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Showing posts from June, 2022

The Ordinary Leads to Redemption

 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts from Parson Farms: Howdy! This week we again only have one question. It’s an important part of the puzzle and so instead of waiting until near the end to preview it let’s go ahead and let it breathe first: Q. 88. What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the bene­fits of redemption? A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption, are His or­dinances, especially the word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salva­tion. There are a lot of definitions needed for this one, but we’ll tackle two major ones today. Read more...

Spiritual Growth by A. W. Pink, Part 18

By Rev. Brian Schwertley - Posted at Sermon Audio:

Estifanos of Gwendagwende – Reformer and Martyr

By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth: Estifanos of Gwendagwende – Reformer and Martyr Around the time when John Wyclif and Ian Hus shook the western church by challenging its authority and traditions, a lesser-known monk did something similar in Ethiopia. He was known as Abba Estifanos (in English, Father Stephen). Estifanos’s Early Life By the time Estifanos was born in 1380 in the village of Sebuha, northwestern Ethiopia, his father Berhane Meskel had already died in battle. Estifanos was named by his relatives Hadege Anbesa (“likeness of a lion”) and was raised by his uncle to follow in his father’s footsteps as a valiant soldier for their nation. But Estifanos’s interest was only in learning more about God and how to please him. Against the wishes of his relatives, he joined a religious center called Beta Iyyasus (Church of Jesus), where he was consecrated as a deacon at age eighteen. From there, he moved to the Qoyetsa monastery, in the region of Tigray, wher


 Posted at Log College Press: I sleep, but my heart waketh. — Song of Solomon 5:2 Commenting on this text of Scripture, George Burrowes takes occasion to expound upon the nature of the spiritual ups and downs of the Christian life more largely in descriptive terms to which experienced believers can well relate. This passage, to the end of ver. 8, illustrates the exercises of the soul in a time of spiritual sloth and decay. After thus unfolding to us his love, he lets us, as in this passage, see our depravity and indifference. Our religious life consists of a series of revivals and of withdrawals by Jesus, for calling into exercise and putting to the test our graces. When under the influence of first love, we determine never to forget the Saviour, and think the thing almost impossible. After some experience of the deceitfulness of the heart, when at some subsequent period we have had our souls restored and made to lie down in green pastures, beside the still waters, we resolve again to

C.H. Spurgeon: The LORD's "Much More"

"And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this" — 2 Chronicles 25:9 If you have made a mistake, bear the loss of it; but do not act contrary to the will of the LORD. The LORD can give you much more than you are likely to lose; and if He does not, will you begin bargaining and chaffering with God. The king of Judah had hired an army from idolatrous Israel, and he was commanded to send home the fighting men because the LORD was not with them. He was willing to send away the host, only he grudged paying the hundred talents for nothing. Oh, for shame! If the LORD will give the victory without the hirelings, surely it was a good bargain to pay their wages and to be rid of them. Be willing to lose money for conscience' sake, for peace's sake, for Christ's sake. Rest assured that losses for the LORD are not losses. Ev

James F. Armstrong, Chaplain & Peacetime Pastor

 By Barry Waugh - Posted at Presbyterians of the Past: Chaplain Armstrong made his way to North Carolina with the Second Maryland marching nearly 500 miles from Philadelphia to camp at Wilcox’s Ironworks just south of what is currently Siler City. He wrote William Churchill Houston, July 8, 1780, relating the complaints of his portable parish concerning the pittance of meat and a shortage of horses. A month later the food situation worsened as the troops camped at the ferry landing beside the Peedee River just east of the current town of Ansonville. The men had two days beef to stretch into seven days protein and no meal nor flour. Armstrong observed that their diet dwindled to just apples. He commented “it is impossible for human nature to have subsisted so long as I have known it to upon green fruit.” Despite Armstrong’s assessment that “everything discouraging dwells around our little army,” he was nevertheless optimistic, “We have not much, I believe, to fear from the enemy, but tr

Spiritual Growth by A. W. Pink, Part 17

 By Rev. Brian Schwertley - Posted at Sermon Audio:

The Glory of the Benediction

By Ryan Biese - Posted at Reformation 21 : The Structure of Reformed Worship There is a logic to a Reformed worship service. It begins with God calling the people to worship Him. We don’t come into God’s presence except by His command and invitation. Following the “Call to Worship” are various elements that exalt God before us as we renew our covenant with Him and praise Him for who He is and what He has done for us. The worship service ends with the “Benediction.” Read more here. 

