Friday Round Up

(1) For those who disdain the use of any theological labels but who say “I follow no man but Christ” you might find or 3) causing division. Rather, there is a flurry of naked assertions that assume the moral, theological, and biblical high ground without a shred of evidence. What’s worse, their position is actually an untenable one. Shunning labels like Calvinist and Arminian under the guise of “refusing to follow a man” is at best naive, and at worst flat out dishonest.”

(2) Do you know anyone who needs to grow in Christian maturity? Do you see this person in the mirror every day? Yes, the fact is that all of us need to grow in becoming more like Christ.

The Word of God makes it clear that consistent and progressive spiritual growth is to be the goal of every Christian. As we practice the spiritual disciplines described in the Word of God, the Holy Spirit moves us to submit to God’s will. However, growth is not automatic. It comes as we participate in the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life. There are things we can do that will aid our growth. That is why we are told, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18.

In light of this, I wish to make a strong recommendation. Its a series of messages designed to help each of us grow in the things of God and there happens to be a VERY special offer on this today. In these lectures from Ligonier Ministries’ 2005 National Conference, Drs. Mark Dever, J. Ligon Duncan III, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, and Derek Thomas discuss the five key disciplines of Bible study, prayer, stewardship, service, and worship.

Normally $65 this CD series is only $5 right now in the Friday Ligonier online sale. With practical sensitivity and concern for biblical fidelity, these messages explain how each of these disciplines contributes to our spiritual growth. Check out the “5 Keys to Spiritual Growth” series and other items in the $5 Ligonier sale here.

(3) Another recommendation: Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world. His weekday “briefings” allow us to catch major news headlines that are often missed or overlooked by the mainstream media and to interpret them through a biblical filter. As his website states, “The Briefing enables Christians to think biblically by providing daily worldview analysis about the leading news headlines and cultural conversations.”

Each weekday podcast is both fast paced and informative and typically lasts around 10 minutes. I highly recommend it for any Christian who wishes to be informed about what is going on in America and our world. I am now in the habit of listening in each weekday morning and find it to be an outstanding resource.

You can listen to (and subscribe to) his “briefings” podcast here.

(4) APOSTASY ALERT: Carlton Pearson (Carman’s former pastor) left the Christian faith some years ago becoming a Universalist. Here he is marrying a gay couple, one of whom happens to be Oral Roberts’ grandson.

Justin Edwards’ Review

Justin Edwards is one of the most passionate Christians I know. His love for the Lord is contagious, as is his passion to honor the truth of God’s word.

Justin is also a Calvinist with fiery evangelistic zeal. Having spent many days in open air preaching the Gospel of Christ at the Superbowl in early February, he is now hoping to head out to the summer Olympic Games in London to do the exact same thing. (Perhaps the Lord would lead you to get behind his vision to get there, both in prayer and finances).

Justin has just written a very encouraging review of my new book at this blog here.

Two Book Recommendations

(1) Actually, this first book is two books in one. Horatius Bonar, a well-known nineteenth-century minister called ‘the prince of Scottish hymn-writers,’ was also a prolific writer of scriptural, practical, and experiential Christian literature. Two of his books that bore considerable fruit and have often been reprinted were The Night of Weeping and The Morning of Joy, here reprinted under one cover.

“The Night of Weeping expounds compassionately and beautifully a biblical view of suffering, showing how it is an integral part of belonging to God’s family, how to cope with it, and how it benefits the believer. The chapters on the purifying and solemnizing fruits of suffering are themselves worth the price of the book. The Morning of Joy shows how God leads believers to rejoice in the present and future joys of the living church, particularly through fellowshipping with the resurrected Christ. The chapters on the majestic kingdom of Christ and the superlative joys of glory are most uplifting. By the Spirit’s grace, both books can be life-changing; they present us with a clear, powerful, profound, and balanced view of the Christian life and of God’s dealings with His people.” — Joel R. Beeke, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

(2) In Sammy and His Shepherd, veteran children’s writer Susan Hunt takes youngsters on a delightful trip through Psalm 23 from the point of view of a sheep named Sammy.

