Boldly Dare all Things by the Word of God

johncalvin_full“Let the pastors boldly dare all things by the word of God… Let them constrain all the power, glory, and excellence of the world to give place to and to obey the divine majesty of this word. Let them enjoin everyone by it, from the highest to the lowest. Let them edify the body of Christ. Let them devastate Satan’s reign. Let them pasture the sheep, kill the wolves, instruct and exhort the rebellious. Let them bind and loose thunder and lightning, if necessary, but let them do all according to the word of God”

(John Calvin, Sermons on the Epistle to the Ephesians).

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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A little of this and a little of that

Lets get right to it.

Dear friends of ours lost their long time dog (16 years) yesterday, he was an awesome dog, the most gentle big black dog there ever was!

Here’s Maxx and I enjoying a meal together.

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Speaking of our friends, Today is Lisa Vallee’s Birthday!

Say CHEEEEEEES Lisa!

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92-year-old robbed and gives the gospel.

Pauline Jacobi 92-year-old grandmother shows no fear when she tells the man, “As quick as you hurt me, I’ll go to heaven and you’ll go to hell.” As he listens to her witness God’s forgiveness to him, tears begin to roll down his face. Her story is an amazing message on the power of your faith.

HT: David Murray

One of the best sermons I listened to in 2014. In this sermon, primarily from the Gospel of John, Kevin DeYoung argues that Scripture’s inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency provides a foundation for both the truth of the gospel and our confidence in evangelism.

Never Spoke a Man Like This Before | Kevin DeYoung T4G 2014 Sermon

John MacArthur on studying and preaching the Word of God. “We are waiters, not chefs. We don’t cook the meal. We get it to the table without messing it up.”

Christians and Social Media

“Studies have shown that overuse or wrong motives in social media participation can breed narcissism. When we rely on social media sites primarily to promote ourselves or draw attention to ourselves, it is time to take a step back. On the other hand, there are definitely positive aspects of social networking. For the Christian, social media sites can be an enormously productive mission field. Reconnecting with old friends and increasing our sphere of influence can lead to evangelistic opportunities unavailable elsewhere. Social media allows us to reenter the daily lives of people we may have lost contact with and open up new avenues for sharing Christ. As such, we can influence the views of others by what we post, bringing encouragement and spiritual guidance to others and using friends lists or Facebook status updates to pray regularly for friends and their needs”.

~Author Unknown

 

Finally this from Don Fortner.

“Faith in Christ is not the cause of the new birth, but the result”. 

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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The Work of Grace

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

200604_120_art_ryleThe workings of grace in the heart are utterly mysterious and unsearchable.

We cannot explain why the Word produces effects on one person in a congregation, and not upon another.

We cannot explain why, in some cases; with every possible advantage, and in spite of every entreaty; people reject the Word, and continue dead in trespasses and sins.

We cannot explain why in other cases; with every possible difficulty, and with no encouragement;people are born again, and become decided Christians.

electing graceWe cannot define the manner in which the Spirit of God conveys life to a soul, and the exact process by which a believer receives a new nature.

All these are hidden things to us.

We see certain results, but we can go no further.

This is deeply instructive. It is humbling no doubt to ministers, and teachers of others. The highest abilities, the most powerful preaching, the most diligent working, cannot command success.

God alone can give spiritual life.

But it is a truth at the same time, which supplies an admirable antidote to excessive anxiety and despondency. Our principal work is to sow the seed. That done, we may wait with faith and patience for
the result. We may leave our work with the Lord. He alone can, if He thinks fit, give success. (The workings of grace in the heart by J. C. Ryle) HT: Grace Gems

God alone can give spiritual life.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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What Does the Bible say about Romans 8:28?

I often hear people quote Romans 8:28 and want to ask them, do you really know what it means?

It’s not just a flippant verse to throw at somebody and say “God says all things work together for good”.

You know, if things don’t go the way you’ve planned or you just lost your job, or maybe loved ones that have died of cancer, as in my life, we sometimes hear these words, “All things work together for good ”.

The bible doesn’t say that at all.

What does the bible say?

