LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Christianity 101- Part 3: Man

Man is a sinner due to his fallen nature. Scripture points this out beginning in Genesis and continuing through Revelation. Paul paints the picture extensively from Romans 1:18 through Romans 3:20 and empirical evidence confirms biblical teaching on the sinfulness of human beings. The Bible reveals there is no one righteous and that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). God’s standard of righteousness is perfection (Matthew 5:48) and not man’s erroneous worldly standard of being a basically good person. Perfection means that man cannot meet this standard and, as a result, man cannot save himself from the wrath of God by his good works (Romans 3:20 and Gal. 2:16). Since God does not grade on a curve, but on an absolute scale of perfection, being ‘basically good’ will not be sufficient on judgment day. Isaiah tells us that even man’s best works are like filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6).

In Luke 18:25-27 Jesus confirms that it is impossible for man to save himself, “For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." In this passage Jesus not only states that it is impossible for men to save themselves, but also gives the fantastic news that God can solve the problem and save sinners. Romans 6:23 gives the bad news for sinners in the first part of the verse and the good news in the second half of the verse where it says, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This is the great fantastic news of the gospel. But what about man’s sin that God must punish? Does God simply reduce the penalty? Do all men universally receive the gift of eternal life? What does Jesus Christ have to do with solving this dilemma?

Next in Part 4 we will look at how God solved the problem that men are incapable of solving.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Christianity 101- Part 2: God

God has revealed much information about Himself and His creation in His Word, The Holy Bible. The Bible begins as follows: “In the beginning, God created.” God unilaterally created the world and everything in it is the message of the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Paul gave the men of Athens the same message (Acts 17:24). In this creation He chose to make human beings with a free will and the ability to choose good or evil.

God has revealed much about His attributes and His character in His Word. A major theme in Scripture is that God is all-powerful, sovereign, and in total control of His creation. The Bible has revealed many other things about God such as His holiness, love, mercy, truthfulness, faithfulness, justice, righteous anger, wrath and hatred of sin. Sin is basically disobeying God. God told the first humans that He took sin very seriously and gave them only one thing to obey. They were given a paradise and everything they could possibly need but were told they would surely die if they disobeyed this one rule. Everyone knows the story of what happened. They were tempted by Satan and disobeyed. While He loves mankind (1 John 4:8) and does not take pleasure in punishing us, He is a God of truth and justice and must punish sin (Romans 6:23). Therefore, God’s holiness meant He was true to His word and carried out the penalty of death exactly as He said He would. As a result of this sin, Adam and his posterity instantly died spiritually and physical death became the destiny of the human race. The earth became subject to bondage (Romans 8:20-22) and man was banished into the world to toil as a result. The fellowship that man had with God was severed because God takes His glory, honor and character very seriously.

Fortunately for mankind, God gave a glimpse of His mercy and love when He told Satan in (Genesis 3:15) “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." With that statement God hinted at a plan of redemption for the human race. As Biblical revelation unfolded, it became more and more clear that God did have a plan of redemption for mankind.

Next in Part 3 we will look at the character of man.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Christianity 101- Part 1: Atheist asks question.

The following post title appeared on an atheist’s blog: One possible way to convert us atheists. He started the post by asking this question. “What is a true Christian and is it possible for anyone to be a true Christian?”

Then he listed the things that it would take for a church to impress him enough to make him consider Christianity. Everything he listed had to do with doing good works, helping the poor, etc without any mention of sin, faith, atonement, worship, prayer, salvation and other gospel essentials. He concluded his view of how Christians should be conducting church by stating, “So, until I start seeing churches pop up that fit my model, I’m not having anything to do with religion or God.” It is interesting that he uses the phrase, “until I start seeing” in his summary statement and then demands churches fit his model. Most atheist bloggers that I have visited are people that hold to a liberal secular post-modern world-view and are very critical of Christian or other world-views. His model of church fits his world-view and his god would necessarily have to be one created in his image.

Since it is obvious this particular atheist does not see or have a clue about the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am going to do a few posts on his question asking what is a true Christian. I will call this series Christianity 101. I will attempt to give a basic uncomplicated presentation of the gospel message for anyone that does not know the gospel or possibly has a wrong understanding of the gospel.

For starters, Christianity recognizes only two kinds of people in the world and they are Christians and non-Christians. If a person is not a true Christian, then he is not Christian period. Many of the non-Christians in the world will become Christians before they die, but no Christian will become a non-Christian. Those people that die as Christians will be saved and the rest will die un-saved. We know that some people will remain blind and will never see, but humans have no way of knowing where God will give grace and enable, through divine power, spiritually blind people to see. Therefore, we are to take the gospel to the entire world as Jesus commanded and present the gospel to everyone. The photo above shows a bride that needs and hopes for true love. The bride of Christ requires and will consist of true Christians that will be gathered from every tongue and tribe in the world. Later in this series, the definition of a true Christian will be given.

Next in Part 2 we will take a look at power and character of God.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Temple Vision

Having seen the gauntlet of Ezekiel 40-48 thrown down, I faint not from taking up the challenge, and in my morning reading, came across this interesting passage from “Old Testament Today” by John Walton and Andrew Hill. I leave this for your consideration, and then I step out of the way to allow JazzyCat and her servant Wayne their due. 'Tis the end (for now) of the end times posts.

Please forgive the length, but everything stated below seemed too valuable to cut anything out.

“Just as the book of Ezekiel opened by proclaiming the abandonment of the temple and its subsequent destruction, the book ends with a vision of a restored and ideal temple (Ezek. 40-48). The main point of this vision is found in the concluding words: “The name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.” All of the detailed architectural discussion of these chapters becomes in effect a work of concept theory. As an analogy, imagine a seminary student being asked to write a church constitution for a course that would reflect all the important ideals and values of how a church could best serve, honor and worship God. Since the people of Ezekiel’s time had failed to maintain a sanctuary that honored the holiness of Yahweh, Ezekiel laid out this concept design that would capture and reflect God’s holiness in all its resplendence. There is no hint in these chapters that this temple would or should be built. It comes in a vision but also offers a vision of an ideal environment for God’s presence in the midst of his people that will declare his glory.”

Matthew Henry notes regarding these particular chapters:
“Here is one continued vision, beginning at this chapter, to the end of the book, which is justly looked upon to be one of the most difficult portions of scripture in all the book of God. The Jews will not allow any to read it till they are thirty years old, and tell those who do read it that, though they cannot understand every thing in it, ‘when Elias comes he will explain it.’

“Many commentators, both ancient and modern, have owned themselves at a loss what to make of it and what use to make of it. But because it is hard to be understood we must not therefore throw it by, but humbly search concerning it, get as far as we can into it and as much as we can out of it, and, when we despair of satisfaction in every difficulty we meet with, bless God that our salvation does not depend upon it, but that things necessary are plain enough, and wait till God shall reveal even this unto us.

“These chapters [40-48] are the more to be regarded because the last two chapters of the Revelation seem to have a plain allusion to them, as Rev_20:1-15 has to the foregoing prophecy of Gog and Magog. Here is the vision of a glorious temple (in this chapter and ch. 41 and 42), of God's taking possession of it (ch. 43), orders concerning the priests that are to minister in this temple (ch. 44), the division of the land, what portion should be allotted for the sanctuary, what for the city, and what for the prince, both in his government of the people and his worship of God (ch. 45), and further instructions for him and the people, ch. 46. After the vision of the holy waters we have the borders of the holy land, and the portions assigned to the tribes, and the dimensions and gates of the holy city, ch. 47, 48. Some make this to represent what had been during the flourishing state of the Jewish church, how glorious Solomon's temple was in its best days, that the captives might see what they had lost by sin and might be the more humbled. But that seems not probable.
“The general scope of it I take to be,
1. To assure the captives that they should not only return to their own land, and be settled there, which had been often promised in the foregoing chapters, but that they should have, and therefore should be encouraged to build, another temple, which God would own, and where he would meet them and bless them, that the ordinances of worship should be revived, and the sacred priesthood should there attend; and, though they should not have a king to live in such splendour as formerly, yet they should have a prince or ruler (who is often spoken of in this vision), who should countenance the worship of God among them and should himself be an example of diligent attendance upon it, and that prince, priests, and people, should have a very comfortable settlement and subsistence in their own land.

