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Showing posts from June, 2009

don't be a fool.

In the book of Job, God reveals that He is sovereign over circumstances, people, hardships, and Satan--yes, even everything! Through the various discourses between Job and his three (not-so-good) friends, he wonders how God could have brought all this calamity upon him. Furthermore, in chapter 28, Job seeks for wisdom and recognizes that it is God who is the source and wellspring of all wisdom. Hear what Job asks: Job 28:20 20 "Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? Job immediately responds with a remarkable and pithy discourse on the sovereignty of God. Here's how he counsels himself: Job 28:21-27 21 "Thus it [=this wisdom of v.20] 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 heard a report of it.' 23 "God understands its way, And He knows its place. 24 "For He looks to the ends of the earth And sees everything under the heav

prayer, scripture, and shooting.

Yes! Last week, my pastor and I went up into the mountains to pray, read through Scripture, and shoot! What a great combination. Here are some pictures of Geoff (=city-boy) shooting a gun way back in the forests of California.

the security of the believer's salvation -- part 1.

the security of the believer’s salvation. That the individual who has repented of sin, turned to Christ in faith and belief, and evidenced a life of holiness showing a true heart change is safe and secure is a theme which is replete in the Scriptures. The doctrine of eternal security or the perseverance of the saints is absolutely undeniable in the Scriptures and could not be more logical in the doctrine of salvation. I hope over these next few posts to show why the believer is eternally saved, how the believer is eternally saved, and what the person, work, and character of God has to do in the security of the believer’s salvation. I trust it will be encouraging, challenging, and educational. For those who doubt this doctrine and believe that an individual can go from believing to “not believing” thereby losing or forfeiting salvation is an unfortunate misreading of the Scriptures and is nowhere warranted in all of Scripture. If it were possible or a believer to lose sa

The Believer's Eternal Security

My goal in the next few weeks consists of explicating on the doctrine of eternal security. I hope to show why this doctrine is so absolutely imperative for the Christian to understand, believe, and rejoice in. I have the firm conviction that to doubt one's salvation is a sin and I will endeavor to elucidate this statement as well. I pray and trust that as we, who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ and have repented of our sins, delve into some Scriptures, theology, and the character of God that we all together come to recognize and rejoice in our security! I will work through the character of God and Romans 5 in the study. . .

Should a Christian Fear God?

Should a Christian Fear God? I heard someone say in the not too distant past that the New Testament Christian ought not to fear God because He is our “Abba Father.” To be sure, I concur with all my heart to this statement. The reality that the NT declares that God is the “Abba Father” is, in fact, found in the NT (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6; cp. Mark 14:36). But where does the fear of God fit in? Should the Christian fear God? Is it right for him to ever tremble before God? Be afraid before God? Stand in awe of God? Revere God? I recently preached from Psalm 25 and in the psalm, David asks for the one who fears the LORD for this (i.e., the one who fears the LORD) is the one whom Yahweh will lead. I asserted that it is appropriate and proper for the NT believer to bathe, marvel, enjoy, and revel in the reality of an intimate relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. This ought certainly to be the case. And, we could go so far as to say that the Christia

Who comprises the church?

Who comprises the Church? That seems to be the question many people cannot give a solid and direct answer to these days. Is the church comprised of all those who attend a weekly meeting or Bible study? Is the church made up of those who are part of ‘community’ (however that may be defined)? Is the church made up of those who were baptized—earlier in life or as an infant? Is the church defined as comprising of only those who have been regenerated by means of the working of God the Holy Spirit? The answer to this question will affect the way church is done, that is, the methodology of our ecclesiology. If the church is comprised of those who are a part of community, those who attend weekly church services, and those who are in the covenant fold of God, then the church is quite a large community of people (and, frankly, the church would necessarily be comprised of both true believers and unbelievers). But in the Scriptures, I find the reality that the church is c

A lofty vision of God

"A lofty, transcendent view of God is the most important thing about a Christian. As a person's vision of God goes, so goes his life. One's life will never rise any higher than his thoughts about God. A high view of God will lead to high and holy living. On the other hand, a low view of God will lead to low living. No one can live any higher than his proper understanding of who God is. Spurgeon said: 'The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doing, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father'" (Lawson, Psalms 1-75 , HOTC, 136).

How do you hear the Word? (updated)

A few weeks ago my dad was in town and he sparked the idea to teach on the Parable of the Soils (Mark 4, Matt 13, and Luke 8). So, tonight I'm teaching on this wonderful parable at church from Mark's account. One discouraging note is that many commentaries seem to think that Mark 4:13-20 (Jesus' explanation of the parable of the soils) is not an authentic "Jesus saying" simply because it is an explanation of the parable. But after my frustration with many of the critical commentaries, I kept progressing in my study of the wonderful passage of Scripture which our Lord taught on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. One striking feature of this parable consists in the reality that all four of the different "kinds" of hearers are similar in many ways. Note some of these similarities: They all are along the road (i.e., in some "religious setting" venue to hear the Word) The text is unambiguously clear that they all hear the Word (repeats it 4x in th

Book Review - Total Church

Book Review. Chester , Tim and Steve Timmis. Total Church : A Radical Reshaping around Gospel and Community . Wheaton , IL : Crossway, 2008. by Geoffrey R. Kirkland | associate pastor | christ community church Total Church proves to be compelling and carefully crafted so as to bring about the two main themes of the book, namely, a gospel centered and a community centered church. To be sure, these are both important—indeed, foundational—aspects of the local church as Scripture defines it. In no less than five times in the Introduction, Chester and Timmis state the phrase: “ If only there were a different way of doing church ” (13–20). The recurring statement in the introduction in seeking to find a “different way of doing church” immediately alarmed me as I began to read the book. I have heard that this book is a hot-button book now-a-days. With the up and coming newer “missional” and “community-centered” churches, Total Church fronts the parade as far as