Sammy lives happily under the care of his faithful shepherd. But one day he meets a sheep from another flock, one who lives in misery because her shepherd is not so caring. Eventually, to the delight of both of them, Sammy’s shepherd buys the needy little sheep for his flock and gives her a name—Precious. Thereafter, Sammy tells Precious all the wonderful things about their shepherd. At first, Precious has a hard time believing that the shepherd can be so good. But eventually, as she sees the shepherd pouring out his energies for the good of his flock, she comes to trust him, for she sees that he loves his sheep unconditionally and sacrificially.

Each chapter of Sammy and His Shepherd is an exploration of a passage from Psalm 23. As they work through the book, children will grow in their understanding of the metaphors the psalmist used in composing this beloved poem. But more important, they will gain a deeper appreciation for the one who is the subject of the psalm: the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Captivating illustrations by Corey Godbey help Sammy and Precious come to life for children. A special section in the back of the book provides Bible passages, discussion questions, and activities to reinforce the lessons of each chapter.

Both of these books are on special offer TODAY (Friday, March 2) for $5. The online sale starts at 8 a.m. EST and goes on for 24 hours or until items are sold out. Check out the $5 Ligonier sale here.

Friday Round Up

(1) Ligonier is having its BIGGEST ONE DAY SALE OF THE YEAR in TODAY’S $5 Friday sale. There are many EXCELLENT deals and I particularly recommend “What Is Reformed Theology?” DVD series, normally $60, the “What Did Jesus Do?: Understanding the Work of Christ” DVD series, which is normally $48, “Dealing with Difficult Problems” CD set, normally $24, and “The Truth of the Cross” Audio Book, normally $15, all by Dr. R. C. Sproul. Check out the $5 Ligonier sale here while supplies last.

(2) An Encouraging testimony from England:
“I was at the conference at High Leigh in 2004 when you came over. I have been going through some old tapes to see what I should keep and what I should discard, when I came across the tape where you are speaking. It made me think that I should thank you John for praying for me to receive healing. You said you were going to pray for people with back problems and asked us to put our hands where the problem was. I believed God’s word and my healing came some weeks later. I had permanent bone damage as a result of an accident at work. I am still totally healed today. Praise God! Thank you John for being obedient to God.” – Peter

Praise the Lord!

(3) Something different:

“Men and women by nature are opposed to God; they hate God and they are not interested in Him, neither are they interested in the things of God. From that statement of the Apostle I deduce that the internal work of the Spirit is an absolute necessity before anyone can possibly believe in the gospel of God and accept it and rejoice in it.” – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

The following 2 x 15 minute youtube videos contain excellent material by the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the doctrine of “Effectual Calling” that is well worth considering. I am not sure who the reader is (he goes by the name of stegokitty) though I think the background music comes from Chopin:

(4) Speaking of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, when I entered the Christian ministry, my father invested in me by buying me many of his commentaries. As a preacher and pastor himself, he told me that outside of the Bible itself, these were the finest books in his personal library (a library he had built up over many decades). At the time, I did not realise the great treasure I had been given. However, in actually sitting down and reading his works, I find an incredible amount of spiritual “meat” for my soul on each page. There is little or no “fluff” whatsoever, just thorough exegesis of the text of Scripture as well as thoughtful and penetrating application. I cannot help feeling that he fed his people well.

The Wow Factor
As I am reading one his sermons, so often I think, “wow – how can he say so much in just a short space?” or “wow – there is more spiritual nourishment in this sermon than 5 or 10 in most modern day pulpits,” or “wow – I wish every Christian knew that!”

To give you an idea of what I am referring to, here’s a sermon called “Peace with God and False Peace” by “the Doctor” based on Romans 5:1. It is not a short read, but well worth the effort of printing it out and going through. There’s much to absorb. I think you will agree.

