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, April 30, 2009

The Real World

Since January there have been rounds of layoff's each month at the tool-shop where I work. Good machinists and fabricators are being shown the door; being thrown into a situation where nobody is hiring. They are talented, even gifted in their trade. Yet there is nothing out there. Some are in their mid-fifties, missing fingers from accidents on the lathe, with their children's college tuition bills yet to be paid. To be sure they were our company's bread and butter. Now they are treated like manure. And to pour salt into their wounds, after last month's layoff's and scheduling of furlough weeks our CEO told us that we are now poised to take on the future.

What a machine-like view! It's like saying to those who are gone, "too bad for you, but we'll be okay - so there!". No remorse for the fallen.

I guess being machine-like is how you become CEO. You can have it, thank you.

(Lord, save these people. They need to come to Christ.)

Newly made friends, one's I was trying to build bridges to in order to share the Gospel, are now gone. I feel sick to my stomach. May the Lord raise up other witnesses to go into their lives to share Christ with them.

Now they're telling us that there will be even more furlough weeks throughout the year. My wife, who is a benefits clerk in the human resources department, has now had two more furlough weeks added to the one we were told of in January. I'll be getting additional weeks too, if I survive the layoff's. This would be the third time I've been layed off in eleven years, having lost previous jobs when they left the state.

Makes for some interesting times ahead.

Lord, not my will, but thine be done.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 28, 1973 pt.2

As an interesting continuation to yesterday's post, and as food for thought concerning the GES, I have decided to link to a discussion I participated in at Lou Martuneac's blog. Here it is

Please feel free to share your thoughts here.


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28, 1973

That was the day that our triune God saved me. Since the previous March 8th Kevin Bartlett, his twin sister Karen, and their mother, Betty, had been sharing the Gospel with me. They were careful to tell me that I was a sinner and that Christ was my only hope of salvation. They made very sure that I knew that it was through faith alone in Christ alone that I could be saved. To them faith in Christ and discipleship were all one thing, meaning at the moment that I bow to Him for salvation I was also at that very moment bowing to His Lordship in my life. From that point on I was to be a learner, learning to walk in His ways. To be sure I wasn't perfect in following Him; but boy did my conscience hurt when I veered off course. I had to confess my sin right away. I was and am a learner - an imperfect learner. I confess my sins and He forgives me and cleanses me from all unrighteousness.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Two Vital Messages

Two excellent and unapologetically truth-filled sermons from Matt Chandler.

1) First, the bad news. Scroll down to 4/19/09 - "The Reason"

2) Next, the good news - Paise God! Scroll down to 4/26/09 - "God Saves"

Listen fast, cuz Matt preaches fast. :)

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Nature Of Free Will

In my understanding of Scripture, I simply do not glean the concept of an autonomous, unhindered free will. We are always influenced by something. The Bible tells us that the unregenerate person - the one who is at enmity with God, dead in trespasses and sin See Ephesians 2 - is unable to choose anything other than that to which he is bound. Namely sin. Romans 8:5-13 (There's so much more in Scripture on the subject, but this is a short post. Really.)

Trite but true is the adage - we're not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. Our nature is sinful. That is our essence. And we are slaves to sin.
Romans 6:16

And we will remain that way unless and until the Sovereign God interrupts our lives to change us and give us a new nature. And make no mistake - God interrupts and intervenes. He does according to HIS will. Human will can NEVER supercede God's will. Period. Paragraph.

Here's but one example:
Genesis 20. Pay particular attention to verses 3-7. There's no getting around the fact that God prevented a man from sinning against Him. Of course there are countless other examples in Scripture of God doing exactly as He wills, when He wills, and how He wills. The Bible is, after all, God's revelation of Himself. Probably the most well known account of God's radical intervention in someone's life is the story of Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus. Acts 22 Saul was doing anything BUT seeking God. In fact, he was actively involved in killing God's people. And, as you can see from the story, God intervened in Paul's life in a rather dramatic way. Then he spent the rest of his life proclaiming the high and holy name of Christ. As an aside, I argued online once with someone who told me that Paul STILL could have rejected/said no to/not chosen Christ. He could have resisted. The only problem with that is...there's no basis for it in Scripture!!!

