Putting God in His Place

10 05 2011

“The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
(1 Cor 1:18)

God made us to gravitate toward Him, to acknowledge with joy and obedience that He is the center of all, that He alone is God. The heart of our wretched rebellion is that each of us wants to be number one…Our self-centeredness is deep. It is so brutally idolatrous that it tries to domesticate God Himself…We are impotent when it comes to dealing with our sin and being reconciled to God, but where we are impotent God is powerful…The Gospel is not simply good advice, nor is it good news about God’s power. The Gospel is God’s power to all who believe.

–D.A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry

Advertisements




To Be A Christian

4 05 2011

“To me to live is Christ”
(Apostle Paul, Philippians 1:21)

To be a Christian is nothing less than to have the glorified Christ living in us in actual presence, possession and power. It is to have Him as the Life of our life in such a way and to such a degree that we can even say as Paul did, “To me to live is Christ.” To be a Christian is to grow up into Christ in all things: it is to have that divine seed which was planted in our innermost spirit blossom out into a growing conformity to His perfect Life. To be a Christian is to have Christ the Life of our minds, our hearts, our will, so that it is Christ thinking through us, living through us, willing through us. It is increasingly to have no life but the Life of Christ within us filling us with ever-increasing measure.

–Ruth Paxson, Life On The Highest Plane





Points of Departure

12 10 2010

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings…while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived…”
2 Timothy 3:10,11,13

At the dawning of the twentieth century, General William Booth of the Salvation Army prophesied that the church would experience the following points of departure of revival did not occur:

  • Christianity without Christ
  • Forgiveness without Repentance
  • Salvation without Regeneration
  • Religion without the Holy Spirit
  • Politics without God
  • Heaven without Hell

–Stan Toler
“Practical Guide for Pastoral Ministry”, p151





Beware

26 03 2009

And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’  But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
(Matthew 25:10-12, ESV)

Beware, I pray thee, of presuming that thou art saved. If thy heart be renewed, if thou shalt hate the things that thou didst once love, and love the things that thou didst once hate; if thou hast really repented; if there be a thoroughvirgins-foolish-and-wise change of mind in thee; if thou be born again, then hast thou reason to rejoice: but if there be no vital change, no inward godliness; if there be no love to God, no prayer, no work of the Holy Spirit, then thy saying “I am saved” is but thine own assertion, and it may delude, but it will not deliver thee.

-Charles Spurgeon





A God To Believe In

16 08 2007

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
(Luke 15:20)

George Buttrick, former chaplain at Harvard, recalls that students would come into his office, plop down on a chair and declare, ‘I don’t believe in God.’ Buttrick would give this disarming reply: ‘Sit down and tell me what kind of God you don’t believe in. I probably don’t believe in that God either.’ And then he would talk about Jesus.

–Phillip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew





Hard Preaching

11 04 2007

“‘Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.’ Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?'”
(Acts 2:36,37)

“I’ve heard a lot of sermons in the past ten years or so that make me want to get up and walk out. They’re secular, psychological, self-help sermons. Friendly, but of no use. They didn’t make you want to straighten up. They didn’t give you anything hard. At some point and in some way, a sermon has to direct people toward the death of Christ and to the campaign God has waged over the centuries to get our attention.”

–Garrison Keillor
quoted in Called To Be Church, by Anthony B. Robinson and Robert W. Wall





Narrow Is The Gate

30 03 2007

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
(Matthew 7:13,14)

narrow-gate.jpgThere’s a common misconception that the choice between Christ and false gods is the choice between desiring to go to hell and desiring to go to heaven. I’ve heard preachers say the narrow way is the way of Christianity that people choose when they want to go to heaven, and the broad way is the way people choose who are content to go to hell. But they are misinformed or confused. It is not a contrast between godliness and Christianity on one hand and irreligious, lewd, lascivious pagan masses headed merrily for hell on the other. It is a contrast between two kinds of religions, both roads marked, “This Way to Heaven.” Satan doesn’t put up a sign that says, “Hell—Exit Here.” That’s not his style. People on the broad road think that road goes to heaven.

It is not enough to listen to preaching about the gate; it is not enough to respect the ethics; you’ve got to walk through the gate…You can’t stand outside and admire the narrow gate; you’ve got to drop everything and walk through it…You come through, stripped of everything…

–John MacArthur
Hard To Believe, pp78,81