Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!
...a song of reform: Jesus is Our Cornerstone





When I was touring through Europe eleven years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Lutherstadt at Wiitenberg to see the birthplace of the Reformation. I was so moved by all that I saw and read, I penned these words of this song while standing outside Luther's church.

I pray they are a blessing to you today.

Yours for the Master's use,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

CORNERSTONE

You do your best and nothing less
To be blessed - and try to save your soul from death
But it's all work's righteousness you know
You cannot manufacture grace
By self-denial in a religious place, weeping hard upon your face
Or saying prayers to some dead saints you know

It's not through creeds or liturgy
Self-flagellation 'til you bleed, making vows that you can't keep
By mysteries and visions when you dream
It's a narrow way that you must come
To the Father - through the Son, loving Him more than other loves. Family, friends, yourself or anyone

BY GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE,
ON THE WORD ALONE, BECAUSE OF CHRIST ALONE!
HE IS OUR ONLY HOPE - HE IS THE CORNERSTONE!


You can not add one thing to Him
To save your soul from the curse of sin
You must loose your life so you may win salvation
Empty-handed, cling to Him

Suffering Servant, Prince of Peace
Lamb of God, Incarnate Deity
Christ died for God at Calvary
Once for all we've been redeemed

(chorus)

The Son of Man gave His life for His own
The Just for the unjust no greater love was ever shown
Our Champion forever now reigns from heaven's throne
And the true gift of salvation is by grace through faith alone

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

THE PASSION OF REFORMATION: OUR GREAT SALVATION
...chosen by God; sanctified by the Spirit; redeemed by the Son

1 Peter 1:2, (...who are chosen) "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you."

The hope, surety, and promise of our salvation.

To the scattered, suffering, and persecuted Christians living in Asia Minor, Peter writes those above encouraging words. Though the world treated them with such disdain, dishonor and disrepute, he is quick to encourage them by saying that God sees them as His precious possession, His chosen ones, reserved for His pleasure and delight in Trinitarian love: chosen by the foreknowledge of God; sanctified by the Holy Spirit; and sprinkled with the blood of Christ.

William Hendrickson has duly said,

"Peter, who was an unschooled fisherman (Acts 4:13) from Galilee and the former leader of the Jerusalem church, now writes a letter to Christians living in Asia Minor. He begins his letter with an address in which he teaches the readers basic Christian truths: the doctrine of election and the doctrine of the Trinity. Peter addresses his epistle to “God’s elect … who have been chosen.” He reveals that election is God’s work, that God wants a people for himself, and that the Triune God cares for his elect. The doctrine of election provides genuine comfort and enormous encouragement for God’s people. By electing his people, God demands a thankful response from them. He expects them to obey his commands and to do his will. Nevertheless, he knows our weaknesses and frailty and realizes that we fall occasionally into sin.

Therefore, he has made available the sanctifying power of the Spirit and the lasting effect of the sprinkling of Christ’s blood.
There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains."
"according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,"
πρόγνωσιν θεοῦ πατρός (prognosin Theo patros)—the genitive is subjective. That is, πρόγνωσις (prognosis=foreknowledge, to know beforehand) belongs to God the Father and in harmony with it he reveals Himself to his people. (WH)

Foreknowledge,
however, doesn't simply mean "to know in advance." It means to pre-establish relationship - a foreknowing. In the N.T. this "foreknowing" is used of God's relationship with His people--not with places, events, or things. This word is also used in Acts 2:23 to speak of Jesus' death on the cross was by "...God's predetermined plan and foreknowledge..."

A form of this word is also used in 1 Peter 1:20 in speaking of Christ's inter-Trinitarian relationship with the Father in eternity past, "for He was foreknown before the foundation of the world..." That is why Jesus can say the most frightening of words in all the Bible to the pretenders of faith (the confessors but not possessors) in Matthew 7:23, "then I will declare to them I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness." Never knew you from when? From all eternity past--there was never a time of knowing.

We hear people all the time say: "do you know the Lord?" But the real issue is this my friend: "does the Lord know you?" And again we must ask, "Known you from when? From all eternity past--before the foundation of the world" (cp, Eph. 1:4-5). Paul echoes this same idea when saying, "Nevertheless the firm foundation of God stands having this seal, 'the Lord knows those who are His,' and 'let everyone who knows the name of the Lord abstain from iniquity." (2 Tim. 2:19; cp, John 10:14; Luke 13:27; 1 Cor. 1:2).

"by the sanctifying work of the Spirit,"
ἁγιασµῷ πνεύµατος (hagiasmo pnuematos)—the ending -µος of the noun ἁγιασµός (sanctification) expresses progressive activity. The dative case can either be instrumental or refer to sphere. Scholars prefer the instrumental dative. The case of πνεύµατος (Spirit) is the subjective genitive (“the sanctifying power belonging to the Spirit”). (WH)

To sanctify (hagios: holy, hagiosmos: to be set apart for holiness) means to set apart, reserved for, or consecrated for God's use and purposes. In salvation by regeneration, we are instantly set apart from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col. 1:13-14). In our daily lives we are also being sanctified--set apart from the things of this world (desires, passions, motives, actions, words and deeds) that can trip us up in our walk with the Lord. The first speaks of our positional relationship with Christ by grace through faith in salvation; the other is the daily process (by the Word and the Spirit) which in our flesh we are being conformed dialy to the image of Jesus (cp, John 17:17; 1 Thess. 4:1-5; Eph. 5:24-26).

