Archive for April, 2010

Bruised reed

Posted: April 30, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, The Christian Life, Uncategorized

Iain Boyd has been reading this book and been blessed by it greatly. Here’s a quote from the book.

“After conversion we need bruising, that reeds may know themselves to be reeds and not oaks.  Even reeds need bruising by reason of the remainder of pride in our nature, and to let us see that we live by mercy. . . . Thus Peter was bruised when he wept bitterly.  This reed, till he met with this bruise, had more wind in him than pith.  ‘Though all forsake thee, I will not.’  The people of God cannot be without these examples.  The heroic deeds of those great worthies do not comfort the church so much as their falls and bruises do.”

Richard Sibbes, “The Bruised Reed,” in Works (Edinburgh, 1979), I:44.

Young people leaving churches, why?

Posted: April 30, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Current Issues, Uncategorized

An official with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) says a new survey showing that churches are losing young adults gives another sign that many pastors are preaching a watered-down version of the gospel.

read the whole thing here

excerpted from C.S. Lewis’s book ” God in the Dock”

“Take the case of a sour old maid, who is a Christian, but a cantankerous. On the other hand, take some pleasant  and popular fellow, but who has never been to church. Who knows how much more cantankerous the old maid might be if she were not a Christian, and how much more likable the nice fellow might be if he were a Christian? You can’t judge Christianity simply by comparing the product in these two people; you would need to know what kind of raw material Christ was working on in both cases.”

Christ Our Substitute

Posted: April 30, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Biblical Theology, Christian Theology

L. Morris on The atonement in the Gospel of John

John does not outline a theory of the way atonement is brought
about, but he has a number of expressions that show that Christ died
in our stead. We have already had occasion to notice the words of
Caiaphas in which he laid it down “that it is expedient that one man
should die for the people” (11:50; cf. 18:14). His “for” is  which
often means no more than “on behalf of” in a general way. (more…)

Audience of One

Posted: April 30, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, The Christian Life, Uncategorized

“A life lived listening to the decisive call of God is a life lived before one audience that trumps all others– the Audience of One.”

O. Guinness ” The Call”

“Banquet your faith upon God’s own word, and whatever your fears or wants, repair to the Bank of Faith with your Father’s note of hand, saying, Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.”

– Charles Spurgeon, Morning & Evening,

GOD DRAWS HIS PEOPLE TO HIMSELF

…. From the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 THESSALONIANS 2:13-14

Effectual calling is a sixteenth-century English phrase that became the title of chapter X of the 1647 Westminster Confession. The chapter begins thus:

All those whom God hath predestined unto life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by his almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace. (more…)

But is there a clue in the context of Luke 18 that Jesus himself is the ground of the justification in verse 14? We’ve already seen that in the big picture of Luke, Jesus saw himself as the suffering servant who is the righteous one that makes many to be accounted righteous (Luke 22:37=Isaiah 53:12). But look just briefly at the story of the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-21.

And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” (more…)

Marriage: A Gospel Sermon

Posted: April 29, 2010 by limabean03 in Uncategorized
delivered at Trinity Marriage Night by Rob Sturdy on April 25th, 2009

Communion

Posted: April 29, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

A video montage from the movie the Passion set to the music of the band third day

Mouse searches for cat

Posted: April 29, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, The Christian Life, Uncategorized

C.S. Lewis talking about his conversion

“As the dry bones shook and came together in that dreadful Valley of Ezekiel’s, so now a philosophical theorem, cerebrally entertained, began to stir and heave and throw off its grave-clothes, and stood upright and became a living presence. I was to be allowed to play at philosophy no longer. It might, as I say, still be true that my “Spirit” differed in some way from the God of popular religion. My Adversary waived the point. It sank into utter unimportance. He would not argue about it. He only said, ” I am the Lord”; “I am that I am”; “I am.”

People who are naturally religious find difficulty in understanding the horror of such revelation. Amiable agnostics will talk cheerfully about ” man’s search for God”. To me, as I then was, they might as well have talked about the mouse’s search for the cat.

God’s will simple hard easy

Posted: April 29, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Uncategorized

saw this over at Thabiti Anyabwile blog  Pure Church by Thabiti Anyabwile

Does God’s will feel like a maze?

If so, here’s a helpful shortcut and corrective from Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something:

The will of God isn’t a special direction here or a bit of secret knowledge there.  God doesn’t put us in a maze, turn out the lights, and tell us, “Get out and good luck.”  In one sense, we trust in the will of God as His sovereign plan for our future.  In another sense, w eobey the will of God as His good word for our lives.  In no sense should we be scrambling around trying to turn to the right page in our personal choose-your-own-adventure novel.

God’s will for your life and my life is simpler, harder, and easier than that.  Simpler, because there are no secrets we must discover.  Harder, because denying ourselves, living for others, and obeying God is more difficult than taking a new job and moving to Fargo.  Easier, because as Augustine said, God commands what He wills and grants what He commands.

In other words, God gives His children the will to walk in His ways–not by revealing a series of next steps cloaked in shadows, but by giving us a heart to delight in His law.

So the end of the matter is this: Live for God.  Obey the Scriptures.  Think of others before yourself.  Be holy.  Love Jesus.  And as you do these things, do whatever else you like, with whomever you like, wherever you like, and you’ll be walking in the will of God. (pp. 121-122)

Yep.  The will of God is that simple, that hard, and that easy.  And it’s good

preached by Rob Sturdy on April 25th, 2009

from Horatius Bonar’s book “Everlasting Righteousness”

read part 1 here

Faith is not perfection. Yet only by perfection can we be saved; either our own or another’s. That which is imperfect cannot justify, and an imperfect faith could not in any sense be a righteousness. If it is to justify, it must be perfect. It must be like “the Lamb, without blemish and without spot.” An imperfect faith may connect us with the perfection of another; but it cannot of itself do aught for us, either in protecting us from wrath or securing the divine acquittal. All faith here is imperfect; and our security is this, that it matters not how poor or weak our faith may be: if it touches the perfect One, all is well. The touch draws out the virtue that is in Him, and we are saved. The slightest imperfection in our faith, if faith were our righteousness, would be fatal to every hope. But the imperfection of our faith, however great, if faith be but the approximation or contact between us and the fullness of the Substitute, is no hindrance to our participation of His righteousness. God has asked and provided a perfect righteousness; He nowhere asks nor expects a perfect faith. An earthenware pitcher can convey water to a traveler’s thirsty lips as well as one of gold; nay, a broken vessel, even if there be but “a shard to take water from the pit” (Isaiah 30:14), will suffice. So a feeble, very feeble faith, will connect us with the righteousness of the Son of God; the faith, perhaps, that can only cry, “Lord, I believe; help mine unbelief.” (more…)

The work of Christ for us is the object of faith; the Spirit’s workin us is that which produces this faith: it is out of the former, not of the latter, that our peace and justification come. Without the touch of the  rod the water would not have gushed forth; yet it was the rock, and not the rod, that contained the water.

(more…)