Thursday, September 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
To all of the REFORMED Community Keep this church plant in your prayers and give them all the support they need I lived in East harlem for 38 years -so I know what they are up againest and add the urban renewal which is driving away their target group of hispanics and african americans and the obscene rents charged now for church space....
Monday, August 10, 2009
And it makes you wonder when they say a baby will not survive the birth-and they perform a abortion-this should give them second thoughts.... For it is God Who has the final word......
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39"'See now that(A) I, even I, am he,
and there is no god beside me;
(B) I kill and I make alive;
(C) I wound and I heal;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
A.Deuteronomy 32:39 : Isa 41:4; 48:12
B.Deuteronomy 32:39 : 1 Sam 2:6; 2 Kgs 5:7
C.Deuteronomy 32:39 : Job 5:18; Hos 6:1
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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5Since his(A) days are determined,
and(B) the number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
A.Job 14:5 : Job 7:1; Psalm 39:4
B.Job 14:5 : Job 21:21
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
10Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
17Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them.
2 Timothy 3:6
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,
2 Peter 2:3
3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
2 Peter 2:18
18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.
14Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.
20Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Are Those Who Die in Infancy Saved?Sam Storms
Nov 6, 2006
Series: Controversial Issues
If human nature is corrupt and guilty from conception, the consequence of Adam's transgression, are those who die in infancy lost? The same question would apply to those who live beyond infancy but because of mental retardation or some other handicap are incapable of moral discernment, deliberation, or volition.
This is more than a theoretical issue designed for our speculation and curiosity. It touches one of the most emotionally and spiritually unsettling experiences in all of life: the loss of a young child.
I was first confronted with this issue on a personal level in the late 1970s. I received a phone call from a family in our church which had just experienced the premature birth of twin girls. Upon arriving at the hospital I was informed that one of the girls had died. I never anticipated the question that came my way as I walked into the room of the grieving mother: "Sam, is my baby in heaven?" A few years later the young child of a good friend was killed in a car accident. The parents asked me to perform the funeral, once again putting me in the position of having to think through and articulate in a biblical and compassionate way what I believed about the eternal destiny of their child. So, what conclusion did I reach? Let's take a look at the variety of options that have been suggested.
(1) The sinlessness of infants - One view insists that those dying in infancy are saved for the simple reason that there is nothing in them or done by them that merits condemnation. In other words, they are born in a state of moral neutrality or moral equilibrium. They do not possess a sin nature nor are they corrupt. They are, in a word, characterless. They lack moral standing. There is nothing in their souls that is properly the object of divine judgment. Hence all dying in that state are saved for no other reason than that they are not condemnable. Several texts would seem to contradict this view, among them Pss. 51:5; 58:3; Prov. 22:15; Gen. 8:21; Job 15:14-16; Eph. 2:3.
(2) Universalism - Another viewpoint simply asserts that all will be saved, inclusive of those dying in infancy. None will suffer eternal condemnation. God's saving grace extends effectually to the entire human race. Again, countless texts could be cited to disprove this idea, among them Mt. 7:13-14, 21-23; 8:11-12; 10:28; 13:37-42; Luke 16:23-28; 2 Thess. 1:9; Jude 6; Rev. 14:10-11; 20:11-15.
(3) Post-Mortem Salvation - Based on a certain interpretation of 1 Peter 3:18-19 and 4:6, it is asserted that those who die without having the opportunity to hear the gospel of Christ and make a cognitively and morally informed decision will be granted a "second chance" (it is, in fact, a "first" chance if they never had a legitimate opportunity in this life). As for infants in particular, it is said that God will bring them to a state in which they are sufficiently mature to understand and choose responsibly.
There are several problems with this view.
First, how can they be brought into a state of maturity by God without the influence of parents, education, peers, experience, etc. which contribute to our own intellectual and spiritual framework and on the basis of which we ourselves make an informed choice? Would they be brought into a state of moral equilibrium, having had no history of personal sin that has so decisively shaped who we are? If God is the one who somehow directly educates and nurtures them, has he not then prejudiced their minds/wills in a way that is altogether different from the way we are educated and nurtured? The problems associated with this are innumerable.
Second, the two texts on which they base their view say nothing about post-mortem evangelism for either those dying in infancy or pagans who never hear the name of Jesus. I will address both these texts in a future installment of Deciphering Difficult Texts.
Third, from a pastoral point of view, this theory does nothing to ease the anxieties of parents who want to know if their baby is in heaven. For there is no guarantee, on this view, that even if given an opportunity after death that they will respond in faith.
(4) Infant Salvation via Infant Baptism - Certain traditions within Christianity have affirmed baptismal regeneration, according to which the waters of baptism are used by God to effect the regeneration, spiritual cleansing, and forgiveness of the infant. Needless to say, this view is only as cogent as is the case for baptismal regeneration, and the case for the latter is poor. In addition, it fails to address the question of what happens to the vast majority of infants in the history of the world who died without the benefit of Christian baptism.
