Daily Archives: February 15, 2020

Former Clinton Advisor Warns Mike Bloomberg: “Before You Put Hillary on Your Ticket, Better Hire a Taster” — The Gateway Pundit

Dick Morris

Former Clinton advisor Dick Morris fired a warning shot to Mike Bloomberg following Matt Drudge’s claim that Bloomberg was considering Hillary Clinton as a running mate.

“Sources close to Bloomberg campaign tell DRUDGE REPORT that candidate is considering Hillary as running mate, after their polling found the Bloomberg-Clinton combination would be a formidable force…” Matt Drudge said.

DICK MORRIS: To: Mike Bloomberg: Before you put Hillary on your ticket, better hire a taster

Dick Morris knows the Clintons very well.

Mr. Morris was a political advisor for Bill Clinton going back to his bid for Governor of Arkansas and helped Clinton with both of his presidential runs in the 90’s.

via Former Clinton Advisor Warns Mike Bloomberg: “Before You Put Hillary on Your Ticket, Better Hire a Taster” — The Gateway Pundit

The Letter of Paul to the Philippians Chapter 4

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13 (NASB) 

The enemy of our souls, Satan, does not attack believers in such a way that we should recognize him as being who he is. Instead, he comes disguised as the voice behind the theologian from the best seminary who may be the leader with a huge church empire and also be the author of many best-selling books. How does he attack what we call the Orthodox Christian faith? You know, the preaching of the gospel, the weekly opening of the Word of God, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper…

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What Americans MUST Know About Socialism Part 2

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

When Benjamin Franklin addressed the Constitutional Convention, he certainly knew about the heart of man (sinful) and he was skeptical about h0w long our Constitutional Republic would remain intact.

Here is part of his speech:

“In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other. I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution.”

Would it surprise Franklin that our…

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What MILLENNIALS DON’T Understand About SOCIALISM Part 1

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Have you been struck with disbelief, as I have, at how Socialism is being embraced by Millennials in America?

This is due to revisionist historians writing their own version of American History. Actually, they rewrite the history of the entire world in much the same way.

I’m a baby boomer and sadly but inevitably, we are dying off.  Many of our children, who are now grown, have not a clue about Socialism and how it invariably morphs into Communism.

They also do not understand that in a Communist State, belief in God is forbidden. The State demands the obedience and worship of its subjects.

They will NOT compete with God.

Our young people have been indoctrinated by Socialist professors on campuses across the nation. We send our children off to college, hoping that they get a good education – NOT A LEFTIST INDOCTRINATION.

And before the reader says to me…

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EXPLOSIVE: ERLC Leadership Council member endorses heretics — Capstone Report

How bad are things in the Southern Baptist Convention? Bad. A member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics &Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) Leadership Council endorsed heretics.

Tom Buck exposed this problem. He said, “This is a good example why some in the SBC formed the @BaptistNetwork and don’t view the SBC at large to be conservative anymore. Member of @ERLC Council thinks we should listen and amplify some women who are false teachers. And there will be silence about this from SBC leaders.”

And who are those women teachers? Well, ERLC Leadership Council member Susan Codone recommends:

Rachael Denhollander

Beth Moore

Hosanna Wong

Aimee Byrd

Rachel Held Evans

Sarah Bessey

Ann Voskamp

Jen Hatmaker

Elyse Fitzgerald

Rachel Held Evans, Sarah Bessey and Jen Hatmaker have publicly endorsed homosexuality. They are, to put it mildly false teachers.


They are deceiving Christians into conforming to the spirit of the age.

Rachel Held Evans even defended voting for Hillary Clinton. She claimed it was the Pro-Life thing to do.

Hatmaker famously attacked Donald Trump, supported Hillary Clinton and endorsed gay marriage in an interview with RNS. Hatmaker said:

“From a civil rights and civil liberties side and from just a human being side, any two adults have the right to choose who they want to love. And they should be afforded the same legal protections as any of us. I would never wish anything less for my gay friends.

“From a spiritual perspective, since gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, our communities have plenty of gay couples who, just like the rest of us, need marriage support and parenting help and Christian community. They are either going to find those resources in the church or they are not.

“Not only are these our neighbors and friends, but they are brothers and sisters in Christ. They are adopted into the same family as the rest of us, and the church hasn’t treated the LGBT community like family. We have to do better.”

This is Russell Moore’s ERLC folks. It has a leadership council member promoting blatant error.


It likes hiring liberals.

That’s the only explanation for why these types of teachers earn the endorsement of an ERLC Leadership Council member.

If you are happy with the SBC status quo, then support Al Mohler as SBC President. If you want change, then prepare to vote for a real conservative in Orlando.


via EXPLOSIVE: ERLC Leadership Council member endorses heretics — Capstone Report

February 15 Life-Changing Moments With God

Who can say, “I have made my heart clean”?

You, Lord, look down from heaven upon us children of men, to see if any understand, any seek You. We have all turned aside, we have together become corrupt … none does good, no, not one. We in the flesh cannot please You, God.

To will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. I am like an unclean thing, and all my righteousnesses are like filthy rags; I fade as a leaf, and my iniquities, like the wind, have taken me away.

Your Scripture confined all under sin that Your faith promise in Jesus might be given to me. God, in Christ, You reconciled the world to Yourself, not imputing our trespasses.…

If I say that I have no sin, I deceive myself, and the truth is not in me. If I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive me my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.

Thank You, Lord God, for cleansing all my unrighteousness through Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 20:9; Psalm 14:2–3; Romans 8:8; Romans 7:18–19; Isaiah 64:6; Galatians 3:22; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 John 1:8–9[1]


[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 56). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

February 15, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

Call to Give Thanks (100:4)

4 The communal confession arouses another invocation to give thanks to the Lord. The worshiping community entered the temple courts (cf. 96:8) through the gates. The verb “enter” (bōʾû), identical to the verb in v. 2 translated “come,” resumes the invocation to praise. In fact, when vv. 1, 2, and 4 are read as a unit, the imperatival parallelism is clearer:

  1. 1–2: “Shout for joy … Worship … come”
  2. 4: “Enter [‘come’ in v. 2] … give thanks … praise”

Verses 1–2 bring out the joyful acclamation of God’s kingship, whereas v. 4 stresses the communal act of worship. They come “with thanksgiving” and “with praise.” These are the appropriate sacrifices of “thanks” to his name for all the benefits. Thanksgiving and praise go together, because the Lord reveals himself both in his perfections and acts (cf. 139:1; cf. Jer 33:11).[1]