Friday Round Up

(1) Justin Taylor interviewed Stephen Wellum, professor of Christian Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY) on the long standing issues of credo baptism (baptism made upon a profession of faith), the covenant of grace and infant baptism. The result was an interchange that is probably a lot more technical and theological for many people’s tastes but I am sure some of my readers will enjoy the insights found here.

(2) I love these two quotes concerning union with Christ:

Martin Luther: “By faith you are so cemented to Christ that He and you are as one person, which cannot be separated but remains attached to Him forever. Look now at what grace, life, peace, and righteousness is in me; it is His, and yet it is mine also, by that inseparable union which is through faith, by which Christ and I are made as it were one body in spirit.”

John Murray: “Union with Christ has its source in the election of God the Father before the foundation of the world and has its fruition in the glorification of the sons of God. The perspective of God’s people is not confined to space and time; it has the expanse of eternity. This union has two sides: one the electing love of God the Father in the counsels of eternity and the other glorification with Christ in the manifestation of His glory. The former has no beginning, the latter has no end. Why can the believer have patience in the adversities of this present time? Why can he have confident assurance with reference to the future and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God? It is because he cannot think of past, present, or future apart from union with Christ.”

(3) Even a broken clock is right twice every day! Even the person who does not know God is made in the image of God and with that, has insights that can be very helpful to us all concerning many aspects of life. I have found that if I have the attitude “everyone can teach me something” its amazing what I find I can learn each day, often from very surprising sources.

(4) Once again, Ligonier has some SUPER deals today in this week’s $5 Friday sale. The online sale starts at 8 a.m. EST and goes on for 24 hours or until items are sold out. Check out the $5 Ligonier sale here.

By the way, remember that for any purchase at Ligonier, click on the green Ligonier Ministries image to the right and when placing an order, use the code “EGRACE10” and it will give you a 10% discount as a reader of this blog.

(5) You will notice a couple of posts here on the blog this week that deal with defending the historical authorship of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) as well as Dr. Daniel Wallace’s two lectures on “Is What We Have Now What They Wrote Then?” I would encourage everyone to take a look at them (if you have not already done so). The attacks against the Christian faith in our day from men like Bart Ehrman have gone mainstream, and there’s no doubt our Christian young people need to be equipped with answers to the questions they will be confronted with in schools, Colleges and secular Universities. It is far better for them to hear solid answers concerning the textual issues of the Bible within the community of faith, than to be hit with these things for the first time in a hostile, secular environment. Its vital that our own children become aware of these issues and are armed with at least some of the answers.

Talking of Bart Ehrman, he is often quoted by Muslims when they attack the Bible. Yet here he explains why he does not criticize the Qur’an.

(6) I encourage you to check out the Reformation apparel by clicking on the Missionalwear logo to the right. There are some very cool items that have now become available for both men and women.

(7) Someone on the East Coast commented:
Wahoo! It is now 11:11:11 on 11/11/11. What an epic moment! Can you feel the exci….
Rats – it’s now 11:11:12… Excitement over. Back to work!

Friday Round Up

(1) Dr. James White has recorded the first of two responses to Roger Olson’s new book “Against Calvinism” found to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”(2 Cor 13:5). This command of self examination leads us to inevitable questions such as “How may I know I am truly His?” and “How may I know that I am elect?” A. W. Pink suggested seven things to look for:

First, by the Word of God having come in divine power to the soul so that my self-complacency is shattered and my self-righteousness is renounced.

Second, by the Holy Spirit convicting me of my woeful, guilty, and lost condition.

Third, by having had revealed to me the suitability and sufficiency of Christ to meet my desperate case and by a divinely given faith causing me to lay hold of and rest upon Him as my only hope.

Fourth, by the marks of the new nature within me – a love for God; an appetite for spiritual things; a longing for holiness; a seeking after conformity to Christ.

Fifth, by the resistance which the new nature makes to the old, causing me to hate sin and loathe myself for it.

