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Showing posts from September, 2022

The Reformation and the Doctrines of Grace

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 By Jeffrey Stivason - Posted at Place for Truth : I love this time of year but it’s not because the temperature drops, or the leaves fall. I love it because it gives me an opportunity to revisit the history and theology bound up in the Reformation. Many years ago, I made it a habit of watching the 1953 movie Martin Luther staring Niall MacGinnis. This old retelling had a number of scholars working behind the scenes including Jaroslav Pelikan and it was obviously accurate enough to ruffle Roman feathers. Quebec's film censorship board, which was made up entirely of French-speaking Catholics, banned the movie. Why? Because those Catholics understood that the Reformation was no small matter. Luther's teachings remained as heretical in 1953 as they were in the 16th century and was never released in Quebec's movie theaters. In the last several years, I was invited to a presentation by a large church where I live. Over sixty churches showed up, Protestants and Roman Catholics

Hear O Man, the LORD Our God is One!

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How the Unity and Diversity in the Trinity Gives the Christian Peace  By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at  Thoughts from Parson Farms: Without a doubt the most famous or precious, however you want to put it, verse or set of verses for the Israelite, and Jews today, is the Great Shema, Deuteronomy 6:4 which says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” . That statement is as perfect a summary of the gospel and the redeemed sinner’s relationship to Jehovah as there can be. First of all Moses tells us to listen, to hear the truth. Second he notes whom he is speaking to, Israel, the people of God. What does he want them to know? The LORD, the covenant-keeping Lord who has ransomed captive Israel, is our God, and He is our God by His gracious gift of Himself in the calling of Abram out of the land of the Chaldees and granting unto the seed of Abraham the sign of that promise that He will always be their God and no created thing, no power or principality can take that away. Th

Work is Done; Rest in Him

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 By C.H. Spurgeon - Posted at Daily Devotional/Sermon Audio: "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" — Hebrews 4:9 God has provided a Sabbath, and some must enter into it. Those to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief; therefore, that Sabbath remains for the people of God. David sang of it; but he had to touch the minor key, for Israel refused the rest of God. Joshua could not give it, nor Canaan yield it: it remains for believers. Come, then, let us labor to enter into this rest. Let us quit the weary toil of sin and self. Let us cease from all confidence, even in those works of which it might be said, "They are very good." Have we any such? Still, let us cease from our own works, as God did from His. Now let us find solace in the finished work of our LORD Jesus. Everything is fully done: justice demands no more. Great peace is our portion in Christ Jesus. As to providential matters, the work of grace in the soul and the wor

His Obedience Infinitely Exceeds Your Disobedience

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 By Don Kistler - Posted at Reformation21 : Satan is the great enemy of our souls. When he realizes that he cannot stop God’s saving a person, he does all that he can to trouble and vex that soul. Recognizing this, the Puritans spent a great portion of their sermon ministering to wounded souls in their congregation. For example, consider these words from Christopher Love: Take this for your comfort, O you perplexed conscience: when you are in a corner, none but God and your own soul together, you think no man’s sin so grievous as yours. Then take this for your comfort: let your sin be never so great, yet the satisfaction and sufferings of Christ are far greater. “The blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin.” The Red Sea did with as much ease drown Pharaoh and all his host as it could do a single man. The red sea of Christ’s blood can drown a whole host, and a huge multitude of sins, as well as a small lust. Though you have need to shed more tears for sin in a way of contrition, yet C

Presbyterians and the American Revolution: Boston Stands its Ground

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By Bruce Gore - Posted at YouTube: Source:  13. Boston Stands its Ground (2/21/2022) - YouTube

Textual Confidence

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Posted at Gentle Reformation: (Guest post by Rev. Stephen Steele, minister of Stranraer RPC Scotland and current Moderator of the RPCS) Has God’s word been deliberately tampered with over the years? Have verses teaching the deity of Christ been systematically removed from our Bibles? Are the differences between ancient, modern and Reformation-era Bibles so significant that some of us have completely different Bibles from our fellow church members? Does admitting uncertainty about any part of the Biblical text ( as the KJV translators did in their footnotes ), mean that we can’t be certain about any of it? You may have heard such claims. In fact, you may have heard them from two opposite ends of the spectrum. You may have heard them from liberals and sceptics such as Bart Ehrman, or you may have heard them from some in the church who could never in a million years be confused with a theological liberal. Either way, it leads to the same result. It leads to the confidence of God’s people

