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Mopping Up the Trail of Blood: Part 2

September 30, 2015 Leave a comment

By Eric Ayala

Last week we examined the problems of J.M. Carroll’s anachronistic understanding of history. That post can be read here Mopping Up the Trail of Blood: Part 1 Because Carroll claims that the Baptist line can be traced through various historical groups; we will thus examine them in this post, as it is central to his thesis. Carroll actually does little to establish these groups with any factual link to Baptists, but nonetheless he does list them in support of his claim.

So what groups comprise this Trail of Blood from his title?

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Wednesday Word: The Pathetic 12-Months of Mercy!

September 30, 2015 1 comment

Recently, I was stunned when reading the present Pope’s declaration concerning his upcoming ‘Year of Mercy’. Accordingly during that period Pope Francis will give priests a special dispensation of power to forgive those who have committed the sin of abortion.

A line from W.C. Fields sprang to my mind, “Hour of mischief, what kind of skulduggery is this?”

In his statement, the Pope expressed compassion for those who have aborted their babies. Furthermore, during the Holy Year of Mercy, he will permit priests to absolve penitent women of the sin of having had their pregnancies terminated.

How sweet of him, but who in the name of thunder does he think he is to give permission to anyone to forgive sins? Only God can forgive sins…and He doesn’t limit His forgiveness to a 12-month window of opportunity.

This entire Papal proposal reeks of arrogance from start to finish. It is another example of how Francis, mild-mannered as he is, assumes the position of God Almighty! How does he take it on himself to allow his priests to forgive a particular sin for a particular period of time?

All sin is sin against God (Psalm 51:4), it’s not against Pope Francis. Thus only God, not Francis, can forgive (Mark 2:7). Yet the Pope presumes to give power to his priests to do just that. But then again, there should be no surprise here for Francis claims to be the “Vicar of Christ.” That implies that he has the same power and authority that Christ has over the church. Why, in the light of this, do evangelicals in their droves now embrace the Pope as a Christian leader instead of declaring him to be Antichrist? Nary a whimper is to be heard from the pens and sermons of many Bible Believers as Francis perpetrates, perpetuates and promulgates his falsehoods and deceptions upon the gullible and the credulous.

There is only one priest who can deal with sin and his name is not Francis, His name is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the God-Man. He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by Him (Hebrews 7:25).

In contrast to Rome’s 12-month period of mercy, the Bible speaks of unlimited mercy found in God. We read in Ephesians 2:4-5, for example, that God is rich in Mercy… literally He’s ‘plush’ with mercy. And what is more, mercy for those who have aborted their babies is not limited to the time frame of one year. The throne of Grace is open to everyone who approaches by faith, at any time, for any sin regardless of the Pope’s sell by date. In fact, Hebrews 4:16 urges us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” There is mercy for those who come to Christ. He is the faithful High Priest, no other priest is required.

As I read the Pope’s statement, I was also reminded of how some years ago an old lady was lying on her death bed. A local priest came to see her and announced that he was there to absolve her of her sins. ”Let me see your hands, “she demanded.

“My hands?”

“Yes, your hands.”

Reluctantly, the priest proffered his hands for examination. After a minute or so the old lady said; ”Sir, I perceive that you are an imposter. The only one who can absolve me has got nail scars in his hands….Scars that were received at the cross of Calvary.”

Perhaps someone who has had an abortion is reading this. It has deeply troubled your conscience. The guilt pierces you. You believe you are beyond forgiveness. I implore you, therefore, to look to Christ Jesus, plead guilty and throw yourself on His mercy. Your sins and iniquities He will remember no more.

May the Lord grant that you see the mercy and grace that is available to you in Christ Jesus. He is the only priest who can and will forgive sin for He alone is the God/Man!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles.

www.milesmckee.com 

The division of the faculties of the soul into intellect and will

September 30, 2015 Leave a comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The division of the faculties of the soul into intellect and will, more agreeable to Christian doctrine.

