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Showing posts from August, 2023

Good Governance Begins With Knowledge

 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: How Superiors, Inferiors, and Equals Must Seek Their Place Good Morning, We are going to do something a little bit different today for our look at the Larger Catechism. In the act of taking questions out of order it may seem as if we are doing violence to the original intent of the writers. If they wanted to keep the scope and the definition of the fifth command together they would of done so. Why should I feel the right to divide them? It’s a good inquiry worthy of an explanation. Simply put the breaking up of a multi-year look of 196 questions is going to mean that some decisions will be necessary in order to better explain the totality of the purpose of the Christian religion for believers and unbelievers alike. When it comes to this part of the law some terms are going to be used that are wildly foreign to the way we talk today, for good or for ill. Any conversation that gets into hierarchy, roles, and place is goi

WCF 12: Of Adoption

By William Boekestein - Posted at Place for Truth: Martin Luther said that justification is the doctrine upon which the church stands or falls. And justification is a vital, glorious reality. God declares that because of Christ’s righteousness the claims of the law are satisfied for everyone who believes. Justification is a verdict of “no condemnation” for hell-deserving sinners ( Rom. 8:1 ). But God’s kindness is deeper and richer than we could even imagine. He not only forgives our debts; he also receives us into his family. Those whom God justifies he also adopts as his dear children, both sons and daughters. Scripture commonly speaks of the “sonship” of believers not to exclude females but to emphasize the full right of inheritance to all believers which in the ancient world was the privilege of males. In quoting 2 Samuel 7 Paul explicitly expands God’s promise to be a father to David’s son saying, “and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the

C.H. Spurgeon: Plentiful Refreshment

Their soul shall be as a watered garden — Jeremiah 31:12 Oh, to have one's soul under heavenly cultivation; no longer a wilderness but a garden of the LORD! Enclosed from the waste, walled around by grace, planted by instruction, visited by love, weeded by heavenly discipline, and guarded by divine power, one's favored soul is prepared to yield fruit unto the LORD. But a garden may become parched for want of water, and then all its herbs decline and are ready to die. O my soul, how soon would this be the case were the LORD to leave thee! In the East, a garden without water soon ceases to be a garden at all: nothing can come to perfection, grow, or even live. When irrigation is kept up, the result is charming. Oh, to have one's soul watered by the Holy Spirit uniformly -- every part of the garden having its own stream; plentifully -- a sufficient refreshment coming to every tree and herb, however thirsty by nature it may be; continually -- each hour bringing not only its hea

Faith Alone (Part 1): What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description: Regarding salvation, what is the fundamental difference between true Christianity and all the other religions of the world? Considering the question of salvation from the historical and theological framework of the Protestant Reformation, Dr. Sproul looks at “Faith Alone.” Direct Link:  Faith Alone (Part 1): What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

Daniel Rowland And Preaching for Divine Impression, Part One

 By Al Baker - Posted at Forget None Of His Benefits: Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. – Psalm 2:11 Christians in the West have never had more access to sound Biblical and theological training than now. Seminaries, Bible colleges, excellent on line theological training, classic works in theology now in the public domain, and churches on every corner should all translate into a godly, humble, Christian populace which is impacting our culture for good. Is that happening? You know it is not. Why not? I honestly believe the problem is modern day preaching. Perhaps due to the Greek and Roman milieu of when the New Covenant church began, the emphasis has been on the mind and not the heart. Consequently preachers and pastors in the West have been taught to address only the mind in preaching and teaching. How is this working out? Not so good. What do we need? We need men who preach seeking what I call “the divine impression.” Daniel Rowland, the Spirit anointed Angl

Do You Love God? I Mean Really Love Him?

