May 2016

The Self-Denial That Brings Contentment

by Jeremiah Burroughs

Christ teaches self-denial and how that brings contentment.

1. Such a person learns to know that he is nothing. He comes to this, to be able to say, 'Well, I see I am nothing in myself.' That man or woman who indeed knows that he or she is nothing, and has learned it thoroughly will be able to bear anything. The way to be able to bear anything is to know that we are nothing in ourselves. God says to us, 'Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not' (

Proverbs 23:5) speaking of riches. Why, blessed God, do not you do so? you have set your heart upon us and yet we are nothing. God would not have set our hearts upon riches, because they are nothing, and yet God is pleased to set his heart upon us, and we are nothing: that is God's grace, free grace, and therefore it does not much matter what I suffer, for I am as nothing.

2. I deserve nothing. I am nothing, and I deserve nothing. Suppose I lack this and that thing which others have? I am sure that I deserve nothing except it be Hell. You will answer any of your servants, who is not content: I wonder what you think you deserve? or your children: do you deserve it that you are so eager to have it? You would stop their mouths thus, and so we may easily stop our own mouths: we deserve nothing and therefore why should we be impatient if we do not get what we desire. If we had deserved anything we might be troubled, as in the case of a man who has deserved well of the state or of his friends, yet does not receive a suitable reward, it troubles him greatly, whereas if he is conscious that he has deserved nothing, he is content with a rebuff.

Tue, 05/31/2016 - 13:29 -- john_hendryx

Follow the Lord Wherever He Leads

by John Calvin

ALTHOUGH the Law of God contains a perfect rule of conduct admirably arranged, it has seemed proper to our divine Master to train his people by a more accurate method, to the rule which is enjoined in the Law; and the leading principle in the method is, that it is the duty of believers to present their “bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is their reasonable service,” (Rom. xii. 1.)

Hence he draws the exhortation: “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” The great point, then, is, that we are consecrated and dedicated to God, and, therefore, should not henceforth think, speak, design, or act, without a view to his glory.

What he hath made sacred cannot, without signal insult to him, be applied to profane use.

But if we are not our own, but the Lord’s, it is plain both what error is to be shunned, and to what end the actions of our lives ought to be directed.

We are not our own; therefore, neither is our own reason or will to rule our acts and counsels.

We are not our own; therefore, let us not make it our end to seek what may be agreeable to our carnal nature.

We are not our own; therefore, as far as possible, let us forget ourselves and the things that are ours.

On the other hand,

We are God’s; let us, therefore, live and die to him (Rom. xiv. 8.)

We are God’s; therefore, let his wisdom and will preside over all our actions.

We are God’s; to him, then, as the only legitimate end, let every part of our life be directed.

Mon, 05/30/2016 - 14:58 -- john_hendryx

Key Quotes from Answering Jihad by Nabeel Qureshi

If we define Islam, not as the practice of Muslims, but as the teachings of Muhammad then violence is an integral part of Islam. 

Those Muslims who teach that surah 9 of the Quran has not been abrogated (the final teaching of Muhammad), still affirm the command to disavow all treaties with polytheists and to subjugate Jews and Christians so that Islam may "prevail over every faith." This final surah of the Quran gives no limits to assimilation, subjugation and violence against non-Muslims.  According to this surah those Muslims who do not fight are even counted among the hypocrites.

Former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi says,

"...frustrated by the increasing frequency and scale of Islamist terrorism [many people] suggest that Islam needs a reformation. What they may not realize is that radical Islam is the Islamic Reformation.

This might sound shocking, but consider: Just as the Protestant Reformation was an attempt to raze centuries of Catholic tradition and return to the canonical texts, so radical Islam is an attempt to raze centuries of traditions of various schools of Islamic thought and return to the canonical texts of the Quran and Muhammad's life. 

