Wednesday, May 27, 2015

NO MIDDLE GROUND

God has no middle ground.  The Law of God has no middle ground.  Moses had no middle ground.  Holiness and Purity has no middle ground.  The supposed classification of: moral laws, judicial laws, civil laws, ceremonial laws had no middle ground.  Jesus did not live a life keeping only the middle ground, but rather to complete perfection.  The punishment of Christ on the cross was not the Father's middle ground in justice or wrath.  The command to not murder has no middle ground.  The command to not commit adultery or idolatry has no middle ground. 

 When you say, "We are not going to be legalists, nor antinomians, but follow the middle ground" then you have already lowered the bar and have already abandoned the Law of God.  You cannot appeal to the law for a rule's existence and then appeal to a middle ground for the law's enforcement.  This approach to the Christian life and church discipline will not work with Christians who murder, and it is not allowed for Christians who broke the Sabbath.  

In church discipline it should be made public that, "This member was removed for murdering, or this member was removed for immorality due to breaking the Sabbath."  However this seems unlikely to happen, which in my opinion is not above board.  So what is occurring is that men are binding the consciences of others with a subjective rule which is not based on the Law of God, but on personal preference

WITHOUT THE HEART

"Without the heart it is no worship. It is a stage play. It is an acting of a part without being that person, really. It is playing the hypocrite."
STEPEHEN CHARNOCK

Friday, May 22, 2015

EVANGELISM IS NOT ABOUT YOU

“The more evangelism is about you, the less you will evangelize." ~ Matt Chandler

Monday, May 11, 2015

FELLOWSHIP

The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

Friday, May 1, 2015

Suffering Saints

(Jerome Zanchius, 1516-1590)

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son!" Romans 8:28-29 

The sovereignty of God is a comfort for suffering saints, acting to remove anxiety. How sweet must the following considerations be to a distressed believer!

1. There most certainly exists an almighty, all-wise and infinitely gracious God (Hebrews 11:6).

2. His love for His elect people is immutable; He never repents of it nor withdraws it (Jeremiah 31:3).

3. Whatever comes to pass in time, is the result of His sovereign will from everlasting (1 Corinthians 8:6).

4. Consequently my afflictions are a part of His sovereign will, and are all ordered in number, weight, and measure (Psalm 22:24).

5. The very hairs of my head (every one) are counted by Him; nor can a single hair fall to the ground but in consequence of His wise determination (Luke 12:7).

6. Hence my afflictions and distresses are not the result of chance, accident, or a fortuitous combination of circumstances (Psalm 56:8).

7. They are the providential accomplishment of God's eternal purpose (Romans 8:28), and are designed to answer some wise and gracious ends (James 5:10-11).

8. Nor shall my affliction continue a moment longer than God sees fit (2 Corinthians 7:6-7).

9. He who brought the affliction to me--has promised to support me under it and to carry me through it (Psalm 34:15-17).

10. All shall, most assuredly, work together for His glory and my good.

11. Therefore, "Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?" (John 18:11).

However keenly afflictions might wound us on their first access--yet, under the impression of such animating views, we should quickly come to ourselves again, and the arrows of affliction, would, in great measure lose their sharpness

Christians need nothing but absolute resignation to God's wise and gracious Providence, to render them perfectly happy in every possible circumstance. And absolute resignation can only flow from an absolute belief of, and an absolute acquiescence in, God's absolute Providence, founded on His absolute predestination (1 Thessalonians 1:2-4).

Thursday, March 26, 2015

CHRISTIAN LOVE

"Christian love... is compatible with the profoundest hatred of error, and the most zealous contending for the truth." -J Gresham Machen

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

THE VALUE OF WISDOM

The transcendent excellency divine wisdom

(James Smith, "Food for Hungry Souls")

"For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. 
 Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 
 She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. 
 She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. 
 Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly!" 
Proverbs 3:14-18 

See the transcendent excellency divine wisdom

Men desire health--but bodily health is only for a time. 
Divine wisdom gives perpetual health, both of body and soul. 

Men desire wealth--but riches are not forever.
Divine wisdom gives unsearchable riches--enduring riches! 

Men desire life--but human life is brief. 
Divine wisdom gives everlasting life, and life in perfection and interminable blessedness. 

Men desire honor--but earthly honor is fading. 
Divine wisdom confers the highest honors, associating us in the nearest relation with God, who is the source of all real honor. 

Men desire pleasure--but what does earthly pleasure amount to? 
Divine wisdom leads . . .
  to rivers of pleasure,
  to oceans of joy,
  to fountains of purest delight! 

Men desire fame--but fame among sinners, is but a puff of noisy breath. 
Divine wisdom makes us famous, if not on earth--in Heaven; if not in time--in eternity!

If therefore we would possess health and wealth; 
if we would live forever, and live forever in honor;
if we would enjoy endless pleasure, and shine among God's worthies
--then we must get wisdom! It is transcendently excellent, for all the world would not purchase it--though God freely gives it! Nor would the possession of the whole world make up for the loss of it--if we neglect and despise it. Nor would a world, or ten thousand worlds, make a man half so happy!

"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom!" Proverbs 4:7