31 Oct 2009
Reversing The Reformation - How Some So-Called Protestants Are Subtly Undermining Justification By Faith
"Pioneering writers include E.P. Sanders, N.T. Wright, Steve Schlissel, Steve Wilkins, Douglas Wilson, and Peter Leithart.
They have been joined by a multitude of Pastors, bloggers and other writers, and teachers in Seminaries. Many in the Emerging/Emergent Church movement have gravitated toward these men, particularly N.T. Wright. And they have infiltrated otherwise orthodox places, including R.C. Sproul’s Tabletalk magazine, where R.C. Jr. as editor published a column by Douglas Wilson for three years, as well as articles by Steve Schlissel and Steve Wilkins.
They operate under names and ministries you may have heard: Shepherdism, Auburn Avenue Theology, Federal Vision, or the New Perspective on Paul. And they lead churches in virtually every Reformed denomination." Read the full article HERE.
See also: Reformation Day-Free Download 'HERE I STAND' Luther's Speech read by Max McLean
30 Oct 2009
Hell and What Unbelievers Want -- No One Standing on the Shore of the Lake of Fire Jumps In~John Piper
When there are only two choices and you choose against one, it does not mean that you want the other, if you are ignorant of the outcome of both. Unbelieving people know neither God nor hell. This ignorance is not innocent. Apart from regenerating grace, all people “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).
The person who rejects God does not know the real horrors of hell. This may be because he does not believe hell exists, or it may be because he convinces himself that it would be tolerably preferable to heaven.
But whatever he believes or does not believe, when he chooses against God, he is wrong about God and about hell. He is not, at that point, preferring the real hell over the real God. He is blind to both. He does not perceive the true glories of God, and he does not perceive the true horrors of hell.
So when a person chooses against God and, therefore, de facto chooses hell—or when he jokes about preferring hell with his friends over heaven with boring religious people—he does not know what he is doing. What he rejects is not the real heaven (nobody will be boring in heaven), and what he “wants” is not the real hell, but the tolerable hell of his imagination.
When he dies, he will be shocked beyond words. The miseries are so great he would do anything in his power to escape. That it is not in his power to repent does not mean he wants to be there. Esau wept bitterly that he could not repent (Hebrew 12:17). The hell he was entering into he found to be totally miserable, and he wanted out. The meaning of hell is the scream: “I hate this, and I want out.”
What sinners want is not hell but sin. That hell is the inevitable consequence of unforgiven sin does not make the consequence desirable. It is not what people want—certainly not what they “most want.” Wanting sin is no more equal to wanting hell than wanting chocolate is equal to wanting obesity. Or wanting cigarettes is equal to wanting cancer.
Beneath this misleading emphasis on hell being what people “most want” is the notion that God does not “send” people to hell. But this is simply unbiblical. God certainly does send people to hell. He does pass sentence, and he executes it. Indeed, worse than that. God does not just “send,” he “throws.” “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown (Greek eblethe) into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15; cf. Mark 9:47; Matthew 13:42; 25:30).
The reason the Bible speaks of people being “thrown” into hell is that no one will willingly go there, once they see what it really is. No one standing on the shore of the lake of fire jumps in. They do not choose it, and they will not want it. They have chosen sin. They have wanted sin. They do not want the punishment. When they come to the shore of this fiery lake, they must be thrown in.
When someone says that no one is in hell who doesn’t want to be there, they give the false impression that hell is within the limits of what humans can tolerate. It inevitably gives the impression that hell is less horrible than Jesus says it is.
We should ask: How did Jesus expect his audience to think and feel about the way he spoke of hell? The words he chose were not chosen to soften the horror by being accommodating to cultural sensibilities. He spoke of a “fiery furnace” (Matthew 13:42), and “weeping and gnashing teeth” (Luke 13:28), and “outer darkness” (Matthew 25:30), and “their worm [that] does not die” (Mark 9:48), and “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46), and “unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43), and being “cut in pieces” (Matthew 24:51).
These words are chosen to portray hell as an eternal, conscious experience that no one would or could ever “want” if they knew what they were choosing. Therefore, if someone is going to emphasize that people freely “choose” hell, or that no one is there who doesn’t “want” to be there, surely he should make every effort to clarify that, when they get there, they will not want this.
Surely the pattern of Jesus—who used blazing words to blast the hell-bent blindness out of everyone— should be followed. Surely, we will grope for words that show no one, no one, no one will wantto be in hell when they experience what it really is. Surely everyone who desires to save people from hell will not mainly stress that it is “wantable” or “chooseable,” but that it is horrible beyond description—weeping, gnashing teeth, darkness, worm-eaten, fiery, furnace-like, dismembering, eternal, punishment, “an abhorrence to all flesh” (Isaiah 66:24).
I thank God, as a hell-deserving sinner, for Jesus Christ my Savior, who became a curse for me and suffered hellish pain that he might deliver me from the wrath to come. While there is time, he will do that for anyone who turns from sin and treasures him and his work above all.
-- John Piper (HT: Mack T.)
If you are reading this and have questions or are concerned about your soul please contact us.
Please take the time to read (about 4 min): How would you feel if your thought life was to be shown on National TV tonight?
29 Oct 2009
Watch the trailer below:
Buy HERE from Vision Video.
See also: TorchLighters Children's DVD Recommendations.
