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Showing posts from June, 2007

You Looking For Wisdom?

Job answers that for us: Job 28:12-28 12 "But where can wisdom be found ? And where is the place of understanding? 13 "Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living. 14 "The deep says, 'It is not in me'; And the sea says, 'It is not with me.' 15 "Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, Nor can silver be weighed as its price. 16 "It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx, or sapphire. 17 "Gold or glass cannot equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold. 18 "Coral and crystal are not to be mentioned; And the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls. 19 "The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor can it be valued in pure gold. 20 "Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? 21 "Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living, And concealed from the birds of the sky. 22 "Abaddon and Death say, 'With our ears we have he

Future Hope of the Old Testament Saint

Job 19:25-26 25 "And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. 26 "Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God; Of course we know that in the Old Testament, we do not have the fullest revelation (that we have now with both OT and NT) regarding the afterlife. Yet we do see a glimpse into the hope that Job of old had in his Deliverer. What is amazing to me is that this man, Job, being a godly man and a God-fearer was so certain that he would see his God, that this was really the only thing he could cling to during his time of horrific suffering. Job said: "As for me." This phrase is clearly emphasized in the Hebrew. It says, " As for me myself, I know ." Job knows with absolute certainty. There is no wavering. There is no possibility. There is no mere wishing . This is the certainty that the believer in God has. Job further clarifies his certainty. He notes that his hope is that

Yea Baby

Conclusions On Preaching

Ten Conclusions About Preaching by Adrian Warnock 1. Expository preaching should be defined as preaching that seeks to explain the main point of the portion of the Scripture selected. 2. Expository preaching does not always have to take place as part of a long series working slowly through a book. Series can be helpful, but they need not last a decade. One-off sermons on specific verses, a chapter, or even a whole book can also be expository. 3. We must not have an overly-narrow definition of expository preaching — thinking that there is only one way to preach. Instead we must encompass the many different styles of preaching which are helpful and biblically directed. We must also understand that whilst the message of a specific verse is, of course, unified rather than divided or contradictory, its meaning is usually rich and many faceted. Because of this, different themes may be drawn out of the same passage, giving rise to very different sermons from the very same portion of the Bibl

Higher Criticism And The Folly Of It

Mark 6:47-49 47 And when it was evening, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and He was alone on the land. 48 And seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. 49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; It is always amazing to me when higher critics (i.e. liberals) attempt to take the clear definitive statements of the supernatural in the Gospels and seek to explain it away as myth . One of which is H. J. Holzmann (1832-1910) who was a professor at Heidelberg and was among the first to advocate the Two-Source Theory of the Gospels. The two-source theory is a theory which bases the writings of Matthew and Luke on two primary sources: 1) The Gospel of Mark; and 2) Another Gospel known as "Q." This is terribly unfortunate and extremely critical. These higher critics want to explain away all super

A Portrait of a Righteous Man

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil. This morning, there are only four things that I want to emphasize this morning from this simple verse. And that is the four key characteristics of a righteous man as observed in Job: 1) Job was "blameless" (Heb " tam "). Tam is from the more complete (and later) tamam which means "complete," "beauty," perfection." Here with regards to a person it has the idea of "one who evidences much integrity," or one who is "morally innocent." Job was this kind of man. He was a man who was blameless before God. The writer of this book (which was most probably the earliest book of the Bible that we have) shows the man Job as a complete man. He was beautiful in his integrity before God. He was morally innocent. He had no charges that could be brought against him for his lack of moral character

The Determination For Money

Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:9 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. Those who are desiring to be rich. The word here for desiring is better translated as determining . Those who have set their mind upon this task and are ready and eager to get the job done regardless of the sacrifice that is to be made. This is the single-minded focus of those who are determining to be rich. Notice also the infinitive “ to be rich ” is in the present signifying the ongoing desire to be constantly rich. Here is what happens to them. They are the ones who are falling into trials and snares and many foolish and harmful desires. The adjectives are worthy of a brief note here. Foolish is the Greek anoetos . The idea of this word has the idea of “unintelligibleness,” “one who is unwise,” “foolish,” “misunderstood.” It is used elsewhere in the Scriptures, one of which is Galatians 3 when Paul says, “O

A Word To My Father

1 Kings 2:1-3 As David's time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2 "I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man . 3 "And keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn, 1 Kings is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I love the accounts of the various kings of Israel and Judah with all of their humanness and frailties front and center. It shows me they are mere men and God uses mere men. But even before the division of the Kingdom of Israel, as King David was old in age and passing the kingdom to his son, he told him to "Be yourself a man" (v.2). I have learned many things from my dad, but this is one of them. I have learned to be strong. I have learned how to be strong by watching him.

