Why should we know God's Word?

In our day and age where anti-intellectualism runs rampant in the visible church, it is not surprising to see poll after poll verify what students of scripture have known for many years. The visible church does not know much about the scriptures they profess to believe in. This is sad considering many saints during the Reformation period lost their lives for the sake of being able to read and study God's word. Not to mention the many passages in scripture that speak as such:

Isaiah 66:2 This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
John 8:31-32 Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Psalm 19:7-8 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.

The posts on this blog will address essential Biblical doctrines of the Christian faith. You can find much of the background for the posts here. My prayer for these posts is that the people who read them will be encouraged to open their Bibles and not just read a verse or two, but learn them and indeed, be transformed by them. As Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17). This is my prayer as well.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A gospel that does not offend has not been understood

Very true and Mark Dever explains, along with some helpful comments from John Piper.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

God Enjoyed - The Valley of Vision

A prayer from the Valley of Vision. A treasure trove of Puritan prayers.

Thou incomprehensible but prayer-hearing God,
Known, but beyond knowledge, revealed, but unrevealed,
       my wants and welfare draw me to thee,
       for thou hast never said, ‘Seek ye me in vain’.
To thee I come in my difficulties, necessities, distresses;
       possess me with thyself,
       with a spirit of grace and supplication,
       with a prayerful attitude of mind,
       with access into warmth of fellowship,
       so that in the ordinary concerns of life
       my thoughts and desires may rise to thee,
       and in habitual devotion I may find a resource that will
       soothe my sorrows, sanctify my successes,
       and qualify me in all ways for dealings with my fellow men.

I bless thee that thou hast made me capable
       of knowing thee, the author of all being,
       of resembling thee, the perfection of all excellency,
       of enjoying thee, the source of all happiness.
O God, attend me in every part of my arduous and trying pilgrimage;
       I need the same counsel, defence, comfort I found at my beginning.
Let my religion be more obvious to my conscience,
       more perceptible to those around.
While Jesus is representing me in heaven, may I reflect him on earth,
While he pleads my cause, may I show forth his praise.

Continue the gentleness of thy goodness towards me,
And whether I wake or sleep, let thy presence go with me,
       thy blessing attend me.
Thou hast led me on and I have found thy promises true,
I have been sorrowful, but thou hast been my help,
       fearful, but thou hast delivered me,
       despairing, but thou hast lifted me up.
Thy vows are ever upon me,
And I praise thee, O God.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's a GOOD thing to have plodders in the church

So says Kevin DeYoung and I agree 100% with him. We have been speaking about membership in our morning services and my heart beats along the same lines as Kevin's. I encourage you to read the entire article found here, and here is a foretaste of the rich wisdom found in it:

"It’s sexy among young people — my generation — to talk about ditching institutional religion and starting a revolution of real Christ-followers living in real community without the confines of church. Besides being unbiblical, such notions of churchless Christianity are unrealistic. It’s immaturity actually, like the newly engaged couple who think romance preserves the marriage, when the couple celebrating their golden anniversary know it’s the institution of marriage that preserves the romance. Without the God-given habit of corporate worship and the God-given mandate of corporate accountability, we will not prove faithful over the long haul.

What we need are fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries. That’s my dream for the church — a multitude of faithful, risktaking plodders. The best churches are full of gospel-saturated people holding tenaciously to a vision of godly obedience and God’s glory, and pursuing that godliness and glory with relentless, often unnoticed, plodding consistency."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Will you come?

We sang a great hymn at our Wednesday Night Service that I had not sung in a long time. It is called "Jesus I Come". The Biblical view of effectual calling teaches that God personally calls the sinner to Himself through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and effectively, completely brings the sinner to salvation. In other words, God draws the sinner to Himself and even though the sinner is grieved over his sins he joyfully, wholeheartedly comes to Christ in faith and repentance. We, sinners worthy of condemnation, have the joy and humble privilege of coming to Christ where we find full redemption, lasting joy, eternal life, perfect righteousness and a peace that transcends all understanding.  This song beautifully sums up many of the spiritual benefits we have in the glorious riches of Christ. I have listed the lyrics below and also a nice piano accompaniment for the song via youtube.

