The Heart of a Servant in the Church

Very challenging article. Anytime our motives are scrutinised it calls for some soul-searching!

Young Calvinists

“He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.”  (Proverbs 27:14).

The communion of the saints is a wonderful thing. Feeling the care and spiritual encouragement of one’s church family, especially in times of grief or spiritual struggle, is a great blessing and comfort to the Child of God. God did not mean for us to walk this pilgrimage alone. As it is written in Ecclesiastes 4:10, “woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” The unity of the body of Christ is a good and beautiful thing.

However, we must search our hearts so that our good deeds towards our brothers and sisters don’t become a source of pride on our own part. In Proverbs 27, Solomon writes of a man who wakes up early…

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James 5:19-20

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James 5:19-20 and resumé of book

The Conversion of the Sinner

  1. Ultimately the truth is Christ (John 14:6) but in terms that we can see and understand it is the Scriptures (Ps.119:128,142).
  2. To err from the truth is to believe falsehood and/or teach it which then affects the way you live. Unbelief, deception and wrong behaviour are all sinful. Denominations that err from the truth usually apostatise. The necessity is knowing the truth AND loving it (II Thess.2:10-11).
  3. To convert means to come to confess sin or falsehood, repent from it and re-consecrate oneself to God. Peter is an example (Luke 22:32) and David (Ps.51).
  4. Although God must work in the heart, we may be the means whereby a sinner is converted. It is severally illustrated in terms of eyes, ears and mind. The eyes must be opened (John 3:3) and the ears (Matt.13:15, Mark 4:12, John 12:40 and Acts 28:27) to hear Christ’s voice and the heart needs to understand. The word is also the instrument (Ps.19:7). This is true at initial conversion and subsequent on-going conversion.
  5. The death of which James writes is that of backsliding and ultimately, if unrepentant, eternal death in apostasy.
  6. To hide a multitude of sins is to have them covered by the blood of Christ when they are confessed and forsaken (I John 1:9, Ps.103:12, Ps.32:1). God declares them buried in the deepest sea and no longer remembered.

Key themes of the book of James

  • Affliction through trial and temptation to which we are to respond by rejoicing and prayer.
  • Fleeting nature of riches and not respecting persons.
  • Control of the tongue.
  • Living faith is shown by works.
  • Prayer encouraged and the restoration of the backslider.

Divisions of book

1:1-8 Greetings and exhortation to rejoice in trials knowing they work for good and that God will grant wisdom.

1:9-16 Riches fade. The source of temptation.

1:17-27 Control your anger. Obey the word.

2:1-9 Don’t respect persons.

2:10-26 Your faith works to show you are justified.

3:1-18 Teachers judged more strictly. Control tongue. Exhibition of godly wisdom.

4:1-17 Against lust and pride and boasting.

5:1-9 Against riches and injustice.

5:10-18 Exhortation to endure, no rash swearing, need to pray with examples.

5:19-20 Need to restore backslider.

Next BS (DV) March 25th to look at first chapter of “War of Words” by Paul David Tripp (on e bay £10 incl. p&p)

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See also: War of Words

The Image of God and Human Dignity

Key issue in the light of many organisations who hold an erroneous view e.g. Christian Institute, Christian Concern and I would guess the Banner of Truth and all who believe in common grace.

Young Calvinists

Since this month is black history month and since I’m one of the rare African American voices in the PRCA, I figured it’d be fitting to speak on (mostly critique) an article titled “The Image of God and the African American Experience,”  which you can read here: https://www.raanetwork.org/image-god-african-american-experience-part-3/

When I first saw the title of this article I got a bit excited, it was around the time of the Mike Brown shooting when debates of race where constant and honestly a bit (lot) annoying, and I was hoping this would help bring some theological sanity to the situation. The fact that it was on the image of God also excited me since it’s one of my favorite theological subjects to ponder. Sadly, I was left a tad disappointed, because the image of God theology that was presented in this was one that I’m not too fond of. It follows a…

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Issues of uncleanness. New Testament light.

Mark 5:25-34.

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The woman with the issue of blood twelve years spent all her savings but remained ill and unclean. She was probably wrongly ashamed of her condition hence her attempted secrecy in coming up behind Christ whom she had heard was a miraculous healer and she believed was the promised Messiah. Once healed instantly and completely, which characterised all of Christ’s and apostolic healing

(c.f. Charismatic and Pentecostal claims today), she came with fear and trembling because she had been exposed publicly, but also as a right response to the omnipotent and omniscient Lord whose garment she had but touched in faith. She was saved as we can see from her faith, Christ’s pronouncement of peace (v34-the fruit of justification) and his calling her daughter, a term of adoption into God’s family.

Mark 1:40-45. Leper healed and told to go and see priest as Levitical law prescribed

(Lev.14).

Mark 7:1-5. The Pharisees had added their traditional laws which included washing (baptism!) of furniture-nothing ceremonially unclean here.

