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Sermons need to be instructive; there should be real teaching in them concerning the things of the kingdom

“Our minister preached a fine metaphysical sermon, the other day,” says one; “I never heard such a clear distinction as he made between that point and the other.” But the child of God goes out, and says, “Well, I don’t want any of his metaphysics; there was no food in the sermon for my soul. I went there to hear about the Lord Jesus Christ; I went to be taught something for my soul’s welfare, something about the heaven that is to come, or the hell that is to be shunned; I wanted to hear something about communion with Christ, something about the eternal covenant; but there was nothing of the kind in the whole discourse.” Sermons need to be instructive; there should be real teaching in them concerning the things of the kingdom. “Why,” said a good writer once, “if you were to hear six lectures by a geologist, he would be the poorest geologist in the world if he did not give you some clear ideas concerning geology; but you may hear sixty sermons from many preachers without getting any notion of their system of divinity.” It is the glory of the men of this age that they have no system of divinity; they have cast creeds to the wind; they have no forms in which they can state systematically the truths which they believe. The reason is, because they have nothing to state. No man will avoid having a system when he has certain definite principles. It is impossible for a man to believe the truths in God’s Word without insensibly to himself forming a creed of some sort or other. It is the fashion to talk about giving up creeds, but creeds are only the orderly way of stating God’s truth. If we hold the truths them selves, we shall always be able to set them out in some fashion, and to communicate our knowledge to others, so that, in a given number of discourses, our hearers will be pretty tolerably acquainted with our ideas of the truth of God. “He hath given meat unto them that fear him” under the ministry. Sometimes God gives your minister such a gift of utterance that, if he were to preach for a week, you would listen to him. There are periods when your own minister gives no food to you, though he does to others, because he has to care for different members of God’s family. But there are other periods when the Lord seems to have given him such bountiful gifts that he has let fall handfuls to be gathered by the gleaners as did the man Boaz, and you pick them up, and feast thereon, and are satisfied.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Covenant Blessings”- On a Thursday Evening in the summer of 1858, delivered at New Park street Chapel, Southwark, intended for reading on the Lord’s Day, July 1st, 1900, another sermon on this subject is sermon 3261 called “The Covenant”

 

The Wednesday Word: Two Men, Two Offerings and Two Verdicts

April 29, 2020 2 comments

In Genesis 4, two men, Cain and Abel, the children of fallen Adam and Eve, each bring an offering to the Lord. Cain, the farmer, came with the labour of his hands; Abel, instead, brought the firstlings of his flock. Here we see two men and two offerings; two men standing before God waiting for a verdict.

Both Cain and Abel were sinners, but both were religious. They each knew that they needed to sacrifice to God. However, what a difference there was between their offerings. Cain’s offering was one of works. He brought the produce of his toil and sweat. Can good hard work rid him of the fact that he and his sin have insulted God?

Abel’s offering was different. From it we see that Abel understood the necessity of a substitutionary atonement. Abel, by faith, apprehended and bowed to this truth. He knew that, as a sinner, the only way of approach to the Lord was by a substitutionary blood atonement. That’s why he slew a guiltless lamb of his flock and offered it to God. The Lamb hadn’t sinned. It was innocent. Yet Abel offered it as his substitute.

Abel had no right to life; as a sinner he had earned and inherited both death and judgment. However, the lamb he offered, as his substitute, suffered both on his behalf. This of course pointed to, the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who would go to the Cross, and there, through the eternal Spirit, offer Himself without spot to God (Hebrews 9:14). There the mighty work of redemption would be accomplished, through the shed blood of Jesus (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Cain, on the other hand, ignored the fact that he had insulted God by his sins! He came before God with a gift, the product of his own labour. But it was a bloodless sacrifice. It was non-substitutionary. Would it be accepted? After all, it was a good offering … a lot of hard work had gone into it.

Two men, two offerings, two men standing before God waiting for a verdict. Which will God accept? To our surprise, we read that “Unto Cain, and his offering, He (God) had not respect” (Genesis 4:5). God is true to His nature and character and refuses to look at sin without a blood atonement. In the eyes of God, our works cannot remove the insult and offence of sin.

