No One Can, Unless ….

“Nobody who has not the Spirit of God can see a jot of what is in the Scriptures. All men have their hearts darkened, so that even when they can discuss and quote all that is in Scripture, they do not understand or really know it… The Spirit is needed for the understanding of all Scripture and every part of Scripture.”

Martin Luther (The Bondage Of The Will)

“The Order of Salvation”

1. Election (God’s choice of the people to be saved)
2. The Gospel call (Proclaiming the message of the gospel)
3. Regeneration (Being born again)
4. Conversion (Faith and Repentance)
5. Justification (Right legal standing)
6. Adoption (Membership in the God’s family)
7. Sanctification (Right conduct of life)
8. Perseverance (Remaining a Christian)
9. Death (Going to be with the Lord)
10. Glorification (Receiving a ressurrection body)

Taken from: Making Sense of Salvation by Wayne Grudem

Why I’m Reading the Bible in Ten Different Places

 By: Bob Kaulin (Worship Matters Blog)

Read entire post here:

I’m reminded daily how little I know of God’s word.
I’ve been reading the Bible for over 40 years. The more I read the more I feel like I’m just scratching the surface. I don’t want to master the God’s Word. I want God, through his Word, to master me. And I’ve got a long way to go.

I’m understanding better how Jesus is the story line of the bible.
In one sitting I read about the instructions for the tabernacle in Exodus, Job’s cry for a mediator, the failure of the Israelite kings, a psalm extolling the steadfast love of the Lord, the promise of a righteous branch in the prophets, Jesus being rejected by those he came to save, the testimony of Jesus’ death and resurrection in Acts, instructions for godly living in the Epistles, and the consummation of all things in Revelation. I feel like I’m getting a biblical theology lesson every morning.

I’m more convinced of God’s sovereignty over all things.
I still don’t understand how moral responsibility for our choices and God’s sovereignty over our actions work together. Not sure I ever will. But I’m increasingly certain that Scripture contains both, and that this should produce peace and security in my life, not striving and confusion. The God who knows the end from the beginning, who intends evil for good purposes (Gen. 50:19), who directs the paths of arrows (2 Chron. 18:28-33), who ordained the details of Christ’s death and resurrection (Acts 4:27-28), and who has already assured us of his final triumph over death and Satan – this God – can surely handle whatever difficulties and trials I face.

Familiar verses speak to me in unexpected ways.
The other morning I was reading chapters 7&8 from Isaiah. God told Ahaz that He was going to defeat his enemies, and told Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven” (Is. 7:10). But Ahaz played the false humility card and refused. “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test” (Is. 7:12). God said He Himself would provide a sign of his promise. “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call him name Immanuel” (Is. 9:14). While those words had an immediate fulfillment, they were finally fulfilled in the birth of Christ. Tears filled my eyes as I realized that Ahaz never dreamed that God would ultimately prove his faithfulness by giving up his own Son as our substitute. God is always better than we expect.

I’m appreciating God’s holiness more than I used to.
God judges sin in the Bible a lot. Of course, there’s a lot of sin in the Bible to judge. Immersing myself in Scripture each day reminds me that God is not who my culture says he is. He’s not apathetic toward sin. He hates it with an unyielding, consuming, terrifying hatred. Which make giving up his Son to endure his wrath in my place all the more amazing.

I’m encountering God in his Word more often.
You might think that reading so much of the Bible at one time doesn’t allow time for reflection and engaging with God. That hasn’t been my experience. It usually takes me between 30-45 minutes to read 14 chapters. I read at a normal pace, but still have time to meditate on, cross-reference, or memorize a passage. And frequently I’m aware of God’s Spirit speaking to me, working on my heart, molding my will to his own.

R.C. Sproul Interviews D.A. Carson on Biblical Exegesis

SECRET CHURCH – David Platt

Simulcast Live from The Church at Brook Hills
April 22, 2011
7:00PM – 1:00AM (EST)

What is Secret Church?

When we think of “church” in America, we think of going to meet at a building, singing, praying and hearing a message from a pastor or teacher. But in many places around the world, “church” meets in a home, an apartment, even in secret. These small groups of Christ-followers often meet for many hours in study, prayer and fellowship, as it is dangerous to travel to “church” and they want to make the most of their time together.

Secret Church is our “house church,” where we meet periodically for an intense time of Bible study–lasting 4-6 hours–and prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters across the globe. This is not for the uncommitted or faint at heart. But if you desire to know God more deeply through His Word, and know His Church more fully around the world, then please join us for Secret Church.

God will use this focused time of study to enrich our knowledge of His Word as we gain understanding of the state of His Church and our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. The objective of Secret Church is for you to pass along what you learn to others, so that you can make disciples of Christ–both locally and globally.

Register

TABLETALK Magazine — Subscribe today

I have been a subscriber of Tabletalk magazine for the last 3 years. This magazine is unlike any other magazine I have read. The insightful and thought provoking articles are written by gifted authors and teachers who can help you in your Christian walk. Get your free copy here.

Six Reasons to Subscribe to Tabletalk

1. A Bible Study For Each Day
Tabletalk’s daily Bible studies offer structure for your devotional life. Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living.

2. Great Authors, Thought-Provoking Topics
Each issue contains challenging, stimulating articles on a wide variety of issues related to theology and Christian living, written by eminently trustworthy authors—names like Sinclair Ferguson, John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul.

3. True to Historic Christian Faith
Tabletalk avoids trends, shallow doctrine and popular movements to present biblical truth simply and clearly, in keeping with historical Christian faith and orthodoxy.

