IN LIGHT OF ETERNAL TRUTH

Samuel A CainJesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

God created the universe: He created man; He is the creator of time; He is the sovereign cause of whatever occurs; He is the reason for the existence of both the visible and the invisible; He is eternal truth and He is immutable. God is the reason that we exist. Jesus Christ is the only way to God. Jesus is the light of the world. He is the very embodiment of truth, and in Him we should look for truth. Jesus proclaimed that “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life” (John 14:6). In and through Christ we see truth. A simple definition for “truth” is: “Truth is!” 

It was Col. Nathan R. Jessep, in the movie A Few Good Men, who gave us the classic motion picture line: “You can’t handle the truth!” I believe this quote may be applied to more than a few lines of script in a movie. It describes the state of mind many of us have when we are confronted with a reality-hardened truth that we hoped to never face. You may wish something were not so, but truth cannot be waved away with the swish of a magic wand. Continue reading

FAITH ALONE

James Montgomery BoiceJames Montgomery Boice:

The Reformers never tired of saying that ‘justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone.’ When put into theological shorthand the doctrine was expressed as “justification by faith alone,” the article by which the church stands or falls, according to Martin Luther. The Reformers called justification by faith Christianity’s “material principle,” because it involves the very matter or substance of what a person must understand and believe to be saved. Justification is a declaration of God based on the work of Christ. It flows from God’s grace and it comes to the individual not by anything he or she might do but by ‘faith alone’ (sola fide). We may state the full doctrine as: Justification is the act of God by which he declares sinners to be righteous because of Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone.

THE HEALTHY CHURCH

Samuel A CainSo then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV)

What makes a healthy church? Many people have ideas about this, but are they Biblical? Luke writes this about the early church:

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42 ESV)

These are healthy examples, but isn’t there more? The members of the church should be growing in holiness. (Hebrews 12:14 ESV) Evangelism must be a priority. (Mark 16:15 ESV) The emphasis of the church must be on Christ – not on the building or numbers. (Philippians 3:8-10 ESV) Continue reading

THE DAZZLING BEAUTY OF THE GOSPEL

diamond-on-blackJohn Samson:

“Just as a jeweler in a store will always use a black velvet background to display the splendor of an exquisite diamond, so the intricate, dazzling beauty of the gospel is only fully seen when we understand what the Bible says about man’s radical condition outside of Christ. Its a bleak and dark picture to be sure. Yet only when we understand the immensity of the problem can we find the right solution – and see the futility of all other man made remedies. We need far more than a moral pep talk; more than some medical first aid for our gaping wounds; and even more than even an oxygen mask to help us breathe more easily. What we need is a miracle! What we need is a resurrection!”

DO YOU DESIRE TO LIVE ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD?

Martin LutherMartin Luther:

You may as well quit reading and hearing the Word of God, and give it to the devil, if you do not desire to live according to it.

A LOT-LIKE RELIGION ABOUNDS

Bishop J. C. RyleJ.C. Ryle:

“You live in days when a lingering, Lot-like religion abounds. The stream of profession is far broader than it once was, but far less deep in many places. A certain kind of Christianity is almost fashionable now. To belong to some party in the Church of England, and show a zeal for its interests–to talk about the leading controversies of the day–to buy popular religious books as fast as they come out, and lay them on your table–to attend meetings–to subscribe to Societies–to discuss the merits of preachers–to be enthusiastic and excited about every new form of sensational religion which crops up–all these are now comparatively easy and common attainments. They no longer make a person singular. They require little or no sacrifice. They entail no cross. But to walk closely with God–to be really spiritually-minded–to behave like strangers and pilgrims–to be distinct from the world in employment of time, in conversation, in amusements, in dress–to bear a faithful witness for Christ in all places–to leave a savor of our Master in every society–to be prayerful, humble, unselfish, good-tempered, quiet, easily pleased, charitable, patient, meek–to be jealously afraid of all manner of sin, and tremblingly alive to our danger from the world–these, these are still rare things! They are not common among those who are called true Christians, and, worst of all, the absence of them is not felt and bewailed as it should be.” (Holiness)

DO YOU THINK GOD DOES NOT HEAR YOUR PRAYERS?

Jonathan EdwardsJonathan Edwards:

It is no argument, that God is not a prayer-hearing God, if he give not to men what they ask of him to consume upon their lusts. Oftentimes when men pray for temporal good things, they desire them for no good end, but only to gratify their pride or sensuality. If they pray for worldly good things chiefly from a worldly spirit and make an idol of the world, it is no wonder that God doth not hear their prayers …

It is no argument that God is not a prayer-hearing God, that he hears not insincere and unbelieving prayers. How can we expect that he should have any respect to that which has no sincerity in it? God looks not at words, but at the heart; and it is fit that he should do so. If men pray only in words, and not in heart, what are their prayers good for? …

It is no argument that he is not a prayer-hearing God, that he exercises his own wisdom as to the time and manner of answering prayer. Some of God’s people are sometimes ready to think that he does not hear their prayers, because he does [not] answer them at times when they expected, when indeed God hears them, and will answer them, in the time and way to which his own wisdom directs …

As to particular temporal blessings for which we pray, it is no argument that he is not a prayer-hearing God, because he bestows them not upon us. For it may be that God sees the things for which we pray not to be best for us. If so, it would be no mercy in him to bestow them upon us, but a judgment. Such things, therefore, ought always to be asked with submission to the divine will …

Finally, seeing we have such a prayer-hearing God as we have heard, let us be much employed in the duty of prayer. Let us pray with all prayer and supplication. Let us live prayerful lives, continuing instant in prayer, watching thereunto with all perseverance. Praying always, without ceasing, earnestly, and not fainting. (“A Prayer-Hearing God”)

 

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