(5) The Roman Catholic Concept of "Limbo" - The Roman Catholic Church has acknowledged the possibility of a state of natural blessedness or happiness in which unbaptized infants experience a form of eternal peace but not the consummate joy of heaven itself. Rome has neither formally affirmed nor denied this teaching.
(6) Salvation of the Infants of Believing Parents - Others have appealed to 1 Cor. 7:14-16 to argue that the infants or children of a believing parent or parents are, for that reason, granted special salvific privilege in the kingdom of God. Again, this view is only as cogent as is that particular interpretation of 1 Cor. 7.
(7) Elect Infants are Saved - Another view advocated by some Reformed theologians is that some who die in infancy are elect, and therefore saved, while others are non-elect, and therefore condemned.
(8) All those dying in Infancy are Elect - The view that I embrace is that all those dying in infancy, as well as those so mentally incapacitated that they are incapable of making an informed choice, are among the elect of God chosen by him for salvation before the world began. The evidence for this view is scant, but significant.
First, in Romans 1:20 Paul describes people who are recipients of general revelation as being 'without excuse.' Does this imply that those who are not recipients of general revelation (i.e., infants) are therefore not accountable to God or subject to wrath? In other words, those who die in infancy have an "excuse" in that they neither receive general revelation nor have the capacity to respond to it.
Second, there are texts which appear to assert or imply that infants do not know good or evil and hence lack the capacity to make morally informed and thus responsible choices. According to Deut. 1:39 they are said to 'have no knowledge of good or evil.' This in itself, however, would not prove infant salvation, for they may still be held liable for the sin of Adam.
Third, is the story of David's son in 2 Sam. 12:15-23 (esp. v. 23). The first-born child of David and Bathsheba was struck by the Lord and died. In the seven days before his death, David fasted and prayed, hoping that "the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live" (v. 22). Following his death, David washed himself, ate food, and worshipped (v. 20). When asked why he responded in this way, he said that the child "has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me" (v. 23). What does it mean when David says "I shall go to him?" If this is merely a reference to the grave or death, in the sense that David, too, shall one day die and be buried, one wonders why he would say something so patently obvious! Also, it appears that David draws some measure of comfort from knowing that he will "go to him." It is the reason why David resumes the normal routine of life. It appears to be the reason David ceases from the outward display of grief. It appears to be a truth from which David derives comfort and encouragement. How could any of this be true if David will simply die like his son. It would, therefore, appear that David believed he would be reunited with his deceased infant. Does this imply that at least this one particular infant was saved? Perhaps. But if so, are we justified in constructing a doctrine in which we affirm the salvation of all who die in infancy?
Fourth, there is consistent testimony of Scripture that people are judged on the basis of sins voluntary and consciously committed in the body. See 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Rev. 20:11-12. In other words, eternal judgment is always based on conscious rejection of divine revelation (whether in creation, conscience, or Christ) and willful disobedience. Are infants capable of either? There is no explicit account in Scripture of any other judgment based on any other grounds. Thus, those dying in infancy are saved because they do not (cannot) satisfy the conditions for divine judgment.
Fifth, and related to the above point, is what R. A. Webb states. If a deceased infant
"were sent to hell on no other account than that of original sin, there would be a good reason to the divine mind for the judgment, but the child's mind would be a perfect blank as to the reason of its suffering. Under such circumstances, it would know suffering, but it would have no understanding of the reason for its suffering. It could not tell its neighbor - it could not tell itself - why it was so awfully smitten; and consequently the whole meaning and significance of its sufferings, being to it a conscious enigma, the very essence of penalty would be absent, and justice would be disappointed of its vindication. Such an infant could feel that it was in hell, but it could not explain, to its own conscience, why it was there" (The Theology of Infant Salvation [Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1981], 288-89).
Sixth, we have what would appear to be clear biblical evidence that at least some infants are regenerate in the womb, such that if they had died in their infancy they would be saved. This at least provides a theoretical basis for considering whether the same may be true of all who die in infancy. That is to say, "if this sort of thing happens even once, it can certainly happen in other cases" (Ronald Nash, When a Baby Dies [Zondervan, 1999], 65). These texts include Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:15.
Seventh, some have appealed to Matthew 19:13-15 (Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17) where Jesus declares, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.' Is Jesus simply saying that if one wishes to be saved he/she must be as trusting as children, i.e., devoid of skepticism and arrogance? In other words, is Jesus merely describing the kind of people who enter the kingdom? Or is he saying that these very children were recipients of saving grace? But if the latter were true, it would seem to imply that Jesus knew that the children whom he was then receiving would all die in their infancy. Is that credible?
