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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Lex Meyer – I Can Do All Things Through Christ Except

Have you ever heard someone tell you “I can do all things through Christ except obey His commandments”? You might be surprised at how many people actually think this way.

When someone is struggling with a difficult situation, Christians are often quick to say things like “We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus”, or “nothing is impossible with God”, or “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

It’s also common to hear cliches such as “give it to God”, but when you ask them if they keep all of God’s commandments, they say, “nobody can keep all of those commandments”, or “its impossible for us to keep the Law”.

So, what happened to “I can do all things through Christ” and “nothing is impossible with God”?

The truth is, the Bible says if we love God we will keep His commandments, and His commandments are not too difficult for us.

To read the rest of Lex Meyer’s article, click here

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Rich Wendling and Daniel Shayesteh – Islam’s View of Sin and Salvation

Christians should love, not fear, Muslims. If you look under the surface, you’ll see just how hopeless their religion leaves them. By faithfully sharing God’s grace as revealed in His Word, you can watch the light of Christ’s salvation break into their darkened hearts.

In reaction to the many terrorist attacks worldwide, including 9/11, many Westerners consider Muslims to be their enemies. Many hate Muslims and fear any kind of contact with them. But Jesus commands us to react in a different way. The Muslim, like everyone else, is precious to God and needs to be reconciled with Him through Christ. We Christians are commanded to lovingly share the gospel with everyone, regardless of his or her religion.

Part 1 of this series examined the Islamic view of God, the Trinity, and the Bible, along with the Christian response. Now let’s examine the Islamic view of sin and salvation, and look at ways to share the gospel with a Muslim. By learning a few basic truths, any believer can share his or her faith fruitfully with these precious people, whom God loves.

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Jim Elliff – Don’t Just Tweet Your Proverbs

I don’t quite understand it. Everyone knows that King Solomon was the wisest man in the Old Testament. Yet, he had the most precipitous moral freefall of all the kings.

The early Solomon loved God. “Now Solomon loved the Lord” (1 Kings 3:3).

But the later Solomon was out of control morally: “Now Solomon loved many foreign women.” “Solomon held fast to these in love” (1 Kings 11:1-2). What went wrong?

In fact, the marital alliances he made with the daughters of foreign kings, plus all the other wives and concubines he acquired, were of Olympic proportions. “He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines” (11:3). For those who have trouble keeping up with one wife, this seems daunting, to say the least!

To read the rest of Jim Elliff’s article, click here.

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James Anderson – Why Did God Allow the Fall?

It’s a question that puzzles new converts and terrifies Sunday school teachers. Indeed, it’s a conundrum most of us have wrestled with, and for good reason. The fall of Adam wasn’t merely the first human sin. It was an act that was calamitous for the world and the human race. Because of the fall, “All mankind . . . lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q19).

Why would God permit such a tragic event, such an act of flagrant rebellion, in full knowledge of its horrific consequences?

A friend of mine quipped, “I can answer that one in three words: I don’t know!” Joking aside, his response does raise an important issue. Would it be a big problem if we didn’t have a good answer to that question? Would our inability to answer it give us any reason to doubt Christianity?

To read the rest of James Anderson’s article, click here

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Donny Friederichsen – The Scent of the Gospel

I’ve often heard that the sense of smell is the sense most closely related to the memory. A particular smell has a powerful way of effecting our recollection of a vivid memory. Every now and then, I’ll smell something and in my mind I’m instantly sitting at the round table in my grandmother’s kitchen. I’m not a doctor — nor do I play one on TV–but, I have read that the olfactory bulb (i.e. the part of the brain that processes smells) is closely connected to the amygdala and the hippocampus (i.e. the parts of the brain that handle memories). So there is a physiological reason why our sense of smell is so powerful.

Perhaps there is something more than just physiology that makes our sense of smell so powerful. Perhaps our sense of smell is so powerful because it is something we see described frequently in God. There are scents that God finds to be pleasing. And there are scents that God finds to be displeasing. We who are made in the image of God then reflect that quality in our bodies. Put simply, a pleasing aroma has the ability to transport us back to a pleasant memory. It can delight our minds. It can make our mouths water. It can bring joy. The scent of my wife’s pillow brings comfort to me when she is traveling. A fragrant aroma is a delight.

