9.29.2010

"Watch Therefore! You Know Not the Day Nor the Hour"

There are certain things that happen in life that can never be forgotten. The chain of events that unfold before you, when they have run their course, leave such an overwhelming impression that nothing else can be done but to bow before Christ in submissive silence. We call these strange, often mysterious occurrences, providence. They are often so enigmatic while experiencing them, yet, when closure finally comes, a glimpse is given into that perfect end for which the Lord intended. And it is then that we stand in awe of our Creator whose wisdom and power supersedes anything we ever thought or imagined. I have one of those stories that, if you will take the time to read, I trust will provide you a helpful way to appreciate the doctrine of providence as I have often experienced it.

9.22.2010

Sign Seekers Beware!--Abounding Grace Radio

What does Christ think of sign-seekers? How should we think about the current signs and wonders movement? What really does it mean to live by faith and trust the inspired Word of God? All this and more on this edition of Abounding Grace Radio.
Abounding Grace Daily Broadcasts Sept. 27-Oct. 1, 2010
Monday September 27, 2010John 4 Sign Seekers, Beware!
Tuesday September 28, 2010John 4 Sign Seekers, Beware!
Wednesday September 29, 2010John 4 Sign Seekers, Beware!
Thursday September 30, 2010John 4 Sign Seekers, Beware!
Friday October 1, 2010Nicely Forgotten Preaching--What Ever Happened to Declarative Authority

9.13.2010

Nicely Forgotten Preaching--What Ever Happened to Declarative Authority?

(The picture was taken at the Cowboy Church in White Fish, MT--I had to post it!)

T. David Gordon in his book, Why Johnny Can’t Preach, states in the introduction that thirty percent at best  of preachers today are able to deliver even a mediocre sermon. Even if one chooses to disregard the statistic as just another black-eye given by the plethora of writers who are presently beating on the American church, still, has any thought been given, assuming such a statistic is true, as to what such a problem creates in the expectations of those who come to church on a given Sunday? What if the statistic were thirty-five, forty, or even fifty? The answer to this, if honest, is a painful one: very few would know how to recognize preaching that is done in the demonstration of the Spirit and power.

In this connection, I can’t help but think of Christ’s words to the multitudes concerning John the Baptist, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? "But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. "But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.” There was something about the way John preached the kingdom of God, clearly and notably different than the preaching the people had been accustomed to hearing. There was something about the voice itself—it searched, it penetrated, it convicted, it killed, it made-alive, all with the goal of increasing the testimony of God concerning his Son in the hearts of those who had the ability to hear. It was precisely John’s peculiarity of message, style, tone, authority, and delivery that made him stand out to the multitudes as someone recognizable as a prophet from God in their midst.

But imagine how we might feel if the following questions were inspired for us: What do you attend church Sunday to see? A man with earthly suggestions? But what did you go to hear? A man speaking nice things? Indeed, those who speak like that are coaches and motivational speakers. But what did you go to see and hear? A man sent by God to deliver his law and gospel?

9.10.2010

Perkins On Assurance as Belonging to the Essence of True Faith

True faith is both an infallible assurance, and a particular assurance of the remission of sins, and of life everlasting. And therefore by this faith, a man may be certainly and particularly assured of the remission of sins, and life everlasting...

Paul says of Abraham that he did not doubt the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, and gave glory to God being fully assured, that he which promised was able to do it, where I observe first that doubting is made a fruit of unbelief. Therefore, infallible certainty and assurance, being contrary to doubting, must proceed from true faith, considering that contrary effects come of contrary causes, and contrary causes produce contrary effects.

Second, I note, that the strength of Abraham's faith, did stand in fullness of assurance; for the text says, he was strengthened in the faith, being fully assured. And again, Heb 11:1, true saving faith is said to be the ground and substance of things hoped for, and the evidence or demonstration of thing that are not seen. But faith can be no ground or evidence of things, unless it be for nature certainty itself...

That saving faith is a particular assurance is proved by this, that the property of faith is to apprehend and apply the promise, and the thing promised, Christ with his benefits...In these words, to believe in Christ, and to receive Christ, are put for one and the same thing. Now to receive Christ, is to apprehend and apply him with all his benefits unto ourselves, as he is offered in the promises of the gospel. William Perkins, The Workes: A Reformed Catholike, Vol. I (John Legatt: London, 1616) 564.