Daily Archives: February 7, 2020

February 7th The D. L. Moody Year Book

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.—2 Corinthians 3:2.

I REMEMBER reading of a blind man who was found sitting at the corner of a street in a great city with a lantern beside him. Some one went up to him and asked what he had the lantern there for, seeing that he was blind, and the light was the same to him as the darkness. The blind man replied:

“I have it so that no one may stumble over me.”

Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me. That is what Paul meant when he said we were to be living epistles of Christ, known and read of all men. I would not give much for all that can be done by sermons, if we do not preach Christ by our lives. If we do not commend the gospel to people by our holy walk and conversation, we shall not win them to Christ.[1]


[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 31). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

10 Reasons Christians Can Be Thankful in Trying Circumstances — Christian Research Network

We can be thankful in trying circumstances because we know that our God doesn’t make mistakes. There is nothing that falls outside of his sovereign eternal decree. As the hymn writer put it, “What e’re my God ordains is right.”

(Nick Batzig – Beautiful Christian Life) Often, the most basic of God’s commands are the hardest for us to obey. We may ask ourselves whether or not we would have the faith to offer up a child to God—as Abraham did when he was called to offer up Isaac—while never really stopping to ask ourselves whether or not we have the faith to obey the most basic new covenant commands.

Take, for instance, Paul’s statement in 1 Thess. 5:18:

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you all.

When we consider such a command, we must ask ourselves the following questions: Am I thankful in all circumstances? What about when times are difficult? What about when I have experienced some particular trial? The Lord commands us to “count it all joy when we fall into various trials” (see James 1:2). How can I be thankful and joyful in the midst of a painful trial?  View article →

via 10 Reasons Christians Can Be Thankful in Trying Circumstances — Christian Research Network

‘I tuned in to watch football, not porn’: Christian activist wants to sue ‘for $867 trillion’ over J. Lo & Shakira Super Bowl show | RT – Daily news

Christian minister Dave Daubenmire has vowed to sue the NFL and broadcasters over the “pornographic” Super Bowl halftime show performed by Latina pop divas Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

The performance at last Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV in Miami featured veteran popstress Lopez, 50, pole-dancing and knee-sliding toward the camera with her crotch.

Colombian diva Shakira, 43, belly-danced and also performed while bound with ropes.


Daubenmire, a local minister in Ohio and former football coach, is enraged that Super Bowl organizers and sponsors put on the show without prior warning of its “explicit content.”

“I think we ought to sue,” Daubenmire ranted this week on his ‘Pass the Salt’ podcast.

“Would that halftime show, would that have been rated PG? Were there any warnings that your 12-year-old son, whose hormones are just starting to operate, was there any warning that what he was going to see might cause him to get sexually excited?

© YouTube CoachDave.TV

“Could I go into a courtroom and say, ‘Viewing what you put on that screen put me in danger of hellfire’?

“Could the court say, ‘That doesn’t apply here because the right to [show] porn overrides your right [not] to watch it’?

“Yeah, well, you didn’t tell me I was going to watch it! You just brought it into my living room. You didn’t tell me there were going to be crotch shots!

“That’s discriminatory against the value I have in my house. You can’t just do that.

“I want to sue them for about $867 trillion.”

Also on rt.com

Drag queens ‘make history’ in Super Bowl advert as Corporate America toes the line on virtue-signaling

Daubenmire said he hadn’t watched the performance, but nonetheless doubled-down on his legal pledge in a follow-up video on Facebook.

“I’m looking for a lawyer out there or someone who will join me in a class action lawsuit against Pepsi, the NFL, my local cable company,” he fumed.

“I don’t know who all we would sue, but sue as many people as we want to for pandering pornography.

“What we saw was a strip club performance. You could say, ‘well, you don’t have to watch it’ – and that’s true. But unfortunately that was streaming into the homes of people before they had any idea. There was no warning.

© Global Look Press Keystone Press Agency

“People tune in to watch a football game and the next thing you know, you’ve got debauchery. Are we going to protect our children or not?    

“I tuned in to watch a football game. I didn’t tune in to watch a porn show.”

Lopez herself said the show was part of an “empowering message” for women and young girls, while Daubenmire’s compensation campaign for potentially being consigned to eternal damnation over the performance has been met with ridicule by some online.

However, the peeved preacher is far from alone in condemning the halftime antics of J.Lo and pop partner Shakira.

UK media protagonist Piers Morgan criticized the performance as unsuitable for a family event, opining that “the Super Bowl is something that’s supposed to be for people of all ages.”

In his Daily Mail column, Morgan also quoted prominent evangelist Franklin Graham as saying: “I don’t expect the world to act like a church, but our country has had a sense of moral decency on prime-time television in order to protect our children…

“The exhibition was Pepsi showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is okay. With the exploitation of women on the rise worldwide, instead of lowering the standard, we as a society should be raising it.”

© Global Look Press / Keystone Press Agency

Whether that all adds up to the $867 trillion that Daubenmire is demanding is another matter, however.

Source: ‘I tuned in to watch football, not porn’: Christian activist wants to sue ‘for $867 trillion’ over J. Lo & Shakira Super Bowl show

The Intelligence Briefing | February 7, 2020 | S1E16 | Bible Thumping Wingnut

download (size: 8 MB )

In today’s Intelligence Briefing, we hear about how former President Obama blames Islamic terrorism on Christians, how the ERLC’s go-to guy wrote a book praising Obama’s Christian faith, JD Greear’s reaction to winning the 2019 “Worst Christian Award” from Pulpit & Pen, and how a Scottish drag queen was stopped by Conservatives from defiling the students of a High School in Dunbar Scotland…

Obama blames terrorism on Christians at National Prayer Breakfast

ERLC and Gospel Coalition contributor writes book praising Obama’s Christian faith

JD Greear brags about receiving “Worst Christian” trophy

Condom-eating drag queen stopped from performing at school by conservatives who have had enough

Stay up-to-date with “The Rolex” of the polemics news sites and visit www.PulpitandPen.org

The Polemics Report

Pastor JD Hall of Pulpit & Pen compares what people are saying about God to the Word of God. A podcast designed to train your ability to discern between right and almost right. Highlighting the “downgrade” of modern Christianity.

Source: The Intelligence Briefing | February 7, 2020 | S1E16

ICYMI: Dems’ Debacle – are the Democrats actually trying to lose to Trump on purpose? | RT USA News

If the Democrats are trying to lose to Donald Trump in the upcoming election – and there is strong evidence to suggest just that – they are going the right way about it.

From a vote-counting disaster in Iowa to petty politics from Nancy Pelosi during the State of the Union, and then the attempt to impeach the president predictably collapsing; in just a matter of days the Democrats have made Trump look like an adult, presidential and even… innocent.

That’s no small achievement, so ICYMI asks: are they trying to do it on purpose?

Source: ICYMI: Dems’ Debacle – are the Democrats actually trying to lose to Trump on purpose?

National Prayer Breakfast reveals a great evil of the left

President Donald Trump created quite a media stir when he stood at the National Prayer Breakfast podium and, in response to keynote speaker Arthur Brooks’ call to love thy enemies and leave behind thy contempt, said he saw things a bit differently — that it was rather difficult to swallow the bitter bites of fabricated impeachment pushes with a simple shrug and “oh well” hug.

Source: National Prayer Breakfast reveals a great evil of the left

Trump to Appoint First Black Pastor of Jimmy Carter’s Church to Help Ex-Prisoners Reenter the Workforce

President Donald Trump is expected to appoint the Rev. Tony Lowden — the first African American man to pastor former President Jimmy Carter’s church in Plains, Georgia — as his administration’s “reentry czar,” a position designed to help former inmates transition back into the workforce.

