03 January 2014

This 'n' That

photo credit: Indy Kethdy via photopin cc
Reading an excerpt this morning from William Gurnall's The Christian in Complete Armour, I was struck and convicted by the following statements:
Some professing Christians have only a passing acquaintance with the Gospel. They can hardly give an account of what they hope for, or whom they hope in. And if they have some principles they take kindly to, they are so unsettled that every wind blows them away, like loose tiles from a housetop.
I read this, and I had to pause and thank God again for His mercy. There was a time when those three sentences were an accurate description of me and of my life. Professing to know and love Christ, I denied Him by the way I lived my life, and I could not have actually verbalized the true Gospel had someone pressured me to do so. Yet I came to be aware and convicted of my lost state of ignorance through the Word of God. Reading this Word after years of claiming to be a Christian, I began to realize that I had never fully understood the weight and gravity of sin. I had never realized how serious it was to sin against a holy God. I had never been taught the concept of repentance. Without an understanding of these, I could not grasp the magnificence of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

How grateful I am that God brought me to a place of conviction that led to repentance and true and saving faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ. You who profess to know Jesus, do you know the Gospel? Do you proclaim it when God graciously grants you opportunity? Are there those around you who say with their lips that they are Christ's, but who deny Him by the rebellion that is present in their lives? Will you call them to repentance and share with them the salvation that is available to them in Christ? They will bristle and scoff if they profess to already be a Christian, but it is not them you seek to please, but God. May all who claim the name of Christ be ready and eager to give an account for the hope that lies within them (1 Peter 3:15)!

On that reflective note, it is the first Friday of 2014. May this year bring us some of our best weekly roundups yet! And with that, I hope you enjoy your very first 2014 week in review (kind of):
  • How is it that The Harbinger made it to the bestseller list but this book didn't?
  • Is Perry Noble an entrepreneurial genius?
  • Because you can never have too many links to the ridiculous in your weekly This 'n' That.
  • Here's a list of eight kinds of commenters in the Christian blogosphere. Actually, I think my list would look quite a bit different.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • R.C. Sproul's commentary on the book of John is free this month.
  • If you've ever owned a cat, you know this is true.
  • My public school science teachers often showed us videos of well-known evolutionist 'Billy Nye the Science Guy.' (Gotta love public school.) Next month, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis will be debating Bill Nye. I'd kind of like to see that.
  • I was looking forward to watching the Tournament of Roses Parade this year. Until I heard about this. Needless to say, I didn't bother to watch.
  • Contemplating unity and division.
  • Francis Chan appeared this past week as a speaker at IHOP's OneThing conference. If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you already know why that should be a concern.
  • Dr. Michael Brown has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Strange Fire conference and book. He was excited to announce yesterday that he had taped several shows with infamous charlatan Benny Hinn. Is it just me, or does that kind of make it difficult to take any of his criticisms seriously?
  • The Mennonite Church USA has ordained its first openly gay pastrix.
  • The purposes of God in your pursuit of godliness:

3 comments:

  1. That is so weird, Erin. I just read that same thing. Going thru William Gurnall's book again. Also, listening to John MacArthur's sermons on 1Peter. They are really great! There is one that addresses just what you are talking about.
    Now back to your week in review to see how else we are thinking alike!
    pam

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  2. "Professing to know and love Christ, I denied Him by the way I lived my life" could equally define me until a few years ago. I too am overwhelmed that God in His grace and mercy lifted me up and showed me Truth. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing; I suspect it will resonate with many. And I pray it may also encourage some to consider where they are, and where they need to be. Soli Deo Gloria

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  3. That was me, exactly. I grew up attending a Baptist church with my family, sang in the choir, attended the private school they offered, said a "salvation prayer" and was baptized as a teenager, but I didn't have an understanding of the Gospel. The church taught all Law and convicted me to the point where I was afraid to read the Sermon on the Mount. I was agonizingly convicted of my sins, and there was hopelessness inside me because there was no good news preached afterwards. The church folks around me boasted about their "holy" living, the sins they successfully avoided and the righteous works they do in & out of church. I couldn't measure up to them either. God seemed arm in arm with them, but I was out of the club, which is really what that church was; the "non-sinners club". After we moved to a different state we didn't attend church anymore and I rebelled and committed sins that should have convicted me if I was truly saved. I ran after worldly things, dated worldly people, thought worldly thoughts. I thought I was saved, so nothing I did was "too serious". Eventually I did come back to "religion" but it was through watching TBN and believing in the prosperity gospel. Again, I was in a hopeless situation. It wasn't until my husband told me about the scandals TBN was involved in that I did my research and dug up the dirt on them and their false teachings. It was through my research that I found a podcast called Fighting For The Faith. Not only did the host call out the false teachers I listened to, but he also preached the law and the Gospel to me in a way I had never heard before. I was once again convicted of my sins, but this time there was hope. I didn't measure up to God's standards as was taught in my childhood church, but there is Someone who did and He died in my place. I finally understood how the law and Gospel fit beautifully together, not just being hit over the head by law, and it was then I repented of all my wrong doings (not just saying a "magical" prayer) and was truly saved. I'm still not apart of the "non-sinners" club, but I'd much rather be forgiven of the sins that still plague me, and not forgiven and accepted by man, but by God.

    ReplyDelete

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