The question arises then, If Muhammad taught this, why don't all Muslims believe this then? Because each persons Islam is interpreted through the tradition of their local imam or jurist. Many local imams may claim this part of the Quran has been abrogated. But those Muslims who continue to affirm surah 9 and the traditions of Muhammad and the earliest followers of Muhammad, believe violence or subjugation against non- Muslims is still valid. Qureshi says,

Sun, 05/29/2016 - 16:17 -- john_hendryx

Sanctification via Union With Christ

God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." (1 cor 1:28-31)

I often think that our sanctification is very much like our original conversion experience. The more we grow in grace, the more we lose all confidence in ourselves. It seems, somewhat ironically, that as Christ works sanctification in us, the greater is our recognition of our own sinfulness. And it seems this is done for a purpose, for as we come face to face with our own corruption, we are driven to Christ as our righteousness, holiness and redemption, our all in all...our only hope before God. So sanctification is not so much about our own spirituality as it is about Christ and Him becoming greater. Christ commanded us to partake of Communion "till He come" and perhaps the reason for this is to continually focus our eyes less on what we do for Him, and more on what He has done for us and relish it. What we do in response to Him is only penultimate or secondary. The most critical error we make as believers is to look in ourselves for something that can only be found in Christ.

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 16:53 -- john_hendryx

No One Beyond the Reach of Prayer

by A. W. Pink

 "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34)

This first of the seven cross-sayings of Jesus presents Him in the attitude of prayer. His public ministry had opened with prayer (Luke 3:21), and here we see it closing in prayer. Surely He has left us an example! His hands would no longer minister to the sick, for they are nailed to the cross; His feet would no longer carry him on errands of mercy, for they are fastened to the cruel tree; He would no longer instruct the apostles, for they have forsaken Him and fled. How then does He occupy himself? In the ministry of prayer! What a lesson for us.

In praying for his enemies not only did Christ set before us a perfect example of how we should treat those who wrong and hate us, but He also taught us never to regard anyone as beyond the reach of prayer. If Christ prayed for his murderers, then surely we have encouragement to pray now for the very chief of sinners! Never lose hope. Does it seem a waste of time for you to continue praying for that man, that woman, that wayward child of yours? Does their case seem to become more hopeless every day? Does it look as though they had gone beyond the reach of divine mercy? Perhaps that one you have prayed for so long has been ensnared by one of the Satanic cults of the day, or he may now be an avowed and blatant atheist, in a word, an open enemy of Christ. Remember then the cross. Christ prayed for his enemies. Learn then not to look on any as beyond the reach of prayer.

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 09:15 -- john_hendryx

Christ Died for Sinners

Syndicated Column by Steve Hays

In 5-point Calvinism, is limited atonement and/or limited election in tension with the universal offer of the gospel? 
i) God doesn't directly offer the gospel to every individual, or directly command every individual to believe the gospel. 
In that respect, the offer of the gospel parallels special revelation. In might be more efficient if God privately revealed himself to every individual, but instead, God resorts to a public revelation. A mass medium. 
One reason, perhaps, is that humans are social creatures, so having Scripture as a common reference point is a unifying principle.
Be that as it may, the offer of the gospel is like a recipe. If you follow the instructions, this will be the result. A recipe doesn't order anyone in particular to use that recipe. 
ii) In nature, there's a principle of redundancy. For instance, a maple tree produces far more seeds (or maple copters) than will every take root and become trees in their own right. But the redundancy is purposeful. If enough maple trees produce enough airborne seeds, that greatly raises the odds that some of them will take root and produce trees in their own right.
Likewise, many animals produce multiple offspring, only a few of which survive to maturity. But in order to at least achieve a replacement rate, it's necessary to produce offspring in excess of the replacement rate, to offset the loss of the offspring that are eaten by predators before they reach sexual maturity and repeat the reproductive cycle. By the same token, multiple sperm raise the odds that one will fertilize the ovum. 
Humans imitate this principle. For instance, absent vaccination, some people will contract a serious communicable disease and some won't.
Sun, 05/22/2016 - 11:54 -- john_hendryx

