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Showing posts from 2018

Our Need of the Ever New, Unbegun Beginning

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Posted at Reformation Scotland : We have a certain natural inclination to “some new thing” (Acts 17:21). We live in time and that makes the expectation of change inevitable. New beginnings (such as a new year) can open fresh opportunities for transformation. But it becomes unhealthy when we value things simply because they are new rather than using a more enduring standard. An addiction to novelty creates destructive rootlessness and distraction. It afflicts the world and the Church. Adhering to things simply because they are old rather than because they are true is also lethal, however. How do we develop a healthy approach to new beginnings that doesn’t discard everything in the pursuit of novelty? We need new and old brought together in an enduring way. We need to consider time in the context of eternity. Hugh Binning explains how Christ is the unchanging but also the ever new; how He is eternal but entered time. These thoughts (drawn from 1 John 1:1-2) take us into the mys

Grace Gems: Overcoming the world!

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(Arthur Pink, " Faith as an Overcomer ") "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4 One of the fruits of the new birth, is a faith which not only enables its possessor to overcome the sensual and sinful customs, and the carnal maxims and policies by which the profane world is regulated--but also the lying delusions and errors by which the professing world is fatally deceived. The only thing which will or can "overcome the world" is a God-given--but self-exercised faith. Faith overcomes the world firstly, by receiving into the heart God's infallible testimony of the world. He declares that "the world" is a corrupt, evanescent, hostile thing, which shall soon be destroyed by Him. His Holy Word teaches that the world is "evil" (Galatians 1:4); that "all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and th

Bible Reading Plans for 2019

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Excellent extensive list of Bible reading plans! - ed. From Ligonier Ministries: Many Christians take the beginning of a new year to evaluate their Bible reading habits and then change or begin a Bible reading plan. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from. Maybe in 2019 you will read more of the Bible each day. Perhaps you’ll slow down your reading and instead spend more time considering what you read. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a reading plan, you should find it below... Review the plans here.

The Last Judgment

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Belgic Confession, Week 26 Article 37: The Last Judgment Finally we believe, according to God’s Word, that when the time appointed by the Lord is come (which is unknown to all creatures) and the number of the elect is complete, our Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven, bodily and visibly, as he ascended, with great glory and majesty, to declare himself the judge of the living and the dead. He will burn this old world, in fire and flame, in order to cleanse it. Then all human creatures will appear in person before the great judge– men, women, and children, who have lived from the beginning until the end of the world. They will be summoned there by the voice of the archangel and by the sound of the divine trumpet. [79] For all those who died before that time will be raised from the earth, their spirits being joined and united with their own bodies in which they lived. And as for those who are still alive, they will not die like the others but will be changed “in the twinkling of

Rev. David Silversides: How should we worship God?

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Details: 1) It does matter 2) God decides 3) God is not to be worshipped by images 4) God is not to be worshipped in any way not appointed in His Word 5) Where unauthorised worship leads Link: https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?currSection=sermonssource&sermonID=91002132722

GI Williamson: Is Christmas Scriptural?

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Posted at A Puritan's Mind : Is Christmas Scriptural? What do you think? I want to thank the Committee on Christian Education for remaining faithful to the Orthodox Presbyterian tradition of respecting minority views that are firmly rooted in Presbyterian and Reformed history. I therefore gladly avail myself of the privilege to express myself on the subject of Christmas. It is seldom understood today that there was a time when such days as Christmas were generally regarded as lacking any warrant from Scripture. But listen to the careful statement of Idzerd Van Dellen and Martin Monsma in The Church Order Commentary (Zondervan, 1941). Under the heading of “The Original Position of the Reformed Churches regarding Special Days,” they say this on page 273: “During the early days of the Reformation some Reformed localities observed only Sunday. All special days sanctioned and revered by Rome were set aside. Zwingli and Calvin both encouraged the rejection of all ecclesiasti

AW Pink: Xmas or Christmas?

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Details: For those who say that "Jesus is the REASON for the SEASON, you might be appalled by what A.W. has to say here. Take it to heart, brethren... DAL A short statement by Pink on Christmas/Xmas. Why should we celebrate in the Lord's Name that which we were never commanded to observe? Narrated By Duane Linn Link:  https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1225151533240

Resources On Christmas, Advent, And The Church Calendar

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : Christmas, the Advent season in the church calendar, is a part of the culture. Christmas advertisements seem almost to run year round now. It is the one time when it almost seems acceptable (again) to be a Christian. Between the commercial and cultural pressure on one side and the religious impulse on the other, the press to observe Christmas or the Advent season of the church calendar is great. Yet, there are good reasons why members, elders, and laity ought to think critically about Christmas, advent, and the church calendar generally. Here are some resources on these issues. Read more here.

