Daily Archives: October 27, 2014

GTY Blog: Recognizing the Glory of God’s Word

Code: B141027

by John MacArthur

The proliferation of good Bible translations is an enormous blessing. The unprecedented level of access to God’s Word that we enjoy was only made possible through the heroic Reformers 500 years ago. They bravely warred against the Roman Catholic determination to keep Scripture bound in the obscurity of Latin.

Unfortunately, the tremendous access to God’s Word today has also bred a dangerous complacency. Bibles now occupy ornamental places in our homes. We would consider it foolish to find a treasure chest and never open it to see what’s inside. Yet in reality, that’s what happens when a Bible is relegated to decorative use.

I once read an illustration that described the Bible as a magnificent palace constructed of precious stone, comprising sixty-six stately chambers. Each one of these rooms is different from the others and perfect in its individual beauty. Yet, when viewed as a whole, they form an incomparable edifice that is majestic, glorious, and sublime.

In the book of Genesis, we enter the vestibule and are immediately introduced to the records of God’s mighty works in creation. This foyer gives access to the law courts, the passage way to the picture gallery of the historical books. Here we find hung on the walls scenes of battles, heroic deeds, and portraits of valiant men of God.

Beyond the picture gallery we find the philosopher’s chamber (the book of Job), which leads us into the music room (the book of Psalms). Here we linger, thrilled by the grandest harmonies that ever fell on human ears. And then we come to the business office, in the very center of which stands the motto: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). From the business office, we pass into the research department (Ecclesiastes) before continuing into the conservatory (Song of Solomon), where the fragrant aroma of love greets us. Then, we reach the observatory where the prophets with their powerful telescopes are looking for the appearing of the Bright and Morning Star.

Crossing the courtyard at the dawning of the Son of righteousness, we come to the audience chamber of the King (the gospels), where we find four lifelike portraits of the King Himself revealing the perfections of His infinite beauty. Next, we enter the workroom of the Holy Spirit (the book of Acts) and, beyond, the correspondence room where we see Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude busy at their tables under the personal direction of the Spirit of Truth.

And finally, we enter the throne room (Revelation) where we are enraptured by the mighty volume of adoration and praise addressed to the enthroned King. In the adjacent judgment hall, there are portrayed solemn scenes of doom and wondrous scenes of glory associated with the coming manifestation of the King of kings and Lord of lords.[1]

Oh, the majesty of this Book. From creation to culmination, how it compels us to be diligent in our study!

How tragic it is when we seal up such a glorious structure behind its leather bindings. More than a century ago Charles Spurgeon would say: “There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write ‘damnation’ with your fingers.”

Scripture contains the words of eternal life and a failure to ingest and embrace those truths has damning consequences. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us through the Bible. What greater act of worship could there be than pursuing deeper knowledge of Him through the study of His Word?

The onus is on us as believers to embrace that exhortation. In the coming days I’ll explain some key strategies in reading, interpreting, and meditating on God’s Word. Stay tuned!

 

(Adapted from How to Study the Bible)


[1] While various versions of this description exist, it can be found in The Speaker’s Quote Book, by Roy Zuck.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B141027
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

Jihadists target Egypt: At least 31 Egyptian soldiers dead, 28 wounded in latest attacks. Are more coming? Is Jordan next?

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Pray for Egypt. Pray for Egypt.

All eyes have been riveted on the ISIS offensive in Syria and Iraq in recent months. But Radical Islamic jihadists are also intensifying their operations against other countries in the region. I’m particularly concerned that Jordan will be the focus of such attacks soon. But right now, Egypt is in the crosshairs.

Here is the latest. Please be praying for the people of Egypt — for calm and stability, as well as increased freedom and opportunity. Please pray also for the embattled Christians there.

“Two attacks on Egyptian military positions in the Sinai Peninsula on Friday killed at least 31 soldiers, according to security officials and the state news media,” the New York Times is reporting.

Excerpts:

  • The first attack killed at least 28 soldiers, making it the deadliest assault on the Egyptian military in many years and the biggest defeat in its 15-month battle against Sinai-based Islamist militants that…

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Enjoying the Party

Polemics Report

“I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7

Recently, the Pulpit and Pen published an article that was critical of what we feel are dubious salvation statistics coming out of Brewton-Parker College.   In that article, the Pulpit and Pen identified reasons to be suspicious of the Brewton-Parker President’s recent claims of 108 salvations (or 14% of its student population) in one chapel service.