In this passage, we see the great principle that “without shedding of blood is no remission” (see Hebrews 9:19-22). We also understand “.. it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (see Leviticus 17:11-14).

Cain was angry that God had not accepted his scheme. He despised the blood atonement, murdered his brother and went out as a fugitive and vagabond from the presence of the Lord.

His sin was unpurged. He had rejected the blood of a substitute… the only shelter from the righteous wrath of God.

Centuries afterwards, God, in grace, came down from glory, became one of us, and dwelt among His people. His name was Jesus. He was the true substitutionary Lamb. All other sacrificial Lambs had, in fact, pointed to Him. At the awful cross of Calvary, the wrath of God fell upon Him as He poured out His blood and substituted for His people. A new and living way was opened for the sinner, through his death, a living way which led right to the presence and glory of God (see Hebrews 10:19-25). The Good Shepherd, our Saviour and Lamb, died as our substitute. In Him, peace is proclaimed to the guilty. ” Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XXV- Predestination in the physical world

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XXV

PREDESTINATION IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD

1. The Uniformity of Natural Law. 2. Comments by Noted Scientists and Theologians. 3. The Calvinistic System Alone Harmonizes With Modern Science and Philosophy.

1. THE UNIFORMITY OF NATURAL LAW

As far as the material universe apart from mind is concerned we have no trouble at all to believe in absolute Predestination. The course of events which would follow was, in a very strict sense, immutably predetermined when God created the world and implanted the natural laws of gravity, light, magnetism, chemical affinity, electrical phenomena, etc. Apart from the interference of mind or miracle, the course of nature is uniform and predictable. This has not only been admitted but dogmatically held and asserted by many of the greatest scientists. The atoms follow their exactly prescribed courses.The material objects we handle are governed by fixed laws. If we have accurate knowledge of all the factors involved, we can determine exactly what will be the effect of a falling stone, an explosion, or an earthquake. The telescope reveals to us millions of distant fiery suns, each of which follows an exact, predetermined course, and their positions can be predicted for thousands of years to come.

Within the solar system the planets and satellites swing perfectly in their orbits, and eclipses can be predicted with exactness. Before the eclipse of the sun in 1924 the astronomers announced the course which the shadow of the moon would take across the earth and calculated the time for certain cities down to the seconds, which calculation was later shown by the eclipse to be in error only four seconds!

Astronomers tell us that the same principles which govern in our solar system are also found in the millions of stars which are trillions of miles away. Physicists analyze the light which comes from the sun and from the stars and tell us that not only are the same elements, such as iron, carbon, oxygen, etc., which are found on the earth also found on them, but that these elements are found in practically the same proportion there as here.

From the law of gravitation we learn that every material object in the universe attracts every other material object with a force which is directly proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers. Hence every grain of sand in the desert or on the sea shore is linked up with every sun in the universe. The sluggish earth mounts upward to meet the falling snowflake. The microscope reveals marvels just as wonderful as those revealed by the telescope. God’s providence extends to the atoms as well as to the stars and each one exerts its particular influence, small but exact. Everywhere there is perfect order and God has slighted His work nowhere.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

Justification and Roman Catholicism

by Stephen Unthank

It shouldn’t surprise Protestant readers that our Roman Catholic friends (or maybe they’re not your friends) really do believe that God justifies sinners. When they read Romans 3:19-26 they also say “Amen!” But of course, it’s what is meant by the term justify that needs careful clarification. In fact, it’s that very definition which makes the difference between calling our Roman Catholic neighbors merely a friend or a brother.[1]

The history of Rome’s understanding is itself variegated and in no way lends itself to an easy retelling, at least not in a short article like this. There’s a story about an argument over justification by faith, held during the two-decade deliberation of the Council of Trent, where “the Bishop of La Cava wrenched the beard of the Cretan Bishop of Chironissa, who had commented that he was either a knave or a fool for sounding a bit like Martin Luther on justification.”[2] And yet, you could turn to many of Thomas Aquinas’ statements on justification and easily conclude that he sounds exactly like Martin Luther. That is to say, there is not a clearly defined doctrine of justification which is easily traceable throughout the history of the Catholic Church. This is partly why there could be such a vague document like the Evangelicals and Catholics Together, which plays on how close Catholics and Protestants can seemingly come. Yet, being close is not the same thing as being faithful and when it comes to the Gospel, faithful is essential whereas being close is still an eternally distant “close.”

