PREACHER

R. C. SproulR.C. Sproul:

“Your task, O preacher, is to make sure that you are faithful to the text, that you are faithful to the proclamation of that gospel, that you are faithful to set forth the whole counsel of God, and then step back and let it happen.”

 

THE WHOLE BIBLE

A. W. TozerAW. Tozer:

The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.

THE REAL DEAL

Samuel A Cain“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1 ESV)

And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. (Luke 16:15 ESV)

Augustine wrote, “It is not the being seen of men that is wrong, but doing these things for the purpose of being seen of men. The problem with the hypocrite is his motivation. He does not want to be holy; he only wants to seem to be holy. He is more concerned with his reputation for righteousness than about actually becoming righteous. The approbation of men matters more to him than the approval of God.” As a Christian, do you seek to avoid this obvious hypocrisy in your own life?

The Apostle John teaches us that if we believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, we know that we abide in Christ and Christ in us. (1 John 3:24 ESV) We can believe and obey because God has given us His Holy Spirit. We may cast off the chain of sins and lies which made us hypocrites and be renewed after the image of our creator. (Colossians 3:7-10 ESV) We now live by faith in the Son of God. (Galatians 2:20 ESV) Continue reading

REJECTING THE BIBLE

Bishop J. C. RyleJ.C. Ryle:

“Be very sure of this, – people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. They understand it only too well; they understand that it condemns their own behavior; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment.”

 

THOUGHTS ON FAITH

Samuel A CainFor by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:8 ESV)

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 ESV)

As Christians, we have faith in God to care for us and to do us good. We have faith that God exists. Our faith is demonstrated by facing the circumstances of life and trusting in the providential care of almighty God. Where does our faith come from? It is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8 ESV) We have faith in God because God has given us faith in Him. Our corrupted human nature has not only made us too weak, but also too blind to even know God on our own. Faith is a gift we have received by God’s amazing grace.

We are told that without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6 ESV) This is because no one will ever come to God, unless he believes that God exists, and is also convinced that He rewards all who seek Him. Unless God preserves us in the true knowledge of Himself, we tend to forget who the true God is and begin to form idols of our own imaginations. Therefore, we must know truth if we are to have access to God. Continue reading

IDOLS

Jonathan EdwardsJonathan Edwards:

Many of those things that are worshipped as gods are idols made by their worshippers: mere stocks and stones that know nothing. They are indeed made with ears, but they hear not the prayers of them that cry to them. They have eyes, but they see not, etc. Psa. 115:5, 6. — Others, though not the work of men’s hands, yet are things without life. Thus, many worship the sun, moon, and stars, which though glorious creatures, yet are not capable of knowing anything of the wants and desires of those who pray to them. — Some worship certain kinds of animals, as the Egyptians were wont to worship bulls, which though not without life, yet are destitute of that reason whereby they would be capable of knowing the requests of their worshippers. Others worship devils instead of the true God. 1 Cor. 10:20, “but I say, that the things sermon_IdolFactorywhich the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils.” These, though beings of great power, have not knowledge necessary to capacitate them fully to understand the state, circumstances, necessities, and desires of those who pray to them. But the true God perfectly knows the circumstances of everyone that prays to him throughout the world. Though millions pray to him at once, in different parts of the world, it is no more difficult for him who is infinite in knowledge, to take notice of all than of one alone. God is so perfect in knowledge, that he does not need to be informed by us in order to have knowledge of our wants, for he know what things we need before we ask him. The worshippers of false gods were wont to lift their voices and cry aloud, lest their gods should fail of hearing them, as Elijah tauntingly bid the worshippers of Baal [to] do, 1 Kin. 18:27. But the true God hears the silent petitions of his people. He needs not that we should cry aloud: yea, he knows and perfectly understands when we only pray in our hearts, as Hannah did, 1 Sam. 1:13.

FACING OPPOSING FORCES

Samuel A Cain“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV)

There are times in life when we face opposition. This opposition may consist of personal antagonism or even hostility. People may disagree with us and try to obstruct our plans. They may challenge our character in order to raise disapproval toward us and our motives. Take up God’s cause on any issue and our old adversary, the devil, will raise his head in resistance.

The great English evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770) experienced this many times in his life. Whitefield sought to honor God even when he was falsely accused by his enemies. On one occasion, Whitefield received a malicious letter accusing him of wrongdoing. He replied, “I thank you heartily for your letter. As for what you and my other enemies are saying against me, I know worse things about myself than you will ever say about me. With love in Christ, George Whitefield.” He offered no defense because he was seeking to please God – not men.

Jesus Christ faced continuous opposition during His ministry on earth. He taught His followers to expect opposition as well. Jesus said: Continue reading

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