Wednesday, September 30, 2009

what about WOMEN??

Perhaps one of the least fed people in the church of God are WOMEN!!!
I understand well some well-intentioned and often reactionary brothers and sisters who feel there can be an over emphasis of the family in some churches including family-integrated churches, yet one thing must be said about such churches (if they are doctrinally sound) AT LEAST THEIR women are FED!!!!! They're not stuck doing nursery week after week or given some 'woman's' job while the men talk about THEOLOGY and enjoy PREACHING!

I truly wonder, how many men even have a clue where their wives are at theologically and spiritually?? How many wives and mothers are being encouraged in their God-given and ANTI-cultural roles?? How many churches are seeing Titus 2 carried out?
3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Seriously husbands how many OLDER women in the faith does YOUR wife have in her life that are CURRENTLY encouraging and challenging YOUR wife? I'm I wrong in my assessment that this is quite rare?? Shouldn't we being preparing for such? Encouraging younger women to be ready and equipped to do this eventually?! Wouldn't this be a great way to pray for our wives that they will be exposed to REAL godly and biblical fellowship?!
Bless God for Christian women, for Christian single women who are patiently enduring and seeking after godliness while waiting for grown boys to get a clue, bless God for those wives who serve beyond sanity hoping they catch a few crumbs of truth here and there while they wait for their husbands to take an interest into their souls, praise God for those mothers who nurture, train, and pour out their weary hearts into the lives of their children while they wait for some sort of encouragement to not give in their weariness! Press ON daughters of the Lord, and keep praying for US!
MEN give your wives some MEAT, feed them, protect them, nurture them, EXPOSE them to TRUTH, bathe them in PRAYER!!!

Critical point to not miss in Church History!!

Like many believers I can remember well my initial exposure to different preachers and missionaries of old, which for me spread a great light on the struggles and victories of the saints, it was later however that I was blessed to begin to understand the truths they lived!
My first exposure to books, were primarily biographies, from Voice of the martyrs material to the 'Heroes of the faith' series.
I was also one of those naively zealous young guys who thought that the greatest problem facing the leaders, teachers I knew was UNDER-exposure to good stuff. How wrong I was, I used to think all you had to do was give someone a sermon by Ravenhill or Edwards, or mention the things Whitefield or Mueller experienced then presto, things would change. To my utter amazement, the common response that I encountered was, 'Oh, yeah I've heard that' or 'I've read that' or 'Yeah, that was good!'.
It was Ravenhill in 'Why revival tarries' who made the pointed statement, that men will read, quote, use, or what have you of the lives and teachings of dead men, 'anything but follow them'!

Is this not true? Why some men admire certain preachers should greatly confuse us, if we only knew their lives. This is certainly why I'm not moved by someone saying they enjoy 'Edwards or Spurgeon', the question that should be asked is 'but do you read them rightly????' I was perusing the 'interesting' blog of Tim Challies and he had mentioned that Rick Warren (The Bill Gates of the Saddleback corporation) 'loves and is reading' Jonathan Edwards, you see this is exactly what I mean, 'but' you say 'God could use it' and I say Yes God could but the fact is that it's being read as an interesting piece of history (the 'when that worked' era).

One thing I would beg for your consideration beyond examining your own motives for reading 'classics', is that you would read looking for two things before you 'admire' such great men. The two things that are too often neglected are: What did these men suffer from within the church? and Why did they suffer??
In remembering the great revivals, don't forget those like Edwards, who was fired by his congregation, who were NOT honored while they lived! It's one thing to suffer persecution from the outside of the church and quite another to suffer within! To be so zealous for the truth of God and for His glory that you are willing to go AGAINST the traditions or the streams of popular thought at the cost of being greatly misunderstood and out-casted!
Never forget the missionaries that had to suffer years upon years of suffering and loss before anyone would support or take notice of them, never forget the Spurgeons, the Lloyd-Jones' that took stands against compromising church unions while being labeled hard-hearted, stubborn, and divisive!
This also reminds of what Paul Washer has said concerning the same issue, that though men quote these guys they WOULDN'T let them preach in their churches! People like Ravenhill and Tozer were NOT men that churches and conferences were lining up to invite! Oh how greatly in need we are of some fiery WILD men who just don't fit the popular molds, preachers that are hard to ignore! I must however address this one thing, perhaps someone is thinking:
'you mean men like Mark Driscoll?! Because he's breaking against the norm and suffering persecution?!'
NO! I absolutely don't mean THAT! This is why I said to ask WHY they were suffering from 'within', they contrary to MD were not persecuted for novel or explicit forms of preaching (such as recommending preachers learn from vile comedians 'cynics' like Dave Chappelle) so regardless of who might endorse such garbage and regardless of your thoughts to that subject, what can't be ignored about the great sufferings of Godly dead men, is that what set them apart was their GODLINESS, it was their ZEAL for HOLINESS, for TRUTH, for SOULS, for the GLORY of God that caused them to be put into the 'fanatical' category from within the church!

