours of eternity, forget the trials of time, or only remember them to bless the God who led thee through them, and wrought thy lasting good by them. Come, sing in the midst of tribulation. Rejoice even while passing through the furnace. Make the wilderness to blossom like the rose! Cause the desert to ring with thine exulting joys, for these light afflictions will soon be over, and then “for ever with the Lord,” thy bliss shall never wane. -C.H. Spurgeon
20 July 2010
17 July 2010
Don’t be deterred; this is not another boring exposition on Psalm 23. Campbell takes each verse as a chapter and draws out the truth of Scripture while revealing the solace found in the passage. It’s encouraging, comforting and inspirational; a thoroughly enjoyable read. Whether you’re looking for something new for your own devotions or something for group or family devotions this book is worth consideration. It gets a well deserved two thumbs up!
14 July 2010
Let us pause and define our terms. What is meant by “foreknowledge”? “To know beforehand,” is the ready reply of many. But we must not jump to conclusions, nor must we turn to Webster’s dictionary as the final court of appeal, for it is not a matter of the etymology of the term employed. What is needed is to find out how the word is used in Scripture. The Holy Spirit’s usage of an expression always defines its meaning and scope. It is failure to apply this simple rule which is responsible for so much confusion and error.
...Now the word “foreknowledge” as it is used in the New Testament is less ambiguous than in its simple form “to know.” If every passage in which it occurs is carefully studied, it will be discovered that it is a moot point whether it ever has reference to the mere perception of events which are yet to take place. The fact is that “foreknowledge” is never used in Scripture in connection with events or actions; instead, it always has reference to persons. It is persons God is said to “foreknow,” not the actions of those persons.
...The first occurrence is in Acts 2:23. There we read, “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” If careful attention is paid to the wording of this verse, it will be seen that the Apostle was not there speaking of God’s foreknowledge of the act of the crucifixion, but of the Person crucified: “Him (Christ) being delivered by,” etc.
The second occurrence is in Rom. 8:29, 30. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called,” etc. Weigh well the pronoun that is used here. It is not what He did foreknow, but whom He did. It is not the surrendering of their wills nor the believing of their hearts, but the persons themselves that are here in view.
...The last mention is in 1 Peter 1:2: “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” Who are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”? The previous verse tells us: the reference is to the “strangers scattered” i. e. the Diaspora, the Dispersion, the believing Jews. Thus, here too the reference is to persons, and not to their foreseen acts.
Now in view of these passages (and there are no more) what scriptural ground is there for anyone saying God “foreknew” the acts of certain ones, viz., their “repenting and believing,” and that because of those acts He elected them unto salvation? The answer is, None whatever. Scripture never speaks of repentance and faith as being foreseen or foreknown by God. Truly, He did know from all eternity that certain ones would repent and believe, yet this is not what Scripture refers to as the object of God’s “foreknowledge.” The word uniformly refers to God’s foreknowing persons; then let us “hold fast the form of sound words” (2 Tim. 1:18).
...It thus appears that it is highly important for us to have clear and scriptural views of the “foreknowledge” of God. The popular idea of Divine foreknowledge is not only inadequate and erroeneous, but slanders the reality of God’s attributes, bringing Him disgrace rather than the glory which is His due. God not only knew the end from the beginning, but He planned, fixed, predestinated everything from the beginning. And, as cause stands to effect, so God’s purpose is the ground of His prescience. If then the reader be a real Christian, he is so because God chose him in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), and chose not because He foresaw you would believe, but chose simply because it pleased Him to choose; chose you notwithstanding your natural unbelief. This being so, all the glory and praise belongs alone to Him. You have no ground for taking any credit to yourself. You have “believed through grace” (Acts 18:27), and that, because your very election was “of grace” (Rom. 11:5). (From the Attributes of God by A.W. Pink.)
13 July 2010
That which is the fruit and effect of the Divine decree cannot be the cause of it; and faith, perseverance, etc., are but the fruits and effects of electing love.
Such as are given to Christ in the decree of election, do come to, or believe in Christ; others do not come, do not believe; and the cause assigned is, because they are not of His sheep, because they are not given to Him. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me” (John 6:37). Coming to Christ is believing on Him. “Ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep” (John 10:26). “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Ac 13:48). We may not (according to the Arminian notion) read it, “as many as believed were ordained unto life;” for this would be setting the cart before the horse, as if the means were ordained before the end. We are predestinated that we should be holy, not because we are holy (Eph 1:4). We are foreordained to walk in good works, not because we do so (Eph 2:10). We are predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ, not because we are so (Ro 8:29). It is the election that obtains faith, and not faith that obtains election (Ro 11:7). And the Apostle, in 2 Timothy 1:9, excludes all works (both foreseen and existing), showing that God's gracious purpose is the original of all. Yea, Paul himself was chosen that he might know the will of God, not that he was foreseen to do so (Ac 22:14); and he tells the Thessalonians, that “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess 2:13). We may not make that an antecedent to election which is but the consequent of it. “I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit” (John 15:16).
...God is the cause of causes, and the first cause of all things. There can be no being but from Him, there can be nothing before Him. “Of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things” (Ro 11:36). “In Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Ac 17:28). O Lord, “Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev 4:11). God is the chief efficient cause, and the ultimate end of all beings; but if any being be antecedent to the determinations of God's will, this would take away the dignity of the supreme cause, and make an act of man superior to that of God. (From An Antidote Against Arminianism by Christopher Ness.)
So we can see from these two brief passages from Hess' brilliant work on Arminianism that is not of ourselves that we believe. To embrace such a belief is to aceppt that man is the controlling factor in his own salvation. If that be the case, who should desire to worship a god who man can manipulate with such ease?
12 July 2010
08 July 2010
Seeing that we have such a God to trust to, let us rest upon him with all our weight; let us resolutely drive out all unbelief, and endeavour to get rid of doubts and fears, which so much mar our comfort; since there is no excuse for fear where God is the foundation of our trust. A loving parent would be sorely grieved if his child could not trust him; and how ungenerous, how unkind is our conduct when we put so little confidence in our heavenly Father who has never failed us, and who never will. ...So far from suffering doubts to live in our hearts, we will take the whole detestable crew, as Elijah did the prophets of Baal, and slay them over the brook; and for a stream to kill them at, we will select the sacred torrent which wells forth from our Saviour’s wounded side. We have been in many trials, but we have never yet been cast where we could not find in our God all that we needed. Let us then be encouraged to trust in the Lord for ever, assured that his ever lasting strength will be, as it has been, our succour and stay. (From Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, by C.H. Spurgeon.)
07 July 2010
Stauffer threads his way through the highlights of Reformer’s life and reveals intimate details, most through detailed knowledge of his letters, about Calvin the man; about his humanness. Dispelling many if not all of the unfair and inaccurate characterizations of the Reformer, we read of the kind, loving, deep feeling man that he was. For those who have been indoctrinated with the lies about Calvin, this book is for you. For those who want to know more about the man behind the theology, this book is also for you. I highly recommend it. It could be a first step to a greater understanding of Calvinism.