2. To direct them to look further than all this, and to expect the coming of the Messiah, who had before been prophesied of under the name of David because he was the man that projected the building of the temple and that should set up a spiritual temple, even the gospel-church, the glory of which should far exceed that of Solomon's temple, and which should continue to the end of time. The dimensions of these visionary buildings being so large (the new temple more spacious than all the old Jerusalem and the new Jerusalem of greater extent than all the land of Canaan) plainly intimates, as Dr. Lightfoot observes, that these things cannot be literally, but must spiritually, understood. At the gospel-temple, erected by Christ and his apostles, was so closely connected with the second material temple, was erected so carefully just at the time when that fell into decay, that it might be ready to receive its glories when it resigned them, that it was proper enough that they should both be referred to in one and the same vision. Under the type and figure of a temple and altar, priests and sacrifices, is foreshown the spiritual worship that should be performed in gospel times, more agreeable to the nature both of God and man, and that perfected at last in the kingdom of glory, in which perhaps these visions will have their full accomplishment, and some think in some happy and glorious state of the gospel-church on this side heaven, in the latter days.

“And all this seems to point at the new church-state that should be set up under the gospel, which, both for extent and for purity, should far exceed that of the Old Testament.”

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

What you see depends on what you're looking for

A recent comment suggesting that there is “progression from Old to New, but not reinterpretation.” – asserting that the NT texts do not reinterpret the OT, but “compliment” them, led me to expound on the subject a bit more in this post.

Prophets of the Old Testament anticipated a time when Israel would be restored to her former greatness.

The prophet Isaiah spoke of a future restoration of Israel in these terms: “But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant,’ I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” (41:8-9) The same promise is reiterated in 42:6 when the Lord declared of his servant, “I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.”

Dispensationalists, who interpret such passages literally, assign the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies to a future earthly millennium in which Israel will coexist the Gentiles under the reign of the Davidic king. Is this how the NT authors interpreted these messianic prophecies regarding the servant of the Lord? And Who is this servant of the Lord – the nation of Israel or Jesus, Israel’s true King?

Matthew saw in Jesus' casting out of demons and healing the sick the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies of a suffering servant who would take upon himself our infirmities and carry our diseases. Luke spoke in Acts 3:13 of Jesus as the servant of God. When the Ethiopian eunuch read Isaiah 53 and asked Philip about whom this prophecy referred, Philip told him that this passage was about Jesus (Acts 8:34-35).

The prophet Hosea quoted God as saying, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son,” (11:1) but Matthew told us that Hosea’s prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus’ parents took him to Egypt for a time to protect him from Herod. It was Matthew, not an “overspiritualizing amillenarian” who took a passage from Hosea that referred to Israel and told his readers that it was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Peter told of how “the prophets, who spoke…searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.” (1 Peter 1:10-12)

According to many New Testament writers, Jesus was the true servant, the true Son, and the true Israel of God. Insomuch as we are “in Christ,” we too are the Israel of God. We are His chosen. We are His servants whom He has called from the farthest corners of the earth, and His kingdom is expanding with new souls each day.

Reinterpreting the OT? No. The NT authors did not “re”interpret, but properly interpreted prophetic passages pointing to Christ – our Savior who spoke most often in spiritual terms to people desiring an earthly kingdom.

Welcome To My World -- The Married Life

Alrighty then.....

1) I live two stop lights down from this. Today is the Cocoa-Cola 600.

2) While my wife was inside watching the race on T.V., I was outside in the heat slaving over a hot grill and listening to the race which is quite clear. I was giving all to this steak dinner. You see, I run things in my house! Again, just to make this clear -- I run things in my house. I run the dishwasher, I run the broom, I run the mop, I run the.... well, you get the idea! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!! Yes sir, let me tell you -- I take my OWN paycheck to the bank as well, and Kerry, my wife, is good enough to fill out the deposit slip for me before I take it.

3) Anyway, little gojira is at a sleep over. The table is set. Candles are lit. Romance is in the air. We keep the t.v. on but turned down low. Kerry ever so sweetly turns her head to see the action on the screen. "Who is in the lead," I ask her. She looks back at me, and so sweetly, so cutely, says, "Presumebly the one in front..."


If you are married, enjoy your spouse. Enjoy each other. Find comfort in each other. Forgive each other. And always be each other's lover. For many couples, the previous four statements are a mystery beyond all understanding.

Awesome Critique Of Hahn's Newest Book

Simply beautiful.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chasing the Wind

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."
-Colossians 3:1-2

Just a reminder this Lord's Day to not under-spiritualize His kingdom. Let us not to chase the wind seeking what is on earth, but "seek ye first the kingdom of God."
- Matthew 6:33

All ye regenerate souls who have been raised with Christ, remember: "you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
- Col 3:3

Let's not under-spiritualize. We are dead to self and risen in Him.

Uh,oh, I'm Causin' Trouble Again

"I think I'm learning that the theology of dispensationalism views through the lens of the OT. I think...."

I would agree, Susan.

Vern Poythress points out that the way to interpret OT scripture is shown us in the book of Hebrews. Covenant and New Covenant Theology follow that example given us there...


Where in the Bible do we see an example of the Classic Dispensational hermeneutic?

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Friday, May 25, 2007


Team, on Tuesday, and for for the following six days, Wayne is going to do a six part series that he has been working on. It would be good if he post consecutively for the sake of flow. Thank you.

Romans 12:12 - Reid Ferguson

Rom. 12.12d - Contribute to the needs of the saints,and seek to show hospitality.

God loves to be believed. God loves to be trusted. God loves to be depended upon. And lastly, God loves to be -imitated. Or maybe a better way to say would be that He loves to be demonstrated through the lives of those who He created to be His image bearers. For ego's sake? Not on your life. For love's sake. For He has nothing higher,nothing sweeter, nothing more perfect, nothing more glorious, wonderful, satisfying, blessed, good or beneficial to give - than Himself. He is the very highest of all goods. God so loved the world He GAVE, His only begotten Son.The measure of His love is seen in the value of His gift.And when you and I bear His image, speak His words in His honor, do His actions as though He were here, and live under His Spirit's influence so that He has the most opportunity to be manifested, it is the highest possible good He can do to His creature - man. He loves to being imitated.So it is the text today shows us one of the key ways to love Him is by making Him known. Which, if you think about it, is also the way we can love people best. For what better thing can we do for any man than to expose them to the Living, loving, saving God of Heaven? And how has He manifested Himself most clearly and fullyto date? In the person of His Son - Christ Jesus. And in what way did Jesus' make the Father known? Was it not in mercy? It is in John 5, when Jesus heals the lame man on the Sabbath that He declares: "My Father is working until now, and I am working." And it is in this precise context that He then exhorts us to: "let yourlight shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." This, via the media of contributing - sharing in, the needs of the saints. The word for "contribute"here being the word for fellowship - koinonia. To take part in other's needs -especially those of the saints.In seeking to show them hospitality - a resting andrefreshing place in the midst of their tiring journey through this barren, sin-cursed world. In other words - to act like the Father. Every Father delights to see His children taking up the attitudes and passions that are closest to his own heart. You that are parents, how do you describethat sense of joy when you see your own children adopt right values and set godly priorities and live with hearts inflamed with love for Christ? Amazing isn't it? How much more the Heavenly Father? How much more the one who loved us so that He gave His Son, to see His children walking in His truth, having the same mercy toward those in need, caring for lost souls, moving to show that there is a remedy for sin's effects, though the testimony of demonstrating the love of God? Isn't this a solid, deafening statement of love? Doesn't it speak to Him of how we admire and affirm and delight in pleasing Him? Isn't that loving Him? When we trust His example so, that we adopt it as our own. God loves to be imitated in this way. God is love. So says 1 John 4.8. He pours it out as His nature. And when we pour it back, can there possibly be a more intimate bond formed? We love Him because He first loved us. But the circuit is only complete when we do in fact love Him. A circuit which finds the love of God not only manifested to us, or by us, but flowing freely through us. That dear one - is the abundant life.-- Blessings: Reid Dulcius Ex Asperis

www.responsivereiding.com "Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish,let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for." -C.H. Spurgeon

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Rom. 11:36 (ESV)

The ECF Connection is a service of:Evangelical Church of Fairport 38 East Church Street, Fairport, New York 14450(585) 223-0229

