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Showing posts from January, 2011

preaching marathon this weekend

Pray for me as I preach: Saturday AM — 2 Chron 26: Humility and Purity from King Uzziah (Men's breakfast) Saturday PM — Revelation 2:18-29: The Deceived Church of Thyatira: God Knows and Sees Everything You Do and He Judges All the Sexually Immoral—Especially Within His Church (Rehabilitation Outreach) Sunday AM — Deuteronomy 6:4-9: "Fathers, God Commands You to Teach, Disciple, and Train Up Your Children—How Are You Doing?" Pray for me. I am burning with God's Word and eager to herald to God's people what God has taught me in His Word.

the gospel in 10 verses

This morning I'm preaching on Ephesians 2:1-10 at a chapel of an elementary school in the area. My goal is simple: give them the gospel . What is that gospel? I. You Are Dead! (1-3) Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. The simple point here is that every single person is dead in sin and totally unable to come to God for salvation. Man can no more bring himself to life spiritually than a dead man can raise himself from the grave. It's just an impossibility. It can't—and it won't—happen! This is man's predicament . II. God Gives Life! (4-9) Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in merc

Thankful for 80 degree January...

God has a plan and will save the Jewish people in the eschaton (the end times)

As worded so well by Larry Helyer: " The theological question uppermost in Paul's mind in Romans 9-11 is, Can God be trusted? That is, having shown that God's saving activity revealed in Christ is available and unassailable (Rom 1-8), Paul must answer the question: Then why have not most JEws, the chosen peopel fo God, responded to the gospel? If they have missed out, how can Gentile Christians be so sure that nothing 'will be able to separate' them ( 'from the love of God in Christ Jesus' (Rom 8:39)? His answer is crystal clear: 'the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable' (Rom 11:29). There has always been a believing remnant, a true Israel within the larger, empirical Israel. Furthermore, at the eschaton (the end of the present world order), all empirical Israel will be saved (Rom 11:26). Thus God may indeed be trusted because his saving plan has never failed nor will it ever" ( in Exploring Jewish Literature of the Second Temple Perio

everything short of hell is mercy.

Everything short of Hell is mercy! (James Smith, "Good and Evil Alike from God" 1861) "What? shall we receive good at the hands of God--and shall we not receive evil?" Job 2:10 Jehovah's Prerogative: He sends GOOD--all good. He sends EVIL--not moral evil, for God cannot be the author of sin, nor in any way give His sanction to it. But He does send afflictions, bereavements, losses, crosses, pains and sorrows. He sends good and evil sometimes in quick succession. He sent the fish to preserve the life of Jonah, and the gourd to screen him from the sun--but He sent also the worm to destroy the gourd, and teach Jonah a beneficial lesson. Who can read the life of Jacob or Joseph, of David or Daniel, and not see that the Lord sends both good and evil upon His people. Hence the prophet asks, "Shall there be evil in a city--and the Lord has not done it?" The Believer's Duty. We should receive all as from God's hand. The reference is not so much to the

prayer request — Joe

Please pray for a man that I met on my bus this morning named Joe. I was reading a book on NT backgrounds and he struck up conversation with me. He is looking for a local church to attend. I gave him my card, was able to share with him the gospel and what we teach at Church. Pray that God stirs his heart to attend church and hear God's Word proclaimed this week. I am preaching this Sunday on Deut 6.

do you have a BIG God?

I was talking with a fellow minister of the gospel yesterday over lunch and he said this which really affected me: "We want to see done what only God can do ." Do you have a desire like this?

marriage, divorce, and remarriage

This week I'm teaching on the topic: what does the Bible have to say about marriage and divorce ? I came across a very helpful quote that may help some people: " If the unbeliever begins divorce proceedings, the Christian spouse is not to contest them. 'The brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases' (1 Cor 7:15). In God's sight, the bond between a husband and wife is dissolved ONLY by death (Rom 7:2), adultery (Matt 19:9), and an unbeliever's leaving (1 Cor 7:15). When the bond is broken in any of those ways, a Christian is free to remarry another Christian or stay single. Simply stated, when divorce is permitted, remarriage is permitted; when divorce is forbidden, remarriage is forbidden." —John MacArthur, The Divorce Dilemma , 81.

