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Showing posts from December, 2012

Geoff Thomas On Grace

I came across this section on grace by Geoff Thomas, a pastor in Wales that many including myself look up to. I was so encouraged by this quote that I wanted to share. You can read the full text here.

i] Grace has a purpose. It has a specific and particular end in view:- "He did predestinate us to be conformed to the image of his Son." If we begin at that relatively modest goal it takes our breath away. Grace is God's determination to make favoured sinners Christ-like. Grace is not content with justification, or adoption, or union with Christ. Grace is concerned to make people like God. Grace is not going to rest until all it embraces are a transcript of the Lord Christ himself. God so loves his Son that he will fill heaven with an innumerable company of people each one of whom, morally and spiritually, are in the image of Christ, and all the divine energy and creativity are committed to that end. All his resources are to serve that great enterprise. "When we see him…

God's Divine Power

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness... (2 Peter 1:3a)
"Divine" here from theios only used three times in the NT, but commonly used in other Greek literature when speaking about deity. It has no inherent theological meaning, but is defined by the context of the particular deity being discussed.

"Power" in the Greek is dynamis, and is used predominantly throughout the NT to refer to the miraculous supernatural power of God which is unattainable by humans (e.g. Matthew 11:21, Luke 1:35, etc.). It seems technically unnecessary for Peter to use the word "divine" before "power," since the type of power referenced in the previous verse is within the context of "the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." The reader already knows who's "power" Peter is referring to without the adjective "divine." It would be the equivalent to saying "Seth lifted the box with all the human

Words of Ryle 12.10.2012

J.C. Ryle on the happiness of holy men,

...let us never be ashamed of making much of sanctification, and contending for a high standard of holiness. While some are satisfied with a miserably low degree of attainment, and others are not ashamed to live on without any holiness at all—content with a mere round of church-going and chapel-going, but never getting on, like a horse in a mill—let us stand fast in the old paths, follow after eminent holiness ourselves, and recommend it boldly to others. This is the only way to be really happy.

Let us feel convinced, whatever others may say, that holiness is happiness, and that the man who gets through life most comfortably is the sanctified man. No doubt there are some true Christians who from ill-health, or family trials, or other secret causes, enjoy little sensible comfort, and go mourning all their days on the way to heaven. But these are exceptional cases. As a general rule, in the long run of life, it will be found true that “sanctified” p…

God Loves Despite Our Sin

In yesterday's post I made a reference at the end about how we should seek to know God despite the ugly sins of our past. I started thinking about my own past sins, and felt so ashamed of them and how they displeased God. Then I began to reflect on the lives of David and Paul, who both sinned in such publicly gross ways, yet they were both chosen and beloved by God. The volume of sinfulness that followed David's uncontrolled lust for Bathsheba always astounds me. When he saw Bathsheba on the rooftop, instead of looking away instantly, he held his gaze and gave in to lust. He became so consumed by his lust that he told his servants to take a married woman out of her home without the consent of her husband (an absolutely shameful thing to do in that culture), and then he committed adultery with her. Still completely enslaved to his lust, he then conspired deceitfully against Uriah, using numerous other people to carry out his murderous plan, until Uriah was dead and Bathsheba wa…

Knowing God's Will

How do we know God's will? We have all been at one of life's crossroads where we hoped God would speak to us directly from heaven. I know I have many times. But instead of telling us what specific choices to make, God is only concerned with our knowledge of Him. He wants the devotion of our entire will, and as we simply seek to follow and know God, the other little details work themselves out. Here are some passages that talk about these things along with a few notes I jotted down.
Commit your way to the LORD;  trust in him, and he will act. (Psalm 37:5 ESV)
“Commit” here is from the verb root galal which means literally “to roll.” It would seem an odd word choice at first, but lexical references point out that in this case it means “to roll away from oneself to another.” In a figurative sense this verse means for us "to roll" our derek (journey, way) from ourselves to the Lord. We  roll out the course of our life's journey in a trajectory that leads to the Lord. …

How To Tie A Knot Without Breaking The Sabbath

The Jewish Talmud is a treasure trove of legalism. There are rules for everything, especially about keeping the Sabbath. There's even a section on what kinds of knots one can tie on the Sabbath. Here's a section discussing if it's okay for a woman to tie the bands of her hood,
...The case is, that the bands of the hood are always tied, and the woman slips on the hood without untying or tying the bands, and we might assume that for this reason the knot is considered permanent; he therefore informs us, that if a hair become entangled in the hood, the woman may tie and untie the bands.
So in other words, the woman should try to keep her bands permanently tied on the Sabbath to avoid any opportunity to slip, and she can only tie or untie her hood if her hair becomes entangled. If she ties her hood bands in any other scenario, she could be in danger of working on the Sabbath, thus breaking it. And there are plenty more rules for other knots too--for example when one should tie ba…

Become Friends With The World And Become An Enemy With God

In my reading of Ryle's Holiness today, I came across this convicting quote on Lot's wife and her looking back at Sodom as it was being destroyed, motivated by her idolatrous love of the world:

That look was a little thing, but it told of secret love of the world in Lot’s wife. Her heart was in Sodom, though her body was outside. She had left her affections behind when she fled from her home. Her eye turned to the place where her treasure was, as the compass-needle turns to the pole. And this was the crowning point of her sin. “The friendship of the world is enmity with God.” (James 4: 4) “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

I ask the special attention of my readers to this part of our subject. I believe it to be the part to which the Lord Jesus particularly intends to direct our minds. I believe He would have us observe that Lot’s wife was lost by looking back to the world. Her profession was at one time fair and specious, but she nev…

How To Get God's Attention

All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2 ESV)
How do we get God's attention? How do we do this? He has made it plain.  He will come near those who humble themselves before Him and fear His word--those that fight to resist desires to please themselves rather than God. Paul said that he beat his body into submission so that he would not be disqualified. (1 Cor 9:27) But those that do not humble themselves, those that are not contrite in spirit, and those who do not tremble at His word, God will not look on them. The Hebrew word is nabat in Hiphil form. It means God will not regard them. They will not be considered. God will pay them no mind. Similarly David said, "Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death (Psalm 13:3 ESV). To ask this of God confidently as David, we must t…