Eighth, Millard Erickson argues for the salvation of deceased infants in an unusual way. He argues that notwithstanding Adam's sin, there must be a conscious and voluntary decision on our part to embrace or ratify it. Until such is the case, the imputation of Adam's sin to his physical posterity, as is also true of the imputation of Christ's righteousness to his spiritual posterity, is conditional. Thus, prior to reaching the "age of accountability" all infants are innocent. When and in what way does this ratification of Adam's sin come about? Erickson explains:
"We become responsible and guilty when we accept or approve of our corrupt nature. There is a time in the life of each one of us when we become aware of our own tendency toward sin. At that point we may abhor the sinful nature that has been there all the time. We would in that case repent of it and might even, if there is an awareness of the gospel, ask God for forgiveness and cleansing. . . . But if we acquiesce in that sinful nature, we are in effect saying that it is good. In placing our tacit approval upon the corruption, we are also approving or concurring in the action in the Garden of Eden so long ago. We become guilty of that sin without having to commit a sin of our own" (Christian Theology, 2:639).
But there are at least two problems with this. First, if we are born with a corrupt and sinful nature, as Erickson concedes we are, our willing ratification of Adam's transgression and the guilt and corruption of nature which are its effects is itself an inevitable effect of the corrupt nature to which we are now ostensibly giving our approval. In other words, how else could a person who is born corrupt and wicked respond but in a corrupt and wicked way, namely, by ratifying Adam's sin? If Erickson should suggest that such a response is not inevitable, one can only wonder why it is that every single human being who ever lived (except Jesus) ratifies and embraces the sin of Adam and its resultant corruption of nature. Surely someone, somewhere would have said No. Erickson would have to argue that at the point when each soul becomes morally accountable it enters a state of complete moral and spiritual equilibrium, in no way biased by the corruption of nature and wicked disposition with which it was born. But that leads to the second problem, for it would mean that each of us experiences our own Garden of Eden, as it were. Each human soul stands its own probation at the moment the age of moral accountability is reached. But if that is so, what is the point of trying to retain any connection at all between what Adam did and who/what we are? If ultimately I become corrupt by my own first choice, what need is there of Adam? And if I am corrupt antecedent to that first choice, we are back to square one: my guilt and corruption inherited from Adam, the penal consequence of his choice as the head and representative of the race.
Ninth, an argument that is entirely subjective in nature (and therefore of questionable evidential value) may be noted. We must ask the question: Given our understanding of the character of God as presented in Scripture, does He appear as the kind of God who would eternally condemn infants on no other ground than that of Adam's transgression? Admittedly, this is a subjective (and perhaps sentimental) question. But it deserves an answer, nonetheless.
Personally speaking, I find the first, third, fourth, fifth, and ninth points convincing. Therefore, I do believe in the salvation of those dying in infancy. I affirm their salvation, however, neither because they are innocent nor because they have merited God's forgiveness but solely because God has sovereignly chosen them for eternal life, regenerated their souls, and applied the saving benefits of the blood of Christ to them apart from conscious faith.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Teen Cheyenne Cherry taunts animal activists after guilty plea for killing kitten in oven
BY Dorian Block
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Updated Thursday, July 16th 2009, 9:08 AM
Lombard for News
Animal lovers gathered across the street of the Bronx Supreme Court.
Young Tiger Lily
Take our PollPet Justice
Kitten killer Cheyenne Cherry can't own a pet for three years. Is that long enough?
No, she should be banned from ever owning a pet, period.
Yes, by then perhaps she'll learn to have compassion for animals.
Teen who burned cat in oven busted in '08 in armed dog-napping: cops
Here's evil teen who tossed cat in the oven
Wave of cat mutilations grips South Florida
A heartless kitty killer hissed angrily at animal rights activists Wednesday, grinning widely as she took credit for stuffing the helpless pet into a 500-degree oven.
"It's dead, *****!" snapped an unrepentant Cheyenne Cherry, sticking her tongue out after a plea bargain that will put her behind bars for a year in the May 6 killing of tiny Tiger Lily.
Cherry, 17, was confronted after her guilty plea in Bronx Supreme Court to charges of animal cruelty and attempted burglary in the May 6 killing at her former roommate's apartment.
Tiger Lily was left to die inside the blistering oven after Cherry and a 14-year-old friend trashed the apartment of Valerie Hernandez, destroying furniture before stealing DVDs and food.
After her arrest, Cherry told police the cat killing was "just a joke."
In court Wednesday, Cherry admitted to Judge Margaret Clancy that the younger girl put the cat in the oven - and "I didn't let the cat out."
The pair fled the apartment because they didn't want to hear the dying cat's cries or desperate scratching at the oven door, authorities said.