108

Of course, any claim made by the career charlatan Ergun Caner should be met with suspicion.  However, the idea that 14% of his Baptist college’s population was saved in one day is especially ridiculous, even for him.  If Caner is to be believed, it’s just a banner year at Brewton-Parker.  Even the campus fraternity’s haunted house is breaking records!

haunted house

Of course, wouldn’t it be nice…

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Are You Ready to Die For Jesus?

Truth in Grace

I took a few minutes last night to read a news article on ISIS and the suffering some have been through at their hands. I didn’t really want to take the time or put it in my mind but I feel like too many American Christians live in blissful oblivion, not realizing how incredibly blessed we are.

We can sleep without having to worry about interrogators knocking on our door in the middle of the night. We can walk down the street without fear of being surrounded, arrested, and tortured. We are not forced to watch as our children are murdered. Understanding what people go through in other countries should make us cease our complaints and praise God for His over-abundant goodness.

I am praying for God’s people in those countries. The only reason some are being treated badly is because they worship the true God. Here in America, it…

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How Should a Christian Treat Halloween?

Are you a Christian with questions about Halloween? Have you been trying to decide about participating in certain events, or thinking what your family plans will be? Look no further. God’s Word has the answers, as always. Unfortunately there are some on both sides of the fence: those who believe that the Bible forbids any and all participation in this infamous October event, and those who believe that the Bible has nothing to say about it. Neither camp is correct. However, a little history and some Biblical discernment provides all the answers one really needs. Here is a great article that will provide some excellent insight to answer the big question – “What’s the right thing to do??”

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Video: The Truth About Halloween: Trick or Treat

The Cripplegate: 3 Ways to Honor the Reformers

 

On October 31st 1517 Anno Domini a comically tonsured German monk, with an attitude and a mallet posted the Medieval equivalent of a snarky  blog post on the castle door at Wittenberg. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses voiced irrefragable concerns about doctrine, ecclesiastical abuses, and unbiblical doctrines. The paper was merely intended to spark debate and reform within the Roman Catholic Church.

However, the spark blew a little further than the intramural playground of the Vatican. The white squall of God’s Spirit (with a little help from Guttenberg’s press and a Latin-German dictionary) ignited the hearts of the masses, as the Theses went viral.

Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Bucer, Farel, and countless others lived and died to leave a legacy of passion and proclamation. They showed that when you love Jesus and his word, you would rather die than keep quiet. If they inspire you, here are…

3 ways to make the Reformers proud today:

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A Response to “The Integration of Christianity and Psychology: A Guest Post by Sarah Rainer”

On September 25, 2014, at Ed Stetzer’s Christianity Today blog site, The Exchange, Ed ran a guest post by Sarah Rainer entitled, The Integration of Christianity and Psychology. This is an important post, so we ask one of our Council Board members, Jeff Forrey, to share his reflections on the post. Continue reading

7 Wrong Reasons to Join a Church

Nick Batzig:

Committing yourself and your family to a local church is one of the most important decisions you will ever make this side of eternity; and yet, for all the weightiness of it, it is a decision to which the larger part of church attenders have given little to no thought. Over the past three decades, I have witnessed multitudes of individuals and families choose to join churches for the wrong reason(s). While there is a plethora of helpful resources out there to help people understand the right reasons to join a church, the right reasons to leave a church and the right way to leave a church, there is very little that speaks directly to wrong reasons to join a church. While more could be added to them, here are 7 common wrong reasons for which people join churches.

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Old Testament Saints and the Holy Spirit

Scripture Thoughts

From basic dispensational teaching I heard that — per John 7:39 and later references to Christ sending the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) – Old Testament saints were regenerated but did not have the permanent indwelling Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit only came upon them from time to time, for special empowerment, whereas we now have the permanent indwelling.  Yet I wondered about it, as something that didn’t make sense: how could people be regenerated and yet NOT have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? In daily Bible reading of the Old  Testament, we come across so many descriptions of believers who have “a different spirit” and a relationship to God in so many ways like ours.  John 3 tells us that OT believers were regenerated, as this was something that Nicodemus was expected to already know as a present reality, and Luke 1 and 2 (the birth narrative) include many references…

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Spiritual Responsibilities of Men and Women in Church (1 Timothy 2)

Joe Quatrone, Jr.

1 Tim current seriesWelcome back to our study of 1 Timothy. Today, we will be looking at chapter 2, where Paul gives instructions for public worship, emphasizing the importance of prayer and order in church meetings.

“Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (1 Cor. 14:40) is a basic principle for the conduct of the ministry of the church. Apparently, young Timothy was having some problems applying this principle to the assemblies in Ephesus. The public worship services were losing their order and effectiveness because both the men and the women members of the church were disobeying God’s Word.