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

There are a few things we can learn about this verse.

  1. We can’t divorce verse 28 from the following verses. Romans 8:29-31.
  2. All things work together for good to those who love God.
  3. To those who are called according to His purpose.

Who’s the “We”?

In Romans 8:28, it says “and we know”.

We who?

What do we know?

Look at Romans 8:29-30.

Romans 8-28-30For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. Romans 8:29-30

The “for those “ are the “We”.

It says in Romans 8:29-30, for those…

  • He foreknew,
  • He predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son,
  • He also called; and these whom He called,
  • He also justified; and these whom He justified,
  • He also glorified

What do we know?

5 things for sure!

  1. We know that He foreknew us before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4
  2. We know that He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:5
  3. We know that He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 2 Timothy 1:9
  4. We know having now been justified by His blood; we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Romans 5:9
  5. We know this very thing that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus and we will be made into the image of Christ. Philippians 1:6, Philippians 3:21

PredestinationAfter knowing what we know now, we can now say with confidence and clarity that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. The “those” who love God are the ones Foreknown, Predestined, Called, Justified and Glorified.

Because we’re chosen by grace through faith in Christ and redeemed by His blood, we now walk by faith in the One who saved us. So while we are passing through this world, experiencing the “All Things”, knowing they are working together by God’s Sovereignty and His holy providence for the good of those who love and belong to Him.

I know one thing, He never promises us a rose garden in this world, but He will help us tip toe through the tulips. Even though we will suffer hardships,  He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. 2 Timothy 2:3. Hebrews 13:5.

When we are going through some pain in our lives, some trial or heartache, know that our Father the sovereign God of the universe is in control of all things, causing it to work for our good.

You see? All things are done according to His purpose, “All Things”.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? Romans 8:31

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.1 Peter 5:10.

Right now we experience pain, suffering, persecution, troubles and trials, but soon, God ultimately and certainly brings us to glory, where all our tears will be wiped away, there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain. Revelation 21:4

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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God said “come let Us”

They said “Come, let us”

God said “come let Us

I have never put that all together until I read it this last time in Genesis 11:1-9 while starting my reading through the bible this year.

sinIt’s just after the flood and God has wiped out the entire world with a massive deluge of water except for 8 people because of sin. Then God said after the flood in Genesis 8:21 “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. So we learn something here, that The intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth even after the flood and God knowing how sinful mankind would be, he would never flood the world again. 2 Peter 3:3-10 tells of a future destruction.

In Genesis 9:1 God said “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. and again in Genesis 9:7 “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” God calls them to scatter and populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.

Simple, obey God, make babies and fill the earth again. No, remember for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth?

They had other things in mind, look at Genesis 11:1-9

Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. 2 It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. 4 They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

They, with their leader Nimrod Genesis 10:8-14 whose name means rebel wanted to build a name for themselves. Instead of obeying God, instead of glorifying God in all they do. They wanted to build a temple as close to heaven as possible by humans effort so a deity could come down, like our God needs help ( James Boice has a fascinating section on this in his commentary on Genesis 1-11).

PrideThe Lord doesn’t need a temple to come down Genesis 11:5. This is human pride, the incubator of all sin. This is what caused Satan to fall Isaiah 14:12-14 and our core sin, pride. They said let us make for ourselves a name. This is the world talking, you can be all you can, just do it! They wanted fame, they wanted to rise to the top. It could be even the church who wants the world and Jesus too! Isn’t all this human effort and building a name for ourselves exactly what we were doing before we were saved by God?

Just like cattle, God had to corral them in.

5 The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

The Lord came down and said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.  This needed more looking into, what does this really mean that nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. This is really a negative statement by God, not that they can do anything and nothing would be impossible for them. Literally what it means is if left untouched by God, they would be as sinful as they were before the flood. God needs to corral them in, and He does just that.

dirty-hands-holding-the-worldLook at verse 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” First of all something should pop out right away as in let Us, who? Us, that’s a capital “U” just like in Genesis 1:26 the first sign of the blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then He confuses their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech. Like babbling idiots. Bottom line, they can’t work together anymore, they couldn’t understand each other. Then God did what He wanted them to do in the first place He scattered them verse 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. God not only divided them by language, but also throughout the whole face of the earth. They wanted to make a name for themselves and ended up not being able to say anyones name.