The second girl is facing trial in Family Court because of her age. Prosecutor Jennifer Troiano said Cherry was granted a plea deal because her cohort was "more culpable" for the crimes.
Under the agreement, Cherry pleaded guilty to two charges in a six-count indictment. She waived her right to appeal and agreed not to keep a pet for the next three years. Cherry, jailed on a probation violation, faces formal sentencing July 31.
As she exited the courtroom, she passed a row of animal rights activists outraged by her crime.
"Justice for Tiger Lily," read one sign held by the demonstrators.
Sharon Tuerlings, 43, of Levittown, L.I., extended both her middle fingers and kissed them. Cherry grinned widely, stuck out her tongue and responded with her profane retort.
Cherry is not new to animal crimes.
She was busted last year for using a BB gun to dog-nap a teacup Yorkie with her boyfriend. She was also arrested for robbing a man of his iPod at gunpoint.
The dozen animal lovers who attended the hearing said they represented more than 20,000 people who signed an online petition supporting harsh punishment for Cherry.
They were thrilled by the deal that guaranteed Cherry would do time for the cruel killing. "She is dangerous," said Brooklyn cat owner Josie Marrero. "A very dangerous young lady."
Tuerlings said she wanted to get a glimpse of the monster behind the cat execution. "It felt so good to look at her ugly face," she said. "Those evil eyes that she has."
This is what happens in a society where life becomes cheaper each passing day--when leave children without a firm moral framework to fall on and build upon.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Idols are the walmarts(that keeps us coming back for its sales and cheap prices) that sin uses to package,market and sell to our mind,life and heart from the good things of God and things contary to God...............
for jesus in my shower click here:
The Bible has a lot to say about this:6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
8 The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.
Jeremiah 5:4/10:1-5 Therefore I said, "Surely these are poor, they are foolish; for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.
1-5 Listen to the Message that God is sending your way, House of Israel. Listen most carefully:
"Don't take the godless nations as your models. Don't be impressed by their glamour and glitz, no matter how much they're impressed.The religion of these peoples is nothing but smoke.An idol is nothing but a tree chopped down, then shaped by a woodsman's ax.They trim it with tinsel and balls, use hammer and nails to keep it upright.It's like a scarecrow in a cabbage patch—can't talk! Dead wood that has to be carried—can't walk!Don't be impressed by such stuff. It's useless for either good or evil."
deuteronomy 4:28 and ye have served there gods, work of man's hands, wood and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.
Isaiah 45.20 20Be gathered, and come in, Come nigh together, ye escaped of the nations, They have not known, Who are lifting up the wood of their graven image, And praying unto a god [that] saveth not.
Romans 1:18 -25 18-23But God's angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
24-25So God said, in effect, "If that's what you want, that's what you get." It wasn't long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
1 timothy 1:4/4:7 4nor to pay attention to (A)myths and endless (B)genealogies, which give rise to mere (C)speculation rather than (D)furthering the administration of God which is by faith.
7But have nothing to do with (A)worldly (B)fables fit only for old women On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of (C)godliness
2 timothy 4:4 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned toward fables.
titus 1:14 14[And may show their soundness by] ceasing to give attention to Jewish myths and fables or to rules [laid down] by [mere] men who reject and turn their backs on the Truth.
9 They that fashion a graven image are all of them vanity; and the things that they delight in shall not profit; and their own witnesses see not, nor know: that they may be put to shame.
10 Who hath fashioned a god, or molten an image that is profitable for nothing?
11 Behold, all his fellows shall be put to shame; and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; they shall fear, they shall be put to shame together.
12 The smith maketh an axe, and worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with his strong arm: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth; he drinketh no water, and is faint.
EVERYTHING IN CREATION POINTS TO GOD-YET WE SHOULD NOT USE CREATION AS A FALSE GOD TO WORSHIP-BUT LET CREATION POINT US TO CHRIST AND HIS WORD....
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
While the organization I manage, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, has no official position on reproductive choice, I can't help but note how absurd it is for a state official who claims to care so much about the life of children in wombs to oppose a program that, by improving the nutrition of children who are born, reduces the likelihood that they will die early from diet-related causes.
In a recent column, Davis opined: "Some people say we should be satisfied in life with half-a-loaf. But when the issue itself is protecting innocent life, it is ludicrous to ask if we would mind compromising our basic core values." Yet when it comes to another basic value -- that of ensuring that those children, once born, deserve the nutrition necessary for a healthy life -- she seems to be for far more than compromising, she seems to be for eradicating that value entirely.
Davis proudly touts her religious convictions, but ignores that fighting hunger is a central tenet of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and virtually every other religious faith.
She denies that she has ever seen hunger in her district but, in 2008, the St. Louis Food Area Food Bank had to distribute an amazing 689,929 pounds of food to food pantries and soup kitchens, most of which were surely faith-based, in her home county of St. Charles.