28 Oct 2009
See also: Guidelines To Open Air Preaching By Kevin Williams
&: Evangelism-How To Share Your Faith Biblically-5 Sermon Series, Kevin Williams
27 Oct 2009
-Jonathan Evered of Aylesbury, Bucks
-Ademola Adebayo of Luton.
Thank you to all who took part and thanks once again to Charles and Mona Leiter of Lake Road Chapel for donating the books.
For those who didn't win you can purchase the Book HERE.
And you can also download the PDF for free HERE.
This is an excellent study to do as a fellowship Bible Study, family devotion or homeschool.
26 Oct 2009
See also: Guidelines To Open Air Preaching By Kevin Williams
&: Evangelism-How To Share Your Faith Biblically-5 Sermon Series, Kevin Williams
25 Oct 2009
Play or download mp3:
1 John 4:7-12 - Attributes of God pt 11-God Is Love-Kevin Williams - 61 min
Listen to this and other Puritan Fellowship Sermons on itunes here:
24 Oct 2009
The Olivet Discourse
The Beginning Of Sorrows
The Abomination Of Desolation
The Coming Of The Son Of Man
The Secret Date
23 Oct 2009
Liverpool Lime St - 9.01am Arrives MCR Piccadilly 10.03
Wavertree Technology Park - 09:07am
Broad Green 09:10
Lea Green 09:26
St Helens Junction 09:29
Eccles (Manchester) 09:49
Manchester Oxford Road 09:59
Arrives Manchester Picadilly 10.03
Buxton - 08:23 arrives Manchester Piccadilly - 09:23
Dove Holes - 08:29
Chapel-en-le-Frith - 08:34
Whaley Bridge - 08:40
Furness Vale - 08:43
New Mills Newtown - 08:46
Disley - 08:49
Middlewood - 08:53
Hazel Grove - 08:59
Woodsmoor - 09:02
Davenport - 09:04
Stockport - 09:08
Heaton Chapel - 09:12
Levenshulme - 09:15
Manchester Piccadilly - 09:23
Wigan Walgate - 08:40 arrives Manchester Picadilly - 9:21
Hindley - 08:45
Westhoughton - 08:49
Bolton - 08:57
Salford Crescent - 09:10
Deansgate - 09:14
Manchester Oxford Road - 09:17
Manchester Picadilly 9:21
Leeds - 09:02 arrives Mills Hill (Pick up point) - 10:24
Bramley (W Yorks) - 09:09
New Pudsey - 09:14
Bradford Interchange - 09:22
Halifax - 09:37
Sowerby Bridge - 09:44
Mytholmroyd - 09:49
Hebden Bridge - 09:53
Todmorden - 10:00
Walsden - 10:03
Littleborough - 10:09
Smithy Bridge - 10:12
Rochdale - 10:16
Castleton (Manchester) -10:20
Mills Hill (Pick up point) - 10:24
Alderley Edge - 09:19 arrives Manchester Piccadilly - 09:55
Wilmslow - 09.23
Handforth - 09.26
Cheadle Hulme - 09.30
Stockport - 09:38
Heaton Chapel - 09:44
Levenshulme - 09:47
Manchester Piccadilly - 09:55
Salford to Manchester Picadilly & Victoria Regular.
Crewe - 8:28 arrives Manchester Piccadilly - 9:11
Wilmslow - 08:46
Manchester Piccadilly -9:11
Sheffield - 9:10 arrives Manchester Piccadilly - 10:06
Stockport - 09:52
Manchester Piccadilly - 10:06
Huddersfield - 09.22 arrives Manchester Victoria - 10.08
If you are on the metrolink line we can pick up from Crumpsall Station. See Metrolink.
Note: There are many more train times and routes than these examples. Please check here for your local station and times.
There are also two bus routes which stop within two and three minutes walk of us:
112 Bus (every 30 min) from Manchester Piccadilly Gardens (1010); Collyhurst, Queens RD (1020); Moston, Ben Brierley (1025) ; Moston Gardners Arms (1030), GET OFF Total Petrol Station (Greengate/ Mainway East), walk up Mainway East, take 1st left after post box, onto Lincoln Rd, & then 1st right onto York Rd West.
415 Bus (every hour) from Middleton (1025).
415 Bus from Oldham (0955); Chadderton, Robinson St (1000); Chadderton, Sportsman (1004); GET OFF, Mainway East/Lincoln Rd, walk up Lincol Rd (Side of Hut), Turn Right onto York Rd West.
If you are driving and need directions click HERE. And see HERE.
22 Oct 2009
I was exhorted by this account. Note the order in this passage: The compassion of Christ precedes his desire to teach. There is a great difference between loving teaching for teaching's sake and loving people. The former finds his happiness in a well-formed discourse. If the content is delivered smoothly in a well-order homily, he feels he has been successful. Not so with Christ. He is constrained by the burden of love to shepherd souls. He sees the people being "destroyed because of a lack of knowledge." Delivering a "good" sermon is the last thing on His mind. He is after souls, and He refuses to rest or relent until all of the sheep are safe in the fold. Paul sums this up in Colossians 1:28. "We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ" (emphasis mine). I'm praying for more reality in this.
1. Seek Christ first. That he would see more of Christ's love for him, he would love Christ more and nothing would get in the way of simple devotion to Christ. That his prayer life would not be hindered.
2. His family. That he would be a better husband to his wife, and a better parent to his children. For the salvation of his children and the spiritual welfare of his wife. That his family would be provided for.