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name (v. 4). Those entering the temple and presenting themselves in its courtyards are encouraged to come with joyful thanksgiving before the Lord. Clearly this was a song sung either by priests or worshippers as they entered into the precincts of the temple. The mention of ‘thanksgiving’ ties in with the expression in the title, ‘with thanksgiving’ (it is the same word in Hebrew). The final expression is literally ‘bless his name’ (bârakû she), drawing attention to the fact that the worshippers are to have the Lord himself as their focal point. His self-revelation as the redeemer of his covenant people calls forth praise. Some church buildings have a brass plate in their foyer with the Latin inscription: ‘Ad majorem Dei gloriam’ (‘To the greater glory of God’). This captures the central point in this call.[2]

100:4 / In Israelite religion “entering [Hb. bōʾû] the temple gates and courts” was tantamount to “coming [Hb. bōʾû] before him” (v. 2). The temple was not a building conveniently constructed for congregational worship—it was Yahweh’s dwelling. We should not attempt to see a progression in entering his gates with thanksgiving (Hb. tôdâ) and then into his courts with praise (Hb. tehillâ), as though praise were a higher form of worship. Following and balancing this imperative to enter are two more imperatives, the first of which is give thanks (from Hb. hôdâ). This offering of thanksgiving (Hb. tôdâ), noted both in this verse and the superscription, could refer either to a thanksgiving sacrifice (116:17; Lev. 7:12–15) or to a thanksgiving psalm.[3]

100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving. The imagery is that of the “gates” and “courts” of the temple. These words may have been spoken by the gatekeeper, giving the worshipers permission to enter. If this psalm was recited in the temple in a service of thanksgiving, the psalm implies either a preexilic date, when the temple was still standing, or, most likely, a postexilic date, when the temple had been reconstructed. Further, the idea that the salvation of the nations is celebrated in the temple courts is a proclamation of a new theological boldness, arising out of the developing theology of the postexilic community. While it is difficult to imagine that the occasion issues an invitation to gentiles to enter the temple, it is likely an expression of the new theology’s openness to the universal perspective, but it is still quite wonderfully shocking.[4]

4. Here the invitation, or rather the command, is reiterated: surely such a God, such a Creator, such a Redeemer, may well demand our warmest praise. And therefore let us enter into his courts: let us approach his footstool: let praise, thanksgiving, and sacred joy fill every heart, swell every song, burst from every tongue: bless, bless his name! Reader, in the Jewish church, the courts of God’s house became the nearest place the Gentiles were permitted to approach, in their sacred worship: and even Israel was not allowed to enter into the Holy Place. But you and I, poor Gentiles by nature, and sinners by practice, are permitted to enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus; nay, commanded to come, and find grace to help in all time of need. Think, my brother, of the vast privilege; and let us improve it to his glory, in whose name and righteousness we can alone come, and by whose rich redemption such blessings are alone made ours.[5]

4. The simplicity of this invitation may conceal the wonder of it, for the courts are truly his, not ours (as Isa. 1:12 had to remind the triflers), and his gates are shut to the unclean (Rev. 21:27). Yet not only his outer courts but the Holy of Holies itself are thrown open ‘by the new and living way’, and we are welcome. This in itself is cause enough for praise, and the final verse will have more to add.[6]

Ver. 4. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving.Thankfulness:

Thankfulness denotes a composite emotion, whose elements are joy for a gift, and love for the giver. It differs from gratitude, not essentially, but only in form; the one being necessarily a feeling only, the other that feeling both existent and expressed.

  1. The hindrances which practically interfere with this great moral and Christian duty.
  2. The habit of looking too much at other people, and too little at ourselves. If the poor man would go into his own heart, and fling overboard all but his own peculiar cares and troubles, and sit down to feast on the rich viands God has gathered as his sea-stores, then his lightened and relieved bark would float buoyantly on the waters, and answer readily her helm, and with glad songs and bright skies, go on her way rejoicing.
  3. Letting the mind dwell too much on the dark side of our experience. The ten thousand daily blessings wherewith God has been surrounding our lives are lost sight of in the occasional clouds of difficulty that may have chequered our pathway. We think more of the one thousand dollars lost, than of the twenty thousand left us. More of the one month of sickness, than the eleven months of health. More of the one beloved friend dead, than of the many beloved yet living.
  4. Regarding the first gift of a good thing as alone demanding gratitude, and its subsequent preservation as a natural sequence.
  5. The helps to thankfulness.
  6. We must entertain just and philosophic views of life’s nature and mission. A man, crossing an ocean on shipboard, is not discontented because he cannot carry with him his sumptuous furniture and equipage; and grumbles not that his state-room hath not the breadth and brilliancy of his palatial pavilions. His very gladness is, that he is in a structure so modelled that it can have speed upon the waters. And just so it is with a man in progress to immortality. What we want is rather a tent that can be pitched and struck at pleasure; and provisions of a kind that can be carried in journeys; than a splendid palace, and ponderous luxuries, incapable of transportation. And so a true appreciation of the real uses of things will go far to render us thankful for the peculiar size and shape of the blessings God gives us.
  7. We must dwell much in thought upon these Divine mercies, present and actual. We are too much given to day-dreams amid things possible and future. We lift the glass of imagination to the far hills, that, mellowed by distance and haloed with the purple and gold of the setting sun, look like fairy lands, and grow dissatisfied with the present and possessed. And yet, there is no one in whose present experience there is not enough at least for thankfulness—of comfort and blessing.
  8. We must make the best of our misfortunes. What the Germans tell us as a parable, we have all of us—who have gone afield with nature in observant moods—witnessed not unfrequently. Standing by some autumnal and over-matured flower, we have seen the laborious bee come hurrying and humming, and plunging into the flower’s cup, where there was not a particle of honey. But what does the bee do? Why, after sucking, and finding no nectar, does it come up from the flower’s heart with a disappointed air, as if departing to some other field of labour? Ah no! If there be no sweets at the flower’s red core, yet its stamens are full of golden farina, and out of the farina the bee builds its cells; and so it rolls its little legs against these stamens, till they look large and loaded as golden hose, and, thanking the flower as sweetly as if it had been full of honey, gladly humming, it flies home with its wax. Yes, and herein lies God’s moral—If our flowers have no honey, let us be glad of the wax!
  9. We must, meanwhile, learn to look upon these very evils as God’s disguised blessings. To every true Christian, they are so, positively, and beyond controversy. As part of the special providence of a wise and loving Father, they cannot be otherwise. It is God that determines the bounds of our habitation; the stations we are to fill; the comforts we are to enjoy; and the trials we are to suffer. And if we have not much of the present world, it is not because our heavenly Father is not able to give us more. It is all to be resolved into the wisdom and kindness of the Divine administration—God’s wisdom discerning how much is best for us—and His love determining to allow us no more.
  10. To become truly thankful, we must become Christians—and Christians growing in grace and advancing in knowledge.

(1) Religion makes a man humble; and humility, as a grace, lies at the foundation of contentment.

