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Monday, October 30, 2017

5 Solas: Messages & Music

Five Solas of the Reformation Series

In the past few weeks, Grace Community Church in California has been having messages given on the 5 Solas of the Reformation.
The final one was given October 29th, 2017.
It was given by Nathan Busenitz who teaches Historical Theology at The Master's Seminary.
You can hear the church messages HERE.

Sadly, many in churches today wrongly believe that salvation is by faith plus works, and then some wrongly believe that Christians need not obey Christ due to salvation's being by faith alone.
Justification is by faith alone, but faith produces obedience.
It is a fruit, but it is not the root!
Righteousness is not infused as the Roman Catholics teach.
That would mean we have our own self-righteousness that has to be good enough (which can never be).
Christ's righteousness is imputed.  It is not our own righteousness working with Christ's, but it is His righteousness alone that we need.  If salvation depends at all upon us, we are lost!
God is the one at work in true Christians to will and to work for His good pleasure.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:12-13 NASB

Salvation is by grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone.
The Bible's authority does trump the church's because it is God's Words.
When a church adds to or subtracts from or contradicts Scripture, that church is wrong.
Christ is the Head of the church...not a pope.
Glory belongs to God alone.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing • My Music Video

A friend online shared one of the verses of a favorite hymn of mine, and I was surprised to find that I hadn't recorded that one.
I wish that I could have added the fourth verse, but I have a feeling that one is not in the public domain.
I've heard variations of the lyrics for this, so mine has some slight differences from what you may have heard before!
I have just an average voice, so you can sing and drown me out if you don't like my singing!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Raw Expository Preaching, Reformation Resources, & Relaxation

Raw Expository Preaching

Would that more pastors & preachers exposit the text of the Scriptures rather than leaping off into other things (moralistic sermons or unrelated topics).
The following is about the conversion of Charles Spurgeon (which I think would be great source material for a songwriter).
A poor man, a shoemaker, a tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had nothing else to say. The text was, 'Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.' He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter.                           
Spurgeon: The Prince of Preachers compiled by Hy. Pickering

Reformation Resources

I was recently blessed to get both a Kindle version and a hard copy of the book Why We're Protestant as gifts, and I'm now two chapters in. 
So far, it seems to be a great primer for what the Protestant Reformation was about as well as why it was necessary.
It also is doing a good job explaining the 5 Solas (though I'm not far into it).
It would be great for a church group or to share with friends (especially as lines have been getting blurred over the years).

Also, Pastor Don Green has been doing a midweek message series entitled "The Bible and Roman Catholicism".  I believe I listened to quite a bit of the first message about the idea of a pope.
It explained what the Bible really says compared to what Roman Catholicism teaches.


After having a bad reaction to having a flu shot, listening to ocean waves or a music video with pictures of God's creation seems like a pleasant idea.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Do You Believe Hell Is Eternal?

God is Holy & pure & there is no darkness in Him. 

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5 NASB

It is fully just for God to punish for eternity (Jude 1:7; Hebrews 6:2; Matthew 25:46). 
Every one of us deserves His wrath. The wonder is that He chooses to save any of us wretched rebellious sinners. We are all guilty (Romans 3:10-20).

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NASB

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Romans 1:18 NASB

The problem is that some want to project their own ideas of what is fair onto God by thinking that eternal punishment isn't fair. 
That is making an idol and actually cheapening who God is - to His being less holy than He is. If murdering a man deserves death (and it does), then how much more are we guilty when our sin is against God Himself? 

Some may question that Hell will have fire, but I won't give up the fact that Hell has fire & brimstone. When the plain sense makes sense, we need not seek any other sense.
Even in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:23-24, the man in Hades was in torment and wanting coolness on his tongue due to there being fire.

"Outer darkness" or "black darkness" which is also mentioned in scripture likely refers to being away from/abandoned by God (a kind of spiritual darkness) and judgment because otherwise there is a very consistent description in Scripture of there being fire & torment (and not just in a parable or allegorical setting).

The question is, do people believe in the authority of Scripture? 
Do they believe Sola Scriptura (if someone professes faith in Christ)? 
The Scripture is clear that Hell is as eternal as Heaven. 
Give up the eternality of Hell and you give up the eternality of Heaven.

