Tuesday, November 30, 2010

From Spurgeon:

"Do not tell me that a sinner who believes in Jesus is to make an advance before he can say he is saved, that a man who trusts Christ is only on the way to salvation, and must wait until he has used the ordinances, and has grown in grace, before he may know that he is saved. No, the moment that the sinner’s trust is placed on the finished work of Jesus he is saved. Heaven and earth may pass away, but that man shall never perish. If only one second ago I trusted the Savior I am safe, just as safe as the man who has believed in Jesus fifty years, and who has all that while walked uprightly. I do not say that the new born convert is as happy, nor as useful, nor as holy, nor as ripe for heaven, but I do say that the words, “he that believeth on him hath everlasting life,” is a truth with general bearings, and relates as much to the babe in faith as it does to the man who has attained to fullness of stature in Jesus Christ."


Monday, November 29, 2010

Believe it or not, this is a real word I found in my German book:


Translated: "society of workers in the factory of bullet cartridges for backloading of Vetterli rifles.

See, German isn't really that hard (*wink wink*)!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Last night I preached on Revelation 2:8-11 — The Church of Smyrna: the Suffering, yet Faithful, Church. As I preached it affected me as much as, I trust, it affected my hearers. The Word is so clear, so powerful, so convicting, and so contrary to many prosperity preachers nowadays that are so prevalent.

I encourage you to listen & download and be reminded that Jesus calls His people to suffer. But note: Jesus is nearest to His people in the hour of suffering!

Soli Deo Gloria.

Revelation 2:8-11 — "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: 9 'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.'

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 at the Kirkland's

Friday's Man-Date with My Accountability Guys

Friday, November 26, 2010

From Josephus—

"Our ground is good, and we work it to the utmost, but our chief ambition is for the education of our children. . . . We take most pains of all with the instruction of children, and esteem the observation of the laws, and the piety corresponding with them, the most important affair of our whole life" (Ap. 1.12.§60).

Not bad for a secular historian! Perhaps we as parents nowadays have something to learn from ancient pedagogy in the home.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What I am thankful for this thanksgiving can be summed up by the author of Hebrews in 7:25—

25 ὅθεν καὶ σῴζειν εἰς τὸ παντελὲς δύναται τοὺς προσερχομένους δι᾽ αὐτοῦ τῷ θεῷ, πάντοτε ζῶν εἰς τὸ ἐντυγχάνειν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν.

25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

In this brief verse the author of Hebrews reveals some magnificent and historical realities:

1. Jesus is able to save.
2. Jesus is able to save forever (lit. “unto the consummation”)
3. Jesus is the (only!) mediator so that we may draw near to God.
4. Jesus, though once dead and buried in a tomb, now and forevermore is alive!
5. Jesus makes intercession on behalf of His people.

We could summarize this by saying that Jesus is (1) sufficient to save, (2) eternally saving, (3) the exclusive Savior, (4) the living Savior, and (5) the interceding Savior.

The salvation given to me is what I am most thankful for this year.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Last night I rejoiced to preach again on Ephesians 5:25-33 (& 1 Pet 3:7). I showed the young men in our church what the biblical profile is of a godly husband and what kind of men they ought to strive to be now while they prepare for marriage then. I also exhorted the young women to look for these kinds of men. Feel free to listen and download if you so choose.

Ephesians 5:25 — Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
I exhort you to look at my wife's blog as she clearly works through Galatians 3 and the believer's sanctification. You'll be encouraged.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Here are some lessons I learned from Paul as he spoke at the seminary and at our church last week.

1. the radical depravity of man.

You will never appreciate the love of God and the gospel of God until you recognize your utter wickedness and that you are absolutely heinous in God's sight.

2. the supernatural power of God.

God moves through the preaching of His Word. His message and His Word are powerful. Don't neglect the daily reading of Scripture either.

3. how does the death of the Son of God lead to my forgiveness? The great problem is this: if God is just and good, then he cannot pardon you! Most people don't understand the gospel. Sure they can recite the words: "Jesus died for me" but then how does his death apply to your being pardoned? We have made the gospel today a simple thing that we use to move on to bigger and better things. We must always preach the gospel.

