Archive for September, 2011

View Christ & His Glory

Posted: September 30, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, The Christian Life, Uncategorized

John Owen:

Let us live in the constant contemplation of the glory of Christ, and virtue will proceed from him to repair all our decays, to renew a right spirit within us, and to cause us to abound in all duties of obedience. . .

It will fix the soul unto that object which is suited to give it delight, complacency, and satisfaction. . . when the mind is filled with thoughts of Christ and his glory, when the soul thereon cleaves unto him with intense affections, they will cast out, or not give admittance unto, those causes of spiritual weakness and indisposition. . .

And nothing will so much excite and encourage our souls hereunto as a constant view of Christ and his glory.

The Glory of Christ, The Works of John Owen, ed. William H. Goold, 1850-53, (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1965), I, 460-461,

Spurgeon on Election

Posted: September 28, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Spurgeon

“We give our hand to every man that loves the Lord Jesus Christ, be he what he may or who he may. The doctrine of election, like the great act of election itself, is intended to divide, not between Israel and Israel, but between Israel and the Egyptians, not between saint and saint, but between saints and the children of the world. A man may be evidently of God’s chosen family, and yet though elected, may not believe in the doctrine of election. I hold that there are many savingly called, who do not believe in effectual calling, and that there are a great many who persevere to the end, who do not believe the doctrine of final perseverance. We do hope the hearts of many are a great deal better than their heads. We do not set their fallacies down to any willful opposition to the truth as it is in Jesus but simply to an error in their judgments, which we pray God to correct. We hope that if they think us mistaken too, they will reciprocate the same Christian courtesy; and when we meet around the cross, we hope that we shall ever feel that we are one in Christ Jesus.”

–C. H. Spurgeon.

These quotes compiled by Nathan Busenitz    :

1. Clement of Rome (30-100): “And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Source: Clement, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 32.4.

2. Epistle to Diognetus (second century): “He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God? O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! That the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!”

Source: The Epistle to Diognetus, 9.2-5. (more…)

Because He is satisfied we have peace

Posted: September 21, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“The Israelites at the time of the exodus knew they had escaped the night of God’s judgement through trusting in the blood of the Passover lambs on their doorposts.

Notice that the blood was to be placed on the outside of their houses. The blood was for God to see, not for their benefit. The blood was not to make them feel good or feel safe. The blood was not for their feelings at all. The blood was to satisfy God. It was for his eyes alone. God said, ‘When I see the blood I will pass over you’ (Exodus 12:13).

We have peace, not because we feel good, but because God is satisfied with the blood. Only he can evaluate the worth of the lamb. Because he is satisfied, we have peace.”

— Terry Virgo
God’s Lavish Grace
(Oxford, UK: Monarch Books, 2003), 45


Power of the Word

Posted: September 21, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

When the evangelion is preached, the Spirit of God entereth into them which God hath ordained and appointed unto eternal life, and openeth their inward eyes, and worketh belief in them. When the woeful consciences taste how sweet a thing the bitter death of Christ is, how merciful and loving God is through Christ’s purchasing and merits, they begin to love again and to consent to the law of God, how that it is good, and ought to be taken so, and that God is righteous which made it.

-William Tyndale (preface to the 1525 New Testament) quoted by

Carl Trueman in “Reformation: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”

From Mr. Spurgeon from here

 Other rivers rise in small springs and many tributaries combine to swell them, but the river I have been preaching about rises in full force from the Throne of God. It is as great a river at its source as in its after course.

Oh, my Brothers and Sisters, whenever you stoop down to drink of the mercy which comes to you by Jesus Christ you are having fellowship with God, for what you drink comes direct from God Himself! Think of this, now.

You desire to have a communication established between you and God, and the Lord says, “Here am I coming to you, coming in a great river of blessedness. Take of Me. Accept what comes to you through Jesus Christ. Every drop of it has come from My Throne and is full of the love which is My essence.”

Oh, poor Sinner, do you see this? What a simple, what a safe, what a suitable way God has prepared to bring you into communion with Himself! You are to be the receiver, and He the Giver! He the everlasting Source of all your supplies, and you simply the partaker of His benefits.

