August 23, 2004

THE PROMISES by Martin Luther

If God promises something, then faith must fight a long and bitter fight, for reason or the flesh judges that God's promises are impossible. Therefore faith must battle against reason and its doubts. The Devil, too, approaches us with promises, and indeed such as seem very plausible. It certainly requires at times a keen mind rightly to distinguish between God's true and the Devil's false promises. The promises of the Devil are seemingly very pleasant and acceptable. Faith is something that is busy, powerful and creative, though properly speaking, it is essentially an enduring than a doing. It changes the mind and heart. While reason holds to what is present, faith apprehends the things that are not seen. Contrary to reason, faith regards the invisible things as already materialized. This explains why faith, unlike hearing is not found in many, for only few believe, while the great majority cling to the things that are present and can be felt and handled rather than to the Word.

This, then, is the mark of the true divine promises, that they are contrary to reason so that it refuses to believe them. The promises of the Devil, on the contrary, are in full agreement with reason and are readily and uncritically accepted. God's promises which are true and faithful, lead to the cross, and by the cross to His eternal blessing. Therefore reason is offended at them in two ways. It regards as nothing what is invisible and far away in the future, and it detests the cross as a calamity that is everlasting and without end. That is the reason why despite the riches of the divine promises, few believe them. These are such whose hearts are led by the Holy Spirit so that, as Abraham, they defy all foes and cling to the Word of God who calls them.

Before Abraham came to Canaan he was blessed in many ways, but in the land of promise, he, despite his strong faith was forced to go into another country to escape the fury of the famine. God does this purposely to try the faith of His saints. However after a short time, He restores to them not only earthly prosperity, as Abraham became very wealthy, but He also gives them a greater faith and a deeper experience of His divine grace and mercy. For this reason Paul says in Romans 5:3 that though God's saints sigh under their cross, yet they glory in their tribulations when they discover how wonderfully God directs their life.

God thus proves Himself the Protector of all that put their trust in Him. He tries their faith by chastisements, but never forsakes them. Finally, He gloriously delivers them and at the same time benefits others with them.

August 22, 2004


"To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not tiresome, but for you it is safe" (necessary) (Phil. 3:1). We never grow weary of preaching the word of our Lord, the gospel of His grace; and we never tire of gathering together in His name to worship, pray, and fellowship with His people. The old story is forever NEW; the familiar scriptures are FRESHER AND SWEETER with every taste.

1. To often hear His word preached is to keep our hearts and minds on Christ, the fountain of life.

2. To often hear His word preached is a safeguard against false doctrine and false teachers. An untaught child is more easily led astray than one "taught of God."

3. To often hear His word preached guards against self-righteousness. No danger of a person who is often in the presence of HIS HOLINESS seeing any merit in himself.

4. To often hear His word preached refreshes our spirits, brings peace to our hearts, and beauty to our countenances. One can look at flowers and readily see which flowers ARE MOST OFTEN WATERED!

August 21, 2004

The New Birth by A.W. Pink

The new birth is solely the work of God the Spirit and man has no part or lot in it. This from the very nature of the case. Birth altogether excludes the idea of any effort or work on the part of the one who is born. Personally we have no more to do with our spiritual birth than we had with our natural birth. The new birth is a spiritual resurrection, a "passing from death unto life"(John 5:24) and, clearly, resurrection is altogether outside of man's province. No corpse can reanimate itself. Hence it is written, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing"(John 6:63). But the Spirit does not "quicken" everybody --why? The usual answer returned to this question is, because everybody does not trust in Christ. It is supposed that the Holy Spirit quickens only those who believe. But this is to put the cart before the horse. Faith is not the cause of the new birth, but the consequence of it. This ought not to need arguing. Faith (in God) is an exotic, something that is not native to the human heart. If faith were a natural product of the human heart, the exercise of a principle common to human nature, it would never have been written, "All men have not faith" (2 Thessalonians 3:2). Faith is a spiritual grace, the fruit of the spiritual nature, and because the unregenerate are spiritually dead -- "dead in trespasses and sins" -- then it follows that faith from them is impossible, for a dead man cannot believe anything. "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:8) -- but they could if it were possible for the flesh to believe. Compare with this last quoted scripture Hebrews 11: 6 -- "But without faith it is impossible to please him." Can God be "pleased" or satisfied with any thing which does not have its origin in himself? --A. W. Pink

