Friday, November 30, 2012

JC Ryle comments on the preaching of George Whitefield:

Whitefield was a singularly bold and direct preacher. he never used that indirect expression "we," which seems so peculiar to English pulpit oratory, and which only leaves a hearer's mind in a state of misty confusion. He met men face to face, like one who had a message from God to them, "I have come here to speak to you about your soul." The result was that many of his hearers used often to think that his sermons were specially meant for themselves. He was not content, as many, with sticking on a meagre-tail-piece of application at the end of a long discourse. On the contrary, a constant vein of application ran through all his sermons. "This is for you, and this is for you." His hearers were never let alone.

May the LORD raise up more Whitefield's in our day to passionately, directly, and faithfully address the hearers with the truth of Holy Scripture.

Source: J. A. Caiger, "Preaching — Puritan and Reformed" in Puritan Papers Volume 2: 1960-1962, ed. by J. I. Packer (Philipsburg; P&R Publishing, 2001), 183.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Eight Ways to Use Scripture to
Pray for Your Pastor

1. Pray that he would conduct himself wisely in a life of obedience that remains above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2)

2. Pray that he would love and be faithful to his wife (Ephesians 5:25-33)

3. Pray that he would raise his children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)

4. Pray that he would love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30)

5. Pray that he would faithfully shepherd the flock of God (1 Peter 5:1-3)

6. Pray that he would flee temptation (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)

7. Pray that he would be a man of unceasing prayer (Ephesians 6:18)

8. Pray that he would bind himself to the Scriptures and commit himself to expounding the Word of God rather than his own opinions (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

“A commitment to expository preaching takes a firm belief in the power of God’s Word and a humble recognition that the God-appointed means of preaching is better than whatever impressive or efficient model we might devise.”

Taken from: James Hamilton, Jr. And Matt Damico, “Worthy of Double Honor” in A Guide to Expository Ministry, edited by Dan Dumas (Louisville: SBTS Press, 2012): 91.

Download PDF here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

There are some lines that a preacher hopes he never hears. In a sermon on Psalm 7 entitled: "Turn or Burn," Spurgeon noted how the topic of the wrath of God was seldom preached. Then he pondered how despicable it would be if, in eternity, one would approach him and say the following statement.

From Charles Spurgeon:

"Sir, you flattered us; you did not tell us of the solemnities of eternity; you did not rightly dwell upon the awful wrath of God; you spoke to us feebly and faintly; you were somewhat afraid of us; you knew we could not bear to hear of eternal torment, and therefore you kept it back and never mentioned it!"

May we as preachers be faithful to the Word of God — all of the glories of the Word of God!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Is There a False Repentance That Sends to Hell?
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

To use the words of the Heidelberg Catechism, godly grief “is to be genuinely sorry for sin, to hate it more and more, and to run away from it” (#89).

To answer the question of what the repentance that sends to hell is, we need to examine the biblical truth concerning marks that will accompany true repentance. In other words, a professed repentance without these marks indicating change shows that the repentance is not genuine, real, and lasting. Godly sorrow is an earnest desire. It is a passionate pursuit. It is a zealous pursuit.

2 Corinthians 7:11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.

Here are some marks of what biblical, godly, real repentance looks like in one’s life.

Vindication — The idea of vindication comes from the word meaning to give a defense (ἀπολογίαν) and here it speaks of the penitent sinner who verbally acknowledges, confesses, and recounts what happens. Rather than denying his sin the repentant person acknowledges, affirms, and confesses his sin verbally. It is an earnest and verbal desire to clear oneself of any fault. It is an eagerness to clear oneself of any fault.

Indignation — The word Paul uses here refers to a kind of outlash/vehement assault (ἀγανάκτησιν). It is not an outrage at a person but the outlash is directed toward the sin. There is a violent indignation with that particular sin. The repentant person will abhor, detest, be angry at the sin into which he fell.

Fear — This speaks of a fear (φόβον) lest the sin be repeated again. There must be a little trembling lest the evilness of that particular sin be the cause of stumbling yet again. And negatively, there should be a fear lest the sin should not be entirely removed from the penitent person’s life. There should be great fear of falling into sin again. A mark of repentance is the person’s godly fear that he might fall into that sin yet again. Not only this, the fear includes the notion that if the sin would persist, one would be the recipient of God’s Almighty wrath. There is a right, holy, trembling fear that must be present at the acknowledgement of God’s violent hatred of sin — all sins. All impenitent sinners will face the wrath of God.

Longing — This speaks of a vehement desire, a longing, a passionate desire. Paul uses the word (ἐπιπόθησιν) that can refer to an intense longing, craving of something (the word usually refers to sexual lust/longing). There must be a fervent wish to be made right in God’s eyes. There must be a passionate desire to be made right in the eyes of others. There must be a passionate desire so that the sin does not trap the repentant person again. There must be a passionate pursuit and readiness to do our duty and a willingness to obey the Lord in all things — including doing that which is hard during the course of repentance. Without a fervent longing and desire to extract the sin from one’s life and all its recourses that lead up to the committing of a particular sin, repentance has not occurred.

