Posts Tagged ‘Man-centered’

The Wednesday Word: Able Ministers of the New Covenant

“…who also has made us able ministers of the New Covenant ..” (2 Corinthians 3:6).

In Colossians 3:16 we find an encouragement to let the Word of Christ dwell richly in us. But, what is the Word of Christ? It is the Gospel. In other words, the Gospel should be the very centre of our thinking and affections.

As able ministers of the New Covenant, we should be, first and foremost, gospel preachers. I didn’t say that we should all be evangelists. That would be a grave error. What I mean is, regardless of our ministry gifting, we should all be Gospel preachers.

Some years ago I attended a function and met an old friend. He asked me how I was. I replied, “Wonderful, my sins are all forgiven. They have all been done away with. On top of that, I have a High Priest who is ever living for me. How can I improve on that?” My friend, a professing Christian, said, “Please, please tell me more, I desperately need to hear that, but I never hear anything like that at our church.” His is not an isolated case. God’s people are being starved for the gospel as they exist on a believer centered, moralistic diet.

However, from the lips of the able minister of the New Covenant should fall precious gospel truths. Their themes should be Justification and acquittal; the truths of the shed blood, the purging of sins, the free and righteous grace of God, reconciliation, the cross, the cleansed conscience, the Law/Grace distinction, propitiation and the doing away of wrath. But most of all, the able minister of the New Covenant preaches Christ Himself. Paul rejoiced that in spite of the enemies of the Gospel, Christ was being preached (Philippians 1:18).

We are to preach Christ Himself. He is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). Preach Him.

In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). Preach Him.

He is our Prophet (Hebrews 1:1-2). Preach Him.

He is our Priest (Hebrews 2:17). Preach Him.

He is our King (1 Timothy 6:15). Preach Him.

The able minister of the New Covenant does not preach Himself (2 Corinthians 4:5). Nor does he preach his speculations (1 Timothy 4:7). He preaches Christ, the Alpha and Omega the beginning and the end. He preaches Christ the one who was given (John 3:16) and Christ the one who gave Himself (Galatians 1:4). He preaches Christ the Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6) and Christ, the servant of Yahweh (Isaiah 52:13). He preaches Christ, the victor not Christ the Victim. He preaches Christ the sinless one.

He preaches Christ the perfect one, the one who is perfect in holiness, perfect in power, perfect in love, perfect in His words and perfect in His deeds.

When a New Covenant Minister is in love with the Master, he is careful to magnify the name of Jesus, for that name is above all other names. The name of Jesus resounds with the Gospel. The name of Jesus bursts forth with torrential Good News. The name of Jesus announces Him as our rescuer, deliverer and saviour.

The able minister of the New Covenant preaches Christ in His doing.

The able minister of the New Covenant , ,preaches Christ in His dying

The able minister of the New Covenant preaches Christ in His burial

The able minister of the New Covenant preaches Christ in His rising again.

The able minister of the New Covenant preaches Christ in His ascension.

The able minister of the New Covenant preaches Christ in His Intercession.

The able minister of the New Covenant preaches Christ in His Second Coming.

Gospel preaching will produce a people who are madly, passionately in love with Jesus. That will bring an awakening and a revival.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

Poll: SBC pastors have ‘mix of beliefs’ about Calvinism

September 2, 2015 1 comment

My comment: Is it any wonder that the SBC has fallen on hard times and is having to cut missionaries. A good majority of the SBC has traded the theology of God for the theology of man.

LifeWay Research presented a slate of statements about Calvinism to a randomly selected sample of senior pastors in the SBC to gauge their theological inclination and whether they are concerned about the impact of Calvinism in the convention.

Sixty-six percent of pastors surveyed do not consider their church a Reformed-theology congregation, while 30 percent agreed (somewhat or strongly) with the statement “my church is theologically Reformed or Calvinist.” Four percent did not know.

By the same token, 64 percent of SBC pastors also disagreed (15 percent somewhat; 49 percent strongly) that “my church is theologically Arminian or Wesleyan.” Thirty percent of respondents classified their church as Arminian or Wesleyan, with 6 percent selecting “don’t know.”




Read the entire article here.

A form of sound words must be one that exalts God and puts down man

January 26, 2015 2 comments

CharlesSpurgeonThis morning I shall first attempt to tell you what I conceive to be a “form of sound words,” which we are to hold fast. In the second place, I shall endeavor to urge upon you the strong necessity of holding fast that form. In the third place, I shall warn you of some dangers to which you will be exposed, tempting you to give up the form of sound words. Then, in the last place I shall mention the two great holdfasts, faith and love in Christ Jesus, which are the great means of “holding fast the form of sound words.”

