Holding Forth the Word of Life.

Holding Forth the Word of Life

Three messages from Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention 2017 in summary.

Philippians 2:15,16. “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

 

  1. Being Bold in the Lord                            Rev.Wilbur Bruinsma

Rev. Bruinsma admits that as a young pastor he spent little time speaking to others outside the church about God’s word. That all changed when he was sent to Jamaica as a missionary. All believers are called to give a reason for our hope and that takes boldness, confidence of faith alongside zeal and enthusiasm inspired by our own salvation. Paul, wherever he went, believed that the gospel (any part of God’s word) is the power of God unto salvation. If we are passionate about something we will talk about it! Our deliverance, our new life, our standing with God, our church…let me tell you what God has done for me! Yes people can be intimidating. “The subject we address when witnessing will be determined by the occasion and circumstances in which we find ourselves. It will be natural.” Listen and keep in mind you are no better than they.

 

  1. Walking in the Light                               Rev. Richard Smit

So much darkness-sin, false religion, apostate churches.  Christ and his word and we ourselves are the light. Believing and living according to the word we shine as children of light. OUR LIVES MUST BE CONSISTENT. The light of Christ and his word energizes us (like UV light a plant). We are continually cleansed by confession and receiving forgiveness (I John 1:9, II Cor.7:1). Hypocrisy (e.g. Lot) will reap misery. There will be opposition and persecution. Results are in God’s hands.

 

  1. Being all things to all men                            Rev. Daniel Kleyn

Taking into account the hearer. Being a servant.  Avoiding offence, cultural gaffes. Seek to establish friendship, understand, be sensitive, show care. Never must we compromise.

May the Lord help us to be faithful in our life and witness!

Taken from Beacon Lights October 2017

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Winning the Souls of Unbelievers – J. Payne

So true. Forget the cold turkey stuff that bears little fruit and take the opportunities as God provides especially anyone asking you a pointed question.

The Three R's Blog

As we pointed out earlier this month (see my Sept.10 post) the September 2017 issue of Tabletalk has as its theme “Soul Winning,” with the featured articles covering the various aspects of the Christian calling and methods of this task (based Prov.11:30).

I have once again profited from these articles, including that by Jon D. Payne, “Winning the Souls of Unbelievers.” In the first main section of this article, headed by the words “Wonderfully Ordinary,” Payne gives the “regular” believer great encouragement in the calling to evangelize.

I post these paragraphs tonight, so that you too may be assured that God has you right where you ought to be to be a means to win souls.

Rather than heap guilt on regular Christians for not soul winning on street corners or in market squares (which few believers are called or gifted to do), wouldn’t it be far better to foster…

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How does God use his word?

Sword of the Spirit

It is a precious Bible truth, that the enlightening grace of the Holy Spirit, although it be specially promised to the Gospel ministry as that by which alone their peculiar functions can be successfully exercised, is not confined to them, nor to any one class or order of men, but it is common to all believers. Every private person, — every humble man, who takes his Bible in his hand, and retires to his closet to read and meditate on it there, is privileged to ask and to expect the teaching of the Spirit of God. ‘If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.’ The direct communication of every soul with God as ‘the Father of lights,’ with Christ as ‘the light of the world,’ and with the Holy Ghost as ‘the Spirit of truth,’ shows what standing the Christian people have in the Christian Church; and that, although God has graciously provided for them ministerial helps and spiritual guides, he has not left them absolutely dependent on any order of men; still less has he subjected them to mere human authority in matters of faith: ‘their faith must stand not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.’ James Buchanan

Ignorance of Christ

Self glory or status, pleasure, money, religious zeal and works righteousness…all these are paltry, vain, and rightly hell-deserving goals of men and women who consider not their duty to God revealed in the Bible and the salvation of Jesus Christ-JK

