Sunday’s Sermon Series – CORRUPT TEACHERS

With the false teachings and widespread corruption being spewed from many pulpitis and elected government officials I thought this an appropriate sermon for today. 


Study of 1 Timothy, Chapter 1 False Teachers

2 PETER 2:17-22 (AMP and RVR 1960)

 


SERMON:

Empty Words & False Liberty

A sermon from Dr. R.C. Sproul


 

APPLICATION:

The following (Bold Print) is taken from Tim Challies’ “The Five Tests of False Doctrine”  which I used to make application for lawmakers, judges, etc. 

  1. Sound doctrine originates with God; false doctrine originates with someone or something created by God. –  Sound Laws and Policy always originates in the Constitution; not someone attempting to change it.
  2. Sound doctrine grounds its authority within the Bible; false doctrine grounds its authority outside the BibleSound laws and policy rest solely in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. 
  3. Sound doctrine is consistent with the whole of Scripture; false doctrine is inconsistent with some parts of ScriptureSound laws and policy are Consistent with the original intent of the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution. 
  4. Sound doctrine is beneficial for spiritual health; false doctrine leads to spiritual weaknessSound laws and policy strengthen the original intent of the Constitution they NEVER weaken it.
  5. Sound doctrine has value for godly living, false doctrine leads to ungodly livingSound laws and policy have great value only if they have moral and ethical standards consistent with the original intent of the Constitution.

OTHER RESOURCES:

How do Politicians become Corrupt? “Love of power & the love of money” -Franklin; American Minute with Bill Federer

3 WAYS WE CORRUPT THE IDEA OF FREEDOM; Michael W Kelley

Beware the villains – 2 Peter 2; Hugh Palmer

 

Faith comes from hearing…

… and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

TRUSTWORTHY TEACHING IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND

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Renewing Your Mind

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Renewing Your Mind Minute

Renewing Your Mind Minute is a podcast that airs one-minute segments from R.C. Sproul’s most popular teaching on Reformed theology and other topics three days a week. Listen on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyRefNet, or RSS.

 

 


5 Minutes in Church History

5 Minutes in Church History is a weekly podcast that provides an informal and informative look at church history. Travel back in time with host Stephen Nichols as we look at the people, events, and places that have shaped the story of Christianity. Listen on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyAmazon Alexa, or RSS.

 


Simply Put Podcast

Simply Put is a weekly podcast that helps you build your Christian vocabulary. Each week, Barry Cooper explains a different theological term in clear, concise language and shares stories and illustrations that apply it to your life. Listen on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayRefNetTuneInStitcher, or RSS.

 

 

Book of Life

R.C. Sproul Quote: “When God writes our names in the 'Lamb's Book ...

What the late Dr. R.C. Sproul was referring to is sometimes argued over in Evangelical circles. That is can a redeemed person lose their eternal salvation. I am going to leave that discussion for another day (suffice it to say no) and move on to the topic at hand “The Book of Life” or “Lambs Book of Life.”

There are a number of verses found in the bible regarding this topic here is the list found in the AMPLIFIED BIBLE , the one that I have decided to concentrate on isMalachi – Calvary Baptist Church

Malachi 3:16-18 

Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name. 17 “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” (NLT) 

Entonces los que temían a Jehová hablaron cada uno a su compañero; y Jehová escuchó y oyó, y fue escrito libro de memoria delante de él para los que temen a Jehová, y para los que piensan en su nombre. 17 Y serán para mí especial tesoro, ha dicho Jehová de los ejércitos, en el día en que yo actúe; y los perdonaré, como el hombre que perdona a su hijo que le sirve. 18 Entonces os volveréis, y discerniréis la diferencia entre el justo y el malo, entre el que sirve a Dios y el que no le sirve. (RVR 1960) 


CONTEXT: 

Malachi means “My Messenger” in Hebrew in chapter three v.1-6 he delivers the message the nation of Israel has been asking for. That is God will send the promised Messiah and He will be foretold by a messenger. 

In v.7-12 Malachi delivers his final message to the nation of Israel from God, admonishing them for their disobedience and transgressions.   

Verses 13-18 contain two parts one is the very clear distinction between the Righteous and the Wicked. The Second contained in v.16-18 declares God’s promise of Mercy for His chosen people. 

