Is Your Doctrine Useless?

j-c-ryleDoctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life. It is worse than useless; it does positive harm.

Something of ‘the image of Christ’ must be seen and observed by others in our private life, and habits, and character, and doings.  J.C. Ryle

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

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What Grace Is and Isn’t

HisgraceWhen someone says “Where’s your grace”, what do they really mean? Are they suggesting that the Spirit of God is no longer in you? I mean what is grace and can you see it? To me grace is something that reflects someone else. I know the meaning of grace is unmerited favor and we’re saved by God’s free grace Ephesians 2:8, 9 and sanctified by God’s free grace. 1 Corinthians 6:11

I know there is God’s common grace which He bestows on all people as He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45.

To me grace has to be connected to the One who gave us life 2 Corinthians 5:17, who died so we can be saved by grace alone Ephesians 2:8, 9 and that is our Lord Jesus Christ 2 Corinthians 5:21. Grace is God’s sovereign plan before the foundation of the world to save sinners, the elect who deserves His wrath Ephesians 1:1-11.

Amazing GraceGrace is not something that we jump in and out of, Paul says we stand in grace Romans 5:2 and that grace reigns through righteousness Romans 5:21. To me grace is being clothed in Christ Galatians 3:27, To me grace is being made into the image of Christ 2 Corinthians 3:18 Romans 8:29.

Peter said grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2 Peter 3:18. Grace is putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, and making no provision for the flesh Romans 13:14. Grace comes from Christ!

Grace instructs us “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, Titus 2:11-12

Yes we do enjoy liberty from the bondage of sin because of this grace Romans 8:12, so What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1-2 . Remember grace reigns through righteousness Romans 5:21. This grace is not a license to do and say whatever we want as believers, Paul says absolutely not!

What grace isn’t!

  • Grace is not the apologist for your sin! Spurgeon said it best. “Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin”
  • Grace is not fire insurance (from Hell) with no obedience to His word and to the One that saved you.
  • Grace does not enable or allow people to say and do anything they want contrary to the word of God for the sake of unity in the body of Christ.
  • Grace does not continually allow people to hover in mediocrity with their faith, with a steady diet of milk Hebrews 5:12, Peter says grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ 2 Peter 3:18.
  • Grace does not say to forgo truth for the sake of love. but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, Ephesians 4:15

Grace

Grace is the work of God that altered this mans life!

I am saved and sanctified by grace, His amazing grace!
Where’s your grace?
You’ll find it in Christ!

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

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Read The Word of God

“I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12

SpurgeonYou know more about your ledgers than your Bible; you know more about your magazines and novels than what God has written; many of you will read a novel from the beginning to the end, and what have you got? A mouthful of foam when you are done. But you cannot read the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect; while anything that a man writes, a best seller of the day, is greedily devoured. (C.H.Spurgeon) HT: Grace Gems

I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

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

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The Bible is Sufficient

WheneverAman

 

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

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

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Cut the Word of Truth Straight!

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 NASB

tozer-quoteI think this has to be one of the most important verses in the bible on the word of God for the edification of the body of Christ, Straightforward EXEGESIS must be the aim of all teachers of the word of God.

I can remember times before I bring a lesson to my Sunday school class and saying to myself, did I dig enough into the text and what I’m bringing is it right, is it accurate and did I do proper exegesis? It’s so important to get it right!

Especially in light of James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

There is so many things James could have started out on about our tongue and he chooses teaching… When he writes “Let not many of you become teachers”

James is not trying to discouraged teaching and teachers here, we know that gifted teachers are one of the hardest positions to fill in the Church, but James writes let not many of you become one! Why and why here in this section about the tongue? He could have started out about lying, swearing and gossip or anything our deceiving tongue does, but no, he starts out with “Teaching” And this is why…

The most serious thing that can flow from our tongue is the distorting and misrepresenting of God’s word, the Word of God is not a bendable kid’s toy to twist and bend, reading into the text or taking the TEXT OUT OF CONTEXT helps no one and will lead to our shame before God if we do so.

texts

Exegesis is the act of critically interpreting a text in an attempt to draw the meaning out of the text, unlike eisegesis, where one reads his own meaning into the text. Paul is telling Timothy to interpret a text in an attempt to draw the exact meaning out of the text ( accurately handling the word of truth), not to insert his own meaning into the text or quarrel about words or godless chatter 2 Timothy 2:14, 16.

