Monthly Archives: September 2008

Are You Serious!?

Our whole habits of thought, feeling,
speaking, and doing, too much resemble
the flippancies of a heedless, lighthearted
world, whose maxim is, “let us eat, drink,
and be merry.” (by Horatius Bonar)

“And you yourself must be an example to
them by doing good deeds of every kind.
Let everything you do reflect the integrity
and seriousness of your teaching.” Titus 2:7

And we also read.

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

God Said “Vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord” Ezekiel 36:23

Jesus told us to be Salt and Light. Matthew 5:13,14 Who are you influencing and impacting for Christ which Glorifies of God.

Romans 11:36

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Right and Almost Right

There is theology and doctrine out there in Christianity that can be considered almost right,  For me that’s not good enough. I see people following Pastors and Church leaders who give us almost the whole truth, who clearly do not study God’s word or have forgotten how and why. They pick out scripture and take it out of context just to prove their point or their cause. We need discernment, we need to say, “That doesn’t line up with what God’s word says”, or “That’s taken out of context”.  We need to be like the Bereans who received the word of God from The Apostle Paul and went home to examine for themselves whether it was so. Acts 17:11.

We are so afraid to say to them, “That’s not right”, or even the big “W” word, “I think you’re WRONG!!”  There, I said it. (Of course the Matthew 18 principle should be followed, going to the person in private at first, also making sure you have specific Biblical backing for your position) I‘m not saying to pick on every word they say.   But if we do, we must say it with compassion and grace. I personally can’t allow God’s word to be minimized or misquoted or misused.

They’re many people who have gone astray, they have left Historical Christianity Jeremiah 6:16 for programs and methods and 40 days of this, and 50 days to that, 12 steps for this or 7 points to that. Somebody please tell me, what happens on day 41? Answer – it comes with its own expiration date or the 12 step plan that leads to a closed door. Those studies were fine if scripture wasn’t taken out of context to prove the writers point.

They will have to explain themselves to Christ, as will I for our motives and intention 2 Corinthians 5:10. We don’t need these methods or programs. We, as church leaders need to study God’s word diligently as a workman 2Timothy 2:15. Then we need to open the bible and tell our people what it means.Nehemiah 8:5-8 We need discernment.

Charles Spurgeon said this, “Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather, it is the difference between right and almost right.” We have a lot of almost rights out there and a lot of wrongs out there and some great bible teachers.  How do we discern which is good or bad?

God’s word gives us all that we need for life and all it’s issues 2 Peter 1:3 Discernment can be attained through the true knowledge of Him. It’s by the written word of God that we grasp the true knowledge of Him and 2 Peter 1:4 says God grants to us His precious and magnificent promises. God provides this discernment for us, we need to take it and meditate on it as the Psalmist says.

Psalm 1:1-2 1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,  Nor stand in the path of sinners,  Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,  And in His law he meditates day and night.

In 1 John 2:14, John writes to the young men, you are strong and the word of God abides in you. They are strong against sin and the evil ways of the world, giving them victory over the evil one.

What happens if we don’t have discernment? Ephesians 4:14 We are at risk of being “tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine.”

Finally, look at the reaction of the people when they understood the word of God that Ezra was reading and explaining to them Nehemiah 8:12. Let’s be a discerner and a Berean and have the same joy these people had in knowing the true knowledge of Him. We will be approved by God as a workman, not needing to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15. It’s hard work to be a discerner. but with the help of the Holy Spirit and keeping your face in the bible, you can be a discerner for God and His word by Contending for The Faith.  Jude 3

Romans 11:36

Contending for The Faith
Grace and Peace to you

in Him with love
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A little of this and a little of that

Thought I would do something different today, here are some Magazine articles, Sermons, web-sites and thoughts from other people I’ve read through out the week enjoy!!