The joy of every Christian is to daily come to Jesus, who is always with us. The offer to every non-Christian is to come to Jesus for the first time in repentance and faith for a perfect, everlasting redemption. Either way, have you come to Jesus?

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy bless├Ęd will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy throne,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

A little humor...

For those of us who believe and have rigorously defended the doctrines of grace from the scriptures - this one's for you. :o)

HT James White

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sovereign, Unconditional Election

A well done video that gives a brief apologetic for the doctrine of election and also shows the comfort and joy it brings to the chosen child of God.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

We were created for the praise, honor and glory of God

The Psalmist sings:
Psalm 67:3-5  Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 

As ones who have been granted life, food, drink, shelter, the ability to move and think and so much more, we have plenty to praise God for. If we have been bought with the blood of Christ, having all our sins forgiven then there is absolutely NO reason we shouldn't ALWAYS be praising our God! He doesn't need us yet He has given us more than we deserve and we could ever ask for. How could our response not be of heartfelt, humble adoration and praise unto the King of Kings and Lord of Lord? How great is our God! To God alone be the glory!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

God does not need you for ANYTHING

I know the title does not boost anybody's self-esteem or make us feel as special as the world tells us we are (at least my momma thinks I am:). But when we consider that God is self-sufficient in all respects, meaning, He does not need mankind to fulfill some emotional longing, relationship void, physical necessity, mental deficiency or even to complete His plans. Then we begin to understand that God is a pretty special being and we are... uh... uh... compared to God, we aren't much of anything. We are but dust, sinful, rebellious, utterly dependent upon God for everything.

Then why are we here? God in His infinite wisdom, mercy, grace and power created us for His own glory and graciously includes us in His plans on this spinning ball we call earth. The problem comes when we think we are absolutely necessary for God's plans to succeed, and He really needs us to get the job done here on earth. Oh yeah, it is also foolish to think God really, really, really, really wanted a relationship to fulfill an unmet desire therefore He created us. His love is neither increased if we love Him back or decreased if we do not return His love. It is as infinite and eternal as His other attributes.

Once we begin to realize the infinite and self-sufficient nature of God, we will be more in awe of everything He has done for us. It will humble us greatly and we will cry out for more of His strength to accomplish His purposes, realizing there is nothing in us to fulfill them. We will trust less in ourselves and more in the God with whom nothing is impossible. We will rejoice again in the gospel that opened the way to God through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God-man -- the ultimate example of God's self-sufficiency and our sin-sufficiency. We will quit striving in the flesh and be still and know He is God.

Listen to David's prayer, a man who understood God's self-sufficiency.
"Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. 
Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 
And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. 
But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 
For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. 
O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. 
I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. 
O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you."
1 Chronicles 29:10-18

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Latest in Sunday Service Innovation:)):

Mixed emotions on this one (hence the smile & frown in the title). On one level you can't help but laugh at such nonsense, but then on another level you become sad because it does represent a number of "churches" out there who practice this type of "worship" and "preaching". May God have mercy on such chicanery and bring the visible church to repentance.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Creation Sings

As we are in the middle of a beautiful spring let us remember that creation is to direct us to the creator.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." Psalm 19:1

"Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word!
Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and maidens together, old men and children!
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD! " Psalm 148

Let us join in the praise of creation unto the one who not only created us but recreated us in Christ Jesus!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Good warning

As one who is convinced from scripture of the doctrines of sovereign grace and the sovereignty of God in all things. And also that Biblical theology is essential for Christians to mature in the faith, this video is sobering and necessary. Although it is addressed to the "young" his counsel is relevant no matter what age you are.