By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: The desire of obedience in the heart of a Believer Good Morning, As we move into the second table of the law in our walk through the Ten Commandments as they are laid out in the Westminster Larger Catechism our Divines are going to want to take a breath and ask a question about what we are doing. It is always helpful to take stock of where things are going and how things are at the moment. Doing both helps assist in making the way clear for positive growth in the future. As we heard of the dangers of atheism, idolatry, blasphemy, and Sabbath breaking the Love Thy Neighbor part of the Law will of course have its do’s and don’ts as well. However, we need to be careful not to spend all our time on the negatives. For Christians the keeping of the statutes of God is always a blessing to us. We should always be desiring to be conformed to the image of the Son. The Bible knows nothing about a stagnant believer. The Pharisees we

The Otranto Martyrs

 By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth: On July 28, 1480, citizens of Otranto, Italy, spied a large Turkish fleet approaching their coasts. Otranto, an amiable town around the tip of the heel of the Italian “boot,” had long been an important port. Ita strategic position, however, also made it susceptible to attacks from across the Adriatic Sea – particularly from Turkish raiders who often scoured the coasts of Italy. By that time, the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire had become very powerful. Less than thirty years earlier, in 1453, its troops had taken over Constantinople, putting the final nail to the coffin of the Roman Empire that had survived in the East. Proud of his achievements, Sultan Mehmed II entertained dreams of expanding to the west. Most likely, Gedik Ahmet Pasha, leader of the Turkish fleet that was moving in the direction of Otranto, shared his sultan’s dream. Its fleet was impressive: 150 ships carrying 18,000 soldiers. This was not meant to be

C.H. Spurgeon: Wrath to God's Glory

"Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain" — Psalm 76:10 Wicked men will be wrathful. Their anger we must endure as the badge of our calling, the token of our separation from them: if we were of the world, the world would love its own. Our comfort is that the wrath of man shall be made to redound to the glory of God. When in their wrath the wicked crucified the Son of God they were unwittingly fulfilling the divine purpose, and in a thousand cases the willfulness of the ungodly is doing the same. They think themselves free, but like convicts in chains they are unconsciously working out the decrees of the Almighty. The devices of the wicked are overruled for their defeat. They act in a suicidal way and baffle their own plottings. Nothing will come of their wrath which can do us real harm. When they burned the martyrs, the smoke which blew from the stake sickened men of popery more than anything else. Meanwhile, the LORD has a muzzle

Scripture Alone: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description: Christians ought to submit to the authority given them by Christ. But what happens when those in authority teach things contrary to the Word of God? Is there a higher court to which we can appeal? The answer is yes. The appeal was made in the sixteenth century and the motion still carries. Reformers call this Sola Scriptura. That’s the Latin slogan for Scripture alone. Dr. Sproul teaches us about this in the message entitled “Scripture Alone.” Direct Link:  Scripture Alone: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

Standing Against the Devil, Part 7 - The Shield of Faith

By Pastor Brian Schwertley - Posted at Sermon Audio: Direct Link:  Standing Against the Devil, Part 7 - The Shield of Faith | SermonAudio Image Source:

Are You Super Busy? God Has an Answer

 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: Remembering the Sabbath Day As a Day of Rest Howdy! Last, but not least in the Larger Catechism’s look at the fourth commandment involves two questions that ask first of all about the enforcement of this portion of God’s statutes, and secondly why the law is not negative in its proscription, but positive in it what it asks men and women to do. I’ve noted before that if we come to the word with the attitude of “what can I still do and/or get away with and maintain fidelity to the requirement” then we are missing both the point of God’s law and the mercy to sinners offered in Christ. Rather than coming to today’s WLC with a grudging heart full of woe, what would happen if we Remembered the Lord’s graciousness in His character which the law of God reveals to us? As I’ve said before one of the unique blessings of the fourth commandment is that Jehovah doesn’t need to rest. He’s not a physical being with feet which tire. Nor