Magazine Featuring Female Pastors Pulled From Shelves, ‘Treated Like Pornography’

Now in contemporary Christianity we have the Green Bible and here is a great commentary from Albert Mohler on a christian view of the Economic Crisis

This web-site the library thing very interesting check it out if you are a avid reader

and this one the Christian Hall of fame and I would recommend to everyone to read this sermon from George Whitfield the method of Grace was most edifying to read over and over and this one by John MacArthur Hacking Agag to Pieces have read now 4 times and every time is better than the last.

Finally this from Kurt Cameron, you ladies will find this romantic.

Well, I have read a lot more this past week, but this will do for today have a wonderful day  Lenny

Romans 11:36

Contending for The Faith
Grace and Peace to you

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Regeneration

When a man is converted to God, it is done in a moment.

Regeneration is an instantaneous work.

Conversion to God, the fruit of regeneration, occupies all
our life, but regeneration itself is effected in an instant.

A man hates God– the Holy Spirit makes him love God.

A man is opposed to Christ, he hates his gospel, does not
understand it and will not receive it– the Holy Spirit comes,
puts light into his darkened understanding, takes the chain
from his bondaged will, gives liberty to his conscience, gives
life to his dead soul, so that the voice of conscience is heard,
and the man becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus.

And all this is done, mark you, by the instantaneous
supernatural influence of God the Holy Spirit working
as he wills among the sons of men.

Spurgeon’s, “THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”

I love what Spurgeon wrote here and I wanted to add one of the clearest verses and one of my favorite verse in the OT that first of all says, its all God, God said I will, I will and I will and again I Will. God starts salvation  and it’s INSTANTANEOUS!!!

Thank you Lord for calling and choosing and saving me, a great Sinner!!

Ezekial 36:26-27

26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Romans 11:36

Contending for The Faith
Grace and Peace to you

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Saved? From What?

John MacArthur07Photo John MacArthur

Whenever I have preached through the story of Jesus’ birth, I am struck with the simplicity and profundity of the Christian gospel. You can see it from the very beginning. It’s right there in what the angel said to Joseph, “You shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

When the Father gave the incarnate Son a name, He proclaimed His rescue mission in no uncertain terms. Jesus, the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Joshua, means “Savior.” Now, “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the Savior-that’s been the joyful news from the start.

But you might ask the question: “A Savior to save us from what?” That’s certainly a fair question. The word savior implies that we need to be saved from something. Saved is a synonym for rescued or delivered. It implies there’s some kind of threatening condition, a dangerous, desperate, or deadly condition from which we need to be rescued. The question is, from what?

If you listen to the way some preachers speak about the gospel, quite frankly, the condition of unbelief doesn’t sound so grave. You get the idea that humanity mainly needs to be rescued from its lack of fulfillment. Maybe your marriage hasn’t worked out according to plan; or your child isn’t turning out to be tomorrow’s Copernicus or Einstein; or your dream career has turned out to be a dead end. You understand. You look at the travel brochures; you really want a month in Europe, but you end up with a three-day trip to see the in-laws. Life just doesn’t deliver.

According to the gospel some are preaching, Jesus will take care of all that. Jesus will fix your marriage; He’ll help you raise confident kids, brimming with self-esteem; He’ll help you climb that corporate ladder or breathe new life into your business. The only danger from which you need salvation is the shattering of all your dreams. Everything you’ve longed for has turned out to be a nightmare, and that’s the way it’s going to end. But Jesus will take care of it-He’ll rescue you from your unfulfilled life.

I’ve also heard people presenting the gospel as if the great hope of salvation is relief from debilitating habits. Jesus has come to enable you to get control of your life. He’s the step stool, the boost you need to get out of the hole you’ve fallen into. That salvation is especially attractive to a society like ours that is overcome by lust and passion. Many are enslaved by sinful habits: drinking, smoking, pornography, even overeating. Obesity is on the rise in many countries-in America it’s almost epidemic. Angry outbursts and uncontrolled tempers destroy homes and relationships. Sexual sin, both homosexual and heterosexual, plagues the entire world-AIDS ravishes entire continents. But Jesus will come along and fix all that. He’ll pluck you out of the flood of dissipation by saving you from your drives and desires so you won’t destroy your life.

