Bloggers I read are taking their Christmas breaks, or repeating old posts, recapping their best posts of the year, and soon will be reviewing events that took place in 2019. And don't forget the lists of Bible Reading Programs for 2020 is coming out of the closet. I need to finish my 2019 M'Cheyne reading… Continue reading Less than a week….2019 Year ending
It's been cold and wet in Northern California. Actually missed the celebration of Winter Solstice. But looking forward to brighter days. I was going to post this as a comment to my last reblog post, but decided to make it a separate posting. Since it’s Christmas Season we are suppose to be Joyful. It’s been… Continue reading It’s Winter…
Mike, what a great post. You touch on so many important points I can hardly decide on where to comment. So many areas begging for discussion..Enough to “Almost make me a Baptist!”. So refreshing to hear your recounting of the “Ordo Salutis.” The Old Confession of Faiths, whether Baptist or Presbyterian have a summary beginning in Chapter 10 – The Effectual Calling. At one time in the churches these doctrines were actually taught. I don’t want to clutter up your message here so I may add a few comments on my own site. As for now…maybe it is sufficient to remember: Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Or, John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
And speaking of the Spirit (or Holy Ghost, KJV) it’s been amazing to reread the Christmas passage in the Gospels and see how his role was so prominent. Simeon is on notable example:
Luke 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
Luk 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Luk 2:31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
Luk 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
by Mike Ratliff
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one…
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“ As I study these passages I see that we are to become more and more separate from the world, not more and more like the world. If you are so in love with your video game or books series or tv series that you become resentful if your participation in it is questioned as a professing Christian then that is evidence of a deeper spiritual problem such as idolatry. Remember my brethren, spiritual blindness is a judgment that comes from God upon those who refuse to repent of their idolatry (Romans 1, 2).”
I can think of any number of other actions, activities, practices and beliefs, besides video games, books and TV shows that many in today’s culture hold sacred as rights and get offended at anyone who challenges them.
Mike you refer to Bunyan, perhaps his messages are too sharp for today’s culture.I have yet to hear any pastor preach on his small work on Jesus’ parable: T H E Barren Fig Tree; O R, The Doom and Downfall of the Fruitless Professor; 60 pages, 1688.
Which contains both a message of hope but also extreme warning.
“ From this brief pass through this parable, you have these two general observations:–First. That even then when the justice of God cries out, I cannot endure to wait on this barren professor any longer, then Jesus Christ intercedes for a little more patience, and a little more striving with this professor, if possible he may make him a fruitful professor. ‘Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it; and if it bear fruit, well,’ &c. Second. There are some professors whose day of grace will end with, Cut it down, with judgment; when Christ, by his means, hath been used for their salvation.
As you well describe we can only pray and hope that the Holy Spirit’s work in us produces this fruitful result. From my own actual fruit trees, I know there are good years and bad years and that a little “dung” can help. Perhaps the key word here is “None”.
Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
Perhaps more discussion of the 58 or so verses in the New Testament that refer to “fruit” would be a useful encouragement? Are fruit’s just actions, or attitudes, or is there a fruit of good “doctrine”, and how are they described? You might consider some posts on these if you have not already done so.
As for Bunyan here is the link.
by Mike Ratliff
16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:16-17 (NASB)
Even through as Christians we are justified and are under no condemnation (Romans 8:1) it is also clearly taught in God’s Word that Christians are to live lives of repentance from the works of the flesh. There are some, such as those who call themselves “New Calvinists” who take the Doctrines of Grace and separate them from the great teachings of the Puritans such as John Owen, John Bunyan, Thomas Watson, Jonathan Edwards, et cetera that made it clear that in this life Christians are required to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). No, these “New Calvinists…
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