The Believer’s Eternal Security

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It would be unwise to leave all your money or valuables on your front door mat. Why is that? Such an act is an open invitation for people to take that which you deem precious. It really is no surprise that security and safety are very important to us. Money or valuables will be stored in a bank or in some secure place in people’s homes. Security guards, safes, and secret locations are specific ways in which people will keep their goods secure. Security is important for us privately and nationally. But despite all our efforts there is no way in which we can manufacture perfect security. However, there is one kind of security that is safe, impenetrable and perfect and we will consider this as we examine our passage in this post. Continue reading The Believer’s Eternal Security

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

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Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century revivalist, sat down at age 17 and penned 21 resolutions by which he would live his life. He later added to this list until, by his death, he had 70 resolutions. Edwards didn’t casually make New Year’s resolutions with an expectation of eventually breaking them. Each week he did a self-check. He regularly summed up how he was doing and sought God’s help in the process.

This list is organised by subheadings and categories and as such is not in the normal order as listed here.

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Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

Overall Life Mission1

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

Continue reading The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

Fearing God puts our Worldly Fears to Rest

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I was recently reading and was struck by an aspect of our relationship with God that we maybe don’t talk about enough… fearing God. This doesn’t seem to be spoken of much in Christian circles, as more often than not, people tend to focus on the “God” of love always being there for us and providing for us. However, this passage takes a different approach. Luke bluntly says, “don’t fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” This sort of teaching about God can sound unfamiliar and foreign to many church congregations today.

However, we must remember that although God is merciful, gracious and loving… clearly highlighted by Jesus’ sacrifice for us, not to mention continual patience to the Israelites in the Old Testament… God is also to be feared and revered. He is righteous and holy. He hates sin and will punish it… His nature demands it. He will cast into hell those who choose to turn from Him and not to accept Jesus as their savior (, , ). That last statement sits very uneasy with many people. ‘A loving God will not send people to hell??!!’ However, in thinking that we miss two points: Continue reading Fearing God puts our Worldly Fears to Rest

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

A Life of Freedom

  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

    “For you have been called to live in freedom – not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.”

What does it mean to be free? In having faith in Jesus, what freedom has He promised us? Continue reading A Life of Freedom

5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Faith and Assurance

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In a book I was reading this week, there was a distinction made between faith and assurance.

The author certainly asserted that not only is there such a thing in the Bible as assurance, but that it is most earnestly to be desired and sought.  However he made it clear that in his opinion, and the opinion of many authors (he quoted 30!), many can have faith without assurance.  Faith as small as a mustard seed will save.  Such faith may not be accompanied by assurance.

Here are but two of the thirty quotes (mainly from the Puritans).  What do you think? Continue reading Faith and Assurance

A Foot in Both Camps

Why am I in danger every hour?  I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!  What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”     

Paul was in danger constantly.  He could say that he died every day!  He fought wild beasts!  His gospel ministry took him constantly into danger.

Why is Paul talking about this?  The Corinthians were denying the resurrection.  Paul wants them to be very clear on this: if there is no resurrection we should indeed eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.  We should not be risking our life for the sake of the gospel.  If we will not be raised from the dead, we should be partying!  Yes, folks, non-Christians have the right idea: if this life is all there is we should maximise our fun and partying.

But this life is not all there is.  If it was all there is, I can’t understand why Continue reading A Foot in Both Camps

30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

In What is Your Hope Placed?

” Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
( ESV)

Being the start of the new year many people put their hope in New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a year of new beginnings… and with that people put their hope in seeing something new and good occur in their lives. Whether it is getting their lives more organised, getting fit, losing some weight, learning something new or spending more time with family and friends, it’s the hope of Continue reading In What is Your Hope Placed?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Why do I need Jesus?

Recently I was given the opportunity to tell people at church about how I came to be a Christian. It’s always a bit nerve-racking to stand up the front of a group of people and be vulnerable about your past. However I am a strong believer in being real about our struggles and trials in life so that we can see God’s power at work. No one is perfect. Everyone has struggles. How can we know what God is doing in our lives if we don’t talk about how He is changing us?

Growing up I thought I was going to heaven because I believed in Jesus and thought I was a pretty good person. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to hell. I thought I was a much more upright citizen then a lot of people in the world! I was fairly confidnet until one of my closest friends challenged me whether I knew I was going to heaven or not. He asked would I be declared righteous when I died and came before the judgement-seat of God? Would I be ‘good’ Continue reading Why do I need Jesus?

God Alone Saves

In my post: Through Faith in Christ we are Justified NOW, I spoke of how we are justified when we are saved by God. We are right with God now because of the work God has done. We simply need to have faith in Jesus and trust that His work is sufficient to redeem us before God.

But as a result of acknowledging that, some provocative and very valid arguments/questions raise up: If we are assured of our salvation, what’s stopping us from doing what we want? We can choose to embrace Him, therefore we can choose to reject Him. What do we say of those who have professed to be Christians, and even showed a lot of evidence in their lives, yet choose to go their own way, not ever appearing to ‘return’ to the Lord. How do we explain that?

Continue reading God Alone Saves