He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

Can Someone be Damned if They Repented & Continue to Repent of Their Sins?

Of course. Even Judas was sorrowful over his sin, according to the Bible. The world is full of people who are disgusted at at least some of their sins, who seek to put particular sins behind them. This kind of sorrow is not how we have peace with God. While repentance is intimately connected to how and why God forgives us, it is not at all by itself a sufficient cause.

Properly speaking that repentance which “saves” is not merely a turning from, but is a turning to. We have peace with God because Jesus suffered the wrath of the Father that is due to us for our sin, and because He lived a perfect life. The work of Christ becomes ours when we, because of the work of the Holy Spirit in first regenerating us, repent and believe, or trust in the work of Christ. If we so trust all our sins are forgiven, because they have already been punished. This describes all our sins, past, present and future.

If our repentance includes turning to the finished work of Christ, if it includes trusting in His life and atoning death, the promise of God is that we will indeed be forgiven (I John 1:9). Because His promises are true, we can and must trust them.

We do, of course, continue to sin. Satan, the accuser, delights to make much of this. He loves to rub our faces in our sins, to tell us that sinners such as we surely cannot be saved. If our response to this kind of assault is to deny the reality of our sin, he wins. If our response on the other hand is to wallow in our sin, he wins. The right response is, “I am a sinner. Worse even than you know Satan. But my Father sees me as pure and whole, a spotless bride, because He has dressed me in the perfect righteousness of His Son.” Telling the devil, “No, I am good” invites more attack. Telling the devil, “Yes, I am evil” only invites more attack. Telling the devil, “Jesus is righteous and I am in Him” will make him flee.

When we diminish our sin, we foolishly rest in ourselves. When we despair in our sins we foolishly diminish His grace. Our calling is to own our sin, to plum its depths, but then to know that God’s grace in Christ is greater still. Deep sorrow and repentance followed by deep confidence in His grace will lead to deep and immovable joy.

Continue to repent. We do so not because our future sins are not forgiven, but so that we might nor presume upon that grace, that we might rejoice in our forgiveness. Let us all, however, also continue to repent for our unbelief in His grace. When God says “I forgive you and I love you” to respond “I don’t believe you” is pure folly, To respond “I’m not worthy” is to belabor the obvious. To respond “Thank you” is to grasp the Good News.

- R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 

Music Lyric Monday


I sought you, oh, I sought you
only to discover
that there is no Mecca that can contain you
No holy city, but a holy spirit
No great temple but the heart
No stony silence but a sea of whispers

- Wilder Adkins

Thursday, May 26, 2011 

My Heart is Full

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 

Best Thing About the IMB? Chuck Lawless.

Southern Seminary BGS dean will lead IMB in theological education

by Aaron Cline Hanbury on May 24th, 2011

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Chuck Lawless will become vice president for global theological advance at the International Mission Board, June 1. The IMB Board of Trustees unanimously elected Lawless in an effort to emphasize the importance of sound theology as the foundation for mission work.

“Chuck Lawless is a great man of God, a man of deep Gospel passion and a wonderful teacher,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary. “He will devote all these great gifts through the International Mission Board into the lives of missionaries around the world.”

Baptist Press quotes IMB President Tom Elliff’s statement about Lawless: “Chuck brings so many things to the table, especially in terms of acquainting a whole new generation of young pastors and churches with our story, [IMB] and why we’re here and how we can serve them.”

In his new role, Lawless will provide theological leadership and guidance to the IMB and its personnel, while helping strengthen relationships with Southern Baptist churches, seminaries and other partners. Since 2008, he consulted the IMB about theological education while continuing in his work at Southern Seminary. And now Lawless will dedicate his full attention to that work.

Lawless served SBTS as dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism and vice president of academic programing since September 2005. Prior to his deanship, Lawless taught as a professor of church and community in the Graham School, beginning July 1996.

“Southern Seminary loses a great leader in Chuck’s move to the IMB, but this is a great day for Southern Baptists,” Mohler said. “I am so thankful for Chuck’s service as professor and dean of the Billy Graham School. Chuck and Pam Lawless will always be honored members of the Southern Seminary family.”

Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at SBTS said of Lawless:

“Chuck Lawless has been the driving force at Southern Seminary for more than 15 years, keeping our focus on the Great Commission. When I think of Chuck Lawless’ legacy, there are so many things that come to mind - his investment in students, his scholarship, his administrative leadership - but I think his primary legacy has been prayer. Dr. Lawless has by example led the seminary to pray. When I think about Chuck Lawless, I think of godliness, I think of integrity, I think of prayer.

“I am thrilled about what God is doing with Chuck and Pam as they lead missionaries around to world to greater confidence in a God who answers prayer,” Moore said.

Sunday, May 22, 2011 

10 Things an Effective Minister Must Remember

by Doug Wilson

1. You are a minister of Christ, for the people. You are not a minister of the people, for Christ. Always preach Jesus.

2. Acknowledge your sins to God, and do what He says to do about them.

3. Your principal credentials for ministry are maintained, or not, within your marriage and family.

4. Your family is a community within the larger community of your ministry. But this community of family still needs to be a gated community.

