Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reformation Radio Show

Oct. 31, 1571, It was a Wednesday morning and everything seemed normal. Business was going along as usual in the German province of Saxony. In fact, most people were most likely not focusing on this day since the following day was "All Souls Day". A day when Frederick the Wise would bring in religious relics for the city to see, and offer the people a chance to buy indulgences. But little did the world know that an unknown emaciated Augustinian monk with a hammer and a piece of paper with 95 thesis was on his way to the Castle Church in Wittenberg. And God was going to use this hammer to shake the world and call light out of darkness.

This weekend I had the privilege to be a guest on the apologetics.com radio show in Los Angeles with host Chris Neiswonger. The topic was the reformation. We spent the majority of the time discussing the five solas of the Reformation.

Sola Scriptura - Scripture alone
Sola Christus - Christ Alone
Sola Gratia - Grace Alone
Sola Fide - Faith Alone
Soli Deo Gloria - To the Gloria of God Alone

If you would like to listen to the program you can download the mp3 version at the Apologetics.com radio page. Just scroll to the bottom and you should see a link for there. You can also go download it as a podcast in itunes. Simply search for Apologetics.com.

Happy Reformation Day!


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Monday, October 29, 2007

Man In His Best State Is But A Vapor

Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. Psalm 39:4

No one will escape those final moments when while young, middle aged, or elderly these bodies of ours begin to lose the capacity to function correctly and support life. Whether it is heart problems, digestive problems, cancers, accidents, or even mental disorders, these frail bodies of our will someday soon give way. Maybe even today you are seeing these tendencies with your own health.

Now some may ask why be so morbid, and why bring our minds to such things? The answer is the same reason David cried out to be cognizant of his end and to know the measure of his days. It is to remember that we are frail, that our days are as a handbreadth, that we are nothing before God, and that man in his best state is but a vapor.

There is a grace that comes in knowing our end. Though we do not know the details, to be reminded that our end in this life will be death, and that it could come in a variety of ways and at any time, does not hinder us but calls us out of our slumber. David called to God and asked him to remind him of his end because of the sin in his life. He was seeking wisdom in order that he would not fall that way again, and one of the means of grace that David knew would help him was if God would keep before his mind the limited nature of his days.

This grace of knowing our end can come in many ways. There are the simple little reminders we have such as reading a book in which someone is suffering from an illness and in the end it takes their life, or in more serious ways such as a close family member or friend who is struggling in the same way. But many times the Lord’s own hand will plague us and make our beauties melt away like a moth, as we are consumed by the blow of His hands to wake us from our fantasies which was what was happening to David at this point. The reminders are all around us, life is fleeting, temporary, troubled, and quite simply a vapor, and as His Children, the Lord wants us mindful of that fact so we will not squander it.

If we live life with any other understanding than that we walk about like a shadows which will quickly fade, then we live in a make believe world of our creating. And the result will be that we lose sight of the significant and begin to busy ourselves in vain, trying to heap up for ourselves temporal desires and riches not even knowing who it will be that will gather them.

Ultimately, the only way to combat this vanity is to know the truth of our frailty. According to the measure that we have a grasp upon this, we will have a correlative measure of focus upon living our lives for what ultimately matters. We will be wise to the fact that our time is limited, we will give God the praise for the time we do have and trust Him with the few days we have left. When we are tempted with sin, we will be reminded of the utter foolishness of it, as we know we will soon be on our deathbed and will want our consciences clear. We will also desire to redeem the time for the days are evil, and live all of our moments with the desire to see God Glorified.

This will transform even the most common minutes of our day. It can make scripture our daily companion as we seek its eternal riches, and make prayer an unceasing endeavor as we seek the gracious God who controls and knows the number of our days. It compels us even today to go in to the highways and byways and tell others to come in, since tomorrow is promised to no one. It helps us to realize that all is to be done for the glory of God and not just these privileges we consider sacred. Fathers are to dance with their daughters, mothers to hold their sons close, Husbands honor your wives, wives cherish your husbands. Turn off the TV, say no to some additional unnecessary task. Stop chasing after self-glory and honor for all glory is God’s. And since sin has been the cause of all our vain moments, this knowledge will turn our hope to the Lord who is able to deliver us from our transgressions, and to keep us from being the reproach of the foolish.