Source: Trump to Appoint First Black Pastor of Jimmy Carter’s Church to Help Ex-Prisoners Reenter the Workforce

‘Everything Is Fine,’ Dems Report As Pelosi Cracks, Trump Acquitted, Primaries Implode All In One Week — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—Democrats have reported that “everything is fine” and “nothing is wrong” and “there is nothing to see here” as we near the end of a week in which Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had a mental breakdown, President Trump was acquitted, and the Democratic primaries collapsed into chaos all within a few days.

Nancy Pelosi said the Trump acquittal thing wasn’t a big deal, because Democrats have learned an important lesson from the debacle: they need to impeach Trump harder. “We made a mistake in not putting more of our chips into impeachment,” she said, as she practiced ripping up Trump’s next State of the Union address. “We will put more into his second impeachment, and then things will be fine. Everything is fine. It’s fine.”

“There are no problems within the Democratic party,” Adam Schiff said as his office collapsed in flames around him. “We have never been stronger. This is the end of Drumpf. The walls are closing in. This is the beginning of the end. Game over.”

“This is fine.”

via ‘Everything Is Fine,’ Dems Report As Pelosi Cracks, Trump Acquitted, Primaries Implode All In One Week — The Babylon Bee

Pastor Explains Why After Researching, He No Longer Allows Hillsong, Bethel, or Elevation Music in His Church — Reformation Charlotte

Reformation Charlotte has been exposing the corruption in the charismatic music industry for years. In several articles, we explain how these prosperity gospel organizations use their music industry as a snare to lure young people into their movements.

Read more: Pastor Explains Why After Researching, He No Longer Allows Hillsong, Bethel, or Elevation Music in His Church — Reformation Charlotte

Here We Go: This is a Shame Before God: Franklim Graham’s UK Evangelism Tour is Cancelled by All Venues by LGBT Activists. It is Sad for the Queen to Allow This to Happen in the Land of Whitfield, Spurgeon, and Wesley. The Queen Could Stop This if She Wanted to. And This is Already Happening in America, Where a Homosexual Married to a Man is the Lead Candidate in the Democratic Party — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Evangelist Franklin Graham talks with the media before speaking at his Decision America event at the Pitt County Fairgrounds on Oct. 2, 2019, in Greenville, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

Franklin Graham said he will seek out alternative venues for a United Kingdom tour this spring after all eight venues reneged on plans to host the evangelist, saying his views on homosexuality are incompatible with the values of the British people.

Graham, who was in London on Thursday (Feb. 6) to rally churches to his tour, said seven venues canceled their contracts with him and an eighth backed out after agreeing in principle.

“This attack on me is an attack on religious freedom and freedom of speech,” Graham told Religion News Service by phone. “For any Christian group that wants to rent a venue that believes the Bible is the Word of God, they’re in danger of being canceled.”

He said he would sue all seven sites where he signed contracts and expected to win.

On Wednesday, the Utilita Arena in Newcastle upon Tyne became the seventh venue to cancel Graham’s scheduled appearance. Venues in Birmingham, Liverpool, Sheffield and London have also canceled.

The tour was scheduled during Pride Month in the U.K., which falls in June.

“Franklin Graham’s views are wholly inconsistent with our city, which is preparing to welcome huge celebrations and tens of thousands of people this summer for UK Pride,” Ste Dunn, chair of the Northern Pride group, said on a petition site calling for an end to Graham’s tour. The petition had more than 5,700 signers.

Graham, who has spoken out against same-sex marriage and transgender people, insisted he does not preach against homosexuality; he only calls it out as sin.

“I believe marriage is between a man and woman,” he said. “That’s the same position that the Queen of England has, that the Church of England has.”

But in an interview with RNS, he took aim at Indiana presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is proud of being gay and is married to a man.

“This is not something to celebrate. This is something he (Buttigieg) should repent and ask for God’s forgiveness. It’s not something you celebrate.”

Graham’s U.K. tour is scheduled for late May through early June and was to feature eight venues in eight cities across the U.K.

The 67-year-old evangelist is a son of the late Billy Graham, the popular evangelist who turned evangelicalism into the dominant spiritual movement in 20th century America. The late preacher was beloved around the world, perhaps nowhere more so than in the United Kingdom, where Queen Elizabeth II awarded him an honorary knighthood.

Franklin Graham, however, has taken a far more conservative approach to evangelicalism, denouncing Islam, for example, as “a very wicked and evil religion.”

He is one of President Donald Trump’s most prominent evangelical supporters and appears frequently at his side. Graham was at the White House last week at the unveiling of the president’s Middle East peace plan.

Graham insisted his preaching engagements are open to all. He even invited an imam to attend his previous preaching engagement in Blackpool in 2018.

He said he’s been in touch with many church leaders in England who have supported him and plans to return in May for the scheduled tour.

“We’ve seen a real rally of churches behind this event because of this negative publicity,” Graham said. “I think it’s helping. We have strong support from churches. We will go forward. I believe God has even a better plan.”

Source: Religion News Service

via Here We Go: This is a Shame Before God: Franklim Graham’s UK Evangelism Tour is Cancelled by All Venues by LGBT Activists. It is Sad for the Queen to Allow This to Happen in the Land of Whitfield, Spurgeon, and Wesley. The Queen Could Stop This if She Wanted to. And This is Already Happening in America, Where a Homosexual Married to a Man is the Lead Candidate in the Democratic Party — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

February 7, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


In federal court and on the Senate floor, lawyers for President Donald Trump have argued that the U.S. Constitution confers on a president broad protection from scrutiny by Congress, prosecutors and the judiciary for his actions.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro holds talks with Russia’s foreign minister on Friday as Moscow continues to support the isolated South American nation’s socialist government despite Washington’s warnings that it may ramp up sanctions.

A bipartisan Senate report released on Thursday criticized the Obama administration for failing to react quickly or thoroughly enough to counter Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Dozens more people onboard a cruise ship quarantined in the port of Yokohama, Japan, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday and thousands of passengers remained confined to their cabins, only allowed on deck briefly for fresh air. Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told a news conference that 41 people on the liner had tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 61. Twenty-one of the new cases were Japanese.

People are fleeing a surge of attacks in northern Mozambique where witnesses have described beheadings, mass kidnappings and villages burned to the ground, the United Nations said on Friday.

The luxury goods industry normally relishes the spotlight, but in the case of China’s coronavirus it is ruing being one of the most globally exposed sectors to an epidemic that risks all-but wiping out its sales growth this year.

U.S. job growth accelerated in January, with unseasonably mild temperatures boosting hiring in weather-sensitive sectors, indicating the economy will probably continue to grow moderately despite a deepening slump in business investment.

AP Top Stories

Despite a federal judge’s ruling last September that the U.S. government’s terror watch list violates constitutional rights, an FBI report obtained by Yahoo News shows local and state law enforcement agencies are being used to gather intelligence on individuals to collect information about those already in the database.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes released data this week showing how California’s SB54 sanctuary law allowed for over 2,000 illegal immigrants with outstanding ICE detainers to be released from custody over the last two years, with 411 of those later rearrested for additional charges.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday said Mexico was in talks to buy a batch of Russian-made military helicopters.

Scientists have discovered an unusual “monster” galaxy that existed about 12 billion years ago when the universe was “only” 1.8 billion years old, a new study reports.

Much of Australia’s wildfire-ravaged east coast was drenched on Friday by the biggest rainfall in almost 20 years, dousing some of the most dangerous blazes and providing welcome relief to farmers battling an extended drought.

Texas Thursday executed a man who killed five family members including two of his children in 2002 during what his defense argued was a delirium induced by crack cocaine.

