Tuesday, December 22, 2015

God can use frail servants

"Human frailty (e.g., youth or difficulty in speech) is no excuse before God’s expressed will to grant a person the words to say and the opportunities to deliver them."

J. Andrew Dearman 
Jeremiah, Lamentations (NIVAC)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The IMMEDIATE PURPOSES of God's revelation are subservient to its OVERARCHING PURPOSE

It seems clear that those who were used by God in the writing of the Old Testament Scriptures did not do so with the primary thought in mind that their words, centuries down the road, would be a source of encouragement for Jews and Gentiles, united in the one body of Christ. But God’s intent in the writing of Scripture is here expressed in plain words: The immediate purposes of the prophetic ministry, while used as means to bring the Scriptures into existence, are subservient to God’s overarching purpose, which is providing the body with its chief means of encouragement and guidance. What was written “before” or in “earlier times” was written not just for those who lived then—a greater purpose was in sight, as it was written “for our instruction."

James R. White (Scripture Alone)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Heart and Mouth Connection

"... when the heart is filled with good and noble intentions the good man’s speech will prove this to be a fact. The rule according to which whatever a man has set his heart on, so that the very core and center of his being is full of it, will sooner or later be disclosed in his speech..."

William Hendriksen
Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew

Friday, November 27, 2015

Use Your Weapon

"When we fail to quote Scripture in public and private discussions about hundreds of questions, we leave our most powerful weapon at home...
Stewards of the Word of God, unleash it! Release its power to a lost and dying world!"

~ Wayne Grudem
  Presidential Address: Evangelical Theological Society's 51st annual meeting (Nov. 17, 1999)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Frustrations of a Maturing Christian

"... the more we become like Christ, the more sensitive we are to the remaining corruptions of the flesh. As we mature in godliness our sins become more painful and more obvious to ourselves. The more we put away sin, the more we notice sinful tendencies that still need to be put away. This is the paradox of sanctification: the holier we become, the more frustrated we are by the stubborn remnants of our sin."

~ John Macarthur
   The Vanishing Conscience

Friday, October 23, 2015

God's Presence in Varying Degrees

"But just as persons may be present to one another in varying degrees or ways, God may be present in one way to the unjust and in a richer way to the just. You may be superficially present to a stranger on a bus, revealing little about yourself. However, you may be more significantly present with your godly mother who has prayed daily for you all your life, even though she is miles away. God is graciously present in forgiving love with the converted who by faith have been forgiven, reconciled, and redeemed by Christ’s precious blood. They become God’s people, and he becomes their moral and spiritual Father."

~ Gordon R. Lewis
   Integrative Theology

A Million Little Things

"Holiness is the sum of a million little things—the avoidance of little evils and little foibles, the setting aside of little bits of worldliness and little acts of compromise, the putting to death of little inconsistencies and little indiscretions, the attention to little duties and little dealings, the hard work of little self-denials and little self-restraints, the cultivation of little benevolences and little forbearances. Are you trustworthy? Are you kind? Are you patient? Are you joyful? Do you love? These qualities, worked out in all the little things of life, determine whether you are blight or blessing to everyone around you, whether you are an ugly spiritual eyesore or growing up into a good-looking Christian."

~ Kevin DeYoung
   The Hole in Our Holiness

Sin is Serious

God wants us to understand the exceeding sinfulness of sin. We dare not take it lightly or dismiss our own guilt frivolously. When we really see sin for what it is, we must hate it. Scripture goes even further than that: “You will remember your ways and all your deeds, with which you have defiled yourselves; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evil things that you have done” (Ezekiel 20:43).

~John Macarthur
The Vanishing Conscience

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

When society silences its collective conscience

"It is a wretched and horrifying state of affairs. Our society openly condones and defends the worst kinds of evil. Civilization as we know it has reached the deepest level of corruption and abides under a sentence of divine condemnation. People’s consciences have been seared, debased, obstructed, repressed, and overturned. Without a functioning conscience, people are destined only to sink deeper and deeper into wickedness."

~ John Macarthur
   The Vanishing Conscience

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Ako ang Iyong Konsensya"

"The conscience entreats us to do what we believe is right and restrains us from doing what we believe is wrong. The conscience is not to be equated with the voice of God or the law of God. It is a human faculty that judges our actions and thoughts by the light of the highest standard we perceive. When we violate our conscience, it condemns us, triggering feelings of shame, anguish, regret, consternation, anxiety, disgrace, and even fear. When we follow our conscience, it commends us, bringing joy, serenity, self-respect, well-being, and gladness."

~John MacArthur
  The Vanishing Conscience

Thursday, September 24, 2015

God's Words and Actions in Perfect Harmony

"God is... authentically himself. The God revealed in the Christ who so unalterably opposed hypocrisy is himself no hypocrite... God’s authenticity is displayed in the fact that his words are in harmony with his being and action. No discrepancy can be found between what God says and what he does."

