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Showing posts from 2023

Ryle and the Word of God

By Nathan A. Hughes "Let us be very careful that we never exalt any minister, or sermon, or book, or friend above the Word of God." J. C. RYLE  I am sure you have read one of J.C. Ryle’s books. His most well-known title is Holiness or to give its full title Holiness: Its Nature, Hinderances, Difficulties and Roots . Perhaps you have read Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century or his commentary series on the four Gospel, which he called Expository Thoughts . Before I go into the bulk of this article let me give you some background on Ryle. John Charles Ryle was born on 10 May 1816 in Macclesfield, England. He was the eldest son of John Ryle, a private banker, and an influential Member of Parliament for Macclesfield (1833–1837). Ryle was brought up in a middle/upper-class family and his father was financially well off. Ryle was brought up to go to Church on special occasions and in a cultural Christian household, but his family was not serious about religion. From the l

Procedure, Polity, and Defending Sin

By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms:  How the Ninth Commandment Teaches Us About Truth-Telling Howdy! Man, out of all the catechism questions we’ve gone through over the past year and a half I am pretty sure not only is this the longest one, but it is the one that highlights every single problem we experience in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The length of today’s essay cannot do the totality of the Q/A justice. Part of me wants to do about twelve posts on each of the clauses contained herein. However, I don’t figure you particularly want that level of minutiae. That all being said I highly recommend slowly reading through each of them and imbibe deeply into your soul the stuff listed. It is convicting, at least it is for me. As we get into the WLC this morning I will try and do justice to the thought of our forefathers in the faith, for it is definitely all-encompassing in regards to what the ninth requires of God’s covenant people. To ignore what i

Reformed Stupidity?

By Wes Bredenhof I saw this question on Reddit recently: Do Reformed preachers not see the stupidity of telling people not to rely on their works while also saying genuine faith produces good works? It just seems like double-speak to avoid being labeled Catholic or Arminian. I reply: this Reformed preacher fails to see the stupidity in this at all. I’ll explain. There is an important distinction being missed here by the questioner. In Reformed theology, we distinguish between the basis of your salvation and the outcome/response to your salvation. Drawing on the Bible, Reformed theology teaches that the basis or ground of our salvation is only in the finished work of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24). His perfect obedience and his perfect sacrifice on the cross constitute my righteousness before God. I can be justified – declared righteous – only because of Christ. Therefore, I rely on him and what he has done, rather than on me and what I have done. Having been saved by God’s free grace in Ch

C.H. Spurgeon: 'Doing What God Can Bless'

 'The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto' — Deuteronomy 28:8 If we obey the LORD our God He will bless that which He gives us. Riches are no curse when blessed of the LORD. When men have more than they require for their immediate need and begin to lay up in storehouses, the dry rot of covetousness or the blight of hard-heartedness is apt to follow the accumulation; but with God's blessing it is not so. Prudence arranges the saving, liberality directs the spending, gratitude maintains consecration, and praise sweetens enjoyment. It is a great mercy to have God's blessing in one's iron safe and on one's banking account. What a favor is made ours by the last clause! "The LORD shall bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand unto." We would not put our hand to anything upon which we dare not ask God's blessing, neither would we go about it without prayer and faith. But what a p

This Generation: The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description:   Critics have argued that Jesus did not return when He predicted. In this message, R.C. Sproul examines this supposedly unfulfilled prophecy and defends the Bible’s credibility. Direct Link: This Generation: The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

Be Thankful, John Witherspoon on the Lord’s Supper

Posted at Presbyterians of the Past: The BELIEVER going to GOD as His EXCEEDING JOY A SERMON. Psalm 43:4 Then will I go to the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy. It is of great moment to attend to the proper mixture of reverence and love which ought to possess our hearts in the worship of the living God. If they arise from proper principles, they will not destroy or weaken, but strengthen one another. A believer can never lie too low in the dust before the most holy God; he can never be too sensible either of his distance as a creature, or his guilt and unworthiness as a sinner; but, at the same time, he can never be too deeply penetrated with a sense of divine love, or have too strong and ardent desires for communion and fellowship with God. The truth is, the lower we are in our own sight, it does but the more illustrate and magnify all the grace that is shown to us in the gospel; and the more joyfully we contemplate the fullness of our portion in an infinite God, it will but th

Psalm 116: 'I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving'

  Psalm 116 I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars. What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the p