Hear John Owen

“What Paul says of them that crucified (Christ), may be spoken of all that reject him, or refuse communion with him: “Had they known him, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;” — Did men know him, were they acquainted in any measure with him, they would not so reject the Lord of glory. Himself calls them “simple ones,” “fools,” and “scorners,” that despise his gracious invitation, Prov. 1:22. There are none who despise Christ, but only they that know him not; whose eyes the god of this world has blinded, that they should not behold his glory. The souls of men do naturally seek something to rest and repose themselves upon, —something to satiate and delight themselves withal, with which they [may] hold communion; and there are two ways whereby men proceed in the pursuit of what they so aim at. Some set before them some certain end, — perhaps pleasure, profit, or, in religion itself, acceptance with God; others seek after some end, but without any certainty, pleasing themselves now with one path, now with another, with various thoughts and ways, like them, Isa. 57:10 — because something (comes into their life, that they pursue though weary). In what condition soever you may be (either in greediness pursuing some certain end, be it secular or religious; or wandering away in your own imaginations, wearying yourselves in the largeness of your ways), compare a little what you aim at, or what you do, with what you have already heard of Jesus Christ: if any thing you design be like to him, if any thing you desire be equal to him, let him be rejected as one that has neither form nor comeliness in him; but if, indeed, all your ways be but vanity and vexation of spirit, in comparison of him, why do you spend your “money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not?”

Communion with God (17)

 

The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Christ’s fitness to save — he is a fit Saviour, suited to the work because he unites of the natures of God and man in one person and thus able to be a Saviour to the uttermost. He lays his hand upon God, by partaking of his nature, Col.2:9; and he lays his hand upon us, by being partaker of our nature, Heb. 2:14, 16: and so becomes an umpire (THE ONLY MEDIATOR) between both (I Tim.2:5). By this means he fills up all the distance that was made by sin between God and us; and we who were far off are made nigh in him. Upon this account it was that he had room enough in his breast to receive, and power enough in his spirit to bear, all the wrath that was prepared for us. Sin was infinite only in respect of the object (against the infinite God); and punishment was infinite in respect of the subject (Christ). This ariseth from his union. Union is the conjunction of the two natures of God and man in one person, John 1:14, Isa. 9:6, Rom. 1:3, 9: 5. The ONLY SAVIOUR of men (Acts 4:12).

Adapted from John Owen’s “Communion with the Triune God”.

Priority Prayers

What are the greatest needs in the world today?

earth

For the church:

  • Labourers for the harvest field—Reformed ministers, elders and deacons, the former trained and sent by overseeing congregations/synod and the latter volunteering to move or raised up locally.
  • Supporting churches with prayer, oversight and finance.
  • Reformation in all departing churches.
  • Prayer, practical and financial support for the persecuted and starving.

For the world:

  • The gospel proclaimed personally, through Scripture distribution or through electronic means to make disciples of all peoples.
  • Conversion of men and women in power
  • Righteous laws
  • Acceptance of true asylum seekers and refugees.
  • The destruction of radical Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Communism and apostate Christianity.
  • The salvation of all the elect including among cults and all groups above.

Witnessing

 

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Christ with the woman at the well (John 4:1-45) exemplifies wisdom in witness. Divine providence led Christ to her (v4), his route, his thirst…..

  • he excited her interest (v14)
  • she desired the living water (v15)
  • sin had to be dealt with (v16ff)
  • she is instructed in true worship (v24)
  • Christ reveals himself to her (v26)
  • she believes (v29)
  • she wins many others (v39)

Lord help us do likewise. Lead us to prepared hearts.

Satan v Job

     “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Luke 10:18

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Satan underestimates and does not know the power of God and the grace of God. He believed Job would curse God if all he had was taken away, he believed he could take over the throne of God in a revolt, he believed if he killed Christ he would overthrow all God’s salvation of men, he believes he can deceive and devour God’s people ─ he is wrong on all counts. Because he is NOT omniscient, because he is a liar and deceives even himself, his thoughts are wrong, his evil is exposed, and it will not be long till he is publicly, eternally and finally exposed as wicked and banished to everlasting torment in the lake of fire.

