How Do I Know I am Saved?

If you claim Christ is your king and you His subject, how is it that He came to occupy the highest place of your affections, that throne atop your heart?

Prior to your redemption, the flesh and Satan quietly possessed your greatest affections, and like the rest, you were Satan's slave, his vassal.. And since he thus reigned over your heart (and was much stronger than you) how did this transformation to Christ take place? There is no doubt that Satan would have never willingly relinquished his reign of power over you. And you, being under the bondage of your own corrupt nature and Satan's dominion over you, would not have been willing to simply renounce, nor able to resist the flesh or the Devil's binding power, since he had taken you captive to do his will (2 Tim 2:26). For the flesh, the world and the Devil were enemies too powerful for you to disarm and had vast superiority in strength over your base affections. You were their plaything, and that, most willingly. You could not untangle yourself nor did you want to, for you loved darkness (John 3:19 ) and most willingly suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18 ). Mere exterior persuasion did not scratch the surface of your heart.

Mon, 10/12/2015 - 13:37 -- john_hendryx

Media Distortion & Disinformation

While trust in network media has previously been pretty low, in the last few years, the news media has simply lost all credibility. They have become nothing more than propaganda outlets to shape public opinion ... brazenly suppressing news they don't like and mostly over-promoting ideas they agree with. From all appearances they now feel it is their job to re-educate the masses to think along the lines of their own elite ideology.  The depravity of man is on full display in the press as powerful and wicked people now openly suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18).

The examples of this are too many to count but you can witness it most recently in the way the press has mishandled the entire Planned Parenthood drama. First by not showing the inhuman criminal behavior in the videos that they knew would impact public opinion and next by promoting the argument that they were fabricated and then when demonstrated to be genuine, utter silence (crickets). But the problem is hardly limited to this. Other grossly distorted stories abound and it is alarming. The pervasive use of the words bigotry, hate and ___phobia directed against Christians and other people of faith is not an argument but a tactic and one based on uneducated prejudice and ignorance. The press, being derelict in their duty, perhaps more than anyone else, are doing the greatest harm to our democratic republic and are shaping the public to believe a distorted Manichean picture of the world.

Moral: Things are not always as they seem in the world. Do not believe every piece of (dis)information you hear. Let it sit for a while before making a judgment or drawing a conclusion. Or we could easily fall into promoting the same kind of distortion. Truth is all important here.

Sat, 10/10/2015 - 14:57 -- john_hendryx

Can a Regenerate Christian Fall Away from the Faith?: Biblical Reflections on Hebrews 6

by John Hendryx

There are those who teach that Hebrews chapter six is a clear statement that Christians can fall away from the faith and thereby lose their salvation. The purpose of this short reflection is not only to show this to be a erroneous interpretation, but also that the persons making such assertions are in danger of making the very error which the passage is warning about. Lets take a look at the passage together:

" is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then fall away, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.: - Hebrews 6: 4-8

Perhaps this is one of the most terrifying passages in Scripture, but, as is usually the case, when a passage is read in isolation and without regard to the context of the surrounding passage, theological error is bound to creep in.

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 17:41 -- john_hendryx

Authentic and Counterfeit Christianity

If you have been united to Christ, Jesus has broken the curse and brought us into fellowship with God. The bondage of sin has been broken.  When as Christians we sin, we are acting in unbelief - not believing that our actions are being openly beheld by God and others. It is to forget our identity and the gift of the Holy Spirit and to live as if we were still under sin's dominion. Living genuinely and transparently, then, means by the grace of God, to consciously live every moment with the belief that all of our thoughts and life are truly open before God and man. It means to walk in the light (1 John 1:7), to have nothing hidden, but for your life to be laid bare before all (Heb. 4:11-13) So when we do sin, we don't hide it but confess it (1 John 2:1),we judge ourselves and grieve over it (1 Cor 11:31-32). And then we keep moving toward the goal (Phil 3:14). knowing that we are clean and forgiven in Christ (1 John 1:9).

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 13:25 -- john_hendryx

What is the Eye of the Needle?

By Cameron Buettel

I haven’t always sat under the teaching ministry of John MacArthur. In fact, earlier parts of my Christian walk have been tarnished by over-exposure to some really bad Bible teachers, and attendance in some very man-centered churches. A lot of my expertise in error comes from first-hand experience.

It took longer than I care to admit, but eventually, the reckless handling of Scripture became too hard to ignore. One of the most blatant examples was related to Christ’s interaction with the rich young ruler. Luke 18:22-25 explains the sad end to their conversation.