THE SERMON THAT LANDED FRANCIS MAKEMIE IN JAIL

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Francis Makemie (1658 - 1708) - Log College Press By R. Andrew Myers - Posted at Log College Press : As Francis Makemie himself wrote on March 3, 1707: “This is the Sermon, for which I am now a prisoner.” He spoke of the sermon he preached in New York City on January 19, 1707 titled “A Good Conversation.” It was based on Psalm 50:23: “To him that ordereth his Conversation aright, will I shew the Salvation of God.” The texts cited on the cover page when it was published were Matthew 5:11 and Acts 5:29, which deal with persecution for the faith, and obedience to God over man. It was the preaching and publishing of this sermon without a license in Anglican New York that led to the imprisonment of the Presbyterian minister Francis Makemie. The case became a major landmark in the history of religious liberty in America. Also of note is that this sermon is “probably the earliest Presbyterian sermon in America now extant, and was certainly the first preached in the City of New York.”

The Curse of Using Carnal Methods for God's Work

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By Dr. Alan Cairns - Posted at Sermon Audio : Link:  https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=92400135921 Scripture Text: Isaiah 31:1

The Marks of the True Church

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Belgic Confession, Week 20 Article 29: The Marks of the True Church We believe that we ought to discern diligently and very carefully, by the Word of God, what is the true church– for all sects in the world today claim for themselves the name of “the church.” We are not speaking here of the company of hypocrites who are mixed among the good in the church and who nonetheless are not part of it, even though they are physically there. But we are speaking of distinguishing the body and fellowship of the true church from all sects that call themselves “the church.” The true church can be recognized if it has the following marks: The church engages in the pure preaching of the gospel; it makes use of the pure administration of the sacraments as Christ instituted them; it practices church discipline for correcting faults. In short, it governs itself according to the pure Word of God, rejecting all things contrary to it and holding Jesus Christ as the only Head. By these marks one can be a

Calvinism: A Message for the Lost

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By Rev. Aaron Dunlop - Posted at Sermon Audio: Link:  https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=112091931300

The Bondage of the Will - Proved by the Testimony of Scripture

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By Rev. Aaron Dunlop - Posted at Sermon Audio : Part two of THE BONDAGE OF THE WILL - PROVED IN THE LIFE OF ERASMUS Link: https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1029081623108 De Servo Arbitrio - Source: Wikipedia

The Bondage of the Will - Proved in the Life of Erasmus

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By Rev. Aaron Dunlop - Posted at Sermon Audio: Details: Part one of two. It is ironic that what Erasmus tried to prove with his pen in 'The Freedom of the Will' he disproved in his life; i.e. the bondage of the will. Link: https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=102908152522

What Is Protestantism?

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By Rev. Aaron Dunlop - Posted at Sermon Audio : Link: https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=42608025290 Description: Since Protestantism took root and spread through Europe and across the western world it is difficult to imagine that it ever was in a worse state than it presently finds itself. In many respects Protestant Christendom is on the road back to Medieval Romanism. The Charismatic Movement has abandoned the protestant principle of Sola Scriptura for the less than satisfactory ‘personal experience.' Modern evangelicalism has forsaken the Protestant principle of Solo Christo for a psychological conversion in place of the sound evangelical conversion called for in the Protestant Reformation. Modern methods of evangelism and the subsequent easy-believism has left the evangelical church with a Christless gospel and the only support available is a glut of pseudo-Christian self-help books. The ecumenical movement has encouraged a unity within Christendom

FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER: BAPTISM (Infant Baptism - Conclusion)

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CONCLUSION In conclusion, as we have our babies baptized, let us realize that it is not a matter of magic. As parents, what we do is to covenant with God to be faithful toward the child. It is the parents' work to train the child. It is the parents' privilege in many cases to lead the child to Christ. Christian parents should not depend upon the church's evangelistic services when the child becomes an adolescent, or even a full-grown adult, to lead him to Christ. The little child should learn of Jesus Christ from his parents from his earliest childhood, and in many cases when he is yet a child he should be led to a personal acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior by his father or his mother. Take advantage of this God-given privilege of infant baptism. The Christian parent's heart, moved and guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit, has a natural urge to bring his child to God. This is so strong that even those who are Baptistic have come to the place

FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER: BAPTISM (INFANT BAPTISM - Baptistic Arguments)

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Al-Maghtas ruins on the Jordanian  side of the Jordan River are the location for the Baptism of Jesus and the ministry of John the Baptist . - Wikipedia Baptistic Arguments Let us look at the usual Baptistic arguments against infant baptism. a) "Believe and be baptized." Notice that the same thing was said in effect to Abraham concerning circumcision, "Believe and afterward be circumcised," but that it is altogether clear that the sign of his personal faith was to be applied also to his child. Further, in the case of the first days of the Christian era, everyone who believed was of necessity baptized an adult, because, the new Testament teaching being new, no one would have been previously baptized as an infant. The same thing is true on any new mission field of any day. There are no baptized infants until there are some Christian parents. b) Often those who are Baptistic ask why we baptize both boys and girls, when only males were circumcised in t

FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER: BAPTISM (INFANT BAPTISM - New Testament Practice and Church History)

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New Testament Practice These questions would be further aggravated by what this saved Jew himself would have heard taught in the New Testament time. For example, he would have heard Peter in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2: 38, 39: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."  Remember, Peter said this to Jews, Jews who were used to having the outward sign of their faith applied to their children. With all these things in his mind, he would expect his child to be baptized. If it were refused, what would you have done in his place? You would have asked the Apostles the reason why. So would the thousands of Christian Jews in that day. The question would have been asked in a hundred meetings; and Peter, John,

FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER: BAPTISM (INFANT BAPTISM - Sign Applied to Infants)

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The Outward Sign This Christian Jew would also remember that the spiritual promise in the Old Testament days was sealed with a physical sign. Romans 4:10, 1 la: "How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith, and that after he was justified, circumcision was given as a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised." This passage says that Abraham was justified by faith, and that after he was justified, circumcision was given as a seal of the righteousness which was his by faith before he was circumcised. The Old Testament and the New Testament alike also remind us that the circumcision of the flesh was to be an outward sign of the true circumcision of the heart. In other words, that true circumcision was a spiritual thing. Deuteronomy 10:16 reads: "Circumcise therefore the f

FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER: BAPTISM (Infant Baptism - Unity of the Covenant)

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We do not believe that those who are Baptistic have any more Biblical grounds for teaching adult baptism only than they have for teaching immersion only. As we begin our thinking on this subject, let us place ourselves in the position of a Jew who has been saved in the early Christian era. He is a Jew, and now he has put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. His mind has not changed overnight, and certain great truths which his people have known and believed for two thousand years are much in his thinking. Salvation by Faith Alone First of all, a Jew saved in the early Christian era would realize that even as he had been justified by faith alone, so also Abraham had been justified by faith alone two thousand years before. Romans 4:1-a makes this abundantly clear: "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory'; but not before God. For what saith the scriptures? Ab

FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER: BAPTISM (IMMERSION)

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Catacombs of San Callisto : baptism in a 3rd-century painting - Wikipedia First, in regard to immersion, let me say that, personally, I will immerse if the individual desires this mode of baptism. Second, it is well to remember that the Greek Catholic Church and certain groups of Brethren have immersed babies as well as adults, and hence there is no necessary link between the mode of baptism used and the question of the baptism of infants. I have never immersed an infant, but I would not refuse to do so. As a matter of fact, from evidence from the Catacombs before 200, it would seem probable that effusion, pouring, could have been the most common mode of baptism in the early church. That is, they stood in water and then had water poured on their head. Our position as to the mode of baptism is that immersion is not the only mode. The words baptizo and bapto in the classical Greek are used with great latitude. Neither of these words can be said always to mean immerse. In th

Francis A. Schaeffer: Baptism (Introduction)

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Image Source: bethinking.org In introduction, there are several things to emphasize as we begin this study. 1. We do not believe in Baptismal Regeneration. Let me remind you that it was over the question of the sacraments that Calvin and Luther differed during the Reformation Period. To Calvin, and those who have followed him, the important thing is the individual's coming directly to Christ for salvation. In regard to baptism, we who are Presbyterians, are interested primarily not in the water baptism but in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which takes place when the individual accepts Christ as his personal Saviour. Our Confession of Faith, Chapter 28 , Section 5, makes it very clear that our subordinate standards do not teach Baptismal Regeneration: "Although it be a great sin to condemn or neglect this ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated or saved without it, or that all that are baptized are und

What is baptism?

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Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 165. What is baptism? A. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ hath ordained the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, [1058] to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself, [1059] of remission of sins by his blood, [1060] and regeneration by his Spirit; [1061] of adoption, [1062] and resurrection unto everlasting life; [1063] and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible church, [1064] and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord's. [1065] Q. 166. Unto whom is baptism to be administered? A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, and so strangers from the covenant of promise, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him, [1066] but infants descending from parents, either both, or but one of them, professing faith in Christ, and obedience to him, are in t

What Do We Mean By Sacrament, Sign, And Seal?