One of my favorite passages emphasizing the will of God, NOT man is Daniel 4:34-35, which reads:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'

I pray that God, would not leave us to our own devices. Left to our own will, we're doomed.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Some Thoughts on the FGA vs the GES debate

I am currently watching the discusion going on between the FGA and the GES on Dr. Fred Lybrand's blog, http://fredlybrand.blogspot.com/2009/04/ges-gospel-lybrand-open-letter.html. The first page is the first two hundred comments. At the bottom of that page there is a link that you can click in order to see the rest of the comments. It is a very interesting read.

I did not comment there because my L/S Calvinism would be used by some to divert attention away from the real discusion.

My own thoughts are that the GES has taken their eyes off of Christ and put them on the salvation of man. From there they zero in on the promises of Christ for the appropriation of eternal life. The Gospel of John to them is the only book of the Bible that speaks as the authority to consult concerning the content of saving faith in an gospel presentation to the lost.

Segmenting the Word of God. Manmade divisions into His Word. This is not the way to go.

To them the gospel accounts of Jesus' life and miracles are merely to put forth Christ as qualified to give eternal life to man. I think the apostle John would beg to differ. Jesus came to reveal the Father. He was the last Word of the Father to a lost world. Looking at Jesus was to look at the Father. Hearing Jesus was to hear the Father. Eternal life is knowing both the Father and the Son. John 17:3. Out of that person's belly will flow rivers of living water, which is God the Holy Spirit.

The Gospel of John is about Jesus from begining to end. He came to show us the Father; not to present Himself as qualified to give eternal life. Know Him and you will have eternal life.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To Be Clear

I, Mark Pierson, hold to doctrinal positions that would earn me the moniker "L/S Calvinist". And though I differ with MacArthur on how he views 2 Corintians 13:5 I do not shy away from that label. In my spiritual and theological journey of the past 36 years my views that one coming to Christ MUST surrender to His Lordship as well as to His salvation in order to be saved have done nothing but to solidify. In this I differ greatly with the classic dispensationalists.

Over the past twenty years I have developed a great disdain for that system that teaches that only the Savior-hood of Christ should be preached to the lost, while His Lordship should be taught only to those already saved. I believe that it is wrong that they teach that there is such a thing as the "carnal Christian", one who can go on to live a life that is completely indifferent to the claims of Christ after having once made a profession of faith. I do not hold to the "once saved, always saved" mentality. I do not have any respect for a system that seems to throw all of Christ's Kingship into some future millenium, thus changing the biblical face of Christianity wherein Christ's Kingship is experienced within the heart and mind of the truely converted - a true Christian.

In short I fault the system of classic dispensationalism for having altered the face of biblical Christianity. They have put forth a view to the unsaved masses that Christianity is a ticket to Heaven, while watering down the truth that Christianity is discipleship, that one coming to Christ is taking upon themselves Christ's yoke - His rule in their lives - and has then and there become a learner of His ways.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Life eternal

While reading through the book of 1st John, I am continually drawn to verse 2:25, in which it is written:

“And this is the promise that he made to us – eternal life.”

I’ve been thinking and pondering a lot on this verse, particularly after reading the footnote in the NET Bible, which states:

“The promise consists of eternal life, but it is also related to the concept of ‘remaining’ in 2:24. The person who ‘remains in the Son and in the Father’ thus has this promise of eternal life from Jesus himself. Consistent with this, 1 John 5:12 implies that the believer has this eternal life now, not just in the future, and this in turn agrees with John 5:24.”

Those verses cited are:

1 John 5:12 – “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

John 5:24 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

The reason I stopped and lingered for days – still lingering, in fact – on the words ‘eternal life’ in 1 John 2:25 is because the idea of having eternal life now runs a bit counter to the way we normally perceive the word ‘eternal’ when we discuss Christian living.

I think the word ‘eternal’ is most commonly viewed among Christians as referring to what happens to our souls when our physical bodies die.

And yet, I believe what John and Jesus are referring to here is life that begins when a person becomes ‘born again’ – born, that is, in the Spirit by God Himself.