Sinners Worse than those in Sodom and Gomorrah

If the mighty works, which have been done in thee [Capernaum], had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Matthew 11:23-24

Sodom and Gomorrah were given an opportunity. Read the story in Genesis 19. But consider what the names of these cities suggest to us; Sodom has become a symbol of everything that is false and ugly in man as the result of the Fall. Sodom and Gomorrah suggest profligacy, born in the very gutters of sin, with marauders walking the streets with eyes that stand out in lasciviousness—those were the characteristics of the life there. Now what our Lord said in Matthew 11 was that the case of Capernaum and Chorazin and Bethsaida was worse than that of those Old Testament cities.

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 07:48 -- john_hendryx

Fear of God or Fear of Man?

by C. H. Spurgeon

“Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you, says the LORD, and your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” – Isaiah 41:14.

Make a man afraid—he will flee at his own shadow. Make a man brave and he will stand before an army and overcome them! He will never do much good in the world who is afraid of men. The fear of God brings blessings, but the fear of men brings a snare, and such a snare that many feet have been tripped! No man shall be faithful to God if he is fearful of man. No man shall find his arm sufficient for him and his might equal to his emergencies unless he can confidently believe and quietly wait. We must not fear, for fear is weakening. . .

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 14:55 -- john_hendryx

12 Prayers for God to Bring Your Friends to Know Christ

"Unless the Holy Ghost blesses the Word, we who preach the gospel are of all men most miserable, for we have attempted a task that is impossible. We have entered on a sphere where nothing but the supernatural will ever avail. If the Holy Spirit does not renew the hearts of our hearers, we cannot do it. If the Holy Ghost does not regenerate them, we cannot. If He does not send the truth home into their souls, we might as well speak into the ear of a corpse." - C. H. Spurgeon

If you have a heart for friends and family whom you’d like to see come to know Christ as their Savior, it is imperative to join your gospel witness to them with prayers from Scripture.

Hebrews 4:12 declares that God’s word is sharper than a double-edged sword.  As you pray for your friend(s) using Scripture, you’re joining with the truth God has already spoken and thinking your thoughts after God on their behalf.

The 12 prayers below ask God to work in the life of the person you’re praying for in a saving way, and they tie your prayers with a relevant Scripture passage.

1. Gracious God, in you great mercy, set my friend  ______ free from spiritual captivity. Grant repentance to _____ leading them to a saving knowledge of the truth, that they may escape from the snare of the devil having been taken captive by him to do his will. (2 Tim 2:23, 26) Enable me to gently instruct ______  when he/she is in opposition to you,

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 18:18 -- john_hendryx

How May I Know I Am Saved?

A. W. Pink answers the question this way:

First, by the Word of God having come in divine power to the soul so that my self-complacency is shattered and my self-righteousness is renounced. Second, by the Holy Spirit convicting me of my woeful, guilty, and lost condition. Third, by having had revealed to me the suitability and sufficiency of Christ to meet my desperate case and by a divinely given faith causing me to lay hold of and rest upon Him as my only hope. Fourth, by the marks of the new nature within me - a love for God; an appetite for spiritual things; a longing for holiness; a seeking after conformity to Christ. Fifth, by the resistance which the new nature makes to the old, causing me to hate sin and loathe myself for it. Sixth, by avoiding everything which is condemned by God's Word and by sincerely repenting of and humbly confessing every transgression. Failure at this point will surely bring a dark cloud over our assurance causing the Spirit to withhold His witness. Seventh, by giving all diligence to cultivate the Christian graces and using all diligence to this end. Thus the knowledge of election is cumulative."

Visitor: What if someone (not myself) does not find in their life these signs that they are among the elect? Should they then conclude that they are not elect, and despair? After all, if they are not elect they are wasting their time trying to repent, according to this kind of theology. Or should they do what the Bible tells them to do, repent and turn to Christ? Should they believe the truth in it which some seem to deny, that "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved", whether or not they exhibit any signs of being elect?

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 17:04 -- john_hendryx


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