Saturday, September 27, 2008

THE MARK OF A MAN OF GOD
...reverence, maturity, wisdom, faithfulness, truthfulness, the fear of the Lord, honor, and discipline

My lips will pour forth praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right.
-Psalm 119:171-172


Sinclair Ferguson spoke at the Desiring God Conference last evening and was brilliant. His message was entitled, "The Tongue, the Bridle, and the Blessing: An Exposition of James 3:1-12."

He was Christ-exalting; God-glorifying; and Spirit-empowering. He preached not as one consumed with self-promotion or trying to appeal to an audience. But he preached to an Audience of One as a man who trembled at God's Word and as a tried and tested servant of the Lord Jesus Christ from behind the sacred desk.

He was thoroughly biblical, theological, doctrinal, expositional, exegetical and practical. He spoke with authority; he spoke with grace, but wielding the double-edge Sword of the Spirit with the skill of a surgeon's scalpel and not the recklessness of a machete. He did not frustrate grace, insult the Lord, turn the truth of God into lascivious comedy, contextualize the message, succumb to cultural pragmatics, or introduce demeaning ribald speech marked by the ordure of depravity to communicate these great truths of the Bible.

But with dignity, grace. and truth, he brought honor to the Lord, glory to His gospel, and reverence to His Word.

May his tribe increase.

How I thank the Lord for this faithful soldier, disciplined athlete and hard-working farmer of the faith (2 Tim. 2:3-6). Clearly, this is a man approved unto God, a workman unashamed, who cuts straight the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).

The bar has been set beloved; and it is set very high.

Here is Sinclair's resolutions on the taming of the tongue taken from the book of James. They are powerful, convicting, humbling and encouraging. May they stir your heart as they have mine this very hour.
  • James 1:5 To ask God for wisdom to speak and with a single mind
  • James 1:9-10 To boast only in exaltation in Christ, & humiliation in world
  • James 1:13 To set a watch over my mouth
  • James 1:19 To be constantly quick to hear, slow to speak
  • James 2:1-4 To learn the gospel way of speaking to poor and the rich
  • James 2:12 To speak always in the consciousness of the final judgment
  • James 2:16 To never stand on anyone’s face with my words
  • James 3:14 To never claim as reality something I do not experience
  • James 4:1 To resist quarrelsome words in order to mortify a quarrelsome heart
  • James 4:11 To never speak evil of another
  • James 4:13 To never boast in what I will accomplish
  • James 4:15 To always speak as one subject to the providences of God
  • James 5:9 To never grumble, knowing that the Judge is at the door
  • James 5:12 To never allow anything but total integrity in my speech
  • James 5:13 To speak to God in prayer whenever I suffer
  • James 5:14 To sing praises to God whenever I am cheerful
  • James 5:14 To ask for the prayers of others when I am sick
  • James 5:15 To confess it freely whenever I have failed
  • James 5:15 To pray with and for one another when I am together with others
  • James 5:19 To speak words of restoration when I see another wander
His unworthy servant in His unfailing love,
Steve
Psalm 145:21

9 comments:

Carla said...

Thanks for posting the link for this, I'm downloading now and look forward to the message.

Oh and that list, is going on my fridge. I need to read it every day.

Coram Deo said...

SJC,

In your view of scripture has John Piper placed brother Ferguson in the unfortunate position of being potentially compromised by or perhaps even more troubling giving credence, tacit approval, or legitimacy to Mark Driscoll by virtue of their sharing the same venue?

Do the other Desiring God Conference speakers have the same (or a similar) Biblical responsibility as Piper for speaking up and speaking out against Driscoll's well established pattern of potty-mouthed error?

In Christ,
CD

SJ Camp said...

Coram
Good point.

Sinclair probably doesn't know of Mark's antics and sordid speech.

But yes, I feel that ultimately every speaker that shares the platform with Driscoll at some point, especially if he continues to use the same unwholesome and obscene language that the Apostle Paul warns against, but that already Driscoll has employed in his first panel discussion.

Thank you for your insights.
Campi

johnMark said...

Steve,

Thanks for typing out these resolutions. I will put them to good use.

Mark

KarensFaith said...

Printing that up and memorizing it. Thanks and God bless!

Karen

Derek Joseph said...

Steve, I'm just listening to the DG Conference now. Ferguson, was of course, brilliant, by the grace of God.

Out of curiosity, was wondering what you thought of Driscoll's talk.

Ashwin said...

I was born to Christian Father and a Hindu Mother, I have never read the bible or any other sacred texts.
I was never biased to any religion as I believed all are One as they taught the same principles on the whole.

I stopped praying at the age of 17, due to certain reasons, and believe me when I say that I saw hell, hell on earth. Sex, Drugs, Ego play, the rich treating others as slave since everything is about money in this day and age. I've always been honest and sincere, through my words and actions, as I could never be part of a superficial crowd. I'm no saint, I was a part of all this until I realized something was terribly wrong. Though I'm blessed with a rather decent lifestyle I always believed in giving to those less fortunate and I did. Reached a point when the circle I was part of wanted me out, because of my persona and my words, being ridiculed at and it did not matter as I believed strongly in my inner self. My mother's blessings and prayers saved me from what would have been an unfortunate event for me, as I was about to be setup for my Dear Father's murder, due to monetary issues, and because I use to occasionally smoke weed. My friend's turned on me, The girl I was in love with toyed with my heart and ruined me, she turned me against my family and took advantage of my honest and true love for her. She played a major part of my internal change I went through to get my faith and hope back. I always believed every individual is a divine being capable of great things, every individual having the capability to attain the higher consciousness as The Lord Christ with acts of selflessness but I have been mocked at because of these beliefs.

I truly believe the list shown is the truth, as God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, the Higher Power wants us to learn through mistakes before we reach our ultimate destiny, As God made us in his Image.

I've no regrets in my life because im happy to be where I am, sometimes you need to go through there to get here.

Peace and Love

Ashwin said...

P.S - I have started reading extracts from the bible and other sacred texts after my past experience's and believe me I can relate so much of it to reality on earth.

God bless

Ashwin said...
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