It is not quite right to say that the Roman Catholic church opposes salvation by grace through faith. Their own Catechism explicitly states that a person is made right with God by God’s grace, and that grace is accepted by faith. “The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit….

Read the entire article over at Reformation21  

One of the most misused scriptures in the Bible, Matt 7:1

April 28, 2020 7 comments

A while back I was on social media and ran across a thread concerning Joel Osteen. I believe, as far as I can remember that someone was asking if Osteen was a true minister of God, or something to that effect. So, being the Bible reader which I am, I commented and plainly stated, ‘No.’ Of course, after I replied, I had to defend myself against all kinds of attacks, whereby I was being accused of judging Osteen’s salvation.

The main scripture used against me, of course, was Matt 7:1. I was told that I could not judge Osteen’s theology or lack thereof. This is a misuse of the verse and my opponents did not have enough Biblical insight to rightly interpret scripture, nor to rightly understand the true interpretation of Matt 7:1. On top of that, their entire argument was self refuting because if I can’t judge Osteen’s theology, then they have no right to judge mine.

This verse left in context does not forbid all and every kind of judgment. What Christ is condemning is all rash, censorious, hypocritical, self-righteous or other kind of unfair judgments. This the Jews were inclined towards in their religious lives. This is especially true of the self-righteous Pharisees who were quick to cast the first stones in judgment, but would devour widows houses and would search sea and land to make one proselyte, but then would make him twofold more the child of Hell than themselves.

In context, Christ is forbidding a hypocritical judging of others. For how can one say to his brother, ‘Here let me get the splinter out of your eye,’ when they have a log in their own eye. Christ goes on to say that after one has removed the log out of their eye, then they could see clearly to get the splinter out of their brother’s eye. Also if Christ was speaking against any and all types of judgment, then it is ironic that in the same chapter he tells us to beware of false prophets, which come to us in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Now how could someone determine who a false prophet is, if he couldn’t judge? Also Christ told the Jews in John 7:24 to not judge according to appearance and that when they do judge they are to judge righteous judgment.

So what I am going to do here is just list three groups who misuse this verse. There may be others who misuse this verse, but I will only focus on these three and then I will provide some commentary from learned men of God.

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

1. This scripture is abused by those who would not have their sins examined by the light of scripture. (This speaketh to the backslider)

2. This scripture is abused by those who would not have their doctrine brought under the light of scripture. (This speaketh to false teachers and those who twist scripture to their profit)

3. This scripture is abused by those who claim that we should be tolerant of others lifestyles and to each his own.

First, to examine the scripture:

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

This scripture is not condemning all judgment, but in context is a prohibition against one particular type of judgment; specifically a hypocritical judging of others while we ourselves live in worse sin. However, if our lives align with scripture according to the grace of God given us, then we are to judge righteous judgment. We are also to discern and judge the doctrine which comes forth from a ministers lips. We are to be like the Bereans and search the scriptures daily to see if these things are so.

There are many things the Christian is called to judge, however to be brief I will only list two:

1. Paul declares that if two brothers are in dispute one with one another, in the Church, then set one over them, who is least esteemed in the Church and let him judge the matter. 1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

2. Scripture declares: 1Co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? If a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

What this scripture is condemning:

It condemns rash, judgment or interpreting men’s words and deed in the worst sense. Which was common among the Jews. It condemns hypocritical judgment or judging someone who is living with a little sin, while you are living in the pig pen of sin. First cast out the beam (the great sin) in thine own eye, then you can see clearly to get the mote (the little sin) out of thy brother’s eye.

Now to the 3 people above who misuse this scripture:

1. This scripture is abused by those who would not have their sins examined by the light of scripture. (This speaketh to the backslider)

Are not God’s ministers called to reprove thee when thou art playing the harlot against Christ? Would you cause them more anguish of heart by constantly having to rebuke thee because you will not submit yourself to those who care for your soul?

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

2. This scripture is abused by those who would not have their doctrine brought under the light of scripture. (This speaketh to false teachers and those who twist scripture to their profit)

The scripture saith: Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Thou false prophet, this scripture is in the same chapter as judge not, that ye be not judged. So how are we to know who you are, except we judge what comes from thy mouth? What, are God’s ministers supposed to sit back while you make merchandise of the weak and feeble among God’s people?