Monday, September 28, 2009

All things even SIN work for the good, Thomas Brooks

Here's a beautiful piece from Thomas Brooks on the sovereign and gracious workings of God in the life of His children:

All the sins of the saints(Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)"We know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28All the afflictions, andall the temptations, and all the oppressions, and all the oppositions, and all the persecutions--which befall a godly man, shall work for his good. Every cross, andevery loss, andevery disease--which befall the holy man,shall work for his good. Every device, every snare, every deceit, every stratagem, and every enterprise of Satan againstthe holy man, shall work for his good. They shall all help to make him . . . more humble, more holy, more heavenly, more spiritual, more faithful, more fruitful, more watchful. Every prosperity and every adversity;every storm and every calm;every bitter and every sweet;every cross and every comfort--shall work for the holy man's good.When God gives a mercy-- that shall work for his good.When God takes away a mercy-- that shall work for his good. Yes, even all the falls and all the sins of the saints shall work for their good. Oh . . . the care, the fear, the watchfulness, the tenderness, the zeal--which God raises in the souls of His saints by their very falls! Oh the hatred, the indignation, and the detestation--which God raises in the hearts of His children against sin--by their very falling into sin! Oh what love to Christ, what thankfulness for Christ, what admiration of Christ, what cleaving to Christ, what exalting of Christ, what drawings from Christ's grace--are saints led to, by their very falls! It is the glory of God's holiness, that . . . He can turn spiritual diseases--into holy remedies! He can turn soul poisons--into heavenly cordials! He can prevent sin by sin, and cure falling by falling!O Christian! What though friends and relations frown upon you, what though enemies are plotting and conspiring against you, what though needs, like armed men, are breaking in upon you, what though men rage, and devils roar against you, what though sickness is devastating your family, what though death stands every day at your elbow--yet there is no reason for you to fear nor faint, because all these things shall work for your good! Yes, there is wonderful cause of joy and rejoicing in all the afflictions and tribulations which come upon you--considering that they shall all work for your good. O Christians! I am afraid, I am afraid--that you do not run so often as you should--to the breasts of this promise, nor draw that sweetness and comfort from it, that it would yield, and that your several cases may require. "We know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." I have been the longer upon this verse, because the condition of God's people calls for the strongest cordials, and the choicest and the sweetest comforts.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Who do YOU say that JESUS is? part 1

What is the most popular question mankind has asked? Suppose you could ask God any question, what would it be? Well, to be blunt your questions are NOT as pertinent as God's questions to YOU!
Perhaps the greatest question ever posed out of the lips of Jesus Christ was in a private discussion with His disciples,
Mark 8:27-30
27Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?" 28They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." 29"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ." 30Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
'It's all about who you know!' In the eternal scope of things, this statement couldn't be more accurate, in other words Jesus is CONCERNED whether His disciples really KNOW Him.
Well Peter's answer was right on the money, 'the Christ' by the way, this is not a last name. "The Christ' means 'the anointed one', the 'one' whom the scriptures predicted would come as a deliverer/conqueror, the Messiah! When someone is 'anointed' it means they have been given(clothed in) something in order to fulfill a task. A king is anointed with authority to fulfill his role, suddenly his words and his pen have incredible effects (sometimes life or death effects). A policeman has a badge which is a sort of anointing/empowering to fulfill his duty to 'protect and serve', yet his power is delegated, it's temporary. What makes Christ stand out among the rest is not just the mission He has, but the fact that He doesn't just have an 'anointing' but that He OWNS His anointing, His power is NOT temporary!
So what does He use His power for?
John 5
21For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
So we see, that Jesus has the power to give eternal life and to judge, He is the ONLY one truly deserving of 'honor' because He is 'the Christ'! Yet what's so great about that? Well in order to see the greatness/glory of His power, we need to see how else He used His power:
John 10
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father."
Praise the Lord! Did you miss the 'good news', well the good news is that although the Creator is a great and mighty King who deserves total obedience and total adoration, which NONE have given Him, though He is such a King that needs absolutely nothing, though He is a King that is able to accurately and thoroughly judge and inevitably condemn everyone of us (because we have refused to submit to His kingship, choosing to rebel and go our own way), though He is a King that can do nothing but uphold His holiness, righteous and justice by punishing ALL sin, YET this King uses His power to take the place of the one's He condemns!!!! Jesus Christ willingly submitted to the wrath deserved by viciously vile, hell-deserving, God-hating monsters like YOU and ME! Don't kid yourself by a deluded self-image, it is God who makes absolutely clear that He died not for His 'friends' but for His 'enemies'
Roms 5:
8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
This king has come to build a kingdom, and this kingdom has been bought with His blood! This kingdom consists of those who no longer desire to live in rebellion, but who desire to lovingly obey their King. This kingdom consists not of 'subjects' but of CHILDREN, the process is not one of 'employment' but one of ADOPTION. This is NO Cinderella story, their are no outcast step-kids in the kingdom of God, rather what may be the greatest MYSTERY of eternity is that each child of God will share in the perfect love and intimacy of the trinity. The anointed one has anointed (clothed/drenched) us (true believers) in PERFECT love!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Christian ANARCHISTS???

