Thursday, July 30, 2015

This continues the ongoing blog series on "The New Birth"
The FINALITY of the New Birth
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Salvation would be of little profit and it would impart no comfort if it could be reversible. Yet the Word of God clearly affirms that the work of God in the soul of man is a final work, an irreversible work, an unchangeable work, and a divine work. The Apostle Peter affirms that God has caused believers to be born again [ἀναγεννήσας] to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you (1 Pet 1:3-4). Unspeakable comfort, unfathomable mercies, and unquenchable consolations pour out from these verses. This brief write-up will further explain the finality of the new birth.

1) It is IRREVERSIBLE. God declares: “I act and who can reverse it?” (Isa 43:13). When God performs the rebirth in the soul of a man, it cannot be changed. No man, no power, no situation, no sin can alter what God has accomplished on behalf of His elect. As the process can’t be reversed when a human baby is born, so impossible is it spiritually to reverse the heavenly-birth. What God accomplishes is perfect and eternal. Let this comfort the believer’s soul!

2) It is IRREVOCABLE. Not only is the new birth irreversible (can’t be altered), but also is irrevocable. This underscores the promise that the heavenly birth cannot be taken away. All whom God rebirths are those whom He Himself carries to heaven. None that He saves can be lost. Salvation cannot be revoked from any of Christ’s blood-bought sheep. Those who are born again are “protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet 1:5). The sovereign, monergistic work of God cannot be altered, revoked, insufficient or inadequate. This reality of the irrevocable finality of the new birth must comfort God’s children!

3) It is UNSTOPPABLE. God does according to His will and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him: “what have you done?” (Dan 4:35). What God decrees and determines to accomplish, none can stop Him. None can thwart His ways. The LORD is a Warrior and none can stop Him (Ex 15:2). The glorious act of supernatural regeneration that comes upon a dead soul by the uninfluenced and unconditional grace of God cannot be resisted. Much comfort comes from this truth when God grants new life, none can willfully and blasphemously reject it. As Jesus said, the new birth must be compared to the wind, for people hear the sound of it but do not know were it comes from or where it is going.None can stop the wind. It’s invisible, it’s powerful, it’s unstoppable, it’s beyond human control. So it is with God’s working in the new birth.

4) It is UNEXPLAINABLE. Like the wind, man knows that regeneration is there but he cannot fully comprehend and explain it. This is only fitting since the new birth is a full, supreme, divine miracle. Miracles cannot be explained by finite, human creatures. The regeneration act is nothing short of a supernatural, instantaneous, unrepeatable miracle! Indeed, as a miracle performed by God and by Him alone, man cannot fully explain it. We receive it and believe it!

5) It is FINAL. All of this emphatically underscores the promise that the new birth can’t come up short. It can’t leave one dangling over heaven and then at last drop them into hell. The work of God in the soul of a man by the grace of Christ by the sovereignty of the Spirit is a final, saving, eternal, unstoppable, and glorious work. Let Christians rejoice and be glad in God!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

 As a shepherd, probably the most common prayer request I receive from God’s people is to pray that they would pray more and accelerate their prayer lives. How can we pray? Many people can relate to the request of the disciples: Lord, teach us to pray. This certainly isn’t exhaustive, but this brief essay will provide 5 helps to aid you in your times of meeting with God.

Think of prayer as an intimate relationship with your Abba, Father. Consider that prayer is you crawling into the lap of your Father in heaven and adoring Him, thanking Him, confessing your sins to Him, and petitioning Him. His tender eye is upon you. His affections are kindled toward you. And He, like a Father, loves to fellowship with, commune with, share this time together with you, His beloved, blood-bought child.

You are no good till you meet with God. Resolve in your heart to meet with God before you meet with men. Warm your heart with the precious glories of Scripture before you face the onslaught of the dark world. Prioritize prayer. If you don’t, it won’t happen. At least, if you don’t plan to pray and prioritize it, you may push it aside till a more opportune time later in the day until you realize that you’re just too tired, can’t focus, and have too many distractions. So, believer, wake up early, meet with God. Awaken the dawn with your praises and seek God early! If anything has to give each day, let it be something other than your prayer time. Are you busy? Then pray more!

