May 31, 2005

The Paradox Of Scripture by Todd Nibert

According to Webster, a paradox is "something apparently absurd or incredible, yet may be true in fact; a tenet contrary to received opinions." How full the Word of God is with paradoxes. Here are a few:

1. The only way up in the kingdom of heaven is down (Matt. 20:20-28).
2. The pre-requisite for spiritual strength is weakness (II Cor. 12:9-10).
3. The most mature in the kingdom of heaven are the most child-like (Matt. 18:1-4).
4. The church is the only society on earth where unworthiness is required for membership. Being a sinner is the prerequisite for salvation (I Tim. 1:15).
5. The blessed of. God are the poor, the hungry, and the persecuted. Those who are not blessed are the rich, full, and loved (Luke 6:20-26).
6. The believer gains assurance of his own personal acceptance before God based wholly upon something he personally had nothing to do with, but what Somebody else has done (Rom. 4:5-8).
7. The believer is instructed to be totally content and totally discontent at the same time (Phil. 4:12).
8. The believer would not dare come before God on the basis of any work performed, yet longs to be rich in good works (James 2:19).
9. The believer knows he is without a shred of righteousness before God, and yet knows he stands without a shred of sin before God (I John 1:8-10).
10. The believer is at the precise same time happy and sad, rejoicing and miserable, pessimistic and optimistic (Rom. 7:14-25).

An unbeliever can never understand these paradoxes. A believer may not be able to explain them, but he understands them because he has experienced them. By Todd Nibert

May 23, 2005

The Gift of Quiteness by Chris Cunningham

(Job 34:29) "When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?"

As the text implies, it is man's nature to make trouble. I observe that most not only take great pleasure in causing trouble for others, but seem to thrive upon it themselves. People seem discontent unless their lives are a constant turmoil of confusion and chaos. We are even entertained by it. The popular tabloid TV programs enthrall people with shows having titles such as "Children Who Want to Kill Their Parents" and "Sisters Who Steal Their Sisters' Husbands."

This, of course, is just an expression and illustration of our spiritual condition. Men and women are raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame (Jude 13). How accurately are we described in Isaiah 57:20, But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
Not only is our wicked heart a busy hive of evil and unrest which manifests itself in society in many ways, but our real problem is that all of this enmity is really directed toward God. If I kill my parents or steal my brother's wife, or have pleasure in them that do such things (Rom; 1:32), I'm not sinning against them, but GOD (Ps. 51:4). My real trouble is with HIM.

This being the case, then I see that my great primary need is peace with God. It is in the very face of God Himself, my Creator, that I am casting up my mire and dirt and foaming out my shame; and I shall have eternal damnation for it. I must somehow be at peace with GOD, and yet how can this be, seeing that The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity (Ps. 5:5).

The Lord Jesus Christ has made peace with God the Father, for His people, through the precious, priceless blood of His cross (Col. 1:20). Only He has the power to speak to the troubled sea, Peace, be still, and make it calm as glass. Only He can break the wild ass's colt (Job 11:12) and make him lie down like a lamb. He is the unspeakable Gift of quietness. Who then can make trouble (Rom. 8:34)? by Chris Cunningham

May 12, 2005

No New Doctrine by CH Spurgeon

It is no novelty, then, that I am preaching; no new doctrine. I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines that are called by nickname Calvinism, but which are truly and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus. By this truth I make my pilgrimage into the past, and as I go, I see father after father, confessor after confessor, martyr after martyr, standing up to shake hands with me . . . Taking these things to be the standard of my faith, I see the land of the ancients peopled with my brethren; I behold multitudes who confess the same as I do, and acknowledge that this is the religion of God's own church.

I have my own opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel if we do not preach justification by faith without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing unchangeable eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross.

George Whitefield said, "We are all born Arminians." It is grace that turns us into Calvinists.