WCF 11: Of Justification

By William Boekestein - Posted at Place for Truth : Those whom God “predestined he also called” ( Rom. 8:30 ). The Father will draw to himself all those he has eternally given to the Son as his reward ( John 6:37 , 44 ). In the effectual call God changes sinners by giving them genuinely holy interests. Regenerated sinners truly know and love the Lord. We now want to live for his glory. But what about our existing relationship to God and his law? If we only had changed minds, hearts, and wills we would still lie under the law’s curse ( Gal. 3:10 ). To be reconciled to God we must gain a new, upright status before him. We must be justified. Thankfully, “those whom he called he also justified” ( Rom. 8:30 ). Justification was the doctrine at the heart of the reformation controversy. It also speaks to the personal destinies of sinners like us. The Doctrine of Justification By nature, because of original sin and our actual sins we have a righteousness problem. God is righteous; we are not

C.H. Spurgeon: A Name Guarantee

And whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son — John 14:13 It is not every believer who has yet learned to pray in Christ's name. To ask not only for His sake, but in His name, as authorized by Him, is a high order of prayer. We would not dare to ask for some things in that blessed name, for it would be a wretched profanation of it; but when the petition is so clearly right that we dare set the name of Jesus to it, then it must be granted. Prayer is all the more sure to succeed because it is for the Father's glory through the Son. It glorifies His truth, His faithfulness, His power, His grace. The granting of prayer, when offered in the name of Jesus, reveals the Father's love to Him, and the honor which He has put upon Him. The glory of Jesus and of the Father are so wrapped up together that the grace which magnifies the one magnifies the other. The channel is made famous through the fullness of the fountain, and the fo

Catholic, Evangelical, and Reformed: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description: How do you define sovereignty and how do you apply that to your theology? The answer to that question will determine all else about what you think of God and how He relates to His creatures. Considering this, and how it applies to biblical theology, Dr. Sproul continues this series as he looks at the views of “Catholic, Evangelical, and Reformed.” Direct Link:  Catholic, Evangelical, and Reformed: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

Standing Against the Devil, Part 6 - Gospel Shoes of Readiness

By Pastor Brian Schwertley - Posted at Sermon Audio: Direct Link:  Standing Against the Devil, Part 6 - Gospel Shoes of Readiness | SermonAudio Image Source:

Fathers Who Love Christ Love the Sabbath

 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: How Ordering Your Home Includes Maintaining Obedience to the Lord Good Morning! This will be the second of three sections of the Larger Catechism, as we have it broken down, that will touch on the subject of the Christian Sabbath. It should come as no surprise that out of all the commandments the fourth receives more play than any other. Questions surrounding the nature of it and how to go about obeying the Lord in regards to it have always vexed the mind of man. We’ve noted before that this reason is mostly due to the fact that we are dealing with the matter of time, of which we have little. The idea pushes back at our own idolatrous concept of who is actually in charge of our life. So how do we go about keeping the word on this front? Well, our catechism questions today gives us an idea particularly suited to that. Here are today’s Q/A’s: Q. 118. Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to gove

WCF 10: Of Effectual Calling

 By William Boekestein - Posted at Place for Truth: Salvation is like a treasure that becomes more precious to us the better we understand it. One way of better understanding our salvation is to study what theologians call the ordo salutis , or the order of salvation, the “process by which the work of salvation … is subjectively realized in the hearts and lives of sinners.” [i] Romans 8:30 is the classic text on how God saves: “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Embedded in those terms are additional concepts that fill out our understanding of salvation, but this verse provides biblical warrant for itemizing the motions of divine grace. Ultimately, salvation is like a single golden chain, one unified work of God. Still, to get to know our great salvation we can study each of the links in turn. The first link is election, God’s eternal and gracious choice to save some sinners. But to

C.H. Spurgeon: Confidence Not Misplaced

"The LORD God will help me" — Isaiah 50:7 These are in prophecy the words of Messiah in the day of His obedience unto death, when He gave His back to the smiters and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. He was confident in divine support and trusted in Jehovah. O my soul, thy sorrows are as the small dust of the balance compared with thy LORD's! Canst thou not believe that the LORD God will help thee? Thy LORD was in a peculiar position; for as the representative of sinful men -- their substitute and sacrifice -- it was needful that the Father should leave Him and cause Him to come under desertion of soul. No such necessity is laid upon thee: thou art not bound to cry, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" Did thy Savior even in such a case still rely upon God, and canst not thou? He died for thee and thus made it impossible that thou shouldst be left alone; wherefore, be of good cheer. In this day's labors or trials say, "The LORD God will help me.&quo

