Round Up

Total Depravity Is A Deplorable Doctrine – I recognize the weight of the doctrine of “total depravity”, the first of John Calvin’s Five Points. It stresses the radical corruption of the human nature, rendering him incapable of exercising saving faith and repentance and obedience to God’s righteous commands. I understand it, and I hate it.

Christ Before Pilate –  [Pilate] might have guessed that this carpenter from Nazareth could make a table or a chair, but it never entered his mind that “by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him.” PDF Document

The Missing Ingredient In Many Sermons – I have seen this in some otherwise terrific sermons. Guys can be exegetically sound, communicate with clarity, illustrate with profundity, and then at the end of the sermon it tastes like grandma’s meatloaf: somewhat filling but not so memorable.

Five Truths About The Wrath Of God – We live in a day where we have set ourselves as the judge and God’s character is on trial. “How can hell be just?” “Why would God command the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites?” “Why does God always seem so angry?”

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I am dying willingly for God’s sake, if you do not hinder it. I beseech you, be not an unseasonable kindness to me. Suffer me to be eaten by the beasts, through whom I can attain to God. I am God’s wheat, and I am ground by the teeth of wild beasts that I may be found pure bread of Christ…. I long for the beasts that are prepared for me, and I pray that that may be found prompt for me. I will even entice them to devour me promptly…. Let there come on me fire and cross and struggles with wild beasts, cutting and tearing asunder…. Cruel tortures of the devil, may I but attain to Jesus Christ. – Ignatius

Round Up

Bill Cosby responds to Victoria Osteen – ‘Nuff said!

Christians can be terrible – One of the major premises of the Christian faith is that humans are so flawed, so broken, so rebellious, and so unable to redeem themselves that the eternal Son had to incarnate himself, live, die, and rise again in order to fix them (Romans 1-8). I suppose what does shock me is that Christians are still surprised when other Christians are terrible.

The doctrine of grace creates a culture of grace – What matters most to God is not which sins we’ve committed or not committed, or how we stack up in comparison with other sinners. What matters most to God is whether we’ve bonded by faith with his only Son. In other words, God’s final category for you is not your goodness versus your badness, but your union with Christ versus your distance from Christ.

Lloyd-Jones on scandalous grace that isn’t cheap – You may be familiar with the provocative idea from Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) that true test of gospel preaching is whether people mistake your gospel for antinomianism. “The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it.”

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The redeemed have all their objective good in God. God himself is the great good which they are brought to the possession and enjoyment of by redemption. He is the highest good, and the sum of all that good which Christ has purchased. God is the inheritance of the saints; he is the portion of their souls. God is their wealth and treasure, their food, their life, their dwelling place, their ornament and diadem, and their everlasting honor and glory. They have none in heaven but God; he is the great good which the redeemed are received to at death, and which they are to rise to at the end of the world.

The Lord God, he is the light of the heavenly Jerusalem; and is the ‘the river of the water of life’ that runs, and the tree of life that grows, ‘in the midst of the paradise of God.’ The glorious excellencies and beauty of God will be what will forever entertain the minds of the saints, and the love of God will be their everlasting feast. The redeemed will indeed enjoy other things; they will enjoy the angels, and will enjoy one another: but that which they shall enjoy in the angels, or each other, or in anything else whatsoever, that will yield them delight and happiness, will be what will be seen of God in them. – Jonathan Edwards

Round Up

Driscoll’s True God – In the next few months Mark Driscoll will face a decision that will reveal the identity of his true God. If he loves Jesus more than he loves the pulpit, he will step away and complete his journey of submission, under the hand of a spiritual director.

Teach Believers What Happened To Them In Conversion – Everyone who is converted to Christ is converted through partial knowledge. Real knowledge, to be sure — otherwise, there would be no true conversion — put partial, nevertheless.

The Mystery of God And the Unknown Unknowns – “As we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

You Don’t Have A ‘Porn Problem’ – I’m sick and tired of hearing so many single and married men, even professing Christian men, talk so easily, casually, and nonchalantly about their “porn problem” or their “struggles with pornography.”

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God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper; and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean. – Jonathan Edwards

Round Up

ImputationI am one who is grievously in debt. I come from a family of debtors. I am a chronic debtor, in a word, a debtor by nature. And the debt that I have accumulated has been acquired foolishly and irresponsibly.  I owe immense sums of money and my debt continues to grow. Payment is long overdue.

God’s Eternal Decree and Man’s Evil Deeds – Did God decree the Holocaust? Has God, from before the beginning of time, predestined the kidnapping of 200 Nigerian girls by Boko Haram? Did God foreordain the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 by Russian trained rebels in the Ukraine? Is the current Middle-Eastern chaos going according to God’s eternal plan?