Sixth, by avoiding everything which is condemned by God’s Word and by sincerely repenting of and humbly confessing every transgression. Failure at this point will surely bring a dark cloud over our assurance causing the Spirit to withhold His witness.

Seventh, by giving all diligence to cultivate the Christian graces and using all diligence to this end. Thus the knowledge of election is cumulative.

(3) Once again, Ligonier has some SUPER deals today in this week’s $5 Friday sale. The online sale starts at 8 a.m. EST and goes on for 24 hours or until items are sold out. Check out the $5 Ligonier sale here.

By the way, remember that for any purchase at Ligonier, click on the green Ligonier Ministries image to the right and when placing an order, use the code “EGRACE10” and it will give you a 10% discount as a reader of this blog.

(4) Kevin DeYoung wrote the following at his blog: I received an email from a woman with some suggestions on what not to say to single women in your church. I thought her comments rang true and were well written. She gave me permission to post them here.

“I keep praying for someone to come along for you.” Thanks for your prayers. I hope someone comes along too. Instead of praying for that, why don’t you pray that I would be growing in Christlikeness so that if Mr. Wonderful walks into my life, I would be better suited to be a helpmate for him.

“I don’t know why no young man hasn’t scooped you up and carried you off yet.” I know this is supposed to be a compliment and that the intention of the kind woman is to tell me that she thinks I’m worth marrying. I appreciate that you think so highly of me. Unfortunately when you say this I immediately try to answer the question of why no one has carried me off. Am I too much of one thing and not enough of another? Do I not look right? Am I too soft spoken or too loud? What do I need to change about myself since obviously something is wrong with me if I haven’t been taken off the market? Maybe I should go read Proverbs 31 again to figure it out.

“You should move somewhere where there are more young men, or maybe go to a church with more single people.” There is some merit to having a community that you can feel comfortable with, but comments like this aren’t helpful for several reasons. First, it makes it seem like the goal of going to church or moving somewhere is to find a spouse. That’s not why you go to church. Second, it feeds the controlling nature of most women to want to put their matrimonial future into their own hands instead of trusting God. It’s a slippery slope that is all too easy to find yourself on. What woman wouldn’t want to go to a church filled with thousands of single men just waiting to find a wife? You could just ask them all to fill out applications and have a screening process. It could be the church version of The Dating Game. Third, some women don’t have the option of moving, so pointing out to them that there might be “greener pastures” on the other side of the fence doesn’t help them be content in their current situation. It can be a daily struggle for some women to be ok with where they are at in life, and indirectly telling them that their life would be better somewhere else doesn’t help.

“Have you ever thought about online dating?” Many, many wonderful Christian people have met and married through online dating. It’s the wave of the future without a doubt. But it is still something that brings embarrassment to the person. It can sometimes feel like the question is really saying “I see that you’ve completely failed at attracting anyone in your physical world so have you tried to do it in an online world?” It reminds me of being kicked off the varsity team and ending up on the bench for the JV.

“Don’t you want to get married and have children?” This is usually in response to a statement about being content in my current state. Being content is not the same as having no desire for something. Yes, I do want to get married and have children, but there’s not a whole lot that I can do about it. I don’t have a lot of control over who I come across and whether they would like to ask me out. And although I would like these things, my life is not somehow a failure if I do not achieve them. I would love to be able to have the blessings that come with marriage and children, but it should not be more than my desire to have the blessings of a relationship with Christ.

Single people have a responsibility as well to not be overly sensitive. Singleness can be a deep trial, but making little things into big deals because someone unintentional prodded that hurt isn’t the way to go. Single people need to extend grace, knowing that the intentions of people are good and out of their love for them.

Kevin writes: These are wise words. I especially appreciate this woman’s attitude: understanding that these things are said by people who mean well and acknowledging that over-sensitivity can be a problem too. But it’s certainly worthwhile to think about how you and your church could be welcoming and supportive in the best way possible. The letter above will help.