5. Your toolbox is the Bible, always the Bible. It is the only book you have that is infallible and absolute.

6. If this makes you neglect other books, it is proof that you are neglecting the one book you pretend to have.

7. You are to preach, teach, lead, admonish, and encourage with authority. Don't do it like a muttering scribe.

8. Surround yourself with men who respect you, not men who cater to you.

9. Attack sin from the pulpit. Proclaim grace from the pulpit. You have a high vocation that should require some level of courage. Thunder the Word.

10. In the fulfillment of the Great Commission, never forget the big picture. The point is the success of the army, and your church is simply a platoon. You should want a successful platoon, of course, but only to the extent that it advances the larger mission. And always remember that Jesus is the supreme commander.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 

Called to Suffer

"Warfare causes suffering, spiritual warfare being no exception. Those who take up the mission of God's people by simply living, working and witnessing in the public square so dominated by the gods of this world, who choose to live by the distrinctive ethical standards that flow from their biblical worldview, who confess Jesus as Lord, and not Caesar or Mammon - such people will suffer in one way or another"

- Christopher Wright in The Mission of God's People

HT: Mason Slater

Monday, May 16, 2011 

Boom. Roasted. The Crisis of Conference Christians

And Amen:

I speak at conferences. I host conferences. I appreciate conferences.

I am also very concerned about conferences. Or, more specifically, conference Christians.

The Conference Christian

By definition, a conference Christian is someone who spends a great deal of time (and often money) attending Christian conferences. They love hearing the speakers, love singing with the bands, love letting the world know who they meet and what they are experiencing via blog/Facebook/Twitter, and love meeting up with other conference Christians. Some of these conference Christians somehow manage to work a job in around all their conferences. Others are ministry leaders spending tithe dollars to pay for their hobby/vacation/fanboy obsession.

All Around Me Are Familiar Faces

Having spoken at conferences for various groups over the years, I’m amazed that the faces of attendees are starting to get familiar. Such conference Christians somehow make the rounds between seemingly all the big events. I have literally had a photo taken with some people at five or six different conferences in a single year. These are usually single white guys from decent families who treat preaching the way other guys do porn—obsessed with it and devoting hours to it every day. Here are my concerns with conference Christians:

1. A Pseudo Elder Board

They have a pseudo elder board that they self-select from their favorite preachers and authors. This allows them to not submit to a local team of actual spiritual leaders who know them, but rather just defend themselves by appealing to their heroes, who would be embarrassed to see how they were being used by conference Christians.

2. Comparision

They start comparing the preaching, music, and overall experience of their favorite conference to their local church Sunday experience. This makes it impossible for the average pastor and church to ever measure up. It’s a bit like the guy who is so enamored with the Victoria’s Secret catalogue that his wife starts to look less and less attractive, as if it were a problem with her appearance instead of his obsession.

3. Addiction

They are addicts. They are constantly getting high on preaching, singing, and mingling, and, like all addicts, need a fix and are subsequently always jonesing for the next fix/conference. This explains why they are always preparing for a conference, attending a conference, or reflecting on a conference.

If a decent percentage of attendees are in fact conference Christians simply touring around like Deadheads used to, then we’ve got more of a crisis than an upsurge.

4. Self-Perception

They wrongly believe they are more spiritually mature than they are because they listen to a lot of preaching from highly skilled world-class experts. But, they are often far better at hearing rather than doing the Word, which makes them more hypocrites than mature believers.

5. Preaching = Wine Tasting?

They treat preaching the same way that wine snobs treat wine tastings. They start comparing and contrasting the bold flavors, subtle hints, and theological tannins only discernable to the most discerning of preaching palettes. You will hear them say, for example, how they love the Edwardian hints in Piper and the Lloyd-Jones tannins in Keller, as if the preaching of God’s Word were to be merely sniffed, sipped, and then commented on for the purpose of impressing one’s friends.

6. Wrong Impression

They give the impression that there is a growing upsurge in passionate young evangelicals. This is particularly true when you see large crowds at various Reformed events, such as Desiring God, Together for the Gospel, Gospel Coalition, Resurgence, Acts 29, Sovereign Grace, 9Marks, and so forth. However, if a decent percentage of those attendees are in fact conference Christians simply touring around like Deadheads used to, then we’ve got more of a crisis than an upsurge.

The Options

As I see it, conference Christians really only have one of three options. One, they can repent of attending too many conferences and pour themselves out as servants in a local church rather than consumers at yet another conference. Two, they can continue to attend conferences but mainly for the purpose of growing as a humble servant-leader with new passions and ideas to implement in their local church. Three, they can now start discussing why they disagree with this critique, which will give them something to do until conference season kicks up again in the fall.

- Mark Driscoll

Friday, May 06, 2011 

What 'Radical' Really Looks Like

Who can measure the long-term effects of nurturing helpless infants, supervising wandering toddlers, discipling self-willed children, and counseling self-absorbed adolescents? Of family outings planned, traditions built, memories made, books read, songs sung, Scripture taught? That’s why motherhood belongs under the heading, “Engage the World”; no one shapes generations or fashions cultures more than mothers.

- Jeff Purswell, Worldliness, pg. 159) -

Wednesday, May 04, 2011 

Despite Rapid Growth, India Lets its Girls Die

Shocking. At the root of this is the lack of Jesus & a lack of a biblical worldview feeding the Indian people lies in the form of customs & culture. Please pray for India, especially for the daughters of India.


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