March 2017

Men Often Use Morality as a Way to Avoid Jesus

by Thomas Brooks

"God, I thank You that I'm not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get." Luke 18:11-12

Many please and satisfy themselves with mere civility and common morality. They bless themselves that they are not swearers, nor drunkards, nor extortioners, nor adulterers, etc. Their behavior is civil, sincere, harmless, and blameless.

But civility is not sanctity. Civility rested in—is but a beautiful abomination—a smooth way to hell and destruction. Civility is very often . . .
the nurse of impiety,
the mother of flattery, and
an enemy to real sanctity.
There are those who are so blinded with the fair shows of
civility—that they can neither see the necessity nor beauty
of sanctity. There are those who now bless themselves in
their common morality, whom at last God will scorn and
cast off for lack of real holiness and purity.

A moral man may be an utter stranger . . .
to God,
to Christ,
to Scripture,
to the filthiness of sin,
to the depths and devices of Satan,
to their own hearts,
to the new birth,
to the great concerns of eternity,
to communion with Christ,
to the secret and inward ways and workings of the Spirit.

Well, sirs, remember this—though the moral man is good for many things—yet he is not good enough to go to heaven! He who rises to no higher pitch than civility and morality—shall never have communion with God in glory. The most moral man in the world, may be both Christless and graceless.

Fri, 03/31/2017 - 16:56 -- john_hendryx

Pride: the most secret, subtle, and insinuating of all sins!

by Edward Payson

"In his pride, the wicked does not seek God; in all his thoughts, there is no room for God!" Psalm 10:4

The pride of the wicked is the principal reason why they will not seek after the knowledge of God. Pride renders God a disagreeable and undesirable object of contemplation to the wicked.

Pride consists in an unduly exalted opinion of one's self. It is, therefore . . .
  impatient of a rival,
  hates a superior, and
  cannot endure a master!

In proportion as pride prevails in the heart, it makes us wish . . .
  to see no God above us,
  to acknowledge no law but our own wills,
  to follow no rule but our own inclinations.
Thus pride led Satan to rebel against his Creator — and our first parents to desire to be as gods.

Since such are the effects of pride, it is evident that nothing can be more painful to a proud heart, than the thoughts of such a being as God . . .
  one who is infinitely powerful, just, and holy;
  one who can neither be resisted, deceived, nor deluded;
  one who disposes, according to His own sovereign pleasure, of all creatures and events;
  one who, in an especial manner, hates pride, and is determined to abase and punish it!
Such a being, the proud man can contemplate only with feelings of dread, aversion, and abhorrence! The proud man must look upon God as his natural enemy, his great enemy, whom he has to fear!

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 16:07 -- john_hendryx

King Alphonso's Folly!

by John Newton

King Alphonso of Portugal said that if God had consulted him at the creation, about the placements and motions of the planets and stars, etc. — that he would have contrived them better than they are. I suppose the poor man took the schemes and dreams of the astronomers of his day — to be an accurate representation of the solar system.

It sounds, however, like a blasphemous speech in our ears. We take it for granted that the Sun, the Moon, planets, and the stars are exactly where they should be — and move just as they ought.

But if we are content that the Lord should manage the heavenly bodies without our assistance — we are ready enough to advise Him how He should manage of our insignificant selves! We think we could point at twenty things in our situation which might be mended; and that we would serve Him much better than we do — if we were but at liberty to choose where and how we would be thus placed.

Thus we rightly censure King Alphonso's folly — without being aware that the thoughts that we sometimes indulge, are no less vain and arrogant than his! We might with as much reason, offer to assist God in the government of the universe — as in the direction of our own paltry concerns!

"All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: What have You done?" Daniel 4:35


From The Letters of John Newton (eBook)

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 13:17 -- john_hendryx

'Irresistible' and 'Resistible' Grace

by Herman Bavinck

The term “irresistible grace” is not really of Reformed origin but was used by Jesuits and Remonstrants to characterize the doctrine of the efficacy of grace as it was advocated by Augustine and those who believed as he did.  The Reformed in fact had some objections to the term because it was absolutely not their intent to deny that grace is often and indeed always resisted by the unregenerate person and therefore could be resisted.  They therefore preferred to speak of the efficacy or of the insuperability of grace, or interpreted the term “irresistible” in the sense that grace is ultimately irresistible.  The point of the disagreement, accordingly, was not whether humans continually resisted and could resist God’s grace, but whether they could ultimately–at the specific moment in which God wanted to regenerate them and work with his efficacious grace in their heart–still reject that grace. 