(5) I encourage you to check out the Reformation apparel by clicking on the Missionalwear logo to the right. There are some very cool items that have now become available for both men and women.

Friday Round Up

(1) Pastor Leo Godzich, Associate Pastor at Phoenix First Assembly was killed in an auto accident in Uganda yesterday, along with others. I had met him numerous times and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Please pray for his family. Details are sketchy just now but a report can be found here.

(2) I mentioned this before, but a few weeks ago, Dr. James White conducted a 2.5 hour online course in Christology for Christians: A Study of the History and Theology of the Person of Christ. It was outstanding. If you have not already listened in I would encourage you to bookmark the page and hear it at your leisure.

(3) Paul Manata has provided a very good review of Roger Olson’s new book “Against Calvinism” found here.

(4) Led by the Spirit – Someone sent me the following and I thought it was well worth passing on:

Have you ever heard somebody say that the Spirit “led” them to do something? Or something like, “I felt led to” do such and such? I’ve heard those kinds of statements. I’ve said those kinds of things, too. But what do people mean when they say that? And, more importantly, is that a Biblical way of understanding and speaking about the Spirit’s ministry among believers?

It might surprise you, as it did me, to learn that the phrase “led by the Spirit” occurs only twice in the New Testament:

Romans 8:13-14 – For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Galatians 5:16-18 – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

You’ll notice that both occurrences of “led by the Spirit” come in the context of the mortification of sin. The Holy Spirit’s testimony about His own role in “leading” believers is specifically set alongside the putting away of the desires and deeds of the flesh. To do that is to walk by the Spirit; that is, to walk by means of Him: to be led by Him. And so if we are going to be relentlessly Biblical, this has to be the way we primarily understand and use that phrase: being led by the Spirit. “The Spirit led me to put off my anger and bitterness.” “The Spirit led me to mortify my lust for attention and recognition.” And so on.

(5) Once again, Ligonier has some SUPER deals today in this week’s $5 Friday sale. Once in a while there is something truly of note to mention and that is the case today. The CD set “Justification by Faith Alone” is especially recommended, a 15 part series that is normally $38, but for today only $5.

I would urge all Pastors to consider ordering multiple sets to put in the hands of your people. Its a truly outstanding series.
The online sale starts at 8 a.m. EST and goes on for 24 hours or until items are sold out. Check out the $5 Ligonier sale here.

By the way, remember that for any purchase at Ligonier, click on the green Ligonier Ministries image to the right and when placing an order, use the code “EGRACE10” and it will give you a 10% discount as a reader of this blog.

(6) From the Truth for Life website:

“I chose you out of the world.” – John 15:19

Here is distinguishing grace and discriminating regard, for some are made the special objects of divine affection. Do not be afraid to dwell upon this lofty doctrine of election. When your mind is heavy and depressed, you will find it to be a spiritual tonic. Those who doubt the doctrines of grace or who throw them into the shadows miss the richest clusters of grapes; they lose the best wines, the choice food.

There is no balm in Gilead comparable to it. If the honey in Jonathan’s wood when simply touched illumined the eyes, this is honey that will illumine your heart as you love and learn the mysteries of the kingdom of God. You must feed on this; live upon this choice provision, and do not be afraid that it will prove too delicate a diet. Meat from the King’s table will hurt none of His servants. Desire to have your mind enlarged, that you may comprehend more and more of the eternal, everlasting, discriminating love of God.

When you have soared as high as election, linger on its twin peak, the covenant of grace. Covenant engagements are the mighty fortresses behind which we lie entrenched; covenant engagements with our Savior, Christ Jesus, are the quiet resting-places of trembling spirits.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the raging flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
This still is all my strength and stay.

(7) I encourage you to check out the Reformation apparel by clicking on the Missionalwear logo to the right. There are some very cool items that have now become available for both men and women.

Friday Round Up

(1) ‘180’ is a wake up call to all Christians in America: Its become something of a vastly overused and worn out cliche to say that something is “life changing”, but if there ever was a movie made which could lay claim to such a term, surely this is it.

