Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Contentment -William Plummer

"What shadows we are--and what shadows we pursue!"

"Humility is the mother of contentment."

"Those who realize that they deserve nothing, will be content with anything."

When we become lifted up with pride, and think we deserve something good at God's hands--it is impossible to satisfy us. But with the humble is wisdom, quietness, gentleness and contentment. He who expects nothing, because he deserves nothing, is sure to be satisfied with the treatment he receives at God's hands.

The proud man is like a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. He is turbulent and fiery. He alienates friends; he makes enemies. He has much trouble and sorrow--where the humble man passes quietly along. Pride and contentment do not go together. Neither do contentment and carnal ambition.

"Do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not!" (Jeremiah 45:5)

Our actual needs are not many; but the ambitious create a thousand desires and demands, which are hard, if not impossible to meet.

He who is carnally ambitious, will not be content with whatever he gains, because each elevation widens his horizon, and gives him a view of something else which he greatly longs for. And so he is tossed from vanity to vanity--a stranger to solid peace.

Are you ambitious for the things of this world?
Then you are your own tormentor!

-William Plummer-

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Calvinistic Roots of Baptists

I proudly call myself a Southern Baptist, but one area that I tend to think differently than most Southern Baptists today is in the area of the sovereignty of God in salvation. I hold to the Calvanistic Doctrine that Baptists like John Gill, Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan, and Augustus Strong so boldly proclaimed. Though most of that foundation has been denied by many of the Southern Baptists today, there seems to be a slight resurgence taking place of the old doctrines. So it always thrills my soul when I am looking through Baptist liturature and still see the remants of those Calvinistic roots. Tonight we were keeping up with that Southern Baptist tradition of getting to pick out our favorite songs to sing for evening worship. As we where thumbing through the pages my wife ran across this song.

My Lord, I Did Not Choose You

My Lord, I did not choose You,
For that could never be;
My heart would still refuse You,
Had You not chosen me.
You took the sin that stained me,
You cleansed me, made me new;
Of old You have ordained me,
That I should live in You.

Unless Your grace had called me
And taught my op’ning mind,
The world would have enthralled me,
To heav’nly glories blind.
My heart knows none above You;
For Your rich grace I thirst;
I know that if I love You,
You must have loved me first.

Josiah Conder 1789 - 1855

Though Conder was not a Baptist, the fact that his song has lingered in the Baptist hymnal brings joy to my heart!

Praise God for His Salvation!



Thursday, January 26, 2006

Oh, For Holiness - David Brainerd

When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of him the more insatiable, and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable….Oh, for holiness! Oh, for more of God in my soul! Oh, this pleasing pain! It makes my soul press after God….Oh, that I may feel this continual hunger, and not be retarded, but rather animated by every “cluster from Cannan,” To reach forward in the narrow way, for the full enjoyment and possession of the heavenly inheritance. Oh, that I might never loiter on my heavenly journey!

David Brainerd

We are the Lepers

Then the priest shall look, and if the leprous disease has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean of the disease; it has all turned white, and he is clean. Lev 13:13

This verse may seem strange to many of today’s readers, but if leprosy had only covered part of the body and not all of the flesh was white, that man would be pronounced unclean. This is because the flesh that was not yet white was contagious, but if his flesh was completely white, the disease was no longer transmittable.

Although this text teaches us something much deeper, for leprosy in scripture is often a representation of sin. We are the lepers. We are diseased with sin and completely full of guilt, but in our natural state how we strive to suppress that truth. We go to great lengths to deny our unworthiness before God, thinking that we can somehow justify ourselves. Even if we see ourselves as partially sinful, surely God owes us something. But in that condition we stand before the true high priest Jesus Christ and we are pronounced unclean. It is not until we stand before him in complete poverty of spirit, knowing we have nothing to offer Him, and that we are completely sinful saying, “you have every right to pour your wrath upon me, but I plead the merits of your sacrifice,” does Christ say to us, you are clean.

