Devotional Thought for Today – 08/28/21

Psalms 11:5 KJV Desktop Wallpaper - The LORD trieth the righteous: but the  wicked and

Once again I was having a discussion (online) with someone, who claimed to be a “Christian” but in my opinion, has a very narrow view of Christianity and the Bible in general.

Their whole Doctrinal belief is based upon, Matthew 22:36-40, God is and we should LOVE and that is it. Anything beyond that is simply minutia.

Well as you know and I repeatedly say we MUST have the Whole Counsel of God, in order to even begin to have any sense of a proper theology or doctrinal belief. In this case, let us look at one aspect that seems to be overlooked here, God hates and so should we!

I will leave you with a few Biblical examples to look over, to understand the importance of ALWAYS seeking the Whole Counsel of God before we determine a doctrine or even a course of action for our lives.

Does God hate?

God Hates Wicked People

The Hatred of God in the Psalms of David

Sunday Sermon Series – Righteous Hatred

QOTW – Is baptism necessary for salvation?

Question: “Is baptism necessary for salvation?”

Answer: 
The belief that baptism is necessary for salvation is also known as “baptismal regeneration.”…

SOURCE: Is baptism necessary for salvation?

Efficacious Grace

Reposted from Todd Linn, PhD on August 12, 2021


Cross In Scenic Mountains

Because it can be a difficult concept to grasp, we continue our systematic theological treatment of the doctrine of efficacious (or effectual) grace.

Today’s Theology Thursdays Slideshare presentation addresses some common objections to efficacious grace: eg., “What is the point of evangelizing if God has already determined who will be saved?!” Or, “If this teaching is true, then we are mere, passive robots!”

The presentation concludes with one of my favorite hymn texts from The Pilgrim Hymnal (1904), “I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew.”

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/12/21

Daily Bible Verse | Grace | James 4:6

JAMES 4:6

CONTEXT: Chapter 4 continues where 3 leaves off, reminding the reader that seeking after self, worldly gains, and wisdom will only lead to conflict within the church and their personal lives. Matthew Henry divides it as follows: Here are cautions against corrupt affections, and love of this world, which is enmity to God. (1-10) Exhortations to undertake no affairs of life, without constant regard to the will and providence of God. (11-17)

Before we briefly look at the specifics of our main verse, let me caution the reader that the text is not implying that humility equals being a pushover, a do-nothing, or someone who never speaks up. As always I implore you to read the Whole Counsel of God, Christ Jesus was anything but one of those things, yet He carried out His assigned duties on earth with great Humility.

But he giveth more grace. That is God will always provide more Grace to both believer and non-believer (Common Grace) but especially the effectual Grace needed for Salvation and a lasting relationship with the Triune God.

Wherefore he saith, God declares

God resisteth the proud, those who are so self-absorbed that they scoff at the notion of God. Psalm 1:1, Romans 1:18

but giveth grace unto the humble. those who will admit that apart from Christ they love the Darkside. John 3:17-21. It can be hard to “Back down” from our self-righteous, self-imposed throne, but that is exactly what God expects of His Children. To humble themselves as obedient children like Christ did Philippians 2:5-7.

Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer

Pray for the Grace of Self-Denial and Humility

We must pray for the grace of self-denial.

Lord, give us grace to deny ourselves, to take up our cross daily, and to follow Christ; Matthew 16:24(ESV) to discipline our bodies and keep them under control. 1 Corinthians 9:27(ESV)

Lord, keep us from being lovers of ourselves, 2 Timothy 3:2(ESV) from being wise in our own eyes and leaning to our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-7(ESV)

Lord, give us to seek, not our own good only, but also the good of our neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24(ESV)

And grant that we may not live to ourselves or die to ourselves, but whether we live or die, we may be the Lord’s, and may live and die to him. Romans 14:7-8(ESV)

We must pray for humility and meekness.

Lord, give us to learn from Christ to be gentle and lowly in heart, that we may find rest for our souls; Matthew 11:29(ESV) and that herein the same mind may be in us that was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5(ESV)

Lord, conceal pride from us, Job 33:17(ESV) and clothe us with humility; 1 Peter 5:5(ESV) and put upon us the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in your sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4-5(ESV)

Lord, give us grace to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:1-2(ESV)

Let anger never lodge in our bosoms, Ecclesiastes 7:9(ESV) nor the sun ever go down on our anger; Ephesians 4:26(ESV) but enable us to show perfect courtesy toward all people, because we ourselves were once foolish and disobedient. Titus 3:2-3(ESV)

Let us be clothed as becomes the elect children of God, holy and beloved, with compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12(ESV) that being merciful, even as our heavenly Father is merciful, Luke 6:36(ESV) we may be perfect as he is perfect. Matthew 5:48(ESV)

Grace: Common and Effectual

Here is a post from an online friend that I hope you will enjoy. It explains two types of Grace in a very easy to understand way:

Posted by Todd Linn, PhD on August 5, 2021

 Theology Thursday’s post continues our systematic theological treatment of soteriology; the study of the doctrine of salvation.

Our post provides a general introduction to the concept of grace and then gives biblical support for both common grace (grace given to all people; grace like God’s good gifts of rain, sunshine, etc.) and effectual grace (grace given to some people; grace to enable them to believe in Christ).