Also in that county, according to federal statistics, one in 12 people, and one in ten children live in homes that can't afford enough food. (Missouri Hunger Atlas.)
If she hasn't seen hunger, it is only because she has her eyes closed. (And keep in mind that St. Charles County, a nice suburb of St. Louis, has far less poverty and hunger than many parts of Missouri.)
Rep. Davis cited the success of charities in the response to Hurricane Katrina, but seems wholly ignorant that the vast majority of food relief provided after the hurricane was government food, either in the form of USDA commodities or through the Disaster Food Stamp Program.
She claims that the existence of the Summer Meals Program funded by government is somehow an implicit criticism of the job that parents do raising their children. That's nonsense. The program is simply an acknowledgement that many families simply don't earn enough to buy their children enough meals during summer, when their children no longer get free meals at school. If anything, the need for the program should be seen as a criticism of elected officials such as Rep. Davis who stand idly by as government and economic policies make American children increasingly hungry.
Rep. Davis claims that a nation that has so much obesity can't have hunger, but as I prove conclusively in my book All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America?, obesity and hunger are flip sides of the same malnutrition coin.
Unfortunately, Rep. Davis's extreme claims are only the tip of the iceberg of a whole Right-wing cottage industry of hunger and poverty denial. Right-wing think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute are hard at work every day generating propaganda to dismiss or deny hunger and poverty. No matter how many times they are proven demonstrably wrong, they never seem to lose credibility -- at least in the world of Right-wing political zealots.
Perhaps most disturbing, Rep. Davis is Chair of the Special Committee on Children and Families and Chair of the Interim Committee on Poverty. I don't suppose the poverty committee is only an interim committee because they have a serious plan to wipe it out.
Davis claims to decry government programs, while taking home a government salary in excess of $31,351 a year for a part-time job. If Ms. Davis really thinks that "hunger can be a positive motivator," perhaps she should give back her salary and, after she runs out of money to buy food, go on a hunger strike to determine whether that gives her more motivation to get the Legislature to do more productive work.
Perhaps she should further demonstrate her anti-government credentials by refusing to drive on any roads built by government and only take roads privately built by churches. She wouldn't get very far.
Matthew 25:35-37 (English Standard Version)
35For(A) I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you(B) gave me drink,(C) I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36(D) I was naked and you clothed me,(E) I was sick and you(F) visited me,(G) I was in prison and you came to me.' 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, (a) am not my own, (b) but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; (c) who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, (d) and delivered me from all the power of the devil; (e) and so preserves me (f) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; (g) yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, (h) and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, (i) and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. (j)
(a) Rom.14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. Rom.14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. (b) 1 Cor.6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (c) 1 Cor.3:23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. Tit.2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (d) 1 Pet.1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 1 Pet.1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. (e) Heb.2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. John 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (f) John 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 2 Thess.3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 1 Pet.1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (g) Matt.10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Matt.10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matt.10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish. (h) Rom.8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (i) 2 Cor.1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Cor.1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 2 Cor.1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 2 Cor.5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Eph.1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Eph.1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Rom.8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (j) Rom.8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Question 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?
Answer: Three; (a) the first, how great my sins and miseries are; (b) the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; (c) the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance. (d)
(a) Matt.11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt.11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matt.11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 1 Cor.6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Tit.3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. Tit.3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Tit.3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Tit.3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; Tit.3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (b) John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. (c) John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 10:43 To him (Jesus) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (d) Eph.5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Eph.5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Eph.5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. Eph.5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 1 Pet.2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1 Pet.2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Rom.6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Rom.6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Rom.6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Rom.6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
The First Part - Of The Misery Of Man
2. Lord's Day
Question 3. Whence knowest thou thy misery?
Answer: Out of the law of God. (a)
(a) Rom.3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Question 4. What does the law of God require of us?
Answer: Christ teaches us that briefly, Matt. 22:37-40, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (a)
(a) Deut.6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Lev.19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Question 5. Canst thou keep all these things perfectly?
Answer: In no wise; (a) for I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbour.(b)
(a) Rom.3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Rom.3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Rom.3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (b) Rom.8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Eph.2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Tit.3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. Gen.6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gen.8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. Jer.17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Rom.7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
WESTMINSTER LARGER CATECHISM
WITH PROOF TEXTS
Q.1-50 Q.51-90 Q.91-150 Q.151-196 EXIT
Q. 1. What is the chief and highest end of man?
A. Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.
Q. 2. How doth it appear that there is a God?
A. The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God; but his word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually reveal him unto men for their salvation.
Q. 3. What is the Word of God?
A. The holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.
Q. 4. How doth it appear that the Scriptures are of the Word of God?
A. The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty and purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God.
