Archive for January, 2017

A Softer Prosperity Gospel: More Common Than You Think

By David Schrock

While evangelicals have traditionally decried the prosperity gospel in its “hard” form, there is a softer form of this teaching that is all too common among us.[1] Often undetected by Bible-believing Christians, it assumes the gospel and leads its adherents to focus on things like financial planning, diet and exercise, and strategies for self-improvement. In contrast to the hard prosperity gospel, which offers miraculous and immediate health and wealth, this softer, subtler variety challenges believers to break through to the blessed life by means of the latest pastor-prescribed technique.

Of course, matters of personal stewardship such as money, health, and leadership skills should be woven into a whole-Bible theology of Christian discipleship. The trouble comes when Christians, and especially pastors, place greater emphasis on these secondary matters. What we choose to preach or listen to says much about what we value. And what I see among some evangelicals is a willingness to prioritize the lesser matters of the law over the weightier mercies of the gospel.




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Words with different meanings: Example 1

Arthur Pink18. Words with different meanings. There are many terms in the Scriptures which are by no means employed uniformly. Some have diverse senses, others are given varied shades of one general sense. That does not mean they are used arbitrarily or capriciously, still less in order to confuse the minds of the simple. Sometimes it is because the original term is too full to be expressed by a single English equivalent. Sometimes it occurs with another form of emphasis. More often it is the various applications which are made of it to several objects. Thus it is an important part of the expositor’s task to trace out those distinctions, and, instead of confounding the same, make clear each fresh sense, and thus “rightly divide the word of truth.” Thus the Greek word Paracletos is rendered “Comforter” of the Spirit in John’s Gospel, but “advocate” of Jesus Christ in his first Epistle (1 John 2:1). There appears to be little in common between those expressions, but when we discover that the Greek term means “one called to one’s side (to help),” the difficulty is removed, and the blessed truth is revealed that the Christian has two Divine Helpers: a practical and a legal; one within his heart and one in heaven; one ministering to him, the other engaged for him.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Stream for Free: 2017 Winter Conference at Reformation Bible College

January 30, 2017 2 comments

You can now stream all the messages from last week’s Winter Conference at Reformation Bible College for free on, the Ligonier app, and YouTube.

Preaching God’s Word in the Early Church by Michael Haykin

Living God’s Word: The Life of Augustine by Stephen Nichols

God’s Word in the Early Church by Michael Kruger

Questions & Answers with Haykin, Kruger, Nichols, and Sproul

Generosity in the Early Church by David Briones

Heresy in the Early Church by Keith Mathison

The Reformation & the Early Church by John Tweeddale

We’re thankful for the partnership of Ligonier Ministries in hosting this conference at Reformation Bible College. We encourage you to learn more about their numerous upcoming conferences and study opportunities in 2017.

Source [Ligonier Ministries]

Thomas Patient

Patient, Rev. Thomas, was born in England, and educated, we have no doubt, in Oxford or Cambridge. He became a Congregationalist, and emigrated to New England. After laboring in the ministry on this side of the Atlantic, he was convinced that the Saviour and his apostles were Baptists, and he frankly avowed his convictions. He was immediately subjected to violent persecutions, and to escape them he returned to England.

In 1640 he was appointed co-pastor with Mr. Kiffin in London. where he labored for some time. Parliament having voted that six able ministers should be appointed to preach in Dublin, at a salary of £200 per annum, to be paid from the lands formerly owned by bishops, deans, and chapters, Mr. Patient accepted one of these positions, which was offered to him. In the capital of Ireland he became a very popular preacher, and so gifted was he as an eloquent speaker that at times he traveled much through the country, preaching Jesus wherever he went to delighted throngs of British settlers.