Let us break it down:

v.16

those who feared the Lord spoke with each other – keep in mind that God had just reprimanded them and now they have repented, saw the error of their ways. What do they do the conversed among themselves to encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, (1 Thess 5:11)

and the Lord listened to what they said – Wow, what an amazing phrase, what a promise, God listens to those who fear (revere) Him. 

a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name – There is a two part theological implication here, one to be written in the Book of Life (remembrance) one must first fear or highly revere God and secondly we must do it for life. This is not a once and done deal from our side of the street.  You can not decide today I will Love and fear God but tomorrow I won’t and have any expectation f eternal life. 

v.17

They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – I love this, God is the Commander in Chief of the greatest Army EVER and for those who repent, fear and honor His name for life He will call you His people. Hallelujah!

“On the day when I act in judgment, – Watch out judgement, what judgement I thought when I said that little old prayer I was good to go. Think again, 2 Corinthians 5:10 (AMP) says: For we [believers will be called to account and] must all appear before the [a]judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or [b]bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives—the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities]. 

they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. – The Good News is God promises no eternal damnation to those whom He has called His own. That does not excuse God’s children from redeeming their time on earth wisely.

v.18

Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” – I am not sure there is a better concise commentary on this verse than that of Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary Then shall ye … discern—Then shall ye see the falseness of your calumny against God’s government (Mal 3:15), that the “proud” and wicked prosper. Do not judge before the time till My work is complete. It is in part to test your disposition to trust in God in spite of perplexing appearances, and in order to make your service less mercenary, that the present blended state is allowed; but at last all (“ye,” both godly and ungodly) shall see the eternal difference there really is “between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not” (Ps 58:11).

CONCLUSION: 

As 2 Cor 5:10 points out we will be judged by our works and one of the best works I can think of is to offer prayers of praise by every true believer for being in the Book of Life. Another is to offer prayers of supplication for all our unsaved family, friends, co-workers to join them. God has promised Eternal Life to those that Fear and Honor His name forever; He also promises eternal damnation for those who reject His offer of Grace and Mercy. I pray you are counted among them in the Book. 

 

What Did Jesus Do?

What Did Jesus Do?: Understanding the Work of Christ

WHA31_WhatDidJesusDo_620x348.jpg

A Teaching Series by Dr. R.C. Sproul

During this season, Christians around the world focus their attention on Jesus’ atoning sacrifice and His victory over the grave. While most believers understand the importance of Christ’s death and resurrection for their salvation, fewer Christians comprehend the significance of what Jesus did before and after He went to the cross.

In his teaching series What Did Jesus Do?: Understanding the Work of Christ, R.C. Sproul explains that Jesus not only had to die for the sin of His people, but He also needed to live “to fulfill all righteousness” on their behalf (Matt. 3:15). This Holy Week, learn more about the redemptive significance of Christ’s baptism, His temptation, His transfiguration, and much more.

This teaching series, (12 Lessons) along with hundreds of others, are currently free to stream in the Ligonier app and on our Website. The digital study guide accompanying this teaching series is also available for free. As many are remaining at home during the COVID-19 health crisis, redeem the time for yourself and your family with trusted, biblical teaching and share what you’re learning with others.

What Was God’s Purpose in the Cross?

  Apr 01, 2020

What Was God’s Purpose in the Cross?

The doctrine of limited atonement (also known as “definite atonement” or “particular redemption”) says that the atonement of Christ was limited (in its scope and aim) to the elect; Jesus did not atone for the sins of everybody in the world. In my denomination, we examine young men going into the ministry, and invariably somebody will ask a student, “Do you believe in limited atonement?” The student will respond by saying, “Yes, I believe that the atonement of Christ is sufficient for all and efficient for some,” meaning the value of Christ’s death on the cross was great enough to cover all of the sins of every person that ever lived, but that it applies only to those who put their faith in Christ. However, that statement doesn’t get at the real heart of the controversy, which has to do with God’s purpose in the cross.