I do not ask whether you believe Calvinism. It is possible that you do not. But I believe you will before you enter heaven. I am persuaded that as God may have washed your hearts, He will wash your brains before you enter heaven.

Calvinism did not spring from Calvin. We believe that it sprang from the great founder of all truth. By C.H. Spurgeon

May 11, 2005

Why do you believe the doctrine of the trinity? by Don Fortner

We worship one God in the Trinity, or "Tri-unity", of his sacred Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and adore each of the Divine Persons as the God of all grace by whom we are saved. What is the basis of our doctrine in this regard? Can we prove the doctrine of the Trinity upon logical, scientific grounds?

I frankly confess my inability to produce a single argument drawn from nature or logic to prove the doctrine of the Trinity. It is a mystery filled with such grandeur that it defies comprehension by every finite mind. But our faith does not stand upon nature and logic. It stands upon the Word of God alone! I believe this doctrine because it is revealed in the Scriptures; and I see the beauty of it because I believe it.

The Apostle John states the doctrine of the Trinity plainly. "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (I John 5:7). In addition to this definitive statement there are numerous examples in which the Trinity is set before us.
1. The Baptism of Christ (Matt. 3:16-17).
2. The Baptismal Formula (Matt. 28:18).
3. The Apostolic Benediction (II Cor. 13:14).
4. The Promise of the Son to Pray to the Father for the Gift of the Spirit (John 14:16).

The New Testament declares that God the Father is God (Rom. 1:7), God the Son is God (Heb. 1:8), and God the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). Yet, these three Divine Persons are one God (Deut. 6:4). Someone has accurately stated it this way: "The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead invisible (John 1:18); the Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested (John 1:14-18); the Spirit is all the fullness of the Godhead acting immediately upon the creature (I Cor. 2:9-10)."

See that you grasp this doctrine firmly. We worship one God in three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in essence, being, power, and glory, yet, distinct in personality and performance. This doctrine is altogether a matter of faith, simply believing what God has written. There is nothing even remotely similar to the Trinity in creation by which it can even be illustrated. By Pastor Donald Fortner

May 09, 2005

Arminianism vs. Calvinism by Julianne

One way to boil down the essential differences between these two views is to pose this question: is man able to choose God prior to God’s intervention? That is, are men only drowning and in need of choosing to grab the life ring God how thrown them in Jesus (Arminianism); or are men already at the bottom of the sea, dead, in need of discovery and resuscitation by God (Calvinism).

Though the Synod of Dordt (and other such convocations) rejected Arminianism as unbiblical, many professing Christians believe it to be true today. Why?

One reason is that human nature drives man to be in control. Individuals naturally want to believe this. So they want to think they “make a decision” for Christ. They want to believe they have enough goodness in them to recognize the goodness of God and embrace Him. Humans want to believe their problem is not their corrupt nature so much as a lack of knowledge of this God who loves them.

They also misunderstand God’s love. They think His love is not “true” love when He predestines them. However, the Bible makes it clear that it is God who initiates and accomplishes this redemptive relationship (Ephesians 1; Romans 9, etc.). God chooses men, not vice versa.

Submitted by Julianne at semper reformanda
This was only a small exert of a couple of paragraphs that ment the most to me, to read the complete article click(READ MORE…)

May 05, 2005

Precious and glorious by J. C. Philpot

All that Jesus is and has, all that He says and does is precious and glorious . . .
His miracles of mercy, while here below;
His words so full of grace, wisdom, and truth;
His going about doing good;
His sweet example of patience, meekness and submission;
His sufferings and sorrows in the garden and on the cross;
His spotless holiness and purity;
His tender compassion to poor lost sinners;
His atoning blood and justifying obedience;
His dying love, so strong and firm;
His lowly, yet honorable burial;
His glorious resurrection;
His ascension and present reign and rule;
His constant intercession for His people.