4. be a man of prayer. Pray often. Pray much. God has decreed everything — he is sovereign. Yet I have not because I ask not, Scripture says!

There is purpose in prayer. We are to cry out and ask God for our requests. God, you will do something when I pray — and He will! You cry out and don't know what you'll get. But God will answer you. But note this, my flesh hates prayer more than anything. If you are called to be a preacher, you are called to be a man with God. Preaching is where the preacher knows God's Word and he knows what God wants to say and he stands and says it. When was the last time you turned before God in prayer? Be careful lest you get all the tools in seminary and you don't know the God of the Bible!

Don't preach to amaze people's minds but preach to their conscience.

Pray and read through the Bible. Ask yourself, can you be alone with God? Prayer is something you must work for. You must be a fruit-bearing man and fruitbearing in the Scripture is normally in contexts of prayer (John 15; Col.1).

5. pray in faith. God always says yes in prayer. I must be believing in firm biblical promises. God will reward my praying. I don't know how but I believe that He will hear and He will answer my prayers. Something is going to happen because of my praying. We are to pray and believe that God will hear and answer.

6. don't forget your wife and children. Preaching begins with washing your wife with the Word. We are called tow ash our wives with the cleansing fountain of God's Word. The best seminary in the world is the family. Train your children in the faith. We are called to educate our children in theology. God has given children so we can train them, catechize them, and train them up in the ways of the LORD.

7. don't just preach a text. Let the text work on you before you preach it to others. Don't just prepare for a sermon, you must prepare yourself. Meditation is mandatory. Meditation is thinking and mulling over a text time and time again until it owns you. Let it possess you.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I believe in the doctrines of grace and I wholeheartedly embrace the doctrine of radical corruption of the entire human race. I don't believe that people "seek God." The Scriptures declare:


I agree with RC Sproul: "We do not 'find' God as a result of our search for him. We are found by him. the search for God does not end in conversion; it begins at conversion. It is the converted person who genuinely and sincerely seeks after God. Jonathan Edwards remarked that seeking after God is the main business of the Christian life" (What is Reformed Theology, 125).

Again, I believe the Scriptures: Romans 3:11 THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm not one who advocates women preachers, but this is probably one of the best concise summaries of Jonah I've heard in awhile. Quite passionate too!

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

From James Boice:

Commenting on Ephesians 5:31-32 which reads: Ephesians 5:31-32 31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church, Boice writes:

1. No one will ever be able to understand the truest, deepest meaning of marriage who is not a Christian. 2. No one who is a Christian should ever marry a person who is not a Christian. 3. No marriage will ever attain its true potential unless those united in the marriage are pursuing it according to God's goal and standards.

Source: Boice, Ephesians, 206.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Over at vassal of the King I posted my review of Richard Stearns' new book The Hole in Our Gospel. I believe that Christians should be aware of this popular book and warn our people from the false gospel purported within its pages.
From the book UnChristian (47):
"One study we conducted examined Americans' engagement in some type of sexually inappropriate behavior, including looking at on-line pornography, viewing sexually explicit magazines or movies, or having an intimate sexual encounter outside of marriage. In all, we found that 30 percent of born-again Christians admitted to at least one of these activities in the past thirty days, compared with 35 percent of other Americans. In statistical and practical terms, this means the two groups are essentially no different from each other."
Let us heed the warning in Hebrews 12:14: without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Christ Community Church now has Paul Washer's sermon online. He preached from Romans 3:23-26 where he asked and answered the question: how could a good God forgive you? It was powerful and penetrating.

I encourage you to listen & download.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hey folks,

Anyone living in LA (or the surrounding area) is most welcome to join us at Christ Community Church for a special mid-week service with Paul Washer, founder and director of HeartCry Missionary Society from 7-8:30pm. Directions here and the pdf flyer is here.

