Wednesday, December 22, 2010

John MacArthur on the 'late, great' Billy Graham.



speaking in the name of God, she denies God's sovereignty.  unspeakable.

"it has not been designated who will win", and "it has not been determined"?  who exactly is she speaking for, then?  is there anything whatsoever that happens that God has not predetermined should come to pass?  no.  then she is not speaking under the inspiration of God, but another spirit.

it's easy to do.  the last - very last - time i 'prophesied', God convicted me that i was speaking under the 'inspiration' of another spirit.  so i'm not judging a person here.  we need to realize that any one of us can become deceived and believe we are speaking inspired of God or not.

which is why it must must MUST be weighed.  and why we must not be offended when someone weighs our words, and most especially if they are found wanting.


Monday, December 20, 2010

safe in my Daddy's big hand...


the parable of the beaten man

Jesus was asked, how can i be saved?

He told a story...

a certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and left him for dead.

a priest came down the road. to touch the man would make him ceremonially unclean and unable to do his priestly duties. so he passed him by on the other side. the law was unable to save.

a levite came and looked. to touch the man would make him ceremonially unclean. so he passed him by on the other side as well. the law was unable to save.

but an outcast came along, rejected and despised, and so identified with the broken Man, that he had mercy on Him and took Him unto himself, and loved Him as his own. he bound up His wounds, anointing them with oil and wine, and carrying Him on his own animal, took Him to an inn to tend to Him.

the next day when he left, he gave the innkeeper two denarii, and said whatever else the Man's wounds require, i will give all.  for this left-for-dead Man's life i take as mine own.

who was a neighbor to the Man who fell among robbers?

Jesus said, "Go and do likewise".

(ref. Luke 10:30-37.)


Sunday, December 19, 2010

baptism as adoption

this sermon by Sinclair Ferguson on baptism speaks of baptism in a way that relates to our adoption.  beautiful.


just for fun!

i thought of a quiz i took a year or two ago, and thought, i wonder if i would still come out as presbyterian.  he he he.

Which Christian denomination do you belong to?
Your Result: Calvinist
You adhere to the reformed theologies that stemmed from John Calvin in the sixteenth century. The idea of predestination is central to your beliefs. You believe that not only is salvation predestined by God, this election is unconditional, and cannot be either resisted or lost. As opposed to the Arminian belief in free will, Calvinists stress that men are born as sinners (total depravity), and that they do not have the ability to turn from sin by themselves (sovereign grace).

As far as church organisation is concerned, you do not believe in authority resting sololely within an elite, but instead rely on a presbyterian polity to maintain a degree of unity between congregations.
Which Christian denomination do you belong to?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

no suprise there.

What Christian Denomination are you?
Your Result: Baptist
Baptists share orthodox Christian beliefs with most other moderate or conservative Christian denominations. These would include beliefs about one God; the virgin birth; miracles; atonement through the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus; the Trinity (the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, together with God the Father); the need for salvation (through belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God, his death and resurrection, and confession of Christ as Lord); grace; the Kingdom of God; last things (Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth, the dead will be raised, and Christ will judge everyone in righteousness); and evangelism and missions.
What Christian Denomination are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

this one i'm suprised, cuz i chose infant baptism lol (it didn't have an option for both.  i mean, adults who come to the faith can't have infant baptism, LOL!).  i thought baptists came from anabaptists (ie NO infant baptism, covenant or no)?  anyhoo, i just showed some of my igorance there....

