Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Old Rugged Cross


"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."
Galatians 6:14

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Humility in Christian Service

  “It is of the utmost importance to us to be kept humble. Consciousness of self-importance is a hateful delusion, but one into which we fall as naturally as weeds grow on a dunghill.    
   We cannot be used of the Lord but that we also dream of personal greatness, we think ourselves almost indispensable to the church, pillars of the cause, and foundations of the temple of God.   We are nothings and nobodies, but that we do not think so is very evident, for as soon as we are put on the shelf we begin anxiously to enquire,   ‘How will the work go on without me?’ As well might the fly on the coach wheel enquire, ‘How will the mails be carried without me?’   
   Far better men have been laid in the grave without having brought the Lord’s work to a standstill,  and shall we fume and fret because for a little season we must lie upon the bed of languishing?    God sometimes weakens our strength in a way at the precise juncture when our presence seems most needed to teach us that we are not necessary to God’s work, and that when we are most useful,   He can easily do without us.    If this be the practical lesson, the rough schooling may be easily endured for assuredly it is beyond all things desirable that self should be kept low and the Lord alone be magnified.” C.H. Spurgeon

This  quote was found on Justin Peters  blog—it’s his philosophy of ministry statement.  

– Charles H. Spurgeon, “Laid Aside, Why?,” The Sword and Trowel, May, 1876, London.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Persecution and the Cost of True Discipleship

 "And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them,  “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?"    Mark 8:34-36 

“A testimony of Dr. Daniel Wong, a professor at The Master's College, who faced persecutions as a Christian first hand from Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution in China.

JOHN MACARTHUR:  'I am absolutely 100% convinced that the weakness of the church in America,   the superficiality of the church,   the shallowness of the church, the hypocrisy of the church,   is directly related to the absence of any cost or any price to be paid to be a Christian.   If you don't have to pay a price, heh, just jump on the bandwagon.   If persecution came to America  you'd see a very different kind of Christianity.   A whole lot of people who are real eager  to talk about Jesus wouldn’t  be talking about Jesus any more—who  profess to know Jesus and to be part of the church,  they would stop talking real fast if the price was as high as it is for some people.'”

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A New Documentary: "Logic On Fire: the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones"

Coming April 14, 2015 from Banner of Truth a documentary we won't want to miss.
" When Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gave a series of lectures on the subject of preaching in 1969, he coined a term that became an emblematic description of his own ministry. “What is preaching?”, he asked. “Logic on fire!” But what does it mean and how does it manifest itself in preaching? Logic on Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones charts the story of this remarkable man, widely considered one of the most influential preachers of the 20th century."  Keep reading...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Women at the Tomb from a Lawyer's Perspective

  The women at the tomb were the first  eyewitnesses to  the resurrection and  were commissioned by the angels to go and tell the 11 disciples.   But  a casual reading  of the four gospel accounts might leave someone baffled by the various presentations.
Dr. Simon Greenleaf  (1783-1853) was  a lawyer and a principle founder  of Harvard  Law School.  He was also  a pioneer in the field of Christian apologetics from a legal perspective.   In his book,  The Testimony of the Evangelists, Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice (1846),  Greenleaf  examines what might appear as discrepancies in the Resurrection account  by using the same rules for legal proceedings.
pp. 537-539
§ 2. The Visit of the Women to the Sepulchre.
Matt. 26:1-8. Mark 16:1-8. Luke 24:1-11. John 20:1, 2.

II. The Number of the Women.  Matthew mentions Mary Magdalene and the other Mary; v. 1. Mark enumerates Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome; v. 1. Luke has Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and others with them; v. 10. John speaks of Mary Magdalene alone, and says nothing of any other.   The first three Evangelists accord then in respect to the two Marys, but no further; while John differs from them all. Is there here a real discrepancy?
    We may at once answer, No;   because, according to the sound canon of Le Clerc: * “ Qui plura narrat, pauciocra complectitur; qui pauciora memorat, plura nzon negat.”  Because John, in narrating circumstances with which he was personally connected, sees fit to mention only Mary Magdalene, it does not at all follow that others were not present. Because Matthew, perhaps for like reasons, speaks only of the two Marys, he by no means excludes the presence of others. Indeed, the very words which John puts into the mouth of Mary Magdalene, (v. 2), presupposes the fact that others had gone with her to the sepulchre. That there was something in respect to Mary Magdalene, which gave her a peculiar prominence in these transactions, may be inferred from the fact, that not only John mentions her alone, but likewise all the other Evangelists name her first, as if holding the most conspicuous place.
     The instance here under consideration is parallel to that of the demoniacs of Gadara, and the blind men at Jericho; where, in both cases, Matthew speaks of two persons, while Mark and Luke mention only one.** Something peculiar in the station or character of one of the persons, rendered him in each case more prominent, and led the two latter Evangelists to speak of him particularly. But there, as here, their language is not exclusive; nor is there in it anything that contradicts the statements of Matthew.

* Harmony of the Gospels, p. 525. Can. XII. fin.
** Matthew 8:28. Mark 5:2. Luke 8:27. Matthew 20:30.  Mark 10:46.  Luke 18:35. 

III. The Arrival at the Sepulchre
.   According to Mark, Luke, and John, the women on reaching the sepulchre found the great stone, with which it had been closed, already rolled away.   Matthew, on the other hand, after narrating that the women went out to see the sepulchre, proceeds to mention the earthquake, the descent of the angel, his rolling away the stone and sitting upon it, and the terror of the watch, as if all these things took place in the presence of the women.   The angel too (in v. 5) addresses the women, as if still sitting upon the stone he had rolled away.    The apparent discrepancy, if any, here arises simply from Matthew's brevity in omitting to state in full what his narrative presupposes.    According to v. 6, Christ was already risen; and therefore the earthquake and its accompaniments must have taken place at an earlier point of time, to which the sacred writer returns back in his narration. And although Matthew does not represent the women as entering the sepulchre, yet in v. 8, he speaks of them as going out of it; so that of course their interview with the angel took place, not outside of the sepulchre, but in it, as narrated by the other Evangelists. When therefore.the angel says to them in v. 6, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay,” this is not said without the tomb to induce them to enter, as Strauss avers; but within the sepulchre, just as in Mark v. 6. (1)  

Charles Spurgeon

   “The angel bade the holy women investigate the empty tomb, but, almost immediately after, he gave them a commission to perform on their Lord's behalf. …
   Diligently invite others to come and trust Jesus.  Tell them that there is life for the dead in a look at Jesus crucified;  tell them that that look is a matter of the soul, it is a simple confidence; tell them that none ever did confide in Christ and were cast away;  tell them what you have felt as the result of your trusting Jesus, and who can tell,  many disciples will be added to his church, a risen Saviour will be glorified, and you will be comforted by what you have seen! (2)
May you have a very blessed Resurrection Day!