Q. 5. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.
WHAT MAN OUGHT TO BELIEVE CONCERNING GOD.
Q. 6. What do the Scriptures make known of God?
A. The Scriptures make known what God is, the persons in the Godhead, his decrees, and the execution of his decrees.
Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, every where present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
Q. 8. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is but one only, the living and true God.
Q. 9. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A. There be three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties.
Q. 10. What are the personal properties of the three persons in the Godhead?
A. It is proper to the Father to beget the Son, and to the Son to be begotten of the Father, and to the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father and the Son from all eternity.
Q. 11. How doth it appear that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father?
A. The Scriptures manifest that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father, ascribing unto them such names, attributes, works, and worship, as are proper to God only.
Hebrews 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 1 John 5:7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
 Acts 15:14-15, 18. Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written.... Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
 Acts 4:27-28. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
 John 4:24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
 Exodus 3:14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Job 11:7-9. Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
 Acts 7:2. And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran.
 1 Timothy 6:15. Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
 Matthew 5:48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
 Genesis 17:1. And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
 Psalm 90:2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
 Malachi 3:6. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
 1 Kings 8:27. But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?
 Psalm 139:1-13. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
 Revelation 4:8. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
 Hebrews 4:13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Psalm 147:5. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
 Romans 16:27. To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
 Isaiah 6:3. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. Revelation 15:4. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
 Deuteronomy 32:4. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 Exodus 34:6. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
 Deuteronomy 6:4. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD. 1 Corinthians 8:4, 6. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.... But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Jeremiah 10:10. But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
 1 John 5:7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Matthew 3:16-17. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 2 Corinthians 13:14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. John 10:30. I and my Father are one.
 Hebrews 1:5-6, 8. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.... But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
1 can chicken broth 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast ≤ cup salsa, plus more for garnish 1 tsp. ground cumin ∏ tsp. dried oregano 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, plus more for garnish π cup finely chopped green onion with tops, plus more for garnish 6 flour tortillas (6 to 8 inches wide) Vegetable oil Sour cream Shredded lettuce
In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, pour broth, then add 1 can water and bring to boil. Add chicken, reduce heat and simmer 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool in poaching liquid, about 15 to 30 minutes. Shred chicken using two forks. In large bowl, combine chicken, salsa, cumin, oregano, cheese and onions, then divide into six portions. Place one portion filling in center of tortilla; fold left and right sides of tortilla over filling, then fold tops and bottoms over sides to form square, securing with toothpick if necessary. Repeat for remaining tortillas. In large, deep skillet, heat 2 inches vegetable oil. Place tortillas seam side down in skillet. Deep-fry on each side until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Fry in two batches if necessary so as not to crowd skillet. Garnish with cheese, green onions, salsa and lettuce, if desired.
As you are likely to be engaged in controversy, and your love of truth is joined with natural warmth of temper, my friendship makes me solicitous on your behalf. You are of the strongest side; for truth is great, and must prevail; so that a person of abilities inferior to yours might take the field with a confidence of victory. I am not therefore anxious for the outcome of the battle; but I would have you more than a conqueror, and to triumph, not only over your adversary, but also over yourself. If you cannot be vanquished, you may be wounded. To preserve you from such wounds as might give you cause of weeping over your conquests, I would present you with some considerations, which, if duly attended to, will do you the service of a great coat of armor; such armor, that you need not complain, as David did of Saul’s, that it will be more cumbersome than useful; for you will easily perceive that it is taken from that great armory provided for the Christian soldier—the Word of God. I take it for granted that you will not expect any apology for my freedom, and therefore I shall not offer one. For methods sake, I may reduce my advice to three heads, respecting your opponent, the public, and yourself.
1. As to your opponent, I wish that before you set pen to paper against him, and during the whole time you are preparing your answer, you may commend him by earnest prayer to the Lord’s teaching and blessing. This practice will have a direct tendency to conciliate your heart to love and pity him; and such a disposition will have a good influence upon every page you write.
If you account him as a BELIEVER, though greatly mistaken in the subject of debate between you, the words of David to Joab concerning Absalom, are very applicable: "Deal gently with him for my sake." The Lord loves him and bears with him; therefore you must not despise him, or treat him harshly! The Lord bears with you likewise, and expects that you should show tenderness to others—from a sense of the much forgiveness you need yourself. In a little while you will meet in heaven—he will then be dearer to you than the nearest friend you have upon earth is to you now! Anticipate that period in your thoughts, and though you may find it necessary to oppose his errors, view him personally as a kindred soul, with whom you are to be happy in Christ forever.