WCF 16: Of Good Works

By William Boekestein - Posted at Place for Truth: Martin Luther began his 95 Theses emphasizing the need for repentance. “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ ( Mt 4:17 ), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” Luther also understood that Jesus’ instruction “does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces” a changed life. This is how repentance leads into the topic of good works. Repentance is turning from sin “unto God, purposing and endeavoring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments” (15.2). Christianity tells us how our sins can be forgiven. It also instructs us in the life of good works to which we have been called ( Eph. 2:10 ). What Are Good Works? It would be easy for us to define works the way we look at art, as if beauty is merely in the eye of the beholder. We might suppose that God just wants us to do our best. Good intentions executed zealously seem honorable to us. But rig

C.H. Spurgeon: 'The Outward, Upward Look'

'Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else' — Isaiah 45:22 This is a promise of promises. It lies at the foundation of our spiritual life. Salvation comes through a look at Him who is "a just God and a Saviour." How simple is the direction! "Look unto me." How reasonable is the requirement! Surely the creature should look to the Creator. We have looked elsewhere long enough; it is time that we look alone to Him who invites our expectation and promises to give us His salvation. Only a look! Will we not look at once? We are to bring nothing in ourselves but to look outward and upward to our LORD on His throne, whither He has gone up from the cross. A look requires no preparation, no violent effort: it needs neither wit nor wisdom, wealth nor strength. All that we need is in the LORD our God, and if we look to Him for everything, that everything shall be ours, and we shall be saved. Come, far-off ones, look h

Literal or Figurative?: The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description: Jesus’ prophecy of His return includes both literal predictions and apocalyptic language. In this message, R.C. Sproul helps us interpret this difficult text. Direct Link: Literal or Figurative?: The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

Justitia Sengers – a Forgotten Sixteenth-Century Exegete

By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth: Blindness was common in ancient, medieval, and early modern Europe, due to the frequency of infections, malnutrition, accidents, and acts of violence, as well as to the lack of effective treatments. Some men, such as Jan Žižka, a commander of the Hussite forces, became legendary for their courage despite their blindness. Žižka, who had lost one eye in his youth, lost the other one in battle but still went on to lead his troops to victory. Many blind people lived in poverty and were reduced to begging. Others were supported by their families. Most of them, however, were exposed to some kind of abuse and derision. While the church in the Middle Ages provided some hostels for the blind, in the early modern era Juan Luis Vives, a Spanish humanist, began to advocate for training for the blind so they could work. “Some have a literary disposition,” he said, “provided that someone read to them. Let them study, for we observe that a n

Christians Love Their Enemies With Truth

By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: Keeping the 9th Commandment in the Way of Our Lord Good Morning! Today in God’s law we are looking at one that is somewhat most dearest to our interests. Of all the things in life we desire for ourselves it is that others might think well of us. To have a bad reputation is to ruin whatever first impression we may give when being introduced to someone for the first time. It also means that folks might give you a squinty eye when they see you out in public. This is especially the case when you don’t even know why people are treating you differently. There is no pain like finding out that someone is spreading rumors which concern something you have not done, or completely misrepresent an action you took that is the total opposite of what is being portrayed. The key identifier of the second half of the ten commandments is the love of neighbor. To love your neighbor means to love yourself first. If you want people to think w

What makes an ideal elder

 Posted at Reformation Scotland: If it is dangerous to any church to have ministers who are not called and qualified for their office, we must be equally concerned to have qualified elders. Zeal for the Lord’s honour and the gospel, love to souls and fear of the Lord’s judgment will make this a priority. One of the key elements contributing to discipline, peace and orderliness in congregations (and the wider community) is an effective eldership. Yet many elders are either unaware of the responsibilities of their office or not conscientious about fulfilling them. To address this, James Guthrie wrote a treatise on elders and deacons. The following excerpt from a recent edition of his treatise presents his explanation of the qualifications of a ruling elder. THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A RULING ELDER The qualifications of a ruling elder are of two sorts. Some are personal and relate to his way of life as a Christian. Others are official and relate to how he rules as an office-bearer in the hous

C.H. Spurgeon: 'The Name to Use'

