Westminster Larger Catechism Study

Christian Character

Mike you ended the year with two home runs. These discussions of honor and character and today’s Pelagians ring true.

https://mikeratliff.wordpress.com/2021/12/29/the-pelagian-captivity-of-the-church/

I only wish I had a close group of friends in our church I could share and discuss these ideas with locally.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. 19 And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner.
20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:18-21 (NASB)

R.C. Sproul shared the following story in the September 2007 issue of Tabletalk magazine. “Several years ago I was participating in a discussion with some business men in Jackson, Mississippi. In the course of the conversation, one of the…

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Westminster Larger Catechism Study

There is only one Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

Great message as we roll into the end of the year. Paul also had a few words about the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15. And Romans 1:16-17. And Manfred is right….” concept of Scripture not ever contradicting itself” Is huge and is often revealed as one uses context well.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:8-12 (NASB) 

The title of this article may…

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Westminster Larger Catechism Study

Efficacious Faith vs. Man-made Faith

Thanks Mike this is a pretty deep topic. I wish in my own sphere I had fellow believers who could dialogue on points like this. Unfortunately at my church I can’t name one person I could rationally discuss the ideas with.

Years ago I did some study of Dr. S. Lewis Johnson’s sermons and among them he had some good teaching on the topic which is still available.

https://sljinstitute.net/systematic-theology/soteriology/the-doctrine-of-efficacious-and-irresistible-grace/

https://sljinstitute.net/johannine-theology/efficacious-grace-of-the-drawing-of-the-given/

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14 (NASB) 

Efficacious adj. producing the desired effect – from The Oxford New Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus Third Edition.

Christian faith has appeared to many an easy thing; nay, not a few even reckon it among the social virtues, as it were; and this they do because they have not made proof of it experimentally, and have never tasted of what efficacy it is. For it is not possible for any man to write well about it, or to understand well what is rightly written, who has not at some time tasted of its…

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Westminster Larger Catechism Study

What is the Offense of the Cross?

Mike makes a great point here!

“The Gospel, when preached correctly, as obviously Paul did, uses the Law to show people the dire need of a Saviour and then He gave them the Good News, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which included the Offense of the Cross. Those who wanted their own way, not THE WAY, were scandalized by it, turned from it to their ruin. On the other hand, those broken by it, regenerated, reborn by it, by God’s grace, turned in repentance to Christ as Lord and Saviour and by Grace through Faith were saved. Nothing has changed. This same Gospel saves today. So, why aren’t we preaching it?”

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written,
“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE,
AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” Romans 9:30-33 (NASB) 

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ must always be offensive to the unregenerate. It is that offense that makes it clear to people that they have nothing with which to bargain with God. They are sinners lost with nothing to offer the one condemning them. The Gospel, the real Gospel preached with the Law…

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