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

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

Do You Feel Tension in the Christian Life – The Christian life can feel schizophrenic. But when we begin to fully understand that we are but pilgrims in this world, these tensions become avenues of sweetness rather than despair.

109 Sermons on the 1st Chapter of the Gospel of John – 109 Sermons on one chapter of the Bible, by The Doctor, no less.  Martyn Lloyd-Jones had a clarity of exposition about him that is not found in many preachers today.

Why Good Works Are Necessary for the Christian – Anthony Burgess (d. 1644) argued that while good works should never be construed as meritorious for our justification, they were still necessary as our duty on the way to final salvation.

They Do It Better Than We Do – Disciple-makers have decided to commit a minimum of 9-10 hours a week providing hands-on practical training. This commitment did not come with compelling arguments. The disciple-makers love it. They want to invest their time in the work.

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“In a broad sense the Old Testament was the economy of conviction of sin. The law revealed the moral helplessness of man, placed him under a curse, worked death. There was, of course, gospel under and in the Old Covenant, but it was for its expression largely dependent on the silent symbolic language of alter and sacrifice and lustration. Under it the glory which speaks of righteousness was in hiding.

In the New Covenant all this has been changed. The veil has been rent, and through it an unobstructed view is obtained of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. And with this vision comes the assurance of atonement, satisfaction, acces to God, peace of conscience, liberty, eternal life.”

— Geerhardus Vos

Daily Roundup

Sermons Are Not For Liking – Sermons are for listening, they are for discerning, they are for applying, but they are not for liking.

Let There Be Light – Charles Spurgeon gave special attention to achieving truthful integration of biblical doctrine in his preaching ministry. He believed this was a special stewardship for the preacher.

Believing and Preaching the Bible With Certainty – We must present the Bible as the Word of God, not the words of men, but the Word of the living God.

12 Gospel Passages to Soak In – Mere truth won’t do it. Our souls desperately need the gospel!

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All knowledge of God rests on revelation. Though we can never know God in the full richness of his being, he is known to all people through his revelation in creation, the theater of his glory. The world is never godless. In the end there are no atheists; there is only argument about the nature of God. The recognition is universal of a power greater than human beings themselves, to whom they owe piety. – Herman Bavinck

 

Morality Based Christianity?

Martyn-Lloyd-Jones“Christianity is confused with morality.  It has been very common in this country in all ranks of society.  It is what is sometimes called ‘public school religion,’ which was started by Dr Thomas Arnold of Rugby.  His idea of Christianity was that ‘it is morality touched with emotion,’ nothing more!  The Christian is the perfect little gentleman, the man who does not do certain things!

But that is not Christianity; that is not the kingdom of God.  You can do that yourself.  Yet that is what Dr Arnold taught; it is nothing but ethics and morality, a negative, cold, miserable religion, something that was always prohibiting everything and never giving anything at all.

Now it is a part of the preaching of the gospel to say things like that.  I do not defend the Victorians; I think they did great harm to the kingdom of God.  They really did bring it down, most of them, to the level of morality and respectability and they made their Sunday a cheerless joyless day. . . .

So, according to them, Christianity is that which makes men and women miserable, which makes them feel that they are always failures.  They try to be better, and they cannot succeed, but they must go on trying because it is the only way to get into the kingdom of God, to get into heaven.  It is by your life and your own activities that you do it; so you go on trying and trying and, in the words of Milton, you ‘scorn delights and live laborious days,’ ever trying but never succeeding.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Kingdom of God (Wheaton, 1992), pages 73-74.

Daily Roundup

Sacred Cows and Stars – Part 1 of a series on modern evangelicalism.

Ca$h Cow$ & Fat Cat$ – Part 2 of a series on modern evangelicalism.

Stuffed Shirts and Their Sycophants – Part 3 of series on modern evangelicalism.

Christians Are Sinners Too – Wow, what a novel idea.  As much as we like to think we have progressed beyond sin now that we are saved, there is nothing like this article to remind us of what our sinful nature is like.

Bigger Fish to Fry – Jesus’s mission is bigger than next Tuesday’s election. Way bigger.

The Difference Between Our Sanctification and Our Glorification – A short 5 minute video that illustrates these two issues very well.

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I know what I want to preach and what I think must be preached and I have a feeling I’ll be able to say it.  – Martyn Lloyd-Jones on why he became a preacher.

 

 

Sermon Central

Christian and Non-Christian

By Martyn-Lloyd Jones

HERE WE COME TO A dramatic and almost an abrupt statement. The Apostle has been describing the kind of life which is lived by the “other Gentiles”, the kind of life that these Ephesians Christians themselves used to live – the life still being lived by those of their compatriots and fellows who had not believed the gospel of Jesus Christ. And having finished his description he suddenly turns, and uses this word But. Now to get the full force of this, let us look at the statement again as a whole. “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ”; and then Paul goes on to say, “if so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus”.

We come, then, to this extraordinary, dramatic, vivid, almost, I say, abrupt statement which the Apostle makes here. And it is obvious that he put it in this form quite deliberately, in order to call attention to it and to shock them, and in order to bring out the tremendous contrast that he has in mind. And therefore the emphasis must be placed both upon the but and upon the you. “But you” – “you have not so learned Christ”: the you in contrast with those other Gentiles; and the but standing here as a great word of contrast to bring out this marked antithesis. What then do those two words suggest to us?

The first thing, surely, that they should convey to us is a feeling of relief and of thanksgiving. I start with this because I think that it is the thing that we should be conscious of first of all. We have followed the Apostle’s masterly analysis, his psychological dissection of the life of the unbeliever, the pagan, the man who is not a Christian, and we see how it goes from bad to worse because his mind is wrong. He is in a state of darkness, the heart is affected, and he is alienated Continue reading