In Dublin he acted as chaplain of Col. John Jones, who was married to a sister of the Protector, and who occupied a seat in his “House of Lords.” And such a favorite was he with Col. Jones that he selected him to preach before him and the council every Sunday in Christ church cathedral. This church was completed in 1038, and it was repaired and extensively improved by the celebrated English invader of Ireland, Strongbow. In it he was buried in 1176, and his monument is the chief attraction at this day of a superb church. In this grand old temple, before the governor of Dublin and the élite of Anglo-Irish society, Mr. Patient proclaimed a living gospel, he was on friendly relations with Oliver Cromwell himself, as the following quotations from a letter written to the Protector by him will show:

“My Lord,—From that little acquaintance I had with your excellency before you went out of Ireland, and the suitableness I found in that letter of your experiences, of which I was made a partaker, compared with my observation of the goings of God with you for many years, in this great work in which God hath made use of you, it hath, indeed, very thoroughly confirmed my heart in charity and love towards you, as one elect and precious in the sight of God….truly God hath kept the heart of my Lord deputy close to himself….I am present, and have been at the headquarters ever since a little before my Lady Ireton (Cromwell’s daughter) came over. I do by good experience find, so far as I can discover, the power of God’s grace in her sould, a woman acquainted with temptations and breathing after Christ. And I am persuaded it hath pleased God to begin a work of grace in the soul of Col. Henry Cromwell, your son….I watch him, and he is crying much to God in secret….Your grandchild hath been very weak, but it is recovered….I think I shall be at Dublin with my lady (Ireton) this summer.”

This letter shows that Mr. Patient had received an epistle from Cromwell, and that he was intimately and religiously associated with several members of his family at that time in Ireland.

Mr. Patient baptized a large number of persons in Dublin. He was a wise and experienced Christian, and he rendered substantial service to the Saviour’s kingdom in Ireland. He died July 30, 1666, and the Lord was with him as he passed from this world of the dying into the heaven of the living. His only published work was a quarto volume on baptism.

Baptist Encyclopedia, Cathcart, 1883, Vol. II

Source [Reformed Reader]

Let me say a word on ‘The Persons To Whom This Unchangeable God Is A Benefit’

SpurgeonII. Now secondly, let me say a word on THE PERSONS TO WHOM THIS UNCHANGEABLE GOD IS A BENEFIT. “I am God I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Now, who are “the sons of Jacob,” who can rejoice in an immutable God?

1. First, they are the sons of God’s election; for it is written, “Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated, the children being not yet born, neither having done good nor evil.” It was written, “The elder shall serve the younger.” “The sons of Jacob”

“Are the sons of God’s election,

Who through sovereign grace believe;

By eternal destination

Grace and glory they receive.”

God’s elect are here meant by “the sons of Jacob,”-those whom he foreknew and fore-ordained to everlasting salvation.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Immutability of God- A sermon delivered on Sabbath morning, Jan 7th, 1855

Free Ebook- Who Moved the Stone?

January 27, 2017 2 comments

By Frank Morison

Download the book here (Pdf)

About the author:

Frank Morison was a pseudonym of Albert Henry Ross (1881 – 1950) who was an English advertising agent and freelance writer.

Mr. Ross was skeptical regarding the resurrection of Jesus, and set out to analyze the sources and to write a short paper entitled Jesus – the Last Phase to demonstrate the apparent myth. In compiling his notes, he came to be convinced of the truth of the resurrection, and set out his reasoning in the book Who Moved The Stone? Many people have become Christian after reading the book, and some have used the work as a reference for more work on the subject. He subsequently wrote the book And Pilate Said after pursuing research in Israel.

Of Death and Judgment


As the devil labors by all means to keep out other things that are good, so to keep out of the heart as much as in him lies, the thoughts of passing from this life into another world; for he knows, if he can but keep them from the serious thoughts of death, he shall the more easily keep them in their sins.

Nothing will make us more earnest in working out the work of our salvation, than a frequent meditation of mortality; nothing hath greater influence for the taking off our hearts from vanities, and for the begetting in us desires after holiness.

O sinner, what a condition wilt thou fall into when thou departest this world, if thou depart unconverted! Thou hadst better have been smothered the first hour thou wast born; thou hadst bette have been plucked one limb from another; thou hadst better have been made a dog, a toad, a serpent, than to die un-converted: and this thou wilt find true if thou repent not.

A man would be counted a fool to slight a judge before whom he is to have a trial of his whole estate. The trial we have before God is of otherwise importance; it concerns our eternal happiness or misery; and yet dare we affront him?

The only way for us to escape that terrible judgment, is to be often passing a sentence of condemnation upon ourselves here.