Though we have nothing to offer
We must go to the High Priest
To present our empty coffer
With self-righteousness deceased

With hearts as black as dross
Filled with the obscene
All paid for on the cross
He’ll there pronounce us clean

Doug Eaton

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Christianity Should Pervade All - Machen

Do all to the glory of God.
1Co 10:31

The Christian cannot be satisfied so long as any human activity is either opposed to Christianity or out of connection with Christianity. Christianity must pervade not merely all nations but also all of human thought.

J. Gresham Machen

A Prayer in Weakness

Lord, give me the strength I need for today. For I am weak, and my body trembles under it’s own weight. The world before me looks daunting, and my own inconsistencies trouble me. Take me into Your hands, raise me up in your strength, and open the doors to speak the truth that needs to be heard. Break all the shackles and bind all the foes. Make me available for your service. Work in me to both to will and to do your good pleasure. You've crushed my pride, with the very thought of your mercy. You have become my very life’s desire. In light of you all else fails. Make my feet to stand on the rock, firmly planted never to stray. Give me gentleness in the firmness of your truth, give me humility in the pride of knowing you, and give me brokeness in the completeness you offer. My life is in Christ, and my death will be a victory. Take this day and have me completely, and if tomorrow is given, I will pray to do it again.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Preacher's Authority

“Throughout the history of the church the greatest preachers have been those who have recognized that they have no authority in themselves and have seen their task as being to explain the words of Scripture and apply them clearly to the lives of their hearers. Their preaching has drawn its power not from the proclamation of their own Christian experiences or the experiences of others, nor from their own opinions, creative ideas, or rhetorical skills, but from God’s powerful words. Essentially they stood in the pulpit, pointed to the biblical text, and said in effect to the congregation, “this is what this verse means, do you see that meaning here as well? Then you must believe it and obey it with all your heart, for God himself, your Creator and your Lord, is saying this to you today!” Only the written words of Scripture can give this kind of authority to preaching.”

Wayne Grudem – Systematic Theology

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1Co 2:1 - 1Co 2:5

Friday, January 20, 2006

Satan's Dread!

But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew, and they were in dread of the children of Israel. Ex. 1:12

At this point in history the Israelites were in Egypt, because of God’s sovereign work through Joseph. They had been living in freedom and peace, when a new king comes into power and sees the prosperity of the Israelites. He then became concerned with their growth, so he and the Egyptians begin to oppress God's chosen people, but the more they afflicted them, the more they grew.

Within this historical truth we find a spiritual truth. Many people live in fear and dread of Satan, and his demons, but as children of God we need not fear, for even Satan is fulfilling God’s will in our lives. He is so blinded with pride that he thinks he is thwarting and putting to ruin God’s plan but is in fact helping to fulfill it.

When the Lord allows Satan and his demons to mettle in a Christian’s life, it is for a good reason. We know this because all things work together for the good of those who love Him. God has started a good work in us that He will finish, and the more we are afflicted the more we grow. Until, to Satan’s demise, He is in dread of us.

An example of this can be seen in the life of Peter. Satan, during the crucifixion, asked to sift him, and God allows him to do so. As a result of this sifting, Peter commits one of the most heinous sins possible, he denies Christ. Failure and affliction have hit hard, but to Satan’s dismay it is this fall that causes Peter to grow in faith and become more like Christ. He then goes on to lead thousands to the Lord and his testimony is still encouraging people today. Peter became a dread to Satan. You can bet that Satan regrets ever tempting Peter in that way.

Now many may say, it’s how you respond to affliction that matters. But we need to look at why Peter responded correctly. He responded correctly because God convicted him of his sin. God broke his heart instead of letting Peter harden it. God did it all. Why? Because Peter was one of His, and of us He will not lose one. Sanctification is what God does in us and not what we do for God. What we end up doing for Him is merely a response of what He is doing in us.

As we face the schemes of the Devil, remember, God is always working in His Children and uses many things to grow our faith, even affliction. So when you feel that the prince and the power of the air is winning the fight, remember he is only playing right into the hands of our Father.

-Doug Eaton-

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I Only Need the Bible

In my studies of Scripture and theology, I occasionally run across someone who sees me reading a systematic theology or something of that sort who says to me, “I don’t need all those other books I only need the Bible.” This statement is frustrating because in one sense it is arrogant, though the one who says it may not mean it that way.

