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Merry Christmas 2015

December 25, 2015 2 comments

Reformedontheweb would like to wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I will leave you with a quote from Spurgeon on this day in which we celebrate the birth of our Saviour:

“This morning, however, the principal object of my discourse, and, indeed, the sole one, is to bring out the force of those two little words, “unto us.” For you will perceive that here the full force of the passage lies. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” The divisions of my discourse are very simple ones. First, is it so? Secondly, if it is so, what then? Thirdly, if it is not so, what then?

1. If this child who now lies before the eyes of your faith, wrapped in swaddling clothes in Bethlehem’s manger, is born to you, my hearer, then you are born again! For this child is not born to you unless you are born to this child. All who have an interest in Christ are, in the fullness of time, by grace converted, quickened, and renewed. All the redeemed are not yet converted, but they will be. Before the hour of death arrives their nature shall be changed, their sins shall be washed away, they shall pass from death unto life. If any man tells me that Christ is his Redeemer, although he has never experienced regeneration, that man utters what he does not know; his religion is vain, and his hope is a delusion. Only men who are born again can claim the babe in Bethlehem as being theirs. “But” saith one, “how am I to know whether I am born again or not?” Answer this question also by another: Has there been a change effected by divine grace within you? Are your loves the very opposite of what they were? Do you now hate the vain things you once admired, and do you seek after that precious pearl which you at one time despised? Is your heart thoroughly renewed in its object? Can you say that the bent of your desire is changed? that your face is Zionward, and your feet set upon the path of grace? That whereas your heart once longed for deep draughts of sin, it now longs to be holy? and whereas you once loved the pleasures of the world, they have now become as draff and dross to you, for you only love the pleasures of heavenly things, and are longing to enjoy more of them on earth, that you may be prepared to enjoy a fullness of them hereafter? Are you renewed within? For mark, my hearer, the new birth does not consist in washing the outside of the cup and platter, but in cleansing the inner man. It is all in vain to put up the stone upon the sepulcher, wash it extremely white, and garnish it with the flowers of the season; the sepulcher itself must be cleansed. The dead man’s bones that lie in that charnel-house of the human heart must be cleansed away. Nay, they must be made to live. The heart must no longer be a tomb of death, but a temple of life. Is it so with you, my hearer? For recollect, you may be very different in the outward, but if you are not changed in the inward, this child is not born to you.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- A Christmas Question- Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 25, 1859

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3-Introduction

December 25, 2015 Leave a comment

Introduction

FORWARD

It is our privilege to be able to present Volume III of Definitions of Doctrine by the late Claude Duval Cole. Bro. Cole died reading Volume II (Sin Salvation Service) the same morning he had received it in the mail. He had already started putting together Volume III for us to print. I have a brief outline of the way he wanted it to be published and we intend to stay as close to the original outline as possible. Since he was combining several outline studies and rewriting them and the Lord did not permit him to finish this third volume, I will try to put it together in such a way that would be much like he intended it and yet I will not change any of his writings. The way that you receive it is the way he wrote it. There will be some repetition in some places since some of the material covered in one subject is mentioned in another subject.

Also, I had written him concerning one or two things in this volume which were not clear to me as to the meaning he intended and due to his death, I never received an answer. We will publish them with a reservation as to one or two points and their real meaning. In particular concerning the organization of a church; I believe, and the Bryan Station Baptist Church practices, that a new church being organized must have church authority. Also, concerning the Bride of Christ. I will not try to elaborate on this but that the Bride, in my understanding of the Bible, will be made up of the faithful members of the Lord’s New Testament Baptist Churches. There are others that will be saved but the Bride of Christ is the chosen of the elect. Others will be guests at this great wedding.

Be that as it may, we send forth this volume, praying that the teachings concerning the most precious institution on this earth (The Lord’s Church) will be a great blessing to those that read it, and will help to strengthen God’s people in the faith once delivered unto Saints. Volume I and II have spread worldwide. They are being used in many churches as teaching guides, in many colleges as textbooks, being translated into other languages. The Lord has blessed Bro. Cole’s books in a great way. We feel that this volume will be a great blessing to many on the true church and its teaching that have been neglected in this day of departing from the faith.

