Westminster Larger Catechism Study

The Right Attitudes Concerning Prayer

Timely article. Mike is right there is a mystery in this. And so easy to mishandle. You would think we could just follow Jesus’ teach us how to pray examples. But so many abuse it within Prosperity Gospel realm, Word of Faith and NAR movements, to the Contemplative Prayer guru’s and Lectio Divina, literally meaning “divine reading,” is an ancient practice of praying the Scriptures.….right up to the classic Roman Catholic doctrines of praying to/through Mary and the Saints.

Like many things in faith perhaps there truly is a narrow way.

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:12-14 (NASB) 

Prayer is a mystery my brethren. Anyone who claims to be a master of it is someone who has been deceived or is a deceiver. We do not know exactly how prayer works, but we do know that God uses it. Does some outcome depend upon you or I praying for it? No, it depends upon the sovereignty of God. However, God still uses prayer. Our role in this is to obey Him and pray…

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Westminster Larger Catechism Study

The Mind of the New Man Rooted in Christ

Good points Mike.
Jesus taught about building on the solid rock and not the sand. I think you capture that with the words:

“A person who is doing this correctly will evidence this through their commitment to Christ’s personal Lordship and their presupposition of the Word of the Lord as having authority in all parts of their life.“

Mat 7:24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat 7:25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Mat 7:26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Mat 7:27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

I like the inclusion of the word “life” in your sentence. Reminds me of how the old Westminster Confession of Faith refers to God’s word in Chapter 1 section 6…..” 6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men….”

One most often today hears, if doctrine is spoken at all, on this applying only to Personal faith and practice in the church…..our whole lives are not addressed. Let alone anyone else’s.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB) 

All forms of Liberal (so-called) Christianity are another religion, not True Christianity. Why? They are rooted in worldly, humanistic, and non-Christian presuppositions.  On the other hand, the Word of God clearly directs believers to avoid these philosophies and/or ideologies, instead, their presuppositions must be the precepts and doctrines of Christ, not the futile traditions of men (Col. 2:3, 4, 22; 3:1-2). Based upon this clear division, believers are precluded from any form of neutrality or even seeking after it. Why? As we have seen in earlier posts, neutrality is in actuality veiled agnosticism or unbelief—a failure to walk in Christ, an obscuring of Christian commitment and distinctive, and a suppression of truth (cf. Rom. 1:21, 25). 

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Westminster Larger Catechism Study

A Dead Church

Good post Mike. Interestingly, in my small study group we are just studying Rev 3:1-3. I’ve found the best study on Revelation to be in Dr. Steven Dilday’s course and translation work on the book. As it relates to the churches one could sample through the readings at:



But I would suggest one go back to the beginning work he has on the book. Not for the casual reader though as his will be a multi-year study.
Be sure to listen to the Sermon Audios which are embedded in the comments for each verse.

BTW, Thanks for sending me on a scavenger hunt, with your 2009 quote of Piper. I have not seen much on him lately. It was interesting reading your post on the letter to him back 10 years ago. You got lots of comments on that one. In another post I saw 👀 a Machen quote you put up, one of my favorites, and shows that for a hundred years we have been on this path.

“In such a time of kaleidoscopic changes, is there anything that remains unchanged?  When so many things have proved to be untrustworthy, is there anything we can trust?

  “One point, at least, is clear – we cannot trust the Church.  The visible Church, the Church as it now exists upon this earth, has fallen too often into error and sin.”   J. Gresham Machen

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Revelation 3:1 (NASB) 

As part of my research for this piece, I did some Google searches on the Internet using the word phrase, “A Dead Church.” It was very interesting reading what “some” people considered the markers of a “dead church.” One fellow was adamant that the two markers which revealed that a church was dead was that its leaders used a Bible other than the King James Version and/or its denomination practiced infant baptism. Other markers I saw were things like the sort of music was used in worship or if there was an over abundance of ceremony or ritual in the order of worship…

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Westminster Larger Catechism Study

A Circumcision Made Without Hands

Looking forward to the book. Mike has a good message about false teachers, repentance, narrow paths and persecution. Not the seeker friendly gospel. The Old Westminster Confession has some good words about the process of coming to faith which will lead to good works. It’s rarely taught but still quite useful. A good copy is found on the OPC.ORG website. Some relevant sections are here:

Of Free Will
Of Effectual Calling
Of Justification
Of Adoption
Of Sanctification
Of Saving Faith
Of Repentance unto Life
Of Good Works

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. Colossians 2:8-12 (NASB) 

I have been working on a manuscript for a book that is an exegetical study of Paul’s Epistle to the…

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