The statement in another sense is true. If we did not have access to any other books but only had the Bible that would be enough, but in our time the Lord has given us many books that help us to understand His word.

Wayne Grudem in his systematic theology says, “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers (1Cor. 12:28). We should allow those gifts of teaching to help us understand Scripture.” To think that somehow we do not need the God ordained teachers or that none of the books they have written could be any help to us gives way too much credit to our own abilities.

I do realize that some neglect the scriptures for all these other books and that is wrong, but we should utilize what the Lord has given us through men and women who have been given the gift of teaching.

And of course there is Spurgeon who said…

The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

End of the Spear

I am excited to the see the new movie about Jim Elliot and Steve Saint. We are taking our youth group this weekend. How many of you are planning to see it?

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

-Jim Elliot-

Visit the End of the Spear website.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Mighty Breaker - Spurgeon

"There brake He the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle." --Psalm 76:3

Our Redeemer's glorious cry of "It is finished," was the death-knell of all the adversaries of His people, the breaking of "the bow and the battle." Behold the hero of Golgotha using His cross as an anvil, and His woes as a hammer, dashing to shivers bundle after bundle of our sins, those poisoned "arrows of the bow"; trampling on every indictment, and destroying every accusation. What glorious blows the mighty Breaker gives with a hammer far more ponderous than the fabled weapon of Thor! How the diabolical darts fly to fragments, and the infernal bucklers are broken like potters' vessels! Behold, He draws from its sheath of hellish workmanship the dread sword of Satanic power! He snaps it across His knee, as a man breaks the dry wood of a fagot, and casts it into the fire.

Beloved, no sin of a believer can now be an arrow mortally to wound him, no condemnation can now be a sword to kill him, for the punishment of our sin was borne by Christ, a full atonement was made for all our iniquities by our blessed Substitute and Surety. Who now accuseth? Who now condemneth? Christ hath died, yea rather, hath risen again. Jesus has emptied the quivers of hell, has quenched every fiery dart, and broken off the head of every arrow of wrath; the ground is strewn with the splinters and relics of the weapons of hell's warfare, which are only visible to us to remind us of our former danger, and of our great deliverance. Sin hath no more dominion over us. Jesus has made an end of it, and put it away for ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end. Talk ye of all the wondrous works of the Lord, ye who make mention of His name, keep not silence, neither by day, nor when the sun goeth to his rest. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

C.H. Spurgeon

Saturday, January 14, 2006

God Moves in a Mysterious Way - Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace:
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain:
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

-William Cowper-


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Thoughts on Soul Winning - C. H. Spurgeon

“We do not regard it to be soul-winning to steal members out of churches already established, and train them to utter our peculiar Shibboleth: we aim rather at bringing souls to Christ than at making converts to our synagogue.”

"In the next place, we do not consider soul-winning to be accomplished by hurriedly inscribing more names upon our church-roll, in order to show a good increase at the end of the year. This is easily done, and there are brethren who use great pains, not to say arts, to effect it; but if it be regarded as the Alpha and Omega of a minister's efforts, the result will be deplorable."

"Teach gospel doctrines clearly, affectionately, simply, and plainly, and especially those truths which have a present and practical bearing upon man's condition and God's grace. Some enthusiasts would seem to have imbibed the notion that, as soon as a minister addresses the unconverted, he should deliberately contradict his usual doctrinal discourses, because it is supposed that there will be no conversions if he preaches the whole counsel of God. It just comes to this, brethren, it is supposed that we are to conceal truth, and utter a half-falsehood, in order to save souls. We are to speak the truth to God's people because they will not hear anything else; but we are to wheedle sinners into faith by exaggerating one part of truth, and hiding the rest until a more convenient season. This is a strange theory, and yet many endorse it.”

“To try to win a soul for Christ by keeping that soul in ignorance of any truth, is contrary to the mind of the Spirit; and to endeavour to save men by mere claptrap, or excitement, or oratorical display, is as foolish as to hope to hold an angel with bird-lime, or lure a star with music. The best attraction is the gospel in its purity. The weapon with which the Lord conquers men is the truth as it is in Jesus. The gospel will be found equal to every emergency; an arrow which can pierce the hardest heart, a balm which will heal the deadliest wound. Preach it, and preach nothing else.”