3. Study. That the Spirit of God will help and guide him in preparing sermons, and that his study time would not be hindered.
4. Love. That he would increase in love, compassion and gentleness.
5. Witness. That he would have divine appointments and God would open doors for him to share the Gospel with people. That his life would also be a witness of the love of Christ.
6. Wisdom. That he would increase in wisdom and God will help him with any council he gives.
7. Holiness. That he would be careful not to grieve the Spirit and will flee temptation. That he would be filled with the Spirit.
8. Unction. That God would give power to his preaching and ministry and souls would be converted.
9. Truth. That he would speak the truth in love and not back down when tough things need to be said, knowing he will receive a stricter judgement.
10. Support. That he will receive support from people around him.
21 Oct 2009
Ministering To Your Pastor By John Piper. (Are YOU Praying Earnestly For Your Pastor? You Should Be)
Let's begin with a passage of Scripture from Romans 1:8-12. Paul says to the church:
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.
I would like to discuss our responsibility to minister to our pastor. We have heard many times that all Christians are ministers, according to Ephesians 4:12. We stress in our Sunday school classes the need to pray for each other and encourage each other in the faith, but I think we are prone to forget that our pastor is one of us. So I want to remind us why we need to minister to our pastor, how we might do it better, and what we can hope for as a result.
First, why must we minister to our pastor? The reason is that he is a human and a fellow believer like us. As a man, he is just as susceptible to temptations as any of us. Faith isn't automatic for him just because he is a pastor. It is no easier for him to be a loving, hopeful person than it is for us. His resources in the fight of faith are no greater than ours. He is one of us.
More than that, the unique burdens of his calling demand our faithful ministry to him; for example, the administrative burden of seeing that a hundred details are taken care of. Most of these we are never even aware of. Then there is the burden of hearing and delivering messages from God week after week. Don't ever think that these messages come easily for a pastor. If they are consistently Biblical, they require much hard work. Many tears are shed in a pastor's study over sermons that just won't come. If we feel spiritually dry we might skip church or come for renewal, but where can a pastor go?
Then there is the burden of wanting his people to act more like Jesus and be the light of the world. Paul said to the Galatians (4:19), "I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!" Nothing weighs heavier on a pastor's heart than when his people don’t grow in faith, love, and righteousness.
You could all make a longer list of pastoral pressures, but now let's consider how we can minister to our pastor.
The best way to bear the burden of your pastor is to be a Christian. Paul said in Philippians 2:2-3, "Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." In other words, nothing will refresh our pastor like a humble, loving, Christ-like congregation. Paul said to the Roman church, "I long to see you … that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith" (1:11-12). Our faith is a source of great encouragement to our pastor. So let's be a believing people.
Besides this, I have three specific suggestions of things we can do to build our pastor up and increase the fruitfulness of his ministry.
1) Pray for him every day. Write it down so you don't forget. And don't just say, "God bless the pastor.” Be specific. Pray for his health, his messages, his family, his visiting, his flaws and weaknesses. Put yourself in his place and try to feel with him as you pray.
2) Second, go out of your way to say some gracious words of encouragement. Write him a note on the registration card, send a letter now and then to his home; call him up on the phone. Get him alone sometime, look him right in the face, and say, "I appreciate your work, pastor, and I am praying for you every day." Don't be satisfied with platitudes at the door after Sunday services.
3) Third, admonish him in a spirit of forgiveness. I have never talked to anyone in my life who is completely satisfied with his pastor. There is a very simple reason: All men are imperfect. Some people never seem to learn this. and they hop from church to church in search of the flawless pastor. That's hopeless. It is far better to find a church where you feel at home and to consider it your lifelong responsibility to help the pastor grow. Everyone would like to change something about his pastor, but how many of us have devoted ourselves to earnest prayer about that thing? And how many have sat down with him and with a humble, forgiving spirit admonished him to change? If we love him we will do it ... and he is not all that scary to talk to.
Those are just some of the ways to minister to your pastor. You think of others.
The final question I raised was, what can we hope for as a result of our ministry? In short, we can hope for a refreshed, hopeful, invigorated pastor. Thus our ministry to him will come back to us like a boomerang and will create a refreshed, hopeful, and invigorated people. Then the world will know that Christ is real and is at work among us.
20 Oct 2009
Click on back cover to read description of book:
18 Oct 2009
-That God is the definition of what good is.
-Every thing God does is morally right
-The Christian should and will do good as a pattern of lifestyle.
-That God orders every event in the believers life for our God and He rejoices in doing this.
-That there is no such thing of good outside of Jesus Christ.
-That only good people go to Heaven
-Christians should not let unbelieving relatives and friends blaspheme in their homes.
Play or download mp3:
Luke 18:19 - Attributes of God pt 10-God Is Good & So We Must Reflect His Goodness-Kevin Williams - 47 min
Listen to this and other Puritan Fellowship Sermons on itunes here:
17 Oct 2009
16 Oct 2009
If I was to recommend that Christians read only one book besides the Bible then it would be Justification & Regeneration by Charles Leiter (forward by Paul Washer). It is a book that has been life changing for myself and many others who have had the blessing of reading it. Brother Leiter explains essential doctrinal truths in such plain and easy to understand language. I not only recommend every Christian reads it, but get your Pastor to read it too. You can buy it HERE from Granted Ministries and read chapter two below:
(printed with permission)
Can A Man Be Right Before God?