We need to pray that more people will be shown by God how deceived they are in his camp, repent, believe and enlist under Christ.

For his part, that great saint Job, in and through his terrible affliction, did not know what glory he was giving God and how his life would impact many others who have lived with affliction ever since.

Peace

There will only ever be peace between men when those men have peace with God first-JK

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“Peace is the great gift of the grace of God, earned on the cross of Christ and given to God’s people as their possession. The gift of peace cannot be found in the wicked. ‘There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked’ (Isaiah 48:22). Christ earned peace for his people by paying for their sins: ‘Having made peace by the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself’ (Colossians 1:20). Peace is therefore harmony with God. The heart of God and the hearts of the elect (God’s chosen) beat together. Peace is a blessing of covenant fellowship (friendship) with God.”

From ‘Faith Made Perfect’ by Herman Hankofaithmadeperfect

On this Rock!

Built and Established on the Rock!

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Faith is a living daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man  could stake his life on it a thousand times.  –  Martin Luther

Some years ago, I worked for a local authority in the North of England and one of my many responsibilities was the maintenance of the lifts in the civic property and high-rise flats. I remember one particular day as I was walking past the lift engineers section in the office I overheard the clear and strident sounds of exasperation (that’s putting it very politely!). It seemed that we had a lift that was constantly going out of alignment. Once is acceptable, twice signifies a problem and five times says it’s something serious! Up to this point in time, the engineers had simply repositioned all of the controls in the shaft to ensure that the lift continued to function safely. As a precaution, I asked my colleagues in the Architect’s department to send out a surveyor to check the shaft alignment. Some weeks later, I was asked to attend a meeting in the Architect’s offices. It seemed that the shaft was seriously out of alignment – what was happening? The whole of the ten-story block of flats was apparently tilting to the west! Not serious at this stage – but what was causing the problem?

SIMPLY REPOSITIONED ALL OF THE CONTROLS

Men and machines were sent to the site and bore holes were drilled. The block had been built on a piled foundation of 600mm; shafts had been drilled down to the bedrock and then filled with reinforced concrete. But on the west side it appeared that the bedrock had not been quite what it should have been! It was the rock infill of an old quarry and the sheer weight of the building over the years had caused the rocks to shift ever so slightly. How had this happened? Nobody knew. The block had been built almost thirty years earlier and was one of many built at the same time. The problem was dealt with by simply injecting hundreds of tonnes of concrete grout under the building. Stability was restored.

STABILITY WAS RESTORED!

I was reminded of those verses in Hebrews 11 – ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ The word ‘substance’ – hupostasis in the original Greek language is a word still in use today by theologians, medical doctors, philosophers and indeed civil engineers, but what does it mean in its real sense, hypostatic tension – ‘The real nature of a thing which underlies and supports its outward form and properties.’ Quite a mouthful but very relevant to you and I. What is it that keeps us going day by day? It is our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; it is He who underlies and supports our faith moment by moment, day by day. He is truly the immoveable Rock upon which we can stand by faith in Him. There is an interesting comparison here between the world and my tilting block of flats – every time the world shifts a little, our leaders move the controls to enable the processes of life and government to continue. When we sense that our lives are tilting slightly, we need only to remember that we stand firm on the Lord Jesus Christ – our Rock, we don’t have to move anything and don’t need anything more to add further stability!

Brian Allenby (Christians at Work)

The above made me think of two things. First the hypostatic (substantial) union of the Person of Christ who is both God and man. “Jesus has two complete natures—one fully human and one fully divine. What the doctrine of the hypostatic union teaches is that these two natures are united in one person (substance) in the God-man. Jesus is not two persons. He is one person. The hypostatic union is the joining of the divine and the human in the one person of Jesus. ”

Secondly it is this union expressed in Peter’s words, “Thou art the Christ” which forms the Rock on which the Lord builds his church. This  Rock is that he is the all-powerful divine builder of the church, that he is also the divine foundation and he is also the Rock upon whom we fall unto salvation or else when the Rock falls on a person it grinds him to powder.