29 May 2015

This 'n' That

This is a "glory feather cloud" that allegedly appeared in
2011 at Cathedral of Praise in Austin, TX, and was followed
by some "holy laughter."
Last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday. Did your church celebrate with gold glory dust, mass healings, and a full-fledged anointing of the spirit manifested in tongues-speaking, signs, and wonders? Did a glory cloud rise in your midst? Yeah…none of that happened at my church either, thankfully. The day those things would happen at my church would be a strange day indeed. Once again I find myself profoundly grateful for the doctrinally sound, biblically faithful local church of which God has allowed me to be a part.

What did we do on Sunday, then? Well, our pastor opened the Word of God and he preached, unashamedly, clearly, and boldly. He spoke of the ascension of Christ and its necessary impact on our lives as believers, both present and eternal. He proclaimed the gospel so that those within earshot who had not been saved might be brought to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and so those of us who have been saved might be reminded of the great God whom we serve.

Sunday was a good day. I can't wait for this coming Sunday. Do you love to gather with the saints in your local assembly? Do you long for the teaching of God's Word? Do you treasure each moment that you are able to hear that Word explained? I pray you do.

But, it is not Sunday yet, it's Friday! And that means that it's time to breathe a sigh of relief that the work week has ended and to take a moment to pause and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

25 May 2015

What Used to Be Called Sin

All talk about sin, say the self-expressionists, is utterly foolish, leading to self-repression, which is, they aver, the only sin. What used to be called sin is just expression of self, the greatest and the most vital possession that man has, they say. Not to sin, according to the old meaning of the term, is to do violence to the greatest gift he possesses. They plead, therefore, for the abolition of the word sin in its earlier associations. They deplore what they term the tragic spectacle of mankind shackled against its highest good by adherence to the warnings of the Bible, the Church, and the saints.

We can best consider this human view of life, and show its complete fallacy, by contrasting it with God's view as stated in the Bible. The teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, are outspoken against sin. He said, "Wherefore if they hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire" (Matthew 18:8-9).

Now there we are reminded of the way in which every conceivable view of life and of men is invariably dealt with somewhere or another in the Scriptures. Modern man is constantly flattering himself and suggesting to himself that certain of his ideas are quite new. But here again we find an illustration of a view that prides itself on its modernity dealt with completely and exhaustively in the Bible.

— Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Further Reading
The Comfort and Conviction of the Word
Thankful for Spiritually 'Well-Dressed' Men
Why Would We Not Give Him Thanks?

24 May 2015

23 May 2015

Equipping Eve: Checkmate

Some say that God and Satan are engaged in a type of cosmic chess match, with each one waiting for the other to make his next move. From our human perspective, it may seem this way at times, but how does this account for God's sovereignty?

Click here to listen to this latest episode of Equipping Eve.

Click here for a list of resources referenced in this episode of Equipping Eve.

Further Listening
Equipping Eve: Life Verses and Labyrinths

22 May 2015

This 'n' That

In an attempt to save time Thursday evening, I tried to write this introduction on my phone using voice-to-text while sitting in traffic driving home from work. Needless to say it didn't work very well and I found myself more annoyed than anything. Oh well, you can't blame a busy blogger for trying.

At one point, I found myself sitting next to a car with a 'Love Wins' bumper sticker. It just goes to show you that bad theology is everywhere, even at red lights. And speaking of bad theology, there is plenty of it in the links of today's post. Don't worry, though, I've tried to balance it out with much of the good stuff as well. So with that, why don't you dive into your weekend by enjoying your week in review (kind of):

15 May 2015

This 'n' That

My day yesterday began with this sunrise and ended with a little over 6 hours of sleep (which is far more than I've been averaging in recent months). These bookends and everything in between were good gifts from a gracious, generous, loving God. Do you thank the Lord for those things that we so easily take for granted? May we train our hearts to offer our gratitude for every gift our Father gives us. We are undeserving to receive any, and yet He blesses us in abundance.

Why don't you take a few moments to thank our God for the gifts He's given you this day. When you're done, come back here and enjoy your week in review (kind of):

09 May 2015

Equipping Eve: Who Chose Whom?

Ladies, we all love tulips, don't we? But what about theological TULIPs? Many of us consider those the best kind! There is an ongoing debate in Christendom that ultimately boils down to two streams of thought: Calvinism or Arminianism. And while there are several areas of difference between the two, the doctrine of election may be one of the most controversial of those differences. So the question is, did we choose God, or did God choose us?

Click here to listen to this latest episode of Equipping Eve.

Click here to access additional resources from this episode of Equipping Eve.