7. From this method of teaching we are forced somewhat to dissent. For philosophers, being unacquainted with the corruption of nature, which is the punishment of revolt, erroneously confound two states of man which are very different from each other. Let us therefore hold, for the purpose of the present work, that the soul consists of two parts, the intellect and the will, (Book 2 chap. 2 sec. 2, 12,) — the office of the intellect being to distinguish between objects, according as they seem deserving of being approved or disapproved; and the office of the will, to choose and follow what the intellect declares to be good, to reject and shun what it declares to be bad, (Plato, in Phaedro.) We dwell not on the subtlety of Aristotle, that the mind has no motion of itself; but that the moving power is choice, which he also terms the appetite intellect. Not to lose ourselves in superfluous questions, let it be enough to know that the intellect is to us, as it were, the guide and ruler of the soul; that the will always follows its beck, and waits for its decision, in matters of desire. For which reason Aristotle truly taught, that in the appetite there is a pursuit and rejection corresponding in some degree to affirmation and negation in the intellect, (Aristot. Ethic. lib. 6 sec. 2.) Moreover, it will be seen in another place, (Book 2 c. 2 see. 12-26,) how surely the intellect governs the will. Here we only wish to observe, that the soul does not possess any faculty which may not be duly referred to one or other of these members. And in this way we comprehend sense under intellect. Others distinguish thus: They say that sense inclines to pleasure in the same way as the intellect to good; that hence the appetite of sense becomes concupiscence and lust, while the affection of the intellect becomes will. For the term appetite, which they prefer, I use that of will, as being more common.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 15-Henry Beveridge Translation

The Sabbath and the Decalogue in the Old Testament

September 29, 2015 Leave a comment

by Jon English Lee

Today we continue our series on the Sabbath. Previously I have discussed the Sabbath as a Creation Ordinance and the prescriptive nature of God’s rest in Genesis 2. Now I want to discuss if it is proper to dismiss the 4th commandment as ‘ceremonial law.’

1. The Unity of the Decalogue

Some want to claim that the Sabbath command is a ceremonial law that is no longer binding. However, no one would doubt the continuing validity of the other nine commandments. John Murray shows the flawed logic….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Some Thoughts on the Reading of Books

September 29, 2015 4 comments

by Albert R. Mohler

I cannot really remember when I did not love to read books. I do know that I was very eager to learn to read, and that I quickly found myself immersed in the world of books and literature. It may have been a seduction of sorts, and the Christian disciples must always be on guard to guide the eyes to books worthy of a disciple’s attention—and there are so many.

As Solomon warned, “Of making many books there is no end” (Ecc 12:12). There is no way to read everything, and not everything deserves to be read. I say that in order to confront the notion that anyone, anywhere, can master all that could be read with profit. I read a great deal, and a large portion of my waking hours are devoted to reading. Devotional reading for spiritual profit is an important part of the day, and that begins with the reading of Scripture. In terms of timing, I am somewhat unorthodox. My best time for spending time in the Word is late at night, when all is calm and quiet and I am mentally alert and awake. That is not the case when I first get up in the mornings, when I struggle to find each word on the page (or anything else, for that matter).

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Example 4 of the Fifth Rule

September 29, 2015 Leave a comment

Arthur PinkThe Fifth Rule: the value of ascertaining the scope of each passage, and the particular aspect of Truth presented therein.

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28):

“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).

Unless the scope of each writer be clearly apprehended, those two statements flatly contradict each other. Romans 3:28, is a conclusion from what had been advanced in verses 21-27—all boasting before God being rendered impossible by the Divine method of salvation. From the very nature of the case, if justification before God be by faith, then it must be by faith alone—without the mingling of anything meritorious of ours. James 2:24, as is clear from verses 17, 18 and 26, is not treating of how the sinner obtains acceptance with God, but how such a one supplies proof of his acceptance. Paul was rebutting that legalistic tendency which leads men to go about and “establish their own righteousness” by works; James was contending against that spirit of licentious Antinomianism which causes others to pervert the Gospel and insist that good works are not essential for any purpose. Paul was refuting meritmongers who repudiated salvation by grace alone; James was maintaining that grace works through righteousness and transforms its subjects: showing the worthlessness of a dead faith which produces naught but a windy profession. The faithful servant of God will ever alternate in warning his hearers against legalism on the one hand and libertarianism on the other.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Michael Haykin on the Importance of the Church Fathers

September 28, 2015 Leave a comment

Fred Zaspel, at Books At a Glance, recently interviewed Michael A.G. Haykin on the Church Fathers. Haykin, a Credo Magazine contributor, is Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the author of Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church (Crossway, 2011).

