Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2010

the doctrines of grace explained and defended...

I encourage you to read and check out my latest article: the doctrines of grace . I believe the Church (broad evangelicalism) is in a war — attempting to define the gospel . I believe the doctrines of grace get at the absolute center of the gospel of our Lord.

marvelous meditation

Though Blessed Spirit, Author of all grace and comfort, Come, work repentance in my soul; Represent sin to me in its odious colours that I may hate it; Melt my heart by the majesty and mercy of God; Show me my ruined self and the help there is in Him; Teach me to behold my creator, His ability to save, His arms outstretched, His heart big for me. May I confide in His power and love, Commit my soul to Him without reserve, Bear His image, observe His laws, pursue His service, And be through time and eternity A monument to the efficacy of His grace, A trophy of His victory. I love these Puritan prayers. They reveal the bigness of God, the heinousness of sin, and commitment to holiness. I long that I may pray more in this fashion and that other pastors may model this kind of prayer for the people in the churches. Let us remember what this Puritan prayed: 1. Work repentance in my soul (again!), 2. Represent sin in all its odious colours that I may hate (yes hate ) it, 3. Teac

preach the OT—rightly!

Great reminder from Bob Chisholm— "When one makes an Old Testament story the base text for a message, the theme of the message should derive from that text, not somewhere else. Though purporting to explain what an Old Testament story means, a preacher will sometimes ignore the point of the story in its original literary setting and instead impose an entirely different theme upon it. . . . To be truly biblical we need to be faithful to the text's literary context" (Robert B. Chisholm, From Exegesis to Exposition: A Practical Guide to Using Biblical Hebrew [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998], 222-23).

things going on this week...

This is my last week of "break" before I start classes again but it's not really much of a break. I intend to accomplish the following tasks by the end of the week: 1. study and take my theological german exam, 2. write some articles on the missing feature in the church today, namely, the gospel, 3. preach Ephesians 6.10-20 part 3 on the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, 4. preach Psalm 87: glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion city of our God, 5. take one of our singers at church out to dinner at a historic restaurant in downtown LA, 6. finish reading through the gospel of John and the book of Revelation before Jan 1, 2011, 7. continue reading (in advance) for my 2 PhD classes this Fall (OT hermeneutics and exegetical method and NT backgrounds), 8. most importantly, take my wife and son out for our family date where we can get *cheap* dinner and Monday-night football at at the same time! Doable? Only with G

preaching today.

"Preach as a dying man to dying men ... and preach as though it were your first and your last sermon." These words from Richard Baxter are at the forefront of my heart and mind today as I proclaim God's Word from Revelation 2:12-17.

archaeology and the bible.

Here is an excellent post by Dr. Charlie Dyer on Archaeology and the Bible . Here is part of his conclusion: And in conclusion . . . The Bible does not depend on archaeology for its authority. It is authoritative because God is the author. But archaeology can help interpret, illuminate, and validate God’s Word. It’s encouraging to know archaeological discoveries support biblical facts.

share the gospel.

A few weeks ago at our mid-week service at Church, I prayed that the LORD would grant to each believer an opportunity this Christmas season to share the gospel with someone. The Lord answered that a few days ago when I talked on the phone with a man who was just released from prison. He grew up in the church; he knows about 'God' and Jesus but the gospel most definitely has not gripped his heart. So I had an opportunity to talk on the phone with him for about 5 minutes. God gave me the words to say and provided a blessed opportunity to present the entire gospel to this young man and "command" (*note I didn't invite *) him to turn from his wicked ways that would only lead him to the Lake of Fire (which I said) and to turn in saving faith and repentance to Christ who is eternally satisfying and abundantly loving toward those who repent. Yes, God does answer prayer. I shared the gospel with someone this Christmas season! Now I've been praying that God would pene

is the bible really about YOU?

Tim Keller says it this way... Now, I would adjust his wording a bit to say that the Bible is not about you it's about God and His Glory . (Yes I believe Jesus is God but my hermeneutical bones feel better about wording it this way.)

good words on your REAL human condition...