When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 09:14 -- john_hendryx

Christ in an Age of Secularism

Guest Post by Isaac Shrum

As Christians living in this increasingly secular age, we’re called to graciously endure suffering from unbelievers when it comes our way. We never go looking for trouble or wish to partake in foolish quarrels, because we’re instructed “to put no obstacle in anyone’s way” to come to Christ [2 Cor. 6:3].  

But when we stand for truth, righteousness, and the Gospel, we can expect the majority response from this [post-modern] world to be detestation. This should not surprise us, since we ourselves once walked in their shoes, even scorning and mocking the message of the Gospel like the Apostle Paul did before his conversion [Acts 9:1; 22:4]. Why the hostile response you might ask?

Simply put, the Bible tells us that apart from the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, men naturally hate the Light [John 3:19], are hostile towards God [Rom. 8:7], and are enemies of God through their wicked deeds [Col. 1]. In stark contrast to the humanistic-progressivism of our day [i.e. ‘man is basically good’], the Scriptures teach that men are depraved through and through. Instead of walking in fellowship with God, men shake their fists at Him while running the other way.

As a result of this deep-seated hatred for God flows distaste towards Christians. Jesus warned us, “If the world hates you, know that it hated me first” [John 15:18]. This sense of hostility should grieve us [Phil. 3:18], but it should not be surprising [1 John 3:13]. If men hate God, should it really shock us when they despise His followers too?

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 09:35 -- john_hendryx

NIV Zondervan Study Bible - New Styles/Designs Available

D. A. Carson is the general editor; Desi Alexander, Rick Hess, and Doug Moo are the associate editors; and Andy Naselli served as the assistant editor. Andy Naselli worked on this study Bible full-time for four years and for a fifth year part-time. He managed the project and helped copyedit all of the notes and essays for content and style.

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 15:40 -- john_hendryx

True vs. False Narratives

A Christian is someone who, by the grace of God, faces the world as it actually exists. The Christian is devoted to understanding reality rather than deny it. The postmodern secularist, on the other hand, denies the very existence of truth as a reality outside of themselves. This means that many people today believe the truth neither exists nor can be known, except what they determine it to be by their self-declared authority. But why is reality so difficult to face for many people? The answer is that many avoid or suppress reality because they are either dissatisfied with or afraid of it and so are highly resistant to accepting it.

The postmodern man does not know who he is, where he came from or where he is going. So he makes up a story, a narrative, about himself and how he fits into the world even though it flies in the face of reality. But the man whose eyes God opens and, by grace, adopts as His own knows who he is, how he got here and where he is going. And he shares this grand vision with his family and all who are around him. He finds his identity and meaning in this, and no other narrative. This narrative frames his thinking and his life: everything he thinks, decides and does and he is accountable to this narrative, a narrative that possesses him. And it possesses him because it is true. He knows there is work to be done and lives to be saved.

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 10:52 -- john_hendryx

Reformed Creeds and Supplementary Resources (eBooks)

The creeds and confessions expand and develop over the entire existence of the church. A creed is a concise declaration or confession of beliefs that outlines the essential truths of the Christian faith. They progress from simple statements in the bible, to brief statements like the Nicene Creed, to complex confessions like the Westminster Confession of Faith. The following are hand selected among the thousands of creeds that have been written.

Reformed Creeds and Suplementary Resources (in ePub, .mobi formats)

Ames, William The Substance of the Christian Religion

Baptist Divines The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689

Bres, Guy D. The Belgic Confession of Faith

Bullinger, Heinrich The Second Helvetic Confession

Calvin, John The Geneva Catechism

Dort, Synod The Canons of Dort

Fisher, James The Assembly's Shorter Catechism Explained

Good, James I. Aid to the Heidelberg Catechism

Hetherington, William Maxwell History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 16:06 -- john_hendryx

NIV Zondervan Study Bible - New Release

The NIV Zondervan Study Bible releases on August 25.

D. A. Carson is the general editor; Desi Alexander, Rick Hess, and Doug Moo are the associate editors; and Andy Naselli served as the assistant editor. Andy Naselli worked on this study Bible full-time for four years and for a fifth year part-time. He managed the project and helped copyedit all of the notes and essays for content and style.

The study Bible has completely fresh content from new contributors. Its audience is as general as the target audience for the NIV itself: the English-speaking world.

Naselli says that the top two study Bibles available are now clearly the ESV Study Bible and the NIV Zondervan Study Bible. I would also give very high marks to the The Reformation Study Bible which also just came out in 2015.

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 14:17 -- john_hendryx


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