Will the gospel deliver you from an unfulfilled life? From enslavement to debilitating habits? Absolutely, but that needs to be qualified. There is a sense in which the gospel secondarily makes an application to those things. When you are genuinely converted, you belong to God and the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart. You do have a new reason to live; you have the hope of eternal life and the promise of heaven. That has a dramatic effect on the lack of fulfillment in life. And when you experience the power of the Holy Spirit to change you, you’ll see victory over the debilitating habits and passions that your sinful nature generates. That’s all true. But those are not the primary issues in salvation.

Finding fulfillment and overcoming bad habits cannot be the most important concerns of the gospel. Why not? Because not everybody in the world is unfulfilled. In fact, I think this idea of lacking fulfillment is a byproduct of our western culture. Throughout the world, there are many who live expecting very little out of life. They don’t experience a lack of fulfillment-there’s nothing to fulfill. On the other hand, many people are very content with their present condition. They’ve got all the wine, women, and song money can buy. And not everyone is driven to a point of desperation and disaster by their passions either. There are people who have a certain measure of self-control. So those things cannot be the universal problem.

The real problem is sin and guilt. That’s the issue. God sent Jesus Christ to rescue us from the consequence of our sin, and everybody falls into the category of sinner. It doesn’t matter whether you’re among the haves or the have-nots, whether you have great expectations or none at all, whether you’re consumed by your passions or exhibit a degree of self-control and discipline-you are still a sinner. You have broken the law of God and He’s angry about it. Unless something happens to change your condition, you’re on your way to eternal hell. You need to be rescued from the consequences of your sin. Those are the principal issues the gospel solves.

The truth is, even when you are delivered from the ultimate danger of God’s wrath against sin, you might never realize your dreams. When you come to Christ, the Lord realigns your thinking so that all you ever wanted, all you used to strive for, you count as loss, waste, garbage (cf. Paul in Phil. 3:4-8). Coming to Christ means the end of you. Also, though you’ll experience the power of the Holy Spirit to gain victory over sin, you may never attain total dominance over your drives and passions this side of heaven. Like Paul, you will strive with sin to your dying day (cf. Rom. 7:13-25). Issues of fulfillment and sinful passions will be dealt with, in the Lord’s time and in the Lord’s way. So if you’ve come to Christ primarily to find fulfillment or to escape from bad habits, Jesus may not be what you’re looking for.

The church needs to get back to remembering that God sent His Son into the world to save His people from their sins. A proper presentation of the gospel should focus on that. The angel told Joseph: “He is the one who will save His people from their sins. That is why you must name Him Jesus.” Humanity’s real destroyer is sin, and the guilt for sin is a real guilt, a God-imposed guilt that damns to eternal hell. That is why people need to be saved, rescued, and delivered. That is what people must understand in the gospel, and that is what we must proclaim.

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COPYRIGHT ©2008 Grace to You

You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commerical purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/MeetGTY/Copyright).

Romans 11:36

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in Him with love
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Make it a Double Espresso Latte

Revelation 22:10-21

Romans 11:36

Contending for The Faith
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A 12 Point Cure for Complaining

Complaining is unbecoming of the true Christian and yet we are proficient at it. The cure is found in these verses. In Christ we are never hopeless or forsaken. Every trial has meaning. Meditate on this cure in order to change both your language and your heart.

1. GOD COMMANDS ME NEVER TO COMPLAIN.

Do all things without complaining and disputing. Philippians 2:14(NAS)

2. GOD COMMANDS ME TO GIVE THANKS IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE.

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

3. GOD COMMANDS ME TO REJOICE ALWAYS, AND ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF TRIAL.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Phil. 4:4; Rejoice always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Count it all joy when you fall into various trials. James 1:2

4. I ALWAYS DESERVE MUCH WORSE THAN WHAT I AM SUFFERING NOW—IN FACT, I DESERVE HELL.

Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Lamentations 3:39 Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:2-3

5. IN LIGHT OF THE ETERNAL HAPPINESS AND GLORY THAT I WILL EXPERIENCE IN HEAVEN, THIS PRESENT TRIAL IS EXTREMELY BRIEF AND INSIGNIFICANT, EVEN IF IT WERE TO LAST A LIFETIME.