Yours in the service of God

Alfred M. Gormley
Pastor Bryan Station Baptist Church

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3-Foreword

December 25, 2015 Leave a comment

My Comment: The next section of C. D. Cole’s ‘Definitions of Doctrines’ is centered on the Doctrine of the Church. Caution should be used as one reads this section. Cole was a Landmark Baptist. Landmarkism is a type of Baptist ecclesiology developed in the American South in the mid-19th century. It is committed to a strong version of the perpetuity theory of Baptist origins, attributing an unbroken continuity and unique legitimacy to the Baptist movement since the apostolic period. It includes belief in the exclusive validity of Baptist churches and invalidity of non-Baptist liturgical forms and practices. Hence this is the focus of the little book by J. M. Carroll entitled ‘The Trail of Blood.’

It is certain that C. D. Cole was a defender of Calvinistic soteriology. He also knew Arthur W. Pink and had a falling out with him. Though his views of the church are towards landmarkism, nevertheless this does not mean that everything C. D. Cole writes concerning the Church is heretical. As with everything that one reads, this section should be read with discernment.

Finally, the owner of this blog, rejects the Landmark view. Instead, I recognize that the modern day Baptist arose out of English separatism and is the view that I promote. I mainly put out C. D. Cole’s ‘Definitions of Doctrines,’ because for the most part, it is sound. I am not one who throws the baby out with the bath water.

To read a short biography of C. D. Cole, click here.

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 44

December 24, 2015 Leave a comment

INYERGORDON, May 18.

MY EVER DEAR BROTHER, —

All goes well but wearily. I hear you had a great time last Sunday. The Lord abide with you still, and make you more and more blessed in your work. These people seem resolved to eat me up. I cannot go from station to station without being besieged by gazing throngs. Every halt of the train means a deputation, a crowd, and a cheer. Each town, besides its preaching, has its breakfasting, dining, suppering, till I am overdone, and half dead therewith.

I am so longing to rest. But I am very wonderfully helped in preaching. Certainly, I never felt more liberty or power.

God bless you, dear brother. I don’t often say much to you about how deeply I love you for your ever kind generous affection; but I think you know I do value you quite as well as if I were demonstrative.

Please give my kindest love to Emily, who is also a dear creature.

Your loving brother,

CHARLES

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

December 23, 2015 Leave a comment

By Albert Mohler, Jr.

A statement made by a professor at a leading evangelical college has become a flashpoint in a controversy that really matters. In explaining why she intended to wear a traditional Muslim hijab over the holiday season in order to symbolize solidarity with her Muslim neighbors, the professor asserted that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Is this true?

The answer to that question depends upon a distinctly Christian and clearly biblical answer to yet another question: Can anyone truly worship the Father while rejecting the Son?

The Christian’s answer to that question must follow the example of Christ. Jesus himself settled the question when he responded to Jewish leaders who confronted him after he had said “I am the light of the world.” When they denied him, Jesus said, “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (John 8:19). Later in that same chapter, Jesus used some of the strongest language of his earthly ministry in stating clearly that to deny him is to deny the Father.

Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God. Christians worship the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and no other god. We know the Father through the Son, and it is solely through Christ’s atonement for sin that salvation has come. Salvation comes to those who confess with their lips that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in their hearts that God has raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). The New Testament leaves no margin for misunderstanding. To deny the Son is to deny the Father.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Wednesday Word: Gospel Trouble!

December 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Someone once said that the Christian life is easy. I disagree! As far as I can see, only the easy parts are easy. The hard parts are hard, very hard.

Along with the joy and peace in believing comes trouble.

Have you ever noticed just how much trouble Jesus caused? Consider Paul. He was doing very well thank you until he was enlisted by the Nazarene. I think I can hear some of his former friends, saying, “That guy Saul really blew it! He was one of the most privileged men in Israel till he went astray following that Jesus fellow. What good did it do him? Kicked out of Synagogues, whipped and beaten, stoned and left for dead! All he got was trouble.”