Prayer is talking with God. Talking to God is wonderful and essential but don’t forget that conversations best occur when there is a two-way dialogue. So, hear God speak through the written Word. Daniel prayed as he read Jeremiah’s prophecy. Let God’s people open the Bible and pray through the psalms -- verse by verse -- and through Paul’s prayers in the Epistles. Are your prayers rote, boring, mindless and heartless? Do you pray the same thing every day and feel tired of not having enough to pray for? Then, open your Bible and turn God’s promises into prayers. Take your Father’s written Word and turn them into prayers. A Father can’t refuse His own promises! Make a case & build the argument with God.Take His Word and His promises & turn them into prayers.This is how you pray according to the will of God so that He cannot refuse His own Words. Make the case, stand and watch, see God answer far beyond your expectations!

Rather than praying that God would ‘be with them’ and that ‘God would bless America’ and that ‘God would go with them’, perhaps consider praying more specifically, more thoughtfully, more intentionally and more biblically. Paul said that he thanked God for all the believers in Thessalonica (1 Thess 1:2). Pray for revival, pray for God’s strengthening of the weak, pray for those who evangelize, pray for God to revive your soul, pray specifically and watch God answer.

Do you not know what to pray for? Do you need revitalization in your prayer times? Then take your church’s membership role and begin praying for each person by name. Pray specifically? Do you not know how to pray for them? Then seek them, pursue them, ask them, pray for them, and follow up. Pray for your preachers and teachers. Pray for their wives and for spiritual protection. Pray for the families, for sexual purity, for the youth, for the young children, for every ministry in the church (specifically), for every missionary (by name), and for every elder (by name).  Pray for the Spirit’s power. Pray for many conversions and for holiness. Intercede and see God mightily work.

Download the pdf article.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

This is the next blog in the ongoing series on "The New Birth"

The MIRACLE of the New Birth.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

That the new birth is nothing short of a miracle is clear because it is something that only God can do. A true miracle is something contrary to nature that only God can do. A miracle according to Scripture, is something that defies the laws of nature since God has brought it about by His power and for His purposes. When God says: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek 36:26, emphasis added), the miracle of the new birth has taken place.

1) An instantaneous miracle. 
The regeneration event is a mere instantaneous working of God in the soul of man. It is the life of God in the soul of man that the Spirit of God quickens by His sovereignty, for His glory, in a moment of time. Just as the Lord opened Lydia’s heart in a moment’s time as she heard the preached Word and then she believed, this is the working of the Spirit of God who instantaneously regenerates and gives life to dead souls (cf. Acts 16:14).

2) A divine miracle.  The new birth happens because God begins and accomplishes and perfects the work. Human workings has no part nor does it have any contribution whatsoever to the salvation-event. It is all of God. James writes that it is by the exercise of His will that He [God] brought us forth (James 1:18). Peter says that God has caused us to be born again (1 Pet 1:3).

3) A received miracle.  Regeneration is not merely something that people look at on others but for those who look to Christ and trust in Him they receive and experience the miracle of the new birth. Those whom God quickens, they are then enabled to believe and be justified! Regeneration is not merely something observed; it is received personally by God’s amazing grace.

4) A radical miracle.  So radical is this new birth that God effects in the sinner’s soul that Peter describes it as being ‘born again’ to a living hope (1 Pet 1:3). The old nature, old habits, old cravings are gone. Moreover, God removes filthiness and idols and gives a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek 36:25-26). Indeed, He now causes His own to walk in His statutes (Ezek 26:27). Truly, this is a miracle; indeed, a radical working of God!

5) An eternal miracle.  The new birth does not fade away. None who receive the new birth can lose it. All whom the Spirit regenerates, He keeps, He preserves, He guards, and He glorifies. No person who has ever been given the second birth has lost it — ever! Paul says that believers have received the washing of regeneration … so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs of the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:5-7). This new birth lasts forever.