C.H. Spurgeon- The Soul Winner-

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Law and Theology

A good friend of mine has started a blog that is sure to be a great one. He has a lot of insight and has helped me navigate through some pretty tough issues. Be sure to check it out!

Law and Theology

The Evil of Evils - Jeremiah Burroughs

"It is Better to choose affliction than sin."

-Jeremiah Burroughs -The Evil of Evils-

Monday, January 09, 2006

Faith and Feelings

“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say you are my God.” Psalms 31:14

Here we see King David make a statement that we’ve heard him say many times, but what is significant are the words that precede this statement. Many people base their relationship with the Lord on their feelings. If we feel close to the Lord then He is close. If we feel far from Him then He is far. If we feel joy, peace, and love then we are in His favor, but if we feel grief, pain, guilt and distress then He is not near. If we look at David’s words that precede this verse, we will find statements like “My eye wastes away with grief”, “My bones wastes away”, and “My strength fails me because of my iniquity.” Other words that accompany his plight are broken, trouble, reproach, and forgotten.

When we enter times like this we tend to believe that God has forgotten us, or that we’ve been cut off from before His eyes. This is completely contrary to the truth. God’s faithfulness and truth are not conditioned by our feelings. I enjoy it when good feelings accompany my faith, but my faith is not based on my feelings.

How does David conclude the Psalm? By calling on all of God’s children to love the Lord and to place their trust in Him. Even though he is struggling with his own doubts and fears He puts the call forward, and speaks the truth of God’s sovereignty and his faithfulness.

You may be in a time in your life where the truth of God’s word is accompanied with times of peace, and comfort. Your worship springs from a fountain of overwhelming joy. Or you may be in a time of your life where you feel dry, broken, and full of reproach. Regardless of how you feel move forward in the Lord. Speak His truth, and work to forward the kingdom of God, because if we are not doing this, it doesn’t really matter what feelings we have. We are commanded by God’s Word to proclaim His truth; we are equipped by grace, and spurred on by faith, not feelings, to fulfill the works ordained beforehand because we are his workmanship.

On the other side of the coin, many people feel good about their souls condition, but their life does not line up with scripture. The Buddhist claims to have found peace, but is still under condemnation of the law. Their feelings have deceived them. Only when feelings line up with the Truth can they be trusted. Other than that, they deceive. In our attempt to seek and know God, let us make the Truth of Christ the treasure we seek, and this can only be found in the Word of God. And if we don't know the Word of God, how will we know if our lives line up. This is why the Psalmist says "Thy word I have hid in my heart that I might not sin against you."

When times of trouble and distress come, may we say with David “My times are in your hands”. I will not worry about how things make me feel, but I will trust that all that comes my way is ordained by Him and He is faithful, and His truth does not waiver with my feelings. Therefore, I will march on proclaiming your truth.

-Doug Eaton-

Sunday, January 08, 2006

God's Plan - J.I. Packer

"The Bible’s dominant conviction about God, a conviction proclaimed from Genesis to Revelation, is that behind and beneath all the apparent confusion of this world lies his plan. That plan concerns the perfecting of a people and the restoring of a world through the mediating action of Christ. God governs human affairs with this end in view. His plan cannot be thwarted by human sin, because God made a way for human sin itself to be part of the plan. The cross of Christ is the supreme illustration of this principle. At Calvary God overruled human sin, which he foresaw, as a means of salvation of the world. Thus it appears that human lawlessness does not thwart God’s plan for his people’s redemption. Rather, through the wisdom of omnipotence, it has become the means of fulfilling that plan."

J.I. Packer – Hot Tub Religion

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Though Provoking Question.

Here is a link to a thought provoking question?

Puritan Belief: Knowledge of Good And Evil


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Implore Them to Stop - Spurgeon

"Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ,
if sinners will be damned, at least
let them leap to hell over our bodies.

And if they will perish, let them perish with our
arms about their knees, imploring them to stop,
and not madly to destroy themselves.

If hell must be filled, at least let it be
filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let
not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.

From Spurgeon's sermon, "The Wailing of Risca"

Just for Fun!