THIS QUIZ told me i was ANGLICAN (say whot?) (how the heck would they get that answer?!?)

but THIS QUIZ said presbyterian (orthodox) or reformed. .... which is MY guess as to what i am closest to.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

law and gospel 4; opening the Book

from the lecture on thesis IV:
"Turning the leaves of the Holy Scriptures while still ignorant of the distinction between the Law and the Gospel, a person receives the impression that a great number of contradictions are contained in the Scriptures; in fact, the entire Scripture seem to be made up of contradictions, worse than the Koran of the Turks. Now the Scriptures pronounce one blessed, now they condemn him. When the rich youth asked the Lord: “What good things shall I do that I may have eternal life?” the Lord replied: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” When the jailer at Philippi addressed the identical question to Paul and Silas, he received this answer: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house.” On the one hand, we read in Hab. 2, 4: “The just shall live by his faith”; on the other hand, we note that John in his First Epistle, chap. 3, 7, says: “He that doeth righteousness is righteous. ..... Another remarkable passage is 1 Cor. 6, 9–11, where the apostles first makes this statement: “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God,” and then adds: “And such were some of you. But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Must not a person who knows nothing of the distinction between the Law and the Gospel be swallowed up in utter darkness when reading all this? Must he not indignantly cry out: “What? That is to be God’s Word? A book full of such contradictions?”"
i wrangle over those things, though i do know think of them as contradictions (cuz i know there is no real contradictions in scripture, only seeming ones). i get very confused as to where the line is, and what side of the line am i on.
"For the situation is not this, that the Old Testament reveals a wrathful, the New Testament a gracious God, or that the Old Testament teaches salvation by a person’s own works, the New Testament, by faith. No; we find both teachings in the Old as well as in the New Testament. But the moment we learn to know the distinction between the Law and the Gospel, it is as if the sun were rising upon the Scriptures, and we behold all the contents of the Scriptures in the most beautiful harmony. We see that the Law was not revealed to us to put that notion into our heads that we can become righteous by it, but to teach us that we are utterly unable to fulfil the Law. When we have learned this, we shall know what a sweet message, what a glorious doctrine, the Gospel is and shall receive it with exuberant joy."

"Following the course of history to the time when the Papacy had become dominant, we find that the knowledge of this distinction became utterly extinct; a truly abysmal darkness settled upon the Church, and sheer paganism and idolatry gained their way into it.
Remember the agonies of our dear Luther! Considering the darkness which reigned in his day, we must say that, compared with others he had acquired a great deal of knowledge at the beginning of his career, but he did not know how to distinguish the Law from the Gospel. Oh, the toil and torments he had to undergo! His self-castigation and fasting brought him to the point of death. The most crushing, the most appalling statement in his estimation at that time was this, that the righteousness which is valid in the sight of God is revealed in the Gospel. “Alas!” he mused, “what a woeful state of affairs! First we are approached by the Law, which demands of us that we fulfil it; and now, in addition, we are to be made righteous by obeying the Gospel!” Luther confesses that there were times in his life when he was harassed with blasphemous thoughts. Suddenly a new light shone in upon him, showing him of what kind of righteousness the Gospel is speaking. He relates that from that moment he began to run through the whole Scriptures in an endeavor to obtain a clear understanding as to which portions of the Scriptures are Law and which Gospel. He says that he pried into every book in the Bible, and now all its parts became clear to him. The birth of the Reformer dates from the moment when Luther understood this distinction. The tremendous success of his public activity, moreover, is due to the same cause. By his new knowledge Luther liberated the poor people from the misery into which they had been driven by the Law-preaching of their priests."

"Some one who is in anguish and distress will come to you. In every instance the cause of such anguish of soul will be that the Law has taken effect in your parishioner, and it does not occur to him that he can be saved by the Gospel. He does not think of that while he wails: “Alas! I am a poor sinner; I am worthy of damnation,” etc. To such a person you must say: “You are indeed a lost and condemned creature. But the passage of Scripture which has told you that is Law. There is, however, another teaching in Scripture. The Law has done its work in you; by the Law is to come the knowledge of sin. You must now quit Sinai and go to Golgotha. See yonder your Savior, bleeding and dying for you!” Not until you enter the ministry, will you realize the great importance of the distinction between Law and Gospel and the fact that only the knowledge of this distinction, and nothing else, will make you capable to discharge the office that is to save the world. The matter of paramount importance, of course, will always be this, that you have experienced this distinction upon yourself. I am not referring to those among you who have never been in anguish over your sins, who consider themselves orthodox because they have been reared in Christian homes. I am referring to those who are concerned about their salvation. There will be moments when such of you will imagine that you are God’s children. Again, there will be times when you think that your sins have not been forgiven you. If on such occasions you desire genuine peace, it can come to you only through the knowledge of the distinction between Law and Gospel."