(2) Religion gives him just views of present things, and of the true relation he sustains to them, in this earthly economy. They never seem to him ends, but only means unto ends. He understands how his present life is a sojourn—an exodus. And, as a true-hearted traveller, he expects not home comforts on a journey, but is content with rude fare and humble hostelries, and can thank God even for rough roads and foul weather, if they hinder not his progress.

(3) Religion, as it is essentially a principle of self-denial, moderates a man’s wishes, and so creates happiness. Diogenes was happier in his tub, than Alexander on the throne of his empire. And for a good reason—because the tub held the wishes of the philosopher; but the world was too small for those of the conqueror.

(4) Religion produces trustfulness, and so brings contentment.

III. The reasons of thankfulness.

  1. Our circumstances demand it. Just contrast your own condition this day, with that of the exulting pilgrims, when they kept their first thanksgiving festival. See them, amid the solitudes of that great wilderness—the cry of the wild beast, and the roar of the strong wind rising around them—the loved homes of their childhood, and the precious temples of their fathers, far away over the waters—a barren soil beneath their feet; and above, the cold and cheerless azure of a stranger-heaven! And yet singing triumphantly unto God their thanksgiving anthem!
  2. For the sake of your own souls, you ought to be thankful. The habit of mournful sadness blinds the eye, and dwarfs the pinions of the soul; renders the heart a nervous and neuralgic thing; eats out a man’s piety; weakens every Christian grace; and makes the creature a torture to himself, and a curse to his neighbourhood.
  3. As Christians, we ought, for the sake of others, to manifest this abiding spirit of joy and thanksgiving.
  4. For your heavenly Father’s sake, you ought to cherish and display this spirit of thanksgiving. A monarch, whose subjects are always complaining of their lot, is set down by the world as a hard and selfish tyrant. A father, whose children walk abroad ever in sadness and tears, is anathematized by all people as a heartless and cruel parent. Shame on us, if, surrounded by such blessings, and hastening onward to such revelations of glory, we go ever with the bowed head, and the mournful footsteps, saying to the world by our pitiful complainings—“See how the eternal God is maltreating His loyal subjects!” “See how our heavenly Father is torturing His children!” (C. Wadsworth.)

And into His courts with praise.Praise:

God’s praises must be sung—

  1. With the attention of the mind. The words must be considered, as well as heard or read. A person can never be rationally or piously affected with what he sings, except he understands it. Without this, there is no more devotion in him, than there is in an organ or other musical instrument which utters the like sounds. Or if there be anything like devotion excited by mere sounds, it is probably enthusiasm, or something purely animal; a sort of pleasing mechanical sensation, which perhaps some brutes may as strongly feel, by sounds suited to the state of their frame.
  2. With the melody of the voice. Poetry enlivens praise; and music heightens the powers of poetry, and gives it more force to engage and affect the mind. It puts spirit into every word, and their united influences elevate, compose, and melt the soul. From hence it will follow that the better the poetry is, provided it be intelligible, and the greater harmony there is in uttering it, the greater effect it will have upon the mind, and make the impression of what we sing more deep and lasting. As God hath formed us with voices capable of uttering harmonious sounds, He expects that they be employed in His service.

III. With the devotion of the heart. It is not sufficient to understand what is sung, to attend to it, and join our voices with those of our fellow-worshippers; but our intentions should be upright and good. And they should be these; to glorify God, and to edify ourselves and others.

  1. Our intention should be to glorify God; that is, not to make Him more glorious, for neither the praises of men nor angels can do that; but to do Him apparent and public honour; to acknowledge His glory; to proclaim our high veneration and affection for Him, and celebrate and recommend Him as an object worthy the esteem and praises of the whole world (Ps. 62:2; Ps. 50:23; Ps. 69:30).
  2. It should be our desire also to edify ourselves and one another (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). (Job Orton, D.D.)[7]

4. “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving.” To the occurrence of the word thanksgiving in this place the Psalm probably owes its title. In all our public service the rendering of thanks must abound; it is like the incense of the temple, which filled the whole house with smoke. Expiatory sacrifices are ended, but those of gratitude will never be out of date. So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks. Mercy permits us to enter his gates; let us praise that mercy. What better subject for our thoughts in God’s own house than the Lord of the house. “And into his courts with praise.” Into whatever court of the Lord you may enter, let your admission be the subject of praise: thanks be to God, the innermost court is now open to believers, and we enter into that which is within the veil; it is incumbent upon us that we acknowledge the high privilege by our songs. “Be thankful unto him.” Let the praise be in your heart as well as on your tongue, and let it all be for him to whom it all belongs. “And bless his name.” He blessed you, bless him in return; bless his name, his character, his person. Whatever he does, be sure that you bless him for it: bless him when he takes away as well as when he gives; bless him as long as you live, under all circumstances; bless him in all his attributes, from whatever point of view you consider him.[8]

[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 743). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Harman, A. (2011). Psalms: A Mentor Commentary (Vol. 1–2, p. 721). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

[3] Hubbard, R. L. J., & Johnston, R. K. (2012). Foreword. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Psalms (p. 387). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Bullock, C. H. (2017). Psalms 73–150. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (Vol. 2, p. 207). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books: A Division of Baker Publishing Group.

[5] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Job–Psalms (Vol. 4, pp. 484–485). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[6] Kidner, D. (1975). Psalms 73–150: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 16, p. 390). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[7] Exell, J. S. (1909). The Biblical Illustrator: The Psalms (Vol. 4, pp. 221–223). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company; Francis Griffiths.

[8] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 88-110 (Vol. 4, p. 234). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Call Jehovah Thy Salvation — The Thirsty Theologian

Call Jehovah Thy Salvation
TRUST Psalm 91

imageCall Jehovah thy salvation,
rest beneath th’Almighty’s shade;
in His secret habitation
dwell, and never be dismayed.

There no tumult shall alarm thee,
thou shalt dread no hidden snare;
guile nor violence can harm thee,
in eternal safeguard there.

From the sword at noonday wasting,
from the noisome pestilence,
in the depth of midnight blasting,
God shall be thy sure defense.

Fear not thou the deadly quiver,
when a thousand feel the blow;
mercy shall thy soul deliver,
though ten thousand be laid low.

Only with thine eyes the anguish
of the wicked thou shalt see,
when by slow disease they languish,
when they perish suddenly.

Thee though winds and waves be swelling,
God, then hope, shall bear through all;
plague shall not come nigh thy dwelling,
thee no evil shall befall.

Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017).


The current hymnal for this series is Hymns to the Living God, published by Religious Affections Ministries. This is such a good hymnal that I’m pretty sure I could happily post every hymn it contains, but I’ll be limiting selections to hymns I have never posted here before, especially those unfamiliar to me (of which there are many). For more information and to purchase this hymnal, visit Religious Affections Ministries.

via In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: Call Jehovah Thy Salvation — The Thirsty Theologian

February—15 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

A door opened in heaven!—Revelation 4:1.