It is here that we encounter the greatest single obstacle to human salvation imaginable: How can an absolutely just and righteous Judge ever justify (declare righteous) an absolutely guilty and condemned criminal? How can any human being escape the damnation of hell? We are told by God Himself that “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.”(Proverbs 17:15) Suppose a father comes home to find his family murdered. After an agonizing chase, he is able to apprehend the murderer. When the criminal finally appears before the judge, he is found to be unquestionably guilty of the crime. But when the time of sentencing comes, the judge makes the following declaration: “This man has committed a horrible crime, but I am a very loving judge and choose to declare him not guilty. In fact, I declare him to be righteous in the sight of the law!” Such a judge would rightly be considered as great a criminal as the offender! He has “justified the wicked” and is “an abomination to the Lord.”
But if this is true even of human justice, how much more is it true of God’s justice? How can the defiled and guilty sons of Adam ever hope to stand before God, the righteous Judge of the universe? How can God ever “justify the ungodly” without becoming an abomination to Himself ? “He who says to the wicked, ‘You are righteous,’ peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him.”(Proverbs 24:24) How can God say to sinners like us, “You are righteous,” without violating His own character? How can God ever save us from Himself and His own righteousness and justice?
This dilemma has created untold misery for every guilt-sensitive soul. It was a terrible problem for the patriarch Job. “How can a man be in the right before God? If one wished to dispute with Him, he could not answer Him once in a thousand times.”(Job 9:2-3) “What is man, that he should be pure, or he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in His sight; how much less one who is detestable and corrupt, man, who drinks iniquity like water!”(Job 15:14-16) “How then can a man be just with God? Or how can he be clean who is born of woman? If even the moon has no brightness, and the stars are not pure in His sight, how much less man, that maggot, and the son of man, that worm!”(Job 25:4-6)
No one feels the force of this dilemma more than the repentant sinner. He knows that he deserves to go to hell. In the realm of human government, criminals have often actually turned themselves over to the authorities for justice to be done, rather than live with their unbearable sense of guilt any longer! Repentant sinners know that they deserve to be punished, and that it would not be right for them not to be. They know that God cannot just “sweep their sins under the rug” and forget about them. Hence, the cry of their hearts is, “How can a just God ever smile upon me? How can this burden of guilt be removed? How can God pronounce a blessing upon me? How can a man like me be in the right before God!”
There is only one answer to this dilemma. Someone has to pay for the sinner’s sins. Justice must be satisfied. Either it will be satisfied by the sinner’s own suffering forever in hell, or it must be satisfied by someone else on the sinner’s behalf.
Wonder of wonders! That “Someone” has come! The Lord Jesus Christ “bore our sins in His body on the cross.” (1 Peter 2:24) “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried. He was pierced through for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”(Isaiah 53:4-5)
How does this great transaction take place? To understand it, we have to consider the little word “impute.” It is variously translated “reckon,” “count,” “consider,” and “impute.” We can get a feel for what it means by looking at a passage in Paul’s letter to Philemon regarding the return of his slave, Onesimus: “If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me. But if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.”(Philemon 17-18) Here Paul instructs Philemon to “charge to his account” [lit. “impute”] any debt that Onesimus might owe Philemon. This was not really Paul’s debt, but Paul willingly took it as his debt, and it was charged to his account! Now, this very same word and its associates are used with regard to sin. For example, the Bible says that “sin is not imputed (“charged to our account”) when there is no law.”(Romans 5:13) Again, in Romans 4, Paul says, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits (“imputes”) righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account (“impute”).’ ”(Romans 4:5-8) Glorious transaction! Our sins are not imputed to us, because they have been imputed to Christ, and accepting them as if they were His own debt, He has paid them in full!
We see the very same reality in the Old Testament concept of “bearing sin.” On the great Day of Atonement, two goats were sacrificed—one shed its blood to atone for sins,(Leviticus 16:16) and the other (live) goat bore these sins away to a solitary place (Leviticus 16:22): “Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for the Lord fell, and make it a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.”(Leviticus 16:9-10) Here God uses two goats to teach us one truth concerning the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the one hand, He dies for our sins, and on the other hand—as a result of that death—He effectually carries our sins away from the presence of God.
Notice the glorious reality of imputation presented here! “Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.” (Leviticus 16:21-22) The question for each of us to ask ourselves is this:
“Have I ever laid the hand of faith upon the Lord Jesus Christ and given my sins to Him to carry into a solitary land?”
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away,
A sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they.
My faith would lay her hand
On that dear head of Thine,
While like a penitent I stand,
And there confess my sin.
