This is what a water down Gospel gets you, the failure to PREACH from the pulpit has ruined the Biblical understanding of these folks. I have said it many times, Jesus was the most dogmatic person ever, His declaration in John 14:6 makes it plain and clear (backed by the whole of scripture). Those who would deny this are not true believers.
A poll of born-again Christian believers found that an overwhelming major believe all roads lead to Heaven, a belief that Christian thinkers consider unbiblical and terribly illogical…
I am guessing a few of y’all are thinking that I have lost my mind, quoting Hollywood here. I chose this because it is appropriate to today’s sermon that comes from Jeremiah 4. In the quote we see folks putting ‘lipstick on a pig’ as we say here in the south. That is they are camouflaging the truth behind a false front. You can dress as fancy as you want, go to church every Sunday but God does not care for outward appearances, He knows the depths of your heart.
CONTEXT: In Matthew Henry’s Commentary we find: It should seem that the first two verses of this chapter might better have been joined to the close of the foregoing chapter, for they are directed to Israel, the ten tribes, by way of reply to their compliance with God’s call, directing and encouraging them to hold their resolution (v. 1, 2). The rest of the chapter concerns Judah and Jerusalem. I. They are called to repent and reform (v. 3, 4). II. They are warned of the advance of Nebuchadnezzar and his forces against them, and are told that it is for their sins, from which they are again exhorted to wash themselves (v. 5-18). III. To affect them the more with the greatness of the desolation that was coming, the prophet does himself bitterly lament it, and sympathize with his people in the calamities it brought upon them, and the plunge it brought them to, representing it as a reduction of the world to its first chaos (v. 19-31).
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 9th, 1860, by the REV. C. H. Spurgeon, At Exeter Hall, Strand.
“Suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.”—Jeremiah 4:20.
…There are three points upon which I shall try to address you this morning, though I feel inadequate to such a task. First, I shall say somewhat uponsudden bereavements; then I shall dwell awhile upon the fact of sudden death; and afterwards we will say but a little, for we know but little, of the sudden exchangewhich sudden death shall bring both to saints and sinners…
CONTEXT: This song very distinctly divides itself into three parts, very well described by the translators in the ordinary heading of our version. The creatures show God’s glory, 1-6. The word showeth his grace, 7-11. David prayeth for grace, 12-14. Thus praise and prayer are mingled, and he who here sings the work of God in the world without pleads for a work of grace in himself within.From Spurgeon’s Treasury of David
It is common to hear refrains in modern music, writings, and even conversations amongst believers using this phrase. Everyone wants that which is sweeter than honey and more precious than Gold. The problem is when it comes down to it we all want it but usually balk at the cost.
The What – What is it that is so precious, v.7 makes it clear the Law of God. David repeats this in v.8 using the term Statutes of the Lord. In the Old Testament, we find three types of laws mentioned. The ceremonial law, the moral law, and the judicial law. David here is speaking primarily about the moral (think Ten Commandments) law. While some argue that these laws no longer apply today, the Bible clearly states otherwise. Jesus said he came not to abolish but to fulfill the law, and when He gives His synopsis of the law in Matthew 22, He says all the Law depends on this.
The Why – God’s Holy Law converts souls and makes simple men wise, v.7. They make the heart rejoice and open the blind (enlighten) eye, v.8. The law in itself does not save, for we knowFor it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; 9 not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. Ephesians 2:8-9 (AMP) Yet it is the word of God, that convicts the soul of man unto righteousness. Without hearing of the Good News, man will always remain in his state of despair.
The Cost – Man will be judged v.9, and that is for many a deal-breaker. Even though there will never be a more righteous judgment many think that it is unfair for any god to judge them. Yet when we look at this view we need to see the complete self-centered, conceited attitude this is. We make ourselves a god, above the true and living God.
The Reward – For those who do surrender to God’s judgment there is great reward. In a Word, GRACE, v.10, the Law combined with God’s righteous judgment equals God’s Grace for man. Considering that we are all born into sin, that the wages of sin are eternal death, the reward is truly sweeter than honey and more precious than Gold. God’s word, His law, statutes, precepts, etc… all are a source of righteousness in a true believer’s life.
The Source of Righteousness
God’s Word is true and produces righteousness in the believer’s life.
The naysayers love to come up with “cute” ways to trick (Matthew 22:15-45), someone into making a false claim. Of course it is always their understanding of God, (doctrine, theology, etc.) that is false and the basis of the trickery.
Question: “Could God create a rock so heavy He could not lift it?”
Answer: This question is frequently asked by skeptics of God, the Bible, Christianity, etc. If God can create a rock that He cannot lift, then God is not omnipotent. If God cannot create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not omnipotent. According to this argument, omnipotence is self-contradictory…
CONTEXT: The Apostle Paul in Chapter 4, clearly explains how man is justified by faith alone. That the works of man have no effect on our means of obtaining eternal life. Here in this chapter, Paul begins his exposition on the results of being justified before Godby Faith Alone.