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hidden in Plain View

Much like the Jews expected the Messiah to establish a political kingdom in which Israel would rule over the Gentile nations, many Christians today anticipate Jesus’ reign over the nations in a future millennial kingdom. The first scenario explains in part why the Jews rejected Jesus as their Annointed One. The New Testament, however, equates Israel’s restoration, prophesied in the Old Testament, with Jesus’ kingdom – a kingdom not of this world.
“Jesus answered [Pilate], ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this world.” - John 18:36
I wonder why some Christians continue to hope for a kingdom in this world.
I think there’s something we often overlook in what we call the “ascension,” but that I think would be better referred to as the “coronation.”
Hidden in the riches of Scripture is the account of how when Jesus’ glorified body returned to the Father, He took His rightful place on His Throne and reigns over His kingdom – not only upon His future return to earth, but upon His past return to heaven.
After His resurrection and just before his ascension, Christ told His disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” - Matthew 28:18
And then: “…the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.” - Mark 16:19
Do we daily live like we believe that Jesus is this day seated at the right hand of God with all authority in heaven and here on earth – in our very lives?
In Luke’s account, chapter 24, verses 50-53, we read: “Then he [Christ] let them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.”
They were filled with great joy at Christ’s departure here. Why?
I ask this to provoke thought in us all.
It’s interesting that upon Christ’s ascension there would be rejoicing. Could the disciples have known that it was Coronation Day and that the Lord’s Kingdom was inaugurated?
In 1 Corinthians 15:24, it is written:
“Then comes the end, when he [Jesus] delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.”
If Christ does not have the kingdom, He cannot deliver it to the Father. Jesus must first have the kingdom, and I believe that He does right now.
Why else are we exhorted to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” – Colossians 3:1b-3
How many of us set are minds on the things of earth in hopes that they might signify the coming of the Kingdom? Why are we not rejoicing in our King already seated on His Throne? Is He not reigning? Do we live as though He is?
Could it be that we do not yet see – as did Job – that our “Redeemer lives!”
The spiritual kingdom of heaven over which Christ reigns this day – as never was a kingdom in like form beforehand – was established at His ascension.
Jesus described His kingdom – the kingdom of heaven – in Matthew 13:31-33:
“He put another parable before them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’ He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.’”
So small – almost imperceptible. A mustard seed – sown in a field. Leaven – hidden in flour. Present, but can we perceive it?
May the Lord open the eyes of all who are His to see Him – perceive Him – throned in His rightful glory – now and yet to come.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Ephesians 5:27-30 "...and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church, for we are members of his body."

Christ’s love for the church is demonstrated in the way he honored her and elevated her. We already referred to how he made her holy, cleansing her, and clothing her in his righteous raiment. But notice how high he lifted us up! From the very depths of sin and degradation to the kingdom of heaven! He took us from the realm of Satan and brought us into a loving relationship with God. He introduced us into his royal family so that we might call his Father our Father! Christ is proud of us! He wants to show us off! “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 3:10). I have a picture in my mind of Christ taking his bride, the church, around heaven on his arm and showing her off to the rulers and authorities and princes of heaven! Brothers, this is what our love for our wives should be like! We are to honor our wives. We are to hold them up and respect them! We should never put them down or insult them or abuse them in any way! We lift them up and praise them with holy pride!

Finally, the church is the body of Christ. How does Christ care for his body? He provides constant watchcare. He is always with his church. (Matthew 28:20b) He never leaves us alone. He never forsakes us. We are always with him because we are his body. He provides for us everything we need. He protects us from the Enemy. He nourishes us spiritually through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. All these things he does for us because we are his body. This is the way we are to love our wives! “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:28). Please notice that Paul does not say, “Love your wives in the same way you love your own bodies.” He says that we are to love our wives as our own bodies! In other words, when we hear those words and take those vows, “and the two shall become one flesh,” we are actually one body! The woman was taken from the body of the man and marriage brings them back together again into one body! When we love our wives we are loving ourselves! When we hurt our wives we are hurting ourselves.

Men, I can’t let you go without impressing the importance of our responsibility upon you one more time. Loving our wives is not optional! God commands us to love. We will be held accountable. There are consequences if we fail to love our wives as we should. Here is the end of that passage in 1 Peter that we looked at earlier, “…and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Our very relationships with God will be affected if we do not love our wives and give ourselves up for them. I wonder if the general weakness of the American church might be traced to the failure of Christian men to love their wives as they should.

(Thanks to the contributors to and the readers of Bluecollar for granting me this forum for such an extended time. You have been gracious in your comments and encouragement and patient in your endurance. You may now breathe a sigh of relief because this is the last post in this series!)

Dave Moorhead

Law and Disorder

Seeing the term “antinomian” mentioned a few posts back in the comments section led me diving into on-line search engines.
Anti = against (Greek)
Nomos = Law (Greek)
I learned that, basically, antinomianism is lawlessness - the opposite of legalism.
Interestingly, as of late I have heard more than a few Christian friends proclaiming with great glee their “freedom in Christ." Two of these friends recently agreed to end their marriage. I fear that “free in Christ” is coming to mean whatever suits the flesh.
As I was reading but a speck of the history of antinomianism on-line, it got me to wondering - Why aren’t the Gentiles to keep the Law as per the Jews’ adherence?
I have messianic Jewish friends who, although they outwardly keep (some of) the Law, they do so not for sanctification, but for the sake of being a closer witness to their Jewish family and friends. In their case, it makes sense to me. They would alienate their families and friends by proclaiming “freedom” from the Law, yet they share common ground with their unsaved brethren in their respect of the Law and keeping some traditions.
As I see it, the Law truly served to point to Christ. He is the goal – not the end – of the Law. I thought it to be aptly put on wikipedia as follows:
“Romans 10:4 is also sometimes cited: “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” [NIV] The key word here is ‘telos,’ see also Strong's G5056. Robert Badenas in Christ the End of the Law, Romans 10.4 in Pauline Perspective, 1985, ISBN 0905774930, argues that ‘telos’ is correctly translated as ‘goal,’ not ‘end,’ so that Christ is the goal of the Law.”
(Interestingly, studies with my aforementioned messianic Jewish friends led me to learn that the word ‘Torah’ in Hebrew is similarly translated. ‘Torah’ – which refers to Moses’ first five books of the Bible – literally means ‘target’ or ‘aim.’)
Is this why the Gentiles are not obliged to “keep” the Law – because its aim is Christ? Of course, we keep some Laws (10 commandments and others), but not all. I’ve heard the Laws distinguished between ceremonial, civil, and moral, of course, but I’m not sure that these distinctions neatly describe why we keep some and not others.
I suppose that messianic Jews are not required to “keep” the Law for the same reasons that Gentiles are not required, but I wonder if it’s not a bad thing if messianic Jews observe the Law (if only partially) anyway. Of course, we’re united in Christ, but the wikipedia article on antinomianism has me wondering about distinctions.
“The Catholic Encyclopedia: Judaizers notes: "Paul, on the other hand, not only did not object to the observance of the Mosaic Law, as long as it did not interfere with the liberty of the Gentiles, but he conformed to its prescriptions when occasion required (1 Corinthians 9:20). Thus he shortly after [the Council of Jerusalem] circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:1-3), and he was in the very act of observing the Mosaic ritual when he was arrested at Jerusalem (21:26 sqq.).”
Why the distinction: “as long as it did not interfere with the liberty of the Gentiles…”?
Not that Paul is our example as is Christ, but I find this passage interesting when contemplating distinctions among peoples – such as Jews and Gentiles.
I guess what I’m trying (albeit poorly and with half a brain) to say is that I’m not yet sure that the Law is so tidily wrapped up with Gentile dismissal saying “Christ set us free from all that.” I really wonder if there’s more of a place for it in our lives and is due greater consideration - well, greater than I’ve given it.
I think I’m just very frustrated by hearing “freedom in Christ” bandied about for fleshly justification of desires, and I’m bucking all of that to think with greater intention exactly what said “freedom” means in light of the Law – or what the “Law” means in light of freedom. Christ said He didn’t come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it, so I wonder about the place of the Law in all of our lives.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Old, Old Story - Spurgeon

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "The Old, Old Story," a sermon preached on Sunday Evening, March 30th, 1862, at the Met Tab.

Just as they say fish go bad at the head first, so modern divines generally go bad first upon the head and main doctrine of the substitutionary work of Christ. Nearly all our modern errors, I might say all of them, begin with mistakes about Christ.

Men do not like to be always preaching the same thing. There are Athenians in the pulpit as well as in the pew who spend their time in nothing but hearing some new thing. They are not content to tell over and over again the simple message, "He that believeth in the Lord Jesus Christ hath everlasting life." So they borrow novelties from literature, and garnish the Word of God with the words which man's wisdom teacheth.