Lord! give me, as thou didst to thy servant John, a call to “come up hither,” and by faith behold the glories which shall be revealed; and immediately I shall be in the spirit as he was, and so substantiate and realize, in present enjoyments, those felicities in Jesus, that this evening my soul will be, by happy faith, in the very suburbs of that blessed city, which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God! Is it not true, Lord, that all my possessions are thine? And shall I not take the map of them from Scripture, and look over them with holy rapture and delight? Do men of the earth take pride in their lands and manors; the very holding of which is precarious, even in the moment of possession, and which slide from under their feet as soon as they enter upon them; and shall not an heir of God, a joint-heir with Christ, rejoice in having a kingdom which cannot be moved? Come, my soul, look within the veil, whither thy Forerunner is for thee entered; and now that God the Holy Ghost hath opened a door in heaven, behold what felicities are presenting themselves to thy view! Behold, amidst all the glories of the place, how eminently Jesus, even thy Jesus, appears as a Lamb in the midst of the throne: and still as a Lamb that hath been slain, as if to testify the eternal, unceasing efficacy of his blood and righteousness. But what an innumarable host are these, which stand around the throne, and encircle the Redeemer! “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb!” Mark that, my soul! They were once in the tribulated path that thou art now in; they were once sinners here below, as thou art now; and they owe all their advancement, not to their merit, but to divine bounty; not to works of righteousness which they have done, but to the same source as thou art now seeking acceptance from—the blood of the Lamb. Oh! precious, soul-satisfying testimony, on a point of such infinite importance! Blessed, for ever blessed, be God the Holy Ghost, for first opening to the beloved apostle this door in heaven, and for all the after-revelations of Jesus, made by this condescending discovery to the Church in all ages. Often, my soul, look up, and behold the door still open; and often by faith look in, and behold thy Redeemer, and his redeemed, in “the spirits of just men made perfect.” Realize these blessed things, and seek from thy Jesus a strength of faith (for such a faith hath been given to some, and why not to thee?) as shall absolutely bring down the present enjoyment of heaven into thy soul, before the Lord shall finally and fully call thee up to the everlasting enjoyment of him in glory. Blessed be God, (my soul, do thou cry out with the apostle,) who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together, in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus![1]


[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 51–52). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

February 15 Streams in the Desert

Fret not thyself.” (Psalm 37:1.)

DO not get into a perilous heat about things. If ever heat were justified, it was surely justified in the circumstances outlined in the Psalm. Evil-doers were moving about clothed in purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day. “Workers of iniquity” were climbing into the supreme places of power, and were tyrannizing their less fortunate brethren. Sinful men and women were stalking through the land in the pride of life and basking in the light and comfort of great prosperity, and good men were becoming heated and fretful.

“Fret not thyself.” Do not get unduly heated! Keep cool! Even in a good cause, fretfulness is not a wise help-meet. Fretting only heats the bearings; it does not generate the steam. It is no help to a train for the axles to get hot; their heat is only a hindrance. When the axles get heated, it is because of unnecessary friction; dry surfaces are grinding together, which ought to be kept in smooth co-operation by a delicate cushion of oil.

And is it not a suggestive fact that this word “fret” is closely akin to the word “friction,” and is an indication of absence of the anointing oil of the grace of God?

In fretfulness, a little bit of grit gets into the bearings—some slight disappointment, some ingratitude, some discourtesy—and the smooth working of the life is checked. Friction begets heat; and with the heat, most dangerous conditions are created.

Do not let thy bearings get hot. Let the oil of the Lord keep thee cool, lest by reason of an unholy heat thou be reckoned among the evil-doers.—The Silver Lining.

Dear restless heart, be still; don’t fret and worry so;

God has a thousand ways His love and help to show;

Just trust, and trust, and trust, until His will you know.

Dear restless heart, be still, for peace is God’s own smile,

His love can every wrong and sorrow reconcile;

Just love, and love, and love, and calmly wait awhile.

Dear restless heart, be brave; don’t moan and sorrow so,

He hath a meaning kind in chilly winds that blow;

Just hope, and hope, and hope, until you braver grow.

Dear restless heart, repose upon His breast this hour,

His grace is strength and life, His love is bloom and flower;

Just rest, and rest, and rest, within His tender power.

Dear restless heart, be still! Don’t struggle to be free;

God’s life is in your life, from Him you may not flee;

Just pray, and pray, and pray, till you have faith to see.

Edith Willis Linn.[1]


[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 51–52). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

Point Where the Water Does — Blog & Mablog

Because we are walking in the path of our Reformed fathers, we practice infant baptism. Because we walk in the path of our evangelical fathers, we confess that faith is the sole instrument of our justification. Now because this child who is about to be baptized is not going to make a profession of faith, what are we doing? How can we reconcile these two things?

Faith is the only instrument that God uses at the moment of any sinner’s justification. But there are secondary means that God uses, leading up to that moment. These would be things like preached sermons, or evangelistic literature, or godly parenting, or . . . infant baptism.

This baptism does not effect regeneration. This baptism seals the child’s membership in the visible covenant people of God, and places on the child a strong imperative—love Jesus, love His gospel, love His people, and all by faith alone.

Water is therefore no substitute for faith. And if it were, it would be a poor substitute. Water alone is as ineffectual as the blood of bulls and goats. Water by itself, whenever or however it is applied, before a profession of faith or after, or prior to true conversion or after, is a lame salvation. You think you can wash off your lusts with water?

No. Only the blood of Christ washes us clean that way. This water is a faithful witness, and in accordance with the Word, it points to that blood. It is the duty of every baptized person to see to it that their faith points the same direction that the water points.

Photo by @samaradoole at unsplash

via Point Where the Water Does — Blog & Mablog

Craven or Bold? — Blog & Mablog

One of the mysteries of our relationship to God and our relationship to the world is the inverse demeanor that exists between humbling and boldness. When God is great and man is small, the result is humility before God and boldness before men. But when man is great and God is small, the thing goes the other way—cravenness before men and impudence before God.

Now I am speaking, of course, of the smallness or greatness of God in our minds and hearts, and not about His objective majesty—which is entirely independent of our views on the matter. But when we believe God is great, we are humbled in His presence, and the Spirit grants great boldness before men. If God be for us, who can be against us? “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).

In the confess we are about to make, the language is striking—body trembling, lip quivering and rottenness in the bones. This is not something that results in us crawling on fours before arrogant men on lawless thrones. Just the reverse.

And when we refuse to confess our sins before the God of Heaven, we find ourselves have to beg forgiveness from our earthly masters for whatever arbitrary sins they might deem us to have committed. We are so far gone in our idolatries that these lords of the earth want us to feel bad if the weather misbehaves, and it is clearly our fault for not wanting to pay more taxes.

So remember it well. Glorify God, and you can be bold before men. Glorify man and you will be impudent before God.

