Wednesday, February 20, 2019

To Obey Is To Love Jesus

When it comes to obedience, some think it is very legalistic. The Bible proclaims that we can come to Christ by faith not works yet we must obey Jesus. A life of obedience is the mark of a true believer. In fact, to obey is to show the world that we love Jesus.

The Bible says:

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him...If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him (John 14:21, 23).

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).

If we are true believers and love Jesus we must obey Him. Does this include all of the Bible? Yes. In John 1:1, Jesus is called the Word. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world."

Through the pages of scripture we get the commands of Jesus whether it was from Himself or one writing the words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We obey Jesus not to get saved, but because we are saved. James, the half-brother of Jesus said "faith apart from works is dead" (James 2:26). The Apostle Paul wrote that we are saved for works (Ephesians 2:10), which includes obeying the Son of God.

Loving Jesus is not a romantic love, it is a love that requires action based on what He has done.

Around The Web-February 20, 2019

Reformed Resurgence and Doctrinal Preaching with Tom Nettles from Credo Magazine

Book Review: The Color of Compromise by Cody Floate

How Dismissing the Doctrine of Hell Leads Us to Hate Our Neighbors by Joe Carter

How ‘No Creed But the Bible’ Subverts the Bible by Owen Strachan

Pleasures Never Lie by Jon Bloom

The Regular Reformed Guys on KJV Onlyism

Does Jesus Still Heal? by Nicholas T Batzig

Monday, February 18, 2019

Is The Church Really Necessary?

Today, people especially Christians are wondering if the church is really necessary. Can Christians just grow and serve on their own or do we have to be part of a church? Many believe that Christianity is a private matter because Jesus is their "Personal" Savior.

We have churches on the television, internet, and even on our hand-held devices. Do we still have to be part of a church because of we can simply do it on our own?

Allen Nelson IV has written a three-part blog series over at For The Church that expresses why the church is absolutely necessary for believers:

The Necessity of the Local Church (Part 1): The Promise of the Local Church

The Necessity of the Local Church (Part 2): The Inseparability of the Local Church from the New Testament

The Necessity of the Local Church (Part 3): Metaphors, Commands, and Plural Pronouns

Music Monday: Songs for the Sojourn, Vol 1 by Cardiphonia Music

Friday, February 15, 2019

There is Fullness in Christ

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace (John 1:16)

There is a fullness of perfect manhood, for in Him, bodily, that Godhead was revealed. There is a fullness of atoning efficacy in His blood, for “the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” There is a fullness of justifying righteousness in His life, for “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” There is a fullness of divine prevalence in His plea, for “He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” There is a fullness of victory in His death, for through death He destroyed him that had the power of death—that is, the devil. There is a fullness of efficacy in His resurrection from the dead, for by it “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope.” There is a fullness of triumph in His ascension, for “when he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” There is a fullness of blessings of every sort and shape; a fullness of grace to pardon, of grace to regenerate, of grace to sanctify, of grace to preserve, and of grace to perfect.

There is a fullness at all times; a fullness of comfort in affliction, a fullness of guidance in prosperity. A fullness of every divine attribute—of wisdom, of power, of love; a fullness that it is impossible to survey, much less to explore. “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” Oh, what a fullness must this be of which all receive! Fullness, indeed, must there be when the stream is always flowing, and yet the well springs up as free, as rich, as full as ever.

Come, believer, and get all your need supplied; ask largely, and you will receive largely, for this “fullness” is inexhaustible and is treasured up where all the needy may reach it, even in Jesus, Immanuel—God with us.

Adapted from Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Around The Web-February 15, 2019

Do not forget about the sale going on for the ESV Old Testament Scripture Journal Sale

Up to 50% off new February releases

Southern Baptists, Sexual Abuse, and a Far More Serious Problem by Tom Ascol

Love Covers a Multitude of Sins by Tom Nettles

5 Myths about the Song of Songs by Philip Graham Ryken

Are Mormons Heretics? by Jared C Wilson

Man Regrets Transgender Surgery and Life as Women, Says Media ‘Misled’ Him

The SBC and Sexual Abuse from Doctrine and Devotion

Ask Pastor John: I’m an Anxious Person — How Do I ‘Rest in Christ’?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Book Review: Saving the Reformation: The Pastoral Theology of the Canons of Dort by Robert Godfrey

Over the years, there has been a resurgence of Reformed Theology. Many have reading books from men such as John Calvin, John Owen, and Jonathan Edwards. Some have embraced a Reformed confession whether it is the Westminster Confession or the London Baptist Confession. These confessions are just simply an affirmation of what the Bible teaches. These statements of faith has been around for hundreds of years.

Of course over the years, Reformed Theology has been assaulted by those outside of it. Many have defined Reformed Theology and have written books on the subject. 400 years ago, there was a document was written in response to these attacks on Reformed Theology called the Canons of Dort. Robert Godfrey's latest book, Saving the Reformation: The Pastoral Theology of the Canons of Dort, takes us through what this document is all about.

