Archive for April, 2012

True spirituality

Posted: April 30, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, The Christian Life

“True spirituality is not a superhuman religiosity; it is simply true humanity released from bondage to sin and renewed by the Holy Spirit. This is given to us as we grasp by faith the full content of Christ’s redemptive work: freedom from the guilt and power of sin, and newness of life through the indwelling and outpouring of his Spirit.”

— Richard F. Lovelace
Dynamics of Spiritual Life
(Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1973), 19-20


There are two points in religion on which the teaching of the Bible is very plain and distinct. One of these points is the fearful danger of the ungodly; the other is the perfect safety of the righteous. One is the happiness of those who are converted; the other is the misery of those who are unconverted. One is the blessedness of being in the way to heaven; the other is the wretchedness of being in the way to hell.

I hold it to be of the utmost importance that these two points should be constantly impressed on the minds of professing Christians. I believe that the exceeding privileges of the children of God, and the deadly peril of the children of the world, should be continually set forth in the clearest colors before the Church of Christ. I believe that the difference between the person in Christ, and the person not in Christ, can never be stated too strongly and too fully. Reserve on this subject is a positive injury to the souls of people. Wherever such reserve is practiced, the careless will not be aroused, believers will not be established, and the cause of God will receive much damage.

~ J.C. Ryle

Tract: Perseverance

All I Have Is Christ

Posted: April 27, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

Sang this song in Kentucky with some great friends.


His purpose

Posted: April 27, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Christianity, Discipleship, Puritan Faith

Some people today say that they are perplexed by the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and election. I am amazed that anyone who believes in God should stumble at God’s sovereignty and election. For if there is a God, a King, eternal, imortal, invisible, and almighty, He has to be sovereign, and He must do all things according to His will, and He must choose according to His purpose! Whom shall He consult? With whom shall He seek counsel and advice? One may DISLIKE THESE DOCTRINES; but you cannot get rid of them without denying altogether the existence of the infinite, wise, glorious God of heaven and earth. God would not be God were He not absolutely sovereign in His eternal pre-arrangments and His present doings.

– Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

The Heart

Posted: April 27, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

The heart is the main thing in true religion. I make no excuse for asking the special attention of my readers, while I try to say a few things about the heart. The head is not the principal thing. You may know the whole truth as it is in Jesus, and consent that it is good. You may be clear, correct, and sound in your religious opinions. But all this time you may be walking in the broad way which leads to destruction. It is your heart which is the main point. Is your heart right in the sight of God? Your outward life may be moral, decent, respectable, in the eyes of people. Your minister, friends and neighbors, may see nothing very wrong in your general conduct. But all this time you may be hanging on the brink of everlasting ruin. It is your heart which is the main thing. Is that heart right in the sight of God?

~ J.C. Ryle

D.A.Carson, Hebrews 2

Posted: April 27, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Christianity, Discipleship

OCCASIONALLY WE HAVE OVERLOOKED the theological significance of Jesus’ humanity. That is one of the important themes of Hebrews 2.

Both the one who makes human beings holy—Jesus himself—and the human beings who are made holy are of the same family. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers (Heb. 2:11). Since we have flesh and blood, he shared in our humanity (Heb. 2:14)—which of course implies that this was something not intrinsically his, but something he had to take on (the eternal Word “became flesh,” John 1:14). He did this so that by his death (something he could never have experienced if he had not donned flesh and blood) “he might destroy him who holds the power of death … and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Heb. 2:14, 15). Jesus did not don the nature of angels (Heb. 2:16—which shows that Jesus was not a merely angelic being). Rather, he became a human being, a human being with a genuine lineage—the lineage of Abraham (Heb. 2:16). If he was to serve as mediator between God and human beings, “he had to be made like his brothers in every way” (Heb. 2:17—which presupposes that he already was like God in every way). So it was entirely “fitting,” then, that God should make the author of our salvation “perfect through suffering” (Heb. 2:10). The idea is not that Jesus gains through suffering a moral perfection he otherwise would have lacked, but that the perfection of his identification with us depended on participating in our common currency, which is suffering.

