The Pilgrim’s Progress with Dr. Derek Thomas

Most folks know I am a huge fan of The Pilgrim’s Progress, the second most published book to the Bible, and have posted on it in the past, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Today in Church History, On This Date In Church History and A Picture of a True Minister (from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress). I also had the honor of hearing Dr. Thomas speak on the subject in the past so it is a pleasure to offer this post here.


Reformation Bible College

Reformation Bible College

The Christian life is one of conflict against the world, the flesh, and the devil. And that fact serves as a palpable reminder that we cannot trek through it without the One who has already overcome the world.

Watch The Pilgrim’s Progress, a special online streaming message from Dr. Derek Thomas. In this message, Dr. Thomas will speak on the life of John Bunyan and his classic book The Pilgrim’s Progress. Tune in to gain a closer look at Bunyan’s life, discovering how his writings may equip you not just for now, or for next week, or for next year, but for the entire journey that lies ahead of us as Christians.

This message is part of the Rare Book Room Series, a series of academic lectures from distinguished speakers. Each lecture highlights a featured book from the Rare Book Room on the Reformation Bible College campus.

**NOTE LECTURE STARTS AT THE 9:43 MARK

The mariner’s chart as he sails the sea of life!

How To Correct Charts Using ANM
https://images.app.goo.gl/HyXd5kW3U8PpRVgx6

The mariner’s chart as he sails the sea of life!

Grace Gems, (Arthur Pink)

The Bible is a book which calls not so much for the exertion of our intellect — as it does for the exercise of our affections, conscience and will. God has given His Word to us not for our entertainment, but for our education — to make known what He requires from us. It is to be . . .
  the traveler's guide as he journeys through the maze of this world, and the mariner's chart as he sails the sea of life...

Source: https://www.gracegems.org/2014/10/chart.html

Devotional Thougt for Today – 02/23/2021

Divisive: used to describe something that causes great and sometimes unfriendly disagreement within a group of people:

22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.  Proverbs 14:22

PROVERBS 14

When one reads Proverbs 14, we quickly realize it is a series of contrasts with an overarching theme of wisdom vs. foolishness.  There are many sub-topics or other contrasting points but the (in my opinion) all relate to being wise or foolish.

Our text for today must be taken in CONTEXT! Like most verses of Proverbs our text could stand on its own, but here, read along with v.21 and 23 we get a better picture of god’s revealed Word. 

‘He who despises his neighbor sins…But [blessed] is he who is gracious and merciful to the poor.’

Do they not go astray who devise {against their neighbors}evil and wander from the way of righteousness? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good.

In all labor {divising good} there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty.

So God’s revealed Word is pretty clear.  The proverb makes a few key points: 

      • Dispising your neighbor even in your heart is a sin
      • Those that cheerfully help others are happy and blessed
      • Those that seek division, to disrupt the kingdom and the church labor in vain
      • Any deviation from God’s precepts is Sin and leads to evil
      • Not being divisive does not mean compromising the Word of God EVER
      • Those that seek to do righteous acts will profit
      • God expects His elect to be active in the World

TODAY’S PRAYER:

Father God, I know my nature is corrupt from the womb but by your Grace and the sacrifice of my Lord and Savior at Calvary I am a new creature. Yet as the apostle Paul said, still prone to do what I know is wrong. Help me Lord, to never be divisive,  to be gracious and merciful, to always use kindness and truth, and to labor faithfully and steadfast for your kingdom and glory. – Amen 

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/06/2021

Image result for "In the Beginning God"

Genesis 1

As many of you know we just returned from Puerto Rico having to handle the passing unto glory of my mother-in-law. Her death got me thinking about the other end of the spectrum, especially yesterday while traveling back and hearing the conversation between two young folks talking about evolution

For a True Christian, there can be no walking the line on this issue. God is either whom He declares Himself to be in His Holy Word; Psalm 33:6, Isaiah 42:5, John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 11:3, Revelation 4:11, or a BOLDFACE LIAR and not worthy of worship. Those that would incorporate the theory of evolution ideals into their beliefs are either ignorant (lack knowledge) or refuse the truth. 

God’s Word is truth, Evolution is a theory and up until the early 20th century a theory was considered nothing more than simple speculation.  Modernists have worked hard to change the definition to have more substance but the truth is the meat of the matter is still nothing more than speculation. 