Consorting with Whores by RC Sproul Jr. That there is a deep and profound chasm that separates believing in the total depravity of man and our own understanding of the depth and scope of our own sin is a potent sign of the depth and scope of our own sin. “Total depravity” is a true and sound biblical doctrine about how the fall has impacted mankind. We are sinful in every part of our being and utterly unable, precisely because we are unwilling, to embrace the work of Christ on our behalf unless He changes us first. Because we are totally depraved, however, we see this as a doctrine about man, rather than an actual self-description. We distinguish between the problems of “man” and our own problems. It is safe to speak ill of man, but dangerous and sad business to look too closely into our own hearts of darkness. So instead we think ourselves as partaking in a general sense of this depravity thing, but see it manifest in our own lives in nice, clean ways. We have a high view of God’s hol

preaching marathon...

It seems like it never ends — and for that I am grateful. I am appointed to preach three times this week. I could greatly use your prayers. Tuesday — Ephesians 6:10-20 - the armor of God, part 2 Wednesday — Psalm 86 - praying through the hard and suffering seasons of life Sunday — Revelation 2:12-17 - the church of Pergamum...the compromising church Psalm 19:10-14 — 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 Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. 13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:11-15 (10-14, Eng) הַֽנֶּחֱמָדִ֗ים מִ֭זָּהָב וּמִפַּ֣ז רָ֑ב וּמְתו

stand with the breastplate of righteousness — a holy life.

I appreciate this quote that has aided me in my study of the believer's armor: Note this essential piece of the armor: Eph 6:13 ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν θώρακα τῆς δικαιοσύνης. Eph 6:13 putting on the breastplate of righteousness. The church today is often guilty of supplying believers with the paper armor of good advice, programs, activities, techniques, and methods — when what they need is godly armor of holy living. No program, method, or technique can bring wholeness and happiness to the believer who in unwilling to confront and forsake his sin . I couldn't agree more.

the glory of God is the highest good.

From B.B. Warfield— A profound apprehension of God in His majesty, with the poignant realization which inevitably accompanies this apprehension, of the relation sustained to God by the creature as such, and particularly by the sinful creature. The Calvinist is the man who has seen God, and who, having seen God in His glory, is filled on the one hand with a sense of his own unworthiness to stand in God's sight as a creature, and much more as a sinner, and on the other hand, with adoring wonder that nevertheless this God is a God who receives sinners. He who believes in God without reserve and is determined that God shall be God to him in all his thinking, feeling and willing—in the entire compass of his life activities, intellectual, moral and spiritual—throughout all his individual social and religious relations, is, by force of that strictest of all logic which presides over the outworking of principles into thought and life, by the very necessity of the case, a Calvinist. Just fa

now--does being baptized in snowy, cold Alaska keep you from obeying this important command?

Ha, I like this post from Thabiti : Alaksa : Or, the Caribbean :

when God brings revival.

I am reminded of three necessities to be in place for a revival: 1. the preaching of the Word of God 2. the regeneration by the Spirit of God 3. the evangelization by the regenerate of God If one studies Church history he finds that God has often brought revivals at certain points of history when His Word was faithfully and fearlessly proclaimed. Through the preaching of His Word, then, He saved and regenerated sinners so that they then take that gospel message and faithfully evangelize and share the gospel with others. Oh how we need a revival today. But we can't expect revival until these three key elements are in place.

your prayer life...

Good and convicting words from the Prince of Preachers: Public prayer is no evidence of piety: it is practiced by an abundance of hypocrites; but private prayer is a thing for which the hypocrite has no heart — and if he gives himself to it for a little time he soon finds it too hot and heavy a business for his soulless soul to persevere in, and he lets it drop. He will sooner perish than continue in private prayer. O for heart searchings about this! Do I draw near to God alone? Do I pray when no eye sees, when no ear hears? Do I make a conscience of private prayer? Is it a delight to pray? For I may gather that if I never enjoy private prayer I am one of those hypocrites who will not always call upon God. — Charles Spurgeon

biblical mysticism.

