Monthly Archives: August 2011
I love our church, I love coming to church… I love being part of the group of believers assembled in our church. I took this picture you see here to the left last evening as I was walking out front. I love my church, the ekklēsia “the called out” Ekklesia comes from kaleō “to call,” and ek “out from.” The compound verb means “to call out from.” Called out from what? The world. Webster gives this following definition for the word church. 1. a building for public Christian worship. 2. a religious service in such a building. 3. the world body of Christian believers; Christendom. Tyndale bible dictionary defines it as a group or assembly of persons called together for a particular purpose. In the Septuagint (LXX) – Ekklesia = the “’gathering’ of Israel, summoned for any definite purpose, or a ‘gathering’ regarded as representative of the whole nation.” (Vine) Today the word church means a lot of things, but to understand what the church means in the New Testament you need to go to the word of God and Paul. He speaks of the church as Christ’s body look at Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 1:22–23, 4:12; 1 Corinthians 10:16–17 12:12–13 I don’t want to turn this into a really deep study, but the point I’m making is the church is a assemble of believers the body of Christ, the beloved and redeemed. Look how Paul in Romans addresses the church… Romans 1:7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. From what I see in my study there must have been many ekklēsia in Rome.
I love what William Barclay writes: “In essence… the Church, the ekklesia, is a body of people, not so much assembling because they have chosen to come together but assembling because God has called them to himself; not so much assembling to share their own thoughts and opinions, but assembling to listen to the voice of God.” That is why the preaching from the pulpit… The word of God is the center of the worship service. The writer of Hebrew tells us not to forsake meeting together Hebrews 10:25 and Acts 2:42 tells us that the early church continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Matthew Henry really opens my heart to why I love the church so much:
Acts 2:42-47 “In these verses we have the history of the truly primitive church, of the first days of it; its state of infancy indeed, but, like that, the state of its greatest innocence. They kept close to holy ordinances, and abounded in piety and devotion; for Christianity, when admitted in the power of it, will dispose the soul to communion with God in all those ways wherein he has appointed us to meet him, and has promised to meet us. The greatness of the event raised them above the world, and the Holy Ghost filled them with such love, as made every one to be to another as to himself, and so made all things common, not by destroying property, but doing away selfishness, and causing charity. And God who moved them to it, knew that they were quickly to be driven from their possessions in Judea. The Lord, from day to day, inclined the hearts of more to embrace the gospel; not merely professors, but such as were actually brought into a state of acceptance with God, being made partakers of regenerating grace. Those whom God has designed for eternal salvation, shall be effectually brought to Christ, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of his glory.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
I love the church, but this past Lord’s day was a little different for me as it marked the first time in a long while that I wasn’t teaching in Romans… Tim is taking on that now as we’re alternating sections in Romans. He picked up at Romans 1:29. In Romans 1:28 we see that Paul says for the third time God gave them over, gave the over to what… To a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, then starts this long list that says being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; Well! Where do we start? Right where Tim did with unrighteousness, then with wickedness, greed, evil; and so on. That’s a list I can say I was part of, and how about you? Were you once here before the grace of God saved you or are you still here in this list needing the grace of God, Paul gives us the bad news about ourselves that we were once as believers filled with all unrighteousness. But you the person who doesn’t believe there is hope for you in Jesus Christ 2 Corinthians 5:21 Consider His Son today, my prayer for those who need Christ is that God is moving in you and His spirit will cause you to believe… for salvation is from the Lord and that’s great good news.
Soli Deo Gloria
In Sunday school the question about babies being born with Adams sin, being totally deprived came up. What happens to them if they die, if the Lord takes them. I thought this would be a great MacArthur Monday post.
Safe in the Arms of God – (Hopeful Words for Broken-Hearted Parents) If you have ever faced the death of a child, or you have ever had to comfort a mom or dad whose little one died, you need to be able to answer some crucial questions: Where do babies go when they die? How can I know my baby is in heaven? Why did my child have to die?
