Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sound Doctrine

2 Timothy 1:13-14 Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

The Christian doctrine is a trust committed to us….It is committed to us to be preserved pure and entire, and to be transmitted to those who shall come after us, and we must keep it, and not contribute any thing to the corrupting of its purity, the weakening of its power, or the diminishing of its perfection (Matthew Henry)

John MacArthur writes: Christian colleges, seminaries, pastors, and other church leaders who deviate from Scripture, defecting to “a different gospel” and wanting “to distort the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7), will face a dreadful day of reckoning before God. When a church or any other Christian organization becomes liberal, not surprisingly this “drift” usually begins with a weakening of the convictions of the leadership regarding the inerrancy and sufficiency of the Word of God.


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What I Learned In Church Yesterday

Before I get to the Romans Study… One of our Elders had a chance to preach… He preached on forgiveness and it was really good and really “Convicting”

Forgiven People Forgive !

Now off to Romans, while we continue to study this wonderful book… We learned that the problem doesn’t start with God… BUT with MAN! Romans 1:18 says For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, “For the wrath of God is revealed,” Revealed means literally to uncover and then to cause something before secret or unknown to become fully known or disclosed. The present tense indicates that God’s wrath is continually being revealed. You look through out the Old Testament and you see God’s wrath being revealed… It began in the garden when it took just one sin to sentence all people to death. Then came the flood where we see all humans as we know them parish except for eight… God’s wrath was revealed at Sodom and Gomorrah and so on. In the New Testament, I asked the class what was the greatest act of God’s wrath? Well it was Jesus Christ on the cross… God poured out His wrath on His sinless son and it pleased Him Isaiah 53:10.

The next question we needed to ask was… Where does the wrath come from? Heaven (ouranos) is the residence of God where the throne of God Matthew 5:34 And in Isaiah it’s described as a high and holy place Isaiah 57:15, and as God’s holy and glorious habitation Isaiah 63:15 We learned it’s against all ungodliness and unrighteousness… Against: literally means upon, which gives a picture of God’s fury coming down upon the heads of all the ungodly.

Dr MacArthur has a great comment on “all” from his Romans commentary “God’s wrath is universal, being discharged against all who deserve it. No amount of goodwill, giving to the poor, helpfulness to others, or even service to God can exclude a person from the all Paul mentions here…Obviously, some people are morally better than others, but even the most moral and upright person falls far short of God’s standard of perfect righteousness. No one escapes.”

I guess the obvious next question would be… What is Ungodliness literally means: want or lack of reverence or piety toward God, It’s a disregard of the existence of God, a refusal to retain Him in knowledge and a habit of mind that leads to open rebellion. It is a general reference to all that is anti-God. Look what Jude 14-18 says.

it was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” Jude 14-18

It’s the man or woman who is living without regard for God and in a way that denies His existence and right as Supreme Ruler and Authority. Titus 2:12 Paul will explain this in the coming verses in Romans. It’s so important to understand the message Paul is saying that we need to here the bad news first… But even in ungodliness “while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6

Unrighteousness describes those attitudes and actions which fall short of the perfect standard of right as required by the perfectly righteous God… John Piper gives an interesting thought on Unrighteousness

“Loving sin more than loving God and His truth. So you see that the issue of truth is an issue of the heart before it is an issue of the head. When the heart is in love with self-exaltation and independence and the pleasures of sin, the mind will inevitably distort the truth or suppress the truth in order to protect the idols of the heart. What is needed is not just new ideas or more information, but a new heart. And a new set of passions and desires and pleasures.” (The Wrath of God Against Holding Down the Truth)

So the ungodly suppress the truth, they literally hold it down and are deliberately restraining it… Paul is saying here that the ungodly prevent truth from achieving its greatest purpose of setting them free. Kennith Wuest writes that “The truth here is not the gospel, for all men do not possess a knowledge of it. The truth here is found in the context, the fact of a supreme Being with divine attributes to Whom worship and obedience are due, this truth being seen by all men through their observation of the created universe, the latter demanding a Creator to answer for its existence. The human race, possessing this truth, yet holds it down in the sense of refusing to acknowledge its moral implications, and goes on in its sin.”

Romans 5:12 tell us that we all have this ability to suppress the truth, Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned The disease of every man, a disease that must be recognized before seeking a cure. The bad news before the good news… God’s righteous judgment against sin is proclaimed before His gracious forgiveness of sin is offered. A person has no reason to seek salvation from sin if he does not know he is condemned by it. A person cannot appreciate God’s forgiveness until he knows about the eternal consequences of the sins that require a penalty and that those sins need forgiving. That is where the gospel begins.