Ask what God is, and the answer is, God is a river of goodness streaming down to men through the Person of Jesus Christ


Posted: September 15, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Biblical Theology, Christian Theology, Christianity, Discipleship, Uncategorized

First, the Bible reveals that God is omnipotent and omniscient. These are unconditional and categorical attributes. The sovereignty of God is the bedrock affirmation of biblical theism. The Creator rules over all creation. Not even a sparrow falls without His knowledge. He knows the number of hairs upon our heads. God rules and reigns over all nations and principalities. Not one atom or molecule of the universe is outside His active rule.

The sovereignty of God was affirmed by King Nebuchadnezzar, who confessed that God “does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’.” [Daniel 4:36] Process theologians have attempted to cut God’s power down to size, rendering the Creator as one power among others. The evangelical revisionists pushing open theism have attempted to cut God’s omniscience down to size, rendering Him as one mind among others.

Rabbi Harold Kushner argues that God is doing the best He can under the circumstances, but He lacks the power to either kill or cure. The openness theists argue that God is always ready with Plan B when Plan A fails. He is infinitely resourceful, they stress, just not really sovereign.

These are roads we dare not take, for the God of the Bible causes the rising and falling of nations and empires, and His rule is active and universal.

Limited sovereignty is no sovereignty at all.

-Al Mohler

read the whole sermon here


Posted: September 13, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Spurgeon, Uncategorized

Learn this lesson: not to trust Christ because you repent, but trust Christ to make you repent; not to come to Christ because you have a broken heart, but to come to Him that He may give you a broken heart; not to come to Him because you are fit to come, but to come to Him because you are unfit to come. Your fitness is your unfitness. Your qualification is your lack of qualification.

Charles Spurgeon


Posted: September 9, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Christianity

The doctrine of propitiation is precisely this: that God loved the objects of His wrath (the world) so much that He gave His own Son to the end that He by His blood should make provision for the removal of His wrath. It was Christ’s so to deal with the wrath that the loved would no longer be the objects of wrath, and love would achieve its aim of making the children of wrath the children of God’s good pleasure.

—John Murray, The Atonement (Philadelphia: P&R, 1962), p.


American Poverty – our depravity

Posted: September 9, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

David French:

…we should be asking how we can do more, but in doing “more” we should realize that our anti-poverty efforts largely address symptoms and not causes.

For many, many years I spent time “in the trenches” reaching out to at-risk youth.  At first I was the stereotypical naive idealist.  ”All they need is love and a chance,” I thought.  Working in mentoring programs, I spent untold hours playing catch, going to little league games, going to parks, and just hanging out with at-risk kids as part of a variety of programs.  Seeing ragged clothes, I’d buy new clothes.  Hearing that a mother couldn’t pay the light bill, I’d kick in and help.  I spent night after night sleeping in homeless shelters, cooking dinners in the evening, pancake breakfasts in the morning, and fixing snack lunches for hard days on the streets.

I can’t remember when I first realized that I was accomplishing nothing of substance.  A few car break-ins taught me that some guys saw me as an easy mark.  A few pot purchases with the “gas bill money” taught me that others saw me as an ATM.  Admonitions to “stay in school” had little appeal compared to drug-fueled orgies for kids as young as fifteen years old.  I tried.  God knows I tried.  But it was all for naught.

Only one thing really worked.  The Cross.  There are kids today that Nancy and I worked with who are doing well, who are happily married, and who are pillars of their community.  What made the difference for them?  The Cross.  It wasn’t about my words.  It wasn’t about my effort.  (After all, I tried just as hard or harder with other kids — who are now in prison or “baby-daddies” or both.)  The kids who made it heard the Gospel, repented of sin, and were transformed through the renewing work of the Holy Spirit.

It’s trendy now for churches to put less emphasis on the Gospel and more emphasis on service.  I’ve even heard Christians almost brag that their outreach efforts don’t include any proselytizing at all.  This is tragic.  Billions of dollars of “service” won’t change hearts and lives.  We know that now.  In fact, those very billions may very well numb the human heart to the gravity of its sin.

So, yes, let’s do “more,” but let’s make sure that “more” is aimed at the real source of American poverty — our depravity.

read the whole thing here


Jesus fills the heart with satisfaction

Posted: September 7, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

“Ecstasy and delight are essential to the believer’s soul and they promote sanctification. We were not meant to live without spiritual exhilaration, and the Christian who goes for a long time without the experience of heart-warming will soon find himself tempted to have his emotions satisfied from earthly things and not, as he ought, from the Spirit of God. The soul is so constituted that it craves fulfillment from things outside itself and will embrace earthly joys for satisfaction when it cannot reach spiritual ones. The believer is in spiritual danger if he allows himself to go for any length of time without tasting the love of Christ and savoring the felt comforts of a Savior’s presence. When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in silent search of other lovers. By the enjoyment of the love of Christ in the heart of a believer, we mean an experience of the “love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us” (Rom. 5:5). Because the Lord has made himself accessible to us in the means of grace, it is our duty and privilege to seek this experience from Him in these means till we are made the joyful partakers of it.”