5 Insights Into Idolatry – There are certain themes in Scripture that tend to beat you over the head with their persistence. Idolatry is one of those. It’s such a prominent theme in Scripture that some have said it is the central theme of the entire Bible.

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There are no prerequisites to faith in Christ. God does not tell sinners they must know this or that doctrine before they can believe. God does not tell us that we must experience certain feelings before we can believe. God does not tell us that we must pass through great times of darkness before we can believe. God does say in his Word, to poor, lost, ruined, doomed, damned sinners, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!” – Don Fortner

 

Round Up

Bound to Work: 3 Reasons You Should Not Try To Bind Satan – Spiritual warfare is real. It might not make the news; but it ought to.

The Problem’s Never At God’s End – “When people don’t get healed, the problem is never at God’s end.” Pithy, popular, memorable, intuitive – but also misleading, and sometimes very unhelpful.

Who Is Responsible For Your Spiritual Growth?Our spiritual growth clearly involves human exertion. But what, then, are we to make of God’s sovereignty over our growth?

The Perfect Hamburger? – It’s summer time, so, how to make a great hamburger is a question that has bedeviled the nation for generations, for as long as Americans have had griddles and broilers, for as long as summertime shorts-wearing cooks have gone into the yard to grill.

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The whole world is not a theater large enough to display the glory of Christ upon or unfold even half of the unsearchable riches that lie hidden in Him. And such is the deliciousness of this subject, Christ, that were there ten thousand volumes written upon it, they would never become tiring to the heart. We used to say that any one thing can finally tire us and this is true, except about this one eminent thing, Christ, and then one can never tire, for such is the variety of sweetness in Christ. – John Flaval

Round Up

Logic On Fire – Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks this question, “What is preaching?”  I’m looking forward to this documentary.

What the Cross Says – The cross speaks of benediction, of pardon, joy and peace with God. It tells you that God is ready to forgive you. It says, listen to me, your sin has been punished. I am here because this is the punishment of sin.

Vague Pastors – When you don’t preach on something, you are preaching on that thing. You are just saying what you think won’t be as controversial or the thing that won’t lose you your following.

Upon This Rock – Jesus said to Simon, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

Sinners in the Hands of a Patient God – Finding Jonathan Edwards.

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The emanation or communication of the divine fullness, consisting in the knowledge of God, to love him, and joy in him, has relation to God as its fountain, as the thing communicated is something of its internal fullness. The warm stream is something of the fountain; and the beams of sun are something of the sun. (Jonathan Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World)

Round Up

Four Modern Version Of The Bible That Are Ruining The Bible – This is a very thought provoking article on the proliferation of the Bible.

Why Was Judas Carrying The Moneybag? – Have you ever wondered why Jesus, who knew that Judas was a ‘devil’, put him in charge of the finances?

God’s Sovereignty Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 – So far Marco Gonzalez has released 3 parts to this series.  Dwelling on the fact that God is sovereign is what brought me to the Reformed faith.

Complete Sovereignty in One Verse – Well, you judge for yourself.

Quote – John Murray writes:

Faith stands in antithesis to works; there can be no amalgam of these two (cf. Gal. 5:4). That we are justified by faith is what engenders hope in a convicted sinner’s heart. He knows he has nothing to offer. And this truth assures him that he needs nothing to offer, yea, it assures him that it is an abomination to God to presume to offer. We are justified by faith and therefore simply by entrustment of ourselves, in all our dismal hopelessness, to the Saviour whose righteousness is undefiled and undefilable. Justification by faith alone lies at the heart of the gospel and it is the article that makes the lame man leap as an hart and the tongue of the dumb sing. Justification is that by which grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life; it is for the believer alone and it is for the believer by faith alone. It is the righteousness of God from faith to faith (Rom. 1:17; cf. 3:22).

It is an old and time-worn objection that this doctrine ministers to licence and looseness. Only those who know not the power of the gospel will plead such misconception. Justification is by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone. Justification is not all that is embraced in the gospel of redeeming grace. Christ is a complete Saviour and it is not justification alone that the believing sinner possesses in him. And faith is not the only response in the heart of him who has entrusted himself to Christ for salvation. Faith alone justifies but a justified person with faith alone would be a monstrosity which never exists in the kingdom of grace. Faith works itself out through love (cf. Gal. 5:6). And faith without works is dead (cf. James 2:17-20). It is living faith that justifies and living faith unites to Christ both in the virtue of his death and in the power of his resurrection. No one has entrusted himself to Christ for deliverance from the guilt of sin who has not also entrusted himself to him for deliverance from the power of sin. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:1, 2).

taken from: Redemption: Accomplished and Applied. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955. pp. 130,131 [used with permission from publisher]