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Et Lux tennebrae lucet…..   Leave a comment

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not comprehend it, so it is wiht the Halloween goers and the lovers of worldly pleasure, God is fattening up those intended for Judgment, for He know their day is coming. A word of encourgement to those who Love Jesus and His Word, and are suffering hardships of many kinds. God Sees. He sees it all. There is nothing that passes His gaze.

It is quite amzaing really, considering that our generation are starting to look like the Sodom and Gomorrah of this age, maybe it is time to take a step back and re-evaluate where we stand in terms of this world. Does the world love us? The the love of the Father is not in us, Do we love the truth of God’s Word? Do we esteem the gift of Salvation and our Communion with God more than sin that lasts only for a season. I am at pains to labour this point. Dont do things that break your communion with God! Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, by which we are sealed for the day of redemption.

There is a better world to come, the Bible says say, Jesus says so. Those who are still in unbelief of this will one day see the folly of their ways, so let us not be unbelieving but believing. As of first importance christ died for our sin according to the Scriptures, so let us hold firmly to that while it is still today, and not give in to the world with a feebl heart of unbelief, God will make a way in the wilderness and a path through the sea to take us to Himself, but He will not leave us to wallow in our sin.

Peace be with you

Posted October 29, 2010 by Reformed and renewed in Uncategorized

The object of our love   Leave a comment

Most times, like today, I sit reflecting up what Christ has done for me upon Calvary. The price He paid for my sins and the blood He shed for me.  This verse from Isaiah has really come alive for me just lately.
Isa 53:3  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

These words in themselves seem wondrous. Christ is or was “ acquainted with grief” This is a very profound insight that this is God the verse is talking about. Christ. God is therefore not oblivious to human pain and suffering, indeed to Him who did in no manner deserve to be despised and rejected, He suffered this for our sake. This is itself is a truth that should calm the most quivering heart. God has compassion for our human fallenness for though He was by no means tainted by sin, He suffered the same things as we must suffer every day in our lives. Sometimes humiliation, sometimes alienation.

It is glorious to consider that we have such a Saviour who knows our human frame not only as One who made it, but who lived as a man himself and felt what it was like to walk in human shoes.
This God whom we worship demanded the sacrifice for sin, showed what it should be, and then paid the ultimate price to buy us out of sin, slavery and eternal death.
Isaiah continues to say “ we esteemed him not”  This is another thing I marvel at, Christ was not one who was cherished by the world and its peoples. He knew from a human perspective what it was to be outcast. He knew despair and hopelessness.
This ultimate love shown to us by God deserves the ultimate worship, praise and adoration, to not love Him is to invite the punishment He bore, upon ourself. If we would not have His sacrifice then we deserve the despair of an eternity in Hell.
The one who does not cherish this glorious gift from a loving God, or makes little of it surely deserves nothing but wrath from the Almighty.

A Puritan of old wrote, “ shows whom we cherish and whom we worship”  Christ must be the object of our love, if we love Him not above all else even sorrow and suffering, then we worship a idol of sorts. God has made a incredible way to reach and touch and change our hearts. And if we have not embrace Christ on the cross who bore our sins and took our punishment upon Him, then we have not shown any love to God.
These are the contemplations that only break through a broken heart, when we see our desperation, we see God’s solution. There is no such thing as achieving enough merit to enter heaven, we enter by the blood and merits of Christ alone and no other.

In the words engraved on Martin Luthers’ tombstone. “ We are beggars” No more, no less. The One who was ultimately so despised and rejected has opened the heaven of God for us, and we are reconciled to God by His wounds. This has to be the greatest truth in all the world.

Posted September 29, 2010 by Reformed and renewed in Uncategorized

Let not conscience make you linger…   Leave a comment

Let not conscience make you linger, Nor of fitness fondly dream; All the fitness He requireth; Is to feel your need of Him.

This quote from a Hymn,” All the fitness He requireth; Is to feel your need of Him.” I like that, the human tendency is to first when drawn to the throne of grace and to Come to Christ, receive His gift, and then promptly try to earn it. John Piper has put a name to this tendency,  he calls it the Debtors ethic.

We have been given grace so now we think we “owe” It is such a deeply ingrained thing, in our human nature, and to be sure, gratitude is a good thing. Can a man repay for anything?  It seems a considerable impossibility. Luther put it this way.

Thus I raged with a fierce and troubled conscience. Nevertheless, I beat importunately upon Paul at [Romans 1:17], most ardently desiring to know what St. Paul wanted. At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, “In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.'” There I began to understand [that] the righteousness of God is . . . righteousness with which [the] merciful God justifies us by faith. . . . Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates. (Martin Luther: Selections, pp. 11-12)

That is the heart of the matter, “feeling our need of Him, the more we feel our need of Him, the more we are inclined to obey. Suffering has never ceased to be the school of the Spirit, and the sons of the world don’t seem to be harassed by their talk or actions. Yet those who fear the Lord can know this, those whom He loves he disciplines.