Read my recent article: I believe in biblical mysticism over at the vassaloftheKing website. Be sure to read the qualification lest you think I've fallen off the deep end!

wise words from dr. d.a. carson.

This is so insightful! D.A. Carson writes: If I have learned anything in 35 or 40 years of teaching, it is that students don’t learn everything I teach them. What they learn is what I am excited about, the kinds of things I emphasize again and again and again and again. That had better be the gospel. If the gospel—even when you are orthodox—becomes something which you primarily assume, but what you are excited about is what you are doing in some sort of social reconstruction, you will be teaching the people that you influence that the gospel really isn’t all that important. You won’t be saying that—you won’t even mean that—but that’s what you will be teaching. And then you are only half a generation away from losing the gospel. Make sure that in your own practice and excitement, what you talk about, what you think about, what you pray over, what you exude confidence over, joy over, what you are enthusiastic about is Jesus, the gospel, the cross. And out of that framework,

questions to ask to find a biblical and gospel-centered church.

Good words from Lawson: 1. Is God's Word being proclaimed there? 2. Is God's worship being pursued there? 3. Is God's will being practiced there? 4. Is God's work being performed there? Healthy reminders for those who are in need of finding a church-home.

i love the wording of this.

the context: "once the union [of believers] with Christ is formed, it is irrevocable." now the statement entailing magnanimous glory: " the Father and the Son relentlessly guard that relationship ." I love it.

reminder from Luther on our "union with Christ"

This is excellent. "Through faith you are so closely united with Christ . . . that you can say with confidence: . . . Christ's righteousness, victory, life, etc., are mind; and Christ, in turn, says: I am this sinner, that is, his sins, death, etc., are Mine because he clings to Me and I to him; for through faith we have been joined together into one flesh and bone" (quoted in Demarest, The Cross and Salvation , 336).

pray for the Spirit to be your teacher.

Oh where are those who pray like this— O God the Holy Spirit, That which I know not, teach thou me, Keep me a humble disciple in the school of Christ, Learning daily there what I am in myself, a fallen sinful creature, justly deserving everlasting destruction. O let me never lose sight of my need of a Saviour, or forget that apart from him I can do nothing, and can do nothing. Open my understanding to know the Holy Scriptures; Reveal to my soul the counsels and works of the blessed Trinity; Instill into my dark mind the saving knowledge of Jesus; Make me acquainted with his covenant undertakings and his perfect fulfillment of them, that by resting on his finished work I may find the Father's love in the Son, His Father, my Father, and may be brought through thy influence to have fellowship with the Three in One. O lead me into all truth, thou Spirit of wisdom and revelation, That I may know the things that belong unto my peace, and through thee be made anew. Make practical upon my

date night.

From last night— a great date night with my amazing wife!

why does God seem 'silent'?

Preaching tonight a most magnificent Psalm — Psalm 83. The first verse reads as follows: Psalm 83:1 O God, do not remain quiet; Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. Psalm 83:1 אֱלֹהִ֥ים אַל־דֳּמִי־לָ֑ךְ אַל־תֶּחֱרַ֖שׁ וְאַל־תִּשְׁקֹ֣ט אֵֽל׃ Believers often struggle with the idea of God seeming to be silent. Why is this? In the 17th c. a man named Gualter Cradock gives three helpful reasons why God seems to be silent. First, The Lord keeps silent to try the faith of the believers . The Lord will not suffer his people to be overwhelmed , that is certain, but he will suffer them to come very near, that the waves cover them, and fear and horror shall cover their souls, and all to try and test their faith . Second, the Lord keeps silence in the midst of the troubles of his people to try men's uprightness and discover who will stick to God, and his cause, and his people, out of uprightness of heart . Sometimes God leaves his cause, and leaves his people, and his ordinances to

good words on 'conversion'

