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Churches, Get a Calvinist Pastor!

March 28, 2017 2 comments

Tom Nettles

Southern Baptists inherited the most compelling aspects of all the Baptist Calvinists that preceded them. James P. Boyce summarized this well. He encouraged every preacher to get theological education in some way, even if it could not be at the Seminary in Greenville, South Carolina. If no other means were available, he advised, “work at it yourself.” The fathers of the convention did this, Boyce claimed; “They familiarized themselves with the Bible, and Gill and Andrew Fuller, and they made good and effective preachers. God is able to raise up others like them.”1 The irony of Boyce’s appeal to the grassroots for support of theological education was this: the seminary would not interrupt, but would perpetuate, the work of pastoral ministry, preaching and theology consistent with the Gill/Fuller tradition.

But this is the very difficulty that we face at this moment in Southern Baptist history. God indeed is raising up others like them, that is,….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Holy Spirit’s use of words:Example 3

What has just been before us leads us to point out that the only sure and satisfactory way of settling the old controversy between the Protestant and popish theologians as to whether the word “justify” means to make just or to pronounce just is to ascertain how the term is used by the sacred writers, for an appeal to Holy Writ does not leave the issue in the slightest doubt. In the first place, when we are said to “glorify God” we do not render Him glorious, but announce that He is so. When we are bidden to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts (1 Peter 3:15), we do not make Him holy, but assert that He is so. Equally, when it is said

“that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest” (Psalm 51:4),

the force of it is that Thou mightest be pronounced righteous in Thy judicial verdicts. In none of these instances is there the least ambiguity or uncertainty, in none is there any transformation wrought in the object of the verb—to suggest so would be horrible blasphemy. When wisdom is said to be “justified of her children” (Matthew 11:19) it obviously signifies that she is vindicated by them. Nor does the word have any different force when it is applied to the sinner’s acceptance with God.

In the second place, it is to be noted that in many passages justification is placed over against condemnation. The meaning of a term is often perceived by weighing the one that is placed in opposition to it—as “destroy” is over against “fulfill” in Matthew 5:17.

“If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked” (Deuteronomy 25:1).

“He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 17:15).

“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:37).

Thus the forensic sense of the term is definitely established, for in those and similar passages two judicial sentences are mentioned which are exactly the reverse of each other. As to condemn a man “is not to make him unrighteous”, but is simply the pronouncing of an adverse sentence against him, so to justify is to not to effect any moral improvement in his character, but is simply declaring him to be righteous. The word is still further explained by Romans 3:19, 20:

“that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become [be brought in] guilty before God: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight,”

where guilt and non-justification are synonymous.

But in all generations Satan and his agents have labored to make men believe that when Scripture speaks of God’s justifying sinners it signifies the making of men righteous by means of something which is infused into them, or else produced by them; thereby dishonoring Christ. The early chapters of Romans are devoted to an exposition of this all-important truth.

First, it is shown that “there is none righteous” (3:10), none who measures up to the Law’s requirements.

Second, that God has provided a perfect righteousness in and by Christ, and that this is revealed in the Gospel (1:16, 17;3:21, 22).

Third, that this righteousness, or vicarious obedience, of Christ is imputed or reckoned to the account of those who believe (4:11, 24).

Fourth, that since God has placed to the credit of the believing sinner the fulfillment of the Law by his Substitute, he is justified (5:1, 18).

Fifth, therefore none can lay anything to his charge (8:33). Thus may the believing sinner exultantly exclaim, “In the Lord have I righteousness and strength” (Isaiah 45:24), “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10). “I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of Thy righteousness, even of Thine only” (Psalm 71:16).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Menno Simons

March 27, 2017 2 comments

Menno Simons was born in Friesland, Holland. Little is known of his early life and education. In 1524 he was ordained to the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church; however, his study of the New Testament produced some doubts concerning many of the Roman doctrines. Luther’s writings influenced him to leave the Roman Church. Simons’ preaching thereafter is described as evangelical rather than sacramental.

Simons went farther than either Luther or Calvin in rejecting the teachings of Romanism and he identified himself with the Dutch Anabaptists. He was baptized in 1537 by Obbe Philip. His fame as a writer and as a preacher grew, and soon the Anabaptists of that area acknowledged him as their leader.

In his church discipline, which was drawn from the Swiss Baptists, silent prayer was common, and sermons were without texts. He taught that neither Baptism nor Communion conferred grace upon an individual, but that grace was obtained only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. His preaching and influence were such that many of the Dutch Anabaptists adopted his name and thereafter were known as Mennonites.