The doctrine of atonement they mystify. Reconciliation by the precious blood of Jesus ceases to be the cornerstone of their ministry. To shape the gospel to the diseased wishes and tastes of men enters far more deeply into their purpose, than to remould the mind and renew the heart of men that they receive the gospel as it is.

There is no telling where they will go who once go back from following the Lord with a true and undivided heart, from deep to deep descending, the blackness of darkness will receive them unless grace prevent. Only this you may take for a certainty:

"They cannot be right in the rest,Unless they speak rightly of Him."If they are not sound about the purpose of the cross, they are rotten everywhere."Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

On this rock there is security. We may be mistaken on any other points with more impunity than this. They who are builded on the rock, though they build wood, and hay, and stubble, thereupon to their sore confusion, for what they build shall be burned, themselves shall be saved yet so as by fire.

Now that grand doctrine which we take to be the keystone of the evangelical system, the very corner-stone of the gospel, that grand doctrine of the atonement of Christ we would tell to you again, and then, without attempting to prove it, for that we have done hundreds of times, we shall try to draw some lessons of instruction from that truth which is surely believed among us.

Man having sinned, God's righteousness demanded that the penalty should be fulfilled. He had said, "The soul that sinneth shall die;" and unless God can be false, the sinner must die. Moreover, God's holiness demanded it, for the penalty was based on justice. It was just that the sinner should die. God had not appended a more heavy penalty than he should have done. Punishment is the just result of offending. God, then, must either cease to be holy, or the sinner must be punished. Truth and holiness imperiously demanded that God should lift his hand and smite the man who had broken his law and offended his majesty.

Christ Jesus, the second Adam, the federal head of the chosen ones, interposed. He offered himself to bear the penalty which they ought to bear; to fulfill and honor the law which they had broken and dishonored. He offered to be their day's—man, a surety, a substitute, standing in their room, place, and stead. Christ became the vicar of his people; vicariously suffering in their stead; vicariously doing in their stead that which they were not strong enough to do by reason of the weakness of the flesh through the fall.

This which Christ proposed to do was accepted of God. In due time Christ actually died, and fulfilled what he promised to do. He took every sin of all his people, and suffered every stroke of the rod on account of those sins. He had compounded into one awful draught the punishment of the sins of an the elect. He took the cup; he put it to his lips; he sweat as it were great drops of blood while he tasted the first sip thereof, but he never desisted, but drank on, on, on, till he had exhausted the very dregs, and turning the vessel upside down he said, "It is finished!" and at one tremendous draught of love the Lord God of salvation had drained destruction dry. Not a dreg, not the slightest residue was left; he had suffered all that ought to have been suffered; had finished transgression, and made an end of sin.

Moreover, he obeyed his Father's law to the utmost extent of it; he fulfilled that will of which he had said of old—"Lo, I come to do thy will, O God: thy law is my delight;" and having offered both an atonement for sin and a complete fulfillment of the law, he ascended up on high, took his seat on the right hand of the Majesty in heaven, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool, and interceding for those whom he bought with blood that they may be with him where he is.

The doctrine of the atonement is very simple. It just consists in the substitution of Christ in the place of the sinner; Christ being treated as if he were the sinner, and then the transgressor being treated as if he were the righteous one.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007


“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:25-29).

Paul doesn’t leave us without examples. Our agape love for our wives will look like the love Christ has for the church. And as we look at the love Christ has for the church we can rejoice in this fact: This is how Christ loves me!

Christ’s love for the church is unconditional. In other words, his love for us is not based on any worth that is to be found in us. In fact, he chose to love us in spite of our unworthiness. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We were dirty, filthy sinners and enemies of God when Christ died for us! Look what he did for us! He made us holy! He cleansed us by washing us with the water of the word. He dressed us radiantly and removed every stain and blemish of sin. This is how Christ loved the church! And this is how we Christian husbands are to love our wives! There is no place for us to say, “But she’s a shrew! She doesn’t lift a finger around the house. She’s impossible to please. She’s not worthy of that kind of love.” Our love is unconditional! We choose to love because that is what Christ did for us!

Christ’s love for the church was demonstrated in the fact that he gave himself up for her. We think of the glories of heaven that Christ surrendered when he willingly came to earth in human form. We think of the poverty of his life. We think of all the things that he gave up for us. But that’s not what Paul says! He says that Christ gave himself up for the church! The Lord Jesus surrendered everything that was rightfully his and having surrendered everything, surrendered himself! He went to the cross and suffered and died for the sake of his church.

If you say, “I am willing to lay down my life for my wife,” you haven’t got it yet! Paul doesn’t tell us to be willing to give ourselves up for our wives. He tells us to do what Jesus did and completely surrender ourselves for our wives! What does that look like in day to day life? We put our wives first, before our careers, our comforts, our health, our friends, our hunting or golf, NCAA basketball on TV, before everything! If we want to know that we are loving our wives like Christ loved the church then we should ask ourselves every day, “Am I laying down my life for my wife?”

Friday, May 18, 2007


At our Tuesday night study (mentioned in previous post), we wrapped up the study of the book of Matthew. In the question book, it was asked of the participants, “Why do you think Jesus told his disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (28:19) rather than “converts” of all nations? A good question.
Since I don’t have the study book, having only recently (December) joined this church, I was kind of wingin’ it in the question-and-answer period, but that’s always good fun.
When I asked something to the effect that “doesn’t Jesus discuss the challenges unique to disciples” somewhere in the gospels, our pastor (who facilitates the discussion) countered me, saying that ALL Christians are called to be disciples.
So fingering quickly through my concordance, I found the verses in Luke wherein the cost of discipleship is examined.
Luke 14:25-32 states:
“Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them,
‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
"Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?
It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
I read this (in part) to the group, but the pastor continually affirmed, “We are all called to be his disciples.”
In a mixed group, I didn’t want to press a discussion about it since there was yet more ground to cover in the question-and-answer group, but I pondered these things, and I wonder, are all Christians disciples? I don’t think so.
Are true believers disciples? Certainly some are, but all?
Is there not a distinction between Christ’s disciples and others, even if saved?
What thinkest thou with respect to why Jesus told his disciples to “make disciples” (as opposed to “converts”) of all nations?


Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Few Good Resources On Marriage And Family

Each of these rescourses comes from Dr. Kostenberger.

You'll have to scroll down the page just a bit. All the lessons are given in video. The titles are:

February 11 1 Introduction: The Current Cultural Crisis: Rebuilding the Foundation
February 18 2 Leaving and Cleaving: The Creator’s Design for Marriage
February 25 3 No Longer Two, But One: Building a Christian Marriage
March 4 4 The Nature of Marriage: More than a Covenant
March 11 5 The Ties that Bind: Family in God’s Plan
March 18 6 The Christian Family: Who Is the Head of Your Household?
March 25 7 To Have or Not to Have Children: Contraception, Adoption, and Other Issues
April 1 8 Requiring the Wisdom of Solomon: Toward Becoming a
April 15 9 Undivided Devotion to the Lord: God’s Gift of Singleness
April 22 10 Abandoning Natural Relations: What the Bible Says about Homosexuality
April 29 11 Separating What God Has Joined Together: Divorce & Remarriage

For reading material see here. Except for the book, which is what the above is concerning, each article is available for download.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Body and Soul