The Unforgivable Sin

 By Chris Marley - Posted at Reformation21 : There are many difficult questions to answer in Christianity. Does God stand outside of time? What was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? Who really was the streaker in Mark’s gospel? But one that has always challenged me is the nature of the unforgivable sin. The Sin in Scripture In Luke 12:10 , Jesus tells us that what a man blasphemes “to the Holy Spirit” (εἰς τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα) will not be forgiven. In two other passages, we hear Christ make this declaration in a specific context: Matthew 12 “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.’ “Knowing their thoughts, [Jesus] said to them… ‘I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to co


 Posted at Reformation Scotland: There is no shortage of books and conferences and blogs and even movements on the church. But how often do we hear talk of church polity? If anything, many avoid the topic. After all, church government is said to divide Christians, not unite them. Why pay any heed to it at all? Is it that important for the average Christian and for Christian discipleship? If so, how? Does the Bible speak decisively in this area? And if we think it does, how firmly should we hold our convictions when other Christians disagree? But if the gospel is about being governed by Jesus, maybe church government matters more than we like to tell ourselves. Far from being a luxury, or a fundamental threat, or even a boring technicality, the running of the local church in my life is the very place where I get to experience the good news of Christ Jesus’s shepherding care over me. In this updated extract, some of the members of the Westminster Assembly show how every aspect of church

Bavinck: The Covenant of Grace in the OT

 By Wes Bredenhof I’m continuing to make my way through Volume 3 of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics . Chapter 5, on the Covenant of Grace, I’ve found to be especially interesting. One of the things he discusses is the differences between the Old Testament and New Testament administrations of the Covenant of Grace. I found this section particularly insightful... Continue here.

Spurgeon's Daily Checkbook: 'A Shepherd Secures Them'

"They shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid" — Zephaniah 3:13 Yesterday we thought of the afflicted and poor people whom the LORD left to be a living seed in a dead world. The prophet says of such that they shall not work iniquity nor speak lies. So that while they had neither rank nor riches to guard them, they were also quite unable to use those weapons in which the wicked place so much reliance: they could neither defend themselves by sin nor by subtlety. What then? Would they be destroyed? By no means! They should both feed and rest and be not merely free from danger but even quiet from fear of evil. Sheep are very feeble creatures, and wolves are terrible enemies; yet at this hour sheep are more numerous than wolves, and the cause of the sheep is always winning, while the cause of the wolves is always declining. One day flocks of sheep will cover the plains, and not a wolf will be left. The fact is that sheep have a Shepherd, and this gives them proven


 Posted at Log College Press : The Christian is called to endurance (2 Tim. 4:5) and self-denial (Luke 9:23-24) in this life, but not to monasticism or stoicism. B.B. Warfield explains the nuances of this distinction most ably in a sermon from The Saviour of the World (1913) titled “Imitating the Incarnation,” pp. 265-270. In the eloquent words below, Warfield also teaches us what it means to follow Christ’s example of humility in the truest sense, and what that looks like and leads to for the Christian on earth and into eternity. "…it is difficult to set a limit to the self-sacrifice which the example of Christ calls upon us to be ready to undergo for the good of our brethren. It is comparatively easy to recognize that the ideal of the Christian life is self-sacrificing unselfishness, and to allow that it is required of those who seek to enter into it, to subordinate self and to seek first the kingdom of God. But is it so easy to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that this is to

Spiritual Growth by A. W. Pink, Part 17

By Rev. Brian Schwertley - Posted at Sermon Audio:

A Call to Retrieving Trinitarian Orthodoxy: What the Church Can Learn from Basil of Caesarea

 By Dewey Dovel - Posted at Covenant Confessions: "Born into a wealthy aristocratic family and educated in the finest academic institutions throughout Caesarea, Constantinople, and Athens, Basil was intellectually stretched and firmly established as a prodigious scholar from a very young age. [7] Ironically, he would later come to lament over his time vainly pursuing 'that wisdom which God has made foolish' as an unregenerate sinner. [8] For this Patristic saint, the verdict that stems from the possession of secular knowledge void from the apprehension of God-centered wisdom can be altogether summarized as 'worthless' and 'illusory.' [9] By the sovereign grace of God, Basil’s fixation with things below was transitioned unto things above ( Col. 3:1-2 ) in AD 356. It was through beholding the 'wonderful light of the truth of the Gospel' and '[mourning] deeply for [his] miserable life' that Basil surrendered himself to the Lordship of Jesus

The Necessity of Doctrinal Standards

Posted at Purely Presbyterian: By Louis Berkhof -  Introduction to Systematic Theology pp. 23-27 The necessity of dogmas may be argued in various ways. Even the followers of Schleiermacher and Ritschl defend it in spite of their subjectivism, and notwithstanding their mysticism and moralism. Several reasons at once suggest themselves, why Christianity cannot dispense with dogmas [i.e. formally stated doctrinal standards]. 1. Scripture represents the truth as essential to Christianity. The assertion often heard in our day, that Christianity is not a doctrine but a life, may have a rather pious sound, and for that very reason seems to appeal to some, but is after all a dangerous falsehood. It has been pointed out repeatedly, and has in recent years again been emphasized by Dr. Machen in his Christianity and Liberalism, that Christianity is a way of life founded on a message. The gospel is the self-revelation of God in Christ, which comes to us in the form of truth. That truth is revealed

Spiritual Growth by A. W. Pink, Part 16

By Rev. Brian Schwertley - Posted at Sermon Audio :