Does God Really Believe In You?

I was recently at an event when I heard a speaker say this phrase, “ God believes in you .” At that point in the message I was listening, but now my ears really perked up. I listened as he continued to expound on his idea of God believing in me. Moreover, he ended his message by saying this exact phrase, “ My faith in God is a reflection of God’s faith in me .” Thus, do I believe in God because God first believed in me? Is this a truth that the Scriptures teach? This is what the question must boil down to. Forget psychology. Forget the feel-good ideologies. Forget the subjective seeker-friendly statements. We must ask, does this phrase align itself with the teaching of the Word of God? The answer: No . We must begin with a simple and clear-cut definition of what it means for God to believe in me. If you take the idea of “belief” here to mean that God loves me, or that he entrusts certain things to my care, then sure, God believes in me. But this is NOT what the biblical definition of f

Family Worship

No...we're not pregnant yet. But we are preparing for those little ones to come in the future :=) 5 Reasons to have Family Worship at Home June 14th, 2007 . by Joe Thorn Deut. 6:6, 7 “These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down,and when you rise.” 1. It’s your job to train your children, not your church’s . God gives you, the parents, the responsibility and privilege of discipling your children. Have you thought about it that way before? You are tasked with teaching your children to be the disciples of Jesus. Simply handing them over to the church for instruction, and assuming that is enough, is lazy and dangerous. It is lazy because it is a refusal to participate in one of our most important roles as parents, and dangerous because we are dealing with children whose lives hang in the balance. I want fathers to see

Make Up...For Men?

Listen to this article: "Don't be surprised if very soon your toiletry kit contains not only shaving cream, deodorant and toothpaste, but concealer, oil-absorbing face powder and brow gel. That's because guys are relying on an increasing number of made-for-men products like these to put their best face forward." "Experts say it's only natural that men would turn to makeup to look their best. Grooming, after all, has never been more acceptable. Last year, $4.8 million was spent on male grooming products in the U.S., a 7% increase over the year before and a whopping 42% increase from 2001, according to Euromonitor, a London-based marketing and research company." "KenMen, a Montreal-based cosmetics line founded in 2004 by Lee Gilbert, includes skin tints, body and face highlighter, and skin correcting sticks (otherwise known as concealer)." "Holly Doss, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist with an eponymous cosmetics brand, also belie

Acts 2 - Descriptive or Prescriptive?

Much of what is recorded in Acts is historical narrative, describing many (literal) events that happened during the beginning of the Church Age. It is essential that one understands the difference between prescriptive and descriptive passages of Scripture. Failure to heed this warning can lead to many misapplications of the Biblical text. The book of Acts is primarily filled with Descriptive/Narrative passages. We must keep this in mind before me make NORMATIVE certain events in Acts that where not meant to be duplicated. In short then, Acts shows us what authentic Christianity looked like in all of her blessed simplicity. This book provides us with many vivid illustrations of discipleship, evangelism, and Biblical church growth. Acts 2:41-47 illustrates 4 noteworthy truths: 1. Genuine Salvation precedes biblical baptism (v. 41). Approximately 3000 people “received the word” and were converted before being “baptized” in Acts 2:41. During the church age, genuine salvation always

Eschatology - The Neglected Doctrine?

Yesterday I finished my last of four theology courses at Master's Seminary. This course focused on ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church) and eschatology (the doctrine of end times). After three intense weeks of reading, exams and much writing, I found myself coming back to this thought repeatedly, " Why is eschatology so neglected today?" It is not as though the Lord intended to baffle us with his doctrine. The writers of sacred Scripture (who were inspired by the Holy Spirit) wrote that which was understandable . They did not sit, write and chuckle to themselves in knowing that they would be penning words (and doctrines) that would be debated and argued for centuries to follow. Rather, we must hold forth the perspicuity of God's Word. Perspicuity is a word that means "clarity." The Bible is meant to be understood. That is the normal logic of interpretation. If something is written, it is meant to be understood. There is no hidden meaning, there is no a

My Favorite Preacher

Of course... how can we go this long without a picture of my hero and model preacher, Steve Lawson . Notice that great book resting on his leg.