Soli Deo Gloria
“It is the best and truest friend who honestly tells us the truth about ourselves even when he knows we shall not like it. False friends are the ones who hide such truth from us and do so in order to remain in our favor.” R.C.H. Lenski
“Thy Word”–not that voice in my head–”is truth” Your weekly dose of Spurgeon from Pyro posted by Phil Johnson… “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”—John 17:17. What is the truth? There is the point. Is the truth that which I imagine to be revealed to me by some private communication? Am I to fancy that I enjoy some special revelation, and am I to order my life by voices, dreams, and impressions? Read the rest Here
Singing to Build Up… We had one of the best music days we’ve ever had at Third Avenue last Sunday. It was incredible–loud, heartfelt, worshipful, and exciting, even on the songs that aren’t “naturally” exciting, if you know what I mean. I remember listening to the congregation sing behind me, hearing people say “Amen” at the end of the songs (a fairly rare thing at our church), and a couple of thoughts hit me. One of my goals at Third Avenue is to work against music ever becoming an “issue” for the church. By Greg Gilbert Read the rest Here
In What Ways Did Jesus Suffer? by Matt Perman… Jesus’ sufferings were more than just physical. He experienced the full range of human suffering, to the greatest extent: Read the rest Here
I have quoted from this interview in the past, here it is, Between Two Worlds: An Interview with John R. W. Stott… John R. W. Stott has emerged in the last half of the twentieth century as one of the leading evangelical preachers in the world. His ministry has spanned decades and continents, combining his missionary zeal with the timeless message of the Gospel. Read the rest Here
Remembering How To Pray from yours truly… I find myself sometimes struggling in my prayer life and when I’m struggling in prayer, I most often struggle in my walk with God. I can sense a separation between myself and my God. My repentance and confession is weak 1 John 1:9, my study suffers, my meditation on scripture suffers, and my attitude towards people tends to be negative… Read the rest Here
Implications Of The Notion Of Free Will, Jim McClarty thinks through a few implications of the notion of free will. See it Here
God Crushed Jesus Christ to Save Wretched Sinners – Paul Washer
This is Message from Eddie
“It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.” Henry Ward Beecher
I find myself sometimes struggling in my prayer life and when I’m struggling in prayer, I most often struggle in my walk with God. I can sense a separation between myself and my God. My repentance and confession is weak 1 John 1:9, my study suffers, my meditation on scripture suffers, and my attitude towards people tends to be negative… though I’m by nature an antithetical person, I tend to really show it. I simply need to remember how to pray… That might sound a little funny to you but its true, I sometime forget how to pray and I need to remember. I need to be told… Jesus said “Pray, then, in this way” Matthew 6:9-13 and shown step by step. The Lord’s Prayer as it’s so often called is a great place to start, though I like to refer to it as The Disciples Prayer and not the Lord’s prayer, that you’ll find in John 17:1-19 The High Priestly Prayer.
It wasn’t until 4 or 5 years ago when I taught through the Sermon On The Mount in Matthew that I really understood how to pray and the prayer that I was reciting for all these years going back to my Catholic days wasn’t really a prayer in its self… But as S Lewis Johnson said “It’s a primer for prayer” It’s a pattern for prayer “Pray, then, in this way” Let me say I don’t think there is anything wrong with reciting this as a prayer all by its self… But in saying that, look just a few verses before it Matthew 6:7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. This prayer is all-inclusive but not as a prayer of repetition but a sketch of true praying. I need to remember that!
What’s Jesus really saying? When you pray, pray using these principles found in Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus did not mean that you are to simply repeat The Lord’s Prayer because He did not pray that way, in fact He would spend all night long in prayer, hour after hour . . . Just communing with His heavenly Father. What I’m saying is I need to remember these principles, I need to get back to that! to what Jesus said. “Pray, then, in this way” Now I’m not saying we take the view of John Wesley who held a poor view of any Christian who did not pray at least four hours every day! I just want to go back to the foundations of prayer… I love the King James Translation “After this manner therefore pray ye” What manner” You pray this way…
- Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
The pride that is in me, I sometimes tend to jump right into my needs and forget that I’m praying to my/our Father the God of the universe… I need to stop and realize like Job did in Job 40:4 that I’m insignificant and unworthy compared to God, Because He is holy, so I just praise Him and proclaim who He is… Holy is Your name. If you look at the Prophets of the Old Testament they all begin their prayers with worship to God and praising Him. Only true Christians can pray and call Him Our Father. I need to remember His majesty, His greatness, and His power. Prayer begins with Him. I need to remember that!
- “hallowed be Your name”
- “Your kingdom come”
- “Your will be done”
Today I just want to remember to hallow His name… Hallowed to make holy, to sanctify and to revere. J C Ryle said… By the “name of God we mean all those attributes through which He is revealed to us—His power, wisdom, holiness, justice, mercy and truth. By asking that they may be “hallowed,” we mean that they may be made known and glorified. The glory of God is the first thing that God’s children should desire. It is the object of one of our Lord’s own prayers: “Father, glorify your name!” John 12:28. I need to remember that! Martin Luther asked “How is it God’s name hallowed amongst us?” Answer “When our life and doctrine are truly Christian”
I need to remember that His name is awesome and Holy Psalm 111:9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name. What a great time it would be to someday study all the names of God. When I pray I want to pray in this manner and give God the glory… I know that there are areas of my life that His name is “NOT” Hollowed and I’m convicted right this moment as I’m typing to honor His name in my life and walk with Christ.