At a Tuesday night Bible study, the pastor of our church was discussing the recent passing of Jerry Falwell, who was president of the university our pastor attended for two years. Although our pastor disagreed with Falwell on many points, he graciously commended Falwell for his life’s work.
I had noted earlier that day on Mohler’s blog (http://www.albertmohler.com/blog.php) that I thought Mohler’s citation of Falwell’s life was graciously presented, considering that Falwell was a controversial public figure.
During Bible study time, which is interspersed with singing and prayer, our pastor noted that he liked Thomas Ascol’s blog (http://www.founders.org/blog/), wherein Ascol wrote: “I received a phone call 30 minutes ago that Jerry Falwell has died. Don't you believe it! He is more alive right now than he has ever been. He left "the land of the dying" and entered the "land of the living." That is the way that he would see it, and all of us who love the Lord Jesus should agree. For the Christian, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”
This got me to thinking. I’m always wary of folks making statements about where someone is after death – particularly pastors or teachers speaking as those in positions of authority – but it’s only because I want to be sure that they’re speaking Truth, and I’m uncertain myself what Scripture says about the state of the soul immediately upon death.
So I questioned our pastor during a break about it, having looked up 2 Cor. 5:8 immediately beforehand, since I presumed he’d cite that well-known verse, which I frequently hear stated as “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” as did Ascol.
But I see it in its context somewhat differently. Verses 6-9 read: “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
I see that more as encouragement to look heavenward and desire to be with the Lord here moreso than in our earthly tents (bodies), as Paul refers to our bodies at the beginning of that chapter.
Our pastor also referred me to 1 Thess. 4:14, wherein it states “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”
In my Reformation Study Bible (ESV) with Sproul footnotes, Sproul cites Luke 16:19-31 as support of the concept that there is immediate connection for the soul to be spirited away to its appropriate place. This is the story of the rich man and Lazarus as told by Jesus (to the Pharisees I think) with the rich man in Hades who lifts up his eyes and see Abraham and Lazarus together after death.
Soooooo… I wonder, does this really support souls immediately in their respective places, or was it a type of parable (or insert correct literary term here) told by Jesus to prove a point? The rich man lifted up his eyes to see Lazarus with Abraham. Do souls have eyes?
I know that the thief on the cross was told by Christ that “today you shall be with me in Paradise,” but “today” could mean things other than a 24-hour period.
I know that Sproul does not agree with the concept of “soul sleep,” so perhaps the term “sleep” is simply and only a metaphor for the word “death” in Scripture, but I wonder then, if we immediately go in spirit only to be with Christ, although He in glorified body, until His return for the harvest of souls, whereupon we receive our glorified bodies?
What thinkest thou?

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

C. Gordon Olson on John Calvin and the Gift of Faith

C. Gordon Olson presents a fair amount of historical analysis in Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism. Coming under scrutiny is none other than John Calvin. One curious historical tidbit by Olson is the implication Calvin did not believe faith is the gift of God given to a specific chosen people. Of Calvinists believing faith is a gift from God, Olson says, "Contemporary Calvinists have gone far beyond Calvin in this area and show a serious lapse into a scholastic deductionism rather than giving preference to direct Scriptural inductive study" (p. 228).

Olson notes inductive Biblical study proves faith is not "...the immediate, direct gift of God..." (p.228). Olson says, "...God is never represented in Scripture as striking people with faith as a direct gift...". He then offers a number of proofs. A subcategory in this section is entitled, Faith is always ascribed to man, not God. Olson then quotes Calvin for support:

Read more here...

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Mighty Savior - by Spurgeon

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "A Mighty Savior," a sermon delivered Sunday morning, January 4, 1857, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens."

. . . mighty to save" (Isaiah 63:1).Commonly, most men, when they read these words, consider them to mean salvation from hell. They are partially correct, but the notion is highly defective.It is true Christ does save men from the penalty of their guilt; he does take those to heaven who deserve the eternal wrath and displeasure of the Most High; it is true that he does blot out "iniquity, transgression, and sin," and that the iniquities of the remnant of his people are passed over for the sake of his blood and atonement.

But that is not the whole meaning of the words "to save." This deficient explanation lies at the root of mistakes which many theologians have made, and by which they have surrounded their system of divinity with mist. They have said that to save is to pluck men as brands from the burning—to save them from destruction if they repent.

Now, it means vastly (I had almost said "infinitely") more than this. "To save" means something more than just delivering penitents from going down to hell.By the words "to save," I understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire, the first spiritual conviction, onward to complete sanctification. All this done of God through Jesus Christ.

Christ is not only mighty to save those who do repent, but he is able to make men repent; he is engaged not merely to carry those to heaven who believe, but he is mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them; he is mighty not merely to give heaven to one who wishes for it, but he is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, to constrain the despiser of his name to bend his knee before him, and to make the most abandoned reprobate turn from the error of his ways.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007


These two messages on "Marriage" by Paul Washer are worthy of listening to.

Destroying Pop-Christian Views of Marital Bliss

go to Sermon by Speaker


and then click on "Paul Washers" name and you will be taken to the sermons he has preached. Click on Destroy Pop-Christian Views of Maital Bliss. There is Part 1 and Part 2. Two very powerful messages for husband and wives to listen to.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mothers' Day

Can I tell you a quick story about one of my favorite mothers? (You know I can’t tell a quick story, but may I try anyway?) My favorite mom is of course my own and I thank God for her, I truly do. But the woman who comes to mind immediately when I think of my inspiration is a woman named Helen. I won’t give her last name since I didn’t ask her permission to tell (part of) her story, but I just have to share her with you.
Probably about 15 years ago, my brother married a gal who had had a child when she was about 16 years old (not my brother’s child). The boy, named Adam, was born with cerebral palsy and the gal gave him up for adoption. Helen and her husband Jeff adopted Adam when this girl was 16. When the gal later married my brother in her late 20s, I learned of Adam and his adopted family. Because he was my new sister-in-law’s son and she kept in touch with this family, I considered them to be my family too, and I got in touch with them.
Eventually, I went to visit them since they lived about eight hours from me in the state of Florida. I took my then boyfriend (now husband), and we went to meet Adam and his adopted family. They lived then in a single-wide trailer with Adam and two other adopted handicapped children. I have never in my life seen better organization than in that small trailer. Drawers pulled out from underneath beds. Beds folded down from walls (don’t ask me how in a trailer that small). Shelves everywhere held baskets and books and medical supplies. You name it, it was there.
And more than that – we were welcomed as if we were family, and yet my then boyfriend and I were living in sin and hardly had one ounce of the generosity and love that this family had, but we were treated as if we were long-lost family and royalty. During our short visit, I saw Helen change feeding tubes, fluid bags, and whatever else the special needs of her children required. It made a real impression on me.
A few years later, during one of the several tumultuous break-ups with then-boyfriend, I decided after a particularly stressful work time to take a vacation and drive myself to New Orleans just to get away from it all. (The word “impetuous” comes to mind.) I took off and somewhere down the road decided to call Helen and her husband Jeff. They again told me to come on by and stay with them the night on my way to Nawlins’. This time, they were in a new residence – having adopted yet another disabled child who – unbeknownst to them at the time – came with a small inheritance. With the money, they purchased an old church and moved in with their then four handicapped children.
Adam had recently passed away, and when I visited with them, I was able to hear from Helen how difficult it was to lose a child. He was every bit her child – as if he grew in her own womb, even though he grew in her heart instead.
I made a decision to keep Helen and Jeff in my family, even if Adam was no longer physically present.
Years afterward, my now husband and I came to faith and I don’t doubt that the prayers and ministry of Helen and Jeff had something to do with it. Since Adam’s passing, they have had to cope with the passing of two other handicapped children, and they now have seven adopted children with various disabilities. (They also have three grown children born to them, with seven grandchildren.)
Helen stays home with the children. Jeff ministers to the elderly in the community. They are supported solely through personal donations and receive nothing from the government, neither do they ask for anything from the latter.
The name of their ministries is Mephibosheth Ministries.
Helen is my inspiration. This last year, my husband and I asked Jeff and Helen to be godparents to our daughter. I can think of no other home in which I’d like her to be raised if the Lord were to call us Home prior to our daughter’s turning 18 years old.
I don’t know to what theology (Reformed or otherwise) Jeff and Helen subscribe. I don’t know if they’re amill, pre-mill or post-mill. I just know that they walk in Christ.
And that thusly, Helen is a woman who fears the Lord and shall be greatly praised.
If you made it this far, please tell me about one of your favorite moms. I’d love to hear.
Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!

Friday, May 11, 2007


Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

A second thing to notice is that when Paul writes, “Husbands, love your wives,” he puts it in the imperative. It is a command! It may be important to notice that he does not speak to the wife in any imperatives in verses 22-24. He does not use a command when he tells Christian wives to offer their submission to their husbands. It is completely voluntary! But Christian husbands are commanded to love their wives! How in the world did we ever get to the point in our view of marriage where we thought we could demand submission from our wives? If anything, our wives would be on firmer ground if they reminded us that Paul commanded us to love them! Men, how serious is this? We cannot afford to take this command lightly!

We are fallen, sinful men. How are we supposed to love our wives this way? Most of us weren’t raised this way. Our culture doesn’t promote this kind of loving relationship. How can we swim against the current and be so different from the world? Paul has already told us how we can do it. He told us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The only hope we have is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and let him guide us in our marriages. Let him show us how we are supposed to love our wives and treat them gently. Do you want to know if the Holy Spirit is working in your life? One way you can tell is by looking at the way you love your wife! If you are loving her like Christ loved the church then you can be assured that the Holy Spirit is doing his good work in you!