The Heart of the Gospel
These realities are at the very heart of the gospel. They are expounded by the apostle Paul in Romans 3:21-26, a somewhat complex passage that is made clear once we understand the meaning of imputation discussed above:
“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all; those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Here Paul declares that Christ died to pay our sin debt so that God could “justify” sinners and at the same time remain “just” Himself. Throughout the Old Testament, sins were merely “passed over,” the payment of their guilt being rolled forward year after year until the Lamb should come whose death could truly take them away.(Hebrews 9:15) All during this time, it appeared that God was being unrighteous, since He justified men (like Abraham and David) without justice being truly satisfied. Therefore it was necessary that Christ should die “publicly,” openly demonstrating God’s righteousness for all to see, by making full satisfaction for sin on the cross. In this sense, Christ died, not only to justify men, but to justify God! His death on the cross vindicated and demonstrated the absolute justice of God in justifying His people. As a “propitiation” (i.e., a wrath-removing sacrifice) for our sins, Christ turns away God’s judicial wrath from us. We are “justified as a gift” (Justification is absolutely free to us.), “through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Justification is very costly to God.). We are justified by receiving the “gift of righteousness,”(Romans 5:17) “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ.”(Romans 3:22)
Are you still carrying the burden of sin and guilt? Are you still under the wrath of God? “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”(John 1:29) There is a “fountain for sin and impurity.”(Zechariah 13:1) “The blood of Jesus, God’s Son cleanses us from all sin.”(1 John 1:7) No matter how great your sins may be, they are nothing compared to the infinite worth of Christ’s blood!(1 Peter 1:18-19; Acts 20:28) “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”(Romans 5:20) Come to Him! He invites and commands you to come; you need not fear that you are being presumptuous by coming: “And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”(Revelation 22:17) Come to Him! Take the water of life! Cast your sins upon Him and trust Him as your sin-bearer. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.”(Matthew 11:28 2 Acts 16:31)
15 Oct 2009
Alone in that midnight hour, as he waited upon God, with dim perception but sincere obedience and simple faith, the answer came. Heaven itself seemed opened over that little room as once again the promise was fulfilled, "I will pour...My Spirit upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground." For there upon that untaught, newly-converted Chinese, so recently rescued from heathenism, opium-smoking, and sin was shed a wonderful outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Life, divine and more abundant; life that is joy, light, victory, and love, triumphing over self as well as sin, flooded his soul.
"Three times in the night," reads the simple record, "the Holy Spirit descended, filling and overflowing my heart."
14 Oct 2009
Christian parents pray that their children will be awakened to spiritual realities. They rejoice when children begin to ask questions like, "how can I know if I have a new heart?" But then they face a dilemma. How do you counsel an awakened child? How do you discourage false assurance while not driving your child to despair?
Dealing With Our Spiritually Awakened Children-Albert Martin
13 Oct 2009
I hadn't always believed these things. At the age of ten I had committed my life to Jesus Christ and was baptized. As a teenager I had not been a mature believer, but I had certainly been an enthusiastic one. Why had I fallen away from faith? For many reasons. One was that I had been caught up in the radical politics popular among many students in the late sixties and early seventies. I had my own ideas about redeeming the world, and my politics became a kind of substitute religion. During my student years I had also committed certain sins that I didn't want to repent. Because the presence of God made me more and more uncomfortable, I began looking for reasons to believe He didn't exist. Then again, once I lost hold of God, things started going wrong in my life, and disbelieving in Him seemed a good way to get back at Him. Now of course if God didn't exist, then I couldn't get back at Him, so this may seem a strange sort of disbelief. But most disbelief is like that.
Another reason I lost my faith was that I'd heard all through school that human beings had created God in their image and that even the most basic ideas about good and evil are arbitrary. During graduate school I had fallen under the spell of the nineteenth-century German writer Friedrich Nietzsche, the originator of the slogan "God is dead." If anything, I was more Nietzschean than Nietzsche. Whereas he thought that given the meaninglessness of things, nothing was left but to laugh or be silent, I recognized that not even laughter or silence was left. One had no reason to do or not do anything at all. This is a terrible thing to believe, but like Nietzsche, I imagined myself one of the few who could believe such things—who could walk the rocky heights where the air is thin and cold.
All of this gives you a clue to the main reason I lost faith in God: sheer, mulish pride. I didn't want God to be God; I wanted J. Budziszewski to be God. I see that now. But I didn't see that then.
I now believe that without God, everything goes wrong. This is true even of the good things He's given us, such as our minds. One of the good things I've been given is a stronger than average mind. I don't make the observation to boast; human beings are given diverse gifts to serve Him in diverse ways. The problem is that a strong mind refusing the call to serve God has its own way of going wrong. When some people flee from God, they might rob and kill. When others flee from God, they may do a lot of drugs and have a lot of sex. When I fled from God I didn't do any of those things; my way of fleeing was to get stupid. Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that you must be highly intelligent and educated to commit. God keeps them in His arsenal to pull down mulish pride, and I discovered them all.
It was agony. You can't imagine what a person has to do to himself—well, if you're like I was, perhaps you can—to go on believing the sort of nonsense I believed to shut out belief in the gospel. Paul said that the knowledge of God's existence is plain from what He has made (see Romans 1:19-20) and that the knowledge of His laws is "written on [our] hearts, [our] consciences also bearing witness" (Romans 2:15). That means that so long as we have minds, we can't not know these things. Well, I was unusually determined not to know them; therefore I had to destroy my mind. For example, I loved my wife and children, but I was determined to regard this love as merely a subjective preference with no real and objective value. Visualize a man opening up the access panels of his mind and pulling out all the components that have God's image stamped on them. The problem is that they all have God's image stamped on them, so the man can never stop. No matter how much he pulls out, there's still more to pull. I was that man.
How then did God bring me back? I came, over time, to feel a greater and greater horror about myself—an overpowering sense that my condition was terribly wrong. Finally it occurred to me to wonder why I should feel horror if the difference between the wonderful and the horrible was just something we humans make up. I had to admit that there was a difference between the wonderful and the horrible after all, and that meant that there had to exist a wonderful, of which the horrible was the absence. So my walls of self-deception collapsed all at once.