Reformed Dogmatics (4 Volume Set) , 4:82-83, 1895-99

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 17:31 -- john_hendryx

Ultimate Collection of Free Presuppositional Apologetics Lectures

SLIMJIM over at the blog The Domain for Truth has compiled a list of apologetics media resources.  He reconstructed is list that was originally listed on a now deleted blog account elsewhere on the web .This is an amazing collection and a great service to the Church. I am thankful for his permission to share these with you here.

Camden Bucey
1. Defending the Faith

Shane Kastler
1. Expositional Apologetics

Fred Butler
1. Apologetics Evangelism 101

Jonathan Harris
1. Apologetics Sunday School Class 2011

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 13:52 -- john_hendryx

A Life of Obedience by Grace

Don't make a savior of your morality. It cannot deliver you. Repent of trusting in your own righteousness and instead believe on Christ alone.

Remember, grace is not earned by meeting a condition, or it would no longer be grace. It is not a reward for either faith or obedience but the cause of them.(Eph 2:8-10). Obedience, rather, springs from a renewed heart which loves God (1John 3:9, 5:2-4).

Jesus calls us to a life of obedience. He says, "if you love me you will obey my commands." But the bible also teaches that our obedience does not, in any way, earn God's favor. We obey, rather, because we already have God's favor. It demonstrates the reality of God having been gracious to us (Phil 2:12-13; Eph 2:10; 1 John 3:9).

Being saved by grace alone, some actually falsely argue that Christians don't need to obey. It is as if they believed Jesus' continued intercession for us were ineffectual and his grace only delivers us from the guilt of sin but not its power... that while they rightly believe in the imputation of Christ's righteousness but wrongly ignore the impartation of His Holy Spirit to us. But the bible teaches that those who are in Christ have been set free from sin's captivity. The trajectory of our life is now one of following Christ and His commands.

So, I would argue, that those who believe we can live in Christ apart from obedience, are actually not believing in grace enough. Our faith and obedience both point to the reality of God's grace, it does not earn it. And when we do disobey, God's Spirit disciplines us so that we will not be condemned along with the world. (1 Cor 11:31-32)

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 12:22 -- john_hendryx

How to Get Rid of the Problem of ‘Self’

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Here is a superb bit of psychology, for what after all, is the main cause of this spirit of fear? The answer is ‘self’ – self-love, self-concern, self-protection. Had you realized that the essence of this trouble is that these fearful people are really too absorbed in self – how can I do this, what if I fail? ‘I’ – they are constantly turning in upon themselves, looking at themselves and concerned about themselves.  And it is just here that the spirit of love comes in, for there is only one way to get rid of yourself. There is only one cure for self. You will never deal with self yourself. That was the fatal fallacy of those poor men who became monks and anchorites. They could get away from the world and from other people, but they could not get away from themselves. Your self is inside you and you cannot get rid of him, the more you mortify yourself the more your self will torment you.

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 13:04 -- john_hendryx

What Happens after Death (and before Resurrection)

Dr. Kim Riddlebarger

This post is adapted from Kim Riddlebarger’s chapter, "Eschatology," in Reformation Theology: A Systematic Summary edited by Matthew Barrett.

"On the Sleep of the Soul"

John Calvin’s first published work of theology was the Psychopannychia (“On the Sleep of the Soul”), published in 1542, although the first draft of the manuscript was written as early as 1534, and Calvin revised it several times before publication.1

Ironically, even as Calvin took issue with those Anabaptists who held that the soul is deprived of consciousness after death, this view was quite similar to Luther’s “soul sleep.” Calvin never mentioned Luther’s view, and both Martin Bucer and Wolfgang Capito (1478–1541) urged Calvin not to publish the Psychopannychia so as to avoid exposing any differences between the Reformed and Lutherans and thus keep Roman or Anabaptist critics from pouncing.2

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 14:38 -- john_hendryx


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