May 2016

Excuses For Not Praying

by D.A. Carson

Pages 111-121

I Am Too Busy

Lillian Guild tells an amusing story of an occasion when she and her husband were driving along and happened to notice a late-model Cadillac with its hood up, parked at the side of the road. Its driver appeared somewhat perplexed and agitated. Mrs. Guild and her husband pulled over to see if they could offer assistance. The stranded driver hastily and somewhat sheepishly explained that he had known when he left home that he was rather low on fuel, but he had been in a great hurry to get to an important business meeting so he had not taken time to full up his tank. The Cadillac needed nothing more than refueling. The Guilds happened to have a spare gallon of fuel with them, so they emptied it into the thirsty Cadillac, and told the other driver of a service station a few miles down the road. Thanking them profusely, he sped off.

Twelve miles or so later, they saw the same car. Hood up, stranded at the side of the road. The same driver, no les bemused than the first time, and even more agitated, was pathetically grateful when they pulled over again. You guessed it: he was in such a hurry for his business meeting that he had decided to skip the service station and press on in the dim hope that the gallon he had received would take him to his destination.

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 16:33 -- john_hendryx

What sins are we to turn from, there are so many of them?

Visitor: What sins are we to turn from there are so many of them?

Response:  Thanks for your inquiry.  As for what sins to turn from, fist and foremost, by grace, you must turn from trusting in your own righteousness and turn to trusting in Christ and and His righteousness alone.  That means salvation comes to those who are stripped of all self-sufficiency and trust only in the sufficiency of Christ to save them.  This is the basis or foundation for repenting of all other sin because, in it, one recognizes that all repentance is impossible apart from Christ and the Spirit working repentance in them.  Once a person, through the illumination of the Spirit, realizes that they have zero ability to repent on their own, that they are without strength, impotent of themselves to repent, then and only then do they begin to faithfully understand Christ's salvation as revealed in the Scriptures.  We must first lose all hope in ourselves THEN when our hope is in Christ all things are possible. The new birth means God's seed abides in a person and obeying God's commands are no longer burdensome (1 John 5:2-4).

With this in mind, I recommend the following helpful meditation by J. C. Ryle:

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 13:05 -- john_hendryx

Why Some People Lose Faith

by Steve Hays

Why do folks like Bart Ehrman lose their faith? There are different reasons people lose faith. In some cases, it's due to a personal tragedy, or succumbing to sexual temptation.
According to Ehrman:
A turning point came in my second semester, in a course I was taking with a much revered and pious professor named Cullen Story…we had to write a final term paper on an interpretive crux of our own choosing. I chose a passage in Mark 2…
In my paper for Professor Story, I developed a long and complicated argument to the effect that even though Mark indicates this happened "when Abiathar was the high priest," it doesn't really mean that Abiathar was the high priest, but that the event took place in the part of the scriptural text that has Abiathar as one of the main characters. My argument was based on the meaning of the Greek words involved and was a bit convoluted. I was pretty sure Professor Story would appreciate the argument, since I knew him as a good Christian scholar who obviously (like me) would never think there could be anything like a genuine error in the Bible. But at the end of my paper he made a simple one-line comment that for some reason went straight through me. He wrote: "Maybe Mark just made a mistake." I started thinking about it, considering all the work I had put into the paper, realizing that I had had to do some pretty fancy exegetical footwork to get around the problem, and that my solution was in fact a bit of a stretch. I finally concluded, "Hmm . . . maybe Mark did make a mistake." 
Sun, 05/08/2016 - 11:59 -- john_hendryx

Elect Exiles of the Diaspora

"To those who are elect exiles of the Diaspora..." 1 Peter 1:1

The Elect: the objects of God's undeserved mercy - rebellious sinners who are privileged, through no merit of their own, to have received God's sovereign, gracious, eternal choice to be adopted in His family in Christ (Eph 1:4-9) 

Exiles:  emphasizing the transitory nature of the sojourner's time in this age.  As exiles, those in Christ live and function in this fallen world away from their true home in the age to come where Christ reigns in glory,  where the dwelling place of God is with men, where heaven comes to earth and where He makes all things new.

The Diaspora:  a Greek word which referred to Jews living outside Israel. (ex. in Babylon)  In 1 Peter the apostle uses the same term to refer to Christians who live scattered throughout the world and are awaiting their Lord to return and visibly reign over the earth, as the waters cover the sea.

Meditating on these words brings increased clarity to what follows in Peter's epistle.   With that in mind, now read how the Holy Spirit continues to instruct us in the passage about who we are, how we are to think, and what we are to do during our temporary time of exile in this fallen world:

Sat, 05/07/2016 - 19:43 -- john_hendryx


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