From Spurgeon: "Do not tell me that a sinner who believes in Jesus is to make an advance before he can say he is saved, that a man who trusts Christ is only on the way to salvation, and must wait until he has used the ordinances, and has grown in grace, before he may know that he is saved. No, the moment that the sinner’s trust is placed on the finished work of Jesus he is saved. Heaven and earth may pass away, but that man shall never perish. If only one second ago I trusted the Savior I am safe, just as safe as the man who has believed in Jesus fifty years, and who has all that while walked uprightly. I do not say that the new born convert is as happy, nor as useful, nor as holy, nor as ripe for heaven, but I do say that the words, “he that believeth on him hath everlasting life,” is a truth with general bearings, and relates as much to the babe in faith as it does to the man who has attained to fullness of stature in Jesus Christ. " Amen.

a painfully long word.

Believe it or not, this is a real word I found in my German book: Hinterladungvetterligewehrpatronenhülsenfabrikarbeiterverein Translated: " society of workers in the factory of bullet cartridges for backloading of Vetterli rifles. See, German isn't really that hard (*wink wink * )!

a sermon that impacted the preacher.

Last night I preached on Revelation 2:8-11 — The Church of Smyrna: the Suffering, yet Faithful, Church. As I preached it affected me as much as, I trust, it affected my hearers. The Word is so clear, so powerful, so convicting, and so contrary to many prosperity preachers nowadays that are so prevalent. I encourage you to listen & download and be reminded that Jesus calls His people to suffer. But note: Jesus is nearest to His people in the hour of suffering! Soli Deo Gloria. Revelation 2:8-11 — "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: 9 'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until deat

Thursday's Thanksgiving and Friday's Frenzy

Thanksgiving 2010 at the Kirkland's Friday's Man-Date with My Accountability Guys

Josephus on parenting

From Josephus— "Our ground is good, and we work it to the utmost, but our chief ambition is for the education of our children. . . . We take most pains of all with the instruction of children, and esteem the observation of the laws, and the piety corresponding with them, the most important affair of our whole life" ( Ap. 1.12.§60). Not bad for a secular historian! Perhaps we as parents nowadays have something to learn from ancient pedagogy in the home.

what i am most thankful for.

What I am thankful for this thanksgiving can be summed up by the author of Hebrews in 7:25— 25 ὅθεν καὶ σῴζειν εἰς τὸ παντελὲς δύναται τοὺς προσερχομένους δι᾽ αὐτοῦ τῷ θεῷ, πάντοτε ζῶν εἰς τὸ ἐντυγχάνειν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. In this brief verse the author of Hebrews reveals some magnificent and historical realities: 1. Jesus is able to save. 2. Jesus is able to save forever (lit. “unto the consummation”) 3. Jesus is the (only!) mediator so that we may draw near to God. 4. Jesus, though once dead and buried in a tomb, now and forevermore is alive! 5. Jesus makes intercession on behalf of His people. We could summarize this by saying that Jesus is (1) sufficient to save, (2) eternally saving, (3) the exclusive Savior, (4) the living Savior, and (5) the interceding Savior. The salvation given to me is what I am most thankful for this year.

a profile of a Godly husband.

Last night I rejoiced to preach again on Ephesians 5:25-33 (& 1 Pet 3:7). I showed the young men in our church what the biblical profile is of a godly husband and what kind of men they ought to strive to be now while they prepare for marriage then . I also exhorted the young women to look for these kinds of men . Feel free to listen and download if you so choose. Ephesians 5:25 — Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

what i have learned from Paul Washer.

Here are some lessons I learned from Paul as he spoke at the seminary and at our church last week. 1. the radical depravity of man. You will never appreciate the love of God and the gospel of God until you recognize your utter wickedness and that you are absolutely heinous in God's sight. 2. the supernatural power of God. God moves through the preaching of His Word. His message and His Word are powerful. Don't neglect the daily reading of Scripture either. 3. how does the death of the Son of God lead to my forgiveness? The great problem is this: if God is just and good, then he cannot pardon you! Most people don't understand the gospel. Sure they can recite the words: "Jesus died for me" but then how does his death apply to your being pardoned? We have made the gospel today a simple thing that we use to move on to bigger and better things. We must always preach the gospel. 4. be a man of prayer. Pray often. Pray much. God has decreed everything — he is sovereig

i believe no one seeks God before regeneration.