Come join us!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I exhort you to check out my wife's blog as she is currently in the middle of a series on the loveliness of Christ. You'll be encouraged.
John 10:11 11 "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

John 3:14-16 14 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Michael Horton wisely states:
"When reformed theology hears Scripture teaching both divine sovereignty and human responsibility, divine election and the universal offer of the gospel, it affirms both even though it confesses that it does not know quite how God coordinates them behind the scenes" (Introducing Covenant Theology [Baker, 2006], 19).
And it's good theology also! Lecrae is hitting our culture hard with good music and theologically rich lyrics. May God continue to use this servant for His glory.

**I really like this one**

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Phew. I finished my Hebrews 10:37-38 use of the Isaiah 26:20 and Habakkuk 2:3-4 paper. God is good. I thoroughly enjoyed my research and found it to be incredibly applicable to the current world in which we live.

In the book of Hebrews, the author shifts back and forth constantly between expositional sections and exhortational sections. It is a very difficult book to outline party because the text is constantly "on the move." Nevertheless, Hebrews 10:19 begins an exhortational (=hortatory) section where the author calls his hearers to action. He begs them to draw near, hold fast, and stimulate others toward good deeds in the Church (10:19-25). Then the author includes arguably the sternest warning in all the book of Hebrews where he tells them that if they continue sinning deliberately there is nothing that awaits them but a terrifying expectation of God's judgment (just look at the context of the OT quotations of Heb 10:30 — Deut 32:35, 36). Chapter 10:32 begins a new section where the author calls them to endurance in the midst of hardship (10:36). They have endured sufferings (10:32). They have undergone public reproaches and great persecution (10:32-34). And in so far as they have suffered, they are still called to "endure" so that they will receive "the promise" (10:36).

Then to substantiate his argument, the author of Hebrews provides two OT quotations — Isaiah 26:20 and Habakkuk 2:3-4.

Isaiah 26 is a song of trust in Yahweh's protection of his people. Yet the larger context includes the people of God who are suffering. In fact, Isa 26:17ff refers to the people of Israel as a pregnant woman approaching the time of her birth with pain, agony, and eager expectation. The quote is in v.20 where God tells them to "hide and wait a little while until indignation runs its course." Then, v.21 reveals that Yahweh will come out from His place to punish wicked ones for their iniquities.

Similarly, Habakkuk's context reveals the heart-wrenching confusion of Habakkuk. Why does God allow those more wicked to destroy His people? How does he seem inactive? Why does he seem to be apathetic? God responds to Habakkuk's complaints beginning in 2:2. Yahweh said that the vision that he is to write down (2:2) is yet for the "appointed time" and it will hasten toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it. This means that the deliverance Habakkuk longed for will come — in its proper time. But that's God's business — His timing is always perfect. Habakkuk's responsibility consists of not being "proud" (I keep the Masoretic Text [MT] as is without emendation) but rather being a righteous one who "lives by his faith" (2:4). Yes, deliverance from hardship will come. It will most certainly come. But Habakkuk's job is to wait and be patient. He is called to endure and live by faith.

This fits most perfectly in the immediate context of Hebrews 10 and the argument that the author impresses on his hearers. In the midst of severe persecution and dark oppression, they are called to endure by faith and wait for the deliverance of the LORD.

Here is part of the conclusion of my paper:
The believers to whom the author of Hebrews wrote struggled to endure, but if they will endure they shall receive the promise of God (10:35–36). Therefore, to reinforce this point in a hortatory challenge, the author combines two texts from the OT to prove his case as he sets their situation against the backdrop of the Parousia of Jesus Christ (10:37–38). Just as the people in both Isaiah and Habakkuk’s day were to endure hardship and persecution knowing that God would bring deliverance in the future, so also the readers of the epistle of Hebrews are called to endure hardship and persecution knowing that God will come (ὁ ἐρχόμενος) and bring deliverance. But until that time comes they must live by faith (ἐκ πίστεως). Thus, the writer states that the righteous one lives by faith but yet the one who shrinks back and refuses to endure finds no pleasure with God.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I don't advocate everything Karl Barth believes, but here is one statement of his with which I couldn't agree more:

"In himself and from his own resources man has not an atom either of willingness or even of capacity for faith. Faith is not the human condition for receiving new life; it is the divinely given instrument by which God saves lost souls."