Whose WORDS are you trusting in today?


RESOURCES FOR FIGHTING EVELUTIONISTS THEORY

Here is the link to the text for the above READ HERE

15 Questions for Evolutionists, The Naturalistic Origin of Life and Its Diversity  Audio MP3 File

 

We Can Have Confidence

We Can Have Confidence

New Post by Stephen Nichols

Throughout biblical history and throughout church history, God’s people have faced difficult circumstances—giants of enemies. Some have faced literal armies. Today, we get discouraged by all that we see around us. It is easy to despair as evil seems to prosper, and it is easy to become overwhelmed. But, we can learn from those who have gone before us to have a proper perspective.

“Isaiah, Augustine, and many others teach us not to cower in the face of our circumstances, but to stand tall in confidence in God.”

We can have confidence today because we know that God is surpassingly great and glorious, mighty, eternal, infinite, resplendent in transcendent majesty. We know that God’s Word will not return void. We know that God’s church will not be thwarted. We know that God’s kingdom—and it alone—will have no end. How can we not have confidence?

For a limited time, you can also download the free ebook edition of A Time for Confidence by Stephen Nichols to remember that though the world may shake around us, God’s kingdom is unshakable.

Sunday Sermon Series – Revival of Holiness

Northwest Baptist Church: Oklahoma City, OK > Pastors' Roundtable

Ezra 9-10


CONTEXT

Ezra being informed, by some of the princes who complained unto him, of the marriages of many of the Israelites with the people of the land, the Canaanites and others, was greatly grieved and distressed, Ezra 9:1-5, upon which he made a confession of their sins to God, with great shame, sorrow, and contrition, and deprecated the evils which they deserved, Ezra 9:6-15.

Upon Ezra’s prayer and confession, it was proposed by Shechaniah, that those who had married strange wives should put them away with their children, which they swore to do, Ezra 10:1-5, and proclamation was made throughout the land for all to meet at Jerusalem in three days’ time, and accordingly they did, Ezra 10:6-9 when, at the exhortation of Ezra, all agreed to it, and persons were appointed to see it done, and the work was finished in the space of three months, Ezra 10:10-17 and a list of the names of those is given who had married such wives, and now put them away; of the priests, Ezra 10:18-22, of the Levites, Ezra 10:23,24, of the other Israelites, Ezra 10:24-44.  – John Gill’s Commentary


SERMON

A Revival of Holiness – Ezra 9 &10

Other Resources

If you enjoy Pastor Sills sermon, here is a link to the rest of his series on Ezra. https://christchurchfareham.co.uk/our-sermons/sermon-series-ezra-spiritual-restoration-in-jerusalem-and-fareham/

 

Geoff Thomas Sermon on Ezra 9 man of Prayer

 

Forty Scripture Directions

First I have to admit I “borrowed” this from my friend Steve Rubus who had posted them daily. So please check out his site, “The Whole Armor of God” for some really good stuff. 

Second I am posting this because although written in the 18th century the wisdom of the list is timeless.


 

God s Word Logo

Forty Scripture Directions

John Willison, 1680-1750

1. Never let the world come into God’s place. (1 John 2:15)

2. Keep up the same opinion now of things of the world, that you will have when you come to die. (Matthew 16:26)

3. Be not strangers to yourselves, but often commune with your own hearts. (Psalm 4:4)

4. Begin early in the service of God, and give Him the days of your youth. (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

5. Shun the company that shuns God, and keep the company that God keeps. (Psalm 119:63)

READ MORE

Sunday’s Sermon Series – Belief or Rejection

Why I Trust the Bible

1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Why is it some folks (especially our loved ones) we know hear the Word of God and it has no effect? Paul points this out in his First letter to the church at Thessalonica 2:13, acknowledging they heard the Word and accepted it not as ordinary human but as divine. 

