Archive for April, 2015

“The most terrifying truth of Scripture is that God is good” (Paul Washer).

How can that be true? Don’t we run into the arms of the goodness of God when things go wrong? Yes, we do, but we should think carefully about it.

God is good. Absolutely good. Perfectly good. Eternally good. Infinitely good. Everything about Him is good, including His sovereignty, by the way. But here’s where things get rough: you and I aren’t good. In fact, we’re far from good. We’re sinful by nature, choice, and habit. All of us fall far short of God’s perfect standard of goodness.

Because God is good, He must punish sin. If He didn’t, He would be neither just nor good. That’s a terrifying prospect: God will punish all sin, including mine, because He’s good. He’s too good not to! The penalty of sin is to bear the full wrath of God against sin in hell forever.

If we are to be rescued and delivered from such a fate, the justice of God had to be satisfied. The Lord Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man – satisfied His Father’s justice (and goodness) in His sacrifice on the cross which paid the full penalty of all of the sins of everyone who would ever repent and believe in Him.

God alone is the only One who can accomplish this. His goodness convicts us of our sin and provides everything we need to be saved from His wrath. That’s the gospel! That’s good news!

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“No, Hanging Out With Your Friends Is Not Church” is the title of a post that provides a needed response to the issue of “What is church?” that some are asking today. There is plenty of misunderstanding of the church in today’s narcissistic society, and this article helps to begin to clear it up. Give it a read!

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Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World is a very good book on a very important topic. Jesus said that His disciples are to be in the world but not of it. The apostle John told us not to love the world or anything in the world (1 John 2:15). Once we figure out what “the world” is, it’s easier said than done. That’s where this book, edited by C;J. Mahaney, comes in. Chapters on the media, music, possessions, and clothes are helpful in resisting the seductions of the world. A chapter on how to love the world in a positive, God-honoring manner is also included. This is a thought-provoking book and not everyone will agree with the points the various authors make, but it’s worth reading and considering.

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“You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth (John 5:33).

“He was the lamp that was burning and was shining” (John 5:35a).

J.C. Ryle, commenting on these verses, points out the honor the Lord Jesus Christ gives to His faithful servants:

See how He speaks of John the Baptist. ‘He bore witness of the truth’ – ‘He was a burning and shining light.’ John had probably passed away from his earthly labors when these words were spoken. He had been persecuted, imprisoned, and put to death by Herod – none interfering, none trying to prevent his murder. But this murdered disciple was not forgotten by his Divine Master. If no one else remembered him, Jesus did. He had honored Christ, and Christ honored him.

These things ought not be overlooked. They are written to teach us that Christ cares for all His believing people, and never forgets them. Forgotten and despised by the world, perhaps, they are never forgotten by their Savior. He knows where they dwell, and what there trials are. A book of remembrance is written for them. ‘Their tears are all in His bottle’ (Psalm 56:8). Their names are engraved on the palms of His hands. He notices all they do for Him in this evil world, though they think it not worth notice, and He will confess it one day publicly, before His Father and the holy angels. He that bore witness to John the Baptist never changes. Let believers remember this. In their worst estate they may boldly say with David – ‘I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinks upon me (Psalm 40:17).

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 5:39-47. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: There is hope through Christ, despite the fact that all of the witnesses to Him have been rejected by sinful man.

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As Dennis Prager says in his the subtitle of his book, The Ten Commandments,  it is “still the best moral code.” Individuals, families, and nations would prosper simply by following and obeying them. In this short book, Prager gives his thoughts on each of the commandments. I don’t agree with all of those thoughts, but the book is a good, quick read. It’s interesting to read what a non-Christian thinks of the Ten Commandments (Dennis is Jewish and calls himself an “ethical monotheist”).

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on John 5:31-38. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: In addition to Jesus’ own testimony about Himself, John the Baptist, Hs works, and God the Father witness to who He is and what He’s done.

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