Thursday, February 28, 2008

King James Version Only Youtube clip

I always enjoy reading Trevor Cairney's stuff. Trevor is an intelligent Aussie Christian with a warm heart and a love for Jesus Christ. I clicked on a link from his blog and found myself at the site of the Irish Calvinist and have been musing over a King James Bible Only sermon that Erik at the Irish Calvinist site linked to.

We never get sermons like this at our church, for which I'm grateful.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Christian and the Law

Pulpit magazine has lots of interesting articles. I especially like the series No Longer under the Law by Nathan Busenitz in which aims to enlighten us on The NT Christian's relationship to the OT law.

He says that this is not the same as New Covenant Theology, but it certainly seems very similar. I can't see any distinction, but am hoping to get some help on this soon.

Nathan is John MacArthur's personal assistant.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Are There Good Reasons to Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus?

John Piper gives eight solid reasons for being confident that Jesus Christ really did rise from his grave. We have plenty of evidence that Jesus is alive today, not the least of which is his presence with his people.

Here are Piper's eight points. But do read the whole lot: it is well worth it.
1. Jesus predicted his resurrection several times in te coruse of his ministry.
2. The tomb was empty on Easter Sunday morning.
3. The disciples' confident preaching about the resurrection, after their fearfulness before and when he died.
4. Paul's claim that he and 500 others had seen the risen Christ.
5. The existence of a thriving, empire-conquering early Christian church.
6. The apostle Paul's conversion.
7. The New Testament witness appear sane and truthful.
8. The self-authenticating glory in the message of the resurection of Jesus.

I've reworded some of these, but I am confident I have not distorted what Piper is saying.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Grace

Yesterday three facebook friends all spontaneously and simultaneously wrote about God's amazing kindness to us.

Mandy wrote that she is
thankful that come judgement day, her life is hidden in Christ so she is confident of a verdict of 'Not Guilty.'
Sarah said she is
saved by grace - and so thankful for this great gift.
and Gordon said he is
thanking God for his grace


An old, old hymn came into my head on reading these three comments. I'm guessing it will be new to many.
1. Grace! 'Tis a charming sound,
Harmonious to the ear;
Heaven with the echo shall resound,
And all the earth shall hear.

2. Grace first contrived the way
To save rebellious man,
And all the steps that grace display
Which drew the wondrous plan.

3. Grace first inscribed my name
In God's eternal book;
'Twas grace that gave me to the Lamb,
Who all my sorrows took.

4. Grace led my wandering feet
To tread the heavenly road;
And new supplies each hour I meet
While pressing on to God.

5. Grace taught my soul to pray
And made mine eyes o'erflow;
'Twas grace that kept me to this day
And will not let me go.

6. Grace all the work shall crown
Through everlasting days;
It lays in heaven the topmost stone
And well deserves the praise.

It was written by Philip Doddridge in 1755, but Augustus Toplady, writer of Rock of Ages, composed the 3rd and 5th stanzas in 1776. Love it.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Jim Elliot still speaks

It is exciting to be able to listen to Jim Elliot speak, via two sermons you can download at Sermon Audio. His talk on the resurrection of Jesus shows an excellent grasp of biblical theology and is well worth your time.

Jim Elliot was martyred on 8th January, 1956. He was the man who said
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
Every Christian needs to know his inspiring story.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dying To Live

Andrew and Carolyn's Double Usefulness Blog has terrific articles and is well worth your time. I like this story about people in South Korea trying to improve their lives through a new form of therapy:
In order to help people to deal with their problems, their past, and to face a better future, a firm is offering a service whereby clients/patients can go through the experience of having their own funeral. The 'therapy session' consists of individuals being placed in a coffin, and having the lid nailed down. Once safely enclosed within their caskets, earth is scattered on the lid, and they are left alone in their box. After fifteen minutes the lid is opened and as The Times says 'the nearly-departed are declared reborn'. The therapy technique has proven so successful that companies are sending hundreds of their employees for these sessions, in order that they might be liberated from their past problems, and face the future with hope.
Lee Hye-jung, a 23 year old woman studying engineering, emerged from her coffin saying 'I felt really, really scared. I'll live differently from now on, so as not to have any regrets about my life.
The Scriptures, of course, describe a better way - but it still entails dying to live. Paul writes to the Romans, and provides them with a wonderful survey of the Christian message. In dealing with the difference that the Gospel makes in the life of a believer, Paul states 'Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life' Romans 6:3-4.

This is teaching which really changes things. Having died in Christ to our old sinful ways and having come to life in Him, we truly know what it is to die before our death. Such a death, and such newness of life, makes literal physical death become not a conclusion, but a continuum in the presence and grace of God.

Now that really is dying to live.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Perseverance and Eternal Security

As a child I was taught that our salvation depends on us making a decision for Christ. On praying a prayer to God, we are guaranteed salvation, no matter how we live for the rest of our lives, we learnt.

As I grew older, I discovered that the Bible teaches that our salvation is God's doing, and is granted on the basis of Jesus' death, not on our good works. I still found people following on from this and saying that therefore it doesn't matter how we live, because our salvation is assured and is not based on our good works but on Jesus' death.

However, I also found the New Testament teaching the necessity of perseverance as well.

How can my persevering be essential, and how can I have assurance of salvation now, if it is necessary for me to persevere in holiness? What if I don't?

John Piper's dear father, recently ushered into the presence of Jesus, shares his perspective on this in the 4 minute video at the above link.