6) An irreversible miracle. What God gives life to, nothing can revoke that life ever again. It is an irreversible working of God. We are born again to a living hope to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for believers (1 Pet 1:3-4). Such people are preserved by the power of God for a salvation to be revealed (1 Pet 1:5). This new birth cannot ever be revoked, reversed, taken away. Regeneration is the permanent cementing of new life in the soul of a man. This new life from God produces joy inexpressible and full of glory!

If you should this moment be called to the bar of God, what sentence have you reason to suppose He would pass on you? Pause and reflect, and let conscience answer … will you dare offer to your Judge those vain and frivolous excuses with which you now quiet your conscience and deceive yourself? Will you dare come to the bar of God and tell Him that He was a hard master? That His Law was too severe? That His Word was unintelligible? That you could not learn your duty? That you were unable to repent and believe?

Consider, O consider well what answer you are prepared to give. See that it be such an one as you dare rest your hopes upon and defend at the bar of a heart-searching Judge. Consider all these things, ye who are now forgetting God, lest He tear you in pieces as a lion, and there be none to deliver! Let this consideration rouse you from your lethargy to lay hold on the hope set before you.

Do not stand lingering and delaying as did Lot in Sodom, but suffer me to hasten you as the angels did him. For the wrath of God is upon the state in which you now are, and the fiery storm of divine vengeance is ready every moment to burst upon your heads. O then fly, fly quickly, fly immediately! Escape for your lives; look not behind you, but hasten to the mountains pointed out, even to Christ, the eternal Rock of ages, lest ye die! As sure, O sinner, as thy soul liveth, as sure as God lives, there is but a step between thee and death. But flee now unto Christ, and your soul shall live!"

—Edward Payson | 1783-1827

Monday, July 27, 2015

This is the next blog in the ongoing series on the New Birth.
The PRODUCER of the New Birth
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

The words of Jesus spoken to Nicodemus revealed that the only way to see the kingdom of God is unless “one is born again” (John 3:3; ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν). But the question must be asked and then biblically answered: who produces this new birth? How does it come about? Who works this process and accomplishes the task? In this brief essay, the Scriptures will be examined and brought to bear in showing who produces the new birth. This write-up will show that the Spirit of God is the producer of the rebirth. He works by His power, by His sovereignty, by His initiative, and by His working. Each will be briefly looked at in turn.

1) The Spirit of God. Jesus went on to tell Nicodemus in the conversation that unless one is born [ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ] of the water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). The verbal form that is used here in John 3:5 (and earlier in John 3:3) when speaking of being born again [γεννηθῇ] is a passive verbal. That means that the subject is not doing the action but the action is being done to him; that is to say, he is receiving the action. Another is performing the work upon him. This means that Nicodemus — and all people — must be the recipients of the saving work of the Spirit of God. He must do the work. He, the Spirit, must produce this new life in people in order for them to be saved.

2) The power of God. In order to produce new life, spiritual resurrection from the dead must occur. None can do this in his own strength. No man is powerful enough to raise the dead (physically, much less spiritually). Only God can raise the dead and the Spirit of God is called the Spirit of Life (Rom 8:2) and He is able to give life to whomever He wills.

3) The sovereignty of God. None can force God to act and move. By God’s sovereign prerogative and by His perfect decrees, he works. He does according to His plan with no one who can ever thwart His plan. He produces the new birth in the souls of dead sinners with none who can resist, stay his hand, or refuse this all-sovereign, all-powerful working of God.

4) The initiative of God.
The Spirit does not produce life in the best of people. He does not impart spiritual life to the most beautiful and lovely of people. Nor does He choose to save those who are the most moral and religious. No! Rather, it is by the sole, supreme, exclusive and sovereign initiative of God that the sinner receives the re-birth. God initiates it all. God awakens and God draws (John 6:44, ἑλκύσῃ). No sinner, who is dead in his own sin, can initiate the salvation-process. No one picks or chooses or reaches for God. God initiates and produces the new birth in its entirety.

