Archive for October, 2011

“Godly grief sees the vertical dimension of our sin. I have a growing concern that some Christians are describing sin in categories that mask its true nature. Sin is not simply a sad thing because it can wreck our lives. It is not just the ruining of shalom. Sin does more than make God sad that his world is not the way it’s supposed to be. Sin makes God angry. It is offensive to God. His wrath is aroused not simply because we’re missing out on his best, but because we have violated his law, rejected his Lordship, and made ourselves gods in his place.”

Kevin DeYoung

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The Gospel Announcement

Posted: October 20, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

 We talk about the gospel as an announcement—a promise—that is revealed as a grand drama that unfolds from Genesis 3:15 to the close of Revelation. The gospel isn’t an offer to appropriate, decide, or contract for with Jesus. It’s an announcement—a declaration—of God’s saving accomplishment in Jesus Christ. Promised in the Old Testament, the gospel is fulfilled in the New. The call to repent and believe is not the gospel, but the proper response to the gospel. In fact, the gospel is not a call to do anything—even to believe. The gospel itself is simply an announcement that we are therefore called to believe.

– by Mike Horton in a book review found  here

Ephesians 1.1-2

Posted: October 19, 2011 by limabean03 in Uncategorized

preached by Rob Sturdy on June 24th, 2011

Faith & Trust

Posted: October 14, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Uncategorized

Faith does not grasp a doctrine, but a heart. The trust which Christ requires is the bond that unites souls with Him; and the very life of it is entire committal of myself to Him in all my relations and for all my needs, and absolute utter confidence in Him as all sufficient for everything that I can require.

Alexander MacLaren

This past Sunday I referenced the remarkable story of Dick and Rick Hoyt and applied it to the process of sanctification, that is the process by which God makes his people holy.  To be fair, I didn’t think of the comparison myself but took it from Bryan Chapel’s excellent commentary on Ephesians from the Reformed Expository Commentary series.  Below is a video of Dick and Ricky Hoyt.  Their story begins a 1 min 22 sec.  Following the video I have excerpted Chapel’s words:

Some years ago I enjoyed watching ‘iron man’ competitions on TV.  Watching those who swim, bike and run multiple- marathon distances in the grueling triathlon makes me dream of what I might be able to do if I had more time, opportunity, and a different body.  More inspiring to me than the usual stories of the big-name competitors, however, was the 1999 account of the father and son team of Dick and Ricky Hoyt.  The two have run together in more than eight hundred races.

More remarkable than the fellowship this father and son enjoy is the fact that the now adult son, Ricky, was born with cerebral palsy.  To race, he must be pulled, pushed, or carried by his father.  There is a part of us that might jump to the conclusion that Ricky does not race at all…that his father does all the work.  But tens of thousands of viewers saw the son’s role in this competition when wind, cold, and an equipment failure made progress hard on Ricky, even though his father was the one pedaling the modified tandem bike.  Dick knelt down to his son, contorted and trembling in the cold, as the two were still facing many more miles of race on the defective bike.  Said the father to the child belted to the bicycle seat, “Do you want to keep going, Son?”

The father would be the one enabling and providing the means to overcome, but the son still had to have the heart to finish well.  To the son were given the privilege and responsibility to desire to continue to make progress.  Though the example is not perfect, it explains much of what the Bible teaches about our spiritual battles.  We have a Father who has already given the power to enable us to resist all the challenges of our Adversary.  We can prevail through the means and strength our Father provides, but we must still have the heart to do so.

In light of this need for a heart that beats for him, our God bids us feed on his Word and seek the Spirit that opens our minds to the knowledge of the Savior and renews our will with a compelling love for him.  By God’s word and Spirit we are filled with the knowledge and love of him that give us the desire to run with him (and to him) more than anything else in this world.  The grace he pours into our hearts enables us “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that (we) may be filled to the measure of  all the fullness of God” (Eph 3.18-19).

Brian Chapel, Ephesians Kindle Edition (P&R Publishing: Phillipsburg 2009) Loc 6464 of 7700

“by grace you have been saved”

Posted: October 12, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Christianity, Reformed Theology

“Let all the ‘free-will’ in the world do all it can with all its strength; it will never give rise to a single instance of ability to avoid being hardened if God does not give the Spirit, or of meriting mercy if it is left to its own strength.” – Martin Luther

from an article posted here by John Samson

written by Al Mohler 

Calvinism is most closely and accurately associated with the so-called “Doctrines of Grace,” which summarize the teaching of Scripture concerning the gospel. The Bible teaches us that we are born sinners, and are thus spiritually dead. Dead in our sins, we cannot on our own even respond to God’s grace. Thus, as Jesus told His disciples, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” [John 6:65].

……

We would like to think that we are smart enough, spiritually sensitive enough, and responsive enough to chose to confess Christ without the prior work of God in our hearts. Unfortunately for our pride, this is not at all what the Bible reveals. God chooses us before we choose Him. As Southern Seminary president E. Y. Mullins stated, “God’s choice of a person is prior to that person’s choice of God, since God is infinite in wisdom and knowledge and will not make the success of the divine kingdom dependent on the contingent choices of people.”

Calvinism is nothing more and nothing less than the simple assertion that salvation is all of grace, from the beginning to the end. God saves sinners. Jesus Christ died for sinners. As Scripture promises, all those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

The God of the Bible saves sinners, and holds those He has redeemed to the end.