Spurgeon on Eschatogy - filler until Dave resumes his series on Marriage


In the discussion of the various aspects of systematic theology, perhaps none has seen more ink spilt in the last 100 years than eschatology. Those who have "specialized" in this field are well-known and equally well- published; however, when the discussion of eschatology comes up, the name of one of the most published Christians in the history of the church1, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), is seldom mentioned. There are, of course, many reasons for this, not the least of which was Spurgeon's own lack of emphasis on the subject in his own ministry, as was common in his day.Given Spurgeon's notoriety and the volume of his writings, it is perhaps no wonder that almost every advocate of an eschatological viewpoint has attempted to bolster their position by appealing to Spurgeon as "being in their camp."

A brief sampling of conclusions will serve to illustrate this point. Lewis A. Drummond states in his excellent biography, "Spurgeon confessed to be a pre- millennialist."2 Peter Masters, currently pastor of Spurgeon's church, The Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, stated, "If Spurgeon had lived in this century it is unlikely that he would have used the term 'millennium' to describe the first phase of the eternal glory. Certainly he would have stood much closer to amillennialism than to either of the other scenarios recognized today,"3 Erroll Hulse in his book, The Restoration of Israel, firmly declared Spurgeon to be postmillennial.4 So widespread is the effort to attach Spurgeon's name to particular prophetic systems that even the newest tribulational/rapture formulation within the dispensational camp, known as "The Pre- Wrath Rapture," calls on him for support. Robert Van Kampen states in his work The Sign, "Charles Haddon Spurgeon was not known to be one who wrote extensively on the end times. But what he did say perfectly parallels the sequence of events presented in this book."

5Obviously Spurgeon could not have held all of these positions. But, which position, if any, did he believe? Can it be determined? And why is there this degree of confusion on the subject? These are the questions that this thesis will attempt to answer. The issue is an important one, as Spurgeon continues to be one of the most popular Christian authors in print, even a century after his death. Men of different positions, whether honestly or otherwise, seek to marshal support for their own prophetic interpretations by appealing to Spurgeon for support. This is a practice that he would have certainly denounced. Commenting on the issue of "Spurgeonism," a phenomena of his own day, he stated:

Read more here...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Per Mark's Instructions...

I'm posting my seven 'interesting' things here at Bluecollar, in addition to my own blog. Now, after reading all of The Team's interesting facts and stories, my stuff seems oh so trival.

1) I'm an adopted child. Three and a half years after taking me home, my parents had a baby boy. I met much of my birth family as an adult. They sought me out, they did. Otherwise I'd have never searched for them, as I had zero desire to do so.

2) I have naturally curly hair. After meeting said birth family, I see where it came from. During my growing up years, my wild head 'o hair caused me great distress and mental anguish. As a toddler it was great; 'they' said I resembled Shirley Temple. In elementary school, I was teased mercilessly. As a teenager in the mid 70's, it was the worst thing that could have ever been bestowed on me. Curls do NOT part down the middle and hang ever so flowingly down your face and over your shoulders. No, indeed not.

3) International travel has led me to Russia, England, Ecuador, Canada and Mexico (which barely counts since I live in Texas). Actually, I was in London at a very historic time in history. Is that redundant? I was there just after Princess Diana was killed, and the entire city was covered in memorials. I literally waded through a sea of flowers at Kensington Palace, her residence. It was there that I picked up my souvenir candle votive. Hey, it was all going to charity anyway.

4) I was born in Dallas. Due to my dad's job transfers, I spent five years in Houston and the rest of my childhood in Austin. I love Austin. Austin is still 'home.' Austin is my son's middle name. Austin is where I'm headed today. (Actually, I'm now back from my little trip)

5) Thirty miles south of Austin is San Marcos, which is where I attended college at Southwest Texas State University. I earned a B.A. in Sociology. What was I thinking?

6) I hate math, but I'm good with numbers. I've spent a number of years in positions where I do banking, reconcile accounts, bookkeeping, payroll, etc. But DO NOT ask me to count back your change. No can do. Go figure...

7) I've become a studier. Mind you, I didn't do a lot of studying when grades were at stake, but I love it now. I really get into theology. :)

Like Mr Jazzy, I hesitate to post my testimony - mainly because it's a rather ugly one and you just never know where it will end up in the cyberworld. During the past two years, I've blogged about some fairly personal things, so if one was inclined, once could search the archives. Someday maybe I'll post a more detailed testimony. Suffice it to say, for now, that three years ago, God graciously enabled me to come to an understanding of His great sovereignty. His truth collided with my preconceived, man-made and man-centered theology and it was indeed a light-bulb moment. Through His Word and the supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit, He enabled me to be broken and to humble myself to receive the truth of Who He is. Since that time, life has not been the same. Praise God!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tag!! You're It!!!


I wish I knew seven interesting things about myself.

Let's see.....

1) I do a good Elvis impersonation. Long time ago, my mom, and one of my three brothers, were big Elvis fans. So I have heard a ton of Elvis in my life. Ain't that rite, 'Silla, baby....We cain't go on togeth-ah with suspisious minds....My brother cried the day Elvis died. I looked at him like he was crazy. My problem is, though, I will probably ball like a baby when Eddie Van Halen dies. I pray for him. I have done so since probably around '82 or so. Youth group leaders used to look at me like I was crazy...pray for a guy who plays rock music! Hey, I thought we were supposed to pray for sinners, for their conversion.

2) I learned to play guitar. Actually, it came pretty natural. The whole family was musically inclined to some degree. Well, except for my Dad. He made up for it though with a very hearty love for music. Swing bands, you know, Glenn Miller...hmmmm....The old, old, OLD, Grand 'Ol....Oh what is it....the Grand 'Ol Opry. I guess it should be "opra" but, you know, it was a country thing and so you say "opry" or "oprie." There was one guy named "String Bean," who was a tall skinny fella. You had "Earl and Schruggs" (I prolly didn't spell that right, but anyway...) "Little Jimmy Dickens." My mom and dad's favorite song was called "Tennesse Waltz." I don't think they ever really paid attention to the lyrics though. Anyway, when I was growing up, and Pop pulled out the records, he would always play that song last. He and my mom would always slow dance to it. Oh yeah... I said Glenn Miller. My dad had this one Glenn Miller album, and a song on it, "In The Mood," I believe was the name of it, well, it had this quiet part to it. If you listened close to the background on that quiet part you could hear German planes bombing the city (that particular version of the song was recorded in England). Anyway, I learned to play guitar. I was pretty versitle. I could play anything from "Wildwood Flower" to "...And The Cradle Will Rock" by Van Halen.

3) I used to write, and still do to a degree, short stories and poetry. That has always been part of my life. Although I was never any good at it, I have been published. I wrote a lot of horror and fantasy fiction. Robert E. Howard was a big influence. H.P. Lovecraft to a certain extent, an English guy, Ramsy Campbell. I have gotten to exchange a note or two with Stephen King. Anyway, I had my first peice published before my mom died. That was cool.

4) I wrestled in high school. I was in the 160's. Loved the sport. Still do. They will broadcast the state championships on a local cable channel. I watch those. There is a new high school not even a mile from my house. I'll have to go check their team out next season. I don't think I could ever go to an event at the high school I graduated from. Whenever I ride by there, I don't know, it's that feeling you get, I guess...that feeling that comes crashing in on you like that part of your life was another time, another place, and you get lonesome for those times, and you begin to maybe wish that your heart was a time machine...

5) My dad was a Navel hero. He was stationed on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War. He was stationed in Bioler Room #2 on the ship. What happened was that boiler room # 1 blew up, and something added with something else (real technical, huh?), which caused a chain reaction and boiler room # 2 was in danger of blowing up. My dad stayed at his post which was just outside the room door. The room filled up with superheated steam and the boilers began to go critical. He rushed in and shut the boilers down and evacuated those who had somehow survived the steam blast. Pop never talked about it much, though. I think I was around 14 or 15 when I found out about it. There was a write-up about it in the local paper a week or so after it happened. I found that little article before my dad died. I still have a copy of that article. I was proud of my dad. It's funny, now that I think about it -- he took me to see "Jaws" when it first came out. And of course, he and I went to see Jaws 2. I remember he took me to see Godzilla vs. Megalon. That was .... man... that was way back when!!!! We saw it at the Gem Theater in downtown Concord. We sat in the back underneath the balcony -- second row, first two seats on the right! Yeah, Pops always chose those seats in case he had to go pee he wouldn't go to the wrong seats when he came back. Yeah...I am sure it was for his benefit, not mine. ;-)

Well, that is five....