With this in mind, let us prepare our hearts for confession as we sing to Him now.

via Craven or Bold? — Blog & Mablog

February 15th The D. L. Moody Year Book

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby Ye cry, Abba, Father.—Romans 8:15.

I WANT to say very emphatically that I have no sympathy with the doctrine of universal brotherhood, and universal fatherhood; I don’t believe one word of it. If a man lives in the flesh and serves the flesh, he is a child of the devil. That is pretty strong language, but it is what Christ said. It brought down a hornet’s nest on His head, and helped to hasten Him to the cross, but nevertheless it is true. Show me a man that will lie and steal and get drunk and ruin a woman,—do you tell me he is my brother? Not a bit of it. He must be born into the household of faith before he becomes my brother in Christ. He is an alien, he is a stranger to the grace of God, he is an enemy to God, he is not a friend. Before a man can cry, “Abba, Father,” he must be born from above, born of the Spirit.[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. 37). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Entertainment Break: Compilation of liberal media praising Michael Avenatti, who now faces decades in prison for extortion

Stormy Daniels lawyer and noted scumbag Michael Avenatti was convicted yesterday on all counts brought against him for trying to extort $25 million from Nike. He’s facing up to 42 years in prison.

Source: Entertainment Break: Compilation of liberal media praising Michael Avenatti, who now faces decades in prison for extortion

The Four Coronavirus Scenarios: The Bad; The Worse; The Ugly; And The Unthinkable | ZeroHedge News

Submitted by Michael Every of Rabobank


  • The Covid-19 coronavirus could be more disruptive than markets are currently pricing in. Not in the least because the ‘true’ number of infected people remains uncertain, as the recent surge in cases exemplifies
  • We outline four scenarios in which the virus increasingly becomes severe: The Bad; The Worse; The Ugly; and The Unthinkable
  • We provide rough estimates for China’s growth trajectory in these scenarios although we stress that these are not our official forecasts since we are still working out the details
  • The three main channels through which Covid-19 will affect the global economy are tourism, net exports, and intermediate goods
  • In the ‘Bad’ scenario the virus outbreak does not last far beyond Q1. China’s GDP growth for 2020 could drop to below 5%, with production taking the biggest hit and a catch up in Q3 and Q4. This is our base case scenario, although with the recent surge in mind, the second scenario is becoming increasingly likely
  • In the ‘Worse’ scenario, the virus outbreak lasts beyond Q1. In that case China’s GDP growth could end up below 4% in 2020
  • In this scenario, next to China, Asia will bear the brunt of the prolonged outbreak due to its dependence on Chinas as an export market and intermediate imports as well as for tourism
  • In China itself, defaults of non-financial corporates in China could start to rise rapidly
  • This will lead to a decline in China’s long-term growth potential as private companies will suffer most, while less efficient SOEs will likely be bailed out. As a result, debt levels will balloon further, leaving China more vulnerable in the future
  • There will also be downwards pressure on the Chinese currency as extra CNY liquidity is made available
  • In the Ugly scenario, the virus spreads beyond China, and spreads to Asia as well as developed economies. Its effects will likely resemble the Global Financial Crisis of 2008/2009 more than the SARS outbreak in 2003
  • The Unthinkable scenario is a far left tail scenario, in which the virus mutates and becomes a truly global pandemic

Risk on?

Financial markets have been on a roller-coaster ride since the Novel coronavirus Covid-19 stole the headlines – albeit mainly on the ascent phase (bar today’s reaction) of the ride so far in terms of equities at least. At this stage, it’s still too early to tell whether or not Covid-19 is ‘under control’ or not. Especially given that the most surge in cases (due to a new counting methodology) shows that we don’t really know the actual number of infected cases (Figure 1).

In a research report published end-January we discussed the ‘most likely’ outcome for the global economy and markets based on what we knew at the time. But the huge uncertainty surrounding the spread of the virus as well as its impact on economic behaviour implies that we are still dealing with a wide range of possibilities from a relatively quick stabilization of the situation to a full-blown pandemic with far far-reaching consequences.

This report will therefore examine what the potential impact of the virus will be on the Chinese, Asian, and global economies under four different scenarios. As shall be seen, none of these are positive, in contra-distinction to the relative optimism shown by equity markets at present. In fact, all of them are negative to varying degrees such that we dub them: The Bad; The Worse; The Ugly; and The Unthinkable.

The Bad

This scenario is actually the ‘good’ one that markets are apparently pricing for, which would see a quick stabilization of the situation in China and assumes that the international spread of the virus remains limited to a number of countries, notably in the Asian region, but with no repeat of the swift spread we initially saw on mainland China.

This is a relatively benign scenario with the economic effects mostly concentrated in Q1 and part of Q2 2020. Regardless, we still envisage that China’s Q1 growth rate in this scenario could fall to 2.9% y-o-y, which is 3% lower than our previous forecast of 5.9%. Assuming the most draconian containment measures are gradually withdrawn during Q2, the impact on Q2 growth is likely to be smaller but still negative. Only in H2 would we expect a partial rebound. For 2020, our ballpark growth figure is 4.8% – 5.6% y/y GDP growth, and then and between 5.5% – 6.3% for 2021. (These are not our official forecasts. We are still working out the details and will present them in our upcoming quarterly outlook).

We expect Chinese industrial production to take the biggest hit near-term as factories remain mostly closed in Q1. Production growth in this scenario will drop to 2.2% y-o-y in the quarter, which is 4% below its 3-year average (6.1% y/y). However, there will likely be some catch-up growth in production in Q3 and Q4.

Services will take the second largest hit, slowing to 3.5% y-o-y, which is 3 percentage points below its 3-year average (7.5% y/y). Services will rebound too in H2, albeit partially. We say partially because while industrial production may “catch-up”, consumer spending is less likely to do so. People will not get an extra haircut or go on vacation twice to catch up on missed haircuts and vacations. Crucially, the services sector now comprises more than half of China’s economy (52%); in 2003 this was just 42%.

In terms of stimulus, we can naturally expect both fiscal and monetary policy to play a large role. The PBOC has already injected a significant quantity of liquidity via various channels, including reverse repo, totalling CNY2.9 trillion (USD 414 bn) at the time of writing (although a large part of this injection is for refinancing of previously ending contracts). More will be forthcoming, in their own words. Interest rates, such as where they matter in a quantity-driven credit economy like China, will also be lowered.

At the same time, the fiscal taps will have to open. We are again already seeing accelerated issuance of local government special bonds, and the central government fiscal deficit will also widen as needed to ensure the economy gets back on track as soon as possible.

However this is not a cost-free exercise. Already-high debt-ratios of corporates and the state in China will rise even higher. The narrative of deleveraging, which we did not subscribe to, will be comprehensively debunked. China will have to carry that debt with it in the future.