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By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : The Reformed churches and Reformed theologians (i.e., those who confess and teach within the bounds of the Reformed confessions , e.g., the French Confession (1559), the Scots Confession (1560), the Belgic Confession (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), the Second Helvetic Confession (1566), the Canons of Dort (1619), the Westminster Standards (1646–48), speak about baptism and the Lord’s Supper as “holy sacraments” and as “signs” and “seals.” Recently HB reader Barrett wrote to ask for a brief, simple explanation of these terms. Sacrament The word sacrament is widely used by a variety of Christian traditions but for some evangelicals it is a word that is associated with Romanism and a false view of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Our English word sacrament is derived from the Latin military term, sacramentum , which was a military oath of loyalty. In the Latin translations of Scripture where the New Testament uses the t

THE MODE AND MEANING OF BAPTISM

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By Dr. Mark Jones - Posted at The Calvinist International : Christians have not agreed on the proper mode of baptism. Many believe that the only proper way to baptize someone is by the full submersion of the body under water. They typically argue that baptizo means immerse and they also appeal to Romans 6 as a watertight (pardon the pun) argument proving the need for full immersion. In response, we may wish to ask whether we do our theology by etymology or by looking at the rich tapestry of symbolism in the Scriptures to come up with a theology of baptism that may cause us to realize the case is not nearly as obvious as some may think. One could do a study on Hebrews 9:11–22 and look up all of the Old Testament references that the author calls baptisms. The New Testament does not give us the precise manner in which baptism must be administered. As B.B. Warfield has noted, “We may search the New Testament in vain if we are seeking minute instructions how we are to perform bap

INFANT BAPTISM IN CHURCH HISTORY

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By Anthony W. Brooks - Posted at The Ancient Faith : Baptism is always a hot topic. In the Baptist church I was an avid opponent of Infant Baptism and saw it as part of a corrupt papist false gospel. So, what changed my mind? Well, Biblical consistency and covenant relationships helped… Also, the Biblical consistency of Covenant Theology. But I am also an advocate of historical theology as well. I believe that it doesn’t matter how much sense an argument makes, but if it isn’t believed in the first 500 years of the church, it shouldn’t be believed. One of the greatest arguments against paedobaptism is that there is no explicit command in scripture to baptize our children…. and this is true. But that would mean that many other doctrines that we believe to be true in scripture can’t be believed because they aren’t explicit (e.g. Trinity, Hypostatic Union, Sola Fide, etc…). So I will post a list of Early Church quotes that date back to 125 AD. ... Irenaeus “He [Jesus] came to save

Devotional: The Lord My Burden-Bearer

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Image Source: Wikipedia By Octavius Winslow - Posted at Grace Gems : "The Lord is my portion, says my soul." "Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you."-- Psalm 55:22 Wonderful words! Their sense is magical, their sound is music, their very utterance is repose! It is one of those flowers culled from the Lord's garden, pencilled with beauty and laden with perfume, which defies all human art to heighten the loveliness of the one, or to increase the sweetness of the other. And yet, as most flowers are more fragrant when crushed, and as the grape yields its sweetest juice when pressed, a simple exposition of these precious words, however gentle the pressure, may prove a spiritual fragrance and refreshment to some sin or trial-burdened child of God, whose glance may fall upon these pages. The FITNESS of Jesus to be the Burden-Bearer of His people surely needs no proof to those who have studied His Word, and are in any measure acquainted with

Devotional: The Lord My Example

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By Octavius Winslow - Posted at Grace Gems : "The Lord is my portion, says my soul." "I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you."-- John 13:15 In contending earnestly for the doctrine of the sacrificial nature of our Lord's atoning death, we may be in great danger of overlooking the fact that the whole life of Christ is constantly presented to us in the Scriptures as the model by which our own is to be molded. We needed a personal embodiment of the religion of the gospel--a perfect, peerless Example. In One only could we find it, even in Him whose gospel it was, and whose life was a pure and living reflection of the doctrines it taught, the precepts it inculcated, and the spirit it breathed. Let us, then, inquire briefly what are the arts of His holy life in which we may regard Him as imitable, and what the features of His character we may presume to transfer with humility and gratitude to ourselves. We are to follow the example

Devotional: The Lord My Teacher

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By Octavius Winslow - Posted at Grace Gems : "The Lord is my portion, says my soul." "You are a teacher come from God."-- John 3:2 We cannot dispense with any one mediatorial office of Christ, least of all with His office as a PROPHET, or, TEACHER. He came to make known Salvation. Before He could officiate at His altar as Priest, or sit upon His throne as King, He must reveal God's plan of redemption as a Prophet. Look, O my soul, at one or two of the qualifications of Jesus as your Teacher. He is a DIVINE Teacher, a "Teacher come from God," to make Him known, to reveal the mind and to unveil the heart of the Father. His own words are, "All things are delivered unto me of my Father, and no man knows the Son but the Father; neither knows any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will REVEAL Him." Oh, what a blessed Revealer of God is Jesus! He lifts the veil and shows me the Father as no planet in its glory could, a