Here is Zaspel’s fascinating interview with Haykin:

Books At a Glance (Fred Zaspel):

Let’s begin on a personal level. Tell us something of your own interests and studies in the ancient church. Wasn’t this your original area of Christian academic interest? How did that come about?

Haykin:

I did begin with an interest in the Ancient Church. I am sure my love for the Graeco-Roman world that goes back to first grade (yes, first grade) had something to do with it. I have always loved history, but what sparked the fascination with the Patristic era was the request by my theology prof, Dr Jakob Jocz, the Lithuanian Jewish believer and a superb theologian, to write an essay on Novatian’s De Trinitate. I was hooked, and especially so when I studied with Dr John Egan, a Jesuit expert on Gregory Nazianzus. Egan had gotten his doctorate under Charles Kannengiesser, the Athanasius expert, who was the last doctoral student of Jean Daniélou, the great architect of patristic ressourcement. This is a great heritage that I have received from these men.

 

 

 

Read the entire interview here.

Dispensability

September 28, 2015 Leave a comment

by Jeremy Walker

It would be unfair to say that I am plotting my own demise. It may be that there are plenty of people more than willing to plot that on my behalf. However, I do think it makes sense to take full account of my own expected and intended dispensability. The fable of indispensability afflicts most of us almost naturally. We come to see ourselves at the centre of a particular web, the one without whom some sparkling edifice will most assuredly collapse. If God gifts one or another with an unusual measure of gift or degree of grace, paradoxically, that one can be all the more inclined to imagine themselves irreplaceable. Some learn it a hard way: try falling sick for a couple of months, and watch the kingdom of God stutter and stumble along without you … or not. Even Paul, lest he be exalted above measure, was blessed with a thorn in the flesh.

To be sure, we must take account of certain realities. By the grace of God, each of us is what we are, formed, forged, fashioned by a sovereign God for his wise and perfect purposes. We must not deny that it is for the Lord to appoint those formed, forged and fashioned instruments for particular purposes in particular times under particular circumstances, to raise up men to meet the needs of the hour. At no point can we or need we trespass upon the divine prerogative. God employs us in his kingdom for his glory; he does not rely on us.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The greatest of all experience is to know that “he only is our rock and our salvation”

September 28, 2015 3 comments

Spurgeon 1II. And now, beloved, we come to THE GREAT EXPERIENCE. The greatest of all experience, I take it, is to know that “he only is our rock and our salvation.” We have been insisting upon a doctrine; but doctrine is nothing unless proved in our experience. Most of God’s doctrines are only to be learned by practice — by taking them out into the world, and letting them bear the wear and tear of life. If I ask any Christian in this place whether this doctrine is true, if he has had any deep experience, he will reply, “True I ay, that it is; not one word in God’s Bible is more true than that, for indeed salvation is of God alone.” “He only is my rock and my salvation.” But, beloved, it is very hard to have such an experimental knowledge of the doctrine that we never depart from it. It is very hard to believe that “salvation is of the Lord.” There are times when we put our confidence in something else but God, and sin by linking hand-in-hand with God — something besides him. Let me now dwell a little upon the experience which will bring us to know that salvation is of God alone.

Charles H. Spurgeon- God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 2-Part 2-Chapter 7-Adoption

September 25, 2015 Leave a comment

CHAPTER 7-ADOPTION

There are no superfluous words in the Word of God. Every Bible term has its own distinct meaning and must not be confounded with any other term. The words regeneration, justification, and adoption, while closely related, express distinct ideas and aspects of salvation.

There are only five uses of the word adoption in the New Testament. The term is used only by Paul in Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians. In these five references there appears to be three different applications of the term. In #Ro 9:4 the application is to Israel as a nation. In this case adoption did not mean salvation, for in the context Paul prays for the salvation of Israel. The nation had been adopted, but most of the individuals within the nation had neither been regenerated nor justified. By adoption Israel had been separated from other nations and brought into the peculiar relation to God as a son. “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn” (#Ex 4:22). “Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead” (#De 14:1); “Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?” (#De 32:6); “They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn” (#Jer 31:9); “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt” (#Ho 11:1).

There were elect individuals within the elect nation. When Elijah made intercession against Israel, complaining that he was left alone and in danger, God corrected him, saying, “I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal” (#Ro 11:4). And Paul adds, “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (#Ro 11:5).

In “That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (#Ro 9:8) Paul says that the children of the flesh are not the children of God, by which he means, that one is not a child of God because of his fleshly descent from Abraham. #Mt 8:12 says that “the children of the kingdom shall be cast into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” #Mt 21:43 tells us that “the kingdom of God shall be taken from you (Nation Israel) and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” This nation is identified in #1Pe 2:9 as a holy nation, which means that it is a spiritual nation in distinction from the fleshly descendants of Abraham.

In #Ro 8:23 “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” the word adoption is used with reference to the body and is called the redemption of the body. The body as such is not yet adopted. When the body of the believer is redeemed or adopted the people of God will then be publicly manifested as sons of God: “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God” (#Ro 8:19).

In the other three references the application seems to be to the believer as such without any distinction between soul and body. They refer to the adoption of persons. In “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (#Eph 1:5), we are told that we were predestinated unto the adoption of sons, which means that adoption was according to God’s eternal purpose of love. In eternity past God determined to adopt us as sons. Adoption rests upon redemption, that is, upon blood atonement. In #Ro 8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” , we find that the believer is given the Spirit of adoption by which he instinctively cries, “Abba, Father.” The apostle uses the double form for Father: “Abba,” his mother-tongue, and Pater (Greek), the tongue of the learned. “Abba” is used to denote the filial spirit of the adopted son. In using this word, Paul alludes to a law among the Jews which forbad a servant to call the head of the house, Abba, which meant father.

The custom of adoption prevailed among the Romans, Greeks, and other ancient people, but not among the Jews. There are three cases of adoption mentioned in the Old Testament: of Moses: “And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water” (#Ex 2:10); Genubath “And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s household among the sons of Pharaoh” (#1Ki 11:20); and Esther “And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter…Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her” (#Es 2:7,15), but they all occurred outside of Palestine-in Egypt and Persia, where the practice of adoption prevailed. And in the New Testament the idea occurs only in the epistles of Paul to churches beyond the border of Palestine. As a Roman citizen, and a man of travel, the apostle would be familiar with the customs of the Romans and others. And so he borrows the idea and applies it to the act of God and Christian experience.

Adoption may be defined as that aspect of salvation in which God, by a legal process, makes one His son who by nature is not His son. Adoption, in itself, is nothing more than the legal act of a court, but when God adopts a son He gives to that son a subjective experience, a filial spirit, the feeling of a child-the feeling which cries Father. Here is where adoption and the new birth come together. The new birth expresses the origin and quality of spiritual life, while adoption expresses a legal relation between the believer and God. We shall consider adoption in its relation to the doctrines of justification, regeneration, and resurrection. These are separate and distinct blessings possessed by all who have believed to the saving of the soul. May we consider:

JUSTIFICATION AND ADOPTION

Both terms are forensic or judicial. They are court terms. Justification expresses the legal act by which the guilt of sin is removed, and the believer is reckoned righteous before God. Adoption expresses the legal act by which one outside the family of God is brought into the family as a son. Adoption expresses a relationship not even implied in justification. When a court justifies a person, that person does not by that act become a son of the judge. Another process of law is necessary if he is to become a son of the judge. To make the accused his son, the judge would have to do more than merely acquit him and set him free. Justification frees from condemnation; adoption makes one a son in the eyes of the law. Justification is the act of a merciful judge setting the prisoner free; adoption is the act of a generous father, taking a son to his bosom and endowing him with liberty, and a heritage. Let us next consider:

REGENERATION AND ADOPTION

Both regeneration and adoption express relationship, but they are not identical. Regeneration is the biological term and involves a change of nature; adoption is a legal term and denotes a change of position. Regeneration speaks of relationship by birth; adoption speaks of relationship by law. Regeneration confers the nature of sons; adoption confers the name of sons. Regeneration gives a meetness for the inheritance; adoption gives a title to the inheritance. The believer is in the family of God by a twofold process: birth and adoption. In regeneration the Holy Spirit made us alive; as the Spirit of adoption, the Holy Spirit enables us to pray and to cry, Abba, Father. In regeneration the Holy Spirit makes us a child of God; as the Spirit of adoption, He gives us the cry of a child, which is the evidence of life. All real prayer, acceptable worship, and godly living is in the energy of the Holy Spirit; the flesh profiteth nothing. And now let us think of:

RESURRECTION AND ADOPTION

The body is redeemed in the resurrection, but resurrection and adoption are not the same. Adoption, when applied to the body, involves a resurrection, but a certain kind of resurrection; the resurrection of the redeemed body. Resurrection simply expresses the thought that the body will be raised from the dead, while adoption speaks of the nature of the resurrected body. It will be a redeemed or glorified body—-a body fashioned like unto the glorious body of Christ. The body of the lost will be raised: “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (#Ac 24:15), but it will not be adopted—-it will not be a glorified body.

In civil adoption, the adopting party usually has regard for actual or supposed qualities in the child which appear good or agreeable; Scriptural and spiritual adoption into the family of God is wholly of grace through the merits of Christ. In civil adoption, the adopting father imparts his goods and gives his name to the adopted child, but he cannot impart to it his own nature. In spiritual adoption, God makes those whom He adopts not only partakers of His name and blessings; He also imparts to them His nature, changing them into His own blessed likeness in Christ, to Whose image they are ultimately conformed.

Among the Romans there was a twofold adoption, one private, the other a public affair. The adopting party would make the child his own by due process of law, but in a private way, then later it would be made public. Believers are the adopted sons of God now, but it will not be publicly manifested until the Lord comes for them and they are manifested in glory.

Since this article has not attained the usual length, we shall go on to make some general remarks. The doctrines we are now publishing will appear to the secularist as impractical in view of the present distress throughout the world, when men’s hearts are failing them for fear of the things coming on the earth. We may be reminded of the deterioration in human relations, involving both nations and individuals. We are being told that the human race is about to destroy itself in nuclear warfare, and that such doctrines as we are publishing have no practical value in preventing the threatened holocaust. To such reminders and objections, it is sufficient to reply, that our articles are dealing with the individual’s relation to God, and involves his eternal welfare. This present order of things, however bad, will ultimately come to an end, and the eternal order will be fixed for all men, either in terrible torment or in ineffable glory and happiness.

The individuals relation to God is of paramount importance, for the reason that the violated law of God is the only source of real and eternal danger. Salvation is deliverance from sin, and sin is unspeakably dangerous because it is against God. To be rightly related to God through Christ means everlasting life. To be delivered from the curse of the law of God means eternal safety. To be a child of God is to be an heir of God, and to have the promise of a home in the Father’s house of many mansions. Physical death is to be the lot of all while the Lord is away. Human weapons of destruction are limited to the killing of the body, while God, the Judge of all the earth, is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.

To have right relations with God is to be rightly related to everybody and to everything. To be rightly related to God puts everything else in its proper perspective. To be right with God guarantees glory in the end. None can really hurt whom God blesses.

“Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.

“Here I’ll raise my Ebenezer,
Hither by Thy help I’m come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

“Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

“Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, Oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.”

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 2-Part 2