Concurrently, this new stimulus runs counter to China’s ambition to make its financial system more stable. Chinese banks already face rising non-performing loan (NPL) levels. For example, S&P estimate that in a growth slow-down these could multiple five or six fold, into the hundreds of USD billions. The actual, rather than realised, figure is likely to be far worse.
Crucially, China’s banks are also already capital constrained. Having to step in and support so much of the economy will almost certainly see them having to raise capital or rely on the PBOC. Indeed, in almost all scenarios the PBOC will be doing much more ahead.

In which case, a combination of increased CNY liquidity and lower Chinese rates, to say nothing of a drop in capital inflows, is likely to place significant downwards pressure on CNY. Might this even limit the PBOC’s room for action given China’s commitment to the US under the Phase One Trade Deal not to weaken its currency? Notably, the US is already recognising that there will be delays in China meeting its other promise, of huge US goods purchases.

For the global economy this scenario is also painful as China has become a critical driver of global economic growth. The sensitivity of the world economy to China’s growth rate was 0.17 between the 1980s and 2000, which has almost tripled to 0.47 in the last 15 years. Thus each percentage point of Chinese GDP growth coincides (we don’t say ‘leads to’) with about half a percentage point in world GDP growth (Figure 2). This scenario will see 2020 world GDP growth -0.2ppts lower than our current estimate of 2.9%.

The economic transmission mechanisms are as clear as those of the virus.

Automatic transmission

On the demand side, China is responsible for more than 25% of tourists in a host of countries such as South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand, but also Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong (Figure 3). It also sends millions of tourists further afield, to Europe and the US, for example. Naturally, a decline in Chinese tourists will hit hardest for the countries where tourism is largest as a share of GDP.

Thai tourism, for example, constitutes 20% of GDP and employs about 10% of the workforce. Chinese tourists alone account for about 6% of Thai GDP. Indeed, the virus is already hitting Thailand hard as seen from anecdotal reports from Thai resorts and Bangkok, which is a popular destination for visitors from Wuhan.

The second channel of demand-based transmission is exports. For Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and South Korea, more than 25% of exports go to China; for Hong Kong this figure is as high as 78% (Figure 4).

Even Europe cannot escape: 7% of Germany’s exports (EUR 96 bln) go to China, a quarter of which are cars. The rest of Asia constitutes 11% of German exports. Thus a full 18% of German exports will be hit directly or indirectly be less demand from China as well as disruption of transport routes. With German automotive output already at its lowest level since 2010 (Figure 5), significant weakness in Chinese demand could be a serious headwind for Germany.

The third transmission channel is indirect, and potentially just as disruptive: a supply shock. China is a vital part of international value chains and international firms rely on Chinese intermediate goods to produce their end products. Thus, a disruption in Chinese output means these companies are unable to produce their final goods, or at least face delays in production, depending on when production in China can be re-started.

On a macro level countries such as Vietnam, South Korea and Indonesia are especially prone to this (Figure 6), and in Europe so is Germany: about 9% of Germany’s total import of intermediate goods is from China. Germany’s car sector could thus feel the effects of the coronavirus via its exports to China, which will be hit, as well as in the difficulty getting of getting key imports from China in order to produce the cars.

Indeed, we have already seen several major Korean firms such as Hyundai and Kia shut down some local production due to lack of inputs from China, with consequent spill-over effects on to their own national supply-chains.

It should also go without saying that this trend is also playing out within China itself: China is vastly more correlated with China than it is with the rest of the world! Indeed, the under-appreciated risks of long- and China-centric supply chains are being underlined by the current crisis.

Longer-term impact

One also needs to consider the longer-term structural damage that will be seen the longer the virus is present for. The Chinese government will naturally aim to bail out its large State-Owned Entities (SOEs) if they suffer; but could it really do the same for private companies, SMEs, or for indebted households? That seems far less achievable. How far can the state really prop up the domino effect of cascading small and medium firm failures? How can it make households good short of suspending mortgage payments, for example, or huge increases in welfare spending, which China does not currently have systems in place for?

As such, Chinese GDP growth may only be sustained by a deepening of state activity and PBOC activism. The long-term effects of this kind of bail-out at a time when China is ostensibly supposed to be reforming would be that the Chinese economy as whole becomes less efficient in terms of its investment, which is already a key problem. This would mean a short-term stimulus sitting alongside a reduction China’s long term growth potential.

In addition, and as we already noted, either China’s government debt will balloon because of large bailouts of even-more indebted firms and households, at a time when this is already becoming an issue of concern. Note that the combined debt of non-financial corporates, the government and households has already reached 260% of GDP (Figure 7).

The Chinese currency could come under increased downwards pressure in financial markets as well, due to the massive extra CNY liquidity and matching lower Chinese rates.

The Worse

In ‘The Worse’ scenario the virus spreads further within China and lasts longer than in the previous scenario (6-9 months).

Within China, the economic impact will naturally be amplified, with only a partial bounce-back in H2 2020. The pressures on the Chinese government, corporates, and households if nobody is able to work for an extended period, and then on its banks and through to CNY, would increase by orders of magnitude.

In order to ascertain how likely this outcome is, one can arguably track real-time day-to-day air quality data looking at Nitrous Dioxide (NO2) levels in major Chinese cities, as a proxy for the polluting effects of economic activity. What can be seen at time of writing matches anecdotal descriptions of a property market in deep-freeze, ghost cities, and shuttered factories.

Assuming a longer, deeper virus impact we see China’s GDP growth for 2020 in a 3.8%-4.6% y/y range. Again production will take the largest hit because factories will be shut down longer. Services will take the secondary hit. Moreover, the global effect will be far stronger: global growth could decline by a full 1% in 2020. However, we do expect some rebound in late Q3 and in Q4, although the recovery in services will be relatively less due to an extended period of negative sentiment.

The Ugly

This ‘Ugly’ scenario would see the virus continue to rage in China, spread to ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand, and the cluster of cases in the US and Europe snowball at an exponential growth rate from their currently low base. In other words, developed economies would also be hit.

If the virus spreads in the West public panic would naturally be the immediate response. Just as seen in China today, people would stop going out and shopping to stay safe at home, or make panic purchases on fears of supply shortages and then stay at home. In short, the economy would largely grind to a halt.

Naturally, the services sector on which the West relies far more than China would be smashed: restaurants; pubs; bars; cinemas; concerts; conferences would all grind to a halt. International travel bans would be put in place. Supply chains would be broken. International trade would collapse along with domestic demand.

The government would immediately start to institute similar quarantine steps as seen in China. Regardless of the differences in political systems, quarantine is quarantine (and the word originates from Venice, after all). Presuming this was ineffective due to earlier symptom-free transmission then the quarantine would have to be expanded. We could expect a mirror of the Chinese villages building barriers around themselves to keep strangers out.