So, without further ado, here is today’s SlideShare presentation:

A Mini Q&A on A Few Calvinistic Doctrines

I, along with my co-pastor, are preaching through the Gospel of John. We’re about halfway done. The Fourth Gospel is not merely introductory material on the Christian life, but a deep, theological book that covers many weighty topics. I would argue that John’s Gospel is

Source: A Mini Q&A on A Few Calvinistic Doctrines

Sunday Sermon Series – 06/27/2021 – The Sovereignty of God

Last week in Sunday School while discussing God’s Law, a discussion ensued about Romans 13 and immoral leaders. Everyone could agree that all government officials, yes even the “bad” ones are appointed by God, and we are subject to that authority as long as they do not violate God’s Law. However, someone suggested that these immoral leaders forfeit their authority over us by virtue of their immorality. I say absolutely not! God is Sovereign and what He appoints only he can undo.

The following is the SS lesson and the lesson with my notes, I will be teaching on the subject today. I draw heavily from A.W. Pink’s book on the subject, and there is a complete list of resources at the end.


SERMON

Divine Sovereignty

Charles Haddon Spurgeon May 4, 1856

Scripture: Matthew 20:15

From: New Park Street Pulpit Volume 2


Is Christianity a religion or a relationship?

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/Christianity-religion-relationship.html

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/07/2021

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) - Jeremiah 29:11 ESV - For I know the plans I… | Biblia

Jeremiah 29

CONTEXT: Mathew Henry breaks this into two major themes; Two letters to the captives in Babylon; In the first, they are recommended to be patient and composed. (1-19) In the second, judgments are denounced against the false prophets who deceived them. (20-32)

I can not count the number of times our verse for today has been posted, plastered, or said out of context to me over the years. Biblical Hermeneutics, in short trying to understand what the bible says, is usually done in one of two manners.  Exegesis is carefully reading the text and drawing out meaning from it, Eisegesis is reading the meaning into the text.

In our text today it is easy to say God is talking about all His chosen people (you) and that He has only positive plans for our welfare and no evil will befall us. Except it is NOT TRUE! Generally speaking, we can apply this to all God’s chosen people but unless you live in fantasy land, you know folks, who are solid Christians who get sick, get robbed, or have other calamities happen to them no what?

No context demands this in not some catchall, name it and claim it verse (like Psalm 37:4) those cults are so fond of using. Read v.8-10, God warned the Jews not to listen to false teachers (prophets) and that same warning applies to us.

Finally the last phrase, to give you a future and hope, in context is referring to the restoration of the Jews after the captivity. Can it be generally applied to today, yes, in the sense that God gives a future and hope to all His redeemed in the form of Eternal Life in Christ.


PRAYER:

Father, no matter the circumstances I acknowledge your sovereignty in all things. I ask that you give me the strength and wisdom to trust in you no matter the season no matter the environment. I pray for the protection of your chosen peoples and my loved ones that we may one day all share in the future hope. AMEN.


OTHER RESOURCES:

How to Read the Bible Well: An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

Daily Devotion – Bad Exegesis

What is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis?

What is the meaning of Jeremiah 29:11?

Devotional Thought for today – 04/30/2021

Logos.com

Isaiah 55

As I read this in my inbox this morning it struck me that there are two types of men described in the bible who “return to the Lord.” I will get to that more in a moment but first as always some context. Previously I have posted on Isaiah 55:8-9, in which you will find a good overview of the beginning of the chapter. Then I also posted on seeking God, Isaiah 55:6 with a detailed breakdown of that verse. So that leaves v.7:

  • Let the wicked forsake his way – Those guilty of sinning against God
  • and the unrighteous man his thoughts – wicked, idolatrous thoughts
  • and let him return unto the Lord – Hebrew word Shuwb, meaning to turn back, repent, restore, make afresh, renew…
  • and he will have mercy upon him – compassion and love on those who end their evil ways
  • and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon; – God here is the Hebrew ‘elohiym, plural meaning the triune God
  • The Lord does abundantly pardon – this indicates God’s mercy, His desire to pardon nows no boundaries

I am not a Biblical Scholar (no fancy Ph.D.) so I read about a dozen commentaries this morning referencing V.7, and most agree that the wicked forsaking their ways means everyone. I disagree, and here is why.

  1. Isaiah is writing to the nation of Israel, Jews, who knew the God of the bible.
  2. To forsake something (sin) you need to understand your guilty of it unbelievers have no knowledge of their guilt
  3. To repent, be restored, renewed, etc. you first had to be in covenant with someone
  4. God’s covenant was with the Jews (and now all peoples)
  5. God’s promise to abundantly pardon was only for those who repented and returned to the flock

Remember in the beginning I said two types of men described in the bible who “return to the Lord.” One we are all familiar with that of the Prodigal Son, the wayward child who eventually comes to his senses and repents, and begs forgiveness of his father. The other is one you may not recognize, Jonah. This is the story of those called by God, who think they know better and God puts them in a place where they eventually surrender all.

What do these men and our text have in common, both knew God but thought their ways were better than God’s. It took severe hardship to turn them from their evil rebellious ways and get God’s unmerited merciful pardon and love.

Maybe you too, have been running from God’s call or something as simple as just sitting on the pew and letting the world go by. It is time to answer the Holy Spirits’ urging and repent of our own ways and get on board with God’s plan.

Lord God, your ways are made clear to us, yet we rebel and desire our own ways. We ignore the chosen path for one that seems right in our own eyes. We ignore all the helps you send our way as our hardened hearts desire self. Lord, we beg you to soften that heart, that we might repent of our rebellious ways, and renew a righteous Spirit in all areas of our lives. I ask that we seek your guidance and will daily, for we know that our ways are never better. All this we pray in Christ’s Name. AMEN