Marriage-a lifelong bond!

imagesE6CIRD6K

 

Has God’s standard for marriage changed over time?

We have to say NO because God is one and his law is one and eternal. The seventh commandment safeguards one man-one woman for life, reflecting his covenant with his bride, the church.

But some churches allow divorce and remarriage!

They cause their people to sin:

Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” Jesus in Luke 16:18

And adulterers will NOT enter the kingdom of heaven (I Cor.6:9).

So why polygamy and allowing divorce in OT?

New International Bible Dictionary states regarding polygamy, ” It would seem that God left it to man to discover by experience that his original institution of monogamy was the proper relationship.” It always brought trouble of some kind. Moses SUFFERED the ungodly Israelites to divorce and remarry because of the hardness of their hearts, same could be said of divorce and remarriage laws in our land today, all of which will be followed by the ungodly and the backslidden church member. There will ALWAYS be consequences and suffering when the ideal is not followed but God’s standard for his people and for society has never changed. What Christ said about it stands as God’s standard for all time.

This leaflet needs shared widely especially in churches who use the Westminster  Confession as their creed.

http://hopeprc.org/resources/uploads/2016/03/The-Marriage-Bond-is-a-Lifelong-Bond.pdf

 

Uniformitarianism

Answers in Genesis expound this well too.

Young Calvinists

One theory that has gained much credence in the past number of years is called Uniformitarianism. This belief states that world as we know it today has always been that way and will always function in the ways that we think it should. Although its popularity has increased in the last number of years, along with the related theory of evolution, it existed in Biblical times:

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts, and saying where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II 3:3,4).

This, however, is not the case. Let’s look at the weather, for instance. In the beginning, God gave the Garden of Eden a moderate climate with none of the wild fluctuations in temperature we sometimes hear about. There…

View original post 436 more words

He is altogether lovely.

When the spouse (in Song of Solomon) has gone thus far in the description of him (her husband Christ), she concludes all in this general assertion: “He is wholly desirable, — altogether to be desired or beloved.” (Concerning) the excellencies of my Beloved, in (the) way of allegory I can carry things no higher; I find nothing better or more desirable to shadow out and to present his loveliness and desirableness: but, alas! all this comes short of his
perfections, beauty, and comeliness; ‘he is all wholly to be desired, to be beloved;’ —
Lovely in his person, — in the glorious all-sufficiency of his Deity, gracious purity and holiness
of his humanity, authority and majesty, love and power.
Lovely in his birth and incarnation; when he was rich, for our sakes becoming poor, — taking
part of flesh and blood, because we partook of the same; being made of a woman, that for us he
might be made under the law, even for our sakes.
Lovely in the whole course of his life, and the more than angelical holiness and obedience
which, in the depth of poverty and persecution, he exercised therein; — doing good, receiving evil;blessing, and being cursed, reviled, reproached, all his days.
Lovely in his death; yea, therein most lovely to sinners; — never more glorious and desirable
than when he came broken, dead, from the cross. Then had he carried all our sins into a land of
forgetfulness; then had remade peace and reconciliation for us; then had he procured life and
immortality for us.
Lovely in his whole employment, in his great undertaking, — in his life, death, resurrection,
ascension; being a mediator between God and us, to recover the glory of God’s justice, and to saveour souls, — to bring us to an enjoyment of God, who were set at such an infinite distance from
him by sin.
Lovely in the glory and majesty wherewith he is crowned. Now he is set down at the right hand
of the Majesty on high; where, though he be terrible to his enemies, yet he is full of mercy, love,
and compassion, towards his beloved ones.
Lovely in all those supplies of grace and consolations, in all the dispensations of his Holy Spirit,
whereof his saints are made partakers.
Lovely in all the tender care, power, and wisdom, which he exercises in the protection,
safe-guarding, and delivery of his church and people, in the midst of all the oppositions and
persecutions whereunto they are exposed.
Lovely in all his ordinances, and the whole of that spiritually glorious worship which he has
appointed to his people, whereby they draw nigh and have communion with him and his Father.
Lovely and glorious in the vengeance he taketh, and will finally execute, upon the stubborn
enemies of himself and his people.
Lovely in the pardon he has purchased and does dispense, — in the reconciliation he has
established, — in the grace he communicates, — in the consolations he does administer, — in the
peace and joy he gives his saints, — in his assured preservation of them unto glory.
What shall I say? there is no end of his excellencies and desirableness; — “He is altogether
lovely. This is our beloved, and this is our friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

John Owen in Communion with God

Living the Antithesis in College

No love, friendship or acceptance? What about loving our neighbour? They are our neighbour and we love them by sharing Christ. Friendship? Perhaps not in the real, intimate sense, but sharing an interest can become some kind of friendship and Christ was a friend of sinners (many unconverted I am sure). Acceptance? We cannot change them and we hate what they do but surely we have to accept them as they are, after all Christ accepted us even when we were his enemies and took us into fellowship with himself. So you can see, while I agree with the antithesis, I disagree with the way it is often portrayed and purportedly live out. Your point about confronting sin agrees with Scripture, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather reprove them.” (Eph.5:11).