"to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:"
ῥαντισµὸν αἵµατος (rhantismon haimtos)—because of the -µος ending, the noun ῥαντισµός (sprinkling) denotes progress. The noun is qualified by the word αἵµατος (blood) which points to the genitive case of Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (Jesus Christ). This genitive is subjective (“of Jesus Christ”) and as such relates only to αἵµατος and not to ὑπακοήν (obedience). If the genitive of Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ is linked to ὑπακοήν (upakone), it is objective (“to Jesus Christ”). But a possible occurrence of the subjective and objective genitive in the same clause is difficult to explain. Therefore, I favor the use of the subjective genitive in the last part of this clause. (WH)

The sprinkling of blood here comes from a direct reference found back to Exodus 24:6-8, "Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

This is covenant relationship: the blood on the altar, God's commitment to us; the blood on the people, our commitment to God. Peter was bringing the O.T. shadow into the reality of the substance found only in Jesus Christ. His blood was shed first and foremost to satisfy God on behalf of the people for their sins (propitiation); He was our divine substitute (cp, Heb. 9:13, 12:24). Christ died for God! But when we come to know Him as our Lord and Savior, the blood is "sprinkled" on us; and we as His people are now marked out for Him with the fruit being an obedient life surrendered to do His will. IOW, we are delivered from the selfish, sinful pursuit of living for ourselves, to being a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ--living for now what pleases Him and brings Him pleasure, delight, joy, praise, adoration, praise and worship. What a tremendous hope isn't it beloved? 1 Cor. 11:25, "In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'”

"May grace and peace be multiplied to you."
πληθυνθείν (plethunthein)—this is the aorist passive in the optative mood from the verb πληθύνω (I multiply). The use of the passive indicates that God is the implied agent. The aorist is ingressive. And the optative connotes a wish (compare Dan. 4:1 LXX). (WH)

This is the great joy of the Christian faith: grace (the source of our salvation); and peace (our standing before God). IOW, the war is over beloved. We who were at enmity with God (Col. 1:21-23; Rom. 3:10-18: Eph. 2:1-3) now have peace with God being justified through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1-2).

And it is this hope that is realized in the fullest measure for it is being multiplied to us daily. The Father foreknowing, the Son atoning, the Spirit sanctifying. And this by His grace and peace given to us.

May we walk in the fullness of that hope, joy and great salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ each day. And remember, though the world may treat us with contempt, persecution and suffering for being the name of Jesus as His people, in God's eyes we are chosen and known by Him; sanctified and being sanctified by His Holy Spirit; to obey the Lord because we have been sprinkled not with the blood of goats and bulls, with the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

What a great salvation indeed we have to rejoice in! May we see a new Reformation in our day - and may it begin with a right view of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Amen?


*Greek designators and parsing by William Hendrickson;
Commentary by Steve Camp

Monday, October 27, 2008

BRINGING IT TO BIDEN
...Barbara West keeping it real

UPDATE: 
It looks as if the Obama Campaign through political pressure
made the initial YouTube video "no longer unavailable." 
But here is a new post so that viewers can hear this excellent 
interview conducted by Barbara West asking Joe Biden some
spot on questions. He had no idea what just happened. 

Enjoy.

Must view YouTube! There's a chill wind blowin'...
This video offers a sneak peak of how an Obama win would
reshape the media: socialism, the fairness doctrine, and censorship.

Mind your vote.



I greatly admire her courage, her plumb, her anchored demeanor, and her unflappable pursuit for the truth amid the double-speak familiar to most politicians. May her tribe increase.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

SERVANTS WITH SCARS
...being made fit for further ministry

"Every wise workman takes his tools away from the work from time to time that they may be ground and sharpened; so does the only-wise Jehovah take his ministers oftentimes away into darkness and loneliness and trouble, that he may sharpen and prepare them for harder work in his service." -ROBERT MURRAY MCCHEYENE

Friday, October 24, 2008

ASSURANCE
...our joy and confidence in salvation wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ

The Gift of God's Son, the Guarantee of All Other Blessing
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? -Romans 8:32

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? -Romans 8:32

Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else? -Romans 8:32

“When God calls a sinner, He does not repent of it. God does not, as many friends do, love one day and hate another; or as princes, who make their subjects favorites and afterwards throw them into prison. This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits of no altercation. God’s call is founded upon His decree, and His decree is immutable. Acts of grace cannot be reversed. God blots out His people’s sins, but not their names.” -Thomas Watson

“If our religion be of our own getting or making, it will perish; and the sooner it goes, the better; but if our religion is a matter of God's giving, we know that He shall never take back what He gives, and that, if He has commenced to work in us by His grace, He will never leave it unfinished.” - C.H. Spurgeon

"God commended his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." If, then, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, will he freely give us all things. "All things!" How comprehensive the grant! "According as his Divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness." Holding the security in the hand of faith, you may repair to your Heavenly Father, and ask for all that you need. So to speak, God has bound himself to withhold no good thing from you. He is pledged, and from that pledge he will never recede, to grant you all you need. What is your demand? Is it the Spirit to seal, to sanctify, to comfort you? Then draw near and ask the gift. "For if you who are evil know how to give good things to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Is it pardon? Then ask it. He who provided the sacrifice for sin, will he not freely bestow the forgiveness of sin? Is it grace? Having given you the Reservoir of grace, is he not as willing and "able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work?" Is it comfort? Having given you the "Consolation of Israel," will he not prove to you the "God of all comfort?" Is your necessity temporal? Are your circumstances adverse? Filled with forebodings of approaching difficulty, the cruse of oil and the barrel of meal dwindling, are you anxious and fearful? Take your temporal need to God. What! will he bestow the higher blessings of grace, and withhold the inferior ones of providence? Never! And can you press to your believing heart the priceless, precious, unspeakable gift of his Son, and yet cherish in that heart the gloomy, misgiving, thought of God's unwillingness and inability to supply all your need?" - Octavius Winslow

“For non-reformed theologies..."at the end of the day, the security of the believer finally rests with the believer. For those in the opposite camp [Reformed], the security of the believer finally rests with God -- and that, I suggest, rightly taught, draws the believer back to God himself, to trust in God, to a renewed faith that is of a piece with trusting him in the first place." - D.A. Carson

From the "Hymnbook of Heaven":
1 Samuel 2:9; Nehemiah 9:16-19; Psalm 31:23, 32:7,23,28-33, 38, 84:5-7, 89:30-33, 94:14, 97:10, 121:7, 125:1; Proverbs 2:8; Isaiah 40:30, 54:4-10; Jeremiah 32:38-42; Matthew 18:6, 12-14, 24:22-24; Luke 1:74, 22:32; John 3:36, 4:13, 5:24, 6:37-40, 51, 8:31, 10:4, 8, 27-29, 17:11, 15; Romans 6:1-4, 7:24-8:4, 28-39, 11:29, 14:14; 1 Corinthians 1:4-9, 3:15, 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5; Ephesians 1:11-14, 4:30; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 3:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:3-5; 2 Timothy 1:12, 4:18; Hebrews 3:14, 7:25, 10:14, 36-39, 13:5; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Peter 3:8; 1 John 2:19, 3:9, 5:4, 13, 18; Jude 1, 24.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MARY WORSHIP ALIVE AND WELL IN ROMANISM
...open idolatry by Benedict

One of my daily stops in the blogosphere is to my friend James White's blog. I found this jewel tonight written by Tur8infan on Mariolotry. 