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:44

As an aside, the Greek word helkuo meaning “draws” in the verse immediately above is the same Greek word used in Acts 16:19 (“But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and helkuo/“dragged” them into the marketplace to the authorities”), Acts 21:30 ("And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and helkuo/“dragged” him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut”), and James 2:6 (“But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and helkuo/“drag” you into the courts?”), so it is more than a mere wooing on God’s part with the sinner. I am inclined to believe that God's drawing of us leans heavily on the side of compelling the sinner, more than a mere wooing.

But I disgress. The point of this post is not our understanding of the Greek word for “draws,” but of the word “eternal.” Strongs Concordance suggests that the Greek word aheeoneeos (eternal) means “perpetual, also used of past time or past and future as well.”

I keep bumping into this idea – that eternal is not just the future as we perceive it because we as finite fleshly beings are physically born and physically die. But eternal means that in addition to the future inheritance of life everlasting that we know is to come, we likewise possess that very life now.

Although seemingly a simple intellectual difference in understanding, I think it is an enormous change in the heart when one grasps this reality. Because to understand in mind and soul that we have actual real possession of His life within us this very moment, we begin to understand in our hearts that we possess the strength and power of God’s Holy Spirit to enable us to walk in Him, thus avoiding the very real danger of sin.

As you may already know, John’s reference to Christians not sinning in 1 John 3:16 (“Everyone who resides in him does not sin”) does not mean that Christians never sin. That would be impossible in our tents of flesh. I believe John clarifies this by surrounding verses, such as 3:7b-8 (“The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the devil.”) John’s references to not sinning here refer to the continual, ongoing practice of sin.

But more than that as well.

I think John is saying here that the Christian – when truly walking in the power of the Holy Spirit - is capable of not sinning, but only when abiding in Christ, which gives the Christian the power (and, I believe, the desire) to not sin.

I think we Christians stumble because we don’t know the full power of what we possess. We don’t acknowledge that the very real power of the Holy Spirit abides in us, because we are prone to feeding the flesh and not taking hold of the strength that resides in us, if we would only choose to abide in Him.

And so in this, I think that if we truly understood the word ‘eternal’ as more than just endless time from the point of physical death forward, but grasped more accurately the idea of our possession of very real life in the Holy Spirit in the here and now, we would better be able to walk in Him daily, hourly, moment by moment. When we are tempted or frustrated or lacking peace, we can pray in truth and in Spirit for His strength and power to deliver us from whatever fleshly qualities are pulling us away from abiding in Him.

I favor the word order ‘life eternal’ over ‘eternal life’ now, which sounds like a bit of a nit, but it reminds me to focus on the life I have been given now and the power available to me now to overcome sin and truly abide in Him. This is opposed to focus on the word ‘eternal’ as if it’s something temporal that is reserved for some period in the future. We have His life now. We have His power now. We have His strength now. We have, if we will but ask. (“You do not have, because you do not ask.” - James 4:2b)

I am asking the Lord daily – and more frequently than that – to deliver me from myself and grant me the ability to fully – and I mean fully – trust Him. I confess that I don’t always trust Him and His heart, or love Him as I ought – but I do believe that He has given me His Holy Spirit, and by His strength and power, I am able to do these things.

I pray that God grant you the clarity and wisdom to seek Him with greater understanding and truth this day.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grace Christian Assembly Part I

Per Mark's request, reposting here at BC. This post is background for the following one:

Question: How do you make a "quick" trip to Nashville from Dallas? Answer: You get in the car and drive 14 1/2 hours there on Saturday and then drive 15 hours home on Monday.

And why would you drive so many hours over two days to get to Tennessee? Well, we did it for the opportunity and great privilege of attending homecoming weekend and Resurrection Sunday at
Grace Christian Assembly in Smyrna. As you may or may not know, I've been listening, via internet, to Jim McClarty for several months. Due to God turning our current circumstance around, Roger had a couple weeks off before beginning a new job on April 20th. So we ended up with this small window of opportunity to make the trip. And without a doubt, it was more than worth it. Let's just say that if I lived anywhere near Smyrna (or if GCA were to relocate to Ft Worth), I would be a member in a heartbeat. As it stands now, though, I'll have to be content to be an internet member. :) At least now when I listen, I'll be able to place names with faces and "feel" like I'm right there with them.