(click on picture for larger view)

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Payment God Cannot Twice Demand - Toplady

Payment God Cannot Twice Demand-
First at my bleeding Surety's hand,
And then again at mine.

-Augustus Toplady-

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Glorious Sins - Thomas Brooks

"Till men have faith in Christ, their best services are but
glorious sins."


Monday, January 02, 2006

Distressed Yet Victorious

And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. Mark 14:33

If our Lord, who was sinless, had times in which He became distressed, how should we who are sinful expect to escape them? There have been many people who have preached what is called the "Victorious Christian life". Although this is never actually stated, if you extend the arguments out, what is implied with this type of teaching is that if we walk close enough to the Lord, and spend enough time in prayer and devotion, we will attain some type of abundant life which enables us to walk in victory and be above sin and distress. When trials come, our faith will be solid and we will feel at perfect rest knowing God is in control. And there are clearly times when we will go through outward trials with this sort of inner success.

But to imagine that we can reach a point where we will not have times of heaviness and distress is not Scriptural. For even our Lord had to face times like this, and He had no sin to remember in His times of trouble. Times of distress will plague us all, but in our distress we are not to feel like we have not reached some spiritual peak. Or as if we lack some, "deeper Christian life". This type of thinking can lead to a spiritual elitism, which can excite pride. In fact, many in the church get so caught up in trying to reach these allusive spiritual peaks, that they have forgotten what pure an undefiled religion is, visiting orphans and widows, helping the poor and the down trodden, and extending grace to the sinner.

The very phrase "Victorious Christian life" is redundant because to be a Christian is to be victorious. You cannot be a child of God and not have the victory. If you are a child of God, He is your Shepherd and this Shepherd cannot fail. Though He may bring you through High water, He will be with you. In the dark valley of death you may tremble, but He will not falter. There will be times where He will forge you over the fires, and all of this is done is to fulfill His purposes in your life. But this does not mean the fire will not be hot, or that the hammer will not sting. As one southern preacher said, "When the Lord sends tribulation, He ‘spects us to tribulate." As Christians we will share in the sufferings of Christ and this suffering causes pain and distress, if it doesn’t, it’s not suffering.

When trouble and distress are upon us, we are to fight it, not by trying to reach some higher state of spirituality, but by holding on to the truth that He will bring us through every trial victoriously. And nothing, not even death itself can separate us from His love.
Failure and victory are not determined by feelings, but by our actual position in Christ, regardless of what our feelings tell us. Trust Him to lead you through and remember when Christ looks on those who are distressed, He has compassion, and is near to those who call upon Him in prayer. At times, we may be hard pressed on every side but we will not be crushed. And we must remember that the distress our Lord felt in the scripture above, led to the greatest victory that has ever been won.

My soul at times will not be still,
And tremblings with my heart doth fill
Yet perfect bliss was not His pledge
Nor paradise within His hedge
But every trial will be endured.
The victory has been secured.
And death itself’s a vanquished foe
By resurrection’s mighty blow.

-Doug Eaton-

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Saved by the Keeping of the Law

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matt. 5:17

We must never forget that we are saved by the keeping of the law. No one will ever be with the Father without perfect righteousness. Scripture tells us that without holiness no one shall see God. This is a standard that will never be lowered. When the scripture uses holiness in this sense, it means perfection. If you are guilty of any of the law then you are guilty of all of it. God’s moral law is not arbitrary, it flows from His unchangeable nature and will never be altered. Anyone who expects to see God must be able to stand in perfect righteousness.

The problem is that we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. But Christ did what we could not. He kept the law perfectly. It is because of this He is able to die in our place. Had he not kept the law He would have had to die for His own sins. But He kept the law, then died to take upon Himself our condemnation which the Law requires. Let us never forget that we are saved by the keeping of the law; Christ keeping it in our place and imputing His righteousness to us.

We must not despise the law of God as some are prone to do. We are no longer under the condemnation of the law, and our salvation is not in any way related to our keeping of the law. But we are still under the law in the sense that to violate it is sin, and grieves the heart of God. To despise the law is to despise the very nature of God from which it proceeds.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers: But his delight is in the law of Jehovah; And on his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

-Doug Eaton-