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An Introduction to the Gospel: A Covenant Theology Primer

How may a sinful man approach God (Exodus 3:5)? Does God require perfect obedience to His law in order to achieve the righteousness He requires of us?

"...Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? ... If you would enter life, keep the commandments." (Matt 19:15-17) "For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them (Ro 10:5). [but] The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me (Ro 7:10). "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it." (Jas 2:10) …and “the soul that sins shall die” (Ez 18:20). But "…God [sent] his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh ... in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us" (Ro 8:3-4).

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 15:26 -- john_hendryx

Everybody is Doing It

If you derive your idea of "right" and "wrong" from the fact that "everybody is doing it", then your are basing your thoughts, actions and life on the ever-changing, arbitrary, subjective bent of society ... But ideas that are arbitrary only have as much authority as someone decides to give them. If someone does not embrace that view of morality as authoritative, what standard can the others appeal to in order to tell them they are wrong? They have no basis but their own self-declared authority. Instead ground your own thoughts and actions in light of God's Word alone.

It it puzzling how those in society can be so certain that their morality is superior than others and are then morally outraged that you do not share their idea... why? If there is no objective morality then who is to say that ANY views are wrong?

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 09:25 -- john_hendryx

Deeply Discounted eBooks - 7-10-2015

Reformed Historical-Theological Studies Series
6 e-books from Reformation Heritage Publishing. All prices will be valid through July 11th.

The Marrow Controversy and Seceder Tradition ($2.99);

Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism ($2.99);

The Theology of the French Reformed Churches ($3.99); 

Teaching Predestination ($3.99); 

Unity and Continuity in Covenantal Thought ($3.99);

The Spiritual Brotherhood ($3.99).

-----------------------

Spirit-Led Preaching
by Greg Heisler ($4.99)

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 16:04 -- john_hendryx

Arbitrary Social Constructs Made Absolute

Our postmodern culture has its own dictionary, its own cultural constructs by which they determine what they think constitutes the moral reason, the moral purpose and the moral essence of a human being. However, these constructs are arbitrary based on nothing more than a subjective human opinion (or the collective preferences of their specific community).  Since this is the case, how is it that so many of them are morally outraged if not everyone shares their construct? Such outrage at others is really quite absurd if you can't point to an absolute standard by which we ALL OUGHT to be bound.  

So, Christian, do not blindly accept societies' groundless definition of right and wrong or their random definition of the moral purpose of a human being. Instead, when you discuss the issues of the day with moral relativists, and they malign you, ask them how they figure their arbitrary, relative moral standard can apply to us all. If they claim it does, then how can they, with a straight face, still call themselves relativists? When they tell others how to live they are really claiming to know God's universal will.  

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 15:47 -- john_hendryx

God Does Not Leave His Saints Under the Tyranny and Bondage of Sin

There is no man on earth who does not sin. But if the Holy Spirit dwells in you, He will cause you to grieve and repent and judge yourself over your sin and will discipline you (as a loving Father would his child) unto repentance to the conformity of your identity in Jesus Christ (1 Cor 11:31-32) ... but, because of the grace you have in Christ, you will not abide in sin nor continue in it. He loves you too much to leave you under the tyranny and bondage of of sin.

IN YOUR BODY

So if you profess to be a Christian and are living with your girlfriend/boyfriend or having sex outside of the covenant of marriage, then either repent and ask Christ for the strength to live in godliness (which He will give to the regenerate) ... or please do not dishonor the name of Christ by continuing to profess to be a Christian. Abiding in sin and being a regenerate Christian is wholly incompatible. "No one BORN OF GOD makes a practice of sinning, for God’s SEED abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been BORN OF GOD." (1 John 3:9) ..."and his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been BORN OF GOD overcomes the world." (1 John 5:3-4)

IN YOUR SPEECH

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 17:22 -- john_hendryx

Being Truthful And Avoiding Misunderstandings

This is a general post about evangelism.

Next time, instead of watering down the offense of the gospel in a futile attempt to get unbelievers to think better of Christianity, try leading by telling a little about the truth of yourselves... that we are great sinners and have no righteousness of our own - that our only hope is in the righteousness of Another... that we are no more deserving of God's favor than they... then when you explain God's holy law it does not give the FALSE appearance that we think we are better than them... because the fact is were not better. But for the grace of God in Christ, I would be capable of any and all sin.

If you do not lead this way in this age, too many people get sidetracked into wrongly thinking that when Christians preach the Law they are somehow saying that God had favor on us because we were more moral than others. God forbid. Make sure people understand the truth that this is the opposite of what you are saying ... That we justly deserve God's wrath save for the mercy of Christ alone and not because we had a good heart, or good intentions or because we were more pure or tried harder than others, No He saved us because of the sheer grace of His sovereign good pleasure in Jesus Christ alone, plus nothing. (Titus 3:5; Eph 1:5).

It is not loving to avoid telling people the hard truth of their condition before God as it is. But I would encourage you to remember to tell it in context with yourself in the picture as well. We leave the results of the gospel in God's hands. When we water down the gospel in the hope our hearers will like it better we are taking the results in our own hands.