When the sound of the trumpet shall be heard, which shall summon the dead to appear before the tribunal of God, the righteous shall hasten out of their graves, with joy, to meet their Redeemer in the clouds; others shall call to the hills and mountains to fall upon them, to cover them from the sight of their Judge. Let us therefore in time be posing ourselves which of the two we shall be.

Mr. John Bunyan’s Dying Sayings

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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section Three – The Decrees of God (Q.10)

William F. Leonhart III

Q.10: What are the decrees of God?

A. The decrees of God are His eternal purpose according to the counsel of His will, whereby, for His own glory, He hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.1

1Ephesians 1:4, 11; Romans 9:22-23; Isaiah 46:10; Lamentations 3:37

Moving along in our discussion of what man ought to believe concerning God, let us pivot a bit from what God is to what God does. Now, these two aspects of God should not be divorced from one another. Obviously, what God is will determine what God does. When we say that God is good, after all, we are claiming that God is the ultimate standard of all that is good. In order to properly define what good is requires that we do so in reference to what God is. It also requires that we do so in reference to what God does.

The first step in examining what God does is to look to His eternal decrees. In the decrees of God, we find the Source and Purpose for all that occurs, whether in the secret counsels of God or in the created order, from eternity to eternity. God Himself is the Source of everything that occurs. He is also the Purpose. The Westminster Assembly put it this way:




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Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 101


NIGHTINGALE LANE, Friday, Nov. 26, 1869.


It seems so strange to be so near to you, and yet to be virtually in another land. It would have seemed an idle tale if anyone had told me that I should not be at your father’s death-bed. Nevertheless, it is well,-well especially for him to whom a longer sojourn here would have meant pain, weakness, and failure of mind, while his departure means a glory too resplendent for us to imagine it.

I quite think that, if you can get Mr. Brock, it will be just what he himself would have desired in my absence. I have sent to the deacons my request to have the pulpit hung with black, for his death is as much a bereavement to us all as anything could be.

My dear friend, I devoutly pray to God to incline your heart to be henceforth to me all that your father has been till he fell asleep. Not that you have not ever been the soul of goodness: but now he is gone, you must undertake more publicly the responsibilities which in private you really have borne; and if the Lord accounts me worthy to have in Thomas Olney the same tender friend that I have had in Thomas Olney, sen., my pathway in life will be smoothed, and my labor cheered.

The Lord be with you! My devoutest wishes are for your best happiness.

Yours most truly,


A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology: The Pauline Epistles, Part VII – 1 Corinthians 11


You can read earlier posts in this series by clicking on the links below:

An Introduction

Augustine’s Two Cities

Two Kingdoms in Luther

The Reformed Confessions (Part I)

The Reformed Confessions (Part II)

The Reformed Confessions (Part III)

Sphere Sovereignty in Kuyper

Redemption and Creation in Kuyper

John the Baptist

The Prophet Amos

The Incarnate Lord (Part I)

The Incarnate Lord (Part II)

The Incarnate Lord (Part III)

Introduction to the Book of Acts

The Ministry of Peter and John in Acts

The Ministry of Paul in Acts, Part I

The Ministry of Paul in Acts, Part II

The Pauline Epistles, Part I – Romans 1-8

The Pauline Epistles, Part II – Romans 9-11

The Pauline Epistles, Part III – Romans 12, 14-16

The Pauline Epistles, Part IV – Romans 13

The Pauline Epistles, Part V – Galatians

The Pauline Epistles, Part IV – 1 Corinthians 1-10


As mentioned in the previous blog, Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthian church in order to address several issues within the Church. We now move into a section in which Paul address an issue that directly intersects with our society today: gender and sexuality. Within the Church, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 has been discussed extensively and the text has been central to numerous debates (such as the egalitarian/complementarian debate and the debate regarding head coverings). However, this passage has much to teach us regarding the meaning of gender and the relationship between the sexes.

The Foundational Analogy

We begin with v. 2-3

“Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:2-3, NASB)

We begin with the first statement that Christ is the head of every man. This affirms the truth that since Christ is the Creator and Preserver of all men, he must therefore be the head (or master and ruler) of mankind. Christ is the head of all men in that all gifts are derived from him and as the….




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