Let us begin with the 'technical' defintion of ANARCHY
Anarchy (from Greek: ἀναρχία anarchía, "without ruler") may refer to any of the following:
"No rulership or enforced authority."
[1]
"Absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the supreme power; political disorder."
[2]
"A social state in which there is no governing person or group of people, but each individual has absolute
liberty (without the implication of disorder)."[3]
"Absence or non-recognition of authority and order in any given sphere."
[4]

With that said, such a philosophy has without a doubt crept into Christianity. I was once again reminded of such last Sunday while ministering at the county jail, an inmate who has seemed to been in holding for at least a year mentioned as he always does the new and 'interesting' things he's reading. Well he inquired about my knowledge of (which is the way he starts almost every interaction) Constantine and how radically far the church is from what it should be, well after the service he stayed to spout out a couple more 'observations' which led me to believe he had just read one of those 'forget the church' books, and in accordance with what I was assuming he had just read a nice piece from 'expert' George Barna.
What does this all boil down to? Well-intentioned brothers and sisters who desperately want God and have been blessed of God to do so WITHOUT the stumbling blocks of a local church?? I don't think so!
For one the problem stems from (as all error does) a lack of biblical discernment, what the bible says about the church, it's function, and it's leadership! From there the problems splits between those who have legitimately been let down or hurt by unhealthy churches (perhaps several) and have come to the conclusion that there just aren't any healthy churches in existence and the other perhaps much much more common problem is the prideful attitude that rejects the need to listen to others and certainly the personal input or influence of others.
If you are like me then you may have also wondered while looking at other blogs and reading the comments, why some people still go to the church they go to, especially when they just went on a rant about the MAJOR problems in their church and how they so admire that blogger for speaking the 'truth'? Now what would cause a man (or woman) to stay in a place where they clearly REFUSE to submit/respect the leadership? ANARCHY! You know the person, perhaps a name or face comes to mind immediately, that person who works to tear apart from the inside.
In fact just after my family left the church we used to go to, such a person called me, this person thought he was calling to 'encourage' me, by going on a hate spree about how messed up the church is, and how organized religion is all wrong, and that all we need is fellowship without all the 'rules'! Well what immediately struck me as INSANE was the fact that he said he supported us and our decision, BEFORE he asked why we left?!
It is my conviction that such scene could have been avoided if only there was some sort of announcement to our leaving (of all the churches I've been in and have witnessed families/people leaving it's inevitable that if it's not made public then ALL sorts of gossip/speculations fly about.)
Well I did my best to confront his wrong thinking concerning the 'gifts' (male leadership) Jesus Christ gave to the church and the 'organized structure' of the church that Christ and the apostles modeled! It can't be denied that healthy churches are sparse, yet everyone must face the biblical reality that there are no plan B's, God needs and employs no substitutes beyond the written word. Find one or build one! Ecclesiology is a forgotten/neglected study, yet it is such a vital doctrine that every believer should be admonished to search the scriptures concerning it's truth. Most believers think such a topic is only relevant to ministers (perhaps many ministers think the same) yet if we are PART of the body of Christ then we MUST understand all the functions of that body (including ours)!
Here are some pretty good books on the subject
WHY WE LOVE THE CHURCH
STOP DATING THE CHURCH
WHAT IS A HEALTHY CHURCH
Sermon series by Albert Martin Manifesto: The Church

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Paul Washer in MICHIGAN 2009

THIS IS A REPOST, for those like me who just kick themselves because they could have enjoyed something if only they knew!


Well I just confirmed some details about Bro Paul Washer's scheduled preaching in Michigan.
PLACE: Berean Baptist Church Livonia, MI
WHEN: October 18th – 23rd Sunday at 8:30 AM, 11:00 AM & 6:00 PM AND
Monday – Friday at 7:00 PM
Very Cool!!!!---He was there a few years back for the deliver Detroit series and although I didn't know of it, judging from the messages on Sermonaudio it was really good.
Personally I like these smaller settings, much easier fellowship.
Well I wanted to POST this just in case anyone remotely close who happened to stumble on this blog might be blessed, challenged and (for me) it would be cool to meet some new faces (so let me know if you plan to go)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Always saved, maybe VIDEO

Here is the video for this subject, I had to correct, the post (two posts down) that originally had this video (and so the post "Is belief enough..." is now fixed) Whoops

Real saints persevere! The reality of the matter is that many claim to be Christians when in fact that have no sense of what that means.