An Indian man has been charged with raping a five-year-old girl on the premises of the US embassy in India’s capital New Delhi, police said Thursday.

Panicky Hong Kong residents scooped noodles, rice, meat and toilet rolls into supermarket trolleys on Friday despite government assurances of ample supplies during an outbreak of a new coronavirus that has killed 637 people in mainland China.

Several Turkish armored vehicles and tanks entered rebel-controlled northwestern Syria early on Friday, the latest reinforcements sent in by Ankara amid a Syrian government offensive that this week brought the two countries’ troops into a rare direct confrontation.

Police in Louisiana have issued a warning over ‘grey death’ – a powerful drug combination that can reportedly cause severe illness and even death through skin contact alone. “Grey death” is made from heroin that has been cut with fentanyl and fentanyl analogues and reportedly it has a potency more than “10,000 times greater than morphine.” Grey Death is particularly powerful because it contains Carfentanil, which is often used as an elephant tranquillizer. Though health professionals disagree with the assertion that opioids can kill on contact, the SMPSO urged the public to avoid touching the drug if they encounter it and for first responders to take special care when responding to calls where the drug is involved.

US forces are reportedly responding to an American citizen who was taken hostage by militants linked to the Taliban in Afghanistan on January 30.


The United States has killed the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), President Donald Trump said. Qasim al-Raymi, who has led the jihadist group since 2015, was killed in a US operation in Yemen, the White House said.


Hours-long waits for gas and food, crumbling buildings and oppressive government surveillance marked the experience of four Americans who captured their trip to communist Cuba on video. The members of the student activist group Turning Point USA aim to show Americans what some 60 years of socialism has done for a once-thriving country. “Everything you’ve ever seen about Cuba is a lie.”

A British government agency that facilitates treatment of transgenders is being sued for giving life-altering drugs to minors. The complaint argues “children cannot give informed consent to the treatment.”

Mid-Day Snapshot · Feb. 7, 2020

The Foundation

“To cherish and stimulate the activity of the human mind, by multiplying the objects of enterprise, is not among the least considerable of the expedients, by which the wealth of a nation may be promoted.” —Alexander Hamilton (1791)

Stellar Jobs Report Feeds Economic Optimism

Americans are more hopeful for their personal finances than ever, and for good reason.

Working Women a Mixed Blessing

Women are now the majority of the workforce, and they’re performing admirably.

Acquitted Trump Hits Back

The president blasts Democrats and deep state over their nonstop impeachment efforts.

Is America Kicking Its Opioid Habit?

We’re finally seeing some progress on both addiction cases and life expectancy.

EITC Is Just Another Wealth-Redistribution Program

New study shows the program’s growth produced the opposite effect of its original intention.

Vive La Résistance!

For over three years now we have heard nothing but hate and seething anger from the Left.

Video: Mitt Romney Votes to Convict. Why?

Instead of converting voters, as Romney was trying to do, he galvanized them, argues Anthony Brian Logan.

Video: What Democrats Refused to Clap for at SOTU

Millions of news jobs, record-low unemployment, welfare reductions … none of it the Left finds commendable.

Video: Ben Shapiro Shreds Democrats Over Awful Week

Between Iowa, impeachment, and childish antics, Democrats have spoiled their 2020 chances.

Today’s Opinion

Erick Erickson
Democrats Just Overplayed Their Hand
Gary Bauer
National Prayer Breakfast
David Harsanyi
Why Impeachment Failed
Rich Lowry
The Offensive Bloomberg Campaign
Adriana Cohen
The American Dream Is Back
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Friday News Executive Summary

Great jobs numbers, Trump’s epic week, top terrorist killed, and more.

Friday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi, Pete Buttigieg, and more.

Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

Headlines – 2/7/2020

UK’s Johnson stresses support for US peace plan in call with Netanyahu

Olmert to join Abbas in US press conference next week, Palestinian envoy says

Liberman pans Olmert-Abbas meeting as ‘pathetic’ waste of time

Kushner: Abbas, Olmert jealous they couldn’t bring about peace themselves

Jared Kushner says Palestinians lost credibility by rejecting WH Mideast peace plan

Commentary: ‘Deal of the Century’ born in sin

Abbas blames rash of attacks on Trump peace plan; Hamas praises ‘revolution’

Kushner says Abbas responsible for spike in violence since release of peace plan – ‘He called for days of rage even before he saw the plan’

Israeli leaders accuse Abbas of inciting violence; PM says: ‘It won’t help you’

Three attacks in 12 hours: A day of violence, casualties in Jerusalem, West Bank

IDF beefs up troops in West Bank as Palestinian terror attacks continue

Israeli forces on high alert ahead of Friday prayers at Temple Mount

Israel fumes at Belgium for hosting ‘terror supporters’ at UN

Sudan says its transition government lacks mandate to normalize Israel ties

Scholars urge transparency to restore Yad Vashem credibility after Putin fiasco

Syria almost downed civilian plane while repelling Israeli attack, Russia says

Russia Says Its ‘Military Specialists’ Killed in Syrian Idlib Attacks

Attacks in Idlib are violations of intl humanitarian law: France

Syrian Kurds to put Isis fighters from dozens of countries on trial

Lebanon parliament to vote on government next week

Iraq Considers Deepening Military Ties With Russia After U.S. Killing of Soleimani

Pompeo says Iraqi protesters have right to ‘government free of Iran influence’

Poll finds 80 percent of Iranians say they will not vote in upcoming elections

UN to cut back aid to Houthi-controlled Yemeni areas

Trump says US operation killed al-Qaida leader in Yemen

US cautions Venezuela regime of consequences if opposition leader Guaido harmed

House rejects GOP resolution condemning Pelosi for ripping up Trump’s speech

Trump proudly displays ‘Acquitted’ headlines, mere feet from Pelosi at prayer breakfast

Trump calls out ‘dishonest and corrupt people’ behind impeachment at National Prayer Breakfast

After acquittal, Trump unleashes fury at impeachment

Trump describes impeachment trial a ‘disgrace’ and that ‘he did nothing wrong’

Trump campaign slams Iowa Dems for blaming caucus chaos on Trump supporters

Texas Congresswoman suggests Russia responsible for Iowa caucus voting issues

NBC News review of Iowa caucus vote finds potential errors, inconsistencies

DNC chair calls for ‘recanvass’ of Iowa results with race too close to call

Iowa Democratic Party chair ignores DNC calls for recount of caucus

The Night Sky Will Never Be the Same – Elon Musk’s plan for worldwide internet has sent bright artificial, lights streaking through the dark

Army’s new fabric works to destroy nerve agents

Chernobyl shocker as fungi that eats radiation found inside nuclear reactor

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Pondaguitan, Philippines

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Takahagi, Japan

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Neochorion, Greece

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Enarotali, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits North of Macquarie Island

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Semeru volano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Damien rapidly strengthening as it tracks toward northwest Australian coast

Winter weather alerts stretch over 2,300 miles from New Mexico to Maine

Storm smashes snowfall records across US, disrupts travel

Southeast storms trigger dangerous flooding, strong winds; at least 2 dead

Climate change: Loss of bumblebees driven by ‘climate chaos’

‘Bat Tornado’ Descends on Small Australian Town

Israeli startup says its nanotech masks and robes may block coronavirus

Coronavirus spread sparks anti-Semitic views and conspiracy theories, ADL says

Japan finds 41 more coronavirus cases on cruise ship with Israeli passengers

Global fears rise as more coronavirus cases found on cruise ship

China grows isolated as airlines cancel more than 50,000 flights amid coronavirus epidemic