Despite popular opinion beloved, Papa Ratzi is not an orthodox Christian leader/pastor. He is a lost, unregenerate false teacher (2 Peter 2:1) who preaches a different gospel (Gal. 1:6-9) making his converts "twice the sons of hell (the Valley of the Son of Hinnom) as he is" (Matt. 23:15). We need to pray for him. Pray earnestly that God would grant him saving faith; that by the kindness of God he would repent from his sins and from Rome's false gospel and doctrines; and that He would confess Christ Jesus as Lord and trust in Him alone by grace alone through faith alone for salvation by regeneration of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7).

When you read below about the kind of heretical practice that Rome still engages in, it makes you want to shout SDG for the courage of Martin Luther in taking the monumental stand at Wittenberg in spite of being threatened with execution and excommunication. He fearlessly called a recalcitrant Roman Church back to the real gospel of justification by faith alone - and we need to do the same in our day. Rome's codified, semi-Pelagian, apocryphal doctrines (Matt. 15:6b-9) - and in particular here, the Fifth Marian Dogma - haven't changed really since the days of Trent.

Keep pounding on Wittenberg's Door; we need a new Reformation in our day... Amen?
Campius
2 Cor. 4:5


by Tur8infan from Alpha Omega Ministries
Benedict XVI is reported (link to report) as recently praying to Mary:
"We implore you to have pity today on the nations that have gone astray, on all Europe, on the whole world, that they might repent and return to your heart."
This is a prayer that is openly idolatrous. Mankind needs to turn, not to the heart of Mary, but to the Son of Mary, Jesus Christ the Righteous. The true and proper object of worship is God alone.

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Benedict XVI as praying to her,
"If you will not help us because we are ungrateful and unworthy children of your protection, we will not know to whom to turn."
This prayer demonstrates the underlying blindness of Catholicism. There is a place to which not only all of Europe in general, but Mr. Ratzinger in particular ought to turn for help, and whose protection should be sought: the throne of the Most High God, by the intercession of the Son of God, Jesus Christ with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

But though Jesus is the Son of Mary, and though Mary is greatly blessed to be the Mother of our Saviour, yet Jesus himself said:
Matthew 12:48-50 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the 
will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
And again:
Mark 3:33-35 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
It's as almost as though Jesus was concerned lest some might foolishly fall into the trap of worshiping his blood relatives! Indeed, here is Jesus' own condemnation of the error of adoration and veneration of Jesus' mother. They do not hold a special place in the kingdom of God, but are like all those who do the will of God. Yet Catholicism, as can be seen from this event, continues to elevate Mary improperly to the status of, in effect, a goddess to whom prayers are offered.

Benedict XVI did not even omit to provide a sacrifice to this de facto goddess. It is reported that, "In a gesture of filial love, the Pope then offered the Madonna a golden rose." One is reminded immediately of the similar offerings presented by the Philistines to the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament, particularly given Catholicism's claim (or at least the claim of her apologists) that Mary is the "ark of the New Covenant."

Finally, we should note that Benedict XVI is reported not to have left Jesus entirely out: "...The secret of Pompeii is the rosary: "This prayer leads us through Mary to Jesus." But, in fact, the Rosary leads men away from Jesus, as can be seen in the idolatry illustrated in the prayers above. Benedict XVI is reported to have claimed, "The rosary is a spiritual weapon in the struggle against evil, against all violence, for peace in hearts, in families, in society and in the world."

But, in fact, sadly it is an extra-Scriptural innovation: unknown to the apostles and unpracticed for centuries and centuries following Christ's ascension. The Early Church Fathers didn't say the Rosary, and neither should you: it is a tradition of men, not of God.

UNACCEPTABLE WORSHIP
...the delusion of engineered manipulation

“Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” -John 4:20-24



by A.W. Tozer

What Is Not Acceptable?
THE STARK, TRAGIC FACT IS THAT THE EFFORTS of many people to worship are unacceptable to God. Without an infusion of the Holy Spirit there can be no true worship. This is serious. It is hard for me to rest peacefully at night knowing that millions of cultured, religious people are merely carrying on church traditions and religious customs and they are not actually reaching God at all. (Whatever Happened to Worship?, p. 46)

The manner in which many moderns think about worship makes me uncomfortable. Can true worship be engineered and manipulated? Do you foresee with me the time to come when churches may call the pastor a “spiritual engineer?” (Whatever Happened to Worship?, p. 85)

You are not worshipping God as you should if you have departmentalized your life so that some areas worship and other parts do not worship. This can be a great delusion—that worship only happens in church or in the midst of a dangerous storm or in the presence of some unusual and sublime beauty of nature around us. I have been with some fellows who became very spiritual when they stood on the breathtaking curve of a steep mountain cliff! (Whatever Happened to Worship? p, 124)

It is impossible for any of us to worship God without the impartation of the Holy Spirit. It is the operation of the Spirit of God within us that enables us to worship God acceptably through that Person we call Jesus Christ, who is Himself God.

So worship originates with God and comes back to us and is reflected from us, as a mirror. God accepts no other kind of worship. (Whatever Happened to Worship?, pp. 44-45)

I can offer no worship wholly pleasing to God if I know that I am harboring elements in my life that are displeasing to Him. I cannot truly and joyfully worship God on Sunday and not worship Him on Monday. I cannot worship God with a glad song on Sunday and then knowingly displease Him in my business dealings on Monday and Tuesday.

I repeat my view of worship—no worship is wholly pleasing to God until there is nothing in me displeasing to God. (Whatever Happened to Worship? pp. 124-125)

Lessons from Cain

There are many kinds of worship that God cannot accept. Cain’s worship in the Old Testament was not accepted because he did not acknowledge the necessity of an atonement for sin in the relationship between God and fallen man. (Whatever Happened to Worship?, p. 40)

The kind of worship Cain offered to God has three basic and serious shortcomings:
First is the mistaken idea that God is a different kind of God than what He really is. This has to do with the person and the character of the sovereign and holy God. How can anyone ever worship God acceptably without knowing what kind of God He really is? Cain surely did not know the true character of God. Cain did not believe that the matter of man’s sin was eternally important to God.

Second is the mistake of thinking that man holds a relationship to God that in fact he does not. Cain casually assumed that he was deserving of acceptance by the Lord without an intermediary. He refused to accept the judgment of God that man had been alienated from his God by sin.

Third, Cain in the Old Testament record, and with him an unnumbered multitude of men and women since, have mistakenly assumed that sin is far less serious than it really is. The record is plain, if men and women would only look at it and consider it. God hates sin because He is a holy God. He knows that sin has filled the world with pain and sorrow, robbing us of our principle purpose and joy in life, the joy of worshipping our God!
The kind of worship offered by Cain is inadequate, without real meaning. Bringing it as an issue to our own day under the New Testament, I assure you that I would not knowingly spend an hour in any church that refuses to teach the necessity of the blood atonement for sin through the cross and the merits of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ! (Whatever Happened to Worship?, pp. 41-42)

Emptiness of the Average Church Service

It will be seen how empty and meaningless is the average church service today. All the means are in evidence; the one ominous weakness is the absence of the Spirit’s power. The form of godliness is there, and often the form is perfected till it is an aesthetic triumph. Music and poetry, art and oratory, symbolic vesture and solemn tones combine to charm the mind of the worshiper, but too often the supernatural afflatus is not there. The power from on high is neither known nor desired by pastor or people. This is nothing less than tragic, and all the more so because it falls within the field of religion where the eternal destinies of men are involved. (The Divine Conquest, [now titled The Pursuit of Man], p. 90)

The Whole Life Must Worship God

It is possible to worship God with our lips and not worship God with our lives. But I want to tell you that if your life doesn’t worship God, your lips don’t worship God either. (Sermon, “Doctrine of the Remnant,” Chicago, 1957)

The total life, the whole man and the whole woman, has got to worship God. Faith and love and obedience and loyalty and conduct and life—all of these are to worship God. If there is anything in you that doesn’t worship God, then there isn’t anything in you that does worship God very well. If you departmentalize your life and let certain parts of you worship God but other parts of you do not worship God, you are not worshipping God as you should. It is a great delusion that we easily fall into the idea that in church or in the presence of death or in the midst of sublimity that we are spiritual. (“The Chief End of Man,” Sermon #6, Toronto, 1962)

There is Samaritan worship

Samaritan worship is heretical worship in the correct meaning of the term. A heretic is not a man who denies all of the truth, he’s just a very persnickety man who picks out what he likes and rejects the rest. Heresy means I take what I like and I reject what I don’t like. (“The Chief End of Man,” Sermon #3, Toronto, 1962)

There is nature worship

It is the poetry of religion. It is the high enjoyment and the contemplation of the sublime. We have an awful lot of nature worshipers and worshipers of God through nature, which is a better way of saying it. It is a high enjoyment, a concentrating of the mind upon beauty as distinct from the eye and the ear. If your ear hears music, that’s beauty. If your eye sees beauty, that’s art. But if you think beautiful thoughts without music or art, that’s poetry and you write that down. Some people mistake rapt feeling for worship. (“The Chief End of Man,” Sermon #3, Toronto, 1962)

Some mistake the music of religion for worship

Whatever elevates the mind and raises to near rapture the soul, that’s supposed to be worship. (The Chief End of Man, Sermon #3, Totonto, 1962)

Not all worship is acceptable with God. And there is a lot of worship in our cultured society that God will never receive in this world or the next. There is religious experience that God will never accept. There is the warm feeling of personal friendships with religious people. There is the sound of the organ and the beauty of the hymns. But apart from truth and the Holy Ghost there is no true worship. (“The Chief End of Man,” Sermon #3, Toronto, 1962)

You cannot worship just as you please

This is one of the tricks of the devil and a very favorite pet of unconverted poets and unconverted people with a bump of sublimity on their head but without the new birth. They teach that we just worship God any way we want to worship God and all will be well. Authentic religious experience is altogether possible apart from redemption. It’s entirely possible to have authentic religious experience and not be a Christian and not be converted and be on our way to eternal hell. You remember that Cain had an experience—an authentic religious experience. He talked to God and God talked to him. It is possible to have an experience with God and yet not have a saving experience with God. It is possible to worship and yet not worship aright. (“The Chief End of Man,” Sermon #3, Toronto, 1962)

Worship has to be in the Spirit and by the Spirit

The notion that just anybody can worship is all wrong. The notion that we can worship without the Spirit is all wrong. The notion that we can crowd the Spirit into a corner and ignore Him, quench Him, resist Him and yet worship God acceptably is a great heresy which we need to correct. Only the Holy Spirit knows how to worship God acceptably. (“The Chief End of Man,” Sermon #8, Toronto, 1962)

Worship Comes Before Work

It may be set down as an axiom that if we do not worship we cannot work acceptably. The Holy Spirit can work through a worshipping heart and through no other kind. We may go through the motions and delude ourselves by our religious activity, but we are setting ourselves up for a shocking disillusionment some day.

Without doubt the emphasis in Christian teaching today should be on worship. There is little danger that we shall become merely worshipers and neglect the practical implications of the gospel. No one can long worship God in spirit and in truth before the obligation to holy service becomes too strong to resist. Fellowship with God leads straight to obedience and good works. That is the divine order and it can never be reversed. (Born after Midnight, pp. 125-126)

Whatever keeps me from the Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to be. Whatever engages my attention when I should be meditating on God and things eternal does injury to my soul. Let the cares of life crowd out the Scriptures from my mind and I have suffered loss where I can least afford it. Let me accept anything else instead of the Scriptures and I have been cheated and robbed to my eternal confusion. (That Incredible Christian, p. 82)

A Hard Message

If there is anything in me that does not worship God, then there is nothing in me that worships God perfectly! I do not say that God must have a perfection of worship or He will not accept any worship at all. I would not go so far; if I did, I would rule myself out. And we would all hang our harps on the willows and refuse to sing the songs of the Lord in a strange land. But, I do say that the ideal God sets before us is that we should worship as near to perfectly as we can. And that if there are areas in my being that are not harmonious and that do not worship God, then there’s no area in my being that worships God perfectly. (The Tozer Pulpit, Book 1, p. 55)

See to it that there isn’t a spot or an hour or a place or a time or a day or a location that isn’t consecrated and given over to God. You’ll be worshipping Him—and He’ll accept it! (The Tozer Pulpit, Book 1, p. 53)

YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF GOSPEL
...when babies die, do they all go to heaven?



The Three Stages of Grace

We've died once to the penalty of sin:
Titus 2:11 ¶ For the grace of God has appeared, with salvationa for all people,
Saved by grace.

All of man's estate from birth hopelessly marred in the fathomless effects of sin. By nature we are all children of wrath, sons of disobedience, slaves to sin; with the only merits of our righteousness compared to the riches of dirty, filthy rags. From the moment of our conception in the womb-- we are completely sinful. The wages of sin is death; all who sin die. That is why even infants die; they are sinful, sinners, and worthy of eternal perdition (Roms. 5:12-19).

What about infants who die; the mentally handicapped; or those who are ignorant of and have never heard the gospel? Are they given an exemption from the effects of sin, eternal judgment and punishment, and the righteous justice of a holy God? Are they somehow insulated from eternal wrath because of their age, mental capacity, and ignorance and that salvation is granted to them due to their "state of being" and not due to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?
Those that assert that all babies who die receive instant heaven, do so to sooth the aching hearts of grieving parents (which we all understand). But our hope beloved in the tragic death of an infant is not in the destiny of the child, but in the character of God. A baby's perceived "innocence" affording them instant heaven is only an accommodation afforded by the sentimental whims of man. "In sin my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5). We are all sinners (including children) not because we commit acts of sin; but because we are sinful to the core of our being - by nature. There is not a God-sized hole within us that needs filling by divine intervention. Our entire being is corrupt--and it is the same for our children.

Someone's age is not that which insulate one against God's holy divine judgment anymore than someone's mental cognation or ignorance from not hearing the good news of the gospel. Something are still a mystery to us beloved and we must leave them in the just hands of a righteous God. It would be wrong for any of us to be inflexibly dogmatic on the guaranteed eternal salvation of all infants, all who are mentally handicapped, and all those who die in the ignorance of never hearing the gospel. Those that do, IMHO, out of good motives, are promising false hope. And that promise is not up to us, but only up to God Himself.

We need to be born again. Paul leaves no doubt in the bankrupt abilities of man and the greatness of the grace of our God in salvation: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9). "The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation..." and without grace, there is no hope of eternal life.

Grace is "hard" to live by; for grace robs man of his glory, of all boasting in his own abilities to be made acceptable to God, and dashes his religious pride to the ground. Grace strips us self-confidence, perfectionism, and our own goodness. Grace crushes our arrogance and exalts Christ; lifts holiness and dashes human morality

We die daily to the power of sin:
Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,
Sanctified by grace.

No man through human effort can perfect himself. "Having begun in the Spirit are you trying to perfect yourself in the flesh?" (Gal. 3:3). It is a temptation for any of us once we have tasted of the fount of God's grace in salvation, to then revert back to a life of works in our sanctification. Paul says here in Titus that grace is our teacher; "instructing us to deny..." We are new creations in Christ, but yet we are incarcerated in unredeemed flesh (Romans 7). The things we want to do, we don't do; and the things we don't want to do, we do. "O wretched man am I" Paul says in the midst of this struggle.

Sanctification, though different from justification, is inextricably linked to justification and flow out of genuine regeneration. But we must remember beloved, it is all of grace - in that we are never acting independent from God and we are not passive in ourselves. For with all that is within us (heart, soul, mind, strength, will, emotion, etc.) we are to pursue holiness and Christlikeness with a relentless obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit every day. IOW, in salvation we do not cooperate with the Lord; but in sanctification, as new creations (2 Cor. 5:17) we do.

One day we will be free from the presence of sin:
Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works.
Glorified by grace.

Grace will see us through til the end. "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Jude 1: 24-25)

Monday, October 20, 2008

REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH: THE ESVSB GETS THIS CORRECT




Here is a great article, and indirectly, a brief review of the new ESV Study Bible (ESVSB) from our good friends at Monergism.com. What I appreciate about this piece, is that it focuses in on an important theological truth in salvation, that regeneration precedes faith.

Now, did the ESVSB get it right on this important doctrinal issue? Read the following to find out and let me know your thoughts...

Steve
Titus 3:4-7






-DOCTRINE MATTERS
-

For visitors to Monergism.com who are considering the purchase of the ESV Study Bible, the following may be of particular interest to you. Ever since the ESV Study Bibles have come out I have been reading through some of the notes on various texts and skimming the theological articles so I could report back to you what I found. As you might have guessed, one of the first things looked for was whether the ESV Study Bible would take a clear Christ-honoring stand on the vital doctrinal issue of regeneration. Expecting to find an amorphous commentary that neither monergist nor synergist would be offended by, I am very pleased to report to you that the notes from editors of the ESVSB unambiguously affirm divine monergism in regeneration. Because we believe this is a vital biblical doctrine to understand correctly, we wholeheartedly applaud those editors who decided not to be vague on this issue. We are also thankful for the effort and time it must have taken to put the incredible resources available in this Bible together in one place. May the Lord be pleased to use it to His glory

Here are a few samples of ESVSB comments on the doctrine of regeneration:

On page 2531 of the ESVSB in the article entitled "Biblical Doctrine: An Overview" under the subheading of "salvation" it reads as follows:
From God's vantage point salvation begins with his election of individuals, which is his determination beforehand that his saving purpose will be accomplished in them (John 6:37–39, 44, 64–66; 8:47; 10:26; 15:16; Acts 13:48; 16:14; Romans 9; 1 John 4:19; 5:1). God then in due course brings people to himself by calling them to faith in Christ (Rom. 8:30; 1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Pet. 2:9).
God's calling produces regeneration, which is the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in which a spiritually dead person is made alive in Christ (Ezek. 11:19–20; Matt. 19:28; John 3:3, 5, 7; Titus 3:5). The revived heart repents and trusts Christ in saving faith as the only source of justification.
Notice that the editors clearly affirm that a regenerated, revived heart precedes repentance and trust in Christ. It goes on to describe saving faith as follows:
To be a Christian means one has traded in his “polluted garment” of self-righteousness for the perfect righteousness of Christ (Phil. 3:8–9; cf. Isa. 64:6). He has ceased striving and now rests in the finished work of Christ—no longer depending on personal accomplishments, religious pedigree, or good works for God's approval, but only on what Christ has accomplished on his behalf (Phil. 2:8–9). A Christian understands with Paul that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). As regards Jesus paying the penalty for our sins, the Christian believes that when Jesus said, “it is finished” (John 19:30), it really was. Because of this, “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1), and they have been “saved to the uttermost” (Heb. 7:25). A miraculous transformation has taken place in which the believer has “passed from death to life” (John 5:24). The Holy Spirit empowers the transformation from rebellious sinner to humble worshiper, leading to “confidence for the day of judgment” (1 John 4:17).
Now moving away from the theological essays, we would like to point to some related commentary the ESVSB makes on a few important texts of Scripture which speak of regeneration:

ESVSB commentary on Eph 2:5
"even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—" (Eph 2:5)

Eph. 2:5 when we were dead. Paul resumes his original thought, which began with “you were dead” in v. 1. made us alive. That is, God gave us regeneration (new spiritual life within). This and the two verbs in v. 6 (“raised up” and “seated with”) make up the main verbs of the long sentence in vv. 1–10. Since Christians were dead, they first had to be made alive before they could believe (and God did that together with Christ). This is why salvation is by grace alone (see notes on v. 8; vv. 9–10).

ESVSB commentary on 1 John 5:1
"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him." (1 John 5:1)

1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that. The word “that” underscores that saving faith has a particular content. It is not a vague religious commitment but a wholehearted trust in the saving work of Christ. Everyone who believes has been born of God. Regeneration precedes faith (cf. 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; note on Eph. 2:5).

ESVSB commentary on John 6:63
"It is the Spirit who gives life; a the flesh is no help at all."

John 6:63 The flesh (i.e., human nature including emotions, will, and intellect) is completely incapable of producing genuine spiritual life (see Rom. 7:14–25), for this can only be done by the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit works powerfully in and through the words that Jesus speaks, and those words are spirit and life in the sense that they work in the unseen spiritual realm and awaken genuine spiritual life.

to read more click here...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
...salvation is not your choice - it is His

For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
-1 Corinthians 1:18


One of the damnable lies that has crept into evangelicalism over the last fifty years (via a return to Finneyism) is that salvation is the result of your free will enacted by your own volition to decide to follow Jesus Christ so that you can gain eternal life. Rubbish! Salvation is the result of His sovereign election of His own from all eternity past in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:1-2). Salvation is not the result of you mumbling some little sinners prayer, walking an aisle, raising a hand, or signing a decision card. "The only thing," as Jonathan Edwards has said, "that you bring to your salvation is the sin that makes it necessary."

So read the following words by brother C.H. Spurgeon and consider the greatness of your salvation - that it is all of grace, all of God, all of Christ Jesus the Lord, all of the regenerating ministry of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7). Any boasting in and of ourselves is excluded; any attribution in the smallest degree to man's free will is a gospel worthy of the dung hill (Roms. 3:21-31; Phil. 3:1-12). All our boasting and glory is in the Lord Jesus Christ alone (1 Cor. 1:27-31)!

Amen?

We stand in grace,
Steve

"I feel persuaded that false doctrine, inasmuch as it touches God's sovereignty, is always an object of divine jealousy. Let me indicate especially the doctrines of free-will. I know there are some good men who hold and preach them, but I am persuaded that the Lord must be grieved with their doctrine though he forgives them their sin of ignorance. Free-will doctrine—what does it? It magnifies man into God; it declares God's purposes a nullity, since they cannot be carried out unless men are willing. It makes God's will a waiting servant to the will of man, and the whole covenant of grace dependent upon human action. Denying election on the ground of injustice it holds God to be a debtor to sinners, so that if he gives grace to one he is bound to do so to all. It teaches that the blood of Christ was shed equally for all men and since some are lost, this doctrine ascribes the difference to man's own will, thus making the atonement itself a powerless thing until the will of man gives it efficacy. Those sentiments dilute the scriptural description of man's depravity, and by imputing strength to fallen humanity, rob the Spirit of the glory of his effectual grace: this theory says in effect that it is of him that willeth, and of him that runneth, and not of God that showeth mercy.

Any doctrine, my brethren, which stands in opposition to this truth—"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy," provokes God's jealousy. I often tremble in this pulpit lest I should utter anything which should oppose the sovereignty of my God; and though you know I am not ashamed to preach the responsibility of man to God—if God be a sovereign, man must be bound to obey him—on the other hand, I am equally bold to preach that God has a right to do what he wills with his own, that he giveth no account of his matters and none may stay his hand, or say unto him, "What doest thou?" I believe that the free-will heresy assails the sovereignty of God, and mars the glory of his dominion. In all faithfulness, mingled with sorrow, I persuade you who have been deluded by it, to see well to your ways and receive the truth which sets God on high, and lays the creature in the dust." — C. H. Spurgeon

Friday, October 17, 2008

THE SHACK REVIEW
...a call to discernment

“Discernment... 
is not simply a matter of telling the difference 
between what is right and wrong; 
rather it is the difference between 
right and almost right.” 
-Charles Spurgeon

by Wayne Elliott
At the encouragement of friends, I recently read The Shack by William P. Young. A national bestseller widely embraced by some churches and many professing Christians, The Shack is a work of fiction that embodies lengthy conversations between the main character, a man named Mack, and three persons who represent a version of the Trinity.

Frankly, I was dismayed at many messages conveyed by The Shack and have been surprised that many of my Christian friends have read the book uncritically, finding it a charming and heart-warming story. Some say that it is unfair to have theological expectations since the book is fiction. However, The Shack is marketed as a spiritually transforming book, and it being received that way by many.

It seems to me that a more critical reading is required of The Shack than a secular work of fiction because the author creates characters that purport to speak as God and to guide Mack on his spiritual journey. The fictional story becomes a device to have characters representing the Godhead explain a particular theology. As believers, our spiritual antennas should be fully deployed when we approach such a book.

In The Shack, God the Father appears to Mack as a large, jovial black woman whom Mack calls “Papa.” The Holy Spirit appears as a small Asian woman, and Jesus appears as a Jewish man. 
Putting aside gender confusion and the attempt to give human form and voice to the Father and Holy Spirit (“no man hath seen God at any time,” John 1:8), it is critical for the Christian reader to carefully consider the message author Young has those voices bring and to weigh their message in the light of the clear teaching of the Bible. That is to exercise discernment, a requirement – not an option – for Christians.

When we read The Shack with discernment, I submit that we find many distortions and untruths. Consider just a few of the words Young puts in the mouths of his created Trinity (my comments are within the parentheses):

Papa to Mack: “We [the Trinity] have limited ourselves out of respect for you.” (Isn’t this Open Theism – God choosing to limit Himself?)

Jesus: “God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things . . .” (Isn’t this Pantheism – God in all things?)

Sarayu (Young’s Sanscrit name for the Holy Spirit): “We [the Trinity] carefully respect your choices, so we work within your systems even while we seek to free you from them.” (“Neither are your ways my ways . . . my ways are higher than your ways.” Isaiah 55:8-9. Does God respect man’s choices, or does His Word demand that we repent of our ways and that we enter His narrow way?)

Sarayu: “Both evil and darkness can only be understood in relation to Light and Good; they do not have any actual existence . . . Light and Good actually exist.” (Really? Does the Bible teach that evil has no actual existence? Was the biblical Jesus aware of that when He conversed with Satan in the desert temptation?)

Papa: “I don’t need to punish people for sin Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It is not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.” (Certainly there are consequences of our sin which we realize in this life and which impact other people. And certainly God has provided the cure for sin. That “cure” is the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross. Most certainly there is punishment for sin. Christ suffered the punishment for us. However, the implication of Papa’s statement is that the only punishment for sin is sin’s own punishment in a person’s life. The Bible is clear that punishment for the unredeemed, those who refuse Christ’s atonement, is the sting of spiritual death and eternal separation from God. The Shack makes light work of the cross.)

Young’s Jesus character states that he, Papa, and Sarayu are “indeed submitted to one another and have always been so and always will be...
In fact, we [the Trinity] are submitted to you [Mack] in the same way.” (Why, then, did the biblical Jesus submit Himself to the will of His father? Does the Bible teach submission to authority in spiritual and family and secular environments? What do you make of the claim that the Trinity is submitted to us? I believe that Young’s anti-authoritarianism is risky in human terms and that it is blasphemous to attribute such egalitarian sentiments to God.)

When requested by Papa to forgive the murderer of his young daughter, Mack balks. Papa says, “Mack, for you to forgive this man is for you to release him to me and allow me to redeem him.” (So God can only redeem those whom humans have forgiven and have released to God for redemption? The effectiveness of redemption for the unrepentant murderer is to be accomplished with Mack’s participation? Find biblical support for that, my friends!)

Christian, what about this assertion by the Jesus of The Shack? “I am the best way any human can relate to Papa or Sarayu.” (This is a false Jesus. The Jesus Christ of the Bible does not say that He is the best way, He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” John 14:16. He is not the best way – He is the only way.)

The Shack evidences a low regard for Scripture. 
When Mack mentions biblical events or concepts, Papa brushes them off and glibly explains how it really is, thus suggesting that the Bible is the work of man, not the divinely inspired work of God. Yet, some argue that The Shack has value in that it demonstrates a loving God of grace who invites man to a relationship. But it does so with grievous distortions about the nature of God, the nature of the Trinity, the authority of God’s Word, God’s hatred of sin, the requirement of repentance, and the nature of conversion and salvation.

My brothers and sisters, even in reading and discussing a work of fiction, we must be prepared to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), and to do so without apology to the world. The Shack may, from its human author’s viewpoint, be in all sincerity intended as an inviting look at a highly relational God, but would you place even a drop of poison in pure water and invite others to drink? As Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said, The Shack “contains undiluted heresy.” Don’t you and I have a responsibility to be equipped to recognize heresy and to shine the light of truth so that we and others are not deceived?

HT: JohnMark

McCAIN KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK TONIGHT!
...at the Alfred E. Smith dinner

These videos are simply brilliant!



John McCain is one of the classiest men in politics... 
Check out his remarks about Obama near the end of this clip.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST
...in salvation and in judgment

"Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I tell you?" (Luke 6:46)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day t many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons v in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matt. 7:21-24)

"Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved." (Roms. 10:9-10)


"If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel, insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness." -C.H. SPURGEON

"Grace is a provision for men who are so fallen that they cannot lift the ax of justice; so corrupt that they cannot change their own natures; so adverse to God that they cannot turn to Him; so blind that they cannot see Him; so deaf that they cannot hear Him; and so dead that He Himself must open their graves." -G.S. BISHOP

"Pride is self contending with God for preeminence." -CHARLES BRIDGES

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

AND THE CLEAR WINNER OF TONIGHT'S DEBATE?
...Joe the Plumber!





Hey JOE - way to go! Debate kudos to Mr. Wurzelbacher whose unseen presence dominated tonight's exchange (over 15 times he was mentioned at last count). You can't help but like this guy.

I have never seen two candidates pander with such verve to win the collective support represented by one hard working and very smart, unafraid, well-informed, and confident businessman. Obama really didn't know how to respond to him. Check out Joe's first response to Cavuto's question:

NC: "Joe, did he win you over?"
JW: "No not at all; and his answer actually scared me even more."
The American people were well represented this evening by Joe's earlier appearance demonstrated in the clip above. If you haven't seen it - it is a must view. 

Take a dig and let me know your thoughts...

YOUR ARMS ARE TOO SHORT TO BOX WITH GOD
...the creature does not counsel the Creator


Read Ephesians 1:4-14 to see the foundation of the Word of God in these powerful words below:

"For it is utterly impossible that any finite cause, created power, or anything out of God himself, should primarily move and incline the eternal, immutable, uncreated, omnipotent will of God. The true original and prime motive of all gracious, bountiful expressions and effusions of love upon his elect, is the good pleasure of his will. And therefore to hold that election to life is made upon foresight of faith, good works the right use of free will, or any created motive, is not only false and wicked, but also ignorant and absurd tenet. To say no more at this time, it robs God of his all-sufficiency, making him go out of himself, looking to this or that in the creature, upon which his will may be determined to elect." -ROBERT BOLTON

DEBATE PREP
...mind your vote

Questions McCain Should Ask Obama

1. Are you prepared to fire SEC Chairman Chris Cox for his share of the burden for the demise of Wall Street that has impacted us all on main street?

2. Will you call for the resignations of Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd for their misconduct surrounding Fannie/Freddie?

3. Will you repudiate William Ayers and all alliances current or past with him and call him out on his efforts to undermine the security of our nation; and then call for him to publicly repent of his terrorist activity from the past?

4. As a professing Christian in the Lord Jesus Christ, how can you support any legislation and/or practice that takes the lives of unborn children at any stage in their development as a human being? Will you know repudiate the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion and the infanticide of live abortion that you have supported in the past?

5. Will you reject any and all ties to ACORN and call for a nationwide investigation of their fraudulent conduct of voter registration?

6. Will you return all PAC money you have received from the lobbyists for Fannie/Freddie?

7. Will you permanently sever all ties to Rev. Wright and his views; to Louis Farrakhan and his views; and from Franklin Raines and his political and economic connections?

8. Why didn't you work with the Republicans in the Senate to pass legislation concerning the danger of sub-prime mortgages instead of simply writing a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury? Did you vote "present" again?

9. Will you undeniably pledge full support of Israel? 

10. Will you release your records from Harvard Law when you served there and submit yourself to careful scrutiny as to their contents?

11. How will you protect the borders of the U.S. from further immigration violations; and work toward deportation of all illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S. in sanctuary cities that are in violation of the law?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ACORN REGISTERS MICKEY MOUSE TO VOTE
...another failed Obama alliance - he has much to explain

UPDATE: Stanley Kurtz at National Review Online has an excellent article on Obama and his alliances concerning the election. Obama funded extremist Afrocentrists who shared Rev. Wright’s anti-Americanism and as Kurtz said, "it looks like Jeremiah Wright was just the tip of the iceberg." IT IS A MUST READ.

<----------------------->

Just when you thought you could trust voter registration organizations to really vet out those "signing up" to participate in the upcoming Presidential election - this kind of blatant fraudulent activity takes place. But Mickey Mouse? The world's most famous mouse WAS actually registered to vote in Florida this past summer. (Personally... I always liked Daffy Duck better.) I guess community organizers DO have something to answer for...

Initially, I thought this was political satire or spin; but no, it is the real thing. Read about it here. This does bring into question again Barack Obama's full on endorsement of ACORN and his $800k that he gave to them to register new voters before the primaries and his legal defense of them several years ago. It is no surprise that ACORN has fully backed Obama for President and it has been suggested by some pundits that they don't register Republicans. Barack has tried several times to Nashville two-step his affiliation with ACORN. The Maverick must confront him at the debate tomorrow night on this issue. If innocent of any conflict of interest, then Obama should be able to give the American people a reasonable defense of his involvement with them and publicly decry such practices as this.

Agreed?

OBAMA at a Heartland Democratic Presidential Forum on December 1, 2007 referring to ACORN when he said:
Yes. But let me say that before I even get inaugurated, during the transition we're going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda. (cheering) We're going to be having meetings all across the country with community organizations so that you have input into the agenda of the next presidency of the United States of America!
Anyone getting just a little bit nervous yet?

Last evening on FOXNEWS, Greta Van Susteren did a powerful interview with a representative from ACORN. With only three weeks to go till the election, this is potentially catastrophic in determining the next President of the United States. This concern is dramatically compounded especially when considering early voting taking place in several key battleground states. Regardless of who wins this election, the integrity of the voter process must be guarded and protected.

Campi

HT: DRUDGE

Monday, October 13, 2008

THE ESV STUDY BIBLE
...simply the best

updated

I got my copy of the ESV Study Bible a few days ago and have been devouring it ever since. The notes are really well done; the graphics second to none; and the introductory sections to each book of the Bible are a rare staple of this great volume of study Bibles.

At the back of the ESVSB you will also find page after page after page of theological essentials concerning the Christian faith. Though not a fan of study Bibles in general - this one is a must buy. One thing that I really appreciated by the framers of the ESVSB was that it is not driven by a single personality as many study Bibles are. It is a body of work from several very well respected doctrinal, biblical, and theological minds. 

My favorite feature of this Bible is the online edition that you are given access to by code when purchasing the ESVSB. To have the ability to access all of this tremendous information electronically is a feature unique to the ESVSB. It is a real plus if you are a pastor, Bible teacher, evangelist, apologist, Sunday School teacher or missionary in preparing your time for teaching. Even with a home Bible study or fellowship group, it will prove to be an invaluable source to understand more fully God's Word. Any lay person will also find the easy use of this feature in their own devotional time and daily walk with the Lord. So think of the ESVSB not as a "normal average" study Bible. But rather as a one volume theological tome on the Christian faith. IOW, no excuses for anyone not knowing what the Word teaches on virtually any subject.

The only negative? It weighs a lot! I would be surprised if anyone takes this to church every Sunday and uses it as their primary "sword" day in and day out. It simply is big and will be cumbersome for most to carry with them. However, in saying that, it is still a must buy to have at your home and enjoy with your family and friends. Congratulations to all at Crossway for the labor they have given to this excellent work.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Steve
2 Tim. 3:16-17

PS - someone emailed this question: what is your favorite study Bible that you use frequently? Answer: the study Bible that I daily use is The MacArthur Study Bible. It has been called "the magnum opus" of study Bibles available and well worth that praise and your investment of time and treasure. Though it solely bears John's name, it is the byproduct of many faithful exegetes, teachers, theologians and pastors who serve at Grace Community Church and The Master's Seminary.