Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sin is Incompatible With Christmas

Having had this overwhelming experience in the midst of their normal environment and having believed in the Savior, can we imagine one of the shepherds remarking, “It’s very nice that I’ve seen an angel, and it is nice I have seen the Christ, the Messiah the Jews have been waiting for, for so long. It’s nice that I’ve believed in him (unlike some of the other people in Bethlehem) and that I’m going to be in heaven. But really, in practice, it’s not going to make any difference at all in my life.” 
This is inconceivable.

Since the shepherds were much like each one of us, they faced a round of old sins when they returned to life as usual. In the light of their experience of looking at the face of the baby Jesus, in the light of their understanding of that situation, can we imagine them continuing to live in sin as though it were normal, without being sorry and having real repentance? I think not. I would suggest that the shepherds, full of the reality of what they had seen in the heavens and in the manger, would have been sorry for their past sins and even more if they sinned again.

No Little People

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Do you love the Trinity?

Do you love the Father in heaven? Do you love God's only Son? Do you love the Holy Spirit? Do you love the Trinity? I'm not asking if you affirm the Trinity; most probably you do. What I want to know is what do you feel whenever the doctrine of the Trinity is vehemently denied.

       Do you think it was an insignificant matter for Eddie Villanueva to call Apollo Quiboloy as a "Preacher of Righteousness" and a fellow citizen of heaven? Do you regard Philips, Craig and Dean as good worship leaders because their music is excellent even though they deny the Trinity? Do you count non-Trinitarians as spiritual heroes? If your answer is "YES" to any of the three questions in this paragraph, I don't think you love the Trinity even if you affirm the doctrine.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Our Generation's Bad Tolerance

Thomas Schreiner
"In a world where tolerance is valued and the rigidity of the past generation is rejected, we are inclined to go to the other extreme. Is it the case that Paul's anathemas here (Galatians 1:8-9) seem to be ill-mannered and unloving? Such sentiments reveal how far we have strayed from the biblical witness, indicating that our churches have not rightly balanced the doctrines of God's holiness and his love."
 ~ Galatians (ZECNT)

Monday, September 3, 2012

God Calls the Ordinary

"... these twelve were so ordinary it defies all human logic: not one teacher, not one priest, not one rabbi, not one scribe, not one Pharisee, not one Sadducee, not even a synagogue ruler—nobody from the elite. Half of them or so were fishermen, and the rest were common laborers. One, Simon the Zealot, was a terrorist, a member of a group who went around with daggers in their cloaks, trying to stab Romans. Then there was Judas, the loser of all losers.

Hard to Believe
same material could be found in
Twelve Ordinary Men
What was the Lord doing? He picked people with absolutely no influence. None of the great intellects from Egypt, Greece, Rome, or Israel was among the apostles. During the New Testament time, the greatest scholars were very likely in Egypt. The most distinguished philosophers were in Athens. The powerful were in Rome. The biblical scholars were in Jerusalem. God disdained all of them and picked clay pots instead. Think of it like this: He passed by Herodotus, the historian; He passed by Socrates, the great thinker. He passed by the father of medicine, Hippocrates. He passed by Plato the philosopher, Aristotle the wise, Euclid the mathematician, Archimedes the father of mechanics, Hipparchus the astronomer, Cicero the orator, and Virgil the poet. He didn’t pay attention to any of those people when selecting the preachers of the difficult-to-believe message of salvation.

He’s still doing it. He is still in the business of passing up the gold and silver bowls and picking up clay pots."

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Faith's Essentials and Fellowship

"How much farther could they go? What doctrine remains to be abandoned? What other truth to be the object of contempt? A new religion has been initiated, which is no more Christianity than chalk is cheese; and this religion, being destitute of moral honesty, palms itself off as the old faith with slight improvements, and on this plea usurps pulpits which were erected for gospel preaching. The Atonement is scouted, the inspiration of Scripture is derided, the Holy Spirit is degraded into an influence, the punishment of sin is turned into fiction, and the resurrection into a myth, and yet these enemies of our faith expect us to call them brethren, and maintain a confederacy with them!"