Remember this, there is good news and the good news is Christ has taken the full fury of God’s wrath, if you’ll accept His gracious substitution for you.  2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

1 Thessalonians 1:9,10 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

That’s what I learned in church yesterday!


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What are you listening to?

When I saw this video posted at Challies I had to post it here… This happens to me all day long. People ask me What are you listening to? You see I have my IPhone playing all day long, some days for 12 hours. I can do this while working,  I’m out in the public all day long and I come in contact with on some days 100 or more people.

So here are some of my responses:

My first response under my breath was “Do you really want to go there?”

But now I just let it fly… I’m listening tooooo:

Institute of Christian Religion by John Calvin
The gospel of John
A sermon on The wrath of God by John MacArthur
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
A commentary on the book of Romans by Jim McClarity
Pilgrims Progress
Revelation
George Whitefield Method of Grace
Handels Messiah
Johann Sebastian Bach
The Holiness of God by RC Sproul
Critical Issues Commentary

The answers are different at any giving part of the day… Whats so cool about this is how people respond to my answers, I’ll get a plank stare or they’ll say OKAY!!! I’ll get who’s John Calvin or who’s John MacArthur… I read Pilgrims Progress when I was a kid… RC Who! When you tell them you’re listening to the Bible, some people just get tongue-tied… It’s so funny, but it has started many conversation and that’s the best part. On some occasions the door opens up for the gospel.

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A Teacher Of God’s Word

When I think about teaching as you might know by now… I always point to 2 Timothy 2:15 as my go to verse… Because you have to learn it before you can teach God’s word… But what about Teaching? Well  James 3:1 Says Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. What’s the worst thing we can do with our tongue? Misrepresent the word of God. Evidently there were people who were trying to teach that really had no business doing so. James felt it was a serious enough problem that he addressed it. One can only imagine that these people only had their own personal gain in view, maybe they had their own agenda or theology that they wanted to promote, leading to the word of God being Misrepresented… My desire would never to teach for my personal gainBut always to edify the brethren and to glorify God. So this bring me to the point I want to make.

Are their guidelines for teaching the word of God? I think there are, and I think you find some very important ones in Romans 12Paul is listing spiritual gifts that the believers have and in Romans 12:6-8 he talks about exercising them accordinglyIt says in Romans 12:7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; Didaskōn (teaches) refers to the act of teaching, and didaskalia (teaching) can refer to what is taught as well as to the act of teaching it. What I’m doing is passing on the truth of God’s word to the Saints at my church… Building them up. We have a very simple, short but powerful mission statement at our church WIN, BUILD and SEND… Teaching is the God-given ability to understand the principles and teachings of God’s Word and to clarify them to others while building them up, sending them out so God can use them in His sovereignty to win more to Christ.

The teachers job is to get the text right, accurately handling and understand the word of God 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. It means you study hard and long if that’s what it takes, “Study” is spoudazō  “to make haste, to exert one’s self, endeavor, give diligence.” I like Wuest’s translation of this verse Bend your every effort to present yourself to God, approved, a workman unashamed, expounding soundly the word of the truth. It also means you use the brains of other men if that’s what it takes… Spurgeon said “He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves that he has no brains of his own.”

Regarding our Lord, Dr. MacArthur writes “Jesus, of course, was both the supreme Preacher and supreme Teacher. Even after His resurrection, He continued to teach. When He joined the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, “beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.… And they said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’ ” (Luke 24:27, 32). Both diermēneuō (“explained,” v. 27) and dianoigō (“explaining,” lit.“opening up,” v. 32) are synonyms of didaskōn (teaches) and didaskalia (teaching) in Romans 12:7.”

The teacher opens up the text to them and explains what it means Maybe even sounding like you know what you’re talking about, that is speaking with authority because you’re confident you’ve done the hard work being approved to God, not being ashamed. Now lets look at Romans 12:11 Because I think it’s important… It says not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; We have a duty to the body of Christ to use our spiritual gifts and Teaching is one of them… so it says not lagging behind in diligence… Lagging means shrinking from or hesitating to engage in something worthwhile, possibly implying lack of ambition. Diligence means to do something hurriedly. It means to do something with intense effort and motivation… 2 Timothy 2:15  Teaching is worth doing with enthusiasm no room for lagging behind in diligence.

