Chad Ashby – How to Stop Flirting with Sin

Sometimes we get confused about the way salvation works.

Almost by accident, we can fall into a gospel that’s heavy on encouraging one another in God’s forgiveness and grace and mercy, but woefully light on warning one another of the dangers of diving headlong into sin. This kind of gospel has no word for the brother or sister who gives in to temptation over and over again — who “makes a practice of sinning” (1 John 3:8).

Over time, we avoid the Old Testament with all of its narratives of God’s judgment, cherry-pick through the sermons of Jesus and the letters of Paul, then skip passed the harsh warnings of Hebrews and James. We select only the passages that tell us of God’s love and forgiveness and joy. But are these warnings in Scripture not a part of God’s plan to save, too?

Let’s admit the hard truth: Many of us are failing in the fight against daily temptation.

To continue reading Chad Ashby’s article, click here.

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Michael Boling – Major Themes of John’s Gospel and Their Application

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John provides the reader of his gospel with six major themes which, when understood within their context, have multifarious applications for the modern reader and to the body of Christ at large. The six major themes of the Gospel of John are God, the Christ, salvation, the Spirit, the new covenant community, and last things. Each has subsumed within it thematic elements which transcend John’s Gospel and which, perhaps more importantly, can be related to the holistic message revealed throughout Scripture.

Andreas Kostenberger avers that God as outlined in John is chiefly characterized by two overarching concepts: “the one who sent Jesus and as the Father of the Son” [1]. These conceptualizations of God are important to understand as the focus of John’s Gospel is relayed through the modality by which John presents God. The focus of John’s Gospel is not on God Himself, but instead on His Son. The Jewish people were cognizant of and had a devout belief in a monotheistic God. This is evidenced by the Shema, the chief prayer of Judaism and an “affirmation of Judaism and a declaration of faith in one God” [2]. The purpose of John’s writing was not to develop additional theology concerning God. His purpose was to reveal, initially to the Diaspora Jews and Jewish proselytes and eventually to the world, that Jesus was the Messiah; a belief which unfortunately has largely not taken root among many Jews. Modern believers can take heart that Jesus took the form of man, experienced all the issues that humanity has to deal with on a daily basis and yet was still without sin. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins and thus has provided us with a modality by which we can have a relationship with God the Father. This is a message which the church today needs to explicate more than ever not only to the members of the congregation but to the world at large. Continue reading “Michael Boling – Major Themes of John’s Gospel and Their Application”

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Erroll Hulse – The Only Savior

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:11-12

This is an uncompromising, aggressive assertion by the apostle Peter before the leaders of Jerusalem, concerning their demand that he tell them by what power or name he had healed the man crippled from birth, a cripple who was a familiar figure because every day he had been placed at the gate called Beautiful.

Peter and John had been arrested and now stood before the rulers and elders of the people. Peter focused attention on Jesus and boldly declared that it was by His name that the miracle had been done. Those Jewish leaders were responsible for their part in His crucifixion. But He had been raised from the dead. Peter quotes Psalm 118:22-23 as finding fulfillment in Jesus. He was the stone they, the builders, had rejected. Now God had exalted Him to be the capstone.

To continue reading Erroll Hulse’s article, click here.

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Michael Horton – Man

Secular humanism has no way of explaining either the greatness or the tragedy of human existence. However, the biblical story of creation and the fall provides the basis for affirming both human dignity and depravity. We are born into the world “in Adam,” that is, as glorious traitors.

Glorious in Every Way

God created us for His glory. We exist for Him, not He for us. And yet, unlike the rest of creation, we were created in God’s image for a special relationship with Him, naturally “endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image; having the law of God written in [our] hearts, and power to fulfill it” (Westminster Confession of Faith 4.2). According to Scripture, human beings are neither semi-divine nor demonic, but creatures who have been given a royal dignity as God’s viceroys.

To continue reading Dr. Horton’s article, click here.

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Lee Roy Shelton, Jr. – The Saving Work of the Holy Spirit

“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” — John 16:8-11

1. Its Necessity

In prayer for the Holy Spirit’s leadership as to the need of our hearts, I have been impressed to give a series of messages on the theme: the saving work of the Holy Spirit, specifically, in the salvation of the saints. We find much spoken today about the Holy Spirit, much written about the Holy Spirit, and we hear of those — many in fact — who are seeking the Holy Spirit; but we see little of the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst — the true work, the primary work for which He was sent into the world: “To reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me [Christ]; of righteousness, because I [as the sinner’s perfect righteousness] go to my Father;…of judgment because the prince of this world [Satan] is judged” (John 16:8-11), as well as all those who are controlled by him.

To continue reading Lee Roy Shelton Jr.’s booklet, click here.

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Ralph Erskine – Gospel Humiliation

Introduction

After great convictions of sin, and great denunciations of judgments against Israel, in the preceding part of the chapter, the Lord here, in the close, remembers mercy in the midst of wrath, and ends all his sad and heavy words with a sweet nevertheless, (v 60). And, indeed, mercy must begin on God’s side: “Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth; and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.” And what will be the effect of this, we see in verse 61, “Then shalt thou remember thy ways and be ashamed.” It is worthy our observation, that when God says, “I will remember my covenant,” then he adds, “Thou shalt remember thy sins.” Hence it is evident, that never a good thought, never a penitent thought would have come into our hearts, had not some thoughts of peace and good-will come into God’s heart. When he remembers his covenant of mercy for us, so as not to remember our sins against us, then we remember our sins against ourselves with shame.

To continue reading Ralph Erskine’s article, click here.

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Charles Spurgeon – A Mighty Saviour

Mighty to save. (Isaiah 63:1)

1. This, of course, refers to our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, who is described as “coming from Edom with dyed garments from Bozrah,” and who, when it is questioned who he is, replies, “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” It will be well, then, at the commencement of our discourse to make one or two remarks concerning the mysteriously complex person of the man and God whom we call our Redeemer, Jesus Christ our Saviour. It is one of the mysteries of the Christian religion, that we are taught to believe that Christ is God, and yet a man. According to Scripture, we hold that he is “very God,” equal and co-eternal with the Father, possessing, as his Father does, all divine attributes in an infinite degree. He participated with his Father in all the acts of his divine might; he was concerned in the decree of election, in the fashioning of the covenant; in the creation of the angels, in the making of the world, when it was wheeled from nothing into space, and in the ordering of this fair frame of nature. Before any of these acts the divine Redeemer was the eternal Son of God. “From everlasting to everlasting he is God.” Nor did he cease to be God when he became man.

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Ferrell Griswold – An Earnest Call To The Unsaved

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

CHRIST IS THE REDEEMER OF SINNERS! It is for their salvation He came into the world. For this purpose He left heaven, took upon Himself humanity, and suffered the deepest pain and humiliation. It was for this He went to the cross to die the death of deaths. For this He sits in glory at the Father’s right hand in power. Over the conversion of sinners the angels that surround His throne rejoice. It is for the conversion of sinners that His providence is directed—determining the circumstances that shall fall out unto these for the purpose of bringing them to the end of themselves that they might trust in Him alone for their salvation. His marvellous grace has this as its end. It was grace that moved the Father to choose some before the foundation of the world to be partakers of the benefits of Christ’s atonement. It was grace that moved the Son to become Surety and Mediator for these chosen of the Father, and to purchase their redemption by His perfect obedience to the law and cruel death on the cross. It is by grace that the Spirit comes in power to accompany the Gospel to call these who were chosen by the Father and redeemed by the Son unto spiritual life.

Before sinners will come to Christ for salvation they must be made to see their sinfulness and inability to save themselves. Only those who see their danger of perishing under the curse of sin will see their need of Christ. Only those who are convicted of their lost condition will ever seek mercy from God through Christ. For the purpose of showing sinners their need of redemption, and to drive them to reason with God as they are invited to do in the invitation contained in our text, the responsibility of the creature is laid before us in the context. Listen to these words from verse 16 & 17: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” The command here is far more than a call to outward reformation. God’s call in these verses is far deeper than to leave off certain sins that are outwardly committed by you. In these words the Lord is demanding of you perfection of nature, practice, and satisfaction to the demands of His justice. When He commands you to “make you clean,” it is a call to put away the original corruption of nature. When He calls you to “put away evil from before His eyes” it is a call to meet the holy requirements of His law—that He will not be able to behold any evil within you.

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Douglas Wilson – Psalm 85: The Kiss of Salvation

INTRODUCTION:

God puts sinners back together, and God in His mercy puts backsliders back together again. How He does this is truly remarkable, and as we enter into the spirit of this psalm we find ourselves right at the heart of the gospel.

THE TEXT:

“Lord, thou hast been Favourable unto thy land: Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, Thou hast covered all their sin. Selah…” (Ps. 85:1–13)

SUMMARY OF THE TEXT:

The text divides this way. The first three verses recall the Lord’s mercies to Israel in time past (vv. 1-3). In the next section, the psalmist pleads with God concerning Israel’s current afflictions (vv. 4-7). He pauses in the next verse to resolve that he will hear what the Lord says to him (v. 8). And then, in the conclusion of the psalm, he rejoices in the salvation that he knows is coming (vv. 9-13).

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A. W. Pink – Lost: The Real Condition of Human Beings

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“But if our gospel is hid — it is hid to those who are LOST! The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers!” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

What multitudes of people there are who have no concern over, in fact, no consciousness of, their woeful condition! While they do not regard themselves as perfect, yet they are not aware that there is anything seriously wrong with them. They are respectable people, law-abiding citizens, and nothing particular ever troubles their conscience. They consider that they are certainly no worse than their religious neighbors, and though they scarcely ever read the Bible or enter a church, they fully expect to go to Heaven when they die.

Some of them will indeed admit that they are sinners, but imagine that their good works far outnumber their bad ones. Some of them were sprinkled as infants, attended a Sunday school class as children, said their prayers each night, and later joined the church. Nevertheless, to this moment, they have never realized that they are the enemies of God, an abomination in the eyes of His holiness, and that Hell is their just deserts! They see no beauty or glory in the Gospel, no suitableness in it unto their case, and therefore do they despise and reject it.

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