'If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it' — John 14:14 What a wide promise! Anything! Whether large or small, all my needs are covered by that word "anything". Come, my soul, be free at the mercy seat, and hear thy LORD saying to thee, "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." What a wise promise! We are always to ask in the name of Jesus. While this encourages us, it also honors Him. This is a constant plea. Occasionally every other plea is darkened, especially such as we could draw from our own relation to God or our experience of His grace; but at such times the name of Jesus is as mighty at the throne as ever, and we may plead it with full assurance. What an instructive prayer! I may not ask for anything to which I cannot put Christ's hand and seal. I dare not use my LORD's name to a selfish or willful petition. I may only use my LORD's name to prayers which He would Himself pray if He were in my case. It is a high privilege to be

A Question of Time: The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description: At the Mount of Olives, the disciples asked Jesus when He would return. In this message, R.C. Sproul considers Jesus’ surprising answer. Direct Link: A Question of Time: The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

Anne Askew and Her Influence on the English Reformation

 By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth: On July 16, 1546, Anne Askew was burned at the stake after suffering terrible tortures – the only woman on record to have tortured in the Tower of London. What caused such a fury against her? Anne was born around 1521 to Sir William Askew and Elizabeth Wrothesley in Lincolnshire. Her father was a courtier at King Henry VIII’s court, and one of her brother was Henry’s cup bearer. Little is known of Anne’s younger years but, as most noble women of her day, she was well educated. Anne was fifteen when her sister Martha died and Sir William, who had already paid the dowry to Martha’s fiancée, Thomas Kyme, decided to give him Anne instead. According to her early biographer, John Bale, she tried to be a submissive wife and loving mother to her two children, but her careful and faithful study of the Bible eventually convinced her of the truth of the Protestant teachings that were circulating at that time – a conviction she couldn’t hide. Read mo

Murray Rothbard and the 8th Commandment

 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: What God Would Have Us Not Do With Our Money Good Morning, As we get into the sins of the eighth commandment there can be a sense where what we think and read in the statute only really applies to people with a lot of money. Turn on a TV and all you see is reports of Billionaire x and/or company y defrauding millions of people out of their retirement. Events like that only reconfirm our preconceptions. You need not be surprised at such, a tale as old as time, however, greed and avarice are not sins of wealth, like all other transgressions of the law they begin in the heart. And like all other decisions to break the rules and regulations of the Bible their genesis is found in a lack of trust in the living God. Has He provided sufficiently for your needs? We confess yes, but do we act with such thanksgiving and love? That’s the question the eighth commandment has for us today. Will we trust in His means in the gathering

Letters to Stagnant Christians #1

Posted at Churches Without Chests: Dear Jake, You’ve asked me to take a shot at explaining why spiritual growth is so minimal in your life. Having observed you for many years, I think I’m in a position to give a plausible answer. You seem to live in a state that I call “over-the-next-hill commitment”. That is, your commitment to Christ is ever approaching, but never arrives. It is always on the horizon of your thinking, visible enough to console you, but never actually where you are. It’s always over the next hill – once the job slows down, once the kids are more settled, once the financial situation is stable. You speak frequently of what you plan to do, hope to do, seek to do for Christ, but seldom of what you are actually doing. The busyness of life, the demands of work, the increasing family responsibilities forever push the promised commitment out by another few yards. Your problem is that you cannot see that your commitment to Christ is meant to happen within this busyness, not

C.H. Spurgeon: 'True Humility Rewarded'

'He that humbleth himself shall be exalted' — Luke 18:14 It ought not to be difficult for us to humble ourselves, for what have we to be proud of? We ought to take the lowest place without being told to do so. If we are sensible and honest, we shall be little in our own eyes. Especially before the LORD in prayer we shall shrink to nothing. There we cannot speak of merit, for we have none; our one and only appeal must be to mercy: "God be merciful to me a sinner." Here is a cheering word from the throne. We shall be exalted by the LORD if we humble ourselves. For us the way upward is downhill. When we are stripped of self we are clothed with humility, and this is the best of wear. The LORD will exalt us in peace and happiness of mind; He will exalt us into knowledge of His Word and fellowship with Himself; He will exalt us in the enjoyment of sure pardon and justification. The LORD puts His honors upon those who can wear them to the honor of the Giver. He gives usefuln

Understanding the Parousia: The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description: What is the kingdom of God? Is it mainly about social issues, or is it something supernatural? In this message, R.C. Sproul warns against unbiblical views of God’s kingdom. Direct Link: Understanding the Parousia: The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