In this kind of scenario it is impossible to estimate the precise impact on the global economy – because there would be little *global* economy to speak of. Suffice to say, it would be a true depression: a sharp downturn like in 2008-09 that grinds on – and a recovery based on medical breakthroughs rather than monetary-policy ones.

Nonetheless, interest rates would obviously be slashed, where they can, and emergency government spending on anti-virus measures would be stepped up regardless of the size of fiscal deficits. At the same time banks would be told by central banks to keep supporting all firms, especially SMEs, that are facing bankruptcy as their revenues evaporate.

Yet would banks listen to their new orders to lend? Which staff would be doing this, if nobody is in the office? Banks haven’t done much real-economy lending under QE liquidity and no virus conditions, for example. Firms themselves would be told to keep paying their workers even if they can’t do any work – but as in China, would SMEs be able to afford to? And what about the gig economy and the huge number of self-employed?

As such, the state would be forced to expand its role markedly in order to stop a total economic collapse – once again, as in China. This would be akin to current populist arguments for a fiscal-QE-driven ‘Green New Deal’, but in this case wrapped up in biosecurity terms. However, our health and armed forces (which would be needed to keep control) are arguably over-stretched and under-resourced already in many countries, and are not something that can be turned on/off quickly like a switch.

The Unthinkable

This scenario is very short. The virus spreads globally and also mutates, with its transmissibility increasing and its lethality  increasing too. The numbers infected would skyrocket, as would casualties. We could be looking at a global pandemic, and at scenarios more akin to dystopian Hollywood films than the realms of economic analysis. Let’s all pray it does not come to pass and just remains a very fat tail risk.

However, one can see that in each of these four scenarios things are ugly, even in the first two ones. As such, the relative financial market optimism still seems to be based on the belief that central-bank liquidity supersedes virus transmissibility. That’s still quite optimistic given the uprise in uncertainty about the coronavirus.

Source: The Four Coronavirus Scenarios: The Bad; The Worse; The Ugly; And The Unthinkable

Tom Homan: President Trump’s action against sanctuary cities will remove public safety threats

President Trump is “exactly right” to direct his efforts toward combatting sanctuary city policies, retired U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan said Saturday.

Source: Tom Homan: President Trump’s action against sanctuary cities will remove public safety threats

They’ve Had Enough: Conservative Baptists Form A Group To Fight Liberal Drift — Christian Research Network

“We are concerned about the current road our Southern Baptist family is traveling. It is a road that is twisting what God’s Word is saying about things like human sexuality, biblical racial reconciliation, and socialistic justice.”

(Pulpit & Pen)  Southern Baptist leaders most responsible for the liberal drift in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) – chiefly Albert Mohler and Danny Akin, presidents of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary respectively – claim there is no liberal drift in the denomination. Meanwhile, both seminaries have sold out to the leftist ideologies of Critical Race Theory, Cultural Marxism, and progressive Social Justice.

This year’s pastors conference will feature numerous speakers who have female pastors in their church and will include at least one female pastor herself. Beth Moore, who has come out of the closet as a gay-friendly feminist, was recently lauded as a possible next president of the Convention by denominational heavy hitters (this year’s honor will go to Mohler instead). The SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has done everything possible to redefine “pro-life” to include socialist welfare programspoverty eradicationgun control, and amnesty for illegal aliens, and its army of “research fellows” are doing everything possible to keep evangelicals from voting Republican. Meanwhile, the ERLC has been almost completely silent on pro-life legislation that zoomed through the legislatures in 2019. In fact, the ERLC told us not to preach about abortion from the pulpit. The ERLC and SBC president JD Greear have been using an Obama staffer and Democrat campaign staffer to lecture Southern Baptists against voting Republican. JD Greear also told us to use preferred gender pronounsView article →


Albert Mohler


Progressive (Social Justice) “Christianity”

via They’ve Had Enough: Conservative Baptists Form A Group To Fight Liberal Drift — Christian Research Network

Saturday Sampler: February 9 — February 15 — The Outspoken TULIP

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Mike Ratliff encourages us to maintain Sanctified Minds and Bodies in his blog, Possessing the Treasure.  It saddens me that some professing Christians buy into the lie that God doesn’t enforce His prohibition against sexual license.

According to Leslie A of Growing 4 Life, the tsunami of apostasy has hit. Her View from a Palm Tree is discouraging on the one hand. On the other hand, it gives wonderful encouragement to weary Christians. Please make her blog post a high priority on your reading list.

In a post for 9 Marks, Ed Moore lists 10 Flavors of Works-Based Salvation for us to ponder.  Some of these pitfalls ensnare evangelicals (who really ought to know better). Are you trusting in any of these subtle ways of ensuring that God will accept you? HT to Tim Challies for highlighting this piece.

I’m including a second item by Mike Ratliff because it reinforces some of the thoughts I’ve been having this week. The Throne in Heaven, the Scroll, and the Lamb accentuates God’s holiness in light of eschatology. You might want to take a look at this one.

You’ll enjoy Elizabeth Prata’s thoughts in The End Time on The Amazing Natural World that God created. Since giraffes are my favorite animals, I particularly love her section on how the construction of their necks defies evolution. The entire piece is absolutely magnificent — well worth your attention.

Bucking the pressure to  bad-mouth social media, Throwback Thursday ~ 9 Ways Social Media is a Blessing to Believers by Michelle Lesley discusses the upside of online activity. Having met my husband online, I firmly agree with Michelle that social media is merely a tool. Read her blog post to discover how we can use this tool to glorify God.

Writing for Knowable Word, Peter Krol always helps us understand how Scripture fits together. His article, Context Matters: Always Prepared to Make a Defense, examines a verse that discernment and apologetics bloggers often cite as a mission statement. Is that a legitimate application? You’ll only find out by reading Krol’s post.

Justin Bullington writes The Ugly Business Of Politics And The Trinitarian Hope of Romans 1:1-6 for Things Above Us as a reminder of where our focus needs to stay during this election season. His refreshing perspective shouldn’t escape your notice.

via Saturday Sampler: February 9 — February 15 — The Outspoken TULIP

February 15, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Purpose of Christian Freedom

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God. (10:31–32)

The purpose of using our liberty carefully and selflessly is to glorify God. The idea of eating and drinking is in the context of things offered to idols, but is not limited to that. Paul is saying that even in the most mundane, routine, nonspiritual things of life, like ordinary eating and drinking, God is to be glorified. His glory is to be our life commitment. It is the purpose of our whole life, which now belongs to the Lord because we have been “bought with a price” (1 Cor. 7:23). Not only when we eat or drink but in whatever [we] do we should do all to the glory of God. (For further material on glorifying God, see the opening section of this chapter.)

