Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2016

Where Does FAITH Come from?

By Bob McEvoy - Posted at The Salty Scrivener : Text: Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. H/C 65. Q. Since then faith alone makes us share in Christ and all his benefits, where does this faith come from?  A. From the Holy Spirit, who works it in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and strengthens it by the use of the sacraments.  Faith (Saving faith) is a GIFT that God gives to us. Ephesians 2. So, let’s explore that idea a little more, by asking the question, ‘Where does faith come from, and what is the means by which God gives that faith to us? 1. Faith COMES. We are not born with inherent faith. We do not inherit faith from our parents or our nationality or culture. We have NO faith in our unregenerate condition. Faith comes ONLY as a gift. We cannot earn faith or, work it up, or deserve it. Faith always COMES TO US, FROM OUTSIDE OURSELVES – note well the word used is passive, we do not pull it to us, – it is ‘pushed

May we then swear religiously by the name of God?

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note . This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 37. Lord's Day  Q. 101. May we then swear religiously by the name of God?  A. Yes: either when the magistrates demand it of the subjects; or when necessity requires us thereby to confirm a fidelity and truth to the glory of God, and the safety of our neighbour: for such an oath is founded on God's word, (a) and therefore was justly used by the saints, both in the Old and New Testament. (b)  (a) Deut.6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Deut.10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou c

How May I Know I Am Saved?

By John Hendryx - Posted at Monergism : A. W. Pink answers the question this way: First, by the Word of God having come in divine power to the soul so that my self-complacency is shattered and my self-righteousness is renounced. Second, by the Holy Spirit convicting me of my woeful, guilty, and lost condition. Third, by having had revealed to me the suitability and sufficiency of Christ to meet my desperate case and by a divinely given faith causing me to lay hold of and rest upon Him as my only hope. Fourth, by the marks of the new nature within me - a love for God; an appetite for spiritual things; a longing for holiness; a seeking after conformity to Christ. Fifth, by the resistance which the new nature makes to the old, causing me to hate sin and loathe myself for it. Sixth, by avoiding everything which is condemned by God's Word and by sincerely repenting of and humbly confessing every transgression. Failure at this point will surely bring a dark cloud over our assuranc

Feelings of Guilt: Satan’s Conniving or the Spirit’s Conviction?

Posted at The Reformed Reader : In one section of Thomas Goodwin’s book called “A Child of Light Walking in Darkness,” he explains how Satan tricks and deceives a true Christian so that he doubts his salvation. Sometimes Satan will remind us that if a person is a hypocrite, if sin reigns in a person, and if a person is full of self-love, that person is not a Christian. Then Satan says to us: “ You played the hypocrite last week and last month. You constantly give in to the sin of anger. You love yourself more than your family and more than God. Therefore you are not a true Christian.” Notice how this works. Satan uses half-truths to get us to doubt our salvation. It is true that hypocrites, lovers of self, and those who are ruled by sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. However, there’s more to the discussion. A true Christian can stumble into hypocrisy, can give in to sin for a time, and can disobey

Hurrying To Hear George Whitefield Preach The Gospel

Posted at A Twisted Crown of Thorns : This is the true account of Nathan Cole describing the moment he heard that the gospel was coming to Connecticut. George Whitefield was the preacher -as fields were emptied, people converged eagerly to listen with bated breaths. “Now it pleased God to send Mr. Whitefield into this land; and my hearing of his preaching at Philadelphia, like one of the Old apostles, and many thousands flocking to hear him preach the Gospel, and great numbers were converted to Christ; I felt the Spirit of God drawing me by conviction, longed to see and hear him, and wished he would come this way. And I soon heard he was come to New York and the Jerseys and great multitudes flocking after him under great concern for their Souls and many converted which brought on my concern more and more hoping soon to see him but next I heard he was at Long Island, then at Boston, and next at Northampton.  Then one morning all on a Sudden, about 8 or 9 o’clock there came a m

What is required in the third commandment?