What beauty and glory shine forth in all these divine realities! A view of His glory and a foretaste of the bliss and blessedness it communicates has a transforming effect upon the soul. We are naturally . . . proud, covetous, worldly, grievously entangled in various lusts and passions, prone to evil, averse to good, easily elated by prosperity, soon dejected by adversity, peevish under trials, rebellious under heavy strokes, unthankful for daily mercies of food and clothing, and in other ways ever manifesting our base nature.

To be brought from under the power of these abounding evils, we need to be conformed to the image of Christ. Now, this can only be by beholding His glory by faith. "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory!" 2 Corinthians 3:18 It is this believing view of the glory of Christ which supports under heavy trials, producing meekness and resignation to the will of God. By Joseph Philpot

May 04, 2005

My path by J. C. Philpot

My path has been, and is, one mainly of trial and temptation, having a heart so evil, a tempter so subtle, and so many crosses and snares in which my feet are continually caught and entangled.

All here on earth, is labor and sorrow. Our own sins, and the sins of others, will always make it a scene of trouble.

Oh, you hideous monster, sin! What a mighty power it has--a power which grace alone can subdue. It seems sometimes subdued, and then rises up worse than before. Well may we cry out, "Oh, wretched man that I am!"

"Hold me up, and I shall be safe!" Ps. 119:117
By Joseph Philpot

May 03, 2005

The end will make amends for all! By J. C. Philpot

What a world it is of sin and sorrow! How everything serves to remind us that we are all passing away! I feel for you in your trials and afflictions, so various, painful, and multiplied. But dare I wish you free from what the all-wise, all-gracious Lord lays upon you? Could He not in a moment remove them all? Our Father sees fit in His wisdom and mercy to afflict His children, and we know that He would not do so unless it were for the good of their soul. What can we say then? All we can do is to beg of the Lord that He would support, comfort, and bless them. It is in the furnace that we learn our need of realities, and our own helplessness and inability. The furnace also brings to our mind the shortness of life, and how vain all things are here below.

Affliction are sent to . . . wean from this world, make life burdensome, and death desirable. I well know that the poor coward flesh is fretful and impatient under afflictions, and would gladly have a smoother, easier path. But we cannot choose our own trials, nor our own afflictions. All are appointed in fixed weight and measure; and the promise is that all things shall work together for good to those who love God.

Wherever we go, and wherever we are, we must expect trials to arise. But it will be our wisdom and mercy to submit to what we cannot alter, and not fret or repine under the trial--but accept it as sent for our good. We need trial upon trial, and stroke upon stroke to bring our soul out of carnality. We slip insensibly into carnal ease; but afflictions and trials of body and mind stir us up to some degree of earnestness in prayer, show us the emptiness and vanity of earthly things, make us feel the suitability and preciousness of the Lord Jesus. The path in which you have been led so many years is a safe way, though a rough and rugged way. The end will make amends for all! By Joseph Philpot

May 02, 2005

Witnessing by Henry Mahan

"Go home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee" (Mark 5:19). The Lord had shown great mercy to this poor sinner, setting him free from demons and from sin. Now He tells him to go home to his family and friends and be The Lord’s Witness. Do not go home and begin to preach. Do not go home and take up the great doctrines of grace and expound them. Do not go home and strive to bring everyone to your views and beliefs. Do not go home and condemn all who do not see what you see. Go home and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you! Not what great things you have read or heard, but what great things you have experienced! This is the way to begin our witnessing. There never is a more interesting story than the story a person has experienced, lived, and felt. If you would really interest others and get their attention, tell them what great things the Lord has done in you and for you! Notice, the Lord said, "Tell them what great things the Lord hath done." It is a story of free grace. Not what we did, willed, or gave, but what He did for us by his own free, sovereign, and undeserved love. We will not convince them nor change them, any more than another man could convert us. But the Lord, who did great things for us, can do great things for them if He is so pleased. And He is pleased to use the faithful witness of those who go and tell "how great things the Lord hath done for thee." By Pastor Henry Mahan