The Chinese doctor who sounded the alarm on the Wuhan coronavirus has died

China launches probe after whistleblower doctor dies

Chinese social media censors hashtag ‘I want freedom of speech’ after coronavirus whistleblower doctor dies

When will the threat of coronavirus end? It might return every winter

The Coronavirus Outbreak Could Derail Xi Jinping’s Dreams of a Chinese Century

Coronavirus: The hit to the global economy will be worse than SARS

Milwaukee Teacher Placed on Leave After Allegedly Tweeting He Hopes Rush Limbaugh Dies Quickly From Cancer

Pete Buttigieg faces backlash from pro-life women after infanticide answer: ‘You’re extremely radical’

Video shows Iowa caucus voter pulling support for Pete Buttigieg after learning he’s married to a man

How Pete Buttigieg Found Support in Iowa’s Formerly Anti-LGBTQ Communities

National firestorm on horizon as states consider criminalizing transgender treatments for youths

Ban on conversion therapy for LGBTQ children advances in Virginia legislature

Amazon, Nike and American Airlines join nearly 150 companies opposing Tennessee’s anti-LGBTQ bills in a letter to lawmakers

Ohio pastor wants to sue NFL over Super Bowl LIV halftime show

Franklin Graham Slams NFL for Promoting ‘Sexual Exploitation’

Man says he burned $1M in cash to avoid paying ex-wife child support

Tax the Rich: Pope Francis Calls for Global Wealth Redistribution

Apostasy Watch

The NAR Charismatic Call to Turn Church into a Chaotic, Demonic Free-for-All

John Gray says Ron Carpenter leased him church with $13M debt, refused to meet privately over dispute

Concord pastor convicted of stealing $120,000 from elderly widow

Evangelist preacher Franklin Graham planned a seven-city UK tour. All seven venues have dropped him

Judge allows Boston to ban the flying of Christian flag outside City Hall

Pelosi Omits Christians As She Lists Religious Persecutions Around The World

Pope falsely claims world’s poor getting poorer

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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

February 7, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

blog goodness

Paul the Partner In Faith

And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another. But I have written very boldly to you on some points, so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, (15:14–15)

Paul wrote this letter with full apostolic authority (1:1). But, as just noted above in regard to 1:10–15, he also knew that, in himself, he had the same personal needs and limitations that are common to all Christians.

In this context, Paul’s addressing his readers as my brethren not only indicates his recognition of their salvation but also their maturity. At the beginning of the letter, he thanked God for their faithfulness, which was “being proclaimed throughout the whole world” (1:8).

The apostle now acknowledges again that, completely apart from his influence, the Roman believers are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another. He is saying, in effect: “In spite of all that I have written to you in this letter—with strong reminders that you were saved solely by God’s grace, made effective by your faith in His Son, with the admonitions for obedience to the Lord, for mortifying the flesh, for holy living, for exercising your spiritual gifts, for serving each other in love and humility, and all the other teachings—I am fully aware of your spiritual maturity and moral virtue, and I commend you for it.” The only other church he praised so highly was the one in Thessalonica (see 1 Thess. 1:2–10).

The first commendation was for their goodness, their high moral character and living. As Paul makes clear in Galatians 5:22–23, all virtue is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. But the Spirit can bear fruit only in the lives of believers, such as those in Rome, who are submissive to His divine will and power. They were not perfect, but neither were they spiritually deficient. In this letter Paul makes no reference to particular problems in the church, either individual or corporate. Those believers genuinely hated evil and loved righteousness, and they lived accordingly. They were obedient to the Lord and were kind, generous, and humble. By their moral goodness, they gave abundant evidence of their spiritual transformation and of the good works in which God ordains all believers to walk (Eph. 2:10). The apostle could say of them what he said of the Colossians:

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth. (Col. 1:3–6)

Second, Paul commended the church at Rome for being filled with knowledge. He is not, of course, speaking of broad human knowledge but of the deep knowledge of God’s truth in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Believers in this church were doctrinally sound. They were well on their way to “attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:2–3).

Virtue and truth, here referred to as goodness and knowledge, are inseparable. Paul could have described those believers as having “a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim. 1:5; cf. v. 19). They knew God, they knew His truth, and, by the power of His Spirit, they were committed to living holy lives.

Such goodness and knowledge are possible for all believers to possess and live by. The Holy Spirit, who indwells every believer, also works to teach and purify every believer. As Paul has already declared, “From [Christ] and through Him and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). It is by the Lord’s doing that we “are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30; cf. Eph. 1:8–9).

The third virtue for which Paul commends believers in Rome is a product of the first two. Christians who are full of goodness and filled with all knowledge are able also to admonish one another.

Noutheteō (to admonish) carries the ideas of encouraging, warning, and advising. It is a comprehensive term for counseling. In this context, it refers to coming alongside other Christians for spiritual and moral counseling. Paul is not referring to a special gift of counseling, but of the duty and responsibility that every believer has for encouraging and strengthening other believers.

Tragically, many Christians today have been convinced that competent counseling can only be accomplished by a person who is trained in the principles of secular psychology—despite the fact that the various schools of psychology are, for the most part, at extreme odds with God’s Word and frequently with each other. Although they may profess that “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16), many evangelicals—both those who give and those who receive counseling—do not rely on the full sufficiency of God’s Word.

There is no such thing as a psychological problem. All personal problems are either spiritual or physical. Anyone who suggests that so-called psychological problems can exist apart from or between those two realms of human existence does not understand either the nature of man and the power of sin or the nature and power of God’s Word and Spirit.

It is obvious that some Christians are uniquely gifted for giving encouraging counsel, just as some have special gifts and abilities in other areas of ministry. Paul has earlier made clear that, “since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, [we should] each exercise them accordingly” (Rom. 12:6). His broader point in 15:14c is that, through His Word and His Holy Spirit, God had provided the church at Rome—and will provide every godly congregation of believers—with everything needed to live faithfully, effectively, and joyfully for Him. His specific point is that, apart from particular gifts of the Spirit, all faithful Christians are divinely equipped to admonish one another as needs and opportunities arise among them. The Romans had set an example for others in this.

Paul emphasized the same general truth in his letter to Colossae, of which J. B. Phillips’s paraphrase is especially helpful.

As, therefore, God’s picked representatives of the new humanity, purified and beloved of God Himself, be merciful in action, kindly in heart, humble in mind. Accept life, and be most patient and tolerant with one another, always ready to forgive if you have a difference with anyone. Forgive as freely as Christ has forgiven you. And, above everything else, be truly loving, for love is the golden chain of all the virtues. Let the harmony of God reign in your hearts, remembering that as members of the same body you are called to live in harmony, and never forget to be thankful for what God has done for you.

Let Christ’s teaching live in your hearts, making you rich in the true wisdom. Teach and help one another along the right road with your psalms and hymns and Christian songs, singing God’s praises with joyful hearts. And whatever work you may have to do, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through Him. (Col. 3:12–17)

When God’s Word rules our hearts, His Holy Spirit makes us “rich in the true wisdom” and prepares us to admonish one another, to “teach and help one another along the right road.”

The place for Christians to counsel and be counseled is in the church. That is not, of course, to say that it must be done in a church building, but that it be Christian counseling Christian. That principle applies to general admonitions among fellow believers, as Paul mentions in this text, as well as to counseling regarding more serious and prolonged problems confronted by a biblically oriented and spiritually gifted Christian minister.

After that brief but touching commendation, Paul begins the defense of his boldness in writing the letter, which some readers might have considered to be presumptuous. I have written very boldly to you on some points, he explains, so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God.

Paul was characterized by boldness and courage. Luke reports that, “at Damascus,” Paul “had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus” (Acts 9:27), as he also did in the cities of Galatia (13:46; 14:3) and in the synagogue at Ephesus, “reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God” (19:8).