Matthew Henry breaks down the Chapter as follows: The happy effects of justification through faith in the righteousness of Christ. (1-5) That we are reconciled by his blood. (6-11) The fall of Adam brought all mankind into sin and death. (12-14) The grace of God, through the righteousness of Christ, has more power to bring salvation, than Adam’s sin had to bring misery, (15-19) as grace did superabound. (20,21)
Our text for today is the last of his breakpoints, as grace did superabound. (20,21). I remember the first time I read through Chapter five with MH accompanying me and came across those words, they seemed out of place for a biblical explanation. That is until you realize the absolute marvel of God’s Grace, B.B. Warfield called it “Grace is free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving.” Or as most modern dictionaries put it God’s unmerited favor towards sinners.
We are ALL SINNERS, and God would be wholly justified in our deaths for those SINS, yet by His mercy and Grace, we can be justified through the Blood of Christ Jesus. Think on the simplicity of it we are as sinners, filthy rags unworthy of any mercy or grace before God, and He alone washes us clean as snow. That for me makes God’s Grace superabounding, and more marvelous than I can explain.
Last Sunday in Church we sang Grace Greater than Our Sin, written in 1911 by Julia H. Johnston it is so relevant today the more sin abounds the more God’s Grace is needed.
Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within; Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin!
One would think there is a simple, BIBLICAL, answer to this, but alas modernism and emotionalism have overtaken many once committed conservative denominations.
This week, North America’s oldest denomination will confront its gridlock over LGBTQ ordination and same-sex marriage. Votes cast in Tucson, Arizona, at the Reformed Church in America’s General Synod—delayed 16 months due to the pandemic—will chart the course for the already-splintering denomination.
In the past year, conservative factions have broken ties with the RCA, with other churches threatening to follow. Delegates to the synod, which starts today (Oct. 14) and will continue through Tuesday, will determine how the denomination might restructure to entice congregations to stay, if the church will establish an external mission organization, and whether departing congregations can plan on taking their church buildings with them…
Who is the focus of your worship? Is it you and your needs or God alone? Stephen Charnock the Puritan theologian of the 1600’s understood (as I have repeated far to many times) it is always about God and never about us.
Contemporary perspectives on worship In considering the debates about worship in the Church in our day, it is necessary to keep four things in mind. First, the form of contemporary Sunday services of evangelical churches lacks continuity with much of the past worship practices of the Christian Church. Worship in American churches, and increasingly in other countries, has been greatly influenced by the practices of American evangelicalism which grew out of the 19th century camp meeting. In the camp meeting there was a three-part form: music (to attract a crowd and put it in the right mood), preaching (to convert sinners), and an altar call (to secure a decision). The goal was the conversion of sinners, not the service of God by the converted saints. Neither the doctrine of salvation nor the doctrine of the Church was soundly represented in camp meetings. Second, the Western mind has grown hostile to making distinctions (male/female, marriage/cohabitation, truth/falsehood, man/animal). It is therefore not surprising that the distinction between the public worship of God and the rest of the Christian life should appear to be problematic to many. Third, dispensational theology has robbed much of the evangelical church of the sense that it can really learn from the Old Testament, let alone that Old Testament teaching might still be binding. So it approaches the issue of worship as it does ethics and doctrine (but not prophecy!), with only the New Testament in its hands and with suspicion toward the past. In this climate of thought, many Reformed and Lutheran (and even Roman Catholic) Churches imitate what seems to succeed in the “megachurches,” often with little thought given to the doctrinal consequences of their decisions. The fourth thing to bear in mind is the constant effort on the part of the unseen enemy, the devil, to distort or corrupt the worship of God (Mat 4:9; Eph 6:11-12; Jas 4:7). Surely Reformed Christians must remember the lessons of Scripture and history.
Reformed confessional perspective on worship As a confessional Reformed church, we must not approach worship in the pragmatic manner prevalent in many evangelical churches. We must not view ourselves as a generation of practical innovators moving the Church forward to ever greater successes. We are humble servants of Christ, exhorted “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Through our Confession and Testimony, we recognize the spiritual unity we share with our fathers in the faith, both in doctrine and in practice. We affirm the continuity between the Old and New Covenants, and the continuity of the Church through the generations. In our Confession, we treasure the solemn and holy nature of the assembly of God’s people on the Lord’s Day and the means of grace instituted by God and blessed by his Spirit. We hold firmly to the holy and spiritual nature of the Church and to her place in God’s design for the world. She alone is the pillar and ground of the truth, and that truth which she upholds is the truth of God’s Word in its purity, apart from men’s traditions (Mark 7:7). Our goal is to glorify God and to enjoy Him in worship. This requires thoughtful and careful study of God’s will. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24). Christ joins Spirit and truth together, governed by one preposition: EN PNEUMATI KAI ALHQEIAI. In making this statement, Christ does not reject the relevance of Old Covenant worship to the practice of the New Covenant Church, but gives us a concise restatement of the New Covenant promise that God’s Law will be written on our hearts (Jer 31:33-34; Ezek 36:26-27; cf., Heb 8:10; 10:16; 2Cor 3:3). Though there is indeed an element of discontinuity — Christ’s body is the true temple — a discontinuity that fulfills the gospel’s universal vocation (“…neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem shall you worship the Father…”), the conjunction of Spirit and truth directs us to worship God in every place according to His Word (“we know what we worship”) in the new dispensation of the Spirit, now that Christ has come. Christ gives no liberty to think that the leading of the Spirit will open vistas of truth apart from His Word. The worship of God continues to be covenantal and directed by God’s Word while being opened to all nations and all places through faith in Jesus Christ (John 12:32; Isa 49:6; 1Jn 2:2; Rev 5:9).