Young Calvinists

Antithesis. Anti-thesis. Against a viewpoint. Merriam-Webster defines it as “the direct opposite.” God tells us what the antithesis is in Genesis 3:15. He says to Satan: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Enmity between the children of the Devil and children of God. That is, hatred, war, and conflict between the elect and the reprobate—no love, friendship, or acceptance. There must be a clear separation between the two.

Now that we know the antithesis is, let’s see how we can apply it to life in college. A place where many of us Young Calvinists (including me) currently reside or frequent.

You’re in one of your Gen Ed classes that you have to take—Introduction to Physics. The class is set up so that you have to work with…

View original post 565 more words

Christ’s fullness

Colossians 1:19: “ For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;” and John 1:14: “ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

  Hear John Owen: For the fountain of grace, the Holy Ghost, he received not him “by measure,” John 3. 34; and for the communications of the Spirit, “it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell,” This is the Beloved of our souls, “holy, harmless, undefiled;” “full of grace and truth;” — full, to a sufficiency for every end of grace, — full, for practice, to be an example to men and angels as to obedience, full, to a certainty of uninterrupted communion with God, — full, to a readiness of giving supply to others, — full, to suit him to all the occasions and necessities of the souls of men, — full, to a glory not unbecoming a subsistence in the person of the Son of God, — full, to a perfect
victory, in trials, over all temptations, — full, to an exact correspondence to the whole law, every righteous and holy law of God, full to the utmost capacity of a limited, created, finite nature, — full, to the greatest beauty and glory of a living temple of God, — full, to the full pleasure and delight of the soul of his Father, — full to an everlasting monument of the glory of God, in giving such inconceivable excellencies to the Son of man.”

    And by his cross and resurrection we are the recipients of some of this fullness all our days.

Holy War (15)

Sung Psalm 68:17-21

Matthew 26:47-56

Christ’s last week begins with his “triumphal entry” to Jerusalem (Zech.9:9 quoted in Matt.21:5-9) where it is clear the populace had a wrong view of his kingship. He came as a lowly king (Matt.22:15-22) who submitted to the Romans and told his disciples to pay their taxes and clearly taught that rebellion was forbidden. In Matt.24 he predicts the national destruction of Jewry as a picture of the end of time tribulation under antichrist just before his return in glory. In Matt.26:51 Peter’s foolish violent act showed he misunderstood the nature of Christ’s kingdom and the nature of his disciples’ warfare. What Christ said to Pilate underlined this (John 18:36).

Christ was a rejected king nevertheless there was no time when he was not ruling over all his enemies, exercising his sovereign kingship, bringing thick darkness signifying Satan’s work, but also opening graves and raising the bodies of believers and ultimately himself showing that his final earthly battle versus sin, Satan and the wicked world was won, all having been publicly judged as evil, wicked and murderous by their treatment of the Son of God. He won this spiritual battle single-handed just like David won his physical battle with Goliath (Isaiah 63:5-6). He now incarcerates Satan and the demons (Ps.68:18), destroys all Satan’s deathly power over the elect (Heb.2:14, Col.2:15, I Cor.15:57) and makes death serve his purposes (to free and glorify his people). The Psalm also shows the vital importance of praise (v25) and the power of grace to sustain us (v28).

So in tabular summary:

Old Testament Holy War New Testament Holy War
Physical Spiritual
For a physical kingdom (land) For a heavenly kingdom
By force of arms (physical weapons) By spiritual weapons (Eph.5) Word, prayer, praise, humility, suffering)
Physical enemies-Canaanite, Philistines etc. Spiritual enemies-world, flesh, devil.
  Power of grace
Various victorious kings of Israel/Judah Christ the victorious king

Wrath and love?

It is true that no human being can be under the wrath of God and be loved by him simultaneously. Christian believers, God’s elect sheep have been loved by him IN CHRIST from before the world was. Before we were saved we were BY NATURE children of wrath even as others and we retain this sinful nature till our dying day, yet we are loved infinitely and everlastingly.