I believe in the doctrines of grace and I wholeheartedly embrace the doctrine of radical corruption of the entire human race. I don't believe that people "seek God." The Scriptures declare: Romans 3:11 THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD I agree with RC Sproul: "We do not 'find' God as a result of our search for him. We are found by him. the search for God does not end in conversion; it begins at conversion. It is the converted person who genuinely and sincerely seeks after God. Jonathan Edwards remarked that seeking after God is the main business of the Christian life" ( What is Reformed Theology , 125). Again, I believe the Scriptures: Romans 3:11 THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD.

great words for the true meaning of MARRIAGE

From James Boice: Commenting on Ephesians 5:31-32 which reads: Ephesians 5:31-32 31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church , Boice writes: 1. No one will ever be able to understand the truest, deepest meaning of marriage who is not a Christian. 2. No one who is a Christian should ever marry a person who is not a Christian. 3. No marriage will ever attain its true potential unless those united in the marriage are pursuing it according to God's goal and standards. Source: Boice, Ephesians , 206.

disturbing stat on the similarity between the so-called 'church' and non-Christians

From the book UnChristian (47): "One study we conducted examined Americans' engagement in some type of sexually inappropriate behavior, including looking at on-line pornography, viewing sexually explicit magazines or movies, or having an intimate sexual encounter outside of marriage. In all, we found that 30 percent of born-again Christians admitted to at least one of these activities in the past thirty days, compared with 35 percent of other Americans. In statistical and practical terms, this means the two groups are essentially no different from each other." Let us heed the warning in Hebrews 12:14: without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Paul Washer sermon online

Christ Community Church now has Paul Washer's sermon online. He preached from Romans 3:23-26 where he asked and answered the question: how could a good God forgive you? It was powerful and penetrating. I encourage you to listen & download .

announcement — Paul Washer preaching @ CCC

Hey folks, Anyone living in LA (or the surrounding area) is most welcome to join us at Christ Community Church for a special mid-week service with Paul Washer , founder and director of HeartCry Missionary Society from 7-8:30pm. Directions here and the pdf flyer is here . Come join us!

divine sovereignty + human responsibility

John 10:11 11 "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep . John 3:14-16 14 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Michael Horton wisely states: "When reformed theology hears Scripture teaching both divine sovereignty and human responsibility, divine election and the universal offer of the gospel, it affirms both even though it confesses that it does not know quite how God coordinates them behind the scenes" ( Introducing Covenant Theology [Baker, 2006], 19).

theological hip-hop

And it's good theology also! Lecrae is hitting our culture hard with good music and theologically rich lyrics. May God continue to use this servant for His glory. **I really like this one**

Some reflections on Heb 10 — "my righteous one will live by faith"

Phew. I finished my Hebrews 10:37-38 use of the Isaiah 26:20 and Habakkuk 2:3-4 paper. God is good. I thoroughly enjoyed my research and found it to be incredibly applicable to the current world in which we live. In the book of Hebrews, the author shifts back and forth constantly between expositional sections and exhortational sections. It is a very difficult book to outline party because the text is constantly "on the move." Nevertheless, Hebrews 10:19 begins an exhortational (=hortatory) section where the author calls his hearers to action. He begs them to draw near, hold fast, and stimulate others toward good deeds in the Church (10:19-25). Then the author includes arguably the sternest warning in all the book of Hebrews where he tells them that if they continue sinning deliberately there is nothing that awaits them but a terrifying expectation of God's judgment (just look at the context of the OT quotations of Heb 10:30 — Deut 32:35, 36). Chapter 10:32 begins a new se

faith as a divine gift from God.

