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Archive for September, 2015

John 8.58_02

This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 8:48-59. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Instead of insulting Jesus, we should keep His instruction and accept His identity – fully God and fully man.

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Spot-on Pink

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A.W. Pink writes that “the grace of God is proclaimed in the gospel.”

It announces that unless we are saved by grace, we cannot be saved at all. It declares that apart from Christ, the unspeakable Gift of God’s grace, the state of every man is desperate, irremediable, hopeless. The Gospel addresses men as guilty, condemned, perishing criminals. It declares that the chastest moralist is in the same terrible plight as is the most voluptuous profligate; and the zealous professor, with all his religious performances, is no better off than the most profane infidel.

The Gospel contemplates every descendant of Adam as a fallen, polluted, hell-deserving and helpless sinner. The grace which the Gospel publishes is his only hope. All stand before God convicted as transgressors of his holy law, as guilty and condemned criminals, who are not merely awaiting sentence, but the execution of sentence already passed upon them (John 3:18; Rom. 3:19). To complain against the partiality of grace is suicidal. If the sinner insists upon bare justice, then the Lake of Fire must be his eternal portion. His only hope lies in bowing to the sentence which Divine justice has passed upon him, owning the absolute righteousness of it, casting himself on the mercy of God, and stretching forth empty hands to avail himself of the grace of God now made known to him in the Gospel.

He quotes G.S. Bishop as saying,

Grace is a provision for men who are so fallen that they cannot lift the axe of justice, so corrupt that they cannot change their own natures, so averse to God that they cannot turn to Him, so blind that they cannot see Him, and so dead that He Himself must open their graves and lift them into resurrection.

(The Attributes of God, pp. 89-90) 

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“The foundation of all true knowledge of God must be a clear mental apprehension of His perfections as revealed in Holy Scripture.  An unknown God can neither be trusted, served, or worshipped.” A.W. Pink’s book The Attributes of God helps lighten the darkness when it comes to the knowledge of God. In seventeen chapters, Pink explores various attributes of God such as holiness, power, faithfulness, wrath, and goodness with clarity and faithfulness to Scripture.

Ignorance of God is at the root of the problems in today’s church (as well as society). We desperately need a deeper, more expansive view of God – His Persons and work. This book helps us achieve that. Tolle lege!

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Father

This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 8:37-47. The following is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: As Christians, we resemble our Heavenly Father when we do the deeds of Abraham, love Jesus, and hear the words of God.

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Tim Challies, blogger extraordinaire, posted this on his website yesterday. It’s his “Here I Stand” statement and it’s mine, too. Is it yours?

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Healthy Church Member

Thabiti Anyabwile (I know it looks like a difficult name, but if you work it, it isn’t that hard – really) has written a book that is brief (121 pages), informative, and necessary. Church membership is a misunderstood, and sometimes ignored, concept in the contemporary American church.

What Is A Healthy Church Member? is part of the 9Marks ministry headed up by Mark Dever (based on his book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church). Each of the small books in the series deals with one of the marks, such as church membership. Others deal with expository preaching, biblical theology, the gospel, a biblical view of conversion, evangelism, church discipline,  discipleship, and leadership.

If you’re at all interested in the subject of church membership (what it is and why it’s important), then this book is one you’ll want to read. Tolle lege!

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on John 8:31-36. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: A true disciple of Jesus Christ is identified by where He or she lives – in God’s Word which produces freedom.

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What Is Faith? by J. Gresham Machen is a classic. First published in 1925, it’s a relevant today as it was then. Machen was one of the men who defended biblical orthodoxy in the 1920’s and 30’s during the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy. He helped found Westminster Theological Seminary and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Machen’s answer to the question “What is faith?” is clear, thorough, and biblical. He defines, explains, and defends what the Bible calls faith in chapters called “Faith in God,” “Faith in Christ,” “Faith Born of Need,” “Faith and the Gospel,” “Faith and Salvation,” “Faith and Works” (which is especially good), and “Faith in Hope.”

This is a book every Christian should read, even if you’ve never heard of J. Gresham Machen. It will help clear up misconceptions about faith and bolster your confidence in God at the same time. Tolle lege!

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Kim Davis was jailed last week for her refusal to sign her name as a county clerk to same-sex marriage licenses. She says to do so would be a violation of her Christian faith. She’s right. Here are some more thoughts on the matter:

First, Senator Ted Cruz issued a statement that I can only describe as excellent. You can read it here. It’s important to remember that Cruz is a graduate of Harvard Law School, clerked for Supreme justices, and has argued before the Supreme Court.

Second, Amy Hall at Stand To Reason quotes an article by Eugene Volokh (I hope you’re following this) which says that Davis has more options than simply resigning. You can read it here.

Third, Hall gives a clarification of her previous post here.

This is an incredibly important issue for Christians and non-Christian alike because it deals with freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, which both seem to be disappearing in an increasingly secular America. May God have mercy on us.

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 8:21-30. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Jesus is not of this world, the only Savior, and the One who always does what pleases His Father, and our identity as Christians is fully and finally wrapped up in Him.

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