" the Declaration of Art. V (Mueller, p. 633; Triglot Concordia, p. 951) as follows: “As the distinction between the Law and the Gospel is a special brilliant light, which serves to the end that God’s Word may be rightly divided and the Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles may be properly explained and understood, we must guard it with especial care in order that these two doctrines may not be mingled with on eanother or a Law be made out of the Gospel, whereby the merit of Christ isobscured and troubled consciences are robbed of their comfort which they otherwise have in the golp Gospel when it is preached genuinely and in its purity, and by which they can support themselves in their most grevious trials against the terrors of the Law.” If these two doctrines are not kept separate, the merit of Christ is obscured; for when I am afraid of the threatening of the Law, I have forgotten Christ, who says to me: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. All ye that labor and are heavy laden, do but come, and you shall find rest unto yours souls.”"

"The devile may whisper all manner of insinuations to him, but he will say to him: “Your charges against me are quite correct; but I have another doctrine, which tells me something altogether different. I am glad that the Law has put me in such a woeful plight; for now I can relish the Gospel all the more.”"

"However, the preacher must also be careful not to say that the Law has been abolished; for that is not true. The Law remains in force; it is not abrogated. But we have another message besides that of the Law. God does not say: “By the Law is righteousness,” but: “By the Law is the knowledge of sin.” Yea, we read in the Epistle to the Romans: “To him that … believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Hence we are on the right way to salvation the moment we are convinced that we are ungodly."

"The principal passage of Scripture establishing our thesis is Rom. 10, 2–4: For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth. To what ignorance of the Jews does the apostle refer in this passage when he says “not according to knowledge”? This: “They do not recognize the righteousness that is valid in the sight of God.”"

i'm glad the edition i'm quoting from is public domain.  why re-state it when i can just quote it?  :)


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

days of "P R A Y E R"...

i need a bit more structure in my life...i tend to go full tilt into whatever i'm doing for hours and hours... i need balance!!  i am not able to work, so i have a lot of time (if not much energy) on my hands...

i've had a scheme in mind for a while.... structuring my day around "P R A Y E R":
  • P = Prep and Plan = preparing for the day, devo/pray, plan the day (morning)
  • R = Renovate and Renew = care of home, care of self, body mind and soul, lunch (late morning)
  • A = Afternoon Activities = get out and about, do something, walk, shopping, visit (early afternoon)
  • Y = Yeast for You = daily bread: bible study/devotions and meal prep (late afternoon)
  • E = Evening Extracurricular = home group! visiting! projects! (early evening)
  • R = Rest and Review = relax, ready for bed, review the day, read, repent!  (late evening)
  • S = Sleep!!!!!!!  to finish things off! :D

when i was seeking God a few months ago about structure, this is what came to mind.  and i think it's really a God-thing for me.  ...and best of all, easy to remember!  if i ever think, hmm, what should i do now, i can think of this and just step into the swing of things.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

law and gospel 3; the Spirit teaches us

details of this study in law and gospel 1.

this is an incredibly equipping study..... we all should learn this principle...

the big idea: it's the indwelling Spirit in a Christian that teaches us the difference between law and gospel.