Paul says to be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman, as a friend of mine recently said to me “a leader and teacher must do his due diligence before bringing us the word of God.” Wuest  says “Do your best, make haste, give diligence, hurry on, be eager to show yourself approved unto God.”

cutting straight

Vincent defines the word orthotomeō (ὀρθοτομεω) (Rightly Dividing or Accurately Handling), “to cut straight,” as paths, “to hold a straight course, to make straight, to handle rightly.” He says: “The thought is that the minister of the gospel is to present the truth rightly, not abridging it, not handling it as a charlatan, not making it a matter of wordy strife (v. 14), but treating it honestly and fully, in a straightforward manner.” (Wuest)

Paul told Timothy to skillfully, diligently and accurately teach the word of God so he wouldn’t be like those who are worldly chatterers. 2 Timothy 2:14, 16

So the teacher of God’s word must teach the word consistent with God’s intended meaning and purpose, and as my dear Mother said over and over to me…

 “You won’t be popular, but you won’t be ashamed before God and that’s a beautiful thing!”

The teacher who is accurately handling the word of truth
has a deep concern for the welfare of those he’s teaching!

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

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Act Like Men!

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

horatius-bonar“Be men! In courage; not cowards, turning our back on the foe, or giving way in danger, or reproach, or evil days. In solidity; not shifting or shadowy, but immoveable as the rock. In strength; as the man is, so is his strength. Be strong! In wisdom. Foolishness is with childhood, wisdom with manhood. Speak and act with wisdom, as men. In ripeness. The faculties of men are ripe, both for thinking and working. They speak ripe words, think ripe thoughts, plan and execute ripe things.

In understanding be men! In all things – what you do, and what you refrain from doing, be men. Act the manly part – let nothing effeminate, luxurious, sickly, childish, puny, little, narrow be seen about you. Christianity makes men, not babes. Adorn the doctrine of Christ by your manliness. In the Church, in the world, in business, in conversation, in prosperity, and adversity, [act] like men! Let no man despise you; and let no man despise the Gospel because of you.”  Horatius Bonar Bible Thoughts on 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, The Christian Treasury, 1864.

Be on the alert,
stand firm in the faith,
act like men, be strong.

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

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Study to Show Thyself Approved

SeekingBiblicalI have posted these two videos before, but sometimes I have to be reminded why I spend so much of my time in bible study.

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

My mom use to say to me over and over “You won’t be popular, but you won’t be ashamed before God”

Hermeneutics comes from the Greek word hermeneuo, which means to explain or interpret, it is the branch of theology that focuses on identifying and applying sound principles of biblical interpretation. While the Bible is generally plain in its meaning, proper interpretation requires careful study and is not always an easy task.

It was D.L Moody who said “Merely reading the Bible is no use at all without we study it thoroughly, and hunt it through, as it were, for some great truth.”

You won’t be popular, but you won’t be ashamed before God

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

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A Text Without a Context is a Pretext

Dr. John MacArthur“The Bible is not a random collection of verses that may be interpreted in isolation. To properly understand any passage one must interpret it in light of the paragraphs immediately preceding and following it, the chapter or section it is in, and the book containing it. Context provides the flow of thought in which any given passage of Scripture exists. To ignore context is to sacrifice a proper interpretation; it has well been said that a text without a context is a pretext.” (John MacArthur James, Moody Publishers, 1998, p. 274.)

cutting straight

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 

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

 

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New Life in Christ

I love this video posted by Phil Johnson on YouTube, its clear that the message of Jesus Christ and His saving power never changes over the years.

A 1979 film produced in and around Grace Community Church by Family Films. Vintage John MacArthur with long, open collars and teardrop glasses. Plus: special appearances by Jubilant Sykes. Styles and hairdos have changed dramatically, but the message hasn’t. Then, as now, it was biblical, honest, gospel-centered, and clear.

“Styles and hairdos have changed dramatically, but the message hasn’t.”

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

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Put Your Troubles Here!

“Cast your burden on the Lord—and He will sustain you.” Psalm 55:22

SpurgeonCast your troubles where you have cast your sins; you have cast your sins onto Jesus—cast your troubles there also! As soon as the trouble comes, quick, the first thing, tell it to your Father in heaven! Remember, that the longer you take telling your trouble to God—the more your peace will be impaired. The longer the frost lasts—the more likely the ponds will be frozen.

Oh! It is a happy way of smoothing sorrow, when we can cast our burden upon the Lord. Oh, you agitated Christians, do not dishonor your religion by always wearing a ‘frown of concern’. Come, cast your burden upon the Lord. I see you staggering beneath a weight, which He would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden—would be nothing but a bit of dust to Him. See! The Almighty bends His shoulders, and He says, “Here—put your troubles here!” (Charles Spurgeon) HT: Grace Gems

“Cast all your cares upon Him—because He cares about you!” 1 Peter 5:7

Come, cast your burden upon the Lord

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

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