5)The working of God. The salvation event that God imparts in the souls of sinners is not a temporary working but a full, complete, entire, holistic re-birth. The producer of the birth from above is the Spirit of God who initiates the process, He gives life to the sinner, He saves Him to the uttermost, indwells in Him till glorification, and never comes up short and loses a soul. God the Spirit produces the new birth and He does so by His own working from first to last and completes the entire process by Himself, for the magnification of Christ, to the Father’s glory.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Some excellent & thought-provoking questions that Charles Spurgeon presents in his sermon dealing with the seed that is sown among thorns.

I think the application is certainly pertinent to young people who have grown up in churches, have heard the Word, have heard Christ presented at home in family worship, and have heard countless sermons on Christ and His redemptive work. They have heard innumerable calls to repent and have been urged weekly to embrace Christ and flee to Him for refuge from the coming wrath.

Young people -- all the sermons you've heard -- how have they impacted your soul and your life?

Consider Spurgeon's words:

    What fruit have you born hitherto from all your hearing? May I venture to put the question to each one of you very pointedly'? Some of you have been hearers from your childhood—are you any the better? What long lists of sermons you must have heard by now! Count over your Sundays; how many they have been! Think of the good men now in heaven to whom you once listened! Remember the tears that were drawn from you by their discourses! If you are not saved yet, will you ever be saved? If you are not holy yet, will you ever be holy? Why has the Lord spent so much on one who makes no return? To what purpose is this waste? Surely you will have much to answer for in that great day when the servants of God shall give in their accounts, and shall have no joy when they come to mention you. How will you excuse yourselves before God for having occasioned them so much disappointment?
A gospel-plea from Charles Spurgeon:

As Spurgeon preached on the parable of the soils (Luke 8:4-15), this excerpt comes from his application concerning the third category of people -- those who hear the Word but the thorns come in and choke out the Word.

Spurgeon urges:

    Ah! My dear readers, I will not ask for you that God may lay you on a bed of sickness, that he may strip you of all your wealth, and bring you to beggary; but, oh, if he were to do it, and you were to save your souls, it would be the best bargain you could ever make. If those mighty ones who now complain that the thorns choke the seed could give up all their riches and pleasures, if they that fare sumptuously every day could take the place of Lazarus at the gate, it were a happy change for them if their souls might be saved. A man may be honourable and rich, and yet go to heaven; but it will be hard work, for "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven." God does make some rich men enter the kingdom of heaven, but hard is their struggle. Steady, young man, steady! Hurry not to climb to wealth! It is a place where many heads are turned. Do not ask God to make you popular; they that have popularity are wearied by it. Cry with Agur—"Give me neither poverty nor riches." God give me to tread the golden mean, and may I ever have in my heart that good seed, which shall bring forth fruit a hundredfold to his own glory.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This is the next part in the ongoing blog series on "The New Birth"
The HUMILITY of the New Birth
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Without a doubt, the act of God in bringing about the new birth humbles the sinner. No Christian can boast at the cross. No one can co-mingle pride with humility or self-righteousness with Christ’s righteousness in the gospel. It cannot happen. The monergistic act of God alone slaughters pride in the soul of man.  When this essay speaks of the humility of the new birth, a few things should be explained.

1) A humility in the sinner’s HEART. The Apostle Peter writes to believers and reminds them that God has caused them to be born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). This verbage that Peter uses extolls the glory, grandeur, and exclusivity of God in bringing about and solely accomplishing the new birth on behalf of sinners. This must humble the sinner. Sinners cannot rebirth themselves. Sinners cannot accomplish new life in their own souls. Just as powerless as a person was in bringing about their first, physical birth so powerless is a person in bringing about a second, spiritual birth. This bare fact humbles the sinner’s heart. The born-again believer glories that God has worked on his behalf and he understands that a proper understanding of the new birth humbles his own heart since it strips him of all pride, self-righteousness and worthiness.

2) A humility in the sinner’s PROCLAMATION. When Jesus interacted with Nicodemus, a very religious, Jewish man, he proclaimed the doctrine of the new birth to him. The evangelistic message that the Lord Jesus uttered to the teacher of Israel (John 3:10) was the simple truth that Nicodemus must be born again (John 3:7). As the new birth was the very doctrine that Jesus evangelistically proclaimed to the lost so it must be a part of our proclamation as well! Christians should learn from Christ verbally proclaim the glory of the new birth!

