PURSUE JOY!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4 ESV)

Samuel A CainAre you a joyful Christian? Do you revel in God? Is it not enough that God has clothed us with the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness to make us a consistently joyful people? (Isaiah 61:10 ESV)

We all face obstacles to joy through contact with others and the circumstances in which we live. There are people who dislike Christians specifically or have a bad attitude toward people in general. Christians may even find that their troubles are coming from other Christians. Continue reading

OBJECTIONS TO REFORMED THEOLOGY

Loraine Boettner:

Loraine BoettnerIn the light of modern scientific exegesis, it is quite evident that the objections which are raised against the Reformed Theology are emotional or philosophical rather than exegetical.  And had men been content to interpret the language of Scripture according to the acknowledged prin­ciples of interpretation, the faith of Christians might have been far more harmonious.  Our opponents, says Cunning­ham, are able to “argue with some plausibility only when they are dealing with single passages, or particular classes of passages, but keeping out of view, or throwing into the background, the general mass of Scripture evidence bearing upon the whole subject.  When we take a conjunct view of the whole body of Scripture statements, manifestly intended to make known to us the nature, causes, and consequences of Christ’s death, literal and figurative—view them in com­bination with each other—and fairly estimate what they are fitted to teach, there is no good ground for doubt as to the general conclusions which we should feel ourselves con­strained to adopt.” (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)

THE INFINITE POWER

“… having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (Ephesians 1:18-21 ESV)

Charles Hodge:

Charles HodgeThe infinite power of God from which so much may be expected, is the same of which we are now the subjects. It is that power which wrought in Christ when it raised him from the dead, and set him at the right hand of God, [Ephesians 1:18-21 ESV]; and which has wrought an analogous change in the believer in raising him from the death of sin, and making him to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; and which still sustains and carries on the work of salvation in the soul. The past is a foretaste and pledge of the future. Those who have been raised from the dead, who have been transformed by the renewing of their minds, translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, and in whom God himself dwells by his Spirit, having already experienced a change which nothing but omnipotence could effect, may well join in the doxology to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think. (A Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians)

A BLESSED NATION

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (Psalm 33:12 ESV)

George WashingtonThe blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger. The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country. (George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Vol. 5, p. 245, July 9, 1776 Order)

While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian. (George Washington, The Writings of Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, Vol. XI, pp. 342-343, General Orders of May 2, 1778)

“It is not a little pleasing, nor less wonderful, to contemplate, that after two years’ maneuvering and undergoing the strangest vicissitudes that ever attended any one contest since the creation, both armies are brought back to the very point they set out from, and that the offending party at the beginning is now reduced to the use of the Holy Bible and American Flagspade and pickaxe for defense. The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations. I shall add no more on the doctrine of Providence.” (George Washington, Letter to General Nelson, of Virginia, in August, 1778: The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, 1863)

 

“Sinned as we have as a nation, yet to our sin we have added pride in our sinning. The world has lost the power to blush over its vice; the church has lost her power to weep over it.” (Leonard Ravenhill)

GLORY

John Piper:

John Piper“God is not displeased with the strength of a horse and the legs of a man as good things that He has made. He is displeased with those who hope in their horses and in their legs. He is displeased with the people who put their hope, for example, in missiles or in make-up, in tanks or tanning parlors, in bombs or body-building. God takes no pleasure in corporate efficiency or balanced budgets or welfare systems or new vaccines or education or eloquence or artistic excellence or legal processes, when these things are the treasure in which we hope, or the achievement in which we boast. Why? Because when we put our hope in horses and legs, then the horses and legs get the glory, not God.” (The Pleasures of God , 208)

SANCTIFICATION AND THE WORD OF GOD

Bishop J. C. Ryle:

Bishop J. C. Ryle“The instrument by which the Spirit effects (sanctification) is generally the Word of God.” (Holiness, 16)

THE OLD HYMNS

J. M. Boice:

James Montgomery Boicegrace boice“The old hymns expressed the theology of the church in profound and perceptive ways and with winsome, memorable language. They lifted the worshipper’s thoughts to God and gave him striking words by which to remember God’s attributes. Today’s songs reflect our shallow or nonexistent theology and do almost nothing to elevate one’s thoughts about God.” (Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace? p.180)

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