The scripture saith: 1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

And again: Tit 1:10-13 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

And finally to the last group:

3. This scripture is abused by those who claim that we should be tolerant of others lifestyles and to each his own.

What do you think that your blaspheming God and rebelling against your Creator should not be called out? Living in the grossest of sins and not wanting anyone to reprove you of it.

The scripture saith:

2Ti 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Now for several commentators on this verse:

Mat 7:1. Judge not.—The word κρίνειν here undoubtedly implies unkind, condemnatory judgment (Theophylact, Kuinoel, Tholuck, and others), as appears from the opposite clause, ἵνα μὴκρι θῆτε. Meyer denies this without reason, although the simile about the mote and the beam, proves that the expression cannot simply mean condemnation. It is general. Meyer is right in controverting the idea, that the word κριθῆτε refers exclusively to the judgment of other men (Erasmus, etc.). He applies it to the judgment to come; but Mat 7:6 proves that judgment on earth precedes the judgment of the last day. Uncharitable judgment receives its meed here as well as there. Comp. Mat 5:22; Mat 6:14; the parable in Mat 18:23; Jam 2:13. Heubner: “Judge not. This neither refers (unconditionally) to our private judgment, nor to the official expression of our opinion which we may be bound in duty to give (which, however, may run into the sinful extreme here condemned). Least of all does it apply to the sentence pronounced by a judge (who should always bear in mind that he is under the holy law of God), but to those uncalled-for judgments which are neither dictated by duty, nor prompted by love. Κρίνειν therefore is here equivalent to κατακρίνειν.” Comp. Luke 3

Lang’s Commentary; J. P. Lange (1864-1880; Philip Schaff English Translation)

Judge not … – This command refers to rash, censorious, and unjust judgment. See Rom_2:1. Luke Luk_6:37 explains it in the sense of “condemning.” Christ does not condemn judging as a magistrate, for that, when according to justice, is lawful and necessary. Nor does he condemn our “forming an opinion” of the conduct of others, for it is impossible “not” to form an opinion of conduct that we know to be evil. But what he refers to is a habit of forming a judgment hastily, harshly, and without an allowance for every palliating circumstance, and a habit of “expressing” such an opinion harshly and unnecessarily when formed. It rather refers to private judgment than “judicial,” and perhaps primarily to the customs of the scribes and Pharisees.

Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. This is not to be understood of any sort of judgment; not of judgment in the civil courts of judicature, by proper magistrates, which ought to be made and pass, according to the nature of the case; nor of judgment in the churches of Christ, where offenders are to be called to an account, examined, tried, and dealt with according to the rules of the Gospel; nor of every private judgment, which one man may make upon another, without any detriment to him; but of rash judgment, interpreting men’s words and deeds to the worst sense, and censuring them in a very severe manner; even passing sentence on them, with respect to their eternal state and condition. Good is the advice given by the famous Hillell (u), who lived a little before Christ’s time.

John Gill

So this ought to settle the matter, however, I do not believe it will because many will not take the time to do the necessary work in order to properly exegete scripture.

Tell me what you all think in the comment section below.

From the above it is plainly evident that there was the distinct recognition of an outward revelation to Adam

From the above it is plainly evident that there was the distinct recognition of an outward revelation to Adam of those three great branches of duty which appertain to man in every possible condition of mortal existence, and which unitedly comprehend every obligation upon man in this life; namely, what he owes to God, what he owes to his neighbor, and what he owes to himself. Those three embrace everything. The sanctification of the Sabbath, the institution of marriage, and the command to dress and keep the garden were revealed as outward ordinances, covering the three classes of duties, each of supreme importance in its own sphere: the spiritual, the moral, and the natural. Those intrinsic elements of divine law are immutable: they preceded the covenant of works, and would have remained had the covenant been kept—as they have survived its breach.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

 

The ‘Word of God’ and quotes from Reformers via social media Pt 1

April 27, 2020 6 comments

Many may not be aware that I am no longer driving over the road, but quit this last November for reasons that are primarily related to trucking itself, rather than my ability to do the job. I will not go into these reasons here, but instead want to speak on a phenomenon which has occurred over the last year while I was away from social media.