6) I am a boring person!

7) I have never been anywhere. Well, except for the beach, and a visit to my sister in law when she lived in Tenn. I got to go to the Wal Mart there.... I would like to visit Spain, Scotland, England, and Germany. My peeps are from Germany -- Baveria.

Aftr going through this list, I really am a boring guy!

Me and Jazzycat

Seven things about Wayne.......

1. God has blessed me tremendously my entire life. I am continually amazed at how good things spiritually and temporally happen to me.

2. I was approximately 50 when God called me by his grace. There is no doubt in my mind that he sought me first with this grace when I was happy being an agnostic. When I look back at how my conversion played out, I am convinced it was very much a Calvinistic experience. I am a member at Brandon Presbyterian Church (PCA).

3. My relatively small high school did not have wrestling, but I played all the other sports. In football, I was a small but slow lineman. Basketball was my favorite and I played baseball and pole vaulted in track. An offensive tackle that also pole vaulted, go figure. I was average at best in any sport. I really feel deprived about not being a wrestler.

4. I was raised in the Jackson, Mississippi area and finished college at Miss. State Univ. in engineering.

5. While in the air force, I broke the sound barrier while solo in a T-38 over central Oklahoma. I hope the statue of limitations has run out on that since we weren’t supposed to do that due to farmers complaining that the boom upset their livestock. However, I had a compulsion.

6. Jazzycat can play me like a fiddle to get what she wants.

7. I love my wife and she has learned well from Jazzycat. We swim at the Y and I try not to even look at those people lifting weights. It makes me tired just thinking about it. We love to take photography trips and one of our projects was to photograph all 92 courthouses in Mississippi and and publish it on our home computer.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Me, me,me meeeeee ( I can't sing)

Mark asked me to post this here..so here goes....

I.) I was born In Marville France. My father was in the Air Force so we traveled around a lot. I also lived in Lahrs Germany, Metz France, Trenton Ontario, Centralia Ontario and London Ontario.
http://www.pinetreeline.org/metz/brats/mbphotos/mbphotos-1/mbp-47a.jpg I am in the forth row at the end of the row. This is when we lived in Metz.

2.) When I was 12 years old I won First Place trophy for all of Ontario for Shotput. Then for the finals I won Second Place, for all of Canada.
Grunt grunt! *S*

3.) I loved sports when I was younger. Baseball was my favorite. I golfed, I played volleyball, loved bowling. I would play street hockey with my brother and friends.

4. I love to write poetry, mainly poetry about the folks that are dearest to me. I also love to write poetry about the Lord.

5. Late at night I love to put my PJs on and sit and watch old movies with a box of klennex. The later the better so that no one sees me blubbering.

6. Not one of my proudest moments was when I was around 9 years old, a friend of mine had the most beautifulist hair you ever seen. It was down past her waist and I was very envious. One day I remember convincing her that we should play hair dressers! I let her cut my hair which was just past my shoulders, then I cut her hair the same length as mine *S*S* dare to say I couldn't sit down for a day or two.

7)When I was young, I walked in my sleep.I usually would
go down stairs and my parents would take me back to my bed and all would be fine. There was one night my parents never forgot. I went to bed as usual and later in the night, I headed down stairs and out the front door. I walked 2 blocks in my sleep and luckily friends of my parents were walking by and led me home. I have to admit, and my parents will verify this ...I made there lives interesting.....and lastly I will add my favorite color is green. *S*

I'll tag....
Sarah http://www.sarahsjournal-luvvom.blogspot.com/ at Sarahs' Journey

Rita http://jungle-hut.blogspot.com/ at Jungle Hut

Pam http://anitalottahelp.blogspot.com/ at Midnight Muse

Julie http://juliesjewels062694.blogspot.com/ at Julies Jewels

Janie http://janieathome.blogspot.com/ at Janie at Home



Seven “interesting” things about me?
I guess it depends on the interests of who’s reading, but here goes…

1) I once worked at Kennedy Space Center as editor of a NASA publication. The photo was taken during the filming of the movie “Armageddon.” That’s me to the immediate right of Bruce Willis (his left). Sorry the image is wonky; I had to scan it in with my 4-year-old daughter "helping" me. Too bad I’m not a Willis fan, but meeting Willis sure impressed my then 11-year-old son. I was more impressed with the Israeli astronaut (who flew on Columbia’s last mission), who signed the publication for me in Hebrew, and I gave it to my son. I now live on a horse farm in the Middle of Nowhere and work from home as a technical editor for a couple of knitting magazines.

2) I knit - a lot. I also spin yarn on a spinning wheel and on drop spindles. (There’s a good reason they call it a “drop” spindle.) I’ve spun wool, cotton, silk, flax, and qiviut (anybody wanna take a guess what that is? No peekin’ on google.)

3) I’ve lived as a student and worker in Australia, France, and Israel, but I would also like to visit or live in Greece at some point before the Lord calls me to a heavenly home. I see on Cristina’s blog (http://baptist-girl.blogspot.com/) that she was born in France, and one of the towns in which she lived was Metz. Cristina, I studied in Nancy in the early ‘80s. Nancy (pronounced Nawn-SEE) is the stop before Metz as one heads from Paris to the Alsace/Lorraine region, which was once part of Germany. In fact, the cuisine there bears a German influence, but I digress…

4) I know French and Hebrew fairly well, and have studied classical Arabic, but Greek is – sigh – all Greek to me.

5) I grew up in a Christian home, where both parents were believers, but they separated and later divorced. I learned a lot about what I didn’t want in a marriage from that, but I also really missed my dad. The only way to see him when I was 13 was to attend church with him. I learned a lot about what I didn’t like in Christianity that way. There were a lot of crazy tongues and healings going on there – much of what I see Paul discussing in 1 Corinthians. It may well have been part of my decision to convert to Judaism. (Hey! That’ll be number 6.)

6) I converted to Judaism when I was in my 20s. I studied Hebrew at the Jewish Embassy in NYC, where I met and married an Israeli. We had a son and moved to Israel. We moved back to the US and divorced after a few years. My son is now 19 and serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.

7) All the education and good work experience I have had didn’t spare me from being really stupid. In a floundering second marriage with my son living overseas, I turned to alcohol. In a memory of which I am most ashamed, I laid myself down drunk one day beside a garbage can – in front of my mother, her husband, my husband, and my then-8-year-old son visiting for the summer. I thank God now for His hand during that experience, because the only way I would have ever looked up to see Him was from the bottom of a pit. My pride would never have allowed me to see my own lack and desperate need of a Savior had I not fallen from my pedestal to hit rock bottom. It was then that I started seeking a church and later went up at a Pentecostal church evening service during an altar call. It was like a magnet pulling me to that altar, and since that time, I’ve never a felt a weight lift from me as much as I did that night. It was so heavy, I’ll bet even Mark couldn’t lift it! (It was pretty heavy, Mark.)

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Gayla assumes there are seven interesting things to know about us! This could be difficult!

1) I grew up in Long Beach, California and lived the life of the Beachboys music

2) I had open heart surgery to correct a birth defect when I was not yet 12 years old in 1965, back when open heart surgery was pretty new.

3) In high school I was a wrestler and a baseball player

4) I left Southern California to go to Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois) and never made it back there to live

5) I was “asked to leave” my first seminary for theological reasons

6) My first wife had over 20 brain surgeries for recurring brain tumors over 17 years before dying at age 44

7) I haven’t had a speeding ticket since 1977 when I had my license suspended. (That ’69 Firebird seemed to attract cops like honey attracts flies!)

Will that do?


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Gayla Wants the Bluecollar Team to 'Fess-Up

Over at Gayla's site the bluecollar team has been tagged with one of those meme's.

Hmmm. Where to start. We are to list seven interesting things about ourselves. Huh. Hmmm. Let's see now...

1) I was saved at the age of 16. (April 28, 1973)

2) I was on my highschool football (JV) and wrestling (both JV and Varsity) teams.

3) I love lifting weights. I have many trophies from bench-press contests I had entered in the late '80's and early '90's. My best bench in a contest was 385. I have put up 390 in the gym, at the body-weight of 217.

4) I've been to Egypt, Israel, Jordan and India.

5) I raise tropical fish.

6) I think Spurgeon is just OK.