What is a “FORM OF SOUND WORDS?” Ten thousand persons will quarrel upon this. One will say, “MY creed is a form of sound words;” another will declare that his creed also is sound if not infallible. We will not, therefore, enter into all the minute, which distinguish creeds from each other, but just simply say, that no system can be a form of sound words unless it is perfectly scriptural. We receive no doctrines as the doctrines of men; whatever authority come to us which is not the authority of the Holy Spirit, and inspired by God, is no authority at all to us.

We laugh to scorn all the dogmatism of men, we care for nothing they assert however strongly they declare it, or however eloquently they plead for it; we utterly reject and discard it; we hold it a sin to “take for doctrines the commandments of men;” we give no heed to the traditions that are handed down to us. If our opponent cannot quote text or verse for anything he advances, we hold no argument with him. Scripture is the only weapon we can acknowledge.

But since it is said that texts may be found to prove almost everything, we must remark, that a form of sound words must be one that exalts God and puts down man. We dare not for a moment think that any doctrine is sound that does not put the crown upon the head of Jesus, and does not exalt the Almighty. If we see a doctrine which exalts the creature, we do not care one fig about what arguments may be brought to support it, we know that it is a lie, unless it lays the creature in the very dust of abasement, and exalts the Creator. If it does not do this, it is nothing but a rotten doctrine of pride; it may dazzle us with the brilliant malaria rising from its marshes, but it never can shed a true and healthful light into the soul, it is a rotten doctrine, not fit to be builded on the gospel, unless it exalts Jehovah Jesus, Jehovah the Father, and Jehovah the Holy Spirit.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Bringing to Remembrance a Book with Poor Theology

March 19, 2012 2 comments

Here is a critique of Dave Hunt’s book “What Love is This?” This book is a misrepresentation of Calvinism and the gospel. Dave Hunt constantly builds straw man views of Calvinism and it is these arguments or views which he sets forth his vicious attacks. It is one thing to critique a position and miss the mark, yet a whole different thing to misrepresent some ones position on a matter and still miss the mark.

What Theology is This?

 Dave Hunt’s Misrepresentation of God and Calvinism

As I read Dave Hunt’s latest book, What Love is This? subtitled, “Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God,” I felt both profound sadness and righteous anger. I was sad because many unsuspecting and uneducated Christians will believe that Hunt is accurate and thereby miss out on one of the richest spiritual gold mines available, namely, the life and writings of John Calvin and his heirs in the faith. I was angry because Hunt deliberately misrepresents and slanders both Calvin and Calvinism, and in the process grossly misrepresents God Himself. I know that his misrepresentation is deliberate because many Calvinists, including myself, wrote repeatedly to Hunt as the book was being written, pointing out his errors and asking him to stop misrepresenting what we believe. But sadly, he stubbornly ignored our corrections and went full steam ahead.


The resulting book is a first magnitude theological and spiritual disaster. If you rely on the supermarket tabloids as your reliable source of news, you’ll probably find Hunt satisfying for your theology. It will give you the same sort of sensational slander as the tabloids, only it is presented as if it were biblically and historically based. But if you want to grow in your knowledge of the living God, I advise you to leave this tabloid theology on the shelf.


I have had to deal with the book because a former elder is giving it to some of my elders and others, telling them that it is a balanced critique of Reformed theology. On the back cover of the book are glowing endorsements from Chuck Smith, Elmer Towns, Tim LaHaye, and others. LaHaye even states, “Calvinism … comes perilously close to blasphemy” (ellipsis in the quote). Several families have left my church over this issue, because I teach what Scripture plainly affirms, that God sovereignly chooses to save some, but not all. Our salvation rests on the foundation of God’s sovereign choice of us. His choice of us is the causative reason that we choose to believe. Thus no one can boast in his salvation, but only in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:26-31; Gal. 1:15; Eph. 1:3-12).


Finish reading this critique here.


It is sad that Dave Hunt considers him self a theologian, yet cannot even recognize the position of which he is writing against.


One more on-What is the Gospel?

Multitudes today are confused over the very essence of the gospel. They have no idea that the gospel centers upon Christ and his work done on the behalf of the elect. They believe that the gospel is entirely about man and therefore ignore Christ in their messages concerning the gospel.

The gospel, however, is not about man per se, but is about one man, who is not only man, but God. The gospel focuses on what God done through the person and work of his Son. This is the objective part of the gospel. The subjective part of the gospel focuses on the benefits we derive from Christ work.

So once again I give you another link on: What is the Gospel?


What is the Gospel?

The gospel is not behavior modification, becoming a better person or learning to become more moral. It is not taking the life of Jesus as a model way to live or transforming/redeeming the secular realm. It is not living highly communal lives with others and sharing generously in communities who practice the way of Jesus in local culture.