August 20, 2004

The lukewarm Christian by Todd Nibert

Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Christ says concerning the lukewarm Christian, "I will spew thee out of My mouth." Who is the lukewarm Christian? He is not the "hot" believer. On fire with a zeal for Christ's glory. He is not the "cold" Christian. The cold Christian is the one who feels cold in the things of God, and is miserable because of that. Both hot and cold are states of discomfort. Christ says to the lukewarm Christian, "Thou art neither cold nor hot. I would that thou were cold or hot." The lukewarm Christian is the one who takes the temperature of his surroundings. Lukewarmness is the way of least resistance. Moderate. Balanced. Middle of the road. Avoiding extremes. Fence straddling. It is the easy way. The comfortable way.....not to hot, not too cold. Christ says to the lukewarm Christian, "Because thou art lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth."Christ, His Gospel, the Doctrines of grace, the Word of God, if true are of infinite importance. If false, they are of no importance. But one thing they cannot be is moderately important. The lukewarm Christian is the moderate Christian. The middle of the road Christian. The head on collision occurs in "the middle of the road".

August 13, 2004

The Gospel of Peace by Gary Shepard

Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The whole range of deception and deceivers is very broad. At opposite ends of the range are two deceivers both of which display the spirit of antichrist. On the one side there is the preacher who is quite willing to freely and quickly speak peace to any and all on any basis. If they profess to be a Christian, if they have had a religious experience, if they claim to believe some doctrine, if they are morally upright or if they act religious, he speaks “peace” to them, tells them they are right with God, demonstrates a confidence in their standing before God and constantly reassures them of such. It does not matter that they do not know and believe the truth because he doesn’t. It doesn’t matter that they are not born from above by the Holy Spirit because he isn’t. It doesn’t matter that their hope of salvation is not in Christ alone, by grace alone, through the bloody death of Christ alone and through God-given faith alone because his isn’t. It has been rightly said that the only person who will give assurance to a lost man is another lost man!At the other end of the range is that man who refuses peace to anyone! His message is one of constant doubt. It is a gospel of works, of bondage and fear and leaves all without hope. He refuses to set forth Christ as that Good Hope. He makes salvation to ultimately depend on the doing, maintaining and a system of legalism rather than on the finished work of Christ. He refuses full assurance to anyone, guides his hearers into perpetual introspection and knows nothing of true joy in Christ. He and his hearers are as lost as those previously mentioned. He does not show that peace made by Christ through the blood of His cross. His followers never have peace because he doesn’t. They never demonstrate grace and love because he doesn’t. Thank God there are some sent of God who speak the peace of the gospel of Christ crucified. They cannot “speak peace,” that is regard as truly a Christian and the object of God’s mercy and saving grace, any but those who have heard and believe the true gospel wherein God’s righteousness is revealed. But to all who have heard and have some God-given understanding of the one way God remains just in justifying sinners, to all who believe on and love Christ, His gospel and people as they truly are, to these who believe the promise of salvation in Christ, he speaks the gospel which speaks peace, assurance, joy and blessing to them!

August 12, 2004

The Glory of His Grace by Tim James

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”Ephesians 1:6

A poet wrote “Grace! ‘tis a charming sound, harmonious to the ear”. To everyone who has tasted the bitterness of their own sin and has come to know and feel their own depravity, grace is indeed a charming sound. However, it is not so with everyone. There are those to whom the word and the doctrine are bitter to their taste and unpleasant to their ears. Grace is such a singular and absolute principle that it will countenance no rival and will stand for no mixture with it. It resides alone as the means by which God saves sinners. No words can do grace justice! No song can encompass its true melody. No sermon or theological treatise can expound the depths or heights of its glory. Every redeemed person rests in it and is motivated to work by it. It is the source of comfort and conviction, of joy and tears, of desire and fulfillment, of meekness and boldness and those who have experienced the wonder of it are forever enamored by it. Those who have experienced the beauty and the power of it find their mind and heart consumed by it. It is mystery and revelation. Their language is salted with it. Their relationships are monitored and measured by it. Their very soul is permeated with it. They are possessed with a kind of “tunnel vision” that, to the world, seems to borders on fanatacism. Their conversation is so singularly taken wit grace that religion often refers to them as “gracers” or “sovereign gracers” and usually in an effort to disallow them, to mock them. But the recipient of grace can not help himself. He gladly takes up the banner and wears the disdain of the world as a badge of honor. God’s grace is part and parcel of His glory (Exodus 33:19).

