Heart, Westminster Larger Catechism Study

Dialogue about Doctrine in the Protestant Church

I will make this point, but I expect it will ruffle some feathers. It’s now several years gone by since I taught through the Westminster Confession and the Shorter Catechism point by point early Sunday morning. But we met at 7:30am. For years we debated what was right or out of place in the contemporary… Continue reading Dialogue about Doctrine in the Protestant Church

Westminster Larger Catechism Study

The Nature of a Truly Transformed Heart

Thanks Mike. I probably over repost your work. But you do articulate well the points that if I were a better witness I would make. And it makes for thoughtful reflection and dialogue. I only wish I could persuade others to follow.

We all fall short of what Peter encourages. It’s a common Strawman argument today to ignore doctrine and focus on one aspect of the Bible’s teaching. It’s rare and hardwork to pursue all it’s teachings.

Some four thousand years ago we read about that in Judges.

“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6)

But it didn’t begin there. But we have to try…

Jesus said:

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20)

A more complete knowledge and understanding is critical.

2Pe 1:5  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 2 Peter 1:10 (NASB) 

Some “evangelical leaders” in our time will tell you that transformation is actually part of the gospel and that the evidence of salvation is how busy a person is in “working in church ministry.” No where in God’s Word is transformation given as part of the Gospel. The Gospel is based in who Jesus Christ is and what He has done to be the propitiation for the elect. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, including the elect. No one is able to do any work of any kind to deserve or earn salvation, that is, justification. However in Ephesians 1:3-23; Ephesians 2:1-10, the Apostle Paul gives us God’s solution…

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Westminster Larger Catechism Study

Judging Correctly and Incorrectly

Mike makes good points about judging in a Biblical way. One rarely hears this explained so well. In today”s world where any Judgment is rapidly rebuked. Yet hypocritical today the cry’s for Justice abound. “Everybody wants Justice and nobody wants Judgment” is the way I characterize it. I read the Bible in the old KJV where I’ve noted in the Old Testament the word translated in the modern versions as Justice is still overwhelming translated a Judgment.

I am curious about the subject and particularly Scriptural support for the ministry of discernment….and will for one read the ebook he mentions at the end.

I do note that Solomon did ask God for good discernment. But recognized God’s sovereignty in ultimate Judgment.

1Ki 3:9  Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

Ecc 3:17  I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2 (NASB) 

It is impossible to walk through one’s day without having to make judgments. In fact our Lord Jesus who made the oft misquoted and misunderstood command found in Matthew 7:1 and Luke 6:37 to “Judge Not!” also made the following command.

14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. 15 The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?” 16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the…

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Westminster Larger Catechism Study

Will ye also go away?

I consider John 6:66 one of the saddest verses in the Bible.

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (John 6:66)

But earlier John wrote down for us what Jesus taught.

Joh 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Joh 6:38  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Joh 6:39  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Btw, I’m glad there were no verse numbers in the original Greek text otherwise somebody would tie John 6:66 to the other book John gave us.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. John 6:66-69 (KJV) 

Even though those of us who are in Christ would prefer it not be so, we are as Luther said, “Simul Justus et Peccator.” which means, in our justification we are one and the same time righteous or just, and sinners. Here is a link to R.C. Sproul’s explanation of it. It seems in my case that every time I find myself doing some very good Biblical research or exegetical work that I follow that up with, it…

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