Giving Thanks to the God Who Knows Us

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 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts from Parson Farms: Understanding How the Attributes of the LORD Move Us to Praise Good Morning! Well, as we roll along here at the beginning of the catechism we continue to look at the big picture stuff. We’ve gone from the why do we exist question to how do we know there is a God, to what is God. There is enough in each of those to keep us busy for the rest of our lives (and for eternity blessedly). This week’s Larger Catechism Q/A has us at the latter. What can we know about God and what do His attributes tell us about how we are to adore our Creator. There is much in the Bible which calls on the creation to meditate on the glory and majesty of the Triune Deity. It is one of those subjects that really separates the believer from the unbeliever, the lover from the pretender. If God bores you than there is a problem. That’s not to say there isn’t so much going on here that we can get overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion. However, there

Sally Jones Charles – Pillar of the Welsh Revival at Bala [Wife of Thomas Charles]

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 By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth : Most accounts of Welsh church history recognize the impressive contributions of Thomas Charles [1] , the pastor of a Calvinistic Methodist church in Bala, Wales, in the Welsh Revival of his century, in the establishment of a great number of schools in the region, and in the foundation of the Bible Society. Few accounts, however, recognize the importance of his wife, Sally Jones, the only reason why he moved to Bala in the first place and his greatest human source of encouragement and support. Sally (Sarah) Jones was born in Bala on November 12, 1753. Her father David died when she was only six, leaving his family with the administration of their shop – a typical store selling “nearly everything required for house hold purposes and personal wear ... from senna to silk hats and scrubbing-brushes to the most delicate of edibles.” [2] Sally’s mother Jane soon remarried. The man she chose was Thomas Foulks,

Stop Saying the Law is the Gospel

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 By Wes Bredenhof I’ve been patient with this for many years, but today I’m compelled to say it: one of the most theologically irresponsible things anyone can say is “the law is the gospel.” Sadly, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve heard it from people who should know better. The issue is a failure to define and distinguish properly. The categories get fuzzy. It starts with grammar. There are distinguishable imperatives and indicatives in the Bible. An imperative is a command; an indicative expresses factual statements. The typical form for biblical law is the imperative. The typical form for the gospel is the indicative. The imperative tells us what we’re to do; the indicative tells us what God has done, is doing, and will do. We also have to reckon with those passages in Scripture where law and gospel are juxtaposed. In 2 Cor. 3:6, the Holy Spirit says “For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” From the context, it’s evident that “the letter” is “th

Presbyterians and the American Revolution: The Return of Whitefield

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By Bruce Gore - Posted at YouTube: Source:  12. The Return of Whitefield - YouTube

Thomas Charles, Mary Jones, and the Birth of the Bible Society

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By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth: Many of us have heard the story of the sixteen-year-old girl who walked 25 miles to buy a Bible with the money she had saved while doing chores. That girl was Mary Jones, and her destination was a church at Bala, Wales, where a shipment of Welsh Bibles had just arrived. Mary’s story has been repeated several times, sometimes embellished by additional details. While walking miles was not entirely unusual in her day, Mary’s burning desire to own a Bible and her persistence in achieving her goal was so impressive that it inspired the birth of the Bible Society both in Wales and in the rest of the world. Mary’s Youth and Schooling Mary Jones was born in 1784 at Tyn-y-ddôl, Wales, to a couple of weavers: James and Mary (Molly), both early members of the Calvinistic Methodist church in the village of Abergynolwyn, two miles from their home. When James died, Molly raised young Mary on her own. The girl’s interest in the Bi

The Word of God is the Word of God

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 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts from Parson Farms : Learning to Quit Fooling With the Bible and Rest in Its Truth Good Morning! As we come to the next set of questions and answers our Larger Catechism is interested in expanding on what we learned in the Shorter Catechism about the Bible. The Divines continue to explain how it is we know God, who He is, what He has done, is doing, and will do, as well as why it is we are to trust the book that tells us these things. Q/A #3 tells us what the word of God is, Q/A #4 testifies to the many ways in which the Bible not only is right and good, but exemplifies these things by its very nature, and Q/A #5 shows us why the Bible should matter to us. Q. 3. What is the Word of God? A. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience. Q. 4. How Does it Appear that the Scriptures are the Word of God? A. The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God, by their majesty an

William A. Scott, Missionary to California

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By Barry Waugh - Posted at Presbyterians of the Past : William Anderson was born to parents of Scotch-Irish descent named Eli and Martha (Anderson) Scott, January 30, 1813, at Rock Creek which is located south of Nashville in Bedford County, Tennessee. The Scotts found frontier Tennessee a challenge but then after moving to colder Illinois for two years they returned. The cantankerous mode of travel was a flatboat as they made a harrowing journey down the Mississippi River to settle on Big Creek near Memphis. Eli’s two older brothers, John and Joshua, had moved also providing mutual support as all the Scotts settled the land. The more prosperous brother, Joshua, hired a tutor to teach all the cousins in their own private schoolroom. William spent his youth on the family farm until at sixteen years of age he left to attend Cumberland College. The college had been established in Princeton, Kentucky by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. A classmate of Scott, James A. Lyon , described him