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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Poor You Will Always Have

For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good; but me ye have not always. Mark 14:7

Here in one of the most unforgettable, characteristic words that Jesus ever uttered, our Lord actually contrasts the service of the poor with the service of Him. "Ye have the poor with you always,’ he said, ‘and whensoever ye will ye may do them good; but me ye have not always.’ We have not Jesus always with us in the sense in which the woman had Him with her at Bethany; we cannot pour any precious ointment upon His head. But in a higher better sense we have Him with us still. And surely we must not neglect the privilege of communion with Him.

Certainly I am not advocating neglect of external service. Without that it is quite impossible that we should be true disciples of Jesus. It is a poor and untrue religion which leaves the hungry in distress. But we shall perform such services all the better if we take time also to commune with Jesus Himself. Do you think that the Christian life is concerned only with philanthropy; do you think that activity in social service is all that our Lord Desires? Oh no, my friends. Those things are absolutely necessary to the Christian, but they are not all that is necessary. If we are true Christians, we shall not neglect those things; but we shall also take time to go into our closet and close the door; and there, with the world shut out, with even our service forgotten for the moment, we shall think no longer of what we do but of what our Savior has done, and we shall pour out upon Him, with an abandon like that of the woman at Bethany, our gratitude and love and praise.

…In these words to the woman at Bethany our Lord sets us free from the oppressive tyranny of the efficiency expert…

J. Gresham Machen – The Claims of Love

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Monday, October 22, 2007

God Has Condescended to Win Our Hearts

It is he that sitteh upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. Isa. 40:22

Speaking of the beauty of the poetry found in the Book of Isaiah, J. Gresham Machen makes the following profound statement.

"Though the primary importance of the Bible is found in its recording of facts, the way in which the facts are recorded is by no means a matter of indifference. A bald, dry record of the history of redemption might possibly have convinced the mind – though even that, because of subtle moral factors involved may be doubtful – but it would at any rate never have touched the heart. As it is, God has been very good; He has spoken to us in gracious fashion; He has condescended to win our hearts by the variety and beauty of His Book. In the Bible there is that which meets every need of man, which answers to every mood, which speaks to every heart. No one who comes to this feast need go empty away; and there are time in every life when even the least considered of the things that the Bible contains are just what is needed by the soul. So there is a place in the nurture of the Christian life, among other things, for the majestic poetry of Isaiah."

J. Gresham Machen – God Transcendent

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Monday, October 15, 2007

The Lord Who Doeth All These Things

“The Lord Who doeth all these things.” …
“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.”
Acts 14:27 - Acts 15:18

The meaning of such repeated phraseology cannot be mistaken. God is here presented as the one agent or actor, and even the most conspicuous apostles, like Paul and Peter, as only His instruments. No Twenty verses in the word of God contain more emphatic and repeated lessons on man’s insufficiency and nothingness, and God’s all-sufficiency and almightiness. It was God that wrought upon man through man. It was He who chose Peter to be His mouthpiece, He whose key unlocked shut doors, he who visited the nations, who turned sinners into saints, who was even then taking out a people for His name, purifying hearts and bearing them witness; it was He and He alone who did all these wondrous things, and according to His knowledge and plan of what He would do, from the beginning. We are not reading so much the Acts of the Apostles as the acts of God through the apostles.

A.T. Pierson

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

When Pain and Faith Collide (vlog)

This is a short devotion about the testing of our faith.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jesus: The Center of All Truth

[Christ] in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Col 2:3

Paul’s main point in Colossians is not that Christ is omniscient, but that the truth about Christ is the focal center to which all other truth about everything in creation is ultimately connected. Whatever we understand about nature is ultimately about his creative wisdom and power; the creative and rational potential that God invested in men by making us in his own image. To understand this centrality of Jesus Christ in all knowledge gives perspective to moral and social issues, to interpersonal relations, marriage, and work, in fact to everything in all the arts and sciences of men. With a unified view like this, we can think whole.