~ Sword and Trowel
   August, 1887

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lying and a Person's Inward Moral Character

~ Wayne Grudem
"Truthfulness and lying are often highly significant indicators of a person’s inward moral character. In fact, truthfulness in speech may be the most frequent test of our integrity each day. In ordinary life, people don’t often encounter opportunities to murder, commit adultery, steal, or break other civil laws without a high probability of being found out and suffering serious consequences. But people do have opportunities many times every day to tell a small lie (usually with little likelihood of being caught) or to speak truthfully. For example, the expressions “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” or “I thought you said . . . ” or “I forgot” can be outright lies but who can ever prove it? Small exaggerations of events or distortions of details of fact can be spoken repeatedly in situations where the hearers have no way of knowing that they are untrue. But in each case, God is dishonored and the liar’s moral character is further eroded, his conscience is progressively hardened against God’s law, and he becomes more open to committing other kinds of sin as well."

from the essay Why It Is Never Right to Lie, a contribution to the book Speaking the Truth in Love (a Festschrift for John Frame)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sis. Sheryll, Birthday Greetings!

~ Sheryll Yap
How I long for the day
When Your purpose for my life 

Will be accomplished
When the mission You have assigned 

For me is done.
For it is then, I know,
You shall take me to be with You
To make me finally see 

the God of my life.
On that blessed day with the saints
I shall say before You:

"Thank You, O God, for always reminding me
Who You really are in our lives."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Faith's Apparent Ridiculousness

"Faith has an apparent ridiculousness about it. You are not acting by faith if you are doing what everyone around you is doing. Faith always appears to defy the circumstances. It constitutes a risk and a venture."
~Ray Stedman
  from the sermon Is Anything Too Hard for God?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Laughing Revival, Barking in the Spirit, and True Spiritual Experience

"If a person’s emotional response is a biblically warranted response to the biblical message, then it is a “proper” experience. If someone is grieved by a sense of sin, as David was in Ps. 51, then it is a proper experience. If he runs around the church barking like a dog, most likely it is not."

Scripture and the Church's Two-Fold Need

"... because the church on earth consists of imperfectly sanctified sinners, there are always two defects in the lives of its members, both corporately and individually. These are ignorance and error, which cause omissions and mistakes in belief and behavior. The Church, therefore, has two constant needs; instruction in the truths by which it must live, and correction of the shortcomings by which its life is marred. Scripture is designed to meet this two-fold need... It is the church's responsibility to use Scripture for its intended purpose. That it does by complementary activities of exposition followed by reformation."
~ J. I. Packer
Fundamentalism and the Word of God, p.69

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Though Impeccable, the Incarnate God Worked Hard to Remain Sinless

"... but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin." (Hebrews 4:15, NIV 1984 )

"... though Jesus did not sin, we must not infer that life was easy for him. His sinlessness was, at least in part, an earned sinlessness as he gained victory after victory in the constant battle with temptation that life in this world entails."
 ~Leon Morris Hebrews to Revelation (EBC Vol.12)

Monday, April 16, 2012

An apologist should not be a lousy exegete

"The first skill that an apologist should seek to be developing is not that of a philosopher but that of an exegete"
~James R. White

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Genesis 9:3-- a verse for animal rights advocates

"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."


Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolutions Must Be Built Upon Biblical Convictions

"True biblical conviction is always lived out. Conviction that is not lived, that does not rule my everyday life, is not really conviction. if my heart knows, understands, acknowledges and has submitted to what is right, it will difinitely show in the decision I make daily."

"A person who does not have biblical convictions does not have an internal restraint system. This person will do right when under a watchful eye, or when under external pressure. However, when these external motivators are removed, this person will behave very differently."

Paul David Tripp
Age of Opportunity, p.133