Tuesday, October 18, 2016

12 Steps to a Happy Marriage

There is no more lovely,  friendly,  and charming relationship,  communion,  or company than a good marriage."     Martin Luther

When I  first considered  writing this blogpost I  said to Robert something to the effect,   “I think I  can sum up our marital felicity  these past 43 years in just two words:  'Christ and Grace’  - What do you think?”    Without hesitation he said,  “Honey,  I’ve never known you to say anything in just two words."  

On that note,  these are some things we've learned  together over the years.   
 Continue reading.....

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

20 Surprising Ways a "Believer" Can Be Self-Deceived

In 1937 Arthur Pink wrote,  
The "Gospel" which is now being proclaimed is,  in nine cases out of every ten—but a perversion of the Truth, and tens of thousands, assured they are bound for Heaven, are now hastening to Hell, as fast as time can take them!” 1

And the beat goes on.  Evangelicals en masse believe they will inherit eternal life because they have “asked Jesus into their heart”,  even though many know nothing of  what it means to test themselves to see if their faith is genuine.
In the past the practice of carefully examining ourselves was considered normal and necessary in order to expose self-deceived professors and hypocrites,  rebuke worldly Christians, and assure genuine believers.....continue reading   
Please join us today at Out of the Ordinary to learn how one respected Puritan instructed his congregation to test themselves. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Contending for Old School Hermeneutics

“what is one small hermeneutical step in the wrong direction turns out to be one giant step toward the wrong theology” 1  - Norman L. Geisler
 The times they are-a-changing again in and  a new wave of liberalism is sweeping the church.    It behooves us to be aware of how  changes in  hermeneutics have affected the church’s thinking regarding feminism,  missiology,  ecumenism,  Gnosticism, and  homosexuality,  among many other things.     Please join me today at Out of the Ordinary as we reaffirm some of the time honored principles of interpretation that have safeguarded us against false teachings for centuries.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Created for Companionship

Some Christians try to go to heaven alone, in solitude. But believers are not compared to bears or lions or other animals that wander alone. Those who belong to Christ are sheep in this respect, that they love to get together. Sheep go in flocks, and so do God’s people.” 1 ~ Charles Spurgeon
         I’m at  Out of the Ordinary today.   Please come by.

Friday, April 8, 2016

What is Genuine Conversion?

 “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS" Matthew 7:21-23

  “ Christianity itself, in all its full- orbed light, may be embraced as a system of religious belief.   A person may be intellectually delighted – almost entranced with the glorious doctrines of grace, a full, free gospel, salvation without works common, justification by faith; in short, all that goes to make up our glorious New Testament Christianity.    A person may profess to believe and delight in this; he may even become a powerful writer in defense of Christian doctrine, and earnest eloquent preacher of the gospel. All this may be true, and yet the man be wholly unconverted, dead in trespasses and sins, hardened, deceived and destroyed by his very familiarity with the precious truths of the gospel – truths that have never gone beyond the region of his understanding – never reached his conscience, never touched his heart, never converted his soul.

   This is about the most appalling case of all.   Nothing can be more awful, more terrible, than the case of a man professing to believe and delight in, yea, actually preaching the gospel of God, and teaching all the grand characteristic truths of Christianity, and yet wholly unconverted, unsaved, and on his way onto an eternity of ineffable misery – misery which must needs be intensified to the very highest degree, by the remembrance of the fact that he once professed to believe, and actually undertook to preach the most glorious tidings that ever fell on mortal ears.”

  O! Reader, whoever thou art, does, we entreat of thee, give thy fixed attention to these things. Rest not, for one hour, until thou art assured of thy genuine, unmistakable conversion to God.

...A truly converted person is one who has turned from idols-has broken with the world-broken with his former self-turned to God, to find in Him all he can possibly want for time and eternity, to serve Him, and Him only-and, finally, "to wait for the Son of God from heaven."   Such we conceive to be the true and proper answer to the question, "What is conversion?"

  Reader, art thou [wholly] converted?  If not, what then?  If thou art, does thy life declare it?


C H Mackintosh: Miscellaneous Writings Volume 4 pages 17-18, 71-72 published Loizeaux Brothers. NY. 1898