That was when I became aware again of the Savior I had deserted during college. Astonishingly, though I had abandoned Him, He had never abandoned me. I now believe He drew me back to Himself just in time. There is a point of no return, and I was almost there. I had been pulling out one component after another, and I had nearly gotten to the motherboard.
The next few years after my conversion were like being in a dark attic—one I had been in for a long time but in which shutter after shutter was being thrown back so that great shafts of light began to stream in and illuminate the dusty corners. I recovered whole memories, whole feelings, whole ways of understanding that I had blocked out. As I look back, I am in awe that God has permitted me to make any contribution to His kingdom at all. But He promises that if only the rebel turns to Jesus Christ in repentant faith--giving up claims of self-ownership and allowing this Jesus, this Christ, the run of the house--He will redeem everything there is in it. And He did."~J. Budziszewski
HT: Quote found on Charles Leiter's weekend sermon "Who has believed our report" which can be listened to on the Lake Road podcast.
11 Oct 2009
-That it is impossible for people to deny the true God without lying to themselves and others.
-You do not have to prove God to someone before you can share the Gospel with them.
-If you witness to someone without the presupposition that despite whatever front they put on deep down they know the God of the Bible is true, then you are denying Romans 1 and 2, which tells us that everyone deep down knows God is true and is without excuse.
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Prov 30:4-6 - Attributes of God pt 9-To Deny God Is To Deny Truth Itself, Because God Is Truth-Kevin Williams - 49 min
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10 Oct 2009
"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." John 12:48 KJV
"He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day." John 12:48 NASB
8 Oct 2009
Man’s Ultimate Problem
God—to be the center and measure of all things and to “know” for himself what is good and what is evil.(Genesis 3:4-5) According to Titus 3:3-7, men in their natural state are “foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved to various lusts.” Their lives are characterized by “malice, envy, and hate.” Far from recognizing this state of affairs, lost men imagine themselves to be “basically good,” unless God in mercy reveals to them the true condition of their blackened hearts. Sin is the ultimate and only problem of humanity. It is my ultimate and only problem and your ultimate and only problem.
A Biblical View of Sin
The Bible has a lot to say about sin. If we are to rightly understand sin’s true nature, we must let the light of this Biblical revelation illumine our darkened minds and soften our calloused hearts. Just think of it! According to the Bible, sin is—
Sin is absolutely universal in the human race. “All of us like sheep have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way.”(Isaiah 53:6) “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12) You and I may not have met each other, but of one thing we can be certain even before our introduction— both of us are sinners. Every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth, no matter how old or how young, is a sinner. Even small children, when allowed to go their own way, are capable of the most exquisite cruelties to animals and to one another.
Race and nationality likewise offer no immunity from sin; the most cultured of nations are just as capable of genocide as the most barbaric. The gas chambers of the “civilized” are merely sophisticated forms of the machetes wielded by the “uncivilized.” Neither is there any such thing as a “noble savage” or “happy heathen.” In the words of one former missionary, “I went to the
mission field to keep a bad God from sending good men to hell. When I arrived, I discovered that they were monsters of iniquity.” The question is not whether men have had an opportunity to “accept Jesus.” The question is whether they have had an opportunity to mistreat the missionary and reject his message—for, apart from the special working of the Holy Spirit, that is what they will surely do.(Matthew 22:1-6)
Sin is universal in the human race.
Not only is sin universal; it is all-pervasive. Every aspect of the human personality and of human existence is affected by it: The mind is blinded. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see…”(2 Corinthians 4:4) The will is corrupted and incapacitated. “The wickedness of man was great on the earth, and…every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”(Genesis 6:5) “You will not come to Me that you might have life.”(John 5:40) “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”(John 6:44) The emotions are disturbed and perverted. Some hearts smolder with constant anger and hatred; others are tormented day and night by senseless fears. Multitudes laugh at things that ought to make them weep, while others burst into tears for no apparent reason. Such are the deep and all-pervasive disturbances to the human personality caused, either directly or indirectly, by sin.
Sin is irrational. Many a priceless birthright has been bartered for one bowl of soup;(Hebrews 12:16) many a marriage and family thrown away for one night of illicit pleasure. For the temporary thrills of illegal drug use, the highest powers of the human brain are routinely and permanently destroyed. A moment’s reflection on the sins of our own past is enough to confirm that none of them makes any sense. Such was the insanity of the prodigal son’s actions that his
repentance involved nothing less than “coming to his senses.”(Luke 15:17)
There is no wise sin.
Sin is deceitful. The Bible speaks of being “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”(Hebrews 3:13) As with all deception, the victim is unaware of his deceived state. At the very time he thinks that he is “rich, and has become wealthy, and has need of nothing,” he is in reality “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked”!(Revelation 3:17) He “professes himself to be wise,” but is actually a “fool.”(Romans 1:22)
One of the most fearful things about sin is its power to harden the one who practices it.(Hebrews 3:13) The deeper a man goes in sin, the less sin bothers him. According to the Bible, man’s very conscience becomes “seared as with a branding iron.”(1 Timothy 4:2) Every sinner finds himself now committing sins that he once despised, and the sins that he now despises, he will someday find himself committing. It should shock us to remember that Adolph Hitler was once a little boy playing with toys just like other little boys. Man knows the beginning of sin, but no man has ever known the end of sin.