Zeal — This word for zeal speaks of deep concern (ζῆλον). There is almost a “jealousy” that takes place here. What passionate ardor and concern is there when the beginning touches of that particular sin begins to show its hellish face again? What zeal is there to kill it? What deep concern is there to assure and ensure that the sin is exterminated quickly and violently? Is there a jealousy for the LORD and for Him alone? Is there a jealousy to be wed to Him and to him alone? One cannot be married to both Christ as Lord and to sin as Lord. These masters are mutually exclusive. Is there a zealous, concerned, jealous pursuit to be rid of the sin and turn to the LORD?

Avenging of Wrong — This strong word that Paul uses refers to the idea of vindication, punishment, revenge (ἐκδίκησιν).  There must be a ready spirit to see justice done. In other words, there must be a passionate desire rooted in and stemming from the heart to do the right thing in the future and slaughter the sin from one’s life. The severer we are toward ourselves and the harsher we see our sin, the deeper we shall then look at the grace of God and the mercy of the Lord outpoured upon evildoers.

These marks reveal for us, then, that apathy cannot coexist with repentance. No easy-way out thinking demonstrates true repentance. There must be an earnest, consuming, passionate, humble, God-focused, shamed, grace-embracing desire to “perform deeds appropriate to repentance” (Acts 26:20). Repentance itself is even a gift from God (2 Tim 2:25; Acts 5:31). Nevertheless, for the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ who has been washed, justified, saved, regenerated by God’s Holy Spirit, he can — and must! — demonstrate true marks of repentance over the sin in his life. No sin is to be taken lightly. Sin slaughtered the Savior! Even one complaint in the history of the world would have demanded an eternity of God’s furious wrath because of the vileness of that God-hating sin. Thus, believers should continue to practice the duty of repentance (not to get re-saved) but to put to death the deeds of the flesh in our lives as we grow in Christ.

So, what is that repentance that sends to hell? It is a repentance that does not bear these marks. If there is no change in one’s life, in one’s conduct, in one’s affections, in one’s zeal for holiness. If there is no outward change that manifests itself, if there is no humility and fear before the awesomeness of God’s holiness, if there is no anger and hatred over that sin and all its manifestations (and steps leading up to that sin), then one can be assured that repentance has not taken place.

Guard against false marks of repentance! May we as Spirit-indwelt, Bible-believing, grace-empowered saints practice the duty of repentance so that we may slay sin by the power of God’s Spirit & present all of the members of our body as instruments of righteousness to God. May we be those who genuinely repent, biblically repent, and effectively change by the powerful help and God-given grace of God’s Spirit!

Download the PDF here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Very helpful words from D Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

The New Testament calls upon us to take action; it does not tell us that the work of sanctification is going to be done for us. . . . We are in the 'good fight of faith', and we have to do the fighting. But, thank God, we are enabled to do it; for the moment we believe, and are justified by faith, and are born again of the Spirit of God, we have the ability. So the New Testament method of sanctification is to remind us of that; and having reminded us of it, it says, 'Now then, go and do it'.

(SOURCE: Lloyd-Jones, Romans: Exposition of Chapter 6: The New Man, p.178)

This upcoming week, we at Christ Fellowship Bible Church have the awesome privilege of hosting Vincent Greene and his family. Vincent is raising support to join Sean Ransom serving with TMAI (the Master's Academy International) in the Philippines to train Filipino men to study, interpret, and preach the Word of God faithfully and accurately in their churches.

Vincent has visited the Philippines a number of times and has taught modules there and is familiar with the men, the pastors, and the team that he will be working with there.

We at CFBC have a wonderful privilege to spent a weekend with Vincent, his wife, Kim, and their children as we serve them, encourage them, and minister to them.


6:30-8:00PM — Meet & greet the Greene family (at Geoff Kirkland's home by the Church)

4PM (Family Bible Hour) — Vincent will preach
5PM (Worship Service) — Vincent will preach

Please come meet this dear family, get to know them, encourage them, and prayerfully consider supporting them and their ministry in the Philippines.

Friday, November 2, 2012

From David Powlison:

The simplest question to ask about what underlies anger is, “What do I really want?” If you are honest, with God’s help, you can recognize if you really crave to get even, or to hurt someone, or not to be inconvenienced, or to prove someone wrong, or to score points, or to be recognized and appreciated, or to humiliate, or to win, or to get your way. You are ruled by what the Bible terms “self.”

SOURCE: David Powlison, "Understanding Anger: Part 1" Journal of Biblical Counseling 14, no. 1 (1995): 52.
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