So what do we learn and how does it relate to us?

  1. It explains to us the different languages and races of the world.
  2. When people rebel and do things and try to supply their own needs without God, it show their sinfulness.
  3. It show us the urgency to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to the unbeliever.
  4. That God opposes the proud, and gives grace to the humble.
  5. God is sovereign in all things and nobody can come in the way of His plans.

1 Thus says the Lord,
“Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.
Where then is a house you could build for Me?
And where is a place that I may rest?
2 “For My hand made all these things,
Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord.
“But to this one I will look,
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. Isaiah 66:1-2

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year 2015,

I‘m frequently asked from some of my church family and others where I have been, and if I’m going to start posting again on The Bible Christian? I was away for what I thought was going to be just 3 months but ended up being the rest of 2014, my last post was on May 20th 2014. The reason I took a break back in May was to read, and I did just that. I read through John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (Battles Translation, 2 Volumes) with my dear friend and brother in Christ, Matt. We would read a section at a time and talk about what we just read. Calvin was very skillful at times and just blew us away with his exegesis of the scriptures. I’ll have my brief thoughts on the institutes from Calvin later this week.
SeekingBiblical

I read through the bible again in 2014, but took the Chronological approach this year which takes into account the order in which the events in the bible actually occurred, which was an awesome experience. In between reading the Institutes and the Bible I read a bunch of other smaller books that I wanted to read and what a blessing they were. I also continued to teach the book of Romans in Sunday School as we are in our 3rd year and in Chapter 14. As you can see I just couldn’t find time to post, I’m not that good or smart enough to handled all the reading, teaching and posting at the same time. Something had to go.

So on to the New Year!

FIREinThe New Year for me brings a new mind-set. This past year I think I have been a little less aggressive with my stance on TRUTH, the truth that is found only in God’s word. The apostle Paul said to Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13. There were times this year that I failed to do just that for the sake of unity, and that stops today. Paul said to Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 I want to go back to being An Unashamed Workman, no matter the consequences I face.

I want to go back to having FIRE IN MY BONES!

But if I say, “I will not remember Him
Or speak anymore in His name,”
Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
And I am weary of holding it in,
And I cannot endure it. Jeremiah 20:9

Today starts my truth walk, I want to be on the alert, standing firm in my faith, acting like a man of God He calls me to be, standing strong for truth. I want to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone who will listen, I want to walk worthy of that gospel and I want to do it with humility and grace but with TRUTH. Speaking the truth with love, all on His strength and by His grace.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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A Worldly Christianity?

Octavious_Winslow“Do not be conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2

Professor of the gospel! guard against the world; it
is your undoing! Watch against conformity to it . . .

in your dress,
in your mode of living,
in the education of your children,
in the principles, motives, and policy that govern you.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by . . .
any known inconsistency of conduct,
any sinful conformity to the world,
any inordinate pursuit of . . .
its wealth,
its honors,
its pleasures,
its friendships, and
its great things.

Pray against the sin of covetousness, that canker worm that feeds at the root of so many souls!

Pray against the love of dress, that sin that diverts the mind of so many professors from the simplicity of Christ, and takes the eye off from the true adornment!

Pray against a thirst for light and trifling reading, that strange and sinful inconsistency of so many, the certain tendency of which is to starve the life of God in the soul, to engender a distaste for spiritual nourishment, for the Word of God, for holy meditation, and for Divine communion and fellowship. Yes, pray against the spirit of worldly, sinful conformity in everything!

worldwebReader! are you a professing Christian? Then guard against a worldly Christianity—a Christianity that wears a fair exterior, so far as it is composed of church attendance, but which excludes from it the cross of the meek and lowly Lamb of God—a Christianity which loves the world and the things of the world, “makes a fair show in the flesh,” speaks well of Christ, and yet betrays Him with a kiss. Oh, awful state! oh, fearful deception! oh, fatal delusion!