from thesis III (emphases mine):
It is a characteristic of Christians to regard the Scriptures as the true, infallible Word of God. But when they are in need of comfort, they find none; they cry for mercy; they supplicate God on their knees. God made David taste the bitterness of sin. In general, we behold David after his fall more frequently in sadness than in joyful spirits, and we see that one misfortune after the other befalls him. God did not permit these misfortunes to afflict David because He had not forgiven his sin, but in order to keep him from falling into another sin. It was nothing but love and mercy that prompted God to act thus. Naturally, a person still dead in sin thinks: “Why was David so foolish as to torment his mind with a sin that had been forgiven by God?” A person reasoning thus makes of the Gospel a pillow for his carnal mind to rest on; he continues his sinful life and imagines that he will, after all, land in heaven. His Gospel is a gospel for the flesh.
1 John 3, 19. 20 we read: Hereby we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart and knoweth all things. When our heart does not condemn us, it is easy to distinguish Law and Gospel. That is the state of a Christian. But he may get into a condition where his heart condemns him. Do what he will, he cannot silence the accusing voice within. It calls to him again and again, reminding him of former sins. The recollection of some long-forgotten sin may suddenly start up in him, and he is seized with a terrible fright. Now, if in that moment a person can rightly divide Law and Gospel, he will fall at Jesus’ feet and take comfort in Jesus’ merit. That, however, is not easy. One who is spiritually dead regards it as foolish to torment himself with former sins. Ho becomes increasingly indifferent towards all sins. A Christian, however, feels his sin and also the witness of his conscience against him.

But in the end, after Christians have learned to make the proper practical use of the distinction between the Law and the Gospel, they join St. John in saying: “God is greater than my heart; He has rendered a different verdict on men’s sinning, and that applies also to me.” Blessed are you if you have learned this difficult art. If you have learned it, do not imagine yourselves perfect. You will always be more than beginners in this art. Remember this: When the Law condemns you, then immediately lay hold upon the Gospel.
Again, Luther writes (St. L. Ed. IX, 808f.): “This distinction must be observed all the more when the Law wants to force me to abandon Christ and His Gospel boon. In that emergency I must abandon the Law and say: Dear Law, if I have not done the works I should have done, do them yourself. I will not, for your sake, allow myself to be plagued to death, taken captive, and kept under your thraldom and thus forget the Gospel. Whether I have sinned, done wrong, or failed in any duty, let that be your concern, O Law. Away with you and let my heart alone; I have no room for you in my heart. But if you require me to lead a godly life here on earth, that I shall gladly do. If, however, like a house-breaker, you want to climb in where you do not belong, causing me to lose what has been given me, I would rather not know you at all than abandon my gift.”

Like two hostile forces, Law and Gospel sometimes clash with each other in a person’s conscience. The Gospel says to him: “You have been received into God’s grace.” The Law says to him: “Do not believe it; for look at your past life. How many and grievous are your sins! Examine the thoughts and desires that you have harbored in your mind.” On an occasion like this it is difficult to divide Law and Gospel. When this happens to a person, he must say to the Law: “Away with you! Your demands have all been fully met, and you have nothing to demand of me. There is One who has paid my debt.” This difficulty does not occur to a person dead in his trespasses and sins; he is soon through with the Law. But the difficulty is quite real to a person who has been converted. He may run to the opposite extreme and come nigh to despair.
In his commentary on Ps. 131 (St. L. Ed. IV, 2077) Luther writes: “There are some who imagine that they understand these matters quite well; but I warn you to beware of such a presumptuous thought and to remember that you must remain pupils of the Word. Satan is such an accomplished juggler that he can easily abolish the difference and make the Law force itself into the place of the Gospel, and vice versa. We often meet with people in their last agony who with a stricken conscience seize a few sayings which they suppose to be Gospel, while in reality they are Law, and thus forfeit the consolation of the Gospel; for instance, the statement in Matt. 19, 17: ‘If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments’; likewise this one in Matt. 7, 21: ‘Not every one that says unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ ” The devil approaches men who are in anguish of death and in their last hour seeks to pluck them away from the Gospel. When Christians are departing into eternity, they reflect whether they are worthy. They may review a multitude of texts and hit upon one like this: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then their heart tells them: “You are not fit; you cannot be saved.” You see, they cannot distinguish between Law and Gospel.
Now, any one who fails to attain the knowledge of, and the practical ability to apply, this distinction is still a heathen or a Jew. The forma of a Christian, — that which makes a person a Christian — is that he knows how to seek salvation in Christ and thus to escape the Law.
Accordingly, when you are called upon to do what is right in public, that is not the time to hear the Gospel, but the Law, and to remember your calling or profession. Whenever your relation to God is not under review, you must act in accordance with the Law, yet not like a slave, but like a child.


law and gospel 2; rightly dividing

continuing in my study (details in law and gospel 1).....

just notes today, the things that stood out to me as i read.

from the intro to the lecture re: thesis II:
When a theologian is asked to yield and make concessions in order that peace may at last be established in the Church, but refuses to do so even in a single point of doctrine, such an action looks to human reason like intolerable stubbornness, yea, like downright malice. That is the reason why such theologians are loved and praised by few men during their lifetime. Most men rather revile them as disturbers of the peace, yea, as destroyers of the kingdom of God . They are regarded as men worthy of contempt. But in the end it becomes manifest that this very determined, inexorable tenacity in clinging to the pure teaching of the divine Word by no means tears down the Church; on the contrary, it is just this which, in the midst of greatest dissension, builds up the Church and ultimately brings about genuine peace.

from thesis II:
The Word of God tells us in a passage where the Lord is introduced as speaking, Jer. 23, 28: He that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Our sermons, then, are to contain only wheat and no chaff.
The Apostle Paul warns the Galatians, chap. 5, 9: A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. He means to say: A single false teaching vitiates the entire doctrine.
The warning with which John concludes the last book of the Bible is sounded as far back as in the days of Moses, who says, Deut. 4, 2: Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it.
It is, then, a diabolical teaching to say: “You will never achieve the ability to give a Scriptural presentation of the articles of faith.” Especially when students hear a statement like this, it is as if some hellish poison were injected into their hearts; for after that they will no longer show any zeal to get to the bottom of the truth, to have clear conceptions of the truth.
The value of a sermon depends not only on this, that every statement in it be taken from the Word of God and be in agreement with the same, but also on this, whether Law and Gospel have been rightly divided. Of the same building materials furnished two architects one will construct a magnificent building, while the other, using the same materials, makes a botch of of it. Crack-brained man that he is, he may want to begin at the roof or place all windows in one room or pile up layers of stone or brick in such a fashion that a crooked wall will be the result. The one house will be out of plumb and such a bungling piece of work that it will collapse while the other stands firm and is a habitable and pleasant abode. In like manner all doctrines may be treated by sermons by two preachers: the one sermon may be a glorious and precious piece of work, while the other is wrong throughout. Note this well. When you hear some sectarian preach, you may say, “What he said was the truth,” and yet you do not feel satisfied. Here is the key for unlocking this mystery: the preacher did not rightly divide Law and Gospel, and hence everything went wrong. He preached Law where he should have preached Gospel, and he offered Gospel truth where he should have presented the Law.
and also:
Zechariah relates the following, chap. 11, 7: I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. A real, spiritual shepherd has two staves, or rods. The rod Beauty is the Gospel, and the rod Bands is the Law. He must be well informed as to the persons to whom he is to apply either the one or the other of these staves. The Messiah — who is the Speaker in this passage — says that He used the rod Bands against the flock of slaughter, that is, against sheep which were to be slaughtered and not to be led to the pasture. The “poor of the flock” represent poor sinners. Among them He uses the comforting staff and rod of the Gospel. Most preachers make the mistake of hurling the rod Bands among the sheep and using the rod Beauty for wicked knaves.
and finally:
....Luther says: “This is the meaning of St. Paul: Among Christians both preachers and hearers must adopt and teach a definite distinction between the Law and the Gospel, between works and faith. Accordingly, Paul enjoins this distinction upon Timothy when he exhorts him, 2 Tim. 2, 15, rightly to divide the Word of Truth, etc. This distinction between the Law and the Gospel is the supreme art among Christians. Each and all of those who glory in the name of Christian or have adopted it may and should understand this art. For wherever there is a deficiency in this respect, it is impossible to distinguish a Christian from a Gentile or Jew. So important is this distinction. For this reason Paul so strenuously insists that these two doctrines the Law and the Gospel be well and properly distinguished among Christians. Both the Law, or the Ten Commandments, and the Gospel are indeed God’s Word; the latter was given by God at the beginning, in Paradise, the former on Mount Sinai. But the matter of decisive importance is this, that these two words be properly distinguished and not commingled; otherwise the true meaning of neither will be known nor retained; yea, imagining that we have both, we shall find that we possess neither.”

Saturday, December 11, 2010

law and gospel 1; DO vs DONE

i've started following along with the God Whisperers as they go through the theses of "The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel" by C.F.W. Walther.

its kinda blowing me away.  makes the confusion of  the whole law vs gospel thing a lot clearer...

from the intro to the first lecture (emphasis mine):
Comparing Holy Scripture with other writings, we observe that no book is apparently so full of contradictions as the Bible, and that, not only in minor points, but in the principal matter, in the doctrine how we may come to God and be saved. In one place the Bible offers forgiveness to all sinners; in another place forgiveness of sins is withheld from all sinners. In one passage a free offer of life everlasting is made to all men; in another, men are directed to do something themselves towards being saved. This riddle is solved when we reflect that there are in the Scriptures two entirely different doctrines, the doctrine of the Law and the doctrine of the Gospel!
from thesis I (emphases mine):
The point of difference between the Law and the Gospel is not this, that the Gospel is a divine and the Law a human doctrine, resting on the reason of man. Not at all; whatever of either doctrine is contained in the Scriptures is the Word of the living God Himself.
Nor is the difference, that only the Gospel is necessary, not the Law, as if the latter were a mere addition that could be dispensed with in a strait. No, both are equally necessary. Without the Law the Gospel is not understood; without the Gospel the Law benefits us nothing.
Nor can this naïve, yet quite current, distinction be admitted, that the Law is the teaching of the Old while the Gospel is the teaching of the New Testament. By no means; there are Gospel contents in the Old and Law contents in the New Testament. Moreover, in the New Testament the Lord has broken the seal of the Law by purging it from Jewish ordinances.
Nor do the Law and the Gospel differ as regards their final aim, as though the Gospel aimed at men’s salvation, the Law at men’s condemnation. No, both have for their final aim man’s salvation; only the Law, ever since the Fall, cannot lead us to salvation; it can only prepare us for the Gospel. Furthermore, it is through the Gospel that we obtain the ability to fulfil the Law to a certain extent.
Nor can we establish a difference by claiming that the Law and the Gospel contradict each other. There are no contradictions in Scripture. Each is distinct from the other, but both are in the most perfect harmony with one another.
Finally, the difference is not this, that only one of these doctrines is meant for Christians. Even for the Christian the Law still retains its significance. Indeed, when a person ceases to employ either of these two doctrines, he is no longer a true Christian.
i've heard many of these used to explain what the difference is between the law and the gospel.  but through listening to mass quantities of Fighting for the Faith, and now the God Whisperers, and some past Tim Keller insights thrown in for good measure, i'm seeing that:

the law says "do";
the gospel says "done".


the law tells us the works we need to do for God;
the gospel tells us the works Christ did for us.

i get such a heavy when i hear preaching like, "Jesus did this for you, SO, now you must do this (a shopping list of life application points)."  in other words, the final word is "DO".  ...which is really a reversal of order.  it's really, "this is what God expects of you, but guess what, you are a sinner and can't do it and are therefore condemned to hell; BUT, Jesus did this for you"... the final word being "DONE".
The Law tells us what we are to do. No such instruction is contained in the Gospel. On the contrary, the Gospel reveals to us only what God is doing. The Law is speaking concerning our works; the Gospel, concerning the great works of God. In the Law we hear the tenfold summons, “Thou shalt.” Beyond that the Law has nothing to say to us. The Gospel, on the other hand, makes no demands whatever. 
But does not the Gospel demand faith? Yes; that, however, is just the same kind of command as when you say to a hungry person, “Come, sit down at my table and eat.” the hungry person will not reply: “Bosh! I will not take orders from you.” No, he will understand and accept your words as a kind invitation. That is what the Gospel is — a kind invitation to partake of heavenly blessings.
a starving man needs no command to eat when food is placed in front of him.

What the Law promises is just as great a boon as what the Gospel promises, namely, everlasting life and salvation. But at this point we are confronted with a mighty difference: all promises of the Law are made on certain conditions, namely, on the condition that we fulfill the Law perfectly. Accordingly, the promises of the Law are the more disheartening, the greater they are. The Law offers us food, but does not hand it down to us where we can reach it. It offers us salvation in about the same manner as refreshments were offered to Tantalus in the hell of the pagan Greeks. It says to us indeed: “I will quench the thirst of your soul and appease your hunger.” But it is not able to accomplish this because it always adds: “All this you shall have if you do what I command.”
Over and against this note the lovely, sweet, and comforting language of the Gospel. It promises us the grace of God and salvation without any condition whatsoever. It is a promise of free grace. It asks nothing of us but this, “Take what I give, and you have it.” That is not a condition, but a kind invitation.
so often i hear about the promises of God being conditional.  under the law, yes.  which feels like hopelessness.  but under the gospel of grace, no.  completely unconditional.  WOW.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

dug down deep



character does not hide and deny.
character does not sweep things under the carpet.
character thinks twice before speaking.
character owns what they've spoken -- or misspoken.
character keeps things in the open.
character can disagree without attacking.
character can speak the truth in love.

one part of my past that most people don't know about is that i grew up in a very cultic, covert, controlled, and manipulative background.

cults hide and deny.
cults sweep things under the carpet.
cults speak harsh words.
cults then say it never happened.
cults keep things hidden.
cults don't allow for disagreement, and will attack anyone that disagrees with them.
cults speak lies as truths, and keep the truth out of the picture.


i will also love those i disagree with, not take offense at their words, and consider their cautions.
i will think with the brain God gave me, i will not cater to man at the expense of God's truth, and i will walk by my convictions before God, answering to God above all.
and i will continuously endeavor to do all these things in the right heart attitude.

i will not lash back at harsh words, i will not knee jerk against manipulative (ahem, sent in private) phone calls and emails (and i have gotten some), and i will not deny God my mouth to call for truth, transparency, and character.

AND, i do invite input, from people personally involved in my life, into my own error and hypocrisy.  because humility only comes via humiliation.


the official word

diagnosically speaking, from the surgeon's mouth, that is. lol

colonoscopy was normal.  which means, he thinks, that i have 'irritable bowel syndrome'

how he described it is like this:

it's a 'motility' issue: how the bowels move things along.

by having people swallow these little electric doodads, they have shown two things:
1. they doodads measure the pressure in the bowels, which, when moving stuff along, the bowels squeeze up much tighter, 'contents under more pressure', than normal bowels.;
2. by x-raying the doodads, they show things get from beginning to end eventually, but it's irregular.

ergo the pain and cramping.

and it can affect everything from the stomach to the end of the line.

so i'll start a new medication tomorrow, to help empty the stomach, to be taken before every meal, and before bed.  4x a day.  *sighs*

hopefully soon i'll be able to tolerate solid food again.