There are basically two ways in which to understand God’s eternal plan. One understanding is that, from all eternity, God had a desire to save as many people as possible out of the fallen human race, so He conceived a plan of redemption by which He would send His Son into the world as the sin-bearer for fallen people. Jesus would go to the cross and die for all who would at some point put their trust in him. So the plan was provisional—God provided atonement for all who take advantage of it, for all who believe. The idea is that Jesus died potentially for everybody, but that it is theoretically possible that the whole thing was in vain because every last person in the world might reject the work of Jesus and choose to remain dead in their trespasses and sins. Thus, God’s plan could be frustrated because nobody might take advantage of it. This is the prevailing view in the church today—that Jesus died for everybody provisionally. In the final analysis, whether salvation happens depends on each individual person.

The Reformed view understands God’s plan differently. It says that God, from all eternity, devised a plan that was not provisional. It was a plan “A” with no plan “B” to follow if it didn’t work. Under this plan, God decreed that He would save a certain number of people out of fallen humanity, people whom the Bible calls the elect. In order for that plan of election to work out in history, He sent His Son into the world with the specific aim and design to accomplish redemption for the elect. This was accomplished perfectly, without a drop of the blood of Christ being wasted. Everyone whom the Father chose for salvation will be saved through the atonement.

The implication of the non-Reformed view is that God doesn’t know in advance who is going to be saved. For this reason, there are theologians today saying, “God saves as many people as He possibly can.” How many people can God save? How many people does He have the power to save? If He is really God, He has the power to save all of them. How many people does He have the authority to save? Cannot God intervene in anyone’s life, just as He did in Moses’ life, Abraham’s life, or the apostle Paul’s life, to bring them into a saving relationship with Him? He certainly has the right to do that.

We cannot deny that the Bible speaks about Jesus dying for “the world.” John 3:16 is the premier example of a verse that uses this language. But there is a counterbalancing perspective in the New Testament, including John’s Gospel, that tells us Jesus laid down His life not for everyone but for His sheep. Here in John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks about His sheep as those whom the Father has given Him.

In John 6, we see that Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (v. 44a), and the word translated as “draws” properly means “compels.” Jesus also said in that chapter, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me” (v. 37a). His point was that everyone whom the Father designed to come to His Son would come, and no one else. Thus, your salvation, from start to finish, rests on the sovereign decree of God, who decided, in His grace, to have mercy on you, not because of anything He saw in you that demanded it, but for the love of the Son. The only reason I can give under heaven why I’m a Christian is because I’m a gift of the Father to the Son, not because of anything I’ve ever done or could do.

This excerpt is taken from R.C. Sproul’s commentary on John.

Saturday’s Military Devotional – God’s Love

CONTEXT:

Being part of the military REQUIRES us to to be part of something bigger than ourselves, it means having a battle buddy, being part of team, an organization, in short being in some sense; loved.

For this weeks devotional I want to try something a little different. Below is an article written a number of years ago on GOD’ LOVE.  Read it over and answer the questions as usual. May it greatly bless you and glorify God.

Is God’s Love Unconditional?

FROM  Sep 26, 2012

It has become fashionable in evangelical circles to speak somewhat glibly of the unconditional love of God. It is certainly a pleasing message for people to hear and conforms to a certain kind of political correctness. In our desire to communicate to people the sweetness of the gospel, the readiness of God to cover our sins with forgiveness, and the incredible depth of His love displayed on the cross, we indulge in a hyperbolic expression of the scope and extent of His love.

Where in Scripture do we find this notion of the unconditional love of God? If God’s love is absolutely unconditional, why do we tell people that they have to repent and have faith in order to be saved? God sets forth clear conditions for a person to be saved. It may be true that in some sense God loves even those who fail to meet the conditions of salvation, but that subtlety is often missed by the hearer when the preacher declares the unconditional love of God. People hear that God will continue to love them and accept them, no matter what they do or how they live. We might as well declare an unabashed universalism as to declare the unconditional love of God without a clear and careful qualification of what that means.

An interesting contrast can be seen by comparing the preaching of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century evangelists with modern evangelists. The stress in earlier centuries was on the wrath of God directed toward impenitent sinners. Indeed, Jonathan Edwards’s preaching has been described as evangelistic preaching that employed a “scare theology.” That approach has given way to a more positive emphasis on God’s love. Of course, Edwards also declared the love of God, but not without reminding sinners that as long as they remained impenitent, they were exposed to the wrath of God and were in fact heaping up wrath against the day of wrath (Rom. 2:5).