WCF 15: Of Repentance unto Life

 By William Boekestein - Posted at Place for Truth: At the start of his ministry the Lord Jesus used just two verbs to summarize the good news of his kingdom: “Repent and believe in the gospel” ( Mark 1:15 ). Paul condensed his ministry in a similar way: I testified “both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” ( Acts 20:21 ). Only by this kind of preaching was Paul “innocent of the blood of all” ( Acts 20:26 ). He had delivered the essential message that had been committed to him. Repentance, along with faith, belongs to the “elementary doctrine of Christ”—it is foundational for the Christian ( Heb. 6:1 ). By faith we accept, receive, and rest upon Christ alone for salvation. By repentance we turn from sin to God with a commitment to new obedience. We must repent. So we need to know how to do it. But lest we try to do something we don’t understand we need to first know what repentance is. Continue here.

The Eighth Commandment and God's Gift

By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: How the Law Teaches Us to Rest in Christ and Love Our Neighbor Howdy! There is a consistent concern in the second table of the law that calls all men to recognize the needs of their neighbors over whatever is their own. We know that because that’s what Jesus says in Matthew 22:36-40. It’s also what Moses writes in Leviticus 19:18. The Bible is reliable like that. God in His grace is a witness to all men that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves and we should have the needs and the mind of the community first. If anything is less a part of our mindset today I am not sure what it would be. Everything from our time to our energy to the way we approach life is geared toward me, myself, and I. Watching four or five commercials is all one needs to confirm that thesis. “What’s wrong with you and how can you improve you” is the attitude which overwhelms our culture. In no other place is the chasm greater than when i

The Making of Body and Soul by Thomas Boston

Posted at Philalethes Irenaeus: Let us consider God’s making man, male and female; that is, man and woman. First, Adam was the male, and Eve the female. These were the common parents of all mankind, and there was no man in the world, before Adam. He is expressly called ‘the first man,’ 1 Cor. 15:5 and Eve ‘the mother of all living,’ Gen. 3:20. And hence it is said ‘God hath made of one blood all nations of men,’ Acts 17:26. Secondly, Man consists of a soul and body, which being united constitute man; that is, man or woman. Here I shall consider, 1. The body; and, 2. The soul. 1. The body of the man. Man’s body is a piece of most rare and curious workmanship, plainly indicating its divine Maker. In it there is a variety of members, none of them superfluous, but all adapted to the use assigned them by the wise Creator. The man’s body, as Moses tells us, was formed of the dust of the ground, Gen. 2:7. Hence he was called Adam, which signifies red earth; of which sort of virgin earth man’

The Reformation and Martyrdom

By Rev. Wes Bredenhof In parts of Europe, the Reformation was marked with the spilling of blood. In the first half of the sixteenth century, nowhere were more martyrs murdered than in the Low Countries. Reformed believers experienced intense persecution from the Spanish authorities. One of those believers was the author of the Belgic Confession, Guido de Brès. As a leading pastor in the Reformed churches, De Brès was a wanted man. Finally, on March 28, 1567, he was arrested and imprisoned. As he waited for his inevitable death sentence, de Brès wrote several letters. These letters survived and were later published. The most notable among them is the letter he wrote to his wife Catherine. You can hear the author of the Belgic Confession speak tenderly as a husband and father. In these words he comes alive, not only as a human being, but as a redeemed sinner bought with the blood of Jesus Christ. He went to his martyrdom on May 31, 1567 with full confidence in Christ. It was through mart

Crisis in Eschatology: The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description: Eschatology—or the study of the “last days”—is full of heated debates. In this message, R.C. Sproul looks to Jesus’ own words to bring clarity to this topic. Direct Link:  Crisis in Eschatology: The Last Days According to Jesus with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

PATRICK HAMILTON; Scotland’s Royal Martyr

Posted at Clogher Valley Free Presbyterian Church: The 16th Century shaped the destiny of modern Britain more than any other era in our national story. This was the Reformation period, when the old establishment – which had dominated Europe for 1,000 years – was shaken, when theology turned the tide of history and dominated the affairs of nations. While grievances against the Church had been simmering away for many years, as the peasants yearned for greater freedoms, and when theological challenges to the authority of the Papacy, as Wycliffe and Huss had demonstrated, were nothing new, opposition to the beliefs of these early reformers had been held in check. The theological, political and social fabric of Europe had been conditioned for change in much the same way as wood is dried for the fire. In 1517, the circumstances were just right for the spark to be lit. It was Dr Martin Luther, the Augustinian monk, who ignited the fire on 31st October by pasting up his ‘95 arguments against