Friday, September 18, 2009

Peace, Joy, Victory is Yours, FIGHT 4 it VIDEO

God has prescribed ALL that we need in order to live fully satisfied in Him, His promises of VICTORY, of PEACE, and JOY for the people of God are to be FOUGHT for!!!!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is belief enough? Video

UPDATE!!!!
Originally I posted the wrong vid for this:
here is the correct one


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Real Worship by Azurdia (video)

Here is yet another sermon jam thingy that I put together. I'm slowly getting used to the 'how to's' so it's not taking as LONNNNNGGGGG but my computer is quite dated so once I get a normal running machine this should be easier.
Taken from a series on Revelation by Arzudia III (got the free cd deal when they had it at monergism.com) you can get the messages here: http://www.spiritempoweredpreaching.com/sermons.htm
THis video takes several parts from the series titled 'a vision of God's throne'.








I like this guy although he does have at times a squeaky voice (ha, ha ,ha, ha) and in my estimation explain 'Greek' words that don't bring anymore light to the text (maybe it helps others, I guess)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Liberty with LOVE

Found this piece at the end of an article I quickly breezed through by Warren Wiersbe on Christian liberty, well he inserts this list a friend of his put together, which I thought was very good.
This has also been one of the thousands of things floating this busy head of mine. Sure when it comes to liberty, we can be quite crafty in what we'll try to pass as part of our freedom, yet in reality we are enslaved to them, be honest and face those things that are choking life out of you!
I would add two things to really consider before you defend your 'liberty'
1. WHEN was the LAST time (if EVER) you restricted yourself because of a 'weaker' brother/sister, when was the LAST time you surrendered some of your 'rights' for the sake of the gospel NOT being hindered???????
2. Parents be VERY careful not to enslave your children to anything, consider the message you proclaim to them, PROTECT them!!! (May God help us all in this!)
Principles on liberty: Here's the list.

(1) Liberty is constrained by our love of Christ. If you do not love Christ forget all the rest of the principles and do what you want.
(2) Liberty should not cause another person to stumble, be made weak, or turn from Christ. This is a major point. It is the only one that says that a person sins against Christ.
(3) Liberty should be edifying. Does your liberty build up the body of Christ?
(4) Liberty should not be enslaving. Can someone be enslaved by their liberty?
(5) Liberty should glorify Jesus. Does your liberty bring glory to Jesus?
(6) Liberty should help you toward your goal God has set.
(7) Liberty should be worthy of the gospel. Does your liberty hinder the gospel of Christ?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

counselling and the sufficiency of scripture

My thoughts were aroused to this subject through a conversation with an elder today, and I stumbled upon this post which is below.
It is my utmost conviction that maturity in Christ is much to do with KNOWLEDGE which produces DEPENDENCY. In fact time and time again we see the Lord work out such things in our lives for that ultimate goal, that we would hope in Him. However there are MANY hurdles to our learning to hope in God, these hurdles could be termed distractions or substitutes which we rely on or gravitate to first. To make matters worse is our frequent tendency to over-react to something we've gone through, like I could say biblically 'if you are sick you should FIRST go to the Lord in prayer' which for some people if they've been exposed to Benny Hinn type garbage where 'faith'='s refusing needed medical attention then they may feel UNNECESSARILY choked up over such admonition. WHY? Because we too often "DISCERN" what we hear or see by what we FEEL and we are too prone to FILTER things through our EXPERIENCE. Whereas we SHOULD and must LEARN to judge ALL things FIRST by the word of GOD. In fact, the so-called expertise of 'man' is largely based upon 'observation and experience', as Albert Martin said 'the expert of today becomes the subject of critique tomorrow'. Whether it's HISTORY, SCIENCE (even MEDICINE), PSYCHOLOGY etc.. they are in a constant process of correction (correcting the errors of the past--or trying to) while on the contrary The Word of God needs no revisions and as time goes on we only learn how ever-increasingly TRUER it is!
What is below should be the NORM for Pastors/Elders in churches: We desperately need MINISTERS who are men of ONE book!

