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?”

Quote:

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

Presupposed Pain – Those who are truly in Christ must acknowledge the full counsel of God. Knowing persecution is at the doorstep should always revert the believer’s soul towards one comfort that is God Himself.

God’s Scissors And The Cloth of Creation – The potter God handled his clay and set the wheel spinning. The artist God grasped his brush and put it to the canvas. The composer God opened his musical score and put down the first notes.

Christians, We Are Repenters – Are we dissatisfied with the idea of being Christian in name only, and passionate about living as “repenters” who have tasted the goodness and grace of God and can never be the same again.

A Practical Understanding Of The Sufficiency of Scripture, Part 2Part 1 was outstanding, and this one is a good read also.

Quote:

“Whether you can see it or not – and often we cannot – everything is being used of God for your good as well as the good of others…This knowledge is by faith. It is not always by sight. But it is nevertheless certain, because it is based on the character of God, who reveals himself to us as both sovereign and benevolent…We are not to be anxious about the unknown future or to fret about it. We are to live in a moment-by-moment dependence upon God.” – notes from a late 1980′s sermon of Dr. James Montgomery Boice

Inseparably Loved

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-39 NASB

All the elect will be kept secure by God, even in the face of mounting persecution and even martyrdom.  Such painful ordeals will be only the means by which they enter into glory.  But Christ will never remove His saving love from them.  John MacArthur writes, “Only the true believer perseveres, not because he is strong in himself but because he has the power of God’s indwelling Spirit.  His perseverance does not keep his salvation safe but probes that his salvation is safe.  Those who fail to persevere not only demonstrate their lack of courage but, much more important, their lack of genuine faith.  God will keep and protect even the most fearful person who truly belongs to Him.  On the other hand, even the bravest of those who are merely professing Christians will invariably fall away when the cost of being identified with Christ becomes too great.  Only true Christians are overcomers because only true Christians have the divine help of Christ’s own Spirit.”