Friday, February 24, 2017

Notable Quotables 2/24/17

It's also the definition of practice.
 "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." 

A prayer for prayer.
“Lord, teach me what it is to pray; Lord, excite and quicken me to the duty; Lord, direct me what to pray for; Lord, give me praying graces, that I may serve God acceptably in prayer; Lord, teach me to pray in proper words; give me a mouth and wisdom in prayer, that I may speak as I ought; teach me what I shall say.”
Matthew Henry  

Go on or come on?
Rifleman Costello, of the 95th, said the troops divided officers into two classes, the ‘come on’ and the ‘go on’, ‘and with us,’ he said, ‘the latter were exceedingly few in numbers’. Rifleman Plunket once told an officer, ‘The words “go on” don’t befit a leader, Sir.’
You should labor for the Lord.
“A man is worked upon by what he works on,” 
Frederick Douglass
Think you would have done better than Adam?
“I never asked for them to be my representatives,” some pout. “I think it would have been fairer if we’d all just stood our own tests, our own Gardens of Eden, one by one.” To that, two thoughts . . . First, everything Adam and Eve were and had, you aren’t and don’t. None of us had perfect parents, genes, upbringing, environment, society. All the advantages Adam and Eve had, we lack. They were quite literally model humans, and they didn’t last a whole chapter. You really think you would have done better? Second, by that very objection, you undo your argument. God evidently determined that this was a fair and just way to deal with mankind. In opposing our wisdom over against the wisdom of God, and insisting that we might have a better idea, we do exactly as Eve did: We prefer our judgment as superior to God’s judgment. And so, pencils down. Test over. You already failed. Just as Greatgramma Eve and Great-grampa Adam did.
The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Philips

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The LORD God

And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth (Exodus 34:6).

Jehovah is God. Not a God among gods. He is God. The phrase "The LORD God" tells us that there is a God who is a self-existent personal being. We believe this truth by faith, but not blind faith. Faith based upon the evidence of God's general revelation and God's special revelation in the Scriptures. The general revelation of nature and observation tells us that there is a Creator. Our own hearts witness the fact that we know that there is a God. The Scripture is God telling us who He is. If your view of God comes from any other source than the Bible, you have created an idol and a false god. The spirit of our age tells us that everyone is right and no one is wrong when it comes to spirituality. Everyone gets a trophy and everyone gets to pick their own truth.  But that isn't how truth works. John Adams said "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." There is a God and there is only one God, to the exclusion of all other gods. If you worship another god, you are wrong. If you worship more than one god, you are wrong. If you believe that we all can come to the "higher power" in our own way and on our own path, you are wrong. Since God is a personal being, His existence and attributes are not dependent on what we think of Him. God is who He is, regardless of our opinion of those facts. When Moses met Jehovah on the mountain, Moses met a personal God who revealed Himself. How absurd a scene if Moses had said "I know you have told me who you are Lord, but to me, you are…" Don't make up a god and call Him Jesus.

God is truth and He will be worshipped alone, to the exclusion of all other gods, as He has revealed Himself in Scripture. God will be worshiped in spirit, through faith. Not with idols and graven images. God will be honored and His name will be honored because He alone is God and worthy of worship. This truth is not regulated to the Old Testament. God is revealed in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus affirms the Old Testament teaching that there is only one God and tells us that the only way to the Father is through Jesus. There is one God who demands your heart, your soul, your mind, your affections, your obedience, and your worship. There is only one way to God and that is through faith in the finished work and shed blood of Jesus Christ. All other ways, all other paths, all other gods lead to eternal damnation.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Thank God, There's Still a Vangaurd

H. E. G. Arey.

Thank God, there's still a vanguard
Fighting for the Right ;
Though the throng flock to rearward,
Lifting (ashen-white)
Flags of truce to Sin and Error,
Clasping hands mute with terror,
Thank God, there's still a vanguard
Fighting for the Right.

Through the wilderness advancing,
Hewers of the way ;
Forward far their spears are glancing,
Flashing back the day.
"Back!" the leaders cry who fear them;
"Back !" from all the army near them ;
They, their steady tramp advancing,
Cleave their certain way.

Slay them — from each drop that falleth
Springs a hero armed ;
Where the martyr's fire appalleth,
Lo ! they pass unharmed ;
Crushed beneath thy wheel, Oppression,
How their spirits hold possession —
How their dross-purged voice outcalleth,
By the death-throes warmed !