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 36. Lord's Day Q. 99. What is required in the third commandment?  A. That we, not only by cursing (a) or perjury, (b) but also by rash swearing, (c) must not profane or abuse the name of God; nor by silence or connivance be partakers of these horrible sins in others; (d) and, briefly, that we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence; (e) so that he may be rightly confessed (f) and worshipped by us, (g) and be glorified in all our words and works. (h)   (a) Lev.24:11 And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And

Christ's Church Travailing

By Pastor John Greer - Posted at Sermon Audio (50:35 Minutes) Link: Scripture Text: Isaiah 66:1-13 (KJV) 66 Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. 3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear:

Applause in the Worship Service

By Doug Barnes - Posted at Banner of Truth : QUESTION. Is it appropriate to applaud during the church service? Some believe that the worshippers are not given the opportunity to offer thanks for something they feel needs applause. But is it always directed to God, or is it directed to the person or persons who spoke or sang? Applause is often understood as an acclamation of a performance – of some human achievement. We need to be reminded that we gather to worship, not to be entertained. I believe we can ‘cognitively’ give thanks within the elements of worship themselves. We live in a world of entertainment and the younger generation seem to want more than just to listen. Read more...

Why Does God Allow Sin to Remain in the Regenerate? (Boston)

Posted at The Reformed Reader : “Why do I keep struggling with the same sinful thoughts?” “Why can’t I just gain victory over lust and pride?” “Why in the world does God allow sin to remain in his people?” These are questions Christians ask from time to time. We think of how nice it would be if we didn’t have to struggle with sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. But, in his sovereignty, God has a reason for allowing sin to remain in his children. Thomas Boston (d. 1732) gave some helpful answers to the question of why God allows sin to dwell in his elect while on earth. Here are some of Boston’s answers (which I’ve edited and summarized): God has ordered the matter of the believer’s sanctification, that sin is left to be active in their souls while here on earth, for their further humiliation . For example, God gave Paul a thorn in the flesh to keep him low. And so we find David, after his grievous fall, grows in the grace of humility. The Lord allows sin to remain in his

Deuteronomy: The Great Commission of the Old Testament

By James Faris - Posted at Gentle Reformation : Deuteronomy warmed the hearts of God’s people of old because the book is Moses’ powerful life-end sermon that served as the Great Commission of the Old Testament. It was crafted to set hearts aflame with love for God and a vision for his kingdom among those who awaited the Messiah by faith. Jesus spoke the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 to his disciples at the end of his time on earth, and those words enlarged hearts for God and set the course for his disciples through time until he comes again. Consider the similarities in the life-circumstances of the preachers: Moses preached Deuteronomy at the end of his life on earth as his people were sent into a new and daunting mission. Jesus preached the Great Commission at the end of his life on earth as he sent his people into a new and daunting mission. Consider the similarities in redemptive history: Moses preached Deuteronomy after the Old Testament picture of salvation, deli

What does God require in the second commandment?

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note . This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 35. Lord's Day   Q. 96. What does God require in the second commandment?  A. That we in no wise represent God by images, (a) nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word. (b)   (a) Deut.4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Deut.4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, Deut.4:17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness

Day Is at Hand

By C.H. Spurgeon - Posted at Daily Checkbook/ Sermon Audio : "And I will give him the Morning Star" — Revelation 2:28 Until the day break and the shadows flee away, what a blessing it is to see in Jesus "the morning star"! I remember when we read in the newspapers the idle tale that the star of Bethlehem had again appeared. On inquiry we found that it was only "the morning star"; but no great mistake had been made after all. It is best to see Jesus as the sun; but when we cannot do so, the next best thing is to see Him as that star which prophesies the day and shows that the eternal light is near at hand. If I am not today all that I hope to be, yet I see Jesus, and that assures me that I shall one day be like Him. A sight of Jesus by faith is the pledge of beholding Him in His glory and being transformed into His image. If I have not at this hour all the light and joy I could desire, yet I shall have it; for as surely as I see the morning star I

Apples of Gold: 'The Two Margarets'

The Two Margarets Covenant Ladies   Index Page  (Apples of Gold) Margaret McLauchlan and Margaret Wilson The years 1684 and 1685 were years of terrible suffering to the Covenanters. The history of these years is written in letters of blood, and they were emphatically called, by the sufferers, 'The Killing Time.' the savage ruffians, who were scouring the country like incarnate demons, hunted the poor helpless victims of their cruelty like wild beasts, over moors and mountains. If they met with a person who refused to answer their questions, or who did not satisfy them in his answers; or if they found another reading the Bible; or observed a third apparently alarmed or attempting to escape, they reckoned all such persons fanatics, and in many instances shot them dead on the spot. The devil had gone forth, having great wrath, as if knowing that his time was short. Patrick Walker remarks, that during these two years, eighty persons were shot in the fields, in cold blood; and he f