Further Listening
Equipping Eve: Life Verses and Labyrinths

08 May 2015

This 'n' That

My apologies, but I've simply run out of time to write anything for this week's post. I do have a few links for you, though, so let's not waste any time and get right to them. There are fewer than I'd like, and—fair warning—I've not had time to read all of these myself yet. But the headlines caught my eye, so for better or worse, here is your week in review (kind of):

07 May 2015

Perry Noble's Discomfort with 'Theological Lines in the Sand'

Perry Noble, pastor of NewSpring church, recently published a blog post entitled, "Why I Am Upset Over the SBC Uninviting Ben Carson," in which the megapastor writes,
I came across this article about the SBC Pastor’s Conference essentially canceling Ben Carson coming to speak at an event, and I was so shocked I actually had to read it twice.

Before we proceed let me state for the record I am a Baptist– my heart is built on nothing less than Lottie Moon and Broadman Press. I received Christ in a Baptist church, graduated from a Baptist college, was ordained by a Baptist church and completed 33 hours towards my degree in a Baptist seminary before dropping out.

From time to time I have hope for the Southern Baptist Convention. However, it’s things like this that cause me to shake my head.

He goes on to detail at length the reasons for his disappointment, and while there is much that could be critiqued or addressed in this article, the purpose of the blog post the reader is currently perusing is not to push back against Noble's insistence that Carson should speak at the SBC Pastor's Conference. In fact, this writer is admittedly ignorant of the whole situation, never knowing that Carson was invited in the first place, and not particularly affected by his presence—or lack thereof—at the event. And while this same writer may have her thoughts and opinions on the issue, they ultimately are of no consequence.

The purpose of this post, then, is to draw attention to some concerning statements made by Noble in his article. They are concerning because they demonstrate an ignorance and lack of understanding of Scripture and of the Lord Jesus Christ—the very Lord Noble claims to serve as an undershepherd.

04 May 2015

Peace with God

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
The cross is the door that leads to all blessings. Without it there is nothing. Without the cross and all it means, we have no blessings from God at all. But the cross opens the possibility to all of the endless blessings of the glorious God.

What are they? The apostle Paul never got tired of saying these things. Read what he says in Romans. He puts it like this: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." "Justified by faith" means that the moment you believe in what happened on the cross and see that is God's way of reconciling you unto Himself, you are immediately regarded as just, your sins are all forgiven and blotted out, and you are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

"Therefore," says Paul, "being justified by faith, we have peace with God." That is the first thing that comes out of this belief. There is no more important word in the letter of Paul than the word therefore. Note it. He always brings in this word "therefore" at a point of this kind. He has been laying down the doctrine, and especially the doctrine of the cross, and then he says, "therefore"—in the light of that, because of that, this is what follows.

And here is the first thing that follows. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God." Do you realize what that means? Do you realize that is the most important and most wonderful thing that can ever happen to you, that you are given peace and made at peace with God? All our troubles in this life as human beings are due to the fact that we are in the wrong relationship to God. It is as simple as that.

— Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Further Reading
Sweep the House of the Leaven of Worldliness
The False Convert's Approach to Scripture
Nurturing Perversion

01 May 2015

This 'n' That

I recently attended a simulcast event for a popular women's 'Bible teacher.' Not long after I settled into my seat, a woman from the host church stood up to welcome us and to share with us her 'life verse.' The divine irony of this was that the most recent episode of Equipping Eve, in which I discussed the life verse craze, was airing that very same day. I couldn't help but smile, but my amusement was short-lived as I heard this woman say, "Now, what this verse means to me is…"

I wanted to scream. I wanted to throw a fruit danish at her. Anything to make her stop talking. She had just perfectly illustrated one of the biggest problems with the 'life verse' fad. Grab a verse—any verse—that 'speaks' to you and meets your need. Context? Who needs it! Is the verse no longer relevant to your life and its immediate, fleeting whims? No problem, just grab another one! After all, whatever that verse means to you is all that really matters, right?

Wrong. So terribly, horribly, grievously wrong. Quite frankly, nobody cares what that verse means to you. That is exactly what I wanted to say that day but, of course, I held my tongue. After all, I didn't want to be prematurely removed from the premises, nor did I want to disrespect any person or church. But as I watched women's heads bobbing in agreement, I couldn't help but think about the death of discernment. And I couldn't help but think that, had I stood up and declared to those women that it doesn't matter what that verse means to them, rather what matters is what God meant when He wrote the verse, that I would have received one of two reactions: 1. Nodding in agreement while staring blankly and cluelessly ahead, or 2. Anger.

So, let's forgo this whole 'life verse' thing, shall we? That catchy, pithy verse you've selected is no substitute for the whole counsel of God. Sure, you may never memorize all 66 books, but don't let that stop you from reading them, studying them, and letting them transform you.

With that, what else is there to say except to request that you sit back and enjoy your week in review (kind of):