Its now been seen by more than 300,000 people just on youtube since it was released this week. Lets spread the word far and wide about this powerful movie and get it into the hands of as many people as we can. May God bless and strengthen Ray Comfort and all involved in this amazing project.

For more information or to order “180” on DVD, please go to this link.

Here’s one person’s outreach. He says, “Giving away 180 is easy, all you need are some DVDs and a servant’s heart.”

(2) This coming Tuesday (October 4) from 1:00pm to 3:30pm MST (appx), Dr. James White will conduct an online course in Christology for Christians: A Study of the History and Theology of the Person of Christ. James writes:

On Tuesday beginning at 1pm MST we will have the equivalent of a seminary level class on Christology on The Dividing Line. Christology should be a fundamental area of study of any serious believer, yet it is often an area of profound ignorance amongst many who name the name of Christ. We would like to help our listeners to have a much better grasp of this vital area. So, we will do at least two full hours of lecture on this topic, with a brief break halfway through the lecture.

To prepare for this, James has suggested some online reading material. Full details here.

(3) Once again, Ligonier has some SUPER deals today in this week’s $5 Friday sale. The online sale starts at 8 a.m. EST and goes on for 24 hours or until items are sold out. Check out the $5 Ligonier sale here.

(4) Dane Ortlund has come up with an innovative literary device, writing about an imaginary interview he would have with Jonathan Edwards, basing the answers on Edwards’ own writings and sermons:

A few questions on the Christian life. (I requested one to two word answers only).

Jon, what ignites the Christian life? How does it all get started?

JE: New birth.

Having begun, what then is the essence of the Christian life? What’s the heart and soul of Christian living? What is most definitive of it?

JE: Love.

What is the fuel for the Christian life? How do we keep loving? What’s the non-negotiable of all non-negotiables that will keep us going?

JE: Joy.

Where do I go to get this joy? How can I find it? What, concretely, sustains it, through all the ups and downs of life?

JE: The Bible.

But as I go to the Bible, what do I do with it as I read? How do I own it, make it mine, turn it into this joy-fueled love?

JE: Prayer.

What then is the overall flavor of the Christian life? How would you describe the aroma, the feel, of following Christ?

JE: Pilgrimage.

If joy, Bible, prayer, and all the rest go in, all under the flavor of pilgrimage, what comes out? What is the result of Christian life?

JE: Obedience.

Broadening out our scope, then, how do we make sense of the all this in a macro way? What is the context for the Christian life?

JE: Redemptive history.

What then, finally, does all this funnel into? What, above all else, is the hope of the Christian life?

JE: Heaven.

(5) An important quote to add to last week’s article concerning justification in the early Church Fathers (by Nathan Busenitz):

Chrysostom (349-407): What does he mean when he says: “I have declared your justice?” He did not simply say: “I have given,” but “I have declared.” What does this mean? That he has justified our race not by right actions, not by toils, not by barter and exchange, but by grace alone. Paul, too, made this clear when he said: “But now the justice of God has been made manifest independently of the Law.” But the justice of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ and not through any labor and suffering.

Greek text: ?? ???? ?????, ????????????? ???????????? ??? ????? ?????, ?????, ???’, ?????????????. ?? ??????? ??? ??? ??? ????????????, ???? ?????, ???? ???????, ???? ??? ??????? ????? ?? ????? ????????? ?? ????????. ???? ??? ??? ? ?????? ????? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ????? ?????????? ???? ???????????? ?????????? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ????? ???????, ?? ??? ??????? ????? ??? ?????.

Adversus Judaeos, VII, §3, PG 48:919; translation in Fathers of the Church, Vol. 68, Discourses Against Judaizing Christians, Disc. 7.3.2 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1979), pp. 186-187.