But if you look upon him as an UNCONVERTED person, in a state of enmity against God and his grace (a supposition which, without good evidence, you should be very unwilling to admit), he is a more proper object of your compassion than of your anger! Alas! "He knows not what he does!" But you know who has made you to differ from him. If God, in his sovereign pleasure, had so appointed, you might have been as he is now; and he, instead of you, might have been set for the defense of the gospel! You were both equally blind by nature. If you attend to this, you will not reproach or hate him, because the Lord has been pleased to open your eyes—and not his!
Of all people who engage in controversy, we, who are called Calvinists, are most expressly bound by our own principles, to the exercise of gentleness and compassion. If, indeed, those who differ from us have a power of changing themselves, if they can open their own eyes, and soften their own hearts—then we might with less inconsistency be offended at their obstinacy! But if we believe the very contrary to this, our part is not to argue, but in meekness to "gently teach those who oppose the truth—if perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth."
If you write with a desire of being an instrument of correcting mistakes, you will of course be cautious of laying stumbling blocks in the way of the blind, or of using any expressions which may exasperate their passions, or confirm them in their false principles, (humanly speaking).
2. By PRINTING your article, you will appeal to the PUBLIC—where your readers may be ranged under three divisions:
First, such as differ from you in principle. Concerning these I may refer you to what I have already said. Though you have your eye upon one person chiefly—there are many like-minded with him; and the same reasoning will hold, whether as to one or to a million.
There will be likewise many who pay too little regard to true religion, who have no settled system of their own, and yet are biased in favor of those sentiments which are at least repugnant to the good opinion they naturally have of themselves. These are very incompetent judges of doctrine; but they can form a tolerable judgment of a writer's spirit. They know that meekness, humility and love are the characteristics of a Christian temper. And though they treat the doctrines of grace as mere notions and speculations, which, supposing they adopted them, would have no beneficial influence upon their conduct; yet from us, who profess these principles, they always expect such attitudes and dispositions as correspond with the precepts of the gospel. They are quick-sighted to discern when we deviate from such a spirit, and avail themselves of it to justify their contempt of our arguments.
The Scriptural maxim that "man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires," is verified by daily observation. If our zeal is embittered by expressions of anger, invective, or scorn—we may think we are doing service of the cause of truth, when in reality we shall only bring it into discredit! The weapons of our warfare, and which alone are powerful to break down the strongholds of error, are not carnal, but spiritual. They are arguments fairly drawn from Scripture and experience, and enforced by such a mild address, as may persuade our readers, that, whether we can convince them or not—we wish well to their souls, and contend only for the truth's sake. If we can satisfy them that we act upon these motives, our point is half gained; they will be more disposed to consider calmly what we offer; and if they should still dissent from our opinions, they will be constrained to approve our intentions.
You will have a third class of readers, who being of your own sentiments, will readily approve of what you advance, and may be further established and confirmed in their views of the Scripture doctrines, by a clear and masterly elucidation of your subject. You may be instrumental to their edification, if the law of kindness as well as of truth regulates your pen; otherwise you may do them harm.
There is a principle of SELF, which disposes us to despise those who differ from us; and we are often under its influence, when we think we are only showing a fitting zeal in the cause of God.
I readily believe that the leading points of Arminianism spring from and are nourished by the pride of the human heart! But I would be glad if the reverse were always true; and that to embrace what are called the Calvinistic doctrines was an infallible token of a humble mind! I think I have known some Arminians, that is, people who for lack of a clearer light, have been afraid of receiving the doctrines of free grace, who yet have given evidence that their hearts were in a degree humbled before the Lord. And I am afraid there are Calvinists, who, while they account it a proof of their humility, that they are willing in words to debase the creature and to give all the glory of salvation to the Lord—yet are of a prideful, harsh and bitter spirit. Whatever it is that makes us trust in ourselves, that we are comparatively wise or good, so as to treat those with contempt who do not subscribe to our doctrines, or follow our party—is a proof and fruit of a self-righteous spirit!
Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines—as well as upon works! A man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature, and the riches of free grace!
Yes, I would add—the best of men are not wholly free from this leaven; and therefore are too apt to be pleased with such caricatures as hold up our adversaries to ridicule—and by consequence flatter our own superior judgments. Controversies, for the most part, are so managed as to indulge—rather than to repress this sinful disposition; and therefore, generally speaking, they are productive of little good. They provoke those whom they should convince—and puff up those whom they should edify!
I hope your article will savor of a spirit of true humility, and be a means of promoting it in others.
3. This leads me, in the last place, to consider your own concern in your present undertaking. It seems a laudable service to defend the faith once delivered to the saints; we are commanded to contend earnestly for it, and to convince gainsayers. If ever such defenses were seasonable and expedient, they appear to be so in our own day, when errors abound on all sides—and every truth of the gospel is either directly denied or grossly misrepresented.