August 11, 2004


"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 1:7). Happy the soul that has been awed by a view of god's majesty, that has had a vision of God's awful greatness, His ineffable holiness, His perfect righteousness, His irresistible power, His sovereign grace. Does someone save,"But it is only the unsaved, those outside of Christ, who need to fear God"? Then the sufficient answer is that the saved, those who are in Christ, are admonished to work out their own salvation with "fear and trembling." Time was when it was the general custom to speak of a believer as a "God-fearing man." That such an appellation has become nearly extinct only serves to show whither we have drifted. Nevertheless, it still stands written, "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him" (Psalm 103:13).

When we speak of godly fear, of course we do not mean a servile fear, such as prevails among the heathen in connection with their gods. No, we mean that spirit which Jehovah is pledged to bless, that spirit to which the prophet referred when he said, "To this man will I (the Lord) look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" (Isa. 66:2). It was this the apostle had in view when he wrote, "Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king" (I Pet. 2:17). And nothing will foster this godly fear like a recognition of the Sovereign Majesty of God. --A. W. Pink

August 10, 2004

The Confession Of Our Faith byTodd Nibert

Hbr 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised;

In Heb. 10:23, we are instructed to "Hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering." Just what is this confession we are instructed to hold fast to, and not waver in? It can be summarized by these four statements which all believers, without exception, believe. These were the watchword of the reformation.

. Scriptures Alone. The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, perfect and complete word of God. We look to scripture alone as our only rule of faith and practice. Scripture has an absolute monopoly on truth. Any departure from this is a departure from Christ. "To the law and the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" Isaiah 8:20.

. Christ Alone. Christ, the Living Word, is the message of the written word. Christ is the Gospel. "Christ is all" (Col. 3:11), is the message of the scriptures. He is all to God, all in scripture, all in salvation, and all to the believer. The SURE and ONLY hope of every child of God is the Person and the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Who He is, the God-Man, guarantees the success of what He did. He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. The Alpha and the Omega. Christ alone is our only ground of acceptance before God, and the only object of our faith.

. GRACE ALONE. Every aspect of salvation from the beginning (election) to the end (glorification), and everything between the beginning and the end , is all of God's grace. No part of salvation can be ascribed to man. To ascribe any part of salvation to the religious efforts, works, or free-will of man, is to deny salvation by grace. "By grace are ye saved" (Eph. 2:8).

. FAITH ALONE. Christ and His salvation is not received by doing, but by believing. And it is not carried on or improved by doing. It is carried on by believing. We never rise above faith in Christ. We never progress past a sinner saved by grace. Spiritual growth does not occur by our works, but by learning to look to Christ more completely. Truly, "The just shall live by faith".This is the confession of our faith, in which we must hold fast and not waver!

August 07, 2004

Does God receive all the glory. by E. Wilson

Of the self-righteous believer, or the sinner saved by grace

I chose to serve Christ by my own Free-will, or Christ chose me, unworthy as I am
John 15:16

I love Christ so He shall reward me, or Christ first loved me, before I ever loved Him.
I John 4:19

I asked Christ into my life, or Christ irresistibly called me by His grace
Gal 1:15-16, John 6:27

I opened my heart to let the Lord come in, or Christ removed my hard heart and came in
Ezek 36:26

I frequently exercise faith in Christ, or Christ granted me faith teaching me trust
Eph 2:8

I repented of my sins, so Christ cleansed me, or Christ regenerated me and turned me from sin
Titus 3:5