~ Gordon R. Lewis
   Integrative Theology

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Good-looking Christian

"We live in a world obsessed with superficial beauty. Whether it’s on cable news or on the Weather Channel, the world expects a certain look. The message all around us is that you’re not good if you’re not good-looking. And so all of us—from ten-year-olds in makeup, to college students in ironic hipster garb, to stay-at-home moms on another diet, to middle-aged dads getting reacquainted with the gym, to aging boomers on Botox—we’re all interested in beauty. But what is true beauty? What is really worth seeing? Who has the look really worth imitating? Paul says, “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us” (Phil. 3:17). It’s godliness that God is looking for. The best-looking Christian is the one growing by the Spirit into the likeness of Christ."

Kevin DeYoung
The Hole in Our Holiness

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Anatomy of Holiness

You can think of holiness, to employ a metaphor, as the sanctification of your body. The mind is filled with the knowledge of God and fixed on what is good. The eyes turn away from sensuality and shudder at the sight of evil. The mouth tells the truth and refuses to gossip, slander, or speak what is coarse or obscene. The spirit is earnest, steadfast, and gentle. The heart is full of joy instead of hopelessness, patience instead of irritability, kindness instead of anger, humility instead of pride, and thankfulness instead of envy. The sexual organs are pure, being reserved for the privacy of marriage between one man and one woman. The feet move toward the lowly and away from senseless conflict, divisions, and wild parties. The hands are quick to help those in need and ready to fold in prayer. This is the anatomy of holiness.

The Hole in Our Holiness
Kevin DeYoung

Friday, August 14, 2015

Good is good because...

Assuming a world of absolute ideas or principles independent of God, Socrates asked, Is the good good because God wills it? Or does God will it because it is good?
 
In the context of biblical revelation, we must add a third question: “Is the good good because the very essence of God is good?” The good is not a product of an arbitrary decision of a mere will sporting about in a vacuum. Neither is it good because God’s will happens to yield to an alleged higher set of (Platonic) principles to which the Creator of all is subservient. Rather, the good is good because it is consistent with God’s very nature. God’s self-determinations always express who he is. He cannot deny himself. God wills the good and holiness because he is good and holy. God is always displeased with evil and unholiness because in his very essence he is awesomely separate from all the evil and unholy.


~ Gordon Lewis
Integrative Theology

Monday, May 25, 2015

Vigilant Christianity in this Present Evil Age

The new age has dawned in Christ but it is not yet consummated. As Christians we live between the times. We are rescued from the present evil age through Christ’s death, and yet we must be warned not to revert back to the old era. We are delivered from sin but are not sinless. We are perfect in Christ but not yet perfected. Hence, we must remain vigilant so that we do not become captive to a false gospel that actually panders to our selfishness and pride, even after we have become Christians.

~ Thomas Schreiner
    Galatians (ZECNT), p.80

Friday, May 22, 2015

Love Your Enemies; Trust the Avenger

Paul said that counting on the final wrath of God against his enemies is one of the crucial warrants for why we may not return evil for evil. It is precisely because we may trust the wisdom of God to apply his wrath justly that we must leave all vengeance to him and return good for evil.
Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Rom. 12:19-20 ESV). 
If God does not show wrath, sooner or later we shall take justice into our own hands. But God says, 'Don't. I will see to it.' 
- - - - -
~ John Piper 
    foreword to the book Pierced for Our Transgressions 
    by Jeffery, Ovey, & Sach

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Passionate Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy excites! Orthodoxy is the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, tenaciously held throughout the centuries and delivered to us by faithful and fearless defenders of the faith. Orthodox doctrines are worth dying for! Orthodoxy moved Jude to charge us passionately to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). Jude's passion explodes on the pages of the Bible.

~ Alex Montoya

  Preaching With Passion, p.46-47

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

To the Selfie Generation

"In God’s estimate, to seek your own glory is to seek against his. He is not amused by our running out into the cosmos snapping selfies, yelling, “Look at me!” while the whole earth is full of his glory. This is God’s world, and our lives are lived before him as either the humble who delight in his name or the haughty who delight in our name."

~ JR Vassar 
   Glory Hunger (Crossway, 2015)

Friday, April 17, 2015

God and History

History is the product of God’s eternally wise planning, creative purposes, providential preservation, and common grace. God fills space and time with his presence, sustains history, and gives the temporal realm lasting value. The transcendent One is Lord of history. God does not negate time, but sustains, guides, and brings it to meaningful fulfillment of wise, gracious and just purposes.

~ Gordon R. Lewis
 Integrative Theology, p.200