Round Up

Kill Your Jesus Talisman – When I was a kid I had a poster of Philippians 4:13 — “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” — with a photo of a guy dunking a basketball. You can bet I thought long and hard about how Jesus was gonna help me dunk on some fools.

The False Teachers: Arius – Tim Challies is setting out on a series of articles about false teachers down through the history of the Church.

The False Teachers: Pelagius – Tim Challies second article on false teachers in church history.

Engineered Revivals – Revelations regarding the “Spontaneous Baptisms How-To Guide.”  (If you need a “How-To Guide” it ain’t a true revival.)

When Silence is Sinful – This article is aimed at the Charismatic Movement, but could easily apply to the SBC also.

Quote:

Every son of man is born in sin (Psalm 51:5).  So when the prince of this world first approaches a young soul with this or that wicked proposal, he finds the soul unarmed and in its natural state already familiar with his policies.  Yielding to Satan’s control will therefore not cause much of a stir in the naturally sinful heart.  But when Christ campaigns for a soul, He proposes sweeping changes.  And the selfish soul, which generally likes things as they are, answers Him with the same scorn as the rebellious citizens int he parable:  “We will not have this man to reign over us!” (Luke 19:14).  The vote is unanimous:  All the lusts cast their ballots against Christ, and rise up like the Philistines against Samson, whom they called the destroyer of their country (Judges 16:23-24).  If God’s grace did not step in and override the veto, the whole world would be held in Satan’s sway. – William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour

Undiscerned Spiritual Pride

Jonathan EdwardsThis is an edited version of Jonathan Edwards’ Part IV, section 1 of “Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion in New England” (from The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Banner of Truth Trust, volume one, pp. 398-403). In this case, an edited version cannot do true justice to the whole essay, so it is highly recommended that you acquire this treatise and read the complete version yourself.

  The first and worst cause of errors that prevail in our day and age is spiritual pride. This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christ. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit to darken the mind and mislead the judgement. Pride is the main handle by which he has hold of Christian persons and the chief source of all the mischief that he introduces to clog and hinder a work of God. Spiritual pride is the main spring or at least the main support of all other errors. Until this disease is cured, medicines are applied in vain to heal all other diseases.
  It is by spiritual pride that the mind defends and justifies itself in other errors and guards itself against light by which it might be corrected and reclaimed. The spiritually proud man is full of light already and feels that he does not need instruction, so he is ready to despise the offer of it. On the other hand, the humble person is like a little child who easily receives instruction. He is cautious in his estimate of himself, sensitive as to how liable he is to go astray. If it is suggested to him that he does go astray, he is most ready to inquire into the matter. Nothing sets a Christian so much out of the devil’s reach than humility and so prepares the mind for divine light without darkness and so clears the eye to look at things as they truly are Psalm 25:9—He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way. If spiritual pride is healed, other things are easily rectified. Our first care should be to rectify the heart and pull the beam of pride out of our eye and then we shall see clearly.
  Those who are most zeal ous in the cause of God are the most likely to be targeted as being filled with pride. When any person appears, in any respect, to be remarkably distinguished from others in his Christian walk, odds are ten to one that it will immediately awaken the jealousy of those about him. They will suspect (whether they have good reason or not) that he is very proud of his goodness and that he probably thinks no one as good as he, so that everything he says and does is observed with this Continue reading

Weekend Roundup

Law-Lite leads to Gospel-Lite leads to a watered-down Faith in the very potent mercy of God in Christ – What we hear preached makes a huge difference in our view of God’s salvation.

What Does It Mean to Abide In Christ – Sinclair Ferguson lists 4 aspects of abiding in Christ in this excerpt from In Christ Alone, which, through the 31st of August can be downloaded for free here.

Would We Know a Revival If We Say One? – J. I. Packer reflects on his longing to see a revival.

There is Nothing Common About Grace – Grace is a provision for men who are so fallen that they cannot lift the ax of justice; so corrupt that they cannot change their own natures; so adverse to God that they cannot turn to Him; so blind that they cannot see Him; so deaf that they cannot hear Him; and so dead that He Himself must open their graves.

Astronomy Images – I love images of the heavens as, for me, they remind me of the grandeur, magnitude, and shear intelligence of God.  In this set, images 1, 5, and 7 are my favorites.

 

Ten Contemporary Sacred Cows that need Tipping

Found this an interesting read this morning. 

1. Entertainment-based Sermons

Pastors/elders/teachers want to be liked. Some want to be liked so much that they’re willing to entertain their hearers while preaching the Bible. They wrongly assume that because people enjoy their sermons, they enjoy Jesus as well. The problem is that if we’re seeking to entertain our hearers, then we don’t believe God or Scripture can hold the attention of God’s people. In other words, you may say “the Bible is worthy of your attention,” but if you’re using entertainment to communicate this, then you’re undercutting your message with your methods. If the Bible is worthy to be heard because God is its Author, then you shouldn’t have to use entertainment to get Christians to listen to it. You just might be entertaining your hearers to death.

2. Bribes

Easter Sunday was just a few weeks ago. With the heightened cultural interest in the resurrection of Christ, churches pulled out all the stops to persuade attendees. Churches gave away cars, money, ipads, food, etc. Continue reading

Revival?

Every time we drive by a church with a sign out front announcing, “Revival meetings here next week,” we are confronted with an understanding of revival that exaggerates the human dynamic. It may seem a small point, and I do not wish to be unfair. But how can we advertise a revival and expect to retain credibility? Presumably we do this because the very idea of revival has been diminished to an event on the church calendar. Evangelistic meetings — maybe that’s all people mean when they announce a revival — are a legitimate program. But true revival is not a scheduled program. It is a gift from the Throne wonderfully interrupting our little programs. The Holy Spirit blows like the wind, unpredictably, mysteriously, uncontrollably, wherever he pleases (John 3:8). We can’t announce him in advance. We can only pray that he will blow our way.

– Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., When God Comes to Church (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 2000), 19-20.