Octavius Winslow – Go and Tell Jesus

“And his disciples came and took up the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.” Matthew 14:12

As if to illustrate the nature and test the efficacy of His great and gracious expedient of saving sinners, it pleased the redeeming God that the first subject of death should be a believer in the Lord Jesus. Scarcely had the righteous Abel laid his bleeding lamb upon the altar — that altar and that lamb all expressive of the truth, and radiant with the glory of the person and work of the coming Savior — ere he was called to seal with his blood the faith in Christ he had professed. But if the first victim, he was also the first victor. He fell by death, but he fell a conqueror of death. He lost the victory, but he won the battle. Thus was the “last enemy” foiled in his very first assault upon our race. The point of his lance was then turned, the venom of his sting was then impaired, and, robbed of his prey, he saw in the pale and gory form his shaft had laid low the first one of that glorious race of confessors, that “noble army of martyrs,” who in all succeeding ages should overcome sin, hell, and death, by the blood of the Lamb.

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Derek Thomas – God’s Sovereignty and Our Responsibility

God is sovereign in creation, providence, redemption, and judgment. That is a central assertion of Christian belief and especially in Reformed theology. God is King and Lord of all. To put this another way: nothing happens without God’s willing it to happen, willing it to happen before it happens, and willing it to happen in the way that it happens. Put this way, it seems to say something that is expressly Reformed in doctrine. But at its heart, it is saying nothing different from the assertion of the Nicene Creed: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty.” To say that God is sovereign is to express His almightiness in every area.

God is sovereign in creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Apart from God, there was nothing. And then there was something: matter, space, time, energy. And these came into being ex nihilo—out of nothing. The will to create was entirely God’s. The execution was entirely His. There was no metaphysical “necessity” to create; it was a free action of God.

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A. W. Pink – The Mediation of Christ

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). Some unregenerate men, who deny the God-head of Christ, imagine they find something in this verse which supports their system of infidelity, but this only serves to make the more evident the fearful blindness of their minds. As well might they reason from Galatians 1:1 (where we read, “Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ”), that the Lord Jesus is not Man, as to infer from 1 Timothy 2:5 that He is not God. As we shall show in what follows, none could possibly heal the breach between God and men save one who partook of each of their natures.

“For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). “In that great difference between God and men, occasioned by our sin and apostasy from Him, which of itself could issue in nothing but the utter ruin of the whole race of mankind, there was none in heaven or earth, in their original nature and operations, who was meet or able to make up a peace between them. Yet this must be done by a mediator, or cease forever. This mediator could not be God Himself absolutely considered, for ‘a mediator is not of one, but God is one’ (Gal 3:20). And as for creatures, there was none in heaven or earth, there was none meet to undertake this office. ‘For if one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him; but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him?’ (1 Sam 2:25)” (John Owen, 1616-1683).

To continue reading A. W. Pink’s article, click here.

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Nick Batzig – What Are You Waiting For?

One of the downsides of living in the technological age is that we are constantly overwhelmed with what we allow to stream into our minds and hearts from our newsfeeds, social media debates, conversations about world affairs, social agendas, personal opinions and every sort of religious and political ideology. All of this, in turn, has the propensity to animate anxiety, depression, fear, anger, hatred and misplaced zeal in our hearts. People are crying out for change without recognizing that there is only one remedy for all of the social ills–and for the burdens of our own lives.

J.C. Ryle, the great 19th Century Anglican Calvinistic pastor/theologian, would walk to the window of his study every morning, and–looking up–would say, “Maybe today, Lord, maybe today!” Ryle was longing for the coming of Christ. This is one of the definitive marks of every true believer. The Apostle Paul declared that his greatest inner desire was “to depart and be with Christ” (Phil. 1:23). The better part of the New Testament focus on the return of Christ; and, in doing so, links our sanctification in the present to the hope we have of His coming in the future. In short, this teaches us that our actions are directly correlated to the hope that we have in our hearts to see Christ and to be with Him.

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Michael Boling – Right vs. Right

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As believers, we are called by God to always be ready to share with others the reason for our hope and faith in God and His Word. At times this can involve back and forth interaction in the form of debate or perhaps just a friendly discussion over a certain topic. As one who often frequents forums on various social media outlets, I have noticed more often than I should the tendency for individuals (to include myself) to be focused on being the one who is proven right at the end of the conversation. This urge is in stark opposition to what should be the focus of the chat, namely the pursuit of what is right and the seeking of truth as revealed in Scripture.

This is really a battle of right vs. right. On one side are those solely interested in trying to make themselves the focus or those desiring to have all the right answers to the questions presented. Now there is nothing wrong with having answers to questions. We are after all commanded by God to study His Word because in Scripture are the answers we seek to life’s most probing questions and issues. With that said, there is a distinct difference between the need to be right and to essentially be puffed up with knowledge and that of sharing with others what God has revealed and doing so with an attitude of humility.

If we are not operating in that attitude of humility, sharing the truth in love as declared in Ephesians 4:15, then we are no better or useful than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Speaking truth in pride, while perhaps making one feel good about themselves, ultimately will cause more harm than good. Winning the debate through prideful truth bombs is in actuality not winning anything at all. Conversely, if our approach is rooted in walking through Scripture together in a spirit of love and understanding the reality that people are at different stages in their walk with God and comprehension of biblical truth, the result will be much more profitable for all involved. Since the result should be sharing the beauty of God’s Word and how it contains food for our lives and how it is the lamp to our feet and light to our path, it is clear that the prideful attitude of being right should always take a back seat to what is right – speaking truth in love.