Sin enslaves those who practice it. “Everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.”(John 8:34) None can free himself or escape from sin’s bondage. Sin “reigns” over the sinner and rides on his back like a tyrant until it eventually brings him down to the pit of destruction and death.(Romans 5:21) If you are not a Christian, you have a chain around your neck far worse than any physical chain. You may be able to quit one sin, but another sin will immediately take its place—often the sin of pride or self-righteousness for what you imagine you have accomplished in reforming yourself. Sin is enslaving.
Sin sinks the highest and noblest of men and women to the depths of shame and degradation. The young man who once wore a fine suit and sat in a leather office chair now lies unshaven in his own vomit as a result of sin. The young girl who was once clean and beautiful and innocent is now cheap and sensual and dirty—again, because of sin. Men and women made in the image of God, created to dream immortal dreams and to think the long thoughts of eternity, are reduced by sin to groveling in the muck like pigs for a piece of bread. Sin turned angels into demons (Matthew 25:41); it turns men into “unreasoning animals.”( 2 Peter 2:12; Jude 1:10) Sin is debasing.
Finally, sin is defiling.(Mark 7:20-23) Sin is not a trifle; sin is not “cute”; sin is not funny. Sin is exceedingly wicked and perverse; it is “utterly sinful.”(Romans 7:13) All sin is twisted and ugly and vile. We should be shocked at how wicked men are and how callous we have become to that wickedness. We are used to it! The first baby ever born grew up to murder his own brother.(Genesis 4:8) And human history ever since has been one long stream of constant warfare, lust, hate, torture, rape, perversion, abuse, and brutality. It is a blessed thing that we do not know in detail the sins that were committed just last night in our own town or city. Such knowledge would be too defiling to bear. Yet, we must face the fact that the world is not the way it is because it has a few bad people like Hitler; the world is the way it is because it is made up of multitudes of people just like us! There is deep wickedness in each of us. Sometimes God will use something seemingly “little” to show us this wickedness. For Augustine, it was not so much his immoral lifestyle, but the wanton stealing of pears from a neighbor’s tree in his youth—not for hunger, but for sport—that revealed to him the utter depravity of his own heart. Sin, just for the delight of doing evil, without reason and without reward, flows from within the human heart and defiles us all.
The Two Sides of Man’s Sin Problem
Sin is the ultimate and only problem of humanity. But this “sin problem” has two distinct aspects—one internal and the other external.
The Internal Problem—A Bad Heart
According to the Lord Jesus Christ, man himself is corrupt and vile. “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil
thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”(Mark 7:20-23) This is the condition of every human heart, apart from Christ. If a motion picture of even our past thoughts, let alone our past actions, were to be played on a large screen before our family and acquaintances, every one of us would run from the room in shame. Every non-Christian is—in his person—more repulsive to a holy God than he can ever begin to imagine.
But man’s problem with sin is even deeper than this. Suppose that by some miracle, the sinner could become a new person and never sin again for the rest of his life. He would still most certainly go to hell. The routine murderer who sincerely decides never to murder again must still pay for his past crimes. In other words, man’s problem with sin has another dimension besides the internal. Man not only has a bad heart ; he also has a bad record in the eyes of God’s law.
The External Problem—A Bad Record
Every sinner is a fugitive from justice. Regardless of the present condition of his heart, he has objective guilt, outside himself, in the eyes of God’s law. He may not have any “guilt feelings,” but he stands “guilty” or “condemned,” nevertheless. All his past crimes cry out for their penalty to be paid and justice to be satisfied. This cry is anchored in the very character and being of God, in His attribute of justice or equity.
It is because of the sense of equity or justice that God has written deep within the human heart that we feel immediate moral outrage when the perpetrator of a crime is allowed to go unpunished. Why is it wrong for the rapist-murderer to receive only a tendollar fine? We cannot prove that he deserves more, but we know that he does. This inescapable knowledge within us is something more foundational and certain than any theoretical “proof.” It is something absolutely basic to the human constitution—a reflection of God’s very nature.
Much could be said about God’s attribute of justice, especially in this day when the very concept of justice seems to be almost lost in society at large. There are three basic reasons why a crime
should be punished: First, for the satisfaction of justice (i.e., because crimes deserve to be punished and ought to be punished); second, for the good of society (i.e., for the prevention of further crime); and third, for the good of the offender (i.e., to cause him to change his ways). Of these three, the satisfaction of justice is primary and foundational to the other two. If the punishment for a crime is not itself just and deserved, it will neither deter future crime
nor reform the offender.
In our day, the primary and foundational reason for punishment— the satisfaction of justice—has been almost completely suppressed and denied. Only the second and third reasons remain, and these have been reversed in importance. The “reform” of the offender is now primary, and prisons are no longer called prisons, but “correctional facilities.” Even those who still believe that crime must be punished for the good of society maintain that murderers should be sentenced, not because they have murdered, but only in order to prevent future murders. Such a philosophy is wicked and false, and is based on the lie that men and women are not truly
responsible for their actions.
It is not difficult to understand how this state of affairs has come about. Because men want to be God themselves,(Genesis 3:4-5) they hate the thought of a sovereign Lawgiver to whom they must give an account. They seek to suppress the inescapable knowledge of God that is around and within them,(Romans 1:18f) and say instead that there is no God.(Psalm 10:4; 14:1; 53:1) This denial of God’s existence makes it easier for them to pretend that there is no such thing as right and wrong. Instead of being guilty sinners, men and women are viewed as helpless
victims of their circumstances. In such a setting, punishment in order to satisfy justice becomes unthinkable. Man is free to do as he pleases and answers to no one.