These may all be good things, but they are not to be confused with the gospel. Did you notice the one characteristic of all of the above activities has nothing to do with what Christ has done for us, but all about what we do for him. The true gospel, rather, is news about what Christ the Saviour, has already done for us (in his life, death and resurrection) rather than instruction and advice about what you are to do for God. Christ’s accomplishment, not ours, is the essence of the gospel. Above all the gospel of Christ brings good news, rather than instruction about our behavior. The gospel of not about what we do, but our acts inevitably follow in thanksgiving because of what Christ has done for us.

Read the full article here.

Born Againism

“Born Againism”/ Richard R. Ochs Via (Christian Soldiers Ministries Blog)

There is much talk these days about the rapid growth of the cults. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Mormonism, the Unification Church, and a host of lesser-known groups are making converts at astounding rates. Yet, the combined effect of all these groups is overshadowed by a movement that in the last few years has grown to include over 30% of the U.S. population. The amazing development of what might be called “Born-againism” is affecting all sectors of our society. In fact, if the latest figures presented in the religious polls are accurate, the current Born-again phenomenon could well be viewed as the fastest growing cult in America. Born-againism has permeated fundamentalist denominations as leaven in dough, and expanded into the culture at large. Candidates espouse it in order to get votes, entertainers use it to attract crowds, pro-football players proclaim it to give respect to their Sunday afternoon brutality, and the business world promotes it in order to make money. Even the secular press, radio, and T.V. have found it fashionable to occasionally slip the little words “born again” into their speech and print.  

The Difference between Religion and the Gospel

The Difference between Religion and the Gospel by Tullian Tchividjian via (

Below is a very insightful comparison between “religion” and the “gospel” drawn from the sermons of Tim Keller (Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan). Tim does a remarkable job of probing hearts and revealing how easily we slip into self-dependence mode. As I have been saying each Sunday, real slavery according to the Bible is self reliance. So, read the comparison list below with humility and care. It will do your soul good.

 RELIGION: I obey-therefore I’m accepted.

THE GOSPEL: I’m accepted-therefore I obey.

RELIGION: Motivation is based on fear and insecurity.

THE GOSPEL: Motivation is based on grateful joy.

RELIGION: I obey God in order to get things from God.

THE GOSPEL: I obey God to get to God-to delight and resemble Him.

RELIGION: When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or my self, since I believe, like Job’s friends that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life.

Consumer Driven Gospel

Is your church consumer driven or should I ask do you have a consumer driven gospel?

Many today try to sell the church of Christ as they would a product that is on the market. I pass Church announcement boards all the time that read something like this:


Have a better life, try Jesus.

Heaven or Hell, Your Choice.

If you would like to go to heaven, then come to Jesus.


These examples and many others are nothing more than advertisements for the consumer driven gospel. This gospel tries to appeal to the natural desires of men. It promises a better life, better marriage, or better way. This gospel promises to give the natural man what he wants without making a commitment to God. In other words natural man certainly does not want to go to Hell, yet he certainly does not want Christ either.

When I pass Church signs with their little slogans on it, I shake my head and laugh because I see that the sign is just an ad. It is no more than the beer ad that I passed before I got to the church. The beer ad promised a smooth, cool, refreshing drink. The church ad tried to sell the kingdom of God just by trying Jesus. What is the difference? They are both trying to sell something.

However let’s turn this around and place it back upon the Christian. I have heard many Christians speak of not liking a service because they did not get anything out of it. They complain because the Pastor never shook their hand. They complain that the music was not to their liking. I know that this has more to do with consumer driven worship, but what is similar in the two scenarios just given? There both centered on a consumer driven gospel.

I realize that what I have stated in this small post is simple, but that is my purpose. I do not wish that anyone miss what I am saying. The gospel is not to be centered on man. The gospel is not about how we may profit if we try it. Nor are we to come to Church expecting the service to be centered on ourselves. But we ought to center the gospel on Christ where it belongs.

The gospel has an object and that object is Jesus. His life, death, burial, and resurrection are the gospel. So the objective part of the gospel is about Christ. Nevertheless there is also a subjective element to the gospel and that is the benefits that we derive from it. In other words Christ lived, died, was buried, and resurrected, but he did not do this for himself, but done these things for his people.

Therefore we ought to think before we decorate our signs with ads of eternal bliss. We ought to think before we get into the pulpit and preach our messages. We ought to stop and ask ourselves several questions. Did Jesus have to die for this church slogan to be placed here? Did Jesus have to die in order that this message that I am about to preach could be preached? In other words what we do should bring glory to Christ and ought to bring glory to the gospel of which he is the central part.

Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.

Concerning Believing the Gospel

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.

 Saint Augustine (354-430)