I receive Christ’s atonement and teaching, or Christ drew me by the Holy Spirit with His love
Jer 31:3

I am a fervent disciple of Christ, or Christ made me willing to serve Him
Psa 110:3

I pray to Christ and claim my promises daily, or Christ intercedes for me and encourages me to pray
Rom 8:26

I have given up much in order to serve Christ, or Christ gave up all to save me though I deserve hell
Rom 5:8-9

I have kept myself close to Christ, or Christ has kept me close by His grace
Psa 30:3

What they base their hope on, or What I base my Hope on

“God, I ask You to forgive me of my sins.
I believe in Jesus Christ and in His death
on the cross for my sins. I ask You to
enter my life right now, and provide me
strength as I commit my life to You this day."

Moreover whom He did predestinate,
them He also called: and whom He called,
them He also justified: and whom
He justified, them He also glorified.”
Rom 8:30

1Cr 1:31 "That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

August 04, 2004

Soft Pillows by Spurgeon

I am persuaded that the doctrine of predestination is one of the 'softest pillows' upon which the Christian can lay his head, and one of the 'strongest staffs' upon which he may lean, in his pilgrimage along this rough road. Cheer up, Christian! Things are not left to chance! No blind fate rules the world! God has purposes, and those purposes are fulfilled! God has plans, and those plans are wise, and never can be broken! Your trials always come to you at the right moment--The language of your faith should be, "Great God, I leave my times and seasons in your hand, for well I know if you smite me again and again, and again, it is that you may multiply blessings to me, that my manifold trials may produce in me manifold blessings."So be of good cheer, my hearer. He knows when your strength is spent, and you are ready to perish, then shall the Sun of Righteousness arrive with healing beneath his wings. Your deliverances from trouble shall always come to you intime enough; but they shall never come too soon, lest you be proud in your heart. Learn, believer, to be resigned to God's will. Learn to leave all things in his hand.Tis pleasant to float along the 'stream of providence'. There is no more blessed way of living, than the life of faith upon a covenant-keeping God--to know that we have no care, for he cares for us; that we need have no fear, except to fear him;that we need have no troubles, because we have cast our burdens upon the Lord, and are conscious that he will sustain us.

August 03, 2004

Saving Faith by A.W. Pink

Perhaps the reader is already a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet that, of itself, is no proof he has been born again and is journeying to Heaven. The New Testament tells us "many believed in His name when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them" (John 2:23, 24). "As He spake these words many believed on Him" (John 8:30), yet v. 59 shows that a little later they sought to stone Him! "Among the chief rulers also many believed (not simply 'about', but) on Him." Ah! but note what immediately follows: "but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:42, 43) – what a proof that they were utter strangers to a saving work of God in their souls: yet they were "believers" in the Lord Jesus!

There is a faith in Christ which is saving, and there is a faith in Christ which is not saving. Possibly the reader says, "But I know that mine is the former: I have seen myself as a lost sinner, realize I can do nothing to gain acceptance with God, and have put my trust in the finished work of His Son." Ah! my friend, the heart is terribly deceitful (Jer. 17:9) and Satan deludes many (Rev. 12:9). So much is at stake that it behooves each of us to make sure. Only a fool is ready to give himself the "benefit of the doubt" in an issue so momentous as this.
Probably many a reader is ready to continue, "But I know that my faith in Christ is a genuine and saving one, for it rests upon the sure Word of God." Dear friends, others who were equally sure as you are now in Hell! Suffer us to enquire, Have you tested your faith by Scripture? Have you taken the trouble to ascertain whether your faith is accompanied by those evidences which are inseparable from a saving faith? A saving faith is a supernatural thing, and brings forth supernatural fruit. Is this true in your case? Do these questions somewhat puzzle? Then let us try to explain.
n Acts 15:9 we read, "purifying their hearts by faith" – compare Matt. 5:8; 1 Pet. 1:22. A purified heart is one that has been purged of all impure idols and turned to a pure object (1 Thess. 1:9). It loathes all that is sinful, and loves all that is holy. A pure heart is one that has been cleansed from the love of all that is evil.

