High Octane Calvinism

Speaking of Calvinism, I like what Douglas Wilson has to say about the grace & works dilemma and how “High Octane Calvinism” is the only solution. How can we balance our focus on God’s grace, and also our focus on obedience and discipleship? Watch here for his answer.

Living Effective Lives for God

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” ()

How do we mature in our faith as Christians? What causes us to become more Christ-like in our conduct? It’s not uncommon to witness people declaring they are Christians, but by their actions it’s hard to see much of Christ in them? Clearly we all struggle with our sinful nature. It can inhibit us from doing what we know we should … a struggle even the apostle Paul had (). But too often some so-called Christians seem to live a life devoid of what the Bible teaches. Continue reading Living Effective Lives for God

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Faith and Assurance

© Shawn Hempel – Fotolia.com

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

The Sinfulness of Sin

© Flashon Studio – Fotolia.com

Fallen man can have no idea what a vile thing sin is in the sight of God
“I do not think… that mortal man can at all realize the exceeding sinfulness of sin in the sight of that holy and prefect One with whom we have to do… He is the One who reads thoughts and motives as well as actions… The very animals whose smell is most offensive to us have no idea that they are offensive and are not offensive to one another. And man, fallen man, I believe, can have no just idea what a vile thing sin is in the sight of that God whose handiwork is absolutely perfect… Continue reading The Sinfulness of Sin

Evangelism

© IMG_191 – Fotolia.com

Last night a group of 20 people met in our home to talk about evangelism. This wasn’t just a talk-fest – we were considering the best strategy for our church to proclaim the gospel to people who didn’t know Jesus.

We came up with a few simple definitions of ‘evangelism’. The two that I liked are; evangelism is explaining the gospel to non-Christians in a language they can understand, and evangelism is introducing people to Jesus. Simple!

We discussed the idea that while the Bible teaches that some believers are given the spiritual gift of evangelism, this does not mean those who do not have this gift are Continue reading Evangelism

Justified by the Resurrection

According to Jesus was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. But aren’t we justified by Jesus’ death? In what way can Jesus’ resurrection be said to justify us?

The resurrection is a doctrine that has had too little attention among us Evangelicals. We rightly focus on Jesus’ death as the central doctrine of our faith. Jesus has died on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins, which will save us from the wrath to come. Jesus also rose from the dead – true. But would the logic of the gospel be disturbed if I left out the resurrection? The problem is sin; the solution is Jesus’ death on the cross. Would it matter if I left the resurrection out of my Christian thinking and evangelism? Continue reading Justified by the Resurrection

25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

God Justifies the Ungodly, by C.H.Spurgeon

The following is an extended 1excerpt from chapter three of C.H. Spurgeon‘ s  classic “ALL OF GRACE”.

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“THIS MESSAGE is for you. You will find the text in the Epistle to the Romans, in the fourth chapter and the fifth verse:

To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

I call your attention to those words, “Him that justifieth the ungodly”.  They seem to me to be very wonderful words. Are you not surprised that there should be such an expression as that in the Bible, “That justifieth the ungodly” I have heard that men that hate the doctrines of the cross bring it as a charge against God, that He saves wicked men and receives to Himself the vilest of the vile. See how this Scripture accepts the charge, and plainly states it! By the mouth of His servant Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost He takes to Himself the title Continue reading God Justifies the Ungodly, by C.H.Spurgeon

How Did People go to Heaven Before Jesus’ Death and Resurrection? (re-posted)

[This was first posted March, 2010]

If salvation is only attained through faith in Jesus Christ, how were people in the Old Testament saved, ie before Jesus’ death and resurrection? Were they able to (do so) through obeying the Old Testament laws? If not how else would they be saved?

I thought it would be good to revisit these questions.

() Jesus said to him, “I am l the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (7) If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Continue reading How Did People go to Heaven Before Jesus’ Death and Resurrection? (re-posted)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

A Prayer: Resurrection Promise

By Scotty Smith

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”

Dear Lord Jesus, as “Good Friday” gave way to silent Saturday, the range of emotions following your crucifixion was as broad as Continue reading A Prayer: Resurrection Promise

62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”