Edwards warned his people that they were more repugnant to God in their sin than rebellious subjects were to their princes. This was part and parcel of proclaiming the gospel of reconciliation. There can be no talk of reconciliation without first establishing that there is some prior alienation or estrangement. Parties who are not estranged do not need reconciliation. The biblical concept of reconciliation presupposes a condition of estrangement between God and man.

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THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF RECONCILIATION PRESUPPOSES A CONDITION OF ESTRANGEMENT BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. —R.C. SPROUL

Much is said of man’s hostility toward God. The Bible says we are God’s enemies by nature. This enmity is expressed in our sinful rebellion against Him. The common contemporary view of this is that we are estranged from God, but He is not estranged from us. The enmity is all one sided. The picture we get is that God goes on loving us with an unconditional love while we remain hateful toward Him.

The cross belies this picture. Yes, the cross occurred because God loves us. His love stands behind His plan of salvation. However, Christ was not sacrificed on the cross to placate us or to serve as a propitiation to us. His sacrifice was not designed to satisfy our unjust enmity toward God but to satisfy God’s just wrath toward us. The Father was the object of the Son’s act of propitiation. The effect of the cross was to remove the divine estrangement from us, not our estrangement from Him. If we deny God’s estrangement from us, the cross is reduced to a pathetic and anemic moral influence with no substitutionary satisfaction of God.

In Christ, the obstacle of estrangement is overcome, and we are reconciled to God. But that reconciliation extends only to believers. Those who reject Christ remain at enmity with God, estranged from God, and objects both of His wrath and of His abhorrence. Whatever kind of love God has for the impenitent, it does not exclude His just hatred and abhorrence of them, which stands in stark contrast to His redeeming love.


Excerpt from God’s Love by R.C. Sproul. Available now from the Ligonier Store.

Today’s Questions

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on God’s love?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I apply it to me today?


RELATED:

Is It Biblical to Say “God Loves the Sinner, but Hates the Sin?”

God’s Love and God’s Hatred

No Separation from God’s Love

 

Pro-Choice: What Does It Mean?

© 2019 Ligonier Ministries
Ligonier Ministries

Pro-Choice: What Does It Mean?

  Jan 22, 2020

What is the substance of the pro-choice position? If a woman says that she personally would not have an abortion but does not want to deny someone else’s right to do it, on what grounds would this woman hesitate to get an abortion? Perhaps she simply wants to have as many babies as possible and doesn’t anticipate ever facing an unwanted pregnancy. Maybe this person thinks a fetus is a living human being or is not sure about the fetus’ status. Perhaps she believes that the fetus is a living human being but does not want to impose this view on others. Here we reach the crux of the pro-choice position. Is the right to choose an absolute right? Do we have the moral right to choose what is morally wrong? To ask such a question is to answer it.

Again, every law enacted limits or restricts someone’s choices. That is the very nature of law. If we do not wish to restrict other people’s choices through legislation, we must stop legislating and cease voting. I think that most people will grant that freedom of choice is not an absolute freedom. No human being is an absolute law unto himself. Unless we are prepared to buy into an ethical system of pure relativism by which law and society become impossible, we must flee as the wind from the proposition that the individual is autonomous. To move from the abstract into the concrete, I wonder whether pro-choice activists object to laws protecting their personal property rights? Does the thief breaking into a home to steal someone’s television have the inalienable right to make that choice? Does a man have the right to choose to rape a woman? These extreme examples make it obvious that freedom of choice cannot be considered an absolute right.

At what line must freedom of choice end? I believe it ends where my freedom of choice steps on another person’s inalienable rights of life and liberty. No unborn baby has ever had the right to choose or deny its own destruction. Indeed, as others have said, the most dangerous place in the United States for a human being is inside the womb of a woman. For millions of unborn babies, the womb has become a cell on death row. The inmate is summarily executed without benefit of a trial or a word of defense. This execution literally involves being torn limb from limb. Is this description too graphic? Is it too emotionally provocative? No. It would be only if the description were untrue.

The right to choose, as sacred as it may be, does not carry with it the arbitrary right to destroy a human life. This is as much a miscarriage of justice as it is a miscarriage of a human baby.

What is it about the freedom to choose that makes it so precious? What provoked Patrick Henry to cry, “Give me liberty or give me death”? Certainly we desire some self-determination, and the idea of living under external coercion is abhorrent. We are thinking creatures, and we value our freedom to make choices. Most of us would hate being imprisoned, but even in a maximum-security penitentiary, a person’s right to choose is not totally stripped away.