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 15:09 -- john_hendryx

Getting to Know Your Neighbors on TV

The Westboro Baptist Church, a 40-member church comprised largely of one man's family is made world famous by the news media for its outrageous protests. Now there are probably only three reasons the media consciously decided to make such a tiny church such an enormous story over a period of many years: 1) that the news media actually believes Westboro is an accurate representative of what a significant number of Christians really think or 2) they know that 99.9% of Christians do not even remotely believe as they do but want to create a sweeping narrative in order to influence the public to think about Christians in a certain way. or 3) the news media knows that conflict creates history (and money) so it blew the story way out of proportion to create more viewership, advertisers and dollars.

Now, if the answer is either 2 or 3, the media has really done a number on the perceptions of the average American. I would go so far as to say they are largely guilty of perpetrating hate, bigotry and prejudice against a whole segment of society (i.e. theologically conservative Christians) which has only inflamed today's culture wars with half-truths and distortions. The answer obviously could not be that such an insignificant, un-influential church was really that big of a news story. It's not. Other news stories have faded into history but this one has not.

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 20:44 -- john_hendryx

To Cut off the Sinner from All Hope in Himself

One of the most prevalent motifs that runs through the whole Bible is its constant reminder of the insufficiency of man. While this may seem all too obvious, we need constant reminding of this critical truth in our everyday lives. This goes for the non-Christian, because he has no hope apart from Christ's mercy, and for the Christian who has no hope, save in Christ alone. This is not only clear in those parts of the Scripture which are propositional but are also quite pervasive in the gospel narratives. If you read closely about the events associated with Christ's earthly ministry, it becomes clear that deliverance occurred in individuals only when the they were so desperate that they came to an end of themselves and were reduced to begging, if you will. Grace works salvation in us, not as we are, but first humbles our pride, revealing our brokenness, spiritual bankruptcy and impotence, which none of us naturally (apart from grace) appear ready to confess. For our true condition before God is that we cannot even lift a finger toward our salvation, and can bring nothing to God except that which He first grants us in Christ, which includes both the humility to acknowledge our captivity to the yoke of sin and our desperate need of the Savior Jesus Christ and a new heart which trusts in Him.

In the gospels, the first reaction to an encounter with Jesus was often a holy fear or dread when confronted with His capacity to provide that which they were insufficient to provide for themselves. When Peter was fishing all night and then in the morning commanded by our Lord to cast the net to the other side of the boat to catch fish, Peter immediately took in such a load of fish that the boat began to sink. Peter’s reaction was holy fear and a desire to get away for the Lord for in it He saw his own sinfulness.

In each of the stories on Mark 4:35-5:43 we see similar happenings:

Sun, 06/28/2015 - 09:59 -- john_hendryx

A Time for Resistance

Institutionalizing Sin

It is a very interesting time to be alive.  By His grace, may God grant us an outpouring of His Holy Spirit in extra measure that we might resist every urge to accommodate to the philosophy of this age or remain silent on the new institutionalization of sin. Make no mistake, the recent Supreme Court ruling on re-defining marriage will have far-reaching ripple effects on every aspect of our society ... and it will require us as Christians to resist by disobeying every law which would force us to compromise the gospel.   And while yesterday may have been a day of mourning for our country (it was for me), today and every day afterwards we should be emboldened to witness the truth of the gospel with a unquenchable fire in our belly. This may possibly be the best opportunity to witness to the reality of Jesus Christ we have ever had. Remember, God has ordained this circumstance, so If due to our convictions, we should suffer the loss of property (as some already have), intimidation, bullying, imprisonment and even violence we should not complain or give in, but, with God's help, willingly suffer for the truth and stand against injustice, continuing to love and pray for the blessing of those who oppose us. If God grants that we can witness this way en masse, the glory of God will shine forth.  And I would encourage each and every one of you to take some time over the next few weeks to pray and fast for the people of our country - that God would have mercy on them and bring them to faith through our witness. And it should go without saying that we should be committed to taking care of one another.  If someone among us should suffer we should all support them financially, spiritually and emotionally as our family members.

Sat, 06/27/2015 - 18:15 -- john_hendryx

15 Powerful Prayers from the Bible

How do you pray? Prayers that are rooted in Scripture are guaranteed to be aligned with the heart of God. Here is a list of 15 powerful prayers from the Bible that you can use word-for-word or to spur on your own prayers:

Romans 5:1-11

Father God, we thank you that your amazing unfathomable love has been poured out for us at the cross and poured into us by the Holy Spirit. We want to taste and experience more of the depth and breadth and length and height of your amazing love. Help us to walk by faith. Help us to endure in suffering. Help us to own our need of you. Help us to fully embrace your Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. So, pour out your love into our hearts, in increasing measure by the power of your Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is in his name that we pray, Amen.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5

Father God, we praise you for the wonderful future that you have prepared for us through the death and resurrection of you Son, Jesus Christ. We eagerly await the day when we will enter into your presence for all eternity with holy bodies untainted by sin. Please help us to not lose heart when we face the many pressures, anxieties, and troubles of life in this fallen world. Let us take great courage in the knowledge that you’ve given us the Holy Spirit to prepare our souls for our kingdom dwelling with you. Thank you for letting Jesus live in us. It is in his name that we pray, Amen.

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 12:19 -- john_hendryx

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