God rewards those who serve Him in this way Hebrews 6:10-12 Then it says in Romans 12:11 Be fervent in spirit… Fervent (zeo) means to be hot, Paul is saying literally “to boil in spirit.” “fervent” means “to be full of energy, to be on fire with zeal and enthusiasm.” So often people look at a teacher who is on fire, full of zeal and with much enthusiasm “negatively” They look at that fiery zeal and walk the other way, he pushes us to much or he’s closed-minded.  So comes our priority when we use our gift of teaching, serving the Lord Serving douleuo from doulos… Slave or one who is in bondage or bound to another, in the state of being completely controlled by someone or something, it also means to be in bondage or in the position of servant and to act accordingly, dutifully obeying the master’s commands. So when we teach, we teach to please God not man, no man can serve two masters Matthew 6:24. Paul said he was a slave to Christ Romans 1:1 But he also said he was striving according to His power Colossians 1:29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

I teach because God has given me that gift… I refuse to let this gift fall to the groundI refuse to let the word of God be muted or edited and I’m willing to take the consequences whether good or bad. Teachers we need to be:

  • diligent in our study and research
  • have a fervent on fire spirit for Him and His word
  • knowing we are serving our Lord for His glory

There are some characteristics of teaching I have learned through out the past 10 years that I would like to touch on, but I’ll wait until next time. I’ll leave you with this.

Paul loved his books and to study them… His urgent request was “Bring me my books” (2 Timothy 4:13)

I can say along with Paul, how I love my books

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Be A Man and Get Off Of Facebook

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

By the way feel free to click the share on Facebook below

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When God Abandons A Nation

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

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Being Rescued From The Wrath To Come

I wanted to continue from yesterdays What I Learned In Church Yesterday Post… The gospel without judgment, hell and the wrath of God is just news… But when we understand our sinfulness and what we’re saved from, the gospel is GOOD news. Look! you could tell the average unbeliever who has a perfect life with 2.5 kids, 2 cars, a wonderful job and a beautiful house that they need Christ and they’ll say OK! lets add Him… Then go on with their life as is, with no change, no all out for Christ and unlike Paul will never make Christ their Lord and Master Romans 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant (slave) of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

I remember when I really truly got saved… It was when I was confronted with how sinful I was and how Holy God is. I was immediately drawn to repentance which is not only doing a 180 towards God… But also includes turning from sin and idols that were controlling my life and serving the living and true God 1 Thessalonians 1:9 then look at 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

Wrath (Orge) My bible dictionaries tell me it conveys the picture of a swelling which eventually bursts, and thus describes an anger that proceeds from oneʼs settled nature. Orge does not refer to uncontrollable anger to which men are so prone but to God’s settled indignation and controlled passionate hostile feeling toward sin in all its various manifestations. Settled indignation means that Godʼs holiness cannot and will not coexist with sin in any form whatsoever. Godʼs settled opposition to and displeasure with sin… Godʼs wrath is his holy hatred of all that is unholy. It is His righteous indignation at everything that is unrighteous. It is the temper of God towards sin. It is not God’s uncontrollable rage, vindictive bitterness or a losing of His temper, but the wrath of righteous reason and holy law.

I said yesterday that I struggled all last week, saying to myself how am I going to teach WRATH to my class, but the bottom line is its in the bible and that’s enough for me. There is a serious failure to preach and teach the wrath of God and the condemnation it brings upon all with unforgiving sin. Instead we hear a sentimental gospel ( Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life) that is often presented in America today. This falls far short of the gospel that Jesus and Paul proclaimed.

The revelation of God’s righteousness in the gospel was necessary because of the failure of men to attain it without that revelation. Paul will explain how God’s Wrath is revealed in the verses that follow Romans 1:18 In those verses we will see that Paul pronounces Godʼs judgment on the human race in response to manʼs rejection because the truth is men have a problem(depravity). God responds with His righteous wrath. 

I can’t wait till next Sunday and that’s what I learned in church this past Lord’s day

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What I Learned In Church Yesterday

Yesterday morning we tackled Romans 1:18… But not apart from Romans 1:16-17 like it is so often done. I really struggled a little this week, not preparing the study, but how the folks in my class were going to respond to seeing that the bad news of the gospel is what makes the good news of the gospel SOOO Good. Before we get to the Romans study in Sunday school, let me share with you the affirmation I received from the Lord for my sticking to the text and the Gospel of Jesus Christ

The first hymn in the service was Amazing Grace, and every time I sing that hymn I can’t help thinking of John Newton and his life… I knew right then and there that GRACE is only AMAZING when we see how really bad we are… Now I could have thought about my life just as much, because it was bad… But the simple truth is I didn’t write one of the most sung and cherished hymns of all time. His life before Christ was bad… This man was real bad, so how much more greater was this grace? to know his sinfulness and the grace God had for him… Must have been truly amazing grace to save a wretch like him and to bring him home. John Newton would later say “By the grace of God I am what I am!”