Godfrey gives us the historical and theological background as to why the Canons of Dort were written. Godfrey clarifies that this is not a confession but rather "a clarification and defense of some points in the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Confession." So in a sense, you can say that the Canons of Dort is a commentary to the two confessions that Godfrey mentions.

The next part of the book is the entire Canons of Dort in five heads of doctrine with Godfrey giving his own interpretation to it. The heads of doctrine deal with predestination, Christ's death, the corruptions of humans, conversion, and the perseverance of the saints. Each head of doctrine express what it affirms based on what God has revealed in His Word and what it rejects. This is followed by an exposition by Godfrey on the Canons of Dort.

This was good book on a document from years ago that defended the Christian faith. Not to mention it is also a good read on church history. This book is another great edition to add to your study on the Reformation and church history.

Thanks Reformation Trust for letting me review this book.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Around The Web-February 13, 2019

Westminster Bookstore has a special going for the ESV Scripture Journal Sets:

Old Testament Set

New Testament Set

Old & New Testament Set

ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal: New Testament Set

What Are The ESV Scripture Journals All About? by Tim Challies

Judge rules university must allow student group to reject gay student from leadership position

Liam Neeson And The Unforgiving Servant by Samuel Sey

Keep Up or Die?: A Church that Won’t Hold a Heresy Trial Isn’t Really a Church by Albert Mohler

Tim Chester- The Glory of Grace: An Introduction to the Puritans in Their Own Words from Equipping You In Grace

The Mortification of Addictions by Jeremy Pierre

Social Justice Is Not About Justice by Jared Longshore

5 Distinctives of Reformed Baptists

What is it that makes a “Reformed Baptist” distinct from other kinds of Baptists and Reformed folks? Reformed Baptists grew out of the English Reformation, emerging from Independent paedobaptist churches in the 1640’s for some very specific theological reasons, and they held to a particular kind of theology. Here are some of the theological identity markers of Reformed Baptist churches.

1. The Regulative Principle of Worship

2. Covenant Theology

3. Calvinism

4. The Law of God

5. Confessional

Read the entire post here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Loving A Believer That Gets On Your Nerves

Every church has one. What is that? Someone who gets on your nerves. Sure he/she might be a loving person who will encourage you and pray for you, but there are times you want to strangle them.

They may not be committing a sin against you or one that warrants for church discipline, but your personalities does not mesh together. You might be an introvert while your brother/sister is an extreme extrovert or vice versa. You could also not get along because of your preferences which is really no reason to not get along with anyone.

Yes, we are united in Christ, but there is a believer that is really just annoying that you want God to give them a new job that requires them to move to another city. One of the glorious things about the church is we are surrounded by people who are not like us. I heard it said, you are not going to like Heaven because you will be with people who are not like you.

What are we to do if we have a believer that gets on our nerves? The Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote:

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).

Two things in this passage that I want to point out. First, bear with one another. Yes, there will be times a fellow believer will say or do something you do not like. Your personality and their clash which can resort in you butting heads which is never good for the body of Christ. We are commanded to bear with one another because we are unified under the headship of Christ. Second, speaking of unity, we are to maintain unity. Notice the passage says, "maintain the unity." Believers in Christ are unified because of His finished work on the cross. We are called to main it. Since we have peace with God through Christ (Romans 5:1), we have peace with one another and we must maintain it.

Brothers and sisters, we are the body of Christ. We must bear with one another and maintain unity because we need one another. If there is a believer that is getting on your nerves, discuss amongst yourselves. If necessary, grab an elder and explain what is going on. I am sure he will appreciate that you want to work things out with a fellow believer.

Friday, February 8, 2019

The 1689 LBC on Free Will

1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty and power of acting upon choice, that it is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil. ( Matthew 17:12; James 1:14; Deuteronomy 30:19 )

2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, but yet was unstable, so that he might fall from it. ( Ecclesiastes 7:29; Genesis 3:6 )

3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto. ( Romans 5:6; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Titus 3:3-5; John 6:44 )

4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin, and by his grace alone enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so as that by reason of his remaining corruptions, he doth not perfectly, nor only will, that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil. ( Colossians 1:13; John 8:36; Philippians 2:13; Romans 7:15, 18, 19, 21, 23 )

5. This will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only. ( Ephesians 4:13 )

The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith 9.1-5

Recommended Resource:

The guys over at Doctrine and Devotion did a two-part series on what the 1689 LBC said about free will:



Around The Web-February 8, 2019

Westminster Bookstore introduces a new monthly feature on each book of the Bible beginning with the Song of Solomon

10 Things You Should Know about Common Grace by Sam Storms

Honoring One Another Online by Matt Smethurst

The Importance of Preaching the Theology of Suffering by Joel Beeke

John Frame- Nature’s Case For God: A Brief Biblical Argument from Equipping You In Grace

Regulative Principle: Red Lights and Green Lights for Worship by Josh Buice

Cancer and God’s Sovereignty by Marissa Henley

How to Heal from Theological Abuse by Costi Hinn