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Good in Good Friday

Oh, to see my name written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death; Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.
This, the pow'r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross. 1
"When Jesus had received the sour wine,
he said, “It is finished,”
and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
John 19:30   
 " “It is finished."  What was finished?  The work of atonement.
The sins of the believer - all of them - were transferred to the Saviour.  As saith the scripture, "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6).  If then God laid my iniquities on Christ, they are no longer on me.   Sin there is in me, for the old Adamic nature remains in the believer till death or till Christ’s return,  should he come before I die,   but there is no sin on me.  In like manner, everyone out of Christ has the sentence of God’s condemnation resting upon him.   
But when a sinner believes in the Lord Jesus, receives him as his Lord and Master, he is no longer "under condemnation" - sin is no longer on him, that is, the guilt, the condemnation, the penalty of sin, is no longer upon him.   And why?  Because Christ bore our sins in his own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).   The guilt, condemnation and penalty of our sins, was transferred to our substitute. Hence, because my sins were transferred to Christ, they are no more upon me.  
"It is finished."  Reader, do you believe it? or, are you trying to add something of your own to the finished work of Christ to secure the favour of God? … Rest not on your feelings and experiences but on the written word.   There is only one way of finding peace, and that is through faith in the shed blood of God’s Lamb. 
"It is finished." Do you really believe it?"  ~ A.W. Pink  

Why it is essential to believe in justification by faith alone
 apart from good works  in order to be saved.
“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scripture.”  I Corinthians 15:1-3
1. The Power of the Cross - lyrics by Keith Getty and Stewart Townend: 2005 Listen HERE
2. The Seven Sayings of the Savior on the Cross; by Arthur Pink;  1947

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bathsheba's Legacy - the Woman Behind Proverbs 31

When we think of David’s sin with Bathsheba we  usually consider the events surrounding the incident  (2 Samuel 11:1-26), the horrible consequences (2 Sam. 12:10-15),   David’s agonizing repentance (Psalm 51),  and  maybe the subject of  babies going to Heaven (2 Sam. 12:23).     But we seldom ponder the valuable lessons to be gleaned from the life of Bathsheba herself.
I'm at Out of the Ordinary today connecting the dots between Bathsheba and the Proverbs 31 woman.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mrs. Vera Pink- the Editor's Wife

“I like those words,  ‘Our life is like the weaver’s web’ for it is so true to life.    We only see the wrong side of the fabric now,  for the Weaver has not finished his work.   But in the Day to come, where we shall see it from his side, then we shall behold the beauty of his work and not the knots and ends which our sins and failures have caused.”   -Vera E. Pink in a letter to a friend  1
Many of us are familiar with the writings of Arthur W. Pink.   I'm at  at Out of the Ordinary talking  about the woman who helped make this unusual man's ministry possible.   Please click on over and join us.

1) The Life of Arthur W. Pink by Iain H.  Murray Revised and Enlarged Edition;  Banner of Truth Trust;  2004; pg. 237

Monday, March 7, 2016

Paul on Women Speaking in the Church by Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield

Reprinted from The Presbyterian, October 30, 1919  

I have recently received a letter from a valued friend asking me to send him a  “discussion of the Greek words laleo and lego in such passages as   I Cor. 14:33-39,  with special reference to the question: Does the thirty-fourth verse forbid all women everywhere to speak or preach publicly in Chris­tian churches?”   The matter is of universal interest, and I take the liberty of communicating my reply to the readers of The Presbyterian.
It requires to be said at once that there is no problem with reference to the relations of laleo and lego. Apart from niceties of merely philological interest, these words stand related to one another just as the English words speak and say do; that is to say, laleo expresses the act of talking, while lego refers to what is said. Wherever then the fact of speak­ing, without reference to the content of what is said, is to be indicated, laleo is used, and must be used. There is nothing disparaging in the intimation of the word, any more than there is in our word talk; although, of course, it can on occasion be used disparagingly as our word talk can also-as when some of the newspapers intimate that the Senate is given over to mere talk. This disparaging application of laleo, however, never occurs in the New Testament, although the word is used very frequently.
The word is in its right place in I Cor. 14:33ff,  there­fore, and necessarily bears there its simple and natural mean­ing. If we needed anything to fix its meaning, however, it would be supplied by its frequent use in the preceding part of the chapter, where it refers not only to speaking with tongues (which was a divine manifestation and unintelligible only because of the limitations of the hearers), but also to the prophetic speech, which is directly declared to be to edifica­tion and exhortation and comforting (verses 3—6). It would be supplied more pungently, however, by its contrasting term here-“let them be silent” (verse 34). Here we have laleo directly defined for us: “Let the women keep silent, for it is not permitted to them to speak.” Keep silent-speak: these are the two opposites; and the one defines the other.
It is important to observe, now, that the pivot on which the injunction of these verses turns, is not the prohibition of speaking so much as the command of silence. That is the main injunction. The prohibition of speech is introduced only to explain the meaning more fully. What Paul says is in brief: “Let the women keep silent in the churches.” That surely is direct and specific enough for all needs. He then adds explanatorily: “For it is not permitted to them to speak.” “It is not permitted” is an appeal to a general law, valid apart from Paul’s personal command, and looks back to the opening phrase-“as in all the churches of the saints.” He is only requiring the Corinthian women to conform to the general law of the churches. And that is the meaning of the almost bitter words which he adds in verse 36, in which, reproaching them for the innovation of permitting women to speak in the churches, he reminds them that they are not the authors of the gospel, nor are they its sole possessors-let them keep to the law that binds the whole body of churches and not be seeking some new-fangled way of their own.  
The intermediate verses only make it plain that precisely what the apostle is doing is forbidding women to speak at all in the church. His injunction of silence he pushes so far that he forbids them even to ask questions; and adds with special reference to that, but through that to the general matter, the crisp declaration that “it is indecent”-for that is the meaning of the word-“for a woman to speak in church.”
It would be impossible for the apostle to speak more directly or more emphatically than he has done here. He requires women to be silent at the church-meetings. For that is what “in the churches” means; there were no church buildings then. And he has not left us in doubt as to the nature of these church-meetings. He had just described them in verses 26ff. They were of the general character of our prayer-meetings. Note the words, “let him be silent in the church,” in verse 30, and compare them with “let them be silent in the churches,” in verse 34. The prohibition of women speaking covers thus all public church-meetings-it is the publicity, not the formality of it, which is the point. And he tells us repeatedly that this is the universal law of the church. He does more than that. He tells us that it is the commandment of the Lord, and emphasizes the word “Lord” (verse 37).
The passage in 1 Tim. 2:1ff is just as strong, although it is more particularly directed to the specific case of public teaching or ruling in the church. The apostle had already in this context (verse 8, “the men,” in contrast with “women” of verse 9) pointedly confined public praying to men, and now continues: “Let a woman learn in silence in all subjec­tion; but I do not permit to the woman to teach, neither to rule over the man, but to be in silence.” Neither the teaching nor the ruling function is permitted to woman. The apostle says here, “I do not permit,” instead of as in 1 Cor. 13:33ff., "it is not permitted,” because he is here giving his personal instructions to Timothy, his subordinate, while there he was announcing to the Corinthians the general law of the church. What he instructs Timothy, however, is the general law of the church. And so he goes on and grounds his prohibition in a universal reason which affects the entire race equally.  
In the face of these two absolutely plain and emphatic passages, what is said in I Cor. 11:5 cannot  be appealed to in mitigation or modification. Precisely what is meant in I Cor. 11:5,  nobody quite knows. What is said there is that every woman praying or prophesying unveiled dishonors her head. It seems fair to infer that if she prays or prophesies veiled she does not dishonor her head. And it seems fair still further to infer that she may properly pray or prophesy if only she does it veiled. We are piling up a chain of inferences. And they have not carried us very far. We cannot infer that it would be proper for her to pray or prophesy in church if only she were veiled. There is nothing said about church in the passage or in the context. The word “church” does not occur until the 16th verse, and then not as ruling the reference of the passage, but only as supplying support for the injunction of the passage. There is no reason whatever for believing that “praying and prophesying” in church is meant. Neither was an exercise confined to the church. If, as in  I Cor. 14:14,  the “praying” spoken of was an ecstatic exercise—as its place by “prophesying” may suggest-then, there would be the divine inspiration superceding all ordinary laws, to be reckoned with. And there has already been occasion to observe that prayer in public is forbidden to women in I Tim. 2:6, 9.  Unless  mere attendance at prayer is meant, in which case this passage is a close parallel of I Tim. 2:9.    
What then must be noted, in conclusion, is: (1) That the prohibition of speaking in the church to women is precise, absolute, and all-inclusive. They are to keep silent in the churches—and that means in all the public meetings for worship; they are not even to ask questions; (2) that this prohibition is given especial point precisely for the two matters of teaching and ruling covering specifically the functions of preaching and ruling elders; (3) that the grounds on which the prohibition is put are universal, and turn on the difference in sex, and particularly on the relative places given to the sexes in creation and in the fundamental history of the race (the fall).
Perhaps it ought to be added in elucidation of the last point just made, that the difference in conclusions between Paul and the feminist movement of today is rooted in a fundamental difference in their points of view relatively to the constitution of the human race.   To Paul, the human race is made up of families, and every several organism, the church included, is composed of families, united together by this or that bond. The relation of the sexes in the family follows it therefore into the church. To the feminist movement the human race is made up of individuals; a woman is just another individual by the side of the man; and it can see no reason for any differences in dealing with the two. And, indeed, if we can ignore the great fundamental natural differ­ence of sex, and destroy the great fundamental social unit of the family, in the interest of individualism, there does not seem any reason why we should not wipe out the differences established by Paul between the sexes in the church. Except, of course, the authority of Paul. It all, in the end, comes back to the authority of the apostles, as founders of the church. We may like what Paul says, or we may not like it. We may be willing to do what he commands, or we may not be willing to do it. But there is no room for doubt of what he says. And he certainly would say to us, what he said to the Corinthians: “What? Was it from you that the word of God went forth? or came it to you alone?” Is this Christianity ours-to do with as we like? Or is it God’s religion, receiving its laws from him through the apostles?