Fear Only God

By C.H. Spurgeon - Posted at  Daily Checkbook/ Sermon Audio : "So that we may boldly say, The LORD is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" — Hebrews 13:6 Because God will never leave nor forsake us, we may well be content with such things as we have. Since the LORD is ours, we cannot be left without a friend, a treasure, and a dwelling place. This assurance may make us feel quite independent of men. Under such high patronage we do not feel tempted to cringe before our fellowmen and ask of them permission to call our lives our own; but what we say we boldly say and defy contradiction. He who fears God has nothing else to fear. We should stand in such awe of the living LORD that all the threats that can be used by the proudest persecutor should have no more effect upon us than the whistling of the wind. Man in these days cannot do so much against us as he could when the apostle wrote the verse at the head of this page. Racks and stakes are out of fas

Why is God Angry with Our Nation?

Posted at Reformation Scotland : Election time prompts sobering thoughts about the direction in which any nation is travelling. As with many nations, Scotland is on a course of determined rebellion against God’s Word. This is the root of our national sins. Does God judge nations for national sins? Yes, the predicted destruction of Judea in AD 70 gives clear and solemn evidence (Luke 19:41-44). There are also many Old Testament examples such as Nineveh. One aspect of God’s wrath being revealed is when He gives people up to gross sins and a reprobate mind (Romans 1:18 and 24-32). Such spiritual judgements are worse than those on the economy, health and stability of a country. Is God judging our nation in this way, and if so why? This may sound like a bleak message, but there is hope if we give serious heed. During some periods in the past, it seems that God’s people were more sensitive to national judgements for national sins. February 1645 was one such period when the Church o

What is the law of God?

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 34. Lord's Day  Q. 92. What is the law of God?  A. God spake all these words, Exodus 20:1-17 and Denteronomy 5:6-21, saying: I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  1st commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  2nd commandment: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the LORD thy God am a jealou

Reformed Theology and the Kingdom of God

Posted at The Reformed Reader : From time to time I read critiques that Reformed theology doesn’t really do justice to the kingdom of God, or that it is weak on kingdom theology. In other words, some current theologians, preachers, and authors are critical of Reformed theology because (in their view) it relegates the kingdom of God to a minor place in the overall theological scheme. Before disproving this accusation, I think it is worth nothing that in evangelical circles the term “kingdom” has taken on an almost faddish status. In today’s evangelical world when a few popular figures emphasize the kingdom in a trendy way, others latch on and it goes viral (“kingdom” becomes a hip evangelical word like “authentic” or “missional”). What happens then is those evangelicals who equate Reformed theology with TULIP/Calvinism say that Reformed theology has a weak view of God’s kingdom because TULIP doesn’t talk much about the kingdom. I realize this is debatable, but it is worth disc

The Judicial Law, as Judicial, has been Abolished | Samuel Rutherford

Posted at Purely Presbyterian : That this Author saith, God commanded those that transgressed his holy Law with an high hand, and presumptuously to be killed, lest they should live and profane his holy things; I defend not: But sure Erastus erreth,who will have all such to be killed by the Magistrate under the New Testament, because they were killed in the Old: Then are we to stone men that gathereth sticks on the Lord’s Day; the child that is stubborn to his Parents, the Virgins, daughters of Ministers that committeth fornication are to be put to death. Why, but then the whole judicial Law of God shall oblige us Christians as Carolosladius and others teach? ... Read more... 

The Book Of The Last Days

The REVELATION of Jesus Christ by Horatius Bonar (1808—1889) Horatius Bonar (Wikipedia) The Book Of The Last Days. "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John—who bore record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein—for the time is at hand!"— Revelation 1:1-3 . The TITLE of this last and most wondrous of inspired books is ' the revelation (uncovering, unveiling) of Jesus Christ '. It is He who "unveils," and it is He who is here unveiled to us, and who shines out with transfiguration-brightness before the Church's eye. The spirit and sum of this book is 'testimony to Jesus' (ch. 19:10). He is its Alpha and its Omega. W