LiveStream the Truth & Life Conference @ The Master's College

You can livestream the Truth and Life Conference by clicking on the link here . Here's the schedule: Session Speaker Time Session I - Paul: An Example of Biblical Leadership Dr. John MacArthur Wednesday January 19 - 7pm Session II - Leading with Love Dr. Alexander Strauch Thursday January 20 - 9am Session III - Leading as a Servant Dr. Voddie Baucham Thursday January 20 - 7pm Session IV - Leading as a Husband & Father Dr. Voddie Baucham Friday January 21 - 9am Session V - Leading through Conflict Dr. Alexander Strauch Friday January 21 - 7pm Soli Deo Gloria!

from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Moses, the man of God, penned the magnificent words of Psalm 90 probably during the wilderness wanderings. This psalm—the oldest in the Psalter—unmistakably sets up a contrast between the everlasting nature of God and the temporal nature of man. Moses shows how sinners reap what they sow and how every single sin (iniquity and secret sins) are laid bare before the eyes of God. Last night when I preached Psalm 90 I provided some applications to the doctrine of God's eternality so that the people would know how this doctrine should affect the way they live. Psalm 90:2 — from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. Psalm 90:2 וּֽמֵעֹולָ֥ם עַד־עֹ֝ולָ֗ם אַתָּ֥ה אֵֽל׃ Here are those applications. 1. Because God is eternal and everlasting we must remember that nothing is too big for Him; no problem is too great for him. 2. Be humble before God who created everything—time, space, matter, and everything that lives! 3. Let our knowledge of God’s eternity take off our love and confidence f

how to find satisfaction.

"Only a life lived for God will be a truly satisfied life." —Steven J. Lawson Psalm 90:14 — 14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

i cherish my GOD.

I love the reality that God is sovereign . "Does everything that happens find itself in the will of God? Yes. . . . Augustine said that God ordains 'in some sense' everything that happens. Nothing that takes place is beyond the scope of his sovereign will. The movement of every molecule, the actions of every plant, the falling of every star, the choices of every volitional creature, all of these are subject to his sovereign will. No maverick molecules run loose in the universe, beyond the control of the Creator. If one such molecule existed, it could be the critical fly in the eternal ointment. . . . Indeed, one maverick molecule could destroy every promise God has ever made about the outcome of history" (Sproul, What is Reformed Theology , 172). So mark it: God is absolutely sovereign. Isaiah 46:9-11 9 "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, A

completion of Ephesians — now cling to Christ & don't leave the faith!

Last night I concluded our mid-week study through the book of Ephesians. We traversed through this book verse by verse (and even word by word at times!) to unpack the glorious riches contained in this letter. Last night I focused on Eph 6:24 — “Grace to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love ” (NIV). I pleaded with my hearers to not be like the church at Ephesus who started out so well , but later lost their “first love” (Rev 2:4) and about a century after this they went out of existence (c. 200AD). I encourage you to listen to the sermon here and download my handout (pdf) here .

if you live for Christ — persecution awaits you.

This is not some fanciful statement, this is a promise from Jesus Christ for all of His followers: 2 Timothy 3:12 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. John 15:20 20 "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. Hear the account of Church history under the reign of Nero, the vicious Roman Emperor: ". . . Mockery of every sort was added to their [the Christians] deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserve extreme and exemplar

God is the incomparable One

Muse on this magnificent word today: "The world dwarfs us all, but God dwarfs the world. The world is his footstool, above which he sits secure. He is greater than the world and all that is in it, so that all the feverish activity of its bustling millions does no more to affect him than the chirping and jumping of grasshoppers in the summer sun does to affect us. Behold your God!" (JI Packer, Knowing God , 87). Amen.

heartfelt confession of sin.

In the prayer that I read this morning from The Valley of Vision I was captured by the heartfelt sorrow and sincere lamentation of this man over his sin in his life. I encourage you to read his prayer of repentance. Save me from myself, from the artifices and deceits of sin, from the treachery of my perverse nature, from denying thy charge against my offences, from a life of continual rebellion against thee, from wrong principles, views, and ends; for I know that all my thoughts, affections, desires, and pursuits are alienated from thee. . . . O, thou Father of my spirit, thou King of my life, cast me not into destruction, drive me not from thy presence, but would my heart that it may be healed; break it that thine own hand may make it whole . —Anonymous Valley of Vision Prayer , p.38 This prayer reminds me of the old adage that the Puritans used to repeat: repent of your repentance . So often our repentance turn into pithy, sort of 'half-hearted' "sorry's" to Go

this should disturb you and drive you to fervent prayer for God's mercy and justice.

From Justin Taylor : Wesley J. Smith : Pro-choicers say they want abortion to be safe, legal, and rare. But we will see whether major pro choice organizations react to the awful statistic that 39 percent of pregnancies in NYC result in induced abortion. From the story: In 2009, there were 225,667 pregnancies in the City with 126,774 resulting in live births and 87,273 resulting in abortions.

what is the gospel? what must we preach? what must we believe to be saved?