From http://theo-geek.blogspot.com
The field of nouthetic counseling, or biblical counseling as it is more commonly known, was developed by a pastor named Jay Adams. As a shepherd of the flock, Adams was dismayed by the ineffectual treatment of mental and social disorders by his contemporaries in the psych fields. In the 1960’s, when Adams wrote “Competent to Counsel”, pastors were encouraged to “defer and refer” their parishioners to psychologists for treatment rather than try to counsel them themselves. Nouthetic counseling presupposes that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God, and that as such, it contains all the wisdom and counsel individuals need to solve their problems (many times caused by their own sin or possession of a sin nature), relate to others, and learn to live abundantly. A thesis of nouthetic counseling might be 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (emphasis mine).
The term “nouthetic” comes from the Greek noun nouthesis and the corresponding verb noutheteo. The term in Greek encompasses more than our modern word “counseling”, which carries a certain set of connotations and expectations largely based on stereotypes from secular therapy. Unlike the Rogerian therapist, who is to function as a non-judgmental, emotionless “mirror” for the client, a nouthetic counselor fulfills the role of actively pointing her counselee to the specific guidelines for behavior laid out in Scripture. “Nouthetic” carries with it an expectation of confronting sin biblically (Romans 15:14), correcting, encouraging, exhorting, rebuking, training and equipping for good works. Every one of these activities is a biblical command to Christians. Far from being autonomous individuals, it was assumed and taught by Paul and other early evangelists that members of the Church would be teaching one another the truths they had learned from the Apostles, confronting sin, encouraging one another, and “spurring one another on to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Paul continually confronted and encouraged individuals with the Word of God during his ministry, as is apparent from the many personal names and details in his letters. Part of the role of a pastor is to be able to open the Scriptures in a deep and personally applicable way to individual members, but the counseling role is not limited just to pastors or full-time ministry staff, as are preaching and teaching. All Christians are called to spiritual maturity (1 Corinthinans 14:20; Ephesians 4:14), and part of that maturation process is to learn and apply God’s Word and exhort others to do the same.
A typical session with a nouthetic counselor might begin with the counselor asking the client extensive questions about her background, upbringing, faith, and relationships in order to form a frame of reference and see the counselee’s “whole picture”. This is not the same as psychoanalysis, which seeks underlying causes for deviant behavior in the “subconscious” and thus places blame outside of the individual; rather, the counselor wants to gather as much solid information on her client as possible and to avoid a tendency to jump to conclusions or make hasty decisions.
Nouthetic counseling stands on the premise that the Bible holds all we need to know about God; ourselves; the nature of sin and how inclined we all are to it; how our interpersonal relationships are affected by sin; how sin affects our relationship with God; and God’s solution for sin – found only in Jesus Christ. Because it presupposes the sufficiency and inerrancy of Scripture, nouthetic counseling is only appropriate or effective if the client has been born again. If not, the starting point for the counselor is to present the Gospel and explain to the client the seriousness of sin. It is necessary (as in any evangelism encounter) for the problem of sin to be accepted as a personal, concrete dilemma separating the individual from God – not simply as an abstract concept common to all. Only when a sinner sees and comprehends the full horror of her sin can she grasp the extent of lavish grace that is extended to her through the Cross. What the Bible calls “repentance unto salvation” is the prerequisite for any deep, enduring, abiding change within the spirit – anything else is just behavior modification. Once the heart which has been previously hostile toward God has been reconciled to Him through faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification can begin.
Facing one’s own sin squarely and seeking God’s solution through His own Word is the business of nouthetic counseling. Very often, even as Christians, we seek to minimize our sin or even rationalize it. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we know we have done wrong and are ashamed; so we sew “fig leaves” to cover up our shame. For the addict, some of these “fig leaves” might be unrealistic body ideals presented by the media; perfectionist parents; a painful childhood; or intense pressure to succeed at school or in athletics. While each of these circumstances causes pain and can influence a girl or woman’s thinking, the responsibility for the sinful behavior ultimately rests on her own shoulders.
The role of a nouthetic counselor is to gently strip off the “fig leaves” and help the woman to face her own sin, which has caused her current bondage. This is what the Bible calls “rebuking”, and exposing sin must be done with an attitude of love and compassion. The motive is to correct and thus heal; never to wound or punish. The counselor knows very well she is a sinner in the same boat as the addict, but she has been taught herself the principles of “putting off” old thought patterns and behaviors and “putting on” the new self. She is now in a position to help impart that wisdom to another sister. In a counseling relationship, the counselor carries spiritual authority to which the counselee has submitted. This includes completing written homework assignments and doing independent Scripture reading, which the counselor will direct, but by no means has the counselor put herself up in a position of judgment over her charge.
Helping someone face her own sin, the very root of her current agony, is actually the most loving thing a sister in Christ can do. The longer we keep making excuses for ourselves, the longer we stay in the grips of the particular, besetting sin, and the longer we stay in pain. While change can be painful, staying in the pit is ever so much more painful. Shrinking or running from what we must see in order to change will keep us in bondage.
Exposing sin in a firm but loving way is exactly the model Jesus gave us from His own ministry. One of the first recipients of grace (and consequently one of the first missionaries of the Gospel) was the Samaritan woman at the well, who we meet in John chapter 4. Jesus did not give her a scathing, angry lecture; but rather pointedly stated the fact that she had had five husbands and was currently shacking up. He put His finger right on the “spiritual disease” – her immorality. He had already offered the solution – He was, and is, the Living Water. He did not excuse her lifestyle, conceding that since she had felt unloved as a child and had unmet needs, it was okay; but neither were His words morally neutral. They were loaded with significance.
Likewise, in chapter 8 of John’s Gospel, after forgiving the woman caught in adultery Jesus tells her “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11). He does not minimize the sin or make excuses for her then or us now. He forgives, He redeems, and He has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him (2 Peter 1:3). He expects us to accept it, let Him change our hearts, and our behavior will change as a result.
Trying to change behavior without dealing with the root (sin) is doomed to failure. Outward behavior modification does not acknowledge the Lordship of Christ – a deep heart change is not necessary. True change requires us to hate our sin passionately; not just seek to avoid the consequences of it. This approach is, in essence, still trying to be our own god – thinking that we can change ourselves apart from the Holy Spirit.
Because nouthetic counseling is based entirely on biblical principles, it is not a set of subjective theories and experimental therapies as are employed in mainstream secular psychological counseling. Nouthetic counselors are required to study the Word as well as counseling methodology, and must pass a theological exam before being certified.
Hermeneutics, the study of Bible interpretation, is a field that has a practical application in nouthetic counselors. People who are doctrinally ill-equipped may take a verse or passage out of context, and use it to justify anything. Similarly, in our humanity we possess what is called the “nouetic effect of sin”, which means we are predisposed to read our own agenda into what Scripture says. In order to resist this tendency, solid theological training is necessary in order to counsel other believers. (That is not to say a seminary degree is required to help others find biblical solutions to their problems – not at all! However, doctrinal soundness is mandatory in order to guide anyone into truth, and that is a heavy responsibility.) The counselor herself must be a woman of prayer, consistently studying the Word herself; in a church where Scripture is exegeted and the Gospel is preached without compromise; and attending the requisite training for this ministry.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Regeneration to the EXTREME!! pt 1