7) Ain't got notin' else to say

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Friday, May 04, 2007

A Testimony

I posted this link over at the Stomping Ground a month or so back. Please take a moment to read it. Tis very moving. She had known of men in only one way: crudeness. We can become arrogent to women, as if we are somehow better. As if they were our punching bags, either verbaly, emotionally, or physically. This sister in Chrst, Clemntine, that is how she knew men to be growing up.

Everyday Mommy asked a question today that I'm anxious to answer. She wrote, "So, today I’d like to ask you to share your thoughts on the practical application of Biblical submission. In other words, how do you do it? What’s at the heart of this instruction, for you, personally? How has God worked in your heart as you’ve learned about submission? What has been your husband’s response to it?"

Well. Let me just tell you THIS: I was born in the '60's (The Age of Aquarius), grew up in the '70's with my sister and our divorced mother (I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar), and came of age in the '80's (Girls Just Want to Have Fun). I learned a lot.

I learned that men can't be trusted. That husbands have their mail sent to someone else's house, and that it was never too early for a Pabst Blue Ribbon. I learned that Daddies are dangerous and that the truth doesn't matter, but keeping Grandma in the dark does.

I learned to go to bed early and keep quiet when my mother "entertained". I learned to make rum and Coke, and to clean the bathroom after our "guests" had exceeded their alcohol tolerance. I pulled my mother's unconscious body out of the backseat of a man's car. He knocked her out when she climbed in his car to keep him from leaving. I thought she was dead.

I learned to cry without making a sound.

Men leave. They use, abuse, ignore, deprive, and lie.

I became a Christian in the 7th grade. The first thing I was sure of was that I would serve God in singleness. I wouldn't marry. Then I wouldn't be subject to a man. Ever.

Fast forward to 1987. I met him through a friend. He was handsome, smart and kind. And he liked me. He loved me.

He loves me.

He has taught me since then how Jesus sees me. He has encouraged me, corrected me, instructed me. He leads me in paths of righteousness for the Lord's sake. I will gratefully follow him until the Lord calls one of us home.

I am his helper. He is my head. I submit to him, he lays his life down for me. He is healing me by washing me with water through the Word and he is in control of this family. I am provided for, cared for, cherished and honored. My children are safe and loved. God's ways are not ours. I will never stop thanking Him for that.

I was born female. I am becoming a Lady.


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Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"

Just as their wives are no longer to be like Gentile wives, these Christian husbands are no longer to live like their Gentile counterparts. The typical Ephesian husband was a domineering husband. His wife existed to give him children and to take care of him and his home. He controlled his wife and treated her like she was his property. Paul tells the Christian husbands that they are to be imitators of God. They are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. They should make sure the Holy Spirit is leading them in their husbandly attitudes and activities.

One of the first things we notice is what Paul does not say. He does not say, “Husbands, make sure your wives submit to you as I told them to do.” He does not say, “Husbands, be sure you are the head of your wife. Make sure she is under your control.” He does not say, “Watch her very carefully and make sure she doesn’t do anything to embarrass you or bring shame to your name.” He does not say, “Make sure to keep your wife busy at home.” These things might sound kind of funny to you but I assure you, they are no joke. I have actually heard preachers and speakers say that Christian husbands have a duty to make sure they do all these things in their marriages! They say that these are the things Paul is talking about when he speaks of male headship in the home.

What Paul says is, “Husbands, love your wives.” I want us to take a closer look at that simple statement. The word for love is agapao, the verb from which we get the more commonly known noun, agape. This is the kind of love that is best described by actions rather than feelings. It is a self-sacrificial love. It is a serving love. It is the kind of love that seeks the welfare of the other person first. This is what Paul wants Christian husbands to do. It has nothing to do with feelings or emotions of love. It has to do with a decision that a husband makes to treat his wife in a loving way. It is this kind of love that completely rules out the possibility of domineering tyranny over the wife. A husband who loves his wife will treat her very gently, carefully, and considerately.

Peter writes, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life” (1 Peter 3:7). Those words “weaker partner” do not really convey what Peter is saying. They could be better translated as “more fragile vessel.” In other words, husbands, your wife is like a crystal chalice while you are like a fifty gallon drum! How do you treat a valuable piece of crystal? With gentleness. With care. With love.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How to Love your spouse – in one (not so easy) lesson

Most of us in this world function on human love. We love our spouses conditionally – depending on what they do and who they are with respect to us and our own feelings. Or we “love” them through the difficult times, but we sure don’t like them all that much when things don’t go the way we expect.
As God-fearing Christians, spouses are responsible to be obedient to God in His Word.
For the wife, this mean that she is accountable to show respect to her husband, showing honor to him as God’s appointed head over her and the family: “…let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:32b). Admittedly, the verse begins with a counsel to husbands that states: “Let each one of you love his wife as himself…”, but neither part of the verse is stated as being contingent upon the performance of the other spouse. Just because he’s not being the husband Scripture says he should be, it doesn’t let you off the hook to be the godly wife the Word says you should be.
The Christian wife is, however, expected to obey God instead of her husband when what her husband demands of her goes against God’s Word. (Note that this does not include a list of “sins” like tracking dirt in the house or leaving socks on the floor – no matter how stinky they are.)
A godly wife has many other responsibilities, but the one thing for which she is not responsible is changing her husband. Only God changes hearts.
Because “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8), we are exhorted to love with that same love: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11)
But how?
I believe that we must first learn to love God before we can love our husbands the way He wants us to – and that is with the Love that God Himself will give to us. The same Love that He has given for us.
We know from Scripture that Jesus proclaimed the first and greatest commandment as: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)
Unlike worldly love, loving God is not an emotion or a feeling. God’s love is not dependent upon our feelings, our circumstances, or the other person’s responses (or lack thereof). God loves us with unconditional love, which is not based on what we do for Him, but who we are in Him.
So how can we learn to love God, when we can’t learn to do what only God can do? Only God is Love, and we can’t learn to be what only God is.
What we can learn is how to yield ourselves totally to God – to set aside our own thoughts, emotions, and desires so that God can love His Love through us. It doesn’t matter how many Scriptures we know, how many prayers we say, or how many Bible studies we lead – it will always be a moment-by-moment choice to love God and to lay our lives down to Him so that His Love can be manifested through us. Not of us, but through us.
We can’t change the circumstances we are in. We can’t change our past, and we can’t make everything turn out the way we want. But we can:
1. Keep and maintain our focus on Christ;
2. Yield ourselves totally (not mostly or partially) to Him; and
3. Allow His Love to penetrate our souls to therefore overflow through us to others.
But if we’re standing in His way, it just ain’t gonna happen.
If our own judgmental, self-righteous attitudes, laden with self-pity, spiritual pride, unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness and anger – stored up over years of hurt and pain – stand between our hearts and our spouses, the Love will be blocked. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)
To love God means to lose self. To set self totally aside. To be broken of self.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)
I think here of a worldly movie called “A Bug’s Life,” in which the children ants are portraying how their presumed warrior bug friends will do battle with the grasshoppers when the latter come to take the ants’ winter storage of food. The children ants are so happy that the other bugs have come to help them (or so they think) that they put on a play depicting the battle. The only trouble is – they depict the full reality so well, wherein the grasshoppers kill some of the warrior bugs, that as children ants chant, “Die! Die! Die!” the “warrior” bug audience gape wide-eyed before slowly backing up and cooing: “Ohhh, how lovely! Great play! See ya!”
How often are we prone in the flesh to the same response: Great Scripture, but die to self?
It’s hard work, choosing to not respond to your own feelings – again and again and again and yet again. And then some more. Then failing, asking forgiveness from God, and choosing not to feed your feelings. Again. (Yup, please don’t ask me how I know this.)
Too often, instead of confessing our negative thoughts to God that arise from our wicked hearts with respect to those whom we’re supposed to Love, we entertain those thoughts. We nourish them. We justify them. And we quench the Spirit.
Whine does not improve with age. Our self-life is just as ugly today as it was the day we first believed, no matter how long we have been Christians. Our motivation is wrong if we are loving only to have our circumstances or the other person change. That is human love.
Abundant life and Love is experiencing God’s Love through us – even and especially in the midst of our trials and circumstances. This is a far more dramatic and powerful testimony to others than the signs and wonders of the world. Joy, peace and love come not with the absence of trials, but with the presence of God in the midst of them.
Maturity in Christ is not knowing a bunch of memory verses, going to church regularly, or attending prayer meetings and Bible studies, but simply knowing how - moment by moment - to love God. And doing it.
Only God can change your spouse’s heart.
Only God can Love your spouse through you perfectly.
But only you can die to self.
In order to live – and truly Love.