As already noted, unlike some of Paul’s other letters, the book of Romans contains no rebukes or reprimands. But it does include some serious cautions. He admonished believers in Rome to “consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” and not to “let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (6:11–13). He reminded them, “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (8:9). He cautioned Gentiles in the church against being proud because they were now fully accepted into God’s New Covenant:

If you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches [Jews] be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved. (11:24–25)

Paul warned every believer in the church “not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think” (12:3), to “be in subjection to the government authorities,” all of whom “are established by God” (13:1), to pay taxes and customs that are assessed, and to have proper respect for those to whom it is due (v. 8).

He gave the church many other commands and admonitions too numerous to repeat here, but all of them were given in a spirit of love as well as boldness, so as to remind them again. He was not teaching them things they had never heard but was reminding them of truths they did know. He did not speak forcefully because those believers were untaught and immature but, to the contrary, because they were spiritually strong and well-equipped. He was not bold because they were carnal and vacillating but because they were uncompromising and steadfast.

A good teacher must keep in mind the opposing problems of familiarity and forgetfulness. Even for the best of minds with the sincerest devotion, that which is not kept familiar eventually will be forgotten.

Paul instructed his beloved Timothy to keep reminding the brethren under his care of the truths of the gospel, in order that Timothy himself, as well as those fellow believers, would be “constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following” (1 Tim. 4:6). In his second letter to this young protégé, Paul again admonished him to continually remind his flock of the central truths of the gospel (2 Tim. 2:8–14). He advised Titus to remind those under his care “to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed (Titus 3:1). In his second letter, Peter assured his readers that he would always be ready to remind them of the important truths of the gospel that they already knew (2 Pet. 1:12) and explained that the very purpose of that epistle was to stir up their sincere minds “by way of reminder” (3:1). A major responsibility of every pastor is to keep teaching his people truths they already know in ways that refresh and reinforce.

Because of the grace that was given to him by God enabling him to do so, Paul boldly reminded the Roman Christians of truths they had long known and accepted. He was not speaking of God’s saving or sustaining grace, but of the grace of his divinely-bestowed apostolic mandate and authority to proclaim the Word. He did not write this epistle to express his own beliefs and wisdom or to fulfill a personal desire or plan. He wrote under divine orders to teach divine truths. Paul was “a bondservant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,” from whom and for whom he had “received grace and apostleship” (Rom. 1:1, 5). He explained to the church at Corinth that, although he considered himself to be “the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle,” he nevertheless could say that “by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain” (1 Cor. 15:9–10).

In less specific ways but just as certainly, every believer, whatever his spiritual gifts may be, is under divine compulsion to obey and serve the Lord “according to the grace given to [him]” (Rom. 12:6).

Having reintroduced, as it were, the subject of his divine calling as an apostle, Paul now defines his threefold role in fulfilling that office—as priest (v. 16), as preacher (vv. 17–19), and as pioneer (vv. 20–21).[1]

Check-Off Points for a Good Church

Romans 15:14

I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

Have you ever come to the end of something that has been exceptionally nice and found yourself feeling a bit sad about it? Maybe a vacation? Or a night at the opera? Children feel sad when Christmas is over, though their parents are usually rejoicing.

We have something like that now. We are coming to the end of our study of Paul’s great letter to the Romans. In it Paul has unfolded the Christian doctrine of justification by faith in all its many ramifications. He has demonstrated its necessity, described what God did to bring it about through the atoning death of Jesus Christ, explained how it works itself out by the power of the Holy Spirit in individual lives to give a permanent and sure salvation, and answered objections rising from the failure of the majority of Jews to believe the gospel. He has unfolded practical applications of this theology in such areas as yielding our minds to Jesus Christ, a proper evaluation of ourselves and others, matters of church and state, how believers are to live in light of the imminent return of Christ, and the need for Christians to accept and value one another.

With Romans 15:14, Paul begins to wrap this up, turning in his final paragraphs to his reasons for writing the letter, suggesting what his future travel plans might be, and sending greetings to people he knew in Rome. But even though he is ending, he still has quite a bit to say.

How does this last section fit in? We can understand the outline of Romans best if we think of it as a doctrinal treatise wrapped up in a letter. The letter began with the first seventeen verses of chapter 1. Everything since has been Paul’s treatise. But here, in verse 14 of chapter 15, Paul resumes the letter format and actually harks back to some of the things he wrote about in chapter 1. The words “my brothers” (Rom. 15:14) show that he is speaking personally now and from a concerned Christian heart.

Those Roman Christians

Paul tells the Roman Christians in the opening sentence of his personal remarks that they are doing all right and that he is convinced this is so. The full text says, “I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.” Paul said something along these lines in the first chapter when he took note of their strong faith and of the fact that it was being talked about all over the world (v. 8).

He is renewing his comments along these lines because he had been developing his doctrinal arguments fully and forcefully—the next verse acknowledges that he had written “quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again”—and he knew that they might think that he somehow considers them to be deficient.

Of course, the fact that he has written as he has, far from being a thoughtless slight or criticism, is actually a compliment. Nothing is clearer than that the letter is for people who take their faith seriously. Yet it is not the mere fact of the letter that is a compliment. Paul is aware that his confidence in these believers, whom he had never seen, might nevertheless be misunderstood. So he compliments them directly, using the terms appearing in this verse: (1) “full of goodness,” (2) “complete in knowledge,” and (3) “competent to instruct one another.” John Murray says of this verse, “He could scarcely have devised a combination of words that would more effectively convey to them his own personal conviction of the fruit of the gospel in their midst.”

If this really is Paul’s way of complimenting the Roman church on being what a church should be, then he is also giving us three criteria by which we can evaluate ourselves—or any local gathering of believers.

Full of Goodness

Paul begins with goodness, and he says that this is something of which the Roman church was full. This is a rather rare word, not found in classical Greek but used in the Septuagint, elsewhere in Paul’s writings, and by some later church writers, no doubt because of its use by Paul. The word is agathôsunê, and it is significant because it refers to moral or ethical goodness as well as to what we would most naturally think of—namely, kindness, thoughtfulness, charity toward the poor, and such.

This is important, of course, especially when we remember what Paul had to say about goodness in the earlier chapters. In his study of the nature of fallen man developed in chapter 3 he quoted Psalm 14:1–3 and 53:1–3 as teaching that “there is no one who does good, not even one” (v. 12). Even worse, not only do we fail to do or practice good; we also actively do evil, and that continuously.

“Their throats are open graves;

their tongues practice deceit.”

“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”

“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

“Their feet are swift to shed blood;

ruin and misery mark their ways,

and the way of peace they do not know.”

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:13–18

How, then, can Paul speak in chapter 15 of the Roman believers being filled with goodness? The answer, obviously, is that they had become Christians, having been turned from their sin to faith and righteousness by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is true, as Robert Haldane writes, that “in our flesh there is nothing good.” But it is equally true that “from the work of the Spirit on our hearts we may be full of goodness.” This is to be a normal condition. It is not a matter for some superclass of Christians, what some branches of the church call saints.

We need to remember that Galatians 5:22–23 lists goodness as one part of the Holy Spirit’s fruit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” and that, according to Ephesians 2:10, doing good works is the necessary outcome of our having become Christians: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” If we do not show any evidence of God’s goodness in our lives or if we do not do any good works, it is evidence that we are not Christians. So goodness is a check-off point not only for a good church, but for whether we are genuine followers of Jesus Christ.

