Friday, October 30, 2009

The Ultimate Purpose For Our Existence

What is the chief and highest end of man?

Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever.
__Westminster Larger Catechism, Question and Answer 1

Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.
But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.
(Psalms 73:24-28)

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen (Romans 11:36)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Overarching Theme of the Bible

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. _Isaiah 53:6

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

God Justifies the Wicked

The righteousness of God is a command that condemns us all, but the righteousness from God is a gift that saves all who believe. This gospel announces that sinners "are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith" (Rom. 3:24-25). God imputes (credits) our sin to Christ and Christ's righteousness to us. "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:1). This is the simplest news to grasp and yet the most difficult news to accept. Paul considered this doctrine to be so central that he regarded its explicit denial as "anathema" --that is, an act of heresy that the Galatian church was on the verge of committing (Gal. 1:8-9). For Paul, a denial of justification was tantamount to a denial of grace and even to a denial of Christ, "for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose" (Gal. 2:21).

_Michael Horton__ from The Gospel-Driven Life

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Greg Koukl Interviews David Berlinski

Last Sunday Greg Koukl (pictured at left)interviewed David Berlinski on Greg's Stand to Reason radio program. The hour-long discussion centered on Berlinski's book, The Devil's Delusion, a critique of Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion; and is heard during the third hour of the show. Listen here.

(Photos from Stand to Reason's web site: )

Sunday, October 18, 2009

From John Bunyan

This book will make a traveller of thee,
If by its counsel thou wilt ruled be;
It will direct thee to the Holy Land,
If thou wilt its directions understand:
Yea, it will make the slothful active be;
The blind also delightful things to see.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Marshmallow Gospel

The scripture posted for the Bible Study on Ray Comfort's blog was:

Luke 1:51-53 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.

I contributed a comment which was mostly a quote from A.W. Pink, where he shows that a sinner coming to Christ for life must first realize his desperate and lost condition, and that death and judgment are just a step away.

Someone challenged that with an objection that concluded with their understanding of what conversion is. This is what they said:
"To come to Christ for life, is for the person to realize that God, as a loving father, wants only what is best for every creature; is to see himself as God's child; is to admit that he is deserving of God's love, thus taking side with God; it is for him to find himself for the first time in the grace and love of God, and humbly extend the love of God to others."

I called this a "marshmallow gospel" because the way of salvation found in Scripture is quite different. The Bible says that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Through the Law He graciously reveals to sinners their own corruption and that they will have to face a holy and just Judge on the Last Day. Through the Gospel He shows Jesus Christ, who endured the wrath of Almighty God, on the cross, as the substitute for those he came to save.

No, it isn't a matter of realizing that we are "deserving of God's love" and that all are His children. All men are naturally God's enemies, and only by grace are we saved. It is the Son of God who draws sinners to Himself, and Salvation is of free grace for all who come to Christ and receive it on his terms. (Ephesians 2:2-5)

This is the "meat and potatoes gospel," not a "marshmallow gospel."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jesus comments on John 3:16

The Text

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Jesus' Comments

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life."

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him..."

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."

"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

And later he says to his disciples, "No one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

(Bible quotes from NASB)

The doctrine implicit in this text and Jesus' comments bars no one from receiving forgiveness of sins and eternal life who truly desires it. Rather, it provides hope for many who otherwise would have entered eternity unforgiven and forever condemned.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Cruel and Jealous God

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.__Song of Songs 8:6

Yesterday I was reading a comment by a professed atheist who complained that the God in whom Christians believe is "cruel, jealous, and vengeful," and that if this God existed, he would want to have nothing to do with him. Is this charge true?

Our Creator-God is also Love; and what does he love? Well, the Father loves his Son supremely (John 3:35), but he also loves the people who are his own, as is shown in the verse quoted above. He is jealous over them, as the bible often says, and whoever desires to harm them or attempts to draw them away from him certainly makes himself the object of God's wrath and vengeance.

The people whom Jesus Christ purchased at the cost of his own blood are more valuable to God, for Christ's sake, than we can ever imagine. He calls them the "apple of his eye." His gaze is continuously upon them. The "apple" of the eye is the pupil. If you have ever seen your own reflection in someones eye, you can appreciate the imagery in those words.

The atheist I mentioned sees God from the viewpoint of one who is at enmity with him. He is correct in what he says; God is jealous over his own people and has set himself firmly against anything or anyone who would do them harm. (Zech. 2:8) His love is indeed as strong as death, and his jealously cruel as the grave.