What about Christ?

untitled

Our Heidelberg Catechism puts it this way,”Q. 37.  What dost thou understand by the words, “He suffered”?
A.  That He, all the time that He lived on earth, but especially at the end of His life, sustained in body and soul the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind; that so by His passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, He might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favor of God, righteousness and eternal life.”

In the Triple Knowledge*, Herman Hoeksema’s exposition of H.C. he states, “All his (Christ’s) life is one testimony of the fact that he lived in perfect fellowship with his father, and was conscious of his approval and favour.” But didn’t he bear God’s wrath too? Let it be clearly stated that Christ as a person was never the object of his father’s wrath but “he suffered the expression, the concrete effect of the wrath of God against sin”, “the reaction of his holiness against (us) the workers of iniquity.” This comes to it’s climax in Christ’s God-forsakenness at Calvary, “At the moment when God is most highly pleased with him, he experiences all the terror of being forsaken of God!”

What a Saviour! Who would not consecrate themselves body and soul to live for him?

*Books

tripleknowledge

Exhort and encourage one another.

These two big “E”s are repeatedly mentioned by the apostle Paul.

images

Paul and Barnabas depicted.

Heb.3:13 “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

I Thess.2:11, 5:14 “As ye know how we exhorted and comforted (encouraged) and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children”, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort (encourage) the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.”

Barnabas’ names means son of consolation (encouragement) Acts 4:36.

How do we encourage in the fellowship with other believers?

  • Praise them when praise is due—commend, thank, give thanks for them.
  • Edify—build them up (strengthen them in midst of difficulties by stirring up their faith and assuring them of God’s promises), instruct them by increasing their knowledge, encouraging faith and love.
  • Urge or beseech them.

Why do we need to exhort?

Because our unbelief causes departures from God (Ps.95). The Israelites shunned to covenant promises of God for Canaan, the blessings held no attraction for them, perhaps because they knew they would need to fight for them! Frequently they, and we, are deceived by attractive idolatry and sin.

How do we exhort in the fellowship? Daily!

It means to call alongside to help either:

  • comfort
  • rebuke
  • instruct

Don’t be afraid to do this as James tells us in James 5:19-20.

Gleaned from message by Rev. Martyn McGeown of Limerick Reformed Fellowship and Standard Bearer article 1/3/14 by Rev. James Slopsema.

No man taketh it from me

John 10:18 reads, “ No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

untitled

Christ allowing himself to be wickedly scourged, beaten, humiliated and eventually cruelly and excruciatingly  killed WAS NOT A VICTIM! Even while he permitted, nay decreed, his own awful sufferings he sovereignly was in charge of his murderers, enabling them to act wholly responsibly in their wickedness, out of their own malice to put him to death.

Christ was the ONLY MAN EVER to decide the moment of his death as he dismissed his spirit (Luke 23:46).

Christ was the ONLY MAN EVER to raise himself from the dead and take his life again, by omnipotent death-defying power invested in him eternally by his father.

Christ was, and is, the ONLY MAN EVER to possess eternal life in himself, the power of an endless life and the love of the Father (Heb.7:16).

Christ was, and is, the ONLY MAN EVER to be given sovereign judgment over all other men (John 5:22).

Christ was, and is, the ONLY MAN EVER to have power to cast all who despise him into everlasting hell.

Who is CHRIST to you?

An irrelevance, someone who died and whose body disappeared 2000 years ago, just a good man or example?

Or as he is in truth—the ever-living LORD of the universe and your rightful LORD, SAVIOUR, MASTER and FRIEND?

“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12).

Covenant Communion with God (2)

communion

“This is the will of God, that he may always be eyed as benign, kind, tender, loving, and unchangeable therein; and that peculiarly as the Father, as the great fountain and spring of all gracious communications and fruits of love. We rest in the Father’s love. We love him in return.

Both his love and ours are a love of rest and delight (Zeph. 3:17) seeking nothing more. The two-way love is through Christ. He is the treasury wherein the Father disposeth all the riches of his grace, taken from the bottomless mine of his eternal love; and he is the priest into whose hand we put all the offerings that we return unto the Father. Love is first poured out on Christ; and from him it drops as the dew of Hermon upon the souls of his saints.”

But God’s love and ours differ─”The love of God is a love of bounty; our love unto him is a love of duty. The cause of his love is his good pleasure and the cause of ours his love for us. His love is unchangeable and infinite, ours variable and weak.

sun

The love of God for his elect people is like the sun shining in all its strength despite being apparently hidden by the clouds of circumstance or our variable emotions. (from prayer of Rev. Angus Stewart CPRC).