I don't advocate everything Karl Barth believes, but here is one statement of his with which I couldn't agree more: "In himself and from his own resources man has not an atom either of willingness or even of capacity for faith. Faith is not the human condition for receiving new life; it is the divinely given instrument by which God saves lost souls." Amen.

the central point in ecclesiology

Sometimes we preachers get so fired up about preaching the gospel (as we should) but let us dare not forget that preaching is not the central focal point of the church. The gospel is. Now, for the gospel to comprise that central point in the church preaching is necessary. Preaching is the means to an end. We are to preach the Word which is inextricably linked with preaching the gospel . So you cannot have a successful and God-honoring ministry without the preaching of the Word, and that preaching of the Word must climax with the glorious mysteries of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the goal of preaching and the central point of all ecclesiology.

fight for sanctification. hate your sin.

I am reminded yet again that we cannot overestimate sanctification. Yes, there is progressive sanctification but this must not lower our standards for holiness. Remember that God hates sin and he tolerates no sin at all. In our day and age, we must have a high view of sanctification. Thus, fight for sanctification. Hate your sin. Mortify your sin.

heaven summary

Paul stated: "For our citizenship is in heaven. . . ." Because this is the case, CS Lewis noted that we should make it our main object of focus in this life. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country." He was also right as he understood the glory of heaven and the need for living now for heaven! Here is how we laid out our seven-part series on heaven : 1. Heaven — what is it? misconceptions? and biblical proof. 2. Heaven — where is it? and what is it like? 3. Heaven — what is the new city of Jerusalem like? 4. Heaven — what will we be like? 5. Heaven — how will we relate to one another? 6. Heaven — how will we relate to God? 7. Heaven — what will we do there? You may download the notes here . BTW, Heaven is not like this...

heaven bible study notes

As we complete our seven-part series on heaven I pray that the study encourages your heart. You can listen to the messages under the sermons page and you can download the entire set of notes and songs in pdf here . Soli Deo Gloria .

Last bible study on HEAVEN tonight

Tonight concludes our seven-part series on heaven . I have thoroughly enjoyed the study and I have learned much as my heart is energized to heed the words of Paul: Colossians 3:1-4 — Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. I came across this quote from Richard Baxter that I think will encourage you: If there be so certain and glorious a rest for the saints, why is there no more industrious seeking after it? One would think, if a man did but once hear of such unspeakable glory to be obtained, and believed what he heard to be true, he should be transported with the vehemency of his desire after it, and should almost forget to eat and drink, and should care for noth

do you want to know the love of God?

DA Carson quotes J. Gresham Machen who said: "It is a strange thing that when men talk about the love of GOd, they show by every word that they utter that they have no conception at all of the depths of God's love. If you want to find an instance of true gratitude for the infinite grace of God, do not go to those who think of God's love as something that cost nothing, but go rather to those who in agony of soul have faced the awful fact of the guilt of sin, and then have come to know with a trembling wonder that the miracle of all miracles has been accomplished, and that the eternal Son has died in their stead" (Carson, "The Wrath of God," in Engaging the Doctrine of God , ed. by Bruce L. McCormack, 62).

Stephen Charnock on WORSHIP

Wonderful words: "When we believe that we should be satisfied rather than God glorified in our worship, then we put God below ourselves as though He had been made fo rus rather than that we had been made for Him."

The roles of the husband and the wife in the marriage bond

I had the wonderful privilege of preaching a two-part series on the roles of the husband and the wife in the marriage covenant. Last Sunday I preached on how to be a Godly wife to the glory of God This Sunday I preached on how to be a Godly husband to the glory of God I pray that God uses them to strengthen marriages, prepare those not yet married for the marriage covenant, and for the widows to train up and encourage the younger generation on the biblical roles of being a biblical husband and wife.

Reformation — Martin Luther

I am thankful for Martin Luther and his bold stand for the unadulterated gospel of salvation: by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone Romans 4:3-5 3 For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

Do you trifle with vain sins?