The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18; For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:19

6. MY SUFFERING IS FAR LESS THAN THAT WHICH CHRIST SUFFERED, AND HE DID NOT COMPLAIN.

Who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. 1 Peter 2:23

7. TO COMPLAIN IS TO SAY GOD IS NOT JUST.

Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? Genesis 18:25

8. FAITH AND PRAYER EXCLUDE COMPLAINING.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

9. THIS DIFFICULTY IS BEING USED BY GOD FOR MY GOOD AND IT IS FOOLISH FOR ME TO COMPLAIN AGAINST IT.

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

10. THOSE MORE FAITHFUL THAN I HAVE SUFFERED FAR WORSE THAN I, AND DID SO WITHOUT COMPLAINT.

…and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. All these, having gained approval through their faith… Hebrews 11:35-39

11. COMPLAINING DENIES THAT GOD’S GRACE IS ENTIRELY SUFFICIENT.

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

12. THE GREATEST SUFFERING, THE WORST TRIAL OR DIFFICULTY, CAN NEVER ROB ME OF THAT WHICH IS OF GREATEST VALUE TO ME AND MY GREATEST JOY, NAMELY THE LOVE OF CHRIST.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
____________________________

Copyright © 2001 Bill Izard. Adapted from the original publication. Distributed by Christian Communicators Worldwide, 201 Main, Parkville, MO 64152. Permission granted for non-profit duplication. All other uses require written permission.

Romans 11:36

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In Honor of Tethered Preaching

John Calvin and the Entertaining Pastor
By John Piper September 17, 2008

The Bible tethers us to reality. We are not free to think and speak whatever might enter our minds or what might be pleasing to any given audience—except God.

By personal calling and Scripture, I am bound to the word of God and to the preaching of what the Bible says. There are few things that burden me more or refresh me more than saying what I see in the Bible. I love to see what God says in the Bible. I love to savor it. And I love to say it.

I believe with all my heart that this is the way God has appointed for me not to waste my life. His word is true. The Bible is the only completely true book in the world. It is inspired by God. Rightly understood and followed, it will lead us to everlasting joy with him. There is no greater book or greater truth.

The implications of this for preaching are immense. John Calvin, with the other Reformers, rescued the Scriptures from their subordination to tradition in the medieval church. The Reformation, let us thank God, was the recovery of the unique and supreme authority of Scripture over church authority.

Commenting on John 17:20, Calvin wrote,

Woe to the Papists who have no other rule of faith than the tradition of the Church. As for us, let us remember that the Son of God, who alone can and ought to pronounce in this matter, approves of no other faith but that which comes from the doctrine of the Apostles, of which we find no certain testimony except in their writings.  (Commentary on John)

Calvin’s preaching inspires me to press on with this great and glorious task of heralding the word of God. I feel what he says when he writes to Cardinal Sadoleto:

O Lord, you have enlightened me with the brightness of your Spirit. You have put your Word as a lamp to my feet. The clouds which before now veiled your glory have been dispelled by it, and the blessings of your Anointed have shone clearly upon my eyes. What I have learnt from your mouth (that is to say, from your Word) I will distribute faithfully to your church. (“Letter to Cardinal Jacopo Sadoleto,” quoted in J. H. Merle D’Augigne, Let Christ Be Magnified, Banner of Truth, 2007, p. 13).

For Calvin, preaching was tethered to the Bible. That is why he preached through books of the Bible so relentlessly. In honor of tethered preaching, I would like to suggest the difference I hear between preaching tethered to the word of God and preaching that ranges free and leans toward entertainment.

The difference between an entertainment-oriented preacher and a Bible-oriented preacher is the manifest connection of the preacher’s words to the Bible as what authorizes what he says.

The entertainment-oriented preacher gives the impression that he is not tethered to an authoritative book in what he says. What he says doesn’t seem to be shaped and constrained by an authority outside himself. He gives the impression that what he says has significance for reasons other than that it manifestly expresses the meaning and significance of the Bible. So he seems untethered to objective authority.