Our Father you are Holy and awesome is your name… Father Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
If any man ascribes anything of salvation, even the very least thing, to the free will of man, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly. Martin Luther
Jim McClarty thinks through a few implications of the notion of free will.
Freewillism is that doctrine that says, “God loves you, Christ died for you, and the Holy Spirit is calling you; but it will all be vain unless you choose to be saved.” Freewillism makes the determining factor in salvation to be the will of man. It makes the work of the Triune God and the grace of God to be impotent without the consent of man’s “freewill.” Freewill religion is in direct opposition to the gospel of the free grace of God. The Bible declares that salvation is not accomplished, determined by, or dependent upon the will of man, but by the will of God (John 1:12-13; Rom. 9:16). The word “freewill”, when used with reference to salvation is a blasphemous obscenity! Don Fortner
How do you start a post on Homosexuality? Where do you begin? Where do you start? I’m not an Albert Mohler, so I guess I start with the word of God… What I learned in Church the past Sunday would be real easy for me if I talked about murder or greed, even evil or gossip… But we see that in Romans 1:29. I guess I could just ramble off on something else to you, like well ~ how loud it was in church before the service started, but that could get me in trouble. Seriously! I really wouldn’t be giving you the truth would I? The fact of the matter is Paul said in Romans 1:26 that… For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, For what reason? Well, we have to look back one verse to Romans 1:25 “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie” For that reason God gave them over to degrading passion.
- I’m not interested in giving you my opinion on this matter. (Though you are perfectly welcome to it.)
- I am only interested in giving you what the word of God says and that alone.
- We who are Christians have no right to act hatefully towards anyone who sins.
- There is much Hope as Paul reminded the Corinthian church 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, 11 because such were some of us!
- Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence 1 Peter 3:15-16, 17-18
So lets keep going, God let them have the degrading passions they desire, I can’t get past degrading, this literally means not honorable or not worthy of respect. The KJV has it as vile passions… This is not a good word at all and God gave them over to it, over to what? What passions? Here is the second exchange you see. “their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural” Romans 1:26 “and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” Romans 1:27. Homosexuality is not natural and it is a sin before God, it’s not the normal order of things… The natural order is for men and woman to want heterosexual relationships.
God said Adam this is your wife Eve, go have babies, that’s natural. Why does Paul mention women first? Charles Hodge has an interesting comment “Paul first refers to the degradation of females among the heathen, because they are always the last to be affected in the decay of morals, and their corruption is therefore proof that all virtue is lost” Why does Paul mention homosexuality at all? Think about it… It’s so obviously unnatural, look at the fore mentioned sin in paragraph one murder, greed, evil and gossip, they are naturally evil…. But Paul is saying the sin of homosexuality is unnaturally sinful and evil and is a life apart from God. We were made in God’s image Genesis 1:26, 27 and in the natural order of things He said go make babies Genesis 1:28 Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
Homosexuality is a prideful rebellious independence from God that will only lead to destruction 1 Corinthians 6:9 and like all other sexual sins is an abomination to God, they have turned this wonderful gift of sexuality into an all out unnatural way of life separate from God. This is not new in first century Rome; homosexuality was common and is often spoken of without shame. Isaiah 3:9 Jeremiah 6:15 Finally “receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” Romans 1:27 John MacArthur writes in his Romans commentary “They would be judged by the self-destructiveness of their sin. The appalling physical consequences of homosexuality are visible evidence of God’s righteous condemnation. Unnatural vice brings its own perverted reward. AIDS is frightening evidence of that fatal promise.”
But there is hope, there is a (But God Ephesians 2:4) and we must not separate ourselves from this issue. We must pray and love with compassion that anyone we know that is caught up in homosexual sin can break away and turn to God. We as Christians were once spiritual dead Ephesians 2:1, 2, 3 and 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, saved us out of a life of sin, so who Can Be Saved? – Mark 10:26-27 The gospel of Jesus Christ saves Romans 1:16, not by our power but His. Jesus and the apostles would say as they would to any sinner Repent and believe Mark 1:15 Turn from your sin of homosexuality and live.
That”s what I learned in Church this past week