To continue reading the rest of Donny Friederichsen’s article, click here

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Charles Spurgeon – No Compromise

“And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? — Genesis 24:5

“And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again” — Genesis 24:5-8.

GENESIS is both the book of beginnings and the book of dispensations. You know what use Paul makes of Sarah and Hagar, of Esau and Jacob, and the like. Genesis is, all through, a book instructing the reader in the dispensations of God towards man. Paul saith, in a certain place, “which things are an allegory,” by which he did not mean that they were not literal facts, but that, being literal facts, they might also be used instructively as an allegory. So may I say of this chapter. It records what actually was said and done; but at the same time, it bears within it allegorical instruction with regard to heavenly things. The true minister of Christ is like this Eleazar of Damascus; he is sent to find a wife for his Master’s son. His great desire is, that many shall be presented unto Christ in the day of his appearing, as the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

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John Bunyan – The Pilgrim’s Progress for Everyone

THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS FOR EVERYONE

A Condensation Using Bunyan’s Original Words

Christian’s Pilgrimage

As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed; and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled; (Ps. 38:4, Isa. 64:6, Luke 14:33, Heb. 2:2-3) and, not being able longer to contain, he broke out with a lamentable cry, saying, “What shall I do?” (Acts 2:37). In this plight, therefore, he went home, and refrained himself as long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress. But he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased: wherefore at length he broke his mind to his wife and children; and thus began to talk.

“O my dear wife,” said he, “and you the children of my bowels, I, your dear friend, am in myself undone, by reason of a burden that lies hard upon me. Moreover, I am for certain informed, that this our city will be burned with fire from heaven. We shall all come to ruin; unless (which yet I see not) some way of escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered.”

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Tim Challies – How To Identify Your Pet Sin

Every Christian can think of a sin he has identified and attacked with all the brutality he can muster. One of the great joys of the Christian life is seeing God be true to his Word as he motivates and empowers us to wage war against indwelling sin. Yet every one of us probably also has a sin we rather enjoy, a sin we refuse to put to death. In fact, we may even protect and promote it. We might refer to it as a pet sin. Here are some tips on identifying your pet sin.

Your pet sin is the one you hate to have challenged. Herod refused to tolerate John the Baptist criticizing his incestuous relationship, and John’s rebuke cost him his head. You may be glad to hear the preacher rail against every other kind of sin, but react angrily when he rebukes just one particular sin. He has probably just identified your little pet sin. What sin do you hate to have challenged?

Your pet sin is the one your thoughts naturally run to. It is where your heart flees in trouble or your mind drifts in fantasy. Consider where your thoughts go when you fail to restrain them and consider what promises to soothe your heart when you are sorrowful. This may just lead you to your pet sin. What sin do your thoughts tend to drift to?

Read the rest of Tim Challies’ post here

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Melissa Edgington – What Your Kids Really Need is Your Authentic Christian Life

I went to a conference a few years ago and sat in a room with a hundred other women, perched on the edge of my chair with my notebook and pen in hand. A mother of six children got up to speak, looking thin and radiant with her long blonde hair and perfectly made up face. Her clothes were freshly pressed and fashionable, and she had a humble yet confident air about her. She showed us graphic after lovely graphic filled with the brilliant ways that she teaches her children scripture. With the year-long schedules of their family worship times. With gorgeous pictures of her family on mission trips in exotic faraway places, her children lined up in a stair-step row in their crisp white shirts and dresses.

I scribbled like crazy in my notebook, wanting to remember everything this super Christian mom had to say so I could go home and whip my family into spiritual shape. We had no scripture flashcards or carefully cultivated family worship curriculum. We barely had time to say bedtime prayers at night after busy school days and after-school activities. I felt like the world’s most underachieving mother when it came to my kids’ spiritual development because I didn’t have a specific twenty minute time set aside every day to teach my kids how to be a Christian.

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