It is this principle of self-determination—having a say in my own condition and future—that is brutally denied to every unborn, aborted child. I had no say in my mother’s decision whether to have an abortion or to carry me to term. My entire life was in her hands. Had she chosen abortion, my life would have been snuffed out before I was born. You and I are real human beings. We were once helpless to exercise our own precious right to choose. We were once totally dependent on somebody else’s choice for our very existence.

A second crucial dimension of the right to choose is the question of when to make the moral choice concerning the baby’s life. (Because this involves sexual morality, it is a very unpopular subject in the discussion.) The time to choose whether or not to have a baby is not after the baby has been conceived and begun its development. Except in cases of rape, sexual intercourse with or without means of contraception is still a matter of choice. Choices we make, whether of a sexual or nonsexual nature, always have consequences. It is an axiom of ethics and of law that we are responsible for the consequences of our choices.

When we have sexual intercourse, we may not intend or desire to produce another human life. We are aware, however, that intercourse begins the reproduction process and can produce such offspring. To kill the offspring is hardly a responsible or moral method of handling this decision.

Excerpt adapted from Abortion by R.C. Sproul. You can download the ebook edition for free. We encourage you to share this offer with your family, friends, and church community.

 

What Is the Unpardonable Sin?

FROM  Jul 09, 2018

What Is the Unpardonable Sin?

Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” (Mark 3:28–29).

I cannot tell you how many times in my teaching career very distraught Christians have come to me to ask about the unpardonable sin and whether they might have committed it. I suspect most believers have asked themselves whether they have done something unforgivable. It is not surprising that many people struggle with this issue because the precise nature of “the unpardonable sin” is difficult to discern and many theories about it have been set forth through church history. For instance, some people have argued that the unpardonable sin is murder and others have said that it is adultery, because they see the serious consequences that those sins wreak on the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage. But I can speak with full assurance that neither of those sins is unpardonable. There are two reasons for my assurance. First, Scripture shows us examples of people who committed these sins and were forgiven. Exhibit A is David, who was guilty of both adultery and murder, and yet, after his confession and repentance, he was restored fully to his state of grace. Second, and more important, when Jesus taught on the unpardonable sin, He said nothing about murder or adultery.

Amen

What, then, did Jesus say? He began in a radical way by saying, “Assuredly, I say to you.” Sometimes evangelical Christians who want to express agreement with something they have heard from a preacher or a teacher will say “Amen.” The word amen is transliterated from the Hebrew amein, which means “truth” or “it is true,” so those saying “Amen” are agreeing with what they have heard. But instead of giving His teaching and waiting for His hearers to say “Amen,” Jesus Himself said “Amen” before He gave His teaching. The word translated as “assuredly” here is the Greek equivalent of the word amein. In other words, Jesus announced that He was about to say something true. This was a way of saying, “Now hear this.” He was giving great emphasis to the teaching He was about to utter.

What is Blasphemy?

Jesus then stated that “all sins” can be forgiven, including “whatever blasphemies”—except for the specific blasphemy of the Spirit. Luke’s account of this teaching is even more specific: “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven” (Luke 12:10).

At this point, we need to define blasphemy, and this verse from Luke gives us a clue as to what it is. The two phrases “who speaks a word against” and “who blasphemes” are parallel. Blasphemy, then, involves speaking a word against God. It is a verbal sin, one that is committed with the mouth or the pen. It is desecration of the holy character of God. It can involve insulting Him, mocking Him, or dishonoring Him. In a sense, it is the opposite of praise. Even casually using the name of God by saying, “Oh, my God,” as so many do, constitutes blasphemy. We can be very thankful that the unpardonable sin is not just any kind of blasphemy, because if it were, none of us would have any hope of escaping damnation. All of us have, at many times and in many ways, routinely blasphemed the name of God.