Thank God, there's still a vanguard
Fighting for the right ;
Error's legions know their standard
Floating in the light.
When the league of Sin rejoices,
Quick outring the rallying voices,
Thank God, there's still a vanguard
Fighting for the Right.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Notable Quotables - 2/17/17

Good question, because you will need to know.

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
John Wooden

They can kill the body, but not the soul.

Matthew 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

"The argument from this text is plain, unanswerable, and conclusive. If the soul dies, or goes into oblivion when the body dies, the he that kills the body would, with the same stroke, kill the soul too. But our Saviour tells us that those who kill the body cannot kill the soul. And if it be said that this is meant only of the utter destruction of the soul, God having promised resurrection to life again, then our Saviour might as well have denied that it is in the power of a man to kill the body, because god certainly will raise it again at the last day. But our blessed Lord grants that the body may be killed by man, in the same sense wherein he denies that the soul can be; and therefore he is not speaking with reverence to the resurrection at all. There is then, a life which the death of the body cannot touch."
The Apocalypse by J.A. Seiss

Here I stand. Or over there. Doesn't really matter to me.

"Indifferentism about doctrine makes no heroes of the faith."
 Christianity and Liberalism by  J. Gresham Machen

As a UK Basketball fan, this doesn't surprise me.

     "After a foiled raid on a graveyard in New Albany, Indiana, on February 24, 1890, Dr. W. H. Wathen, head of the Kentucky Medical College, told a Tribune reporter, “The gentlemen were acting not for the Kentucky School of Medicine nor for themselves individually, but for the medical schools of Louisville to which the human subject is as necessary as breath to life.” Just three weeks later the physicians of Louisville were at it again. They attempted to rob a grave at the State Asylum for the Insane in Anchorage, Kentucky, this time on behalf of the University of Louisville. “Yes, the party was sent out by us,” a senior school official said. “We must have bodies, and if the State won’t give them to us we must steal them. The winter classes were large and used up so many subjects that there are none for the spring classes.” He saw no need to apologize. “The Asylum Cemetery has been robbed for years,” he said, “and I doubt if there is a corpse in it. I tell you we must have bodies. You cannot make doctors without them, and the public must understand it. If we can’t get them any other way we will arm the students with Winchester rifles and send them to protect the body-snatchers on their raids.”

The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Self Existent One

Exodus 34:1-7

Moses was about to take a hike to the top of the mountain; he was summoned to a meeting.  God wants him to present himself on mount Sinai; alone. Early in the morning, Moses hikes up the mountain with the stone tablets and the Lord descended in the cloud and before him and proclaimed the name of the Lord. In most English translations, the word LORD is in all caps. The translators use this as a clue that the Hebrew word being translated is not "adonai" which means lord, but it is the name of God. When you see LORD in all caps, that is what is called the "tetragrammaton" which is a really fancy way of saying "four letters". The four letters referred to are YHWH, which is the name of God. Ancient Semitic writing did not have vowels, so there is debate about the pronunciation of God's name (Jehovah or Yahweh) but there is no debate on what it means. God's name means "self-existent one". God has no beginning and no ending.  He is "I AM that I AM (Exodus 3:14), Alpha and Omega, the first and the last (Revelation 1:17-18). Before there was an Earth to stand on, a Heaven to declare His handiwork, before there was an angel to praise his name, there was God – from everlasting to everlasting, there is God (Psalms 90:2).

The God of the Bible is self-existent. The Bible begins  with "In the beginning God..." There is no attempt to prove Gods existence or a list of reasons why you should believe that God exists, but presupposes you know that He does and then begins to reveal truth about God.  And in His eternal existence, he was self-sufficient. The Trinity did not need you or me to complete Him or make Him happy. He was not lacking in any way, like we are because it is God that created us and gives us all that we have and need (Acts 17:23-25). And to give you bang for your buck this week, I'll give you another good word: aseity. This means, as J.I. Packer well defined "[God] has life in himself and draws his unending energy from himself".  This is an awe inspiring thought. We all need other people. We needed parents to bring us into the world and we needed someone to care for us while we were infants. We required for someone to teach us to talk and help us to walk. No one is self-sufficient.  But God is! God always has been and always will be. God has not changed, or grown in wisdom or knowledge. He has not grown more powerful or less. This is a basic foundation of the truth of the God of the Bible. Hallelujah! (Which means "Praise Jehovah". Hallel means "praise" and Ja is the shortened form of tetragrammaton) "For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods." (Psalms 95:3).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Keep a close eye on yourseld and your doctrine - Tuesday with Timothy #61

1 Timothy 4:16  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

You have to keep an eye out and pay attention to your own soul. Just because you stand behind a pulpit and expound God's Word doesn't mean you are above and beyond the dangers you warn other people about. You urge people to read the Bible. Do you read devotionally? Do you spend time with the Lord? Do you read for your own benefit? You urge people to pray and teach people how to pray. Do you spend time in prayer? You plead with souls to flee sin and temptation. Do you run from sin in your own life? You preach the gospel to others, do you preach it to yourself? Take heed of your soul. Take heed of your body. Take heed of your life. How you talk, how you walk, what you do alone, what you do at work. Do you rest and how do you rest? Take heed how you treat other people and how you interact with other people.

Take heed unto your doctrine. Stay sharp in the Word. Keep studying, keep growing. The worst thing a man can do is think that he has arrived and knows everything. You will never reach the end of the unsearchable riches of Christ. You will never have come to the place where you are out of danger from becoming unbalanced. Take care that your doctrine stay true. Going off course just a inch won't matter much in  the space of a mile's hike. Consider the following from Tim Enochs:
 "I have a friend named Larry who is a retired Air Force Pilot. One day he shared with me an interesting fact about flying. He said that, for every single degree you fly off course, you will miss your target landing spot by 92 feet for every mile you fly.
That amounts to about one mile off target for every sixty miles flown.
If you decided to start at the equator and fly around the earth, one degree off would land you almost 500 miles off target.
So, the longer you travel off course, the further you will be from the intended target"
That is why sequential exposition is needful in any ministry. By working your way through an entire book, not only do you get the meaning of the text, but you are getting the whole counsel of God. Regularly check to make sure your current line of thinking is lining up with the Word of God. Systematic study and preaching is also needed. When it comes to theology proper or prophetic passages, a systematic understanding is necessary. Recently it was shown that some men in evangelical conservative ranks had a flat out wrong understanding of the Trinity. The Trinity is a doctrine that must be preached and believed, and you will need a systematic study to see what God has revealed in His Word concerning this truth. It's easy to get caught up in a movement or get engrossed in one aspect of theology and neglect the whole counsel of God. Take care that your preaching is true to God's Word and not true to your opinion. That it's not a soapbox to get some things off your chest, but preaching God's Word to God's people.

Continue in this. Always be watching yourself and watching your doctrine. Keep a close eye on your soul. Keep a close eye on your preaching. By doing this, you'll save yourself and others. Might seem a tad selfish, being focused on yourself. Not at all. Think about it, as a preacher, you are teaching and leading other people. If you start slipping, what is going to happen to the people you are teaching? By keeping an eye on your soul, and keeping sharp in your doctrine, you are going to be a blessing to those that follow you and those sit under your preaching. Keeping an eye on your inner life and your doctrine will save you from the consequences of sin in this life, from false doctrine, from the consequences of bad teaching or superficial teaching.

Monday, February 13, 2017

God exists, and you know it

God exists. Any study of Theology begins with the fact that God does exist. The Bible begins  with "In the beginning God..." There is no attempt to prove Gods existence or a list of reasons why you should believe that God exists, but presupposes you know that He does and then begins to reveal truth about God.
The Bible tells me that you believe that God exists. Even when you tell me that you don't believe in God, God's Word says that you do. Romans 1:16-17 tells us the gospel " is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."  God is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, but something else is revealed. Romans 1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness." First, the righteousness of God is revealed in Jesus. We can know God in Christ. But as God is shown to us in Jesus, God's wrath is revealed from Heaven against those that suppress the truth, or hold down the truth that is revealed. These same individuals later, we are told in verse 28, "did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient". The true God is revealed in Jesus but men suppress evident truth about themselves and the world they live in, and the God that created it. They harden their hearts and because they did not like to retain that knowledge, God gives them over to their reprobate mind. They hold down the truth, and God lets them sink to the bottom.

You might say that you don't believe God exists, but I don't believe you. And why should I? By what standard or by what reason do you hold to "truth?" Do you tell me that you aren’t lying on moral grounds? WHY should I believe you, if you are a mass of cells that have evolved to the ability to talk through random chance? Right and wrong are Christian concepts. To say something is right or to say something is true presupposes that there is a standard of truth somewhere. Morality, right, wrong, truth; if you don't believe in God, you have no grounds or reason to use these terms or believe in these concepts.

The atheist lies to himself, dismisses evidence, dismisses the obvious truth and hardens their heart to the obvious. The Bible is God’s revealed truth and God says that you believe that He is. God made man in His image and created us with the innate knowledge that He exists. Our twisted and depraved minds have us to worship anything and everything but him but. God doesn’t believe in atheists because He created you to worship Him.