A person either lives a life that honors God or that dishonors Him. God’s own people had become such a reproach to Him that He allowed Israel to be conquered and exiled by Assyria in 722 b.c. and Judah to be conquered and exiled by Babylonia in 586. Those conquests, however, at first caused His name to suffer even more reproach, because the heathen nations around Israel and Judah were saying that Jehovah God was not strong enough even to save His own people. Through His prophet Ezekiel, who himself had been taken captive to Babylon, God promised that He would deliver and regather His people. But the purpose would be primarily to “vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord” (Ezek. 36:23). God’s glory is His supreme concern and should also be our supreme concern.

God is dishonored when anyone sins, but He is especially dishonored when His own people sin. Because he has specially honored us by His forgiving grace, we specially dishonor Him by our sin. When in justice He is forced to chastise us, He is further dishonored by unbelievers, who charge, as did the nations around Israel and Judah, that He does not even take care of His own people. Sin of any sort takes glory from God.

In the same way God is specially honored and glorified when His people are faithful and obedient. Just as our sin reflects against His honor, so our loving obedience reflects to His honor. When we resist and forsake sin we glorify our heavenly Father. And when we willingly use our Christian liberty for His sake and for the sake of His other children, we glorify Him still more.

Our living should be so righteous, loving, and selfless that we give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God. Those three groups cover all of humanity. No action of ours should prevent an unbeliever, whether Jew or Gentile, from coming to Christ (cf. Acts 15:20–29), or should cause a weak brother in Christ to stumble (1 Pet. 2:11–19). That many people are offended by the gospel is their problem, but when they are needlessly offended by our way of living, that is our problem; and it dishonors the Lord. The term aproskopos, here translated give no offense, is rendered as “be … blameless” in Philippians 1:10.[1]

31 Paul is now ready to summarize this entire three-chapter unit (chs. 8–10). His “therefore” here is intended to draw his discussion on the food issue to a conclusion. As a general principle, believers should do everything “for the glory of God”—and Paul particularly mentions here (understandably) eating and drinking. To do something for the glory of God means to reflect God’s glory in the way we live. When others look at us and how we live our lives, they should be able to see that the standards we live by are different from those of the pagan world around us. They should be able to see Jesus living in us. Paul deals with this concept in more explicit detail in 2 Corinthians 3:18–4:6, 15–18 (see comments on those verses in this volume).[2]

31–32 With this set of imperatives, which are joined to what precedes by an inferential “therefore,” Paul begins to bring closure to the long argument of chaps. 8–10, and especially of 10:23–11:1. He is currently addressing the question of conduct in nonessential matters, which began with the overarching principle that the Christian does not seek her/his own good but that of one’s neighbor (vv. 23–24). But that must not be construed as eliminating personal freedom. Using the concrete example of marketplace food, he insists on freedom in these matters, which have nothing to do with Christian conscience. The blessing offered at one’s meal, predicated on God’s prior ownership of all things, means that no fellow Christian may condemn another on this question. “Therefore,” he now concludes in light of both vv. 23–24 and 25–30, two imperatives must control Christian behavior on such questions. First, everything must be to the glory of God (v. 31), and second, one must give no offense to anyone—Jew, pagan, or fellow believer (v. 32). V. 31 thus picks up the theme of freedom and gives it focus; v. 32 picks up the theme of the legitimate limitation of freedom in terms of the effect of one’s behavior on others.

The protasis of the first imperative begins by picking up the concrete example of eating, to which is added its companion, drinking, and which is finally expanded to include all such activities, “whatever you do.” This could possibly refer to the forbearance of v. 28;  more likely it broadens the perspective to include all imaginable adiaphora. All such things must finally be “for the glory of God.” This seems in particular to pick up on the theme of “thanksgiving” in v. 30, that God is to be blessed because everything is his and thus to his glory; but it also broadens the perspective. One’s whole life must be to God’s glory, not merely that part which is involved in the acknowledgment of his prior ownership of all things through the thanksgiving. Certainly Paul intends that this “rule” dictate the appropriateness of behavior as well. What is not, or cannot be, for God’s glory probably should be excluded from “whatever you do.”

As v. 33 makes clear, the second imperative brings the instruction back to the concerns of vv. 23–24, although that concern is now expressed more negatively: “Do not give offense either to Jews, or Greeks, or the church of God.” At first blush this would seem to render ineffective the preceding instruction on personal freedom. How can one live so as not to offend someone from one of these categories? Paul’s point of course is related to behavior that is intentional. That is, with regard to “eating, drinking, etc.” one is not purposely to pursue a path that is to the detriment of another. To “give offense,” therefore, does not so much mean to “hurt someone’s feelings” as to behave in such a way as to prevent someone else from hearing the gospel, or to alienate someone who is already a brother or sister.65 The categories are intentionally inclusive, and echo the language of 9:20–22. As the next two verses imply, he is here calling on them to follow his example, the example already spelled out in his earlier “defense.” Thus he is urging on them the very conduct for which they were judging him: to the Jew as a Jew, to the Greek as a Greek, and to the church of God68 as loving a brother or sister.

Hence “freedom” does not mean that one does whatever one wishes with no regard for others; nor do the limits on freedom suggested here mean that another’s conscience dictates conduct. To the contrary, everything is for God’s glory and for the sake of the gospel, that is, for the good of all, which from Paul’s point of view means that they might be saved (v. 33). That raises both concerns above mere “rules of conduct.” Eating and drinking are irrelevant; the one who insists on the right to eat and drink is thereby making it significant. On the other hand, because it is irrelevant, one can use such freedom to forbear when necessary for the sake of the gospel.[3]

10:31 / The statement begins with the Gk. word oun, “therefore,” a stronger and more formal inferential particle than is suggested by the niv’s rendering, So.… Paul uses oun seldom and deliberately in this particular epistle (Fee, Epistle, p. 487). Conzelmann rightly observes the importance of this statement and summarizes Paul’s argument poignantly:

In a style characteristic of Paul (eite … eite, “whether … or”), freedom is declared: the criterion lies outside myself. It is an objective and at the same time also a historic criterion: the glory of God. Oun, “so,” indicates the conclusion to be drawn from the now established possibility of freedom of action. (p. 179)[4]

31. Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God.

In these concluding remarks, Paul utters the same sentiments he writes more expansively in one of his prison Epistles, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17). Paul exhorts the Corinthians to live their lives for God’s glory; to be positive without being offensive; and even in the daily activity of eating and drinking to exalt God’s goodness and grace.

We are unable to glorify God unless our lives are in harmony with him and his precepts. Nothing in our conduct should obstruct God’s glory from being reflected in us. That is, in everything we do and say, no matter how insignificant, the world should be able to see that we are God’s people. Exalting God’s glory ought to be our chief purpose in this earthly life (compare 1 Peter 4:11).[5]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (pp. 248–249). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 349). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Fee, G. D. (1987). The First Epistle to the Corinthians (pp. 487–489). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (p. 220). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, p. 358). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.