The above is an extract from A Reformed Theology of Worship, Paper submitted to the 170th Synod, of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
SUBJECT. The great riddle of the prosperity of the wicked and the affliction of the righteous, which has perplexed so many, is here dealt with in the light of the future; and fretfulness and repining are most impressively forbidden. It is a Psalm in which the Lord hushes most sweetly the too common repinings of his people, and calms their minds as to his present dealings with his own chosen flock, and the wolves by whom they are surrounded. It contains eight great precepts, is twice illustrated by autobiographical statements, and abounds in remarkable contrasts.
I have written about this Psalm probably more than any other because of the great mis-use it receives in modern evangelical circles. I recently had another discussion with someone about claiming the healing of God. Again let me be clear yes I believe we should pray for God’s healing, IF IT IS HIS WILL. Not just because we desire it.
Folks will take our text well actually just the second half he shall give thee the desires of thine heartand roll with it. They say See God will give me whatever my heart desires. This verse along with Psalm 20:4Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel are all some need to demand of God.
The problem here is that “Our Desires” are never good on their own. The Bible make it abundantly clear man apart from Christ is evil Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 15:19, and Romans 7:18-20 for example. Our desires must align with God’s even our Lord and Savior asked God the Father if it be they will, Luke 22:42.
Verse 4.The desires of thine heart. All the desires of this spiritual seed are of the nature of this seed, namely, substantial, and shall meet with substance. All the desires of natural man, even after God, after Christ, after righteousness, shall burn and perish with him (for they are not the truth, nor do they come from the truth, nor can they reach to the truth;)but all the desires of this spirit shall live with the Spirit of God, in rest and satisfaction for ever. John Pennington, 1656.
Verse 4. The desires of God, and the desires of the righteous, agree in one; they are of one mind in their desires. John Bunyan.
TITLE. A Psalm of David. David is pictured in this Psalm as in a faithful miniature. His holy trust, his many conflicts, his great transgression, his bitter repentance, and his deep distresses are all here; so that we see the very heart of “the man after God’s own heart.” It is evidently a composition of David’s later days, for he mentions the sins of his youth, and from its painful references to the craft and cruelty of his many foes, it will not be too speculative a theory to refer it to the period when Absalom was heading the great rebellion against him. This has been styled the second of the seven Penitential Psalms. It is the mark of a true saint that his sorrows remind him of his sins, and his sorrow for sin drives him to his God.
SUBJECT AND DIVISION. The twenty-two verses of this Psalm begin in the original with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in their proper order. It is the first instance we have of an inspired acrostic or alphabetical song. This method may have been adopted by the writer to assist the memory; and the Holy Spirit may have employed it to show us that the graces of style and the arts of poetry may lawfully be used in his service. Why should not all the wit and ingenuity of man be sanctified to noblest ends by being laid upon the altar of God? From the singularity of the structure of the Psalm, it is not easy to discover any marked divisions; there are great changes of thought, but there is no variation of subject; the moods of the writer’s mind are twofold—prayer and meditation; and as these appear in turns, we should thus divide the verses. Prayer from Ps 25:1-7; meditation, Ps 25:8-10; prayer, Ps 25:11; meditation, Ps 25:12-15; prayer, Ps 25:16-22.
Verse 14.The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him. Some read it “the friendship:” it signifies familiar intercourse, confidential intimacy, and select fellowship. This is a great secret. Carnal minds cannot guess what is intended by it, and even believers cannot explain it in words, for it must be felt to be known. The higher spiritual life is necessarily a path which the eagle’s eye hath not known, and which the lion’s whelp has not travelled; neither natural wisdom nor strength can force a door into this inner chamber. Saints have the key of heaven’s hieroglyphics; they can unriddle celestial enigmas. They are initiated into the fellowship of the skies; they have heard words which it is not possible for them to repeat to their fellows. And he will shew them his covenant. Its antiquity, security, righteousness, fulness, graciousness and excellence, shall be revealed to their hearts and understandings, and above all, their own part in it shall be sealed to their souls by the witness of the Holy Spirit. The designs of love which the Lord has to his people in the covenant of grace, he has been pleased to show to believers in the Book of Inspiration, and by his Spirit he leads us into the mystery, even the hidden mystery of redemption. He who does not know the meaning of this verse, will never learn it from a commentary; let him look to the cross, for the secret lies there.