Blasphemy Against the Son of Man

Jesus’ statement that “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him” seems shocking in light of the abuse and mistreatment He later went through, culminating in His execution on a Roman cross. But we must remember how, as He hung on the cross, Jesus looked at those who had delivered Him to the Romans and mocked Him as He was dying, and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). Even though these men opposed Christ to the point of executing Him, there was still hope of forgiveness for them. Likewise, in the book of Acts, Peter told the people of Jerusalem that they had delivered Jesus to the Romans and denied Him, but he added, “I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers” (Acts 3:17), and he called on them to repent. So, on at least two occasions, the New Testament makes it clear that forgiveness was possible for those who despised Christ so much that they killed Him. These accounts verify Jesus’ assertion that any sin against the Son of Man could be forgiven.

Blasphemy Against the Spirit

But what of blasphemy against the Spirit? To understand this difficult saying, we need to see that it came in the context of Jesus’ opponents charging Him with doing His work by the power of the Devil rather than by the power of the Holy Spirit. However, they were not slandering the Spirit—not quite. Their statements were directed against Jesus. So, He said to them: “You can blaspheme Me and be forgiven, but when you question the work of the Spirit, you are coming perilously close to the unforgivable sin. You are right at the line. You are looking down into the abyss of hell. One more step and there will be no hope for you.” He was warning them to be very careful not to insult or mock the Spirit.

Christians and The Unpardonable Sin

Humanly speaking, everyone who is a Christian is capable of committing the unforgivable sin. However, I believe that the Lord of glory who has saved us and sealed us in the Holy Spirit will never let us commit that sin. I do not believe that any Christians in the history of the church have blasphemed the Spirit.

As for those who are not sure they are saved and are worried they may have committed the unpardonable sin, I would say that worrying about it is one of the clearest evidences that they have not committed this sin, for those who commit it are so hardened in their hearts they do not care that they commit it. Thanks be to God that the sin that is unpardonable is not a sin He allows His people to commit.

This excerpt is adapted from Mark St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series by R.C. Sproul.

The Greatest Issue We Face

FROM  Oct 30, 2019

The doctrine of justification is the most controversial issue in the history of Christendom. It was the material cause of the Protestant Reformation, the issue that led to the most serious fragmentation of the Christian church in its history. The debates it raised in the sixteenth century were not over minor details of theology. Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformers understood that what was at stake in the controversy was nothing less than the gospel itself. When, at the Council of Trent in the middle of the sixteenth century, the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church condemned the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone and placed their anathema upon it, it was not their intention to place an anathema on the gospel. But if the Reformers were right, then that is exactly what they did, and they thereby anathematized themselves.

Luther declared in the sixteenth century that the doctrine of justification by faith alone is the article upon which the church stands or falls. Calvin used a different metaphor; he said it is the hinge upon which everything turns. At one point, when Luther was engaged in debate with Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, Erasmus turned on Luther and attacked his position. Luther thanked Erasmus for not attacking him on trivial matters and expressed his appreciation that the debate in which they were engaged touched the very heart of the church itself. If Luther’s assessment is true, and justification is the article upon which the church stands or falls, then it follows that justification is the article upon which we stand or fall as individuals. Justification has to do with the justice and righteousness of God. God is just. Biblically, justice is always defined in connection with righteousness. To say that one is just is at the same time to say that one is righteous.

God is the absolute standard of all righteousness. As our Creator, He is also the supreme, sovereign judge of heaven and earth. The Bible clearly indicates that the One who is the judge of all is Himself perfectly just and righteous.

In one sense, that is very good news for us. To live in a world governed by an unjust being would be a dreadful thing to contemplate. We would have no hope for the ultimate triumph of justice in such a world. So it is good news for us that the ruler and judge of all things is Himself good and righteous.

In another sense, that is very bad news for us, because we are not just. The Scriptures make it clear that this just and righteous God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world, including all of us who are not just and righteous.

People today hardly get exercised about the doctrine of justification, which was a matter for which our forefathers were willing to die, and many did die. In Oxford, England, in the sixteenth century, Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer were burned at the stake for their confessed faith in the Reformation doctrines, including the doctrine of justification by faith alone. On a particular street in Oxford, a tiny sign marks the spot where they were executed. I watched people cross the street paying no attention to the mark or to the commemorative plaque. Although people today do not get exercised about a doctrine like justification, it was the issue that changed the whole Western world in the sixteenth century.

Part of the reason for this modern disinterest may be our concept of the last judgment. The idea of a final judgment to which all people will be subjected has all but disappeared from our thinking, and even from the preaching in most of today’s pulpits—despite Jesus’ repeated warning that we all will stand before God, and that every idle word that we speak will be judged.