3) A humility in the sinner’s LIFE. When God, by His sovereign power and initiative, grants life to the sinner’s soul, God puts His Spirit within the sinner and causes him to walk in His statutes (Ezek 36:27). So radical will this change of life be that the sinner will walk in God’s statutes and be careful to observe God’s ordinances (Ezek 36:27). That means that the newly regenerated sinner’s life will be one marked by humility as he follows God, his new master. No longer will a sinner life for himself and for his selfish cravings but now he lives for God and for Christ’s glory.

4) A humility in the sinner’s WORSHIP. Christians who have been recipients of the saving and sovereign work of God in the new birth have one primary goal: to be conformed to the image of Christ and to worship the Lamb who was slain in his stead. When God saves a man, he changes that person’s heart so that the born-again Christian wants to worship God, he longs to exalt Christ, and he years to be fully of joy in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s life in the soul of a man produces a deep humility in the person who lives and loves and worships Christ, alone, as Lord!

No one is so humble as is the Lord Jesus Christ. None stooped so low as did the Savior Himself. God has every right to be prideful and yet He is perfectly humble. The new birth brings about humility as the regenerated sinner gladly boasts only in the cross! Salvation truly is from the Lord! Nothing humbles as much as considering the new birth as the work of God, by the power of God, because of the will of God, through the Son of God, for the glory of God!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church
“Come from your knees to the sermon, and come from the sermon to your knees”
                                                                                                         — Joseph Alleine

Children of God worship God corporately. They love to worship God with other believers. And since believers gather together to exalt the Lord and hear from Him through the preached Word, how does one rightly prepare for corporate worship? After all, one will only get as much out of corporate worship to the degree that he prepared himself for it. To neglect preparation is to cripple oneself. So how does the Christian prepare?

One of the best ways to prepare for corporate worship is for the child of God to pray. He must pray for God’s glory to be put on display. He should pray for the preacher to herald God’s Word with God’s power. He should pray for other believers to come hungry and grow in all knowledge and discernment. He should pray for nonbelievers that will be present to hear the Word and that God would penetrate their hearts with the gospel and bring them to repentance. And the Christian must pray for himself, that he would focus on Christ, put off all distractions, shun a wandering mind, be pierced to the heart, be comforted, convicted, conformed, and captivated by Christ and by His Word. Believer, in your preparation, you must pray!

A believer can ready himself for corporate worship by reading the text of Scripture from which the man of God will preach. This is especially easy if the preacher consistently teaches through books of the Bible, so where he left off last week is where he’ll begin this week. Read it ahead of time. Meditate on it. Do a little study of the text. Seek to apply it and understand it and know it. Then you will get more out of it when God speaks through the man as he opens the Word and feeds your soul. Read the Word and prepare!

Every Christian makes it a habit to repent. Since every believer still battles with ongoing sin, he must confess his sins and repent of them constantly. To prepare, a child of God should examine his heart and repent of all known sin. He should kneel and beg God to expose the sins of his heart and life so that he can grow in his Christlikeness. Repenting of all known sin before the sermon can allow the child of God to hear the Word of God with fullness of joy and with eagerness knowing that God is glorified with purity.

Too many Christians attend church and anticipate nothing to come from it. A child of God should remember that the glory of corporate worship consists in the fact that the people of God will together meet with and hear from the Living God of the universe. O that believers would anticipate this! Long to meet with God! Expect to hear from God! Hunger for more of Him! Come with the oven warmed so that when the Bread is put into it, it is ready to cook. Anticipate and expect great things in corporate worship.

Even before the service and prior to the sermon, the believer can ready himself by praying and planning on implementing the sermon specifically. For those who take notes, perhaps a believer can write down (even during the sermon) one or two things that he must apply and implement in his life that very day/week. A sermon that is not implemented is a sermon that has fallen on rocky soil. True believers hear the Word of God and do it. Deceived people are those who sit in churches, hear the preached Word, are momentarily excited by the preached Word, and yet they refuse to apply it to their lives with conscious, deliberate efforts. O believer, apply and implement God’s Word that is preached! Pray ahead of time to be alert to how you need to change. Then, rise from your knees to go to the sermon. Then, when the sermon is over, return to your knees in prayer and asking for God’s help and depending on God’s Spirit to graciously enable you to submit to God’s Word so that you would glorify Him in the doing of His Word.