Yet we cannot linger over matters of conscience for the accuser of the brethren uses tender consciences to accuse, those who would fear the Lord and obey His decrees. It was as Luther said for me too, when I saw that the righteousness God requires is the righteousness He gives to those who but receive it by faith my aching conscience could find peace.

This puts me in the place of feeling my need of Him daily, running to God when all we feel is shame for sin, is never easy, but it is the only thing to do. The invitation still is, “Come ye who are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest….” Jesus know better than we do that we can out of ourselves do nothing.  The righteousness given to those who receive it by faith is the logic of heaven. And today again I feel my need of it. Do you?

Posted September 29, 2010 by Reformed and renewed in Uncategorized

Dr John Macarthur on "Spiritual terrorism"   Leave a comment

In his book] Jude is calling us to engage in the war on spiritual terrorism, to engage in a war that is far more important than any war on political terrorists, or military terrorists or any other kind. We are to be vigilant, we are to be alert, we are to be discerning, we are to be observant, we are to be loyal in exposing the terrorists and defending the truth and defending the true church.

Now similar warnings, in fact very similar warnings are give in 1 Timothy chapter 4 where the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. And there will be hypocritical liars or false teachers seared in their own conscience, that is they have no conscience about what they do as with a branding iron. Beware of them in these days. Now 2 Peter chapter 2 also says, verse 1, “False prophets also arose among the people in the past, just as there will also be false teachers among you who will…and here’s the operative term…secretly introduce destructive heresies.” They set off their spiritual bombs of destruction in a secret fashion, including denying the master who bought them and bringing swift destruction upon themselves. That’s what I said, they don’t mind blowing themselves up at the same time that they’re creating destruction in the souls of others. Verse 2 says, “Many will follow their sensuality, they are driven by the sensual. They are driven by the fleshly. They are driven by the sinful. And because of them, the way of truth will be maligned. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their judgment from long ago is not idle and their destruction is not asleep.”

Now we can stop there in 2 Peter. But if you were to read further in 2 Peter chapter 2, you would find that it is a very close parallel to our text in Jude. In fact, Jude says virtually the same things that Peter says. Peter says they’re coming, and Jude writing a little later says they’re here…they’re here. So whenever you study the epistle of Jude, you have to study 2 Peter along with it and we’ve been making those comparisons and will do so again tonight.

Now Jude t hen writes this epistle to serve as a warning and to give for us a portrait of these apostate terrorists. These are people who have been exposed to the faith, exposed to the truth, who have defected from the truth, who have denied the truth, who have rejected the truth. But who have kept the name Christian, kept some identification with the person of Jesus and with God and therefore remaining within the framework of Christendom have become subtle, hidden deceivers. And unless the church has acute powers of discernment, unless the church is willing to pay the price of exposure, unless the church can get over its sappy sentimentalism about not wanting to say anything that offends anybody, it’s going to allow itself to be devastated by these imbedded satanic Al Qaeda.

Now Jude gives us an unmistakable portrait of these apostate false teachers in verses 5 through 16 and we’re working our way through this which is really the heart of the letter, verses 5 through 16. And I’ve been telling you the last couple of weeks, actually three weeks we’ve been looking at these verses, in verses 5 to 11 is a series of three threes, a series of three threes describing the apostates who misrepresent the Lord and the church. And I don’t want to go through all of this but, first of all, we saw three cases of past apostates who were judged, verses 5 through 7 remind us how God judged an apostate Israel after saving them out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed them who did not believed. Having been exposed to the power of God and the work of God and the goodness of God and the deliverance of God, they rejected God and therefore were destroyed in the wilderness. The second case of apostate judgment from history past is in verse 6, the angels who didn’t keep their own domain, abandoned their proper abode, have been placed in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of that great day. Holy angels who apostatized and turned from serving God, believing in God to rebel against God in a rebellion led by Lucifer, were thrown out of heaven, took their rebellion down to earth, even went further as described in Genesis 6 in a kind of twisted perverse way, inhabited men who married women and you had demon-dominated families which shows the horror of that particular world, the world which God drowned in the Flood. The third past illustration of apostate judgment is Sodom and Gomorrah. You have then Jews in verse 5, angels in verse 6, and Gentiles in verse 7. Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, the cities of the plain all obliterated in a holocaust of fire and brimstone because they indulged in gross immorality, namely homosexuality, went after strange flesh and they too set themselves on a course to undergo the punishment of eternal fire. Three cases of apostate judgment.