What? Can the TRUTHS of regeneration be token to an extreme? Certainly they can and certainly they have been. Recovering and reteaching faulty and supressed doctrines can be tricky business, yet it MUST be done. Regeneration is one of those doctrines, which has suffered much throughout the history of the church.
There are TODAY many who are proclaiming the truths that TRUE conversion brings forth FRUIT and that without such fruit there is NO conversion. Bold proclamation against a water-downed and/or 'carnal Christian' gospel is absolutely NECESSARY today because the disease of these heresies is widespread!
The PROBLEM however is that there are an ever-increasing multitude of believers who in their zeal to defend the abuses of these teachings have only caused simliar grief to the people of God by putting burdens upon the people of God which He hasn't put there! The audacity of a preacher to think they can give assurance to someone because they walked an aisle, received immersion, or signed a card is blasphemous, YET the same carelessness and hard-hearteness towards God's sheep is present, when some zealous preacher describes conversion to such a degree that would leave a great chunk of true believers feeling as though they were lost.
Such a subject needs GREAT care, it needs a FEARFUL handling of the scriptures, and most importantly we must REST in the fact that there ARE limits to what we can call true conversion!
This legalistic approach to fruits following conversion, for some, only go as far as the pulpit. I've seen preachers 'attempt' to preach 'hard' messages filled with absolutes (If you aren't 100% sold out then you're LOST' 'If Jesus doesn't control every thought then you're LOST' 'If you don't pray and read scriptures everyday then you're LOST' 'If you don't witness everyday then you're LOST') but then express a low view of conversion when it comes to their own church, OR even a very BALANCED and BIBLICAL conviction when it comes to counselling their sheep'!
Please don't be blinded by the fact you like 'hard' preaching, I've been in places where 'hard' preaching was absolutely worshipped (and that by hypocrites!!!!). The only fire we should want is the kind Lloyd-Jones spoke of 'THEOLOGY on FIRE' (real preaching)!
John Macarthur, Paul Washer, Albert Martin, have grealty effected many people for the glory of God by clearly and carefully teaching the truths of conversion. Such are men (like Jeff Noblit and Jono Sims) that address these matters with a clear zeal for truth accompanied by a very compassionate concern for the people of God----> THERE MUST BE BOTH!!!!
Yet the same may not be said of the 'followers' or 'listeners' of such men, when they begin to do the same but also begin to get carried away by their own feelings and in turn make true conversion to look just a little bit more dramatic then it is.
It must be admitted that among the Puritans there were those who did just that (it must be noted that 'the Puritans' can include a very broad community-and that when people say 'the Puritans' they usually mean those which were faithful to truth and practice), now WHY did some PURITANS have this problem? Because they were addressing the same problems we are!

Allow me to leave this subject with a sermon that has come to mind (though I would suggest careful listening to the preachers I've listed by asking 'what do they say and NOT say, and what examples do they use?)
Albert Martin addressing PURITAN EVANGELISM

Other Preachers I listen to

I was thinking, that I've rarely referenced to non-Baptist preachers and yet this was NOT done intentionally. There are many brothers I love to listen to or would recommend to others.

Now much of what I'll say is simply my own taste and not necessarily my convictions:

I have found among Presbyterians or the like that I tend to like those who are from Europe (Scotland, England, Ireland), though some of them may be hard to follow (attention-wise) they have much content and much passion towards God. WAIT! "I thought that those (British etc..) were the dry, stoic types?" Need I mention the preachers/teachers of the past?