But no matter how much men may try to suppress it, there is still an indelible knowledge in the human heart that right and wrong are real,(Romans 2:14-16) that men are responsible for their wrongdoing, and that sin deserves to be punished.(Romans 1:32) Deep down, all men know that the scales of justice must be balanced at last.(Acts 28:4) If you are not a Christian and are reading these lines, the scales of justice are very unbalanced in your life even now, and you can be certain—on the basis of God’s very being and just character—that He will never rest or relent until you are in hell. The whole moral fabric of the universe would collapse if He did not put you in hell.
It is in this context that the Bible speaks of the “wrath of God.” God’s wrath is not a temporary loss of self-control or a selfish fit of emotion. It is His holy, white-hot hatred of sin, the reaction and revulsion of His holy nature against all that is evil. God’s wrath is tied in directly with His justice. It has to do with His righteous determination to punish every sin, to balance the scales of justice, and to make every wrong right. That is why the wrath of God “abides on” every unbeliever.(John 3:36) The more men persist in sin, the more they are “storing up wrath for themselves in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”(Romans 2:5) God’s wrath will eventually be “poured out”; He is a righteous judge and will not allow sin to go unpunished forever.
7 Oct 2009
Click on blue links to play or download mp3's.
1. Ex 3:14+var - Attributes Of God pt 1-Jesus the Self Existent I AM-Kevin Williams - 46 min
2. Psalm 102:25-27 - Attributes Of God pt 2-The Unchanging Yet Changing God-Kevin Williams - 47 min
3. Psalm 90:2 - Attributes Of God pt 3-The Everlasting And Yet Personal God-Kevin Williams - 35 min
4. Psalm 139:7-10 - Attributes Of God pt 4-The Awesome Christ, Present In Full Being Everywhere -Kevin Williams - 41 min
5. Exodus 34:5-8 - Attributes Of God pt 5-The Unity Of God-All False Religion Is An Attack On Jesus Christ-Kevin Williams - 46 min
6. John 4:24 - Attributes Of God pt 6- God Is Spirit & What It Means To Worship In Spirit & In Truth-Kevin Williams - 54 min
7. 1 John 3:20 - Attributes of God pt 7- God Is All Knowing, He Even Knows What Might Have Happened-Kevin Williams - 43 min
8. Rom 11:33 - Attributes of God pt 8-The Wisdom Of God, How We Should Make Decisions-Kevin Williams - 47 min
9. Prov 30:4-6 - Attributes of God pt 9-To Deny God Is To Deny Truth Itself, Because God Is Truth-Kevin Williams - 49 min
10. Luke 18:19 - Attributes of God pt 10-God Is Good & So We Must Reflect His Goodness-Kevin Williams - 47 min
11. 1 John 4:7-12 - Attributes of God pt 11-God Is Love-Kevin Williams - 61 min
12. Rom 9:15-16 - Attributes of God pt 12-(Mercy pt A) God Is Sovereign In Mercy-Kevin Williams - 49 min
13. Matt 9:13+Var - Attributes of God pt 13-(Mercy pt B) God Desires Mercy & Not Sacrifice-Kevin Williams - 62 min
14. Eph 1:7+Var - Attributes of God pt 14-In The Grace Of God We Stand-Kevin Williams - 45 min
15. 1 Tim 1:16 - Attributes of God pt 15-The Patience of God-Don't Mock Him-Kevin Williams - 66 min
16. Matt 11:28-30 - Attributes of God pt 16-God is Meek and Gentle-Kevin Williams -55 min
17. Isaiah 6:1-9: - Attributes of God pt 17-The Holiness Of God-Kevin Williams - 57 min
18. 1 Cor 14:33+Var - Attributes of God pt 18-The Peace God Is Something Each Believer Should Have-Kevin Williams -44 min
19. Rom 1:16-17; 3:10-26+Matt 7:13-27 - Attributes of God pt 19-The Justice Of God Is Revealed In The Gospel-Kevin Williams -67 min
20. Ex 20:1-6+Var - Attributes of God pt 20-God Is Jealous For His Glory-Kevin Williams - 60 min
21. Rev 20:11-15+var- Attributes of God pt 21-The Wrath and Hatred of God-Kevin Williams - 54 min
22. Deut 29:29+var - Attributes of God pt 22-God's Revealed And Secret Will-Kevin Williams - 67 min
23. Psalm 115:3 - Attributes of God pt 23-Freedom of God-Kevin Williams - 44 min
24. Rev 1:8+var - Attributes of God pt 24-The Almighty Christ-Kevin Williams - 47 min
25. Songs 5:16 - Attributes of God pt 25-The Beauty of God, The Altogether Lovely Christ-Kevin Williams - 55 min
26. Zeph 3:17+Psalm 1 - Attributes of God pt 26-The Joy and Blessedness of God-Kevin Williams - 50 min
27. Matt 5:48 - Attributes of God pt 27-The Perfection of God-Kevin Williams - 44 min
28. Psalm 24:7-11+Rev 21:23 - Attributes of God pt 28-The Glory of God Is Jesus Christ-Kevin Williams - 43 min
29. 1 John 5:7+Var - Attributes of God pt 29- One True God In Three Persons-Kevin Williams - 44 min
Listen to this and other Puritan Fellowship Sermons on itunes here: