Daily Archives: April 19, 2013

The Humble Pope

If you know anything at all about the new Pope, Pope Francis, you must know this: he is the humble Pope. From the day of his election he has been widely praised for his humility. A recent article from The Washington Post is representative, lauding him for his humble deeds…

What is humility? Humility, in the words of Wayne Mack, “consists in an attitude wherein we recognize our own insignificance and unworthiness before God and attribute to Him the supreme honor, praise, prerogatives, rights, privileges, worship, devotion, authority, submission, and obedience that He alone deserves. It also involves a natural, habitual tendency to think and behave in a manner that appropriately expresses this attitude.” Mack gets straight to the heart of humility when he shows that it is expressed before God before it is expressed before man. Humility before others must grow out of humility before God. If we are fundamentally proud before God, we simply cannot be humble before man.

Like any of us, Pope Francis can only be humble—truly humble—if he first attributes to God “the supreme honor, praise, prerogatives, rights, privileges, worship, devotion, authority, submission, and obedience that He alone deserves.” Yet Roman Catholic doctrine, and especially doctrine related to the papacy, steals from the honor, rights, prerogatives and authority of Jesus Christ and attributes them instead to the Pope. By definition and by Catholic dogma, Francis is no humble Pope.

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Spiritual House Cleaning Part 2

Spiritual House Cleaning 2 (via http://preachingchristcrucified.com)

Spiritual House Cleaning Part 2 written by Charisse Graves  Beloved, now that you have worked through preparing your heart, we will get on with the fairly unpleasant task of dusting out and scrubbing off those things that hinder our relationship with our great and holy God. You will be amazed how…

Principles for Living to God’s Glory: Esteem by John MacArthur

It’s easy to forget that there are always people watching how we live. They might be your children, siblings, coworkers, friends, or neighbors—it might even be total strangers who regularly see how you behave. Regardless of who sees, very little of our lives takes place in total privacy.

So as we consider some key principles from God’s Word that help us determine how to behave in the gray areas of life—the issues and activities about which Scripture does not directly speak—we need to remember that our behavior also has repercussions for others, as well.

Regarding the eating of food offered to idols—which was a pivotal gray area in the early church—Paul wrote, “Food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak” (1 Corinthians 8:8-9).

In exercising our Christian liberty, we must be sensitive to weaker believers who might have more sensitive consciences. We need to prayerfully consider the question: Will this activity benefit others, or cause them to stumble?

How you conduct yourself in life’s gray areas isn’t just a question of your spiritual maturity. The quality of the example you set for other, less-mature believers ought to inform your decisions. It really comes down to esteem. What matters more to you, exercising your freedoms or encouraging the spiritual growth of other believers? And when you esteem them as more important than yourself, putting their spiritual interests above your own freedom, you are following the example of Christ (Philippians 2:1-5).

This is the principle of love. As Romans 13:10 says, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” If you know that your choice—even something you consider to be well “in bounds” and approved by God—will cause another Christian to stumble and sin, love that brother or sister enough to restrict your own freedom and abstain.

That selfless attitude is not very popular in our self-absorbed society, but it is biblical. In fact, to cause a fellow Christian to violate his or her conscience is ultimately to sin against the Lord. For “by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore,” Paul said, “if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble” (1 Corinthians 8:12-13).

When it comes to the exercise of our freedoms, we need to be less concerned with enjoying our Christian liberty to the fullest extent, and more focused on how our behavior in the gray areas can build up and encourage the spiritual growth of others.

Have you had opportunities to sacrifice your freedom for the sake of other believers? Afterward did you really miss the item or activity you sacrificed, or was the benefit to the other believer far greater than the pleasure you might have enjoyed?

Or has another believer abstained from an activity for your benefit? How did their sacrifice encourage your spiritual growth?

 

(Adapted from Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B130418     COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You

False Prophets Do Not Preach Repentance

When we hear the latest conference message or read the newly-released book on how to be a radical sold-out follower of Jesus, there is one thing that many of today’s popular speakers leave out: Repentance. The “R-Word” is rarely seen in emergent-progressive writings. It’s often seen as an “ugly” or negative, judgmental word that seekers would turn away from. And yet it is a fruit we should be looking for in our churches. Does your church preach of repentance when the Gospel message is shared?

Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries recently shared this article by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and I am reprinting it here:

The preaching and teaching of a false prophet does not emphasize repentance in any real sense. It has a very wide gate leading to salvation and a very broad way leading to heaven. You need not feel much of your own sinfulness; you need not be aware of the blackness of your own heart.

You just “decide for Christ” and you rush in with the crowd, and your name is put down, and is one of the large number of ‘decisions’ reported by the press. It is entirely unlike the evangelism of the Puritans and of John Wesley, George Whitefield and others, which led men to be terrified of the judgment of God, and to have an agony of soul sometimes for days and weeks and months.

John Bunyan tells us in his book Grace Abounding that he endured an agony of repentance for eighteen months. There does not seem to be much room for that today. Repentance means that you realize that you are a guilty, vile sinner in the presence of God, that you deserve the wrath and punishment of God, that you are hell-bound.

It means that you begin to realize that this thing called sin is in you, that you long to get rid of it, and that you turn your back on it in every shape and form. You renounce the world whatever the cost, the world in its mind and outlook as well as its practice, and you deny yourself, and take up the cross and go after Christ.

Your nearest and dearest, and the whole world, may call you a fool, or say you have religious mania. You may have to suffer financially, but it makes no difference. That is repentance. The false prophet does not put it like that.

He “heals the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly”, simply saying that it is all right, and that you have but to “come to Christ”, “follow Jesus”, or “become a Christian.” (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount)

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/04/false-prophets-do-not-preach-repentance/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+standupwi+%28Stand+Up+for+the+Truth+%7C+All+Feeds%29

The Law and Faith

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!  (Romans 6:14-15 NASB)

Most of the early years of my Christian walk were spent in one church from February 1987 through February 2000.  During that time we had three pastors.  I was in some form of teaching for most of that time. One of the things that always came up when we studied the Old Testament was Romans 6:14-15. It was as if someone always had to make sure that we were not being legalistic. They cast the law as far from them and our church as the East is from the West. Is that how we are to treat God’s Law?

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Spiritual House Cleaning Part 1

Spiritual House Cleaning 1 (via http://preachingchristcrucified.com)

Spiritual House Cleaning Part 1 written by Charisse Graves As Christians growing in grace, our desire is to cultivate what pleases the Lord. Our daily lives should reflect an intentional effort toward “semper reformanda,” Latin for; always reforming. “…we have not ceased to pray for you and…

“Day of Silence” — annual homosexual assault on children in schools — taking place this Friday, April 19

Radical propaganda push on kids

During this all-day event, school officials encourage students to be silent for the entire day as a sign of solidarity with the homosexual activist movement. Students are encouraged to wear special homosexual badges, stickers, and bracelets which are often handed out at the school entrances that day. There are also pro-homosexual posters and handouts, and even workshops.

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The Jews in Prophecy Have they been cast aside, or are they destined for glory?

Few Biblical studies are as exciting as an examination of the Jews in prophecy, for the Jews are one of the key focal points of Bible prophecy.

The Scriptures reveal the Jews as “the apple of God’s eye” (Zechariah 2:8). Their land is described as “holy” (Zechariah 2:12). Their city of Jerusalem is termed the “center of the nations” (Ezekiel 5:5). They are pictured as the wayward wife of God (see Ezekiel 16 and the book of Hosea). And the Bible makes it clear that they will be the object of both God’s wrath (Jeremiah 30:7) and His grace (Zechariah 13:1) in the end times.

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Social ME-dia and Matthew Warren: The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good

Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Vine. Tumblr. The list of social media sites and opportunities continues to grow. And with it, the belief that the world is all about “me”.

With the world literally at our fingertips, too often we fall into the trap of thinking the world needs more of me, my opinion, my viewpoint.

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Rise of the One World Religion

I have at other times written about the history of the Catholic Church, mainly the Roman Catholic Church, but with current developments and the election of a surprise candidate called Pope Francis, I feel I need to readdress this “religion” once again based on these new developments. In my last previous article about the last pope, I marveled at how this man just doesn’t seem to fit the preconceived notions floating in my head and those spoken about of. But new developments and details have been brought to light, and we need to look at this man a little closer.

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The rapidity with which the world is descending into chaos is amazing

I’m dizzy. Literally dizzy- physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Just in the last 24 hours there has been a terrible terrorist bombing in Boston, a meteor that swooped across Spain and was seen from the north to the south, a series of quakes at Oklahoma and a major quake at the Iran-Pakistan border.

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Muslim Persecution of Christians: Update

Reports of Christian persecution by Muslims around the world include (but are not limited to) the following accounts. They are listed by form of persecution, and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity: … Click here for full story