Here in 1st Corinthians Paul begins the dichotomy or contrast between Belief or Rejection with our text. In order to not take away from the sermon I will try and just introduce some themes for context:

CHAPTER 1

v.18 –  How the elect and the reject see the Cross at Calvary

v.19-21 – Wisdom Godly vs. Worldly

v.22-25 – No matter how foolish God’s wisdom seems, it is far wiser than man’s 

v.26-29 – God’s elect are among the most foolish and He chose us (never about us always about God)

v.30-31 – True wisdom is only found in God and only available to the believing 

CHAPTER 2

v.1-4 –Paul relies on God for wisdom in speaking (preaching) 

v.5 – Why rely on God vs. man’s wisdom 

v.6-9 – God’s wisdom is Hidden from many

v.10-13 – God’s wisdom comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit

v.14-16 – Spiritual (Believing) Man vs. Worldly (Rejection) Man  

I hope this helps in seeing the B I G picture. That is the overarching theme that man will always either act upon (Believe In) the Holy Spirit’s prompting in God’s Word or deem it foolishness (Reject it) and continue to live Worldly lives.  


SERMON:

Why We Believe While Others Reject

by John MacArthur, Sep 10, 2006 – Linked to Video, Audio and Text

 


OTHER RESOURCES:

Why should I trust the Bible? GotQuestions.Org

Is the Bible true?

Is the Bible accurate?

You Can Trust the Bible by John MacArthur

Why Trust the Bible? – by Greg Gilbert

One of the Most Overlooked Reasons Why We Should Trust the Bible  Web Page by Michael J Kruger

God-Breathed: The Undeniable Power and Reliability of Scripture, by Josh McDowell

 

Foolish Preaching

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Porque la palabra de la cruz es locura a los que se pierden; pero a los que se salvan, esto es, a nosotros, es poder de Dios. (RVR 1960)


CONTEXT:

Again depending upon which modern translation or version of the bible you use it may have headings that separate sections with themes. The CSB and ESV for example divide Chapter 1 as follows:

v.1-3 –    Greeting

v.4-9 –    Thanksgiving

v.10-17 – Divisions at Corinth

v.18-25 – Christ the Power and Wisdom of God (ESV goes v.18-31)

v.26-31 – Boasting only in the Lord (CSB only)

In v.10-16 Paul speaks about the infighting among the immature church at Corinth. Urging them to unify in the name of Christ and not Apollos, Cephas or himself. 

The defining statement of this section (v.10-17) can be found in the last verse 17:

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

In setting up verse 18, Paul makes 4 points here in verse 17 that can not be ignored:

1. God did not send him to baptize: Some pastors/churches feel the more folks they baptize the more bodies the add to the roles the more they are doing their job. They place a priority on this over all else. But does this agree with the bible? While the Great Commission  does call for Baptism of Truly converted believers, there is a process many skip over before that.  

2. God did send him to preach: In this specific case Paul is arguing from Ephesians 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; No where does it say and some He gave baptizers :).  Paul understood his duty was to preach and teach the undefiled Gospel Message. The Holy Word of God without error or reservation.

About 2 months before COVID-19 broke, spoke with a Pastor who related how they had about a dozen folks come forward on an alter call this past Sunday and they planned on having a BIG baptismal  ceremony the following Sunday. I remember thinking, seriously what happened to the command to “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” you are telling me they got that all figured out already? I have been a diligently studying the bible daily for well over 20 years and do not nearly have it. 

3. His preaching was not of his own wisdom: Paul was not to EVER preach in his own wisdom. I can’t recall the number of times I have heard something like ‘I do not need to study, or I do not need any training I will let the Holy Spirit guide me.’  HOGWASH, Paul who wrote most 2/3 of the New Testament, was an Old Testament scholar prior to becoming a Christian and then went and studied for three more years 34 A.D. Travels to Arabia and remains there (Gal 1:17) to 37 A.D. Returns to Damascus then exits the city for safety (Gal 1:17; Acts 9:20-25; 2 Cor 11:32-33)  Goes up to Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-29; Gal 1:18). 

4. So that the Cross of Christ would be glorified: While Paul certainly had to “take up His cross daily” Luke 9:23his preaching was NEVER about himself, it was always Christ centered and Christ glorifying. 


BREAKDOWN: 

For the preaching of the cross: Again it is Christ’s Cross that must be preach, boldly and without error. Note from v.17 above that God does not demand fancy “wisdom words” the AMP version uses “clever and eloquent speech” what is important is that a CLEAR, and FULL doctrine of Salvation The Complete Gospel Message is preached and taught

is to them that perish foolishness; it is to be taught knowing that some will reject it. In fact the Greek word here used for fool has its root where we get our English word MORON. Someone who is completely mindless and incapable of making a right decision. To them those who preach and teach the “True authentic” Gospel look like idiots.  

