Archive for August, 2012

“Not What My Hands Have Done”

Posted: August 31, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

“A soul dead in sin is insensible to any real distress because of sin; a heart destitute of love to God, feels no distress because it does not love Him. A graceless sinner never longs for grace: an unrenewed person never thirsts for holiness, and a dead soul never breathes after life. Take heart, then, O believer, for your soul-sorrow is the prelude to your soul’s eternal joy.”

– Octavius Winslow

Same Savior & Lord

Posted: August 30, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“The true Christian regards all Christ’s friends as his friends, members of the same body, children of the same family, soldiers in the same army, travelers to the same home. When he meets them, he feels as if he had long known them. He is more at home with them in a few minutes, than he is with many worldly people after an acquaintance of several years. And what is the secret of all this? It is simply affection to the same Savior and love to the same Lord.”

– J.C. Ryle

Good Works

Posted: August 29, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, Reformed Theology

Francis Turretin (1623-87) on the necessity of good works as they relate to justification:

Although we acknowledge the necessity of good works against the Epicureans, we do not on this account confound the law and the gospel and interfere with gratuitous justification by faith alone. Good works are required not for living according to the law, but because we live by the gospel; not as the causes on account of which life is given to us, but as effects which testify that life has been given to us. (Institutes of Elenctic Theology, 2.705)

And here is Turretin on the necessity of good works as they relate to our final glorification:

For since good works have the relation of the means to the end (Jn. 3:5, 16; Mt. 5:8); of the “way” to the goal (Eph. 2:10, Phil. 3:14); of the “sowing” to the harvest (Gal. 6:7, 8); of the “firstfruits” to the mass (Rom. 8:23); of labor to the reward (Mt. 20:1); of the “contest” to the crown (2 Tim. 2:5; 4:8), everyone sees that there is the highest and an indispensable necessity of good works for obtaining glory. It is so great that it cannot be reached without them (Heb. 12:14; Rev. 21:27). (2.705)

So to summarize: good works are the effect of justification (not the cause) and the means to the end of glorification. And for the record, when Turretin speaks of “good works” he means that which is (1) done from faith, (2) according to the will of God in Scripture, (3) from the heart), and (4) for the glory of God (2.706).



Moving Photo Essay on Modern Day Slavery

Posted: August 28, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Current Issues

For the past two years, photographer Lisa Kristine has traveled the world, documenting the unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery. She shares hauntingly beautiful images — miners in the Congo, brick layers in Nepal — illuminating the plight of the 27 million souls enslaved worldwide. (Filmed at TEDxMaui)

see the video here



Walking Contradictions

Posted: August 28, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

“In modern day evangelism, this precious doctrine [of regeneration] has been reduced to nothing more than a human decision to raise one’s hand, walk an aisle, or pray a ‘sinner’s prayer.’ As a result, the majority of Americans believe that they’ve been ‘born again’ (i.e., regenerated) even though their thoughts, words, and deeds are a continual contradiction to the nature and will of God.”

– Paul Washer

What manner of love is this

Posted: August 28, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

“ The gift of Christ is the highest and fullest manifestation of the love of God to sinners ever made from eternity.

What is a child, but a piece of the parent wrapped up in another skin? And yet our dearest children are but as strangers to us, in comparison of the unspeakable dearness that was between the Father and Christ. Now, that he should ever be content to part with a Son, and such an only One, is such a manifestation of love, as will be admired to all eternity.

Put the beauty of ten thousand paradises, like the garden of Eden, into one; put all trees, all flowers, all smells, all colours, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness in one; O what a fair and excellent thing would that be? And yet it should be less to that fair and dearest well-beloved Christ, than one drop of rain to the whole seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths.

Now, for God to bestow the mercy of mercies, the most precious thing in heaven or earth, upon poor sinners; and, as great, as lovely, as excellent as his Son was, yet not to account him too good to bestow upon us, what manner of love is this!”

— John Flavel

From Kevin DeYoung’s forthcoming book, The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap Between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness (Crossway; August 31, 2012), page 145:

Holiness is the sum of a million little things — the avoidance of little evils and little foibles, the setting aside of little bits of worldliness and little acts of compromise, the putting to death of little inconsistencies and little indiscretions, the attention to little duties and little dealings, the hard work of little self-denials and little self-restraints, the cultivation of little benevolences and little forbearances. Are you trustworthy? Are you kind? Are you patient? Are you joyful? Do you love? These qualities, worked out in all the little things of life, determine whether you are blight or blessing to everyone around you, whether you are an ugly spiritual eyesore or growing up into a good-looking Christian.


Brotherly Love

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

I charge you never to neglect the duty of brotherly love, and practical, active, sympathetic kindness towards every one around you, whether high or low, or rich or poor. Try daily to do some good upon earth, and to leave the world a better world than it was when you were born. If you are really a child of God, strive to be like your Father and your great elder Brother in heaven. For Christ’s sake, do not be content to have religion for yourself alone. Love, charity, kindness, and sympathy are the truest proofs that we are real members of Christ, genuine children of God, and rightful heirs of the kingdom of heaven.

~ J.C. Ryle

Jesus, Mary and Martha 8/26/12

Posted: August 26, 2012 by boydmonster in Trinity Sermons

Fr. Iain Boyd

The Method of Our Recovery

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

““And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)

Jesus Christ did really assume the true and perfect nature of man, into a personal union with his divine nature, and still remains true God and true man, in one person for ever.

Had he not this double nature in the unity of his person, he could not have been our Prophet, for, as God, he knows the mind and will of God, and as man he is fitted to impart it suitably to us. As Priest, had he not been man, he could have shed no blood; and if not God, it had been no adequate value for us. As King, had he not been man, he had been no fit head for us, and if not God, he could neither rule nor defend his body the Church.

Here infinite wisdom has also left a famous and everlasting mark of itself; which invites, yea, even chains the eyes of angels and men to itself. Had there been a general council of angels, to advise upon a way of recovering poor sinners, they would all have been in an everlasting loss about it.

It could not have entered their thoughts that ever mercy, pardon, and grace should find such a way as this to issue forth from the heart of God to the hearts of sinners. Oh, how wisely is the method of our recovery laid!”

— John Flavel
The Fountain of Life

“God, You Are My God”

Posted: August 24, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Discipleship, The Christian Life


“Some Christians are stalled out in their sanctification for simple lack of effort. They need to know about the Spirit’s power. They need to be rooted in gospel grace. They need to believe in the promises of God. And they need to fight, strive, and make every effort to work out all that God is working in them. Let us say with Paul, ‘I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me’ (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Without this biblical emphasis, we’ll be confused, wondering why sanctification isn’t automatically flowing from a heartfelt commitment to gospel-drenched justification. We’ll be waiting around for enough faith to really ‘get the gospel’ when God wants us to get up and get to work (Philippians 2:12–13). Because when it comes to growth in godliness, trusting does not put an end to trying.”


Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in Our Holiness (90–91)