Jesus, Himself, was always surrounded by trouble. Even at His birth, there was trouble. Remember how the Wise Men came looking for the newborn King and all Jerusalem was ‘troubled’ (Matt 2:3). Now, why in the name of thunder would the birth of a baby trouble an entire city? The new King had arrived but rather than being excited or filled with rejoicing— the citizens of Jerusalem were troubled. What a strange brew—- an entire city troubled by a baby!

But, why were they troubled? Maybe they were troubled because they knew that Herod wouldn’t take this news well …and ‘if the King ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!’ On the other hand, maybe they really understood that this baby was their rightful King…a King who demanded allegiance and loyalty. A King who expected all! Maybe they felt they would be better off with Herod and the Romans. Whoever he was, this baby was trouble!

Jesus always causes trouble! He leads us to life by means of death….that’s troubling, especially when we are so committed to our own plans, goals and ambitions.

Christ speaks to us in grace, looks at us in grace, thinks of us in grace and promises us gracious rest, but this grace comes wrapped in a cross that brings us to an end of our noble efforts to impress God …..that’s troubling.

What a strange Saviour He really is! He comes promising peace but at the same time brings a sword (Matthew 10:34). Swords speak of trouble!

But those ancient Wise Men saw nothing in Him to trouble them. They wanted to worship Him. They were prepared to take Him for who He was…the King and Sovereign of their existence.

We will either be troubled by Him or we will worship Him. But, even when we worship Him, we will not be free from trouble. Yet, somehow, in trouble, we learn that even in the midst of that which seems wrong and not according to the script of a good writer, He who was born in Bethlehem is really in charge. In the darkness of pain, we can come to a place where we can thank God for the grace of trouble! The truth is, our only hope is to be troubled by Jesus. We need Christ to trouble us. We need to be troubled about our self-righteousness self- sufficiency in order that we can trust in Christ’s righteousness and sufficiency alone.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The profane denial that the world is governed by the secret counsel of God

December 23, 2015 Leave a comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The profane denial that the world is governed by the secret counsel of God, refuted by passages of Scripture. Salutary counsel.

2. No man, therefore, will duly and usefully ponder on the providence of God save he who recollects that he has to do with his own Maker, and the Maker of the world, and in the exercise of the humility which becomes him, manifests both fear and reverence. Hence it is, that in the present day so many dogs tear this doctrine with envenomed teeth, or, at least, assail it with their bark, refusing to give more license to God than their own reason dictates to themselves. With what petulance, too, are we assailed for not being contented with the precepts of the Law, in which the will of God is comprehended, and for maintaining that the world is governed by his secret counsels? As if our doctrine were the figment of our own brain, and were not distinctly declared by the Spirit, and repeated in innumerable forms of expression! Since some feeling of shame restrains them from daring to belch forth their blasphemies against heaven, that they may give the freer vent to their rage, they pretend to pick a quarrel with us. But if they refuse to admit that every event which happens in the world is governed by the incomprehensible counsel of God, let them explain to what effect Scripture declares, that “his judgments are a great deep,” (Psalm 36:7.) For when Moses exclaims that the will of God “is not in heaven that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us? Neither is it beyond the sea that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea and bring it unto us?” (Deuteronomy 30:12, 13,) because it was familiarly expounded in the law, it follows that there must be another hidden will which is compared to “ a great deep.” It is of this will Paul exclaims, “O! the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” (Romans 11:33, 34.) It is true, indeed, that in the law and the gospel are comprehended mysteries which far transcend the measure of our sense; but since God, to enable his people to understand those mysteries which he has deigned to reveal in his word, enlightens their minds with a spirit of understanding, they are now no longer a deep, but a path in which they can walk safely — a lamp to guide their feet — a light of life — a school of clear and certain truth. But the admirable method of governing the world is justly called a deep, because, while it lies hid from us, it is to be reverently adored. Both views Moses has beautifully expressed in a few words. “Secret things,” saith he, “belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever,” (Deuteronomy 29:29.) We see how he enjoins us not only studiously to meditate on the law, but to look up with reverence to the secret Providence of God. The Book of Job also, in order to keep our minds humble, contains a description of this lofty theme. The author of the Book, after taking an ample survey of the universe, and discoursing magnificently on the works of God, at length adds, “Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him?” (Job 26:14.) For which reason he, in another passage, distinguishes between the wisdom which dwells in God, and the measure of wisdom which he has assigned to man, (Job 28:21, 28.) After discoursing of the secrets of nature, he says that wisdom “is hid from the eyes of all living;” that “God understandeth the way thereof.” Shortly after he adds, that it has been divulged that it might be investigated; for “unto man he said, Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.” To this the words of Augustine refer, “As we do not know all the things which God does respecting us in the best order, we ought, with good intention, to act according to the Law, and in some things be acted upon according to the Law, his Providence being a Law immutable,” (August. Quest. lib. 83 c. 27.) Therefore, since God claims to himself the right of governing the world, a right unknown to us, let it be our law of modesty and soberness to acquiesce in his supreme authority regarding his will as our only rule of justice, and the most perfect cause of all things, — not that absolute will, indeed, of which sophists prate, when by a profane and impious divorce, they separate his justice from his power, but that universal overruling Providence from which nothing flows that is not right, though the reasons thereof may be concealed.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 17-Henry Beveridge Translation