Unfortunately though, we missed the homecoming festivites on Saturday. But even in that, we are able to look back and see God's mighty hand of providence in our lives. We actually began the journey on Friday, and were just east of Dallas when Roger started experiencing a little complication of an eye procedure he'd had earlier that morning. We called the doctor, and he wanted to see Roger again, so we had to turn around and head back to Ft Worth (a 2-hour drive). By the time we got back and Roger saw the doctor it was 5:00, so we had no choice but to go home. (The doc thought Roger might have had retinal damage, but he didn't and is fine.) But all this happened after we'd experienced a very rough start to the trip in the first place. The doctor was running late for the original procedure on Friday morning. Delay. Our rental car was late in getting to the Hertz location. Delay. We'd had to wait over a half hour for it to arrive, and then it was a tad dirty on the inside. Roger was fit to be tied; my patience was on its last nerve, and we were seriously going at each other. After the return trip to the doctor, we scrapped the rental car idea, not even knowing if we'd make the trip at all. But we stayed packed overnight, revisited the idea on Saturday morning and finally left about 10:00am. The providential part came into play when we learned that terrible storms and at least one tornado ripped through middle Tennessee on Friday night. We are convinced that God indeed spared us from that. I'm thankful that while we're so busy seeing only what is right in front of us, God sees beyond that. He protects the ignorant and the short-sighted.
Undoubtedly, I could ramble on and on, and probably will in another post. I'm grateful for these new like-minded friends.

Thanks to everyone at GCA for your graciousness in welcoming Roger and me into your church and into your lives. And a great big thank-you to Jim, who not only gave of his time during church and the potluck afterwards, but was so kind to visit with us for several hours on Sunday night. We were blessed and honored by that more than you'll ever know.


Grace Christian Assembly Part II

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Pastor Jim was kind enough to visit with Roger and me on Sunday night. We fellowshipped over a very nice meal at Ruby Tuesday. We talked about many things, and my life has been enriched for having had the opportunity to know Jim a bit better.:-) Gracious, honest and forthcoming, he is. He loves God, and he loves God's people. And, he wears it well.

In a previous email to Jim, I had asked him about baptizing me at some point. (That couldn't happen this past weekend because of logistics and their homecoming plans.) Anyway, after asking him about doing that, I'd remained a bit uneasy, mainly because I've actually been baptized, and I didn't want to be one of 'those' people who continue in a vicious cycle of "getting saved"/getting baptized over and over again. However, there IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that God -> removed the blinders and profoundly revealed Himself to me four years ago. No doubt. It was during that time, Oct/Nov 2004, that 'the lightbulb came on' for me. I 'got it.' God graciously, and in His perfect timing, gave me understanding of Who He is and who I am. I "got" that He is the just, holy and righteous God of the universe; and that I am a wretched, depraved sinner in desperate need of a Savior. And it is He alone who, for His own good pleasure and purpose, chose me for Himself and mercifully rescued me. During the ensuing years, I've often wondered if that's when I "really got saved." Knowing full well, of course, that "I" didn't do anything. "I" don't "ask Jesus into my heart" or "choose" Him, and "I" don't "make" Jesus Lord and Savior. Salvation is ALL of God. I also know that God has wrought true change in my life, where before there was none.

So, I mentioned during the course of the conversation with Jim, that I still wondered if that time was when I was "really saved." And in one fell swoop, with one statement and one piece of Scripture, all my doubts quite simply melted away. He said to me, "You were saved before the foundation of the world; God chose that time to enlighten you." I CANNOT tell you what that did for me, other than emotionally, it brought tears to my eyes. Of course I've read Ephesians 1, but apparently God chose this particular time to have someone speak His words to me, and in so doing gave me ears to hear and understand. After Jim said those words, I immediately had the related thought, "my name was written in the Lamb's Book of Life, BEFORE I was ever a glimmer in someone's eye." ;)

God's Word is mighty and powerful, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, it changes lives, never returning void. It is difficult to unlearn bad teaching. That I needed to be able to pinpoint a specific time, date and place when I "made a decision for Christ" is one of them. God is still teaching, and I'm still learning. Gratefully, He has placed a few teachers in my path who endeavor to rightly divide the Word of God and from whom I can rest assured I am taught well.


