Calvin on the Wonder of the Psalms

The most recent British Reformed Journal carried an article entitled “Calvin on the wonder of the Psalms ” by Rev. Angus Stewart from which I have taken the following quotes:

  • “In a word, whatever may serve to encourage us when we are about to pray to God is taught us in this book”. The believer will recognise the truth of these words on the vital connection between the Psalms (read and sung) and fervent prayer.
  • Thus singing the prayers of the Psalms stirs us up to further praying and praising.
  • In evangelical churches, uninspired hymns are far more frequently sung than the 150 Psalms and Psalm singing is often derided as “dead,” as if the Spirit of Christ’s inspired words are not “spirit” and “life” (John 6:63)!

  • Calvinists were convinced that they could legitimately appropriate the psalms to themselves … The psalms were their (and should be our–JK) songs which they sang as the elect people of God in a covenant relationship with Him (W. Stanford Reid)

  • Next time you feel disinclined to pray….read or sing a Psalm!
  • Get the BRJ

 

 

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Ready to Grow in the Fear of God

Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee. Jeremiah 10:7

Young Calvinists

We must come to the worship service tomorrow ready to grow in the fear of God. Why? This is the reason: When we have the knowledge of who God really is and why we must fear Him, all of our other fears and concerns will be allayed. When we understand how great our God is, we will earnestly desire to praise and reverence Him at all times. David understood this: “O fear the LORD, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Psalm 34:9-11).

What is the fear of the Lord? Let’s take a look at how the Bible defines it.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of…

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Cancerous Sin

This indeed the attitude we should have.

Young Calvinists

Cancer.

Such a small, simple word, and yet it has the ability to strike fear in our hearts the instant we hear it. The dreaded news of it halts our lives in a moment, turns our world upside down. It often comes as a death sentence, taking family members, close friends, and loved ones. It is accompanied by pain, tears, sorrow, and often death.

Sin.

Does this word have the same effect on us? When we hear it, think about it, and see it in our lives, do we flee from it as urgently as we do from terminal illnesses such as cancer? Cancer can take our physical lives, but that’s where its power reaches its limit. Sin’s devastating effects penetrate much deeper than the physical. It eats away at and destroys the soul. It pulls us away from the sole source of everlasting life and results in spiritual death…

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Expectations

Making created things our god!

Young Calvinists

God has blessed his people with many gifts, earthly and spiritually. So many gifts, that we have come to take many of them for granted.

And we expect them.

Nice homes, well paying jobs in a good location, a large circle of friends, the man/woman of our dreams, children, a perfect family. These are all things that we view as the normal things in life. Normal things that “everyone has.” But the thing is, we don’t all have them. And when we don’t have them, we become upset… even angry! “I need these!” we say. “When will you give them to me?”

We expect them from the Lord and we spend our lives waiting. Waiting for the financial break through, waiting for the group of friends to accept you, or waiting for the man to walk into your life and sweep you off your feet. We think about it throughout…

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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!