Another characteristic of saving faith is that it "worketh by love" (Gal. 5:6). Faith is a mighty principle of operation by which the Christian lives unto God, by which he treads the path of obedience, by which he resists the Devil and denies the flesh. And this, not from fear, but "by love." Perfectly? In this life, No, but actually and in the main, Yes.

"Whosoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4). God has opened the eyes of the Christian to see the hollowness and worthlessness of the best that this poor world has to offer; and has weaned his heart from it by satisfying with spiritual and heavenly things.

Now, dear reader, is it not evident that as a fountain is known by the waters which issue from it, so the nature of your faith may be ascertained by what it is bringing forth? Have you been saved from a dislike of God's commands and a disrelish for His holiness? Have you been saved from pride, from covetousness, from murmuring? Christ died not to procure the pardon of our sins and the taking us to Heaven, while our hearts still remain clinging to the things of earth. No, He lived and died so that His Spirit might quicken His people into newness of life, making them "new creatures", and causing them to sojourn in this world as those who are not of it, but as those whose hearts are already departed from it. But do we not read, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31)? Yes, but note the apostles did not tell the jailor to "rest on the finished work of Christ"; instead, they set before him a Person. Nor did they say "Believe on the Saviour", but "on the Lord Jesus Christ." Saving faith necessarily involves the renouncing of our own sinful, "lordship", the throwing down of the weapons of our warfare against Him, and the submitting to His yoke and rule. And before any sinful rebel is brought to that place, a miracle of grace has to be wrought within him. Saving faith consists of the complete surrender of my whole being and life to the lordship of Christ: "they first gave their own selves to the Lord" (2 Cor. 8:5). Have you? Have you?

August 02, 2004

Reading the Bible by J.C. Ryle

1. READ THE BIBLE WITH AN EARNEST DESIRE TO UNDERSTAND IT. Do not be content to just read the words of Scripture. Seek to grasp the message they contain.
2. READ THE SCRIPTURES WITH A SIMPLE, CHILDLIKE FAITH & HUMILITY. Believe what God reveals. Reason must bow to God's revelation.
3. READ THE WORD WITH A SPIRIT OF OBEDIENCE AND SELF-APPLICATION. Apply what God says to yourself and obey His will in all things.
4. READ THE HOLY SCRIPTURES EVERY DAY. We quickly lose the nourishment and strength of yesterday's bread.We must feed our souls daily upon the manna God has given us.
5. READ THE WHOLE BIBLE AND READ IT IN AN ORDERLY WAY. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable." I know of no better way to read the Bible than to start at the beginning and read straight through to the end, a portion everyday, comparing Scripture with Scripture.
6. READ THE WORD OF GOD FAIRLY AND HONESTLY. As a general rule, any passage of Scripture means what it appears to mean. Interpret every passage in this simple manner, in its context.
7. READ THE BIBLE WITH CHRIST CONSTANTLY IN VIEW. The whole Book is about Him.Look for Him on every page. He is there.I f you fail to see Him there, you need to read that page again.

August 01, 2004

Purpose of God by Don Fortner

The Lord our God is a God of purpose-absolute and unalterable purpose. God's purpose must and shall be accomplished. Before the world was made, before time began, almighty God sovereignly purposed all that comes to pass. Everything that is, has been, and shall here after be, was purposed by God from eternity. Everything in the universe is moving toward the predestined end of God’s eternal purpose with absolute, precision and accuracy. Everything that comes to pass in time was purposed by our God in eternity.
(1.) The purpose of God is eternal.
(2.) The purpose of God includes all things.
(3.) The purpose of God has for its particular design the spiritual and eternal benefit ofGod's elect. Everything God has purposedis for the ultimate, spiritual, and eternal blessedness of his covenant people.
(4.) The purpose of God is immutable and sure.That which comes to pass in time is exactly what God purposed from eternity.
(5.) In its ultimate end, God’s purpose will accomplish the eternal salvation of his electand the glory of his own great name.
All God’s elect shall be saved. Not one of Christ’s sheep shall perish. Every sinner redeemed by blood shall besaved by grace and crowned with glory. The purpose of God demands it. The law of God demands it. Justice satisfied, cannot punish those for whom it has been satisfied.