Introduction: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul

Presented by Ligonier Ministries (YouTube) Description: Liberal, Catholic, Dispensational, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Reformed… with so many different theologies out there, where do you start? Beginning this series about Reformed Theology, Dr. Sproul examines distinctive aspects of Reformed Theology which set it apart from the many theologies that have developed before and after the Protestant Reformation. Direct Link:  Introduction: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul - YouTube

Recommended Sermon: Our History Matters (Romans 15:22-33)

By Pastor Geoff Ingrum - Posted at Sermon Audio: Direct Link:  Our History Matters (Romans 15:22-33) | SermonAudio Scripture Text: Romans 15: 22-33 (KJV) 22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; 24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. 25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come

Standing Against the Devil, Part 5

By Pastor Brian Schwertley - Posted at Sermon Audio: Direct Link:  Standing Against the Devil, Part 5 | SermonAudio Scripture Text:  Ephesians 6:13 -18 KJV - Bible Gateway

Who is the Lord of Your Sabbath? God or Man?

 By Pastor Benjamin Glaser - Posted at Thoughts From Parson Farms: Good Morning! Three Long Larger Catechism questions today that all center around the 4th Commandment. To be sure we just completed talking about the Sabbath Day in our Tuesday time, but seeing as though this statute and the Second receive the most pushback within the body of Christ (all of them receiving various major disagreements out in the world) it probably wouldn’t kill us to hear out what the Westminster Divines have to say on this particular subject. I’ve probably already said it elsewhere, however, it bears repeating that the reason why Fourth gets as much guff as it does has puzzled me for a great while. I think the reason is because it asks us to get on God’s schedule and not our own. Time is something we recognize as a limited resource, and it is in using that dwindling supply that our true reliance on the rhythms of the Lord of glory are truly shown out to be what they are in reality. Our examination of t

How Paul Preached About Original Sin

Posted at Reformation Scotland: In the rush to get to God’s mercy, and perhaps out of discomfort at the unpleasantness of the subject, the topic of original sin can be overlooked in our churches, both in preaching and hearing. When James Fergusson reached Paul’s discussion of God’s saving grace in Ephesians 2, however, he identified the balance in Paul’s letter. Paul did not soft pedal our desperate sinfulness as sinners, yet his awareness of the graciousness of God’s grace did not allow him to leave his readers in despair. As the following update extract shows, Fergusson therefore picks out some aspects of Paul’s Spirit-inspired technique in how he presents both sin and grace, highlighting them especially as hints for preachers to follow as they bring these doctrines to their own congregations. It also prompts us to assess how willing we are as hearers to accept this kind of preaching and how we respond to these truths when our pastors bring them to our attention. PREACH MISERY AS WEL

C.H. Spurgeon: 'Covenant Reaches Children'

"And I will establish My Covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an Everlasting Covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee" — Genesis 17:7 O LORD, Thou hast made a covenant with me, Thy servant, in Christ Jesus my LORD; and now, I beseech Thee, let my children be included in its gracious provisions. Permit me to believe this promise as made to me as well as to Abraham. I ask nothing on the ground of their [physical] birth, for well l know that "that which is born of the flesh is flesh" and nothing more. LORD, make them to be born under Thy covenant of grace by Thy Holy Spirit! I pray for my descendants throughout all generations. Be Thou their God as Thou art mine. My highest honor is that Thou hast permitted me to serve Thee; may my offspring serve Thee in all years to come. O God of Abraham, be the God of his Isaac! O God of Hannah, accept her Samuel! If, LORD, Thou hast favored me in my family, I pray Thee re