Sometimes we preachers get so fired up about preaching the gospel (as we should) but let us dare not forget that preaching is not the central focal point of the church. The gospel is. Now, for the gospel to comprise that central point in the church preaching is necessary. Preaching is the means to an end. We are to preach the Word which is inextricably linked with preaching the gospel.

So you cannot have a successful and God-honoring ministry without the preaching of the Word, and that preaching of the Word must climax with the glorious mysteries of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the goal of preaching and the central point of all ecclesiology.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I am reminded yet again that we cannot overestimate sanctification. Yes, there is progressive sanctification but this must not lower our standards for holiness. Remember that God hates sin and he tolerates no sin at all. In our day and age, we must have a high view of sanctification. Thus, fight for sanctification. Hate your sin. Mortify your sin.
Paul stated:

"For our citizenship is in heaven. . . ." Because this is the case, CS Lewis noted that we should make it our main object of focus in this life. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country." He was also right as he understood the glory of heaven and the need for living now for heaven!

Here is how we laid out our seven-part series on heaven:

1. Heaven — what is it? misconceptions? and biblical proof.

2. Heaven — where is it? and what is it like?

3. Heaven — what is the new city of Jerusalem like?

4. Heaven — what will we be like?

5. Heaven — how will we relate to one another?

6. Heaven — how will we relate to God?

7. Heaven — what will we do there?

You may download the notes here.

BTW, Heaven is not like this...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

As we complete our seven-part series on heaven I pray that the study encourages your heart. You can listen to the messages under the sermons page and you can download the entire set of notes and songs in pdf here. Soli Deo Gloria.
Tonight concludes our seven-part series on heaven. I have thoroughly enjoyed the study and I have learned much as my heart is energized to heed the words of Paul:

Colossians 3:1-4 — Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

I came across this quote from Richard Baxter that I think will encourage you:
If there be so certain and glorious a rest for the saints, why is there no more industrious seeking after it? One would think, if a man did but once hear of such unspeakable glory to be obtained, and believed what he heard to be true, he should be transported with the vehemency of his desire after it, and should almost forget to eat and drink, and should care for nothing else, and speak of and inquire after nothing else, but how to get this treasure. And yet people who hear of it daily, and profess to believe it as a fundamental article of their faith, do as little mind it, or labor for it, as if they had never heard of any such thing, or did not believe one word they hear."
May these words from Mr. Baxter challenge our hearts to not only think about heaven more but earnestly yearn for that true heavenly home that awaits true believers!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

DA Carson quotes J. Gresham Machen who said:
"It is a strange thing that when men talk about the love of GOd, they show by every word that they utter that they have no conception at all of the depths of God's love. If you want to find an instance of true gratitude for the infinite grace of God, do not go to those who think of God's love as something that cost nothing, but go rather to those who in agony of soul have faced the awful fact of the guilt of sin, and then have come to know with a trembling wonder that the miracle of all miracles has been accomplished, and that the eternal Son has died in their stead" (Carson, "The Wrath of God," in Engaging the Doctrine of God, ed. by Bruce L. McCormack, 62).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wonderful words:
"When we believe that we should be satisfied rather than God glorified in our worship, then we put God below ourselves as though He had been made fo rus rather than that we had been made for Him."

Monday, November 1, 2010

I had the wonderful privilege of preaching a two-part series on the roles of the husband and the wife in the marriage covenant.
  • Last Sunday I preached on how to be a Godly wife to the glory of God
  • This Sunday I preached on how to be a Godly husband to the glory of God
I pray that God uses them to strengthen marriages, prepare those not yet married for the marriage covenant, and for the widows to train up and encourage the younger generation on the biblical roles of being a biblical husband and wife.
I am thankful for Martin Luther and his bold stand for the unadulterated gospel of salvation:
by grace alone
through faith alone
in Christ alone

Romans 4:3-5 3 For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
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