This phenomenon or development is related specifically to what is posted to social media platforms, particularly what I post to my social media platforms and the response it receives. I myself rarely use social media to tell the world about my dog dying, the sale I found at J C Penny’s on some cool looking jeans, or any other related events in my life. However, I do discuss a little football on social media and when I need prayer concerning some important event in my life, I let everyone on my friends list know.

The two primary things of which I post to social media is:

1. The Word of God

2. Quotes from Reformers, creeds, confessions, and men who are for the more part theologically sound in the things of God

1. Concerning the former, my posts from ‘The Words of God,’ (the Bible) before I went back out on the road used to generate a lot of attention. This should be if anyone is a Christian. How could a true Christian see God’s Word and not say amen or hit ‘like’ in passing? However, a year latter this is not the case. There seems to be more of an antipathy towards God’s Word or to say it more plainly, there seems to be an aversion, distaste, or dislike concerning the Scriptures in the times we are now living. Now I realize that most Christians could just read their Bible if they want to read scripture. Matter of fact, I had one Facebook friend say those exact words, “If I wanted to read scripture, then I would just open my Bible.” But how many Christians actually do that in the days in which we are living? If it were not for the pandemic of which the world has been facing the past few months, most Christians would not be quarantined and would be about their usual busy lives of making a living, tending their yards, and participating in events that consume all their free time. Even in this time of self quarantine I imagine that most Christians are staying busy catching up on the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ or following CNN so as to have something new to post to social media concerning this pandemic.(1)

There are many reasons that I post scripture to my social media platforms, however, I will only list a few:

The reason I post scripture to my social media platforms is first and foremost because scripture holds preeminence in my life. The second reason I post scripture to my social media platforms is because scripture says, ‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.‘ 1 Cor. 10:31. The third reason I post scripture to my social media platforms is because I read scripture and rarely watch much television, and by doing so I try to bless those on my friends list with a scripture or two, that will help them as they go about their daily lives. However, one would think that if they had a friends list which included 400 to 500 professing Christians, God’s Word would receive more than 2 to 3 likes as those Christians browsed their social media feeds. Though I could list several more reasons for posting scripture to social media, nevertheless, I will conclude with the fourth and final reason why I post scripture to my social media platforms and that is because unbelievers are present on those social media platforms and I use scripture as a witnessing tool to them.

Now I am not writing this because very few have liked my posts here lately. I could care less what anyone thinks of me. I have been ridiculed, refused wages, fired, lost friends and family, and a host of other things since I began following Christ. Those things have not stopped my witness. I have been in valleys where God seemed far away and sin seemed as if it consumed me, yet those things have not stopped my witness. Though my old man has over the years tried to rear his ugly head, that has not stopped my witness, and God is still with me these 28 years later.

So my point of writing this post is just to ask, “What has happened over the past year to make Christians turn from acknowledging God’s Word on social media platforms? I will give a few reasons that could explain the disinterest in God’s Word on social media platforms:

Perhaps, 400 to 500 Christians are to busy to hit the ‘like’ or as I would call it, ‘the Amen button.’ or Perhaps, Christians are walking through the valley of the shadow of death or it may be the opposite, they are living on the mountain and don’t need God’s Word at this time. or Perhaps, there are not as many Christians on my friends list as I thought and they are showing their true colors at this point and time. or Perhaps, this global pandemic has hardened hearts towards God and Christians do not feel an Amen at this time. or Perhaps, Christians have chosen to read their Bibles instead of reading scripture online.

Concerning the last possibility that Christians are now reading their Bibles, instead of reading portions of scripture on social media sites, if this be the case, then I rejoice in this fact and praise God for it. However, I don’t believe this is the case.

So I ask, “What has moved hearts towards a distaste in God’s Word?” I will let you leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

I will cover point 2. Quotes from Reformers, creeds, confessions, and men who are for the more part theologically sound in the things of God, in my next post.

Note:

(1) I do not watch ‘The Walking Dead’ or CNN and if you do, I am not judging you for that. You have the liberty to watch either one. I am particularly not interested in either of these, as entertainment or the other as a news source.