Arthur F. Holmes – All truth is God’s Truth

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New Blogging Friend

I recently met a fellow blogger through youtube. He has a great blog and a lot of great videos worth checking out. Be sure to pay him a visit.

Lane Chaplin



10 Ways For Church Members to Hinder the Church

I had several people request this one so here we go... :-)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Jesus: The Center of All History

Jesus Christ, the God-Man, the prophet, priest, and king of mankind, is, in fact, the center and turning-point not only of chronology, but of all history, and the key to all its mysteries. Around him, as the sun of the moral universe, revolve at their several distances, all nations and all important events, in the religious life of the world; and all must, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, contribute to glorify his name and advance his cause. The history of mankind before his birth must be viewed as a preparation for his coming, and the history after his birth as a gradual diffusion of his spirit and progress of this kingdom. "All things were created by him, and for him." He is the "desire of all nations." He appeared in the "fullness of time," when the process of preparation was finished, and the world’s need of redemption fully disclosed.

Phillip Schaff, - History of the Christian Church, Vol. 1 p. 56


Monday, October 08, 2007

Signature of Divine (Yahweh) - Needtobreathe

I really like this new song by Needtobreathe. I also find the video pretty interesting now that I know it was put together from over 3000 still photos.


The Three Offices of Christ: Prophet Priest and King

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

How and Why Does God Wrestle With His Children

This is a short video discussion surrounding Jacob wrestling with God and six quick things we can learn from it about facing adversity.

God Bless,


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

God Teaches His Children

All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13

Scripture speaks often about us being taught by the Lord, and we must realize the every truth we know about God, who he is, what He has done for us, and what He is doing and going to do we have learned by direct teaching from Him. In other words there is nothing we know that is true that he did not teach us. Augustine called this illumination, and God truly is the "Father of Lights."

This is why Jesus says, "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." God has revealed not only truth about who he is but also his plans for the ages. He has shown us that all of history revolves around the fact that He is redeeming a people from this sinful wasteland call humanity. He purchased them with his blood on the cross, raised again for their justification and therefore imputes his righteousness to them. Then after completing all this, He starts his work of sanctifying them, and He is faithful and just to complete the work that He has started in them. And if we have faith we are one of those He has redeemed.

How does all of this tie into Him teaching us? It all ties in because we are not sanctified apart from His truth. The means He uses to sanctify us is His word as His Spirit illuminates our hearts and mind to understand it. This is why He is called the "Spirit of Truth."

What is always amazing is that a one of the things He teaches us, is the very truth that He is teaching us. This is why David in Psalm 25 cries out "teach me thy ways." What He has taught us moves us to call out to Him for more teaching. Which He uses as means to continue to teach us. Another thing He teaches us is that His word is the source of eternal truth as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This causes us to desire more of the word because we know it is essential to our growth. So we dive in daily and in deeper ways than before. And even though in all of this our wills are actively hungering for truth and searching diligently through the treasury of God’s word. We can take no credit in teaching ourselves, for He has been the teacher and illuminator of the entire process.

What about you? Is God teaching you even at this moment to call out to Him and ask Him to continue to teach you His ways, or to spend more time in His word? If, by faith, you are His child and He is teaching you one of these two things, He is either getting ready to bless you by driving you to the scriptures to teach you. Or, if He allows you to neglect these promptings, He may be getting ready to teach you the folly of not heeding what He has taught you, so that next time you will dive into the scriptures. Either way He is continuing to bless us by completing the work He has started in us.

Let us all be driven to His word to be taught of the Lord today, and great will be our peace.

The things I know
He has taught to me.
And as I grow
I continue to see.

For by God’s grace
I now have salvation
And now can trace
His illumination.

-Doug Eaton-