30 November 2012

Christ's Preeminece pt. 2

    He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
    (Colossians 1:15-20 ESV)


St. Andrews Day

Happy St. Andrews Day
from Russ & Cathie

28 November 2012

Christ in the Old Testament

John Broadus
[In reading the Old Testament] you have learned that there is balm in Gilead, that there is a great Physician there; He has checked your fearful, mortal malady, and you shall live. You have looked to the brazen serpent, you are healed. You have sprinkled your door post with the blood of God’s atoning Lamb, and the angel of destruction will pass you by. You have fled to the city of refuge, and the destroyer cannot come near you. You have laid your sins by faith on your substitute and He has borne them away into the wilderness. You have bathed in the fountain that was opened in the house of King David for sin and for uncleanness, and the defilement of guilt has been washed away. You have brought to Jesus the writing that bound you as a servant of sin, and He has annulled it by nailing it to His cross.- John Broadus

27 November 2012

He's Not Against Us

    John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
    (Mark 9:38-41 ESV)

On this passage J.C. Ryle wrote

J.C. Ryle
Here is a golden rule indeed, and one that human nature severely needs, and has too often forgotten. Men of all branches of Christ's Church are apt to think that no good can be done in the world, unless it is done by their own party and denomination. They are so narrow-minded, that they cannot conceive the possibility of working on any other pattern but that which they follow. They make an idol of their own peculiar ecclesiastical machinery, and can see no merit in any other. They are like him who cried when Eldad and Medad prophesied in the camp, "Moses, my master, make them stop!" (Num. 11:28.)             

To this intolerant spirit we owe some of the blackest pages of Church history. Christians have repeatedly persecuted Christians for no better reason than that which is here given by John. They have practically proclaimed to their brethren, "you shall either follow us, or not work for Christ at all."             

Let us be on our guard against this feeling. It is only too near the surface of all our hearts. Let us study to realize that liberal, tolerant spirit which Jesus here recommends, and be thankful for good works wheresoever and by whoever done. Let us beware of the slightest inclination to stop and check others, merely because they do not choose to adopt our plans, or work by our side. We may think our fellow Christians mistaken in some points. We may fancy that more would be done for Christ, if they would join us, and if all worked in the same way. We may see many evils arising from religious dissensions and divisions. But all this must not prevent us rejoicing if the works of the devil are destroyed and souls are saved.             

Ryle, J.C.  (2011-07-12). Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: The Four Volume Set [Fully Linked and Optimized] (Kindle Locations 7836-7849). Primediaelaunch eLaunch. Kindle Edition. 

23 November 2012

Christ's Preminence pt.1 - Colossians 1:15-20

 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
    (Colossians 1:15-20 ESV)

22 November 2012

Ministry of Mercy vs. the Gospel?

It's about Thanks-giving

Signing the Mayflower Compact

Great post on Thanksgiving by Thomas S. Kidd. Well worth reading this Thanks-giving day. From it we read:

Although our records for the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth are sparse, we do know that in 1621 the Pilgrims held a three-day celebration with allied Indians, in observation of a good harvest and in gratitude for God’s help in passing through the trials of the first year of settlement (half of the settlers had died in that scourging winter). And yes, they had a “great store of wild turkeys” to eat for the festival.

Read the entire post here.

21 November 2012

Ephesians Study Week 12

    Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
    (Ephesians 4:17-24 ESV)

20 November 2012

A Culture of Evangelism?

A great discussion. Thought provoking...

Check out the upcoming Evangelism Training Workshop at Redeemer Church on 26 January 2013.

19 November 2012

Who's The Greatest - Mark 9:33-37

    And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
(Mark 9:33-37 ESV)


16 November 2012


A sermon from our own RTS student, Nathaniel Bower.

    What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
 (James 4:1-10 ESV)

14 November 2012

Christ our Mediator

Stephen Charnock
God, apart from Christ, is an angry, offended Sovereign.  Unless we behold Him in and through Christ, the Mediator, the terrors of His Majesty would overwhelm us.  We dare not approach the Father except in Christ because of our sins.  We first fasten our eyes upon Christ, then upon the Father.  If Christ does not bear our guilt and reconcile us unto God, we perish! Before any man can think to stand before the face of God's justice or be admitted to the secret chamber of God's mercy or partake of the riches of His grace, he must look to the Mediator, Christ Jesus.
Stephen Charnock  
The Existence and Attributes of God.

13 November 2012

The Heart of the Gospel Mark 9:30-32

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
(Mark 9:30-32 ESV)

12 November 2012

The Old Testament as Key to Understanding the Book of Revelation

From the Bolton conference, Dr. Greg Beale's lecture, "The Old Testament as Key to Understanding the Book of Revelation." I thought this was outstanding...

10 November 2012

Smokin' that Pipe

This Indian weed now wither'd quite,
'Tho' green at noon, cut down at night,
  Shows thy decay;
  All flesh is hay.
  Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The pipe so lily-like and weak,
Does thus thy mortal state bespeak.  
Thou art ev'n such, 
Gone with a touch.
  Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And when the smoke ascends on high,
Then thou behold'st the vanity
 Of worldly stuff,
 Gone with a puff.
 Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And when the pipe grows foul within,
Think on thy soul defil'd with sin;
 For then the fire,
  It does require.
  Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And seest the ashes cast away;
Then to thyself thou mayest say 
That to the dust 
Return thou must. 
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

 Was this small plant for thee cut down?
So was the plant of great renown;
 Which mercy sends
 For nobler ends. 
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

Doth juice medicinal proceed
From such a naughty foreign weed? 
Then what's the pow'r
 Of Jesse's flow'r?
 Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The promise, like the pipe, inlays,
And by the mouth of faith conveys
 What virtue flows
  From Sharon's rose.
  Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

In vain th' unlighted pipe you blow;
Your pains in inward means are so,
  'Till heav'nly fire
  Thy heart inspire.
  Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The smoke, like burning incense tow'rs
So should a praying heart of yours,
 With ardent cries,
  Surmount the skies.
  Thus think, and smoke tobacco.
 -Ralph Erskine

09 November 2012

Keep that Beard!!

"Quail not before the shaveling horde,
"Commit thy cause to God the Lord;
"Though exil'd by their bloody will,
"Our God we praise and honour still;
"Where'er we roam, our Saviour's care,
"For us a dwelling shall prepare.
"By Him, the earth was hallowed,
"Whose precious blood was on it shed:
"The life-stream from His wounded side,
"The world for us hath sanctified."

(Church and State Gazette, 5th Feb. 1847, p. 91).

07 November 2012

Delivered - Colossians 1:13-14

    He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
(Colossians 1:13-14 ESV)



05 November 2012

Faith Through Prayer - Mark 9:14-29

    And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
    (Mark 9:14-29 ESV)

04 November 2012

Creedal Imperative: "No Creed but the Bible"

Trueman on his latest...

Get Out and Worship Today

Nothing makes God more supreme and more central than when a people are utterly persuaded that nothing – not money or prestige or leisure or family or job or health or sports or toys or friends – is going to bring satisfaction to their aching hearts besides God. This conviction breeds a people who passionately long for God on Sunday morning. They are not confused about why they are here. They do not see songs and prayers and sermons as mere traditions or mere duties. They see them as means of getting to God or God getting to them for more of His fullness. 
John Piper 
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, Bethlehem Baptist Church, 2002, p. 239.

Get out and worship today!

02 November 2012

Gifts & Graces - Colossians 1:9-12

    And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
    (Colossians 1:9-12 ESV)