Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tim Witmer has a great comment in this regard in his book on The Shepherd Leader:

People are showing increasing reluctance to identify themselves with a particular flock, to make the commitment of church membership vows, and to submit to the authority of shepherd-elders inherent in those commitments. Even within the church, however, Christ's sheep are transgressing the bounds of safety and security established in His Word. Church leaders, on the other hand, are showing unwillingness not only to embrace the standards of the Chief Shepherd and his Word but reluctance to courageously seek those who have strayed for the glory of God and the health of his flock. The danger of the age in which we live is the collapse of commitment: to the Lord, to his standards, and to the authorities he has established.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Martin Luther once remarked concerning the doctrine of justification:

a Christian is righteous and holy by an alien and foreign holiness --- this mercy and grace is not something human; it is not some sort of disposition of the heart; but it is a divine blessing, given through the true knowledge of the GOspel, when we know or believe that our sin has been forgiven through the grace and merit of Christ … is not this righteousness an alien righteousness? … Therefore, a Christian is not formally righteous; he is not righteous according to substance or quality.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pray for Pastor Youcef & his family during this time:

A trial court in Iran has issued its final verdict, ordering a Christian pastor to be put to death for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity, according to sources close to the pastor and his legal team.
Supporters fear Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old father of two who was arrested over two years ago on charges of apostasy, may now be executed at any time without prior warning, as death sentences in Iran may be carried out immediately or dragged out for years.
It is unclear whether Nadarkhani can appeal the execution order.

Philosophy of “The Sinner’s Prayer”
By: Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Many evangelists and pastors have utilized “the sinner’s prayer” for many years. One may share the gospel with someone and then call them respond by praying the sinner’s prayer. This is the prayer that sinners pray which “seals the deal” and confirms someone to be a Christian. Or does it? It may shock some that the sinner’s prayer is nowhere found in the Scriptures and it is, in fact, a practice introduced very late in church history—and that amongst the Arminian movement. A number of reasons could be given as to why the sinner’s prayer is not the best way of calling people to salvation. In other words, it is the persuasion of CFBC that the sinner’s prayer is not a biblical element in evangelism and should therefore be discarded. The following reasons provide support for this statement.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Deuteronomy 6:20–21:
When your son asks you in time to come, "What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?" then you shall say to your son, "We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand."
Charles Spurgeon:
Numbers 17:12-13 12 Then the sons of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, "Behold, we perish, we are dying, we are all dying! 13 "Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the LORD, must die. Are we to perish completely?"

In God's Word, the people of Israel were in the wilderness and as they journeyed through the arid desert, a group led by Korah assembled together "against Moses and Aaron" (Num 16:3) and accused them of "exalting themselves above the assembly of the LORD" (16:3b).

Saturday, February 11, 2012

From Leviticus 20:

Leviticus 20:4-5 4 'If the people of the land, however, should ever disregard that man when he gives any of his offspring to Molech, so as not to put him to death, 5 then I Myself will set My face against that man and against his family, and I will cut off from among their people both him and all those who play the harlot after him, by playing the harlot after Molech.

Leviticus 20:4-5
4 וְאִם הַעְלֵם יַעְלִימוּ עַם הָאָרֶץ אֶת־עֵינֵיהֶם מִן־הָאִישׁ הַהוּא בְּתִתּוֹ מִזַּרְעוֹ לַמֹּלֶךְ לְבִלְתִּי הָמִית אֹתוֹ
5 וְשַׂמְתִּי אֲנִי אֶת־פָּנַי בָּאִישׁ הַהוּא וּבְמִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ וְהִכְרַתִּי אֹתוֹ וְאֵת כָּל־הַזֹּנִים אַחֲרָיו לִזְנוֹת אַחֲרֵי הַמֹּלֶךְ מִקֶּרֶב עַמָּם

In the Mosaic, Old Testament Law, God said that if His covenant people, Israel, should ever disregard a man when he gives any of his offspring to Molech — the Phoenecian & Canaanite god — so as to not put him to death, then God Himself will set his face against that man & his family and cut him off from the covenant people.

From these verses we can see a number of helpful thoughts to bear in mind:

Friday, February 10, 2012

This is well worth your time! It's an hour-long biography of Charles Spurgeon's life.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. . .. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has saved the children through the parents' prayers and admonitions. May every house into which this volume shall come honor the Lord and receive his smile."
Quoted in Voddie Bauckham, Family Shepherds, 19.

So HOW do you do family worship, you ask?

The Pastor’s Primary Responsibilities in a Church Plant
By Geoffrey R. Kirkland

These are not exhaustive nor are they unchanging. These five principles serve to keep the pastor’s focus on keeping the main thing the main thing and not becoming sidetracked with the many—innumerable—responsibilities that may arise. At the outset of a church plant with one man on staff and a small church, the focus must be very narrow and clear.

1. Preach the Word of God.

The pastor must study the Word of God so that he is adequately prepared to preach the Word of God in an expository way weekly.

2. Shepherd the People of God.

The pastor must tend his sheep. He must know them, learn them, love them, care for them, pray for them, counsel them, rebuke them, correct them, and train them. The best way to be an effective shepherd is to know the sheep.

3. Pray for the Unction of God.

The pastor must learn to be alone with God. He must love isolated times of communion with God. The pastor must pray for and depend on the unction—the power—of God the Holy Spirit in every aspect of the ministry. Prayer is not secondary or tertiary; it must be primary.

4. Train Men in the Word of God.

The pastor must make it his goal to train up “faithful men who will be able to train others” for the furthering of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The pastor can meet weekly with the men of the Church to preach, teach, exhort, and pour into the men so that the church will be full of masculine men who are biblically-grounded and theocentrically focused.

5. Focus on the Glory of God.

The pastor must anchor his mind and heart on the glory of God in all things. That God is glorified in everything that happens is clear from Scripture. Therefore, the pastor should bear in mind that when the good and the hard times come in church planting, the magnificent glory of God must fill the pastor’s heart and soul.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

“It is a part of sovereignty to transfer the penalty due to the crime of one upon another, and substitute a sufferer, with the sufferer’s own consent, in the place o a criminal, whom he had a mind to deliver from a deserved punishment.

God transferred the sins of men upon Christ, and inflicted on him a punishment for them. He summed up the debts of man, charged them upon the score of Christ, imputing to him the guilt and inflicting upon him the penalty: 'the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all;' he made them all to meet upon his back: 'He hath made him to be sin for us' (2 Cor 5:21).

He was made so by the sovereign pleasure of God; a punishment for sin, as most understand it, which could not be righteously inflicted had not sin been first righteously imputed, by the consent of Christ, and the order of the Judge of the world.

Without this act of sovereignty in God, we had forever perished: for if we could suppose Christ laying down his life for us without the pleasure and order of God, he could not have been said to have borne our punishment

It was an act of Divine sovereignty to account Him that was righteous a sinner in our stead, and to account us, who were sinners, righteous upon the merit of his death."

Stephen Charnock, The Existence & Attributes of God, 1:424-25.
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