This is copied and pasted from my sermon notes on a sermon from Ephesians 6:24 (ἡ χάρις μετὰ πάντων τῶν ἀγαπώντων τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν ἀφθαρσίᾳ ) on never abandoning the faith. I thought some may find it helpful. The GOSPEL i. God —God is a powerful God, eternally perfect, untainted by sin, and sovereignly just and righteous. He must do what is right. ii. Man —Man is radically and totally affected by sin in every way, shape, or form. Man is not perfect, is not righteous, and is not pleasing to God. Man is sinful in thought, word, deed, and motive. We often reject worshipping God for the worship of self. iii. Jesus —But God, justly deserving to POUR out his wrath on wicked sinners, chose to send His Son, Jesus—fully God and fully man—to this earth to live a perfect life which we could never do, and die a criminal’s death that we sinners deserved to die. And on that cross God flooded the eternal fury and violent wrath upon Jesus on the cross that should be poured o

Remember hell -- we deserve it and Christ redeems from it.

Dear reader, if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ this post is for YOU. If you are a believer in Christ, this post also is for you as you are reminded that you and I deserve to be in hell. May it also spur us on to fervent and urgent evangelism. In a few days--I may be in Hell! "Are not my days few?" Job 10:20 You may be living as if you thought that your days would be many--living in sin and in folly, and neglecting your everlasting concerns! You may be planning and scheming--as if you were to live here forever, or were at least sure of many years to come. Years! why we are not sure of months, weeks, days, hours, nay minutes! At the best--our days will be few! If my days are few, then time will soon end with me, eternity will soon open upon me--and I shall soon know what heaven--or hell, really is! How solemn! In a few days--I may be in Heaven! I may see the Lamb in the midst of the throne. I may be joining with the triumphing multitude in the presence of God. But in a

a good letter that every pastor should be given and humbly read & apply.

Dear Senior Pastor, I've been very encouraged by the example of the senior pastor I work for, plus many other senior pastors. So I want to ask you some questions to make you consider if you are modeling humility for your staff, church members, family, etc.... Are you willing and open to learning about the Bible from staff or members who don't have as much preaching or theological training as you do? Are you willing to take constructive criticism from staff members, interns, church members, or your wife? (If you are not sure, ask them if they think you are open to constructive critique.) In a deacon or elder or committee meeting (or whatever form of leadership you have), are you willing to be voted down by others? Do you hold a grudge against those who would dare vote against you? Have you ever considered asking your kids (or your wife) how you are doing at parenting? In a deacon or elder or committee meeting (or whatever form of leadership

the virgin birth & Christ's relating to us.

One of the orthodox doctrines we cherish is that of the virgin birth of Jesus. Certainly this doctrine protects the deity of Christ in that He was not born of natural/human descent so as to inherit the sinful human nature from Adam (cf. Rom 5:12). But, one aspect of the virgin birth that I also appreciate is the reality that, by virtue of his birth into this world, Jesus can relate to us as humans . There is that idea in the Scriptures of the Savior being not only our Redeemer but also our Kinsman Redeemer. He is one of us . He can relate to us . He has been tempted in all ways just as we have . I find great comfort in this reality that Jesus was born of a virgin which allowed him to be wholly without sin in every way, shape, or form and, at the same time, he is able to relate to us because He lived life as one of us —yet without sin. Hebrews 2:14-18 — 14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He mig

o how i love the doctrine of JUSTIFICATION.

Said so beautifully by Bruce Demarest: "The doctrine of justification by faith proves to be the focal point of other salvific doctrines. The backdrop against which justification is set is humanity in its fallen condition—guilty, condemned, and alienated from God. The ground of justification is the death of Christ on the cross as he took the sinner's place, bore his guilt, and suffered the just penalty for sins. The implementation of justification focuses on the application of Christ's atoning provisions to chosen and specially loved sinners. The outcome of justification is the sanctification and final preservation of those God has made right with himself. And the completion of justification will occur when the just of all ages are raised in transformed bodies to experience heaven's eternal joys." Source: Bruce Demarest, The Cross & Salvation (Wheaton, IL: Crossway), 346. Amen!

good reminder on PRAYER.

Excellent words by John Calvin on prayer compiled by RC Sproul: For John Calvin, prayer was like a priceless treasure that God has offered to His people. Calvin’s first rule of prayer was to enter into it with a full awareness of the One to whom we are speaking. The key to prayer is a spirit of reverence and adoration: “Let the first rule of right prayer be, to have our heart and mind framed as becomes those who are entering into converse with God.” Calvin wrote of how easy it is for our minds to wander in prayer. We become inattentive, as if we were speaking to someone with whom we are easily bored. This insults the glory of God: “Let us know, then, that none duly prepare themselves [sic] for prayer but those who are so impressed with the majesty of God that they engage in it free from all earthly cares and affections.” Calvin’s second rule of prayer was that we ask only for those things that God permits. Prayer can be an exercise in blasphemy if we entreat