The author of Hebrews has already hinted at the problem that Jesus came to resolve. Originally human beings were made to be God’s vice-regents over the entire creation, a point not only made by the creation accounts (Gen. 1-2) but reiterated in the superb poetry of Psalm 8 (cited in Heb. 2:6-8). But as the author of Hebrews points out, we do not yet see everything under our feet, as Genesis 1 and Psalm 8 envisage. Of course not: the Fall has intervened, and death takes its unvarying toll. But what do we see? “[W]e see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9). The point is not exactly that Jesus is the “man” envisaged in Psalm 8, as if he were being prophetically described, but that by his mission, by his identification with us, and by his death, he becomes the first human being to be crowned with such glory and honor, as he brings many sons—a new humanity—to glory.

from For the Love of God

those that swell against reproof, hate not sin

Posted: April 26, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“If we would make it evident that our conversion is sound we must loathe and hate sin from the heart; now a man shall know his hatred of evil to be true,

first if it be universal. He that hates sin truly hates all sin.

Secondly, where there is true hatred it is fixed; there is no appeasing it, but by abolishing the thing it hates.

Thirdly, hatred is a more rooted affection than anger; anger may be appeased, but hatred is against the whole kind.

Fourthly, if our hatred be true, we hate all evil in ourselves first, and then in others. He that hates a toad would hate it most in his own bosom. Many like Judah are severe in censuring others but are partial to themselves (Genesis 38:24).

Fifthly, he that hates sin truly, hates the greatest sin in the greatest measure; he hates all evil in a just proportion.

Sixthly, our hatred is right if we can endure admonition and reproof for sin and not be enraged with him that tells us of it; therefore those that swell against reproof, hate not sin; only with this caution, it may be done with such indiscretion and self-love that a man may hate the reprover’s proud manner.

In disclosing our hatred of sin in others, we must consider our calling; it must be done in a sweet temper, reserving due respect to those to whom reproof is offered, that it may be done out of true zeal, and not out of anger nor pride.”

– Richard Sibbes

Astonishing,but True

Posted: April 26, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

What is the reason that many can talk much and show much knowledge about this world’s matters—but are unconcerned and silent and ignorant about their souls? What is the reason that many can remember everything bad which they meet with—but forget the good? What is the reason that many can hear of others dying, and never look at their own state? What is the reason that many can see death coming near their own doors, and yet neglect to make preparations to receive him? Beloved, these things are astonishing—but are they not true? Man, so wise, so prudent, so thoughtful as he is about the present life, seems a fool in the matter of the world to come. And why? “He has within him a heart deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.”

~ J.C. Ryle

Tract: A Bad Heart

Are Mormons Christians, a Re-blog

Posted: April 25, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Current Issues


“Are Mormons Christian?” Since the 1820s, when Joseph Smith founded the religious movement, evangelicals and other orthodox Christians have answered with a resounding “no.” Over the past decade, though, many Americans have begun to provide a different response. In an interview with CNN, megachurch pastor Joel Osteen said that while the Mormon faith is “not traditional Christianity” he still views them as “brothers in Christ.”

And earlier this month, the widely read evangelical blogger David French wrote,

I’d argue that our view of salvation — whether Arminian or Reformed — is of enormous consequence, going directly not only to the nature of God but also how we understand each moment of our lives, yet I rarely hear anyone seriously ask, “Are Methodists Christian?” Perhaps that’s not so much because the theological differences aren’t real and profound but because we’ve made our historical peace through shared understanding of our faith in Christ. Perhaps its time that we make that same peace with Mormons.

Are Mormons our fellow “brothers in Christ?” Are the theological distinctions between Mormonism and evangelicalism similar to the differences between Presbyterians and Methodists?



read the whole article here.


and a  good selection of articles from a ministry that started out actively witnessing to Mormons.