“The church is an organism,” a pastor told me, “so we shouldn’t put too much emphasis on organization. We should allow the Spirit to have freedom.”

“But if an organism is disorganized,” I quickly reminded him, “it will die. Yes, I agree we must permit the Spirit to…

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What would God say?

“None of you know what God would say to anybody.”

We can know God’s will.  He left us His last will and testament. I would advise you to begin reading His will by checking out the New Testament, because He has left an inheritance.  See how to find everlasting life: http://www.needGod.com

Source

New study: more than 14% of non-citizens are registered to vote in 2008 and 2010

WINTERY KNIGHT

From the leftist Washington Post.

Excerpt:

In a forthcoming article in the journal Electoral Studies, we bring real data from big social science survey datasets to bear on the question of whether, to what extent, and for whom non-citizens vote in U.S. elections. Most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote. But enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races.

Our data comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study(CCES). Its large number of observations (32,800 in 2008 and 55,400 in 2010) provide sufficient samples of the non-immigrant sub-population, with 339 non-citizen respondents in 2008 and 489 in 2010. For the 2008 CCES, we also attempted to match respondents to voter files so that we could verify whether they actually voted.

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered…

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Was the message of the New Testament corrupted?

WINTERY KNIGHT

This video is from the Dallas Theological Seminary Hendricks Center blog:

Apologetics Guy Mikel Del Rosario writes:

During a special event called “Jesus in Primetime,” Dr. Darrell Bock, Dr. Ben Witherington, and Dr. Dan Wallace discussed a variety of topics surrounding Jesus and the Bible in the public square. One of the topics they discussed was the issue of variant readings in the New Testament. Are there really hundreds of thousands of textual differences in our New Testament manuscripts? What does it all mean?

In this video clip, Dr. Dan Wallace identifies four categories of textual variants and explains why these differences don’t need to shake our faith in the New Testament.

The first and largest category is made up of spelling differences in the text, accounting for over 75% of all textual variants. What about the other 25%?

The next largest category represents synonyms, word order differences or articles…

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The Multi-Site Church: Does Multi-Site Discourage Leadership Development?

In this four-part blog series, we attempt to answer the question: is it possible to pursue multi-site in a biblically faithful way? We’re considering four questions: 1. Is multi-site evangelistically effective? 2. Is multi-site a biblically sound model? 3. Is multi-site pastorally helpful? And today we tackle the last question: 4. Does multi-site encourage or discourage leadership development?

Final topic: the cult of personality.

In this final post, I want to consider one last criticism I hear about our multi-site model from time to time: “Why build the church so much around you? Do you really think there are no other good preachers in Raleigh-Durham? Why not develop other leaders and teachers and let them preach?”

Short answer: We have found that the multi-site model better enables us to develop leaders than a single-service large church.

Shortly after we planted one of our early campuses, my wife said to me, “Have you ever noticed that some of your favorite staff members are the ones you no longer see each Sunday?”[1] They were serving at one of our other campuses. These were guys I had raised up, trained, and depended on. But now, as campus pastors, they have the opportunity to lead in ways they didn’t when we were all at one place and their role in the worship service was (mostly) to sit and take notes and make occasional announcements. Now they lead from up front every weekend. And in their absence, new leaders have emerged at the original campus. We have more and better leaders as a multi-site church than we ever did as a single-campus church.

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Secularism grows as more U.S. Christians turn ‘churchless’

If you’re dismayed that one in five Americans (20 percent) are “nones” — people who claim no particular religious identity — brace yourself. How does 38 percent sound? That’s what religion researcher David Kinnaman calculates when he adds “the unchurched, the never-churched and the skeptics” to the nones. (Grossman, Religion News Service)

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Matt Recker and The Gospel Coalition, Part 5: Inerrancy and Creationism

The foundational documents of The Gospel Coalition clearly articulate a commitment to the historic, orthodox understanding of biblical inerrancy. Nevertheless, one of the cofounders of TGC, Tim Keller, has positioned himself to defend at least some versions of theistic evolution and progressive creationism (the distinction is not always clear). In a white paper published through BioLogos, Keller claims that the first chapter of Genesis is “exalted prose narrative,” and that, because of its literary genre, need not be interpreted literally. Read more

Worldview Weekend: Refuting The Word of Faith Claim That the Spirit of Elijah is on the Earth Today

WVW-TV Presents: Refuting The Word of Faith Claim That the Spirit of Elijah is on the Earth Today with Brannon Howse
Click here to watch now: http://worldviewweekend.com/tv/video/refuting-word-faith-claim-spirit-elijah-earth-today

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