Here is the dilemma. If God judges people according to His perfect standard of righteousness, then those who are unjust will be in serious trouble. The psalmist asks, “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” (Ps.130:3).The obvious answer is that no one could stand. We are all guilty of violating the commandments of our Creator, and at some point, we will be called on to stand before His judgment seat.

Even people who believe that there will be a judgment often believe that God is so kind and merciful that He will overlook our sins and grant unilateral pardon and forgiveness, so there is nothing to fear. That idea is foreign to the New Testament. The sober warning of Christ and of the Apostles is that God, in His perfect judgment of us, will judge all men according to their works and will reward the righteous and punish the unrighteous. We can look forward to receiving a reward that corresponds to our merit or punishment for our demerit. That may seem fine until we realize that we have no merit of our own, and that all we will have to offer God on the day of judgment will be our demerits.

The psalmist declares, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” (Ps.139:7–8).“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar….Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (vv.2, 4). The Scriptures reveal a God who is omniscient, so He does not need someone to give Him a list of what we have done. He knows everything about our lives.

We must not flee to the popular understanding that when God forgives our sins, He also forgets our sins. When the Scriptures tell us that He remembers our sins no more when He forgives them, the point is not that He has a sudden lapse in His divine memory. Rather, the point is that He does not hold what we have done against us ever again.

God’s forgiveness is not automatic and universal, but it is part of justification. When a person is guilty before a righteous God, there is nothing more important than to understand how that guilt can be removed and how God’s forgiveness can be attained. How can an unforgiven person become forgiven? How can an unjust person be justified or be considered just in the sight of God? There are not many issues in theology more serious than that. The controversy of the sixteenth century boiled down to this: How can we be saved? How can we, as unjust people, possibly be reconciled to a holy and righteous God? This is the greatest issue we face in our entire lives—the question of our personal redemption.

This excerpt is adapted from Truths We Confess by R.C. Sproul. In Truths We Confess, now thoroughly revised and available in a single, accessible volume, Dr. Sproul introduces readers to this remarkable confession, explaining its insights and applying them to modern life. Order the hardcover book today.

Biblical Contentment, Part III

Image result for Prayer

Continuing our series on Biblical Contentment, we will look at The 7 things the Bible teaches us are key for everyday Christian life: 

Prayer: Proverbs 16:3 

Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established. (ESV)

Encomienda a Jehová tus obras
y tus pensamientos serán afirmados. (RVR 1995)

Study: Psalm 119:11
Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25
Stewardship: 1 Peter 4:10
Worship: 1 Chronicles 16:29
Sharing: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Walking: 1 John 2:6

So I got this right? I don’t need anyone’s help not even God’s. Yes, I have been that Stuck on Stupid before. Oh it is not an intentional I am mad at God or anything like I just get feel I can handle the small things on my own. 

The problem is we are creatures of habit, and our habit of not going to God in prayer for the small things leads to not going to Him in the bigger things which leads to problems which leads to, well you are getting the picture. 

Prayer helps us with those daily decisions (Luke 6:12-13)

The Bible tells us (commands) to pray not just when things get tough but to be in prayer daily (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Philippians 4:6-7, Ephesians 6:18-19

Prayer Glorifies God (Luke 2:36-38, 1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Prayer helps us with temptations (Matthew 26:41

There are of course many more bible verses on prayer but your can see by these alone the importance of daily prayer. So how does Prayer helps us with being Biblically Content? Well let us look at two things first

“What is the goal of the Christian life?” asks theologian and pastor R.C. Sproul. “Godliness born of obedience to Christ. Obedience unlocks the riches of the Christian experience. Prayer is what prompts and nurtures obedience, putting the heart into the proper ‘frame of mind’ to desire obedience.”

Dr. Spoul understood that contentment comes from obedience to Christ and prayer is what ushers in that obedience. 

Second: Philippians 4:6-7: do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayer brings about the peace in our hearts and minds (for those in Christ) that surpasses all understanding. Trust me on this great minds and countless books have been written on the subject and all fall short of the true understanding of how calm and peaceful, how Biblically Content we feel in Christ.

I pray you experience that today.  


Two quick studies by John Piper on Philippians 4:6-7

Do Not Be Anxious About Anything 

The Heart of Fearless Contentment