And yet we find but very few writers of controversy who have not been manifestly hurt by it. Either they grow in a sense of their own importance; or imbibe an angry, contentious spirit; or they insensibly withdraw their attention from those spiritual truths which are the food and immediate support of the life of faith—and spend their time and strength upon matters that are at most but of a secondary value! This shows, that if the service is honorable, it is also dangerous. What will it profit a man if he gains his cause and silences his adversary—if at the same time he loses that humble, tender frame of spirit in which the Lord delights, and to which the promise of his presence is made?
Your aim, I doubt not, is good, but you have need to watch and pray—for you will find Satan at your right hand to entice you. He will try to pollute your piety; and though you set out in defense of the cause of God, if you are not continually looking to the Lord to keep you—it may become your own cause, and awaken in you those tempers which are inconsistent with true peace of mind, and will surely obstruct your communion with God! Be upon your guard against admitting anything personal into the debate. If you think you have been ill treated—this will give you an opportunity of showing that you are a disciple of Jesus, who "when reviled—He did not revile in return; when suffering—He did not threaten, but committed Himself to the One who judges justly." This is our pattern, thus we are to speak and write for God, and "not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult—but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this."
The wisdom that is from above, is not only pure, but also peaceable and gentle; and the lack of these qualifications, like the dead fly in the jar of ointment, will spoil the fragrance and efficacy of our labors. If we act in a wrong spirit—we shall bring little glory to God; do little good to our fellow creatures; and procure neither honor nor comfort to ourselves! If you can be content with showing your wit, and gaining the laugh on your side—you have an easy task!
But I hope you have a far nobler aim; and that, sensible of the solemn importance of gospel truths, and the compassion due to the souls of men, you would rather be a means of removing prejudices in a single instance, than obtain the empty applause of thousands! Go forth, therefore, in the name and strength of the Lord Almighty, speaking the truth in love; and may he give you a witness in many hearts that you are taught of God, and favored with the unction of his Holy Spirit!
The heart, with all its deceitful and wicked workings--is incessantly under Divine inspection and examination! The Lord searches the heart--He traces and investigates, the inmost principles of our souls and their motives, with the utmost exactness!
To form a more just idea of this scrutiny, let us ask ourselves how we could bear to be compelled to declare aloud, in full company--every thought, wish and desire which pass through our minds--with no exception! People, if they were brought to this trial, would rather choose to die than comply with it!
If every man was compelled to speak all that he thinks--there would be an end of human society; and man would no more venture to dwell with man, than with tigers and bears!
We know what mischief one ungoverned tongue may sometimes occasion. But the tongue can do no evil, any farther than as it is an instrument of disclosing the hidden things of the heart--yet it is but a small part of these, that the worst tongue is capable of disclosing! What then would be the case, if all our hearts were open--and all our evil thoughts, motives and desires known to one another! What a mixture of confusion, defiance, shame, rage, fear, and contempt--would overspread every countenance!
And yet, we are thus exposed to the searching eye of a pure and holy God! The Lord knows the thoughts of man's heart, that they are vain. He long ago declared the result of His examination, "God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth; and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually!" Thus, we see how vile and hateful our hearts must appear--in the sight of a heart-searching God!
And consider that the Lord does not observe the heart of man with the indifference of a mere spectator--but as an impartial and inflexible Judge! "I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve!" Alas! Is it not sufficient to fill our souls with dread--that He sits as Judge, not only upon outward actions, but He examines the very thoughts and intents of the heart! Can any of us stand under such a trial?
"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account!" Hebrews 4:13
This is a most uncomfortable doctrine indeed--were there no remedy provided! "The blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin!" 1 John 1:7
Thursday, July 09, 2009
1 Corinthians 12:13-15 (The Message)
12-13You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you're still one body. It's exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive.
14-18I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn't just a single part blown up into something huge. It's all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, "I'm not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don't belong to this body," would that make it so? If Ear said, "I'm not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don't deserve a place on the head," would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Ecclesiastes 3 (The Message)
There's a Right Time for Everything
1 There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
In this light we can see THAT MJ never had a childhood so his right time to enjoy a normal childhood was sacrifenced to his fans,his right time to enjoy a normal childhood was stolen by corperate greed,his right time to enjoy a normal childhood was given away to bless his family with fiancial security,his right time to enjoy a normal childhood was slain by fame and his right time for a normal childhood became so unhealthy that when he grew up he became a peter pan who was misunderstood,maligned,prone to chidish and immaturity and taken advantage of.........
Monday, July 06, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
James 1:16-18 (English Standard Version)
16Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17(A) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from(B) the Father of lights(C) with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[
Likewise we christains recieve gift(s) and we are called to use their gifts TO glorify and honor God.
1 Corinthians 10:30-32 (English Standard Version)
30If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that(A) for which I give thanks?
31So, whether you eat or drink, or(B) whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32(C) Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to(D) the church of God,