Let me illustrate what we should be with this example. Less than two hours before I wrote this paragraph I received word that one of the leading members of our church had died. His name was Cornelius Phillips, and he had blessed many people because of his faith, strong testimony, and good works. When I heard of his death I immediately pulled out a letter that a man I did not even know had written about him a year and a half earlier. It read:

I’m writing regarding one of your church members at Tenth Presbyterian Church. He’s in the hospital now, and I’m sure the folks at church are praying for him. What I wanted to say was that he is a fine Christian. He cares about the Lord; he cares about his family, and also about his church.

I met Cornelius Phillips last August when my father was ill and passed away. He lent a great deal of peace and caring to our family at that time and still does today.… Your church has a good reputation, and I would have to say that people like Cornelius and his wife and others like them are part of the reason for that reputation. Cornelius in his humility would be the first to say, “Praise the Lord.” I would echo that statement and say, “Praise the Lord” for people like him.

That is genuine Christianity. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be part of a church filled with such people? I dare to say I am part of such a church and that there are many like them. I would say of them, as Paul said of the Roman congregation, “I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness.”

Yet we must not presume along these lines. We must constantly be asking, Am I such a person as Paul describes here? Am I filled with God’s goodness? Would anybody ever use Paul’s words to describe me? If we cannot answer yes to those questions, it is time for self-examination and for doing what Peter had in mind when he wrote, almost immediately after having spoken of the need for goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love among Christians, “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10–11).

Complete in Knowledge

The second check-off point for a good church is the phrase “complete in knowledge.” This does not mean learned in an academic sense but rather a sound, practical understanding of the Christian faith that will issue in wholesome, helpful conduct.

At this my mind goes back to our studies of Romans 12:1–2, especially the part where Paul urges us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. I made the link between thinking like a Christian and acting like a Christian. I said that you will never act like a Christian unless you begin to think properly.

That is what is wrong with American religion, of course. Pollster George Gallup has described America as richly religious but ethically impoverished. In an interview with Reformed Theological Seminary Journal he said:

Religious belief is remarkably high—certainly, the highest of any developed nation in the world. At the same time, American religious life is characterized by a series of gaps. First, an “ethics gap” exists between Americans’ expressed beliefs and the state of the society they shape. While religion is highly popular in America, it is to a large extent superficial; it does not change peoples’ lives to the degree one would expect from their level of professed faith. In ethical behavior, there is very little difference between the churched and the unchurched.

The problem is found in the second gap Gallup mentions, a gap between faith and knowledge. “Related to this is a ‘knowledge gap’ between Americans’ stated faith and the lack of the most basic knowledge about that faith. Half of those who say they are Christians do not know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount,” Gallup says.

We would like to think this is a problem only for nominal Christians or perhaps, speaking as evangelicals, for liberals. After all, liberals do not even believe the Bible, we think. But it is a problem for us too.

Some time ago I read a book by David Wells, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary professor of historical and systematic theology, called No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology. Wells has a simple but very disturbing thesis: Evangelicalism as a religious force in American life is dead or is in the process of dying because it has abandoned any serious commitment to truth. He is not saying that evangelicalism is dead as a sociological force or presence, for evangelicals have large churches, many members, and a great deal of money. But since they no longer really care about the truthfulness of the gospel and the Christian faith as a whole, they are ceasing to make any significant difference.

I can hear many questioning that. It is the evangelicals, rather than liberals, who believe the gospel, they say.

Well, there is a great deal of difference between what we say we believe or even think we believe and what we believe practically. To judge by what evangelicals do rather than by what they say, which is what Professor Wells is attempting, evangelicals actually believe in Madison Avenue techniques or miracles for evangelism, psychology for Christian growth and sanctification, spiritual voodoo for discerning the will or God, and the power of politics, wealth, or numbers for making an impact on society. This is not what the followers of Christ did in an earlier age, when they proclaimed and trusted in the truth of the gospel.

What is happening to evangelicals is what happened to the liberal church earlier in this century, though most evangelicals are unaware of it. They are losing faith in the power of the truth of God, blessed by the Spirit of God, to make a difference. They are in fact becoming quite worldly. It can hardly be said of most of today’s evangelical churches that they are “complete in knowledge,” meaning a sound and significant knowledge of the truth of God’s revelation, even though they may be proficient in launching and developing churches.

Sadly, if this comparison holds, the prognosis for the future of the evangelical church is prefigured by the history of the liberal denominations that once had plenty of members and money but have been losing both quite rapidly.

Churches will lose their significance, too. In order to influence society, a person or a movement must be different. But Christians will never be different unless they understand, believe, and act upon the revelation of the character and ways of God that we have in the Bible. A while ago I asked the faculty at Gordon-Conwell Seminary what changes they had noticed in seminary students in recent years.

David Wells was present at this gathering, and he replied that he had noticed four things. First, each entering class was more biblically illiterate than the last. Second, each class seemed to be filled with more individuals who were swamped with their own personal problems and thus were thinking mostly about themselves rather than about their studies or how they might help others. Third, they had a greater sense of their own personal rights or entitlements; they expected everything to be done for them. And fourth, they were sold out to and mostly uncritical of the surrounding secular culture.

I find that frightening, now and with a glance to the future. Can it be said of us that we are “complete in knowledge”? We should be. The church in Rome was. What is going to happen to us if we are not?

Competent to Instruct One Another

Finally, Paul says in praise of the Roman church that the believers in Rome were “competent to instruct one another.” The Greek word translated competent is based on the word dynamis (actually dynamenoi), which has the idea of being powerful or effective. Dynamis was the word used in the phrase “by the power of the Holy Spirit” in verse 13. Instruct is nouthetein, which carries the idea of admonishing another person in order to correct something that may be wrong. In the New Testament the word occurs only in Paul’s writings plus once in a speech of his recorded in Acts 20:31.

In Acts 20 Paul has arrived at Miletus on the coast of Asia Minor near Ephesus and has sent for the elders of the Ephesian church in order to say good-bye to them and give them his final admonitions and encouragements. As part of this helpful instruction he brings forward his own example when he was with them earlier, saying, “Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31).

He constantly had the health and well-being of the Ephesian church in view and always did everything possible to build it up. Thus, he was always speaking to them about God and the gospel and encouraging them to go forward steadily and boldly in the Christian life.

Do we love the Lord enough to talk about him naturally and often? Do we love others enough to bring spiritual truths into daily conversation? Do we care for Christians enough to point them in the right direction when we see that they are deviating from or falling short of it?

And do we sometimes talk about difficult things, though kindly? Once Donald Grey Barnhouse was sent an appraisal of a man who was under care of the church’s session as a candidate for the ministry. It had been prepared by a mature Christian under whom the candidate had worked and was, as Barnhouse said, “a dissection of his spiritual anatomy.” Barnhouse met with the candidate and started to review the appraisal with him. He had hardly gotten beyond the first paragraph of the four-page document before the young man reacted strongly. Barnhouse told him to jot down his disagreements while the letter was being read and they would discuss them, which they did. It was easy to see that he was deeply agitated and wounded.

When Barnhouse finished, the man demanded, “Do you agree with this?”

Barnhouse did not reply to that question, but he said, “I do not know when I have ever read a paper that more clearly reveals a heart of love in the man who prepared it. If I were to write a title, I would call it, ‘How to Salvage John Jones for the Lord Jesus Christ.’ ”

That is what the apostle Paul was doing in Ephesus and what he was complimenting the Roman believers as being able to do with one another, not to tear them down or expose each other’s faults, but with the goal of training them and encouraging them for the work of Jesus Christ.

If these things can be said of us, thank God. We are not capable of developing these things in ourselves. They are his work. If they cannot be said of us, then they are goals that we can work for: (1) that we might be full of goodness, (2) that we might be complete in knowledge, and (3) that we might be competent to instruct one another. At that point we will have begun to be a mature church, having attained “to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).[2]

14 First he mentions the “goodness” (agathōsynē, GK 20) of the Roman Christians. Having just written of the Holy Spirit, Paul undoubtedly has in mind the goodness that is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). So it is not a native disposition but the moral excellence wrought into the texture of life by the Spirit’s indwelling. Paul may give it prominence as the preeminent quality needed to carry out the recommendations directed to both groups in the previous discussion.

Desire to do right and personal goodness are essential, but “knowledge” is also essential. Paul speaks of his readers as being “complete in knowledge” (peplērōmenoi pasēs [tēs] gnōseōs; lit., “filled with all knowledge”). Paul regards them as “competent to instruct one another.” Such language shows his confidence that the Roman church, which had been in existence for at least a decade, had been well taught (cf. 6:17). At the same time, this relative maturity did not make his contribution superfluous, because Paul confirmed what they knew, underscored it with apostolic authority, and made them the more capable of instructing each other. Noutheteō (GK 3805) reflects more than the imparting of information; it connotes the giving of counsel, reproof, or warning (cf. NASB, “admonish”; cf. Col 3:16; 1 Th 5:14). The members of the Roman house churches were under mutual obligation (“one another”) to exercise such a ministry among themselves. Paul’s use of the term at this point reflects the admonition he had provided in the preceding chapter.[3]

14  Paul’s address, “brothers and sisters,” signals the transition to a new topic. After exhorting the Roman Christians at length (12:1–15:13), Paul now commends them for their spiritual maturity. Undoubtedly Paul walks on eggshells in his desire not to offend the Christians in Rome by assuming an authority over them that they would not recognize. But there is no reason to think that Paul is insincere in what he says of them here.12 Through trusted co-workers (e.g., Prisca and Aquila; cf. 16:3), Paul had access to good information about the Roman Christian community—information about both its problems and its strengths. Thus he can say, emphatically, “I myself am convinced”14 that “you yourselves are full of goodness, being filled with all17 knowledge.” “Goodness” translates a rather rare word that can denote general “uprightness” in conduct or, more specifically, “kindness” and “generosity” toward others. In so general a commendation, it should probably here be given the broadest possible meaning.19 The Roman Christians’ “goodness” flows from their comprehensive understanding of the Christian faith (“all knowledge”). Indeed, so complete is their understanding that they are “able to admonish one another.”[4]

14 At this point begins the concluding part of this epistle, devoted to encouragement, explanation, greeting, and final doxology. In earlier portions there is oftentimes the severity of rebuke, correction, and warning. But the apostle would not have this feature to be interpreted as implying a low estimate of the attainments of the church at Rome. At the outset he had paid his compliment to the believers there for their faith and for the encouragement which they would impart to him when he would achieve his desire to visit them (1:8, 12). But now again in stronger terms he gives his assessment of their virtues. The bond of fellowship is expressed in the address “my brethren” and he could scarcely have devised a combination of words that would more effectively convey to them his own personal conviction of the fruit of the gospel in their midst: “I myself also am persuaded of you”. They were, he believed, “full of goodness” and “filled with all knowledge”. This complementation and the fulness in each case show the maturity which characterized the Roman community of believers. “Goodness” (cf. Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:9; 2 Thess. 1:11) is that virtue opposed to all that is mean and evil and includes uprightness, kindness, and beneficence of heart and life. The “knowledge” is the understanding of the Christian faith and is particularly related to the capacity for instruction reflected on in the next clause. It may not be extraneous to suggest that the reference to these two qualities in particular may have been dictated by their relevance to the subject dealt with in the preceding section (14:1–15:13). Goodness is the quality which will constrain the strong to refrain from what will injure the weak and knowledge is the attainment that will correct weakness of faith. The treatment of differences in 14:1–15:13 was not hypothetical; there must have been a situation requiring it. But we must not exaggerate the situation; the church was “full of goodness, filled with all knowledge”. Thus the believers there were themselves able to instruct and admonish one another.[5]

15:14 / The apostle Paul is commonly thought of as a theologian—perhaps a rather forbidding one. A theologian he was, but his first calling was to be a missionary pastor to the churches he founded. Both his missionary passion and pastoral devotion surface in an opening statement laden with emphasis, I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. By goodness Paul is probably thinking not of ethics in general, but of a specific moral commitment to heal the breech between strong and weak, with knowledge of the gospel (e.g., 15:3) undergirding it. Considering the tensions that existed between Jews and Gentiles (e.g., chs. 9–11; 14–15), some readers may suspect Paul of being unduly optimistic in verse 14. Others may suspect him of flattery, and perhaps even of insincerity. Granted, Paul was a master of social propriety when he needed to be (see his appearance before Agrippa in Acts 26, his appeal to Philemon [Philem.], or his impression on captain and crew in Acts 27). The declaration of verse 14, however, is more than social decorum. It is quite literally a testimony to the priesthood of all believers and to the goodness and knowledge on which that priesthood depends.[6]

14. I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are rich in goodness, amply filled with knowledge, and competent also to admonish one another.

Paul does not make use of flattery. He feels, however, that in view of the fact that he has pointed out certain weaknesses pertaining to groups and individuals within the church, he should now emphasize that these blemishes do not diminish his high regard for the church as a whole. He says, “I myself am convinced that you yourselves are rich in goodness”; that is, in kindliness, generosity of heart and action (cf. Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:9; 2 Thess. 1:11). He adds, “filled with knowledge,” practical discernment of every kind. He even credits them with being able independently—that is, without the help of Paul or anyone else—to caution one another against specific faults.

Today the word “counseling” is heard again and again. Ever so many books and articles have been written about it. Well, the apostle here reveals that also in this respect “there is nothing new under the sun.” There was mutual counseling already in his day, and it was of a high character. By and large the members of the Roman church were “competent to admonish one another.”

What makes Paul’s remark even more heart-warming is the fact that in making it he addresses the members as being his “brothers.” For this term of affection see on 1:13 (p. 52) and 7:1 (pp. 214, 215). Note strengthening modifier “my” (“my brothers”) here (15:14), adding to the cordial nature of a passage which shows how filled to overflowing with love was this heart of Paul; better still, how rich were the fruits of the operation of the Holy Spirit in his life.[7]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 326–331). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: The New Humanity (Vol. 4, pp. 1845–1851). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

[3] Harrison, E. F., & Hagner, D. A. (2008). Romans. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 218). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Moo, D. J. (1996). The Epistle to the Romans (pp. 887–888). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Murray, J. (1968). The Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 208–209). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[6] Edwards, J. R. (2011). Romans (p. 344). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[7] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 12–13, pp. 484–485). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

“Nancy Pelosi Broke the Law — Very Illegal — There’s a Lot of Evil on that Side.” – WHOA! – President Trump RIPS Pelosi on Criminal SOTU Stunt (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

President Trump spoke with reporters outside the White House today two days after he was acquitted by the US Senate in the sham impeachment.

President Trump was asked about Nancy Pelosi’s stunt on Tuesday at the State of the Union Address.

President Trump told reporters Pelosi broke the law. Her actions were “highly illegal.”

President Donald Trump: Well, I thought it was a terrible thing when she ripped up the speech. First of all, it’s an official document. You’re not allowed to. It’s illegal… I thought it was terrible. I thought it was very disrespectful to the chamber. To the country… I think there’s a lot of evil on that side. They’ve gone crazy.


via “Nancy Pelosi Broke the Law — Very Illegal — There’s a Lot of Evil on that Side.” – WHOA! – President Trump RIPS Pelosi on Criminal SOTU Stunt (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Appeals Court Throws Out Democrats’ Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump

A federal appeals court on Friday morning tossed a lawsuit brought by congressional Democrats alleging that President Donald Trump violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

Source: Appeals Court Throws Out Democrats’ Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump

A Stunning 400 Million People Are On Lockdown In China As Guangzhou Joins Quarantine | ZeroHedge News

Guangzhou, the capital of China’s southwestern Guangdong Province and the country’s fifth largest city with nearly 15 million residents, has just joined the ranks of cities imposing a mandatory lockdown on all citizens, effectively trapping residents inside their homes, with only limited permission to venture into the outside world to buy essential supplies.

The decision means 3 provinces, 60 cities and 400 million people are now facing China’s most-strict level of lockdown as Beijing struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak as the virus has already spread to more than 2 dozen countries.

That’s more than 400 million people forcibly locked inside their homes for 638 deaths? Just think about that: If there was ever a reason to believe that Beijing is lying about the numbers (and not just because Tencent accidentally leaked the real data), this is it.

Meanwhile, in the US, the Trump Administration has directed researchers to investigate the ‘true origins’ of the virus, as ‘conspiracy theories’ and misinformation spreads online. We can’t help but wonder: What if the scientists discover something that the regime in Beijing doesn’t want them to see?

Elsewhere, Singapore raised its national disease response level to Orange, the second-highest level and the same level from the SARS epidemic, according to the city-state’s health ministry. It also confirmed three new coronavirus cases. While investigations are ongoing, none of the three appear to have a history of recent travel to China, suggesting they picked up the virus in Singapore.

‘Orange’ means the outbreak “is severe and spreads easily from person to person” but “has not spread widely in Singapore and is being contained,” according to the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition color-coded framework. Singapore has never invoked its highest level, red, per BBG.

Foreigners are complaining that the new hospitals in Wuhan are merely ‘quarantine centers’ without any medical resources.

Yesterday, Beijing argued that the virus outbreak had ‘peaked’ as they cited a drop in the rate of new infections. However, others have suggested that the rate of new confirmed cases has more to do with Beijing’s limited resources.

The WHO said during a press conference on Thursday that it’s too early to claim that the outbreak has peaked, even as the outlook for the global economy falls off a cliff.

Source: A Stunning 400 Million People Are On Lockdown In China As Guangzhou Joins Quarantine

February 7 Life-Changing Moments With God

When you have eaten and are full,… you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.

Lord God, I am aware not to forget You. One of the ten paralytics, a Samaritan, saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Jesus said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

Lord God, every one of Your creatures is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by Your word and prayer. I who eat, eat to You, Lord, for I give You thanks. Your blessing, Lord, makes me rich, and You add no sorrow with it.

My soul blesses You, Lord; and with all that is within me, I bless Your holy name! My soul blesses You, Lord, who forgive all my iniquities, who crown me with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

May I always be prompt with my thanks

and sincere in my gratitude, Lord God.

May all that is within me bless Your holy name!

Deuteronomy 8:10–11; Luke 17:15–18; 1 Timothy 4:4–5; Romans 14:6; Proverbs 10:22; Psalm 103:1–4[1]


[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 48). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

February 7 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

February 7.—Morning. [Or March 15.]
“When I am weak, then am I strong.”

Exodus 4:1–16

AND Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, the Lord hath not appeared unto thee. (Those whom God sends are often slow to go, and yet men whom the Lord never sent push themselves into office eagerly.)

2, 3 And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. (This was a sign to him that though now a humble shepherd he would become so powerful as to terrify Pharaoh. The pastoral staff should be dreadful as a serpent.)

And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. (Here he learned that the power with which he was endowed while it would be as a terrible serpent towards Egypt, would be for himself and for Israel a harmless shepherd’s crook. Both the signs would encourage Moses.)

¶ And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

7, 8 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. (Thus he saw that the Lord can both wither and restore. All who work for the Lord should remember this.)

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

10 ¶ And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

11, 12 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

By this reluctance Moses lost much honour, for Aaron became the high priest, and he obtained a helper who also proved to be a hindrance.

14, 15, 16, And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

IT is interesting to note that other eminent prophets besides Moses have shrunk at first from their commission. We will read how Jeremiah did so.

Jeremiah 1:6–9

Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

7, 8 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.

Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

O Lord, grant that all thy ministers may have their mouths touched in the same manner.

Father of mercies, bow thine ear,

Attentive to our earnest prayer;

We plead for those who plead for thee,

Successful pleaders may they be!

Lord, how can sinful lips proclaim

The honours of so great a name!

O for thine altar’s glowing coal,

To touch their lips, and fire their soul.

February 7.—Evening. [Or March 16.]
“Though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion.”

Exodus 5:1–4; 6–23

AND Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. (Though his proud spirit defied Jehovah, he had before long good reason to know who Jehovah was.)

And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. (This was by no means a large demand, and was doubtless meant to be a test question. He who would not yield the less would be sure to refuse the greater.)

And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let (or hinder) the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. (With what impudent scorn he defied the messengers of the Lord, haughtily treating them as slaves, who had better go back to their labour at once.)

6, 7, 8, 9 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore, let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words. (As the bricks were made of mud mixed with straw, and the straw had hitherto been supplied to them in the brickfields, it was a heavy addition to their toils when they had to collect straw themselves.)

10, 11 ¶ And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.

12, 13 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.

14 And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and today, as heretofore?

15, 16 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people. (These poor Israelitish officers thought that the Egyptian taskmasters were unwarrantably keeping back the straw, but indeed they were acting under the King’s own orders.)

17, 18, 19 But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord. Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks. And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.

20, 21 And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge: because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.

Things are always worst when they are about to mend, but these downcast spirits could not see far before them.

22 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?

23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

Moses did well thus to refer the case to the Lord. Let us bring all our troubles to our heavenly Father.

Mighty Redeemer set me free

From my old state of sin,

O break these bonds of slavery,

This iron worn within.

From daily load and daily smart

Thy pleading captive free,

Then shall my liberated heart

Thy willing servant be.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 75–76). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Flights carrying roughly 300 coronavirus evacuees scheduled to arrive in US, 31,400 infected globally | Fox News

Two chartered flights carrying roughly 300 evacuees from Wuhan are scheduled to arrive on air force bases in the United States and Canada on Friday, according to the Department of Defense.

Storms of Our Own Making | Devotional by Charles Stanley

We all experience what could be called storms of life. 

They come in various forms, such as relational, financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Sometimes they are even the result of our own foolish choices. The trouble that comes to us may be the harvest of what we have sown in the past. And that was certainly the case with Jonah.

When Jonah tried to run away from God’s assignment, the Lord brought a corrective storm into his life. And because He loves us, He will similarly disrupt our plans when we insist on going our own way instead of submitting to His will.

God’s storms …

Get our attention. Storms disrupt our normal routine in such a way that we stop to consider what God is doing in our lives.

Humble us. The Lord challenges our pride and self-reliance so we realize that we are not in charge and can do nothing apart from Him.

Lead us to repentance. Sometimes the consequences of our sin and rebellion are so painful and troublesome that we come to our senses and turn back to God in humble obedience.

Align our life with His plans. Storms cause us to let go of our stubbornly held plans and yield to His will no matter what it costs us.

Crying out to the Lord is the best response in a storm. 

Like Jonah, we should humble ourselves in the midst of our circumstances, submit to God’s dealings with us, turn from our rebellion to obedience, and yield to His will. Only then will we become a useful servant in His mighty hand.

 Jonah 2:1-10

1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish, 2 and he said, I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. 3 For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me. 4 So I said, `I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.’ 5 Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6 I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. 7 While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple. 8 Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness, 9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD.” 10 Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by Permission

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