Conversion Experience

Below is an excerpt from C. H. Spurgeon’s account of his own conversion entitled “The Great Change-Conversion” from Volume 1 of his autobiography The Early Years (pp. 87-88): "I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair until now had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm, one Sunday morning, while I was going to a certain place of worship. When I could go no further, I turned down a side street, and came to a little Primitive Methodist Chapel. In that chapel there may have been a dozen or fifteen people. I had heard of the Primitive Methodists, how they sang so loudly that they made people’s heads ache; but that did not matter to me. I wanted to know how I might be saved, and if they could tell me that, I did not care how much they made my head ache. The minister did not come that morning; he was snowed up, I suppose. At last, a very thin-looking man, a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. Now, it

Uphold the Word of God as the All Sufficient Authority

Psalm 19:7-11 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. 10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. "How Firm A Foundation" (1787) How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! What more can He say than to you He hath said, You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled? In every condition, in sickness, in health; In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth; At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea, As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be. Fear not, I am with t

A Nation Judged By God

Did you know? Massachusetts has recognized same-sex marriage since 2004. Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, California, and New Hampshire have created legal unions that, while not called marriages, are explicitly defined as offering all the rights and responsibilities of marriage under state law to same-sex couples. This, of course, is not surprising news, for this has been in the making for quite some time as it is still going on today. Here is a passage of Scripture I read this morning that may follow where we are as a nation today: 2 Chronicles 36:15-21 15 And the LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; 16 but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets , until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy . 17 Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans who slew their young

Do You Think About Death?

Here is a quote from Gire's book, Instructive Moments with the Saviour, which deals with some of the eternal aspects of death. “Death. It is the most misunderstood part of life. It is not a great sleep but a great awakening. It is that moment when we awake, rub our eyes, and see things at last the way God has seen them all along” (Ken Gire, Instructive Moments with the Saviour, 75). This is a sobering truth to think about. What is even more sobering is that so many will close their eyes in death immediately then to realize that their eyes are open to a Christless and Godless eternity. Yet , for those who accept the free gift of redemption that Jesus Christ has bought us and payed the unpayable debt for our sins there is the biblical hope of eternal life. Remember, biblical hope is not some " mere wishful thinking towards the future," rather, biblical hope is being sure of that which is to come in the future; namely, our glorification.

Wake up call!

It seems that I'm on some biographical hobbyhorse, but that's okay. Here are a few lines I found on my newest hero, Robert Murray M'Cheyne as penned by Iain Murray: "M'Cheyne was often in later years to declare in his preaching - "O Christless man, you have pleasure, but it is only for a season. Laugh on if you will - your candle will soon be out. Your games, your dance, your social parties, will soon be over. There are no games in hell." "It was M'Cheyne's custom never to accept mere professions of faith as signs of conversion. "It is holy-making Gospel," he declared. "Without holy fruit all evidences are vain. Dear friends, you have awakenings, enlightenings, experiences, a full heart in prayer, and many due signs ; but if you want holiness, you will never see the Lord. A real desire after complete holiness is the truest mark of being born again. Jesus is a holy Saviour. He first covers the soul with His white raiment, then

Preaching the truth despised by culture

You may think I'm talking about today's culture but I am actually talking about the 1700's, otherwise known as The Great Awakening . It was during this time that the great English evangelist, George Whitefield, was persecuted for his faith. 2 Timothy 3:12 12 And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Matthew 5:10-12 10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12 "Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. At one point in Whitefield's life, while in London, a brutal attack came upon Whitefield in which he was nearly murdered. Whitefield noted: "He [this accuser] suddenly rose up, uttering the most abusive language, calling me dog, rogue, villa

Street Evangelism... Really?

I am reading the biography by Arnold Dallimore on George Whitefield . No, unfortunately, it is not the two volume set (though I do hope to get to that someday), but I'm reading the condensed version of Dallimore's large tome. As I have been reading this wonderful and encouraging work on the life and ministry of this hero in Christian history who proclaimed God's Word fearlessly to thousands upon thousands in his lifetime, I have been greatly encouraged. Whitefield was born in 1713 in Gloucester, England to a well-to-do, upper class home. Whitefield was converted when he was twenty years old (in 1735). These were the words he penned after his conversion expressing his new delight in reading the Bible: " My mind being now more open and enlarged, I began to read the Holy Scriptures on my knees...This proved meat indeed and drink indeed to my soul. I daily received fresh life, light and power from above " (p.21). Dallimore notes that we can visualize him at 5 in