Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quoted at Important Blog

Logged on to the net today to visit Sharper Iron and I was greeted with a private message that Lou Martuneac had quoted me at his blog, which is related to his book (currently being revised for publication later this year) In Defence Of The Gospel.

I came across Brother Martuneac in my search for information about the Lordship Salvation "issue" that has swept into Christendom recently. And at the same time I came to know several people in the Free Grace community. I quickly realized that while Lordship Salvation is an over reaction to what is sometimes called "easy believism" some in the Free Grace camp have gotten so zealous in their reaction to Lordship Salvation that they are equally in error. Either by addition or subtraction error in the Gospel still denies fellowship because without "The Gospel" the True Gospel of Jesus Christ then there can be no fellowship or "sharing of our new nature in Christ" with each other. While the fight against Lordship Salvation is what introduced me to Lou, it has to be the wanting to find the "Truth" that has kept me returning to his blog and finding fellowship there. Neither turn to the right nor the left we are told and that is seldom easy in this world. But on the Gospel we have no choice because by going even just a bit to the right or the left makes it no Gospel at all.

As I wrote in this post, we are in a unique time in Church history. Brother Martuneac built on my thoughts by looking at the responsibility of the Shepherd to be watchful for error creeping into Christendom.

I particularly like the words inscribed in the pulpit at his church. "Sir, we would see Jesus." Quite a lot said in that instruction from the assembly wouldn't you say?

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tough day

Well today didn't end the way I had hoped and prayed for.. but it went better than I feared it might.

Cryptic I know...

In the end today was just another day like many others have been... tough or not it's over. Maybe the next day like today will end the way I want it too. Or maybe it won't.. somewhere in all of this there is growth and hope.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

A Unique Time In Church History

The Gospel has been under attack since the very first day when the soldiers who had been tasked with guarding the tomb where Christ's lifeless body had been laid were bribed to say that He had been stolen by his followers. Mat 28:11-15

In the dark ages the Scriptures were kept out of the hands of the general population and controlled by a religious elite. But the Great Reformation's Martin Luther gave the Scriptures back to the average person.

Over the centuries the Scriptures have been attacked and undermined.. good doctrine has been pushed aside for poor.. Thankfully though there has always been a remnant of Truth, and true believers.

What is unique about today is that the whole Church (the complete Body of Christ, all believers in Christ) can be instantly aware of these attacks and the fights against them now. We are in a privileged and dutiful position. In the dark ages the average believer had no idea what was happening in Luther's study as he sat there translating the Bible. But today, we know that people like the Free Grace Aliance are fighting for the TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ. Working against things like the Crossless Gospel and the Lordship Salvation Gospel. We can also see other attacks on faith and Christendom in real time.

It's our privileged and duty to respond in real time, prayerfully and with fervor. The Gospel is the definition of our unity in Christ. No matter if some are adding to it, or taking away from it we must stand firmly in it's complete whole and utter Truth. Otherwise, as the false teachings spread they will trickle down into the preaching at pulpits where the rank and file Christian may not be prepared to defend themselves and their families from error - though they should be.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Promise Of Faithfulness

We all like to read promises from God right? Well one that Jesus gave Peter might have made most of us swallow hard and quake in our sandles. But I believe it was the most encouraging thing the Lord could have said to Peter, because Peter really did Love the Lord that much.

That Peter denied the Lord three times the night He was betrayed is a commonly told story. Jesus foretold that Peter would do this in Luke 22:34 and we read about his denial in Luke 22:54-61

The Lord restored Peter and gave him an incredible ministry as an Apostle. The recounting of his restoration is beautiful in the English translations but more so, even deeply graceful in the Greek. When I imagine myself in Peter's shoes it moves me tears.

We read it in John 21:15-19
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
It's beautiful, Peter had denied Him three times, and for this the Lord restores him with three statements of love. But it's much bigger, deeper and graceful than just that. The Greek reveals it to us.

In verse 15 Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. The word for love is the Greek agapao which is linked to God's perfect love Agape which is a selfless complete love. Peter responds with "yes Lord, You know that I love You" But the word he uses for love is the Greek phileo which is much more of a friendly love. Peter is admitting that while he loves the Lord, he obviously doesn't love Him the way he should.

The second time they both repeat the same words in the same question and answer.

Now the third time the Lord asked him if he loved Him. The Lord uses the same word that Peter has been using, phileo. And Peter wept because the third time He asked "Do you phileo me?"

The Lord stepped down to where Peter was. He went to get Peter. Just like He does for those who will trust Him today.

The depth of restoration goes beyond even this wonder. Peter had said that he would not forsake the Lord, that he would willingly go to prison or die with Him. Luke 22:33 Yet he abandoned and denied the Lord that very same night.

So here is where the full depth of Peter's restoration is shown. After having given Peter his mission in ministry for his life, the Lord goes on to tell Peter of his future faithfulness to the promise he had made to the Lord in Luke 22:33. In John 21:18-19 The Lord tells Peter that right now he goes where his heart wants to run, but in the future he was going to die on a cross much like Jesus had. The Lord was telling Peter, you will be as faithful in the future as you want to be right now. It was the Lord's promise to Peter which did come to pass, unlike Peter's promise to the Lord which did not.

If you have repented and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, then He has made the very same promise to you through the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:6, and Romans 8:29 He has promised that He will complete the work in you. No matter what the starting point is, He will complete it.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Short definition of Repentance

This is a short version of what I have written in the past.. and actually might be more complete in spite of it's shortness.

Here is the long version which is more fully supported and explained.

Repentance means a "change of mind" when we are discussing Repentance with regards to Salvation we aren't actualy trying to define the word Repentance we must define what needs to be repented of. In my long version I get into this concept a lot deeper. Here I just want to look at the things we must change our mind about in the Gospel. Also discussed in the longer version is how confusing what can lead to the change of mind, or what happens because of the change of mind with the actual change of mind is a dangerous error. The fruit is not the tree and the tree is not the fruit. When we focus on the fruit instead of on what brings the fruit we create a religion. We effectively teach people to act like they are saved instead of actually getting saved.

Repentance can be found the middle of Paul's declaration of the Gospel of 1 Cor 15:1-10

1 Cor 15:3-5 reveals the following;

I am a sinner - so I must die
God came and lived according to the Scriptures - He is faithful
God died in my place - the payment for my sin is made (finished)
God rose from the dead - security in Him.

Repentance that saves is a judgment of self, an appraisal of Christ, and the resulting transfer of trust from self to Christ.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Debate on the existence of God - UPDATE

I missed it... wife came home and it was just wonderful to spend some time with her this evening.

Anyway I was linked to this article about the debate and I was intrigued by this protrayal of Dr. Dawkins' arguments. He's well known for building straw-man arguments in his books and debates and since the article doesn't address this one I will. Here's the description of his statement.
Dawkins said religion's demand not to be questioned leads to violence. "It leads to terrible acts done in the name of religion," he said. "The one gift I would give to any child is skepticism."
And my answer is 1 Thes 5:21 "Test all things; hold fast what is good."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Debate on the existence of God

The famous atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins will debate the also famous Creationist Dr. John Lennox in just a few hours at 7pm Central in Alabama.

Here's a link to the info page. I'll be listening on the Moody Broadcast myself.

The debate will center on Dawkins' views as expressed in his best-seller, The God Delusion and their validity over and against the Christian faith. This will be the
first significant discussion on this issue in the "Bible Belt." Consequently, we believe that it will focus much public attention on this important issue.