Sodomy, Stews, and Modesty For Christians

 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: Why the Seventh Commandment is So Hard For Many to Follow Howdy, Something that has always been an interesting curiosity to me has been how many cult leaders develop their philosophy of ministry based on polygamous desires. One could go down a long list of men who have come up with new religions, or new concepts based on older religions that are merely covers for their desire to entrap and seduce women. Why is there such an insatiable relationship between heresy and wicked sexual sin? Does the first produce the second or is the former a consequence of the latter? The same could be said for men in ministry. Of all the pastors I have known who have shipwrecked themselves, their congregations, their families in service of licentious pleasure far outstrips the number who’ve similarly fallen due to greed, power, or arrogance. I bet if you laid the same template down in the business world you’d probably find a similar level o

Marie Dentière – A Pillar of the Reformation in Geneva

By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth: Visitors to Geneva, Switzerland, will find at the heart of the Parc des Bastions – the largest historical park in the city center - an impressive monument with giant statues of the main protagonists of the Geneva Reformation: John Calvin, William Farel, Theodore Beza and John Knox (better known for his role in the Scottish Reformation). The engravings on the wall include Geneva’s motto “Post Tenebras Lux” and, on an adjacent stone block, the name of a woman: Marie Dentière. Dentière is the only woman mentioned on the wall. Her name was added in 2002, about a century after the wall’s inauguration. It was an important addition because, despite centuries of stained reputation, she is recognized as one of the leading intellectuals and promoters of the Reformation. From Prioress to Reformer She was born around 1495 into a well-off noble family (d’Ennetières) in Tournai, Flanders (part of today’s Belgium). Nothing is known about her younger yea

C.H. Spurgeon: 'Godly Stability'

'And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD' — Jeremiah 15:20 Stability in the fear and faith of God will make a man like a wall of brass, which no one can batter down or break. Only the LORD can make such; but we need such men in the church, and in the world, but specially in the pulpit. Against uncompromising men of truth this age of shams will fight tooth and nail. Nothing seems to offend Satan and his seed like decision. They attack holy firmness even as the Assyrians besieged fenced cities. The joy is that they cannot prevail against those whom God has made strong in His strength. Carried about with every wind of doctrine, others only need to be blown upon and away they go; but those who love the doctrines of grace, because they possess the grace of the doctrines, stand like rocks in the midst of raging seas. Whenc

Perseverance of the Saints: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description: Can people who are saved lose their salvation? If not, then how do we explain those people who have fallen away? In this message, Dr. Sproul thinks about these questions as he looks at “Perseverance of the Saints.” Direct Link:  Perseverance of the Saints: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

God’s Way to Plant Churches, Call an Evangelist

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None of His Benefits: 'When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.' – Acts 14:23 Most of us know that around 4000 churches annually in the U.S. are closing their doors and becoming restaurants, museums, Hindu temples, or Muslim mosques.[1] Why is this happening? Briefly put, the church is not sticking to the humbling, simple, and narrow gospel of Jesus Christ which alone can save people (2 Kings 5:1-14). Failing churches have lost their way. What are we to do? We must plant new churches, but how shall we go about doing that? Many denominations today do something like the following. They look for a fast growing part of town, find a core group of people from another church who live in this fast growing part of town, and call a church planter who is responsible for raising around $400,000 over three years in order to fund the church plant. If the chur

Adultery and the Preservation of Life

 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: Why the Seventh Commandment is So Controversial Good Morning, Of all the Ten Commandments in some ways the Seventh is the most pertinent to our current cultural breakdown and the one we have the most trouble talking about with seriousness and openness. Everyone’s grandma told them not to talk about it, so we don’t, except through euphemisms and juvenile remarks. However, none of the other statutes found in the summary of the Lord’s very character have as a consequence of its keeping (or breaking) the possibility that life can be created. The Sixth Commandment, which we looked at the past couple of weeks of course concerned its ending, but here we are working through what the one who made the heavens and the earth has to teach us about our own ability and calling to bring forth a new humanity made in His image. Even those who our catechism below (which includes Paul, see 1 Cor. 7:8-9), mentioned with the gift of continen