Scripture is God's Word and is always true, so whether you believe in Hell or not, it still exists.
Every professing believer should examine the Scriptures to see if their church is actually teaching what the Scripture says (about Hell, the Gospel, Creation, etc.).

“If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
Mark 9:47-48

And these will go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into eternal life."
Matthew 25:46

These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
2 Thessalonians 1:9 NASB

Eternal punishment=Eternal destruction

God's wrath is just, but He loved enough to send His Son to die on a cross & take on the sins of any who repent & trust Christ & His death for them. 
Christ Jesus experienced the wrath of God and died shedding His blood. 
He did this as an atonement for those who were His enemies, so that they might be brought near and have His righteousness laid to their account, and they then become forgiven adopted children to receive an eternal inheritance with Jesus (the Son of God/God the Son). It is a mercy undeserved.
Those who receive the Lord receive the Spirit (God is one yet He is revealed in Three distinct Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). 

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
Isaiah 53:6 NASB

Monday, October 16, 2017

TMSDay Highlights, Anxious Christians, Nightingale Music

#TMSDay Highlights

On October 10th, The Master's Seminary had an online event where people could watch classes, a Q & A, Chapel, etc. (live-streaming).
I loved it!
I shared about it in a previous post.
The Q & A had Nathan Busenitz asking questions of John MacArthur that people had posted online.
Well, you can actually watch that, the chapel, & the faculty discussion by going HERE.

For The Anxious Christian

Do you have a tendency to be anxious?
I do.
My family heard some messages by Don Green the past couple of Sundays, and he explains how Jesus dealt with anxiety.
We probably need to hear them again.
Don Green reminds us of a part of God's character that some of us need to remind ourselves of over and over.
I recommend listening to or watching these!

Why Are You So Worried?

From Anxiety to Rest

Music To Enjoy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

An Upcoming Hymns of Grace Album • Excitement Rising

I was watching the live-streaming from The Master's Seminary this week and heard the recording of men singing before and between sessions.
Later I saw them posting on the stream about an upcoming album.
This album should be well-received.
There is something special about hearing a group of men singing worship music!
I know that the men who have attended the conferences enjoy singing together.
I searched and found the song they were playing online.
While this isn't the version from the upcoming album, you can see the lyrics of the song they were playing for #TMSDay!

I want to thank The Master's Seminary for blessing many of us with a sample of teaching from the seminary as well as Q & A sessions. 
I have been blessed in the past with pastors who either taught at or who graduated from The Master's Seminary. 
I hope that we may get a pastor from there in my area of Tennessee in the future.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Standing Up In The Face Of Danger - Las Vegas Shooting

They stood up. They protected.  They went into the face of danger.
The police in Las Vegas acted like good soldiers in a time of horror.
Some protest the police and/or bend their knee to complain about this country and authorities (instead of giving thanksgiving for their blessings).
While the police draw from the same fallen human race as the rest of us, most of them will risk their lives to save the necks of the people of this country.

When I heard about the police standing up and risking their lives, it moved me.
We are so stirred up by heroic efforts of humans to save others and rightfully so.
Yet, it reminded me of something our family has been reading.
Does the prisoner in war love the man who, at the risk of his own life, breaks through the enemies lines, rescues him and sets him free?  Does the drowning sailor love the man who plunges into the sea, dives after him, catches him by the hair of his head and by a mighty effort saves him from a watery grave?  A very child can answer such questions as these.  Just in the same way, and upon the same principles, a true Christian loves Jesus Christ.  - J.C. Ryle (from the book "Holiness") 
I struggle with whether I love Christ like that, but when I think about it that way - it reminds me how thankful I should be to Christ and how it should make me love Him like that.
I feel so wretched that I don't love Him the way I want to.
His death means more than even heroic policemen, soldiers, or firemen.
He died for the sins of those who were His enemies.
He chose to rescue sinful humans by taking their sins on Himself to suffer the punishment for them by dying - shedding His blood for them on a cross.
His perfect righteousness is placed on those to whom He gives life to - to whom He grants repentance and faith in Him.
And He is also fully God as well as fully man!

How little I can rely on my feelings and my own thoughts.
No matter how I feel, I am His.  He has made me want Him, and I won't give up even though I have to keep fighting my own thinking and the doubts due to my own feelings and thoughts.

Do you love Christ?  Are you His?