Preachers like:

Sinclair Ferguson

Iain Murray

Eric Alexander

Iain Hamilton

Which to me preach with much more passion and relevance then their American counterparts. I was once asked concerning Presbyterians 'Do you think they generally preach to the intellectuals, being more among the upper-classes...?'(not meant as a compliment)

Hmm, I'm slow to touch that, but there DOES seem to be a much greater IDOLIZATION of intellectualism in America and so it would seem reasonable to say those with more have much need to fight against it. It is my STRONG conviction that the wisest men are not those who cause people to say "Wow that guy is a genius, I don't have a clue what he said but it sure was DEEP!" That my friend is the response the philosopher seeks but it should be the LAST thing we seek. Of those I have listed, they are men who preach with simplicity though they could easily use their knowledge to impress the masses. Praise God for the great minds that have refused to give in to such idolatry, like Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones (it's quite possible to be profound and yet simple/understandable).

I also like Joel Beeke, who certainly has MUCH passion for truth and for the Lord, though at times I struggle to listen to him unless I've had caffeine!

Well I'll leave it at that for now! One day I'll make some more recommended sermon links including some of the sermons I love the most from these guys.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Sardis church is reformed? Rev 3

Revelation 3:1"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.....

A thought came to mind concerning this letter to the church at Sardis. A REAL letter to a PHYSICAL church addressing PRESENT matters, YET as with all inspired scripture there is also teaching, correction, rebuking and exhortation for us.
Concerning us (today) we naturally think of this church as being BIG, which seems reasonable to us in America since little churches don't have 'reputations' (how pitiful that is). Another thing we assume is that this is addressing a seeker-friendly, Willow Creek, word of faith, liberal, or emergent mega church, yet I would ask you WHY couldn't it be a 'solidly doctrinal' church?
It may very well apply to a verse by verse expositional preaching ministry, that upholds the doctrines of grace and rightly teaches the truths of the New Covenant! Would it be unthinkable that this church may be pastored by the most 'influential' and 'respected' leaders of our day? Oh and did I forget 'successful'!
This should come to NO surprise if the church is built upon a personality! A church that is built upon a personality is a church which is but a shadow to the pulpit of a man. A church which is not known by it's spiritual growth and unity but by it's size and many ministries. A church that would go through incredible strain if their superstar preacher passed. I would suppose that in such a church, the pastor has effected the members no more than he's effected his readers and listeners thousands of miles away.
What of the 'reformed' (Calvinistic) churches which have followed in the footsteps of seeker-friendly churches by broadcasting services at different campuses? Doesn't the NT example show us that we are to multiple disciples and disciple-makers, not multiple followers.

Who then am I specifically addressing? Does it matter? To be honest I'm not thinking of a specific church and though it's a fact that I don't care too much for the idea of mega churches, I don't assume that all of them are unhealthy.

Dear reader don't despise those small churches, or think little of a personable and touchable pastor who pours his heart and soul into his sheep for the glory of God. Perhaps you should bless God that you aren't in a church where it's easy to get lost, where you have never spent time with the Pastor, where the Pastor doesn't have time to write books and speak at tons of conferences because he's sweating in prayer over you!

Dear Pastor, would you rather be famous or faithful? Would you trade a flock you know by name and have seen individually progress over a MEGA multi-purpose super church? Sure if you get that mega church then you'll get the requests to preach with the big wigs at the great conferences and seminaries OR if you get some "Doctorates" after your name, teach in a seminary, and write books OR the only other way is to become a missionary (like Paul Washer) to somewhere real dangerous then come back and churches will assume that you'll tell lots of sensational stories before the 'real' preachers begin! Ministers I hope that you are seeking to use those who are gifted among you. To recognize and raise up ministers who have been called of God, not to further your worthless vision but to further the kingdom of God!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

'Never join a church...' Spurgeon

Interesting statement? Well i was listening to one of those Spurgeon messages from cloudaudio which I have probably listened to before, well several things stuck out and here is one. A much needed message for all the experts (even teachers, elders, and deacons) within churches which are only committed to the leadership before their faces but secretly tear apart the church by their complaints and critiques.

Jesus, the King of truth by C.H. Spurgeon

If you love the Lord, bear witness to the truth. You must do it personally; you must also do it collectively. Never join any church whose creed you do not entirely and unfeignedly believe, for if you do you act a lie, and are, moreover, a partaker in the error of other men’s testimonies. I would not for a moment say anything to retard Christian unity, but there is something before unity, and that is, “truth in the inward parts” and honesty before God. I dare not
be a member of a church whose teaching I knew to be false in vital points. I would sooner go to heaven alone than belie my conscience for the sake of company. You may say, “But I protest against the error of my church.” Dear friends, how can you consistently protest against it when you profess to agree with it, by being a member of the church which avows it? If you are a minister of a church, you do in effect say before the world, “I believe and teach the doctrines of this church;” and if you go into the pulpit and say you do not believe them, what will people conclude? I leave you to judge that. I saw a church tower the other day, with a clock upon it, which startled me by pointing to half-past ten when I thought it was only nine; I was, however, quite relieved when I saw that another face of the clock indicated a quarter past eight. “Well,” thought I, “whatever time it may be,that clock is wrong, for it contradicts itself.” So if I hear a man say one thing by his church membership and another by his private protest, why, whatever may be right, he certainly is not consistent with himself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Call to Ministry JAM by Albert Martin

Yet another one I made from one of my favorite preachers




LISTEN TO THE WHOLE 5 pt SERIES
here's the first from which the vid was made

Monday, September 7, 2009

When prayer is a waste of time

Gospel Power, Al Martin sermonjam

Here goes yet another video I made of one of my favorite preachers!!!!!