Christian, these words stirred my heart this morning— "How long will you love vanity?" Psalm 4:2 The Lord is often represented in His word as expostulating with us. He manifests the deepest interest, shows intense pity, and uses many means to draw us back from the vortex of ruin. But man, thoughtless man, silly man--rushes on his way, trifles with his soul, and plays on the brink of the most dreadful precipice! He is in love with his sin--and therefore in love with his own destruction! But God does not abandon him to despair--but touchingly, tenderly, lovingly--He expostulates with him and asks, "How long will you love vanity?" Man by nature sets his heart upon what is vain and worthless--that which is not suited to, or required by, his immortal nature. Vanity represents that which is light, changeable, and of brief duration. Man displays his love of vanity . . . by preferring human friendship--to God's friendship, by thinking much more of the creature--than

Ps 78 — raise up the next generation.

I love how Asaph puts it into words: Psalm 78:1-8 Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, 3 Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. 4 We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. 5 For He established a testimony in Jacob And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers That they should teach them to their children, 6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, 7 That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments, 8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God. Calvin commen

China's new fast railway — this is cool!

FoxNews resported the following clip: China rolled out its fastest train yet on Tuesday, one of the engineering triumphs that signal the nation's growing ambitions as its economy booms. The successes demonstrate how, after decades of acquiring technology from the west, Beijing has begun to push the limits of its new capabilities, setting the bar higher on mega-projects as it seeks to promote the image of a powerful, modern China. But many of these initiatives have come at great human and environmental cost, and some have questioned whether the country fosters a sufficiently innovative spirit to compete on the next level. Still in the works: it is a $32.5 billion, 820-mile (1,300-kilometer) Beijing-to-Shanghai high-speed railway that is scheduled to open in 2012. "We are now much faster," Railway Ministry spokesman Wang Yongping said at Tuesday's inauguration of the super-fast line from Shanghai's western suburb of Hongqiao to the resort city of H

Beware of fake & deceptive repentance.

Psalm 78:35-37 35 And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer. 36 But they deceived Him with their mouth And lied to Him with their tongue. 37 For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant.

Christian — hope in heaven.

Stirring words from Richard Baxter: “There is joy in receiving things in this life, but the fullness is in God’s own presence. Oh, Christians! You will then know the difference between the creature and the Creator, and the content that each of them affords. We shall then have light without a candle, and a perpetual day without the sun. We shall then have rest without sleep, for God will be our rest. We shall then have enlightened understandings without a written law: for the Lord will perfect His law in our hearts, and we shall be all perfectly taught of God. His own will shall be our Law, and His own face shall be our light forever. Then shall we have joy, which we drew not from the promises, nor was fetched us home by faith and hope. Beholding and possessing will exclude most of these. We shall then have communion without sacraments, when Christ shall drink with us of the fruit of the vine new; that is, refresh us with the comforting wine of immediate fruition, in the kingdom of His

perseverance obedience and preservation of the saints in Hebrews.

I agree with my brother FF Bruce ( Epistle to the Hebrews , NICNT, 94): “The conditional sentences of this epistle are worthy of special attention. Nowhere in the NT more than here do we find such repeated insistence on the fact that continuance in the Christian life is the test of reality. The doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints has as its corollary the salutary teaching that the saints are the people who persevere to the end.”

The new calvinism discussed.

I find myself gladly and wholeheartedly in this "next generation" of New Calvinists : DeYoung, Duncan, Mohler: What's New About the New Calvinism from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo .

Gospel in Isaiah.

Note some deliverance passages and how it is God who solves the problem: Isaiah 59:2-4 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness. 4 No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. The Scripture states that the iniquities of Israel has separated them from their God. The result of one who is sin-infested is that God hides Himself from him. Indeed, the hands of sinners are defiled, unclean, and filthy. Even the very fingers on one's hands are full of iniquity and transgression. The lips find comfort in speaking falsehood and the tongue mutters wickedness. This is the utter depraved state that Israel found herself in back in Isaiah's time. Indeed, this is