Heb. 13:4. Normal marital sexual intercourse is clean, and always was!

Jude 4-8. Ungodly antinomian teachers who were sodomites are called filthy dreamers (unclean!)

Jude 23. Open unashamed sin is likened to ceremonial uncleanness (garment spotted by the flesh-Lev.15) which could affect others, even the witness speaking to the sinner (v22).

New Testament Considerations of Food.

New Testament considerations of food.

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Sung Psalm 24:1-6. Note the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.

Read Romans 14

The subject of this chapter is Christian liberty specifically in relation to food and days.

The weak in conscience avoid eating meat and our aim in the church ought to be to strengthen them so that the enter into more liberty but till then the strong believer must accept them with charity. We do nothing in isolation as believers (vv7-8) but everything impacts on our Christian family in the church and in relation to God. We must not cause stumbling (v13). Paul KNEW that all foods were pure from the Psalms, from Peter’s account of his vision and from the words of Christ in the gospels (v20).

I Cor. 8 similarly is on Christian liberty but this time in relation to food offered to idols which was an offence to weak consciences.

God is love

Have you ever wondered how God can be love if he is one person?

“the fact that God is love implies plurality within God’s
being. God is love, I John 4:8. He does not become a
God of love when He elects and saves His people. He is a
God of love within Himself before and apart from us; He
is a God of love from eternity. Love is not the attribute
of a solitary personality. Love demands an object, one
who is loved. That God is love demands a Father who
loves, a Son who is loved and who responds in love, and
the Holy Spirit who is the personal agent through whom
this mutual love is expressed.”

Prof. Ronald Cammenga, Standard Bearer March 15th 2016

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This is why there can be no love in the monotheistic, anti-trinitarian Judaism and Islam!

Describe God.

 God’s Incommunicable Attributes

 

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Basic theology

Blog from Limerick Reformed Fellowship

Posted: 29 Jan 2016 07:23 AM PST

God’s Incommunicable Attributes

Every field of study has specialized vocabulary. Theology, which is the study of God, is no different. We have looked at the being of God (who He is), and we have looked at the names of God. Now we look at His attributes.

An attribute of something is its quality or characteristic. Water is wet; fire is hot; iron is hard—these are attributes. When we ask about God’s attributes, we are asking, “What is God like?” God tells what He is like in the Bible.

God has two kinds of attributes, which theologians sometimes classify as “incommunicable” and “communicable” attributes. A communicable attribute can be shared with the creature. The creature, therefore, can reflect and display some of God’s characteristics. An incommunicable cannot be shared with the creature. No creature can reflect or display such divine qualities.

God’s attributes are essential to His being. Perhaps, you have the attribute of strength. You are a strong person. But you will grow old and weak, and sometimes (for example, when you are sick) you lose the attribute of strength. You are still yourself, but without the characteristic of strength. Strength, therefore, is not essential to your being. God’s attributes are who and what He is—God is not only good. He is goodness; God is not only wise. He is perfect wisdom; God is not only holy. He is holiness. He is unchangeably and infinitely and perfectly good, wise, holy, and all His other attributes.

Many of God’s attributes are misunderstood, or even ignored and denied. For many, God is simply a God of love, but they forget about His spotless holiness, His perfect righteousness, and His awesome power. When we do this, our view of God is too low, and we dishonour Him.

God’s incommunicable attributes are His independence or self-sufficiency, His simplicity or unity, His infinity (or eternity and omnipresence), His omnipotence or sovereignty, His immutability or unchangeableness and His omniscience. No creature can share any of these attributes of God—they are something that only God is.

When we understand God’s glorious incommunicable attributes, we worship before this great God. And we are glad, because all of the attributes of this great God are necessary for our salvation, and all them are revealed so that God—and not we—receives all the glory.

This God—and only He—is the God of glory. Worship Him, all the earth!

