Monthly Archives: September 2015

Mr. Bean On The Apostles Creed

What is scary about this clip is Anglican revisionists aren’t too far from this.

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Quote Of The Day: Berkof On The Covenant Of Grace

berkhof3. BASICALLY, THE COVENANT OF GRACE IS SIMPLY THE EXECUTION OF THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT BY CHRIST AS OUR SURETY. He undertook freely to carry out the will of God. He placed Himself under the law, that He might redeem them that were under the law, and were no more in a position to obtain life by their own fulfilment of the law. He came to do what Adam failed to do, and did it in virtue of a covenant agreement. And if this is so, and the covenant of grace is, as far as Christ is concerned, simply the carrying out of the original agreement, it follows that the latter must also have been of the nature of a covenant. And since Christ met the condition of the covenant of works, man can now reap the fruit of the original agreement by faith in Jesus Christ.

—Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co., 1938), 214.

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God’s Promise of Provision

God’s Promise of Provision

LifeWay Bible Studies for Life
God’s Promise of Provision
Week of September 20, 2015
Bible Verses: Psalm 34:1-14.
The Point: God provides for those who choose to live under His care.

“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. [2] My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. [3] Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! [4] I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. [5] Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. [6] This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. [7] The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. [8] Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! [9] Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! [10] The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. [11] Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. [12] What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? [13] Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. [14] Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” [ESV]

AN OPEN INVITATION TO PRAISE
Verses 1 – 3
The beginning of Psalm 34, is David praise because of God’s goodness. This praise is followed by David’s invitation to join him in exalting God’s name together. The introduction to this Psalm gives us a clue to the context of this passage when it says “Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.” This points us to the events found in 1 Samuel 21. Here David was running from King Saul and as an indicator of how serious his situation was he sought protection in the land of Gath and acted like a madman in order to gain entrance without being arrested or killed. He then finds refuge in a cave where this Psalm may have been written

When David says in verse 1 that he will bless the Lord at all times judging by his circumstance in 1 Samuel 21 David is willing to bless the Lord during good times as well as bad times.

Those who have experienced God’s mercy desire to praise the Lord. In fact we take it one step further and desire to praise the Lord collectively or corporately with others who have also experienced God’s mercy. As Christians we have experienced God’s mercy in that while we were sinners He sent His Son to receive the death that we rightly deserve so that we can live eternally with Him. If you are having trouble praising God for what He had done for us you ought to consider what it cost Him to give us eternal life.

THE REASON FOR DAVID’S PRAISE
Verses 4 – 7
Once again this passage would be obscure if it wasn’t for the heading of the Psalm providing the context in 1 Samuel 21. In verses 4 – 7 we learn the basis for David’s praise which is the way God had stepped in and pulled him from his dyer situation.

First we have to start with David’s lack of faith. The reason he is hiding in the caves was that he feared King Saul and felt that his life was in jeopardy. I don’t want to be too hard on David. I think fleeing from Saul is the natural response. However this does demonstrate a lack of faith that could would take care of him just as he had in the past. In 1 Samuel 18 the repeated refrain was “the Lord was with him” speaking of David. What was it that made David believe that God was not with him?

Fortunately God deals with us where we are. For David this meant alone, in fear, and hiding in the cave of Adullam (1 Sam. 22). In this low place in his life David “sought the Lord” (Ps. 34:4) and the Lord having heard David’s petition “answered” him (Ps.34.4). This is where I’m a little confused about the timing of events. Either way we know that God answered because he was soon greeted by his “brothers and all his father’s house” (1 Sam. 22:1). This Psalm makes a lesson out of this in verse 5 communicating the idea that those who call upon God will exude radiance and will never be ashamed. David refers to himself and his testimony in verse 6 when he says “this poor man cried and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.” This was the bases for David’s praise. Now it is only natural to wonder what would have happened had David fled from Saul but instead cried out to the Lord.

Two thing while on this point. First crying out to the Lord ought to be our first response. Too often we act as David taking matters into our own hands with out first hearing from God. That aside, it was this experience of being saved from his troubles that gives David reason to praise. Having been saved from our troubles, our sin that has separated us from a holy God our attitude should always be one of praise. We have every reason to believe that God will take care of us as the Psalmist writes “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.” (Ps. 34.7)

DAVID’S EXHORTATION
Verses 8 – 14

“taste and see” this is almost a challenge for someone who has never truly put the trust in God but once they do they will realize that the “Lord is good.” (Ps. 34.8). The Psalmist says something similar in verse 9 when he exhorts us to fear the Lord. What do these exhortations mean? The Psalmist gives the answer when he says, ” I will teach you the fear of the Lord.12 What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.14 Turn away from evil and do good;seek peace and pursue it.” This is not an exhortation to cower before God but to have a life of humility in obedience to God. In so doing you will lack “no good thing.” (Ps. 34:10)

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Pope Francis’ Fact-Free Flamboyance

George Will offers several legitimate critiques with regards to Pope Francis ideas on economy and environmental issues here. To be sure we ought to be concerned over these issues but that shouldn’t be the same as being naive about them, hence the notion of “fact-free flamboyance”.