4. Friendly, Approachable and Convenient
Readers find Tabletalk approachable and inviting, with many saying it’s like having coffee each morning with their favorite teachers. Its compact size means it fits right in your Bible.

5. A Valuable Guide
Beyond the daily Bible studies, Tabletalk includes carefully selected daily readings to take you through the Bible in a year.

6. It’s Affordable
An annual subscription is just $23 ($37 international), more than 36% off the cover price and only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free.

Thirty Years of In-Depth Study Tabletalk magazine was formed in 1977 to provide a substantive study tool for believers. Though its format has changed over the years, Tabletalk continues to challenge and encourage readers to dig deeper into the Word of God in order that their lives may be transformed through the renewing of their minds (Rom. 12:1–2). Initially, serving as the ministry newsletter, Tabletalk changed to a devotional format in 1989. Daily Bible studies are the method for taking readers through the Bible, while theological articles by Dr. Sproul and other noted scholars address a particular theme each month. Over the years, Tabletalk has been recognized for its excellence through several awards. Today, people all over the world read Tabletalk on a daily basis. The magazine is regularly found in seminary libraries and churches throughout the country. Each month, more than 200,000 readers turn to Tabletalk for:

•Dr. R.C. Sproul’s motivating column, “Right Now Counts Forever.”

•Articles by a variety of Christian scholars and leaders that provide detailed and thought-provoking coverage of important topics.

 •Daily, in-depth studies guiding readers through one or more books of the Bible each year through rich yet easy-to-understand exposition, and practical applications.

•An easy and effective program for reading through the entire Bible in a year. •Trusted resources for further study.

•A handy format allowing the magazine to fit into most Bibles and notebooks.

LifeU General Session – A Sinner's Respond to a Holy God

Thi will be our last general session before Spring Semester starts on January 19th. Tomorrow’s topic is; A Sinner’s Respond to a Holy God. Are you responding to God? How are you responding to God? How does God wants us to respond to him? Join us tomorrow at 6:30pm in the sanctuary.

The Gospel of John (Part 3)

Behold, the Lamb of God (John 1:29-34 ESV)

[29 ] The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! [30 ] This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ [31 ] I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” [32 ] And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. [33 ] I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ [34 ] And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

  1. How can a believer witness to Christ?
  2. Now, if we are to bear a witness to Jesus Christ, clearly we must know something about him. And this means that we must have a message. What is our message?
  3. Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (v. 29). Give your thoughts to what must have been involved in that statement.

Verses To Explore:
Genesis 22
Isaiah 53:4-5
Exodus 12

Additional resources:

Behold the Lamb – John Piper

You need to decide whether you are going to listen to John the Baptist’s testimony in this message. Here’s what is at stake. In John 1:33, John said, “I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water [namely, God] said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’” John the Baptist said, “My testimony about Jesus does not come from what I know about him naturally. It comes from God. God told to say what to say about Jesus.” ….. continue reading

Gospel of John – (John the Baptist)

John the Baptist (John 1:6-8; 19-28) John 1:6-8

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

John 1:19-24 The Testimony of John the Baptist

19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight [1] the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

  1. What are some life application lessons you can draw from the life of John the Baptist?
  2. John’s own coming was foretold over 700 years previously by another prophet. Who is this prophet (cite verse)?

Beware of Study Bibles?


I love Study Bibles. I have several different versions of Study Bibles. I will probably buy more in the future. Yes, I am sure I will buy at least one more. (Hint: ESV John MacArthur Study Bible coming out in August). The following article written by Steve Burchett makes good sense why we should beware of Study Bibles. As teachers we tend to depend on commentaries more than the inspired Word of God. We use the “read-n-take” (my terminology) approach. We read the commentaries or notes in the Study Bible and take it as if it is God’s Word. We spent more time reading commentaries and notes than the real inspired Word. I am guilty of it! We have to learn to wrestle with God’s Word before reaching out to other resources. Resources are great but nothing can compare to wrestling God’s Word with the help of the Holy Spirit. We need to be bold like Jacob when he wrestled with God, he said “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Here is the article:

I like resources that help me understand the Bible. My collection of commentaries grows yearly. The amount of books I own addressing various areas of theology numbers in the hundreds. There are a couple of websites that I visit regularly where numerous Bible study tools are offered. I also own four “Study Bibles,” which include not only the biblical text, but introductions and outlines for each book of the Bible, notes that explain verses, maps, articles about major concepts, and a large concordance at the back. I have been strengthened by all of these resources, and I’m confident others could testify likewise.

However, every good gift from God can be abused. Of all the study tools, perhaps in our day the Study Bible is the resource that is most often misused. For example, many who have taught the Bible have felt the frustration when, instead of meditating on the passage of Scripture being taught, several in the group were busy reading and then sharing from the study notes at the bottom of the page! continue reading ….

One more thing I want to leave you with about studying your Bible. There is no easy way. There is no instant steps for you to pursue holiness but I know for sure that if you read with your heart you will see the beauty of God in every pages of the Bible. Here is a smart counsel from Jean-Pierre de Caussade:

Read quietly, slowly, word for word to enter into the subject more with the heart than the mind.. From time to time make short pauses to allow these truths time to flow through all the recesses of the soul and to give occasion for the operation of the Holy Spirit who, during these peaceful pauses and times of silent attention, engraves and imprints these heavenly truths in the heart… Should this peace and rest last for a longer time it will be better. When you find that your mind wanders resume reading and continue thus, frequently renewing these same pauses.

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