Saturday, April 18, 2009


The last couple of days have been interesting. I've seen both the FGA and the GES reach back to L.S.Chafer as an early forebear of their system. Both seem to believe that their position is a direct descendant of his theological train of thought; yet they are at odds with eachother. Hmmm.

Some in the GES say that their system is actually consistent free grace (consistent as far as taking Chafer's theology to its logical conclusions?), while the FGA says that is not so and point up things that Chafer taught that would seem to suggest that he would be opposed to the GES gospel.

Well which is it?

Chafer taught that there is such a thing as a "carnal Christian". He sought to draw a dichotomy between a spiritual Christian and a carnal one. Therein he introduced a whole new way to do theology - draw man-made divisions into God's word, divisions that are not warranted in scripture. Thus I wonder if indeed the GES is onto something in claiming direct lineage from Chafer, and that the FGA's conclusions are arrived at by being inconsistent with Chafer's way of doing theology.

Let's discuss this... Also, check out http://easygoer1.blogspot.com/


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Free Grace Theology News

Lou Martuneac and I have a history of disagreement, that is true. However he and I have something in common: misgivings about the GES gospel. I will invite you all to visit his blog, http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2009/04/open-letter-ges-gospel-aka-crossless-or.html to see what is going on. I can only hope that the FGA is clear as to ALL of the points where they differ with the GES. Just how different are they in the area of rewards, millenial exclussion, the Book of James 2:14-26, and 1 John being about fellowship? What about the notion that the "sons of God" in Romans 8:14 is a merrited position as opposed to the "children of God" in John 1:12 being a position entered by faith? Time will only tell, I guess.



Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Wayne and Jim Talk - Is the Bible Truth?

Wayne, how about we leave this space open for you and Jim to talk about the existence of God? I'll leave the comments to go where you and Jim want them to. How's that sound? Any takers? The comments thread here is all yours.

Friday, April 03, 2009

A Look At Romans 2:17-24

by Wayne http://sweetjazzycat.blogspot.com/

Romans 2:17-24 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God (18) and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; (19) and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, (20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—(21) you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? (22) You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (23) You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. (24) For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Paul, in this passage was speaking to the Jews who were relying on the law and boasting in God through their possession of the law. While they had a knowledge of the law and thought themselves righteous because they taught others the precepts of the law, they failed to confront the fact that they themselves broke the law. They were attempting to justify themselves before God, through the law, and considered themselves righteous before God by affirming and teaching the law. The fact that they didn’t obey the law perfectly was either not realized or deemed unimportant in their own eyes.

In this passage, Paul is objecting and pointing out the error of their thinking. They had failed to be sanctified through law keeping for the purpose of justification, and Paul is giving them the bad news of their blaspheming God before Gentiles for dishonoring God by breaking the law.

Sanctification through law keeping for the motive of justification is guaranteed to be a 100% failing proposition. Yet, many people today think that law keeping for the purpose of sanctification is the proper way for a Christian to pursue sanctification. In this view, the law points a sinner to Christ to be saved by faith and Christ sends the regenerated Christian back to the law to be sanctified. Paul acknowledges the law is right and good later in Romans, but he goes on to assert that sanctification is through the Spirit of Christ and not the written code. Praise God that grace upon grace saves and also sanctifies sinners. Grace points sinners to Christ for salvation, and grace points Christians to Christ for sanctification.
Posted by jazzycat at 3:23 PM

mark pierson said...
Yes, Paul makes it clear that the law was to point people to Christ, period. Any Christian who thinks themselves not holy enough to claim salvation as their own has no concept of the grace that came through Christ. On the other hand any Christian who is satisfied with how they measure up to the law (which would require them to do some serious watering down of the severity of its demands) has taken their eyes off of Christ and their need for HIS righteousness in their lives. The Bottom line is that our eyes belong on Christ and only on Christ.
April 03, 2009 10:02 AM

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