One of the biggest oppositions to covenant theology heard is that God has ordain who will be saved so why bother evangelizing and preach at all? Because the bible makes it clear man, apart from Christ is a fool and no man even in Christ and distinguish whom God will effectually call to His kingdom with His amazing Grace. 

but unto us which are saved it is the power of God: To those being saved the Cross is truly powerful for it changes ones life forever 2 Corinthians 5:17

To those of us who are saved, the preaching [and teaching] of the Gospel, has a similar effect. We are driven by Paul’s words in Romans 10 

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

To us the Good News of Christ’s Blood Atonement at Calvary, His life, death, resurrection is power. Again we are like Paul from Romans 1:15-16 AMP So, for my part, I am ready and eager to preach the gospel… 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.


APPLICATION:

Not matter what others think of us we like Paul should never be ashamed of the Good News of Christ. We should take every opportunity to share the Gospel message, but also like Paul being able to do so not in our own wisdom but through careful and diligent study 2 Timothy 2:15 AMP  Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.

 

 

The Inflexibility of Inerrancy

Many call themselves “Christians” but they pick and choose what they believe to be true in the bible. I call it Burger King theology and them heretics. Why would anyone bother bowing down and worshiping a half righteous, half true god? – Mike

Evangelical Syncretism: The Inflexibility of Inerrancy

by Cameron Buettel / Friday, November 15, 2019
The following blog post was originally published on March 2, 2015. —ed.

In October 1978, 334 evangelical leaders gathered in the city of Chicago to formulate what is now known as the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. One of the younger attendees at that gathering was John MacArthur, who was just shy of a decade into his pastorate at Grace Community Church.

Those who formulated and signed the Chicago Statement did so in response to the large-scale assaults on biblical authority by theological liberals. Many of the signatories have since gone to heaven, but the statement lives on as their legacy. To this day, it continues to set the benchmark for what it means to hold to biblical inerrancy—Holy Scripture is God’s written, errorless witness to Himself.

Stealthy Syncretism

The great peril that the Chicago signers saw in 1978 was from an easily identifiable enemy—theological liberalism. The battle lines were drawn with two clear positions to choose from: evangelicals who submitted to the authority of Scripture or liberals who rejected it. But in more recent times, the battle has shifted increasingly away from conventional warfare to stealth attacks from soldiers wearing the same uniform.

Conservative evangelicals still love to open their doctrinal statements by professing their allegiance to biblical inerrancy. But as this series has demonstrated, making Scripture subservient to the demands of scientific theories, feminism, psychology, and other cultural pressures makes the truth of God’s Word subjective and robs inerrancy of significant meaning.

Moreover, the propensity of so many evangelicals toward ecumenical compromise, and their reluctance to preach man’s depravity, reveals an abject failure on their part to take the Bible seriously. What exactly does their professed allegiance to Scripture mean when they are so willing to either alter or ignore it?

In Defense of Inerrancy

Those who formulated the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy knew enough of church history to envision future attacks. They recognized the need to protect the doctrine by making it explicitly clear how they defined it. Two articles in particular reveal their foresight:

Article XII

We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.

We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.

Article XVIII

We affirm that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatico-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture.

We deny the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims to authorship.

Those affirmations and denials erect a protective perimeter around the doctrine of inerrancy. The examples of evangelical syncretism we have highlighted these last two weeks are obvious breaches of those guidelines, compromising the truth of Scripture and capitulating to worldly wisdom.

Statements Don’t Invent Doctrine, They Declare It

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy is not inerrant. Its intent was to point people toward God’s inerrant Word by helping define and shape the way we understand it.

Nor was inerrancy the invention of those 334 men who assembled in 1978. They codified the standard belief held throughout church history in response to heretics who denied it. Athanasius defeated Arius, Augustine defeated Pelagius, Luther defeated the Catholic Church, and Christ defeated the temptations of Satan in the wilderness—all of those victories were won by wielding the sword of the Spirit, as godly men relied on the plain and perfect teaching of God’s inerrant Word.

Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (Complete with Background and resources)