Friday Round Up

(1) Back in 2005, Dr. Wayne Grudem taught an outstanding message at an ETS Conference on the theme “Are Only Some Words of Scripture Breathed Out By God?” I am pleased to see that it is now in a written format, both in a condensed form I was directed to a very helpful and insightful article by Carolyn McCulley called “Why pray for a husband?” Though obviously written for women, the principles outlined have application for men also.

(3) I appreciated this quote from John Piper:

“I am a lover of the Reformed faith — the legacy of the protestant Reformation expressed broadly in the writings of John Calvin and John Owen and Charles Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards, and contemporaries like R. C. Sproul and J. I. Packer and John Frame.

I speak of love for this legacy the way I speak of loving a cherished photo of my wife. I say, “I love that picture.” You won’t surprise me if you point out, “But that’s not your wife, that’s a picture.” Yes. Yes. I know it’s only a picture. I don’t love the picture instead of her, I love the picture because of her. She is precious in herself.

The picture is precious not in itself, but because it reveals her. That’s the way theology is precious. God is valuable in himself. The theology is not valuable in itself. It is valuable as a picture. That’s what I mean when I say, “I love reformed theology.” It’s the best composite, Bible-distilled picture of God that I have.” (Bloodlines, 129-130).

(4) I am thinking of cancelling the giveaway I mentioned last week due to an apparent lack of interest.

(5) On assurance and the ongoing battle with indwelling sin:

“If you feel that you are empty, if you feel you are nothing, if you feel you are poor and wretched and blind, if you hate your inclination to sin and have any suspicion of a feeling of self-loathing and hatred, you can take it from me that you have eternal life, for no one ever experiences such things until the life of God comes into his or her soul.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

(6) Please continue to pray for a very good friend of mine, Pastor Graeme Adams, in Dundee, Scotland, who was recently rushed to hospital because of chest pains. The doctors have so far eliminated the idea of him having had a heart attack, but so far they have not determined the cause, though it could well be stress related. He is back home now but is very weak and tired. Please pray for Pastor Graeme and his wife Rhonda, their two sons, and for the precious Church he pastors.

(7) Once again, Ligonier has some excellent deals today in this week’s $5 Friday sale. especially for audio and video downloads. The children’s book and the “Believing God” book are also excellent. The online sale started at 8 a.m. EST and goes on for 24 hours or until items are sold out. Check out the $5 sale items here.

There is No God Seeker (Romans 3:11)

“I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” – Romans 10:20

Here in this verse, God declares that He revealed Himself to those who were not even seeking or asking for Him. That is something to really think about.

Who was this group that God revealed Himself to?

Well, we might think it is some distant African tribe or all of the many atheists who at one time professed that there was no God at all. However, the startling biblical answer to the question is that its all of those who have come to have faith in Christ.

Romans 3:11 says “no one seeks for God.” Literally the text reads, “there is no God seeker.”

We tend to be blind to this truth, especially when we might have heard numerous testimonies of (now) Christian people who say they were seeking for God all their lives – seeking Him in many different spiritual experiences, even through searching out many different religions.

While it is certainly true that these people sought many different experiences and were involved in other religions, what the Bible teaches is that none of us by nature wish to know the God of the Bible. We are born DOA (dead on arrival) spiritually speaking, yet we walk a course mapped out for us by the Prince of darkness. We are by nature children of wrath rather than children of God and unless God intervenes, we will never seek to know the one true God. That is the clear teaching of the opening verses of Ephesians chapter 2. All our religious “searchings” are really attempts to run and hide from Him. Like Adam in the garden of Eden after he had sinned, He hid from the presence of the Lord. That is our inner disposition towards God until God moves upon the heart and draws us to Himself. Before that we might want all the trappings of what a relationship with God brings – forgiveness, freedom from a guilty conscience, feelings of happiness and assurance, peace within; but we just dont want to go to God to get these things. We often mistake a desire for these things as a desire for God. Hear again the word of the Lord, “there is no God seeker.” (Romans 3:11).

Though the Bible commands us, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near,” (Isa. 55:6) none of us by nature will actually ever do that. We have the responsibility, just not the interest.
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