John Flavel (English Puritan – 1630-1691)

Never guilty of any excess in the Joys of divine love

Posted: September 5, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

Consider what Christ has done for you. He died for you. O what did he bear for you. If you knew the pains, the distress, and the agonies the glorious Son of God underwent for you, how would the thoughts of his kindness and love to you overcome you. . . .

God in Christ allows such little, poor creatures as you are to come to him, to love communion with him, and to maintain a communication of love with him. You may go to God and tell him how you love him and open your heart and he will accept of it. You may be familiar in your expressions of your love to Christ, as little or unworthy as you are, for he is near to you. He is come down from heaven and has taken upon him the human nature on purpose, that he might be near to you and might be, as it were, your companion. . . . You may place yourself in his divine embraces.

Therefore don’t let your unworthiness discourage you. Let it heighten your surprise and cause you to express your love in the most humble manner possible. But let it not keep you at a distance or change the expressions of your love. You may want humility in your love, but you never can be guilty of any excess in the joys of divine love. . . .

Let these considerations influence you to the love of God and Jesus Christ, to love them with a superlative love and love nothing contrary to them, and love nothing above them, and love nothing equal to them, and love nothing along with them with any parallel love. And express your love by doing for them by being willing all your days to labor and suffer for the glory of God. Can you think of living so as to dishonor God and to be a stumbling block to others and a disadvantage to religion without the utmost dread of it and being sick at the thought of it?

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Spirit of the True Saints Is a Spirit of Divine Love,” in The Glory and Honor of God: Volume 2 of the Previously Unpublished Sermons of Jonathan Edwards (ed. Michael McMullen; B&H, 2004), 338-41


Great sinners with an even greater Savior

Posted: September 2, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

” In a very real sense, the secret to our joy is our embracing justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone apart from any work whatsoever.  All of our salvation is bound up in a Person and His Work on behalf of sinners, given freely to all those who believe.  We lose joy when we lose sight of this.  We fertilize the ground of our joy when we till this truth into our hearts and minds.  We are great sinners with an even greater Savior.  That’s the seed of joy!”

Is conviction of our sin a wellspring of joy in the justifying work of Christ?

Read how this question came about in a great post here Spiritual Depression, 3

 by Thabiti Anyabwile

from Joe Thorn in a post here:

Note: I am presuming Reformed theology here, not arguing for it, in order to emphasize how it affects my motivation. Please do not turn this post into a thread debating Calvinism itself.


Man’s total depravity moves me to preach Jesus Christ because I know that there is no hope for a man to find his way to God, accidentally or intentionally, on his own. There is no hope of him believing the truth apart from the preaching of the Gospel. Because people are dead in their sins, and are unwilling to come to Christ apart from the Father’s drawing, I know that their salvation hinges on God’s sovereign work. I know that he uses the preaching of the Gospel as the means of awaking the dead.

The doctrine of election encourages me to share the Gospel, because I am assured that God has chosen a people for himself. Like Jesus, the prophets and the Apostles, I preach indiscriminately to all, trusting that all who were predestined to eternal life will believe, if not now, later.

Particular redemption compels me to tell others about Jesus because not a drop of Christ’s blood was wasted. Because Jesus has purchased people from every tribe, tongue and nation we understand that God has sent us where we are, and is sending others around the world to preach Christ crucified with the awareness that He is building his church. Christ has accomplished redemption for his people, and it only awaits application.

The doctrine of effectual grace pushes me out of my study and into the community with the Gospel because I know that, although I may fail to persuade someone,God will not. Because a leopard cannot change his spots, nor man his nature, I am relieved to know that God will cause a man to be born again. So I tell as many as I am able the good news that we have in Jesus, with the hope that God will open hearts to respond to the word.

Ultimately, I am compelled to preach the Gospel first and foremost because of the glory of God. In other words, I share the Gospel with my neighbor because God, and his Gospel, are worth making known. I do it first for his pleasure, and then for the good of man.