Distinctives of Puritan Preaching: Dignity

 By Don Kistler - Posted at Place for Truth: The Puritan preacher saw the role of preaching much differently than we do today because he saw the role of the preacher so much differently than we do today. Rather than seeing the preacher as just “one of the boys” with a bit more knowledge of religious things, the Puritan preacher saw his office as one of dignity and importance, character and content. Alexander Grosart, speaking of Thomas Brooks, said,“In all likelihood he proceeded from degree to degree, although in common with other of the Puritans, he places none (of those degrees) on his title pages, preferring the nobler designation, ‘Preacher of the Gospel,’ or ‘Preacher of the Word.’ ” The difference in how we view the pulpit is pointed out by Dr. Bruce Bickel in his excellent book, Light and Heat: the Puritan View of the Pulpit : The fading picture of the pulpit is a clear picture of how many Protestant ministers see their task and function. Their time is dictated by the vision t

C.H. Spurgeon: 'Holy Fear'

'He that feareth the Commandment shall be rewarded' — Proverbs 13:13 Holy awe of God's Word is at a great discount. Men think themselves wiser than the Word of the LORD and sit in judgment upon it. "So did not I, because of the fear of God." We accept the inspired Book as infallible and prove our esteem by our obedience. We have no terror of the Word, but we have a filial awe of it. We are not in fear of its penalties because we have a fear of its commands. This holy fear of the commandment produces the restfulness of humility, which is far sweeter than the recklessness of pride. It becomes a guide to us in our movements: a drag when we are going downhill and a stimulus when we are climbing it. Preserved from evil and led into righteousness by our reverence of the command, we gain a quiet conscience, which is a well of wine; a sense of freedom from responsibility, which is as life from the dead; and a confidence of pleasing God, which is heaven below. The ungodly

Irresistible Grace: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description: How is it that you who hated God so much now love him so much? What did you do to change your heart so radically? Do you remember resisting grace? Do you remember when you received it? Was it before or after you had faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation? In this message, Dr. Sproul considers these questions as he examines the doctrine of “Irresistible Grace.” Direct Link:  Irresistible Grace: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

Suffering, Martyrdom, and Rewards in Heaven1

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None Of His Benefits: 'But before all these things, they will lay hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.' -Luke 21:12,13 I met Joseph Tson and his dear wife, Elizabeth in October, 2017 in Wittenberg, Germany as we celebrated the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-five Thesis to the Castle Church door there in Wittenberg. We were using this historic occasion as an opportunity to discuss with other believers important theological documents for the evangelical world. I had known about Joseph Tson for many years but was so pleased to meet him and find out more about his amazing life in Communist Romania. While a young man, Joseph remembered how the belief in the Romanian church that God does not want His people to suffer corrupted the church. He sadly said that he also once joine

Suicide, Just War Theory, and the Grace of God

 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: How Does the Christian Understand the Sixth Commandment Good Morning, In our only question this week we’ll get into what the Sixth Commandment says to all men as to what they are not to do because God says not to kill. Our Larger Catechism is going to give us the commandment, what is required, and what is forbidden with each of the second table laws. We’ll follow the pattern established with the sixth in all that comes next: what it is, and how we are to live it out for one week, with what it is against by itself the following week. The purpose the divines have in not going to four or five questions per commandment like they did with the first table is because we need an even greater understanding as to the reasons for not using the Lord’s name in vain or breaking the Sabbath because those are sins against God. We ought not need as much encouragement to not do evil when the transgressee is another human. For unlike our

Katharina Schütz Zell – Church Mother of the Reformation

 By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth: Often described as “Church Mother,” Katharina Zell was one of the pillars of the Protestant Reformation and one of the most prolific women writers of her time. Unlike other well-known writers such as Katherine Parr, Marguerite of Navarre, Anne Locke, and Mary Sidney Herbert, she didn’t achieve a higher level of education, although her writings became widely respected and influential. Born around 1498 to a middle-class family and orphaned at a young age, she exhibited early on an eagerness to obey the Scriptures, attending the sacraments, praying, doing good works, and reading the Bible (in German, a habit the church at that time didn’t encourage). Like Martin Luther, she could never find assurance of salvation in her actions. She first found this assurance around 1521, under the preaching of Matthias Zell, a cathedral priest who had adhered to Luther’s teachings. Based on her understanding of the Lutheran doctrine