For The Truth

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Can It Be?

But I demand, Did not Israel know God? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to envy by a nation that is not my nation, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.     Romans 10:19

That outward and universal calling, which is set forth by the creation of the world, sufficeth not to the knowledge of God: yea, and that the particular also which is by the word of God, is of itself of small or no efficacy, unless it be apprehended or laid hold on by faith, by the gift of God: otherwise by unbelief it is made unprofitable, and that by the only fault of man, who can pretend no ignorance.

Scripture and study notes from the Geneva Bible, 1599.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


The first effect of the power of God in the heart in REGENERATION, is to give the heart a Divine taste or sense; to cause it to have a relish of the loveliness and sweetness of the supreme excellency of the Divine nature.

Jonathan Edwards
as quoted by John Piper in Future Grace, p.396.

Divine Love

The soul’s relish of the supreme excellency of the Divine nature, inclining the heart to God as the chief good. The first thing in Divine love, and that from everything that appertains to it arises, is a relish of the excellency of the Divine nature; which the soul of man by nature has nothing of...

Jonathan Edwards
as quoted by John Piper in Future Grace, p.396.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Who Do We Magnify?

I’ve just finished watching a riotous video about the focus of our worship posted at WorshipMatters.  The video is of a skit presented at the WorshipGod06 conference.  While the skit is funny (I enjoyed it immensely) it brings home the point that worship is not about how we feel nor how we look, but about Him, our great God and Savior.

Bob reminds us, “As we approach a new year, may we remember that our confidence rests in the finished work of Christ, not our sin-stained efforts to impress those we lead. And most importantly, only Jesus can lead us into God's presence (Heb. 10:19-22).”

The Battle is the Lord's

This is a devotion that I delivered to a group of fellow pastors today, but the encouragement contained in it can be applied to all believers. I hope you find it beneficial as you travel this sod.

. . . and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. John 17:12 NAS

One of the things that this passage reveals is the great relief our Lord gives us through the doctrine of divine election. This does not excuse us from our responsibility to tell of God’s great love that He has provided through Christ (Matt. 28:19,20). Nor does it remove from us the necessity, as ministers, to faithfully know and teach His Word (Deut. 6:6,7; 2 Tim. 4:1,2). What it does do is relieve us from the burden of what the hearers do with the message we have delivered.
As I began to walk more closely with the Lord, I began to struggle with the issue of winning the lost. I would witness again and again, and sought continually to improve my ability share effectively, seemingly to no avail. Adding to my discouragement would be comments from leaders whom I respected; who said that to fail to win others to Christ was to fail in one’s witness.
It wasn’t until God’s Spirit brought my attention to the witness of Noah (1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5) that I began to understand that we are responsible for the sowing of the seed, but the harvest is the Lord’s. Consider that great men like William Carey and Adoniram Judson faithfully spent many seemingly fruitless years in our Lord’s service, yet their success is not measured in numbers, but in their faithful service. There is such encouraging relief in this knowledge. As pastors we sometimes feel a greater sense of burden as we prepare to present the great truths God has revealed to us from the Scripture. Our responsibility is to present to those in our care God’s love and spread before them the banquet of God’s truth. Whether they partake or not is not within our control. What is within our control is what we do with the time we are given with them, therefore, let us preach the word; and be ready in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2a NAS).

May God bless our service to Him so that we might rejoice like the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15:24).

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Killing the Old Man

The theme of this month’s Tabletalk from Ligonier Ministries is the mortification of sin. This is a key component in sanctification, as Burk Parsons reminds us in the opening article “A Matter of Life and Death”.

The following is excerpted from brother Parsons’ work:

The Christian marketplace is filled with T-shirts, tracts, and trinkets that speak of how to have the ideal Christian life. Every year, Christians spend millions of dollars on self-help books and “how-to” guides for living an abundant life. For the most part, Christians are told that if they want to be really great Christians they simply need to follow a few easy steps.

In truth, every Christian, who has not been seduced by the superficial tactics and magical pixie dust of childish Christian gurus from evangelical Neverland, knows full well that there is more to living the Christian life than reading the latest Christian self-help book. It is somewhat ironic that one of the greatest books ever written on Christian living is John Owen’s classic The Mortification of Sin, a book dealing with the Christian’s death to self . . .

The thesis of Owen’s book is founded upon the apostle Paul’s admonition to mortify the flesh: “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:13 KJV).

Parsons goes on to note that the path of life is not found in the manner that would seem likely to finite creatures bound in flesh; life is found in death (just as victory is found in surrender). It's not about having our best life now, but about yielding our life to Christ and finding all our satisfaction in Him. It is here that we find abundant life and victory over the fleshly desires that assail us.

He states further:

What makes us different from the watching world of sinners is not that we don’t sin but that we hate our sin, repent of our sin, and earnestly seek to mortify our sin that has been taken to the cross and placed upon our Savior who atoned for our sin—and all this for the glory of God. . . . we only grow as we become more and more convinced of God’s holiness and the absence of true holiness in our own lives . . .

As we begin this new year, let us lay to rest the sinful desires that afflict our flesh and be adorned with holiness that we may glorify our Lord and Savior. Amen.