Mormonism 101:

Miracles happen everyday

Posted: April 25, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

Let’s not forget the real miracles that happen everyday, the impossible transformation of sinners into saints by the power of the Holy Spirit, the blood of the Son, and the almighty power of the Father.

I was recently giving a class interview to 6th graders at a local school when one of the girls asked “Have you had any miracles at your church?” I asked her what she meant by miracle, to which she replied after a moment’s thought, “Like when an unbeliever gets saved.” Bingo. That girl gets it. Salvation is a bona fide miracle, every time it happens. It is as impossible for sinners to desire God as it is for fish to wield a hammer or a nail to pierce the sun.

Let us always be in awe of the Son of God’s nail-pierced hands, and the hammer of His word which shatters the stone of human resistance.

this come from a 2 post series from  by Clint Archer

post 1

post 2


Posted: April 25, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

You cannot search your heart too diligently, for self-righteousness is the subtlest enemy of all. Beware of thinking, as the devil would have you, that the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector is a very good one for everybody else, but does not exactly touch your case. Be sure in this way you will lose your own souls. Know for a certainty, if you never groan under the burden of sin and never make the tax collector’s prayer your own, you cannot be saved. And if you feel this minute any doubt about your salvation, it were far better to give your soul the benefit of it, and re-lay the foundation of your faith.

~ J.C. Ryle

Wind in a Can

Posted: April 25, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“In many ways, the doctrine of regeneration is a signature issue for modern evangelicals, and the third chapter of John is frequently quoted. But the summary statement that Jesus makes here is routinely ignored. We cannot tell where the wind is coming from or where it is going. The Greek words for “wind” and “Spirit” in this passage are the same word, and so the illustration from the wind is a particularly apt one. But we have come to believe that we can capture that breeze and lock it in an aerosol can to be dispensed on demand during evangelistic encounters”

(From After Darkness, Light, pp. 139-140)


Be Comforted By Such Love

Posted: April 23, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

What is the best antidote against a believer’s fears and anxieties? What is most likely to cheer them as they look forward to the untried future and remember the weary past? I answer without hesitation, the doctrine of the final perseverance of God’s elect. Let them know that God, having begun a good work in them, will never allow it to be overthrown. Let them know that the footsteps of Christ’s little flock are all in one direction. They have erred. They have been vexed. They have been tempted. But not one of them has been lost. Let them know that those whom Jesus loves, He loves unto the end. Let them know that He will not allow the weakest lamb in His flock to perish in the wilderness, or the tenderest flower in His garden to wither and die! Let them know that Daniel in the den of lions, the three children in the fiery furnace, Paul in the shipwreck, Noah in the Ark, were not more cared for and more secure than each believer in Christ is at the present day. Let them know that they are fenced, walled in, protected, and guarded by the Almighty power of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and cannot perish. Let them know that it is not in the power of things present or things to come – of people or of devils – of cares within or troubles without – to separate one single child of God from the love that is in Christ Jesus.

~ J.C. Ryle

New Heart?

Posted: April 23, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“If the old heart is capable of repentance and faith, which is all that God requires of us, then why do we need a new heart?”

(From Out of Darkness, Light, p. 144).

Give men and women a sense of God and His presence

Posted: April 23, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

What is the chief end of preaching? . . . To give men and women a sense of God and His presence. . . . I can forgive a man for a bad sermon, I can forgive the preacher almost anything if he gives me a sense of God, if he gives me something for my soul, if he gives me the sense that, though he is inadequate himself, he is handling something which is very great and very glorious, if he gives me some dim glimpse of the majesty and the glory of God, the love of Christ my Saviour, and the magnificence of the Gospel. If he does that I am his debtor, and I am profoundly grateful to him. Preaching is the most amazing, and the most thrilling activity that one can ever be engaged in, because of all that it holds out for all of us in the present, and because of the glorious endless possibilities in an eternal future.

– Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Preaching & Preachers p. 97-98.