Archive for October, 2008

A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
SESSION 5: THE CALL TO LOOK INWARD

Recap: We have now both discussed both the function of leadership in the church as well as the qualities and commitments of a leader in the church. We will now address the spiritual growth of the individual soul as well as tending to the spiritual growth of the parish at large (more…)

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This post from DesiringGod.com was helpful to me. However I think it would be helpful to lay persons as well. As lay people, you might ask of your preacher “does he preach what is true?” and “does he preach what is precious?” I might add one more in “does he preach it with passion?” These are all helpful things to hold your pastor to. Thanks to Sammy for sending this our way…

A word to preachers. Truth and falsehood is a good pair of categories to use when deciding what to preach. Speak truth not falsehood.

But there is another crucial pair of categories. God tells Jeremiah that he must use this pair if he would be faithful:

Therefore thus says the Lord: “…If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. (Jeremiah 15:19)

In deciding what to preach make these two judgments: Is it true and is it precious? Preach what is both. If it is true, preach it with authority. If it is precious, preach it with passion.

One great reason why some preaching leaves people unmoved is that preachers seem unmoved. Is this precious or isn’t it? That is the question in the hearts of the people. If it is, why don’t you sound like it?

The great battle of preaching is to see what’s true and to savor what’s precious. Weak seeing and weak savoring are a curse to God’s people.

Brothers, plead for deliverance from this curse. The ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. They are more precious than gold and sweeter than honey (Psalms 19:9-10).

read it in its original context here

On page 2531 of the ESVSB in the article entitled “Biblical Doctrine: An Overview” under the subheading of “salvation” it reads as follows:

From God’s vantage point salvation begins with his election of individuals, which is his determination beforehand that his saving purpose will be accomplished in them (John 6:37–39, 44, 64–66; 8:47; 10:26; 15:16; Acts 13:48; 16:14; Romans 9; 1 John 4:19; 5:1). God then in due course brings people to himself by calling them to faith in Christ (Rom. 8:30; 1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pet. 2:9).
God’s calling produces regeneration, which is the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in which a spiritually dead person is made alive in Christ (Ezek. 11:19–20; Matt. 19:28; John 3:3, 5, 7; Titus 3:5). The revived heart repents and trusts Christ in saving faith as the only source of justification.

Notice that the editors clearly affirm that a regenerated, revived heart precedes repentance and trust in Christ. It goes on to describe saving faith as follows:

To be a Christian means one has traded in his “polluted garment” of self-righteousness for the perfect righteousness of Christ (Phil. 3:8–9; cf. Isa. 64:6). He has ceased striving and now rests in the finished work of Christ—no longer depending on personal accomplishments, religious pedigree, or good works for God’s approval, but only on what Christ has accomplished on his behalf (Phil. 2:8–9). A Christian understands with Paul that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). As regards Jesus paying the penalty for our sins, the Christian believes that when Jesus said, “it is finished” (John 19:30), it really was. Because of this, “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1), and they have been “saved to the uttermost” (Heb. 7:25). A miraculous transformation has taken place in which the believer has “passed from death to life” (John 5:24). The Holy Spirit empowers the transformation from rebellious sinner to humble worshiper, leading to “confidence for the day of judgment” (1 John 4:17).

Now moving away from the theological essays, we would like to point to some related commentary the ESVSB makes on a few important texts of Scripture which speak of regeneration:  check them out here

If you are considering the mission to India in February make sure you do a lot of prayer over whether or not God is calling you. The situation is only deteriorating. Those who do go, however, will bring gifts and encouragement to the saints and this will be a tremendous blessing both ways.

The real cause of the violence against Christians in Orissa, and now elsewhere in India, is the fear among extremist Hindu movements that many “untouchable” and “tribal” people will turn to the Christian faith because of the appalling treatment they receive from their caste-ridden communities and the love and care they are shown by Christian humanitarian organisations. Some of those who receive such care, but by no means all, become Christians of their own free will. Is this so unacceptable in secular and democratic India? (more…)

As Christians we’re not called to be information junkies. Read the article below and pray desperately for this young boy. Intercede for him as Christ has and is interceding for us

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) — Two men posing as police officers kidnapped a 6-year-old boy in a drug dispute after entering his family’s home and tying up his mother and her boyfriend, police said Thursday.

A nationwide Amber Alert has been issued for Cole Puffinburger, 6, of Las Vegas, Nevada.

An Amber Alert was expanded nationwide as police searched for Cole Puffinburger, who was taken Wednesday, police said.

There is a definite “drug nexus,” Las Vegas Police Capt. Vincent Cannito said at a news conference Thursday. “Significant money and drugs” were involved, he said, but he would not provide more details.

Two men identified themselves as police officers to gain entry to the home several miles northeast of downtown Las Vegas, Cannito said. They demanded money, and the home was ransacked and the couple tied up, he said.

“This child witnessed that,” he said. “This child was ripped from the home.”

Cannito would not say whether the family had been contacted about paying a ransom.

The boy is described as 3-foot-11 and 48 pounds, with blond hair, blue eyes and silver-framed glasses. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes, a black shirt, and a black zip-up sweat shirt with white, black and blue stars.

Authorities said that a third man was also believed to be involved in the kidnapping.

One suspect is described as having black, shoulder-length, slicked-back hair. The man, in his early 30s, is about 5 feet 7 and 150 pounds and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

Authorities do not have a description of the other men or the getaway car, which delayed the initial posting Wednesday of the statewide alert.

“We’re urging people, if they’ve seen anything, to contact our missing persons detail,” Las Vegas, Nevada, police Officer Bill Cassell said.

“We’ve had a lot of tips,” Cassell said. “The frustrating thing is we have nothing new at this point.”

read it in its original context here

“Head” does not mean male dominance, where a man lords it over a woman and demands her total obedience to his every wish and command. God never viewed women as second-class citizens. His Word clearly states that we are all equally His children and are of equal value and worth before Him. As Galatians 3:28 tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

The teaching of the New Testament clearly shows that women are to be respected, revered, and treated as equals with men. Unfortunately, many husbands have not gotten the message. They degrade their wives by neglect or with insensitive and abusive treatment. One cause of the feminist movement may have been that men abandoned God’s design. When God presented Eve to Adam in the Garden, Adam received her as a gift of great value to God and him. When husbands, particularly Christian husbands, do not treat their wives as a precious gift from God and helpmate, they can cause those wives to search for a way to find significance and value as persons, often outside God’s will.

Are you a leader? Men who are “natural” leaders have no trouble answering the question, yes. They know how to take over, control, guide, and get things done. Some men are not strong or natural leaders. How can they lead in the home?

Paul says the same to everyone. God has placed the husband in the position of responsibility. It does not matter what kind of personality a man may have. Your wife may be resisting you, fighting you, and spurning your attempts to lead, but it makes no difference. I believe our wives want us and need us to lead. You are not demanding this position; on the contrary, God placed you there. You will not lead her perfectly, but you must care for you wife and family by serving them with perseverance.

Scripture does more than assign leadership in a marriage to the husband, however. Those same passages you just read also provide a model for that leadership. The Apostle Paul says that the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church. “This comparison of the husband with Christ reveals the sense in which a man should be his wife’s “head.” Hendriksen writes, “He is her head as being vitally interested in her welfare. He is her protector. His pattern is Christ Who, as head of the Church, is its Savior!”

I highly recommend you read it all here