Then in verses 8 to 10 you had three characteristics of apostate nature. When you look at an apostate, what do you see? Three things mark them; immorality, insubordination, and irreverence. They are immoral, verse 8, they defile the flesh. The are insubordinate, they reject authority. And they are irreverent, they revile angelic majesties or glories. And there’s an illustration in the case of Michael and his battle with Satan over the body of Moses. So, they are irreverent in the way they speak about angels. They are insubordinate in the fact that they reject divine authority. And they are immoral in that they defile the flesh.

Now we come to verse 11, this is the third three in this little series, three cases of apostates in history who were judged, three characteristics of apostate nature, now we have three connections to apostate examples…three connections to apostate examples. And here, in order to help us recognize apostates, we are given the opportunity to compare them with some apostates of the past and to show that in reality they have followed the path of these past apostates. Verse 11, “Woe to them for they have gone the way of Cain and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”

Three historic apostate judgments: Israel, angels, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Three characteristics of apostate nature: immorality, insubordination and irreverence. And now three connections to apostate examples: Cain, Balaam and Korah. Three who model what these current contemporary apostates do. These current ones have gone the way of Cain, they have rushed into the error of Balaam, they have perished in the rebellion of Korah. They have followed the path that Cain followed. They have followed the path that Balaam followed. And they have followed the path that Korah followed.

You will notice here there is a progression. They have gone the way of Cain. They have rushed into the error of Balaam. And they have perished in the rebellion of Korah. First there is a path they take, then there is an escalation of their speed, and ultimately their disastrous end. They start out in the way, they go into the error and they perish in the rebellion. It starts out with Cain. He is a model of one who disobeyed God. It goes to Balaam, he is a model of one who tries to influence others to disobey God. It ends up with Korah who led a full rebellion. Apostates are the spiritual children of Cain and Balaam and Korah. (Apostates Illustrated: Jude 11-13)

Dr. John MacArthur

Posted July 30, 2010 by Reformed and renewed in Uncategorized

Drawing near with Comfort and with Fear   Leave a comment

Chronicles 16:9

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

This has to be a really comforting thought that God Himself would strengthen the hearts committed to Him. Yet who can say his heart is fully committed to God? No one has loved God wholeheartedly as the first Commandments says we should…”You shall love the Lord your God with all your mind and all your heart and your neighbour as you love yourself.

Yet in Jesus we can rely on God who is there to strengthen those who depend on, rely on and come to Him with their failure and weaknesses, their sins and personality quirks. And do as He has commanded and just “Come”

The text here simple says “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him”….now perfect obedience is something that we attain by looking to Jesus. What we have here is some kind of assurance that God sees. He is ever watchful to strengthen those who come to Him, and cry to Him, in repentance and faith.

We live in the “Coram Deus” In plain sight of God who indwells eternity; somehow I cannot really get my mind around that. It is both a comfort and a fear that this thought brings. God sees you when you do well, and God sees you when you sin. God sees your very thoughts and God sees the very intentions of your heart. It is something that should bring comfort and it should bring fear.

It is with great comfort that I revert to the promise in Romans 8:31 ‘ God is for us….I greatly rejoice in this don’t you?

Posted July 22, 2010 by Reformed and renewed in Uncategorized

Rejoice! Christ is for you.   Leave a comment

It is most glorifying to our Lord Jesus Christ that we should hope for every good thing from Him alone. This is to treat Him as He deserves to be treated; for as He is God, and beside Him there is none else, we are bound to look unto Him and be saved.

This is to treat Him as He loves to be treated, for He bids all those who labor and are heavy laden to come to Him, and He will give them rest. To imagine that He cannot save to the uttermost is to limit the Holy One of Israel, and put a slur upon His power; or else to slander the loving heart of the Friend of sinners, and cast a doubt upon His love. In either case, we should commit a cruel and wanton sin against the tenderest points of His honor, which are His ability and willingness to save all that come unto God by Him. C. H Spurgeon.

This quote by Spurgeon has been quite delightful to me, since not only have I been on a sickbed but I have had much time to think upon the state of my sou. And there are a couple of things that cause me delight, first the confidence that the Bible is the very Word of God and may be relied on for absolutely everything.

Secondly as Spurgeon says here” It is most glorifying to our Lord Jesus Christ that we should hope for every good thing from Him alone”

I find it an amazing thing that I had for years sought some kind of goodness in myself to Christ, until I reached the end of my own efforts and looked to Christ, though the Law was given me a disapproving look, and the devil was taunting me with my failure, and my sin was just always before me.

“Imagaine that” as Spurgeon says, God Himself offers Peace to the heavy laden, the down trodden and the misfits, so I herein is my delight. That though all my world falls around about me, and it may, this world is not my home!  Christ is now my glory and the lifter of my head. For this reason I say with the Aposlte Paul, Rejoice ! and again I say Rejoice. Christ is for you!

Posted June 29, 2010 by Reformed and renewed in Uncategorized

This was my experience in Liberal Theology too.   Leave a comment

Posted June 1, 2010 by Reformed and renewed in Uncategorized