Download the pdf here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

This is the next blog in the ongoing series on the New Birth.

The INDIVIDUALITY of the New Birth
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

No one enters heaven by the merits of another. None can walk into glory through the worthiness of a friend. Indeed, one must personally and individually come to Christ to be saved. As Jesus told Nicodemus: Truly, Truly, I say to you (σοι; ‘you’ singular), unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). No one is born again because of a friend’s merits or because he is born into the right family. A person must resolutely and personally come to Christ to be saved!

You must be born again. God does not simply throw a blanket out and see if anyone might be saved. He saves particular people. He rebirths His elect. He brings to life those whom He has predestined. Individuals are born again, by God’s grace and through His power.

A few things must be mentioned regarding the individuality of the new birth.

First, Families cannot save. A person born into a very pious family where Christ’s headship reigns supreme in the home cannot save a person’s soul. A family that regularly engages in family worship, instructing the children, and seeing that the little ones are taught the Word of God -- as good as all of that is -- it cannot in and of itself produce salvation.

Second, Ancestry cannot save. Being of the right nationality or having a certain background (or, ancestry) cannot contribute to one’s salvation. Regardless of whether one is Gentile, Jewish, of a noble family, a prominent family, a wealthy family, or a powerful family, none of these features can save.

Third, Morality cannot save. As kind as people are one to another and as kind as people are to those whom they love, morality cannot save. Nice people cannot make other people righteous before God. Morality without Christ’s righteousness is nothing but shiny chains that unstoppably drag a person to hell. The righteous merits of a person cannot contribute to another’s redemption.

A few reminders are in place. You must be born again. It is a very individual, personal, name-specific regeneration that God imparts.  You yourself must personally come. Do not depend on another or on the merits of another. You must individually, resolutely and confidently come. Indeed, you must believingly come. Come knowing that Jesus will not cast you away. Believe with confidence that Jesus is a glorious Savior, a willing redeemer, a tender shepherd, and a loving friend. Do not waver or hesitate. You must unreservedly come. Don’t come with conditions. Forsake all to come to Christ! You must resolutely come. Come violently if needed. Come with resolve, with tenacity, with focus, with passion, with urgency, and with boldness. Storm the mercy seat of God in the holy of holies pleading for the blood of Christ to wash your sins away and cover you from impending wrath. And O, you must gladly come. Come with a joyful spirit because this new birth that God grants individuals is an unspeakably wonderful work. It grants comfort to the soul, hope to the wandering, heaven as the goal, and a sufficient Savior to forgive.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This is the next part in the ongoing blog series on the New Birth.
The NEED for the New Birth
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

No greater need exists in the universe than for sinful man to be born again! Jesus said it this way: “you must be born again” (John 3:7). This is not optional; it’s needed. The greatest need that sinful beings have is for God — by His power, in His love, through His mercy — to impart life. Why?

Man is DEAD. One must be re-birthed. Man is dead in his transgressions (Col 2:13) and desperately needs to be brought to life. Dead men cannot resuscitate themselves. Only divine power, supernatural, life-giving power can accomplish this.

Man is VILE. Before God intervenes, men indulge in abominable idolatries (1 Pet 4:3) and commit abominable deeds (Ps 14:1). Man is unclean because of her corrupt worship (Jer 13:27). Man is vile (Jer 11:15) before God and has sunk deep in depravity (Hosea 5:2; 9:9).

Man is IDOLATROUS. The heart of men exchanges the glory of God for the worship of creation (Rom 1:23). All the gods of the peoples are idols (1 Chron 16:26) and man’s heart longs for, earnestly desires, and pursues after gods that do not satisfy (Ps 106:36-38).