The world is the sworn enemy of your Savior; let it not be your friend. No; come out of it, and be separate.

(Octavius Winslow, “Morning Thoughts”) HT: Grace Gems

Bible-WhiteBackground.jpegYou adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

but be transformed by the renewing of your mind

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Digital Discernment

Narcissism

I recently had a discussion with a friend about Facebook and why I’m not on it. Before I go any further I must admit that I sometimes will go on my wifes page to see what all the fuss is about. I think Facebook and all the other social media can be a great way to connect with relatives out-of-town to catch up with each other or any organization trying to unite people, but still I can’t bring myself to the self-promotion, self-pity and look at what I’m doing today way of life.

I believe if you are a Christian you are doing one of two thing on social media.

  1. Glorifying SELF!
  2. Glorifying God and Jesus Christ as Lord!

The following is from Pulpit Post and John MacArthur

Dr. John MacArthurIf there is one word that perhaps best describes social media it is this: self-promotion… When so much about social media panders to pride and shameless self-exaltation, believers need to think about their motives before they jump on the bandwagon. If the goal is simply popularity or personal promotion, it’s time to do a heart check. Our celebrity-driven culture craves for notoriety. But Christians are called to be different. We have died to ourselves. Thus, our concern should not be, “How many people can I get to follow me?” but rather, “How can I bear witness to the wonder of following Christ?”

[With all its benefits] social networking can also be abused. When it consists of nothing more than random babblings and personal monologues, it can become self-centered, unrestrained and narcissistic. When it consumes our lives, it can be addictive and controlling. Used unwisely, it is filled with potential pitfalls and temptations. For those who follow Christ, we are called to submit every area of our lives to His lordship – including how we use social media.

As believers, the command of Ephesians 5:15-16 is just as binding upon our modern lives as it was in the non-technological world of the first century. “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Paul’s exhortation has massive implications for how we interact with social media. One day we will stand before Christ to give an account for how we used His resources (including our time and energy). With that in mind, how much of this life can be justifiably devoted to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the like? Just a few hours each day, over the course of a lifetime, adds up to years of wasted opportunity.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

“Thus, our concern should not be,
How many people can I get to follow or friend me?”

BUT,

 “How can I bear witness to
the wonder of following Christ?”

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Mary’s Deep Humility

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.”
Luke 1:46-48

babyinthearmsMark Mary’s deep humility. She who was chosen of God to the high honor of being Messiah’s mother, speaks of her own “humble state,” and acknowledges her need of a “Savior.”

She does not let fall a word to show that she regarded herself as a sinless, “immaculate” person. On the contrary, she uses the language of one who has been taught by the grace of God to feel her own sins, and so far from being able to save others, requires a Savior for her own soul. We may safely affirm that none would be more forward to reprove the honor paid by the Romish Church to the Virgin Mary, than the Virgin Mary herself.

Let us copy this holy humility of our Lord’s mother, while we steadfastly refuse to regard her as a mediator, or to pray to her. Like her, let us be lowly in our own eyes, and think little of ourselves.

Humility is the highest grace that can adorn the Christian character. It is a true saying of an old divine, that “a man has just so much Christianity as he has humility.”

200604_120_art_ryleHumility is the grace, which of all is most suited to human nature.

Above all, humility is the grace which is within the reach of every converted person.

All are not rich.

All are not learned.

All are not highly gifted.

All are not preachers.

But all children of God may be clothed with humility.

(J. C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Luke” 1858)

Humility is the highest grace that
can adorn the Christian character

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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The Love of the World

“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me.” Matthew 15:8

How many, O how many of those who sit  in our chapels amid the people of God are  perishing in their sins with . . .

  • the Bible and hymn-book before their eyes,

  • the sound of the gospel in their ears,

  • the doctrines of grace on their lips,

Earth Heart

 

  • but the love of the world in their hearts!

“Don’t love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him.” 1 John 2:15

(Philpot, “Contemplations & Reflections”) HT: Grace Gems

Draw near to God with all your hearts!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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