The entertainment-oriented preacher seems to be at ease talking about many things that are not drawn out of the Bible. In his message, he seems to enjoy more talking about other things than what the Bible teaches. His words seem to have a self-standing worth as interesting or fun. They are entertaining. But they don’t give the impression that this man stands as the representative of God before God’s people to deliver God’s message.

The Bible-oriented preacher, on the other hand, does see himself that way—“I am God’s representative sent to God’s people to deliver a message from God.” He knows that the only way a man can dare to assume such a position is with a trembling sense of unworthy servanthood under the authority of the Bible. He knows that the only way he can deliver God’s message to God’s people is by rooting it in and saturating it with God’s own revelation in the Bible.

The Bible-oriented preacher wants the congregation to know that his words, if they have any abiding worth, are in accord with God’s words. He wants this to be obvious to them. That is part of his humility and his authority. Therefore, he constantly tries to show the people that his ideas are coming from the Bible. He is hesitant to go too far toward points that are not demonstrable from the Bible.

His stories and illustrations are constrained and reined in by his hesitancy to lead the consciousness of his hearers away from the sense that this message is based on and expressive of what the Bible says. A sense of submission to the Bible and a sense that the Bible alone has words of true and lasting significance for our people mark the Bible-oriented preacher, but not the entertainment-oriented preacher.

People leave the preaching of the Bible-oriented preacher with a sense that the Bible is supremely authoritative and important and wonderfully good news. They feel less entertained than struck at the greatness of God and the weighty power of his word.

Lord, tether us to your mighty word. Cause me and all preachers to show the people that our word is powerless and insignificant in comparison with yours. Grant us to stand before our people as messengers sent with God’s message to God’s people in God’s name by God’s Spirit. Grant us to tremble at this responsibility. Protect us from trifling with this holy moment before your people.

Pastor John

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org

Romans 11:36

Contending for The Faith
Grace and Peace to you

in Him with love
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A Conversation with John Piper and John MacArthur

They both give God the glory and praise Him for His mercy and grace.

Preach the Word until the very end.   John MacArthur

Open the Bible and tell them what it means,   John Piper

Check out the video below.

Romans 11:36

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Exclusive Attachment

Christian & Missionary Alliance Pastor A.W.Tozer

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Now I go on to an exclusive attachment. Our attachment to the Person of Christ must exclude all that is contrary to Christ. These are the days when we are trying to be 100 percent positive. But the Scripture says of Jesus, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness” (Psalm 45:7). That was said of the very Holy Christ Himself, who is higher than the highest heavens and separate from sinners. If He had to hate in order to love, so do you and I. To be 100 percent positive would be as fatal as to inhale steadily all your life without exhaling. You can’t do that.

The human body requires that you inhale to get oxygen and exhale to get rid of the poison. And so the Church of Christ has to inhale and exhale. When she inhales she must exhale. When the Church inhales the Holy Spirit she must exhale everything that is contrary to Him.

I don’t believe any man can love until he’s able to hate. I don’t think that any man can love God unless he hates the devil. I don’t think he can love righteousness unless he hates sin; for the Scripture leaves us with the belief that in order to accept there are some things you must reject. In order to affirm there are things you have to deny; in order to say yes you have to be able to say no.

For my part I have long ago come to the conclusion that I can’t get along with everybody. In an effort to please everybody you will succeed in pleasing nobody. I don’t want a watered-down Christianity. I want to be able to say no. I say no to the devil and no to Kruschev [leader of the Soviet Union at the time this was written] and no to the Pope and no to everybody who has anything to say that’s contrary to the Lord. I adore Him and I am attached to Him With an intellectual attachment that is theological and with a volitional attachment that is final and with an exclusive attachment that would exclude everything that’s contrary to Christ. (A Call To Radical Faith)

Amen Mr Tozer Amen

Romans 11:36

Contending for The Faith
Grace and Peace to you

in Him with love
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