Man is PRIDEFUL. The exaltedness of man has corrupted him and has left him guilty before God who alone is exalted (Isa 57:15). The pride of man says that he needs no god and

Man is UNWILLING. Man does not want to come to God because in his natural state man loves darkness rather than the Light (John 3:19). Man can not come to God nor does man want to come to God (Matt 27:25).

God is ABLE. And yet, man is wholly unable to come to God, but God fully has the power and ability to bring sinners unto Himself. God alone can bring stinking corpses back to life and sovereignly make them precious and adopted children in His kingly family.

God is WILLING. Jesus never turns a sinner away. He promises to receive anyone who comes to Him by faith (John 6:37). He is not wishing that men would perish but that they would come to know Him (Matt 11:28-30). God is more willing to receive sinners than sinners are to receive Him.

God is SAVING. Out of His sovereign love and through His almighty power, God takes the initiative and saves sinners (Titus 3:4-5). He did not have to save rebels but He accomplishes what otherwise would be utterly impossible for a sinner to do -- save his soul from punishment.

God is LIFE-GIVING. The Spirit is He who gives life (2 Cor 3:6). Good news exists for those outside of Christ! Though one may be dead, there is a God who gives life, by His power, through His Son and through the preached Word to save sinners! God overcomes man’s dire need!

Friday, July 10, 2015

From Charles Spurgeon:

Ah, my dear friends, we want nothing in these times for revival in the world but the simple preaching of the gospel. 

This is the great battering ram that shall dash down the bulwarks of iniquity. This is the great light that shall scatter the darkness. We need not that men should be adopting new schemes and new plans. We are glad of the agencies and assistances which are continually arising; but after all, the true Jerusalem blade, the sword that can cut to the piercing asunder of the joints and marrow, is preaching the Word of God. 

We must never neglect it, never despise it. The age in which the pulpit it despised, will be an age in which gospel truth will cease to be honored.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Why am I relentlessly committed to expository preaching?
 Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Expository preaching allows God to speak to the people through His powerful & eternal Word.

Expository preaching means that God determines what will be preached since I work verse-by-verse through books of the Bible.

Expository preaching models for the flock of God how to study the Bible — carefully, intentionally, reverently, methodically, and prayerfully working through books understanding the meaning of texts as they're properly interpreted in the immediate context.

Expository preaching obediently follows the authoritative demand of God that He gives to all ministers of the gospel: "Preach the Word!"

Expository preaching provides the necessary venue for the Spirit of God to work by means of the preached Word that has centered on Christ and His gospel to bring sinners to salvation.

Expository preaching conforms the people of God into the image of Christ.

Expository preaching glorifies God since it is God and His Words speaking to the people rather than a man's opinions.

Expository preaching counsels the souls of believers to trust confidently in God's Word, to run relentlessly to the cross of Christ, to pray fervently in the power of the Spirit, and to obey swiftly what God has said in His Word.

Expository preaching magnifies the absolute sovereignty of God since the preacher has no inherent power to convert or sanctify the hearers but it is God, and God alone, by His marvelous grace, who works in the hearers through the proclamation of sacred Truth.

Expository preaching gives people what they MUST hear not necessarily what people want to hear. God determines what is said, what text is preached, and what points to bring out in the message.

Expository preaching feeds the hungry souls of born-again believers who, like sheep, need to be fed the precious, pure, and satisfying food of the Word.

Expository preaching produces effects that are outside of the abilities of the man who stands to preach since the true preaching event is in fact a divine event -- the voice of God thundering through the Word of God and the Spirit of God applies divine truth to the souls of hearers according to His sovereign prerogative.

Expository preaching is the primary vehicle through which the Spirit of God draws the lost to Jesus Christ as the herald opens the Word of God and preaches it with authority.

Expository preaching unquestionably reminds hearers that God is the authority and His Word is what rules over us and tells us what to do. The preaching event is never about self-help, pithy, crafty, entertaining, crowd-producing, cute sermonettes. In true preaching, God, from heaven, condescends to His people through the proclamation of the Word and meets with His people to show them Christ by the illuminating work of the Spirit. This is authoritative, God-centered preaching.

Expository preaching reminds Christians to trust in God's truth in the Word & not on a man's dazzling message. Let their faith be in Christ!

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