 

Source [Reformed Reader]

God makes known the savor of his knowledge by us in every place

And, my brethren, how sweet is that consolation which Paul applied to his own heart amid all his troubles. “Notwithstanding all,” he says, “God makes known the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.” Ah! With this thought a minister may lay his head upon his pillow: “God makes manifest the savor of his knowledge.” With this he may shut his eyes when his career is over, and with this he may open them in heaven: “God hath made known by me the savor of his knowledge in every place.” Then follow the words of my text, of which I shall speak, dividing it into three particulars. Our first remark shall be, that although the gospel is “a sweet savor” in every place, yet it produces different effects in different persons; “to one it is the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life.” Our second observation shall be, that ministers of the gospel are not responsible for their success, for it is said, “We are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.” And thirdly, yet the gospel minister’s place is by no means a light one: his duty is very weighty; for the Apostle himself said, “Who is sufficient for these things?”

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Two Effects of the Gospel- A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 27, 1855

Free Ebook- The Lord’s Prayer

March 24, 2017 4 comments

by A. W. Pink

Available in ePub, .mobi & .pdf formats

HT Calvinist Cafe

This little work by Arthur Walkington Pink (1886-1952) examines the individual petitions of the Lord’s Prayer to derive important lessons for the Christian life and our approach to prayer.

From Pink’s introduction…

From earliest times it has been called “the Lord’s Prayer,” not because it is one that He Himself addressed to the Father, but because it was graciously furnished by Him to teach us both the manner and method of how to pray and the matters for which to pray. It should therefore be highly esteemed by Christians. Christ knew both our needs and the Father’s good will toward us, and thus He has mercifully supplied us with a simple yet comprehensive directory. Every part or aspect of prayer is included therein. Adoration is found in its opening clauses and thanksgiving in the conclusion. Confession is necessarily implied, for that which is asked for supposes our weakness or sinfulness. Petitions furnish the main substance, as in all praying. Intercession and supplication on behalf of the glory of God and for the triumph of His Kingdom and revealed will are involved in the first three petitions, whereas the last four are concerned with supplication and intercession concerning our own personal needs and those of others, as is indicated by pronouns in the plural number.

This prayer is found twice in the New Testament, being given by Christ on two different occasions. This, no doubt, is a hint for preachers to reiterate that which is of fundamental importance. The variations are significant. The language of Matthew 6:9 intimates that this prayer is given to us for a model, yet the words of Luke 11:2 indicate that it is to be used by us as a form. Like everything in Scripture, this prayer is perfect—perfect in its order, construction, and wording. Its order is adoration, supplication, and argumentation. Its petitions are seven in number. It is virtually an epitome of the Psalms and a most excellent summary of all prayer. Every clause in it occurs in the Old Testament, denoting that our prayers must be Scriptural if they are to be acceptable. “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us” (1 John 5:14). But we cannot know His will if we are ignorant of His Word.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 01 – The Address

Chapter 02 – The First Petition

Chapter 03 – The Second Petition

Chapter 04 – The Third Petition

Chapter 05 – The Fourth Petition

Chapter 06 – The Fifth Petition

Chapter 07 – The Sixth Petition

Chapter 08 – The Seventh Petition

Chapter 09 – The Doxology

 

Source [Monergism.com]

An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 7

7. Though we confess that no man doth attain unto faith by his own good will, John. 1:13, yet we judge and know that the Spirit of God doth not compel a man to believe against his will, but doth powerfully and sweetly create in a man a new heart, and so make him to believe and obey willingly; Ezek. 36:26; Psalm. 110:3; God thus working in us both to will and to do, of his good pleasure; Phil.. 2:13.

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

Did the Gospel Authors Think They Were Writing Scripture?

March 23, 2017 2 comments

by Michael Kruger

One of the most common misconceptions about the New Testament canon is that the authors of these writings had no idea that they were writing Scripture-like books. I dealt with this misconception on a general level here, showing that there was a clear apostolic self-awareness amongst the New Testament authors.

While this apostolic self-awareness may be easy to show for authors like Paul, what about the gospels which, technically speaking, are formally anonymous? Do their authors exhibit awareness that they were writing something like Scripture? To explore this further, let us just consider just one of our gospels, namely the Gospel of Matthew.

The first step is to get our expectations clear. We should not expect that Matthew would say something like, “I, Matthew, am writing Scripture as I write this book.” Gospels are a very different genre than epistles, and we would not expect the authors to provide the same type of direct and explicit statements about their own authority…

 

 

 

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