Change, Plant, or Stay: Which is Best?

December 22, 2015 Leave a comment

by Phil Newton

Recently, a brother from a small town in the south wrote for advice. He came to Christ in the early nineties. Over the past two years he and his wife embraced reformed (baptistic) theology. But the church they were part of did not. Opposition to their theological convictions has mounted. After moving to their third church, they still feel unsettled. The church they are presently part of preaches Christ, maintains good fellowship among the members, but is certainly not theologically reformed, and even sometime slings a few barbs against Calvinism. The closest reformed congregation is forty-five minutes away. So the brother asked if there might be the possibility of sending someone to plant a church in his community. With this brother’s permission to share it, here’s how I responded, with a few minor changes.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? (Part 3)- Martin Bucer

December 22, 2015 Leave a comment

by Jon English Lee

*This post is the latest in a series looking at the Sabbath. Previous posts include: Pre-Puritan Sabbatarins? (Part 2), Pre-Puritan Sabbatarians? Henry Bullinger on the Sabbath (Part 1), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church (Part 3), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church? (Part 2), Where is the Sabbath in the Early Church? (Part 1), Ecclesiological Implications of the Sabbath (Part 2), Ecclesiological Implications of the Sabbath (part 1), Sabbath Typology and Eschatological Rest, Paul and the Sabbath, Jesus and the Sabbath, The Sabbath and the Decalogue in the OT, a look at God’s Rest as Prescriptive, an examination of the Sabbath as a Creation Ordinance.

Martin Bucer

Martin Bucer (1491–1551) was a Strasbourg-based Reformer whose teachings had major influence on early English Puritan thought. At the request of Thomas Cramner, Bucer arrived in England in April 1549, thereafter to assume the post of Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge.[1] From that post Bucer influenced many English Protestants until his death in 1551; indeed, Collinson claims that Bucer’s thoughts on the Sabbath were “seminal.”[2] Indeed, it is to the sabbatarian thought of this internationally influential reformer that we will now turn.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Matthew 7:24-27 compared to Luke 6:47-49

December 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Arthur PinkIn a preceding chapter we called attention to Matthew 7:24-27, as an example of the importance of ascertaining the scope of a passage. Let us now point out the need for comparing it with the parallel passage in Luke 6:47-49. In it the hearers of the Word are likened unto wise and foolish builders. The former built his house on the foundation of God’s Word. The building is the character developed thereby and the hope cherished. The storm which beat upon the house is the trial or testing to which it is subjected. Luke alone begins his account by saying the wise man came to Christ—to learn of Him. His wisdom appeared in the trouble he took and the pains he went to in order to find a secure base on the rock. Luke’s account adds that he “digged deep,” which tells of his earnestness and care, and signifies spiritually that he searched the Scriptures closely and diligently examined his heart and profession—that digging deep is in designed contrast with the “no depth of earth” (Mark 4:5) of the stony ground hearer. Luke alone uses the word “vehemently” to describe the violence of the storm by which it was tested: his profession survived the assaults of the world, the flesh and the devil, and the scrutiny of God at the moment of death; which proves he was a doer of the Word and not a hearer only (James 1:22). Useless is the confession of the lips unless it be confirmed by the life.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures