Daily Archives: November 17, 2013

BCC Weekend Resource: Biblical Counseling for Adultery

Additionally, we want to point you to a very helpful and insightful series that Tim just completed on his site regarding Biblical Counseling and Adultery. You can find links to each of Tim’s seven-part series below.

Part 1: Adultery: Alive and Well in Your Church?
Part 2: Are All Affairs Alike?
Part 3: Typical Responses to an Affair
Part 4: Adultery: Divorce or Rebuild?
Part 5: Adultery: Who Do You Help?
Part 6: Immediate Actions to End an Affair
Part 7: Steps to Rebuild a Marriage

Source: http://biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/blogs/2013/11/16/bcc-weekend-resource-biblical-counseling-for-adultery/

The Heart of Christ

Here are a handful of remarks from Thomas Goodwin’s The Heart of Christ that struck me and helped me and calmed me down and (as Edwards would say) happified me as I read this little gem. Many of us have been walking with the Lord for years and have never latched on to who Christ actually is for sinners–how he feels about sinners who come to him. What his heart is.

There has been a remarkable recovery of the doctrines of grace in recent years, but, I think, not an accordant recovery of the Man of grace. We’ve recovered the formula but not the Person. The what, but not the Who.

Goodwin has a word in season for the evangelical church today.

Read More Here

Heresy Alert!!! “False Gospels”, “Different Gospels”, “Demonic Gospels” And Those Who Preach Them.

Shepherd/Guardian

http://thebereanlibrary.com/page-false-gospels#sthash.4X3IDq27.dpuf

▶PAUL says, in Gal 1:6-9, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a DIFFERENT GOSPEL; which is really NOT ANOTHER; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to DISTORT the Gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel CONTRARY TO WHAT WE HAVE PREACHED TO YOU, he is to be ACCURSED! As we have said before, so I say AGAIN now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel CONTRARY to what you RECEIVED, he is to be ACCURSED!” (caps added)

A list of the PREDOMINANT false teachings, “DIFFERENT GOSPELS,” in Christian bookstores follows, but is not limited to:

▶The Emergent Church A.K.A. Post-Modern/Neo-Liberal/Progressive False Gospel Movement [Leading promoters: Brian McLarenDoug PagittTony JonesRob BellRichard Foster

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Catholic Questions: What Is a Novena?

The word novena derives from the Latin word for “nine.” A novena is a series of prayers prayed over a nine-day or nine-hour period. The prayers are repeated to obtain special graces or as a sign of devotion to God. Usually a novena involves making a specific request or expressing a specific intent. Prayers may come from the rosary or from prayer books, or they may be written by the petitioner. Usually the same prayer is prayed every day for nine days, or the same series of prayers is prayed. A nine-day novena has prayers made at the same time each day; a nine-hour novena has a prayer at the same time each hour. Novenas are primarily practiced by Catholics, although some members of the Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches also say novenas.

There are, in general, four categories of novenas. Mourning novenas are said following the death of a loved one; a special novemdiales is said following the death of a pope. Preparation novenas are said before a major religious holiday, such as Easter or Christmas. Prayer novenas are said to obtain special graces, and may consist of prayers from prayer books, recitation of the rosary, or other small prayers through the day. Indulgence novenas are prayed to alleviate the temporal punishment for one’s sins, including the sins of those in purgatory. Novenas are often prayed to specific saints and may be public or private; public ones require special mass attendance or the daily lighting of a candle. The supposed efficacy of a novena depends on the piety and devotion of the individual performing it. Most Catholics resent the superstitious supposition that a novena is a sort of spiritual chain letter, the idea that saying a novena for a given amount of time virtually guarantees that one’s request will be granted.

The novena is perhaps loosely derived from Scripture. It is thought that the time between the ascension of the Lord Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was nine days. Acts 1:14 says that the disciples spent that time continuing “with one accord in prayer.” However, the ancient Romans also observed a nine-day period of prayer following the death of a loved one, or to avert some evil predicted by a soothsayer. Ultimately, the novena is based more on tradition than on Scripture, which contains a prohibition against “vain repetition” in prayer (Matthew 6:7–8). The concept behind novenas is not explicitly unbiblical, but the prayer content in the vast majority of novenas is unbiblical. It is true that we are exhorted to pray continually (Luke 18:1–8; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). However, we need to be sure that our prayers are thoughtful, God-centered and God-honoring.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Life Decisions: How Can I Know If the Desires of My Heart Are from God?

Jesus answers this question for us: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19). And then: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’ ” (Mark 7:20–23).

In these passages, Jesus reveals the very springboard of our wants: our fleshly desires come from our innermost being. Sin does not just come about as a result of outside forces. It is borne from those hidden little niches residing in our thoughts and intentions, from the secret desires which only the mind and heart can envision. The bottom line is that, in our fallen state, the desires of our hearts do not come from God. Jeremiah further confirms the nature of man’s heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

It has long been the view of many that all humans are basically good and decent and that it is the circumstances of life such as poverty or poor nurturing that turn us into murderers and thieves. But the Bible teaches that all men suffer from a common frailty—sin. The apostle Paul calls it our sin nature. “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:18–20). Our evil hearts lead us to sin.

Furthermore, the heart is so corrupt and deceitful that our motives are unclear even to ourselves. As sinful creatures we devise and create evil things in the arrogance and self-sufficiency of our hearts (Proverbs 16:30; Psalm 35:20; Micah 2:1; Romans 1:30). The truth is that only God can examine our deepest motives and inward desires and only by His power can we ever hope to untangle the uncertainty and depravity that is bound up within our hearts. He alone searches all and knows us intimately (Hebrews 4:11–13).

Fortunately, God does not abandon us in our struggles with hurtful desires and sinful tendencies. Instead, He provides us the grace and strength we need to resist and overcome sin when it crouches at the door of our hearts. The psalmist tells us to: “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:4–6).

Here we see that God can literally plant His own desires into the heart of man, the heart that, without Him, is desperately wicked and deceitful. He replaces the evil with good and sets our hearts on the path toward Him, removing our own desires and replacing them with His. This only happens when we come to Him in repentance and accept the gift of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. At that point, He removes our hearts of stone and replaces them with hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19). He accomplishes this by the supernatural implanting of His Spirit into our hearts. Then our desires become His desires, our wills seek to do His will, and our rebellion turns to joyous obedience.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.