Daily Roundup

Thoughts That Have Helped Me – Bob Jennings went home to be with the Lord in November of 2012.  These are a few thoughts he wrote about 3 months prior.

How Christians Prepare for Suffering – If you think the Christian life is one of ease, health, wealth, etc.  Well, I’m not sure you know the same Jesus that I do.

Law & Liberty: A Biblical Look At Legalism – A new book that is coming out in a month by Don Kistler, John MacArthur, Joel Beeke and Phil Johnson.

Judge Not! – A 16 part bible study by Mike Ratliff.

The Link Between Spirituality and Sexuality – There is an embedded creational link between sexuality and spirituality. We were created for monogamy in both, and when a society loses one, it won’t be long before it loses the other.

Quote:

We must treasure in our hearts that we are not saved merely by what Christ has done for us, but by who He was, is, and will be forever! – Paul Washer

Daily Roundup

Legalism or Obedience? – I have never yet met a parent who complained that his child was a legalist because he obeyed too much.

Chapel Library – Here is a great resource that I found a while back.  Books, sermon audio, instructional courses, you can find it here.

The Gospels Power and Message – While Paul Washer isn’t widely known, his preaching style doesn’t win him over to the hearts and minds of many, he is a man of God and I recommend this book.  Read Tim Challies review at the provided link.

Space, the Final Frontier – Well, not exactly, but I grew up watching Star Trek and I love outer space.  Here are a few images that might explain my fascination.

Religious Liberty Dies at Hobby Lobby – Hopefully this will be overturned, but if it isn’t, will the Green family stand up for what they believe in.  This is a question we as Christians need to think about because there will come a day when we will have to take a stand personally.

Quote:

To reach the holiday of glory, we must pass through the training school of grace.  ~ JC Ryle

Justification, Sanctification, Holiness, & Legalism

This is a hard blog post for me to write for the following reasons:

  • Few want to talk about, let alone understand, what justification is.
  • Fewer still seem to want to work out what it means to go through the process of sanctification.
  • Even less want to understand that a life of holiness is a conscious decision to walk in the light of God’s sanctifying grace.
  • If you choose to delve into the above with your heart, soul, mind, and being, you will most likely be labeled as legalistic.

Several months ago, I sat with a group of individuals who were talking about how great the latest Batman movie was. I was just listening to their conversation as I really wasn’t interested in the conversation because I was trying to prepare my heart for the upcoming Sunday School lesson. Then they started talking about who was the best actor to portray Batman. Somehow the conversation drifted to video games and how much one guy spent on his game collection and how much time he played them. Then things quieted down and we began our lesson.

Low and behold, the lesson was over the following passage:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 ESV)

We talked about this in the class for a moment and then I raised my hand to speak. I mentioned that the pre-class discussion was kind of a reflection of what seemed to be the most important thing that week in several lives. I wasn’t condemning as I even mentioned that I wasn’t always focused on Christ like I should have been through the week. But you would have thought I had called everyone heathen sinners or something from the blow back I got. “Well, you may not go to the movies, but you can’t pin that on me, I don’t think it’s wrong.”

That day has troubled me for quite some time now.  But lately, I’ve been reading The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges as well as listening to When Christians Sin by Tim Conway (links to the 3 part sermon series) and I’ve come to the conclusion that most people that call themselves a Christian do not want to progress in holiness.  Oh, they want the benefits of being a Christian, but they don’t want to put in the discipline that comes along with it.  What?  You mean to say that I have to work for my salvation?  No, that is not what I’m saying at all.  Our salvation is as complete as it will ever be when our hearts are regenerated and we come to hate the sin we used to love and love the righteousness we used to hate.  But, there is a caveat included.  As we delve deeper and deeper into the Word of God, we begin to see His holiness and righteousness in a new light and the Word exhorts us to “Be holy as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).  In this life we will never attain that in it’s entirety, but that does not mean we can just skate by and not even try.  Sure, we will fail, sometimes spectacularly.  But that does not mean we are not to strive by the power of the Holy Spirit that now lives within us and has made us a new creature.

I guess what I see is the biggest shortcoming is that very few preachers, and even fewer laity because so few preachers preach it, understand what it means to be holy. Hagios is the Greek word from which we derive the word holy.  The connotation is hard for us today because we don’t understand the temple of the Old Testament much.  But in the temple, there were items set apart as separate from the common things.  There were tables, lampstands, even garments that the High Priest wore that were separate from your run of the mill, everyday clothing.  That is a picture of God.  He is separate or ‘other’ if you will.  He is not like us and no matter that since the first man, Adam, tried to be like God, mankind is still trying to make God in our image, He will never be like us and we are certainly not like Him.  Continue reading

Daily Roundup

Phillips’ Axioms – Dan Phillips gives some axioms to live by.

The Psalms of Jesus – R W Glenn starts a new preaching series.  In Luke 44:45 says that Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  If He opened their minds, what does that imply about their understanding to this point?  Great resource site!

Safe Sex? – I think this says it all!  One Man, One Woman.

4 Disturbing Trends in the Contemporary Church – According to several studies, American evangelicals generally do not know what they believe and why they believe it.  Michael Horton lays out 4 reasons, out of many more, of why this is so.

Legalism or Obedience? – You are playing a game of Monopoly, and your opponent throws a ten with the dice. Then he picks up his player marker and begins counting his steps. Immediately you realize he will land on the corner — “Go to Jail!” Well, he doesn’t want to land there, so he stops just one step short, on New York Avenue. Immediately you cry foul. But he responds indignantly, “I only stopped one step short. What’s the difference? Don’t be such a legalist!”

Combating an Ancient Heresy – Are we gods?  How Scripture is twisted by groups to say we are.

Daily Roundup

Buckle Up: The Culture Wars Are Only Heating Up –  Owen Strachan takes a look at the coming culture wars surrounding marriage.

Union With Christ:  One of the Secrets of Sanctification – An excerpt from a J I Packer interview.

A Morning and Evening Prayer – The authors and composers of our original church songbooks often included example prayers to instruct the people.

Studies in Sanctification:  A 9-Part Lecture Series – Check out this series by Sinclair Ferguson.

Why Should a Pastor Preach Through Whole Books of the Bible? – Brian Croft blesses us with more of his pastoral wisdom.

The (Legalistic?) Gospel According to Peter – Marc Cortez asks if Peter was a legalist.