Inerrancy and Hermeneutics

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By David P. Smith - Posted at Place for Truth: Hermeneutics is the study or practice of interpretation, and it’s what humans cannot help but do. Every moment of our waking hours we interpret, which is to say that we assign meaning or significance to all that we experience. We do this either consciously or unconsciously on the basis of what we believe is true. Yet, what we believe is true may or may not be true. Of course, in our relativistic age someone will object and claim that what someone believes is true is merely true for them. While such an over-personalized view of truth, what we can call subjectivism, is the controlling confession of Western culture, it is not actually what people ultimately practice. If they did, they would stop talking altogether, because they would recognize that their fundamental belief about reality excludes a commonly known reality through which we have communion with others. In part, this simply shows the irrationality of sin, and people’s rational in

Presbyterians and the American Revolution: A New Aristocracy

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By Bruce Gore - Posted at YouTube : Source:  11. A New Aristocracy (1/23/2022) - YouTube

Whose Kingdom Shall Have No End

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 By O. Palmer Robertson - Posted at Reformation 21: Jesus began his ministry in his hometown of Nazareth in Galilee. But when he spoke of Elijah and Elisha ministering to citizens of alien nations rather than within Israel, the people of Nazareth prepare to kill him ( Luke 4:28–29 ). Following his ministry in Nazareth, Jesus continued in Galilee, prophetically bringing to fulfillment what Isaiah describes as a ministry along “the way of the sea, . . . Galilee of the nations” ( Isa. 9:1–2 ; Matt. 4:12–17 ). These people, formerly living in darkness, now saw a great light. In this way, the inauguration of Jesus' ministry is the inauguration of a messianic kingdom, a kingdom with a role in the vast world of darkened nations. Both Matthew and Luke make the point well. This kingdom that Jesus brings is not restricted to Israel. From its initial stages, it embraces all nations. It is truly the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of Israel. No idea of Jesus’ promoting a restored kingdom for t

The Chief and Highest Good

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 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts from Parson Farms : Knowing the One Who is Alone Sufficient and Complete Good Morning! While it may seem like we are re-inventing the wheel by going through the Larger Catechism after having spent a year in the Shorter Catechism I want to assure you of two things: first, it’s always good to go back over things we’ve heard before, second, I don’t think even I remember what I wrote in 2021, so it will be review for me as well. It is always a blessing to spend time learning about what the Bible teaches on who God is and why He is worth worshipping and serving, our salvation, grace, the commandments, prayer, the sacraments, etc… So I am positive that these studies on the Larger Catechism will be helpful and bring a positive light on your life as a believer, and just in general. Without further adieu here are the first two questions: Q. 1. What is the chief and highest end of man? A. Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to

What Is the Doctrine of Election?

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 By Benjamin L. Merkle - Posted at Crossway : God’s Plan in Salvation The ultimate goal of God’s plan includes the redemption of the entire cosmos ( Eph. 1:10 ) and is therefore not limited to humanity. But the renewal of humanity is the key component of God’s cosmic plan to unite all things in Christ. God’s plan to save his people is featured prominently in the first two chapters of Ephesians, especially Ephesians 1:3–14 . In the original Greek, this passage consists of one long sentence of 202 words. These verses contain an extended praise to God for his blessings that believers receive from their union with Christ; namely, God’s election, redemption, inheritance, and perseverance. The topic of God’s amazing love in regeneration is highlighted in Ephesians 2:4–10 . Election As Paul begins his letter in a typical Old Testament or Jewish style of a prolonged blessing (eulogy), he urges his readers to bless God since he has blessed us “with every spiritual blessing” ( Eph. 1:3 ). Specif

Presbyterians and the American Revolution: The Great Awakening Extends its Reach

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By Bruce Gore - Posted at YouTube: Source:  10. The Great Awakening Extends its Reach - YouTube

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Fire goes before Him And burns up His adversaries round about.” – “Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.”

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 By Bill Hornbeck - Posted at Reformed Doctrine Daily Devotions: Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 19:16-25. “So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. Also let the

The Nature of the Bible

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 By Jeffrey Stivason - Posted at Place for Truth: Christians are people of “ the Book.” What is more, Christians believe that this book is essential for all of life. Life can’t be lived without its message. So, we are thankful that God, in due time, inscripturated His Word, that is, the eternal God had them committed to writing “for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world.” [1] To draw the point more fixedly, a professional golfer lives his professional life by The Official Guidebook to the Rules of Golf but they do not affect his marriage or parental skills. The Bible, on the other hand, is a rule for faith and life. So, it is important for us to ask about the nature of this Book. How does a Christian describe it? There are three terms often used to describe the nature of the Bible. Those words are infallible, inerrant and authoritat