Francis’s fact-free flamboyance reduces him to a shepherd whose selectively reverent flock, genuflecting only at green altars, is tiny relative to the publicity it receives from media otherwise disdainful of his church. Secular people with anti-Catholic agendas drain his prestige, a dwindling asset, into promotion of policies inimical to the most vulnerable people and unrelated to what once was the papacy’s very different salvific mission.

A very good observation. This is the outcome when the church places its emphasis in the Kingdom of Man (KOM). The KOM is a kingdom of power as it attempts to promote its arbitrary causes what ever they might be (these tend vary with each social group) which is a “very different salvific mission” than what our Lord has taught.

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world. Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”John 18.36, 37

Where as the Kingdom of God (KOG) places its emphasis on Christ the mediator of that kingdom and central to all things in the life of the church. With the KOG at the helm of the Church all matters of special interest are secondary matters couched in the presupposition of KOG.

This makes for the organization and proper priority of church categories.

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God’s Promise of Eternal Life

God’s Promise of Eternal Life

LifeWay Bible Studies for Life

Week of September 13, 2015
Bible Verses: 1 John 5:6-15.
The Point: You were created for eternal life in Christ.
Life Only in the Son: 1 John 5:6-15.

[6] This is he who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. [7] For there are three that testify: [8] the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. [9] If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. [10] Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. [11] And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. [12] Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. [13] I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. [14] And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. [15] And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

The Three Witnesses 6-9

Water and blood are to be seen as the means by which Jesus came into the world to accomplish His mission of salvation. There have been different ideas of what this might mean: Some say the “water” refers to his punctured side that released “water” and the blood that was shed while on the cross. Others teach that “water” of Baptism and the “blood” or wine that was consumed during the Last Supper and what we now call the “Lord’s Supper”. The most common is the “water” of our Lord’s Baptism (Mark 1:9-11) and the “blood” that He shed on the cross which atoned for our sin.

The last option was the the public beginning of Jesus’ ministry, and it was a witness to His identity. The Holy Spirit came down upon Him like a dove, and Gods voice could be heard saying that Jesus was His beloved Son with whom He was well pleased. And here we have the Trinity in full view. The water points to and testifies to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, the shed blood also points to and testifies to His death so that we can have life, and the Holy Spirit who testifies of the truthfulness, reality, and validity of who Jesus is. All three are witness to the Son of God who gives us eternal life.

Eternal Life Is Belief In The Son Of God 10-12.

Here John explains that the Son’s testimony is in the individual believing Christian because he or she is believing in the Son of God. The opposite of belief is unbelief which rejects what God has said making Him into a liar. Thus who ever has the Son has eternal life and who ever doesn’t have the Son doesn’t have eternal life.

You Can know That We Have Eternal Life 13-15.

Verse 13 is the main point that the previous chapters have been moving toward. In the beginning of this letter John said his purpose in writing is so that our joy may be complete [1:4]. Here John says that he writes so that we can know that we have eternal life. There is joy that comes from knowing that we have eternal life.

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Meditations On Labor Day

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground

Years ago Lover Boy came out with a hit song entitled Working For The Weekend. You might remember it, “everybody’s working for the weekend, everybody wants a new romance”. If we are candid with ourselves we might recall singing the same song especially on Monday morning. No doubt this was a catchy tune however it is actually a poor work ethic (no disrespect to Lover Boy).

Many people today feel a lack of purpose in their vocation. Being over worked under paid under appreciated all factor in to the worker who is “working for the weekend”. Ironically this flies in the face of what was known as the “protestant work ethic” that drove this country from its inception.

The “protestant work ethic” sprung out of the Protestant Reformation teaching that God is the Creator of all including legitimate vocational callings. Thus, in taking up one’s vocation she is not only serving her Creator but serving her neighbor as well. This perspective gave vocation meaning and purpose.

What we have seen in contemporary America is the erosion of Christian theology which has not only affected the culture but even the church. That coupled with other factors has everyone singing “everybody’s working for the weekend.” But such an ethic dishonors God and if enough people adopt this philosophy the next logical step is a negative view of work where the goal isn’t to give a 100% but rather to figure out ways to make more money by doing less work. That is not a good place to be.

Something to keep in mind. Scripture tells us to glorify God in all that we do (1 Cor. 10:31; Rom. 15:7; 1 Pet. 4:11). So let us glorify Him in our vocation. The word “vocation” comes from the Latin “vocare” meaning “to call” or “to summons.” The verb of which is related to “vox” which is the  Latin noun for “voice”. Who’s call? who’s voice? God’s, because our vocation is a call from God.

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Labor Day: A Reminder Of Dignity And Value Of All Work

Labor Day Quote

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September 7, 2015 · 3:00 pm