FULL SERMON HERE

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Resting in the Sovereignty of God

The ONLY way we find rest in the Sovereignty of God is NOT through knowing He's in complete control or has a plan, which doesn't bring any comfort to a distressed soul. The only thing that truly brings comfort to a soul is KNOWING the God who is in control.
A parent may with every fiber of their being promise their child 'I'll never let ANYTHING happen to you!' which they may fully 'wish' to fulfill, YET the problem is not desire or honesty; the problem is ABILITY! It's been said 'the best of men, are men at best' which says much about the character of men, on the contrary the Lord Most High has no unfulfilled 'intentions', because He does not lack 'ability'. Concerning the 'desires' of God, they are ONLY good towards His people, He 'DELIGHTS' in doing good to His children and the greatest good which God does for His children is working out all things in such a way that we may be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ!
Why then is this the greatest good? First your joy will be found ultimately in the fulfillment of the intended purpose for your creation (bearing God's image). Secondly God has an eternal view, a perspective that far exceeds the present, which is why the apostle Paul could speak of his trials as 'momentary and light'; Our eternal God works from the result, taking His sheep through rough paths which eventually ALWAYS lead to still waters!
We find rest in the promises of God! We find rest in the wisdom of God! We find rest in the power of God! Yet what exceeds or upholds these truths is the LOVE of God towards us!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

THrone of grace prayer/song by shai linne

Yet another song I picked out for my little bro to make with lyrics. I just love this song, it's one of the 'push the repeat button' songs



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Let us Marvel at all that is His

Wonderful exhortation from brother Kevin @ http://www.puritanfellowship.com/

Let Us Marvel At All That Is His
By Kevin Williams.I was dwelling on the words "he" and "his" in Psalm 147:16-17 "He giveth snow like wool ... He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?" and this led me to think on and rejoice in the beauty of God in nature and the weather.When you realize that each rain drop are his raindrops and the beams of light from the sun are his beams of light and the wind blowing through the trees is his wind, it brings a whole new dimension to the beauty of each day in Christ Jesus.I challenge you to each day behold the beauty and wonders of God in the weather and nature. Every time you see a flower, know it is his flower. When you see a leaf falling to the ground with such beautiful colours, it is his leaf and his wind that blows upon it. When you are in a storm, it is his storm. When you feel the crunch of snow underfoot, it is his snow.Let us not be slow in thanking God for every drop of his water that runs through his rivers and his streams. The rolling hills and valleys below are his hills and his valleys. The clouds in the sky are his clouds and the clear sky is his clear sky. The beautiful sunrise is his sunrise and the breathtaking sunset is his sunset.Beloved of God, this is true of every believer that we are his people. Let us marvel in all that is his and that he shares such wonderful beauty with us and he is not ashamed to call us his friend. We are his beloved.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lookin 4 real gospel preachers

What do you like in a gospel preacher? What are some things that spark your interest?
As for me when I hear of someone new or meet someone who talks about ministry and being called to it, there are certainly somethings that I'm looking for:

First let me say that I'm NOT even wondering (if they do have a church) how BIG is their church. I'm NOT wondering what school they went to or what letters are in front of their names.
I don't even wonder what denomination they are in. I don't really wonder who they like reading or listening to (primarily because that says very little unless they explain why they like them). I don't care if they are dispensational, CT, or New Covenant theologians. I don't care if they call themselves missional, Calvinist, or reformed.

I DO however have one thing I want to know about them, and that's their grasp of the GOSPEL! I want to know above anything else what kind of gospel do they preach. I don't mean do they agree with Grudem or Piper or Washer, I mean how EXACTLY do THEY preach this gospel! Sure men (like anyone else) can recite things they have heard and give you all the right answers, in fact they might be like the couch potato football coach who knows exactly what the team 'should' do, yet if you hand them the ball they fumble. When I say I want to know how they teach it, I also mean a whole lot more than the 'in 1 minute tell me the gospel' test.
Right doctrine of course, by this I mean a clear and biblical gospel, not necessarily like the Puritans or Calvin or even John Macarthur but a good grasp of justification, sanctification, and regeneration. Yet I'm looking for something more and I would hope and expect that you also desire to see much more than this.
I want to see the gospel preached personally!

  • containing a sense of URGENCY
  • containing a sense of intimate LOVE to Christ
  • containing a sense of passionate pleading for souls
  • containing a sense of personal awe and adoration (worship)
  • containing a sense of holy boldness (a firm belief in the POWER of the word)

It appears that there is a great lack of such preachers, and a preacher who can't preach Christ crucified should throw in the towel!

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