Rev.Martyn McGeown

Respectable Sins (9) answers

Respectable Sins (9) Worldliness/resume

respectable sins

  1. Worldliness is a mind-set that has no thought of God—every thought and aim is limited to self and gaining something on earth whether possessions, indulging lusts, getting glory for self or seeking to merit with a false god or even the true God. It accepts worldly practices and attitudes e.g. sexual mores, feminism, political correctness. Scriptural examples are: Achan, Samson, Absalom, Simon Majus, Ananias and Sapphira.
  2. It is sinful and dangerous because it excludes God (hence ignores the first commandment), is ungodly (Jude 15), it falls short of the glory of God (definition of sin), ignores responsibility to God and ends up in hell (outer darkness and exclusion from God’s presence). It is backsliding, side-tracks the believer, and may lead to apostasy in the hypocrite. It is also very sad for the believer who loses his appreciation of all God’s good gifts, the world around him and whose world becomes lack-lustre.
  3. Major areas of compromise are sexual mores that are unchaste and demean marriage, entertainment with living for pleasure (TV and movies), making money your god and not sharing, Sabbath-breaking.
  4. An idol today is any object or objective of one’s affection that takes first place, place of devotion and dominates thoughts, use of time and worship.
  5. The antidote to worldliness is the word of God/means of grace, mortifying lusts, focus on Christ’s coming and the great commission (Matthew 6:33, I John 3:3), covenant affection for God as Bridges says,” We need an increased affection for God that will expel from our hearts our affections for the things of this world.”
  6. The two great theological foundations for our progressive sanctification are justification (imputed righteousness) and sanctification (the Spirit indwelling).
  7. Ungodliness is living without God and is an attitude where life objective is other than pleasing God.
  8. Unrighteousness is firstly a state of fallen man but also actions characterised by transgression of God’s commandments in thought, word and deed.
  9. Pride exhibits itself as atheism, unwillingness to listen, be corrected or chastened, self-righteousness, independence, blaming others, un-forgiveness, a “look at me” attitude, inordinate desire to correct others and argue, believing lies and false doctrine and denying the truth of Scripture.The only things we can boast about are knowing God (Jer.9:23-24), the cross and that our names are written in heaven.
  10. Selfishness can be counteracted by praying for others, conversing with others and listening, centring on them, sharing all you have, giving generously, serving and being hospitable.
  11. Hypocritical judgment is condemned but righteous, word-centred judgment with mercy is commended.
  12. The Christian faith is the only religion in which the heart is changed and men are actually made holy (like Christ). All other man-made religion is window-dressing, outward conformity to man-made standards that are actually godless and demon-inspired (Jer.31:33-34).

That is the end of this series of Bible Studies.

Lord-willing we start studies in James on February 20th.

studyguidejames

Please get your own copy. I shall not be uploading questions only our answers!

http://www.cprf.co.uk/bookstore/james.htm#.Vq4J8_3cvfw

Many are called but few are chosen.

 

 

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Matthew 22:14 with a stroke explodes the notion of hyper-Calvinists that only convicted sinners, or the elect are called by the gospel. You cannot know who your audience are! Only in the sense that the call is the effectual call is this correct. But in the sense that the external call of the gospel*, preached by men, with the command to repent and believe is to go to all nations promiscuously, they are wrong. Christ clearly differentiates between the outward preached call* to the many, and the inward effectual call** from death to life that he accomplishes in the few. One asterisk* equates with the outward call and two** to the inward call.

This is corroborated in the Canons of Dort Heads III/IV Articles 8-10.

Article 8. As many as are called** by the gospel, are unfeignedly called**. For God hath most earnestly and truly shown in his Word, what is pleasing to him, namely, that those who are called** should come to him. He, moreover, seriously promises eternal life, and rest, to as many as shall come to him, and believe on him.

Article 9. It is not the fault of the gospel, nor of Christ, offered therein, nor of God, who calls men by the gospel*, and confers upon them various gifts, that those who are called* by the ministry of the word, refuse to come, and be converted: the fault lies in themselves; some of whom when called*, regardless of their danger, reject the word of life; others, though they receive it, suffer it not to make a lasting impression on their heart; therefore, their joy, arising only from a temporary faith, soon vanishes, and they fall away; while others choke the seed of the word by perplexing cares, and the pleasures of this world, and produce no fruit. – This our Savior teaches in the parable of the sower. Matthew 13.

Article 10. But that others who are called* by the gospel, obey the call, and are converted, is not to be ascribed to the proper exercise of free will, whereby one distinguishes himself above others, equally furnished with grace sufficient for faith and conversions, as the proud heresy of Pelagius maintains; but it must be wholly ascribed to God, who as he has chosen his own from eternity in Christ, so he confers upon them faith and repentance, rescues them from the power of darkness, and translates them into the kingdom of his own Son, that they may show forth the praises of him, who hath called** them out of darkness into his marvelous light; and may glory not in themselves, but in the Lord according to the testimony of the apostles in various places.

 

A New Year’s Resolution – M.Henry

This ought to be the aim of every believer in 2016 and beyond!

The Three R's Blog

Today’s Grace Gemsdevotional was a fitting one for the New Year – a resolution from the pen of the Puritan Matthew Henry.

May it be ours, in truth, and by grace, for the year of our Lord 2016.

A New Year’s Resolution

(Matthew Henry)

“My times are in Your hand!” Psalm 31:15

Firmly believing that my times are in God’s hand, I here submit myself and all my affairs for the ensuing year, to the wise and gracious disposal of God’s divine providence. Whether God appoints for me . . . .
health or sickness,
peace or trouble,
comforts or crosses,
life or death–
may His holy will be done!

All my time, strength, and service, I devote to the honor of the Lord Jesus–and even my common actions. It is my earnest expectation, hope, and desire, my constant aim and endeavor–that Jesus Christ may be magnified in me.

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