This is not easy. The urge to puff oneself up is a temptation many of us have a hard time resisting. There are many times when we engage in conversation with the best of intentions but after a few pats on the back from people, there is the tendency to lose focus on what is right in favor of the glory of being known as “Mr. (or Mrs.) Know it All”. If that is where you are at, your faith is not better than the Pharisees that Jesus excoriated for taking that very approach. It is not a good place to be nor is it a godly approach in our pursuit of truth.

Be on the lookout for those times when you are tempted to lose focus on what is right in favor of being right. If you are seeking the glory instead of God being given the glory then that should be a clear sign priorities need to be assessed immediately. In the battle of right vs. right, God receiving the glory is the side of the ring we must always seek to find ourselves.

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A. W. Pink – Salvation from the Pleasure of Sin

It is here that God begins His actual application of salvation unto His elect. God saves us from the pleasure or love of sin before He delivers us from the penalty or punishment of sin. Necessarily so, for it would be neither an act of holiness nor of righteousness were He to grant full pardon to one who was still a rebel against Him, loving that which He hates. God is a God of order throughout, and nothing ever more evidences the perfections of His works than the orderliness of them. And how does God save His people from the pleasure of sin? The answer is, “By imparting to them a nature which hates evil and loves holiness.” This takes place when they are born again, so that actual salvation begins with regeneration. Of course it does: where else could it commence? Fallen man can never perceive his desperate need of salvation nor come to Christ for it, till he has been renewed by the Holy Spirit.

To continue reading A. W. Pink’s article, click here.

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Paul Carter – 10 Parenting Imperatives from the Book of Proverbs

Parenting is sacred, smelly, exciting, crushing, frustrating and expensive. It’s the most important thing that people ever do and to be completely honest with you, it scares the life out of me.

Who is sufficient for these things?

What should I be teaching my kids? What guidance should I be giving? Where do I go to learn how to raise and disciple sons and daughters of the King?

There is really only one place I can think of. The Book of Proverbs is presented as the counsel and wisdom of a royal couple to their son. “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8 ESV).

It is an entire God-breathed and Divinely authorized manual on how to raise little kings and queens.

It is well worth reading from start to finish. Until you get a chance to do that, here are 10 things that the King and Queen in Proverbs say to their child that you should say to yours.

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Scott Slayton – Five Areas in Which Husbands Must Grow

Like most things in life, marriages are not static. It may feel like there are times when we settle into comfortable seasons, but marriages aren’t like McDonalds’ chicken nuggets. If we ignore them for a week, they will not look the same when we come back. Every marriage is growing stronger or weakening. There is no exception.

Marriages grow because the husband and wife are growing. Our marriages don’t exist in some strange limbo where they aren’t affected by our character, spiritual growth, and emotional maturity.

Husbands Must Grow in Their Walk with Jesus

A man’s walk with King Jesus sets the direction for everything else in his life. It does not guarantee that you will have a great marriage, but it will be the foundation upon which all of your growth will be built. When you have a growing walk with Jesus, you will be actively putting to death. Your sin is not only a dishonor to your Lord and a hindrance to your walk, but it also has negative consequences in your marriage. Therefore, a growing Christian man repents and seeks to cut the things out of his life that don’t look like Jesus.

To continue reading Scott Slayton’s article, click here.

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George Whitefield – What Think Ye of Christ?

When it pleased the eternal Son of God to tabernacle among us, and preach the glad tidings of salvation to a fallen world, different opinions were entertained by different parties concerning him. As to his person, some said he was Moses; others that he was Elias, Jeremias, or one of the ancient prophets; few acknowledged him to be what he really was, God blessed for evermore. And as to his doctrine, though the common people, being free from prejudice, were persuaded of the heavenly tendency of his going about to do good, and for the generality, heard him gladly, and said he was a good man; yet the envious, worldly-minded, self-righteous governors and teachers of the Jewish church, being grieved at his success on the one hand, and unable (having never been taught of God) to understand the purity of his doctrine, on the other; notwithstanding our Lord spake as never man spake, and did such miracles which no man could possibly do, unless God was with him; yet they not only were so infatuated, as to say, that he deceived the people; but also were so blasphemous as to affirm, that he was in league with the devil himself, and cast out devils by Beeluzbul, the prince of devils. Nay, our Lord’s own brethren and kinsmen, according to the flesh, were so blinded by prejudices and unbelief, that on a certain day; when he went out to teach the multitudes in the fields, they sent to take hold of him, urging this as a reason for their conduct, “That he was besides himself.”

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George Swinnock – A Husband’s Prayer

I pray that my love to my wife may be like Christ’s to His church, as well in its goodness as in its greatness; I mean, that my chiefest endeavor may be that she may be sanctified and cleansed and at last be presented to the blessed and beautiful bridegroom, a gracious and glorious spouse without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

Oh, how industriously did my Redeemer endeavor His church’s renovation and sanctity! How affectionately doth He beseech her to be holy! How fervently doth He beg of His Father to make her holy! How willingly did He broach His heart and pour out His blood to wash her from her unholiness! How plentifully doth He pour down His Spirit to work her to holiness! His birth was that she might be born again, and born holy; His life was to set her a copy of holiness; His death was to purchase for her a new stock of holiness. He gave Himself for her that He might redeem her from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. His precepts, His prayers, His tears, His blood, His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection, His intercession are all for her holiness and purity. His name is called Jesus because He saves His people, not in, but from, their sins and unholiness. He doth not think Himself [complete] until His body [the church] be in heaven.

To continue reading George Swinnock’s article, click here.

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