John Newton had to see how bad he was before he could see how good the gospel was… From his last will and testament we read: I commit my soul to my gracious God and Savior, who mercifully spared and preserved me, when I was an apostate, a blasphemer, and an infidel, and delivered me from the state of misery on the coast of Africa into which my obstinate wickedness had plunged me; and who has been pleased to admit me (though most unworthy) to preach his glorious gospel.(read more here)

Now to the Romans class…

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Now see it with Romans 1:16-17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, Romans 1:16-18

“For the wrath of God” Without the wrath of God, the Gospel is not Good News… Why does this verse begins with the word ʻfor.ʼ The word ʻforʼ indicates that this is part of an argument which did not begin with this sentence. Itʼs something thatʼs connected together with what has gone before. Paul has made three confident statements about the Gospel, that it is the power of God, it is a revelation of the righteousness of God, and it is a revelation of the wrath of God.

John Piper explains For by asking… Why does Paul introduce Romans 1:18 with the word “for” or “because”? He does this in order to show that everything he is going to say about sin is meant to support the GOSPEL of Romans 1:17. He does not mention the gospel for the sake of sin. He deals with sin for the sake of the GOSPEL. UNDERSTANDING SIN is the FOUNDATION that upholds the preciousness of the GOSPEL, not vice versa. His main aim is not to lead us from gospel to sin, but from sin to gospel.

Remember the one hit wonder “You gotta be cruel to be kind” in the late 70′s this is what Paul’s saying in my finite mind… But today the gospel is “God loves you, and has a wonderful plan for your life.” It’s so Crystal Clear that Paul doesn’t start there, he says itʼs a revelation of the righteousness of God, the power of God, and of the wrath of God.

Look folks the gospel without Romans 1:18 would be just plain news, Paul would say the power of God, and the righteousness of God and we would say OK! that’s news. So now add verse 18 to it… now it becomes Good News and the good news of the gospel is so good because the “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness”

It’s becoming abundantly clear that this is going to have a part 2… I’ll finish up Tuesday with the wrath of God. I leave you with this from John MacArthur regarding Wrath (orge)

Orge signifies the strongest kind of anger, that which reaches fever pitch, when God’s mercy and grace are fully exhausted. It will mark the end of God’s patience and tolerance with unregenerate, unrepentant mankind in the swelling of His final, furious anger which He will vent on those whose works evidence their persistent and unswerving rebellion against Him.”

I ended the class with this video from Jim McCarty on

What is the Gospel

That’s what I learned in church yesterday and can’t wait to bring you part 2 on Tuesday Morning


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A little of this and a little of that

Our Savior has bidden us to preach the Gospel to every creature (Mk. 16:15).  He has not said, “Preach it only to the elect,” and though that might seem to be the most logical thing for us to do, yet since He has not been pleased to stamp the elect in their foreheads or put any distinctive mark upon them, it would be an impossible task for us to perform.  When we preach the Gospel to every creature, the Gospel makes its own division, and Christ’s sheep hear His voice, and follow Him.” C.H. Spurgeon

Man’s Greatest Need Is To Escape The Wrath Of God. As I continue to soak up all the resources I can on the wrath of God… I am humbled by these great godly men and all they have to say that lead me to that one simple fact,  As I prepare to teach on Romans 1:18 tomorrow, the thoughts of these godly men just continue to blow me away. I posted three times on God’s wrath this past week Here and Here and Here

Following Jesus While Rejecting the Bible? Yet Another Tragedy in Mainline Protestantism… This is yet another tragedy in the sad history of mainline Protestantism’s race toward total theological disaster. Albert Mohler  Read the rest Here

Nothing But Toil and Trouble A Meditation on Psalm 90 by Phil Johnson Regarding the shortness and misery of this life, Moses wrote, “All our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:9-10). Read the rest Here

Five Thoughts on Worship by Kevin DeYoung from David Peterson’s Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Worship, according to Peterson, is first of all a whole life lived to the glory of God. Read the rest Here

Walking Through the Valley of Vision: A Strategy for Prayer By Joe Thorn Would you say that prayer has been an ongoing and critical part of your day? The reality is many Christians maintain a very narrow prayer life that is either confined to morning devotions, a word of thanksgiving at dinner. Read the rest Here

“Your shrinking from this truth about hell is not due to your sympathy with people’s pain. It is due to your lack of sympathy with their pain. God is the one who is sympathetic. He is the one who gave His only begotten Son to rescue us from this misery and to inform us insistently, dogmatically, and compassionately that we are in for an awful end if we persist in unbelief. Don’t say that you feel for people when you blunt the edge of the word of the Spirit. What have you ever done that shows that you truly feel for sinners’ eternal pain?  Denying the truth of God’s Word about it certainly offers them no help whatsoever.” Mark Minnick (The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment)

KNOW THE BIBLE


 

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Beethoven’s Sonata in D Major, second movement

Here is the piece that I played with my piano professor, the second half to the Beethoven that I played at last year’s recital.

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