Sunday, December 05, 2010




my thoughts on baptism has been challenged in the last few months.

first i watched or listened to a debate between RCSproul (infant baptism) and John MacArthur (believer's baptism).... in which i found Sprouls argument more convincing.  which was ENTIRELY unexpected.

infant baptism? pffft....before.  now, not so much.

then today i listened to an interview on infant baptism on F4F:



Saturday, December 04, 2010


from Critical Issues Commentary:
Another passage where prophecy is followed by judging is this one: “Do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1Thessalonians 5:20, 21). It is fair to assume that the “prophetic utterances” that Paul mentions here are of the same sort that he addresses in 1Corinthians. Members of the congregation were speaking forth what they believed to be from God. To despise here means “to make absolutely nothing of” or to “hold in contempt.”5 Rather than automatically disregarding anything that was purported to be from God, the Thessalonians were to “examine” what was said and distinguish the good from the bad. The word “examine” here is dokimazo_ which has to do with putting something to the test to determine its nature. It means, “to test, examine, or scrutinize.” The same Greek word is used in this passage: “that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Peter 1:7), where it is translated “tested.” Prophecy is to be carefully put to the test to see if it is from God.
when someone puts for a quote or statement on facebook or twitter, purporting to be wisdom from or about God, then it is open - by God's own mandate to test everything - to be tested, examined, and SCRUTINIZED by the hearer, which, in my case, would be me.
"...Romans 12:6, “And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith.” There is an issue of translation from the Greek here. The passage says literally, “according to the analogy of the faith.” Though some have argued that “his faith” (in the subjective sense) is in view, I do not think this interpretation fits the grammar or the larger Biblical context. Opinion on this matter is divided. Some scholars see a subjective understanding of “faith” (as the NASB translates it). Others see the literal translation “the faith” as being the objective content of the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). If, however, one considers both the literal Greek6 and the fact that elsewhere in the New Testament prophecy is to be judged, the objective understanding makes the most sense."
the content of prophecy has to be analogous to THE FAITH delivered to us.... it has to be alike, in line, side by side, in the same color family, so to speak. (analogous colors are side by side on the color wheel).  in other words, it cannot differ from what is revealed in the Word.
"Holy Spirit inspired speech will always confess the person and work of Christ. True prophecy does not add to the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3), but expounds, exhorts, encourages, and comforts by directly applying Biblical teaching to the lives of hearers (1Corinthians 14:3). If a person claims to speak for God but the person’s message content does not agree with Scripture and is outside of the sphere of material that God has revealed in the Bible, the spiritual source of the message is not God’s Spirit."
purely objective, and pretty simple, actually...!


Outcast, Adopted.

THIS BLOG IS IN NEED OF AN OVERHAUL. there are posts from years back i would not be able to post in good conscience now. i plan to overhaul the blog, and either delete or add a disclaimer to those posts. but that is gonna take time....

The Radical Summons: "
Therefore let us go to Him outside the camp and bear the reproach He endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come." Hebrews 13:13.

"The Spirit never loosens where the Word binds; the Spirit never justifies where the Word condemns; the Spirit never approves where the Word disapproves; the Spirit never blesses where the Word curses." —Thomas Brooks

‎"God receives none but those who are forsaken, restores health to none but those who are sick, gives sight to none but the blind, and life to none but the dead. He does not give saintliness to any but sinners, nor wisdom to any but fools. In short: He has mercy on none but the wretched and gives grace to none but those who are in disgrace. Therefore no arrogant saint, or just or wise man can be material for God, neither can he do the work of God, but he remains confined within his own work and makes of himself a fictitious, ostensible, false, and deceitful saint, that is, a hypocrite." --Martin Luther (W.A. 1.183ff)

i will not let You go: "Jacob's sense of his total debility and utter defeat is now the secret of his power with his friendly Vanquisher. God can overthrow all the prowess of the self-reliant, but He cannot resist the earnest entreaty of the helpless." --Albert Barnes

i will not let You go: "Jacob's determination did not flow from his strength, it flowed from his weakness." --Charles Leiter